Esther 4 ©

Mordecai grieves and laments being clothed in sackcloth, v. 1. And so he came just before the king’s gate, 2. The Jews mourn and grieve wheresoever that edict is put up, 3. Esther sends garments to Mordecai, but he will not receive them, 4. She makes inquiry by Hatach why he was thus grieved, 5. With which he acquaints Hatach, 7. With a copy of the writing to show it to Esther, and to exhort her to go in unto the king, and to intercede for the Jews, 8. At which Esther is not little troubled at first, 11. But Mordecai produces and alleges such reasons, 13. That she promises him that she will go unto the king after that the Jews at Shushan would have fasted and prayed three days, as she and her maids in waiting would also do, 16.


WHEN Mordecai 1perceived 2all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on 3sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst 4of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;


And came 5even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate 6clothed with sackcloth.


And 7in every province, whithersoever the king’s 8commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and 9many lay in sackcloth and ashes.


¶So Esther’s 10maids and her chamberlains came and 11told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, 12and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.


Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s 13chamberlains, 14whom he had appointed to attend 15upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know 16what it was, and why it was.


So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.


And Mordecai told him of 17all that had happened unto him, and 18of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries 19for the Jews, to destroy them.


Also he gave him 20the copy of the writing of the decree that was 21given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto 22her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request 23before him for her people.


And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.


¶Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and 24gave him commandment unto Mordecai;


25All the king's servants, and 26the people of the king's provinces, do know, 27that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king 28into the inner court, who is not called, there is 29one law of 30his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall 31hold out the golden sceptre, that he may 32live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.


And they 33told to Mordecai Esther's words.


Then 34Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not 35with thyself that thou shalt escape 36in the king's house, more than all the Jews.


For if thou 37altogether holdest thy peace 38at this time, then shall there 39enlargementa and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; 40but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom 41for such a time as this?


¶Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,


Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and 42fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink 43three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not 44according to the law: and 45if I perish, I perish.


So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.