The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther

About the Book

The Jewish Publication Society’s highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series provides a line-by-line commentary of the original Hebrew Bible text, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, alongside the JPS English translation.

This commentary approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point-of-view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?,” “Sex and Spies,” and “Rabbinic Interpretation.”


Recipient of the Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport [of the State of Israel] for classical literature for the year 5762 [2001].


This informative commentary . . . dissects the Book of Esther and, by extension, the Jewish holiday of Purim. Berlin begins with a lengthy introduction, discussing Esther as comedy and as diaspora literature; the introduction does a fine job of explaining the Persian period and its various art forms.
—Publishers Weekly
Berlin’s literary approach to the book of Esther is a very well done, and filled with important information.
—David J. Zucker, Women in Judaism

Adele Berlin

Adele Berlin, a scholar of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature, has developed the Biblical Studies program at the University of Maryland and has designed and taught courses on biblical narrative and poetry, ancient Near Eastern culture and literature, and methods of biblical interpretation.