Parallels: Esther, Yoseph & Daniel
1 א

When we read books and watch TV and movies we are accustomed to certain kinds of heroes. Think of popular heroes: Katniss Everdeen, Luke and Leia, Superman, Spiderman, even Annie! There are similarities amongst them.

We are going to look at some texts from the stories of Yosef, Esther and Daniel and see what similarities we can identify. Use the attached worksheet to record your observations

2 ב

1) Let's refresh our memory of the story of Yosef, Esther and Daniel

2) We will read each of the texts with a partner and use a highlighter or pen to note where there are parallels in the language of the two stories.

Preparations
3 ג

(לד) יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה פַרְעֹ֔ה וְיַפְקֵ֥ד פְּקִדִ֖ים עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְחִמֵּשׁ֙ אֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בְּשֶׁ֖בַע שְׁנֵ֥י הַשָּׂבָֽע׃

(לה) וְיִקְבְּצ֗וּ אֶת־כָּל־אֹ֙כֶל֙ הַשָּׁנִ֣ים הַטֹּבֹ֔ת הַבָּאֹ֖ת הָאֵ֑לֶּה וְיִצְבְּרוּ־בָ֞ר תַּ֧חַת יַד־פַּרְעֹ֛ה אֹ֥כֶל בֶּעָרִ֖ים וְשָׁמָֽרוּ׃

(לו) וְהָיָ֨ה הָאֹ֤כֶל לְפִקָּדוֹן֙ לָאָ֔רֶץ לְשֶׁ֙בַע֙ שְׁנֵ֣י הָרָעָ֔ב אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּהְיֶ֖יןָ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְלֹֽא־תִכָּרֵ֥ת הָאָ֖רֶץ בָּרָעָֽב׃

(לז) וַיִּיטַ֥ב הַדָּבָ֖ר בְּעֵינֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וּבְעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־עֲבָדָֽיו׃

(34) And let Pharaoh take steps to appoint overseers over the land, and organize the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty.

(35) Let all the food of these good years that are coming be gathered, and let the grain be collected under Pharaoh’s authority as food to be stored in the cities.

(36) Let that food be a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will come upon the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”

(37) The plan pleased Pharaoh and all his courtiers.

4 ד
(ג) וְיַפְקֵ֨ד הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ פְּקִידִים֮ בְּכָל־מְדִינ֣וֹת מַלְכוּתוֹ֒ וְיִקְבְּצ֣וּ אֶת־כָּל־נַעֲרָֽה־בְ֠תוּלָה טוֹבַ֨ת מַרְאֶ֜ה אֶל־שׁוּשַׁ֤ן הַבִּירָה֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הַנָּשִׁ֔ים אֶל־יַ֥ד הֵגֶ֛א סְרִ֥יס הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ שֹׁמֵ֣ר הַנָּשִׁ֑ים וְנָת֖וֹן תַּמְרוּקֵיהֶֽן׃ (ד) וְהַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּיטַב֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ תִּמְלֹ֖ךְ תַּ֣חַת וַשְׁתִּ֑י וַיִּיטַ֧ב הַדָּבָ֛ר בְּעֵינֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ וַיַּ֥עַשׂ כֵּֽן׃ (ס)
(3) Let Your Majesty appoint officers in every province of your realm to assemble all the beautiful young virgins at the fortress Shushan, in the harem under the supervision of Hege, the king’s eunuch, guardian of the women. Let them be provided with their cosmetics. (4) And let the maiden who pleases Your Majesty be queen instead of Vashti.” The proposal pleased the king, and he acted upon it.
5 ה
(ג) וַיִּמְלְאוּ־לוֹ֙ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם כִּ֛י כֵּ֥ן יִמְלְא֖וּ יְמֵ֣י הַחֲנֻטִ֑ים וַיִּבְכּ֥וּ אֹת֛וֹ מִצְרַ֖יִם שִׁבְעִ֥ים יֽוֹם׃
(3) It required forty days, for such is the full period of embalming. The Egyptians bewailed him seventy days;
6 ו
(יב) וּבְהַגִּ֡יעַ תֹּר֩ נַעֲרָ֨ה וְנַעֲרָ֜ה לָב֣וֹא ׀ אֶל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ מִקֵּץ֩ הֱי֨וֹת לָ֜הּ כְּדָ֤ת הַנָּשִׁים֙ שְׁנֵ֣ים עָשָׂ֣ר חֹ֔דֶשׁ כִּ֛י כֵּ֥ן יִמְלְא֖וּ יְמֵ֣י מְרוּקֵיהֶ֑ן שִׁשָּׁ֤ה חֳדָשִׁים֙ בְּשֶׁ֣מֶן הַמֹּ֔ר וְשִׁשָּׁ֤ה חֳדָשִׁים֙ בַּבְּשָׂמִ֔ים וּבְתַמְרוּקֵ֖י הַנָּשִֽׁים׃
(12) When each girl’s turn came to go to King Ahasuerus at the end of the twelve months’ treatment prescribed for women (for that was the period spent on beautifying them: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and women’s cosmetics,
Tests
7 ז
(י) וַיְהִ֕י כְּדַבְּרָ֥הּ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף י֣וֹם ׀ י֑וֹם וְלֹא־שָׁמַ֥ע אֵלֶ֛יהָ לִשְׁכַּ֥ב אֶצְלָ֖הּ לִהְי֥וֹת עִמָּֽהּ׃

