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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Esther Book of

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Book of Esther, historical books of Scripture, called by the Jews Megillah Esther. In the Christian Church it has been also called Ahasuerus.

The Jews hold this book in veneration next to the books of Moses, and there appears to be no authentic foundation for the statement of Richard Baxter (Saint's Rest, part 4), that the book of Esther was treated so ignominiously by the Jews that they were in the habit of throwing it on the ground before reading it.

As the subject of this book has been treated of under the article Ahasuerus it will be sufficient to refer to that head; only we may here observe that the book of Esther has this peculiarity among the historical books, that although the author, a Persian Jew, records a remarkable preservation from destruction of that portion of his countrymen which remained in Persia after the exile, he does not refer their deliverance to the act of God, whose name is not even once mentioned. This has been explained by supposing that the author wished to avoid giving offence to the Persians, or that the whole was taken from the Persian annals, which are appealed to, .

The age and authorship of Esther is a question involved in much difficulty. Of the author nothing is known, nor have we any data on which to form a reasonable conjecture.

Some doubts have been thrown on the canonical authority of this book, but whatever hesitation may have been felt by some of the Christian fathers as to its authenticity, it does not appear that it was ever doubted by the Jews or by the Christian Church in its collective capacity.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Esther Book of'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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