By Martin Cisneros
I'm totally satisfied that the feast made for all people when death is swallowed up in victory, in Isaiah 25, is unmistakably a prophecy about Purim. In saying that, I'm not denying the possibility of an eschatological event in the way Christians from Gentile backgrounds have understood that passage. I'm speaking to the issue of divine foreknowledge of the events of the Book of Esther in Isaiah's day and I'm pointing to the origin of Purim as God's plan rather than human origin in that feast. Many Christians have dismissed Purim as a Feast of the Lord, ignoring their own doctrine of all Scripture being given by inspiration of God and insisting that Esther and Mordecai invented Purim without the inspiration of God. Similar to the insistence of some Pagans and Jews that St. Paul invented much of Christianity, ignoring God's Hand in the matter.
Purim completes the Biblical calendar that began with Passover and it Scripturally is at the time of the latter rain in the way that days of Creation in Genesis began with the evening and concluded with the morning and afternoon until 6pm; going from 6pm to 6pm rather than the midnight to midnight days that the Western world bases their days upon. People place the time of the former rain around the Spring out of confusion about when the Biblical calendar starts with the month that Passover is in. If the calendar begins in late Spring, then it ends in early Spring or late winter, depending on the year. Former rain would begin in the fall, latter rain in what's the Spring in North America, even if people have hundreds of Rabbinical notes to the contrary. Former rain would have to be in the evening of the year if God would have patterned His seasons after how the Days of Creation were patterned with evening beginning the day.
This being the case, that Purim completes the Biblical year, it concludes God's prophetic intents by being a feast that He's made for all people. Some would ask how it's a feast for all people if it wasn't very good news for Haman, his 10 sons, and everyone else that was killed in the couple of days leading up to Purim, but that would be eschatologically in the same way as Christ being the fulfillment of Passover was good news for Egyptians, though Passover wasn't very good news to the Egypt of Moses' Day. When these Biblical stories become the basis of prophetic events we don't have to already have a good explanation for every event to see the overall prophetic silhouette, though those insights will clearly grow the more we meditate on the text, pray for insight, and seek to preach and practice it.
In talking about Purim, I do believe that Scripturally it should be kept for two days, though most Jews keep it on one of the two days, the 1st if they live in an unwalled city and the 2nd day if they live in a walled city. Using their logic as Christians some might keep it the 2nd day based on the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation where walls are described as being around New Jerusalem and Hebrews 12:22 says that that's Covenantally our existence in our present lives. However, Zechariah 2:4-5 describes it as an unwalled city that's surrounded by walls of God's fire. Without exploring that issue further, whether flaming walls count, Esther chapter 9 says it's two days that are called Purim and two days that are celebrated every year, and “Purim” is a plural word and there's no Biblical festival of “Pur” celebrated on one day. Rabbis likely meant well by trying to think too hard about keeping it after the pattern of the actual events rather than as the two days that were meant to commemorate it, and perhaps to distinguish it easier from Rosh Ha Shannah for those not very schooled in the feasts. Perhaps based on Esther 9:27 saying “according to the written instructions AND according to the prescribed time” they might see in that to keep it one day based on where you live, but verse 28 says these two days should be kept “in every city” which doesn't lend itself to dividing it up based on where you live, whether in an unwalled or a walled city.
Esther 9:22 says they're days of feasting and joy, a time for gift giving to one another, and a time to charitably remember the poor. Esther 9:27 indicates that it should be kept by all whom the Lord would spiritually join with them, and St. Paul's epistles explore that spiritual joining with Israel indepth! This isn't related to Moses' Law and it was prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 25 of Isaiah, so if Isaiah's prophecies form any basis for embracing the Lordship of Jesus, then this other part of Isaiah's prophecies shouldn't be ignored. Purim might be celebrated by Jews as a tremendous time of Israelite Nationalism, but for us it's about Christ's conquest of death and having made us partakers in that conquest and about Lord Jesus becoming increasingly prominent. This is the celebration of the crushing of Satan under our feet and most Christians never show up for this celebration! Those days of Christians not showing up for this celebration are over!!
Yes, we rejoice that our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. This is a feast that celebrates the destruction of idolatry, which is another theme of the prophet Isaiah. Haman demanded worship. Haman's cult was destroyed in the Book of Esther. Is there grievous evil today that's seeking validation and equality with God's plan for our lives? Islam, Homosexuality, Speciesism, and the Eternal punishment error of the translators are four evils among many that have been seeking the seal of approval of all Christians and trying to make gallows for those of us who wouldn't bow to them and validate them. This is a time to celebrate the ending of all four, Covenantally, walking by faith and not by sight regarding their demise by the redemptive promises, principles, and judgments of the Scriptures and Christ's Blood!