img1

 

img2

FOREWORD

 

 

The Book of Esther contains a wealth of information relative to Israel and the nations, having to do mainly with activity occurring at the end of and following the Times of the Gentiles.

 

 

The first two chapters, within the typical structure of the book, relate the complete history of Israel - from God’s call surrounding this nation during Moses’ day to that future day when this call will be realized under the One greater than Moses, with Israel then occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

 

 

Then the remaining seven chapters (chs. 3-10) form commentary material for the first two chapters, centering attention on that future time when God will resume His national dealings with Israel, at the end of Man’s Day, terminating at the same place as the first two chapters - Israel occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

 

 

Chapter three begins with the rise of Haman to a high position of power in the kingdom, typifying the future rise of Antichrist to a position of world power in the kingdom near the middle of Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.  And the remainder of the book reveals Antichrist’s activities (typified by Haman’s activities) as they relate particularly to Israel (typified by both Esther and Mordecai), that which Israel will do because of these activities, Antichrist’s ultimate fall (which marks the end of the Times of the Gentiles), and Israel’s subsequent rise to the position which the nation was called to occupy almost 3,500 years ago when God called the Israelites out of Egypt under Moses.

 

 

In the preceding respect, Esther chapters three through ten parallel Revelation chapters six through twenty. And, when studying either book, to gain a proper understanding of the book, it is vitally important that Scripture be compared with Scripture.  One book must be studied in the light of the other, among other books containing related subject matter as well (both O.T. and N.T.).

 

 

This is simply one of the ways in which God has structured His Word, necessitating comparing Scripture with Scripture in order to gain a correct understanding of that which has been revealed.  God, through this means, has provided man with a complete revelation of Himself, His plans, and His purposes.

 

 

This complete revelation though can be seen only one place - in the complete Word.  And it can be properly seen and understood through one means alone - through comparing parts of this revelation with other parts of this revelation, through comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2: 9-13), viewing and studying the whole of Scripture in this manner.

 

 

In this respect, the Book of Esther is an integral and vital link to seeing and understanding the complete word picture which God has provided.  Not only must Esther be viewed and studied in the light of related Scripture (e.g., Exodus, Daniel, Revelation, among numerous other books and places in Scripture) but related Scripture must be viewed and studied in the light of Esther as well.

 

 

And the importance of the Book of Esther in this respect is self-evident.  This book is about Israel and the nations, and understanding God’s dealings with Israel in this respect is a central key to understanding the whole of Scripture.

 

 

Understand the message of the Book of Esther (comparing Scripture with Scripture), and you can understand what has happened, is happening, and is about to happen relative to Israel and the nations.  It was all foretold in the small Book of Esther almost two and one-half millenniums ago.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

1

The King and the Queen

 

 

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

 

 

That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

 

 

In the third year of his reign, he made a feast

 

 

When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

 

 

And when these days were expired, the king made a feast ... seven days

 

 

On the seventh day ... he commanded

 

 

To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on (Esther 1: -a, 4, 5a, 10a, 11).

 

 

 

There are two books in Scripture bearing the names of women who appear as principal characters in the books - the Books of Ruth and Esther.  These are the only books in Scripture named for women; and an element of mystery surrounds both, for no one knows the identity of the person who wrote either book.

 

 

The Book of Ruth has to do with events occurring during the days the judges (Ruth 1: 1). Events during the days of the judges began following Joshua’s death and lasted until the time of Samuel the prophet, a period covering about three hundred years (which followed a period covering “about ... four hundred fifty years,” going back to the birth of Isaac [Acts 13: 17-20; ref. NASB, NIV]).  Events in the Book of Ruth though cover a much smaller part of the time of the judges, occurring during the latter part of this period (Ruth 4: 13-22), during about the middle or latter part of the twelfth century B.C.; and events in the book occurred both in a Gentile land (Moab) and in the land of Israel.

 

 

The Book of Esther, on the other hand, has to do with events occurring about seven centuries later, in Persia (following not only the Babylonian captivity [abt. 605 B.C.] but also following that time when the Medes and the Persians conquered the kingdom of Babylon [abt. 538 B.C.]).  Events in the Book of Esther would appear to have occurred during the first half of the fifth century B.C., about sixty years after the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon (Esther 1: 1; 2: 5, 6).

 

 

The Book of Ruth, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with the Church.  And the Book of Esther, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with Israel.  Ruth presents a complete overview of the history of the Church, and Esther presents a complete overview of the history of Israel.  But the emphasis in each book is not so much on the past and present as it is on the future.

 

 

In the Book of Ruth, chapters one and two deal with the past and present; but chapters three and four deal almost entirely with future events, beginning with events surrounding the judgment seat at the end of the present dispensation.  And these events, along with subsequent events seen in Ruth chapter four, immediately precede and lead into the Messianic Era.

 

 

In the Book of Esther chapter one deals with the past and present; but chapters two through ten deal entirely with future events.  These last nine chapters deal with Israel mainly during seven unfulfilled years which remain in God’s dealings with this nation in order to complete Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, ending with the restoration of Israel and the ushering in of the Messianic Kingdom.

 

 

In the preceding respect, the Books of Ruth and Esther together provide a complete overview of God's dealings with His people - both the Church and Israel - throughout the last 4,000 years of Man’s Day, leading into the Messianic Era.  Certain things are opened up and revealed in these two books after a manner not seen in other Old Testament books.  And these things form an integral part of God’s complete word pictures pertaining to both the Church and Israel in the Old Testament, providing different facets of information, apart from which these word pictures would be incomplete.

 

 

Then, insofar as the end of the matter is concerned - the realm where the emphasis is placed in both books - these two books together cover exactly the same period of time and deal with exactly the same events seen in the first twenty chapters of the Book of Revelation.  Ruth covers matters relative to the Church during this period of time, and Esther covers matters relative to Israel during this same period.  And, in this respect, if an individual would properly understand that which has been revealed in these chapters in the Book of Revelation, he must go back to the Books of Ruth and Esther, along with sections of numerous other Old Testament books which would have a direct bearing on the subject (e.g., Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel).

 

 

There is no other way to properly understand the Book of Revelation (or, for that matter, any other part of the New Testament).  All of the things opened up and revealed in the New were previously set forth, through various ways and means, in the Old.  Different Old Testament books deal with varying and particular facets of the matter – here a little, and there a little (Isa. 28: 10).  And since the New Testament has an inseparable connection of this nature with the Old, an individual must continually look back to and draw from the Old if he would properly understand the New.

 

 

The whole of the matter is by Divine design, and only through viewing the whole together - after running all of the checks and balances through comparing Scripture with Scripture - can a person see the complete picture (comprised of word pictures dealing with both the Church and Israel), exactly as God would have man see it.

 

 

HISTORICAL SETTING FOR ESTHER

 

 

The events seen throughout the Book of Esther occurred in the southern part of the country known today as Iran.  Iran” is a name of more recent origin.  The country was known as “Persia” prior to 1935, reflecting on the racial identity and history of the people inhabiting the land - descendants of the ancient Persians.

 

 

Though the people inhabiting this land during modern times are of Persian descent, which carries all the way back to the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians during Ahasuerus and Esther’s day, the name change in 1935 reflected another racial characteristic of the Persian people - that of Aryan descent.  The name Iran is derived from “Aryan,” a reference back to the Aryan tribes in that part of the world (as distinguished from the Middle East Semitic tribes); and the Aryan tribes would include the descendants of the ancient Medes and Persians, among other tribes in that region.

 

 

Iran today though only covers a small part of the kingdom as it existed during Ahasuerus and Esther’s day in the Book of Esther.  The kingdom during that day extended all the way from India west to Ethiopia (Esther 1: 1).  It was the world kingdom of that day, represented by the breast and arms of silver on Daniel’s image in Daniel chapter two (vv. 32, 39).

 

 

This kingdom, represented by the breast and arms of silver, was a dual kingdom - the Medo-Persian kingdom - throughout the time of its existence as the centre of world power (from abt. 538 B.C. to abt. 330 B.C.).  This was the kingdom that conquered Babylon (the kingdom which conquered the world power represented by the head of gold on Daniel’s image); and the Medo-Persian Empire formed the kingdom which, in turn, was conquered slightly over two hundred years later, in Babylon, by Alexander the Great and his armies (which then brought into existence the third part of Daniel’s image, that represented by the belly and thighs of brass [cf. Dan. 2: 32, 39; 8: 3-8]).

 

 

The Medes were the dominant power at first.  But, according to secular history, about the time that the Medo-Persian Empire became the centre of world power, the dominance in power shifted from the Medes to the Persians.  And the Persians continued as the dominant power throughout the empire’s status as the world power of that day.

 

 

(Following the Medo-Persian kingdom being depicted by the second part of the image in Daniel chapter two, this dual kingdom was later depicted in the book through a bear raising itself up on one side [7: 5], which is subsequently explained by the horns on a ram in the next chapter.  The ram had two high horns [representing “the kings of Media and Persia” (cf. 8: 3, 20)], “but one was higher than the other, and the higher [the king of Persia] came up last” [v. 3].)

 

 

The Persian kingdom had become the dominant power long before the time of Ahasuerus’ reign, as seen at the beginning of the Book of Esther.  Note that this world power is referred to as that of “Persia and Media” at this time (i.e., Persia mentioned first, in accord with the power-structure of the kingdom [1: 3; cf. 1: 18,19]).  And the time of his reign - several generations following the captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (2: 5, 6) - would be in complete accord with the probable identity of Ahasuerus (a title or family name, similar to “Herod” in the gospel accounts).  Ahasuerus in Esther was probably Xerxes (the son of Darius in Dan. 5: 31), who ruled the Medo-Persian Empire during the years 486-465 B.C.

 

 

(There is one exception to Persia being mentioned before Media in the Book of Esther, and that occurs in chapter ten where mention is made of “the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia.”  However, it would only naturally follow that Media should be mentioned first when this book was referenced, for this book contained records dating back to the time when Media rather than Persia was the dominant power.  In this respect, attention was called to the original title or way in which the book was known, not to the present status of power among the two nations forming the kingdom.)

 

 

Thus, the Book of Esther has to do with the most powerful of all the kings on earth ruling over the world empire of that day.  In conjunction with his reign, his queen is brought to the forefront different places throughout the book.  And the queen is brought to the forefront in this manner for a revealed reason, set forth and established in an unchangeable fashion in the first chapter of the book.

 

 

This is the setting for the Book of Esther, a book fraught with types and meaning.

 

 

TYPICAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHER

 

 

Events in the Book of Esther occurred almost a millennium after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (a type of the world); and these events occurred during a time when the Israelites were once again under Gentile subjection, awaiting that time when the One greater than Moses would return to lead the people out from a worldwide dispersion (i.e., awaiting that time when Christ will return at a yet future date to lead the Israelites out from that typified by the Exodus from Egypt under Moses).

 

 

Thus, events in the Book of Esther occurred at a mid-point between the actions of Moses in the type and the actions of Christ in the antitype.  And, at this juncture in the history of Israel and the nations, God, through bringing circumstances and events to pass among Israel and the nations over a period of centuries and millenniums, could take the current events of that day and use these events to reveal great spiritual truths concerning both history and prophecy surrounding the same nations carrying out these events.

 

 

God’s sovereign control over all things throughout Man’s Day has allowed Him to take Old Testament history and, through Divine design, structure this history in a manner which is highly typical in nature.  Only an Omniscient and Omnipotent God, who possessed perfect knowledge of all things - the beginning, the end, and all that lay between - could, within His sovereign control over all these things, reveal His plans and purposes in this manner.

 

 

And, accordingly, only through studying God’s revelation after the manner in which God has structured this revelation can man come into a proper understanding of the revealed Word.

 

 

(1) CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO

 

 

The whole of the story as it pertains to Israel - typified by the queen (Vashti, then Esther) - is set forth in the opening two chapters of the book.  The remaining chapters (chs. 3-10) simply provide commentary for that previously revealed in the opening two chapters.

 

 

But first, the type, as it is set forth in each of these opening two chapters:

 

 

(a) The Type - Chapter One

 

 

Chapter one begins with the king making a great feast.  Mention is made of his power and the riches of his kingdom, with those in positions of power in the kingdom being invited to the feast.  The feast was proclaimed in the third year of his reign”; and, during this time, “he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days [six months]” (vv. 3, 4).

 

 

Then the king made a feast unto all who were present – both unto great and small - for seven days.”  And, on the seventh day,” the command was given “to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal.”  And this was to be done in order to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on (vv. 5, 10, 11).

 

 

But, the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment.”  And, because the queen refused to come, after the king had commanded her to come, the king was very wroth, and his anger burned in him(v. 12).

 

 

Then the remainder of the events in chapter one surround that which was to be done concerning Vashti because she had refused to come at the king’s command.  The king consulted his advisors.  And because the actions of the queen had wronged not only the king but everyone in the kingdom as well, a decree, in keeping with her actions, was issued.

 

 

This decree was a royal commandment,” which had been written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes.”  And the decree, because it was written among national law, could not be altered.  The decree stated the matter simply and clearly:

 

 

That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she (v. 19b; cf. vv. 15-19a).

 

 

This decree, in turn, was to be published throughout all of King Ahasuerus’ empire, in the various languages of all those throughout the empire.  This was done because other women in the empire might be inclined to follow Vashti’s lead.

 

 

Then, something additional was written in the decree concerning Vashti’s actions.  Because that which Vashti had done reflected; negatively on the king’s authority and brought dishonour to the king, it was decreed that every man should bear rule in his own house.”  This would turn matters around and result in wives honouring, not dishonouring, their husbands (vv. 17, 20-22).

 

 

(b) The Type - Chapter Two

 

 

Chapter two begins with the king’s wrath being appeased and his remembering Vashti, what she had done, and what was decreed against her.”  Then the king’s servants suggested that a search be conducted for one to replace Vashti - a maiden which pleaseth the king,” who would be queen instead of Vashti (vv. 1-4).

 

 

The search was begun; and Mordecai, whose great grandfather had been carried away in the captivity (under Nebuchadnezzar, which began abt. 605 B.C.), had a cousin named Hadassah, whose Persian name was Esther. And Esther was among those brought into the king’s house to later appear before the king (vv. 5-8).

 

 

Proper preparations would be made for meeting the king over one year’s time, divided into two equal periods of six months, with different things regarding preparation being accomplished during each period.  It was only at the end of this time - after complete and proper preparation had been made - that a maiden would be taken in before the king (vv. 9-14).

 

 

When Esther’s turn finally came, she was taken in before the king in the tenth month ... in the seventh year of his reign.”

 

 

And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti (v. 17).

 

 

The king then made a great feast,” which was proclaimed to be “Esther’s feast.”  And he made a release [‘rest’] to the provinces in his kingdom, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king (v. 18).

 

 

At the same time, Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.”  And, while in this position, he became aware of a plot against the king.  Mordecai then made the matter known to Esther, who told the king.  An inquisition was conducted.  And, as a result, the two men involved in the plot were hanged [‘impaled’] on a tree (vv. 19-23).

 

 

(c) Antitype of Chapters One and Two

 

 

In different parts of chapters one and two, reference is made to various time-periods in connection with festivities, showing the honour of the king’s majesty, showing the riches of the kingdom, and bringing the queen before the king.  In chapter one, reference is made to “the third year,” an hundred and fourscore days [six months],” seven days,” and the seventh day(vv. 3-5, 10).  And in chapter two, reference is made to the tenth month and the seventh year (v. 16).

 

 

The whole of the matter has to do with different ways of viewing part or all of a single time-period in the antitype, set forth and established in an unchangeable manner in the foundational framework at the very beginning of Scripture, in Gen. 1: 1- 2: 3.  And that revealed in the Book of Esther has to do with commentary on these opening verses in Genesis (as does all other Scripture subsequent to these opening verses), providing additional sinews and flesh necessary to clothe the skeletal, foundational framework established at the beginning (cf. Ezek. 37:1ff).

 

 

(i.e., the opening verses of Genesis establish the pattern for the whole of subsequent Scripture - God taking six days to restore a ruined creation [the earth], followed by a day of rest.  And this points to God taking six more days [6,000 years] to restore a subsequent ruined creation [man], to be followed by a day [1,000 years] of rest [ref. the author’s book, THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE, Ch. II, “The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture”].)

 

 

Israel was called into existence to occupy a particular position before the King - before God Himself - at a time designated by the number three, following a time designated by the number six, and during a time designated by the number seven.  All of these are seen in the first chapter of Esther.  Then, in the second chapter, the number ten is brought into the picture in connection with another reference to the number seven.

 

 

Time, through the use of numbers in the preceding respect, is dealt with different ways in Scripture.  But, as previously stated, the whole of the matter must be in line with the foundational framework established at the beginning, i.e., in line with six days of restorative work, followed by a seventh day (a Sabbath) of rest.  And in the opening two chapters of Esther, one finds various ways in which Scripture deals with time in this respect.

 

 

In the third year (1: 3) points to the seventh day in the respect that Israel had been called into existence two days (2,000 years) before the nation was destined to be raised up to live in God’s sight on the third day, which, using the full reckoning of time, would be the seventh day (cf. Hosea 5:13-6: 2).

 

 

Israel was called into existence after two days (after 2,000 years) of human history; and, according to Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, the Messianic Era would be ushered in at the end of the Jewish dispensation, 2,000 years following Abraham’s birth, 4,000 years following Adam’s creation.

 

 

But the present dispensation (during which time God deals with the one new man in Christ another two days, another 2,000 years, with Israel set aside) must fit into the equation.  The present dispensation is not seen within either Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy or Hosea’s reckoning of time, though it would relate to the fifth and sixth days (covering the complete six days, the complete 6,000 years) in the opening verses of Genesis.  And that which occurred during and following the complete six days in the opening verses of Genesis is that which is in view through events occurring during and at the end of the six months in Esther 1:4, 5.

 

 

Then the seven days,” with the crowned queen being called into the king’s presence on “the seventh day” (1: 5, 10, 11), is self-explanatory.  This, in the antitype, has to do with the entire seven days in Gen. 1: 1-2: 3, with Israel being called into existence during the six days in order to realize a particular position on the seventh day - the Sabbath day, pointing to the seventh millennium.

 

 

And the tenth month and the seventh year in the second chapter (v. 16), in connection with the crown being placed on Esther’s head (v. 17), point to exactly the same thing.  Ten is the number of ordinal completion, and all things will be brought to completion when that seen in these verses is brought to pass on the seventh day.

 

 

Then, Mordecai seated in the king’s gate completes the type - the Jews one day possessing the gate of the enemy (Gen. 22: 17).

