[b-hebrew] Passive sentences in Esther?

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Mon Oct 17 21:20:54 EDT 2005

By coincidence, I have entered a humorous speech contest this Friday with a
speech about the book of Esther. 

I think Esther chapters 1-7 is the funniest story ever told.

I titled my speech, "Coincidence".

I hadn't noticed, but the passive verb in 2:22 is another coincidence.
Thanks for sharing. I think I will make use of it in my speech.

The Stone Tanach has a note on 2:22 "The plotters spoke in their native
Tarsian tongue, not expecting Mordechai the Jew to understand them (Megillah
13 b)." 

-Steve Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Luke Buckler
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 3:33 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Passive sentences in Esther?

> Yes, it's passive.

Thanks for the replies.

>Josephus said that a certain Jewish man named Barnabasus overheard
> the plot, told Mordecai and Mordecai told the king; hence, Mordecai became
> registered as the one who exposed it.  Where Josephus got that part of the
> story is anybody's guess, as far as I can tell.

The studies I heard on Sat. didn't mention Josephus or Barnabasus,
although the point to do with the grammar was to suggest that the
information about the plot did come to Mordecai from some source other
than himself. If you are interested, this is kind of what was
suggested at the study day: -

The book of Esther is well known for being a book in the Bible that
doesn't mention the God of the Bible. Throughout the book man is in
control: the king of Persia rules the whole world; what he says goes
(his word must be obeyed) - there is no mention of God. Man is in
charge ...  or so it seems.

At lot of "coincidence" happens in the book which may point to someone
other than man (i.e. God) really being in control. And even the
grammar of sentences like in Est. 2:22 may also point to an unnamed
character in the story, just as 'The ball was kicked' points to an
unnamed person who kicked the ball: 'The matter was made known to
Mordecai ... '.

The passive structure of the sentence might be there to leave a space
in the narrative for an unnamed character. The structure leaves you
with questions like, 'How did Mordecai find out the information?',
'Did someone tell Mordecai?' It all points to an unnamed character,
and the unnamed character is God, who, in various ways, works behind
the seen.

I thought that was was pretty tops: interesting and encouraging.

Thanks again.

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