1 When Mordecai perceived all that was 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;
2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe 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 chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.
7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, 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 shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto 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 unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
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 Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
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 Esther had commanded him.
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The fourth chapter of the Book of Esther in the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible is a pivotal chapter in the story of Esther, a young Jewish woman who becomes queen of Persia and saves her people from destruction. This chapter focuses on the actions of Esther's cousin Mordecai and the challenges he faces as a Jew living in the Persian empire. It also highlights the bravery and courage of Esther as she risks her life to save her people.
The events in chapter 4 take place in the Persian capital of Susa, during the reign of King Ahasuerus. The king has banished his queen, Vashti, and is now searching for a new queen. Esther, a young Jewish woman, is chosen to be part of the king's harem and eventually becomes his queen. However, the king is unaware of Esther's Jewish heritage, as she has kept it a secret at the advice of her cousin Mordecai.
The chapter begins with Mordecai's reaction to the king's decree to annihilate all the Jews in the empire. He is filled with grief and mourning, tearing his clothes and putting on sackcloth and ashes. This was a traditional way of showing deep sorrow and distress in ancient times. Mordecai's actions also symbolize the dire situation of the Jews, who are facing imminent destruction.
Mordecai's grief and mourning are not just for himself and his people, but also for Esther, who is now in a dangerous position as queen. He sends her a message through one of the king's eunuchs, asking her to go to the king and plead for the lives of her people. However, Esther is hesitant to do so, as approaching the king without being summoned could result in her death.
Esther's initial response to Mordecai's request is one of fear and hesitation. She reminds him that anyone who approaches the king without being summoned risks being put to death, even if they are the queen. This shows the power and authority of the king in the Persian empire.
However, Mordecai's response challenges Esther to think beyond her own safety and consider the fate of her people. He tells her that if she remains silent, she and her family will not be spared from the destruction that is coming. This prompts Esther to make a bold decision, saying, "I will go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16).
The fourth chapter of the Book of Esther highlights several important themes that are relevant to our lives today. One of the main themes is the power of faith and courage in the face of adversity. Mordecai's actions and Esther's decision to risk her life for her people demonstrate their unwavering faith in God and their courage to stand up for what is right, even in the face of danger.
Another important theme is the power of unity and community. Mordecai's grief and mourning are not just for himself, but for all the Jews who are facing destruction. He understands the importance of standing together and supporting one another in times of crisis. This is also evident in Esther's decision to approach the king, as she is willing to risk her life for the sake of her people.
The chapter also highlights the importance of taking action and not remaining silent in the face of injustice. Mordecai's words to Esther, "who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14), remind us that we are all placed in certain positions for a purpose, and it is our responsibility to use our influence and resources for the greater good.
Furthermore, the chapter also shows the power of prayer and fasting. Mordecai and the Jews in Susa fast and pray for three days, seeking God's guidance and protection. This demonstrates their reliance on God and their belief that He is in control of their situation.
In conclusion, chapter 4 of the Book of Esther in the KJV Holy Bible is a powerful and significant chapter that highlights the themes of faith, courage, unity, and taking action in the face of adversity. It also reminds us of the importance of relying on God and seeking His guidance and protection in times of crisis. The chapter serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and that with faith and courage, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way.