In Esther 7:5 it says;

מִ֣י ה֥וּא זֶה֙ וְאֵֽי־זֶ֣ה ה֔וּא אֲשֶׁר־מְלָא֥וֹ לִבּ֖וֹ לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת כֵּֽן׃

What does the pasuk refer to when it say ken and why is his heart filled with such a desire to do ken? And why does it make them so upset that he gets called

אִ֚ישׁ צַ֣ר וְאוֹיֵ֔ב הָמָ֥ן הָרָ֖ע הַזֶּ֑ה

just for doing ken?

Is כן some sort of object(noun), or perhaps a type of biblical drug, related to the modern קוֹקָאִין?

See Genesis 6:22 where Noach also did ken.

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4 Answers 4


We simply must look up the first time "Kein" appears in Tanach, and use the context there.

It first appears in Bereishis 1:7:

וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֮ אֶת־הָרָקִ֒יעַ֒ וַיַּבְדֵּ֗ל בֵּ֤ין הַמַּ֙יִם֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ מִתַּ֣חַת לָרָקִ֔יעַ וּבֵ֣ין הַמַּ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֖ר מֵעַ֣ל לָרָקִ֑יעַ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

From there, it seems that a "Kein" is some sort of overhead covering. This explains why Noach would have wanted one, so it would protect him from the torrential rains.

We still require an explanation as to why this would upset Achashveirosh. We must say that it would have functioned as some sort of canopy, which is why Achashveirosh got mad, because he thought it was like a Chuppah. This is proven by Esther 7:8, where Haman continues to try to marry her, and Achashveirosh gets madder.


קן (pl. קנים) seems to be a type of wood, which relates to the modern קוֹקָאִין as stated (In fact, קן may even be a contraction). The connection seems to trace back to a natural substance of sort that Esther and Achashveirosh clearly didn’t like - hence the not nice names towards Haman, as mentioned.

This would also fit in very well in explaining the wooden nest that a bird would make (Devarim 22:6), and why Noach used a lot of this to make the Teivah (Bereishis 6:14)...

(To clarify, this is according to אם למקרא)

  • I meant posting the idea, not the actual word-for-word comment. I've edited it, feel free to adjust accordingly, or roll back and edit again. Feb 15, 2018 at 5:38

Queen Esther was a beauty. She was very serious about watching her weight so that she would always look gorgeous for the king.

So, when this guy Haman shows up, he makes candy canes and spreads them all over the palace. The king makes him the most important person in the palace and everyone has to bow down to him, and he keeps making those canes and bringing them in. Eventually, he tries to seduce Esther by urging her to eat those canes. Haman's whole heart was filled with canes. It was all he could think about. And Esther loved candy canes, but, she really tried to distance herself from the urge to eat them because she wanted to please the king.

Haman was annoying about it, and Esther had enough, so she was right to call him an "enemy and evil man". Not only was she evil to Esther, but she was detrimental to the king as well.

  • What about Noach...? +1 Feb 15, 2018 at 18:47
  • @רבותמחשבות I'll try to get an answer for Noach. But, there are numerous others that did ken including Moshe, Aharon and B'nai Yisra'el. Would you want an explanation for all instances? You have too many "thoughts" lurking :-)
    – DanF
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:50
  • it's true, but the OP only asked for an explanation of Esther and Noach. Feb 15, 2018 at 19:54

The Torah addresses this directly in Devarim 22:6, in the Mitzvah of Shiluach ha Kein:

כִּ֣י יִקָּרֵ֣א קַן־צִפּ֣וֹר

Because a bird is called a Kein

Therefore, Haman must have wanted to bring a pet bird along to the meal, and perhaps Achashveirosh or Esther was allergic to that bird.

For Noach, it is even simpler, as he kept all of the birds with him in the Teivah.

  • Is there any significance that Noach sent a dove out of the Teivah to find land?
    – ezra
    Feb 15, 2018 at 5:07
  • That doesn’t explain why he wanted לעשות קן? Also, it says in Genisis 6:14 קִנִּים תַּעֲשֶׂה אֶת הַתֵּבָה this clearly implies the outside.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Feb 15, 2018 at 5:08
  • @Shmuel Maybe he had a good magic trick that he wanted to use to impress the King and Esther, so he wanted לעשות קן. Feb 15, 2018 at 5:10
  • @Shmuel Genesis 6:14 is a proof to me - the birds helped Noah build the Teivah by bringing wood in their mouths, as we see in 8:11. (BTW, this answers ezra's question, sort of...) Feb 15, 2018 at 5:12
  • @ezra see my above comment to Shmuel Feb 15, 2018 at 5:12

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