December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- So the king and Haman went to the banquet with Queen Esther.
- Again, on this second day, during the drinking of the wine, the king said to Esther, "Whatever you ask, Queen Esther, shall be granted you. Whatever request you make shall be honored, even for half the kingdom."
- Queen Esther replied: "If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, I ask that my life be spared, and I beg that you spare the lives of my people.
- For my people and I have been delivered to destruction, slaughter, and extinction. If we were to be sold into slavery I would remain silent, but as it is, the enemy will be unable to compensate for the harm done to the king."
- "Who and where," said King Ahasuerus to Queen Esther, "is the man who has dared to do this?"
- Esther replied, "The enemy oppressing us is this wicked Haman." At this, Haman was seized with dread of the king and queen.
- The king left the banquet in anger and went into the garden of the palace, but Haman stayed to beg Queen Esther for his life, since he saw that the king had decided on his doom.
- When the king returned from the garden of the palace to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch on which Esther was reclining; and the king exclaimed, "Will he also violate the queen while she is with me in my own house!" Scarcely had the king spoken when the face of Haman was covered over.
- Harbona, one of the eunuchs who attended the king, said, "At the house of Haman stands a gibbet fifty cubits high. Haman prepared it for Mordecai, who gave the report that benefited the king." The king answered, "Hang him on it."
- So they hanged Haman on the gibbet which he had made ready for Mordecai, and the anger of the king abated.
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