William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Esther 5:1 - 5:14

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William Kelly Major Works Commentary - Esther 5:1 - 5:14


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Esther Chapter 5

Accordingly, on the third day (Esther 5), 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," for faith was great in the goodness of God. All that appears is merely man, yet the unseen hand was there. This she looked for, and this she found. "So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. 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." So Esther answers, "If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him." God gave her wisdom. She does not at once bring out what was so heavy a burden on her heart. "He that believeth shall not make haste." The unseen God who was the object of her trust enabled her soul to wait. She asks not only the king to the banquet, but the king and Haman. How constantly this is the case. So with the Lord when He gives Judas the sop even before that terrible betrayal which led to the cross. Little did Haman know what the God who did not appear was preparing for him. And at the banquet the king again returns to the question, for he right well knew that there was something more than the banquet in the mind of queen Esther. ''What is thy petition and it shall be granted thee. What is thy request? Even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed."

Again the queen asks that she may have their company at another banquet. "And I will do tomorrow as the king hath said." So Haman goes forth that day ''joyful and with a glad heart," but when he sees Mordecai the Jew and that he did not stand up or move for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman refrained himself. When he goes home to his wife and his friends, and tells 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, he names as the crown of all the special honour paid, in queen Esther's inviting him to a banquet where none came but the king himself. "And tomorrow" says he, "Am I invited unto her, with the king also. Yet all this availeth me nothing" - such was the bitterness of his heart and hatred - "so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate." So the wife with the weakness that belongs to her nature suggested that a gallows should be made for this wicked Mordecai. "Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and tomorrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon; then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet." The thing pleased Haman well, and it was done.