Esther as the new Moses : deliverance motifs in the Book of Esther

Nkhonjera, Lapani Langford Sankhani (2015-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aims to compare the figures of Moses in the Exodus narratives and Queen Esther in the Esther narratives. The study will proceed to argue that Esther, a remarkable Jewish deliverer figure in the Persian period can be viewed as a reinterpretation of the Moses figure in the Exodus narratives. Within a broad analysis of these narratives, the researcher investigates how Esther fits into the Old Testament deliverance motifs. Commonalities between Moses and Esther and their parallels and characterization as Old Testament deliverer figures assist in drawing a comparative analysis between the two. The study proceeds to prove that Esther is a new Moses figure, arguing that the Esther narratives are presented deliberately in such a way that they reinterpret the Moses narratives. A survey of previous studies that investigated the two narratives provides further evidence for the view that the Esther narratives are reinterpreting the Moses narratives, and hence that Esther can be regarded as a new Moses in the Old Testament deliverance motifs. This study argues that Esther stands within the same category of Old Testament deliverer figures like Moses and that female figures like Esther are not ignored in the deliverance of God’s people. The concluding part of this study investigates what implications the Old Testament narratives of Moses and Esther as deliverer figures may have for the modern-day context of African leadership. The focus is on investigating whether biblical models of leadership and deliverance offer anything to the discourse on African leadership. In the last section, the models of Moses and Esther are applied to modern-day ethical problems of leadership in African societies. It is postulated that Old Testament ethical reflections on biblical characters such as Moses and Esther may inform modern-day reflection on responsible leadership.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie vergelyk die rol wat Moses in die Exodus-verhaalsiklus speel met die rol van Ester in die Ester-verhaal. Die argument is dat Ester se rol as ʼn merkwaardige bevrydingsfiguur uit die Persiese tyd dié van Moses herinterpreteer. Die studie is ʼn breë narratiewe analise wat nagaan of Ester binne die Ou Testamentiese bevrydingsliteratuur ʼn geïsoleerde figuur is al dan nie. Die ooreenkomste tussen Moses en Ester saam met tipiese eienskappe van Ou Testamentiese bevrydingsfigure lei die studie tot ʼn suksesvolle vergelykende analise van die twee figure. Trouens, dit word duidelik dat Ester ʼn nuwe Moses is waar Moses se rol doelbewus herinterpreteer word. ʼn Oorsig oor bestaande studies wat die twee verhale nagana, verskaf verdere stawing vir die seining dat die Ester-siklus die van Moses herinterpreteer. As sodanig is Ester ʼn tweede Moses binne die Ou Testamentiese bevrydingsliteratuur en staan sy geen tree terug as ʼn vroulike figuur in die rol nie. In die laaste en samevattende gedeelte van die navorsing word die implikasies van bevrydingsfigure soos Moses en Ester toegepas op leierskap in Afrika. Die oogmerk is om hierdie Bybelse bevrydingsfigure as model voor te hou en om dan daarmee in gesprek te gaan met die aard van leierskap in Afrika. Die Ou Testamentiese verhale en leiers het bepaalde waardes en oortuigings wat huidige leierskap in Afrika krities onder die loep kan neem. Dit kan ʼn vormende invloed op Christelike morele waardes, identiteit en die verstaan van mag uitoefen. As sodanig sal Moses en Ester as modelle voorgehou word om moderne etiese leierskapprobleme en -uitdagings aan te spreek. Die studie is oortuig dat Ou Testamentiese leiers waardevolle insig bied vir etiese refleksie en kontekstuele riglyne virverantwoordelike leierskap.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98067
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