וּמָרְדֳּכַי יָדַע אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָׂה וַיִּקְרַע מָרְדֳּכַי אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וַיִּלְבַּשׁ שַׂק וָאֵפֶר וַיֵּצֵא בְּתֹוךְ הָעִיר 4:1
וַיִּזְעַק זְעָקָה גְדֹלָה וּמָרָה׃
Esth. 4:1 When Mordecai recognized all that had been done, then Mordecai rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes and went forth to the midst of the city and cried out a loud and bitter cry.
וַיָּבֹוא עַד לִפְנֵי שַׁעַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אֵין לָבֹוא אֶל־שַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ בִּלְבוּשׁ שָׂק׃ 4:2
Esth. 4:2 Then he went up to the face of the gate of the king, but there was no going in to the gate of the king while wearing sackcloth.
וּבְכָל־מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה מְקֹום אֲשֶׁר דְּבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתֹו מַגִּיעַ אֵבֶל גָּדֹול לַיְּהוּדִים וְצֹום וּבְכִי וּמִסְפֵּד שַׂק 4:3
וָאֵפֶר יֻצַּע לָרַבִּים׃
Esth. 4:3 And in one province after another, every place where the word of the king and his decree might be reaching, the Jews' mourning was great, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing, sackcloth, and ashes spread for many.
וַתְּבֹואֶינָה) [וַתָּבֹואנָה] נַעֲרֹות אֶסְתֵּר וְסָרִיסֶיהָ וַיַּגִּידוּ לָהּ וַתִּתְחַלְחַל הַמַּלְכָּה מְאֹד וַתִּשְׁלַח בְּגָדִים 4:4
לְהַלְבִּישׁ אֶת־מָרְדֳּכַי וּלְהָסִיר שַׂקֹּו מֵעָלָיו וְלֹא קִבֵּל׃
Esth. 4:4 And the maids of Esther came, and her officials, and reported to her, and the queen was exceedingly distressed, and she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and to take away his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept. [Return to Esth.6:10]
The word before the left parenthesis, which is translated as And ... came, is misspelled. The yad is inappropriate and the aleph should be silent. The corrections are in the brackets.
וַתִּקְרָא אֶסְתֵּר לַהֲתָךְ מִסָּרִיסֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱמִיד לְפָנֶיהָ וַתְּצַוֵּהוּ עַל־מָרְדֳּכָי לָדַעַת מַה־זֶּה 4:5
Esth. 4:5 And Esther called for Hathach, from the officials of the king, who was stationed before her, and she gave him orders regarding Mordecai to know what this was and why it was.
וַיֵּצֵא הֲתָךְ אֶל־מָרְדֳּכָי אֶל־רְחֹוב הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי שַׁעַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 4:6
Esth. 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai, to the city plaza that was before the gate of the king.
וַיַּגֶּד־לֹו מָרְדֳּכַי אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר קָרָהוּ וְאֵת פָּרָשַׁת הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר אָמַר הָמָן לִשְׁקֹול עַל־גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ 4:7
בַּיְּהוּדִיִּים) [בַּיְּהוּדִים] לְאַבְּדָם׃
Esth. 4:7 And Mordecai told him all that had befallen him and the exact amount of silver that Haman had promised to weigh out for the treasuries of the king towards the Jews to destroy them.
The word before the left parenthesis, which is translated as towards the Jews, has an extra yad. The correction is in the brackets. This word in error (with various other prefixes attached) appears in five other places in the bible, three in Chapter 8 of this book and two in Chapter 9. And in all six of those instances the same error is identified.
[Return to Esth. 8:1] [Return to Esth. 8:7] [Return to Esth. 8:13]
[Return to Esth. 9:15] [Return to Esth. 9:18]
וְאֶת־פַּתְשֶׁגֶן כְּתָב־הַדָּת אֲשֶׁר־נִתַּן בְּשׁוּשָׁן לְהַשְׁמִידָם נָתַן לֹו לְהַרְאֹות אֶת־אֶסְתֵּר וּלְהַגִּיד לָהּ וּלְצַוֹּות 4:8
עָלֶיהָ לָבֹוא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהִתְחַנֶּן־לֹו וּלְבַקֵּשׁ מִלְּפָנָיו עַל־עַמָּהּ׃
Esth. 4:8 And he gave him a copy of the written decree that was issued in Shushan for their destruction to show Esther, and to inform her, and to charge her to go to the king to be gracious to him and to request from before him concerning her people.
וַיָּבֹוא הֲתָךְ וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶסְתֵּר אֵת דִּבְרֵי מָרְדֳּכָי׃ 4:9
Esth. 4:9 Then Hathach came and reported to Esther the words of Mordecai.
וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לַהֲתָךְ וַתְּצַוֵּהוּ אֶל־מָרְדֳּכָי׃ 4:10
Esth. 4:10 And Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to Mordecai:
כָּל־עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְעַם־מְדִינֹות הַמֶּלֶךְ יֹודְעִים אֲשֶׁר כָּל־אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר יָבֹוא־אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־הֶחָצֵר 4:11
הַפְּנִימִית אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִקָּרֵא אַחַת דָּתֹו לְהָמִית לְבַד מֵאֲשֶׁר יֹושִׁיט־לֹו הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־שַׁרְבִיט הַזָּהָב וְחָיָה וַאֲנִי
לֹא נִקְרֵאתִי לָבֹוא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ זֶה שְׁלֹושִׁים יֹום׃
Esth. 4:11 “All the servants of the king and the people of the provinces of the king are acknowledging that anyone, man or woman, who might come to the king to the inner courtyard who would not have been summoned, one was the law for him, to be put to death, except to whom the king would have extended the gold scepter that he could live, and I have not been called to come to the king this thirtieth day.”
The last three Hebrew words of this verse, translated as this thirtieth day, is mistranslated in most popular bibles. They have for this phrase these thirty days. While both translations mean pretty much the same thing (although the mistranslation is more easily understood), it demonstrates how liberties have been taken with the literal Hebrew of the bible.
וַיַּגִּידוּ לְמָרְדֳּכָי אֵת דִּבְרֵי אֶסְתֵּר׃ 4:12
Esth. 4:12 And they reported the words of Esther to Mordecai.
וַיֹּאמֶר מָרְדֳּכַי לְהָשִׁיב אֶל־אֶסְתֵּר אַל־תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית־הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים׃ 4:13
Esth. 4:13 Then Mordecai spoke to have brought back to Esther, “You must not think to yourself to escape the house of the king more than any of the Jews.”
כִּי אִם־הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמֹוד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקֹום אַחֵר וְאַתְּ וּבֵית־אָבִיךְ 4:14
תֹּאבֵדוּ וּמִי יֹודֵעַ אִם־לְעֵת כָּזֹאת הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת׃
Esth. 4:14 “Only, if you should remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance should arise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and the house of your father should perish, then who can know if for just such a time as this you came to a royal position?”
This verse makes only moderate sense to me. I get the gist of it, however, and that may be what counts here. But if relief came from another source (other than Esther speaking up), why does that mean that Esther would perish? Is Mordecai assuming here that Esther would be punished for having remained silent? Maybe. Another possibility is that if no more Jews were in the provinces then Esther’s heritage would be lost when she died.
וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לְהָשִׁיב אֶל־מָרְדֳּכָי׃ 4:15
Esth. 4:15 And Esther spoke to have brought back to Mordecai,
לֵךְ כְּנֹוס אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּשׁוּשָׁן וְצוּמוּ עָלַי וְאַל־תֹּאכְלוּ וְאַל־תִּשְׁתּוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים לַיְלָה 4:16
וָיֹום גַּם־אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי אָצוּם כֵּן וּבְכֵן אָבֹוא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־כַדָּת וְכַאֲשֶׁר אָבַדְתִּי אָבָדְתִּי׃
Esth. 4:16 “Go, collect all the Jews who are present in Shushan and have them fast for me, and you all must not eat or drink three days, night or day. I also with my maids, will fast the same. Then thus will I go to the king, which is not according to the law. And because of that I perish, I perish.”
Wow! Three days of total fast is not only extremely difficult, but it might actually cause some older or weakened people to die. Possibly they, and small children as well, would be exempt from this requirement.
וַיַּעֲבֹר מָרְדֳּכָי וַיַּעַשׂ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוְּתָה עָלָיו אֶסְתֵּר׃ 4:17
Esth. 4:17 Then Mordecai passed by and did according to everything that Esther had charged him with.
[Return to Esther Chapters] [Prev.: Esth. 3] [Next: Esth. 5]