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艾斯德尔传 Esther
1这些事以后,薛西斯王的盛怒遂平息了,不再回念瓦市提和她所作的事,也不再追究对她所决定的事。1Later when his anger had cooled, King Ahasuerus remembered Vashti's disobedience and his decree against her.
2于是侍奉君王的仆役说:「应为大王另选美貌的年轻处女;2The king's courtiers proposed, "Let beautiful young girls be chosen for the king.
3大王可指派委员到全国各省,把所有美貌的轻处女,都召集到稣撒禁城的后宫来,由管理嫔妃的王家太监赫革负责照应,供给她们美容润身的香料。3Let him appoint commissioners throughout the provinces of his realm to bring all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa. Let them be put under the care of the royal eunuch Hegai, custodian of women, and let them be given ointments for beauty treatment.
4那中悦君王的处女,就得代瓦市提为后。」这建议正合了王的心,王就照样进行。4Then let the girl who pleases the king take Vashti's place." The king was pleased with the suggestion and he acted on it.
5在稣撒禁城内,有一个犹太人,名叫摩尔德开,是雅依尔的儿子,史米的孙子,本雅明族人克士的曾孙,5Now there lived in Susa a Jew named Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite
6克士是巴比伦王拿步高由耶路撒冷将犹大王耶苛尼雅掳去时,被掳的俘虏之一。6who had been exiled from Jerusalem among the captives taken away with King Jeconiah of Judah by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
7摩尔德开抚养了他的堂妹哈达撒,又名叫艾斯德尔,她自幼就丧失父母。这女孩身材标致,容貌美丽,自她父母去世后,摩尔德开就收她作自己的女儿。7Mordecai was foster father to his cousin Hadassah, that is Esther, who had lost both father and mother. The girl had a lovely face and figure. On the death of her parents, Mordecai had adopted her as his daughter.
8不久,皇帝的谕旨和诏令,传遍了全国,许多少女都被召到稣撒禁城,受赫革的监护,艾斯德尔也被带到王宫,交与管理嫔妃的赫革看管。8In compliance with the king's edict, a great number of young girls were brought to Susa and entrusted to Hegai. Esther was among them.
9她很讨赫革喜悦,大得他的宠爱,遂立即供给她美容润身的物品和所需食品,并选派了七个美丽的宫女服侍她,又将她和她的侍女迁移到后宫最好的宫院里。9Esther pleased the custodian of women and won his favor. He not only promptly provided her with cosmetics and good food but assigned to her seven special maids from the king's household and transferred her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
10但艾斯德尔却没有说出她自己的民族和身世,因为摩尔德开早已吩咐她不要提及此事。10Esther did not reveal her nationality or family, for Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.
11此后,摩尔德开天天在后宫的庭院前徘徊,好打听艾斯德尔的消息,想知道她的情形如何。11Each day Mordecai would walk up and down the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was faring.
12在每个处女轮流去见薛西斯王以前,都该先按嫔妃的规则,度过十二个月的「润身期:」六个月应用没药汁,六个月应用香液,以及女人润身的修饰品。12After a preparation of twelve months decreed for the women, each of them had to appear in turn before King Ahasuerus. This preparatory period was for beautifying treatment: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics.
13有了这样的准备,少女才可去见君王;凡她所要求的,都应让她由后宫带进王宫去。13Then when the girl was to present herself to the king, she was allowed to take with her from the harem to the king's palace anything she wanted.
14她晚上进去,次日早晨回到另一座后宫,受君王管理嫔妃的太监沙市加次的监护;除非君王宠爱她,提名召她,她不得再亲近君王。14She would go there in the evening and return the following morning to another harem under the care of the royal eunuch Shaashgaz, custodian of the concubines. She would not go back to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15一轮到摩尔德开的叔父阿彼海耳的女儿──即摩尔德开的养女──艾斯德尔去见君王的时候,除了管理嫔妃的王家太监赫革给她预备的东西以外,她什么也不要;凡看见艾斯德尔的人,没有不喜爱她的。15When the turn came for Esther - the daughter of Abihail whom Mordecai had adopted from his uncle - to go to the king, she asked for nothing beyond what the eunuch Hegai had given her; and yet she won the admiration of all who saw her.
16艾斯德尔在薛西斯为王第七年十月即「太贝特」月,被召进王宫。16Esther was brought to King Ahasuerus in his palace in the tenth month called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17王爱艾斯德尔超过所有的嫔妃。在所有的处女中,她最得君王的欢心和喜爱。王便将后冠戴在她头上,立她为王后,以代瓦市提。17The king liked Esther more than any of the other women. Having won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins, she received the royal crown and was made queen in place of Vashti.
18于是,王给众文武官员摆设盛宴,一连七天,号为艾斯德尔宴,又给全国各省颁赐大赦,并按照君王的法度敕赠御品。18The king then gave a great banquet in honor of Esther for all his officials and ministers; he proclaimed a holiday for all the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
19当二次召集处女时,摩尔德开仍在御门供职。19When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.
20那时艾斯德尔,按著摩尔德开事先给她吩咐了的,还没有透露自己的身世和种族:凡摩尔德开吩咐的,艾斯德尔必尽力遵守,如同昔日受他抚养时一样。20Up to this time Esther had not revealed her family background or nationality, in compliance with Mordecai's instructions. She followed his advice just as she had when she was being brought up by him.
21摩尔德开在御门供职的时候,王的两个守门太监,彼革堂和特勒士,因一时忿怒,就设计对薛西斯王下毒手。21It was during the time that Mordecai spent at the king's gate, that Bagathan and Thares, two of the royal eunuchs who guarded the entrance, conspired to assassinate King Ahasuerus.
22但摩尔德开一发觉了那阴谋,就告知艾斯德尔王后,艾斯德尔便以摩尔德开的名义转告君王。22Mordecai learned of the plot and informed Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mor-decai.
23那阴谋经过调查证实以后,就将他们二人悬在木架上,处以极刑。此事的原委,当着君王的面,记录在年鉴内。23The matter was investigated, found to be true, and the two conspirators were hanged on the gallows. The incident was recorded in the Book of Chronicles in the presence of the king.
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