Pleased and obviously still in a festive mood from the events of the day, Achashverosh sat in the King's chair that night at the banquet. What fun it was to see Haman accord such great honor to his most hated adversary! That would teach Haman a well-earned lesson....

"Esther, my Queen," said Achashverosh affectionately, "surely there is some request you wish to make. You have not arranged these two banquets for the pleasure of Haman's company! Pray tell me, what is your petition? Even to the half of my kingdom and it will be granted to you. Only do not ask me to permit the Jews to commence construction of their Temple again, for that is in my half of the Kingdom . . ."

Esther, who regarded the great honors bestowed upon Mordechai that day as a truly auspicious sign from Heaven, was confident and sure, though her voice shook with emotion:

"Your Majesty, I ask only that my life be spared together with the lives of my people! For my people and I have been treacherously condemned to die, to be mercilessly butchered and destroyed . . ."

"Who has dared to do such a thing?" cried the King, trembling with dread at the thought that his own beloved queen was not safe in his palace.

"A very wicked and cruel man, a ruthless enemy, who has already sent Queen Vashti to her doom and now would also take my life! The villain is no other than this wicked Haman!" cried Esther, pointing an accusing finger at Haman. Haman grew pale and was terrified. He sank at Esther's feet, begging for mercy. But King Achashverosh turned to him with uncontrollable rage: "So it is you who dared plot against the Queen in my own home! " In a fit of wrath, he ran out into the garden for a breath of air.

To his great amazement, the King noticed several people cutting down the rare and exotic trees of the royal gardens. In reality they were not people but angels disguised as humans, sent down to arouse to the utmost the King's wrath at Haman.

"Who has ordered you to do this?" roared the King.

"Haman!" answered the gardeners.

Like a wounded animal, the King rushed back to the banquet hall, to find the miserable Haman prostrate on the Queen's couch still begging for his life. At that moment, Charvonah, one of the King's attendants, said "Is the King aware that Haman erected a gallows fifty cubits high for the loyal Mordechai? There it is towering over Haman's house. . . ."

"Hang the vile Haman thereon!" cried the King.

Haman was lead away and hanged upon the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai, and only then was the King's wrath appeased.