13TH OF THE 12TH MONTH 2017/2018
Today is the 13th of the 12th month, which, as you may well know, is a very significant date that is recorded for us in the Book of Estěr/Esther. Having said that I would like to share briefly with you an overview of the events that took place, on this date, along with the 14th and 15th on the 12th month, in the history of the Yehuḏim who were in exile, in a message called, ‘PURIM – A CELEBRATION OF VICTORY!’. This is an updated message of that which I did 3 years ago.
The 14th and the 15th of the 12th month are celebrated as a memorial of a great victory over the enemy, known in Scripture as פוּרִים – ‘Purim’, which is the plural of the root word פּוּר Pur – Strong’s H6332 which means, ‘a lot, piece’, and is used 8 times in 7 verses, all of which are in the book of Estěr/Esther (3 times in the singular and 5 times in the plural). It is notably different to the typical Hebrew word for ‘lot’, which is the Hebrew word גּוֹרָל goral – Strong’s H1486 which means, ‘a lot, allotted, choice, territory allotted’, which is used 77 times in Scripture with the majority of these being used in Yehoshua/Joshua in giving us the various tribal allotments.
We are told in Estěr/Esther 3:7 that the פּוּר Pur – Strong’s H6332 is the גּוֹרָל goral – Strong’s H1486.
Estěr/Esther 3:7 “In the first new moon, which is the new moon of Nisan, in the twelfth year of Sovereign Aḥashwěrosh, someone cast Pur – that is, the lot – before Haman from day to day, and from new moon to new moon, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the new moon of Aḏar.”
The noun פּוּר Pur – Strong’s H6332 which means, ‘a lot, piece’, while of possible unknown origin, is thought by many to come from the root verb פּוּר pur – Strong’s H6331 which means, ‘to bring to nought, broken, utterly take, to break, crush’. As we remember the historical events that are recorded in the Book of Estěr/Esther, we are able to recognise how it was the enemies plan to break, crush, destroy and bring to nought the exiled Yehuḏim that were in all the 127 provinces that Aḥashwĕrosh reigned over, from India to Kush.
Aḥashwĕrosh was the king to whom Estĕr would become queen to, and the king before whom she would boldly intercede for the life of all the Yehuḏim in these 127 provinces, who had been given a death sentence under the craftiness of a wicked man named Haman.
We can actually take the story a little further back, to the time of Neḇuḵaḏretstsar, who became an instrument of יהוה’s wrath against the apostate House of Yehuḏah, when he besieged Yerushalayim, burnt the Temple and took the Yehuḏim into captivity for a 70-year period of exile, appointed by יהוה. It was during this exile that Dani’ěl ended up serving in the courts of Neḇuḵaḏretstsar, and after Neḇuḵaḏretstsar had died, it is believed, through other historical evidence, that Dani’ěl served under another 4 kings before Bĕlshatstsar became king, who is mentioned in Dani’ěl/Daniel 5 as the king who had made a big feast and drank from the gold and silver vessels that Neḇuḵaḏretstsar had taken from the Hěḵal of the House of Elohim which was in Yerushalayim. While he was getting drunk, and praising the mighty ones of silver and gold, he saw the fingers of a man’s hand appear and write on the wall: MENĚ, MENĚ, TEQĚL, UPHARSIN.
None of his soothsayers could interpret the meaning of these words, and Dani’ěl was brought before him and he told this wicked king that his reign had come to an end and that he had been weighed and was found lacking and that his reign would be given to the Medes and Persians. That same night Bĕlshatstsar was killed and Dareyawesh the Mede took over the reign. Dani’ěl served for over 70 years under all of these kings!!!
When Dareyawesh died Aḥashwĕrosh became king, and this is where we come to the story of Estěr/Esther!
We are told in Chapter 2:7 that Estěr was Haḏassah. אֶסְתֵּר Estěr – Strong’s H635 is of Persian origin and means, ‘star’, while the Hebrew name הֲדַסָּה Haḏassah – Strong’s H1919 means, ‘myrtle’, which comes from the noun הֲדַס haḏas – Strong’s H1918 which is translated as, ‘myrtle or myrtle trees’. The myrtle tree is a very significant tree in Scripture!
The myrtle tree stays green the longest and the branches of myrtle trees were used to make the booths for Sukkot/Tabernacles – which is also a great reminder to us of יהושע being in our midst as we sojourn here!
Why I say that, is simply because of the clear prophetic words we see in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 1 which speaks of the Messenger of יהוה who stood among the Myrtle trees, and this pictures for us a wonderful encouragement that shows how יהושע Messiah, The Living Word, stands amongst His Covenant people, even in the midst of our troubles and oppressions, just as He is the One who walks in the midst of the seven lampstands, as recorded in Ḥazon/Revelation 1!
