Ester 4

1 Now when Mordecai perceiued all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackecloth and ashes, and went out into the middes of the citie, and cryed with a great crye, and a bitter.

2 And came even before the king's gate: for none [might] enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

3 And in euery prouince, and place, whither the Kings charge and his commission came, there was great sorowe among the Iewes, and fasting, and weeping and mourning, and many laye in sackecloth and in ashes.

4 Then Esters maydes and her eunuches came and tolde it her: therefore the Queene was very heauie, and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackecloth from him, but he receiued it not.

5 Then called Ester Hatach one of the Kings eunuches, whom he had appointed to serue her, and gaue him a commandement vnto Mordecai, to knowe what it was, and why it was.

6 So Hatach went foorth to Mordecai vnto the streete of the citie, which was before the Kings gate.

7 And Mordecai tolde him of all that which had come vnto him, and of the summe of the siluer that Haman had promised to pay vnto the Kings treasures, because of the Iewes, for to destroy them.

8 Also he gaue him the copy of the writing and commission that was giuen at Shushan, to destroy them, that he might shewe it vnto Ester and declare it vnto her, and to charge her that she should goe in to the King, and make petition and supplication before him for her people.

9 So when Hatach came, he told Ester the wordes of Mordecai.

10 Then Ester sayde vnto Hatach, and commaunded him to say vnto Mordecai,

11 All the Kings seruants and the people of the Kings prouinces doe knowe, that whosoeuer, man or woman, that commeth to the King into the inner court, which is not called, there is a law of his, that he shall dye, except him to whom the King holdeth out the golden rodde, that he may liue. Now I haue not bene called to come vnto the King these thirtie dayes.

12 And they certified Mordecai of Esters wordes.

13 And Mordecai saide, that they should answere Ester thus, Thinke not with thy selfe that thou shalt escape in the Kings house, more then all the Iewes.

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?

15 Then Ester commanded to answere Mordecai,

16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Ester had commaunded him. {\cf2 (13:8) Then Mardocheus thought vpon all ye workes and of the Lord, and made his prayer vnto him, (13:9) Saying, O Lord, Lord, the King Almighty (for all things are in thy power) & if thou hast appointed to saue Israel, there is no man that can withstand thee. (13:10) For thou hast made heauen and earth, and all the wonderous things vnder the heauen. (13:11) Thou art Lorde of all thinges, and there is no man that can resist thee, which art the Lord. (13:12) Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest, Lord, that it was neither of malice, nor presumption, nor for any desire of glory, that I did this, and not bowe downe to proude Aman. (13:13) For I woulde haue bene content with good will for the saluation of Israel, to haue kist the sole of his feete. (13:14) But I did it, because I would not preferre the honour of a man aboue the glory of God, & would not worship any but onely thee, my Lorde, and this haue I not done of pride. (13:15) And therefore, O Lord God and King, haue mercy vpon thy people: for they imagine how they may bring vs to naught, yea, they would destroy the inheritance, that hath bin thine from the beginning. (13:16) Despise not the portion, which thou hast deliuered out of Egypt for thine owne selfe. (13:17) Heare my prayer, and bee mercifull vnto thy portion: turne our sorow into ioy, that we may liue, O Lord, and praise thy Name: shut not the mouthes of them that praise thee. (13:18) All Israel in like maner cried most earnestly vnto the Lord, because that death was before their eyes. \par (14:1) Qveene Esther also, being in danger of death, resorted vnto the Lord, (14:2) And layd away her glorious apparell, and put on the garments of sighing, and mourning. In the stead of precious oyntment, she scattered ashes, and dongue vpon her head: and she humbled her body greatly with fasting, and all the places of her ioy filled she with the heare that she pluckt off. (14:3) And she prayed vnto the Lord God of Israel, saying, O my Lorde, thou onely art our King: helpe me desolate woman, which haue no helper but thee. (14:4) For my danger is at hand. (14:5) From my youth vp I haue heard in the kinred of my father, that thou, O Lord, tookest Israel from among all people, and our fathers from their predecessours for a perpetuall inheritance, and thou hast performed that which thou didest promise them. (14:6) Now Lord, we haue sinned before thee: therefore hast thou giuen vs into ye hands of our enemies. (14:7) Because we worshipped their gods, O Lorde, thou art righteous. (14:8) Neuerthelesse, it satisfieth them not, that we are in bitter captiuitie, but they haue stroken hands with their idoles, (14:9) That they wil abolish the thing that thou with thy mouth hast ordeined, & destroy thine inheritace, to shut vp the mouth of them that praise thee, and to quench the glory of thy Temple, and of thine altar, (14:10) And to open the mouths of the heathen, that they may praise the power of the idoles, and to magnifie a fleshly King for euer. (14:11) O Lord, giue not thy scepter vnto them that be nothing, lest they laugh vs to scorne in our miserie: but turne their deuise vpon theselues, and make him an example, that hath begunne the same against vs. (14:12) Thinke vpon vs, O Lord, and shewe thy selfe vnto vs in the time of our distresse, and strengthen me, O King of gods, and Lord of all power. (14:13) Giue me an eloquent speach in my mouth before the Lion: turne his heart to hate our enemie, to destroy him, and all such as consent vnto him. (14:14) But deliuer vs with thine hand, and helpe me that am solitary, which haue no defence but onely thee. (14:15) Thou knowest all things, O Lord: thou knowest, that I hate the glory of the vnrighteous, and that I abhorre the bed of the vncircumcised, and of all the heathen. (14:16) Thou knowest my necessitie: for I hate this token of my preeminence, which I beare vpon mine head, what time as I must shewe my selfe, and that I abhorre it as a menstruous cloth, and that I weare it not when I am alone by my selfe, (14:17) And that I thine handmayde haue not eaten at Amans table, and that I haue had no pleasure in the Kings feast, nor drunke the wine of the drinke offerings, (14:18) And that I thine handmayde haue no ioye since the day that I was brought hither, vntill this day, but in thee, O Lord God of Abraham. (14:19) O thou mighty God aboue al, heare the voyce of them, that haue none other hope, & deliuer vs out of the hand of ye wicked, & deliuer me out of my feare.}