Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Esther 1

I really don't know where this is going to take me. Esther is very offensive to some people. I suppose that's too bad. All of us have our touch points that offend us. Where is offence located?

The first thing I notice is that this a sumptuous environment. The language is sumptuous. I'm not sure I am up to it. Of course, sometimes I'm not sure what I am up to.

Out of necessity, I have frequently translated words related to מלך as 'king'. In this chapter, I have used royal estate for kingdom where the owner is the queen, Vashti. In some ways this opening chapter is very funny. The 'ultimate influence' of the male is old news. It does, of course, in this book of Esther, lead into the subject of other prejudice with predictable poison at its root.

Perhaps that will do for an overall moral. Let's see.

Esther 1
וַיְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ
ה֣וּא אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ הַמֹּלֵךְ֙ מֵהֹ֣דּוּ וְעַד־כּ֔וּשׁ שֶׁ֛בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָ֖ה מְדִינָֽה
1 And it was in the days of Ahasuerus,
(this is Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Cush, one hundred and twenty seven provinces),
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בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם
כְּשֶׁ֣בֶת ׀ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ עַ֚ל כִּסֵּ֣א מַלְכוּת֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָֽה
2 in those days,
when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom which was in Shushan, the temple precincts,
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בִּשְׁנַ֤ת שָׁלוֹשׁ֙ לְמָלְכ֔וֹ עָשָׂ֣ה מִשְׁתֶּ֔ה לְכָל־שָׂרָ֖יו וַעֲבָדָ֑יו
חֵ֣יל ׀ פָּרַ֣ס וּמָדַ֗י הַֽפַּרְתְּמִ֛ים וְשָׂרֵ֥י הַמְּדִינ֖וֹת לְפָנָֽיו
3 in the year third of his reign, he made a party for all his nobles and his servants,
the wealth of Persia and Media, the patricians and the chiefs of provinces, in his presence,
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בְּהַרְאֹת֗וֹ אֶת־עֹ֙שֶׁר֙ כְּב֣וֹד מַלְכוּת֔וֹ וְאֶ֨ת־יְקָ֔ר תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת גְּדוּלָּת֑וֹ
יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֔ים שְׁמוֹנִ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת יֽוֹם
4 in his display of riches, the glory of his kingdom, and esteem, the adornment of his greatness,
days of largess, a hundred and eighty day span.
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וּבִמְל֣וֹאת ׀ הַיָּמִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה עָשָׂ֣ה הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ לְכָל־הָעָ֣ם הַנִּמְצְאִים֩ בְּשׁוּשַׁ֨ן הַבִּירָ֜ה לְמִגָּ֧דוֹל וְעַד־קָטָ֛ן מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים
בַּחֲצַ֕ר גִּנַּ֥ת בִּיתַ֖ן הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
5 In the fullness of these days, the king made for all the people that were found in Shushan, the temple precincts, from the greatest and to the least, a party of seven days,
in the court of the garden of the mansion of the king:
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ח֣וּר ׀ כַּרְפַּ֣ס וּתְכֵ֗לֶת אָחוּז֙ בְּחַבְלֵי־ב֣וּץ וְאַרְגָּמָ֔ן עַל־גְּלִ֥ילֵי כֶ֖סֶף וְעַמּ֣וּדֵי שֵׁ֑שׁ
מִטּ֣וֹת ׀ זָהָ֣ב וָכֶ֗סֶף עַ֛ל רִֽצְפַ֥ת בַּהַט־וָשֵׁ֖שׁ וְדַ֥ר וְסֹחָֽרֶת
6 Cream-white cotton and amethyst, held fast in ropes of sea silk, and purple in rolls of silver and alabaster pillars,
rods of gold and silver on marble pavement and alabaster and mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell,
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וְהַשְׁקוֹת֙ בִּכְלֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב וְכֵלִ֖ים מִכֵּלִ֣ים שׁוֹנִ֑ים
וְיֵ֥ין מַלְכ֛וּת רָ֖ב כְּיַ֥ד הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
