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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Esther - Chapter 3

Esther - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite and advanced him, and placed his seat above all the princes who were with him.   א. אַחַר | הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה גִּדַּל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אֶת הָמָן בֶּן הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי וַיְנְַאֵהוּ וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת כִּסְאוֹ מֵעַל כָּל הַָרִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ:
After these events: this remedy was created to be a salvation for Israel.  
King Ahasuerus promoted Haman: For the Holy One, blessed be He, creates a remedy for Israel’s blow before He brings the blow upon them.  
2. And all the king's servants who were in the king's gate would kneel and prostrate themselves before Haman, for so had the king commanded concerning him, but Mordecai would neither kneel nor prostrate himself.   ב. וְכָל עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כֹּרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהָמָן כִּי כֵן צִוָּה לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמָרְדֳּכַי לֹא יִכְרַע וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה:
would kneel and prostrate themselves: Because he made himself a god; therefore “Mordecai would neither kneel nor prostrate himself.”  
3. Then the king's servants who were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king's orders?"   ג. וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְמָרְדֳּכָי מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה עוֹבֵר אֵת מִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ:
4. Now it came to pass when they said [this] to him daily, and he did not heed them, that they told [this] to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand up, for he had told them that he was a Jew.   ד. וַיְהִי כְּאָמְרָם (בְּאָמְרָם כתיב) אֵלָיו יוֹם וָיוֹם וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם וַיַּגִּידוּ לְהָמָן לִרְאוֹת הֲיַעַמְדוּ דִּבְרֵי מָרְדֳּכַי כִּי הִגִּיד לָהֶם אֲשֶׁר הוּא יְהוּדִי:
whether Mordecai’s words would stand up: [i.e., the words of Mordecai,] who said that he would never prostrate himself because he was a Jew, and was warned against idolatry.  
5. And when Haman saw that Mordecai would neither kneel nor prostrate himself before him, Haman became full of wrath.   ה. וַיַּרְא הָמָן כִּי אֵין מָרְדֳּכַי כֹּרֵעַ וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לוֹ וַיִּמָּלֵא הָמָן חֵמָה:
6. But it seemed contemptible to him to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him Mordecai's nationality, and Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout Ahasuerus's entire kingdom, Mordecai's people.   ו. וַיִּבֶז בְּעֵינָיו לִשְׁלֹח יָד בְּמָרְדֳּכַי לְבַדּוֹ כִּי הִגִּידוּ לוֹ אֶת עַם מָרְדֳּכָי וַיְבַקֵּשׁ הָמָן לְהַשְׁמִיד אֶת כָּל הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל מַלְכוּת אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ עַם מָרְדֳּכָי:
7. In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, one cast the pur-that is the lot-before Haman from day to day and from month to month, to the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.   ז. בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן הוּא חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ הִפִּיל פּוּר הוּא הַגּוֹרָל לִפְנֵי הָמָן מִיּוֹם | לְיוֹם וּמֵחֹדֶשׁ לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר הוּא חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר:
one cast the pur: Whoever cast it, cast it, and the verse does not specify who. This is an elliptical verse.  
that is the lot: Scripture explains: and what is the pur? That is the lot. He cast lots [to determine] in which month he would succeed.  
from day to day: in which day of the month he would succeed.  
8. And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from [those of] every people, and they do not keep the king's laws; it is [therefore] of no use for the king to let them be.   ח. וַיֹּאמֶר הָמָן לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ יֶשְׁנוֹ עַם אֶחָד מְפֻזָּר וּמְפֹרָד בֵּין הָעַמִּים בְּכֹל מְדִינוֹת מַלְכוּתֶךָ וְדָתֵיהֶם שֹׁנוֹת מִכָּל עָם וְאֶת דָּתֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵינָם עֹשִׂים וְלַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין שֹׁוֶה לְהַנִּיחָם:
and… the king’s laws: to give taxes for the king’s work.  
it is of no use: There is no apprehension; there is no profit.  
