A case

Beautiful wedding decorations on the table before celebration

We made out a case for the Isaiah 27 chapter representing the book of Esther. The story is the same, the result the same, the winners and looses the same. The enemy of the truth assumes the highest position in the realm. The victory in the end belongs to the people of God. This story is a parable of Messiah and the bride of the king. It speaks of the final victory and settling the kingdom in the earth.

The significance of the first and last verses of the chapter is obvious. It speaks of a special day when the Lord God intends to deal with the enemy in such a way he cannot rise and do his evil work again. In the book of Esther there is such a character in Haman, an evil man, who falsely accuses the Jewish people of undermining the authority of the king and threatening the future of the kingdom. “On a day” God had him hung on the gallows he built for Mordicai the leader of the Jews.

To confirm the story I think we need to give an outline of the book of Esther. The king Ahasuerus held a feast for all his subjects small and great, and directed Vashti the queen to show how beautiful she was to all the world, but she refused, so a decree is made she be replaced. Virgins were chosen from all over the world, and Esther, who was a Jewess cared for by her cousin Mordicai, became the queen in Vashti’s place. Mordicai uncovered a plot to slay the king and take over the kingdom by two of his doorkeepers. He told Esther, who revealed the matter to the king. Haman is appointed by the king to be in charge of all the affairs of the kingdom but Mordicai refused to bow down and reverence him. Haman sought to have Mordicai hung and all the people of Mordicai slain. But before the evil deed the king advanced Mordicai and testified to his faithfulness, parading him through the city of Susa. Haman was invited to a banquet of wine with Esther and the king, and on the second banquet exposed as the wicked enemy. Haman is hung on the gallows he planned to use for Mordicai. Mordicai and Esther make a decree to reverse the sentence of death pronounced on all Jews and great joy flowed throughout the kingdom. The Jews enemies slain and the kingdom prospered with Esther as the queen and Mordicai second only to the king.

It is an interesting story, full of drama and intrigue. It is history, and clear references to this period in present-day records, however it is history used by God to suggest prophetically what would happen to Messiah. Now before you object, just realize Mordicai in the parable is Messiah. It was by his decree the Jews are saved. It is because of his report, the king’s servants planned to slay the king and take over the kingdom, and the kingdom saved. He becomes second only to the king and rules for him with Esther.

Everything in the story has its counterpart in the two thousand years between the first appearance of Messiah and the second. For instance there are one hundred and twenty seven provinces or territories where the Jews live in the kingdom. These provinces received letters according to their writing and language which suggests cultural, language, and ethnic differences between them. The first announced to all those living in the kingdom that every man must rule in his own house. The second letter told of the decree by Haman the Jews were under sentence of death. The third was from Mordicai and Esther announcing the Jews could stand together to protect one another from all that would assault them.

Just put it together. The idea the man should not rule in his own house is a modern phenomenon resulting from the feminist movement that took off in the sixties. So I say the one hundred and twenty seven provinces are places that exist then. The fullness of the Gentiles could be waiting for the believers to complete the work of going into all the World.

 

List of connections

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The following is a list of connections between Isaiah chapter 27 and Esther.

  1. Verse 2 of Isaiah 27 introduces the one spoken of as “her” referring to Esther as she represented her people the Jews.
  2. Reference to the vineyard of red wine connects with the two banquets of wine to which Esther invited the king and Haman when Haman disclosed as the enemy of her people.
  3. In the parable of Esther, the wine used in the banquet speaks of the word of God. The vineyard is the Israel of God. If you want to expose the enemy it will be in the way he handles the wine of the word of God. It was easy for the king to see the contrast between Esther and Haman at such a banquet. Now the vineyard from which the wine reaped is God’s vineyard. He is the one who tends it and anyone who threatens survival of his vineyard is the enemy. This told in Isaiah 27 verses 3-4.
  4. Haman wanted to make peace with Esther when he realized the influence she had on the king. This idea suggested in verse 5 of Isaiah 27.
  5. Haman chose to destroy Israel from which God was trying to find fruit. This idea told in verse 6 of Isaiah 27.
  6. Verses 7-8 of Isaiah 27 point out Haman is slain in the way he decides to slay Mordicai, and the enemies who planned to slay all the Jews with the sword themselves threatened by the sword of Israel on that special day.
  7. The Israel of God are not more righteous than others in this world but their sin is covered. This done by Messiah who removed the altars and threw down the images.
  8. While many in the Nation of Israel make up the Israel of God, arrangements in the land of Palestine had to change. Verses 10-11 of Isaiah 27 carry this idea. The land became desolate and God’s mercy did not extend to those not Israelites indeed, and those who rejected their Messiah.
  9. Verse 12 of Isaiah 27 suggests the redemption was not a national salvation but saving individuals the true sons of Jacob, gathered one by one.
  10. The Jews are saved, scattered in all the one hundred and twenty seven provinces of the king. They included Gentiles saved out of Assyria and Egypt. All gathered to worship God at Jerusalem or as the parable has it at Shushan the palace of the king.

