以斯帖记 Esther

章: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1:1 亚哈随鲁作王,从印度直到古实,统管一百二十七省。

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

1:2 亚哈随鲁王在书珊城的宫登基。

That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

1:3 在位第三年,他一切首领臣仆设摆筵席,有波斯和米底亚的权贵,就是各省的贵胄与首领,在他面前。

In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:

1:4 他把他荣耀之国的丰富,和他美好威严的尊贵,给他们看了许多日,就是一百八十日。

When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

1:5 这日子满了,又为所有住书珊城的大小人民,在御园的院子里设摆筵席七日。

And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;

1:6 有白色,绿色,蓝色的帐子,用细麻绳,紫色绳从银环内系在白玉石柱上。有金银的床榻摆在红,白,黄,黑玉石铺的石地上。

Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

1:7 用金器皿赐酒,器皿各有不同。御酒甚多,足显王的厚意。

And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

1:8 喝酒有例,不准勉强人,因王吩咐宫里的一切臣宰,让人各随己意。

And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure.

1:9 王后瓦实提在亚哈随鲁王的宫内,也为妇女设摆筵席。

Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

1:10 第七日,亚哈随鲁王饮酒,心中快乐,就吩咐在他面前侍立的七个太监,米户幔,比斯他,哈波拿,比革他,亚拔他,西达,甲迦,

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

1:11 请王后瓦实提头戴王后的冠冕到王面前,使各等臣民看她的美貌,因为她容貌甚美。

To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

1:12 王后瓦实提却不肯遵太监所传的王命而来,所以王甚发怒,心如火烧。

But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

1:13 那时,在王左右常见王面,国中坐高位的,有波斯和米底亚的七个大臣,就是甲示拿,示达,押玛他,他施斯,米力,玛西拿,米母干,

Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:

1:14 都是达时务的明哲人。按王的常规,办事必先询问知例明法的人。王问他们说,

And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)

1:15 王后瓦实提不遵太监所传的王命,照例应当怎样办理呢。

What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?

1:16 米母干在王和众首领面前回答说,王后瓦实提这事,不但得罪王,并且有害于王各省的臣民。

And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

1:17 因为王后这事必传到众妇人的耳中,说,亚哈随鲁王吩咐王后瓦实提到王面前,她却不来,她们就藐视自己的丈夫。

For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

1:18 今日波斯和米底亚的众夫人听见王后这事,必向王的大臣照样行。从此必大开藐视和忿怒之端。

Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.

1:19 王若以为美,就降旨写在波斯和米底亚人的例中,永不更改,不准瓦实提再到王面前,将她王后的位分赐给比她还好的人。

If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.

1:20 所降的旨意传遍通国(国度本来广大),所有的妇人,无论丈夫贵贱都必尊敬他。

And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

1:21 王和众首领都以米母干的话为美,王就照这话去行,

And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:

1:22 发诏书,用各省的文字,各族的方言通知各省,使为丈夫的在家中作主,各说本地的方言。

For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.

以斯帖记1参考

以斯帖记的故事发生的年代、背景是──
1:1 以斯帖记的故事发生在公元前483年,即尼布甲尼撒王掳走犹大人后的第103年(参王下25:1-21),所罗巴伯率领首批被掳者返回耶路撒冷后的第54年(参拉1:1-2:70),亦是以斯拉率领第二批被掳者回归耶路撒冷之前的25年(参拉7:1-10)。以斯帖生活在波斯帝国(前称巴比伦,于公元前539年亡国)。虽然塞鲁士王曾准许被掳的犹太人返回耶路撒冷,但以斯帖的父母想必是选择留在波斯。波斯境内的犹太人享有很大的自由,他们或因为已在那里建立了事业、生活安稳,或恐怕回国旅程艰险,故大多选择留下。

这个波斯帝国的国王为人如何?
1:1 亚哈随鲁王又称薛西斯大帝,是波斯的第五个王(公元前486-465年),为人骄傲冲动,这从第一章记载的事件便可见一斑。他的冬季皇宫设于书珊城(即1:3-7所记载设宴的地点)。波斯王出征讨伐前,通常都会摆设盛大的筵席。亚哈随鲁王于公元前481年出征希腊,在温泉关取得重大胜利,翌年在撒拉米斯却被击溃,须返回波斯。又过了一年,以斯帖成为皇后(公元前479年)。
摆设一百八十天的□席,太过分了……
1:4 庆宴持续六个月,目的在于策划入侵希腊的战略,并证明王有足够的财力来支持战事。在这里,发动战争是为了夺取更多的财富、土地和权力,并非为求自保。

