Esther

Overview

  • The Greek additions to Esther are not original.
  • The canonicity of Esther was debated by both Jews and Christians. It is now accepted as canonical by both Jews and Christians.
  • Author: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 464-400 BC

Textual Witnesses

Hebrew Manuscripts

More Hebrew manuscripts exist for the book of Esther than for any other biblical book. Due to its popularity even private homes possessed manuscripts. However, since no copy of Esther was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, its earliest Hebrew manuscripts come from the Middle Ages and beyond. The earliest Hebrew manuscript is the Leningrad Codex 19A, dating to AD 1009. All existing Hebrew manuscripts are virtually identical, attesting the excellent preservation of the Hebrew form of the book.

Greek Versions

The LXX has six sections, consisting of 107 verses, that are not in the MT. There is another Greek version called the Alpha Text (AT) or the Lucianic recension. The AT seems to borrow the additions from the LXX. Its relation to the rest of the LXX and to the MT is debated. It is considerably shorter than the LXX and shorter than the MT.

The LXX additions are often placed in chapters 11-16 of Esther and can also be identified by letters (A-F) with associated verses:

The additions are truly additions, the MT is not omitting something that was once there. The additions are not found in the Talmud, the Targums, the Syriac, or the second century AD Greek translations of Aquila, Theodotian, or Symmachus. However, the additions are found in translations based on the LXX (i.e., the Old Latin, Coptic, and the Ethiopic). Jerome (ca. AD 340-420) noted that the additions were not found in the Hebrew text of his day. Origen (ca. AD 185-254) notes that additions B, C, and E were not in the Hebrew text of his day and is silent on additions A, D, and F.

The additions also contain inconsistencies and contradictions with the MT:

  1. In A 1 the king is named Artaxerxes but is named Xerxes in the MT.
  2. In A 2 Mordecai is described as a prominent member of the king’s court but this is not the case until 8:2 in the MT.
  3. In A 17 Haman is identified as a Bougaion but is identified as an Agagite in 3:1 and 9:24 of the MT. In E 10 Haman is called a Macedonian.
  4. “Esther’s concern for the temple and altar at Jerusalem (C 20), her abhorrence at being married to a gentile (C 26), her loathing of all things worldly and courtly (C 25-27), her strict observance of dietary laws (C 28) are not even hinted at in the MT. If anything, one would infer from 2:9 of the MT that at Susa Esther did not observe kašrût. The mention in D 2 and 7 of two maids accompanying Esther finds no counterpart in the MT.”1
  5. The MT says Mordecai discovered the plot against the king in the king’s seventh year (2:16) while the LXX says the plot was discovered in the king’s second year (A 1). The MT says Esther informed the king of the plot on behalf of Mordecai (2:22) while the LXX says Mordecai informed the king himself (A 13). In the LXX Mordecai is rewarded immediately (A 15) while in the MT his reward is delayed (6:1-11). In the LXX Haman is hostile towards Mordecai because Mordecai informed the king of the plot (A 17) but in the MT Haman is hostile towards Mordecai because Mordecai did not bow down to Haman (3:1, 5-6).
  6. The MT depicts a pogrom in the Persian Empire while the LXX depicts a cosmic struggle between the Jews and the rest of the world.
  7. In the MT the king received the unsummoned Esther cordially (5:1-2) but in the LXX the king was initially so upset that Esther fainted (D).
  8. In the LXX Haman misled the king in order to hand the Persian kingdom over to the Macedonians (E 10) but in the MT it was his personal rivalry with Mordecai that caused him to mislead the king.
  9. A 18 states that Haman and his family were executed at the gates of Susa at the time of his downfall. The MT states that Haman was hanged from the gallows at his own home (7:9), that his sons were killed a year later (9:6), and that their bodies were exposed the following day (9:13-14).

These inconsistencies and contradictions rule out the possibility that the MT initially contained the additions.

The additions to Esther appear to focus on correcting the missing religious elements of the Hebrew version. The additions also provide more historical information and change the focus of Purim from establishment of the holiday to God’s saving acts. Additions to the book of Esther reflect concern over the absence of God and subsequent religious motifs by incorporating them into the text.

