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Encyclopedia > Book of Esther
Books of Ketuvim
Three Poetic Books
1. Psalms
2. Proverbs
3. Job
Five Megillot
4. Song of Songs
5. Ruth
6. Lamentations
7. Ecclesiastes
8. Esther
Other Books
9. Daniel
10. Ezra-Nehemiah
11. Chronicles

The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim. Its full text is read aloud twice during the celebration. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Jewish scriptures see Tanakh. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy (Greek deuteronomium, second, from to deuteronomium touto, this second law, pronounced ) is the fifth book of the Torah of the Hebrew bible and the Old Testament. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Books of Kings (‎) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... 1. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... Psalms (Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or praises) is a book of the Hebrew Bible included in the collected works known as the Writings or Ketuvim. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... This article is about the Book of Isaiah. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ YirmÉ™yāhÅ« in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Book Of Ezekiel is rapper Freekey Zekeys debut album and debut on Diplomat Records/Asylum. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... A minor prophet is a book in Minor Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible also known to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics... For other uses of Judith, see Judith (disambiguation). ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... 2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. ... Wisdom or the Wisdom of Solomon is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. ... The Wisdom of Ben Sirach, (or The Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sirach or merely Sirach), called Ecclesiasticus by Christians, is a book written circa 180 BCE in Hebrew. ... It has been suggested that Epistle of Jeremy be merged into this article or section. ... Letter of Jeremiah is an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry by demonstrating its unreasonableness. ... The additions to Daniel comprise of three additional chapters appended to the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel from the Greek Septuagint. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... 1 Esdras is a book from the Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Old Testament regarded as a deuterocanonical book in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, but rejected as apocryphal by Jews, Catholics, and most Protestants. ... 1. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... This short work of only 15 verses purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). ... Odes () is a book of the Bible found only in Eastern Orthodox Bibles and included or appended after Psalms in Alfred Rahlfs critical edition of the Septuagint. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... The Georgian Orthodox Church (full title Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church, or in the Georgian language საქართველოს მართლმადიდებელი სამოციქულო ეკლესია Saqartvelos Samotsiqulo Avtokepaluri Martlmadidebeli Eklesia) is one of the worlds most ancient Christian Churches, and tradition traces its origins to the mission of Apostle Andrew in the 1st century. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. ... In the Septuagint and for Eastern Orthodox Christians, 2 Esdras refers to the combination of Ezra and Nehemiah. ... The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Church until it was granted its own Patriarch by Cyril VI, the Coptic Pope, in 1959. ... The Book of Jubilees (ספר היובלים), sometimes called the Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A series of three books in the Ethiopian Biblical canon. ... 4 Baruch, also known as the Paraleipomena of Jeremiah when combined with the Epistle of Jeremy, is a text regarded as apocryphal by all Christian denominations except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. ... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible in the Syriac language. ... Psalms 152 to 155 are additional Psalms found in the Syriac Peshitta, in Greek Septuagint manuscripts, and in the Qumran scrolls: 11QPs(a)154,155. ... 2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text written in the late 1st century CE or early 2nd century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 CE. It is not part of the canon of either the Jewish or most Christian... Psalms (Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or praises) is a book of the Hebrew Bible included in the collected works known as the Writings or Ketuvim. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... In the third major section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), which is called Ketuvim (The Writings), there are five relatively short biblical books that are grouped together and known collectively in the Jewish tradition as The Five Scrolls (Hebrew: Hamesh Megillot or Chamesh Megillos). ... For other uses, see Song of Solomon (disambiguation). ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Jewish scriptures see Tanakh. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... Purim (Hebrew: פורים Pûrîm lots, related to Akkadian pÅ«ru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Hamans plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther). ...

Contents

Setting

The Biblical Book of Esther is set in the third year of Ahasuerus, a king of Persia usually identified with Xerxes I, although other identifications have been suggested. It tells a story of palace intrigue and genocide thwarted by a Jewish queen of Persia. Ahasuerus or Ahasverus (Hebrew אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, Standard Hebrew Aḥašveroš, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĂḫašwērôš) is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible and related legends and apocrypha. ... Xerxes I of Persia (sometimes known as Xerxes the Great, in old Persian, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠[2]) was a king of Persia (reigned 486–465 BC) of the Achaemenid dynasty. ... For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation). ...


Plot summary

The book commences with a feast organized by Ahasuerus, initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards for all inhabitants of Shushan. Ahasuerus orders his wife Vashti to display her beauty before the guests. She refuses, and the King's advisors warn that, if unpunished, her actions would inspire other wives to disobey their husbands. Ahasuerus removes her as queen. (Jews believe that she was executed [citation needed], He then orders all young women to be presented to him, so he can choose a new queen to replace Vashti. One of these is Esther, who was orphaned at a young age and is being fostered by her uncle Mordechai. She finds favor in the king's eyes, and is made his new wife. Esther does not reveal that she is Jewish. Shortly afterwards, Mordechai discovers a plot by courtiers Bigthan and Teresh to assassinate Ahasuerus. They are apprehended and executed, and Mordechai's service to the king is recorded.[1] Vashti (ושתי) is mentioned in the Book of Esther, a book included in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). ... Mordecai or Mordechai (מָרְדֳּכַי, Standard Hebrew Mordoḫay, Tiberian Hebrew Mordŏḵay: Persian origin Contrition) - the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. ...


Ahasuerus appoints Haman, a descendant of Amalekite king Agag, as his prime minister. Mordechai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman's disfavor as he refuses to bow down to him. Having found out that Mordechai is Jewish, Haman plans to kill not just Mordechai but the entire Jewish minority in the empire. He obtains Ahasuerus' permission to execute this plan, against payment of ten thousand talents of silver, and he casts lots to choose the date on which to do this - the thirteenth of the month of Adar. When Mordechai finds out about the plans he orders widespread penitence and fasting. Esther discovers what has transpired; she requests that all Jews fast and pray for three days together with her, and on the third day she seeks an audience with Ahasuerus, during which she invites him to a feast in the company of Haman. During the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening. Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordechai and builds a gallows for him.[2] The Punishment of Haman, by Michaelangelo. ... According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek (עֲמָלֵק; Standard Hebrew ʿAmaleq, Tiberian Hebrew ʿĂmālēq) was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. ... Agag - flame, the usual title of the Amalekite kings, as Pharaoh was of the Egyptian. ...


