King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Esther > Old Testament > Home

Esther 5

Esther’s application received. (1-8) Haman prepares to hang Mordecai. (9-14)

Esther 5 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Esther’s application received

1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.

7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

Haman prepares to hang Mordecai

9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. And. Instead of these two verses, the Sept. place (H.) what we have C. xv. with some small variation from the present account in Heb. But there is nothing incompatible with the truth. C. — The king might be at first displeased; but, seeing the effect which it had upon Esther, he might feel his former sentiments of love rekindle. C. T. — House, or inner apartment, C. iv. 11. The throne was surprizingly magnificent, yet inferior to that of Solomon. 3 K. x. 18. C. — It was formed of gold and precious stones, with a curtain over it of purple and other colours. Athen. xi. 2.

Ver. 2. Golden. “It is not this golden sceptre which saves the kingdom,” said Cyrus, “but faithful friends are the most true and secure sceptre for kings.” Cyrop. viii. C. — Kissed. Heb. “touched.” H.

Ver. 3. Kingdom. C. vii. 2. This compliment only (C.) meant, that every rational (H.) request should be granted. Mar. vi. 23.

Ver. 4. Prepared. It was not prudent to declare her request, when many improper persons were present; and Aman was not there. M. — She thought that the hilarity, occasioned by innocent feasting, (H.) might be a means of obtaining more effectually what she wanted. M. — If the prudence of this world suggest much address, why may not virtue employ the same arts for good purposes? Esther had to obtain two great points; to make the king retract his edict, andto abandon his favourite. She is afraid therefore of being too hasty, (C.) and invites the king again, to increase by this delay his desire to of knowing her request, and that he might bind himself to grant it more effectually. W. — She invites Aman alone, who would thus be more envied by the other courtiers; (Lyran) while she manifested an open dispostion, and disdained to accuse the absent. T.

Ver. 6. Wine. The Persians did not drink till the end of the feast, (as the Turks are said to do at present. Tavernier) when they fall upon wine without any moderation. Ælian, Hist. xii. 1.

Ver. 11. Children. After military glory, this was deemed the greatest. The king sent presents yearly to those who had most children. Herod. i. 136.

Ver. 12. But me. It was thought very singular, when Artaxerxes invited his own brothers. Plut. — But when he also admitted a foreigner, the nobility became jealous, as that honour was reserved for the king’s relations. Athen. i. — Dine, or feast. Only one meal was taken, (Herod. vii. 120.) and that in the evening. C.

Ver. 13. Whereas. Sept. “all these things do not satisfy me, while I behold,” &c. Such is the insatiable nature of ambition! H. — Gate. He does not clearly mention that he wanted to be adored. M.

Ver. 14. High. This was to increase the shame. Hence Galba condemned a Roman citizen to be hung on a high white cross. Sueton. ix. — The Jews formerly burned a man in effigy with a cross, pretending to do it in detestation of Aman, but in reality to deride our Saviour, till the emperors forbade the custom. C. ix. 21. C. Just. and Theodos. C.