1And Esther the queen, seized with deathly anxiety, fled to the Lord; 2she took off her splendid apparel and put on the garments of distress and mourning, and instead of costly perfumes she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she utterly humbled her body, and every part that she loved to adorn she covered with her tangled hair. 3And she prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said:
"O my Lord, thou only art our King; help me, who am alone and have no helper but thee, 4for my danger is in my hand. 5Ever since I was born I have heard in the tribe of my family that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers from among all their ancestors, for an everlasting inheritance, and that thou didst do for them all that thou didst promise. 6And now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast given us into the hands of our enemies, 7because we glorified their gods. Thou art righteous, O Lord! 8And now they are not satisfied that we are in bitter slavery, but they have covenanted with their idols 9to abolish what thy mouth has ordained and to destroy thy inheritance, to stop the mouths of those who praise thee and to quench thy altar and the glory of thy house, 10to open the mouths of the nations for the praise of vain idols, and to magnify for ever a mortal king. 11O Lord, do not surrender thy scepter to what has no being; and do not let them mock at our downfall; but turn their plan against themselves, and make an example of the man who began this against us. 12Remember, O Lord; make thyself known in this time of our affliction, and give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! 13Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of him and those who agree with him. 14But save us by thy hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but thee, O Lord. 15Thou hast knowledge of all things; and thou knowest that I hate the splendor of the wicked and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised and of any alien. 16Thou knowest my necessity-that I abhor the sign of my proud position, which is upon my head on the days when I appear in public. I abhor it like a menstruous rag, and I do not wear it on the days when I am at leisure. 17And thy servant has not eaten at Haman's table, and I have not honored the king's feast or drunk the wine of the libations. 18Thy servant has had no joy since the day that I was brought here until now, except in thee, O Lord God of Abraham. 19O God, whose might is over all, hear the voice of the despairing, and save us from the hands of evildoers. And save me from my fear!"