Esther, book of

The seventeenth book of the OT in the traditional English order. Harem politics, antisemitism, and an audacious Jewish heroine combine to make this story from the later Persian period (early 4th cent. BCE) full of suspense as it unfolds. The beautiful Esther who also has the Hebrew name Hadassah (Esther 2:7) pleads successfully with King Ahasuerus, her husband, for her people and her adoptive father Mordecai against the wrath of Haman, who had suffered a supposed slight. The tables were neatly turned and it was Haman who was hanged (Esther 7:10). Esther's triumph does not at all suggest or encourage a Jewish victory over the foreign power, but rather implies that there is a comfortable place for Jews within the empire.
There is no mention of God in this tale—which is generally thought to be a legend designed to validate the feast of Purim in March. But in the LXX there are additions to the book of Esther which give it and the festival associated with it a religious tone previously lacking. The reversal of fortunes which Esther secured, attributed to her beauty and her daring in the book, are described, in the Additions, to her piety. These Additions, written by several hands between the 2nd cent. BCE and the 1st cent. CE, are to be found in the Apocrypha in Protestant Bibles, but Roman Catholics have inserted them in the appropriate places within the text. To make it clear that those sections are not part of the Hebrew text, the Catholic NJB prints them in italics.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Esther, Book of — ▪ Old Testament  Old Testament book that belongs to the third section of the Judaic biblical canon, known as the Ketuvim, or “Writings.” In the Jewish Bible, Esther follows Ecclesiastes and Lamentations and is read on the festival of Purim (q.v.) …   Universalium

  • Esther, Book of —    The authorship of this book is unknown. It must have been obviously written after the death of Ahasuerus (the Xerxes of the Greeks), which took place B.C. 465. The minute and particular account also given of many historical details makes it… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Book of Esther — Hebrew Bible Tanakh …   Wikipedia

  • Esther — • Queen of Persia and wife of Assuerus, who is identified with Xerxes (485 465 B.C.) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Esther     Esther      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ESTHER — (Heb. אֶסְתֵּר), daughter of Abihail, an exile at susa , and heroine of the Book of Esther. The name Esther is probably from Old Persian star (well attested in the later Persian dialects), with the same meaning as English star. She is once called …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Esther Hicks — Esther and Jerry Hicks in 2007 Born March 5th 1948 Residence San Antonio, Texas Other names …   Wikipedia

  • Esther Vilar — (born September 16, 1935) is a German writer born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She wrote the book The Manipulated Man (1971) and its follow up The polygamous sex (1976). She trained and practised as a medical doctor originally. The Manipulated Man …   Wikipedia

  • ESTHER — (pseudonym of Malkah Lifschitz, whose names by marriage were Frumkin and Wichmann; 1880–1943), communist leader, writer, and educator, born in Minsk; one of the most original women in the Jewish labor movement. She acquired a wide Jewish… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Esther Hunt — (September 4 1751 ndash; February 2 1820) was a pioneer who lived on America s frontier as a wife, a mother and a leader in her Quaker faith. [Specht, Neva Jean (1997), Mixed blessing: trans Appalachian settlement and the Society of Friends, 1780 …   Wikipedia

  • Esther Waters — is a novel by George Moore first published in 1894.IntroductionSet in England from the early 1870s onward, the novel is about a young, pious woman from a poor working class family who, while working as a kitchen maid, is seduced by another… …   Wikipedia

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