Biblical prophecy can be words fulfilled, but is much more likely to be history repeated. That is, stories in the Bible can be prophetic of future events.
For example, Christians associate the Passover in Egypt, when death passed over homes that had blood of the lamb over the doors, with the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. Thus, those with faith in Yeshua today have the promise of deliverance from death by their faith in the blood of Yeshua, the sacrificial lamb. Another example of the prophetic narrative occurs with the bondage in Egypt that was repeated at the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Biblical prophecy is often history repeated.
Purim is approaching when Jews celebrate the victory of Queen Esther and her people, the Jews, over the wicked Haman and his army. The story takes place in Persia around 460 B.C.
Many Jews today believe that the hanging of Haman’s ten sons in the story of Esther is prophetic of the Nuremberg trials following World War II. At that time ten Nazi leaders were hung for crimes against the state. Furthermore, the Talmud suggests that Haman’s daughter committed suicide (information that is not in the literal biblical narrative). Therefore, the daughter did not have to be hung. In the Nuremberg trials, Herman Goering, a homosexual and well known Nazi cross-dresser, also committed suicide. So, Goering was not hung with the other ten Nazis.
Whether this association of the Esther story with the Nazi trials is correct or not, we still need to consider the prophetic nature of Purim. We must also understand that biblical prophecy can be repeated more than once. For example, we have just seen that the Passover in Egypt was a prophetic event that was repeated by the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. But stop! The Passover will still be celebrated during the Millennial Kingdom, thus making it prophetic of something beyond the Millennial Kingdom that is still future (Ezek 45:21). By the way, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is associated with Passover, and the final Feast of Sukkot will also be present in the Millennial Kingdom (Ezek 45:21; Zech 14:16-19). However, four of the seven annual feasts do not appear in the Millennial Kingdom because, by that time, they have apparently been fulfilled. The four that will have been fulfilled are:
1. First Fruits - The first fruits were a gift given to God. Yeshua is called "Christ the first fruits" in 1 Co 15:23, and believers in Christ are “a kind of first fruits” (James 1:18) because with the Holy Spirit in them they have the ability to walk in righteousness as a holy gift to God. Then, in Revelation, we learn that “those who have kept themselves chaste” (which is symbolic of righteousness)…are “first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). I suggest that this is the remnant in the Great Tribulation.
2. Shavuot - I direct your attention to the two loaves of bread that have been “baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord” (Lev 23:17). You will remember that unleavened bread is made for Passover, and represents holiness without the leavening agent of sin (1 Co 5:7). However, at Shavuot it is “two” loaves of “unleavened” bread that are offered to God. Christian scholars suggest that this represents an action of God, which is bringing together into his household, both the children of Israel and non-Jewish Gentiles whose faith in Yeshua the Messiah has made them acceptable to God.
3. Rosh HaShanah - This is the day when God will call all people to be judged, both Jew and Gentile. What follows is “ten days of awe” as God’s children repent of their sins in anticipation of Yom Kippur.
4. Yom Kippur - Yom Kippur is also known as “The Day of Atonement” when God forgives the sins of His people who repent and turn to Him. Kippur in Hebrew means “a covering”. Thus, kippur conveys the image of God “covering” the sins of His people, not totally removing them. That total removal must apparently wait for Sukkot, the final annual festival that represents the end of time.
It is time now to return to the prophetic nature of Purim. I suspect that the events that are portrayed in the Book of Esther are still prophetic, and will be repeated once again at some time in the future. A BibleInteract volunteer, Elizabeth Avalone, recently made a suggestion when I was trying to “see” the biblical events in between the end of the Millennial Kingdom and the beginning of the Great White Throne Judgment. Queen Esther, she pointed out, was selected from among many women to marry the king (Millennial Kingdom). But then Haman attempted to “destroy, kill and annihilate” all of God’s people (Esther 7:4; the final battle at the end of the Millennial Kingdom).
If the Book of Esther is still pointing to something future, possibly the time between the Millennial Kingdom and the Great White Throne Judgment, then the key to unlock this prophetic mystery may be in Haman the Agagite.
Haman is repeatedly called an Agagite in Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5; 9:24. Agag was the name given to the kings of the Amalekites, a people who are recorded in the Bible at the time of the wilderness wandering following the Exodus from Egypt. “Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim” (Ex 17:8). What follows is the account of Joshua holding up the arm of Moses, because only then did the children of Israel prevail against the Amalekites. Moses is a type of Christ. I suggest that Joshua represents a righteous leader, which describes the remnant.
When the battle at Rephidim ended, God told Moses to write these words so that all generations of Israel would remember them. “I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Ex 17:14). Thus, Amalek represents Satan and all that is evil and must be utterly destroyed.
Of the 613 laws that Jews believe God commanded them to obey, there are three that refer to the Amalekites. In a characteristic Hebrew tradition, one commands Israel to remember and another exhorts Israel not to forget. This doublet conveys extreme importance. Here are the three laws:
Remember what the Amalekites did to the Israelites (Dt 25:17:18).
Do not forget when the Amalekites did to Israel (Ex 17:14; Dt 25:19).
Destroy the Amalekites utterly (Dt 25:19; 1 Sam 15:3).
Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. Dt 25:17-19
God’s commandment to utterly destroy the Amalekites has not yet been fulfilled. In the story of Saul, who was the first king of Israel, we learn that Saul defeated the Amalekites at Havilah and “utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.” However, then we read that “Saul and the people spared Agag [king of the Amalekites] and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and [they] were not willing to destroy them utterly, but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed” (1 Sam 15:8-9). For this failure to obey God’s commandment to utterly destroy all of the Amalekites, Saul was removed from the throne and David was selected in his place. Of course, the Amalekites crop up again in the story of Esther and Haman.
I am working now to understand the prophetic nature of the story of Esther and Haman as it applies to the period of time between the end of the Millennial Kingdom and the Great White Throne Judgment. However, don’t sit back and let others tell you “what to believe.” I trust this brief article has stimulated your curiosity, and will send you to the Book of Esther to see what you can see. Please feel free to share with me any thoughts or insights you might have. Let’s work on this together.
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