4 When Mordecai learned what had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail. 2 Then he stood outside the gate of the palace, for no one was permitted to enter in mourning clothes. 3 And throughout all the provinces there was great mourning among the Jews, fasting, weeping, and despair at the king’s decree; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed and sent clothing to him to replace the sackcloth, but he refused it. 5 Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant, and told him to go out to Mordecai and find out what the trouble was and why he was acting like that. 6 So Hathach went out to the city square and found Mordecai just outside the palace gates, 7 and heard the whole story from him, and about the $20,000,000 Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave Hathach a copy of the king’s decree dooming all Jews, and told him to show it to Esther and to tell her what was happening and that she should go to the king to plead for her people. 9 So Hathach returned to Esther with Mordecai’s message. 10 Esther told Hathach to go back and say to Mordecai, 11 “All the world knows that anyone, whether man or woman, who goes into the king’s inner court without his summons is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter; and the king has not called for me to come to him in more than a month.”
12 So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.
13 This was Mordecai’s reply to Esther: “Do you think you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed? 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, God will deliver the Jews from some other source, but you and your relatives will die; what’s more, who can say but that God has brought you into the palace for just such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this message to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Shushan and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day; and I and my maids will do the same; and then, though it is strictly forbidden, I will go in to see the king; and if I perish, I perish.”
17 So Mordecai did as Esther told him to.