ESTHER: THE STORY OF PURIM

By Karen Thompson
Fourth in a Five-Part Series

This is a continuation of a five-part series on the law of measure for measure as seen in the book of Esther. In the last post, we saw how when Mordecai learned that Haman sent letters to all the provinces announcing the day of Purim, a day when the Jews were to be killed, he told Esther to go to the king and request that the day of Purim be stopped. Esther went to the king and invited him and Haman to a special banquet. After the banquet, Esther said to the king that she and all her people were in danger of being killed. She revealed to the king that she was Jewish and that Haman was the plotter against her people. Outraged, the king had Haman arrested and hung on the very gallows on which he had prepared to hang Mordecai! It was a measure-for-measure judgment. The king promoted Mordecai to fill Haman’s position. Another letter was sent to the provinces announcing the Jews could defend themselves against their enemies. And the dreadful day of Purim was flipped upside down and the Jewish people were saved from destruction. In this post, you will see how the ancient events of Esther affected events into the future. It’s astonishing!

The Principles of Judgment in Esther

By now, the lessons of judgment in the book of Esther are obvious. God’s judgment for evil and wickedness is measure for measure. What you perpetrate against another is what you can expect to have happen to you. Haman experienced the exact treatment for which he had planned for Mordecai.

God rewarded Mordecai’s faithfulness by turning over to him everything that was his enemy’s. Mordecai was given Haman’s job. He received the king’s signet ring. And lastly, he was given Haman’s estate as his own property!

 What happened to Haman is a fulfillment of God’s words of judgment spoken through Jeremiah the prophet: “Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey” (Jer. 30:16 NKJV).

Esther’s Modern-Day Connection: Haman’s Ten Sons

Now we come to a topic that is extraordinary. Many today believe Haman’s Purim event and Hitler’s final solution are spiritually connected. When comparing these two events, it is astonishing to see how they have many like elements that connect them.

The first connection between Haman and Hitler is that they both had a plan in which to annihilate the Jewish population. In Esther chapter nine, we read about a spiritual connection between these two events as well. The dreaded day of Purim that came on the 13th of Adar (March) is when the Jews met their enemies head on. At the end of the day, King Ahasuerus gave Esther the day’s results. He said, “The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman…” Then he asked her, “Now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.” In response, Esther said, “Let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according unto this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.” She wanted the edict to be extended one more day for the Jews to defend themselves in Shushan. The king granted her desire and the next day, the 14th of Adar, the Jews in Shushan killed an additional 300 of their enemies.

Part of Esther’s request was odd. It had to do with Haman’s ten sons. The king just got done telling her that Haman’s ten sons had been killed. Part of her request was that they be hanged on the gallows the next day. They were already dead! Even still, they fulfilled Esther’s request and hung all ten corpses of Haman’s sons on the gallows! There are those that believe when Esther requested Haman’s ten sons be hung on the gallows “tomorrow,” she was unknowingly prophesying about future events. And this belief comes from an astonishing discovery that has to do with the names of Haman’s ten sons.

This astonishing discovery has only come to light in the last century. In the scroll of Esther 9:7–9, it prominently lists in two columns the names of Haman’s sons— Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha. Jewish scholars say that from the beginning, the list of the names of Haman’s sons has always been written to include three small letters written inside three of the ten names. It is believed that God inspired the writers of Esther to insert these tiny letters within the names of Haman’s sons. These three small letters have always been recorded in Esther chapter nine.

Hebrew letters also have numerical equivalents. Jewish scholars discovered that when the numerical equations of these three small letters are added together, they add up to the Jewish year 5707 which corresponds with the year 1946. It is the year when ten of Hitler’s Nazi leaders who had been tried and sentenced to death for war crimes were hung on the gallows on October 16, 1946!—just as Esther unknowingly prophesied: “Tomorrow … let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.”

Julius Streicher—Germany’s Number One Jew Baiter

There are many other examples of how these two events mirror each other. Julius Streicher was one of the men hanged on the gallows that day in 1946. He was the editor of the German magazine Der Sturmer, a Nazi propaganda newspaper. The International Military Tribunal said because of his 25 years of speaking and writing about hatred toward the Jewish people that he earned the title of “Jew-Baiter Number One.” It was his relentless and deliberate intent on infecting the German population with anti-Semitism that the Tribunal came to the conclusion that his actions constituted a crime against humanity.

