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(ĕs`tər), book of the Bible. It is the tale of the beautiful Jewish woman Esther [Heb.,= Hadassah], who is chosen as queen by the Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I or II) after he has repudiated his previous wife, Vashti. It tells how the wicked courtier Haman attempted to bring about the massacre of the Jews and how Esther and her cousin Mordecai thwarted him. Haman was hanged, and Mordecai became the king's chief minister. The feast of PurimPurim
[Heb.,=lots], Jewish festival celebrated on the 14th of Adar, the twelfth month in the Jewish calendar (Feb.–March). During leap years it is celebrated in Adar II. According to the book of Esther (Esther 3.7; 9.
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 commemorates this deliverance of the Jews, and is perhaps the reason for its inclusion in the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Extant Hebrew versions are different from those surviving in Greek. These latter are longer by several chapters, and are included in the ApocryphaApocrypha
[Gr.,=hidden things], term signifying a collection of early Jewish writings excluded from the canon of the Hebrew scriptures. It is not clear why the term was chosen.
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 as the "Additions to Esther." These additions were collected at the end of the book by Jerome for his edition of the Latin Bible (the Vulgate). The Hebrew version of the book, unlike the Greek, contains no mention of God. The Greek version is somewhat more anti-Gentile in sentiment than the Hebrew. Some critics date the book as late as 150 B.C. It is the only book of the Hebrew canon not represented among the Dead Sea Scrolls.


See C. A. Moore, Esther (1971); D. J. A. Clines, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (1984). See also bibliography under Old TestamentOld Testament,
Christian name for the Hebrew Bible, which serves as the first division of the Christian Bible (see New Testament). The designations "Old" and "New" seem to have been adopted after c.A.D.
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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Esther, asteroid 622 (the 622nd asteroid to be discovered, on November 13, 1906), is approximately 28 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 3.8 years. It was named after the biblical heroine Esther, whose name was Persian for “star” or “Venus.” Queen Esther, herself a Jew, intervened to prevent a genocidal campaign against the Jewish people. Like its namesake, the asteroid represents opposition to genocide and a kind of “rescuer” impulse. In a natal chart, its location by sign and house indicates where and how one is most likely to be a “rescuer.” When afflicted by inharmonious aspects, Esther may show a rescuer complex—an individual who engages in rescue behavior for self-aggrandizement. If prominent in a chart (e.g., conjunct the Sun or the ascendant), it may show an individual who becomes involved in a rescue-related career or in a humanitarian group like Amnesty International.


Kowal, Charles T. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988.
Room, Adrian. Dictionary of Astronomical Names. London: Routledge, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Old Testament
1. a beautiful Jewish woman who became queen of Persia and saved her people from massacre
2. the book in which this episode is recounted
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The word mitzvah is used to describe Ahasuerus's decree (Esth. 3:3).
(The Midrash goes on to say that Ahasuerus's sleep was also disturbed when he dreamed that Haman had taken a sword to kill him.) Some sages held that the assuaging of the king's wrath (Esth. 7:10) referred to the simultaneous assuaging of both the Divine anger and that of Ahasuerus.
The reference to the king becoming angry and going out into the garden, which follows the question Mi hu zeh, 'Who is he?' (Esth. 7:5-7), is interpreted as indicating that God finds rest and renewal after communing each night with the souls of the righteous in the Garden of Eden, relieving, as it were, the Divine unrest and anger over the exile of the people Israel and of the Divine Presence, the Shekhinah, due to human evil.
Mordecai, accepted as a leader by the multitude of his brothers (le-rov ehav), even if not by all of them, becomes the dover shalom, the "speaker of peace," a quality and an enterprise akin to seeking the good of his people (doresh tov le-ammo, Esth. 10:3).