Additions to Esther
ESTHER, ADDITIONS TO. The apocryphal book, b.c. Whether all the additions were present in the text at the time of the tr. is a matter of debate. All the Gr. recensions and the Old Lat. text contain the additions in their proper place. When Jerome made his Vul. tr., he removed these passages because they did not appear in the Heb., and he placed them at the end of the book with explanatory notes indicating where they should be inserted. Subsequent editors removed the notes. Finally, when (d. 1228) divided the Lat. Bible into chs., he numbered the additions, which had been placed at the end of the book, in consecutive order. This practice was followed by Luther and the Eng. VSS. In The jerusalem Bible these additions are in the text, but are printed in italicized type., consists of six passages (107 vv), inserted into the Gr. text in various places. It is generally assumed that the Heb. was tr. into Gr. by an Egyp. Jew, living in Jerusalem, no later than 114
The six passages making up the Additions to Esther are identified by letters. Each passage may be briefly summarized.
Addition A (11:2-12:6) is a dream of Mordecai in which two great dragons appear ready to fight. A tiny spring grew into a great river when the righteous nation cried to God. Mordecai later overheard two eunuchs plotting against the king. He reported them and was rewarded by appointment to a high office. All this precedes
Addition B (13:1-7) is the text of the edict of Ahasuerus (Gr. has Artaxerxes) against the Jews. It is to be inserted after
Addition C (13:8-14:19) gives the prayers of Mordecai and Esther. It follows
Addition D (15:1-16; Lat. 15:4-19) is an elaboration of
Addition E (16:1-24) gives the text of the edict of Ahasuerus in behalf of the Jews. This passage follows
Addition F (10:4-11:1), which follows
From the content of the Additions, the following conclusions may be drawn: (1) the author wanted to strengthen the religious element in the book and so inserted the prayers; (2) the trustworthiness and historical accuracy of the text are enhanced by the exact words of the two royal edicts; (3) the author tried to improve on the story by including sections D, A, and F; (4) if
The Gr. text has come down in five variant forms: (1) the standard LXX (א, B, A, etc.) (2) Origen’s Hexapla; (3) Hesychius; (4) Lucian; and (5) the text used by Josephus. Most scholars believe the Additions were written originally in Gr. Roman Catholic scholars argue they were all tr. from Heb. or Aram. originals. Torrey claims that the original language was Aram. (A C D F were part of the original text), and that our canonical Heb. is a late abridgment. Patton argues that there is no evidence for the existence of Sem. originals for any of the additions.
The date of the Additions cannot be determined with accuracy. The little evidence there is points to a date near the time of the tr. into Gr., around 100 b.c.
J. A. McClymont, “Esther,” HDB, I (1898), 773-776; L. B. Patton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the(1908), 31-34, 41-47; J. A. F. Gregg, “The Additions to Esther,” in R. H. Charles (ed.), The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the , I (1913), 665-671; T. Davies, “Esther, The Rest of,” ISBE, II (1929), 1009f.; C. C. Torrey, “The Older Book of Esther,” HTR, xxxvii (1944), 1-40; The Apocryphal Literature (1945), 57-59; R. H. Pfeiffer, History of Times with an Introduction to the Apocrypha (1949), 304-312; B. M. Metzger, An Introduction to the Apocrypha (1957), 55-63; L. H. Brockington, A Critical Introduction to the Apocrypha (1961), 49-53; E. W. Saunders, “Esther” (Apocryphal), IDB, II (1962), 151f.