Esther 5:1-8 (Good News Translation)

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1 On the third day of her fast Esther put on her royal robes and went and stood in the inner courtyard of the palace, facing the throne room. The king was inside, seated on the royal throne, facing the entrance. 2 When the king saw Queen Esther standing outside, she won his favor, and he held out to her the gold scepter. She then came up and touched the tip of it. 3 "What is it, Queen Esther?" the king asked. "Tell me what you want, and you shall have it - even if it is half my empire." 4 Esther replied, "If it please Your Majesty, I would like you and Haman to be my guests tonight at a banquet I am preparing for you." 5 The king then ordered Haman to come quickly, so that they could be Esther's guests. So the king and Haman went to Esther's banquet. 6 Over the wine the king asked her, "Tell me what you want, and you shall have it. I will grant your request, even if you ask for half my empire." 7 Esther replied, 8 "If Your Majesty is kind enough to grant my request, I would like you and Haman to be my guests tomorrow at another banquet that I will prepare for you. At that time I will tell you what I want."
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