New International Version

Esther 5

Esther’s Request to the King

1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, 11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits,[a] and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Footnotes

  1. Esther 5:14 That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters

New International Reader's Version

Esther 5

Esther Asks the King for a Favor

1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes. She stood in the inner courtyard of the palace. It was in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall. He was facing the entrance. He saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard. He was pleased with her. So he reached out toward her the gold scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached him. She touched the tip of the scepter.

The king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What do you want? I’ll give it to you. I’ll even give you up to half of my kingdom.”

Esther replied, “King Xerxes, if it pleases you, come to a feast today. I’ve prepared it for you. Please have Haman come with you.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said to his servants. “Then we’ll do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the feast Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther the same question again. He said, “What do you want? I’ll give it to you. What do you want me to do for you? I’ll even give you up to half of my kingdom.”

Esther replied, “Here is what I want. Here is my appeal to you. I hope you will be pleased to give me what I want. And I hope you will be pleased to listen to my appeal. If you are, I’d like you and Haman to come tomorrow to the feast I’ll prepare for you. Then I’ll answer your question.”

Haman Is Very Angry With Mordecai

That day Haman was happy. So he left the palace in a good mood. But then he saw Mordecai at the palace gate. He noticed that Mordecai didn’t stand up when he walked by. In fact, Mordecai didn’t have any respect for him at all. So he was very angry with him. 10 But Haman was able to control himself. He went on home.

Haman called together his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 He bragged to them about how rich he was. He talked about how many sons he had. He spoke about all the ways the king had honored him. He bragged about how the king had given him a high position. It was higher than the position of any of the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to come with the king to the feast she gave. Now she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But even all of that doesn’t satisfy me. I won’t be satisfied as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the palace gate.”

14 Haman’s wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Get a pole. In the morning, ask the king to have Mordecai put to death. Have the pole stuck through his body. Set it up at a place where it will be 75 feet above the ground. Everyone will be able to see it there. Then go to the feast with the king. Have a good time.” Haman was delighted with that suggestion. So he got the pole ready.