 

 

Israel in the Old Testament was called into existence to occupy a particular position at a particular time. Israel refused, and the nation was set aside.  That’s what Esther chapter one is about.

 

 

However, the day is coming when God will once again turn to Israel and complete His dealings with this nation, establishing Israel in the position to which the nation was called, during a time which God has established.  That’s what Esther chapter two is about.

Thus, in the preceding respect, the opening two chapters of Esther cover the complete history of Israel - from the time of the nation’s inception to the time when the nation realizes her calling, in the Messianic Kingdom.

 

 

(2) CHAPTERS THREE THROUGH TEN

 

 

These eight remaining chapters in the Book of Esther provide commentary, filling in details, for the complete story which has already been told in chapters one and two.  This commentary, when seen in the antitype, fits into the latter part of the time covered by chapter one and ends at the same place where chapter two ends.

 

 

The arrangement of God’s revealed Word after this fashion - a complete sequence of events, followed by commentary - is something seen quite often in Scripture.  Actually, as previously seen, viewing Gen. 1: 1-2: 3 in connection with subsequent Scripture, the whole of Scripture has been structured in this manner (cf. Matt. 17: 1-5; 2 Peter 1: 15-18; 3: 1-8).

 

 

Revelation chapter twelve would be one of the more classic examples of a section of Scripture structured after this fashion.  The complete sequence of events is given in the first six verses.  Then verses seven through seventeen provide commentary for that which has already been stated in the opening six verses.

 

 

And this is the manner in which the Book of Esther is structured - the complete story is given first, and commentary then follows.  And the latter (commentary on chs. 1, 2) is exactly what the last eight chapters deal with.

 

 

(a) The Type - Chapters Three through Ten

 

 

Chapter three begins with the king promoting Haman to a high position of power.  From information provided in the book, his position of power appeared to be second only to the king himself.  And Haman (a Gentile), rather than Esther or Mordecai (both Jews), held this position of power.

 

 

Haman was placed over all the princes that were with him.”  And all the king’s servants that were in the king’s gate were commanded by the king to honour Haman in the position to which he had been appointed, bowing before him (vv. 1, 2a).

 

 

But Mordecai, also at the gate, bowed not, nor did him [Haman] reverence.”  And this infuriated Haman to the extent that he, knowing Mordecai was a Jew, sought to not only slay Mordecai but all the Jews throughout the entire kingdom (vv. 2b-6).

 

 

And this sets the stage for that which occurs throughout the remainder of the book.

 

 

Haman, seeking to bring about the destruction of the Jews, instead, ultimately brought about his own destruction, along with that of his house as well.  Haman had built a gallows upon which he planned to have Mordecai hanged (impaled).  But, through God’s providential control of all things, the tables were turned, with Haman himself subsequently being hanged (impaled) on the gallows.  And not only was Haman hanged (impaled) on the very gallows which he had built for Mordecai, but his ten sons were subsequently slain and hanged (impaled) on this same gallows as well (3: 8-9: 14).

 

(Relative to the preceding, the English text in most versions refers to being hanged on a gallows, as the two men were hanged on a tree at the end of chapter two.  The thought though, in all instances throughout the book, has to do with being hanged in the sense of being impaled, whether on a tree or on a gallows.)

 

 

Then, following Haman’s overthrow, instead of a Gentile continuing in power, a Jew was promoted to the position which Haman had held.  The house of Haman was given to Esther the queen; and Esther, in turn, placed Mordecai - who had been promoted to a position of power directly under the king - over the house (8: 1-7; 10: 3).

 

 

(b) The Antitype of Chapters Three through Ten

 

 

The account of Haman, his love for both recognition and power, his hatred for the Jewish people, his ignominious end, and the ultimate triumph and exaltation of a Jew to the position of power previously held by a Gentile have to do with that future time when God turns back to and completes His dealings with the Jewish people.  These dealings will complete the full time seen in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, bringing the times of the Gentiles to a close (Luke 21: 20-24).  And the long-awaited Messianic Era will then follow.

 

 

Haman typifies the man of sin (Antichrist), who, in the middle of the coming Tribulation (Daniel’s Seventieth Week), will find himself occupying the same position in Satan’s kingdom that Haman occupied in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.  Satan (ruling the present world kingdom under God, though a rebel ruler) will give unto this man the same thing which He offered to Christ in the temptation account (Luke 4: 5, 6).  Satan will give unto this man his power, and his seat [‘throne’], and great authority (Rev. 13: 2).

 

 

Though giving his throne to Antichrist, Satan will still hold the same regal position to which he was appointed in the beginning.  God alone can appoint or remove rulers, and Satan will be removed from his present position only after Christ returns (cf. Dan. 4: 17, 25; Rev. 19: 17-20: 3).  But, regardless, the man of sin will still exercise power emanating from God’s throne through Satan’s throne in the same manner in which Haman exercised power emanating from Ahasuerus’ throne.

 

 

Scripture deals with matters surrounding the emergence of this man at the end of Man’s Day in a manner far more extensive than many realize.  Numerous types and prophecies have to do with the day when this man will be upon the earth; and most also continue into the end of the matter, into the Messianic Era.

 

 

The Book of Esther forms a good illustration of the preceding.  Note that the larger part of this book has been given over to the emergence of this man, that which he will do, and that which will resultingly occur.  Then matters end with conditions which foreshadow the coming Messianic Era.

 

 

This man was on the scene in type at the time of the inception of the nation in the Book of Exodus.  There was an Assyrian Pharaoh ruling Egypt in that day (the Assyrians had conquered Egypt, and an Assyrian Pharaoh ruled Egypt).  And this Assyrian Pharaoh foreshadowed the future Assyrian (the man of sin, who will arise from within the territorial boundaries of the old Assyrian kingdom, which covered parts of present day Iraq, Iran, and Turkey [cf. Isa. 10: 5; 14: 25; 30: 31; 31: 8; 52: 4; Dan. 8: 8, 9, 21-25; Hosea 5:13]).

 

 

And this man will be on the scene when God completes His dealings with the Jewish people at the end of Man’s Day (Rev. 13: lff).  The type in Exodus, having to do with not only this man’s activities but his destruction in the Red Sea as well, foreshadows that which will occur when this man emerges in the antitype. And that which occurred relative to the Jewish people - beginning with the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lambs in chapter twelve and continuing with their departure from Egypt - foreshadows that which will occur in the antitype as well.

 

 

Almost the entire Book of Exodus deals with prophecy in this respect.  That which is about to happen has all been foretold in this manner in various Old Testament books.  And each part of the Old Testament where these matters are dealt with provides another, slightly different, part to the complete word picture.

 

 

And the Book of Esther is one of these books, providing part of the complete word picture.  This book centers around the Jewish people and the great enemy of the Jewish people in the end times.  And this book relates the matter from God’s standpoint, revealing those things which God chose to reveal, after the manner which He chose to use.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

2

Vashti Rejected

 

 

But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him ...

 

 

What shall we do unto the queen Vashti ...?

 

 

If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she (Esther 1: 12, 15a, 19).

 

 

Chapter one in the Book of Esther begins with the ruler of the world empire of that day (Ahasuerus), the most powerful of all the kings on earth, performing certain regal tasks relative to his kingdom.  As he sat on his throne, he made a feast,” and he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty.”  And these things were done in connection with set timesthe third year,” an hundred and fourscore days [six months],” and seven days (vv. 1-5).

 

 

Then, also in connection with these set times, on the seventh day,” the king commanded that Vashti the queen be brought before him, with the crown royal.”

 

 

The queen was to appear in the king’s presence at a set time, for a particular purpose. She was to appear following the festivities, on the seventh day; and the purpose of her appearance had to do with regality, for the queen was to come forth wearing a crown.  Further, the king planned to openly present the crowned queen to those in his kingdom at this time, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on (vv. 10, 11).

 

 

But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment.”  The king was enraged, for Vashti, through this refusal, had dishonoured the one with whom she ruled as consort queen.  And through dishonouring the king in this manner, she had not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people throughout the kingdom (vv. 12-16).

 

 

And because of Vashti’s refusal to come, she was rejected as queen.  Not only would she never again be allowed to appear before the king, but her royal estate would be taken from her and given to another that is better than she.”  And this matter was made known through a decree issued by the king and published throughout the kingdom in all the various languages of those in the kingdom (vv. 17-22).

 

 

That is the story seen in chapter one.  It is actual history fraught with significance and meaning.  This chapter forms one part of the end result of God, through His sovereign control of all things, bringing events and circumstances to pass in such a manner that He could use the end result of His work (in this case, events in the Book of Esther) to teach His people great spiritual truths.  And, drawing from Biblical history, the central means which God uses to make known spiritual truths in this manner is typical teachings.

 

 

Chapter one in Esther, within a type-antitype framework, has to do with God ruling over a province in His kingdom (God ruling over the [this] earth).  This chapter centers around certain things concerning the King and this one segment of His kingdom, which lead into certain things concerning the queen (Israel, the wife of the King).

 

 

This chapter has to do with God and a province in His kingdom, with Israel’s calling relative to the King and this province, with Israel’s refusal to come at the King’s command, and that which the King did about the matter.  And, in this manner, this chapter covers the complete history of Israel, up to and including the present day and time.

 

 

And note where the emphasis is placed in the Book of Esther.  It is placed first on set times in which certain things are brought to pass.  In complete keeping with these set times, there was a display of the riches of the kingdom, along with the splendour and greatness of the king’s majesty.  And this all led into things stated about the queen, who was to be brought forth in a regal capacity, on the seventh day.

 

 

Bringing matters over into the antitype, God’s plans and purposes are carried out at set times.  In complete keeping with these set times, the riches of God’s kingdom have been/are being/will be made known, along with the splendour and greatness of His majesty.  And, within a Scriptural framework, this all leads into things stated about the queen (about Israel), whose calling involves being brought forth in a regal capacity, on the seventh day.

 

 

(For a detailed discussion of the significance of the set times mentioned several places in chapter one of Esther [along with chapter two as well], see Chapter 1 in this book.)

 

 

ISRAEL’S CALLING

 

 

Man, at the time of his creation, was brought forth to rule in God’s kingdom.  Satan, the incumbent ruler whom God had placed over the province in the beginning, had disqualified himself; and man, created in God’s image, after God’s likeness, was brought on the scene to replace the disqualified ruler (cf. Gen. 1: 26-28; Isa. 14: 12-17; Ezek. 28: 14-19).

 

 

However, because of Satan’s intrusion, man, following his creation, found himself (as Satan) disqualified to rule.  Satan, knowing the reason for man’s creation, sought to thwart God’s regal purpose for man through bringing about his fall.  And, with man in a fallen state, Satan was allowed to continue holding the sceptre (cf. Gen. 3: 1-7; Luke 4: 5, 6; John 14: 30; Eph. 3: 9-11; 6: 12).

 

 

(A principle of Biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler, if he is to be replaced, must continue holding the sceptre until his replacement is on the scene and ready to ascend the throne.  Then, action will be taken by God [the One Who both places and removes rulers (Dan. 4: 17, 25)].

 

An example of this can be seen in the account of Saul and David in 1, 2 Samuel.  Saul, through disobedience, had disqualified himself; and David was then anointed king in Saul’s stead.

 

But David didn’t immediately ascend the throne.  Saul continued in power until David was ready to ascend the throne [in God’s time, when David had acquired all of the necessary qualified rulers to govern with him in the kingdom].  Only then did God remove Saul and give his crown to David.

 

And exactly the same thing is true in the antitype.  Satan, through sin, has disqualified himself; and Christ has been anointed King in Satan’s stead.

 

But, as in the type, Christ didn’t immediately ascend the throne.  Though Christ has already been anointed King, Satan continues to hold the sceptre.  And Satan will continue holding the sceptre until Christ is ready to ascend the throne (in God’s time, when Christ will have acquired all of the necessary qualified rulers to govern with Him in the kingdom (through the work of the [Holy] Spirit during the present dispensation)].  Only then will God remove Satan and give the crown to His Son.)

 

 

Both man’s fall and Satan’s fall have to do with regality, but their respective falls differed in one major respect.  Following man’s fall, unlike events following Satan’s fall, redemption was provided; and redemption was provided with one end in view - man realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning.

 

 

But still, though redemption was provided, man had to await God’s time before he could exercise regal power. And, even though almost 6,000 years have come to pass since Adam’s fall, the time for man to rule has not yet arrived.  The time for God to remove the incumbent ruler and place Another in his position is still future. We’re still living during that day and time when Satan has been allowed to continue holding the sceptre.

 

 

Thus, man seeking to rule today, should he be successful, would find himself ruling before the time.  And, ruling before the time, he could only find himself occupying a position of power in the present kingdom, in Satan’s kingdom.

 

 

Satan and his angels presently rule the earth through the Gentile nations, from a heavenly sphere.  This is the way in which the present kingdom of the heavens (under Satan) is structured, paralleling the way in which the coming kingdom of the heavens (under Christ) will be structured.  And man exercising regal power today, among the nations of the world, can only find himself ruling under a fallen angel who occupies a position of power with Satan, seated in the present kingdom of the heavens (Dan. 10: 13,14, 20).

 

 

For an unsaved person to occupy a position of this nature is one thing, but for a saved person to occupy a similar position is a completely different matter.  Saved individuals [after rapture or the first resurrection] have a calling to occupy regal positions in the coming [millennial] kingdom of Christ (from a heavenly sphere), not regal positions in the present kingdom of Satan (from an earthly sphere); and for a saved person to aspire to occupy a position of power in the present kingdom of Satan could only be an act diametrically opposed to his high calling.

 

 

Viewing the matter from the framework of the type in 1 and 2 Samuel, such action on the part of saved people would be comparable to one or more of those who had joined themselves to David out in the hills leaving the camp of David and returning to Saul’s kingdom, in a regal capacity.  Christians doing something of this nature will find themselves ruling before the time, in the wrong kingdom.  And such can only lead to dire consequences:

 

 

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

 

 

And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully (2 Tim, 2: 4, 5).

 

 

Man is to exercise regal power on the seventh day, in Christ’s kingdom, not prior to the seventh day, in Satan’s kingdom.  And [regenerate] man is to bide his time, awaiting that future day.

 

 

Man, at the time of his creation, was brought forth on the sixth day, for regal purposes; and man’s creation for regal purposes could only have been with a view to the seventh day, for that was the only day left within the framework of the complete type seen in Gen. 1: 1-2: 3.

 

 

Then, the same thing is seen relative to Israel in the opening two chapters of Esther.  Vashti, in chapter one, was to appear before the king, wearing her crown, on the seventh day; and Esther, in chapter two, appeared before the king, wearing this same crown, in the seventh year (1:10, 11; 2: 16, 17).

 

 

Thus, man’s calling to exercise regality has to do with one time alone.  It has to do with the coming seventh day, the coming seventh millennium, the Messianic Era.  Satan will continue on the throne until that time. And man exercising power today can only do so before the time, within the wrong kingdom.

 

 

(1) BUT, GOD’S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL

 

 

Regality in relation to Israel during the past dispensation though presented a slightly different situation than exists for Christians during the present dispensation.  Following Adam’s fall, any man seeking to exercise regality among the nations could only rule in one realm.  He could only rule in Satan’s kingdom, under a fallen angel ruling with Satan.  But, when God created a second man (Jacob [Isa. 43: 1]), with a nation emanating from the loins of this second man (the nation of Israel), things changed in this respect.

 

 

Following the nation of Israel being brought into existence, God had a nation which could exercise regality within the sphere of Satan’s kingdom, though separate from exercising this power in connection with the kingdom itself.  Michael would be the prince over Israel (Dan. 10: 21), not an angel in Satan’s kingdom (vv. 13, 20).  Israel would occupy the position of not only God’s firstborn son (only firstborn sons can rule in this manner) but also that of the wife of Jehovah (the King could rule only in conjunction with a queen, fulfilling a requirement seen in Gen. 1: 26-28 – “let them [the man and the woman together] have dominion”).  Thus, God could rule in the kingdom of men (Dan. 4: 17, 25), through Israel, within a theocracy, in this manner.

 

 

This rulership within the theocracy though had to be entirely Jewish.  That is, those exercising this rulership had to be from the lineage of Jacob through his twelve sons, ruling within a nation comprised of individuals from this same lineage.

 

 

The descendants of Jacob alone comprised a nation which could exercise regality in this manner, separate from Satan’s rule.  The regal system which God established for Israel wouldn’t, for example, have worked through a Jew ruling in a Gentile nation.  That would be no different than a Christian today ruling in a Gentile nation. The Jew during past time would have found himself completely out of place; and the Christian today can only find himself equally out of place.

 

 

The Jew was (and remains today) of the old creation in Jacob (separate from the Gentiles), and the Christian is a new creation in Christ, a part of the one new man (separate from both Israel and the Gentiles).  A Jew during the days of the Old Testament theocracy (and even today) who associated himself with a Gentile power in a regal capacity would simply have found himself associated with power in Satan’s kingdom, exercising power in the kingdom under a fallen angel, exactly as any Gentile holding a similar position.  And the same would be true for Christians today.

 

 

The simple fact of the matter is that Israel was called into existence to rule during Man’s Day (while Satan still held the Sceptre), within a theocracy.  Israel was to rule in this manner, within the sphere of Satan’s kingdom, though separate from exercising regal power in connection with the kingdom itself.  And the Gentile nations within Satan’s kingdom were to be both ruled over and blessed through Israel within the theocracy.

 

 

(2) STILL, WITH THE SAME END IN VIEW

 

 

But, despite all of the preceding, the full and ultimate end of Israel’s regal calling had to do with the seventh day, the seventh millennium, the Messianic Era.  This is made plain from not only man’s creation on the sixth day (with a view to the only day left, the seventh day) but from that which is seen in the first two chapters of Esther as well.

 

 

The crux of the first two chapters in Esther - the introductory chapters to the book, which relate the complete history of Israel, from the time of the nation’s inception to the Messianic Kingdom - has to do with a crowned queen being brought forth on the seventh day,” the seventh year.”  And, comparing Scripture with Scripture (going back to Gen. 1, 2 and progressing from there), this can only point to one thing.

 

 

The full and ultimate end of Israel’s calling has to do with the Messianic Era, not with the Old Testament theocracy.  Israel’s calling during Old Testament days was not an end in itself, as the Law governing the Jewish people within the theocracy was not an end in itself.  Rather, Israel’s calling was designed to lead into and reach an ultimate goal only during the Messianic Era.

 

 

ISRAEL’S REFUSAL TO COME

 

 

The history of Israel though, in relation to the nation’s calling, could be summed up under words such as a disobedient people, a rebellious people, a people who had forsaken and rejected God and His Word.  And, because of this, toward the closing years of the Old Testament theocracy, God pictured the nation, from a spiritual standpoint, as sick and unsightly beyond one’s imagination.

