Ester 3

1 After these things did King Ahashuerosh promote Haman the sonne of Hammedatha the Agagite, and exalted him, and set his seate aboue all the princes that were with him.

2 And all the king's servants, that [were] in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did [him] reverence.

3 Then the Kings seruants which were at the Kings gate, said vnto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the Kings commandement?

4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he [was] a Jew.

5 And when Haman sawe that Mordecai bowed not the knee vnto him, nor did reuerence vnto him, then Haman was full of wrath.

6 Now he thought it too litle to lay hands onely on Mordecai: & because they had shewed him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Iewes, that were throughout the whole kingdome of Ahashuerosh, euen the people of Mordecai.

7 In the first month, that [is], the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that [is], the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, [to] the twelfth [month], that [is], the month Adar.

8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws [are] diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it [is] not for the king's profit to suffer them.

9 If it please the King, let it be written that they may he destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of siluer by the handes of them that haue the charge of this businesse to bring it into the Kings treasurie.

10 Then the King tooke his ring from his hand & gaue it vnto Haman the sonne of Hammedatha the Agagite the Iewes aduersarie.

11 And the King sayde vnto Haman, Let the siluer be thine, and the people to doe with them as it pleaseth thee.

12 Then were the Kings scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first moneth, and there was written (according to all that Haman commaunded) vnto the Kings officers, and to the captaines that were ouer euery prouince, and to the rulers of euery people, and to euery prouince, according to the writing thereof, and to euery people according to their language: in the name of King Ahashuerosh was it written, and sealed with the Kings ring.

13 And the letters were sent by postes into all the Kings prouinces, to roote out, to kill and to destroy all the Iewes, both yong & olde, children and women, in one day vpon the thirteenth day of the twelft moneth, (which is the moneth Adar) and to spoyle them as a pray. {\cf2 (13:1) The copie of the letters was this, The great King Artaxerxes writeth these thinges to the princes and gouernours that are vnder him from India vnto Ethiopia in an hundreth and seuen and twentie prouinces. (13:2) When I was made Lord ouer many people, and had subdued the whole earth vnto my dominion, I would not exalt my selfe by the reason of my power, but purposed with equitie alway and gentlenesse to gouerne my subiects, and wholy to set them in a peaceable life, and thereby to bring my kingdome vnto tranquilitie, that men might safely goe thorow on euery side, and to renewe peace againe, which all men desire. (13:3) Now when I asked my counsellers how these things might be brought to passe, one that was conuersant with vs, of excellent wisdome, and constant in good wil, and shewed him selfe to be of sure fidelitie, which had the second place in the kingdome, euen Aman, (13:4) Declared vnto vs, that in all nations there was scattered abroad a rebellious people, that had lawes contrary to all people, and haue alway despised the commandements of Kings, and so that this generall empire, that we haue begunne, cannot be gouerned without offence. (13:5) Seeing nowe wee perceiue, that this people alone are altogether contrary vnto euery man, vsing strange and other maner of lawes, and hauing an euill opinion of our doings, and goe about to stablish wicked matters, that our kingdome should not come to good estate, (13:6) Therefore haue we comaunded, that all they that are appointed in writing vnto you by Aman (which is ordeined ouer ye affaires, & is as our second father) shall all with their wiues and children be destroyed & rooted out with ye sword of their enemies without all mercy, and that none be spared the fourtenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar of this yeere, (13:7) That they which of olde, and nowe also haue euer bene rebellious, may in one day with violence be thrust downe into the hell, to the intent that after this time our affaires may bee without troubles, and well gouerned in all pointes.}

14 The contents of the writing was, that there shoulde be giuen a commandement in all prouinces, and published vnto all people, that they should be ready against the same day.

15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.