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Esther (JPS Bible Commentary)

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Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001].The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point-of-view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?”; “ Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001].The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point-of-view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?”; “Sex and Spies”; and “Rabbinic Interpretation.”


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Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001].The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point-of-view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?”; “ Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001].The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point-of-view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?”; “Sex and Spies”; and “Rabbinic Interpretation.”

30 review for Esther (JPS Bible Commentary)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lewyn

    This is a highly unusual commentary on the book of Esther; rather than treating the Esther story as historical fact, she treats it as a kind of comic historical novel, suggesting there is just too much silly stuff (e.g. royal edicts that cannot be reversed, no matter how silly, the king's assumption that Haman is sexually harassing Esther instead of pleading for mercy at Esther 7:8) for the story to be real. But even if you don't agree with her conclusion, some of her ideas are interesting. Berli This is a highly unusual commentary on the book of Esther; rather than treating the Esther story as historical fact, she treats it as a kind of comic historical novel, suggesting there is just too much silly stuff (e.g. royal edicts that cannot be reversed, no matter how silly, the king's assumption that Haman is sexually harassing Esther instead of pleading for mercy at Esther 7:8) for the story to be real. But even if you don't agree with her conclusion, some of her ideas are interesting. Berlin emphasizes the similarity between Esther and Greek writings about Persia, and suggests that the author was either familiar with the Persian Empire, or was familiar with Greek writings about it. For example, common motifs in writing about Persia include the widespread use of sumptous banquets, luxury generally, kings' consultation with legal experts, strong royal women, and Persia's excellent postal system. She also uses Greek writing to clarify details about the story: for example, Herodotus wrote that the Persian king had a yearly dinner at which he distributed gifts, which seems similar to the banquets in Esther. She also uses Babylonian history, noting that Mordecai (Marduka in Babylonian) was a common Babylonian name. In addition, Berlin discusses parallels between the book of Esther and the Hebrew Bible. For example, she compares the story of Purim to the story of Saul and Amalek: while Saul (ancestor of Mordecai) took spoils inappropriately, the Jews who defended themselves in the book of Esther refused to take spoils from their enemies (who were led by Haman, an ancestor of Saul's Amalekite enemies)- perhaps wiping out Saul's sin in a way. Berlin also discusses differences between the dominant version of Esther and the Greek Jewish version, which makes Esther seem more pious and discusses her emotions to a greater extent, but does not suggest that Haman had Amalekite ancestry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    My introduction to the JPS commentary series. A good one at that. Berlin provides a refreshing read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daicy Atmadji

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amarilis Garcia

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Douglas

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Collins

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pastordiana Brevan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roderick

  10. 5 out of 5

    Drdiana Brevan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ethel M Rainey

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Krupka

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne Zermeno

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt Wolf

  17. 5 out of 5

    RJ

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Fliegel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hudi Mansell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    Wonderful sight on the Book of Esther well worth the purchase.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Er

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fredcritter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily Nagar

  24. 5 out of 5

    John D. Barry

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Hill

  27. 5 out of 5

    M Diamond

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Waldrip

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Kou

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jay Resnick

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