Narcissist Case Studies – Haman, Obsessing About The One Thing He Didn’t Have

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Even though Haman (see here on how we know he was a narcissist*) had achieved “everything”, he was obsessed with the one thing he didn’t have – Mordecai’s recognition of Haman’s “glory”.   That is typical of narcissists* – they can have everything going “right” in their world, but in the middle of that will obsess about one little slight that they think they have received from someone.

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Esther 3:1-5

After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage……….When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage.

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Esther 5:9-13

Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or[tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai.10 Haman controlled himself, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instancewhere the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king. 12 Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.13 Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

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* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”  please see here for an explanation

Narcissist* Case Studies – Haman, Part I

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The person called Haman in the Old Testament book of Esther was most likely a narcissist (scoffer, one filled with insolent pride).  How do we know that Haman was a narcissist?  Look at some of the descriptions:

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Esther 5:10-12

10 Haman ……. went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king. 12 Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.

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This is clear narcissistic self-aggrandisement.  See here and here and here for more.

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Esther 6:1-12

During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. The king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace in order to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him. The king’s servants said to him, “Behold, Haman is standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.”

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So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?” Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor,let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.’”

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In his pride, Haman immediately, and mistakenly assumed that he was the most deserving of the king’s honor.  His advice to the king on how to honor him was to create an image that effectively exalted Haman to be on the same level as the king in the eyes of the public – wearing the king’s robe, riding the king’s horse, and having someone go in front proclaiming the greatness of the man being exalted.  This is exactly what the original narcissist satan was trying to do – be exalted to the same level as his king, in this case God.

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* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  See here and here for an explanation

 

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