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The Feast of Purim and the story of Ester
Today Purim is a happy festival with an almost carnival atmosphere. It is a time to remember that "YHVH works all things together for good" for those who are called according to His purposes. Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose. The main event of Celebrating Purim is the reading the Book of Esther. Set in Persia 2,300 years ago, the "Megillat" (Scroll - as it is commonly called) recounts how a seemingly unrelated series of events spun together to save the Jewish people from annihilation. When King Achashverosh throws a huge six-month party and the queen refuses to follow orders, she is replaced by a new queen - Esther the Jewess. Esther's uncle Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, uncovers a plot to assassinate the king -- putting him also in a favourable position with the king. All this comes in handy when Haman, the king's top advisor, obtains a decree to have all the Jews destroyed. Purim is so named because Haman had cast lots (purim) to determine the day on which to destroy the Jews. In the end, through a complex twist of events, Esther gets a second decree of grace established by the King to help the Jews defend themselves within the result of the first decree. Haman is hanged on the gallows, and Mordechai becomes prime minister. The name Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther) actually mean "revealing the hidden."
Unlike every other book in the Bible, Megillat Esther never mentions YHVH's name even once. The hidden hand of YHVH is revealed through the maze of events. There are no coincidences. Megillat Esther teaches us that life challenges work out for the best, because what appear as obstacles are really opportunities to develop ourselves for the better. It all comes from YHVH's invisible hand that guides our fate, every step of the way. It is a prophetic story of YHVH being revealed to the world as the One and only Elohim and the revealing of the Bride of His Son, Y’shua.
Should we celebrate Purim and did Y’shua celebrate Purim?
Joh 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Y’shua went up to Jerusalem. It is written in John chapter 5 that He was in Jerusalem for an unnamed feast, but scholars have questioned which feast this was. Some have rejected the idea that this was Purim because it is considered a "minor" feast and not one of the shelosh regalim (three pilgrimage festivals). However, we know that Y’shua celebrated Chanukah (John 10:22), which is also another "minor" feast. According to Lambert Dolphin's research on this question, chronologically the only feast that John could be referring to is Purim, since it is said to have fallen on Shabbat (John 5:9), but the only feast that occurred on Shabbat between the years of 25-35 CE was in fact Purim (in the year 28 CE). But why was it referred to as an unnamed feast? Perhaps the Spirit of YHVH intentionally left out the name of the feast because the Name of YHVH was likewise deliberately left out of the Book of Esther.
The Dates of Purim
Est 9:17-18 And on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day of the same, they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness. (18) But the Jews at Shushan gathered on the thirteenth of it and on the fourteenth of it. And on the fifteenth of the same, they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness. For the Diaspora, Purim is celebrated on the 14th of Adar, the day after Haman's roll of the dice indicated that the 13th of Adar was most "propitious" for the extermination of the Jews. This day is honoured by fasting to hone the soul and stir up strength for the challenges ahead. This is to remember Ester and the people who fasted for three days before she went in before the king. [Est 4:16] The feast is celebrated on the day after since it was on this day that the Jews successfully fended off their enemies and experienced the joy of deliverance. The reason for these different dates of the festival of Purim is that the Jews of Shushan waged war on both the 13th and the 14th of Adar and observed the 15th as a day of festivity and rejoicing. Jews in Israel identify with the Jews of Shushan, and hence its celebration is called "Shushan Purim." Shushan means: ‘lily; rose; joy’. Lily and rose is found in the Songs of Solomon: Son 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. This is a prophetic picture of the Messiah, the Groom who will come to gather His Bride and harmonise with the story and events of Purim because we are the Bride that is like Ester, preparing to be presented before the King.
Scriptural validity of the Book of Ester
This is the portion in Ester 9:7 that describes the events of Haman and his 10 sons execution. They were hanged from the structure Haman prepared for Mordecai the Jew. This is a copy from the Megiddah scroll as it would have been copied by hand prior to the First Coming of Y’shua. We see the names of the ten sons of Haman with a large gap in the middle of the text that is quite awkward. What is also notable is the with the letters that are smaller than the other lettes; the first one is a “tav” numerical number 400, then a “shin” with a numerical number 300 and lastly a which represents the number 7. Then there is a larger letter, a “vav” “zayin” that is the number 6. What does all this mean?