That night, Ahasuerus suffers from insomnia, and when the court's records are read to him to help him sleep, he learns of the services rendered by Mordechai in the previous plot against his life. Ahasuerus is told that Mordechai has not received any recognition for saving the king's life. Just then, Haman appears, and King Ahasuerus asks Haman what should be done for the man that he wishes to honor. Thinking that the man that the king wishes to honor is him, Haman says that the man should be dressed in the king's royal robes and led around on the king's royal horse. To his horror, the king instructs Haman to do so to Mordechai.


Later that evening, Ahasuerus and Haman attend Esther's second banquet, at which she reveals that she is Jewish and that Haman is planning to exterminate her people, including her. Ahasuerus orders Haman hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai. The previous decree against the Jews cannot be annulled, but the king allows the Jews to defend themselves during attacks. As a result, on 13 Adar, five hundred attackers and Haman's ten sons are killed in Shushan. Throughout the empire an additional 75,000 are slain. On the 14th, another 300 are killed in Shushan.[3]


Mordechai assumes a prominent position in Ahasuerus' court, and institutes an annual commemoration of the delivery of the Jewish people from annihilation.[4]


Timeline of major events

Event Dates
Ahasuerus ascends the throne of Persia 369 BCE[citation needed]
Ahasuerus's 180-day feast; Queen Vashti exiled, Queen Vashti was replaced by king Ahasuerus(according to christian Beliefs) (killed according to Jewish tradition) 366 BCE
Esther becomes queen Tevet, 362 BCE
Haman casts lots to choose date for Jews' annihilation Nissan, 357 BCE
Royal decree ordering killing of all Jews; Nissan 13, 357 BCE
Mordecai calls on Jews to repent; 3-day fast ordered by Esther Nissan 13-15, 357 BCE
Esther goes to Ahasuerus; hosts First wine party with Ahasuerus and Haman Nissan 15, 357 BCE
Esther's Second wine party; Haman's downfall and hanging Nissan 16, 357 BCE
Second decree issued by Ahasuerus, empowering the Jews to defend themselves Sivan 23, 357 BCE
Battles fought throughout the empire against those seeking to kill the Jews; Haman's ten sons killed Adar 13, 356 BCE
Celebrations everywhere, except Shushan where second day of battles are fought Adar 14, 356 BCE
Celebration in Shushan Adar 15, 356 BCE
Megillah written by Esther and Mordecai; Festival of Purim instituted for all generations 355 BCE

Authorship and date

Scroll of Esther (Megillah)
Scroll of Esther (Megillah)

Esther is usually dated to the third or fourth century BCE. Jewish tradition regards it as a redaction by the Great Assembly of an original text written by Mordecai[5]. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2848x2136, 568 KB) Description: Göttingen, Stadtmuseum, Jewish life. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2848x2136, 568 KB) Description: Göttingen, Stadtmuseum, Jewish life. ... Redaction generally refers to the editing of text to turn it into a form suitable for publication, or to the result of such an effort. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Mordecai or Mordechai (מָרְדֳּכַי, Standard Hebrew Mordoḫay, Tiberian Hebrew Mordŏḵay - the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin, is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. ...


The Greek additions to Esther (which do not appear in the Jewish/Hebrew; see "Additions to Esther" below) are dated to the 2nd century BCE.[citation needed]


Title

Goswell suggests that naming the book "Esther" has the effect of highlighting the heroine of the book, "rather than sharing the attention between Esther and Mordecai." He notes that the naming of the book "is appropriate, given the book's puncturing of male pride."[6]


Debate over historicity

Esther by John Everett Millais, depicting Esther visiting the king to inform him of the plot
Esther by John Everett Millais, depicting Esther visiting the king to inform him of the plot

As early as the eighteenth century, the lack of clear corroboration of any of the details of the story of the Book of Esther with what was known of Persian history from classical sources led some scholars[citation needed] to doubt that the book was historically accurate. It was argued that the form of the story seems closer to that of a romance than a work of history, and that many of the events depicted therein are implausible and unlikely. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 420 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (800 × 1141 pixel, file size: 72 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Esther by Millais The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 420 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (800 × 1141 pixel, file size: 72 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Esther by Millais The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and... Sir John Everett Millais Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA (June 8, 1829 – August 13, 1896) was a British painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


From the late nineteenth century onwards, several scholars[citation needed] explored the theory that the Book of Esther actually was a myth related to the spring festival of Purim which may have had a mixed West-Semitic/Akkadian/Canaanite origin. According to this interpretation the tale celebrates the triumph of the Babylonian deities Marduk and Ishtar over the deities of Elam or more likely the renewal of life in the spring and the casting out of the scapegoat of the old year. Although this view is not widely held by the religious scholars today, it remains well known. It is explored in depth in the works of Theodor Gaster. Marduk (Sumerian spelling in Akkadian: AMAR.UTU solar calf; Biblical: Merodach) was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon permanently became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century... For other uses, see Ishtar (disambiguation). ... Elam (Persian: تمدن ایلام) is one of the oldest recorded civilizations. ... Theodor Herzl Gaster (1906 - 1992) was an American Biblical scholar known for work on comparative religion, mythology and the history of religions. ...


Traditionalists like Joyce G Baldwin, a principle of Trinity College, Bristol, have fought back, arguing that Esther can be seen to derive from real history. For example, some historians occasionally give strong credence to the narrative based upon the traditions of a people. Thus, because the feast of Purim (which is a retelling of the book of Esther) is integral to Jewish history, there is strong reason to believe this story is indeed based upon a true, though obscure, historical event. Trinity College, Bristol is a theological training college affiliated to the Anglican Church in Stoke Bishop, a prosperous suburb in Bristol, next to the University of Bristols residential halls. ...


