Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Dinner
1Three days later, Esther dressed in her royal robes and went to the inner court of the palace in front of the throne. The king was sitting there, facing the open doorway. 2He was happy to see Esther, and he held out the gold scepter to her.
When Esther came up and touched the tip of the scepter, 3the king said, “Esther, what brings you here? Just ask, and I will give you as much as half of my kingdom.”
4Esther answered, “Your Majesty, please come with Haman to a dinner I will prepare for you later today.”
5The king said to his servants, “Hurry and get Haman, so we can accept Esther's invitation.”
The king and Haman went to Esther's dinner, 6and while they were drinking wine, the king asked her, “What can I do for you? Just ask, and I will give you as much as half of my kingdom.”
7-8Esther replied, “Your Majesty, if you really care for me and are willing to do what I want, please come again tomorrow with Haman to the dinner I will prepare for you. At that time I will answer Your Majesty's question.”
Haman Plans To Kill Mordecai
9Haman was feeling great as he left. But when he saw Mordecai at the palace gate, he noticed that Mordecai did not stand up or show him any respect. This made Haman really angry, 10but he did not say a thing.
When Haman got home, he called together his friends and his wife Zeresh 11and started bragging about his great wealth and all his sons. He told them the many ways that the king had honored him and how all the other officials and leaders had to respect him. 12Haman added, “That's not all! Besides the king himself, I'm the only person Queen Esther invited for dinner. She has also invited the king and me to dinner tomorrow. 13But none of this makes me happy, as long as I see that Jew Mordecai serving the king.”
14Haman's wife and friends said to him, “Have a gallows built about 22 meters high, and tomorrow morning ask the king to hang Mordecai there. Then later, you can have dinner with the king and enjoy yourself.”
This seemed like a good idea to Haman, and he had the gallows built.