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Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford; 


Master of University College, Durham; 


Edward Robinson Professor of Biblical Theology, 
Union Theological Seminary^ New York. 

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The International Critical Commentary 








Edinburgh: T, &,T. CLARK, 38 George Street 





MAY 20 1964 

First Impression # • 1908 
Second Impression . • 195* 


THE Book of Esther presents no complicated problems of 
documentary analysis, such as are found in most of the 
other historical books of the Old Testament. With the 
possible exception of the concluding verses in q 20 -io 3 , its unity is 
recognized by all schools of criticism. It also presents no difficult 
problems of dating, such as are found in the prophetical books. 
There is general agreement that it belongs to the Greek period, 
and probably to the latter part of that period. Questions of com- 
position and age, accordingly, can be dismissed in this case far 
more rapidly than in other commentaries of the series. On the 
other hand, the text of the book raises a number of problems that 
have no parallels in the criticism of the rest of the Old Testament. 
Beginning with the Greek translation, and continuing through the 
Old Latin, Vulgate, Josephus, and Peshitto down to the Talmud 
and Targums, the versions of Esther disclose a number of re- 
markable additions to the Massoretic text that have no analogies 
in the versions of other books. These are found in full in none of 
the commentaries and are not easily accessible to the student, yet 
they are important both for the history of the text and for the 
history of exegesis. 

This being the case, it is proper that a critical commentary 
should present these variations completely, and should discuss 
their textual and exegetical value. In preparing my apparatus, 
I soon discovered that ordinary methods of recording readings 
were inadequate on account of the extraordinary number of the 
variants. After a number of experiments I found that the only 
practical way was to have a separate large card for every word in 
the Massoretic text, and on this to record the alternate readings 
of the versions and recensions. The numerous additions could 
then be inserted on other cards whenever they interrupted the 



Massoretic text. By this method I have secured, I believe, both 
completeness and accuracy. I have taken the textus receptus of 
Van der Hooght (1705) as the standard of comparison, and all 
departures from it in recensions, mss., printed editions, or ancient 
versions I have recorded in the critical notes. Only minor varia- 
tions of vocalization or accentuation, which do not affect the inter- 
pretation, and which for the most part represent only the notions 
of particular punctuators or schools of punctuators, I have not 
thought it worth while to insert. Variants in the versions which 
represent the same Hebrew word I have not included. To have 
recorded all the cases of this sort would have been useless and would 
have swelled the volume to an enormous size. 

How to treat the insertions of the versions has been a puzzling 
question. Substitutions of other readings for those of the Masso- 
retic text should obviously be given in the original Greek, Latin, 
or Aramaic, in order that students may judge of their textual value ; 
but the long additions of the versions are not translations from 
Hebrew, and, therefore, no good reason appears why they should 
be inserted in the original languages. For the ordinary reader a 
translation is more serviceable, and the specialist will have no 
difficulty in referring to the originals whenever this is necessary. 
Accordingly, I have given all the additions in English, making in 
each case a new translation from the best critical editions. Any 
one who is curious to see the originals and the textual variants in 
the Greek will find them in my article, "A Text-Critical Apparatus 
to the Book of Esther," in Old Testament and Semitic Studies in 
Memory of W. R. Harper (1908), ii. pp. 1-52. In the revision of 
this article I had the valuable help of Professor G. F. Moore of 
Harvard University, one of the editors of the Memorial Volume, 
and his suggestions in connection with this preliminary piece of 
work have been no small help in the preparation of the commen- 
tary. Many of the additions of the Midrashim are similar in 
character to those of the Targumim, and it would have been inter- 
esting to have included them also in this volume; but, with the 
limits of space imposed upon me, this was impossible. I hope 
presently to publish them in a volume entitled "The Story of 
Esther in the Bible and in Later Tradition." 


Where to place the additions of the versions in the commentary 
has also been a problem. As textual amplifications, they seem to 
belong with the other textual apparatus in the critical notes. As 
secondary elements that interrupt the progress of the Hebrew text, 
they might conveniently be relegated to footnotes or appendixes; 
and, by using small type, much space might be saved for other 
matters. Practically, however, these additions are commen- 
taries on the Hebrew text, and are interesting and valuable only as 
they are read in the same connection in which they were placed by 
the ancient versions. Accordingly, I have decided to insert them 
in square brackets in my translation of the Hebrew text at the 
same points where they are inserted in the originals. Thus they 
can be read in the way in which they were meant to be read by 
their authors. Let no one suppose that the matter in brackets is 
regarded as an integral part of the text. It is only the earliest ex- 
tant commentary that I have interwoven with the text in the same 
manner as my own annotations. The Hebrew original is dis- 
criminated from the amplifications by the fact that its translation 
is given in italics. Ordinarily I have inserted the additions with- 
out note or comment, since a commentary on them would have 
carried the volume beyond the prescribed limits; but whenever 
the versions seem to preserve a reading that has been lost by the 
Hebrew, I have called attention to this fact. 

In spite of the smallness of the Book of Esther its bibliography 
is exceedingly copious. Its quasi-legal character gave it a large 
place in the discussions of the doctors of the Talmud. It has two 
Targums and at least eight Midrashes, and all of these have been 
made the basis of numerous super-commentaries and discussions. 
More Jewish commentaries have been written upon it than upon 
any other book except the Law, and these in their turn have been 
explained by later scholars. The problem of its canonicity at- 
tracted much attention in the early Christian centuries, and the 
additions of the Greek text brought it into the discussion of the 
canonicity of the Apocrypha. In modern times its historical diffi- 
culties have called forth a host of treatises attacking or defending 
its credibility, and within the last few years the " Panbabylonisten " 
have deluged us with literature endeavouring to prove the Baby- 


Ionian origin of Purim. My bibliography contains upward of 700 
titles of books and articles on Esther. The more important half 
of these I have found in the admirable library of Hartford Theolog- 
ical Seminary, and my hearty thanks are due to Dr. Charles S. 
Thayer, the librarian, and to Mr. M. H. Ananikian, the assistant 
librarian, for the great help that they have given me in hunting 
out these books and in putting them at my disposal for long periods 
of time. The remaining works, with the exception of about fifty, 
I have found in the libraries of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Uni- 
versities, and of Harvard, Princeton, Union, and the New York 
Jewish Theological Seminaries. The rich collection of the Jewish 
Theological Seminary in particular contains almost no gaps in the 
series of Jewish commentaries. To the librarians of all these insti- 
tutions I wish to express my gratitude for the assistance they have 
given me and for the books they have so willingly put at my dis- 
posal. As a result of my search I have reached the conclusion 
that, with the exception of mss., all the books that a student of the 
Old Testament needs can now be found in American libraries 
quite as well as in those of Europe, and that the conditions 
attached to their use are much less strict on this side of the Atlantic 
than on the other. In subsequent references it will be understood 
that I have had personal access to the literature mentioned except 
in cases where I indicate the contrary. 


Hartford Theological Seminary: 






§ i. Place in the Hebrew Bible i 

§ 2. Place in the Greek Version 3 

ii. the text of esther 

a. descendants of the tiberian massoretic text 

3. mss. with tlberian vocalization .... 

4. The Printed Editions 

5. The Massora 

6. Citations in Jewish Commentaries .... 

§ 7- 

§ 12 

Mss. with Babylonian Vocalization 

The Syriac Peshitto 

The First Targum 

The Second Targum 

The Latin Version of Jerome . . 
Citations in the Talmud . . . 







§ 14 



§ 19 
§ 20 

The Greek Version 

The Unrevised Greek Text . . 
The Recension of Origen . . . 
The Recension of Hesychius . . 
The Recension of Lucian . . . 


The Old Latin Version .... 
Origin of the Additions in Greek 






§ 21. Outline of the Book 47 

§22. Identity of Ahasuerus 51 

§ 23. Purpose of the Book 54 

§ 24. Independence of 9 20 -io 3 57 

§ 25. Age of the Book 60 

§ 26. Authorship 63 

§ 27. Historical Character 64 

§ 28. Origin of the Feast of Purim 77 

iv. canonicity 

§ 29. Omission of the Name of God 94 

§ 30. Moral Teaching of the Book 96 

§ 31. Estimate of the Church 96 

v. interpretation 

§ 32. Earliest Jewish Exegesis 97 

§ ^. Earliest Christian Exegesis 101 

§ 34. The Targums and Midrashes 101 

§ 35. Other Mediaeval Jewish Commentaries .... 104 

§ 36. Medi/eval Christian Interpretation 107 

§ 37. The Reformation Period 107 

§38. The Post-Reformation Period no 

§39. The Modern Critical Period in 



I. Hebrew 3°9 

II. Names of Authors and Books 3 12 

III. Subjects 3 21 

IV. Biblical Passages 335 


; — ^ 




= Codex Sinaiticus. 


= Codex Alexandrinus. 


= The Aldine text of ($. 


= Authorized Version. 


= Codex Vaticanus. 


= Baer, Quinque Volumina 


= Edition, Brescia, 1492. 

B 1 

= Bomberg Bible, 15 16-17. 

B 2 

= Bomberg Bible, '15 26. 


= Babylonian Talmud. 

C = Complutensian Polyglot. 

(& = Greek Version, except L. 

G = Ginsburg, Heb. Bible. 

H — Hesychian recension of (&. 

^ = Hebrew, consonantal text. 

31 = Latin version of Jerome. 

Jos. = Josephus; Ant. xi. 

JT. = Jerusalem Talmud. 

K = Kennicott, Var. Led. 

L = Lucianic recension of (&. 

H = Old Latin version. 

C (; = Latin, Codex Corbeiensis. 

£ p = Latin, Codex Pechianus. 

M . = Michaelis, Bib. Heb. 
M = Massoretic Hebrew text. 
Mas.= Massora. 

N = Codex Basiliano-Vaticanus. , 
N 1 = Hagiographa, Naples, i486 
N 2 = Bible, Naples, 1491-93. 
NT. = New Testament. 


Origenic recension of (£. 

Occidental MSS. 

Or. = Oriental mss. 
OT. = Old Testament. 

Q = Qere, or variants of ffi. 

R = De Rossi, Var. Led. 
RV. = Revised Version. 

= Bible, Soncino, 1488. 

= Syriac version. 

= Syriac, Codex Ambrosianus. 

= Syriac, London Polyglot. 

= Syriac, Mosul edition. 

= Syriac, Urumia edition. 

= First Targum. 
= Second Targum. 

Vrss.= Ancient versions. 





(according to holmes and parsons] 

19 = Rome, Chigi R vi. 38. 

44 = Zittau, A 1. 1. 

52 = Florence, Laur. Acq. 44. 

55 = Rome, Vat. Reg. Gr. 1. 

64 = Paris, Nat. Reg. Gr. 2. 

68 = Venice, St. Mark's Gr. 5. 

71 = Paris, Nat. Reg. Gr. 1. 

74 = Florence, Laur. Acq. 700 (49). 

76 = Paris, Nat. Reg. Gr. 4. 

93 = London, B. M. Reg. i. D. 2. 

106 = Ferrara, Bibl. Comm. Gr. 


107 = Ferrara, Bibl. Comm. Gr. 


108 = Rome, Vat. Gr. 330. 

120 = Venice, St. Mark's Gr. 4. 

236 = Rome, Vat. Gr. 331. 

243 = Venice, St. Mark's Gr. 16. 

248 = Rome, Vat. Gr. 346. 

249 = Rome, Vat. Pius 1. 


Ad. Est. = The Rest of the Book of 

Am. = Amos. 

1, 2 Ch. =1,2 Chronicles. 
Ct = Canticles = The Song of 


Dn. — Daniel. 

Dt. = Deuteronomy. 

Ec. = Ecclesiastes. 

Ecclus. = Ecclesiasticus. 


= Esther. 


= Exodus. 


= Ezekicl. 


= Ezra. 


= Genesis. 


ass Habakkuk. 


= Haggai. 


= Hosea. 


= Isaiah. 


= Job. 


= Jeremiah. 


= Joel. 


= Jonah. 


= Joshua. 


= Judges. 


= Judith. 

I, 2 K. 

= 1, 2 Kings. 


= Lamentations. 


= Leviticus. 


= Malachi. 

1, 2 Mac.= 1, 2 Maccabees. 


= Micah. 


= Nahum. 


= Nehcmiah. 


= Numbers. 


= Obadiah. 


= Proverbs. 


= Psalms. 


= Ruth. 

1, 2S. 

= 1, 2 Samuel. 


= Tobit. 


= Zechariah. 


= Zephaniah. 





= W. F. Adeney. 


= Expository Times. 


= American Journal of 


= H. Ewald. 

Semitic Languages. 


=s Expositor. 


= L. E. T. Andre. 


= O. F. Fritzsche. 


= Zeitschrift fur Agyp- 



= The Gemara. 


= W. Gesenius. 


= R. A. F. Barrett. 


== Gbttingsche Gelehrte 


= W. W. Baudissin. 



= G. L. Bauer. 


= Gbttingsche Gelehrte 


= M. Baumgarten. 



= Brown, Driver, Briggs, 


= C D. Ginsburg. 

Heb.-Eng. Lexicon. 


= H. Grotius. 


= R. Bellarmin. 


= E. Bertheau. 


= H. C A. Havernick. 


= E. C. Bissell. 


= Hastings , Dictionary 


= F. Bottcher. 

of the Bible. 


= O. Bonart. 


= M. Henry. 


= J. Buxtorf. 


= Herodotus. 


= Biblical World. 


= J. Hewlett. 


= OT. and Semitic Stud- 


= T. deV. Cajetan. 

ies in Memory of 


= A. Calovius. 

W. R. Harper. 


= A. Calmet. 


= Holmes and Parsons. 


= J. Calvin. 


= J. G. Carpzov. 


= Ibn Ezra. 


= P. Cassel. 


= Ibn Melech. 


= T. K. Cheyne. 

J A. 

= Journal Asiatique. 


= J. Clericus. 


= Journal of the A nieri- 


= C H. Cornill. 

can Oriental Society. 

Crit. Sac. 

= Critici Sacri. 


= Journal of Biblical 


= A. B. Davidson. 



= Friedrich Delitzsch. 


= Jewish Encyclo- 


= L. Diestel. 


= A. Dillmann. 


= Jerome. 


ss= Jiidisches Litteratur- 


= S. R. Driver. 



= J. Drusius. 


= Josephus. 


= Encyclopaedia Britan- 


= Jahrbucher fiir pro- 

nica 9 . 

testantische Theolo- 


= Encyclopaedia Biblica. 



= J. G. Eichhorn. 


= Jewish Quarterly Re- 


= G. Estius. 




J. &T. 

= Junius and Tremcl- 

' Nold. 

= T. Nr.ldckc. 



= W. Nowack. 


= A. Ranrpfiausen. 


= S. Oetli. 


= E. Schrader, Die Keil- 


= J. Olshausen, Gram- 

inschriften und das 


Alte Testament. 


= Orientalistische Lit- 


= E. Kautzsch. 



= Keilinschriftliche Bib- 


= J. Oppert. 
= L. Osiander. 




= E. Konig, Lehrgeb. 



= A. Kuenen. 


= S. Pagninus. 


= D. Pareus. 


= P. de Lagarde. 


= S. Patrick. 


= C. a Lapide. 


= Paulus Burgensis. 


= T. Malvenda. 


= G. Pellican. 


= J. Mariana. 

Pirq. R. E. = Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer. 


' = J. Piscator. 




= F. J. V. D. Maurer. 

= J. Mayer. 

= Tractate Megilla in 


= Real-Encyclopddie fur 
protestantische The- 
ologie' u. Kirche. 


BT. and JT. 

— J. S. Menochius. 

p= E. Meyer. 

= Magazin fur die Ge- 


= Proceedings of the So- 
ciety of Biblical Ar- 

schichte u. Wisse.n^ 


= Rabbi Levi ben Ger- 

schaft des J tide n- 




= J. J. Rarabach. 


= J. D. Michaelis. 


= Rabbi 'Samuel ben 


— Midrash Esther Rabba 


Mid. a. a 

.== Midrash AbbaGoryon 


= Rabbi Solomon ben 

Mid. L. T. 

= Midrash Leqah Tob. 


Mid. M-. E 

.= Midrash Megillath Es- 


= G. Rawlinson. 



= Revue des Etudes Jui- 

Mid. P. A. 

= Midrash Ponim Aher- 




= E. Reuss. 

Mid. S. T. 

= Midrash S holier Tob. 


= E. Riehm, Handwor- 


= The Mishna. 



= S. Miinster. 


= V. Ryssel. 


= Mitteilungen der V or- 

der asiatischen Ge- 


= J. Salianus. 

se 11 schaft. 


= C. Sanctius. 


= SchenkePs Bibel-Lexi- 


= B. Neteler. 



= Lc^'y, Neuhebr. Wdr- 


= E. Schrader. 



= E. Schurcr. 




= F. W. Schultz. 


= F. Vatable. 


= Smith's Dictionary of 


= C. Vitringa. 

the Bible. 


= N. Serarius. 


= Westminster Assem- 


. = C. Siegfried. 

bly's Annotations. 


= Thcologische Studien 
u. Kritiken. 


= O. Wildeboer. 


= F. Spiegel. 

! Will. 

= H. Willrich. 


= Siegfried u. Stade, 


= H. Winckler. 


Heb. Worterbuch. 


= Wiener Zeitschrift fur 


= B. Stade, Grammatik. 

die Kunde des Mor- 


= II. Strack. 



= A. W. Streane. 


= V. Strigel. 


= Yalqut Shim'oni. 


= Yosippon. 


= Vcrsio Tigurina. 


= J. Tirinus. 


= Zeitschrift fiir Assy- 


= Tlieologische Litera- 




= Zeitschrift fiir die Alt- 
testamentliche Wis- 


= Tlieologische Studien. 


= Transactions of the So- 

ciety of Biblical Ar- 
= Theologisch Tijd- 


= Zeitschrift des deut- 


schen Paldstina Ver- 

. schrift. 





• • 
= abbreviation. 


= Arabic. 


= absolute. 


= Aramaic. 


= abstract. 


= article. 


= accusative. 


— Assyrian. 

ace. cog. 

= cognate ace. 

ace. pers. 

= ace. of person. 


= Babylonian. 

ace. rci 

= ace of thing. 

B. Aram. 

= Biblical Aramaic. 

ace. to 

= according to. 


= active. 


= circa, about. 


= adjective. 


= causative. 


= adverb. 

cod., codd 

.= codex, codices. 


= after. 


= confer, compare. 


= aira.% \ey6fxepov, word 


— cognate. 

or phr. used once. 


= collective. 


= et aliter, and elsw. 


= commentaries. 

a. 1. 

= ad locum. 


= compare. 


= always. 


= concrete. 


= apodosis. 


= conjunction- 




= consecutive. 


= noun. 


= contract, contracted. 

n. p. 

= proper name. 


= construct. 

n. pr. loc. 

s= proper noun of place. 

n. unit. 

= noun of unity. 


= da ghesh forte. 


= New Hebrew. 


= defective. 


= Niphal of verb. 


= dele, strike out. 


= dittography. 


= object. 


= omit. 


= exempli gratia, for in- 


= opposite, as opposed to 


or contrasted with. 


= elsewhere. 


= especially. 


= person. 


= emphasis, emphatic. 


= particle. 


= Ethiopic. 


= passive. 


= except. 


= perfect. 


= Phoenician. 


= feminine. 


= perhaps. 


= feminine plural. 


= phrase. 


= from. 


= Piel of verb. 


= frequentative. 


= plural. 


= feminine singular. 


= post-Biblical. 


= Greek. 


= postexilic. 


= preceded by. 


= haplography. 


= predicate. 


= Hebrew. 


= preexilic. 

Hi ph. 

= Hiphil of verb. 


= pregnant. 


== Hithpael of verb. 


= preposition. 


>. = Hithpalpel of verb. 


= probable. 


= imperfect. 


= pronoun. 


= imperative. 


= participle. 


= indefinite. 


= Pual of verb. 


= infinitive. 


= quod vide. 


= in pause. 


= id quod, the same with. 


= reflexive. 

= intransitive. 


= relative. 


= jussive. 


= suffix. 
= singular. 


= Latin. 


= followed by. 


= last citation. 


= status, state, stative. 


= literal, literally. 


= subject. 


= local, locality. 


= substantive. 


= masculine. 


= sub voce. 


= masculine plural. 


= synonymous. 


= masculine singular. 


= Syriac. 




= times (following a num- 
= transpose. 
= transitive. 



= verse. 
= vide, see. 
= verb. 


Biblical passages are cited accord- 
ing to the verses of the Hebrew text. 

Numerals raised above the line (i) 
after numerals designating chapters 
indicate verses (Gn. 6 3 ); (2) after 

proper names refer to editions of 
books (Ges. 27 ). 

Proper names usually refer to 
works upon Esther given in the His- 
tory of Interpretation. 



In codices and printed editions of the Hebrew Bible the Book of 
Esther is one of the KHhubhim or 'Writings' that constitute the 
third division of the OT. canon. The various arrangements of 
the books that form this collection are exhibited in the following 

















































The first of these arrangements is that of the Madrid codex of a.d. 
1280, of five codices of the British Museum, namely Harley 1528, 
Add. 1525, Or. 2212, Or. 2375, Or. 4227, and of the Babylonian codex 
Berlin Or. Qu. 680. This order is the least logical and, therefore, prob- 
ably the most primitive. The Babylonian Talmud, our earliest witness 
on the subject, declares it to be the correct arrangement (Baba Bathra 

The second arrangement is found in one codex of the British Museum, 


Add. 15252. It differs from the first merely in the inversion of the order 
of Ec. and Song. Ec. is placed last, possibly, because it is regarded as a 
product of Solomon's old age. 

The third arrangement is that of the Paris Codex (a.d. 1286) and 
British Museum Or. 2091. It differs from the second in the transposi- 
tion of Dan. and Est. This brings together the four little books, Song, 
Ec, Lam., Est., and is therefore a step in the direction of the formation 
of the sub-collection of the Five M e ghilloth or "Rolls." 

The fourth arrangement is found in the codex Arundel Orient. 16. 
It differs from the third only in the transposition of Ch. from the end 
to the beginning of the Hagiographa. 

















































The fifth arrangement occurs in the codex British Museum Or. 2201 
(a.d. 1246). It is derived from the third by the transposition of Ruth 
to a position before Song of Songs. Here for the first time the five little 
books, Ru., Song, Ec, Lam., Est., are grouped in the sub-collection 
of the Five M'ghilloth. There is no trace of this grouping in the Talmud 
or Midrashim, nor is the name Five M'ghittoth known. It arose dur- 
ing the Middle Ages in consequence of the liturgical use of these books 
in the service of the Synagogue. 

The sixth arrangement is that of the St. Petersburg Babylonian codex 
of a.d. 1207, British Museum codices, Harley 5710-11, Add. 15251, 
most Spanish codd., and most codd. with Massoretic apparatus. It 
differs from the fifth in the transposition of Ch. from the end of the 
Hagiographa to the beginning. The Massoretic treatise l Adhath 
D'bhdrim (a.d. 1207) declares this to be the orthodox Palestinian ar- 
rangement, and that which places Ch. at the end to be an innovation of 
"the men of Shinar" (cf. Strack, ZLT. xxxvi. 1875, p. 605). This is a 
mistake. Ch. was not taken into the canon early, because it was not 
needed alongside of Samuel and Kings; and when it was added, it was 
appended to the end of the collection. The transposition to the begin- 


ning is a late alteration due to the fact that most of the history of Ch. 
belongs chronologically before the rest of the KHhubhim. 

The seventh arrangement is that of the codex British Museum Or. 
2626-28. It is derived from the sixth by the transposition of Jb. and 
Pr., the idea apparently being to place the writings of Solomon imme- 
diately after the writings of David. 

The eighth arrangement is that of most German and French codd. 
and of all the printed editions, except the first three and the Bomberg 
quarto editions of 1521 and 1525, where the Five M e ghilloth follow the 
Pentateuch. This order is derived from the fifth by the transposition 
of Jb. and Pr., Ru. and Song, Ec. and La. In this way the Five 
M e ghilldth come to stand in the order in which they are read on the five 
great holy days of the year. Song is read at Passover in the first month, 
Ru. at Pentecost in the third month, La. on the anniversary of the de- 
struction of the Temple in the fifth month, Ec. at the feast of Tabernacles 
in the seventh month, and Est. at the feast of Purim in the twelfth 
month. This arrangement is the latest of all, since this liturgical use 
of the Rolls did not grow up until the Middle Ages. 

In the official synagogue-rolls the Book of Est. is frequently found 
immediately after the Law, less often with the other M e ghill6th, and 
rarely with the M e ghilloth and Haftdroth, or lessons from the Prophets. 
This arrangement is due to the desire to have these books in a convenient 
form for liturgical use, and is evidently the latest of all the groupings. 
The varying arrangements of the M e ghilloth in the synagogue-rolls 
correspond to the arrangements in the Hagiographa given above. 
Orders 5 and 6 are represented by the codd. British Museum, Harley 
5773 and Harley 15283. Order 7 is represented by Add. 15282; order 8, 
by Add. 9400, Add. 9403, Add. 19776, the printed editions of Soncino 
1488, Naples 1491-3, Brescia 1492-4, and the Bomberg quarto editions 
of 1521 and 1525. The peculiar order, Est., Song, Ru., La., Ec, found 
in Add. 9404, Harley 5706 and Orient. 2786, but not found in any canons 
of the Hagiographa, has evidently arisen from the later addition of the 
remaining four M e ghill6th to a roll which originally contained only the 
Pentateuch and Esther (see Ginsburg, Introduction, pp. 1-8; Ryle, 
Canon, p. 280). 


In Greek codd. and lists given by the Fathers, the books of the 
Hagiographa are scattered in various positions among the Former 
and Latter Prophets. Ru. always follows Ju. La. is appended 
to Je. and Dn. to the Major Prophets. The five poetical books, 
Jb M Ps., Pr., Ec. and Song, in varying orders, usually stand 


together. The Pentateuch, Prophetical Histories, Ch., £z. and 
Ne. always stand first, except in the eccentric lists of Epiphanius 
(Hcer. i. i 5 ; De Mens. 4; ib. 23), which give his own theories rather 
than the established order; accordingly, we may dismiss these 
books from further consideration. The remaining books of the 
OT. are grouped in the following ways: 

Minor Pr. 
Major Pr. 

Major Pr. 
Minor Pr. 

Minor Pr. 
Major Pr. 

Minor Pr. 
Major Pr. 

Major Pr. 
Minor Pr. 

Minor Pr. 
Major Pr. 

Minor Pr. 
Major Pr. 

Major Pr. 
Minor Pr. 

The first of these is the order given by Origen (in Eusebius, Hist. 
Eccl. vi. 25), Athanasius (Ep. Fest. 39, in Migne, Patr. Grcec. xxvi. 
1437), the anonymous Dialogue of Timothy and Aquila, Epiphanius 
(/. c), John of Damascus (De Fide Orthodox, iv. 17), Ebedjesu (Catal. 
Libr. Eccl. in Assemani, Bibl. Orient, iii. 5/.), the list in the codices 
Barocc. 206, Brit. Mus. Add. 17469, Coisl. 120; Hilary (Proleg. in Libr. 
Psalm.), and the list in Codex Claromontanus. This order is most 
widely attested, and from it the other orders can be explained most 
readily; it is, therefore, probably the original arrangement of the Sep- 
tuagint. The position of Est. at the end of the list is due to the fact 
that this book was written after the Alexandrian canon was practically 
completed, so that it had to be added as an appendix. 

The second arrangement is found in Nicephorus (Stichometria) and 
Cassiodorus (De Inst. Div. Lit. 14). It differs from the first only in 
the inversion of the Minor and the Major Prophets, possibly through 
the influence of the Hebrew order. 

The third arrangement is that of Codex Vaticanus (B). It is obtained 
from the first by placing Est. before the Minor and the Major Prophets. 
The aim of this transposition is doubtless to bring the Prophets imme- 
diately before the Gospels. 

The fourth arrangement is found in Codex Basiliano-V aticanus (N), 
Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. iv. 35), a synopsis given by Lagarde (Sep- ' 
tuagintastudien, ii. 60/.), Pseudo-Athanasius (Syn. Scr. Sacr. in Migne, 
Patr. GrcBc. xxviii. 283^.), the Canons of Laodicea (lx), the Apostolic 


Canons (lxxxiv), Augustine (De Doctr. Christ, ii. 13), Canons of Car- 
thage (xlvii-xxxix). This order differs from the preceding in placing 
Est. before the Poetical Books. This has the advantage of bringing 
the Prophets immediately before the Gospels and also of associating 
Est. with the other historical books. 

The fifth arrangement appears in a list discovered by Mommsen (cf. 
Zahn, Gesch. d. N. T. Kanons, ii. 143 /., Sanday, Stadia Biblica, iii. 
222/.; Preuschen, Analecta, 138). It is the order followed by Jerome 
in the Vulgate, from which it has passed into all the modern versions. 
It is derived from 2 by the transposition of Est. to a position after the 
Historical Books, and it differs from 4 only in the different order of 
the Major and the Minor Prophets. 

The sixth arrangement is that of Codex Alexandrinus (A). It is 
apparently derived from 1 by the transposition of the Poetical Books 
to the end. What considerations led to this change it is impossible 
to say. 

The seventh arrangement appears in Junilius (De Instit. Reg. Div. 
Legis, i. 3 ff.). It is derived from 3 by the transposition of the Poetical 
Books to the end of the list. 

The eighth arrangement is that of Codex Sinaiticus (*), Ruffinus 
(Comm. in Symb. 36), Isiodorus (De Ord. Libr. Sac. Scr.), and the Liber 
Sacramentorum (Bobbio, 6th or 7th cent.). It differs from 7 only in the 
transposition of the Major and the Minor Prophets. None of these 
orders of (8 can claim to be more primitive than the orders in if, all of 
which preserve the original threefold canon. The different arrangements 
in (& have arisen from the effort to group the books either chronologically 
or logically, and are all secondary. (See Swete, Introduction, pp. igyff-) 



Manuscripts of the Book of Esther are more numerous than of 
any other portion of the Old Testament. It is found in all com- 
plete private Bible codices; also appended to the Law in most of 
the sacred, or synagogue, rolls, and, together with the other four 
M e ghilloth, in numerous liturgical scrolls. So high is the esteem 
which this book enjoys among the Jews that every family is anxious 
to own it in the manuscript form prescribed by the Talmud for 


reading at Purim, and this has led to the production of an immense 
number of separate Esther rolls that are often masterpieces of the 
writer's and illuminator's arts, and that are enclosed in gold and 
silver cases of exquisite workmanship (see JE. viii. pp. 429 jf.). 
No extant MS. of this book is earlier than the eleventh century of 
the Christian era. The oldest is the St. Petersburg Codex B 19 a, 
written in a.d. 1009. 

Enumerations and descriptions of manuscripts containing Est. arc 
given by Le Long, Bibl. Sacra (1723); Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. (1721 /.); 
Kennicott, Dissertatio (1780; ed. Bruns, 1783); De Rossi, Apparatus 
(1716); Manuscripti (1803); Libri Stampati (1812); Assemani, Bibl. 
Vaticanus Catalogus, I. i. (1756); Uri, Bibl. Bodleianoz Catalogus, i. 
(1787); Catalogue des manuscrits hebreux, Paris (1866); Kraft and 
Deutsch, Die handschriftlichen hebrdischenWcrke . . . zuWien (1847); 
Steinschneider, Hebr. Handschriften in Berlin (1878, 1897); Hebr. 
Handschriften in Munchen (1895); Harkavy and Strack, Catalog der 
Hebr. Bibelhandschriften . . . zu St. Petersburg (1875); Schiller- 
Szinessy, Catalogue of the Hebr. MSS. Cambridge (1876); Neubauer, 
Catalogue of the Hebr. MSS. in tlie Bodleian Library (1886); Deren- 
hourg, Catalogue des manuscrits judaiques entres au British Museum 
de 1867-1890, Rev. des Etudes Juives, 1891. Ginsburg, Introduction, 
1897. For additional catalogues see Strack, Prolegoriuzna Critica, 
pp. 29-33, 110-121; Einleitung in das A. T.' 3 , p. 182. 

All these mss. exhibit the Tiberian or infralinear system of vocal- 
ization and accentuation that is found in our ordinary printed 
editions. This was introduced about 650 a.d. by the Massorites, 
or custodians of oral textual tradition, who had their headquarters 
at Tiberias in Palestine. Mss. of this recension are practically 
identical with one another. They have the same division of words 
and sentences. The Massora at the end of Est. says that there 
are 167 verses and that the middle verse is 5 7 . With this all the 
mss. agree. They agree also in dividing the text into 5 sedharim or 
triennial pericopes and into 15 smaller sections. In regard to the 
length of the space between the sections, which indicates whether 
they are open or closed, there is strict uniformity. In all mss. the 
first word of i 6 has an abnormally large initial letter. In all the 
names of the ten sons of Haman (9 10 ) are written in a vertical line 
on the right margin of the page, or the column, while the conjunc- 


tions and demonstrative particles that precede each name form 
another line on the left margin. The name of the first son, Par- 
shandatha, is uniformly written with th smaller than the other 
letters. Parmashta (o 9 ) is written with both sh and / small. 
Wayzatha (9*) has a large w and a small z. The first word of 9" 
is always written with a large initial /. 

The few variants that exist in these mss. have been laboriously 
collated by Jedidiah Solomon Norzi in his commentary on the 
Bible entitled Goder Per eg (completed in 1626, first printed in the 
Bible of Raphael Hayyim Basila under the title Minhath Shay, 
Mantua, 1742-4; again in the Warsaw Rabbinic Bible; separate 
edition, Vienna, 1813); also by J. H. Michaelis, Biblia Hebraica, 
Halle, 1720; by Kennicott, Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum 
variis lectionibus (1776); and by De Rossi, V arice lectiones Veteris 
Testamenti (1884-88). The number of variants that these elabo- 
rate studies have yielded is surprisingly small. As the result of a 
collation of many hundreds of mss., Kennicott and De Rossi to- 
gether record only 29 variants in the consonantal text of Est., and 
these all of a trivial character. They are as follows: 

i 1 , two mss. omit "this is Ahasuerus"; 2 U , one MS. reads "in the 
court" instead of "before the court"; several mss. read "to her" in- 
stead of "of her"; 3 s , six MSS. after "then was Haman full of wrath" 
add "against Mordecai"; 4 16 , fifty-seven mss. omit "and" before 
"neither eat"; seventy-two MSS. add "and" before "I also"; 4 17 , 
one MS. omits "according to"; 5 4 , six MSS. omit "this day"; 5 11 , three 
MSS. add "all" before "the princes"; 6 6 , one MS. reads" to Haman" 
instead of "to him;" 6 11 , three mss. after "caused him to ride" add "on 
a horse"; 8 2 , four MSS. after "his ring" add "from off his hand"; 8 5 , one 
MS. reads "and Esther said" instead of "and she said"; one hundred 
and fifteen mss. add "all" before "the Jews"; 8 fl , two MSS. have the verb 
"shall come" in the feminine instead of the masculine; 8 9 , seven MSS. 
before "an hundred twenty and seven" add "unto"; 8 n , some MSS. 
omit "and" before "to slay"; g\ some mss. read "no man could stand 
unto their faces," instead of "no man could stand in their faces"; 9 12 , 
fifty-four mss. omit "and" (RV. "now") before "what is thy petition"? 
9 14 , three mss. after "and they hanged Haman's ten sons" add "upon 
the gallows"; o 16 , fifteen mss add "all" after "in"; 9 18 , three mss. omit 
the entire verse; one MS. reads the finite verb instead of the infinitive in 
"and made"; 9 20 , two mss. before "these things" add "all"; 9 22 , three 
mss. read "in" instead of "as"; 9", twenty-nine mss. read the finite 


verb instead of the infinitive "undertook"; nineteen mss. read "upon 
them" instead of "unto them"; o 24 , four mss. omit "all" before "the 
Jews"; 9 27 , many MSS. read the finite verb instead of the infinitive "took." 
A number of these variants are found also in &, 3, and dk which shows 
that they are survivals of ancient textual differences. 

Six late codd., namely, Cod. Vat. Urbin. i, fol. 869; Cod. Am- 
brosian. B. 35; Cod. Pii. VI.; Codd. De Rossi 7, 42, 737, append 
to the Book of Est. an Aramaic addition containing the dream and 
the prayers of Esther and Mordecai. This was published by As- 
semani, Bibl. Vaticance Catalogus (1756), pp. AS 2 ff-\ Dv De Rossi, 
Specimen variarum lectionum, sacri textus et Chaldaica Esteris 
additamenta cum Latine versione ac notis (1782); also by Jellinek, 
Beth ham-Midrash (1873), v. pp. 1-81; Lagarde, Hagiographa 
Chaldaice (1873), PP- 362—365; Merx, Chrestomathia Targumica, 
pp. 154^. De Rossi attached great importance to these codd. 
as evidence that the additions of the Greek version were derived 
from an ancient Aramaic original, but it is now generally believed 
that these Aramaic additions are borrowed from the Hebrew trans- 
lation of Josephus made by Joseph ben Goryon (Josephus Gorio- 
nides, or Yosippon) in the tenth century. They have, therefore, 
no text-critical value (see Zunz, Gottesdienstliche Vortrdge der 
Juden, p. 121; Fritzsche, Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch 
zu den Apokryphen, i. 70; Dalman, Grammatik des jiidisch-pald- 
stinischen Aramdisch, p. 30; Ryssel, Zusatze zum Buche Esther, in 
Kautzsch's Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des A. T., p. 195; 
Bissell, The Apocrypha of the O. T., 1880, p. 202; Fuller in Wace's 
Apocrypha, p. 364). 

Three mss. contain acrostics of the divine name YHWH, formed 
by writing the initial or final letters of consecutive words larger 
than the other letters. In i 20 these are the initial letters of "it, 
all the wives shall give," read from left to right. In 5 4 they are 
the initial letters of "let the King come and Haman to-day," read 
from right to left. In 5 13 they are the final letters of "this avail- 
eth me nothing," read from left to right; and in j 7 they are the final 
letters of "that there was evil determined against him," read from 
right to left. These are mere rabbinic conceits devised to discover 
the name of God in the book. They have no text-critical value. 


Variants in vocalization and accentuation are more numerous, 
but are of the most trivial character and do not affect the sense of a 
single passage. They are collected in the text-critical works 
named above (except Kennicott and De Rossi), and in the Masso- 
retico-critical editions of Baer (1886) and Ginsburg (1894). There 
is seldom any doubt as to the correct Massoretic text. The rival 
editions of Baer and Ginsburg present only a few trifling differences 
of punctuation. 

The extraordinary similarity of all the mss. of the Tiberian 
family shows that they are descended from a single prototype. 
Elias Levita, Massoreth Ham-Massoreth (ed. Ginsburg, p. 114), 
quotes a passage from Maimonides to the effect that "the recension 
of our manuscripts is according to the well-known codex in Egypt, 
which contains the twenty-four sacred books, which had formerly 
been in Jerusalem for many years in order that other codices might 
be corrected by it; and that both he and all others followed it be- 
cause Ben Asher corrected it and minutely elaborated it for many 
years and revised it many times, as it has been transmitted to us." 
To this Levita appends the remark: "The Occidentals in every 
land follow Ben Asher, but the Orientals follow the recension of 
Ben Naphtali." (Cf. Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 247.) Ben 
Asher flourished in the tenth century of our era, and was the last 
great representative of the Tiberian school of Massorites. He 
prepared a standard codex of the Old Testament in which the 
Palestinian or Occidental textual tradition received its final form. 
This codex has perished, but direct copies from it are preserved 
in the synagogues of Aleppo and Cairo. The statements of 
Maimonides and Levita, that all Occidental mss. — that is, all mss. 
of the common Tiberian type — are descendants of the Codex Ben 
Asher, is to be taken with some reserve, since they do not uniformly 
exhibit the readings which the official lists ascribe to Ben Asher; 
nevertheless, as a rule, they follow this text, and there can be no 
doubt that a systematic effort was made by the Occidental Jews 
to conform their codices to this standard. 

Back of Ben Asher must have stood another standard codex 
of the seventh century in which the Tiberian Massorites first em- 
bodied their oral tradition as to the correct pronunciation of the 


Old Testament. The trifling differences from Ben Asher which 
Occidental (Tiberian) mss. contain, are corruptions that came into 
the text during the period that intervened between the standard 
codex of the seventh century and the Codex Ben Asher of the 
tenth century. 


All printed editions of the Book of Esther are based upon mss. 
with the Tiberian system of vocalization. The earlier editions 
rest upon a direct collation of mss. and therefore have text-critical 
interest. The first edition of Est. is in the editio princeps of the 
Hagiographa, Naples, 1486-87, part iii. The editor was a certain 
Samuel of Rome. 

The second edition is the editio princeps of the entire Bible, 
Soncino, 1488. It bears the name of R. Joshua ben Israel Nathan 
of Soncino and of Abraham ben Hayyim de Tintori of Bologna. 
It is based upon German and Franco-German codd., and, apart 
from errors, contains a number of interesting variants from the 
official Massoretic text. 

The third edition is the complete Bible, Naples, 1491-93. This 
edition is more accurate than either of its predecessors. It seeks 
to conform closely to the Massora, and therefore its variants are of 
exceptional importance. 

The fourth edition is the Pentateuch with the five M e ghill6th and 
the Haphtdroth, or lessons from the Prophets, Brescia, 1492. It is 
based upon the Soncino edition of 1488, but is carefully corrected 
from German and Franco-German codd. The phenomenal let- 
ters, i.e., those larger or smaller than the ordinary, are ignored in 
this edition. 

The fifth edition is the Complutensian Polyglot, published under 
the patronage of Cardinal Ximenes, at Alcala (Complutum) in 
Spain, 1 5 14-17. Est. is the fifth book in the third volume. The 
Hebrew text, with vowels, but without accents, occupies the outer 
column. The middle column contains the Latin version of 
Jerome, and the inner column contains the Greek version. Rever- 
ence for the Vulgate lias led the editors to arrange the Heb. folios 


so as to read from left to right, to ignore the Massoretic division 
into pericopes and sections, and to adopt the Christian division 
of the text into chapters. According to Ginsburg {Introduction, 
p. 918), the Hebrew text of the Complutensian Polyglot is based 
upon the Spanish MS., Madrid University Library No. 1, with 
modifications derived from the Naples edition of 1491-93. The 
absence of accents is a serious defect in this edition, and the vowel 
points are not accurately printed. 

The sixth edition is the Rabbinic Bible, edited by Felix Pratensis 
and issued from the Bomberg press in Venice in 15 16-17, 4 v °l s - 
fol. The fourth volume contains Est. with the First Targum and 
the commentary of RaShI, and in an appendix, the Second Targum 
to Est. In this edition the Massoretic divisions of the text are 
carefully observed, but the distinction between open and closed 
sections is not preserved. The Christian division into chapters is 
indicated by Hebrew numeral letters placed in the margin. The 
Q e re, or Massoretic variants, and numerous other variants are also 
given in the margin. This edition is based on a new collation, 
and therefore is of considerable text-critical importance. 

The seventh independent edition is the great Rabbinic Bible, 
edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonijah, and published by 
Bomberg, Venice, 1524-25, 4 vols. fol. Esther, with the other 
M e ghilloth,is found among the Hagiographa in the fourth volume. 
The Hebrew text and Targum occupy the middle of the page, and 
on either side are the commentaries of RaShI and Ibn Ezra. The 
textual annotations of the Massora Magna occupy the upper and 
lower margins, and those of the Massora Parva the space between 
the middle columns. This edition is based upon a careful colla- 
tion of mss., and presents for the first time an accurate reproduc- 
tion of the standard text of the Tiberian school. The peculiarities 
of the best codices are faithfully reproduced with the Massoretic 
notes which guard them from alteration. The Massoretic sec- 
tional divisions are accurately followed, but no distinction is made 
between the open and the closed sections. The division into 
chapters is not introduced into the text, but in the preface the editor 
gives a list of the Christian chapters with their opening words in 
Hebrew. So well did Jacob ben Hayyim do his work that this 


edition has become the textus receptus of the Hebrew Bible down 
to the present day. All later printed editions are based upon this, 
either alone, or in combination with the earlier editions. None 
of these later editions, accordingly, have independent text-critical 

Arias Montanus in his Hebrew Bible with interlinear Latin 
translation, Antwerp, Plantin, 1571, one vol. fol., first divided the 
Hebrew text into chapters, and inserted the Hebrew numeral 
letters in the text. He also added the Arabic verse numbers in 
the margin. From this edition and from the polyglots the practice 
of inserting chapter and verse numbers spread to all the later edi- 
tions. Athias in his standard edition (1659-61) went so far as to 
invent enumerations in Massoretic style of the number of chapters 
and inserted these among the genuine Massoretic summaries at 
the ends of the books. From him these notes have been copied 
by Jablonski, Van der Hooght, and all the ordinary editions. 

The Massoretic o-critical editions of Baer (Quinque Volumina, 
Leipzig, 1886), and of Ginsburg (London, 1894), are revisions of 
the standard text of Jacob ben Hayyim, 1524-25, designed to con- 
form it more closely to the teachings of the Massora. They differ 
from Jacob ben Hayyim and from one another only in trivial 
matters of accentuation and vocalization, and they represent sub- 
stantially the standard codex of Ben Asher of the tenth century. 
The edition of Kittel (Leipzig, 1906) reproduces the text of Jacob 
ben Hayyim and gives in footnotes the more important variants 
of the mss. and versions. No effort is made to emend the text, but 
only to give the materials on which an emendation may be based. 


The Massora, or 'Tradition,' is a sort of text-critical com- 
mentary written in the margin of most of the codices. It contains 
observations and discussions of the Tiberian scribes during the 
period from the second to the tenth century of our era. It counts 
the number of sections, sentences and words in books. It notes 
their middle sentences and middle words. It enumerates passages 
in which unusual forms occur. It calls attention to abnormal 


letters, spelling, vocalization, or accentuation, and warns the scribe 
against changing these. Words that it regards as incorrect it 
marks with a small circle, and inserts in the margin the Q're, or 
supposedly correct reading, the vowels of which are placed under 
the K e thibh, or form in the text. Similar in character are the 
S'bhirin, or 'opinions,' that suggest an alternate reading to the 
one in the text. Variant readings of mss. and of other rabbinical 
schools are also recorded. The Massora has been the means by 
which the extraordinary uniformity that now exists in the mss. has 
been secured, and its authority must be final in deciding between 
variant readings of the Tiberian recension. 

The Massora is printed in connection with the Bible text, as in the 
mss., in the great Rabbinic Bible of Jacob ben Hayyim (Venice, 1524- 
25), and in Buxtorf's Rabbinic Bible (Basel, 1618-19). There are also 
a large number of treatises which contain the Massora classified in 
various systematic ways either topical or alphabetic. The most im- 
portant of these are the following: — from the tenth century, Aaron ben 
Moses ben Asher, Diqduqe hat-Te'amim (ed. Baer and Strack, Leipzig, 
1879); from an anonymous author of the same century, Okhla we- 
Okhla (ed. Frensdorff, Hannover, 1864); Moses the Punctuator, Darke 
han-Niqqud wehan-N eginoth (ed. Frensdorff, Hannover, 1847); Jeku- 
thiel the Punctuator, l En haq-Qore (ed. Heidenheim in Me'or 'Enayim, 
Rodelheim, 181 2-21, and in Seder Yeme hap-Purim, Rodelheim, 1826); 
Elias Levita, Sefer Massoreth ham-Massoreth, Venice, 1536 (German 
transl. with notes by Semler, Halle, 1772; text, English transl. and 
notes by Ginsburg, London, 1867); Frensdorff, Die Massora Magna, 
Hannover, 1876; Ginsburg, The Massorah compiled from manuscripts, 
lexically and alphabetically arranged (London, 1880-85, 3 vols. fol.). 


Besides these distinctively textual Massoretic treatises, there are 
numerous midrashim and later Jewish commentaries on the Book 
of Esther. All are based on the Tiberian text, and all contain 
more or less Massoretic material; they are of some value, therefore, 
in determining the true Tiberian readings. Their value is slight, 
however, and the additions of the midrashim have no text-critical 
importance. It seems better, therefore, to discuss these com- 
mentaries under the head of the history of interpretation where they 
play a much more important part (see §34). 



Back of the pointed text of the seventh century lies the unpointed 
consonantal text that was established in the second century of the 
Christian era. The main witness to this is the Palestinian Masso- 
retic recension whose various descendants we have just considered. 
Besides this there are several other recensions that must be taken 
into consideration in the effort to restore the original form of the 
consonantal text. Chief among these are mss. with the Baby- 
lonian, or supralinear, system of punctuation. While the Pales- 
tinian scribes at Tiberias were elaborating and fixing in writing 
their tradition concerning the correct pronunciation of the Script- 
ures, the Babylonian scribes at Nehardea and Sura were engaged 
in the same occupation. Their tradition differed somewhat from 
that of the Palestinians, as numerous early statements prove. 
The Massora also records instances in which their readings differed 
from those of Tiberias (cf. Strack, ZLT. 1875, p. 622/.). Their 
labours culminated in the tenth century in the standard codex of 
Ben Naphtali, which, according to the statement of Maimonides 
quoted above, was regarded as authoritative by the Babylonian 
Jews in the same way in which Ben Asher was regarded as au- 
thoritative by the Palestinian Jews. This codex has perished, and 
no immediate descendants of it are known; but in the Massora 
accompanying a number of Palestinian codices, lists are given of 
the differences between Ben Naphtali and Ben Asher. These 
differences are extremely trivial, and in only three cases do they 
affect the consonantal text of the OT. 

In a ms. of the Pentateuch (Codex De Rossi 12) the statement 
is found that the accompanying Targum was copied from a MS. 
brought from Babylonia and " pointed above with the pointing 
of Asshur." In the Mahzor Vitry (Hurwitz, p. 462) a Babylonian 
scribe says, "the Tiberian punctuation is not like ours, neither is it 
like that of the land of Israel." Cemah ben Hayyim Gaon speaks 
of differences between the Babylonian punctuation in regard to the 
full or defective writing of the vowels, the open and closed sections, 
the verse-divisions, and the Massora. Sa'adia in his commentary 


on the Book Yecira says that the Tiberians have 42 peculiarities 
in their treatment of the gutturals, the Babylonians only 17. A 
certain Isaac ben Eleazar, who lived probably in the twelfth or in 
the thirteenth century, states that by the Babylonians Waw before 
a letter* with simple Shewa was pointed just as before other letters, 
and not with Shureq, as in the Palestinian system (see Dukes in 
the Litter aturblatt zu " Orient" 1846, No. 45, p. 708). 

This is all that was known about Babylonian mss. until the mid- 
dle of the last century, when codices with supralinear punctuation 
and other correspondences with the statements just quoted began 
to find their way into Europe from the Crimea and from Yemen 
in southern Arabia. Since that time a considerable number of 
these have been acquired by the Library of the British Museum 
and other great libraries of Europe, so that now it is possible to say 
something definite about the Babylonian Massoretic recension. 
The mss. date from the twelfth to the seventeenth century. They 
exhibit three slightly variant systems of punctuation, all of which 
differ from the Tiberian system in the signs used for the vowels and 
accents and in being mainly supralinear. In spite of these differ- 
ences, the Massoretic tradition represented by them is practically 
identical with that found in Palestinian mss. They do not show 
the differences between the " Westerns" and "Easterns" and be- 
tween Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali that the Palestinian Massora 
records, nor do they contain the peculiarities ascribed to Baby- 
lonian mss. by ancient authorities. It is clear, therefore, that they 
date from a time after the decline of the Babylonian schools of 
scribes, when the Palestinian text triumphed and an effort was 
made to bring even Babylonian codices into conformity. These 
codices, accordingly, are of small text-critical value. Only occa- 
sionally they have retained by accident a genuine Babylonian 

One codex, however, is known which preserves more accurately 
the original Babylonian Massoretic tradition. This is the Berlin 
Codex, Or. Qu. 680. It is in an extremely fragmentary condition, 
but contains Est. 2 l4 ~5 13 . The original punctuation, which was 
written in a reddish brown ink, has been erased, and over it has 
been written the later supralinear vocalization which corresponds 


to the Palestinian system. Beneath the corrections the original 
readings may, however, still be recognized, and they have been 
collated and published by P. Kahle, Der massoretische Text des 
A. T. nach der U eberlieferung der babylonischen Juden (1902). 
This codex partly confirms the lists of Babylonian variants given 
elsewhere, partly corrects them, and partly gives new variants not 
otherwise know r n. It is provided with a Massora that differs 
materially from the ordinary Palestinian Massora and corresponds 
with other fragments of Babylonian Massora. It is at present our 
best available source of information in regard to the Babylonian 
Massoretic recension. In the consonantal text of Esther it pre- 
sents no variations. In the vocalization and accentuation it con- 
tains only unimportant differences that do not affect the sense of a 
single passage. This shows that not only the consonantal text 
but also its traditional pronunciation was established before the 
Babylonian Massoretic school diverged from the Palestinian. 
Even if Babylonian mss. were older and more numerous, they 
would probably yield no important emendations of the current 
Palestinian text. 


Passing now from the Heb. recensions and editions to their near- 
est relative among the versions, we come to the Syriac translation. 
This was made by various unknown persons, perhaps as early as 
the second century of our era, and was the Bible of the Syriac- 
speaking Christians. For the Book of Esther five editions of the 
text are accessible, that of the London Polyglot (1657), of Lee 
(1824), of the American missionaries at Urumia (1852), of the 
Codex Ambrosianus (1879-83), and of the Catholic missionaries 
at Mosul (1887). The first two contain identical texts and are 
referred to by me in the commentary as # L . The Mosul Bible 
(J£ M ) is practically a reprint of the Urumia edition (i$ u ) with a 
few arbitrary alterations. As Rahlfs has shown (ZATW. 1889, 
pp. 161^".), for most of the books of the OT. the London Polyglot, 
Lee, and Codex Ambrosianus form a group representing the West- 
Syrian text, while Urumia and Mosul together represent the East- 


J 7 

Syrian, or Nestorian text. In the Book of Esther, however, the 
text of & L scarcely differs at all from that of & u . This is prob- 
ably not due, as Grunthal thinks {Die Syrische Uebersetzung zum 
Ruche Esther, 1900; cf. Barnes, Apparatus Criticus to Chronicles, 
1897, I ntr - § J ) to correction of the mss. that underlie the Urumia 
edition by the London text, but to the fact that Esther was lacking 
from the Nestorian Canon and had to be supplied in later mss. 
from West-Syrian prototypes. For this book, accordingly, we 
have only West-Syrian readings. In a number of cases & A differs 
from & LU , usually in the direction of closer conformity to the Masso- 
retic text. Cornill (Ezechiel, p. 145/.) thinks that the text of & A 
has been systematically corrected from $[, but this is denied by 
Rahlfs and Grunthal, who hold that in these cases & A has pre- 
served the better readings. Such variations are relatively few, 
and in the main the editions of & present a homogeneous text. 
Variations of any importance between the editions are recorded 
in the critical notes of this commentary. Further details may be 
found in the work of Grunthal cited above. 

The Syriac version of Esther is an extremely faithful translation 
of the original. Here and there a word is added for the sake of 
clearness, but ordinarily ^ is followed with slavish fidelity. When 
possible, the translator even uses the same root that appears in 
Heb. Rarely, short additions are found that cannot have arisen 
from a mere interpretation of the text. Occasionally, as in i 6 , 
these additions bear a slight resemblance to the Greek, but usually 
they are independent of it, and, whatever may be the case in other 
books, in Est. there is not a single clear instance of influence of 
& by (&. The parallels adduced by Grunthal, p. 19, are incon- 
clusive. Accordingly, when & agrees with (8 against HI in a read- 
ing, this fact is of more significance than in other books of the 
Peshitto that have clearly been edited to conform to ($. For this 
commentary I have made a new collation of # L and U . The read- 
ings of & A I have taken from Grunthal, as Ceriani's reproduction 
of the Codex Ambrosianus was temporarily absent from the Library 
of Hartford Seminary for use in the preparation of the forthcoming 
Hartford Concordance to the Syriac OT. A detailed exhibition 
of the departures of the Syriac version from the Massoretic text 


in the Book of Esther may be found in Griinthal, pp. 21-55. 1 ne 
significant variants will be found at appropriate points in the crit- 
ical notes of the commentary. In general, it may be said that # 
represents a consonantal text closely similar to that of the Mas- 
soretic recension, but not identical with it. There are a number of 
interesting variants that are found also in (£, J, and the Targums. 
In some of these cases & may have preserved a better text than M. 
The vocalization of proper names shows a different tradition from 
that of M. In other cases there is not much room for difference, 
since, in a simple historical narrative like that of Est., only one 
reading of the words is usually possible. 


Closely akin in many respects to the Peshitto is the so-called 
Targum Rishon, or First Targum, a translation of the Book of 
Esther into the older Syriac dialect known as Biblical or Pales- 
tinian Aramaic. This Targum is found in the Bomberg Rab- 
binical Bible of Venice, 15 17, in the Basel and London Polyglots, 
and in Lagarde, Hagiographa Chaldaice, pp. 201-223 (a reprint 
of the Bomberg text). Latin translations are found in the London 
Polyglot and in F. Tayler, Targum prius et posterius in Esteram 
(1655). These editions and the citations of Alkabez in the 
Mandth hal-Levi, a collection of haggadic material (Venice, 1590), 
present a number of textual variants, which are gathered by S. 
Posner in the treatise entitled Das Targum Rishon zu dem biblischen 
Buche Esther (Breslau, 1896), pp. 71 Jf. No critical edition has 
yet appeared, but the text on the whole is sound. In the trans- 
lations in this commentary I have followed the London Polyglot. 

In its relation to the Heb. original this translation is a curious 
compound of fidelity and freedom. On the one hand, it faithfully 
reproduces every word of the consonantal text. On the other hand, 
it interlards the version with all sorts of new material. Ordinarily, 
these additions consist of a few words added to make the sense 
clear, and constitute a sort of running grammatical commentary 
on the book. They show a fine feeling for the Hebrew idiom and 
are exceedingly suggestive to the modern interpreter. Other in- 


sertions are casuistical interpretations of words and phrases, 
analogous to the hallachic discussions of the Talmud, by which 
far more is deduced from the text than a literal interpretation 
would warrant; e.g., in i 1 , from a study of the phrase "and it came 
to pass," it is inferred that it always introduces a narrative of dis- 
aster; and in i 11 , from the fact that the King commands to bring 
Vashti with a crown on her head, it is inferred that she was to wear 
nothing but a crown. Besides these there are other long inser- 
tions that are pure haggada, or imaginary spinning out of incidents 
to supply gaps in the canonical history. 

Thus in i 1 there is added an account of Vashti's descent from Nebu- 
chadnezzar; i 2 , of Ahasuerus's throne; i 3f -, of the King's feast and the 
decorations of his garden; i u , of Vashti's wickedness; i 14 , of the calling 
of the sons of Issachar to judge Vashti; i 19 , of the execution of Vashti; 
2 1 , of the execution of the seven viziers; 2 6f -, of Mordecai's bringing up 
of Esther and the meaning of her name; 2 9 , of the names of Esther's 
handmaidens; 2 10 , of the reason why Mordecai commanded Esther to 
conceal her lineage; 2 17 , of the King's removal of the statue of Vashti 
from his bedroom; 2 20 of Esther's strict observance of the Law in the 
royal palace; 2 21 , of the reason why the two eunuchs conspired against 
Ahasuerus, and of Mordecai's discovery of the plot because he was able 
to speak seventy languages; 3 1 f •, of God's decree concerning Haman; 
3 2 , of the reason why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman; 3 9 , of the 
reason why Haman offered to pay 10,000 talents; 4 1 , Elijah the priest's 
message to Mordecai; 4 5 , the identity of Hathakh and Daniel; 4 12 , 
Haman's killing of Hathakh; 5 1 , Esther's prayer; 5 3 , the King's promise 
not to rebuild the Temple; 5 9 , Mordecai's insult to Haman; 5 14 , the 
advice of Zeresh and the friends to Haman; 6 1 , the visit of the angels to 
deprive the King of sleep and to make him suspicious of Haman; j 6 , the 
genealogy of Mordecai; 8 15 , Mordecai's royal attire and triumph; 9 14 , 
the manner in which Haman and his sons were hanged; 9 27 , the reading 
of the Roll of Est. at the feast of Purim. 

These additions make the Book of Esther fully twice as long in 
© l as in i&j. They are inserted by abruptly breaking off the orig- 
inal narrative; and when they are ended, it begins again just where 
it was interrupted. It is thus easy to discriminate the amplifica- 
tions and, for text-critical purposes, to fix one's attention upon the 
portions that constitute the real version. 

In the Antwerp Polyglot (1569) and in the Paris Polyglot (164s) 


a shorter recension of this Targum is found that omits all the am- 
plifications and gives merely a literal Aramaic translation of ^. 
Apart from these omissions the text of this Targum is substantially 
the same as that of the London Polyglot. A tendency is noticeable, 
however, to substitute Aramaic words for the Heb. words that the 
London recension has retained, and to give more accurate trans- 
lations of some of the words by the substitution of synonyms. 
The Paris Polyglot has taken this text from the Antwerp Polyglot. 
Whence the Antwerp Polyglot obtained it is not known. Arias 
Montanus, the editor, may have prepared this recension himself 
by elimination of those portions of the text that were not found 
in Heb., or he may have found this work already done for him 
by a predecessor. No mss. or other editions of this short form 
are known, and it is certain that it was not the original text of the 
First Targum. 

The major limit of age for this version is set by the fact that it 
makes extensive use of the haggadic material contained in the 
Tractate M e ghilld of the Babylonian Talmud. Nearly all the 
amplifications noted above are found also in M'ghitta. This will 
appear in detail in the translations of the additions in the com- 
mentary, so that it is not necessary to dwell upon it here. In Meg. 
the amplifications are created by processes of rabbinical exegesis, 
in 5I 1 they are regarded as settled and are incorporated into the 
text; S 1 , accordingly, must be later than Meg. The Talmud 
reached its final form toward the end of the sixth century, so that 
© l cannot be dated earlier than the seventh century. Apparently 
it is known to the Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer of the eighth century (see 
§ 34). It shows no knowledge of Yosippon (Joseph b. Goryon's 
Heb. translation of Josephus), which dates from the tenth century; 
and, therefore, is presumably earlier. It is mentioned in the 
Sepher ha-'Arukh, a dictionary of the Talmud by Nathan b. 
Jehiel of Rome (nth cent.), and also frequently by Ibn Ezra and 
Alkabez. In view of all the facts Posner (p. 51) is probably right 
In dating it about 700 a.d. This, however, is only the date of the 
final literary fixing of the work. It bears internal evidence of 
being composed out of earlier targums, although in lack of quo- 
tations by ancient writers the precise limits of these sources cannot 


be determined. Back of them lay the oral targum of synagogal 
tradition. As early as the second century B.C. Hebrew was no 
longer understood by the common people in Palestine, and Ara- 
maic versions became necessary. At first it was forbidden to 
write these, and the translators in the synagogues depended upon 
oral tradition. The popularity of Est. and the prescription that it 
should be read on the Feast of Purim must early have necessitated 
a version similar in character to the First Targum. The addi- 
tions in (£, £, and Jos., and the translations in J, show that the 
haggada that underlies this targum was already developed by 
the beginning of the Christian era. A targum on Est. is mentioned 
in the Mishna, Meg. ii. i, and repeatedly in the Gemara of the 
same tractate. What the relation of this targum to (L l is, is not 
known. These considerations lead one to believe that the oral 
Aramaic translation which underlies our targum, goes back to a 
high antiquity, and may preserve a memory of readings that differ 
from the official Massoretic text. In several places the consonantal 
text which S 1 preserves is different from that of HI, and the vocal- 
ization also sometimes represents a different tradition. When 
these variants are confirmed by (£, or by some of the other early 
versions, they possess some text-critical importance. Instances 
of this sort will be noted in the commentary. The additions of 
2F 1 have, of course, not the least text-critical value. They are not 
found in (£ or any of the other early versions, although passages 
similar to them do occasionally occur which show the beginning 
of the haggadic development. These additions belong to the 
latest stage of the growth of the targum tradition, and a discussion 
of them belongs in the history of interpretation rather than in the 
study of the text. 


The Book of Esther alone among the books of the OT., except 
the Law, has a second independent Aramaic translation, the so- 
called Targum Sheni, or Second Targum. This is the favourite 
targum among the Jews and is found in all the Rabbinic Bibles, 
in Lagarde, Hagiographa Chaldaice (1874), pp. 223-270 (a 


reprint of the text of the Bomberg Bible of 151 7); in Munk, Tar gum 
Scheni sum Buche Est., nebst Varice Lectiones nach handschrift- 
lichen Quellen erlautert u. mit einer liter arhistorischen Einleitung 
versehen (1876); in Cassel, Aus Literatur u. Geschichte: Anhang, 
Zweites Tar gum turn Buche Est. im vocalisirten Urtext mit sach- 
lichen u. sprachlichen Erlauterungen (1885); and in David, Das 
Targum Scheni zum Buche Est. nach Handschriften herausgegeben 
(1898). The text of David is the best, and I have followed it in 
my translations of the targum. A German translation of © 2 is 
given in Cassel, Das Buck Esther (1891). 

This targum contains a slavishly literal version of the Heb. 
interspersed in the same manner as © l with all sorts of legendary 
haggadic embellishments. When following the Heb. it is more 
faithful than 8P»; when departing from it, it runs to fantastic ex- 
cess. A number of its additions are verbally identical with those 
in (5 l , others contain similar legends told in different language, 
and still others embody a totally divergent tradition. Some are 
similar in substance to the additions of (£, but show no trace of 
having been derived from it. The majority are found only in this 
targum or in later midrashes based upon it. So numerous and 
so long are these additions that (H 2 is more than twice as large as 
©>, and four times as large as the Heb. Est. The principal addi- 
tions are as follows: — 

i 1 , a list of the kings who have reigned or shall reign over the whole 
earth, the accession of Evil-Merodach and Daniel's dealings with him, 
the accession of Ahasuerus and his character, the location of Kush, and 
an account of the four kings who have reigned over as wide a territory as 
Ahasuerus; i 2 , a long addition, occupying eleven pages in David's edition, 
containing an acrostic on Solomon, a description of Solomon's throne, the 
visit of the Queen of Sheba, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Baby- 
lonian exile; i 4 , the treasures which Ahasuerus showed his guests; i 5 , a 
description of the King's feast; 1 7 , a description of the drinking at the feast; 
i 8 , an account of Vashti's feast; i 10 , the dispute of the King and his princes 
concerning beautiful women; i u , the command to strip Vashti and bring 
her naked; i 12 , Vashti's answer to the King; i H , an account of the origin of 
the seven viziers; i 16 , an identification of Memukhan with Daniel and 
some account of his activity; i 18 , Memukhan's fear of Vashti's ven- 
geance; 2 1 , the King's execution of the seven viziers; 2 5 , the genealogy 
of Mordecai; and the reason why David spared the life of his ancestor 


Shimei; 2 6 , further items in regard to Mordecai's travels; 2 7 , explanations 
of the meaning of the names Esther and Hadassah; 2 8 , Mordecai's effort 
to keep Esther from the messengers of the King; 2 9 , Esther's refusal to 
eat the King's food; 2 17 , the King's effort to ascertain Esther's origin; 
2 21 , the plan of the eunuchs to kill the King; 3 1 , the genealogy of Haman 
back to Esau; 3 3 , Mordecai's sermon to the King's servants against 
idolatry; 3 7 , Haman's efforts to find a suitable day for killing the Jews; 
3 8 , Haman's argument against the Jews (occupies two pages in David's 
edition); 3 9 , an explanation of the 10,000 talents that Haman offered; 3 11 , 
an apostrophe to Ahasuerus; 3 15 , the King's edict against the Jews; 4 1 , the 
prayer of Mordecai; 4 2 , the condition of the Jews after the royal edict 
was issued; 4 11 , further messages that passed between Mordecai and 
Esther and the killing of Hathakh; 4 17 , Esther's command and the cele- 
bration of a great fast by the Jews; 5 1 , Esther's dressing of herself and 
prayer before going to the King; 5 8 , the reasons why Esther invited 
Haman to her banquet; 5 14 , the advice of Zercsh and Haman's friends; 
6 l , events in Heaven on the night after the issue of Haman's edict; 
6 10 , Haman's argument with the King against honouring Mordecai; 
6 U , Haman's carrying out of the King's command; 6 13 , Zeresh's exhi- 
bition of the futility of trying to strive against the Jews; J 9 , the history 
of Harbonah, Mordecai's interview with Haman before hanging him, 
and Haman's apostrophe to the trees; 8 12 , the contents of the dispatch 
sent out by Mordecai; 9 11 , the manner of the hanging of the sons of Ha- 
man; 9 24 , the reason why Esther left the bodies of Haman and his sons 
on the gallows; io 3 , the glory of Mordecai. 

In regard to the age of this targum opinions differ. Cassel 
puts it in the time of Justinian. S. Gelbhaus, Das Targum Scheni 
zum Buche Esther (1893), on the strength of a citation in the BT. 
Tract. Sopherim, assigns it to the beginning of the fourth century; 
but this citation is now known to be a gloss. Gelbhaus' further 
argument for its antiquity from coincidences with the language of 
the Peshitto will apply equally well to OF 1 . The fact is, that two 
Aramaic translators, both endeavouring to give a faithful repro- 
duction of the Heb., could not fail to use frequently the same ex- 
pressions. Such coincidences prove nothing in regard to age or 
interdependence of the versions. A surer indication is found in the 
relation of this targum to the First Targum. Many passages are 
the same in both, and in all such cases it is more likely that the fuller 
work is the later. ® 2 , accordingly, probably borrows from 3k 
(For evidence of this see Posner, pp, 18 ff.) Zunz, Gottesdienst- 


liche Vortrdge, p. 8$, and David, in his introduction to the Second 
Targum, assign ® 2 to the seventh century, but this is inconsistent 
with its dependence upon 8f*. Posner finds evidences in it of the 
use of Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer (see § 34), and therefore dates it about 
800 a.d. This is probably correct. It is first mentioned in 
RaShl's commentary on 1 K. io 19 . 

© 2 bears clear evidence of being a compilation of several earlier 
targums. Frequently it contains two versions of the same passage. 
Its material is loosely strung together, and fully a fourth of it, par- 
ticularly at the beginning, has nothing to do with the story of Es- 
ther. Munk, from a study of the quotations of Alkabez, comes 
to the conclusion that three earlier targums have been combined 
in this work. Back of these sources stood the same oral tradition 
that was used in SI 1 . Differences from the Massoretic text are not 
infrequent, and occasionally these maybe reminiscences of a variant 
consonantal text. Where they agree with readings in the other Vrss., 
they may be text-critically important. Only where W 2 runs parallel 
to the Heb. has it any value for the text, the additions are all late 
midrash that never existed in any other language than Aramaic. 


A much more important witness than the targums for the offi- 
cial consonantal text is the Latin version of St. Jerome, made at 
Bethlehem between the years 390 and 405 a.d. The current Latin 
versions of this period were made from the Greek (see § 19) and 
were so incorrect that Jerome (Hieronymus) of Pannonia, the lead- 
ing scholar of the day, was commissioned by Pope Damasius to 
prepare a better version for the use of the Western Church. At 
first he attempted a revision of the Old Latin, but soon becoming 
convinced that this was impossible, he set about making a com- 
plete new translation. In his prologue to the Book of Esther, 
which is printed in the Polyglots and in Biblia Sacra Latina V. T. 
Hieronymo interprete, ed. Heyse et Tischendorf (1873), Jerome 
speaks thus of this particular portion of his version : — 

It is well known that the Book of Esther has been corrupted by the 
various translators; but I, bringing it forth from the archives of the He- 


brews, have translated it more literally word for word. The common 
version drags this book to and fro with rough ropes, adding on occa- 
sion whatever things can be said and heard; just as in school exercises it 
is customary to take a theme and to think out what words one can use 
who has suffered an injury, or one who has inflicted an injury. But you, 
Paula and Eustochium, since you have desired to enter the libraries of 
the Hebrews, and since you are judges of the disputes of interpreters, 
take the Book of Esther in Hebrew, and compare our translation of it 
word for word, that you may be able to testify that I have added nothing 
at all; but simply, as a faithful witness, have rendered the Hebrew history 
into the Latin tongue just as it stands in Hebrew. We do not covet the 
praises of men, nor are we afraid of their abuse, but as those who seek to 
please God we fear not the threats of men, because God will scatter 
their bones who seek to please men, as the Apostle says, "Those who 
are of this sort cannot be servants of Christ." Moreover, at various 
points we have placed red letters of the alphabet as far as Teth, in 
order by this means to suggest to the studious reader the order of the 
Septuagint; for we, alongside of the Hebrew form, have preferred to 
indicate the order that is also found in the Septuagint. 

After this introduction, we should expect to find in Jerome's 
version of Esther as faithful a reproduction as possible of the Heb. 
text as it was known to him in the fourth century. He had a good 
knowledge of Hebrew, and was acquainted with the Jewish exe- 
getical tradition of his day. He had access also to the Hexapla 
of Origen, and he was familiar with all the other early versions. 
Variations from the Massoretic text, accordingly, cannot be set 
down to ignorance, but indicate different readings in the MS. or 
group of mss. that he used. The Vulgate, therefore, becomes an 
important aid in the correction of the Massoretic text. 

After Jerome's solemn protest that he has added nothing to the 
Heb. original, it is surprising to find in how many places his trans- 
lation contains words and sentences that are not found in iH. The 
long additions of (£, to be sure, are removed from the body of the 
book and placed in an appendix at the end; but other short addi- 
tions are scattered quite evenly throughout the entire book. 
These additions are as follows: — 

i 1 , super; i 3 , igitur, grande; i 5 , quod regio cultu et manu consitum 
erat; i fi , et pendebant ex omne parte tentoria, inserti erant, fulcie- 
bantur, quod mini varietate pictura decorebat; 1 7 , qui invitati erant, 


cibi inferebantur, ponebatur; i 8 , praeponens mensis singulos de; i 10 , et 
post nimiam potationem incaluisset mero; i 11 , posito super caput ejus, 
cunctis; i 12 , mandaverat, contempsit; i 13 , semper, et illorum faciebat, 
consilio, majorum; i 14 , primi et; i 18 , omnes; i 19 , ultra; i 22 , ac majores; 
2 3 , et adducant eas, et tradant, et cetera ad usus necessaria; 2 4 , ut sug- 
gesserant; 2 7 , altero nomine vocabatur, nimis; 2 8 , juxta, pulchrae; 2 9 , et 
praecepit eunucho; 2 10 , de hac re omnino; 2 11 , et scire volens; 2 12 , verte- 
batur, ungerentur; 2 13 , ad ornatum pertinens, et ut eis placuerat com- 
posite; 2 14 , atque inde, deducebatur; 2 15 , evoluto autem tempore per 
ordinem; haec ei ad ornatum dedit erat enim formosa valde et incredibili 
pulchritudine, et amabilis; 2 18 , pro conjunctione et nuptiis, universis; 
2 19 , et congregarentur; 2 21 , janitores erant et in primo palatii limine, 
et occidere eum; 2 22 , qui ad se rem detulerat; 2 23 , mandatumque est 
historiis; 3 2 , solus; 3 3 , praeter ceteros; 3 5 , quod cum audisset, experi- 
mento; 3 6 , nationem; 3 7 , in urnam, gens Judaeorum deberet interfici 
et exivit mensis; 3 8 , et caeremoniis, et optime nosti; 3 10 , quo utebatur; 
3 11 , quod tu polliceris; 3 15 , et cunctis Judaeis qui in; 4 1 , spargens, os- 
tendens, animi sui; 4 3 , crudele; 4 4 , quod audiens; 4 5 , ut iret; 4 11 , pro 
signo clementiae, igitur quomodo ad regem intrare potero; 4 13 , dicens, 
tantum; 4 14 , ut in tali tempore parareris; 4 15 , haec, verba; 4 16 , non 
vocata; 5 4 , obsecro, ad me; 5 7 , sunt istae; 5 9 , sedentem; 5 10 , ad se; 5 11 , 
omnes; 6 1 , sibi; 6 2 , ad ilium locum ubi; 6 3 , quod cum audisset; ei, ac; 
6 4 , statim, et juberet; 6 6 , et reputans; 6 8 , imponi super; 6 U , equo praece- 
debat; 6 13 , quos habebat in consilio; 7 4 , esset tolerabile malum et 
gemens; 7 6 , quod, audiens illico, ferre non sustinens; J 7 , de loco intravit; 
7 8 , et intrasset, reperit; 8 3 , pessimas; 8 4 , ex more, quo signum clementiae 
monstrabatur; 8 5 , obsecro; 8 7 , jussi, ausus est; 8 8 , haec enim consuetudo 
erat; 8 9 , et librariis, qui, praesidebant; 8 10 , per omnes provincias, veteres 
litteras novis nuntiis praevenirent; 8 11 , et in unum praeciperent congre- 
gari, et in universis domibus; 8 12 , et constituta est, ultionis; 8 14 , regis; 
8 15 , de palatio, et; 8 17 , grandis; 9 1 , vocari ante jam diximus, et se, vindi- 
care; <p 2 , et loca, et persecutores suos, magnitudinis; o 3 , omnisque dignitas 
quae singulis locis ac; g\ et plurimum posse cognoverant, nominis; 
9 6 , Agagitre, quorum ista sunt nomina; 9 10 , quos cum; 9 12 , putas, ultra; 
9 16 , omnes; 9 17 , primus apud omnes interfectionis fuit, esse solemnem 
ut in eo omni tempore deinceps vacarent epulis; 9 18 , urbe, caedem exer- 
cuerant, idcirco, solemnem; 9 20 , omnia, comprehensa; 9 21 , solemni, 
honore; q 2 \ in solemnem ritum; g u , et adversarius, nostra lingua vertitur 
in; 9 25 , Esther, obsecrans ut conatus ejus; 9 26 , phur id est sors in urnam 
missa fuerint, id est libri hujus volumine continentur; 9 28 , quae his 
caeremoniis obligata est; 9 29 , in posterum; 9 30 , et sortium dies. 

Some of these additions are nothing more than exegetical ex- 
pansions to make the sense clear, such as we find in &, but most of 


them cannot have originated in this way. In view of Jerome's 
solemn protest that he has added nothing to the Heb. original, we 
must assume that he had before him a text that contained many 
readings not found in the Massoretic recension. A large propor- 
tion of these occur also in 0, d>, and 1C, and this fact shows that 
they are not inventions of Jerome. Unfortunately w r e possess no 
really critical edition of Jerome's translation. The text of the 
Clementina is notoriously inaccurate, and in many cases of devia- 
tion from iH it is possible that we have to deal only with corrup- 
tions derived from the Old Latin or from the glosses of scribes. 
In the present state of knowledge of the Vulgate only those variants 
can be depended on which are confirmed by # and 05. 

Jerome's omissions of readings found in our present Massoretic 
text are also interesting. Such omissions are found in i 1 2 - 5 - 8 - 

10. 15. 18. 19 2 3 - 6 - 8 - 9 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 18 - 21 "» 6 - 8 - 15 4 8 - M C2. 11 5 2 - 5 - 6 - 
7. 8. 9. 11. 13. 14 Ml. 2. 5. 9 $3. 4. 5. 7. 9. 10. 11. IS. 13. 14. 15. 16 q2. 4. 5. 6. 

11. 12. 15. 16. 18. 19. 20. 24. 25. 27. 28. 30. 31 Iq2> I n t heSC CaSCS J SOmC" 

times agrees with 05, more often with IC and L. The omissions, 
accordingly, cannot be regarded as accidental. In other passages 
Jl gives a translation that does not correspond with the readings 
now found in the Massoretic text. Instances of this sort are as 
follows: — 

i 2 , civitas regni ejus exordium fuit; i 4 , ut ostenderet; i 5 , convivii in- 
vitavit, et nemoris; i 6 , aerii coloris, eburneis, depositi erant; i 7 , et aliis 
atque aliis vasis; i 10 , ejus; i 13 , ex more regio, ei aderant, leges; i 18 , 
exemplo parvipendens imperia maritorum, unde regis justa est indig- 
natio; i 19 , accipiat; i 22 , regni sui ut quaeque gens audire et legere 
poterat diversis Unguis et litter is, viros, domibus, et hoc per cunctos 
populos divulgari; 2 3 , qui est propositus; 2 4 , jussit fieri; 2 6 , eo tempore; 
2 7 , fratris; 2 9 , ornaret atque excoleret; 2 12 , quae ad cultum muliebrem 
pertinebant, uterentur; 2 13 , transibant; 2 15 , muliebrem cultum, virginum; 
3 3 , fores palatii; 4 4 , perseveraret in sententia; 3 6 , quod esset gentis 
Judas; 3 7 , quae hebraice dicitur phur, quo die et quo mense; 3 s , no vis 
utens; 3 14 , summa autem epistolarum hasc fuit, ut omnes provinciae 
scirent; 3 15 , flentibus; 4 3 , oppidis ac locis, pro strato utentibus; 4 8 , 
reginas; 4 11 , et cunctae quae sub ditione ejus sunt, absque ulla cuncta- 
tione statim; 4 12 , quod cum audisset Mardochaeus; 4 13 , rursum; 4 16 , 
rursumque; 4 16 , orate, tradensque me morti et periculo; 5 1 , ille; 5 2 , con- 
tra earn; 5*, regina; 5 6 , ei postquam vinum biberat abundanter; 5 s , 


palatii; 5 14 , ei; 6 1 , illo; 6 2 , insidias; 6 3 , illius; 6 8 , de sella regis est, 6 9 , 
primus; 6 10 - 12 , palatii; 6", eum; 7-, ei, postquam incaluerat; 7 4 , nunc 
autcm hostis noster est cujus crudelitas; 7*, cujus potentiae; 7 7 , ar- 
boribus consitum; 7 8 , nemoribus consito, ejus; 8 l , patruus suus; 8 2 , 
suam; 8 4 , ille, illaque, eum; 8 5 , in occulis ejus, ei, novis epistolis 
veteres, eos; 8 6 , et interfectionem; 8 7 , affigi; 8 8 , meo, mittebantur, illius; 
8 9 , erat autem, prout legere poterant et audire; 8 10 , ipsaequc epistolae 
quae regis nomine mittebantur; 8 15 , omnisque; 8 17 , epulae, alterius gentis 
et sectae eorum religioni et caeremoniis jungerentur, cunctos; o ! , cunctis 
Judaeis interfectio, eorum inhiabant sanguini; o 3 , nam; 9 1 , quotidie et 
per cunctorum ora; g'°, magna, quod sibi paraverant facere; 9 12 , qui, 
exercere caedem; 9 16 , interfectis hostibus ac persecutoribus suis; 9 18 , hi, 
in caede versati sunt; 9 19 , in oppidis non muratis ac villis; 9 20 , litteris 
comprehensa; 9 21 , pro festis; 9 25 , litteris regis irriti fierent; 9 26 , id est 
sortium; 9 27 , sustinuerunt, deinceps immutata sunt; 9 28 , id est sortium 
non observentur; 9 29 , etiam secunda epistolam ut omni studio dies ista 
solemnis sanciretur; 9 31 , sortium, cum gaudio; 9 32 , et omnia quae libri 
hujus qui vocatur Esther historia continentur; io 1 , cunctas. 

Some of these divergences can be explained as free paraphrases. 
In other cases the translation differs so completely from M that 
we must assume that Jerome had an independent text, or else that 
he vocalized differently. Apart from the passages cited above, 
his text is identical with the Massoretic consonantal text, and the 
traditional pronunciation which he follows, e.g., in proper names, 
is practically the same as that of 4U. Jerome does not carry us 
back of the codex adopted by the Jewish authorities in the second 
century, but for that he is one of the earliest and best witnesses. 


Both the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmud in the Tractate 
M e ghilla contain a sort of running commentary on the Book of 
Esther, in which they frequently quote its language and discuss its 
meaning. These discussions presuppose in most cases our pres- 
ent consonantal text, but the vowel points are not yet known and 
the rabbis frequently suggest vocalizations that differ from those 
of fH. The Talmud, accordingly, has some value as a witness to 
the pre-Tiberian text. Long additions to the story similar to 
those in ®' and © 2 are also found in the Talmuds. These are 


translated in the commentary at appropriate points. They rest 
upon no textual authority; in fact, in most cases the process is ex- 
hibited by which they are elicited from the Heb. by ingenious 
methods of exegesis. They show that in the sixth century, when 
the Talmudic oral tradition first took literary form, a large part 
of the midrashic embellishments of Esther were already known. 

These are all the descendants of the text of the Sopherim, since 
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, that are so helpful in other 
books, do not exist for Esther. By a comparison of the various 
forms of the text described thus far, namely, the Tiberian recension, 
the Babylonian recension, the Peshitto, First Targum, Second Tar- 
gum, Vulgate and Talmud, it is possible to reconstruct with great 
certainty the consonantal text from which all are descended. The 
extraordinary similarity of the mss. both of the Palestinian and of 
the Babylonian type — a similarity which extends even to the repro- 
duction of errors and exceptional letters — and the close agreement 
of all the Vrss. made since the beginning of the Christian era, prove 
the thesis of Lagarde to be correct, that all these recensions are de- 
scendants from a single prototype, the so-called text of the Sopherim 
(cf. Anmerkungen zur griechischen Uebersetzung der Proverbien, 
1863, pp. 1-2). At some time in the second century the exigen- 
cies of controversy with Christians, and the desire to have a fixed 
basis of discussion between the rabbis, led to the adoption by the 
Jewish authorities of an official standard codex of the OT. Since 
that time all copies have been made directly or indirectly from this 
codex and variant codices have been destroyed. The result is, 
that no ancient differences of reading have come down to us in 
this family, but only variants that have arisen since the standard 
codex was adopted. 


Besides the text of the Sopherim, our only other witness to the 
original text is the Greek translation, the so-called Septuagint. 
This version was made before the adoption of the standard codex 
of the Sopherim. Its divergences from M may represent an earlier 


form of the Heb. text. Esther is the only book of the Greek OT\, 
except the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach, that has a subscription 
containing information about its authorship and date. Accord- 
ing to addition F, verse » (=Vulg. and Eng. Apoc. Ad. Est. n 1 ), 
"in the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dosi- 
theus, who said that he was a priest and Levite, and Ptolemy his 
son, brought the foregoing letter concerning Purim (Phrourai), 
which they said was genuine, and that Lysimachus, son of Ptolemy, 
one of the people in Jerusalem, had interpreted it." This can 
mean nothing else, than that the Book of Esther in Greek transla- 
tion was brought from Jerusalem to Egypt in the fourth year of a 
king named Ptolemy, whose consort was Cleopatra. This is a 
very uncertain indication of age, inasmuch as four Ptolemies, 
namely Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), Ptolemy VI (Philometor), 
Ptolemy VII (Physcon), and Ptolemy VIII (Lathuros), were 
married to a Cleopatra. Most critics have supposed that Ptol- 
emy VI is meant, because he was a friend of the Jews and permitted 
them to build a temple at Leontopolis. In that case the date of 
the version would be 178 B.C., but, as B. Jacob has shown ("Das 
Buch Esther bei den LXX," ZATW. x. (1890), pp. 241/.), the 
only Ptolemy who was married to a Cleopatra in the fourth year 
of his reign was Ptolemy VIII. The book must then be assigned 
to 1 14 B.C. This later date is more likely on account of the failure 
of the son of Sirach (e. 170 B.C.) to mention the Book of Esther 
(so Nold., Wild., Rys.). 

Kuenen (Onderzoek, i. p. 542), and many others following him, 
have doubted the genuineness of this subscription, because it rep- 
resents the author as a resident of Jerusalem, while the book is 
written in the Egyptian dialect of Greek and seems to show 
knowledge of Egyptian conditions (so Jacob, /. c. pp. 280^".); but, 
as Nold. points out (EBi. 1405), the name Lysimachus, son of 
Ptolemy, is Egyptian, and the author may well have been an 
Egyptian Jew, who, through residence in Jerusalem, became ac- 
quainted with Hebrew and was thus well qualified to make just such 
a version as we find in Est. A more serious objection to the genuine- 
ness of the subscription is the fact that it stands at the end of one 
of the long additions that seems to come from a different hand 


from that of the original translator. If added by a later glossator, 
this subscription may be only an invention designed to commend 
Purim to the Egyptian Jews by representing it as endorsed by one 
of the priests at Jerusalem. It is possible, however, that the sub- 
scription stood originally at the end of the book, and that the in- 
serter of Addition F has merely removed it to the end of his ad- 
dition. On the whole, there is no sufficient reason for doubting 
the genuineness of this testimony concerning the origin of the book. 
It dates the version just where for other reasons one would be in- 
clined to put it. The Heb. Est. itself is hardly earlier than 150 B.C. 
and the Greek text is cited by Josephus c. 90 a.d. These, accord- 
ingly, are the major and the minor limits of age. The failure of 
Philo to quote Est. (Ryle, Philo and the Holy Scriptures, p. 32) 
does not necessarily show that the Greek translation was unknown 
to him. He may have regarded it as uncanonical. 


The Greek Book of Esther has come down to us in five main 
recensions, and only through a comparison of these can one hope 
to restore the primitive form of the text. Most important is the 
recension represented by the uncial codices B K A N, and by the 
cursives 55, 108a, 249 (Holmes and Parsons). B, or Codex 
Vaticanus, Rome, Vatican Library, belongs to the middle of the 
fourth century. In 1890 it was published in photographic repro- 
duction by the Vatican press. Its text is accurately printed by 
Swete, The Old Testament in Greek 2 (1896). On the whole it 
represents the current form of (8 in the Christian Church before 
the revisions of Origen, Hesychius, and Lucian had been under- 
taken. In the book of Esther its text is neutral in relation to these 
three recensions. It cannot be supposed that it represents the 
kolvt} e/cSocris of the third century, much less the original text of 
(£, still it probably comes nearer to it than any other extant ms. 

K, or Codex Sinaiticus, also dates from the fourth century. 
The forty-three leaves containing Esther and portions of Ch., 
Esd., and Tob. were found by Tischendorf in 1844 among waste 
papers at the Convent of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai, and are now 


in the Library at Leipzig. They were published in 1846 under 
the name Codex Frederico-Augustanus, by which name these frag- 
ments are cited by Field and by many German writers. Since 
the discovery of the rest of this MS. (now deposited at St. Peters- 
burg), the earlier published portion has commonly been known as 
Codex Sinaiticus, and is indicated by the symbol K or S. In Est. 
this codex agrees for the most part with B, although occasionally 
it shows the influence of Origen's Hexapla. Its deviations from 
B in the Book of Est. are given with extreme care by Lagarde, 
Librorum V. T. canonicornm pars prior Grace (1883), pp. 505^., 
and by Swete, The OT. in Greek. 

A, or Codex Alexandrinus, now in the British Museum, was 
written in the fifth century. This was used as the basis of Grabe's 
great edition (1707-20), and was published in facsimile (1881-3) by 
the Trustees of the British Museum. Its text is much more in- 
fluenced by the Hexapla than that of B and K, still it is far from 
being a mere transcription of Origen's recension. It has been 
revised from the Hexapla, yet it preserves many independent 
readings; and, on the whole, is to be regarded as a witness for the 
unrevised rather than the Origenic text. Its variants are given 
in the editions of Lagarde and Swete cited above. 

N, or Codex Basiliano-Vaticanus, in the Vatican Library, dates 
from the eighth or the ninth century. Apart from obvious mis- 
takes, its text in Est. presents few variations from that of B. The 
cursive 55 (=Rome, Vat. Reg. Gr. 1) is also exceedingly near to B. 
Its confusions of A and A and of 2 and E show that it was copied 
from an uncial ms. Codex 108 (=Rome, Vat. Gr. 330) exhibits 
two recensions of Est.; the first, known as loSa, contains a text 
similar to that of the uncials; the other, loSb, contains the Lucianic 
text. Codex 249 (=Rome, Vat. Pius I) belongs in the main to 
this family, but it shows many Hexaplaric readings, as is evident 
from its frequent agreement with the Hexaplaric ms. 936. It is 
full of arbitrary alterations. 

Closely akin to the text of the uncials, but forming a sub-group 
distinguished by common characteristics, are the codices 52 
(=Florence, Laur. Acq. 44), 64 (=Paris, Nat. Reg. Gr. 2), 
243 (= Venice, St. Mark's, cod. 16), 248 (=Rome, Vat. Gr. 346). 


The Greek text of the Complutensian Polyglot (15 14) is an exact 
reproduction of 248, agreeing with it even when it differs from all 
other codices (cf. 2 23 5 1 ). The Aldine edition (15 18-19) a ^ so De ~ 
longs to this sub-group, probably through dependence upon 243, 
which was accessible to the editor, Andreas Asolanus, in Venice. 
In the few instances where these codices agree in differing from B, 
they are eclectic from all the other recensions. 

The text of the recension of which B is the leading representa- 
tive differs from M chiefly in its numerous additions, which are 
without a parallel in other books of the LXX. There are 107 new 
verses not found in the Heb. Jerome in the Vulgate Lat. version 
translated the longer additions, but removed them from the body 
of the book and placed them at the end because they were not 
found in the Heb. This senseless arrangement is perpetuated 
in the English AV. and RV. In Swete's edition they are given 
in their proper place and are designated by the letters A, B, etc. 
A (=Lat. and Eng. n 2 -i2 e ) precedes i 1 and narrates Mordecai's 
dream and the way in which he came to be promoted to honour 
at the court of Artaxerxes. B ( = i3 1-7 ) follows 3 13 with a letter of 
Artaxerxes. C ( = i3 8 -i4 19 ) follows 4 17 and contains the prayer 
of Mordecai. D ( = i5 4 - 19 ) follows C and precedes 5. It contains 
the prayer of Esther. E ( = i6 124 ) follows 7 12 with a letter of 
Artaxerxes. F ( = io 4 -ii 5 ) is an epilogue describing the estab- 
lishment of the feast of Purim. 

Besides these long additions, which form compact sections at 
various points in the book, there are numerous short additions 
inserted in the midst of verses. These are eliminated in Jerome's 
translation, and they do not appear in our English Apocrypha. 
In the commentary I have translated them in full. They occur 
in the following passages: — i 1 - 6 - 7 - 8 - »• u - 17 2 1 - 3 - 12 - 18 - 20 - *> " 

-74. 7. 10. 12 A\. 2. 4. 7. 8. 10. 12. 13. 15 ;-4. 6. 8. 9 fol . 2. 3. 8. 9. 11 $5. 7. 

i3. 17 Qi8. i9. 2i. 22. 26 I0 2 (f or details see the commentary). Some 
of these are short explanatory glosses analogous to those found in 
& and QT 1 . Others are expansions of the story that have no founda- 
tion in the Heb. text. 

No less striking than the additions are the omissions of this re- 
cension. There is scarcely a verse from which one or more words 


of HI are not deleted (details may be found in the critical notes- of 
the commentary). Apart from these additions and subtractions 
the text of B follows JH closely. Ordinarily one can recognize the 
Heb. original word for word in the translation, just as in J, 0, 
or 2k Only occasionally the Greek fails to correspond with iU. 
Sometimes this is due to reading a different Heb. word, at other 
times it is nothing but a textual corruption in (&. 


At the beginning of the third century Origen, desiring to perfect 
himself in exegesis, took up the study of Hebrew and soon made 
himself master of that language. In comparing the standard 
Jewish text of his day with the current Greek version, he noticed 
wide divergences and was convinced that the Greek text was very 
corrupt. In order to call attention to the errors and to aid scholars 
in correcting them, he prepared the huge work known as the Hex- 
apla, in which in six parallel columns he exhibited the Hebrew, 
the Hebrew in transliteration, Aquila, Symmachus, the current 
Greek text, and Theodotion. Differences in order from If in 
the current text he corrected by transposition, supposed errors 
he emended by the substitution of words that represented 1$ more 
closely. Omissions he supplied from if, or from one of the literal 
versions, and marked these with an asterisk to indicate that they 
were found in 1%, although missing in ($>. Insertions in (£ he 
marked with an obelus -s- to show that they were wanting 
in HJ. 

This great work was completed about 240 a.d. and was long 
preserved at Cassarea, where it was used by Jerome and many 
other scholars. Only fragments of copies of it have come down to 
us, and among these are no copies of Esther. The translations of 
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion for this book, accordingly, 
are unknown to us. Copies of Origen's revised text in the fifth 
column of the Hexapla have, however, survived. Pamphilus and 
his friend Eusebius excerpted this from the Hexapla and gave it 
wide currency. Codex 93 (=British Museum, Reg. i. D. 2) con- 
tains two recensions of Esther; one, 93a, is that of Lucian; the 



other, 93&, has the asterisks, obeli, and other critical signs which 
mark it as belonging to Origen. Both texts are given by J. Ussher, 
De GrcBca Septuaginta inter prelum versione syntagma cum libri 
Esther a editione Origenica et vetere Grazca altera (1655, 1695). In 
the Hexaplaric text the editor has taken great liberties *n the in- 
sertion of the critical signs. The readings of this codex are also 
given in Holmes and Parsons. The form in 936 corresponds 
closely with M, inserting under an asterisk all the passages that are 
omitted by (&, and obelizing the passages that are added by (8. 
In Codex K, a corrector of the seventh century, commonly desig- 
nated asN ca , appends the following note at the end of the Book 
of Esther (Swete, ii. 780) : — 

Compared with the exceedingly ancient copy corrected by the hand 
of the holy martyr Pamphilus. At the end of the same ancient book, 
which begins with First Kings and stops with Esther, there is found in 
an open space an autograph subscription of the martyr himself that 
reads as follows: Revised and corrected by the Hexapla, that was cor- 
rected by Origen himself. Antoninus the confessor compared it. 
Pamphilus corrected the copy in prison, through the abundant grace and 
bounty of God; and, if it be not presumptuous to say so, it is not easy 
to find a copy like this. 

From this it appears that this corrector of X made use of Pam- 
philus' copy of Origen's revised text in the fifth column of the Hex- 
apla. His readings agree everywhere with those of 936 and thus 
confirm its Hexaplaric character. These readings are given in 
Lagarde's Lib. Vet. Test. Canon, and in Swete. The Hexaplaric 
material from 936 and K ca is collected by F. Field, Origenis 
Hexaplorum qua supersunt (1875), i. pp. 793 ff. The fame of 
Origen, and the authority of the martyr Pamphilus and of the 
bishop Eusebius, gave Origen's revision of the Septuagint great 
currency among scholars, although it never supplanted the com- 
mon text in the use of the Church. It resulted in a systematic re- 
editing of the ancient codices with the consequence that no mss. 
have come down to us that have escaped Hexaplaric influence. 
The problem of the restoration of the original text of (8 is thus 
greatly complicated. 



Jerome in his preface to Chronicles and preface to the Gospel 
{cf. Adv. Rufin. ii.) says that Hesychius was the author of a recen- 
sion of the Septuagint that enjoyed the same esteem in Egypt that 
Origen's recension enjoyed in Palestine. This Hesychius was 
probably a bishop who was martyred in the second half of the 
fourth century, and to his martyrdom was due the reputation which 
his text obtained. In lack of direct testimony ascribing manu- 
scripts to this recension, we are compelled to fall back upon indirect 
evidence. It is reasonable to suppose that citations of the OT. 
made by the Alexandrian Fathers from the fifth century onward 
are based upon it, and that it was also used for the translations of 
the Bible into Ethiopic and the various dialects of Coptic. Apply- 
ing these tests, a group of codices seems to be identified which 
represents in the main the Hesychian recension. For the Book of 
Esther these are the codices designated by Holmes and Parsons as 
44 (=Zittau, A i.i =Lagarde's z,cf.Gen. Gr.j ff.) t 68 (=Venice, 
St. Mark's, Gr. 5, cf. Scrivener-Miller, i. 219), 71 (=Paris, Nat. 
Reg. Gr. 1), 74 (=Florence, Laur. Acq. 700), 76 (=Paris, Nat. 
Reg. Gr. 4), 106 (=Ferrara, Bib. Comm. Gr. 187), 107 (=Ferrara, 
Bib. Comm. Gr. 188), 120 (= Venice, St. Mark's, Gr. 4), 236 
(=Rome, Vat. Gr. 331). These codices agree with one another 
in numerous divergences from B, especially in omitting more 
matter that is found in iH, and in making a number of new inser- 
tions (details are given in the critical notes of the commentary). 
They fall into a number of sub-groups; thus 44, 106, and 107 be- 
long together; 74 and 76; and 120, 68, and 236 (see Jacob, ZATW. 
1890, pp. 244 ff.). The Coptic versions of Esther, that would 
presumably show an underlying Hesychian text, have never been 
published, so far as I am aware; and the Ethiopic version, which 
might also throw light on the Hesychian recension, exists only in 
mss. Dr. Littmann of Strassburg kindly informs me that there 
are two mss. in the d'Abbadie Collection at Paris, one in Oxford, 
nine in the British Museum, and two at Frankfurt a. M. that con- 
tain the Ethiopic text of Esther. None of these have been acces- 


sible to me, so that I have been compelled to ignore their textual 


According to the testimony of Jerome {Pre}, in Parol.; Ad Sunn, 
et Fret. 2) the region from Constantinople to Antioch used a re- 
cension of the LXX, prepared by Lucian the martyr of Nicomedia 
(c. 311). In the Arabic Syro-Hexaplar, Field noticed that certain 
readings were designated as Lucianic, and that these also occurred 
in one group of cursive mss. Readings of these mss. were also 
found in Chrysostom and Theodoret of Antioch, who presumably 
used the Antiochan text. This created a strong probability that 
the codices in question belonged to the Lucianic recension. Sim- 
ilar conclusions were reached independently by Lagarde, and they 
have commended themselves to most subsequent scholars. The 
codices which Field and Lagarde recognize as Lucianic for the 
Book of Esther are Holmes and Parsons 19 (=Rome, Chigi, R vi. 
38, which Lagarde designates as h), 93a (=the first recension in 
London, British Museum, Reg. i. D. 2, which Lagarde designates 
as m), and 1086 (=the second recension in Rome, Vat. Gr. 330, 
which Lagarde designates as d). The text of 93a was published 
by Ussher in his Syntagma (1655) in connection with the Origenic 
text found in the same codex; also by O. F. Fritzsche, E20HP: 
duplicem libri textum ad optimos codd. (1848), and Libri Apocryphi 
V. T. Grace (187 1), pp. 30 Jf., with use of the readings of 19 and 
108& as given by Holmes and Parsons. Lagarde in his Lib. 
V. T. Can. Greece (1883) attempts a reconstruction of the Lucianic 
text of the historical books, and in the case of Est. gives also the 
text of the uncials in parallel columns. The Lucianic text here 
presented is constructed from a comparison of 19, 93a, and 1086, 
and in the critical apparatus all the variants are recorded. For 
the Lucianic readings this edition has completely superseded the 
clumsy and often inaccurate apparatus in Holmes and Parsons. 
Scholtz in his commentary on Est. reproduces the two texts of 
Lagarde, and gives also in parallel columns the narrative of Jose- 
phus and a German translation of M. 

The text which these three late representatives of the Lucianic 

38 , ESTHER 

family contain differs so widely from the text of the uncials in the 
Book of Esther that Ussher, Fritzsche, and Langen ("Die beiden 
griechischen Texte des Buches Esther," Tub. Theol. Quartal- 
schrift, i860, pp. 244^.) have been constrained to think that it is 
an independent translation from the Heb. A detailed comparison 
of the two texts, however, shows far too many correspondences 
to make this theory possible. This is a recension, not a version; 
nevertheless, it is the most widely variant recension that is found 
in the whole Greek OT. 

Although L has all the long additions to \% that are found in B, it has 
scarcely any of the shorter additions. In i 1 - 6 2 3 4 2 - 15 5 4 - 6 - 8 - 6 1 - 2 - » L 
and B contain similar brief amplifications, but all the other amplifica- 
tions mentioned in § 14 are lacking here. On the other hand, L has a 
long list of passages that are found neither in \% nor in B. These are 
as follows: i 5 6 - 9 - 10 - 12 - 13 - 16 - 19 - 20 2 1 - 4 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 18 »*« 2 - 3 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 12 - »» 

a\. 3. 4. 8. 10. 12. 14 C*. 6. 9. 10. 12. 14 51. 3. 4. 8. 11 »1. 4. 5. 8. 9 g2. 3. 5. 7. 8. II 

q 4 21 . Some of these additions are of considerable length, as, for in- 
stance, the King's expression of regret that he has not rewarded Mordecai 
6 3 , Haman's conduct on being told to honour Mordecai 6 11 - 12 , Esther's 
words to the King y 5 , the King's words to Esther 8 2 , Esther's request of 
the King 8 7 , the contents of Mordecai's letter 8 12 . These are longer 
than the ordinary additions in B, apart from the six long passages, and 
resemble rather the amplifications in Josephus and the Targums. L 
also differs from B in its omissions. It leaves out not merely occasional 
words that seem superfluous in ij, but also whole sentences and groups 
of sentences particularly in the latter half of the book, e.g., i 12 - 22 2 6 - 8 - 1<M8 

19-23 ^14 45-7. 12 rll 63 7IO g3. 4. 6. 13 gl . 11. 15. 17-19. 24. 25. 27. 29-32 # Here 

whole verses are omitted. There are also numerous cases where half 
verses are omitted. 

In the passages where L runs parallel to both ^ and B it fre- 
quently presents a different translation from that in B, or a 
translation which presupposes a different Heb. text. Here, as 
elsewhere in the OT., L has a curious and unexpected value 
as a witness to an independent Heb. original. Another pecu- 
liarity of L in Esther has often been noted in the other books, 
namely, a tendency to give side by side alternate versions of 
the same Heb. phrase (cf. Driver, Text of the Book of Samuel, 


§ 18. JOSEPHUS. 

In the eleventh book of his Antiquities of the Jews (c. 90 A.D.), 
beginning with § 186 (ed. Niese), Josephus tells the story of Esther 
on the basis of the Greek version, transcribing at times its language 
verbatim. He thus becomes a witness of some importance to the 
original text of (8. On the whole, his readings are nearer to those 
of the uncials than of any other recension. The dream of Mordecai 
and its interpretation he omits — apparently it did not stand in the 
ms. that he used — but the rest of the long additions in B he inserts. 
Most of the small additions of B are unknown to him, as to L. In 
his omissions he also agrees with L rather than B, but he leaves 
out more than L, and in this respect resembles the Old Latin. 
The most curious feature of his text is the numerous additions both 
short and long that it contains and that are not found in other 
recensions. Some of these are mere exegetical expansions. 
Others have no relation to the Greek text and are clearly derived 
from an early form of Jewish midrash. Thus in 205-206 he gives 
a long account of the law that the King made to prevent any 
members of his family approaching him without summons; in 207, 
of the way in which Barnabazos, a slave of one of the eunuchs, 
discovered the plot against the King and reported it to Mordecai; 
in 269, of how Sabouchadas, a royal eunuch, saw the gallows that 
Haman had prepared for Mordecai. Such embellishments can 
hardly have been invented by Josephus himself, but must have 
been derived from some traditional Jewish source. The short 
additions which occur in almost every verse, are too numerous 
to give here. They are translated in full in the commentary at 
the points where they occur in the text. Some of the additions 
Josephus has in common with L, and in other respects he often 
agrees with that recension against B. Other cases of the same 
sort in books v.-vii. of the Antiquities have been noted by Mez, 
Die Bibel des Josephus (1895). In general, Jos. gives such a free 
paraphrase of the story that it is difficult to draw certain conclu- 
sions from him except in regard to additions, omissions, and proper 



The Old Latin version was made from the LXX in the middle 
of the second century a.d., and is, therefore, an important wit- 
ness to the Greek before it underwent the revisions of Origen, 
Hesychius, and Lucian. The Old Latin Book of Esther, accord- 
ing to Codex Corbeiensis, is given by P. Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorum 
Latince versiones antiques, sen Vetus Italica, i. (1 751), pp. 796-825. 
For Addition A and chaps. 1-2 he gives also the variants of 
Codex Oratorius B vii. ; and for the rest of the book, the variants 
of Codex Pechianus. S. Berger, "Notice sur quelques textes 
latins inedites de l'Ancien Testament," in Notices et extraits des 
manuscrits de la Bibl. Nat. et autres bibl. xxxiv. 2 (1895), pp. 145 j^"., 
publishes a specimen of an Old Latin text of Esther from MS. 
356 at Lyons, that differs considerably from the other published 
texts, especially at the beginning and the end. J. M. Tommasi 
in his Sac. Bibl. veteres tituli, etc. (1688), found in torn. i. of his 
Opera (1747), gives the readings of Codex Vallicellanus {cf. Bian- 
chini, Vindicice, pp. ccxciv. ff.). Unpublished mss. of the Old 
Latin Esther exist in Codex Complutensis of the Madrid Natl. 
Libr., Munich 6225 and 6239, Monte Casino 35, and Milan, 
Ambros. E 26 inf. (see the article of Berger cited above, pp. 119^.). 

K is a slavishly literal version of CS, but its translator was not 
a very good Greek scholar; and, particularly in the more rhetorical 
passages, such as are found in the long additions, he fails to under- 
stand the meaning. Usually, it is easy to see what Greek words he 
had before him. The Old Latin contains all the long additions 
of the various Greek recensions, and has besides a number of inter- 
esting additions of its own. Thus after 3 14 it appends a long prayer 
of the Jews (see com. a. /.); 4", Esther's distress on hearing that 
Mordecai is clothed in sackcloth; 4 17 , Mordecai's proclamation 
of a fast; 16 , the deliverance of Noah, Abraham, Jonah, Hananiah, 
Azariah, Mishael, Daniel, Hezekiah, and Anna. These additions 
bear internal evidence of being translated from a Greek original; 
and in certain cases the mistakes show clearly that they are derived 
ultimately from a Heb. or Aram, source (cf. Jacob, ZATW. 


1890, p. 257). The passage about the fast occurs in a very 
similar form in SI 2 ; and, according to a citation of Alkabez in 
his Commentary on Esther (Venice, 1585), it was found in a 
certain Targum Rabbathi. These additions must be fragments 
of ancient Jewish midrashim that were used to enrich the Greek 
codex from which this Latin version was made. They are thus 
an important witness to the antiquity of the haggada that has 
come down in the two Targums. 

In its omissions 3£ rivals L, which is the shortest of the Greek 
recensions. The following entire verses are wanting: — A 12 - 17 i 3 * 
45.6 55-8 813 Q15-19. 21-7. 30.32 io i Besides these there are many 
short omissions of words and clauses. In most of these 21 agrees 
with L. As a rule i£ reproduces word for word a text similar 
to that of the uncials, but in other cases it follows the readings of L. 
The Greek MS. from which it was made must have belonged to a 
group similar to that which Lucian employed in his revision. The 
same phenomenon has been noticed in the Old Latin version of 
other books of the OT. Often the reading in IC has no counter- 
part in any of the Greek recensions; e.g., 3 4 4 4 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 16 - 17 5 9 6 3 (see 
com.). In such cases it is difficult to say whether we have to deal 
with a variant in the Greek or with a corruption in the Latin. The 
text of Corbeiensis differs so widely from those of Oratorius and 
Pechianus that some have supposed that the latter are independent 
versions, and have appealed to Jerome's remark in his preface to 
Esther, " Librum Esther variis translator ibus constat esse vitiatum" 
In this state of the text of Id it is impossible to draw certain con- 
clusions from it in regard to the primitive form of <£. Only when 
it agrees with one of the Greek recensions does its testimony be- 
come of any importance. In several cases 21 has readings that 
are nearer to 1$ than those of any of the Greek recensions. These 
cannot be due to reediting of the Latin from the Hebrew, but must 
be survivals of better Greek readings than any found in our present 


The long additions to the Book of Esther described in § 14 are 
found, as we have seen, in all the recensions of the Greek and in the 


Old Latin. This fact naturally raises the questions, whether they 
were not a part of the original Septuagint, and whether they did 
not stand in the Heb. codex from which this version was made. 
The presence of these additions in the LXX and Vulg. early led 
the Christian Church to regard them as canonical. They were 
sanctioned by the Council of Carthage in 397 a.d. and by several 
later councils, including that of Trent in 1546. In order to justify 
these decisions, Roman Catholic writers have been compelled to 
hold that the additions are translations from a Heb. or Aram, 
original that stood in a larger recension of Esther, or in the sources 
from which that book was derived. Many suppose the original 
to have been the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media 
and Persia mentioned in Est. io 2 ; so in recent times, J. Langen, 
"Die beiden griechischen Texte des Buches Esther," Theol. 
Quartalschrift, i860, pp. 263 ff.; Die deuterocanonischen Stilcke 
im Buch-e Esther (1862); Kaulen, Einleitung in das A. T. 3 (1890), 
p. 271 /.; and Art. "Esther" in Wetzer and Welte's Kirchen- 
Lexicon; Scholz, Kommentar (1892), pp. xxi. ff.; Seisenberger, 
Kommentar (1901), p. 133; Willrich, Judaica (1900), p. 15. On 
this theory the Heb. Est. is an abbreviation of a fuller original 
which has been preserved by (&. 

The chief objections to this view are as follows: — (1) There is 
no evidence of the existence of Semitic originals for these passages. 
De Rossi (Specimen variorum lectionum, iv. 138-161) noted sev- 
eral mss. of Esther in which the dream of Mordecai and the pray- 
ers of Mordecai and Esther in Aram, were appended to M 
and regarded these as prototypes of the Greek additions (cf. §3); 
but it is now known that these passages are a verbal translation of 
the first three chapters of Esther in Yosippon (10th cent. a.d.). 
Josephus knows the additions only in the Gr. text of the vulgar 
recension, and makes no use of Semitic sources. The Syr. version 
contains only the shorter text of the Heb. recension. Jerome knows 
only the present Heb. text, and the Talmud has none of the ad- 
ditions of (&. The haggadic amplifications of the two Targums 
are all based upon M and show no knowledge of the Gr. ad- 
ditions. Yosippon is the first Heb. writer that uses them, and he 
has evidently derived them directly from Josephus (cf. § 34). 


Wherever analogues to the additions occur in the targumic or 
midrashic literature, the works are late and can be shown to have 
borrowed the material either directly or indirectly from (£. 

(2) The additions themselves bear no evidence of having been 
translated from Heb. or Aram. Certain familiar expressions of 
the OT. occur in them, such as a Jew would naturally use, but in 
general they are written in a florid style that cannot readily be 
translated into Heb. (cf. the attempt of S. I. Frankel, Hagio- 
grapha posterior a . . . e textu Grceco in linguam Hebraicam con- 
vertit,etc. (1830). The best modern authorities, such as Fritzsche, 
Noldeke, Bertheau, Ryssel, Bissell, Schurer, Andre, Fuller, and 
the Jewish scholar Jellinek in Beth ham-Midrash, v. p. viii, are 
agreed that the additions of ($> never existed in Heb. or Aram., 
but that they were written for the first time in Greek. This, of 
course, does not preclude the idea that they may have been de- 
rived from traditional Jewish oral sources. 

(3) The interpolations contradict the Heb. text in so many par- 
ticulars that it is impossible to regard them as having once formed 
an integral part of the Book of Est. For instance, in 2 1619 Esther 
becomes queen in the seventh year of Ahasuerus, and Mordecai 
does not appear at court until after this event, but in A 212 ( = n 3 
12 1 ) Mordecai holds already a high position at court in the second 
year of Ahasuerus. In 2 21 - 23 Mordecai has no access to the King, 
and is compelled to make use of the mediation of Esther to convey 
the news of his discovery of the plot, but in A 13 ( = i2 2 ) Mordecai 
himself reveals the conspiracy. In 6 3i Mordecai receives no pay 
for his service, but in A 16 ( = i2 5 ) he is at once richly rewarded. 
In 3 5 Haman is angry because Mordecai refuses to bow down to 
him, but in A 17 ( = 12 6 ) it is because he denounced the two eunuchs. 
In 2 15 - 18 Esther's marriage to the King is narrated with evident 
satisfaction, but in C 26 - 27 ( = i4 15 - l6 ) she describes her horror at 
union with one who is uncircumcised and her abhorrence of the 
royal crown. In 5 4 - 8 Esther invites Haman twice to a banquet, 
but in C 23 ( = i4 17 ) she declares that she has never eaten at Haman 's 
table. In 3 1 Haman is called an Agagite and his father bears a 
Persian name, but in E l0 ( = i6 10 ) Haman is a Macedonian. In 
i 19 . 8 8 the royal edict is irrevocable, but in E 17 ( = i6 17 ) the first 


edict sent out by Haman is revoked. In 7»° Haman is hanged, 
but in E 12 ( = i6 18 ) he is crucified. In 9 20 - 32 the Jews alone are to 
keep Purim, but in E 22 ( = i6 22 ) the Persians also are to keep the 

(4) The additions do not come from the hand of the original 
translator of Est., but are interpolations in <& itself. Their style 
is freer and more diffuse than that of the other parts of the book, 
and their author had a much better command of Greek than the 
original translator. Josephus does not know two of the additions, 
and the Lucianic recension bears evidence that one at least has 
been interpolated in it. After 8 12 (8 34 in Lagarde) L inserts: 
"And the letter which Mordecai sent out had the following con- 
tents: Haman sent you letters to the effect that you should hasten 
to destroy quickly for me the treacherous race of the Jews: but I, 
Mordecai, declare to you that he who did this has been hanged be- 
fore the gates of Susa, and his property has been confiscated because 
he wished to slay you." This short addition was evidently the 
original draft of Mordecai 's letter in L; and when some later 
editor desired to insert the long letter found in the text of the uncials 
he was unable to place it after 8 12 on account of the presence of 
this short letter, and was obliged to insert it after 8 7 . The different 
position of Addition E in L from that in B is witness, accordingly , 
that it was not an original part of L. 

