Sheet no. 3
The fifth text panel is surrounded by seven depictions. Three depictions on the right are common with the fourth text panel.
1. Unidentified scene showing a group of animals seated under trees.
2. An angel reads the imperial chronicles to the king (an extra-biblical story based on Es. 6:1-3).
3. Unidentified scene showing Mordecai and Esther with a dog.
4. The Jews fighting with their enemies, both dressed in Roman armor. It is difficult to determine which particular verses this represents, especially since the scroll does not consistently depict scenes from the book in chronological order.
5. The depiction joins two scenes: Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11) and Haman's daughter who empties a chamber pot on her father's head (based on Megillah 16a).
6. The Jews rejoice after the victory over their enemies (Es. 8:16-17) - represented by four people in clown costumes, perhaps court jesters.
7. Esther before the king, possibly at the moment when he gives her Haman's property (Es. 8:1). Esther is attended by a maid, and the king's mantle tail is carried by a page.
Illustrations nos. 1-3 are party painted on the second membrane.
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)
A | Angel
S | Scene, unidentified
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
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Jews battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Mordecai's triumph (Es. 6:11)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's daughter empties a chamber pot on her father's head (Bab. Talmud, Megillah 16a)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour (Es. 8:16-17)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus giving Esther the house of Haman (Es. 8:1)
G | Garland
P | Purim | Purim costume
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.