Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

以斯帖記 1

亞哈隨魯王大宴群臣

1亞哈隨魯在位期間,統治從印度到古實的一百二十七個省。 亞哈隨魯王在書珊城登基, 他在執政第三年大宴群臣,波斯和瑪代的將領、各省的貴族和大臣都在場。 整整一百八十天,他展示自己帝國的財富和王權的威榮。 之後,他又一連七天在御花園宴請書珊城裡所有的居民,無論尊卑。 御花園裡有白色的棉帳和藍色的彩帳,用細麻繩和紫色繩繫在大理石柱的銀環上。有金銀製成的床榻擺在各色斑岩、大理石、珍珠貝殼及其他貴重石頭鋪成的地上。 飲酒用的是各式各樣的金器皿,御酒大量供應,足顯王的慷慨。 喝酒有個規矩,不許勉強人,因為王吩咐過宮裡所有的侍從,招待各人要隨其所願。 瓦實提王后也在亞哈隨魯王的宮裡設宴招待女賓。

瓦實提王后被廢

10 第七天,亞哈隨魯王喝得心中暢快,就吩咐在王身邊服侍的米戶幔、比斯他、哈波拿、比革他、亞拔他、西達和甲迦七位太監, 11 去請瓦實提王后戴著后冠到王面前,向百姓和官員展現她的美貌,因為她非常美麗。 12 但瓦實提王后違抗太監所傳的諭旨,拒絕前來,王非常生氣,怒火中燒。

13 王有事習慣徵求通曉律例和法則之人的意見,於是他去問精通時務的哲士。 14 那時,靠近王的有甲示拿、示達、押瑪他、他施斯、米力、瑪西拿和米姆干七位波斯和瑪代的大臣,他們常見王的面,在國中身居高位。 15 王問他們:「瓦實提王后違抗太監所傳的諭旨,按律該如何處置她?」

16 米姆干當著王和大臣們的面說:「瓦實提王后不但冒犯了王,而且有害於舉國的臣民。 17 因為王后的事必傳到所有婦女的耳中,致使她們藐視自己的丈夫,因為她們會說,『亞哈隨魯王請瓦實提王后到他面前,她卻不去。』 18 今天,波斯和瑪代的貴婦聽到王后這事,也會如此對待王的大臣,藐視和惱怒之事必層出不窮。 19 王若願意,就請降旨不准瓦實提再到王面前,把她王后的位分賜給比她更好的女子,並將此諭旨寫入波斯和瑪代的律法,永不更改。 20 王的諭旨傳遍王遼闊的國境後,所有的婦女,無論丈夫貴賤,都必尊重他們。」

21 王和大臣們都贊同米姆干的建議,王便依照他的建議, 22 用各省的文字和各族的語言寫諭旨,通告各省,丈夫要做一家之主,說話有權柄。

The Message

Esther 1

11-3 This is the story of something that happened in the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled from India to Ethiopia—127 provinces in all. King Xerxes ruled from his royal throne in the palace complex of Susa. In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The military brass of Persia and Media were also there, along with the princes and governors of the provinces.

4-7 For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital—important and unimportant alike. The party was in the garden courtyard of the king’s summer house. The courtyard was elaborately decorated with white and blue cotton curtains tied with linen and purple cords to silver rings on marble columns. Silver and gold couches were arranged on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones. Drinks were served in gold chalices, each chalice one-of-a-kind. The royal wine flowed freely—a generous king!

8-9 The guests could drink as much as they liked—king’s orders!—with waiters at their elbows to refill the drinks. Meanwhile, Queen Vashti was throwing a separate party for women inside King Xerxes’ royal palace.

10-11 On the seventh day of the party, the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs who were his personal servants (Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) to bring him Queen Vashti resplendent in her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good-looking.

12-15 But Queen Vashti refused to come, refused the summons delivered by the eunuchs. The king lost his temper. Seething with anger over her insolence, the king called in his counselors, all experts in legal matters. It was the king’s practice to consult his expert advisors. Those closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven highest-ranking princes of Persia and Media, the inner circle with access to the king’s ear. He asked them what legal recourse they had against Queen Vashti for not obeying King Xerxes’ summons delivered by the eunuchs.

16-18 Memucan spoke up in the council of the king and princes: “It’s not only the king Queen Vashti has insulted, it’s all of us, leaders and people alike in every last one of King Xerxes’ provinces. The word’s going to get out: ‘Did you hear the latest about Queen Vashti? King Xerxes ordered her to be brought before him and she wouldn’t do it!’ When the women hear it, they’ll start treating their husbands with contempt. The day the wives of the Persian and Mede officials get wind of the queen’s insolence, they’ll be out of control. Is that what we want, a country of angry women who don’t know their place?

19-20 “So, if the king agrees, let him pronounce a royal ruling and have it recorded in the laws of the Persians and Medes so that it cannot be revoked, that Vashti is permanently banned from King Xerxes’ presence. And then let the king give her royal position to a woman who knows her place. When the king’s ruling becomes public knowledge throughout the kingdom, extensive as it is, every woman, regardless of her social position, will show proper respect to her husband.”

21-22 The king and the princes liked this. The king did what Memucan proposed. He sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in its own script, to each people in their own language: “Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes.”