For these reasons the long additions of the Greek must be re- 
garded as late interpolations that never stood in the Book of Esther 
or in any of its Heb. or Aram, sources. The main reason for 
them was the desire to supply the religious element that is so con- 
spicuously absent from the Hebrew edition. Thus Addition A 
presents Mordecai to the reader at the outset as an inspired man 
who seeks to act in accordance with the will of God. The prayers 
of Mordecai and of Esther have the same purpose, and even the 
second letter of the King (E) is full of references to God and 
praises of the Jewish religion. This Tendenz extends so far that 
it causes a mistranslation of Heb. passages. Thus in 5 2 If says, 
"and she obtained favour in his sight"; but <£ says, "and God 
changed the spirit of the King into mildness"; in 6 1 1% says, "the 
sleep of the King fled"; but (£ says, "the Lord drove away sleep 


from the King." The additions also serve the purpose of explain- 
ing difficulties in the conduct of Esther and Mordecai. Thus 
Mordecai's refusal to bow to Haman is due only to national pride 
in 3 1 - 4 , but in O 7 ( = i3 12 - 14 ) Mordecai says, ''Thou knowest all 
things, and thou knowest, Lord, that it was neither in contempt 
nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow down to 
proud Haman. For I should have been content with good will 
for the salvation of Israel to kiss the soles of his feet. But I did 
this that I might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of 
God; neither will I bow down unto any but to thee, who art my 
Lord, neither will I do it in pride." Similarly in 2 2 Esther is will- 
ing to become a concubine of the King, receives the dainties that 
are sent her from the royal kitchen (2 9 ), goes cheerfully to the 
King's couch (2 16 ), is present at the King's feast (2 18 ), and carefully 
hides her race and her religion (2 20 ), but in C 27 - 29 ( = i4 1618 ) 
Esther prays: "Thou hast knowledge of all things; and thou know- 
est that I hate the glory of the wicked, and abhor the bed of the un- 
circumcised, and of every alien. Thou knowest my necessity; 
that I abhor the sign of my high estate, which is upon my head in 
the days wherein I shew myself. I abhor it as a menstruous rag, 
and I wear it not when I am in private by myself. Thy hand- 
maid hath not eaten at Haman's table, neither have I honoured 
the King's feast, nor drunk the wine of the drink offerings. Neither 
had thy handmaid any joy since the day that I was brought thither 
to this present, but in thee, O Lord, thou God of Abraham." 
Apart from these religious and apologetic motives, the desire to fill 
up gaps in the Heb. story and to give specimens of fine Greek 
writing, such as are found in the two letters of Artaxerxes, are suffi- 
cient explanation of the invention of the longer Greek additions. 

On the apocryphal additions to Est. reference may be made to the 
following literature: Fritzsche, Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zu 
den Apokryphen des A. T. (1851-60); Keerl, Die Apokryphen des A. T. t 
ein Zeugniss wider dieselben (1852), pp. 78^"., and Die Apokryphenfrage 
auf's Neue beleuchtet (1855), pp. 160^".; Stier, Die Apokr., Vertheidi- 
gung ihres althergebrachten Anschlusses an die Bibel (1853), p. 158; 
Dijserinck, De Apocriefe Boeken des Ouden Verbonds (1874) (not seen); 
Hengstenberg, Filr Beibehaltung der Apok. (1853); Langen, Die deutero- 
canonischen Stiicke im Buche Esther (1862); Furst, Geschichte der bibli- 


schen Literatur, ii. (1870), pp. 490 ff.\ Bissell, The Apoc. of the O.T. 
(1880); Deane, "The Septuagint Additions to the Hebrew Text," Ex- 
positor, Sept., 1884; Fuller, Tlie Apoc. in the Speaker's Commentary, 
pp. 361-402 (1888); Reuss, Gesch. der heiligen Schriften A. T., 470; 
Zockler, Die Apok. des A. T. (1891); Scholz, Commentar iiber das Buch 
Est. mit seinen Zusatzen (1892); Ball, The Ecclesiastical or Deutero- 
canonical Books of the 0. T. (1892); Konig, Einleitung in das A. T. mit 
Einschluss der Apok. (1893), p. 481; Pfortner, Die Autoritat der deutero- 
canonischen Bilcher des A. T. (1893) (not seen); Schiirer, Gesch. des 
jiid. Volkes 3 (1898), iii. pp. 330/.; and PRE. 3 , i. p. 638; Ryssel, Zusatze 
z. B. Est., in Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen u. Pseudepigraphen des A. T. 
(1900); Andre, Les Apocryphes de I'Ancien Testament (1903), pp. 195- 
208 (the clearest and completest recent introduction to the Apocrypha). 

The short additions can make less claim than the long ones to be 
derived from a Heb. original. Few of them are found in more 
than one of the recensions, and this shows that they are not an 
integral part of (& itself. They are to be regarded as late glosses 
that have crept into the several recensions at a time subsequent to 
the insertion of the long additions. 

As a result of our comparison of the Greek recensions we reach 
the conclusion that <£ has little to offer for the emendation of the 
Hebrew text of Esther. None of its additions have critical value, 
except the short ones that are found in two or more of the recensions. 
When Jahn, Das Buch Esther nach der Septuaginta hergestellt 
(1901), attempts to reconstruct the Heb. text on the basis of <£, 
this can only be pronounced a most uncritical procedure. Nol- 
deke, EBi. 1406, remarks:. "The tendency, so common at the 
present day, to overestimate the importance of (8 for purposes of 
textual criticism is nowhere more to be deprecated than in the 
Book of Esther. It may be doubted whether, even in a single 
passage of the book, the Greek mss. enable us to emend the Hebrew 
text, which, as has been mentioned above, is singularly well pre- 
served." This judgment seems to me to be too sweeping. As 
will appear in detail in the commentary, there are several pas- 
sages where ^ gives no good sense and where (S seems to have 
preserved the true reading. The middle course, followed by 
Haupt in his " Critical Notes on Esther" in HM. ii. pp. 113-204, 
avoiding the extremes both of Jahn and of Noldeke in his treat- 



ment of <&, seems to me to be the soundest method. It must be 
said, however, that, on the whole, the Massoretic text is unusually 
correct, and that (I has less to offer here than in the case of most 
of the other books of the OT. 

In regard to the significance of the omissions in (I it is hard to 
form a positive opinion. These are found in all the recensions 
with a uniformity that is not true of the additions. This seems to 
prove that the original Greek Esther was shorter than the present 
Hebrew text, and thus raises the question, which form is the more 
primitive ? In favour of <£ being original is the fact that through 
the centuries the Book of Esther has constantly been receiving 
additions, and it is quite possible that this process went on before 
it was admitted to the Canon. In that case the Massoretic text 
will have to be regarded as a midrash upon an earlier nucleus 
that is common to both ^ and 05. In favour of the view that $J 
is original, is the fact that other books of the OT., e.g., i S. Jb. 
Je., have been cut down in the Greek translation. I find myself 
unable to decide this question. Haupt, in the article just cited, 
omits many passages from ^ on the strength of 05, without formu- 
lating any theory of a shorter recension of^. I have recorded all 
these omissions in my notes, but in the majority of cases I have not 
felt sufficiently sure of them to adopt them as emendations. In 
general, fH unquestionably represents the purest form of the text 
that has come down to us, and it must be taken as the basis for all 
critical discussion of the book. The only attempts that have been 
made to construct a revised text of Est. on the basis of all the evi- 
dence are the works of Jahn and of Haupt cited above. The 
commentaries contain incidentally many textual emendations. 



The book of Esther narrates the way in which Esther, a Jewish 
maiden, became queen of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, and saved her 
people from the destruction planned against them by Haman, the 
King's favourite; and how, in commemoration of this deliverance, 


the feast of Purim was instituted. It falls into six main divisions : — 
(i) The rejection of Vashti (i 1 - 22 ); (2) The choice of Esther to 
be queen (2 1 - 23 ) ; (3) The elevation of Haman and his plot to destroy 
the Jews (3H4"); (4) The fall of Haman and the deliverance of 
the Jews (5 1 — 9 19 ); (5) The institution of the feast of Purim (9 20 - 32 ); 
and (6) An appendix telling something about the subsequent his- 
tory of Ahasuerus and Mordecai (10 1 - 3 ). 

The contents of the book in more detail are as follows: — Ahas- 
uerus (Heb. Ahashwerosh), King of Persia, in the third year of 
his reign, assembles all the dignitaries of the empire at Shushan 
(Susa) and feasts them for 180 days (i 1 - 4 )- During the seven days 
following he entertains the men of the fortress of Susa in a mag- 
nificent manner ( 58 ). At the same time Vashti the Queen makes 
a banquet for the women ( 9 ). On the seventh day Ahasuerus 
commands Vashti to show herself to the assembled guests; but 
this she refuses to do, and the King is very angry ( l0 - 12 ). There- 
upon he takes counsel with his seven ministers of state what to do 
to punish this disobedience ( 13 - 15 ). Memukhan suggests that the 
example of Vashti will encourage women everywhere to rebel 
against their husbands; that, therefore, she ought to be deposed 
and a successor chosen; and that news of this decision should be 
disseminated in all parts of the empire and wives should be com- 
manded to obey their husbands ( 16 - 20 ). This advice pleases the 
King and he acts accordingly ( 21 - 22 ). 

When his wrath has subsided he misses Vashti, and his cour- 
tiers advise him to gather the most beautiful maidens from all the 
provinces in order to select from them another queen. This plan 
also meets with his approval (2 1 - 4 ). Among the girls who are 
brought to the palace is Esther, an orphan, who has been reared 
by her cousin Mordecai, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin ( 5 - 8 ). She 
is favoured by Hegai, the chief eunuch, and keeps it secret that 
she is a Jewess, although Mordecai comes every day to inquire 
how she is (•-")• The maidens are obliged to submit to a twelve 
months' process of beautification and receive whatever ornaments 
they desire before they are brought to the King ( 1214 )- When 
Esther's turn comes, she asks for nothing, yet Ahasuerus regards 
her as the most beautiful of all the women and chooses her in the 


seventh year of his reign as queen in the place of Vashti, which 
event is celebrated with a feast and remission of taxes ( l5 - l «). 
Mordecai, whose kinship with Esther still remains secret, soon after 
this discovers a plot against the life of the King. This he reports 
through the Queen, and the conspirators are hanged, but he is 
not rewarded, only the deed is recorded in the royal annals ( 19 - 23 ). 
Afterward Ahasuerus makes a certain Haman, the Agagite, 
chief over all his nobles and commands every one to do obeisance 
to him (3 1 - 2 "). This Mordecai refuses to do, and the courtiers 
report it to Haman ( 2b - 5 ). In revenge Haman determines to de- 
stroy, not merely Mordecai, but the whole race of the Jews, and 
casts lots in the 12th year to determine a favourable day, either 
for laying the matter before the King, or for the execution of his 
plan. The lot falls, according to (8 L, for the 14th (13th) of Adar, 
the 1 2th month ( 6 - 7 ). Thereupon Haman goes to the King and 
asks that the Jews may be destroyed, offering to pay 10,000 
talents of silver into the royal treasury if this be done. The King 
grants him free hand, and he issues a decree on the 13th day of 
the 1st month, that on the 13th day of the 12th month all the Jews 
throughout the empire shall be slain. Couriers are sent out with 
a dispatch to this effect, and it is published in Susa ( 8 - 15 ). The 
Jews are filled with consternation, and Mordecai appears before 
the palace-gate clothed in sackcloth and ashes (4 1 - 3 ). Esther hears 
of this and sends other clothes in order that Mordecai may come 
into the palace, but he refuses to put them on. She then instructs 
Hathakh, one of the eunuchs, to find out what is the matter. 
Mordecai tells him, and charges Esther to go to the King and beg 
for a reversal of the decree ( 49 ). Esther at first objects on the 
ground that the death-penalty is visited upon any one who appears 
before the King without a summons; but, being urged by Mordecai, 
she finally consents to run the risk three days later, asking that in 
the meanwhile all the Jews in Susa will fast with her ( l0 - 17 ). On 
the third day she appears before the King and is graciously re- 
ceived. When he offers to grant any request, she asks only that he 
and Haman will come to a banquet that she has prepared (5 1 - 6 ). 
At the banquet the King offers again to grant any request, but 
Esther asks only that he and Haman will come to another banquet 


with her on the morrow ( fiS ). Hainan goes out in high spirits, 
but when Mordecai refuses to bow to him, he hastens home and 
informs his family and friends that all his honours are worthless 
so long as this Jew is alive. They advise him to build a gallows 
50 cubits high, and to ask the King the next day that Mordecai 
may be hanged upon it ( a - 14 ). 

The following night the King cannot sleep, and has the annals of 
the kingdom read to him. He is thus reminded that nothing has 
been done to reward Mordecai (6 1 - 3 ). At this moment Haman 
arrives to beg that Mordecai may be hanged, and is asked, What 
shall be done to the man whom the King desires to honour ? Sup- 
posing himself to be meant, he names a number of royal honours, 
and is amazed to be told to confer these upon Mordecai ( 4 - 1%0 ). 
This order he carries out and returns in despair to his home. 
There his family and his astrologers express their fear that this ill 
fortune is the beginning of his downfall (» - 13 ). While they are talk- 
ing, eunuchs come to fetch Haman to the banquet with Esther ( 14 ). 
Here the King once more offers to give her anything that she may 
ask, and this time she tells him of Haman's plot and begs for her 
own life and the life of her people (7 1 - 6 ). The King goes out in 
wrath, and Haman falls upon Esther's couch to beg for his life. 
When the King returns, he is still more angered by Haman's 
posture, and commands to hang him on the gallows that he has 
built for Mordecai ( 7 - 10 ). Mordecai is then installed in the place 
of Haman (8 1 - 2 ). Esther goes a second time unsummoned to the 
King, and being favourably received, begs for a reversal of Ha- 
man's edict of destruction. Full power is given Mordecai, and, 
although he cannot countermand Haman's orders, since the 
laws of the Medes and Persians are unchangeable, yet he directs 
that on the day appointed for their destruction the Jews shall every- 
where defend themselves and slay their enemies ( 3 - 14 ). Mordecai 
then goes forth in royal apparel, and the Jew r s rejoice over their 
deliverance ( 13 - 17 ). When the thirteenth of Adar comes, the Jews 
assemble in accordance with Mordecai's directions and no one 
dares to oppose them. Helped by the governors of the provinces, 
they slay their enemies everywhere, and in Susa they kill 500 men, 
among whom are the ten sons of Haman (9 1 - 10 ). This the King 


reports to Esther and inquires if there is anything more that she 
would like to have done. She asks that another day be granted 
for slaughtering the Jew's enemies in Susa, and that the ten sons of 
Haman be hanged on the gallows ( u - 15 ). In the provinces 75,000 
enemies of the Jews are slain on the thirteenth day and the four- 
teenth day is celebrated by the Jews as a festival; but in Susa the 
slaughter continues on the fourteenth day, and the fifteenth is 
kept as a holiday. This is the reason why the country Jews feast 
on the fourteenth, rather than the fifteenth of Adar ( 1619 ). 

After this Mordecai sends out letters commanding the Jews in 
all the provinces to celebrate both the 14th and 15th of Adar 
(20-22). This they undertake to do with repetition of the story 
of their deliverance ( 23 - 25 ). Thus the annual feast of Purim is 
instituted, and is made binding upon the Jews for all generations 
( 26 - 28 ). Esther and Mordecai then write a second time to confirm 
the institution of Purim (*•-*). 

The story concludes with mention of a tax imposed by Ahas- 
uerus, and of the greatness of Mordecai, for fuller information 
in regard to which the reader is referred to the Book of the Chron- 
icles of the Kings of Media and Persia (10 1 - 3 ). 


For the interpretation of the book it is important to determine 
at the outset who is the king that is called Ahasuerus ('Ahash- 
werosh). On this point until recently opinions have differed 
widely. Every king of Media and of Persia, from Cyaxares to 
Artaxerxes Ochus, has been selected by some one for identification 
with this monarch. 

(1) In Est. 2 6 it is stated that Mordecai was carried captive with 
Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and from 
this it has been inferred that the Ahasuerus of our book was one of the 
kings of Media contemporary with the period of the Babylonian cap- 
tivity. Nickes, De Estherce libro, i. (1856), pp. 43-49, identifies him 
with Ahasuerus, the father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Dn. 9 1 , 
whom he regards as the same as Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, the con- 
temporary of Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiachin. Similarly Ferrand, 
Reflexions sur la religion Chretienne, i. p. 157; Marsham, Canon Chroni- 


cus, p. 609; des Vignoles, Chron. sue, ii. p. 274; Herbst-Welte, Einl. in das 
A. T., ii. (1842), p. 253/.; Kohlreif, Chronologie liphrat katon (1732), 
pp. 192/"., identify him either with Cyaxares I, or with a supposed 
Cyaxares II, his son. A similar view is held by Erbt (Purim, p. 47). 
The objections to this view are, that Darius the Mede in Dn. 9 1 is so 
uncertain a person historically that no safe conclusions can be based 
upon the name of his supposed father, and that Cyaxares reigned 
over no such vast territory as is assigned to Ahasuerus in i 1 . Moreover, 
the order of the words "Persia and Media" in i 14 - 19 suggests that in 
the time of Ahasuerus Persia, and not Media, held the hegemony. 

(2) G. Mercator, Chronol. iii., Demonstr. Chron., p. 185; R. Walther, 
Hommilarium sylva, Esther, p. 2; P. Wokenius, Commentatio in librum 
Esther (1730); Aster, Dissertatio Philologica de Ester ce cum Ahasuero 
conjugio (1870), decide for Astyages; but this view has nothing in its 
favour, and is open to all the objections that apply to the identification 
with Cyaxares. 

(3) Ezr. 4 5 - 7 - ■* names the kings of Persia in the following order: 
Cyrus, Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, Darius, from which it has been inferred 
that Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes are Cambyses and Pseudo-Smerdis, 
who reigned between Cyrus and Darius. With this Ahasuerus, or 
Cambyses, the Ahasuerus of Est. is identified by Lyr., Vat., Gene- 
brard, and Winck. (AOF. ii. 214). It is now generally recognized, 
however, that the order of the kings in Ezr. 4 is not chronological. 
The Chronicler supposed that the narrative of 4 7 - 23 referred to the 
stopping of the building of the Temple, whereas really it referred to 
the stopping of the building of the wall. As a result, he has placed 
Xerxes I and Artaxerxes I between Cyrus and Darius. This passage, 
therefore, affords no safe basis for the identification of Ahasuerus with 

(4) RaShI, IE., Tir., Lap., identify Ahasuerus with Darius Hystaspis. 
RaShI remarks, " He was the king of Persia who ruled after Cyrus, at the 
end of the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity." In support of 
this view is urged its correspondence with the statement about Morde- 
cai's captivity in Est. 2 6 , the extent of Darius' empire, and his invasion 
of India, as narrated by Megasthenes and Arrian. But the name 
Darius was well known to the Hebrews, and there is no reason why the 
author of Est. should not have used it if he had meant this king. 

(5) The Lucianic recension of <8> ordinarily transliterates the name 
of this king by Assueros, but in 9 20 , codd. 19 and xo&b read Xerxes 
(93a, Artaxerxes) and in io 3 all the codd. agree in reading Xerxes. 
According to ® 2 he was the son of Darius. Eusebius {Chronicorum 
libri duo, ed. Schoene (1875), i. 125; ii. 105) also identifies Ahasue- 
rus with Xerxes. This view received a learned and elaborate defence 
from J. Scaliger, Thesaurus temporum Eusebii (1606), pp. ioiff.; and 



Opus de emendatione tern porum (1629), pp. 587^". He has been fol- 
lowed by Drus., Mai., Jun., in their commentaries, and by Pfeiffer, 
Dubia Vexata (1704), pp. 257 ff.\ Justi, "Versuch iiber den Konig 
Ahasverus im Buche Esther," in Eichhorn's Repertorium, xv. pp. 
3-38; Carpzov, Introd. i. (1741), pp. 356/".; Baumgarten, Dejide libri 
Estherce (1839), pp. 122/.; F. M. Schultz, SK. (1853), pp. 624/. 

(6) The common recension of (S translates 'Ahashwerosh by Artax- 
erxes, and this has led to the identification of this king with each of the 
three monarchs who bore that name. Josephus, Ant. xi. 184^., identi- 
fies him with Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) ; so also Mid., Bel., Caj., Sane, 
Sal., Bon., Men., Cler., and most Roman Catholic commentators down 
to modern times. See also Petavius, Lib. xv. c. 27; Lightfoot, Com- 
plete Works (1822), ii. pp. 317 ff. In support of this view is urged this 
king's good will toward the Jews, as evidenced by his kindness to Ezra 
and Nehemiah. The chief difficulty with this view, as with the follow- 
ing identifications, is the impossible age that it gives Mordecai, if he 
was carried captive under Jehoiachin, as narrated in Est. 6 2 . This 
difficulty is avoided by the supposition that the statement about the cap- 
tivity applies, not to Mordecai himself, but to one of his ancestors; but 
this is exegetically impossible (see com. a. I.). The Jewish Chronicle 
Seder 'Olam, which is older than the Talmud, solves all chronological 
difficulties by the curious method of identifying all four kings of Persia 
mentioned in the OT., namely, Cyrus, Darius, Ahasuerus, and Artax- 
erxes, as titles of one and the same person (see chap. xxx. ed. Joh. 
Meyer, 1699). 

(7) Jerome in his commentary on Ezek. 4; Bede, De vi. mundi cetat., 
ad A. M. 3588; Rhabanus Maurus, and a few Catholic commentators 
think of Artaxerxes Mnemon. 

(8) Serarius, Gordon, Huntley, Capellus (Chronol. S., Tab. xi., ad 
A. M. 3743), prefer Artaxerxes III (Ochus). The only reason for this 
view is the fact that in the apocryphal addition E 14 (=i6 H ) Haman is 
said to have plotted to deliver the kingdom of the Persians to the Mace- 
donians, which implies the later days of the Persian empire. 

This controversy has been brought to a close by the decipher- 
ment of the Persian monuments, in which the name Xerxes appears 
in such a form as to leave no doubt that he is the king who is 
meant by Ahasuerus. In the Persian column of the trilingual 
inscriptions of this king from Persepolis, Elvend, and Van, he is 
called Khshayarsha; in the Babylonian equivalent, KhishVar- 
shu (see Bezold, Achdmenideninschriften (1882), and Spiegel, 
Altpers. Keilinschriften (1881). 


In Babylonian tablets such forms occur as Akhshiyarshu, Akkashi- 
arshi, Akkisharshu, Akhshiyaivarshu, Akhshuwarshi, and Akhshi- 
■warshu (see Bezold, in EBi. i. 94). In an Aramaic inscription the 
consonants Kh-sh-y- -r-sh appear. These forms are evidently the ety- 
mological equivalents of Heb. '-kh-sh-w-r-sh, which is the form that 
appears in Est. i 16 2 21 3 12 8 10 . In io 1 the form is '~kh-sh-r-sh. The 
traditional pronunciation 'Akhashwerosh is inaccurate, and is probably 
due to Jewish effort to give the name a Heb. etymology. The original 
pronunciation may have been something like 'Akhashwarsh. Instead 
of iv the Persian and Bab. forms would lead us to expect y, and this is 
found in the Syriac spelling '-kh-sh-y-r-sh. From this Haupt, HM. 
ii. 119, infers that wis a corruption of y in the Heb. spelling; but, in 
the light of some of the Babylonian forms cited above, this cannot be 
regarded as certain (cf. Strassmaier, Actes VII. Cong. Orient., Sect. 
Sem. 18/., and Bevan, Com. on Daniel, p. 149). 

With the identification of Ahasuerus with Xerxes all the state- 
ments of the Book of Est. agree. He was a Persian king who 
also ruled over Media (i 3 - 18 ), his empire extended from India to 
Ethiopia and contained 127 satrapies (i 1 8 9 9 30 ), it also included 
the islands of the Mediterranean (io 1 ), his capital was at Susa in 
Elam (i 2 , etc.). This is all true of Xerxes, but of no other Persian 
monarch. The character of Ahasuerus, as portrayed in the Book 
of Est., also agrees well with the account of Xerxes given by 
Herodotus and other Greek historians (see § 27). For these 
reasons there is general agreement among modern scholars, 
Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant, that by Ahasuerus the author 
of the Book of Est. means Xerxes. 


The purpose of the Book of Esther is to commend the observ- 
ance of the feast of Purim by an account of the way in which this 
feast originated. The goal is reached in 93°-^ w here we read: 
"And [she] sent letters unto all the Jews, unto 127 provinces, 
the kingdom of Xerxes, containing friendly and faithful words, 
to establish these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mor- 
decai the Jew had established for them and Esther the Queen, 
and as they had established for themselves and for their descend- 
ants, the matters of the fastings and of their cry of distress. So the 


command of Esther established these matters of Purim and it was 
committed to writing." Toward this conclusion the whole nar- 
rative of the book tends. Xerxes' feast serves merely to give an 
opportunity for Vashti's degradation. Vashti is degraded in 
order that Esther may be#brought to the throne. Hainan's de- 
cree of destruction gives Esther an opportunity to interfere on 
behalf of her people. In 3 7 we are told that the lot which Haman 
cast was called pur. For this statement no reason appears, ex- 
cept that the author wishes to use this word later as an explana- 
tion of the name Purim. After Esther has interceded success- 
fully for the Jews and the danger is averted, the author remarks 
9 17 f -: "And they rested on its fourteenth day, and made it a day 
of banqueting and joy. Therefore the country Jews, that dwell 
in hamlets of the rural districts, keep the fourteenth day of the 
month of Adar as a joy, and a banquet, and a holiday, and a 
sending of dainties to one another." Immediately after in 9 20 
we read: "And Mordecai wrote the following words, and he sent 
letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of King 
Xerxes, those near and those far, to establish for them, that they 
should continue to keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar 
and its fifteenth day in every single year, like the days on which 
the Jews rested from their enemies and the month that was 
changed for them from sorrow unto joy and from mourning unto a 
holiday, to keep them as days of banqueting, and joy, and of 
sending dainties to one another. And the Jews made customary 
that which they had begun to do and that which Mordecai had 
written unto them." Again in g 26 f - we are told: "Therefore 
they called the days Parim, because of the name of the pur. There- 
fore, because of all the words of this message, and because of what 
they had seen in this respect, and because of what had come 
unto them, the Jews established and made it customary for them- 
selves, and for their descendants, and for all who should join 
themselves to them, that it might not be repealed, to continue to 
keep these two days in accordance with the letter that prescribed 
them, and in accordance with the time set for them in every single 
year; and that these days might be remembered, and be kept in 
every single generation, and every single family, and every single 


province, and every single city; that these days of Purim might 
not be repealed by the Jewish community, and that the memory 
of them might not cease among their descendants." Then fol- 
lows the concluding enactment of Esther (9 30 - 32 ), as quoted above. 
In the light of these facts it is clear that the book has one purpose 
from beginning to end, that is, the institution of the feast of Purim. 

This is so obvious that it has been recognized by nearly all inter- 
preters. As curiosities of exegesis it may be proper to mention a few 
divergent views. Advocates of an allegorical interpretation regard this 
book either as a prophecy, or as a symbol of sacred mysteries. Among 
the Jews this method has found little favour, for Purim is a cherished 
institution that has no basis in the Law, and they need to treat Est. as 
history in order to find a warrant for its observance. Still, Abraham 
Saba of the fifteenth century, in his unpublished commentary, and Moses 
Isserles of the sixteenth century, try in all earnest to carry through an 
allegorical interpretation. Hugo of St. Victor, in his Appendix ad 
Opera Mystica de spirituali Christi convivio in Migne, Pat. Lat. clxxvii. 
1185-1191, understands the 180 days' feast of Ahasuerus as the period 
of preparation for the Gospel; and the seven days' feast that follows as 
the New Testament dispensation. Among Roman Catholics this kind 
of exegesis has lasted down to our own day. The most elaborate at- 
tempt of the sort is that of Didachus Celaedeiis, Comm. cum duplici 
tractatu de convivio Ahasueri mystico, i.e., de Eucharistia et de Esther 
figurata, i.e., beata Virgine (London, 1646). Even commentators that 
follow in the main the historical method are prone to treat Esther as a 
type of the Virgin Mary. Scholz's Commentar iiber das Buck Esther 
mit seinen Zusatzen (1892) is a remarkable recent effort to allegorize 
the book. On p. xxxvi he says: "The Book of Esther is a prophetic 
repetition and further development of Ezekiel's prophecy concerning 
Gog. Ahasuerus is humanity that has entered into the Messianic 
kingdom, in which the Messianic God lives and works, with which also 
he is one, but which is prone to fall, and for the most part does actually 
fall more or less frequently." (See also §§ 35, 36.) 

Against all such interpretations is the fact, that the book never sug- 
gests that it wishes to be taken in any other than a literal sense. It is 
a fundamental characteristic of genuine allegory that it is incapable of 
a complete literal interpretation, but this is not the case here. Est. is 
a plain, straightforward prose narrative, just like all the historical 
books of the OT., and it does not contain a single statement that cannot 
be understood literally. If the author had meant it to be a prophecy, 
he would have used the future tense, as all the prophets do, and would 
not have cast his message into a narrative form that was certain to be 


misunderstood by his readers. Moreover, if this were prophecy, analogy 
would lead us to expect the use of poetry rather than prose. 

J. S. Bloch, Hellenistische Bestandtheile im biblischen Schrifttum 
(1877), advocates the extraordinary hypothesis that Est. was written 
during the Maccabaean period, and that its aim was "to justify the party 
that was friendly to the Greeks." This view emphasizes the absence 
of the name of God and of all distinctly Jewish religious colouring, 
also Esther's and Mordecai's friendly relations to Xerxes; but these 
features throw no real light upon the purpose of the book. It is hard to 
see how an author who was favourable to Greek heathenism could have 
represented Mordecai as refusing to bow down to Haman 3 2 , or how he 
could have related with such evident satisfaction the slaughter of the 
heathen in chapter 9. 

§ 24. INDEPENDENCE OF 9 20 -IO 3 . 

In regard to the unity of the larger part of the Book of Esther 
no doubt can be felt. The outline of contents given in § 21 shows 
that there is a systematic and harmonious development of thought 
at least as far as 9 19 , and the discussion of purpose in § 23 shows 
that one aim dominates the entire book. Only in regard to the 
section 9 20 -io 3 can doubt be felt whether it comes from the same 
hand as the rest of the narrative. J. D. Michaelis, Deutsche 
Uebersetzung des A. T. mil Anmerkungen fiir Ungelehrte, xiii. 
(1783), first noticed the peculiarities of this section, and concluded 
that they indicated that it was derived from an independent 
source. He has been followed by Bertheau in his commentary 
(1862) as far as 920-32 j s concerned, by Ryssel in the second edition 
of the same work (1887), by Kamphausen in Bunsen's Bibelwerk 
(1868), and by Wildeboer, Kommentar (1898). In support of 
this view the following facts may be noted: — 

(1) In io 2 the author refers to the Book of the Chronicles of 
the Kings of Media and Persia for additional information in re- 
gard to the matters that he has just been narrating. This sug- 
gests that he has derived his material from the work that he cites. 
In 9 32 it is stated that "the commandment of Esther established 
these matters of Purim and it was committed to writing" (RV. 
" written in the book"). Here Pise, Jun., Grot., Raw., see an- 
other reference to the Chronicle, but this is doubtful; the expression 


probably alludes only to the letter of Esther mentioned in 9" 
(see com. a. I.). This Chronicle of the Kings of Media and Persia 
was not the royal diary mentioned in 2 23 6 1 , but was probably 
some Jewish compilation of the traditional history of the Medo- 
Persian kings, like the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of 
Judah and Israel that is so often cited by the Chronicler (see 
com. on io 2 ). From it the author of Est. must have extracted 
some of the material that precedes io 2 , unless this reference be 
regarded as an invention designed to give additional authority 
to his book. 

(2) 9 24 - 25 contains an account of Haman's conspiracy that is 
a duplicate to chapters 3-7. Details vary in these two narratives 
in the manner that is usual in parallel accounts of the same 

(3) In a number of particulars 9 20 -io 3 contradicts the earlier 
part of the book to such a degree as to indicate that it comes from 
a different hand. According to 9 19 , the Jews of the author's 
region kept partly the fourteenth and partly the fifteenth of Adar 
in memory of their escape, but in 9 21 - 23 Mordecai commands, and 
the Jews agree, to keep both the fourteenth and the fifteenth of 
the month. The editor treats Mordecai 's command as though it 
were only a modification of the observance of the Jews at the time 
of the first celebration of the feast, but 9 19 indicates clearly that its 
author regarded this observance as an established practice. The 
two accounts show apparently the customs of the Jews in different 
regions. In 9 24 f - Haman acts without the King's knowledge in 
planning the destruction of the Jews (cf. 9 25 , "When it came 
before the King"); but in 3 8 - 11 the King knows the plan from the 
beginning and aids Haman in carrying it out. In 9" no refer- 
ence is made to the part that Esther played in averting the disaster. 
The opening words of this verse cannot be translated, "when 
she came before the King," but mean only, "when it came before 
the King"; in chapter 7, on the contrary, the whole credit of the 
deliverance belongs to Esther. In 9 25 , when the King learns of 
Haman's plot, he says, "Let his wicked plan, which he has devised 
against the Jews, return upon his own head." In 7* f - a different 
account is given of the transaction and of the reason for the King's 


sentence. In g 25 Haman and his sons are apparently hanged at 
the same time. In 7 10 9 14 Haman is executed first, and his sons 
are not hanged beside him until after the massacre of the 13th 
of Adar. In g 22 the sending of gifts to the poor is prescribed as 
part of the observance of Purim, and in 9 31 fasting and crying 
accompany the feast; but in 9 17 - 19 these customs are not men- 
tioned as part of the initial observance. 

(4) The language of this section exhibits many points of simi- 
larity with that of the body of the book, as one would expect even 
in independent documents that belong to the same age and the 
same school of thought; on the other hand, a number of the most 
characteristic phrases of the body of the book are wanting here, 
and expressions are found here that do not occur in the body of 
the book. On the whole, the linguistic evidence is favourable 
to the literary independence of this section. 

The following words and phrases are common to both parts of the 
book: -on PL 3 s - 13 9 12 - * and oft.; S^M 4 s g 22 ; -pn 3* g" al.\ 32« 7 6 g 22 al.; 
nbni i* 6 3 io 2 ; S-vj 37 924; -]Dn Niph. 9*- 22 ; o 6 13 9"- 28 - 31 io 3 ; SSn 
Hiph. 6 13 9 23 ; 2&n 8 3 9 24f -; a 10 DV 8" g 19 - 22 ; ana i 19 9 20 - 29 - 32 -f-i3t.; 
aro i 22 9 27 + 6t.; b with inf. introducing a command i 22 9 21 and oft.; 
-iskb i 15 2 20 9 32 ; runo i» 9 2 °- »■ 30 an d f t . ; na^np 8 3 - 5 g 25 ; ^75 oft. in both; 
n^p oft. in both; n-ioSp in both; rroo 2 9 9 19 - 22 ; rnStpp 9 19 - 22 ; nntfp 
i 3 9 22 and oft.; nu 9I6. n. 22; -, 1c ^ Dn 37 24; ^ < se if> 4 i3 3ij -,g D Q ft. in 
both; "Dy i« 9 927- 28; -pj» 315 qm and oft.; Df i 5 io 3 and oft., fl{| 2 23 q 25 
and oft.; ntrj? 922. 23 gn. is- qu 43 gzu y$ 310 8 l 9 10 - u ; Sap 4* 9 23 - 27; nun 
9 26 and oft.; bMi 92 s and oft.; an 5" io 3 ; jn 92 s and oft.; D*fr io 1 and oft.; 
nnpt' 922 and oft. 

The following common expressions of the body of the book are omitted 
in 9 2a -io 3 : — ans 2 17 5 10 - l * 6 13 ; -ihn 38- m 4" 73 8 12 ; S -»en i" 4" 9"; rua 
to. 15. i6. na 31 3 gn. n ^3 12 and oft. to 9 12 ; ntf^a 7 times in i 1 -^ 19 ; rn 19 t. 
in body; jnn 10 t.; TOH 6 t.; »n 6 t.; pen 7 t.; fnafon >xn 3 t.; "ran 8 t.; 
«nn 3 t.; onn 3 t.; njjao 6 t.; HO on 7 t.; »jD 3 13 8 U ; -p 21 t.; yv 7 t.; 
air 5 t.; r; 6 t.; by 3 t.; nx^ 9 t.; T|£ 9 t.; a^ 4 t.; npS 6 t.; fi&f 5 t.; 
f^P 3 t.; nSd 4 t.; nxb 8 t.; DljMp 3 t.; *u: il^/r. 14 t.; )Mj 8 t.; So: 
Qa/ 7 t.; jru 26 t.; did 6 t; iid 3 t.; ono 12 t.; 1|| 6 t.; H? 12 t.; 
ni ?.;? 3 t.; "W 8 t.; pap 6 t.; mp 11 1.; an 7 t; D*n 4 t.; 33"i 4 t.; Kjfe 3 t.; 
IE' 13 t.; nSnc ; 6 t.; TOtf 5 t.; njnr 10 t. 

The following expressions are found only in 9 20 -to 3 : — d^jox 9 22 ; 
rnjN 9 2«- 29; nN, of a fellow-Jew^ io 3 ; D*»K io 1 ; np/N 93°; -rn 9*8; iv-n io»; 


DDfl p 24 ; ■*£ 928; rp? 927. b ; pj, 9 22 ; naD Sj; 9 26 ; n V? JSfiph. 9 "- y wn np 
9 26 ; Dp io 1 ; ni?j?p io 2 (in 3 9 g 3 noN^p); njtrD io 3 ; nnBt?p 9"; runp 9 M ; 
«iw 9"; nnis (plural) p"- 2 «- ™- »• 32. a?i? p;. 'made obligatory,' 
Q 27. 31. 32. r^n 9 29 I0 2. The use of the perfect with simple Waw, instead 
of the imperfect with Waw consec, is also peculiar to this part of the 
book {cf. 925) . 

In view of these facts it is difficult to think that 9 20 io 3 comes from 
the same hand as the rest of the book. It is equally difficult to 
regard it as an interpolation. The purpose of the author is evi- 
dently to lead up to the establishment of Purim, as recorded in this 
section. If these verses be omitted, no adequate account of the 
origin of the feast is given, and the book is left without a head. 
The theory that best explains the facts, probably, is that the sec- 
tion 9 2 o-io' is quoted by the author of Est. from the Chronicle 
mentioned in io 2 , from which also he has derived the ideas that 
he has worked up in an independent fashion in the rest of the book. 
Erbt's analysis of Est. into a Mordecai story and an Esther 
story (Purimsage, pp. 19 sq.) is so obviously the product of his 
theory in regard to the origin of Purim that it demands no de- 
tailed consideration at this point (see pp. 78-81). 


In regard to the age of Est. many opinions have been held. 
Josephus identifies Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes I, and assigns the 
book to the reign of that king. Augustine supposes that Ezra 
was the author; the Talmud (Baba Bathra, 15a), the men of the 
Great Synagogue. Clement of Alexandria conjectures on the 
basis of 9 20 - 32 that Mordecai was the author, and this view has been 
followed by many of the ancient Jewish and Christian scholars. 
R. Azariah de Rossi, in his Heb. Intr. to the OT., suggests that 
it was written by Jehoiakim b. Joshua. Conservative critics of 
the last generation assigned it to the reign of that particular king 
of Media or Persia with whom they happened to identify Ahas- 
uerus. Modern critics are unanimous in believing that the book 
is a product of the Greek period. The only dispute is, whether 
it belongs to the earlier or the later part of that period. Most 


recent writers incline tu the view that it dates from a time after 
the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes and the deliverance by 
Judas Maccabaeus in 165 B.C. 

For the solution of the problem the book contains the follow- 
ing data: — 

(1) It makes no claim of age or authorship for itself. The 
statement of 9 20 , "Mordecai wrote these things," does not refer to 
the foregoing narrative, but to the !etter that follows. The 
"book" mentioned in o 32 is not Est., but the letter that Esther 
has just written. 

(2) There is no external evidence for the existence of this book 
before the beginning of the Christian era. It is never cited by 
any pre-Christian writer. Ch., Ezr., Ne., Dn., Philo, and the 
apocryphal books contain no mention of it. The silence of the 
son of Sirach (c. 170 B.C.) is specially significant, since in Ecclus. 
44-49 ne gives a long catalogue of Hebrew worthies. The 
absence of Est. and Dn. from this list can be explained in no other 
way than that the books telling about them were not yet written. 
The earliest evidence of the existence of Est. is the LXX version, 
which is first cited by Josephus {Cont. Ap. i. 8). Purim is first 
mentioned in 2 Mac. 15 36 as "the day of Mordecai" that follows 
the day of Nicanor. This reference does not show that Purim 
was observed in the time of Judas Maccabaeus, but only that it was 
known to the author of 2 Mac. The earlier and better informed 
author of 1 Mac. 7 49 mentions the 13th of Adar as the day of 
Nicanor, without reference to its proximity to the day of Morde- 
cai. There is no evidence, therefore, that Purim was kept by 
the Palestinian Jews before the 1st cent. B.C. 

(3) The historical standpoint of the book indicates its origin 
in the Greek period. In i 1 13 - 14 4 11 8 8 the author speaks of the 
times of Xerxes as long passed. The halo of romance cast about 
the Persian empire also indicates that it had ceased to exist. In 
3 8 the statement that the Jews are scattered abroad and dispersed 
among all peoples shows knowledge of the Diaspora of the Greek 
period. The conversion of multitudes to Judaism (8 17 9 27 ) did 
not occur in the Pers. period, but was a result of the proselyting 
zeal of Graeco-Roman times (cf. Matt. 23 15 ). In the opinion of 


many critics Ahasuerus' edict of destruction (3 12 ! •) shows knowl- 
edge of Antiochus' determination in 169 B.C. to root out the Jew- 
ish religion. 

(4) The intellectual standpoint of the book also indicates its 
origin in the late Gr. period. There is no trace of the Messianic 
hope that characterized the early days of the restoration of the 
commonwealth. The bitter hatred of Gentiles, and the longing 
for their destruction that this book discloses, were first induced by 
Antiochus' resolve either to Hellenize or to exterminate the nation. 
Mordecai's refusal to bow before Haman (3 2 ) is not in accord with 
old Heb. usage, but shows a new spirit of independence awakened 
through contact with the Greeks. The prominence given to 
financial considerations (3 9 ) is also indicative of the commercialism 
that developed among the Jews during the Greek period. The 
national pride bereft of religious enthusiasm indicates that the 
book was not written at the time of the Maccabaean struggle, 
but in the period of worldliness and self-complacency that followed 
the attainment of national independence in 135 B.C. 

(5) The language of the book leads to the same conclusion. 
Its Heb. is as late as any in the OT., and most resembles that of 
Ec, Dn., Ch. Many words are not found elsewhere except in 
the Mishna and other rabbinical writings. Aramaic influence 
is conspicuous in diction and construction. The style is awkward 
and laboured, and shows that the author used Heb. only as a 
literary language. The late words of the book are as follows: — 

j-ox 8 6 9 5 a.\. = Syriac; rvJ»H 8 16 late, Mishnic; -V?n 7 4 Ec. 6 6 , as Aram, 
and Mishna; S nDN 'command to,' where early Heb. uses the direct 
address, i» 4 13 9 14 1 Ch. 13 4 15 16 21 18 22 2 2 Ch. 20 21b - »• 30 3i 4 - " 33 16 
Ne.8 l o 15 ; djn !», Aram, and Mishna; Sn:j Qal 2 9 Ec. 5 1 7 9 2Ch.35 21 ,Pw.8n 
Pr. 20 21 , Hiph. 6 14 2 Ch. 26 20 (in these late passages the word means 
'hasten,' ordinarily 'terrify'); ftt 'byssus' i 6 8" 1 Ch. 4 21 2 Ch. 2" 
3 14 5 12 Ez. 27 16 , a late word instead of the older Jtrf; PH3 'spoil' o 10 - 15 - 18 
Dn. 11 24 2 Ch. i4 13 +9 t.; pMJ i 18 a.X.; rtyjin Hiph. inf. i 17 a.X.; 
rw? 'fortress,' a late loan-word through the Aram, i 2 and oft.; jrna 
only in Est. i 5 7 7 - 8 , ph. Pers.; npa Niph. 'be afraid,' only 7* Dn. 8 17 
1 Ch. 21 30 ; h% Bfca 'ask for' 4 8 7 7 , late usage, as Ne. 2 4 Ezr. 8 23 ; r\v?2 
5 3. e. 7. s 7 2. 3 9 i2 Ezr. 7 6 ; **J Niph. 2 1 2 Ch. 26 21 La. 3" Ps. 88« Ez. 37 11 
Is. 53 8 , in the sense of 'was determined,' an Aramaism; h^hi 'rod' 

Authorship 63 

I 6 Ct. 5 14 ; ^vp 'treasury' 3 a 4 7 , NH. and Aram.; im 'drive' 
315 6 12 8 14 2 Ch. 26 20 , NH. and Aram.; nnjn 'rest' 2 18 , d.X.; nSxn 'de- 
liverance' 4 14 , d.X., an Aramaizing form; >i? 5^ Ec. 12 3 , Aram.; jpr 
p27. 31 Ne. 2 6 £ c> j^ Aram.; Sin Hithpalp. 4 4 , d.X.; im 'white stuff' 
i 6 8 15 , Aram.; TV Hithp. 8 17 ; »*>tfn 'holiday' 8 17 9 19 - 22 , as in NH.; 
tD"V}1i 'more than' 6 6 , c/. Ec. 2 15 7 16 12 9 and NH.; Tfv i 4 + 8 t., a 
late word and Aram.; Be* iiZ"^/*. 'extend' 4 11 5 2 8 4 , NH. and Aram.; 
HD2 Sg 9 26 d.X.; p3 4 16 Ec. 8 10 , as in Aram.; djd Qal 4 16 Ec. 2 8 - 26 Ps. 33' 
1 Ch. 22 2 Ne. 12 44 , as NH. and Aram.; n»Vo nd? i 2 5 1 , instead of ndd 
ro^DD in older books; ntfa 'be legal' 8 5 Ec. io 10 n 6 , as NH.; ins 'turban' 
1" 2 17 6 8 , only in Est. and NH.; S with inf., introducing the contents of 
a letter or command, i 22 and oft.; an Aramaism; iend i 15 2 20 9 32 , an 
Aram, word; nj-Hp i 1 +28 t., an Aram, word found only in late Heb.; 
wi np 9 26 , as in NH.; rvoSp 24 t.; so regularly in Dn., Chr., Ezr., the 
ancient language does not use this word in similar constructions; my 
Hiph. inf. 3 s , constr. w. ace. as in Aram.; pn J 4 , Aram, loan-word; 
jn at'i 2 15 - 17 5 2 , instead of the ancient jn nxd, which occurs here only in 
the set phrase 5 8 7 3 8 5 ; hy nop 8 11 9" Dn. S 25 n" 1 Ch. 21 1 2 Ch. 20 23 
26 18 , and in general the use of TOP instead of Dip; Wthi 4 7 io 2 , only in 
Est.; Dtt 'fasting,' as in the late books; nimn 'selected' 2 9 , as in 
NH.; -air 'think' 9 1 , an Aram, loan-word; ^Mlpto 4 1 - 3 Dn. 9 s ; nic' 
3 8 7 4 , an Aramaism; thti 9 1 Ec. 2 19 8 9 Ne. 5 15 ; nji? Pi. 'transfer' 2 9 , an 
Aramaism; toantr 4" 5 2 8 4 , Aram.; vy 'alabaster' i 6 Ct. 5 15 ; rvntr 
i 8 d.X.; rjnan 8 15 , Aram.; 1P> 9 29 io 2 Dn. n 17 , Aram. 


The intense national spirit of this book and its insertion in the 
Canon indicate that its author was a Jew. From 2 5 we may 
perhaps infer that he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. In re- 
gard to his place of residence there is a difference of opinion. 
Willrich thinks that he lived in Egypt. Bloch thinks that he 
was a Palestinian Jew who sympathized with the Hellenizing move- 
ment in the days of Antiochus. Gratz and Meijboom hold that he 
was one of the Palestinian opponents of Antiochus. The absence 
of reference to Jerusalem and the mention of the Jews "scattered 
abroad and dispersed" (3 s ) indicate rather that the author was 
himself one of the Diaspora. That Heb. could not be written 
outside of Palestine, except during the Babylonian captivity, 
as Gratz asserts, is more than doubtful. The Persian words and 


the knowledge of Persian customs that the book contains, suggest 
that its writer lived in Persia. Purim, as we shall see presently 
(§ 28), was a feast of foreign origin, and it is probable that its 
observance was learned outside of Palestine. It is a plausible 
conjecture that the author was a Persian Jew who had come to 
live in Judaea, and wished to commend the observance of Purim 
to the people of that land. 


For the history of opinion, see § 39. In regard to the historical 
character of Est., the following facts may be noted: — 

(1) The book wishes to be taken as history. It begins with 
the conventional formula "and it came to pass," which puts it into 
the sequence of the historical books. The argument for the ob- 
servance of Purim also has no force unless the events narrated 
actually occurred. Similar claims, however, are made by Jon., 
Ru., and parts of Ch., that cannot be held to be historical. 

(2) The book was regarded as historical by the Jewish authori- 
ties who admitted it to the Canon; but their opinion has no critical 
value, inasmuch as it is notoriously incorrect in regard to other 
books of the OT. 

(3) A few of the statements of Est. are confirmed by external 
historical evidence. Ahasuerus is a historical personage (cf. § 22), 
and the picture of his character given in Est. as a sensual and ca- 
pricious despot corresponds with the account of Xerxes given 
by Herodotus, vii. ix.; Aesch. Pers. 467 ff., Juv. x. 174-187; yet 
monarchs of this type were common in the ancient Orient, and 
the narrative contains so little that is characteristic, that earlier 
scholars were able to identify Ahasuerus with every one of the 
kings of Media and Persia. The incidents of Esther can be fitted 
into the life of Xerxes without great difficulty. He reigned 20 
years, and Est. goes no higher than his 12th, or possibly his 13th 
year (3'- 12 ). The banquet in the 3d year (i 3 ) may plausibly 
be combined with the great council which Xerxes held before his 
invasion of Greece (Herod, vii. 8). The four years that intervened 
between the deposition of Vashti and the coronation of Esther 


(i» 2 16 ) may be identified with the four years during which Xerxes 
was absent on his expedition against Greece, only (2 16 ) Esther 
was taken to the palace by Xerxes in his 7th year (480 B.C.), when, 
according to Her., he was still in Greece, unless we assume that 
the years are reckoned in Babylonian fashion from the first full 

Some of the statements of Est. in regard to Persia and Persian 
customs are confirmed by classical historians. Thus the arrange- 
ment of the banquet (1 6 - 8 ), the seven princes who formed a council 
of state (i 14 ), obeisance before the King and his favourites (3 2 ), 
belief in lucky and unlucky days (3 7 ), exclusion of mourning 
garb from the palace (4 2 ), hanging as the death-penalty (5 14 ), 
dressing a royal benefactor in the King's robes (6 8 ), the dispatch- 
ing of couriers with royal messages (3 13 8 10 ). (For details see the 
commentary.) The palace of Xerxes as described in Est. is not 
unlike the palace of Artaxerxes Mnemon as excavated by Dieulafoy 
at Susa (see com. on i 5 ). All that these facts prove, is that the 
author had some knowledge of Persia and Persian life which he 
used to give local colour. They do not prove that his story is 
historical any more than the local colour of the Arabian Nights 
proves them to be historical. 

The following Persian words occur in the book: — tP4f£lffnM 'sa- 
traps' (3 12 8 9 9 3 ) = Pers. khshatrapdvan, 'protectors of the realm'; 
a^nETiN 'royal horses' (8 10 - l4 ), from Pers. khshatra, 'realm'; jroa 
'palace' (i 5 y 7 - 8 ), according to Dieulafoy, RE J. 1888, cclxxvii. = Pers. 
apaddna, 'throne-room,' but this is very doubtful (see com. a. /.); 
onja 'treasury' (3 s 4 1 ), ph. = N. Pers. kanja (Vullers, Lexicon, ii. 
1032; Lagarde, Ges. Abhl. 27); rn 'law' (i 8 +i8 t.) = Pers. data; 
Dens 'cotton' (i 6 ) = Skr. karpdsa, N. Pers. karpds (Lagarde, Armen. 
Stud. § 1 148); nro 'turban' (i 11 2 17 6 8 ), ph. Pers. loan-word (Lagarde, 
Ges. Abhl. 207); D»9*n», 'nobles' (i 3 6 9 ) = Pers. fratama, 'first'; 
DJns 'decree* (i 20 )=Pers. patigdma; fjtfriB 'copy' (3 14 4 8 8 13 )= 
fjcnsi (Ezr. 4"- 23 5 6 ) = Pers. paticayan (Lagarde, Ges. Abhl. 79; 
Armen. Stud. § 1838). These words all belong to the language of 
government and of trade, and, therefore, do not indicate any peculiar 
knowledge of Persia on the part of the author of Est. 

(4) Most of the statements of Est. are unconfirmed by external 
evidence. The chief personages of the book, Vashti, Haman, 


Esther, Mordecai, are unknown to history. Ezr., Ne., the later 
Psalms, Sirach in his list of Hebrew worthies (Ecclus. 44-49), say 
nothing of the Jewish queen who saved her nation, or of the mighty 
Jewish chancellor who was "next unto King Ahasuerus, and 
great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his 
brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to 
all his seed" (io 3 ). Greek historians are equally silent about 
these two great personages. 

The book of Est. gives many proper names; e.g., the seven 
eunuchs (i 10 ), the seven princes (i 14 ), the chief eunuch (2 3 - 8 ), 
the ancestors of Mordecai (2 5 ), and of Esther (2 16 o 29 ), the two 
conspirators (2 21 ), the royal officials (2 14 4 s 7 9 ), the relatives of 
Haman (3* 5 10 Q 7-9 )- This fact has often been claimed as proof of 
the historical character of the book, but similar lists are found in 
Ch., Judith, Tob., S 1 , ® 2 , and other late and untrustworthy 
writings. Mere names prove nothing, except the inventive genius 
of an author, unless they are confirmed by external evidence. In 
the case of these names such evidence is not forthcoming. Not 
one of these persons is mentioned in the Greek account of Xerxes' 
reign, and their names cannot even be shown to have been in use 
in the time of Xerxes. In Problemes Bibliqties,=R£j. xxviii. 
(1894), J. Oppert makes an elaborate attempt to show that the 
proper names of Est. belong to the idiom of the Achaemenid dy- 
nasty, and could not have been invented by an author of the Gr. 
period; but in the opinion of the best authorities, he has not suc- 
ceeded in proving his contention. He assumes extensive textual 
corruption, and even then finds hardly any Old Pers. names that 
are known to us. A number of the names are certainly Persian, 
but it is not clear that they are Old Pers. Some are probably of 
Bab., Aram., or even Heb. origin. In the lists of i 10 - 14 9 7 - 9 some 
of the names are so much alike as to suggest that they are only 
traditional variants of a single form. All might have been gathered 
in the Gr. period by an author who knew something about Persia. 
The supposed Persian names are as follows: — 

X 9. 11. 12. 16. 16. 17. 19 2 1. 4. I7 f ip,^}; w £^,o &I VdStki HJ: AffTIV 

(&: karri C: a-try 55: OvaaSeiv g 3d ; Ovaa-rip L. This is identified 
by Justi, Handbuch der Zendsprache, p. 271; Oppert, Prob., p. 9, with 


Pers. Vahista, 'best'; but as a proper name this form is unknown. 
Jensen (WZKM. 1892, p, 70) connects it with Mashti (=Vashti), an 
Elamite goddess, just as he connects Hainan with Humman, an Elamite 
god, Mordecai with Mardnk, and Esther with Ishtar (see § 28). This 
identification is regarded as possible by Wild., Sieg., Zimmern, Haupt. 
According to Cheyne (EBi. 5247), Vashti is a corruption of Asshurith, 
'Asshur,' being often used as a synonym for Jerahmeel. 

i 10 , jp-mp: tw Afxav <S: Maosma (Maosinari) H: Ma.ovp.av 936: 
A.fav 249: Mauman J: ].1 Vuqi^o ('eunuchs') &: om. L. The older 
comm. compare with Pers. Meh-hum-van, 'belonging to the great 
Hum' (Hum being one of the Izeds). Oppert identifies with Pers. 
Vahumana, 'the generous'; similarly Scheftelowitz (Arisches im A. 7\, 
p. 47), Marquart (Fundamente, p. 71), comparing with the syllable 
man the Pers. names Aria nines, Arsamenes, Artamenes, Smerdomenes, 
Spitamenes, as recorded by Gr. writers. The name admits of a natural 
Semitic etymology from the root {DM, and will then mean 'the trusty.' 
It is so understood by &. 

i 10 , npu: Bazatha 3: \Z\£> &: Mctfci>(g (Bafap n <=• *•: Bafra A: Ia$av 
64: Afjuiv 249: Bafatfa C: Zafiada 936: Za/3a(j>) 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 
236: Nabattha (Abathan) H: om. L. This was formerly compared 
with N. Pers. Bista, 'castrated.' Oppert identifies with Pers. Barita, 
'lucky'; Scheftelowitz, with Vijita, 'victory.' Marquart prefers the form 
in (£, and supposes that the original text in % was jic or pm= 
Pers. Mazdana (cf. Ba^dvqs in the Alexander-Romance, 2 19 ). 

i 10 , Kj^ann: (H)arbonaH: Jjar^»»j &: Qappa (& (Apfiwva 93ft: Xapfiwpa 
C): (N)arbona 31: om. L. In 7 9 this appears as nnavi: jja_£u»i &: 
Bovyadav (g: Bovyafav X c - a : Bovradav N: Bovyada N* 71: Bou7a5ai' 
64: Taftovdas 93a: Boux a ^ a " 236: Aya^as L: A/3oi>xa5as (2a£ouxa5as) 
Jos. xi. §§ 261, 266: Buzatas (Baguas) 3j.: Apfiuva 936: Xapftova C. 
Oppert identifies with Pers. Uvarbdva, gen. Uvarbauna, 'splendour'; 
Schef., with O. Bactr. Kahrpuna, 'lizard'; Justi, with N. Pers. 
Kherbdn, 'ass-driver'; Marq., on the basis of Jos. SafiovxaSas, 
emends to Njmn=Pers. Huwar-baugana. 

i 10 , Nru3: BagathaS: )b-^> &■ Bwpafr <g (Bayada 93ft C): Thares 
(Tharas) 31: om. L. Apparently the same as (2 21 ) jru?: Bagathan J: 
^-^) &: om. <S (A 12 Tapada): Aaraov L (A 12 ): Ya^adav 93ft*: 
Ba/ratfaj' 249: Ba7a^a;os Jos. xi. § 207 w. var. : Bayadav M c - a ,n s su p: 
Bartageus (Bastageus) 3?: and 6 2 Njrua: Bagathan J: ^*p & : 
Ilastageo (Bastageo) £: om. LCI (exc. x c. a m g> g^b under *) (c/. i»« 
Meres and Marsena). Justi identifies with Bagadata and Bagadana, 
'gift of God'; Oppert, with Bagita, 'divine'; Schef., with Skr. Vighdta, 
'defense'; Marq. emends to Nmjn = Bagadata. 

i 10 , N ™?N w^j^^o UW« &: Apra{a(& (Afiyada 93a): Achedes 


{Cedes) C: om. L., Justi regards as the same as the last; Oppert, 
as Pers. Abagita, 'teacher'; Schef., as Skr. Avaghdla, 'blow.' Haupt 
(HM. ii. p. 125) regards as a gloss (or variant) to the preceding one; 
and thinks that the original name here was cnn, which is coupled 
with Bigthan in 2 21 6 2 <& A 12 . & reads Teresh here along with 
Abhaghtha, <S has Qappa as the equivalent of Harbona, and £ has 
it as the equivalent of Bightha. 

i 10 , "inj: Zethar 3: Zathi (Azatai) %: b£\ &: ZadoXda (& {ZijPadada A: 
ZadoXoa 249: Zapad 936; Zi70ap C: Za0o\/3a 71: Za0o\a(i) 44, 106): om. 
L. Oppert and Schef. identify with Pers. Zatar, Skr. jelar, 'victor.' 

i™, D?n3: ^*«s^ #: Gapapa (& (Qapa£ A: Bapcrapa 249: Axappas 
93&: Xapa/3as C: Adapapa 44, 71, io6)«: T(h)arecta H: om. L. Justi, 
Oppert, Schef., identify with Pers. Karkasa, 'vulture.' Marq. com- 
pares the form in <8 with Tiribazos. 

i 14 , wish?: Charsena 31: ^jJUQ £» LU -• *■; ^ & A : Ap/ce<rcuos <g 
(Xapo-ai' 936: Mardochceus %: om. L. Justi identifies with Pers. 
Keresna, 'black'; Oppert, with Pers. Karsana, 'killer'; Schef., 
with O. Bactr. Karasna, 'the slender'; Marq. reads tiW\^=Warka- 
cina, 'wolfish.' 

i», W; so Ni S N 2 Br. C B* B 2 G: W Ba.: Sethar 31: bb^\ &: 
Hapaadaios (& (Zapeffdeos A: Sapatfcuos 249: Aaada 93ft); Soratha 
(Soratheas) H: om. L. Formerly identified with 6V*ar, 'star.' Oppert 
and Schef. identify with O. Bactr. Shethra, Pers. Kshathra, 'lord.' 
Marq., on the basis of (&, emends to Tusnp, in the second part of 
which he recognizes the Pers. word shiyatish, c joy.' 

i 14 , w?>?7N: Admatha 31: ^oio?] &: om. <SHL: Justi, Oppert, and 
Schef. identify with Pers. Admata, 'unconquered,'=Gr. " ASpvqros. 
Raw. emends to M2r\ m \x= Artabanus. 

i 14 , tt"ttnn: Tharsis 3: » + - *-&^ £>: Pabataleus £: om. (SL. Ac- 
cording to Oppert, = Pers. Darsis, preserved in the Gr. form Dadarsis, 
a general under Darius. The Heb. form has been corrupted through 
influence of the geographical name Tarshish. Schef. identifies with O. 
Bactr. Tar shush, 'greedy.' On account of its absence from (S, 
Marq. regards it as merely a variant form of nna> above. 

i 14 , Dnp: Mares 3: wxooloj & (aaoio g» A ): Eas £: om. <& L. Ac- 
cording to Oppert, Schef., = Pers. Marsa, 'trial'; according to Marq., 
Haupt, it is a variant of the following name njdid (cf. above, i li0 , 
Bigtha and Bigthana). 

i 14 , NJCno: Marsana 3. ] ij w< ^ &: Ma\?7<rea/3 d: Vap.adag^b: Malesar 
(Malesath) H. According to Oppert, = Pers. Marithna, 'he who re- 
members'; according to Schef., derived from the same root as the last 
name; according to Raw., "Mardoniusis Marduniya in Old Persian, 
and would have been best expressed in Hebrew by NwnD. It may, 


however, not improbably have been originally written by the author 
(without the yod) KJ1T1D. This form would easily become njd^d, the 
D replacing the two letters n" (?). Marq. {Fund., p. 69) thinks that 
there were originally only three names in this list, as in <& and Dn. 6 3 , 
and that the list of seven has been manufactured in ill by insertion of 
variants and names borrowed from other parts of the book. 

i 14 - 21 , J>idc: Mamuchan J: ->o^^ j£: Muchaas^,: om. (& L. In 
i 1 *, paw: f>iD?? Q: Mamuchan J: ^nSV* &: Movxcuos (g: Bov7cuos 
L: Micheus (Mardochaus) ffi. Oppert equates with Pers. Vimukhna, 
'delivered'; Schef., with Skr. Mumucana, 'cloud.' 

2 3 , xjn: so S N 2 Br. CB'G Ba.: >on N 1 B 2 M Norzi: Egei 3: va^ci 
&: om. (& (v. 8 Tai): Twycuov L. In 2 8 - 15 , Wj: ei 3:Tat (& (Tarjv 249): 
Twycuov 93&: Bou7cuos L (Ffarycuos 93a): Oggeo H. Benfey (Monatsna- 
men, p. 192) compares Skr. /lga, 'eunuch'; Roediger (Ges. 77^s. Add., 
p. 83) compares 'H7^as, an officer of Xerxes (Ctesias, Pers., c. 24; Her. 
ix. ^); Schef. compares O. Bactr. Hugdo, 'possessing beautiful cows.' 

2 7 , "tf?nw: commonly identified with Pers. Stdra, 'star'; but, ac- 
cording to Jensen, = Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess (see §28). 

2 14 , 5&*te»* some codd. S B 1 : n.'f J?£ C Ba. G: Susagazi 3: j 1 4 ^4 J 1 4/ 
f$: Tcu (& (2 l a<xaya£ 936): om. L. Schef. identifies with O. Bactr. 
Sdsakshant, 'one anxious to learn'; most commentators suggest no 

2 21 , jrua, see above (i 10 ) ndj2. 

2 21 6 2 , ann: Thares 3: v-Av5Z &: om. <& (A 12 Oappa): Gedevrov L 
(A 12 ): Oapas 93ft *: Qappav 249: GeoSeo-ros Jos. xi. § 207 w. var. : The- 
destes C Oppert compares with Tiridates; Justi, with N. Pers. Tursh, 
'firm'; Schef., with Pers. Tarsha, 'desire,' see above (i 10 ) Nruaa. 

3 1 sq., jpn: Vrss. the same: Cod. 19 has Ap.pav. Oppert and most of 
the older comm. connect with N. Pers. Hamayun, supposing an O. Pers. 
form Hamana, 'illustrious.' Raw. identifies with Omanes, a Pers. 
name in classical writers, which he regards as etymologically the same 
as Eumenes. Benfey (in Bert. Com. a. I.) compares Pers. Homa= Skr. 
Soma, the sacred drink. Haman,= Soman, will then mean 'offerer 
of the Soma' (so Schef.). Jensen, WZKM. 1892, pp. 58/., identifies 
with Humban or Humman, the chief god of the Elamites. In this 
view he is followed by many recent critics (see § 28). 

31, Nrnnn: Zj^diji &: Ap.a5a.dov (gL: Avapadadov A: Apudov 19; 
Apxt8a8ovv 93a: Ap.ada5ov 106: om. IE. Benfey, Oppert, and Schef. 
identify with Hama-data, 'given by Hama' (the sacred drink). Oet. 
compares with M ah -data, 'given by the moon.' Pott (ZDMG. 1859, 
p. 424) identifies with MaSdrys. Jensen sees a compound of the same 
god Humman as in Haman. 

3S '■?***?• quierat de stirpe Agag 31: Bovyaiov <S L: Ma/ce56va L (A 17 ).* 


Tuyatov 93a: Ovyaiov C: om. 44, 106 fi. Oppert claims that it means 
'belonging to the tribe AgazV (=Agagi?), mentioned in the inscriptions 
of Sargon (cf. Winckler, Sargon, p. no). Haupt regards it as a cor- 
ruption of UKjn, 'the Gogite' {cf. Ez. 38). Most comm. think that it 
means a descendant of the Agag mentioned in 1 S. 15 (see com. on 3 1 ). 

45. 6. 9. io ? ^pn; j|nn var. Oc: AthachSi^at &: Ax/3a0cuoi><g: Axpadeov 
A: E7xpa5aior/ 44: A0a«: 936: E7%pa0cuo»' 106: A0ax C. Oppert identi- 
fies with Hataka, 'good'; Schef., with O. Bactr. Han-taka, 'courier.' 

510. u 6 13 , aHr: Zares J: v.^,jl S>: Zc^o-apa? (& L: 2a>(rapaj> A: Zapa<rav 
(Ya£a<rav, Tafayav) Jos. xi. § 245: Zosarra (Gozarra) C: Zwpa?' 936. 
Oppert and Raw. connect with Pers. Zara, 'gold' (c/. Vullers, Lexicon, 
ii. 1286); Schef., with O. Bactr. Zarsh, 'desirous.' Jensen, WZKM. 
1892, suggests that r*H may be a corruption of BPTU (c/. the forms in 
some of the Vrss. above), and that VM may be the same as the Elamite 
goddess Kirisha. Of late he has been inclined to identify her with 
Siris, the Babylonian goddess of wine (see § 28). 

9 7 , N n n;pn_s: so ffi (with small n): $ap<xav /ecu Near cup B N 52,248, 
Aid.: $ap<rav(v)e<7Ta(L)v M A 55, 64, 243: < £ctpcrai' L: Qapcravvtaiav 108a: 
3?ap<ravi<TTr}v 249: Qapaevbada 93^: Qapcravdada C: Zcj-»-a-3 & a : ^Q| * ■ *■- 
£lmu : orru £. Benfey, Keilinschr., and Oppert interpret as Per. 
Frasna-daia, 'given to prayer'; Raw., as 'given to Persia, or the 
Persians'; Schef., as Pers. Parshnodata, 'formed for defence.' Accord- 
ing to Justi (Eran. Namen, p. 243), the name occurs in Ph. letters on a 
seal. Cf. also the Pers. name Hapadovb-qs. 

9 7 , pflSj: Delphon 3: ^n -i\ *? # A : <aa^5 & LM U; AeXcpov <g: 
ade\<pwv x*: aal rbv &5e\<pbv avrov L: Ae\(pov 93ft, 108a: om. 3C. 
According to Raw. " Dalphon, which in Persian must have been Dar- 
phon or Darpon, is probably the Pers. representative of the Skr. 
Darpin, 'arrogant'" (similarly Oppert, Schef.). 

9 7 , xneDN: Esphatha J: Zaasj] S»: $(10-70, (g: <£ta7a K*: $0170, A: 
'fca/oj'a L: A<papvap 93a: <t>aa-Ta 74, 76?: Apicpada 93ft: <i>a77a 249: 
Aa<pada C: om. H. Benfey, Raw., Schef., and Oppert connect with 
aspa, 'horse,' and regard as a shortened form of Aspadata, 'gifted with 
a horse,' i.e., 'horseman,' or 'given by the sacred horse' (cf. Ges. Thes. 
Add., p. 71). 

9 8 , to-ps: *4 ^j Q & A; ' E "^ lj ° & LMU : 4>a/m5a0ct (5: <&apaa6a 
a: Bapdada A: Taya<pap5ada L: Qapdada 71, 74, 120, 236: *oiv>a- 
0a 936: Qapdada 243, 249, Aid.: Qopadada C: om. 21. According 
to Benfey=Pw/w/ato, 'given by lot, or fate'; according to Oppert, = 
Pers. Puruvata, 'aged'; according to Raw.,= Par u-ratha, 'having 
many chariots'; according to Schef., = 0. Bactr. Pouruta, 'mountain.' 

9 8 , N'VjKI 1 ^ * &: Bapaa B: Bape\ n A: Bapea many codd.: rods 
trtpovs 71: om. EH. According to Justi (Fran. N amen), — 'Afi6\ios; 



according to Schei.,=Addrya, 'honourable'; according to Oppert, = 
Adalya (for Adardiya), 'brave.' 

O 8 , Nn-pN: jZ-f+1 & A '- li-»? & LMU: 2ap£axa (g: Sap/Saica, some 
codd.: Sap/uaxa 76: Sap/ia/ca 120: 2apaj3axa 236: Apidada 93ft, C: om. 
L, 71, S. According to Benfey,= Hari-ddta, 'given by Hari (Vishnu) '; 
according to Raw.,= Ari-data, 'generous'; according to Oppert and 
$>chei.,=Ariya-data, 'sprung from the Aryan.' 

q 9 , Nn^pno: Kfuptni (both a> and n small) G:Phermesta 3: Zn Via?y °] 
# A : ZA M *"> & LMU : Map/xaaifia d>: Map/wiert/*, N 55, 64, 243, 248, 
Aid.: A: M<xpjua<rtav N: ~2iapp.a<Tiv 74: "Eappxivip. 76: 
MappaaaipM. L: 2aappa<rip. 120: ~2,aapp.aaeip 236: Qappocrda 936: <i>ap- 
paada C: om. H. According to Benary, = Skr. Parameshta, 'the 
greatest'; similarly Raw., = Pers. Fra-mathista, ' pramagnus'' (so also 
Oppert and Schef.). 

9 9 , ^ns: <*!&*? &: Apsaiov (& (tr. with next): Apveov k: Apiaai 
936, C: om. L C Composed, according to Raw., from the intensive 
particle ari and saya, 'to conquer,' or 'to go.' According to Oppert, 
the true reading is rns Aryiz= Ariagaya, 'shade of an Aryan.' Ac- 
cording to Schef., =Skr. Arya-faya, 'having Aryan property.' 

9 9 > n T1**" ^»'?l & : ~Pov<paiov <8»: Yovcpavov A: Apovcpaiov N 55, 64 
74, 76, 108a, 120, 236, 243, 248, Aid.: Apidai 936, C: om. L 3j. Raw. 
regards as composed of the intensive particle art and the root da, 'give'; 
according to Ges. Thes. Add.,=Hari-dayas, 'pleasure of Hari'; accord- 
ing to Schef., =Arya-ddya, 'gift of the Aryan.' 

99, Kry5: large 1, small?; so ffi: Jezatha 3J: ^o] &: Zafiovdaiop (g: 
ZapovSedav n: Zapovyada A: Zafiovdaidav N 55, 64, 243, 248, Aid.: 
Za<pov8at.dav 52: Zapovdadav 108a: Ifadovd L: Batfa^a C: Oucufatfa 
93ft. Benfey identifies with Pers. Wahyaz-ddta, 'gift of the Mighty 
One'; similarly Oppert. Raw. identifies with Vayu-zatha, 'strong as 
the wind,' and Schef. with O. Bactr. Vaya-zdta, 'son of maturity.' 

From the above survey it appears that the text of these names is very 
uncertain, that there is no agreement as to their Pers. identifications, 
and that none of the supposed Pers. names are otherwise known. 

(5) Some of the statements of this book are contradicted by the 
Greek historians. For instance, during the period between the 
7th and the 12th year (2 16 3 7 ) Xerxes' queen was not Esther but 
Amestris (Her. vii. 114; ix. 112). Since Scaliger's identification 
of Ahasuerus with Xerxes it has been customary to identify 
Esther with Amestris, but this is phonetically impossible. We 
know also from Her. vii. 61; Ctesias, 386, that Amestris was not a 
Jewess, but the daughter of a Persian general, and that she married 


Xerxes long before the action of this book begins. The suggestion 
of Sayce, that Esther was not the actual queen, but only a royal 
favourite, is contrary to the statement of 2 17 . 

According to i 1 8 9 , the Persian empire was divided into 127 
satrapies, but Her. iii. 89 knows only 20, and the Achaemenian 
inscriptions name no more than 27 (but see com. a. I.). In i 918 
it is assumed that Persian women were veiled, and that they could 
not show themselves at feasts, but this is contrary to the testimony 
of classical writers (cf. Her. ix. no/.). So far as we know, there 
was no reason why Vashti should refuse to show herself to the 
guests. The statement that the laws of the Medes and Persians 
could not be altered (i 19 8 8 ), which appears also in the late book 
of Daniel (6 9(8) ), is unconfirmed by any ancient evidence. It is 
a Jewish legend that is introduced here for the sake of making 
the decree of Purim more binding. The idea that no person could 
approach the King without summons on pain of death (4 11 ), so 
that the only way in which Esther could communicate with her 
husband was by risking her life, is an effective feature in the story, 
but is contrary to all that we know of old Persian court life (for 
further details, see the commentary on these passages). 

(6) There are a number of incidents in Est. which, although 
they cannot be shown to be unhistorical, are yet so contrary to 
Persian law and custom as to be improbable. Thus the sugges- 
tion of the King's servants (2 2 ) and the edict of the King (2* 8 ) 
that maidens of all nations should be gathered in order that from 
them he might select a successor to Vashti, and the choice of Esther 
without inquiry as to her race (2 10 *- 17 ), are contrary to the law of 
the Avesta and the testimony of Her. iii. 84, that the Queen might 
be selected only from seven of the noblest Persian families. Mor- 
decai's free access to Esther (2 11 4 217 ) is contrary to the custom 
of Oriental harems. According to 4 2 he might have entered, 
but for the fact that he was dressed in sackcloth. The appoint- 
ment of two foreigners, Haman the Agagite (cf. Nu. 24 7 1 S. 15 8 ), 
and Mordecai the Jew, as prime ministers (3 1 io 3 ) is not consistent 
with Persian usage. The issuing of decrees in the languages of 
all the provinces (i 22 3 12 ) was not the ordinary method of the Per- 
sian empire. For this purpose Aramaic was employed. 


(7) The book contains a number of inconsistencies with itself. 
In 2 5 Mordecai is one of the captives carried away with Jehoia- 
chin in 596 B.C., but in 3 7 8 2 he becomes prime minister in the 12th 
year of Xerxes, 474 B.C., i.e., 122 years later, and apparently en- 
joys his office for a considerable time after this (10 2 - 3 ). In 3 2 * 
4 1 Mordecai parades the fact that he is a Jew, but in 2 10 he forbids 
Esther to make her kindred known. Esther successfully conceals 
the fact that she is a Jewess from the King, Haman, and everybody 
else (2 10 2<) 7 3 f •), and yet Mordecai, who is well known to be a Jew, 
is her uncle and comes to the palace every day to inquire after 
her (2 11 ), and all the Jews in Susa fast for her before she ventures 
to go to the King (4 16 ). Haman obtains an edict to destroy the 
Jews, because Mordecai the Jew will not do obeisance to him 
(3 6 ), but Haman's friends and family are ignorant of Mordecai's 
race (6 13 ). Xerxes delivers the Jews to destruction (3 11 ), yet heaps 
honours upon Mordecai (6 10 f •). Haman is still the royal favourite, 
but he is given the menial task of conducting Mordecai through 
the streets (6 10f •). Xerxes authorizes the act of Haman (3 11 ), yet 
he is much surprised at the information Esther gives him of Ha- 
man's plot (7 6f •). 

(8) The book contains a number of statements which cannot 
be proved to be untrue, but which are so intrinsically improbable 
that one has difficulty in believing that they are historical. Such 
are the gathering of nobles from all the provinces from India to 
Ethiopia for a feast of 180 days (1 1 - 3 ); Vashti's refusal to come 
at the King's command (i 12 ); the council of princes to determine 
what should be done to Vashti (1 13 - 15 ); the decision that her con- 
duct endangered the authority of husbands throughout the empire, 
and the decree sent out to all the provinces that wives must obey 
their husbands (i 16 - 22 ); the gathering of droves of fair maidens out 
of all the provinces (2 1 - 4 ); the 12 months' rubbing-down with per- 
fumes required of each maiden before she was brought to the King 
(2 12 ); the four years that Esther had to wait before her turn came 
(2 16 ); Haman a descendant of Agag, King of the Amalekites, the 
earliest enemies of Israel (Ex. 17 8 Nu. 24 7 1 S. 15 8 ); and Mordecai 
a descendant of Saul who overthrew Agag (3 1 2 5 ); the failure to 
reward Mordecai when he discovers the plot, but the writing of 


his deed in the royal annals (2 23 ); the long toleration of Mordecai 
by Haman (3 s ); the 10,000 talents offered the King by Haman 
for the destruction of the Jews, based apparently upon a calcu- 
lation of a mina each for the 600,000 males of Nu. 26" (3", cf. 
2I 1 and QI 2 a. I.); the edict for the universal destruction of the 
Jews and the promulgation of it a year in advance (3 8 - w ); the sorrow 
of the city of Susa over the edict (3 16 ); Esther's failure to ask for 
the life of her people when the King is favourable toward her 
(5 4 ), and again at the banquet (5 7 ); the gallows 83 feet high (5 14 ); 
the King's reading in the chronicles at night (6 1 ); Hainan's coming 
at night to ask that Mordecai may be hanged (6 4 ); Haman's failure 
to plead ignorance of Esther's race (7 s ); the way in which the 
King is brought to condemn him (7 s ); the edict allowing the Jews 
to kill the Persians and take their property (8 U ); and the non- 
resistance of the Persians (92 f •); the second day of slaughter (o 13f -). 
The account of the origin of Purim given by this book is also 
historically improbable. It represents this feast as instituted by 
Esther and Mordecai and as adopted by the Jews in commemora- 
tion of their deliverance from the destruction planned by Haman; 
but Purim is not a Heb. word, and it is not natural that a Jewish 
national commemoration should be called by a foreign name. 
In 3 7 9 26 it is said that the feast is so called because " Haman cast 
pur, that is, the lot"; but it is unlikely that this trivial circumstance 
of the way in which Haman determined the day of destruction 
should give its name to the day of deliverance. The author also 
does not explain why the plural Purim is used. Moreover, there 
is no Pers. word pur with the meaning 'lot.' If Purim had orig- 
inated in the time of Xerxes, as Est. represents, and had been en- 
joined upon all the Jews in all provinces of the empire (9 20 ), and 
had been accepted by the Jews for themselves and their posterity 
(9"), there is no reason why it should not have been included in 
the Priestly Code as promulgated by Ezra. That code contains 
other late institutions, such as the Day of Atonement and Feast of 
Trumpets, that are unknown to the early codes. The oft-repeated 
argument, that the existence of the feast of Purim is a witness to 
the historical character of the Book of Est., since institutions do 
not come into existence without a reason, has no value. Purim, 


of course, must have had an origin, but it is not necessary that it 
should have been the origin recorded by Est. Religious tales are 
often a secondary invention designed to explain already existing 
religious institutions. 

In view of these facts the conclusions seem inevitable that the 
Book of Est. is not historical, and that it is doubtful whether even 
a historical kernel underlies its narrative. It comes from the same 
age and belongs to the same class of literature as the Jewish 
romances Daniel, Tobit, Judith, 3 Ezra (1 Esdras) and the story 
of Ahikar. Its main ideas are derived from the same cycle of 
legends from which these works have drawn their materials, and 
in many particulars it bears a close resemblance to them. 

In all these legends the scene is laid at the court of a powerful and 
splendour-loving king of ancient times (cf. Nebuchadnezzar and Bel- 
shazzar in Daniel; Darius, in 3 Ezr.; Holophernes, in Judith; Sarche- 
donus, son of Sennacherib, in Ahikar (cf. Tob. i 21 - 22 ). In all mag- 
nificent feasts are described, wise men who know the times and the seasons 
play an important part, numerous edicts are sent out by the King to 
all parts of his empire, and these decrees are irrevocable, even when the 
King himself wishes to change them. In all an enemy arises who 
seeks to destroy the Jews, and who has a special animosity against one 
leading Jew. In Esther it is Haman; so also in Tob. 14 10 , according 
to one form of the text, in other recensions his name is Adam or Nadab; 
similarly in the story of Ahikar; in Daniel it is the officers and satraps 
of the King (cf. 6 3 *■); in Judith it is Holophernes, the general of Neb- 
uchadnezzar. Esther, the deliverer of her people, has a counter- 
part in Judith; in fact, the resemblance between the two characters is 
so close that Jensen and Erbt hold that the Book of Judith was written 
for the same purpose as Est., namely, to be read at the celebration of 
the feast of Purim. Mordecai, the Jewish chancellor, who is next to 
the King, is the analogue of Daniel, who is set by Nebuchadnezzar 
over all the wise men of Babylon (Dn. 2 48 ), who maintains this position 
under Belshazzar ($"■ 29 ), under Darius (6 3f ) and Cyrus (6 23 ); also 
of Zerubbabel, who in 3 Ezr. wins the first place among the pages in 
the reign of Darius; and of Ahikar, the cup-bearer, keeper of the seal, 
chancellor, and chief treasurer of Sarchedonus, King of Assyria, in the 
Story of Ahikar, and Tob. i 21f - 2 10 n 18 14 10 . In all these stories the 
enemies of the Jews fail at the moment of their expected triumph, and 
perish by the same fate that they had planned for the Jews. So in Est. 
Haman is hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. 


In Dn. the accusers of Daniel's three friends are cast into the fiery 
furnace that they had made ready, and the enemies of Daniel are flung 
into the lions' den to which they had condemned him. (For further 
details see Erbt, Purimsage, pp. 45-49.) 

De Goeje, in the Dutch journal De Gids, hi. (1886), pp. 385-413, and 
in the article "Thousand and One Nights" in EB. 9 , xxiii. (1886) 
traces parallels also between the Book of Esther and the tales of the 
Arabian Nights. In the article in EB. he speaks thus: "Persian tra- 
dition (in Firdausi) makes Princess Homai the daughter and wife of 
Bahman Ardashir, i.e., Artaxerxes I. Longimanus. . . . Firdausi 
says that she was also called Shahrazad. This name and that of Dinazad 
both occur in what Mas'udi tells of her. According to him, Shahrazad 
was Homai's mother (ii. 129), a Jewess (ii. 123). Bahman had married 
a Jewess (i. 118), who was instrumental in delivering her nation from 
captivity. In ii. 122 this Jewish maiden who did her people this service 
is called Dinazad, but "the accounts," says our author, "vary." Plainly 
she is the Esther of Jewish story. Tabari (i. 688) calls Esther the 
mother of Bahman, and, like Firdausi, gives to Homai the name of 
Shahrazad. The story of Esther and that of the original Nights have 
in fact one main feature in common. In the former the king is offended 
with his wife, and divorces her; in the Arabian Nights he finds her un- 
faithful, and kills her. But both stories agree that thereafter a new wife 
was brought to him every night, and on the morrow passed into the 
second house of the women (Esther), or was slain (Nights). At length 
Esther or Shahrazad wins his heart and becomes queen. The issue 
in the Jewish story is that Esther saves her people; in the Nights the 
gainers are "the daughters of the Moslems," but the old story had, of 
course, some other word than "Moslems." Esther's foster-father 
becomes vizier, and Shahrazad's father is also vizier. Shahrazad's 
plan is helped forward in the Nights by Dinazad, who is, according 
to Mas'udi, her slave girl, or, according to other MSS., her nurse, and, 
according to the Fihrist, the king's stewardess. The last account 
comes nearest to Esther ii. 15, where Esther gains the favour of the king's 
chamberlain, keeper of the women. It is also to be noted that Ahasuerus 
is read to at night when he cannot sleep (Esther vi. 1). . . . It appears 
that (at least in part) the book of Esther draws on a Persian source." 
This comparison finds the approval of Kuenen, Onderzoek, i. 551, and 
of A. Muller, in Beitr. zur Kunde der indogermanischen Sprachen, xiii. 
p. 223. 

In the presence of these analogies there is no more reason why 
one should assume a historical basis for the story of Est. than for 
these other admittedly unhistorical works which it so closely re- 


sembles. If it is not historical, the question then rises, How did 
this story originate? It is connected in the closest way with the 
feast of Purim; and if the events here narrated did not create the 
feast, then the feast probably created the story, for comparative 
religion shows that institutions which do not have a historic origin, 
are often provided in course of time with a supposedly historical 
interpretation. That raises the question of the real origin of 
Purim; for if this can be discovered, it will probably throw light 
upon the genesis of the Esther-legend and of its counterparts in 
Jewish romances of the last two pre-Christian centuries. 


(1) Theories that assign Purim a Jewish origin. — A number of 
critics who have doubted the historical character of Est. have 
nevertheless believed that Purim must have a Jewish origin, and 
that it must be based upon some fact of deliverance in Jewish 
history, for otherwise they cannot explain its admission by the 
religious authorities into the sacred calendar. 

Bleek, Einleitung 6 , p. 238, suggests that the feast may originally have 
been a commemoration of the deliverance from the Babylonian Exile. 
H. Willrich, Judaica (1900), pp. 1-28, "Der historische Hintergrund 
des Buches Esther und die Bedeutung des Purimfestes," maintains 
that Est. was written in 48 B.C. and reflects the historical experiences of 
the Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt under the rule of the Ptolemies. 
Ahasuerus is the counterpart of Ptolemy Physcon (Euergetes II), 
Vashti is Cleopatra II, Esther is Cleopatra III, and Mordecai is Dosi- 
theus. Haman is the anti-Jewish party at the Egyptian court. The 
massacre of the enemies of the Jews is the massacre of the Cyreneans 
at the beginning of Physcon's reign (Diod. xxxiii. 13). The feast of 
Purim is the commemoration of the founding of Jewish military colonies 
by Ptolemy Philometor and the name 'lots' refers to the lots that were 
drawn at the distribution of lands. This fanciful theory rests upon the 
assumption that the Greek text of Est. is more original than the He- 
brew (cf. § 20), and that the subscription at the end of the Greek recen- 
sion is trustworthy (see § 13). It has found no favour thus far among 

According to T. K. Cheyne, EBi. iii. (1902), 3983, "Mordecai has 
no connection with Marduk, but is simply a corruption of a name such 


as Carmeli (one of the popular distortions of Jcrahmecli). . . . Hadas- 
sah and Esther seem to be equally remote from Istar, being simply 
variants of the same name, which in its original form is Israelith (cp. 
Judith). Haman is Heman or Hemam. Hammedatha is an out- 
growth of Hemdan (Gn. 36 26 ). In fact, the original Esther referred 
to a captivity of the Jews in Edom {cp. Obadiah). . . . The origin of 
'Purim' cannot be finally settled. In the view of the present writer, 
however, it is not improbable that Pur and Purim are corruptions of 
a place-name, and that place-name very possibly was some collateral 
form of Ephrath, for there seems to have been an Ephrath in Jerah- 
meelite territory. ... It is at Ephrath that the peril and the deliver- 
ance of the Jews are localized." This theory can be estimated only as 
a part of Cheyne's elaborate reediting of the OT. in the interest of 
Jerahmeel, on which see H. P. Smith, in American Journ. Theol., Oct., 
1907; N. Schmidt, in Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1908. 

More plausible than any of the foregoing hypotheses is that of 
J. D. Michaelis, Orient. Bibl., ii. (1772), p. 36, and in his German 
translation of Maccabees (1778), p. 168, that Purim was founded 
to commemorate the victory of Judas Maccabseus over Nicanor, 
the general of the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes, on the 13th 
of Adar 161 B.C. (cf. 1 Mac. 7 3s&0 2 Mac. i$**-**; Jos. Ant. xii. 
409; Megillath Ta'anith, c. 12). After this victory it was decreed 
that the 13th of Adar should be kept as a holiday (1 Mac. 7 49 
2 Mac. 15 36 ), but this is the day on which, according to the Book 
of Esther, Haman planned to destroy the Jews, and on which they 
were rescued by the intervention of Esther. According to Mi- 
chaelis, Purim is derived from pilrd, 'wine-press,' with allusion 
to the victory, which is regarded as the wine-press of God's wrath 
against the enemies of his people. 

This view has been followed by Reuss, Geschichte 2 (1890), p. 616, 
and by W. Erbt, Die Purimsage in der Bibel (1890), who also compares 
Esther's other name Hadassah with Adasa, the scene of Judas' victory 
over Nicanor (1 Mac. 7 40 - 45 ; Jos. Ant. xii. 408). Following Halevy, 
Erbt derives the name Purim from the root parar, 'break in pieces.' 
On this view the Esther-legend stands in no genetic relation to the feast of 
Purim, but is a combination of a Persian saga with a late Babylonian 
myth, that has been taken by the author as a symbol of the victory 
over Nicanor. 

This is also the theory of C. H. W. Johns in EBi. iv. 3980: "Whilst 


the Nicaiior clay is probably the starting-point of the specifically Jewish 
festival, which may be artificial and intentional, the older sources of 
the Megillah are probably Gentile, Babylonian, with some Persian in- 
fluence, and a free adaptation of material." 

A similar view is held by P. Haupt, Purim (1906). On p. 3 he says: 
"The Book of Esther was composed by a Persian Jew (under the reign 
of the nephew of Judas Maccabaeus, John Hyrcanus, about 130 B.C.) 
as a festal legend for Nicanor's Day which was observed in commem- 
oration of the great victory gained by Judas Maccabaeus over the Syrian 
general Nicanor at Adasa on the 13th of Adar, 161 B.C. This com- 
memoration of Nicanor's Day was combined with the observance of 
the ancient Persian New Year's festival which is celebrated at the time 
of the vernal equinox. The Persian spring festival, known as Nauroz, 
whose institution is ascribed to the mythical king Jemshid, or Yim, is 
no doubt based on the Babylonian New Year's festival." On p. 21 
he sums up his argument thus: "I believe therefore that Purim is de- 
rived from an Old Persian equivalent of Vedic purti 'portion.' Purim 
'portions, gifts' (Heb. manoth Est. o 19 - 22 ) corresponds to the Latin 
strencB, French etrennes. The explanation of Yeme PHrim as 'Days 
of the Lots' is a subsequent popular etymology suggested by the Heb. 
word for 'portion' in the sense of 'lot, destiny' as well as by oracular 
practices observed on New Year's Eve. The Book of Esther, just as 
the Book of Judith, is a festal legend for the Feast of Purim; it is not a 
historical book, or a historical novel, but entirely fictitious. The inci- 
dents related were suggested by the sufferings of the Jews during the 
Syrian persecution and their glorious victory over Nicanor on the 13th 
of Adar, 161 B.C. Nicanor is the prototype of Haman, and the honors 
bestowed on Mordecai correspond to the distinctions conferred on the 
Maccabee high-priest Jonathan, the younger brother and successor of 
Judas Maccabaeus. The names of Haman and Vashti are Susian or 
Elamite, while Mordecai and Esther correspond to the Babylonian 
Marduk and IStar. The antagonism between Haman and Vashti, on 
the one hand, and Mordecai and Esther on the other, may have been 
suggested by an ancient Babylonian festal legend celebrating a victory 
gained by the chief god of Babylon over the principal deity of the Elam- 
ites; and this may ultimately be a nature myth symbolizing the victory 
of the deities of Spring over the frost-giants of Winter who hate the sun- 
shine and always plot to bring back Winter to the earth, just as the 
frost-giants of Jotunheim in old Norse mythology hated the beautiful 
god Balder, with whose presence Summer came back to the ice-bound 
earth. Mordecai, the god of the vernal sun, triumphed over the frost- 
giant Haman, who was a braggart like Hrungner, the strongest of the 
giants in Jotunheim, and the winter of Judah's discontent and oppression 
was made glorious summer by the sun of Judas Maccabaeus." 


The difficulties of this theory of an origin of Purim in Nicanor's 
Day are, first, that the feast of Purim does not fall on the 13th of 
Adar, the day of the victory over the Syrians, but, according to 
the Book of Est., on the 14th and the 15th of Adar (9 17 - 21 ); and on 
these days, according to all our historical evidence, they were 
always celebrated. 1 Mac. y*J speaks of the institution of Nicanor's 
Day, on the 13th of Adar, but does not call it Purim or make any 
mention of the story of Esther and Mordecai. 2 Mac. 15 36 says 
that, in memory of the victory over Nicanor, "They all ordained 
with a common decree in no wise to let this day pass undistin- 
guished, but to mark with honour the thirteenth day of the twelfth 
month (it is called Adar in the Syrian tongue), the day before the 
day of Mordecai." Here the "day of Mordecai" on the 14th is 
carefully distinguished from the day of Nicanor on the 13th. In 
like manner Josephus, Ant. xi. 292 says, "The Jews that were in 
Susa gathered themselves together and feasted on the fourteenth 
day and the one that followed it; whence it is that even now all 
the Jews that are in the habitable earth keep these days as a feast 
by distributing presents to one another." The ancient Aramaic 
chronicle Megillath Ta'anith, which is old enough to be cited in 
the Mishna, gives a list of days on which it is forbidden to fast. 
In xii., lines 30-31, it says, "The 13th (of Adar) is the Day of 
Nicanor. The 14th and 15th are the Days of Purim. Fasting 
is forbidden " (see Derenbourg, Histoire de la Palestine, pp. 442^. ). 
In these, our oldest authorities, there is no confusion between the 
Day of Nicanor and the Days of Purim, but the two are regarded 
as independent festivals. Reuss suggests that the feast of Nicanor 
commemorating a purely political event, was soon forgotten, and 
that then the 13th of Adar became a preparatory fast to the feast 
of Purim; but this does not explain why Purim is kept on the 
14th and 15th of Adar, if it commemorates the victory over Nicanor 
on the 13th. Erbt, Purimsage, pp. 79 ff., solves the difficulty 
by the assumption of an earlier shorter recension of Est. in which 
the keeping of the 13th day was prescribed. Subsequently the 
Jews dedicated the 14th to Mordecai; but in Jerusalem, where two 
Nicanor Days were kept, the Day of Mordecai could not be ob- 
served until the 15th. Afterward the Day of Nicanor, from 


which the whole development had started, was forgotten, and a 
late redactor tried to reconcile the differences of practice between 
Jerusalem and the rural districts by enjoining the keeping of two 
Days of Purim. All this is artificial in the last degree. It is simply 
a piling up of unlikely hypotheses in order to prove another un- 
likely hypothesis. 

In the second place, Esther, the heroine of the book that bears 
her name, has nothing to do with the victory of Judas Maccabaeus. 
If Haman is the counterpart of Nicanor and Mordecai of Judas, 
we should expect to find some woman conspicuously concerned 
in the overthrow of Nicanor, but this is not the case. Here once 
more Erbt comes to the rescue of his theory with another theory. 
He splits the Book of Est. into two narratives, a story of Mordecai 
and a story of Est., and maintains that the former was the original 
commemoration of the victory over Nicanor, and that the latter is 
an addition to the legend. According to Haupt (p. 7), "The 
prototype of Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther is Alexander Balas 
of Syria, while the prototype of Esther is Alexander's wife, the 
Egyptian princess Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy VI. Philometor 
and his sister Cleopatra, who both were very friendly disposed 
toward the Jews. . . . The figure of Esther also bears some 
traces of Ithaca or Irene (the favourite concubine of Ptolemy 
Philometor's coregent and successor, his brother Ptolemy Physcon) 
who besought Ptolemy Physcon to abandon his plan of extermi- 
nating the Alexandrian Jews." But the only point of similarity 
between Cleopatra and Irene and Esther is that both were favour- 
able to the Jews. They had nothing to do with the overthrowal 
of Nicanor, and therefore it is hard to see why they should be 
dragged into a legend that is meant to commemorate Judas' 

A third objection to this theory is that it recognizes no organic 
connection between the feast of Purim and the festal legend com- 
posed for its celebration. The feast is of Jewish origin, but the 
legend associated with it is of Babylonian-Persian origin. How 
did this peculiar combination come about? If Purim were a 
Babylonian or a Persian feast, one could understand how the story 

that had been connected with it from time immemorial should 


still be attached to it when this feast was adopted by the Jews; but 
one cannot see how the Jews came to tell a Babylonian or a Persian 
story, that originally had an entirely different meaning, in con- 
nection with a Jewish historical anniversary. On p. n Haupt 
says, "The contemporaries of the author of the Book of Esther 
understood the allusions to Nicanor, Jonathan, Alexander Balas, 
Cleopatra, Irene, &c. . . . just as well as the readers of Heinrich 
von Kleist's Hermanns schlacht perceived the contemporary refer- 
ences in the patriotic drama of the Prussian poet. This can hardly 
be called a very good Hebrew or Semitic analogy. The Book of 
Job, that Haupt also alludes to, has no bearing on the case. Where 
have we another instance in the OT. of the observance of a holy 
day by the reading of a story that has no obvious connection with 
the meaning of the day in question? The deliverance from 
Egypt is celebrated by the reading of the story of the Exodus, not 
of an account of Marduk's victory over Tiamat. The destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem is commemorated by the reading of the Book of 
Lamentations, in which this event is described, not by an account 
of the fall of Humbaba before Gilgamesh. Why then should 
not Judas' victory over Nicanor be celebrated by a narrative of 
that event, instead of by an allegorical adaptation of a Persian- 
ized Babylonian myth? 

A fourth objection to this theory is its failure to give a satis- 
factory Hebrew etymology for the name Purim. A feast that the 
Jews themselves had invented to celebrate an important event in 
their own history they would not have called by a Babylonian or 
Persian name for which no rational explanation can be given. 
This consideration applies with equal force to any theory that 
assigns Purim a Hebrew origin. A feast that bears a foreign 
name must have been derived from a foreign source — such is the 
opinion of the majority of critics of the present day. As Kuenen, 
Onderzoek, p. 545, also observes, this theory best explains the un- 
historical character of the book. A feast that had a historical Jew- 
ish origin could best be justified by telling the true story of its insti- 
tution, but a feast derived from the heathen could only be justified 
by a fiction. The a priori objection raised by Konig, Einleitung, 
p. 292, and Erbt, p. 76, that religious scruples would have pre- 


vented the post-exilic Jews from borrowing a heathen festival, 
is not weighty. In their early history the Hebrews adopted all 
the agricultural festivals of the Canaanites and transformed them 
into national memorials. Several Babylonian holy days have 
been similarly transformed in the Priestly Code. In later times 
difficulty would doubtless be felt in adopting religious festivals, 
but the same opposition would not be raised against secular anni- 
versaries and holidays, such as the feast of Purim is. Many 
modern Jews keep Christmas and other national holidays as secular 
celebrations, and it is quite conceivable that in process of time 
they should make them a part of their calendar and give them a 
Jewish interpretation. The newspapers lately reported that a 
convention of Jewish rabbis had decided to keep the American 
national holiday of Thanksgiving Day, and to make it a celebra- 
tion of the first landing of the Jews in America. This is a good 
illustration of the process that in all ages has been going on in 
Judaism of absorbing all sorts of alien elements and assimilating 
them to the national genius. There is no difficulty, therefore, in 
supposing that Purim was originally a heathen festival that the 
Jews learned to keep in one of the lands of their exile, and for 
w r hich they subsequently invented the pseudo-historical justifica- 
tion that the Book of Esther contains. The history of religion is 
full of analogous instances in which heterogeneous institutions have 
been given a new interpretation by the sects which have adopted 

(2) Theory of a Greek origin of Purim. — H. Gratz, "Der 
historische Hintergrund und die Abfassung des B. Est. und der 
Ursprung des Purimfestes," MGWJ. xxxv. (1886), pp. 425^".; 
47 3 Jf. ; 52 iff., maintains that Purim is the Greek feast of ttlOoljlci, 
or 'the cask-opening,' the Vinalia of the Romans, a season char- 
acterized by wine-drinking and sending of presents just as Purim 
was. This he holds was introduced by Joseph, the tax-gatherer, 
in the reign of Ptolemy Philopator (222-205 B - c ( c f- J os - Ant. 
xii. 160 Jf.). Following J. D. Michaelis, he explains Purim as an 
otherwise unknown plural of the Heb. word pilrd, 'wine-press,' 
and supposes that this name was given with reference to the open- 
ing of the wine-casks. But wine-presses are not wine-casks, and 


they suggest rather the autumn than the spring-time, when the 
Pithoigia were celebrated. The intense reaction against every- 
thing Greek that obtained during the Maccabaean period makes 
it unlikely that a Greek festival, so recently introduced as this 
theory assumes, could have gained so strong a hold on the affec- 
tions of the people that the religious authorities were unable to 
dislodge it. Moreover, this theory fails to give an explanation 
of the way in which the Esther-legend, which evidently is not of 
Greek origin, came to be connected with a Greek feast. This 
theory, accordingly, has found no favour among critics. 

(3) Theories of a Persian origin of Purim. — If a foreign origin 
is to be sought for the feast of Purim, one naturally thinks first of 
Persia. The scene of the Book of Est. is laid in that land, and 
it contains a number of Persian words and allusions to Persian 
customs {cf. § 25, and § 27, 3). In 3 7 the word pur, from which 
Purim is supposed to come, is explained as though it were Persian. 
In 9 17 sq. it is the Persian Jews who inaugurate the keeping of 
the feast. These facts suggest that Purim was originally a Persian 
feast that was learned by the Jews residing in Susa and its vicinity, 
and that from them it spread to the Jews in other parts of the 

E. Meier, Geschichte der poetischen National- Liter atur der Hebraer 
(1856), p. 506, speaks thus: "The name of this feast suggests at once its 
foreign origin. It is Persian, and our author interprets it as 'lot' 
(Pers. bahr), but incorrectly. Purim is clearly originally the great 
feast of the redemption of Nature, the spring festival (otherwise known 
as neuruz among the Persians), but here derived from Pers. behdr, 
'spring.' In Persia the Jews became acquainted with this feast, took 
part in it, until at length it became quite their own, and then retained 
it even after the Persian dominion was past. Our author wishes to 
recommend this feast to his fellow-countrymen in Palestine, and seeks 
to give it, like the Passover, a historical basis, and thus to nationalize 
it" (cf. Meier, Hebr. Wurzelworterbuch, p. 716). 

F. Hitzig, Geschichte des Volkes Israels (1869), p. 280, says: "The 
Persian in our author's field of vision seems to be traversed by another 
language that is neither Aryan nor Semitic, in which pur meant 'lot' 
(3 7 ); but that the feast of Purim derived its name from this (o 26 ) does not 
sound probable. Adar (March) is the last month, and in the spring 
the Persians also began their year. Now, in modern Arabic New Year 


is called phur; the Persian p-urdeghdn (intercalary days) belong here 
also, being derived from Skr. purva, 'the first, the preceding,' just as 
sijdh, ' black, ' goes back to Zend cjdva. Since, moreover, on account of 
the description which 3 s gives of the Jews, the book must be brought 
down to the times after the colonization by Seleucus Nicator, etc., it was 
probably composed under Parthian rule after the year 238. The Par- 
thians of Scythian stock may have had words like pur, 'lot,' Agha, 
from which perhaps comes A gag, and others." 

Similarly J. Fiirst, Kanon des A. T. (1868), pp. 104^"., and L. Zunz, 
ZDMG. xxvii. (1873), p. 686, hold that Purim is an adaptation of a 
Persian spring festival. 

L. S. P. Meijboom (not Meyboom, as his name is spelled in all the hand- 
books) in his chapter on Esther in Raadselachtige Verhalen uit het 
Oude en het Niewe Verbond (1870), p. 114, also identifies Purim with 
the Persian New Year festival; and in addition to this seeks to give the 
characters in the Book of Est. a mythological interpretation: "The name 
Vashti may be the Persian behischta, 'belonging to Paradise,' Esther, 
the Sanskrit stdrd, which agrees with the Greek astron, our star, and may 
denote the star par excellence, i.e., the sun. She is also called Hadassa, 
i.e., 'the swift.' For Mordecai the dictionaries give the meaning of 
'mannikin,' and this name of the faithful guardian of Esther is excep- 
tionally appropriate to the moon. The conception of the moon as a 
man, sometimes as a woman, we find also among the Indo-Germans. 
It is better, however, to think of the Sanskrit chdyd, 'shadow,' and 
mard, 'make weak/ then 'melt'; and consequently to give the name 
Mordecai the meaning of 'shadow-melter,' which is not less appropriate 
to the moon. Haman's name finally is related to hima, hiems, cheimon, 
which all mean winter, and all agree with the Sanskrit heman." Meij- 
boom then proceeds to show how the story of Esther depicts the victory 
of the gods of summer over the gods of winter. 

A more important form of the Persian theory is that first proposed 
by J. von Hammer in the Wiener Jahrbiicher fiLr Liter atur (1872), 
xxxviii. p. 49, namely, that Purim is the same as the Pers. Farvardigdn, 
a feast in memory of the dead, that was kept on the last ten days of the 
year and included the 5 intercalary days that were necessary to equalize 
the civil year of 360 days with the solar year. Lagarde, Purim, ein 
Beitrag zur Geschichte der Religion (1887), observed the fact that in the 
Lucianic recension of the Greek version Purim is represented by 
Phourdaia (in the common text Phroufai). This he regarded as the 
original form of the name, and as etymologically identical with Pers. 
Farvardigdn. In New Pers. this appears as Pordigdn, which seems to 
be the same as Phourdigan, a feast of the Persians mentioned by the 
Byzantine historian Menander in the sixth century. The original Heb. 
form of the name he holds was Purdaiya, which has been preserved in 


the Lucianic text, and Purim is a late Jewish corruption of the name. 
The testimony of 3 7 that the feast was named after pur, 'the lot,' he 
rejects as a textual corruption. Similarly Renan, Histoire du peuple 
d' 'Israel, iv. (1892), connects the name with Pers. Fourdi= Aram. 
Pourdai= Heb. Pourdim= Purim. 

F. Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode (1892), pp. 42-45, rejects 
Lagarde's etymology of the name Purim, but follows him in his identi- 
fication of this feast with Farvardigdn, the Persian All Souls' Day. 
The avoidance of the name of God in Est. is best explained, he main- 
tains, as due to the fact that this feast belonged to the cult of the dead. 
The fast and the feast of Purim must have had originally a religious 
meaning; but if they had been dedicated to the God of Israel, there 
would have been no reason for inventing a story to explain them. They 
cannot have been of heathen origin, for then they would not have been 
adopted by post -exilic Judaism. Midway between Yahwism and 
heathenism, however, stands the cult of the dead, that was practised 
in Israel from the earliest times and that never died out. In Farvar- 
digdn the Jews found something congenial to their ancient beliefs and 
practices, and therefore adopted it more readily. The banquets that 
accompany Purim suggest the feasts of the dead, and the presents are 
a survival of offerings to the dead. In Jewish tradition the month 
Adar is specially connected with commemorations of the dead. In it 
fall the death-days of Moses, Elijah, and Miriam. In it the graves are 
whitewashed, and this is a custom that can be traced back to Persia. 
In a Purim-legend published by Sachau, Haman sits by the graveyard 
and exacts 3 \ dirhams for every corpse. Purim is best explained as a 
"disguised feast of the dead." This view has found the approval of 
Wildeboer, Lit. des A. T., pp. 445-450; Commentar, p. 176; Siegfried, 
Com., p. 137; Haupt, Purim, p. 20, although these critics recognize also 
the presence of Babylonian elements in this festival. 

So far as this theory depends upon an etymological identifica- 
tion of Purim with Pers. Farvardigdn, it rests upon a very insecure 
foundation. There is no reason why the notoriously incorrect 
text of Lucian should in this instance be preferred to the Heb. text. 
The Greek forms of the name can easily be explained as corrup- 
tions or attempted interpretations of the Heb. form, and there is 
no need of going to Persian for an explanation of Phrourai, 
Phourdaia, or any of the other variants of the name. Lagarde 
himself in his later writings abandoned this etymology and pro- 
posed to connect Purim with Mandaic puhra, 'meal.' With the 


failure of this identification there falls, however, the main reason 
for identifying Purim with Farvardigdn. Moreover, Farvardigdn 
came on the last ten days of the year, while Purim was celebrated 
on the 14th and 15th of Adar, the last month. It is difficult to 
see how or why the date of the feast was changed, if it was derived 
from Farvardigdn. In such matters religions are usually very 
conservative. It is also uncertain that Farvardigdn coincided 
regularly with the spring month of Adar. The Persian year had 
only 365 days, and consequently in the lapse of time New Year 
Day must have fallen in different seasons of the year (see Kuenen, 
Onderzoek, p. 546). The evidence that Purim was originally a 
feast of the dead, which is the only argument left for identifying 
it with Farvardigdn, is not very impressive (cf. Griineisen, Der 
Ahnenkultus und die Urreligion Israels (1900), pp. 187^.). 

(4) Theory of a Babylonian origin of Purim. — If Purim was 
derived by the Jews from a foreign source, it is natural to think 
that Babylonia may have been its original home. Even if it was 
learned in Persia, it may still be ultimately of Babylonian origin. 
The archaeological discoveries of the last fifty years have demon- 
strated with ever-increasing fulness how much Hebrew civiliza- 
tion borrowed from Babylonia from the earliest down to the 
latest period. May it not be that Purim is one of the many ele- 
ments derived from this source? Such is the opinion of a large 
number of recent critics. 

F. Hommel, in an Appendix to N. Weisslovits, Prinz und Derwisch 
(1890); H. Zimmern, "Zur Frage nach dem Ursprunge des Purimfestes," 
ZATW. xi. (1891), pp. 157/". (cf Muss-Arnolt, Christian Intelligencer, 
June 10, 1891); P. Jensen, "Elamitische Eigennamen," WZKM. vi. 
(1892), pp. 47 ff., 209^"., and in Nowack, Arch. ii. 199, and Wildeboer, 
Com. p. 173; W. Nowack, Archaologie (1894), ii. pp. 194^".; Gunkel, 
Schdpfung und Chaos (1895), pp. 309 ff.; B. Meissner, "Zur Entste- 
hungsgeschichte des Purimfestes," ZDMG. 1. (1896), pp. 296 ff.; 
H. Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen, ii. (1898), pp. 91 ff., 182, 
354 ff-; C. H. Toy, "Esther as a Babylonian Goddess," New World, 
1898, pp. 130/.; H. Zimmern, KAT. S (1902), pp. 514/.; J. G. Frazer, 
The Golden Bough* (1903), pp. 138 /. (cf. EBi. iii. (1902), 3980; H. 
Winckler, "Esther" in Altorientalische Forschungen, iii. (1902), pp. 1-66; 
all agree in tracing Purim and the Esther-legend to a Babylonian source. 


Other critics, such as Erbt, Haupt, and Johns, who give Purim a Jew- 
ish origin, or Schwally, Wildeboer, and Smend, who give it a Persian 
origin, nevertheless recognize Babylonian influence in the story. 

On this theory Purim is a Babylonian feast, and the story 
of Esther is the legend that belongs to this feast. The main 
characters are Babylonian and Elamite gods, and the narrative 
is transformed Babylonian mythology. Mordecai (Greek Mar- 
dochaios) is Marduk (Merodach), the chief god of Babylon. 
3P 1 and © 2 on io 3 say that he was like the morning star. 
Esther is Ishtar, the chief Babylonian goddess. This is the 
regular form which her name assumes in Aramaic (cf. Haupt, 
"The name Istar," AJSL. xxviii. (1907), pp. 112 ff.). Her 
other name, Hadassah, is Bab. feadaHatu, 'myrtle,' then 
'bride,' that is often used as a title of goddesses. She is the 
cousin of Mordecai, as Ishtar is of Marduk. In later Jewish 
literature there are many allusions to the connection of Esther 
and Ishtar. Thus the Babylonian Talmud, M e ghilla 13a, 
says, "According to Rabbi Nehemiah her name was originally 
Hadassah. Why then was she called Esther? Because the 
people of the world called her after the name of the planet Venus 
(innDN)." Similarly ® 2 in Est. 2 1 (ed. David, p. 19) says, "Her 
name was called after the name of a bright star, in Greek Aster a 
(N-vnDN)" (cf. also Yalqnt 44). Haman is Humman or Humban, 
the chief god of the Elamites. Strabo 512 says, "There were 
founded the sanctuaries both of Anaitis and of the associated gods 
Omanos and Anadatos, Persian divinities; and they celebrated a 
festival and yearly rites, namely, the Sakaea." In 733 he says, 
"These things were customary in the sanctuary of Anaitis and of 
Omanos." Anaitis is the chief Persian goddess, the counterpart 
of the Babylonian Ishtar, and Omanos and Anadatos bear a 
striking resemblance to Haman and Hammedatha, his father. 
Midrash Esther Rabba in its comments on 5 10 says that "Haman 
had 365 counsellors, as many as the days of a solar year"; so also 
Midrash Abba Goryon on 5 14 . This seems to preserve a recollec- 
tion that Haman was originally a solar deity. Vashti Jensen 
identifies with Mashti (Vashti), a deity of the Elamite inscrip- 
tions, who has the epithet zana that elsewhere is applied only to 


goddesses. Clay, JAOS. 1907, p. 137, notices certain Aramaic 
dockets on Babylonian tablets which seem to indicate that the 
much discussed ideographic divine name NIN-IB should be 
read En-Mashti {Vashti) 'Lord of Vashti,' and suggests that this 
may throw light on the origin of Vashti. The command of the 
King to Vashti in ® 2 on i 11 , " Rise from thy royal throne, and 
strip thyself naked, and put a crown upon thy head, and take 
a golden cup in thy right hand, and a golden pitcher in thy 
left hand," suggests the representations of goddesses in West- 
Asiatic art. Zeresh of the Book of Est., Jensen conjectures, 
may be a textual corruption of Geresh (cf. Gazasa and Gozarra in 
some of the texts of Jos. and 21 in Est. 5 10 ), which he identifies 
with Girisha or Kirisha, an Elamite goddess, apparently the con- 
sort of Humman. In ZDMG. lv. (1901), p. 228, he suggests 
rather that Zeresh may be the same as Siris, the Babylonian 
goddess of wine. 

These similarities of names are certainly striking and can hardly 
be accidental. If the leading characters of the Book of Est. be 
identified with the chief gods of Babylon and of Elam, then the 
conflict of Mordecai and Esther against Haman, Vashti, and Zeresh 
must be regarded as a euhemeristic version of an ancient Baby- 
lonian myth describing a conflict of Marduk and Ishtar against 
Humman, Vashti, and Kirisha (or Siris), and Purim must be 
identified with the Babylonian feast with which this myth was 
connected. There is general agreement concerning the main 
points of analogy just described, but in regard to the further in- 
terpretation of the myth and the identification of the Babylonian 
feast opinions differ. 