The Myrtle trees are spoken metaphorically of, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:13, of those who shall not be cut off – those who bear the Name of יהוה – the true ‘trees of righteousness’ that are planted by יהוה.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:12-13 “For with joy you go out, and with peace you are brought in – the mountains and the hills break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field clap the hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn the cypress comes up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle comes up. And it shall be to יהוה for a name, for an everlasting sign which is not cut off.”
The story of Estěr/Esther is a great encouragement for us all, as we consider how she too was planted ‘in the wilderness’, so to speak, and raised up for the purpose of shining the light of יהוה in the face of darkness and death, as a true ‘star’ that reflects the brilliance of our Creator. She was not a star that would be swept away by the tail of the fiery dragon that has ten horns, as spoken of in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:3-4 “And another sign was seen in the heaven: and see, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. 4 And his tail draws a third of the stars of the heaven and throws them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born.”
This picture of a great fiery dragon that has 10 horns and seeks to devour the righteous, is pictured through the accounts of a wicked Haman and his 10 sons, who were all put to death, giving us a clear witness of the sure hope we have in Messiah, the One who stands in our midst! We who are in Messiah, and stay in Him, are enabled to stand and shine with much boldness, in the face of a wicked and corrupted world!
In a brief summary of the story of Estěr/Esther, the true myrtle that shone the Truth with boldness, we take note of the following:
Aḥashwĕrosh, like Bĕlshatstsar, liked to have drinking parties and he showed off his riches for 180 days after which he gave a 7-day feast for all, and drinking was according to the law! No one was compelled, but each could do as they please and this stems from a pagan rooted practice of having a week of lawlessness and revelry, without any punishment being given!
Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women and on the 7th day of the feast, when the king was drunk, he wanted to impress his drinking buddies by calling for his queen to come and parade before him. She refused and he got angry and, after consultation with his legal team, he stripped her of being queen and made a decree that all wives must give esteem to their husbands and not disobey them at all, and that each man should be master in his own house.
After sobering up he remembered what had been done to Vashti and that he now did not have a queen and a decree was made to let lovely young maidens be brought to him, and the one who pleased him would become his queen in the place of Vashti.
At the decree of all the young maidens being taken for the king, Estĕr was taken. She had no parents and was being raised by her older cousin, Mordeḵai, who took her as his own daughter. When she was taken she never revealed her identity as she followed the command of Mordeḵai. Each maiden would have a 12 month preparation period before being presented to the king, and when it came to Estěr’s turn she found favour with all, and also found favour in the eyes of the king, who put Vashti’s crown on her head and made her his queen.
Mordeḵai sat in the sovereign’s gate, which tells us that he was a well-respected man who gave right-ruling and judgements on certain matters. He had heard of a plot that was being made by two of the king’s eunuchs, who were seeking to kill the king. Mordeḵai told Estěr and she told Aḥashwĕrosh in Mordeḵai’s name, and after the matter was proved to be true the two guilty eunuchs were hanged!
After this Aḥashwĕrosh promoted Haman above all his princes and commanded all to show obeisance to Haman. Mordeḵai refused to do so and this angered Haman, who had then sought to kill Mordeḵai and after finding out that Mordeḵai was a Yehuḏi, Haman sought, with great vengeance, to destroy all the Yehuḏim!
In the 1st new moon of the 12th year of Aḥashwĕrosh, someone cast Pur – that is the lot – before Haman, until it fell on the 12th new moon. He then plotted a complete assassination and destruction of the Yehuḏim in all the 127 provinces of Aḥashwĕrosh, and after receiving the signet ring of the king, the scribes were called on the 13th day of the 1st new moon to write according to the commands of Haman – to cut off, kill and destroy all Yehuḏim (that is both young and old, little children and women) in one day! That day was decreed to be the 13th of the 12th month, where they would not only cut off and kill all Yehuḏim, but also plunder all they have! This was made law and runners were sent throughout all the provinces and lands. Can you, for a moment, imagine this decreed death sentence being sent out and knowing that in 12 months’ time you were going to be killed and wiped out as a people!!!
Haman, having got the law he had wanted put into action, sat down to drink and celebrate while there was great confusion in Shushan! I mean, can you for a moment think what it must have been like in the city at that time?
All of a sudden there is a huge target on the backs of all the Yehuḏim! This was a direct attack and an all-out war of destruction upon יהוה’s people, and while there may have been seeming peace for a long time, anyone who was identified as belonging to יהוה had a clear death sentence that would be carried out in 12 months’ time!
