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Esther 4

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 1 Now when Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city crying out with a loud and a bitter cry.

 2 But he came only as far as the king's gate for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

 3 And in every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing, and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

 4 And when Esther's maids and her eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, the queen was exceedingly grieved. She sent garments to clothe him so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not receive them.

 5 Then Esther called for Hatach, one of the king's eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why.

 6 So Hatach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city, which was in front of the king's gate.

 7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews to be destroyed.

 8 And Mordecai also gave him a copy of the decree, which had been issued at Shushan to destroy them, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and to charge her to go to the king, to make supplication to him, and to plead with him for her people.

 9 So Hatach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

 10  Then Esther spoke to Hatach again and gave him a message for Mordecai:

 11 "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or women who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, shall be put to death; there is only one law, except to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. But I have not been called to come to the king for thirty days."

 12 So they told Mordecai Esther's words.

 13 Then Mordecai sent back this answer to Esther, "Do not think within yourself that you will escape because you are in the king's house, any more than all the other Jews.

 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for just such a time as this?"

 15 Then Esther sent them to reply to Mordecai with this answer,

 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast as well. Then I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish."

 17 So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had instructed him.


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