Jensen in Wildeboer's Com., p. 174, finds the prototype of the story 
of Est. in the Gilgamesh Epic. Gilgamesh, the sun-god of Erech, the 
counterpart of Marduk, the sun-god of Babylon, is the hero of an expe- 
dition against Humbaba (a compound of Humman, Humban), King of 
Elam. Humbaba is the custodian of a lofty cedar that belongs to the 
goddess Irnina (= Ishtar), the prototype of Hainan's gallows. Hum- 
baba is killed by Gilgamesh with the aid of a goddess called Kallatu, 
'Bride' (=Hadassah). (For the original of the Gilgamesh Epic, see 
Jensen in KB. vi. 1900, and Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur, 
1906.) With the unification of Babylonia under the rule of the city of 


Babylon this legend became the national epic, and the exploits of Gil- 
gamesh were transferred to his counterpart Marduk, the chief god of 
Babylon. As a Marduk-legend this epic eventually became known 
to the Jews, and was transformed by them into the story of Esther. 
By most critics these combinations are regarded as rather far-fetched, 
and it is a serious weakness in the theory that in the Book of Est. Esther 
plays the leading role as the ally of Mordecai and the overthrower of 
Haman, while in the Gilgamesh-Epic Ishtar is the enemy of Gilgamesh. 
Gunkel, Schop/ung, p. 313, modifies this theory so that the Book of 
Est. becomes an account of the struggle between Babylonia and Persia 
rather than an individual episode of the Gilgamesh-legend. For him 
the conflict of Mordecai and Esther against Haman and Vashti is the 
conflict of the gods of Babylonia against the gods of Elam, which in its 
turn is a reflex of the century-long battle for supremacy between Baby- 
lonia and Elam, ending in the victory of Babylonia. The prominence 
given Esther-Ishtar is due to the fact that the city of Ishtar, not the city 
of Marduk, was the leader in the war of emancipation. The subse- 
quent turning over of her authority to Mordecai and his exaltation cor- 
respond to the subsequent supremacy of Babylon, Marduk's city. 

Zimmern finds the prototype of the Esther-legend in the Babylonian 
creation-myth. Humman and Vashti, the gods of the hostile Elamites, 
are the equivalent of Kingu and Tiamat, the powers of darkness and 
disorder, who in the creation-story seek to reduce the world to chaos. 
Marduk and Ishtar are the gods of light and order, who vanquish 
Humman and Vashti and bring peace and blessing to the world. A 
trace of this origin of the legend still survives in the dream of Mordecai 
and its interpretation, Greek Add. A (=11) and F (=10), where the 
sun and a fountain and two dragons are interpreted to mean Mordecai, 
Esther, and Haman. The principal difficulty with this view is that in 
the Babylonian creation-story, as it has come down to us, Marduk alone 
is the hero, and Ishtar plays no such important part as is given Esther 
in our book. Meissner suggests that in late Babylonian times Ishtar 
began to supersede Marduk in popular esteem, and that in a late form 
of the creation-story Ishtar may have taken a more conspicuous part in 
the victory over the powers of darkness, but this is all conjecture. 

Winckler is disposed to find analogies with the Tammuz-Ishtar myth. 
Haman is the deposed sun-god, who through the six winter months is 
condemned to dwell in the under-world. The 180 days of Ahasuerus' 
feast is the half-year period of Haman's reign. His name Agagite is 
connected with agdgu, 'be angry,' and corresponds to the myth of the 
drunken and tyrannical god whose rule is brought to an end with the 
vernal equinox. His death by hanging is a characteristic fate of solar- 
heroes. Vashti, the beautiful, who refuses to come at the command 
of the King, is the virgin Ishtar, who accompanies her lover to the under- 


world. She cannot come, because the period of her reign on earth is 
over. Mordecai and Esther are Marduk and Ishtar, the terrestrial 
counterparts of Haman and Vashti in the under-world. They release 
the earth from the tyranny of the powers of winter and darkness, and 
reign over the six summer months. The seven eunuchs and the seven 
viziers are the Annunaki and Igigi, the spirits of the upper and the lower 
world. The first seven are sent to bring up Ishtar out of Hades, the 
other seven advise that Vashti be deposed. Ahasuerus represents the 
summus deus, the abiding element in which the contradictions of nature 
find their reconciliation. This theory does not differ essentially from 
that of Zimmern, inasmuch as the gods of creation and of the spring- 
time are closely connected in Babylonian thought. 

The theories as to the particular Babylonian feast of which Purim 
is a descendant depend for the most part upon the form of mythical 
interpretation that is given to the Esther-legend. Lagarde, GGA. 
1890, p. 403,= Mittheilungen, iv. p. 147, abandoned the identification 
of Purim with Pers. Farvardigdn, and connected it with the Mandaic 
word puhra, 'meal.' Hommel in the same year suggested that this 
might be the same as Bab. puhru, 'assembly.' Zimmern then called 
attention to the fact that the Babylonian New Year feast was known as 
puhru, and on the strength of this identified Purim with this feast. 
Under the name of Zagmuk, 'beginning of the year,' this feast in honour 
of Marduk was celebrated in the opening days of Nisan, the first month. 
It was the most solemn day in the whole year, for on it the gods were 
believed to meet in a puhru, or 'assembly,' to determine the fates of 
men for the ensuing year. In symbol of this assembly the images of 
the gods were brought in festal processions from their various temples 
to meet with Marduk in the "Chamber of Fate." This assembly, 
which took place at the beginning of every year, the Babylonians also 
believed to have preceded creation. The creation-story narrates how, at 
the foundation of the world, a puhru was held at which Marduk was 
given supreme authority, and the tablets of fate were placed in his hands. 
Thus, according to Zimmern, a creation-myth, such as he thinks under- 
lies the Book of Est., was the original story that belonged to the Zag- 
muk feast. By this theory the explanation of Purim in Est. 3 7 g 2i 
becomes intelligible. The "lots" of the Heb. narrative are a reminis- 
cence of the lots or destinies of men that were determined on New Year 
Day. The banqueting on Purim is like the Babylonian celebration of 
Zagmuk; and this also had its divine counterpart, for at the assembly 
of the gods at creation they drank until they lost their senses and be- 
came stupefied (cf. Delitzsch, Weltschbpfungsepos (1896), pp. 79, 103, 
139; Jensen, KB. vi. (1900), pp. 20, 135). In the name "Day of Mor- 
decai" (2 Mac. 15 36 ) Zimmern finds a strong evidence that Purim was 
originally a feast of Marduk. 


A serious difficulty with this theory is its assumption that the strong 
guttural h in puhru could have been lost in Aram, and Heb. so that 
Purim could have arisen from it. It is generally thought that this 
change is phonetically impossible {cf. Jensen, ZA. x. (1896), p. 339 n.; 
Cornill, Einleitung, p. 255; Haupt, Purim, p. 20). Zimmern himself 
abandons this etymology in KA T. s p. 518, but he still holds to the identi- 
fication of Purim with the Zagmuk feast. Another difficulty with this 
theory is that Zagmuk was held in the first two weeks of Nisan, while 
Purim was celebrated on the 14th and the 15th of Adar, the preceding 
month. Zimmern thinks that it has been transferred to Adar from an 
original position in Nisan through the influence of Nicanor's Day, or 
through desire to avoid conflict with Passover, and in favour of this view 
he cites the facts that in Est. 3 7 Haman casts lots in Nisan, and that in 
Greek A 1 (=n 2 ) Mordecai's dream occurs on the first of Nisan. This 
is not a satisfactory explanation. Sacred days are not changed in this 
free fashion, but hold their original position, even though they may 
change their meaning. Another objection to this theory is that Ishtar 
plays no more important part in the ceremonies of the Zagmuk feast 
than she does in the creation-myth, while in the Book of Esther she is 
the central figure and Purim is instituted in her honour. Moreover, 
Zagmuk was so distinctly a religious celebration that it is hard to believe 
that the post-exilic Jews could ever have been brought to adopt it so 

Meissner's theory is a modification of Zimmern's. It assumes that 
Zagmuk is the prototype of Purim, but holds that it came to the Jews 
through the intermediate link of the Persian Sakcea, which is etymo- 
logically the same as Zagmuk. This feast is described by Berossus 
(in Athenaeus, xiv. 639 c, cf. Dio Chrysostom, Or. iv. 6, 9,/. M.). Strabo, 
5 1 2, as cited above, connects Sakcea with the gods Omanos and Anadatos, 
i.e., Haman and Hammedatha. This feast was of a Bacchanalian 
character, and in it Ishtar, the goddess of love, played an important 
part. A slave or condemned criminal was made king for five days, 
ruled over the nobles, and had the right to use the royal concubines. At 
the end of that time he was hanged or crucified to typify the death of 
the god of winter. During this period all the usual social relations 
were reversed, as in the Roman Saturnalia and the Italian Carnival, 
which are survivals of this same feast. This feast the Jews came to 
know in Susa, and they were attracted to it because of the release that 
it brought them from their ordinary servile position. This accounts for 
their adoption of it, and for their subsequent development of it into a 
festival of national deliverance. Frazer, Golden Bough 2 , iii. (1903), 
pp. 138-200, develops this theory still further. He holds that at the 
feast of Sakcea, at the close of the year, a mock-king and a mock-queen 
were chosen to impersonate the god and the goddess of winter, whose 


reign was now over, and that by sympathetic magic the union of these 
two persons was supposed to promote the fertility of the earth. When 
the brief period of the feast was ended, the mock-king was put to death 
and his bride was deposed, to represent the death of the god of winter. 
Haman and Vashti are the temporary king and queen who typify the 
god and goddess of fertility regarded as decaying and dying with the 
old year. A vestige of the right of the Zoganes, or king of the Sakcea, 
to use the royal concubines, is seen in the suspicion of Ahasuerus, Est. 7 8 , 
that Haman intends to force Esther. Mordecai and Esther, on the other 
hand, are the representatives of the god and goddess of fertility, coming 
to life again with the beginning of the new year. A memory of the 
original conjugal relation between Mordecai and Esther is preserved 
in the Talmudic exegesis of 2 7 (cf. Meg. 13a; Schudt, Judische Merk- 
iviirdigkeiien, ii. p. 316). 

Against this theory Zimmern, KAT. 3 p. 516, argues that there is 
no sufficient evidence of the etymological connection of Sakcea with 
Zagmuk, and that the statement of Berossus cited above shows that the 
feast of Sakcea was celebrated on the 16th of Loos (July-August=the 
Bab.-Heb. month of Ab) . Strabo, 512 and 733, also connects the Sakcea 
with Anaitis (=Ishtar) rather than with Marduk, which seems to show 
that this feast is to be identified with the Ishtar-feast in the month of 
Ab rather than with the Marduk-feast in Nisan. Jensen, who formerly 
adopted Zimmern's identification of Purim with Zagmuk, has latterly 
been moved by these considerations to identify it with the Ishtar-feast 
in Ab, which he regards as the prototype of the Sakcea. In support 
of this he urges the prominent position that Esther takes in the Book of 
Esther, which suggests that the feast of Purim was originally in honour 
of Ishtar. (Cf. Hoffmann inZA. xi. 1897, p. 259.) Zimmern, KAT.* 
p. 516, is so far influenced by Jensen's views as to hold that Purim has 
resulted from a mixture of the Marduk feast with elements derived from 
the Ishtar feast. The chief difficulty with this theory is that the Sakcea 
came in July-August, while Purim came in February-March. No sat- 
isfactory explanation can be given of this changing of the date of the 
feast, if it was derived from the Persian Sakcea. 

Jensen in Lit. Cent. BL, 1896, No. 50, col. 1803, first suggested that 
there was an Assyrian word puru with the meaning 'stone' or 'lot' 
(cf. Peiser, KB. iv., p. 106/.). Following up this suggestion, Johns, 
Expositor, Aug., 1896, pp. 151-154, and EBi. 3997, maintains that in 
Assyrian this word also "denotes a 'term of office,' specially the year of 
eponymy. These offices were entered upon at the New Year feast in 
Assyria. Hence whilst that festival may have been called the Puferu 
festival, it may also have been called the Puru festival. Such a name 
for the New Year festival, however, remains undiscovered in cuneiform 
literature. If it were fully established, we should still have to account 

94 Esther 

for the transference of the date. As on the New Year festival all offi- 
cials entered on their offices, however, it is conceivable that those 
offices were previously fixed in Adar. Then the Puhru and the Puru 
festivals would be separate. Marduk's fixations of the fates may have 
been anticipated by a previous appeal to the 'lot.' True, in historical 
times, the eponyms appear to follow a regular order, and an appeal to 
the lot seems out of question. Still, in the later Assyrian times this 
order is widely departed from, and granting the royal favour to have 
'loaded the dice/ we may imagine a formal appeal to the 'lot.' The 
Babylonian hemerologies have yet to be consulted as to the observances 
in Adar. Unfortunately, these await publication. But the 13th of 
Adar was so far a fast day that on it no fish or fowl might be eaten: in 
one tablet the 13th is marked 'not good,' whilst the 14th and 15th are 
'good.'" On this view Purim, 'the lots,' was originally the Baby- 
lonian Election Day; and, as a secular occasion, was the more readily 
adopted by the Jews as a time of merrymaking. The great advantage 
of this theory is that it assumes a Babylonian prototype that corresponds 
with the days on which Purim has always been kept, so far as we have 
historical records. .The difficulty with this theory is the doubt whether really means 'lot' and 'eponymy.' Zimmern, KAT. 3 p. 518, 
gives the subject an elaborate discussion with full citation of the passages, 
and comes to the conclusion that pfiru means 'a sacrificial bowl, or 
table' (cf. Haupt, Purim, p. 20). If so, then this attractive theory 
loses its foundation. 

As a result of the survey of theories just given it appears that, 
while the feast of Purim is probably borrowed either directly from 
Babylonia, or indirectly by way of Persia, no certainty has yet 
been reached as to the precise Babylonian feast from which it is 
derived. The story which accompanies it has many points of 
similarity to Babylonian mythology, but no close counterpart to 
it has yet been discovered in Babylonian literature. For the 
history of the observance of Purim in post-biblical times, see the 
article of H. Malter on " Purim" in JE. and the literature that is 
there given. 



A curious phenomenon of the book is its omission of the 
name of God, even in passages like 4 14 , where it seems almost 
impossible to avoid using it. In 167 verses the King of Persia 


is named 190 times, Persia 26 times, Ahasuerus 29 times, but 
Yahweh never. Some early Jewish exegetes attempted to remove 
this difficulty by the discovery of anagrams of the divine name 
in three passages of the book, and this theory has led to the en- 
largement of the initial letters of the words in question in a few 
codd. (see § 3). Jehring (1722), Bullinger (1889), and Cumming 
(1907) hail this as evidence that the author was a religious man, 
who wished to indicate that Yahweh is present in history, even 
though his working may be veiled. Such conceits need no refu- 

Steinthal, Zu Bibel-nnd Religions philosophic (1890), pp. 53 ff., 
holds that the author's avoidance of the name of God is due to the 
fact that he is a skeptic. But belief in God is at least implied in 
the fasting and wailing of 4 3 - 16 and in the circumlocution of 4 14 , 
"then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another 
place." The author knows the story of Joseph, and probably 
other portions of the sacred literature of his people. His mention 
of proselytes (8 17 9") shows also that he was not indifferent to 
religion. He valued the feast of Purim, if no other feast, and its 
observance can hardly have been destitute of religious association. 

The avoidance of the name of God cannot be due to residence 
in Persia (Scholtz, Judith, xvii.), since God is frequently named 
in the Persian inscriptions, and since Ez., Wisd., etc., that were 
written in heathen lands, mention Him freely. This silence is 
not parallel to the substitution of Lord, Heaven, Highest, Name, 
etc., for Yahweh in late Jewish literature, since these are not cases 
of omission but of substitution. It cannot be due to the fact that 
the author is writing about a godless age, or that Purim was orig- 
inally a heathen, or a merely secular, institution. 

The most probable explanation of the phenomenon is found in 
the occasion for which the book was written. Est. was meant 
to be read at the annual merrymaking of Purim, for which the 
Mishna lays down the rule that people are to drink until they are 
unable to distinguish between " Blessed be Mordecai!" and 
" Cursed be Haman ! " (cf. g 19 - 22 ). On such occasions the name of 
God might be profaned, if it occurred in the reading; and, there- 
fore, it was deemed best to omit it altogether. The book is not 


irreligious, but it is non-religious. The author believes in God, 
but he has no such consciousness of his presence as appears in 
the Prophets and the Psalms. Alone of all the books in the OT. 
he ascribes deliverance to men instead of God. Fasting is the 
only religious rite that he mentions. 


There is not one noble character in this book. Xerxes is a 
sensual despot. Esther, for the chance of winning wealth and 
power, takes her place in the herd of maidens who become con- 
cubines of the King. She wins her victories not by skill or by 
character, but by her beauty. She conceals her origin, is relentless 
toward a fallen enemy (7 b - 10 ), secures not merely that the Jews 
escape from danger, but that they fall upon their enemies, slay 
their wives and children, and plunder their property (8 U 9 2 - 10 ). 
Not satisfied with this slaughter, she asks that Haman's ten sons 
may be hanged, and that the Jews may be allowed another day for 
killing their enemies in Susa (9 13 - 15 ). The only redeeming traits 
in her character are her loyalty to her people and her bravery in 
attempting to save them (4 16 ). Mordecai sacrifices his cousin 
to advance his interests (2 s ), advises her to conceal her religion 
(2 10 - 20 ), displays wanton insolence in his refusal to bow to Haman 
(3 2 - 5 ), and helps Esther in carrying out her schemes of vengeance 
(8 9 **'). All this the author narrates with interest and approval. 
He gloats over the wealth and the triumph of his heroes and is 
oblivious to their moral shortcomings. Morally Est. falls far be- 
low the general level of the OT., and even of the Apocrypha. The 
verdict of Luther is not too severe: "I am so hostile to this book 
that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much, and has too 
much heathen naughtiness" (Tischreden, W. A. xxii. 2080). 


The Alexandrian Jews were so conscious of the religious and 
moral deficiencies of Est. that they tried to remedy them with the 
apocryphal additions noted above (§ 14). This free treatment 


shows that no sacred character was yet attached to the book. In 
Palestine there was long opposition before it was admitted to the 
Canon. It is never quoted by Christ, nor by any of the NT. 
writers. The early Christian Church made no use of it, and no 
Church Father attempted an exposition of it. Melito (c. 170 a.d.) 
omits it from his Canon, and Origen (c. 225 A.D.) does not include 
it among the historical books. The Syrian Christians regarded 
it as apocryphal, and the Nestorians never had it in their OT. 

In significant contrast to this attitude of early Judaism and 
early Christianity stands the high esteem of this book in later 
Judaism. The Synod of Jamnia in the first century decreed it to 
be canonical. Later writers sought to explain away the opposition 
of their predecessors, and praised the book in most extravagant 
terms. Rabbi Simeon b. Lakish (c. 300 a.d.) ranked it next to the 
Law. Maimonides declared that although the Prophets and the 
Writings should pass away when Messiah came, yet this book and 
the Law should remain. Est. is inserted with the Law in the 
synagogue-rolls and is treated with the highest reverence. More 
targums and midrashes are based upon it than upon any other 
portion of the OT. 

With this verdict of late Judaism modern Christians cannot 
agree. The book is so conspicuously lacking in religion that it 
should never have been included in the Canon of the OT., but 
should have been left with Judith and Tobit among the apocryphal 



In the second century B.C., when the Book of Esther w r as written, 
two main types of exegesis were already fully developed among 
the Jews. These were known as halakha, 'walking,' i.e., 'con- 
duct/ and haggada, 'narrative.' The first was applied primarily 
to the Law, and consisted in a casuistical method of reasoning, 
by which new meanings, not naturally suggested by the language, 
were deduced from the words of Scripture, or by which justifica- 
tions were found for existing ritual customs. The second was 


applied chiefly to the historical hooks, and consisted in an imag- 
inative filling out of incidents not narrated in the original records. 
The Book of Esther lent itself to both these methods of interpre- 
tation. Although it was not a part of the Law, yet it instituted 
a feast that was regarded as equally binding with those of the Law, 
and that took its place among the feasts as a regular part of the 
sacred calendar. It was natural, therefore, that Est. should early 
become a basis for halakhic discussions analogous to those that 
were carried on over the Law. When, for instance, in 9 19 it is 
enacted that the Jews in unwalled towns shall keep the fourteenth 
day of Adar, there is opportunity for protracted debate as to what 
towns are to be regarded as unwalled, and what is to be done in 
case that a town once had a wall but has lost it, or in case that it 
did not have a wall originally but has since received one. The 
halakhoth that arose in this way out of the discussions of the 
rabbinical schools were not written for fear of making additions 
to Scripture, but they were transmitted orally for several centuries. 
By the time of Christ an immense number of halakhoth to Esther, 
as well as to the Law, must have been in existence. Philo (in 
Eusebius, Prceparat. Evang. viii. 7, 6) speaks of "ten thousand 
unwritten customs and rules,'' and Josephus, Ant. xiii. 10, 6, 
speaks of "many precepts which the Pharisees deliver to the people 
from the tradition of the elders" (cf. Mt. 15 2 Mk. 7 3 6 ). In 
the case of Esther it was not possible to trace the origin of all the 
halakhoth back to Moses, as was done in the case of the halakhoth 
on the Law, yet the Babylonian Talmud comes very close to this 
in M e ghilld igb, when it says, "What is the meaning when it is 
written, Upon it stood all the words which the Lord spoke with 
you in the mount? From this it follows that the Holy One, 
blessed be He, revealed to Moses the careful investigation of the 
Law and the careful investigations of the scribes, and what new 
thing the scribes would one day introduce. What is that? The 
reading of the Roll of Esther." 

In process of time the difficulty of remembering the vast number 
of detached halakhoth led to the attempt to arrange similar hala- 
khoth in collections. Thus arose the form of tradition known as 
the Mishna. The rabbi to whom the chief credit is to be given for 


bringing the Mishna into its present form is Judah the Prince, 
who flourished c. 160-220 a.d. Of the 63 tractates, or collections, 
of the Mishna one entire tractate, M'ghilla, is devoted to a collec- 
tion of the halakhoth on the Book of Esther. It occupies the tenth 
place in the second Seder, or 'arrangement,' that is known as 
Mo'ed. The contents of this tractate are mainly halakhic dis- 
cussions concerning the proper observance of Purim, and the right 
dates, places, and manner of reading the Roll of Esther in con- 
nection with this feast. 

The Mishna having received its final form from R. Judah, there 
at once began to grow up about it the further oral discussions of 
its meanings that constitute the Gemara. This bears the same 
relation to the Mishna that the Mishna bears to the original text. 
It is a casuistical commentary on the older commentary that dis- 
covers all sorts of new and unexpected meanings. The Amorin, 
or teachers of the Gemara, who flourished from about 220-500 a.d., 
were divided into two main schools, one at Tiberias in Palestine, 
the other at Sura in Babylonia. As a result of their division there 
grew up two independent but parallel forms of oral tradition of the 
combined Mishna and Gemara. One is known as the Jerusalem 
Talmud, the other as the Babylonian Talmud. The Babylonian 
tradition finally prevailed among the Jews, and as a result the 
Jerusalem Talmud has come down only in a fragmentary con- 
dition. The tractate M e ghilla, however, has survived in both 

Toward the close of the fifth century and the beginning of the 
sixth both Talmuds were at length reduced to writing. Their 
enormous size rendered it almost impossible to transmit them orally; 
and persecution, which cut off many of the leading rabbis, roused 
the fear that this learning might perish if steps were not taken to 
record it. With this literary fixing the Talmudic development 
reached its completion, and since that time there has been no further 
development of the halakha. 

The tractate M'ghilld in the Jerusalem Talmud may be found in 
the editions, Venice, 1523-4; Cracow, 1609; Krotoschin, 1666; Shitomir, 
1660-7. The Babylonian M'ghilla may be found in all the numerous 
editions of the Babylonian Talmud (for a list of editions see Strack, 


Einleitung in den Thalmud 2 , pp. 73 ff.). German translations of the 
Babylonian M e ghilla are given by L. Goldschmidt, Der Babylonische 
Talmud; and by M. Rawicz, Der Traktat Megilla nebst Tosaphoth 
vollstandig ins Deutsche ubertragen (1883); English translation by 
M. L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, viii. (1899). 

While this development of the halakhic exegesis was going on, 
another development of haggadic exegesis was also taking place. 
The Book of Esther was not merely a law establishing the feast of 
Purim, it was also a story describing the origin of that feast. The 
popularity of this story and the brevity of the original narrative 
early led to the growth of all sorts of legendary embellishments. 
At first these were transmitted like the halakhoth as detached oral 
traditions. Subsequently it was found more convenient to gather 
the legends that belonged to a single book, and to arrange them 
in the form of a commentary upon the original text. Thus arose 
what is known as midrash. It systematizes the haggada in the 
same way in which mishna systematizes the halakha. The 
numerous additions to the text of Esther in 0& (see § 14), in Jo- 
sephus (§ 18), in L (§ 17), and in 21 (§ 19) show that the midrash 
to Esther had already attained a luxuriant development by the 
beginning of the Christian era. In fact, (8, L, and Jos. may 
properly be described as Greek midrashim to the Book of Esther. 
The effort of this sort of exegesis is not interpretation in any true 
sense, but entertainment and edification. The original text is 
used merely as a foundation upon which all sorts of imaginary 
incidents are constructed. 

Among the Jews of Palestine the haggadic tradition was not 
reduced to writing so early as among the Greek-speaking Jews 
of Alexandria. Haggadic legends similar to those found in <£, 
L, and 2j continued to be transmitted orally along with the 
halakhoth throughout the entire period of the Talmudic develop- 
ment. The ancient Jewish work on Chronology, Seder 'Olam, in 
which chapter xxviii. treats of Esther, makes use of this material 
(editions, Genebrard, 1577; Meyer, 1699; Ratner, 1897; Leitner, 
1904). In the Gemara which follows the fifth Mishna in the first 
chapter of the tractate M'ghilla quite an extended midrash to the 
Book of Esther is inserted. This was put into writing along with 


the rest of the Talmud in the sixth century, and is the earliest 
Hebraeo-Aramaic form of the haggada that is known to us. 

The haggadic portions of the Babylonian Talmud are translated into 
German by A. Wunsche, Der babylonische Talmud in seinen hagga- 
dischen Bestandtheilen (1886), and the corresponding portions of the 
Jerusalem Talmud by the same author in Der Jerusalemische Talmud 
in seinen haggadischen Bestandtheilen (1880). The two recensions 
differ widely from each other. The BT. has preserved the fuller 
collection of material. Both recensions contain only excerpts from a 
rich fund of oral tradition that continued to exist among the Jews and 
that was drawn upon by many later targums and midrashes. 


During the period when both the halakhic and the haggadic 
exegesis of Esther were having such an elaborate development 
among the Jews, the book received almost no attention from 
Christians. Dislike of its revengeful spirit and doubts in regard 
to its canonicity led the Fathers of the Eastern and of the Western 
Church for the most part to ignore it. In discussions of the Canon 
the book is named by Epiphanius, Origen, Athanasius, Hilary, 
and Junilius (see § 31). Augustine alludes to the story of Esther 
in Civ. Del, xviii. 36; also Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, i. 
p. 319; Eusebius, Chronicorum libri duo, ed. Schoene, i. 125; ii. 
104; other Fathers contain passing references to Esther in ser- 
mons; but not a single Christian commentary was written on this 
book during the first seven centuries of our era. 


In the period immediately after the completion of the Talmud 
there was great activity among the Jews in gathering the numer- 
ous halakhic and haggadic traditions connected with the Book of 
Esther and in reducing them to writing. The names of several 
old Esther midrashes and Esther targums are given by Alkabez 
(1585); but these have not survived, except as they have been in- 
corporated into the First or the Second Targum or into some of 
the later midrashes. The First Targum, which dates from the 


seventh century, is also a midrash or ' commentary.' In § 9 
the additions which this targum makes to the text have been de- 
scribed. As there stated, these additions have no text-critical 
value, but are merely examples of halakhic and haggadic interpre- 
tation of the Heb. original. The same oral tradition that is fol- 
lowed in the Tractate M e ghilla is also used here, and M'ghilla 
itself is frequently transcribed. This discloses, accordingly, the 
second stage in the literary fixing of the oral exegetical tradition 
connected with the Book of Esther. The third stage is seen in 
the Second Targum, which dates from the ninth century. Here 
the haggadic element so outweighs the version that it is more cor- 
rect to speak of it as an Aramaic midrash than as a targum. The 
additions of ® 2 have been described already in § 10. They are 
of the same general type as those found in Meg. and S 1 , namely, 
a combined halakhic and haggadic commentary on the Heb. text. 
To a somewhat later date than the two targums belong a series 
of midrashes on the Book of Esther that, for number and extent, 
are without a parallel in the case of any other book of the OT. 

The first in order -of time is the Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer, composed in 
the ninth century, and ascribed to Rabbi Eliezer b. Hyrcanus. It is a 
haggadic midrashic commentary on Gn., Ex., part of Nu., and selected 
later portions of the OT. Chapters xlix. jf. contain a midrash on the 
Book of Esther that has many points of similarity with the Talmud 
and Targums, but which contains also much new material. The 
editions of the Pirqe are as follows: Constantinople, 15 18; Venice, 1548; 
Sabionetta, 1568; Amsterdam, 1712; Wilna, 1837; Lemberg, 1864. 

The next midrash is that of Yosippon, or Joseph b. Goryon (Josephus 
Gorionides), which is now generally believed to be the work of a south 
Italian Jew in the tenth century. It is a history of the Jews from the 
fall of Babylon to the fall of Jerusalem, and is based in large measure 
either directly or indirectly upon Josephus, whose name "Yosippon" 
the author assumes. Book ii., chapters 1-5, contain the story of Esther. 
Here we meet for the first time in Heb. the dream of Mordecai, his high 
office in the palace and discovery of the plot of the eunuchs, Mordecai's 
prayer and Esther's prayer, just as in (&. These additions seem to 
have been derived from the shorter form of the narrative given by 
Josephus, but the dream of Mordecai, which is not found in Jos., must 
have been taken from the Greek or Latin Apocrypha, unless it was 
interpolated in the copy of Josephus which Yosippon used. By the 
Jews of the Middle Ages Yosippon was highly valued, and in modern 



times there have been many editions of his work. The following may 
be mentioned: Mantua, 1476-9; Constantinople, 1510; Basel, 1541; 
Venice, 1544; Cracow, 1588-9; Frankfurt a. M., 1689; Gotha, 1707; 
Amsterdam, 1723; Prag, 1784; Warsaw, 1845; Jitomir, 1851; Lemberg, 
1855. A Latin translation of Yosippon is given along with the Heb. 
text by J. F. Breithaupt, Josephus Gorionides, sive Josephus Hebraicus 
(1707), pp. 72/. 

The Midrash EstJter Rabba, found in all the current Midrash editions, 
was written apparently in the Eastern Roman Empire in the eleventh 
or twelfth century. It uses all the midrashim previously mentioned 
and also the midrashim on several of the other books of the OT. It is 
an extraordinary collection of halakhic and haggadic material of every 
description. Hair-splitting discussions of the meaning of words, long 
anecdotes concerning Esther, Mordecai, Ahasuerus, Haman, and the 
other characters of the book, sermons of famous rabbis on certain texts, 
fables, parables, and all other sorts of legends, relevant and irrelevant, are 
piled in here in wild confusion. The Heb. text serves merely as a thread 
on which stories of the most diverse origin are hung. Exegetically the 
midrash does not possess the least value, but as a repository of tradition, 
and as a monument of mediaeval Jewish thought, it has considerable 
interest. A German translation is given by A. Wiinsche, Der Midrasch 
zum Buche Esther (1881). 

From the beginning of the twelfth century comes also the Midrash 
Leqah Tob of Tobiah b. Eliezer. This is a partly grammatical, partly 
haggadic, commentary on the Pentateuch and the Five M e ghilloth. The 
portion covering the Book of Esther is given by S. Buber, Si/re de- 
Agadta, Sammlung agadischer Commentare zum Buclie Esther (1886), 
pp. 85-112. The author stands under the influence of the literal school 
of interpretation that began to assert itself in this period, but he still 
values the ancient haggadic method. His excerpts from ancient mid- 
rashes, many of which are known to us only from his quotations, he- 
arranges in logical order in connection with the verses to which they 
apply, abbreviates, and reedits so as to improve their Hebrew. 

To the same century belongs Midrash Abba Goryon, printed by 
Jellinek, Beth ham-Midrash (1853-73), i- I_l8 ; Buber, Sifre de-Agadta 
(1886), 1-42; German translation by A. Wiinsche, Aus Israels Lehr- 
hallen, ii. 2 (1908), pp. 95 ff. Most of the material in this midrash 
seems to be derived from Esther Rabba, although it also contains much 
additional haggada. The author has subjected the Rabba to a rigid 
revision, rejecting irrelevant matter, and bringing the amplifications 
into closer conformity with the order of the Heb. text. 

To the thirteenth century belongs the midrash -fragment known as 
Midrash Megillath Esther, published by A. Jellinek in Beth ham- 
Midrash (1853-73), i. pp. 18-24; German translation by A. Wiinsche, 


Aus Israels Lehrhallen, ii. 2 (1908), pp. 139 ff. This little midrash, 
which deals only with Est. 2 514 , is probably only a fragment of a larger 
work. It contains almost entirely new haggadic material. From the 
same period and bearing the same name is another midrash that is 
found in the Constantinople edition of 15 19; also in Horowitz, Samm- 
lung kleiner Midraschim (1881), pp. 56 ff. This contains an entirely 
different collection of haggada from the one just mentioned. 

To the same or a little later period belong the Midrash Ponim Aherim 
to Est., given by Buber in Si/re de-Agadta, pp. 45-82; the Midrash 
Shoher Tob, on Ps. 22, which contains the Esther-legend (known to me 
only from the reference of Andre (Les Apocryphes, p. 198); the midrash 
from Yemen published by Buber in Agadische Abhandlungen zum 
Buche Esther nach einer Handschrift aus Jemen (1897), and the midrash 
published by M. Gaster in Semitic Studies in Memory of A. Kohut, 
pp. 167-178. This last midrash Gaster regards as the earliest of all 
the Esther midrashim, but in this opinion he is not followed by other 
critics. All these midrashim are little more than excerpts from earlier 
midrashim and targumim. 

The Yalqut Shim'oni, a work of uncertain date, but later than those 
that have just been mentioned, is a huge compilation of all accessible 
halakhic and haggadic comments on the twenty-four books of the 
Hebrew Bible. In Esther the editor gives the best that is to be found 
in earlier midrashim, quoting in full, and stating the sources from 
which he has derived his material. On the Dream of Mordecai, which 
should be included in a list of the midrashim on Est., see § 3. On the 
story of Esther as given by the Persian Jewish poet Shahin, see Bacher, 
Jahresbericht d. Rabbinerschule in Budapest, xxx. 1906-7. 


The rise of Islam and the contact of Jewish scholars with 
Arabic learning gave a new turn to Biblical interpretation. Toward 
the close of the eighth century Anan b. David, a bitter opponent 
of the traditional rabbinic exegesis, founded the sect of the Kara- 
ites, which insisted upon a literal interpretation of Scripture 
without use of either halakha or haggada. This movement ex- 
erted a strong reflex influence upon orthodox Judaism, and in 
928 Sa'adia, an advocate of the peshat, or 'simple' interpreta- 
tion, became head of the Babylonian rabbinical school at Sura. 
His Arabic version of the Pentateuch and other books of the Bible, 
unlike the targumim and midrashim, aims to give a clear, literal 
translation; and the accompanying commentary advocates every- 


where the natural grammatical meaning. The Arabic version of 
Esther in Heb. characters from a prayer-book of Yemen, pub- 
lished at Vienna in 1896, comes either from his hand or from one 
of his disciples (see Poznansky, MGWJ. xlvi. 364). Aaron ibn 
Sargado (f 942), a follower of Sa'adia, left a commentary on Est., 
parts of which are still extant in manuscript at St. Petersburg 
(see JE. i. 20). 

In 1036 the schools of Jewish learning in Babylonia were closed 
and their rabbis were forced to seek refuge in other lands. Many 
of them migrated to Spain, where, under the protection of the 
Moors, they enjoyed peace and prosperity. Through the in- 
fluence of Arabic scholarship a new scientific study of the Heb. 
language began, that was fruitful for later exegetical studies. 
Philological research reached its culmination in Abulwalid ibn 
Ganah (f c. 1050). He left no commentaries on the Bible, but 
his Lnrna and Book of Roots are so full of exegetical material as 
to constitute an almost complete exposition. Through this gram- 
matical philological work the commentaries of the golden age of 
mediaeval Jewish literature became possible. RaShI (= Rabbi 
Solomon ben Isaac (f 1105), of Troyes in France, was the founder 
of the peshat or literal school of interpretation in Europe. At a 
time when the Jews stood completely under the domination of the 
ancient midrash method of interpretation, he came under the in- 
fluence of the Arabic-Spanish philological school and introduced 
a new type of grammatical exegesis. With him the literal sense is 
always the first consideration. He does not break entirely with 
the midrashic method, but uses it only when it is not in conflict 
with the literal meaning. To this policy of compromise RaShI 
doubtless owes much of the popularity that he has enjoyed among 
the Jews from that day to this. His commentary on Est. is found 
in all the Rabbinical Bibles (Latin translation by L. H. d'Aquine, 
1622, and J. F. Breithaupt, 17 14). It is full of sound lexical and 
grammatical remarks. Only the difficult points are discussed, 
and to the elucidation of these the author brings a wealth of 
biblical and of rabbinical learning that is without a parallel. 

R. Menahem b. Helbo, a contemporary of RaShI, belonged to the 
same literalistic school of interpretation. His com, on Est, is known 


only from the citations of his nephew Joseph Kara, in Hiibsch, Die 
fiinf Megilloth (1866). Joseph Kara (f c. 1130) was a still more pro- 
nounced advocate of the peshat. His com. on Est. is published by 
Hiibsch (/. c); by Berliner, in MGWJ. 1878; cf ib. 1876, p. 158. Frag- 
ments of it are also found in Jellinek, Commentarien zu Estlter, etc. 
(1855). It holds itself aloof from the haggada and gives an admirable 
grammatical philological interpretation. Abraham b. Meir ibn Ezra 
(f 1 167), the greatest of all the exponents of the peshat, introduced a 
knowledge of Arabic- Jewish exegesis into Europe. His com. on Est. 
is found in all the large Rabbinic Bibles. A somewhat different recen- 
sion is published by Zedner, Abraham Aben Ezra's Commentary on tlte 
Book of Esther after another version (1850). This lucid exposition 
ignores tradition, and gives the best fruits of the golden age of Jewish 
learning in Spain. It often criticises RaShI for his continued use 
of the haggadic method. RaShBaM (= Rabbi Samuel ben Meir) 
(f c. 1 1 74) was a grandson of RaShI and a thoroughgoing advocate of 
the literal method of exegesis. His com. on Est. is known only from 
the quotations of an anonymus given by Jellinek, Commentarien zu 
Esther (1855). 

In the thirteenth century Jewish exegesis declined rapidly 
from the high standard set by RaShI and his successors through 
the entrance of the allegorical method of interpretation. Con- 
temporaneously with the rise of mysticism in Christianity the 
Cabala developed in Judaism, and from Christian theologians the 
doctrine of a fourfold sense of Scripture was adopted. The 
four senses recognized by Jewish scholars were the Peshat, or 
simple meaning; the Midrash, or traditional meaning; the Hokhma, 
or philosophic meaning, and the Cabala, or mystical, allegorical 
meaning. From this time onward all the commentaries combine 
these four methods, with a strong preference for the last, and the 
result is the death of genuine exegesis. 

Eliezer b. Judah 01 Worms derived his mystical interpretations 
through cabalistic combinations of the Heb. words and calculations of 
the numerical values of their letters. His com. on Est. exists in manu- 
script, but has never been published, so far as I am aware. Joseph 
Nahmias' com. on Est. (c. 1327) has been published by M. L. Bam- 
berger, Commentar des R. Josef Nachmias zum Buche Esther (1891). 
The com. of Immanuel b. Solomon b. Jekuthiel (f 1330) has been pub- 
lished in auto-lithograph by P. Perreau, Commento sopra il libro di 
Ester del Rabbi Immanuel ben Salomo romano transcritto e publicato da 
Pietro Perreau secondo il codico ebreo-rabbinico derossiano No. 615 


(Parma, 1880). The com. of RaLBaG (= Rabbi Levi b. Gershom, 
otherwise known as Gersonides, Leon de Bagnols, or Magister Leo 
Hebraeus), which was finished in 1329, has enjoyed considerable popu- 
larity. It was published at Riva di Trenta in 1560, and in the Rab- 
binic Bible of Frankfurter, Amsterdam, 1724-7. Isaiah b. Elijah di 
Trani in the fourteenth century wrote a com. on the Five M e ghilloth 
which exists only in manuscript (see Steinschneider, Heb. Bibl. ix. 137). 
Joseph Caspi (fi34o) wrote a com. entitled Gelile Keseph, "Rings 
of Silver," which was published at Pressburg in 1903. These com- 
mentaries have some value on account of their preservation of frag- 
ments of otherwise lost midrashim, and on account of their quotations 
of the earlier literalistic school, but as independent contributions to the 
interpretation of Est. they have no value. 


A few Christian comm. on Est. were produced during the 
Middle Ages. All are homiletical and devotional rather than 
exegetical, and all make free use of the allegorical method. The 
following may be mentioned: — 

Rhabanus Maurus ^836), Expositio in librum Esther, in Migne, 
cix. 635-670; Wallafridus Strabus ^849), Glossa Ordinaria, Liber 
Esther, in Migne, Pat. Lat. xciii. 739-748; Rupertus Abbatis Tuitiensis 
(1135), De Victoria Verbi Dei, viii. cap. 1-26, in Migne, clxix. 1379- 
1395; Hugo of St. Victor, Appendix ad Opera Mystica, De spirituals 
Christi convivio, in Migne, clxxvii. 1185-1191; Nicholas de Lyra, 
PostillcB perpetuce, seu brevia commentaria in universa Biblia (1293- 
1339); Paulus Burgensis, Additiones ad postillam magistri Nicholai 
de Lyra (1429); Petrus Comestor, Historia Libri Esther, in Migne, 
cxcviii. 1 490- 1 506. The most important of these is the work of de 
Lyra, through which the exegesis of RaShI and Ibn Ezra became known 
to the Church. In this way the foundation was laid for the more 
scientific interpretation of the next period. 


The revival of learning in the second half of the fifteenth century 
brought with it not only a knowledge of the Greek and Latin 
classics, but also of Hebrew. The Protestant Reformation, with 
its doctrine of the sole authority of Scripture, stimulated enor- 
mously the study of the Biblical books in the original tongues. 
Allegory and tradition were rejected, and an effort was made to 
obtain the literal, historical and grammatical sense. The result 


was the production of a large number of commentaries that have 
not yet lost their value. 

Luther and Calvin left no commentaries on Esther, but their con- 
temporaries well supplied the deficiency. The following Protestant 
authors may be mentioned: A. Stenco (1529), S. Miinster (1546), S. Cas- 
talio (1551), S. Pagninus (1556), Junius and Tremellius (1590), D. 
Pareus (1571), V. Strigel (1571-2), L. Osiander (1574), D. Wolder 
( I 575)» J- Brent (!57 6 )> C. Pellican (1582), L. Lavater (1586), J. Dru- 
sius (1586), R. Walther (1587), A. M. Jackson (1593), G. Diodati 
(1607), T. Cooper (1609), the Dutch Annotations (1618), J. Molder 
(1625), C. Sanctius (1628), H. Grotius (1644), J. Piscator (1646), L. de 
Dieu (1640), J. Trapp (1654), the Westminster Assembly's Annota- 
tions (1657), T. Wilson (1663), J. Richardson (1665), B. Kerner (1666), 
J. C. Zeller (1669), C. a Lapide (1669). 

The most important of these are Miinster, Drusius, and Grotius. 
The others are mainly practical and homiletic. All assume 
Est. to be strictly historical, and the main questions discussed are, 
whether Ahasuerus had a right to divorce Vashti, whether Esther 
had a right to marry a heathen, whether Mordecai was justified 
in advising Esther to conceal her nationality, whether Esther 
ought to have eaten of the King's food, whether the Jews did right 
to slay their enemies, and other similar moral and religious ques- 
tions. A solid knowledge of Heb. is shown by most of these com- 
mentators, and their interpretations of difficult passages are full 
of acumen. 

The Catholic comm. of the same period are also for the most 
part familiar with Heb., but they make the Vulgate the basis of 
their discussion, and in their interpretation follow the authority 
of the Fathers and the tradition of the Church. The apocryphal 
additions of (8 are regarded as of equal authority with the Heb. 
text. The mediaeval allegorical exegesis is not abandoned so 
thoroughly as among the Protestants, and by many Esther is treated 
as a type of the Blessed Virgin. In spite of these defects, some of 
these commentaries take a high rank for the historical and linguistic 
learning that they display. The Catholic comm. of the Reforma- 
tion period are as follows: — 

Dionysius Carthusianus (1534), T. de V. Cajetanus (fi534) (Est. 
in Opera Omnia, ii. 1639, pp. 391 ff.), F. Vatablus (1545), J- Benter 


(1547), J. Ferns (1567), F. Feuardentius (1585), P. Serarius (1610, 
see Migne, Cursus Completus, xiii.), T. Malvenda (1610), G. Estius 
(1614), J. Mariana (1619), E. Sa (1624), J. Couzio (1628), F. Haraeus 
(1630), J. S. Menochius (1630), Biblia cum Commentariis (1632), 
J. Tirinus (1632), O. Bonart (1647), D. Celadaeis (1648), Crommius 
(1648), Montanus (1648), A. Escobar et Mendoza (1667). The most 
important of these are Cajetanus, Feuardentius, Estius, Mariana, 
Serarius, and Menochius, who show sound exegetical judgment and 
make full use of Jewish and Protestant writers. 

The close of the Reformation period is marked by three great 
compendia, which sum up the results of a century and a half of 
labour both on the Catholic and on the Protestant side. The 
first of these is the Biblia Magna Commentariorium, of J. de la 
Haye (1643) an d the Biblia Maxima of the same author (1660), 
which contain an elaborate study of the texts and versions and the 
Esther comm. of the Catholic writers, Estius, Sa, Menochius, and 
Tirinus. The second is the Critici Sacri, a similar collection of 
the best comments of the Reformation period from the Protestant 
point of view (London, 1660). On the Book of Esther this con- 
tains the comments of Minister, Vatable, Castalio, Drusius, 
Amama, and the version of Pagninus. The third is the Synopsis 
criticorum aliorumque S. Scriptures inter preticm, of M. Poole 
(1669), which in the Book of Est. summarizes the views of Bonart, 
Cajetan, Drusius, de Dieu, Estius, Grotius, Junius, a Lapide, 
de Lyra, Malvenda, Mariana, Menochius, Minister, Osiander 
Piscator, Sanctius, Sa, Serarius, Tirinus, Vatablus, and the 
versions of Montanus, Pagninus, Junius, and Tremellius, as well 
as the Tigurina and Genevan versions. Here the leading Catholic 
and Protestant commentators of the preceding century and a half 
are admirably collated. 

The Jewish commentators of the Reformation period are un- 
affected by the work of Christian scholars, and exhibit the same 
degenerate type of exegesis that flourished during the Middle 
Ages. Most of them are destitute of originality, and simply ex- 
cerpt from the earlier midrashim and from the great commentators 
of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Some are interesting for 
their preservation of fragments of otherwise lost writings, but in 


themselves they contribute nothing to the understanding of the 
Book of Est. Their names are as follows: — 

Solomon ibn Melcch (Abenmelech), I 01 " 1 SSdd (Venice, 15 18, and 
oft.), grammatical scholia taken chiefly from Kimhi; Joseph b. David 
ibn Yahya, m»« (1538); Meir b. Isaac Arama Of 1556), Est. Com. 
in ms. in Cod. Rossi 727; Zechariah b. Seruk, PTOOTM *D hy pwb 
(Venice, 1565); Azariah de Rossi, D^y niKD (1573-5), a SOI *t of general 
introduction to the OT. The third part, njo nDN, treats of the origin 
of Esther; Eliezer b. Elijah Ashkenazi, nph rpv (Cremona, 1576, and 
oft.); Elisha b. Gabriel Galliko, 'n 'd rri*fi (Venice, 1583); Shemtob 
Melammed, »ynD noxD (Constantinople, 1585); Solomon Alkabez, 
">iSn nSjn (Venice, 1585), important for its copious citations from lost 
targums and midrashes; Samuel b. Judah Valerio, "jScn T (Venice, 
1586); Solomon b. Zemah Duran of Algiers (f 1593), V*na» Frown 
(Venice, 1632), contains a discourse on the Amalekites and a com. on 
Est.; Abraham b. Isaac Zahalon, W>rhn ym (Venice, 1595), compiled 
entirely from earlier commentators with use of the fourfold method of 
interpretation; Aaron Abayob, lion pc (Salonica, 1596); Moses Al- 
mosnino, ne>n *v t a diffuse haggadic commentary, completed in 1570, 
first published, Venice, 1597; Moses Alsheikh of Safed, rwa niflWD 
(Venice, i6oi,and oft.); Joseph b. Solomon Taitazak, onno on L ' (Venice, 
1608); Judah Low b. Bezalel, tf in tin (Prague, 1600, and subs.), con- 
tains also a discussion of Purim; Mordecai b. Jehiel Merkel, sodt n*vd 
(Lublin, 1637); Abraham b. Moses Heilbronn, |TO ranN (Lublin, 


In the second half of the seventeenth century and during the 
entire eighteenth century few remarkable commentaries on Est. 
were produced. This was a period of theological narrowness both 
in the Protestant and the Catholic Church that was unfavourable 
to exegetical progress. The comm. are mostly dogmatic, homi- 
letic, and practical, and their authors are content to borrow their 
materials mainly from the elaborate works of the previous period. 
The following names may be mentioned: — 

Among the Protestants, A. Calovius (1672), T. Pyle (1674), J. Mayer 
(1683), G. Meissner (1687), S., Clarke (1690), F. Burmann (1695), 
M. Henry (1706), E. Wells (1709), C. Adamus (1710, on Est. 2), T. Pyle 
(1717), J. J. Rambach (1720), S. Patrick (1727), F. Wokenius (1730^ 


J. le Clcrc (Clericus) (1733), S. Horsley (1733), j. Marchant (1745). 
Of these Clericus is probably entitled to the first rank as the ablest 
exegete of the period. 

The Catholic commentators of this period arc J. B. du Hamel (1706), 
A. Calmet (1707), J. Martianay (1708), C. Chais (1743), Biblia Sacra 
Vulgata cum plur. inter p. (1745), C. Nestorideo (1746). Calmet is the 
chief of these, but all fall below the standard of the Catholic commen- 
taries of the preceding period. 

B. Spinoza in his Tractatus theologico-politicus (1670), x. 22, discusses 
the origin of Est. in a truly critical spirit, but here, as in so many other 
particulars, he is in advance of his age. His opinions made no impres- 
sion upon his coreligionists, and little upon Christian thinkers. The 
only Jewish commentator of this period known to me is Meir b. Hayyim, 

t» iwd (1737). 


In the middle of the eighteenth century there arose the remark- 
able movement of thought known as the Aufkldrung. In all 
realms of knowledge men broke away from tradition, and sub- 
jected everything received from the past to a searching examina- 
tion. The result was a revolution in Biblical exegesis. One of 
the first-fruits of this movement was a critical study of the text of 
the OT. As early as 1720 J. H. Michaelis in his Biblia Hebraica 
collected a number of variants in the Heb. text. He was followed 
by C. F. Houbigant,, Biblia Hebraica cum notis criticis (1753), 
and Notce criticce (1777); B. Kennicott, V. T. Heb. cum variis 
lectionibus (1776-80); C. F. Schnurrer, Varice lectiones Estheris 
(1783); and J. B. de Rossi, Varice lectiones V. T. (1784-8). The 
importance of these works for the lower criticism of Est. has been 
noticed already in § 3. 

At the same time a new interest was awakened in the problems 
of the higher criticism. The rationalists, who denied supernatural 
revelation, took a free attitude toward the Biblical books, and had 
no hesitation in questioning their historical character, if they 
found reason for so doing. The historical and moral difficulties 
of the Book of Est. early became objects of their attack. These 
assaults called forth replies in defence of the historical and relig- 
ious value of the book from theologians of the traditional school. 
From this time onward scholars are divided into two hostile 


camps, the one attacking, and the other defending, the traditional 
Jewish conception of Est. The critical problems of composition, 
age, authorship, and historical credibility have been discussed 
for the most part in Biblical introductions, Biblical histories, and 
special introductions to the Book of Esther. These works have 
exerted so strong an influence upon modern interpretation, and 
are frequently so much more important than the commentaries, 
that it is proper to enumerate them at this point. 

So far as I am aware, Semler, in 1773, was the first critic to make a 
formal attack upon the historical credibility of Esther; but in 1736 the 
adverse strictures upon this book in the writings of the English deists 
and early German rationalists were already sufficiently numerous to 
call forth the treatise of C. A. Heumann, De in qua histories sacrce de 
Esthera Asice regina sua vindicatur auctoritas. A similar position was 
held by Chandler, Vindication of the History oftJie OT. (1741); J. H. D. 
Moldenhauer, Introductio (1744), pp. J5ff.; J. G. Carpzov, Introductio 3 
(1741), pp. 350 ff.\ T. C. Lilienthal, Gute Sache der gbttlichen 
Offenbarung, xv. (1776), pp. 195-271. G. F. Oeder, Freye Unter- 
suchung iiber den Kanon des A. T. (1771), pp. T-2 ff., and Freye Unter- 
suchung iiber einige Bilcher des A. T. (1771), p. 1/., denied that the book 
had any historical value. This called forth the replies of C. F. Sar- 
torius, De utilitate librorum V. T. historicorum apud Christianos (1772); 
J. Aucher, Disquisitio de canonica auctoritate libri Esther ce (1772); E. A. 
Schulze, De fide hist. lib. Est., in Bibl. Hag. v., vi. (1772); and C. A. 
Crusius, De usu libri Esther ce ad praxin vitce Christiance (1772), German 
edition, 1773. J. S. Semler, Apparatus ad liberalem V. T. inter preta- 
tionem (1773), pp. 152 ff., and Abhandlung von freier Untersuchung 
des Kanons (1771-5), ii. p. 251, renewed the attack with extraordinary 
ferocity. This called forth the replies of J. A. Vos, Oratio pro libro 
Esther (1775); J. J. Hess, Geschichte der Israeliten (1776-88); P. J. 
Bruns, Entwurf einer Einleitung (1784); F. S. Eckard, Philos. u. krit. 
Untersuchung iiber das A. T. u. dessen Gbttlichkeit (1787); S. G. Unger, 
De auctoritate librorum V. T. infamilia Dei (1785). In various forms 
the attack on the historical credibility of the book was renewed by J. D. 
Michaelis, Bibl. Orient.,!!. (1775), pp. 34#.; J. G. Eichhorn, Einleitung 
(1780); H. E. Gute, Einleitung (1787); H. Corrodi, Versuch einer 
Beleuchtung d. judischen Bibelkanons (1792), pp. 64/".; A. H. Niemeyer, 
Characteristick der Bibel, v. (1782), pp. 224^., who remarks thatVashti 
is the only decent character in the book. 

From the nineteenth century come the following works in which the 
problems of the higher criticism of Est. are discussed. Those marked 


with (C) are conservative treatises that defend the traditional concep- 
tion of the book, the others regard it as wholly or in part a work of the 
imagination: — J. Jahn (Catholic), Einleitung, ii. (1803), pp. 295^. (C); 
G. L. Bauer, Einleitung (1806), pp. 364 jf.\ J. C. W. Augusti, Einleitung 
(1806); L. Bertholdt, Einleitung, v. (1815), pp. 2413^.; L. D. Cramer, 
Hist. sent, de sac. lib. V. T. anctoritate (1818) (C); C. G. Kelle, V indicia 
Esther-is, libri sacri, ad castigatam histor. interpretation's normam 
exacts (1820), see Theol. Anal. (1822), pp. 431^". (C); F. Ackermann 
(Catholic), Introductio (1825), 4th ed. (1869), pp. 186/. (C); W. M. L. 
de Wette, Einleitung (181 7, and oft.); M. Baumgarten, De fide libri 
Esther a (1839); H. A. C. Havernick, Einleitung, ii. 1 (1839), pp. 328 ff. 
(C); J. G. Herbst (Catholic), Einleitung, ii. (1842), pp. 249^". (C); 
F. C. Movers, Loci quidam histories canonis V. T. illustrati (1842), 
p. 27/.; H. Ewald, Geschichte (1843), 3^ e d. (1864), iv. pp. 296 ff.; 
Eng. Trans., v. 230; J. M. A. Scholz (Catholic), Einleitung, i. (1845), 
pp. 514/- (C); J. G. B. Winer, Art. "Esther" in Bib. Realworterbuch 3 
(1847); E. Meier, Geschichte der poetisclien National- Liter atur der 
Hebrder (1856), pp. 505 ff.; J. A. Nickes (Catholic), De Estherce libro 
(1856), two large volumes (C); S. Davidson, Introduction, ii. (1862), 
pp. 151/.; hi. (1863), pp. 391/.; E. Riehm, SK. 1862, p. 407/.; J. J. 
Stahelin, Einleitung (1862), pp. 170 ff.; H. H. Millman, History of 
the Jews (1863), ed. N. Y., 1881, pp. 472/. (C); A. P. Stanley, History 
(1863), iii. (1877), pp. 192 ff.; J. Oppert, Commentaire historique et 
philologique du livre d' Esther d'apres la lecture des inscriptions Perses,= 
Annates Phil. Chret. (1864) (C); Articles on Esther, etc.; in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible (1863 and 1893) (C); G. Weber and O. Holz- 
mann, Geschichte, i. (1867), p. 418; T. Noldeke, A. T. Literatur (1868), 
pp. 8ijf.; A. D. Aeschimann, Etude surle livre d' 'Esther (1868); E. Reuss, 
Art. "Esther" in Schenkel's Bibel-Lexicon (1869); F. Hitzig, Geschichte 
(1869), pp. 279 ff.; E. Schrader, Einleitung (1869), pp. 396 ff.; Bleek- 
Kamphausen, Einleitung (1870), pp. 402^".; L. S. P. Meijboom, Raad- 
selachtige verhalen uit het O.en het N. Verbond (1870), pp. 90 ff.; Articles 
on "Esther," etc., in Hamburger, Realencyklopadie (1870-97); F. H. 
Reusch (Catholic), Einleitung (1870), pp. 132 /. (C>; H. Zschokke 
(Catholic), Historia (1872), pp. 308 /. (C); Bertholdt and Zunz, 
ZDMG. 1873, p. 684; C. F. Keil, Einleitung (1873), pp. 487/., 730/. 
(C); H. Gratz, Geschichte der Juden, ii. (1875), pp. 332, 339^".; A. 
Kohler, Geschichte, iii. (1893), p. 593 (C); L. Herzfeld, Geschichte 
(1870), pp. 108 ff.; A. Geiger (Jew), Einleitung, in Nachgelassene 
Schriften, iv. (1877), p. 170; J. S. Bloch (Jew), Hellenistische Bestand- 
theile im biblischen Schriftthum, eine kritische Untersuchung uber 
Abfassung, Character u. Tendenzen des B. Esther (1877, i882)=/wd. 
Lit. Bl. 1877, Nos. 27-34; T. K. Cheyne, Articles on "Esther," etc., 
in EB. (1878 sq.); P. Kleinert, Abriss der Einleitung (1878), pp. 56/., 


68, 79; B. Hausc (Jew), "Nodi einmal d. B. Esther," Jild. Lit. Bl. 
viii. (1879), No. 42 (C); E. Ledrain (Catholic), Histoire, ii. (1882), 
pp. 103, 170 (C); C. M. Horowitz, "Ueber die Peripetie im B. Est.," 
MGWJ. xxxi. (1882), pp. 49 ff.; R. P. Stcbbins, .4 Common-sense View 
of the Books of the O. T. (1885), pp. 120/.; J. S. Bloch, "Der historische 
Hintergrund und die Abfassungszeit d. B. Est.," MGWJ. 1886, pp. 
425/-, 473 I; 52i/-; W. Vatke, Einleitung (1886), pp. 496/-; W. 
Schanz (Catholic), Einleitung (1887), pp. 480/. (C); F. W. Weber, 
Einleitung (1887), pp. 66^*.; R. Comely (Catholic), Introductio (1897), 
ii. 1, pp. 417 ff. (C); E. Riehm, Einleitung, ii. (1890), pp. 339 ff.; M. 
Vernes, Precis d'histoire Juive (1889), pp. 824^".; A. Scholz (Catholic), 
"Die Namen im B. Est.," Tub. Theol. Quartalschrift, lxxii. (1890), 
pp. 209/".; P. H. Hunter, After the Exile (1890), pp. 237^.; F. Kaulen 
(Catholic), Einleitung* (1890), pp. 269/". (C); F. Robiou (Catholic), 
"Sur le charactere historique du livre d'Esther," Science Cath., Dec, 
1890; J. Mally (Catholic), Hist. Sacra A. I . (1890); E. Reuss, Gesch. 
der heiligen Schriften A. T. (1890), pp. 610^".; Steinthal, Zu Bibel- u. 
Religion sphilo so phie (1890), pp. 53^*., "Haman, Bileam und der judische 
Nabi"; W. Gladden, Who Wrote the Bible (1892), pp. 161 ff.; A. F. 
Kirkpatrick, Divine Library of the O. T. 2 (1892), pp. 155 ff.; J. Robert- 
son, "Esther," in Book by Book (1892); W. R. Smith, The OT. in the 
Jewish Church 2 (1892), p. 458; Germ, trans., p. 447; J. J. de Villiers, 
"Modern Criticism and the Megilla," Jew. Chronicle, Feb., 1893; 
T. K. Cheyne, Founders of OT. Criticism (1893), pp. 359^".; E. Konig, 
Einleitung (1893), pp. 289^., 450 jf., 481 /.; Articles "Esther," etc., 
in Riehm, Handworterbuch des biblischen Alterthums 2 (1893-4); R. 
Smend, A. T. Religionsgeschichte (1893), pp. 331, 406 ff.; A. H. Sayce, 
An Introduction to the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther* (1893) (C); 
A. Schlatter (Catholic), Einleitung* (1901), p. 138/. (only the main 
points of the story are historical); J. Oppert, Problemes Bibliques (1894)= 
REJ. xxviii. (1894); Ellicott, Plain Introduction (1894) (C); A. H. 
Sayce, The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments (1895), 
pp. 469/.; H. Schultz, A. T. Theologie (1889), p. 417; H. L. Strack, 
Einleitung^ (1898), pp. 146 ff.; Articles in Vigouroux, Dictionaire de 
la Bible (1895 sq., Catholic); K. Schlottmann, Kompendium d. bibl. 
Theol. (1895), pp. 66 ff. (Est. is inspired, but not to the same degree as 
other books); E. Kautzsch, Abriss d. alttest. Schrifttums, pp. 116 ff., 
in Kautzsch's Heilige Schrift (1896); C. v. Orelli, Art. "Esther" in 
PRE.* (1896); K. A. Beck (Catholic), Geschichte 2 (1901), pp. 449 ff. 
(C); A. K. Fiske, Jewish Scriptures (1896), pp. 342 jf.; F. Hommel, 
Ancient Heb. Tradition as illustrated by the Monuments (1896), pp. 
161 ff.; J. Marquart, Fundamente (1896), pp. 68-73; J. M. Whiton, 
"Esther," in Moulton and others, The Bible as Literature (1896), 
pp. 61 ff.; G. Wildeboer, De letterkunde des Ouden Verbonds (1893); 


Germ, trans. (1895), pp, 444 ff.\ F. de Moor, "Lc livrc d'Esther," 
Science Cath., Oct., 1897; W. Gladden, Seven Puzzling Bible Books 
(1897), pp. 68^".; E. Schurer, Geschichte d. jildischen Volkes* (1898-01), 
i. pp. 142, 156, 752; Iii. pp. 330 ff.\ E. Rupprecht, Einleitung (1898), 
pp. 439#; C. H. H. Wright, Introduction* (1890), pp. 140/. (C); J. A. 
M'Clymont, "Esther" in HDB. (1899); D. Leimdorfer, Zur Kritik d. 
B. Esther (1899) (C); C P. Tiele and W. P. Kosters, Art. "Ahasuerus" 
in EBi. (1899). 

To the twentieth century belong the following introductory works: 
H. Willrich, Judaica (1900), chap. 1, "Esther und Judith"; I. Schef- 
telowitz, Arisches im A. T. (1901); T. Noldeke, Art. "Esther" in EBi. 
(1901); S. R. Driver, Introduction 9 (1901), pp. 478^".; W. W. Baudissin, 
Einleitung (1901), pp. 305 ff.\ H. P. Smith, OT. History (1903), pp. 
485/.; G. W. Wade, OT. History (1904), pp. 473 /.; W. S. Watson, 
"The Authenticity and Genuineness of the Book of Esther," Princeton 
Theol. Rev. i. (1903), pp. 64/".; J. D. Prince and E. G. Hirsch, "Esther" 
in JE. (1903); I. Scheftelowitz, "Zur Kritik des griechischen u. des 
massoretischen Buches Esther," MGWJ. xlvii. (1903), pp. 24^"., ixoff.; 
J. Halevy, "Vashti," J A. , X. Ser., i. (1903), p. 377/.; H. Chavannes, 
"Le livre d'Esther," Rev. de Theol. et de Quest. Rel. (1903); 2, pp. 177— 
192; 3, pp. 114-119; H. Willrich, Juden und Griechen vor der macca- 
bdischen Erhebung (1905); H. Pope, "Why does the Protestant Church 
read the Book of Esther?" Dublin Rev. (1905), pp. 7J ff.; J. H. Raven, 
Introduction (1906), pp. 312 ff. (C); S. Jampel, Das Buch Esther auf 
seine Geschichtlichkeit untersucht (1907), reprinted from articles in 
MGWJ. 1905-6; L. B. Paton, "A Text-critical Apparatus to the Book 
of Esther," Harper Memorial, ii. (1908), pp. 1-52; P. Haupt, "Critical 
Notes on Esther," Harper Memorial, ii. (1908), pp. ii3-204=^4/5'L. 
xxiv. (1908), pp. 97-186. For special treatises on the origin of Purim, 
see § 28. 

The Protestant Commentaries on the Book of Esther that have 
been written since 1750, have all been compelled to notice the 
critical investigations mentioned in the previous paragraph, but 
in the main they have occupied a more conservative position than 
the introductory works. All the English commentaries until 
recently have been of the practical homiletical type, and have 
treated the critical problems that the book raises in a superficial 
manner. They have derived their material largely from the comm. 
of the Reformation and post- Reformation periods, and in scholar- 
ship they fall below the level of the leading English comm. of the 
seventeenth century. In Germany they have been more influ- 


enced by modern criticism, still many of them show no advance 
beyond the dogmatic standpoint of the seventeenth century. In 
the following list I have omitted titles where Est. forms part of a 
commentarv on the whole OT. 

J. G. Rinck (1755), com. on Est. 1; C. Simeon (1759); A. Clarke 
(1760); F. E. Boysen (1760); J. B. Koehler (1763), on Est. 1; A. Purver 
(1764); J. Wesley (1764); T. Haweis (1765); B. Boothroyd (1768); 
W. Dodd (1770); J. F. Ostervald (1772); J. A. Dathe (1773); C. B. 
Schmidt (1773); V. Zinck (1780); J. C. F. Schulze (1783); J. D. Mi- 
chaelis (1785), one of the more important of the older commentaries; 
J. Yonge (1787); R. Gray (1792); J. C. W. Augusti (1797); D. Macrae 
(1799); J. Hewlett (181 2), one of the more important early English 
comm.; C. Buckley (1802); J. Priestly (1803); G. Lawson, Discourses 
on Est. (1804); J. Hall (1808); S. Burder (1809); J. Gill (1809); J. Ben- 
son (1818); D'Oyley and Mant (1814); D. H. A. Schott (1816); A. G. F. 
Schirmer, Observationes exeg. crit. in lib. Est. (1817); J. Bellamy (1818); 
T. Scott (1822); J. Sutcliffe (1834); T. M'Crie, Lectures on Esther 
(1838); F. J. V. D. Maurer (1835), valuable gram, and text-critical 
remarks; J. Hughes, EstJter and her People, Ten Sermons (1842); R. A. F. 
Barrett, Synopsis of Criticisms, iii. (1847), a learned and useful work; 
R. C. Morgan, The Book of Esther typical of the Kingdom (1855); 
E. P. L. Calm berg, Liber Esther illustratus (1857); J. Cordthwaite, 
Lectures on Esther (1858); A. D. Davidson, Lectures on Esther (1859); 
E. Bertheau (1862), a very important book; C. Wordsworth (1866); 
A. Kamphausen, Esther, in Bunsen's Bibelwerk (1868), brief and popular 
but scientific; C. F. Keil, in Keil and Delitzsch's Com. (1870), ultra- 
conservative, but one of the most scholarly and thorough of the mod- 
ern commentaries; G. Rawlinson, in the Speaker's Com. (1873), brief 
and critically inadequate, but containing useful illustrations from 
Oriental sources; M. S. Terry, in Wheedon's Com. (1873); R. Jamieson 
(1876); F. W. Schultz, in Lange's Com. (1876), an elaborate and valu- 
able work, Eng. trans, by J. Strong (1877); J. H. Blunt (1878); P. Cassel, 
Das Buch Esther, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Morgenlandes (1878), 
valuable exegetical remarks, and full of illustrative material derived 
from the targumic and midrashic literature, Eng. trans, by A. Bern- 
stein; W. T. Mason, Questions on Ezr., Neh., and Est. (1880); A. 
Raleigh, The Book of Esther, its Practical Lessons and Dramatic Scenes 
(1880); G. Rawlinson, in Spence and Exall's Pulpit Com. (1880); 
J. W. Haley, The Book of Esther, a new Translation with Critical 
Notes, etc. (1885), very conservative, but useful; V. Ryssel, Second ed. 
of Bertheau's Com. in the Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum 
A. T. (1887), the most complete scientific commentary of modern times; 


S. Oettli in Strack and Zockler's Kurzgefasster Kommentar (1889), 
brief but valuable, represents a moderately conservative view; E. Reuss, 
Das A. T. iibersetzt, eingeleitet u. erlautert (1892-4); W. F. Adeney, 
in the Expositor's Bible (1893), popular but scientific; V. Ryssel, in 
Kautzsch's Heilige Schrift des A. T. (1896); G. Wildeboer, in Marti's 
Kurzer Handcommentar (1898), much condensed, but thoroughly 
scientific and very important; C. Siegfried, in Nowack's Handcommentar 
(1901), also much condensed, but extremely useful; W. Harper, in the 
Temple Bible (1902); J. E. Cumming, The Book of Esther, its Spiritual 
Teaching (1906), a curious survival of mediaevalism; A. W. Streane, 
in the Cambridge Bible (1907), a brief but scholarly little commentary. 

The Catholic Church, during the modern period, has contented 
itself for the most part with reprints and compendia of the older 
commentators. The few new commentaries that have been written, 
have been relatively unimportant. They are as follows: — 

J. N. Alber (1801-4), a very elaborate work; B. Neteler (1877); 
A. Arnaud (1881); L. de Sacy, Vhistoire d'Esther traduit (1882); E. 
Ledrain, La Bible, traduction nouvelle (1891); L. C. Fillion (1891); 
A. Scholz, Commentar iiber das Buch Esther mit seinen Zusatzen (1892), 
a work of great learning, but disfigured by the constant use of allegorical 
exegesis; Comely, Knabenbauer, Hummelauer, and others, Commen- 
tariain V. T. (1907); M. Seisenberger, in Kurzgefasster wissenschaftlicher 
Kommentar (1901). 

The new thought that roused Christendom in the middle of the 
eighteenth century also affected a small section of the Jews. 
Moses Mendelssohn, the philosopher, the father of modern liberal 
Judaism, projected a complete commentary on the Heb. Bible 
from a critical point of view. This is known as r)*DTl3 *"l£D 
D'Htm, and was completed by a school of exegetes in sympathy 
with Mendelssohn and known as the "Biurists." The com. on 
Est. (1788) contains a German translation by A. Wolfsohn and 
a Heb. commentary by J. Lowe. 

Similar in character, and aiming to convey to the Jews the best results 
of modern Biblical study, is L. Philippsohn, Die Israelitische Bibel 
(1858). I. Reggio's nnDN nSjn hy nneD, "Key to the Roll of Esther," 
is a modern critical introduction to the book of much merit. Other 
Jewish comm. of a modern type are S. Herxheimer, Die vier und zwanzig 
Biicher der Bibel, u. s. w. iv. (1848), pp. 449/. (many later separate 


editions of Est., last ed. 1902). S. Cahen, La Bible, traduction nouvelle 
(1848); J. Fiirst, Illustrirte Pracht-Bibel fiir Israeliten (1874); U. M. P. 
Hillesum, Het Boek Esther vertaald en verklaard (1902), Heb. text with 
very brief but judicious notes. 

Most of the Jewish commentaries of this period have remained 
on the traditional ground and have been content to make new 
collections of excerpts from the ancient midrashim and the great 
commentators of the Middle Ages. They are as follows: — 

Moses Isserles \" "VTO (Offenbach, 1779), characterized by extreme 
use of the allegorical method; Aaron Bar Pereles rnron rSj *n» (Prague, 
1784), and pn *IWB (Prague, 1790); Jonathan Eybeschiitz, nyw> 
n^i-u (Warsaw, 1864); A. Hiibsch, mSjo e>nn (Prague, 1866); Elijah 
hag-Gaon, of Wilna, ** *D isd (Jerusalem, 1872); Jacob Ehrenpreis, 
'« nSjD (Lemberg, 1874); Joseph Zechariah, innn cnn iin3 (Wilna, 
1875); Meir Malbin, 'n pSjd (Warsaw, 1878), with RaShI, ©», etc.; 
Moses Isaac Ashkenazi (Tedeschi), WD Win (Livorno, 1880); H. D. 
Bawli, nros hSjd Sn cnn nncD (1880); D. Kohn, nisd Nini irox yn nsD 
'h % th (Warsaw, 1881); Nathaniel Hayyim Pape, 'n 'd idd (Jerusalem, 



In Heb. manuscripts and printed editions the book bears the 
title Esther. In accordance with the analogy of other OT. 
books this title may mean either that Esther is the author or 
the heroine. The internal evidence shows the latter to be the 
correct interpretation. 

inDN in Gr. 'Eadfy (B A M L), or 'Aia-Ofy (93a). Cod. 44 adds, the 
twenty-second book. A later hand in 108b adds, that is Purim. The 
Mishna (Baba Bathra 14&) calls the book -inDN rV?Jip, "Roll of Esther." 
This is a late designation due to the fact that Est., like the Law, was 
written on a scroll, rather than a codex, for use in the service of the 
Synagogue. In still later times the book was called simply Manilla, 
"the Roll," par excellence. 



Between the title and i 1 , <££L add the following section, A 1 -" 
(=Vulg. and Eng. Ad. Est. 112-12 6 ). The Gr. text and critical 
apparatus to it may be seen in HM . ii. pp. 6-7. In various dis- 
torted forms the passage appears in late Heb. and Aram, midrashes 
(see Introduction, § 34). For a discussion of the origin and 
character of the passage, see the Introduction, § 20. The addi- 
tion is as follows: 

1 In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the Great, on the first 
day of the month of Nisan, Mordecai, son of J air, son of Shimei, son of 
Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, had a dream. 2 He was a Jew dwell- 


ing in the city of Susa, a great man, serving in the King's court. 3 He 
was of the captivity, which Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon carried 
from Jerusalem with Jeconiah King of Judah; 4 and this was his dream: 
Behold, noise and tumult, thunderings and earthquake, uproar upon 
the earth: 5 and, behold, two great dragons came forth, both of them 
ready to fight, 6 and their cry was great. And at their cry all nations 
were prepared for battle, that they might fight against the righteous 
nation. 7 And lo, a day of darkness and gloom, tribulation and anguish, 
affliction and great uproar upon the earth. 8 And the whole righteous 
nation was troubled, fearing the evils that should befall them, and were 
ready to perish. 9 Then they cried unto God; and upon their cry, as 
it were from a little fountain, there came a great river, even much water. 
10 The light and the sun rose up, and the lowly were exalted, and de- 
voured the glorious. u Now when Mordecai, who had seen this dream, 
and what God had determined to do, awoke, he bore it in mind, and 
until night by all means was desirous to understand it. 12 And Mor- 
decai slept in the court with Gabatha and Tharra, the two eunuchs of 
the King, the keepers of the court. 13 And he heard their communings, 
and searched out their purposes, and learned that they were about to 
lay hands upon King Artaxerxes; and he informed the King about them. 
14 Then the King examined the two eunuchs, and after they had con- 
fessed, they were led to execution. 15 And the King wrote these things 
for a memorial; Mordecai also wrote concerning these things. 16 So 
the King commanded Mordecai to serve in the court, and for this he 
gave him gifts. ,7 But Haman, son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, who 
was in great honour with the King, sought to injure Mordecai and his 
people because of the two eunuchs of the King. 



1. And afterward]. This expression, by AV. and RV. rendered, 
now it came to pass, is used in continuation of a historical narrative, 
and implies a preceding verb in the perfect. Many of the books 
of the OT. are meant to be read in connection with those that pre- 
cede them; but here, as in Jon. i 1 , no such connection is possible. 
The phrase cannot be due, as perhaps Jon. i l , to the fact that Est. 
is an extract from a larger history (Scho.); nor that in late Heb. 
and afterward had lost its original meaning (Keil, Wild., and the 
older comm. in general); nor that knowledge of the earlier history 
of Xerxes is presupposed in the reader (Bert., Oct.); but it is an 


imitation of the beginnings of the older histories, designed to suggest 
that Est. belongs to this class of literature. — {<& L + After these 
events]. This addition is made with reference to the section A 1 - 17 
that has just been inserted by (& L. — In the days of], the usual ex- 
pression for the period of a king's reign, cf. Gn. 14* 1 S. 17 12 2 S. 21 1 
1 K. 10" 21 29 and often. — Xerxes] Heb. ' Ahashwerosh (Ahasuerus). 
On the identity of this monarch with Xerxes I, see Introduction, 
§ 22. Xerxes was the son of Darius by Atossa, the daughter of 
Cyrus. He was not the oldest son; but, as the first born after his 
father became king, and as the grandson of the great Cyrus, he 
succeeded in making good his claim to the throne upon the death 
of Darius in 486 B.C. He had the reputation of being the tallest 
and the handsomest man among the Persians (Her. vii. 187). In 
spite of many noble characteristics, he showed on the whole a weak 
and passionate disposition that unfitted him for his high office, and 
made his rule inglorious. The most important event of his reign 
was the unsuccessful war with Greece in 480-470 B.C., rendered 
forever memorable by the narrative of Herodotus in books vii.-ix. 
of his history.* The architectural undertakings of Xerxes were 
numerous, and in Persepolis the ruins of several of his buildings 
are still to be seen.f In these buildings a number of trilingual in- 
scriptions of this King have been discovered, t He was assassi- 
nated in 465 B.C. by the officers of his palace. After the name of 
Xerxes, ® 2 gives a long addition in regard to the ten kings who 
have ruled, or shall rule, the earth; the accession of Evil-Merodach, 
his relations to Daniel and Jehoiachin, and the accession of Darius. 
As this has nothing to do with the story of Esther, it is not inserted 
here. — He is the Xerxes]. This and what follows to the end of 
v. x is a parenthesis breaking the connection between Xtt and «». 
The writer knows other historical personages by the name of 
'Ahashwerosh, and, therefore, finds it necessary to define which one 
he means. It is not likely that he knew Xerxes II, who reigned 

♦See Meyer, Geschichte des AUertums, iii. pp. 337-417; Justi, in Geiger-Kuhn, Grundriss 
der Iranischen Philologie, ii. pp. 457-460. 

tSee Niebuhr, Reisebeschreibung, vol. ii.; Flandin et Coste, Perse ancienne; Voyage en 
Perse (1851-52); Stolze, Persepolis (1882); Perrot et Chipiez, Hist, de I' Art, v. (1890), 
P- 403 fi- 

+ See Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschr., pp. 59-67. 


for only a few months in 424 B.C.; but he must have known 'Ahash- 
werosh, the father of Darius the Mede (Dn. 9 1 ), and 'Ahashwe- 
rosh, King of Persia, who stopped the building of the Temple, 
whom Ezr. 4 6 places between Cyrus and Darius. From one or 
both of these he distinguishes this 'Ahashwerosh by the fact that 
"he reigned from India to Ethiopia." The father of Darius the 
Mede is not said to have been a king, and the 'Ahashwerosh of 
Ezr. 4 6 is perhaps regarded as living before the great expansion of 
the Persian empire. Here, accordingly, Xerxes the Great must be 
meant. At this point the Targums insert the following passages: 

[S 1 -f In whose days the work upon the house of our great God ceased 
and was interrupted until the second year of Darius, on account of the 
advice of the wicked Vashti, the daughter of Evil-Merodach, the son of 
Nebuchadnezzar. And because she did not permit the building of the 
house of the sanctuary, it was decreed concerning her that she should be 
put to death naked; and he also, because he gave heed to her advice, 
had his days cut short and his kingdom divided; so that, whereas before 
all peoples, races, languages, and eparchies were subject to his authority, 
they now served him no longer because of this. But after it was revealed 
before the Lord that Vashti was to be slain, and that he was to accept 
Esther, who was of the daughters of Sarah, who lived 127 years, a res- 
pite was granted to her.] 

[5t 2 + The son of Cyrus, King of Persia, son of Darius, King of Media. 
He was the Xerxes who commanded to bring wine from 127 provinces 
for 127 kings who were reclining before him, that every man might drink 
of the wine of his own province and not be hurt. He was the Xerxes 
whose counsel was foolish, and whose decree was not established. He 
was the Xerxes, the corrupt king. He was the Xerxes who commanded 
to bring Vashti, the queen, naked before him, but she would not come. 
He was the Xerxes, the wicked king, the fool, who said: Let my kingdom 
perish, but let not my decree fail. He was the Xerxes in whose days the 
children of Israel were sold for no money, as it is written, "Behold ye 
shall be sold for naught." He was the Xerxes who commanded to 
bring cedars from Lebanon and gold from Ophir, but they were not 
brought. He was the Xerxes in whose days the faces of the house of 
Israel were black, like the outside of a pot. He was the Xerxes in whose 
days that was accomplished upon the house of Israel which is written 
in the Book of the Law of Moses, "In the morning thou shalt say: 
Would that it were evening," . . . and because of what he said, and 
because of what he did, his days were shortened. . . . He was the Xerxes 
who killed his wife for the sake of his friend. He was the Xerxes who 
killed his friend for the sake of his wife. He was the Xerxes.] 


l b . Who used to reign from India]. HoddH, 'India,' is Old 
Pers. Hind'u, Skr. Sindhu, 'river,' i.e., the Indus, and refers only 
to the northwest portion of the peninsula, that drained by the river 
Indus. This is also the meaning of India in classical geography. 
The modern application of the name to the whole peninsula has 
arisen by a process of extension similar to that by which Palestine 
(Philistia) has come to be the name of the whole of Canaan.* 
According to Arrian (Ind. i. 1), Cyrus extended his conquests to 
the border of India (Duncker, Geschichte des Alterthums, 4 iv. 
p. 370). The conquest of India by Darius, the father of Xerxes, 
is recorded in Her. iii. 94-106; iv. 44. Indian troops fought in 
the armies of Darius and of Xerxes (vii. 65, 70). — Even unto 
Kush\ Neither the Babylonian nor the Arabian Kush is meant, 
but the African, i.e., Ethiopia, the modern Nubia. Ethiopia was 
subdued by Cambyses (Her. iii. 97), and was part of the empire of 
Darius and of Xerxes (Her. vii. 9, 65, 69/.). In iii. 97 and vii. 70, 
Her. combines India and Ethiopia in a manner similar to this 
passage. They are also given as the confines of the Babylonian 
empire in (£ Dn. 3 1 and 1 Esd. 3 2 . In Xerxes' own inscriptions 
he speaks of himself as "the great King, the King of Kings, the 
King of the lands occupied by many races, the King of this 
great world" (Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschr., p. 59). — [2I 1 + 
Which is east of great India, and unto the west of Kush:] [® 2 
+ From India which is in the west unto Kush which is in the 
east.] These insertions are due to the idea that Kush lay in the 
neighbourhood of India. — Seven and twenty and a hundred prov- 
inces]. This clause is not the object of used to rule, since this 
verb is regularly construed with the preposition over. It must be 
taken as an appositive, explaining the meaning of the foregoing 
clause from India even unto Kush. The 127 provinces are men- 
tioned again in 8 9 and in ^ in B 1 E 1 1 Esd. 3 2 . In Dn. 6 2 f*> 
Darius the Mede appoints satraps over 120 provinces. By the 
addition of 7 provinces the author perhaps intends to convey the 
idea that the empire of Xerxes was even greater than that of 
Darius. Her. iii. 89 says that Darius divided the empire into 

♦See von Bohlen, Das alte Indien, pp. 9, 17; Wahl, V order- tmd Mittelasien, i. p. 359 f}.; 
Lassen, Indische Alterthunnkunde, i. p. 2; Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschrijten, p. 246. 


20 satrapies. Jos. Ant. x. 249 gives Darius the Mede 360 provinces, 
but in the story of Esther he has the same number as ^. In 
his own inscriptions, Darius enumerates in the earliest period 

21 provinces, later 23, and finally 29 (Spieg., pp. 3-59), confirm- 
ing thus the statement of Herodotus. To explain the discrepancy 
between Est. and Her., comm. generally assume that the provinces 
of Est. are smaller racial groups into which the satrapies of Her. 
were divided. This view derives some support from 3 12 , "unto the 
satraps of the King and the governors of the provinces" (cf. 8 9 9 3 ), 
which suggests that the provinces were smaller than the satrapies. 
In Ezr. 2 1 Ne. 7 6 n 3 "the province" means no more than Judaea, 
but this was only a part of the great satrapy of Trans-Euphrates, 
which included Syria, Phoenicia, and Cyprus. Other comm. 
regard the 127 provinces as an exaggeration similar to those found 
elsewhere in this book (see § 27). Scho. regards the number as 
symbolic; 12, the number of the tribes; X 10, the number of com- 
pleteness; + 7, the number of perfection, means that all nations 
were subject to Xerxes. This view finds some support in the fact 
that Meg. 11a interprets the 127 provinces as meaning that Xerxes 
reigned over the whole earth.* 

2. In those days], a resumption of the thought of la , which has 
been interrupted by the parenthesis in lb . — When King Xerxes took 
his seat]. The language suggests the beginning of his reign, but 
i 3 says that it was in the third year. Meg. 11b solves the difficulty 
by taking the phrase in the sense of "when he was established," 
and this view has been extensively followed by later Jewish comm. 
So also Lyra, Mar., Vat., Cler., Ramb., Hew., Clark. Those who 
regard 'Ahashwerosh as identical with Artaxerxes Longimanus, 
see in this an allusion to the political disturbances that followed 
the assassination of Xerxes II, and take it to mean "when King 
Artaxerxes enjoyed peace." This, however, is an impossible 
translation. The phrase, accordingly, must be regarded as re- 
ferring, not to the absolute beginning of the King's reign, but to 
the beginning of his reign in Susa. The Medo-Persian empire 

*On the organization of the Persian empire, see Brisson, De reg. Pers. principatu. i. 160 
(for references in classical writers); Meyer, Qesch. d. Altertums, chap, i.; Justi, in Geiger- 
K.uhn, Iran. Phil., pp. 432-438; Huchholz, Questiones de Persarum Satrapis satrapiisquc 


had three capitals, Susa, Ecbatana, and Babylon, besides the royal 
residence at Persepolis. These events occurred at the time when 
Xerxes took up his residence in Susa (so Drus., Cas., Sane, Rys.). 
Will. (pp. 16, 21) understands the phrase of the official coronation. 
The Pers. monuments represent kings seated upon a lofty chair, 
and Gr. writers record that they travelled, and even went into 
battle, seated upon a throne (see Baum., p. 85 ff.). This was 
not a distinctively Pers. custom. Among the Hebrews, and 
throughout the Orient, sitting was the official posture for kings 
and judges. — Upon his royal throne]. Instead of (malkhtitho) , 
his royal (lit. of his kingdom), some codd. read mHakhto, 'his 
work.' On this slight foundation flf 1 , 3F 2 , and Mid. construct the 
story that Xerxes could not sit upon the throne of Solomon, and 
therefore had to sit upon "the throne of his own workmanship." 
The insertion in 21 l is as follows: — 

\M l + King Xerxes wished to sit upon the royal throne of Solomon, 
which had been carried away from Jerusalem by Shishak, King of 
Egypt; and had been brought away from Egypt by Sennacherib; and 
had been captured out of the hands of Sennacherib by Hezekiah, and 
had been brought to Jerusalem; but had again been carried away from 
Jerusalem by Pharaoh the Lame, King of Egypt; and from Egypt had 
been carried away by Nebuchadnezzar, and had been brought to Baby- 
lon. When Cyrus devastated the province of Babylon, he transported 
it to Elam; and afterward, when Xerxes reigned, he tried to sit upon it, 
but was not able. Accordingly, he sent and brought artisans from 
Alexandria in order that they might make one like it, but they were not 
able. So they made another inferior to it; and after two years had been 
spent in its production, at length he sat upon his royal throne which the 
artisans had made for him.] 

® 2 has a similar but much more elaborate addition describing 
the wisdom of Solomon, the construction of his throne, the visit 
of the Queen of Sheba, and Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Jeru- 
salem. The legends here gathered are largely of Babylonian 
origin (cf. Wiinsche, "Salomo's Thron u. Hippodrom, Abbilder 
des babylonischen Himmelsbildes," Ex Oriente Lux, ii. (1906). — 
Which was in Susa], added to distinguish this throne from the 
others which were in Ecbatana, Persepolis, or Babylon. Susa 
(Heb. and As. Shushan, (& 'Zovaoi, Old Pers. Shushin or Shushim) 


is the modern mound of Shush, 15 mi. S.W. of Dizful in Persia. 
Its history is known from references in Bab. and As. inscriptions, 
from classical historians, and from the inscriptions and other re- 
mains discovered in the excavations recently undertaken on its 
site by the French government under the direction of Dieulafoy 
and De Morgan. — The fortress], so also Dn. 8 2 Ne. i 1 Est. i 5 2 3 - 5 8 
3 15 8 14 9 6 »• 12 . This distinguishes the acropolis, in which the 
palace lay, from the less strongly fortified surrounding "city of 
Susa" (3 15b 6 11 ), which lay on the other side of the river Choaspes, 
the As. UknU. The excavations show that the main city had a 
circumference of 6 or 7 mi. At a height of 72 ft. above the general 
level lay the fortress, or citadel, a rectangular platform inclosed 
with a massive wall 2% mi. in length. This was the palace-quarter, 
in whose midst, at an elevation of 120 ft., stood the royal castle, 
or "house of the king" (i 5 2 8 4 13 7 s ). The strength of this inner 
city is repeatedly affirmed by Gr. writers (cf. Strabo, xv. 3 2 ; Poly- 
bius, v. 48). 

3. In the third year of his reign]. According to the Ptolemaic 
Canon (see Wachsmuth, Alte Geschichte, p. 305) Xerxes' first full 
regnal year began Dec. 23, 486 B.C. It thus coincides practically 
with 485 B.C. His third year must then have been 483 b.c. At 
the time of his accession Egypt was in revolt (Her. vii. 4); not 
under the leadership of Habisha, as has commonly been supposed 
(Birch, TSBA. i. p. 24; Petrie, History of Egypt, iii. p. 369; 
Erman, Zeitsch. f. Aegypt.,xxxi. p. 91); for, as Spiegelberg has 
lately shown (Papyrus Libbey, 1907), Habisha belonged to a time 
about 324 B.C. (see Or. Lit. Zeitung, 1907, cols. 422, 439). Egypt 
was reduced to submission in Xerxes' second year (484 B.C.), and 
was placed under the rule of his brother Achaemenes (Her. vii. 7). 
In the following year the action of the Book of Est. begins. Ac- 
cording to SI 1 , © 2 and Mid., Xerxes was obliged to wait until the 
third year because his throne was not yet ready. Mid. notes that 
this was the third year after the interruption of the building of the 
Temple (Ezr. 4 6 ). — He [QI 1 + Xerxes] made a [Gr. codd. + great] 
banquet]. The word means primarily a drinking-bout. It occurs 
20 times in Est. and only 24 times in all the rest of the OT. — To 
all his officials], not 'princes' (i.e., members of the royal family), 


as AV. and RV. translate, but 'officers' appointed by the King; 
so L correctly rots ap^ovcn (cf. Buhl, Die socialen Verhaltnisse der 
Israeliten, p. 83^'.). — And courtiers]. The word means primarily 
'slaves.' The 'slaves of the King' in OT. usage are not 'sub- 
jects' in general, as (8 translates here; nor are they those who do 
the menial work of the palace, but they are the members of the 
royal household, the courtiers, as we should say (cf. 3 2r - 4 11 5 11 
1 K. 5 15 20 23 22 3 2 K. 19 5 Je. 36 24 ). — [With the officers of] the army 
of Persia and Media]. 3b is a circumstantial clause describing the 
nature of the feast, and specifying the classes of dignitaries included 
under the officials and courtiers of 3a . The army is unrelated 
grammatically to the preceding clause. At least and is needed 
before it. Even with this insertion it does not make good sense, 
for it is inconceivable that Xerxes should invite the whole army 
of Persia and Media along with the dignitaries of the realm. 
Bert., Kamp., Schu., Rys., Or., seek to explain the difficulty by 
taking army to mean the picked body-guard of 2,000 cavalry, 
2,000 lancers, and 10,000 infantry described in Her. vii. 40/.); 
but, as Keil points out, the phrase force of Media and Persia can- 
not naturally be limited in this way. If this were the meaning, we 
should expect "force of the King." Keil holds that the army was 
present in its elite representatives, but in that case we should ex- 
pect "the mighty men of valour." It is necessary, therefore, with 
Jun. and Trem., Pise, Rys., Buhl, Haupt, to supply and the 
officers of before army (cf. 2 S. 24* 1 K. 15 20 2 K. 25" Je. 4o 7 - 13 , al.). 
The Medes and Persians were the principal subdivisions of the 
Iranian branch of the Indo-European race, and were closely akin 
in language, customs and religion to the Aryans of northern India. 
In the eighth century B.C., according to the As. records, they first 
began to push into the regions east of Assyria and Babylonia. By 
the sixth century their conquest of ancient Elam and the territory 
northward to the Caspian was complete, and a Medo-Persian 
empire was founded by Phraortes the Mede (647-625 3.C.). 
Under his successor Cyaxares (624-585 B.C.), Media was strong 
enough to destroy Nineveh and to divide the Assyrian empire with 
Nabopolassar of Babylon. Under Astyages (584-550 B.C.) Media 
declined, and Cyrus the Persian (549-530 B.C.) was able to seize 


the throne. Henceforth we have a Perso-Median instead of a 
Medo-Persian empire. Cyrus conquered Babylon (539 B.C.), and 
soon made himself master of the whole of western Asia. His son 
Cambyses (529-523 B.C.) added Egypt to the empire. Darius I 
(522-466 B.C.) did not enlarge his domain, but brought it into a 
splendid state of organization. His son and successor was Xerxes, 
the 'Ahashwerosh of Est. In this passage the Persians are named 
before the Medes, corresponding to the fact that at this time 
Persia held the hegemony in the double kingdom (so also i 14 1! » 19 
and in the Achaemenian inscriptions Parsa uta Mada). In Dn. 
528 6 9 < 8 >- 13 < 12 >- 16 < 15 > 8 20 the order is reversed, because Daniel lived 
at the time of the Median hegemony. In Est. io 2 the order Media 
and Persia is due, either to the use of a different source (see Intro- 
duction, § 24) or to the fact that chronicles are mentioned which 
naturally treated of the two kingdoms in chronological order. From 
these two orders in Est., Meg. 12a infers that there was a bargain 
between the two peoples, so that, when the kings were Medes, the 
satraps were Persians, and vice versa. — The nobles and the officials 
of the provinces before him] [Jos. 186 + as became a king]. The prov- 
inces are the conquered portions of the empire in contrast to the 
home-lands of Persia and Media that have just been mentioned. 
The comm. make many guesses as to the reason for this banquet. 
According to Meg. 11b, Xerxes perceived that Belshazzar had mis- 
calculated the 70 years of Je. 29 10 , and had brought ruin upon him- 
self by using the Temple vessels at his feast. Xerxes calculated 
more correctly, and found that the 70 years were up in his second 
year; therefore, in his third year he ventured to make a feast and 
to use the Temple vessels. 3F 1 holds that it was to celebrate the 
quelling of a rebellion, or was an anniversary; so also L, aycov ra 
crcoTrjpLa avrov. (& and IE. think that it was because of his 
marriage to Vashti; Cler., that it was to conciliate the empire at 
the beginning of his reign; Sane, to initiate his residence at Susa; 
Mai., Scho., to celebrate his victory over the Egyptians; Lap., to 
observe his birthday {cf. Her. i. 133); Ser., to display his wealth 
(cf. i 4 ). Jun., Mai., Keil, Hav., Baum., al. identify this banquet 
with the council which Xerxes convened when he was planning to 
invade Greece (Her. vii. 8), and quote the remark of Her. i. 133 


that the Persians discuss the most important affairs of state over 
their cups (cf. Strabo, xv. 3 20 ; Curt. vii. 4; Xen. Cyrop. viii. 8 12 ). 
There is, however, no hint in Est. of deliberating over an impend- 
ing war. These speculations in regard to the reason for the feast 
are of interest only if one is convinced of the strictly historical 
character of the book. 

[Of 1 , 2J 2 + Why did he make a feast ? Some say that his governors 
had revolted against him, and that he went and conquered them; 
and after he had conquered them he returned and made a feast. 
Another says, This was a feast-day for him, so he sent letters into all 
the provinces to come and celebrate it in his presence with joy. He 
sent and invited all governors of the provinces that they should come 
and rejoice with him. There assembled in his presence 127 princes 
from 127 provinces, all adorned with crowns on their heads, and they 
reclined on woollen couch-covers, and feasted, and rejoiced before the 
King. And while the princes and the governors of the provinces were 
before him, certain also of the rulers of Israel came thither, who wept 
and mourned because they saw the vessels of the house of the sanctuary. 
And they ate and drank and enjoyed themselves.] 

4. While he showed [them] his glorious royal wealth], lit. the 
wealth of the glory of his kingdom. The wealth of the Persian 
court is celebrated by the classical writers. Her. iii. 95 /. speaks 
of 14,560 Eubceic talents (£3,549,000, or $17,248,140) as the 
annual tribute collected by Darius, and states that he was accus- 
tomed to melt the gold and pour it into earthen jars, then to break 
off the clay and store away the ingots. Her. vii. 27 speaks of a 
golden plane-tree and a golden vine that Darius received as a 
present from Pythius of Celaenae. In the spoil of Xerxes' camp 
the Spartans found tents covered with gold and silver, golden 
couches, bowls and cups, and even gold and silver kettles (Her. 
ix. 80 /.). ^Eschylus (Persa 7 , 161) speaks of the gold-covered 
chambers of the palace (cf Curt. iii. 13; v. 6; Athenaeus, xi. 14; 
other references in Baum., p. 16). The Targums and Midrash 
make the following additions: — 

[® l + It is not written that he showed his wealth, but, " While he showed 
his glorious royal wealth," that is, the wealth that had come from the 
sanctuary, for flesh and blood cannot possess wealth, but all wealth be- 
longs to the Holy One, blessed be He! as it is written, "Mine is the silver 


and mine the gold, saith the Lord of hosts." Every day he showed 
them six treasure-chambers, as it is written, "wealth, glory, kingdom, 
costliness, ornament, greatness," that is, six things. But when the 
Israelites saw there the vessels of the house of the sanctuary, they were 
not willing to remain before him; and they told the King, the Jews are 
not willing to remain because they see the vessels of the house of the 
sanctuary. Then the King commanded his servants to bring them other 

[Mid. + He showed them his great household. ... He showed them 
his various revenues from the land of Israel. . . . He showed off with 
what belonged to him and with what did not belong to him, like the 
crow that struts on its own and on somebody else's ground. How did 
the wretch get so much wealth? R. Tanhuma said, the cursed Ne- 
buchadnezzar had brought all the wealth of the world together for him- 
self, and his eye feared for his wealth. When he saw that he was near 
death, he said: Shall I leave all this wealth to this fool Evil-Merodach ? 
He loaded it upon great copper ships and sunk them in the Euphrates. 
They were then disclosed by God to Cyrus when he gave command to 
rebuild the Temple, as it is written: "So saith the Lord to his anointed, 
to Cyrus, 'I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches 
of secret places'" (Is. 45 3 )]. 

[QI 1 -f- This was left in the hand of Xerxes by Cyrus the Mede, who had 
found this treasure. When he captured Babylon, he dug into the bank 
of the Euphrates, and found there 680 chests full of pure gold, diamonds, 
beryls, and emeralds. With these treasures then he displayed his 

And the costliness of his kingly apparel], lit. the costliness of the 
ornament of his greatness. The language of this and of the pre- 
ceding clause is as redundant as the statements are exaggerated. 
— Many days [3F 1 +and the feast for his officials lasted] 180 days]. 
Many days is an ace. of time that joins on to made a banquet 3a ; 
180 days is an appositive, defining more precisely what is meant by 
many days. The extraordinary length of this banquet, 180 days, 
or half a year, has aroused the wonder and the incredulity of comm. 
in all ages. Mid. absurdly suggests that many may be 3, and days 
may be 2, so that really there were only 5 days; and that they are 
called 180 because they seemed that long to the oppressed Jews. 
Scho. takes 180 as symbolic of the duration of the Messiah's king- 
dom. Bon., Sal., Cler., West., Eich., Baum., Scott, Raw., Stre., al., 
think that the governors could not have left their provinces for 
180 days, and, therefore, were entertained by Xerxes in relays; 



but there is not the least foundation for this view in the text. 
Lyra, Keil and Winck. (AOF. iii. i, p. 31 n.) take v. * as a paren- 
thesis describing the events which preceded the feast, rather than 
those which occurred during its progress, and regard the 7 -day 
feast of v. 5 as the same as the one whose description is begun in 
v. 3a . This is not a natural interpretation, since while he showed 
them (v. 4 ) does not properly mean 'at the end of a 180 days' 
display.' Besides, if the nobles were present for 180 days look- 
ing at the treasures, no reason appears why the feast might not 
have lasted during that period. Moreover, all the people that were 
found in Susa (v. 5 ) is not the same as his officials and his courtiers 
(v. 3 ), which shows that the banquet of v. 6 is different from that of 
v. 3 . In support of their identity, Keil urges that the officials and 
the courtiers of v. & are present at the feast of v. 5 (cf. v. u ); but this 
is easily explained by the supposition that, although the multitude 
was invited, the nobles also remained to the second banquet. In 
fact, the peoples and the officials are named together in v. ". Keil's 
view also demands the arbitrary assumption of an anacoluthon 
at the beginning of v. 5 to resume the thought of v. 3 . We must 
hold, therefore, with the majority of comm.,that the author means 
to say that there was a feast of 180 days, followed by another feast 
of 7 days. As to the probability of such a celebration, opinions 
differ. Ser. cites a 90-day debauch of Dionysius of Syracuse, and 
Fryar, Travels, p. 348, reports that he found feasts of six months' 
duration among the modern Persians; nevertheless 180 days re- 
mains an incredibly long time for the King and all the officials of 
the empire to spend in drinking. 

1. i.-m] Kal i^T-qae 108a: om. 44 J: many of the historical books of 
the OT. begin with 1: thus Ex., 1 K., Ezr., with a simple 1 conjunctive; 
Lv., Nu., 2 K., 2 Ch., with 1 consecutive and the impf.; Jos., Ju., 1 S., 
2 S., Ne., with tpi. In all these cases, the book is meant to be read 
in connection with the one that precedes it (so also possibly Ru. i 1 and 
Ez. i 1 ); here, however, such a connection is impossible. Meg. 10b, 
W, Mid. 1a, Yalqut Est. § 1044, claim that everywhere in Scripture 
Wl introduces a narrative of disaster. This conceit has its origin in 
the similar sound of Gr. oval, Latin vce, 'woe.' — ""DO] Kal itcpdrrjo-ep 
108a: om. 44. — BT1HprH«»] Assueri 9: Artaxerxis fi: *■;•*■ -■) &: 
'A<r<rvi?)pov L: 'Apra&pfav (£ (so 3 & L <& elsewhere): om. 44, 108a. — son] 


om. K 1 5 1 , R 899, J : otjjd cot & : ovtos 8e 44 : rov /ScuuMws L. — »wiw l ] 
om. K 151, R 899, J: rod fieydXov L: -f-6 paaiXevwv 936 under *: Haupt 
deletes as a gloss. — l^nn] om. 106: here pointed as a ptc., as in Je. 22 11 , 
but it might equally well be pointed as a noun, *1^Dn 'the king.' The 
ptc, if correct, expresses the continuance of Xerxes' rule. From this 
unusual vocalization Meg. 10b, Mid., Yalq. § 1045, RaShI, infer that 
Xerxes was an upstart who had usurped the throne. This opinion is 
justified neither by the Heb. expression nor by the facts of history. — -nn] 
rrjs 'IpdiKTJs (&: India ^:-\-x^P as 108a: is derived by assimilation of J 
from njn, which corresponds to Ar. and N. Pers. Hind, Syr. Hendu, 
Aram. Hindya, O. Pers. Hind'u, Skr. Sindhu. The Massoretic vocal- 
ization is peculiar. From the analogy of the cognates we should ex- 
pect rather Hiddu, or Heddtl, with the accent on the ultima. Bert, 
and Scho. conjecture that it has been pointed in this way to make it 
resemble -inn, and thus to suggest that the heathen world is doomed to 
destruction. The word occurs only here and in 8 9 . See Ges. Thes. s. v.; 
Rodiger, Thes. Add. s. v.; Scheftelowitz, Arisches im A. T. y p. 43. 
— Pisnjn] so L Cn 8 ' ^, 93ft under *: om. (5. — tsna]. Three Rush's 
are known in the OT.: (1) a Babylonian people from which sprang 
Nimrod, the founder of Babylon, Erech, Accad, Calneh in the land of 
Shinar, Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah and Resen, all cities or regions of 
Babylonia and Assyria (Gn. io 8 - 12 J). This doubtless is the same as 
the KaSSe, a. people often mentioned in the Babylonian or Assyrian in- 
scriptions, whose original seat was in the mountains east of Babylonia; 
from which they emerged about 1700 B.C., conquered Babylonia, and 
established the third dynasty of Babylon, which reigned from about 
1700 to 1 100 B.C. Perhaps the same people is meant in Gn. 2 13 . This 
Kush was well known to the Jews in Babylonia; and in Meg. 11a R. 
Samuel identifies the Kush of Est. i 1 with it, and comments on the fact 
that it lay near to India. He explains the difficulty by saying that the 
passage means, that, just as Xerxes ruled over India and Kush, so he 
also ruled over 127 provinces, and compares 1 K. 5 4 (Eng. 4 24 ). This 
view is also followed by Ul 1 , 3J 2 , and Mid., but it is not the natural mean- 
ing of the language. India and Kush are evidently meant to be the 
opposite extremes of the empire. Moreover, and must be inserted 
before over 127 provinces on this interpretation. Rab is therefore cor- 
rect, in opposition to Samuel, in saying that Hoddu lay at one end of the 
world and Kush at the other end. (2) There is a Kush in South 
Arabia (Gn. io« f - P; Nu. ia» E; cf. Ex. a"- 21 J; Hb. 3' 2 Ch. 21"; ph. 
also Gn. 2 13 Am. 9 1 Is. 20 3 2 Ch. i4 9ff - This appears as Kusu in four 
inscriptions of Esarhaddon (Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen, 
ii. 8, 18; Knudtson, Gebete an den Sonnengott, No. 108; KAT. 3 , p. 89). 
On the Arabian Kush see Winckler, Alttestamentliche Untersuchungen, 
p. 165/.; "Musri, Meluhha, Ma'in," MVG. 1898, 1, p. 47; 4, pp. 


1-10; RAT. 3 p. 144; Cheyne, Art. "Cush" in EBi.). With this South 
Arabian Rush, the Rush of Est. i 1 is identified by Mar. and Cler., 
chiefly because they regard 'Ahashwerosh as the same as Artaxerxes 
Longimanus, and in his day Persian rule extended no further than 
Arabia. (3) Rush denotes Ethiopia, the modern Nubia (Is. 18 1 37 9 = 
2 K. 19 9 Zp. 3 10 Ez. 29 10 ). In Egypt, it appears as R3S, in As. as 
Rusu. This is probably the Rush meant by our author (so Ser., San., 
Mai., and all recent commentators). (Cas. thinks that Rush is a gen- 
eral name for nomadic peoples, and understands it of the Scythians on 
the northwest border of the Persian empire.) — jntr] pr. super J : om. &. — 
Dnrpl] pr. %^ &. — rune] x^P aL • L: P9^1 •*: an Aram, loan-word 
that occurs ten times in Aram, sections of the OT. (cf. Syr. medinta, 
At. medineh, 'city'). It does not appear in Heb., except in the later 
books of the OT. (cf. 1 K. 20 14 - 15 - 17 - 19 Ezr. 2 1 Ne. i 3 Ec. 2 8 5? Lam. i» 
Ez. 19 8 Dn. 8 2 11 24 and 29 times in Est.), 

2. nnn d^d-o] om. JUL: Haupt rejects as a gloss. — navs] here only 
in OT. nava seems more natural, but TOW is supported by <& 6re 
tdpoviad-q and L iv t0 Kadrjadai. The phrase expresses the beginning 
rather than the continuance of the action (cf. Miiller, Syntax, §111). 
On the use of 3, cf. 1 S. 5 10 . See Winckler, MVG. xi. p. 21, and Jacob, 
ZATW. x. p. 281. — -mv^nx -|Sd,-i] om. n*3N 55, 108a: Haupt de- 
letes cmtrnx. — l^nn] om. L. — irnoSn-Sj?] om. <g (936 has under *): 
this phrase is used only in later books of the OT. (e.g., 1 Ch. 22 10 28 s 
2 Ch. 7 18 . In earlier books we find hdScd ND3 hy (1 K. 9 5 ). — t^n] 
om. 3 (B 2J L. — nnon js'ici] om. L H: Susan civitas regni ejus ex- 
ordium fuit, Jf. — fttntt*] Susa was the capital of ancient Elam as early 
as the third millennium B.C., and was the sanctuary of the great goddess 
Shushinak. At first it was subject to Babylonia, and was ruled by a 
patesi or vice-king; but in 2280 B.C. it declared its independence, and 
from this time forward became a formidable antagonist of Babylon. 
About 2800 B.C., according to the annals of Ashurbanipal (Rassam 
Cylinder, vi. 107; RB. ii. p. 208/.), Kutirnahunte, King of Elam, car- 
ried thither the image of the goddess Nana of Erech. It was doubtless 
also the residence of Kutir Lahgamar, the Chedorla'omer of Gn. 14. 
About 1350 B.C. it was conquered by Kurigalzu II, King of Babylon, 
and some of the spoil taken in 2280 B.C. was recovered (cf. Hilprecht, 
Old Bab. Inscr. I, part i. p. 31). In the twelfth century the tables were 
again turned, Shutruk-Nahunte, King of Elam, and his son Kutir- 
Nahunte conquered Babylonia and carried its spoil to Susa. Among 
the objects plundered was the stele containing the famous code of 
Hammurabi, discovered in Susa by the French expedition in 1897-9 
along with other important Bab. monuments. After the rise of Assyria, 
Susa became the ally of Babylon against Nineveh. This led to prolonged 
and bloody wars, which ended with the capture of Susa by Ashurbanipal 


about 625 B.C. The image of Nana, which had been carried off 1635 
years before, was brought back, and an enormous booty was captured 
(Rassam Cylinder, vi.). Susa, however, soon revived from the disaster, 
and with the decline of Assyria became again the capital of Elam. 
About 596 B.C. it fell a prey to the Medo-Persian migration (cf. Je. 
49 34 - 39 ), and the old Elamitic population gave way to a new Indo-Euro- 
pean race. During the Median supremacy, Susa was less important 
than Ecbatana (Heb. Achmetha, Ezr. 6 2 , the modern Hamadan) in 
Media; but when the hegemony passed to Persia under Cyrus and his 
successors, Susa again became the chief capital of the empire (cf. Dn. 8 2 
Ne. i 1 ). Xenophon (Cyrop. viii. 6 22 ) says that it was the winter residence 
of the kings, while Ecbatana and Babylon were the summer residences 
(cf. Ezr. 6 lf ). The classical writers contain many allusions to its wealth 
and to the splendour of the buildings erected by the kings of Persia (cf. 
Baum., p. 18 ff.). The city continued to exist under Sassanian rule 
and was not abandoned until some time in the Middle Ages. The vast 
size of the mounds that now mark its site is a witness to its antiquity 
and former glory (see Loftus, Chaldea and Susiana (1857), p. 343 ff.; 
Neubauer, Geographie du Talmud (1868), p. 381; Delitzsch, Wo lag 
das Parodies, p. 326; Mme. Jane Dieulafoy, A Suse, Journal des Fou- 
illes (1887); La Perse et la Susiane (1887), chap, xxxix; M. Dieulafoy, 
L'Acropole de la Suse (1890), translated in part in Jampel, Das Buck 
Esther; Winckler in Helmolt, Weltgeschichte, iii. (1901), pp. 91-109; 
Billerbeck, Susa, eine Studie zur alien Geschichte Westasiens (1893); 
De Morgan, Delegation en Perse (gives an account of the French exca- 
vations; vol. ii., by Scheil, contains the Textes Elamitiques et Semi- 
tiques); Curzon, Persia, ii. p. 309. — mo] Krui*3 QJ 1 : birta #: is a loan- 
word from the Aram, that appears only in late Heb. (apart from Est. in 
Ne. i 1 2 8 7 2 1 Ch. 29 1 - 19 Dn. 8 2 ). In As. it appears in thef. form birtu 
as early as the inscriptions of Shalmanescr II (Delitzsch, As. HWB. 
p. 185). In Pers. it appears as baru, and in Skr. as bura, bari (cf. 
BDB. s. v.). In Ne. 2 8 the name is applied to a stronghold near the 
Temple, probably the same as the later Akra of the Syrians in 1 Mac. 
and Jos. After the destruction of this fortress by Simon in 142 B.C., 
another citadel was built north of the Temple, which was also known 
as H"V3 ((& (3dpis). This was subsequently rebuilt by Herod under the 
name of Antonia. (S and 3 here, and L in i 5 , have irb\ts and civitas, 
which leads Jahn to conjecture that the original reading in ^ was "VJJTI, 
but 31 in i 5 2 3 - s has Thebari, which represents rrj fidpei in the Gr. from 
which it was translated. 

3. om. &. — wff9 njao] om. L. — xhvh] ical 6 pa<ri\€i>s L. — nrtyc] 
-\-grande 31 & 44, 74, 76, 120, 236. — Sri 1 -] so 936: om. (& L. — V"w] tois 
<f>l\ois (&: rots dotXois 236: tois &pxov<ri L: tois <pl\ois avrov 44, 71, 74, 76, 
120. — "P-ojn] Kal rots XonroTs iQveaiv <£: om. L. — "HOI-Sti] om. & u 


(£alm have). — Vti] icai rots ivddfais (g: tt)s avXrjs (Vyrt) L: before S>n 
we must supply "Htp. (£ /cai tcks Xourois represents an original "iNtf), 
which is a corruption of nan. — Dns] Dns some codd. incorrectly. — 
D^Dmon] kclI rots &pxov<nv (g>: /ecu ot dpxovres L. a^Dmsn is com- 
monly regarded as the Pers. word fratama, which is the equivalent of 
Skr. prathama and Gr. irpCbTos 'first.' It occurs elsewhere in the OT. 
only in 6 9 and Dn. i 3 (cf. the glossary in Spiegel, Die altpers. Keilinschr., 
p. 232; Lagarde, Armenisdie Studien, §2289; Ges. Abhandlungen, p. 
282/.). Haupt, Am. Journ. Phil., xvii. p. 490, proposes to connect it 
with As. parsumuti, 'elders' (Delitzsch, As. HWB. p. 546). Mid. 
and other comm. incorrectly regard O^mcn as the royal body-guard. 
RaShI and Kimhi know that it is Pers. and interpret it correctly. — 
ni^i] rCiv aaTpairCov (g: om. L. — mjncn] jLai^ao? &: om. <g. — vjd^] 
kcu fjiera raura (g (936 under -^) : + )^1 «y V? JJ-S9090 ££. 

4. om. H. — lriNnn^] ^.era rb dei^ai avrois (&: els to iirideixOyvai L: 
edeii-ev avrois 44, 71, 76, 106, 120, 236: the inf. with 3 denotes continu- 
ation of the action, i.e., the display went on all the time that the feast 
lasted. Instead of "intnru, 'in his showing,' we should naturally expect 
Dninna, 'in showing them' (cf. Jos. 5 6 ). This is supported by avrois 
in <&, and is adopted by Buhl. Haupt regards this as gratuitous. 
— 1133] \ k p j|" #: om. (S (93ft has under *). — WIoVd] rod fiao'iKe'ojs 
L. — yy>2 so ^as. (Baer): T2J var - G C (see Norzi, ad /oc): aft. VT?ru J. 
lp> is commonly used in Est. in the secondary sense of 'honour' 
(cf. i 20 6 3 - 6 8 16 ), but here the parallelism with *ie>j? in the preceding 
clause demands that it should be given its primary meaning of 'precious- 
ness.' — mssn], primarily 'beauty,' 'ornament,' is used of women's 
finery Is. 3 18 , of garments Is. 52 1 , of jewels Ez. i6 17 - 39 23 26 , and of the 
apparel of the high priest Ex. 28 2 - 40 . Here it seems to refer to the regalia 
of the Persian monarch. On the basis of Ex. 28 2 , Meg. 12a and Mid. 
infer that Xerxes put on the robes of the high priest that had been 
carried off by Nebuchadnezzar. — TnSru— "^ nxi] om. 44, 106. — 
>"nSnj] so many edd.: injrru B l C Ba. G: om. L 52, 64, 243, 248, 
C, Aid. — oon D^c] om. (& L: Haupt regards as a gloss, or alternate 
reading, to the following. — D*J1D»] pr. iv B, pr. iirl n L N, 44, 71, 74, 
76, 106, 120, 248, Aid., 55, 108a. — dndi] om. 70. 


