In Esther Chapter 6, Ahasuerus, the King of Persia and the husband of Queen Esther, finds that he cannot sleep. Believing that being read to will help him sleep, he has a book of chronicles brought in and read to him by a servant.
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The Plot to Kill
One of the bits of information in the chronicles is that Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and foster father, has discovered that two of the king’s doorkeepers are seeking to kill him. The king asks what reward Mordecai received for making this known, and Ahasuerus’ servants tell him that Mordecai has received no reward at all.
Haman Shows His Anger
Just then, the king’s Prime Minister, Haman, enters the outer court of the palace because he wanted to speak with the king. Haman is preparing to hang Mordecai, who refused to show him respect by bowing to him. On top of this insult, Mordecai is a Jew, and Haman hates the Jews.
He is not only plotting to have Mordecai killed, but also to slaughter the Jewish people of the Persian Empire as well, even as the queen is Jewish. The king asks for Haman and when Haman arrives, Ahasuerus asks him how he could honor the man who has pleased him and saved his life.
Mordecai Receives Special Treatment
Haman believes that the king is speaking about him and not Mordecai. He suggests that the king honor the man greatly by dressing him in beautiful robes and having him ride on a horse through the city streets. To Haman’s disgust, Ahasuerus orders that this be done to Mordecai. Still, Haman obeys and dresses Mordecai in magnificent robes and leads him on horseback through the streets.
Appalled, Haman returns to his wife, who predicts that Haman will eventually be humbled before Mordecai. Their conversation is interrupted when one of the king’s servants arrives to take Haman to a banquet that the queen has prepared for him and the king.
Esther 6 (King James Version)
1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
2 And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
4 And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5 And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
6 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,
8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:
9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
12 And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
13 And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.
14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.