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友弟德傳 Judith
1在那幾天,默辣黎的女兒友弟德也聽說了這些事。──默辣黎是敖克斯的兒子,敖克斯是若瑟的兒子,若瑟是敖齊耳的兒子,敖齊耳是厄耳基雅的兒子,厄耳基雅是阿納尼雅的兒子,阿納尼雅是基德紅的兒子,基德紅是辣法因的兒子,辣法因是阿希托布的兒子,阿希托布是厄里雅的兒子,厄里雅是希耳基雅的兒子,希耳基雅是厄里雅布的兒子,厄里雅布是納塔納耳的兒子,納塔納耳是撒拉米耳的兒子,撒拉米耳是撒辣撒待的兒子,撒辣撒待是西默盎的兒子,西默盎是以色列的兒子。──1The news of what had happened came in those days to Judith, daughter of Merari, son of Joseph, of Oziel, of Elkiah, of Ananias, of Gideon, of Raphain, of Ahitub, of Elijah, of Hilkiah, of Eliab, of Nathanael, of Salamiel, of Sarasadai, of Israel.
2她的丈夫默納舍與她同支派又同家族,是在收割大麥時死的;2Her husband was Manasseh, of the same tribe and family. He had died during the harvesting of the barley
3他在田間監督工人綑麥穗時,不料頭部中暑,一病不起,死在拜突里雅本城;人將他葬在多堂及巴拉孟之間的祖塋裡。3as he was supervising the reapers who were binding the sheaves on the plain; he suffered sunstroke, took to his bed and died in Bethulia, his town. He was buried with his ancestors in the field which lies between Dothan and Balamon.
4這時友弟德居家守寡,已有三年零四個月。4As a widow, Judith remained in her house for three years and four months.
5她在屋頂上,搭了一個帳幕,腰束苦帶,身穿寡婦衣飾。5She had built a room on the rooftop of the house where she lived.
6除了安息前日與安息日,月朔前日與月朔,以及以色列家的節期與慶典外,在她居寡期內,天天禁食。6She covered herself in sackcloth, put on widow's garments and fasted all the days of her widowhood with the exception of the eves of the Sabbath, the Sabbath day, the eves of the new moons, the days of the new moons, and all the celebrations of the people of Israel.
7她的容貌姣美,艷麗好看。她的丈夫默納舍,留下了不少金銀、奴婢、牲畜與田產,她堅守遺業,7She was exceedingly beautiful and very pleasing to look at. Manasseh, her husband, had left her gold, silver, servants, cattle and fields and she remained the owner of all this estate.
8很敬畏天主,所以說她一句壞話的人也沒有。8No one could say anything evil of her because she greatly feared God.
9她聽說百姓因為缺水,精神頹唐,向首長提出了嚴重的抗議。友弟德又聽說,敖齊雅向他們所說的話,如何向他們發誓,五天以後,必將城池交給亞述人。9She heard of the threatening words which the people had addressed to their leaders because they were downcast, suffering from lack of water. Judith also heard all that Uzziah had promised in reply, how he had sworn to hand over their city to the Assyrians at the end of five days.
10她便打發自己管家的使女,去召請城裡的長老加布黎和加爾米來。10So she sent the maidservant who looked after her affairs, to call Chabris and Charmis, two elders of the town, to come and see her.
11他們一來到,友弟德就對他們說:「拜突里雅居民的首長,請聽我說!你們今天在百姓前說的話,實在不對;同時竟然對天主發誓,說五天以後,上主若不來援救,就將城池交給敵人。11They came to her house and she said to them, "Listen to me, you elders of Bethulia, for the words which you have spoken in front of the people today are not right. You did wrong to take an oath between God and yourselves, and to say that you would hand over the town to our enemies if, within a certain number of days, the Lord does not come to your help.
12你們是什麼人,今日竟敢試探天主,在人類中竟居天主之上?12Who are you to put God to the test and take God's place when you answered the people?
13如今你們儘管試驗全能的上主罷!可是你們始終一無所知!13That is not the way to call for his mercy, but rather, one that leads to his wrath.
14你們既不能探究人的心曲,又不能明悉人明悟中的思念,如何能探究那創造萬有的天主,知道他的心思,認清他的旨意?斷乎不能!兄弟們,不可觸怒上主我們的天主!14For if you cannot probe the depths of the human heart nor know what a man is thinking, how can you understand the God who has made all things? Do you know his mind or understand his thoughts? No, my brothers, do not annoy the Lord our God.
15如果他在五天內,不肯前來施救,他仍有權力在他願意的時日保護我們,或在我們仇敵前將我們消滅。15For if he does not wish to come to our help within these five days, he has the power to protect us for as many days as he wishes or else to annihilate us in front of our enemies.
16你們沒有要求保證的權利,而強迫上主,我們的天主,改變旨意,因為天主不同人一樣可以受威脅,或如人子一樣可以受支配。16As for yourselves, do not challenge the designs of the Lord our God, for God cannot give in to threats as a man does, nor can any decision be imposed upon him as it can on the sons of men.
