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So Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been placed at her service, 1 and instructed him to find out the cause and reason for Mordecai’s behavior. 2
he 1 said to take back this answer to Esther:
The king said to her, “What is on your mind, 1 Queen Esther? What is your request? Even as much as half the kingdom will be given to you!”
Esther replied, “If the king is so inclined, 1 let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”
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, 1 and it shall be done!”
While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived. They quickly brought Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
Then King Ahasuerus responded 1 to Queen Esther, “Who is this individual? Where is this person to be found who is presumptuous enough 2 to act in this way?”
Esther replied, “The oppressor and enemy is this evil Haman!” Then Haman became terrified in the presence of the king and queen.
The king then removed his signet ring (the very one he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther designated Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s estate.
So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second 1 letter about Purim.
When it became the turn of Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai (who had raised her as if she were his own daughter 1 ) to go to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who was overseer of the women, had recommended. Yet Esther met with the approval of all who saw her.
Now he was acting as the guardian 1 of Hadassah 2 (that is, Esther), the daughter of his uncle, for neither her father nor her mother was alive. 3 This young woman was very attractive and had a beautiful figure. 4 When her father and mother died, Mordecai had raised her 5 as if she were his own daughter.
It so happened that when the king’s edict and his law became known 1 many young women were taken to Susa the citadel to be placed under the authority of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the royal palace 2 to be under the authority of Hegai, who was overseeing the women.
And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval 1 more than all the other young women. 2 So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen 3 in place of Vashti.
When Esther’s female attendants and her eunuchs came and informed her about Mordecai’s behavior, 1 the queen was overcome with anguish. Although she sent garments for Mordecai to put on so that he could remove his sackcloth, he would not accept them.
He also gave him a written copy of the law that had been disseminated 1 in Susa for their destruction so that he could show it to Esther and talk to her about it. He also gave instructions that she should go to the king to implore him and petition him on behalf of her people.
It so happened that on the third day Esther put on her royal attire and stood in the inner court of the palace, 1 opposite the king’s quarters. 2 The king was sitting on his royal throne in the palace, opposite the entrance. 3
Haman said, “Furthermore, Queen Esther invited 1 only me to accompany the king to the banquet that she prepared! And also tomorrow I am invited 2 along with the king.
Queen Esther replied, “If I have met with your approval, 1 O king, and if the king is so inclined, grant me my life as my request, and my people as my petition.
In rage the king arose from the banquet of wine and withdrew to the palace garden. Meanwhile, Haman stood to beg Queen Esther for his life, 1 for he realized that the king had now determined a catastrophic end for him. 2