1 When Mordecai found out about everything that had been done, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went into the middle of the city and cried loudly and bitterly. 2 He even went right up to the king’s gate. (No one could enter it wearing sackcloth.)
3 In every province touched by the king’s command and decree, the Jews went into mourning, fasting, weeping, and wailing. Many put on sackcloth and ashes.
4 Esther’s servants and eunuchs came and informed her ⌊about Mordecai⌋. The queen was stunned. She sent clothing for Mordecai to put on in place of his sackcloth, but he refused to accept it. 5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs appointed to serve her. She commanded him to go to Mordecai and find out what was going on and why.
6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai informed him about everything that had happened to him. He told him the exact amount of silver that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasury to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the decree that was issued in Susa. The decree gave permission to exterminate the Jews. Hathach was supposed to show it to Esther to inform and command her to go to the king, beg him for mercy, and appeal to him for her people. 9 So Hathach returned and told Esther what Mordecai had said.
10 Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s advisers and the people in the king’s provinces know that no one approaches the king in the throne room without being summoned. By law that person must be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to him will he live. I, myself, have not been summoned to enter the king’s presence for 30 days now.” 12 So Esther’s servants told Mordecai what Esther said.
13 Mordecai sent this answer back to Esther, “Do not imagine that just because you are in the king’s palace you will be any safer than all the rest of the Jews. 14 The fact is, even if you remain silent now, someone else will help and rescue the Jews, but you and your relatives will die. And who knows, you may have gained your royal position for a time like this.”
15 Esther sent this reply back to Mordecai, 16 “Assemble all the Jews in Susa. Fast for me: Do not eat or drink at all for three entire days. My servants and I will also fast. After that, I will go to the king, even if it is against a royal decree. If I die, I die.”
17 Mordecai did just as Esther had commanded him.