Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
SPOELSTRA, Joshua Joel. The function of the משתה יין in the book of Esther. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.285-301. ISSN 2312-3621.
What was the purpose of Queen Esther's first banquet? Did it serve any purpose at all? Why did Esther not tell King Ahasuerus her request the first time she held a banquet, but instead deferred that conversation to the following day when she would re-create the exact same atmosphere with the intent of saying the exact same thing? Popular opinion assumes Esther's reaction the first night was one of fear, panic, and timidity, thus skirting the issue to be dealt with at a later time. But, was Esther really a meek and weak-willed woman? It is contended in this paper that, instead, Esther was a cunning and crafty woman who understood how to turn the king's favour by exploiting his convivial disposition. Esther did not accost the king with her entreaty until she had gauged that the king was at the precise point of intoxication in order to react the way in which Esther devised; this state was not achieved on the first night, that is, he did not drink enough then, but was sagaciously accomplished on the second night hence acquiring her desired result.