The Greek version frames the Esther story with Mordecai’s dream and interpretation, clarifies his refusal to bow before Haman (he only bows before God), depicts Esther’s disgust in engaging in sexual acts with an uncircumcised Gentile, and presents Esther as obediently observing dietary laws and abstaining from palace food and wine. The Greek version opens by acknowledging the activity of God and stressing the important role God will play in saving the people. This contrasts with the emphasis on the human initiative of Esther and Mordecai in the Hebrew version. While Esther and Mordecai are the heroes of the MT, in the LXX, God is the hero. Both Esther and Mordecai say long prayers seeking refuge from God, and the narrator includes familiar vocabulary reciting God’s salvation history with Israel, declaring God to be omnipotent, omniscient, righteous, and merciful (Addition C, 1-30). God, notoriously absent in the Hebrew version, is mentioned or named over 50 times in the Septuagint version and not just in the additions.2

Along with these versions, we should not neglect the account of Esther’s story found in Josephus’ Antiquities. While it is primarily based on the LXX version, there are some key differences between them. In some cases, it appears that Josephus has followed the traditions of the MT. For instance, Josephus identifies Haman as an Amalekite, whereas the LXX identifies him as a Macedonian, and the AT as a “Bougean.” Furthermore, Josephus seems to be familiar with some traditions espoused by the rabbis: with the rabbis, he identifies Esther as Mordecai’s niece (Ant. 11.198), whereas all three of our versions identify him as her cousin. But the basic account of events is the same as that found in the MT and the Greek traditions.3

Canonicity

The canonicity of Esther has been contested by both Jews and Christians.

Jewish Canon

There is no trace of Esther among the Dead Sea Scrolls (ca. 150 BC – AD 68) nor any indication that Purim was part of that community’s liturgical calendar. It is the only book of the Hebrew Bible not found in the DSS (assuming Ezra-Nehemiah comprised a single book in this era, otherwise Nehemiah has not been found either). Allusions to Esther in the DSS indicate that the book was known to that community.

The colophon to the LXX version suggests that, by the first century BC, the priests of Jerusalem considered the book to be the authoritative statement on the celebration of Purim. The book was important enough to be translated into Greek for use by Jews in the Diaspora. This does not mean the book was viewed as Scripture but it does show the book was an authority of some kind.

Philo of Alexandria (ca. 25 BC – ca. AD 50) never quotes from nor alludes to Esther.

Josephus (AD 37 – ca. 100) summarizes the story of Esther (Ant 11.184-296). By itself, this does not mean he viewed Esther as Scripture for he draws from non-biblical sources in his writings. In Ag. Ap. 1.38-41 he says there are 22 books in the Jewish Scriptures.

Obviously, in our modern editions, the Hebrew Bible contains far more than twenty-two books. But Jewish tradition typically grouped several texts together and counted them as a single book: the twelve minor prophets were considered a single book; the two books of Kings and Chronicles were each counted as one; Ezra-Nehemiah was a single book. Also, if the tradition attributed to the Jews by the church fathers Origen, Epiphanius, and Jerome was in practice in Josephus’ day, Ruth was numbered together with Judges, and Lamentations with Jeremiah (somewhat surprising, since Ruth and Lamentations appear in the Writings, while Judges and Jeremiah are in the Prophets). Using this reckoning, many scholars conclude that Esther must have been part of the twenty-two-book canon referenced by Josephus.4

In the same passage Josephus mentions thirteen books recording history from the death of Moses until the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes. He located the events of Esther in the reign of Artaxerxes and so it seems likely that he counted Esther as one of the thirteen books of history in Scripture.

The second-century Jewish scholar Aquila created a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible in the twelfth year of Emperor Hadrian (ca. AD 135). A fragment of his translation of Esther has survived in Esth Rab. 2:7. He clearly viewed Esther as Scripture.

The rabbinic literature shows ambivalence about the canonicity of Esther. In b. Meg. 7a Rabbi Samuel (ca. AD 250) took the peculiar position that the oral version of Esther was inspired by the Holy Spirit but the written version was not. In this same tractate the rabbis give reasons to believe the book of Esther was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In b. Sanh. 100a rabbis Levi and Huna (ca. AD 300) thought that Esther did not require a mantle. A mantle was a cover on scrolls that provided extra protection. The more important the scroll, the more likely it was to require a mantle. A mantle also allowed people to handle Scriptures, which were said to impart ritual impurity to the hands, without having to go through the process of ritual washing afterwards. Therefore, rabbis Levi and Huna did not believe Esther was Scripture. They were reproved by Rabbi Judah for denigrating the sanctity of the book.

