Haman's Plot to Destroy the Jews
31 After these things, by the order of the king, Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, was lifted up and given a position of honour and a higher place than all the other captains who were with him. 2 And all the king's servants who were in the king's house went down to the earth before Haman and gave him honour: for so the king had given orders. But Mordecai did not go down before him or give him honour. 3 Then the king's servants who were in the king's house said to Mordecai, Why do you go against the king's order? 4 Now when they had said this to him day after day and he gave no attention, they let Haman have news of it, to see if Mordecai's behaviour would be overlooked: for he had said to them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not go down before him and give him honour, Haman was full of wrath. 6 But it was not enough for him to make an attack on Mordecai only; for they had made clear to him who Mordecai's people were; so Haman made it his purpose to put an end to all the Jews, even Mordecai's people, through all the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
7 In the first month, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, from day to day and from month to month they went on looking for a sign given by Pur (that is chance) before Haman, till the sign came out for the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar. 8 And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, There is a certain nation living here and there in small groups among the people in all the divisions of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of any other nation, and they do not keep the king's laws: for this reason it is not right for the king to let them be. 9 If it is the king's pleasure, let a statement ordering their destruction be put in writing: and I will give to those responsible for the king's business, ten thousand talents of silver for the king's store-house. 10 And the king took his ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the hater of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, The money is yours, and the people, to do with them whatever seems right to you. 12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month, the king's scribes were sent for, and they put in writing Haman's orders to all the king's captains and the rulers of every division of his kingdom and the chiefs of every people: for every division of the kingdom in the writing commonly used there, and to every people in the language which was theirs; it was signed in the name of King Ahasuerus and stamped with the king's ring. 13 And letters were sent by the runners into every division of the kingdom ordering the death and destruction of all Jews, young and old, little children and women, on the same day, even the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar, and the taking of all their goods by force. 14 A copy of the writing, to be made public in every part of the kingdom, was sent out to all the peoples, so that they might be ready when that day came. 15 The runners went out quickly by the king's order, and a public statement was made in Shushan: and the king and Haman took wine together: but the town of Shushan was troubled.
Esther Promises to Intercede for Her People
41 Now when Mordecai saw what was done, pulling off his robe, he put on haircloth, with dust on his head, and went out into the middle of the town, crying out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 And he came even before the king's doorway; for no one might come inside the king's door clothed in haircloth. 3 And in every part of the kingdom, wherever the king's word and his order came, there was great sorrow among the Jews, and weeping and crying and going without food; and numbers of them were stretched on the earth covered with dust and haircloth. 4 And Esther's women and her servants came and gave her word of it. Then great was the grief of the queen: and she sent robes for Mordecai, so that his clothing of haircloth might be taken off; but he would not have them.
5 Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king's unsexed servants whom he had given her for waiting on her, and she gave him orders to go to Mordecai and see what this was and why it was. 6 So Hathach went out and saw Mordecai in the open square of the town before the king's doorway. 7 And Mordecai gave him an account of what had taken place, and of the amount of money which Haman had said he would put into the king's store for the destruction of the Jews. 8 And he gave him the copy of the order which had been given out in Shushan for their destruction, ordering him to let Esther see it, and to make it clear to her; and to say to her that she was to go in to the king, requesting his mercy, and making prayer for her people. 9 And Hathach came back and gave Esther an account of what Mordecai had said. 10 Then Esther sent Hathach to say to Mordecai: 11 It is common knowledge among all the king's servants and the people of every part of the kingdom, that if anyone, man or woman, comes to the king in his inner room without being sent for, there is only one law for him, that he is to be put to death; only those to whom the king's rod of gold is stretched out may keep their lives: but I have not been sent for to come before the king these thirty days. 12 And they said these words to Mordecai. 13 Then Mordecai sent this answer back to Esther: Do not have the idea that you in the king's house will be safe from the fate of all the Jews. 14 If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father's family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this? 15 Then Esther sent them back to Mordecai with this answer: 16 Go, get together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and go without food for me, taking no food or drink night or day for three days: and I and my women will do the same; and so I will go in to the king, which is against the law: and if death is to be my fate, then let it come. 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had said.
Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Banquet
51 Now on the third day, Esther put on her queen's robes, and took her place in the inner room of the king's house, facing the king's house: and the king was seated on his high seat in the king's house, facing the doorway of the house. 2 And when the king saw Esther the queen waiting in the inner room, looking kindly on her he put out the rod of gold in his hand to her. So Esther came near and put her fingers on the top of the rod. 3 Then the king said, What is your desire, Queen Esther, and what is your request? I will give it to you, even to the half of my kingdom. 4 And Esther in answer said, If it seems good to the king, let the king and Haman come today to the feast which I have made ready for him. 5 Then the king said, Let Haman come quickly, so that what Esther has said may be done. So the king and Haman came to the feast which Esther had made ready. 6 And while they were drinking wine the king said to Esther, What is your prayer? for it will be given to you and what is your request? for it will be done, even to the half of my kingdom. 7 Then Esther said in answer, My prayer and my request is this: 8 If I have the king's approval, and if it is the king's pleasure to give me my prayer and do my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast which I will make ready for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.
9 Then on that day Haman went out full of joy and glad in heart; but when he saw Mordecai in the king's doorway, and he did not get to his feet or give any sign of fear before him, Haman was full of wrath against Mordecai. 10 But controlling himself, he went to his house; and he sent for his friends and Zeresh, his wife. 11 And he gave them an account of the glories of his wealth, and the number of children he had, and the ways in which he had been honoured by the king, and how he had put him over the captains and servants of the king. 12 And Haman said further, Truly, Esther the queen let no man but myself come in to the feast which she had made ready for the king; and tomorrow again I am to be her guest with the king. 13 But all this is nothing to me while I see Mordecai the Jew seated by the king's doorway. 14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Let a pillar, fifty cubits high, be made ready for hanging him, and in the morning get the king to give orders for the hanging of Mordecai: then you will be able to go to the feast with the king with a glad heart. And Haman was pleased with the suggestion, and he had the pillar made.