Who Wrote the Book of Esther?
Who wrote the Book of Esther? We should notice that throughout the entire Book of Esther, Elohim of Israel is not mentioned neither by His Name, nor by any of His titles. All commentators of the Book of Esther have noticed this fact but made the conclusion that although He is not mentioned by name or title even once, He was still in control behind the scenes to protect His people. And while the present author completely agrees with this conclusion, he took an unorthodox approach in interpreting the events in the Book of Esther and why this book was included in the Hebrew writings in the first place.
The present author will keep this approach in the following study as well, in order to find the answer to the question: Who wrote the Book of Esther. He assumes that the reader has already read the preceding article on this topic, The True Purim and the Untold Truth, for the solely purpose of a better understanding of the present study.
So, who is the author of the Book of Esther? When we read the Purim story, we have to admit that it is hard to believe that a Jew would not even refer to the Savior of Israel in such a time as this when the Jewish people were on the brink of extermination in Holocaust. Who would not even mention the Mighty One of Israel in his writing and why? However, this is a fact, and we will seek to find the answers to these questions.
The present author believes that whoever wrote the Book of Esther he must have intentionally chosen to hide the presence of Elohim in the Purim story in order to teach us something. His words must have been carefully picked up throughout the whole story, as we will find this to be true as we advance in this study.
Let us start at Est 1:20 reading from JPS (Jewish Publication Society) translation in English. We read, as follows,
And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his kingdom, great though it be, all the wives will give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.
In Hebrew we read using a method of reading known as Notarikon. Notarikon is a method of deriving a word or phrase in a text by using each of its initial or final letters to stand for another, to form a sentence or idea out of the words. Such a notarikon is found in verse 20 and highlighted in red below.
(Est 1:20) ונשׁמע פתגם המלך אשׁר־יעשׂה בכל־מלכותו כי רבה היא וכל־הנשׁים יתנו יקר לבעליהן למגדול ועד־קטן׃
What we find is that the Name of YHVH appears encoded in the Hebrew text of Esther and more particularly in the phrase “all the wives will give” by reading the first letter of each word. The notarikon spells out יְהוָֹה “Yehovah” reading backwards.
In Est 5:4 (JPS) we read,
And Esther said: ‘If it seems good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.’
In the Hebrew text of verse 4, we find the same hidden reading,
(Est 5:4) ותאמר אסתר אם־על־המלך טוב יבוא המלך והמן היום אל־המשׁתה אשׁר־עשׂיתי לו׃
In the phrase “let the king and Haman come this day”, the first letter of each word spells out יְהוָֹה “Yehovah” again, this time reading forward (from right to left).
In Est 5:13 (JPS) we read,
Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.
In Hebrew, we read,
(Est 5:13) וכל־זה איננו שׁוה לי בכל־עת אשׁר אני ראה את־מרדכי היהודי יושׁב בשׁער המלך׃
In the phrase “Yet all this avails me nothing” in the Hebrew this time the last letter of each word spells out again the Name יְהוָֹה “Yehovah” backwards.
In Est 7:5 (JPS),
Then spoke the king Ahasuerus and said unto Esther the queen: ‘Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?’
(Est 7:5) ויאמר המלך אחשׁורושׁ ויאמר לאסתר המלכה מי הוא זה ואי־זה הוא אשׁר־מלאו לבו לעשׂות כן׃
In the phrase “Who is he, and where is he” we should notice that the Masoretes have made the final letters of each word larger, thus spelling out אֶֽהְיֶה EHYIEH, which means “I Exist.” What is interesting is that this Hebrew word, as it appears in the phrase “Who is he, and where is he,” spells out backwards and forwards and still means “I Exist” regardless of the direction of reading. Notice the deep meaning of what is on and under the surface of the text: “Who is he, and where is he” and “I Exist”, because this will help us answer the question: Who wrote the Book of Esther?
אֶֽהְיֶה EHYIEH is the word the Creator used to reveal His Set-apart Name to Mosheh in Exo 3:14-15. For more insight on His sacred Name, refer to the article The Hebrew Yehovah vs. the Roman Yahweh and all articles found in the series The Name of YHVH.
In Est 7:7 (JPS) we read,
And the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman remained to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
(Est 7:7) והמלך קם בחמתו ממשׁתה היין אל־גנת הביתן והמן עמד לבקשׁ על־נפשׁו מאסתר המלכה כי ראה כי־כלתה אליו הרעה מאת המלך׃
In the phrase “that there was evil determined against him” in Hebrew, we find that the last letter of each word spells out יְהוָֹה “Yehovah” forward.
Thus, from all these occurrences of notarikon in the original Hebrew text of the scroll of Esther, we find that while the Name of Yehovah is never mentioned in the Book of Esther, He was and is ever present working behind the scenes to save His people.
Now, we should ask ourselves who could have possibly encoded the Name of the Almighty One in the Hebrew text? Who else but YHVH Himself. We should notice that these Bible codes are relatively easy to be found since all of them use either the first or the last letters of the Hebrew words. Thus, YHVH has shown that His Name is not absent in the text, and as the Author of the Book of Esther, He chose to hide His face from the people. Why did He hide His face? Because the people refused to return to their native land, the Land of the Covenant with Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov.
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