(10) And much as she coaxed Joseph day after day, he did not yield to her request to lie beside her, to be with her.

8 ח
(ד) וַיְהִ֗י באמרם [כְּאָמְרָ֤ם] אֵלָיו֙ י֣וֹם וָי֔וֹם וְלֹ֥א שָׁמַ֖ע אֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּגִּ֣ידוּ לְהָמָ֗ן לִרְאוֹת֙ הֲיַֽעַמְדוּ֙ דִּבְרֵ֣י מָרְדֳּכַ֔י כִּֽי־הִגִּ֥יד לָהֶ֖ם אֲשֶׁר־ה֥וּא יְהוּדִֽי׃
(4) When they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s resolve would prevail; for he had explained to them that he was a Jew.
The Individual vs The Many
9 ט

(יד) וְאֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֗י יִתֵּ֨ן לָכֶ֤ם רַחֲמִים֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הָאִ֔ישׁ וְשִׁלַּ֥ח לָכֶ֛ם אֶת־אֲחִיכֶ֥ם אַחֵ֖ר וְאֶת־בִּנְיָמִ֑ין וַאֲנִ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁכֹ֖לְתִּי שָׁכָֽלְתִּי׃

(14) And may El Shaddai dispose the man to mercy toward you, that he may release to you your other brother, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to be bereaved, I shall be bereaved.”
10 י
(טו) וַתֹּ֥אמֶר אֶסְתֵּ֖ר לְהָשִׁ֥יב אֶֽל־מָרְדֳּכָֽי׃ (טז) לֵךְ֩ כְּנ֨וֹס אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֜ים הַֽנִּמְצְאִ֣ים בְּשׁוּשָׁ֗ן וְצ֣וּמוּ עָ֠לַי וְאַל־תֹּאכְל֨וּ וְאַל־תִּשְׁתּ֜וּ שְׁלֹ֤שֶׁת יָמִים֙ לַ֣יְלָה וָי֔וֹם גַּם־אֲנִ֥י וְנַעֲרֹתַ֖י אָצ֣וּם כֵּ֑ן וּבְכֵ֞ן אָב֤וֹא אֶל־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־כַדָּ֔ת וְכַאֲשֶׁ֥ר אָבַ֖דְתִּי אָבָֽדְתִּי׃
(15) Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordecai: (16) “Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”
11 יא
(לד) כִּי־אֵיךְ֙ אֶֽעֱלֶ֣ה אֶל־אָבִ֔י וְהַנַּ֖עַר אֵינֶ֣נּוּ אִתִּ֑י פֶּ֚ן אֶרְאֶ֣ה בָרָ֔ע אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִמְצָ֖א אֶת־אָבִֽי׃
(34) For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!”
12 יב
(ה) וַ֠תֹּאמֶר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ ט֜וֹב וְאִם־מָצָ֧אתִי חֵ֣ן לְפָנָ֗יו וְכָשֵׁ֤ר הַדָּבָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְטוֹבָ֥ה אֲנִ֖י בְּעֵינָ֑יו יִכָּתֵ֞ב לְהָשִׁ֣יב אֶת־הַסְּפָרִ֗ים מַחֲשֶׁ֜בֶת הָמָ֤ן בֶּֽן־הַמְּדָ֙תָא֙ הָאֲגָגִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּתַ֗ב לְאַבֵּד֙ אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּכָל־מְדִינ֥וֹת הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ (ו) כִּ֠י אֵיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בָּרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־יִמְצָ֣א אֶת־עַמִּ֑י וְאֵֽיכָכָ֤ה אוּכַל֙ וְֽרָאִ֔יתִי בְּאָבְדַ֖ן מוֹלַדְתִּֽי׃ (ס)
(5) “If it please Your Majesty,” she said, “and if I have won your favor and the proposal seems right to Your Majesty, and if I am pleasing to you—let dispatches be written countermanding those which were written by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, embodying his plot to annihilate the Jews throughout the king’s provinces. (6) For how can I bear to see the disaster which will befall my people! And how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred!”
Promoted
13 יג
(מב) וַיָּ֨סַר פַּרְעֹ֤ה אֶת־טַבַּעְתּוֹ֙ מֵעַ֣ל יָד֔וֹ וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֖הּ עַל־יַ֣ד יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיַּלְבֵּ֤שׁ אֹתוֹ֙ בִּגְדֵי־שֵׁ֔שׁ וַיָּ֛שֶׂם רְבִ֥ד הַזָּהָ֖ב עַל־צַוָּארֽוֹ׃ (מג) וַיַּרְכֵּ֣ב אֹת֗וֹ בְּמִרְכֶּ֤בֶת הַמִּשְׁנֶה֙ אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וַיִּקְרְא֥וּ לְפָנָ֖יו אַבְרֵ֑ךְ וְנָת֣וֹן אֹת֔וֹ עַ֖ל כָּל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

