Bishops' Bible

Esther 4

The great mourning of Mordecai and the Jews.

Esther 4:1 When Mardocheus perceaued all that was done, he rent his clothes, and put on sackecloth with asshes, and went out into the middest of the citie, and cryed loude and lamentably, Esther 4:2 And came before the kinges gate: but he might not enter within the kinges gate, because he had sackcloth on. Esther 4:3 And in all prouinces, countries, and places, as farre as the kinges worde & commaundement extented, there was great lamentatio among the Iewes, fasting, weeping, and mourning, and many lay in sackeclothes and in asshes.

Esther, understanding it, sendeth to Mordecai, who sheweth the cause, and adviseth her to understand the suit.

Esther 4:4 So Esthers maydens and her chamberlaynes, came and told it her: Then was the queene exceedingly astonied, and she sent rayment that Mardocheus shoulde put on, and lay the sackcloth from him: But Mardocheus would not take them. Esther 4:5 Then called Esther Hathach one of the kinges chamberlaines which stoode before her, and gaue him a commaundement vnto Mardocheus, to know what it was wherefore he did so. Esther 4:6 So Hathach went foorth to Mardocheus, vnto the streete of the citie which was before the kinges gate: Esther 4:7 And Mardocheus tolde him of al that had come vnto him, & of ye summe of siluer that Haman had promised to waye downe into the kinges treasurie, because of the Iewes if he would destroy them. Esther 4:8 And he gaue him the copie of the kinges commaundement that was deuised at Susan to destroy them, that he might shewe it vnto Esther, and to speake to her, and charge her that she should go in vnto the king, & make her prayer and supplication vnto him for her people. Esther 4:9 And when Hathach came in, he tolde Esther the wordes of Mardocheus.

She excusing herself is threatened by Mordecai.

Esther 4:10 And againe Esther spake vnto Hathach and commauded him to say vnto Mardocheus: Esther 4:11 All the kinges seruauntes, & the people in the prouinces of the king knowe, that whosoeuer commeth within the courte vnto the king, whether it be man or woman, which is not called, the comaundement is, that the same shall dye, except the king holde out the golden septer vnto him, for then he shall lyue: As for me, I haue not ben called to come in vnto the king now this thirtie dayes. Esther 4:12 And they certified Mardocheus of Esthers wordes. Esther 4:13 And Mardocheus bad say againe vnto Esther: Thinke not with thy selfe that thou shalt escape in the kinges house more then all the Iewes. Esther 4:14 For if thou holdest thy peace at this time, then shall the Iewes haue helpe and deliueraunce out of an other place, and thou and thy fathers house shalbe destroyed: And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdome for this causes sake?

She appointing a fast undertaketh the suit.

Esther 4:15 Esther bad them geue Mardocheus this aunswere: Esther 4:16 Go thou thy way, and gather together all the Iewes that are founde at Susan, and fast ye for me, that ye eate not and drinke not in three dayes neither day nor night, I and my maydens wyll fast likewyse: and so wyll I go in to the king, which thing yet is contrary to the commaundement: and if I perishe, I perishe. Esther 4:17 So Mardocheus went his way, and did according to al that Esther had commaunded him.

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