Esther 6:5, Question 3. Why does the king tell his youths to let Haman come in?

  • According to Yad HaMelech, the king tell his officers to let Haman come in because Achashverosh wants to see how long Haman will wait. Therefore, he did not want them to show him in, but rather let him enter on his own.
  • Perhaps another reason for this phraseology is that the last word in this verse matches the first word in the next verse. This phenomenon helps to stress the immediacy of Haman’s entrance and upcoming downfall.
  • Also, the gematria of the word yavo (“let him come in”) (10+2+6+1=19) is the same as that of oyev (“enemy”) (1+6+10+2=19). This indicates that the king has begun to recognize Haman as his foe. The two words even contain the same letters.
  • Perhaps another approach to understanding the use of this word here may be the method used by Rabbeinu Bachya, Vilna Gaon, and others who say that the true meaning of a word can be garnered from its first appearance in the Torah. In the first usage of yavo (Bireishis 32:9), Yaakov plans his potentially dangerous meeting with Eisav, Haman’s ancestor in both the genetic and ethical sense of the word. Achashverosh is therefore coming to terms with the idea that Haman represents the constant enemy of the Jews.

Esther 6:5, Question 2. Why do Achashverosh’s youths stress that Haman is “standing” in the courtyard?

  • The Alshich writes, consistent with his previous interpretation, that Achashverosh’s youths respond that it is Haman who is in charge, and he’s here now.
  • M’nos HaLevi, however, explains that the the youths were saying that Haman actually means to cause harm to the king, and he’s standing there waiting to see that all are sleeping and it is an opportune time to secretly strike at the king.

Esther 6:5, Question 1. Why do Achashverosh’s youths say “behold” in answer to his question?

ה וַיֹּאמְרוּ נַעֲרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלָיו הִנֵּה הָמָן עֹמֵד בֶּחָצֵר וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ יָבוֹא

5. And the king’s youths said to him, “Behold, Haman is standing in the courtyard.” And the king said, “Let him come in.”

  • The world heenei is almost always translated as “behold” with an exclamation mark. According to R’ David Valle, Achashverosh’s youths say “behold” regarding Haman out of surprise because he is not usually there, sulking in the shadows.

Esther 6:3, Question 2. Why do Achashverosh’s youths answer his question?

  • Despite their natural fear of critiquing a monarch, Achashverosh’s advisers had the added restraint of having seen the paranoid king dispose of Vashti. The Talmud (Megillah 16a) clarifies that Achashverosh’s officers did not respond out of a great love for Mordechai, but a great hate for Haman.
  • The Ben Ish Chai traces their motivation to the suspicion that Haman fathered the advisers’ illegitimate children.
  • According to R’ Dovid Feinstein, this hate was motivated by the very jealousy Esther had hoped to inculcate among Achashverosh’s advisers by inviting Haman to the party.
  • The Maharsha proves that the advisers did not act out of good feelings toward Mordecahi by pointing out that the advisers used the general, diminutive word davar (“thing”) instead of the honor and glory Mordechai deserves.

Esther 6:3, Question 1. Why does Achashverosh ask regarding both honor and greatness?

ג וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ מַהנַּעֲשָׂה יְקָר וּגְדוּלָּה לְמָרְדֳּכַי עַלזֶה וַיֹּאמְרוּ נַעֲרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מְשָׁרְתָיו לֹאנַעֲשָׂה עִמּוֹ דָּבָר

3. And the king said, “What did I do of honor and greatness to Mordechai on this?” And the king’s youths from his officers said, “You did not do to him a thing.”

  • According to the Alshich, Achashverosh asks regarding both honor and greatness because Mordechai deserved both; honor to show the public that Mordechai saved the king which would potentially convince the Achashverosh’s people to save him as well, and superiority over the king’s other advisers in order to get good advice from him in the future.