21 Nov. Esther 9:1-17,24-28

21 Nov. The origin of the Jewish Festival of Purim

“The order the king had commanded was to be done on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. That was the day the enemies of the Jewish people had hoped to defeat them, but that was changed. So the Jewish people themselves defeated those who hated them.”

“The Jews met in their cities in all the empire of King Xerxes in order to attack those who wanted to harm them. No one was strong enough to fight against them, because all the other people living in the empire were afraid of them."

“All the important men of the areas, the governors, captains of the soldiers, and the king’s officers helped the Jewish people, because they were afraid of Mordecai. Mordecai was very important in the king’s palace. He was famous in all the empire, because he was becoming a leader of more and more people.”

“And, with their swords, the Jewish people destroyed all their enemies, killing and destroying them… On that day the number killed in the palace at Susa was reported to the king. The king said to Queen Esther, ‘The Jewish people have killed and destroyed 500 people in the palace at Susa, and they have also killed Haman’s ten sons. What have they done in the rest of the king’s empire! Now what else are you asking?’ …”

“Esther answered, ‘If it pleases the king, give the Jewish people who are in Susa permission to do again tomorrow what the king ordered for today.’… So the king ordered that it be done, and the bodies of the ten sons of Haman were hanged. The Jewish people in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. They killed 300 people in Susa, but they did not take their belongings.”

“At that same time, all the Jewish people in the king’s empire also met to protect themselves and get rid of their enemies. They killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they did not take their belongings. This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. On the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of joyful feasting...”

“Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, was the enemy of all the Jewish people. He had made an evil plan against the Jewish people to destroy them, and he had thrown the Pur (that is, the lot) to choose a day to ruin and destroy them… So these days were called Purim, which comes from the word ‘Pur’ (the lot)… These days of Purim should always be celebrated by the Jewish people, and their descendants should always remember to celebrate them too.”

          (Esther 9:1-17, 24,26,28)

 

 

The day originally appointed for the extermination of the Jews arrived - the thirteenth of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar, in 473BC. The enemies of the Jewish people in many cities of the empire attempted to carry out Haman’s orders to destroy the Jewish people, but in accordance with the king’s orders, the Jews were able to defend themselves and destroy their enemies. The next day they celebrated with a joyful feast.

In Susa, the Jews were given permission to carry on fighting their enemies on the next day, the fourteenth of Adar, and they celebrated with joyful feasting on the following day. As a result, Mordecai, who was promoted to become King Xerxes’ chief advisor (see Esther 10:1-3), declared that the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar should become days of national celebration in the Jewish calendar – the festival of Purim (see Esther 9:21).

The festival was called ‘Purim’ (‘lots’) because Haman had cast lots to determine on which day the Jewish people should be exterminated (see Esther 9:24-26).

The photo (by Kotoviski) shows a Purim performance at the Jewish Theatre in Warszawa, Poland.

You can read the whole story of Queen Esther starting @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/35-the-exiles-return-to-judah/esther-becomes-queen-of-persia/


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