1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried loud and lamentably, 2 and came before the king's gate: for there might no man enter within the king's gate, that had a sackcloth on. 3 And in all lands and places, as far as the king's word and commandment extended, there was great lamentation among the Jews and many fasted, wept, mourned and lay in sackcloth and in ashes.
4 So Esther's damsels and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly astonished. And she sent raiment, that Mordecai should put them on and lay the sackcloth from him. But Mordecai would not take them. 5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king's chamberlains which stood before her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, that he might know what it were, and wherefore he did so. 6 So Hathach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate. 7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of silver that Haman had promised to weigh down in the king's chamber because of the Jews, for to destroy them.
8 And he gave him the copy of the commandment, that was devised at Susa to destroy them, that he might show it unto Esther, and to speak to her and charge her; that she should go into the king, and make her prayer and supplication unto him for her people. 9 And when Hathach came in, and told Esther the words of Mordecai,
10 Esther spake unto Hathach, and commanded him to say unto Mordecai, 11 "All the king's servants, and the people in the lands of the king know that whosoever cometh within the court unto the king, whether it be man or woman, which is not called, the commandment is that the same shall die immediately, except the king hold out the golden scepter unto him, that he may live. As for me, I have not been called to come in to the king now this thirty days." 12 And when Mordecai was certified of Esther's words,
13 Mordecai bade say again unto Esther, "Think not to save thine own life, while thou art in the king's house before all Jews: 14 for if thou holdest thy peace at this time, then shall the Jews have help and deliverance out of another place, and thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed. And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom, for this time's sake?"
15 Esther bade, "Give Mordecai this answer: 16 'Go thou thy way then, and gather together all the Jews that are found at Susa, and fast ye for me, that ye eat not and drink not in three days, neither day nor night. I and my damsels will fast likewise, and so will I go in to the king contrary to the commandment: if I perish, I perish.'" 17 So Mordecai went his way, and did all that Esther had commanded him.