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艾斯德爾傳 Esther
1第三天,艾斯德爾祈禱完畢,脫去苦衣麻服,穿上艷麗服裝,1And on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's hall: now he sat upon his throne in the hall of the palace, over against the door of the house.
2刻意裝飾打扮,又呼求了鑒臨萬物,拯救眾生的天主,就帶了兩個婢女:一個扶著她那弱不禁風的身體;另一個尾隨於後,扯起她的長裙。2And when he saw Esther the queen standing, she pleased his eyes, and he held out toward her the golden sceptre, which he held in his hand: and she drew near, and kissed the top of his sceptre.
3她體態輕盈,容貌嬌艷,令人喜愛;但她此時卻心驚膽戰。3And the king said to her: What wilt then, queen Esther? what is thy request? if thou shouldst even ask one half of the kingdom, it shall be given to thee.
4經過幾道宮門,來到君王前;此時君王正高坐龍椅,身著蟒袍玉帶,金璧輝煌,使人一見生畏。4But she answered: If it please the king. I beseech thee to come to me this day, and Aman with thee to the banquet which I have prepared.
5君王抬起頭來,見王后前來,龍顏大變,怒目而視;王后登時嚇的昏迷,面無人色,倒在隨侍她的婢女身上。5And the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly, that he may obey Esther's will. So the king and Aman came to the banquet which the queen had prepared for them.
6但天主忽然轉變了君王的心,使他的態度轉為和顏悅色,急忙跑下龍椅,雙手把她抱住,及至王后甦醒,王便以溫和的言語撫慰她說:6And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine plentifully: What dost thou desire should be given thee? and for what thing askest thou? although thou shouldst ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it.
7「艾斯德爾,你有什麼事?我是你哥哥,儘管放心好了!你不至於死,王法只是限於屬下。請上前來!」7And Esther answered: My petition and request is this:
8於是拿起金杖,放在她頸上,且吻她說:「向我說罷!」8If I have found favour in the king's sight, and if it please the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfill my petition: let the king and Aman come to the banquet which I have prepared them, and tomorrow I will open my mind to the king.
9她答說:「我主,我見了你,好像見了天主的使者;一見你的威儀,我就心神慌亂了。9So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when he saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace, and that he not only did not rise up to honour him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was exceedingly angry:
10我主,你實令人驚奇,儀容又和藹可親。」10But dissembling his anger, and returning into his house, he called together to him his friends, and Zares his wife:
11她正在說話時,又暈倒了。君王因此十分擔心,眾臣僕便都設法使她甦醒過來。11And he declared to them the greatness of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory the king had advanced him above all his princes and servants.
12第三天,艾斯德爾身穿王后的華服,站在王宮的內院,面向宮殿;那時君王正坐在宮殿的寶座上,面向宮門。12And after this he said: Queen Esther also hath invited no other to the banquet with the king, but me: and with her I am also to dine tomorrow with the king:
13君王一見艾斯德爾王后在庭院內,就對她起了寵幸的心,於是向艾斯德爾伸出手中的金杖,艾斯德爾遂上前來,摸了金杖的頂端。13And whereas I have all these things, I think I have nothing, so long as I see Mardochai the Jew sitting before the king's gate.
14君王問她說:「艾斯德爾后,你有什麼事?你要求什麼?即使要求一半江山,我也必賜給你!」14Then Zares his wife, and the rest of his friends answered him: Order a great beam to be prepared, fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king, that Mardochai may be hanged upon it, and so thou shalt go full of joy with the king to the banquet. The counsel pleased him, and he commanded a high gibbet to be prepared.
15艾斯德爾答說:「若大王開恩,請大王今日與哈曼同去飲妾為陛下所預備的酒宴。」15
16王遂說:「快叫哈曼來,以滿足艾斯德爾的心願!」於是王和哈曼一同去赴艾斯德爾預備的酒宴。16
17酒興之餘,王對艾斯德爾說:「你要求什麼,我必給你;不管你求什麼,那怕是半壁江山,也必照辦。」17
18艾斯德爾答說:「這即是我的懇請和要求:18
19如果我見寵於大王,如果大王樂意俯允我的懇請,實踐我的要求,就請大王明天與哈曼,再來飲妾所設的酒宴;明天我必依照君王的命答覆陛下。」19
20那一天,哈曼出去,非常高興,滿心喜樂;但是哈曼一見在御門前的猶太人摩爾德開既不起立,也不退避,就對他滿懷憤恨,20
21卻仍忍氣回了家,且打發人叫他的朋友和愛妻則勒士來,21
22向他們誇耀自己如何富貴榮華,子女如何眾多,君王如何尊崇他,如何高舉他在眾公卿和朝臣之上。22
23他又說:「甚至,艾斯德爾王后,除我以外,沒有請任何人與君王一同赴她設的盛宴;明天又請我再同君王到她那裡去。23
24但每當我一見坐在御門前的猶太人摩爾德開時,這一切於我都乏味了!」24
25他的愛妻則勒士和他的朋友便對他說:「該做一個高五十尺的刑架,天一亮就對君王說:把摩爾德開懸在上面!這樣你可欣然與君王共同赴筵了。」哈曼看這主意不錯,就叫人做了一個刑架。25

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