Purim is instituted & Israel is saved

Purim

Wednesday 01/11/23 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message: Purim is instituted & Israel is saved

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Purim is instituted & Israel is saved

Before we review the great 5 chapters of Esther from last week OR introduce the remaining 5 chapters of Esther for this week I want to circle back and address the discrepancy found between translations of Esther 1:6.

This is where the various curtains, which were hung in the palace garden, were reported to be different colors.

If you remember most translations say there were white and blue curtains fastened with white and purple cords.

Some translations say there were white and Violet curtains fastened with white and purple cords.

And finally,

A few say white , green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple.

So why the discrepancy?

Well, it took a little time, but the one we specifically addressed last week was the addition of green in the KJV and other translations.

In this case the word GREEN is being substituted for the word “Linen”.

Consider the two translations we mentioned last week.

The KJV says, “Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple

Whereas the NET says, “The furnishings included white linen and blue curtains hung by cords of the finest linen and purple wool”

The word translated as linen and as green is the single Hebrew word karpas. It is of foreign origin and literally means byssus or fine vegetable wool, but in the Strong’s concordance it adds the word “green”. 

So some translators choose to translate that it was a fine linen and others simply say one of the curtains was green.

So that is easy enough. 

However, there were more issues. Some translators, such as the Holman skip on blue and just say, white and violet linen hangings were fastened with fine white and purple linen” 

Though most translators seem to side with the color blue, the Hebrew word here is Tekayleth which is a feminine noun which means blue OR violet. So technically either could be correct.

The final discrepancy I found was a truly odd one. It is the Modern Spelling Tyndale/Coverdale translation and it says, “where there hanged white, red and yellow cloths, fastened with cords of linen and scarlet in silver rings, upon pillars of Marble stone. The benches were of gold and silver made upon a pavement of green, white, yellow and black Marble.”

Quite honestly I lost interest in following this last development. The original Cloverdale version was the first complete English translation of both testaments from Hebrew and Greek copies and was completed in 1535. This was therefore an early attempt at translation into English from the original languages. Since then we have learned MUCH about those ancient dialects and have much earlier copies making modern translations far more reliable.

NOW onto tonight’s study…

Last week we covered Esther 1-5 and these chapters introduced Xerxes, the pagan Persian king of the MedoPersian Empire. He is the father of 

Artaxerxes who would later send first Ezra and then Nehemiah to Jerusalem for the rebuilding and restoration of the temple, the city of Jerusalem and it’s wall. 

Then we learned of Queen Vashti, who disobeyed Xerxes’ who was also her king. 

Then we learned of Esther and her uncle  Mordecai who largely raised her. 

Finally we learned of Haman who because he had been promoted by the King, commanded respect in the Empire, but Mordecai would not bow to him so he got angry and vengeful enough to seek the destruction of ALL Jews just to kill Mordecai.

Esther, as you remember, had become Queen in Vashti’s place and was greatly honored by King Xerxes, not only allowing her to approach his throne unbidden, but also to offer her up to half his empire just for the asking.

Esther was a godly woman who knew she could have been killed for approaching the King, but after a mild rebuke from her Uncle she did so with courage. Though she could have taken half the Empire, she sought only the safety of her people and so she asked for the King and Haman to attend two banquets she was to prepare for them before asking for her favor of the King. They attended the first banquet and the other was to follow on another day. 

That is where we left off.

Esther 6:1-14, 

“(1) Throughout that night the king was unable to sleep, so he asked for the book containing the historical records to be brought. 

As the records were being read in the king’s presence,  (2)  it was found written that Mordecai had disclosed that Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, had plotted to assassinate King Ahasuerus.  

(3)  The king asked, “What great honor was bestowed on Mordecai because of this?” 

The king’s attendants who served him responded, 

“Not a thing was done for him.”  

(4)  Then the king said, “Who is that in the courtyard?” 

Now Haman had come to the outer courtyard of the palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had constructed for him.  

(5)  The king’s attendants said to him, “It is Haman who is standing in the courtyard.” 

The king said, “Let him enter.”  

(6)  So Haman came in, and the king said to him, 

“What should be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?” 

Haman thought to himself, 

“Who is it that the king would want to honor more than me?”  

