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《以斯拉记》 - 被掳、归回、重建(一)

第二十五课 - 文士以斯拉到达耶路撒冷(四)

经文:拉七:1 - 28

主旨:

亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes)赐给以斯拉谕旨,允许他率领被掳的以色列人、祭司、利未人,凡甘心上耶路撒冷去的, 与他同去;王也从府库里取出金银、各样礼物,和提供各样的方便给以斯拉;凡不遵行王命令的人,都当速速定罪
 

1。拉七:11 - 28  “11祭司以斯拉是通达耶和华诫命和赐以色列之律例的文士。亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes)赐给他谕旨,上面写着说:12诸王之王亚达薛西,达于祭司以斯拉、通达天上上帝律法大德的文士云云:13住在我国中的以色列人、祭司、利未人,凡甘心上耶路撒冷去的,我降旨准他们与你同去。14王与七个谋士(counsellors)既然差你去,照你手中上帝的律法书,察问犹大和耶路撒冷的景况;15又带金银,就是王和谋士甘心献给住耶路撒冷、以色列上帝的;16并带你在巴比伦全省所得的金银,和百姓、祭司乐意献给耶路撒冷他们上帝殿的礼物。17所以你当用这金银,急速买公牛(bullocks)、公绵羊(rams)、绵羊羔(lambs),和同献的素祭(meat offerings)、奠祭(drink offerings)之物,献在耶路撒冷你们上帝殿的坛上。18剩下的金银,你和你的弟兄看着怎样好,就怎样用,总要遵着你们上帝的旨意。19所交给你上帝殿中使用的器皿,你要交在耶路撒冷上帝面前。20你上帝殿里,若再有需用的经费,你可以从王的府库里支取。21我亚达薛西王,又降旨与河西的一切库官 (treasurers)说,通达天上上帝律法的文士祭司以斯拉,无论向你们要什么,你们要速速地备办,22就是银子直到一百他连得(talents),麦子一百柯珥 (measures of wheat),酒一百罢特(baths of oil),油一百罢特(baths of oil),盐不计其数,也要给他。23凡天上之上帝所吩咐的,当为天上上帝的殿详细办理,为何使忿怒临到王和王众子的国呢?24我又晓谕你们,至于祭司、利未人、歌唱的、守门的和尼提宁,并在上帝殿当差的人,不可叫他们进贡、交课、纳税。25以斯拉啊,要照着你上帝赐你的智慧,将所有明白你上帝律法的人立为士师、审判官(magistrates and judges),治理河西的百姓,使他们教训一切不明白上帝律法的人。26凡不遵行你上帝律法和王命令的人,就当速速定他的罪,或治死,或充军,或抄家,或囚禁。27以斯拉说:‘耶和华我们列祖的上帝是应当称颂的,因他使王起这心意修饰耶路撒冷耶和华的殿;28又在王和谋士,并大能的军长面前施恩于我。因耶和华我上帝的手帮助我,我就得以坚强,从以色列中招聚首领,与我一同上来。’”

《新译本》:11亚达薛西王颁发谕旨给以斯拉;以斯拉是一位祭司和经学家,精通耶和华的诫命和赐给以色列之律例;谕旨内容是这样:12“诸王之王亚达薛西赐谕旨给以斯拉祭司,精通天上上帝律法的经学家,愿你平安。13现在我下令:住在我国中的以色列人中,愿意上到耶路撒冷去的祭司和利未人,他们都可以与你同去。14你既然是王和他七位顾问所派去的,就要照着你手中上帝的律法书,查察犹大和耶路撒冷的情况。15你要把王和他顾问甘心献的金银带去,奉献给住在耶路撒冷之以色列的上帝;16也要带着你在巴比伦全省所得的金银,连同人民和祭司甘心乐意献给在耶路撒冷上帝的殿的礼物,17使你可以用这些银子审慎地购买公牛、公绵羊、绵羊羔,以及与祭牲同献的素祭和奠祭,献在耶路撒冷你们上帝的殿的祭坛上。18剩余的金银,你和你的族人看怎么办好,就怎么用;只要照着你们上帝的旨意去作就是了。19至于交给你为你上帝殿中事奉用的器皿,你要放在耶路撒冷的上帝面前。20如果你需要支付你上帝的殿其余的费用,你可以从王的库房里支付。21我亚达薛西王下令给在河西那边所有的库官:无论以斯拉祭司,这位精通天上上帝律法的经学家,向你们要求甚么,你们都要审慎照办。22他可以要银子三千四百公斤,麦子一百公斤,酒二千二百公升,油二千二百公升,盐却不受限制。23天上的上帝命令的,就要为天上上帝的殿热心去作,免得忿怒临到王和王的子孙的国。24我要你们知道,凡是祭司、利未人、歌唱的、守门的,作殿役的和在这上帝的殿里作仆人的,都不可以向他们征收税款、贡物和粮食。25至于你以斯拉,你要照着你手中上帝的智慧书,委任法官和官吏,治理在河西那边所有明白你上帝的律法的人民,那些不晓得律法的人,你要教导他们。26不遵守你上帝的律法和王的律法的,就要审慎地判决处分,或是处死、或是放逐、或是没收家产、或是囚禁。”27以斯拉说:“耶和华我们列祖的上帝是应该称颂的,因为他把这样的意念放在君王的心里,使他修饰那在耶路撒冷的耶和华的殿;28又使我在王和谋士,以及王手下有权势的领袖面前蒙恩。因为耶和华我上帝的手帮助我,我就有勇气,召集以色列中一些首领,与我一同上来。”

