Esther 5

Esther goes to the king

1 After they had fasted for three days, Esther put on her royal clothes. She went to King Xerxes' part of the palace. She stood in the yard outside his rooms. The king was sitting on his royal throne. He could see through the door of the room where he sat. 2 The king saw Esther as she stood outside in the yard. He was pleased to see her. He held out his gold sceptre towards her. Esther came near to him and she touched the top of the sceptre.

3 The king asked her, ‘What is your trouble, Queen Esther? I will do for you whatever you want. I will even give you half of my kingdom!’

4 Esther replied, ‘If the king agrees, I would like you to do this. I would like the king and Haman to come to a special meal that I have prepared for you.’

5 The king said to his servants, ‘Bring Haman here quickly. Then we can do what Esther wants.’

The king and Haman went to the meal that Esther had prepared. 6 When they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther, ‘What do you want? I will give you whatever you want. What do you want me to do for you? Even if you want half of my kingdom, I will give it to you.’

7 Esther replied, ‘This is what I want. 8 If the king is pleased with me, and if you agree, please do what I ask. I would like the king and Haman to come again tomorrow. Come to another meal that I will prepare for you. Then I will tell you what I want, as you have asked me to do.’

Mordecai makes Haman angry again

9 When Haman went from Queen Esther's meal that day, he was very happy. But then he saw Mordecai at the king's gate. When Haman passed him, Mordecai did not get up. He did not show that he respected Haman in any way. So Haman became very angry with Mordecai. 10 Haman did not show that he was angry at that time. He went home.

Then Haman told his friends and Zeresh, his wife, to meet with him. 11 Haman told them how rich he was, and how many sons he had. He told them of all the things that the king had done to give him great honour. He told them that he was now more important than all the king's other rulers and officers. 12 Haman said to them, ‘Queen Esther asked me to go with the king to a special meal that she had prepared. We were the only people who ate with her. Now the queen has asked me to go with the king to another meal tomorrow. 13 But even all these things do not make me happy. I am angry when I see that Jewish man Mordecai. He is sitting at the king's gate.’

14 Haman's wife and all his friends said to him, ‘This will make you happy. Tell your men to build a wooden tower that is 22 metres high. In the morning, tell the king to hang Mordecai on the tower to kill him. Then you will enjoy Queen Esther's special meal.’

Haman liked their idea very much. So he told his men to build the tall tower.

5:14At that time, they would hang men to kill them when they had done something very bad. The tower was very high and everybody would see the bad person's punishment.