9. If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them, and I will weigh out ten thousand silver talents into the hands of those who perform the work, to bring [it] into the king's treasuries."   ט. אִם עַל הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב יִכָּתֵב לְאַבְּדָם וַעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים כִּכַּר כֶּסֶף אֶשְׁקוֹל עַל יְדֵי עֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה לְהָבִיא אֶל גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ:
let it be written to destroy them: Let letters be written to be sent to the governors of the provinces to destroy them.  
10. And the king took his ring off his hand and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the adversary of the Jews.   י. וַיָּסַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת טַבַּעְתּוֹ מֵעַל יָדוֹ וַיִּתְּנָהּ לְהָמָן בֶּן הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי צֹרֵר הַיְּהוּדִים:
And the king took his ring off: This represents the granting of any great matter that is requested of the king; the one who has the ring on his hand is the ruler over all the king’s affairs.  
11. And the king said to Haman, "The silver is given to you, and the people to do to them as it pleases you."   יא. וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמָן הַכֶּסֶף נָתוּן לָךְ וְהָעָם לַעֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ כַּטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ:
12. And the king's scribes were summoned in the first month, on the thirteenth day thereof, and it was written according to everything that Haman had ordered to the king's satraps and to the governors who were over every province, and to the princes of every people, each province according to its script and each people according to its tongue; it was written in the name of King Ahasuerus, and it was sealed with the king's ring.   יב. וַיִּקָּרְאוּ סֹפְרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם בּוֹ וַיִּכָּתֵב כְּכָל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה הָמָן אֶל אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶל הַפַּחוֹת אֲשֶׁר | עַל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וְאֶל שָׂרֵי עַם וָעָם מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְעַם וָעָם כִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ בְּשֵׁם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ נִכְתָּב וְנֶחְתָּם בְּטַבַּעַת הַמֶּלֶךְ:
13. And letters shall be sent by the hand of the couriers to all the king's provinces, to destroy, kill, and cause to perish all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, on one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and their spoils to be taken as plunder.   יג. וְנִשְׁלוֹחַ סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים אֶל כָּל מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶת כָּל הַיְּהוּדִים מִנַּעַר וְעַד זָקֵן טַף וְנָשִׁים בְּיוֹם אֶחָד בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר הוּא חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר וּשְׁלָלָם לָבוֹז:
And letters shall be sent: Heb. וְנִשְּׁלוֹחַ. And letters shall be sent, étre tramis in 0. Fr., to be sent, which is of the [same grammatical] structure as (Jud. 11:25): “did he ever fight? (נִלְחוֹם נִלְחַם) ” ; (I Sam. 2:27): “Did I appear? (נִגְלֹה נִגְלֵיתִי) (Hos. 10:15): ” was silenced (נִדְמֹה נִדְמָה)."  
on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month: On the thirteenth day of that month, which is the twelfth month of the year.  
14. The copy of the writ was for an edict to be given in every province, published to all the peoples, to be ready for that day.   יד. פַּתְשֶׁגֶן הַכְּתָב לְהִנָּתֵן דָּת בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה גָּלוּי לְכָל הָעַמִּים לִהְיוֹת עֲתִדִים לַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
The copy of the writ: Heb. פַּתְשֶּׁגֶן, an Aramaism, the account of the writ, deresmant in Old French, text, contents, account.  
for an edict to be given: The command of the writ was that it proclaimed that the decree of the king should be issued as a statute.  
published to all the peoples: This matter.  
15. The couriers went forth in haste by the king's order, and the edict was given in Shushan the capital, and the king and Haman sat down to drink, and the city of Shushan was perturbed.   טו. הָרָצִים יָצְאוּ דְחוּפִים בִּדְבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַדָּת נִתְּנָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן יָשְׁבוּ לִשְׁתּוֹת וְהָעִיר שׁוּשָׁן נָבוֹכָה:
and the edict was given in Shushan the capital: the place where the king was situated; there the statute was given on that day, to be ready for the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. Therefore  
and the city of Shushan was perturbed: [i.e] the Jews therein.  
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