5. And when these days were completed]. R. Samuel holds 
{Mid. ad. loc.) that the feast of 7 days whose description begins 
here, is included in the 180 days of the previous feast, i.e., after 
173 days the common people were admitted to dine with the nobles; 


so also Jun., Drus., Pise, Mai. In defence of this view it is said 
that there is no description of the feast of 180 days unless v. 5 be 
included in it, that the nobles were present (v. "), and that all that 
were found in Susa were invited (v. 6 ), i.e., the nobles as well as the 
common people. On the other hand, Rab {Mid. ad loc.) and most 
comm.hold that the seven days followed the 180 days. — [® 2 + The 
King said, Now I will make a banquet for the inhabitants of my 
city and] the King made a banquet during seven days]. Net. thinks 
that this was the wedding feast of Vashti, and compares it with the 
wedding feast of Esther (2 18 ). Cas. compares the seven-day feasts 
in the Shahnameh of Firdusi. — For all the people], i.e., for all the 
men. The women were invited to another banquet given by 
Vashti (v. 9 ). — [S 1 + of the house of Israel]. The addition is due to 
an ancient inference from the words all the people, that Jews must 
have been present at the banquet (cf. Meg. 12a). — That were found 
[2I 1 + sinners] in Susa the fortress [2F 1 + who were counted among 
the uncircumcised inhabitants of the land]. Were found is not the 
same as lived, but denotes those who at the time happened to be in 
the place, whether residents or visitors (cf. 1 Ch. 29 17 2 Ch. 34" 
Ez. 8") ; that is, this second feast included not only those who had 
come up out of the provinces to the first feast, but also the rest of 
the men that were present in the palace-quarter known as "Susa 
the fortress" (see v. 2 ). — From the great to the small], i.e., not from 
the oldest unto the youngest, but from the highest unto the lowest ; 
both the nobles, who had been present at the previous banquet, 
and all the members of the royal household, who had not hitherto 
been included, were now invited. Ctesias (a poor authority) 
states that 15,000 guests were entertained by Artaxerxes Mnemon 
at a cost of 400 talents (Frag, xxxvii., ed. Lion). — In the enclosed 
garden of the King's palace]. Persian palaces stood usually in the 
midst of a Trapdheiaos f or 'park,' which was surrounded with a 
fortified wall (cf. Xen. Cyrop. i. 3, 11; EBi., Art. "Garden"). 
The phrase court of the garden indicates a court belonging to the 
garden, rather than a court that is used as a garden, because in 
v. 6 it is paved with mosaic. Dieulafoy thinks of the mosaic-paved 
court in front of the palace at Susa. 

Under the name of the Memnonium the palace at Susa is fre- 


quently mentioned by classical writers (cf. Her. v. 53/.; vii. 151; 
Strabo, xv. 3 2 ; Polyb. v. 48). The early explorers observed ex- 
tensive ruins of this edifice on the top of the mound of Susa, and 
copied there the trilingual inscription of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
which reads: " Darius, my ancestor, built this palace (apaddna) 
in ancient times. In the reign of Artaxerxes, my grandfather, it 
was destroyed by fire. Through the favour of Ahura-Mazda, 
Anahita, and Mithra, I have restored this palace. May Ahura- 
Mazda, Anahita, and Mithra protect me" (Journ. of the Roy. 
Asiat. Soc, xv. p. 159; Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschr., p. 68/.; Bezold, 
Achamenideninschr ., p. 44/.; Oppert, Medes, 229-230; Records of 
the Past, vii. p. 79). In 1884-6 Dieulafoy excavated the ruins of 
this palace of Artaxerxes. The acropolis as a whole occupied a 
roughly rectangular space about 300 acres in area. This was 
divided into four quarters. In the S. W. corner was a fortified 
gate that was the main entrance (the "gate of the King" in Est.), 
and a large open space (the "outer court" of Est.). In the S. E. 
corner stood the royal residence (the "house of the King" in Est.). 
The N. E. corner was occupied by the harem (the "house of the 
women" in Est.) ; and the N. W. corner, by the apaddna, or throne- 
room, surrounded with an open space that may have been used as a 
garden. Dieulafoy thinks that the Mthan, or 'palace,' of this verse 
and 7 7f - is a Heb. adaptation of the Pers. word apaddna and refers 
to this throne-room. This is extremely doubtful (see critical 
note). The apaddna occupied a square space 250 feet on each 
side. Its roof of cedar-wood was supported by slender, fluted 
limestone columns with carved capitals, arranged in six rows of 
six columns each. The front was open. The rear and side walls 
were of brick, encrusted with mosaic of white and reddish gray 
cement, or with enamelled tiles. Each side was pierced with four 
doors. Flanking the main entrance were pylons, ornamented on 
one side with a line of lions on enamelled tiles, similar to those 
found at Khorsabad and at Babylon; and on the other side with a 
line of soldiers of the royal body-guard.* 

♦See the works cited on p. 134, and Dieulafoy, " Le livre d'Esther et le Palais d'Assuerus," 
Rev. des Etudes Juives, xvi. (1888), Actes et Conferences, pp. cclxv. ff.\ translated by F. Os- 
good, Bibl. Sacra, lxvi. (1889), pp. 626-653; Mme. Jane Dieulafoy, Harper's Monthly, June, 
1887; Jastrow, "The Palace of Artaxerxes Mnemon and the Book of Esther," Sunday- 
school Times, Nov. 17, 1888. 


[(& + planted by the royal care and hand.] [© l + Which was planted 
with trees bearing fruits and spices, overlaid for half their height 
with pure gold and set with inlays of precious stones, that yielded them 
shade. But the righteous Mordecai and his companions were not 
there.] [© 2 +He made arbours, and cut down spice-trees to make 
seats, and strewed precious stones and pearls before them, and set out 
shady trees.] [L -f- While he celebrated his deliverance.] [Jos, 87 
+ And the banquet was made for them in this manner.] 

6. The description of the feast in v. 6 is unconnected gram- 
matically with the foregoing. It begins abruptly with white stuff, 
without a predicate. The comm. generally regard the sentence as 
a series of exclamations, white stuff I cotton! purple! but this is 
very un-Hebraic. The subsequent descriptive clauses in vv. 7 8 
are introduced in the ordinary way with and, followed by a pred- 
icate. The Vrss. all insert at the beginning of the v. such words as 
"and awnings were stretched"; AV. and RV. supply "and there 
were hangings of"; Rys. and Sieg., "and there were." A com- 
parison of the Vrss. suggests that the original beginning of the v. 
may have been, "and the curtains were" (see critical note). — 
White cotton cloth]. The first word is written in M with a large 
initial letter, which is probably intended to call attention to a sus- 
pected omission before it (cf. De Wette-Schrader, Einl. 8 p. 210; 
Ginsburg, Intr. pp. 334 ff.). Similar extraordinary letters occur 
in q 9 - 29 . — [® l + With sapphire and green] and violet], i.e., blue 
purple, a colour extracted from a mollusk of* the Mediterranean, 
probably the Helix Ianthina (cf. HDB. i. 457; EBi. i. 875). 
Violet and white were the royal colours (cf. 8 18 ; Curt. vi. 6 4 ). — 
[L + And scarlet intertwined with flowers, and the tent was] caught 
up with cords of linen and red purple]. The idea is, that the cur- 
tains which served as awnings were suspended by means of these 
cords upon the framework set up to support them. So the Vrss., 
Keil, Wild., Schu., Sieg. On the other hand, Bert., Rys., Haupt, 
translate 'bound/ 'bordered,' instead of 'caught up.' — Upon rods 
of [(& Jos. + gold and] silver]. These rods formed a trellis to which 
the white and violet awnings were tied by the cords. The author 
has in mind the structure of the Tabernacle in Ex. 26-27, but there 
is no hint that he means this to be an allegory of the Messianic feast 
that God will make for his people (Scho.). — And [S 1 + round 


beams of silver placed upon] pillars of marble [& + and stone] 
[L + gilded] [®> + red, green, flame-colour, yellow, and white] 
[Jl + were gleaming]. The first addition of QT 1 is an alternate 
translation of the preceding clause. The word pillars is the same 
that is used in Ex. 26 32 - 37 27 10 - ll - 17 36™- :s al. for the supports of the 
Tabernacle; in 1 K. 7 2 - 3 - 6 , for the columns in Solomon's palace; 
and 1 K. 7 15 , for the two bronze columns that stood before the 
Temple. The word for marble is the same that is used in the 
description of Solomon's Temple (1 Ch. 2o 2 ). From this Mid. 
infers that these pillars were part of the spoil of the Temple carried 
off by Nebuchadnezzar. The columns in the ruins of the apaddna 
at Susa are of a dark-blue limestone that might easily be described 
as marble. In Mid. it is said that Xerxes' columns were of a 
bluish-black colour, and R. Mathna makes the curious remark 
that he had slept on the top of one of them, and that it was broad 
enough for him to lie at full length. This seems to indicate that 
the ruins of Susa were known to the Babylonian rabbis. Benja- 
min of Tudela, a Spanish Jew, visited Susa in the twelfth century 
and speaks of the ruins of Xerxes' palace (ed. Asher, 1840, i. p. 

[S 1 + He made them lie upon] beds of[(& 1 + fine woollen stuffs, 
which were spread upon bedsteads whose heads were of] gold and 
[® l + their feet of] silver [Jos. 187 + so that many tens of thou- 
sands could recline]. The clause is without conjunction or predi- 
cate in the same manner as 6 a , and the Vrss. all find it necessary to 
supply something. Probably we should read, and the beds were 
gold and silver, after the analogy of the descriptive clauses that 
follow in vv. 7 - 8 . Haupt supplies the prep. on. The word bed is 
ambiguous in Heb., as in Eng. It may mean either the mattress, 
or the frame which supports it. Ordinarily it means only the rug, 
or mat, which the peasant spreads upon the ground ; but in Am. 6* 
'beds of ivory' must mean 'bedsteads.' In this case Keil, Rys., 
Sieg., think of cushions covered with cloth of gold and cloth of 
silver. It seems more natural, however, with Meg. 12a, ST 1 , and 
Mid., to think of frames of gold and silver on which the cushions 
were laid. Her. ix. 82 speaks of couches and tables of gold and 
silver that the Greeks captured from the Persians (cf. Plutarch, 


Vit. Alex. 37). Reclining at table was not the custom of the ancient 
Hebrews, but in the time of Amos it began to come in from the 
East (Am. 6 4 ). In later days it was the universal practice of the 
Jews. Classical references show that Est. is correct in ascribing 
this custom to the Persians. — [J 2F 1 + placed] upon a mosaic 
pavement of porphyry and marble, and mother-of-pearl, and dark 
marble [(£ + and transparent coverings gayry decorated with roses 
strewn in a circle]. On marble, cf. 6a . The other names of 
materials occur only here and are of very doubtful meaning. We 
are to think of four kinds of stone of different colours that were 
set in ornamental patterns. Such pavements were greatly admired 
in the ancient Orient, and have been found in the excavations in 
Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia. The versions presuppose a 
different text (see note). 

7. [SI 1 + And he commanded] and drink ivas brought [3 + for 
those who were present] in vessels of gold [<& ® 2 + and silver] 
[Jos. 188 + adorned with precious stones for pleasure and for 
display] [SF 1 + from the House of the Sanctuary, which wicked 
Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem;] [® 2 + and 
he who drank out of a cup did not drink again out of the same 
cup, but they took that one away from him and brought him 
another ;] [(& + and a ruby beaker was displayed at a cost of 30,- 
000 talents]. Golden drinking-vessels are mentioned among the 
spoil taken from the Persians by the Greeks (Her. ix. 80, 82). 
Xen. Cyrop. viii. 8, 18, says that the Persians prided themselves 
on the number of their drinking-vessels (cf Athen. xi. 465 ; Strabo, 
xv. 3, 19). According to Mid., the vessels were of crystal as costly 
as gold. It is curious that in this description no mention is 
made of food as well as of drink. The additions of the versions 
are all imaginary embellishments that have no text-critical value. 
— And the vessels [Jl + for food] were different from one another. 

[2I 1 + And the other vessels of King Xerxes himself which were there, 
were changed in their appearance to the likeness of lead, and in the 
presence of the vessels of the Sanctuary they were transformed;] [Meg. 
12a -\- and a voice was heard from Heaven, saying, The former kings 
perished on account of their use of the Temple-vessels, and you follow 
their example.] 


The idea of the Heb. is, that no two drinking-cups were alike, 
an extraordinary evidence of the wealth of the King. (£', © 2 , 
and Mid. take the expression vessels differed from vessels in the 
sense that the Temple-vessels differed from the other vessels, and 
so develop the extraordinary idea that Xerxes' cups were turned to 
lead. Meg. takes the verb in the sense of 'repeating' instead of 
'differing,' and so gains the notion that Xerxes was 'repeating' the 
sin of Nebuchadnezzar (Dn. 5 2 - 30 ). — [2T 1 +And they drank] royal 
wine [SI 1 + of surpassing aroma, and most pleasant taste,] 
[(& ® l + and sweet,] [IE 1 + not scanty, but] abundant, with royal 
liberality [(F 2 + and the wine was older than each one that drank 
of it, for the cup-bearer asked each man, How old art thou ? and 
if he said I am 40 years old, he gave him wine that was 40 years 
old, and so with every one]. By wine of kingdom the versions 
and comm. generally understand such wine as the King himself 
drank. The older comm. think of the Chalybonian wine that the 
Persian kings are said to have drunk, and compare Ez. 27 18 ; 
Plutarch, Alexander. — According to the hand of the King]. (& iC L 
understand this to mean such wine as came to the King's hand; 
Mont., according to the ability of the King; Tig., according to the 
royal command; Pag., Vat., Pise, Jun., and Trem., and most 
modern comm., according to the generosity of the King, i.e., with 
royal liberality (cf. 2 18 1 K. io 13 Ne. 2 8 ). J translates correctly, 
ut magnificentia regia dignum erat. 

8. And the drinking was according to the law. There was no 
one to compel [Jos. + by bringing wine to them continually, as is 
the custom of the Persians.] 

[QI 2 + At the feasts of the Persians they used to bring to each one a great 
cup that held four of five hemince (that is what is called a pithqa), and 
they made every man drink it down at one draught, and they did not 
let him go until he had finished it in one draught. So the cup-bearer 
who served the Persians became an exceedingly rich man; because, 
when he brought the cup to a man and he was not able to drink it, he 
winked to the cup-bearer to take the cup away from him, and paid him 
a sum of money because he was not able to drink it. But now Xerxes 
was not willing that they should drink out of such cups.] 

The two clauses seem to be contradictory. One says that the 


drinking was regulated by law ; the other, that there was no con- 
straint. Meg. 12a solves the difficulty by supposing that accord- 
ing to the law means according to the Law of Moses, in which the 
altar receives more food than drink. S 1 thinks that it means 
according to the habit of each man; Mid., according to the custom 
of each nation; Cler., according to judgment, i.e., moderately. 
Most comm. interpret it as meaning according to the special rule 
made for this feast. Ordinarily the guests drank together at a word 
of command from a toast-master, but now they were allowed to 
drink as they pleased. This interpretation can hardly be regarded 
as satisfactory. In the place of these two clauses (£ has, and the 
drinking took place according to no prescribed law, which suggests 
that law should be pointed as a construct without the article ; and 
that we should translate, and the drinking was according to the 
law of no compeller, i.e., was unrestrained. — For so the King [(& + 
willed and] had enjoined upon every officer of his house [Jos. + to 
permit them to enjoy themselves and] to do according to [(& + his 
wish and according to] the wish of every man [5F 1 + that was an 
Israelite, and according to the wish of the men of every kindred 
and tongue.] [Meg. 12a + And every man received the wine of 
his own province.] [Jos. 189 + And sending messengers through 
the provinces he commanded that they should have a release from 
their labours, and should feast on account of his kingdom many 
days.] The idea of the passage as a whole is, that there was neither 
any compulsion to drink, nor any restraint from drinking: every 
man was free to do as he pleased, and the servants were required 
to execute his orders. This verse concludes the description of 
Xerxes' feast for all the people of Susa the fortress. Its splendour 
was so great that one wonders what more could have been done for 
the nobles at the previous banquet. Persian feasts were proverbial 
in antiquity for their magnificence (cf. Her. i. 126; Athen. xii. 
512; Horace, Odes, i. 38). 

9. Also Vashti the [5I l + wicked] Queen, [Meg. 10b + the grand- 
daughter of the wicked Nebuchadnezzar who had burnt the house 
of God,] had made a [L iC & 4- great] feast [L # + for all] the 
women in [S 1 + the place of the bedroom of] the royal house that 
belonged to King Xerxes [Meg. 1 2a + for she wished to sin as well 


as Xerxes, as the proverb says, The man reads and his wife holds 
the light.] 

[3I 2 + She gave them dark wine to drink, and seated them within the 
palace, while she showed them the wealth of the King. And they asked 
her, How does the King sleep, and she told them everything that the 
women wished to know. She showed them the King's bedroom, and how 
he ate, and how he drank, and how he slept.] [QI 1 + But the righteous 
Mordecai prayed before the Lord from the first day of the feast unto the 
seventh day, which was the Sabbath.] 

For the different theories in regard to the identity of Vashti, see 
p. 88. A separate feast for the women was not demanded by 
Persian custom (see v. 12 ). We must suppose, either that the 
author has wrongly ascribed a Jewish custom to the Persians, or 
that he thinks that the number of the guests necessitated dividing 
them into two companies. The house of the kingdom, where the 
women were feasted, is evidently different from the bithdn, or 
palace, where the men were assembled. Whether it is also to be 
distinguished from the house of the King and from the house of the 
women, as Dieulafoy thinks, is not clear (cf 2 16 5 1 ). 

5. pmtaaVJ mtfSi^ Q: om. 19 1C. The spelling in M is simply a 
mistake that is corrected by Q (cf. Baer, p. 71). — rwfal shows a transi- 
tion from *"*? to n" 1 ? forms, that is common in late Heb. (cf. Stade, 
Heb. Gram. § 201 b A; Siegfried, Neulieb. Gram. § 98 c, 105). niNSna 
does not mean 'in the fulfilling,' and so does not refer to a time within 
the 180 days; but means 'in the being full,' i.e., in the time when the 
180 days were over (cf. Lv. 12 6 ). It is thus practically synonymous 
with ™nSd:> 'at the fulfilment' (2 K. 4* Je. 25 11 Ez. 5 2 ). (& translates 
correctly 8re 8t aveirX-qpdjd'qaav al rjfityai. The 7-day feast follows the 
180 days, at the same time the nobles are supposed to remain for this 
feast also. — D'DVl] om. 19 H. — hSnh] &s L: tov yd/xov (j& (irbrov A 
n c. a mg> g^b under — : -f- aiirov 93ft) : om. C : convivii 3. — iSnn] om. 
HI 44, 106. — h^h] om. C — oj?n] om. LJj. — D^NXDjn] the word is 
regularly so pointed as if from a n" 1 ? root, except in Ezr. 8 25 , where it is 
in pause. On the form cf. Maur. on Jos. io 17 . The pi. is used because 
the preceding word is collective (cf. Kautzsch, § 145 c, /S). — {SOtto] efs 
(& (iv 44, 93&, 106): mon] Thebari H: om. 3. — jCOp-VnJD 1 ? om. (&: 
to end of v., om. U. — ny^tr] ii- (&. nncto is pointed as an absolute; 
d>d> njntf, accordingly, must be taken as an ace. of time, (& correctly 
i-rcl ijfxtpas. Haupt points as a cstr. <g ££ has probably arisen out of 


regard for the Sabbath, since the Jews were included among all the 
people that were invited. — djj ixm] Winck. (A OF. hi. 2) deletes as a 
gloss to the next two words. — ruj] om. (& L: cf. 7^ Ct. 6". Cstr. to 
njj, cf. Stade, § 193 c. — pn] om. C: ofrcou(g: + <rvp.<poiTov 93ft under*: 
e* nemoris 3: om. £: fjok^a g>: nsoa 'interior,' (E 1 : found only in 
Est. It is commonly supposed to be a derivative from no, 'house,' 
by appending the ending J T (cf. Stade, Heb. Gram. § 294 ft). Zimmern, 
KAT. 3 p. 649, regards it as a loan-word from As. bitdnu, 'palace' 
(cf. Delitzsch, HWB. p. 172; Haupt, ad loc). po is not very similar 
in sound to Pers. apaddna, and to regard it as derived from the latter 
is unnatural, inasmuch as apaddna is already represented by Heb. 
HSN (Dn. 11 45 ). Cheyne (EBi. 4500) proposes to read >;m instead 
of jrnj, and to translate 'in the royal pistachio-nut orchard.' — "J^on] 
quod regio cultu et manu consitum erat 3: + &yu)P ra crur^pia avrov. fjv 
dt ii-effTpuifitva L: + KeK0<rp.7]fi£vrj (g: -j- ko.1 9jv rj av\r) KeKoa-p.rjp.4vrj 44, 
71, 74, 76, 120, 236: Kat r)v KeKoo-firj/xtvr) 106: + erant autem strata stra- 
gula regis derpina H: -f- et pendebant ex omne parte tentoria 31: + 

6. Ti n ] n large, so Mas.: aerii coloris 3: fla^? #: Pv<T<xLpots (&. 
The word occurs only here and in 8 15 . <& translates 'fine white linen'; 
&, 'wool'; 3, 'sky-blue.' Rab connects it with hor, 'hole,' and re- 
gards it as perforated work; but Samuel says that it means 'something 
white' (Meg. 12a), similarly W. The root means 'to be white,' and 
occurs in Is. 29 22 . This word is probably cstr. before the next, so that 
we must translate 'white cloth of cotton,' not 'white cloth, cotton.' 
Haupt regards it as an explanatory gloss to Dfl-u that has taken the 
place of an original nnn. — dq-o] ).rn.t> ££: om. 44, 106: KapTraaivois 
(6: i.e., 'cotton,' is the Skr. word karpdsa. It is found in Pers., Ar., 
and Aram., and appears in Gr. as K&pira<ro$ and in Lat. as carbasus 
(cf. Lagarde, Armen. Studien, § 1148; BDB. p. 502). The Vrss. have 
for the most part the same word. & has the equivalent, and 9>, 'fine 
linen.' Meg. 12a renders 'covers of coloured stuffs.' The word 
should be pointed Dsns. — nVani] om. ($: kclI vaiclvdiva + icai k6kklvcl 
ip.ireirXeyp.e'va. iv &vde<riv nai gkijvt) L: et hyacinctina -f- et super organa 
U: ac hyacinthini 3: j^^sZ? 0. Haupt transposes this word with 
}M3 (cf. 8 15 ). — nnN] sg., but refers to both of the preceding nouns 
(cf. Muller, Syntax, §138). (& and & read the pi. — fia-nns] om. 
44, 71, 106. — yo-^ana] ^D?op 'in rows' Cft 1 . — yu] id. #: Pvaalvois 
C6L: carbaseis H. According to some it is derived from the root p>3, 
Ar. bdda, 'to be white'; according to others, from Egypt, hbos, 'clothe.' 
It denotes properly 'fine linen,' such as was made in Egypt, but is often 
confused with Ds-)3 'cotton cloth' (cf. BDB. s. v.). Haupt regards the 
word as a gloss to Dms, that originally stood immediately after Dona. 
— jdjini] id. &3J 1 : ko.1 irop<pijpois <£L: et purpureis subrotis C 


This was a red purple obtained from the mollusk Murex Trunculus, 
found on the Phoenician coast, and from the Murex Brandaris, found 
in the western Mediterranean. The etymology of the word is uncer- 
tain, but it is presumably of Phcen. origin, inasmuch as the manufacture 
of this colour was long a Phcen. monopoly. The word is found in As., 
Ar., Aram., Pers., and ph. in Skr. rdgaman, 'red,' bearing witness to 
the extent of the Phcen. export trade (see Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 124, 133- 
135; HDB. i. p. 457; EBi. i. 875; Moore, Judges, p. 234; BDB. s. v.; 
Haupt, Transact. Hamburg Congress Orientalists, p. 220; KAT. 3 p. 
649, n. 2). — »Mj] £k Kibvojv, 'pillars,' Jos.: pSpnN, i.e., 6yiavov, 
'hook,' (U 1 : qui circulis inserti erant 3. This word is derived from 
SVj 'roll,' and has ordinarily the meaning of 'circuit' or 'district.' 
Here it might mean 'rings,' as 3 and most modern versions; but 
Ct. 5 14 , where the hands (fingers) are compared to anr »Wm, suggests 
rather that it means 'cylinders,' or 'rods.' Gr. tctfioLs arises from con- 
fusion with »7T?J 'stocks,' 'blocks.' — rpo] eburneis 3: om. U. — 
mop] iirl (rri/Xois (&: icai <ttjj\ois L: ]»"V^v *\^o &: columna fi: om. 
71. — vy] ordinarily means 'fine linen.' Here and Ct. 5 15 it appears as 
a material from which pillars were made, in 6b as material in a pave- 
ment. In 1 Ch. 2Q 2 the alternate form Bfyjf is used of a stone em- 
ployed in the Temple. The versions generally translate 'marble': 
irapivois (6 L: eparina (electa) H: marmoreis 3: plSDTVD QP. & has 

1 v j P *■) 'acacia,' which is the word by which D>t3# is regularly trans- 
lated. This suggests that it read here D">t3iP hidjj. This reading is 
adopted by Canney (EBi. 2936), but ffl. is supported by the weight of 
evidence. The word appears also as the name of a kind of stone in 
Aram., Syr., and ph. in As. sassu (see BDB. 1010). According to the 
last-cited work it means 'alabaster.' — jThsd] pr. nal L 3 &. — IMYj 
om. L: + .v*g &. — nsxn] noxp. Ben Asher: nasi. Ben Naphtali (Buhl): 
\idb<TTpwTov <8> L: pavimentum stratum 3: lapides H: tt>"OD vtOD 'a 
trodden stoa,' S 1 . The root, which appears in As. rasapu, Ar. 
rasafa, means 'to join together.' nsx-i is a pavement composed of 
small pieces of stone. It is used of the pavement in Solomon's temple, 

2 Ch. 7 3 , and in Ezekiel's temple, Ez. 40 17f . — ana] om. H &: afxapaydlrov 
\ldov (g, i.e., a stone like the emerald in colour, perhaps 'malachite,' 
'serpentine,' or ' verd-antique ' : fffmpdySov L: smaragdino 3: pji'jBDnp 
'crystals,' 2I 1 . In Ar. baht means 'alabaster' (Dozy, Suppl. i. p. 121). 
In Egypt, behet means ph. 'porphyry' (Brugsch, Diet. v. 438; Wendel, 
Altag. Bau-u. Edelsteine, p. 77/.; BDB. p. 96). The word occurs 
only here, and its meaning is quite doubtful. — tPtri] om. L 71, 106: 
tr. w. next (&: see above. — -ni] ical invvlvov, 'and of pearl,' <S: n-ihi 
Nan nd^ »y\3"% 'and pearl of the cities of the great sea,' S 1 . These 
renderings presuppose the same text as $f. In Ar. durr means 'pearls.' 
In a pavement we must think rather of mother-of-pearl. Haupt thinks 


of shell-marble which may have been obtained from the neighbourhood 
of Astrakhan. U has varia, and 31 quod mira varietate, which seem 
to presuppose "a-p, ' and multitudes,' instead of M 1 "Hi. & omits. — 
mnDi] apparently the same as As. sihru, a precious stone of an unknown 
sort (Delitzsch, HWB. 495). The name is perhaps connected with 
~\r\v 'to be dark.' Instead of this 31 reads pictura decorebat, and £ 
pictura, which seems to indicate that they read rt»3D, which they took 
as the Aram, equivalent of rt»3|> 'imagery,' 'pictures.' In Is. 2 16 31 
renders this word quod visu pulchrum est. (& has icai a-TpQ/xvat dia- 
<paveis ttoikLXws diyvdio-fitvcu, 'and transparent coverings gayly deco- 
rated.' has jLj-4.50 1 ? Q-S? |2w*«La,Zo ' and coverings of linen and 
of silk.' Both of these versions presuppose rwDS 'covering' instead of 
mnD in ^ and rwaO in 31 ft The rest of the phrase in both cases 
is free amplification designed to explain what is meant by 'covering.' 
® l , ® 2 , read nvn mm prtS papD jvvsd pjwm 'and coloured ropes en- 
closed them on this side and on that.' This presupposes M mnDi. 
The word is regarded as derived from nnD 'go about, surround,' and is 
here freely interpreted as an enclosure of ropes that surrounded the 
feasters. Instead of mnDi "Hi L reads /cat kjjkX^ p68a, ' and roses in a 
circle,' which represents an original mnD nm. This then has come 
into <S, KtJK\(f p6da ireiraa/jLha, as a conflate reading alongside of the 
other translation of the phrase. There is no reason to regard the text 
of either 31 ?C or (& # as superior to HI. What we expect here is not a 
mention of pictures nor of couches, which have been described in a 
previous clause, but of the materials of the pavement. Regarding (& 
as original, Jahn emends nnnDi vn to read thus: o-pn D*DH3 niDODi 
onnD dhii rwwraD mhS. For nin:n "Hi trm Canney (EBi. 2936) 
reads: mnD 1 ? npjVtt w tcnsDI mi 'and mother-of-pearl and screens of 
fine linen in the form of shields.' 

7. mptpni] Hiph. inf. cstr., literally 'and the giving to drink.' The 
inf. is used because only the action is prominent, and it is cstr. be- 
cause closely connected with the following words: bibebant autem 
qui invitati erant 31: to DWV om. ft — D*JW— 0*731] om. (£»: ei-aWa L: 
et aliis atque aliis vasis cibi inferebantur 31. — pi] om. ) <&. — didSd] om. 
6 ft prcBcipuum 31: the form without the article is peculiar. Jahn 
emends to pine] after <j£> r)$vs. — 3^1] so Mas. on 2 Ch. 28 s {cf. Dn. n 3 ): 
cf. Stade, § 193 b, n. 2: om. L: + «al ijdvs <S: + et suave valde ft — to] 
5^ ayrds eirivev (&%: 6v irlvei L. 

8. nintrni] et ad jucunditatem bibere ?C : ponebantur 3f: this f. form of 
the noun occurs here only, the m. in Ec. io 17 :+o0ros (&. — ms] the 
word ni is Old Pers. data, 'law' {cf. Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschr., p. 
225). It is found in the OT. only in writings of the Persian period or 
later. It occurs 19 times in Est. and also in Ezr. 8 36 , in all cases with 
reference to a royal decree. In the Aram, parts of Ezr. and Dn. it is 


used both of the law of the King and the law of God. (See Lagarde, 
Abhandlungen, 36/.; Armen. Stud. § 579; Marti, Aram. Gram., p. 59.) — 
DJN pH mo] ov Kara TrpoKeifievou vdfxov iyivero (S. This shows that 
(& pointed ma without the article and regarded it as cstr. before p« 
djn, or else that it read HDJH p« ma. This gives a better sense than 
JR. H has secundem legem nemini vim fieri, which also implies that 
m is cstr. — djn] not 'hinder' (Schu., Haupt), but 'constrain,' i.e., either 
to drink or not to drink. — hjf_ -id"] here only in the meaning 'enjoin 
upon,' like ^£.iq*Q 9 21 - 27 - 31 (cf. 1 Ch. 922): tyikiptp ... /cat iirtTa&v 
(g. — iSdh] om. Hi — by] prcsponens mensis singulos 31. — in*2 3n So] tois 
oikop6jxols (g: actoribus domui 3C: de principibus suis 31: om. L. — fi^nr 
-{- auTou /cat (£. 

9. DJ] om. &. — »n»n] 'Ao-rlv <g: 'Acrri C: ai)r77 55: Ovaadelv 936: 
Oua<rrtj> L: Vasthi 21 31 (so subsequently in all these recensions). — nna>>'] 
pf., instead of impf. w. l consec, because antecedent in time {cf. 2 5 - 10 4 1 ). 
— no] pr. iv (SL1C&: 2 has accidentally fallen out of the text (cf. i 22 
5 1 9 4 ). — moVm] /3acrt\etots (g: roO jSactX^ws L. — -jStdS I^n] om. L H: 
d'Trou 6 paaiKeiis (g: Haupt deletes. — STWW] om. L: Haupt deletes. 

BUT SHE REFUSES TO COME (i 10 ' 12 ). 

10. [L + And it came to pass] on the seventh day, pE 1 + which 
was the Sabbath, his cry and the cry of the Sanhedrin came before 
the Lord, and] when the King's mood grew merry from wine, 
[3 + and when, after too deep drinking, the wine-bibber became 
heated,] [® J + the Lord sent unto him a disturbing angel to 
trouble their feast.] 

[2J2_|_ When also the 127 kings wearing crowns who were with him 
grew merry, and the conversation turned to improper subjects, a violent 
dispute arose among them.] [Meg. 1 2b + Some said, The Median 
women are the most beautiful; others said, The Persian women are the 
fairest. Then said Xerxes to them, The wife that I enjoy is neither a 
Mede nor a Persian, but is a Chaldean. If you wish, you may see her. 
Yes, they said, but she must appear naked, for with what measure one 
metes, it shall be measured to him again. The shameless Vashti had 
taken Israelitish maidens and stripped them naked, and had made them 
work on the Sabbath (similarly <E l , © 2 , Mid.).] 

The seventh day is, of course, the last day of the seven-day feast 
(v. 5 ) and not the Sabbath. With the phrase mood grew merry, 
cf. Ju. 16 25 1 S. 25" 1 K. 8« 6 Pr. 15 15 Est. 5 9 .— [L + The King] 


commanded M e Mman, Bizfthd, Harbhona, Bighthd, and Abhagh- 
thd, Zethar, and Karkas, the seven eunuchs]. On the attempts to 
explain these names from the Pers., see p. 67. The names differ 
widely in the Vrss., and the correct text is very uncertain. Eu- 
nuchs were employed as custodians of the women of the Persian 
court, as in Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, and other countries of the 
ancient and the modern Orient (cf. Her. viii. 105 ; Petron. Satyr. 
157; Terence, Eunuch., Act. 1, Sc. 11; Brisson, ii. p. 234). The 
old controversy whether this word may not also mean 'officers,' 
does not come up here, inasmuch as these individuals who have 
access to the women's quarters must be eunuchs. The number 
seven, which appears also in v. 14 and 2% was sacred among the 
Persians, as among the Hebrews. Ahura-Mazda and the six 
Amesha-Spentas constituted a heavenly council of seven; or, ac- 
cording to another conception, there were seven Amesha-Spentas 
(cf. Geiger-Kuhn, Iran. Philologie, p. 634). The royal court was 
patterned on a similar model. — Who served [QI 1 + during these 
seven days] before King Xerxes], lit. who served the face of King 
Xerxes (cf Gn. io 13 - " 1 S. 2 18 ). 

11. To bring Vashti the Queen before the King with the royal 
turban [(£ 1G J + placed upon her head] [S 1 + in recompense for 
the good deed of Nebuchadnezzar, her paternal grandfather, who 
had clothed Daniel in purple] to show [some codd. (& 1G J + all] 
the peoples and the officials her beauty, for she was very fair. [© 2 
+ And the King said to them, Go, say to Queen Vashti, Rise from 
thy royal throne, and strip thyself naked, and put a crown upon 
thy head, and take a golden cup in thy right hand, and a golden 
pitcher in thy left hand, and come before me and before the 127 
crowned kings, that they may see that thou art the fairest of 
women.] [Mid. + And she wished at least to wear a girdle like a 
harlot, but her husband would not permit that.] From the fact 
that only a turban is mentioned, Meg., S 1 , © 2 , and Jewish comm. 
generally infer that this was all that Vashti was permitted to wear. 
In reality the author means, in full regal attire, including the crown. 
Having displayed all his other treasures to his guests, Xerxes is 
now anxious to show his most precious possession, his beautiful 
wife. The remark that he did this when he was heated with wine, 


indicates the opinion of the author that he would not have acted so 
if he had been in his right mind. To show her beauty is a reason 
for the sending, not a reason why the Queen should come. On 
the question who were present at this feast, see i 5 . According 
to some of the Rabbi's, Vashti was one of the four beautiful women 
of the world, the other three being Sarah, Rahab, and Abigail 
{Meg. 15a). 

12. But Queen Vashti refused [H + and scorned] to come at the 
command of the King which [Jl # (5 1 + he sent unto her] by the 
eunuchs, [Jos. 191 + for she was mindful of the laws of the Persians, 
which do not permit strangers to look upon wives,] [Meg. 12b + 
because she had become leprous, or because Gabriel had come 
and caused a tail to grow on her.] 

[(U 2 + And Queen Vashti answered and said unto them, Go, say unto 
your foolish master, whom you resemble in folly: Thou groom of my 
father, I am Vashti, the Queen, the daughter of the kings of Babylon 
from of old. My father drank wine enough for a thousand men, yet wine 
never enticed him to speak such senseless words as thou speakest. So 
they went and gave the King the answer which Queen Vashti sent unto 
him; and when the King heard these words, he was very angry, and his 
wrath was kindled within him. And he sent again unto her by the seven 
royal eunuchs who sat before him in the kingdom, saying: Go now and 
say to Queen Vashti, If thou dost not hearken unto my words and come 
before me and before these kings, I will slay thee and take away thy 
beauty from thee. But when the officers of the King told this to her, 
she paid no attention to them, but answered and said unto them, Go, say 
to this foolish king, whose counsels are vain and whose decrees are 
worthless: Am not I Vashti, the Queen, the daughter of Evil-Merodach, 
the granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon? From my 
birth until now no man has seen my body, except thou, the King, alone. 
If now I come before thee and before the 127 crowned kings, they will 
kill thee and marry me. And one of the noble Persian ladies answered 
and said unto Queen Vashti : Even if the King slay thee and take away 
thy beauty from thee, thou canst not disgrace thy name and thy father's 
name by showing thy body to any person except the King alone.] 
[Jos. 191 + And though he sent the eunuchs often to her, she none the 
less remained away and refused to come.] 

No good reason appears for Vashti's refusal to show herself to the 
guests. It was not Persian custom to seclude the women as in the 
modern Orient. According to Est. 5* ff and Ne. 2 6 , the Queen 



could be present at banquets (cf. Her. v. 18), where the Persians 
say, " It is the custom with us Persians, when we give a great feast, 
to bring our concubines and lawful wives to sit by our sides." 
In Her. ix. no, Queen Amestris is present at the birthday-feast 
of Xerxes; so also Stateira at the table of Artaxerxes (Plutarch, 
Artax. v.). It is a mistake, accordingly, when later writers assert 
that wives were not present at Persian feasts (e.g., Plutarch, 
Sympos.i. i ; Macrobius,5a/. i. i.). The assumption of Jos.,Drus., 
and many others, that Vashti refused to come because it was con- 
trary to Persian custom, is therefore untenable. There is no hint 
of this in Est. Meg., 8f l , ® 2 , and Mid. assume that she de- 
clined to show herself because she was commanded to appear 
naked, but of this also there is no suggestion in the text. Even 
this explanation did not satisfy the Rabbis, for they could not see 
why such a shameless creature as Vashti was painted by tradition 
should be unwilling to come even in this condition. Hence the 
notion that she had a disfigurement which she was unwilling to 
reveal. Par. suggests that she refused because she thought her 
feast as good as that of Xerxes, and was unwilling to depreciate 
hers by gracing his. Keil and Bert, conjecture that the refusal 
was due to the fact that the men were drunk, and that Vashti 
feared to be insulted by them (cf. Her. v. 18/.) ; but, according to 
Lucian, the women were guarded by eunuchs when they at- 
tended banquets (cf. Brisson, i. 103) ; and surely a Persian queen 
must have been accustomed to the spectacle of drunkenness. 
The author of Est. apparently regards the refusal as merely a 
whim, for which he offers no explanation. The added words, 
which he sent unto her by the eunuchs, show that the summons 
was delivered in the proper, formal way, and, therefore, enhance 
the disrespect of Vashti. — [S 2 + And when the officers of the 
King told the King that Queen Vashti refused to come at the 
command of the King sent by the eunuchs (similarly L),] then 
the King was exceedingly angry, and his wrath was kindled within 
him; [Jos. 192 + and he broke up the banquet.] The anger of the 
King was due to the public affront put upon him by the Queen's 
refusal to obey a formal command given in the presence of all the 
dignitaries of the empire. 


10. ova] pr. iytvero 8t L: pr. itaque 31: pr. o &. — a«a] cstr. inf. 
with D, as fUW (i 1 ) q. v., not the Qal pf., or the adj., as some comm. — 
aS] om. (SL2I. — p^3] om. (521: e/ />os/ nimiam potationem incalu- 
isset mero 31. — CDnDn njftlP] om. L. — D^mwsn] om. 52, 64, 243, 248, 
C, Aid. — »JB pn] om. dlL: rots wpvTois 71. — V>on] e/ws 3f: avrou L 44, 
106. — r nvynw] om. 3LN 44, 55, 74, 76, 106, 108a, 120, 236: Haupt 

11. »n>n Pn] om. (£2j. — moSc-'OoS] 7rv>ds avrbv, fiavCkeveiv avrrjv /ecu 
wepideivai avrrj to 5id8-qp.a tffi: ets to <rvi>e<TT7]Kbs av/xirdaiov kv ry 
SiaSTj/mrt t^s paaiXdas avri]s L: coram rege posito super caput ejus 
diademate 31. — ir?r] diddrj/xa (gL3I3f: Kjn &® 2 : N^So QI 1 : from 1H3 
'surround,' is a turban twisted up to a high point, Gr. /a'5a/ns (see 
Marti, Aram. Gram. Glos., s. v. nSoi^). Lagarde, Armen. Stud. 1003; 
G€s. /l&/z/. 207, regards it as a Pers. loan-word. It is found only in Est., 
here, and 2 17 of the Queen's turban, 6 8 of the ornament on the head of 
the King's horse. — mNPn^] -+- ira<riv x A N 44, 55, 64, 71, 74, 76, 106, 
108a, 120, 243, 248, 249, 21 3J: Kara irpbatairov L. — D^yn] rrjs arpancts 
avrov L. — son-ai-cm] om. L. 

12. nz^on] om. 31 L. — »n«n] om. 31 1C 44, 106: Haupt deletes. — NiaS] 
irot.r)<rcu L. — "WM— "Dia] om. <8>2I. — itrs] om. L: + mandaverat 31: + 
M »^S «. a, &. — QtDnDn 10] fierd rcDv eupotfxwi' ($>: c«m eis H: om. 
44, 106: + ws 5£ ijKovcrev 6 f3acri\evs 6tl rjKvpbxrev Ovao'Tiu tt\v (3ov\t]v 
avrov L. — l^n] om. L. — ins] om. (&. 

BE DONE TO VASHTI (i 1315 ). 

13. And [Jos. + standing up] the King said to [L + all] the wise 
men [f$ + the discerning] [QJ 1 + the sons of Issachar (cf 1 Ch. 
12 32 )] who knew the times [Meg. 12b, QT 1 + and the seasons in the 
Book of the Law and in the calculation of the world]. This did 
not take place at the feast, apparently, but on another occasion, 
as the officers and the people are not mentioned in this connection. 
There is no reason, therefore, to regard the following deliberation 
and decree as the acts of drunken men. Only one class of coun- 
sellors is mentioned here, for knowers of the times is in apposition 
with wise men. By knowers of the times, Meg., SI 1 , 3T 2 , Mid., 
and most comm. understand astrologers (cf. Is. 44" 4710-15 J e . 50 35 
Dn. 2" 5 15 ); but the next clause equates them with knowers of 
law and justice; they must, therefore, be those who are familiar 
with historical precedents that have the value of law (so Vit., 


Pag., Drus., Pise, Osi., Ramb., Patr.; cf. 2 Ch. 12 32 ). In a case 
of this sort no reason appears why astrologers should be called in. 
— For so was the King's procedure [3F 1 + wont to be discussed] 
before all [(F 1 -f the wise men and] those who knew law and 
custom]. The addition of GF 1 gives the true sense. The trans- 
lation of AV. and RV. for so was the King's manner toward all is 
incorrect. On dath, 'law,' see v. 8 . 

[Meg. 1 26 + Then they considered what they ought to say, saying, 
If we say, Let her be put to death; to-morrow, when the King is sober, 
he may become reconciled to her and put us to death: if we say, She is 
innocent, that will be an insult to the King. So they said to him, Since 
the Sanctuary has been destroyed and we have been exiled out of our 
land, we are no longer allowed to pronounce sentences of life or death. 
Go to Ammon and Moab, which have remained in their places like 
wine upon its lees. [2I l + And the sons of Issachar prayed before the 
Lord and spoke thus: O Lord of the world, confound their feast, and be 
mindful of the righteous who offered before thee in the House of thy 
Sanctuary lambs of a year old, two young pigeons, and turtle-doves 
upon an altar of earth, by the hand of the high priest, clad with the 
breast-plate, in which was the chrysolite, while the crowds of priests 
sprinkled and mingled the blood and arranged the shew-bread before 
thee. So the King turned and sought again advice from his princes.] 

This addition of OI 1 is a series of plays upon the names of the 
seven counsellors based upon Meg. 12b. Vv. 13b - 14 form a paren- 
thetical explanation inserted between 13a and 15 . 

14. And those who were [J -f- first and] near to him [® 2 -f in 
counsel, some from afar and some from near by] were [® l + 
named] Karsh e na [QI 2 -f- from Africa], Shethar [3F 2 + from 
India], Adhmatha [® 2 + from Edom], Tarshish [® 2 + from Egypt], 
Meres [© 2 + from Meres], Mars e na, M e mukhan [2F 2 + from 
Jerusalem]. This clause is not to be connected with the fore- 
going, so as to read, those who knew law and custom and were near 
unto him (SI 1 )? f° r m tnat case tne ac U- wou ld be pi., since it 
would follow the noun with which it agrees; nor is it to be trans- 
lated the King said to the wise men and to those near to him (&), 
for in that case the preposition to would be repeated. This clause 
must be taken as an independent sentence, And the near to him 
were. The predicate is singular because it precedes its subjects 


(Miiller, Syntax, § 133; see note). These near ones belong to 
the class of the wise, because they answer the question just put 
to them. This is a further evidence that the wise are not astrol- 
ogers. The author's idea is, that out of the class of the wise men 
seven enjoyed a special proximity to the King. Near does not 
refer to relationship or to rank, but, as the following words show, 
to physical propinquity. On the names of these viziers, see p. 68. 
In BT., QJ l , Mid., these names receive a host of allegorical ex- 
planations. — The seven viziers of Persia and Media]. The state- 
ment that there were seven is confirmed by Ezr. 7 14 ; Her. iii. 31, 
84, 118; Xen. Anab. i. 6 4 ; Jos. Ant. xi. 31. According to these 
passages seven chief judges held offices for life and decided all 
questions that affected the conduct of the King. On Persia and 
Media, see v. 3 . — Who continually beheld the face of the King], i.e., 
who were intimately associated with him (cf 2 S. i4 24 - 32 Mt. 18 10 ). 
According to Her., these seven chief nobles had access to the King 
at all times, except when he was in the company of one of his wives. 
— Who sat next to the royal throne], lit., who sat first in the kingdom. 
Their thrones were probably set in the same relation to that of 
Xerxes as those of the Amesha-Spentas to that of Ahura-Mazda, 
namely, three on each side and one in front of the King. (U 1 
paraphrases correctly, 'in the first row of the thrones of the 

15. [Jos. 192 + And he accused his wife, and told how he had 
been insulted by her, and how, although she had been summoned 
many times by him to the banquet, she had not once obeyed. 
Then he commanded that some one should state] according to law, 
what was to be done with Queen Vashti], a resumption of the 
thought of 13 » that has been interrupted by the parenthesis 13b - 14 . 
The words according to law are placed first for emphasis. Haupt, 
against the testimony of (S 21 #, joins according to law to the end 
of the preceding v. The art. is omitted because no particular 
law is meant. On law, see i 8 . Because she did not execute the 
order of King Xerxes [(E 1 & + which he sent] by the eunuchs], a 
recapitulation of the offence already described in vv. 10 - 12 . Noth- 
ing could be more improbable than that a despot like Xerxes 
should seek the advice of his wise men before dealing with a 


refractory wife. Judging from Herodotus' narratives, he would 
have made quick work with her. 

13. lSnn] om. <g. — D-'Esn 1 '] rots <pi\ois avrov (£ll:-f .i^ &. — 
D^njm »JTT»3 om. <g H 3(. — TV 2 - O^njn] om. L. — p *o] koto, rauTa (g: ^ig^ 
21. — 13iJ wore 3(: i\d\-r)<rev <g. — V?Dn«J 'Aorfr <g: -f joci j^c| &. — >jdS] 
semper ei aderant Ml et dixit rex H: iroi-quaTe oOv 0f>. — *?aj e/ illorum 
faciebat cuncta consilio'&'.Trepl(&: omnibus L. — »pv] toiStou (j£: principibus 
?G. — pil m] j^ov Kal Kplffiv (&~L: leges ac jura majorum 31: \l^io 
[wiVfli #. m is an edict promulgated by the King, pi is cus- 
tomary law. On the etymology of the two words see Haupt, a. I. 
According to Sieg., p-n is an explanatory gloss upon the preceding Pers. 
word m. 

14. 3ipm] pr. |J^kO &: Kal irpoo-rjXdep (6ov) (g L: Sieg. emends to 
3*3^31 (cf. I K- 5* 7 ); Haupt, to 3Tg«ty — npac] om. &<&3jL. — »m] tr. 
with D*38^n ££: oi iyytis (&: Kal ol op&vres L: qui proximi C — D*38^n] 
pr. Kal L. — rwN-i] j^^S &: om. L 2j. The f. of the adj. is used as 
an adv., usually with a prep., but also without prep., Gn. 38" 1 K. 18 25 
Je. 16 18 Lv. 5 8 Nu. 2 9 Jos. 21'°, in the sense of 'first in time,' here and 
Gn. t,3 2 in the sense of 'first in place.' — ni:^^] post eum J: ry pa<ri\ei 
(£: -f- Kal airriyyeiXav avT$ (&: om. £. 

15. ma] om. 31 L. — T^Dn-nc] tr. to v. 13 after pm L. — Wl] om. L1C: 
Haupt deletes. — nncj? N?] /A77 TedekrjKipai avrrjv rroLrjcrai L. — ^nirnx] 
om. (gLC: Haupt deletes: -f ' *\jk? g>: + dicto erww/ L. — D"-DnDn to] 
om. L. 


16. 77w» spoke M e mtikhan before the King and the viziers [44, 
106 + and the King's officers]. 

[Meg. 1 2b, S 1 -f- He was Haman the descendant of the wicked Agag.] 
[21 2 + He was Daniel. And why was he called M e mukhan ? Because, 
when the tribe of the house of Judah was carried captive to Babylon, 
there were carried captive with them Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; 
and Daniel also was among the exiles, and signs and wonders were 
wrought by his hands. Also by means of Daniel it was decreed from 
on high that Queen Vashti should be slain; therefore his name was 
called M e mukhan ('appointed'). This was the decree of the King in 
the council, that the younger nobles should give their advice first; and 
if the advice was good, they followed it; and if it was not good, they 
followed the advice of the seniors. Now, since M e mukhan was the 
youngest of all, he gave his advice first before the King. M e mukhan 
had married a rich Persian wife, and she was not willing to speak with 


him except in her language, so M e mukhan said within himself, Now 
the opportunity has come to compel the women to honour their hus- 

From the fact that M e mukhan is named last in v. u , Meg. 12b 
and Mid. infer that he was the lowest in rank and thrust himself 
forward on this occasion. &-, in the passage just cited, thinks 
that he was the youngest. Others suppose that he appeared as 
the spokesman of the council after deliberation with the rest. — 
[L + Saying,] Not against the King only lias Queen Vashti sinned, 
but against all the officials and all the peoples in all the King's 
provinces]. The charge is twofold, that Vashti has wronged the 
King, and that she has set a dangerous example. The second 
charge is amplified in w. 17 - 18 . The wily M e mukhan insinuates 
that in punishing Vashti the King will not be gratifying a private 
grudge, but will be consulting public welfare. On officials, see i 3 . 
Peoples is in contrast to officials; the lower as well as the upper 
classes are wronged {cf. v. "). The pi. is used on account of the 
number of races in Xerxes' empire. Provhtces of the King is the 
usual formula in Est. (2 s 3 s provinces of the kingdom). By these 
are meant the 127 provinces of i 1 . 

17. For the conduct of the Queen will become known to all the 
women]. The nobles of the provinces from India to Ethiopia will 
go home after the feast, and will tell how Vashti refused to obey 
her husband, so that the scandal will soon become known to all 
women of the empire. Conduct, lit. word, matter {cf. i 13 9 20 ). — 
With the result of making them [f& + scorn and] despise their hus- 
bands,] [Jos. 193 + and lead them a wretched life,] [(E 2 + saying to 
them, Art thou more honourable than King Xerxes?] Lit. the 
phrase means, unto causing to despise their husbands in their 
eyes. Ba'al, 'owner,' 'lord,' is here used for 'husband' as in 
Gn. 20 3 Dt. 24 4 Ho. 2 16 and often. — While they say [l^+each to 
the other, Verily] King Xerxes commanded to bring Queen Vashti 
before him, but she did not cornel] The idea, which the Targums 
seek to make more clear, is that wives throughout the empire will 
say, The Queen did not obey, therefore we need not obey. 

18. And this very day]. Prompt action is necessary, since the 
trouble is likely to begin at once among the women in Susa. — The 


ladies of Persia and Media, who have heard of the conduct of [3F 1 
+ Vashti] the Queen [Jos. 194 + toward thee who rulest over all]. 
Verse I7 spoke of women in general throughout the empire, this v. 
speaks of women of the aristocracy. They were in Susa with 
their husbands, and were present at Vashti's feast (v. 9 ), so that 
they would be corrupted at once by her example. On Persia and 
Media, see 1 3 . — Will say [(E 1 + that they may do thus to their hus- 
bands, and will take counsel to do thus] to all the King's officials.] 
Say has no object. Most comm. follow (E 1 and 2F 2 in supplying 
one from the preceding v., and translate, will say the like, AV. and 
RV. ; or will tell it {i.e., the conduct of the Queen), Keil, Oet., 
Kau., Sieg., Schu. and others go back to while they say ( 17b ), 
and regard the clause which there follows as the object of say in 
this v. j$, Bert., Rys., find the object in the next clause, and 
translate, will speak — and that in abundance — scorn and indigna- 
tion. All these constructions are unnatural, and one must suspect 
corruption of the text. Instead of say (& has will dare similarly 
to dishonour; U, will neglect and treat with contumely; J, will 
make light of. With the omission of a single letter the v. reads, 
will rebel against all the King's officials (see note). — Then there 
will be enough contempt and wrath [& 1 + and who will be able to 
bear it]. If the text be sound, enough is ironical; M e mukhan 
means, far too much. Contempt, i.e., -on the part of wives toward 
their husbands; wrath, i.e., on the part of husbands toward their 
wives. Instead of enough, Haupt, by a slight textual emendation 
reads whenever, and translates, whenever there is contempt then 
there is wrath. This greatly improves the sense. This absurd 
advice, that the example of Vashti is politically dangerous, can 
hardly be taken as sober history. 

[Jos. 194 -f And he exhorted him to punish her who had so insulted 
him, with a great punishment.] [® 2 + But, when M e mukhan had given 
this opinion, he feared for his life, and said: Perhaps the King will not 
carry out this advice; and when Vashti comes to hear of this advice 
which I have given against her, she will judge me harshly, if I do not 
secure that King Xerxes says that Vashti shall not come before him, and 
cause him to swear an oath which the Persians are afraid to break. 
Therefore M e mukhan said,] 


19. If it seems good to the King [L 21 4- and agreeable to his 
mind,] [Mid. + my lord the King needs but to speak the word 
and I will bring her head in a dish.] This is the regular formula 
for making a proposition to the King {cf. y 5 4 - 8 7 3 ' 9 8s 9 13 Ne - 2 °)- 
After the exposition of the nature of Vashti's offence in vv. 16 - 18 , 
M e mukhan is now ready to say what ought to be done with her. — 
Let a royal edict go forth from him, and let it be written [® 2 + and 
the oath] among the laws of Persia and Media that it may not be 
repealed]. Cf. i 3 - 8 . As ® 2 rightly perceives, the motive in making 
Vashti's deposal irrevocable is to escape the consequences that 
will ensue if she returns to power. The idea that the laws of the 
Medo-Persian empire could not be changed, appears again in 8 8 
and Dn. 6 9 - 13 , but is not attested by any early evidence. It is ex- 
tremely improbable that such a custom existed. — That Vashti 
[# -(- the Queen] (the omission of Queen after Vashti's name in 
1% is intentional) may not come [3^01 + again] before King 
Xerxes [S 1 + and if she comes before the King, let the King 
decree that her head be cut off.] This is the law that the King is 
advised to enact. Thus, as © 2 emphasizes, M e mukhan secures 
that Vashti may have no chance to reinstate herself in the King's 
favour and then to avenge herself on her enemies. — And her place 
as Queen let the King give to another who is better than she.] 
This is not part of the law, but a suggestion that makes its en- 
actment easier. The King will readily find another woman to 
take Vashti's place. Place as Queen, lit. kingdom, or royalty, is 
in an emphatic position. Another, lit. fellow, or companion, is not 
necessarily one of the palace-women, ior fellow, whether male or 
female, is used in the widest way of any person who belongs in 
the same category with another (cf. 1 S. 15 28 , " Yahweh hath given 
the kingdom to thy fellow," i.e., to another person; also Ex. n 2 
1 S. 28 17 ). Better may mean either more beautiful, or more virtuous. 
From the context it must mean here more obedient. 

20. And when the King's decree which he makes shall be heard 
in all his kingdom]. Having suggested how Vashti may be pun- 
ished for her offence against the King and the nation, M e mukhan 
now proceeds to show how the effect of her bad example may be 
counteracted by making her punishment as widely known as her 


disobedience. In all his kingdom is more naturally connected 
with heard than with makes. — Though it be great], i.e., the king- 
dom, not the decree, as 5^ takes it, for decree is m. and great is f. 
(cf. Albrecht, ZATW. xvi. (1896), p. 115). This flattering par- 
enthetical remark serves no other purpose than to expand the 
idea already expressed in all. — Then all the women from great to 
small will give [L (E 1 + reverence and] honour to their husbands.] 
Xerxes' empire is so great that it includes practically all the 
women. From great to small means here, as in v. 5 , from high to 
low, both the ladies and the common women (cf. i 17f ); so Vrss., 
Schu., Sieg., Haupt. Other comm. translate less correctly from 
old to young. With this v. M e mukhan's speech ends. The 
comm. indulge in much speculation as to the reason for the se- 
verity of his advice. ® 2 , in the passage previously quoted, says 
that he had had trouble with his own wife, and wished to discipline 
her by this indirect method. Mid. thinks that he had a personal 
grudge against Vashti ; either she had struck him in the face with 
a shoe-lace, because it says, "Not against the King alone hath 
Vashti sinned"; or she had not invited his wife to her feast, be- 
cause it says, "The conduct of the Queen will become known to 
all the women"; or he thought that he could get his own daughter 
made Queen, because it says, "Let the King give her place as 
Queen to another." Others think that the viziers as a body were 
jealous of Vashti's influence; so Cas., who gives numerous instances 
of the way in which Turkish viziers have intrigued against favour- 
ites. Most comm. suppose that M e mukhan advised what he 
knew Xerxes wished to hear, and compare the servility of Cambyses' 
counsellors, Her. iii. 31. There is much discussion among the 
older comm. as to whether Xerxes was justified in putting Vashti 
away on this occasion. The arguments on both sides may be 
found in Par. ad loc. 

16. iScn] avrbv L:-f- >Cg_oo &. — ons^ni] -f- Kal roi/s Tjyovp.4vovs rod 
/ScKTtX&ds 44, 106: Kal TrdvTas roi/s Apxovras 64: ical irpds toi>$ tipxovras 
248, C, Aid.: \4ywv L. — roS] om. 64. — nniy] /;wn #: ^Tlfmaev A. 
This is a denom. from f*v 'sin,' found only in Aram, and late Heb. 
Construed with hy &.\. — tiko] om. 44, 106. — So] om. LC — d>djh "td Sp] 
Kal rods Tjyovfi^vovs (&: Tlepiruv Kal MtJ5uj> L: om. 44, 106: et gentes C 


— rnj*ttS-"¥MtJom. L6C — "l 1 ^ 3 ] om . n. — lynicnN] om. LCS: Haupt 

17. *3] mBQ &: kolI yap <g: kclI L.— nx>] + J^J_J &.— n;tan w] 
^ adtKla avrrjs L: eo contumelia regis %. — D^jn ?3 ?jr] 4" u | >* l» ^■QfllJ 
0: avTofc <£» : eis Trdj'ras robs \aoi>s L: etiam ab omnibus mulieribus C: 
instead of if Haupt reads ha, but the two are often confused in late 
Heb. — vjoV-mnnS] om. <&L. — rmanS] ^cnco &: quod contemnat U: 
Hiph. inf. cstr., d.X. — Dncxa] the m. suf. is used because men and 
women alike will say this. Even if the suffix referred to the women 
alone, the m. form would be possible. — iSon] regina H. — vjcS-cmtPriN] 
om. 31. — cmwrm] Haupt deletes. — NnnS] inf. cstr. w. *? after ids, as in 
6 l , frequent in late Heb., but also 1 S. 24 11 . — rwa n^i] /cat Cos dureltrev 
t$ (3a<ri\e? ws o5v avrelirev r<p /SacrtXet 'Apra^pi-r] (g: 6'n ^KiJpuxre t6 irpba- 
rayp.a tou (5a<n\tus L: neglexit enim et contempsit &: the reading of (£ 
is a combination of two parallel texts. 

18. om. L. — W1 orm] exemplo hoc J: j 1 ^^ 1 &: quomodo non ft — 
njnDNn] parvipendentes omnes 51 : .c |^c|j & : to\ix^<xov<tlv (/cat avral) 
dfJioLws an/xdaai (& : negligent et contumeliam facient ft Instead of 
nnDKn we should probably read runon, Qa/ or Hiph. from me 
'rebel,' or, less probably, from -hd 'be bitter.' In that case it may be 
necessary to read *?33 instead of W?, but the change is perhaps un- 
necessary in this late Heb. — nntr] at rvpavvides ai Xot7rai tCov dpx^vrcov 
(&: ) 1 SfM &. — — Dng] some codd. incorrectly Dns. — »TDl]om.ft — "WK- 
nafron] om. 31: aKotfcracrai rd r£ /3acriXei \exdivra for' aiirris (£: aw/ 
quomodo non infamia tradetur adversus regem H : Haupt deletes. — SoS] 
imperia 31 : ^ool^s — Lo & : om. (& ft — 'pDn nr] maritorum 31 : roi/s dvdpas 
airCov (&: viris suis L. — *]Xpi-nDi] om. <£: «wtf*e regis justa est indig- 
natio 31: e/iaw /m gm" extra regnum sunt C: Ij^o |^So| * ttO cu^so 
&: n;m pi -pn pd^D3 maV? S10" W j 1 . No help can be gained from the 
Vrss., all of which fail to understand this phrase. Haupt's conjecture 
of H3 instead of »T3 is probably correct. In Jb. 30 25 na is used in the 
sense of 'whenever,' for which ordinarily we find hd (i S. i 7 18 30 i K. 
14 28 2 Ch. 12 11 2 K. 4 8 Is. 28 19 Je. 3 1 20 ). In that case ) before *\sp must 
be regarded as introducing the predicate (Kau. § 143 d). — fnj|] d.X. 
from nia 'despise.' — bjj] late Heb. for Sn (cf. i 17 3 9 $*■ » 73). 

19. IdSh] tibi 31: ry KvpLqi Tjfiup L: tibi maxime rex ft — i^oSd-nx 1 ] 
irpoffrai-dTco fiaaiXiKdv (&: yw&e fi: om. L. — maSo] used frequently in 
Est. in the sense of 'royalty' as a substitute for "jSd, e.g., i 7 - 9 2 18 5 1 
6 8 8 15 . — niap-ana^YJ ypacp^rco els irdaas rds x^P as Ka ^ ""P^s Trdyra rd 
€^^77 <al yvojad^TU) L. — Tna] Kard toi)s v6/ioi»s (6. — HD> did] so N 55, 936, 
249 n c - a : M^8u)v kcli TLepatJovfe. — liajn nSi]c/ rfe malitia Vasthi regina 
quomodo abusa sit te C. — "M^i?''] in the sense of 'pass away,' 'cease to 
exist,' as in 9" f - (BDB. 718 §6). In the parallel passage, Dn. 6 9 , 
the Aram, equivalent is N-iy. — Nisn nS i^n] pr. ^©Zc &: ^M etVeX- 


66.TU) in (§: ^derrjKvta L: quoniam 11011 introiit H. — »r*n] 4- j?\ »Vv^ 
&: $ /SaciXiVo-a (g: om. 31. — ii'mtrriN-^oV] so A, 936 under *, H: trpbs 
avrbv (&: tov \6yov tov j8acri\&«js L: Haupt deletes l^nwnN. — hjdd] et 
meliori & 

20. lm^D — j?Dtt>jV] /cat (f>aivt<r6<a viraKoiovaa tt)s (fxopijs tov /SacrtX^ws 
icai TToc^aei ayadbv irdo~cus rats /3cunXeicus L. — DJns] DJns Ba. G: Dans 
a/..* 6 X670S A: wrfo |j: /toe 3. This is a loan-word from the O. Pers. 
patigdma (cf. BDB. 834; Marti, Aram. Gram. p. 79); here cstr. in spite 
of the long vowel in the ultima. — ni^"-y?Dn] om. 31. — ncx] o &. — •?»] 
om. So (&. — imsSc] om. suffix &. — N>n nan *aj quoniam verum est H: 
om. <g £: '3 is concessive, 'although,' as Je. 4 30 14 12 49 16 - 19f - 50 11 Ho. 
13 15 Zc. 8 6 Ps. 37 24 49 19f - 137 3 Na. i 10 2 3 (c/. BDB. p. 473, 2 c) — S01] + 
otfrws (&. — n,-» -f /cai 56£a»/ L. — ShjdS] tr. w. next $L{. 


21. And the advice seemed good to the King and the viziers, and 
the King acted in accordance with the advice of M e mdkhdn], i.e., 
he accepted both propositions, to degrade Vashti, and to send 
notice of this decree throughout the kingdom. In regard to the 
execution of the first proposition no details are given. Vashti 
does not appear again in the story, and the book does not inform 
us what became of her. 2F 1 , © 2 , and Jewish comm. hold that she 
was put to death. The execution of the second proposition fol- 
lows in the next v. 

22. And he sent dispatches [W 1 + written and sealed with his 
seal] unto all the King's provinces]. Cf. 3 12 - 15 8 9 - 14 . According 
to Her. v. 14, viii. 98; Xen. Cyrop. viii. 6, 17, the Persian empire 
had a highly organized system of posts. — Unto every single province 
in its script, and unto every single race in its language]. A vast 
number of languages were spoken in the Persian empire in the 
time of Xerxes. In Persia itself there were the Iranian dialects 
spoken by the ruling race, and the Elamitic, Babylonian, and 
Aramaean dialects of the older subject-races. The inscriptions 
of Xerxes and other Achaemenian rulers at Persepolis and else- 
where are mostly trilingual, containing in parallel columns Old 
Persian, Babylonian, and Susian. In India, Sanskrit and cognate 
tongues were spoken, together with numerous Dravidian and other 
aboriginal languages. In Babylonia and Assyria, Assyrian was 


spoken, together with Aramaic and possible survivals in certain 
quarters of Sumerian and Kassite. In Armenia there was old 
Vanic, along with later Indo-European dialects; in Asia Minor, 
Greek, together with Lydian, Carian, Cappadocian, and a host of 
other aboriginal tongues. In Mesopotamia and Syria, Aramaic 
prevailed, and also in Palestine, although Phoenician and other 
local idioms still held their own. East and south of Canaan 
Arabic was spoken; and in Egypt, Egyptian. It is inconceivable 
that Xerxes should have had at his court scribes who were able to 
write all these and the other languages that were spoken in various 
parts of the empire. We have no evidence that this was Persian 
custom, and the trilingual inscriptions of Persepolis lend no sup- 
port to the idea. Even in Assyrian days Aramaic had become the 
language of trade and of diplomacy, and in the Persian period 
was ordinarily employed for official dispatches, cf., for instance, 
the Aramaic letter of the Jewish Chief of Elephantine in Egypt to 
the Persian governor Bagoas lately published by Sachau in Drei 
aramdische Papyrusurkunden aus Elephantine (1907). 

[S 1 + And he proclaimed and spoke thus: You, O peoples, 
nations, and tongues, who dwell in all my dominion, be advised] 
that every man should show himself ruler in his own house], lit., 
unto each man's becoming ruler. This clause gives the contents 
of the dispatches. — And should [E l + compel his wife to] speak ac- 
cording to the tongue [SI 1 + of her husband and according to the 
speech of] his people]. This clause has given great perplexity to 
the Vrss. and comm. SI 1 , SI 2 , Mid., RaShI, IE., and Jewish 
comm. generally understand it to mean, that, if a man has married 
a wife of another race, he is to compel her to speak his language, 
instead of speaking hers (cf. Ne. i3 23ff ); so Pise, Dieu., Gen., 
Baum., Keil, Schu., Haupt, al. Pag., J. & T., Cler., and many of 
the older comm. and versions, supply an object for speak from 
the preceding clause and translate, and should proclaim it (the 
dispatch) in the language of his people; so AV. and RV. ; similarly 
Oet, except that he points the ptc. as a passive. This is an im- 
possible rendering of the Hebrew, and the idea which it yields is 
irrelevant. What we expect, is not directions for the promulga- 
tion of the decree, but for a man's regulation of his household. If 

1 62 ESTHER 

the text be sound, it must be rendered as the Jewish comm. have 
done. It cannot be denied that this yields a passable sense, still it 
is not what we should expect in this connection. Haupt regards 
it as a late gloss, meaning that he is to talk plainly to her. Most 
modern comm. regard the text as corrupt. Maur. makes no at- 
tempt to emend it. Bott. also offers no suggestion. Hitzig, in a 
private communication to Bert., makes a slight alteration in the 
text and reads, and should speak what suited him. This emenda- 
tion meets the approval of Bert., Raw., Rys., Buhl. Wild, and 
Sieg. mention it with reserve. Scho. finds a historical interpreta- 
tion impossible, and concludes that the passage is symbolic of the 
gift of tongues at Pentecost (see note). The absurdity of this sol- 
emn edict commanding wives to obey their husbands struck even 
the doctors of the Talmud. Raba said: "If this first letter had 
not been written, the enemies would have left nothing of Israel. 
But the people said, What sort of decree is this that is sent unto 
us, that every man should show himself ruler in his own house? 
Even the weaver is master in his own house (so when the decree 
came to destroy Israel they took it also as a joke)" {Meg. 12b). 

21. -onn]+ Jjoi £. — ">vj?d] h KapUq. L. — a narn] + suff. s*oio &: om. 
L. — I^Dn] irol/juas L — -a-o] Kada iX&X-rjvev dH: rbv \6yov L. — piDD] 
Mamuchan iJ: ^^^ &: Mouxaios <g: Mardochceus fi: tovtov L. 

22. om. L — nfrrnjij- 6 /5acrt\ei>s A n c Bm s 936 und * 21. — oncD] om. 
(&. -idd is an ancient loan-word from As sipru, 'sending,' missive/ 
then 'letter.' It occurs frequently in the sense of 'letter' in the Tell-el- 
Amarna Letters. The root Saparu from which it comes is ph. itself a 
Shaphel from no (see Haupt, a. I.). In Est. it is commonly used in the 
sense of 'letter' (c/. 3 13 8 5 - 10 o 20 - 25 - 30 ). In 2 23 6 1 9 s2 io 2 it means a book 
in scroll form — Y?Dn nwm] provincias regni sui 3f: ttjv fiaaikelav (g: 
regno suo S. — ronnV] so A: om. (£&: gens 3f. — rnroa] Kara ttjp \4£iv 
airQp <&: secundum inter pretationes eorum 21 : audire et legere poterat 
9: -f Kara rb ypdfxfia avrijs g$b under*. — uw*?3-Sni] so 936 under*: 
om. (&%: diver sis Unguis et litteris 9. — irnaa-rmnS] esse viros principes 
ac majores in domibus suis 3: uhttc ehcu <p6fiov aureus iv reus oUlais 
airC}v(B: ut esset unusquisque in domum suam 21. — nvnVj inf. w. 7 intro- 
ducing the contents of the dispatches as in 3 13 8 13 . An Aram, con- 
struction found in late Heb. — ~\-\v] denominative from *wr 'officer,' 
'ruler,' ptc, a.\, — iDj?-->:nDi] so 936 under *: om. <&: et fuit timor 
magnus in omni muliere C: et hoc per cunctos populos divulgari 3. 


&, V, and 31* presuppose the same text as 1%. Hitzig's emendation, 
mjt nifer-Ss nanDi, which he translates, 'and should speak everything 
that he pleased,' is unlikely, because nvtr means 'fitting,' 'proper,' rather 
than 'acceptable,' 'pleasing,' and because it is construed with S and 
not with op (cf. 3 8 5 1S ). Haupt reads pa^o instead of pa^s, and deletes 
the whole clause as a gloss. 



1. After these events [OF 1 + when he had grown sober, and had 
slept off his wine-debauch, and] when the anger of King Xerxes 
had subsided]. ©» suggests that Vashti's condemnation occurred 
while the King was still drunk, but ij indicates rather that this 
decree was made at a later meeting of the Privy Council (cf. i 13 ). 
The drunkenness was over when the decree was made, but the 
anger lasted longer. — He [<8 + no longer] remembered [& + Queen] 
Vashti and [(8 -f- was mindful of] [& + all] that she had done and 
[& -f- all] that had been decreed against her. 

[Mid. -j- Then he broke out in anger against her and caused her to be 
put to death] [QJ 1 + Then his officers answered and spoke thus: Art 
not thou he who didst condemn her to death on account of what she did ? 
And the King said to them: I did not decree that she should be slain, 
but only that she should come into my presence; but when she did not 
enter, I commanded to deprive her of royal dignity. They answered 
him: It is not so, but thou didst pronounce sentence of death upon her 
at the advice of the seven viziers. At this his anger waxed hot.] [® 2 + 
He sent and called all the officers and said to them: Not against Queen 
Vashti am I angry, but against you am I angry because of the sentence. 
I spoke a word in wine; why have you urged me to slay Queen Vashti 
and to remove her name from the kingdom ? I also will slay you, and 
will remove your names from the kingdom.] [QI l -f- And he commanded 
that the seven viziers should be hanged upon the gallows.] [Jos. 196 + 
But being lovingly disposed toward her, and not bearing the separation, 
he nevertheless could not now be reconciled to her; so he was grieving 
over the things that he wished to accomplish as impossible.] 

Comm. differ as to the sense in which remembered is to be under- 
stood. QF l , 2I 2 , and Mid. take it in the sense of recalled unfavourably, 


and so gain a basis for the idea that he inflicted further punishment 
upon her. The same conception underlies the interpolations of 
CI. This view gains some support from the following words, what 
she had done and what had been decreed against her, but it is in con- 
flict with the context. When his anger had subsided suggests that 
he was ready to be reconciled, and the advice of the servants con- 
templates the same possibility. Accordingly, RaShI, IE., Ashk., 
Men... Bon. take remembered Vashti in the sense of called her 
beauty to mind, and understand the rest of the v. as referring to the 
good that she had done on other occasions and the honour that the 
King had once put upon her ; but the words what had been decreed 
can scarcely refer to anything else than the irrevocable condemna- 
tion that had just been published. For this reason, Jos., Drus., 
Cler., and most modern comm. take the clause to mean that Xerxes 
had the rejection of Vashti constantly in mind and was uncom- 
fortable on acount of it. Vit. and Pise, take remembered in the 
sense of made mention of, and thus find a reason for the remark 
of the servants in the next v. 

2. Then said the King's pages who waited upon him]. The 
courtiers make haste to drive Vashti out of the King's mind, lest 
she may return to power and their lives be endangered. From the 
non-mention of the viziers here and subsequently, tl 1 and ® 2 infer 
that they had been put to death. 

[E 2 + After she was killed, in order that he might not remember Vashti, 
and what she had done, and what had been decreed against her: Vashti 
did not deserve a sentence of death, but this was the will of Heaven 
in order to destroy the seed of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.] 
[Jos. 195 + Let the King cast out the memory of his wife and his useless 
love for her, and let him send through the whole inhabited world.] 

And let there be sought for [QF 1 + the use of] the King beautiful 
young virgins], lit., girls, virgins, good of looks. Only virgins 
might be taken by the King (i K. i 2 ), as by the High Priest (Lev. 
2i'*i). Vv. 3 - 4 explain in detail how this plan for gathering 
virgins is to be carried out. 

3. And let the King appoint commissioners in all the provinces 
of his kingdom]. Meg. 1 2b contrasts the account of the seeking 
for a young virgin for David (1 K. 1 2 - 4 ). In that case no com- 


missioners were necessary, for men brought their daughters gladly. 
In this case the King had to appoint officers to search, because 
men hid their daughters from him. — And let them gather all the 
beautiful young virgins], lit., every virgin. Gather unto is a preg- 
nant construction for gather and bring unto. — [Jl iC + And bring 
them] unto Susa the fortress]. Cf. i 2 . — Unto the house of the 
women [S 1 + where there are hot baths and swimming-baths]. 
Cf. a"- 13 . According to Dieulafoy, the house of the women, or 
harem, lay in the N. W. corner of the palace-enclosure {cf. i 5 ). — 
[(& !G L + And deliver them] into the charge of Heghe, the King's 
[(5 1 + chief] eunuch, the keeper of the women]. Here, as in i 10 , only 
eunuchs have access to the women's apartments. On the name 
Heghe, see p. 69. — And let him give their cosmetics [(£31 + and 
the other things that they need], i.e., for the twelvemonth's 
process of beautification that they have to undergo before they 
can be presented to the King {cf. 2 12 ). 

4. And the girl who pleases the King, let her reign instead of 
Vashti, [Jos. 196 + for his longing for his former wife will be 
quenched, if he introduces another; and his affection for her 
gradually diminishing, will turn to the one that is with him.] The 
courtiers realize that the only way to get the King to forget Vashti 
is to make him fall in love with another woman. The gathering 
of the maidens will divert him, and out of the number they hope 
that one will win his heart. — And the advice seemed good to the King 
and he [L + readily] acted thus [Jl + as they had suggested]. This 
method of selecting a queen is in the highest degree improbable. 
According to the Avesta, the King might marry only a Persian. 
According to Her. iii. 84, his wife must come from one of seven 
noble families ; but by this plan of the pages a woman of low birth 
from one of the subject-races might come to the throne. Such a 
scheme may have been followed to obtain concubines, but surely 
never to select the Queen of Persia. One wonders why another 
of the wives, that Xerxes already had, was not elevated to Vashti's 

1. tomans -ins] om. L. — -\nx] ko.1 ixera (&.— -|CO] iicSiraiTev (&: cf. 
roevj i 2 . -pr (cf. 7 10 ) is used of the subsiding of waters, Gn. 8». 
Mid. infers from 3 that it was not a real subsidence, but only 'like' 


one. — mVW] so x e. » m g> 3& under *: om. (36 C: Haupt deletes. — 
13?] Kal ovk4ti eixvf}<rd7) (g (kcu ovk^ti under -7- 936): ip-vqcd-q yap A: 
Kal oOrws ecrr^ rou fivrjfwve^eiv L: to end of v. om. U. — ^n&>i] c/". 1:9. 
— nxi] om. 1 <£: ^a^o &. — nn^p] 4\d\r}<rep <g: iiroirja-ev A L. — 
r^Sy-nxi 2 ] k<x2 us KariKpivev avTqv (£: 'A(r<ru^pw t# jSacriXet L: &ra 
auT77 Kareicpldr) A. — nxi 2 ] \ a^wO &. — ~^tjj] d.X., an Aramaism. 

2. noioVJ -f- ol^i &. — 1*70^] i"pds rbv (iaffChia. A: ejus H. — vmtPD] 
pr. o #: om. $LS (936 has under *). — wpa»] ^tjtt]6^tu) <g: <jm<s- 
rantur H: ^r-fjaup.ep L: the subj. is impersonal, 'let them seek'= 'let 
there be sought,' as <SK. — nnj?j iSaS] om. L C — nSina nnjj] c/. Dt. 
22 23 Ju. 21 12 . — nSina] so C: fffarto Ba. G: &<pdopa <&. 

3. naiB-ipfl^]om.C L. — ^on]om. 3. — on>pfl] om. 31 £. — ^roaSD]om. 
3&: om. 1 A. — reapM] ^7ri5et^ciTw<rai'A. — *?a nx]om. (S3f. Kau. § 117 d, 
Sieg., delete nx because the obj. is undefined. Haupt, on the other 
hand, defends its correctness and compares Ec. 3"- 16 7 7 . — DMMfl— Mmo] 
om. L: et adducant eas ad civitatem Susan et tradant eas in domum 
feminarum 31: et perducantur in Susis Thebari in conspectu mulierum 
%. — m-on -Sn] om. &. — "n Sx] Za^ & : Kal wapabod-fiToxrav <g : et tradentur 
H: Kal dod^rojaav irpoo-Taretadai. inrb x«P a L. — Sx] Sj? Or. MSS., Sx to end 
of v. Haupt deletes as a gloss derived from v. 8 . — xjn] so S N 2 Br. C B 1 
G Ba.: xjn N 1 B 2 M Norzi: Egei 9: va^oi &: om. <& (v. 8 Tat): Twyalov 
L. — I^dh] qui est propositus e/ 3f: om. & L. — btun] -f- re riorum 3J. — 
pnji] ^AJo &: om. L: + atfreus 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236: inf. abs. 
instead of the finite vb., as 6 9 and often in Est. (cf. Kau. § 113, 2). — 
trnpnon] so Norzi, Mich. N 2 B 2 G: frvprran N 1 S Br. C B 1 Ba.: om. L: 
from piD 'scour/ 'polish,' lit. 'their rubbings': ap.rjyp.a (&: et nitores fi: 
mundum 3(: ^-lOi^bS,^ &: fViWD inco ty. 

4. "iVon-a^n] om. L. — vpi\ + erot/Aus L. 


5. A man of Judah had been living in Susa the fortress. [® 2 -f 
He was called a Judaean because he was sinless; and concerning 
him David prophesied and said, This day a hero dies in Israel and 
one who was a just man.] The abrupt transition is designed to 
make the new actor in the story more conspicuous. A man of 
Judah, lit. a man, a Judcean, is placed before the predicate to 
render it emphatic. Mordecai is here called a man of Judah, 
although in the next clause he is said to belong to the tribe of Ben- 
jamin, because, after the fall of the northern kingdom, Judah gave 
its name to the nation ; and, during the Exile and subsequently, 


men of all the tribes were known as Jews, i.e., Judaeans. This ob- 
vious explanation is ignored by Meg. 12b, 13a, which offers a 
number of far-fetched interpretations. On Susa the fortress, cf. i 2 . 
How this Jew happened to be in the fortress (not the city) of Susa, 
the book does not explain. (£ (in A 2 ) and QI 1 say that he was one 
of the officers of the King. This conjecture, which is based upon 
the fact that in 2' 9 3* he sits in the King's gate and appears among 
the courtiers, has been followed by many comm. According to 
Jos., he lived, not in Susa, but in Babylon (see v. »»). — And his 
name was Mordecai]. On this name and the historical identifica- 
tions proposed for it, see p. 88. — Son of J air, son of Shimei, 

[® 2 + He was the Shimei who cursed David, King of Israel, and said 
to King David, Go out, thou wicked man, and man worthy of death. 
Then answered Abishai son of Zeruiah and said to David, Let me go 
up and take off Shimei's head. But David discerned prophetically 
that Mordecai would spring from him; and because King David per- 
ceived this, he commanded his son Solomon, and said to his son Solo- 
mon, that he should slay Shimei, when he had ceased from begetting 
sons, that he might triumph and go to Heaven; and because from him 
should spring a righteous son by whose hands should be wrought signs 
and wonders in their four captivities. . . . Shimei was put to death 
justly, because it is written in the law of Moses, "A just judge thou 
shalt not despise, and shalt not curse a ruler of thy people"; but he 
cursed David, King of Israel. But David spared him and did not put 
him to death, because he saw that two saints would spring from him, 
through whom deliverance would come to the house of Israel. (S 1 
has a similar, though briefer interpolation.)] 

The son of Kish]. J air, Shimei, and Kish are regarded by 
Cler., Ramb., Raw., as the immediate ancestors of Mordecai; and 
in the case of J air this view may be correct. By all the older 
comm., as by Jos., Meg., ©', © 2 , and Mid., Shimei and Kish are 
regarded as remote ancestors; one, the Shimei of 2 S. 16 5 ff - 1 K. 2 8 
36 <°; the other, Kish the father of Saul (1 S. 9 1 14 51 1 Ch. 8 33 ). 
This view is probably correct. Haman, the enemy of Mordecai, 
is of the family of Agag, whom Saul overthrew (1 S. 15); and, 
therefore, in this genealogy it is probably the author's intention to 
represent the victorious Mordecai as of the family of Saul. For 
this reason he wastes no time on the intermediate links, but leaps 


back at once to the well-known Shimei and Kish of i S. Scho. 
follows Meg. in allegorizing all these names as epithets of Mordecai. 

[ul 2 -f- son of Shemida, son of Baanah, son of Elah, son of Micha, son 
of Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, son of Kish, son of 
Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Bechorath, son of Aphiah, son of Shecarith, 
son of Uzziah, son of Shishak, son of Michael, son of Eliel, son of Am- 
mihud, son of Shephatiah, son of Pethuel, son of Pithon, son of 
Meloch, son of Jerubbaal, son of Jehoram, son of Hananiah, son 
of Zabdi, son of Eliphael, son of Shimri, son of Zebadiah, son of 
Merimoth, son of Hushim, son of Shechorah, son of Gezah, son of Bela, 
son of Benjamin, son of Jacob, the first-born, whose name was called 
Israel (similarly S 1 after 7 6 ).] 

A Benjamite [QI 1 + a righteous and penitent man, who prayed 
to God for his people,] [Jos. 198 + one of the chief men among the 
Jews,] [(& (A 2 ) + a great man, who served in the court of the 
King]. By the addition of Benjamite the author identifies Mor- 
decai's ancestors with the ancient Shimei and Kish, who belonged 
to the tribe of Benjamin, and carries back the genealogy to one 
of the sons of Jacob. 

6. Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the exiles 
who were deported with Jeconiah, King ofJudah, whom Nebuchad- 
nezzar, King of Babylon, took captive]. Jeconiah (cf. Je. 24 1 27 20 
28 4 2Q 2 1 Ch. 3 16 f ) is an alternate form of Jehoiachin, the name of 
the last but one of the kings of Judah (2 K. 24 6 - 17 ). He came to the 
throne and was deported by Nebuchadnezzar (in older documents 
more correctly Nebuchadrezzar) in 596 B.C. According to Burg, 
in Estius, West., Patr., Cler., Ramb., Raw., the relative pronoun 
who refers, not to Mordecai, but to his great-grandfather Kish. 
Against this view are the facts, that, as just remarked, Kish is 
probably not an immediate ancestor, but is the father of King 
Saul; and that Heb. usage demands the reference of who to 
Mordecai. The appositives ben Jair, ben Shimei, ben Kish, like 
Johnson or Jackson, serve merely as surnames to Mordecai. If, 
however, Mordecai himself was carried away with Jehoiachin in 
596, he must have been at least 113 years old in the third year of 
Xerxes (483 B.C.), supposing him to have been an infant in arms 
at the time of his deportation. When he became grand vizier in 


the twelfth year of Xerxes (3* 8 2 ), he was at least 122 years old. 
An appointment at such an age seems very unlikely, although 
most Jewish and some Christian comm. have not hesitated to ac- 
cept it. This difficulty has led many of the older critics to identify 
Ahasuerus with Cy ax ares, Darius, or one of the early kings of 
Persia. Such identifications are, however, impossible (see p. 51). 
(8, IE, Esti., Grot., Men., Mar., May., Kamp., Bert., Keil, Schu., 
Oet., think that carried captive means only that his ancestors were 
exiled by Nebuchadnezzar, and compare Gn. 46", where the sons 
of Joseph are spoken of as coming to Egypt with Jacob, although 
they were born in Egypt; Ezr. 2 2 ff - Ne. 7 7 ff -, where the later in- 
habitants of Jerusalem are said to have returned with Joshua and 
Zerubbabel; Heb. 7 9f -, where Levi pays tithes in the loins of 
Abraham. These cases, however, are not parallel, and the fact 
remains that who was carried captive is not a natural way of say- 
ing whose ancestors were carried captive. Most recent comm. 
frankly admit that the author has here made a blunder in his 
chronology. So Wild., Sieg., Stre. (see p. 73). 

[QI 2 + But Mordecai went back again with the people who freely 
offered themselves to rebuild the House of the Second Sanctuary. 
Then Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried him captive a second 
time, and then in the land of the children of the captivity his soul did 
not cease from signs and wonders.] [2F 1 + But when Cyrus and Darius 
carried Babylon captive, Mordecai went forth from Babylon, with 
Daniel and the whole company of Israel who were there in Babylon, 
and they went forth and came with King Cyrus to dwell in Susa the 

These additions assume, as also IE. and Light., that Mordecai 
is identical with the Mordecai of Ezr. 2 2 Ne. 7 7 , who returned to 
Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. In these passages his name is fol- 
lowed by Bilshan, from which it is inferred that he spoke many 
tongues. According to Meg. 10b, 15a, Hut. 1396, he was identical 
with Malachi, and prophesied in the second year of Darius. 
According to Shek. v. 1, Men. 646-6 $a, he was a member of the 
Great Sanhedrin and was able to speak seventy languages. He 
decided all difficult matters of the Law, and, therefore, was known 
as Pethahiah. According to <£ (A 2 ), he was a high official of the 


King. According to Meg. 1 2a, he and Haman were the two chief 
cup-bearers. Other legendary embellishments of his history will 
be noted in connection with later passages of the book (cf. Selig- 
sohn, Art. "Mordecai," in JE.). 

7. And he had adopted Hadassah, she is Esther]. In Meg. 
13a, & l , (E 2 , and later Jewish comm., opinions differ as to whether 
Hadassah or Esther was the original name. Those who hold that 
Esther was original, regard Hadassah, 'myrtle,' as a title, and sup- 
pose that it was given to her, either because she was of medium 
height like a myrtle; or because the righteous are compared to 
myrtles (Zc. i 10 ); or because Is. 55 13 says, "instead of the brier 
shall come up the myrtle," i.e., instead of Vashti shall come up 
Esther ; or because the myrtle does not dry up in summer or winter, 
so Esther enjoyed both this life and the life to come. Those who 
hold that Hadassah was original regard Esther as a title given be- 
cause she concealed (sathar) her nationality. Only R. Nehemiah 
(Meg. 13a) seems to have suggested that the name Esther was 
given by the Persians, "because the tribes of the earth called her 
by the name of Istahar," i.e., Pers. sitdr, 'star,' particularly the 
planet Venus, the Babylonian Ishtar (cf. Levy, Neuheb. W.-B., 
s. v.); similarly 2I 2 . This view has been followed by the older 
Christian comm., namely, that Hadassah was the girl's original 
Heb. name and Esther her Persian name, or the name that she 
received when she became Queen. For the modern view, accord- 
ing to which Esther is the same as the Bab. goddess Ishtar, and 
Hadassah a Bab. title of this goddess, see p. 88. 

The daughter of [(£ + Amminadab] his paternal uncle [21 + and 
Mordecai had cherished her like an adopted daughter]. That is, 
Esther was an own cousin of Mordecai, not his niece, as is persis- 
tently stated incorrectly by the comm. Those who suppose that 
Mordecai was carried captive with Jehoiachin, and that he was 
now upward of 120 years old, have some difficulty in explaining 
how his own cousin Esther, who must have been at least 50 or 60, 
should have been so beautiful as to have won the heart of Xerxes. 
Jewish comm. explain it by the hypothesis that Esther, like Sarah, 
remained perennially young; Christian comm. by the assertion 
that in the seclusion and care of an Oriental harem, beauty lasts 


to an extreme age(?). Others suggest that Mordecai's uncle 
may have been 20 years younger than his father, and that he 
may have taken a young wife when he was 60 years old. i£ and J 
avoid the difficulty by making Esther's father the brother, not the 
uncle, of Mordecai. That the word uncle can have the wider 
sense of kinsman, has not been proved. According to 2' 5 his 
name was Abihayil, for which (£ here and elsewhere substitutes 
Amminadab. — For she had neither father nor mother [OF 1 -f when 
her father died, she was left in her mother's womb; and as 
soon as her mother had borne her, she died also]. This addi- 
tion, which is found also in Mid., is based by Meg. 13a upon 
the repetition in 7b of the statement that her father and mother 
had died. 

And the girl had a fine figure and was [31 10 L + very] good look- 
ing, [Jos. 199 + so that she drew the eyes of all beholders upon her]. 
[Meg. 12b + She was neither tall nor short, but of moderate 
height like a myrtle. Her complexion was sallow, but she had 
charms.] According to some of the Rabbis, the four beautiful 
women of the world were Sarah, Rahab, Abigail, and Esther, but 
others gave the fourth place to Vashti {Meg. 14&). — And, after her 
father and her mother had died, Mordecai took her unto him [01 ' + into 
his house and spoke of her] as a daughter]. The older comm. were 
troubled to see how Mordecai could take a girl of his own genera- 
tion into his house as a daughter. According to Semitic custom, 
a cousin on the father's side is the most suitable of all persons to 
take as wife {cf. Ar. bint 'amm, 'daughter of paternal uncle,' as a 
synonym for 'wife'). Meg. 13a solves the difficulty by reading 
l e bheth, 'for a wife,' instead of l e bhath, 'for a daughter' (in Rab. 
Heb. belh, 'house,' has the secondary meaning of 'wife'), and justi- 
fies this interpretation by 2 S. 12 3 , where 'like a daughter' is parallel 
to 'slept in his bosom.' This view has been followed by <£, and 
has found wide acceptance in the Targums, Midrashes, and comm. 
It must be admitted that nowhere else is a wife of Mordecai 
mentioned ; but it cannot have been the intention of the author to 
represent Esther as his wife, since in 2 3 he says that only virgins 
were collected for the King. Raw. thinks that Mordecai may 
have been a eunuch. 


[® 2 -f On account of Esther Mordecai went into captivity, for he said, 
It is better that I should go and bring up Esther than that I should 
live in the land of Israel. . . . She was the same Esther in her youth 
and in her old age, and did not cease to do good deeds.] [3F 1 + She was 
chaste in the house of Mordecai for seventy-five years, and did not look 
upon the face of any man, except that of Mordecai, who had brought 
her up.] 

5. tt"N] pr. Kal (gL#. — mn>] om. C — n>n] cf. Jb. i 1 , not equivalent 
to a simple 'was' (cf. BDB. 226, III.). — m»an] Thebari £ = rrj fidpei. 
— ,, ?7"??] so B 2 everywhere exc. 4 12 , see Norzi: ^J^HE} Baer everywhere: 
♦JJHD Ginsburg everywhere: MapSoxatos <gL. — 2"p-p] cf. A 1 . — w>k] 
de stirpe 3f: j-J^C^ ^0 &: Ik <pv\ijs (S: rijs <pv\r}s L. — WEPj Jemini 31: 
B€via/j.eip(fJLiv) (SL&: an abbreviation of TD^ p, cf. 1 S. 9*- 4 2 S. 20 1 . 

6. om. L. — nSjn n^s] e# captivitate £. — nSjn dj?] de captivitate E: e« 
tempore 9: om. <g (936 has under *). — mvn --»»«] om. (g?G (936 has 
under *): Haupt deletes. — Dp nnSjn] om. 3. — "i^n] om. If. — WWW] 
N a(3ovxo8ovo<r6p (S&. The Bab. original Nabu-kudurri-ucur is most 
closely represented by iixunawj (Je. 49 28 ). The form nnmsD] is com- 
mon in Je. and Ez.; in later writings ix(n):idi3J, with change of 1 to J, 
is the regular form. (& suggests that the original vocalization was 
tottl^aoj (cf. Haupt, a. L). 

7. nDin — jdn] tojjtq 7rcus dpeirr-fi (g: iKrpttpwv tthtt&s L: illi C — wn 
nnDN] so 936 under *: Kal dvofxa avrrj 'E<r0^p 0&: rijv E<r0?Jp L: tr. to end 
of v. (Hester) 3j : guce altero nomine vocabatur Esther 5L — vn n 2] dvydrrjp 
'Afieivadafi ('AfiivadaP a A) adeKcpov irarpbs aiirov (&: filia fratris ejus 
et nutrierat earn Mardochceus sicuti adoptatam filiam H: filice fratris 
sui J. — oni-'o] om. (& L: £ has. — ~\xn] + <r(f>68pa n c. amg L: + witfws 
21 3f. — ™no nawi] so L n c - am s, 936 under *: om. <£C — naV-niDaVJ om. 
L. — »3TTOj so N cam s, 93& under *: om. (&. — roS] ds yvvaiKa (& (ds 
dvyaripa 936). 


8. And afterward, when the King's word and law became known, 
and when many [J + pretty] girls were gathered {and brought) to 
the fortress of Susa, [31 -f- and were delivered] into the charge of 
Hegai, [££ + the eunuch,] a resumption of the thought of v. 4 , 
which has been interrupted by the account of Mordecai and Esther 
vv. B - 7 . The language is almost a verbal repetition of v. 3 . Ac- 
cording to Josephus 200 (cf. 2 12 ), the number of the girls was 400. 
The interval of four years (2 16 ), during which one girl was pre- 


sented every day to the King, suggests that there were as many 
as 1460 girls. 

[SI 2 + Mordecai heard that virgins were being sought, and he re- 
moved Esther and hid her from the officers of King Xerxes, who had 
gone out to seek virgins, in order that they might not lead her away. 
And he hid her away in the closet of a bedroom that the messengers of 
the King might not see her. But the daughters of the heathen, when 
the commissioners were sent, danced and showed their beauty at the 
windows; so that, when the King's messengers returned, they brought 
many virgins from the provinces. Now the King's messengers knew 
Esther; and when they saw that she was not among these virgins, they 
said one to another, We weary ourselves unnecessarily in the provinces, 
when there is in our own province a maiden fairer of face and finer of 
form than all the virgins that we have brought. So, when Esther 
was sought and was not found, they made it known to King Xerxes, 
and he wrote in dispatches, that every virgin who hid herself from the 
royal messengers should be sentenced to death. When Mordecai 
heard this, he was afraid, and brought out Esther, the daughter of his 
father's brother, to the market-place.] 

And Esther [# + also] was taken [2F 1 + by force and brought] 
unto the house of the King, [Jos. + and was delivered] into the 
charge of Hegai, [Jos. L + one of the eunuchs,] the keeper of the 
women]. ^ contains no hint that Mordecai was unwilling to 
sacrifice his cousin to his political ambition, or that Esther was 
unwilling to be made a concubine of the King on the chance of 
becoming Queen. The form was taken, instead of went, does not 
naturally suggest compulsion. It is the regular expression for 
marrying a wife (cf. also 2 15 , where Mordecai 'takes' Esther as a 
daughter). St 1 and Ul 2 excuse their conduct by the foregoing in- 
terpolations. (&, in the prayer of Esther (C 1230 ), makes Esther 
protest that only under compulsion has she had anything to do 
with Xerxes. The older Christian comm. defend Esther, either 
on the ground that Xerxes, not being a Canaanite, was not so 
wicked that marriage with him was a sin ; or that the end justified 
the means; or that Mordecai was inspired to do on this occasion 
what under ordinary circumstances would not have been per- 
missible. By the house of the King Dieulafoy understands the 
private quarters of the monarch on the east side of the palace at 
Susa, in distinction from the house of the women in the N. E. 


corner. Here house of the King seems to be the same as house 
of the women in 2 3 , but in 2 13 and elsewhere they are carefully dis- 
tinguished. If the text be sound, King's house is used in two 
senses ; in one case, of the private apartments ; in the other, of the 
whole palace-complex {cf 2 9 4 13 ). 

9. And the girl pleased him [L + more than all the women,] and 
[L iC + Esther] gained his favour [L + and pity]. Hegai, who was 
a connoisseur in such matters, discerned in her the most likely 
candidate for Vashti's place. — And he [J + commanded a eunuch, 
and he] hastened to give her her cosmetics [Jos. 200 + which she used 
for anointing her body,] [QI 1 + and her necklaces and royal cloth- 
ing,] and her dainties]. Thinking that she was likely to become 
Queen, he did his best to ingratiate himself by promptness. Since 
at least a year must be spent in preparation before she could go to 
the King (2 12 ), it was well to begin at once. On cosmetics, see 2 3 . 
Dainties are lit. portions, i.e., choice parts of dishes {cf. o 19 - " 
1 S. i 4f - Ne. 8 10 - 12 ; Wellhausen, Skizzen, iii. p. 114). The girls 
who were to be presented to the King were not merely beautified 
with cosmetics, but were also given a special diet {cf. Dn. i 5 ). 
There is no trace in If of any objection on Esther's part, such as 
Daniel and his friends manifested, to eat these heathen viands; 
but the interpolations in 5F 2 and <£ (C 28 ) make her refuse to touch 
them. According to R. Samuel, she was offered flitches of bacon ; 
according to R. Johanan, she finally obtained vegetables like 
Daniel. Rab held that she was given Jewish food from the first 
{Meg. 13a). Jos. translates portions by ' abundance of ointments ' ; 
others, more generally, 'the things that she needed'; so Mai., 
Men., Ser., Lyr., Bon., AV. — And to give her the seven picked 
maids out of the King's house. 

[2Ji _|_ They served her on the seven days of the week. Holta on the 
first day of the week, Roq'itha on the second day of the week, Genunitha 
on the third day of the week, Nehoritha on the fourth day of the week, 
Rohashitha on the fifth day of the week, Hurpitha, on the sixth day of 
the week, and Rego'itha on the Sabbath. All were righteous and were 
worthy to bring her food and drink in their hands.] [® 2 -f- And the 
dainties which were given to her, Esther gave these heathen maids to 
eat, for Esther would not taste anything from the King's house.] 


The article with seven maids shows that this was the prescribed 
number allotted to every one of the candidates for royal favour. 
The addition of picked shows that Esther's seven were better than 
those assigned to the other beauties. That these maids came from 
the house of the King, rather than the house of the women, is sur- 
prising (cf 2 8 ). Perhaps the meaning is merely, that they were 
supplied and maintained by the King. — And he transferred her 
and her maids to the good (rooms) pE 1 + and to the delicacies] of 
the house of the women], i.e., he did not allow her to remain in the 
ordinary quarters of prospective concubines, but assigned her 
apartments such as were reserved for royal favourites. 

10. Esther had not disclosed her race nor her descent]. This 
is a parenthetical remark relating to an earlier period, and there- 
fore not expressed by the impf. with Waw consec. Wherever 
they have lived, the Jews have made themselves unpopular by 
their pride and exclusive habits (cf. the additions to 3 s and C 4 f ■). 
Esther, accordingly, knew that she would not be treated so well 
if she revealed the fact that she was a Jewess. This concealment 
involved eating heathen food and conforming to heathen customs 
(in spite of (& and ® 2 ), yet the author sees nothing dishonourable 
in it. L and Jos. save her reputation by omitting this v. How 
Esther was able to conceal her race from the officers who collected 
the girls and from the eunuchs and jealous rivals in the harem, 
especially when her cousin Mordecai the Jew (3 4 5 13 ) came every 
day to inquire after her (2 11 ), the author does not try to explain. 
— For Mordecai had bidden her not to tell [Jl + anything about this 

[® l + For he thought in his heart, Vashti, who sought honour for 
herself and was not willing to come and show her beauty to the King 
and the nobles, he condemned and put to death; . . . and he feared 
lest the King, when he was angry, might both slay her and exterminate 
the people from which she was sprung.] 

There is nothing of the martyr-spirit in Mordecai, as in Daniel 
and his friends, who display their Judaism at all cost. So long 
as there is any advantage in hiding it, he does not let Esther tell her 
race; only when secrecy is no longer useful, does he bid her dis- 
close it (4 8 ). The addition of 3F 1 shows consciousness that this 


is not the noblest sort of conduct. The older comm. are much 
concerned to show that Mordecai was justified in giving this ad- 
vice, and that Esther showed a beautiful spirit of filial obedience 
in following it. According to Cas., Mordecai displayed singular 
unselfishness in not letting his relationship to Esther be known. 
11. [Jos. 204 + Removing also from Babylon to Susa in Persia, 
her uncle lived there,] and every day Mordecai used [S 1 + to pray 
and] to walk in front of the court of the house of the women, [Jl + 
in which the chosen virgins were kept,] to inquire after Esther's 
health and [3 + to ascertain] what had been done with her, [Jos. 20 * + 
for he loved her like an own daughter]. This is another paren- 
thetical remark, which serves the purpose of showing how subse- 
quently Mordecai is able to advise Esther in an emergency (4 216 ). 
Although he does not allow her to disclose her origin, yet he keeps 
in touch with her ; both because he is interested in her fate, and be- 
cause he wishes to retain her loyalty so that she may carry out his 
directions. How he could thus gain daily access to her after she 
had been taken to the royal harem, is a question that puzzles the 
comm. Bert, and Wild, suggest that women were not secluded 
so carefully in ancient Persia as in the modern Orient, and that 
Mordecai might have been permitted to hold a brief daily inter- 
view with his cousin under the supervision of a eunuch. Only 
later, when he was in mourning, was he unable to enter the palace- 
precincts. (8, OF*, Jewish comm., Bon., San., al., suppose that 
Mordecai was of princely rank, because he was one of those carried 
away with Jehoiachin (2 K. 24 12 ) ; so that, as officer or courtier, 
he had free access to the palace (cf 2 5 ). From the fact that no 
wife of Mordecai is mentioned, Raw. infers that he was a eunuch 
and, therefore, could enter the women's quarters. Haupt also 
regards this as possible. Keil, Haupt, at., think that he did not 
see Esther after she was taken to the palace, but that he used the 
servants as intermediaries, as in 4 2 - 18 . See further on 2 21 . How 
Esther could keep it secret that she was a Jewess, when she was 
daily inquired after by Mordecai, who was well known to be a 
Jew, no commentator has yet explained. Haupt's reflections 
a. I. do not help the case. In front of the court of the house of the 
women probably means at the entrance of the passage which led 


into the inner court of the harem. What had been done with her, 
i.e., how she was progressing in the process of beautification. 
© 2 translates, "What miracles were wrought by her hand." 
Mid. understands it of magic arts practised against her. 

8. ua-»nM om. L. — mm] om. (S3C (936 has under *): et juxta man- 
datum illius 31. — nnjtt] |2u^o2lo &. — m>:jn] om. 31. — n> Sn] pr. et tra- 
derentur 31: Za^. #.— »*»] Egeo 31: + )i^^^ &: Yal<& (TayaLov 
93&: TaLy 249*A7ai C): Oggeo 31. — »jn Ti Vx] Haupt deletes in *», c/". 8b . — 
npSni]+ %sl &• — "ihdn] t6 mpdciov L: Haupt deletes. — -r^nn-Vx] soL, 
93& under *: om. (&%: inter ceteras puellas 3. — ''.in t Vx] ei 3J: 7rp6j Tal <& 
(Tdrjp 249) : ttri rbv Tuyaiov 936 : kcu e?5e Boirycuos 6 eu»>oOxos L (Twyaios 
93a): ai Oggeo H. — »jn] om. 0. — D^jn nctr] «* servaretur in numero 
feminarum 3: <pv\d<r<ro)u rb Kopdaiov L. 

9. v vyz - 30»m] om. &: a favourite expression in Est., cf. i 21 2* 5 14 . 

— mpjn] om. 3L. — nDn xtt>m] d.\., c/. jn kvi 2 1B - 17 5 2 , the usual ex- 
pression is iDn xxd or jri xxd. — Sn^i] Pi. in the sense of 'hasten' is 
found only in late Heb., cf. 2 Ch. 35 21 Ec. 5 1 7 9 . Haupt objects to the 
translation 'hasten' on the grounds that Esther's treatment with cos- 
metics lasted a year in any case, and could not be 'hastened,' and that 
she did not need to have her food 'hastened,' and translates 'and he 
took a special interest'; but the beginning of the treatment could be 
'hastened,' even if the process itself could not be abbreviated, and it 
was not her 'food' but her 'dainties' that he 'hastened.' The mean- 
ing 'hastened' is attested by <£ €<nrev<rev, 3 accelerare, & uSoij-lff 
and by all the passages in the OT. where this form occurs, cf. 8 U 
DUnfTO D^ron, 'hastened and impelled'; 6" x^?V? lknan, 'they hastened 
to bring.' — r\^"\DD\mundum muliebrem 3: oiA-fcOtZ ^^ &: rbapJqypja. 
d>: irpoaTaTrjirai airrjs L: ad omnes nitores ejus & — nmjD nxi] so B 2 
Ba.: mmjD nxi G: om. LSI. — nxi] ^^^o &. — nS nnh] ko.1 iirtSwicep virtp 
L: om. C. The inf. with h preceded by its objects is a pure Aram, 
construction. Another object being introduced after this, the phrase 
is repeated (cf. Dn. 2 10 - 46 6 24 ); so the versions, Keil, Bert., Oet., Schu., 
Wild. Kau. § 115 c and Sieg., Com. a. I., hold that the phrase does not 
depend upon Snm, but upon the preceding noun, and should be trans- 
lated 'which ought to be given to her.' — nxi 2 ] om. L. — nn^jn]-f a &• 

— nrxnn] rots &ppas L. — n'i>x-in] on the insertion of Daghesh, cf. Kau. 
§ 75 v. Ba. G om. Daghesh (cf. Ba., p. 72). This use of the pass. part. 
of nxi is not found elsewhere in the OT., but is common in BT. — 
nnS 2 ] om. 3 (& L H. — nS] om. 3 H. — D^wn - non] om. L. — iSdh] ejusdem 
H. — "[Son jtod nS nnS] Haupt deletes as a misplaced correction of the 
preceding n 1 ? nnS. — njtt»i] et tarn ipsam ornaret 3: - .t\ WO &: *al ixP'ti- 
< ainri <g. In i 7 3* the Qal of this vb. is used in the sense of 'be 
different'; here the Pi. in the sense of 'change.' The construction 


1 78 ESTHER 

with ace. of the person and 7 of the place is Aram., cf. Levy, Aram. 
W.-B. iv. 586; Payne-Smith, Thes. 4234. There is no reason to sus- 
pect that the text is corrupt in spite of the variations of the versions. 

— rwrqH— nam] om. C — a^n-jaiaS] atque excoleret 3: /caXws £p t# 
yvvaiK&vi (& (+ els ayadbv 93ft under*): cetatis ipsius in conventu muli- 
erum H. 

10. om. L. — n 1 ?] pr. o #: pr. Kal <g?C. — -inDx] qua 3. — nsy] oi±a± 
f$. — nmSiD] ^^ pi t\- &• — "^ri]-f- de hac re omnino 3C. 

11. om. L. — ^33)] om. 1 CI (A 03& have). — '3*no] g»* 3. — U©V] a R 2. 

— no] om. &. — D>tt>jn] in qua electee virgines servabantur 3. — njrt?] not 
merely of an attempt to know, but of the attainment of knowledge {cf. 
Dt. 8 2 13 4 ). — DiSiP-riN] J P| ±- &: tI avix^aeraL (g SI: usually construed 
with Sn^ rather than with JH 1 (cf. 1 S. io 4 ). — y»K] e* U. — n3-noV]om. 
£ C — na] n 1 * some codd. (R). 


12. And whenever each girVs turn came to go to King Xerxes]. 
So, according to Her. iii. 69, the wives of the false Smerdis came 
to him in turn. How the turn was determined, is not stated. 
The next clause narrates merely that no girl could go to the King 
until she had been twelve months in the palace. Presumably, as 
the girls arrived at the palace, their names were recorded ; and, at 
the expiration of twelve months, they were called in the order of 
their arrival. Those who came from Susa would naturally begin 
their preparation sooner than those who came from India or Kush, 
and so would be ready earlier to go to the King. — After she had 
been treated in the manner prescribed for the women [® x + while 
they tarried in their delicacies] twelve months [QJ 1 + of the year]. 
Lit., at the end of its being to her, according to the law of the women. 
What the law of the women was, is explained in the next clause. 
It was a twelvemonth's process of beautification with cosmetics. 
Cler. wrongly explains the phrase after the analogy of Gn. 18 11 
3 1 35 . On law, see i 8 . — For this was the regular length of their 
period of massage; six months [(£ 3 + they were anointed] with oil 
of myrrh, [OF 1 + which removes the hair and makes the skin soft,] 
and six months with perfumes and feminine cosmetics;] [Jos. 200 + 
and the number of the girls was 400.] This parenthetical remark 
gives the contents of the law of the women mentioned in the pre- 
ceding clause. From this it appears, that every maiden was re- 



quired to take this twelvemonth's treatment before she could be 
admitted to the King. Hegai could not shorten the period in 
Esther's case ; the best that he could do was to begin it as soon as 
possible. In regard to the credibility of this long period of prep- 
aration opinions differ. 

13. And whenever [Jos. 201 + Hegai thought that the virgins had 
done all that was necessary in the aforesaid time, and were now 
ready to go to the King's couch,] [SF 1 + after they had completed 
twelve months of the year and] each girl was going unto the King], 
a resumption of the thought of the first part of 12a , which has been 
interrupted by the long parenthesis in the rest of the v. The con- 
nection is, whenever each girl's turn came to go to the King, . . . 
and in this (i.e., in turn) each girl was going to the King. The 
second clause is not the apodosis, but is a continuation of the 
temporal clause. The apodosis follows in 13b . — Every thing that 
she demanded [Jl + that belonged to her adornment,] [(ft 1 + whether 
a noble or an officer,] used to be given her [(ft 1 + at once] to go with 
her from the house of the women unto the house of the King]. Each 
girl was given a chance to make the best impression, and to this 
end was allowed to select any garment or jewel that she thought 
would enhance her beauty. Whether she was permitted to retain 
these after her visit to the King, we are not told. Haupt thinks 
that she had to return them. Probably the idea is, that she kept 
them as a mohar, or wedding-gift. V. 15 suggests that most of 
the girls used the opportunity to load themselves with jewels. 
Here the house of the women, or harem, is distinguished from the 
house of the King, or private apartments, in which Xerxes received 
the women in turn (see i 5 ). 

14. In the evening she used to go in [SF 1 + to wait upon the King], 
a circumstantial clause, defining more precisely the manner of 
presentation, and also preparing the way for the future action of 
the book. The girls were not merely shown to the King when 
their turns came, as we should expect ; but in each case the mar- 
riage union was consummated, as appears from 14b , where they 
return to the house of the concubines. — And in the morning she 
used to return unto the second house of the women, into the charge 
of Sha'ashgaz, the King's eunuch, the keeper of the [Jl -f royal] con- 


cuUnes]. Having received the honour of admission to the King's 
couch, no girl could return to the company of candidates in charge 
of Hegai ; but went now to another section of the harem, under the 
custody of a different eunuch ; where, as a concubine of the King, 
she was kept presumably under stricter surveillance. On Sha'ash- 
gaz, see p. 69. — [® 2 + Her name was recorded and] she did not 
go in again to the King unless the King longed for her and she was 
summoned by name [5F 1 -f distinctly and in writing.] Most of the 
girls, apparently, never got a second summons; but remained in 
practical widowhood in the house of the concubines. Only oc- 
casionally one made sufficient impression on the King for him to 
remember her and to wish to see her a second time. How many 
girls preceded Esther, we are not told; but evidently no one had 
such charms that the King thought of her as a possible successor 
to Vashti. This story bears marked resemblance to that of 
Shehriyar at the beginning of the Arabian Nights. He also had 
a new wife every evening, and did not suffer one to come to him 
a second time (see p. 76). 

