7. And the king rose in his fury from the wine feast to the garden of his house. And Haman stood to ask for his life from Queen Esther because he saw that evil was decided on him from the king.
It is very likely that Achashverosh left to “cool off.”
The Yad HaMelech points out that the verse stresses that Achashverosh left specifically when he was “in his fury.” Otherwise, he would have realized that it would be unwise to leave Esther alone with the murderous Haman. Alas, anger causes people to make silly mistakes.
Similarly, the Maharal sees the verse as stressing that Aschashverosh left from the feast.
Megillas Sesarim explains that his current state of inebriation increased his anger.
Rav Galico points out that although Achashverosh went to cool off, this is actually another example of hashgacha pratis (H-Shem’s supervision of the world) in order to incriminate Haman more.
On the other hand, R’ Moshe David Valle explains that Achashverosh was really upset with himself for giving Haman authority in the first place.
Perhaps Achashverosh was actually looking for a way to scapegoat Haman and consequently rid himself of him without seeming politically weak.
2. And the king said to Esther also on the second day in the drinking feast, “What is your request, Queen Esther? And it will be given you. And what is your petition? Until half the kingdom, and it will be done.”
According to Rav Galico, the verse uses the word, “also” to indicate that Achashverosh was in the same good mood as he was during the first party.
The Dena Pishra writes that Achashverosh could kill Haman in a drunken rage, as he did to Vashti.
1. And the king and Haman came to drink with Queen Esther.
According to Dena Pishra, the verse stresses that Achashverosh and Haman came to drink because they all drank for their own reasons. Whereas Haman drank to forget his sad day and daughter’s death, Achashverosh drank to forget his bad dream from earlier that day. Perhaps Esther was also drinking to celebrate the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Rav Galico writes that this is a demonstration of chasdei H-Shem, H-Shem’s Kindness that Achashverosh drank. After all, drinking made him more pliable and agreeable to Esther’s request.
As the Maharal points out, drinking alcohol creates a more intimate setting than eating a regular meal.
Rav Galico writes that the verse calls Haman’s advisers wise because these were those of his friends who were wise.
The M’nos HaLevi say they were wise due to the straight talk they provide. Therefore, the verse calls them “wise” instead of “loved ones.”
According to the Talmud (Megillah 16a), anyone who says something wise, whether Jew or gentile, is called wise. After all, the Talmud (Megillah 6b) admits that there is wisdom among the gentile nations.
R’ Shlomo Kluger says they were wise because they saw that all of these events Haman described did not just happen, but occurred due to the snowball effect that have built up over many years – perhaps since the time of Amalek.
R’ Mendel Weinbach says they are wise because all wisdom can come from the Torah. The Vilna Gaon, for instance, could purportedly give entire discourses on calculus without ever having seen a textbook on the subject.
Rav Avraham Chadida writes that these advisers knew that when things are out of their expected order are a sign that something good is about to occur. He gives the example of Rivka’s wonder at her unusual pains in pregnancy (Bireishis 25:22), Moshe’s curiosity at the burning bush (Shemos 3:2-3), and even cold weather in the middle of a summer.
Shar bas Rabim notes that the Talmud (Tamid 32a) defines a wise person as “haro’eh es hanolad,” or someone who can predict future events by logically observing history. Actually, these advisers were indeed correct!
The reason Esther’s servants had to tell her anything at all instead of Esther merely seeing for herself, the Maharal writes, is that Esther’s high level of tznius, modesty, prevented her from even glancing out of windows.
Rav Galico adds that Esther’s extreme privacy allowed her to stay aloof of goings-on outside the palace.
Yosef Lekach points out that, despite her modesty and privacy, the entire palace knew about Esther’s and Mordechai’s concern for each other, but they did not know the reason for this.
15. The runners went out rushed according to the word of the king. And the law was given in Shushan the capital. And the king and Haman sat to drink, and the city of Shushan was confused.
R’ Dovid Feinstein gives a practical reason for the runners to be rushed; Achashverosh’s empire was huge. With communication being as impaired as it was then, Haman rushed the runners to avoid having anything less than 100% success.
Rav Galico says they were rushed in order to prolong the agony of the Jews (who, according to him, knew of their impending annihilation) from Nisan to the next Adar – eleven frightening months away.
Based on his theory that Achashverosh did not know what the decree said, the Malbim says Haman rushed the runners so that Achashverosh would not change his mind.