Megillat Esther and its Hidden Message

(To prepare for this shiur,
see the questions for self study.)

Is the Megilla a satire? It certainly sounds like one, but why would a satire be included in the Tanach? In the following shiur, we attempt to 'unmask' the message of this satire by considering the historical (and prophetic) setting of the Megilla.

We begin our study with one of the most well-known psukim of the Megilla:

"Ish Yehudi haya b'Shushan HaBira, ushmo Mordechai..." (Esther 2:5)
Even though this pasuk is proudly read aloud by the entire congregation, most people do not appreciate its 'sting.' However, an ear tuned to the prophecies of Zecharya and familiar with Tanach immediately catches its irony: This is not the only pasuk in the Megilla that is filled with irony and satire. In fact, the style of the entire megilla is satirical. Nonetheless, the Megilla is part of the Tanach, and as such, it must contain a prophetic message. How are we to 'uncover' a prophetic message that is 'hidden' by satire?

To decipher the prophetic message of the Megilla, we must take the following steps:

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