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Purim: Hidden Things Jews Should Know, But Don’t. - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 15th March, 2014 @ 06:06:13 PM

This year the Jewish celebration of Purim lands on my birthday. Purim is a time when the “Megillat Esther” – the scroll of Esther – is read aloud in the hearing of children, and others. It is a celebratory time among the Jewish people. Whenever the name of the villain Haman is named, children make “raspberry” sounds.

People who know me well know that I am instinctively iconoclastic. Many holidays celebrated in our society are merely iconic. Their basis is spurious at best, and intentionally misleading at their worst.

I’ll not delve into those holidays here, but this feast of Purim celebrated by the Jews is not only history-based, but, because it features the reading of a large portion of God’s Word, I’m actually glad to know that perhaps millions of Jewish children hear the entire book of Esther on that day. There’s enough in the “Megillat Esther” for Jews to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior (“Messiah”), if, by His grace, He opens the eyes of their hearts.

That’s the happy news.

Of course, the sad news for Israel is that God’s Word was taken away, and given to any individual – Jew or Gentile – who receives Jesus Christ, just as Abraham did when He visited him near the terebinth of Mamre. The sad news for Israel, being nationally set aside by God, has rather worked to my advantage, as His word came to such as me.

It is ironic how well the book of Esther cast a very long foreshadow across this greatest of tragedies that has befallen Israel – the loss of God’s word – said by the apostle Paul in Romans 9 to be the chief blessing Israel ever enjoyed. The resulting (partial, temporary) blindness is particularly evident in the teaching around Purim, which permeates Jewish culture everywhere.

Can’t find the missing clues.

It’s relatively common knowledge in Jewry today that the Book of Esther does not contain God’s name. For this reason, some have questioned whether or not it belongs in the Hebrew Canon. And yet, it is in the Massorah, the definitive Hebrew text. What is missing in Esther – or what they judge to be missing, rather – is that Sacred Name given to Moses when he asked God for to identify Himself for the nation of Israel.

It is known as “the Tetragrammaton,” the four letters YHVH (“yod hay vav hay”). While there is much that could be said about its language permutations (Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord), it’s Hebrew pronunciation (or lack of one), and its prevalence in the Hebrew text is unquestionable. So, its absence in Esther is remarkable, indeed.

But is the Tetragrammaton really absent? No, it’s hidden, just as so many deep truths – even those found in Esther – are now hidden from the nation of Israel. The Sacred name is hidden in four acrostics in this book, as remarkably evinced in the Companion Bible, E.W. Bullinger’s remarkable life work. You will not find a better summary than that.

Astyages Gets A Bad Rap; Iran Hates God.

Esther is written at the time both Israel and Judah are in Syrian and subsequently respective Babylonian captivity. A time when God has hidden his face from Israel, turning them over to their own desires. It is the inauguration of the “times of the Gentiles,” which continue to this very day, and will continue until God once again takes up Israel nationally.

The Gentiles themselves had done nothing before God to inherit world dominion. Israel had merely failed and forfeited it. Gentiles became such with Israel’s election in Abraham. Before that Jews and Gentiles were together in a union of sinners in the days of Noah, failing miserably, thereby predicating the Deluge. So, to discipline His firstborn national son, He brought on the captivity first of Israel, and then Judah-Benjamin.

Esther (“Haddasseh”) is herself a captive in Persia. She is of the tribe of Benjamin. Her elderly cousin, Mordecai, finds himself in the Court of Astyages – the Ahasueris or King of Persia – at the time. Jewish tradition has Astyages all wrong here. Astyages is seen as a buffoon, and the antagonist of Israel. He is neither of these. He’s a Gentile king, who for some time (seven years) actually took Nebuchadnezzar’s place (as a brother-law regent) as world ruler, while God disciplined Nebuchadnezzar for his arrogance. Of course, Nebuchadnezzar did not have the law of Moses.

Astyages only has the Jews in his Court – and Daniel in the Court of his brother-in-law – to guide him. Astyages is also subject to the law of the Persians and Medes. He cannot reverse his own orders. That is the law of the Medes and Persians. He’s subject to being fooled. He’s subject to bad advice. The fact is, he’s just like any world ruler who is ignorant of God’s Word, i.e. every world ruler.

This is why Christians, who today have the Word of God in Israel’s place while Israel suffers partial, temporarily blindness, are considered “the salt of the earth,” the world’s preservative. It was the failure of the Jews to take God’s word to the rest of the world that brought about their setting aside by God. And they were set aside well after the captivity evidenced in Esther.

But the Jews misunderstanding and lack of appreciation of Astyages – also known as the Darius (Maintainer) of the Medes – the Ahasueris of the Persians, leads them to further miss the full picture of the hidden Esther. Because not only is the name of God hidden in this book, but the amazing role of Esther herself is overlooked. Esther is known for preserving the lives of her people by the Jews, but she is not known as she should be for her childbearing.

God has promised throughout human history to bring the Savior of the world, the Messiah, through the agency of a woman. While it remains a controversy within Jewry “who is a Jew,” it is without controversy that anyone born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. Esther replaced Vashti as the wife of Astyages. As such, she becomes the mother of Cyrus: the future Artaxerxes (great king) of the Persians, and inheritor (and conqueror) of the Babylonian empire. Cyrus, called a Messiah in Isaiah’s prophecy made perhaps as long as 150 years before his birth.

So, despite the fact that Astyages gets duped by Haman, he also discovers a way to afford Israel self-defense, and therefore is truly an earthly preserver of God’s chosen people. For these reasons, largely historically unknown to the Jews, He deserves historical honor from them. He gets little.

However, today, I think the Jews may have greater respect for this Persian king that Iran does! Iranians today are rewriting their own history to despise the Jews despite the fact their greatest king of all time IS a Jew! The judgment coming on Iran at the hand of God Himself looms. This nation, once beloved enough by the God of Israel to make it the head nation in all the world, has since been an undercurrent of enmity against Him. It will take another article to trace the secret, seething enmity that Persia has launched against God and His people over the many years since Cyrus.

Suffice it say here, that although God love Persia above all the nations at one time, since the secret infiltration by them inside the courts of Alexander the Great, their conqueror, has infiltrated and infected the nations ever since, through their mystical secret society especially, and is traceable to the modern era through Adolf Hitler. Anyone who wants to know historical and future geopolitics must study the Scriptures.

Haman Not Really Comical.

The Jews have some fun with Purim as the holiday is a lot geared toward children with games and activities surrounding it. As the Scroll of Esther is read, and the name of the Jews’ enemy Haman pronounced, all the hearers blow raspberries at that time. It’s good fun.

However, portraying Haman as a comical figure, rather than the precursor of that Man of Sin that he is, does no lasting favor to those children, or for anyone of age, Haman is an especially grim figure. Haman was Hitler’s Hitler. He was Satan’s man, rising up to destroy the Jews. The fact that he is taken in his own devices, and works to the glory of his dreaded enemy Mordecai rather than his intended aim is instructional to the maximum, as this is EXACTLY what happened at Calvary, nearly 500 years after Haman, 2,000 years ago.

Acts 4 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Now many people have a problem with the entire notion that God’s plan is so overarching that it encompasses evil. They fear they may attribute folly to God. Others, more high-minded on the subject, who acknowledge the fact of verse 28 above, choke on Romans 8:28 , which carefully does not attribute evil to God, as those high-minded ones sometimes do. I say high-minded because they pretend to be able to think and see as God does, when, in fact God can see more and differently.

God does not call evil good, but is able to make all things – good and evil – work together for the good of those who love Him, and are called to His purpose. While it was the case that the evil design of Haman was to destroy the Jews (especially the seed of Judah, of course, from whom Messiah came), it was God’s design to take Haman in his own design. Just as the cross of Christ was designed by His enemies to consign Jesus Christ to an ignominious and forgettable death, God used their evil designs to bring glory to Himself by showing Jesus to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection out from the dead, and Who since has become the most revered and famous Man in the history of the world.

When Jesus was here, He was rejected by His own. In the words of the same prophet that predicted Cyrus (a Jew, remember), called a Messiah because of his preserving of the Jewish nation in captivity, the fulfillment of Messiah was predicted to be rejected this way. The Jewish birth of Cyrus is not well-known, or even declared in Jewry. At least I have not heard it touted. In the same way, the miraculous birth of the True Messiah is also not historically acknowledged among Jews, despite the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Before we were first called Christians at Antioch, the entire Christian church was Jewish.

The great prophecy concerning Jesus the Messiah in Isaiah’s 53rd chapter is yet a thorn in the side of Jews. Allegedly, that chapter of Scripture is rabbinically forbidden to Jewish men under 40, and, of course, Christians are willing to deliver this chapter for consideration, as well as the great prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9, just as we offer the Megillat Esther for consideration. The Scriptures arrest the minds of men.

So, just as Jesus the Messiah was despised and rejected by His own (and the rest of world, do not forget), so will the Coming Haman be joyfully accepted and received. “I am come in my Father’s name,” Jesus said, “And ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” It’s hard to take the fact God’s people, scattered throughout the world as they are, set aside by God as they are, will accept as their Messiah on like Haman, instead of the One Who laid down His life at Calvary, that died for the whole world to purchase His chosen nation, but that is exactly will happen.

So, Purim comes today with a bitter-sweet ambivalence for me, and for all of Jewry. While it is a time to rejoice in remembrance God’s preserving power and mercy, way back in the day when he commissioned the Persian Empire to preserve his people in the days of Haman, it is also an ominous reminder that there is yet a day coming, when Israel will accept the greatest enemy of mankind, the Man of Sin. There’s plenty of Haman wannabee’s in every generation, and it seems in every place. But there is one coming who the nation will receive.

Today is the day, for the Jew first and also the Gentile, to seek the Lord when he may be found.

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