Book of Esther

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Book of Esther

Post by Ethan » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:20 pm

Esther 1:1
שורוש (Δαρεῖος) "King Darius I"

Esther 1:12
ושתי (Αστιν) ( Ἀρτυστώνην) "Artystone"

Esther 2:5
איש ימיני (Ἀχαιμένης) "Achaemenes"
קיש ( κῦρος) "Cyrus I"
שמעי (Καμβύσεα) "Cambysus I"
יאיר (κύρου) "Cyrus the Great"
מרדכי (Σμέρδιος) `"Smerdios"

Esther 2:7
הדסה(Ἄτοσσα) "Atossa"

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Re: Book of Esther

Post by ConfusedEnoch » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:47 am

Hey Ethan, I thought you'd enjoy this research:

Arguments for Ahasuerus being Darius:

  • Esther 1:14 mentions "the seven princes of Persia and Media." Darius began the custom of having seven counselors. Mark against 1-3.

    Esther 1:14. Notice the order of "Persia and Media" (cf. 1:3,18,19). Before Cyrus the Medes were dominant and the Scripture refers to them as "the Medes and the Persians" (cf. And. 6). Not until Cyrus' first year did the Persians gain ascendancy over the Medes. Mark against 1.

    Esther 1:1 says this king reigned over Ethiopia. This marks out 1-2 because it wasn't until Cambyses that Ethiopia and Egypt were conquered.

    Same passage also says that he ruled over India. This rules out 1-3 because India wasn't conquered until Darius Hystaspis (506).

    Under Darius the Mede there were 120 satrapies (Dan. 6:1), and under this king there are 127 (Est 1:1). Between the two kings the satrapies increased, but it was not until the twelfth year of Darius that all 127 were in place. For sure this is a strike against 1 & 5. Under Xerxes the number of provinces controlled by Persia began to decrease.

    Esther 10:1 says that this king laid tribute upon the land and upon the Isles of the Sea. Rules out 1-3 since Darius was the first to exact tribute.

    It also rules out 5-6 since Xerxes actually lost the isles by his 12th year. Esther 10 says that it was in the 13th year that tribute began.

    Chose the city of Susa or Shushan to build his palace according to Pliny. This rules out anyone before Darius. Mark against 1-3.

    Though there are character traits that could fit Xerxes, they could equally well fit Darius. For example, Darius was known for his greed. Heroduts called Darius a "huckster" "for Darius looked to make a gain in everything. This fits with Haman offering to pay the Monarch 10,000 talents of silver and fits Esther appealing to the loss of revenue to the kingdom should the Israelites be killed.

    In the reliable historical book, 1 Esdras 3:1-2, we have the following account of Darius: "Now King Darius gave a great banquet for all that were under him and all that were born in his house and all the nobles of Media and Persia and all the satraps and generals and governors that were under him in the 127 satrapies from India to Ethiopia."

    The age of Mordecai and Esther rules out anyone later than Darius. Conservatives have recognized the problem and have tried a difficult translation such as the NKJV has – that it was Kish, not Mordecai who was taken captive under Jeconiah. Quotes. Jones says, "Only by a tortured, forced grammatical construction could this sentence ever be applied to his Great Grandfather Kish." If Mordecai was taken into exile, he would have been 78 in the first chapter of Esther and 87 at the end rather than 125 years old when promoted to the position of prime minister.

    This chronology solves major problems in Ezra and Nehemiah where both are either made to be incredibly old or where (as most say) there are two different Ezras and two different Nehemiahs

    He has to be available in the third year for a half year feast. This rules out Astyages who only ruled in Persia for two years, though he did rule in Media.

