After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 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.
Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? 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. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
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. 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. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.
And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.
Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring. And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. 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.
One has to wonder why the king promoted and seemed to enjoy Haman so much as nothing much is said of him other than what is said so far in this chapter. Here is some obscure guy who happens to come into the king’s graces, and rises above all those who were the closest council to the king, and above princes.
I have to wonder if this was a set up by the Lord for a specific reason- that Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites. The Amalekites where the tribe which attacked the Israelites at Rephidim near Mount Sinai, where they were defeated by Joshua. They were also mixed with the raiders who were defeated by Gideon. It’s interesting as well that King Saul defeated the Amalekites in battle, but spared the king.
So here we have a descendant of King Agog, an early ruler of the Amalekites and Mordecai, a descendant of King Saul, more specifically Kish ( Saul’s father) of the Tribe of Benjamin.
Back in Exodus during a war with the Amalekites (When Moses had his arms supported by Aaron and Hur) when it was over, Moses said, “Because hands were lifted up against[a] the throne of the Lord,[b] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
Also in Deuteronomy 25:17,18 Moses implores Israel,Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.
It seems here they still have no fear of God as Haman, proud to be exulted is infuriated over Mordecai’s refusal to bow or show him honor and devises a plot not just to kill Mordecai, but all the Jews throughout Persia.
Mordecai’s behavior would seem foolish to most people for his disobedience to honor and bow before the king’s favorite, but he really was obedient to the Lord. He reminds me of so many martyrs and those persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Those who won’t budge when it comes to standing on the Foundation of the Lord, and denouncing or refusing to honor other gods and men. Mordecai probably didn’t figure he’d be put to death or imprisoned, but he certainly didn’t think Haman deserved reverence that should belong to the Lord alone.
It must have been a shock to him especially when the edicts came down, but as the city was perplexed, I can imagine many of the Jews probably secretly blamed Mordecai for bringing all of this on their heads.
One can’t help comparing Haman to others who have persecuted the Jews throughout history, but also those who have persecuted Christians. It definitely reminds us that when people ‘separate’ themselves from the world or other cultures that are in opposition to our faith, persecution begins with lies and slander, then accused of being dangerous (ideologies, xenophobia and rebellious to the collective or state). After that comes dehumanization, imprisonment, beatings and death. We see this with the case of Haman just as we see it against Jesus- and throughout the New Testament with the Jewish leaders towards the apostles and other Christians.
But even in the face of such an edict, through fear and anguish, there is always hope in God, and that while facing certain death, He is always in control, and always working things for the good of those who love Him.
Have a blessed day all!