Esther ~ Notes in passing… (Obscure stuff)

~ In the book of Esther, God is never mentioned. Not even once.  I had heard that if you read the Hebrew however, you can find the word “YHWH” (Yahweh) listed four times in a very unusual way, viz. in an acrostic format. So two of those times, it is written in forward fashion and two of those times it is written in  a backwards, reverse fashion.  I just decided to look this up to see if its so and yes, it is so.

~ Now this is not something to make a big deal out of, however it is kind of interesting. I am reminded that even when we think that God has abandoned us or has just plain disappeared, He is always still there, behind the scenes.

~ Also its interesting that the you have two reverse acrostics. Having forward acrostics makes sense (if any acrostics makes sense!), but why the reverse ones? Who knows? However one of the themes of Esther is reversal as the story ends with the tables being turned on the antagonists.

Anyway … here are some snips I took  from Logos for a couple of verses from Esther. | (I am not sure how to do paste it in properly, so sorry.)

1) Esther 1:20 ~ Reversed order

A comment:
~ In the above, the acrostic is basically in the phrase “… it is vast, all women will give …”

2) Esther 5:4 ~ Normal (forward) order

Two comments:

  • Note that the red letters below are in reverse of the red letters above.
  • The verse fragment is sort of around “ … let the King and Haman come …’

We will find this reversed and forward pattern again in

  • Esther 5:13 ~ Reversed order
  • Esther 7:7 ~ Forward order
  • Esther 7:5 ~ “I AM” in reverse

[1] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: with Westminster Hebrew Morphology. (1996). (electronic ed., Es 1:20). Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society; Westminster Seminary.

[2] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: with Westminster Hebrew Morphology. (1996). (electronic ed., Es 5:4). Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society; Westminster Seminary.

Good Reference: No Matter Which Way You Spell it? The Book of Esther by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., at ReformedAnswers.org

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