Esther 4: 14: 'For Such A Time As This'

RublevRublev Shipmate
edited February 26 in Kerygmania
'Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, 'Do not think that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this' (Esther 4: 13-14).

Mordecai warns Esther that she must risk her life by intervening with the Persian King Ahasueras to save the Jewish people. He tells her that she may have gained her high position 'for such a time as this' (Esther 4: 14).

Is the author of Esther right to explain God as a divine chessmaster operating in parallel with human will and consent?

And if Esther has said no instead of yes, would she really have died as a consequence? Or would God just have asked her again, as He did with Jonah?

Is there anything else in scripture to support this view of God?

Comments

  • God is never mentioned in the Book of Esther.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited February 27
    Yes, it's very interesting isn't it? He is implied instead. Esther calls for a three day fast before she risks her life by approaching the king (Esther 4: 16). And Mordecai's challenge to Esther reflects the view of God as Divine Providence working through events (Esther 4: 13-14). It's the same theology as in the Book of Ruth (although Ruth makes an explicit declaration of faith).

    I think the author of Esther is reflecting on the story of Joseph in Egypt for his presentation of God and the way He works in the world: 'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives' (Gen 50: 20 cf Gen 45: 5; 45: 8; Acts 7: 9-15).
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited February 27
    The God of the post-hoc texts (assumed and implicit in Esther (and Song of Songs) of course) progressively plays less and less until the board is unused for centuries before Jesus.

    Has God changed? Or have we? Or both?

    How pragmatic is God? How interventionist? How violent in the name of redemption? How manipulative?
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    Or is the book no more than a Jewish retelling of Babylonian myths? The main characters do have Hebrew forms of Babylonian names after all.
  • Xerxes was Babylonian? Ahasuerus in Tobit is a Babylonian name for a Medean ruler at the time of Assyrian dominance. So what myths?
  • Andras wrote: »
    The main characters do have Hebrew forms of Babylonian names after all.

    What is surprising about that when portraying Jews during the exile written up after exile. The public names of Esther and Mordecai were probably Babylonian, the private ones we are not given access to. Just as many Chinese in England have English names and Chinese ones.

  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Xerxes was Babylonian? Ahasuerus in Tobit is a Babylonian name for a Medean ruler at the time of Assyrian dominance. So what myths?

    Scholars have long drawn a parallel between the myths of Ishtar and Esther, but there are also similarities with the Marduk legends, in particular the Enuma Elish here
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Tl;dr. But it makes sense that the guys who made the story up a century or so after the setting used whatever they knew; stories. And Persia was the inheritor of Babylon's.
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