 

The power of death

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11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, [and] set them on fire: for it [is] a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour. Israel the nation punished by removal from the land of Palestine and no more a nation in the earth. Mercy and favor, words associated with Jesus, but not used of Israel because of their refusal to accept him. They were a Leviathan in the sense they had him slain by the Romans, but the dragon slain was Haman, or the one having the power of death.

12 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. Israel is destroyed as a nation. So who are the children of Israel here? Since Messiah, God has called out of the Nations a people for his name. It is the true Israel of God, the children of Abraham, the promised seed. They are Gentiles, but in Esther called Jews who live in the one hundred and twenty seven provinces of the kingdom. Esther and Mordicai sent them letters advising them to band together to protect one another from all that would assault them in the world.

The idea of Gentiles coming from Egypt and Assyria is not new. It is an image we get from other stories as well. We need to stress the death of the dragon in the sea, or the one who had the power to slay all the inhabitants of the earth. This one who had the power of death, and did it with the king’s signet as Haman, is slain and cannot slay men any more. This was done in Christ, and a bride prepared to marry the king. It is an enthralling story, and commemorates a great victory.

13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem. This is the final trumpet when the redeemed changed and worship in Jerusalem having the victory over sin and death.

 

Make peace

Roasted thanksgiving turkey

5 Or let him take hold of my strength, [that] he may make peace with me; [and] he shall make peace with me. The one who thinks he will fight with God should think again, and try to make peace with him. This one who thought he could put briers and thorns into the battle. He would have to be mad.

6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. It is Israel. They are the vine in the vineyard that produces the fruit that others drink. The word of God then is the wine as we said.

It is written much as you would write a riddle. Meant to be obscure, and saying the book itself is a parable.

7 Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? [or] is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? If it is a riddle then each word is a clue. Who is the “he” that smote “him?” Whoever was smitten had done some smiting himself. So who started this. And I suppose, how did he die in the end, and was it different from the way he planned to kill them? So there is one who has the power of death and he is slain himself, exactly the way he intended to slay them.

8 In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. When it happens, whatever it is, we will want to debate the matter. Clearly people will discuss what happened and why. The east wind delivers a scorching heat and the rough wind checked that might break the heat up. It will have a cleansing effect.

9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. The altar becoming chalkstones, and the groves and images not standing, suggests changes to the law. Having your sins purged speaks of arrangements in Christ, as only in him can sins be forgiven, so it is New Testament in affect. An Old Testament book that speaks about New Testament things.

Esther is the book because Haman has the power of death, and he is slain on the gallows he planned to use to put Mordicai to death. And it speaks of a banquet of wine where Haman disclosed as the wicked one and slain.

It is a story where God brings Israel under control and punishes them for their rebellious behavior, at the same time slays the one who has the power of death, who is Haman the false accuser. Haman is called the dragon of the sea because he threatens the Jews from one end of the world to the other in the one hundred and twenty seven provinces. In Esther it was always to be a certain day. It speaks of the victory of the truth over Haman and his ten sons. Against the Edomite who has always looked to be close to the king.

Esther was in charge of the vineyard producing the wine. Whatever she did was under Gods watchful eye. His word will not fall to the ground. Debate is the way the victory will be won. Not by a rough wind, but by the heat of the east wind. The Gentiles have taken hold of Gods strength for two thousand years. They came to the Israel of God in the way they surrendered to the Jew before the day. The Gentiles who surrendered were not slain in the way of the enemy. We are saved because of our response to what we believe. It is an Old Testament book that speaks of New Testament things.

