Josephus's Version of Esther
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Like the Septuagint, Josephus adds romantic and dramatic elements to the story. His treatment of the scene in which Esther approaches the king unbidden is similar to the Septuagint's. Later, when Esther reveals that Haman is the enemy, Ahasuerus runs out of the room hastily because he is so perturbed. Upon returning, he calls Haman a "wretch, the vilest of mankind."
The many differences between Josephus and the extant versions of the story raise the question of whether there were different texts of the story in circulation that have not survived. Whether or not there were, it is clear that surrounding the Esther story there was, from early times, a body of interpretive lore that found its way into the Greek versions and Josephus, and, as we shall see, into rabbinic exegesis as well.†††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
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