4:1 Now when Mordecai became aware of all that had been done, he 1 tore his garments and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went out into the city, crying out in a loud 2 and bitter voice. 4:2 But he went no further than the king’s gate, for no one was permitted to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. 4:3 Throughout each and every province where the king’s edict and law were announced 3 there was considerable 4 mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. 5 Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic 6 of many. 4:4 When Esther’s female attendants and her eunuchs came and informed her about Mordecai’s behavior, 7 the queen was overcome with anguish. Although she sent garments for Mordecai to put on so that he could remove his sackcloth, he would not accept them.
1 tn Heb “Mordecai.” The pronoun (“he”) was used in the translation for stylistic reasons. A repetition of the proper name here is redundant in terms of contemporary English style.
2 tn Heb “great.”
3 tn Heb “reached” (so NAB, NLT); KJV, NASB, NIV “came”; TEV “wherever the king’s proclamation was made known.”
4 tn Heb “great” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “the Jews went into deep mourning.”
5 sn Although prayer is not specifically mentioned here, it is highly unlikely that appeals to God for help were not a part of this reaction to devastating news. As elsewhere in the book of Esther, the writer seems deliberately to keep religious actions in the background.
6 tn Heb “were spread to many”; KJV, NIV “many (+ people NLT) lay in sackcloth and ashes.”
7 tn The words “about Mordecai’s behavior” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in translation for the sake of clarity. Cf. NIV, NLT “about Mordecai”; TEV, CEV “what Mordecai was doing.”