Esther Chapter 5

In Esther Chapter 5, Esther the consort of the King of Persia, throws a banquet for the King and his Prime Minister, the devious Haman. She learned through her cousin and foster father, Mordecai, that Haman was plotting to slaughter the Jewish people and Esther is a Jew herself.

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Not only are her people and her foster father in danger, but she is in danger herself, as being the queen will not spare her life.

Esther Sees the King

Esther has been fasting with her serving women for three days, but on this third day she dresses herself in the royal robes and goes in to see the king. This is risky, for even though Esther is the queen, no one is allowed to see the king unless he or she is asked for first. To violate this could mean death.

But at the sight of his wife, King Ahasuerus holds out his scepter to her, which means that he accepts her. He is, in fact, delighted to see her. He asks what she wants and tells her that he will give her half of his kingdom if she wants it.

Esther Invites the King

Ester tells the King that she only wants him and Haman to come to a banquet that she has prepared for the two of them. The king agrees and at the banquet he asked her what she really wants of him. He is prepared to grant her just about any request.

Esther only asks that the king and Haman come to another banquet she will prepare the next day. Haman is apparently relieved at this and at the end of the banquet, he returns home to his wife and friends, though he is disgusted to see Mordecai at the gate of the king. Mordecai refuses to bow to him, because as a Jew, Mordecai will not bow to anyone but his God.

Haman Tells of the Good News

Once home, Haman tells his household that both the king and queen have favored him above all their other servants. Still, he is angry that he still has to see Mordecai at the king’s gate every day. Haman’s wife suggests that he build a gallows for Mordecai to hang him, so this is what Haman does.

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Esther 5 (King James Version)

1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.

7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

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