So, several years went by and Esther remained queen of Persia. She continued to keep her silence about her Jewish heritage. Her cousin, Mordecai, kept his position patrolling the palace grounds. Meanwhile, the king promoted a man named Haman to Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was the second most powerful position next to the king. Haman was an evil man. He was a descendant of Agag, who was the king of the Amalekites, the people who were Israel’s sworn enemy for generations (Exodus 17:14-16).
Everyone was expected to bow down before Haman as he passed by, but Mordecai refused to bow. This made Haman very angry, and when he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, it made him even madder! Right then and there, Haman decided that it was time to get rid of not only Mordecai, but eliminate all the Jews.
Haman approached King Xerxes, "It seems that there is a race of people scattered throughout your kingdom. They are disrespectful to the king and even their laws are different from ours. Sooner or later, they will cause big problems for you and the entire kingdom."
"What do you suppose we do, Haman?" The king asked.
"We must eliminate them completely!" Haman quickly replied with a slight evil smile across his face. "I have 375 tons of silver I'd like to donate to the royal treasury if this can be done."
"Let it be done as you wish." The king replied. "But keep your money. Also here is my royal signet ring. You will need it to issue any decrees pertaining to the elimination of these people."
The king did not ask Haman for any details about the people that he was referring to. If he had, the king would have realized that he had many Jews as royal subjects and that the Jewish laws in no way interfered with the people obeying the laws of the kingdom. King Xerxes probably had no idea what he agreed to. He probably thought that he merely agreed to the execution of a handful of dangerous revolutionaries in his kingdom.
Lots were cast to determine the best day of the year to execute all the Jews. It was determined that it would happen on March 7, almost a year later. Haman wasted no time in using the king's signet ring.