Mordeḵai heard of this and he tore his garments and put on sackcloth and ashes and went about mourning! There was mourning throughout all the land – wherever the decree was sent and heard there was mourning and wailing – after all what could the Yehuḏim do!!!
Estěr/Esther 4:3 “And in every province where the sovereign’s command and decree came, there was great mourning among the Yehuḏim, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing. And many lay in sackcloth and ashes.”
Estěr heard and she sent clothes to Mordeḵai who refused to put new clothes on. She then sent one of the eunuchs to go to Mordeḵai and find out how he was. Mordeḵai then told the eunuch everything and how Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries, to kill the Yehuḏim and he gave a copy of the decree to go and show Estěr and commanded her to go and plead with the king for her people. She sent word back to Mordeḵai telling him that she could not just go as she pleased before the king, as she could only see him if she was called, yet Mordeḵai made a clear statement we have all come to know. He tells her that if she did not go before the king then deliverance for the Yehuḏim would rise up from another place while she would perish. He then says:
“And who knows whether you have come to the reign for such a time as this?”
While Mordeḵai did not directly say to Estěr that she had been put there by Elohim, he implied that by asking her a question that would get her to urgently take the time to review her life, and clearly see and believe that there had been a clear leading of Elohim over her life. If Elohim had brought her to the throne, then He had a purpose in mind, and that purpose had now become evident – she was there to intercede for her people. Her purpose as queen was now clear – and she needed to step up, despite the threats of the enemy and the seeming obstacles that were stacked against her ability to do so!
This in itself is a great lesson for us all, as we must recognise our life’s purpose – for the goal of our faith is the deliverance of lives!!! (Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:9)
While we recognise that יהוה does not need to use any of us, we know that He chooses to use us, as great stars in His Hand that brings forth His message of deliverance!
The question is whether you are in His Hand, as you stay in Him by guarding His commands, or have you let go and find that the threat of the enemy has cast you from His presence because of fear, stubbornness and pride?
As you know – Estěr did step up, and boldly went before the king – and in doing so, Haman’s wickedness was exposed and the decree of death upon all the Yehuḏim was turned around and Mordeḵai was promoted to the highest position in the land! Mourning was turned to joy!
Estěr/Esther 9:22 “as the days on which the Yehuḏim had rest from their enemies, as the new moon which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a good day, that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending portions to one another and gifts to the poor.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘mourning’ comes from the root word אֵבֶל eḇel – Strong’s H60 which means, ‘mourn, mourning’, and is also used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:3 “to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.”
The oil of joy for mourning! That is primarily what we are able to celebrate in our Master, and it is this picture of celebration of victory in Him that we are able to identify with, through the accounts recorded for us in the Book of Estěr/Ester, as we celebrate the joy of victory over sin and death that our Master had brought for us, through His Blood, having that which was written against us taken away, through His life, death and resurrection!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘joy’ in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:3 comes from the root word שָׂשׂוֹן sason – Strong’s H8342 which means ‘exultation, rejoicing, gladness, joy’, which comes from the primitive root verb שׂוּשׂ ‘sus’ H7797 meaning ‘to be bright, cheerful, exult, rejoice, display joy’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:3 “And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance.”
It is with great gladness that we draw water from the fountain of deliverance! We can learn from this what a joy it is for us to come together and draw much from the water of the Word and do so with gladness. How prepared do you come each week, as we gather on the Shabbat? Are you drawing water with joy, or have you come burdened with the cares of the world! – A true life of praise comes joyfully to draw and be delightfully refreshed!!
This is where we come to the chapter that I would like to read…. Please turn with me to Estěr/Esther 9 (Read):
12 months after the decree had gone out to kill all the Yehuḏim – on the 13th of the 12th month – all had been turned around!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘turned around’ in Estěr/Esther 9:1 comes from the root verb הָפַךְ haphaḵ – Strong’s H2015 which means, ‘to turn, overturn, change’, which is also used in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:13, from the following passage:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:10-14 “Hear the word of יהוה, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Yisra’ěl gathers him, and shall guard him as a shepherd his flock.’ 11 “For יהוהshall ransom Ya‛aqoḇ, and redeem him from the hand of one stronger than he. 12 “And they shall come in and shall sing on the height of Tsiyon, and stream to the goodness of יהוה, for grain and for new wine and for oil, and for the young of the flock and the herd. And their being shall be like a well-watered garden, and never languish again. 13 “Then shall a maiden rejoice in a dance, and young men and old, together. And I shall turn their mourning to joy, and shall comfort them, and shall make them rejoice from their sorrow, 14 and shall fill the being of the priests with fatness. And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,” declares יהוה.”