 

 

Because the nation had become “a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers ... corrupters,” ones who had forsaken the Lord,” God viewed the nation as sick, from the sole of the foot even unto the head.”  The nation was viewed as completely unsound, a people whose spiritual appearance before God was that of wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores (Isa. 1: 1-6).

 

 

And not only was this the case, but, because of Israel’s disobedience, even the land of Israel itself had become in a parallel condition to that of the people.  The land was pictured as desolate and devoured by strangers, with the cities pictured as burned with fire (Isa. 1: 7).  And, as with the result of Israel’s disobedience, this was also in exact accord with God’s promise (Lev. 26: 33).

 

 

Israel’s calling was of such a nature that obedience would result in the nation being taken to the heights (Lev. 26: 3-13; Deut. 28: 1-14), or disobedience would result in the nation being taken to the depths (Lev. 26:14-39; Deut 28: 15-68).

 

 

And exactly the same thing can be seen in the Christians’ calling today (e.g., contrast Rom. 1: 1-17 and Rom. 1: 18-32; all thirty-two verses deal with Christians, not just the first seventeen).

 

 

God will reward man’s adherence to and obedience surrounding the greatest things He has ever designed for redeemed man.  And the opposite of that is equally true.  God will not take lightly man’s aversion to and disobedience surrounding that which He deems of utmost importance.  This applies equally to Israel during the past dispensation and to Christians during the present dispensation.

 

 

When one reads sections of Scripture such as Lev. 26: 1ff and Deut. 28: 1ff relative to Israel, or 2 Thess. 1: 5-12 and Heb. 10: 26-39 relative to Christians - in the light of man’s calling (regal) - the whole of the matter, as it pertains to both Israel and Christians, can be clearly seen.

 

 

Matters surrounding Israel’s disobedience have been openly revealed for man to see during Man’s Day, as was David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba.  David’s sin was committed in connection with Israel’s earthly calling (a king ruling those whom God had called to be a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation [Ex. 19: 5, 6] in an earthly land).  Accordingly, David’s sin was not only a sin against God but against Israel and the nations of the earth (because of Israel’s position in relation to the Gentile nations).  And, because of this, David’s sin was openly revealed at this time, not only before all Israel but before the sun as well (2 Sam. 12: 12).

 

 

Israel’s disobedience, in like manner to David’s, has not only been against God, but against the nations of the earth.  God called Israel to occupy a particular position in relation to the Gentile nations, wherein blessings for these nations were involved.  And, because such blessings were withheld as a direct result of Israel’s disobedience, Israel’s sin has been openly manifested in the presence of these same nations.

 

 

This is why one finds Israel scattered among the Gentile nations, with the nations not only allowed to rule over Israel but to also be the instrument of God’s promised wrath upon Israel as well.  This is why there could be, and was, a Holocaust during the days of the Third Reich.  And this is also why there will yet be a far worse Holocaust during the days of the man of sin.

 

 

Matters surrounding the Christian though are of a different nature.  The Christians’ calling is heavenly alone and doesn’t presently involve the nations of the earth.  Thus, events of a parallel nature to those which Israel has undergone and continues to undergo, await decisions and determinations at the judgment seat of Christ.

 

 

It is Israel’s disobedience alone, not that of Christians, which involves the nations in this respect (though, within another frame of reference, parallel sins of numerous Christians are just as terrible in God’s sight; and these sins will one day be dealt with accordingly).  But, because Israel’s disobedience involves the nations of the earth during Man’s Day, God deals with Israel accordingly during the present and time.

 

 

Israel’s disobedience in respect to God and the nations can be seen throughout the days of the Old Testament theocracy, beginning almost three and one half millenniums ago.  This disobedience was brought to an apex at Christ’s first coming, and it will not be brought to an end until the time Christ returns yet future.

 

 

During the interim, as in the past, Israel continues to be called to an accounting for the nation’s disobedience. And this continues to occur in exact accord with the way in which God has outlined the matter in Leviticus chapter twenty-six and Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight, with the Gentile nations being allowed to step in and help “forward the affliction” (Zech. 1: 14, 15; cf. Joel 3: 6-8; Zech. 14: 1-3; Matt. 24: 15-22; Luke 21: 20-24).

 

 

(1) DURING THE OLD TESTAMENT THEOCRACY

 

 

Following Adam’s fall, God waited 2,000 years before he brought forth the man - Abraham - through whose lineage the nations of the earth were to be blessed.  Then, 500 additional years passed before God was ready to begin fulfilling his promises to Abraham concerning a seed and a land, through a nation emanating from his loins (Gen. 12: 1-3; 13: 14-17; 15: 13-21; Ex. 6: 3-8; 12: 40, 41).

 

 

Twenty-five hundred years beyond the creation of Adam, during the days of Moses, the nation emanating from the loins of Abraham found itself exactly where the same nation (because of disobedience) finds itself today. The Israelites found themselves in a Gentile land (in “Egypt,” a type of the world in Scripture), ruled over and persecuted by a Gentile power.

 

 

God called the nation out of Egypt under Moses, to dwell in the land which had been covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They were to dwell in this land as a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”  And, in this position, they were to be placed above all people,” with the Gentile nations of the earth being blessed through Israel (cf. Gen. 12: 1-3; Ex. 19: 5, 6; Deut. 6: 23; 7: 6; 28: 13).

 

 

However, unbelief and disobedience marked the history of the Israelites - from the days of Moses to that time centuries later when God allowed Gentile powers to come into the land, uproot his people, and carry them away captive into Gentile lands.

 

 

A theocracy existed in the land of Israel for about eight centuries, which reached its heights during David’s reign, extending into part of Solomon’s reign.  But this theocracy, because of Israel’s disobedience, never rose to the heights which God had intended.  It never became a theocracy in which the nations of the earth could be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

 

 

During the latter part of Solomon’s reign, things began to go even further awry.  And about fifty years after his reign, Elijah appeared, followed by Elisha, calling attention to sin, disobedience.

 

 

But matters remained unchanged.  And, to remain true to His Word, God was left with only one recourse.  The Israelites were to find themselves occupying a position diametrically opposed to the position which God had called them to occupy.

 

 

The Israelites would be removed from their land and scattered among the Gentile nations; they would find themselves under subjection to these nations and mistreated by these nations in every conceivable way, exactly as God had promised (cf. Lev. 26: 21, 22, 27, 28, 33-39; Deut. 28: 25, 30, 37, 65-67).

 

 

In 722 B.C. the Assyrians were allowed to come into the land and take the northern ten tribes into captivity. And slightly over one hundred years later, about 605 B.C., the Babylonians were allowed to come into the land and take the southern two tribes into captivity.  These were captivities from which only remnants of Jews have ever been allowed to return, more particularly at two different times - one which began seventy years following the Babylonian captivity, and the other which began in 1948, during modern times.

 

 

The nation itself has never been allowed to return from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.  Rather, because of disobedience, the nation has remained scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations.  And that which happened in Europe during particularly the years 1939-1945 - 6,000,000 Jews slain as a result of Gentile persecution - is simply an extreme outworking of that which God promised would happen to His people if they did not obey His voice.  In short, the Holocaust was the direct result of two things: (1) Jewish disobedience and (2) God keeping His Word.

 

 

But the Holocaust also had to do with something else relative to God keeping His Word.  Though the Gentile nations may seek to carry out genocidal activities surrounding Israel, this nation cannot be destroyed.

 

 

As the bush burned during Moses’ day, apart from being consumed (Ex. 3: 2: 3), the nation of Israel will continue to be persecuted by the Gentiles, apart from being destroyed.  For, as God was in the midst of the burning bush during Moses day (v. 4), or as a fourth person was seen in the fiery furnace during Daniel’s day (with the three Israelites [Dan. 3: 19-25]), God has always resided in the midst of His people, Israel (even today, in their disobedience).  Thus, to destroy Israel, God Himself would have to be destroyed.

 

 

Two things relative to Israel in the preceding respect are contingent entirely upon God fulfilling that which He has promised in His Word.  One has to do with the position in which the nation of Israel finds itself today (scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations), and the other has to do with the fact that Israel will continue as a people until God’s purpose for calling this nation into existence has been realized.

 

 

(2) AT CHRIST’S FIRST COMING

 

 

Christ’s first coming occurred about six centuries following that time when the complete nation (northern ten tribes and southern two tribes) had been removed from their land, carried away by Gentile powers, and scattered among the Gentile nations.  And His first coming occurred at a time slightly over five centuries following the return of remnants under Zerubbabel and Ezra.

 

 

These remnants formed the original nucleus for that segment of the nation which was in the land, under Roman dominion and persecution, at Christ’s first coming.  Most of the Jews at this time were still scattered throughout Gentile lands (Acts 2: 8-11), and even the ones in the land of Israel found themselves under subjection to a Gentile power.

 

 

Christ’s first coming occurred during the times of the Gentiles,” which began about 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar was allowed to come into the land and begin carrying the remaining southern two tribes into captivity; and this time will continue until the heavens are opened, Christ returns, overthrows Gentile world power, and places Israel in the position to which the nation was called in the beginning.

 

 

Jerusalem was being trodden down of the Gentiles when Christ came the first time, and it will be trodden down of the Gentiles for the three and one-half years immediately preceding Christ’s return (Luke 21: 20-24; John 19: 10-15; Rev. 11: 2).  Then, the times of the Gentiles will end, for Israel, in that day, will be brought to the place of repentance.

 

 

In this respect, note the message of John, Jesus, the twelve, and the seventy at Christ’s first coming.  It was a simple message: “Repent ye, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand” (cf. Matt. 3: 2; 4: 17; 10: 7; Luke 10: 9).  There was a call for national repentance, and this was to be followed by national baptism (showing exactly the same thing that the Red Sea passage during Moses day depicted relative to the entire nation in the type [ref. the author’s book, SEARCH FOR THE BRIDE, Chapter 6]).

 

 

And this call for repentance, followed by baptism, was voiced by Peter on the day of Pentecost, after the promised Spirit had been sent: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you [the entire nation of Israel]” (Acts 2: 38a).

 

 

This was the beginning of the re-offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel (which lasted until about 62 A.D.).  During the original offer (during Christ’s earthly ministry), the message was to the Jew only (Matt. 10: 5, 6; 15: 24).  But, during the re-offer, the message was to the Jew first, not to the few only.  And, during this time, it was also to the Gentile (Rom. 1: 16; 19, 10, 16).

 

 

However, Israel refused to repent during both the offer and the re-offer of the kingdom.  During the offer, the Jewish people climaxed their unbelief and disobedience through rejecting the message and the Messenger, pledging their allegiance to a pagan Gentile king, and then crucifying the true King (John 18: 19-23; 19: 14, 15).  This was then followed by continued rejection during the re-offer of the kingdom (Acts 2: 37-41; 3: 19-43, 10-21; 5: 17-33; 7: 51-8: 4; 9: 20-29).

 

 

This left God with only one recourse - to continue fulfilling in the lives of the Jewish people that which He had stated in His Word relative to the consequences of disobedience (e.g., allowing a Gentile power to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., followed by a scattering of the remnant in the land, followed by continued Gentile persecution).  Though the nation was set aside for a dispensation, there must be a continuation of the outworking of the principles which God has laid down in His Word surrounding Israel (for Jew or Gentile, as seen in Gen. 12: 3).

 

 

Man is living today during a time when Israel remains in an unbelieving and disobedient state.  And God’s Word, relative to Israel in this state, must be fulfilled.  That’s what most of the Book of Esther is about.  The matter is introduced in chapter one, and the remaining chapters present the full and ultimate end of the matter - the unparalleled sufferings which the nation is about to undergo, followed by the glory to then be revealed.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

3

Esther Accepted

 

 

After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her (Esther 2: 1).

 

 

Chapter two begins with a reference back to events in the previous chapter.  Ahasuerus had commanded Vashti to come forth, at a particular time, wearing “the crown royal.”  But Vashti refused to heed the king’s command.  And the king, because of Vashti’s refusal, became enraged.  Vashti was rejected as queen; and her “royal estate” was taken from her, with a view to her position being occupied by another (1: 10-12).

 

 

Then, after a period of time, the king calmed down and his wrath subsided.  And after his wrath had subsided he remembered Vashti, that which she had done, and that which had been decreed against her (2: 1).

 

 

The king’s servants, seeing where the king’s thoughts lay following his wrath subsiding, knew that something had to be done concerning the present state of affairs.  And the only thing which could be done was to find someone who could replace Vashti.  Therefore, the king’s servants suggested to the king that a search be conducted throughout the kingdom for a maiden who could “be queen instead of Vashti.”  And the matter “pleased the king” (vv. 2-4).

 

 

The remainder of the chapter is then taken up with a successful search for a new queen, the new queen being crowned, and conditions in the kingdom following this time.

 

 

During the search for a queen, Esther was among those singled out and brought into the king’s house.  And, after a time of preparation requiring twelve months, Esther’s turn came to appear before the king (vv. 8-16).

 

 

Esther, properly prepared, was taken into the royal palace to appear in the king’s presence, in the tenth month, in the seventh year of his reign.  And it is recorded, apart from further revelation surrounding the matter,

 

“... the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti” (v. 17).

 

 

The king once again had a crowned queen to rule in the kingdom with him.  A great feast” followed, and the king “made a release [‘a rest’]” to all the provinces in his kingdom, and “gave gifts” to those in the kingdom (v. 18).

 

 

At the same time, Mordecai is seen seated “in the king’s gate,” which, when viewed in the light of the antitype, portends regality (vv. 17-23).  And all of this - Esther crowned queen, and Mordecai seated in the king’s gate - sets the stage for the way matters are depicted different places throughout the remainder of the book.

 

 

The matter is established in chapter two; and both Esther and Mordecai, throughout the remainder of the book, are seen typifying Israel at different times and under different circumstances, with regality in view.

 

 

(Reference to a twelve-month preparation time, the tenth month when Esther appeared, and the seventh year of Ahasuerus reign [vv. 12, 16], are fraught with significance and meaning.  And the previous reference to certain days and years in chapter one [vv. 3-5, 10] is seen in this same respect as well [ref. Chapter 1 in this book].

 

 

Twelveis the number of governmental perfection; Esther was brought forth after twelve months, with a view to regality.  Ten” is the number of numerical completeness; Esther was brought forth at the close of a complete period of time.  And “seven” has to do with the completeness of that which is in view; in this case, completeness is shown by a time of “rest” completing a previous period of time.  Rest” for those inhabiting all the provinces in Ahasuerus’ kingdom occurred during “the seventh year of his reign.”

 

 

The complete picture seen through the use of both the numbers ten and seven is twofold.  It has to do with Israel exercising regal power at the full end of the days, shown by the number ten.  Then, the number seven, showing another facet of completeness, has to do with Israel exercising regal power at the end of Man’s Day [having to do with six days, six millenniums], during the coming Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God [during the coming seventh millennium].  The full seven days, seven millenniums, form the complete period of time in view [cf. Gen. 1: 1-2: 3; Ex. 31: 13-17; Heb. 4: 1-9; 2 Peter 3: 1-8])

 

 

THE KING’S WRATH APPEASED

 

 

Esther chapter two, forming a continuing type of Israel from chapter one, has to do with information which continues and completes the story.  Both chapters together provide the complete history of Israel, extending from the time of the nation’s inception during Moses’ day (after Moses had appeared to his people a second time) to the time of the nation’s restoration when the One greater than Moses reappears (after Christ appears to His people a second time).

 

 

Chapter two, in this respect, begins with events in that future day when God’s wrath upon Israel will subside and be brought to an end.  And the remainder of the book, forming commentary material on chapters one and two, is in complete keeping with that seen in chapter one, the way in which chapter two is introduced, and the way in which chapter two continues and ends.

 

 

Most of the remainder of the book (chs. 3-9) has to do with events which will occur very near the end of God’s wrath being manifested toward Israel (which would relate to events in chapter one).  God’s wrath during this time will be manifested in all its fullness.  This will be “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30: 7); and God’s wrath, during that coming day, will be manifested in such a full and complete manner that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Matt. 24: 22).

 

 

Then, the conclusion of the book (ch. 10) has to do with that day when God’s wrath will subside and will be brought to an end (which would relate to events in chapter two).  Israel will be restored as the wife of Jehovah, a theocracy will once again exist upon the earth, and there will be a time of rest for individuals throughout the entire kingdom.

 

 

(1) GOD’S WRATH DURING THAT COMING DAY

 

 

God’s wrath upon Israel, resulting from Israel’s disobedience, has occurred down through the centuries, extending out into millenniums.  God’s wrath, in this respect, can actually be seen occurring at various times throughout the entire 3,500-year history of the nation.

 

 

But, as severe and intense as conditions through which Israel has been brought at times in the past may appear - e.g., conditions in Europe during the days of the Third Reich – “the great day of his [God’s] wrath” is yet future (Rev. 6: 17).  Israel is yet to pass through the most intense time of the nation’s sufferings.

 

 

Approximately three years following the end of World War II and the corresponding end of the Third Reich, a Jewish nation was brought into existence (re-established) in the Middle East.  The leadership of this new Jewish state during those days declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948, and a people who had not existed as a nation since 70 AD, found themselves once again a nation among the nations.

 

 

This nation was, in a respect, born out of the Holocaust; and the Jews forming the nation, looking back on those days, together echoed (and continue to echo today) the same cry for all to hear: “Never Again!”

 

 

But Israel’s endeavours and cry in this respect – “Never Again!” - will prove to be in vain.  Something similar will happen again.  It has to happen again, for God’s wrath has yet to be appeased.  And, according to Scripture, when it does happen again, past exhibitions of God’s wrath upon His people will pale by comparison.

 

 

A remnant of Jews is in the land, in an unrepentant state, without breath (without spiritual life [cf. Ezek. 37: 1-14]), prior to the time when God’s wrath is appeased.  This remnant is there for a reason - to set the stage for the final, climactic exhibition of God’s wrath.  And God will manifest His wrath upon Israel in that day, in exactly the manner described in Scripture.

 

 

God’s wrath will be manifested in this manner, at that time, because of Israel’s disobedience; and this manifestation of God’s wrath will be with a view to bringing about the goal toward which the whole of the exhibition of His wrath has been moving since Moses’ day - to bring Israel to the place of repentance, in order that the nation might realize her calling.

 

 

When Scripture deals with God’s wrath upon the Jewish people, events surrounding “the great day of his wrath” - which will occur at the very end of God’s dealings with Israel during Man’s Day - are invariably brought to the forefront.  Almost every time that the subject is mentioned in Scripture, the end of the matter is brought into view.  Then events continue from that point and carry the reader on into the Messianic Kingdom.

 

 

And the revelation surrounding God’s wrath in the Book of Esther is a case in point.  This is exactly the manner in which God’s wrath is dealt with in this book.  God’s wrath is introduced through events in chapter one, and His wrath is done away with through events in chapter two.  Then, chapters three through ten provide commentary material for both chapters one and two.  Chapters three through ten though only deal with one part of God’s wrath, a wrath which was introduced in chapter one and done away with in chapter two; and chapters three through ten, as well, end with events foreshadowing Israel in the Messianic Era, which is seen at the end of chapter two.

 

 

Chapters three through ten deal only with God’s wrath as it will be manifested at the very end of Man’s Day, in all it fullness, during Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.  And the emphasis is upon the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, the last three and one-half years of the full seven years.  It will be during these last three and one-half years that God’s wrath upon Israel will reach an apex, with the reason for this wrath ultimately being realized.  And that which will ultimately emanate out of God’s wrath befalling His people is seen in the closing verses of the book, in chapter ten, with the Messianic Kingdom in view.

 

 

In the preceding respect, most of the Book of Esther is solely about the last three and one-half years of the coming Tribulation, providing a wealth of information about that which will occur during this time. That’s one reason why the Book of Revelation, which also deals extensively with this same period, must be studied just as much in the light of the Book of Esther as in the light of the Book of Daniel (along with numerous other books bearing on the subject as well [books in both the Old and New Testaments]).

 

 

And all of these books (Esther, Daniel, Revelation, and all other books bearing on the subject) end exactly the same way.  They all end with God’s wrath ceasing, for the purpose and ultimate goal of His wrath will have been realized.

 

 

(2) GODS WRATH CEASING

 

 

God’s wrath will be brought to an end after Israel has been brought to the place where the Jewish people will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers.  God will then hear, remember His covenant with the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and turn His attention upon this nation once again (Ex. 2: 23-25; 3:7ff).

 

 

That’s what is portended in Esther 2: 1 through Ahasuerus’ wrath subsiding and his remembering Vashti.  This points to that future day, at the conclusion of “the great day of his [God’s] wrath,” when God will remember Israel.

 

 

Israel, through God manifesting His wrath in all its fullness, will be brought to the place of repentance.  And that which is seen occurring throughout the remainder of the chapter foreshadows that which will occur after the purpose for God’s wrath has been realized.

 

 

God’s wrath will reach an apex and come to a climax after almost 3,500 years of Jewish disobedience, going all the way back to the time of the inception of the nation during Moses’ day.  The bush which burned with fire, apart from being consumed (Ex. 3: 2, 3), will then no longer burn.  But the One residing in the midst of the burning bush (v. 4) will continue to reside in the midst of the nation (Joel 2: 27), though apart from a manifestation of wrath.  Rather, blessings will issue forth instead (v. 32).

 

 

The people of Israel will be brought to the place where they will do that which God has said that they must do; and God, in turn, will then do that which He has said that He will do.  The people of Israel will humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways.  Then, when the Jewish people do this, they have the promise that God will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land (2 Chron. 7: 14).

 

 

The solution for the whole of the existing Middle East problem (with almost daily skirmishes between the Arabs and the Jews, which affect the Gentile nations at large), from God’s viewpoint, is really that simple. Israel has to be brought to the place of repentance.  This is what God, in His Word, has to say about the matter; and, accordingly, this is the only way in which Middle East peace can be effected.

 

 

And also, accordingly, where the Gentile nations of the world are concerned, the existing Middle East problem has a complexity beyond their ability to bring about any type solution.  And the reason for this is inseparably connected with that which Scripture reveals concerning the problem.  The same One Who brought Israel’s present condition to pass (sick, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot) is the only One Who can effect healing.  Scripture is very clear on this matter. No one can deliver Israel, aside from the One responsible for the nation being in this condition (Hosea 5: 13, 14).

 

 

“… I even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him” (v. 14b).

 

 

And Scripture is also very clear concerning the fact that Israel is going to continue to be afflicted - God is going to continue manifesting His wrath upon a people whom He has made sick, because of their disobedience - until a certain revealed time.  God states that the Jewish people are going to remain in their present condition, being afflicted, “till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face” (Hosea 5: 15a).  And this time of affliction will reach an apex and be seen in all its fullness at the very end of God’s dealings with Israel during Man’s Day (v. 15b).

 

 

In that coming day, during the affliction which the Jewish people will undergo as they pass through the Great Tribulation, Israel will be brought into such dire straits that the nation will have no choice other than to acknowledge and say,

 

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

 

 

After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6: 1, 2).

 

 

After the full two days, the full 2,000 years of the Jewish dispensation (seven years yet remain), the nation is going to “return unto the Lord.”  Then, the One Who “hath torn ... hath smitten” will provide healing, with the nation being raised up to “1ive in his sight.”

 

 

ESTHER CROWNED

 

 

Events surrounding Esther being crowned queen foreshadow events surrounding Israel being restored, as the wife of Jehovah, within a theocracy.  This, as seen in the type in Esther, will occur only after God’s wrath has ended; and, as seen in other types and other portions of Scripture, God’s wrath will end only after Israel has been brought to the place of repentance.

 

 

God, through Israel, following the nation’s restoration, will bring two things to pass concerning man which He set forth at the very beginning of His Word: (1) man’s creation, for a purpose; and (2) man realizing that purpose in a certain manner.

 

 

Man was created for regal purposes.  Man was created to rule and to reign.  Satan, the incumbent ruler over the earth, had disqualified himself; and man was created to rule the earth in Satan’s stead.

 

 

Then, the manner in which man was to rule the earth had to do with how God had created man.

 

 

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion [‘and let them rule’]...

 

 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

 

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion [‘and rule’]...” (Gen. 1: 26a, 27, 28a).

 

 

(The Hebrew word translated “dominion” in Gen. 1:26, 28 is radah, meaning “to rule.”  This is the same word used of Christ’s coming rule after the order of Melchizedek in Psa. 110: 2 – “... rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.”)

 

 

God did not create man to rule alone.  Rather, God created man a dual person physically, a two-part being, male and female.  The woman was created in the man; then God put the man to sleep, opened his side, and from this opened side God took a part of the man (a rib) which He then used to bring the woman into existence.

 

 

God formed the woman from a part of the man; and, though a separate entity, she was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (Gen. 2: 21-23).  Since the woman was formed from and is identified with the man in this manner, a man, apart from a woman, is an incomplete being.  A woman, when united with a man (the marriage relationship), completes that man.

 

 

This is a principle, set forth in the opening two chapters of Genesis; and the matter has its basis in man’s creation, for purposes surrounding regality“...let them [the man and the woman together, forming one complete person] have dominion [let them ‘rule’]...”

 

 

And the whole of the matter is at the centre of that seen in the marriage relationship today and that to which it points.  This relationship brings a man and woman together in a manner which forms one complete person. And the two who form this one complete person are seen in Scripture foreshadowing the union between Christ and His wife [Bride] yet future (Eph. 5: 22-32; cf. Heb. 2: 10 [Rev. 19: 7, 8]), following both the procuring of a bride and the marriage which will follow.

 

 

And the bride being procured (through the work of the [Holy] Spirit during the present dispensation) and the marriage which will follow (through the work of the Son yet future) has to do with regality, which has its basis in that which God brought to pass in the opening two chapters of Genesis.  As it was with the first man and his wife, so will it be with the second Man and His wife.

 

 

With all of this in view, apart from taking certain things into account, it could only appear strange to see the Biblical pattern surrounding rulership being followed in a pagan Gentile kingdom in the Book of Esther. This was a kingdom ruled by those who would neither know nor give thought to Biblical principles which God had established.

 

 

Why would there be both a crowned king and a crowned queen in this pagan Gentile kingdom (showing, through a union of this nature, that they exercised regality together)?  This was not just a regal system which closely approximated that which God had established; rather, this was a regal system which was in exact accord with that which God had established.

 

 

There can be only one answer concerning why Ahasuerus’ kingdom had been established in this manner.  And that answer is found in God’s sovereignty.  God, in His sovereign control of all things, saw to it that even this pagan Gentile kingdom had previously followed the Biblical pattern, which was to be resumed in the kingdom following Vashti being removed from her position.  And God brought matters to pass in this manner so that He could, at a later point in time, take these events in history and use them to teach His people deep spiritual truths relative to the nation of Israel.

 

 

There can be no Biblically correct rule by man in the kingdom of men, relative to this earth, apart from a husband-wife relationship.  Man cannot rule alone, apart from the woman.  He has to rule as a complete being, with the woman completing the man.

 

 

But, though man can presently follow the Biblical order concerning how he is to rule, man is not really in a position to rule today.  Man, at the time of his creation, was commanded to rule.  But, following man’s fall, this was not the case at all.  Note the difference in the command given to Adam and Eve preceding the fall (Gen. 1: 26-28) and the command given to Noah and his sons (which would include their wives) following the fall (Gen. 9: 1).  The command to rule is in the former setting alone (the command to Adam and Eve), for man, following the fall, was in no position to rule.

 

 

However, God provided away whereby a nation could be brought into existence during Man’s Day which could exercise regality in the kingdom of men.  This had to do with Israel, ruling within a theocracy; and there had to be a Husband‑wife relationship between God and Israel within the theocracy, in exact accord with that which had previously been established in the opening two chapters of Genesis (ref. Chapter II in this book).

 

 

And God has provided a way in which Israel can one day be restored as His wife, within a theocracy; and He has also provided a way in which His Son can, at the same time, possess a wife and, with His wife, rule the theocracy.  The former is the central subject of the Book of Esther, and the latter is the central subject of the Book of Ruth.  And revelation in both books moves toward one end - bringing these things to pass.

 

 

According to Esther chapter two, the day is coming when God’s wrath will be brought to an end, God will remember Israel, and Israel will once again occupy the nation’s proper place in a restored theocracy.  The nation will wear “the royal crown,” and the Messianic Era will be ushered in.

 

 

This will be a time of rest - the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God, following six days of God’s redemptive work - and blessings will then flow out through Israel to the nations of the earth (cf. Esther 2: 17, 18; Heb. 4: 4-9).

 

 

MORDECAI, SEATED IN THE KING’S GATE

 

 

“...then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.

 

 

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate...” (Esther 2: 19b, 21a).

 

 

Seated in the gate,” and “possessing the gate,” form expressions which Scripture uses to call attention to an exercise of power and authority.  The thought has to do with exercising control over that (a people or a territory) to which the gate leads.

 

 

Those “seated in the gate” of a city, for example, conducted legal transactions for those in the city, similar to legal transactions carried out in a modem-day courthouse; and, individuals occupying positions of this nature exercised governing power among the people (cf. Gen. 19: 1; 22: 17, 18; 24: 60; Ruth 4: 1ff).

 

 

Mordecai, at the same time Esther was wearing “the royal crown” within the palace, was seen seated “in the king’s gate” outside the palace.  Governmental control in the kingdom is seen in the antitype through viewing the complete word picture which Scripture sets forth, using both instances.  Esther’s position as crowned queen has to do with one facet of the matter and Mordecai’s position at the king’s gate has to do with the other.

 

 

Mordecai seated in the king’s gate, is seen bringing a matter to pass through Esther.  A plot against the king by two of the king’s officials was made known to Mordecai.  Mordecai then made the matter known to Esther, who “certified [‘informed’] the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.”  An inquisition was conducted, the matter was found to be correct, and the two men who had plotted against the king were impaled on a tree (vv. 21-23).

 

 

In that coming day, when God restores Israel, the whole of that seen in the positions occupied by Esther and Mordecai will be seen in the position which the nation will hold.  Israel will be the restored, crowned wife of Jehovah; and Israel will find herself seated in the King’s gate, possessing the gate of the enemy.

 

 

Israel will be placed at the head of the nations, exercising governmental control over all the Gentile nations. Israel, in that day, will be “a peculiar treasure” unto the Lord, “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19: 5, 6).  And, as Israel occupies this position, with blessings replacing past curses, the Gentile nations will be blessed through the crowned wife of Jehovah.

 

 

This will be the day when the one sick “from the sole of the foot even unto the head” will be healed, along with restoration provided for the “desolate” land covenanted to Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Isa. 1: 5-27).  This will be the day when that revealed to Isaiah concerning “Judah and Jerusalem” will come to pass:

 

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established at the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

 

 

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

 

 

And he shall judge among the nations, and he shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2: 24; cf. Micah 4: 1-7).

 

 

A “mountain,” used in the preceding respect in Scripture, signifies a kingdom (cf. Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45; Matt. 16: 28-17: 5).  And “the house of the God of Jacob” is, textually, a clear reference to the house of Israel, following deliverance from the prophesied desolation having previously befallen the nation, because of disobedience (cf. Dan. 9: 27; Matt. 23: 37-39).

 

 

The picture in Isa. 2: 2-4 is that of a restored nation - restored Israel (seen restored at the end of the preceding chapter) - in a restored theocracy, during the Messianic Era.  Israel is seen occupying a position at the head of the nations, all things having to do with the Word of God are seen emanating from Jerusalem, and peace is seen existing worldwide.

 

 

This is the Biblical picture of Israel in the Messianic Era, and exactly the same thing is seen from another perspective in Isaiah chapter six:

 

 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

 

 

Above it stood the seraphims ...

 

 

And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory...

 

 

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

 

 

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

 

 

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (vv. 1, 2a, 3, 5-7).

 

 

Uzziah was a leper, who had become leprous through disobedience (2 Chron. 26: 16ff).  Uzziah, in this respect, typifies Israel, who became sick through disobedience.  And Uzziah’s death, bringing an end to his condition, foreshadows that future day when Israel will be healed.

 

 

Israel’s healing is further dealt with in verses six and seven.  Isaiah, penning this account, dwelt among a nation of unclean people.  And, in this condition, they could not properly look upon “the King, the Lord of hosts” (v. 5).

 

 

But cleansing for the nation is prophesied (seen in vv. 1, 6, 7).  And, in that coming day, the Lord, in relation to the earth, will be seated “upon a throne, high and lifted up”; and the whole earth will be “full of his glory” (vv. 1, 3).

 

 

And this same scene is repeated, in different ways, over and over throughout the Old Testament prophecies. The Book of Esther provides one way, the referenced passages from Isaiah provide two other ways, and the numerous other places in the Old Testament provide other ways.

 

 

Then, the whole of God’s revelation surrounding the matter presents the complete picture - a word picture, presented exactly as God would have man see Israel’s future destiny.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

4

Haman’s Rise to Power

 

 

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

 

 

And all the king’s servants that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him.  But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence ...

 

 

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

 

 

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai (Esther 3: 1, 2, 5, 6).

 

 

The Book of Esther begins with a panoramic view of the entire history of Israel, revealed through the experiences of three individuals in the kingdom of Ahasuerus: Vashti, Esther, and Mordecai.  The complete story is told in very brief form throughout the first two chapters.  The things revealed in these two chapters have to do with Israel’s calling, Israel’s disobedience, Israel’s rejection, God’s wrath because of Israel’s disobedience, God’s wrath coming to an end, God remembering Israel, and Israel’s restoration.

 

 

In this respect, the first two chapters of Esther provide a sequence of events which briefly cover 3,500 years of Jewish history, extending from the things which occurred after Moses had appeared to his people a second time to the things which will occur after the One greater than Moses appears to His people a second time.  Then the remainder of the book (chs. 3-10) forms commentary material on these two chapters, providing details concerning events which will occur during the time covered by these two chapters.

 

 

This commentary material though does not deal with the whole panorama of Israeli history, as revealed in brief form in chapters one and two.  Rather, this commentary material begins with and deals with a particular aspect of this history – God’s wrath, because of Israel’s disobedience.

 

 

But the whole panoramic view of God’s wrath, as seen in the opening two chapters, is not covered.  Rather, revelation forming this commentary material begins with and deals with God’s wrath at the time this wrath reaches an apex, at the end of Man’s Day.

 

 

And further narrowing down and pinpointing the time when God’s wrath will be manifested in this manner, this part of the book centers around and deals with events during the last three and one-half years of this wrath.  And then the book moves into that time when God’s wrath will end, followed by subsequent events, which carries matters beyond Man’s Day into the Lord’s Day.

 

 

Thus, most of the Book of Esther, as the Book of Revelation, centers around events during three and one-half years of human history (related in Esther 3-9 and Rev. 6-19).  And, as in the Book of Revelation, so in the Book of Esther - one man is seen moving centre-stage at this time.  This man is introduced at the very beginning of Esther chapter three, in the person of Haman; and the remainder of the book is mainly about God’s wrath being executed through the actions of this man, along with the end of the matter.

 

 

The man typified by “Haman” is the prophesied man of sin, the Antichrist, who will arise at the very end of the time fulfilling Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.  This man will arise in the Middle East, from within the territorial boundaries of the northern segment of Alexander the Great’s kingdom, as it was divided following his death in 323 B.C. (which, today, would cover parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey [Dan. 8: 8-12, 21-25]).

 

 

And this man will rule from that part of the world, not from Europe, as is often erroneously taught.  From an established Middle East power base in the proximity of ancient Babylon, this man, during the first part of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, will rapidly move into a position in which he will (near the middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week) control all of Gentile world power.  He will then become the last king of Babylon,” as he reigns from Babylon (Isa. 14: 1-7, 25).

 

 

Satan will give to this man “his power, and his seat [‘throne’], and great authority” (Rev. 13: 2b). At the end of Man’s Day, he will occupy the same position which Satan offered to Christ during the temptation account, at Christ’s first coming (Luke 4: 5, 6).

 

 

This man is seen occupying a central place in books such as Exodus, Esther, Daniel, and Revelation.  And he is seen occupying a prominent place in numerous other books as well (both Old and New Testaments).

 

 

Excluding that which Scripture reveals about Christ (for the whole of Scripture is about Him), Scripture deals with and reveals more about this man - Antichrist - than any other one person throughout Man’s Day.

 

 

Thus, in this respect, two prominent Men are seen in Scripture - One throughout Scripture, and the other in numerous parts of Scripture.  And one of the great paradoxes of the times in which we live is the fact that man, in general (which would include numerous Christians as well), knows very little about either person.  Man, in general, knows very little about the Christ Who came and will come again; and man, in general, knows very little about the Antichrist who is to appear on the scene immediately before Christ reappears.

