World English Bible
1Now when Mordecai found out all that was done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly. 2He came even before the king's gate, for no one is allowed inside the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3In every province, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews with fasting and weeping and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4Esther's maidens and her eunuchs came and told her this, and the queen was exceedingly grieved. She sent clothing to Mordecai, to replace his sackcloth; but he did not accept it. 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 which was before 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 to the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. 8He also gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given out in Susa to destroy them, to show it to Esther, and to declare it to her, and to urge her to go in to the king, to make supplication to him and to make request before him, for her people. 9Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai: 10'Remember,' he says, 'the days of your humiliation, when I nurtured you in my hand, because Haman, who is second only to the king, is against us to the death. 11And you, invoke the Lord and persuade the king for us and free us from death.'" 12Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a message for Mordecai: 13All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that whoever, whether man or woman, comes to the king into the inner court without being called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except those to whom the king might hold out the golden scepter that he may live. I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days. 14They told Esther's words to Mordecai. 15Then Mordecai asked them to return answer to Esther: "Don't think to yourself that you will escape in the king's house any more than all the Jews. 16For if you remain silent now, then relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Who knows if you haven't come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" 17Then Esther asked them to answer Mordecai: 18Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Susa and fast for me: neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish. 19So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther had commanded him. 20Then Mordecai thought upon all the works of the Lord and made his prayer unto him, saying, 21O Lord, Lord, the King Almighty, the whole world is in your power and if you have appointed to save Israel, then no man can contradict you: 22For you have made heaven and earth and all the wondrous things under the heavens. 23You are Lord of all things; there is no man who can withstand you, for you are the Lord. 24You know all things and you know, Lord, that it was neither in contempt nor pride nor for any desire of glory that I did not bow down to proud Haman. 25For I would have been content, with good will for the salvation of Israel, to kiss the soles of his feet. 26But I did not, so that I might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of God: neither will I worship any but thee, O God; neither will I do so in pride. 27And now, O Lord God and King, spare thy people, for their eyes are upon us to bring us to naught; yes, they desire to destroy the inheritance which has been yours from the beginning. 28Despise not the portion which you have delivered out of Egypt for your own self. 29Hear my prayer and be merciful to your inheritance: turn our sorrow into joy, so that we may live, O Lord, and praise thy name; and destroy not the mouths of those who praise thee, O Lord." 30All Israel, in the same way, cried out most earnestly to the Lord, because their death was before their eyes.