Publisher Lexham Press
The story is a familiar one, made popular by Sunday School teachers, novels, and movies: her people threatened with extinction, Queen Esther must summon the courage to approach the Persian King Xerxes in order to save the Jews. But what is the real message of Esther? In this commentary, Anthony Tomasino closely examines the Hebrew text to explore the motifs of feasting, sovereignty, assertiveness, and reversal in the book of Esther. He also explores its connection with the celebration of Purim, the theme of the invincibility of the Jews, and the conspicuous absence of any mention of God.
Esther is an intriguing book of the Bible – and Tomasino’s commentary made me want to preach it and study it with others – which is a good thing! The EEC is a slightly fiddly format to get to grips with, but if you stick with it then it can result in a solid, readable and usable commentary. The format perhaps works best on smaller books like Esther (I’ll be going through the Johannine letters later this year with an EEC, so we shall see!) – giving space for the author to stretch their legs and try to hear God’s voice in the text. I’d recommend this book, with the caveats that you’d probably want to pick up Debra Reid’s Tyndale Commentary (not mentioned in Tomasino’s) and Chloe T. Sun’s aforementioned Conspicious in His Absence. [Full Review]
Technical enough for scholars and useful for pastors. The commentary employs critical techniques, but maintains a respectful appreciation for the inspiration and authority of the text.