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Esther is a history from the court of Xerxes (or Ahasuerus, as he’s known in the ESV; I think this is the Persian pronunciation, and the more popular ‘Xerxes’ is the Greek-ified, or Hellenized, version).

The book of Esther poses some problems for Christians and Jews because it does not once mention God.  In fact, Martin Luther argued that it be excluded from the Protestant canon on the grounds that it contained no gospel content.

However, Jewish tradition included it as both authentic and scriptural since well before the birth of Christ.  This is not authoritative, but I can imagine this book serving the purpose of training us to see God even where His role is not explicit.  In contrast to the Exodus, where God did many signs and wonders, here God acts in a way which is more consistent with how most of us would see Him act: invisibly.  So I see Esther’s lack of explicit divine reference as setting a biblical precedent for seeing God at work in what seem purely physical/worldly (non-supernatural) circumstances.


From → [canon], [overview]

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