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The first banquet 5:1-8
Here we have another remarkable example of how God controls the hearts of kings (Esther 5:2; Proverbs 21:1; cf. Genesis 39-41; Ezra 1:1-4; Nehemiah 2; Daniel 2; Daniel 3; Daniel 4; Daniel 5; Acts 2:23). "To half of the kingdom" (Esther 5:3) is hyperbole and means, "I will grant even a very large request" (cf. Esther 5:6; Esther 7:2; Mark 6:22-23). Esther must have had a very good reason for postponing her request of the king (Esther 5:8), since delaying it opened the door to any number of complications. For example, the king’s mood might have changed, or Haman might have discovered the reason for the banquet.
Esther’s "procedure is part of a shrewd and deliberate plan in which Esther is taking the initiative and determining the course of events, as a close reading of the narrative will clearly show." [Note: Bush, p. 407.]
"What Esther did ranks among the great deeds of faith in Scripture and could have been recorded in Hebrews 11." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 728.]
"The spiritual application to the gospel message is remarkable. Because of our sin, we cannot enter the presence of an infinitely holy God. But this same God, in His incomparable love and grace, has provided a plan whereby even the worst of sinners may enter His presence and touch, as it were, His golden scepter." [Note: Whitcomb, pp. 82-83.]
B. The Plot Exposed chs. 5-7
Chapters 5-7 carry us to the climax of our story. They show how God providentially preserved and protected His people.
1. Esther’s preparations ch. 5
Esther showed great wisdom in how she prepared to expose Haman as the enemy of the Jews and the Persian Empire.
Haman’s reaction 5:9-14
God had kept Haman from discovering Esther’s relationship to Mordecai.
"It was an unusual honor to be invited to a banquet with the queen, for Persian officials were protective of their wives." [Note: Martin, p. 708.]
The Persians placed great value on having many sons (Esther 5:11). [Note: Herodotus, 1:136.] A person of good character overlooks slights against himself or herself, but a man or woman of inferior character magnifies them (Esther 5:13). Haman may have erected his gallows (or stake) on the top of a hill or building, resulting in an elevated height of 75 feet. On the other hand, the gallows by itself may have been made 75 feet high to let everybody see it (and the hanging), though that would have made it unusually tall.
"This is a fascinating example of the deceived sinner, glorying in self and hating both the true God and His people." [Note: Whitcomb, p. 85.]
"Haman is a case study in that inordinate pride and arrogance that conceals a ’vast and tender ego’ (Fox, 179). . . .
"Haman’s plans are about to run head on into the providence of God." [Note: Bush, p. 418. The quotation is from Michael V. Fox, Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther.]
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Esther 5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25