If you add up all the numbers it adds up to 707. This corresponds with the date 5707 on the Jewish calendar if the year 707 falls in the 6th millennium. This is confirmed by the large “vav” that equals 6 that points to the 6th millennium. What year is the year 5707 in the Gregorian calendar and what does this mean? It is the year 1946 and there was a similar event that happened that prophetically played off and was recorded in the Hebrew text in the Book of Ester in approximately 500 BC. This prophecy was hidden (Ester) until the event of the Holocaust. After World War II the Nuremberg trials took place where 12 people were found guilty of being part of the inhuman actions that resulted in the killing of six million Jews. One of these men escaped to South America and another committed suicide the day before the execution of the remaining 10 men on 16 October 1946. One of these men were Julias Streicher who was hanged in the early hours of October 16, 1946. Streicher's was the most melodramatic of the hangings carried out that night. At the bottom of the scaffold he cried out "Heil Hitler!" When he mounted the platform, he delivered his last sneering reference to Jewish scripture, snapping "Purim-Fest 1946!" This corresponds with the ten sons of Haman that were hanged after the King commanded their execution after Haman plotted the execution of all the Jews similar to Hitler and his henchmen. What is fascinating is that the date of the execution of these ten men was embedded prophetically within the Hebrew text even before the First Coming of Messiah. This proves that the Book of Ester is legit and that it can be regarded as Scripture. We will also look at evidence of YHVH’s Name that is hidden in the Book of Ester to prove the sceptics wrong.
Ester? The People in the Story of Ester?
It all happened in the days of King Achashverosh. His name means Prince and he is a picture of the Prince of peace, Y’shua. The King had a wife, Vashti, and her name means "that drinks" (get drunk). She did not obey the King's Commandment to come before Him (Est 1:10-11) and this is a prophetic picture of the "religious system”. She is also known as the woman that got drunk on the blood of YHVH's people (Rev 17:4) and that she refused to enter into the presence of YHVH as His Bride. Her cup is full of the abominations and filthiness of her fornications. The kings of the earth drank from her cup and became drunk from her wine (Rev 17:2), and they did what she prescribed them to do. Hadassah, the Hebrew name of Ester that means joy or Myrtle. According to Wickepedia Encyclopaedia the Myrtle has the following attributes: The Myrtle (Myrtus) is of one or two species of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, native to southern Europe and North Africa. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees, growing to 5 m tall. The leaves are entire, 3-5 cm long, with a pleasantly fragrant essential oil. Petals are usually white, with globose blue-black berries containing several seeds. Insects pollinate the flowers, and the seeds dispersed by birds that feed on the berries.
This is a beautiful picture of the Bride with evergreen leaves that releases pleasant fragrance. The white flowers reflect the light and she bears fruit and she plants seeds in everybody’s hearts that she is in contact with. The birds (Satan and his demons) occasionally steal some of these seeds and spread the Word without even noticing it. Ester means 'secret' or 'hidden' and the story of Ester is the revelation of who the Bride is and who she will marry. Another interesting fact is that the Name of YHVH is nowhere found in the Book of Ester except if you look into the Hebrew text. Isa 45:15 Truly You are Ěl, who hide Yourself, O Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, Saviour! YHVH hides Himself form us, and those who seek Him will find Him. His Name is hidden four times; each time is in a verse where you take the first letter of each word, then it spells YHVH. Esther 5:4 (the initial letters - forward) [… let the king and Haman come today]. Ester 1:20 (initial letters – backwards) [throughout all his empire (for it is great), all the wives shall give their husbands honor]. Ester 5:13 (Final letters – backwards) [Yet all this avails me nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate] Ester 7:7 (final letters – forward) [the king, arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath, went into the palace garden. And Haman stood up to beg for his life] These four verses give us the highlights of the story of Ester as well as wisdom for our walk with YHVH: Wives must be subject to their husbands [Est 1:20] and the husbands must sit in the gates of the King, learning YHVH’s Word and wisdom [Est 5:13]. Be kind to your enemies (Haman) and be hospitable to YHVH’s people (Feasts & Shabbat) [Est 5:4]. At the end of time, YHVH will destroy your enemies (Haman) and you will be with the King. [Est 7:7] This shows that YHVH is hidden in the midst of every situation and wants to reveal Himself to His people and to His Bride. Hadassah had an uncle, Mordecai which means; contribution, bitter and bruising. Bruise is first found in Scripture where YHVH spoke a curse over man and Satan; He said the Seed of man (Y’shua) would bruise the head of the snake (Satan) and kill it – cast Satan in the lake of fire. The snake will bruise the heel of the Seed (Y’shua) – Y’shua died for us and shed His blood. ‘To bruise’ is the Hebrew word “shoof” that means, ‘to bruise, to crush, to scrape clean and speech’. Y’shua will come with the sword in His mouth and judge the earth with His Word and scrape it clean from unrighteousness. (Rev 19:15). Mordecai is a picture of the Spirit of Y’shua that assists us and contributes to our preparation and cleansing process as the Bride. The Spirit gives Gifts to the Bride to beautify Her and to enable Her stand before the King. (1 Cor 12:1-9). Gifts in Scripture and are also known as Sacrifices or Offerings, which are the gifts we bring to our King.
Heb 13:15-16 By Him, then, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to Elohim continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, confessing His name. (16) But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. The King had appointed Haman over all the rulers of the earth (Est 3:1), and his name means ‘noise’. This is a picture of Satan, the accuser of the brethren and ruler of the kingdoms of the earth. He will be ruling until the Stone, not cut out with hands, will destroy all his kingdoms. Satan is the one that invented the system called confusion (Babylon) and through his ‘noise’ he confused the Word of YHVH for a long time now. The noise is generated by disputes among the believers based on differences and confusion he caused by twisting the Truth just a little bit. This is the tactic he used in the Garden of Eden and he still uses the same tactic today.
Adding a Decree of Grace
The main teaching in the Church today is that the New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant and that you no longer need to study the Old Testament because the New Testament replaced it. Is this the case, can we make such assumptions? YHVH gave us the wisdom in the Story of Ester to teach us how Covenants and decrees work and how they fit together. Unfortunately the Book of Ester in in the Old Testament and nobody reads it or understands it to know these principles. When a King makes a Law or a Decree, it cannot be changed. The only part of a law that can change are the Judgements. The Law lines out what is right and what is to happen and a Judgement is the consequences of what will happen if this Law is broken. A Judge can decide not to enforce the Judgements regarding the consequences or punishment and this produce a decree that adds grace. We see these examples in the parable Y’shua taught on the servant who owed money to the King, and the debt or consequences were cancelled after the servant pleaded before the king. [Mat 18:23-27] In other words, Grace was added and the debt was cancelled, not the Law. When Ester pleaded before the King not to wipe out the Jews, he had compassion with them and added another decree (grace) because the Word of a King could never be annulled. He only changed the Judgment, not the Law. Could Israel sit back because of this Second Decree? No, they still had to fight off the enemy. The first decree still stood but he added another decree of grace so that the Jews could defend themselves and that their enemies could also be destroyed. This is a prophetic picture of YHVH’s Covenant and the “New Covenant” was added to take away the debt or consequences of the initial Covenant, for those who pleads before the King for forgiveness. Note that He did not substitute the initial Covenant with the second Covenant, but He ADDED the Second or New Covenant to ADD Grace for those who repent. The Covenant or Law or Torah still stands, it defines sin and the consequences for sin, and that is death. The Torah will measure unrighteousness, and the consequences of sin are still eternal death. We are human and need Grace to be saved because none of us can live out the Torah 100%, but this is not a free ticket to sin. YHVH looks at the hearts and those who rebel and live a reckless life behind the tree of Grace will be destroyed with the unrighteous.
