By any assessment, Esther is a rather strange book to find in the Bible. Not only is it, along with Daniel, the only books of the Bible to be set entirely outside of the Promised Land, it also shows no interest in that land. Esther is the only book in the Bible which definitely does not mention God. None of this should be taken as meaning that the book has no theological intention. On the contrary, it has a developed theology, but it is a theology which operates precisely because it does not mention God directly.
David Firth explores this paradoxically important book and its implications for our own contemporary context, where the reality of God’s presence is experienced against a backdrop of God’s relative anonymity and seeming absence.
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David G. Firth is lecturer in Old Testament at St. John’s College in Nottingham, England. He is the author of Surrendering Retribution in the Psalms: Responses to Violence in the Individual Complaints and Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches.