A growing consensus holds that the MT version of the book of Esther is structured as a chiasm. The significance of the chiasm for interpretation, however, has received little attention. In part, this neglect may be due to the possibility that Esther’s chiasm has been misidentified. In this study, I argue that Esther is indeed arranged chiastically but that the center of the chiasm is located in chapter 5, not in chapter 6, as is typically argued. Furthermore, I argue that this identification of the center of Esther has significant implications for our understanding of the purpose of Esther, its characterization, and its conception of divine–human cooperation.

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