• RRP: £23.15
  • You Save: £0.31 (1%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Esther: Interpretation: A... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Dispatched from the US -- Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Former Library books. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Esther: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Hardcover – 31 Aug 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
£19.87 £8.98
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£22.84 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster/John Knox Press (31 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804231133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804231138
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,095,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Carol M. Bechtel is Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. She is the author of Life After Grace, Glimpses of Glory, and Esther in the Interpretation commentary series, all published by WJK.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspirational! We have decided to use this as the basis for our pre Lent Bible Study Group meetings. What a message 'For this was the purpose that you were put on earth at this time!' I found the comparisons between the Protestant Canon and the Apocrypha narratives fascinating. This has led to some really good conversations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh look at a book Luther despised 2 Mar. 2003
By Charles S. Houser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The John Knox Press INTERPETATION COMMENTARY series provides thoughtful but highly readable insights into the various books of the Bible. I haven't picked up a volume yet which disappointed me. But Carol Bechtel's commentary on ESTHER really goes the extra mile. It's chock full of fresh perspectives well stated. (Although she borrows many of these insights from the recently published commentaries of Adele Berlin and Jon Levenson, she is quick to credit her sources. And she is very selective about what she restates.)
The commentary is directed primarily to Christians, and to Protestants specifically. She raises an interesting point that Christians who "get their Scripture" solely from the lessons that are read aloud as part of Sunday services, are only exposed to a reading from Esther once every three years: Esther 7:1-6,9-10; 9:20-22. This clearly is not the best way to experience a book of the Bible that is a cleverly constructed "novella" with exciting characters, court intrigues, and dizzying plot reversals. She encourages Christians to imitate Jews by reading the book repeatedly, aloud, and in its entirety. As Bechtel points out, "It is a book, after all, about the struggle to be faithful in the midst of an increasingly unfaithful culture. It is a story of courage, faith, and deliverance. It is the story of men and women working together with a God who is not always obvious, but who is always gracious."
To use this commentary most effectively, you need to have a copy of the New Revised Standard Version Bible (preferrably with the Apocrypal/Deuterocanonical books) since the biblical text is not printed in the commentary. You do not need any knowledge of Hebrew (or Greek), however. Where an understanding of the Hebrew is essential, Bechtel provides clear explanations. One example, her explanation of how the Hebrew words for "enslavement" and "destruction" are homophones, serves as a very plausible explanation of why the King could have been so easily duped into signing a death warrant for the Jewish people.
Although Bechtel presents the shorter, Hebrew version of Esther as the "best text," she does examine the Additions to Esther (those passages that are found only in the Greek and Latin versions of the text) in a brief Appendix.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bible Commentary- But So Much More! 31 Aug. 2015
By michael comer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a happy surprise, bringing true delight!. to every male I wd say, I'm sure Esther has never been revealed/presented in quite the same way. hugely informative, tragically contemporary, you will have a tool for a challenging bible-study, which will prompt all present to offer a view. in closing, after joyful reading, humbly I must say thank-you cmb for your solid work.
3.0 out of 5 stars (3.25 stars) A fair commentary that shines a light on the story of Esther, but leaves many theological questions unanswered. 23 Oct. 2015
By C.H.E. Sadaphal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do not think Esther Interpretation is a bad commentary. It does provide insightful historical and contextual information that will help all readers visualize the story behind the story. The only problem is that where the book has decided to focus its attention, it subsequently neglects to extract key theological meaning to the detriment of teachers and preachers (like me).

The result is that you step away from this commentary with a better understanding of the book of Esther, but that knowledge is not necessarily preachable on Sunday morning. I finished this commentary still asking myself, “So what does this all mean—what’s the big picture?” Many of points made in this volume do not go further than what one may find in footnotes if a typical study Bible (e.g., the Zondervan NASB).

Furthermore, after the Introduction, Esther Interpretation repeatedly re-describes events as opposed to extracting meaning from the text itself. Resultantly the “interpretation” is lacking. As a general example, there is a lack of cross-reference to larger Biblical themes and stories (e.g., the many similarities in Ester’s story with that of Joseph). As a specific example, in the discussion of Esther’s three-day total fast (5:1-8; pg. 51-54), there is a complete absence of discussion on the significance of fasting, Jewish identity and communal obedience in pursuit of a common cause, and the literary omission of God in execution of these activities as rhetorical device that points directly to Yahweh.

What this book does do well is construct a map (literally and figuratively: pg. 6) that highlights the great reversals and symmetry in the narrative. Also, the main commentary is based upon the Masoretic text (MT) that is found in standard Protestant Bibles. The Appendix contains a commentary on the Apocryphal additions to Esther. The linguistic analysis of the words for “destruction” and “kill” is also quite helpful.

I have read over 15 books in the Interpretation Series and while the series in general is very solid, in my opinion, this volume falls a bit short where others have excelled. As with the other books in the series, this is not a word-for-word technical commentary. Esther Interpretation is short (<100 pages), easy to get through and written on a very accessible level.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Commentary 28 Oct. 2014
By L. M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent commentary - easy to read and use - insightful and illuminating.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 8 Oct. 2015
By Jamie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent study to be used for teaching the book of Esther.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know