In this article I demonstrate how a careful reading of the text of Midrash Tehillim 22 reveals a clear distinction between its different developmental layers. While we do find the identification of particular verses with Esther in the early stages of the midrash's development, there is no reason to assume that this identification was rooted in an anti-Christian polemic. On the other hand, in the later layers of the midrash, we find clear echoes of the systematic creation of a continuous exegesis that focuses on identifying the entire Psalm with Esther. The background for this trend was a polemical confrontation with the Christian interpretation which viewed the Psalm as a prefiguration for Jesus's crucifixion. The midrash also serves as a Jewish counter to the Christian liturgy created in the wake of the Christological reading.
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- Rabbinic literature