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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 3

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<i>1</i>It was after those events that King Artaxerxes promoted Haman, son of Hamadathus, a Bugaean, advancing him and giving him precedence above all the king's Friends. <i>2</i>Everyone at court did obeisance to Haman, for so the king had commanded it should be done; but Mardochaeus did not do obeisance. <i>3</i>The courtiers said, ‘Mardochaeus, why do you flout his majesty's command?’ <i>4</i>They challenged him day after day, and when he refused to listen they informed Haman that Mardochaeus was defying the king's order. Mardochaeus had told them he was a Jew. <i>5</i>Haman was furious when he learnt that Mardochaeus was not doing obeisance to him, and <i>6</i>he plotted to exterminate all the Jews throughout the kingdom.

<i>7</i>In the twelfth year of Artaxerxes' reign Haman made an order for lots to be cast, taking the days and months one by one, to decide on a day for the destruction of Mardochaeus's whole race. The lot fell on the thirteenth a [3:7] thirteenth: so some witnesses (cp. [8:12]); other witnesses read fourteenth. day of the month of Adar.

<i>8</i>Then Haman said to King Artaxerxes: ‘Dispersed among the nations throughout your whole kingdom, there is one whose laws are different from those of every other nation. They flout your majesty's laws, and it is not in your majesty's interest to tolerate them. <i>9</i>If it please you, sire, let an order be issued for their destruction; and I shall make over to the royal treasury the sum of ten thousand talents of silver.’ <i>10</i>The king drew off his signet ring and, handing it to Haman to seal the decree against the Jews, <i>11</i>he said, ‘Keep the money, and deal with the people as you think fit.’

<i>12</i>On the thirteenth day of the first month the king's secretaries were summoned, and in accordance with Haman's instructions they wrote in the name of King Artaxerxes to his army commanders and governors of every province from India to Ethiopia; there were a hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, and each was addressed in its own language. <i>13</i>Dispatches were sent by courier throughout the kingdom of Artaxerxes ordering the extermination of the Jewish race, on a given day of the twelfth month, Adar; and their goods were to be treated as spoil.]

Notes:

b [3:7] thirteenth: so some witnesses (cp. [8:12]); other witnesses read fourteenth.

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