Esther Promises to Intercede for Her People
1When Mor´decai perceived all that was done, Mor´decai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2and came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mor´decai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. 5Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mor´decai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6So Hatach went forth to Mor´decai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate. 7And Mor´decai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. 9And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mor´decai. 10Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mor´decai; 11All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12And they told to Mor´decai Esther's words. 13Then Mor´decai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15Then Esther bade them return Mor´decai this answer, 16Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17So Mor´decai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.