我有没有像波斯人那样,喜欢炫耀财富,即使不在明里也在暗中?
1:5-7 波斯在当时是超级强国,皇帝既是权力的中心,也是世界上最富有的人之一。他们爱炫耀财富,甚至把名贵宝石戴在胡子上。波斯男子以戴不同的宝石代表不同阶级,士兵甚至戴上大量的金饰前赴战场。

王后瓦实提在希腊文中叫作──
1:9 古希腊文献称亚哈随鲁王的妻子为“阿美斯特丽”,相信这是瓦实提的希腊文名字。王后瓦实提虽于公元前484/483年被废黜,但古文献记载,在她儿子亚达薛西继承王位后的统治期间,她是他的母后;这可能是由于亚哈随鲁王统治末期以斯帖已去世,或是瓦实提通过儿子夺回权力。

太监不但古代中国有,外国也有,这是因为──
1:10 一些近身内侍须受阉割成为太监,以防繁衍后代,篡位为王。

一时冲动作出的决定往往失水准、甚至荒谬──
1:10-11 亚哈随鲁王被酒冲昏头脑,失去理性,作出冲动的决定,而事后懊悔不已(2:1)。头脑不清时,所作的决定都是不明智的;因此,不要想做甚么就去做,要三思而后行。

抗拒王命的后果,难道瓦实提不晓得吗?
1:12 瓦实提抗拒王命,不想在男性官员前露面,让他们欣赏,这可能是由于波斯习俗不许妇女在男性群体中露面。她心中必有矛盾:到底要随从波斯习俗,抑或听从王命?最后她选择了违抗半醉的王夫,希望他迟些会省悟。有说法谓瓦实提当时已怀有亚达薛西(生于公元前483年),因而不想在公众场合露面。
  不论原因如何,她违反了圣旨,顿使亚哈随鲁王感到难堪,因为所颁布的命令不能朝令夕改(参8:8注释)。此外,他正想出征希腊,邀请境内所有的高官云集宫中,藉此炫耀财富和权力;倘若连妻子都不顺服他,对他的权威是极大的蔑视,而且亚哈随鲁王亦习惯要风得风,因此勃然大怒。

“达时务的明哲人”,也就是谋士吧──
1:13-15 像古今大多数帝王一样,亚哈随鲁王罗致了一批谋士,几乎事事求问他们的意见。王的成败常赖这些谋士的智慧,但以理就是一个例子。他历任数代波斯王的谋士,向大利乌、塞鲁士(参但6:28),甚至继后三代的帝王进谏。

当时的君王与王后的关系如何?
1:15 中东的帝王与妻子的关系通常并不亲密,亚哈随鲁王也不例外,这从下列事例可见:(1)他拥有后宫(2:3);(2)他不尊重瓦实提的意愿(1:13-15);(3)后来当以斯帖作皇后时,他曾许久没有召见她(4:11)。

男人为何怕女人不尊重自己?你有没有这种心态?
1:16-21 这批臣子可能因醉酒而丧失理智。很明显,订立这条法例不会使全国妇女尊重丈夫。男女能互相尊重欣赏,是因彼此认识到双方均照神的形像所造,而不是因法令典章的规定。夫妻间互爱互重,不是出于勉强。

王旨“永不更改”,是奉承话还是真的?
1:19 波斯帝王被人民视为神一般,圣旨一出,便永远有效(参8:8注释及但6:8)。就算律例无理也不能废除。不过如有需要,王可另颁新例来抵销旧例。

是高压还是诱导,不仅仅是统治的艺术问题,你看呢?
1:20-21 统治方法之一是颁布法令,强迫人民遵守;亚哈随鲁王和他的谋士就是选择这个方法。不过耶稣提醒我们,凌驾众人之上的统治,绝非信徒所当做的(参太20:25-26,)。

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