Hanan was one of the most heinous villains in the Bible, one who purposed to exterminate the Jewish race.

Haman was a high official, in effect the prime minister, of the Persian king Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes (reigned 485-465 BC). He was an Agagite, that is he descended from Agag (1 Samuel 15). Haman is known to Bible History from the book of Esther.

Esther's cousin Mordecai (though loyal to the king) would not bow down to him, and the infuriated Hamam set himself to have the Jewish race exterminated under the authority of the King.

Though not the same as reading the Scroll of Esther, it might have, if read devotionally a closely similar effect.

Certainly, it highlights the power of God to reverse a curse, no matter what the power behind it might be.

Haman, the book of Esther tells us was the son of one Hammedatha; chief minister of King Ahasuerus (Esther 3.1-2).

Thus Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites. See. 1 Samuel 15 for more on Agag.

Esther 3:1  After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
2  And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Hamam was "above all the princes", thus Haman was a high official, in effect the prime minister, of the Persian king Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes (who reigned 485-465 BC).

On account of his attempt to exterminate the Jews in the kingdom of Ahasuerus, Hamam is four times called "the enemy of the Jews"
(Esther 3:10; 8:1; 9:10, 24).

His plot against the Jews and the turn of events by which he was deposed and executed, are remembered during the Feast of Purim.

Haman's anger against the Jews flared up when Mordecai, the Jew, refused to bow before him.

Esther 3:1  After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
2  And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
3  Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

Enraged, Haman resolved to annihilate all the Jews throughout the whole kingdom. He drew lots to determine the best day of the massacre, and the lot fell on the 13th of Adar (Esther 3:4-7).

Esther 3:5  And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
6  And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
7  In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.

He offered the king ten thousand talents of silver for permission to do with the Jews as he pleased.

Esther 3:8  And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
9  If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
10  And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
11  And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

So the permission was granted.

Haman despatched letters to all parts of the Persian kingdom to massacre the Jews on the 13th of Adar (Esther 3: 12-15).

Esther 3:12  Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.
13  And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
14  The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.
15  The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

Haman's intrigues, however, were foiled by Esther.

In order to throw him off his guard she invited him to a banquet to which she had also asked the king.

Haman, saw this as a sign of special favor. So he confidently prepared a gallows  to hang Mordecai on (Esther 5:14).

But an unexpected turn of events occurred which was to change Haman's fate.

The King couldn't sleep one night, and to while away the time, and calm himself to sleep, he asked for the records of his reign to be read out to him.

Esther 6:1  On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
2  And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
3  And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
4  And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5  And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
 
6  So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
7  And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,
8  Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:
9  And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
 
Haman, in his conceit, was sure that the King was referring to him. His  answer to the king's question what should be done to him whom the king delighted to honor, which Haman supposed referred to himself, obliged Haman to lead Mordecai, his mortal enemy, clad in royal garments and seated on the king's horse, through the streets of Shushan and to proclaim: "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor" 
 
Esther 6:10  Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
11  Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
12  And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
13  And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.
14  And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
 
Esther 7:1  So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.
2  And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
3  Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:
4  For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
5  Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
6  And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

The king, filled with anger, ordered his officers to hang Haman on the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai (Esther 8:9). Ahasuerus bestowed upon Esther Haman's house (Esther 8:1); the ten sons of Haman were executed on the 13th of Adar and then hanged (Esther 9:7-9, 14).

 

Esther 8:7  Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
8  Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
9  Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
10  And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
11  Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
12  Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
13  The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14  So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
15  ¶And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
16  The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
17  And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
 
Esther 9:1  Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)
2  The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.
3  And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4  For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
5  Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
6  And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
7  And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
8  And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9  And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
10  The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
11  On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
12  And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.
13  Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
14  And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
15  For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
16  But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
17  On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18  But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19  Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
20  ¶And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
21  To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
22  As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
23  And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
24  Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
25  But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26  Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
27  The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
28  And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
29  Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30  And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31  To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
32  And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
 
Esther 10:1  And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.
2  And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
3  For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
 
The annals of Esther end with a complete reversal of fortunes. The Jews who were to be killed were not only not killed, but now had the legal rights and courage to defend themselves and avenge themselves on their enemies. Many of the Jews who were delighted at Haman's decree and were waiting for the appointed date, suddenly had a fear descend upon them. The hidden Jews were now revealed and had the complete favor of the King. Yhe office of Haman, his signet ring, his authority, even his house were handed over to Mordecai the Jew. A villain was replaced by a man of character who believed in the God of Israel, in the position of prime minister.
 
Thus Purim celebrates the power of God to act "behind the scenes" through apparently "natural" causes to achieve His purposes, and to protect His people, overturning every curse put upon them, and replacing it with the King's favor.
 
Modern events illustrating the power of God to act hiddenly, precisely to protect the Jews can be found in Purim in the 20th and the 21st Centuries
 
 

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