Feast of Purim 2016: The Jews are still worried about the Persians

Painting of 1625 Titled ‘Feast of Esther’


The Jewish Feast of Purim 2016 begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 23, and ends on Thursday evening, March 24 (some Jews begin celebrations and preparations earlier), which comes from the Book of Esther:

1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. 3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent. 5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them. (Esther 9:1-5)

20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, 21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book. (Esther 9:20-32)

Note: Since Purim is a national holiday and is not listed as a holy day in Leviticus 23 or elsewhere, it is not a biblically required observation for those in the Church of God. As Esther 9:27-28 points out it was a Jewish invention for Jews.

But interestingly, some believe that Jesus (who was physically a Jew) kept it:

Wieseler, Hug, Meyer Lance, Godet, Weiss, Farrar, Watkins, think that the Feast of Purim, celebrated on the 15th of Adar (or March) (2 Macc. 15:36), in commemoration of the deliverance of the people from the evil intention of Haman (Esther 9:21, etc.), was that national fast and feast which Jesus thus honoured. Purim was not one of the divinely appointed festivals, but it is also stated that the Lord undoubtedly attended one of the national and recently appointed festivals, that of Dedication (John 10:22). …

The claims of the Purim feast turn principally on the fact that, since it occurred, about a month before the Passover, on the 14th or 15th of Adar, this visit might have taken place in the course of the four months referred to in John 4:35, and therefore between the sojourn in Samaria and the Passover of John 6:4, which Jesus diet not attend. …

It must be admitted that the majority of modern critics assume the Feast of Purim to be that intended (Pulpit Commentary on John 5:1).

A feast of the Jews.—The writer does not tell us what feast this was, and we must be content to remain without certain knowledge. There is, perhaps, no Jewish feast with which it has not been identified, and it has been even proclaimed confidently that it must have been the Day of Atonement! (Caspari, Chron. and Geogr., Introd., Eng. Trans., p. 130). Our reading is to be regarded as the better one, though not a few authorities insert the article, and interpret “the Feast” to mean the Feast of Passover.The time-limits are John 4:35, which was in Tebeth (January), and John 6:4, which bring us to the next Passover in Nisan (April), i.e., an interval of four months, the year being an intercalary one with the month VeAdar (and Adar) added, or, as we should say, with two months of March. The only feast which falls in this interval is the Feast of Purim, and it is with this that the best modern opinion identifies the feast of our text. It was kept on the 14th of Adar (March), in commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews from the plots of Haman, and took its name from the lots cast by him (Esther 3:7; Esther 9:24 et seq.). (Elliot’s Commentary on John 5:1).

That being said, some have wondered about the Book of Esther in light of the current events in Iran and Israel. Iran and Israel were actually allies during the time of the Shah of Iran. And interestingly that in the time of Esther it was only a minority of the Persian empire that wanted to eliminate the Jews. It is possible that a regime change in Iran (which could be brought about by many means, including attacks by Israel) could change the relationship between the Jews and Persians (Iranians) again.

Interestingly, the connection between the original Purim and today has not been lost by all. Notice the following:

March 22, 2016

JERUSALEM, Israel – On the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar, Israel celebrates the festival of Purim, a holiday that’s been observed for at least 2,400 years. This year, the festivities begin Wednesday evening and in walled cities like Jerusalem go on for two days.

And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.” (Esther 9:20-22)

In Israel, these same traditions are observed today. It’s a joyous holiday and it’s observed joyfully. The story of how God used Queen Esther to deliver the Jews scattered throughout 120 provinces still strengthens Israelis today.

Most know of Iran’s frequent declarations to bring an end to Israel. Hate speech and similar threats against America are often heard from Iranian leaders, making one wonder what motivated the U.S.-led negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.

What’s the tie with the 5th century story? Iran is modern-day Persia, the same place where Haman, the king’s chancellor, plotted to kill every Jewish man, woman and child in the empire’s provinces.

