The Book of Esther tells why the Jews celebrate Purim. Purim is the Hebrew word for “lots”. Lots were cast by Haman to determine the date for the destruction of the Jews. Esther is divided into two parts. Each half contains five chapters and forms a Torah design. You may recall that the Torah is the first five books in the Bible. These five books establish themes found throughout God’s Word.
The second Torah design shows the triumph of the Jews and righteousness.
Chapter six - The beginning of good for the Jews. Mordecai is honored.
Chapter seven - The king saves (delivers) Mordecai. Haman is hanged.
Chapter eight - The king sets the Jews apart for survival and honor.
Chapter nine - The Amalekites, alone with no help, mourn their dead. (Testing)
Chapter ten - Mordecai is established as second in command in the kingdom.
The differences between the Jews and the Amalekites go back to the time of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. The Amalekites attacked them then and the Lord swore to blot out their memory. In First Samuel 15 the Lord instructed King Saul to totally destroy the Amalekites and everything they had. Saul disobeyed the Lord, spared King Agag and brought back plunder, in the form of the finer sheep and cattle.
The Lord’s purpose was not fulfilled by Saul, therefore that purpose fell to the Jews living in the kingdom of Persia. The author of the Book of Esther makes it very clear that the Jews took no plunder in this event, even though the king’s edict allowed them to do so. The Jews, who were slated for destruction on Adar 13, defeated their enemies, the Amalekites on the same day. The following two days were a time of celebration.
Praise the Lord for delivering the Jews of Persia, and for our deliverance as well!