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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 797 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ADDITIONS TO BOOK OF ESTHER. These "additions " were written originally in Greek and subsequently interpolated in the Greek translation of the Book of Esther. Here the principle of interpolation has reached its maximum. Of 270 verses, 107 are not to he found in the Hebrew text. These additions are distributed throughout the book in the Greek, but in the Latin Bible they were relegated to the end of the canonical book by Jerome—an action that has rendered them meaningless. In the Greek the additions form with the canonical text a consecutive history. They were made probably in the time of the Maccabees, and their aim was to supply the religious element which is so completely lacking in the canonical work. The first, which gives the dream of Mordecai and the events which led to his advancement at the court of Artaxerxes, precedes chap. i. of the canonical text: the second and fifth, which follow iii. 13 and viii. 12, furnish copies of the letters of Artaxerxes referred to in these verses; the third and fourth, which are inserted after chap. iv., consist of the prayers of Mordecai and Esther, with an account of Esther's approach to the king. The last, which closes the book, tells of the institution of the feast of Purim. The Greek text appears in two widely-differing recensions. Theeone is supported by ABs, and the other—a revision of the first—by codices 19, 93a, io8b. The latter is believed to have been the work of Lucian. Swete, Old Test. in Greek, ii. 755, has given the former, while Lagarde has published both texts with critical annotations in his Librorum Vet eris Testamenti Canonicorum, i. 504-541 (1883), and Scholz in his Kommentar fiber das Buck Esther (1892). For an account of the Latin and Syriac versions, the Targums, and the later Rabbinic literature connected with this subject, and other questions relating to these additions, see Fritzsche, Exeget. Hand-buck zu den Apok. (1851), i. 67-108; Schiirer(3), iii. 330-332; Fuller in Speaker's Apocr. i. 360-402; Ryssel in Kautzsch's Apok. u. Pseud. i. 193-212; Siegfried in Jewish Encyc. v. 237 sqq. ; Swete, Introd. to the Old Test. in Greek, 257 seq. ; L. B. Paton, " A Text-Critical Apparatus to the Book of Esther " in O.T. and Semitic Studies in Memory of W. R. Harper (Chicago, 1908). (R. H. C.)

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