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艾斯德爾傳 Esther
1摩爾德開一知道所發生的事,就撕裂了自己的衣服,披上苦衣,撒上灰土,走到京城中心,大聲哀號,1When Mordecai learned what had happened, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and walked through the city crying bitterly and loudly.
2一直走到御門前,因為身披苦衣的,不准進入御門。2But he came only as far as the king's gate, for no one in sackcloth was allowed to enter.
3此時在各省裡,凡是諭文與敕令傳到的地方,猶太人都哀號、禁食、哭泣、悲痛;許多人且身穿苦衣,躺在灰土中。3In every province where the king's edict was read, there was great mourning among the Jews; fasting and weeping with lamentation, and many of them slept on sackcloth and ashes.
4艾斯德爾的宮女和太監跑來報告給她,王后得悉,萬分悲傷,立即送衣服去,叫摩爾德開穿上,脫下苦衣;但是他沒有接受。4Queen Esther's maids and eunuchs informed her about Mordecai. Overcome with grief, she sent clothes for Mordecai to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he refused.
5艾斯德爾就叫王派來侍侯她的太監哈塔客來,吩咐他去見摩爾德開,探聽一下發生了何事,為何如此。5Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs assigned to attend to her, and ordered him to find out the reason for Mordecai's action.
6哈塔客遂走到御門前的廣場,去見摩爾德開。6So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the public square in front of the king's gate.
7摩爾德開便將所遭遇的事,也將哈曼為消滅猶太人給王庫捐獻的銀錢,都詳細告訴了他,7Mordecai told him all that had happened, as well as the exact amount of money Haman had promised to contribute to the royal treasury.
8並且把在穌撒已公佈的滅絕猶太人的一分諭文交給他,轉呈艾斯德爾披閱,並請她快去懇求君王為自己的民族求情,且叫他向艾斯德爾說:「請你回憶你孤苦零丁的時候,怎樣在我手下長大成人。如今一人之下的哈曼已求准要處死我們。請你呼求上主,並為我們向君王求情,救我們不死!」8He also gave Hathach a copy of the written decree for their destruction, to show and explain to Esther. He further told him to urge her to go to the king to beg for mercy and intercede for her people: "Remember the days of your lowly estate when you were brought up in my charge. Haman, who is next to the king, has asked for our death. Pray to the Lord and speak to the king for us. Save us from death."
9哈塔客回來,將摩爾德開的話回報給艾斯德爾。9Hathach returned to Esther and told her what Mordecai had said.
10艾斯德爾吩咐哈塔客去回覆摩爾德開說:10In reply, Esther gave Hathach this message for Mordecai,
11「王所有的公卿與各省的百姓都知道,任何人不論男女,未奉召見,而擅入內庭往謁君王的,除非君王向他伸出金杖賜他生存,一律應依法處死。況且我已三十天未蒙召親近君王了。」11"All the king's servants and the people of his provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king in the inner court without being summoned suffers the death penalty, unless the king grants them their life by holding out to them his golden scepter. But I have not been called to go to the king for thirty days now."
12哈塔客將艾斯德爾的話轉告給摩爾德開。12When Mordecai received Esther's words,
13摩爾德開叫他回覆艾斯德爾說:「不要心想,一個猶太人在王宮裡就可保全性命!13he sent back this answer, "Do not suppose that because you are in the king's palace, you alone of all the Jews will escape.
14決不會。在這生死關頭,你若緘默不言,猶太人也必會從別處得到救援和援助。但是,在這光景下,你和你的家族必遭滅亡。誰知你之所以得涉足朝廷,不正是為了挽救現在的危機呢!」14If you remain silent now, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows - perhaps you have come to the throne for just such a time as this."
15艾斯德爾令人轉告摩爾德開說:15Esther sent back her reply to Mordecai,
16去召集一切住在穌撒的猶太人,為我禁食,三天三夜不吃不喝。同時,我與我的宮女,也同樣禁食;此後,我就越規去見君王,即便我死,死也情願!」16"Go, gather all the Jews who are in Susa. Fast for me - all of you; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will also fast. Then I will go to the king, even if it is against the law. If I die for this, let it be."
