1
3 "What is it, Esther?" the king asked. "Tell me what you want, and you shall have it - even if it is half of my empire." 1
4 Esther replied, "Today is a special day for me. If it please my lord, 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 again said to her, "Tell me what you want, Queen Esther."
7 Esther replied,
8 "If my lord 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. It will be just like this one."
9 When Haman left the king he was happy and in a good mood, until he saw Mordecai the Jew in the courtyard of the palace. That made him furious,
10 but he went on home. Then he invited his friends to his house and asked his wife Zeresh to join them.
11 He boasted to them about how rich he was and about the honor the king had paid him when he promoted him to high office and made him prime minister.
12 "What is more," Haman said, "Queen Esther gave a banquet for no one but the king and me, and we are invited back tomorrow.
13 But none of this means a thing to me as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting in the courtyard of the palace."
14 Then his wife and all his friends suggested, "Why don't you have a gallows put up, seventy-five feet high? Tomorrow morning you can ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it, and then you can go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself." Haman thought it was a good idea, so he had the gallows built.