The Israeli were in excile at Babylon. But it seems the King of Babylon was not so much as desperate as Haman was to get rid of the children of Israel. So why was Haman desperately seeking to wipe out the children of Israel?

I want to know if Haman the Agagite has anthing to do with Agag who the Prophet Samuel hewed to pieces during the time of Saul.

If Haman was from the descent of Agag (an Amalekite), then how did he come into the picture in Babylon? In other words, I am asking to know if Babylon has something to do with Amalek.

  • 2
    The story already gives an explanation itself (Esther 3:2-6). Could you clarify what your question is exactly?
    – user2672
    Oct 16, 2018 at 12:05
  • I want to know if Haman the Agagite has anthing to do with Agag who the Prophet Samuel hewed to pieces. Oct 17, 2018 at 11:37
  • 1
    Then why is nothing like that in your question? Could you edit it to clarify?
    – user2672
    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


The answer is found in Chapter 3.

Esther 3:1-6 (DRB)

After these things, king Assuerus advanced Aman, the son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all the princes that were with him. 2 And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship him. 3 And the king's servants that were chief at the doors of the palace, said to him: Why dost thou alone not observe the king's commandment? 4 And when they were saying this often, and he would not hearken to them; they told Aman, desirous to know whether he would continue in his resolution: for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor worship him, he was exceeding angry. 6 And he counted it nothing to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone: for he had heard that he was of the nation of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.


The answer of Sola Gratia is obviously correct but does not explain why Haman's hatred was spurred by the fact that Mordechai was Jewish. If Haman only wanted to remove an insufficiently obsequious subordinate he could have easily had him removed; however, he uses this occasion for genocide. Why such an extreme reaction?

Note that Haman was called an "Agagite", that is, a descendant of "Agag". This is almost certainly a reference to the incident in 1 Sam 15 where King Saul was supposed to exterminate the Amalekites but spared the best of the livestock and the King, Agag. When the prophet Samuel went to Saul to rebuke him they clashed bitterly, and parted never to see each other again (1 Sam 15:35).

However, Samuel had King Agag brought before him and executed him by cutting him to pieces in public view (1 Sam 15:32, 33). One presumes that Agag had a son who survived this whole affair as Haman traced his ancestory back to King Agag and obviously nurtured a long-held grudge and used Mordechai as an opportunity to reap revenge on the Jews by exterminating them.

Note the story also told by the historian, Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, chapter 6 section 5) also explains Haman's grudge against the Jews because Haman was an Amalekite which nation had been exterminated by the Jews.

  • I'm assuming the Jewishness and the refusal to worship men as gods are one and the same in this instance. Also, I don't think that it is necessarily that he was Jewish (rather than anything else) at all. His wondering whether he will eventually give in and worship can be attributed to his 'trying' the Jewishness of Mordechai ("desirous to know if he would continue in his resolution (for he had hear that he had told them that he was a Jew" (who don't worship other gods). Learning his nation also helps him destroy them all, as it says he intended to do, not only the one man Mordechai.Thoughts. Oct 17, 2018 at 10:16
  • If his Jewishness was not important, why was it recorded as a source of Haman's anger and resentment? (Est 3:6) And why did Haman then decide to use this as an opportunity to eliminate all Jews?
    – user25930
    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.