Isa 66:17 Those who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves to go into the gardens, behind one tree in the middle, eating swine's flesh, and the hateful thing, and the mouse, will be cut off together, says YHVH. We are suppose to sanctify ourselves but if we hide our sin behind grace (tree of life), we will be judged and cut off with the unrighteous. The New Covenant did not take away of annul the initial Covenant and added YHVH’s Grace so that man could be saved, even if you stumble and fall sometimes. The main thing is not to have a habit of sin because then you will hide behind the tree of grace and not try to live set-apart.
Preparation of the Bride
Est 2:12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Achashverosh, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) We saw that we have to sanctify ourselves and we have an excellent example in the Book of Ester of how we are to do this and why. She had to undergo twelve months of preparation and purification, six months with oil and myrrh and six months with things of purifying (water) and sweet odours (perfumes). The water is a symbol of the Word and the Oil is a symbol of the Spirit (Anointing). This is not a new concept and is found in the Holy Place inside the Tabernacle where we saw the Menorah (Spirit) and the Showbread (Word). The Holy Place is the place of intimacy and relationship with YHVH. This was a place where only one person could enter at a time, and is a picture of your personal relationship with Him. You will also find the Golden Altar of Incense there that is in front of the veil, between you and the Holy of Holies. The smoke that rises from the Golden Altar represents your prayers which are your gifts that are as sweet odours unto the Father. The preparation of the Bride is outlined in the Book of Ester to remind us (the Bride), to purify ourselves with the washing of the water of the Word (Eph 5:26) and walking in the Spirit, following Him in Set-Apartness so that we can stand before Him, without spot or blemish. Eph 5:26-27 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, (27) that He might present it to Himself as the glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eze 36:26-28 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. (27) And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them. (28) And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim.
Rom 8:4-5 so that the righteousness of the Law (Torah) might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (5) For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit. Our aim is Holiness and to be without spot or blemish so that we can be prepared and stand in the presence of our King when He comes again.
The Prophetic Significance of Purim
Purim is a happy, fun-filled holiday that rejoices over the irresistible grace of the Elohim of Israel and His providential care. And while we should rejoice over the deliverance of YHVH in times past, Purim has a prophetic dimension that yet is to be fulfilled in acharit hayamim (the end of days). The Midrash Esther says that Purim, unlike many of the other holidays, will be celebrated even after the final redemption after the End of Days. This is because the story of Purim -- i.e., YHVH's covenantal faithfulness and defence of His people -- will be magnified in the deliverance that leads to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom upon the earth. Indeed, the Second Coming of the Messiah will be regarded as the final fulfilment of Purim; where the people will be delivered from their enemies, and their enemies will be destroyed, and they can return to their Land of Promise! Haman is clearly a type of Anti-Messiah (satan) who desires to see the people of Elohim exterminated once and for all. In the “New Testament” we know that there is soon coming one who is the embodiment of this "spirit of Haman," like Hitler (spirit of Anti-Messiah), and of all the other anti-Jewish murderers throughout the ages who hates YHVH and His Torah. This one is the "man of sin" or the Messiah of Evil (2 Thess. 2:3), who will break peace in the Middle East and act as if he is friendly to Israel, but who will ultimately betray her and seek to have her utterly destroyed. Satan's final attempt to provide the ultimate "Final Solution" will be hindered, just as Haman's attempt was stopped. His plan will boomerang upon his own head, just as Haman's plan boomeranged upon him. And he and his children will all “hang from the gallows”, just as Haman and his children did. This will fulfil the first promise made to man where the snake’s head will be bruised and Satan will be destroyed. When Y’shua returns at the end of the Great Tribulation, He will destroy the Anti-Messiah by the Word of His Power and physically deliver Israel as her rightful King and Master. Israel's long-awaited Mashiach ben David will be clearly revealed and understood to be Mashiach ben Yosef Himself. Then, and only then, will Israel experience the true deliverance and salvation of YHVH -- and the rejoicing of that Purim will be like none other!
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