Streicher continually filled his newspaper, Der Sturmer, with hatred of the Jews. He said the purpose of Der Sturmer was to ensure that all Germans would join together to crush the head of the serpent Pan-Juda. He called the Jews the devil in human form, a plague of pests, rabble, and weeds that must be exterminated.

There are some who doubt the connection between the book of Esther and the Nazi war criminals, but Julius Streicher had no doubt whatsoever. Streicher was one of the ten condemned defendants to be hung on the gallows for Nazi war crimes. Out of the ten hangings, Streicher’s was the most dramatic. When he was at the bottom of the scaffold, he cried out, “Heil Hitler.” What Streicher said when he got on the platform was astonishing. In a sneering tone, he shouted to all listening, “Purim Fest 1946!”

Astonishing!

There’s even more irony concerning the capture of Streicher and the events of Esther. The story of Purim is filled with chance happenings where everything was turned upside down. Remember how Haman came to the palace at the wrong time? Though he came to elicit permission from the king to hang Mordecai, he ended up leading Mordecai down the streets as a reward from the king.

Streicher’s capture and eventual demise was also the result of “chance meeting.” After Germany’s surrender in World War II, an American major named Henry Blitt was on his way to Berehesgaden in Germany. During the trip, he pulled off the road at a farmhouse. The man who lived there came out to greet him and they began to talk. Joking, Major Blitt told the man that he thought he looked just like Julius Streicher. Startled, the man blurted out, “You recognized me?” Major Blitt arrested him. Major Blitt was Jewish!

The irony concerning Streicher continues. Just as Haman’s estate was handed over to Mordecai, Streicher’s estate was eventually turned into an agricultural training school for Jews who planned on settling in Israel! Again, Jeremiah’s prophetic warning was fulfilled: “All they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey” (Jer. 30:16).

Plundering of Spoils!

Regarding the plundering of spoils, there is another egregious similarity between Haman and Hitler that is significant. If you remember, part of Haman’s decree on the appointed day was to not only kill all the Jews but to “plunder their spoils.” With permission to “plunder their spoils,” the promise of untold wealth up for grabs would be incentive for greedy men to kill his Jewish neighbors even when they had no hate for them. It is obvious that this was exactly the desired effect Haman had intended.

Hitler’s final solution also included “plundering the spoils” of the Jewish people. It took many forms, ranging from simple plundering of their homes and businesses to more hideous forms of thievery. The infamous Night of Broken Glass took place on November 9; Nazi storm troopers, SS members, and Hitler youth went on a rampage and destroyed 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses (including many synagogues) and killed 91 Jews. Incredulously, the Jews themselves were forced to pay for the damage done on The Night of the Broken Glass. The German state confiscated all insurance monies that were due the Jews from insurance companies.

A couple days later on November 12, there was a meeting by top Nazi officials to discuss what else could be done to strip the Jews of wealth and property and to basically drive them out of civilization. The meeting resulted in the Jews being edged out of the economic force by transferring all their property and businesses to the “Aryans.” The Jews were “compensated” in the form of bonds. At the conclusion of the meeting on November 12, Hermann Goring made the statement, “I would not like to be a Jew in Germany.”

The most hideous form of thievery took place during the mass killing of the Jews. Before being shot to death, the victims were ordered to strip and then forced to place their clothing, shoes, glasses, etcetera into separate piles. Gold fillings were extracted from the teeth of the corpses before they were cremated. Not satisfied to strip them of every possession they had, these ghouls even stripped them of their dignity.

And just as Haman’s decree of plundering the spoils of the Jewish people no doubt was incentive to kill the Jews, so was Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. Much to their shame, certain German businesses entered into business ventures with the Nazi regime that advanced the persecution and death of the Jews. They were motivated by greed and not by Nazi ideology.

One particular bank (in spite of the fact that one of its founders was Jewish) expelled their Jewish employees in compliance with the Jewish race laws. However, they exceeded the requirements of the race laws by cutting off severance payments or pension payments of Jewish retirees. Again, greed, not ideology, was their motive.

Next week will be our last post in this series. There is even more measure-for-measure judgments that will shock you.

To be continued next week…

********

Patrolling for slacker emails, Elvin, an email policeman, came upon a group of emails holding hands in a circle praying, “Dear God, please help us to be moved forward.” The officer smiled in approval, walking past them quietly. Once the officer was out of range, someone whispered, “The coast is clear.” They turned the TV back on and continued watching “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” Their laughing got out of hand. Oops. The officer circled back and caught them. “Hey!” They squealed, “Eeeeee!” He shouted, “Move it forward, you slackers!”

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