Esther 9

Scripture

Esther 9:28

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 fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.

Observation

After King Xerxes issues a decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves against those who sought to carry out Haman’s edict of annihilation, the Jews enact retribution on their enemies but do not lay their hands on any spoils of victory since securing the safety of their race, and not material gain, was the purpose of the slaughter that followed. After total victory is achieved and the bodies of Haman’s ten sons are impaled and displayed as a sign of infamy, Mordecai sends letters to all of the provinces instructing the people to celebrate with great feasts to commemorate God’s deliverance (even though within the Book of Esther God’s name is not mentioned once). Mordecai further instructs that it should be a festival that is kept at the same time each year from generation to generation – without end.  

Understanding

“Pur,” in the Persian language, means “lot”; and the feast of Purim is in reference to the time when Haman decided the day of the Jewish destruction by casting the lot. It was established as an annual feast, the celebration of which is kept to his day. Purim is considered one of the longest celebrated religious obervances ever – having been continuously kept for over twenty-five centuries. On both days of the feast, modern day Jews read the Book of Esther in their synagogues. The copy read must not be printed, but written on vellum in the form of a roll; and the names of the ten sons of Haman are written on it vertically, arranged like bodies impaled on poles. Whenever Haman’s name is pronounced, they make a terrible noise in the synagogue. Some drum with their feet on the floor, and the boys have mallets with which they knock and make a noise. Traditionally, Jews were to prepare themselves for their carnival by observing a three day fast prior to the feast, in imitation of Esther’s fast in preparation to appear before the king; but in modern times they have mostly reduced it to one day. The modern feast is celebrated with costumes, toys and gifts.

Life Application

The Jewish religious calendar is filled with many other feast days in addition to Purim, such as Rosh Hashanah (New Year); Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement); Passover, Succoth (Festival of the Tabernacles) and Hanukah (Festival of Lights), to name just a few. God uses each of them as a means by which we can remember His providence and protection in the past so that our faith may be strengthened for today and tomorrow. Christian celebrate holidays such as Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter and Christmas in remembrance of what God has done in the past. I pray to look upon these holidays with fresh eyes of faith and appreciation for God’s faithfulness. But I don’t have to wait for annual events to celebrate God’s mighty hand in my life. I can and should daily remember, rehearse and thank Him for all of His goodness and grace that I experience every moment of my life.

 

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Psalm 103:2
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits  
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here