(42) And removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; and he had him dressed in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. (43) He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they cried before him, “Abrek!” Thus he placed him over all the land of Egypt.

14 יד
(י) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לְהָמָ֗ן מַ֠הֵר קַ֣ח אֶת־הַלְּב֤וּשׁ וְאֶת־הַסּוּס֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבַּ֔רְתָּ וַֽעֲשֵׂה־כֵן֙ לְמָרְדֳּכַ֣י הַיְּהוּדִ֔י הַיּוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּשַׁ֣עַר הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ אַל־תַּפֵּ֣ל דָּבָ֔ר מִכֹּ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּֽרְתָּ׃
(10) “Quick, then!” said the king to Haman. “Get the garb and the horse, as you have said, and do this to Mordecai the Jew, who sits in the king’s gate. Omit nothing of all you have proposed.”
15 טו
(א) בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא נָתַ֞ן הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ֙ לְאֶסְתֵּ֣ר הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה אֶת־בֵּ֥ית הָמָ֖ן צֹרֵ֣ר היהודיים [הַיְּהוּדִ֑ים] וּמָרְדֳּכַ֗י בָּ֚א לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ כִּֽי־הִגִּ֥ידָה אֶסְתֵּ֖ר מַ֥ה הוּא־לָֽהּ׃ (ב) וַיָּ֨סַר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ אֶת־טַבַּעְתּ֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱבִיר֙ מֵֽהָמָ֔ן וַֽיִּתְּנָ֖הּ לְמָרְדֳּכָ֑י וַתָּ֧שֶׂם אֶסְתֵּ֛ר אֶֽת־מָרְדֳּכַ֖י עַל־בֵּ֥ית הָמָֽן׃ (פ) (ג) וַתּ֣וֹסֶף אֶסְתֵּ֗ר וַתְּדַבֵּר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַתִּפֹּ֖ל לִפְנֵ֣י רַגְלָ֑יו וַתֵּ֣בְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ לְהַֽעֲבִיר֙ אֶת־רָעַת֙ הָמָ֣ן הָֽאֲגָגִ֔י וְאֵת֙ מַֽחֲשַׁבְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר חָשַׁ֖ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים׃
(1) That very day King Ahasuerus gave the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Mordecai presented himself to the king, for Esther had revealed how he was related to her. (2) The king slipped off his ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property. (3) Esther spoke to the king again, falling at his feet and weeping, and beseeching him to avert the evil plotted by Haman the Agagite against the Jews.
16 טז

Another story that takes place in ancient Persia, Daniel. Check out the parallels:

The Legal System
17 יז

(יט) אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֗וֹב יֵצֵ֤א דְבַר־מַלְכוּת֙ מִלְּפָנָ֔יו וְיִכָּתֵ֛ב בְּדָתֵ֥י פָֽרַס־וּמָדַ֖י וְלֹ֣א יַעֲב֑וֹר אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹֽא־תָב֜וֹא וַשְׁתִּ֗י לִפְנֵי֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ וּמַלְכוּתָהּ֙ יִתֵּ֣ן הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לִרְעוּתָ֖הּ הַטּוֹבָ֥ה מִמֶּֽנָּה׃

(19) “If it please Your Majesty, let a royal edict be issued by you, and let it be written into the laws of Persia and Media, so that it cannot be abrogated, that Vashti shall never enter the presence of King Ahasuerus. And let Your Majesty bestow her royal state upon another who is more worthy than she.
18 יח
(ח) וְ֠אַתֶּם כִּתְב֨וּ עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֜ים כַּטּ֤וֹב בְּעֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ בְּשֵׁ֣ם הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְחִתְמ֖וּ בְּטַבַּ֣עַת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ כִּֽי־כְתָ֞ב אֲשֶׁר־נִכְתָּ֣ב בְּשֵׁם־הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ וְנַחְתּ֛וֹם בְּטַבַּ֥עַת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֵ֥ין לְהָשִֽׁיב׃
(8) And you may further write with regard to the Jews as you see fit. [Write it] in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s signet, for an edict that has been written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet may not be revoked.”
19 יט
(ט) כְּעַ֣ן מַלְכָּ֔א תְּקִ֥ים אֱסָרָ֖א וְתִרְשֻׁ֣ם כְּתָבָ֑א דִּ֣י לָ֧א לְהַשְׁנָיָ֛ה כְּדָת־מָדַ֥י וּפָרַ֖ס דִּי־לָ֥א תֶעְדֵּֽא׃ (י) כָּל־קֳבֵ֖ל דְּנָ֑ה מַלְכָּא֙ דָּֽרְיָ֔וֶשׁ רְשַׁ֥ם כְּתָבָ֖א וֶאֱסָרָֽא׃ (יא) וְ֠דָנִיֵּאל כְּדִ֨י יְדַ֜ע דִּֽי־רְשִׁ֤ים כְּתָבָא֙ עַ֣ל לְבַיְתֵ֔הּ וְכַוִּ֨ין פְּתִיחָ֥ן לֵהּ֙ בְּעִלִּיתֵ֔הּ נֶ֖גֶד יְרוּשְׁלֶ֑ם וְזִמְנִין֩ תְּלָתָ֨ה בְיוֹמָ֜א ה֣וּא ׀ בָּרֵ֣ךְ עַל־בִּרְכ֗וֹהִי וּמְצַלֵּ֤א וּמוֹדֵא֙ קֳדָ֣ם אֱלָקֵ֔הּ כָּל־קֳבֵל֙ דִּֽי־הֲוָ֣א עָבֵ֔ד מִן־קַדְמַ֖ת דְּנָֽה׃ (ס) (יב) אֱ֠דַיִן גֻּבְרַיָּ֤א אִלֵּךְ֙ הַרְגִּ֔שׁוּ וְהַשְׁכַּ֖חוּ לְדָנִיֵּ֑אל בָּעֵ֥א וּמִתְחַנַּ֖ן קֳדָ֥ם אֱלָקֵֽהּ׃ (יג) בֵּ֠אדַיִן קְרִ֨יבוּ וְאָמְרִ֥ין קֳדָם־מַלְכָּא֮ עַל־אֱסָ֣ר מַלְכָּא֒ הֲלָ֧א אֱסָ֣ר רְשַׁ֗מְתָּ דִּ֣י כָל־אֱנָ֡שׁ דִּֽי־יִבְעֵה֩ מִן־כָּל־אֱלָ֨הּ וֶֽאֱנָ֜שׁ עַד־יוֹמִ֣ין תְּלָתִ֗ין לָהֵן֙ מִנָּ֣ךְ מַלְכָּ֔א יִתְרְמֵ֕א לְג֖וֹב