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So the king and Haman came to Esther’s banquet. Again, during the wine course, the king asked her, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? What do you wish? Whatever it is, I will give it to you, even if it is half of my kingdom!”

And at last Queen Esther replied, “If I have won your favor, O King, and if it please Your Majesty, save my life and the lives of my people. For I and my people have been sold to those who will destroy us. We are doomed to destruction and slaughter. If we were only to be sold as slaves, perhaps I could remain quiet, though even then there would be incalculable damage to the king that no amount of money could begin to cover.”

“What are you talking about?” King Ahasuerus demanded. “Who would dare touch you?”

Esther replied, “This wicked Haman is our enemy.”

Then Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen. The king jumped to his feet and went out into the palace garden as Haman stood up to plead for his life to Queen Esther, for he knew that he was doomed. In despair he fell upon the couch where Queen Esther was reclining, just as the king returned from the palace garden.

“Will he even rape the queen right here in the palace, before my very eyes?” the king roared. Instantly the death veil was placed over Haman’s face.

Then Harbona, one of the king’s aides, said, “Sir, Haman has just ordered a 75-foot gallows constructed, to hang Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination! It stands in Haman’s courtyard.”

“Hang Haman on it,” the king ordered.

10 So they did, and the king’s wrath was pacified.

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