What exactly are these midrashic texts as well as who was the author and when was it put together?


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According to M. B. Lerner, 'The Works of Aggadic Midrash and the Esther Midrashim', in: S. Safrai et al (eds.), The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud, Volume 3: The Literature of the Sages, Second Part: Midrash and Targum; Liturgy, Poetry, Mysticism; Contracts, Inscriptions, Ancient Science; and the Languages of Rabbinic Literature (Leiden 2006):

Midrash Abba Gurion is a midrash on 52 verses in Esther (mostly from chapters 1-6). The name comes from the opening drasha, in the name of Abba Gurion of Tzeidan. In the past it was thought that Midrash Abba Gurion was a precursor of Esther Rabbah, but now it is thought that both Esther Rabbah and Abba Gurion were based on an older version of Esther Rabbah, though Abba Gurion is the later of the two, probably edited no later than the 10th century CE. Abba Gurion preserves some fragments of this original Esther Rabbah. (see pp. 189-193)

Midrash Panim Acherim is a slight misnomer. This midrash is a compilation of midrashic fragments on Esther collected by a scribe who had copied Midrash Abba Gurion and added some fragments from other Esther midrashim he had encountered and titled the fragments as 'Midrash Panim Acherot', apparently simply to differentiate between the well-known Esther midrashim (Rabbah and Abba Gurion) and these fragments, whose names he did not know. This compilation was then copied by another scribe in what's now known as MS Bodl. 155/MS Mich. 577 (unfortunately, this MS has yet to be digitized). The 'Acherim' was a term introduced by Buber in his edition for dubious reasons. These fragments were probably redacted no later than the 7th-8th centuries CE, and are based in part on Esther Rabbah. (see pp. 195-201)

The authorship of both of these midrashim is unknown.

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