Ester 5

1 Esther put on her queen's robes on the third day and took her place in the inner room of the king's house, facing the king's house. The king was seated on his high seat in the king's house, facing the doorway of the house.

2 When the king saw Esther the queen waiting in the inner room, looking kindly on her he put out the rod of gold in his hand to her. So Esther came near and put her fingers on top of the rod.

3 The king said: »What is your desire, Queen Esther, and what is your request? I will give it to you, even to the half of my kingdom.«

4 Esther answered him: »If it seems good to the king, let the king and Haman come today to the feast I have made ready for him.«

5 Then the king said, »Let Haman come quickly, so that what Esther said may be done.« So the king and Haman went to the feast Esther prepared.

6 While they were drinking wine the king said to Esther: »What is your prayer? For it will be given to you. What is your request? For it will be done, even to the half of my kingdom.«

7 Esther answered: »My prayer and my request is this:

8 »‘If I have the king's approval, and if it is the king's pleasure to give me my prayer and do my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will make ready for them. Tomorrow I will do as the king has said.’«

9 Then on that day Haman went out full of joy and glad in heart. When he saw Mordecai in the king's gate and he did not get to his feet or give any sign of fear before him, Haman was full of wrath against Mordecai.

10 But controlling himself, he went to his house; and he sent for his friends and Zeresh, his wife.

11 He gave them an account of the glories of his wealth. The number of children he had. He recalled the ways in which he had been honored by the king. How the king put him over the captains and servants of the king.

12 Haman continued: »Truly, Esther the queen let no man but myself come in to the feast she made ready for the king. Tomorrow again I am to be her guest with the king.

13 »But all this is nothing to me as long as I see Mordecai the Jew seated by the king's gate.«

14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him: »Let a pillar, fifty cubits high, be made ready for hanging him. In the morning get the king to give orders for the hanging of Mordecai. Then you will be able to go to the feast with the king with a glad heart.« Haman was pleased with the suggestion, and he had the pillar made.