Book of Esther

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Detail of an illuminated Ester scroll, Ashkenazi , 18th century (Gross Family Collection, Israel)
Ketuvim (writings) of the Tanakh
Sifrei Emet (poetic books)
חמש מגילות- Megillot (fixed rollers)
Old Testament history books

Names indented after the ÖVBE
: Deuterocanonical (Catholic and Orthodox) or Apocrypha (Protestant)

The book of Esther or Esther , in Hebrew מְגִלַּת אֶסְתֵּר məgillat 'æster , is a book of the Bible that tells of the dangers, but also the possibilities of life in the ancient Jewish diaspora . The loyal court official Mordechai and the beautiful and courageous Queen Ester thwart the genocide planned by Grand Vizier Haman against the Jews in the Persian Empire. At the end of the story, all enemies are dead, the Jews are respected and happy, many proselytes join their religion, and the festival of Purim is celebrated as an annual festival of joy that commemorates Ester's deed.

The Book of Esther has come down to us in three different versions: one in Hebrew and two different Greek versions. The Hebrew Book of Esther is of high literary quality, but not very (and at least not explicitly) religious. The Greek versions corrected this by inserting prayers from Esther and Mordechai and further references to their piety.

In the Jewish canon of the Hebrew Esterbuch part of the third main body of the Tanach , the Ketuvim (Writings). It is read as a fixed scroll ( megilla ) at the Purim festival.

In the Christian canon of the Septuagint , the Greek Book of Esters is counted among the history books. Modern Catholic and Protestant Christian Bible translations adopt this classification with the exception of the Bible in fair language , which follows the Jewish canon. However, a different text is offered. Evangelical Bible translations ( Luther Bible , Zurich Bible , Elberfeld Bible and others) are based on the Hebrew text, while the Roman Catholic standard translation offers a mixed text: it "combines the extensions from the Greek version with the Hebrew core text."

Hebrew Book of Esters

The first surviving artistic representation of the history of Esther is a fresco in the synagogue of Dura Europos , around 245 AD. King Ahasuerus is enthroned on the right, Esther next to him as queen. On the left Mordecai is honored by being allowed to ride the king's horse, which is led by Haman, cf. Est 6: 6–11  ZB . Mordecai is dressed as a distinguished Parthian , while Haman is dressed as a Roman. ( National Museum Damascus )


The Esterbuch takes place at the Persian court in Susa and transports the reader into a fairytale world of luxurious banquets and courtly intrigues. King Ahasuerus casts out Queen Vashti because she refused to appear in front of the guests at a banquet. He chooses Hadassa, who is also called Ester, as his new wife. She comes from a Jewish family (which is not known at court at first) and grew up with her cousin, the court official Mordechai . The elevation of Ester to queen and the marriage to Ahasuerus is a quasi private scene in which all courtly splendor is missing ( Est 2.17  ZB ). Only then does a banquet follow.

Mordechai reports a conspiracy against the king. When Mordechai refuses to honor the Grand Vizier Haman through prosksynesis , the consequences are far-reaching. Motives for his actions are not mentioned; the reader can assume, however, that Mordechai is acting as a religious Jew; that proskynesis only to God, is in the Tanach familiar idea. But Haman, offended in his honor, plans to murder all Jews in the empire; the day for this will be drawn by draw. It is the 13th of Adar (late February / early March). The king, who appears as Haman's puppet, approves this genocide, and the fast-moving Persian postal service carries the call for a pogrom to all provinces of the empire. While Ahasuerus and Haman celebrate their deed with a feast, the residents of the Susa residence are appalled.

Mordechai appears in front of the palace as a public penitent, a behavior Esther first tries to dissuade him from. He informs Esther about the planned pogrom and calls on her to stand up for her people. Her intervention with the king is a risk she prepares for, together with all the Jews in Susa, by fasting for three days. Then she goes before the king alone. Ahasuerus graciously asks what their concern is. Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet. In his high spirits about this invitation, Haman prepares the destruction of Mordechai, which should complete his triumph: He has an oversized gallows built for him ( Est 5.9-14  ZB ). Meanwhile, Ahasuerus learns that Mordechai has uncovered the conspiracy against him and orders that he be specially honored for it - which Haman is charged with, which increases his bitterness against Mordechai, but also initiates Haman's disempowerment.

At the banquet she organized, Esther asked the king for her life and the life of her people in an elaborate speech. Ahasuerus takes up only one aspect: who dares to threaten his wife? ( Est 7.5  ZB ) Ester points to Haman as the originator of the planned pogrom. Excited, the king gets up from the table and goes into the palace garden. Haman tries to save himself by asking Ester for forgiveness (her reaction is not told). Ahasuerus steps back into the room and sees Haman sprawled over Ester's upholstery. He misunderstood this approach as an attempt at rape; thus the downfall of Haman is sealed. He is led away and hanged on the gallows that he had erected for Mordecai.

The population in Susa cheers Mordechai, many people convert to Judaism. With a new edict, Ahasuerus cancels the pogromedict and grants his Jewish subjects two privileges: freedom of assembly and freedom of defense ( Est 8:11  ZB ). According to the principle of rewarding like for like, they are given permission to kill the attackers with women and children, just as they would kill them. Only then is the danger really overcome. From the 13th to the 15th Adar they kill over 75,000 enemies of Jews throughout the Persian Empire. The 14th Adar is declared a national festival, while the 15th Adar is declared a festival in the city of Susa.

Structure of the narrative

The artful structure of the narrative can be analyzed in different ways. Arndt Meinhold counts eight banquet scenes, which are grouped into four festival couples. The first feast couple serves the self-staging of the Persian king. In the last feast couple, which contrasts with this, the Jews celebrate their liberation and constitute themselves as a community. A “mirror principle” or a reversal structure has been shown several times in the Esterbuch. B. according to Jon B. Levenson can be represented schematically as follows:

descent Ascent
A greatness of Ahasuerus (Est 1,1-8) A ' greatness of Ahasuerus and Mordecai (Est 10)
B Two Persian banquets (Est 1,1-8) B ' Two Jewish banquets (Est 9.20–32)
C Ester hides her Jewish identity (Est 2: 10-20) C ' Gentiles convert to Judaism (Est 8:17)
D exaltation of Hamans (Est 3.1) D ' exaltation of Mordechais (Est 8.15)
E Edict hostile to Jews (Est 3.10-15) E ' Jew-friendly edict (Est 8,9-14)
F Conversation Mordechais with Ester (Est 4) F ' Conversation Esters with Ahasuerus (Est 7.1–6)
G First feast of Esters for Ahasuerus and Haman (Est 5: 6–8) G ' Second feast of Esters for Ahasuerus and Haman (Est 7.1–6)
H Royal Honor Mordechai (Est 6)

main characters

Four main characters appear in the Esterbuch, literary types that are primarily characterized by their actions:

  • King Ahasuerus - personally with integrity, politically unconcerned, he follows spontaneous surges of anger or affection.
  • Queen Esther - diplomatically clever, but consistent after initial hesitation, the heroine of the book always finds the goodwill of her surroundings.
  • Mordechai - loyal to both his god and the Persian king, he stands by his ethnic and religious origins.
  • Haman - the scheming, but also vain and stupid courtier tries to use the inexperience of the king to his own advantage.

Place and time of the action

Relief from the Achaemenid palace in Susa ( Pergamon Museum Berlin)

The narrator has very precise ideas about the palace complex of the Persian kings. In Susa he distinguishes the citadel from the urban settlement; inside the citadel is the actual palace. The palace is accessed through the “King's Gate”, where several scenes from the Book of Esther are located. In the palace there is the royal living quarters and, separate from it, the women's shelter. Furthermore, the narrator differentiates between a generally accessible outer palace courtyard and an inner courtyard, which may only be entered upon royal invitation. There is also a building for the king's banquets and a garden in the palace area. It is possible that the author knew the palace in Susa firsthand; since Susa was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Was not destroyed, such local knowledge does not necessarily contradict a late writing of the book.

After Vashti was rejected in the third year of Ahasuerus' reign, Esther came to court in his seventh year of reign. The other events take place in his 12th year of reign. The pogrom edict is issued in the first month ( Nisan ), but the date of the pogrom determined by lot is only in the twelfth month ( Adar ). So there is almost a year left for Mordecai and Esters to avert the deadly danger from the Jewish inhabitants of the Persian Empire.

Persian coloring

Golden drinking vessel ( rhyton ) from Persepolis. Cf. Est 1.7  ZB ( Iranian National Museum Tehran)

The story has a Persian character. Numerous secondary characters are introduced with their Iranian name; However, only a few of these personal names are attested in the Iranian onomasticon , most are artificial names.

In the Esterbuch details from the court protocol are mentioned with the associated courtesy formulas, as well as Persian drinking customs, the postal system and the royal jurisdiction. In Herodotus , Xenophon and Diodorus one reads like it. The number of Persian loanwords is higher in the Ester book than in any other biblical script. In addition, there are exotic loanwords, which bring in the entire extent of the Persian Empire from Ethiopia to India into the story. The names of gemstones and types of fabrics add to the atmosphere of courtly luxury. Aramaic and Aramaic forms, along with syntactic observations, speak for a late stage of Biblical Hebrew.

However, according to many exegetes, the "Persian coloring" created through the vocabulary and a certain knowledge of court life and administration cannot be used for the historical reliability of the narrated events.


The name of the king in the Book of Esters, Ahasuerus ( Hebrew אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ 'ǎḥašwerôš ), can plausibly be explained as a transcription of the name Ḥšayārša (= Xerxes). Xerxes I ruled from 486 to 465/464 BC. Chr .; therefore Ester would be in the year 479 BC. In the royal harem. If Mordechai belonged to the Judeans deported in 598/597 ( Est 2.5–6  ZB ), he would have been very old at that time and Esther, as his cousin, would have been much too old to be considered for the royal harem. Herodotus mentions the wife of Xerxes I; her name was not Waschti or Ester, but Amestris . The Persian kings chose their partners from among the noble women of the country and not from a harem. In Xerxes' I harem there may have been two women named Waschti and Ester, but they would not have been called queens.

The royal decrees told in the Esterbuch combine several historical problems. It is unlikely that they were not in Imperial Aramaic but in all languages ​​of the empire ( Est 1.22  ZB ; Est 3.12  ZB ; Est 8.9  ZB ). A decree that all men should be masters of their house ( Est 1,22  ZB ) sounds absurd; that the Persian king would have approved a civil war in his empire ( Est 9.11–12  ZB ) is "completely unthinkable" according to Erich Zenger . The death penalty for refusing to pay homage, however, is attested from the Persian Empire; Cicero accused Mithridates of Pontus of having 80,000 to 150,000 Romans murdered in a single day. "However, the collective annihilation of an ethnic-religious community because of a failure to pay homage to an individual is a poetic stylization," says Harald Martin Wahl. There is also no evidence of a pogrom against the Jewish subjects of the Persian king in extra-biblical sources.

Owing to the incongruities mentioned, the majority of historical-critical exegetes come to the following conclusion: “The idealized milieu and the fairytale-like features as well as the artistic poetic composition show that it is a literary fiction. Individual narrative trains can be based on historical motifs ... but overall typification predominates. "

Time and place of origin

Erich Zenger represents a dating of the book Ester in the 3rd century BC. This is supported by the fact that the subject of persecution of the Jews was relevant in the time of the Diadoch fights after the death of Alexander the Great. Markus Witte , who dates the book to the end of the Persian period or the beginning of the Hellenistic period, has a similar opinion . The fact that Greek language influences are not recognizable in the Hebrew Book of Esters does not indicate an early date of origin, but rather the place of origin, namely the eastern Jewish diaspora or the core area of ​​the Persian Empire. Beate Ego sees the city of Susa as a place of a Persian-Greek cultural symbiosis and points out that in the Hellenistic period, within the political framework of the Seleucid Empire , there was a return to one's own Achaemenid culture, a "re-Persianization".

(In) visibility of the Jewish faith in the Diaspora

While late Biblical Hebrew prose is rich in dreams, visions, liturgical texts, and private prayers, all of this is absent from the Hebrew Book of Esther. The two protagonists Mordechai and Ester are very largely assimilated. There is no question of either public or private religiosity. "Unlike in the books Esra, Nehemia and Daniel, Jewish identity is not secured by strictly observing purity regulations, but by fighting and cunning for the life of the Jewish people," said Markus Witte. Harald Martin Wahl understands Mordechai's penance ritual, with which he reacts to the pogromedict, as a spontaneous religious act. Other exegetes see the penitential rite rather profane: Mordecai is protesting publicly against injustice or Mordecai shows his concern that Haman's provocation put his people in danger. At the narrative level, there is a contrast between the penitent Mordechai and the Haman dining with the king.

The divine name YHWH does not appear in the whole book, nor is there any other name for God. With this “silence from God” the reader is supposed to be conveyed “urbiblical certainty of God”, Erich Zenger suspects : The readers should conclude for themselves that the salvation of the Jews brought about by Esther and Mordechai can be traced back to God.

Intertextual references

As a relatively young script in the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Esther makes reference to other texts in this canon. In exegesis this is mainly discussed for the following motives:

  • Josef is of outstanding beauty ( Gen 39.6  ZB ) and makes a career at a foreign royal court. The Joseph novella also only mentions God's saving action indirectly.
  • Saul , the son of Kish , from the tribe of Benjamin , gambled away his kingship by sparing the Amalekite king Agag ( 1 Sam 15.1–35  ZB ). If Mordecai is introduced as a descendant of Kish and Benjaminit (Est 2.5), while Haman is introduced as “Agagiter” ( Est 3.1  ZB ), Mordecai in a way compensates for Saul's failure.
  • After all, Purim is a festival of salvation and can be compared to the Passover festival . In contrast to the exodus from Egypt , Israel is not saved from a foreign country, but in it.

