By Tal Davidovich
Notwithstanding Esther’s place as a queen within the Persian courtroom is unquestioned in Jewish notion, the historicity of this datum increases a few questions. students have mentioned that Esther, as a Jew, couldn't became King Ahasuerus’ spouse in keeping with a Persian legislations that allowed Persian kings to marry purely girls from seven particular noble households. students do agree at the “late” construction of the e-book of Esther, notwithstanding they fluctuate in regards to the approximate date of its composition.
Nevertheless, in Jewish idea Esther used to be, is, and may constantly be considered as the queen of Persia, an concept dependent, possibly, at the desire for safeguard and luxury for diaspora Jews, who handed this tale directly to their teenagers during the generations to provide them desire even of their darkest hours. Esther’s prestige in Jewish suggestion as a Persian queen relies at the contents of the several models of the publication of Esther and likewise at the Persian socio-historical historical past of the occasions defined within the book.
Davidovich doesn't argue for the book’s historicity. however, simply because in Jewish suggestion Esther is taken into account a queen within the palace of a amazing Persian king, she analyzes Esther inside of this context. even supposing Esther is brought later than the opposite major characters within the ebook (such as Ahasuerus and Mordecai) and even though she is first brought as a part of the outline of Mordecai, Esther is crucial determine within the story.
This examine contains an creation, an exam of Esther’s personality within the booklet of Esther, compared to different royal girls within the OT, and in gentle of the Resh Galuta, and conclusions. The examine follows the evolution of Esther’s prestige in and out the royal palace and her strength compared to different equally put ladies. even if she used to be a member of the pilagshim or carried the name of Queen (of the Jews?) is a question of secondary value. Of extra value is that Esther used to be certainly Resh Galuta, the single girl in Jewish historical past who's identified to were the top of the Diaspora, the formal chief of all of the Jews in exile.
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Additional info for Esther, Queen of the Jews: The Status and Position of Esther in the Old Testament (Coniectanea Biblica: Old Testament Series, Volume 59)
It was her good luck that the king was sitting with his face towards the entrance of the building and therefore could see her standing there, and she _______________ 147 כֶ ֶתרappears in the OT only in these three verses of the Book of Esther. It occurs also in 4QFestival Prayers (4Q509). On this word, see Salvesen 1999:35-46. “A Beautiful Orphan Queen,” or “To Be or Not to Be” 47 was even more lucky (or perhaps well prepared) because the king liked what he 148 saw (5:2). The description of her actions at this stage of the story go back and forth between her taking the initiative for acting and dictating the course of the events and her being acted upon and told what to do.
There are, of course, Jewish laws saying that one is prohibited from desiring something that belongs to another man, among them this man’s women. This is the last of the ten commandments: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife” (Exodus 20:1-18 ) and it is found with some changes in Deuteronomy 5:1-22 (21). _______________ 157 Beal 1999:27. On the adoption of Esther see Wahlt 1999:78-79. Paton 1908:171, Moore 1971:21, and 1977:186. 159 Clines 1984:287 rightly notes that adoption is unknown in Hebrew law and that the nearest parallel to it in the OT is set in a foreign locale (Exod 2:10).
The last time in which Esther is mentioned 9:29-32, when she and Mordecai send messages to all the Jews in the kingdom instructing them to celebrate these events from that time on and that the order of Esther be obeyed and documented in a book. This order is still obeyed today by the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim. 2 Her relations with Other Characters Esther’s relationships with other characters are another important element in understanding her character. All but one group (her seven maids) are male: 149 Mordecai, the eunuchs, Haman, and the king.