1But Mordecai having perceived what was done, rent his garments, and put on sackcloth, and sprinkled dust upon himself; and having rushed forth through the open street of the city, he cried with a loud voice, A nation that has done no wrong is going to be destroyed.
2And he came to the king’s gate, and stood; for it was not lawful for him to enter into the palace, wearing sackcloth and ashes.
3And in every province where the letters were published, there was crying and lamentation and great mourning on the part of the Jews: they spread for themselves sackcloth and ashes.
4And the queen’s maids and chamberlains went in and told her: and when she had heard what was done, she was disturbed; and she sent to clothe Mordecai, and take away his sackcloth: but he consented not.
5So Esther called for her chamberlain Hathach, who waited upon her; and she sent to learn the truth from Mordecai.
7And Mordecai showed him what was done, and the promise which Haman had made the king of ten thousand talents to be paid into the treasury, that he might destroy the Jews.
8And he gave him the copy of the writing that was published in Susa concerning their destruction, to show to Esther; and told him to charge her to go in and entreat the king, and to beg him for the people, remembering, said he, the days of thy low estate, how thou wert nursed by my hand: because Haman who holds the next place to the king has spoken against us for death. Do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king concerning us, to deliver us from death.
9So Hathach went in and told her all these words.
10And Esther said to Hathach, Go to Mordecai, and say,
11All the nations of the empire know, that whoever, man or woman, shall go in to the king into the inner court uncalled, that person cannot live: only to whomsoever the king shall stretch out his golden scepter, he shall live: and I have not been called to go in to the king, for these thirty days.
12And Hathach reported to Mordecai all the words of Esther.
13Then Mordecai said to Hathach, Go, and say to her, Esther, say not to thyself that thou alone wilt escape in the kingdom, more than all the other Jews.
14For if thou shalt refuse to hearken on this occasion, help and protection will be to the Jews from another quarter; but thou and thy father’s house will perish: and who knows, if thou hast been made queen for this very occasion?
15And Esther sent the man that came to her to Mordecai, saying,
16Go and assemble the Jews that are in Susa, and fast ye for me, and eat not and drink not for three days, night and day: and I also and my maidens will fast; and then I will go in to the king contrary to the law, even if I must die.
17So Mordecai went and did all that Esther commanded him.
17aAnd he besought the Lord, making mention of all the works of the Lord; and he said,
17bLord God, king ruling over all, for all things are in thy power, and there is no one that shall oppose thee in thy purpose to save Israel.
17cFor thou hast made the heaven and the earth, and every wonderful thing in the world under heaven. And thou art Lord of all, and there is no one who shall resist thee the Lord.
17dThou knowest all things: thou knowest, Lord, that it is not in insolence, nor haughtiness, nor love of glory, that I have done this, to refuse obeisance to the haughty Haman. For I would gladly have kissed the soles of his feet for the safety of Israel.
17eBut I have done this, that I might not set the glory of man above the glory of God: and I will not worship anyone except thee, my Lord, and I will not do these things in haughtiness.
17fAnd now, O Lord God, the King, the God of Abraham, spare thy people, for our enemies are looking upon us to our destruction, and they have desired to destroy thine ancient inheritance.
17gDo not overlook thy peculiar people, whom thou hast redeemed for thyself out of the land of Egypt.
17hHearken to my prayer, and be propitious to thine inheritance, and turn our mourning into gladness, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; and do not utterly destroy the mouth of them that praise thee, O Lord.
17iAnd all Israel cried with all their might, for their death was before their eyes.
17kAnd queen Esther betook herself for refuge to the Lord, being taken as it were in the agony of death. And having taken off her glorious apparel, she put on garments of distress and mourning; and instead of grand perfumes she filled her head with ashes and dung, and she greatly brought down her body, and she filled every place of her glad adorning with the torn curls of her hair. And she besought the Lord God of Israel, and said,
17lO my Lord, thou alone art our king: help me who am destitute, and have no helper but thee, for my danger is near at hand.
17mI have heard from my birth, in the tribe of my kindred, that thou, Lord, tookest Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers out of all their kindred for a perpetual inheritance, and hast wrought for them all that thou hast said.
17nAnd now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies, because we honored their gods: thou art righteous, O Lord.
17oBut now they have not been contented with the bitterness of our slavery, but have laid their hands on the hands of their idols, in order to abolish the decree of thy mouth, and utterly to destroy thine inheritance, and to stop the mouth of them that praise thee, and to extinguish the glory of thy house and thine altar,
17pand to open the mouth of the Gentiles to speak the praises of vanities, and in order that a mortal king should be admired forever.
17qO Lord, do not resign thy scepter to them that are not, and let them not laugh at our fall, but turn their counsel against themselves, and make an example of him who has begun to injure us.
17rRemember us, O Lord, manifest thyself in the time of our affliction, and encourage me, O king of gods, and ruler of all dominion.
17sPut harmonious speech into my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate him that fights against us, to the utter destruction of him and of them that consent with him.
17tBut deliver us by thy hand, and help me who am destitute, and have none but thee, O Lord.
17uThou knowest all things, and knowest that I hate the glory of transgressors, and that I abhor the couch of the uncircumcised, and of every stranger.
17wThou knowest my necessity, for I abhor the symbol of my proud station, which is upon my head in the days of my splendor: I abhor it as a menstruous cloth, and I wear it not in the days of my tranquility.
17xAnd thy handmaid has not eaten at the table of Haman, and I have not honored the banquet of the king, neither have I drunk wine of libations.
17yNeither has thy handmaid rejoiced since the day of my promotion until now, except in thee, O Lord God of Abraham.
17zO God, who hast power over all, hearken to the voice of the desperate, and deliver us from the hand of them that devise mischief; and deliver me from my fear.