Greek versions

Relationship between Masoretic Text, Septuagint and Alpha Text

Two Greek text types have survived: the long version of the Septuagint (10 chapters) and the shorter, so-called alpha text, attested by four minuscule manuscripts from the 10th to 13th centuries, which has only 8 chapters.

The relationship between the Hebrew version (the so-called Masoretic text ), the Septuagint text and the alpha text is controversial; however, research tends to view the alpha text as it stands as secondary to the Septuagint aversion. Marie-Theres Wacker suggests starting from a narrative pool , ie from a material popular in ancient Jewish diaspora communities that was told differently - not only in the details of the plot, but also in the overall tendency.

The Masoretic Text is the oldest accessible text form. On the other hand, the material textual evidence of the Septuagint-Ester book begins centuries earlier than that of the Masoretic text, namely with the great late antique Bible codices Alexandrinus , Sinaiticus , Vaticanus, Venetus and the Chester Beatty papyrus 967 from the 3rd century AD.

The Septuagint version differs from the Masoretic Text in numerous small variations and six longer additions, a total of 105 additional verses. These pieces from the Book of Esther are marked with the capital letters A to F in today's specialist literature, following the Göttingen Septuagint Edition. Here is an overview of the names for these texts in different Bible editions:

Göttingen Septuagint

(ed. Hanhart)


(ed. Rahlfs)

Vulgate content
A 1-11 1.1 a-l 11.2-12 Dream Mordechais.
A 12-17 1.1 m-r 12.1-6 Mordechai saves the king from a plot.
B 1-7 3.13 a-g 13.1-7 Edict of King Artaxerxes to exterminate the Jews.
C 1-11 4.17 a-i 13.8-18 Mordecai prayer.
C 12-30 4.17 k-z 14.1-19 Queen Esther's prayer.
D 1-16 5.1 a-f . 5.2 a-b 15.1 / 4-19 Ester's audience with the king.
E 1-24 8.12 a-x 16.1-24 Edict of King Artaxerxes for the legal recognition of the Jews.
F 1-6 10.3 a-g 10.4-9 Mordecai interprets his dream.
F 7-10 10.3 h-k 10.10-13 Midrash for the festival of Purim .
F 11 10.3 l 11.1 Colophon for the Greek translation of the Ester book.

These additives seem to have a different history. The colophon (F 11) only available in the Septuagint version dates the Greek translation to the year 78/77 BC. BC, the 4th year of the reign of Ptolemy XII . Because of their proximity to the Hellenistic letter style, the two edicts B 1–7 and E 1–24 are also considered to be “genuinely Greek products” that enhance the figure of Artaxerxes from a narrative point of view. For the remaining additions it can be assumed that they were translated from Aramaic or Hebrew into Greek. Since the Septuagint translator had a passive command of Hebrew and an active command of Greek, he could have integrated these different texts into his work or created them for his Greek narrative in a single work process.


Septuagint version

The Ester book of the Septuagint (LXX) also takes place at the Persian court in Susa, but at the time of the king "Artaxerxes the Great". The Jewish courtier Mordechai has a dream that heralds great danger for the “people of the righteous”. So what began in the Hebrew Book of Esther as a cheerful court story is, from the start, a threatening, gloomy story with Mordechai at its center. He uncovered a first conspiracy against the Persian king, and with that he made himself an enemy of Haman, who wanted to take revenge for the executed conspirators. Haman is referred to as a Macedonian (Est E10 LXX ; Est 9.24 LXX ), which makes him the political opponent of the Persian king. The royal banquet follows, and the king instructs his eunuchs to “lead Vashti in to make her queen and put on her tiara and show her to the colonels and to the people of her beauty, for she was beautiful . “(Est 1,11 LXX ) Waschti however refuses to be crowned and is thereupon no longer heeded by the king.

The following bridal show brings Ester to court. She is not only Mordechai's foster child: "when her parents died ... he raised her to be a wife for himself." (Est 2,7b LXX ) Artaxerxes falls in love with Esther, raises her to queen and organizes a wedding banquet. As queen, Esther retains her Jewish way of life. Later the reader learns that Esther is in a "predicament": she hates court life and detests "the bed of an uncircumcised and completely different person" (Est C26f LXX ).

Mordechai's career at court is the envy of two eunuchs, who are therefore planning an attack on the king. Mordecai exposes this second conspiracy against the king. But not he, but Haman is placed "at the head of all his friends" by the king (Est 3,1 LXX ). Mordechai refuses to honor him through proskynesis. This is also explained afterwards: Mordechai did not want to honor a person higher than God; but he would have liked to kiss the soles of Haman's feet "if it had only served to save Israel" (Est C6 LXX ). Haman is now beginning his preparations for the pogrom to which Mordechai and all his people will fall victim. The king agrees. The pogromedict contained in the wording of the Septuagint shows that Artaxerxes sees himself as a mild ruler who wants the well-being of his subjects and is convinced of Haman's integrity (the reader knows, of course, that Haman is on the side of the conspirators against Artaxerxes). Haman had pointed out to him that "a certain evil-minded people had mingled with all the tribes of the world" (Est B4 LXX ), who, by following their own laws, undermined the good administration of the empire. It must be exterminated so that Artaxerxes' government measures could develop their beneficial effects in the future. Anti-Jewish stereotypes of the Hellenistic period are included here.

As soon as Mordecai learns of the pogromedict, he runs in sackcloth through the main street of Susa and shouts: “A people who have committed no wrong will be eliminated!” (Est 4,1 LXX ) After Mordechai the queen of danger has informed them and has convinced them of the need to become active themselves, both pray and thus explicitly seek God's help. The climax and turning point of the Septuagint version is the appearance of the queen before Artaxerxes: the latter is sitting on his throne, extremely frightening and with a fiery red face, so that Ester suffers a fit of weakness. “Then God changed the spirit of the king, so that he was gently tuned.” (Est D8 LXX ) He jumps up from the throne, takes the queen in his arms and speaks to her: “What is it, Esther? I am your brother. Be of good cheer! "(Est D9 LXX )

Once again God intervenes directly by "robbing the king of sleep, encountering the benefits of Mordechai and thus preparing the turning point in the story." Esther organizes her feast to which she has invited the king and Haman. They convict Haman, and the king publishes a counteredict (again in full). As such, this edict already reduces the extent of hostility towards Jews, so that the extent of the fighting and the number of attackers killed is considerably lower than in the Hebrew version.

