Lecture 24 - Alternative Visions: Esther, Ruth, and Jonah

author: Christine Hayes, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
published: Feb. 16, 2011,   recorded: December 2006,   views: 3738
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Description

In this lecture, two final books of the Bible are examined and their attitudes towards foreign nations compared. In contrast to Daniel's reliance on divine intervention to punish the wicked, the book of Esther focuses on human initiative in defeating the enemies of Israel. Finally, the book of Jonah--in which the wicked Assyrians repent and are spared divine punishment--expresses the view that God is compassionate and concerned with all creation. Professor Hayes concludes the course with remarks regarding the dynamic and complex messages presented in the Hebrew Bible.

Reading assignment:

Bible: (1) Introduction to Esther (JSB pp. 1198-9), Esther 1-9 (2) Introduction to Ruth (JSB pp. 1578-9), Ruth 1-4 (3) Introduction to Jonah (JSB pp. 1623-5), Jonah 1-4 (4) "The Religion of the Bible" (JSB pp. 2021-2040)

"Apocalypses." In The Anchor Bible Dictionary (pp. 279-288)

Resources: Handout: Final Exam Review Sheet [text]

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 imran ali khan, February 24, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.:

Open courses are very beneficial and informative. I am thankful to all those who made it easy for knowledge seekers like us.


Comment2 John Adams, August 9, 2013 at 2 a.m.:

I have watched all 24 videos in this series and find Professor Hayes a really inspiring academic. She has a real talent for making the Hebrew Scriptures understandable and meaningful for the modern reader. Many thanks to Yale University for putting this material in the public domain.

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