    The only good argument for Xerxes comes from Georg Friedrich Grotefend's decipheration of the Persian characters found in the ruins of Persepolis. The name of the son of Darius Hystaspis was deciphered as Khshayarsha, which is old Persian. Grotefend translated this into Greek as Xerxes. When khshayarsha is transposed into Hebrew, it becomes almost letter for letter Akhashverosh, which is rendered Ahasuerus in English. The problem with this is that Ahasuerus is made up of two words "aha" which means "mighty" and Suerus" which means "king. Mighty king. So in translating it into Xerxes it leaves out the aha or the mighty. Jones says that it should have literally been translated as "artaxerxes." This could be a reference to Darius's grandson, artaxerxes and had nothing to do with Xerxes.

    There was something special going on in the third year of this king's reign. Xerxes fits this beautifully in that he was gearing up for a campaign against the Greeks and he needed the support of his princes. But it fits the chronology of Darius as well. Darius spent the first two years of his reign putting down rebellions, and a feast in the third year fits perfectly. It would have finally been a celebration of having put down nine attempted overthrows of the kingdom and numerous rebellions in the empire. Once it was consolidated, it was time to celebrate and show forth his power.

    Likewise waiting till the seventh year for the wedding search fits Xerxes. He had come home wasted in his war with Greece. He lost badly and could have been comforting himself during this time.

    James Jordan says, "we have seen that Darius is called Artaxerxes in Ezra-Nehemiah. In the apocraphyl additions to Esther, and in the Greek Septuagint throughout, Esther's king is called Artaxerxes.

    Xerxes queen according to secular history absolutely does not fit into the chronology or the description of this book. This has been a lingering mystery to many conservative scholars. Amestris was the daughter of a nobleman, not in any way a Jewess. If she was Amestris, then Esther was a cruel and sadistic woman who personally mutilated and humiliated other women. Furthermore, unless Esther only lived for a few years and Amestris came back into power, it doesn't fit the chronology well.

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Re: Book of Esther

Post by Japhethite » Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:57 am

The Darius as Ahasuerus case doesn't seem overly strong to me. I could not find Darius in Esther 1:1 nor the 5 mentioned names in Esther 2:5? I'm not very good with other scripts, though the Greek is easier to read than the Hebrew, I wish people would give transliterations in Roman alphabet.

Although I was never a fan of the Xerxes theory I have come to feel that Ahasuerus seemingly probably does match Xerxes because:

- The name Ahasuerus is close to some versions of the name Xerxes even though it is not so close to the Xerxes version.

Xerxes (Greek) = Xsayaarsan/Khshayarsha/Xsayarsa/Khashayar/Xasayar/Axores (Persian) = Khsherish/Khshiarsh/Khshaiarsha/Xasayarusa/Hasayarusa (Egyptian) = Hisi'arsa/Ahsiyarsu/Ahsiiaarsu (Akkadian/Babylonian) = Aksiwarsu/Aksiiwaarsu = Hsy'rs (Aramaic) = Ahaseros/Ahaseweros/Ahasveros (Biblical) = Ahasuerus/Assuerus (Latin Biblical) = Ahasweros/Achashverosh (Tiberian biblical) = Asoueros (Greek biblical).

Although the Septuagint and Vulgate and Midrash and Josippon and Josephus and the Ethiopic text identifies Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes, these are later traditions, and the name Artaxerxes is similar to Xerxes in Greek at least. (Artaxerxes is also "considered to be a common name of kings of Persia"?)
The bible mentions Artaxerxes and Ahasuerus but doesn't mention "Xerxes".

- Ahasuerus is between Darius and Artaxerxes in Ezra 4. Xerxes is between Darius and Artaxerxes in Persian king lists and in Herodotus.

- Xerxes queen Amestris might match Esther (via Ammi-Ishtar/Ummi-Ishtar, or with Am- "strong") or Vashti (via Mashti). Amestris' revenge and "buried alive 14 Persian boys" is similar to Esther causing 10 sons of Haman to be killed?

- There was an official Marduka serving in the king's court in the reign of Xerxes. "Xerxes carried the statue of Marduk away from Babylon". "Mardonius had more influence with Xerxes than anyone else".

- Xerxes "had penchants for women and wine".

- Xerxes "ruled in a magnificent palace in Susa".