אַרְיָותָ֑א עָנֵ֨ה מַלְכָּ֜א וְאָמַ֗ר יַצִּיבָ֧א מִלְּתָ֛א כְּדָת־מָדַ֥י וּפָרַ֖ס דִּי־לָ֥א תֶעְדֵּֽא׃ (יד) בֵּ֠אדַיִן עֲנ֣וֹ וְאָמְרִין֮ קֳדָ֣ם מַלְכָּא֒ דִּ֣י דָנִיֵּ֡אל דִּי֩ מִן־בְּנֵ֨י גָלוּתָ֜א דִּ֣י יְה֗וּד לָא־שָׂ֨ם עליך [עֲלָ֤ךְ] מַלְכָּא֙ טְעֵ֔ם וְעַל־אֱסָרָ֖א דִּ֣י רְשַׁ֑מְתָּ וְזִמְנִ֤ין תְּלָתָה֙ בְּיוֹמָ֔א בָּעֵ֖א בָּעוּתֵֽהּ׃ (טו) אֱדַ֨יִן מַלְכָּ֜א כְּדִ֧י מִלְּתָ֣א שְׁמַ֗ע שַׂגִּיא֙ בְּאֵ֣שׁ עֲל֔וֹהִי וְעַ֧ל דָּנִיֵּ֛אל שָׂ֥ם בָּ֖ל לְשֵׁיזָבוּתֵ֑הּ וְעַד֙ מֶֽעָלֵ֣י שִׁמְשָׁ֔א הֲוָ֥א מִשְׁתַּדַּ֖ר לְהַצָּלוּתֵֽהּ׃ (טז) בֵּאדַ֙יִן֙ גֻּבְרַיָּ֣א אִלֵּ֔ךְ הַרְגִּ֖שׁוּ עַל־מַלְכָּ֑א וְאָמְרִ֣ין לְמַלְכָּ֗א דַּ֤ע מַלְכָּא֙ דִּֽי־דָת֙ לְמָדַ֣י וּפָרַ֔ס דִּֽי־כָל־אֱסָ֥ר וּקְיָ֛ם דִּֽי־מַלְכָּ֥א יְהָקֵ֖ים לָ֥א לְהַשְׁנָיָֽה׃
(9) So issue the ban, O king, and put it in writing so that it be unalterable as a law of the Medes and Persians that may not be abrogated.” (10) Thereupon King Darius put the ban in writing. (11) When Daniel learned that it had been put in writing, he went to his house, in whose upper chamber he had had windows made facing Jerusalem, and three times a day he knelt down, prayed, and made confession to his God, as he had always done. (12) Then those men came thronging in and found Daniel petitioning his God in supplication. (13) They then approached the king and reminded him of the royal ban: “Did you not put in writing a ban that whoever addresses a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, during the next thirty days, shall be thrown into a lions’ den?” The king said in reply, “The order stands firm, as a law of the Medes and Persians that may not be abrogated.” (14) Thereupon they said to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, pays no heed to you, O king, or to the ban that you put in writing; three times a day he offers his petitions [to his God].” (15) Upon hearing that, the king was very disturbed, and he set his heart upon saving Daniel, and until the sun set made every effort to rescue him. (16) Then those men came thronging in to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that any ban that the king issues under sanction of oath is unalterable.”
In the King's Court
20 כ
(ג) בִּשְׁנַ֤ת שָׁלוֹשׁ֙ לְמָלְכ֔וֹ עָשָׂ֣ה מִשְׁתֶּ֔ה לְכָל־שָׂרָ֖יו וַעֲבָדָ֑יו חֵ֣יל ׀ פָּרַ֣ס וּמָדַ֗י הַֽפַּרְתְּמִ֛ים וְשָׂרֵ֥י הַמְּדִינ֖וֹת לְפָנָֽיו׃