Alpha text

This version of the story depicts Mordechai as the (only) main character. After the “great king Assveros” has cast out Queen Vashti, a “little girl” is not sought for him, but a “little girl” (Est 2,4 A-text ). Accordingly, in this version, Ester is a child. The alpha text omits the beauty treatment depicted by the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, but emphasizes that the marriage takes place in public (Est 2.18 A-Text ). In the further course the conflict between the Macedonian Haman (Est A17 A-Text ) and Mordechai takes center stage; Haman's homage to Mordechai (Chapter 6) is described in detail. The childlike Esther only brings her request to the king at the third banquet, to which she invites, and that only with special divine help (Est 7.2 A-text ). On the other hand, it is her express wish that her enemies be killed, especially the ten sons of Haman (Est 7.18f. A-Text ). Mordecai appears at the end of the story as the founder of the Purim festival. The scene in which he gives the interpretation of his dream is designed like a church service. The congregation responded to Mordechai's speech with a liturgical cry: “Blessed are you, Lord, who commemorated his covenants with our fathers. Amen! ”(Est 7.58 A-Text ).

Reception history

Jewish readers


The Book of Esther is the only book in the Hebrew Bible that no fragments were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls . But it could also be a coincidence of the tradition; Emmanuel Tov points out that only a single text fragment (4QChr) has survived from the extensive book of the Chronicle . The ester substance seems to have been well known in Qumran. Michael G. Wechsler considers that 4Q550 a-c is a fragment of a prehistory ( prequel ) to the biblical Ester book, i.e. parabiblical literature.

Flavius ​​Josephus

The Jewish-Hellenistic historian Flavius ​​Josephus recounted the Esterbuch as part of his historical work Jewish Antiquities , which he completed in 93/94 AD (Book 11, 184-296). He based the Septuagint version (with the additions B to E, without the dream of Mordechai and its interpretation). He apparently knew an alpha-text version of the story that he occasionally preferred to the Septuagint. The adaptation of Josephus served the purpose of making the material more attractive to the Roman readership by bringing the Ester story closer to a Hellenistic novel: more eroticism, more tension (Ester's petition to the king) and more irony (Haman's exposure and fall). In addition, Josephus endeavored to omit individual features that a non-Jewish audience might disapprove of. Artaxerxes seems quite sympathetic to Josephus and is also valued as ruler.

Rabbinical literature

Since when the Esterbuch was regarded as holy scripture in ancient Judaism is controversial in research. The celebration of the carnival-like festival of Purim was probably already widespread in Jewish communities in the time of the Second Temple (before 70 AD). The scholars of the Mishnah took Purim as a matter of course, their concern was to make the reading of the Ester scroll the central festival content. Only in the Babylonian Talmud is a discussion about the canonical status of Esther handed down, where the negative vote of a Rabbi Samuel is contrasted with numerous positive votes (bMeg 7a). For the later rabbis, Esther was not only inspired; Besides the Torah, Esther was the only sacred text whose liturgical reading was an obligatory command . This is probably related to the fact that a particularly large number of Midrashim were written for the Book of Esther, next to the Torah . Since the Hebrew Ester Book is not very religious in the literal sense, a considerable reinterpretation was necessary. One problem was that Esther had married a non-Jew and could certainly neither observe the Sabbath nor the food commandments at court . According to the Midrash, Esther found ways and means to obey the Jewish religious law. The problem of sexual contact between the Persian Ahasuerus and the Jewess Ester remained; here Esther was relieved by the fact that the rabbis equated their married life with rape.

Medieval and modern commentators

During the Middle Ages, Jewish communities in Christian Europe were mostly in a precarious situation, in which the Ester book offered material for identification and, as a story of salvation, gave courage. The commentators were also able to deal with topics of diaspora existence on the basis of the Esterbuch, such as the relationship to non-Jewish rulers, the situation of court Jews or, in general, the relationship to the Christian majority society . Based on the Esterbuch, Rabbi Judah Löw of Prague developed a political theory of the Habsburg Monarchy as a form of government that guaranteed ethnic and religious tolerance and thus offered the Jewish community a safe environment.

The “silence of God” in the Ester book was explained in various ways. A Kabbalistic-inspired interpretation said that the Ester story took place in a time when God was hiding ( hester panim ); a more messianic, esoteric interpretation saw in Ester and Mordechai's actions a paradigm for future salvation.

The role of Ester as the consort of the Persian king was also perceived as problematic by medieval commentators. Could Mordechai not have protected her, and should it not have been better for Esther to commit suicide than to be admitted to the harem? The Kabbalah offered a solution : Abraham Saba (15th / 16th century) identified Esther with the Shechina . The fact that Mordechai raises Esther is a theurgic act that triggers positive changes in the divine sphere. The rabbis were also familiar with the tradition that Esther and Mordecai were a couple (similar to the ancient Septuagint version that Mordecai wanted to marry his cousin), which posed further problems. Here, too, the Kabbalah offered the opportunity to interpret this constellation esoterically.

Ester's marriage to Ahasuerus was classified as a serious guilt (namely as a sexual offense, besides idolatry and murder one of three prohibitions in which one should die in a predicament ( Pikuach Nefesch ) rather than commit this act); the rabbis differentiated between an active and a passive violation of these three prohibitions, and Ester's role is purely passive. With her petition to the king, which is also sexually connoted in the interpretation, Ester steps out of this passivity. Rabbi Jecheskel Landau , who died in 1793, declared that Ester's action was an exception to the aforementioned strict ban, as it would save the entire Jewish people. Nevertheless, Ester appears here as a tragic figure: she sacrifices herself to save Israel.

The fact that Ester initially hides her Jewish identity at court and practices the Jewish faith in secret made her a figure of identification for conversos in Spain. They celebrated a three-day Ester fast, which was unknown in rabbinic Judaism.

Modern Judaism

The book Ester, Szyk and Haman ( Arthur Szyk , 1950)

“There is another booklet: Esther; it is tasteless and senseless, it certainly tells us a novel about which we can no longer know how much truth there is in it. "

- Abraham Geiger : Introduction to the Biblical Scriptures

Some Reform Judaism writers were critical of the Book of Esther. Like Abraham Geiger , who died in 1874, Claude Montefiore also doubted the historical and moral value of the Ester book at the end of the 19th century. The religious philosopher Shalom Ben-Chorin published in Jerusalem in 1938 as the first text after his alija, a “Critique of the Book of Esther”, in which he proposed that the Purim festival be deleted from the Jewish calendar “and the Book of Esther be excluded from the canon of the holy scriptures ... do they [Ester book and Purimfest] represent a glorification of assimilation, clowning, unrestrained adoration for success. ”The reactions to this pamphlet were controversial; The author received approval from Samuel Hugo Bergmann .

In the meantime, the ester material also gained new relevance in liberal Jewish communities through the Nazi dictatorship. “Public… Purim celebrations gained an undreamt-of significance and attracted more Jews than could find seats. When the cantor recited the name Haman from the Esther scroll, everyone heard "Hitler" and the noise was deafening. "

In American Jewish communities, Ester beauty pageants were a common Purim festival. Against this background, Mary Gendler called in 1973 for the “Rehabilitation of Waschtis.” The poet Alicia Ostriker wrote in retrospect in 1996 that the figure of Ester, “this spoiled beauty queen”, had not addressed her as a Brandeis student in the 1950s: “The proud Waschti I preferred it. ”In some liberal Jewish communities, instead of the traditional Purim celebration, study days are held where topics such as sexism and anti-Semitism are discussed using the Ester book.