Also, based on the derivation of "Ahasuerus" from "Xerxes", identification of Ahasuerus with Xerxes I is common and parallels between Herodotus' account of Xerxes and the events in Esther have been noted. Others have argued for different identifications, particularly noting traditions referring to Ahasuerus as "Artaxerxes" in Greek. In 1923, Dr. Jacob Hoschander wrote The Book of Esther in the Light of History, in which he posited that the events of the book occurred during the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon, in the context of a struggle between adherents of the still more-or-less monotheistic Zoroastrianism and those who wanted to bring back the Magian worship of Mithra and Anahita. Xerxes I (خشایارشاه), was a Persian king (reigned 485 - 465 BC) of the Achaemenid dynasty. ... Artaxerxes II (c. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... For other uses, see Magi (disambiguation). ... Mithra (Avestan Miθra, modern Persian مهر Mihr, Mehr, Meher) is an important deity or divine concept (so called Yazata) in Zoroastrianism and later Persian mythology and culture. ... Temple of Anahita: goddess of ancient Persia, Iran. ...


For the last hundred and fifty years, critical scholars[citation needed] have seen the Book of Esther as a work of fiction, while traditionalists argue in favor of the story being historical.


Some Christian readers have also tried to see the story as a Christian allegory, in the same vein as the Song of Solomon. The various major readings are considered separately in the sections that follow: For other uses, see Song of Solomon (disambiguation). ...


Esther and Babylonian mythology

The History of Religions school of thought, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, argued against the historicity of the Bible by drawing comparisons between Biblical narratives and pagan myths. For the academic study of religion in general, see Religious studies. ...


The fact that the events of the Book of Esther give rise to the spring festival of Purim was a reason for scholars arguing that the story emerged from seasonal myth. As the 19th/early 20th century scholars did not have the benefit of the Ugaritic texts, they sought an origin in Akkadian tradition rather than the more local West Semitic cultures. In particular, these scholars drew comparisons between individuals in the Book of Esther and various real and alleged Babylonian and Elamite gods and goddesses: Purim (Hebrew: פורים Pûrîm lots, related to Akkadian pūru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Hamans plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther). ... The Ugaritic language is known to us only in the form of writings found in the lost city of Ugarit since its discovery by French archaeologists in 1928. ...

  • Esther was equated with the similarly sounding Ishtar. Her original Hebrew name Hadassah was compared with Akkadian hadashatu said to be a title of Ishtar meaning "bride".
  • The custom of preparing homentashn at Purim is reminiscent of a description of Ishtar in Jeremiah 7:18, when it was customary "to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven."
  • Mordecai was equated with Marduk. Marduk is a cousin of Ishtar in Chaldean mythology, as was Mordecai a cousin of Esther.
  • Vashti was said to be an Elamite goddess named Mashti.
  • Haman was said to be an Elamite god named Uman or Human (or other variations) or alternatively a Babylonian demon.
  • The festival of Purim was equated with various real and conjectural pagan festivals, including an alleged Elamite or Babylonian festival marking the victory of Ishtar and Marduk over Uman and Mashti similar to the triumph of Esther and Mordecai over their rivals Haman and Vashti. Other suggestions were: the Babylonian New Year festival (Sumerian Zagmuk, Akkadian Akitu, called Sacaea by Berosus) honouring Marduk - it was suggested that purim ("lots") originally referred to a belief that the gods chose one's fate for the year by lots; the Persian festival of Farvardigan; or the Greek festival of Pithoigia ("wine flask opening") - it was noted that Hebrew for wine press is purah resembling purim.

These arguments were subsequently shown to be flawed: For other uses, see Ishtar (disambiguation). ... Three homentashn A hamantash (also spelled hamentasch, homentash, homentasch, (h)umentash, pluralized with -en or -n; Yiddish המן־טאַש) is a cookie in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape. ... For other uses, see Jeremiah (disambiguation). ... Marduk (Sumerian spelling in Akkadian: AMAR.UTU solar calf; Biblical: Merodach) was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon permanently became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century... Elam (Persian: تمدن ایلام) is one of the oldest recorded civilizations. ... Berossos (also Berossus or Berosus) Greek: Βεροσσος, was a Hellenistic Babylonian writer. ...

  • Ishtar was well known to the Jews who officially opposed her worship. Her name in Hebrew scriptures is Ashtoreth which is phonetically unrelated to Esther despite the superficial similarity when transliterated into English (consonantal root אשתר vs אסתר). Although the vowelization of the Hebrew name is thought to be a deliberate mispronunciation reflecting the vowels of the word bosheth denoting a shameful thing, the consonants accurately reflect the original name. "Esther" is most commonly understood to be related to the Persian word for star (cognate with English star) and the Median word for myrtle. (See Esther for a discussion of the meaning of the name.)
  • Akkadian hadashatu was not a standard title of Ishtar. It occurs once in a description of Ishtar as a "new bride" and its meaning is "new" not "bride". It is a cognate of Hebrew hadash (with a guttural h) and is phonetically unrelated to "Hadassah" (consonantal root חדש vs הדס).
  • Hamantaschen originated amongst Jews of Eastern Europe in relatively recent times.
  • The name Mordecai is indeed most commonly connected with that of the god Marduk. It is considered equivalent to Marduka or Marduku, well attested in the Persepolis texts as a genuine name of the period. The Talmud relates that his full name was Mordecai Bilshan (Megillah 15a). This has been understood as the Babylonian Marduk-bel-shunu ("Marduk is their lord"). Similar accounts of Jews in exile being assigned names relating to Babylonian gods is seen in the Book of Daniel. Babylonian gods and goddesses are indeed organized into families making many including Marduk and Ishtar some form of cousins but this is never a point explicitly stated in Babylonian texts.
  • An Elamite goddess named Mashti is purely conjectural and unattested in sources, whereas "Vashti" can be understood as a genuine Persian name meaning "beautiful".
  • Elamite theophoric elements such as Khuban, Khumban or Khumma are known but are pronounced with an initial guttural consonant and not as Uman or Human, and are phonetically unrelated to the Persian name Haman meaning "magnificent". The Babylonian demon is named Humbaba or Huwawa also pronounced with an initial guttural consonant kh and unrelated to Haman.
  • An Elamite or Babylonian festival marking a victory of Ishtar and Marduk over alleged Uman and Mashti is purely conjectural and unattested in sources. The Babylonian New Year occurs at a very different date to Purim (in the month of Nisan not Adar). A decision of fate by lots by the gods is not attested in any sources. Farvardigan was a five day commemoration of the dead bearing no resemblance to Purim. Pithoigia also occurs at a different time to Purim and although Purim is celebrated with wine drinking this is not its focus; moreover the plural of the Hebrew for wine press is puroth not purim.