(3) in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all the officials and courtiers—the administration of Persia and Media, the nobles and the governors of the provinces in his service.

21 כא
(כז) עָנֵ֧ה דָנִיֵּ֛אל קֳדָ֥ם מַלְכָּ֖א וְאָמַ֑ר רָזָה֙ דִּֽי־מַלְכָּ֣א שָׁאֵ֔ל לָ֧א חַכִּימִ֣ין אָֽשְׁפִ֗ין חַרְטֻמִּין֙ גָּזְרִ֔ין יָכְלִ֖ין לְהַֽחֲוָיָ֥ה לְמַלְכָּֽא׃
(27) Daniel answered the king and said, “The mystery about which the king has inquired—wise men, exorcists, magicians, and diviners cannot tell to the king.
The Palace
22 כב

(א) וַיְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ ה֣וּא אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ הַמֹּלֵךְ֙ מֵהֹ֣דּוּ וְעַד־כּ֔וּשׁ שֶׁ֛בַע וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וּמֵאָ֖ה מְדִינָֽה׃ (ב) בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם כְּשֶׁ֣בֶת ׀ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֗וֹשׁ עַ֚ל כִּסֵּ֣א מַלְכוּת֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָֽה׃ (ג) בִּשְׁנַ֤ת שָׁלוֹשׁ֙ לְמָלְכ֔וֹ עָשָׂ֣ה מִשְׁתֶּ֔ה לְכָל־שָׂרָ֖יו וַעֲבָדָ֑יו חֵ֣יל ׀ פָּרַ֣ס וּמָדַ֗י הַֽפַּרְתְּמִ֛ים וְשָׂרֵ֥י הַמְּדִינ֖וֹת לְפָנָֽיו׃ (ד) בְּהַרְאֹת֗וֹ אֶת־עֹ֙שֶׁר֙ כְּב֣וֹד מַלְכוּת֔וֹ וְאֶ֨ת־יְקָ֔ר תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת גְּדוּלָּת֑וֹ יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֔ים שְׁמוֹנִ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת יֽוֹם׃ (ה) וּבִמְל֣וֹאת ׀ הַיָּמִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה עָשָׂ֣ה הַמֶּ֡לֶךְ לְכָל־הָעָ֣ם הַנִּמְצְאִים֩ בְּשׁוּשַׁ֨ן הַבִּירָ֜ה לְמִגָּ֧דוֹל וְעַד־קָטָ֛ן מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים בַּחֲצַ֕ר גִּנַּ֥ת בִּיתַ֖ן הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ (ו) ח֣וּר ׀ כַּרְפַּ֣ס וּתְכֵ֗לֶת אָחוּז֙ בְּחַבְלֵי־ב֣וּץ וְאַרְגָּמָ֔ן עַל־גְּלִ֥ילֵי כֶ֖סֶף וְעַמּ֣וּדֵי שֵׁ֑שׁ מִטּ֣וֹת ׀ זָהָ֣ב וָכֶ֗סֶף עַ֛ל רִֽצְפַ֥ת בַּהַט־וָשֵׁ֖שׁ וְדַ֥ר וְסֹחָֽרֶת׃ (ז) וְהַשְׁקוֹת֙ בִּכְלֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב וְכֵלִ֖ים מִכֵּלִ֣ים שׁוֹנִ֑ים וְיֵ֥ין מַלְכ֛וּת רָ֖ב כְּיַ֥ד הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ (ח) וְהַשְּׁתִיָּ֥ה כַדָּ֖ת אֵ֣ין אֹנֵ֑ס כִּי־כֵ֣ן ׀ יִסַּ֣ד הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ עַ֚ל כָּל־רַ֣ב בֵּית֔וֹ לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת כִּרְצ֥וֹן אִישׁ־וָאִֽישׁ׃ (ט) גַּ֚ם וַשְׁתִּ֣י הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה עָשְׂתָ֖ה מִשְׁתֵּ֣ה נָשִׁ֑ים בֵּ֚ית הַמַּלְכ֔וּת אֲשֶׁ֖ר לַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֽוֹשׁ׃ (ס) (י) בַּיּוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י כְּט֥וֹב לֵב־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בַּיָּ֑יִן אָמַ֡ר לִ֠מְהוּמָן בִּזְּתָ֨א חַרְבוֹנָ֜א בִּגְתָ֤א וַאֲבַגְתָא֙ זֵתַ֣ר וְכַרְכַּ֔ס שִׁבְעַת֙ הַסָּ֣רִיסִ֔ים הַמְשָׁ֣רְתִ֔ים אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֽוֹשׁ׃ (יא) לְ֠הָבִיא אֶת־וַשְׁתִּ֧י הַמַּלְכָּ֛ה לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בְּכֶ֣תֶר מַלְכ֑וּת לְהַרְא֨וֹת הָֽעַמִּ֤ים וְהַשָּׂרִים֙ אֶת־יָפְיָ֔הּ כִּֽי־טוֹבַ֥ת מַרְאֶ֖ה הִֽיא׃ (יב) וַתְּמָאֵ֞ן הַמַּלְכָּ֣ה וַשְׁתִּ֗י לָבוֹא֙ בִּדְבַ֣ר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּיַ֣ד הַסָּרִיסִ֑ים וַיִּקְצֹ֤ף הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַחֲמָת֖וֹ בָּעֲרָ֥ה בֽוֹ׃

