-1

The 10 sons of Haman were hanged as we read in the Megillah. (Esther 9:14)

But it appears they were killed by the sword. Is this a correct chronology of the story / facts?

  • Haman was hanged on or around 16th Nisan
  • The decree was overturned in Sivan
  • The Jews were armed to defend themselves
  • Around 13th-14th Adar of the following year, the sons of Haman and their followers ignored the fact the decree had been overturned and tried to carry it out anyway
  • Having been armed the Jews successfully defended themselves and killed their enemies, including the sons of Haman, by the sword
  • The sons of Haman were then hung (whilst already dead) to show the public what happened to those who were enemies of the Jews.

The alternative is that:

  • Sons of Haman did not accept the decree had been overturned and so led many people to fight against the Jews
  • This was was unsuccessful and many people were killed by the sword but not the sons of Haman themselves
  • Esther requests that the sons, for their part in starting this rebellion, should be hanged. (9:13)
  • They were. (9:14)

In which case they were hanged, probably around 14th Adar.

Which of these is accurate?

  • So basically you're asking whether they were (a) killed in the fighting and then hung or (b) killed by hanging. (Or did I misunderstand you?) So you don't need all this information in the question about the decree's being overturned, about who led the fighting, etc., right? – msh210 Mar 3 '15 at 18:45
  • Yes. And the information / sequence of events is key to ascertaining what happened – CashCow Mar 3 '15 at 18:52
5

You're mixing up one important point: the original decree was not overturned. Achashverosh says explicitly that it cannot be overturned (8:8). The second decree in Sivan merely gave the Jews the right of self-defense, to stand up and kill anyone who tries to attack them (8:11).

Indeed when the day came the enemies tried to attack per the first decree and the Jews defended per the second decree, killing thousands of attackers including the 10 sons of Haman (9:12). Esther arranges for an extra day of defensive warfare and for the public hanging of Haman's 10 sons' bodies the next day (9:13).

So, no, Haman's sons were not hanged. They were hung.

  • See my comment on the question. I don't think the decree is relevant here. But +1, you've cited the verse that shows they were killed in the fighting rather than by hanging. – msh210 Mar 3 '15 at 18:46
  • English usage: hanged / hung. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging. Other than your correction of my English usage your answer is very good. (Remove that and I'll upvote that) – CashCow Mar 3 '15 at 18:54
  • @CashCow They weren't executed by hanging. So "hanged" is not correct. To hang up a body is just like hanging up a picture. The past tense is "hung". See my link en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hang#Usage_notes. – Double AA Mar 3 '15 at 18:56
  • ah, yes... I see now. They were killed by the sword then hung... Being "hanged" means being killed by hanging. – CashCow Mar 3 '15 at 19:01
  • @DoubleAA - OK, now I'm getting "the hang of" the language usage :-) – DanF Mar 3 '15 at 20:32

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