‘Ashtart, commonly known as Astarte (also Hebrew or Phoenician עשתרת, Ugaritic ‘ttrt (also ‘Attart or ‘Athtart), Akkadian dAs_tar_tú (also Astartu), Greek Αστάρτη (Astártê)), was a major northwest_Semitic goddess, cognate in name, origin, and functions with the east-Semitic goddess Ishtar. ... Farsi redirects here. ... The Median language was a Western Iranian language, classified as North-Western with Parthian, Baluchi, Kurdish and others. ... Esther (1865), by John Everett Millais Esther (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ), born Hadassah, was a woman in the Hebrew Bible, the queen of Ahasuerus (commonly identified with either Xerxes I or Artaxerxes II), and heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther which is named after her. ... Hamantaschen are triangular filled cookies eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim. ... The Talmud (Hebrew: ) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... Khumban is the Elamite god of the earth. ...

Historical reading

Those arguing in favour of an historical reading of Esther, most commonly identify Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes II (ruled 405 - 359 B.C.E.) although in the past it was often assumed that he was Xerxes I (ruled 486 - 465 B.C.E.). Artaxerxes II Memnon (c. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC - 400s BC - 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC Years: 410 BC 409 BC 408 BC 407 BC 406 BC - 405 BC - 404 BC 403 BC... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 364 BC 363 BC 362 BC 361 BC 360 BC 359 BC 358 BC 357 BC 356... Xerxes I (خشایارشاه), was a Persian king (reigned 485 - 465 BC) of the Achaemenid dynasty. ... Centuries: 6th century BCE - 5th century BCE - 4th century BCE Decades: 530s BCE 520s BCE 510s BCE 500s BCE 490s BCE - 480s BCE - 470s BCE 460s BCE 450s BCE 420s BCE 430s BCE Years: 491 BCE 490 BCE 489 BCE 488 BCE 487 BCE - 486 BCE - 485 BCE 484 BCE... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 510s BC 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC Years: 470 BC 469 BC 468 BC 467 BC 466 BC - 465 BC - 464 BC 463 BC...


The Hebrew Ahasuerus is most likely derived from Persian Khshayarsha, the origin of the Greek Xerxes. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Xerxes sought his harem after being defeated in the Greco-Persian Wars. He makes no reference to individual members of the harem with the exception of a domineering Queen consort Amestris, a daughter of one of his generals, Otanes. (Ctesias however refers to a father-in-law and general of Xerxes named Onaphas). Amestris has often been identified with Vashti in the past. The identification is problematic however - Amestris remained a powerful figure well into the reign of her son, Artaxerxes I while Vashti is portrayed as dismissed in the early part of Xerxes's reign. (Alternative attempts have been made to identify her with Esther, although Esther is an orphan whose father was a Jew named Abihail.) The name Marduka or Marduku (considered equivalent to Mordecai) has been found as the name of officials in the Persian court in thirty texts from the period of Xerxes I and his father Darius, and may refer to up to four individuals with the possibility that one of these is the Biblical Mordecai. Hebrew redirects here. ... Farsi redirects here. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“ródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... In traditional Arab culture, the harîm حريم (cf. ... Persian Wars redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Insert non-formatted text here:This article is about the wife of Xerxes. ... Ctesias of Cnidus (in Caria) (Greek ), was a Greek physician and historian, who flourished in the 5th century BC. In early life he was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger. ... Vashti (ושתי) is mentioned in the Book of Esther, a book included in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). ... Artaxerxes I was king of Persia from 464 BC to 424 BC. He belonged to the Achaemenid dynasty and was the successor of Xerxes I. He is mentioned in two books of the Bible, Ezra and Nehemiah. ... Esther (1865), by John Everett Millais Esther (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ), born Hadassah, was a woman in the Hebrew Bible, the queen of Ahasuerus (commonly identified with either Xerxes I or Artaxerxes II), and heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther which is named after her. ...


The Septuagint version of Esther however translates the name Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes - a Greek name derived from the Persian: Artakhshatra. Josephus too relates that this was the name by which he was known to the Greeks and the Midrashic text, Esther Rabba also makes the identification. Bar-Hebraeus identified Ahasuerus explicitly as Artaxerxes II. (This is not to say that the names are equivalent: Hebrew has a form of the name Artaxerxes distinct from Ahasuerus and a direct Greek rendering of Ahasuerus is used by Josephus as well as in Septuagint occurrences of the name outside the Book of Esther.) Identification as Artaxerxes II has been more popular than with Artaxerxes I (ruled 465 - 424 B.C.E.) however the latter had a Babylonian concubine, Kosmartydene, who was the mother of his son Darius II (ruled 424 - 405 B.C.E.). Jewish tradition relates that Esther was the mother of a King Darius and so some try to identify Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes I and Esther with Kosmartydene. Farsi redirects here. ... A fanciful representation of Flavius Josephus, in an engraving in William Whistons translation of his works Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE),[1] who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[2] was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and... Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ... Bar-Hebraeus or Abulfaragus, (1226 - 1286) was a maphrian or catholicos of the Jacobite (Monophysite) Church in the 13th century, and (in Dr. W. Wrights words) one of the most learned and versatile men that Syria ever produced. ... Artaxerxes II Memnon (c. ... Artaxerxes II Memnon (c. ... A sculpture dating back to the time of Achaemenid Empire Artaxerxes I (Artakhshathra I) was king of the Persian Empire from 465 BC to 424 The name as given is the Greek form; the Persian form is Artakhshathra. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 510s BC 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC Years: 470 BC 469 BC 468 BC 467 BC 466 BC - 465 BC - 464 BC 463 BC... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC - 420s BC - 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC Years: 429 BC 428 BC 427 BC 426 BC 425 BC - 424 BC - 423 BC 422 BC... Darius II, originally called Ochus and often surnamed Nothus (from Greek νοθος, meaning bastard), was king of the Persian Empire from 423 BC to 404 BC. Artaxerxes I, who died shortly after December 24, 424 BC, was followed by his son Xerxes II. After a month and a half Xerxes II... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC - 420s BC - 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC Years: 429 BC 428 BC 427 BC 426 BC 425 BC - 424 BC - 423 BC 422 BC... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC - 400s BC - 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC Years: 410 BC 409 BC 408 BC 407 BC 406 BC - 405 BC - 404 BC 403 BC...