(1) It happened in the days of Ahasuerus—that Ahasuerus who reigned over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. (2) In those days, when King Ahasuerus occupied the royal throne in the fortress Shushan, (3) in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all the officials and courtiers—the administration of Persia and Media, the nobles and the governors of the provinces in his service. (4) For no fewer than a hundred and eighty days he displayed the vast riches of his kingdom and the splendid glory of his majesty. (5) At the end of this period, the king gave a banquet for seven days in the court of the king’s palace garden for all the people who lived in the fortress Shushan, high and low alike. (6) [There were hangings of] white cotton and blue wool, caught up by cords of fine linen and purple wool to silver rods and alabaster columns; and there were couches of gold and silver on a pavement of marble, alabaster, mother-of-pearl, and mosaics. (7) Royal wine was served in abundance, as befits a king, in golden beakers, beakers of varied design. (8) And the rule for the drinking was, “No restrictions!” For the king had given orders to every palace steward to comply with each man’s wishes. (9) In addition, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for women, in the royal palace of King Ahasuerus. (10) On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he ordered Mehuman, Bizzetha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven eunuchs in attendance on King Ahasuerus, (11) to bring Queen Vashti before the king wearing a royal diadem, to display her beauty to the peoples and the officials; for she was a beautiful woman. (12) But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. The king was greatly incensed, and his fury burned within him.
23 כג

(א) בֵּלְשַׁאצַּ֣ר מַלְכָּ֗א עֲבַד֙ לְחֶ֣ם רַ֔ב לְרַבְרְבָנ֖וֹהִי אֲלַ֑ף וְלָקֳבֵ֥ל אַלְפָּ֖א חַמְרָ֥א שָׁתֵֽה׃ (ב) בֵּלְשַׁאצַּ֞ר אֲמַ֣ר ׀ בִּטְעֵ֣ם חַמְרָ֗א לְהַיְתָיָה֙ לְמָאנֵי֙ דַּהֲבָ֣א וְכַסְפָּ֔א דִּ֤י הַנְפֵּק֙ נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּ֣ר אֲב֔וּהִי מִן־הֵיכְלָ֖א דִּ֣י בִירוּשְׁלֶ֑ם וְיִשְׁתּ֣וֹן בְּה֗וֹן מַלְכָּא֙ וְרַבְרְבָנ֔וֹהִי שֵׁגְלָתֵ֖הּ וּלְחֵנָתֵֽהּ׃ (ג) בֵּאדַ֗יִן הַיְתִיו֙ מָאנֵ֣י דַהֲבָ֔א דִּ֣י הַנְפִּ֗קוּ מִן־הֵֽיכְלָ֛א דִּֽי־בֵ֥ית אֱלָהָ֖א דִּ֣י בִירֽוּשְׁלֶ֑ם וְאִשְׁתִּ֣יו בְּה֗וֹן מַלְכָּא֙ וְרַבְרְבָנ֔וֹהִי שֵׁגְלָתֵ֖הּ וּלְחֵנָתֵֽהּ׃ (ד) אִשְׁתִּ֖יו חַמְרָ֑א וְ֠שַׁבַּחוּ לֵֽאלָקֵ֞י דַּהֲבָ֧א וְכַסְפָּ֛א נְחָשָׁ֥א פַרְזְלָ֖א אָעָ֥א וְאַבְנָֽא׃

(1) King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his thousand nobles, and in the presence of the thousand he drank wine. (2) Under the influence of the wine, Belshazzar ordered the gold and silver vessels that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple at Jerusalem to be brought so that the king and his nobles, his consorts, and his concubines could drink from them. (3) The golden vessels that had been taken out of the sanctuary of the House of God in Jerusalem were then brought, and the king, his nobles, his consorts, and his concubines drank from them. (4) They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
Looks aren't everything...but...
24 כד

