"'For we have been sold, I and my people, to be annihilated, and had we been sold as slaves I would have been silent... 'King Achashveirosh exclaimed... 'Who is this and where is he who had the audacity to do this?' " (7:4-5)
- Why would she be silent if the Jews were sold for slaves?
- Haman operated with Achashveirosh's consent. Why did he naively ask who was responsible?
Haman hated the Jewish people and greatly wanted to wipe them out, but he doubted that Achashveirosh would agree. Therefore, he fooled Achashveirosh into issuing a decree to destroy the Jewish people.
When they consulted earlier Haman said to Achashveirosh, "im al haMelech tov yikateiv le'avdam (3:9) -- "If the King agrees, letters should be sent out to make slaves out of the Jewish people." Achashveirosh consented and gave Haman authority to send the letters. However, in the letters, Haman did not write (slavery) but (le'abdam) "complete annihilation."
Therefore, Esther said to Achashveirosh, "If we had been sold for slavery as you and Haman originally planned, I would reluctantly be quiet because you are the King and this is your wish, but the scoundrel falsified and sent letters to annihilate the Jewish people."
Achashveirosh became very upset when he heard that he was fooled and bellowed, "Who is this with the audacity to do such a thing?"
"And he said to Esther the Queen, 'Who is he, and where is he...?' And Esther said, 'The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.' " (7:5-6)
Achashveirosh and Haman together planned the destruction of the Jewish people. Why did Achashveirosh suddenly ask Esther, "Who.."? Moreover, when Esther responded she should have said only one word, "Haman"?
In Hebrew grammar the word "hu" is used for third person, and the Hebrew grammatical term for the third person is "nistar" - - literally "hidden." The word "zeh" is used in second person and applies to a subject matter which is present and therefore revealed.
Esther told Achashveirosh that the Jewish people were suffering from two enemies: "One of our enemies openly displays his hatred, while the other hates us deep down in his heart, though he does not say so openly." Achashveirosh asked Esther, "Since you talk of two enemies, please tell me mi hu -- who do you refer to as --'zeh' -- 'the open enemy' -- and ve'ei-zeh -- who is it that you consider -- 'hu' -- 'the hidden enemy' "?
Esther responded "Haman hara -- the wicked Haman -- is 'hazeh' -- our open and revealed enemy" and she left it to Achashveirosh's imagination to figure out who was -- "hu" -- the "concealed" enemy.
"Charvona said, 'Furthermore the 50 cubit high gallows which Haman made for Mordechai who spoke good for the King, is standing in Haman's house.' " (7:9)
When did Mordechai ever "speak good" for King Achashveirosh?
Haman's advisors told him to make a gallows and get the King's consent to hang Mordechai. Immediately he hired one of the best carpenters in Shushan Habirah and instructed him to build a 50-cubit-high pole. The carpenter was not aware of its purpose, but, knowing Haman's wealth, he made it of the most expensive wood and adorned it with gold.
Upon completion, he handed Haman a hefty bill. Somewhat surprised, he said to the carpenter, "Who ever heard of paying such a huge amount for a 50-cubit pole?" The carpenter replied, "Why don't you look at what I did and then you will agree that my fee is reasonable." When Haman saw the pole, he became enraged and shouted, "I wanted this to serve as a gallows for Mordechai; the one you made is good for the King!"
Upon hearing from Charvonah that Haman said the gallows "is good for the King," Achashveirosh immediately bellowed, "hang him on it!"