It seems that the rabbis generally accepted Esther as Scripture but there were some who questioned its status.

Christian Canon

The book of Esther is not quoted or cited in the NT. However, there are echoes of the story in Mark’s story of John the Baptist’s death (Mark 6).

The setting is a banquet celebrating Herod Antipas’ birthday. Herod is referred to, inaccurately but significantly, as “king” (he was actually tetrarch of Galilee, a governor). As ruler, he is waffling and ineffectual, subject to manipulation by evil courtiers, as was Xerxes. His wife Herodias, like Haman, schemes to kill a righteous Jew (in this case, John the Baptist). A young woman is summoned to entertain the guests, just as Vashti was (Esth 1:10-11). In Mark 6:22, 28, Herodias’ daughter is called a κοράσιον (damsel), the same word used of Esther in the LXX version of Esth 2:7. Her performance “pleases” (ἀρέσκω) “king” Herod, just as Esther had pleased King Xerxes (Esth 2:4). So pleased was he, in fact, that he promised to give the damsel anything she requested, “up to half his kingdom” (Mark 6:23), using precisely the words used by Xerxes in his promise to Esther (Esth 5:6; 7:2). (This precise phrase is found nowhere else in Scripture.) Xerxes may well have been exaggerating, but Herod outdid him for bombast, since he, being a governor, actually had no kingdom to give! Instead of a literal account of Herod’s promise, these words were deliberately chosen by the author to make explicit the parallelism with the book of Esther. This echo sets up an ironically opposite outcome for the two episodes: in Esther, the villain is killed and the Jewish hero is rewarded with his property; in Mark, the hero is killed and the villain is rewarded with his head.5

1 Clement 55 (ca. AD 97-98) shows awareness of Esther (including the LXX version) and uses her as an example of sacrificial love. The following church fathers clearly regarded Esther as Scripture: Origen (ca. 185-254), Hilary (ca. 300-368), Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 313-386), Epiphanius (315-403), Rufinus (ca. 345-410), Jerome (ca. 347-420), Augustine (354-430), and Innocent I (378-417). While no church fathers repudiate the book, there are canon lists that clearly omit it from Melito of Sardis (d. ca. 180), Athanasius (ca. 296-373), and Gregory of Nazianzus (326-391). A hostile report from Leontius of Byzantium claims that Theodore of Mopsuestia (ca. 350-428) also rejected Esther.

Esther was accepted as canonical at the Council of Hippo (393) and the Council of Carthage (397). The Greek additions to Esther are not in the canons used by Jews or Protestants, but are in the canons used by Roman Catholics (considered deuterocanonical since the Council of Trent in 1546) and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Authorship

The medieval Jewish commentator Rashi thought Mordecai himself wrote the book on the basis of Esther 9:20: “Mordecai wrote these matters down. . . .” Yet Esther 10:2-3 suggests that King Ahasuerus was dead and reads like a eulogy for Mordecai: “Now all the actions carried out under his authority and his great achievements, along with an exact statement concerning the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king promoted, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia? Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus. He was the highest-ranking Jew, and he was admired by his numerous relatives. He worked enthusiastically for the good of his people and was an advocate for the welfare of all his descendants.”

The Talmud (b.B. Bat. 15a) attributes Esther to the men of the Great Synagogue, the transmitters of tradition between the time of the prophets and the earliest rabbis. Most scholars doubt the existence of the Great Synagogue.

Following Augustine (City of God 18.36), some conservative scholars have argued that Ezra wrote Esther. Another suggestion is Nehemiah. Both individuals would have been familiar with the Persian court and Jewish history and traditions. These suggestions are speculation. Moreover, both Ezra and Nehemiah opposed intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles (Ezra 9; Neh 10:10; 13:23-30) and would presumably not have written approvingly of Esther’s marriage to a Gentile king.

The identity of the author of Esther is not known. The book is anonymous.

