The Messianic Implications of Esther

In the text itself, the feast of Purim contains no direct reference to the Messiah. It does, however, have something to teach us about the messianic People, the Jews, and the messianic Kingdom.

The book of Esther is another example of the principle found in the Abrahamic Covenant: whoever curses you I will curse (Genesis 12:3b). This principle teaches that ADONAI will curse those who curse the Jews. This ensures the survival of Isra'el during the Times of the Gentiles (see my commentary on Revelation An – The Times of the Gentiles). The Torah emphasizes that no matter how bad things get for the children of Jacob, they will survive. That is a biblical guarantee.

The most important principle taught about the messianic People in Esther is the example of the LORD's providence to secure the survival of Isra'el after being scattered into all the nations of the world after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The name of God, YHVH (see my commentary on Exodus At – I AM Has Sent Me To You), is hidden within the book (1:20, 5:4, 5:13 and 7:7) because ADONAI was working behind the scenes for their good. He was working on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant, especially upon the principle: whoever curses you I will curse. The book of Esther is a great example of God’s providence.

Over the course of human history, I am sure that Elohim seemed absent from many Jews only to be hidden from their view, working behind the scenes for their good. The LORD's providence involves the protection of His creation against harm or destruction. This is particularly evident in the preservation of Isra'el as a nation.

For example, the hand of ADONAI was present in providing for the needs of His people at the time of the great worldwide famine (see my commentary on Genesis Ju – Joseph’s Interpretation and Advice of Pharaoh’s Dream). God had brought Joseph to Egypt to make provision for feeding the people in the time of great shortage.

The sparing of the children of Abraham in the time of Moses is also particularly noteworthy. By ordering the killing of Israelite male children, Pharaoh attempted to eliminate Isra'el as a nation by assimilating them into Egyptian society and eliminating them as a separate and distinct people (see my commentary on Exodus Ah – So God Was Kind to the Midwives). Yet the midwives saved those baby boys, and remarkable circumstances spared the life of Moses.

The series of plagues designed to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors ended in the death of the firstborn of all the households in Egypt. Yet the firstborn children of the Israelites, or even faithful Egyptians, were spared if their parents had the blood of the lamb over the doorframe of their houses (see my commentary on Exodus Bw – Christ and the Passover).

When they fled and were pursued by the Egyptians, the children of Isra'el were enabled to pass through the Sea of Reeds on dry land, while the Egyptians were engulfed in the waters and drowned (see my commentary on Exodus Ci – The Waters Were Divided and the Israelites Went Through the Sea on Dry Ground).

In their wilderness wanderings, God’s chosen people received miraculous provision, primarily manna, but quails (see my commentary on Exodus Cs – That Evening Quail Came and Covered the Camp), and water as well (see my commentary on Exodus Cu – Strike the Rock and Water Will Come Out of It). They were given victories in battle, sometimes against great odds, as they sought to take the Land promised to them from those who occupied it.136

In the Babylon Captivity, the LORD's work of preservation is again very striking. Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were condemned to be burned alive in the fiery furnace for failure to worship the golden image that had been set up. Yet they emerged unharmed from the furnace, while the flames destroyed those who cast them in. Dani'el, because he prayed to his God, was thrown into a den of hungry lions, yet he emerged unharmed.137

The book of Esther shows ADONAI's use of providence to secure the survival of Isra'el during the period of the Dispersion. While great segments of the Jews may be killed, as it was with the Holocaust, Elohim has guaranteed that the Jews as a people and as a nation will survive. And so it will be until Isra'el's national salvation when Messiah returns (see my commentary on Isaiah Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Bozrah). At that time there will be no further threat to Jewish survival.138

 

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