Christian readers

New Testament and Old Church

In the New Testament , the Book of Esther is not quoted and its main characters are not mentioned. An early example of the Christian reception of the book is Clement of Alexandria (around 200 AD):

“Once again, Esther, perfect in faith, saved Israel from the violence of the tyrant and the cruelty of its governor; All alone, a woman weakened by fasting, she dared to fight many thousands of armed men and, by her faith, reversed the tyrant's decree. And she appeased one (the king), and thwarted Haman's plan, and by her perfect prayer to God kept Israel intact. "

- Clement of Alexandria : Stromata (carpets)

Athanasius praised Esther (mind you: the Esters of the Septuagint version) as a pious ascetic in the 4th Easter Letter and recommended her to Christians as a model for fasting discipline during the Passion . In the 39th Easter letter, however, he counted the Book of Esther among the writings that should be read, but which did not belong to the canon of the Old Testament .

Jerome translated the Hebrew Book of Esters and added the additions to the Septuagint version as chapters 11 to 16 at the end: a dichotomy that was then taken up during the Reformation. In the preface to his translation, he explained that he had "fetched the Book of Esther from the archives of the Hebrews" after the text had been stretched and corrupted by the Greek translators. The Septuagint (and, following it, the Vetus Latina ) invented in many places, following the taste of the time, “what, according to the nature of the circumstances, could still have been said and heard.” In these reservations, Hieronymus' understanding of the Hebraica Veritas becomes clear.

Middle Ages and Reformation times

Ester (below) as a prefiguration of Mary (above), Speculum Humanae Salvationis , around 1360. (ULB Darmstadt, Hs 2505, fol.67r)

A Marian interpretation of Ester was already laid out in the first Christian commentary on the Book of Esters, by Hrabanus Maurus , and then justified the representation of Ester in churches, for example as a sculpture in the Cathedral of Chartres or on a stained glass window of the Sainte-Chapelle . Ester's intercession before King Ahasuerus in favor of Israel is interpreted as a prefiguration of Mary's intercession before God in favor of mankind, for example in Antonius of Padua and in Gabriel Biel's explanation of the canon of the masses , which Martin Luther also studied during his monastic days.

Esther as a royal ascetic was a role model recommended several times by medieval theologians to contemporary rulers. It all started with Hrabanus Maurus, who approached Empress Judith , the second wife of Louis the Pious , in the 9th century . Pope John VIII asked Richildis , the wife of Charles II , to work for the Church as Esther did for the Jewish people. Bishop Hinkmar von Reims wrote the liturgy for the marriage of Charles II's daughter Judith with Æthelwulf von Wessex (856), in which reference was also made to Esther as royal intercessor. The coronation ritual of the queens of France emphasized the model of the biblical Esther, first when the bride entered the church and then again at the moment of the coronation. Christine de Pizan in Le Livre de la Cité des Dames (before 1404) also described Esther as the epitome of a queen who saved her people.

According to Isaac Kalimi, positive references to the biblical figures Esther and Mordechai can be distinguished from negative judgments about the Esther Book in Martin Luther. This corresponds to his selective, Christian-theological approach to the Hebrew Bible as a whole. Luther's vote is known from the table speeches that he was "so hostile to the 2nd Book of the Maccabees and the Book of Esther that I wanted them not to exist at all, because they are Jewish too much and have a lot of pagan naughtiness." But more important is that he expressed himself similarly in one of his main writings, namely De servo arbitrio (1525). Luther displeased, as can be seen from the table speech quoted above, that his Jewish contemporaries did not understand the books of Isaiah and Daniel correctly from his point of view (i.e. not Christian) and highly valued the Ester book.

Modern Christianity

Especially in Protestantism, negative judgments about the Book of Esther predominate in the 19th and 20th centuries. Heinrich Ewald compared the Esther Book to its disadvantage with older writings in the Hebrew Bible:

"Here we fall to earth as if from heaven, we look around under the figures of the new surroundings, and lo and behold, it is the Jews or rather all the little people of the present as they still hang around today."

- Heinrich Ewald : History of the people of Israel

Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette , Friedrich Bleek , Otto Eißfeldt , H. Wheeler Robinson and Paul Heinisch made similar statements. In recent times, strongly derogatory judgments about the Ester book are rare, but the book continues to cause considerable problems for Christian exegetes, as the statements in a standard work from the 1990s show:

“Certainly Mordecai and Esther cling to Judaism in an exemplary manner, even in dangerous situations; but doesn't the book emphasize too much the superiority of Judaism (6:13)? Why must salvation from destruction be increased to triumph over the enemy? Retaliation from one's own hand is ... a theologically illegitimate hope. "

- Werner H. Schmidt : Introduction to the Old Testament

Erich Zenger points out that Christianity itself has often played the role of Haman in history, so reading the Ester book could encourage self-criticism. "On the other hand, Christianity can learn from the Ester book that the God of Israel, even as the hidden one, remains loyal to his people because he is a God of salvation." Beate Ego admits that the Ester book "from a narrow Christian framework" despite its literary qualities remain "rather bulky and closed", but for the first time the book addresses the possibility of a total annihilation of Judaism as well as the coexistence of different peoples and culturally or religiously based, violent conflicts between them. The topicality of these topics justifies an intensive study of the Esterbuch.

Esther in art, literature, music and film

Visual arts

Since the name of God does not appear in the Hebrew Book of Esters, the Esther scroll (Megillate Esters) is not affected by restrictions that otherwise apply to illustrations of biblical texts in Judaism. An ester scroll from around 1300 (Spertus Museum, Chicago) already shows oval fields with scenes from history. Some ester scrolls from the 16th to 18th centuries feature illustrations above and below the text to which they are linked by floral motifs.

Several Italian Renaissance artists painted Queen Esther; One example is Filippino Lippi : in an impressive palace architecture, a number of young women introduce themselves to King Ahasuerus, who is enthroned and who chooses Esther kneeling (around 1480, Musée Condé , Chantilly).

In the late 16th century, it was often the grandeur of the banquets that posed an interesting task in portraying the history of Esther. Jacopo Tintoretto shows how Esther suffers a fit of weakness when she tries to present her request to the king. She sinks pale, held by servants, while the king has jumped from his throne and turns to Esther in a friendly manner (1547/48, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle ).