KJV:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. 14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;
15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: 17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. 19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house. 21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, 22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. 25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. 27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: 28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

ESV:11This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, a man learned in matters of the commandments of the Lord and his statutes for Israel: 12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven. Peace.  And now 13 I make a decree that anyone of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom, who freely offers to go to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14 For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to make inquiries about Judah and Jerusalem according to the Law of your God, which is in your hand, 15 and also to carry the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16 with all the silver and gold that you shall find in the whole province of Babylonia, and with the freewill offerings of the people and the priests, vowed willingly for the house of their God that is in Jerusalem. 17 With this money, then, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God that is in Jerusalem. 18 Whatever seems good to you and your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, according to the will of your God. 19 The vessels that have been given you for the service of the house of your God, you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20 And whatever else is required for the house of your God, which it falls to you to provide, you may provide it out of the king's treasury. 21 “And I, Artaxerxes the king, make a decree to all the treasurers in the province Beyond the River: Whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, requires of you, let it be done with all diligence, 22 up to 100 talents of silver, 100 cors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatever is decreed by the God of heaven, let it be done in full for the house of the God of heaven, lest his wrath be against the realm of the king and his sons. 24 We also notify you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on anyone of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God. 25 “And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God. And those who do not know them, you shall teach. 26 Whoever will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on him, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of his goods or for imprisonment.” 27 Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, 28 and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.


这一大段是亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes)赐给以斯拉的谕旨。我们在《以斯拉记》已经看过波斯王所下的谕旨:

拉一:2-4 有波斯王塞鲁士(Cyrus the king of Babylon 或古列 Cyrus II,公元前559年-前529年)下的诏令:

1波斯王塞鲁士元年,耶和华为要应验借耶利米口所说的话,就激动波斯王塞鲁士的心,使他下诏通告全国说:
2“波斯王塞鲁士如此说:‘耶和华天上的上帝,已将天下万国赐给我,又嘱咐我在犹大的耶路撒冷为他建造殿宇。
3在你们中间凡作他子民的,可以上犹大的耶路撒冷,在耶路撒冷重建耶和华以色列上帝的殿(只有他是上帝),愿上帝与这人同在。
4凡剩下的人,无论寄居何处,那地的人要用金银、财物、牲畜帮助他;另外也要为耶路撒冷上帝的殿,甘心献上礼物。’”

拉六:6-12 有大利乌王(Darius I or Darius the Great,或大利乌一世,522BC-486BC)下的诏令:

6现在河西的总督达乃 (Tatnai, governor beyond the river)和示他波斯乃(Shethar-boznai),并你们的同党,就是住河西的亚法萨迦人(Apharsachites),你们当远离他们,
7不要拦阻上帝殿的工作,任凭犹大人的省长和犹大人的长老在原处建造上帝的这殿。
8我又降旨,吩咐你们向犹大人的长老为建造上帝的殿当怎样行,就是从河西的款项中,急速拨取贡银作他们的经费,免得耽误工作。
9他们与天上的上帝献燔祭所需用的公牛犊、公绵羊、绵羊羔,并所用的麦子、盐、酒、油,都要照耶路撒冷祭司的话,每日供给他们,不得有误!
10好叫他们献馨香的祭给天上的上帝,又为王和王众子的寿命祈祷。
11我再降旨,无论谁更改这命令,必从他房屋中拆出一根梁来,把他举起,悬在其上,又使他的房屋成为粪堆。
12若有王和民伸手更改这命令,拆毁这殿,愿那使耶路撒冷的殿作为他名居所的上帝,将他们灭绝。我大利乌 (Darius)降这旨意,当速速遵行。

圣经记录的这些谕旨不是凭空捏造的。过去我已经跟大家介绍过考古学家发掘的 Cyrus Cylinder,上面刻着的就是塞鲁士王的诏令(第八课)。

(古列圆柱 Cyrus cylinder - 大英博物馆珍藏)
Length: 21.9 centimetres
Diameter: 10 centimetres (maximum)
Diameter: 7.8 centimetres (end A)
Diameter: 7.9 centimetres (end B)

这是一个泥制圆筒,现已破裂为几件碎片,以居鲁士王的名义由古代阿卡德语楔形文字(Akkadian cuneiform script)所写成,在美索不达米亚的巴比伦(Babylon in Mesopotamia)遗迹中出土(1879年),现存于大英博物馆。它写成的年代约为公元前6世纪。

