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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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The Rest of the Chapters of the Book of Esther which are found neither in the Hebrew nor in the Syriac - Introduction

To the book of Esther, as found in the Hebrew, six sections were added either by the Greek translator, or by someone else only a short time later. These additions may be dated as coming from about 114 B.C.E.

When Jerome prepared his Latin Vulgate translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, he also translated these Greek additions to Esther, but grouped them together at the end of the Hebrew story. In the text here (see “Note”), the whole Greek version is reconstructed, with the additions inserted into their proper place in the story. (Compare the Book of Esther in the Old Testament.) It should be noted that the chapter and verse numbers here conform to Stephen Langton's arrangement of 1214 C.E., which followed Jerome's order of the text.

The account in the Greek version is substantially identical with the Hebrew. However, the Greek additions are significant because they supply an explicit religious element strangely lacking in the original, e.g. God is never mentioned in the Hebrew. The Greek version also inserts, through Mardochaeus' dream ( 10.4–9 ), an apocalyptic and cosmic element into the story; thereby the episode of a Jewish deliverance from a Persian pogrom becomes a sign of God's dramatic eleventh-hour victory over all secular powers at the end of history. Thus, the festival of Purim, to which the story of Esther purportedly gave rise, is made an occasion for expressing the Jewish hope of eventual deliverance from historical adversities.

NOTE. The portions of the Book of Esther commonly included in the Apocrypha are extracts from the Greek version of the book, which differs substantially from the Hebrew text (translated in The Revised English Bible: Old Testament). In order that they may be read in their original sequence, the whole of the Greek version is here translated, those portions which are not normally printed in the Apocrypha being enclosed in square brackets, with the chapter and verse numbers in italic figures. The order followed is that of the Greek text, but the chapter and verse numbers are made to conform to those of the Authorized Version. Proper names are given in the form in which they occur in the Greek version.

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