What is amazing is the way it goes on, because it is recorded five hundred years before any of this happened. Look what it says about the land.

10 Yet the defenced city [shall be] desolate, [and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. It speaks of the way Israel or the land they leave behind fairs. It becomes a desert. Now this is not from Esther but from the effects of the change of which Esther speaks, a change that started when Vashti gets replaced by a beautiful woman taken from the nations of the world. So Esther is the Gentile wife taken at the death of Messiah. Haman intended to slay Mordicai before the whole world, but he is hanged himself, for all to see.

 

God’s enemy

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ISAIAH 27 This is the chapter in Isaiah that relates to Esther the book.

Leviathan appears in Job but he is not slain. Where a dragon is mentioned it is one who is an enemy of the truth. Portion of a verse is quoted from this chapter and that is from verse 9 “to take away his sin” used in Romans 11:26. This immediately signals we deal with deep issues here.

Whatever the story is about it concerns a time when God defeats his enemy. This enemy affected all on the earth as suggested by the idea the dragon is in the sea. When it speaks of mythical creatures such as dragons of the sea we can assume it is a story or a parable where the creatures point to other things.

1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea. I suppose if we knew what “the day” was we would have the answer to the whole riddle. But we need more information to pinpoint that day. Several things happen on that day. Leviathan punished, and the dragon slain. We come across Leviathan in Job but it does not shed much light on it, and the only clue about the dragon is it is in the sea. That means the dragon is in the world among all the nations in the sea affecting everyone.

So the language tells us we are dealing with symbols of other things. So what would Leviathan represent? Leviathan in Job is a huge crocodile. The image is of an animal that is uncontrollable and impossible to make yield to your wishes. If you apply that, it could refer to anyone who will not yield to the constraints placed on them. Leviathan punished, but the dragon slain, so we can take that to mean leviathan yields in the end, but there is nothing you can do with the dragon, so you get rid of it altogether.

2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. On that same day there will be a woman who sings about her vineyard of wine. Does this help?

3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest [any] hurt it, I will keep it night and day. It is the place where the grapes grow. Wine always represents the word of God, because it is desired by men, and affects their mind, and makes them feel happy and relieved. If we get drunk it has negative connotations, but if we drink wine in moderation it is a good thing. Esther got Haman to come to her banquet of wine on two occasions where exposed as “this evil Haman” whose decree meant Esther and her people must be killed.

4 Fury [is] not in me: who would set the briers [and] thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Briers and thorns are the enemy of the vine. But if God is the keeper of the vine they are no threat at all. He would sort them out in as much time as it would take a fire to go through them. No one would imagine briers and thorns can succeed in a battle with God. Leviathan and the dragon are a threat. He has to use a sword against them, but briers and thorns are no match at all.

Esther

Eye

I had computer problems. Would anyone believe that? Sorry, perhaps we can begin with our Esther story now.

INTRODUCTION

Some books are hard to place, especially those that lend themselves to children’s drama as well as adult issues. So who is Esther written for, and what does it tell us? We need to note it is for several levels of reader and suggests important information to all who read it no matter what age. For it to perform all these duties at one time means it is written by God.

Esther is a parable. Children will not look to it to teach them anything at that level. To them it is a story of a young girl caught up in high drama. For those of us hungry for information the parable offers what we cannot get elsewhere. So we make the effort to identify those signs that tell us there is more information than we first thought. And since this information comes from God it is worth knowing.

How we get to this information will become clear as we read on, so we will not anticipate any of that. What we will do in the introduction is get you ready to accept it all without doubt. That involves mentioning that parables appear from one end of scripture to the other. In many ways they obscure or hide the information from those for whom it is not intended. And again it is to reveal information at a particular time, to those who need to know it.

PREFACE

This is a dramatic story worthy of any stage in the world. Each year at Purim the Jews celebrate Esther’s victory over the one who had the power of death. So it is one of the most remembered plays. As a parable it has more information for us than appears on the surface of the story. We want that information.

