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.’