 

 

(God has used, continues to use, and will continue to use the Gentile nations as the instrument to execute His wrath upon Israel, because of the Jewish people’s disobedience.  God has used the Gentile nations to uproot His people from their land, and He has used the lands where the Gentile nations dwell as the place where His people are to be scattered and dealt with, leaving the Jewish people as strangers among and at the mercy of the Gentiles.

 

 

This scattering has occurred in the past, bringing about the present situation in the world [most of the Jews in the world today are not located in the Middle East, in the land of Israel, but remain scattered among the nations]; and this scattering will occur again [for the last time] when the remnant presently in the land is uprooted, followed by conditions in the world becoming far worse for the Jewish people than have ever existed throughout the 3,500 year history of the nation.

 

 

The Gentile nations often overstep their bounds and seek to help God “forward the affliction of His people [Zech. 1: 14, 15]. This has happened numerous times in the past [e.g., in modern times, through events in Europe during the days of the Third Reich]; and this will happen once again, yet future [during that coming day when Antichrist rules the world].

 

 

God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass, allows the Gentiles to act in this manner.  But, through the actions of the Gentiles, not only will the promises set forth in Gen. 12: 2, 3 ultimately be brought to pass but the principles set forth in verse three must ultimately be brought to pass as well:

 

 

And I will make of thee [Abraham] a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

 

 

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

 

 

God is using the Gentile nations to bring His disobedient son, Israel [Ex. 4: 22, 23], to the place where this son will acknowledge his offence.  This will allow His son to occupy the place seen in Gen. 12: 2, 3.

 

 

But, in turn, God is also going to deal with the Gentile nations in accord with verse three.  Though He is using the Gentile nations to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass, He is going to ultimately judge these same nations in accord with their attitude toward and treatment of Israel, exactly as stated in Gen. 12: 3 [cf. Esther 6: 13; 7: 6-10; 8: 7; Joel 3: 2-8; Zech. 14: 7-21; Matt. 25: 31-46])

 

 

HAMAN’S APPOINTMENT

 

 

It is clear from the way chapter three begins that Haman, in the past, had held a particular position of power in the kingdom.  The text begins with reference to that position and to Haman’s promotion to the highest of all positions under the king - a position “above all the princes that were with him” (v. 1).

 

 

Haman is said to have occupied the “seat” above other princes who, from the text, could only have occupied subordinate positions of power in the kingdom.  The word “seat” (v. 1) is the same word in the Hebrew text translated “throne” in Esther 1: 2; 5: 1 (cf. Gen. 41: 40; Psa. 45: 6; 103: 19, where the same Hebrew word is also used).  The picture has to do with Haman occupying a high position of power in the kingdom, with his power emanating from the king’s throne; and it also has to do with subordinate rulers placed under Haman, with their power emanating from this same throne as well.

 

 

The things foreshadowed by these events, along with the time when they will occur, is quite simple to ascertain.  These things have to do with the man of sin, the Antichrist, being promoted to a regal position directly under the One Whom the king typifies (directly under God), with subordinate rulers also occupying positions of power with him.

 

 

Since Satan presently occupies this high position - ruling the earth directly under God, though a rebel ruler - these things can only occur at and following that time when Satan gives to this man “his power, and his seat [‘throne’], and great authority” (Rev. 13: 2b).

 

 

In this respect, Antichrist, at this time, will occupy Satan’s throne; and, though Satan will not be removed from his position as the earth’s ruler until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, he will give his regal power and authority to Antichrist.

 

 

And Antichrist, occupying Satan’s throne in this manner, will rule the earth in a position directly under God (a rebel ruler, as Satan), with the power and authority to rule coming from God’s throne.  And, occupying this position, Antichrist will have ruling princes under him who will exercise power from this same throne (cf. Rom. 13: 1).

 

 

According to Scripture, those ruling with Antichrist will form a ten-kingdom, Middle East confederacy (cf. Esther 9: 10-14; Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45; 7: 7, 19, 20; Rev. 13: 1; 17: 12); and those forming this confederacy will rule the earth from within the territorial boundaries of ancient Babylon (which is seen in the O.T. as a city-state - a country with a capital city by that name, with the name “Babylon” including the surrounding country and other cities as well [Jer. 51: 24, 29, 37, 42, 43]).

 

 

According to the chronology of Rev. 12: 3, 4, this man will be positioned on Satan’s throne shortly before Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven onto the earth.  In verse three, all seven heads of the Beast (Rev. 13: 1) are seen crowned, wearing diadems (Gk., diadema), which shows that they, at this time, will be exercising regal power.

 

 

The seventh head of the Beast will be the Antichrist.  This man (represented by the seventh head) will receive a deadly wound (apparently be slain, possibly by an assassin), become the eighth (through being raised from the dead, for this man will rise from “the abyss [Gk., abussos, the underworld’]),” but still be of the seven (cf. Rev. 13: 1-4, 14; 17: 8-11).

 

 

(Ref. the Appendix [Apx. I] for information concerning the use of the Greek words stephanos and diadema - words translated “crown,” apart from differentiation, in the English text.)

 

 

At this time, immediately before Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven, the final form of Daniel’s image will come into existence.  And the power represented by this part of the image, as the powers represented by the previous parts of the image (which it will incorporate [Dan. 2: 35, 45]), can only bear rule from one location - Babylon, in the Middle East.  The image, depicting the beginning and the end of Gentile world power during the Times of the Gentiles, is associated with that part of the world alone.

 

 

And the closeness of this final form of the image coming into existence (Rev. 12: 3) and Satan being cast out of heaven (Rev. 12: 4; Cf. vv. 7-9) is shown by the time in which Antichrist will occupy Satan’s throne.

 

 

Revelation 11: 7 reveals that this man will slay the two witnesses in Jerusalem following his rise to power (following his ascending Satan’s throne).  And the slaying of these two witnesses can only occur in the middle of the Tribulation, for not only will they have testified for three and one-half years but, following their being slain, the Gentiles will tread the city of Jerusalem under foot for a subsequent three and one-half years (cf. vv. 2, 3).

 

 

Then, Dan. 7: 25 reveals exactly the same thing.  This display of Gentile power, under Antichrist, will last for “a time and times and the dividing of time [three and one-half years, the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation].”

 

 

According to Revelation chapter twelve, Satan and his angels will have been cast out of heaven apparently very near, but before, the middle of the Tribulation.  After being cast out, Satan will first direct his attention toward one thing - slaying the “man child” (144,000 Jewish evangelists), whom Satan will know are destined to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom throughout the earth during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (Rev. 12: 4-6, 17; cf. Matt. 24: 14).

 

 

These 144,000 Jewish evangelists will apparently have heard the gospel message and will have been saved through the testimony of the two witnesses during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation (cf. Rev. 11: 13; 12: 17).  But once these Jewish evangelists have been removed from the sphere of Satan’s control, he will then continue to vent his wrath through turning upon the entire Jewish nation (Rev. 12: 5, 13; 14: 1-5).

 

 

At that time, a remnant from the nation will escape to a specially prepared place in “the wilderness,” where God Himself will take care of and protect them for “a thousand two hundred and three score days,” for “a time, and times, and half a time” (cf. Rev. 12: 5, 6, 13-16).  And, again, as in the previous chapter and other portions of Scripture, the time element is the same - three and one-half years, the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

 

 

All of these things occurring in the middle of the Tribulation follow two revealed events: (1) Satan giving unto Antichrist his power, throne, and great authority, and (2) Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven.  And both of these events appear to occur shortly before the middle of the Tribulation.

 

 

(Ref. the Appendix [Apx. II] for additional information pertaining to the 144,000 in Revelation chapters twelve and fourteen.)

 

 

From comparing Scripture with Scripture, the picture appears to be that this man, Antichrist, at the beginning of the Tribulation, will possess sufficient power to make a covenant with Israel.  He will not be the world ruler at this time, but he will possess sufficient power to make this covenant (which will possibly be done through his bringing together an alliance of nations as the guarantor of the covenant).  And this covenant can only be one which will seemingly effect peace in the Middle East - something which has been and remains uppermost in the minds of those in the Middle East and the world at large today; and also something which, in that day (as today), will have eluded all his predecessors.

 

 

Then, near the middle of the Tribulation, when this man finds himself seated on Satan’s throne, possessing vast power and authority, he will break his covenant with Israel (for he will then possess power and authority over all nations, not just those in any type possible alliance concerning the covenant).  He will then slay the two witnesses (which will have testified in Jerusalem during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation); and this will be followed by his genocidal activities relative to Israel, as foreshadowed through Haman’s activities in the Book of Esther.

 

 

As previously shown, Satan and his angels will have been cast out of heaven onto the earth shortly before these things occur.  And from this point forward, Satan and his angels will no longer rule the earth from a heavenly sphere.  They will have been cast out, with a view to Christ and His co-heirs ultimately taking the kingdom and ruling the earth from this same heavenly sphere.

 

 

Satan knows the things which Scripture reveals about Christ and His co-heirs, along with the things which Scripture reveals about Israel’s future destiny as it pertains to the theocracy.  He was present when God, in His sovereign control of all things, brought all events recorded in Scripture to pass.  And he has had centuries and millenniums to study and reason out the significance and meaning of all these events.

 

 

Referring to an earthly prince, the prince of Tyre, it is said of Satan (and possibly of Antichrist as well [note that this individual is called “a man,” who will declare himself to be “God”; and he is also called “the anointed cherub,” who sought to be “like the most High”]),

 

 

“Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee” (Ezek. 28: 3; cf. vv. 2, 14; Isa. 14: 12-14; 2 Thess. 2: 3, 4, 8, 9).

 

 

And, knowing the things which God has revealed about Israel in His Word, when Satan is cast out of his place in heaven, he will do all within his power to thwart God’s plans and purposes concerning Israel, directing his actions through the one to whom he will have given his power, throne, and great authority.

 

 

This is why wrath will befall Israel in the manner seen in Scripture during that coming day.  It has to do with God allowing His wrath upon Israel to be manifested through the actions of the Gentile nations under Satan, with a man seated on Satan’s throne.  The Gentile nations, led by the man seated on Satan’s throne - and, in this manner, led by Satan - in an effort to thwart God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel, will forward God's affliction of His people to an extreme without parallel in history.  And God will use this manifestation of wrath to bring about an end to the matter, to bring Israel to the place of repentance.

 

 

HAMAN’S POSITION

 

 

Esther chapter three begins at the point Haman is promoted to a position of power and authority directly under the king.  Nothing is revealed in the chapter about this man’s previously held position in the kingdom. He is only said to have been promoted, alluding to a previous position.  And matters surrounding Haman begin at this point, moving immediately into events having to do with things transpiring in the kingdom following his promotion.

 

 

The Book of Revelation, revealing the actions of the one whom Haman foreshadows, is only slightly different. Chapter six begins with an introduction of Antichrist (the seventh head of the Beast in chapter thirteen) by introducing this man as he is seen during the first part of the Tribulation.

 

 

Through the breaking of the first seal, this man is seen crowned, seated upon a white horse, with a bow in his hand, going “forth conquering, and to conquer” (v. 2).  The Greek word used for the “crown” which Antichrist will wear at this time though is stephanos, not diadema (again, refer to the Appendix [Apx. I] for a discussion on distinctions between these two words).  But, in the middle of the Tribulation, when the seventh head of the Beast controls Gentile world power from Satan’s throne, the seventh head is seen wearing a diadem (a type crown depicted by the Greek word diadema, not one depicted by the Greek word stephanos).

 

 

Thus, there is a change of words in the Greek text for the type crown which will be worn by this man at this time, from stephanos to diadema.  0nly the word diadema could point to one seated on the throne and exercising regal power.  The word stephanos would be used in any other instance (e.g., one anticipating a position of power, or one removed from his position of power [though still retaining his crown, awaiting the appearance of his successor to take the crown; cf. Rev. 4: 4, 10 where stephanos is used in the latter manner]).

 

 

The type crown seen upon Antichrist’s head in Rev. 6: 2, depicted by the word stephanos, can only point to one thing.  His wearing this type crown can only point to a position which he will aspire to attain - his aspirations to exercise controlling power over all of the Gentile world, as he goes “forth conquering, and to conquer.”  And, when he achieves this goal, the word for “crown” in the Greek text changes from stephanos to diadema (Rev. 12: 3).

 

 

Something very similar is seen concerning Christ in the Book of Revelation, prior to the time He takes the sceptre and reigns.  He is seen wearing a crown depicted by the word stephanos in Rev. 14: 14 (same word used for the crown of thorns placed on Christ’s head at His first coming); but when that revealed in verses fifteen through twenty is brought to pass at the time of Christ’s return (cf. Rev. 19: 11-21), He will come forth wearing many crowns upon His head (v. 12).  And the Greek word used for “crown” at this time is diadema, for Christ’s [heavenly] Father will have previously given to Him “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” (Dan. 7: 13, 14); and He will be returning to the earth to overthrow Gentile world power and take the [His]  kingdom.

 

 

The diadems upon Christ’s head at this time though are not crowns which Christ will wear during the Messianic Era.  Rather, He will wear the crown presently worn by Satan; and the crowns upon His head at this time can only be crowns which will be worn by those who will rule with Him, His co-heirs.

 

 

(Ref. the author’s book, JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST [revised edition], Chapter XII, for a full discussion of the crowns on Christ’s head at the time of His return, along with the crown which He will wear during the Messianic Era.)

 

 

Thus, the Book of Revelation, revealing the sequence of events foreshadowed through Haman’s rise to power and his actions in the Book of Esther, covers certain things about Antichrist which are not covered in Esther. And the reverse of that is equally true.  Certain things about this man and his reign are revealed in Esther (not seen in the Book of Revelation) which will help to complete the picture seen in the Book of Revelation.

 

 

As previously shown, the Book of Esther, covering this period of time, begins with events occurring near the middle of the Tribulation and continues from that point.  Then, the Book of Revelation adds to the picture. Centering around this same period of time as well, the Book of Revelation, unlike the Book of Esther, drops back and briefly covers this man’s rise to power, though providing very little detail.

 

 

God’s revelation surrounding this subject always follows the same pattern any place in Scripture where it is dealt with.  God’s revelation concerning this man always centers around that which will occur when he ascends Satan’s throne, wears a diadem, and rules the world.

 

 

This is where the Book of Esther begins when this man is introduced in the person of Haman.  And, as well, this is where the Book of Revelation rapidly moves after this man is introduced as the rider on the white horse. And exactly the same thing which is true of the Book of Esther and the Book of Revelation is also true of the Book of Daniel and numerous other books in the Old Testament where the subject is dealt with.

 

 

Numerous Old Testament books deal with this subject, providing different facets of teaching; and Scripture must be compared with Scripture in order to properly grasp and understand the complete picture presented by the whole of Scripture (1 Cor. 2: 9-13).

 

 

(1) APPOINTED BY THE KING

 

 

In the type, Haman was appointed to his position in the kingdom by the king himself.  And it is no different in the antitype.  God is the One Who rules in the kingdom of men, as well as in the angelic world.  He alone positions and removes rulers within the overall scope of His kingdom.

 

 

God is the One Who placed Satan (in his un-fallen state) in his Present position - as the ruler of the earth: “Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so...” (Ezek. 28:14a).  And this would, as well, have to hold true for all other provincial rulers (angelic rulers over other provinces) elsewhere in God’s universal kingdom.  God alone positions rulers in His kingdom; and He alone, as in the case of that awaiting Satan, can remove these rulers.

 

 

Exactly the same thing holds true in the kingdom of men throughout Man’s Day.  God alone positions and removes rulers.  The heavens do rule,” beginning with God and progressing through angels; and then, on the earth in the present kingdom, this rule progresses from angels through men (among the Gentile nations, this rule progresses through angels in the kingdom of Satan to men; the nation of Israel though is an exception, with this rule progressing through Michael to men [Jews], apart from Satan’s kingdom [Dan. 10: 13-21]).

 

 

“...the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

 

 

"...the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whornsoever he will.

 

 

... the heavens do rule” (Dan. 4: 17b, 25b, 26b).

 

 

In relation to God ruling in the kingdom of men in the preceding respect, different forms of government among nations are of no consequence.  Whether a democracy or a dictatorship, God, in His sovereign control of all things, brings matters to pass in such a way that Dan. 4: 17, 25, 26 holds true.  God alone is the One Who positions and/or removes rulers - angels or men.

 

 

Satan will give his throne to Antichrist; but God alone is the One Who can and will, place this man on the throne.  He alone is the One who gives the kingdom “to whomsoever he will.”

 

 

The first king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar, during the Times of the Gentiles) came into possession of and held his position after this fashion.  And this has been and will be true of any subsequent king of Babylon during the Times of the Gentiles, which will include the last king of Babylon (Dan. 4, 5).

 

 

(2) AN EXALTED P0SITION

 

 

Haman - once he had been appointed to a position of power directly under the king, by the king himself - expected to be accorded honour in keeping with his exalted position.  The king had commanded that Haman be accorded this honour (3: 1, 2); and any refusal would not only reflect negatively upon Haman’s exalted position but upon the king himself, the one who had appointed Haman to this position.

 

 

In the world of that day, individuals occupying positions as kings, or exalted positions such as Haman held, were to be accorded honour of this nature.  It was customary among all nations, even among those comprising the nation of Israel, to bow or fall to the earth before such individuals, recognizing their position (cf. 2 Sam. 14: 4; 18: 28; 1 Kings 1: 16).

 

 

The picture in the third chapter of Esther though goes far beyond honour of the preceding nature.  Among numerous Gentile nations of that day, it was customary to ascribe divinity to an individual such as the king or Haman.  And bowing before a person of this nature would be openly acknowledging, by this act, that the exalted person was recognized by that individual to be more than a mere mortal.

 

 

This will answer questions concerning both Mordecai’s and Haman’s actions relative to the exalted position in which Haman had been placed by the king.

 

 

Mordecai refused to bow before Haman.  Why?  Unless something beyond simply his high position in the government was involved, this would not be in keeping with the custom of the Jews (according honour of this nature to individuals occupying high positions of power and authority).  Something else had to be involved.

 

 

Then there is the matter of Haman not simply seeking to slay Mordecai alone because of his refusal to bow before him.  Rather, Haman, because of Mordecai’s actions, sought to slay all of the Jews in the kingdom, not just Mordecai. Why?

 

 

There can be only one answer to both questions.

 

 

Haman, in keeping with the custom among many Gentile nations of that day, was apparently viewed in a divine manner because of his exalted position.  For Mordecai to bow before Haman would have been an open display of worship by acknowledging that he recognized Haman’s ascribed divinity; and this would, in turn, have been an open repudiation by Mordecai of his faith in the one true and living God.