(注:全文翻译:New translation by Irving Finkel, Curator of Cuneiform Collections at the British Museum:

[When …] … [… wor]ld quarters […] … a low person was put in charge of his country, but he set [a (…) counter]feit over them. He ma[de] a counterfeit of Esagil [and …] … for Ur and the rest of the cult-cities. Rites inappropriate to them, [impure] fo[od- offerings …] disrespectful […] were daily gabbled, and, intolerably, he brought the daily offerings to a halt; he inter[fered with the rites and] instituted […] within the sanctuaries. In his mind, reverential fear of Marduk, king of the gods, came to an end. He did yet more evil to his city every day; … his [people…], he brought ruin on them all by a yoke without relief. Enlil-of-the-gods became extremely angry at their complaints, and […] their territory. The gods who lived within them left their shrines, angry that he had made them enter into Babylon (Shuanna). Ex[alted Marduk, Enlil-of-the-Go]ds, relented. He changed his mind about all the settlements whose sanctuaries were in ruins and the population of the land of Sumer and Akkad who had become like corpses, and took pity on them. He inspected and checked all the countries, seeking for the upright king of his choice. He took under his hand Cyrus, king of the city of Anshan, and called him by his name, proclaiming him aloud for the kingship over all of everything. He made the land of the Qutu and all the Medean troops prostrate themselves at his feet, while he looked out in justice and righteousness for the black-headed people whom he had put under his care. Marduk, the great lord, who nurtures his people, saw with pleasure his fine deeds and true heart and ordered that he should go to Babylon He had him take the road to Tintir, and, like a friend and companion, he walked at his side. His vast troops whose number, like the water in a river, could not be counted, marched fully-armed at his side. He had him enter without fighting or battle right into Shuanna; he saved his city Babylon from hardship. He handed over to him Nabonidus, the king who did not fear him. All the people of Tintir, of all Sumer and Akkad, nobles and governors, bowed down before him and kissed his feet, rejoicing over his kingship and their faces shone. The lord through whose trust all were rescued from death and who saved them all from distress and hardship, they blessed him sweetly and praised his name.

I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the world(我乃塞鲁士,宇宙之王,伟大之王,强盛之王,我乃巴比伦之王,苏美和阿卡德之王,全世界之王。。。), son of Cambyses, the great king, king of the city of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, the great king, ki[ng of the ci]ty of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, the great king, king of Anshan, the perpetual seed of kingship, whose reign Bel and Nabu love, and with whose kingship, to their joy, they concern themselves.

When I went as harbinger of peace i[nt]o Babylon I founded my sovereign residence within the palace amid celebration and rejoicing. Marduk, the great lord, bestowed on me as my destiny the great magnanimity of one who loves Babylon, and I every day sought him out in awe. My vast troops marched peaceably in Babylon, and the whole of [Sumer] and Akkad had nothing to fear. I sought the welfare of the city of Babylon and all its sanctuaries. As for the population of Babylon […, w]ho as if without div[ine intention] had endured a yoke not decreed for them, I soothed their weariness, I freed them from their bonds(?). Marduk, the great lord, rejoiced at [my good] deeds, and he pronounced a sweet blessing over me, Cyrus, the king who fears him, and over Cambyses, the son [my] issue, [and over] my all my troops, that we might proceed further at his exalted command. All kings who sit on thrones, from every quarter, from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea, those who inhabit [remote distric]ts (and) the kings of the land of Amurru who live in tents, all of them, brought their weighty tribute into Shuanna, and kissed my feet. From [Shuanna] I sent back to their places to the city of Ashur and Susa, Akkad, the land of Eshnunna, the city of Zamban, the city of Meturnu, Der, as far as the border of the land of Qutu - the sanctuaries across the river Tigris - whose shrines had earlier become dilapidated, the gods who lived therein, and made permanent sanctuaries for them. I collected together all of their people and returned them to their settlements, and the gods of the land of Sumer and Akkad which Nabonidus – to the fury of the lord of the gods – had brought into Shuanna, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I returned them unharmed to their cells, in the sanctuaries that make them happy. (“由。。亚书(Ashur)与书珊(Susa)、亚吉(Agade)、亚士兰力(Ashnunnak)、森班(Zamban)、米推奴(Meturnu)、底里(Deri)、古添(Gutium)地的境界,底格里斯河对岸的城市。。诸神居于其中,我将他们带回其地。。我又集合诸民,使他们回归所居之地。。。”)May all the gods that I returned to their sanctuaries, every day before Marduk and Nabu, ask for a long life for me, and mention my good deeds, and say to Marduk, my lord, this: “Cyrus, the king who fears you, and Cambyses his son, may their … […] […….].” The population of Babylon call blessings on my kingship, and I have enabled all the lands to live in peace. Every day I copiously supplied [… ge]ese, two ducks and ten pigeons more than the geese, ducks and pigeons […]. I sought out to strengthen the guard on the wall Imgur-Enlil, the great wall of Babylon, and […] the quay of baked brick on the bank of the moat which an earlier king had bu[ilt but not com]pleted, [I …] its work. [… which did not surround the city] outside, which no earlier king had built, his troops, the levee from his land, in/to Shuanna. […] with bitumen and baked brick I built anew, and completed its work. […] great [doors of cedarwood] with copper cladding. I installed all their doors, threshold slabs and door fittings with copper parts. […] I saw within it an inscription of Ashurbanipal, a king who preceded me, […] … […] … [… for] ever.


亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年)是在什么情况下发诏令让以斯拉回归耶路撒冷?我们上一课查考拉七:1-10的时候,知道文士以斯拉率领了约一千五百多人,从亚达薛西王第七年(458 BC)正月初一日,他从巴比伦起程,五月初一日就到了耶路撒冷,整个旅程花了四个月的时间。第八章 21-32节还记载,说:

21那时,我在亚哈瓦河边宣告禁食,为要在我们上帝面前克苦己心,求他使我们和妇人孩子并一切所有的,都得平坦的道路。
22我求王拨步兵马兵帮助我们抵挡路上的仇敌,本以为羞耻,因我曾对王说:“我们上帝施恩的手,必帮助一切寻求他的;但他的能力和忿怒,必攻击一切离弃他的。”
23所以我们禁食祈求我们的上帝,他就应允了我们。

根据历史的记载,在亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年)继承王位后的几年里,王受到埃及大规模反抗的困扰。我在《以斯帖记》第五课这样介绍亚达薛西王:

。。。首先在461/460BC,埃及发动一次历时十年的反抗,他们击败了波斯军队,占领了三角洲(Delta region)大部分地区。这时的希腊联军有两百多艘三列桨战舰在地中海东部,要把塞浦露斯岛(Cyprus)从波斯手中解放;当他们听说埃及的反抗后,舰队就航向埃及,在459BC,帮助埃及击退波斯军,占领了孟斐斯(Memphis)。

456BC,波斯在叙利亚行省的总督麦嘉比索(Megabyzus) 的率军下,挥军进入埃及,十九个月内就平定了那里的叛乱,击败了希腊联军。希腊联军失去了两百艘舰队和六千人。 (注:还记得我说的《以斯拉记》第四章圣经难题吗?如果拉四:7-23 发生在埃及反抗期间,亚达薛西一世肯定会怀疑犹太人在耶路撒冷的重建圣城,是否就好像埃及的反抗一样 ,难怪他会降旨停止重建。至于他后来下诏允准尼希米返回耶路撒冷重建城墙(尼二:8,445BC),因为那时埃及的反叛早已解决。)

450/449BC,希腊联军在塞浦露斯岛(Cyprus)附近再次给予波斯军队毁灭性打击。波斯军队再无还手之力,即向希腊诸邦求和。双方于公元前449年在波斯首都签订了合约,波斯承认小亚细亚各邦的独立,并承诺不再侵入爱琴海。长达近半个世纪的希波战争终于以波斯的失败而告结束。

除了这些,我们还知道什么吗?很少,理由是希腊历史学家希罗多德(Herodotus,484BC-425BC)在他的著作中没有记录薛西一世的事迹,而接下来的另一个历史学家克特西亚斯(Ctesias,主前五世纪,也是亚达薛西二世 Artaxerxes II,公元前404-前359年的御医)进入波斯宫殿之前,薛西一世已经不在人世。所以,从克特西亚斯(Ctesias) 的记录中,我们对他所知不多。(完)、


我们可以推想,在亚达薛西王第七年(458 BC),当以斯拉觐见王,求王允准他率领第二批犹太人回耶路撒冷,根本不是适当的时候。以斯拉还认为“求王拨步兵马兵帮助我(他)们抵挡路上的仇敌,本以为羞耻。。”(拉八:22)其实是非不得已的事,因为波斯大军都被派往埃及的战场上。但从另一个角度来看,他们在前往巴勒斯坦的路上,肯定遇到很多波斯军的队伍,无形中等于一路上都有军队护卫(参:Edwin M Yamauchi 《Persia and the Bible》,published by Baker Books,1996,pg 252)。所以,若不是上帝施恩的手从头到尾的帮助,以斯拉根本就不可能起行,更遑论平安抵达耶路撒冷。

亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes)赐给以斯拉的谕旨
 

节数 经文 拉七:12-26 备注 拉一:1-4 拉六:6-12

拉七:12

诸王之王亚达薛西(Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年),达于祭司以斯拉、通达天上上帝律法大德的文士云云: 这是亚达薛西赐给以斯拉的谕旨。

波斯王塞鲁士(或古列 Cyrus II,公元前559年-前529年)元年,耶和华为要应验借耶利米口所说的话,就激动波斯王塞鲁士的心,使他下诏通告全国说:。。耶和华天上的上帝,已将天下万国赐给我。

