Esther 7

ESTHER CHAPTER 7

Haman is Exposed and Executed

    • So the king and Haman came to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther, “Queen Esther, what is your request? It will be given to you. And what is your petition? Even up to half the kingdom and it will be granted to you.”

    • Queen Esther replied, “O king, if I have found favor with you, and if the king is so inclined, grant me my life- this is my request. And spare my people- this is my petition. Because my people and I have been sold to destruction, slaughter, and extermination. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves I would have remained silent, because the burden wouldn’t have justified troubling the king.”

      • ESV Study Bible writes, “Esther reveals that she is a Jew and that Ahasuerus has been tricked into ordering the death of the queen he loves. Haman had ‘bought’ the king’s agreement to his plan (3:9). With this exaggerated comparison, Esther, like Haman, appeals to the king’s self-interest. If he reduced the Jews to slavery, he would at least have the benefit of their free labor. By killing them, he will lose a valuable asset.

    • Then King Ahasuerus replied to Queen Esther, “Where is he? Who is this man who is presumptuous enough to act in this way?”

    • Esther answered, “The adversary and enemy is this evil Haman!”

    • Haman stood terrified in the presence of the king and queen. In a rage, the king arose from where they were drinking wine and went to the palace garden. Meanwhile, Haman remained to beg Queen Esther for his life, because he realized the king had now determined a catastrophic fate for him.

    • Just as the king returned to the banquet hall from the palace garden, Haman was throwing himself down on the couch where Esther was lying. The king exclaimed, “Will he even assault the queen while she is with me in the palace?”

    • As soon as the statement left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out on the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s house and is 75 feet high.”

      • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes, “The Persian nobles dined reclining on couches rather than sitting. Each guest would have their own couch, which would be decorated in ways befitting their rank. It is unclear if Haman threw himself on the queen or if he merely fell. In either case, he had committed an egregious error: According to some authors, touching the king’s wife was penalized with death. In Assyrian law, no man was allowed to draw within more than seven paces of a member of the king’s harem.”

      • ESV Archaeology Study Bible adds, “Haman was probably kneeling, perhaps with his hands or arms on the couch (probably to seek mercy from Esther), but the king’s perception is distorted by his anger (taking Haman’s move as an assault on Esther). The practice of covering the heads of condemned prisoners is not otherwise known in Persian sources but was certainly the custom among the Greeks and Romans.”

    • NET Bible points out, “Cf. 1:10, where Harbona is one of the seven eunuchs sent by the king to summon Queen Vashti to his banquet.”

    • The king commanded, “Hang him on it!” So they hanged Haman on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

      • ESV Study Bible says, “A gruesome piece of poetic justice that completes the ‘fall’ Haman’s wife had predicted…”