7 and irrigated in vessels of gold, such vessels from vessels varying,
and wine of the kingdom in abundance according to the hand of the king.
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וְהַשְּׁתִיָּ֥ה כַדָּ֖ת אֵ֣ין אֹנֵ֑ס
כִּי־כֵ֣ן ׀ יִסַּ֣ד הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ עַ֚ל כָּל־רַ֣ב בֵּית֔וֹ לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת כִּרְצ֥וֹן אִישׁ־וָאִֽישׁ
8 And the imbibing was according to dictate. There was no compulsion.
For so instituted the king, all the abundance of his house, to do according to the bidding of each and every person.
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גַּ֚ם וַשְׁתִּ֣י הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה עָשְׂתָ֖ה מִשְׁתֵּ֣ה נָשִׁ֑ים
בֵּ֚ית הַמַּלְכ֔וּת אֲשֶׁ֖ר לַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֽוֹשׁ ס
9 Even Vashti the queen made a party for women,
the house of the royal estates that belonged to the king Ahasuerus.
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בַּיּוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י כְּט֥וֹב לֵב־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בַּיָּ֑יִן
אָמַ֡ר לִ֠מְהוּמָן בִּזְּתָ֨א חַרְבוֹנָ֜א בִּגְתָ֤א וַאֲבַגְתָא֙ זֵתַ֣ר וְכַרְכַּ֔ס שִׁבְעַת֙ הַסָּ֣רִיסִ֔ים הַמְשָׁ֣רְתִ֔ים אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֽוֹשׁ
10 On the seventh day, as the heart of the king was pleased with wine,
he said to Mehuman, Bizta, Xarbona, Bigta, and Abagta, Zetar and Karkas, seven eunuchs ministering the presence of the king Ahasuerus,
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לְ֠הָבִיא אֶת־וַשְׁתִּ֧י הַמַּלְכָּ֛ה לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בְּכֶ֣תֶר מַלְכ֑וּת
לְהַרְא֨וֹת הָֽעַמִּ֤ים וְהַשָּׂרִים֙ אֶת־יָפְיָ֔הּ כִּֽי־טוֹבַ֥ת מַרְאֶ֖ה הִֽיא
11 To have Vashti the queen brought to the presence of the king in the circlet of the kingdom,
to show the peoples and the nobility her beauty, for she was fine of appearance, herself.
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וַתְּמָאֵ֞ן הַמַּלְכָּ֣ה וַשְׁתִּ֗י לָבוֹא֙ בִּדְבַ֣ר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּיַ֣ד הַסָּרִיסִ֑ים
וַיִּקְצֹ֤ף הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַחֲמָת֖וֹ בָּעֲרָ֥ה בֽוֹ
12 But the queen Vashti would not come by the word of the king that was by the hand of the eunuchs,
and the king was enraged much and his poison kindled within him.
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וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לַחֲכָמִ֖ים יֹדְעֵ֣י הָֽעִתִּ֑ים
כִּי־כֵן֙ דְּבַ֣ר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לִפְנֵ֕י כָּל־יֹדְעֵ֖י דָּ֥ת וָדִֽין
13 And the king said to the shrewd who knew the times,
(for such was the word of the king in the presence of all who knew dictate and sentence),
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וְהַקָּרֹ֣ב אֵלָ֗יו‬ כַּרְשְׁנָ֤א שֵׁתָר֙ אַדְמָ֣תָא תַרְשִׁ֔ישׁ מֶ֥רֶס מַרְסְנָ֖א מְמוּכָ֑ן
שִׁבְעַ֞ת שָׂרֵ֣י ׀ פָּרַ֣ס וּמָדַ֗י רֹאֵי֙ פְּנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ הַיֹּשְׁבִ֥ים רִאשֹׁנָ֖ה בַּמַּלְכֽוּת
14 (And the near to him were Karshena, Shetar, Admata, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, Memukan,
seven nobles of Persia and Media who saw the face of the king, those sitting preeminent in the kingdom.)
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כְּדָת֙ מַֽה־לַּעֲשׂ֔וֹת בַּמַּלְכָּ֖ה וַשְׁתִּ֑י
עַ֣ל ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־עָשְׂתָ֗ה אֶֽת־מַאֲמַר֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ בְּיַ֖ד הַסָּרִיסִֽים ס
15 According to dictate, what is to be done with the queen Vashti,
in that she did not undertake the pronouncement of the king Ahasuerus by the hand of the eunuchs?