(ו) וַיַּעֲזֹ֣ב כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ֮ בְּיַד־יוֹסֵף֒ וְלֹא־יָדַ֤ע אִתּוֹ֙ מְא֔וּמָה כִּ֥י אִם־הַלֶּ֖חֶם אֲשֶׁר־ה֣וּא אוֹכֵ֑ל וַיְהִ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף יְפֵה־תֹ֖אַר וִיפֵ֥ה מַרְאֶֽה׃

(6) He left all that he had in Joseph’s hands and, with him there, he paid attention to nothing save the food that he ate. Now Joseph was well built and handsome.
25 כה
(ג) וְיַפְקֵ֨ד הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ פְּקִידִים֮ בְּכָל־מְדִינ֣וֹת מַלְכוּתוֹ֒ וְיִקְבְּצ֣וּ אֶת־כָּל־נַעֲרָֽה־בְ֠תוּלָה טוֹבַ֨ת מַרְאֶ֜ה אֶל־שׁוּשַׁ֤ן הַבִּירָה֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הַנָּשִׁ֔ים אֶל־יַ֥ד הֵגֶ֛א סְרִ֥יס הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ שֹׁמֵ֣ר הַנָּשִׁ֑ים וְנָת֖וֹן תַּמְרוּקֵיהֶֽן׃
(3) Let Your Majesty appoint officers in every province of your realm to assemble all the beautiful young virgins at the fortress Shushan, in the harem under the supervision of Hege, the king’s eunuch, guardian of the women. Let them be provided with their cosmetics.
26 כו
(ד) יְלָדִ֣ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֵֽין־בָּהֶ֣ם כָּל־מאום [מוּם֩] וְטוֹבֵ֨י מַרְאֶ֜ה וּמַשְׂכִּילִ֣ים בְּכָל־חָכְמָ֗ה וְיֹ֤דְעֵי דַ֙עַת֙ וּמְבִינֵ֣י מַדָּ֔ע וַאֲשֶׁר֙ כֹּ֣חַ בָּהֶ֔ם לַעֲמֹ֖ד בְּהֵיכַ֣ל הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וּֽלֲלַמְּדָ֥ם סֵ֖פֶר וּלְשׁ֥וֹן כַּשְׂדִּֽים׃
(4) youths without blemish, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable and intelligent, and capable of serving in the royal palace—and teach them the writings and the language of the Chaldeans.
Names
27 כז

(מה) וַיִּקְרָ֨א פַרְעֹ֣ה שֵׁם־יוֹסֵף֮ צָֽפְנַ֣ת פַּעְנֵחַ֒ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֣וֹ אֶת־אָֽסְנַ֗ת בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֛רַע כֹּהֵ֥ן אֹ֖ן לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיֵּצֵ֥א יוֹסֵ֖ף עַל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

(45) Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him for a wife Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. Thus Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.—
28 כח
(ז) וַיְהִ֨י אֹמֵ֜ן אֶת־הֲדַסָּ֗ה הִ֤יא אֶסְתֵּר֙ בַּת־דֹּד֔וֹ כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ אָ֣ב וָאֵ֑ם וְהַנַּעֲרָ֤ה יְפַת־תֹּ֙אַר֙ וְטוֹבַ֣ת מַרְאֶ֔ה וּבְמ֤וֹת אָבִ֙יהָ֙ וְאִמָּ֔הּ לְקָחָ֧הּ מָרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ לְבַֽת׃
(7) He was foster father to Hadassah—that is, Esther—his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The maiden was shapely and beautiful; and when her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.
29 כט
(ז) וַיָּ֧שֶׂם לָהֶ֛ם שַׂ֥ר הַסָּרִיסִ֖ים שֵׁמ֑וֹת וַיָּ֨שֶׂם לְדָֽנִיֵּ֜אל בֵּ֣לְטְשַׁאצַּ֗ר וְלַֽחֲנַנְיָה֙ שַׁדְרַ֔ךְ וּלְמִֽישָׁאֵ֣ל מֵישַׁ֔ךְ וְלַעֲזַרְיָ֖ה עֲבֵ֥ד נְגֽוֹ׃
(7) The chief officer gave them new names; he named Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abed-nego.
30 ל

When we read books and watch TV and movies we are accustomed to certain kinds of heroes. Think of popular heroes: Katniss Everdeen, Luke and Leia, Superman, Spiderman, even Annie! There are similarities amongst them.

We are going to look at some texts from the stories of Yosef, Esther and Daniel and see what similarities we can identify. Use the attached worksheet to record your observations