Sunday, March 16, 2008


First, despite the fact that this rendition is not necessarily supported by the text, it is what made me understand how much Esther risked when she went unsummoned before the King.

I read over the Megillah tonight and came across something I had never noticed before. Is it possible that Esther came unsummoned before the King twice?! Here is why I am asking.

Note the first time where Esther appears unsummoned:
    א וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי, וַתִּלְבַּשׁ אֶסְתֵּר מַלְכוּת, וַתַּעֲמֹד בַּחֲצַר בֵּית-הַמֶּלֶךְ הַפְּנִימִית, נֹכַח בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ; וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁב עַל-כִּסֵּא מַלְכוּתוֹ, בְּבֵית הַמַּלְכוּת, נֹכַח, פֶּתַח הַבָּיִת.

    1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house; and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the entrance of the house.

    ב וַיְהִי כִרְאוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת-אֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה, עֹמֶדֶת בֶּחָצֵר--נָשְׂאָה חֵן, בְּעֵינָיו; וַיּוֹשֶׁט הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר, אֶת-שַׁרְבִיט הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ, וַתִּקְרַב אֶסְתֵּר, וַתִּגַּע בְּרֹאשׁ הַשַּׁרְבִיט.

    2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight; and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
    ~Esther 5: 1-2
But note what happens later on in Chapter 8:
    ג וַתּוֹסֶף אֶסְתֵּר, וַתְּדַבֵּר לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, וַתִּפֹּל, לִפְנֵי רַגְלָיו; וַתֵּבְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן-לוֹ, לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת-רָעַת הָמָן הָאֲגָגִי, וְאֵת מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁב עַל-הַיְּהוּדִים.

    3 And Esther spoke yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

    ד וַיּוֹשֶׁט הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר, אֵת שַׁרְבִט הַזָּהָב; וַתָּקָם אֶסְתֵּר, וַתַּעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ.

    4 Then the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre. So Esther arose, and stood before the king.
The JPS translation here is wrong. They translate verse 3 as reading "And Esther spoke yet again" but the words in the verse support the reading, "And Esther added [which one would take as meaning, did something again] and she spoke before the King, and she fell at his feet, and she wept and beseeched him..."

So what was it that Esther did yet again? Why the word vatosef?
If you're going to tell me it means that she spoke yet again, wouldn't it make more sense to have this verse come after a verse in which we see her speaking? It doesn't make sense for it to appear after the statement, "And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman." It would, however, make sense for the statement that Esther yet again came before the King unsummoned to follow a statement which shows Esther appointing Mordechai to a position of power, for the reader is thus reminded of Esther's relationship with Mordechai, and how it was he who bid her appear before the king unsummoned in the first place.
This understanding is further supported by the fact that the King extends his golden sceptre to Esther yet again. Why must he do this? Why only then does she rise from the floor? The last time we saw the King extend his golden sceptre was when she appeared unsummoned; it seems likely that this symbol would be used to denote the same circumstance.


lurker said...

Read this for answers,seems to support your point:

arade89 said...

i thought u said the dude was a eunuch

Garnel Ironheart said...

Or it could be that after the king gave over Haman's property she said "thank you." which makes the "and then" fit in.

Stubborn and Strong said...

do you remember that i told you that i compared vashti and esther that why king wants to save esther on that moments? Vashti DIDN'T really want to see king when king summons her, even though it was risking to be killed, he was so upset about that, he may feel unloved/betrayal from her. BUT esther approached him without king's permission, he may feel that esther REAllY wants to see him, she doesn't "care" about risk to be killed so he felt loved.(that's what king thoughts) Notice the difference/polor opposite of the reasons of vashti and esther to see/not see king.

Stubborn and Strong said...

that's why king killed vashti and save esther.

Moshe Y. Gluck said...