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Purim

March 14, 2014

Esther 9:27-28 – “The two days of Purim should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city. These two days should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.”

Purim celebrates the victory of the Jews over those who would try to oppress or kill them.  The name of the feast comes from the plural (Purim) of the Hebrew word: Pur [פּוּר H6332].  It is said that lots (Purim) were cast to determine on which day to destroy the Jews.  Purim is to be remembered forever, and is to be celebrated with great joy.  It was very likely celebrated by Yeshua (John 5:1), and continues to be celebrated today.  Purim this year will be celebrated on March 15th and 16th.

The entire story of the first Purim is told in the book of Esther. This feast was first celebrated by Jews living in Persia, or modern Iran.  And, just as in the past, once again we see threats of annihilation being sworn against the Jews by those who rule the same nation that was the source of this feast – Persia!

Historical Echoes
Esther 9:6-10 – “At the citadel in Susa the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, and Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha, the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jews’ enemy; but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.”

One of the Persian King’s advisors, Haman, hated the Jews because they only bowed down to Yahweh, not to the Persian King, Ahasuerus, nor to Haman, himself.  He convinced the King to give him authority to exterminate all of the Jews.  Mordecai, however, was able to persuade his niece, Esther, to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people, and the King turned the tables on Haman and his cronies, giving the Jews authority over them.  Haman and his ten sons ( were hanged on the very gallows that he had planned to use to hang Mordecai and the Jews. The names form a paragraph which can read:  He [Mordecai] repeatedly broke the [King’s] decree. The weeper [Haman] gathered together [his wife and friends] in frustration. Then a new decree was made, upon the spoiling of the banquet [given by Esther].  The lion [of Judah] caused the blood of the sons of the man of rage and of the war wager to be sprinkled.

In Exodus 17:14 and Deuteronomy 25:17-19, Yahweh says that he will have war with the Amalekites from generation to generation until they are destroyed.  Haman was a descendant of Agag, an Amalekite king that the Israeli King Saul should have killed years ago (I Samuel 15).  However, because Saul did not kill Agag, Haman was able to be offended by Mordecai’s actions and to seek his destruction.

Modern Echoes
Modern history gives us two significant figures who have threatened the Jewish people: Hermann Goring and Joseph Stalin.  Their stories seem to have some parallels Haman’s story in the Book of Esther.

According to tradition, Haman’s daughter committed suicide before his execution on the gallows, but Haman and his ten sons were all hanged.  In 1946, ten of Hitler’s top associates were put to death by hanging and Goring, a rumored transvestite, committed suicide.  That the Nazi hanging was known to be a parallel to the Haman hanging may be verified by the shout from the gallows by Julius Streicher, who yelled: “Purim Fest 1946!”

Joseph Stalin had plans to deport all of the Jews in 1953.  Before he was able to accomplish this, he died of a stroke on the night after Purim that year, perhaps in response to the prayers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his followers!

Today’s Spirits
Spirit of Haman
The spirit of Haman is alive and well today.  The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, stated in 1948: “If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.”  Today, it is once again the Persians who are trying to remove the Jews from the face of the earth.  Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is well known for statements that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”  Hassan Rouhani, the current President of Iran, has also declared Israel to be a wound: “that should be removed.”  Both men reiterate the feelings and desires of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who have both yearned for and prepared for the day when Israel would be destroyed.

Spirit of Esther
Esther 3:14 – “Who knows but that you have come to his position for such a time as this.”
On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered his speech to the Congress of the United States detailing the nuclear threat from Iran. March 3rd, the 13th of Adar, in the twelfth month on the Biblical calendar is the very day the book of Esther tells us that all the Jews were to be killed. At that time, Esther came before the King to petition on behalf of the Jews. Once again, Yahweh has provided a messenger on behalf of the Jews in the person of Benjamin Netanyahu. And like Esther, Netanyahu also broke protocol to make his appeal before the government! Will the world listen as did King Ahasuerus, or will the world ignore his message?

Purim Lessons
•  Everyone has a purpose – one is not to fail to stand up for others who may be oppressed.  If Esther had not stood up for her people, then another would have been appointed (Esther 4:14).

•  Yahweh answers prayer – He is in control.  Yahweh has covenanted with the Jewish people to prevent them from being totally annihilated. The final Purim will be fulfilled at the return of Yeshua.

•  Circumstances are not to dictate our actions – Normally, it would have been wrong for a Jewish girl to have married a Persian King.  However, circumstances dictated that Esther be in that place, just as Joseph was in Pharaoh’s court, to guarantee the survival of the Jews.

•  Be Faithful To Yahweh in all you do – Bowing only to Yahweh may land you in trouble, but Yahweh is more than able to overcome any obstacles you face, even martyrdom!  Resurrection is a fact, not an option.

•  Oppressing Yahweh’s People is not good for one’s health – Genesis 12:3 says very clearly that any who bless the Jews will be blessed and any who curse the Jews will be cursed.  Haman chose to curse the Jews, and received exactly the punishment that he had sought to bring down upon their heads.  Matthew 7:2 echoes this saying: The measure you give will be the measure you get back.

•  Yahweh can turn mourning into joy – Jeremiah 31:13 says: For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.

Conclusion
Mark 8:36 – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Yahweh can turn the most horrific circumstances into days of celebration and joy. As Mark Biltz says: “He can bring victory and deliverance form the least likely places, and he can use anyone who steps forward to take on the challenge of standing against evil and for the good of humanity. Purim is recognizing the triumph of good over evil and of the need for every person to be available or the call of God on their life ‘for such a time as this’.” Give Him praise.
Haman, in trying to serve himself ended up losing his life, both in this life and for all eternity. Esther, by giving up herself, was blessed and honored. Living for one’s self always leads to eternal disaster. Serve self now and end up losing all later as did Haman. Die to self now, like Esther and Mordecai, and receive blessing and honor now, and eternal blessings and life in the age to come.

Related Links on Purim
Jewish FAQ Purim Article
El Shaddai Ministries Purim Article
Hebrew 4 Christians Purim Article
Idolphin Purim Article

Related Links for Today’s Spirits
Algemeiner Article
Rosenberg Article
Jerusalem Connection Spot Report

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