You may also notice that the root word שָׂשׂוֹן sason – Strong’s H8342 is translated here as ‘joy’.
The reason for me highlighting this is simply for the purposes of emphasising the Good News of Messiah, who has turned our mourning to joy, as we celebrate the life we have in Him who has defeated our enemies and in whom we find refuge, strength and complete provision, equipped to stand and fight the good fight and be more than overcomers in Him!
The Yehuḏim overpowered all those who had hated them, and fear fell on all the people as the Yehuḏim struck all their enemies! On that day – the 13th of the 12th month in the 12th year of the reign of Aḥashwĕrosh – 500 men were killed and destroyed in the capital city of Shushan, as well as the 10 sons of Haman!
Haman and his house were destroyed!!! Haman had been killed 12 months earlier, but now his sons were killed too! What we must take note of, as we learn some vital lessons from these historical events, is that Haman and his sons are a clear picture of Satan and his system of destruction; and his 10 sons are a clear prophetic representation of the power of the wicked beast that is pictured in Ḥazon/Revelation, as having 10 horns, and tries to destroy the true set-apart ones! Haman was the son and Hammeḏatha the Aḡaḡite. Aḡaḡ was the sovereign of the Amalĕqites, and we will remember from the Torah portions how Amalĕq would be an enemy against Yisra’ĕl from generation to generation, yet because of the mighty Hand of Yah, who reigns on High, יהוה would fight against Amalĕq:
We are reminded of this when Yehoshua had victory over Amalĕq in the valley of Rephiḏim, after which Mosheh built a slaughter-place to יהוה:
Shemoth/Exodus 17:15-16 “And Mosheh built an altar and called its name, יהוה Nissi, 16 for he said, “Because a hand is on the throne of Yah, יהוה is to fight against Amalěq, from generation to generation.”
Here in verse 16 of Shemoth/Exodus 17 we are given the power of the full assurance that we serve a Living Elohim!
When we understand, in Hebrew, that a hand is often used as a metaphor for the work, or working strength, of a being, then we are also able to see that by the expression of, ‘a hand is on the throne of Yah’, we are able to fully grasp that the One who fights for us is active in His right-ruling and judgements, as His throne, which represents His Authority, is a Throne upon which there is a Living, working and Saving Hand; which further emphasises that, due to this fact, we shall always have the Hand of Yah fighting our enemies for us!יהושע Messiah, the Outstretched Arm and Right Hand of Elohim, is ‘on the Throne of Yah’, while He is also continually interceding for us, as High Priest forever, in the order of Malkitseḏeq. The thrones of other false mighty ones are simply man-made thrones, in which there is no life or power, yet the Throne of or Elohim, the Elohim of the Living, is active and in the power and Authority of the Living Word that proceeds from the Throne, we have the full assurance of the promised provision and protection of our great Elohim and saviour!
As we consider these words that are contained in this verse 16 we take note of a couple of varied translations, or rather interpretations, as to what the text is saying. The phrase ‘Because a hand is on the throne of Yah’ has various translators stating that the Hebrew word for ‘throne’ may in fact have been the word for ‘banner’, especially as we consider the declaration of the slaughter-place that was built as a remembrance and called יהוה נִסִּי – יהוה Nissi, which means – יהוה our banner or – יהוה is my banner.
In Hebrew, the phrase is written as follows: יָהּ עַל־כֵּס כִּי־יָדkiy-yaḏ al-kes Yah
Broken down by word we take note of the root meaning of each word:
כִּי kiy – Strong’s H3588 is a primary conjunction that can mean, ‘that, for, when, because, if, since’ and here clearly begins a clear statement that will be followed by the resulting action of what is first being declared!
יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 is a primitive noun which is translated as, ‘hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side’, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will.”, and we understand in the Hebraic mind-set that one’s hand symbolises what one does or one’s ‘works’ and to us as believers it speaks of our works of righteousness – that is the guarding and doing of His commands, while to unbelievers it can signify their works of unrighteousness or lawlessness!
כֵּס kes – this word that has been translated as ‘throne’ is thought to be a construct of the word כִּסֵּא kisse – Strong’s H3678 which means, ‘seat of honour, throne, authority, and official seat’, and speaks of the seat of the king and is a symbol of royal authority.
