Well, of course.
But I’m a Unitarian Universalist … and I have come to expect all sorts of erroneous ideas in ancient writings about gods and humans… haven’t you come to expect it as well?
 Philistines cavorting with Abraham 800 years before they even exist on the Levantine coast?
 The Simeonites, one of the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom … living SOUTH of Judah?
 The unwillingness to accept Exodus as occurring around (or after) the consolidation of the Sea People in Canaan (namely, the Pelest) by 1130 BCE - - even though there would have been no place for the fleeing Egyptians to find refuge in all of Canaan if Egypt was still maintaining their northern frontier in the northern latitudes of Syria?
 The knowledge of “kanebesem” (prepared and used by Indo-Euro Scythians) revealed in the book of Exodus?
 The Book of Esther, the conflicting Jewish version of Herodotus’ “Slaughter of the Magi” (details at bottom).
Background on the Slaughter of the Magi & Zoroastrian feast of Frawardīgān:
“Because of the general secular character of the story, there was some hesitation in Jewish and Christian circles about introducing it into the canon of the Holy Scriptures.”
“The feast which the book was written to explain, Purim (still celebrated among Jews on the 14th and 15th of Adar), is based on a presumed slaughter of large numbers of Persians. This has been compared to the feast of magophonia , the killing of the magi, recounted in Herodotus 3.68-79 (cf. Henning). Some scholars have sought to establish a connection between the name of Purim and the Zoroastrian feast of frawardīgān, dedicated to the souls of the departed, but this again is a moot question.”
E. J. Bickerman, Four Strange Books of the Bible , New York, 1967, pp. 211-18.
J. Duchesne-Guillemin, “Les noms des eunuques d’Assuérus,” Le Muséon 46, 1953, pp. 105-8.
P. de Legarde, Purim: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Religion , Göttingen, 1887.
H. S. Gehman, “Notes on the Persian Words in the Book of Esther,” Journal of Biblical Literature 43, 1924, pp. 321-28.
W. B. Henning, “The Murder of the Magi,” JRAS , 1944, pp. 133-44.
A. Hintze, “The Greek and Hebrew Versions of the Book of Esther and Its Iranian Background,” in S. Shaked and A. Netzer, eds., Irano-Judaica III, Jerusalem, 1994, pp. 34-39.
J. T. Milik, “Les modeles araméens du livre d’Esther dans la grotte 4 de Qumran,” Revue de Qumran 59, 1992, pp. 321-99.
A. R. Millard, “The Persian Names in Esther and the Reliability of the Hebrew Text,” Journal of Biblical Literature 96, 1977, pp. 481-88.
C. A. Moore, Esther: Introduction, Translation and Notes , Garden City, N. Y., 1971.
Idem, “Archaeology and the Book of Esther,” Biblical Archaeologist 38, 1975, pp. 62-79.
T. Nöldeke, “Esther,” in Encyclopaedia Biblica, London, 1899-1900, pp. 1400-1407.
L. B. Paton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther , Edinburgh, 1908, pp. 64-77.
I. Scheftelowitz, Arisches im Alten Testament: Eine sprachwissenschaftiliche und kulturhistorische Untersuchung I-II, Berlin 1901-3.
S. Shaked, “Two Judaeo-Iranian Contributions,” in S. Shaked, ed., Irano-Judaica , Jerusalem, 1982, pp. 292-322.
Idem, “Qumran: Some Iranian Connections,” in Z. Zevit, M. Sokoloff, and S. Gitin, eds., Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield , Winona Lake, Ind., 1995, pp. 265-69.
R. Stiehl, “Das Buch Esther,” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 53, 1956, pp. 4-22.
R. Zadok, “On Five Iranian Names in the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 26, 1976, pp. 246-47.
Idem, “On the Historical Background of the Book of Esther,” Biblische Notizen 24, 1984, pp. 18-23.
Idem, “Notes on Esther,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 98, 1986, pp. 105-10.
Originally Published: December 15, 1998
Last Updated: January 19, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. VIII, Fasc. 6, pp. 655-657
Cite this entry:
Shaul Shaked, “ESTHER, BOOK OF,” Encyclopaedia Iranica , VIII/6, pp. 655-657, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/esther-book-of
(accessed on 30 December 2012).