 

 

This would also be the reason why Haman, seeing Mordecai refusing to bow and worship him, knowing that he was a Jew, sought to slay not only Mordecai but all of the other Jews in the kingdom as well.  Haman knew that the same attitude which Mordecai exhibited would be exhibited by the whole monotheistic Jewish nation.  Thus, he looked for a way to slay all of the Jews in the kingdom.

 

 

(The antitype of Haman’s actions toward the Jewish people in this respect is dealt with in the next chapter of this book.)

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

5

Sackcloth and Ashes

 

 

When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

 

 

And came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.

 

 

And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes (Esther 4: 1-3).

 

 

Haman is introduced in the Book of Esther as “the son of Hammedatha the Agagite” (3: 1).  This identification is also repeated several subsequent places in connection with both Haman and his ten sons (3:10; 8: 5; 9:10, 24).  Thus, the book associates Haman and his sons with Agag in this manner.

 

 

Agag, in Jewish history, was an Amalekite king who lived over five centuries earlier, during Saul’s day (1 Sam. 15: 8).  Agag was the one who, indirectly, brought about Saul’s downfall (through Saul sparing Agag and refusing to destroy all which he possessed, contrary to that which God had commanded [vv. 3, 9-23]).  And, apparently because of Saul’s actions surrounding Agag, God, years later, used an Arnalekite to slay Saul at the time He removed Saul from the throne (cf. 1 Sam. 31: 1-6; 2 Sam. 1: 2-10).

 

 

The Amalekites were the first of the nations to war against Israel following the Exodus from Egypt under Moses.  Because of this, God stated, “I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”  And God appointed His people, the Israelites, to be the executioners of this nation (Ex. 17: 8-16; Deut. 25: 17-19).

 

 

This appointment though, as the executioners of the Amalekites, became another area of disobedience in the long history of the Jewish people.  And because of this disobedience, four centuries later, during the days of Saul and David, the Amalekites were still present in numbers sufficient to have a king leading them.

 

 

The subsequent history of the Amalekites can be traced to about three centuries beyond Saul and David’s time, to the days of Hezekiah, when apparently the last of the Amalekites were slain (1 Chron. 4: 41-43).  Beyond this point, the Amalekites appear in Scripture only as a people who existed in past time.

 

 

And, in complete accord with God’s previously announced judgment upon this nation, the Amalekites were so completely destroyed that archaeologists today cannot even find a trace of this once mighty nation.  In this respect, the Amalekites today exist upon the pages of Scripture alone.  They, because of their attitude toward and actions against Israel, have been utterly put out of remembrance from under heaven (Ex. 17: 14; Deut. 25: 19).

 

 

The events in the Book of Esther occurred over two centuries after the events in 1 Chron. 4: 41-43.  And if the events in this section of Scripture in 1 Chronicles are to be understood as an announcement concerning Israel’s part in the fulfilment of that which God had decreed during Moses’ day - the complete destruction of the Amalekites - which appears to be the case, it would not be possible for Haman to be a lineal descendant of this race of people.

 

 

According to archaeological findings in that part of the world, there was a province in the Medo-Persian Empire during Ahasuerus’ reign called Agag.  And referring to Haman’s father as an Agagite would apparently be a reference to this province, with Haman, through this means, being associated several places in the book with this province.

 

 

But why does the Book of Esther, in several places, call attention to Haman’s association with a certain province in the kingdom in this manner, particularly one which had the same name as an Amalekite king from over five centuries earlier?  Is this repeated association no more than a reference to a location in the kingdom, having to do with Haman’s origin, with that being the end of the matter?  Or, can spiritual significance be found in this repeated association of Haman with Agag?

 

 

The answer can be found by first viewing Haman’s actions in the light of the actions of the one whom Haman foreshadows - the man of sin, the Antichrist.  Then, relative to the actions of both men (which are the same), both the type (the actions of Haman) and the antitype (the actions of Antichrist) must be understood in the light of that which is stated in the last of Balaam’s prophecies.

 

 

Viewing all of these things together - the type, the antitype, and Balaam’s last prophecy - the repeated reference in Esther, associating Haman with Agag, can be clearly seen to be more than just a reference to a province in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.  It can be clearly seen as an allusion back to Agag and the Amalekites during Saul’s day as well, even though it is apparent that Haman was not a lineal descendant of Agag.

 

 

Both the Amalekites and Haman were bitter enemies of the Jewish people in past Israeli history; and the Antichrist will be a bitter enemy of the Jewish people in future Israeli history. And Balaam’s final prophecy, having to do with the appearance of Messiah at the end of Man’s Day, includes a “parable [‘oracle’]” concerning Amalek, which reflects on the whole of the matter:

 

 

“...there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and he shall smite the corners of Moab...

 

 

Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

 

 

And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable [oracle], and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever (Num. 24: 17b, 19, 20).

 

 

The complete prophecy has to do with the destruction of Gentile world power at the time of Messiah’s return, followed by Messiah’s reign.  And the end of Gentile world power, particularly as it involves anti-Semitism (as, for example, exhibited through the actions of the Amalekites), is summed up through a statement in an oracle in the prophecy concerning the end of Amalek...his latter end shall be that he perish forever.”  Thus, in Balaam’s closing prophecy, the end of Antichrist and his kingdom is associated with the end of the Amalekites (though Antichrist will appear millenniums after the Amalekites ceased to exist).

 

 

In a similar manner, Gentile world power in that coming day, headed up by Antichrist, will incorporate the whole of that seen in Daniel’s image in Daniel chapter two (vv. 35, 45; cf. Dan. 7: 11, 12), which depicts Gentile world power in Babylon from its beginning during Nebuchadnezzar’s day to its end during Antichrist’s day (vv. 31-45; Cf. Dan. 7: 3-8). Thus, as with Antichrist’s association with Amalek, Antichrist and his kingdom will also be associated with certain Gentile regal powers which will have long since ceased to exist at the time this man comes into power and reigns.

 

 

Further, Antichrist is called an Assyrian (Isa. 10: 5; 14: 25; 30: 31; 31: 8; Hosea 5: 13), though the Assyrians, as the Amalekites or certain Gentile regal powers associated with Daniel’s image, will have long since ceased to exist when Antichrist makes his appearance.

 

 

The Assyrian association goes back 2,300 years to the days of Alexander the Great (Antichrist will arise from within the borders of the old kingdom of Assyria [Dan. 8: 8, 9, 21-25]).  And, in Biblical typology, this Assyrian association goes back even farther - to the days of Moses, 3,500 years ago (the Assyrians, having previously conquered Egypt, sought to destroy the Israelites; but God sent Moses to deliver them [cf. Ex. 1: 8; Isa. 52: 4; Acts 7: 18]).

 

 

Thus, Antichrist and / or his kingdom will have an association with different Gentile powers going back millenniums in Jewish history (which no longer exist today and will not exist in that coming day).  This association goes back to the time of the beginning of the Babylonian kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar (marking the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles); and, back behind that, this association extends to the time of the Assyrians and the Amalekites (and, as previously shown, with the Assyrians this association goes back even to the time of an Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt during Moses’ day - back to the very time of the inception of the nation of Israel itself).

 

 

In this respect, during Haman’s day, it would simply be in complete keeping with related Scripture for God to go back almost six centuries, to a people no longer even in existence, and associate Haman with an Amalekite king.  Associating Haman with Agag from Saul’s day would simply be associating one of the most complete types of Antichrist to be found anywhere in the Old Testament with the king of one of the bitterest enemies of the Israelites in history - an association in complete keeping with the way in which God has formed other associations relative to Antichrist in His Word.

 

 

This association, in the antitype, as previously shown, is clearly dealt with in an oracle concerning the Amalekites in Balaam’s closing prophecy.  And the time to which the prophecy relates (the destruction of Gentile world power at the time of Messiah’s return, followed by Messiah’s reign) has to do with a time over two and one-half millenniums after the Amalekites ceased to exist.

 

 

As Antichrist will be associated with Assyria (though neither the people nor the nation will have existed for millenniums), and as Antichrist and the power which he will control will be associated with a particular past form of Gentile world power (depicted by the first three parts of Daniel’s image, which also will no longer exist), so will it be in the matter surrounding the association of this man and his kingdom with the Amalekites (who also will no longer exist as well).

 

 

Thus, Biblical prophecy clearly associates the reign of Antichrist with certain Gentile powers in the past, which have been destroyed and will not exist when Antichrist comes into power.  An association of this nature not only characterizes this man’s reign in different ways but announces the coming utter destruction of this man and his kingdom as well.

 

 

God uses the destruction of certain Gentile powers in the past, in this manner, to demonstrate particular things about the future destruction of Antichrist and his kingdom.  The certainty of the destruction of Antichrist and his kingdom is told through historical fact - these Gentile powers were destroyed in past time, as Antichrist and his kingdom will be destroyed in future time.  And the way in which these Gentile power were destroyed - passing completely out of existence - depicts the way in which Antichrist and his kingdom will be destroyed and pass completely out of existence as well, bringing a full and complete end to the Times of the Gentiles.

 

 

(Note in this same respect that there are four oracles connected with Balaam’s last prophecy, with the last two oracles having to do with Assyria, among other nations.  Asshur” in Num. 24: 22, 24 should be translated Assyria.  And Assyria at this future time, as the Amalekites at this same future time [viewing all of the last three oracles in the prophecy], shall “perish forever[vv. 20, 24].

 

 

Antichrist, in Biblical prophecy, is connected with both the Assyrians and the Amalekites.  But neither the Assyrians nor the Amalekites have existed for millenniums; nor will they exist at the time of the fulfilment of Balaam’s closing prophecy, though they are seen being destroyed at this time.

 

 

These nations exist in history alone, and both have been completely destroyed in past time, never to rise again.  But, as previously shown, both are used different places in the manner seen in Balaam’s prophecy to point to the certainty and completeness of the end of Gentile world power in that coming day when it is headed up under Antichrist.)

 

 

Thus, related Scripture clearly shows that Haman’s identification with a particular province in the kingdom was for purposes rich in spiritual significance.  This identification provides an association with the king of the Amalekites in history; and it is clear from Balaam’s prophecy that this same association carries over into the antitype and will extend to Antichrist yet future.

 

 

Though the Amalekites had apparently long since ceased to exist during Haman’s day, the association (through the use of the name “Agag”) was there; and though the Amalekites will not exist during the days of the one whom Haman typifies, the association - from the type in Esther, from Israeli history, and from Balaam’s prophecy - is there.

 

 

Both men (Haman and Antichrist) are identified in Scripture with the king of one of the most bitter enemies of the Israelites in history - the Amalekites - a nation which, because of that which the people of this nation had done surrounding Israel, was to be destroyed to the extent that their very remembrance would be put out of existence.  Both men, because of their actions surrounding Israel, occupy a parallel place to that of the Amalekites in Israeli history; and both men, because of these same actions, are seen coming to the same ignominious end as the Amalekites (cf. Isa. 26: 13, 14).

 

 

ISRAEL’S LAST GREAT ENEMY

 

 

Israel’s last great enemy is referred to as an Assyrian, though the Assyrians passed off the scene of world history over two and one-half millenniums ago; Israel’s last great enemy is associated with the Amalekites, though the Amalekites, as the Assyrians, also passed off the scene of world history over two and one-half millenniums ago; and Israel’s last great enemy is also associated with particular past Gentile regal powers (from Nebuchadnezzar to Alexander the Great), though these powers, as well, passed off the scene of world history over two millenniums ago.

 

 

Antichrist, with his worldwide kingdom, seated on Satan’s throne, will embody all of the things opposed to God's plans and purposes surrounding Israel, seen in these Gentile powers; and this association dates back to even the very time of the inception of the nation of Israel itself, during Moses’ day.  Antichrist will bring all anti-Semitism embodied in these Gentile powers from history into full fruition, which alone could bring about his fall and form his epitaph.  But he will go beyond this and seek to exalt his throne after a similar fashion to that which Satan sought to do at a time prior to man’s creation.

 

 

He will sit, “as God ... in the temple of God [the rebuilt temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem], showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2: 4).  And, in this position, he, through the actions of his false prophet, will be honoured and worshiped by individuals throughout his worldwide kingdom, exactly as Haman was accorded honour and worship in the kingdom of Ahasuerus in the type (Rev. 13: 3-8, 11, 12).

 

 

Antichrist will have previously broken his covenant with Israel, destroyed Jerusalem, and be in the process of attempting to wipe the Jewish people from off the face of the earth (cf. Dan. 9: 26, 27; Matt. 24: 15-22; Luke 21: 20-24; Rev. 11: 2; 12: 13-17).  This is where Esther chapter three begins within its type-antitype framework - with this man (typified by Haman), holding a position of power in the kingdom directly under God (though a rebel ruler, as Satan), demanding worship, and seeking to destroy the Jewish people.  And the Jewish people, a monotheistic people, will have the same attitude toward this man and his actions as seen in the type in Esther.

 

 

When this man rises to that position in the kingdom typified by Haman and the position which he held, he will, through his false prophet, require that the people in the kingdom view him as divine and worship him. But the Jewish people, as Mordecai in the type, will refuse.

 

 

This man will have both defiled the rebuilt Jewish temple and have committed blasphemy through declaring himself to be God.  And, resulting from these actions, he will meet with the same rejection at the hands of the Jewish people that Haman experienced in Esther.

 

 

When these things come to pass in that future day, exactly the same thing seen in Esther will occur.  The Jewish people - as Mordecai in the type - will refuse to worship Antichrist, bringing his wrath down upon them; and, exactly as in Mordecai’s day, the decree will go forth that all the Jews in the kingdom are to be destroyed.

 

 

And also, exactly as in the type, the King (God) will deliver the Jews into Antichrist’s hands for a set period of time - “a time and times and the dividing of time,” for three and one-half years (cf. Esther 3: 10, 11; Dan. 7: 25).

 

 

There though will be more to the matter in the antitype than simply a monotheistic people refusing to worship this man.  And this is related in the type in Esther, along with other Scripture, as well.

 

 

Haman’s charge against the Jewish people was brought about by Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, knowing that this same attitude would be exhibited by the entire monotheistic nation.  But the charge which he brought before the king, in order to bring about the destruction of the Jews throughout the kingdom, was stated in a different manner.  He went back to the root of the matter:

 

 

And Haman said unto the king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

 

 

If it please the king, let it be written [in laws governing the kingdom] that they may be destroyed...” (Esther 3: 8, 9a).

 

 

Antichrist, seated on Satan’s throne, will bring this same charge against the Jewish people yet future (individuals scattered throughout his kingdom, whose laws are diverse).  This was a charge brought against Daniel, resulting in his being cast into the lions’ den.  The law of his God,” which he kept, was different than “the law of the Medes and Persians.”  And neither law could accommodate the other in this respect, for neither the law of God nor the law of the Medes and Persians could be changed or altered (with this unchangeableness of the law of the Medes and Persians typifying the unchangeableness of the law of God within one facet of the overall type [cf. Dan. 6: 5, 8, 15]; Psa. 12: 6; 138: 2; Mal. 3: 6; Luke 4: 4, 8, 10; 1 Cor. 10: 11).

 

 

Then, the three Hebrews who had previously refused to worship the image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura relates the other side of the matter from Esther - having to do with worship, as well as law (Dan. 3: 17, 18).

 

 

The Israelites will refuse to worship Antichrist.  And, at this time, because of the resulting genocidal activities of Antichrist, the Israelites will begin their return back to a law different than laws governing the Gentiles, one which cannot be changed or broken.

 

 

The law governing the Jewish people during both Daniel’s and Esther’s day was the old covenant given through Moses.  This covenant, along with the new covenant which will one day be made with the house of Israel, always has been and always will be diverse from laws among the Gentile nations.  And this is a major realm in which Antichrist will seek to bring about changes as he attempts to destroy the Jewish people.

 

 

According to Dan. 7: 25, Antichrist will seek to change both “times and laws”; and, continuing from this statement, apart from any break in the thought, the text goes on to reveal that the Jewish people will be delivered into Antichrist’s hands (exactly as in Haman’s day), for “a time and times and the dividing of time.”  Thus, contextually, his seeking to bring about a change in “times and laws” can only have to do with things relating to the Jewish people.

 

 

The Jewish people were delivered into Haman’s hand by the king; and, yet future, they will be delivered into Antichrist’s hand by the one whom the king typified, by God Himself.  In that future day, God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hand for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

 

 

And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

 

 

And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee” (Esther 3:10, 11).

 

 

And during this three and one-half-year period, as Antichrist seeks to bring about the destruction of the Jewish people, he will seek to bring about a change in both times and laws which God has established.  He will seek to prolong the time in which these Jewish people have been delivered into his hand (prolonging the Times of the Gentiles), and he will seek to bring about a change in laws which God has established (allowing Gentile law to continue, as he seeks to extend the period surrounding the Times of the Gentiles as well).

 

 

But this man will utterly fail.  He will be brought to the same end as the Assyrians, the Amalekites, and other Gentile nations in the past.  God has established times and laws, integrally associated with His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people; and man can no more bring about a change in these times and laws than he can bring about the destruction of the Jewish people.

 

 

Antichrist though, seated on Satan’s throne, will show the folly of the fullness of that which characterizes both Satan and fallen man, by raising his hand against God, against His Word, and against His people.  And, relative to the whole of the matter, it has been written in God’s unchangeable Word:

 

 

But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

 

 

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

 

 

Hitherto is the end of the matter...” (Dan. 7: 26-28a).

 

 

ISRAEL BROUGHT TO THE PLACE OF REPENTANCE

 

 

All these things having to do with Antichrist’s reign, shown in the type in Esther (among other types), will occur for a Divine purpose.

 

 

God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hands, for a period of time, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass.

 

 

The Jewish people, in that coming day, will be brought to the same position, through the same means, as seen in that which God allowed to occur during Moses’ day.  During Moses’ day, through the genocidal actions of the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt - which God allowed, delivering His people into the Assyrian’s hands for a period of time - the Jewish people were brought into such dire straits that they were left without a choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance.  And this resulted in God sending Moses back to Egypt (always a type of the world in Scripture) to deliver His people, as God will send the One greater than Moses back to deliver His people (scattered throughout the world) when this entire matter is repeated in the antitype.

 

 

The Jewish people calling upon the God of their fathers during Moses’ day, in the Book of Exodus, is seen again in Biblical typology in the Book of Esther, presenting another facet of the complete picture.  The Jewish people during Esther’s day not only arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes (portending repentance in the antitype [cf. Jonah 3: 5-10]), but Esther is seen going in before the king himself, to beseech the king on behalf of her people.

