A NEW CLUE IN THE DATING OF THE COMPOSITION OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER

in Vetus Testamentum
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Abstract

The postexilic books show evidence of an inner-biblical development in dating formulas, a transition from the traditional numerical designation of months to the Babylonian nomenclature. Assuming a natural transition, from the incipient stage in Zechariah through to the complete adoption of the Babylonian system in Ezra-Nehemia, we must place Esther and its mixed formulas in the middle of this spectrum. On this basis, the dating of the composition of the book of Esther should be moved back a couple of centuries, from the early third century to the early Persian period in the late fifth century.

Vetus Testamentum

A Quarterly Published by the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament

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