17為此,我們只有等待他的救援,呼求他來援助;如果他願意,必會俯聽我們的呼聲。17That is why, while waiting patiently for him to save us, let us beg him to come to our help. He will listen to our plea, if it pleases him.
18何況,我們這一代從來沒有,且今日我們也沒有一支派,一家族,一村莊,一城市,像昔日一樣敬拜人造的神像。18For it has not happened in our generation nor is there among us today any tribe or family or people or city that worships gods made by human hands, as happened in days past.
19昔日為了這事,我們的祖先曾被刀斬、劫掠,在敵人前,慘遭滅亡。19It was for that reason that our fathers were handed over to be slain by the sword and pillaged, and that they suffered great disaster at the hands of their enemies.
20如今我們除了恭敬天主外,不認識別的神,所以也盼望他不會忽略我們,及我們同族的任何人。20But we do not recognize any other god than the One God, therefore let us hope that he will not look with contempt on us or on any of our race.
21如果我們投降,全猶太也必投降,我們的聖所必遭搶掠。對他們受的污辱,上主必向我們追討血債;21If the enemies capture us, so in the same way, the whole of Judea will be taken; our Sanctuary will be pillaged and we will answer for its profanation with our blood.
22同胞被屠殺,國土被掠奪,祖業遭廢棄,都要歸咎於將散居在異民中為奴的我們,我們就成為那主宰我們者的譏笑凌辱的對象了。22God will bring upon our heads the murder of our brothers, the bondage of our country and the devastation of our heritage. Wherever among the nations we shall be slaves, we shall be maltreated by those to whom we belong.
23因為我們投降,並不會轉禍為福,上主我們的天主,必因此使我們蒙受羞辱。23Our enslavement will not be changed in our favor, but the Lord our God will turn it into dishonor.
24兄弟們!如今我們應為同胞做好榜樣,因為他們的性命繫於我們,聖所、聖殿和祭壇,也賴我們來維護;24Now, my brothers, let us show our fellow countrymen that their lives depend on ours; that the safety of the Sanctuary, the Temple and the Altar rests with us.
25為了這一切,我們要感謝上主,我們的天主,因為他考驗我們,像考驗我們的祖先一樣。25Much more, let us thank the Lord our God who is putting us to the test as he did our fathers.
26請你們回憶他對亞巴郎所作的,又怎樣考驗了依撒格;看看雅各伯在敘利亞的美索不達米亞替他舅父放羊時,有了什麼遭遇。26Remember what he did with Abraham, all the trials to which he subjected Isaac and all those that happened to Jacob in Mesopotamia of Syria where he looked after the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother.
27原來他鍛鍊他們,乃是為考驗他們的心;上主也這樣鞭責我們,並不是為懲罰,乃是為警戒與他親近的人。」27Is not God making us pass through fire as he did the others to prove their hearts? The Lord is not punishing us, but he scourges those who draw near to him in order to admonish them."
28敖齊雅對她說:「你說的這一切,都是出於好心,誰也不會反對你的話。28Uzziah said to her, "All that you have said has been said with wisdom and no one can contradict your words.
29你的智慧,並不是今天初次纔顯露出來,而是自你幼年,眾百姓就已賞識你的見解,知道你的心怎樣良善。29In fact it is not just today that your wisdom is evident, but ever since your early days all the people have recognized your intelligence and the natural goodness of your heart.
30無奈,百姓渴得要命,逼迫我們,要按我們對他們所說的去行,而且還脅迫我們,發了我們不可違犯的誓。30But the people were suffering great thirst so they forced us to carry out what we have said, and they have charged us with an oath which we cannot break.
31如今請你為我們祈禱,因為你是虔誠的婦女,上主必降甘霖,注滿我們的池沼,使我們不再渴得發暈。31Since you are a devout woman, pray for us that the Lord will send rain to fill our reservoirs and we shall no longer be exhausted."
32友弟德對他們說:「請聽我說,我要作一件在我們民族的子孫中萬世流芳的事。32Judith said to them, "Listen to me, I will do something which will be handed down from generation to generation of the children of our race.
33今夜,你們應站在城門口,我要同我的使女出城,在你們所定要把城池交給敵人的日期內,上主會藉著我的手,眷顧以色列。33Tonight you will stand at the gate of the town and I will go out with my maidservant and, by the end of the time which has been fixed for you to hand over the town to our enemies, the Lord will visit Israel through my hand.
34你們不要偵查我的行動,因為在我要作的事情未完成以前,我不告訴你們。」34But do not try to find out what I shall do for I will not tell you, until I have fulfilled what I will do."
35敖齊雅與首長對她說:「你平安去罷!願上主天主引導你報復我們的敵人!」35Then Uzziah and the leaders said to her, "Go in peace and may the Lord our God go before you so that you may take vengeance upon our enemies."
36然後他們離開帳幕,回到自己的地方去了,36Then, leaving Judith's room, they went back to their posts.
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