Esther 3

1And after this King Artaxerxes highly honored Haman, son of Hammedatha, the Bugaean, and exalted him, and set his seat above all his friends. 2And everyone in the palace bowed down to him, for so the king had given orders to do; but Mordecai did not bow down to him. 3And those in the king's palace said to Mordecai, Mordecai, why do you transgress the commands of the king? 4Thus they spoke daily to him, but he hearkened not unto them; so they told it to Haman that Mordecai resisted the commands of the king; and Mordecai had shown to them that he was a Jew. 5And when Haman understood that Mordecai did not bow down to him, he was greatly enraged, 6and took counsel to utterly destroy all the Jews who were under the rule of Artaxerxes. 7And he made a decree in the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, and cast lots daily and monthly, to slay in one day the race of Mordecai. And the lot fell on the fourteenth day of the month, which is Adar. 8And he spoke to King Artaxerxes, saying, There is a nation scattered among the nations in all your kingdom, and their laws differ from those of all the other nations; and they disobey the laws of the king. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them alone. 9If it seems good to the king, let him make a decree to destroy them, and I will remit into the king's treasury ten thousand talents of silver. 10And the king took off his ring, and gave it into the hands of Haman, to seal the decrees against the Jews. 11And the king said to Haman, Keep the silver, and treat the nation as you will. 12So the king's recorders were called in the first month, on the thirteenth day, and they wrote as Haman commanded to the captains and governors in every province, from India even to Ethiopia, to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, and to the rulers of the nations according to their many languages, in the name of King Artaxerxes. 13And the message was sent by posts throughout the kingdom of Artaxerxes, to utterly destroy the race of the Jews on the first day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods. And the following is the copy of the letter: The great King Artaxerxes writes thus to the rulers and inferior governors of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia, who hold authority under him. Ruling over many nations, and having obtained dominion over the whole world, I was minded, (not elated by the confidence of power but ever conducting myself with great moderation and with gentleness) to make the lives of my subjects continually tranquil, desiring both to maintain the kingdom quite and orderly to its utmost limits, and to restore the peace desired by all men. But when I had inquired of my counselors how this should be brought to pass, Haman, who excels in sound judgment among us, and has been manifestly well inclined without wavering and with unshaken fidelity, and has obtained the second post in the kingdom, informed us that a certain ill-disposed people is mixed up with all the tribes throughout the world, opposed in their laws to every other nation, and continually neglecting the commands of the kings, so that the united government blamelessly administered by us is not quietly established. Having then conceived that this nation alone of all others is continually set in opposition to every man, introducing as a change a foreign code of laws, and injuriously plotting to accomplish the worst of evils against our interests, and against the happy establishment of the monarchy; we have accordingly appointed those who are signified to you in the letters written by Haman, who is set over the public affairs and is our second governor, to utterly destroy them all with their wives and children by the swords of the enemies, without pitying or sparing any, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month (which is Adar) of the present year; that the people aforetime and now ill-disposed to us having been violently consigned to death in one day, may hereafter secure to us continually a well- constituted and quiet state of affairs. 14And the copies of the letters were published in every province; and an order was given to all the nations to be ready against that day. 15And the business was hastened, and that at Susa. And the king and Haman began to drink, but the city was troubled.
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