Based on the view that the Ahasuerus of the Book of Tobit is identical with that of the Book of Esther, some have also identified him as Nebuchadnezzar's ally Cyaxares (ruled 625 - 585 B.C.E.). In certain manuscripts of Tobit the former is called Achiachar which like the Greek: Cyaxares is thought to be derived from Persian: Akhuwakhshatra. Depending on the interpretation of Esther 2:5-6, Mordecai or his great-grandfather Kish was carried away from Jerusalem with Jeconiah by Nebuchadnezzar, in 597 B.C.E. The view that it was Mordecai would be consistent with the identification of Ahasuerus with Cyaxares. Identifications with other Persian monarchs have also been suggested. Ahasuerus or Ahasverus (Hebrew אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, Standard Hebrew Aḥašveroš, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĂḫašwērôš) is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible and related legends and apocrypha. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics... Hvakhshathra or Cyaxares (r. ... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 670s BC 660s BC 650s BC 640s BC 630s BC - 620s BC - 610s BC 600s BC 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC Events and Trends 627 BC - Death of Assurbanipal, king of Assyria; he is succeeded by Assur_etel_ilani (approximate... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 620s BC - 610s BC - 600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC Events and Trends 589 BC - Apries succeeds Psammetichus II as king of Egypt 588 BC _ Nebuchadnezzar II of... Farsi redirects here. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin, Joachin, and Coniah) was king of Judah. ... Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebudchadrezzar) II (ca. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 640s BC 630s BC 620s BC 610s BC 600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC 570s BC 560s BC 550s BC 540s BC Events and Trends 598 BC - Jehoaichin succeeds Jehoiakim as King of Judah 598 BC - Babylonians capture Jerusalem...


Jacob Hoschander (The Book of Esther in the Light of History, Oxford University Press, 1923) has argued that evidence of the historicity of Haman and his father Hamedatha is seen in Omanus and Anadatus mentioned by Strabo as being honoured with Anahita in the city of Zela. Hoschander argues that these were not deities as Strabo supposed but garbled forms of "Haman" and "Hamedatha" who were being worshipped as martyrs. The names are indeed unattested in Persian texts as gods. (Attempts have been made to connect both "Omanus" and "Haman" with the Zoroastrian term Vohu Mana, however this denotes the principle of "Good Thoughts" and is not the name of a deity.) The Greek geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving. ... Temple of Anahita: goddess of ancient Persia, Iran. ... Zelos 1747 - David Rumsey Collection v4. ... Vohu Mana is a Vedic or Zoroastrian phrase meaning Good Mind shortened to Bahman, one of the months of the present-day Persian calendar. ...


Allegorical reading

There are many classical Jewish readings of allegories into the book of Esther, mostly from Hasidic sources. They say that the literal meaning is true, however there is hidden behind this historical account many allegories.


Some Christian readers consider this story to contain an allegory, representing the interaction between the church as 'bride' and God. This reading is related to the allegorical reading of the Song of Solomon and to the theme of the Bride of God, which in Jewish tradition manifests as the Shekinah. This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For other uses, see Song of Solomon (disambiguation). ... Shekinah (שכינה - alternative transliterations Shechinah, Shekhina, Shechina) is the English spelling of the Hebrew language word that means the glory or radiance of God, or God resting in his house or Tabernacle amongst his people. ...


Relation to the rest of the Bible

Esther is (in the Hebrew version) one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). It is the only book of the Tanakh that is not represented among the Dead Sea scrolls. It has often been compared to the first half of the Book of Daniel and to the apocryphal Books of Tobit and Judith for its subject matter. This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... The Dead Sea scrolls consist of roughly 1000 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1979 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) in the West... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... The biblical apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish and Christian religious traditions that either were accepted into the biblical canon by some, but not all, Christian faiths, or are frequently printed in Bibles despite their non-canonical status. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics... For other uses of Judith, see Judith (disambiguation). ...


Additions to Esther

An additional six chapters appear interspersed in Esther in the Septuagint, the Greek translation, which then was noted by Jerome in compiling the Latin Vulgate; additionally, the Greek text contains many small changes in the meaning of the main text. The extra chapters include several prayers to God, perhaps because it was felt that the above-mentioned lack of mention of God was inappropriate in a holy book. Jerome recognized them as additions not present in the Hebrew Text and placed them at the end of his Latin translation as chapters 10:4-16:24. However, some modern Catholic English Bibles restore the Septuagint order, such as Esther in the NAB. The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... For other uses, see Jerome (disambiguation). ... The Vulgate Bible is an early 5th century version in Latin, partly revised and partly translated by Jerome on the orders of Pope Damasus I in 382. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... In 1970, the New American Bible (NAB) was first published. ...


By the time Esther was written, the foreign power visible on the horizon as a future threat to Judah was the Macedonians of Alexander the Great, who defeated the Persian empire about 150 years after the time of the story of Esther; the Septuagint version noticeably calls Haman a Macedonian where the Hebrew text describes him as an Agagite. For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ...


The canonicity of these Greek additions has been a subject of scholarly disagreement practically since their first appearance in the Septuagint –- Martin Luther, being perhaps the most vocal Reformation era critic of the work, considered even the original Hebrew version to be of very doubtful value. Luther's complaints against the book carried past the point of scholarly critique, and led in part to the complaint of anti-Semitism frequently made against him.[citation needed] The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ...


