1 Mordechai knew all that had occurred, so Mordechai tore his clothes [in mourning] and put on sackcloth and ash. He went out into the city crying loudly and bitterly. 2 He went up until the king's gate, for it is improper to enter the king's gate wearing sackcloth. 3 And in every province, wherever the edict of the king and his law reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, crying and wailing; sackcloth and ash were spread out for the masses. 4 Esther's maids and chamberlains came and told her about it and the queen was terrified. She sent garments with which to dress Mordechai so that he would remove his sackcloth from upon him, but he did not accept them. 5 Esther summoned Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains whom he had placed in her service, and she commanded him to go to Mordechai to find out the meaning of this and what it was about. 6 Hatach went out to Mordechai, to the city square that was in front of the king's gate. 7 And Mordechai told him about all that had happened to him and about the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the right to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the law that was proclaimed in Shushan calling for their annihilation, to show Esther and to tell her about it, and to instruct her to go to the king to beseech him and to plead with him on behalf of her nation. 9 Hatach went and relayed the words of Mordechai to Esther. 10 Esther told Hatach to relay to Mordechai: 11 "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king and enters the inner courtyard without being summoned, his is but one verdict: execution; except for the person to whom the king extends his golden scepter [only] he shall live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for thirty days now." 12 They relayed Esther's words to Mordechai, 13 and Mordechai said to relay to Esther, "Do not think that you will escape [the fate of] all the Jews by being in the king's palace. 14 For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position." 15 Esther said to relay to Mordechai: 16 "Go and gather all the Jews who are in Shushan and fast for my sake, do not eat and do not drink for three days, night and day. My maids and I shall also fast in the same way. Then I shall go to the king, though it is unlawful, and if I perish, I perish." 17 Mordechai then left and did all that Esther had instructed him.