The story is a familiar one, made popular by Sunday School teachers, novels, and movies: her people threatened with extinction, Queen Esther must summon the courage to approach the Persian King Xerxes in order to save the Jews. But what is the real message of Esther? In this commentary, Anthony Tomasino closely examines the Hebrew text to explore the motifs of feasting, sovereignty, assertiveness, and reversal in the book of Esther. He also explores its connection with the celebration of Purim, the theme of the invincibility of the Jews, and the conspicuous absence of any mention of God.
Tomasino’s treatment of the book of Esther is discerning, judicious, balanced, nuanced and, because of all that, eminently useful to scholar as well as pastor. All readers will find enlightening and informative observations and analysis that will enhance their study. From detailed treatment of the Hebrew text to attention to the theological and devotional implications of the text, there is something here for everyone. This is now my top pick for an evangelical commentary on Esther.
—John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
Anthony Tomasino has provided here an exegetically sound and deeply thoughtful volume on Esther. The series affords him the luxury of moving from the original text to interpretation, then to theological reflection and pastoral application. We all know that the book of Esther is both fascinating and important, but it often gets relegated to relatively brief treatment for a variety of reason. Tomasino is to be congratulated on a wonderful accomplishment. Readers will benefit from this commentary for years to come.
Bill T. Arnold, Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary
The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series incorporates the latest in critical biblical scholarship, yet each volume is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective. The authors explore the context and meaning of the biblical books while showing the value and truth of the texts in ancient times and today. These commentaries present historical and literary insights for understanding the text within the Bible’s larger story and applying it to everyday life.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Anthony Tomasino is director of the biblical studies program and associate professor of Bible, Old Testament, and Hebrew at Bethel College. He is the author of Written Upon the Heart: The Ten Commandments for Today’s Christian and Judaism before Jesus: The Events and Ideas that Shaped the New Testament World.