2:10 her people. This was evidently during one of those intermittent periods in history when the Jewish people were looked upon with disfavor (even though Cyrus and Darius had aided them earlier in their desire to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple) and it was unwise for Esther to risk her chance of becoming queen by revealing her background. Jews have often been made scapegoats when trouble befalls a nation, and it is possible that they had been accused of complicity in Xerxes’ recent naval defeats. This probably also accounts for the fact that the book of Esther, alone among all the books of the Bible, contains no direct mention of God or of religion. The author (possibly Mordecai, although the actual author of the book is not known) may have feared reprisals if he had connected the remarkable deliverance of Israel with their religious faith.