- "Xerxes ruled from India to Ethiopia".

- There is the exact dates match of the 10th month of the kings 7th year: "Ahasuerus met Esther in the 10th month of his 7th year. Xerxes sought comfort in his harem following his defeat at Salamis in the 10th month of his 7th year."
Ahasuerus banished Vashti in his 3rd year, and met Esther in his 7th year. Xerxes ruled from 486, and his Greek invasion was in 480 (to (before?) his 7th year?).
The 13th yr of Ahasuerus is also close to the 12th yr of Xerxes.

- "Jewish names hardly occur in texts of Persia before Xerxes whereas afterwards Jewish names become common."

- "Ardeshir (Artaxerxes) the son of Amestris was very close to Ezra and Nehemiah. It suggests that he felt connected in some way to them."

- Xerxes had other "unknown wives or mistresses", and he also loved Masistes' wife and daughter, which could match Ahasuerus had 2 wives and other women from harem.
I'm not sure if possibly Masistes' daughter Artaynte could possibly match Vashti/Mashti (with Urta/Arta/Asha interchange)?

- Ahasuerus' realm included the Isles of the Sea which are usually said to be the Aegean. This may fit either Cyrus? or Darius or Xerxes.

As for whether Amestris could be Esther, there are pros and cons. The cons which some have raised might be able to be explained.

- "Amestris was a cruel and sadistic woman who personally mutilated and humiliated other women." Amestris' "vicious" nature in Herodotus might not be accurate sources or truthful source. Her "revenge" and "buried 14 Persian boys" is sort-of maybe similar to Esther and the Jews' revenge or defense against the anti-Semites.

- "unless Esther only lived for a few years and Amestris came back into power, it doesn't fit the chronology well." Amestris was Xerxes' queen before his 7th year. What sources other than Herodotus for this? Maybe Herdotus got the story/tradition wrong and thought [Esther/Amestris] had been queen before his 7th year? Or maybe Amestris is Vashti/Mashti.

- "from Herodotus' records, it seems the real queen had normal access to her husband, which Esther did not". Does this mean Xerxes queen Amestris or other king/s & queen/s or all the kings & queens in general? Maybe his sources were not accurate? Esther seems to have gained special favour of Ahasuerus.

- Amestris as daughter of Otanes (a nobleman) is alternatively mother of Otanes in some versions. There might be two Amestrises?

- "a queen of the Persian Empire was required to be from one of seven noble families". This might not be deifnite infallible proof. The bible makes it clear Esther was made queen like Vashti had been. Or Esther in the bible and Amestris in Herdotus might not be a proper queen?

- "McClintock and Strong's also notes that Amestris' sons accompanied Xerxes to Greece, citing Herodotus 7:39...." Herodotus doesn't say who their mother was. He also only says "sons" and doesn't say many sons? Xerxes was born in 518 and went to Greece in 480. When did Xerxes marry Amestris for the sons to be old enough by 480? It is 38 years from Xerxes' birth to the expedition. It gives 19 yrs for age of marriage and 19 for age of 1st son (or sons if twins), which might be pushing it? "When reaching the age of 7, they learn how to ride and hunt. .... At the age of 16 or 17, they begin their 'national service' for 10 years, which included practicing archery and javelin, competing for prizes, and hunting. Afterwards they serve in the military for around 25 years." Is Herodotus the only source for this? His source might have not been accurate or got confused with Vashti?

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Re: Book of Esther

Post by Ethan » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:45 am

Last edited by Ethan on Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Book of Esther

Post by Ethan » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:47 am

אחשורוש in the LXX is Ἀρταξέρξης (Artaxerxes) and this name appears in Daniel 9 as the father of Darius.

Artaxerxes I fathered Darius II

Antiquities of the Jews - 11.1841
After the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes.

The story of Daniel is similar to Mordecai and Joseph In which they befriend the King and gain political power.

Est 8:2 (KJV) — And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai.

Dan 5:29 (KJV) — Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Gen 41:42 (KJV) — And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

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