Continued from page 1
The opening book chapter of book of Esther tells of a 180 day feast given by Xerxes in third year of his reign. The banquets was a time to decide concerning an invasion of Greece. Between third year of Xerxes, when Queen Vashti was deposed, and his seventh year (Esther 2:16), when Esther was made queen, Xerxes campaign against Greece took place, ending in dismal failure.
The royal favorite was Haman, called thought to mean that he was of Amalekite descent and hence one of hereditary obeisance. Haman was wroth and determined to get revenge by bringing about a massacre of all Jews throughout Persian Empire.
It was then that Mordecai, warned Esther of terrible proposed destruction and urged her to intercede with king in her people's behalf. Mordecai suggested that Esther elevation to position of queen might be a part of a divine plan to save Jews from death. There was prayer and fasting. Then Esther risked her life and went in before king.
The king held out to Esther his scepter, and asked her what was her request. Esther invited king and Haman to a banquet and then to a second banquet. Haman was highly elated, but Mordecai was honored instead of being hanged on gallows prepared for him. The plot of Haman to destroy Jews was revealed.
The 14th day of Adar, first day on which feast of Purim is celebrated, is called in apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees "Mordecai's day," which shows plainly that Purim was observed late in period between Old and New Testament (2 Macc 15:36).
The 13th day has been observed by fasting in honor of Esther's prayer and fasting before she approached king. On following morning of 14th, synagogue services are held, with reading of Esther (Exodus 17:8-16) which records destruction of Amalekites (Esther 3:1). Presents are given to poor and to friends, and rest of day, as also 15th, is observed with feasting and rejoicing.
Crusade @ Bible Publishers, Inc. 1970, Mt. Juliet, Tn, USA, 37122
The Precious Promise Bible KJV, "International", Copyright 1915/1908 By The J C Winston Co., Entered 1915/1908 At Stationer's Hall, ALL Rights Reserved, Printed in USA
New Devotional "KJV" & Explanatory Bible, Old & New Testaments, Apocrypha, Concordance, & Psalms in Metre; Entered according to Act of Congress, in year 1879, by J R Jones, in Office of Librarian of Congress at Washington
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