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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Esther

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14.1–19 : Esther humbly petitions God.

Her prayer (see especially Jdt 9 ) resembles Mordecai's in its sincere, if conventional, piety and its concern for religious self‐justification.

2 :

Humble garments, filth, and disarray are appropriate to penitential prayer (2 Kings 19.1; Neh 1.4; Dan 9.3–4; Jdt 9.1 ).

8 :

Bitter slavery interprets the exile and Diaspora in terms evocative of the bondage in Egypt (Ex 1–15 ).

9 :

Your altar and your house refer to the ruined Temple in Jerusalem (2 Macc 14.33; 3 Macc 5.43 ), a subject ignored in the Heb.

13 :

Eloquent speech, in 15.5 it is her beauty on which she initially relies. Lion, Ahasuerus. God will begin the process of turning the king's heart by changing the king's wrathful spirit to gentleness ( 15.7–8 ) when Esther approaches him.

15 :

Abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, the Jewish prohibition of mixed marriage (Deut 7.3–4; Ezra 10.2; Neh 13.23–27 ). Wicked, uncircumcised, alien, non‐Jews. Unlike the Heb, Gk Esther takes a negative view of Gentiles.

16 :

The sign upon Esther's head is the crown which she abhors as a filthy rag (literally, a rag soaked in menstrual blood; see Lev 15.19–24; Isa 64.6 ). Contrast Deut 6.9 .

17 :

Esther observes the Jewish dietary laws (Lev 11; see Jdt 12.1–2 ).

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