17於是摩爾德開走了,進行艾斯德爾所吩咐他的一切事。17Mordecai went away and carried out Esther's instructions.
18摩爾德開想起了上主所作的一切,就向上主哀求說:18
19「上主,上主!全能的君王!萬事都屬你權下,若你願意拯救以色列,誰也不能反抗。19
20你造了天地,以及天下的千奇萬妙之物;你是萬有的主宰。上主,誰能抵抗你?20
21上主!你洞察萬事,知道我不叩拜蠻橫的哈曼,並不是出於傲慢、自大,或任何貪求虛榮的心;反之,若為了以色列的安全,需要跪吻他的腳掌,我也在所不辭。21
22但是,我這樣做,是不願將人的光榮,置諸天主的光榮以上;並且,我的上主,除了你以外,我決不叩拜任何人。我如此做,不是出於傲僈。22
23上主,天主,天地的君王,亞巴郎的天主!現今求你憐憫你的民族!因為人決意要消滅我們,要摧殘自始就屬於你的產業。23
24求你不要輕視你從埃及為你自己贖出的產業!24
25願你俯聽我的祈求,憐憫你的家業,化哀傷為喜慶,使我們能生存在世界上,歌頌你的聖名。上主!求你不要讓那些讚美你的口舌喪亡!」25
26此時,全以色列都竭力呼救,因為他們已面臨死亡。26
27艾斯德爾王后,自覺也有死的威脅,於是投奔到上主前;脫去華服,穿上悲傷哀悼的衣裳,頭上撒上灰塵和糞土,以代替貴重的香膏,嚴厲刻苦肉身,頭髮散垂,毫無裝飾,向上主以色列的天主祈禱說:27
28「我的上主!只有你是我們的君王,求你援助我這孤苦無靠的人!除你以外,我沒有別的救援,因為危險已迫於眉睫。28
29我自幼在我父家,就聽說是你,上主,從各民族中揀選了以色列;又從各民族的祖先中揀選了我們的祖先,作你永遠的產業:凡你所預許的,無不一一給他們實踐。29
30但是現今我們犯罪得罪了你,你將我們交在敵人的手中,因為我們敬奉了他們的神祇;上主,你如此作,是公義的。30
31我們備受奴役慘痛的苦楚,他們尚以為不足,如今還向他們的神祇宣誓:要廢除你發出的號令,消滅你的家業,杜絕頌揚你的口舌,熄滅你聖殿的光輝,拆毀你的祭壇,31
32放縱異教人的口舌,去稱揚虛偽的偶像,永遠崇拜一個有血肉的君王。32
33上主!不要將你的權杖,交與那些根本是虛無的人物;不要使他們嘲笑我們的沒落,反使他們的陰謀傷害自己,作為那謀害我們者的鑑戒。33
34上主!求你記念我們,在這災難之時,求你顯現!神明的君王,全能的主宰,求增我勇氣!34
35賜我在猛獅前,口能說動聽的話;求你轉變他的心意,去憎恨我們的仇人,使那人和與他同謀的人,同歸於盡。35
36惟願你親手拯救我們!上主!求你授助我這孤苦無告的人,除你以外,我沒有別的依靠。36
37你洞悉一切,知我憎恨所有不法者的光榮,厭惡未受割損者和一切異民的床褥;37
38你知道我是迫不得已,因為我憎惡上朝時戴在我頭上的那尊貴的徽號:憎厭它像沾了不潔的褻布;在我獨居時,我決不佩戴。38
39況且,你的婢女沒有吃過哈曼席上的食物,沒有嘗過君王的盛宴,也沒有飲過奠祭的酒。39
40從我被帶到這裡的那一天起,直到現在,上主,亞巴郎的天主!除你以外,你的婢女沒有別的喜樂。40
41威能超眾的天主,求你俯聽失望者的呼聲,拯救我們脫離惡人的毒手,並救我脫離恐怖!」41
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