The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Esther and the cycles of history

The apocrypha includes not only whole books, but also Greek additions to books in the Hebrew canon. In the case of Esther, the Septuagint version includes a lot of additional detail (as well as making the religious subtext of the book explicit). One of the details which gets filled in is the text of Ahasuerus' proclamation for the destruction of the Jews:

Now when I asked my counselors how this (peace) might be brought to pass, Haman . . . declared to us that in all nations throughout the world there was scattered a certain malicious people, who had laws contrary to all nations and continually despised the commandments of kings, so that the uniting of our kingdoms, honorably intended by us, cannot go forward. Seeing this, we understand that this people alone is continually in opposition unto all men, differing in the strange ways of their laws and bringing about evil to our state, working all the mischief they can, so that our kingdom may not be firmly established: Therefore have we commanded that all those who are signified in writing to you by Haman . . . shall all, with their wives and children, be utterly destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without all mercy and pity . . .

Sadly the Jews were taking the blame for societal problems long before the rise of the Third Reich.

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