大利乌王(或大利乌一世,522BC-486BC)降旨。。。
13 住在我国中的以色列人、祭司、利未人,凡甘心上耶路撒冷去的,我降旨准他们与你同去。   3在你们中间凡作他子民的,可以上犹大的耶路撒冷。。  
14 王与七个谋士(counsellors)既然差你去,照你手中上帝的律法书,察问犹大和耶路撒冷的景况;  斯一:14 “那时,在王左右常见王面、国中坐高位的,有波斯和玛代的七个大臣,就是甲示拿(Carshena)、示达(Shethar)、押玛他(Admatha)、他施斯(Tarshish)、米力(Meres)、玛西拿(Marsena)、米母干(Memucan),都是达时务的明哲人 (wise men)。按王的常规,办事必先询问知例明法的人。”这是亚哈随鲁王(Ahasuerus 或薛西一世 Xerxes I,486BC-465BC)身边的七个“军师”(大臣,princes)。这里的“大臣”和拉七:14 的“谋士”(counsellors or aristocrats)同字。希腊史学家希罗多德(Herodotus,484BC-425BC)告诉我们大流士一世(Darius I 522BC-486BC)是借着七个谋士(aristocrats)在 522BC 同谋对付一个篡夺王位的术士(magician)而登基(3.69–79)。    
15-16 又带金银,就是王和谋士甘心献给住耶路撒冷、以色列上帝的;16并带你在巴比伦全省所得的金银,和百姓、祭司乐意献给耶路撒冷他们上帝殿的礼物。   凡剩下的人,无论寄居何处,那地的人要用金银、财物、牲畜帮助他。。另外也要为耶路撒冷上帝的殿,甘心献上礼物。。 8我又降旨。。就是从河西的款项中,急速拨取贡银作他们的经费,免得耽误工作。
17-18 所以你当用这金银,急速买公牛(bullocks)、公绵羊(rams)、绵羊羔(lambs),和同献的素祭(meat offerings)、奠祭(drink offerings)之物,献在耶路撒冷你们上帝殿的坛上。18剩下的金银,你和你的弟兄看着怎样好,就怎样用,总要遵着你们上帝的旨意。     9他们与天上的上帝献燔祭所需用的公牛犊、公绵羊、绵羊羔,并所用的麦子、盐、酒、油,都要照耶路撒冷祭司的话,每日供给他们,不得有误!
19 所交给你上帝殿中使用的器皿,你要交在耶路撒冷上帝面前。   7塞鲁士王也将耶和华殿的器皿拿出来,这器皿是尼布甲尼撒从耶路撒冷掠来,放在自己神之庙中的。8波斯王塞鲁士派库官米提利达将这器皿拿出来,按数交给犹大的首领设巴萨。9器皿的数目记在下面:金盘三十个,银盘一千个,刀二十九把,10金碗三十个,银碗之次的四百一十个,别样的器皿一千件。11金银器皿共有五千四百件。  
20 你上帝殿里,若再有需用的经费,你可以从王的府库里支取。      
21-22 我亚达薛西王,又降旨与河西的一切库官 (treasurers)说,通达天上上帝律法的文士祭司以斯拉,无论向你们要什么,你们要速速地备办,22就是银子直到一百他连得(talents),麦子一百柯珥 (measures of wheat),酒一百罢特(baths of oil),油一百罢特(baths of oil),盐不计其数,也要给他。      
23 凡天上之上帝所吩咐的,当为天上上帝的殿详细办理,为何使忿怒临到王和王众子的国呢?    

10好叫他们献馨香的祭给天上的上帝,又为王和王众子的寿命祈祷。
11我再降旨,无论谁更改这命令,必从他房屋中拆出一根梁来,把他举起,悬在其上,又使他的房屋成为粪堆。

24 我又晓谕你们,至于祭司、利未人、歌唱的、守门的和尼提宁,并在上帝殿当差的人,不可叫他们进贡、交课、纳税。
25-26 以斯拉啊,要照着你上帝赐你的智慧,将所有明白你上帝律法的人立为士师、审判官(magistrates and judges),治理河西的百姓,使他们教训一切不明白上帝律法的人。26凡不遵行你上帝律法和王命令的人,就当速速定他的罪,或治死,或充军,或抄家,或囚禁。

12若有王和民伸手更改这命令,拆毁这殿,愿那使耶路撒冷的殿作为他名居所的上帝,将他们灭绝。我大利乌 (Darius)降这旨意,当速速遵行。

 

从上表大家可以看到三个波斯王的谕旨可说大同小异。

问题是:何以波斯王那么“支持”犹太人回归故土重建圣殿,或“治理河西的百姓,使他们教训一切不明白上帝律法的人”?

首先,我要指出一点,这些波斯王并不是因为认识独一的耶和华上帝才如此做。其实,这是波斯的政策,与亚述和巴比伦的军国主义的政策完全不同。以下抄录自历史学家汤恩比(Arnold J. Toynbee)著的世界历史经典《人类与大地母亲》,大家就明白整个背景:

。。 亚述在其最凶恶的最后阶段(公元前745 - 前605年),对它所有的牺牲者,甚至包括亚述人本身来说,都是一场浩劫,它对欧亚太平原游牧民族的蹂躏更是雪上加霜。亚述帝国崩溃的直接后果就是使黎凡特地区(Levant,东地中海地区)处于政治上的四分五裂、不得安宁的状态中。波斯帝国的缔造者在四分之一个世纪内(大约公元前550 - 前525年)轻而易举地将黎凡特地区从政治上统一起来,为这块饱经磨难的地区实现它急需的和平与秩序采取了有力的措施。波斯帝国给黎凡特地区带来了它渴望之极的休养生息的机会。比起亚述人来,波斯人的征服战争不那么残暴,对于广大被征服地区的行政管理也不那么富有压迫性。与亚述人不同,波斯人在行使主权时,宁愿使人们最低限度地感到他们的存在。他们给现存的地方政权以行政自由。波斯省督的作用只是监督而非取代地方政权的工作。最为重要为是,波斯人使大家感到他们尊重、保护其臣民的宗教信仰  --  这项开明的政策的确换来了对波斯人统治的承认。只有下述极为罕见的、令人沮丧的情况除外,即当一个已俯首称臣的社区被宗教纷争所分裂,而波斯当权者又很难在其中保持中立之际。

如果考虑到大流士一世(Darius I or Darius the Great,或大利乌一世,公元前522-前486年)和 他的直接继任者薛西一世(Xerxes I ,亚哈随鲁,公元前486-前465年)在其铭文中显示出,他们已经接受了与琐罗亚斯德教(Zoroastrianism)类似的宗教,波斯帝国政府对外族宗教所持的宽容态度就更值得称道,更显得与众不同了,因为琐罗亚斯德教的真谛是战斗性,而非宽容。琐罗亚斯德以这种精神摒弃了讲伊朗语诸民族的传统宗教,用一种新家教取而代之。琐罗亚斯德认为他的使命是传播对一个善良之神 --  光明之神阿胡拉·马兹达的信仰。他对光明之神的信仰是忠贞不二的。我们不知道大流士一世和薛西一世对琐罗亚斯德教的信仰究竟有多深,他们也并未公开声称自己是琐罗亚斯德的信徒,他们甚至没有提到过他的名字那位先知大约比大流士一世要早出生一个世纪,他的传教地区似乎是在讲伊朗语诸民族定居的东北地区(今日的呼罗珊、苏联的中亚地区和阿富汗、乌兹别克地区)。

巴比伦的犹太人社区是波斯人的天然盟友,因为这些离乡背井的犹太人从未饶恕过曾放逐他们的巴比伦人。他们组成了亲波斯人的少数派,在多数居民均采取不合作态度的巴比伦,这个少数派对波斯人尤为可贵。尽管居鲁士二世(或塞鲁士,或古列,Cyrus II,公元前559年-前529年)出于策略的考虑,通过“与巴尔携起手来”,表示他愿意尊重巴比伦人的民族自尊心,但仍然无济于事。居鲁士二世也允许所有希望离开的犹太人返回在犹太的故园,并重建他们在耶路撒冷的神庙。在哈马丹 (Hamadan 或 Ectabana,夏都)的档案中,可以查到居鲁士二世的敕令,这一敕令继而受到大流士一世的进一步确认。要么是亚达薛西一世(Artaxerxes I,公元前465-前425年)在公元前 445年,要么是亚达薛西二世(Artaxerxes II,公元前404-前359年)在公元前 384年,曾允许其巴比伦犹太管家尼希米暂时离开首都书珊,他负有前往犹太重新为耶路撒冷城设防的使命。大流士一世和亚达薛西曾为在他们授权下犹太人重建耶路撒冷公共工程而批准过预算和建材。

不过,在被征服的民族中,有3个民族表现出与波斯统治势不两立,即巴比伦人、埃及人和亚洲希腊人。。。占颌埃及不啻是波斯帝国的一大负担,正如它曾成为亚述人的负担一样。埃及距离法尔斯比离亚述更远。在反抗其大陆上的亚洲主人时,它可以接受来自海上的希腊人的增援。虽然埃及在公元前522年一败涂地,但是,它在大流士一世统治末期再度揭竿而起,公元前464 - 前435年 (注:正好是以斯拉归回耶路撒冷的时候),公元前404或395 - 前343年, 他们曾两度取得独立。当它再度被波斯人征服时,距波斯帝国自身的倾覆已仅仅只有十几年时间。

即使波斯帝国的所有臣民都像腓尼基人和犹太人一样对它忠心耿耿,对波斯帝国政府来讲,它辽阔的领土仍使交通通讯成为一个压力很大的问题。修建了通衢大道,沿途为政府的信使准备了可供换骑的驿马。虽然上述措施加速了陆路通讯速度,大流士一世仍然认为,必须利用水路在帝国各端间建立联系。他派一名卡里亚水手西拉克斯从帝国最东端的省份出发,到最近的印度河流域沿水路前行,他受命穿过印度河和印度洋,到达埃及的红海海岸。当西拉克斯准确无误地完成了使命时,大流士便吞并了印度河地区。要么是在此之前,要么是在此之后,他使从尼罗河三角洲最东侧支流到苏伊士湾之间的运河竣工,这条运河是法老尼科二世开始开凿的。薛西一世(Xerxes I ,亚哈随鲁,公元前486-前465年) 想重演尼科二世环航非洲的伟绩,但他的船队不是从红海出发,而是从地中海启航。航行以失败告终。大流士和薛西的海洋野心并未被他们的后继者继承下来。

波斯帝国是短命的帝国,但是它的宗教宽容政策产生了历久不衰的效果。这一政策顺应了宗教上不同信仰相互调合这一趋势,亚述人和巴比伦人的放逐政策促进了这一趋势的形成。一个征服者可以流放被征服国统治集团的成员,却放逐不了它的神祗。留在当地的农民仍会继续供奉它们,外来移民也不可能忽视它们。在前以色列王国主要宗教圣地伯特利崇拜耶和华的礼仪被向东带入巴比伦,向南带到埃勒分蒂尼(Elephantine),此地是尼罗河第一瀑布下面的边防要塞。公元前5世纪,在这个地方,一支为波斯人服务的犹太驻军同时供奉着爱希慕恩、安娜特和耶和华,这支军队的士兵都是为逃避被尼布甲尼撒放逐到巴比伦的厄运而躲入埃及的犹太人后裔。

在埃勒分蒂尼(Elephantine)的犹太社区与撒马利亚区酋长珊巴拉特保持着友好的通信往来。在波斯人统治时期,在尼希米行使使命之前,耶路撒冷属于撒马利亚区。从珊巴拉特的姓氏(西努巴利特)上判断,他是巴比伦流放者的后裔,如果从他儿子的名字(达拉亚和谢勒迈亚)上看,他们都是耶和华的信徒,而不是月亮神的崇拜者。此时,撒马利亚的居民已严格地专一信奉耶和华,除《摩西五经》外,他们不承认任何手写文书为经典也不承认有非手写经典存在。但是,当巴比伦犹太人社区的代表尼希米奉圣旨到达耶路撒冷时,珊巴拉特与他发生了冲突。

波斯人对巴比伦、埃勒分蒂尼(Elephantine)和撒马利亚等地崇拜耶和华的信徒并不抱偏见,并且充满善意。但是,到尼希米和以斯拉时代,巴比伦的犹太人有了一套与其他社区完全隔绝的宗教和社会网领,他们成功地把这一纲领施之于犹太的“埃姆哈•阿拉兹(意为“土地上的人民”,指未被赶走的农民)”身上。人种和宗教上的融合与联姻相接踵。尤其在名门望族中,他们的社会关系网要比农民大得多。通婚对于打破社区之间的社会障碍起了富有人情味的促进作用。在加强了独立性之后,这一切都为传统的敌对情绪作了补偿。尼希米和以斯拉却禁止通婚,他们将在巴比伦犹太人眼中犯了罪大恶极之罪孽的这类犯人逐出教会,这些人本来也是犹太社区的成员。

到尼希米和以斯拉时代,巴比伦犹太流放者的后裔已成功地将自己的社区精神保存了150年,如果他们的保护人阿尔塔薛西斯是阿契美尼斯家族的第二位、而不是第一位拥有这个名字的波斯帝王,那么,就已经保存了200年之久。这是个伟大的功绩。这批流放者成功地抵御了黎凡特地区一般大浪潮的冲击,这次大潮如此猛烈地冲击着超然存在的传统部落文化,并要求承认人与人之间的兄弟情谊。巴比伦的犹太流放者不仅成功地抵御了这个潮流,还把这种精神推向犹太。不过,他们也因此而付出了代价,使犹太地区的犹太人与其邻人之间的敌意又趋复活。 其实,这些邻人与犹太地区和巴比伦的犹太人一样,也是耶和华的信徒。

