As the Jews prepare to celebrate Purim, I have pondered on whether they know what they are truly celebrating. While many lessons can be learned from the events in the book of Esther, could it be that the Jews are missing the mark, even though they celebrate these events year after year? Could it be that all of us are missing the mark to one degree or another? A quick overview of the book of Esther might do us some good.
The first chapter of Esther begins with the king Ahasuerus calling a feast, in which his wife, the Queen Vashti refuses to attend, even though she was summoned by the king. The writer makes a point of telling us that Vashti has SEVEN chamberlains and the king has SEVEN princes who stand next to him. Because of Queen Vashti’s refusal to attend, she essentially gets the boot, and the king seeks a new queen.
Then the king begins the search for the fairest maiden of them all, who we know happens to be Esther. Esther of course was a Jew named Hadassah (myrtle) who was the cousin of Mordecai. Esther stayed in the kings’ house of concubines, and was given SEVEN handmaidens. The king preferred Esther and her seven handmaidens above all else, and after their DAYS OF PURIFICATION were finished, the king chose Esther above all else.
Next thing we know two of the kings’ servants conspire to kill the king, but their effort was thwarted by Mordecai and Esther. For whatever reason the king is not aware at this point of Mordecai’s involvement to foil the plot of the would-be murderers. Instead of promoting and honoring Mordecai, the king promotes Haman, who all the people in the kings’ quarters reverenced because of the kings’ command, except Mordecai would not bow down, or reverence Haman.
Because of this, the evil Haman was pretty ticked off, and decided he just better kill all of the Jews because of it, and the king with the wave of a hand granted permission. When Mordecai heard of this plot he spread the word. Among the chosen people fasting, and wailing began, and “many lay in sackcloth and ashes.”
Well, the next part of the story we all know. Esther approaches the King without being summoned, even upon the threat of death, and seeks for the king to grant a request. The king, filled with love for Esther, promises her even the half of his kingdom. Meanwhile, the evil Haman is plotting Mordecai’s death, and even builds a gallows to accomplish the deed.
So of course the King finds out about Mordecai’s part in stopping the assassination attempt, and is outraged that nothing has been done to honor the man. The King also learns of Haman’s evil plot to destroy the Jews, of which his beloved wife Esther happens to be a part. Then Haman in his pride is asked by the king what should be done for the man whom “the king delighteth to honor.” Haman, thinking himself pretty special, and that the king is speaking of none other than Haman, says that he would have the king lend out his royal apparel, his horse, and his crown, that the man can be taken and paraded before the people as royalty. Haman is devastated to learn that Mordecai, the man he hates, is the very man who will receive such an honor.
Now about this time the King learns of the gallows built for Mordecai to be hanged upon, and actually orders that Haman be hanged upon the very gallows he built for another. Also, he is brought low in sadness because he consented to have the Jews destroyed, and grants them power that they can fight, and destroy their enemies before their enemies can kill them. Not only is Haman killed, but his TEN SONS are killed, with all of their warriors who were the enemies of the Jews. Mordecai and Esther are praised and honored with all of the attire of Royalty, their fame grew throughout all the land, and Jews avoided destruction and triumphed over all of their enemies! One verse states “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.” For all of these reasons the Jews perpetually celebrate Purim.
More Than Meets the Eye
Alright I hope that wasn’t too boring to read about. Now let me get to some symbolism that can be applied for those with eyes to see. The King and his people can easily be likened to the gentiles, and the Jews can easily be likened to the Jews, which I guess was entirely true! Among the Jews was a sacred bloodline, with the promise of the coming of the Messiah, which would consist of a King and a Queen. If you haven’t put it together yet, Esther and Mordecai symbolize Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. Remember the “seven devils” cast out of Mary Magdalene, of which consist of the seven devils which must be cast out of us all? This was the evil Queen Vashti and her seven chamberlains. (Compare also to the beast with seven heads in revelations, as well as the vision of Daniel)
One by one as these evils are cast out of us; we must fill that space with the seven Spirits of God. This is the symbolism of Esther coming in before the King with her seven handmaidens. The seven churches in revelations can be interpreted as the seven layers of each of our souls that must be unveiled, cleansed, and filled with seven spirits of God. These are each separate baptisms. The seven stars in the right hand of Jesus will fill each of these seven churches as we progress, and nourish the Spirit of Christ within us.
In the story of Esther, Mordecai who typifies Jesus Christ, thwarts the two wicked servants. This symbolizes the slaying of the false prophet, and the anti-Christ, who are also spoken of in the book of Daniel, and in the book of Revelations. Haman (Satan) is exalted by the gentiles and reverenced by all around except for Mordecai. Haman plans, and champions an effort to destroy Mordecai and all his people, and the very plan and the gallows which was constructed by Haman, proves to be his own destruction, and the destruction of all the enemies of the people of God. This is reminiscent of the promise that Satan will bruise the heel of Christ, but Christ will crush the head of Satan. The death and atonement of the Savior, which no doubt brought joy to the serpent, also proved the very act that would gain the victory and crush the serpents’ head. Jesus’ heel was bruised while he stomped on the head of the snake.
Mordecai and Esther, although unknown to the people, also ended up being the ones who were decked with royal attire when all was said and done. So the Jews and Gentiles do not know the true King and Queen of this earth and still insist on giving reference to other idols. The destruction of Haman and his ten sons are symbolic of the destruction of the beast that wore ten crowns. The celebration at the end of the book of Esther symbolizes the millennial reign of the true King and Queen of this earth, with all of their people with them.
It is beautiful imagery, and taught multiple times in scripture with the same numbers, symbols and lessons, but somehow it has been corrupted and lost over time. While I have only briefly touched on it, we must learn that none of us will survive the second coming of Christ, unless the coming of Christ happens first within us as individuals. Revelations is a book of literal events that will happen in the physical world, but it is also a book that teaches one to overcome the beast within, and receive the Spirit of the Lord, one step at a time.
Here is a summary that a friend of mine made of the book of Joseph and Aseneth. This book has created a bit of a stir because of the claim that it symbolizes Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Well, it does. Perhaps readers can find some of the beautiful symbolism for themselves in this one. God bless…
Summary of Joseph and Aseneth, Who Symbolize Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Aseneth is portrayed as being a virgin of eighteen years, very tall and beautiful, “nothing similar to the virgins of the Egyptians, but she was in every respect similar to the daughters of the Hebrews,
“The fame of her surpassing beauty spreads over the earth and everywhere men journeyed to gaze upon her. She is depicted as living in a splendid tower above her father’s palace, unseen by men, where she worships the gods of the Egyptians daily.
Her father offers to Aseneth a proposition to give her to Joseph as a wife, but Aseneth is angry at her father for wanting to hand her over to someone who is a fugitive, a shepherd’s son, and one who interprets dreams! She utterly refuses the proposition. Later as Joseph’s arrival is announced, she goes to her tower window to watch his approach, and her body trembles at his appearance. She goes weak in the knees and her soul is crushed with fear.
She marvels that she could have once disdained one who she now refers to as “the sun from heaven” and a “son of God.” In this she is emphasizing her conversion “from the gods of Egypt to the God of Joseph.” She utters a prayer to the “Lord God of Joseph,” that she might be Joseph’s maidservant and slave forever. With one glance, Aseneth abandons her former gods in favor of the God of Joseph, and exchanges her disdain for a would-be suitor for a pledge of eternal loyalty as his lowly slave.
Her father bids her to kiss her “brother.” Joseph refuses the kiss saying it is not fit for a man who worships God with his mouth to kiss the mouth of one who “will bless with her mouth with dead and dumb idols and eat from their table bred of strangulation, and drink from their libation a cup of insidiousness and anoint herself width destruction.” He affirms that it is fitting that he kiss only his mother, sisters, and the wife of his bed; to kiss others would be an “abomination before the Lord God.” But being sensitive, he places his hand on her head and blesses her.
Joseph departs and announces he will return a week later. After Joseph’s departure, Aseneth rejoices because of the blessing, but is filled with much distress and weeps with a “great and bitter weeping,” and repents of her worship of her former gods and idols. She withdraws to her tower where she repents, prays, and fasts for days. After scattering ashes over her floor she cries bitterly and falls upon the ashes, weeping all night, and sighing and screaming until daybreak. She continues on in this manner for the next seven days.
On the eighth day she lifts her head a little form the floor, and the ashes on which she is laying, but is weak from want of food for seven days. She utters a pitiful prayer to the true God of Joseph. She acknowledges she is unworthy to pray and hated by her parents for destroying their gods, and also hated by Joseph’s god for worshiping idols. She has heard the Hebrew God is compassionate and long-suffering and she prays to God to please have mercy on her, and protect her because she feels she is now an orphan.
She prays again for courage to ask for forgiveness, she confesses her sins and prays for acceptance. She confesses her former pride and sin in worshiping idols which was “done in ignorance,” and pleads for God to rescue her. She forsakes her former opulence, her inheritance, and her blasphemy against the “all-beautiful Joseph and confesses that she loves him beyond her own soul and yearns to be his servant forever.”
After Aseneth’s confession, the Lord gives her a sign in the heavens and she recognizes it as a sign of her acceptance. As she ponders this and continues to look up, a “great and unutterable light” appears. A man comes from heaven and stands at her head in her chamber. She marvels that he has come because of the high tower and the bolted door. The glorious man informs her that he is the commander for the whole host of the Most High and that he has a message for her. He instructs her to go to her second chamber and change out of her mourning attire and put on a clean linen robe and girdle of her virginity before he conveys the message. She complies and washes and changes as she is told, adding a linen veil to cover her head.
Upon her return the angel bids her remove her veil and take courage, God has heard her confession, and has written her name in “the book of the living heaven.” She has been given to Joseph for a bridegroom forever and gives her a new name, “City of Refuge,” because many people under her wings will be sheltered who trust in the Lord. Adorn yourself as a bride and go meet Joseph.
Before leaving he commands Aseneth to bring a honeycomb which mysteriously has appeared in her chamber. Placing his hands upon her head, he admits her to the “ineffable mysteries of the Most High” and bids her eat of the honeycomb which is the spirit of life, made by the bee of paradise from the roses of life. He breaks off a portion of the comb for her, and assures her that she has now eaten the “bread of life” and drunk a cup of immortality, and been anointed with ointment of incorruptibility. He promises her youthfulness, strong body and beauty.
The angel marks the honeycomb with a cross and makes white bees arise from it. Aseneth beseeches the man to bless her seven virgins, and he complies with her request. He disappears on a chariot of fire. She has received the “ineffable mysteries of the Most High” and her idolatry is wiped away and she is free to partake of the food and drink of immortality.