Haman described the Jews as being different from all the rest of the people, keeping to their own traditions. But what really motivated his evil schemes was a diabolical hatred of a Jew who refused to bow down to him. Mordechai, the queen’s cousin, refused to obey the king’s edict to bow before the chancellor and it infuriated him – so much so that he devised a plot to annihilate the Jews and convinced the king to sanction it.

That threat is pretty much as real today as it was then. And it seems a little ironic that it’s the same country.

The anti-Semitic spirit driving the desire to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth is alive and well today. http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2016/march/purim-2016

Iran and Israel, It’s Purim All Over Again

March 4, 2012

Some 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people, Exiled in the vast empire of Persia faced a plot engineered by the king’s chief minister to annihilate them…Today the Jewish People in their historical homeland, the Jewish State of Israel, are once again being openly threatened by an evil Persian Empire of Terror known today as Iran. Today’s Hamans – Iranian “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hizbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, to name just a few, are no less committed to the destruction of the Jewish People as were Haman and his ten sons of old. They openly and clearly call for Israel’s destruction and make no secret of the nuclear weapons, the type that can wipe out the Jews in one day…

Among the cohorts to today’s Iranian Hamans are the scientists working feverishly to enrich sufficient uranium to make a nuclear bomb. One such scientist was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast assassinated in early January. Should anyone doubt Mostafa’s personal commitment to the cause of mass murder of Jews, his wife proudly clarified that telling point.

Earlier this month Iran’s FARS News Agency (FNA) reported that Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani, wife of the aforementioned assassinated Iranian scientist who was a senior official at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, told the FNA: “Mostafa’s ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel.”…

The primary lesson of Purim for today’s Jewish leaders is that just as in the original Purim story the Jews had to ultimately defend themselves so too today the Jews cannot pin their national survival on vague promises of support as the Iranian nuclear clock continues to tick.

As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heads off to Washington to meet with US President Barack Obama on the week of the Purim holiday, he will no doubt have in mind the lesson of Purim: the only ones who can be relied on to defend the Jews are the Jews themselves.

While there is a lot of truth in the above, the only one who could be relied upon to defend the Jews is God Almighty–yet He only promised to do that if they obeyed Him. And while I do not believe that Bible prophecy allows for Iran to eliminate the nation of Israel, the reality is that if there is a war between Iran and Israel, Israel will suffer much more losses than the ancient nation did during the time of Esther.

Notice something from 2014 by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Too often the past is, truly, prologue, and…– March 15th — is the start of Purim, a holiday that marks the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient empire of Persia – now Iran. As the story goes, a plot had been hatched to destroy all Jews in the Persian empire, but Mordecai and his adopted daughter, Esther, foiled the plot and the day of deliverance became a day of celebration and feasting – Purim.

The parallel is all too obvious when it comes to the situation today in the Middle East, and the protection of the Israeli people from the threat posed by a nuclear Iran. Let us pray that – if the time should come – together we will be like Mordecai and Esther, we shall foil Iran’s nuclear plot, and deliver the Jewish people again as well as protect the world from a nuclear threat. http://www.njjewishnews.com/article/21925/menendez-at-aipac-iran-cannot-be-trusted-to-live-up-to-its-word#.Uxisoc5FCKQ

Another news story had the following:

Think Again: Purim in contemporary guise

‎Jerusalem Post

Prominent Sunni theologian Yusuf al- Qaradawi, hailed as a returning hero in Tahrir Square, calls upon his followers to “kill the Jews wherever you find them.” The Hamas Charter is equally explicit that not a single Jew should be left alive in Palestine. And most ominous, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei describes Israel just like the Nazis described the Jewish people – as a “cancer.” Cancers must be eradicated. This Purim, we will celebrate the Jewish people’s acceptance of the Torah anew, this time without Divine compulsion. Those who had been so far away as to partake of Ahasuerus’s banquet, which celebrated the failure to rebuild the Temple, rediscovered their common mission and the unity of Sinai – “as one man, with one heart.” Only then were they delivered from enemies dedicated to “destroy, kill and exterminate” every Jew.

It seems that the above article is hinting that the Jews need to repent and live by the Bible. I agree.