12. om. L. — yuroi] ovtos 5£ ?jv (&: Kal 6rav A: et quando esset £: cf. 
4 14 6 14 9 1 - 26 . 3 is used instead of 3 because the turns kept coming. 
The inf. takes its time from \ny v. 13 , i.e., it denotes recurring action 
in the past.— mju] om. IE: j&Wi'Ns ^o ],-*> &.— mpi] om. &(££. 
— tpmcnN] om. 3(121 (936 has under *): Haupt deletes. — ypv] is regu- 
larly followed immediately by the time-limit (cf. Gn. 4 3 Ju. n 39 2 S. 14 26 ). 
Here an equivalent of the time-limit comes first and + he time-limit 
follows in apposition. — D^Jfl— fl?] omnibus qua ad cidtum muliebrem 
pertinebant 3 : tempus puellcs 21 : om. <£ (936 has under *) : Katpos Kopdaia 
A. — -\w; &>}&] undecimo U: iirl 2£ Jos. — t^nn] + vertebatur 3: JALoo-* 
&. — »D< inSd\] of the completion of a prescribed period, as Gn. 25 24 29 21 
50 3 et at. The impf. is used to express recurring action in the past, 
'the days used to be fulfilled,' i.e., in each individual case. — ffpjjnjj] a.X., 
cf. pnpn (2 3 - 9 - 12 ) and the n. on 2 3 . — piipriD— wSd*] om. 3. — BMtnn] 
_A^oOrf &:+ aXicpSfiepai (&:-\-ut ungerentur 3. — inn p^:]. The 
meaning 'oil of myrrh' is certain from the versions and the cognate 
languages. Meg. 13a translates it hdbd 'stacte' (cinnamon oil) or jwpDJN 
'omphacinum' (green olive oil). OI 1 combines both renderings. Myrrh 
had a healing and purifying effect upon the skin. — o^jn-ru^i] om. 
C — D , Enn] + aliis 3: , Aqq - &. — o^jn] uterentur 3. 

13. om. L. — rt?3l] om. 3. 'And in this,' i.e., 'in turn,' refers back 
to the first words of v. 12 . In this case nm is a continuation of the tem- 


poral clause of v. 12 and the apodosis follows in 136 (so Bert., Rys., 
Wild.). Others make this the apodosis of the sentence. In that case 
nrai must be taken temporally, 'and in this time,' 'then' (so <£, QJ 1 , 
J. & T., Pise, Sieg., Haupt). Others understand n?3l to mean 'and 
in this condition,' i.e., 'prepared,' as described in the previous verse 
(so #, Miin., Tig., Vat., AV.); but the expression for this is p2 (4 16 ). 
RV. seems to suggest that 'and in this' means 'under the following 
conditions,' and refers to the permission to take with her whatever she 
pleased. — rryjn] nj?jn codd., rryjn Q: om. 3C62I (93b has under *). 

— nN3] ptc. f., not pf., on account of the accent (cf. Ewald, §331; 
Konig, i. 643 /.). It takes its time from the following impf. used to 
express recurring action in the past. — Y?D?1— rw] om. C — Sd Jin] ical 
<&. This can hardly be taken as the obj. of IBfttn. It is rather the 
subj. of the pass. \TW construed with nn (Kau. § 121a). — IDKn] 'com- 
manded' as in i 10 . This verb and the following one are impf. to ex- 
press recurring action in the past (Kau. § 107 c). They govern the time 
of the protasis in 12 - 13 . — jnr] on the pointing, see Ba., p. 72. — r\?-; ni: 1 -] 
et ut eis placuerat composites transibant 3. We should expect rather 
Non^, but the reading is sustained by (5 avveiaipx^Oai. This has 
suggested to ©' the idea that persons, not things, accompany the girl 
to the King. So Ramb. al., but v. 15 shows that this is impossible. 

14. PliQ— 3"W3j et cum introiret mulier ad domum regis H: tr. to v. ,e L. 

— n>o] ptc, taking its time from the preceding impf. as a frequentative 
in the past. — "ipaai] cf. Ba., p. 72. — rotp *on npaai] ad diem unum et 
recurrebat H: tr. to v. le L. — natp] + atque inde deducebatur 3. — no Vn- 
Y?cn] om. L. — D*un] om. 3. — "W] r*»JT S e bhir: om. &. This word 
is grammatically unrelated to the rest of the sentence, as in Ne. 3 30 . 
We must either read rpjir 'a second time,' or (n)ijt?n 'the second,' 
agreeing with DnMfl no (so Ba., Rys., Wild., Sieg.). Buhl suggests 
rwp. Haupt deletes as a gloss, as in 2 19 y 2 9 29 , and supposes that the 
girls returned to the same building from which they set out, only to the 
care of a different eunuch. — Sx] Sy Var. Or.: pr. quce 3. — JWM^fin— V*] 
om. ft — n> Sn] o5 (g. — iSdh] om. 3 44, 106. — raub'fin] a foreign word 
of unknown origin. For the theories as to its etymology, see BDB. 
811. — Nion nS] pr. Kal <g&: non habebat spado potestatem inducendi C 

— ^Dn-mj;] om. &. — DN »3] ws 5k L. — iSlWI-fBn] Kare/xdpdapev 6 patri- 
\ei>$ L: om. (gffi (936 has under *). — oe>a nmpil] om. ) <SH: ir&aas 
rds Trapdtvovs L. 


15. And when [3 + the time had gone round in order,] the turn 
came of Esther, the daughter of 'Abihayil, Mordecai's uncle, whom 
Mordecai had adopted as a daughter, to go in to the King]. Cf. v. 7 . 


These genealogical details are mentioned in order to distinguish 
Esther from the nameless herd of girls that had gone before her. 
For 'Abihayil (cf o 29 ) (& has everywhere in Est. 'Afieiva8d0 f 
which is used elsewhere for both 'Abindddb and l Amminddab 
in ^. How this could have arisen out of 'Abihayil, it is difficult 
to see. On the other hand, it is possible that l Amminadab was 
original, but was objectionable to Jewish ears on account of its 
connection with the name of the heathen god 'Amm, and there- 
fore has been changed in $j (cf. Paton, Art. " 'Amm" in Hastings' 
Diet. Rel.). — [10 + And it came to pass, when she went in to the 
King,] she did not request [2T 1 + the use of] any thing, except that 
which Hegai, the King's eunuch, the keeper of the women, advised 
[5 + and gave her as ornament, for she was exceedingly shapely 
and incredibly beautiful], i.e., she did not take the chance that 
was offered her, according to v. 13 , to enrich herself at the King's 
expense. Vat., Keil, and most comm. see in this an evidence of 
Esther's extraordinary modesty; Grot., of her confidence in her 
beauty; Mai., of protest against this heathen alliance. Others 
see in it a sign of her good judgment in leaving everything to 
Hegai, who was experienced in such matters and knew the King's 
taste. The passage does not say that she went unadorned, but 
only adorned in the manner that Hegai regarded as most becom- 
ing. — And Esther won the admiration [3 2T 1 + and love] of all 
beholders. [Meg. 13a -f Every one thought that she belonged to 
his nation.] This was not on account of her modesty, but on ac- 
count of her beauty, as dressed by the master-hand of Hegai. 
This is an anticipation of the favour that she finds with the King 
(2 17 ). From this passage Meg. 7a infers the inspiration of the 
Book of Est. How else but by inspiration could it be known 
that all admired her? 

16. And Esther was taken unto King Xerxes [©» 4- as wife, and 
he brought her] unto [QI 1 -f- the house of the bed-chamber of] the 
royal house]. In taken there is no suggestion of force, any more 
than in 2 8 , q. v. Royal house is here evidently the same as house 
of the King, 2 13 (cf. i 9 ). Perhaps the change in expression is due 
merely to the desire to avoid the repetition of King. — In the tenth 
month, that is, the month Tebheth]. The name is derived from 


Bab. Tebctu, and occurs here only in the OT. It equals Dec- 
Jan. The Bab. names of the months, together with the number- 
ing from Nisan, were adopted by the Jews after the Exile (cf. 
KAT. 3 p. 330/.). — In the seventh year of his reign]. According 
to i 3 , the deposition of Vashti occurred in the third year. The 
appointment of a commission to gather girls followed speedily, 
"when the anger of King Xerxes had abated" (2 1 ). Four years, 
accordingly, elapsed from the time that the King set out to seek 
a successor to Vashti until Esther was brought to him. Why was 
her presentation delayed so long? Her home was in Susa (2 5 ), 
so that she must have been one of the first to be taken to the palace ; 
and Hegai did everything to hasten her preparation (2 9 ). Bon. 
thinks that the delay was due to the number of girls that pre- 
ceded her. At the rate of one a day for four years, there must 
have been 1460 maidens on the waiting-list ahead of her. This 
is a goodly number, and it is a tribute to Esther's beauty that out 
of so many she was the first to captivate the King. Bert, thinks 
that, if time be allowed for the abating of Xerxes' wrath, for the 
appointing of a commission, for the collecting of girls, and a year 
for Esther's preparation (2 12 ), four years is not too long. Making 
all allowances, however, it seems incredible that Xerxes should 
have been willing to remain four years without a queen. & solves 
the difficulty by changing the seventh year to the fourth. San. 
thinks that v. l5 refers to a first visit of Esther to the King at an 
earlier date, and v. 16 to a second visit after he had tried the rest 
of the girls; but v. 17 shows clearly that only one visit is meant. 
Baum., Hav., Keil, Raw., and other defenders of the strict his- 
toricity of the book, hold that the delay was due to Xerxes' ab- 
sence in Greece during the sixth and the seventh year of his reign 
(480-479 B.C.). It is possible that, after the battle of Plataea, 
Xerxes returned to Susa by Dec- Jan., in time to take Esther as 
Queen before the end of the year; but the Book of Est. contains 
no suggestion of a two years' interruption of the presentation of 
girls, while the King was absent on a great military expedition; 
on the contrary, 2 12 - 16 assumes that the girls were brought regu- 
larly one after the other until Esther's turn came. If the King 
had been away two years, and the preparation of the girls had 

1 84 ESTHER 

lasted one year, there would not have been time for the extensive 
testing that the book assumes before the selection of Esther 
(cf. 2 8 'many,' 2 17 'all') (see p. 73). 

17. And the King loved Esther [L & -f- exceedingly] more than 
all the wives [2I 1 + that he had taken], and she gained his grace 
and favour more than all the virgins. [Meg. 13a + If he wished 
to enjoy a virgin, he enjoyed her ; if he wished to enjoy a matron, 
he enjoyed her]. The sense is not, as Bert, suggests, that he loved 
her better than both the older and the younger women, but, as 
2F 1 and Meg. indicate, better than the wives that he had already, 
and better than the girls that he had just gathered. — And he 
placed the royal turban upon her head, [QI 1 + and he cast out from 
the bedroom of the house where he slept the statue of Vashti, and 
placed there a statue of Esther. And he seated her upon the second 
throne,] and he made her Queen instead of Vashti. [Jos. 2 * 3 + So 
Esther was married without disclosing her race.] After the King 
had seen Esther he had no desire to investigate further. The 
presentation of girls came to a sudden end ; and Esther, apparently, 
was made Queen at once. On royal turban, see i n . There can 
be no doubt as to the author's intention to represent Esther as 
wife and queen, in contrast to the other women who were only 
concubines (see p. 71). 

18. [Jos. 202 + And he made a wedding-feast for her, and sent 
angaroi, as they are called, to every race, commanding them to cele- 
brate the nuptials ;] and the King made a great banquet [ Jl -f be- 
cause of his union and marriage] for all his officials and courtiers 
[(& + for seven days] [<8L®i+and celebrated] Esther's banquet 
[L + publicly]. [2f 2 + And he gave gifts to the provinces; and 
he said to her, Tell me now whether thou art sprung from the 
Jewish people ? And she said to him, I do not know my race nor 
my descent, because, when I was a child, my father and my 
mother died and left me an orphan (cf. Meg. 13a).] On banquet, 
officials, courtiers, see i 3 . Apparently this banquet followed im- 
mediately after the choice of Esther as Queen in the seventh year 
of Xerxes. — And [® 2 + when Xerxes heard this word] he made 
a release [QI 1 + from paying tribute] for [L IG J + all] the provinces]. 
Release, lit. a causing to rest, although understood by ©» and many 


comm. of a release from tribute, probably means a release from 
prison (cf. 1 Mac. io 33 Mt. 27 15 ; see Haupt a. I.). Others think 
of a release from work, a holiday (so j$, J, Bert., Sieg.), or a re- 
lease from military service, as Her. iii. 67 (Drus.). — And he gave 
a largess [QJ 1 + and a present] with royal liberality [® 2 + for he 
thought in his heart, and said within him, I will do good to all 
peoples and kingdoms because among them is the people of 
Esther. . . . And the princes of the King said to him, If thou 
dost wish Esther to tell her race and her descent, arouse her 
jealousy with other women, and she will tell thee her race and her 
descent (so the King made a second gathering of girls)]. Largess 
is lit. a lifting up, i.e., either something taken from one, or some- 
thing given to one. Here the latter meaning is demanded. Id 
Am. 5 11 Jer. 40 5 the word is used more specifically of gifts of f 00a 
(cf. Xen. Cyrop. viii. 27; Anab. i. 9, 25). With royal liberality, 
see i 7 . 

15. in J^jnai] i<f>dvr] 4iri<pave<TT&Tr) L: -f- introeundi SI: cf. v. 12 . — ra — 
end of v. om. L. — roV-in Haupt deletes as a gloss derived from v. 7 
ando 2 ".— S>n^K\*>o$&\ AUhail'&\ \m>H & A : Vj^ao) fc 01 : \ Lmd{ 
&u : Abihel {Chihel) SI: AjM«mW/3 (& (A/3i X <£i\ Q— vi] fratris JSI.— 
naS-ntPx] om. (SSI (93b has under*). — Nia 1 ?] iv t$ eure\0e»> A: pr. 6v 
l/ieXXey 44: introibat £ — "l^n] -f- et factum est cum introiret ad regent SI. 
— 131] muliebrem cultum 3. — nx-o] om. (SSI. — nt^N] &v (g: &v airy 
n A N 55, 64, 71, 74, 76, 106, loSa, 243, 248, 249, C Aid.: 4k tt&vtojv 8>v 
avrri 44: ex quibus & — un] om. (SSI (93ft has under *). — i^nn DnD] 
Haupt deletes. — "l^nn] om. J g> (S 31 (936 has under *). — D»wn nw]om. 
31 106: + /t<zc ei ad ornatum dediterat enim formosa valde et incredibili 
pulchritudine 3. — nnox vimjom. J. — WDK] Haupt deletes. — nNir ; j] with 
quiescent x, c/. Ba. 73, Stade, § 112 c. On the phrase cf. v. 9 . The peri- 
phrastic form with the ptc. expresses the constancy of the favour that 
she enjoyed. — 2^3 see ^ s * § 1 7^ >c - 

16. iSon-npSm] tr. aft. 2 9 L. — -\hdn] om. 93?; J. — ^mifnx] om. LSI 
44, 106: Haupt deletes. — rva hx to end of v.] om. L. — wnako— Sit] om. 
(SSI (936 has under *). — n^yn] ry SwSe/cdry (SSI (SeK&ry 936 C). — 
cnn N^n] om. SI. — roe] nao Ba.: ^j-*] v o-ls $: 'Addp (S SI: 'AS^p 248 
(so always): T^fl n c. a C: B?70 93ft. — jn:y] ^S}] &. 

17. inDK-3n»^] ijpe<rev airy <T(p68pa L (tr. aft. 2 9 ). — IHDn] + ^ «->g £: 
auT^s 44, 76, 106. — D'Pjn S^om. (SL3I (93ft has under *). — iDm] om. 
g> (SSI (93& has under *). — rjoS] om. (& (93ft has under *). — nVnnan San] 
5«^sr omnes mulieres3: om. L. — D««l] 7S.S O ro &. — ma^D] rd 7uj'cuicefoi' 

1 86 ESTHER 

<&: om. H. — rwmaj avrri <&%. — ♦rWl-JJ^mtJ om. (gL: & has, and 936 
under *. 

18. vn3jn-e'r\] om. L. — iSdh] om. 3. — *?hj] om. (g £ (93ft has under *). 
— THjjn] 1 O^O &: xal rais dvvdfjie<riv -\- iwl rjfityas eirrd, ical H>\f/u)crev (8>: 
-f- Kal tfyayev 6 /3a<riXei>s L. — nn;j>c] ^>ro conjunctions et nuptiis 3: toi)s 
7ci/Ltoi;s (J§»H: rdv 7^0^ L. — nnDN WlVD rus] Haupt deletes. — nruni] xai 
&<pe<TLv (g: feat &<pfoeis L: jLu^Jo &: e£ requiem J: Hiph. inf. from mj. 
The form is Aram, rather than Heb. (c/ - . Stade, §§ 244, 621 c). Haupt 
regards it as an inf. abs. used instead of a finite vb., as 2 s and often in 
Est., and deletes the following Wj?. — rWlD*?] rots bird ttjv pa<Ti\dav 
aiiTov (g: pr. 7rdo-cusL 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, U3L — T^on— ffm] om. <gL2j. — 
nst'p] Haupt reads nsirp, 'portions,' 'rations' (see also on io l ). Winck. 
(26-29) proposes to transpose 2 l7f - to a position before io 1 , on the grounds 
that the elevation of Esther to be Queen is the proper climax of the 
book, and that nxirp is the same as Dp in io 1 , and the same gathering of 
tribute is meant. He then reads thes. njno instead of the pi., and finds 
in it an allusion to Seleucia as the capital of the empire. All this is 
utterly fanciful. 


19. And when virgins were being gathered a second time]. What 
is meant by second is a crux inter pretum. (1) © 2 , Tir., Bon., 
Lap., Mai., Osi., Caj., Hez., Maur., Keil, Schu., Raw., Oet., 
Wild., Stre., think of a gathering that followed the selection of 
Esther as Queen; and suppose, either that these were girls from 
a distance who arrived after the game was over ; or that the King, 
although he made Esther Queen, was not content with her charms, 
but demanded continually a fresh supply of concubines; or that 
the courtiers, being jealous of Esther's influence, tried to lead him 
to select another favourite ; or, as © 2 maintains, that Xerxes made 
this second gathering so as to rouse Esther's jealousy and to get 
her to tell her race. The objections to this view are, that 2 16f - 
suggests that Xerxes was so well satisfied with Esther that he tried 
no new candidates; and that there is no reason why a gathering 
after Esther's marriage should be called the second, since many 
gatherings must have preceded it. 

(2) Drus. and Bert, think that second refers to a gathering of 
concubines into the second house of the women, either after visit- 
ing the King, or after attending Esther's wedding; but why in this 


case should they be called virgins, instead of concubines, as in 
2 14 ? It is not a sufficient answer to say that virgins means only 
young women, or that they are so called because they were lately 
virgins. Gather must also have the same sense here as in 2 3 8 . 

(3) In view of these facts, Grot., Vat., Mar., Cler., Ramb., 
hold that this is a parenthetical remark referring to a time previous 
to Esther's marriage. Vat., Mar., think that there was a similar 
gathering of girls before Vashti was chosen, and that second refers 
to the gathering from which Esther was taken. Cler., Ramb., 
suppose that the first gathering occurred in the provinces, and the 
second at Susa. Others suppose that second means the second 
detachment of girls that arrived in Susa in accordance with the 
order of 2 2 - 4 . The difficulties with this view are that on this in- 
terpretation we should expect an art. with virgins, since they have 
been mentioned before; that v. 20 , which follows immediately, 
does not refer to the past but to the present ; and that v. 22 shows 
that these events occurred after Esther became Queen. 

(4) Dat., Bar., Jahn, despair of an interpretation, and follow 
(£ in deleting the passage ; but the omission by <£ does not prove 
that the words did not stand in the original text, but only that (& 
could make nothing out of them. Haupt deletes the whole of 
v. I9 as a misplaced gloss to v. 21 . 

(5) Sieg. explains the clause as due to the clumsiness of the 
author, who wanted to say something about Mordecai's discov- 
ering the plot, and knew no better way in which to introduce it. 
If we must choose between these theories, the first probably offers 
the least difficulty; but there is strong ground for suspicion that 
the text is corrupt (see crit. note). 

Why this statement about a gathering of virgins is introduced 
at this point, is also a puzzle. Schu. thinks that the confusion 
attending the arrival of the girls gave the conspirators a chance to 
discuss their plans (v. 21 ), and gave Mordecai a chance to observe 
them without being noticed, since they supposed that he was 
merely an ordinary member of the throng ; but a crowded gate is 
surely not the place that conspirators would choose for discussing 
plans to murder the King. It is better with Keil, Raw., and most 
comm. to regard the clause as introduced solely for the purpose of 


giving the time of the events. It is parallel to in those days. v. 21 . — 
While Mordecai [QI 1 + was praying, and having gone forth] was 
sitting in the King's gate]. The verse-division in M, 0, 3, and 
most modern versions and comm. treat this clause as the apodosis 
and translate, when virgins were gathered — Mordecai was sitting; 
but the same expression occurs in v. 21 , and there it is temporal. 
It is better, accordingly, with Cas., Rys., Stre., to regard this as 
a second subordinate clause. What Mordecai's sitting in the 
King's gate has to do with the gathering of virgins, is not clear. 
The older versions and comm. suppose that he was a royal official 
who had charge of the reception of the girls (see 6 10 , where the 
King knows that he sits in the gate), but this is not a fair inference 
from the text. Schu., Wild., think that, when a company of girls 
arrived, people crowded into the King's gate to see them, and that 
Mordecai took this opportunity to penetrate farther into the palace 
than he could ordinarily go; but this hypothesis is unnecessary, 
since in 2 11 he walks daily before the court of the women, and in 
3 3 5 13 he sits in the King's gate when no virgins are being brought. 
If we regard this clause as subordinate, like the first, there is no 
need of seeing any causal nexus between the two. The King's 
gate is presumably a large fortified entrance to the palace-enclosure, 
such as Dieulafoy discovered at Susa. Such gates have always 
been used in the Orient as courts of justice and as lounging-places 
for the rich (see HDB. Art. "Gate"). From 2 21 3 2f - 5 9 - 13 6 10 - 12 
(cf. 4 2 - 6 ) it appears that this was Mordecai's favourite haunt. 
This shows him to have been a man of leisure, but not necessarily 
a royal official. His reason for sitting here may have been solely 
his desire to pick up news concerning Esther (see 2 5 - »). Haupt 
thinks that he may have been a money-changer who placed his 
table here. 

20. Esther had never disclosed her descent nor her race, as Mor- 
decai had enjoined upon her [(£ !G + to fear God] [*G + every day]. 
The sentence begun with the two temporal clauses in v. 19 is broken 
off to insert this parenthetical remark, which shows why Mordecai 
still sat an idler in the King's gate, although his cousin had become 
Queen ; and also explains why he could spy upon the conspirators 
(v. 21 ) without being detected. Descent is here put before race be- 


cause the main point is Esther's relationship to Mordecai (cf. 2 10 ). 
Meg. 13a, 2I 2 , regard this as the apodosis of the sentence, and take 
it to mean that, although Xerxes tried to arouse Esther's jealousy 
by gathering other girls, yet still she did not reveal her origin, 
through loyalty to Mordecai, who sat in the King's gate. This is 
a very forced interpretation. — But Esther had always obeyed the 
injunction of Mordecai. 

[GI 1 + She had kept sabbaths and fast days, she had taken heed to the 
days of her separation, she had avoided the food of the heathen, and had 
not drunk their wine, and she had observed all the commandments which 
Israelitish women ought to keep, according to Mordecai's instructions,] 
[<H 2 + for she showed herself humble when she became Queen.] 

Just as when she grew up in his house [(B> + and Esther had not 
changed her manner of life]. This continuation of the parenthesis 
restates in positive form the thought of the preceding clause. The 
injunction of Mordecai was, of course, to conceal her race, not, as 
2F l thinks, to keep the Jewish Law, which would have resulted in 
the immediate disclosure of her origin. The author wishes us to 
admire Esther's filial obedience even after she has become Queen. 
This is important in the further development of the plot. 

21. [Jos. 205 + Now the King had enacted a law that, when he sat upon 
his throne, none of his household should approach him, without being 
called ; and men with axes surrounded his throne ready to cut down any 
that approached the throne without a summons. The King, however, 
sat with a golden sceptre in his hand; and when he wished to save any 
one who came uncalled, he held it out to him; and he that touched it 
was safe {cf. 4 11 ) : but enough of this matter.] 

In those days while Mordecai was sitting [Qs l + in the sanhedrin 
which Esther had established for herself] in the King's gate]. 
This is a resumption of the sentence begun in v. 19 , but inter- 
rupted by the parenthesis in v. 20 . In those days corresponds to 
and when virgins were being gathered. The second clause is the 
same in both vv. — Bigthan and Teresh, the two royal eunuchs, 
[3 + doorkeepers at the entrance of the palace,] who guarded the 
threshold, [S 1 + noticed this and met together and] were angry 
[(& + because Mordecai was promoted]. 

tip Esther 

[(E 1 + And they said one to another: Does not the Queen with the con- 
sent of the King seek to remove us and to put Mordecai in our place ? 
It is not fair to remove two officers in order to substitute one. Then 
they took counsel in their language.] [Meg. 136 + Bigthan and Teresh 
were Tarsees and spoke the Tarsee language, and they said one to the 
other : Since this (Esther) has come to court we can get no sleep at night ; 
therefore let us put poison into the King's drink, that he may die. They 
did not know that Mordecai belonged to the Great Sanhedrin, every 
member of which understood 70 languages (similarly SI 2 ).] [Jos. 207 + 
And Barnabazus, a Jew, a servant of one of the eunuchs, becoming 
aware of the plot, revealed it to the uncle of the King's wife ;] [(& (A 13 ) + 
and he heard their discussions and investigated their schemes and learned 
them (similarly L in A 13 ).] 

And they sought [3F 1 + to give a deadly poison to Queen Esther 
and] to lay hands on King Xerxes [L J (E 1 + to slay him] [©' + with 
the sword in his bed-chamber]. The object of all these additions 
is to explain why Bigthan and Teresh were angry with the King. 
(& and S 1 think that it was because of the promotion of Mordecai, 
so Tir., Drus., al. Meg. holds that jealousy of Estherwas the cause. 
Others have supposed that the two eunuchs were friends of Vashti 
and resented her degradation. Lap., Men., Cler., suppose that 
this was part of a plot of Haman to seize the throne (cf 6 8 f •). 
Oet. brings the anger into connection with the gathering of vir- 
gins (v. 19 ), and thinks that then the wishes of the eunuchs were 
thwarted. The author gives no indication of his opinion. On 
Bigthan and Teresh, see p. 69. The two royal eunuchs, not two 
of the King's chamberlains, as AV. and RV. The threshold which 
these eunuchs guarded was presumably the entrance to the 
King's private apartments. They were the most trusted watch- 
men; and, therefore, their treason was doubly dangerous. Lay 
hands on, lit. send forth a hand upon, is the equivalent of kill {cf. 
Gn. 37 22 1 S. 24 7 - u ). Such conspiracies were common in the 
ancient Orient, and were the only way to get rid of a despot. 
Several of the kings of Judah and of Israel perished in this way 
(cf. 1 K. 15" 16 9 2 K. 9 14 i5 10 - 25 21 23 ); also of Damascus (2 K. 8 16 ), 
and Assyria (2 K. 19"). Xerxes himself perished through such 
a conspiracy (Diod. Sic. xi. 69, 1 ; Ctesias, Pers. 29), and a like 
fate befell Artaxerxes Ochus. 


22. And the affair became known to Mordecai [2J 2 + through a 
holy spirit] [W l + because he was able to speak 70 languages]. 
How Mordecai knew this plot, 1% does not say. The additions 
supply a variety of reasons. The comm. have conjectured that 
he overheard the conversation of the eunuchs because he sat in 
the King's gate, but this would not be a likely place for the con- 
cocting of a plot. Mordecai 's sitting in the gate has no other con- 
nection with this v. than as an indication of time. — And [L + 
having considered well,] he disclosed it to Queen Esther, and Esther 
told it to the King [01 l + and it was written] in the name of Mordecai 
[J -f who had reported the matter to her]. Mordecai still man- 
aged to keep in communication with Esther, even after she had 
become Queen ; but how this was done, or how it could be carried 
on without revealing Esther's race, the author does not explain. 
Mordecai was well known to be a Jew (2 s y- 6 5 13 6 10 ); and, if he 
used the Queen to communicate his intelligence to the King, 
it must have been conjectured that they were related. It is 
also hard to understand how Xerxes could have forgotten so 
promptly (6 3 ), if the news of this great service had been 
communicated by the Queen. Haupt solves the difficulty by 
changing the text of the v. to read, "And he disclosed it to 
Haman, son of Hammedatha, the Gogite, keeper of the thresh- 
old" (see note). 

23. [Jos. 208 + And the King was alarmed] and the affair was 
investigated and was found [S 1 + true,] and [05 L + having con- 
fessed,] both of them were hanged upon a gallows]. Cf. 5 14 6 4 
7 9 - 10 8 7 9 13 - 14 - 25 . The word translated gallows is lit. tree or pole; 
hence it has been inferred that impaling is meant (so L in 6 U , 
Haupt). Jos., &, 3, al. think of crucifixion {cf. E 18 ), but both of 
these methods of execution seem to be precluded by the fact that 
the tree of 5 14 is 50 cubits high. This can only have been a gallows. 
[Jos. 208 + But at that time he gave no reward to Mordecai who 
had been the means of his escape, only] [L + Xerxes,] [05 + the 
King, commanded] [Jos. + the scribes to record his name] and it 
was written [05 + for a memorial] in the book of the chronicles 
[OJi -f which was read continually] before the King [05 + with 
praise concerning the good will of Mordecai.] [05 L (A 16 ) -f And 


the King commanded that Mordecai should serve in the King's 
court and should guard every door publicly. And he gave him 
gifts on account of this] [Jos. + as though he were a most inti- 
mate friend of the King.] Why Mordecai should not have been 
rewarded at once, but his services merely recorded in the annals, 
is hard to understand. Literary rather than historical consider- 
ations have here shaped the narrative. (& solves the difficulty by 
inserting rewards. The book of the chronicles, lit. book of the acts 
of the days, was a sort of royal diary recording memorable events 
(6 1 io 2 ). Such annals were kept by the ancient kings of Baby- 
lonia and Assyria, by the Hebrew kings (1 K. 14 19 15 7 and 
oft.), and by the kings of Persia (Ezr.4 15 ; Her. vii. 100; viii. 85, 
90; Diod. Sic. ii. 32). Before the King indicates that the an- 
nals were kept in his apartments, so that anything important 
might at once be jotted down (cf 6 1 )- Haupt arbitrarily trans- 
lates 'at the disposal of the King,' but cf. the passages just cited 
from Her. 

19. om. L. — mjp-ppm)] om. (& % (93ft has under *): + et congre- 
garentur 3:+ •* 1 *'*^ &: perhaps instead of n*# 'a second time,' we 
should read nijtr 'different, various' (cf. i 7 3 s ). — OTWlJ om. 1 &. — 
w>] here only in book written defectively, ffl,: idepdnevev (&: *edebat 
C — Y?on] om. <£ (93ft has under *). 

20. om. L. Haupt deletes the whole v. as made up of two tertiary 
glosses to '31113 DC3 -jSdS nnDN ncNni v. 22 . — n*!Jp] Hiph. ptc. f. express- 
ing the continuance of E.'s refusal to tell her origin (cf. Kau. §§ 107 d, 
116 c) — nop nxi] om. <8> (exc. 936 *). — icnd] omnia fi: a late word, as 
in i 15 9 32 . — Olio] ille J: avrov <g: om. £. — TOM] om. (6 U. — nry] 
iroietv (&: servaret £. — ruc>o] om. (&1C (exc. 93ft *). 

21. om. L. — "iSdh-d^dij] om. (S: &os rrjs pvkt6$ Kal rj<rix a<Tev Map- 
8o%a?os kv rrj ai\r} (& (A uf ): &*>s ttjs rj/xipas t$s ijirvojae MapSoxcuos tv rjj 
ai\ri rod /3a<n\<?ws L (A 11 ). — D'D'3] pr. o &. — *3*nDV] om. 10. — ipp] pr. 
Kal <g&: om. £: pjzra <g (A 12 ) L (A 12 ). The vb. is singular because it 
precedes the two subjects. — ^Dn HDTD] Haupt deletes from this connec- 
tion and inserts in the emended text of v. •*, on the ground that ttnni frua 
is the correct text in i 10 instead of NruaNi Nru3, and that in i 10 these are 
body-servants of the King, not door-keepers (see p. 67). The present 
text is supported by all the Vrss. except L. — Hon] ttjv aiX-^v (& (A 12 ): 
atrium C (A 12 ). — i^i?3;i] H^JJ] Ba. — T nWS] airoKretvai (521. — anwriN] 
so Oc: rr wnw Or.: om. 44, 106 H: Haupt deletes. 

22. om. L. — OTlDS-jnvi] Kal virtdeil-ev ry jQactXet 7repi aurwi' <$ 


(A 13 ): ev Se (f>povr)<ra$ 6 MapSoxatos airrjyyeiXe irepl avru>p L (A 13 ). — "UM] 
+ avrbv 248 C: + Mardochaus ft — ^mo-iJm] om. <& in A 13 , L in A 11 . 
— o-nD--\nDNV] instead of this Haupt substitutes ^JNjn amen p pnS 
r\on noiTD, and after v. 23 he inserts yrn Tjn vnnn 13 jrr «S iSdhi. 
His reasons are, that the King's neglect of Mordecai is inexplicable, if 
the news of his service was reported by Queen Esther herself, as the 
present text relates, and that the subsequent action of the book becomes 
clearer, if we suppose that Mordecai told Haman of the plot, and that 
the latter took the credit of the discovery to himself. This will explain 
why Haman was exalted (3 1 ), why Mordecai refused to bow down to 
him (3 2 ), and why Haman was afraid to put Mordecai to death at once 
(Haupt, Purim, p. 37). The theory is ingenious, but is wholly un- 
supported by the Vrss., all of which offer substantially the same text as 
% It is unsafe to assume that the inconsistencies which Professor 
Haupt would have avoided, if he had written the Book of Est., were neces- 
sarily avoided by the author. Moreover, this theory does not remove all 
difficulties. If, as Haupt assumes, Mordecai's service was written in the 
royal chronicle (2 23 6 1 f •), then it would have been impossible for Haman 
to claim the honour of discovering the plot for himself. — roSon] om. (S»C 
(exc. 936 *). — -tDNni] om. nnsn 3. — -ipdn] airy (g: ij (SaaCKlaaa A: ilia J 
— I^dS] + ' ApTai-dpi-r) N c. a mg A, 93 b -£-. — OVID Dtto] tcl ttjs eirtfiovXTJs (6 ' 
et nomen Mardochcei ft 

23. om. L. — NXD , ' , i-a'|?3 ,, i] om. 44, 106. — cpD ,| )] + 6 /WiXetJs <5. — 
-onn] roi>s 860 ei>po6x ov * &• — nxd?i] Kal etipe toj>s \6yovs ~M.ap8oxo.lov 
L (A 14 ): et invenit sic H: om. (&: + Kal opjoKoy-fjcavres (& (A 14 ),H (A 14 ): 
-f- Kal 6fio\oyr)<ravT€S ol evpovxoi L (A 14 ). — iSn^] dir'/ix^V ' av & (A 14 ), 
L (A 14 ). — fjj hy] om. <£H. — 3ro>V] mandatum est historiis et traditum 
3: o*c£u£ Po *3>: Kal irpocrdra^ep 6 /SatrtXeus /eaTaxwpkrcu els p.vqpjbavvov 
(5: Kal eypa\pev 6 /Sa<ri\ei>s els p.ptjp.6<rvpop <j& (A 14 ): Kal eypa\pev 'Airflru- 
ijpos 6 fiao-iXevs L (A 14 ): et scriptum est memoriale ft — ^Dn-noD3] 4p ttj 
(3a(ri\iKrj /3i/3Xio0^/q7 <S>: tovs \6yovs roirovs d» (A 16 ): Trepl rdv \6yu)p 
toijtcjp L (A 15 ): legist: + virep ttjs evpolas Mapdoxaiov kv kyKupiq <&: 
+ Kal iiriral-ep (iperelXaro L) 6 ^aciXevs (+ irepl rod L) Mapdoxaiy 
(Map8oxa/ou L) depaireOeip (+ avrbp L) 4p tt) av\rj (-}- rod ftaaiXe'us 
Kal iraoap dvpap iirupap&s rijpeip L) Kal ebwKep aurtp 56/xara (om. L) 
irepl to6tu)p(& (A 16 ) L (A 16 ). According to Winck. (AOF. iii. 5), vv. 21 - M 
are in their right place in <S, and their insertion here is a gloss. Simi- 
larly Erbt, Purim, p. 22. 




TO HIM (3 1 ' 2a ). 

1. [L I + And it came to pass] after these events]. This is a 
vague indication of a later date (cf. 2 1 ). This may have happened 
at any time between the seventh and the twelfth year of Xerxes 

( 2 !6 37). 

[QJi -f The measure of judgment came before the Lord of the whole 
world and spoke thus: Did not the wicked Haman come down from 
Susa to Jerusalem in order to hinder the building of the house of thy 
Sanctuary? but behold now how] King Xerxes magnified Haman, son 
of Hamm e dhatha, the Agagite, [® 2 + son of Sadda, son of Kuza, son of 
Eliphalot, son of Dios, son of Dioses, son of Peros, son of Ma'adan, 
son of Bal'aqan, son of Antimeros, son of Hadros, son of Segar, son of 
Negar, son of Parmashta, son of Wayzatha, son of Amalek, son of the 
concubine of Eliphaz, the first-born of Esau {cf. Of 1 on 5 1 ).] 

On Haman and the other proper names, see p. 69. Accord- 
ing to Meg. 12b, V> } Haman was the same as M e mukhan (i 14 ). 
For other legends concerning him, see Seligsohn, Art. "Haman" 
in JE. The only Agag mentioned in the OT. is the King of 
Amalek (Nu. 24? 1 S. 15 9 sq.). Jos. 211 , Meg. 13a, 5F 1 , ® 2 , all 
Jewish, and many Christian comm. think that Haman is meant 
to be a descendant of this Agag. This view is probably correct, 
because Mordecai, his rival, is a descendant of Saul ben Kish, 
who overthrew Agag (1 S. i5 7f ). Amalek was the most ancient 
foe of Israel (Ex. 17 816 ), and is specially cursed in the Law 
(Dt. 25 17 ). It is, therefore, probably the author's intention to 
represent Haman as descended from this race that was character- 
ized by an ancient and unquenchable hatred of Israel {cf. 3 10 , 
"the enemy of the Jews"). When 93a makes him a Gogite (cf. 
Ez. 38-39), and L makes him a Macedonian, these are only other 
ways of expressing the same idea (see p. 69/). In 1 Ch. 4 42f 
it is recorded that the last remnant of the Amalekites was destroyed 
in the days of Hezekiah, but this creates no difficulty for our au- 
thor in assigning Haman to this race. That an Amalekite should 



be raised to the highest rank in the Persian empire, is very im- 
probable. The cases of favour to Greek exiles adduced by Baum. 
(p. 26 /.) are not parallel. — And exalted him [©> + prince over 
everything,] and placed his throne above all the officials that were 
with him], i.e., made him grand vizier. — [L + so that all stooped 
and bowed down to the earth to him.] 

[S 1 -f- And the Lord of the world replied: It is not yet revealed in the 
world. Let me alone until he magnifies himself: then shall it be re- 
vealed to all peoples ; and afterward recompense shall be taken from him 
for all the sufferings which he and his fathers have inflicted upon the 
people of the house of Israel.] 

2 a . And all the King's courtiers that were in the gate [QI 1 4- of 
the house] of the King used to bow down [S 1 + to an idol which he 
had placed upon him,] [Mid. + embroidered upon his garment 
and worn over his heart, so that all who did homage to him, wor- 
shipped it]; and they used to prostrate themselves before Haman 
[Jos. 209 + when he went in to the King], for so the King had com- 
manded concerning him]. On King's courtiers, lit. slaves of the 
King, see i 3 . Prostration before high officials was a universal 
custom in the ancient Orient. In the case of the Persians it is 
attested by Her. i. 134 (for other references, see Bris. i. 10). From 
this passage it cannot be inferred that Mordecai was a royal 
official {cf. 2 6 - 19 ). 

1. ins] pr. Kal iytvero L H. — ••jJNn-Snj] ml Ijv 'Afikv 'A/xadddov 
Bovyaios evdoi-os tv&iriov rod fiacriXfas (& (A 17 ) : 'Ajuav 'AfJiadddov Ma/ce- 
bbva Kara irpbauirov tov /3a(TiX^ws L (A 17 ). — hlj] Pi. with pathach 
(Stade, § 3866).— jprnttTiN] Haupt deletes. — Ign-riN] so Ben Asher: 
inn-nx Ben Naphtali (Ginsburg). — risen] om. 3&. 

2a. -jSdd nap] om. <gLH (exc. 936 *). — 1^3 ^x] om. L. — ^dd*] 
om. (SLU (exc. M c - a , 936 *). — D-nnncDi] om. (6LH (exc. 936 *). — 
pnV] avrip <g L (Afx&p A £). — "O — end of v.] om. 106. — iS] eis3: iroiijaai 
(&'. fieri?!: ay-rots iroirjaai 936: om. L. 


2 b . But Mordecai [J + alone,] [Jos. 210 + because of his wisdom 
and the law of his nation,] would never bow down [QI 1 + to the idol] 
and would never prostrate himself [2T 1 + before Haman, because 


he had been a. field-slave who had sold himself to him for a loaf of 
bread]. Mordecai's refusal to bow down to Haman is quite inex- 
plicable. In 3 4 he tells the courtiers that it is because he is a Jew, 
but the Hebrews prostrated themselves, not only before kings 
(1 S. 24 9 < 8 >), but before all superiors (Gn. 23 7 27 29 33*). There 
was nothing repugnant to their feelings in doing obeisance to 
such a great man as a grand vizier. 

(1) The oldest explanation of Mordecai's refusal is that of <£ 
in C 7 (= 13 14 )) namely, that Haman claimed divine homage, 
which Mordecai, as a pious Jew, could not render. This view 
has been followed by Jos., © 2 , RaShI, San., Lap., Ser., Bon., 
Men., Tir., Jun., Mai., Drus., Kamp., Bert., Keil, Net., Schu., 
Hal., Raw., Scho., Wild., al. In its support it is claimed that the 
Persian kings assumed divine honours, according to ^Esch. Pers. 
644^.; Plutarch, Themist. xxvii.; Curtius, viii. 5 5ff -; and that 
Haman, as the King's vizier, shared this assumption of divinity. 
But no such claim on the part of the kings is found in the Pers. 
monuments; and, if they had made it for themselves, it is hard to 
see why it should have extended to their viziers. Even granting 
this assumption, Jews must have been able to bow before Persian 
rulers without regarding this as an act of worship. Ezra and 
Nehemiah could not have come into the close relations which 
they maintained with the Persian court without observing the 
rules of Persian etiquette. Esther and Mordecai also must have 
observed them when they came before the King. Mordecai could 
not become vizier without rendering to Xerxes precisely the hom- 
age that he here refuses to Haman, and he must himself have re- 
ceived it after his elevation (8 15 ). 

(2) (5 1 {cf. 6 1 ), the Midrashes, IE., and Jewish comm. in gen- 
eral suppose that Haman had an idol ostentatiously embroidered 
upon his robe, so that Mordecai could not bow to him without 
worshipping the idol {cf. Pirq. lxix); but this is a gratuitous as- 

(3) Meg. i$b, 16a, and S 1 say that Haman had been a slave of 
Mordecai and had been a barber for 22 years in the town of Kefer 
Qarcum, and that this was the reason why Mordecai would not 
bow down to him. 


(4) Kuen. and many modern comm. see in this act the influ- 
ence upon the author of Greek ideas of freedom. Thus the 
Spartan ambassadors Sperthies and Bulis refused to prostrate 
themselves before Xerxes (Her. vii. 136). 

(5) Caj., Burg, in Bon., Jun., Osi., Grot., Oet., hold that 
Mordecai refused to bow because Haman was an Amalekite 
(cf. 3 1 ). This idea is suggested also by ® 2 on 3 s , where the cour- 
tiers ask Mordecai why he refuses to bow to Haman, when his an- 
cestor Jacob bowed to Hainan's ancestor Esau (Gn. 33*). Such 
a motive is quite in accord with the spirit of the book; but here, 
as elsewhere, it is not necessary to seek for historical reasons. 
The literary reason is clear enough. Mordecai must do some- 
thing to provoke flaman in order that he may seek to destroy the 
Jews; and this refusal to bow down, unreasonable as it is, serves 
the purpose. 

3. [L + And the King's courtiers saw that Mordecai did not 
bow down to Haman,] and the King's courtiers who were in the 
gate f© 1 + of the palace] of the King said to Mordecai, [35 + say- 
ing,] [05 + Mordecai,] [® 2 + What dignity hast thou above us 
who have to bend and bow before Haman that thou dost not bow 
down before him ?] Why dost thou [Jl + unlike the rest] disobey the 
command of the King [LlG + by not bowing down to Haman ?] 
[51 -j- and he would not answer them.] 

[® 2 + Then Mordecai answered and said to them, O fools, destitute 
of intelligence, hear a word from me; and tell me, you villains, where is 
there a son of man who can exalt and magnify himself ? for he is born of 
a woman, and his days are few, and at his birth there is weeping, and 
woe, and distress, and groaning, and all his days are full of trouble, and 
at the end he returns to the dust; and I, should I bow down to such a 
one ? I will not bow down, except to the living and true God ; who is a 
flame of consuming fire; who has hung the earth upon his arm, and 
spread out the firmament through his might ; who by his will darkens the 
sun, and at his pleasure makes the darkness light; who in his wisdom has 
set a bound to the sea with sand, while he gives its waters the taste of 
salt and its billows the smell of wine ; who has enclosed it with a barrier 
and shut it within boundaries in the treasuries of the deep that it may 
not cover the earth, and that when it rages, the deep may not pass over 
its bounds; who by his word created the firmament, and expanded it in 


the air like a cloud, spread it like a mist above the clouds, like a tent 
over the earth, which by its strength sustains both the upper and the 
lower world. Before him run the sun and moon and the Pleiades, the 
stars and the planets; they miss not their time, they rest not, but all of 
them run like messengers to the right and to the left to do the will of 
him that created them. Him it is meet that I should praise, and that 
before him I should bow down. They answered and said to Mordecai, 
we have heard that thy forefather bowed down before Haman's fore- 
father. Mordecai answered and said to them, Who was it that bowed 
down before the forefather of Haman ? They replied, Did not thy fore- 
father Jacob bow down before his brother Esau, who was the forefather 
of Haman? (Gn. 33*). He answered, I am of the seed of Benjamin; 
but when Jacob bowed down to Esau, Benjamin was not yet born; and 
from that day onward he never bowed down to a man. Therefore God 
has made with him an eternal covenant, from his mother's womb until 
now, that he should inhabit the land of Israel, and that the Holy House 
should be in his land, and that his habitation should remain within his 
borders, and that all the house of Israel should gather there, and that 
peoples should bend and bow down in his land. Therefore I will not 
bend or bow down before this wicked Haman, the enemy.] 

In If it does not appear whether the courtiers spoke to Morde- 
cai to warn him of the risk that he ran in disobeying the King, or 
because they were jealous of his assumed superiority to them ; nor 
does Mordecai make any reply to them. Both deficiencies are 
well supplied by the long addition of Sk 

4. Afterward, when they had spoken to him day after day with- 
out his listening to them, they told Haman, so as to see whether Mor- 
decai's conduct would be tolerated [5F 1 + in opposition to the orders 
of Haman]. The courtiers bear Mordecai no grudge, and give 
him fair warning of his danger ; but, when day after day he refuses 
to heed their advice, they become irritated and resolve to bring 
him to his senses by calling Haman's attention to him. Be tol- 
erated, lit. stand (cf. Pr. 12 7 ), i.e., whether it would be judicially 
approved as legal conduct. Others following Jl translate, "whether 
Mordecai would persist in his conduct." — For he had told them 
that he was a Jew [2F l + and that he did not bow down to Haman, 
because he had been his slave, who had sold himself to him for a 
loaf of bread ; and that he would not bow down to the idol that he 
wore upon him, for the Jews do not serve nor bow down to such]. 


From this it appears that Mordecai's reply to the courtiers was, 
that, being a Jew, he could not bow down to Haman. Why his 
Judaism was inconsistent with this act of homage, we are not told 

5. And when Haman [J + had heard this and] saw that Morde- 
cai never bowed [© l + to the idol] nor prostrated himself before him, 
[Mid. A. G. 12a + he came toward him from another direction, 
and acted just as if Mordecai had saluted him, and said, My lord, 
peace be upon thee ; but Mordecai said, There is no peace, saith 
the Lord, to the wicked.] [Jos. 210 + And he inquired whence he 
came; and, when he learned that he was a Jew,] then Haman was 
full of wrath [L + against Mordecai, and anger was kindled 
within him,] [Jos. + and he said to himself, that the free Per- . 
sians did not hesitate to bow down to him, but that this slave did 
not see fit to do so.] Apparently Haman had not noticed Morde- 
cai's conduct until the courtiers called his attention to it. This 
explains why so many days passed without Mordecai's getting 
into trouble. 

2b. >DTiDl]om. 1 L. — JTD\] + avrcp (g LIE: + inl rrjv yrjv irdvras, irdv- 
tuv oTiv irpovKvvotvTwv 93a: the impf. is used to express recurring action 
in the past, mnritt" nSi] om. ^Lffi (exc. 936 *) : + Kal eUov ol iraides 
rod /SacrtX^ws 8rt 6 MapdoxaTos ov irpcxruvvei rbv 'Afxdv L. 

3. iVon nay] om. (6 H (exc. 936 *).— ion] om. L. — -^dd nyco] om. 
L. — 'O'nD 1 ?] cui 3: Map8oxa?e 248: -}- Map5o%ate <& (exc. 44, 106: 
93&-T-). — nwo n« n:nj;] c/. 9" 2 Ch. 24 20 . InDt.26 13 mxDD *u>\ — nwo r\x] 
om. L. 

4. >m]om.<g:om. »n»#. — anns - tpi] om. L. — didno] onipxp Q. The 
KHhibh is preferable to the Q e re. The latter would mean 'as soon as 
they spoke.' iMXovu (g. — vh*] om. & C — dvi ov] cf. a 11 . — 'O'nn - n\m] 
om. 44, 106. — HWYJ Kal oi/K viribeifrv 108a. — *2WD - nwn] MapSoxeuop 
roh rod j3aai.\4<as X6701S dvrirao-abpevov 0j»: quoniam Mardochceus non 
obedit regi ut adoret te &: irepl avrov L: scire cupientes utrum perseve- 
raret in sententia 3. — ">:>] nai(& L. — mn> - »3] tr. after v. 3 L: Kal eiire M.ap- 
doxa-ios lovSacos dpi ji-.eo quod sit Judceus Si Haupt deletes the clause 
as an erroneous explanatory gloss to ^"HD nan. — Tun] pluperf. as in 2 10 
3 6 . — onS] -f- Mapdoxaios (£ (exc. 106: 936 -r-). 

6. lV- 13] om. L. — *»jTiD]om. n 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 236. — ninntyni] om. 
<&% (exc. 936 *). — nnn - nSd"»i] + ^mD *?j? K 76, 117, 166. 188, 218, 249 
©1QI2&: idvpwdr) cr<p68pa (£H: iOvpibdrj rip Mapdoxat-V Kal dpyrj it-eicaijdT) 
4v avr$ L: iratus est valde 3: Haupt deletes pn. 



6. And it seemed to him beneath his dignity to lay hands on 
Mordecai alone [® l + to kill him,] for they had told him [QI 1 + that 
Mordecai was a descendant of Jacob, who had taken away from 
Esau, the ancestor of Haman, the right of the first-born and the 
blessing, and that the Jews were] the race of Mordecai. So Ha- 
man sought to destroy all [J + the nation of] the Jews that were in 
all Xerxes' kingdom, the race of Mordecai [L + in one day] [Jos. 211 
+ for he was naturally hostile to the Jews, because the race of 
the Amalekites to which he belonged had been destroyed by them.] 
[L + And Haman, being jealous, and being stirred in his inmost 
soul, grew red, thrusting Mordecai out of his sight.] ST 1 and Jos. 
think that Haman wished to destroy the Jews because he was an 
Amalekite, but HJ suggests rather, that it was because Mordecai 
had based his refusal of homage on the ground that he was a 
Jew. If being a Jew prevented his bowing down, then other 
Jews might be expected to act similarly. That Haman should 
conceive this preposterous plan of destroying all the Jews for the 
offence of one, is perhaps possible. Raw. compares the massacre 
of the Scythians (Her. i. 106) and of the Magi (Her. iii. 79). No 
reason, however, appears why Haman should postpone his ven- 
geance on Mordecai. He would naturally dispatch him at once, 
even if he intended to kill the other Jews later. The delay is due 
solely to literary reasons. 

7. In the first month, that is Nisan, in the twelfth year of King 
Xerxes]. The month is numbered and named in the Babylonian 
style that was adopted by the Jews after the Exile (cf 2 16 ) ; the old 
Hebrew name of this month was Abib. It corresponds to our 
March-April. The twelfth year, i.e., of the King's reign, was 
474 B.C., five years after Esther had been made Queen (2 16 ). — 
They cast pur, that is, the lot, before Haman]. The verb is singu- 
lar, and Pise, Bert., Oet, think that Haman is the subject. This 
is natural after v. 6 , but does not correspond well with the next 
words, before Haman. Keil, Schu., Rys., Sieg., and most of the 
older versions and comm. take the subj. as impersonal, one cast, 


they cast (cf. Mull., Syntax, § 123, 2). Perhaps a slave was desig- 
nated for this purpose, or perhaps the casting of lots was the func- 
tion of a particular sort of diviner. Haman, like the King, must 
have had astrologers and soothsayers attached to his court. For 
the various theories in regard to the origin and meaning of pur, 
see Introduction, § 28. From the earliest times the lot has been 
employed in all lands as a means of ascertaining the will of the 
gods. Its use among the Persians is attested by Her. iii. 128; 
Xen. Cyrop. i. 6 44 ; iv. 5" (cf. Baum. 101/.). 

What Haman wished to learn from the lot, we are not told. It 
is commonly assumed that he sought to discover an auspicious 
day for ordering the destruction of the Jews, and this view is 
favoured by the fact that the massacre is planned (3 13 ) in the same 
month for which the lot fell (3 7 ); but the first thing that Haman 
would wish to ascertain would be, not the day of destruction, 
but a lucky day for going to the King to make his request ; and, so 
soon as a day had been pronounced lucky, we are told that he went 
to the King (v. 8 ). This looks as if the lot were cast in the first 
instance to find a suitable time for presenting his petition; and as 
if, after this day had proved itself unfavourable for the Jews, it 
was selected in the following year as the date for their massacre. 
— From day to day and from month to month [L 3 + to know the 
day of their death,] [(£ 10 + so as to destroy in one day the race of 

[Mid. (abbreviated) 4* The first day was unfavourable because in it 
God made heaven and earth. The second day was unfavourable be- 
cause in it the waters were separated, as Israel is separated from the 
nations. The third day was unfavourable because in it seeds were cre- 
ated that the Israelites bring as offerings. The fourth day was un- 
favourable because in it the heavenly bodies were created to give Israel 
light. The fifth day was unfavourable because in it beasts were created 
for Israel to sacrifice. The sixth day was unfavourable because in it 
the first man was created. The seventh day was unfavourable because 
it was the Sabbath. Then he tried the months. Nisan was unfavour- 
able because of the merit of Passover; Iyar, because the manna was 
given in it; Sivan, because of the merit of the Law; Tammuz, because 
of the merit of the land ; Ab, because they had already suffered enough 
in that month; Elul, because in it the walls of Jerusalem were finished; 
Tishri, because of the merit of the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atone- 


ment, and Tabernacles ; Marchesvan, because Sarah died in it ; Chislev, 
because of the Feast of Dedication; Tebeth, because of the merit of 
Ezra; Shebat, because of the merit of the men of the Great Synagogue. 
But in Adar no merit was found.] 

If the view suggested above be correct, that Haman was try- 
ing to find a lucky day for going to the King, we must suppose that 
he cast lots on each successive day to see whether this were favour- 
able for his plans. Those who hold that he was trying to deter- 
mine the date for the massacre, suppose that the lots for the differ- 
ent days were all cast at one time; but this is hardly a natural 
interpretation of the words he cast the lot from day to day and from 
month to month. In that case we should expect, for day and day 
and for month and month. — [($> L + and the lot fell for the four- 
teenth (L, thirteenth) of the month] the twelfth one, that is, the 
month of Adar]. The text of M makes no sense at this point, and 
it is necessary with Bert., G, Rys., Wild., Sieg., Buhl, Haupt, to 
supply the words inserted by 01 L. The reading thirteenth in L 
is probably correct in view of 3 13 (see crit. note). Thirteen is an 
unlucky number in the Book of Est. as it was also among the 
ancient Babylonians. Adar is mentioned only in Est. It cor- 
responds to February-March. 

6a. om. <S(exc. 936 *) L — vrpa ran] |z, 1 nS Zoci li-Vj 00 * : et 
pro nihiloduxit 3: etqucerebat C — "»\|+ 01 &. — OTU33] ei £. — 1*13?] ut 
perderet eum U. — *3*nD-*a] Haupt deletes as a gloss. — JDfi] om. 3 (& L: 
Haupt deletes. — iwiifr] om. #. — rmwm -Sa nit] om. L. — Saa] om. Sd 

3 (SIC. — o*nn DJ?] et Mardochceum et genus ejus U: rbv Mapboxo-tov ical 
wdvra rbv \abv avrov L: om. 3 (&: Haupt deletes as a gloss to the preced- 
ing onii-nn. — *yv\B DP] Daghesh forte dirimens (Ewald 8 § 28). 

7. Haupt deletes the entire v. as a misplaced later addition to v. 13 , but 
the larger part of it is sustained by the Vrss. — mwrw - BHna] om. L. 
— jD">j - anna] om. <& (exc. K c - a m e. — JWmn] + neomenice H. — enn] om. 
0JC — iSdS] ttJs /3a<nXeias (g: regnante H. — JW1-^*n] teal iTroirjcrev \p-fi- 
<f>i<rfw. ical efiaXev kX-ffpovs (&\ decretum fecit et misit sortemU: /ecu i-rropevdrj 
'Afxhv irpbs tovs deovs avrov L aft. v. 10 : missa est sors in urnam, qua 
Hebraice dicitur phur 3. — 11D] \^s £: <t>ovp 936*. — KKl] ^ooio &. — 
fDIl ^eV] so 936 *: om. <& ft — annS-ovc] om. L. — ^fiS] tshhS var. Oc: 
-f- gens Judceorum deberet interfici et exivit mensis 3 : + &o~t€ atro\4aai 
iv (uq. rjfi^pa rb ytvos Mapboxalov ical ewecrev 6 K\rjpos els ttjv recrcra- 
p€ffKaid€KdTr)u rod p.r)vbs <& (93?) om.): + rod tiriyvwvai r}p.4pav dav&rov 
avr&v /ecu /3d\Aei KXr/povs ets ttjv TpicrnaibeKaT'qv tov p.-r)vb<i L aft. V. 10 : 


+ perdere gens Mardochai qua cecidit sors in quarta decitna die mense 
S: + j »j fcC &. — "WJ» d>jb>] om. (g L (£ has). — xin] om. L. — nn]om. 
C6EL&— -hn] + N«rd»/ L (Neio-dc 93a) aft. v. l0 . 


8. [Meg. i$b + When the lot fell on the month of Adar, Haman 
rejoiced greatly, for he said, It is the month in which Moses died, 
but he forgot that it was also the month in which Moses was born. 
Now there was no one who could slander so well as Haman.] 
And Haman spoke to King Xerxes [21 L + with base heart, evil 
things concerning Israel, saying,] [Meg. 13b + Let them be de- 
stroyed; but he answered, I am afraid of their God, lest he treat 
me as he has those who have gone before me. Haman replied, 
They no longer keep the commandments. But, said the King, 
there are rabbis among them. Haman answered,] There is a 
single [Jos. 212 + wicked] people [Meg. + and if thou sayest, I shall 
make a bare spot in my kingdom, (I reply,) They are] scattered and 
[Meg. + if thou sayest, We have advantage from them, (I reply,) 
They live] separated {although) among the races, [2F 1 + and nations 
and tongues] [Meg. + like mules that are unproductive. And if 
thou sayest, they live in one country, (I reply,) They are] in all 
the provinces of thy kingdom] Scattered refers to the Diaspora, 
which began with the Exile and reached its height in the Greek 
period. The statement that Jews are found in all the provinces 
shows that the author lived later than the Persian period. Sep- 
arated refers to the barrier of the Law, which the Jews erected in 
the post-exilic period to save themselves from being absorbed by 
the heathen world. The language of Dt. 4 s - 8 is in the author's 
mind. What is there the boast of the Jew, Haman here uses as 
a reproach. — [L + They are a warlike and treacherous people,] 
[Jos. 212 + unadaptable, unsociable, not having the same sort of 
worship as others.] [© 2 + They are proud and haughty of spirit. 
In January they gather snow and in July they sit in (hot) baths, 
and their customs are different from those of every people,] and 
their laws differ from (those of) every race. 

[Meg. + They will not eat with us, nor drink with us, nor will they 
intermarry with us.] [2I 1 + Our bread and our food they do not eat, 


our wine they do not drink, our birthdays they do not celebrate, and our 
laws they do not keep,] and the laws of the King they do not obey, [Meg. -f- 
because they observe now Sabbath, now Passover, and other feasts differ- 
ent from ours.] [L 21 -f- They are known among all nations to be wicked 
and to disregard thine injunctions.] [® 2 + When they see us, they spit 
on the ground, and regard us as an unclean thing; and when we go to 
speak to them, or to summon them, or to make them render some service 
to the King, they climb over walls, or break through hedges, or ascend 
to rooms, or get through gaps; and when we run to seize them, they turn 
and stand with flashing eyes, and gnashing teeth and stamping feet, and 
they frighten people, so that we are not able to seize them. They do 
not give their daughters to us as wives, and they do not take our daugh- 
ters unto them; and whoever of them is drafted to do the King's service 
makes an exception of that day with excuses; and the day on which they 
wish to buy from us they say is a lawful day, but on the day when we 
wish to buy from them they shut the bazaars against us, and say to us, 
It is a forbidden day. In the first hour they say, We are repeating the 
Shema; in the second, We are praying our prayers; in the third, We are 
eating food ; in the fourth, We are blessing the God of heaven because he 
has given us food and water; in the fifth, they go out; in the sixth, they 
return; and in the seventh, their wives go out to meet them and say, 
Bring split beans, because you are weary with working for this wicked 
king. They go up to their synagogue and read in their scriptures and 
interpret their prophets, and curse our king and revile our rulers, and 
say, This is the day in which the great God rested. Their unclean wom- 
en on the seventh day go out at midnight and defile the waters. On 
the eighth day they circumcise their sons and do not spare them, but say 
that they are distinguishing them from the heathen. (The rest of the 
passage which relates to the Jewish feasts is too long to insert.)] 

No better commentary on the meaning of the v. could be found 
than these additions of the Vrss. They show why anti-Semitism 
was as prevalent in antiquity as in modern times (cf. Ezr. 4 1216 ). 
— And it is not proper for the King to tolerate them, [Meg. + be- 
cause they eat and drink in a manner to disgrace the King; for 
if a fly fall into a goblet of wine, they take it out and drink it; but 
if the King touches the goblet of wine, they pour it out.] Ha- 
inan's real argument, which is obscured by the additions of the 
Vrss., is, that Mordecai's Judaism has made him disobey the 
King's command; therefore all Jews may be expected to be law- 
breakers. This is a good deal like M e mukhan's argument in 


9. If it seems good to the King, [L iC + and the decision is good 
in his heart,] [Jos 213 + and if thou wilt do a favour to thy sub- 
jects]. This is the regular formula for presenting a proposition 
to the King {cf. i 19 ). — Let it be written [©' + in a writing] to de- 
stroy them, [Jos. -f- and that no remnant of them be left, nor any 
of them be preserved in slavery or in captivity. But, that thou 
mayest not lose the revenue that accrues from them, I will make 
it up out of my own fortune,] and I will weigh out 10,000 talents 
of silver [Jos. 214 + whenever thou commandest] into the hands of 
the proper officials to bring into the King's treasuries. 

[Jos. + And I will pay this money gladly that the kingdom may be de- 
livered from these evils.] [Mid. 13& -f- It was known to him who said 
one word and the world was created, that Haman would one day offer 
money for Israel. Therefore he had commanded before, that they 
should pay shekels of silver to the Lord, as we have learned in a mishna, 
that on the first of Adar it was announced that the shekels should be 
given {cf. JT. Meg. i 5 ).] [S 1 5F 2 +And what does the sum equal? 
It equals the 600,000 minas that their fathers paid when they went up 
out of the bondage of the Egyptians.] 

The unit of measure for silver in the Persian empire was the 
light Babylonian royal shekel weighing 172.8 gr. troy and worth 
almost exactly 2 shillings. The mina was composed of 60 shekels 
and the talent of 60 minas. The talent thus contained 3,600 
shekels and was worth about £360 (see HDB. iii. 421; EBi. iv. 
4443/.; Weissbach, ZDMG. 1907, p. 402). The 10,000 talents 
that Haman promised were thus worth about £3,600,000 or 
$18,000,000. The purchasing value of this sum was, of course, 
much greater in antiquity than at the present time. How the 
author came to hit upon this amount is shown by the additions of 
Meg., ©\ and ® 2 . In Nu. 2 32 the total number of the children of 
Israel is set at 600,000. By paying a mina apiece for their de- 
struction, instead of the half shekel that they paid for their re- 
demption (Ex. 30 11 - 13 ), the sum is obtained (cf. Noldeke in EBi. ii. 

According to Her. iii. 95, the total revenue of the Persian em- 
pire was 14,560 Eubceic talents or nearly 17,000 Babylonian 
talents. Haman thus offered almost 2 /t> of the annual income of 
the empire. How he proposed to raise this vast sum We are not 


told. Tir., Bert., Keil, Oct., Wild., Sieg., suppose that he in- 
tended to secure it from the plunder of the slaughtered Jews (cf. 
3 13 ), and that this indicates the author's estimate of the wealth 
that was in their hands; but 3 13 suggests that the plunder was 
offered to those who did the work of killing, and in 8" 9 15 the Jews 
are permitted to keep the spoil of their enemies. We must sup- 
pose, therefore, with Jos. and most comm., that the author means 
to represent Haman as promising this sum out of his own private 
fortune. In regard to the probability of such an offer opinions 
differ. Raw. compares Pythius' offer of 4,000,000 gold darics 
to Darius (Her. vii. 28) and Tritaechmes' income of an artabe of 
silver daily (Her. i. 192). Monarchs must have been juster in 
the ancient Orient than they are in the modern Orient, if a sub- 
ject could safely make such a display of wealth. Haman hopes 
that his generous offer will tempt the King to look with favour 
upon his plan. Those who regard the book as historical point 
out that Xerxes' finances must have been greatly impoverished 
by his unsuccessful war with Greece, and that he would naturally 
be glad to recoup himself in this manner. 

10. And the King drew off his signet-ring [3 + which he used] 
from his hand and gave it to Haman, son of Hamm e datha the 
Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, [(& + into his hand to seal what 
had been written concerning the Jews.] In ancient times the seal 
took the place of the written signature, hence to give a man one's 
seal was equivalent to allowing him to sign one's name (cf. 8 s »■ 9 
Gn. 41 42 1 Mac. 6 16 ). The Jews were now at Haman's mercy. 
Originally seals were worn on cords hung around the neck. 
Subsequently they were set in rings (cf HDB. Art. "Seal"; EBi. 
Art. "Ring"). On the proper names, see p. 69. The enemy 
of the Jews defines more precisely what is suggested in the title 
Agagite (cf. 3*). 

11. And the King said to Haman, The silver [J + which thou 
hast promised] is given to thee]. It is beneath the King's dignity 
to take a bribe for doing something that will promote public 
welfare. Those who think that Haman proposes to raise the 
money by confiscating the property of the Jews, hold that the 
King bestows this sum upon him as a reward for his service in 


denouncing the traitors. — And the people [2>' -I- is delivered into 
thy hand] to do with it as seems good to thee.] There is not the 
least delay or hesitation on the part of the King in handing over 
the entire Jewish race to destruction. Not merely the Jews in 
Susa and in the provinces of the Persian empire, but also those 
in Palestine are included in the edict. Despot as Xerxes was, 
it may well be questioned whether such an insane project ever met 
with his approval. 

8. 1] om. &. — fen] om. (& (exc. 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236: 93ft *) 
21 L. — w\wr\x]ficto corde propter genus Judaorumet dixit 21 : Kap8la<pa6\ri 
KaKa irepl Icparfk \4ywv L: -f- Xtywv (§► (om. 936): Haupt deletes. — "Utt 1 ;.] 
with J inserted before the suf . as in Dt. 29 14 1 S. 14 39 23" (cf. Konig, L. ii. 1, 
102; Ols. §97 b; Stade, §3706; BrockelmanninZ4.xv. pp. 347^.). The 
form should probably be pointed u |fc (cf. Haupt a. I.) . — in*] om. & <g C L. 

— -nflDi] om. <& (exc. 936 *) L : incredibile ft — "Hadi itbd] both Pual ptc. 
d.X. — d>dj?d pn] om. 3I2IL. — nun©] om. (S2IL. — irnaVo] ) -i\v> 

- ^|t A -) &: raw jSacriXetcus L: + Xads iroXt/mov Kal a7ret0iJsL. — cmmi] 
-f e* cceremoniis 3. — op Sdc] om. 31 21 L. — y?Dn] <rou /3aa-t\eu L: tew ft — 
D^p] + e£ optime nosti "j&'.-\- qui cognoscuntur in omni pestilentia et 
pracepta tua spernunt%: + yvopi&fievoi iv iracn rols iQveai irovrjpol 6vres 
Kal ra irpoo-T&yfxaTd <rov dderov<ri L. — DTTOTn— T?dVV] irpbs Ka$alpe<nv rrjs 
86£r)s aov L; in diem munitionis gloria tua fi. — OfT^n^] on the Aramaiz- 
ing Hiph. inf. with Daghesh, see BDB. 628 B. The word has rather an 
Aram, than a Heb. meaning. 

9. aito] + Kal dyadrj y\ Kplais ev napdia avrov L: -f- tl optimum est sensui 
tuo 25. — D13K? onrp] dod^roj pot rb edvos els dw&Xeiav L: detur mihi 
genus hoc in perditionem 21. — d-on 1 *] om. o3&. The Pi. of this vb. is 
used of massacres on a large scale (cf. 3 13 2 K. 1 1 1 ), Winck. 26 deletes as a 
gloss. — 1Do]om.3ft — NonS-S>']om. <& (exc. 936*, n c - a m *)Lft — tyjao 
Oc. : 1 W var. Or. — nDN^nn vpy] of royal officials in general g 3 (cf. 1 Ch. 29 s ). 
Here the following words show that treasury officials are meant. — joanS] 
om. 3. — mjj] pi. as in 4 7 . — -jSdh 2] tua 3: teo ft om. L. 

10. aft. 3 11 L. — lnjDBfl -f- chJtoO A. — IT SjJD] om. 0121. — njm]-f-ets 
xe?pa(s)<8C (exc. n*).— omntn-p] om. <g£L: Haupt deletes as a 

11. T?on] om. ft — jnnS] eww 3: atfry L: om. & ft — Instead of PfBGJn 
cyni i 1 ? pnj Haupt proposes to read V? nru oyn and to regard *|D3n as a 
gloss, on the ground that no Oriental monarch would thus make a pres- 
ent of 10,000 talents to his vizier. The conjecture is unsupported by the 
Vrss., and it is unnecessary to make any emendations in Est. on the 
ground that a statement is historically improbable. 



12. And, [Jos. + when Haman had gained what he desired,] 
the King's scribes were called [& + on that day] in the first month, 
on its thirteenth day.] The scribes had charge of the engrossing of 
royal edicts (cf. 8 9 ). If every language and script of the Persian 
empire was used, as the following clause asserts, there must have 
been a large body of clerks. Those who suppose that Haman 
cast lots (3 7 ) to determine the date for the destruction of the Jews, 
think that the scribes were called in the same month. If, how- 
ever, the lots were cast to determine a time for asking this favour 
of the King, then the scribes were called in Nisan of Xerxes' 
thirteenth year (see on 3 7 ). 

[SI 1 + And the (heavenly) King sent unto his Temple by his righteous 
servants unto Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who sai in the chamber 
of hewn stones and prophesied there concerning the great wall of Jeru- 
salem. And after 72 of its towers had been built, the wicked Xerxes sent 
and brought 127 scribes out of 127 provinces, every man with a scroll and 
a tablet in his hand; and they sat in the gate of Susa; and they wrote, and 
they sent out hard edicts against the Jews and against their laws.] 

And a dispatch was prepared in accordance with all that Haman 
commanded [10 + the scribes] unto [J + all] the King's satraps 
and unto the governors, f© 1 + who had been appointed rulers] 
over every single province [(111 + from India to Ethiopia, 127 
provinces,] and unto the officials of every single race]. Here there 
are three grades of officials: the satraps, ruling over the 20 great 
divisions of the empire ; the governors, ruling over the smaller sub- 
divisions; and the officials, serving under the governors (cf. V- 3 ). 
— To every single province in its script, and every single race in its 
language], see i 22 . — In the name of King Xerxes it was written, 
and it was sealed with the King's seal, [L + for no one can annul 
that which is sealed.] This is the use to which Haman puts the 
seal that is given him v. 10 (cf. 8 8 ). 

13. And dispatches were sent out by means of couriers], cf. i 22 
31 5 8 10 ■ 14 . These are the ayyapot of Her.,Xen.,and Jos., who were 
stationed at intervals of four or five parasangs, and who forwarded 


dispatches with extraordinary rapidity. In 8 10 they ride on thor- 
oughbred royal race horses; but that is not stated here, as there was 
no need at this time for special haste. — Unto all the King's prov- 
inces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all the Jews, from boy to 
old man, children and women]. The heaping up of synonyms is 
in imitation of the legal style, and is common in Est. (cf. 8 n ). 
On the probability of this wholesale slaughter, see v. ", — In one 
day, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, that is, the month of 
Adar\ If, as suggested above, Haman cast lots to determine the 
day for presenting his petition to the King (3 7 ) and decided on 
the 13th of Adar, in Xerxes' 12th year, then the day for the massa- 
cre was set one year later, on the 13th of Adar in the 13th year. 

The reason for this extraordinary delay of nearly a year is hard 
to find. If the Jews had been warned a year in advance of their 
impending destruction, they would have found means to escape. 
The massacre of St. Bartholomew would not have been a great 
success if the Huguenots had been informed a year beforehand. 
Schu. thinks that this long time was needed for the preparation 
and sending out of the dispatches to remote provinces, but this 
does not accord with what we know of the excellence of the Per- 
sian postal system. Bert, thinks that it was to enhance the suffer- 
ing of the Jews by keeping them in suspense as long as possible. 
Cler., Keil, Raw., suppose that it was to give the Jews an oppor- 
tunity to leave the country, but Haman is hardly to be credited 
with any such benevolent intention. The reason probably is 
merely literary. The author wishes to put the massacre on the 
unlucky 13th of Adar in the 13th year, and also to gain time for the 
development of Haman's pride and for the issuing of the counter 
edict by Mordecai. — And to plunder their goods [& + In one day, 
in the month of Adar, on the thirteenth it was written.] This is 
offered as an inducement to all people to attack the Jews. There 
is no suggestion that the plunder is to be gathered into the royal 
treasuries or to be given to Haman (cf 3 9 ). According to Meg. 1 2a 
the reason why God sent this disaster upon the Jews was because 
they had attended Xerxes' feast. 





At this point (& 2C L insert what purports to be a copy of 
Haman's letter (B 1 - 7 ). Jos. gives a free reproduction of the sub- 
stance of (£. ® 2 gives under 4 1 a letter similar in substance but 
differently expressed. It is probably derived indirectly from (£. 
In regard to the authenticity of the addition, see Introduction, 
§ 20. For a critical apparatus to the text, see Paton in HM. 
ii. pp. 18-20. The addition reads as follows: — 

'Now this is the copy of the letter: The great King Artaxerxes writes 
these things to the governors of 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, 
and to the officials that are subject to them. 2 After I became lord over 
many nations, and had dominion over the whole world, without being 
lifted up with presumption of my authority, but carrying myself always 
with equity and mildness, I purposed to settle my subjects continually 
in a quiet life; and, by making my kingdom peaceable, and open for 
passage to the utmost coasts, to renew peace, which is desired by all men. 
3 Now when I asked my counsellors how this might be brought to pass, 
Haman, that excelled in wisdom among us, and was approved for his 
constant good will and steadfast fidelity, and had the honour of the sec- 
ond place in the kingdom, 4 declared unto us, that in all nations through- 
out the world there was scattered a certain malignant people, that had 
laws contrary to all nations, and continually set aside the command- 
ments of kings, so that the union honourably intended by us, cannot be 
established. 5 Seeing then we understand that this nation is alone con- 
tinually in opposition to all men, following by their laws an alien life, 
and evil-affected to our state, working all the mischief they can, that our 
kingdom may not be firmly established: therefore have we commanded, 
that they that are indicated in writing unto you by Haman, who is or- 
dained over the affairs, and is a second father unto us, shall all, with 
their wives and children, be utterly destroyed by the sword of their ene- 
mies, without any mercy or pity, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth 
month Adar of this present year: ? so that they who of old and now also 
are malicious, may in one day with violence go down to Hades, and so 
ever hereafter cause our affairs to be well settled, and without trouble. 

14. The contents of the edict (were), Let it be given out as law in 
every single province, published to all the races, to be ready for this 
day [Jos. + for the destruction of the Jews]. The contents is lit. 


the copy, not a copy, as AV. and RV. render, because the follow- 
ing genitive is definite. The purpose of the dispatches has been 
indicated so fully already in v. 13 that only a brief summary of their 
contents is given here. If the long addition of (8 had stood in the 
original text, this v. would have been unnecessary; or, at least, the 
addition must have followed it instead of preceding it, as it is 
clumsily inserted in (S. This day means the 13th of Adar, as in- 
dicated in v. 13 . 

15. The couriers went out expedited by the King's order]. Ha- 
inan hastens the matter as much as possible so as to get the law 
promulgated before the King changes his mind. If there was 
such haste, the postponement of the execution of the Jews cannot 
have been due to the need of a long time for circulating the edict. 
— And the law was given out in Susa the fortress], i.e., simultane- 
ously with the dispatching of the couriers. On Susa the fortress, 
see i 2 . [20 + And all the gentiles made a feast,] and the King 
and Haman sat down to drink [(F 1 + wine]. This is a very effective 
piece of contrast. Orders have been sent out that will throw the 
empire into confusion, but the King and his prime minister enjoy 
themselves after finishing this troublesome business. Perhaps, as 
in 7 1 , we should translate banquet instead of drink, regarding the 
verb as a denominative from the word 'banquet,' lit. 'drinking.' 
And the city of Susa was perplexed [L + at these events] [® l + on 
account of the joy of the heathen and the mourning cry of the 
people of the house of Israel]. The city of Susa is the metropolis 
in contrast to Susa the fortress (see i 2 ). That the people of Susa 
would feel any great grief over the destruction of the Jews is im- 
probable. The author here ascribes his own emotions to them. 

[£ -{- And the Jews invoked the God of their fathers and said: Lord 
God, thou alone art God in heaven above, and there is no other God be- 
sides thee. If we had kept thy Law and thy precepts, we should per- 
haps have dwelt in peace all our life long; but now, because we have not 
kept thy precepts, all this trouble is come upon us. Thou art just, and 
calm, and exalted, and great, O Lord, and all thy ways are justice. And 
now, O God, do not give thy children up to captivity, nor our wives to 
violation, nor to ruin ; for thou hast become favourable to us from Egypt 
even until now. Pity thy chosen people and give not our heritage up to 
shame, that our enemies should rule over us. And in Susa, the city 


nearest to the King, a copy was displayed and the writings became 

12. 13-WVi] om. L. — pcNnn] -f airbs 6 /xev Ntaav (Kal) n c. ain»inf f 
03& -i-. — ia or] om. <& (exc. n c. am g> q^^ _^) : ro {j Mr/ „ds 44) 7^ y 4> 76, 
106, 120, 236: J i.j t C ouo &: rf/e ft. — 3ro ,, i] om. i&: Xtyuv ypdcpe L: 
Kat eypaij/av (B : e/ scripta sunt ft. — ntt>N 2 - Son] om. L. — !>33 om. CI £ (exc. 
936 *). — *?!<] + owwj 3. — iJD-nttrw] rots <tt parity ois (&: et ducibus ft: 
satrapes3: \L*m *£& #: <ofaviOMt flp: nvp^'V 1 - (C/. 8 9 9 3 .) The word 
is Pers. khshatra-pavan, Gr. o-aTpdirys, 'protectors of the realm' (c/ - . 
Spiegelberg, Altpers. Keilinschr., p. 215. Lagarde, Ges. Abhl., p. 68, 14; 
Sent., i. 42/. reads ID^r^nN. — *]Son 2] om. <g (exc. 936 *). — mncn] a loan- 
word through the Aram, of As. pahdti, an abbreviation of bel-pahdti, 
'lord of the province' (see BDB. 806). — hy]+ So & (Sft L.— rune] rds 
X<fy>as L: 7r6\eis 93a. — njncijom. (8 (exc. n c - a ) L (exc. 93a). — anaj— Vm] 
om. L. — n^ 7N1] om. 3. — OJ?) 0>?] jv*v*v. &: twc idvwv /card. Tr/»' airtbv 
\£i-iv(&: uniuscujusque loci gentium secundum inter pretationem eorum ft. 
— ttwSa-runo] om. (gft. — enwrw] so Oc: var. Or. &>ma>nN: Haupt 
deletes. — ano:] om. 3<8>:pr. mlg^bH. — f?Drr-Dnrui]om. <& (exc. 936*). 

— onnri] onnji Ba. G: Kal o~<ppayl£ov L: Niph. pf. or ptc. If pf., it is an 
instance of the late use of pf . with ■» connect, instead of impf . with » con- 
sec. — "I^Dn 4 ] ipsius 3. 

13. Winck. 26 deletes the whole v. as a late addition. — mStwi] Niph. 
inf. abs. in continuation of the narrative after impf. with 1 consec. (see 
Kau. § 113,2). — MTU— Iflhwi] Kal direffTaX-q 5id Pifi\t.a.(p6pu}p (& (/3i/3\io- 
ypd<poov 243, 248, C, Aid.): Kalecnrevcre Kal HdcoKevels x € ^P as Tpex 0VTWV l*" 
irtuv L (tr. aft. 3 136 ) : et dimissce sunt litterce per librarios ft. — Y?Dn - *?n] 
om. L 44, 106 : els t V ' Aprat-e'p&v fiao-iXeiav (& ft. — tanSl jnrrVj om. <& ft L 
(exc. 93&*). — Jnn 1 ?] pr. 1^1 — "OnVY] om. 3. — V:> pn] to ytvos (gft. — 
D'SW — 1J jc] om. (S ft (exc. 93& *) : d7rd dpaeviKov fas 0t)\vkov Kal diapwd^eLP 
rd rf/ina L. — naS-ova] om. L. — "\wy nanSsra] om. (gft (exc. 936*).— 
-its>y ow] undecimo ft : om. &. — son] om. &. — enn] om. §> d> ft (exc. 93ft *) . 

— dSSci] .©oi-aKLaJo &: KalrdvirdpxovTa aWi/dlG. — H3 1 ?] dtapirdaai 

14. om. L 71. — anan pirno] summa epistolarum hcec fuit 3: Td 5^ dyr/- 
ypa<pa rCbv iiri<TTo\G>v (&'. om. ft. — ptfns] c/ - . 4 8 8 13 . In Ezr. 4"- 23 5« 7 11 
it appears as pens. It is a loan-word through the Aram, from O. Pers. 
paticayan (see Andreae, in Marti, Aram. Gram., p. 79*; Gildemeister, 
WZKM . iv. 210; Lagarde, Ges. Abhl. 79; Armen. Stud. § 1838; Meyer, 
Ent. 22; BDB. 1 109). — T.runV] jrunS Ba. G:w/ scirent 3: QerldeTo <&: et 
imperatum est ft. The inf. with S is regarded by Sieg. as introducing the 
contents of the edict, as in i 22 . Haupt regards the clause Saa m jrunS 
njnm runn as equivalent to a relative clause modifying anan. — m] see 
j8. it 2 12 3 8 : om. 3S>(Sft (exc. 93ft *). — Saa] om. Sd <£: omnibus ft. — 


D*cjH - dj-hd] om. & — njnn] om. <S (exc. 936 *). — o^npn - >iSj] ora. J. — 
mSj] fXLSo &: kcu irpocreTayrj (&: not in agreement with m which is f. (cf. 
3 8 16 4 11 ), but with the impersonal subj. of W understood before ^i^. 
Keil, Haupt, take it in agreement with pcnfl, and regard the clause be- 
ginning with fnjfT? as a parenthesis explaining the contents of the edict; 
but on this interpretation the publication of the law takes place before 
the sending out of couriers (v. 15 ). Keil avoids this difficulty by translat- 
ing vhi 'unsealed' (cf. Je. 32 11 I4 ), but this is less natural than the con- 
struction proposed above which is that of Bert., Rys., Sieg. — Wi— rivnS] 
Winck. (26) deletes as a late addition. — Dn»Pj?] so N 1 S Br. C B 1 : cnrj? 
Ba. G. — run] statutum H. 

16. iVon-lwnn] om. L. — wr^OWl] om. <£il (exc. 936 *). — own 
-1313] i<nreij5eTo 5£ to irpayim (£& (ypd/x/xa 52, 64). — n^cirn] lit. 'driven,' 
'impelled.' The vb. occurs only here and 6 12 8 14 2 Ch. 26 20 . — "[Sen] om. 
(&H (exc. 93ft *). — njnj mm] om. <g (exc. 936 *). — Tt£itfg] ?|M| some 
codd. and edd.: + et convivium fecerunt omnes gentes H. — nn^n] om. 3 
$CL (exc. 936 *). — mnfc^— :, f?DfW] om. L: Aman autem cum introisset 
regiam cum amicis luxuriabatur ft — nin^S] -J- If-** 3 ! fr — toDJ— "uprn] 
tr. aft. 4 1 L: om. 21 (c/. 4 3 ) : et cunctis Judceis qui in urbe erant flentibus 3. 
— ]vpv] so B 2 : jsfttf Ba. G: om. 3 (& (exc. 936 *). 


1. When Mordecai had learned [(5 1 + through Elijah the high 
priest] all that had been done] [QI 1 + in the highest heavens], i.e., 
not merely the royal edict published in Susa and the consequences 
of his arrogant refusal to bow down to Haman, but also the cir- 
cumstances of the issuing of the edict. In 4 7 Mordecai is able 
to tell Esther how Haman obtained the decree. The same secret 
sources of information that helped him in the case of the two 
eunuchs (2 22 ) apparently still stood at his disposal. 

[QI 1 -f" And that the people of the house of Israel had been condemned 
to be destroyed from the world ; and that, just as it was written and sealed 
to destroy them from off the face of the earth, so it was written and sealed 
in the highest heavens, because they had enjoyed the feast of the wicked 
Xerxes (however the seal was sealed with clay); then the Lord of the 
world sent Elijah the high priest to declare to Mordecai himself that he 
should continue praying before the Lord of the world for his people : and 
when he knew this,] [L + coming to his house,] 

Mordecai rent his garments, and clothed himself with a hair 


garment f© 1 + upon his flesh] and [(£ ?C J QI 1 -f strewed] ashes 
[& S 1 + upon his head]. These were familiar signs of mourning 
among the Hebrews (Gn. 37 29 - 34 i S. 4 12 2 S. V 13 19 15 32 1 K. 20 31 f - 
2 K. 6 30 ). r/^e garments were rew/ when bad news first arrived. 
Haircloth and aste were put on later. The ellipsis of a verb 
before ashes is supplied by the Vrss., but the insertion is unneces- 
sary. These rites belonged originally to the cult of the dead, 
being designed to protect one from the attacks of malevolent 
spirits; subsequently they became general signs of grief, and were 
believed to be efficacious in turning away the divine wrath (1 K. 21" 
2 K. i9 lf Dn. 9 3 Jon. 3 6 ). Nothing is said by the author of any 
religious significance in Mordecai's conduct, but it can hardly be 
doubted that this was in his mind (see p. 95). — And Mordecai 
went out into the midst of the city and raised a loud and bitter cry 
[fG + from the court of the men even unto the gate of the women,] 
[S 1 -f- and wept in the bitterness of his spirit with the voice of one 
afflicted.] Cf Gn. 37* 2 S. 13 19 Ez. 27 30 ; Her. viii. 99; ix. 24. — 
[<$ £ + saying, An innocent people is condemned to death.] 
[Meg. 14b + Haman is greater than Xerxes, an earthly king is 
more esteemed than a heavenly.] [® 2 + Alas! how terrible is this 
edict that the King and Haman have decreed against us. Not 
a half is cut off and a half spared, not even a third or a fourth; 
but concerning the whole body of us he has decreed to destroy 
and to uproot (followed by a long account of an assembly of the 
Jews and Mordecai's address to them).] 

2. And [Jos. + having spoken thus,] he came as far as the 
space in front of the gate [QI 1 + of the palace] of the King [<£ L + 
and stood], for no one could enter the gate [QI 1 + of the palace] of 
the King in hair clothing [<& + and ashes]. Haircloth was a sign 
of mourning for the dead and, consequently, was ceremonially 
unclean (among the Persians?), so that Mordecai could not enter 
the palace ; but he was anxious to come as near as possible in order 
to establish communication with Esther. On the question whether 
he would have had access if he had not been dressed in mourning, 
see 2 11 . On King's gate, see 2 19 . 

3. And in every single province [QU 1 + and in every single city] 
wherever the King's command and his law arrived, [Jos. + all did 


the same as Mordecai ;] there was great [L + and bitter] mourning 
[21 -f- and grief] among [L IS + all] the Jews, and fasting, and weep- 
ing, and lamentation [Jos. -j- on account of the calamities decreed 
against them]. These are probably to be understood as religious 
acts performed in unison by the Jewish communities when the 
fatal news reached them. After the fall of Jerusalem days of 
mourning and fasting became a regular part of the Jewish calendar 
(cf. Zc. 7 3 - 5 8 19 Lev. 23" »•). In g 2 -- 31 laments and fasts are con- 
trasted with "good days" or holidays. — Haircloth and ashes were 
spread out by most of them [SI 1 + that were righteous], that they 
might lie and sit upon them as the expression of deepest grief 
(see note). Here also there is no mention of God, yet it cannot be 
doubted that the acts have a religious significance (see p. 95). 

1. "o-nni] et hie 2j. — hs] om. (&%. — nvpi nt?N] scripta qua erant in 
epistola 21: + 3 15 4 3 in part q.v. L. — jhp^V] irepieiXero L. — ^Tid] om. 
3(8>2j: Haupt deletes. — pe>] appears also as a sign of mourning in Baby- 
lonia (cf. III. R. 36, 3d; Winckler, Altor. Forsch. ii. p. 44; Jensen, KB. 
vi. p. 400), from which Zimmern (KAT. 3 pp. 603, 650) concludes that it 
is a Bab. loan-word in Heb. It seems to have been a loin-cloth of goat 
or camel hair, the original dress of the desert, that survived in later re- 
ligious rites. — idni] Kal <T<f>o8(ddds L: om. 71. — moi-N^pi] om. L. — NX*>i] 
om. Kih 3. — "pn3] Sia rrjs TrXareLas (£: per totam plateam 21. — PJ?Pi]-f- kv 
Stfcrots rrj 7r6\et 936 -—. — npjn] et vociferans 21: om. 71. — nSnj] om. C 71. 
— nisi] om. (£ 21 : ostendens amaritudinem animi sui et hoc ejulatu 3. 

2. sin] et sedit&. — *i>*] in 21. — "03 s ] om. &: atrio 21. — ""WV] TTjpavXrjv 
L: aula 21: tt)s irdXews 93ft: rrjs avXrjs A. — T?Dn] ttjv e£a> L: mulis-hris 25: 
om. 936.— rN]-f ^*J)? JjoaiaJ &.— ms^ p*] c f- Kau. §ii4&- — W] 
tV clv\t)v (£21: irtiXrjv n c - am s, 93ft: om. L. — "l^nn] om. (S 21: ttJs 7r6\ews 
93ft: ra 3aal\eia L. — ptJ>] + Kal <rir65ov <j§> (936 -~). 

3. tr. to 4 1 L: tr. to 3 16 end K. — hjhd] ir6Xei L: om. 21. — ru*V»] oppidis 
3: om. (g 21 £> (exc. n c - a ra s, 936 *). — j?ud - wmi] om. L. — Dipc] ac /ocm 
3. — tf»po] cstr. before the relative clause (Kau. § 130 c). — n:n] rd 7pct/i- 
/uara (g: exemplum epistola 21 (t6 irpbarayim n c - *■»*). — Y?nn] om. CS2I 
(exc. x c - am e, 93ft *). — irni] crudele J: om. #®2I. — VJC] intrans. 'ar- 
rived,' c/. 6 14 Gn. 28 12 . — S^n] pr. /cat (g L: tr. aft. ibdci <g. — Shj] + iyipero 
44: -f iylvero 74, 76, 106, 236. — D'On^-DixYjom. L2J. — nisi] om. <& (exc. 
936*). — "osi] Kpavyr) d (nXavdfxds 93ft*). — iflDni] + ^" Ka * A: -1- Kal 44, 
74, 76, 106, 120, 236, C. — jra* 1 ] pro strata utentibus 3. — D^nV] eaurots <g. 
If the text be sound, D">3nS must be translated 'by most of them.' For S 
expressing the agent after a passive vb., see Kau. § 121/. The presence 
of the article precludes the translation ' many ' of AV. and RV. Haupt 


reads F-f' (ptc. = pfjp, cf. Kau. § 53 s) and translates 'most of them had 
a sack-cloth and overspread ashes.' In this case J?*; agrees only with 
-\on, and l with dot denotes possession. 



PEOPLE (4 4 - 9 ). 

4. And Esther's maids and her eunuchs came in and told her 
[Jos. + that Mordecai stood thus in mourning garb before the 
court]. The maids have been mentioned before (2 9 ) ; the eunuchs 
were assigned after her marriage {cf. 4 5 ). These people all know 
that Esther is a relative of Mordecai {cf. 2 22 ) and understand that 
she will be glad to hear news of him ; yet, strange to say, none of 
them suspects that she is a Jewess {cf. 2 20 ). How this is possible, 
the author does not explain. What they tell Esther, apparently, 
is merely the fact that Mordecai is in mourning {cf. vv. 7 ff.). — 
And the Queen was exceedingly shocked [(£ + when she heard 
what had happened], not, as Haupt thinks, at the fact that Morde- 
cai was so slightly clad, for this was customary, but at the grief 
of which it was a sign. Jewish authorities differ as to the way in 
which Esther's distress showed itself (see Meg. 15a). According 
to Mid. she gave birth to a still-born child. — And she sent [SI 1 + 
royal] garments to clothe Mordecai, and to take his haircloth off 
from him], so that he might come into the palace and tell her more 
fully what had happened. The author assumes that Esther could 
hold an interview with Mordecai, provided that he were properly 
dressed (see 2 11 ). — [L SI + And she said, Bring him in] [H + that 
I may know what my brother wishes, why I hear the voice of my 
brother, a loud voice of trouble and mourning and weeping and 
distress and need ; and the eunuch went out and told him,] but he 
would not receive them [Jos. + nor put off his haircloth, because 
the sad occasion that made him put it on had not yet ceased.] 
This addition of Jos. gives correctly the reason for the refusal. 
Since nothing had yet been done to relieve the Jews, Mordecai 
could not take off the dress of a suppliant. 

5. So Esther called [Meg. 15a, (5 1 + Daniel, who was surnamed] 


Hathakh [Meg. 15a, S 1 + because by the utterances of his mouth 
the affairs of the kingdom were decided,] one of the King's eunuchs 
whom he had put at her disposal]. Since Mordecai will not lay 
aside his haircloth and come to her, Esther is compelled to send 
a messenger to him. On the name Hathakh, see p. 70. — And 
charged him concerning Mordecai, [J + that he should go] to learn 
[3 + from him] what this meant [(£ l + that he was weeping with 
such a lamentable cry,] and why it was f© 1 + that he did not re- 
ceive the royal garments that she had sent unto him.] [Meg. 150 
-I- Have the Jews perchance transgressed the five books of Moses ?] 
The additions of ® l indicate admirably the scope of Esther's in- 
quiries. Two things puzzle her, why Mordecai is in mourning, 
and why he will not put off his mourning. Both problems Morde- 
cai solves in vv. 7 - 8 . 

6. And Hathakh went out [(F 1 + to speak] to Mordecai, into the 
city-square that was in front of the gate [2I 1 + of the palace] of the 
King]. The square, lit. the broad place, denotes the open space, 
outside of the gates of all Oriental cities, that is used as a market- 
place. On the gate of the King, see 2 19 . 

7. And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him [QT 1 + 
because he had not bowed down to Haman and had not wor- 
shipped his idol], i.e., he explained the circumstances that had led 
him to put on mourning. What these were, the next clauses de- 
scribe more fully. — [Jos. + And the dispatch which had been sent 
by the King into all the country,] and the exact amount of silver 
which Haman had offered to weigh [® l -f- into the hands of the 
collectors of the revenue] for the King's treasury, [(£ iG + namely, 
10,000 talents] for the Jews, in order that he might destroy them]. 
Cf. 3 9 . Happened is used as in 6 13 ; exact amount, as in io 2 . Mor- 
decai shrewdly calculates that this buying of the Jews will rouse 
Esther's wrath more than anything else. The King's refusal to 
take the offer he does not mention, so that money seems to be the 
only cause for the Jews' destruction. How Mordecai came to 
know of this private transaction between the King and Haman, 
we are not informed. 

8. And the copy of the draft of the law to destroy them, which had 
been published in Susa, he gave him to show to Esther and to explain 


to her [iE l + what the wicked Haman had devised against the 
people of Judah]. In order that there may be no doubt in Esther's 
mind as to the gravity of the situation, Mordecai gives her docu- 
mentary evidence. On copy, see 3 11 ; on law, i*. Contrary to 
the accents, Bert, attaches to explain to the following clause, but 
this does not improve the sense. Perhaps we may infer from it 
that Esther was unable to read Persian, so that Hathakh needed 
not merely to show her the edict, but also to interpret the con- 
tents. — And to enjoin upon her to go to the King to implore mercy 
of him, [Jos. + and, for the deliverance of her people, not to think 
it beneath her to assume a humble mien,] and to entreat him [S 1 + 
for pity] on behalf of \L + himself and] her race [some codd. (& + 
and her native land,] [(£ L + remembering her lowly days, when 
she was brought up by his hand, because Haman, the next in rank 
to the King, had sentenced them to death; and to call upon the 
Lord, and to speak to the King on their behalf, and to rescue 
them from death.] Hitherto Mordecai has counselled Esther 
to conceal her origin (cf. 2 10 ), now that nothing is to be gained by 
secrecy, he advises her to reveal the fact that she is a Jewess in 
hope that through love for her the King will be moved to spare 
her people. 

9. And Hathakh came and told Esther [(& + all] the words of 
Mordecai. [iC + And it came to pass, when Esther had read her 
brother's letter, that she rent her garment, and cried out with a 
bitter and loud voice, and wept copiously, and her body was made 
to tremble and her flesh became exceedingly weak.] This passage 
in 21 takes the place of v. 9 in if, but logically it follows it. 

4. rvDnDl-nj^N'om] Kal iK&\ecrev evvovxov tva. Kal d7r&rrei\e irpbs 'Ed- 
6i]p L: et audivit Hester regina vocem Mardochai fratris sui Hebraica 
voce lingua %. — Winanf] njNum QOc: c^s>o 0. — nnp] om. &. — 
rPDnDi] om. 1 0. — iND-rivm] om. LSI. — SnSnnrn] Hithpalp. from Sm 
(see Stade, § 518 c) = 'writhe.' — ns?: roSsn] quod audiens Ml &Ko6<ra<ra rb 
yeyovds <£. — vhyo - nS'^ni] Kai elirev 17 (3a(ri\i<T(ra wepitXeade rbv <t&kkov L: 
et misit spadonem, qui prcesto erat in conspectu ipsius, dicens; vade, exi 
celerius hinc, et auferes vestimenta qua est indutus, et indue ilium vesti- 
menta alia ft. — onj:j] om. <£ (exc. 936 *). — •3TH? nit] eum J. — Vap nSi] 
et noluit Mardochceus deponere saccum et omnem humilationem suam C. 
S517 is an Aram. form. Cf. 9 23 - ". 


5. om. L H. — T^DTi] aft. i^J: avrijs (g : om. 249. — n-ooS - is>n] om. 7 1 . 

— TDpn] >cj-c| 0. — Sy] is not equivalent to h* v. 10 (AV. RV.), but means 
'concerning' (cf. Gn. i2 20 Nu. 8 22 1 Ch. 22 12f ), Haupt emends to ■?*. — 
fijnS] + ab eo 3: + *v T V <& (93 b +)'• + afrr6v k c - a A, N, 71,74, 76, 120, 
236, 249. — nr nc] rd aicpiph (g: -f- t6 aKptfih * r£ rouro 936: om. 71. — 
nr-Sjn] om. 3<g (exc. 936 *).— nr 2 ] om. £. 

6. om. (g£L (exc. 936 *): N c - amg has et's tt)v irXareiav tt)s 7r6Xews ^ 
^a-rip /caret Trpbacairov ttjs ttvXtjs rrjs irbXeais: A has irri ttjv irXarelap irpbs 
rri (tt) A * ra sup. ras. A a ) paaChiq.. — nSnn] palatii J. 

7. om. L. — vnp-im] om. IE. — Vd] om. <g (exc. n c am g> 93 & *), — nN1 
— end of v.] simul de decern millibus talentorum qua; dedit Aman pretium 
perditionis Judceorum & (tr. aft. 4 8 ). — qoyi] om. <g (exc. n c amg ? g^b *). 

— Sips'?] om. <g (exc. n <=• », 936 *).— S)?] + A^a #.— nil] J}~ &: tt)v 
7dfav(g: pi. as in 3 9 . — Y?»n] om. 0. — P"W»aj an-inja Q Oc: onwa var. 
Oc. a of the price as Lv. 17 14 . 

8. nnpH-nio] om. L, 71: tr. w. rest of v. £. — "3D?] so Ben Asher: an? 
Ben Naphtali (Ginsburg): om. & (g (exc. N c - >, 93ft *): with Qamets in 
the cstr., c/. Kau. § 93 w. w. — mn] om. &(g2I (exc. n c - s , 936 *). — 
o^nornV-nrit] om.C — pa] om. 44, 74, 76, 106, 236. — tmxpnVJom. 3&: 
inf. w. S giving the contents of the law, cf. 3 14 4 11 6 4 . — pj] wwi/ ?C. — 1*?] 
confestim C — nnDN - romnS] om. C — -inDK] regime JL — Tjn 1 ?"!] kcu el7rev 
(g H : dXX' eTirei' L : om. 3 #. — n 1 ^] airrt? <g : otfrws L : spadoni H : om. J &. — 
nnsSi] £pT€L\a<xdcu (g: fyetre L: vacfe t& ft — niSy nittS] e/. 2 10 Gn. 2 16 
28 s 1 K. 2 43 al. — NiaS-end of v.] surge, quid sedes ettaces? quoniamve- 
nundata es, tu et domus tua et pair is tut, et gens et omnis progenies: surge 
si poterimus pro gente nostra labor are et pati, ut Deus propitius fiat genti 
nostra ft — K*?-MU7] p.r) aTrotxrptyris rod elaekdelv Trpbs rbv PaaCXta L. — 
nu s ] eta-eXtfo&rai' A. — 17 pnnnVjc/. 8 3 Hos. 12 5 Jb. 9 15 19 16 . — vjsSd tfp^Si] 
om. 3 71. — Sy Ppa] cf. y 7 Ne. 2 4 Ezr. 8 23 , in the sense of 'beg (favour) 
for,' a late usage. — nop] rod \aov (g L: + Kal tt)s irarpidos n c a m &, A, 44, 
71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236, 249, 93ft *. 

9. Factum est autem cum legisset Hester litteras fratris sui, scidit 
vestimentum suum et exclamavit voce amara et gravi, et ploravit ploratione 
magna, et corpus ejus formidolosum factum est, et caro ipsius concidit 
valde S. — "inn K13M] om. L. — inn] cf. 4 s : 'AxOpadaios a * A: 'A7x/>a5cuos 
44. — njri-4 10 innV] om. 936. — W^] so n * A, 64, 243, 249, C, Aid.: 
airrrj (g L. — *3T^0 — nx] ttjv obtivqv rod 'IcrpatrjX L. — nN] -{- Trdvras (g (exc. 
44, 71, 74, 76, 106. — "O-n;.] tovtovs (g. 


TO DO SO (4 10 - 14 )- 

10. And Esther instructed Hatha kh and ordered him [(£ (E 1 + to 
go and to say] unto Mordecai]. The pregnant construction of 2J 
is rightly interpreted by Qk 

[(5 1 + That he should not stir up strife with Haman by taking upon 
himself the enmity that existed between Jacob and Esau. Esther also 
put words into Hathakh's mouth, saying to him: Speak thus to Mordecai, 
Has not the wicked Haman decreed through the command of Xerxes 
that no one may go in unto the King into the inner court without per- 
mission ?] 

11. All the King's courtiers and the people of the King's prov- 
inces know, that for every man or woman who goes in unto the King 
into the inner court without being called] [S 1 + by the mouth of 
Haman] one penalty is prescribed, namely, to put {him or her) to 
death, except that person to whom the King [J + in token of clem- 
ency] may extend the golden sceptre in order that he may live, [Jos. 
+ for whenever the King does this to one who has come in un- 
called, he not only does not die, but obtaining pardon, is saved.] 
The law that no man might approach the King without summons, 
was designed to give dignity to his person and to protect him from 
assassination. According to Her. i. 99, it was first enacted by 
Dioces the Mede. According to Her. iii. 72, 77, 84, 118, 140; 
Corn. Nep., Conon 3; it was also enforced by the Persian mon- 
archs (see Baum., pp. 82^.). Her., however, is careful to state 
that people might send in a message to the King and request an 
audience. If this had not been permitted, the King would have 
been shut off from communication with the outer world. The 
Book of Est. knows no such qualification. According to it, even 
the Queen had no way of obtaining an interview with her husband, 
except by waiting for a summons. This is most improbable. 
Either the author does not know Persian custom, or he intention- 
ally suppresses his knowledge in order to make Esther's going to 
the King more heroic. Jos. tries to solve the difficulty by the as- 
sumption that this law applied only to members of Xerxes' house- 


hold (see the addition in 2- 1 ). This is very unlikely. 2F 1 , followed 
by Lyr. Ser., adds the hypothesis that Haman had enacted this 
law recently to keep Esther from getting word to the King; but 
Haman evidently has no suspicion that Esther is a Jewess (5 12t .), 
and the words all the people of the provinces know show that the 
law had long been in force. Keil and Schu. suppose that Esther 
might have requested an audience of the King, but feared to do 
so because she was not in special favour, not having been sum- 
moned for thirty days. If, however, she were out of favour, why 
was it wiser to go to the King at the risk of her life than to request 
an audience? These theories all fail to render the narrative 
probable. The inner court is in contrast to the outer court of the 
King's house (6 4 ). From it (5 1 ) one could see the King sitting 
upon his throne (see on i 5 ). 

[® 2 + And for thirty days I have been praying that the King may not 
desire me and may not cause me to sin ; because, when I grew up in thy 
house, thou usedst to say to me, that every woman of the house of Israel 
who is taken and brought to the house of a heathen of her own accord, 
has neither part nor lot with the children of the tribes of Israel.] 

And now for thirty days I have not been summoned to go in to the 
King, [L 2IJ + and how can I go without being summoned ?] 
These words clearly assert that Esther knows no way to obtain 
an audience with the King, except by waiting for a summons ; and 
this she has no reason to expect, since she has not been called for 
a month. The case of Phaedyma (Her. iii. 69) is not parallel, since 
the question there is not the obtaining of an interview with the 
false Smerdis, but the obtaining of a chance to see whether his 
ears have been cut off. The reason for the cooling of Xerxes' af- 
fection is not given. The comm. suppose that another woman 
now enjoyed his favour. 

12. [S 1 + Now when the wicked Haman saw Hathakh, whose 
name was Daniel, going to and fro to Esther, his anger waxed 
great against him, and he slew him; but instantly there came 
thither the angels Michael and Gabriel (similarly ® 2 ),] and they 
told Mordecai [C& + all] Esther's words, [21 + and Mordecai was 
angry.] In v. 10 Hathakh was sent to Mordecai; here the sub- 
ject changes suddenly to the pi. and Hathakh is not again men- 


tioned. From this B 1 , © 2 , and Jewish comm. infer that Hathakh 
was killed by Haman. We should probably follow the Vrss. in 
reading the sg. 

13. Then Mordecai told [QI 1 + Michael and Gabriel] to reply to 
Esther [2^ + speaking thus to her]: 

[® 2 + perhaps thou fanciest and sayest to thyself, I am called to sov- 
ereignty merely to be Queen; and perhaps thou thinkest and sayest to 
thyself, I do not need to ask pity for the house of Israel; but, if the foot 
of one Jew stumbles, do not suppose that thou alone of all the Jews shalt 
escape out of the King's house, because Saul thy ancestor brought this 
evil upon Israel. If he had carried out that which the prophet Samuel 
commanded him, this wicked Haman of the seed of the house of Amalek 
would not have come against us, and this son of Hamm e datha would 
not have come against us, and would not have bought us from the King 
for 10,000 talents of silver, and the Holy One, blessed be he, would not 
have delivered us into the power of two wicked men (followed by a long 
account of God's deliverances in the past).] 

Do not imagine that thou wilt [QT 1 + get away and] escape 
[(& SJI + alone] (in) the King's house apart from all the Jews]. 
Mordecai does not reproach Esther with indifference to the fate 
of her people, but shows her that she is in the same peril as they. 
Going to the King may be dangerous, but staying away is just as 
dangerous. Although she is the King's wife, Haman will not 
allow her to escape, when he knows that she is a Jewess, particu- 
larly as she is a relative of the hated Mordecai. No allowance 
is made for the possibility that the King may make an exception 
in Esther's favour. Imagine is lit. form in thy soul. 

14. For if thou dost persist in remaining silent at this time, 
[L © [ + and dost not make intercession for the Jews,] relief and 
deliverance will appear for the Jews from some other quarter [(& 1 + 
on account of the merits of thy forefathers; and the Lord of the 
world will deliver them out of the hands of their enemies]. Here, 
as elsewhere, the author goes out of his way to avoid mentioning 
God. On the reason for this, see Introduction, § 29. L, Jos., 
W l j © 2 , supply the religious deficiency by the insertion of the name 
of God. Although the author does not mention God, there is 
little doubt that he thinks of the ancient promises that Israel shall 
never perish. Sieg. supposes that he thinks rather of the help of 


some other nation, as, for instance, of Rome in the Maccabaean 
period (1 Mac. 8 17 12 1 ). Even that, however, he might have re- 
garded as providential. — But thou and thy family will perish 
[Jos. + at the hands of those that are lightly esteemed] f© 1 + on 
account of this fault]. Jos. and Lap. suppose that the Jews 
themselves will avenge Esther's disregard of them. Most comm. 
think of a special divine judgment inflicted upon her for neglect 
of her opportunity. Even though the other Jews may be rescued, 
she and her family will not be suffered to go unpunished. Bert, 
and Sieg. suppose the meaning to be, that many Jews will avoid 
the consequences of Haman's edict, but that he will not allow 
Mordecai and Esther to escape him. Family, lit. house of thy 
father, is family in a wider sense, or clan. — And who [S 1 + is the 
wise man who] knows if [S 1 + in the coming year] at a time like 
this thou [& + art called and] hast come unto [(E 1 + the possession 
of] royalty, [Jl + that thou mayest be ready] [SI + that thou may- 
est deliver thy people]. The meaning of this sentence is uncer- 
tain, and there is reason to suspect textual corruption (see critical 

10. -pnS - -lONni] om. L. — -iDNni] et misit Cc 'command/ as i 17 4 lJ - ls 
6 1 9 U . — "v-dn] om. 321. — "inn 1 ?] spadonem suum £: irpos avrbv 44, 106: ei 
3. — imxm] iropeijd7)Ti (g: om. 21. — Sk] Sy S e bhir cf. 4 5 : icard L: the con- 
struction with ace. of the person and Sn is correct, cf. 8 J Ex. 6 13 . — »3TUD] 
rdde L: ravra 93a: eum ?C: + *ai elirov (+ curry 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 236) 
flri(g: + \4yov<ra L: + dicensH: + L^Ifl^ &. 

11. nuno - *?a] om. L2I. — iScn-oj?V] om. <S& (exc. n c - am ?, 93ft *). — 
o>i] et cunctce 3. — "| L, ~ n ] quce sub ditione sunt 3: Artaxerxes rex&: <ri> L. 
— Cjhv] so N 1 N 2 Br.: tPjrr Ba. G: yivdxriceis L: dixit C — So] xapd irdv- 
ras L. — rvtm\ wx] homo omnis gentis 2j : om. L. — mc^an - Sn 2 ] om. L. — 
■ttrtl] here f. (cf. 5 1 6 4 ), see Albrecht, ZATW. xvi. 49.— nwjfln] so A £: 
TTjv£<ru)T4pav<&. — n^DnS - nns] absque ulla cunctaiione statim interficiatur 
3: ou/c ec-riv currc? awripla (S2I: davdrov evoxosecrrai L (aft. 3nrn). — nnN 
im] lit. 'one is his law.' An anacoluthon. After 'every man or woman' 
we should expect ' has one law,' or ' is under one law.' The indirect object 
implied in the suffix of 1m is placed absolutely at the beginning of the 
sentence, 'as for every man . . . one is his law.' nns is placed first for 
emphasis. — -wnd naS] instead of TTK laVo (Nu. 6 21 ) or "who Ec. 3 22 . — 
tDwv] cf. 5 2 8 4 , an Aramaism. — )S] om. (S2IL (exc. n c - a , 936). — iSnn«] 
om. L. — oui^] cf. 5 2 8 4 , the Aram, equivalent with inserted 1 of Heb. toa^ 


(see Stade, §243, 6; Strack-Sieg. §i8c; Kau. §850;; Krauss, Gr. u. 
lot. Lehnwbrter im Talmud, p. 142. All the authorities read W2~\y 
(a Raphe), but the As. equivalent is sabbitu, which shows that :n has come 
from resolution of 2 (cf. Haupt, a. /.). — rvm] om. L. — nijV] om. L. — 
-|Sdh 5] abrbv L. — pit] 'now' (c/.BDB.p. 261, §4^). — oW?tt>] \h^J. &.— 
0^] + igitur quomodo ad regent intrare potero 3: + et quomodo introibo ad 
re gem et exiit H + Kal 7ru)s el<reKe6<rofiai vvv &K\rjTos o5<ra L: + xal a7reX- 
0Qv 71. 

12. om.L. — WW] s*o-»*o #: /caid7r^77etXej/C5:BuhlandHauptreadiJM: 
+ 'Axpatfcuos <g ('Apxa^atos A: c/. 4 5 ): + spado C — ^-hd 1 ?] Mi £: + 
xa^Tcis <SS (936 -r-). — nnDX-nx] om. 3: ravra 71: wr&a ipsius ft 

13. ->DX>)] /cai air4<TTei\e L. — TTid] om. 3J&: + Trpds 'AxpadaTou 
(kxBpadatov n) TropebdrjTi Kal <g (936 -7-) (om. 7rpds 'Axpo-daiov A, 7 1 : 
aur£ 44, 106): + t/^s atfrV L: + spadoni intra C — awiS] rursum 3: 
eiirbv (g 3C : /ccd eiirev L. — Sn] aur?) <g 21 L. — ipdn] + dicens 3: om. L C 44, 
71, 74, 76, 106, 236. — Sn — end of v.] om. L. — aSon 1 ?] safo/a fiar £: 
+ towto3:+ v^AJ} ^: + At6j/7;(S?C. — iVon n^] pr. ^9 &:ivrr) fia&iXda 
(& £ : + <*£Jl &• — T*W n>3] generally regarded as "ace. of place. Is it 
possible that we have here an instance of the late Heb. use of iva in the 
sense of 'wife' (see on 2 1 ) ? In that case the clause would mean 'that 
thou shalt escape as wife of the King.' This rendering is suggested by 
the addition in ££, quoniam uxor regis sum. Haupt reads n>M as in i 9 . 

— Sdd] p in the sense of separation, 'away from,' 'as an exception to,' 
as Ru. i« (see BDB. p. 578 b). 

14. >o] ws 6ti. (g: 6'rt A, 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236: om. §L — ttnnnj 
om. (& £ L (exc. M c - a m ?, 93ft *). — >t^nnn] irapaicotaris (g: virepldys L: mm 
prcemiseris E. — n?n n>o] rou edvovs <rov 4- toO /x^ ^orjdijcrai a&rois &W L. 