יה Yah – Strong’s H3050 which is the contracted Name of יהוה
So, what is it that has translators questioning the Hebrew phrase here? It is the word that is translated as ‘throne’ – כֵּס kes – as some translators believe that the word ‘banner’ is better suited here and explain that the reason for this is that the original Hebrew word may have rather been the word נֵס nes – Strong’s H5251 which means, ‘a standard, ensign, signal, sign, banner, distinguishing mark’.
The thought is that the two Hebrew letters כֵּ – ‘kaf’ and נֵ – ‘nun’ can often look the same when written in free hand and some maintain that it is possible that the writer was writing a ‘nun’ but may have looked like a ‘kaf’.
If this was the case then the phrase would render the following: ‘because a hand is on the banner of Yah’. For some this makes better sense, especially in following the compound Name of נִסִּי יהוה– יהוה Nissi.
While there may be debate over this, what is made very clear here is that on that day Mosheh made a clear declaration of Truth that יהוה would fight against Amalěq from generation to generation!
Another aspect that has been presented by some is that the hand being referred to here may be that of Amalĕq’s, which renders for us the picture of Amalěq assuming the role of being in authority by ‘putting their hand on the throne/banner’ of Yah, hence the statement that Mosheh makes becoming clear that because of this false authority that sets itself up as Elohim, יהוה Himself will fight against that which tries to set themselves up in the place of Elohim!
The throne represents the authority and right-ruling or judgement while the banner represents the display of who one’s authority is.
With this interpretation we can see the picture of the anti-Messiah trying to be the authority and get other to follow his wicked authority which he does by works of falsehood, trickery and lies! With the interpretation of the hand being on the throne/banner representing Amalĕq we take note of the lesson we can get from this in this being a warning against stubbornness and pride.
Amalĕq, as already mentioned, means, ‘dweller in the valley’ and can represent for us those who are in the ‘valley of decision’, so to speak, and are double minded in their walk as they refuse to humbly submit to the true judgement and leadership of Messiah! What Mosheh is making very clear here is that יהוה is against all those who are against Him and His people! There will always be an Amalĕq against the people of יהוה, and so יהוה will always fight for us!!!
Tehillah/Psalm 21:8-13 “Your hand reaches all Your enemies; Your right hand reaches those who hate You. 9 You make them as a furnace of fire in the time of Your presence; יהוה does swallow them up in His wrath, and fire does consume them. 10 You destroy their fruit from the earth, and their seed from among the sons of men. 11 For they held out evil against You; they devised a plot; they do not prevail. 12 For You make them turn their back, when You aim with Your bowstring toward their faces. 13 Be exalted, O יהוה, in Your strength! We sing and we praise Your might.”
The varying interpretations and possible translations of this unique phrase of a hand being on the throne/banner of Yah can be both a great encouragement as well as a stern warning, as we recognise the joy of knowing that we have a Mighty Elohim who fights for us, while we also recognise the caution against pride and assuming to be your own authority and doing what is right in your own eyes, for יהוה will bring down those who have proud hearts and have exalted themselves above Him!
Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you in any way, because the falling away is to come first, and the man of lawlessness is to be revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called Elohim or that is worshipped, so that he sits as Elohim in the Dwelling Place of Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim.”
Whichever way you may interpret these words of Mosheh in Shemoth/Exodus 17:16, we can be sure of the Truth that we have a Mighty Elohim who fights for us, and under whom we submit and walk, and in doing so we have great confidence, boldness sand shalom to stand firm and armed in His Truth as we lift our hands in praise and prayer, making our boast and praise in Him while also praying for each other. We also recognise that despite the enemies attempt at trying to usurp the authority of Elohim over others through works of lawlessness and pride, יהוה will fight against all that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim!
May we therefore walk under the banner of the Most-High as we walk in victory and overcome:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2: 14-16 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
Back to the story of Estěr:
Haman and his 10 sons were Amalĕqites and their wicked decrees could not be brought to pass against יהוה’s allotted inheritance – His chosen nation and royal priesthood!
What is interesting to take note of here, in this great turnaround of a decree of death, is that the sons of Haman were killed on the 13th of the 12th month, and after this the king asked Estěr what else she wanted as it would be given her.
She then asked for another day to be given for the Yehuḏim, like the first, and that on the 14th of the 12th month they would do to their enemies as they did on the 13th, and she also asked that Haman’s sons be hanged on the wooden structure!
Many of you may not have taken notice of this before, but I want you to think about it for a moment – why would she ask for the sons of Haman to be hanged the next day, when they had already been killed?
