Esther Actually: Purim, Persia, Patriarchy

Not just a home run, but a grand slam, from Rachel Held Evans in the second post of her series on Esther:

Many of the characters, particularly those of the Persian court, are so hapless and exaggerated, you can’t help but laugh. Nearly every major plot development unfolds at some kind of banquet. The text includes colorful details and dramatic twists and turns. It’s a story fit for the stage. And yet the text also includes disturbing details: a young virgin drafted into a harem with hundreds of other women to be used at the perverse discretion of a powerful and impulsive king, a queen deposed for refusing to flaunt her body before a room of drunken men, ethnic tensions and violence, a genocidal plot, an impaling, and an ending that depicts with some detachment the violent revenge of the Jews.

I’m a sucker for new information about (not from, but about) the Bible, particularly information that changes my perspective on it. My brain almost shut down from overload when I read this piece.