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. The Book of Esther is in two parts, each a mirror image of the other. It is a story of unmerited reward, and unrewarded merit.
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.
Esther is another replacement bride. (Please see “The Fall Bride” which explains how the Jews were intended to be the “bride”, but committed spiritual adultery and were replaced by the Church. 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 a long enmity between the Amalekites and the Jews. Haman, through a mixture of truth and lies, deceives 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 is a type of the devil and/or the anti-Christ and the financial order that will attempt to control the world in the End Times. His wife’s name was “gold” and one of the other nobles was Tarshish. See Isaiah 23:1-14 and James 5:1-3. Haman 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 discovered a plot to assassinate the king and saved the life of King Xerxes. This meritorious act 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 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 second only to God, the Father.
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.
1 - Genesis - Beginning and the sin of man
2 - Exodus - Deliverance and redemption
3 - Leviticus - Sanctification (or setting apart)
4 - Numbers - The wilderness march
5 - Deuteronomy - Summation and the establishment of the kingdom
The first Torah design deals with Haman, the Amalekites and sin.
Chapter one - Queen Vashti rebels against the king. Sin is rebellion.
Chapter two - Mordecai saves (delivers) the life of the king.
Chapter three - Haman sets the Jews apart for extinction.
Chapter four - The Jews, alone with no help, mourn their situation.
Chapter five - Haman plans the summation, the destruction of Mordecai.
The second Torah design follows 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.
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 I Samuel 15:3 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 and 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. The Jews celebrate Purim on these days every year. Purim falls on March 9th and 10th in 2001.