I believe there is much to consider in this regard and I certainly do not want to dig into Rabbinic teachings and traditions that link the accounts of Haman’s sons prophetically to the 10 Nazi leaders who were hanged in one day in October of 1946. Whether this be the case or not, what we do take note of is the complete destruction of evil, and against that which exalts itself against the Most High!!!
I see another picture being prophetically presented for us, and that is the clear sentence of death – that is the second death that awaits the unrighteous and those not found in the book of life! We know that Ḥazon/Revelation tells us that blessed are those having part in the first resurrection, for the second death has no power over them, and we are therefore able to identify the clear message being given here in Estěr!
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:11-12 talks about the severe woe that is given to the rebellious who have gone in the way of Qayin, and have given themselves to the delusion of Bilʽam for a reward, and have perished in the rebellion of Qoraḥ – they are trees without fruit and twice dead!
With Haman’s sons being hanged on the wood, we also see the symbolic picture of the curse of sin being death, for cursed is he who hangs on a tree! Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah – which is death – by becoming a curse for us! What we also take note of is that Messiah’s body was not left on the tree but was taken down the same day so that the land was not defiled, and he was buried the same day.
Haman’s sons were hanged the day after they were killed and would have remained on the wood, bringing us a clear picture of the curse of death that still stands upon those who stand against יהוה and His people!
What we also take note of here in this ‘turnaround’ (הָפַךְ haphaḵ – Strong’s H2015) of a death sentence, is that the Yehuḏim did not lay a hand on the plunder! While the Yehuḏim had full legal right to do to their enemies as their enemies had planned against them, we recognise that the Yehuḏim did not slay those who did not rise up to destroy them and simply stood for their lives, giving full proof that they sought their own safety and not the possessions of their enemies.
On the 14th day of the 12th month they killed another 300 men at Shushan, while in the rest of the provinces they had killed 75 000 of their enemies on the 13th, and still they did not lay their hands on the plunder! It was not about the spoil of war – it was about their lives, and we too can learn a great lesson from this as we recognise how we are to take our stand in Messiah, not to get some material blessing out of it, but because it is our life!
We guard the Torah, for it is not a worthless word, it is our life, and we do not keep Torah to get blessed materialistically! Anyone who attempts to walk according to the Torah in order to gain some physical benefits will be quickly awakened to the reality that obedience to walking in the commands is not about pursuit of material gain, but about guarding the gift of life that we have been given in our Master!
After the two days of overcoming, and defeating, their enemies, the Yehuḏim rested on the 3rd day – that is – the 15th of the 12th month; and then Mordeḵai established, in writing, that the Yehuḏim should perform the 14th and 15th day of the 12th month each year – to make them days of feasting and giving portions to one another, for their sorrow was turned to joy.
The historical accounts of the Yehuḏim and the days of Purim, teach us a great deal about the joy we are to have in our Master who fights for us; and because a Hand is on the throne of Yah, the enemy has no chance!!!
Purim is a celebration of victory and while we may not be of the House of Yehuḏah, we can certainly remember this great turnaround of a clear death sentence and recognise how Messiah has turned around our death sentence for our sin.
Symbolically, we can recognise that, in the Master having turned the decree of death from us by taking it upon Himself, we have a huge responsibility to stand for our lives and for two days (symbolically the 5th and 6th Millennium) stand firm in Him, so that when He comes on the 3rd day (7th Millennium), we shall be able to enter into His rest and rejoice with Him who in the midst of the myrtle trees!
Not putting our hand to the plunder also teaches us how we are to live as sojourners here and not be consumed by the deceitfulness of wealth and the worries of this life, but simply take a firm stand in the Truth, and see how He fights for us, as we stand firm in Him, raising the banner of praise for our great King!
While the enemy is constantly trying to cast a lot of destruction for us, let us be reminded of the Purim, where we are able to see how our Master and Elohim has turned around the decree and given us the ability to take a stand. This implies a choice – one we all have – and this is simply this: will I stand in the Truth and be steadfast no matter what or will I be hunted down and broken by deceit and sin?
That which was written against us has been taken away in the Master and blotted out by His own blood. He has taken it out the way so that we can take a stand and walk in His Torah – what are you doing?
Are you standing and celebrating the victory or are you buckling under the weight of sin and compromise?
Our rest is coming, but now is the time to stand and stand for our lives, just as the Yehuḏim who were in exile did back then!
We too are in exile and live under the pressures and threats that are foreign to the Covenants of Promise, yet in Messiah who empowers us to stand, we have the ability to uphold His Covenant with great rejoicing, as we have the full expectation of the sure promises of our inheritance to be made complete when our Great and Mighty Husband and King returns for His ready faithful and standing Bride!