(7)  So Haman said to the king, 

“For the man whom the king wishes to honor,  (8)  let them bring royal attire which the king himself has worn and a horse on which the king himself has ridden – one bearing the royal insignia!  

(9)  Then let this clothing and this horse be given to one of the king’s noble officials. 

Let him then clothe the man whom the king wishes to honor, and let him lead him about through the plaza of the city on the horse, calling before him, 

‘So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!’”  

(10)  The king then said to Haman

“Go quickly! Take the clothing and the horse, just as you have described, and do as you just indicated to Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king’s gate. Don’t neglect a single thing of all that you have said.”  

(11)  So Haman took the clothing and the horse, and he clothed Mordecai

He led him about on the horse throughout the plaza of the city, calling before him, 

“So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!”  

(12)  Then Mordecai again sat at the king’s gate, while Haman hurried away to his home, mournful and with a veil over his head.  

(13)  Haman then related to his wife Zeresh and to all his friends everything that had happened to him. 

These wise men, along with his wife Zeresh, said to him, 

“If indeed this Mordecai before whom you have begun to fall is Jewish, you will not prevail against him. No, you will surely fall before him!”  

(14)  While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived. They quickly brought Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.”

Esther 7:1-10, 

“(1) So the king and Haman came to dine with Queen Esther.  

(2)  On the second day of the banquet of wine the king asked Esther

“What is your request, Queen Esther? It shall be granted to you. And what is your petition? Ask up to half the kingdom, and it shall be done!”  

(3)  Queen Esther replied, 

“If I have met with your approval, O king, and if the king is so inclined, grant me my life as my request, and my people as my petition.  (4)  For we have been sold – both I and my people – to destruction and to slaughter and to annihilation! 

If we had simply been sold as male and female slaves, I would have remained silent, for such distress would not have been sufficient for troubling the king.”  

(5)  Then King Ahasuerus responded to Queen Esther

“Who is this individual? Where is this person to be found who is presumptuous enough to act in this way?”  

(6)  Esther replied, 

“The oppressor and enemy is this evil Haman!” 

Then Haman became terrified in the presence of the king and queen.  

(7)  In rage the king arose from the banquet of wine and withdrew to the palace garden. 

Meanwhile, Haman stood to beg Queen Esther for his life, for he realized that the king had now determined a catastrophic end for him.  

(8)  When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet of wine, Haman was throwing himself down on the couch where Esther was lying. 

The king exclaimed, 

“Will he also attempt to rape the queen while I am still in the building!” 

As these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.  

(9)  Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, 

“Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out in the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s home and is seventy-five feet high.” 

The king said, “Hang him on it!”  

(10)  So they hanged Haman on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai

The king’s rage then abated.”

Esther 8:1-17, 

“(1) On that same day King Ahasuerus gave the estate of Haman, that adversary of the Jews, to Queen Esther

Now Mordecai had come before the king, for Esther had revealed how he was related to her.  

(2)  The king then removed his signet ring (the very one he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther designated Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s estate.  

(3)  Then Esther again spoke with the king, falling at his feet. 

She wept and begged him for mercy, that he might nullify the evil of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had intended against the Jews.  

(4)  When the king extended to Esther the gold scepter, she arose and stood before the king.  

(5)  She said, 

“If the king is so inclined and if I have met with his approval and if the matter is agreeable to the king and if I am attractive to him, let an edict be written rescinding those recorded intentions of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote in order to destroy the Jews who are throughout all the king’s provinces.  

(6)  For how can I watch the calamity that will befall my people, and how can I watch the destruction of my relatives?”  

(7)  King Ahasuerus replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I have already given Haman’s estate to Esther, and he has been hanged on the gallows because he took hostile action against the Jews.  

(8)  Now you write in the king’s name whatever in your opinion is appropriate concerning the Jews and seal it with the king’s signet ring. 

Any decree that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be rescinded.  

(9)  The king’s scribes were quickly summoned – in the third month (that is, the month of Sivan), on the twenty-third day. 

They wrote out everything that Mordecai instructed to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces all the way from India to Ethiopia – a hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all – to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, and to the Jews according to their own script and their own language.  

(10)  Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. 

