Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Esther

Started reading the book of Esther the other day, including the deuterocanonical bits. (I'll post on why I've been reading the deuterocanonical books later.)
Anyway, some people reckon it shouldn't be included in the scriptures at all, some because it doesn't directly mention YHWH, and others because it's debated whether it is a historical book or a Jewish remix of a story from the Babylonian mythology. And other people don't like it because the Greek version has bits that the Hebrew version doesn't. Either way, I don't doubt that it's useful.
There's a great big elephant of an argument going on about the book of Esther it here at Wikipedia.

Anyway, so far I've read the first Septuagint bits, where Esther's relative Mordecai saves the King of Babylon from a conspiracy.
And I've read the first chapter from the Tanakh version, where the Queen doesn't do what the King says. Men all over the country start to worry that they won't be able to tell their wives what to do anymore either, so the King has the Queen executed.

3 comments:

Tab said...

Your post today sparked controversy here. Was Vashti executed? The modern translations say that she was removed, thats all. But I did find out that the orignal texts use a word that could mean divorced, exiled or executed. All of the Jewish tradition says she was executed. Interesting.

Was Vashti an ancient feminist?? If I were her, I too would have most likely disobeyed the king's command.

Christop said...

Was the controversy about whether or not Vashti was killed?
One other thing I was wondering was whether they were both drunk, because they'd been partying so long, and whether that might have influenced Vashti to disobey the king?
I can understand why she would have been angry at being told to come and entertain the lads.

Susan said...

I think it is assumed Vashti was executed because King Xerxes was known to be ruthless. Possibly it is also assumed because of Esther 4:16 where Esther says, "I will go to the King, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish". Culturally it sounds like executions were fairly common.