The King returns in at this very moment and thinks Haman is assaulting the queen; this makes him angrier and he orders Haman hanged on the very gallows that Haman had prepared for Mordecai (7:8–10). It is one of the five Scrolls (Megillot) in the Hebrew Bible. Overcome by rage, Ahasuerus leaves the room; meanwhile Haman stays behind and begs Esther for his life, falling upon her in desperation (7:7).  It is usually dated to the 4th century BC. , This contrasts with traditional Jewish commentaries, such as the commentary of the Vilna Gaon, which states "But in every verse it discusses the great miracle. 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. The massacre had been plotted by the king’s chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots (purim). The Book of Esther is used twice in commonly used sections of the Catholic Lectionary. But while the writer gets the general characteristics of the court right, we cannot be sure whose reign he is describing. The books of Esther and Song of Songs are the only books in the Hebrew Bible that do not mention God. A Latin version of Esther was produced by Jerome for the Vulgate. 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 BC.  Edwin M. Yamauchi has questioned the reliability of other historical sources, such as Herodotus, to which Esther has been compared. The additions, called "The rest of the Book of Esther", are specifically listed in the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article VI, of the Church of England as non-canonical. 335–341, literary view, Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East by, White, Sidnie Ann. Why would a Jewish scribe writing in Shushan in the 4th century B.C.E. The Nova Vulgata accounts for the additional verses by numbering them as extensions of the verses immediately following or preceding them (e.g., Esther 11:2–12 in the old Vulgate becomes Esther 1:1a–1k in the Nova Vulgata), while the NAB and its successor, the NABRE, assign letters of the alphabet as chapter headings for the additions (e.g., Esther 11:2–12:6 in the Vulgate becomes Esther A:1–17). The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Xerxes sought his harem after being defeated in the Greco-Persian Wars. Taken together, the evidence of the vagueness about the king and the timeline problems, and the language, indicate that the redaction was by a Jewish scribe writing in Shushan in the middle of the 4th century B.C.E., about events that apparently happened more than a century before. We don't know, but Schellekens points to the very last verse of Esther, indeed to the very last word: “He [Mordechai] was great among the Jews and popular with many of his countrymen, for he sought favor for his people, and spoke of peace and prosperity for all of his posterity.”. On 13 Adar, Haman's ten sons and 500 other men are killed in Shushan (9:1–12).  Alternative attempts have been made to identify her with Esther, although Esther is an orphan whose father was a Jew named Abihail. The Book of Esther (hebrew: מְגִלַּת אֶסְתֵּר, Megillat Esther), also known in Hebrew as "the Scroll" (Megillah), is a book in the third section (Ketuvim, "Writings") of the Jewish Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and in the Christian Old Testament. Your browser will redirect to your requested content shortly. The conspirators are apprehended and hanged, and Mordecai's service to the King is recorded (2:21–23). Identifications with other Persian monarchs have also been suggested. In contrast, the 1979 revision of the Vulgate, the Nova Vulgata, incorporates the additions to Esther directly into the narrative itself, as do most modern Catholic English translations based on the original Hebrew and Greek (e.g., Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). These are Est 1:20; 5:4, 13 and 7:7. , Although marriages between Jews and Gentiles are not permitted in orthodox Judaism, even in case of Pikuach nefesh, Esther is not regarded as a sinner, because she remained passive, and risked her life to save that of the entire Jewish people.. When Mordecai discovers the plan, he goes into mourning and implores Esther to intercede with the King (4:1–5). The writer most probably lived in Shushanand was privy to court life. Alexander the Great deposed the Achaemenid Dynasty in 330 B.C.E., which could have pushed the family off the stage of history. It is unclear to which version of Greek Esther this colophon refers, and who exactly are the figures mentioned in it. Tradition says Mordechai wrote the Book of Esther, but surely he wouldn't have gotten the timing of his own expulsion a century wrong? If this theory is true, the attempt was unsuccessful, as we don’t hear of this family again in Jewish history. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-historical-books/esther In certain manuscripts of Tobit, the former is called Achiachar, which, like the Greek Cyaxares, is thought to be derived from Persian Huwaxšaϑra. Among these women is a Jewish orphan named Esther, who was raised by her cousin or uncle, Mordecai (2:5–7). There are certain elements of the book of Esther that are historically accurate. An additional six chapters appear interspersed in Esther in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible. Several Aramaic targums of Esther were produced in the Middle Ages of which two survive – the Targum Rishon ("First Targum") and Targum Sheni ("Second Targum") dated c. 500–1000 AD. The view that it was Mordecai would be consistent with the identification of Ahasuerus with Cyaxares. Unable to annul a formal royal decree, the King instead adds to it, permitting the Jews to join together and destroy any and all of those seeking to kill them (8:1–14). Joseph’s story begins with him being taken in captivity to Egypt. Esther, the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (), and her cousin Mordecai persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire. Now She's Planning Her Own Funeral, Intel Bonanza: The Other Egyptian Spy That Saved Israel From Destruction, Jews Looted Arab Property en Masse. This parentage is no trivial fact. She finds favour in the King's eyes, and is crowned his new queen, but does not reveal her Jewish heritage (2:8–20). At the very core of the Jewish holiday of Purim lies the Book of Esther, which tells they story of how two Jews, Mordechai and Esther, who ascended in the ancient Persian court of Ahasuerus, saved the Jews from genocide by the evil prime minister Haman.  The genre of novellas under which Esther falls was common during both the Persian and Hellenistic periods to which scholars have dated the book of Esther.. Ahasuerus remains very powerful and continues his reign, with Mordecai assuming a prominent position in his court (10:1–3). Bar-Hebraeus identified Ahasuerus explicitly as Artaxerxes II; however, the names are not necessarily equivalent: Hebrew has a form of the name Artaxerxes distinct from Ahasuerus, and a direct Greek rendering of Ahasuerus is used by both Josephus and the Septuagint for occurrences of the name outside the Book of Esther.
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