— nn] ]2U*C9 &: om. J: /So^0eict (££: /3o^6s L: lit. 'interval,' 'res- 
pite,' only here and Gn. 32 17 . According to Haupt, JBL. xxvi. p. 33, 
the word should be pointed nn. — nSxm] /cat o-Ktirrj (g: et defensor H: /ecu 
awTTjpla L. — "PDr] pr. ovk 106. — iidj?>] in the sense of 'stand forth,' 'ap- 
pear, 'as Ezr. 2 63 Ne. 7 65 , a late usage. — D-nin^S] fi^wnS G: avroTs L (^v 
airois 93a). — nnx oipED] per occasionem aliam 3 : dWodev <& £ : 6 0eds L. — 
n«i3 nyS-QN jn.V *»pi] T^/jo knows, followed immediately by an impf., is 
equivalent to perhaps. Most comm. assume that who knows if has the 
same meaning. n#S is commonly rendered for a time, and the whole 
sentence is translated, perhaps for a time such as this thou hast attained to 
royalty, i.e., thou hast providentially been raised to the position of Queen 
in order to help thy people in this emergency (cf. Gn. 45 7 50 20 ). No 
other instance occurs, however, where who knows if is equivalent to per- 
haps. If this were the meaning, instead of dn we should expect x*>ox or 
xSn, whether not. Moreover n#S ordinarily means at a time. Accord- 
ingly Bert., Keil, Reuss, insist that dx must be given full conditional force, 
and that an implied apodosis must be supplied from the context. Bert. 


and Reuss translate who knows {what may happen), if at a time like this 
thou goest to royalty? (i.e., to the King). Keil translates, who knows, if at 
a time like this thou hast attained royalty, {what thou shouldst do?). 
Schu. translates, who knows whether for a time like this thou hast come to 
royalty? in the sense, who knows whether thou hast sufficient courage to 
act like a queen in this emergency. (H 1 takes njjS temporally, and under- 
stands like this to refer to the corresponding season of another year, so 
that the whole sentence means, who knows wliether a year from now thou 
wilt be Queen? These interpretations are all unnatural, and one is com- 
pelled to suspect textual corruption, although the Vrss. support the read- 
ing of M. Perhaps for j?t" knowing, we should read >rv will harm 
(Zp. i 12 ), and translate, and who will harm, if at such a time as this thou 
hast drawn near to the royal presence? i.e., how can any one hurt thee, 
when he learns what impelled thee to this step? The clause will thus 
be an encouragement to Esther to run the risk. For yjn in the sense of 
'draw near,' see 4 3 6 14 8 17 o 1 - 26 . For nwSe 'kingdom,' as a synonym for 
'king,' see i 9 - 19 2 16 5 1 6 8 8 15 . It is analogous to the English use of 
'majesty.' — nxo] -f _o ^^j-oZJ &. — didSdS] -f ut in tali tempore para- 
reris !&:-\-ut gentem tuam liberes. Et introiit spado, et renuntiavit verba 
Mardoch&i Hester regince £: + kolI aireXdCjv dvqyyeiXcu avrfj 71. 


15. [21 + And the eunuch went in and reported to Queen Esther 
all the words of Mordecai.] Then Esther told [(E 1 + Michael and 
Gabriel] to reply to Mordecai [C6 L + saying] [J + as follows,] 
[21 + Master, brother, if it seems best to thee, I will go in, though 
I may die]. 

16. Go, gather all the Jews that are found in Susa [& + the for- 
tress,] and fast for me, and eat nothing for three days, [21 + and tell 
the elders to keep a fast; let them separate the sucking babes at 
night from their mothers, and let not cattle or sheep graze during 
these days,] [(5 1 + and pray before the Lord of the world night 
and day]. Mordecai's argument is convincing, and Esther re- 
solves to go to the King at once; but since she appears on behalf 
of the Jews, she desires their spiritual support. On found, see i 5 . 
The number of the Jews in Susa must have been considerable, 
since, according to 9 15 , they were able to slay 300 men. Fasting 
can only be a religious act designed to propitiate God. Normally, 
it is followed by prayer (2 S. 12 16 - 23 1 K. 21 27 - 29 Dn. 9 s Jo. i 1 * 


Jon. 3 8 - 9 )- Here, however, in accordance with the author's cus- 
tom, no mention is made either of God or of prayer (cf. 4 3 - " and 
see Introduction, § 29). By three days only parts of three days 
are meant. Esther begins to fast on the day that Mordecai gives 
her information about Haman's plot, continues to fast the follow- 
ing day, and on the third day goes to the King (5 1 ). This consid- 
eration detracts somewhat from the observation of the old comm. 
that she trusted in God rather than in her beauty, which would be 
impaired by three whole days of fasting. — I also and my maidens 
will fast likewise]. Although the maids given by Hegai (2 9 ) must 
have been heathen, yet Esther values the help of their fasting; 
and they are loyal enough to her to be willing to undertake it. 
Bon. supposes that under the religious instruction of Esther they 
had become proselytes to Judaism. — And in this condition I will 
go to the King [J + uncalled], although this is not in accordance 
with the law; and if I perish [5F 1 + from my women's quarters and 
am taken away violently from thee {cf. Meg. 15a),] / perish 
[© » + from the life of this world for the sake of the salvation of the 
people of the house of Israel ;] [SF 2 + but I shall have a part in the 
world to come]. If I perish, I perish is a despairing expression 
of resignation to the inevitable, as Gn. 43 14 , "If I am bereaved, 
I am bereaved." No religious enthusiasm lights up Esther's re- 
solve. She goes, as one would submit to an operation, because 
there is a chance of escaping death in that way. 

17. And Mordecai [OF 1 + was sad and indignant and he] crossed 
over and acted in accordance with all that Esther had enjoined upon 
him.] Ordinarily 'cross over' means 'transgress.' Assuming 
that the fast began on the 13th of Nisan (3 12 ), and that Mordecai 
fasted three days, he must have continued to fast until the 15th 
of Nisan, which was the feast of Passover; thus he transgressed 
the law of Ex. 12 (so Rab in Meg. 15a, E l , QI 2 , Mid., and Mich.). 
There is nothing, however, to show that Esther's fast began on 
the same day on which the scribes began to write (3 12 ), and it is 
quite unnecessary to put this meaning upon 'crossed over.' Most 
recent comm. assume that this means no more than ' proceeded ' 
(cf. Gn. 18 6 Nu. 22 26 al.), and this is certainly a possible interpreta- 
tion. In Meg. 15a R. Samuel asserts that a sheet of water lay 


between the palace and the city, which Mordecai was obliged to 
cross. It is a fact that the Acropolis of Susa was separated from 
the city by the river Choaspes, the As. Uknu and the modern 
Ab-Kharkha, and to this fact the author of Est. may allude in the 
expression crossed over. 

[(H 1 -+- And he transgressed against the joy of the feast of Passover, and 
he appointed a fast and sat in ashes.] [U + And the bridegrooms went 
forth from their couches, and the brides from their dainties; the elders 
also and the old women went out to pray. He prescribed that the cattle 
and the sheep should not graze for three days and three nights. All 
put on ashes and invoked God most high that he would take pity upon 
their humility. Mordecai, moreover, rent his garments, and spread 
haircloth beneath him, and fell upon his face to the earth with the 
elders of the people from morning until evening (similarly ® 2 ).] [® 2 -f- 
At that time they investigated and found in the assembly 1 2,000 young 
priests, and they gave them trumpets in their right hands and books of 
the Law in their left hands; and, weeping and lamenting, thus they cried 
toward heaven : O God of Israel, this is the Law which thou hast given 
us. If thy beloved people perishes from the world, who will stand and 
read from this and will make mention of thy name ? The sun and the 
moon will be darkened, and their light will no longer shine, because they 
were created solely for the sake of thy people. And they fell upon their 
faces and said: Answer us, our Father, answer us! Answer us, our 
King, answer us! And they blew upon their trumpets, and the people 
responded after them, until the hosts of heaven wept and the forefathers 
forsook their graves.] 



At this point <£iCL insert the following prayers of Mordecai and 
Esther (Addition O 30 = Vulg., Eng. ^s-i^ 19 ). Jos. has the 
passage in a different and greatly abbreviated form. Yos. ii. 3 
and Mid. also give distorted versions of it. ® 2 inserts a different 
prayer of Esther after 5 1 . In regard to the authenticity of the 
passage, see Introduction, § 20. For the Greek text and variants 
see Paton, HM. ii. pp. 24-27. The addition reads as follows: 

l Then he made his prayer unto the Lord, calling to remembrance all 
the works of the Lord, 2 and said, O Lord, Lord, thou King Almighty, 
the whole world is in thy power, and if it be thy will to save Israel, there 


is no man that can gainsay thee : "for thou hast made heaven and earth, 
and all the wondrous things that are beneath the heaven ; 4 and thou art 
Lord of all, and there is no man that can resist thee, who art the Lord. 
6 Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest, Lord, that it was neither 
in contempt nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow 
down to the proud Haman. 6 For I should have been glad for the sal- 
vation of Israel to kiss the soles of his feet. 7 But I did this, that I might 
not place the glory of man above the glory of God: neither will I bow 
down to any but to thee, who art my Lord, neither will I do it in pride. 
8 And now, O Lord, thou God and King, the God of Abraham, spare 
thy people: for they watch us to bring us to naught, and they desire to 
destroy the heritage that has been thine from the beginning. 9 Despise 
not thy portion, which thou didst redeem out of the land of Egypt for 
thine own self. 10 Hear my prayer, and be merciful unto thine inheri- 
tance: and turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live, O Lord, 
and sing praises to thy name: and destroy not the mouth of those that 
praise thee, O Lord. n And all Israel cried out mightily, because their 
death was before their eyes. 

12 Queen Esther, also, being seized with the agony of death, fled unto 
the Lord : 13 and laid away her glorious apparel, and put on the garments 
of anguish and mourning, and instead of fine ointments she covered her 
head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body greatly, and all 
parts (of her body) that she (ordinarily) rejoiced to adorn, she covered 
with her dishevelled hair. "And she prayed unto the Lord, the God of 
Israel, saying, O my Lord, thou only art our King: help me that am 
desolate and have no other helper but thee: 15 for my danger is at hand. 
"From my youth up I have heard in the tribe of my family, that thou, O 
Lord, tookest Israel from among all the nations, and our fathers from all 
their progenitors, for a perpetual inheritance, and didst perform for them 
whatsoever thou didst promise. 17 And now we have sinned before thee, 
and thou hast given us into the hands of our enemies, 18 because we glori- 
fied their gods: O Lord, thou art righteous. ■ Nevertheless it satisfies 
them not that we are in bitter captivity: but they have joined hands with 
their idols, 20 that they will abolish that which thou with thy mouth hast 
ordained, and destroy thine inheritance, and stop the mouth of them that 
praise thee, and quench the glory of thy house, and thine altar, 21 and open 
the mouths of the heathen to celebrate the virtues of idols, and that a 
fleshly king shall be magnified forever. k O Lord, give not thy sceptre 
unto those that do not exist, and let them not laugh at our fall : but turn 
their device upon themselves, and make him an example that has begun 
this against us. 23 Remember, O Lord, make thyself known in the time 
of our affliction, and give me boldness, O King of the gods, and holder 
of all dominion. 24 Give me eloquent speech in my mouth before the 
lion : and turn his heart to hate him that fights against us, that there may 


be an end of him, and of those that are like-minded with him: 26 but de- 
liver us with thine hand, and help me who am desolate and have no one 
but thee, O Lord. 26 Thou hast knowledge of all things; and thou 
knowest that I hate the glory of him who does not keep the Law and 
abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of every alien. "Thou knowest 
my necessity: that I abhor the sign of my high estate, which is upon 
mine head in the days when I shew myself. I abhor it as a menstruous 
rag, and I do not wear it when I am quietly by myself. ^And thine 
handmaid has not eaten at Haman's table, neither have I honoured the 
King's feast, nor drunk the wine of the drink-offerings. "Neither has 
thy handmaid had any joy from the day that I was brought hither to 
the present, but in thee, O Lord, thou God of Abraham. 30 O God, that 
art mighty above all, hear the voice of the despairing and deliver us out 
of the hands of the wicked, and deliver me out of my fear. 

15. -i2Nm] Kal (e£)a7r6rretAej> <gL. — nriDN] rj pa.<rl\i<r<Ta L. — 3^nS] 
rursum 3: rbv r/Kovra irpbs avrrjv (& (om. irpbs avrijv A): denuo cum 
misisset qui ad earn venerat%\ om. L. — "0"na hx] a Mardochceo H: om. L: 
+ \{yov<ra & L. 

16. I s ] om. LIE. — Dmnin - Duo] irapayyelXare depaireiav L: prcedica 
igitur sanitatem^Sx. — ?3] om. (& (exc. n c - *, 93J * fxoi irdvras). — D^NXCjn] 
A-.]? & : om. <g 21 L. — jttnso] om. L 21. — DW - icixi] Kal de^dijre rod deov 
iKrevQs L. — 121x1] et orate 3. — Sni] om. 1 57 codd. R, N 1 W 3. — oj] dji 
72 codd. R, G^J&CSL: om. H. — disn] iroi^a-o/xev L. — p] om. 2KS» (exc. 
N c. * > 03&*). — p2i]om. i&:/ccdr6re(g2I: kcuL: according to Bert., Wild., 
with so-called Beth essentia, which is used either with the primary or 
secondary predicate to express an essential state of the subj.; 'as such,' 
i.e., 'as one who has fasted three days' (cf. Lv. 17 14 Ez. 13 19 Ec. 8 10 ; 
Kau. § 1 19 ii; BDB. p. 88, 1. 7). According to others, 2 has the ordinary 
meaning, and the phrase means simply ' in such a state.' — 1£>n] the ante- 
cedent is the previous clause / will go to the King. Others regard nS icn 
as equivalent to Syr. ]3? 'without.' — rnu-liPN] irapa rbv vbpjov (§>: AkXtj- 
ros L: + non vocata 3: om. 21. — >m:)N 2 -na>$oi] idu Kal &iro\£<rdai fxe fi 
(Sty) 0j>: et dioc Kal airodaveiv p.e L: habens in manu animam meant -f- exiit 
spado et dixit verba ejus 21 : tradensque me morti et periculo 3. 

17. -opi] om. "ar L. 




These verses are expanded in (& iC L into Addition D = Chap. 15 
in 3 and AV. For the Gr. text and variants, see Paton, HM. 
ii. pp. 27-29. Mid. has a similar passage. 

1 (= D 1 - 6 = 15 1 - 6 ). Afterward, on the third day [OI 1 + of the 
Passover,] [(& S L + when she had ceased praying, she put off her 
garments of worship,] [® 2 + after she had fasted three days in 
succession, and she arose from the dust and ashes where she had 
bowed herself without ceasing,] [C + and washed her body with 
water, and anointed herself with ointment;] then Esther clothed 
herself [Vrss. + in garments of] royalty, [© 2 + adorned with pure 
gold of Ophir, made of fine Frankish silk, ornamented with 
precious stones and pearls brought from the province of Africa. 
And she put on her head a crown of pure gold, and shod her feet 
with sandals of fine gold,] [fli + and adorned herself with orna- 
ments,] [QI 1 + and the Holy Spirit rested upon her {cf. Meg. 15a).] 
Although Esther has besought the favour of God through fasting, 
she does not fail to make use of her own charms. On the third 
day, cf. 4 16 . 

[dill L + 2 And being majestically adorned, after she had called upon 
the all-seeing God and saviour, she took her two maids with her: 3 and 
upon the one she leaned, as though she were delicate; 4 and the other 
followed bearing her train. 5 And she gleamed in the perfection of her 
beauty, and her countenance was cheerful, as though she knew that 
she was lovable, but her heart was in anguish for fear. 6 Then she passed 
through all the doors.] 

And she stopped [SI 1 + and prayed] in the inner court of the 
King's house f© 1 + which was built] over against the King's house 
[W l + that was in Jerusalem.] On inner court, cf. 4". Over 
against refers to Esther, not to court or house. SI 1 refers it to 


house, and understands it to mean that the palace in Susa was the 
counterpart of the palace (or temple) in Jerusalem. On King's 
house, see 2 8 - 9 - 13 4 13 . 

[Meg. i$b -\- And as she passed by the house of idols the divine pres- 
ence left her. Then she said, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me? Dost thou judge a sin committed accidentally as one done in- 
tentionally, and one committed under compulsion as one done willingly ? 
Or is it perhaps because I have called him a dog ?] 

And the King was sitting upon his royal throne in the royal 
house, [SI 1 + and he saw everything] over against the door of the 
house.] From the inner court Esther can look through the open 
door and see the King seated on his throne at the farther end of 
the throne-room. He can look out and see her standing in the 
court. Here she pauses to see what the King will do. She has 
already violated the law in coming as far as the inner court (4 11 ). 
On royal throne, see i 2 . The royal house is regarded by Dieulafoy 
as the throne-room in distinction from the King's house, or royal 
residence, but in i 9 2 13 - 16 the two are identified. Probably the 
expression is chosen merely for variety. 

[(£ IE L -f- 6 And he was clothed with all his robes of majesty, all covered 
with gold and precious stones; and he was very terrible. 7 Then he 
lifted up his countenance that was flushed with glory in fierce anger.] 
[S 1 + Then Esther answered and spoke thus: Lord of the world, do not 
deliver me into the hands of this uncircumcised one, nor accomplish the 
desire of the wicked Haman upon me, as he accomplished it upon Vashti, 
whom he persuaded the King to put to death, because he wished him to 
marry his daughter. But it was the will of Heaven that she should be 
afflicted with a loathsome disease so that her mouth stank exceedingly, 
and they led her forth as quickly as possible. So she was excluded in 
order that I might be married to him. Now, then, render me acceptable 
in his sight, that he may not slay me, but may grant my desire and my 
petition which I am about to ask of him. Thou also in the multitude 
of thy mercies be favourable to my people, and do not deliver the chil- 
dren of Jacob into the hands of Haman, son of Hamm e datha, son of 
'Ada, son of Biznai, son of Aphlitus, son of Deiosos, son of Peros, son 
of Hamdan, son of Talyon, son of Atnisomus, son of Harum, son of 
Harsum, son of Shegar, son of Negar, son of Parmashta, son of Way- 
zatha, son of 'Agag, son of Sumqar, son of 'Amalek, son of 'Eliphaz, 
son of the wicked Esau (cf. (E 2 on 3 1 ).] 



2 ( = D 716 = i5 7-16 ). Presently, as soon as the King saw Queen 
Esther standing [QJ 1 + sorrowfully] in the court [S 1 + with both 
her eyes streaming with tears, and looking up toward heaven,] 
[21 + he was enraged and determined to destroy her, and he shouted 
uncertainly, and said, Who has dared to enter the court un- 

[<p -j. And Haman, the bodyguard of the King, wished to slay 
Esther.] [(& ?C L -f- 7 And the Queen fell down, and turned pale, and 
fainted, and she bowed herself upon the head of the maid that went be- 
fore.] [Meg. 156 + And three angels came to her aid in that hour. One 
lifted up her head, the second endued her with grace, the third lengthened 
the King's sceptre. How much? According to R. Jeremiah it was 
2 cubits long, and he extended it to 12 cubits; others say 16, others 24, 
a Baraitha says 60. R. b. Uphran said in the name of R. Eliezcr, 
who had heard it from his teacher, and he from his, that it became 200 
cubits long; and] [(& H L + 8 God changed the spirit of the King to mild- 
ness, and in an agony he leaped from his throne, and took her in his 
arms, till she came to herself again, and he comforted her with soothing 
words, 9 and said unto her, Esther, what is the matter? I am thy 
brother, be of good cheer: 10 thou shalt not die, for our commandment is 
for the common crowd only: come near.] 

And she won his favour, and the King extended to Esther the 
golden sceptre that was in his hand, [Jos. + and laid his staff upon 
her neck, thus legally delivering her from alarm.] And Esther 
approached and [QT 1 + grasped his hand and] touched the head of 
the sceptre. 

[^8L+ 12 And he kissed her, and said, Speak unto me. "Then she 
said unto him, I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was 
troubled for fear of thy glory. 14 For wonderful art thou, my lord, and 
thy countenance is full of grace. 15 And as she was speaking, she fell 
down for faintness. 16 Then the King was troubled, and all his servants 
comforted her.] 

The simple statement of ^ that Esther succeeded in her venture 
is not enough for the Vrss. which find here a rare opportunity 
for embellishment. Instead of the colourless expression she won 
his favour, (& U L say that God changed the spirit of the King. 


i (=T) 1 ). am] ora. W 3&. — raVn)] Kal -rrepiep&Xero (SLiG. — ir>Di»] 
-f vestimentis J: om. <£: + ^A»QX^ &: to, l/xdna L: vestimento 51.— 
riH7D] T77!/ 56|?7>' aur^s (&: t^s 56£?7S L: glorice suce £: so also 6 8 8 15 . 
Possibly, with Bert., Rys., Wild., we should follow the Vrss. in inserting 
013*?. Others think that pidSd may be an adverbial ace. = 'royally,' or 
that it may mean 'regalia.' — 1 (=D 6 ). icym] Kar^arrj (&: eo-rrj L: in 
the sense of 'came to a stand' (cf. Jos. io 13 Ju. 9 35 ). — "j^Dn 2 - 10pm] om. 
C — niCJon - isnn] om. (&L. — flM] tvibiriov (g L: Karev&iriov 93Z) N c - a . 
— no] om. <gL. — "fmm\et Me 3: Kal avrbs (g: et invenit Artarxerxem 
regem ?G : ov avrbs 93^. — inuSc] om. nioScJI 19: gloria sliced. — nW-rY»3a] 
om. <g L C — no2 - niatan] om. £. 

2 (=D 7 )- »HM] om. w J&: om. (SEL — mio5] so Ben Asher (Gins- 
burg): mien? Ben Naphtali, B 2 : *p\e\pev <&%: MpXefer L (aft. D 7c ): 
om. n * A. — T^Dfi] om. 3 OIL £. — nnDH pn] om. (g: ain-17 L: earn £. — 
■ran:) - nsVon] om. (gLIE. — ->xro] om 3. — jn nx^j] cf. 2 17 . — wpa-nnri] 

/cat /xeW/3a\ei> 6 debs rb irvevpux rod PacrChe'ws els irpa6rt)ra (g : Kal ifiaXev 
6 6ebs rb Trvedfia rod /SacriX^os Kal /xere'drjKe rbv dvpjbv avrov els Trpabriyra 
L: Deus autem iram convertit in miserationem et furorem ipsius in tran- 
quillitatem SI.— 2 (= D 12 ). »w] Kal &pas <gL1E: see 4". — -|Sdh] om. 
3<gL2a. — n.-DN 1 -] contra earn £: om. (bLfa. — e-aiwjsew., . — an ^ om. 
L. — no "WK] om. (g L: e£ extendit in manic ipsius £. — nrox 3"\pm] ^w« 
accedens J: om. (gL?C. — "J"""] osculata est 3: Z,_a»)o !£: iire'drjKev (gL: 
om. 21. — D»3*W1 rtrts] iirl rbv rpdxv^ ov avrijs (gL: om. £: + V^Ol?? 0. 



DAY TO A BANQUET (5 s - 5 ). 

3. And the King said to her, Whatever .thou dost wish, Queen 
Esther]. Lit. whatever is to thee. In Jos. 15 18 this is used of a 
desire and is so understood here by the Vrss. — And whatever thy 
petition is]. A clearer statement of the thought of the preceding 
clause. The King recognizes that only a pressing need can have 
led Esther to run the risk of coming unsummoned. [S 1 + Even 
if thou dost ask] as much as half of the kingdom, it shall be given 
thee.] Cf. 5 6 7 2 9 12 . This is a polite formula, like the Oriental 
"take it for nothing," that is not meant to be understood too lit- 
erally, cf. Her. ix. 109, where Xerxes offers to give Artaynte what- 
ever she asks, and is much distressed when she takes him at his 
word; also Salome's request of Herod (Mk. 6 23 ). The construc- 
tion is elliptical to express the King's haste in reassuring Esther, 


[ft 1 + Except the rebuilding of the House of the Sanctuary, which 
stands in the border of half of my kingdom, I cannot grant, for so I have 
promised with an oath to Geshem the Arabian, Sanballat the Horonite, 
and Tobiah the Ammonite, the slave, that I would not permit it to be re- 
built; for I am afraid of the Jews, lest they rebel against me. This re- 
quest then I cannot grant thee, but whatever else thou shalt ask of me, I 
will decree that it shall be done for thee immediately, and that thy de- 
sire shall be granted.] 

4. And Esther said, [O&L + To-day (to-morrow) is a notable day 
for me.] // it seems good to the King, let the King and Hainan 
[L 10 + his friend] come to-day to the banquet which I have prepared 
for him.] That Esther should thus postpone her request, when 
the King was in good humour, is psychologically most improbable. 
Instead of asking for the life of the Jews, she asks only that he 
will come to a banquet. At the banquet she still refuses to pre- 
sent her petition (5 7 ). Not until a second banquet does she speak 
out (7 3f ). The older comm. suppose that she wished to make 
the King merry with wine before she offered her request, or that 
she desired greater privacy, or that Haman was not present, and 
that she needed him for the denoument. These explanations are 
all unsatisfactory. The true reason for Esther's delay is purely 
literary; the author needs time for the humiliation of Haman and 
the exaltation of Mordecai before the final blow falls. Why 
Haman should be invited with the King is hard to see. Such an 
invitation would only rouse suspicion, and his presence might 
counteract all of Esther's influence. Lyr. thinks that it was to 
rouse the jealousy of the other princes of Persia who were not in- 
vited. Meg. i$b gives twelve explanations offered by the rabbis. 
No one of them commanded general assent. Even the prophet 
Elijah could not tell Rabba b. Abuhu the reason. Here again 
the motive is purely literary. The author wishes to heap honours 
upon Haman in order to heighten the contrast with his impending 

[®2 (v. 8 ) + There were three reasons why Esther invited Haman to 
supper. The first was that Esther knew that Haman had seen how 
Hathakh had been a messenger between Esther and Mordecai ; so Esther 
said, I will invite Haman to supper. The second reason was, that she 
might uproot hatred from his heart ; and then, said she, I will provoke 


jealousy between Xerxes and Haman, since the King will say, How 
comes it that of all my princes Esther has invited no one but Haman to 
supper ? The third reason was that Esther said, The eyes of all the 
house of Israel are turned upon me, that I may ask King Xerxes to kill 
Haman. I will surely invite him to supper, that the hearts of the chil- 
dren of Israel may be changed, and that they may turn to their Heavenly 
Father and may implore his pity.] 

The initial letters of the words let the King and Haman come 
to-day spell the divine name iTliT. In a few codd. they are written 
large to call attention to this fact. Jehring, Bullinger, Cumming, 
al. assume that this is intentional, and is designed by the author 
to offset his usual avoidance of the name of God ! (see Introduction, 
§ 29). On prepare a banquet, see i 3 - 6 - 9 2 18 . 

5. And the King said [3 + at once], Fetch Haman quickly that 
Esther's wish may be gratified.} Lit. for the doing of the word of 
Esther (cf Dn. 8 24 ). And the King and Haman came to the ban- 
quet which Esther had prepared, [L -f- a costly repast]. 

3. nS] om. (KLE (exc. n «*• a ™s A 44, 71, 936, 106). — iScn] om. H — 
*]S n?:] rl %gtlv L 7 1 : tI 0Aeis OS : quiz est postulatio tua & : he is indefinite — 
1 whatever' {cf. Kau. § 137 c; BDB. 553, 1 e). — iddn] succedanea et consors 
regni met C — hdSdh] om. <£L?C (exc. x •• a , 936 under *). — frwpa nc] 
&pdyyei\6u /xoi L. — Wpa] cf. 5 6 - 7 - 8 7 s 9 12 . Only in Est. and Ezr. 7 6 . — 
pri] /ecu ecrrcu (g: Kai irorfao) L: etfaciam C 

4. nriDN] ilia 3: regina%: + rjfiipa fiov i-rrivruxos <rr/p.ep6v {<xtiv(&: ijpjpa 
i-rria-rjfiSs px>L atipiov L, (Com.). — 3*8— OK] postulatio mea rex H: + ob- 
secro 3. — nu 1 ] in agreement with the nearest subj. bee. preceding, 
cf. v. B . — DT> n pni -|SD n nu" 1 ] a few codd. — Y?nn om. 3: /ecu avrbs (&: 6 
/Seun\ei>s x e « am ^A52, 108a, 243, C, Aid., 64, 936:0-1) LSI. — pm] -f 6 c/>i\os 
<rov L: + amicus tuus U. — Dvn] om. K 101, 158, 180, R 562, 593, 667, 
850, &: atipiov L: eras %. — iS] ad me 3: om. <gL: apud me fi: p3 s QK 

5-8. Winck. (36) deletes as an erroneous repetition of 7 1 . 

5. nno] ©1«i» ^^_^> &: om. 21 : Pi. 'hasten,' in the sense of 'bring in 
haste,' as Gn. 18 8 1 K. 22 9 2 Ch. 18 8 Est. 6 10 . — fori n*J om. £. — 131 dn] 
Ij^d]? ^-*| &. — i.-idn] regincB £. — «3M-end of v. 8 ] om. 3G. — fom iSnn] 
dp.<poTepoL (g L. — ■ "tnOM - -\a>N] om. 0. — nnt^;*] elirev (£. — ir®»] ew regina 
3: + Seorvoj' iroXvreXts L (936 under -j-): om. 249. 



6. And the King said to Esther during the wine-drinking, What- 
ever thy request is, [<£ 2F 1 -f- Queen Esther,] it shall be granted thee; 
and whatever thy petition is, [® l + Even if thou dost ask] as much 
as half of the kingdom, it shall be done.] After the meal wine- 
drinking began (cf Her. i. 133; Est. 7 2 - 7 Dn. i 5 - 8 ). This put the 
King in good humour, and he repeated his offer. The language 
is almost identical with that of v. 3 , q.v. 

[SI 1 + Except the building of the House of the Sanctuary, which stands 
in the border of half my kingdom, I cannot grant thee, because I have 
promised with an oath to Geshem the Arabian, Sanballat the Horonite, 
and Tobiah the Ammonite, the slave, that I would not permit it to be 
rebuilt, lest the Jews may revolt against me.] [Jos. + But she put off 
the stating of her petition to the next day.] 

7. And Esther said [QI 1 + I do not ask for half of the kingdom 
as] my request and [QI 1 + I do not ask for the building of the House 
of the Sanctuary as] my petition; [3 + they are these.] Esther 
starts to tell the King what is in her heart, My request and my 
petition — then suddenly recollecting herself, or changing her mind, 
she resolves to put the matter off to another day. 

8. [® 2 -f And Esther answered, O King,] if I have obtained the 
King's favour, and if it seems good to the King to grant my request 
and to accede to my petition]. The usual formula for presenting a 
matter to the monarch (cf. i 19 3 9 5 4 7 3 8 5 ). — Let [(£ codd. + my 
lord] the King and Haman come [<& L + to-morrow also] to the 
banquet which I will prepare for them, and to-morrow I will do as 
the King wishes]. This delay in presenting her petition is even 
more unlikely than her previous unwillingness to tell the King 
what she wanted (v. 4 ). Whatever reasons may then have caused 
her to wait, existed now no longer, and a second banquet could 
be no more favourable occasion than the first. The reason for 
the delay is that the author needs time for the disgrace of Haman. 


6. om. U. — VHm^] ei 3: om. 44, 106. — nnB>c:s] postquam biberat abun* 
danter 3: om. L. — p»n] om. (£L (exc. n «• at »s, 936 under *). — hd] -+- 
&TTtv (5a<rl\icrcra 'Ecrfl^p <&: -j- ecrri <roi PavLXiacra : E<T07jp 52, 64, 74, 106, 
120, 243, 248, C, Aid.: + V Pa.<rL\i<r<ra L: + ao{ - *B<rftJp 44. — ihSnc] om. 
(5 (exc. n c - a m «, 936 under *) : rb 0ikqp& <rov L. — makon - ]W\] om. C£ 
(exc. n c. am g) ^6 under *). — -p fr] om. L: om. * &. — fPrpa rush] 
atrrjaai L (/cai r/ r6 d^icjfxd crov 93a). — K'^T. 1 ] *ai ecTai (<r«) &ra d£io?s 
(6 L: an\ wSctl^ZZ &. Niph. impf. of the jussive form in pause (cf. 
Kau. I 109/.). So also 7 2 9 12 . 

7. om. H. — -irDN] om. (8 (exc. A 44, 936, 106). icmYj om. 305L. — 

nppai] /caird d^'w^a <S (+ fwv K A N L 71, 74, 76, 93, 243, 248, C, Aid.): 
om. 44, 106. 

8. om.H. — wpa] ydJ Yv ^ ft^^Win»^-^»T/ n i) A T — ^■c-\](rov^a<Ti- 
XeO L. — «rwpa - dn] om. <g (exc. K c - a m « i,lf , 936 *). — h';] } -^ &. — rrh] 
V*iZj **1* &. — nwjrSvj ^ t ns/o &. — ma*] 4- 6 /ctf/«6s /zou 44, 71, 74, 

76, 106, 120, 236. — pni]-}- en T7JV atipiov (g: + eVi tV atfpiov A 52, 64, 
248, C, Aid.: + kcu t?7 atfpiop L. — TFTOi] om. 1 &. — na^x] om. &. — 1213] 
tA aura (&: /card rd aura L: /card raura 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236. — 
•jSon <] om. (8 L. 


9. [L + And the King said, It shall be done as thou wiliest.] 
And Haman went out that day [<8 (5 1 + from the King] glad and 
good-natured, [Jos. + because he alone was asked to sup with the 
King at Esther's banquet, and because no one else received such 
honour at the hands of kings.] The reason for Haman 's joy is well 
stated by Jos. {cf. v. 12 ). On good-natured, cf. i 10 1 S. 25 s6 . — [IC -f 
And there were 300 men with him and they all worshipped him, 
but Mordecai would not worship him.] And as soon as Haman 
saw Mordecai [(& + the Jew] [# 3 + sitting] [QF» + and the chil- 
dren busying themselves with the precepts of the Law in the san- 
hedrin, which Esther had made for them] in the King's gate]. 
Mordecai has returned to his old place (cf. 2 19 - 2l 3 2f - 5 13 6 10 - 12 ). 
This means that he has heard of Esther's successful entry to the 
King, and has put off his sackcloth in confidence that all is going 
well. — While he [©* + Mordecai] neither rose up [S^ 1 + before his 
idol] nor trembled before him, [(5 1 -f but, with the palm of his right 
hand extended, showed him the deed of sale by which he had sold 
himself to him for a loaf of bread, wherein was written on leather 


the defect that he had in his knee ; immediately his wrath waxed 
great,] and Haman was full of fury against Mordecai.] In spite 
of all the trouble that it has brought upon the Jews, Mordecai 
still persists in his insolent behaviour toward Haman (cf. y). 
No wonder that Haman is angry, since even his edict of destruc- 
tion has failed to humble this man. 

10. And Haman restrained himself and went to his house 
[iC + sad]. This delay in taking vengeance upon Mordecai is just 
as unnatural as is Esther's delay in taking vengeance upon Haman. 
The author wishes to keep the reader in suspense as long as possi- 
ble, and to give Haman time to devise an exceptional penalty for 
Mordecai. — And he sent and brought his friends [Id + and his sons] 
and Zeresh his [(£' + wicked] wife, [2F 1 + the daughter of Tatnai, 
the prince of the region beyond the river.] [Mid. + He had 365 
counsellors, one for each day of the solar year, but no one could 
give such good advice as Zeresh his wife.] The guests are prob- 
ably brought to a banquet (cf 6 14 ). The friends are the same as 
the wise of 6 13 . Like the King, Haman has his council of ad- 
visers (cf i 13 ). Neither Esther nor Haman dares to make a move 
in the game of state without consulting experts. On Zeresh, 
see pp. 70, 89. 

11. And Haman recounted to them the greatness of his wealth, 
and [St 1 + how he was reckoned among the King's princes, and 
how there ran before him] the multitude of his sons [(E 1 + 208 in 
number, besides 10 others who were polemarchs over the prov- 
inces, and Shammashe who was the King's scribe (cf. Meg. 156);] 
and all the ways in which the King had honoured him, [Jos. + and 
the Queen as well ;] and how he had exalted him above [Vrss. + all] 
the officials and the King's courtiers.] Cf. 3 1 f - where the elevation 
of Haman is first described. On his wealth, cf. 3 9 , where he is 
able to offer 10,000 talents for the destruction of the Jews. Ac- 
cording to Her. i. 136, those Persians were held in highest honour 
who had the largest number of sons. According to 9 10 , Haman 
had ten, but see the addition of 9>. On officials and courtiers, 
see i 3 . 

12. And Haman [LJC + boasted and] said : Queen Esther 
brought no one with the King to the banquet which she had pre- 


pared except me, [21 4- and the Queen mentioned nobody but me, 
and I am his favourite among all his friends, and my seat he has 
placed above all others and it is honoured by all;] and to-morrow 
also I am invited by her [2I l + to feast] along with the King.] It 
is most surprising that, in spite of all Esther's dealings with Morde- 
cai (2 n - 22 4 416 ), Haman has no suspicion that she is a Jewess, but 
regards her invitations as tokens of signal favour. Esther must 
have dissembled with consummate skill at the first banquet. 
The first half of the v. refers, not to the coming banquet (Sieg.), 
but to the one just finished. Brought refers to the custom of send- 
ing slaves to escort a guest to a feast (5 10 6 14 Lu. i4 17 )- 

13. But all this fails to satisfy me all the time that I see Mordecai 
the Jew sitting [QJ 1 + in the sanhedrin with the young men] in the 
King's gate [L ik & + and he does not bow down to me.] One 
wish ungratified poisons the whole cup of life for Haman. With 
all that he has, he cannot be happy until Mordecai is punished 
(cf. 3 2 5 9 ). Fails to satisfy me, i.e., lit. is not adequate for me. 
Mordecai's race is here well known to Haman (cf. 2 b 6 10 8 7 ). This 
makes it all the more surprising that he does not know that Esther 
is a Jewess. On King's gate, cf. 2 19 - 21 y 5 9 6 10 - 12 . 

14. And Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him: 

[L + He belongs to the Jewish race. The King has permitted thee 
to destroy the Jews, and the gods have granted thee a day of destruction 
in order to punish them.] [S 1 + If it please thee, let us speak one word 
in thy presence. What are we to do to this Mordecai the Jew? If he 
be one of the righteous who are created in the world, and we try to kill 
him with the sword, the sword will perhaps turn and fall upon us. If 
we seek to stone him, once with a stone David slew Goliath the Philis- 
tine. If we cast him into a chain of bronze, Manasseh once broke it and 
escaped from it. If we throw him into the great sea, the children of 
Israel once divided it and passed through its midst. If we cast him into 
a furnace of flaming fire, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah once ex- 
tinguished it and went forth from it. If we fling him into a lion's den, 
the lions once did Daniel no harm. If we cast him alive to dogs, the 
mouth of dogs was once shut in the land of Egypt on account of the chil- 
dren of Israel. If we send him into captivity, they were once carried 
into captivity and multiplied there. By what penalty then can we kill 
him, or what sort of death can be inflicted upon him ? If we cast him 
into prison, Joseph was once brought from prison to royal dignity. If 


a knife be thrust at his throat, the knife was once turned away from 
Isaac. If we put out his eyes and let him go, he will kill some of us as 
Samson killed the Philistines. We do not know what punishment we 
can inflict upon this man unless this: (similarly ® 2 , Mid., Mid. A. G.).] 

Let them prepare a gallows fifty cubits in height [L + and let 
it be set up.] They are so sure that the King will give Haman 
whatever he wishes that they advise that all be made ready for the 
execution of Mordecai. The word tree does not signify stake or 
cross but gallows , as is evident from its height (cf. 2 23 ). Its enor- 
mous size, over 83 feet, is one of the characteristic exaggerations 
of the book (cf. i 1 - 4 - 8 2 12 3 s - 12 ). — And in the morning speak to the 
King [L + about him,] [2F 1 + and let his blood be poured out at 
the door of his house,] and let them hang Mordecai upon it, [(5 1 + 
that all the Jews and all his companions and friends may see him, 
while heaven and earth together behold the gallows which Haman 
has prepared for Mordecai.] So Amestris asks Xerxes to kill the 
wife of Masistes (Her. ix. no). See also Plutarch, Artax. 14/., 
17, 23. Is it possible that the grand vizier could not put an ob- 
scure Jew to death without first obtaining permission from the 
King? — Then go merrily with the King to the banquet.] Having 
destroyed his enemy, there will be no barrier to Haman's perfect 
enjoyment of Esther's feast. — And the advice seemed good to Ha- 
man and he prepared the gallows [Jos. + and gave orders to his 
servants to place it in the court for the execution of Mordecai.] 
Cf. i 21 2 4 . Mid. here appends a long discussion of God with the 
trees as to which one should furnish wood for the gallows. 

[5F 1 + Haman waited impatiently for the morning to go before the 
King and ask for the gallows. At this time Haman son of Hamm e datha 
did not put off his garments, nor did he lie down until he had gone and 
brought carpenters and smiths ; the carpenters to make the gallows, and 
the smiths to forge an iron knife. And the sons of Haman exulted and 
rejoiced, and Zeresh his wife played on the lyre with the wicked Haman. 
He said also, I will pay wages to the carpenters and I will prepare a feast 
for the smiths on account of this gallows. That same hour, when 
Haman arose to try the gallows with his own length, there went forth a 
daughter-voice from the highest heaven and said to him, It is good, 
wicked Haman; and fits thee, son of Hamm e datha.] [Jos. + And God 
laughed to scorn the hope of the wicked Haman ; and knowing what was 


about to happen, he was delighted that it would be so.] [3P -f- And from 
the day in which Esther invited Haman to the banquet the children of 
Israel were distressed, saying thus among themselves: We expect daily 
that Esther will ask the King to put Haman to death, but instead of this 
she invites him to a banquet. At this same time the whole family of 
Jacob poured out their soul, and had faith in their Heavenly Father, 
speaking thus: Answer us! Answer all the afflicted! As the eyes of 
servants wait upon their masters, and as the eyes of a handmaid wait upon 
her mistress, so our eyes wait upon thee until thou wilt appear and de- 
liver us. For, behold, an enemy and a foe pursues us and says, Who are 
these Jews ? Then He hearkened unto the voice of their prayer and 
answered their petitions, for every time that He rescued them from their 
enemies He rescued them at night, from Pharaoh, and from Sennacherib, 
and from all that rose up against them.] 

[®i Qfs-f- «i n tnat n ight" went forth deliverance to the Jews. "In 
that night" Sarah was taken to the house of Abimelech. "In that 
night" all the first born of the Egyptians were slain. "In that night" 
their oracles were revealed to the Prophets and visions to the dreamers 
of dreams. That same night the whole world was shaken, cities and 
all their inhabitants ; and there was great mourning in all cities, lamenta- 
tion and crying in all provinces, young men girding themselves with sack- 
cloth, old men and women beating upon their breasts, and all weeping 
bitterly and crying with a loud voice: Alas! because we see destruction 
upon destruction and breach upon breach. From our first breach we 
have not yet recovered, nor is healing restored from our wound, nor have 
we received consolation from our sorrow, nor have the afflictions of our 
heart departed from us. The city of our fathers lies upon the ground, 
and the enemy has closed our Sanctuary, and our foes have trampled our 
Temple-courts. Neither Pharaoh nor the Egyptians took counsel against 
us after this manner, nor did the kings of the heathen devise plans against 
us in this way, that they should be ready against that day to cut us off 
from the face of the earth (He who reveals secrets has revealed this 
secret to Mordecai that a decree of death has been issued against us, 
the house of Israel), nor did they sell us as man servants or as maid 

In that night the sleep of the Holy One, the Supremely Blessed, forsook 
him; but if the following Scripture were not written, it would be impossi- 
ble to say this, for it is written, "Awake! why sleepest thou, Lord?" 
Do not say that, for sleep is never present with Him; but when the house 
of Israel sins, He acts as if He were asleep ; but when they do His will, 
"He who keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps." In that night 
the sleep of Mordecai the just also forsook him; for he was awake and 
did not lie down ; or if he lay down, he did not sleep, because the house 
of Israel were gathered and sat before him, saying: Thou thyself hast been 


the cause of all this evil that has come upon us. If thou hadst risen up 
before the wicked Haman and hadst done obeisance and hadst paid 
homage to him, all this distress would not have come upon us. Mordecai 
answered and said to them: The outer garment which Haman wears has 
two idols depicted upon it, the one on the front, the other on the back. 
If then I should rise up and do obeisance to him, I should be found to 
have worshipped idols ; but you yourselves know that he who worships 
idols shall perish from this world and shall be excluded from the world 
to come. Then they all kept silence before him. In that night sleep 
forsook the wicked Haman, for when he was awake, he did not lie down ; 
and when he lay down, he could not sleep, from the time when he pre- 
pared the gallows on which to hang Mordecai, without knowing that he 
was preparing it for himself. In that night sleep forsook the righteous 
Esther, because she had prepared food to invite Haman to a feast with 
King Xerxes. In that night sleep forsook the foolish Xerxes, for when he 
was awake he did not lie down; and when he lay down, he could not 
sleep, because a spirit possessed him which possesses kings and disturbed 
him the whole night. At length he spoke and addressed his nobles thus: 
Whatever I eat does not agree with me, whatever I drink I cannot retain. 
The heavens have thundered against me and the heaven of heavens lifts 
up its voice. Is it because I have not remitted the tribute which I prom- 
ised to remit to the provinces ? Or have Esther and Haman planned to 
kill me, because Esther invites no one to the feast with me except 
Haman? In that night the memory of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
came before their Heavenly Father, so that an angel was sent from 
the height, Michael himself, the commander of the army of Israel, 
who, sitting at the head of the King, drove sleep away from him the 
whole night long.] 

9. fOn NXm] Kal dvyjyy^Xij r<£ 'Afidv L, 93ft 4-. — Ninn Dio] Kara ra avrd 
L 936 -T- : om. <££ (exc. N c a »»*, 936 under *). — TOT] inrepxapys (&: Kal 
idatifjuio-ev L, 936 -J- : om. H : + <*7rd T0 ^ PaviXtus (& (exc. 936) : + a ccena 
C: -f Kal 6 /Wt\ei>s avaXfoas L, 936 -S-. — 3T3 ] ev(ppaiu6/x€vos<B: i}a-6xa<T€V 
L: om. C — 2b] om. $CL (exc. n <=• a , 936 under *).— nwoi-end of 
v.] et trecenti viri cum eo, et omnes adaraverunt eum: Mardochceus autem 
non adoravit eum U: om. L. — tin-id] inf. with 3 introducing the precise 
moment of time. See on i 2 n3tt»3. — lpra]4rrj avXrj <g. — ijDD-Y?Dn] om. 
<S (exc. n c. amgsu Pj Q3& un der *). — y?Dn] palatii J. — >r-Dp] Pf. be- 
cause a parenthetical circumstantial clause (Kau. § 106 d. e.). Accord- 
ing to Haupt the two forms are participles in the ace. as rngj (52). — u^r.] 
de loco sessionis sua 3. — *3T«B by \&n] om. (& (exc. n c - a m s, 936 under *: 
A has 'Afidv): Haupt deletes fori. — by non] here only in OT. 

10. poNrm] om. (gL9J (exc. N cam ^, 936 under *). — pn] om. <& 
(exc. n c a, "f, 936 under *): Haupt deletes. — n^n] om. (8IL (exc. 


N orn^ ^ under *). — x:ri] «f «^ * 3. — raw] tous (piXovs <& 
(-f- avroO LIC). 

11. om. L.— pnl om. 3 <& (exc. x c - a ) & — "naa nx] om. (6 (exc. 936).— 
VWJJ 103] in i 4 in reverse order. — vja 211] om. (&% (exc. x c - aing , 03& 
under *). — V12 2-n] Hitzig in Bert, finds this expression peculiar and 
proposes to read vjb ant, 'and his abundant dignity.' This is very un- 
likely. — nxi] introducing clauses that are objects to "iddm (Kau. § 157 c). 

— rxi-end of v.]om. H. — Vonxjom.^. — So] 56|ai'(g: irdvra 93ft: Haupt 
regards Sd as impossible in this connection and transposes to a 
position before Dntrn. — iVij] avrip irepUdriKev (6: om. 3. — "18>M PH 2 ] om. 
J#r-onw Sy]om. <&.— Sj?]-h S3 K 117, 252, R 379, 2I 1 ® 2 3.— najn] 
. t| «^v , \«a ,?! 5i^o 0. — -jSnn najn] kcu ijyeco-dai rijs /3acrt\eiaj (£. — "l^nn] 

5W0S 3. 

12. pan 'HMIM] accu ^cavxaro XiyttP L: e/ gloriabatur dicensVx. — pnjom. 
3: Haupt deletes. — ^x] /> /k» 3: ws L: om. (651. — -nox] om. <SL3j 
(m c - a A 936 have). — noSon] rex H: om. &. — nnrj; - D>] om. IE. — D>"] el jxtj 
L. — nnrp-SKj ^ iwi<rifi/jup 17^? »vH}i L: om. &. — nnrp wm] om. 3(6 
(exc. x c - a ) : aur^s 74, 76. — »nw on >d] /cat i/u£ pMvov L. — "i^^n - dji] regina 
autem nullius mentionem fecit, nisi mei: et ego sum necessarius tuus inter 
omnes amicos ejus, sedile autem meum supra omnes, et ah omnibus adora- 
tur %. — DJ] om. (& L. — -[Sen ay nVj om. <& L (exc. x «• a » i e, 936 under *). 

— nVj s in the meaning of 'by,' after a passive {cf. 4 3 Ru. 3 10 ). 

13. Sdi] om. (£L (H has). — »V-i"iT] touto 5£ Xv7rer pe /x6vov~L. — 733 
ntt'X nyJSrai'CgLlC: iviravrl xpbvy orav K c - a m s, 93ft under*: |&Jxfe \aa 
&: quamdiu 3: Bert., following ^LH, regards HJJ as indefinite on 
account of the absence of the art. and translates 'every time that,' but 
this is not necessary, since n>* is cstr. before the following relative clause 
(cf. T.TN D'ipD 4 3 8 17 ), and, therefore, may be definite even without the art. 
The phrase means, accordingly, 'all the time that,' 'so long as' (so &3 
AV. RV. Sieg., Rys.). — 3&v] om. $LC (exc. x c - % 936 under *). — -i>'ao] 
iv rrj avXy (g L: om. C — Y?on] om. <S (exc. N c - a , 936 under *) C: -+- 
>«Sn f n _Lo ^1*1 jJ* &: + /ecu urj irpoa-Kwei /xe L: + non adorantem me S. 

14. mi] c/. 5 10 . — Sm] om. ^^Lli (exc. x c - a , 936 under *): ceten 3. 

— vans] oi <pl\oi(& (+ aurou x «• a , 936 under *): om. L. — WJP] /cott^tw 
<foi <gL?C (om. croi A 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 236). — raj] om. (8L1C (exc 
N c. a mg). — hdn] pedum C — l^D 1 ? - npaa] tr. aft. vVp L. — iSdS idn] om. C 

— lSn>l] ut appendatur 3 : /cai Kpefma-O^ru} (5 1C : «ai Kpiua<rov L. — OTia nx] 
avrbv L. — vSy] ^7r2 t6v %u\ov (& L: m eo E. — jrn - N2i] om. H. — D>'] 7rpds 
L. — nriB'Dn Sx] om. L. — noir] /cai eveppaivov (g (om. /cai L). — -onn] om. L. 

— >:dS] tj^j73 some codd., 0. — pn] ei 3: + s-C^ &. — VJ?n B'yii] icai iiroi- 
rja-ev o&tws L: the idea, of course, is not that Haman constructed the 
gallows with his own hands. 'Made' may equal 'had made,' or Vp} may 
be regarded as impersonal, as S^on (37). 



1. That night the King's sleep fled.} Here, as everywhere, the 
author goes out of his way to avoid mentioning God. OS 21 L 
S 1 © 2 correct the defect and say that God took away his sleep. — 
[Jos. + Now he was not willing to pass the sleepless time idly, but 
chose to devote it to something that was profitable for the king- 
dom,] so he ordered [(£ OF 2 + his secretaryl to bring the book of 
memorable events, namely, the chronicles [Jos. © 2 + of the kings 
that had reigned before him and of his own deeds.] This is not a 
natural way of passing a sleepless night — with his numerous wives 
the King might have found something livelier, but the author 
chooses it because this was the book in which Mordecai's service 
in discovering the plot against the King was recorded (see 2 23 ). 
According to this passage the book was kept in the King's room. 
— And they kept on reading before the King [S 1 + the decrees of 
the kings that had reigned before him.] The periphrastic form 
of the verb expresses the duration of the action. Since the King 
could not sleep, the reading lasted all night. 

[QJi ul 2 + And Michael sat over against him, and the King looked and 
saw as it were the form of a man, who addressed the King thus : Haman 
desires to slay thee and to make himself king in thy stead. Behold, he 
will present himself in the morning and will wish to ask thee to give him 
the man who saved thee from death in order that he may kill him; but 
say thou to Haman, What shall be done for the man whom the King 
wishes to honour ? and thou wilt see that he will ask for nothing else from 
thee but royal garments, the crown of the kingdom, and the horse on 
which the King rides. And the man who was reading was one of the 
scribes.] [Jos. + And when he had brought the book and was reading 
it, it was found that one, on account of his virtue on a certain occasion , 
had received a country, and its name was stated; and another was re- 
corded to have received a present on account of his fidelity.] 

2. [H + And the God of the Jews and Lord of all creation 
guided the hand of the reader to the book which the King had 
written to remind him of Mordecai,] and it was found written 
[<& E l + in the book] how Mordecai had informed [(£ L + the King] 
concerning Bigthan and Teresh, the two eunuchs of the King who 



guarded the threshold, who had sought to lay hands on King Xerxes 
[(F 1 + to kill him in his bedroom.] [Meg. 16a + And the secre- 
tary blotted it out, but the angel Gabriel wrote it again a second 
time (similarly Mid. A. G.).] See 2 21 . At the very moment when 
Haman is planning to hang Mordecai the King's attention is un- 
expectedly directed to Mordecai 's service and he determines to 
heap honours upon him. This is the way that things happen in 
story-books, but not in real life. 

3. [Jos. -f And when the record stated no more than this and 
passed on to another matter,] then the King said, [(& codd. -f to 
his servants,] What honour or dignity has been conferred upon 
Mordecai because of this? and the King's pages who served him said, 
[©' + As yet] nothing has been conferred upon him. [Meg. 16a -f 
This they said, not because they loved Mordecai, but because they 
hated Haman.] Improbable as it is that Mordecai's service 
should be merely recorded, instead of being at once rewarded 
(2"); it is much more improbable that Xerxes should utterly 
forget the man who saved his life, particularly when he was a 
friend of his beloved Esther (2 22 ). It was a point of honour with 
the Persian kings to reward promptly and magnificently those who 
conferred benefits upon them {cf. Her. hi. 138, 140; v. 11 ; viii. 85; 
ix. 107; Thuc. i. 138; Xen. Hell. iii. 1, 6). According to Her. 
viii. 85, the Persians had a special class of men known as 
Orosangai, or 'benefactors of the King.' See on 2 23 . On pages, 
see 2 2 . 

[Jos. -f And he commanded to stop reading.] [L + and the King 
gave close attention, saying: That faithful man Mordecai, the protector 
of my life! He it is that has kept me alive until now, so that I sit to-day 
upon my throne, yet I have done nothing for him! I have not done 
right. And the King said to his pages, What shall we do for Mordecai 
the saviour of the situation? And, reflecting, the young men were 
envious of him, because Haman had put fear in their hearts; and the 
King perceived. Then day broke.] [Jos. + And he inquired of those 
appointed for the purpose, what hour of the night it was; and when he 
was informed that it was dawn, he commanded that, if they found any 
of his friends who had come already before the court, they should tell 
him.] [(8 + And, at the moment when the King learned about the kind- 
ness of Mordecai, behold, Haman arrived in the court,] [U -f- for Haman 
watched in the royal palace and 300 men with him.] 


1. Y?£H njtr rmj] 6 §£ Kt//nos diriaT^aev tov virvov airb tov /3a<rtX^u>s (5: 
6 8£ Swards d7r&rr?7(re top virvov rod /3a<riXews /cat ijv aypvirvwv L: Judce- 
orum autem Deus et universes creaturte Dominus percussit regem vigi- 
lantia ft p (E c om. 6 1 ). — nDfrO'i] nai elirev t$ SiSacr/cdXy avrov <$>: Kal ^k\?7- 
drjaav ol dvayvwa-rai. L: et dixit rex C — NOn*?] -)- sjfo" 3: eia^peiv 0j>: 
elo-<p£po)v A: /eg/te m&« C : om. L. — NonS nn*oi] inf. w. V after idn, as 
4> 3 1 Ch. 22 2 2 Ch. i 18 Ne. 9 16b . — -ibd Pn] ypdp.fw.Ta <&: Kcti t6 pipXLov L: 
librum C — "pen - nuiorn] e/ ocw/z w« somnum capiant et extendit lector 
manum suam in bibliotheca C p . — nm] om. (£ L (exc. x c - a , 936 under *). 

— D , D , n] om. L. Haupt, in defense of his singular emendation of 2 22 , 
arbitrarily rejects D^dti nan as a gloss derived from 2 23 and io 2 . — vmi 
D^Nipj] avayivdxTKeiv (&: aveyi.v(bo~K€To L. — "l^on ^jcS] avT§ (£L: aura 
iv(t>iriov tov /SacTiX^ws N c - a , 93ft under *. 

2. aro nsdm] ventum est ad ilium locum ubi scriptum est J: ciTsey 5£ 
t& ypap.pja.Ta. to. ypa<f>4vra (j£: /cat ^j> virbdeais L: Judceorum autem Deus 
gubernavit manum lectoris ad librum quern scripserat rex memoriam facere 
Mardochceo £. — *vjn] iirolijce evepy^Tijpxi L: liberavit eumfa. — *3TTC] de 
periculis H. — Sy] insidias 3: om. L. — Hf] om. 3L. — "l^nn] ovtou A: 
om. 3LH 44, 106. — HDn norc]^ t<? <pv\do~o-€iv avTovs <&: om. J LSI: 
Haupt deletes, as in 2 21 , q.v. — n Dn ] 1^'-^ ^« — "^N- end of v.] om. L. — 
Wp2 "VTK] /cal ftTTjcai. (g. — "jSoa] om. £ <S (exc. 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 
236). — B*nvm] + quod cum audisset 3: eum + ^ fcjd lector bene/actum 
Mardochcei et commemoratus 31 : Haupt deletes. 

3. om. L. — ^Snn] -|- rots 5iai<6vois airrov 44, 71, 74, 76, 93ft, 120, 236. 

— &C] dzc nondum %. — n^'jj iiroLiq<rap.ev <g, as if !"irj?j_. Here followed 
by s and D?, in 2 11 by 3, all in substantially the same meaning. — "tp 1 
H7HJ1] om. H : both words are genitives depending on hd. So 3, quid, pro 
hoc fide, honoris ac prcemii (Haupt). — 1|~»] 'honour,' as i 4 - 20 6 6 . — WTO?] 
huic homini C — nr b»p] om. <S (exc. n c - a , 936 under *): secundum quod 

fecit nobis C — nnxii] + « 3: + ov^ S>. — rcxM-end of v.] om. ft — 
WWCj om. <£ (exc. 936): pr. oc 3&. — r\y;i] iirolrjaas <&. 

MORDECAI (6 110 ). 

4. And[H + straightway] the King said, Who is [©» + the man 
who stands] in the court? just after Haman had entered the outer 
court of the King's house [Jos. + earlier than the customary hour] 
to speak to the King about hanging Mordecai on the gallows which 
he had erected for him, [HI + but the Lord did not permit him to 
speak.] Haman apparently cannot wait until morning to ask 
permission to hang Mordecai on his high gallows, but comes in 


the middle of the night to the palace, although there is no reason to 
expect a summons from the King at that hour (cf. v. 5 ). His 
coming coincides with the moment when the King learns of Mor- 
decai's service and wishes to find a courtier to execute his com- 
mands. This sounds more like fiction than history. The 
improbability is somewhat relieved by the Vrss. which represent 
Haman as coming the next morning ; still, even on this hypothesis, 
the coincidence is too lucky to be natural. Haman waits in the 
outer court because he dares not enter the inner court without a 
summons (see 4 11 ). He hopes that, if he is on hand, the King 
may soon call for him. To speak to the King, as in 5 14 . On the 
erection of the gallows, cf. 5 14 . 

5. And the King's pages said unto him, Behold, Haman is 
waiting in the court; and the King said, Let him enter.] The fact 
that Haman alone is found in the court suggests that it is an un- 
usual hour, when none of the other courtiers are present (cf. v. •)_. 
Enter, i.e., into the King's bedchamber. 

6. And Haman entered; and the King said to him, [Jos. + Be- 
cause I know that thou alone art a faithful friend to me, I beseech 
thee to advise me,] what is to be done with the man [LC + who 
honours the King,] whom the King longs to honour [Jos. + in a 
manner worthy of his generosity?] It is a fine stroke of literary 
art by which Haman himself is made to decide what honours shall 
be paid to the man whom he has decided to hang. The King does 
not give him time to present his petition, but immediately asks him 
the question, What is to be done? lit. What to do? as in i 15 . In 2 14 
the same verb, longed, is used of the King's craving for one of his 
wives. — And Haman said to himself, [Jos. + Whatever advice I 
give will be on my own behalf, for] on whom besides me does the 
King long to bestow honour?] Haman's total lack of suspicion 
makes the blow that falls in v. 10 all the more crushing. To him- 
self, lit. in his heart. This is one of the passages from which 
Meg. 7 a infers the inspiration of the Book of Est. How could 
the author know what Haman said in his heart, if he were not 
inspired ? 

7. And Haman said to the King, [Jos. + If thou wishest to 
cover with glory] the man [Id + who honours the King] whom the 


King longs to honour]. The sentence thus begun is not com- 
pleted in the next vv., but Haman constructs a new sentence in 
which the man is object. For similar anacolutha, see 4 11 5 7 . 
The insertion of Jos. removes the anacoluthon. 

8. [(5 1 + Let the King make a decree, and] let them bring a 
royal garment which the King has worn [S 1 + on the day of his 
accession to the throne,] [iC + and a golden crown]. Haman 
proceeds to enumerate the things that were counted tokens of 
highest honour among the Persians. The garment is not merely 
such a one as the King is accustomed to- wear (AV., RV.), but, 
as the perf. indicates, and as ® 2 understands, one that he has 
actually worn. Plutarch (Artax. 24) relates that a certain Tiri- 
bazos asked the King to take off his mantle and give it to him. 
The King acceded, but forbade him to wear the mantle. From 
this it appears that to wear the King's own robe was accounted one 
of the greatest favours (cf. 1 S. 18 4 ). — And [IG J + place him upon] 
a [L 30 + royal] horse on which the King has ridden [S 1 + on the 
day of his accession to the throne]. There is no ancient record of 
this method of rewarding service to the King of Persia, but it is 
analogous to the wearing of the royal garment. Cf. 1 K. i 33 , where 
Solomon is seated on David's horse; and Gn. 41 43 , where Joseph 
rides in the second chariot. — And on whose head a royal turban 
has been placed]. This clause has given great trouble to the older 
comm. because they have supposed it impossible that a royal 
turban should be placed on the horse's head, and because in 8 15 
such a turban is placed on Mordecai's head. (& L Jos. omit. iC 
substitutes clad as I have said above. 3 renders he ought . . . to 
receive a royal crown upon his head; Mim., Tig., Cler., Ramb., 
and let a royal crown be placed upon his head; Jun. & Trem., Pise, 
and when a royal crown is placed upon his head, then let them give 
the garment, etc.; Pag., RV. mg., and the crown royal which is set 
upon his head. All these renderings are grammatically impossi- 
ble. On whose head can only refer to the horse. In the follow- 
ing narrative the crown does not appear as part of Mordecai's 
attire, which shows that it belongs to the horse's outfit. So SI 1 , © 2 , 
IE., and Jewish interpreters generally, Dieu., Caj., Vat., and most 
modern comm. There is no real difficulty in this idea. The 


As. reliefs depict the King's horses with tall, pointed ornaments 
like a royal turban on their heads (see Layard, Nineveh, vol. ii. 
pi. 9). It is likely that a similar custom prevailed in Persia. On 
royal turban, see i 11 . 

9. And let them give the garment [® J + of purple] and the horse 
into the charge of one of the King's noble officials], to see that the 
ceremony is carried out properly, and to add dignity to it by his 
presence. — And let them clothe the man whom the King longs to 
honour, [Jos. + and put a gold chain about his neck,] and make 
him ride on the horse [L & + and lead him about] in the city-square.'] 
The subject may still be impersonal, as in the preceding clauses, 
or it may be the noble officials of the last clause. The account of 
Joseph's elevation (Gn. 41 38 - 44 ) is in the author's mind. From 
this source Jos. derives his addition (Gn. 41 42 ). See Rosenthal, 
"Der Vergleich Ester- Joseph -Daniel," ZATW. xv. (1895), 
pp. 278 Jf.; xvii. (1897), pp. 125 ff. The purpose of the riding is 
to display the man's honour to all the inhabitants of Susa. On 
city-square, see 4 6 . — And [Jos. + let one of the King's most inti- 
mate friends precede him and] proclaim before him, This is what 
is done for the man [L iC + who honours the King] whom the King 
longs to honour^ A crier explains the meaning of the procession 
as it advances (cf. Gn. 41 43 ). From this advice of Haman QJ 1 , SI 2 , 
and the Midrashim infer that he was plotting to seize the throne 
(cf. 2F 1 ® 2 on 6 1 ). 

10. [Jos. + Thus Haman advised, supposing that the reward 
would come to him.] [® 2 + And the King regarded Haman 
closely, and thought in his heart and said to himself, Haman wishes 
to kill me and to make himself King in my stead: I see it in his 
face.] Then the King, [Jos. + being pleased with the advice,] 
said to Haman, [QI 2 + Haman! Haman!] make haste, [® 2 + Go to 
the King's treasury and fetch thence one of the fine purple cover- 
ings and] take the garment [® 2 + of fine Frankish silk adorned 
with precious stones and pearls, from all four of whose sides hang 
golden bells and pomegranates; and take thence the great crown 
of Macedonian gold which was brought me from the cities of the 
provinces on the first day that I was established in the kingdom ; 
and take thence the fine sword and armour that were brought me 


from the province of Kush, and the two fasces covered in royal 
fashion with pearls which were brought me from the province of 
Africa. Then go to the royal stable] and [® 2 + lead out] the 
horse [® 2 + that stands in the chief stall, whose name is Shifregaz, 
upon which I rode on the first day that I was established in the 
kingdom ;] [Jos. + and take the neck-chain] as thou hast said, and 
do thus unto Mordecai [Meg. 16a, ST 1 , ST 2 + Haman answered, 
Which Mordecai? The King replied] the Jew. [Meg., E l , (U 2 + 
But, said Haman, There are many of that name among the Jews. 
I mean, said the King, the one] who sits in the King's gate [2F 1 + in 
the sanhedrin which Queen Esther has established.] [Meg. + 
Give him, said Haman, a town or (the toll of) a river. Give him 
that also, said the King.] [QI 1 + Haman answered, I ask thee to 
slay me rather than to impose this duty upon me. Make haste, 
said the King,] omit nothing of all that thou hast said, [Jos. + for 
thou art my intimate friend; be, therefore, the executor of those 
things which thou hast so well advised. This shall be our reward 
to him for having saved my life.] Thus with a word the King 
blights Haman's hope. The sudden climax is very artistic and 
is not improved by the additions of the Vrss. The King is aware 
that Mordecai is a Jew. Perhaps we may suppose that this was 
recorded in the royal annals that were read before him (6 1 ). He 
is also aware that Mordecai habitually sits in the gate of the King 
( 2 i9. 21 32 59. i3) } although this fact would not naturally be men- 
tioned in the annals. This lends some support to the theory of 
the Vrss. that Mordecai was a royal official (cf. 2 11 - 19 ), or we may 
suppose that the King had noticed him as he passed to and fro 
through the gate. How the King knows so much about Mordecai 
without suspecting that his friend Esther (2 22 ) is a Jewess, is hard 
to understand. It is also difficult to explain how he can honour 
Mordecai the Jew in this signal fashion, when he has just con- 
demned all the Jews to destruction (3 1113 ); or, at least, how he 
can avoid making some provision to exempt Mordecai from the 
edict of death. All these honours would be of little use to him, if he 
were to be executed a few months later. Perhaps the author sup- 
poses that Xerxes had a short memory ; and had forgotten his edict 
against the Jews, as he had forgotten Mordecai's service (2" 6 8 ). 


4. nxna] ia-nv tf£u E. — pn.-cnd oi v.] aft. 6 6 ft — *a pm] paren- 
thetical subordinate clause giving the time of the previous vb. — N3] 1}v L. 
Instead of nxnS N2 Haupt reads nxn ■?* nd. — njrcTin - -renS] om. <&: 'Afiav 
3e wpdpUeL L: ad regem et cogitabat 10. — 'njix^nn] inter ius 3. — ^ s dS] + 
et juberet 3. — rwr-S] inf. with *? giving the contents of the conversation 
with the King (cf. 3 14 ; Kau. § 114 g). — ^-Sj?] om. L. — h] om. (& (exc. 
M «•*■*, 936 under *). 

5. nxna-nDJoVJ om. L. — vSn] om. 3 <& (exc. n c - am ^, 936 under *). — 
run] om. 3 ft — nxna ncj?] om. ft 

6. pn ni:pi] om. 31 (£ (exc. n c - a »>», 936). — pn] om. J L — "fron V?] 
pr^T^on R 593: 6 /Sao-iXeus Ty 'A/id^(gi|I. — iSoni] om . j. — n ;_] j.1^ 
|3o &. — mtrj; 1 ?] 7rot^<rw (g: Troc^ao/Jiev ~L:Jiet ft — B"K3] + T V T ^ v /Sao-iXea 
Tifiwvri L: + qui regem honorificat ft The 2 in s^sa is 2 of the instru- 
ment after WP (BDB. p. 89, III. 2 6). In i 15 'what to do with' means 
'how to punish,' here it means 'how to reward.' — njva - "WK] om. ft — 
t?Dn2] iyd> (&. — fftrij 'long,' 'desire,' as 1 K. 13 33 21 6 Est. 2 14 . — 13 s ::] + 
e£ reputans 3: \4yuv L: cww cogitatione sua ft — '•d 1 '] neminem ft — 
V ,— fW^] /mte/ re# necessarium ft — ~cv] 'excess' is a late Heb. word 
found only in Ec. and Est. p nnv 'excess from' (Ec. 12 12 and here) 
does not mean 'more than' (Wild., Sieg., BDB.) but 'other than,' 'be- 
sides ' (so Haupt) ; <S, et /xr} ifie ; 3, nullum alium nisi. 

7. pn] om. 3H^ (exc. H c - a , 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236, 936): Haupt 
deletes. — ^JOn 1 ?*] domine rex ft om. JL 44, 106. — a»N] 1 1 ft^Sfc &: 
honorificanti regem ft — np*a — "WK] om. ft for the construction, cf. 
Kau. § 143 c, note. 

8. wa\] iveyKarwaav oi ircuSes rod (Sa<ri\4(i)s(& (^ve7KdT« A) : \r}(pdrjTCi} L: 
accipiatur ft — PtaVe] Pvaaiv-qv (&. — -^Dn i - "HM» *] om. 3 L ft — 12] om. 
05 (exc. x c - am e, 936 under *). Here only construed w. 3 instead of the 
ace. — DiDi] et imponi super equum 3 : et equo regali vehatur ft Kai t-mros (3a- 
<ri\iicds L. — iSon 2--\2'N 2 ] om. ft g«z fife .re//a regis est 3. — vSp] om. L(£ 
(exc. K <>•*«*, 93& under *). — flwna - na>Ni] om. L<£ (exc. n c - ai »e, 936 
under *): indutus qua supra dixi ft et accipere regium diadema super 
caput suum 3 '. Haupt deletes as a tertiary gloss based upon a secondary 
gloss in 8 15 . — jrn] Maur. regards as Qal, impf. 1 pi. for \r\i (cf. Ju. 16 5 ); 
but there is no Maqqeph here, and therefore no reason for shortening the 
vowel. The 1 p. would also be inappropriate in the mouth of Haman. 
The form is Niph. pret. 3 sg. 

9. pnjl] Kal Xa/Sera; ravra L: om. pnj ft inf. abs. instead of finite 
vb. in lively discourse (cf. 2 3 ). Here preceded by jussive and followed 
by perf. with t cons. (Kau. §113 2).— V - B>iaSn] om. 31 L (& (exc. M c a m e, 
936 under *). — enaSn] om. 3. — T Sj?] 'into the charge', cf. 2 3 - 8 - 14 3 9 . — 
v^x] primus 3: £pl(&:dsL,:unus%. — D^Dmon] see on i 3 . — didd - Daemon] 
om. ft — waSm] Oort, Haupt, read the sg. — np>a - lcaSni] om. 3. — 
np>a--\c>N] om. L 44, 106. — Dion Sy inaonm] et incedens 3. — aima] 


J n'A a p oi_2c?|^4Jo &: 5ta r^s wXareias (j£: xw to/a £: Kal TepieKdiru) L. — 
"vpn] om.jj. — iN"ipi] Kr)pv<T(r{T(d(& (icripvaaiTuxrav N c - a ) K-qpixrouv L: ^r«- 
dxce/ C: Oort, Haupt, read the sg. — vjdV] \<?7wj> <g: e/ dxca* 3. — «P*k ] 
7rajri av8pd)T(? Cg: raw + honorijicanti regent C: t£ Td^ /SacriX&i Ttp.QvTi 
L: in 6 6 tt»N3. — nprs'-'WK] om. £ 

10. fDrtVj ex J: om. 44, 71, 106. — WMl-ino] om. (6 (exc. N c. amginf^ 
936 under *). — np ^ns] ' take swiftly,' cf. 5 s . — Dion - rip] om. fi. — didh pn] 
pr. i^EJo #. — -\vxi] KaXws (g: fone H. — nsrjn] om. 1 (5 ft — p] sxcm/ dixisti 
|j. — Hinvt] om. ft — "VttO 3IFIV1] t$ depaireiJOVTi iv ry auXj) (j£H: ^^ 
5o£dfei 106. — -i"ao] ^p t^ /SouXf) 249: 5v el7rej> A. — "I^n^] palatii 3: om. 
L(S (exc. A 106). — Vcn Sn] 'do not let fall,' i.e., 'do not omit' (cf. Jos. 21 45 
Ju. 2 19 ). — -o-t] -f- <rou(SL1C. — Sdd] om. L <S (exc. H •• a , 936 under*). — 
man n^N] om. L. 

DESPAIR (6 11 - 13 ). 

11. [L + Now, when Haman perceived that he was not the one who 
was to be honoured, but Mordecai, his heart was completely crushed 
and his courage was changed into faintness.] [31 + And Haman 
mourned at these words.] [SI 2 + And when the wicked Haman saw 
that his arguments availed nothing with the King, and that his words 
were not heeded, he went to the King's treasury with bowed head, with- 
out looking up, mourning, and with his head covered, with stopped ears, 
and closed eyes, and pouting mouth, and an agonized heart, and wounded 
feelings, and loosened girdle, and knees knocking against each other ] 

And Haman took the [(£ l + purple] garment [(5 2 + of royalty 
that was brought King Xerxes on the first day that he was estab- 
lished in the kingdom ; and he took thence all the rest of the royal 
apparel, as he had been commanded; and he went out in haste to 
the royal stable] and [® 2 -f took thence] the horse [QJ 2 + that stood 
in the chief stall, from which golden stirrups hung down; and he 
laid hold of the horse's bridle, and all the royal apparel he carried 
upon his shoulders; and they put on the harness and adjusted the 

[Jos. + And he took the golden neck-chain] [L, Jos., Meg. + And he 
found Mordecai] [L + on the very day on which he had determined to 
impale him] [Jos. + clothed in sackcloth before the court,] [Meg. 16a 
-+- with the Rabbis seated before him, while he taught them halachoth 
as to how the handful of meal of the meal-offering of firstlings ought 


to be offered at Passover. When Mordecai saw that he came toward 
him leading a splendid horse, he was frightened and said to the Rabbis, 
This wretch comes, no doubt, to kill me. Avoid him, that you may not 
be harmed also. Thereupon Mordecai wrapped himself in his prayer- 
mantle and stood up to pray. And Haman entered, and sat down be- 
fore him, and waited until Mordecai had finished praying. Then he 
said to him, What were you doing just now? Mordecai answered, 
We were learning that, so long as the Temple stood, every one who had 
vowed a meal-offering brought a handful of meal and obtained atone- 
ment thereby. Then said Haman, your handful of meal has outweighed 
my 10,000 talents of silver. Wretch, said Mordecai, When a slave ac- 
quires wealth, to whom do he and his wealth belong ?] [L, Jos. -f- Then he 
said to Mordecai, Take off thy sackcloth,] [Jos., Meg. + and put on the 
royal apparel.] [H + Arise, servant of God, and be honoured.] [L -f- 
and Mordecai was dismayed as one about to die, and was pained to lay 
aside his sackcloth.] [Jos. + And not knowing the truth, but uppos- 
ing that he was mocked, he said, O basest of all men, dost thou thus 
laugh at our misfortunes? But when he was convinced that the King 
bestowed this honour upon him as a reward for the deliverance which 
he had wrought for him by convicting the eunuchs who had plotted 
against him,] Meg. + Mordecai said, I cannot put on the royal gar- 
ments until I have gone to the bath and have had my hair cut, for in this 
condition it is not proper for me to put on royal garments. Esther 
meanwhile had sent and had forbidden all baths and all barbers (to 
serve Mordecai). So Haman himself went into he bath-house and 
bathed him. Then he brought a pair of scissors from his home and cut 
his hair, groaning and sighing all the time. Why sighest thou ? said 
Mordecai. Alas! said Haman, to think that the man who was hon- 
oured by the people more than all the nobles has now become a bath- 
attendant and barber! Wretch, answered Mordecai, Wast thou not 
a barber in the village of Karcum for 22 years?] 

And he clothed Mordecai, [L 4- and it seemed to Mordecai that 
he saw a miracle, and his heart was toward the Lord, and he was 
speechless from astonishment.] [Meg. + Then Haman said to 
him, Mount the horse and ride! But Mordecai replied, I cannot, I 
am too weak from long fasting. So Haman crouched down, and 
Mordecai mounted on his back, giving him a kick as he went. 
Then said Haman, Is it not written, "Rejoice not when thine 
enemy falleth?" That, said Mordecai, holds good only of an 
Israelite. Of you it is written, "Thou shalt tread upon their 
high places."] [L + And Haman hastened] and he made Mordecai 


ride [Vrss. + upon the horse, and led him about] in the city-square. 
[L, Jos. + And Haman went before him] and he proclaimed before 
him, This is what is done to the man [L + who honours the King] 
whom the King [Jos. + loves and] longs to honour. 

[® 2 -f And there were sent him from the King's house 27,000 choice 
youths, with golden cups in their right hands and golden pitchers in their 
left hands, and they marched before the righteous Mordecai crying, 
This is what is done for the man whom the K ng, the creator of heaven 
and earth, longs to honour. And when the Israelites saw, they walked 
on the right and on the left crying, This is what is done for the man 
whom the King, the creator of heaven and earth, longs to honour. And 
when Esther looked and saw Mordecai, her cousin, clothed in the royal 
garment, with the royal crown upon his head, riding upon the King's 
horse, she gave thanks and praised the God of heaven for their deliver- 
ance, because Mordecai had put on sackcloth and had placed ashes upon 
his head in the sight of the oppressors. And when she saw Mordecai, her 
cousin, she answered and said unto him, In thee is fulfilled the word of 
Scripture by the holy prophets: "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, 
and lifteth up the needy from the dunghill; that he may set him with 
princes, even with the princes of his people." Mordecai also gave 
thanks, saying: "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; 
thou hast loosed my sackcloth, and girded me with a royal garment. I 
will praise thee, O Lord God, my redeemer, because thou hast not re- 
joiced the heart of my enemies (similarly S 1 on 8 15 ).] [Meg. 16a + And 
as he passed by Haman's house, Haman's daughter looked down from 
the roof, and supposed that her father was riding and that Mordecai 
was accompanying him on foot; so she fetched a slop-jar and poured it 
upon her father's head. But when she perceived that it was her father, 
she flung herself from the roof and killed herself.] [H -f And Haman 
walked in his disgrace, but Mordecai was highly honoured ; and God 
broke the heart of Haman.] 

12. And [Jos. 4- when he had traversed the city,] Mordecai re- 
turned unto the King's gate [S 1 + unto the sanhedrin that was 
there, and he put off the purple raiment, and put on sackcloth, 
and sat in ashes, confessing and praying until the evening.] After 
this extraordinary and unexpected honour Mordecai is brought 
back to his old haunt (2 19 ) from which he set out (6 10 ). — And 
Haman hurried to his house, mourning [W l + for his daughter,] 
and with his head covered [S 1 + like one mourning for his daughter 
and his disgrace (cf. Meg. 16a).] Haman feels the need of getting 


home at once to hide his shame and to pour out his sorrows to 
sympathetic ears. The covered head was a sign of mourning 
among the Hebrews (7 s 2 S. 15 30 Je. 14 4 ); so also among the 
Persians, according to Curt. iv. 10, x. 5. 

13. And Haman recounted [Jos. + with weeping] to Zeresh his 
wife and to all his friends all that had happened to him.] The 
friends (cf. 5 10 »«) are in the next clause called his wise men, from 
which, says Meg. 16a, we may infer that even a heathen may be 
wise. — And his wise men [Jl + that he had in council] and Zeresh 
his wife said to him, [Meg. 16a -f- If Mordecai be descended from 
other tribes, thou canst overcome him ; but] if Mordecai be of the 
seed of the Judceans [Meg. + Benjamin, Ephraim, or Manasseh] 
before whom thou hast begun to fall [(5 1 + as the kings fell before 
Abraham in the Plain of the Field, as Abimelech fell before Isaac, 
as the angel was vanquished by Jacob, and as by the hands of 
Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh and all his hosts sank in the Red Sea, 
and as all kings and princes who did them harm were delivered 
by God into their hand, so also] thou wilt accomplish nothing 
[(£' + harmful] against him, but wilt fall completely before him, 
[(& + for the living God is with him.] 

[3J 1 + For of Judah it is written, "Thy hand is upon the neck of thine 
enemies"; and of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh it is written, 
" Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh stir up thy might."] [® 2 + 
Thou hast heard long ago that there were three Judaeans in the province 
of Babylon, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and because they did not 
obey the commands of Nebuchadnezzar, he cast them into a fiery 
furnace, yet they went forth from the midst of the flame unharmed; 
and a tongue of flame came out from the furnace and devoured those 
who had eaten their bread. If now Mordecai is one of the descendants 
of those men, his deeds will be like theirs.] 

The wise men are counsellors, like those of the King (i ls ), not 
necessarily astrologers in either case, or identical with those who 
cast lots 3 7 (Grot.). Here as in 2 5 Judrnan, Jew, has become a 
national name. It is hard to see how there could be any doubt 
at this late date whether or not Mordecai were a Jew {cf. 2 5 y- •). 
In 5 13 Haman himself says that this is the case. Perhaps the 
author's idea is, that Mordecai 's being a Jew made no impression 


upon the counsellors until Haman began to fall before him, and 
then they bethought themselves of the significance of this fact. 
It is also hard to see why Haman 's Persian advisers should find 
anything alarming in his sustaining a temporary reverse before 
a Jew. The Jews were a despised, subject race, whose destruc- 
tion had been decreed by the King, and there were no indications 
yet that he would change his mind. Lap. supposes that they had 
a touch of genuine inspiration like the Sibyl and Caiaphas (Jn. 
11 49 - 52 ); Mai., that they obtained the information from an evil 
spirit; Lap., Bert., that shrewd human calculation showed them 
that Mordecai's star was in the ascendant; Mar., Men., Jun., that 
they had learned from the Jews of God's wonderful deeds in the 
past; Grot., Wild., Sieg., Stre., that they knew the oracles con- 
demning Amalek to fall before Israel (Ex. 17 16 Nu. 24 20 Dt. 25 1719 
1 S. 152S. i 8 ff -; see on 3 1 ). This is probably the author's idea. 
He knows the curses of Amalek in the Jewish Scriptures, and as- 
sumes that they are equally well known to Haman, the descendant 
of Agag, and his friends. At first they have disregarded these 
predictions, but now they see that they have retained all their 
ancient vitality. That they should really have known Jewish 
literature so well is, of course, impossible. This advice of the 
wise men is of one piece with the additions of the Targums, which 
make them quote the OT. freely. 

11. DiDn] pr. i-Ojo &. — "O-nn PN Bo'ri] ml 4ve8ij<raTo ret ifidria Sb^ijs 
L. — VW3T1J fftij-ajo #: + DID hy K 118, 202; R 486: + iirl rbv iirirov 
CSC: + £<f>iirirov L. — "vpn Sims] /cat ityyayev ' Afiav rbv 'iirirov e£w + 
koX Trpoa-^yayev atirbv e£w L: pr. ko.1 8i^\6ev CSC — vjd^ X^wv CSH: 
om. 31 L. — C"nV) iravrl &r&pt&vtp CSC: t£ &p8pl r£ rbv /3a<rt\&t ti/xQvti 
L, 936 -*-. 

12. ■fjDrl-aPM] aft. Sax L. — "|Scn -\yv Sn] ets rbv ohov avrov L: els 
Tijv aiiK-fjv CS (+ tov QaatXe'us n c - a m e, 936 under *, C). — Y^n] palatii 3. 
— n nn J] Niph. 'urge oneself,' i.e., 'hasten'; cf. DWTl of the royal cou- 
riers 3 15 8 14 . — CJO ••ism] Kara Ke<pa\i)s CS (KaraK€Ka\vfifx£vos (ttjv) Ke<pa\r)v 
a. c - a , 936 *): et percusso corde C: om. L. 

13. ieD">V] misit et narravit £. — pn om. JC: Haupt deletes. — ttnT 1 ?] 
cf. 5 10 : om. L. — vanx SoSi] om. ^L: om. So 3 CSC — So 2 ] om. CS (exc. 
936).— imp] of misfortunes {cf. 4? Gn. 44 29 ).— ^] so N 2 C B 2 G: iS 
S Br. Ba. (p. 75), om. L: + 'A/xdv a. When Daghesh is inserted, it is the 
so-called Daghesh forte conjunctivum (Kau. §20c). — vcon] >*gi nVi »i 


&: oi 0i\ot <g fi (+ auroO n c - a , 936 under *). — ann] om. tint 3 L £ <£ 
(exc. n c - am s, 936 under *). — ina'N] ij yvvtf (6 (+ avroO N c - am e, 936 
under*). — OTiD-DSJom. L. — iCN-end of v.] d0' #re XaXets 7repi ai/roC 
/ca/cd, irpo<riropeijeTaL <roi t& /caicd - ^n5x a £" e L. — TW] om. (& H . — »3 V^] 
|3| fli\xi &: aur^J' aixivaaddL (g 51. — Vidh Sidj] om. H. — Sioj] Scj N 1 a 
few codd.: wOeZ &. — vjdS] om. (SLiC + Sn 0eds ftD? yuer' a^rou <$ 
(936 -S-): + #ti 6 0eds fi> aurots L: + quia jam propheta est H. 


14. While they were still talking with him, the King's eunuchs 
appeared, and brought Haman with speed to the banquet that 
Esther had prepared.] Lit. hastened to bring Haman. There is 
no suggestion here that Haman in his grief had forgotten his ap- 
pointment with Esther, or, as Meg. 16a suggests, that he was afraid 
to go, so that eunuchs had to be sent to fetch him. It was the cus- 
tom to send servants to escort guests (cf. i 10 5 10 - » Lu. 14 17 )} and 
the expression hastened means no more than brought expeditiously. 
With what different emotions Haman went from those that he 
had anticipated (5' 4 )! 

[Jos. 261 -f- And one of the eunuchs named Sabouchadas saw the gal- 
lows that was erected at Haman's house, which Haman had prepared 
for Mordecai, and he inquired of one of the domestics for whom they 
were preparing this. And when he learned that it was for the Queen's 
uncle, since Haman was about to beg the King that he might be pun- 
ished, he for the present held his peace.] 

1. So the King and Haman came to banquet with Queen Esther.] 
To banquet is lit. to drink. Here, as perhaps in 3 15 , the verb is 
used as a denominative from the noun banquet, lit. drinking (cf. 
Jb. i< 1 K. 20 12 ). 

2. And or* the second day also the King said to Esther during the 
wine-drinking]. The wine-drinking was the later part of the 
meal after food had been served (see on 5 6 ). — Whatever thy request 
is, Queen Esther, it shall be granted thee; and whatever thy peti- 
tion is, even as much as half of the kingdom, it shall be done.] See 
5 3 6 , where almost the same language is used. Esther has already 
put the King off twice when he has offered to grant her request 
(5* 8 ), but his good nature is unbounded. 

l 7 


[QJ 1 + Except the rebuilding of Lhe House of the Sanctuary which 
stands in half the border of my kingdom, I cannot grant thee, because so 
I have promised with an oath to Geshem, and Tobiah, and Sanballat; 
but wait until Darius thy son shall grow up and shall inherit the king- 
dom; then it shall be done.] [L -f- And Esther was in an agony of fear 
at the thought of telling him, because her enemy was before her.] [QJ l -f~ 
And Esther raised her eyes toward Heaven.] [L -f And God gave her 
courage, when she called upon him.] 

3. And Queen Esther answered, [Jos. 262 -f lamenting the danger 
of her people, and said:] [iC + Neither silver nor gold do I seek.] If 
I have obtained thy favour, O [(H 1 + exalted] King, and if it seems 
good to the King [S^ 1 + of the world]. See on 5 s . — Let [(T 1 + the 
saving of] my life f© 1 -f from the hand of those that hate me] be 
given me as my request, and [(F 1 + the deliverance of] my people 
[QI 1 + from the hands of their enemies] as my petition.'] Now at 
last the author allows Esther to speak the words for which she 
risked her life (4 s ). The only reason for the delay has been to give 
an opportunity for Mordecai's triumph over Haman (see on 5 4 8 ). 
The ellipses in Esther's rapid utterance are accurately supplied 
by QJ». 

4. For I and my people [(E 1 + of the house of Israel] have been 
sold [2F 1 + for naught] unto destruction, slaughter, and annihilation; 
[Jos. 262 + and on this account I make my petition.] Lit. to de- 
stroy, to slay, and to annihilate. The same language is used in the 
King's edict (3 13 ). The expression sell into the hand for deliver 
up to enemies is a favourite one with the editor of Judges (2 14 4 9 , 
etc.). Here the author is thinking of Haman's offer and the 
King's refusal (3 s - lI ). — And if only we had been sold as slaves and 
as maids, [3 + groaning] / should have kept silent, [L + so as not 
to trouble my lord,] [Jos. 2C3 J + for the evil would have been 
bearable,] for the enemy is not sufficient for the injury of the King.] 
This last clause is one of the most difficult in the book. No satis- 
factory rendering has yet been proposed. For suggestions in 
regard to its interpretation and emendation, see the following 
critical note. 

5. And King Xerxes said [(E 2 + to an interpreter,] and he said 
to Queen Esther]. The verse has two beginnings, due doubtless 
to a combination of alternate readings. The Vrss. omit the second 


clause wholly or in part. © 2 and Meg. 16a help out the abnormal 
construction by inserting an interpreter. The fact that the King 
addresses himself to Esther gives Haman no opportunity to justify 
himself. — Who is it, and where is he, [SI 1 + the shameless, guilty, 
and rebellious man,] whose heart has impelled him to do thus?] 
[L + to degrade the emblem of my sovereignty so as to cause thee 
fear?] Impelled is lit. filled, cf. Acts 5*, "Why hath Satan filled 
thy heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?" 

[L -f- And when the Queen saw that it seemed dreadful to the King, 
and that he hated the wrong-doer, she said, Be not angry, my lord! It 
is enough if I have gained thy pity. Enjoy the feast! To-morrow I will 
act in accordance with thy command. And the King adjured her to 
tell him who had dared to do thus, and with an oath he promised to do 
for her whatever she wished.] 

6. And Esther said, An enemy and foe, this wicked Haman, 

[2I 1 + who wishes to slay thee this evening in thy bedchamber, and 
who even to-day has asked to be clothed with a royal garment, and to 
ride upon thy horse, and to place the golden crown upon his head, and 
to rebel against thee, and to take away thy kingdom from thee. But 
the heavenly voice brought to pass in that hour that honour was ren- 
dered to the righteous Mordecai, my paternal uncle, the son of J air, son 
of Shimei, son of Shemida', son of Ba'ana, son of Elah, son of Micha, 
son of Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, son of King Saul, son of Kish, 
son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Bekhorath, son of Aphiya, son of She- 
harim, son of Uzziah, son of Sason, son of Michael, son of Eliel, son of 
'Ammihud, son of Shephatiah, son of Penuel, son of Pithah, son 
of Melokh, son of Jerubba'al, son of Jeruham, son of Hananiah, son of 
Zibdi, son of Elpa'al, son of Shimri, son of Zebadiah, son of Remuth, 
son of Hashom, son of Shehorah, son of 'Uzza, son of Guza, son of Gera, 
son of Benjamin, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, whom the 
wicked Haman sought to hang {cf. © 2 on i 5 );] [(^-{-therefore is his 
name called Ha-man (this is the one), for this is the one who has wished 
to lay hands upon the Jewish people, who are called children of the Lord 
of all, and who has wished to slay them.] [Meg. 1 6a -f- All the time she 
pointed at Xerxes, but an angel came and turned her hand toward 

The two parts of Esther's answer correspond to the two parts of 
the King's question. The fatal word is now spoken which will 
decide whether Haman or Esther has the greater influence with 


the King. The enemy is a standing title of Haman (cf. 7* and the 
synonymous word 3 10 8 1 9 10 • 24 ). As a descendant of Agag (3 1 ), 
he was characterized by an inveterate hostility to the Jews. — 
Haman meanwhile was in terror [Jl + straightway] before the King 
and the Queen]. He might well be terrified, since he suddenly dis- 
covered that he had affronted both the King and the Queen; the 
King, by condemning his wife to death; the Queen, by attempt- 
ing to destroy her and her people. 

14. *in dii;] a nominal clause at the beginning of a sentence (Kau. 
§ n6w); followed by pf. — vsy] ^oolLq^ &: om. 3ILd (exc. N °. a ■«, 
249, 93& under *). — >DnDi] j^orj £>: rts L. — Y?nn] regince fi: om. L<6 
(exc. n c - am «, 936 under *, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236, 249). — lJTjn] 7rap^ 
L: 'arrived,' as 4 3 - »< 8 17 9 1 - 26 .— frnan] i?*>/i. 'hastened,' as Qa/ a 9 8 14 .— 
mark] om. & L SI 05 (exc. n c * m B> 93 & under *). — pn] eum 3 L. — "WW - 
nnDN] Acai ovtus IXapddr] L. — nrDs] regina 3: + ^ (3a<rl\icraa 71, 74, 76, 
120, 236. 

1. rnn&>S-ta'>i] Kal iropevdels avtireae h &pq L. — mnt5»S] ^IuV' 
&: ad ccenam K. — dj;] ^|-a^? &. — nntw] om. 3 L E <& (exc. H •»•• n ^, 936 
under *). — naSnn] eo It: avrCov L. 

2. nDNM]pr./a^Mwg5/H:nnDxS]ei3: + reginamft:om.A. — nncoa-Dj] 
ws 5£ irporjyev ij wpdiroais L. — «Jtffl or a dj] Haupt deletes. — dj] om. C<£ 
(exc. n e - », 93& under *). — ovs] om. 44 £ — wrrl\ en &. — nna'D3] />05/- 
gwaw incaluerat 3: » for 2 &: in bona propinatione 3j. — pn] om. L H (5 
(exc. N c - », 936 under *) : + ti &mi> /cai (g (t£ &tW <rot /cat 71, 74, 76, 106, 
120: ri effrai aoi Kal 44: 93ft om.). — "|nVxc] 6 kIvBwos L. — ^S-nnDNJom. 
&LC. — naSon] om. 3 44, 106. — -jS r^J" 1 " 1 ] om. <& (exc. n c - » m «, 936 
under *). — noi] om. «D &. — fWpa] re/a/w &. — PtsVon] + mei 3 £ (36 L £ . 
— tt>yni] -|- >»^V &: -f o-oi (Si: -f ft&s 1C: om. L. 

3. i;m] om. L 44, 106. — irD»] tifo 3: om. (I (exc. n c&b1 « ,u p, 936 
under *). — nafeon] om. 3 L SI <S (exc. n c - a "»* su p, 936 under *). — nDN.n ] 
om. 3: + T V (3a<ri\et 71, 74, 76, 120. — 7*3^3 jn tinx::] Sokcc L: edpov x^P LV 
ivibiriov (5. — "PDA pr. rou Kvpiov fxov 44, 74, 76, 120, 236. — 3lt0-ONl] Kal 
dyadrj i) KpLais iv Kapbiq avrov L: et si videtur anima tua H: om. <B (exc. 
H c. am g) o 3 ft under *). — »V] om. ^LiC(S (exc. n c ",93ft under*).— 
^CDJ - end of v.] desiderium meum, neque aurum, neque argentum ego peto 
£ — ^Dj] om. ' (i> (exc. n c - am &, 936 under *): 6 \a6$ /tou L. — »rfa«»2] 
2 essentia {cf. 4 7 ), according to Wild., Sieg., i.e., 'life' is identical with 
'request.' According to Bert., Keil, Rys., it is 3 of the price; according 
to Haupt, 3 of the instrument. — "•Djn] Kal 6 \670s /xov (g (a few codd. 
Xo6s): Kal rb edvos L. — »P»p33] rrjs ipvxv* ( Jj0V L« 

4. -\>nwrh] \*l ^^ ^: ets airwXdav <g H: om. L. — 3Wnfc] ) ^^ ^V^ ^: 
xa2 diaptrayriv (6?C: om. L A 44, 71, 106. — "ON"?!] icai dov\elav C6U: eis 


8o6\w<riv L. — iSki] utinam 3: this word, compounded of »S (cn) fN, is 
used only here and Ec. 6 6 . It is common in Aram, and late Heb. intro- 
ducing a supposition that is regarded as desirable (Kau. § 1596). Fol- 
lowed here by the perf. because the condition is contrary to fact (Kau. 
§ io6p). — iSni] -\- Jj_d£wJ? &: rjfiels /ecu ra rticva i}p,Qv (&: xal to. vqirta 
airrwv L: etfilii nostri ?C. — Dn:; s ] om. i 0: et's biapirayi^v L: in captivita- 
tem U. — mnott^i] om. S g>: om. 21 L. — U"OD3] om. L ?j (g (exc. K «• ■ m e, 
936 under *). — Tumnn] nal Trapr/Kovaa (g: Kal irapdipovs 52: /cat 7rapi7*cas 
(4, Aid.: Kai -wapoiKOvcra 106: *al iraprjKofoas loSa, 243, 248, 249, C: ko.1 
ovk ifdeXop aTrayyeiXcu L: om. ffi. — "poll— *3j nunc autem hostis noster est 
rujus crudelitas redundat in regent 31: ov yap #£ios 6 5td/3o\os rrjs atiXijs rod 
/3a<ri\&os (&: et non est (Lignum regice regis ffi* iytvero yap pueTaTceaetv rbv 
AvdpuTTOV rbv Kano-ironf/cravTa i)p:as L: JfliJ? | n*~|\\*"> \lM> f-»->* r 
I ^V^V &; TrapeicaXei r£ TOtrrwi' d7raXXa7^j/ai Jos.: pDHO Np^D P*S DnN 

ndSdt NpnjKa nnm QI 1 : na^in Njjtoa »ir p*n» $o:n S">jn mS on* ® s . 
These all presuppose the text of M. The additions in L 3 Jos. look like 
conflate readings containing a translation of % in which ~tf is rendered 
'calamity': tva p.rj Xvinfjau} rbv tdipibv pav L: esset tolerabile malum J: 
pLtrpiovyap Tovrorb nanbv Jos. In this passage most comm. assume that, 
"Wn means the enemy, as in 7 6 and everywhere else in Est. Their trans- 
lations then vary according to the meaning that they put upon 
'equal' and WJ 'injury.' Meg. 16a renders, for the enemy is not satis- 
fied with the loss of the King; i.e., he was jealous of Vashti and killed her, 
now he is jealous of me and wishes to kill me. Similarly Mar., not con- 
tent with plundering the King's treasury, he must needs kill the King's 
subjects; Osi.,/or the enemy would not then cause loss to tlie King, i.e., if 
we were made slaves, I should still be kept alive; Jun. & Trem., since 
the enemy proposes nothing for {averting) the loss of the king; Sol. b. 
Melekh, Drus., Grot., Pise, Vat., Cler., Ramb., Ges., Will., AV., RV., 
most modern Vrss., although the enemy cannot compensate for the loss of 
the King, i.e., cannot make up the tribute that will cease when the Jews 
are killed; Bert., Keil, Haupt, for the enemy is not worth troubling the 
King about; Schu.,/or {the punishing of ) the enemy is less important than 
{the averting of) the injury to the King. All of these translations are un- 
satisfactory, since they give no reason for Esther's keeping silence, as the 
context requires. Most of them demand the supplying before them of 
the words but I cannot keep silence, which are not in the text. All as- 
sume artificial meanings either for ■•?, for rni?, or for pu. IE., Dieu., 
Pise, Drus., Buhl., al. suggest reading n| 'adversity,' 'calamity,' in- 
stead of nx 'enemy,' and translate for the calamity is not so great as the 
injury of the King, or, for the calamity would not be sufficiently great to 
trouble the King about it; but this is just as unsatisfactory as the other 
renderings. "\x never has the meaning of 'calamity' in Est., and it is 
very doubtful whether pn injury, can be weakened into meaning an- 


noyance to the King through mentioning the business, as several modern 
comm. assume (but see Haupt, a. /.). The text is probably corrupt. 
Oet., Wild., read qjfljn pm mir nSxn pg >r, 'for the deliverance is not 
worth the injury of the King,' but this does not relieve the difficulty. 
There is an ancient corruption of the text at this point for which no satis- 
factory emendation has yet been proposed. — pna] so B 2 : pna Ba. G. 

5. nsso)] Kai idvfubdr) L. — tmwrm] om. L 1C (& (exc. N c a m e, g^,b 
under *): Haupt deletes. — -irfoi 2 ] om. IE <S (exc. n «•»■*, 936 under *): 
Haupt deletes. — roSon -WDvh] om. 3 L (& (exc. x c. am gj ^j un der *). — 
ton nr >n] e£ cw/ws potentice J: om. L1E(S (exc. n c - am e, 936 under *). 
— **!?>?] Qfl* perf . of the transitive form of the vb. fc^p (Kau. § 74 g) with 
suf. Jahn, Haupt, read N^p. 

6. nDNm] Kai dapa-Z/craa-a el-rrev L. — Tl t^N] 6 \J/ev8T]s ovroffi L. — IS*] 
here pointed with Pathach; Ju. 7 4 Mn (see Baer, a. /.). Pred. put first 
for emphasis. — 3"iNi] + noster 3: regis fi: 6 0t\os (rot; L: om. (j£» (exc. 
M c - am e, 936 *). — pni] ^worf z7/e audiens 3: Aman autem audiens verba 
C— pm-endof v.] om.L-|Dm] Me J.— njhj] so N l S N 2 Br. C B 1 
B 2 G: njhj Ba. — nya:] A/^/t. only in late books, e.g., 1 Ch. 21 30 Dn. C 17 . 
This clause and those that follow as far as idn>i ( 8b ) are circumstantial 
clauses with participles. — fiabcm - >jdS?:] vultum regis ac reginceferre non 
sustinens J: et cecidit vultus suus C 


7. [® l + And the King lifted his eyes and looked, and saw ten 
angels like unto the sons of Haman cutting down the trees in the 
inner garden.] Now the King was rising in his wrath from the 
wine-drinking, [iC + flinging away his napkin,] [Vrss. + to go] 
into the palace-garden [S 1 + to see w T hat this thing was (similarly 
Meg. 1 6a).] Rising into is a pregnant construction for rising to 
go into. On wine-drinking, see 5 6 7 2 . On palace and garden, 
see i 5 . As to the reason for the King's going into the garden 
opinions differ. W 2 supposes that it was to work off his anger 
by cutting down trees; Men., that it was to avoid sight of the hated 
Haman ; Lyra, Haupt, to take time to think about his decision ; 
Drus., because he was still friendly to Haman and hesitated to 
condemn him; Bon., Bert., Oet., Sieg., because he was uncomfort- 
ably heated with wine and anger, and wished to cool off in the 
outer air; Schu., Stre., because of the natural restlessness of anger. 
The true reason is probably to give the author a chance to insert 


the episode in v. 8 . — But Haman was staying to beg Queen Esther 
[(E 1 + for mercy] upon his life, [Jos. 265 + and to entreat her 
to pardon his offences ,]for he saw that evil was determined against 
him by the King.] On staying, cf. 5 1 . The ellipsis after beg is 
rightly supplied by S 1 (cf. 4 s ). Determined, lit. completed, is used 
of something that is fully settled in a person's mind (cf. 1 S. 20 7 y 
25 17 Ez. 5 13 ). It is clear to Haman, at least, that the King's going 
into the garden is not to devise means of saving him, but to think 
out some terrible punishment to inflict upon him. 

8. And as the King was returning [(E 1 + in his wrath] from the 
palace-garden to the banquet-hall, [Meg. 16a, (& l + behold the 
angel Gabriel gave the wicked Haman a push in sight of the King, 
and] Haman [L + was dismayed and] was lying prostrate [L + at 
the feet of Queen Esther] upon the couch on which Esther [L & + 
was reclining.] The King's wrath is not abated by his visit to the 
garden, but impels him to return in a few minutes to the banquet- 
hall that he has just left. Meanwhile Haman, in an agony of fear, 
has fallen at the feet of Esther as she reclines upon her couch, to 
beg her to save him. Falling down and laying hold of the feet 
was a common attitude of suppliants (cf. 8 3 1 S. 25" 2 K. 4", 
also frequently in the Assyrian inscriptions). It was impossible 
under the circumstances for the King to misunderstand the gesture ; 
but he had come back with the determination to kill Haman, and 
was ready to put the worst construction on anything that he might 
do. This interpretation seems more natural than that the author 
means to represent the King as hitherto in doubt, but now decided 
by Haman's supposed assault upon the Queen. On couch, see 1 8 . 
— And, [21 Jos. + seeing him upon Esther's couch,] the King [SI ®» 
+ was enraged and] said, [Meg. 16a -f Woe within and woe with- 
out !] [Jos. + O wickedest of all men !] [L 21 + Is not his crime 
against the kingdom enough?] Is he also (going) to violate the 
Queen while I am present in the house? [(H 1 + Now, all peoples, 
nations, and tongues, judge what ought to be done with him?] 
Also is used with reference to Haman's first crime against Esther. 
Not satisfied with attacking her life, he must also attack her honour. 
Esther has now a chance to intercede for Haman, but she does not 
take it. All his entreaties are in vain, and she looks on in silence 


while he is condemned to death. The older commentators labour 
hard to show that Haman deserved no mercy, and that Esther 
would have done wrong to intercede for him; but it must be ad- 
mitted that her character would have been more attractive if she 
had shown pity toward a fallen foe. The author might have rep- 
resented her as interceding for Haman, even if the King did not 
grant her request; but such an idea is far from his mind. Here, 
as everywhere, he gloats over the destruction of the heathen. — 
Before the word left the King's mouth they had covered Hainan's 
face.] The watchful eunuchs need nothing more than the King's 
last remark to see that Haman is condemned to death, and they 
cover his face preparatory to leading him out to execution. Cur- 
tius (vi. 8 22 ) mentions this as a Greek custom; and Livy (i. 26") as 
a Roman custom. It is not attested among the Persians, but is 
not improbable. Cf. 6 12 , where Haman covers his head as a sign 
of grief (see critical note). 

9. Then said Harbona, one of the eunuchs [Jl + who stood] be- 
fore the King]. This is the same person doubtless as Harbona 
of i 10 , although the spelling is slightly different (see p. 67). Those 
who have hitherto flattered Haman are now ready to give him a 
shove when they see that he is falling. — There is the gallows too 
that Haman erected for [Vrss. + hanging] Mordecai who spoke a 
good word on behalf of the King [S 1 + by whose means also he 
was saved from being killed. That gallows is] standing in the 
house of Haman. [(&codd., Jos. 266 + This he knew, because he 
had seen the gallows in the house of Haman when he was sent to 
summon him to the royal banquet, and inquiring about it from 
one of the servants, he learned for what it was intended (cf. 6 14 ).] 
Too adds another reason to those already given by the King why 
Haman should be executed, and incidentally suggests a method of 
carrying out the sentence. On Mordecai's service, see 2 22 6 2 ; on 
the erection of the gallows, 5 14 . — [L SF 1 + Now, if it seems good to 
the King, let the gallows be brought from his house, and let him 
be lifted up and fastened upon it] fifty cubits high. [Meg. 16a + 
The wicked Harbona had been involved in Hainan's plans; but 
when he saw that their scheme could not be carried out, he took 
to flight (similarly ©-).] [Jos. 267 + When the King heard this, he 


determined that Haman should be put to death in no other way 
than that which he had devised for Mordecai.] And the King 
said [® 2 + to Mordecai] [SF 1 + go] hang him upon it, [20 + and 
his wife and his ten sons.] The King is easily influenced by the 
suggestions of his courtiers (cf. i 21 2 4 3 11 5 5 6 10 7 5 ). The author in- 
tends to represent him as a weak character moved by the whim 
of the moment. The poetic justice of hanging Haman on the 
gallows that he had reared for Mordecai naturally catches his 

[® 2 + So the word of Holy Scripture was fulfilled for Mordecai, 
"When the Lord is pleased with a man's ways, even his enemies shall 
depend upon him." And the King answered and said to Mordecai, 

Mordecai, the Jew, who hast saved the King from being killed, rise, 
go and take Haman, the wicked enemy, the oppressor of the Jews, and 
hang him on the gallows which he prepared for himself. Inflict a terri- 
ble penalty upon him, and do to him whatever seems good to thee. Then 
Mordecai went out from before the King and took Haman from the gate 
of the King's house. And Mordecai spoke to Haman, saying, Come 
with me, Haman, thou foe and wicked enemy and oppressor of the Jews, 
that we may hang thee upon the gallows which thou hast erected for thy- 
self. Then the wicked Haman answered the righteous Mordecai, 
Before they bring me to the gallows, I beg thee, righteous Mordecai, 
that thou wilt not hang me as they hang common criminals. I have 
despised great men, and governors of provinces have waited upon me. 

1 have made kings to tremble at the word of my mouth, and with the 
utterance of my lips I have frightened provinces. I am Haman; my 
name was called Viceroy of the King, Father of the King. I beg thee, 
righteous Mordecai, not to do to me as I thought to do to thee. Spare 
my honour, and do not kill me or hew me in pieces like Agag my father. 
Thou art good, Mordecai; deal with me according to thy goodness, and 
do not take my life; do not kill me like a branch so that my life shall be 
destroyed. Do not remember against me the hatred of Agag, nor the 
jealousy of Amalek. Do not regard me as an enemy in thy heart and 
do not cherish a grudge against me, as Esau my father cherished. Great 
wonders have been wrought for thee as they were wrought for thy fathers 
when they crossed the sea. My eyes are too dim to see thee, and my 
mouth I am not able to open before thee, because I have taken the ad- 
vice of my friends and of Zeresh my wife against thee. I beg thee to 
spare my life, my lord Mordecai, the righteous, and do not blot out my 
name suddenly like that of Amalek my ancestor, and do not hang my 
gray head upon the gallows. But if thou art determined to kill me, cut 
off my head with the King's sword, with which they kill all the nobles 


of the provinces. Then Hainan began to cry and to weep, but Mordecai 
did not give heed to him. And when Haman saw that no attention was 
paid to his words, he set up a wail and a weeping in the midst of the 
garden of the palace (followed by an address of Haman to the trees who 
refuse in turn to furnish a gallows for him until the cedar is reached).] 

10. So they Imnged Haman upon the gallows which he had erected 
for Mordecai, [249 + who spoke on behalf of the King,] [HI + 
and his wife and his ten sons.] And the wrath of the King subsided], 
cf 2 1 . 

[Jos. * 8 + Which event compels me to wonder at the divine provi- 
dence, and to learn his wisdom and justice, not merely in punishing 
the wickedness of Haman, but in bringing it about that he should suffer 
the same penalty that he had devised for another; so teaching, that 
whatever evil one plans for another, he is unconsciously preparing for 
himself first of all. Haman, accordingly, who had not used discreetly 
the honour that he had received from the King, was destroyed in this 

7. lnnm] eKdvpuos dt yevdfxevos L: om. 21(1 (exc. n c - »*■«, 03& under *) 

— pn nniPD?:] de loco suo 21: de loco convivii 3: /cat irXrjadels dpyijs 
L: + et intravit J: + * nivS &: + Kal 9jv irepnraTCbv L: -f- et exiit 21. — 
jn'an tjj] hortum arboribus consitum J: rbv ktjttov (& (+ rbv <r6fi<pvTov 
n c. am gj 936 un der *): hortum 2j: om. L. — pm-end of v.] om. L. — 
•V2';] om. 21 (& (exc. s c - a , 936 under *, 249): irapeKoKei 52, 64, 243, 248, 
C, Aid. — ti'p3 L, J iraprjTetTO <&: Kal yjTeho 52, 64, 243, 248, C, Aid.: Trape/cd- 
Xa55, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236. — v^dj ^']ora. 21 (S (exc. M c - a , 936 under*, 
249). — -v-D*o] om. 1C (& (exc. n c - a "«, 936 under *). — nrSo -o] om. (& 21- 

— vSn] with Haupt read vh$. — nynn vVn] eavrbv kv kcucois 6vra (g 2j. — 
Y?Dn PNE] om. 21 (& (exc. N c - a , 936 under *). 

8. p-iSom] tr. aft. n^J> L. — iSdhi] qui cum 3. — njJD] om. L. — 
jn-on] nemoribus consito + et intrasset 31: om. L 21 (& (exc. n c - am e, 936 
under *). — pn - *?*] ad locum suum 21 : om. Q> (exc. n c - a ■*, 936 under *). 

— ]vn)]reperitAman 3. — Sdj] + ^7rt robs irddas 'Eadijp 7-775 (3a<ri\L<r<rr)s L. 

— htl] in the sense of 'lying prostrate' as Jos. 7 10 1 S. 5 34 Am. 9 11 (see 
BDB. p. 657, § 6; Kau. § 116 d). — roSy-nVM] a&uv ttjv pa<xl\i<r<rav (fe: 
regince et deprecabatur earn tenens 21: trt Amucnftfrtft L. — "\pDn] + l oflu 
&. — nasS] with ellipsis of run, as S 1 , 'he has not come except to violate* 
(Kau. § 1142"). According to Haupt, it is impf. with prefixed emphatic 
S (cf. AJSL. xxii. p. 201). r33 means ordinarily 'subdue' (Ne. 5*). 
Here the context demands the special sense of 'violate.' — top] p.ov L 21 (8 
(/uer' epuov n °- a ■»*). — r^aa] ivdbiridv fwv L: om. C — ion- na-n] d7rax^Ta> 
'Ap.ap Kal p.7) ^-fjrw Kal ovtus dir^yero'L: om. 21: 'A/idv 5£ d/cotfo-as Sierpdiri] 
t£ Tpocrcbirip (g (pr. 6 \670s £i;7}\t)eu £k tov a-rd/iaTos tov pacriXius H c * m *. 


936 under *). icn] Condamin {Rev. Bibl. vii. pp. 258-261) and Perles 
(Analekten, p. 32) propose on the basis of (S to read ^on 'his face grew 
red' (cf. Ps. 34 s Jb. 6 20 , <g Sierpdirrj t£ 7rpocru>7ry). Haupt adopts this 
emendation. It is not necessary with Sieg. to regard ion (pf. with 1) 
as an Aramaizing construction instead of impf. with 1 consec. The 
clause is circumstantial and expresses the idea that the covering had 
taken place before the word was fairly out of the King's mouth. 

9. D^DnDn] -f- qui stabantS: + i^]o ) al^^j &: tu>v rraiduv avrov L: 
— ihvn ^JC 1 " 1 ] Trpbs rbv fiaaChia <g: too /3a<ri\^«s A: regis ft om. L. — tt] nal 
<g: Domine rex £ : om. .3 L. — iSdh-i^n] tr. aft. hdn L. — "WK] om. & <g — 
pn] om. Jh + P& ^L^ &'• + &"» Kpefida-p L: + «/ i//ww suspenderet ft — 
^ni!:S]T6j'Ma/)5oxatoj/L: + wnal^ &. — |DO-*WM]om.ft — "Wit] -? r?s ^ 
£. — Sj? 3W nm] c/. 1 S. 25 30 Je. 32 42 . The phrase means 'to speak well 
of one.' This Haupt finds inappropriate as a description of Mordecai's 
service, and emends to read ?£ HO ~o 1 ^oj 'rendered a good deed on be- 
half of.' The change is unsupported by the Vrss. — 3ia] om. 3(S (exc. 
N c. a mr, 936 under *). — noy] pr. nal (g £: om. L 44, 106. — pn no3] e? 
t^ au\?7 airrov L: om. 44, 106. — n^j] TO3J S Br.: %6\ov(& (pr. tyrfhbv n c - », 
936) om. A L: erectum ft — hdn] pedum H: + KeXevcrov odv, /cifyue, iir' avrif 
avrbv Kpe/Jiacrdrjvai L. 

10. om. L.— JD«"1 - V?mi] «al iKpe/i&adr) 'A/xav Q£: et suspensi sunt sicut 
prceceperat rex ?C. — *3TU>7]+r$ \a\ricraPTi wept tov PacrtXtus 249. — 
njDiy] pausal form for njp^ (Stade § 401 b). 


