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Esther Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Esther 5:1 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.

Esther 5:2 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.

Esther 5:3 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.

it shall be even given thee. Esther had risked her life in approaching the king without being bidden, but the Lord providentially touched his heart. No doubt Esther, already having been recognized as the fairest in the kingdom and now dressed in her “royal apparel” (Esther 5:1), looking radiant after three days of prayer and fasting, made a striking appearance, and the king knew she must have come for some very good reason. Three times he promised to give her up to half the kingdom (see Esther 5:3, 6; 7:2). This was probably a rhetorical exaggeration (note also Herod's promise to Salome—Mark 6:23), but it does indicate the king's sincere desire to please his queen.

Esther 5:4 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.

Esther 5:5 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.

Esther 5:6 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.

half of the kingdom. With such a carte blanche promise from the king, it seems surprising that Esther did not immediately make the appeal for her people, instead of requesting a second banquet. Whether or not she temporarily lost her courage, the delay was providential, for it was on the sleepless night in between that Ahasuerus learned of Mordecai's earlier report to Esther which had saved the king's life (Esther 2:21-23; 6:1-2).

Esther 5:7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

Esther 5:8 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.

Esther 5:9 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.

Esther 5:10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

Esther 5:11 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.

Esther 5:12 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.

Esther 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

Esther 5:14 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.

fifty cubits high. This would be seventy-five feet (like a six-story building). Probably the gallows was erected on a hilltop, with the seventy-five feet being the height above the ground where observers would see it.