Liberality versus insecurity

The book may be named after Esther, but it is remarkable that neither “Esther” nor our protagonist’s Hebrew name (Hadassah) are mentioned in more than a chapter. When you consider that the whole book of Esther is just 10 short chapters, the fact that more than 10 per cent of the book is devoted to Vashti suggests that the opening chapter is more than just background. Vashti’s story is presented as the context for Esther’s. We much read Vasti to read Esther.

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