But Mardochaeus 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.
And 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.
And in every province where the letters were published, crying and lamentation and great mourning on the part of the Jews: they spread for themselves sackcloth and ashes.
And 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 Mardochaeus, and take away his sackcloth; but he consented not.
So Esther called for her chamberlain Achrathaeus, who waited upon her; and she sent to learn the truth from Mardochaeus.
And Mardochaeus shewed him what was done, and the promise which Aman had made the king of ten thousand talents into the treasury, that he might destroy the Jews.
And he gave him the copy that was published in Susa concerning their destruction, to shew to Esther; and told him to charge her to go in and intreat the king, and to beg him for the people, remembering, , the days of thy low estate, how thou wert nursed by my hand: because Aman 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.
So Achrathaeus went in and told her all these words.
And Esther said to Achrathaeus, Go to Mardochaeus, and say,
All 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 golden sceptre, he shall live: and I have not been called to go into the king, for these thirty days.
And Achrathaeus reported to Mardochaeus all the words of Esther.
Then Mardochaeus said to Achrathaeus, Go, and say to her, Esther, say not to thyself that thou alone wilt escape in the kingdom, more than all the Jews.
For 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 occasion?
And Esther sent the that came to her to Mardochaeus, saying,
Go 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.
So Mardochaeus went and did all that Esther commanded him. [And he besought the Lord, making mention of all the works of the Lord; and he said, Lord 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. - For thou hast made the heaven and the earth and every wonderful thing in the under heaven. And thou art Lord of all, and there is no one who shall resist thee Lord. Thou 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 Aman. For I would gladly have kissed the soles of his feet for the safety of Israel. But I have done this, that I might not set the glory of man above the glory of God: and I will not worship any one except thee, my Lord, and I will not do these things in haughtiness. And now, O Lord God, the King, the God of Abraam, spare thy people, for are looking upon us to destruction, and they have desired to destroy thine ancient inheritance. Do not overlook thy peculiar people, whom thou hast redeemed for thyself out of the land of Egypt. Hearken 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. And all Israel cried with their might, for death before their eyes. And queen Esther betook herself for refuge to the Lord, being taken 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 curls of her hair. And she besought the Lord God of Israel, and said, O my Lord, thou alone art our king: help me destitute, and have no helper but thee, for my danger near at ha