We start as we always do with the verse representing the subject of the book. This would be the middle verse of Isaiah 27 that reads: 7 “Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? [or] is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him?” We do not have enough information to identify the “he” but we can gather he was smitten and he was guilty of smiting others. He was slain and was guilty of slaughtering others. We have shortened the subject to: “Is he slain by the slaughter of them that are slain by him” for convenience, and because it says what we need to register here.

We still do not know who he is, but perhaps the first verse can help. It reads: 1 “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea.” It happens on a day, and God is the one who deals with this one. Leviathan is powerful and threatening and has the power of death.

Combine this with the last verse and we read: 13 “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” Whatever else we make of it there is a deliverance of Israel again, and they come from the country of their captivity and worship God in Jerusalem. This is a familiar theme met before. When we put it together we begin to examine Esther to see how that fits.

If you read my other books you will be aware Isaiah has a chapter for each of the books of the Bible. Written that way by God to identify all the books making up the inspired writings and introduce these books to the discerning reader. I say discerning reader, because a person familiar with the word of God will expect scripture to prove itself. It is just a feature of the God of the Bible, to provide each reader with the evidence they need to have confidence in what he or she is reading.

In Isaiah there is a chapter for each book, and the verses can be shown to connect directly with the subject of the book.

So Habakkuk ends and Esther begins

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That was special. God does not miss a thing. He sees all and knows all. And those who want to control everything will find they control nothing. What they want to control is what benefits them at the expense of others. Most of these people have no religion, and no obligation to share. There are seven billion people on the earth all with the right to share what God gave to man. Be generous and share and we will all enjoy what is there.

Esther is a story you will enjoy. We know there is something wrong with the way things work in our world. We would like to know what it is, and the Esther story will tell us. So hang on for the ride of your life.

The sun and the moon

The cover image shows the ensign flying high in front of the army.

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11 The sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering spear. The sun and moon, as symbols of political and religious authority, stopped in their tracks, and when they saw what they faced they scattered. They suspected this one has come to get them, and they were right.

12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. He was angry at the whole system. Everyone was guilty. It appeared he was not happy about anything that was there. You get the impression of one who is going to destroy it all and start again.

    13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. He went straight to the core of the problem, which meant he targeted the authorities. To destroy the system you chop the head off at the neck. The body ceases to obstruct, for there is none to tell it what to do.

    14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing [was] as to devour the poor secretly. The leaders who enforced the corrupt system were exposed and destroyed. It appeared as if the poor were cared for by the arrangements, but secretly they paid all the bills. The few know where the money comes from, and they know how important it is to make the poor think they have made it available.

    15 Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, [through] the heap of great waters. These are symbols of the nations, indicating the extent of his influence.

16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. Habakkuk knew he could not stand before the righteous one, and hoped mercy would apply to himself and the people. He accepted that what he thought was right was an illusion. He realized that you cannot be right if the system is corrupt. Anyone who imagines that all you have to do is enforce the rules has forgotten to ask, “who wrote the rules”. God is not going to bless any of the efforts of man as long as he is going to change the arrangements of God. Let him get what he wants from his god, let him worship the thing he has made.

    17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: For the fig tree to blossom, the fruit and the olive, the fields and the flocks, and the herds to prosper, the people had to watch the system God designed. They had to worship God, and not a system of their own manufacture. There was no likelihood of that this side of the return, because Israel were men and men would always do what is convenient.

    18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk would not invent a flawed arrangement. He will wait the arrival of the righteous judge to set things right. God is the one to worship and serve. All others are a dumb idol.

19 The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. Hind’s feet are sure and swift. They are always the victim, but they can run and hide. With God on their side they are unbeatable. They will prevail, they will survive, and this is all that matters.

Learn patience

The cover image shows the ensign flying high in front of the army.

 

Girl playing chess

Turn your energy and passion to composing a song about your concern. Redirect attention to the wait, and learn patience. It was the fear he knew that prompted his cry of alarm. It is the same fear that causes him to wait.

    1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. This was to be sung as a “loud cry”. Everyone was to hear this message. Failure to appreciate the lesson will mean constant turmoil in the ecclesia, the place that should have peace.

