Translated by Mordecai Housman
© Copyright 2011
Esther Approaches the King
1 On the third day of the fast, Esther dressed in her royal clothes, and she stood at the king’s inner court, facing the king’s apartment. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the palace, facing the entrance.
2 When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased, and he extended to Esther the golden scepter he was holding. Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
3 The king said to her, «What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? I would give you up to half the empire.»
4 Esther said, «If it please the king, could the king and Haman come today to a banquet I am making for him?»
5 The king said «Hurry Haman up to do as Esther said.» So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had made.
6 At the banquet, over drinks, the king asked Esther, «Whatever your request, you will receive it. Whatever you desire, up until half the empire, it shall be done!»
7 Esther answered, «About my request and desire:
8 If the king likes me, and if it pleases the king to grant me my request and desire, could the king and Haman come to the banquet I shall make for them tomorrow? Tomorrow I will do as the king has said [and I will reveal my request and my desire].»
9 Haman left that day happy, and feeling good, but when he saw Mordechai at the king’s gate refuse to even stand or move at all for him, Haman got very angry at Mordechai.
10 Haman controlled himself until he got home, where he called for his wife and friends.
11 Haman talked with them about his glorious wealth and his many children, and how the king had promoted and elevated him above all the other ministers and servants of the king.
12 Haman said, «In fact, Queen Esther invited no one else to the banquet she made for the king, except me! And tomorrow, too, she has invited me to be there with the king.
13 «But none of this means anything to me as long as I see that Jew Mordechai sitting at the king’s gate.»
14 His wife Zeresh, along with all his friends, advised him, «Make a fifty-cubit high gallows. In the morning tell the king to hang Mordechai on it. Then you can go with the king to the banquet, happy.» Haman liked the idea, so he made the gallows.