Date

The text seems to assume that the reign of Xerxes (486-465 BC) is past (1:1; 10:1-2). Josephus, writing in AD 94, paraphrases the LXX version of the text in his Jewish Antiquities. He suggests it was written during the reign of Artaxerxes (464-424 BC) at the latest (Ant 11.6.13). The colophon to Esther (F 11) is probably authentic and accurate, which means the Greek translation can be dated no later than 78 BC. This means the latest date for the Hebrew text is in the second century BC. 2 Maccabees 15:36, which was written in the second century BC, alludes to the story of Esther by saying the 14th of Adar was called “the day of Mordecai.”

The author is familiar with Persian customs, names, and even the layout of the city of Susa. It is unlikely that a Jew writing in the Hellenistic period would know such things. It is also worth noting that Greek loan-words do not appear. The Hebrew of the book is closest to that of Ezekiel and the Chronicler (1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), compositions of the sixth and fifth centuries BC, but unlike that of late Palestinian or Mishnaic literature. A date around 464-400 BC is plausible.

Historicity

At first glance the book of Esther appears to be an historical account of the origin of Purim. Until recent times, Jews and Christians unanimously understood the book as a literal account of events. In recent times, however, the majority of scholars doubt the historicity of the narrative.

Despite doubts about the main story line of Esther, there is agreement that the book gets a number of incidental details about the Persian period right:6

  1. The characterization of Xerxes
  2. References to the plan of the palace correspond with what archaeologists have discovered at Susa
  3. Frequent banqueting
  4. The names Mordecai and Pharshandatha (9:7) are names that have been found on inscriptions and the other names of the book appear to be of Persian/Iranian origin (1:10, 14; 3:1). There was an imperial financial officer in the time of Darius or Xerxes with the name Marduka, a variant of Mordecai. “The names of Haman’s sons may be especially significant, since some scholars have identified them as compounds of daiva-names. The daiva were worshiped as minor deities in the time of Xerxes, but later relegated to the status of demons–thus the names of the daiva would have been dropped as theophoric elements. The name Vaizatha (Esth 9:9) also appears authentic, and may accurately reflect Persian pronunciation in the time of King Xerxes, since the ‘ai’ diphthong shifted to ‘e’ in the Persian language between the reigns of Xerxes and that of his successor Artaxerxes I.”7
  5. Persian words: prtmym, “nobles” (1:3); bytn, “kiosk” (1:5); krps, “cotton” (1:6); dt, “law” (1:8); ktr, “turban” (1:11); ptsgn, “decree” (1:20); gnzym, “treasury” (3:9); ptsgn, “copy” (3:14); and hstrnym, “royal horses” (8:10).
  6. The extent of the empire from India to Ethiopia (1:1).
  7. The curtains and hangings in the courtyard (1:6) would be attached to pillars that have been found
  8. The colors of white and blue (1:6; 8:15) were Persian favorites
  9. Reclining at the feast (1:6)
  10. The counsel of seven nobles (1:14).
  11. The recording of the king’s benefactors (2:23; 6:1-2, 8).
  12. The use of impalement as a form of capital punishment (2:23; 5:14; 7:10).
  13. The practice of obeisance to kings and nobles (3:2).
  14. The belief in lucky days (3:7).
  15. The efficient postal system (3:13; 8:10).
  16. The ban on entering the palace in mourning (4:2)
  17. The difficult access to the king (4:11)
  18. Setting crowns on royal horses (6:8).
  19. Honoring of a favorite by dressing him in royal robes (6:8)
  20. People reclining on couches at meals (6:8).

Nonetheless, many arguments have been presented against the historicity of Esther. One line of attack is to point out the number of improbabilities in the text. It is not so much that one of these improbabilities proves Esther is not historical, rather, it is the total number of improbabilities that is hard to swallow. These improbabilities include:

  1. The 180 day feast by the king for the leaders of the empire (1:1-3).
  2. Vashti’s public refusal to obey the king’s command (1:12).
  3. The king sending a royal edict throughout the empire declaring that every man should be master of his own home (1:22).
  4. The letters sent out in all the languages of the empire instead of in Aramaic and Persian, the official languages of the empire (1:22; 3:12; 8:9).
  5. Selecting a queen based on a “beauty pageant” (2:1-4).
  6. The women’s year long preparation for a night with the king (2:12).
  7. A non-Persian queen (2:17).
  8. The appointment of a non-Persian prime minister (3:1; 8:2; 10:3).
  9. Royal permission to plunder and annihilate an entire ethnic group of the empire and to issue the command a year in advance (3:8-15).
  10. Haman’s offer to deposit 10,000 talents (375 tons) of silver (two-thirds of the Persian Empire’s annual income) into the royal treasury (3:9).
  11. The 75-foot tall gallows (5:14).
  12. Royal sanction of fighting within the palace complex despite no threat being posed to the king (9:11-15).
  13. The slaughter of 75,000 enemies of the Jews, which in those days would be the population of a large city (9:16).

A second line of attack against historicity points out contradictions between Esther and records in other ancient sources. The Histories of the Greek writer Herodotus is the most significant source. Herodotus was heavily biased against his subject matter but has also proven trustworthy. Alleged contradictions with external sources include:

  1. Esther 1:1 states that Xerxes reigned over 127 provinces, whereas Herodotus mentions 20 satrapies and inscriptions from the time of Darius put the number of satrapies between 21 and 29. But, as noted in the comments to 1:1, we should not equate a province with a satrap.
  2. Esther 1:9-12 states that Vashti was queen during Xerxes’s early years, whereas Herodotus and Ctesias of Cnidus state that Amestris was Xerxes’ queen. Both Herodotus and Ctesias indicate Amestris gave orders throughout Xerxes’s reign. Ctesias has her acting as “queen mother” after Xerxes’s death. There is no satisfactory harmonization of the book of Esther with Herodotus and Ctesias (see comments on 1:9).
  3. Herodotus says the Persian king would only wed women from one of the seven noble Persian families (3.84). Several sources indicate that Persian kings practiced endogamy, with Cambyses even marrying his sister (3.31, 88). “Wright has demonstrated that the notion that the Persian king would only wed a member of the seven noble houses is not supported by attested practice. The Persian kings had multiple wives, and not all could have been drawn from the noble families of conspirators. In fact, Xerxes’ mother Atossa was a daughter of Cyrus the Great, who was certainly not one of the conspirators. Whatever the meaning of this stricture, it did not represent a principle that all Persian monarchs observed. (Of course, the question of the Persian king making a non-Persian commoner his queen is an entirely different matter.)”8
  4. The idea that the laws of the Medes and Persians were irrevocable (1:19) is not attested outside the Bible (cf. Daniel 6:8, 11, 15).
  5. Esther 2:5-6 states that Mordecai was an exile taken to Babylon in 597 BC. The events of Esther take place after Xerxes became king in 486 BC so Mordecai would have to be well over 100 years old. But, as noted in the comments to 2:5-6, this is not the only interpretation of the passage.
  6. There is no confirmation of the events in Esther in any ancient inscriptions, artifacts, or writings.

Anthony Tomasino says a decision must be made between Esther and other ancient authors:

To contend that the book of Esther is literal history, one must conclude that Herodotus and the other ancient authors were mistaken in their identification of Amestris as Xerxes’ queen. If we allow that the Greek authors were correct, then we must conclude that the book of Esther is not a literal historical account of events in the reign of King Xerxes. There really seems little hope of reconciling the accounts.9

Most scholars do not believe the book of Esther is literal history.

In addition to these issues, some narrative features of Esther suggest that the book has at least taken some literary license in telling its story. Several of these are associated with the names of the main characters. The name Esther (אֶסְתֵּר, ʾestēr), for instance, sounds very similar to the Hebrew word meaning “hidden” (סתר, str), an interesting coincidence in a book where the queen hides her Jewishness and God seems to be hidden entirely. The name Haman (הָמָן, hāmān) sounds very similar to the Hebrew word meaning “pomp” and “turmoil” (הָמוֹן, hāmôn). Haman is also identified as an Agagite, reminding the reader of Agag, the king of the Amalekites. The Amalekites were the bitter enemies of the Israelites, and Israel had been ordered by God to destroy them utterly, wiping them out from the earth (Exod 17:14-16; Deut 25:19). The perpetual war between the Israelites and the Amalekites forms the “backstory” for Haman’s attempt to utterly destroy the Jews. Mordecai is identified as a Benjaminite descended from Kish, inciting reminiscences of King Saul. Saul was deposed from his kingship partly because he had spared Agag, king of the Amalekites (1 Sam 15). Through these lineages and patronymics, the book of Esther presents its story as something of a rematch between Saul and Agag.10

