King Ahasuerus orders the extermination of the Jewish people.
This chapter is recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Catholic Churches
VERSE 1. The following is the copy of the letter: “From the great king Ahasuerus to the rulers and the governors under them of one hundred twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia, who hold authority under him:
Ahasuerus. That is the name used in the Bible. But he is mainly known as Xerxes. He ruled the Persian Empire from 485 to 465 BC.
India. In this context, the word “India” is modern-day west Pakistan.
one hundred twenty-seven provinces. The vast extent of the Persian empire has been confirmed by several outside sources.
VERSE 2. “Ruling over many nations and having obtained dominion over the whole world, I was determined (not elated by the confidence of power, but ever conducting myself with great moderation and gentleness) to make the lives of my subjects continually tranquil, desiring both to maintain the kingdom quiet and orderly to its utmost limits, and to restore the peace desired by all men.
VERSE 3. When I had asked my counselors how this should be brought to pass, Haman, who excels in soundness of judgment among us, and has been manifestly well inclined without wavering and with unshaken fidelity, and had obtained the second post in the kingdom,
VERSE 4. informed us that a certain ill-disposed people is mixed up with all the tribes throughout the world, opposed in their law to every other nation, and continually neglecting the commands of the king, so that the united government blamelessly administered by us is not quietly established.
a certain ill-disposed people. The things Haman says about the Jewish people are complete lies.
VERSE 5. Having then conceived that this nation 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;
VERSE 6. we instruct you in the letter written by Haman, who is set over the public affairs and is our second governor, to destroy them all utterly with their wives and children by the swords of the enemies, without pitying or sparing any, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, of the present year;
destroy them all. Haman persuades the Persian Empire to exterminate the Jewish people.
their wives and children. Even women and children are to be not spared.
How could ordinary people agree to such an outrageous thing?
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VERSE 7. 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.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.