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The JPS Bible Commentary

Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001]. The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point of view. It includes essays entitled "When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?," "Sex and Spies," and "Rabbinic Interpretation."
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About the Author

Adele Berlin, a scholar of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature, has developed the Biblical Studies program at the University of Maryland, USA and has designed and taught courses on biblical narrative and poetry, ancient Near Eastern culture and literature, and methods of biblical interpretation.


"This informative commentary ... dissects the Book of Esther and, by extension, the Jewish holiday of Purim. Berlin begins with a lengthy introduction, discussing Esther as comedy and as diaspora literature; the introduction does a fine job of explaining the Persian period and its various art forms."-Publishers Weekly

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