The Council of Trent, the summation of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation, declared the entire book, both Hebrew text and Greek additions, to be canonical. While modern Roman Catholic scholars openly recognize the Greek additions as clearly being additions to the text, the Book of Esther is used twice in commonly used sections of the Catholic Lectionary. In both cases, the text used is not only taken from a Greek addition, the readings also are the prayer of Mordecai, and nothing of Esther's own words is ever used. The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint version of Esther, as it does for all of the Old Testament. The additions are specifically listed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article VI, of the Church of England[7]: "The rest of the Book of Esther". The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Mordecai or Mordechai (מָרְדֳּכַי, Standard Hebrew Mordoḫay, Tiberian Hebrew Mordŏḵay - the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin, is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. ... Esther (1865), by John Everett Millais Esther (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ), born Hadassah, was a woman in the Hebrew Bible, the queen of Ahasuerus (commonly identified with either Xerxes I or Artaxerxes II), and heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther which is named after her. ... Orthodox icon of Pentecost. ... The Thirty-Nine Articles are the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[3] in England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the oldest among the communions thirty-eight independent national churches. ...


Some scholars suggest that Additions to Esther is the work of an Egyptian Jew, writing around 170 BCE, who sought to give the book a more religious tone, and to suggest that the Jews were saved from destruction because of their piety.[citation needed]


Esther Rabbah includes all of Additions to Esther save the "letter texts". It is these "letter texts" that contain the ahistorical assertions that Haman was a Greek.


Reinterpretations of the story

The 2006 film One Night with the King is loosely based on the Biblical story of Esther. One Night with the King is a film that was released in 2006 in the United States. ...


The classic 1960 Hollywood film version of the story, Esther and the King was directed by Raoul Walsh and starred Joan Collins and Richard Egan. The year 1960 in film involved some significant events. ... Raoul Walsh as John Wilkes Booth in Birth of a Nation Raoul Walsh (March 11, 1887 – December 31, 1980) was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the brother of silent screen actor George Walsh. ... Joan Henrietta Collins OBE (born 23 May 1933) is a Golden Globe Award winning British actress and bestselling author. ... Richard Egan Richard Egan (July 29, 1921 - July 20, 1987) was an American actor. ...


In 1992 a 30-minute, fully-animated video, twelfth in Hanna-Barbera's bestselling The Greatest Adventure series, titled Queen Esther features the voices of Helen Slater as Queen Esther, Dean Jones as King Ahasuerus, Werner Klemperer as Haman, and Ron Rifkin as Mordecai.[8][9] Cartoon Network Studios, formerly known as Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. ... Helen Rachel Slater (born December 15, 1963) is an American film actress and singer-songwriter. ... Dean Jones (born January 25, 1931 in Decatur, Alabama) is an American actor. ... Klemperer as Colonel Klink on Hogans Heroes Werner Klemperer (March 22 1920Cologne – December 6, 2000) was an Emmy Award-winning comedic actor, best known for his role as Colonel Klink on the television sitcom, Hogans Heroes. ... Ron Rifkin, born October 31, 1939, in New York City, New York, USA, is a film, stage, and television actor and director. ...


There are several paintings depicting Esther, including one by Millais. Sir John Everett Millais Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA (June 8, 1829 – August 13, 1896) was a British painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. ...


VeggieTales also made an animated version entitled Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen. VeggieTales is a series of English language childrens computer animated films featuring anthropomorphic vegetables and conveying moral themes based on Christianity and often compatible with Judaism. ...


References

  1. ^ Esther chapters 1 and 2
  2. ^ Esther chapters 3-5
  3. ^ Esther chapters 6-9
  4. ^ Esther chapters 9-10
  5. ^ Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra 15a
  6. ^ Gregory Goswell, "What's in a Name? Book Titles in the Latter Prophets and Writings," Pacfica 21 (2008), 11.
  7. ^ Article VI: OF THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES FOR SALVATION
  8. ^ Hanna-Barbera's Greatest Adventure Series Videos - Queen Esther
  9. ^ The Greatest Adventure Stories From The Bible

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ...

Text and translations

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A 16th-century depiction of Rashi Note: For the astrological concept, see Rashi - the signs. ... The Aleppo Codex (the Keter (Crown) Aram Tzova) is the oldest complete manuscript Hebrew Bible, though scrolls of individual books of the Tanakh are much older (see Dead Sea scrolls). ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... In 1970, the New American Bible (NAB) was first published. ... The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, released in 1989, is a thorough revision of the Revised Standard Version (RSV). ...

Introduction and analysis

Early 20th century views

Modern scholarship

  • Introduction to the Old Testament: Esther
  • Beal, Timothy K. The Book of Hiding: Gender, Ethnicity, Annihilation, and Esther. NY: Routledge, 1997. Postmodern theoretical apparatus, e.g. Derrida, Levinas
  • Extract from The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther by Adele Berlin: Liberal Jewish view.
  • Michael Fox Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmanns, 2001. 333 pp., highly-regarded literary analysis
  • Sasson, Jack M. “Esther” in Alter and Kermode, pp. 335-341, literary view
  • The Historicity of Megillat Esther: Gil Student's survey of scholarship supporting an historical reading of Esther
  • Esther, Book of: A Christian perspective of the book.
  • Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East by Theodor Gaster. 1950.
  • White, Sidnie Ann. “Esther: A Feminine Model for Jewish Diaspora” in Newsom

Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French literary critic and philosopher of Jewish descent, considered the first to develop deconstruction. Positioning Derridas thought Derrida had a significant effect on continental philosophy and on literary theory, particularly through his long-time association... Emmanuel Levinas (January 12, 1906 - December 25, 1995) was a Jewish philosopher originally from Kaunas in Lithuania, who moved to France where he wrote most of his works in French. ... This article is about the Canadian actor. ... Theodor Herzl Gaster (1906 - 1992) was an American Biblical scholar known for work on comparative religion, mythology and the history of religions. ...

