Thursday, March 13, 2014

Parralels between Esther and the Joseph story

The author of Esther references the Joseph story in lots of ways. I count at least nine pretty solid parallels.
  • J and E are secretly hidden in the Kings house; later J and E come to the rescue of their brothers
  • Beauty works against both J and E
  • Both J and E lose their original names
  • Two courtiers plot against the king in both stories and their punishment brings M and J to the king's attention
  • The kings inability to sleep helps both J and M get ahead
  • J and M are both paraded in the street with a heralder in front
  • Both J and M/E receive a ring removed from the king's hand
  • Both J and M resist the daily cajoling of someone, with identical language provided:  "va-yehi ce-amram/ke-dibra yom (ve-)yom, ve-lo shama..." 
  • On the possible loss of Benjamin, Jacob declares "ka'asher shakolti shakalti". On the possible loss of herself, Esther declares: "ka'asher avadeti avadeti
Why does the author of Esther want us to think of Joseph?

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