Here is something from 2015 and 2016:

March 1, 2015

Netanyahu is doing all he can to keep the spotlight on the Iranian threat… Netanyahu referred to the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates the biblical Esther acting as envoy to a powerful king on behalf of the Jews.

“I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic mission,” he said. “I feel I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me — of the entire Jewish people.” …

Netanyahu has yet to come up with a plan that does not ultimately lead to a decision to take military action to wipe out Iran’s facilities. http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-netanyahu-us-20150302-story.html#page=1

January 17, 2016

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel warned on Sunday that his nation would ensure that Tehran never obtains nuclear weapons, while also taking credit for keeping Iran from already having them.

Mr. Netanyahu has been an open and vocal opponent of the deal with Iran. Speaking at the start of the regular weekly cabinet meeting, Mr. Netanyahu said, “Israel’s policy has been and will remain exactly what it has been: not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.”

He also said that the recent accord would strengthen and embolden Iran’s leaders, since the lifting of most sanctions would free up money for Tehran to arm and support the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Shiite militias and Israel’s enemies in the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

“What is clear is that Iran will now have more resources to dedicate to their terrorism and aggression in the region and in the world, and Israel is prepared to deal with any threat,” he said. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/18/world/middleeast/netanyahu-asserts-israel-will-be-irans-watchdog.html

Israel’s Prime Minister believes he has little choice but to plan to attack or somehow try to neutralize Iran. Syria is realizing that it is being cut off from much of the world and Iran is one of its few reliable allies. Iran and Syria may well team up against Israel–and this could include using biological and chemical weapons against Israel. This could be something that Syria may regret (cf. Isaiah 17:1).

Here is something from the Bible:

8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls For the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, Nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning,For baldness and for girding with sackcloth. 13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,”Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts.  (Isaiah 22:1-14 NKJV)

Elam seems to be a reference to at least some in Iran.  Kir is of interest as it has several possibilities.  One is that the Bible tells that after Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took over Damascus, he moved Syrians to Kir.  While this does not mean that Kir must (or must only) be a reference to Syria, the fact that Syria is an ally of Iran is interesting.  Some believe Kir is an area in the south of Iran, while others suggest closer to the Black Sea.

The Bible is clear that the tiny nation called Israel (modern Judah) is at risk and will face military problems. Iran may well cause them.

It should be mentioned that the President of Iran believes that he was elected because of the influence of an Islamic leader that he and others refer to as the Imam Mahdi. This leader is supposed to unite Islam and root out problems within its religion. But Iran is not quite ready for that yet, though its leadership believes that the Iman Mahdi has made his presence known (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: World Order About to Collapse, Mahdi Behind it) and it hopes that he will become publicly known soon (see Iran’s Leader Preparing for ‘Armageddon’ and the Imam Mahdi).

For various reasons, the Imam Mahdi sounds a lot like the final King of the South that the Bible foretells (Daniel 11:40-43). And he may be part of a deal that will affect the USA and its Anglo-allies (Psalm 83:4-8). And this will not be good.

Yet, the final King of the South will not be Iran (Iran is basically east of Jerusalem), but apparently Arabic (which includes those of Egypt, Libya, etc.). Yet, Iran’s actions and rhetoric (as well as rhetoric from the USA, Syria, and Israel) continue to stir up the situation in the Middle East. The leadership in Iran may wish to re-read the Book of Esther.

The situation in the Middle East is tense. Regional war involving Israel, Iran, Syria, and others this year is a real possibility. Damascus, the capital of Syria, could become a ruinous heap (Isaiah 17:1). But this does not mean that the USA and Israel would get off without troubles and cost. Just like Afghanistan was a major problem for the old Soviet Union, Iran could be a major drain on the USA (and at minimum would raise terrorist issues).

It may take a regional war in the Middle East and perhaps terrorist attacks on USA-related targets for the apparent peace deal of Daniel 9:27 to take place. The situation in Syria, Iran, and Israel will change–and military conflict may well be one of those changes.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here is a related video Iran In Prophecy.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

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