 

 

During a yet future day, God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hands, for a set period of time, in order to bring them to the place seen in both the Books of Exodus and Esther.  And when the Jewish people are brought to this place and do that revealed in these two types - repentance, followed by their calling upon the God of their fathers - they have a promise, from God Himself, which He will then fulfil:

 

 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7: 14).

 

 

God, however, will not fulfil this promise until the conditions in the promise have been met.  And He will use Antichrist to bring Israel to the place where the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to meet these conditions.  In this respect, God is able to use even “the wrath of manto praise Him as He brings His plans and purposes to pass, in spite of all the finite folly surrounding man’s wrath (Psa. 76: 10; Cf. v. 2).

 

 

(1) CHRONOLOGY OF ESTHER CHAPTERS 3-9

 

 

As the ten chapters in the Book of Esther centre mainly around three and one-half years of Jewish history yet future - the last three and one-half years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week - the chapters detailing these events, in a type-antitype framework (chs. 3-9), themselves, centre mainly around a very limited time within this three and one-half-year period.  These chapters centre mainly around that which will occur very near the end, and at the end, of this time.

 

 

Chapter three provides details concerning that which God would have man to know from this book about Antichrist’s reign.  This chapter centers around God’s wrath surrounding the Jewish people being brought to an apex through the reign of Antichrist.  And it will be brought to an apex beginning with God positioning this man on Satan’s throne.  And when this occurs, that which God has been setting the stage for throughout 3,500 years of Gentile persecution - 2,600 years during the Times of the Gentiles - will be brought to fruition in the short space of three and one-half years.

 

 

The Jewish people, as revealed in this chapter, will be delivered into this man’s hands; and all of the other things set forth in this chapter will be brought to pass in the antitype as well.  These things, according to this chapter, will centre around the world worshiping Antichrist, the Jewish people refusing to worship this man, and the Jewish people resultingly coming under the sentence of death.

 

 

Then, beginning chapter four, the Jewish people are seen being brought to the place where they array themselves in sackcloth and ashes (depicting repentance in the antitype [cf. Jonah 3: 5-10]), with Esther in the following chapter going in before the king himself because of the dire straits in which the Jewish people found themselves.

 

 

In this respect, chapter four begins with events foreshadowing that which will occur very near the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  It will be near the end of this period of time that the Jewish people will find themselves in such dire straits under Antichrist’s reign (exactly as the Jewish people found themselves during Haman’s day) that they will have no choice other than to do that foreshadowed by the Jewish people in Esther chapters four and five.  Then chapters six through nine simply foreshadow that which will subsequently occur when the Jewish people have been brought to the place depicted by an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, calling upon the God of their fathers (previously seen in chs. 4, 5).

 

 

Thus, chapter three alone covers all of the time in the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  Events in this chapter bring about the sequence of events seen in subsequent chapters.  And the remaining chapters associated with this three and one-half-year period of time (chs. 4-9) have to do with events which will occur very near the end, and at the end, of the time in which the Jewish people have been delivered into Antichrist’s hands, not with events occurring throughout this entire period.

 

 

(2) THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN

 

 

When the Jewish people have been brought to the place depicted by an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, calling upon the God of their fathers, then God will hear from heaven and intervene on their behalf.  Until then, there will be no such intervention.  Until then, trouble at the hands of the Gentiles will ensue for the Jewish people - trouble which will be brought to an apex under the reign of the one whom Haman in chapter three typifies.

 

 

But, when that foreshadowed by events in Esther chapters four and five come to pass, the latter part of that which God stated in 2 Chron. 7: 14 will come to pass as well.  God will hear from heaven, forgive the Jewish people, and heal their land.

 

 

And, in the process of this occurring, that seen in Esther chapters six through nine will come to pass as well. God goes into great detail in these four chapters to outline Haman’s fall, which foreshadows Antichrist’s fall.

 

 

As it occurred in the type, so will it occur in the antitype.  Haman’s fall came about through the king’s intervention on behalf of the people whom this man had sought to destroy; and Antichrist’s fall will come about through God’s intervention on behalf of the people whom this man will seek to destroy.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

6

The King’s Hand Turns

 

 

Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

 

 

And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand.  So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

 

 

Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom (Esther 5: 1-3).

 

 

Esther chapter three began with Haman’s promotion to a position of power in the kingdom, directly under the king.  In this position of power, Haman was to be accorded honour and worship.  And, in keeping with the custom among many Gentile nations of that day, it is evident from the text that Haman was apparently viewed in a divine manner.

 

 

Haman being viewed in this manner would account for the different things which transpired in the chapter. First, Mordecai refused to bow before Haman and worship him, though it was customary among the Jews of that day to recognize and honour individuals holding high positions of power (cf. 2 Sam. 14: 4; 18: 28; 1 Kings 1: 16).  Then, because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, Haman reacted in a manner which went far beyond Mordecai’s actions alone.  Haman, because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, sought to slay not only Mordecai but all of the Jewish people dispersed throughout the kingdom.

 

 

Haman knew that the Jews in the kingdom followed laws which were different than the laws of the Medes and Persians.  Further, he could only have known that the Jews were a monotheistic people, and the laws which they followed were the laws of their God.  And, knowing these things, he knew that all of the Jews in the kingdom which he controlled under Ahasuerus, following the laws of their God, would do the same thing which Mordecai had done.  They, as well, would refuse to bow before him and worship.  And, as a result, Haman issued a decree, validated by the king, that all of the Jews throughout the kingdom were to be slain.

 

 

Following this, beginning chapter four and leading into chapter five, the Jewish people are seen reacting to this decree.  Because of Haman’s decree, and the dire straits in which this decree left the Jewish people, Jews throughout the kingdom arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes; then the queen, arraying herself in royal apparel (proper apparel [cf. Esther 4: 21), entered into the inner court of the King’s house and appeared in the king’s presence on behalf of the Jewish people.

 

 

And it is at this point in the book that matters began to change rapidly relative to both Haman and the Jewish people.  In one respect, Haman, at this time, is seen at the height of his power.  He is seen possessing everything, with the fate of the Jewish people resting in his hands.  But in another respect, Haman, at this time, is seen nearing the end of his power.  He is seen about to lose everything, with the Jewish people about to be delivered from his hands.

 

 

Then, beyond that, the Jewish people at this point in the book are seen as a people who, following deliverance, are about to come into possession of all that which Haman possessed - his house, and his position in the kingdom (8: 1-7; 10: 3).

 

 

In the latter part of chapter five - after the Jewish people had arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and after the queen had gone in before the king - Haman called attention to that which he now possessed, in his exalted position.  He spoke of the glory of his riches, his large family (which included ten sons), his position in the kingdom above all the other princes, and his being the only person in the entire kingdom whom the queen had invited (with the king) to a banquet (vv. 11, 12).

 

 

But there was one problem insofar as Haman was concerned, which, until the matter was resolved, cancelled out everything else:

 

 

Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (v. 13; cf. v. 9).

 

 

The Jews in the type, in the person of Mordecai, were seen as a people whose laws were different than the laws of the Medes and Persians.  They would not bow down and worship Haman, which brought about his wrath. But the entirety of the matter is brought to an apex because of a position in which Mordecai is continually seen to occupy in the book - seated in the king’s gate.  And this fact, combined with the former, was something which could have only been uppermost in Haman’s thinking after the Jews had been brought to the place where they are seen arraying themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with the queen appearing before the king (arrayed in royal garments) on the Jew’s behalf.

 

 

In the antitype, matters will be exactly the same.  The Jews will be seen as a people whose laws are different than the Gentile nations.  They will not bow down and worship Antichrist, which will bring about his wrath. But, as in Haman’s day, the entirety of the matter will not be brought to an apex because of any attitude which the Jews may have toward Antichrist, his ascribed deity, and their laws.  Rather, it will be brought to an apex because of the position which the Jews will hold - seated in the King’s gate.  And this fact, combined with the former, will have to be something uppermost in Antichrist’s thinking after the Jewish people have been brought to the place where they will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers (in complete accord with the type, seen in both Mordecai’s and Esther’s actions).

 

 

This entire scene in the antitype will begin to occur near the end of the Tribulation, for it will only be at this time (with the Jewish people having almost completed their passage through “the time of Jacob’s trouble” [Jer. 30:7], having endured Antichrist’s wrath for almost three and one-half years) that the Jewish people will be brought to the place of repentance.  Thus, it will be at this time that Antichrist will be seen in the antitype viewing himself at the height of his power, as Haman in Esther chapters three through five.  Yet, exactly as in Haman’s case, he will know that all of this power and prestige will avail him nothing as long as Israel continues in existence, seated in the King’s gate.

 

 

Antichrist, as Haman, will initially vent his wrath upon the Jewish people because of their refusal to worship him.  But also, exactly as in the type, Antichrist’s wrath will be exhibited in its fullness because of the position held by the Jewish people within God’s economy - the ones seated in the King’s gate.  Or, as ultimately seen through Esther, it would be the ones crowned and arrayed in royal apparel (who, alone, are destined to enter into the inner court of the King’s house on the third day [5: 1; cf. Hosea 6: 1, 2], clothed in royal apparel, for no one will be able to enter clothed in sackcloth [4: 2]).

 

 

It was at this time that Haman vented his wrath against the Jewish people in all its fullness by building a gallows upon which he planned to impale Mordecai; and it will be at this time, in the antitype, that Antichrist will vent his wrath against the Jewish people in a manner causing conditions to ultimately become such that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Matt. 24: 22).

 

 

It will also be at this time, through Gentile persecution which has lasted for centuries and millenniums, that the Jewish people will finally be brought to the place where God has been working to bring them.  And, once the Jewish people have been brought to this place, God will step in and begin to rapidly bring about changes.

 

 

As things began to rapidly change for both Haman and the Jewish people at this point in the type, so will it be in the antitype.  Why?  The answer, whether type or antitype, is the same.

 

 

In the type, Haman had raised his hand against the Jewish people, bringing them to the place where they had arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, with the queen going in before the king (on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel) on their behalf.  And in the antitype, Antichrist will raise his hand against the Jewish people, bringing them to the place of repentance, a place where the Jewish people (who are to appear before the King on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel) will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers.

 

 

In the preceding respect, God brought two things to pass in the type: (1) Haman had filled his cup of iniquity, which God had both measured and allowed (cf. Gen. 15: 16); and (2) the Jewish people, through God delivering them into Haman’s hands, for a time, had been brought to the place in which God had promised to intervene on their behalf (cf. Ex. 2: 23-25; 3: 9-12; Lev. 26: 39-42).

 

 

Haman’s wise men, along with Haman’s wife, possibly summed up and stated the whole of the matter best after Haman began his fall.  And because of the nature of their statement, as it pertained to the issue at hand, the Holy Spirit saw fit to move the writer of this book to record the statement for all to read, throughout all time:

 

 

If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him” (6: 13b).

 

 

And the antitype will be no different, with the statement from Esther 6: 13b applying equally to Antichrist and the Jews in that coming day as it applied to Haman and the Jews over twenty-four hundred years ago.  When Antichrist, through venting his wrath upon the Jewish people, causes them to come to the place of repentance toward God (the place to which God will bring them through delivering them into Antichrist’s hands, for a time, allowing Antichrist to vent his wrath upon them), things will begin to change rapidly.

 

 

Antichrist’s fall will begin at this point and will occur in the same rapid and complete manner seen in Haman’s fall.  This last king of Babylon will be as Nebuchadnezzar at the time of his fall (the first king of Babylon during the Times of the Gentiles).  Or he will be as Belshazzar at the time of his fall (the last king of Babylon during that period covered by the first part of Daniel’s image - the head of gold).

 

 

Nebuchadnezzar was at the height of his power when he lifted up his eyes and said,

 

 

Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Dan. 4: 30b).

 

 

But before the king had even finished speaking, a voice from heaven revealed that the kingdom would be taken from him and that he would be driven out into the field, among the animals, to live and to eat grass, for seven years (a complete period of time).  And the same hour God brought the matter to pass, exactly as He had revealed to Nebuchadnezzar (v. 33).

 

 

And Belshazzar, during what could possibly be considered the height of his reign, not only defiled vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem at a drunken feast in Babylon but, at the same time, praised “the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know.”  And Belshazzar, also at this time, failed to acknowledge and glorify the God responsible even for his very life - the One responsible for man’s “breath,” which provides life (Dan. 5: 1-4, 23; cf. Gen. 2: 7).

 

 

At the very time that these things were occurring, God stepped in and began to rapidly bring about changes. God first revealed a message of doom through the fingers of a man’s hand writing four words upon the wall – “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (words interpreted for the king by Daniel, a Jew [Dan. 5: 5,25-28; cf. Psa. 147: 19, 20]): God had numbered and finished Belshazzar’s kingdom, Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances and had been found wanting, and his kingdom had been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.

 

 

Then, that very night, bringing matters to pass in complete accord with that which had been written upon the wall, two things were taken from Belshazzar - his breath, and his kingdom.  Belshazzar was slain; and the kingdom passed into the hands of the Medes and the Persians, setting the stage for later events as seen in the Book of Esther (vv. 30, 31).

 

 

Belshazzar hadn’t learned the lesson from Nebuchadnezzar’s previous experiences along similar lines.  Rather, he made similar mistakes and paid a similar price.  And Antichrist will not have learned the lesson through Haman’s previous experiences in the type.  Rather, he, in the antitype, will make exactly the same mistakes and will pay exactly the same price which Haman made and paid.

 

 

Thus, God will bring matters to pass in a similar swift manner for the last king of Babylon as He did for Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.  And God will bring matters to pass for Antichrist, in the antitype, in exactly the same swift manner as He did for Haman in the type.

 

 

One simply cannot do that which Haman did and escape God’s wrath.  If a person could, God, by allowing such to occur, would be violating that which He has set forth in His unchangeable Word - an impossibility (cf. Gen. 12: 1-3; Psa. 12: 6, 7; 138: 2).

 

 

And, on the same basis, one simply cannot do that which Antichrist will do and escape God’s wrath.  When Antichrist raises his hand against the Jewish people in that coming day, his fate, as Haman’s in the type, will be sealed.

 

 

(Though God is not dealing with Israel on a national basis during the present dispensation, the principles which God has set forth in His Word surrounding Israel must not only remain true and valid but must remain in effect as well [e.g., Gen. 12: 2, 3].  And, with that in mind, note something which will illustrate this matter, regardless of the dispensation or time.

 

 

World War II in Europe [1939-1945] was not lost by Germany in 1945.  Rather, this war was lost years earlier - 1938 or earlier - when the Third Reich began to raise its hand against the Jewish people throughout Europe. Germany’s fate was sealed in the 30s, with the war lost at a time before it even began.  The 1945 date simply marks the time when God completed an out-working of the principles set forth in His Word, with the Third Reich lying in ruins because of their previous anti-Semitic policies and actions.)

 

 

God will allow Antichrist to exercise power over the Jewish people for a time, as seen in Haman’s exercise of power over the Jewish people for a time in the type.  But, when God’s plans and purposes for allowing this to occur have been brought to pass, exactly as seen in the type, things will begin to change rapidly.

 

 

That is to say, when God has used Antichrist’s wrath to bring His Own plans and purposes to pass - God using man’s wrath to effect praise (Psa. 76: 9, 10) - then things will begin to change rapidly.  And when these things do begin to change, Antichrist, at the zenith of his power, is going to suddenly and swiftly not only find himself removed from power but he will find himself, as well, in the same position which he had sought for the Jewish people.  And, again, this will occur exactly as in the type

 

 

A CROWN OF TWELVE STARS

 

 

Both Mordecai seated in the gate and Esther seated on the throne are positions referred to over and over in the Book of Esther (e.g., 2: 17,19, 21; 4: 2; 5: 1, 9, 12, 13; 6: 10, 12; 7: 5).  And “the gate,” as “the throne,” points to a place of regality in the kingdom.  Both point to two different facets of the same thing (ref. Chapter 3).

 

 

The Book of Esther deals with God’s wrath from a two-fold perspective.  The book deals with the purpose for God’s wrath (to bring Israel to the place of repentance), and the book deals with the position which Israel has been called to occupy (regal).  And God’s manifested wrath in this two-fold manner is dealt with in an integrally related fashion in the book.  That is, God is manifesting His wrath in this manner in order to bring Israel to the place of repentance; and Israel is being brought to the place of repentance in order to realize her calling, which is regal - appearing in the King's presence, on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel.

 

 

In the type in the Book of Esther, Mordecai is seen seated in the king’s gate and Esther is seen crowned as queen at the same time Haman occupies power under the king.  How could this possibly foreshadow that which will occur in the antitype, for Israel (typified by both Mordecai and Esther) will occupy power only after Antichrist (typified by Haman) has been put down?

 

 

The answer can be found in Revelation chapter twelve, comparing Scripture with Scripture.  Note how this chapter begins:

 

 

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (v. 1).

 

 

It is evident from subsequent revelation in the chapter that the “womanrepresents Israel [vv. 4-6, 13-16; cf. Matt. 24: 15-22].  After Satan (represented by “a great red dragon” [vv. 2, 3, 7-9, 13]) has been cast out of heaven near the middle of the Tribulation, he is seen centering his attention upon Israel, ready to devour the nation’s child at birth - the “man child” - which Israel will bring forth at this time (which, contextually, can only be the 144,000 from Rev. 7, 14 [vv. 5,17;cf. Matt. 24: 8,14; Mark 13: 8, 10; Rev. 11: 13; 14: 14]).

 

 

Note that the woman (v. 1), during the time that Antichrist is in power, seated on Satan’s throne (v. 3; cf. Rev. 13: 2), is seen crowned.  In fact, exactly as in the Book of Esther, both Israel and Antichrist are seen associated with regality at this time.

 

 

But note that there is a difference in the regality in the antitype, which would be the same difference seen in the positions occupied by Mordecai and Haman in the type.

 

 

In the type, though Mordecai is seen seated in the king’s gate, he didn’t actually hold a position of power in the kingdom.  This continued reference to his position at the king’s gate portended the position which he was about to hold.

 

 

In the antitype, matters are exactly the same.  Though Israel is seen crowned at the time Antichrist reigns, Israel will not actually be exercising regal power at this time.  Rather, the twelve-starred crown upon the woman’s head portends the position which Israel is about to hold, with “twelve” being the number of governmental perfection.

 

 

There are two words used for crown in the Greek text of the first three verses of Revelation chapter twelve.  The word used in verse one, relative to the crown upon the woman’s head, is stephanos.  And the word used in verse three, relative to the seven crowns upon the seven heads associated with the dragon, is diadema.

