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: 3740

See Also:

Download Video - generic video source Download yalerlst145f06_hayes_lec24_01.mov (Video - generic video source 246.7 MB)

Download Video Download yalerlst145f06_hayes_lec24_01.flv (Video 104.4 MB)

Download Video Download yalerlst145f06_hayes_lec24_01_640x360_h264.mp4 (Video 86.6 MB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


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]

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

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.

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: