Table of Contents

Notes on Revelation

The Purim Connection


November, 1998

 

Guest Commentary:

On the surface, there are several similarities between the events surrounding the story of Gog in Ezekiel 38-39 and those surrounding Haman of the Book of Esther. In Esther, there's the evil plan by Haman to destroy the Jews compared with Gog's attempt do the same. There is the similarity between Gog's burial place -- Hamongog -- and the name Haman in Esther. The king's name Agag is somewhat similar with that of Gog. We are told in Ezekiel that Gog will attack when Israel is feeling secure. In Esther, the Jews were also living in a time of peace. In Ezekiel, Israel has been "gathered out of many people" while in Esther the people are "scattered" and "dispersed."

(Ezek 38:8 KJV) After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

(Est 3:8 KJV) And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.

(Interesting that even the chapters and verses share the same numbers).

Digging further into the story in Esther, however, we can come up with many more interesting similarities that leads one to the conclusion that some future Purim could be the same day that Gog meets his own demise.


For excellent background and insights in the events of Esther, please read Greg Killian's study:

Purim Insights
http://members.aol.com/gkilli4/home/purim.html


From another of Greg's articles, The World Turned Upside Down, he has this to say:

"On Adar 1, many Jewish children begin singing about the 'world turned upside down' because this is the Biblical month which contains Purim. Purim celebrates the illogical. Purim celebrates the world turned upside down. Purim begins at sundown on March 22nd [in 1997], which is the beginning of Adar 14. At Purim we read the story of Esther. Esther is a story that does not contain the name of God anywhere because in the story of Esther, God's hand is concealed. God's hand is concealed so well that we sometimes think that 'nature' and 'chance' are the only forces at work."

This is an interesting thing about the Book of Esther -- "God's hand is concealed." Actually, there's much debate from scholars that Esther should not even be included in the Bible because of "historical inconsistencies" as well as the fact that the book never mentions the name of God. But we that believe in Divine Scripture and know and trust the Word of God, see the following being carried out literally within the very pages of Esther:

(Deu 31:17-18 KJV) Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? {18} And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

Job questioned God's silence as well: (Job 13:24 KJV) Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?

The Psalmist David felt this same abandonment: (Psa 13:1 KJV) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? (Psa 44:24 KJV) Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

But God is a God of mercy. While His face may have been hidden -- while His "hand concealed," He did not forget His people. He would not allow His people to be destroyed. He would not forget His promise to Abraham. So with loving mercy, He intervened in Haman's plot against Israel.

(Isa 54:7-8 KJV) For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. {8} In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

This same intervention will occur again when Gog makes his move against Israel on some future date.

(Ezek 38:18-21 KJV) And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. {19} For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; {20} So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. {21} And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

The result of this intervention is that Israel will be saved from Gog and God Himself will be exalted. Every nation will know that He is the Lord.

(Ezek 38:23 KJV) Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Another interesting result of Gog's defeat, and as it turns out, a "reversal of policies" if you will (for Adar is the month when things are "turned upside down") is that God's face will no longer be hidden. In Esther, events seemed to happen by chance, but when Gog is defeated, the world will know that chance played no part in it:

(Ezek 39:7, 22-24, 27-29) So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel...So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. {23} And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. {24) According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them...When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; {28} Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. {29} Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.


The story of Esther is set in Susa, the capital of the Persian empire, early in the reign of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.). At that time, Persians were followers of the Zoroastrianism religion. Zoroaster and his followers were fire-worshippers. (For a connection between Nimrod, Zoroaster, Tammuz, and Moloch please read The Two Babylons, Chapter 7, by Alexander Hislop).

It was the belief that fire was a purifier "for it is called the 'Father that perfected all things.' In one respect this represented fire as the Creative god; but in another, there can be no doubt that it had reference to the 'perfecting' of men by 'purifying' them. And especially it perfected those whom it consumed. This was the very idea that, from time immemorial until very recently, led so many widows in India to immolate themselves on the funeral piles of their husbands, the woman who thus burned herself being counted blessed, because she became Suttee ... i.e., 'Pure by burning'" (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop).

Keep in mind that the Persian Empire in Esther's day (around 484 B.C.) comprised all of Asia Minor, which includes modern day Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. It also stretched over towards to Egypt and Libya.

It's interesting that many of these same countries will be allied with Gog when he attacks Israel (see Ezekiel 38:3-6). But God turns the table on them and sends His own brand of fire:

(Ezek 38:22 KJV) And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

(Ezek 39:6 KJV) And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.


From Seasons in the Moon Newsletter
Issue #6 Vol #3
Adar 5758 / Feb. 27, 1998 - Mar. 27, 1998

This publication is available in HTML and Adobe Acrobat format at
http://www.ohr.org.il/seasons/5758/adar.htm

THIS MONTH'S SIGN
Dagim / Pisces

2,354 years ago in Persia, Haman plotted the genocide of the Jewish People. Haman consulted the stars to see which month would be the most propitious for executing his murderous plan.

He found that the month of Adar, whose sign is Dagim (Pisces), which means "fish," contained no special merit for the Jews. Thus, he surmised, that just like a fish, he could "swallow" his prey -- the Jewish People. The fact that death had "swallowed" Moses on the seventh day of Adar leant support to his hypothesis.

However, Haman had forgotten two small points: Moses was also born on the seventh of Adar; and it's true that fish can swallow up their prey -- but they can also get swallowed up by bigger fish!

Which is exactly what happened to Haman and his crew. All their plans were turned upside down, and Haman and his family were hung on the exact same gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai.

This total turnabout of events is symbolized by the two fish, swimming in opposite directions, which is the sign of Dagim.


The Feast of Purim

Purim is referred to as a Post-Mosaic festival. That is, its observance was not outlined in the Law of Moses. Post-Mosaic festivals however, came into existance as a way to celebrate or commensorate a memory of some national deliverance or calamity. Such is the case of Purim.

From The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, Chapter 17, Alfred Edersheim describes this feast day:

"The Feast of Purim, that is 'of lots,' or the Feast of Esther, also called in 2 Maccabees xv. 36 'the day of Mordecai,' which was observed in memory of the preservation of the Jewish nation at the time of Esther. The name 'Purim' is derived from 'the lot' which Haman cast in connection with his wicked desire (Esth 3:7; 9:24). It was proposed by Mordecai to perpetuate the anniversary of this great deliverance on the 14th and the 15th of Adar (about the beginning of March), and universally agreed to by the Jews of his time (Esth 9:17-24)."

According to Edersheim's studies, he says that " Purim was never more than a popular festival. As such it was kept with great merriment and rejoicing, when friends and relations were wont to send presents to each other. There seems little doubt that this was the 'feast of the Jews,' to which the Saviour 'went up to Jerusalem'(John 5:1), when He healed the 'impotent man' at the Pool of Bethesda. For no other feast could have intervened between December (John 4:35) and the Passover (John 6:4), except that of the 'Dedication of the Temple,' and that is specially designated as such (John 10:22), and not simply as 'a feast of the Jews.'"

The modern day observance of Purim has lost a bit of its reference, but the celebration itself is certainly not lost:

"Most holidays in Israel are celebrated at homes and temples, but Purim, which commemorates the Jews' refusal to compromise their religion, is celebrated with a tremendous amount of communal pageantry. Streets and pedestrian areas are filled with masquerading people who create a carnival atmosphere at the many nighttime celebrations. Israel is essentially a nation of tee-totalers, but this is the one day of the year when everyone who can is encouraged to get blotto. Liquor flies off shelves, and people try to get so drunk that they slur the blessings and curses that traditionally are said this day. Everywhere, carnivals, clowns, and street performances spring up. Special foods include Oznei haman, or Haman's ears, a fruit-filled pastry." (http://travel.epicurious.com)

Ezekiel tells us of a similiar celebration at the defeat of Gog:

(Ezek 39:17-19 KJV) And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. {18} Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. {19} And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.


Purim occurs in the month of Adar. As we have see, Adar is a very interesting month, with a very interesting festival.

Something a little more recent occurred however, which is just as interesting. In March, 1997 the world got a close up glimpse of the comet Hale-Bopp, which is one of the largest and brightest comets ever discovered. Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to earth on March 23, 1997 which just happened to be Purim.

Moza did an interesting study into the path of Hale-Bopp. With her copy of E.W. Bullinger's Witness of the Stars handy, she traced the comet's path through the various constellations and came up with the following message:

"The Redeemer is Triumphant having fought and smitten the enemy and is returning as promised to deliver the redeemed from their bondage and affliction. Messiah, the Judge of all the earth, the Light of the world will come as our glorious Prince of Princes to lead the pilgrims safely home."

I can hear that message now as Gog's army has been destroyed by God and lies defeated in the Valley of Hamongog:

(Ezek 39:25-29) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; {26} After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. {27} When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; {28} Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. {29} Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Please read the entire file Hail! Hale-Bopp for a more indepth look into the comet's path.

One more thing before we leave Hale-Bopp. Astronomers tell us that the last time this comet was seen from earth was approximately 4210 years ago. According to some calculations, that makes it about the time that Noah was building something called an ark.   Were the people of Noah's day being warned about something?  Are we being warned about something today?

(Luke 17:26 KJV) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

For more information concerning Hale-Bopp see "Watch! The Celestial Signs" at:
http://home.cwnet.com/crm


For another look at the Purim connection and the month of Adar with Ezekiel, please see our file "Thus shall they cleanse the land" which looks at Gog's burial.


If we conclude that the events surrounding the defeat of Gog remind us of the events of the Book of Esther and the symbolism of Purim, we might also take note of the seven months mentioned in Ezekiel regarding the burying of the dead.  Purim in Jerusalem occurs on Adar 15.  Exactly seven months later is Tishri 15, the Feast of Tabernacles - the feast that is generally believed to be symbolic of the beginning of the Millennial reign.


Gulf War I ends on Purim 1991
President Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48 hours to step down (over the exact 2 day feast of Purim 2003 EST).
Gulf War II starts as Purim ends.


Moza

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