1Now when Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the middle of the city and cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
2And he went as far as the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.
3And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing, and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4And Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her this, and the queen was exceedingly grieved. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai so that he would take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.
5Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and commanded him to go to Mordecai, to find out what this was, and why it was.
6So Hathach went out to Mordecai, to the city square that was in front of the king’s gate.
7Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him and the exact sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews.
8He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction that had been issued in Shushan, so that he could show it to Esther and to explain it to her, and to command her to go to the king to make supplication to him and to make a request before him for her people.
9And Hathach came and told Esther what Mordecai had said.
10Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say:
11“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes into the inner court to the king without being called, there is but one law for him: he is to be put to death, unless the king holds out the golden scepter to him so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king for 30 days.”
12And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words.
13Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s house you will escape any more than all the other Jews.
14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come into your royal position for such a time as this?”
15Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,
16“Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Susa, and fast for me, and do not eat or drink three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
17So Mordecai went away and did everything just as Esther had commanded him.