v1 So the king and Haman came to dine with Queen Esther. v2 As they were drinking wine, on that second day, the king said to Esther again, ‘What do you want, Queen Esther? You shall have it. What is your request? I will grant it. I will even give you up to half of my *kingdom.’
v3 Then Queen Esther replied, ‘I hope that you are pleased with me. My wish is that I might live. My request also is that the people from my nation might live. v4 Someone has promised to reward anyone who will destroy my nation. They will kill everyone who belongs to my nation, including me. If they had sold us to be male and female slaves, I would not have spoken. I would not have considered that serious enough to bother the king.’
Verses 1-4 What Esther had to say was certainly very important. The king knew that. He was probably very curious. For the third time, he made a very generous promise to Esther. When Esther replied, she did not mention Haman’s name. So, the king was angry even before he knew the name of the wicked person. This would have made Haman very afraid.
v5 King Xerxes said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he? Where is the man who would do this?’
v6 Esther said, ‘The enemy who hates us is this wicked Haman.’
Then Haman was very afraid in front of the king and queen. v7 The king was so angry that he got up. He left his wine and he went into the garden of the palace. Haman stayed to ask Queen Esther to save his life. He knew that the king was certain to punish him.
v8 The king returned from the garden to the place where they were drinking wine. As he returned, Haman was falling on the seat next to Esther. The king cried out, ‘Haman is even attacking the queen while I am with her in the house.’ As the king spoke, servants covered Haman’s face.
v9 One of the king’s servants, called Harbona, said, ‘There are *gallows, 25 metres high, next to Haman’s house. He built them to hang Mordecai, whose words saved the king’s life.’
‘Hang Haman on the *gallows’, the king ordered.
v10 So they hanged Haman on the *gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king felt less angry.
Verses 5-10 Esther was talking about the law that the king had allowed Haman to write. The king did not realise that. The king heard that the wicked person was Haman. Then he became very angry. We do not know why he left the room. Perhaps his wise men were not there. He needed to think what to do. Haman was afraid but probably not sorry. He appealed to Esther to save his life. So, the enemy of the *Jews gave special honour to a *Jew. It was the same day when Haman had hoped to hang Mordecai. Mordecai was the *Jew who refused to give special honour to Haman.
When the king returned, he found Haman near Esther. Perhaps he did not really think that Haman was attacking her. Haman was not so foolish. Haman was asking Esther to save his life, but he went too close. Perhaps he fell. But the king was very angry. Now the king had an excuse to punish Haman. The king could not easily punish Haman because he wrote the law to kill the *Jews. The king had given Haman authority to write that law.
Servants covered Haman’s face. He had to die. The servants’ action probably shows that they knew that. The king and Esther probably did not know about the *gallows, but Harbona knew. Maybe Harbona did not like Haman. He spoke words that he thought would please the king. He was right. Now it was easier for the king to punish Haman. The king ordered them to hang Haman on the *gallows that Haman had prepared for Mordecai.
God had changed the situation. Mordecai got the king’s reward that Haman had wanted for himself. (See Esther chapter 6.) Now Haman got the punishment that he had wanted Mordecai to get.