1. When Mordecai understood all that was done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes and went out into the middle of the city, and cried with a loud and bitter cry.
2. And he even came before the king’s gate—but none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.
3. And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping and wailing. And many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4. And Esther’s servant women and her officers came and told her. And the queen was exceedingly grieved, and she sent clothing to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him. But he did not accept it.
5. And Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s officers whom he had appointed to attend to her, and gave him a command to go to Mordecai to learn what this matter was and why it was.
6. And Hathach went out to Mordecai, to the street of the city in front of the king’s gate.
7. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and of the sum of the money which Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews in order to destroy them.
8. Also he gave him a copy of the writing of the decree which was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther and to declare it to her, and to command her that she should go in to the king to make supplication to him, and to seek help for her people.
9. And Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10. Again Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a message for Mordecai:
11. “The king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that whoever, whether man or woman, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his: execution— except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter so that he may live. But I have not been called to come in to the king these past thirty days.”
12. And they told Mordecai Esther’s words.
13. And Mordecai commanded them to answer Esther, “Do not think within yourself that you shall escape in the king’s house more than all the Jews.
14. For even if you are completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house shall be destroyed. And who knows whether you have come to such a royal position for a time such as this?”
15. And Esther told them to return to Mordecai this answer:
16. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and do not eat nor drink three days, night or day. My maidservants and I will also fast in the same way. And so I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
17. And Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
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