The Book of Esther is considered by some as not belonging in the Bible because the name of the Lord is not mentioned in this text. The story in this book explains the cause of the Jewish feast called Purim. It is a story of unmerited reward, and unrewarded merit. The following are the characters within this Bible story.
Esther was Mordecai’s cousin whom he took to raise when both her parents died. When she was chosen to be queen, the king did not know that she was the cousin of Mordecai or that she was a Jew.
Please see “The Fall Bride” which explains how the Jews were intended to be the “bride”, but committed spiritual adultery. The Church then became the bride. Esther is a type of the Church, the Bride of Christ. In chapter four Esther says, “It has been a long time since the King called for me.” Christians looking for the day when the Lord Jesus will call us to Him, have a similar thought. It has been a long time.
Haman was an Agagite, a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites. The hatred Haman shows for the Jews is a result of the long enmity between the Amalekites and the Jews. Haman, through a mixture of truth and lies (just like Satan), deceived the king into issuing a decree to have all Jews put to death. The date of this event was determined by the casting of lots or purim.
Haman, whose name means “magnificent,” was arrogant and came into favor with the king over the other nobles of the kingdom. The reason is unexplained and the favor he received was unmerited. Mordecai, whose name means “little man,” discovered a plot to assassinate the king and saved the life of King Xerxes. But Mordecai’s merit was not rewarded.
When this omission was noted, Haman was required to lead Mordecai, dressed in the king’s robe, seated on the king’s horse, through the streets of the city while Haman proclaimed how the king wished to honor Mordecai. This was an honor Haman intended for himself and the mortified Haman went home and planned to have Mordecai hung.
The gallows upon which Mordecai was to be hung was 50 cubits, or 75 feet, high. This is an unrealistic height and is probably symbolic. Just as 50 years completes the cycle of Jubilee, the 50 cubit high gallows is probably symbolic of complete death and destruction to the Jews.
Mordecai is a type of the Messiah. He was honored while seated on the king’s horse and dressed in the king’s robe. Later, we find that Mordecai was second in command in the Kingdom of Persia. Only the king was superior to him. Jesus, the Son, is the second person of the Trinity.
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. 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. The Jews celebrate Purim on these days every year. In 2016, Purim fell on March 24th and 25th.
In the next lesson I will show how there is a Torah Design in the Book of Esther. Until then, praise the Lord for His deliverance of us all!