After three days of all of the Jews of Shushan fasting to strengthen her, Esther gets all dressed up and goes to the king’s rooms. Even the queen can’t just walk in, so she has to wait until her husband sees her and extends his scepter to her, indicating that she may speak. As it’s Valentine’s Day, I must say this is the stuff of true romance. The king asks Esther what she wants, promising her anything, even half of his kingdom if that’s her desire. “And Esther said, ‘If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him (Esther 5:4).'” Anticlimactic, but the king agrees, and the two men come. She wines and dines them, and then invites them to yet another banquet the following day. While we know that her methodology eventually works, this whole thing seems to be an odd form of procrastination, and unnecessary if the king already loves her. Haman is psyched about the banquet and the favor that he is being shown, but when he leaves the palace and seems Mordechai, who still refuses to bow, he gets pissed off all over again.
Haman goes home, and brings together his friends and his wife, Zeresh, to brag about his invitations from the queen. “But all this is worth nothing to me, every time I see Mordechai the Jew sitting in the king’s gate (Esther 5:13).” Part of the problem with Haman, which is a problem that many people have, is that no matter how much good happens for him, it’s not enough to withstand his petty grievances. He can’t be satisfied with his own blessings, and he needs to bring sadness to someone else. His wife and friends enable his bitterness, and encourage him to construct Mordechai’s gallows in order to take care of the problem once and for all.