Chapter

The Rest Of Esther

Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett

in The Bible: Authorized King James Version

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780192835253
Published online April 2009 |

Series: Oxford World's Classics

The Rest Of Esther

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Some Apocryphal material seems to be either additions to biblical books or variant versions of them. The Greek translation of Esther includes six pieces not found in the Hebrew text. Jerome's revision of the Old Latin version of the Bible removed most of these, but appended some of them as a minor collection at the end of the canonical text of Esther. Once again, the lack of any stable original version of a biblical book is illustrated by the way translations often differ considerably from the Hebrew versions. Every early version of a biblical book is different—the notion of a fixed, original text belongs to the post-Gutenbergian era of print. The Book of Esther is notable, among other things, for lacking any direct reference to YHWH or God. The additions to the book make good that omission. They also supplement the dramatic appeal of the book and add some elements of harmonization to the basic story-line of Esther. One example of this pietization of the text which appears in the additions may be seen in the summary of the tale of Haman's execution: ‘For he, that was the worker of these things, is hanged at the gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him according to his deserts’ (16: 18). The inclusion of the prayers of Mordocheus (Mordecai) and Esther in these additions (13: 8–14: 19) is further evidence of the enhancement of the reputation of these heroic figures as pious devotees of YHWH.

Chapter.  261 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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