Esther 5:1 ¶ 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.
Esther 5:2 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.
Esther 5:3 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.
On the third day, Esther dressed in her royal attire and stood in the inner court of the king’s house across from the throne upon which the king sat (obviously within his line of sight). When he saw Esther standing in the court, she received his favor; and he held out the golden scepter allowing her to approach him. She came forward and touched the top of the scepter, an act of gratitude and submission. The king then asked her to tell him her request, he would grant it to the half of the kingdom. Obviously, she had not fallen out of his favor.
Esther 5:4 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.
Esther 5:5 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.
Esther 5:6 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.
Esther asked that if it pleased the king, she would like for him and Haman to come to a banquet that she had prepared for them that day. The king immediately sent word for Haman to hasten to accommodate the queen’s request.
As they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther to present her petition; he knew she wanted more than just to invite them to eat with her considering the fact that she had taken extreme action to get an audience with him. Again, he promised to grant her request to the half of the kingdom.
Gill adds this insight: “The Persians at their meals had two courses: the first consisted of meats, &c. at which they drank water, the other of fruits, when they drank wine….”
Esther 5:7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
Esther 5:8 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.
Esther asked that if she had found favor in the king’s sight and he was pleased to grant her request, she would like for him and Haman to come to another meal that she would prepare for them tomorrow and she would reveal her request.
Context shows that the king granted this request, though I am sure he was quite curious as to what his queen wanted from him. Frankly, I am surprised at his patience.
I think that Esther’s delay and the king’s patience was God-ordained to allow for Haman to prepare for his own execution.
Esther 5:9 ¶ 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.
Haman went home that day a very happy man. However, when he saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and saw that he still would not bow before him, he was filled with anger against Mordecai.
Since the three-day fast had ended, Mordecai had once again taken his position in the king’s gate.
Esther 5:10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
Esther 5:11 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.
Esther 5:12 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.
Esther 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.
Haman controlled his anger and continued on his way home with his good news. When he got home, he called for his friends and his wife Zeresh to come and hear his news. He bragged about his riches and his great number of children. He bragged about how the king had promoted him and given him the top position at his side. He then got to his news and bragged about how Queen Esther had invited him to accompany the king to a meal that she had prepared for them and how he was invited to join them again the next day.
He then talked about the one thing that marred his happiness—the sight of Mordecai the Jew sitting in the king’s gate.
Esther 5:14 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.
gallows = a tree (from its firmness); hence, wood (plural sticks)
Haman’s wife and friends suggested that he make a gallows 50 cubits (75’-90’) high and talk to the king the next day about hanging Mordecai on it before going to the meal with Queen Esther. Haman liked this idea and had the gallows made; he was feeling pretty confident that the king would continue to show him favor. After all, he had already authorized the killing of a whole group of people at his request.
Whether the reference is to impaling a person on a stick or hanging someone from a rope, I think the height suggested is for effect, not necessarily the reality. There are some commentators, however, that accept the height and declare it to serve to make the punishment more humiliating.