Purim is a celebration of victory and teaches us how we have the ability to walk in that rejoicing victory each and every day, as we stand for our lives, living according to His Torah, and recognise that the goal of our faith is the deliverance of lives!!!
As we remember this great celebration of victory against an age-old enemy, let me ask you – “how are you standing?”, and “How are you walking?”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?”
To the Yehuḏim, these two days that that they stood for their lives manifested the fragrance of life, while to their enemies, their standing for their lives manifested the fragrance of death!
It is no different today – the question is whether you are competent for such a task?
A decree of death upon the Yehuḏim was given to all 127 provinces of Aḥashwĕrosh, and by the boldness of Estěr the decree was turned around. The only other time that the number 127 is used in Scripture is in reference to the life of Sarah, the only woman to have her age recorded. This speaks a great deal about us being the children of the promise who shall rule with Elohim!
שָׂרָה ‘Sarah’ – Strong’s H8283 which means, ‘princess, noblewoman’, is the feminine of the word שַׂר sar – Strong’s H8269 which means, ‘prince, captain, chieftain, ruler’!
Yisra’ĕl’ – יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl – Strong’s H3478 which means, ‘he who prevails, overcomes with El’ and comes from the primitive root words, אֵל el – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’ and the root word verb שָׂרָה sarah – Strong’s H8280 which means, ‘to persist, exert oneself, persevere, wrestle, contend’, is spelt the same as the name of Aḇraham’s wife. יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl – could also be understood as those who rule with El, as princes! We are a royal priesthood and in a manner of speaking with Aḇraham as our father in the faith we are also children of Sarah the ‘princess’ and so are also ‘princes’ in the Kingdom of our King, and we who overcome shall rule with Him!
As you take a stand in the Master and stay in Him, and after having done all continue to stand for your life, then you too can embrace the Purim like celebration we are to have in our Mighty King, as we serve faithful as a royal priesthood, shining the light of His truth in every way, amidst a wicked, dark and cruel world!
Remember how I mentioned that פוּרִים – Purim is the plural of the noun פּוּר Pur – Strong’s H6332 which means, ‘a lot, piece’, and is thought to come from the root verb פּוּר pur – Strong’s H6331 which means, ‘to bring to nought, broken, utterly take, to break, crush’! Well, this root verb is only used twice in Scripture and we see this being used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 33:10 “יהוה brings the counsel of the nations to naught; He thwarts the plans of the peoples.”
Translated here as ‘to naught’, we are able to firmly understand the great victory that Purim celebrates, as יהוה brought the counsel of the nations to naught and turned the decree around; and this is exactly what we celebrate in the victory that our Master and Elohim done for us!
May this story of Estěr, Mordeḵai and all of the Yehuḏim who stood for their lives, in the 127 provinces of Aḥashwĕrosh, stir you to have a bold faith to stand for your life and celebrate the great victory Messiah has given us over death, and do so with much rejoicing, giving praise to His Mighty Name, aměn!
While there are various debates over whether or not we should be ‘keeping’ the feast of Purim, what we do recognise is that while this is technically a ‘feast of the Yehuḏim’, these accounts are written for us as wonderful examples of the great victory we have in our Master, and the events that took place are a great prophetic shadow picture of the victory over sin and death that our Master has worked for us, which means that while this feast may not be a commanded Feast of יהוה, we can certainly rejoice in the deliverance we are to work out with fear and trembling; and taking two days to celebrate, with feasting and joy, the work of our Master, is not something that is burdensome and should remind us that we ought to live each day in the joyous victory of our great King!
As I have already mentioned, this decree of death that had been issued, to the 127 provinces that Aḥashwĕrosh reigned over, by a wicked and corrupt man, had been turned around, so that those who were once under a decree of death, could now celebrate the gift of deliverance and life, given by the Hand of יהוה. With the life of Sarah being recorded as 127 years, as mentioned, we take note of the celebration we, as the full body of Messiah, have in Him!
As we consider this decree of death being turned around, so that the chosen of Elohim could now live and rejoice, we can be reminded to therefore consider the life of Sarah, which means ‘princess’, and how she represents for us a clear picture of a faithful bride, let us be true to the Covenants of promise that we have been grafted in to by the Blood of Messiah and live faithfully as a bride who is making herself ready for her coming Husband and King, in whom we have abundant life!
יהושע is The Living Torah and our source of Life, or rather He is the Life of the Torah – and when we drink of Him – the FOUNTAIN OF LIFE begins to flow out of us as we gain understanding and walk in the fear of יהוה by walking in the Torah, and our speech becomes a flowing source of life!!!
