Jun 21, 2014

Feast of Purim: Festival With A Prophecy

This year, the Jewish festival of Purim Katan (Little Purim) will be observed on the 18th of February (the 14th day of Adar I) and the full holiday of Purim is scheduled for March 20 (the 14th day of Adar II). Purim commemorates the victory of Esther and Mordecai over Haman, in the days of the Jewish exile in the Persian Empire.

In a 1991 article on Purim, Gary Stearman reminded us, “If we count the festivals, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, Purim is the tenth festival out of 22 in the Jewish calendar. Alphabetically, Rosh Hashanah is the first feast, represented by the first letter, aleph (t), the letter of “creation.” This feast signifies “the birthday of the world.” Purim corresponds with the Hebrew letter yod (h), which refers the “unseen hand of God.” Perhaps, for this reason, the name of God does not appear in the book of Esther and, therefore, can only be seen hidden in the context of the story.”
Queen Esther exposing Haman’s plot to destroy her people all across the Empire.
The Story Is Set in Persia

For some strange reason, the original story of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews takes place in the court of Ahasuerus, king of the Persian Empire. And, today, a new plot to destroy the Jews is emerging from that same country — Persia/Iran. As we shall see, there are at least three historical references implying that Persia/Iran will be the country that leads the world into the final conflicts of the Tribulation Period.

The Abrahamic Covenant

When God first established a covenant with Abraham, He said that He would “bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3). That curse targets those nations who become the enemies of God’s Chosen People. Whatever a nation does to hurt Israel, God will do the same to that nation. God seems to promise “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” to any nation that attempts to curse the Jews. It is God’s ultimate plan for “turning the tables on one’s enemies.”
The original biblical story takes place in the palace of King Ahasuerus at Susa in the Persian Empire. At a banquet, the king calls upon Queen Vashti to display her beauty before his guests. She refuses and through a strange turn of events the Jewish maiden, Esther, finds favor in his eyes. Eventually, she becomes his queen.

Her cousin, Mordecai, is also favored at court when he uncovers a plot to kill the king.  As a reward, those at court were told to honor him. But “Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite,” found it difficult to pay homage to a Jew. Haman was an Edomite, through Esau’s son, Amalek. Agag was the king of the Amalekites. Contrary to the direct order of God, King Saul allowed him to live after the Israelites had defeated the Amalekites.

As the story goes, Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites, developed a burning hatred for the Jews. He was made grand vizier above all other princes, and plotted to kill all the Jews, starting with Mordecai.

Haman was so anxious to annihilate the Jews that he cast lots for a whole year to determine the best time to execute his plan. The Assyrian word for lots is “puru,” which enters the Hebrew language as Purim. He built a gallows and planned to use it to make an example of Mordecai. But in the end, through a final, subtle twist of events, Haman and his sons were hanged upon that same gallows.
Haman stands as an example of the fate given to those who attempt to destroy the Jews. Down through the years, many have shared Haman’s fate. In our generation, one of the most interesting examples is that of Julius Streicher, one of the chief propagandists of the Nazi regime in World War II.

Streicher was the editor of a Nazi newspaper. As Hitler rose to power, his newspaper consistently spread a hatred for the Jews all over Europe. He was out to destroy the Jews. Like Hitler, he felt that the “final solution” to the world’s problems would be the complete annihilation of the Jewish people.
World War II ended with the defeat of Germany. Julius Streicher was captured, tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to be hung. As he walked to the gallows in preparation for execution, he uttered these final words: “Purim, 1946! Purim, 1946!” Streicher realized that he was repeating the plot of Haman. In his own way, he was belatedly acknowledging the truth of the Bible. God will always bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse the Jews.

The hanging of Haman was not the end of the story. Mordecai the Jew was given a place of honor by the king. His fame spread throughout all the provinces of the kingdom to such a degree that the provincial rulers feared him. And to their dismay, Ahasuerus issued a nationwide decree, stating that on the 13th day of the month Adar, the Jews could legally avenge themselves upon their enemies. Esther 9:5 tells what happened:

“Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.”

Thereafter, the Jews began to commemorate Purim on the two days following their victory — Adar 14 and 15. The entire nation of Persia was not against the Jews, only a certain faction of their society. Thus it is today in Modern Persia. Most of the Iranians do not agree with the ruling faction of hardened enemies against Israel.

Read the rest of this article at - http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/feast-of-purim-festival-with-a-prophecy/