One Night with the King

My wife, daughter and I watched the new movie about the story of Esther, One Night with the King, last night. Overall it was excellent. The costumes and sets sumptuous as one might expect of the Perisan Empire at its height. The acting was very good as well, though I found the Persian King a little stiff. And justice was done to the overall biblical text which was faithfully reproduced in the script. Scenes of prayer were especially done well. Esther is, of course, a great story, easily adaptable to the media of film. Over the years it has helped me understand God's sovereignty in history. This is very interesting since the name of God is not explicitly mentioned in the book. But the whole story is redolent with God's providential workings on the stage of time and space.

It was interesting to see Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole together in the same film, reminsicent of that great blockbuster Lawrence of Arabia. Sharif plays Memucan and O'Toole the prophet Samuel. The latter is involved since a link is made between Haman the Agagite and the Amalekite king Agag (1 Samuel 15), whom Samuel told Saul to destroy along with all of his people. This link is something of conjecture.

Another piece of filler had Haman linking the Jews with the democratic-loving Greeks. Bring a lover of Greece—and rooting for their victory over Persia in the Persian Wars when I read those accounts as a young boy—and, since my conversion to Christ, a lover of ancient Israel as well, I found quite this link interesting. I didn't feel this additional stuff about the Greeks, rooted in scholarly opinion that the feast that Ahasuerus throws at the beginning of Esther 1 was preparatory to his campaign to subdue the Greeks, detracted from the movie, which was superb and well worth one’s time.

And it was a love story to boot--very appropriate on the eve of St.Valentine's Day