He then sent letters by couriers on horses, who rode royal horses that were very swift.  

(11)  The king thereby allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and to stand up for themselves – to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any army of whatever people or province that should become their adversaries, including their women and children, and to confiscate their property.  

(12)  This was to take place on a certain day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus – namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar).  

(13)  A copy of the edict was to be presented as law throughout each and every province and made known to all peoples, so that the Jews might be prepared on that day to avenge themselves from their enemies.  

(14)  The couriers who were riding the royal horses went forth with the king’s edict without delay. And the law was presented in Susa the citadel as well.  

(15)  Now Mordecai went out from the king’s presence in blue and white royal attire, with a large golden crown and a purple linen mantle. 

The city of Susa shouted with joy.  

(16)  For the Jews there was radiant happiness and joyous honor.  (17)  Throughout every province and throughout every city where the king’s edict and his law arrived, the Jews experienced happiness and joy, banquets and holidays. 

Many of the resident peoples pretended to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had overcome them.”

Esther 9:1-32, 

“(1) In the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), on its thirteenth day, the edict of the king and his law were to be executed. 

It was on this day that the enemies of the Jews had supposed that they would gain power over them. But contrary to expectations, the Jews gained power over their enemies.  

(2)  The Jews assembled themselves in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to strike out against those who were seeking their harm. No one was able to stand before them, for dread of them fell on all the peoples.  

(3)  All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and those who performed the king’s business were assisting the Jews, for the dread of Mordecai had fallen on them.  

(4)  Mordecai was of high rank in the king’s palace, and word about him was spreading throughout all the provinces. His influence continued to become greater and greater.  

(5)  The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, bringing death and destruction, and they did as they pleased with their enemies.  

(6)  In Susa the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.  (7)  

In addition, they also killed Par-shan-datha, Dal-phon, Asp-atha,  (8)  Pora-tha, Adal-ia, Arid-atha,  (9)  Parmash-ta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaiz-atha,  (

10)  the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not confiscate their property.  

(11)  On that same day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was brought to the king’s attention.  

(12)  Then the king said to Queen Esther

“In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman

What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? 

What is your request? It shall be given to you. What other petition do you have? It shall be done.”  

(13)  Esther replied, 

“If the king is so inclined, let the Jews who are in Susa be permitted to act tomorrow also according to today’s law, and let them hang the ten sons of Haman on the gallows.”  

(14)  So the king issued orders for this to be done. A law was passed in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.  

(15)  The Jews who were in Susa then assembled on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they killed three hundred men in Susa. But they did not confiscate their property.  

(16)  The rest of the Jews who were throughout the provinces of the king assembled in order to stand up for themselves and to have rest from their enemies. 

They killed seventy-five thousand of their adversaries, but they did not confiscate their property.  

(17)  All of this happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar

They then rested on the fourteenth day and made it a day for banqueting and happiness.  (18)  But the Jews who were in Susa assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth days, and rested on the fifteenth, making it a day for banqueting and happiness.  

(19)  This is why the Jews who are in the rural country – those who live in rural cities – set aside the fourteenth day of the month of Adar for happiness, banqueting, a holiday, and sending gifts to one another.  

(20)  Mordecai wrote these matters down and sent letters to all the Jews who were throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,  (21)  to have them observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month of Adar each year  (22)  as the time when the Jews gave themselves rest from their enemies – the month when their trouble was turned to happiness and their mourning to a holiday. 

These were to be days of banqueting, happiness, sending gifts to one another, and providing for the poor.  

(23)  So the Jews committed themselves to continue what they had begun to do and to what Mordecai had written to them.  

(24)  For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised plans against the Jews to destroy them. He had cast pur (that is, the lot) in order to afflict and destroy them.  (25)  But when the matter came to the king’s attention, the king gave written orders that Haman’s evil intentions that he had devised against the Jews should fall on his own head. 

He and his sons were hanged on the gallows.  

(26)  For this reason these days are known as Purim, after the name of pur

Therefore, because of the account found in this letter and what they had faced in this regard and what had happened to them,  (27)  the Jews established as binding on themselves, their descendants, and all who joined their company that they should observe these two days without fail, just as written and at the appropriate time on an annual basis.  

