5:2 When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she met with his approval. 1 The king extended to Esther the gold scepter that was in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the end of the scepter.
5:6 While at the banquet of wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your request? It shall be given to you. What is your petition? Ask for as much as half the kingdom, 2 and it shall be done!”
1 tn Heb “she obtained grace in his eyes”; NASB “she obtained favor in his sight”; NIV “he was pleased with her”; NLT “he welcomed her.”
2 sn As much as half the kingdom. Such a statement would no doubt have been understood for the exaggeration that it clearly was. Cf. the similar NT scene recorded in Mark 6:23, where Herod makes a similar promise to the daughter of Herodias. In that case the request was for the head of John the Baptist, which is a lot less than half the kingdom.