Book of Esther - Chapter 5


Esther approaches King Ahasuerus and gains his favor and prepares a feast for the king and Haman. At the feast she prevails upon them to come to a second feast. Haman joy is crushed when he is reminded of Mordecai, whom he makes plans to hang.


(5:1) On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, in front of the king's quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. LXX Addition D provides a different account of this scene. The king was first enraged when he saw Esther, because she had dared to appear before him unveiled. Perceiving this, she was so terrified that she fainted away.
(5:3) Let the king and Haman come today. (RL)Though G‑d's name is not mentioned explicitly in the Megillah, it is alluded to in various ways. Thus, for example, the first letters of the above phrase (in Hebrew) make up the Name of G‑d. This is the deeper meaning of the Mishnaic law: He who reads the Megillah backwards (out of sequence) does not fulfill his obligation; for the allusions to G‑d's Name will not have been read in proper sequence.

original Hebrew text: "יָבוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן הַיּוֹם, אֶל-הַמִּשְׁתֶּה אֲשֶׁר-עָשִׂיתִי לו" The first four letters of the first four words form together the Hebrew name of God: י-ה-ו-ה (Y-H-W-H).
(5:14) Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. A cubit is about 18 inches, meaning the gallows would be 75 feet high.

Discussion Questions