|“What troubles you, Queen Esther?” the king asked her. “And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall be granted you”Esther 5:3 (The Israel Bible™)
וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמֶּלֶךְ מַה־לָּךְ אֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וּמַה־בַּקָּשָׁתֵךְ עַד־חֲצִי הַמַּלְכוּתוְיִנָּתֵן לָךְ
Hear the verse in Hebrew
va-YO-mer LAH ha-ME-lekh mah LAKH es-TAYR ha-mal-KAH u-mah ba-ka-sha-TAYKH ad kha-TZEE ha-mal-KHUT v’-yi-na-TAYN LAKH
The Beit Hamikdash in the Story of Purim
When King Ahasuerus offered Esther up to half of the kingdom, this was not merely a show of generosity, but it referred to a specific geographic location. Jewish tradition states that the halfway mark of Ahasuerus’ empire was the site of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple). Ahasuerus tells Esther that he is willing to do anything to make her happy, short of allowing the rebuilding of the Temple. Although Cyrus, his predecessor, had allowed the Children of Israel to return to Israel and begin reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash, Ahasuerus was adamantly against it.