Esther 5:4
And Esther answered, If it seem good to the king, let the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet.—It was natural enough that, with so much depending on her request, the queen should show some hesitation: if anything took an untoward turn (for, in spite of the king’s promise, she evidently felt uneasy) it might mean total ruin. She therefore temporises; she at any rate gains time, she secures a specially favourable opportunity for bringing forward the request, and the king clearly sees that she has kept her real petition in reserve by himself again raising the question. It will be noticed that so long as Esther is working her way up to the due vantage-ground, the king is addressed in the third person, let the king come,” but when she makes the decisive appeal, in the second, “in thy sight, O king.”

Esther 5:4. Let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet — She thought it prudent not to open her mind to him immediately, but first to try how he stood affected to her, and endeavour to endear herself more to him, that he might be the better disposed to grant her request. To accomplish which purpose still more effectually, she desired to entertain him at her banquet a second time, Esther 5:8. And she, each time, invited Haman, that by showing such respect to the king’s great favourite she might insinuate herself the more into the king’s affection; and that, if she saw fit, she might then present her request to the king. 5:1-8 Esther having had power with God, and prevailing, like Jacob, had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God, shall save it, or find it in a better life. The king encouraged her. Let us from this be encouraged to pray always to our God, and not to faint. Esther came to a proud, imperious man; but we come to the God of love and grace. She was not called, but we are; the Spirit says, Come, and the Bride says, Come. She had a law against her, we have a promise, many a promise, in favour of us; Ask, and it shall be given you. She had no friend to go with her, or to plead for her; on the contrary, he that was then the king's favourite, was her enemy; but we have an Advocate with the Father, in whom he is well pleased. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. God put it into Esther's heart to delay her petition a day longer; she knew not, but God did, what was to happen in that very night.Esther seems to have been afraid to make her real request of Xerxes too abruptly. She concluded that the king would understand that she had a real petition in the background, and would recur to it, as in fact he did Esther 5:6; Esther 7:2. 4. let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him—There was great address in this procedure of Esther's; for, by showing such high respect to the king's favorite, she would the better insinuate herself into the royal affections; and gain a more suitable opportunity of making known her request. She invited Haman; partly that by showing such respect to the king’s great favourite she might insinuate herself into the king’s good opinion and affection; and partly that, if she saw fit, she might then present her request to the king. And Esther answered, if it seem good unto the king,.... She humbly submits it to his pleasure, suggesting it would be exceeding grateful to her, could it be granted:

let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him; for the king; and supposing it would be acceptable to him, and the rather engage him to come to it, she invited his favourite; and chiefly, that she might have an opportunity of accusing him before the king to his face, and when alone.

And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. That a subject like Haman should be admitted to make a third at the banquet to which the king was invited by his consort, seemed a specially marked instance of favour, arising from the position which the minister held in the estimation of his royal master. The higher the honour paid, the more startling and effective is the favourite’s ruin.Verse 4. - Let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that l have prepared. Such an invitation as this was very unusual. Ordinarily the king and queen dined separately, each in their own apartments; family gatherings, however, not being unknown (Plut., 'Vit. Artaxerx.,' § 5; Athen., 'Deipnsoph.,' 4. p. 145, A). But for the queen to invite not only the king, but also another male guest, not a relation, was a remarkable innovation, and must have seemed to the fortunate recipient of the invitation a high act of favour. This pressing monition produced its result. Esther returned answer to Mordochai: "Go, gather together all the Jews that are found in Susa, and fast ye for me: I also and my maidens will fast; and so will I go to the king against the law; and if I perish, I perish." Esther resolves to go to the king unsummoned, but begs Mordochai and all the Jews to unite in a three days' fast, during which she and her maidens will also fast, to seek by earnest humiliation God's gracious assistance in the step she proposes to take, for the purpose of averting the threatened destruction of her people. "Though 'God' and 'prayer' are not here mentioned, it is yet obviously assumed that it was before God that the Jews were to humble themselves, to seek His help, and to induce Him to grant it. 1 Kings 21:27-29; Joel 1:14; Jonah 3:5." (Berth.). To designate the strictness of this fasting, the words: "neither eat nor drink," are added. The "three days, night and day," are not to be reckoned as three times twenty-four hours, but to be understood of a fast which lasts till the third day after that on which it begins; for according to Esther 5:1, Esther goes to the king on the third day. Comp. the similar definition of time, Jonah 2:1. The addition "day and night" declares that the fast was not to be intermitted. וּבכן, and in thus, i.e., in this state of fasting. כּדּת לא אשׁר: which is not according to law. לא אשׁר is used, like the Aramaean form לא דּי, in the sense of without (comp. Ewald, 222, c): without according to law equals contrary to law. The last words: "if I perish, I perish," etc., are the expression not of despair, but of resignation, or perfect submission to the providence of God; comp. Genesis 43:14.
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