By Martin Cisneros
The drunkenness actually encouraged by some Rabbis at Purim is more akin to wedding celebration. I "get" the layer of the story about deliverance, but too many elements to the celebrations seem like a Jewish Valentine's Day(s). As much as it's about deliverance, seems as though it's the celebration of when a King won the heart of his bride. After so much meditation in Esther, I want to see Matt Crouch's movie again, "One Night With The King." As much as it's the celebration of deliverance, vindication, and restoration of respect, story DOES SEEM as though it marks the time when she was with him because she wanted to be. I'd previously thought TBN might of gone a little far with the story book princess aspect.
Probably ONLY BECAUSE Song of Solomon's been viewed Occultically in Judaism is the only reason it's not emphasized at Purim. What I've previously interpreted, and likely very accurately, about the two Temple periods in Song of Solomon are EASILY the two dinners Esther had with her husband and Haman being prophesied about. Her being, or feeling beaten silly being with the news of what's to befall Mordecai, as much as her being the portrait of Christ. That's probably not emphasized 'cause it's obviously not koshur for the Gazelle at the close of it to be a righteous Gentile (Persian) King that had actually been the story-line throughout, as much as the Postmillennialist view of it being the overcoming Christian being sent off into all the world after the renewal of their first love. I had tired of Song of Solomon, figuring it was merely the picture of two stages of Jewish temple life, perhaps analogous to the work of Christ on a Psalm 23 King He was forming in a Word of Faith context, but this breathes new life into it and gives it an annual context as a new part of my personal annual celebration of Purim, the Jewish Valentine's Day. Two stages of Jewish temple life in the sense of the 1st Temple period and 2nd Temple period.
I used to think Ephesians had strong Rosh Ha Shannah flavors. Now, I'm thinking it's a Purim treatise instead: All of the gifts from His blessings progress towards our seating in the Kingdom emphasis, progresses to your former decree from the King for death being turned into a decree of life, your enemies are gathered 'cause you're going to teach 'em a lesson, to please don't get drunk, to the "here's how you stick it to 'em" close, all the while emphasizing joy, oneness of Jew and Gentile through this great contest of Christ, our Mordecai, and Esther says that many converted to Judaism as a result of the fear that came upon them. From the tone towards women to the encouragement towards SPIRITUAL drunkenness instead of getting absolutely wasted on alcohol. Our unity as a spiritual people is emphasized throughout, our place as sons and how to be a son and a servant are emphasized throughout, with the Ephesians 6 instructions to sons and to servants deliberately tying into everything from the 1st chapter and building towards the close of the epistle. We have an epistle all about the defeat of enemies, gifts for the sons, the servants and for the poor, not getting drunk in a corruptible way, an exalted view of women as brides, and all of the encouragements to be imitators of God with working in the seen and unseen areas of life to bring blessings.
Song of Solomon's PERFECT for the fast of Esther, (i.e. day before Purim on calendars that aren't Jewish calendars,) book of Esther for the 1st day of Purim, Ephesians for 2nd day of Purim. It's a day of wealth transference, though I've never heard that brought up. That 75,810 empty homes and property that the Jews defended themselves against the inhabitants of, it unquestionably likewise went to Esther and Mordecai. Many of the homes may not have been of rich people, but even assuming $5,000 as an average value, since some of their enemies might have had quite a bit of gold, silver, and other things, while some were, no doubt, mouthy Antisemites that were blaming the Jews for having all of the money and whatever else has been the accusations over the centuries because of not understanding the Blessing that was working. I'm certain my number's grossly conservative, but that's still about $379,050,000 that would have unquestionably been tax-free.
Even assuming Mordecai and those he trusted went through all of it and torched about $300,000,000 of it that was nothing but idols -- assuming something THAT CATASTROPHIC in the value of what they burned, and again remembering how extremely conservative I went on the value of all of those properties, that's still at least $100,000,000 tax free, or very close that belonged to Esther, Mordecai, and their family. Is it any wonder why quite a few Jews never left Iran, in terms of their descendants? Big ol' revival had broken out of people converting to their faith, meaning the Rabbis were just teaching and teaching and teaching and teaching 'til they were collapsing at night with the cheesiest grins! A handful of their descendants might of lived quite comfortably for just shy of a literal thousand years 'til Islam came along with it's rather cut-throat retirement program if you didn't convert!
Can't help wondering how many prophesies written generations before the story of Esther occurred that were viewed as specifically fulfilled, by some of the Rabbis, in the era that they'd entered into, and can't help wondering if they would have genuinely been 100% right about CERTAIN PASSAGES they might of been inclined to cite along those lines. The fire that falls in Revelation 20 on the enemies of God's people seems to conjure up imagines of some partial fulfillment of this particular incident, if the passage in Revelation weren't to be read as a strictly Pentecostal passage. Camp of God's people surrounded by those who WOULD LIKE TO war against them, immediate abundance of grace and gift of righteousness, and then gold and precious gems as far as the eyes can see in the last two chapters of Revelation as Isaiah 54 and other passages become His will done on earth as it was in the heavens with whatever they were walking out of the Gospel in their souls and lifestyles, as His living-tithing-gems (with the purified metals of the clergy that gave them cultural and historical shape and practical value rather than merely as things to be coveted and/or traded in) from Malachi.
