New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 Agagite. It is possible that Haman was a descendant of Agag, who had been king of the Amalekites at the time of Saul (I Samuel 15:8), and who had been spared by Saul when he destroyed the Amalekites (I Samuel 15:20), then later slain by Samuel (I Samuel 15:33). If so, this would help explain why Haman hated all the Jews, not Mordecai only. However, it is also known, from an Akkadian inscription, that there was a district in Media (later a part of the Medo-Persian empire) named Agag.
3:2 bowed not. In the Hebrew, “bow down” is the same as “worship.” Mordecai, as a believing Jew, refused to worship Haman, knowing that God alone must be worshiped (Exodus 20:5; Daniel 3:18; etc.). Not even angels are to be worshipped (e.g., Revelation 22:8,9).
3:6 destroy all the Jews. Haman had apparently such delusions of grandeur that he craved worship as a divinity. He realized that not only Mordecai but also the Jews as a people would refuse him the worship he desired. Therefore he determined to stamp out the Jews and their monotheistic religion altogether.
3:8 a certain people. It may be significant that Haman did not reveal that this “certain people” were the Jews. He may have been afraid that Ahasuerus (Xerxes) would remember the earlier decrees of Cyrus and Darius favoring the Jews, and possibly also remember the honored position that Daniel—also a Jew—had held in the courts of two Persian kings (Ezra l:2-3; 6:11-12; Daniel 6:25-28).
3:9 ten thousand talents. Haman was evidently the wealthiest man in Persia, and Ahasuerus had dipped heavily into his own resources in financing his ill-fated Grecian campaign. No doubt one reason for the king’s promotion of Haman was this wealth, which he coveted. Haman thus agreed, in effect, to make up personally any lost income that might otherwise have been received from the Jews. Whether monarchy or democracy, men of wealth have often been able to manipulate political leaders by controlling their financial resources.
3:13 twelfth month. Exactly eleven months earlier, on the day before the Passover, this command had been given (compare Exodus 12:6), thus giving the Jews adequate time to prepare their defense. The date for Haman’s intended genocide had been set by the casting of lots. God, however, determines how the lot will fall (Proverbs 16:33), and He ordained that the date would be almost a year away. This day was adopted later by the Jews as the date for their annual feast of Purim (meaning “lots). See Esther 9:26-32.
3:13 posts. These were “couriers.”