Esther 5 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 On the third day, Ester put on her royal robes and stood in the inner courtyard of the king's palace, opposite the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the king's hall, across from the entrance to the hall. 2 When the king saw Ester the queen standing in the courtyard, she won his favor; so the king extended the gold scepter in his hand toward Ester. Ester approached and touched the tip of the scepter. 3 "What is it you want, Queen Ester?" the king asked her. "Whatever your request, up to half the kingdom, it will be given to you." 4 "If it is all right with the king,"answered Ester, "let the king and Haman come today to the banquet I have prepared for him." 5 The king said, "Bring Haman quickly, so that what Ester has asked for can be done." 6 So the king and Haman came to the banquet Ester had prepared. 7 At the banquet of wine the king again said to Ester, "Whatever your request, you will be granted it; whatever you want, up to half the kingdom, it will be done." 8 Then Ester answered, "My request, what I want, is this: if I have won the king's favor, if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I want, let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them; and tomorrow I will do as the king has said." 9 That day Haman went out happy and in good spirits. But when Haman saw Mordekhai at the King's Gate, that he neither rose nor moved for him, Haman was infuriated with Mordekhai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, where he summoned and brought his friends and Zeresh his wife. 11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and everything connected with how the king had promoted him and given him precedence over the other officials and servants of the king. 12 "Indeed," Haman added, "Ester the queen let nobody into the banquet with the king that she had prepared except myself; and tomorrow, too, I am invited by her, together with the king. 13 Yet none of this does me any good at all, as long as I keep seeing Mordekhai the Jew remaining seated at the King's Gate." 14 At this Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, "Have a gallows seventy-five feet high constructed, and in the morning speak to the king about having Mordekhai hanged on it. Then go in, and enjoy yourself with the king at the banquet." Haman liked the idea, so he had a gallows made.
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