2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. He understood, and was relieved there was no rebuke. God was the only one who can set things right. At the time he has set, it will be, and not before. When it happens it will be just, but Habakkuk asks that God exercise mercy more than justice, because he was afraid many of those he knew as his brethren might be guilty.

What follows is the burden that he saw. Looking back over the prophecy there was the message on the tables about the just living by faith, but all else was said. This is what he saw, and it was terrible.

3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. In the song of Moses, Christ and the saints come from Teman. That his glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise, shows that he comes with authority, that is, the judge of all the earth will have the right to enforce because of the power and authority from on high, and few will want to argue.

The word “selah” is an anglicized Hebrew word that is a musical pause and consider. How they use it in music may become clear one day, but we will use it to think seriously about what has just been said.

    4 And [his] brightness was as the light; he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power. The power was not on display, but it was there and everyone knew it. It is not a vision of a military force but judicial authority.

5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. There was a very real sense of threat. This deterrent was what Habakkuk felt was missing from arrangements under the law.

    6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways [are] everlasting. His authority extended from one end of the earth to the other. The everlasting mountains, seeing successive dynasties have moved for none, the perpetual hills did not even change their shape in all that time. But in the presence of this one they scatter and bow.

    7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: [and] the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. The tents of Cushan were never in affliction, their people never contained. World empires came and went. They marched into the desert, imposed their control, and retreated without success. In this vision even the uncontrollable yielded to this one. With the rule of law there must be registration, identity, traceability. How can you control them if they just pick up their tent and disappear?

    8 Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? [was] thine anger against the rivers? [was] thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses [and] thy chariots of salvation? So extensive was the influence of Christ and the saints the only figure that would describe it was this one of the rivers and the sea. They flowed swiftly everywhere, like rivers of water. They covered the ground like the sea covers the depths. They appeared to be everywhere at once.

    9 Thy bow was made quite naked, [according] to the oaths of the tribes, [even thy] word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The bow being a weapon of war made it clear the threat was real. But the weapon was the word of his mouth. When he spoke it was right. There was no room for manipulating arrangements as man is so inclined to do. If you tried to be clever with this one, you would be in more trouble than enough.

10 The mountains saw thee, [and] they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, [and] lifted up his hands on high. Everyone felt the terror of their own guilt even those whom you might feel had little to worry about. They had been working the system for many years. They had witnessed and remained silent when injustice was done. The mountains were the pillars of the society, the unmovable towers of strength and stability. They could not face this one. The deep are the ruled, who had been taken advantage of all these years, but knew they were not innocent, for they worked the system as well. They lifted up their hands in surrender.

A graven image

The cover image shows the ensign flying high in front of the army.

Two white statues

18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker there of hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? It does not matter who made it. He might be a remarkable political strategist. He may have earned the right by conquest to stamp his name in the constitution. Even if it is a new and innovative system, untried yet full of promise, as a graven image, or a copy of the tried-and-true, overlaid with gold to iron out the flaws, it is still a dumb idol. They hold it out to be the justice system that will right all wrongs, but it becomes the weapon in the hands of the few for control of the many, and is just another invention.

    19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it [is] laid over with gold and silver, and [there is] no breath at all in the midst of it. Woe to any person who creates a social system built on injustice. Woe to any person who invents a means of control that is not right. Woe to any person who presumes to enforce his will on others by corrupt methods. Woe to any person who imagines his invention will evolve into a just and equitable system over time, as people are educated in its virtue. If man made it, it is a dumb idol.

And all the time man spends building his justice system, God is in his public house watching what they are doing. One of the first things the ruler does when he takes control is build his public house, his place of residence, or his monument to judicial authority, fitting to his new station as leader. He fails to admit that God has devised the system for man. Israel imposed it, but found it far too inconvenient, because it gave control to those who knew, by their study of the ways of their God, how to be right. There was no scope for the enterprising, self-interested and ambitious thug.

    20 But the LORD [is] in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk has heard all he needs to, to know there is no prospect of enforcing a set of rules in such a way that justice will prevail. He accepts God’s basic argument that he must wait for the righteous judge. So he records what he saw, and offers this prayer to the only one who provides hope.