1 On the third day, Esther put on her special robes. Then she stood in the inside area of the king’s palace. That area was in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his throne in the hall. He was sitting facing the place where people enter the throne room. 2 Then the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court. When he saw her, he was very pleased. He held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther went in to the room and went near the king. Then she touched the end of the king’s gold scepter. 3 Then the king asked, “What is bothering you Queen Esther? What do you want to ask me? I will give you anything you ask for, even half my kingdom.” 4 Esther said, “I have prepared a party for you and Haman. Will you and Haman please come to the party today?” 5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly so that we may do what Esther asks.” So the king and Haman went to the party Esther had prepared for them. 6 While they were drinking wine, the king asked Esther again, “Now Esther, what do you want to ask for? Ask for anything, I will give it to you. So, what is it you want? I will give you anything you want, up to half my kingdom.” 7 Esther answered, “This is what I want to ask for: 8 If the king approves of me, and if it pleases the king to give me what I ask for, let the king and Haman come tomorrow. I will prepare another party for the king and Haman tomorrow. Then I will tell what I really want.” 9 Haman left the king’s house that day very happy and in a good mood. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate, he became very angry at Mordecai. Haman was very mad at Mordecai because Mordecai didn’t show any respect when Haman walked by. Mordecai was not afraid of Haman, and that made Haman mad. 10 But, Haman controlled his anger and went home. Then Haman called his friends and his wife, Zeresh, together. 11 Haman started bragging about how rich he was. He was bragging to his friends about his many sons, and about all the ways the king had honored him. And he was bragging about how the king had promoted him higher than all the other leaders. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to be with the king at the party she gave. And the Queen has also invited me to be with the king again tomorrow. 13 But all those things don’t really make me happy. I’m not really happy as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” 14 Then Haman’s wife Zeresh and all his friends had a suggestion. They said, “Tell someone to build a post to hang him on! Make it 75 feet tall! Then in the morning, ask the king to hang Mordecai on it. Then just go to the party with the king and you can be happy.” Haman liked that suggestion, so he ordered someone to build the hanging post.