3:6 But the thought of striking out against 1 Mordecai alone was repugnant to him, for he had been informed 2 of the identity of Mordecai’s people. 3 So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews (that is, the people of Mordecai) 4 who were in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
3:7 In the first month (that is, the month of Nisan), in the twelfth year 5 of King Ahasuerus’ reign, pur 6 (that is, the lot) was cast before Haman in order to determine a day and a month. 7 It turned out to be the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar). 8
3:8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a particular people 9 that is dispersed and spread among the inhabitants 10 throughout all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of all other peoples. Furthermore, they do not observe the king’s laws. It is not appropriate for the king to provide a haven for them. 11 3:9 If the king is so inclined, 12 let an edict be issued 13 to destroy them. I will pay ten thousand talents of silver 14 to be conveyed to the king’s treasuries for the officials who carry out this business.”
3:10 So the king removed his signet ring 15 from his hand and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, who was hostile toward the Jews. 3:11 The king replied to Haman, “Keep your money, 16 and do with those people whatever you wish.” 17
3:12 So the royal scribes 18 were summoned in the first month, on the thirteenth day of the month. Everything Haman commanded was written to the king’s satraps 19 and governors who were in every province and to the officials of every people, province by province according to its script and people by people according to its language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written and sealed with the king’s signet ring.
1 tn Heb “to send a hand against”; KJV, NRSV “to lay hands on.”
2 tn Heb “they had related to him.” For stylistic reasons this has been translated as a passive construction.
3 tc The entire first half of the verse is not included in the LXX.
4 tc This parenthetical phrase is not included in the LXX. Some scholars emend the MT reading עַם (’am, “people”) to עִם (’im, “with”), arguing that the phrase is awkwardly placed and syntactically inappropriate. While there is some truth to their complaint, the MT makes sufficient sense to be acceptable here, and is followed by most English versions.
5 sn This year would be ca. 474
6 tn The term פּוּר (pur, “lot”) is an Akkadian loanword; the narrator therefore explains it for his Hebrew readers (“that is, the lot”). It is from the plural form of this word (i.e., Purim) that the festival celebrating the deliverance of the Jews takes its name (cf. 9:24, 26, 28, 31).
7 tc The LXX adds the following words: “in order to destroy in one day the race of Mordecai, and the lot fell on the fourteenth day of the month.” The LXX reading is included by NAB.
tn Heb “from day to day and from month to month” (so KJV, NASB).
8 tn Since v. 7 seems to interrupt the flow of the narrative, many scholars have suggested that it is a late addition to the text. But there is not enough evidence to warrant such a conclusion. Even though its placement is somewhat awkward, the verse supplies to the reader an important piece of chronological information.
9 tn Heb “one people.” Note the subtle absence at this point of a specific mention of the Jewish people by name.
10 tn Heb “peoples” (so NASB, NIV); NAB “nations”
11 tn Heb “to cause them to rest”; NASB “to let them remain”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “to tolerate them.”
12 tn Heb “If upon the king it is good”; KJV “If it please the king.”
13 tn Heb “let it be written” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “let it be decreed.”
14 sn The enormity of the monetary sum referred to here can be grasped by comparing this amount (10,000 talents of silver) to the annual income of the empire, which according to Herodotus (Histories 3.95) was 14,500 Euboic talents. In other words Haman is offering the king a bribe equal to two-thirds of the royal income. Doubtless this huge sum of money was to come (in large measure) from the anticipated confiscation of Jewish property and assets once the Jews had been destroyed. That such a large sum of money is mentioned may indicate something of the economic standing of the Jewish population in the empire of King Ahasuerus.
15 sn Possessing the king’s signet ring would enable Haman to act with full royal authority. The king’s ring would be used to impress the royal seal on edicts, making them as binding as if the king himself had enacted them.
16 tn Heb “the silver is given to you”; NRSV “the money is given to you”; CEV “You can keep their money.” C. A. Moore (Esther [AB], 40) understands these words somewhat differently, taking them to imply acceptance of the money on Xerxes’ part. He translates, “Well, it’s your money.”
17 tn Heb “according to what is good in your eyes”; NASB “do with them as you please.”
18 tn Or “secretaries” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT).
19 tn Or “princes” (so NLT); CEV “highest officials.”