Original Research

The ‘coming-out’ of a hero: The character of Esther in LXX-Esther revisited

Sanrie M. De Beer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6279 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6279 | © 2021 Sanrie M. De Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2020 | Published: 27 January 2021

About the author(s)

Sanrie M. De Beer, Department of Ancient Languages and Text Studies, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

The account of the hero is often depicted as a narratological journey which, with reference to the ground-breaking work of Campbell (2008), is referred to as the monomyth. The basic outline of all monomyths is an account of how a hero embarks on a journey, meets a major crisis and then returns back home altered in some way. This change does not only benefit the hero but is also to the advantage of the community that he or she hails from. This study examines the possibility that the story of Esther fits the prerequisites of a monomyth and argues that the additions (Additions A, B, C, D, E and F) to LXX-Esther give emphasis to and reinforce the impression of the hero-myth underlying the story. The therapeutic and transforming qualities of the hero story, narrated in LXX-Esther, are examined in more detail. It is concluded that this hero story fulfils two basic human functions: an epistemic function and a restorative function.

Contribution: This article contributes to HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies’s’ contested Historical Thought and Source Interpretation by focusing on textual and hermeneutical studies, and narratives behind the Abrahamic religion as expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and the Septuagint.


Keywords

LXX-Esther; monomyth; Judaism; hero myth; initiation rite

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