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Ester 1

Dronning Vashtis ulydighed

1Kong Xerxes[a] af Persien regerede over et mægtigt rige, der strakte sig fra Indien mod øst til Nubien mod vest. Det var opdelt i 127 provinser.

2-4 Engang, da kongen opholdt sig i et af sine paladser i byen Susa, besluttede han at indkalde alle sine provinsguvernører, embedsmænd og militære ledere fra hele det medisk-persiske rige til en konference, der varede i seks måneder. Det var i hans tredje regeringsår.[b] Under konferencen beværtede kongen dem godt, og han demonstrerede med stolthed sin utrolige magt og rigdom.

Da konferencen var forbi, holdt kongen en fest for sine hoffolk, embedsmænd og alle med tilknytning til paladset uanset deres stilling. Festen varede en uge og blev holdt i paladsets parkområde, der til anledningen var udsmykket med grønne, hvide og blå bannere af kostbart linned, fastgjort med purpurfarvede bånd til sølvringe på søjler af hvidt marmor. Fornemme divaner belagt med guld og sølv var stillet frem på mosaikgulve af porfyr, marmor, perlemor og andre sjældne stenarter. Der blev serveret drinks i guldbægre af forskelligt design, og der var et overdådigt udvalg af udsøgte vine, som det passer sig for en mægtig monark. Der var ingen grænser for, hvor meget man måtte drikke, for kongen havde givet sine tjenere ordre til, at alle måtte drikke lige så lidt eller lige så meget, de ville.

Imens holdt dronning Vashti en tilsvarende fest for kvinderne inde i paladset.

10 På festens sidste dag, da kongen var i højt humør på grund af vinen, bad han de syv eunukker, der var hans personlige tjenere—Mehuman, Bizta, Harbona, Bigta, Abagta, Zetar og Karkas— 11 om at føre Vashti frem med dronningekronen på hovedet, så alle mændene kunne beundre hendes skønhed. Hun var nemlig usædvanlig smuk. 12 Men da hofmændene forelagde kongens ønske for dronningen, nægtede hun at adlyde. Kongen blev rasende 13 og spurgte sine rådgivere til råds, som han havde for vane, når der opstod et problem, der krævede kendskab til landets love. 14 Kongens nærmeste rådgivere var Karshena, Shetar, Admata, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena og Memukan—syv højt betroede embedsmænd i det medisk-persiske rige. De syv rådgivere havde deres daglige gang hos kongen.

15 „Hvad skal vi stille op med hende?” spurgte han dem. „Hvilken straf fastsætter loven for en dronning, der nægter at adlyde kongens officielle ordre?”

16 Memukan svarede: „Det er ikke kun kongen, hun har vanæret, men samtlige mænd i hele det persiske rige! 17 Når alle kvinderne i riget hører, at dronningen har nægtet at adlyde kongen, vil de også nægte at adlyde deres mænd, for de vil sige: ‚Kong Xerxes befalede dronning Vashti at komme til ham, men det nægtede hun.’ 18 Allerede nu har de fornemme persiske og mediske kvinder hørt, hvad hun gjorde, og de vil fra nu af behandle dine betroede embedsmænd på samme måde. Det vil resultere i opsætsighed og skænderier uden lige! 19 Hvis det behager kongen, foreslår vi, at De udsteder et dekret, som siger, at dronning Vashti aldrig mere må nærme sig kongen. Lad det blive en kongelig lov, som efter medisk-persisk retspraksis ikke kan omstødes, når først den er sat i kraft. Desuden foreslår vi, at De vælger en ny dronning, som er mere værdig til opgaven, end Vashti var. 20 Når kongens befaling bliver læst op i hele det persiske rige, vil det betyde, at alle kvinderne uanset stand fremover vil vise deres mænd respekt!”

21 Kongen og hans andre rådgivere syntes godt om Memukans forslag, som derefter blev til lov. 22 Kongen sendte en meddelelse ud til alle provinserne, som på de lokale sprog bekendtgjorde, at enhver mand er herre i sit eget hus, og at det er hans sprog, der skal tales i hjemmet.

Notas al pie

  1. 1,1 Kong Xerxes regerede fra 486-465 f.Kr. og er også kendt under navnet Ahasverus. Hans storrige var opdelt i 20 satrapper og 127 provinser. Der var fire residensbyer (Susa, Ekbatana, Babylon og Persepolis), og Susa blev brugt som vinterresidens. Landet Nubien kaldes i det Gamle Testamente Kush, og det lå mellem Egypten og Etiopien, altså i det nuværende Sudan.
  2. 1,2-4 Kort tid efter indledte Xerxes et stort felttog mod Grækenland, som dog mislykkedes. Sandsynligvis var et af konferencens formål at forberede felttoget.

New Living Translation

Esther 1

The King’s Banquet

1These events happened in the days of King Xerxes,[a] who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.[b] At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.

When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.

Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.

At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

Queen Vashti Deposed

10 On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas— 11 to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12 But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.

13 He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14 The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.

15 “What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”

16 Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17 Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18 Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.

19 “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. 20 When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”

21 The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. 22 He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.[c]

Notas al pie

  1. 1:1a Hebrew Ahasuerus, another name for Xerxes; also throughout the book of Esther. Xerxes reigned 486–465 B.c.
  2. 1:1b Hebrew to Cush.
  3. 1:22 Or and should speak in the language of his own people.