On the other hand, 17th century Dutch painters preferred private, dimly lit scenes. There are numerous drawings, etchings and paintings by Rembrandt on the Ester story; it is believed that he also created these images for Jewish clients. The provenance of the painting “Esther and Ahasuerus” in the Pushkin Museum (around 1660) is relatively well documented, since a poem by Jan Vos contained the work “Haman with Esther and Ahasuerus, painted by Rembrandt” in 1662 in the collection of Jan Jacobsz. Hinloopen mentioned. The three people have sat down on pillows at a table. You can see Ester on the right in profile, extremely richly dressed, which gives Rembrandt the opportunity to depict textures and light reflections. King Ahasuerus, with a large turban, crown and scepter, sits in the center of the picture and has his gaze directed at Haman, seated on the left, who is separated from the royal couple by a curtain visible in the background. The light comes in from the top left so that Haman sits in the shade. In the Rembrandt workshop, this work of the master seems to have been a model for copies and variations.

In the 19th century, the ester fabric appealed to the representation of orientalist interiors and harem scenes. Théodore Chassériau portrayed Ester modeled on Venus with her upper body bared. Her arms are raised as Ester is just pinning up her hair. An oriental servant and an African slave assist the blond, European-looking beauty (1841, Louvre ). Edwin Long places a fair-skinned ester in a Persian palace, as made famous through archaeological digs, and surrounds her with dark-skinned servants (1878, National Gallery of Victoria , Melbourne).


There is both a Jewish and a Christian tradition of dramatically portraying the plot of the Book of Esther. In Ashkenazi Judaism (often very lively) Purim games were performed in Yiddish; the oldest known of these games originated in Venice in 1555. Usually Haman was a Christian cleric with a neck cross, which gave Mordechai a clear motive to refuse to kneel in front of this Haman (and thus in front of the cross). In the carnival-like and therefore relatively protected setting of the Purim game, there was a rare opportunity for Jews in early modern times to mock Christianity - while anti-Jewish mockery was everyday life on the Christian side. A more recent example of the genre is the comedy by the Fürth copperplate engraver Josef Herz Esther or the rewarded virtue (1828); its title is an allusion to the hit novel Pamela or the rewarded virtue by Samuel Richardson .

Lope de Vega wrote the tragic comedy La Hermosa Ester ("The beautiful Ester"), which was performed in 1611 in Madrid and Seville. He stayed relatively close to the text of the Vulgate. The final scene is the praise of the saved Hebrews (Lope de Vegas replacement word for Jews), the killing of Haman's sons is omitted, as is the fight against the enemies of the Jews. Elaine Canning suspects that Lope de Vega wanted to counter the massively anti-Jewish climate in Spanish society of his time with a sympathetic image of Judaism. By depicting Esther in the traditional way as the prefiguration of Mary, he protected himself from the Inquisition. " La Hermosa Ester demonstrates how the underdog, in this case a woman and a Jew, can not only survive but be successful in a climate of persecution."

Jean Racine wrote the drama Esther for schoolgirls in the Saint-Cyr boarding school for girls (first performance: January 26, 1689). The educational objective was thus clear. On the one hand, Racine took up elements of the Greek tragedy - a choir interrupted the action to comment. On the other hand, he achieved a stronger Christian profile with a change or interpretation of the material: he identified King Ahasuerus with Darius I and determined the Babylonian exile as the time of the action in the last few years . Accordingly, the choir sings of the return to Zion, and Esther looks ahead to the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple. In contrast to the Jewish diaspora, the Babylonian exile was a familiar metaphor in Christianity. For educational reasons, Ester's beauty, praised in the Bible, takes a back seat in favor of her virtue. Ester is a model of selfless Christian devotion.

Rainer Maria Rilke's poem Esther (1908) describes how Ester

"Entered the menacing open palace,
to the same, down to their maids,
at the end of their path the look,
dies of which one, if one approaches him."

In 1917 Else Lasker-Schüler's poem Esther was published , which relates far less directly to the biblical Ester book than Rilke's Esther . In addition to Ester's encounter with the king, the poem addresses how Esther is remembered in Judaism. At the beginning, Esther is related to the "holidays that fall in Judah", and at the end the reader may stand in the anteroom of the synagogue:

“The king smiles at her approaching people -
for God looks at Esther everywhere.
The young Jews write songs to their sister,
which they shape in the pillars of their anteroom. "


Setting the Ester story to music has a long tradition. In Jewish communities, musicians went from household to household with Ester stories and songs. The rabbis, who opposed the theater, allowed this form of entertainment. It is seen as the nucleus of the Purim game. The cantillation of the Ester scroll in the Purim service has some peculiarities, through which the music alludes to the lamentations and thus to the situation of exile.

The Ester material was performed mainly in Italy and England in the 17th and 18th centuries in oratorios , of which Georg Friedrich Handel's Esther (1714) is best known. The queen is represented here as ready to suffer and thus similar to Christ. Their virtues lead them to their goal:

Virtue, truth and innocence
Shall ever be her sure defense
She is Heaven's peculiar care
Propitious Heaven will hear her prayer.

The Venetian rabbi Jacob Raphael Saraval (1707–1782) translated the libretto in the 1732 version into Hebrew.

Daniel Klaebe and Markus Heusser composed the musical Esther - the Queen in 2013 .

Esters in oratorios and operas (selection):


Ester is a popular substance in film history. In the early days of the film, it offered the opportunity to show harem or fight scenes without any objection from the censor. The following productions were made in the era of silent films: Esther (director: Louis Feuillade , 1910), Esther: A Biblical Episode (director: Theo Frenkel, 1911), Esther (director: Henri Andréani, 1913), Esther (director: Maurice Elvey , 1916) and Das Buch Esther (directed by Uwe Jens Krafft / Ernst Reicher , 1919).

In contrast to these Bible films, Esther of the People (Frank Thorne, 1916) modernizes the plot that takes place in a James King's hat factory and deals with the conflict between foremen Hammond and Morden . Esther, Morden's niece, saves the factory workers and marries King.

After the Second World War, the following Ester films were made (in chronological order):

The film by Israeli director Amos Gitai is the most creative modern cinematic interpretation of biblical material. The film was shot in the ruins of Haifa's Arab quarter . The current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is related to the biblical Ester book.


Text output



Overview representations

Research reports

  • Harald Martin Wahl: Esther Research. In: Theologische Rundschau 66 (2001), pp. 103-130.
  • Leonard Greenspoon, Sidnie White Crawford: The Book of Esther in Modern Research . T & T Clark International, London / New York 2003. ISBN 0-8264-6663-X .