In the ancient pictographic symbols of the word for life – חַי ḥay – Strong’s H2416 and means, ‘life, alive, living, flowing, fresh, running’, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE LIFE!
This word – חַי ḥay in the ancient script look like this:
Ḥet – חַ
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall.
Yod – י
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
From this ancient pictographic lettering of the word for LIFE we are clearly able to see how by the work of Messiah – the outstretched arm and hand of Elohim, we as living stones, are built up in Him as the Dwelling Place of the Living Elohim!
What gives us our ability to be built up as living stones in the Master, is our continued obedience to walking in that which is our life – His Torah!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47 “And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ĕl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.”
The name – שָׂרָה ‘Sarah’ – Strong’s H8283 which means, ‘princess, noblewoman’, looks like this in the ancient pictographic alphabet:
Shin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Resh – רָ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
Hey – ה
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out. It also symbolises the action of surrender and praise, lifting hands to the one who is to be praised!
When considering the life of Sarah and how she reflects for us a ‘noble woman’ who embraced the life given her, we can see that her name teaches us how we are to live as a capable bride unto our Master. For the true Bride of Messiah, MEDITATES UPON THE WORD OF OUR MASTER AND CHIEF UNTO WHOM ALL PRAISE IS DUE!
BEHOLD THE WORD OF THE HEAD WHOM WE PRAISE!
Knowing that we, who are in Messiah, are Yisra’ĕl, we take note that Yisra’ĕl’ – יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl – Strong’s H3478 which means, ‘he who prevails, overcomes with El’, are those who shall rule with Elohim, as His Faithful Bride, that has been redeemed from death to life! Now that is something worth celebrating!
Will you therefore take a bold stand in a joyous defence of your belief in the Master, always ready to give the reason of the hope you have in the One who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light?
As you take time to consider the events that occurred at the time of Haḏassah/Estěr, may you be reminded of the joy we have in our Master, giving us all we need to celebrate His victory over sin and death, so that in Him we may walk in that victory every day, lifting up hands in complete praise unto Him who sits on High!
PURIM – A CELEBRATION OF VICTORY!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks to Elohim who gives us the overcoming through our Master יהושע Messiah. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Master, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Master.”
In Messiah we are more than overcomers, as we take a bold stand of belief in Him, knowing that we have been born for such a time as this. Let this Purim remind you that you are one that can overcome and live and reign with the Master forever!
Romiyim/Romans 8:37 “But in all this we are more than overcomers through Him who loved us.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘more than overcomers’ is ὑπερνικάω hupernikaō – Strong’s G5245 which means, ‘to be more than conqueror, overwhelmingly conquer, to gain a surpassing victory’. This word is only used here in the Renewed writings and comes from tow root words: 1) ὑπέρ huper – Strong’s G5228 which is a primitive preposition that can mean, ‘over, beyond, on behalf of, for the sake of, concerning, exceed, more so, more than’, and 2) νικάω nikaō – Strong’s G3528 which means, ‘to conquer, prevail, overcome, victorious’, which comes from the root word νίκη nikē – Strong’s G3529 which means, ‘victory’.
The word νικάω nikaō – Strong’s G3528 is translated as ‘overcomes’ in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:7-8 “The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.
This root word for ‘overcomes’ is also used in the messages given to each of the seven assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation, teaching us to be overcomers and hold fats to the sure promises we have in our Master!
To those in Ephesos:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim.””
To those in Smurna:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death.”
To those in Pergamos:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.””
To those in Thyatira:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:26 “And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations”
To those in Sardis:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.”
To those in Philadelphia:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I shall make him a supporting post in the Dwelling Place of My Elohim, and he shall by no means go out. And I shall write on him the Name of My Elohim and the name of the city of My Elohim, the renewed Yerushalayim, which comes down out of the heaven from My Elohim, and My renewed Name.”
To those in Laodikeia:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I shall give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
One can be greatly encouraged as we see the collective blessing of overcoming the pressures and trials that we face, for those who overcome will get to eat of the tree of life and the second death will have no power over them as they have access back to the tree of life! Overcomers get to eat of the hidden manna and authority over the nations will be given to them for they will be able to rightly rule with proper discernment! Overcomers shall be dressed in white robes and have assurance that their names will never be blotted out and will become supporting posts in the Dwelling Place of Elohim and be given to sit with the Master on His Throne!
This in itself ought to be sufficient encouragement to endure and overcome, just as Estěr and the Yehuḏim did, when facing the evil of Haman’s wicked decree of death!!!
Romiyim/Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
PURIM – A CELEBRATION OF VICTORY!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!