1. On that day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the property 
of Haman, the enemy of the Jews [S 1 + and the men of his house, 
and all his treasures, and all his riches.] The property of criminals 
was confiscated by the state, according to Her. iii. 129; Jos. Ant. 
xi. 17. Haman's property the King bestows upon Esther in com- 
pensation for the injury done her. Property, lit. house, is used in 
the sense of all a man\ belongings, as Gn. 3Q 4 44 1 - 4 1 K. 13 8 
Jb. 8 15 ; so rightly the addition of 8k On enemy, see 3 10 . — And 
Mordecai came before tne King], i.e., he was raised to the rank of 
the high officials who saw the King's face (i 10 - 14 7 9 ). — For Esther 
had disclosed what his relationship to her was.] Now for the first 
time the King discovers that Mordecai is a connection of Esther ; 
but cf. 2 7 u 22 4 416 . How the King could have remained in ig- 
norance of this fact until this late date is as extraordinary as 
Haman's ignorance up to the moment when the blow falls, To 


his relationship to Esther Mordecai owes his present promotion. 
His service to the King has already been rewarded. 

2. And the King drew off his signet [& 1 + ring] which he had 
taken away from Haman [L + and with which his life was sealed, 
and the King said to Esther: Did he plan also to hang Mordecai 
who saved me from the hand of the eunuchs? He did not know 
that Esther was his relative on the father's side.] And he gave it 
to Mordecai] On the signet-ring, see 3 10 . The removal of the 
ring must have preceded the leading of Haman out to execution; 
but since it was not mentioned in 7 9 , it is inserted here as an after- 
thought. The bestowal of this ring made Mordecai grand vizier 
and clothed him with all the powers that Haman had hitherto 
possessed (3 10 - 15 ). — And Esther appointed Mordecai [ST 1 + master 
and steward] over Haman' 's property.] According to 3 9 - » 5 11 o 10 
the estate must have been very great, so that the administration 
of it and disposal of its revenues gave Mordecai wealth suitable 
to his new dignity. How much he possessed before, we are not 
told, only that he had leisure to sit most of the time in the King's 
gate. [L + And he said to him, What dost thou wish? and I will 
do it for thee.] 

1. D"-nrvn-Dr2] om. L. — rmtrrm] om. 44, 71, 106: Haupt deletes. 
— noSon] om. <g (exc. g^b under *). — Y?nn 2 -~nx] om. C — D"-nmn] 
DHin^n Q: om. (& (exc. n ••»■«, 936 under *). — iSon-WTO] ml iicd- 
\eaev 6 /3curt\ei>s rbv Mapdoxcuop (tr. aft. 8 2 OTIdS) L: ko\ Mapdoxaios 
Trpoa-eKX^dr) virb tov (3curi\£us (&. — rh - "o] om. L. — inDN n-njn] cogno- 
verat rex H: + r<£ /ScwtXei 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 236. — nS son hd] &tl ivoi- 
KelwTcu airy (g (+ MapSoxcuos 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236): quod Mar- 
dochceus erat de genere regince 21 : quod esset patruus suus JL 

2. >r\yyd\ -f- Hi Sj?d K 18, 95; R 42, 405: + airb tt}s x eL P^ o-vtov L- — 
pnD - -iu>n] om. L. — Tayn] + rex 10. — iu;n] ' to transfer from one person 
to another' (cf. Nu. 27 7 ), here from Haman to the King. — "O-nDS romi] 
om. L. — "OTTO — DOT))] Kai exapicaro ai>T$ L. — pn] suam 3. 


3. And Esther spoke again before the King]. The overthrow 
of Haman and the elevation of Mordecai do not satisfy Esther 
so long as Haman's edict of destruction remains unrevoked. Al- 


though Mordecai held the signet-ring, he did not venture to use it 
to save the Jews until express permission had been obtained. 
From v. 4 it appears that Esther once more risked her life in going 
to the King unsummoned (cf. 5'). It is hard to see why this was 
necessary, now that Mordecai was grand vizier and could bring 
all matters before the King. It is also hard to see why Esther 
should run this risk when the day for slaughtering the Jews was 
set nearly a year later (see on 4 11 ). The author wishes to magnify 
Esther's patriotism by representing her as willing to risk her life 
twice for her nation. — And she fell at his feet, and wept, and be- 
sought him], Esther's supplication is much more passionate in 
this case than in 7 3 - 4 because her petition concerns not herself 
but her people (cf 7*). — To counteract the evil of Haman the 
Agagite and his [Jl + wicked] plan which he had devised against 
the Jews.] Counteract is lit. cause to pass over. On Agagite, 
see 3 1 ; on the plan, see 3"*". 

4. And the King extended to Esther the golden sceptre [Jl -f in his 
hand as a sign of clemency,] and Esther arose and stood before the 
King.] See on 5 2 . 

5. And she said, If it seems good to the King, and if I have won 
his favour, and the thing is proper in the King's opinion, and I 
am pleasing unto him]. The first two formulas of introduction 
have been used frequently before (cf. i 19 5 4 - 8 7 3 ), the last two are 
new. — [® l + Let him make a decree and] let it be written to revoke 
the dispatches, the device of Haman son of Hamm e dathd, the 
Agagite, which he wrote to cause the destruction of the Jews that are 
in all the King's provinces.] Revoke is lit. cause to return (cf. 8 8 ). 
On dispatches, cf. i 22 3 13 8 10 g 20 - 25 - 30 . On the contents of these 
dispatches, cf. 3 12 - 14 . The added words, the device of Haman, 
bring out the thought that the former edict had not been issued 
for the good of the state, but to gratify Haman's private vengeance. 

6. For how can I gaze upon the calamity that has befallen my 
people, and how can I gaze upon the destruction of my kindred ?], 
i.e., I cannot be a silent spectator while this tragedy is being 
enacted. Here Esther reiterates the petition that she began to 
present in 7 3 - 4 , from which the King's attention was diverted by 
his wrath against Haman (cf. 7 s ). Kindred is used as in 2 10 20 . 


On the similarity of this v. to Gn. 44", see Rosenthal, ZATW. 
xv. p. 281 (see on 6 9 ). 

7. [Jos. 271 + And the King promised her that he would not do 
anything that would be displeasing to her, or that would be con- 
trary to her desire.] And King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and 
to Mordecai the Jew. 

[2J 2 + Behold, thou didst wrong at the beginning, when I asked thee 
saying, From what race art thou sprung ? that I might make thy family 
kings and rulers; and when I asked, From what stock art thou? that I 
might make thy family generals and polemarchs ; that thou didst say, I 
know not, for my father and mother died leaving me a little girl.] 

Esther alone comes before the King and she alone is addressed 
by him, so that the words and Mordecai the Jew look like an in- 
terpolation. They are omitted by (& L 21 j$ Jos., but cf. v. 8 . — 
Behold, the house of Haman I have given to Esther, and him they 
have hanged upon the gallows [21 + with all his house] because he laid 
hands upon the Jews], cf. 7 10 -8 1 . The King reminds Esther of the 
two favours already granted, not to suggest that he has done as 
much as can reasonably be expected, but to show that he is kindly 
disposed toward the Jews, and is ready to do all that the law will 
allow to avert the consequences of Haman 's edicts. 

[<g + What dost thou still desire ?] [L -f And Esther said to the King, 
Grant me to punish mine enemies with death. And Queen Esther 
begged the King for the sons of Haman that they also might die with 
their father. And the King said, Let it be so. And she smote a multi- 
tude of her enemies. In Susa also the King granted the Queen to put 
men to death; and he said, Behold, I give thee the right to hang them. 
And so it was done.] 

8. Now [S 1 + make haste,] write ye yourselves on behalf of the 
Jews, as seems good to you, in the King's name, and seal it with 
the King's signet,] [Jos. 271 + to send into all the kingdom,] for the 
document that is written in the King's name and that is sealed with 
the King's signet cannot be revoked [Jos. 271 + by those who have 
read it.] The addition of Jos. suggests that the clause beginning 
with for gives only a reason for the sealing that has just been 
mentioned (so Schu.); but the word revoked suggests rather that 


it is a reason for the whole activity of Esther and Mordecai com- 
manded by the King. Esther had asked (v. 5 ) that the edict of 
Haman might be revoked; the King now says, It is impossible 
to revoke a law that has been made (cf. i 19 ), but you may de- 
vise measures to counteract its operation. This v. is a counter- 
part to the permission given to Haman in 3 11 . 

3. om. L 106. — -\hdn] om. H <S> (exc. n e - a , 936 under *, 71, 74, 76, 120, 
236). — -mm] finite vb. instead of inf. after qoirn. — l^cn] eum 3. — 
•pni] }-kikSo &: Kal i)£fou (g. — tnaVTID -*J3rnj om. H. — pnnm] om. <S 
(exc. N c. amg ) g^ under *). — >jJNn] om. (£ (exc. 936 under *). — nm- 
Dnvwi] Haupt deletes as a tertiary gloss derived from 9". — ina»no] om. 
(& (exc. 936 under *). — Vjj aan ncs] de quoimpetraverat Aman adversus 
genus S: + av/xirdiTi 936 -j-. 

4. om. L. — iScni] #fe e# wore 3.— -ipdnS] om. 3 44- — ®2"W] BJ^£ 
Ba.: tww Var. Or. (Ginsburg) N 1 S. — an?n] 4- f) ijv iv x ei P l ajjToC 9Z° 
under -J- . — DpnVj clL* Zsw^j-oo 0. — ~\r\Dx] *7/a 3: om. 106. — "j^Dn*] 
eum 3. 

6. iDNni] /cai e?ire(y) <HLH: + " 1PDN K 117 <8: + MapSoxcuos L: -f 
regi C, — any - dn] om. L. — "l^nn »] <roi (5: Kvpfy Mou t<£ /ScwiXer44, 74, 76, 
106, 120, 236: domino meo C — vjcS-dni] tr. aft. iSd.-i* &. — oxi] om. 
dn (g (exc. 44, 93&, 106, 108a). — wh] om. <g: ivdvidp <rov n c - » m *, A, 
44, 108a, 249, 936 under *: £v dcpdaXfiois <rov N: in conspectu tuo £: 
in oculis ejus 3. — t*W - wai] om. (g 51 (exc. n c - a m e, 249, 936 under 
*). — -ia>a] an Aram, word found only in late Heb. (cf. Ec. n 6 ), and 
ordinarily used of the ceremonially clean (cf. Siegfried, Neuheb. Gram. 
§44). — y?Dn*] mJL — PPJU ^n naitoij om. 3#. — ana\] obsecro ut novis 
epistolis 3: wOo&aJ &: TtftfBjrm (&: mittantur ate litter a ft — a^cn 1 -] 
d.Tro<rTpa<pT)vcu (&: &iro<TTp4\pai. n A: forus cWX^s L. — a^n 1 ?] cstr. inf. 
with i giving the contents of the writing as 3 9 and often. — DncDn] r^v 
4in.(rTo\Tjj/ L. — natpnc] veteres 3: pr. O &: ret dire<rTa\/x4va <£: om. L C — 
uwn - ja] om. 3 L SI (5 (exc. n »• ■ ■«, 93ft under *) : l-^rJ| &• — natpnn - 
mjnh] Haupt deletes as a gloss derived from v. 3 . — 1TH - end of v.] om. 
L.— iaxS] £m>e 3.— hn]+Sd many codd. (KR) &© 1 © 2 ?!.— onwn] 
cos 3. — T^OM nuno Saa] ^p tt) fiaaikdq. <rov <&: *» reg^'a /wa in nomine 
tuo ft 

6. om. L 106: 6a Haupt deletes as a gloss or variant to 6b . — >n>N-n] 
finite vb. after Saw instead of the usual inf. cstr. or inf. cstr. with 1 (cf. 
Kau. § 112 p). — njna] a nm means to look intently upon something that 
inspires joy or horror. Cf. Gn. 21 16 "gaze upon the death of the child." 
— nxdi] here only in the book in the sense of 'befall.' For this the au- 
thor generally uses mp (cf. 4* 6 13 ). — KJBi TTK] om. dH (exc. 936 *): et 
interfectionem 3. — nxep] Nxan K 245 R 196, Sebhir in some codd. — 


»m^iD-nacr»m] om. 3. — *JV*ni 2 ] vwdijvcu (&: liberari H. — J13N3 sola H: in 
9 5 ]~ox. The correct form is p3N. On the formation, see Ols. § 215 b; 
Stade, § 274 b. — Tn^c] de patria mea £. 

7. nvm-nbM*l] om. L. — anwrw] so Oc. (Ginsburg): »nwnn] Or. 
N 1 S Br. B 1 : om. <g£: Haupt deletes.— "inDaS] Mi £: om. 44, 106 — 
mrrn - noSon] om. (& H (exc. 936 under *) : rfi pavihivvri A #. — njn - 
inDN 1 ?] Kal ivex^lpivev airy 6 (3avChei>$ ra Kara ttjv (iavChelav L. — njn] 
om. 3 C — no] Trdrra rd virdpxovra (£►: o, nnes facilitates C — nnDN 1 ?] «al 
ixa-p^vdfirjv voi (&: tibi 3C&. — D**"1VM — VWl] om. L. — lSn] yw5« a^gi 3: 
iicpttMava (&: suspendi ?C. — Dmno-Sj?] Haupt deletes to correspond with 
his restoration of 2 221 . — IT* Sp] + aususestll. — D"Tim3-nkr] cogitavit 
super me mala inferre regno meo £. — '3 "P nSti'] as 2 21 3 6 6 2 9 2 . — a»nn>3] 
omrra Q. 

8-13. tr. aft. v. 14 L. — DriNi] Kal 6 (SavChebs evexelpive t$ Map5oxa£w L: 
om. DnN C DHK is emphatic both in its insertion and in its position. — 
13 no] ypd<peiv L: scrzfe iE: om. &. — ?|] not 'unto' but 'concerning' (cf. 
v. 9 9 20 ). — PWH h'j] om. $LU. — D9WJU 3it3o] ws 5o/cet tyu^ <g: &ra /3o«J- 
Xerai L: quemadmodum tibi placet et Mardochcso H. — DC3-end of v.] 
om. L. — Y?nn 1] /iou <g (exc. 93ft). — ■ iDnm] om. 1 0. — -jSon 2 ] meo + hcec 
enim consuetudo erat 3: /itou(gfG. — *o] v«£> 0. — 3fl3J n^N 3ns] &ra ypdQerai 
(&: qucecunque scribuntur C — 3ro] see on i 22 . — 3noj] mittebantur 3. — DM 
Y?Dn] e7rird^avTos tou fiavChtuis (& C — Dinrm] inf. abs. instead of finite vb. 
as 3 13 and often in Est. On the formation, cf. Kau. § 63 c. Haupt regards 
this as impossible in a coordinated relative clause and reads onnj as in 
3 12 . — -[Sen 4 ] illius 3: M<w (g 3J. — pit] pr. > &. — 3">!yn L '] avrots avreiirciv 

OF HAMAN (8 914a ). 

9. And the King's scribes [Jl + and secretaries] were called at 
that time]. On the scribes, see 3 12 . Mordecai does not delay in 
availing himself of the King's permission. — In the third month, 
that is, the month Sivan., on its twenty-third day], i.e., two months 
and ten days after the issuing of Haman's edict of destruction 
(3 12 ). The intervening time is supposed to be filled with the 
events of 4 1 -8 2 . On the Babylonian names of the months, see 2 16 . 
— And a dispatch was prepared in accordance with all that Mordecai 
commanded, unto the Jews, and unto the satraps, and the governors, 
and the officials [2F 1 + who had been appointed rulers] of the 
provinces that {extended) from India all the way to Kush, 127 


provinces, to every single province in its script, and to every sin^ 'e 
race in its language]. See on 3 12 and i 1 , which are in almost verbal 
agreement with this passage. Just as the dispatches were formerly 
prepared at Haman's dictation, so now at the dictation of Mordecai. 
— And unto the Jews in their script and their language]. Incredibly 
large as the number of scribes was that Haman required, Mordecai 
required still more, for he had to send also to the Jews in all the 
provinces (see on i 22 and 3 12 ). From this passage Blau draws the 
unwarranted inference that, as late as the time of the writing of 
this book, the Jews had not yet adopted the Aramaic alphabet, 
but still made use of the old "Phoenician" character. Baer calls 
attention to the fact that this is the longest v. in the Hagiographa, 
containing 43 words and 192 letters. 

10. And he wrote in the name of King Xerxes and sealed it with 
the King's signet [(E 1 + ring.] See on 3 12b . — And he sent dis- 
patches by the mounted couriers]. These are the well-known 
Persian royal messengers, who have been mentioned already in 
3 18 , q.v. (cf. 3 15 8 14 ). Mounted couriers are lit. runners on the 
horses. — Riding on the coursers, the royal steeds, bred from the stud, 
[©1 -f whose spleens were removed, and the hoofs of the soles of 
their feet were cloven.] The word translated coursers is used in 
Mi. i 13 of a chariot-horse, and in 1 K. 5 s (Eng. 4 28 ) of the royal 
horses. It must, therefore, denote a superior sort of horse. The 
next word 'ahashfrdnim is probably a loan-word from the Pers., 
derived from khshatra, 'kingdom' (cf Spiegel, Altpers. Keilin- 
schr., p. 215), and means something like 'royal steeds.' The old 
Vrss. can make nothing out of it and leave it untranslated. The 
doctors of the Talmud also confess their ignorance of its meaning, 
and say, "If we read the Book of Esther, although we do not 
understand this; why should not other Israelites read it, even if 
they understand no Hebrew?" (Meg. i&a.) The word trans- 
lated stud is also uncertain (see note). These fast horses are not 
mentioned in the sending out of Haman's decree, 3 13 - 15 . Ap- 
parently they are granted as a special favour to Mordecai, in order 
that the news of their deliverance may reach the Jews more 

11. To the effect that the King granted [®» + help] to the Jews, 



who were in every single city to assemble and to stand for their life]. 
According to the edict of 3 13 , they were to submit quietly to being 
killed. That edict cannot be revoked, but now they are allowed 
to defend themselves. The knowledge that the King favours them 
will strengthen them and will weaken the attack of their enemies, 
so that there is hope that they may come out safely. Thus far 
the edict is what one would expect, if the previous law could not 
be repealed. On stand for their lives, cf. 9 16 Dn. 12 1 . — To destroy, 
to slay, and to annihilate every armed force of race or city that might 
be hostile to them]. Cf. 3 13 . The clause contains a series of ob- 
jects to granted. From 8 13 o 1 - 16 it appears that the Jews are here 
permitted not merely to defend themselves against attack, but also 
to carry on an aggressive campaign against their enemies. A 
contrary opinion is maintained by Haupt only by an arbitrary 
changing of the text. The former situation is now reversed (9 1 ); 
whereas before the Jews had to submit to being killed by their 
foes, the foes have now to submit to being killed by the Jews. 
Improbable as it is that Xerxes should devote the whole Jewish race 
to destruction, it is vastly more improbable that he should give up 
his Persian subjects to be massacred by the Jews. — Children and 
women] might grammatically be the subject of the preceding in- 
finitives, but this gives no good sense. Sieg. suggests that it is 
another object to granted, and translates granted children and 
women and their goods as plunder; but in that case we should ex- 
pect their children and their women. This construction is contrary 
to the analogy of 3 13 , where the Jewish women and children are to 
be killed. Accordingly, in spite of the absence of a conj., we must 
regard children and women, like armed force, as objects to kill, 
slay, and annihilate. The older comm. are more troubled than the 
author over the question, whether it was right for the Jews to kill 
the women and children. Bon. infers from the statement that the 
Jews did not take the spoil (o 10 - 16 ), th-dt a fortiori they did not kill 
the women and children; but it is questionable whether this in- 
ference is valid. — And to plunder their goods]. See on 3 13 . 
12. On one day in all King Xerxes' provinces, 

[L + And the letter which Mordecai sent out had the following cor . 
tents: Haman sent you letters to the effect that you should hasten to 


destroy quickly for me the treacherous race of the Jews; but I, Mordecai, 
declare to you that he who did this has been hanged before the gates of 
Susa, and his property has been confiscated, because he wished to slay 

On the thirteenth of the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar,] 
see on 3 13b . 



At this point (8 H insert Mordecai's letter, E 1 - 24 (J and Eng. 
Apoc, Ad. Est. 16 1 - 24 ). L inserts after 8 7 . Jos. gives it in a much 
modified form. © 2 also inserts a letter similar in substance. In 
some indirect way it must be derived from (&. For a critical ap- 
paratus to the Greek text, see Pat on in HM . ii. pp. 39-42. 

'The following is a copy of the letter: The great King Artaxerxes 
unto the governors of countries in 127 provinces from India unto 
Ethiopia, and unto those that are concerned with our affairs, greeting. 
2 Many who are honoured too much with the great bounty of their 
benefactors, desire yet more, 3 and endeavour not only to hurt our 
subjects, but also, not being able to bear abundance, undertake to 
plot against those that do them good: 4 and not only take thankful- 
ness away from among men, but also, being lifted up with boastful 
words, as though they had never received good, they think to escape 
the evil-hating justice of God, who always sees all things. 5 Oftentimes 
also the fair speech of those that are put in trust to manage their friends' 
affairs, has caused many that are in authority to be partakers of innocent 
blood, and has involved them in remediless calamities: "beguiling with the 
false deceit of their lewd disposition the innocent good will of princes. 
7 Now you may see this, not so much from the ancient histories that have 
come down to us, as you may, if you search, what has been wickedly done 
through the pestilent behaviour in your presence of those that are un- 
worthily placed in authority. 8 And we must take care for the time to 
come, to render our kingdom quiet and peaceable for all men, 9 both by 
paying no attention to slanders, and by always judging things that come 
before our eyes with the greatest possible gentleness. 10 For Haman the 
son of Hamm e datha, a Macedonian, an alien in truth from the Persian 
blood, and far distant from our goodness, being received as a guest by us, 
"had so far obtained the favour that we shew toward every nation, that 


he was called our father, and was continually honoured by all men, as 
the next person unto the royal throne. 12 But he, not bearing his high 
estate, went about to deprive us of our kingdom and our life, 13 having 
by manifold and cunning deceits sought the destruction both of Mor- 
decai, who saved our life, and continually procured our good, and also 
of Esther the blameless partaker of our kingdom, together with their 
whole nation. 14 For by these means he thought, catching us unguarded, 
to transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians. 15 But we 
find that the Jews, whom this thrice guilty wretch has delivered to utter 
destruction, are no evil-doers, but live as citizens by most just laws: 
16 and that they are children of the most high and most mighty living 
God, who has established the kingdom both for us and for our progen- 
itors in the most excellent manner. 17 Wherefore ye shall do well not 
to put in execution the letters sent unto you by Haman the son of Ham- 
m e datha. 18 For he, that was the worker of these things, is hanged at 
the gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily 
rendering vengeance to him according to his deserts. 19 Therefore ye 
shall publish openly the copy of this letter in all places, to let the Jews live 
after their own laws, 20 and to aid them, that on the aforesaid day, being 
the thirteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, they may defend themselves 
against those who set upon them in the time of their affliction. 21 For 
Almighty God hath made this day to be a joy unto them, instead of the 
destruction of the chosen people. 22 And ye shall, therefore, on the feast 
days called "Lots"* keep it a high day with all feasting: 23 that both 
now and hereafter it may be safety for you and for the well-affected 
Persians: but for those who conspire against us a memorial of destruc- 
tion. 24 Therefore every city or country whatsoever, which shall not do 
according to these things, shall be utterly destroyed without mercy with 
fire and sword; it shall be made not only unpassable for men, but also 
most hateful to wild beasts and fowls forever. 

13. The contents of the edict (were), Let it be given out as law in 
every single province, published to all the races, that [<S + all] the 
Jews be ready for this day]. See the almost identical passage, 3 14 . 
— To avenge themselves on their enemies.'] This shows that the 
Jews are granted not merely the right of self-defense, but also to 
do to their enemies as the enemies intended to do to them (cf. 8 11 ). 

14 a . The couriers went forth [Jos. + bearing the letters,] riding 
upon the coursers, the royal steeds]. See on v. 10 . — Hastened and 
expedited by the King's order.] See on 3 15 . 

♦Reading with Grotius, Fritzsche and Ryssel ic\r)puv, as a translation of Purim, 
instead of the meaningless Vfxdv. 


9. nwi Safl-nnjw] om. L. — mim-iSon] om. (& (exc. n c - am «, 936 
under *): regis H. — RW1 T>f3]eral autem tempusH. — "•ts^tPn] rip irp&rtp 
<8 H (rpiTy m c. am g) 93 ^). — tt,-,n] om. &(6H. — |VD] S*ta 3: ^j-0-* $: 
Nto-d(j') (§> (Sioudi' M ■•*■*, 93ft): om. fr — noVa'a] ^v rerdpr-Q 249. — 
Dntrjn] om. H. — Uj tou auroi! erous (&: tou devripov erovs N *: rou auroO 
pnfpfe A, N, 76: ipsius mensis fj: -f- |^| **-> &. — anaWJ as^ao #• — TO] 
«^Dlo #: iir4<TT€L\e bk L. — '3TI3] om. fi 05 (exc. N * a m e) : Map8oxo.Tos 5iA 
ypa/xfidrup L: 'E<r0ifr> 44, 71, 74, 76, 106, 120, 236: om. H. — ^N-end 
of v.] om. L. — ^n] *\^» &. — VnV] om. ) &: Haupt follows & in this and the 
preceding reading. — &iQ~\-wnnri\principes'&: P - " ^^y\ft- rots oikop6- 
/iois (S: actoribus C — "H^i] + #wi prcesidebani 3f: raj? aarpair&p % (£. — 
nunnn] om. (g C — ntrs] om. g» ?£ (g (exc. n * a m g, 936). — tfio] + Sn sev- 
eral codd., K and R. — TUrxD '] satrapis C — nriDl njnD 2 ] gentium im- 
perantibus ft. — naroj] /card t^p eavrQp \tt-iv #: secundum H. — DJHDjn 
ij-''?^] oil a^ y^l j Vi\\c &: gentem et gentem secundum uniuscujusque 
eorum linguam H: om. <S (exc. 936 under *). — djib'Sdi-Vni] e/ Judceis 
prout legere poterant et audire 31 : om. H <& (exc. 93ft under *) : Haupt de- 
letes on the ground that the Jews needed no special dispatches, since those 
sent to the satraps were to be published, and since the Jews understood 
the languages of the provinces where they resided. 

10. mimn-3ro»\l om. L. — ann] a£2ta^)o &: typdcpt) 8e <g C: kcxI 
kypd<pr\ A, 71, 74, 76, 236. This vb. and the following may be impersonal 
(c/. 3 7 ), but it is not necessary with & to read them as Niphal. — DV3] Std, 
<S C. — m*m*] so Oc: »nwnK Or. N 1 S Br. B 1 : Haupt deletes. — arm] 
>c£w»»Z|o &: Kai £<T<ppayL<rdr] (£>?0: Kai keep pay L. — iSrn 2 ] tov /3a(rt- 
X^wsL: adrouCftlj. — n^i-end of v.] om. L. — n^i] koX e^air^areiXap (& 
(4£aTrtaTei\ev n c - ■ A). — DncD] om. 3E. — TO] 5td <g &. — D^in] Pifi\ia<p6p<av 
<&: librarios currentes^,. — D^DiD^] j-scLaiol r ^-Co &: om. (5: Haupt deletes 
as a gloss to the next two words. — O'ODnn - ^:n] qui per omnes provincias 
discurrentes veteres litteras novis nuntiis prcevenirent Jl : om. (& U : rois iirt- 
jSdrcus rCop app-drcop oi ptylarapes viol r(av Papux^lp. 936 under *. — iJO^] 
l-fcJs* 0: NDDn 8 1 : iwran © 2 : om. (8LC3: app.drwp 936. The gen- 
eral meaning 'horse' is established by Aram., Syr., and the apposition to 
cdid here, and iK.j 8 (cf. Mi. i 13 ) shows that it must be a special kind 
of horse. The word ir-irn 'property' is from the same root. — D'onrupnN] 
om. $LH3: ol p.ey la-raves 936 *: "•j-'Sicny, B*: N^tnj? ® 2 (Haupt re- 
gards these last two forms as corruptions of xSntanx = N-tata, ||^aj 
tabellarius, 'courier'). RaShI translates 'camels'; IE. 'mules.' Ge- 
senius, Thes. 76, connects with New Pers. astar or astdr, ' mule ' ; but 
this corresponds with Old Pers. acpatara, Skr. agvatara, which does not 
resemble the above form. Equally impossible is the etymology of Pott 
(Forschungen, p. lxvii) from esahyo, 'king,' and shutur, 'camel.' The 
derivation from khshatra, 'kingdom,' was first suggested by Haug in 
Ewald's Jahrbiicher, v. 154 (see Rodiger, Sup pi. to Ges. Thes., p. 68), and 


is now generally accepted. Haupt deletes this word as an antiquarian 
gloss, and also the following two words as a tertiary explanation of this 
gloss. — DWYl] j^*59 &: psm QP; »*»-! &: Pa/xax^/x 93b: om. 
fiLtl In Syr. and New Pers. the word means 'herd,' in New Heb. 
'mule.' In Ar. 'mare.' Whether it means here 'studs,' 'mares,' or 
'stallions' is uncertain. With Haupt we should point ramn instead of 
D\?D^n. The latter means properly 'herdsmen.' 

11. -\tt>N]= 'that,' introducing the contents of the dispatches, as i 19 
2 to 3 4 4 u 62, a late usage.— -|Spn-np« ']om. L: j n\s^ w£L>) |Z-jJ|#:ws 
iirtra&v (£ H. — DnwV) avrocs (g fi: rb edvos avrov L. — niTN 2 ] om. <& L %. 
— -pjn ity Soa] iv ird<xri (777) irdXec <jj>: Kara x^pas ZicaaTov avruv L: om. ft: 
| ^^^a^jj &. — 'Sripn 1 ?] e/ fM unum proeciperent congregari 3: x/"? "- 
0cu rots i>6ttots ai)r<Sy 05 C: eoprafriv ry 0e<£ L. — nopSi-end of v.] 
om. B. — HPAlSflBfVl] Porjdij&ai re atfrots 05: /cat p^veiv L. — ■POtBTi'?- 
end of v.] om. L. — -ONVi-'VDirnSj/caJ XPV^ - 1 ^ s /3oi5Xoi>rai 05 (-f d0a^- 
^eti/ /cai <pove6eiv w$ /SotfXoi>rai *a£ cbroXatfeiv 936 under *). — nnSi] om. 
> many codd. KR, B 2 . — "OnSi] om. 3. — n^-im - Sd pn] to?s avridLicois 
aitrQv 05 (+ 7raVai' 8vvap.iv Xaou /cat x^P as T0, ' J dXifidvras avrotis 
M c. ain g) q 3 6 under *): owwes 3: v »l\n\ &. — S>n] c/. i 3 . Haupt de- 
letes. — dpn Dnxn] Kai to?s avTiK€ip.£voLS avrQv 05: Qa/ ptc. from "HI 'be 
hostile,' not from the noun nx 'enemy,' which cannot govern the ace. 
(BDB. 849, III.). Haupt changes unnecessarily to BUM on-vin ycf. 
Nu. io 9 ). — naV-«|0] pr. o &: om. 05 (exc. n c. am g> g^ un der *): Haupt 
deletes as a gloss derived from 3 18 . — d^ji] -f* et universis domibus 3.— 
naS] -f- et constituta est 3. 

12. cnwnK-ova] om. L. — inn ova] om. fi: om. 2 3. — nunc] t?? 
pa<ri\ela <g. — iSdh] om. 305£. — pnwnN] om. 3: Haupt deletes- 
rwiWa] quarta £. — -\vy BwJ om. L. — ann] om. 3 05 L H. 

13. om. L£. — parte] ox.1^, ,4-^0 &. — anan] om. 05 (exc. n»», 93'' 
under *). — jrun 1 ?] iKTidtadiocrav 05: iicrUMrto n: £KTedd<rdu> A. — m] om. 
#05 (exc. 93& under *). — njnn] T77 (3a<ri\ela 05. — njnDi] om. #05 (exc. 
936 under*). — >iSj] om. 3: j-oso #: dipdaXpxxpavws 05. — D">Dpn W?J om. 
305. — nvnSi] + 7rdvraj 05. — D^nmnJ onirpn Q. — DHinj;] o>Tnj; Q. — 
rvn dvS] om. 3. — DpjnV] iroKept,i}<rcu (I. 

14a. "j^on - DWl] om. L. — WW] pr. o &: oi ^^ oSj* t7T7rets (15. — 
D>JincnNn - >3D^] om. 3 05 3C (exc. It «• • m &, 936 under *) : pr. laoatf )o &. 
— B^rWIWl] om. &: Haupt deletes. — inx>] om. H. — D^Snao] Q-aaJo #: 
festinanterft: Pu. ptc. pi. (c/. 2 9 6 M ). — o^imi] perferentesdl: b-*\^a\ m r sn.^D 
#: ^TriTeXetj/ (5: icai 5tw/c6iievot iTTLreXeiv a c - a m s ? 93^ under *. C/". 3 ]S 
6 12 : Jahn, Haupt, delete. — iSdh ~\2i2] Haupt deletes as a gloss derived 
from 3 1S . — nana] nuncia 3: rd Xry&MWd 05: pracepta C — iSnn] om. 3 0. 
— mni-end of v.] om. 44, 106, 107, 236: Haupt deletes as a scribal ex- 
pansion derived from 3 16 . 



14 b -15. Meanwhile the law had been given out in Susa the for- 
tress, and Mordecai had gone out [-3 + from the palace and] from 
the King's presence in a royal garment of violet and white]. On 
royal garment, see 6 8 ; on violet and white, see i 6 . — And a big 
golden crown]. The word crown is different from the one used 
for the royal turban in i 11 2 17 6 8 , but the idea is the same. Not 
only the King, but also his favourites were allowed to wear the 
royal head-dress, and in Mordecai's case this was specially large. 
— And a mantle of fine linen and purple]. See on 1 6 . When Mor- 
decai received these decorations, we are not told, presumably at 
the time when he became grand vizier (8 1 f •). He is now privileged 
to wear continually what before he received for a short time only 

[SF 1 + Rejoicing and glad of heart because of his great honour and 
abundant dignity, clothed in royal garments of wool, linen, and purple, 
with a chain of fine gold of Ophir in which were set pearls and precious 
stones, clad in a mantle made from the young of the bird of paradise (?) 
of the western sea, under which was a purple tunic with embroidery of 
all sorts of birds and fowls of the heavens, and this tunic was valued at 
420 talents of gold. And he was girt about the loins with a girdle on 
which were fastened throughout its length beryl stones. His feet were 
shod with Parthian socks imported by the Macedonians, woven of gold 
and set with emeralds. A Median sword hung by his side, suspended 
on a chain of rings of gold, on which was engraved the city of Jerusalem, 
and on whose hilt the fortune of the city was depicted. A Median hel- 
met painted with various colours was put on his head, and above it was 
placed a great crown of Macedonian gold, and above the crown was 
placed a golden phylactery, in order that all peoples, nations, and tongues 
might know that Mordecai was a Jew, that the Scripture might be ful- 
filled where it is written, "And all peoples of the earth shall see that the 
name of the Lord is named upon thee." And when Mordecai went out 
from the gate of the King, the streets were strewn with myrtle, the court 
was shaded with purple extended on linen cords, and boys with garlanded 
heads, and priests holding trumpets in their hands, proclaimed, saying, 
"Whoever is not reconciled to Mordecai and reconciled to the Jews, 
shall be cut in pieces and his house shall be turned into a dung-hill." 
And the ten sons of Haman came with lifted hands, and spoke before the 
righteous Mordecai, saying, "He who gives wages to the Jews brings 
also the wages of the wicked upon their heads. This Haman our father 


was a fool because he trusted in his riches and in his honour. The 
humble Mordecai has defeated him through his fasting and his prayers." 
And the righteous Esther looked out at the window, for the Queen was 
not permitted to go among the people in the street. And Mordecai, 
turning his eyes, saw her and said, "Blessed be the Lord who did not 
give me a prey to their teeth." Esther answered, saying, "My help is 
from the Lord who made heaven and earth." Many people rejoiced 
at the fall of the wicked Haman and gave thanks and praise on account 
of the deliverance which was wrought for the Jews, and they celebrated 
the deliverance and the glory which the righteous Mordecai had at this 
time (similarly © 2 , cf. © 2 on 6 11 ).] 

And [Jos. + when they saw him so honoured by the King, the 
Jews who were in] the city of Susa had shouted and rejoiced], in 
contrast to 3 1B , where the capital is perplexed at the edict of de- 
struction. Here, as in 3 15 , the author ascribes to the whole popu- 
lation the emotions of the Jews. The city of Susa is here dis- 
tinguished from the fortress of Susa as in 3 15 4'- 6 6 9 (see on i 6 ). 

16. Unto the Jews there came light, and joy, and rejoicing, and 
honour.] Light is a figure for prosperity, as in Jb. 22" 30 28 
Ps. 97 11 . 9 l t following Meg. 16b, translates light, "freedom to 
busy themselves with the Law"; joy, "and to keep the Sabbaths"; 
rejoicing, "the set feasts"; and honour, "to circumcise the fore- 
skins of their sons, and to place phylacteries upon their hands 
and upon their heads." On honour, see i 4 . The Jews in Susa 
are still meant. Now that they had become the King's favour- 
ites, all men hastened to flatter them. 

17. And in every single province and in every single city, wher- 
ever the Kings command and his law arrived]. See on 4 3 . — There 
was joy and rejoicing [2F 1 + of heart] among the Jews, and ban- 
queting and holiday], in contrast to the fasting, weeping, lamenta- 
tion, haircloth, and ashes of 4 3 , when Haman's edict was promul- 
gated. — And many of the heathen [05HL + were circumcised and] 
became Jews, [Jos. + to secure safety for themselves by this 
means,] for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.] So com- 
pletely were the tables turned, that it was now dangerous not to be 
a Jew. Heathen is literally peoples of the earth; not people of the 
land, AV. ; or peoples of the land, as RV. (see note). On fear had 
fallen upon them, cf. o/ 2f - Gn. 35 s Ex. 15" Dt. n 25 Ps. 105 38 al. 


The allusion to proselyting in this v. is one of the many indications 
of the late date of the book. There is no evidence that this took 
place before the Greek period. 

14b. mm] + regis 3: ^J^dos-co &: exemplum epistolae 1C. — njnj] 
I no >s\* 0: pf. with 1 in a circumstantial clause. & takes it as a relative 
clause, 'in the word of the King and the law which had been given out 
in Susa.' — mon] om. J<8 (exc. x c - a , 936 under *): civitate regis H: 
Trep^xov rdde L (here L inserts 8 8 - 13 ). — NX"> »3*nDi] not impf. with ) consec. 
in sequence with the foregoing, but another circumstantial clause, unless 
regarded as an instance of the late use of the pf. with 1 connect, instead of 
impf. with 1 consec, as o 23 (cf. Driver, Tenses, § 313). Here, however, 
the subject precedes the vb., as normally in a circumstantial clause. 

15. YjomjoSo] om. iC <8 L (exc. n c - *™s, 936 under *).— mm rSar] 
om. CL(S (exc. n c. am gj g^b under *). — mm] t0-O?o &: et aereis H: 
deptprjp n c - », 936. — nSi-u - mojn] om. L (exc. 93a): Haupt deletes. — 
mopi] here only in Est., elsewhere in? (i u 2 17 6 8 ). — rhru] om. 3 & (£ £. 

— T"W»l] e* amictus 3: «at Siddrjfxa (§L: "|n3D QI 1 : a.X. from Aram. "p3 
'enclose.' It denotes a sort of spacious outer mantle. — y\2] serico pallio 
3: et byssinum C — jdjini] om. C: om. 1 (gL. — |B>w mym] ld6vres 8Z ol 
iu Zotfcots OILS. — nSns] usually 'neigh,' here of a shrill cry of joy, as 
Is. 12 6 54 1 ; pf. in continuation of the series of circumstantial clauses. — 
nnotnj om. L1C 06 (exc. n c - am g): -f- 6n A: pausal form of pf. 3 f. s. of 
stative vb. Haupt deletes as an explanatory gloss to the preceding 

16. mis] om. 44, 106, 107: cf. Ps. 139 12 . Aram, and late Heb. for ms, 
and used with the same literal and figurative meanings. The transla- 
tion of ©' is a play upon the similar word NnniN 'law.' — rinnan] tt6tos L. 

— jtrti'i] K(bdo)v L: tQ Kvpt(f3 9eQ> 19: tevpUf t$ de$ loSb: om. U (S (exc. n c - a , 
936 under *). — np>i] om. L3I<S (exc. H c - a , 936 under *). 

17. 3W-V33Y] om. L. — ^331 "] om. (g (exc. 108a): om. 1 &. — JljnDl] 
om. g> 31 G£ (exc. 936 under *). — Sssi 2 ] om. <S £. — mp] om. £. — mjn] om. 
#HCS (exc. 936 under *). — Dip D- end of v.] om. 71. — 3W-01pD] om. 44, 
106, 107. — T^on-oipD] om. A N 52, 74, 76, 243. — oipc}om. (SH. — "Vn] 
om. 248, C, Aid. — wrn iSdh] om. 31 <£ (exc. j< cam &, 93ft under *). — 
mm] om. 3. — JPJ1D] + o5 ftp i£er4$q t6 eicdepa (& (exc. n): -f- rd eK0ep.a 
248, C, Aid. — piwn] ]£^5 &.— a»-onVhV] om. 31.— ommS] e/>«/« 3: 
+ o &. — 3tfl DVl] /cal ei(ppo<rvv7j (g: «ai dlyaXMao-ts 74, 76, 120, 236: om. 
249. — did dv] Here as in 1 S. 25 s of a day of feasting. In 9 19 - 22 Zc. 8 1B , 
as in late Jewish usage, of the feast days of the religious calendar. — ">dpd 
piNn] alterius gentis 3: tuv kQvdv (g: twv lovSaiuv L. The singular 
y\nr\ qjj means 'people of the land,' and is used either of the aboriginal 
Canaanites, as Gn. 23?- I2f - (P) Nu. 14 9 (JE) Ezr. 4*, or of the Israelites, 
as Ex. 5 5 (J) Lev. 4" 20 2 - 4 . The plural HUB "»Dj7 means always 'the 


peoples of the earth,' and is used of the heathen in contrast to Israel. 
So Dt. 28 10 Jos. 4 24 1 K. 8 53 - 60 1 Ch. 5" 2 Ch. 6 33 32 19 Ezr. io 2 Ne. io 31 f - 
Ez. 3 1 12 Zp. 3 20 . Similarly nwwn >ny 'peoples of the lands,' 2 Ch. 13 9 
Ezr. 3 3 9 1 f - n Ne. 9 30 io 29 . From this plural a singular is formed in New 
Heb. with the meaning of 'one ignorant of the Law,' who is no better 
than a heathen (cf. Jn. 7 49 ). — brnnc] eorum religion* et caremoniis 
jungerentur 3 : i.-nno.Zf^P j$ : om. to end of v. L. This word is a Hithp. 
denom. from **WV (Stade § 164), d.\., and rare in New Heb. © l QJ 2 
have p*Vjno, which is the usual later word for 'become a proselyte.' — 
Sdj "o] dia (& (ical 81a x *): propter 3j. — "\nc] + grandis 3: timorem qui 
/actus erat adversus inimicos £. — DrvSy] cunctos 3: om. i£ (& (exc. 936 
under *). 

ENEMIES (9 1 " 10 ). 

1. And in the twelfth month, that is, [Jos." 86 + among the Jews] 
the month of Adar, [Jos. + but among the Macedonians Dustros,] 
on its thirteenth day]. The nine months that intervened since the 
second edict was sent out (8 9 ) are passed over in silence. — When 
the King's command and his law went into operation], lit. arrived 
to he done {cf. 4 3 8 17 ). According to the irrevocable law of 3 13 , the 
heathen are to kill the Jews ; and, according to the equally irrev- 
ocable law of 8 n , the Jews are to kill the heathen. Lively times 
are to be anticipated. — On the day, when the enemies of the Jews 
expected to domineer over them, it was changed [S^ 1 + by Heaven on 
account of the virtue of the forefathers] so that the Jews domineered 
over their enemies.] According to AV., Rys., the second clause 
is a continuation of the preceding temporal clause, and the apo- 
dosis does not come until the next v., but this is not so natural. 
77 is impersonal (Keil, Sieg., Haupt). The characteristic avoid- 
ance of the name of God is seen here as in 4 s 14 - 16 6 1 . 

2. The Jews had assembled in their cities in all King Xerxes' 
provinces to lay hands upon those who wished them ill.] This is in 
accordance with the edict of 8". To lay hands, lit. to stretch forth 
a hand, is a synonym of kill, as in 2 21 y. The persons killed are 
not merely those who attack them, but also those who are known 
to be hostile, ''their haters" (v. '). See on 8". — And no man had 
stood out against them], lit. had stood before them. Stood might 


mean took a stand, as in 4 H 5 1 7 7 ; but from q 3 16 it appears that the 
Jews encountered opposition, so that we must translate had kept 
a stand, as in 8 n 9 16 Jos. io 8 21 44 23 s . The enemies of the Jews 
attacked them in accordance with the edict of 3 13 , but they had no 
enthusiasm and were easily defeated. — For the fear of them had 
fallen upon all the races.] See on 8 17 . 

3. And all the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the 
governors, [Jl + and every dignitary in every place,] and those who 
did the King's business had been helping the Jews, for the fear of 
Mordecai had fallen upon them.] See on 3 9 - 12 . The royal offi- 
cials have no difficulty in seeing which edict they would better 
enforce. They everywhere take the side of the Jews and help 
them kill the heathen. Granted that such an edict could be sent 
out, this is doubtless the natural result. 

4. For Mordecai was [S 1 + overseer and] great [© ! + and 
steward] in the King's house, [J + and had much power,] and the 
report of him kept going through all the provinces, for the man 
Mordecai [5F 1 -f was master of the house and father to the King 
and] grew greater and greater.] This is an explanation of the last 
clause of the preceding v. All the provinces learned that Morde- 
cai was so powerful that his vengeance would surely overtake any 
one who showed himself hostile to the Jews. On King's house, 
see 2 8 . Grew greater and greater is lit. was growing and was 

5. So among all their enemies the Jews made a smiting with the 
sword, and a slaughter [S 1 + with maul-clubs] and a destruction 
[(E 1 + of lives.] Made, lit. smote, is followed by the cognate ace. 
smiting and the synonyms slaughter and destruction. Cf the 
terms of the decree in 8". — And they did with their enemies as they 
pleased.] Did with is used in the sense of did to as i 15 6 8 . This 
is more than self-defence. All that were known to be hostile to the 
Jews were hunted out and killed. 

6. [Jos. 288 + So the King's decree was carried out in all the 
country that was subject to him] and in Susa the fortress the Jews 
slew and annihilated 500 men [(5 1 + all the chieftains of the house 
of Amalek.] On Susa the fortress, see i 2 . This slaughter took 
place in the palace-quarter under the King's very eyes. It 


indicates the presence of a considerable body of Jews in Susa 
(cf. 4"). 

7-10. Meanwhile they slew Parshanddthd, and Dalphon, and 
'Aspdtha, and Pordtha, and 'Adalyd, and 'Aridhdthd, and Par- 
mashtd, and 'Arisay, and 'Ariday, and Wayzatha, the ten sons of 
Haman, son of Hamnfddthd, [Vrss. + the Agagite,] the enemy 
of the Jews, [Jl + whose names are these.] On the origin and 
meaning of these names, see p. 70. The Massora prescribes 
that they are to be written in a perpendicular column on the right 
side of the page, with and on the left side. This arrangement 
is followed in most of the printed editions. The reason for it is 
found in haggadic legends as to the way in which the sons of 
Haman were hanged. See on 9 14 , and Buxtorf, Synag. Jud., Basel, 
1680, pp. 557-559. In the first name, the Massora prescribes that 
th shall be written smaller than the other letters; in Parmashta, 
that sh shall be small; and in Wayzatha, w large and z small. 
These peculiar letters may indicate early attempts to correct the 
text (cf. Baer-Strack, Diqduqe hatte'amim, 61, p. 48/.). They are 
known already to BT., for Meg. 16b directs that the 1 of Wayzatha 
shall be written large, to show that the ten sons were all hanged on 
one gallows (cf. v. 14 ). Meg. also directs that the names of the ten 
shall be uttered in one breath, because their souls left their bodies 
at one time. — But on the plunder they did not lay their hands], 
although permitted to do so by the King (8 U ). According to 
RaShI they left this for the King, so that he would not permit the 
princes of Trans-Euphrates to disturb their brethren. Similarly 
IE., Esti. According to Men., Tir., Lap., it was to avoid suspicion 
of having attacked their enemies for mercenary reasons ; accord- 
ing to Grot, al., to prevent the heathen from saying that they had 
enriched them, as Abraham in Gn. 14 22 f . 

1. om. L 2j. — xin] quern vocari ante jam diximus 3. — cnn] om. 3 # (&. 
— 13 Dv] om. &: rod firjvds (g>. — mtrynS - -itrx] quando cunctis Judceis inter- 
fectio parabatur 3J. — ■»*] om. <g. — JPUrl TTK] here of time, in 4 3 8 17 of 
place. On ■MfrK = 'when' after words expressing time, see BDB. 826. — 
jpjn] + i-l£>] &. — "0"i] to. ypa/jL/jLCLTa to ypcKptvra v-rrb (g: to. ypafifxara 44, 
106, 107. — nit^n 1 ? urn] om. CI (exc. n c am g> g^ under *). — ona-ova] 
Haupt deletes as a scribal expansion. — far- ova] om. &. — "\tt>N ova] et 
31. — wn - t-'n] om. <g (exc. 93^ under *). — roe] inhiabantH: a late word 


borrowed from Aram. — ontfW* *3»k] ^om .^VvA $ — dhw.-i] 
eorum 3. — toiScS] sanguini M: om. &. — BiStrV] found only in post-exilic 
literature and NH. — on:] om. 3#. — lionji] versa vice 3: om. 1 &. — 
-ponji] Niph. inf. abs. as a substitute for the finite vb., as so often in this 
book, e.g., 6 9 8 8 (cf. Stade, §§ 251, 626 c); here apparently as a substitute 
for the impf . with » consec. — xin] ]Z p -»-aL &. — Dfmora - "\wk] Haupt 
deletes as a scribal expansion. — *wn] = 'so that,' as Gn. n 7 13 16 Ex. 20 26 
Dt. 4 10 - 40 6 3 al. — Dn>KJC3 - W^] airdoXovro oi avriKeifjievoi tois lovdaiois 
(&: Judcei superiores esse cceperunt et se de adversariis vindicate 3. — ijoSc" 1 ] 

2. om. 3G. — onjn - V?npj] om. L(g (exc. 936 under *): pr. 1 30. — 
iSnpj] pf., as -<nj? in the next v., instead of impf. with 1 consec, because 
these events are not subsequent to v. l , but are a resume in detail of what 
is there stated in general. — onvnn] om. 3. — "|VDn] et loca J. — cmtynx] 
om. 3: Haupt deletes. — »rp3D3] ^ r nSo &. — Dnjn + et persecutors suos 
3. — orvjoS] amjD3 no codd. KR, N 1 Br. B 2 : om. <& (exc. 936 under * 
x c. amg) : avrois L. — DTID Ssj o] {pofiotip-evos avroijs (S: €<f>o^ovvTo yap 
avrofc L. — oiuo]formido magnitudinis eorum 3. — D^Oprl Sd ■>?] om. CI L: 
Haupt deletes the whole clause from *3 to D-'Dyn as an illogical scribal 

3. Sdi] nam et 3: 7«p (&: et H: 5£ L. — rwiDJl] t«v car pair (av C£HJ: om. 
L. — mnom] om. <SH. — naiteiwjn] <al oi ypap.p.areis C§LH: om. 44, 
71, 106. — -tVdS xn] om. 3: /SacnXtKoi <SL: /rg« £: om. 44, 71, 106. — 
d-npjd] » tj n i So &: irlfuav (gLIC. — dhihm] Deum 3G. — DJT^-^3] 
Haupt deletes as a scribal expansion. — 13-nD] j-n\y? &. 

4. T"?Dn-*3»] om. L2I<& (exc. N"% 93ft under *).— *3] + cogno- 
verant 3. — OTio] gwew J. — no:] Zc^» #. — Y?vnj;nB>Yl/ama quoque 
nominis ejus crescebat J: irpoviireaev yap rb irpbcraypja tov Pa<ri\£ws ovo- 
p.a<r9i}vai (&: prceceptum enim erat timorem regis nominari %: nal irpoo~£- 
ireaev iv SoiArots 6vop.acr6rjvai 'Ap.av ical roi/s avriK€t.p,4vovs L. — tyWP] 
mJbAAt &: from jnofc (c/. Jos. 6 27 9 9 Je. 6 24 ), a rarer form with the same 
meaning as j?db\ — ntPlDtl Soa] quotidie J. — |/n -.V^ ^-m\r^ £ : e^ 
7rct<r77 (7-77) /ScwtXe^C&L: Ml omwi civitate ejusQ: + atfroO 44, 74, 76, 106, 
1 20, 236. — Snji - *D 2 1 e/ per cunctorum or a volitabat 3 : om. L 31 (S (exc. 
93ft under *): Haupt deletes as a scribal expansion. — Snj) qVin] in 
2 Ch. 17 12 Sirt T^n, which suggests that Vhj may be an adj. It is 
probably better, however, to regard it as an inf. abs., since this construc- 
tion is such a favourite with the author. 

5-19. om. ft — 5. om. L (S (exc. 936 under *). — '2 idm] 'smote among,' 
as Jos. io 10 2 S. 23 10 24 17 . — Sd3] om. 3. — 3*vi] magna 3. — paw jthi] 
Haupt deletes as a gloss derived from the next v. — J-\m] et occiderunt eos 
3. — p3Ni] om. 3: see on 8 6 . — wims] quod sibi paraverant facere 3. 

6. om. H. — Jtcittoi] om. 1 &: /ecu ^v at/T7? (g.: Kal iv So&rots n * 
N c. amginf a L. — m»an] om. n * L 44, 106 3: Haupt deletes as a gloss. 


— onwn] om. 3. — i3Ni] om. 3 & L (S (exc. n c - % 936 under *) : inf. abs., 
as so often in this book. — nWD Bran] eirraKoaiovs L. 

7. om. H 106: tr. aft. o 10a J. 

8. om. H 106. 

10. om. H. — mtpy] pr. extra 3: pr. /cat L, 44, 106, C. — Nmnn p] om. 
3&: + AgagitaH: + i-»-<r\J ^ : + ( T0 ^) RovyaLov(& L: + /cal Bov7afoi/ 
44, 106: + BouS^ou N *. — TW] toi>s exOpovs 249. — unn] pr. 9^05 cwm 3: 
om. L <g (exc. n c - a A, 936 under *). — a-p-niim] /cal 8i^pTra<rav (g: /cat 
8nf)pira(rav irdvra to. avrQv L: /cat ov 8ir]pTra<rav C: /cat e? rots cr/c6\ots owe 
dir^KTeipav ras x e 'P as aurwi' 936 under *: om. 106. 


SUSA (9 11 - 15 ). 

11. On that day the number of those slain in Susa the fortress 
came to the knowledge of the King.] According to IE. the enemies 
of the Jews reported it in order to turn the King against the Jews. 
If so, they failed in their effort. 

12. And the King said to Queen Esther, In Susa the fortress the 
Jews have killed and annihilated 500 men, [S 1 + chieftains of 
the seed of Amalek,] and also the ten sons of Haman. In the rest 
of the Kings provinces what have they done? [Meg. 16b + Then 
came an angel and smote him on the mouth.] The idea is, if as 
many as 500 men have been killed in the palace-quarter, how vast 
must have been the slaughter throughout the empire. The ad- 
dition of Meg. assumes that the question is put in anger, and only 
because of supernatural intervention does the King change his 
mind and ask Esther what more she wishes. Of this there is no 
trace in the original. Xerxes tries to please Esther by showing 
her how precisely her desire has been carried out, and then pro- 
ceeds to inquire what more she wants. — [44 + And the King said 
to Esther,] Now whatever thy request is shall be granted thee, and 
whatever is still thy petition shall be done.] See on 5 3 - 6 7 2 . The 
King is so well disposed that he is ready to grant Esther permission 
to massacre a few more thousands of his Persian subjects, if she 
sees fit {cf. 8»). 

13. And Esther said, If it seems good to the King]. See on 1 19 . — 
Let it be granted to-morrow also to the Jews that are in Susa to act 
in accordance with the law of to-day [QI 1 + by keeping a holiday 


and rejoicing as ought to be done on a famous day.] The expla- 
nation of 2F 1 is inadmissible, since nothing has yet been said of any 
celebration of the thirteenth of Adar as a holiday {cf. v. 17 ). In 
accordance with the law of to-day can only mean with a slaughter, 
such as has been permitted to-day {cf. 8 n 9 6 - 10 ); so Jos., "To treat 
their remaining enemies in the same manner." For this horrible 
request no justification can be found. A second massacre was in 
no sense an act of self-defence, since the power of the enemies of 
the Jews had already been broken by the events of the thirteenth 
of Adar. This shows a malignant spirit of revenge more akin to 
the teaching of the Talmud {e.g., in Tract. 'Abhoda Zara) than to 
the teaching of the OT. On law, see i 8 . — And let them hang the 
sons of Haman upon the gallows], although they have already been 
killed, according to vv. 7 - 10 . The vengeance of Esther pursues 
them even after they are dead. We must suppose that their bodies 
are suspended with their father's (7 10 8 7 ), in order to complete the 
degradation of the house of Haman and to serve as an additional 
warning to the enemies of the Jews {cf. 1 S. 31 10 ; Her. iii. 125; 
vi. 30; vii. 238). 

14. And the King commanded that this should be done, [Jos. 290 
+ because he was unable to deny Esther anything,] and a law was 
given out [246 + on the fourteenth of Adar, and they slew 300 
men] in Susa.] See on 3 15 . The complaisant King at once 
issues a new edict granting the two points that Esther requested, 
namely, another slaughter of his Persian subjects, and the hanging 
of the sons of his former friend. No improbability is too great 
for this author. The next two clauses show how this law was 
executed. — So they lianged the ten sons of Haman [codd. 4- upon the 

[2Ji 2J2 _}_ And this is the order in which they were hanged with Haman 
their father on the gallows which Haman had prepared for Mordecai : — 
Its height was 50 cubits. It was set three cubits deep in the ground, and 
Parshandatha was 4% cubits above the ground, and Parshandatha was 
hanged in a space of 3 cubits, and between him and Dalphon was J cubit. 
Dalphon was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of J cubit from 
'Aspatha. 'Aspatha was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of 
J cubit from Poratha. Poratha was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a 
distance of J cubit from ' Adalya. ' Adalya was hanged in a space of three 


cubits, at a distance cf J cubit from 'Aridhatha. 'Aridhatha was hanged in 
a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of \ cubit from Parmashta. Parmashta 
was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of \ cubit from 'Arisay. 
'Arisay was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of J cubit from 
'Ariday. ' Ariday was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance of \ cubit 
from Wayzatha. Wayzatha was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, at a distance 
of \ cubit from Haman. Haman was hanged in a space of 3 cubits, and 
above his head 3 cubits were left, so that the birds might not eat of it.] 
[QJ 1 + And Zeresh fled with 70 sons who were left to Haman, and they 
earned their living by becoming doorkeepers, and also Shimmeshe, the 
scribe, was slain with the sword, and 108 sons, who were rulers in the 
King's streets, died with the 500 men slain in Susa.] [© 2 + And when 
Mordecai came and saw Haman and his sons hanging on the gallows, 
Mordecai addressed Haman thus: Thou thoughtest to do evil to the 
people of the house of Israel, but He who knoweth the hidden things and 
the thoughts, hath brought thy plan upon thy head. Thou wast de- 
siring to kill us and to remove us from under the wings of our Heavenly 
Father. Now they are treating thee so, and are hanging thee with thy 
sons under thy wing.] 

15. And the Jews that were in Susa assembled also on the four- 
teenth day of the month of Adar.] In this way the author seeks to 
explain the fact that in his day the city Jews kept the feast of 
Purim on the fifteenth of Adar, instead of the fourteenth, the day 
observed by the country Jews (cf 9 18 *•). History here arises 
from custom, not custom from history. — And they slew in Susa three 
hundred men [QI 1 + of the house of Amalek,] but on the plunder 
they did not lay their hands.] See on v. 10h . 

11. om. LK. — KVin ova] om. 106. — rvvan] om. 3 (& (exc. n •■ », 936 
under *). — iSdh ijaS] om. 52, 03&. 

12. om. K. — iSd.-i] qui 3. — -uidnS] om. 3.— noScn] om. L <& (exc. 
N c. amg j 936 under *). — irvan fPWa] om. L: Haupt deletes rvvan. — 
onwn mn] air&keaav ol lovdaiot (g: 7r<2s <roi ol ivravOa (ivravra i] 19, 
1086) L — -ONi]om. L(S (exc. x c. am g) 9 T>b under *): Haupt deletes — 
{Dfl-VDn] om. L. — JDri-nw] om. (£ (exc. s * »■«, 936 under *). — "iN£>a 
nunc] 4v 5£ rrj wepix^PV (X&pQ A ) <& : Kal oi ** T V irepix^PV L. — "J^nn] om. 
3 & L <& (exc. 936 under *). — WJ> nc] quantam putas eos exercere ccedem3: 
ttws otei ixp^avro {^xp-nvrai N •• * A) (&: K^xptivrai L: + Kal elirep 6 pa<ri- 
Xei>s vpbs 'EadJip 44. — not 1 ] om. 1 54 codd. K R, 3%. — MD1- end of v.] 
om. L {cf. 8 2 end). — •pSac] a%ioh + en (g: postulas + ultra 3. — jruv] 
pO&M #: Kal ea-rcu <g: om. 3.— -^] om. 3.— n^-end of v.] om. <& 
(exc. 936 under*). — ^?]om.3&. — Pjmi] tit fieri jubeam Ml ^noL-iiJ &. 


13. om. 21. — J»-OKj om. & L: r<£ paaCkel (g: avTip 44: ^dj/ r<£ (ia<n\ei 
<pavr) 936 under *.— dj om. fc (8 L,.— - fenca ib>n] om. #<g (exc. 936 
under *): oOs ^Av diXuxrivL,. — rwyS] xpfod* 1 - &'■ dveXeiv L. — ovn m:] 
)lV>n^9 f-1 S»: dxraiJTws <j&: «:at 5ia/>7r<£ftt»' L. — fjjn — nw] om. L (cf. 
8 7 end). — yyn hy] om. <S (exc. M «• *, 936 under *). 

14. om. H 106. — nDN>l] Kal iirtrpexpev (g: Kal <Tvvex^PV a ' ev L: tir&Tpe- 
\J/evi< *. — i^Dn-end of v.] om. L. — ^nn] om. <& (exc. 936 under *). — 
rwj?nS] Niph. inf. here only in book. The Qal inf. is the regular con- 
struction. — pjni] Kal i^dr}Ke(v) <&. — m] rots lovdalois (&: -f- T77 Te<Tcrape<T- 
KatdeKdrrj rod 'Addp Kal aire'KTeivav &v5pas rpicucovlovs 236. — }PW3] rrjs 
7t6\6ws (g: om. N *. — mirjj nxi] ra aibixara ($>: om. N *. — V?n] Kpep-dcrcu (8: 
+ r^ *W K 147, 180; R 443, &, 249. 

15. om. LIG. — owwvrYjonvwi Q. — wn]om. IKS. — p* wa »] om. 71. 
— ova DJ] om. <S (exc. 936 under *). — e»N-ova] tr. aft. m, v. ,4 , 236. — 
bhiv>] j—j-^ oua &: om. (& (exc. n * n «=• % 93ft under*). — tin] om. & 
n *. — ftsntpa 2 ] om. <B (exc. H c a m s, 936 under *) : + °* IouSa/ot x «■ a »>e, 
93& under -7-, — D"P-nraaV] /caJ ouS^v (ovdev A) Si^piraaav (&: Kal ovdkv 
Siypiraaev 93ft under -r- : -f- Kal ovk i^reivav ras x e ^ as ttirrwv els diapira- 
yfjv 936 under *. 


IS KEPT (9 1619 ). 

16-17 a . Now the rest of the Jews that were in the King's prov- 
inces had assembled, and had stood for their life, and had rested 
from their enemies, and had slain among their foes 75,000 men 
f® 1 + of the house of Amalek], without laying hands on the plunder, 
on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar [Jos. QI 1 + the slaughter 
took place] [S 1 + among the descendants of Amalek ;] [(F 2 + And 
the men whom the Jews killed in Susa were the enemies of Israel, 
who said to the house of Israel, Within a few days from now we 
will kill you and dash your children upon the ground.] This v. 
does not continue the narrative of v. 15 , but is a supplementary 
statement in regard to the events of the thirteenth of Adar already 
related in vv. 2 - 5 . Hence the tenses are properly rendered by the 
pluperfect. On the phraseology, cf. 8 11 f - 9 s - 10 - 15 . The phrase 
stood for their life is mechanically repeated from 8 11 , although, 
according to 8 17 9 2 , they encountered little opposition. The new 
item, that 75,000 men were killed, contains an incredibly large 
number. <$> changes it to 15,000 and L to 10,107. The clause, 


and on the plunder they did not lay their hands, is not the con- 
clusion of the sentence, as the Massoretic division of the verses 
suggests, but is a parenthetical remark separating the verbs of 
v. I6 from the adverbial clause at the beginning of v. 17 , on the 
thirteenth day oj the month of Adar. To this faulty verse-division 
are due the additions of Jos. 3t> AV. and RV. 

17 b . And they rested on its fourteenth day.] Not until the day 
after the fight could they have rest {cf. w. 18 - «■ 22 ). Hence it is a 
mistake when Sieg., following the Massoretic division, translates, 
"On the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, then they found 
rest, and on the fourteenth." — And they made it [ J + a solemn 
occasion that for all time to come they should keep as a day of 
feasts and] a day of banqueting and joy.] Cf. 8 17 . 

18. But the Jews that were [J + making the slaughter] in Susa 
[(& J + the fortress] had assembled [ST 1 + to cut off the children of 
Amalek] on its thirteenth day and on its fourteenth day], as already 
narrated in vv. 6 -'° ,5 . In contrast to the Jews of the provinces, 
who had only one day for slaughtering their enemies, those of 
Susa had two days, and therefore could not enjoy themselves 
until one day later than their brethren. — And they rested on its 
fifteenth day, and made it a [ Jl + solemn] day of banqueting and 
joy.] Cf 8 17 o 17 . 

19. Therefore the country Jews, that dwell in hamlets of the rural 
districts, keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a joy, and a 
banquet, and a holiday, and a sending of dainties to one another.] 
Here we find the reason for the foregoing stories of the different 
days of slaughter. In the author's time there was a diversity of 
practice, the country Jews keeping Purim on the fourteenth of 
Adar and the city Jews on the fifteenth. This he seeks to explain 
by the theory that the Jews of the provinces had only one day 
of vengeance, while those of Susa had two. On banquet, see i 3 ; 
on holiday, 8 17 ; on dainties, 2 9 . This v. has all the value of a 
tora; it is not surprising, therefore, that in the Talmud it has be- 
come the basis of an elaborate halachic development. In addition 
to the celebration here recorded, Meg. 2a prescribes that the roll 
of Est. must be read in hamlets on the fourteenth of Adar, or on the 
preceding market-day that falls on the eleventh, twelfth, or thir- 



teenth; but that it must not be read earlier than the eleventh or 
later than the fourteenth. This raises the question, What may 
legally be regarded as a hamlet ? According to Meg. 36, a town 
that was originally unwalled, but subsequently has been surrounded 
with a wall, is still to be regarded as a hamlet. A place with less 
than ten men whose whole time is devoted to prayer is also to be 
regarded as a hamlet (cf. 5a). — [(8 codd. + But those who dwell in 
the cities keep also the fifteenth of Adar as a joyous and good day 
by sending dainties to their neighbours.] This is exactly what we 
should expect, but do not find in the Heb. It is implied in v. 21 , 
and once must have stood at this point in the text. Whether the 
reading of (I is a survival, or is a happy conjectural emendation, 
it is impossible to say. It did not stand in the text used by the 
doctors of the Talmud ; but they felt the need of it, and supplied 
it by a process of casuistical reasoning (Meg. 2a, Mishna; 26, 
Gemara). By cities the Mishna teaches we are to understand 
places that have been surrounded with a wall since the days of 
Joshua (cf. Dt. 3 5 ). Other authorities hold that it means places 
that have been fortified since the days of Xerxes (2b). The rule 
of the Mishna gives rise to extended discussions over the question, 
which cities of Palestine were walled in the days of Joshua (cf. 
Meg. 56). 

16. om. C — DmaHttJ-mtn] om. L. — iNtn] om. 1K» 3. — nunoa "i^n] 
om. 44, 106: oi kv rrj fiacnXdq. <&: irav kv rrj /Sa<rt\e£a 248. — mjnDD] *?03 
nunc 15 codd. K R, 3. — Y?Dn] om. <g: 'Apra&pfrv 71, 74, 76, 236.— 
bnp}] om. 31. — idj?i] Kal iavroh £por)dow(&: inf. abs. instead of finite vb., 
as throughout this v. and the next. A very common construction in this 
book (cf. Kau. § 113/.)- — ovbi Hy] om. <& (exc. n c - a , 03& under *). — 
rvui] inf. abs. as vv. 17 - 18 . The statement that they had rest from their 
enemies, although supported by all the Vrss., does not come in naturally 
before the statement that they slew their enemies, and v. 17 states that they 
did not rest until the fourteenth day. Accordingly, after the analogy 
of 8 13 , Bert., Reuss, G, Rys., Wild., Buhl, propose to read either DWiTI or 
O^ty 'and were avenged.' The reading mji has probably come in 
from the next v. Haupt deletes the whole phrase Dma^KD nui as a mis- 
placed gloss. — Jnm] q^Judo j$: air&\e<rav yap (g: /ecu d7rc6\e<rai' L. — 
qrnjtpa] ^^ for 3 &: a&rwv (&: dvvdrcov n *: om. L. — *fc* 0*93*1 npon] 
/xvplovs 7revTa/ct<rxt\i'ovs (&: pvpidSas cirrd Kal eKctrbv Avdpas L. — DT - n?33l] 
Kal oidtv Srfpiraeav (m <=• a l »e, 936 under * = f):om.LA: Haupt deletes. 


17-19. om. LH. — 13 -ova] om. 71. — nva] om. W* 5(8. — rwhv] 
rtavapes A. — • tnrb] a for S g> : om. (6. — -nN] + primus apud omnes inter- 
fedionis fuit 3: om. n *. — MUi] a, « i l^^ljo j£: om. A: inf. abs. as in the 
preceding v. So the Vrss. in general. 2I 1 takes as a noun and trans- 
lates ^m««S mn nrvji. Haupt deletes this and the following word. — 
la] ] »| >^ <juo &: toO avToC /zt/pos 0?. — iWjn] wjn Q in some codd. G, 
J&<36. — nntrc] dvciTraiArews yaerd x a pas (g: dvairavcreus 71. — nriDttn] 
om. 71. 

18. om. K 76, 107, in, 0L2I 106. — Dwwvri] onvr>m Q: hi 1. — 
V?npj] (M c^de versati sunt 1. — ia "IB^7 WTHP3] om. 01 (exc. n c a ni =, 936 
under *): + fjujpbs 'A5dp 936 under -J-. — np3"Wt31 - end of v.] om. 71. — 
13 2 ] om. (& (exc. N c - am e, 93ft under *): rod 'Addp 74, 76. — mil] /cat oik 
dvewavaavTO B 55, 74, 76: dveiravaavro K * c ' b AN 936 C: /cai dveiravaavro 
other codd. — ia 3 ] om. (5. — ^ty^ ' v ^>t1 ^ j 7^j Q : et idcirco constituerunt 
3 : fjyov 5k (&. — dt> ins] om. <g : -f- solemnem 31. — finer] ,ueT<i x a P&s &• 

19. om. LS. — p S;-] A* wro 3. — D'TTWi] D^ncn Q: om. 3: the K 
is to be read D\nn?n or ov'nsn, 'the separated'; the Q, D\?")?n, 'the 
villagers.' The next clause mnsn nya DO^n is an exact translation 
of D'JTW and is probably, therefore, an early explanatory gloss. — B*3V*n] 

-~*~ #: om. <g (exc. x c - », 936 under *). — Pincri ^3] l^S, nV j-oa-o 
& : z« oppidis non muratis ac villis 3 : iv irdari x&P a TV «£ w 05 : towns of the 
remote regions, i.e., of the country, in contrast to nhS3 any 'walled 
towns' (Dt. 3 5 ). — DV nx] *d &: om. <g (exc. 93ft under*). — wmh] om. 
Bnn &<g (exc. 93& under *). — nri£>Di] om. (& (exc. x c - a , 93ft under *). — 
nStPDV] mVwDI some codd. N 1 . — mjnS] + 01 8k KaroiKovvres iv reus p.t]Tpo- 
Tr6\e<riv ical rrjv irevTeicaibeKdTTjv rov 'A5ap (-f- rjp-kpav N A) eiKppoavvrjv 
(-77s N A) dyadjjp dyovcip ii-arroarkWovTes fxepidas kclI to?s irX-qcrlov B H A N 
52, 55, 64, 74, 76, io8a, 236, 248, C, Aid. (with slight variations in the 
different codd.). 


The section 9 20 - 32 bears evidences of having been derived from a 
different source from the rest of the book; but it must have been 
excerpted by the author himself, since all that goes before leads up 
to it. The author probably found 9 20 - 32 in a Jewish history entitled 
"the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia" 
(io 2 ), and wrote i 1 -^ 19 to serve as a new introduction to this sec- 
tion. It thus became the vehicle of his own thought, although 
borrowed from another writer, and may practically be treated as 
an integral part of the book (see Introduction, § 24). 



THE FIFTEENTH OF ADAR (9 20 - 22 ). 

20. And Mordecai wrote the following words]. This is not an 
assertion that he wrote the Book of Est., or even the foregoing 
section i 1 -^ 9 , as the early critics commonly assume. The added 
clause, and sent letters, shows that the things written were the con- 
tents of these letters, as given in vv. 21 - 22 . Cf. v. 29 , where this second 
message can only refer to what follows (see p. 61). — And he sent 
letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of King 
Xerxes, those near and those far]. Cf. 8 9 . 

21. To establish for them [31 + with solemn honour] [<8 L + 
these good days] [L + for hymns and joy instead of pain and grief,] 
that they should continue to keep the fourteenth day of the month of 
Adar and its fifteenth day in every single year]. This v. and the 
next give the contents of the letters. According to v. ' 9 the Jews 
of the author's region kept partly the fourteenth and partly the 
fifteenth of Adar in memory of their escape ; but according to this 
passage, Mordecai enjoined upon all the Jews to keep both days. 
This points to a different author who reflects the custom of another 
region. V. 19 shows perhaps the custom of the Palestinian Jews; 
this v., the custom of the Eastern Jews. The editor intends the 
celebration of the two days to be understood in the light of v. ■ 9 , 
but this does not lie naturally in the language. 

22. Like the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies], 
i.e., in each successive year they are to celebrate these days as they 
did at first at the time of their deliverance (vv. 17f ). The trans- 
lation as the days of AV. and RV. is ambiguous. — And the month 
[(£ + that is Adar] that was changed for them from sorrow to joy 
and from mourning to a holiday]. Before the month, like is to be 
supplied from the preceding clause (cf. 8 17 q 1 ). — To keep them 
as days of banqueting and joy and of sending dainties to one an- 
other]. The construction begun in v. 21 is resumed after the long 
parenthetical clause in v. 22a . The language is almost identical 
with that of v. 19 . The similarity of this v. to 8 17 9 1 - 1719 does not 
prove identity of authorship. The editor who excerpted it from 
the Chronicle of Media and Persia was familiar with its language 



and imitated it in the earlier part of the book, which he meant to 
serve as an introduction to it. — [QI 1 + and a\ms]and gifts to the poor.] 
This feature does not appear in the account of the first celebration 
of the day 9 1719 , although, according to v. 22a , the feast was to be 
celebrated every year just as at the time of its institution. 

20. D^ain pn] onsnn Vd pn K 244, R 486, I. — onoD nVr*Y) et lit- 
teris comprehensa misit 3: eh ^\lov nai i^airi<TT€iKe{v) L<8?C. — ^3] 
om. 3 <& £ L.— Sm] om. *>3 & £ L.— fSwi mj*"10] tt) |8a<riXei'p <g L C— 
cmcnN] om. 3: 'ApTa^pi-ov (S3C: Bipt-ov 19, 108&: Haupt deletes. — 
'ui oonpn] not found in i'-o 19 (cf. Dn. o 7 ). — D^S] Pz. inf. of Dip. Found 
also in vv. 27 - *•■ «■ 32 , but not in i 1 -^ 9 (cf. Ru. 4 7 Ez. 13 6 Ps. no 28 - 106 ). 
A late word. 

21. an^yjom. <£L: profestis%. — D*WJ7 PWlVj om. L: the periphrastic 
form expresses the continuity of the action. — D1* pn] om. LffiCS (exc. 
93& under *): a &. — trin 1 ?] om. &L£(S (exc. n "•■»«, 936 under *). — 
tin] om. AL: rod 'Ay dp x ». — ov] om. g»SILCl (exc. 936 under *). — 
-nrprafen] || m a ^o ft — «] om. (S ffi L: hj\^ §.— n3!?i- l ?33]om.(8i;L: 
I ] *■ q ) *- *- ^\-a ft: revertente semper anno 3. 

22. ririDPl- 0*0»3] om. L. — D*D*3] 0*0*3 K 158, R 378, n: h yap rai- 
rcuj reus Tjnipcus (&: in diebus 3. — "^n] om. (Si (exc. M c - a A). — tm] erra- 
verunt & — ana] om. <£ (exc. n c - a "'», 936 under *) : e/ servati sunt H. — 
!i'nnni]om. tinnn 3: om. 1 ft: secundum mensem & — "»£>n] om. 3. — TB«"U] 
scriptusest^x: kypd<pi\ n A. — QnS] om. ft: + 6's $* 'A8dp(& (936 under -?-, 
A om.). — J*J*o] not found in i 1 ^ 19 . — 3*J9-)U*o]om. n 936. — 31B-S3ND*] 
om. 106, 249. — nr.Mi]6\ov dyadas (&: afrras A: 6\as dyadds 44, 106: 6 Xads 
dyadds 76: dXov eis a7a0&s 68, 243, C, Aid. — nntPD] yd/aoov (gffi. — nriom] 
om. nn^tt' 106. — nStt>DY] nnPOl var. : &ja7ro(rTAXo»'Tas(g: Kcdd7r6rretXeL: 
mittere H. — Pun]<ftwa e/ partes C — s^n] sacerdotibus C: om. L. — injnS] 
rots 0tXois (g:^ amicis C: om. L. — nunoYJom. LIECS (exc. 93ft under*). 
— dtsnV] -f- e/ orphanis et viduis E. 


23. Andffi 1 + all] //^ Jews wade customary [J + as a solemn 
rite] [OF 1 + for themselves in equal measure] that which they had 
begun to do], i.e., they agreed to keep every year the days that they 
had just celebrated. — And that which Mordecai had written unto 
them], as just related in vv. 20 - 22 . The editor does not notice that 
what the Jews have begun to do 9 1719 does not correspond with 
what Mordecai commands in 9 20 - 22 . The Jews have continued to 



keep these days down to the present time, and they have added 
a number of rites to those prescribed in 9 19 - 22 . The most impor- 
tant of these is the reading of the Roll of Est. on the feast days. 
To the discussion of the proper performance of this ceremony 
the Talmudic tractate M e ghilla is mainly devoted. The roll must 
be read in unwalled towns on the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, 
or fourteenth of Adar; in walled towns, on the fifteenth. All Israel- 
ites, including women, must listen to it. It may be read in any 
language that is known to the people, and in Heb. and Gr., even 
when these are not understood {Meg. 180). According to Meg. 76 
there is no difference between the observance of the day of Purim 
and the Sabbath, except that on the former the preparation of 
food is allowed. According to Meg. 6b, if the Roll has been read 
in the first Adar, and a second Adar is intercalated, the Roll 
must be read again in the intercalary month. For the further de- 
velopment of the feast in post-Talmudic times, see Malter, Art. 
" Purim," in Jewish Encycl. 

Verses 24 - 25 contain a brief duplicate account of Haman's con- 
spiracy that varies in some respects from the account given in 
the earlier part of the book. Here the King has no knowledge 
of Haman's plans ; but when they are brought to his attention, he 
commands to punish Haman. There is also no mention of Es- 
ther's part in averting the mischief. These facts favour the view 
suggested above that vv. 20 - 32 are derived by the author from an 
independent document. 

24. For Haman, son of Hamnfdatha, the Agagite, the enemy of 
all the Jews]. See on 3*- 10 . — Had devised (plans) against the 
Jews to annihilate them]. See on 8 3 . To annihilate them, which 
is not found in the parallel vv.8 3 9", may have been copied by mis- 
take from the end of this v. ; so Sieg. ; Haupt deletes the word at 
the end of the v. — And he cast pur, that is, the lot, to discomfit them 
and to destroy them.] See on 3 7 . 

[<E 2 -f- And when men saw Haman and his sons hanging many days 
upon the gallows, they said, Why does Esther transgress the command 
of Scripture not to leave a corpse on the gallows ? Esther answered and 
said to them, Because King Saul killed the Gibeonite proselytes, his sons 
were hanged on the gallows from the beginning of barley-harvest until 


the rain fell upon them, that was six months; and when the Israelites 
went up to appear before the Sanctuary, the heathen said to them, Why 
are these hanging there? The Israelites answered and said to them, 
Because their father laid hands upon the Gibeonite proselytes and slew 
them. How much more then ought the wicked Haman and his sons to 
hang forever on the gallows, since he wished to destroy the Israelites 
at one time.] 

25. And when it came before the King]. <£ reads, and when he 
came before the King. The f. suffix translated it is understood 
by J 9 ©• (H 2 and many modern comm. of Esther, but this is un- 
natural, since she is not mentioned in the context (9 13 is the last 
occurrence of her name). This suffix, accordingly, must be 
taken as neuter referring to the conspiracy of Haman just men- 
tioned (so Bert., Keil, Oet., Wild., Sieg., Stre.). The non- 
mention of Esther in this passage is additional evidence of its lit- 
erary independence. — He said in connection with the writing 
[5F 2 + that they should blot out the memory of the house of Amalek 
from beneath the heavens]. This is commonly supposed to mean, 
he commanded in writing, but the expression is peculiar and does 
not occur elsewhere. In 7 9 no mention is made of an edict when 
Haman was sentenced. <£ reads, saying to hang Mordecai. 3, 
Meg. ija, ® 2 , read she said, and ® 2 refers the writing to the com- 
mand in Ex. 17 14 - 16 . The text is apparently corrupt (see note). 
— Let his wicked plan which he has devised against the Jews return 
upon his own head]. Cf. 8 3 1 K. 2 33 Ob. 15 Ps. 7 17 < 16 >. A differ- 
ent account of the transaction and of the reason for the King's 
sentence is given in 7 s f - This is a further evidence of the literary 
independence of this section. — And let them hang him and his sons 
upon the gallows.] According to 7 10 , Haman was hanged alone; 
and according to 9 14 , his sons were not hanged until after the mas- 
sacre of the 13th of Adar. Here the hanging of the father and the 
sons seems to take place at the same time. 

26. Therefore they called the days Purim because of the name of 
the pur.] Here, for the first time, we find the reason for the inser- 
tion of the remark about pur meaning the lot in y o 24 . It is to 
furnish an etymology for Purim, the well-known name of the feast. 
On the real origin of this name, see Introduction, § 28. There- 


fore]. The predicate which belongs to this is found at the begin- 
ning of v. 27 . Between the two stands the long parenthetical 
clause 26b . The Vrss. have not understood the construction and 
consequently have supplied various predicates after the conjunc- 
tion (see note). Because of all the words of this message, [J + that 
is, the things that are written in this book,] [QJ 1 + in order that 
they might be heard by all the people of the house of Israel and 
that they might know]. This message Jl S 1 ® 2 and many comm. 
understand of the Book of Est., but it is evidently the same as 
the letter mentioned in v. 20 , which is certainly not this book (see 
on v. 20 ). — And because of what they had seen in this respect [2I 1 + 
in regard to the observance of Purim]. Seen is used in the sense of 
experienced, as in Ex. 10 6 . — And because of what [QJ 1 + was done 
among them that was wonderful for Mordecai and Esther, and 
that they might know the deliverance which] had come unto them]. 
The last two clauses are a duplicate to the narrative of 8 1 — 9 18 . 

27. The Jews established [(F 1 + the statute] and made it custom- 
ary for themselves], A continuation of the sentence begun with 
therefore in v. 26 . The statement is a duplicate to 9 19 . — And for 
their descendants and for all who shoidd join themselves to them 
[(5 1 + as proselytes]. The addition of 5^ gives the true sense. 
Those who join themselves are the same as those who become Jews 
in 8 17 . Here, as there, the allusion is an evidence of the late date 
of the book. — That it might not be repealed], like the unchangeable 
laws of the Medes and Persians (i 19 ). — To continue to keep these 
two days in accordance with the letter that prescribed them and in 
accordance with the time set for them], lit. according to their writing 
and according to their time. The possessive pronouns refer to 
days. The writing is the same as the letters of v. 20 and the message 
of v. 26 . The time is that set by Mordecai in v. 21 . — [(H 1 + By read- 
ing the Roll in Hebrew characters in their synagogues upon the 
eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth days in villages, and 
in towns of the provinces, and in cities] in every single year]. The 
language imitates that of the letter in v. ». 

28. And that these days might be remembered and be kept [ST 1 + 
as a feast] in every single generation and every single family [<& l + of 
the priests and Levites] and [© l + of all the house of Israel that 


abode in] every single province and [©' + that abode in] every 
single city]. The language is similar to that of i 22 3 12 8 9 , but gener- 
ation-and family have not been used before in the book. On kept, 
cf. v. 2I . — That these days of Purim might not be repealed by the 
Jewish community], lit. might not pass over front the midst of the 
Jews. See on i 19 8 8 . — And that the memory of them might not 
cease among their descendants [3 + who are bound to keep these 
ceremonies] [Jos. 294 + And, since they were about to be destroyed 
by Haman on these days, and on them escaped the danger and 
took vengeance on their enemies, that they might do well by cele- 
brating them and giving thanks to God]. 

23-25. Haupt deletes as a gloss on the ground that Purim is derived 
from a Pers. word meaning 'portions,' and that, therefore, v. 2G , which de- 
scribes the giving of this name, should follow immediately after v. 22 , in 
which the sending of 'portions' is mentioned. Both the etymology of 
Purim and the proposed emendation are extremely doubtful (see p. 79). 
— Sapl] &3pl 29 codd. K R, ©' ® 2 3 § d I L, Oort, Haupt: sg. be- 
cause preceding the subject (Kau. § 145 g, o). Perf. with 1 instead of 
impf. with 1 consec, in accordance with late usage (Driver, Tenses, 
§ 133). There is no certain case of this construction in i 1 -^ 19 {cf. 3 12 ), 
but it is common in 9 20 - 32 {cf. g u - 25 - 27 ). It is an evidence, therefore, of 
the literary independence of this section. Sap in the late sense of 'make 
traditional' is found only in this section {cf. v. 27 ). In 4 4 it means 're- 
ceive.' — □mmn] + ^coi *\\ &: + in solemnem ritum 3f. — rwyS-nx ! ] 
om. L<8> (exc. 936 under *): et posuerunt in commemoratione ft — nxi- 
end of v. 25 ] om. L. — »moJ om. ft — DmV*] Dm*?? 19 codd. K, 26 codd. 
R: om. K 236, #. 

24. om. Lfi. — "3] 7rws(g: 6-irws M A: irepl 44, 106: V^Cso &. — «mnn] 
'A/xadddov (&: 'Afxayddovv M *: ' A/uadddov A: + 6 'E/Soiryeuo* N c. amg : 
jL^oox & AU : yr^ 01 ^ L: om - 44, 71, 106.— UJKn] U-^J &: (0) MaK&w 
(&': TwyaTos 936: om. 44, 71, 108a. — DHVWi V3 ~nx] om. <g. — VW] + et 
adversarius J. — S3] om. K 95, 170, R 266, 547, 3L — atrn] tiro\{nei<&: 8s 
i7ro\£fA€i 44, 106: iroXtfiei 108a. — BHVW1 Sp] aurotfs 05: aureus 74, 76, 
249, Aid.: robs lovdalovs A 93ft: + malum 5L — Dn3xS] om. (&. — ^cni 
Seni] N 1 C: Kad&s edero (&: ical ws edero a c - a A 936: Ssrnis pf. with 1 con- 
nective, as in 9 23 . — Soni-v. ■ WN"Y) om. 106. — "no] phur 3: |^s ££: 
\f/-q(f>ia-/j.a (&; om. 71. — Snun Nin] quod nostra lingua vertitur in sortem Jh 
Kal kXtjpov (g: kclI e^a\e{v) <f>ovp 6 icrriv /cXifaos N c - a , 93ft under *. — ODH 1 ?] 
om. J. Qa/ inf. with sf. 3 pi. Not used in i 1 ^ 19 . A play in sound 
upon the name Haman (Cas., Schu.). — d^nSi] om. 306. 

25. om. LH. — -isDn-riN33i] om. 71. — nKaa-YJ so Oc: nsaai {Raphe) 



Or. (G'msburg):et posted ingressa est Esther $: 'r+Lttft Zca\ P)^? j-*>o&: 
/ecu ws darfKdev 05. — ncDn ny nDN] obsecrans ut conatus ejus litteris regis 
irriti jierent 3: h aM jcoi lioj &: X^ya>j> Kpe/xdaat tqv Mapdoxatov 05 
(936 under -h): S 1 omits lODn oy: Haupt translates 'in spite of the letter,' 
and regards as a tertiary gloss. — 2itt"] —LsenJ &: iytvovro 05: eytvero A. 

— lrairnD] om. 3(8. — D'WVi-TPH] tr. aft. wrm &. — 2!?n ib-n] ,_Lc? 

— Q *■ *- s] g> : 5(j- a 5£ iir€X^PV a ' ev tird^ai 05 (7ty><x£cu 71, eTrdyayev 93ft). — *?> 
Win] cV ayrd? Q5. — WW V?m] ^« .in Va -i^ g> : kcu eKpe/xdadtj avrds 05. 

— TV* ^y] om. 05 (exc. n °- »• c - ^ A N, 936 under *). 

26. om. H 71. — n^Nn o^S] om. A. — omo] phurim 3: l^-Jos &: 
$povpai 05: Qpovplp. N c - a :4>oup5aia L (<&ovpp.aia 19, 1086, $ovp8ia 93a): 
QovpovpeLp. 936: Qpovpiv 249: Qovptp, C: Qpovpeas (<&povpaiovs) Jos. xi. 
§ 295. — D» S>] id e5/ J: 5tct 05 L. — men] sortium 3 : j-*_3 &: toi>s icK-qpovs 
05 L: toi>s Kalpovs N. — p^p-end of v.] Haupt deletes as a gloss. — 
p S;*] eo gwod J: 6tl 05: rovs rreaSvTas L: om. & 106: -+- />/wr id est sors in 
urnam missa fuerint 3: + rrj (-(- 18 iq. 249) 8ia\tKTip avrdv tcaXovvrai 
Qpovpal ($ovp 936: all under -5- 93ft) 05. — Sj? 3 -end of v. 27 ] om. L. — Sj? 4 ] 
^31: 5ia05: /ecu 5ta 93ft. — ^om. &05. — n:^ quce gestasunt 3: om. 108a. 

— mjNn] epistolce + i<i es/ /z'&ri hujus volumine contmentur 31 : ttJs e7ricr- 
roX^sCg: As. egirtu, Gr. tiyyapos, is a late loan-word synonymous with 
anaD in v. 20 . See Noldeke, ZDMG. xl. 733; Meyer, Entstehung d. Ju- 
denthums, p. 22. — n^i '] ^,^0 ^'^s^o £:-end of v. om. 44, 106. — »m] 
sustinuerunt 3: ir€irbvda<nv 05. — ."D3 ?y] 5id raOra (rairriji/: auri^) 05: om. 
3 &: lit. 'upon thus.' Here only a prp. is used before roa, C/". 8 6 . — 
nni 2 ] ^Cjlas V^o &. — dhiSn jrun] deinceps immutata sunt 3. 

27. om. LC — lO'pl /ecuecrrTjcre^) 05: ecrr^craj'N: ecrrricre p.vr}p.b<rvvov 74, 
76, 236: om. &3: see 9 21 . Haupt reads W)*pi in immediate connection 
with "ucn. — Top — TO<p] om. 44, 71, 106. — Sapi] lSjpi Q, KHhibh in 
many codd. N 1 S 1 © 2 3 & 05. The Q e re is meant to be read S|B|i Pi. 
inf. abs., as so often in this book instead of the finite vb. The KHhibh 
substitutes the finite vb. Haupt deletes as a gloss to the preceding vb. — 
Sd] om. 05 (exc. 93ft under *). — D^Sjn] sg. &. — kVi] |3? &. — 1«r] AXXws 
XP^crovraL<^: the sg. is difficult, since it has no subject. Either with 8 1 
we must supply ph before it, or we must read n2^% in which case the 
meaning will be, 'that they might not transgress.' Haupt reads n^^> nS 
and transposes to the end of the v. after fWI. — nvnS-end of v.] om. 05 
(exc. 936 under *). — D3nD3] cf. i 22 3 12 - 14 4 8 8 8 - 9 - 13 . — djdtdi] ^oouLei^ &. 

— njan] om. &. 

28. om. 44, 106. — O^m] elt -ras ijp.4pas L: ei J^ei H. — nSxn] om. H. — 
C"on] p.vrjfi6a-vvov (|: nvrjp/xrijpcu A: ets pivrjpMcrvvov L: mentionem fecit 
21: the ptc. is dependent upon nvn in the preceding v. — o^jm-end 
of v. 32 ] om. L. — D>a , ^Jl] om. H: eiriTekoO/jLevov (§: £ttit€\ovp.4vcu A. — *702] 
om. Sd 05 C — nm nn] om. #: progeniam %. — nnci^Di nriflCD] om. 3: 
l£wSj-4, &: »cat irarpidv (&%, — nj^?:i] om. 31S»^1C. — -vjnjom. 3U»(feH. 


— 28b Haupt deletes as a late explanatory gloss. — *D1] indicens C — 
C'-usnj xtDi' <&povpai (&: twv Qpovpwv x *: tou <$>povpal A: twp Qovpovpeip. 
936: t&v Qpovplv 249: vigilias %: phurim J: j-oos &. — n?nn] jrf es* 
sortium 31: om. H. — V13JP X s ] wee non observentur Jh axdrjaovTai (g: quas 
celebrareni H. — CCWn "Jino] a Judais J: ets r6v diravra xpbvov (gU. — 
rpDi nS d-ot] om. 3. — niD">] here only construed with fO. — DjntD] 06 
eorum progenie J: ^/c rwy yevedv (S: de progenie K. 

PUR1M (9 29 - 32 ). 

On the origin of this section and its relation to 9 20 - 28 , see Intro- 
duction, § 24. 

29. [Meg. ya + Esther sent to the wise, saying, Establish for the 
future a festival in my honour. They sent back word to her, 
Thou wilt arouse hatred against us among the heathen (similarly 
JT. Meg. i 1 )-] Then wrote Esther the Queen, the daughter of 
'Abihayil, and Mordecai the Jew [QJ l + all this Roll] with all power]. 
Wrote is f. sg., so that the following words and Mordecai the Jew 
are possibly a gloss derived from v. 31 (see note). According to 
v. 31 , Esther writes to confirm the words of Mordecai; it is not 
natural, therefore, that he should take part in this letter. Esther's 
purpose is to add the weight of her authority to that of the grand 
vizier in securing the observance of Purim. On 'Abihayil, see 
2 15 . With all power, Keil and Sieg. understand to mean with all 
emphasis. Others think that it means with all the authority of 
her position. — To establish the following second message concerning 
Purim, [OF 2 + that if there were a year with an intercalated month, 
they should not read the Roll in the first Adar, but should read 
it in the second Adar.] The expression this message, like these 
words, in v. 20 , does not refer to the foregoing, but to the following 
narrative. Just as the substance of Mordecai 's letter is given in 
w. 21 f •, so that of Esther's letter is given in v. ". On Purim, see 
Introduction, § 28. 

30. And [she] sent letters unto all the Jews]. As remarked above, 
probably Esther alone writes to confirm Mordecai's previous letter; 
consequently, instead of the m. sg. he sent at the beginning of this 
v., we must read she sent, or else with Jl & read the pi. Possibly 


the accidental insertion of the m. form at this point has induced 
the interpolation of the words and Mordecai the Jew in the preced- 
ing v. — Unto 127 provinces, the kingdom of Xerxes]. See on i 1 8 9 . 
— (Containing) friendly and faithful words], lit. words of peace and 
truth; in apposition with letters in the preceding clause. These 
letters began with the usual Oriental expressions of good will, and 
added the assurance that Esther would remain a faithful Jewess. 

31. To establish these days of Purim f® 1 + in the second Adar] 
at their appointed time [S 1 + of intercalation]. Here we get the 
contents of the second letter mentioned in v. 29 . SF 1 rightly feels that 
it is superfluous after 9' -™, and therefore makes the above inter- 
polations to give Esther something new to write about (cf. SF 2 on 
v. 29 ). — As Mordecai the Jew had established for them and Esther 
the Queen]. The allusion is evidently to the previous letter of 
Mordecai vv. 20 - 22 . Esther's purpose in writing is solely to back 
up Mordecai 's letter with her authority, and to keep the Jews from 
forgetting the feast of Purim. The vb. is sg., although two sub- 
jects follow, and in v. 20 Mordecai alone writes. It looks, there- 
fore, as if the words and Esther the Queen were an interpolation 
from v. 29 . — And as they [® l + the Jews] had established for them- 
selves and for their descendants], as narrated in vv. 2328 . — [S 1 + to 
remember] the matters of the fastings and of their cry of distress.] 
These have been mentioned in 4 3 as occurring at the time when 
Haman's edict went out; but Mordecai's letter 9 20 - 22 contains no 
express mention of them, nor do the Jews agree to do so in 9 23 - 28 . 
Probably the author's idea is, that the words of Mordecai's letter 9", 
''like the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies, and 
the month that was changed for them from sorrow to joy, and from 
mourning to a holiday," mean to say that the Jews are to keep 
the days of Purim every year just as they did the first year, that is 
both with fasting and with feasting. This the Jews agree to do 
in 9 27 . From this passage it does not appear which day of Adar 
was to be kept as a fast. The later Jews fixed it on the 13th, the 
day that Haman appointed for their destruction, under the name 
of " Esther's Fast." 

32. So the command of Esther established these matters of Purim 
and it was committed to writing [2I 1 + by the hand of Mordecai in 


the Roll.] J (£', Meg., Jewish comm. in general, and many 
Christian comm. understand the phrase it was committed to writ- 
ing of the writing of the Book of Est. Pise., Jun. and Trem., 
Grot., Raw., al. understand it of the Persian annals (cf. 2 23 6 1 io 2 ); 
Mai, Osi., Vat., of the Jewish annals; Bert., Keil, Oet., Wild., 
Sieg., Stre., of a special document used by the author of Est. All 
of these views labour under two difficulties, (i) that write in the 
book in Heb. idiom means no more than commit to writing {cf. Ex. 
17 14 Nu. 5 23 Jb. 19 23 ). There is no need, therefore, to see in the 
expression the book any reference to a well-known work. (2) The 
abandonment of the construction with Waw consec. shows that 
the establishing of the matters of Purim and the writing are not 
subsequent to the events just narrated, but are coincident with 
them. This v. is merely a summing up of what has just been told 
in vv. 29 - 30 . The statement that the commandment of Esther es- 
tablished these matters of Purim is not something new, but is a refer- 
ence to the enactment recorded in v. 31 (note the identity of phrase- 
ology). The committing to writing is the same that is recorded 
in v. 29 . The same word book is used of Esther's letter in v. 30 . 

29-32. Haupt deletes as a gloss. 

29. om. L. — ana^i] so Jtt (with large r ); some codd. with ordinary n. 
The large initial letter possibly suggests that the text is suspicious. The 
f. sg. agreeing with the nearest subject is possible, even if another sub- 
ject follows, but is less usual than the pi. and suggests that »wn »3T*UH 
may be a gloss. Haupt reads *nimn >jns Ipn So ns noScn "otdn anani. 
— ^tton] 'A/juvadafi (&: 'Afiivadau n: om. C — *1in*n] om. 71, 74, 76. 
106, 236, C — >|pn '"O PN] t6 re (TTep^wjxa (&: r6re els p.vr\ph<jvvov 44, 106: 
I <£fr .«|. * —rfOiIxs &: omni studio 3: Jirmamentum fi: HP.'n is an Aram, 
word that occurs only here and io 2 and Dn. n 17 . DH in the sense of 
'with' is unnatural in this connection, we should expect 3. This leads 
Haupt to make the transposition indicated above. — D^p*?] ut sanciretur 
3. — ^oj-fcJ? g>: 6<xa tirol-qaav (&: fecit C: cf. 9 21 - "• 32 . — n"UN] cf. g 26 . — 
2 ,_ \j;n] dies solemnis 3: J^'aa? &: r&v QpovpaL (& {^povpCov M *: Qpovpip. 
n c - •': $povpala A: Qovpovpeip. 936): custodientium H. — rnjen rwn] om. 
(UH: om. n*lt>fl &: -\- in posterum 3. 

30. om. L3C (6. — n'je"!] pi. 3#. — oneo] om. J. — maSo] re£« J: 
I a^^ qiZni\Vi^9 &: Haupt reads rnabsa. — pdni mkr] tr. &. 

31. om. LH 106. — D^pS] some late editions D«p*?. — DThJD?3 - D^p?] 
om. <8. — anon] sortium 3. — n^xn] cmot gaudio 3. — D*p] pi. 3 &: feu &tt»7- 
aav (& (93ft under -7-: om. to W*p 71). — WI'Sp] eavroTs Had' iavrwv (& 


(eaurot/s 74, 76, 236: 936 under -f-): not to be referred to Dn^JDI (Wild.), 
but to the Jews (c/. v. 21 ). — *WWi] om. <g. — lD^p "WK31] om. 1 &: *a£ t6tc 
o-T^a-o^res (5 (93^ under -h): om. 74, 76, 236: /cai t6tc eaT-rjaav 249. — V>7 
D-'DJ] Kara t^s U7(i)eias (ttjv vrjareiav C) (e)aiTwv (g (936 under -=-): ra 
7repi T7js j3ov\rjs 71: rd 7re/>i 7-77S iry(i)eias 74, 76, 236. — DJHT S"l] *cat tV 
fiovXyv (e)avrQv (&: Kal vyelas avr&v 71: Kal ttjs ftovXijs avrQiv 74, 76, 
236: om. 93&. — nr] P,»do-s &: om. %(&. — PlDWi] ^oaiioo^o g>: om. 
(£. — onppn] -f et sortium dies 3J: om. <£. 

32. om. Lfj 71, 106. — idnoi] /cat X67y: \6ycp n* Aiquivocatur 3. — 
n'?Nn-D , p] D»p + '^^ &: e/ omnia quce libri hu jus 31: earrjaev (+ aurd 74, 
76) e/s t6j/ auDva <S. — nsDa ZjrojV] historia continentur 31: /cai iypd(prj els 
IAvrnxb<xvvov(&: + literal version of v. 30 DDK to end of v. 32, 936 under *. 



1. Then King Xerxes imposed tribute upon the mainland and upon 
the islands of the sea. [® 2 + But when King Xerxes knew Esther's 
race and her descent, he treated them like free men in the world, 
and made the peoples of all races and kingdoms serve them.] 
The object of this tribute is not stated. Raw. and others conjecture 
that it was to recoup himself for his unsuccessful war with Greece. 
The wide extent of his kingdom, including the islands (or coast- 
lands) of the Mediterranean, is evidence that this monarch is 
Xerxes the Great (see Introduction, § 22). From 9 20 to 9 32 the 
author has been quoting an older document. He continues here, 
as though he were about to give an extended account of Xerxes' 
reign, but stops abruptly at the end of this v. and contents himself 
with a reference to the Book of the Chronicles, from which he 
has derived these items. 

2. But all his powerful activity and his might], lit. all the work 
of his power and his might. The might of a king is the record of 
his famous deeds (1 K. 15 23 and often). — And the exact account of 
the greatness of Mordecai with which the King magnified him [iO + 
in his kingdom]. The same expression is used of the glorification 
of Haman 3 1 5 11 . Mordecai was so great that his deeds, as well as 
those of the King, were recorded in the Chronicle. — Are they not 
written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and 


Persia?] This is the regular formula with which the authors of 
Kings and Chronicles refer to their authorities (1 K. n 41 i4 19 - 29 , 
etc.; 2 Ch. 25 26 28 26 32 s2 , etc.). This is supposed by many to be the 
same as the royal diary mentioned in 2 23 6 1 . In that case the 
citation is a fraud on the part of the author of Est. designed to imi- 
tate the ancient histories and to give authority to his work, since 
it is inconceivable that the royal annals of Persia were accessible 
to him, or that they contained an account of the greatness of 
Mordecai. It is not clear, however, that these Chronicles are the 
same as the royal diaries. In 2 23 we read of "the book of the acts 
of the days before the King," and in 6 » of "the book of the memo- 
rable things of the acts of the days." This is evidently the private 
diary of King Xerxes; but here we read of "the book of the acts 
of the days of the kings of Media and Persia," which seems to be a 
history of the Medo-Persian Kings. The Books of the Chronicles, 
to which the authors of Kings and Chronicles refer, are not royal 
annals, but are late historical compilations, accessible to every- 
body, in which fuller information might be found concerning the 
kings. So here the author is probably thinking of some Jewish 
history, like the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and 
Israel used by the Chronicler, that gave from the Jewish point of 
view the traditional history of the kings of Media and Persia. 
From this work apparently the passage o^-io 1 has been extracted 
(see Introduction, § 24). Media is here placed first because the 
Median monarchy preceded the Persian. In i 3 - 14 - 19 Persia is 
placed first, because in the time of Xerxes it held the hegemony 
in the dual kingdom. 

3. For Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Xerxes]. 
This is the reason why so much is said about him in the Book of 
the Chronicles. He was grand vizier, the real ruler of the Persian 
empire (cf. 8 2 - 9 - 15 9 s f - 2 Ch. 28* Tob. i 22 ).— [QI 1 QJ 2 + Treasurer 
and elder of the Jews, chief over all the peoples ; and from one end 
of the world to the other there was obedience to him and honour. 
And all kings feared before him, and they trembled before him 
as before the King. Mordecai himself was like the morning-star 
among the stars, and like the dawn going forth in the morning.] 
And he was great in the esteem of the Jews and liked by the midti- 


hide of his brethren, [Meg. 16b + but not by all his brethren, for a 
part of the Sanhedrin turned away from him (RaShI + because, 
when he became great, he neglected the study of the Law).] The 
expression does not mean, as Meg., Ramb., think, that there was 
a minority that was not pleased with Mordecai. The multitude of 
his brethren is parallel to the Jews in the last clause and means all 
his fellow Israelites (cf 5 11 ). In spite of his exaltation Mordecai 
was envied by no one. — Seeking the welfare of his people, and caring 
for the peace of all his race [Jos. 296 + Enjoying at the same time 
the fellowship of the Queen, so that by means of them the affairs 
of the Jews were prosperous beyond all expectation. This, then, 
was the way in w r hich things happened to them in the reign of 
Artaxerxes.] This gives the reason why Mordecai was so beloved 
by all the Jews. In his high position he did not forget his kins- 
men, but constantly laboured for their good. Thus the book closes 
with a pleasant picture of the happiness and prosperity of the 
Jews under the beneficent rule of their coreligionist. 

1. om.C: Haupt regards as a misplaced gloss to 2 ,s . — D- M i] eypa\J/ev 5e 
(&: eypa\f/ev yap A: Kai %ypa\j/ev L: fecit J. — enerw] so Oc. : Pfivnti Q 
Oc.:smWTW KHhibh Or. N 1 S C: om. (& L (exc. n c a ««'* inf , 03& under *): 
see Ba. This spelling, which occurs here only in the book, is nearer to the 
original Pers. Khshayarsha than the usual spelling. — Dc] a word of un- 
known origin, meaning in early Heb. 'forced labour.' Here, as in New 
Heb., it means 'tribute': tributarias 3: rd\rj n A 93ft (under *): ra rfX-q 
L:om. (8. — hy'\omnemJ&: + ov2is»0 &: iiriTrjv f$a<n\dav(& (ttjv (SaaiKelav 
under •¥■ 936): hrl rrjv fiaaCKdav avrov 44: om. L. — "Ni] -f~ cunctas 3: 
om. "N <gL. 

2. imi3Ji-?3i] om. %: Haupt transposes after the following clause. — 
ntrpD So] pi. &: om. <gL. — lopn] ryv Icrxvv avrov <£L: cf. 9". — vrnaji] 
Kai (rijv) dvdpayadiav (-\- avrov 44, io6)(£: om.L. — nV-U nttnci] A ~*-^ *■ ./<- 
01 / . n P S #: ir\ovrbv re Kai 56£ai> L <g (936 under ~): et annuntiata est 
gloria %. — "OilD] rrjs /3ao~t.\ avrov (j&: Kai MapSoxaTos L: Mardochcei 
U. — -]Vcn - -itt>N] om. (g (exc. 93ft under *): £86£a<re L: Haupt deletes 
as a scribal expansion. — Dfl Nr?n] om. 3: Kai L: |ai &: idov (-\- ravra * 
936) <&: sicut U. — Drains] u^AS &: yiypairrai (&: eypaxf/ev L. — ^DD] 
libris J: rots /3i/3X/ots L. — D>D>n nr] om. LC 3<g (exc. 936 under *). — 
^vh] regis VI: om. 31 L 64, 71, 74, 76, 93a, 106, 236, 243, 248, 249, C, Aid. 
— Dial] + ets'vvov (& L (936 under -J-): om. C 

3. nwn] om. (gLffi (exc. n c. am^ 9 ^ under *). — rijroj + |ooi j>: 
5te5^x eTO <& L : suscipiebat £ — "f?oS] rbvfiaaiKia (& H L : the usual expres- 

306 Esther 

sioa is ir^n nprc. — mwrw] 'kpra^p^v (&. Zipfyv L: + in die illaH: 
Haupt deletes. — Srui] -f | 03l $ : + ty (g?CL. — Dnin^] ev rrj /SacriXefo 
<S» L H : *\^> for S & : Haupt reads Dnv^a. — ms - m-ii] om. &. — nrtt] «:ai 
deSofco- nivos (&: /cat <pi\oijp.€Pos L: e£ magnificatus U. — vnx anS] U7rd twj> 
IovSa/wj/ (Bao-iX^w?/ 71) *ai (ptXovfievos <& (om. icai 0tX. 44, 106, 249): U7rd 
TrdKrwj' tGjv lovSaiuv L: a Judceis et ex ducatu C — Wl] (St^yerro (g: 
icai rjyeiTo L: prceerat £. — 313] r^ aywyifv (g: om. LE — di^-id^] 
om. <8H: avrcDj> /cat 56|a»' irepieTidei L. — Di s, J' -a-*] 'care for the welfare' 
(cf. Zc. 9 10 Ps. S5 9 ). — jjnt] t£ e(9j/ei avrov (& LH: not 'his posterity,' but 
parallel to lD^S, as Is. 61 9 . 



After io 3 (8 % L append the following passage, F ,u (— Vulg. 
and Eng. Ad. Est. iC-ii 1 ). On the origin and antiquity of the 
passage, see Introduction, §§ 13, 20. For the Gr. text and variants, 
see Paton in HM. ii. pp. 50-51. 

ir rhen Mordecai said, These things have come from God. 2 For I re- 
member the dream which I saw concerning these matters, for nothing 
of them has failed. 3 As for the little fountain that became a river, and 
there was light, and the sun, and much water, the river is Esther, whom 
the King married, and made Queen: 4 and the two dragons are I and 
Haman: 5 and the nations are those that were assembled to destroy the 
name of the Jews: 6 and my nation, this is Israel, which cried to God and 
were saved: and the Lord saved his people, and the Lord delivered us 
from all these evils, and God wrought signs and great wonders, which 
have not been done among the nations. 7 Therefore he made two lots, 
one for the people of God, and another for all the nations. 8 And these 
two lots came at the hour, and time, and day of judgment before God 
(for his people) and against all the nations. 9 So God remembered his 
people, and justified his inheritance. 10 Therefore these days shall be 
kept by them in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth and fifteenth days 
of the month, with an assembly, and joy, and with gladness before God, 
throughout the generations for ever among his people Israel. 

ll In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, 
who said that he was a priest and Levite, and Ptolemy his son, brought 
the foregoing letter concerning Purim (Phrourai), which they said was 
genuine, and that Lysimachus, son of Ptolemy, one of the people in 
Jerusalem, had interpreted it. 




N r^> 67. 

■»** 59- 

-ON, 207. 
P t 3N, 62, 272. 

^CON, 185, 302. 
B^?*, 59- 
"?*> 59- 

'JJK, 69. 

p ?.i N > 59, 299. 

*ip*t 7°- 

N ??"! N , 68. 

™. 59- 
arm, 59. 

h-vn, 62, 281. 

"K, 59. 

■ma, 59. 

nnN, 144. 

d^s-hetin, 65, 212, 277. 

Bftniftatt, 131, 305. 

- ; YfnN, 305. 

D-'jnnrnN, 65, 273, 277. 

a:*» 59- 

B»», 59- 

?£, 166, 223. 

*Sk, 62, 261. 
3WD*, 59. 
ipK, 181. 
\ "*»*, 59, 62. 
PP«, 59- 

WK, 62, 147. 
MPtDK, 70. 

■vyo*, 69. 

nw, 144. 

ton*, 144. 

*T"!*i 71. 

N ?T"! N > 7 1 - 
?'"?!*, 71. 

: 's 

'that,' 278; = 'when,' 

r^ "^fN;, 284. 

n« with undefined noun, 

166; = ' with,' 302. 
s r tn, 181. 

3 of instrument, 251; of 

essence, 260. 
HM3, 181. 
0-V28O, 159, 199. 
NPJ3, 67. 
TO, 69. 
0?3, 145- 

Sna, 62, 177. 
^ninna, 135. 

r-o, 62, 144. 

np, 59, 62. 
»?, 59- 

r\o, 62, 159. 

K»7J3| 67. 

n-ya, 59, 62, 134. 
l!?8D n*g, 224. 

J^3, 62, 144. 
133, 229. 

nj?3, 62. 

^?, 59, 62. 

^rgs, 62, 219. 

■?na, 285. 
^""i 59- 
^™ t 135- 

^J, 195- 

S T J > 59- 
mSj, 213. 
s ->j, 62, 145. 

B\T#, 63, 65, 207. 

Hsl a^o 13^ 267. 

Dl*?tf W, 306. 

^i 59- 
qrn, 63, 256. 

D^pwn, 213. 

n, 154. 
rcS-i, 70. 

^ 145- 

^ 59- 

rn, 65, 146, 154. 

wn, 233. 



man, 62. 
ton, 69. 
'», 69. 

W, 199. 
JP3?, 225, 260. 

rrt% 132. 
urnon, 69. 
^S"sn, 132. 
Don, 60. 
I??, 69. 
nnjn, 63, 186. 
■V3JE& 268. 
nitron, 289. 

-4 *•!?, 59. 

M?i 59- 
">?", 63. 
■wn, 262. 

^-7» 59- 
mpeta, 146. 

n;rrn, 146. 

V& 7°- 

HN221, 299. 

mat, 180. 
S?n\, 298. 
iip T ni, 154. 
'njj, 120, 131. 

to 71- 
™*\, 291, 292. 

^ncM, 66. 
iro^i, 302. 
*JJ™,i 237- 

nj, 224. 
W, 63, 242. 
"\?I., 60. 

nj, 59, 306. 
b^i, 243. 

"inj, 68. 

*n, 63. 
■wn, 63, 144. 
Y?n, 59. 
"P", 59- 

•icn, 267. 

r*Pi 59- 

rvo^p? »*n, 59. 
^n, 223. 
Nr:nn, 67. 
*3?, 59- 

3'^n, 59- 
a: 1 ?, 59- 

PJ8?, 59- 

n*, 59- 

p;, 60, 294. 
n ;» 59- 
P\ 59- 

"»«:»;. 63. 

IPO 6", 59, 63, 28l. 
B^% 223. 
p l.n* f 63, 251. 
TS? 30^ 59, i77- 

P!i 59- 

^, 59- 
"rp% 172. 
Sj? -\v\ 147. 

^3^_, 159, 299. 

*?:, 59- 
?*;, 216. 

V T % 59, 63, 135. 
a#*, 192. 
B*, 63. 

'^t^, 207. 

2 with inf., 242. 
&}2, 266. 

TJi 159- 

3103, 151. 

*?, concessive, 160. 
&ty 63. 

n«Sn NDr, 63. 

naSoo nd_-, 63. 
D?>r, 65, 68, 144. 

Njchs, 68. 

na .£?. *33- 

">#?i 63, 271. 

2 ;;> 59- 

n ^, 6 3, 151- 

7, with inf., 59, 159, 162, 
177, 219, 246, 251; em- 
phatic, 266; with pas- 
sive, 243. 

3*. 59- 

-u 1 ?, 223. 

tfaV, 181. 

^1 171- 

N,: ?7 S , 159- 
orpn?, 207 
nVj, 60. 
n#S, 224. 
ni^, 59- 
D»31^ 215. 