  • Beate Ego : Ester (= Biblical Commentary Old Testament , revision. Volume 21). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2017. ISBN 978-3-7887-2966-0 .
  • Jean-Daniel Macchi: Esther (= International Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament ). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2018. ISBN 978-3-17-020753-0 .
  • Harald Martin Wahl: The Book of Esther . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2009. ISBN 978-3-11-020504-6 . (accessed via De Gruyter Online)

Single topics

  • Adele Berlin: The Book of Esther and Ancient Storytelling . In: Journal of Biblical Literature 120 (2001), pp. 3-14. ( PDF )
  • Jo Carruthers: Esther Through the Centuries (= Blackwell Bible Commentaries ). Blackwell Publishing, Malden et al. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4051-3213-8 .
  • Kristin De Troyer : The Septuagint and the Final Form of the Old Testament. Investigations into the genesis of Old Testament texts. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2005, here pp. 26–48 and pp. 84–120. ISBN 978-3-8252-2599-5 . ( Digitized version )
  • Arndt Meinhold : On the structure and middle of the Esther book . In: Vetus Testamentum 33/4 (1983), pp. 435-445.
  • Marie-Theres Wacker: Inside and outside views of Judaism in the Septuagint Greek Esther book (Est LXX ) . In: Friedrich V. Reiterer , Renate Egger-Wenzel, Thomas R. Elßner: Society and Religion in Late Biblical and Deuterocanonical Literature . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, pp. 55–92. ISBN 978-3-11-031605-6 . ( PDF )
  • Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian Esther book as refigurations of the Esther story . In: Wolfgang Kraus, Oliver Munnich (eds.): La Septante en Allemagne et en France: Textes de la Septante à traduction double ou à traduction très littérale (= Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis . Volume 238). Academic Press Friborg / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Göttingen 2009, pp. 64–89. ISBN 978-3-7278-1651-2 . ( PDF )
  • Harald Martin Wahl: "Yahweh, where are you?" God, faith and church in Esther . In: Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period 31/1 (2000), pp. 1-22.
  • Benjamin Ziemer: Masoretic Text and Septuagint in the Book of Esther . In: Ders .: Critique of the growth model: the limits of Old Testament editorial history in the light of empirical evidence (= Vetus Testamentum, Supplements . Volume 182). Brill, Leiden 2020, pp. 423-445. ISBN 978-90-04-41061-9 .
  • József Zsengellér: Addition or Edition? Deconstructing the Concept of Additions . In: Géza G. Xeravits, József Zsengellér (Ed.): Deuterocanonical Editions of the Old Testament Books . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2010, pp. 1–15. ISBN 3110240521 . (accessed via De Gruyter Online)

Web links

Commons : Book Ester  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Single receipts

