Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
5:2 Held out - In testimony that he pardoned her presumption, and was ready to grant her petition. Touched - In token of her thankful acceptance of the king's favour, and of her reverence and submission.
Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
5:3 It shall be given - God in his providence often prevents the fears and outdoes the hopes of his servants. To the half of the kingdom - A proverbial expression: that is, nothing in reason shall be denied.
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.
5:4 Haman - Whom she invited, that by shewing 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.
Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
5:6 Of wine - So called, because it consisted not of meats, which probably the king had plentifully eaten before, but of fruits and wines; which banquets were very frequent among the Persians.
Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.
5:8 Tomorrow - I will acquaint thee with my humble request. She did not present her petition at this time, but delayed it 'till the next meeting; either because she was a little daunted with the king's presence, or, because she would farther engage the king's affection to her, and would also intimate to him that her petition was of a more than ordinary nature: but principally by direction of Divine providence, which took away her courage of utterance for this time, that she might have a better opportunity for it the next time, by that great accident which happened before it.
Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
5:9 Nor moved - To shew how little he feared him, and that he had a firm confidence in his God, that he would deliver him and his people in this great exigency.
Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
5:10 Refrained - From taking present vengeance upon Mordecai, which he might easily have effected, either by his own, or any of his servants hands, without any fear of inconveniency to himself. But herein God's wise and powerful providence appeared, in disposing Haman's heart, contrary to his own inclination, and making him, as it were, to put fetters upon his own hands.
And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
5:12 Am I - Thus he makes that matter of glorying which was the occasion of his utter ruin. So ignorant are the wisest men, and subject to fatal mistakes, rejoicing when they have most cause of fear, and sorrowing for those things which tend to joy and comfort.
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
5:13 Availeth - Gives me no content. Such torment did his envy and malice bring upon him. Sitting - Enjoying that honour and privilege without disturbance, and denying me the worship due to me by the king's command. Thus tho' proud men have much to their mind, if they have not all to their mind, it is nothing. The thousandth part of what Haman had, would give a modest, humble man, as much happiness as he expects to receive from anything under the sun. And Haman as passionately complains, as if he was in the lowest depth of poverty!
Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.
5:14 Fifty cubits - That it may be more conspicuous to all, and thereby be more disgraceful to Mordecai, and strike all Haman's enemies with a greater dread of despising or opposing him.