1 Esther, entertaining the king and Haman, makes a lawsuit for her own life and her people’s. 5 She accuses Haman. 7 The king in his anger, understanding of the gallows that Haman had made for Mordecai, causes him to be hanged thereon.
Esther 7:1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther.
At Persian feasts comparatively little solid food was eaten. The time was mainly passed in drinking and in eating delicacies we would call desserts.
Esther 7:2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”
For the third time Ahasuerus invites Esther to make her request known. By now he must have been curious indeed to learn what it might be.
Literally, “in the drinking of the wine.” This indicates that the main part of the feast was over at the time the king again raised the question.
Esther 7:3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
It mattered little to the king that thousands of his subjects were to be slain; their interests were no concern of his. He had been content with Haman’s accusation that the Jews were lawless. But if the decree touched Esther—that was another matter.
Her character, her loyalty and devotion, were far above suspicion. She meant something to him. The queen handled the matter with tact and skill, introducing the subject in a manner calculated to appeal personally to the king. Her life was threatened; she, the queen, was in mortal danger!
How many hours did she spend in prayer? How many times did she go through her speech? How many times has she altered the wording in her knees in prayer?
Esther 7:4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”
The three synonymous expressions, of which this is first, are quoted from the decree itself.
Est 3:13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions. (ch. 3:13).
What do you think of the following words of Esther? “Although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”
May be Esther means that the money Haman has paid cannot equal the loss the king will suffer through the death of his Jewish subjects.
Or, it may be Esther says, “Our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king”, meaning that the execution of the decree would bring greater loss to the king than even to the Jews themselves,
or that their suffering was a matter of less importance than any danger that might threaten the throne through them. What harms them will harm the king.
Esther 7:5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?”
Esther 7:6 And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
Esther 7:7 Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
Haman perceived from the attitude of the king that the prediction of his wise men, that he would “surely fall” (ch. 6:13), was in process of coming true. Realizing Esther’s influence over the king, he implored her to intercede for him.
Esther 7:8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?” As the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
The king returned. Upon his return Ahasuerus either misconstrues Haman’s posture as a planned attack upon the queen, or in his anger pretends so to interpret it.
Covered Haman’s face. This signified that Haman was to die. Greek and Roman writers attest this custom.
Esther 7:9 Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, “Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.” Then the king said, “Hang him on it!”
Harbonah was one of the king’s chamberlains sent earlier that very day to summon Haman to the feast (see ch. 6:14) he then saw the gallows personally (see ch. 5:14).
Spoken good on the king’s behalf of the king. Or, “whose word saved the king”. This is a reference to Mordecai’s detection of the conspiracy against the king (ch. 2:21–23).
In the house of Haman. This fact emphasizes Haman’s cruelty. No more appropriate means could be found for executing the wretch. The punishment fitted the crime (see Ps. 7:13–16; 9:15) to perfection.
Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.
1 Mordecai is promoted. 3 Esther makes case, lawsuit, to reverse Haman’s letters. 7 Ahasuerus grants to the Jews to defend themselves. 15 Mordecai’s honour, and the Jews’ joy.