Img. ID: 332887
Sheet no. 4
The seventh column of text is an exception in the scroll because it is not framed in an octagon and it contains only the names of Haman's sons (Es. 9:6-10) written in 11 lines divided into two half-columns and between them, the depictions of the death of Haman and his ten sons are incorporated (Es. 7:10 and Es. 9:14 or Es. 9:25). However, in this column only Haman's sons, not Haman himself, are hanged; the identity of the eleventh hanging figure is unclear, though it may be Zeresh. Haman is executed on a Catherine wheel atop the gallows, a representation rarely found in megillot Esther.
The text is surrounded by six depictions; three of them on the right are common with the sixth text panel.
1. A rider on horseback (Haman?) - it is difficult to determine which particular verse of the Book of Esther this represents.
2. Two messengers holding sticks in their hands delivering the king's decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:14).
3. Three musicians playing stringed instruments - it is difficult to determine which particular verse of the Book of Esther this represents.
4. A city, perhaps Shushan. The Star of David atop one building suggests a synagogue.
5. A couple in fashionable costumes.
6. Two eight-leg camels.
Illustrations nos. 1-3 are party painted on the third membrane.
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' messenger(s) (Es. 8:14)
M | Musician
M | Musical Instruments
C | City
B | Buildings
H | Human Figure
E | Evronot, Book of (listed according to the types of illustration) | Illustrations of unclear link to the text | Aristocratic couple
J | Jewish couple
C | Camel
G | Garland
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's sons hanged (Es. 9:14)
S | Synagogue
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.