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Reflecting on Purim
How the Book of Esther relates to Bible Prophecy Today!
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March 28, 2024 - Audio, 19.09 MIN
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This week hundreds of thousands around the world joined together for a special hour of prayer for the hostages still held in Gaza. The special day of prayer, was organized to fall on the day of Esther’s feast — which she held to out Haman’s wicked plan to the Persian King. Now on this Purim, we find the State of Israel in a position not unlike that which they have experienced many times throughout history. 

We are introduced to Haman in Esther 3:1. 

“Some time after this, King Ahashverosh promoted Haman son of Hamedata the Agagtite” (Koren)  

Agag was the King of the Amalekites, which Saul lacked the faith to kill — and whose people he and the nation ultimately failed to utterly destroy. 

“ And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.” 1 Samuel 15:20 

Haman wasn’t any common Amalekite, rather he was of the royal lineage of Amalek. 

The Amalekites were the ones who would target the sick and the stragglers, those who were unable to defend themselves. 

The Rabbis teach that Amalek represents whatever evil is facing the Jewish people — in their present time.

Today, we have seen the spirit of Amalek in the actions of Hamas on October 7th, and through the wave of antisemitism following those horrific events. 

There was banner placed outside of Kibbutz Be’eri, with the words: “You shall remember what Amalek did to you”. 

It’s same spirit of pure hatred that Amalek had for the people of God, which we can see rearing it’s ugly head again. 

Antisemitism has made a resurgence after the events of October 7th, on both the political left and the right. 

Antisemitism had already been on the rise throughout the last several decades, but the events of October 7th and the following response from Israel — has served as a catalyst for antisemitism.  

Two recent examples in Canada: 

There was a report which came out of Toronto, Canada - in which it stated that 56% of hate crimes in 2024 have been targeted against Jewish people. 

And second, a cartoon which was run in the French-Canadian La Presse: 

“The publication which was once a paper of record in Canada ran a political cartoon on March 20 portraying Netanyahu as a vampire with a huge hooked nose, pointy ears and claws for diners, dressed in Dracula’s overcoat while standing on the deck of a pirate ship… The caption, written in blood-dripping red letters, read: “Nosfenyahou: En Route Vers Rafah.” Nosferatu the Romanian word for vampire was the title of a photo-Nazi German silent horror film from 1922 chick-full of anti-semitic poison. The film which became something of a cult flick, featured a vampire with a long Jewish nose. He arrived at an idyllic German town with a box full of plague-carrying rats that he released on innocent villagers as he plotted to suck his realtor’s blood.“ - Israel National News (Arutz Sheva)

Esther 3:8 “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom” 

This was the state of the nation at the beginning of Esther. 

The Rabbis teach that the duel emphasis on “scattered abroad and dispersed”, shows the divisiveness of the nation at the time. 

There were those who had returned in faith to the land, under the decree of Cyrus. The ones that remained in Persia, were comfortable in their position - they had assimilated and become detached from the land. 

“That is clearly why the Jew was made different from all others, in the sense that his is a creed that is land centred… the Jew was given a specific land and commanded to live only there. Judaism became a land-centred faith.” - Ideology of Kach 

Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel speaking on the national perspective within the nation, “But what I realized in the State of Israel, there are indeed two states. And it’s not like two states, like the kingdom of Judea and the kingdom of Israel, it’s two states of mind”. 

Today, in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora we have two polarizing perspectives on what the nation should be. 

We’ve seen the growing anti-government protests taking place in Israel over the past year — under the mask of opposition to the proposed judicial reforms.  

These are in reality a war of divergent dreams — the political left which dreams of a state, just like any other secular and democratic nation. 

That celebrates all of the same humanistic thinking, wickedness, and debauchery that this world does. 

The other which dreams of rebuilding the Temple, restoring the nation to a Torah based society, and can see the establishment of the state as the first step in the redemption process. 

“A holy and special and separate Jewish people living in a holy and special and separate Jewish land, building a holy and special and separate Jewish society filled with goodness and kindness and ethics - but in the exact manner and form and way that the Almighty ordered them. A society and a state that shall serve as light unto the nations in the real sense of the word. A society of live of good deeds, but always, under the concept of ol malchut shamayim, the yoke of Heaven. Ethics and morality as he decreed, and not as we desire… This in the national destiny and obligation of the Jew.” - Ideology of Kach 

“For this is the era of his footsteps, the beginning of the redemption. We heard his footsteps as the State came into being. We heard hum pounding on the door during the Six Day War. He waits to enter…” - Ideology of Kach 

Notice the complaint which Haman brings to the King: “their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws.”

