Jon Levenson has written in the Old Testament Library (OTL) series one of the very best commentaries available from the critical camp on the exciting Book of Esther. As a conservative reviewer, any critical commentary on Esther grates on my nerves more than usual because of critical scholar’s disdain for Esther’s history, but if you are like me and want at least one of the better critical commentaries in your library on every book of the Bible, you should probably consider this one.
There’s no doubt that Mr. Levenson writes with skill. When he says in the first paragraph, “it is also a tale of the ascent of an orphan in exile to the rank of the most powerful woman – and perhaps even the most powerful person – in the Empire and, arguably, the world”, his writing prowess becomes clear.
He begins his discussion in the Introduction on the…
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