Esther's Zeal & The Feast of Purim
by Angela Doreathy Watkins
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My only resource is the Holy Inspired Written Word of God ...The Bible. One thing for certain I believe and stand on -- ALL Mankind IS precious.
The Biblical Truth on Record: The greatest message of Esther is a divine providence, by which God can rule and overrule in the affairs of men and work events out according to his will. The king had a sleepless night at exactly the right time - the night before the first banquet (Esther 6:1). God could easily cause that. The king had the book of records brought before him and read. The result was that Mordecai was honored on the very day that Haman planned to hang him. Then at the second banquet Esther, was in a postion to plead for her life and the lives of her people. (Esther 7).
It will help to think of Daniel or Esther when ever in a hard place. But remember most of all that the Lord is your helper as he was theirs.
Key Words in Esther 4:10-17; 9:20-22, 26 and 27: Hatach, commandment, unto Mordecai, one law of his, the golden sceptre, I have not been called, Think not, enlargement, from another place, fast ye for me, and the 15th day, Purim and such as joined themselves unto them.
The identification of the Hebrew name Ahasuerus with Xerxes was determined via of the Babylonian form of the name. Ahasuerus is mentioned in one verse in the Book of Ezra 4:6 and in the period of his reign comes chronologically during the part of the 57 years which elasped after the events recorded in Ezra 6 and before those of Ezra 7.
The book of Esther was written in the Persian period around 406 - 359 BC, by a Susan Jew who was familiar with the palace, and with Persian history, and with Persian customs.
Esther, the Persian name of HADASSAH, daughter of Abihail, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. Esther was a beautiful Jewish maiden, whose ancestor Kish had been among the captives led away from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar when Jehoiachin was taken captive. She was an orphan without father or mother, and had been brought up by her cousin Mordecai, who had an office in the household of Ahasuerus king of Persia, and dwelt at "Shushan the palace." When Vashti was dismissed from being queen, and all the fairest virgins of the kingdom had been collected at Shushan for the king to make choice of a successor to her from among them, the choice fell upon Esther. The king, was not aware, however, of her race and parentage.
The opening book chapter of the book of Esther tells of a 180 day feast given by Xerxes in the third year of his reign. The banquets was a time to decide concerning an invasion of Greece. Between the third year of Xerxes, when Queen Vashti was deposed, and his seventh year (Esther 2:16), when Esther was made queen, Xerxes campaign against Greece took place, ending in dismal failure.
The royal favorite was Haman, called thought to mean that he was of Amalekite descent and hence one of the hereditary obeisance. Haman was wroth and determined to get revenge by bringing about a massacre of all the Jews throughout the Persian Empire.
It was then that Mordecai, warned Esther of the terrible proposed destruction and urged her to intercede with the king in her people's behalf. Mordecai suggested that Esther elevation to the position of queen might be a part of a divine plan to save the Jews from death. There was prayer and fasting. Then Esther risked her life and went in before the king.
The king held out to Esther his scepter, and asked her what was her request. Esther invited the king and Haman to a banquet and then to a second banquet. Haman was highly elated, but Mordecai was honored instead of being hanged on the gallows prepared for him. The plot of Haman to destroy the Jews was revealed.
The 14th day of Adar, the first day on which the feast of Purim is celebrated, is called in the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees "Mordecai's day," which shows plainly that Purim was observed late in the period between the Old and New Testament (2 Macc 15:36).
The 13th day has been observed by fasting in honor of Esther's prayer and fasting before she approached the king. On the following morning of the 14th, synagogue services are held, with the reading of Esther (Exodus 17:8-16) which records the destruction of the Amalekites (Esther 3:1). Presents are given to the poor and to friends, and the rest of the day, as also the 15th, is observed with feasting and rejoicing.
Crusade @ Bible Publishers, Inc. 1970, Mt. Juliet, Tn, USA, 37122
The Precious Promise Bible KJV, "International", Copyright 1915/1908 By The J C Winston Co., Entered 1915/1908 At Stationer's Hall, ALL Rights Reserved, Printed in USA
New Devotional "KJV" & Explanatory Bible, Old & New Testaments, Apocrypha, Concordance, & Psalms in Metre; Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by J R Jones, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington
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