Esther 3 The Snub


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Esther 3:1 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.
3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply.Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

7 In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur (that is, the lot) was cast in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on[a] the twelfth month, the month of Adar.
a. Esther 3:7 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have And the lot fell on.

For me, the easy English site is the clearest this morning.

In Chapter 2, we learned that Mordecai saved the king’s life. In Chapter 6, we shall read that the king did not reward Mordecai until much later. Chapter 3 starts with the news that King Xerxes rewarded Haman. The king made Haman very important. We do not know why the king rewarded Haman.​
Haman was from the family of Agag. Agag had been the king of the people called Amalekites. Mordecai was from the family of a man called Kish. Kish was also the name of King Saul’s father. The Amalekites were the enemies of King Saul. (See 1 Samuel chapter 15 and 2 Samuel 1:1-16.)​
People often gave special honour to old or important people. The Jews did this too. (See Genesis 33:3; 1 Samuel 20:41; 1 Samuel 24:8.) Mordecai did not give special honour to Haman. If the king had give this command, maybe Haman did not really deserve honour. Maybe Mordecai thought that he should only give that sort of honour to God. Mordecai had told the king’s servants that he was a Jew. A Jew would not want to give special honour to someone who belonged to the people called Amalekites.
Haman saw that Mordecai did not give special honour to him. That made Haman very angry. He was so angry that he wanted to kill all Jews, not just Mordecai. Perhaps he thought that other Jews would not respect him. They might follow Mordecai’s example.​
Haman wanted to select a lucky date when he could kill the Jews. So he told his officials to throw the Purim (special stones with numbers on them). The way that the stones fell on the ground would show the best day and month for some act. God made sure that the Purim stones chose a date nearly a year later. God had a special plan to save the Jews from Haman’s plot.​
Now the commentary at the beginning of Esther says that God is not mentioned in the book. I'm watching for that.... so far... no direct intervention from God... that is written down.... but now... Esther's uncle, Mordecai, is snubbing that rich guy Haman. The exact reason is not written down here.... but Haman is really angry at Mordecai.... so he plans to take it out on all of Mordecai's family..... all of them....

This is from

Mordecai bowed not - לאיכרע lo yichra . "He did not bow down;" nor did him reverence, ישתחוה ולא velo yishtachaveh, "nor did he prostrate himself." I think it most evident, from these two words, that it was not civil reverence merely that Haman expected and Mordecai refused; this sort of respect is found in the word כרע cara, to bow. This sort of reverence Mordecai could not refuse without being guilty of the most inexcusable obstinacy, nor did any part of the Jewish law forbid it. But Haman expected, what the Persian kings frequently received, a species of Divine adoration; and this is implied in the word שחה shachah, which signifies that kind of prostration which implies the highest degree of reverence that can be paid to God or man, lying down flat on the earth, with the hands and feet extended, and the mouth in the dust.
The Targum, says that Haman set up a statue for himself, to which every one was obliged to bow, and to adore Haman himself. The Jews all think that Mordecai refused this prostration because it implied idolatrous adoration. Hence, in the Apocryphal additions to this book, Mordecai is represented praying thus: "Thou knowest that if I have not adored Haman, it was not through pride, nor contempt, nor secret desire of glory; for I felt disposed to kiss the footsteps of his feet (gladly) for the salvation of Israel: but I feared to give to a man that honor which I know belongs only to my God."
Some people just think the world is going to bow down to them. Modecai wouldn't do it.

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