Add parallel Print Page Options

Mordecai Asks for Esther’s Help

When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes. He dressed in cloth made from hair and put on ashes, and went out into the city and cried with loud cries. He went as far as the king’s gate, for no one was to go through the king’s gate wearing cloth made from hair. There was much sorrow among the Jews in each and every part of the nation where the king’s law was made known. They went without food and cried with sounds of sorrow. Many lay in cloth made from hair and in ashes.

Then Esther’s women and men servants came and told her, and the queen was very troubled. She sent clothes for Mordecai to wear, that he might take off his clothes made from hair. But he would not take them. Then Esther called Hathach from the king’s servants whom the king had chosen to help her. She told him to go to Mordecai and find out what was wrong and why. So Hathach went out to Mordecai at the king’s gate in the open space of the city. And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him. He told him just how much money Haman had promised to pay to the king’s store-houses to have the Jews destroyed. He also gave him one of the letters of the law that was sent out from Susa to destroy the Jews, that he might show it to Esther and let her know. And he said that she should go in to the king and beg him to show favor to her people.

Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then Esther told Hathach to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s nation know that he has one law for any man or woman who comes to him in his room who has not been called: They will be put to death, unless the king holds out his special golden stick to him so that he may live. And I have not been called to come to the king for these thirty days.” 12 Then Mordecai was told what Esther had said.

13 Mordecai answered, “Do not think that you in the king’s special house will live any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep quiet at this time, help will come to the Jews from another place. But you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows if you have not become queen for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to say to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and have them all go without food so they can pray better for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my women servants will go without food in the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law. And if I die, I die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had told him.