Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

Ester: Vroulike durf binne ’n manlike bestel

Lina Spies
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a1031 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.1031 | © 2011 Lina Spies | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 February 2011 | Published: 14 April 2011

About the author(s)

Lina Spies, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, South Africa


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Abstract

In this article, the Book of Esther was interpreted in a way that was clearly not intended by the author. The article aimed to specifically concentrate on the motives and character traits of the personas, as revealed by their actions. The splendour and pomp of Ahasuerus’s banquet reveals his ostentatious nature that Vasthi distances herself from. In spite of the apparent humiliation of losing her position as queen, she retains her dignity as a woman. Esther, on the other hand, deals with the king’s appetite for pleasure by pleasing him with her sexual wiles and sumptuous meals. The royal power that she subsequently gains enables her to save her people from extinction. The male personas are shown up by their female counterparts as being obsessed by power and status. In a fierce political struggle, Haman is brought to a fall and Mordechai, a Diaspora Jew who risks his Jewishness for his ambition, replaces him as vice-roy of Persia. God’s absence in the Book of Esther is explained in that God might perhaps speak through the weak, the insignificant and the humiliated or that God withdraws in silence from the political schemes of those in power.

Keywords

Absence of God; Book of Esther; dignity of women; eunuch; James A. Loader; patriarchy; reading strategies; saviour figure; Vasthi

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