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וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מְמוּכָ֗ן לִפְנֵ֤י הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וְהַשָּׂרִ֔ים לֹ֤א עַל־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְבַדּ֔וֹ עָוְתָ֖ה וַשְׁתִּ֣י הַמַּלְכָּ֑ה
כִּ֤י עַל־כָּל־הַשָּׂרִים֙ וְעַל־כָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֕ר בְּכָל־מְדִינ֖וֹת הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֽוֹשׁ
16 And Memukan said in the presence of the king and the nobles, Not to the king alone has Vashti the queen been subversive,
but to all the nobility and to all the peoples that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
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כִּֽי־יֵצֵ֤א דְבַר־הַמַּלְכָּה֙ עַל־כָּל־הַנָּשִׁ֔ים לְהַבְז֥וֹת בַּעְלֵיהֶ֖ן בְּעֵינֵיהֶ֑ן
בְּאָמְרָ֗ם הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֡וֹשׁ אָמַ֞ר לְהָבִ֨יא אֶת־וַשְׁתִּ֧י הַמַּלְכָּ֛ה לְפָנָ֖יו וְלֹא־בָֽאָה
17 For the word of the queen will go forth to all the women to disdain their husbands in their eyes,
when they say, The king Ahasuerus, he said to have Vashti the queen brought into his presence, and she did not come.
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וְֽהַיּ֨וֹם הַזֶּ֜ה תֹּאמַ֣רְנָה ׀ שָׂר֣וֹת פָּֽרַס־וּמָדַ֗י אֲשֶׁ֤ר שָֽׁמְעוּ֙ אֶת־דְּבַ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה לְכֹ֖ל שָׂרֵ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
וּכְדַ֖י בִּזָּי֥וֹן וָקָֽצֶף
18 And today they will say this, the noble women of Persia and Media who hear the word of the queen to all the sultans of the king.
So more than enough disdain and rage.
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אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֗וֹב יֵצֵ֤א דְבַר־מַלְכוּת֙ מִלְּפָנָ֔יו וְיִכָּתֵ֛ב בְּדָתֵ֥י פָֽרַס־וּמָדַ֖י וְלֹ֣א יַעֲב֑וֹר
אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹֽא־תָב֜וֹא וַשְׁתִּ֗י לִפְנֵי֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ וּמַלְכוּתָהּ֙ יִתֵּ֣ן הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לִרְעוּתָ֖הּ הַטּוֹבָ֥ה מִמֶּֽנָּה
19 If to the king it is good, let the word of the kingdom go forth from his presence and be written into the dictates of Persia and Media so it will not pass away,
that Vashti will not enter into the presence of the king Ahasuerus. And her royal estate, the king assign to an associate better than her.
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וְנִשְׁמַע֩ פִּתְגָ֨ם הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ אֲשֶֽׁר־יַעֲשֶׂה֙ בְּכָל־מַלְכוּת֔וֹ כִּ֥י רַבָּ֖ה הִ֑יא
וְכָל־הַנָּשִׁ֗ים יִתְּנ֤וּ יְקָר֙ לְבַעְלֵיהֶ֔ן לְמִגָּד֖וֹל וְעַד־קָטָֽן
20 And the edict of the king will be heard, that he makes in all his kingdom, for munificent it is,
and all the women will assign esteem to their husbands from the greatest and to the least.
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וַיִּיטַב֙ הַדָּבָ֔ר בְּעֵינֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִ֑ים
וַיַּ֥עַשׂ הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ כִּדְבַ֥ר מְמוּכָֽן
21 And the word was good in the eyes of the king and the nobles,
and the king did according to the word of Memukan.
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וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח סְפָרִים֙ אֶל־כָּל־מְדִינ֣וֹת הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֶל־מְדִינָ֤ה וּמְדִינָה֙ כִּכְתָבָ֔הּ וְאֶל־עַ֥ם וָעָ֖ם כִּלְשׁוֹנ֑וֹ
לִהְי֤וֹת כָּל־אִישׁ֙ שֹׂרֵ֣ר בְּבֵית֔וֹ וּמְדַבֵּ֖ר כִּלְשׁ֥וֹן עַמּֽוֹ
22 And he had correspondence sent to all the provinces of the king, province by province, according to its writing, people by people, according to their tongue,
that every man should be ultimate influence in his house, and that it be spoken according to the tongue of its people.
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