F n¹ 1,2. Bitter cry. Mordecai. Shushan. n² 3. Bitter cry. Judeans, Provinces.
1 When Mordecai perceived all that was being done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; (Not [we may be sure] without confession and prayer, as with Nehemiah [ch. 1], and Daniel [ch. 9].)
2 And came as far as before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in every province, wheresoever the king's word and his Imperial came, there was great mourning among the Judeans, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. (These were the accompaniments of true repentance.)
C¹ G¹ 4:4-17. Esther and Mordecai. G² 5:1-14. Esther and the king.
G¹ H 4 Esther. Information. J o 5,6. Esther. Inquiry of Mordecai. p 7-9. Mordecai. Reply and request. J o 10,11. Esther. Message to Mordecai. p 12-14. Mordecai. Reply and expostulation. H 15-17. Esther. Decision.
4 So Esther's maids (see 2:4) and her eunuchs came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to cloth Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.
5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's eunuchs, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a charge to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai to the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.
7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and of the exact sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Judeans (Mordecai knew of this, but how we cannot tell. He evidently did not know that the king had made Haman a present of it [3:11]), to destroy them.
8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther, and to declare it to her, and to charge her that she should go in to the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him for her people.
9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spoke to Hatach, and gave him charge to Mordecai;
11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one decreed law (see 1:8) of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, "Think not with your soul that you shall escape in the king's house, more than all the Judeans.
14 For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there respite and deliverance arise to the Judeans from another place; but you and your father's house shall be destroyed: and who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Note the hope and trust in God and His overruling grace.)
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
16 "Go, gather together all the Judeans that are present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day (cp. 1 Sam. 30:12,13. Jonah 1:17. Matt. 12:40): I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish (see 3:13), I perish."
17 So Mordecai went passed over (i.e. over the river Ulai, on which Shushan is built, to the Judean quarter, to accomplish his part of the compact.), and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.