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Esther 4:1-17

4  And Mordocai, finding out all that had been done, tore his clothes and put on a sackcloth and ashes and went out through the middle of the city giving a loud and bitter cry. 2  And he came in front of the king’s gate (for there was no going into the king’s gate in sackcloth costume). 3*  —And in each and every province in the place where the king’s word and law arrived there was great mourning of the Jews, and fasting and weeping and wailing, and sackcloth and ashes were spread for most of them. 4  —And Esther’s maids and eunuchs came in and told her; and the queen was quite horrified and sent clothing to dress Mordocai and get his sackcloth off him, but he would not receive it. 5*  And Esther called Hathac, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had set to wait on her, and gave him an errand to Mordocai to find out what was the story and why. 6  And Hathac went out to Mordocai in the city square in front of the king’s gate, 7  and Mordocai told him everything that had happened to him and the details about the money Haman had said he would turn over to the royal treasury for the Jews, to have them destroyed, 8*  and gave him a copy of the engrossed law that had been promulgated in Susa to root them out, which he was to show to Esther and tell her of, and to charge her to go in to the king and supplicate him and intercede with him for her people. 9  And Hathac went in and told Esther what Mordocai said. 10  But Esther said to Hathac and ordered him to tell Mordocai 11  “All the king’s household and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who goes in to the king in the inner court uninvited the law is uniform to put him to death except for the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter to grant him life; but I have not been summoned in to the king these thirty days”; 12*  and he told Mordocai what Esther said. 13*  But Mordocai told him to take back to Esther the word “Do not imagine that you in the king’s house will get away with your life any more than all the Jews. 14  For if you do keep silence at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will present itself from elsewhere, but you and your family will perish. And who knows if it was for an occasion like this that you came to queenhood?” 15  And Esther told him to take back word to Mordocai 16  “Go gather all the Jews that are to be found in Susa and fast for me, and do not eat nor drink for three days, night and day; I and my maids will fast in the same way too; and with that I will go in to the king, which is not according to law, and when I perish I perish.” 17  And Mordocai went along and did just as Esther ordered him to.

Footnotes

4:3 Conj. that this verse belongs before verse 1
4:5 Lit. find out what and why
4:8 Lit. the copy of the writing of the law
4:12 Var. and they told
4:13, 15 Or told them