(28)  These days were to be remembered and to be celebrated in every generation and in every family, every province, and every city. 

The Jews were not to fail to observe these days of Purim; the remembrance of them was not to cease among their descendants.  

(29)  So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.  

(30)  Letters were sent to all the Jews in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the empire of Ahasuerus – words of true peace –  (31)  to establish these days of Purim in their proper times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established, and just as they had established both for themselves and their descendants, matters pertaining to fasting and lamentation.  

(32)  Esther’s command established these matters of Purim, and the matter was officially recorded.”

Esther 10:1-3, 

“(1) King Ahasuerus then imposed forced labor on the land and on the coastlands of the sea.  

(2)  Now all the actions carried out under his authority and his great achievements, along with an exact statement concerning the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king promoted, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?  

(3)  Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus

He was the highest-ranking Jew, and he was admired by his numerous relatives. 

He worked enthusiastically for the good of his people and was an advocate for the welfare of all his descendants.”

Some takeaways from all of this.

Clearly Esther was a godly woman, who believed in prayer, believed in the God of Israel, loved her people and she sought the favor of God.

She was orphaned early in life and was raised by her older cousin Mordecai. It does not tell us if Mordecai was married or had his own children.

There is a terrible lie being taught by many that Esther was Mordecai’s wife. That he had married his uncle’s daughter and that so Esther had two husbands. This of course runs contrary to scripture in general and to the Biblical account of these things specifically.

Esther 2:7 clearly states, “Now he was acting as the guardian of Hadassah (that is, Esther), the daughter of his uncle, for neither her father nor her mother was alive… When her father and mother died, Mordecai had raised her as if she were his own daughter.”

She was clearly a woman of exceptional beauty or was at least somewhat exotic to capture the attention of the king.

Esther was given favor from God which manifested in her being favored by the one in charge of the women. She was given special quarters to live in and the best of the female attendants.

She was wise enough to ask and had favor enough to be given an answer as to what to take with her to the King’s bedchamber. 

She had and maintained the favor of the king over the years.

She willingly placed herself in harms way to request favor.

This Persian king was clearly unwise on some levels because he seems to give the authority of his signature away to others rather freely. First to Haman, then to Mordecai.

He gives Haman’s property to Esther – something Jewish law would not allow. Esther, because she has been given the ownership of the property hands control and management of the property over the Mordecai.

Mordecai is increased in Persia under this king with authority greater than anyone in the kingdom other than the King himself.

Where was God in all of this? Wherever there was favor over and concerning His people.

  • For Esther to be chosen.
  • For her to be favored and treated better than ALL OF THE OTHER WOMEN taken from so HUGE a mass of land.
  • For her to be given inside information about what to take with her to see the King.
  • For the King to not tire of her, but to continue to have his love and favor.
  • For Mordecai to be in a position to learn of the plot against the King.
  • Favor for the king to not sleep well on the exact night needed for him to avert disaster for the Jews.
  • For the King to request the historical record to be read and for THAT portion of the record which contained Mordecai’s respect for the king.
  • For the King to rescind an edict signed with his ring on her behalf and on behalf of Mordecai.
  • For the king to give Esther Haman’s property.
  • For the King to give his signature ring to Mordecai and authority for him to write an empire wide edict on behalf of the Jews and sign it on behalf of the king.
  • Later for both Mordecai and Esther to be given Persian authority to write an edict signed by the King’s ring to establish the Feast of Purim for the Jews through the empire.

Because she was Queen in Persia she was able to issue some commands, the only one of which we have any record regards how to keep Purim, which clearly Mordecai participated in as well.

Esther 9:10-23,

“(19) This is why the Jews who are in the rural country – those who live in rural cities – set aside the fourteenth day of the month of Adar for happiness, banqueting, a holiday, and sending gifts to one another.
(20) Mordecai wrote these matters down and sent letters to all the Jews who were throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, (21) to have them observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month of Adar each year (22) as the time when the Jews gave themselves rest from their enemies – the month when their trouble was turned to happiness and their mourning to a holiday.
These were to be days of banqueting, happiness, sending gifts to one another, and providing for the poor.
(23) So the Jews committed themselves to continue what they had begun to do and to what Mordecai had written to them.”

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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