Est 4:1 When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.

Mordecai had every reason to grieve at the edict of Haman because his refusal to acknowledge Haman’s promotion had jeopardized the whole Jewish race.

Est 4:2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it.

Est 4:3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Est 4:4 When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.

Est 4:5 Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

Est 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate.

Est 4:7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews.

Est 4:8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to urge her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Est 4:9 Hathach went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said.

Est 4:10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai,

Est 4:11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

‘Esther’s response is revealing. She did not have right of access to the throne, nor had she been summoned to the king for thirty days. Like everyone else, if she approached the king without being summoned she would be put to death unless the royal sceptre was extended to her.’ (NBC)

Est 4:12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,

Est 4:13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.

Est 4:14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

“For such a time as this?” – ‘The book of Esther strongly supports and illustrates the doctrine of divine providence, as it operated at a particular time of danger to the Jewish people who lived under Persian domination. Mordecai’s question, ‘And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’ (4:14), posed at the moment of crisis, leads the reader to expect Esther to intervene successfully, because providence had already been at work in her selection as queen. This impression is confirmed when the king extended his sceptre to Esther and received her request. As events unfolded and Haman was hanged on his own gallows, while Mordecai was promoted to high office, the dramatic reversal is so unexpected as to require supernatural explanation. Even people of other nationalities came to the same conclusion (8:17), which involved them in accepting that the God who worked justice for his people must be the true God. They therefore declared their faith in him.’ (NBC)

‘This is a theological high point in the book. Mordecai believed that God guides in political events and in individual lives, even though those in power do not acknowledge him.’ (NBC)

Est 4:15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:

Est 4:16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Est 4:17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.