Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund

ON THE COVER: A formal gold drinking vessel fashioned as a roaring lion displays the skill of a Persian artisan (550–332 B.C.). Ahasuerus, the Persian ruler who chose Esther as his queen, probably drank from vessels similar to this at royal banquets described in the Book of Esther. Coincident with the spring holiday of Purim, celebrating Esther’s deliverance of the Jewish people, Carey A. Moore answers “Eight Questions Most Frequently Asked About the Book of Esther.”