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  Book of Esther
  Author of Esther
  Who was Esther?
  Esther in Persian Culture
  Genealogy of Mordecai
  Genealogy of Haman
  Haman the Astrologer
  Zeresh
  Shushan
  Vashti
  Agagite
  Historical Setting
  History or a Myth?  
 

 
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Book of Esther
 

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Esther 5

King James Version
Estherís Request to the King
1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king hath said.

Hamanís Rage Against Mordecai
9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and tomorrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.1


References and notes
1.  King James Authorized Version
2. 
CLARKE'S COMMENTARY - ESTHER 1 - http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarkeest1.htm
3.  CLARKE'S COMMENTARY - ESTHER 5 - http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarkeest5.htm
4. 
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Esther



 

 

 

 

Music for Esther 5

Click on image for song preview of Esther 5. The music was composed in 2008. The song features on the CD Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. It is also expected to be included in a future album Esther 1-5.
 

 
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Bible Author

Concerning the author of this book there are several opinions: some attribute the work to Ezra; some to one Joachim, a high priest; others, to the men of the Great Synagogue; and others to Mordecai. This latter is the most likely opinion: nor is that to be disregarded which gives to Mordecai for co-partner Ezra himself; though it is likely that the conclusion, from chap. ix. 23 to the end of the book, was inserted by another hand, and at a later time.2
 

 

Outline of Esther 5

Esther presents herself before the king, and finds favour in his sight, 1, 2.
He asks what her request is, and promises to grant it, 3.
She invites him and Haman to a banquet, which they accept, 4, 5.
He then desires to know her request; and she promises to make it known on the morrow, if they will again come to her banquet, 6-8.
Haman, though overjoyed at the manner in which he was received by the queen, is indignant at the indifference with which he is treated by Mordecai, 9.
He goes home, and complains of this conduct to his friends, and his wife Zeresh, 10-13.
They counsel him to make a gallows of fifty cubits high, and to request the king that Mordecai may be hanged on it, which they take for granted the king will not refuse; and the gallows is made accordingly, 14.3
 

 

History or Myth?

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 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.
From the late nineteenth century onwards, several scholars 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. 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. 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.4
 





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