Haman - the Agagite - Perhaps he was some descendant of that Agag, king of the Amalekites, spared by Saul, but destroyed by Samuel; and on this ground might have an antipathy to the Jews.
Set his seat above all the princes - Made him his prime minister, and put all the officers of state under his direction.
The name, Haman, is probably the same as the Classical Omanes, and in ancient Persian, “Umana”, an exact equivalent of the Greek “Eumenes.” Hammedatha is perhaps the same as “Madata” or “Mahadata”, an old Persian name signifying “given by (or to) the moon.”
The Agagite - The Jews generally understand by this expression “the descendant of Agag,” the Amalekite monarch of Esther 9:7-9 and his father, would seem to have been a genuine Persian.
The Classical writers make no mention of Haman‘s advancement; but their notices of the reign of Xerxes after 479 B.C. are exceedingly scanty.
Meanwhile conditions in the Medo-Persian realm were rapidly changing. Darius Hystaspes, under whose reign the Jews had been shown marked favor, was succeeded by Xerxes the Great. It was during his reign that those of the Jews who had failed of heeding the message to flee were called upon to face a terrible crisis. Having refused to take advantage of the way of escape God had provided, now they were brought face to face with death. PK 600.1
Through Haman the Agagite, an unscrupulous man high in authority in Medo-Persia, Satan worked at this time to counterwork the purposes of God. Haman cherished bitter malice against Mordecai, a Jew. Mordecai had done Haman no harm, but had simply refused to show him worshipful reverence. Scorning to “lay hands on Mordecai alone,” Haman plotted “to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” Esther 3:6. PK 600.2
Misled by the false statements of Haman, Xerxes was induced to issue a decree providing for the massacre of all the Jews “scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces” of the Medo-Persian kingdom. Verse 8. A certain day was appointed on which the Jews were to be destroyed and their property confiscated. Little did the king realize the far-reaching results that would have accompanied the complete carrying out of this decree. Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was trying to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God. PK 600.3Read in context »