The keeping of the laws command by God at Sinai, is a powerful force - described in Hebrews: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

We recognize that as Israel progresses towards a more religious society — in contrast to the nations around them. These more religious elements of society will consequently face increasing opposition, isolation, and hatred from the world around them. 

There is nothing that the Catholic Biden Administration fears more, than a Jewish State ruled by Torah. The idea of a Jewish State based on Torah is heresy to the liberal democracies of the West, and even more so to the Papacy. Many journalists and political experts have warned that the current Israeli government will lead Israel to growing international isolation. 

Since the current government was initiated into office there was been growing international pressure from the US, and other nations for Bibi to throw out the “extremist” elements of his government. 

Recently, presumably because the attempts to pressure Bibi to sabotage his own government have failed — multiple members of the US government have called for new elections in Israel to dispose of Netanyahu, with the intention of “electing” a more “moderate” Israeli government.

Senator Chuck Schumer called for elections in Israel on March 14, in a speech where he said: 

“The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past. Nobody expects Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the things that must be done to break the cycle of violence, preserve Israel’s credibility on the world stage, and work towards a two-state solution.”

The problem on the ground, is that while Israelis may not want Netanyahu as PM — this does not translate to the electorate being more willing to accept left-wing, secular values. 

This point is supported in this article from the far-left Haaretz: "Israelis are rejecting Netanyahu, that doesn't mean that they are embracing left-wing views, or that they have committed themselves to ending the war or reaching a final-status agreement with the Palestinians based on two states or getting to the bottom of what it would mean to strengthen Israeli democracy,"

 The polling data within Israel on the breakup of votes for individual parties, and individual issues — supports this statement(ex: Israelis support for a two state solution). 

The reality is, that Israel continues to move further to the political right — and toward a more religious society. The last few election cycles have really highlighted the struggle between left/right in Israel — had demonstrated the dramatic change that the nation has gone through since it’s establishment just 80 years ago.  

The Biden Administration has also targeted with sanctions, those whom they have classified as “religious extremists”. The reason give on the face is due to dramatically increasing rates of “settler violence”. 

“The American campaign against Jewish communities, including sanctions against individual residents, began with the ‘settler violence campaign’ by leftist activists and foreign governments. The narrative is one of multiple blood libels spread by the UN against Israel and largely relies on reports by both local and foreign radical left-wing organizations that receive significant support from the European Union.” - Hakol HaYehudi 

This narrative of “settler violence” is another attempt to draw a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas. 

October 7th, has served as a wakeup call to both those living in Israel and those in the diaspora. These events are not dissimilar to the wake up call that the community of Jews in Persia would have received! 

This was the reaction of Mordechai and the Jewish community of Shushan when they received the letter detailing the destruction of their people: “When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.”

Following October 7th, many Jews abroad have begun to connect with their “Jewishness” again - Israel is one of the only countries in the world to experience an increasing in immigration during an active war. Within Israel, we have also seen soldiers and citizens connecting with their faith again — becoming more religious in response. Rabbi Ellie Mischel writing in HaMizrachi says: “Meanwhile, Matisyahu – the superstar reggae musician who in recent years distanced himself from Judaism – reacted similarly to the massacre of October 7. On the Ami’s House podcast, he explained that his “pintele Yid,” his “Jewish spark,” was awakened. “Over the years, [being Jewish] became less central to me. And right now it’s come back, full force.” Israel’s religious revival, particularly among IDF soldiers, is well documented. High demand for tzitzit and tefillin and moving scenes of religious and “secular” soldiers praying together have become tangible signs of a spiritual awakening.”

IDF soldiers have begun wearing patches of the Temple on their uniforms, quoting the Temple Institute: “Many of our soliders in Gaza and in the north are sporting patches of the Holy Temple… Israel’s fight is the fight for the future of the entire world and the Holy Temple represents the potential for good in the world. The IDF soldiers who are wearing the Temple patch know exactly what they fighting for and why: ‘A house of prayer for all nations!’ (Isa 56:7)”

Fortunately, Esther doesn’t end with the destruction of the Jews. Esther is the only book in the entirety of scripture where God is not directly mentioned — yet it is impossible to not see his hand working in each and every page of the book to deliver his people. 

Today, we can see the hand of God diligently working around the world to bring about the return of his son and the re-establishment of Kingdom of God in Israel. 

“The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” (Esther 8:16-17)

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