Jeff Lacine at 2 mites has an interesting post on Esther, which seems to be a small topic on the blogosphere lately – perhaps due to the recent proclamation of a certain vice-presidential candidate having this so-called anointing. Anyway, Jeff has a real treat for those that would read his most.
Esther is a tale of 2 feasts.
It begins with the most powerful human ruler on the earth, giving a show of “his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days.” (1:4) At this feast, “drinks were served in golden vessels, vessels of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king. And drinking was according to this edict: ‘There is no compulsion.’ For the king had given order to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired.” (1:7-8) And in an attempt to give a show of his sovereignty, he calls to his wife, that he might show her off to his friends… And she says no. No? The most powerful human on earth cannot make a single individual, his own wife, to do his bidding. And so, the plot of Esther unfolds as this human king tries to assert his “sovereignty” in order that he might avert his own awareness of its artificiality.
The book of Esther does not only begin with a feast, it also ends with a feast.
A much different feast. The feast of Purim. “The Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another… sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” ( 9:19,22) Instead of drinking until drunk and spending lavishly on themselves, doing whatever brings them fleeting pleasure (as in the first feast), the way this second feast was celebrated was to give “gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor”.
For more, go to the link above.