The Book of Esther

The Book of Esther

USUALLY, I HAVE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT THE THINGS that belong in your Bible, but which didn’t get there because the translators changed them or left them out. Now I am going to reverse that: I am going to talk to you about something they left in your Bible which doesn’t belong there: and that is the Book of Esther.

Those of you who have read it have been puzzled by it, I know; it is a very curious thing to find in the Bible. In the entire Book of Esther, it not only does not mention the name of God once, it doesn’t even use the mere title, God, once. It never mentions prayer to God for help or thanksgiving to God for deliverance. It is completely and brutally materialistic story of murder and robbery and how did that get in your Bible?

Well, let us look at this a bit. First of all, let us summarize what it says in the Book of Esther. The scene is laid in the Persian Empire, after the overthrow of Babylon by the Medo‑Persian Empire: Persia swallowed up Media and it became just the Persian Empire.

It opens with the statement that Ahasuerus gave a six month long feast, or more properly a debauch, for his nobles. Now, Ahasuerus is not the name of any person; literally, it means the mighty one, and in English usage it would correspond to “his majesty.” You could apply it to any king of any kingdom in all world history, and it would apply as well to one as to another.