Importance of Purim, the book of Esther

Most people who haven’t spent the time to investigate Esther wouldn’t understand that the events of the book are both historical and predictive.

Let’s look at the names:

  1. Purim – which means Lots, or Pur for Lot. Purim as small fragments of stones or pottery which were used in biblical times to draw Lots. Purim was cast from Nisan, 1st month, until Adar, the last month, to determin which month the Jews would be annihilated. So Purim is the celebration over those who had set out to destroy them.
  2. Ahasuerus – Greek for Prince; Achashverosh – Hebrew for Great Warrior, AKA Lion King; in this case was Xerxes 1st (Old Greek) of Persia. Most people would know him as the king of the failed invasion from the movie 300.
  3. Vashti – Persian for the beautiful one. The nation of Israel was also reffered to as the beautiful one. Though Vashti was stripped from her title when she denied the orders of the king, she was not divorsed or removed from him.
  4. Esther – Persian for Star or Hidden. Haddash is the Hebrew name that means Myrtle, which is a symbol of Love and Marriage.
  5. Haman – which means Magnaficent, Noise, and Tumult. He is the decendant of King Agag, who is the Amalekites. Note that had King Saul obeyed God, there would be no more Amalekites. However these people have been a continual thorn in the side of God’s people, continually to this day. Haman had ten children, which were most likely grown by this story.
  6. Mordecai – Hebrew for Little Man. Note that Paul, from the book of Acts, means Little One. Note some of the parrallelisms as you read Esther. Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin, and a decendant of Kish who was King Saul’s father.
  7. Zeresh – means Misery, Strange, Displaced Inheritance. She is Haman’s wife. Note of Haman’s peak of authority, compared to the judgement against him and his Family.
  8. There are several attendants listed, these include Mehuman, Bizta, Harvona, Bigta, Avagta, Zetar, and Karkas
  9. He also had several wisemen, of which included Karshna, Shetar, Admata, Tarshish, Meres, Marsna, and Memukhan.

These are the key players of the events of the book. Let’s look at key parts of this story.

  1. Events opening the whole story.
    1. Xerxes bought his way to his throne, and legitimized it through the marriage with Vashti.
    2. Vashti wasn’t completely obedient to the throne, but ran her own court, and in a crucial time defied her husband and king. So Xerxes stripped her of her position and decided to take a new queen.
    3. One of Xerxes wisemen councelled the king to strip the queen of her position, and name a new queen.
    4. Xerxes jumped at the idea.
    5. Attendants went out throughout Shushan (Where the story takes place), and requests from Mordecai, for Esther to come to the King’s harem.
    6. Esther, who was staying with Mordecai didn’t want to go. Mordecai didn’t want to let her go either, but saw that this was most likely Adonai’s will. (Adonai, from the Hebrew words Adone: Lord, Ai: My)
  2. Key events that will drive the story
    1. King Xerxes was attracted to Esther above all other women. She won his favor.
    2. Mordecai overheard two of the king’s attendants conspiring against the king to assassinate him. Mordecai reported to Esther, who then reported it to the King, giving credit to Mordechai.
  3. The challenge to the Jews.
    1. Haman, being the highest ranking person under Xerxes, expected people to bow before him. However, Mordecai would not bow down.
    2. Haman turned to Xerces and had a law passed that all Jews would be slaughtered.
  4. Discovery
    1. Mordechai discovers the plot, and convinces Esther to risk her life to expose the events of Xerxes.
    2. Esther plots the means to expose Hamon.
    3. Hamon doesn’t know that Esther is a Jew, and brags to his wife.
    4. Zeresh convinces Hamon to build gallows in their yard to hang Mordecai.
  5. The wrap and judgement
    1. Xerxes asks Hamon what is a good reward for a person that the king would honor. Hamon though it was himself that the king was going to honor, but found out the hard way that it was Mordecai.
    2. Xerxes tells Hamon to treat Mordecai as Hamon thought he was going to be treated.
    3. Hamon, terrified tried to appeal to Esther, which the King catches Hamon mid event, and caught Hamon on the couch that Ester was reclining on. Which Xerxes sentenced Hamon and wife to swing on the gallows that they built for Mordecai.
    4. Then Esther got a new law passed allowing the Jews to retaliate against those who would slaughter them, and execute the children of Haman.

There are several key points to take away from this, but you will have to wait for Part 2.

Shalom.

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