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There is a certain people scattered and separated among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not appropriate for the king to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued for their destruction, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king's business, so that they may put it into the king's treasuries.
~ Haman's intent on having the Jews executed.

Haman (also known as Haman the Agagite) was the main antagonist of the Book of Esther. He was King Xerxes' former second-in-command and prime minister who unbeknownst to the king was deeply anti-Semitic.

Biography

At the beginning, he didn't like the king and wanted to kill him, so he gets some eunuchs to poison him, but a Jew named Mordecai overhears said eunuchs doing a plan and manages to inform the king about them.

In the story, Haman arrives riding on a camel, being introduced as King Xerxes' right-hand man. Haman orders the Jewish people to get on their knees and bow to him. Though Haman had embroidered a picture of an idol in his robes (which would force Hebrews bowing down to him to violate their taboo against bowing to idols), all of the Jews obeyed this command, except for Mordecai, who knows Haman does not honor God.

This angers Haman, and he tells King Xerxes that the Jews will not obey the law and that he must make a new order saying to kill all the Jews; especially Mordecai, whom Haman plans to hang. Though his wife tells him that he had crossed the line and warns him that his obsession with murdering the Hebrew people would lead to his own undoing, he refused to listen to her and continued his genocidal plans.

Finally, when Queen Esther explains to Xerxes that she is part of Haman's plan, a Jew, and Mordecai's cousin, the angered and betrayed King yells at Haman that he lied to him, and he then orders the guards to hang Haman on the gallows that he'd prepared for Mordecai. After Haman's execution, the King hires Mordecai to be his new second-in-command.

VeggieTales

Main article: Haman (VeggieTales)

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the stage musical Malice in the Palace, Haman's execution was going to happen, but he begs that he does not want to do this, and so his life is spared, and is still prime minister (that is, in some versions, while in others, he gets fired). Here, his only musical number was "It Would Take a Miracle" with his wife, Zaresh.
  • In the 2006 film One Night with the King, Haman is portrayed by James Callis.
  • In the 1960 film, Esther and the King, he is portrayed by Sergio Fantoni.
  • In the South Park episode Jewbilee, an anti-Semitic sect led by Garth tried to get Haman into power by trapping Moses in a conch shell. He briefly made an appearance as a demonic entity but was ultimately defeated when Kenny freed Moses from the conch shell.
  • Haman Karn from Zeta Gundam is named after Haman from the Book of Esther in the Jewish Torah/Christian Old Testament. Like her namesake, she is a corrupt usurper who uses a ruler to fulfill his/her ambitions. The only difference is that the Biblical Haman sought ethnic cleansing (particularly of Jews who were the mortal enemies of her ancestors the Amalekites), while the Universal Century Haman sought domination.
  • His name has become a watchword for Anti-Semitism, and he is viewed in rabbinical traditions as an archetypical villain.

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