Esther 7:1 ¦ So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.

Esther 7:2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.

 

At the second banquet, during the second course when the wine was served (cf comments at 5:6) the king once again asked Esther what she wanted from him, again promising to grant her wish to the half of his kingdom.

 

Esther 7:3 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

Esther 7:4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the kingÕs damage.

 

Esther finally told the king that she was begging for her life and the life of her people to be spared.  She then told him that they had been sold (a reference to the 10,000 talents of silver) and were to be destroyed, to be killed.  She went on to explain that she would not have presumed to bother him if it had not been a matter of life and death. 

 

Esther 7:5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

Esther 7:6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

 

IÕm sure the king was surprised.  He asked Esther who would dare purpose in his heart to do such a thing.  Esther immediately identified Haman as the wicked enemy of her people (as yet still unidentified). 

 

At this point, Haman was afraid.  This tells me that he did not know that Esther was Jewish.

 

Ironside makes an important observation:  ÒIt is easy to cherish a feeling of contempt and disgust for so low and vile character as Haman. But it is well to remember, that in every manÕs heart is found the same evil thing, which when brought to its full fruition, appears so abominable in the ungodly AgagiteÉ. People often consider it a mark of superior virtue to be shocked and horrified by the crimes of others whom they imagine to be worse than themselves. It is well to realize that the worst acts of the worst men all spring from a nature identical with that of all other sons and daughters of Adam.Ó

 

Esther 7:7 ¦ And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

Esther 7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the kingÕs mouth, they covered HamanÕs face.

 

The king was quite angry and went out into the palace garden—IÕm sure to try and process all that Esther had told him.  Did he make the connection to HamanÕs request to get rid of a troublesome group of people and his offer to contribute 10,000 talents of silver to do so?

 

Haman stood up to request Queen Esther to intercede for his life in light of the kingÕs anger.  When the king returned from the palace garden, Haman had fallen upon the queenÕs couch.  The king, of course, assumed the worst—that Haman was trying to molest the queen right before his eyes.  This was not a realistic assumption in light of the circumstances, but it was a natural response of an angry king that evidently loved his queen.

 

As soon as the king spoke, his chamberlains covered HamanÕs face; he was a doomed man.

 

JFB provides this note:  ÒThe import of this striking action is, that a criminal is unworthy any longer to look on the face of the king, and hence, when malefactors are consigned to their doom in Persia, the first thing is to cover the face with a veil or napkin.Ó

 

Esther 7:9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the kingÕs wrath pacified.

 

Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, told the king that Haman had made a gallows that was 50 cubits high with the intent of killing Mordecai, the man that had been honored that very morning for having saved the kingÕs life.  The king immediately ordered that Haman be hanged on the very gallows he had built, and it was done.  Only then was the kingÕs wrath pacified.

 

The fact that they repeated the height of the gallows makes me think it was a reality and not hyperbole as I originally thought.