Biblical People

Biblical People: Haman

Haman is the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, but the Bible doesn’t define what an Agagite is. It could be his race, or it could be a creed he holds. Given Haman’s actions, we can wonder if an Agagite is defined by anti-Semitism. Regardless of what Agagite means, we do know that Haman is, in fact, prejudiced.

As the valued advisor of King Xerxes, the king elevates Haman and commands people to kneel before him. Mordecai refuses. In retribution, Haman decides to slaughter Mordecai’s entire race—all the Jews. 

His plan is thwarted, however, when Esther intervenes for her people. As a result, Haman is executed, along with his ten sons.

Haman should have been pleased when the king elevated him in position and stature. He wasn’t. Haman should have been pleased to have people bow in fear and reverence before him. He wasn’t. 

Haman shouldn’t have let Mordecai’s attitude disturb him, but he did. His irrational anger and lust for revenge so controlled him that it resulted in his death. In the end he lost his life, along with the position and prestige the king granted him.

When have we been unhappy with what we’ve had and strived for more? When have we overreacted—in thought or in deed—to a situation or circumstance?

[Read Haman’s story throughout Esther 3–9.]

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at