巴比伦的犹太人是如何在流放的逆境之下保住了他们独特的社区精神的呢?他们通过建立一种独一无二的宗教机构 --  犹太人会堂,而取得了这个空前绝后的成果。约西亚国王在犹太人的信条中又加了一款,即只有在耶路撒冷神庙中举行的对耶和华的礼拜仪式才是合法的。从神庙被毁、犹大国的统治集团成员被放逐到巴比伦,一直到重建神庙,再度在其中举行礼拜仪式之时,世袭的祭司们己无法例行公事。犹太会堂便成为填补这个真空的新机构。如果没有这个新机构,被放逐到巴比伦的4600名犹大人的后裔也许会不可避免地失去他们的社区精神,就象27290名被放逐到米底 亚的以色列人后裔一样。犹太教徒每周举行一次会议  --  最终在一个永久性会堂中举行  --  流放者们随身携带的精神财富(律书,即《摩西五经》和先知的作品)在这里被宣读,被讨论在放逐之前,希西家和约西亚革命性的发明成了放逐事件发生后的正统做法。流放者及其子孙严格遵守《摩西五经》,对死去的先知顶礼膜拜。这个保存巴比伦犹太人社团独特性的权威性规定,已在巴比伦本地创造了奇迹,如今,又在波斯帝国政府的默许之下,加诸于犹太地区的犹太人社团了。为使尼希米和以斯拉进行其决定性的工作,波斯帝国政府不明智地彻底改变了它的普遍宽容的政策。这个不寻常的讨好态度破坏了波斯政府本身最重要的一条行为规范。这是一次被动的国家行为,可是,比起波斯政府的任何主动行为来,这个被动行为却造成了更为严重的后果。这不能不说是一次历史的嘲弄。 。。(完)


“27以斯拉说:‘耶和华我们列祖的上帝是应当称颂的,因他使王起这心意修饰耶路撒冷耶和华的殿;28又在王和谋士,并大能的军长面前施恩于我。因耶和华我上帝的手帮助我,我就得以坚强,从以色列中招聚首领,与我一同上来。’” --  究竟以斯拉是否知道以上的背景资料,我们不清楚。但肯定的是,上帝安排好时间,让以斯拉率领第二批犹太人回归耶路撒冷,他没有参与圣殿的重建,也没有参与城墙的修筑,上帝要用他重建归回之人的灵命。“上帝的手帮助我” 或类似的词语出现在《以斯拉记》和《尼希米记》非常多次:

拉七:6  这以斯拉从巴比伦上来,他是敏捷的文士,通达耶和华以色列上帝所赐摩西的律法书。王允准他一切所求的,是因耶和华他上帝的手帮助他

拉七:9  正月初一日,他从巴比伦起程,因他上帝施恩的手帮助他,五月初一日就到了耶路撒冷。

拉七:28  又在王和谋士,并大能的军长面前施恩于我。因耶和华我上帝的手帮助我,我就得以坚强,从以色列中招聚首领,与我一同上来。

拉八:18  蒙我们上帝施恩的手帮助我们,他们在以色列的曾孙、利未的孙子、抹利的后裔中带一个通达人来;还有示利比和他的众子与弟兄共一十八人;

拉八:22  我求王拨步兵马兵帮助我们抵挡路上的仇敌,本以为羞耻,因我曾对王说:“我们上帝施恩的手,必帮助一切寻求他的;但他的能力和忿怒,必攻击一切离弃他的。”

拉八:31  正月十二日,我们从亚哈瓦河边起行,要往耶路撒冷去。我们上帝的手保佑我们,救我们脱离仇敌和路上埋伏之人的手。

尼二:8  又赐诏书,通知管理王园林的亚萨,使他给我木料,作属殿营楼之门的横梁和城墙,与我自己房屋使用的。王就允准我,因我上帝施恩的手帮助我

尼二:18  我告诉他们我上帝施恩的手怎样帮助我,并王对我所说的话。他们就说:“我们起来建造吧!”于是他们奋勇做这善工。


求主也坚固我们的手所做的一切工,荣耀他的名!


默想:

上帝的手帮助我们


重建圣殿和修筑城墙是一项艰巨的工作。但重建归回的犹太民的灵命,其实更不简单。

以斯拉和尼希米 两人都出生在巴比伦。尼希米是亚达薛西王(Artaxerxes)的酒政,是王所熟悉,有很多机会亲近王。以斯拉不同,他是祭司和文士,大概不能随意进出皇宫。他要有很大的勇气去求见王,求王允准他率领第二批犹太人回耶路撒冷。我在上文也说了当时的国际情势,埃及发动了一次历时十年的反抗,亚达薛西王要全力去应付,所以以斯拉的求见王实在来得不是时候。

我过去在许多课里曾说,被掳在巴比伦的犹太人,不少已经习惯了当地的生活,并且在异地落叶生根。作为祭司和文士的以斯拉可能不是那样,但至少也过惯了异地的生活。现在他因为对归回的人的灵性低落状态有负担,愿意放弃这种生活,长途跋涉回归耶路撒冷,忍受许多艰难和麻烦,为上帝的子民带来改革。但是,他一个人怎么能完成这样艰巨的工作?

答案出现在一个短语中:“上帝的手帮助我!” - 六次出现在《以斯拉记》,而且是从第七章开始。以斯拉把他的成行和工作的完成,完全归功于上帝的手帮助他。“上帝的手帮助他”是说“上帝赐福于他”的另一种方式。如果我们想要上帝的赐福或他的手搁在我们身上,我们就要效法以斯拉,“定志考究遵行耶和华的律法。。将律例典章教训以色列人。”(拉七:10)


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