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The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther Hardcover – January 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This informative commentary (part of JPS's Bible Commentary series) dissects the book of Esther and, by extension, the Jewish holiday of Purim. Berlin begins with a lengthy introduction, discussing Esther as comedy and as diaspora literature; the introduction also does a fine job of explaining the Persian period and its various art forms. Concerning Purim, Berlin posits that the text of Esther may have been included in the biblical canon because the Purim holiday had already taken a strong hold. Berlin concludes that "Purim existed, in one form or another, before the book was written." The commentary section presents the Hebrew text of Esther alongside the JPS translation, with Berlin's extensive annotations below. (Feb.)Children's Religion

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

“This informative commentary . . . dissects the Book of Esther and, by extension, the Jewish holiday of Purim. Berlin begins with a lengthy introduction, discussing Esther as comedy and as diaspora literature; the introduction does a fine job of explaining the Persian period and its various art forms.”—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

"Berlin's literary approach to the book of Esther is a very well done, and filled with important information."—David J. Zucker, Women in Judaism
(David J. Zucker Women in Judaism)
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Product Details

  • Series: JPS Bible Commentary
  • Hardcover: 110 pages
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827606990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827606999
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By james rose on February 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Fully half of this book is devoted to a discussion of the background of the work and its interpretations. It is quite helpful in understanding and interpreting the text. There is a ten page bibliography that makes it clear the work was exhaustively researched and many points of view were considered.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Brown on July 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This commentary fills a large gap between the usual superficial Bible commentaries and very advanced works like the International Critical Commentary. (The volume on Esther in that series is anyway hopelessly out of date.) It provides a lot of solid information in a large solid volume but without overwhelming technicalities. Its attitude is that Esther is a comic novel, presumably with no historical basis for its plot although the background details are confirmed by modern archaeology. Don't expect light reading, but after you have read this you will have learnt a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kartoshke on August 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this because I was doing research on the Book of Esther for a project on American Jewish feminism, and was impressed with the level of specificity, both in terms of Talmudic commentary and the actual historical circumstances surrounding the production of the story. Many of Berlin's arguments center around the idea that the Book of Esther is farcical, but her commentary suggests that certain aspects of it ought to be taken seriously.
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The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther
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