2009-03-18-OT12 - OT March 18, 2009 The Book of Esther: Not...

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OT March 18, 2009 The Book of Esther: Not accepted until the (?) century… Martin Luther wished that it hadn’t been included in the Bible. Why? There is no mention of God. The Greek version that has 6 additions… with over 50 references to God… The secularity. Another objection has to do with the way women are represented. The ancient Rabbis were anxious about Vishti, the first queen. The Midrash develops her as the type of the evil Gentile. She forced Jewish girls to work on Sabbath, she used the golden dishes from the Temple. 1:16 What ought he to do after she refuses to appear? One of the advisors said… it’s not just against the king alone and her advisors, but against all of the ministers and all of the peoples all through the lands. What will happen when the women hear that the King called and she didn’t show up? (Isn’t this a story of the People of Israel? The king called the people didn’t show up. What will the other nations say when they hear that a people called and tenderly choosen by the king refused to obey him?) Esther is referred to as a prophet: 5:1 And it happened on the 3 rd day that Esther dressed herself royally, she put on, she clothed herself in royalty. The rabbis understand that as the Holy Spirit enveloped her. For the rabbis, Esther is the ideal woman: She is beautiful and humble. She saves her people and does so without stepping outside of her traditional female role. Debra is sometimes called haughty or arrogant because she stepped outside the traditional female role. Some object to Esther for the same reason that the rabbis like her: namely that her role is traditional. The people are given the right of taking the property of the Persians, and they end up not doing so. “Ruling class ideology”…. What does this have to do with God’s inbreaking? The Sudanese find this to be a beloved book. Esther is valued not an heroic individual, but as the one who pulled the whole community together, and she does it through prayer and fasting. She calls upon the whole community to fast with her before she clothes herself in royalty and appears before the King. In the face of genocidal threat. The difference between seeing Esther as a heroic individual and the religious leader of a
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community… Itumeleng Mosala thinks that this undermines the “liberation” movement. Another objection is that it is too “Jewish”. Sacrifice gender struggles for national struggles. (Huh?) Martin Luther says the book Judeizes too much. It paganizes. It’s hard not to think that Luther is offended because he sees Jews successfully violent against the community. A story of genocide. The Jews surviving the genocide intended them and taking revenge on Persians. The one book after the Exile where Jews have swords in their hands (other than
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course OT 12 taught by Professor Ellendavis during the Spring '09 term at Duke.

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2009-03-18-OT12 - OT March 18, 2009 The Book of Esther: Not...

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