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Retelling the Story of Esther in Targum Sheni in Light of Septuagint Traditions – Main Outlines

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Chapter Summary

Targum Sheni on Megillat Esther can be characterised as a targum with a multiplicity of haggadic expansions and embellishments. These expansions aim to create a theologisation of the Hebrew Esther narrative by introducing God into the story. Since the Hebrew Esther story contains numerous narrative gaps, story itself challenges its recipients to create a transcendent background of whole plot which deals with Israel's deadly threats and divine rescue. In Targum Sheni, the prayers are often collectively liturgised, achieved by adding prayers of the assembled community to those uttered by Mordecai and Esther as individuals. These elements, emphasis on conceptualisation of history and the collectivisation of prayer, can easily be understood as developments that fit well into the context of centuries beyond the destruction of the Temple and Roman rule. Targum Sheni does thus not only interpret the biblical text, but also other older interpretations from time of the Second Temple.

Keywords: divine rescue; Hebrew Esther; Israel's deadly threats; Megillat Esther; Mordecai; Roman rule; Second Temple; Targum Sheni



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