BETA

Story of Esther endures because it gives the comfort of hope

The Hebrews divided their scriptures in a different order than is used in the arrangement of books in the King James edition of the Bible. The Hebrew cannon consisted of three parts: the Law, the Prophets and the Writings.

The book of Esther comes under the division of the Writings. Also known as the Hagiographa, the Writings consist of five books: Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. These books, also known as the Five Rolls, were read as lessons at festivals.The events described in the book of Esther are generally believed to have occurred between events narrated in the first and last portions of the book of Ezra. In the King James Bible, Esther is placed after the book of Nehemiah, possibly because early scholars felt it was important to keep the books of Ezra and Nehemiah together.

In A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament, Ellis T. Rasmussen wrote: "The book of Esther is a dramatic paradigm of commitment, courage, redemption, and the overthrow of evil."

He said perhaps the story of Esther has endured "because it has given the comfort of hope to other oppressed people."

Brother Rasmussen noted that many commentaries are available on the book of Esther, and it has been the subject of much criticism as well as much commendation. He wrote: "There are more differing versions of it, more Targums

translations or paraphrasesT, and more Midrashes

commentaries or explanatory notesT on it than any other book in the Bible. Yet it is the only Old Testament book not found in the Dead Sea Scrolls."

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