Bible Commentary: “Purim” The Days Of Lent

March 5, 2015 at 7:46 am | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“(Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.)” (Esther 9:26 NIV)

All the events that will be described here take place in Chapter Nine of Esther. As the chapter is fairly lengthy, 32 verses, we will not include it here and hope that you will read it for yourselves at your earliest convenience.

On the 13th day of the first month Haman issued an edict in the king’s name to have the Jews exterminated on the 13th day of the 12th month. The way he determined that date was he rolled the dice (Pur) and what came up he wrote down. On the 23rd day of the 3rd month Haman was dead and Esther and Mordecai issue an edict that allows the Jews the right to defend themselves on the 13th day of the 12th month. One royal edict allows one group to rise up and wipe out an enemy, the other royal edict allows the Jews to defend themselves against this enemy and defeat them. Either way the 13th day of the 12th month was going to be bloody and a day of death. Between the time of the second edict and the 13th of the 12th month the fame of Mordecai has spread throughout the land as well as the knowledge that he is a Jew. Common sense would tell you if the Prime Minister is a Jew and he wields power second only to the king it would be better not to make him an enemy, which if you killed any of his people would not make you his friend, so many decline to participate in the 1st edict.

On the 13th day of the 12th month in all the villages, towns and provinces the Jews ally themselves together and, in unison, defend themselves against all attackers and overwhelm them. In the capital of Susa there are many who attack the Jews and Esther asks for a second day to defend themselves and the king grants it. The ten sons of Haman are killed and, in an effort to bring shame and disgrace on the family as well as terror of the Jews, are also hung on the same gallows as Haman was. This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy. The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy. That is why rural Jews–those living in villages–observe the fourteenth of the month of Adar as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other. Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor. So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants” (Esther 9:17-28 NIV).

Child of God – Why is this day important to us who are not Jewish? David tells us, “The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him” (Psalm 37:39-40 NIV). No matter the plans of the enemy, God has better plans, plans for good and not of evil to prosper you.

Our prayer:
Lord, thank you that you are my refuge in the day of trouble, that I know I can come to you, you will deliver me and I will glorify you. Your faithfulness is forever and even in the darkest night, I know you are there for me. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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