Has anyone seen God? – Esther: a review

Call me old-fashioned but surely, when it comes to the Bible, the main character should at least get a mention. I’ve just finished Esther and although I knew it before, once again it struck me that God doesn’t get a mention. There is celebration and praising so implicitly you could argue a case, but it would be a very weak one.

The girl who would be queen

A Queen at the right time

The story of Esther is that of a young Jewish girl who becomes Queen to Xerxes in Susa in Persia. When she is Queen she gets the King to reverse an order from Haman, who wants to kill the Jews. She then gets the King to go further and in the end Haman gets killed. And to round-up the story the Jews celebrate with the very first Feast of Purim.

Again, implicitly, you could read God into the events. Esther is placed into the royal household at just the right time to make an impact. Through Xerxes becoming distressed through a dream Mordecai, the other main character in the book, is brought to his attention. So looking back on the events you could say that God was working behind the scenes to make sure that the Jews weren’t destroyed as Haman wanted to.

Main character study

Once again though, I’m led to wonder who the main character of this book is. We can read God into it, and I have a little problem with that; if you believe in an interventionist God (as Nick Cave sings) then fine. However, it is very east to miss the other main character through this book and the rest of the bible… humanity! Esther suggests that life isn’t just about God getting on with things, but about humanity getting on with God’s things.

Oh and it’s a pretty good story to read, why not take a few minutes and try it yourself, it isn’t long.

Comments

  1. Sue Wallace says

    Now try reading the Greek version (I recommend the Good News translation with Deutero canonical books if you can get it). I think you’ll find God appears a lot more in that one! “But God changed the kings anger into tender concern” (Chapter D verse 8 )

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