第 2 章

1. 這事以後、亞哈隨魯王的忿怒止息、就想念瓦實提和他所行的、並怎樣降旨辦他。
Later when the anger of King Xerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her.
2. 於是王的侍臣對王說、不如為王尋找美貌的處女.
Then the king's personal attendants proposed, "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.
3. 王可以派官在國中的各省招聚美貌的處女到書珊城〔或作宮〕的女院、交給掌管女子的太監希該、給他們當用的香品.
Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.
4. 王所喜愛的女子、可以立為王后、代替瓦實提.王以這事為美、就如此行。
Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5. 書珊城有一個猶大人、名叫末底改、是便雅憫人基士的曾孫、示每的孫子、睚珥的兒子.
Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,
6. 從前巴比倫王尼布甲尼撒將猶大王耶哥尼雅(又名約雅斤)和百姓從耶路撒冷擄去、末底改也在其內。
who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah.
7. 末底改撫養他叔叔的女兒哈大沙、(後名以斯帖)、因為他沒有父母.這女子又容貌俊美、他父母死了、末底改就收他為自己的女兒。
Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8. 王的諭旨傳出、就招聚許多女子到書珊城、交給掌管女子的希該、以斯帖也送入王宮、交付希該.
When the king's order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king's palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.
9. 希該喜悅以斯帖、就恩待他、急忙給他需用的香品、和他所當得的分、又派所當得的七個宮女服事他、使他和他的宮女搬入女院上好的房屋。
The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king's palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
10. 以斯帖未曾將籍貫宗族告訴人、因為末底改囑咐他不可叫人知道。
Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.
11. 末底改天天在女院前邊行走、要知道以斯帖平安不平安、並後事如何。
Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12. 眾女子照例先潔淨身體十二個月、六個月用沒藥油、六個月用香料和潔身之物、滿了日期、然後挨次進去見亞哈隨魯王.
Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
13. 女子進去見王是這樣、從女院到王宮的時候、凡他所要的、都必給他.
And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace.
14. 晚上進去、次日回到女子第二院、交給掌管妃嬪的太監沙甲.除非王喜愛他、再提名召他、就不再進去見王。
In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15. 末底改叔叔亞比孩的女兒、就是末底改收為自己女兒的以斯帖、按次序當進去見王的時候、除了掌管女子的太監希該所派定給他的、他別無所求.凡看見以斯帖的都喜悅他。
When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
16. 亞哈隨魯王第七年十月、就是提別月、以斯帖被引入宮見王.
She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17. 王愛以斯帖過於愛眾女、他在王眼前蒙寵愛比眾處女更甚.王就把王后的冠冕戴在他頭上、立他為王后、代替瓦實提.
Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18. 王因以斯帖的緣故給眾首領和臣僕設擺大筵席、又豁免各省的租稅、並照王的厚意大頒賞賜。
And the king gave a great banquet, Esther's banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
19. 第二次招聚處女的時候、末底改坐在朝門。
When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.
20. 以斯帖照著末底改所囑咐的還沒有將籍貫宗族告訴人.因為以斯帖遵末底改的命、如撫養他的時候一樣。
But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai's instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21. 當那時候、末底改坐在朝門、王的太監中有兩個守門的辟探和提列惱恨亞哈隨魯王、想要下手害他.
During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
22. 末底改知道了、就告訴王后以斯帖.以斯帖奉末底改的名、報告於王.
But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.
23. 究察這事、果然是實、就把二人挂在木頭上、將這事在王面前寫於歷史上。
And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were hanged on a gallows. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.