Who are the Esther and Mordecai who are heirs of those last two chapters of Revelation, if we were to assume a book of Esther situation with a dreadful decree from a loosed Satan in Revelation 20? Some would EVENTUALLY say that Mordecai was a picture of Christ, of the Holy Spirit even, and that Esther and her king who may have discretely converted to Judaism as a result of the love affair that's no doubt kindling at the end of the book of Esther is the Ephesians 2 picture of Jews and Gentiles being one in Christ. Allowing for that to be the case, who are the Esther and her king who will reign over all of the peace and prosperity of the last two chapters of Revelation, with Mordecai saying for people to come to the water of life freely with all of those epistles he ever-liveth to write? Are the rest of the dead that don't live in Revelation 20 'til after the thousand years those who aren't converted 'til after the fear of our New Covenant Mordecai comes upon them, since the dead in Scripture isn't always strictly those who are physically dead, as in Ephesians? Who are those acting in the behalf of Esther, her king, and Mordecai that bring about the conversion of the rest of the dead throughout the rest of the book of Revelation? I know how Revelation 19 is normally interpreted with the fall Jewish feasts, but what if it's the Feast of Esther for her Lamb that's being talked about and we're talking about the killing of all that's been a threatening Haman and his hosts to us all of this time in our spirit, soul, body, finances, and social life? A feast that ends with a beast being seized? What does that sound like? Purim! Makes more sense, though obviously it does require one to reconsider Postmillennialism, since the story of Esther is the story of her people coming together as one body and purging the evil from the midst of their culture! The heroes of the story are all of the people of God who took up the sword of the Spirit against the evil of their day, not just Esther or Mordecai or the king of Persia, and all of them came out triumphantly as the head and not the tail. It's the only feast that corresponds with the close of the Book of Revelation where people are still being converted, hearing and obeying the Spirit and Esther who are saying "Come!"
This may not be too...er....Rabbinically Correct, but after an all-nighter in prayer, I'm not convinced any more the 2 days of Hosea 6:1-3 are Rosh HaShannah. Makes more sense that it's the 2 days of Esther 9:27:
1 Go, and we will return to Yahweh, our Elohim, for He tore to pieces, and He will heal us:He was smiting, and He will bind us up." 2 He will make us alive after two days: In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him." 3 And we shall know--we shall pursue to know Yahweh; as the dawn is prepared we shall find Him, and He will come to us as a downpour, as the latter rain and the former rain of the land." Hosea 6:1-3
27 the Jews confirmed this and made it customary for themselves and for their seed and for all joining them as proselytes that they should not trespass; they ought to keep on observing annually these two days in accord with their written text and at their stated time in every year. Esther 9:27
That Purim may have been unknown to Hosea is no barrier to the relationship between the two passages. To argue otherwise is to say that Isaiah couldn't have prophesied about Christ and New Testament living! In the standard way that Dispensational Christians interpret the fall feasts of the LORD, if we were to take Hosea 6:1-3 as talking about Rosh HaShannah, how are we to know by their interpretation of Rosh HaShannah as "rapture time," then the Second Coming 7yrs later on Yom Kippur that the 2nd day is healing, third day is living in His sight, and the outpouring of His Spirit leads to a knowledge of mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings in Hosea 6:6? I thought the Day of Atonement was all about fasting for 25hrs, sacrifice in the Jewish Temple, etc.! Lord Jesus cited Hosea 6:6 telling the Pharisees to go and learn what this means! But I thought Messianic Jews were studying the Rabbis because they had Hosea 6:6 all figured out!!
If it runs over too much tradition, too many favorite books, too many best selling books even, look at Hosea 6:3 about Him coming as the latter and the former rain. When is the latter and when is the former? Doesn't this sorta depend on perspective on which Jewish calendar you view as starting the year? If I'm not mistaken, with the calendar associated with the feasts, Purim would sorta be in the last month of the year, right before Passover month starts the new year. Latter rain, by the God-given calendar would have to be within days of Purim, depending on the year! Again, we've needed to look at Hanukkah and Purim for our future age doctrines rather than the September and October feasts that would have related VERY PROBABLY to the time leading up to 70AD.
Anything that gets interpreted as a departure in terms of Rosh HaShannah that Christians construe as the rapture was likely when Lord Jesus was saying to get the heck out of Dodge when you see these things begin to take place, and that passionate plea He gave for them to flee from Jerusalem! Your prophetic calendar starts with the same month that Passover is in, because from then on He was going to be made known to the world. Fall feasts are pregnant with revelation about His first coming, His tabernacling among men, and are perhaps loaded with lessons for the Spirit-filled life -- however, all of those Mosaic feasts dealt with 2,000yrs ago and the spiritual realities we've had since then. Why live in booths, for a week a year, unless it was a picture of Jerusalem having already been destroyed? It was to teach you that you didn't need the physical temple for spiritual reality! Hosea is a book about marriage between the clean and the unclean. The book of Esther is about marriage between the clean and the unclean. Hosea ends with the father of the prodigal son waiting everyday on those that are away from him to come home. Esther closes with rain of His Spirit having fallen and many of the Persians became Jews!