Commentaries and other books

  • Clines, David J.A. The Esther Scroll. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series, 30. Sheffield, England: Sheffield, 1984.
  • Fischer, James A. Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther. Collegeville Bible Commentary. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1986.
  • Fox, Michael V. Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Levenson, Jon D. Esther. Old Testament Library Series. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1997.
  • McConville, John C.L. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Daily Study Bible Series. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1985.
  • Moore, Carey A. Esther. Anchor Bible, vol. 7B. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971.
  • Paton, Lewis B. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh, Scotland: T&T Clark, 1908.
Preceded by
Ecclesiastes in the Tanakh
Nehemiah in the Protestant OT
Judith in the R. Catholic & Eastern OT
Books of the Bible Succeeded by
Daniel in the Tanakh
Job in the Protestant OT
1 Maccabees in the R. Catholic & Eastern OT
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Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions and churches which developed in Greece, Russia, Armenia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... The canonical list of the Books of the Bible differs among Jews, and Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Christians, even though there is a great deal of overlap. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy (Greek deuteronomium, second, from to deuteronomium touto, this second law, pronounced ) is the fifth book of the Torah of the Hebrew bible and the Old Testament. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boazs Field, 1828 The Book of Ruth (Hebrew: מגילת רות, Megilat Rut, the Scroll of Ruth) is one of the books of the Ketuvim (Writings) of the Tanakh (the... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Books of Kings (‎) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanach and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... Psalms (Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or praises) is a book of the Hebrew Bible included in the collected works known as the Writings or Ketuvim. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... This article is about the Book of Isaiah. ... The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ YirmÉ™yāhÅ« in Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, and later became a part of Christianitys Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Book Of Ezekiel is rapper Freekey Zekeys debut album and debut on Diplomat Records/Asylum. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... Hosea: Salvation The Book of Hosea is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible and of the Christian Old Testament. ... The Book of Joel is part of the Jewish Tanakh, and also the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Book of Amos is one of the books of the Neviim and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Obadiah is found in both the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, where it is the shortest book, only one chapter long. ... In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Jonah is the fifth book in a series of books called the Minor Prophets (itself a subsection of the Nevi’im or Prophets). ... The Book of Micah (Hebrew: ספר מיכה) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, traditionally attributed to Micah the Prophet. ... The book of Nahum is a book in the Bibles Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... // The Prophet There is not much biographical information on the prophet Habakkuk; in fact less is known about this prophet than any other. ... // Who wrote it? The superscription of the Book of Zephaniah attributes its authorship to “Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah” (1:1, NRSV). ... The Book of Haggai is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament, written by the prophet Haggai. ... The Book of Zechariah is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh attributed to the prophet Zechariah. ... Malachi (or Malachias, מַלְאָכִי, Malʾaḫi, Málakhî) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh, written by the prophet Malachi. ... Apocrypha (from the Greek word , meaning those having been hidden away[1]) are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. ... Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Bible, in contrast to the protocanonical books which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. ... It has been suggested that Epistle of Jeremy be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Book of Baruch. ... The additions to Daniel comprise of three additional chapters appended to the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel from the Greek Septuagint. ... Susanna and the Elders by Artemisia Gentileschi Susanna or Shoshana (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian  ; Egyptian loan: lily) is considered apocryphal by Protestants, but is included in the Book of Daniel (as chapter 13) by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. ... The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children, omitted from Protestant Bibles as an apocryphal addition, is a lengthy passage Daniel 3, that would come between verses 23 and 24 in Protestant Bibles. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Bible, English, King James, Bel The tale of Bel and the Dragon is from chapter 14 of the Book of Daniel. ... 1 Esdras is a book from the Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Old Testament regarded as a deuterocanonical book in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, but rejected as apocryphal by Jews, Catholics, and most Protestants. ... In the Septuagint and for Eastern Orthodox Christians, 2 Esdras refers to the combination of Ezra and Nehemiah. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... For other uses of Judith, see Judith (disambiguation). ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... 2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. ... The Wisdom of Ben Sirach, (or The Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sirach or merely Sirach), called Ecclesiasticus by Christians, is a book written circa 180 BCE in Hebrew. ... Tobias and the Angel, by Filippino Lippi The Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias in older Catholic Bibles) is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox and Anglican biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics... Wisdom or the Wisdom of Solomon is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. ... Odes () is a book of the Bible found only in Eastern Orthodox Bibles and included or appended after Psalms in Alfred Rahlfs critical edition of the Septuagint. ... This short work of only 15 verses purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... 2 Baruch or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text written in the late 1st century CE or early 2nd century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 CE. It is not part of the canon of either the Jewish or most Christian... Psalms 152 to 155 are additional Psalms found in the Syriac Peshitta, in Greek Septuagint manuscripts, and in the Qumran scrolls: 11QPs(a)154,155. ... 4 Baruch, also known as the Paraleipomena of Jeremiah when combined with the Epistle of Jeremy, is a text regarded as apocryphal by all Christian denominations except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Book of Jubilees (ספר היובלים), sometimes called the Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work. ... A series of three books in the Ethiopian Biblical canon. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... The Gospel of Mark, anonymous[1] but traditionally ascribed to Mark the Evangelist, is a synoptic gospel of the New Testament. ... The Gospel of Luke (literally, according to Luke; Greek, Κατά Λουκαν, Kata Loukan) is a synoptic Gospel, and the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. ... For other uses, see Gospel of John (disambiguation). ... For the literature genre, see Acts of the Apostles (genre). ... The Epistle to the Romans is one of the letters of the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible. ... The First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Galatians is a book of the New Testament. ... Described by William Barclay as the Queen of the Epistles, the Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the books of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Colossians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... Philippians redirects here. ... The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the First Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The First Epistle to Timothy is one of three letters in New Testament of the Bible often grouped together as the Pastoral Epistles. ... The Second Epistle to Timothy is one of the three Pastoral Epistles, normally attributed to Saint Paul, and is part of the canonical New Testament. ... The Pastoral Epistles are often considered together, as each throws light upon the others. ... The Epistle to Philemon is a book of the Bible in the New Testament. ... The Epistle to the Hebrews (abbr. ... The Epistle of James is a book in the Christian New Testament. ... In Christianity, the First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. ... The Second Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament of the Bible. ... The First Epistle of John is a book of the Bible New Testament, the fourth of the catholic or general epistles. ... The Second Epistle of John (normally just called 2nd John or 2 John) is a book of the Bible New Testament. ... The New Testament Third Epistle of John (often referred to as 3 John), written in the form of an Epistle, is the 64th book of the Bible. ... The brief Epistle of Jude is a book in the Christian New Testament canon. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... For the Jewish canon, see Development of the Jewish Bible canon. ... A folio from P46, an early 3rd century collection of Pauline epistles. ... A folio from P46, early 3rd c. ... Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Bible, in contrast to the protocanonical books which are contained in the Hebrew Bible. ... Apocrypha (from the Greek word , meaning those having been hidden away[1]) are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. ... The biblical apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish and Christian religious traditions that either were accepted into the biblical canon by some, but not all, Christian faiths, or are frequently printed in Bibles despite their non-canonical status. ... In the process of determining the Biblical canon, a large number of works were excluded from the New Testament. ... The Bible comprises 24 books for Jews, 66 for Protestants, 73 for Catholics, and 78 for most Orthodox Christians. ... Look up Pentateuch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the pre-history of the region, see Pre-history of the Southern Levant. ... Wisdom literature is the a genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East. ... A major prophet is a book in the Major Prophets section of the Christian Old Testament in the Bible. ... A minor prophet is a book in Minor Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible also known to Christians as the Old Testament. ... Bible prophecy, or biblical prophecy is the belief that the exegesis and hermeneutics that relate to those scriptures containing various prophecies regarding global politics, natural disasters, the future of the nation of Israel, the coming of a Messiah and a Messianic Kingdom, and the ultimate destiny of humankind are true. ... For other uses, see Gospel (disambiguation). ... In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke are so similar that they are called the synoptic gospels (from Greek, συν, syn, together, and οψις, opsis, seeing). ... The word epistle is from the Greek word epistolos which means a written letter addressed to a recipient or recipients, perhaps part of exchanged correspondence. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The three pastoral epistles are books of the canonical New Testament: the First Epistle to Timothy (1 Timothy) the Second Epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy), and the Epistle to Titus. ... General epistles are books in the New Testament in the form of letters. ... St. ... The Bible has been translated into many languages. ... The Vulgate Bible is an early 5th century version in Latin, partly revised and partly translated by Jerome on the orders of Pope Damasus I in 382. ... Luthers 1534 bible The Luther Bible is a German Bible translation by Martin Luther, first printed with both testaments in 1534. ... Wyclifs Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English, that were made under the direction of, or at the instigation of, John Wyclif. ... The Tyndale Bible generally refers to the body of biblical translations by William Tyndale. ... King James Version redirects here. ... There are many attempts to translate the Bible into modern English which is defined as the form of English in use after 1800. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Dynamic and formal equivalence. ... Dynamic equivalence and formal equivalence are two approaches to translation. ... The Jewish Publication Society of America Version (JPS) of the Jewish Bible (i. ... The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is an English translation of the Bible published in the mid-20th century. ... The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is an English translation of the Bible. ... The Amplified Bible (AMP) is an English translation of the Bible produced jointly by The Zondervan Corporation and The Lockman Foundation. ... In 1970, the New American Bible (NAB) was first published. ... The New English Bible (NEB) was a fresh translation of the Bible into modern English directly from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts (with some Latin in the Apocrypha); with the New Testament being published in 1961, and the Old Testament, along with the Apocrypha, being published in 1970. ... The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is an English translation of the Bible. ... The Living Bible (TLB) is an English version of the Bible by American publisher and author Kenneth Taylor released in 1971. ... The Good News Translation (GNT) as it is known in North America, or the Good News Bible (GNB) as it is known in the rest of the world, is an English language translation of the Bible by the American Bible Society, first published (as Good News for Modern Man) in... The New International Version (NIV) is an English translation of the Christian Bible which is the most popular of the modern translations of the Bible made in the twentieth century. ... The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. ... The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, released in 1989, is a thorough revision of the Revised Standard Version (RSV). ... Categories: Stub ... For other uses of the abbreviation, please see NLT (disambiguation). ... The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, written by Eugene H. Peterson and published in segments from 1993 to 2002, is a paraphrase of the original languages of the Holy Bible and crafted to present its tone, rhythm, events, and ideas in everyday language. ... Fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls on display at the Archeological Museum, Amman A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible. ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... The Dead Sea scrolls consist of roughly 1000 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1979 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) in the West... A targum (plural: targumim) is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) written or compiled in the Land of Israel or in Babylonia from the Second Temple period until the early Middle Ages (late first millennium). ... Tatians Diatessaron was one of a number of harmonies of the four Gospels, that is, the material of the four distinct Gospels rewritten as a continuous narrative resolving all conflicting statements. ... Among Christians, the Muratorian fragment is known as a copy of perhaps the oldest known list of New Testament books that were accepted as canonical by the churches known to its anonymous compiler. ... The Peshitta is the standard version of the Bible in the Syriac language. ... Vetus Latina is a collective name given to the Biblical texts in Latin that were translated before St Jeromes Vulgate bible became the standard Bible for Latin-speaking Western Christians. ... The Masoretic Text (MT) is the Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh). ... New Testament manuscripts are categorized into five groups. ... Authors of the Bible are listed by book of the Bible, comparing the writer according to Christian tradition with what current scholarship proposes. ... 1. ... Several texts are mentioned in the Bible, yet do not appear in the canon. ... Biblical studies is the academic study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. ... The Synod of Hippo refers to the synod of 393 A.D. which was hosted in Hippo Regius in northern Africa during the early christian church. ...

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Bible Summary - ESTHER (1167 words)
Inasmuch as the Hebrew text of Esther begins with the word "and" some have suggested that originally it was attached to some other historical work, possibly Nehemiah--the book it follows in the LXX and in the English translations.
The identity of the author of the book of Esther is unknown.
The historical setting of the book of Esther is to be found in events closely connected with Xerxes' disastrous Greek campaign that marked the last serious Persian attempt to incorporate the city-states of Greece into the Persian Empire.
Esther, Book of - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (3914 words)
It shows that the book was designed for a place in a series, the waw linking it on to a book immediately preceding, and that the present arrangement of the Hebrew Bible differs widely from what must have been the original order.
Referring to Esther, he says that, though the Jews have it in their Canon, "it is more worthy than all" the apocryphal books "of being excluded from the Canon." That repudiation was founded, however, on no historical or critical grounds.
The gathering of the nobles of the empire in "the third year of his reign" (Esther 1:3) was plainly the historical assembly in which the Grecian campaign was discussed; and "the seventh year," in which Esther was made queen, was that of his return from Greece.
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