Esther (Greek) -
Vivid testimony to the popularity of the story of Esther in the Hellenistic Jewish milieu is the presence of a lengthy Greek version in the Septuagint (LXX Esther). This is generally considered to be a free translation of a Hebrew text similar to, or perhaps even identical with, the later Masoretic version (MT Esther) included among the Writings of the Tanak. Greek Esther shares with its Hebrew counterpart the engaging characters of Vashti, Ahasuerus, Mordecai, Esther, and Haman, its basic story-line concerning Haman's anti-Jewish plot and the means by which it is thwarted, as well as many of the details of setting, dialogue, and description. Yet the presence of six major sections (the Additions) not attested in the MT (or presumably, its Heb. Vorlage), the many smaller additions and omissions, and, most strikingly, the presence of over fifty references to God, transform LXX Esther into a different story. This story contrasts with MT Esther not only in portraying the inner spiritual struggles of its main characters but also in attributing the outcome of the plot to the divine hand.