11-3 アハシュエロスは、インドからエチオピヤにまで及ぶ広大なメド・ペルシヤ帝国の皇帝でしたが、その治世の第三年に、シュシャンの王宮で盛大な祝宴を催しました。皇帝は各地から、総督、随員、将校たちをみな招待しました。 4 お祭り騒ぎは六か月も続き、帝国の富と栄光を誇示する、またとない機会となりました。
5 この期間が終わると、王は門番から高官に至るまで王宮に仕える者を招いて、庭園で七日間、酒宴を催しました。 6 大理石の柱の銀の輪には、飾り用の緑、白、青の布が紫のリボンで結びつけられ、黒、赤、白、黄色の大理石がはめ込まれたモザイク模様の歩道には、金銀の長いすが並べてありました。 7 飲み物は、多種多様な金の杯に、なみなみとつがれています。すっかり気が大きくなった王は、王室とっておきのワインなども惜しげもなくふるまいました。 8 酒を飲むのは全く自由で、むりやり勧められることも、あえて遠慮させられることもありません。王が役人たちに、皆の好きなようにさせよと言っておいたからです。 9 同じころ、王妃ワシュティも、王宮の婦人たちを集めて宴を開いていました。
10 さて、最後の七日目のことです。かなり酒のまわった王はつい調子に乗り、王に仕えるメフマン、ビゼタ、ハルボナ、ビグタ、アバグタ、ゼタル、カルカスら七人の役人を呼び、 11 王妃ワシュティに王冠をかぶらせて連れて来るようにと命じました。絶世の美女である彼女の美しさを、人々に見せたかったのです。 12 役人たちがその旨を伝えたところ、王命にもかかわらず、王妃は言うことを聞こうとしませんでした。これを知った王は怒りに燃えました。
16 メムカンが一同を代表して答えました。「陛下。王妃は、陛下ばかりか、役人や全国民にまで悪い手本を残しました。 17 と申しますのも、これをいいことに、国中の女どもは王妃のまねをして、夫に逆らうに違いないからです。 18 今晩にも、国中の役人の妻たちは、夫たちに口答えすることでしょう。そうなれば、陛下、領地内はくまなく軽蔑や怒りであふれます。 19 もしよろしければ、勅令を出し、絶対不変のメディヤとペルシヤの国の法令として、ワシュティ王妃を永久追放にし、代わりにもっとふさわしい王妃を選ぶことをご宣言ください。 20 この勅令が帝国のすみずみまで及べば、身分にかかわりなく、妻に対する夫の尊厳は守られるでしょう。」
21 王も側近たちも、なるほど、そのとおりだと思い、メムカンの意見に従うことにしました。 22 こうして王は各州に通達を出し、それぞれの民族のことばで、男はみな一家を治めるべきことを命じ、また家長としての威厳を保つことを強調したのです。
The Banquets of the King
1It was in the days of Ahasuerus ([a]Xerxes) who reigned from India to Ethiopia (Cush) over 127 provinces, 2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in [b]Susa [the capital of the Persian Empire], 3 in the third year of his reign he held a banquet for all his officials and his attendants. The army officers of Persia and Media, the nobles and the officials of the provinces were there in his presence. 4 And he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days in all.
5 When these days were completed, the king held a banquet for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa [the capital], from the greatest [in importance] to the least, a seven-day feast in the courtyard of the garden of the king’s palace. 6 There were curtains (draperies) of fine white and violet linen fastened with cords of fine purple linen to silver rings and marble columns. The couches of gold and silver rested on a mosaic floor of [c]porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious colored stones. 7 Drinks were served in various kinds of golden goblets, and the royal wine was plentiful, in accordance with the generosity of the king. 8 The drinking was carried on in accordance with the law; no one was compelled [to drink], for the king had directed each official of his household to comply with each guest’s wishes. 9 Queen Vashti also held a [separate] banquet for the women in the palace of King Ahasuerus.
Queen Vashti’s Refusal
10 On the seventh day, when the king’s heart was joyful with wine (in high spirits), he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven [d]eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus [as his attendants], 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, [e]wearing her royal crown (high turban), to display her beauty before the people and the officials, for she was lovely to see. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command, which was delivered [to her] by the eunuchs. So the king became extremely angry and burned with rage.
13 Then the king spoke to the wise men who understood the times [asking for their advice]—for it was the custom of the king to speak before all those who were familiar with law and legal matters— 14 and who were close to him [as advisors]: Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media who had access to the king and were ranked highest in the kingdom. 15 [He said,] “According to the law, what is to be done with Queen Vashti because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus which was conveyed by the eunuchs?” 16 And Memucan answered in the presence of the king and the officials, “Vashti the queen has not only wronged the king but [also] all the officials (royal representatives) and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all women, causing them to look on their husbands with contempt (disrespect), since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she did not come.’ 18 This [very] day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s refusal will speak [in the same way] to all the king’s officials, and there will be plenty of contempt and anger. 19 If it pleases the king, let a royal command be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of the Persians and Medes so that it cannot be repealed or modified, that Vashti is [f]no longer to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better and more worthy than she. 20 So when the king’s great decree is proclaimed throughout his [extensive] kingdom, all women will give honor to their husbands, from the great to the insignificant.”
21 This statement (advice) pleased the king and the officials, and the king did what Memucan proposed. 22 So he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, saying that every man should be the master and rule in his own home and that [g]he should speak [in the household] in the language of his own people.
Notas al pie
- Esther 1:1 Ahasuerus’ Greek name was Xerxes (I), his Persian name was Khshayarshan. Xerxes I (also known as Xerxes the Great the son of Darius the Great), ruled 486-465 b.c. He is the Xerxes who invaded Greece, was stopped temporarily at Thermopylae, defeated at the naval battle at Salamis, and nearly annihilated at Plataea (479 b.c.). The French excavations at Susa in 1880-1890 uncovered the great palace of Xerxes, where Esther would have lived. The building covered two and one-half acres. The finds at Susa from this period were so astonishing that the Louvre in Paris devoted two large rooms to the exhibition of the treasures. Xerxes’ tomb (looted in antiquity) is believed to be among the rock-cut tombs located at Naqsh-e Rajab, an archeological site in Iran about ten miles northwest of the site of ancient Persepolis.
- Esther 1:2 Susa was located about a hundred and fifty miles east of the Tigris River. The site, now modern day Shush, Iran, is considered to be one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. An ancient tomb presumed to be that of Daniel is located in the area.
- Esther 1:6 An Egyptian rock of feldspar crystals embedded in a dark red or purple groundmass used as flooring.
- Esther 1:10 Eunuchs were the men who were placed in charge of the king’s harem, and for that reason had been castrated.
- Esther 1:11 According to Jewish tradition Ahasuerus’ guests demanded that Vashti be naked, except for her royal turban to confirm that she was the queen and not just a servant-girl. She pleaded with Ahasuerus using several arguments, one of which was that if the guests found her beautiful, they would want to ravish her and kill him; and if not, her lack of beauty would disgrace him.
- Esther 1:19 The intent may have been simply to confine Vashti to the king’s harem and put another wife on the throne. The ancient rabbis said, however, that when the king accepted the advice, he ordered that Vashti be beheaded and her head brought to him on a platter.
- Esther 1:22 In recognition of the position of her husband a foreign-born wife was to speak his language.