Genre and Purpose

On the surface, the book of Esther appears to be an historical account. It even tells the reader to look into the chronicles of the Persian kings for the rest of the story (10:2). While most scholars do not identify the book as history, it does not fit neatly into a single genre. The following genres have been proposed: a wisdom tale, a court tale, a Diaspora story, a comedy, and a festival etiology. The options are not mutually exclusive.

One purpose of the book is to provide historical grounds for the feast of Purim (9:20-32), which was not mentioned in the Law of Moses. The book was not written to institute the feast but to bring it legitimacy. Yet it is not clear to me how a fictional story can provide legitimacy to Purim. A second purpose of the book is to encourage resistance to assimilation by an alien, and sometimes hostile, Gentile society.

Theology

God’s presence is concealed throughout the book, but religious content is visible. The Jews fast (4:3, 16) to move God to act on their behalf. Mordecai wonders if Esther has become queen for such a time as this (4:14). He suggests that help would come from another place if Esther did not provide assistance (4:13-14). Haman’s wife says that Haman cannot conquer Mordecai if he is a Jew (6:13) and thereby suggests God protects the Jews.

Perhaps an even greater indication of the role of providence in Esther is the remarkable number of improbable coincidences that occur. The selection of a Jewish orphan as queen just in time for her to thwart the plan of Haman; the promotion of Mordecai the Jew and Haman the Agagite within the court of Xerxes; the fact that Haman should be waiting outside the door to request the death of Mordecai at the moment when the king was contemplating how to show Mordecai honor. For a people who did not believe in an apathetic fate, such coincidences as these seem to demand the orchestration of a beneficent providence. This concept, as recognized by the ancient Jewish commentators, would seem to be the principal theological theme of the book of Esther: it is a book about the providence of God, even when God does not seem present. Clines would take this idea yet a step further, arguing that the theology of Esther involves the complementary nature of “divine action and human initiative.” Clines is certainly correct: it is Esther’s willingness to risk her life by coming before the king that makes the salvation of the Jews possible. But certainly, divine providence is primary, since it is providence that creates the situation where human action can make a difference.11

Bibliography

Clines, David J. A. “Esther.” The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Ed. James L. Mays. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2000. 353-354.

Dumm, Demetrius. “Esther.” The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Ed. Raymond E. Brown. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1990. 576-577.

Humphreys, W. Lee. “Esther.” The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Ed. Wayne A. Meeks. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. 736-737.

Levine, Amy-Jill. “The Additions to Esther.” The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Ed. James L. Mays. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2000. 742-743.

Merrill, Eugene H., Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti. The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament. Kindle Edition. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011.

Moore, Carey A. “Esther, Additions To.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Ed. D.N. Freedman. Vol. 2. New York: Doubleday, 1992. 626-633.

Moore, Carey A. “Esther, Book Of.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Ed. D.N. Freedman. Vol. 2. New York: Doubleday, 1992. 633-643.

Tenney, Merrill C., and Moises Silva, eds. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2: Revised Full-Color Edition. Zondervan, 2010. Kindle Locations 14076ff.; 14120ff.

Tomasino, Anthony. Esther. Evangelical Exegetical Commentary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013.

Tull, P. K. “Esther, Book of.” The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.

Wheelock, T. “Esther, Additions to, Critical Issues.” The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.

Wheelock, T. “Esther, Book of, Critical Issues.” The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.


  1. Moore, “Esther, Additions To”, p. 629 
  2. Wheelock 2014 
  3. Tomasino EEC 
  4. Tomasino EEC 
  5. Tomasino EEC 
  6. see Tenney 2010, Kindle Locations 14201-14209; Tomasino EEC “Evidence for Esther’s Authenticity”; Wheelock LBD 
  7. Tomasino EEC “Evidence for Esther’s Authenticity” 
  8. Tomasino EEC 
  9. Tomasino EEC 
  10. Tomasino, EEC, “Other Issues” 
  11. Tomasino EEC 
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