1
WHEN Mordecai learned all that was done, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, howling with a loud and bitter lamentation;
2
And came even as far as the king’s gate;
for it was unlawful for any man to enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.
3
And in every province, wherever the king’s decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting and weeping and wailing;
and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4
So when Esther’s eunuchs and her maidens came in and told her, the queen was exceedingly disturbed;
and she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and to take away his sackcloth from him;
but he did not accept them.
5
Then Esther called for Hathan, one of the king’s eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to know what this was and why it was,
6
So Hathan went forth to Mordecai to the streets of the city which were in front of the king’s gate.
7
And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him and of the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
8
He also gave him a copy of the writing of the decree that was is sued in Shushan the palace, to show it to Esther, and to charge her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and to make request be fore him for her people.
9
And Hathan came in and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10
Again Esther spoke to Hathan and commanded him to go to Mordecai, saying,
11
All the king’s servants know that whosoever, whether man or woman, comes to the king into the inner court who is not called, for him there is but one law to put him to death, except the one to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live;
but I have not been called to come in to the king these three days.
12
And he told Mordecai Esther’s words.
13
Then Mordecai told him to tell Esther, Think not in yourself that you shall escape because you are in the king’s house, more than all the other Jews.
14
For if you altogether remain silent this time, then relief and salvation shall arise to the Jews from an other place;
but you and your father’s house shall be destroyed;
and who knows whether you have been called to come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
15
Then Esther told him to return Mordecai this answer:
16
Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan the pal ace, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day;
I also and my maidens will fast likewise;
and then I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law;
and if I perish, I perish.
17
So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.