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Esters Bog 1:1-22

Dronning Vashtis ulydighed

1Kong Xerxes1,1 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. af Persien regerede over et mægtigt rige, der strakte sig fra Indien mod øst til Nubien mod vest. Det var opdelt i 127 provinser.

2-4Engang, 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.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. Under konferencen beværtede kongen dem godt, og han demonstrerede med stolthed sin utrolige magt og rigdom.

5Da 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, 6der 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. 7Der 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. 8Der 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.

9Imens holdt dronning Vashti en tilsvarende fest for kvinderne inde i paladset.

10På 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— 11om at føre Vashti frem med dronningekronen på hovedet, så alle mændene kunne beundre hendes skønhed. Hun var nemlig usædvanlig smuk. 12Men da hofmændene forelagde kongens ønske for dronningen, nægtede hun at adlyde. Kongen blev rasende 13og spurgte sine rådgivere til råds, som han havde for vane, når der opstod et problem, der krævede kendskab til landets love. 14Kongens 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?”

16Memukan svarede: „Det er ikke kun kongen, hun har vanæret, men samtlige mænd i hele det persiske rige! 17Når 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.’ 18Allerede 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! 19Hvis 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. 20Når kongens befaling bliver læst op i hele det persiske rige, vil det betyde, at alle kvinderne uanset stand fremover vil vise deres mænd respekt!”

21Kongen og hans andre rådgivere syntes godt om Memukans forslag, som derefter blev til lov. 22Kongen 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.

New International Reader's Version

Esther 1:1-22

Vashti Is Removed From Her Position as Queen

1King Xerxes ruled over the 127 territories in his kingdom. They reached from India all the way to Cush. Here is what happened during the time Xerxes ruled over the whole Persian kingdom. 2He was ruling from his royal throne in the fort of Susa. 3In the third year of his rule King Xerxes gave a feast. It was for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media were there. So were the princes and the nobles of the territories he ruled over.

4Every day for 180 days he showed his guests the great wealth of his kingdom. He also showed them how glorious his kingdom was. 5When those days were over, the king gave another feast. It lasted for seven days. It was held in the garden of the king’s courtyard. It was for all the people who lived in the fort of Susa. Everyone from the least important person to the most important was invited. 6The garden was decorated with white and blue linen banners. They hung from ropes that were made out of white linen and purple cloth. The ropes were connected to silver rings on marble pillars. There were gold and silver couches in the garden. They were placed on a floor that was made out of small stones. The floor had purple crystal, marble, mother-of-pearl and other stones of great value. 7Royal wine was served in gold cups. Each cup was different from all the others. There was plenty of wine. The king always provided as much as his guests wanted. 8He commanded that they should be allowed to drink as much or as little as they wished. He directed all his servants to give his guests what they asked for.

9Queen Vashti also gave a feast. Only women were invited. It was held in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10On the seventh day Xerxes was in a good mood because he had drunk a lot of wine. So he gave a command to the seven officials who served him. They were Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas. 11King Xerxes told them to bring Queen Vashti to him. He wanted her to come wearing her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the people and nobles. She was lovely to look at. 12The attendants told Queen Vashti what the king had ordered her to do. But she refused to come. So the king became very angry.

13It was the king’s practice to ask for advice about matters of law and fairness. So he spoke with the wise men who understood what was going on at that time. 14They were the men closest to the king. Their names were Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan. They were the seven nobles of Persia and Media. They were the king’s special advisers and the most important men in the kingdom.

15“You know the law,” the king said. “What should I do to Queen Vashti? She hasn’t obeyed my command. The officials told her what I ordered her to do, didn’t they?”

16Then Memukan gave a reply to the king and the nobles. He said, “Queen Vashti has done what is wrong. But she didn’t do it only against you, King Xerxes. She did it also against all the nobles. And she did it against the people in all the territories you rule over. 17All the women will hear about what the queen has done. Then they won’t respect their husbands. They’ll say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought to him. But she wouldn’t come.’ 18Here is what will start today. The leading women in Persia and Media who have heard about the queen’s actions will act in the same way. They’ll disobey all your nobles, just as she disobeyed you. They won’t have any respect for their husbands. They won’t honor them.

19“So if it pleases you, send out a royal order. Let it be written down in the laws of Persia and Media. Those laws can never be changed. Let the royal order say that Vashti can never see you again. Also let her position as queen be given to someone who is better than she is. 20And let your order be announced all through your entire kingdom. Then all women will have respect for their husbands, from the least important to the most important.”

21The king and his nobles were pleased with that advice. So he did what Memukan had suggested. 22The king sent messages out to every territory in the kingdom. He sent them to each territory in its own writing. He sent them to every nation in its own language. The messages announced that every man should rule over his own family, using his own language.