Book Of Esther Parchment Scroll

SKU CB.2937
Circa

1700 AD to 1800 AD

Medium

Parchment

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

S Korea


 

In the Jewish ordering of the books, Esther is placed in the final section of the Hebrew Bible, with the “Writings” rather than the histories. Esther takes place well after the destruction of the First Temple, when the Jews had been captured by Babylon and then Babylon itself had been conquered by the Persians. The book feels much later than the other Hebrew books. It even includes one of the first uses of the term “Jew” to describe the Jewish people, rather then using “Hebrew”. Esther is also a very special book. Because of the key role of a woman in the story– as well as the text’s habit of making a mockery of powerful men– it is the only scroll of the Hebrew Bible which may be copied by a female scribe. All other ceremonial scrolls may only be copied by men– although this position is being increasingly challenged within the Orthodox Jewish community. Perhaps because of its unusual tone, it also has the distinction of being the only book of the Hebrew Bible not to have been discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Every other book– including many that some Christians believe but Jews no longer believe– was found at least in fragmentary form. Esther was absent. Whether the Jews at Qumran did not consider Esther part of their canon, or whether it was just bad luck, we may never know.

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