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Esther Writhes in Anguish

Now Mordecai came to know of (A)all that had been done. And [a]he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and cried out loudly and bitterly. And he went as far as the king’s gate, for no one was to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. Now in each and every province where the word and law of the king reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with (B)fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many made their bed in sackcloth and ashes.

Then Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, and the queen writhed in great anguish. And she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and to remove his sackcloth from upon him, but he did not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathach from the king’s eunuchs, whom [b]the king had appointed to attend her, and commanded him to go to Mordecai to know what this was and why it was. So Hathach went out to Mordecai to the city square in front of the king’s gate. And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and (C)the exact amount of silver that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries to cause the Jews to perish. He also gave him (D)a copy of the written law which had been given in Susa for their destruction, in order to show Esther and to tell her and to command her to go in to the king to implore his favor and to seek him out for her people.

Then Hathach came back and told Mordecai’s words to Esther. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to reply to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who (E)comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, (F)he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out (G)to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.” 12 So they told Esther’s words to Mordecai.

13 Then Mordecai said for them to respond to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s [c]house can escape any more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and (H)deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not reached royalty for such a time as this?”

Esther and the Jews Fast

15 Then Esther said for them to respond to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; (I)do not eat or drink for (J)three days, night or day. I and my young women also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him.


  1. Esther 4:1 Lit Mordecai
  2. Esther 4:5 Lit he
  3. Esther 4:13 Or palace