What's among the world's needs for healing, right now? Massive conversions to Christ -- everybody that remains to come to Christ Jesus -- and power in the wrong hands in Iran/Persia. He would come as the latter and the former rain. Everybody's all concerned, or not everybody but Dispensationalists are concerned with a 10 nation issue, in their interpretation of the book of Revelation and in Esther, Haman's got 10 sons that are being dealt with. Isn't Esther 3:13 what Mohametans are awaiting against Israel and nations that have traditionally been Christian over the centuries? This time it MUST lead to the fall of Islam and the conversion of Jews and Muslims to Christ Jesus! Esther 10:3 ends with a reference to the Isaiah 54 Covenant of Peace/Prosperity. Zero doubts that's the millennial view of the Postmillennialist being talked about!
As far as the 3rd day reference in Hosea 6:1-3, I've never heard any Messianic Christians EVER mention a third day in addition to the 2 days of Rosh HaShannah actually being on the Jewish calendar. However, the day before Purim is regarded as the fast of Esther that's observed as a day of fasting, so that Esther is TECHNICALLY observed as a 3 day feast by those who are really devoted to observing it. 3rd day you're unquestionably living in His sight, in the understood celebration of the festival. Enemies are behind you, feasting upon Lord Jesus is just about a month away with the Passover. If there's early and latter rain, why can't there be early and latter healing and going on to know the Lord in a New Covenant context? Fall feasts being a going on to know Him, first with, and then independent of, natural Jerusalem, but in the Spring, His Ephesians chapters 4, 5, and 6 gifts to men with every enemy subdued, the fear of the Lord upon the people, and His faithful intercessors ruling over all, speaking peace/prosperity to all of the people!
In Esther 8 the saints inherit the kingdom, first half of chapter 9 they have vindication from every enemy by God, and for the rest of the book they exist in a spiritual-Jerusalem existence without reference to natural Jerusalem and peace/prosperity was being spoken to ALL. In Esther, Mordecai stands in the position of a new Moses with Esther as his prophet who spoke for him. In Esther 9:30 Mordecai's writing epistles to ALL of the Jews with words of prosperity and truth. Sounds almost like he was a "St. Paul" for his day (2Corinthians 11:27) and Esther was his "Onesimus." Like Onesimus, Esther was someone taken into bondage against her will, but after an act of heroism in obedience to her spiritual father, Mordecai, the two of them were a great blessing at court and her story has touched more lives than those immediately acquainted with them. Mordecai was received as Esther was and he didn't do anything without the king's consent so that the king's good deed was voluntary. Esther had departed from Mordecai so that he might have her back forever, no longer as just a second class citizen in Judaism, but as Queen of the whole nation. Having confidence in the Jewish people, Mordecai wrote them, knowing they'd do even more than he said. And there's every reason to believe Mordecai was received by the king as almost a brother-in-law. The sharing of their faith became effective by the acknowledgement of every good thing God had done for them, as is evident by all of the conversions in the book of Esther. Esther 8:15-17 EASILY corresponds with the first 7 verses of Philemon!
Purim in 2012 is roughly on March 8th. Varies year by year 'cause it's a certain date (couple of days) on the Jewish calendar, which is different from the calendar we're usually accustomed to in the Western world. So it'll be a little different on "when" on our regular January through December calendar each year since the calendars don't overlap the same dates each year. It's not confusing on a Hebrew calendar. Same days on the Hebrew calendar every single year, but we're often not in the habit of observing multiple calendars, or at least not many people are, and seeing [each year] which days overlap with our January through December, Sunday through Saturday ideas. Technically it's 3 days with the day before being called the Fast of Esther, when people are encouraged to fast in preparation and reflection, though usually the 2 days of deliverance at the close of Esther are what's emphasized as Purim and what's being celebrated with all of the rich pastries, music, costumes, etc. It's claimed that days of Jewish deliverance throughout history have likewise occurred on Purim, as with any of the other feasts prescribed by Moses. It's even claimed by some that Stalin died on Purim right before very gruesome activities against Jews could take place. The quasi-Halloween part is about how God works in the unseen, just as in the seen. It's viewed as being an imitator of God in Judaism, when one goes through all of the costumes, and if my thoughts above on a possible parallel between Ephesians and Esther proved accurate through greater scrutiny, then in addition to all of our practical 360+ days of all of the outward attempts at being Jesus to everybody on the planet, we could conceivably view these statements about being an imitator of God, such as in Ephesians 5:1, as very deep encouragements to participate in Purim to the fullest extent, though getting drunk in the Spirit rather than on alcohol -- depending on how far back that teaching goes among the Rabbis and whether or not it would have been understood in Paul's days while he studied at the feet of Gamaliel. From this blog post onwards, Purim will always have annual emphasis in our ministry. God's been dealing with me about it for about 30yrs, and I look forward to studying it as indepthly as possible this year and in the coming years.