P*fy 59- 

^ p?\, 177. 

^Ptje, 59, 63. 

rn|p, 192. 

8M9i 215. 

n J , "!?> 59, 63, 133. 

"P, 235- 

wn np, 60, 63. 

jpmip, 67. 

"VPi 235, 252. 

rvjSpo, 59- 

nagfru?, 59. 

jpfii »p, 224. 



«">?, 59. 

m^p, 262. 

n3«Sr, 60. 

^P, 59- 

n ?Sp, 59- 

niaSp, 59, 63, 143, J 46, 

i59» 2 33- 
jainp, 69. 
IP, 224. 
r*JD, 59. 

DD, 60, 186, 305. 

nir^p, 60. 
N t *p, 59, 271. 

1!?^, 63, 177. 
nDr? Nxp, 177. 
D^pD, 59, 215. 
Vi?.p, 180. 
">?7^p, 172. 
pmp, 180. 
D^p, 68. 
tocnp, 68. 
rwp, 186. 
niWp, 59. 
"H^pS n i^9i 60, 3° 6 - 
nnop'p, 60. 

"p?0, 59- 

onnipp, 282. 
njnp, 60. 

-tfttj'iStty 172. 
Agfa 262. 

"^ 59- 
1|^a 166. 

tt* 59- 

0«, 59, 63. 

Rja, 63, 261. 

o^nnj, 272. 
onnp., 212. 
'a naj, 285. 

c^Nspj, 143. 

Sty 59- 

Vc'j, 266. 

*»* 59- 

inNK'j, 63, 177. 

1DI1 Nfrj, 177. 
HNCJ, 185. 

rflWj, 212. 
Pty 251. 
fP* 59- 
?W, 251. 

WD, 59- 

n-iD, 60, 300. 

■v», 59- 
rnrjD, 146. 

jyp, 277. 
ngp, 59, 162. 
Dn ?» 59- 

T#, 59- 

PftfO nn "07, 199. 

"Wti 59- 

rngt, 281. 

^*i 59- 

St, 159, 207, 219, 272. 

n ?? S& 60, 63, 299. 

MttfSg Npr St, 133. 
°P T > 59- 
f^W Dy.,281. 
'yns. o>:, 202. 
npp T , 63, 224. 
Sfcnpy,, 63- 
1DJ3 °S, 299. 
HU 59- 
"f^i 59- 
njKSpn ♦jfr, 207. 

nfc, 343- 

-vis, 77-93, 202. 

rnis, 78, 83. 

on-is, 60, 299/., 302. 

Nn-rs, 70. 

"Of, 59- 

nine, 212. 

D^J^S, 181. 

av-ns, 292. 
Kn^pni, 71. 
D*5f, iS9- 
?rf?»i 65, 212. 

ncne, 63. 

a^prns, 65, 135. 
djps, 65, 160. 
?4f0?fi 65, 212. 

Sn», 281. 
"S, 59- 
di», 59. 63. 
■qr, 261. 
anx, 278. 
"H*. 59- 

Sap, 59, 218, 298. 

tip* 59- 

D'j?, 60, 294. 

St Oft 147- 

Dp T , 242. 

*"3P,i 59- 

rnp r , 271. 
ao'np, 294. 

T* 59- 
'a n«n, 271. 
rrtMin, 63, 177. 

™\ 185. 

ni'jo, 177. 
**"S 59- 

n F N "!» x 54- 



3"!, 59- 

t#KJpfe*, 63, 215. 

W. 59- 

A 59- 

"•*. 59- 

»l?2& 69. 

v« in, 243. 

"nfr, 162. 

Q,; ?T^» 6 3> 223, 271 

nn, 224. 

rft 62/., 145. 

^ 59- 

W» 59- 

™?> 63. 

t?;n, 277. 

rntr, 63, 163, 261. 

v»#, 68. 

D^DI, 278. 

1?V"> 165. 

n, 59- 

n^r; : , 267. 

nnpsr, 159. 

D ^ T , 59- 

n ; "*?£, 272. 

nS?n, 144. 

n*f?, 145- 

B^tf, 63, 285. 

VS?*i 63, 281. 

■»P?» 59- 

p-nCtf, 1 66. 

TJfr, 63, 284. 

"to? ?cr, 180. 

™??. 135- 

0^1 59- 

rotsF, 285. 

1^3, 60, 63, 302. 

nncr, 281. 

n |?i 6 3, 177- 

*^.?), 69. 


»}#, 181. 

tfMfhn, 68. 

wjte, 59- 

n»#, 192. 

^^7.1, 218. 


Aaron ibn Sargado, 105. 
Abayob, no. 
Aben Ezra, see Ibn Ezra. 
Abenmelech, no. 
'Abhoda Zara, 287. 
Abulwalid ibn Ganah, 105. 
Ackermann, 113. 
Adamus, no. 
Adeney, xiii, 117. 
l Adhath D e bhdrim, 2. 
Aeschimann, 113. 
Aeschylus, 64, 129, 196. 
Ahikar, Story of, 75. 
Alber, 117. 
Albrecht, 158, 223. 
Aldine edition, xi, 2>2>- 
Alexander-Romance, 67. 
Alkabez, 18, 20, 24, 41, 101, no. 
Almosnino, no. 
Alsheikh, no. 
Amama, 109. 

American Journal of Semitic Lan- 
guages, xiii. 
Anan b. David, 104. 
Ananikian, viii. 
Andre, xiii, 43, 46, 104. 
Andreae, 212. 

Antoninus, 35. 

Antwerp Polyglot, 19. 

Apocrypha, vii, ^. 

Apostolic Canons, 5. 

Aquila, 29, 34. 

Aquine, d', 105. 

Arabian Nights, 65, 76, 180. 

Arama, no. 

Arnaud, 117. 

Arrian, 52, 123. 

Asher, 139. 

Ashkenazi, no, 118, 164. 

Asolanus, t,^. 

Assemani, 4, 6, 8. 

Aster, 52. 

Athanasius, 4, 101. 

Athenaeus, 92, 129, 140, 142. 

Athias, 12. 

Aucher, 112. 

Augusti, 113, 116. 

Augustine, 5, 60, 101. 

Authorized Version, xi. 

Avesta, 72, 165. 

1 Baba Bathra, 119. 

j Babylonian Talmud, xi, 2, 20, 98/., 

I 1 or, see Mghilla. 



Bacher, 104. 

Baer, xi, 9, 12, 135, 143, 172, 181, 

Ball, 46. 
Bamberger, 106. 
Barnes, 17. 
Barrett, xiii, 116, 187. 
Basel Polyglot, 18. 
Basila, 7. 

Baudissin, xiii, 115. 
Bauer, xiii, 113. 
Baumgarten, xiii, 53, 113, 125, 128- 

130, 134, 161, 183, 195, 201, 220. 
Bawli, 118. 
Beck, 114. 
Bede, 53. 
Bellamy, 116. 
Bellarmin, xiii, 53. 
Benary, 71. 
Ben Asher, 9, 12-15, 145, 195, 219, 

Ben Bezalel, no. 
Ben David, 104. 
Benfey, 69-71. 
Ben Hayyim, n-13. 
Ben Hayyim Gaon, 14. 
Benjamin of Tudela, 139. 
Ben Naphtali, 9, 14/., 145, 195, 219, 

Benson, 116. 
Benter, 108. 
Ben Uphran, 232. 
Berger, 40. 
Berliner, 106. 
Bernstein, 116. 
Berossus, 92/. 
Bertheau, xiii, 43, 57, 116, 120, 127, 

132, 150, 156, 162, 169, 176 /., 

181, 183, 185 /., 196, 202, 206, 

209, 213, 223 /., 233, 243, 256, 

260-262, 291, 296, 302. 
Bertholdt, 113. 
Bevan, 54. 
Bezold, 54, 137. 
Biblia Magna Commentariorium, 

Biblia Maxima, 109. 
Biblia Sacra Vulgaia cum plur. 

inter p., in. 
Biblical World, xiii. 
Billerbeck, 134. 
Birch, 126. 

Bissell, xiii, 8, 43, 46. 
Blau, 273. 
Bleek, 77, 113. 
Bloch, 57, 63, 113/. 

Blunt, 116. 

Bottchcr, xiii, 162. 

Bohlen, von, 123. 

Bomberg, n. 

Bomber g Bible, 15 16-17, *&• 

Bomberg Bible, 1526, xi, 18, 22. 

Bonart, xiii, 53, 109, 130, 164, 174, 

176, 183, 186, 196 /., 226, 262, 

Boothroyd, 116. 
Boysen, 116. 
Breithaupt, 103, 105. 
Brent, 108. 

Brescia Edition, xi, 10. 
Brisson, 124, 148, 150, 195. 
Brockelmann, 207. 
Brown, Driver, Briggs, Heh.-Eng. 

Lexicon, xiii, 144/., 159/-, 181, 

207, 212, 224, 251, 266, 284. 
Brugsch, 145. 
Bruns, 112. 
Buber, 103/. 
Buchholz, 124. 
Buckley, 116. 
Buhl, 127, 135, 145, 162, 181, 202, 

224, 261, 291. 
Bullinger, 95, 235. 
Bunsen, 57. 
Burder, 116. 
Burmann, no. 
Buxtorf, xiii, 13, 284. 

Cahen, 118. 

Cajetan, xiii, 53, 108 /., 186, 197, 

Calmberg, 116. 
Calmet, xiii, in. 
Calovius, xiii, no. 
Calvin, xiii, 108. 
Canney, 145/. 
Canons of Carthage, 5, 42. 
Canons of Laodicea, 4. 
Canons of Trent, 42. 
Capellus, 53. 
Carpzov, xiii, 53, 112. 
Carthusianus, 108. 
Caspi, 107. 
Cassel, xiii, 22/., 116, 125, 133, 158, 

176, 188, 298. 
Cassiodorus, 4. 
Castalio, 108/. 
Celaedeiis, 56, 109. 
Ceriani, 17. 
Chais, in. 
Chandler, 112. 
Chavannes, 115. 



Cheyne, xiii, 67, 77, 113 /., 133, 

Chipiez, 121. 
Chrysostom, 37. 
Clarke, no, 116. 
Clay, 89. 

Clement of Alexandria, 60, 101. 
Clericus, xiii, 53, in, 128, 130, 133, 

142, 161, 164, 167 /., 178, 187, 

190, 209, 248, 261. 
Codex Alexandrinus, xi, 5, 32. 
Codex Ambrosianus, xi, 16. 
Codex Basiliano-V aticanus, xi, 4, 32. 
Codex Claromontanus , 4. 
Codex Complutensis, 40. 
Codex Corbeiensis, 40/. 
Codex Frederico-Augustanus, 32. 
Codex Oratorins, 40/. 
Codex Pechianus, xi, 40/. 
Codex Petropolitanus, 6. 
Codex Sinaiticus, xi, 5, 31 /. 
Codex Vallicellanus, 40. 
Codex V aticanus, xi, 4, 31. 
Complutensian Polyglot, xi, 10; its 

Greek text, ^. 
Condamin, 267. 
Cooper, 108. 
Cordthwaite, 116. 
Cornelius Nepos, 220. 
Comely, 114, 117. 
Cornill, xiii, 17, 92. 
Corrodi, 112. 
Coste, 121. 
Couzio, 109. 
Cramer, 113. 
Critici Sacri, xiii, 109. 
Crommius, 109. 
Crusius, 112. 
Ctesias, 69, 71, 190, 136. 
Cumming, 95, 117, 235. 
Curtius, 129, 138, 196, 255, 264. 
Curzon, 134. 
Cyril of Jerusalem, 4. 

Dalman, 8. 

Damasius, 24. 

Dathe, 116, 187. 

David, 22, 24. 

Davidson, xiii, 113, 116. 

Deane, 46. 

Delitzsch, xiii, 91, 134/., 144, 146. 

Derenbourg, 6, 80. 

Deutsch, 6. 

Dialogue of Timothy and Aquilla, 4. 

Diestel, xiii. 

Dieu, de, 108/. 

Dieulafoy, 65, 126, 134, 136/., 161, 
165, 173, 188, 231, 248, 261. 

Dijserinck, 45. 

Dillmann, xiii. 

Dio Chrysostom, 92. 

Diodati, 108. 

Diodorus Siculus, 77, 190, 192. 

Dodd, 116. 

D'Oyley, 116. 

Dozy, 145. 

Driver, xiii, 38, 115, 281, 298. 

Drusius, xiii, 53, 108/., 125, 136, 
150, 152, 164, 185 /., 190, 196, 

Dukes, 15. 

Duncker, 123. 

Duran, no. 

Dutch Annotations, 108. 

Ebedjesu, 4. 

Eckard, 112. 

Ehrenpreis, 118. 

Eichhorn, xiii, 53, 112, 130. 

Eliezer b. Hyrcanus, 102. 

Eliezer b. Judah of Worms, 106. 

Eliezer, Rabbi, 232. 

Elijah hag-Gaon, 118. 

Ellicott, 114. 

Encyclopedia Biblica, xiii, 136, 206. 

Encyclopedia Britannica, xiii. 

Epiphanius, 4, 101. 

Erbt, 52, 60, 75 /., 78, 80-82, 88, 

Erman, 126. 

Escobar et Mendoza, 109. 
Estius, xiii, 109, 168 /., 284. 
Eusebius, 4, 34/., 52, 98, 101. 
Ewald, xiii, 113, 181, 202. 
Expositor, xiii. 
Expository Times, xiii. 
Eybeschiitz, 118. 

Ferns, 109. 

Ferrand, 51. 

Feuardentius, 109. 

Field, 32, 35, 37. 

Fihrist, 76. 

Fillion, 117. 

Firdausi, 76, 136. 

First Tar gum, xi, 18-21, 101. 

Fiske, 114. 

Flandin, 121. 

Friinkel, 43. 

Frankfurter, 107. 

Frazer, 87, 92. 

Frensdorff, 13. 



Fritzschc, xiii, 8, 37/., 43, 45, 276. 

215, 219, 224, 242 /., 246, 251 

Fryar, 131. 

260-262, 266/., 272, 274, 277/. 

Fiirst, 45, 85, 118. 

282, 291, 295, 298/., 302, 305. 

Fuller, 8, 43, 46. 

Hause, 114. 

Haweis, 116. 

Galliko, 1 10. 

Haye, de la, 109. 

Gaster, 104. 

Heidenheim, 13. 

Geiger, 113, 124. 

Heilbronn, no. 

Geiger-Kuhn, 121, 148. 

Helmolt, 134. 

Gelbhaus, 23. 

Hengstenberg, 45. 

Gemara, xiii, 99 /., sec Talmud, 

Henry, xiii, no. 

Babylonian Talmud. 

Herbst, 52, 113. 

Genebrard, 52, 161, 100. 

Herodotus, xiii, 54, 64. 

Geneva Version, 109. 

i, 99, 220. 

Gersonides, 107. 

i, 106, 200. 

Gesenius, xiii, 70/., 132, 261, 277. 

i, 126, 142. 

Gildemeister, 212. 

i, 133, 128, 236. 

Gill, 116. 

i, 134, 195- 

Ginsburg, 3, 6, 9, 11/., 13, 138, 172, 

i, 136, 238. 

219, 272, 299. 

i, 192, 20'). 

Gladden, 114/. 

iii, 3 1 . x 53, 158. 

Goeje, de, 76. 

iii, 67, 185. 

Gottingsche Gelehrte Anzeigen, xiii. 

iii, 69, 178, 221. 

Gottingsche Gelehrte Nachrichten, 

iii. 72, 20. 


iii, 77, 220. 

Goldschmidt, 100. 

iii, 79, 200. 

Gordon, 53. 

iii, 84, 72, 153, 165, 220. 

Grabe, 32. 

iii, 89, 72, 123. 

Gratz, 63, 83, 113. 

iii, 94-106, 123. 

Gray, 116. 

iii, 95/., 129, 205. 

Greek Version, xi, 24, 29-47. 

iii, 97, I2 3- 

Grotius, 108 /., 155 /., 161, 169, 

iii, 118, 153, 220. 

176, 182, 187, 197, 284, 302. 

iii, 125, 287. 

Griineisen, 87. 

iii, 128, 201. 

Griinthal, 17. 

iii, 129, 267. 

Gunkcl, 87, 90. 

iii, 138, 245- 

Gute, 112. 

iii, 140, 220, 245. 

iv, 44, 123. 

Havernick, xiii, 113, 128, 183. 

v, 11, 245. 

Halevy, 78, 115. 

v, 14, 160. 

Haley, 116, 196. 

v, 18, 150. 

Hall, 116. 

v, 53/., 137. 

Hamburger, 113. 

vi, 30, 287. 

Hamel, du, ill. 

vii-ix, 121. 

Hammer, von, 85. 

vii, 4, 1 26. 

Haraeus, 109. 

vii, 8, 128. 

Harkavy, 6. 

vii, 9, 123. 

Harper, vi, xiii, 117. 

vii, 27, 129. 

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, 

vii, 28, 206. 

xiii, 145, 188, 206 

vii, 65, 69/., 123. 

Haug, 277. 

vii, 70, 123. 

Haupt, 46 f., 54, 68, 70, 79, 81 /., 

vii, 100, 192. 

86, 88, 92, 94, 115, 127, 135, 144 /., 

vii, 114, 71. 

147. *53 /•> I S 6 t T 5 8 - l6 3, 1<r » 6 ' 

vii, 136, 197. 

171, 176 /., 179-181, 185-188, 

vii, 151, 137. 

191-195. J 99, 202, 207, 212 /., 

vii, 187, 121. 



Herodotus, vii, 238, 287. 

viii, 85 
viii, 90, 
viii, 98, 
viii, 99, 
viii, 105 
ix, 24, 

192, 245. 

- «, 32, 69. 

ix, 80/., 129, 140. 

ix, 82, 139/. 

ix, 107, 245. 

ix, 109, 233. 

ix, no, 150, 240. 

ix, 112, 71. 

Herxheimer, 117. 

Herzfeld, 113. 

Hess, 112. 

Hesychius, xi, 31, 36. 

Heumann, 112. 

Hewlett, xiii, 116. 

Hexapla, 34. 

Heyse, 24. 

Hezelius, 186. 

Hilary, 4, 101. 

Hillesum, 118. 

Hilprecht, 133. 

Hirsch, 115. 

Hitzig, 84, 113, 162/, 243. 

Hoffmann, 93. 

Holmes and Parsons, xiii, 35-37. 

Holzmann, 113. 

Hommel, 87, 91, 114. 

Hooght, van der, vi, 12. 

Horace, 142. 

Horowitz, 104, 114. 

Horsley, in. 

Houbigant, in. 

Hubsch, 106, 118. 

Hughes, 116. 

Hugo of St. Victor, 56, 107. 

Hummelauer, 117. 

Hunter, 114. 

Huntley, 53. 

Hurwitz, 14. 

Ibn Ezra, xiii, 11, 20, 52, 106 /., 
128, 161, 164, 169, 196, 248, 261, 
284, 286. 

Ibn Ganah, 105. 

Ibn Melech, xiii, no, 261. 

Ibn Sargado, 105. 

Ibn Yahya, no. 

Immanuel b. Solomon b. Jukuthiel, 

Isaac ben Eleazar, 15. 

Isaiah b. Elijah di Trani, 107. 

Isiodorus, 5. 
Isserles, 56, 118. 

Jablonski, 12. 

Jackson, 108. 

Jacob, 30, 40, 133. 

Jahn, 46/., 113, 134, 146, 187, 262. 

Jahrbilcher fur protestantische The- 

ologie, xiii. 
Jamieson, 116. 
Jampel, 115, 134. 
J astro w, 137. 
Jehring, 95, 235. 
Jekuthiel the Punctuator, 13. 
Jellinek, 8, 43, 103, 106. 
Jensen, 67, 69/., 75, 87, 89, 91-93 

Jeremiah, Rabbi, 232. 
Jerome, xiii, 5, 10, 24-28, ^ f, 

36/., 41/., 53. 
Jerusalem Talmud, xi, 99, 101. 
Jewish Encyclopedia, xiii. 
Jewish Quarterly Review, xiii. 
Johanan, 174. 
John of Damascus, 4. 
Johns, 78, 88, 93. 
Joseph b. Goryon, 102. 
Josephus, xi, xiii, 8, 37, 39, 42, 44, 

53, 60, 61, 78, 80, 83, 98, 100, 

102, 124, 134, 150, 153, 164. 
Josephus Gorionides, 102. 
Journal Asiatique, xiii. 
Journal of the American Oriental 

Society, xiii. 
Journal of Biblical Literature, xiii. 
Journal of tfie Roy. Asiat. Soc, 137. 
Judah Low b. Bezalel, no. 
Judah the Prince, 99. 
Judisches Litter aturblatt, xiii. 
Junilius, 5. 
Junius and Tremellius, xiv, 53, 64, 

101, 108/., 127/., 136, 141, 161, 

181, 196/., 248, 256, 261, 302. 
Justi, 53, 66-70, 121, 124. 

J Kahle, 16. 
Kamphausen, xiv, 57, 116, 127, 169, 

Kara, 106. 
Kaulen, 42, 114. 
Kautzsch, xiv, 8, 46, 114, 143, 156, 

159, 166, 177, 181, 192, 212, 215, 

216, 219, 224, 242 /., 251, 257, 

260-262, 266, 272, 291. 
Keerl, 45. 
Keil, 113, 116, 120, 128, 131, 139, 


o l 1 

150, 156, 161, 169, 176/., 1S2 /"., 

186 /., 196, 200, 206, 209, 213, 

221, 224, 260/., 282, 296, 300, 302. 

Keilinschriften u. das A. T., xiv, 


Keilin schrifthche Bibliothek, xiv. 

Kelle, 113. 

Kennicott, 3D, 6/., 9, III. 

Kerner, 108. 

Kimhi, 135. 

Kirkpatrick, 114. 

Kittel, 12. 

Kleinert, 113. 

Kleist, von, 82. 

Knabenbauer, 117. 

Knudtson, 132, 

Kohler, 113, 116. 

Konig, ixv, 46, 82, 114, 181, 207. 

Kohlreif, 52. 

Kohn, 118. 

Kohut, 104. 

Kosters, 115. 

Kraft, 6. 

Krauss, 224. 

Kuenen, xiv, 30, 76, 82, 197. 

Kuhn, 124. 

Lagarde, xiv, 4, 8, 18, 21, 32, 35, 37, 

65, 85, 9i» 135, !44, 147. IS 1 ! 2I2 - 
Langen, 38, 42, 45. 
Lapide, a, xiv, 52, 108/., 128, 186, 

190, 196, 223, 256, 284. 
Lassen, 123. 
Lavater, 108. 
Lawson, 116. 
Layard, 249. 
Ledrain, 114, 117. 
Lee, 16. 

Leimdorfer, 115. 
Leitner, 100. 
Le Long, 6. 
Leo Hebraeus, 107. 
Leon de Bagnols, 107. 
Levi ben Gershom, xiv, 107. 
Levita, 9, 13. 
Levy, xiv, 170, 178. 
Lightfoot, 53, 169. 
Lilienthal, 112. 
Lion, 136. 
Littmann, 36. 
Livy, 264. 
Lowe, 117. 
Loftus, 134. 

London Polyglot, xi, 16, 18, 20. 
Lucian, 150. 
Lucian the Martyr, 31, 37. 

Lucian's recension, xi, 37-38, 44, 52, 

85/., 100. 
Luther, 96, 108. 
Lyra, 52, 107, 109, 131, 174, 221, 


M'Clymont, 115. 

Macrae, 116. 

M'Crie, 116. 

Macrobius, 150. 

Magazin fur die Geschichte u. 

Wissenschaft des Judenthums, xiv. 
Mahzor Vitry, 14. 
Maimonides, 9, 14, 97. 
Malbin, 118. 
Mally, 114. 
Malter, 94. 
Malvenda, xiv, 53, 109, 128, 133, 

136, 174, 182, 186, 196, 256, 295, 

Mant, 116. 
Marchant, in. 
Mariana, xiv, 109, 133, 169, 187, 

256, 261. 
Marquart, 67 ff., 114. 
Marsham, 51. 
Marti, 147, 151, 160, 212. 
Martianay, in. 
Mason, 116. 

Massora, xi, 11-16, 248. 
Mas'udi, 76. 
J Mathna, 139. 
Maurer, xiv, 116, 162, 186, 251. 
Mayer, xiv, no, 169. 
Megasthenes, 52. 
M e ghilld, xiv, 20, 28/., 93, 98-100, 

119, 290/., 295, 305. 
Megillath Ta'anith, 78, 80. 
Meier, 84, 113. 
Meijboom, 63, 85, 113. 
Meir b. Hayyim, in. 
Meissner, 87, 90, 92, no. 
Melammed, no. 
Melito, 97. 

Menahem b. Helbo, 105. 
Mendelssohn, 117. 
Menochius, xiv, 53, 109, 164, 169, 

174, 190, 196, 256, 262, 284. 
Mercator, 52. 
Merkel, no. 
Merx, 8. 
Meyer, xiv, 53, 100, 121, 124, 212, 

Mez, 39. 
Michaelis, xi, xiv, 7, 57, 78, 83, in/., 

116, 166, 226. 



Midrash Abba Goryon, xiv, 103, 

199, 240, 245. 
Midrash Esther Rabba, xiv, 103. 
Midrash from Yemen, 104. 
Midrash Megillath Esther, xiv, 103. 
Midrash Leqah Tab, xiv, 103. 
Midrash Ponim Aherim, xiv, 104. 
Midrash published by M. Caster, 

Midrash Shoher Tab, xiv, 104. 
Millman, 113. 
Mishna, xiv, 95, 98/., 119. 
M itteilun gen der V orderasiatischen 

Gesellschaft, xiv. 
Mo'ed, 99. 
Moldenhauer, 112. 
Molder, 108. 
Mommsen, 5. 

Montanus, 12, 20, 109, 141. 
Moor, de, 115. 
Moore, vi, 145. 
Morgan, 116. 
Morgan, de, 126, 134. 
Moses the Punctuator, 13. 
Mosul edition, Syriac, xi, 16. 
Movers, 113. 

Miiller, 76; 133, 153, 201. 
Miinster, xiv, 108/., 181 248. 
Munk, 22, 24. 
Muss-Arnolt, 87. 

Nahmias, 106. 

Naples editions of Bible, xi, to. 

Nathan ben Jehiel, 20. 

Nathan of Soncino, 10. 

Nehemiah, Rabbi, 88. 

Nestorideo, in. 

Neteler, xiv, 117, 136, 196. 

Neubauer, 6, 134. 

New Testament, xi. 

Nicephorus, 4. 

Nickes, 51, 113. 

Niebuhr, 121. 

Niemeyer, 112. 

Niese, 39. 

Noldeke, xiv, 30, 43, 46, 113, 115, 

205, 299. 
Norzi, 7, 166, 172. 
Nowack, xiv, 87. 

Oeder, 112. 

Oettli, xiv, 69, 117, 120, 156, 169, 

177, 186, 190, 197, 206, 262, 296, 

Old Latin Version, 24, 40/., too. 
Old Testament, xi. 

Olshausen, xiv, 185, 207, 272, 298. 

Oppert, xiv, 66-71, 113/., 137. 

Orelli, 114. 

Orientalistiche Litter atur-Zeitung, xiv. 

Origen, xi, 4, 31 /., 34 /., 97, 

Osgood, 137. 
j Osiander, xiv, 108/., 152, 186, 197, 

261, 302. 
i Ostervald, 116. 

j Pagninus, xiv, 108 f., 141, 152, 161, 

! 248. 

I Pamphilus, 34/. 
Pape, 118. 

Pareus, xiv, 108, 150, 158. 
Paris Polyglot, 19. 
Paton, 115, 182, 210, 227, 230, 275, 

Patrick, xiv, no, 152, 168. 
Paulus Burgensis, xiv, 107. 
Payne-Smith, 178. 
Pellican, xiv, 108. 
Pereles, 118. 
Perles, 267. 
Perreau, 106. 
Perrot, 121. 
Peshitto, 16/. 
Petavius, 53. 
Petrie, 126. 
Petronius, 148. 
Petrus Comestor, 107. 
Pfeiffer, 53. 
Pfortner, 46. 
Philippsohn, 117. 
Philo, 31, 61, 98. 
Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer, xiv, 20, 24, 102, 

Piscator, xiv, 108/., 127, 136, 141, 

152, 161, T64, 181, 248, 261, 302. 
Pliny, 145. 
Plutarch, 1^9, 141, 150, 196, 240, 

Polybius, 126, 137. 
Poole, 109. 
Pope, 115. 
Posner, 18, 20, 23. 
Pott, 69, 277. 
Poznansky, 105. 
Prayer-book of Yemen, 105. 
Preuschen, 5. 
Priestly, 116. 
Prince, 115. 
Proceedings of the Society of Biblical 

Archcpology, xiv. 
Pseudo-Athanasius, 4. 



Ptolemaic Canon, 126. 
Purver, 116. 
Pyle, no. 

Rab, 132, 136, 144, 174, 226. 

Raba, 162. 

Rabba b. Abuhu, 234. 

Rahlfs, 16. 

RaLBaG, 107. 

Raleigh, 116. 

Rambach, xiv, no, 152, 167/., 181, 

187, 248, 261, 305. 
RaShBaM, 106. 
RaShI, n, 24, 52, 105, 107, 118, 132, 

135, 161, 164, 196, 277, 284, 305. 
Ratner, 100. 
Raven, 115. 
Rawicz, 100. 
Rawlinson, xiv, 68-71, 116, 130, 

162, 167/., 171, 176, 183, 186/., 

196, 200, 206, 209, 302/. 
Real-Encyclopadie fur protestantische 

Theologie u. Kirche, xiv. 
Records of the Past, 137. 
Reggio, 117. 
Renan, 86. 
Reusch, 113. 
Reuss, xiv, 46, 78, 80, 113/., 117, 

224, 291. 
Revised Version, xi. 
Revue des Etudes Juives, xiv. 
Rhabanus Maurus, 53, 107. 
Richardson, 108. 
Riehm, 113/. 
Rinck, 116. 
Robertson, 114. 
Robiou, 114. 
Rodkinson, 100. 
Roediger, 69, 132, 277. 
Rosenthal, 249, 270. 
Rossi, de, xi, 6-9, 42, 60, no/. 
Ruffinus, 5. 

Rupertus Abbatis Tuitiensis, 107. 
Rupprecht, 115. 
Ryle, 3. 
Ryssel, xiv, 8, 31, 43, 46, 57, 116, 

117, 125, 127, 138 /., 156, 162, 

181, 188, 200, 202, 213, 233, 243, 

260, 276, 282, 291. 

Sa, 109. 

Sa'adia, 14, 104. 
Saba, 56. 
Sabatier, 40. 
Sachau, 86, 161. 
Sacy, de, 117. 

Salianus, xiv, 53, 130. 

Samuel ben Meir, xiv, 106. 

Samuel, Rabbi, 132, 135, 144, 174, 

Sanctius, xiv, 53, 108/., 125, 128, 
133, 176, 183, 196. 

Sanday, 5. 

Sartorius, 112. 

Sayce, 72, 114. 

Scaliger, 52, 71. 

Schanz, 114. 

Scheftelowitz, 67-71, 115, 132. 

Scheil, 134. 

Schenkel, xiv. 

Schiller-Szinessy, 6. 

Schirmer, 116. 

Schlatter, 114. 

Schlottmann, 114. 

Schmidt, 78, 116. 

Schnurrer, in. 

Schoene, 52, 101. 

Scholtz, 37, 95. . 

Scholz, 42, 46, 56, 113/., 120, 124, 
128, 130, 132, 138, 162, 168, 196. 

Schott, 116. 

Schrader, xiv, 113, 138. 

Schudt, 93. 

Schiirer, xiv, 43, 46, 115. 

Schultz, xv, 53, 114, 116, 127, 147, 
156, 158, 161, 169, 177, 186-188 
196, 200, 209, 221, 225, 261 /., 
270, 298. 

Schulze, 112, 116. 

Schwally, 86, 88. 

Scott, 116, 130. 

Second Targum, xi, 21-23. 

Seder l Olam, 53, 100. 

Seisenberger, 42, 117. 

Seligsohn, 170, 194. 

Semler, 13, 112. 

Serarius, xv, 53, 109, 128, 131, 133. 
174, 196, 221. 

Shahin, 104. 

Siegfried, xv, 86, 117, 138/., 143, 
154, 156, 158, 162, 166, 169, 177, 
181, 185, 187, 200, 202, 206, 213, 
222-224, 239, 243, 251, 256, 260, 
262, 267, 274, 282, 290, 295 /., 
, 300, 302. 

Simeon, 116. 

Simeon b. Lakish, 97. 

Sirach, 61. 

Smith, H. P., 78, 115. 

Smith, W. R., 114. 

Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, xv. 

Smend, 88, 114. 



Solomon ben Isaac, xiv, 105. 
Solomon ibn Melcch, xiii, no, 261. 
Soncino Edition, xi, 10. 
Spiegel, xv, 121, 123 /., 135, 137, 

146, 273. 
Spiegelberg, 126, 212. 
Spinoza, in. 
Stade, xv, 143/., 146, 186, 195, 207, 

218, 224, 267, 272, 282, 285. 
Stahelin, 113. 
Stanley, 113. 
StebbinS; 114. 
Steinschneider, 6, 107. 
Steinthal 95, 114. 
Stenco, 108. 
Stier., 45. 
Stolze 121. 

Strabo, 88, 92/., 126, 129, 137, 140. 
Strack, xv, 6, 14, 99, 114, 224, 284. 
Strassmaier, 54. 
Streane, xv, 117, 130, 169, 186, 188, 

256, 262, 296, 302. 
Strigel, xv, 108. 
Strong, 116. 
Sutcliffe, 116. 
Swete, 5, 31 /., 35. 
Symmachus, 29, 34. 
Synopsis Criticorum, 109. 
Syriac Version, xi, 16. 

TabarI, 76. 

Taitazak, no. 

Talmud, 28, 42, 60, 102, 162, 287, 
273, 290 /, 295; see M e ghilld, 
Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem 

Tanhuma, 130. 

Targums, vi, 42, 101; see First Tar- 
gum, Second Tar gum. 

Tar gum Rabbathi, 41. 

Tayler, 18 

Tedeschi, 118. 

Terence, 148. 

Terry, 116. 

Thayer, viii. 

Theodoret of Antioch, 37. 

Theodotion, 34, 29. 

Theologische Liter aturzeitung, xv. 

Theologische Studien u. Kritiken, xv. 

7 heologisch Tijdschrift. xv. 

Thucydides, 245. 

Tiele.. 115 

Tigurina, xv, 109, 141. 181, 248. 

Tintori. de. of Bologna. 10. 

Tirinus, xv, 52, 109, 186, 190, 196, 
206, 284. 

Tischendorf, 24, 31. 
Tobiah b. Eliezer, 103. 
Tommasi, 40. 
Toy, 87. 

Transactions of the Society of Bibli- 
cal Archaeology, xv. 
Trapp, 108. 
Tremellius, 108/., 127, 141, 302. 

Unger, 112. 

Uri, 6. 

Urumia edition of Syriac, xi, 16. 

Ussher, 35, 37/. 

Valerio, no. 

Vatable, xv, 52, 108/., 141, 181/., 

187, 248, 261, 302. 
Vatke, 114. 
Vernes, 114. 
Vignoles, des, 52. 
Vigouroux, 114. 
Villiers, de, 114. 
Vitringa, xv, 151, 164. 
Vos, 112. 

Vulgate, see Jerome. 
Vullers, 65, 70. 

Wace, 8. 

Wachsmuth, 126. 

Wade, 115. 

Wahl, 123. 

Wallafridus Strabus, 107. 

Walther, 52, 108. 

Watson, 115. 

Weber, 113/. 

Weisslovits, 87. 

Wellhausen, 174. 

Wells, no. 

Welte, 42, 52. 

Wendel, 145. 

Wesley, 116. 

Westminster Assembly's Annota- 
tions, 108, 130, 168. 

Wette, de, 113, 138. 

Wetzer, 42. 

Whiton, 114. 

Wiener Zeitschrift filr die Kunde 
des Morgenlandes, xv. 

Wildeboer, xv, 57, 86-89, 114, 117, 
120, 162, 169, 176 /., 181, 186, 

188, 196, 202, 206, 233, 251, 256, 
260, 262, 291, 296, 302. 

Willrich, xv, 42, 63, 77, 115, 125, 261. 
Wilson, 108. 

Winckler, xv, 52, 87, 90, 131-134, 
144, 186, 193, 207, 212/., 215, 235. 



Winer, 113. 

Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach, 30. 

Wokenius, 52, no. 

Wolder, 108. 

Wolf, 6. 

Wolfsohn, 117. 

Wordsworth, 116. 

Wright, 115. 

Wiinsche, 101, 103, 125. 

Xenophon, Anabasis, 153, 185. 
Xenophon, Cyropcedia, 129, 134, 

136, 140, 160, 185, 201. 
Xenophon Hellenica, 245. 
Ximenes, 10. 

Yalqut Shim'oni, xv, 88, 104. 
Yecira, 15. 
Yonge, 116. 

J Yosippon, xv, 8, 20, 42, 102, 227. 

Zahalon, no. 

Zahn, 5. 

Zechariah, 118. 

Zechariah b. Seruk, no. 

Zedner, 106. 

Zeitschrift des deutschen Paldstina 

Vereins, xv. 
Zeitschrift fur Agyptologie, xiii. 
Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche 

Wissenschaft, xv. 
Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie, xv. 
Zeller, 108. 

Zimmern, 87, 90-93, 144, 215. 
Zinck, 116. 
Zockler, 46. 
Zschokke, 113. 
Zunz, 8, 23, 85, 113. 


Aaron, 255. 

Ab, 93, 201. 

'Abhaghtha, 67, 148. 

Abib, 200. 

Abiel, 168, 259. 

Abigail, 149, 171. 

'Abihayil, 171, 181, 300. 

Abimelech, 241, 255. 

'Abinadab, 182. 

Abishai, 167. 

Ab-Kharkha, 227. 

Abraham, 169, 242, 255, 259, 284. 

Accad, 132. 

Achaemenes, 126. 

Achaemenian inscriptions, 72, 128. 

Achmetha, 134. 

Acropolis of Susa, 126, 137, 227; 

see Fortress, Susa. 
Acrostics, 8. 
'Ada, 231. 

'Adalya, 70, 284, 287. 
Adam, 75. 
Adar, 49/., 55, 61, 78, 84, 86, 92, 94, 

98, 202/., 209/., 275/., 282, r87- 

291, 293, 295, 300, 306. 
Adar, the Second, 300/. 
Adasa, 78/. 
Additions of the versions, vi, vii; 

in Aramaic, 8, 42; in Greek, 8, 25, 

33, 41; regarded as canonical, 42; 

supposed Heb. originals are trans- 

lations of Josephus, 42; contra- 
dict the Heb. text, 43; not a part 
of the original Greek version, 44; 
added to supply a religious ele- 
ment, 44; literature on the addi- 
tions, 45; the short additions, 46; 
Addition A, 44, 90, 119; Addition 
B, 210; Addition C, 227; Addi- 
tion D, 230; Addition E, 44, 275; 
Addition F, 90, 306; in josephus, 
39; in Lucian, 38; in Old Latin, 
40; additions in Talmud, 28; 
in Targums, 19, 22. 

Adhmatha, 68, 152. 

Africa, 152, 230, 250. 

Agag, 70, 73, 194, 231, 256, 265. 

Agagite, 43, 49, 69, 72, 90, 120, 194, 
269, 284, 295. 

Age of Est., v; ancient theories, 60; 
makes no claim for itself, 61; 
LXX version earliest witness, 61; 
historical standpoint shows late 
Greek period, 61; intellectual 
standpoint, 62; language, 62. 

'Ahasht'rdnim, 273. 

'Ahashwerosh, 48, 51, 53/., 121/., 
124, 128, 133. 

Ahasuerus, 43, 47/., 51, 56, 60, 64, 
71, 77, 95, 108, 121, 169; identi- 
fied with Cyaxares, 51; with Asty- 
ages, 52; with Cambyses, 52; with 



Darius, I, 52; with Xerxes, 52; 

with Artaxerxes I, 53; with Arta- 

xerxes II, 53; with Artaxerxes III, 

53; monuments prove that he 

was Xerxes, 53; statements of 

Est. agree, 54. 
Ahasuerus, the father of Darius the 

Mede, 51. 
Ahura-Mazda, 137, 148, 153. 
Akra, 134. 
Alabaster, 145. 
Alexander Balas, 81/. 
Alexandria, 125. 
Alexandrian Jews, 96. 
Allegorical interpretation, 56, 138, 

162, 168. 
Alms, 294. 
Amalek, 194, 222, 231, 256, 265, 

283, 286, 288/., 290, 296. 
Amalekites, 73, 194, 200. 
Amesha-Spentas, 148, 153. 
Amestris, 71, 150, 240. 
'Ammihud, 168, 259. 
'Amminadab, 170, 182. 
Ammon, 152. 
Amorin, 99. 
Anadatos, 88, 92. 
Anagrams, 95. 
Anahita, 137. 
Anaitis, 88, 93. 
Angaroi, 184, 208. 
Angel, 147, 221, 232, 242, 255, 259, 

262/., 286. 
Annals of Persia, 49/., 74, 192, 302; 

see Chronicles, Book. 
Annunaki, 91. 
Antimeros, 194. 
Antiochan text, 37. 
Antiochus Epiphanes, 61 /., 63, 78. 
Antonia, 134. 
Apaddna, 137, 139, 144. 
Aphiah, 168, 259. 
Aphlitus, 231. 
Apocrypha, vii, 33. 
Apocryphal additions, 96. 
Appendix, 303. 
Approaching the king, 43, 72, 220, 

Arabic, 161. 
Arabic learning, 104. 
Arabic version, 105. 
Aramaic, 62, 72, 160/., 273. 
Aramaic original of Greek addi- 
tions 8. 

'Ariday, 70, 284, 288. 
'Aridhatha, 70, 284, 288. 

'Arisay, 71, 284, 288. 

Armour, 249. 

Artaxerxes, 52/., 119/., 137, 150, 

2I o, 275, 305. 
Artaxerxes I., Longimanus, 52 /., 

60, 76, 124, 133. 
Artaxerxes II., Mnemon, 53, 65, 

Artaxerxes III., Ochus, 53, 190. 
Artaynte, 233. 
Ashes, 214, 227/., 230, 254. 
Ashurbanipal, 133. 
Aspatha, 70, 284, 287. 
Assembly, 306. 
Assembly of the gods, 91. 
Assueros, 52. 

Assyria, 132/., 160, 190, 192. 
Assyrian, 160 
Astrakhan, 146. 
Astrologers, 151, 201, 255. 
Astyages, 52, 127. 
Atnisomus, 231. 
Atossa, 121. 
Aufklarung, in. 
Authorship of Esther, 63. 
Azariah, 154, 239, 255. 

Ba'al, 155. 

Baanah, 168, 259. 

Babylon, 125, 128, 130, 132, 134, 

137, 149, 167, 176, 255. 
Babylonia, 90, 132/., 192. 
Babylonian, 160. 
Babylonians, 202. 
Babylonian creation story, 90. 
Babylonian Election Day, 94. 
Babylonian holy days, 83. 
Babylonian legends, 125. 
Babylonian months, 200, 272. 
Babylonian New Year's festival, 79, 


Babylonian origin of Purim, 87, 91. 

Babylonian scribes, 14. 

Babylonian tablets, 54. 

Babylonian Talmud, xi, 2, 20, 98/., 
1 01; see M e ghilla. 

Bagoas, 161. 

Bahman Ardashir, 76. 

Bal'aqan, 194. 

Balder, 79. 

Banquet, 48/., 65, 91, 126, 128, 135, 
150, 184, 234 /., 238, 240, 257, 
280, 290, 293; see Feast. 

Banquet-hall, 263. 

Barber, 253. 

Baris, 134. 



Barnabazos, 39, 190. 

Baths, 165, 253. 

Bazaars, 204 

Beautiful women, 147, 149, 171. 

Bechorath, 168, 259. 

Bed-chamber, 247, 259. 

Beds, 139 

Behar, 84. 

Bekhorath, 168, 259. 

Bela, 168. 

Bells, 249. 

Belshazzar, 75, 128. 

Benefactors of the King, 65, 245. 

Benjamin, Tribe of, 48, 119, 168, 

198, 255, 259. 
Beryl, 279. 
Beth essentiae, 229. 
Bibliography, vii. 
Bightha, 67, 148. 
Bighthan, 69, 189, 244. 
Bilshan, 169. 
Bird of paradise, 279. 
Birds, 279, 288. 
Bithan 137, 143. 
Biurisrs, 117. 
Biznai, 231. 
Bizz e tha, 67, 148. 
Bomberg Bible, 18, 22. 
Book, 302. 

Book of Moses, see Law. 
Book of the acts of the days, 304. 
Book of the memorable things, 304. 
Bowing before superiors, 62, 195; 

see Prostration. 
Boys, 279. 
Bridle, 252. 
Broad place, 217. 
Bulis, 197. 

Cabala, 106. 

Caesarea, 34. 

Caiaphas, 256. 

Calah, 132. 

Calneh, 132. 

Cambyses, 52, 123, 128, 158. 

Canaanites, 281. 

Canonicity, vii, 63/., 94, 101. 

Cappadocian, 161. 

Captivity, see Exile. 

Carian, 161. 

Carmeli, 78. 

Carnival, 92. 

Carpenters, 240. 

Casting of lots, see Lot. 

Catholic Commentators, 108. 

Cattle, 227. 

Cedar, 266. 

Chain, 249/., 252. 

Chalybonian wine, 141. 

Chamber of Fate, 91. 

Chapter division, 12. 

Chariot, 248. 

Chedorla'omer, 133. 

Children, 274. 

Chislev, 202. 

Choaspes, 126, 227. 

Christ, does not quote Esi., 97. 

Christian attitude toward Est., 97, 

Chronicler, 52. 
Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and 

Israel, 58. 
Chronicles of the Kings of Media 

and Persia, 42, 57/., 120, 191/., 

244, 292 /., 303 /.; see Annals, 

Circumcise, 204, 280. 
Circumstantial clause, 281, 285. 
Cities, 291, 297/. 
City of Susa, 126, ail, 280. 
City-square, 249. 
Cleopatra, 30, 77, 81/., 306. 
Codices, Hebrew, 2, 6, 8; Greek, 

4/., 31/.; Latin, 40/.; Syriac, 16. 
Colours, 279. 
Columns, 137. 
Commentators, Catholic, 107-109, 

in, 117; Jewish, 13, 97, 101-107, 

109, in, 117, 161; Protestant, 

107, no, 115. 
Commercialism, 62. 
Commissioners, 164, 173. 
Complutensian Polyglot, 10, 33. 
Composition, Erbt's theory, 81; see 

Compulsion to drink, 141. 
Concubines, 180, 187. 
Conspiracy, 190, 295; see Plot. 
Contradictory statements in Est., 58. 
Coptic versions, 36. 
Copy, 211, 217. 
Cords, 138. 
Corpse, 295. 

Cosmetics, 165, 174, 178. 
Cotton, 138, 144. 
Cotton cloth, 138, 144. 
Couch, 263. 

Council of princes, 73, 128, 154, 238. 
Counsellors, 151, 255. 
Country Jews, 288, 290. 
Couriers, 49, 65, 208, 273, 276. 
Coursers, 273, 276. 

3 2 4 


Court, 136. 

Courtiers, 127, 184, 195, 197, 220. 
Cousin, 170/. 

Covering the head, 254, 264. 
Creation story, 91. 
Crier, 249. 

Critical period of exegesis, in. 
Crown, 148, 230, 244, 248/., 259, 279. 
Crucifixion, 44, 191. 
Crying, 59, 214, 301. 
Crystal, 140. 
Cup, 148, 254. 
Cup-bearer, 141. 
Curtains, 138. 
Custom, 152. 
Cyaxares, 51/., 127, 169. 
Cyreneans, 77. 

Cyrus, 52, 75, 121-123, 125, 127, 
130, 134, 169. 

Daghesh forte conjunctly urn, 257. 

Dainties, 174, 290, 293. 

Dalphon, 70, 284, 287. 

Damascus, 190. 

Daniel, 75, 121, 128, 148, 154, 169, 
174, 216, 239. 

Darius, 52/., 75, 121-124, 129, 137, 
169, 258. 

Darius the Mede, 52, 122-124. 

Date of the book, 281; see Age. 

Date of the Greek version, 31. 

Daughter of Haman, 254. 

Daughter-voice, 240. 

David, 164, 166/., 239, 248. 

Day of Atonement, 74, 202. 

Day of Mordecai, 61, 80, 91. 

Day of Nicanor, see Nicanor's Day. 

Days of the Week, 201. 

Dead, 214; cult of, 86. 

Decree, 49, 72, 248, 269; see Edict, 

Dedication of Feast, 202. 

Deiosos, 231. 

Delay in bringing girls to the King, 

Descendants, 297. 

Diary, 58, 304; see Annals, Chron- 

Diaspora, 61, 63, 203. 

Dinazad, 76. 

Dioces, 220. 

Dionysius, 131. 

Dios, 194. 

Dioses, 194. 

Dispatches, 160, 208, 269, 272; see 
Decree, Edict. 

Divine honours, 196. 

Dizful, 126. 

Dogs, 239. 

Doorkeepers, 189. 

Dositheus, 30, 77, 306. 

Dragons, 120, 306. 

Dravidian, 160. 

Dream of Mordecai, 8, 39, 42, 102, 

104, 119, 306. 
Drink, 140/., 147, 211. 
Drinking-cups, 140/. 
Drunkenness of Persians, 129, 150, 

Dung, 228. 

Duplicate accounts, 58, 295, 297. 
Dust, 230. 
Dustros, 282. 

Easterns, 15. 

Ecbatana, 125, 134. 

Edict, 43, 50, 157, 210, 276, 282, 

287; see Decree, Dispatch. 
Edom, 78, 152. 

Egypt, 128, 152, 161, 169, 211. 
Egyptian, 161. 
Egyptians, 241. 
Elah, 168, 259. 
Elam, 54, 89, 90, 125, 127, 133/., 

Elder, 304. 
Elephantine, 161. 
Eleventh of Adar, 295, 297. 
Eliel, 168, 259. 
Elijah, 86, 234. 
Elijah the high priest, 213. 
Eliphael, 168. 
Eliphalot, 194. 
Eliphaz, 194, 231. 
Elpa'al, 259. 
Elul, 201. 
Emerald, 145, 279. 
Enameled tiles, 137. 
Enemy, 260, 267, 276, 282-284, 287, 

289, 291, 293, 295. 
En-Mashti, 89. 
Ephraim, 255. 
Ephrath, 78. 
Eponymy, 93. 
Erech, 89, 132/. 
Esarhaddon, 132. 
Esau, 194, 197 /., 220, 231, 265. 
Escorting guests, 257. 
Esther, the queen, 43, 45, 48, 55, 65- 

67, 71-73, 77/., 81, 88, 90/., 93; 

etymology of name, 69, 85; = 

Ishtar, 69, 78/., 170; not identical 



with Amestris, 71; analogue of 
Judith, 75; of Shahrazad, 76; 
moral character, 96, 108; origin 
and bringing up, 170-17 1; taken 
to the palace, 173; gains favour of 
Hegai, 174; conceals her race, 
175; visited by Mordecai, 176; 
brought to the King, 182; made 
Queen, 184; conceals her origin, 
188; communicates with Morde- 
cai, 216; resolves to go to the 
King, 225; her prayer, 228; goes 
to the King, 230; prayer in court, 
231; received by the King, 232; 
her request, 234; second request, 
236; gives thanks for Mordecai's 
honour, 254; denounces Haman, 
257; entreated by Haman, 263; 
seeks to counteract Haman's 
edict, 268; sees Mordecai's honour, 
280; asks for second slaughter, 
286; writes to confirm Mordecai's 
letter, 300; the fountain in Morde- 
cai's dream, 306. 

Esther's Fast, 301. 

Ethiopia, 54, 73, 122 /., 133, 208, 
210, 275. 

Ethiopic, 36. 

Euergetes II, 77. 

Eunuchs, 43, 49 /., 120, 148-150, 
153, i 6 5, i7i> 176, i79, 189, 216, 
244, 257, 264. 

Euphrates, 130. 

Eustochium, 25. 

Evil-Merodach, 121/., 130, 149. 

Exegesis, Christian, no commen- 
taries for seven centuries, 101; 
mediaeval commentators, 107; 
Protestant commentators of the 
Reformation period, 107; Catholic 
commentators of this period, 108; 
compendia of commentators, 109; 
post-Reformation period, Prot- 
estant commentators, no; Catho- 
lic commentators, in; modern 
critical period, in; introductory 
works, 112; modern Protestant 
commentaries, 115; Catholic com- 
mentaries, 117. 

Exegesis, Jewish, 13; haggada, 97; 
halakha, 98; collection of hala- 
khoth into Mishna, 98; the Tal- 
muds, 99; collection of haggadhoth 
into midrashim, 100; midrash in 
the Gemara, 100; First Targum, 
101; Second Tar gum, 102; Midrash 

Esther Rabba, 103; Midrash Leqah 
Tob, 103; Midrash Abba Goryon, 
103; Midrash Megillath Esther, 
103; other midrashim, 104; Sa'adia 
and the literal method of inter- 
pretation, 104; the Spanish school, 
105; RaShI, 105; his followers, 
106; rise of the allegorical method, 
106; commentators of the Refor- 
mation period, 109; post-Ref- 
ormation period, in; modern 
period, 118. 

Exile, 135, 168, 239. 

Extraordinary letters, 6, 284, 302. 

Ezra, 53, 60, 202. 

Farvardigan, 85-87, 91. 

Fast, 49, 59.. 95 189, 215, 225, 227, 

250, 280, 301. 
Fates of men, 91, 94 
Father, 101, 276. 
Father to the king, 283. 
Feast, 48, 49, 142, 240, 276, 280/.; 

see Banquet. 
Fiction, 247. 
Fiery furnace, 255. 
Fifteenth of Adar, 288, 290/., 293, 

First Tar gum, editions, 18; relation 

to Heb., 18; its insertions, 19; 

short recension in Antwerp and 

Paris Polyglot, 20; age, 20; sources 

20; oral origin, 21; text-critical 

value, 21; its exegesis, 101. 
Five M e gilloth, 2/., 103. 
Food, 140, 174; of heathen unclean, 

43> i75> 189, 229, 271. 
Fortress, 126, 136, 165-167, 169, 

172, 176, 211, 279 /., 283, 286, 

290; see Acropolis, Susa. 
Fortune of the city, 279. 
Fountain, 120. 
Fourteenth of Adar, 288, 290, 293, 

2 95> 297, 306. 
Friends, 255. 

Gabatha, 120. 

Gabriel 149, 221, 225, 245, 263. 
Gallows, 50/., 74, 89, 163, 191, 240, 
246, 257, 264, 266, 270, 284, 287, 

Garden, 136, 262. 
Garments, 216, 230, 242, 249. 
Garments of King, 244, 248, 252/., 

259, 279. 
Gate of the King, see King's gate. 



Gates, 1 88. 

Gemara, xiii, 99 /.; see Talmud, 
Babylonian Talmud. 

Gentiles, hatred of, 45, 62, 229. 

Genuineness of subscription, 30. 

Genunitha, 174. 

Gera, 259. 

Geresh, 89. 

Geshem, 234, 236, 258. 

Gezah, 168. 

Gibeonite, 295. 

Gifts, 79, 294; of food, 185; to the 
poor, 59. 

Gilgamesh, 82, 89/. 

Gilgamesh Epic, 89, 90. 

Girdle, 279. 

Girisha, 89. 

Girls, 164 /., 172, 178, 186, see 
Maidens, Virgins. 

Gladness, 306. 

God, 275 /., 298, 306; name in- 
tentionally omitted, 44, 94; theory 
of anagrams, 95; not due to 
skepticism, 95; nor to residence 
in Persia, 95; nor to reverence, 
95; due to the revels at Purim, 95; 
see also 222, 232, 244, 282. 

Gog, 56. 

Gogite, 70, 191, 194. 

Gold, 139/., 230, 279. 

Goliath, 239. 

Governors, 208, 272, 283. 

Grand vizier, 268, 304. 

Graves whitewashed, 86. 

Great Synagogue, 60, 169, 190, 202. 

Greece, 121, 128, 183, 206, 303. 

Greek, 161, 295. 

Greek historians, 71. 

Greek origin of Purim, 83. 

Greek period, 281. 

Greek Version, xi, 24, 29; subscrip- 
tion to Esther, 30; its genuine- 
ness, 30; date of version, 31; re- 
cension of the uncials, 31; Codex 
Sinaiticus, 32; Codex Alexan- 
drinus, 32; Codex Basiliano-Vati- 
canus, 32; other similar codices, 
32; additions of text of uncials to 
Heb., 2>Z', omissions from the text, 
7,y, recension of Origen, 34; the 
Hexapla, 34; the Origenic text, 
35; recension of Hesychius, 36; 
codices, 36; secondary versions, 
36; recension of Lucian, 37; its 
codices, 37; editions, 37; addi- 
tions to Heb., 38; omissions from 

Heb., 38; differences from Heb., 
38; text of Josephus, 39; Old Latin 
secondary version, 40; long addi- 
tions in Greek, 41; regarded as 
canonical, 42; supposed Heb. or 
Aram, originals are translations 
of Josephus, 42; no internal evi- 
dence of Heb. originals, 43; con- 
tradict the Heb. text, 43; not a 
part of the original Greek ver- 
sion, 44; added to supply a re- 
ligious element, 44; literature on 
the additions, 45; the short addi- 
tions in Greek, 46; text-critical 
value of Greek, 46; omissions in 
Greek, 47; also 100, 102. 
Guza, 259. 

Habisha, 126. 

Hadassah, 78, 85, 88/., 170. 

Hadros, 194. 

Haggada, 97, 100, 104. 

Haggai, 208. 

Haircloth, 214, 216, 227; see Sack- 

Hair cut, 253. 

Halakha, 97, 104, 252. 

Half of the Kingdom, 233, 236. 

Hamadan, 134. 

Haman, 43~45> 47-5°. 55, 62, 65, 
72#, 77/, 81, 86, 88, 92/, 120; 
etymology of name, 69, 85; = 
Humman, 69, 79, 88-91, analogies 
in Jewish literature, 75; the King's 
favourite, 120; same as M mu- 
khan, 154; plots against the King, 
190; his origin, 194, 196; pro- 
moted by the King, 195; defied 
by Mordecai, 196; an Amalekite, 
194, 197, 200; angry with Morde- 
cai, 199; plans to destroy the 
Jews, 200; casts lots, 201; goes to 
the King, 203; promises 10,000 
talents for the Jews, 205; sends 
out edict against the Jews, 208; 
his daughter, 231; wishes to slay 
Esther, 232; comes to Esther's 
banquet, 235; plans to hang Mor- 
decai, 237; wears an idol, 242; 
accused by angel, 244; com- 
manded by King to honour 
Mordecai, 246; executes com- 
mand, 252; narrates his disgrace 
at home, 255; denounced by 
Esther, 257; meaning of his name, 
259; sentenced to death, 262; 



begs Mordecai for mercy, 265; 
a Macedonian, 275; duplicate ac- 
count of his plot, 295; left hanging 
on gallows, 295; is dragon in the 
dream, 306. 

Hamdan, 231. 

Hamlets, 290/. 

Hammedhatha, 69, 78, 88, 92, 120, 
194, 231, 240, 269, 275, 284, 295. 

Hammurabi, 133. 

Hananiah, 154, 239, 255, 259. 

Handful of meal, 252. 

Hanging as death-penalty, 44, 65, 
163, 168, 191, 246, 270, 284, 287, 


Harbona, 67, 148, 264. 

Harem, 137, 165, 176, 179; see 
House of the women. 

Harness, 252. 

Harsum, 231. 

Hartford Theological Seminary, viii. 

Harum, 231. 

Harvard Divinity School, viii. 

Hashom, 259. 

Hathakh, 49, 70, 217, 221. 

Heathen, 280, 296, 300. 

Heathen feast borrowed, 83. 

Heaven, 282. 

Heavenly voice, 259. 

Hebrew, 295. 

Hebrew consonantal text, xi. 

Heghai, or Heghe, 48, 69, 165, 172- 
174, 182, 226. 

Helix Ianthina, 138. 

Helmet, 279. 

Heman, 78. 

Hemdan, 78. 

Hemince, 141. 

Herod, 134, 233. 

Hesychius' recension of the Greek, 
xi, 31, 36; its codices, 36; secon- 
dary Coptic and Ethiopic ver- 
sions, 36. 

Hexapla, 34. 

Hezekiah, 125, 194. 

Higher Criticism, 47, in. 

Historical character of Est., vii, 
wishes to be regarded as history, 
64; so regarded by the Jews, 64; 
some of its statements confirmed, 
64; correct idea of Persian cus- 
toms, 65; Persian words, 65; most 
of its statements unconfirmed, 66; 
proper names unknown elsewhere, 
66; proposed Persian etymologies, 
67-71; statements of Est. con- 

tradicted by Greek historians, 
71; contrary to Persian custom, 
72; inner inconsistencies, 73; 
statements historically improbable, 
73; analogues in apocryphal liter- 
ature, 75; analogues in the Ara- 
bian Nights, 76; conclusion, can- 
not be regarded as historical, 77; 
see also 79, in. 

Hoddu, 132. 

Hokhma, 106. 

Holiday, 280, 286, 290, 293. 

Holophernes, 75. 

Holta, 174. 

Holy House, 198; see Temple, Sanc- 

Holy Spirit, 191, 230. 

Homai, 76. 

Honours, 50, 248/., 254, 280. 

Horses, 209, 244, 248 ff., 252/., 259, 

House of the concubines, 179: 

House of father, 223. 

House of Haman, 270. 

House of the King, 143, 173, 179; 
see Palace, Royal house. 

House of the Kingdom, 143. 

House of the women, 137, 143, 165, 
173, 176, 179; see Harem. 

Hrungner, 79. 

Humbaba, 82, 89. 

Humban, 69, 89. 

Humman, 67, 69, 89/. 

Hurpitha, 174. 

Husband, 155, 158, 161. 

Hushim, 168. 

Hymns, 293. 

Idol, 195, 199, 217, 228, 231, 242. 

Igigi, 91. 

Impaling, 191. 

Imperfect with Waw consec, 60. 

Improbabilities in Est., 73, 240, 

244 /., 256, 287, 289, 304; see 

Historical character. 
India, 52, 54, 73, 122/., 132, 152, 

160, 208, 210, 272, 275. 
Indus, 123. 

Infinitive absolute, 285, 291, 299. 
Inner court, 220/., 230. 
Inscriptions, 160. 
Inspiration of the Book of Esther, 

182, 247. 
Intercalated month, 300/. 
Interpreter, 258. 
Introductions to Book of Est., 112. 



Irene, 8 1 /. 

Irnina, 89. 

Isaac, 240, 242, 255, 259. 

Ishtar, 67, 69, 78/., 88-93, I 7°- 

Ishtar-feast, 93. 

Islam, 104. 

Islands of the Mediterranean, 54, 303. 

Israel, 168, 281. 

Issachar, sons of, 151 /. 

Istahar, 170. 

Istar, 78/.; see Ishtar. 

Ithaca, 81. 

Iyar, 201. 

Jacob, 168/., 197/., 200, 220, 242, 
255, 259. 

Jair, 119, 167, 259. 

Jamnia, Synod of, 97. 

Jeconiah, 51, 120, 168. 

Jehoiachin, 51, 53, 73, 121, 168. 

Jehoiakim b. Joshua, 60. 

Jehoram, 168. 

Jemshid, 79. 

Jerahmeel, 67, 78. 

Jerahmeeli, 78. 

Jerome's Latin Version, 5, 10, 24; 
prologue, 24; aim to give a literal 
version, 25; additions to Masso- 
retic text, 26; omissions from text, 
27; differences from Massoretic 
text, 27; general similarity to Mas- 
soretic text, 28. 

Jerubba'al, 168, 259. 

Jeruham, 259. 

Jerusalem, 140, 169, 194, 208, 279, 

Jerusalem Talmud, xi, 99, 101. 

Jewish commentators, 13, 97, 101- 
107, 109, in, 117, 161. 

Jewish Theological Seminary, viii. 

Jews, 49, 73, 136, 167, 175, 198, 200, 
203, 206, 209-211, 217, 225, 234, 
255, 270, 273, 275/., 280, 282/., 
286, 290, 293 /., 297, 305. 

Job, 82^ 

Jotunheim, 79. 

John Hyrcanus, 79. 

Jonathan, 79, 82, 168, 259. 

Joseph, 95, 169, 239, 248. 

Joseph, the tax-gatherer, 83. 

Josephus' recension of the Greek, 
additions, omissions, and varia- 
tions, 39. 

Joshua, 169. 

Joy, 280, 290, 293, 306. 

Judasan, 166, 255. 

Judah, 166. 

Judaism, 97. 

Judas Maccabaeus, 61, 78 /., 81. 

Judith, 75, 79, 97. 

Kallatu, 89. 

Karaites, 104. 

Karcum, 196, 253. 

Karkas, 68, 148. 

Karsh e na, 68, 152. 

Kasse, 132. 

Kassite, 161. 

Kefer Qarcum, 196, 253. 

KHhibh, 13. 

Khorsabad, 137. 

Khshayarsha, 53, 305. 

Khshatra, 273. 

King of Persia, 94. 

King's business, 283. 

King's gate, 137, 188 /., 197, 214, 
217, 237, 239, 250, 254, 268, 279. 

King's house, 230, 246, 283, 288; 
see Palace. 

King, not approached without sum- 
mons, 43, 49, 72, 220, 269. 

Kirisha, 70, 89. 

Kish, 119, 168, 194, 259. 

Kurigalzu II, 133. 

Kush, 123, 132/., 250, 272. 

Kusu, 132. 

Kutir Lahgamar, 133. 

Kutirnaljunte, 133. 

Kuza, 194. 

Lamentation, 215. 
Lamentations, Book of, 82. 
Language, 59, 62, 160, 208, 273. 
Latin version; see Old Latin. 
Latin version of Jerome; see Jerome. 
Law of Moses, 142, 167, 189, 203, 

211, 217, 227, 229, 280, 282. 
Laws of the Medes and Persians, 72, 

141, 146, 149, 152 /., 157, 178, 

217, 220, 276, 279, 282, 286 /.; 

were unchangeable, 43, 75, 150, 

*57> 2 7°> 2 97- 
Lebanon, 122. 
Leprous, 149. 
Letters, 51, 210, 293, 297, 300, 306; 

of the King, 44/.; of Mordecai, 

44, 274/.; see Message. 
Levi, 169. 
Levites, 298, 306. 
Light, 280. 
Linen, 144/., 279. 
Longest verse, 273. 



Loos, 03. 

Lots, 49, 55. 74, 77, 79, 84, 86, 91, 
93, 200/., 276, 295, 306. 

Lower criticism, 111. 

Lucian's recension of the Greek, xi, 
37; its codices, '37; editions, 37; 
additions to Heb., 38; omissions 
from Heb., 38; differences from 
Heb., 38; see also 44, 52, 85/., 100. 

Lucky and unlucky days, 65. 

Lydian, 161. 

Lyre, 240. 

Lysimachus, 30, 306. 

Ma'adan, 194. 

Macedonian, 43, 53, 194, 275/., 279. 

Magi, 200. 

Magic, 177. 

Maidens, 73; see Girls, Virgins. 

Maids, 174, 216, 226, 230, 232, 258. 

Mainland, 303. 

Malachi, 169, 208. 

Malachite, 145. 

Manasseh, 239, 255. 

Manoth, 79. 

Mantle, 279. 

Manuscripts, 5; of the Babylonian 
family, their origin, 14; state- 
ments concerning them, 14; their 
characteristics, 15; best MS. for 
Esther, 16. 

Manuscripts, of the Tiberian fam- 
ily, their number, 5; catalogues, 6; 
characteristics, 6; consonantal var- 
iants, 7; Aramaic additions in 
some, 8; acrostics of YHWH, 8; 
variants in vocalization and ac- 
centuation, 9; descended from a 
single prototype, 9. 

Marble, 139/., 145. 

Marchesvan, 202. 

Mardochaios, 88. 

Mardonius, 68. 

Marduk, 67, 77, 79, 82, 88-91, 93. 

Marduk, Feast of, 91. 

Mares, 278. 

Market-place, 217. 

Mars e na, 68, 152, 

Mashti, 88. 

Masistes, 240. 

Massacre, 201, 209, 287; see Slaugh- 

Massora, xi, 6, 12-14, J 6, 248. 

Massora Magna, 11. 

Massora Parva, 11. 

Massoretic Hebrew text, xi, 27, 47. 

Massoretic summaries, 12. 

Massorites, 6. 

Maul-clubs, 283. 

Media, 52, 54, 127, 134, 153, 156, 


Median, 279. 
I Medieval Christian interpretation, 

Medieval Jewish Commentaries, 

Mediterranean, 303. 

Medo-Persian migration, 134. 

M'ghiUa, presupposes consonantal 
text, 28; additions to the text, 29. 

M e human, 67, 148. 

Meloch, 168, 259. 

Memnonium, 136. 

M e mukhan, 48, 69, 152, 154-160, 
168, 194. 

Mephibosheth, 259. 

Meres, 68, 152. 

Merimoth, 168. 

Merrymaking of Purim, 95. 

Mesopotamia, 161. 

Message, 297, 300; see Letter. 

Messianic hope, 62. 

Method of recording variant read- 
ings, v. 

Micha, 168, 259. 
j Michael, 168, 221, 225, 242, 244, 

Midrashim, 13, 43, 100-109. 

Miriam, 86. 

Mishael, 154, 239, 255. 

Mishna, 98/. 

Mithra, 137. 

Moab, 152. 

Mock-king, 92. 

Money-changer, 188. 

Months, 201. 

Moors, 105. 

Moral teaching of Est., 96; estimate 
of Alexandrian Jews, 96; of N. T. 
writers, 97; of Church Fathers, 
97; of later Judaism, 97; also 108, 

Mordecai, 43~45> 48-50, 5 2 /•> 6o , 
62, 66/., 72-74, 81, 93, 102, 108, 
120; analogies in Jewish litera- 
ture, 75; = Marduk, 77, 79, 88- 
91; etymology of name, 85; moral 
character, 96; his dream, 119; 
not present at Xerxes' feast, 138; 
his personal history, 166-172; bids 
Esther conceal her origin, 175; 
visits Esther, 176; sits in the 



King's gate, 188, 189; bids Esther 
conceal her origin, 188; discovers 
the plot of the eunuchs, 190; re- 
fuses to bow to Haman, 195, 237; 
address to the courtiers, 197; de- 
nounced to Haman, 200; hears of 
Haman's edict, 213; communi- 
cates with Esther, 216; proclaims 
a fast, 226; his prayer, 227; 
answers reproaches of Jews, 242; 
remembered by the King, 244; 
honoured by King, 252; ordered 
to execute Haman, 265; put in 
place of Haman, 267; sends out 
dispatches, 272; his royal attire, 
279; his power, 283; not author of 
Est., 293, 300; commands to keep 
Purim, 293; subsequent history, 
303; is dragon in the dream, 306. 

Mordecai of Ezr. 2 2 , Ne. 7 1 , 169. 

Morning-star, 305. 

Mosaic, 140. 

Moses, 86, 98, 203, 255. 

Mother-of-pearl, 140, 145. 

Mourning, 65, 214/., 228, 254, 293. 

Murex Brandarls, 145. 

Murex Trunculus, 145. 

Myrrh, 178, 180, 279. 

Nabopolassar, 127. 

Nadab, 75. 

Nana, 133/. 

Napkin, 262. 

Nations, 306. 

Nauroz, 79. 

Nebuchadnezzar, 51, 75, 120, 122, 

125, 130, 139/., 142, 148/., 164, 

168/., 255. 
Nebuchadrezzar, 168. 
Negar, 194, 231. 
Nehardea, 14. 
Nehemiah, 53, 170. 
Nehoritha, 174. 
Nestorians, 97. 
Neuruz, 84. 
New Year feast, 93. 
Nicanor, 61, 78-82. 
Nicanor's day, 61, 79, 80, 92. 
Night, 241. 
Nineveh, 127, 132/. 
NIN-IB, 89. 

Nisan, 91-93, 119, 183, 200/. 
Nubia, 123, 133. 

Obeisance, 65. 
Occidental mss. xi, 

Occidentals, 9. 

Officials, 126, 155/., 163, 184, 208, 

249, 272, 283. 
Ointments, 228, 230. 
Old Latin version, 24, 100; codices, 

40; relation to Greek version, 40; 

additions not found in Greek, 40; 

their origin, 41; omissions, 41; 

differences in the codices, 41. 
Omanos, 88, 92. 
Omissions in Greek, 33, 47; in 

Lucian, 38; in Old Latin, 41; in 

Jerome, 27. 
Omphacinum, 180. 
Ophir, 122. 230, 279. 
Oral tradition, 98, 100, 101. 
Oriental MSS. xi. 
Orientals, 9. 
Origen's recension of the Greek, xi, 

32, 34; the Hexapla, 34; the sepa- 
rate Origenic text, 35 
Origin of Purim, 74. 
Orosangai, 245. 
Outer Court, 221, 246. 
Outline of the book, 47. 

Pages, 164, 245, 247. 

Palace of Xerxes, 65, 126, 136 /., 

I43> i 6 S. 173. l88 > 214, 262, 279, 

283, 286; see House of the King, 

Royal House. 
Palestine, 161. 
Panbabylonisten, vii. 
Parar, 78. 
Park, 136. 

Parmashta, 7, 70, 194, 231, 284, 288. 
Parshandatha, 7, 70, 284, 287. 
Parthian, 85, 279. 
Passover, 92, 204, 226, 230, 252. 
Paula, 25. 

Pearl, 145, 230, 250, 279. 
Penuel, 259. 
People of the land, 281. 
Peoples of the earth, 280. 
Perfect with Waw connective, 60, 

147, 212, 298. 
Perfumes, 73, 178. 
Periphrastic form of verb, 294. 
Peros, 194, 231. 
Persepolis, 125, 160. 
Persia, 52, 65, 95, 127, 134, 153, 156, 

160, 192, 205, 304. 
Persians, 129, 131, 140/., 195, 201, 

255, 264, 276. 
Persian customs, 64/., 72, 84, 125, 

I43> J 49> 220. 


S3 1 

Persian king, £4. 

Persian language, 63, 65/., 84, Old 
Persian, 160. 

Persian monuments, 53. 

Persian New Year's festival, 79. 

Persian origin of Purim, 84. 

Persian source of story of Esther, 76. 

Persian spring festival, 85. 

Persian year i 84, 87. 

Peshat, 104-106. 

Peshit'to, editions, 16; groups of texts, 
17; relation to Heb. in Est., 17. 

Petnahiah, 169. 

Pethuel, 168. 

Petition, 233, 236, 257, 286. 

Phaedyma, 221. 

Pharaoh, 241, 255. 

Pharaoh the Lame, 125. 

Phoenician, 161, 273. 

Phourdaia, 85 /. 

Phraortes, 51, 127. 

Phrourai, 85/., 306. 

Phylactery, 279/. 

Pillars, 139. 

Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer, 102. 

Pitcher, 148, 254. 

Pithah, 259. 

Pithoigia, 84. 

Pithon, 168. 

Pithqa, 141. 

Place of Est. in Greek Bible, 3; ar- 
rangements in codices and in 
Fathers, 4-5. 

Place of Est. in Heb. Bible, 1; vari- 
ous arrangements of the codices 
and editions, 2. 

Plataea, 183. 

Pleiades, 198. 

Plot, 49, 102, 190; see Conspiracy. 

Plunder, 209, 274, 284, 288/. 

Poison, 190. 

Pomegranates, 249. 

Poor, 294. 

Poratha, 70, 284, 287. 

Porphyry, 140. 

Portions, 79, 174, 298. 

Post-reformation period, no. 

Prayers, 280, 291. 

Prayer after fasting, 225. 

Prayer-mantle, 253. 

Prayer of Jews, 241. 

Prayers of Esther, 44, 102, 173, 228, 

Prayers of Mordecai, 8, 42, 44, 102, 

Precious stones, 230, 279. 

Priestly Code, 74, 83. 

Priests, 227, 279, 298, 306. 

Princeton Theological Seminary, viii. 

Printed editions, 3; based on Ti- 
berian MSS., 10; edition Naples 
(1486-1487), 10; Naples (1491- 
1493), IO > Brescia (1492), 10; 
Complutensian Polyglot, 10; Bom- 
berg (1516), n; Bomberg (1525), 
n; Montanus (1571), 12; other 
editions, 12. 

Prison, 239. 

Proclamation before one, 249, 254. 

Proper names, 66. 

Property, 267/. 

Prophets, 204, 241. 

Proselyting, 61, 95, 226, 281/., 295, 

Prostration before high officials, 
195; see Bowing. 

Provinces, 122-124, 128, 132, 155, 
173, 184, 203, 208, 220, 269, 272, 
274/., 280, 282/., 286, 289, 293, 
298, 301. 

Pseudo-Smerdis, 52. 

Ptolemy, 30, 306. 

Ptolemy IV Philopator, 83. 

Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), 30. 

Ptolemy VI (Philometor), 30, 77. 

Ptolemy VII (Physcon), 30, 77, 81. 

Ptolemy VIII (Lathuros), 30. 

Puhrd, 86, 91. 

Puhru, 91 /. 

Pur, 55, 74, 84, 86, 200/., 295. 

Pura, 78, 83. 

Purdeghan, 85. 

Purim, viii, 33, 44, 48, 51, 54/., 56, 
57, 59, 61, 64; theories of Jewish 
origin, 77; Willrich's theory, 77; 
Cheyne's theory, 77; Michaelis 
holds equals Nicanor's Day, 78; 
Haupt's theory, 79; difficulties, 
Purim does not fall on Nicanor's 
Day, 80; Esther has nothing to 
do with the victory over Nicanor, 
81; no connection between the 
feast and its legend, 81; does not 
explain the name Purim, 82; 
theories of Greek origin, 83; 
theories of Persian origin, 84; 
Meier's theory, 84; Hitzig's theory, 
84; Ftirst's theory, 85; Meij- 
boom's theory, 85; von Hammer's 
theory, 85; Lagarde's theory, 85; 
Schwally's theory, 86; difficulties 
with Persian theory, 86; theories 



of Babylonian origin, 87; Baby- 
lonian counterparts to personages 
of the book, 88; Jensen's theory, 
89; GunkePs theory, 90; Zim- 
mern's theory, 90; Winckler's 
theory, 90; Babylonian counter- 
parts to the feast of Purim, Zim- 
mern's theory, 91; Meissner's 
theory, 92; Frazer's theory, 92; 
Jensen's theory, 93; Johns' theory, 
93; summing up, 94; Purim an 
annual merrymaking, 93, 95, 99, 
276, 289; origin of two days, 292; 
commanded by Mordecai, 293; 
adopted by Jews, 294; manner of 
keeping, 295; name derived from 
pur, 296; made unchangeable by 
Jews, 297; confirmed by Esther, 
300; connected with Mordecai's 
dream, 306. 

Purple, 138, 145, 249, 252, 254, 279. 

Purpose of Est., to justify feast of 
Purim, 54; unity of plan, 55; no 
allegorical purpose, 56; no pur- 
pose to justify Hellenizing party, 

Purli, 79. 
Pnru, 93 /. 
Pythius, 129, 206. 

Q're, 13. 

Queen of Persia, 72, 165, 184. 

Queen of Sheba, 125. 

Rabbis, 252. 

Races, 155, 276, 283. 

Rahab, 149, 171. 

Rationalists, in. 

Reading before the King, 74, 244. 

Reading the Roll of Esther, 6, 98/., 

273, 290, 295, 297. 
Reclining at table, 140. 
Red Sea, 255. 
Reformation Period, 107. 
Rego'ttha, 174. 
Rehoboth-Ir, 132. 
Release, 142, 184. 
Religion, absent from Est., supplied 

by Greek additions, 44, 62, 214/. 
Remuth, 259. 

Rending garments, 213, 227. 
Resen, 132. 
Rest of Jews, 293. 
Revenue, 205. 
Revival of learning, 107. 
Rewarding of benefactors, 245, 250. 

Riches, 207; see WeaWi. 

Ring, 268, 273. 

Robes, 231; see Garments. 

Rods, 138, 145. 

Rohashitha, 174. 

Roll of Esther, 119, 295. 

Rome, 223. 

Roq'itha, 174. 

Roses, 140, 146. 

Royal garment, 259; see Garments of 

Royal house, 142, 182, 231; see 

House of the King, Palace. 

Sabbath, 147, 189, 201, 204, 280, 


Sabouchadas, 39, 257. 

Sackcloth and ashes, 49, 72, 252, 
254; see Haircloth. 

Sadda, 194. 

Saddle, 252. 

Sakaea, 88, 92/. 

Salome 233. 

Samson, 240. 

Samuel, 222. 

Sanballat, 234, 236, 258. 

Sanctuary, 122, 140, 152, 169, 194, 
234, 236, 241, 258, 296; see 

Sandals, 230. 

Sanhedrin, 189, 250, 254, 305. 

Sanskrit. 160. 

Sarah, 122, 149, 170/., 202, 241. 

Sarchedonus, 75. 

Sargon, 70. 

Sason, 259. 

Sassanian rule, 134. 

Satrapies, 72, 124. 

Satraps, 208, 272, 283. 

Saturnalia, 92. 

Saul, 73, 167/., 194, 222, 259, 295. 

Sceptre, 189, 220, 232, 269. 

Scissors, 253. 

Scribes, 208, 244, 272, 288. 

Script, 208, 273. 

Scriptures, 204, 295. 

Scythians, 133, 200. 

Sea, 303. 

Seal, 206, 208, 270, 273. 

S'bhirui, 13. 

Second gathering, 186. 

Second Tar gum, editions, 21; rela- 
tion to Heb. 22; additions to the 
text, 22; age, 23; sources, 24; see 
also 1 01 /. 

Secretary, 244/., 272. 



Sedhdrhn, 6. 

Segar, 194. 

Seleucia, 186. 

Seleucus Nicator, 85. 

Self-defense, 274, 283. 

Sennacherib, 75, 125, 241. 

Separation of women, 189. 

Septuagint; see Greek version. 

Serpentine, 145. 

Seven, 148. 

Seven counsellors, 152. 

Seven eunuchs, 91, 149. 

Seven princes, 65. 

Seven viziers, 91, 153, 163. 

Seventy years of exile, 128. 

Sha'ashgaz, 69, 179. 

Shahrazad, 76. 

Shalmaneser II, 134. 

Shebat, 202. 

Shecarith, 168. 

Shechorah, 168. 

Sheep, 227. 

Shegar, 231. 

Sheharim, 259. 

Shehorah, 259. 

Shehriyar, 180. 

Shema, 204. 

Shemida, 168, 259. 

Shephatiah, 168, 259. 

Shethar, 68, 152. 

Shifregaz, 250. 

Shimei, 119, 167, 259. 

Shimmeshe, 288. 

Shimri, 168, 259. 

Shinar, 132. 

Shishak, 125, 168. 

Shush, 126. 

Shushan, 48; see Susa. 

Shushinak, 133. 

Shutruk-Nahunte, 133. 

Sibyl, 256. 

Signet-ring, 206, 268, 270, 273. 

Signs, 306. 

Silk, 230, 249. 

Silver, 49, 139/., 205, 217. 

Simon, 134. 

Single prototype of Heb. MSS., 9. 

Siris, 70, 89. 

Sitting as an official posture, 125, 

Sivan, 201, 272. 
Skeptic, 95. 

Slaughter, 283, 287; see Massacre. 
Slaves, 258. 

Sleeplessness, 241, 244. 
Smerdis, 52, 178, 221. 

Smiths, 240. 

Socks, 279. 

Solar-heroes, 90. 

Solomon, 167, 248. 

Sons of Haman, 238, 240, 262, 265/., 
270, 279, 284, 286/., 295. 

Soothsayers, :oi; see Astrologers. 

Sorrow, 293. 

Source of Esther, 292. 

Spain, 105. 

Spartans, 129. 

Sperthies, 197. 

Spring festival, 84. 

Square, 217. 

Stable, 250, 252. 

Stacte, 180. 

Stall, 252. 

Stallions, 278. 

Standard Codex of O. T., 9, 29. 

Stateira, 150. 

Statue, 184. 

Steeds, 273, 276. 

Steward, 283. 

Stirrups, 252. 

Stud, 273, 278. 

Subscription to Greek Esther, 30, 

Sumerian, 161. 

Summons to go to King, 43, 49, 72, 
220, 269. 

Sumqar, 231. 

Suppliants, 263. 

Sura, 14, 99, 104. 

Susa, 44, 48-51, 54, 65, 73/., 80, 84, 
92, 120, 125/., 131, 133/., 136, 
137, 139, 165 /., 167, 169, 172, 
176, 183, 188, 194, 208, 211, 217, 
270, 275/., 276, 279/., 283, 286- 
290; history of the city, 133/. 

Susa the fortress; see Fortress. 

Susian, 160. 

Sword, 190, 249, 265, 279, 283, 288. 

Synagogue, 204, 297. 

Syria, 161. 

Syriac Version, 16, 42; see Peshitto. 

Syrian Christians, 97. 

Tabernacle, 138. 

Tabernacles, 202. 

Tablets of fate, 91. 

Tail, 149. 

Talents of silver, 49, 74, 205, 217, 

253, 279- 
Talmud, 28, 42, 60, 102, 162, 273, 
287, 290; see Babylonian Talmud, 
Jerusalem Talmud, M'ghilla. 



Talyon, 231. 

Tammuz, 201. 

Tammuz-Ishtar myth, 90. 

Tar gums, vi, 42, 101; see First 

Targum, Second Targum. 
Tarsee, 190. 
Tarshish, 68, 152. 
Tatnai, 238. 
Tebheth, 182, 202. 
Tell-el-Amarna Letters, 162. 
Temple, 126, 128, 130, 134, 139, 145, 

208, 253. 
Tendenz, 44. 
Teresh, 69, 189, 244. 
Text of Esther, v, 5. 
Text of O. T., in. 
Text of the Sopherim, 29. 
Text of the uncials, 44. 
Textus receptus, vi, 12. 
Tharra, 120. 

Thirteen as an unlucky number, 202. 
Thirteenth of Adar, 79/., 202, 209, 

275/., 282, 287, 289/., 295, 297, 

Threshold, 190. 
Throne, 125, 153, 184, 189, 195, 231, 

Throne of Solomon, 125. 
Tiamat, 82. 
Tiberian MSS., 5. 
Tiberias, 6, 99. 
Time of Purim, 297. 
Tiribazos, 248. 
Tishri, 201. 
Title of book, 119. 
Tobiah, 234, 236, 258. 
Tobit, 75, 97. 
Tora, 290. 
Towns, 297. 
Treasurer, 267, 304. 
Treasury, 49, 205, 217, 249, 252. 
Trees, 266. 
Tribute, 303, 305. 
Tritaechmes, 206. 
Trumpets, 227, 279. 
Trumpets, Feast of, 74, 201. 
Tunic, 279. 

Turban, 148, 184, 248, 279. 
Twelfth of Adar, 295, 297. 

Uknu, 126, 227. 
Uncial codices, 31. 
Uncircumcised, 229. 
Union Theological Seminary, viii. 
Unity of the book, v; unquestion- 
able as far as 9 19 , 57; independence 

of 9 20 -io 3 , 57; refers to an inde- 
pendent source, 57; duplicate to 
3-7, 58; contradicts earlier narra- 
tive, 58; different language, 59. 

Unrevised Greek text, 31. 

Unwalled towns, 291, 295. 

Uzza, 259. 

Uzziah, 168, 259. 

Value of Book of Est., 96. 

Vanic, 161. 

Variants in accentuation, 9. 

Variants in the consonantal text, 7. 

Variants of vocalization, 9. 

Vashti, 48, 55, 65-67, 72 /., 77, 79, 
85, 88-91, 93, 108; prevents build- 
ing of Temple, 122; her wedding, 
136; makes a feast for the women, 
142; form in the Vrss., 147; 
stripped Heb. maidens, 147; sum- 
moned by Xerxes, 148; one of the 
four beautiful women, 149, 171; 
refuses to come to the King, 150; 
tried by the council, 153; de- 
nounced by Daniel, 154; by 
M e mukhan, 155; remembered by 
King, 163; put to death, 163; a 
successor sought, 164; superseded 
by Esther, 184; reason for her 
death, 231. 

Veiling of women, 72, 149. 

Vengeance upon enemies, 276, 287. 

Venus, 88, 170. 

Verd-antique, 145. 

Verse numbers, 12. 

Versions of Esther, v, xi; see Greek, 
Hesychian, Jerome, Josephus, 
Lucian, Old Latin, Midrashes, 
Origen, Peshitto, Talmud, Tar- 

Vessels, 140. 

Villagers, 292. 

Vinalia, 83. 

Violet, 138, 144, 279. 

Virgin Mary, 56, 108. 

Virgins, 164/., 173, 186; see Girls, 

Visions, 241. 

Viziers, 151- 160, 163, 195. 

Wailing, 95. 
Walled cities, 291/., 295. 
Wayzatha, 7, 71, 194, 231, 284, 288. 
Wealth, 268; of the Persian King, 

Wedding-feast, 184. 



Wedding-gift, 179. 

Weeping, 215, 269. 

Westerns, 15. 

White, 279. 

Wife, 155, 161, 265/. 

Wife of Mordecai, 171, 176. 

Wine, 122, 141, 143, 147, 149, 189, 

211, 229, 236, 256, 262. 
Wise men, 151, 255, 300. 
Women, 142/., 147, x 55, l 5%> l8 9, 

204, 274, 295. 
Wonders, 306. 
Wool, 279. 
World to come, 226. 
Writing, 270, 296/., 302. 

Xerxes I, 52-55, 64/., 71, 73, 96; 
personal history, 121; description 
of © 2 , 122; extent of his empire, 
123; beginning of his reign, 124, 
126; legend of his throne, 125; 
his conquest of Egypt, 126; his 
first banquet, 1 26-131; his wealth, 
129; his second banquet, 135; 
dispute with the kings, 147; takes 
counsel concerning Vashti, 151; 
follows the advice of his viziers, 
160; remembers Vashti, 163; con- 
sults pages, 164; gathers maidens, 
172; receives them in the palace, 

178; makes Esther queen, 181- 
186; assassinated by servants, 
190; gives Jews to Haman, 206; 
issues edict, 208; receives Esther, 
232; grants her request, 235; 
offers a second petition, 236; is 
reminded of Mordecai, 244; com- 
mands Haman to reward Morde- 
cai, 247; sentences Haman to 
death, 262; issues a new edict, 
270; grants second slaughter, 286; 
imposes tribute, 303. 
Xerxes II, 121, 124. 

Yahweh, 8, 95; anagram of name, 

2 35- 
Yale University, viii. 
Yim, 79. 

Zabdi, 168. 

Zagmuk, 91-93. 

Zebadiah, 168, 259. 

Zechariah, 208. 

Zeresh, 70, 89, 240, 238/., 255, 265, 

Zeror, 168, 259. 
Zerubbabel, 75, 169. 
Zethar, 68, 148. 
Zibdi, 259. 
Zoganes, 93. 


Genesis 2 13 , 132; 2 16 , 219; 4 s , 180; 
8 1 , 165; io 6f -, 132; io 8 - 12 , 132; 11 7 , 
285; i2 2 °, 219; 13W 285; 14, 133; 
14 1 , 121; i4 22f -, 284; 18 5 , 226; 18 6 , 
235; i8», 178; 19 13 , 148; 19", 148; 
20 3 , 155; 21 16 , 271; 23 7 , 196, 281; 
23 12f -, 281; 25 24 , 180; 27 29 , 196; 
28 s , 219; 28 12 , 215; 29 21 , 180; 31 35 , 

!7 8 ; 33*, i54; 33 3 , i9 6 /-> 197, !9 8 5 
35«, 280; 3 6 2 «, 78; 37 22 , 190; 37", 

214; 37 s4 , 214; 3 828 , 154; 39 4 , 267; 
41 38 - 44 , 249; 41 42 , 206; 41 43 , 248; 
43", 226; 44», 267; 44S 267; 44", 
256; 44*, 270; 45 7 , 224; 46" 169; 
50 3 , 180; 50 20 , 224. 
Exodus i 1 , 131; 2 16 , 132; 2 21 , 132; 
5 5 , 281; 6 13 , 223; 11 2 , 157; 12, 226; 
15 16 , 280; 178, 73, 194; 17", 302; 

I7 18 , 256; 20 26 , 285; 26 32 , 139; 

26", 139; 271°, 139; 27", 139; 

27", 139; 28 2 , 135; 28<°, 
30 11 -", 205; 36 3 «, 139; 36 38 , 

Leviticus i 1 , 131; 4", 281; 5 8 , 
12 6 , 143; 17 14 , 219; 20 2 , 281; 
281; 2i 131 -, 164; 23 27ff -, 215. 

Numbers i 1 , 131; 2 9 , 154; 2 32 , 
5 23 , 302; 6 21 , 223; 8 22 , 219; io 9 , 
12 1 , 132; 14 9 , 281; 22 26 , 226; 
72-73, 194; 24 20 , 256; 26", 

Deuteronomy 3 s , 291, 292; 4 68 , 
4 1 ", 285; 4 40 , 285; 6 3 , 285; ii 26 , 
22 23 , 166; 24 4 , 155; 25 17 , 
25 17 - 19 , 256; 26 13 , 199; 28 10 , 
29 14 , 207. 

Joshua i 1 , 131; 4 24 , 282; 5«, 135; 
285; 9 9 , 285; io 8 , 283; io 10 , 
io 13 , 233; io» 7 , 143; 15 18 , 233; 
154; 21 44 , 283; 21 46 , 252; 23 9 , 

Judges i 1 , 131; 2 19 , 252; 7 4 , 262 
233; ii 39 , 180; 16 5 , 251; 21 12 , 

20 4 , 



2 4 7 , 






9 s8 , 



i Samuel i 1 , 131; i 4f , 174; i 7 , 159; J 
2>«, 148; 4 », 214; 5 10 > 133; 9 1 , i ( >7, 
172; 9 4 , 172; 14 39 , 207; i4 5t , 167; 
15, 70, 167, 256; i5 7f , 194; 15 s , ! 
72, 73; 153, 194; 152s, 157; 1712, ; 
121; 18 4 , 248; 18 30 , 159; 20 7 , 263; J 
20 9 , 263; 23 23 , 207; 24 7 , 190; 24 s , 
196; 24 11 , 159, 190; 25 s , 281; 25 17 , 
263; 25 24 , 263; 25 30 , 267; 25 36 , 237; 

2 8», 157; 31", 287. 

2 Samuel i 1 , 131; i 2 , 214; i 8ff -, 256; 
12 3 , 171; 12 16 - 23 , 225; 13 19 , 214; 
14 24 , 153; I4 26 , 180; 14 32 , 153; i5 30 , 
255; 15 32 , 214; i6 5ff -, 167; 20 1 , 172; 

2I 1 , I2i; 23 10 , 285; 24 4 , I27; 24 17 , 

1 Kings i 1 , 131; i 2 , 164; 1 2 - 4 , 164; 
i 33 , 248; 2 8 , 167; 2 33 , 296; 2 36 - 40 , 167; 
2 43 , 219; 5 7 , 154; 5 8 , 273, 277; 5 15 , 

127; 7 2 > 139; 7 3 , i39; 7 6 , i39; 7 15 , 
139; 8", 282; 8" 282; 9*, 133; 
io 13 , 141; io 21 , 121; ii« 304; 13 8 , 
267; 13 33 . 251; 14 19 , 192, 304; 14 28 , 
159; 14 29 , 304; 15 7 , 192; i5 2 », 127; 
15 23 , 303; 15 27 , 190; 16 9 , 190; 18 25 , 
154; 20 12 , 257; 20 14 , 133; ao u , 133; 
20 17 , 133; 20 19 , 133; 20 23 , 127; 

20 3ir , 214; 2I 6 , 251; 2I 27 , 214; 
2I 27-29 j 225; 2I 29 , I2i; 22 3 , I27; 
22 9 , 235. 

2 Kings i 1 , 131; 4 8 , 143; 4 8 , I59J 
4 27 , 263; 6 30 , 214; 8 15 , 190; 9 14 , 190; 
11 1 , 207; 15 10 , 190; 15 25 , 190; i9 H -, 
214; 19 5 , 127; 19 9 , 133; 19 37 , 190; 
21 23 , 190; 24 6 - 17 , 168; 24 12 , 176; 
25 23 , 127. 

Isaiah 2 16 , 146; 3 18 , 135; 12 6 , 281; 
i8S 133; 20 3 , 132; 28", 159; 29 22 , 

144; 37 9 , 1 33', 44 25 , 151; 45 3 , 1 3°', 
47 io-u I5i; 52 i ? I35; 538> 62; 

541, 281; 55 13 , 170; 61 9 , 306. 
Jeremiah 4 30 , 160; 6 24 , 285; 14 4 , 255; 

14 12 , 160; 16 18 , 154; 22 11 , 132; 24 1 , 

168; 25 12 , 143; 27 20 , 168; 28 4 , 168; 

29 2 , 168; 29 10 , 128; 31 20 , 159; 32 11 , 

213; 32 14 , 213; 32 4 '-, 267; 36 24 , 127; 

40 5 , 185; 40 7 , 127; 40 13 , 127; 

40"'-, 160; 49", 172; 49 34 - 39 , 134; 

50 11 , 160; 50" 5 , 151. 
Ezekiel i 1 , 131; 5 2 , 143; 5 13 , 263; 

8 2 *, 136; 136, 294; 16", 135; 16 39 , 

135; !9 8 » 133; 2 3 26 , J 35; 2 7 16 , 62; 

27", 141; 27 s0 , 214; 29 10 , 133; 

31", 282; 37 11 , 62; 38, 70; 38-39, 

194; 4 o 17f -, 145. 
Hosea 2 16 , 155; 12 5 , 219; 13", 160. 

Joel i 14 , 225. 

Amos 5" 185; 6 4 , 139 /.; g\ 13a. 

Obadiah i 15 , 296. 

Jonah i 1 , 120; 3 5 - 9 , 226; 3", 214. 

Micah i 13 , 273, 277. 

Nahum i 10 , 160; 2 3 , 160. 

Habakkuk 3 7 , 132. 

Zephaniah i 12 , 225; 3 10 , 133; 3*°, 282. 

Zechariah i 10 , 170; 7 3 " 5 , 215; 8 6 , 160; 

8> 3 , 2S1; S> 9 , 215; 9 >o, 306. 
Psalms 7 1 ' ( 16 ), 296; 22, 104; 33 7 , 63; 

34 6 , 267; 37 24 , 160; 49 19f -, 160; 

8 5 9 , 306; 88«, 62; 97 n, 2 8o; 105 38 , 

280; 119 28 , 294; 119 106 , 294; 137 3 , 

160; 139 12 , 281. 
Proverbs 12 7 , 198; 20 21 , 62. 
Job i 4 , 257; 6 20 , 267; 8 13 , 267; 9 15 , 

219; 19 16 , 219; 19 23 , 302; 22 28 , 280; 

30 26 , 280; 39 25 , 159. 
Canticles 51 4 , 63, 145; s« 63, 145; 

6 11 , 144. 
Ruth i 1 , 131; i 5 , 224; 3 10 , 243; 4 7 , 

Lamentations i 1 , 133; 3 s4 , 62. 
Ecclesiastes 2 8 , 63, 133; 2 15 , 63; 2 19 , 

63; 2 2 S 63; 31, 63; 3", 166; 3» 

166; 3 22 , 223; 5 1 , 62, 177; 5 7 , 133; 

6 6 , 62, 261; 7 7 , 166; 7 9 , 62, 177; 

7", 63; 8 9 , 63; 8*°, 63; 10", 63; 

io' 7 , 146; 11 6 , 63, 271; 12 3 , 63; 

I2 9 , 63; I2' 2 , 251. 

Esther (except passages discussed 
in regular order in the commen- 

Esther i», 7, 19, 22, 25, 27, 33, 38, 
48, 52, 54, 59, 61, 63, 72/., 119, 
208, 240, 273; i 2 19, 22, 27, 54, 
59, 62 /., 211, 231, 242, 283; 
i 3 '-, 19, 25, 41, 59, 64/., 208, 251, 
278, 290, 304; 1 4 , 22, 27, 41, 59, 
63, 128, 240, 243, 246, 280; i 6 , 22, 
25, 27, 38, 48, 59, 62, 126, 179, 
225, 259; i 6 , 6, 25, 27, 38, 62/., 

65, 279; 1 7 , 22, 25, 27, 159, 177, 
192; i 8 , 22, 26/., 62/., 212, 287; 
1 9 , 38, 48, 66, 72, 159, 224/., 231; 
i 10 , 22, 26/., 38, 48, 66-68, 165, 
181, 237, 257, 264; i» 19, 22, 26, 
63, 66, 89, 184, 279, 281; i 12 , 22, 
26,38,66,73; i> 3 , 26/, 38, 48, 61, 
73, 238; i 14 , 19, 22, 26/., 52, 61, 
65/., 68, 194, 304; i 15 , 27, 59, 63, 

66, 192, 212, 247, 251; i 16 , 22, 38, 
48, 54, 66, 73; i 17 , 59, 62, 66, 159, 
223; i 18 , 22, 26/., 62; i 19 , 19, 26/., 
38, 43, 52, 59, 66, 72, 225, 236, 



269, 271, 278, 286, 298, 304; 
i«, 8, 38, 135, 246; i 2 ', 48, 177, 
240, 265; i 22 , 26/., 38, 59, 63, 72, 
147, 208, 269, 273, 298; 2 1 , 19, 22, 
38, 48, 62, 66, 73, 266; 2 2 , 45, 7 2 , 
245; 2\ 26/, 38, 66, 69, 126, 155, 
171, 174, 180, 186, 251; 2 4 , 26/., 
38, 66, 72, 177, 240, 265; 2 5 , 22, 
48, 63, 66, 73, 104, 126, 147, 176, 
188, 191, 195, 239, 255; 2 6 S 19, 
23, 27, 38, 5i> 52; 2 7 , 23, 26J., 38, 
69, 93, 224; 2 8 , 23, 26/., 38, 66, 
72, 96, 126, 251, 283; 2 9 , 19, 23, 
26/., 38, 45, 48, 59, 62/., 148, 
180, 226, 260, 278, 290; 2 10 , 19, 
26, 38, 72/., 96, 147, 199, 218/., 

269, 278; 2", 7, 26, 72 /., 165, 

175, l88, 199, 214, 2l6, 239, 250; 

2 12 , 26/., 48, 73, i 6 5, 172, 180, 

212, 240; 2 13 , 26/., 165, 174, 231; 

2", 15, 26/., 66, 69, 247, 251, 258; 
2 16 , 27, 43, 45, 6 5, 7i, 73, 143, 159, 
172, 186, 200, 225, 231, 271; 2 17 , 19, 
23, 59, 63, 66, 72, 151, 177, 233, 
279, 281; 2", 26/., 38, 45, 63, 136, 
141; 2 1 *, 26, 38, 49, 167, 181, 195; 
214, 217, 237, 239, 250, 254; 
2 20 , 19, 45, 59, 63, 73, 96, 216, 
269; 2 21 , 19, 23, 26/., 43, 54, 66, 

176, 188, 237, 239, 245, 250, 272, 
282; 2 22 , 264; 2 23 , 58/., 74, 162, 
193, 245/-, 250, 302, 304; 3"-, 19, 
23, 38, 43, 45, 48/., 66, 69, 72/., 
193, 197, 206, 238, 256, 260, 269, 
295, 304; 3 2 , 19, 26, 38, 49, 62, 
65, 73, 96, 127, 167, 188, 193, 
237-239, 250; 3 3 , 23, 26 /., 38, 
188, 197, 239; 3 4 , 27, 41, 73, 175, 
191, 196, 255, 278; 35, 7, 26, 43; 
3 8 , 26/., 49, 73/., 191, 199, 255, 

272, 282; 37, 23, 26 /., 38, 55, 
58/, 64/., 71, 73/-, 84, 86, 91/., 
208, 243, 255; 38, 23, 26/., 38, 49, 
58/., 61, 63, 74, 85, 155, 163, 175, 

177, 192 212; 3 9 , 19, 23, 38, 59 
60, 62/., 74, 157, 159, 209, 217, 
219, 236, 238, 240, 251, 268, 271, 
283; 3 1 ", 26, 59, 194, 260, 268, 295; 
3", 23, 26, 73, 250, 265, 268; 

3 12 , 38, 54, 62, 64, 72, 124, 160, 
226, 240, 269, 272, 273, 283, 298; 

3 13 , 33^ 59, 6 5, l62 , 201, 206/., 
269, 272-275, 278, 282/.; 3 14 , 27, 
38, 40, 219, 251, 276; 3 15 , 23, 26/., 
38, 59, 63, 74, 126, 208, 215, 256/., 

273, 278, 280, 287; 4 », 19, 23, 26, 


38, 49, 63, 73, 147, 215, 280; 4 2 , 23, 
38, 65, 72, 176, 188; 4 3 , 26/., 38, 
59, 63, 95, 215, 225 /., 243, 260, 
280, 282, 284, 301; 4 4 , 26, 38, 
40/, 49, 59, 63, 239, 298; 46, 19, 
26, 38, 41, 66, 70, 216, 219, 223; 
46, 41, 70, 188, 280; 4 7 , 41, 52, 63, 
213, 256, 271; 48, 27, 38, 41, 62, 
258; 49, 41, 70, 258; 4 10 , 38, 49, 70, 
219; 4 11 , 23, 26/., 59, 61, 63, 72, 
127, 189, 219, 231, 233, 247 /., 
269, 278; 4 ' 2 , 19, 27, 38; 4 13 , 26/., 
59, 62, 126, 223, 246; 4 14 , 26/., 38, 

63, 94/., 226, 260, 282/.; 4 15 , 26/., 
38; 4 16 , 7, 26/., 40 /., 63, 73, 95/., 
181, 282, 284; 4 17 , 7, 23, 33, 40/; 
5 1 , 7, J 9> 23, 26/., 33, 49, 63, 143, 
147, J 59, J 94, 223, 225 /., 263, 
269, 283; 5 2 , 27, 44, 63, 177, 223; 
53, 19, 62, 257, 286; 5s 8, 38, 43, 
74, i49, i57, J59, 236, 257/., 269; 
5 5 > 27, 4i, 50, 252, 265; 5 6 , 27/., 
62, 233, 257, 262, 286; 5 7 , 6, 26/., 
62, 74, 234, 248; 58, 23, 38, 62/., 
157, 159, 257/., 269; 5S 19, 26, 
38, 41, 50, 63, 188, 239, 250; 
5", 26, 38, 59, 66, 70, 88/., 239, 
255-257; 5 U , 7, 26/., 38, 59, 127, 
268, 304, 305; 5 12 > 38, 257; 5 13 , 8, 
i5, i 6 3, 175, 188, 191, 237, 250, 
255; 5 14 > i9, 23, 28, 38, 59, 65, 70, 
74, 88, 177, 191, 247, 255, 257, 
264; 6 1 , 19, 23, 26, 28, 38, 44, 48, 
50, 58, 74, 7 6 > l62 , 192 /-, 223, 
250, 282, 302, 304; 6 2 , 26, 27/., 
38, 53, 264, 272, 278; 6 3 , 26, 28, 
38, 41, 43, 59, 135, 191, 250; 

6 4 , 26, 38, 43, 50, 74, 191, 219, 
223; 65, 27; 68, 7, 26 /., 63, 135, 
246, 252; 6 7 , 27; 6 8 , 26-28, 38, 63, 

65, 75, 151, 159, 190/., 225, 279, 
281; 69, 27/., 135, 270, 280, 285; 
6 10 , 23, 28, 73, 188, 191, 235, 237, 
239, 254, 265; 6", 7, 23, 26/., 38, 
50, 126, 191, 279; 6 12 , 63, 188, 
213, 237, 239, 264; 61 3 , 23, 26/., 
59, 7°, 73, 217, 238, 271; 7 1 , 27, 
50, 58, 211; 7 2 , 27/., 38, 62, 181, 
233, 236/., 262, 286; 7 3 , 62/., 73, 
i57, i59, 234, 236, 269; 7 4 , 26, 28, 
38, 62 /., 260, 269; 75, 27 /., 38, 
265; 7 6 > i9, 26, 59, 62, 73, 74; 
7 7 , 8, 26, 28, 50, 62, 137, 144, 219, 
236, 283; 78, 26, 28, 38, 58, 62, 
74, 93, 96, 126, 255, 269, 296; 
7 9 » 23, 27, 38, 59, 66, 157, 191, 



268, 296; 7", 38, 44, 59, 191, 270, 
287, 296; 7", 33; 8», 28, 50, 59, 
260, 274, 279, 297; 8 2 , 7, 28, 38, 
73, 206, 304; 83, 26/., 38, 50, 59, 
219, 263, 295, 296; 8*, 26-28, 38, 
63, 223; 8*, 7, 26-28, 38, 59, 63, 
157, 162, 236; 86, 7, 28, 38, 62, 
299; 87, 26-28, 38, 44, 191, 239, 
287; 88, 26, 28, 38, 43, 61, 72, 157, 
206, 208, 269, 285, 298; 8 9 , 7, 26- 
28, 54, 72, 96, 123 /., 132, 160, 
206, 208, 21.2, 223, 282, 298, 304; 
8»», 26-28, 54, 65, 162, 208/., 269; 
8", 7, 26/., 59, 63, 74, 96, 206, 
209, 276, 282/., 286, 289; 8 12 , 23, 
26/., 38, 44, 59; 8", 27, 38, 41, 
162, 212, 274, 291; 8 14 , 26/., 62/., 
126, 177, 208, 213, 256, 260, 273; 
8 1B , 19, 26-28, 50, 62/., 126, 138, 
159, 196, 225, 248, 251, 254, 304; 
8", 27, 62, 135; 8w, 2 6, 28, 59, 
61, 63, 95, 225, 260, 282-284, 
289/., 293, 297; 91, 26, 28, 38, 50, 
59, 63, 225, 260, 274, 293; 9 s , 7, 
26/., 74, 96, 272, 280, 289; 9 3 , 26, 
28, 60, 124, 212, 283, 304; 9% 26- 
28, 38, 147; 96, 27 /., 62', 289; 
9 6 , 26/., 126, 290; 9 7 , 6, 66; 9 8 , 70/.; 
9 s , 7, 71, 138; 910, 26, 59, 62, 238, 
260, 268, 289; 9", 23, 27, 38, 51, 
126; 9 12 , 7, 26-28, 59, 62, 126, 
233, 237; 9»«-, 74, 96, 157, 191; 
9", 7, 19, 59, 62, 191, 223, 284, 
296; 9", 27, 38, 41, 59, 62, 206, 
225, 289; 9 i«, 7, 26-28, 51, 59, 
62/., 274, 283; 9", 26, 38, 55, 59, 
80, 84, 290, 293; 9", 7, 26-28, 
59, 290; 919, 27 /., 58 /., 63, 79, 
95, 98, 174, 281, 297; 9 20 , 7, 26- 
28, 44, 48, 51 /., 55, 57-61, 74, 
162, 269, 272, 292, 297, 300, 301; 
9 22 , 7, 59, 60, 63, 79, 95, 174, 215, 
281, 290, 301; g«, 7, 26, 51, 59, 
298, 301; 9", 8, 23, 26/., 38, 
41, 58-60, 91, 260, 298; 9 25 , 26- 
28, 58-60, 162, 191, 269, 295, 298; 
9» 26, 28, 51, 55, 59, 60, 63, 74, 
84, 225, 260, 302; 9", 8, 19, 27- 
32, 38, 59, 60/., 63, 74, 95, 147, 
159, 199, 294, 298, 301; 9 2 s, 26- 
28, 59/.; 9", 7, 26, 28, 38, 51, 
59/., 63, 66, 138, 181; 9*°, 26/, 
4i, 54, 56, 59, 162, 269; 9", 27/., 
59/-, 63, 147, 215, 300; 9» 2 , 28, 
57, 59-61, 63, 162, 192; io«, 28, 
41, 48, 51, 54, 59/., 186; io 2 , 27, 

42, 57-60, 6^, 128, 162, 192, 217, 
246, 292, 302; 10', 23, 52, 59/., 
63, 66, 72. 
Daniel i*, 135; i&, 174, 236; i», 236; 
21°, 177; 2", 151; 2 « 177; 2", 75; 

3 1 , 123; 5 2 , I 4 i; 5», 75; 5«, 151; 

5 2 *, 128; 5 29 , 75; 530, I4I; 6 2 0), 

123; 63f-, 75; 69 (s), 72, 128, 157, 

159; 6 13 ( 12 ), 128, 157; 6i6 (»), 128; 

6 24 , 177; 6 29 , 75; 8 2 , 126, 133, 134; 

8", 62, 262; 8 20 , 128; 8 M , 235; 

8 25 , 63; 91, 51, 52; 93, 63, 214, 225; 

9 7 , 294; 11", 63; 11", 63; ii«, 62; 

133; n 46 , 144; ia», 274. 
Ezra i 1 , 131; a 1 , 124, 133; 2 M -, 169; 

263, 224; 33> 282; 4 4, 281; 46-7, 52; 

46, 122; 4", 212; 4 15 , 192; 4 23 , 212; 

4 2 S 52; 5 6 , 212; 6"-, 134; 7 8 > 62; 

7", 212; 7", 153; 8 2 3, 62, 219; 

8» 143; 836, I4 6 ; 9 h., 282; 9» 282; 

io 2 , 282. 
Nehemiah i l , 126, 134; i 8 , 133; 

2 4 , 62, 219; 2«, 157; 26, 63, 149; 

2 8 , 134, 141; 330, 181; 5«, 266; 

5 1B , 63; 7 2 , 134; 7 6 » 124; 7™-, 169; 

766, 225; 8», 62, 131; 8»°, 174; 

8 12 , 174; 9 16 , 62, 246; 9 3 ", 282; 

io 29 , 282; io 31f -, 282; ii 3 , 124; 

12 44 , 63; i3 23fl -, 161. 

1 Chronicles 3 16 '-, 168; 4 21 , 62; 
4 42f -, 194; 5 25 , 282; 8 33 , 167; 9 22 , 
147; i2 32 , 151; 13 4 , 62; is 16 , 62; 

2I 1 , 63; 2I 18 , 62; 2I 30 , 62, 262; 
22 2 , 62, 63, 246; 22 10 , I33; 22 m -, 

219; 28 6 , 133; 291, 134; 29 2 , 139, 
145; 29 6 , 207; 29 1 ", 134; 29 17 , 136. 

2 Chronicles i 1 , 131; i 18 , 246; 2 13 , 62; 
3", 62; 5* 2 , 62; 633, 282; 7", 133; 

I2 U , 159; I2 32 , 152; I5 9 , 282; 

I4 9ff -, 132; I4 13 , 62; 17 12 , 285; i8 8 , 

235; 20 23 , 63; 2I 16 , 132; 24 20 , 199; 

25 M , 304; 26 18 , 63; 26 20 , 62, 63, 213; 

26 21 , 62; 28% 304; 28 26 , 304; 29 2 ', 

62; 29", 62; 29 30 , 62; 3I 4 , 62; 

31", 62; 32 19 , 282; 32 32 , 304; 33", 

62; 34 32 , 136; 35 21 , 62, 177. 
1 Esdras 3*, 123. 
Tobit i« 22 , 75; i 2 % 304; a", 75; 

ii", 75; i*«., 75; 14 10 , 75- 
Rest of Esther, A 117 , 119; A 1 , 92, 

172; A 2 12 , 43; A"'-, 192; A 12 , 192; 
A»> 7 , 41; A", 43, 193; A", 193; 

A", 193; A 16 , 43, 191, 193; 

A> 7 , 43, 195; B», 123; C 1 -", 227; 

C'S 175; O 7 , 455 C 7 , 196; C»-»«, 

173; C 2 *, 435 C»- 27 , 43; C 27 - 29 , 45; 



D, 33; Di-">, 230; E, 33; E», 123; 
E", 43; E 12 , 44; E», 53; E", 43; 
E", 191; E 22 , 44; F»-", 33. 306; 
F», 30; 10, 90; io*-ii b , 33, 306; 
11, 90; 11 1 , 30; ii l , 33, 90, 119; 
11', 43; 12 1 , 43; i2 2 , 43; i2«, 43; 
12*, 43; 13 1 - 7 , 33; i3*-i4 19 , 33. 

227; 13 12 - 14 , 45; *3 M f J 9 6 ; u 16 , 43; 

i 4 »«, 43, 45; i4 17 , 435 i5*- ,9 » 33; 
i6»-« 33; 16 10 , 435 16", 53; 16", 
43; 1618, 44; 16 22 , 44- 
Ecclesiasticus 44~49> 61, 66. 

1 Maccabees 134; 6 ,B , 206; 7* 9 - 50 , 78; 
7 40 , 78; 7 46 , 78; 7 49 , 61, 78, 80; 8", 
223; io 33 , 185; 12 1 , 223. 

2 Maccabees 1520-36, 78; 15 36 , 61, 78, 
80, 91. 

Matthew 15 2 , 98; 18 10 , 153; 23 15 , 61; 

27 16 , 185. 
Mark 6 23 , 233; 7 3 , 98; 7 6 , 98. 
Luke 14 17 , 239, 259. 
John 7< 9 , 282; 11 49 - 42 , 256. 
Acts 5 3 , 259. 
Hebrews, 7 9f , 169. 

Paton, L. B. **S 

Book of Esther. ^91