  1. According to the Loccumer guidelines for the ecumenical writing of biblical proper names, the name is Ester .
  2. Revised Standard Translation (2016), Foreword to the Book of Ester.
  3. Aaron Koller: Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought . Cambridge University Press, New York 2014, pp. 153-155.
  4. See Hanna Liss : Das Buch Ester , Heidelberg 2019, p. 453: "The book is an artful and almost fairytale-like novel."
  5. Because of its eclectic character, the unitary translation also includes the name of the king in the Septuagint version, Artaxerxes, where it translates Hebrew text.
  6. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 81f.
  7. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 92.
  8. Hanging up on wood or stakes was the usual death penalty in the Persian Empire, see Art. תלה, in: Gesenius, 18th ed. 2013 , p. 1440. The formulation occurs several times in the Tanach even outside of the Ester Book, cf. all Dtn 21,22-23  ZB . It is to be understood as the desecration of the corpse of a criminal who has already been executed, cf. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 155.
  9. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, pp. 149–153.
  10. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, pp. 166–168.
  11. Arndt Meinhold: To structure and middle of the Esther book , 1983, pp. 435–437. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 382. Jon B. Levenson and others, on the other hand, count ten banquets, or five banquet couples, but nothing about Meinhold's and Zenger's thesis that the first and last couple are in opposition changes. See Jon D. Levenson: Esther. A Commentary . Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville / London 1997, pp. 5f.
  12. Jon D. Levenson: Esther. A Commentary . Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville / London 1997, pp. 7-9.
  13. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 16f. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 384.
  14. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, pp. 11-14.
  15. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 27.
  16. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 10f.
  17. ^ Carey A. Moore: Archeology and the Book of Esther . In: The Biblical Archaeologist 38/3 (1975), pp. 62-79, here pp. 69f.
  18. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 15f. Cf. Ran Zadok: Notes on Esther . In: Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 98/1 (1986), pp. 105–110 (accessed via De Gruyter Online): Neither the Masoretic vocalization of the Hebrew text nor the Greek versions are relevant in determining the Iranian names: The Septuagint to Esther is totally ignorant here (ibid. P. 106)
  19. ^ Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, pp. 18-20.28.
  20. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 22.
  21. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 24.29.
  22. Shaul Shaked: Art. Esther, Book of , London / New York 1998, p. 655. ( Online ); Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 53f.
  23. Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 484. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 383f.
  24. Herodotus: Histories 7,61,114; 9,109f.112.
  25. Herodotus: Histories 3,84,88.
  26. a b Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 383.
  27. Xenophon: Hellenika 2,1,8-9.
  28. Cicero: Pro lege Manilia 3.7.
  29. Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 94.
  30. Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 485.
  31. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 384.
  32. Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 485f.
  33. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 65.
  34. Kristin De Troyer: The Septuagint and the Final Form of the Old Testament. Studies on the genesis of Old Testament texts, Göttingen 2005, p. 41.
  35. a b Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 486.
  36. Harald Martin Wahl: “Yahweh, where are you?” God, faith and community in Esther , 2000, p. 7.
  37. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, pp. 231–233.
  38. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 386f.
  39. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, pp. 24–30. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 384f. Hanna Liss: Das Buch Ester , Heidelberg 2019, p. 454.
  40. ^ Minus muscles 19, 93, 108 and 319; Minuscule 392 offers mixed text. For the dating see Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 6.
  41. The alpha text is also known as the A text or (in older research) as the Lukian text.
  42. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 8f. Kristin De Troyer: The Septuagint and the Final Form of the Old Testament. Investigations into the genesis of Old Testament texts, Göttingen 2005, pp. 87f.120.
  43. ^ Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian Esther book as refigurations of the Esther story Friborg / Göttingen 2009, p. 73.
  44. ^ Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian book of Esther as refigurations of the Esther story , Friborg / Göttingen 2009, p. 66.
  45. See Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 489.
  46. Markus Witte: Das Esterbuch , Göttingen 2019, p. 492f, quotation p. 492.
  47. Benjamin Ziemer: Critique of the Growth Model: The Limits of Old Testament Editorial History in the Light of Empirical Evidence , Leiden 2020, p. 442.
  48. ^ A b c Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian Esther book as refigurations of the Esther story Friborg / Göttingen 2009, p. 69.
  49. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 597.
  50. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 598.
  51. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 605.
  52. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 600.
  53. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 604.
  54. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, pp. 601f.
  55. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 602.
  56. ^ Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 606.
  57. Harald Martin Wahl: "Yahweh, where are you?" God, Faith and Church in Esther , 2000, p. 4.
  58. ^ Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian Esther book as refigurations of the Esther story Friborg / Göttingen 2009, p. 69f.
  59. Deviating from the Septuagint, the alpha text names the king Assveros , which is a correct rendering of Hebrew אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ 'ǎḥašwerôš represents. See Septuaginta Deutsch , Stuttgart 2009, p. 594.
  60. ^ Marie-Theres Wacker: "Three faces of a story". Septuagint Greek and pseudolukian Esther book as refigurations of the Esther story Friborg / Göttingen 2009, pp. 70f.
  61. ^ Daniel Stökl-Ben Esra: Qumran: The texts from the Dead Sea and ancient Judaism , Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2016, p. 180.
  62. ↑ Referred to here by: Michael G. Wechsler: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIA. Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 13–19, here Col. 15f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  63. Michael G. Wechsler: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIA. Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 13-19, here Col. 18. (accessed via De Gruyter Online) Cf. Michael G. Wechsler: Two Para- Biblical Novellae from Qumran Cave 4: A Reevaluation of 4Q550 . In: Dead Sea Discoveries 7/2 (2000), pp. 130-172.
  64. Kristin De Troyer: The Septuagint and the Final Form of the Old Testament. Investigations into the genesis of Old Testament texts, Göttingen 2005, p. 92.
  65. Michael G. Wechsler: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIA. Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 13–19, here Col. 16f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  66. Louis H. Feldman: Hellenizations in Josephus' version of Esther. In: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 101 (1970), pp. 143-170, here pp. 162f.
  67. ^ Günter Stemberger : Judaica Minora , Part 1: Biblical Traditions in Rabbinic Judaism . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010, p. 238.
  68. ^ Eliezer Segal: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIB. Rabbinic Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Sp. 19–21. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  69. a b c d Barry Dov Walfish: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIC. Medieval Judaism: General . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 21–24. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  70. Yehuda Shurpin: How Could Esther Marry a Non-Jewish King? , Chabad .org.
  71. ^ Irvin Ungar: The Arts: Arthur Szyk and His Books of Esther . In: Hadassah Magazine, Purim 2010: In the illumination where Haman hangs from the gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai, Szyk painted himself into the work observing the scene, with hamantaschen in hand, while inscribing the Hebrew words: “The people of Israel will be liberated from their persecutors. "
  72. Abraham Geiger's Post-Edited Writings. Published by Ludwig Geiger. 4th volume. Louis Gerschel, Berlin 1876 ( digitized version )
  73. Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIE. Modern Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 27–30, here Col. 28f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  74. Quoted here from: Felix Schölch: Reviews about me. The scrapbook of reviews by the writer Shalom Ben-Chorin . In: Yearbook for European Jewish Literature Studies 6/1 (2019), pp. 267–290, here p. 280. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  75. Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIE. Modern Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Sp. 27–30, here Sp. 28. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  76. Michael A. Meyer: Answer to Modernity: History of the Reform Movement in Judaism . Böhlau, Wien et al. 2000, p. 481.
  77. Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIE. Modern Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 27–30, here Col. 29f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online) Cf. Alicia Ostriker: Back to the Garden: Reading the Bible as a Feminist . In: Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky, Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Ed.): People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity . The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison 1996, pp. 64-77, here p. 67.
  78. Hanna Liss: Das Buch Ester , Heidelberg 2019, p. 455.
  79. ^ Clement of Alexandria: Stromata 4,119 (translation: BKV ).
  80. A fragment from the thirty-ninth celebratory letter of Heil. Athanasius (translation: BKV ): “But at least for the sake of greater accuracy, I need to add this to my letter, namely that there are other books besides these which, although not included in the Canon, but by the fathers for them are prescribed for reading, which are just entering and want to be instructed in the word of piety. These are the wisdom of Solomon , and the wisdom of Sirach , Esther, Judith , Tobias , the so-called teaching of the apostles and the shepherd . "
  81. Hieronymus: Biblia Sacra Vulgata , Volume 2, ed. by Andreas Beriger , Widu-Wolfgang Ehlers , Michael Fieger (= Tusculum Collection ). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2018, p. 1278 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  82. ^ Jo Carruthers: Esther Through the Centuries , Malden et al. 2008, p. 13.
  83. a b Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIA. Patristics and Western Christianity . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 30–34. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  84. Tracy Adams: The Life and Afterlife of Isabeau of Bavaria . The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2010, pp. 77f. Nicole Hochner: Imagining Esther in Early Modern France . In: The Sixteenth Century Journal 41/3 (2010), pp. 757-787, here pp. 763f.
  85. Isaac Kalimi: Martin Luther, the Jews and Esther. Bible interpretation in the shadow of hostility towards Jews . In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 71/4 (2019), pp. 357–394, here p. 357.
  86. WA .Tr 1,208,29-31. Quoted here from: Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 388.
  87. WA 18,666,24-25. See Harald Martin Wahl: Das Buch Esther , Berlin / New York 2009, p. 36.
  88. James A. Loader: The Book of Esters . (= The Old Testament German . Volume 16/2 of the revision) Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1992, p. 203.
  89. ^ Heinrich Ewald: History of the people Israel to Christ , first volume, Göttingen 1843, p. 255.
  90. ^ Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIA. Patristics and Western Christianity . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 30–34. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  91. Werner H. Schmidt: Introduction to the Old Testament (De Gruyter textbook) . Walter de Gruyter, 5th, extended edition Berlin / New York 1995, p. 323. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  92. Erich Zenger: Das Buch Ester , Stuttgart 2016, p. 388.
  93. Beate Ego: Ester , Göttingen 2017, p. 3f.
  94. Ori Z. Soltes: Art. Esther (Book and Person) VI. Visual arts . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 42–48, here Col. 44 and 47.
  95. a b c Ori Z. Soltes: Art. Esther (Book and Person) VI. Visual arts . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Sp. 42–48, here Sp. 43. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  96. ^ Ernst van de Wetering: A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings V: The Small-Scale History Paintings . Springer, Dordrecht 2011, pp. 635–646, especially p. 635.
  97. Ori Z. Soltes: Art. Esther (Book and Person) VI. Visual arts . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Sp. 42–48, here Sp. 42 and 44. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  98. Elliott Horowitz: Art. Esther (Book and Person) IIE. Modern Judaism . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Sp. 27–30, here Sp. 28. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  99. ^ Francisco-Javier Ruiz-Ortiz: The Dynamics of Violence and Revenge in the Hebrew Book of Esther . Brill, Leiden / Boston 2017, p. 48f.
  100. Elaine M. Canning: Lope de Vega's Comedias de Tema Religioso: Re-creations and Re-presentations . Tamesis, Woodbridge 2004, pp. 20-43, citation p. 43.
  101. ^ Deborah W. Rooke: Handel's Israelite Oratorio Libretti: Sacred Drama and Biblical Exegesis . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012, pp. 7-15.
  102. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Esther .
  103. Esther (Lasker student)
  104. Jo Carruthers, Helen Leneman: Art. Esther (Book and person) VII. Music . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 48–50. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  105. Esther - the queen. In: Retrieved February 4, 2021 .
  106. ^ Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch: Art. Esther (Book and Person) VIII. Film . In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception , Volume 8. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, Col. 50–54. (accessed via De Gruyter Online)

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on December 15, 2020 in this version .