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Haman, son of Hammedatha, was the prime minister under Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), King of Persia, for a brief time around the twelfth year of his reign (485-464 BC)[1]. It was during this year (c. 473 BC), that Haman plotted to destroy Mordecai and his family, as well as all of the other Jews in the Persian Empire.[2] Were it not for Mordecai's relationship to Esther, the queen, that plot might have succeeded.

Haman's evil scheming was thwarted when the king learned that Mordecai had saved his life.[3] After being humiliated for having to honor Mordecai, he would be even more determined in his desire to destroy the Jews. He had previously erected gallows upon which to hang Mordecai, so when Esther intervened on her people's behalf, Haman was hanged on those very same gallows.

Biography

Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, was elevated to high office in about 474 BC.[1] Being married to a woman named Zeresh and having ten sons, he would have been at least 40 years old, yielding a birthdate in the mid to late sixth century BC during the reign of Darius the great (c. 536-516 BC).

Susan had been rebuilt by the Assyrians about a century earlier, to be subsequently taken by the Persians in 540 BC. Soon afterwards, Darius would construct a palace there in which he could pass the winter season. It is probable that Hammedatha was a privileged second generation Amalekite close to the Persian ruling class.

In the years leading to the reign of Ahasuerus, Haman would marry Zeresh,[4] whose name is Persian (meaning "gold"). This indicates that the Agagite may have married "up." At any rate, the couple is credited with having ten sons[5], all of whom were killed in the civil war started based on Haman's plot to destroy the Jews.

In 473 BC, probably within a year of taking office, Haman would be executed for assaulting the king's consort, the Jewish Queen Esther. He would be succeeded in office by Mordecai.

Verses

  1. 1.0 1.1 Esther 3:1
  2. Esther 3:2-9 (Link)
  3. Esther 2:22 (Link)
  4. Esther 5:14 (Link)
  5. Esther 9:13 (Link)

Verses

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