Img. ID: 332884
Sheet no. 2
The fourth text panel is surrounded by seven depictions. Four depictions on the right are common with the third text panel.
1. Haman aiming at the Zodiac wheel with a stick. This represents the moment of casting pur (Es. 3:7), though in the biblical text Haman himself does not do it.
2. Haman as a barber who prepares Mordecai for the parade through the streets of Shushan (based on Megillah 16a).
3. Two men standing - possibly the king's messengers who are going to deliver Haman's decree (Es. 3:13); however, other interpretations are possible too.
4. The king traveling in a carriage - unidentified scene.
5. Unidentified scene showing a group of animals seated under trees.
6. An angel reads the imperial chronicles to the king during his sleepless night (an extra-biblical story based on Es. 6:1-3).
7. Unidentified scene showing Mordecai and Esther with a dog.
Illustrations nos. 4-6 are party painted on the third membrane.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman casting the lot/Pur - Haman aiming at the Zodiac wheel (based on Midrash)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman prepares Mordecai for the parade (Bab. Talmud, Megillah 16a)
H | Human Figure
S | Scene, unidentified
I | Instruments and Tools | Carriage
H | Horse
A | Animals and Beasts
E | Elephant
T | Tree
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus listening to the Book of Records (Es. 6:1-3)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Esther, the queen
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | *Esther's Story Characters (depicted not in narrative scenes): | Mordecai, the Jew
A | Angel
G | Garland
O | Ornamentation: | Main text framed
The opening section of the scroll is damaged and the membrane is crumpled here.
Some parts of the decorations are faded but still, the general condition of the manuscript is good.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets, in total containing 8 columns of text with 41 or 42 lines each, except for col. 7 which has 11 lines divided into two half-columns.
Every membrane contains two columns of text; 7 of them are framed in octagons of various sizes and one is not framed.
The text is written in Hebrew square Ashkenazi script with tagin in brown ink on parchment membranes.
The letters ח (Es. 1:6) and ת (Es. 9:29) and the letters of the name of God are enlarged and bolded. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 7.
There are some corrections and erasures in the text.
The ruling is made with a hard point, along with the sheets, but only be seen only in the decorations between the panels.
The pricking on the membranes' edges can be seen.
The membranes of the scroll are glued together.
In the depiction of the feast by the king and the queen, the name "Esther" in pencil is written.
It seems the frames of the panels were originally painted with gold paint.
No comprehensive discussion on the scroll is available but the fragments are reproduced in numerous publications, e.g.:
Marc Michael Epstein, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts, Princeton, New Jersey 2015, pp. 15, 191, 219.