3focuses upon some of the differing arguments in contemporary scholarship, namely, theargument in which Esther¶s historicity is something of a general local concern in a Hellenizedcontext, which then evolves into the canonized story, up against an interpretation that situates theauthorship during the historical Jewish exile within the period of Persian hegemony. After illustrating these two differing perspectives, the former will be taken up as the interpretivecontext by which to engage the symbolic nature of the text¶s concerns; i.e. the issues of empireand Jewish identity in a Hellenized Palestine along with the parallels drawn from the story of Joshua in Genesis.The latter interpretation of Esther¶s context, here labeled the³correspondence´interpretation of historicity, posits the historical context of Esther as found within the PersianEmpire¶s rule of Palestine. William Dumbrell notes two primary features of the Esther text thatgive evidence for such an interpretation; these factors being the linguistic evidence in the book and the detailed accounting of the Persian court with respective sociopolitical etiquette. Both areimportant for understanding how a direct historical correspondence is applicable to the book as awhole, as well as for how such an interpretation will affect the specific interpretation of chapters7 and 8.With regard to the linguistic evidence for a correspondence reading of the historicity of the text, Dumbrell notes, ³the number of Persian words in Esther and its numerous Aramaismssuggest the story¶s composition during a period not far removed from the event it describes´.
Inaccordance with this linguistic evidence, the association of the text with a particular Jewishgroup, specifically the group of Eastern Jews left in Persia, of the diaspora lends itself as themost credible people of which Esther may be attributed if a correspondence reading is
William J. Dumbrell,
The Faith of Israel
. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic , 2002. 298.