 

 

The change in words for “crown” in the text reveals one thing: Israel, at this time, will not be occupying the throne and exercising regality.  Rather, Antichrist, at this time, will be occupying the throne and exercising regal power.  The crown upon the woman’s head, depicted by the word stephanos, shows that the woman is destined to occupy regal power.  But crowns upon the seven heads associated with the dragon (Antichrist will be the seventh head, incorporating all which preceded in the first six), depicted by the word diadema, show these seven heads not only in a regal capacity but actually occupying regal power at this time (in the person of the seventh head - Antichrist).

 

 

(For additional information concerning the use of stephanos and diadema in the preceding respect, refer to the Appendix [Apx. I].  Also, see the author’s book, JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST revised edition], Chapter XII.)

 

 

Then, aside from viewing the, matter in the preceding respect through Mordecai alone, that seen through Esther seated on the throne depicts another facet of the type.  Note that Esther reveals herself to be a Jew only when it is time for Haman to be put down (at the end of two days, on the third day [cf. Esther 5: 1; 7: 4-6; Hosea 6: 1, 21), which was following the Jewish people’s appearance in sackcloth and ashes and Esther’s appearance before the king.  It will be at this time in the antitype when the stephanos upon the woman’s head will change to a diadem (similar to Christ appearing in Rev. 19: 12 with diadems upon His head rather than crowns depicted by the word stephanos [as in Rev. 14: 14], immediately before Antichrist is put down).

 

 

Thus, the manner in which regality is seen relative to Israel in the type (not only through Esther but through Mordecai as well) is in complete keeping with the antitype.  It has to be, for the type foreshadows that which will occur in the antitype, and the antitype must follow the type in exact parallel and detail.  This is simply the way in which God chose to deal with two different aspects of the same thing, from type to antitype.

 

 

FAVOUR IN THE KING’S SIGHT

 

 

The stage is set in Esther chapters four and five for that which is about to occur - the Jewish people being brought to the place where they array themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther appearing before the king (arrayed in royal apparel) on behalf of the Jews in the kingdom.

 

 

Then, in chapters six and seven, things begin to rapidly transpire in a completely different manner than in the past - things which in a very short period of time carry Haman from the top to the bottom.  Haman suddenly finds his world turned upside-down.

 

 

The sequence begins with Haman holding a high regal position directly under the king, a position to which the king himself had elevated him; and, in this position, the fate of the Jewish people had been placed in his hands. Then, all at once, by command of the king, Haman found himself being humiliated at the hands of a Jew; and he was powerless to do anything about the matter (6: 10-12).  And shortly after that, Haman found himself in particular circumstances, which resulted in his being impaled upon a gallows at the command of the king, because of a Jew; and, again, Haman was powerless to do anything about it (7: 6-10).

 

 

But why did these things occur?  Why were matters so completely turned around?  The answer is given in the Book of Esther and elsewhere in Scripture.  This complete change occurred because of two things: (1) that which the Jewish people did, and (2) God keeping his promises to the Jewish people.

 

 

(1) “WHAT IS THY REQUEST

 

 

There is really nothing more fundamental in the study of the Jewish people in Scripture than that which is outlined in the Book of Esther.  But how many Christians know and understand these things?  Or, how many Jews know these things, or are willing to admit them?  Or, how many Gentiles (and, yes, even many Christians) know why they are singling the Jewish people out for persecution?

 

 

The answer to the questions is simply, very few to none.  Very few Christians have any understanding at all concerning that which Scripture teaches concerning Israeli persecution; the Jewish people, spiritually dead, are in no position to either understand or admit the truth about Israeli suffering at the hands of the Gentiles; and the Gentiles, also spiritually dead, along with being alienated from “the commonwealth [‘citizenship’] of Israel” (Eph. 2: 12), are in no position to understand that which they are doing as well.

 

 

But the simple truth of the matter has been set forth in God’s unchangeable Word for all to see.

 

 

Down through the centuries God has allowed the Jewish people, because of their disobedience, to be dispersed among and persecuted by the Gentile nations.  The matter surrounding Israel’s persecution by the Gentiles - past, present, and future - is that simple.  And to deny this would be to deny the Word of God, for this is exactly what God promised would happen in Leviticus chapter twenty-six and Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight if the Jewish people did not obey His voice.

 

 

And disobedience is the direction which the Jewish people took.  Then, God, in complete accord with His Word, uprooted and drove His people from their land and scattered them among the Gentiles, where they have found no rest.  And dispersed among the nations in this manner, they have been, are being, and will continue to be persecuted by these same nations, until...

 

 

And the thought of the Jewish people being dispersed among and persecuted by the Gentiles, until, presents the other side to the matter.  God has allowed, continues to allow, and will continue to allow this persecution to occur at the hands of the Gentiles, for a purpose.  God has delivered His people into the hands of the Gentile nations, to effect their ultimate repentance, in order that His plans and purposes concerning Israel might ultimately be realized.

 

 

And to bring this about will take more than 6,000,000 Jews being slain in the death camps in Europe.  It will take that which – except for the Jewish people’s repentance and God’s intervention - would seemingly bring about the very destruction of the nation itself, at the hands of a man seated on Satan’s throne.

 

 

This is why God will deliver the Jewish people into this man’s hands for three and one-half years.  Through this man’s actions, that which occurred in Europe over fifty years ago when 6,000,000 Jews were slain during a period of about seven years will pale by comparison.  This man will slay approximately twice as many Jews as the Third Reich did in less than half the time (note that the days forming his three and one-half-year reign of terror will be shortened [Matt. 24: 22]).  And, he won’t stop with Europe or the Middle East.  He will seek to do to the Jews worldwide that which God did in the past to the Amalekites and Assyrians.

 

 

It will take this type Gentile persecution to bring the Jewish people to the place seen during Moses’ Day, when they were forced to cry out to the God of their fathers; it will take this type Gentile persecution to bring the Jewish people to the place seen in Esther chapters four and five, where the Jews arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther going in (arrayed in royal apparel) before the king.

 

 

All of these things, foreshadowed by these two types, will occur in the antitype at a future date, under the reign of the future Assyrian, for a purpose.  This is what individuals don’t seem to understand about Jewish persecution at the hands of the Gentile nations - past, present, or future.  But this is so fundamental to any correct Biblical interpretation surrounding Israel that it cries out to be understood, by Christian and Jew alike (even though the Jew is spiritually dead).

 

 

But the preceding is simply not the case, in either instance.  Christians are interested in other things, even if Israel is involved in their thinking.  And the Jewish people, as well, are interested in other things.

 

 

But all of that is immaterial, for the entire matter concerning how God has decreed that His plans and purposes surrounding Israel [and the Church]* will be worked out has been set.  And matters will come to pass exactly as God has stated in His Word.

 

[* NOTE.  The author does not believe that part of the Church of Christ will pass through the Great Tribulation; the editor of his writings does!  Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10.]

 

 

(2) IT SHALL BE EVEN GIVEN THEE...

 

 

God has been working with the Jewish people through centuries and millenniums of time in order to bring them to one place, for one purpose.  That place has to do with their repentance, and that purpose has to do with regality.

 

 

The means which God will use to bring Israel to this place is seen in Esther chapter three; Israel being brought to this place is seen in chapters four and five; then, that which God will then do, along with God’s purpose for bringing Israel to this place, is seen in succeeding chapters (chs. 6-10).

 

 

When Israel has at last been brought to this place, their request for deliverance will be heard.  It was only at this point in the type that the king asked, “What is thy request”; and it was only at this point in the type that the king said, “It shall be even given thee... “  In like manner, it will only be at this point in the antitype that the King will ask, “What is thy request”; and it will only be at this point in the antitype that the King will say, “It shall be even given thee... “

 

 

Haman was put down, and Antichrist will be put down.  The house of Haman was given to a Jew, and the house of Antichrist will be given to the Jews.  Deliverance was provided for the Jewish people, and deliverance will be provided for the Jewish people.  And a Jew occupied the position which Haman had occupied, and the Jewish people will subsequently occupy the position which Antichrist will occupy.

 

 

This is what the Book of Esther is about - God, through His means, in His time, bringing His people to the place which they were called to occupy in the beginning, the place which they are seen occupying at the end of this book.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

7

Haman’s Fall from Power

 

 

Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King’s gate.

 

 

... If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him (Esther 5: 13; 6: 13b).

 

 

Haman, in Esther chapter five, is seen at the height of his power, with the Jewish people having been delivered into his hands.  Then, matters in both respects began to suddenly and swiftly change.  Through commands of the king, Haman was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; and there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about the matter.  Then Haman found himself under the sentence of death and impaled upon a gallows because of a few; and, again, there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about the matter.

 

 

Then, if that wasn’t enough, all which Haman possessed - his house, and his position in the kingdom - ultimately passed into the hands of the Jews.  And bringing matters to pass after this fashion was something completely out of his hands as well.  Though he possessed power directly under the king, he was powerless to effect any type change in the direction which matters took at this time.

 

 

What precipitated Haman’s fall, particularly the manner in which it occurred?  The answer is very simple. Haman made a fatal mistake upon his rise to power, setting in motion a particular course of events.

 

 

Haman not only raised his hand against the Jewish people but, in the process, he went to extreme measures and sought to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom.  And this not only sealed Haman’s fate at the outset, but it sealed Haman’s fate in a particular manner.

 

 

The laws of the harvest came into view for Haman at this time.  A person not only always reaps the same thing which he sows - like for like - but he also always reaps more than he sows.  As in Hosea 8: 7, if he, in like fashion to Haman, sows “the wind,” he will reap “the whirlwind” (the word translated “whirlwind” is in an intensive form in the Hebrew text, pointing to a violent, tornado-like whirlwind).

 

 

And these laws of the harvest relate not only to curses but to blessings as well – “... I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee...” (cf. Gen. 1: 11, 12, 21, 24, 25; 12: 1-3; Prov. 22: 8; Matt. 13: 8; Luke 19: 13-24; Gal. 6: 7-9).  According to Gen. 12: 3 (which has to do with the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob), in the light of the laws of the harvest. two things are in view: (1) God will abundantly bless individuals because of their positive treatment of the Jewish people, or (2) God will bitterly curse individuals because of their negative treatment of the Jewish people (cf. Matt. 25: 31-46).

 

 

Thus, Haman could not escape reaping that which he had sown in this respect; nor can anyone else, for no one can escape set laws which God has established.  Haman could not simply be removed from power, with that being the end of the matter.  Rather, his fall must show a reaping in keeping with established laws of the harvest.  He must not only reap that which he had sown but he must also reap more than he had sown, “in due season” (which points to another law of the harvest - reaping occurs at a set time, following the sowing).

 

 

In connection with a reaping of this nature, there is an irony seen in Haman’s experiences in the Book of Esther, which will be duplicated in Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype.

 

 

Haman’s fall occurred “in due season,” resulting from that which he had sown.  Haman, through anti-Semitism of the worst kind - attempted genocide - brought the Jewish people to the place where they, in turn, brought about his downfall.  Instead of destroying the Jewish people, Haman brought them to a place which, because of the identity of and God’s promises to the people whom he had sought to destroy, resulted in his own destruction.

 

 

God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, delivered the Jewish people into Haman’s hands, for a time.  And Haman, through attempted genocide, brought the Jewish people into the very place which not only resulted in their deliverance but in his destruction.

 

 

Haman brought the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout the kingdom arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther appearing before the king on behalf of her people.  Then, with the king acting on behalf of the Jewish people, things began to change.  And this change was both sudden and rapid.

 

 

In the antitype, God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, will deliver them into Antichrist’s hands, for a time (for three and one-half years).  And Antichrist, through attempted genocide, will bring the Jewish people into the very position which will not only result in their deliverance but in his destruction.

 

 

Antichrist will bring the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout his worldwide kingdom will have no choice other than to repent and turn from their disobedience (foreshadowed by the Jewish people in the type arraying themselves in sackcloth and ashes [cf. Jonah 3: 5-10]); and the Jewish people in that day will call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance (foreshadowed by Esther appearing before the king and subsequently petitioning the king on behalf of her people).

 

 

When these things occur, the King will not only hear and remember but will also act on behalf of the Jewish people.  And changes will then begin to occur, in a sudden and rapid manner.

 

 

Haman fell under God’s judgment at the very beginning, at the time he raised his hand against the Jewish people, with the magnitude of that judgment being determined by the laws of the harvest.  And, through his anti-Semitic policies and practices, Haman, in the end - completely contrary to that which he had set out to accomplish - brought about deliverance for the Jews and destruction for himself.

 

 

And in a parallel, previous type in the Book of Exodus - the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, under an Assyrian ruler - exactly the same thing can be seen as set forth in the Book of Esther.  The Books of Exodus and Esther simply present two word pictures of the same thing from two different perspectives.  And, in this respect, one will shed light upon and form commentary material for the other.

 

 

Note how matters are presented in the Book of Exodus when the Israelites were brought into such dire straits that they had no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers.  And the irony of the matter was the same as seen in Esther ‑ the one persecuting the Israelites would ultimately be responsible for both their deliverance and his own destruction:

 

 

... they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

 

 

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

 

 

And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

 

 

And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

 

 

And I am come down to deliver them...” (Ex. 2: 23b-25; 3: 7, 8a).

 

 

God, as seen in the type in the Book of Exodus, in the immediate future under Antichrist, will once again bring the Israelites into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers. And, when this occurs, the Jewish people have the promise that God will hear, remember, and act - as in the types, or as in God’s promises such as those in Lev. 26: 40-42 and 2 Chron. 7: 14.

 

 

Antichrist, as the Assyrian during Moses’ day, or as Haman during Esther’s day, will bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to do that seen in the types - calling upon the God of their fathers, an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, and a petitioning of the king on the behalf of the Jewish people (all foreshadowing different facets of that seen in Lev. 26: 40; 2 Chron. 7: 14; Isa. 1: 16-19).  And, exactly as in the types, God will then hear, remember, and act (as promised in Lev. 26: 42; 2 Chron. 7: 14; Isa. 1: 25ff).

 

 

In one type, the Israelites were delivered, and the power of Egypt was destroyed.  In the other type, the Israelites were delivered, and Haman, along with his ten sons, were slain.

 

 

And so will it be in the antitype.  The Jewish people will be delivered, and Gentile world power, as it has existed for the past 2,600 years, will be destroyed through the overthrow of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom federation.

 

 

Christ, personally, will appear and overthrow Antichrist and those ruling with him.  The “Stone” (Christ) will smite the “image upon  his feet” (feet having ten toes, pointing to Antichrist’s ten-kingdom federation, the final form of Gentile world power); and through this revealed means, the whole of Gentile world power, headed up under Antichrist in that coming day, will be destroyed.

 

 

And Gentile world power, once destroyed, will “become like the chaff of the summer threshing floors,” which the wind will carry away.  Gentile world power, in that day, will pass out of existence; and the Stone which smote the image at its feet will become “a great mountain [kingdom]” and fill “the whole earth” (Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45).

 

 

In this respect, as in the case of the Assyrian in Egypt during Moses’ day, or as in the case of Haman in the Medo-Persian kingdom during Esther’s day, so will it be in that future day when the last Assyrian, the latter-day Haman, arises in the world.  God, through delivering the Jewish people into this man’s hands, for a time, will use this man to bring His plans and purposes to pass.  Then, as in all past anti-Semitism, God will judge this man in exact accord with that which He has set forth in His Word (cf. Gen. 12: 1-3).

 

 

HAMAN’S END

 

 

When things began to rapidly go awry for Haman, he was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew.  And this was not humiliation at the hands of just any Jew.  Rather, this was humiliation at the hands of the Jew who sat in the king’s gate, who had refused to bow and worship Haman.  This was the Jew toward whom Haman had first vented his wrath, resulting in his ultimate fall and the Jewish people’s deliverance.

 

 

God used this particular Jew to first humiliate Haman as his rapid fall from power began to occur.  The “due season” for reaping was at hand, and there must not only be a reaping but it must be in complete keeping with God’s set laws surrounding the harvest.  Haman had sown “the wind,” and now he must reap the [violent]  whirlwind.”

 

 

Esther chapter three records Haman’s rise to power and his exhibited hatred for the Jewish people, carried to the point of attempted genocide.  Chapters four and five record the action which the Jewish people took, because of that which Haman had done.  They arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and Esther appeared before the king on the Jewish people’s behalf.  Then, in chapter six, suddenly matters began to change rapidly.

 

 

Haman, in chapter six, is seen appearing at the king’s house early in the day in order “to speak unto the kingabout impaling Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him” the previous day (v. 4).  And he stood in the outer court at this time, making his presence known, awaiting a summons to appear in the king’s presence in order to make known his request.

 

 

But the king hadn’t been able to sleep during the preceding night; and, to pass the time and keep up with events in the kingdom that he ruled, he had “the book of the records of the chronicles” brought into his chambers.  Reading through these records, he ran across events surrounding Mordecai and that which he had done following Esther becoming queen (vv. 1, 2).  Mordecai had previously warned the king (through Esther) concerning a plot against him, recorded at the end of Esther chapter two (vv. 21-23).

 

 

The king made inquiry concerning that which had been done to reward Mordecai concerning this deed.  And he was told that nothing had been done.  The king immediately realized that the matter had not been handled properly at all, and he needed someone to rectify the existing situation.

 

 

Looking for such a person to carry out his wishes along these lines, he asked, “Who is in the court?”  And he was told, “Behold, Haman standeth in the court.”  Then, with Mordecai uppermost in both Haman’s thoughts and the king’s thoughts - though for entirely different reasons - the king said, “Let him come in” (vv. 3-5).

 

 

After Haman had entered into the king’s presence, the king, before Haman could make know his request, asked Haman a question.  The king asked, “What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?” And Haman, not knowing anything about that which had preceded, thought the king had him in mind.  Haman, self-centered in the whole matter of things occurring in the kingdom, thought in his heart, “To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself (v. 6)?

 

 

Haman had no idea that a Power far higher and mightier than existed in the kingdom - the source of all power - had begun a work which would reverse everything.  It would lead first to Haman’s humiliation and death, and then it would culminate in the exaltation of the Jewish people.

 

 

The king hadn’t been able to sleep during the previous night.  The king, during this time, asked for “the book of the records of the chronicles.”  Then he found a particular place in the book where Mordecai’s deed was recorded.  Why did this sequence of events occur at this particular time?  The reason is evident.

 

 

God, in His sovereign control of all events and circumstances, brought these things to pass. “... he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psa. 121: 4).  Nor would He allow the king to sleep, in order that the king might read and be made aware of that which Mordecai had previously done on the king’s behalf.

 

 

And the king wouldn’t be allowed to sleep for another reason, seen in the type-antitype structure of the book. The king typified the One Who neither slumbers nor sleeps, with Israel in view in both the type and the antitype.  And because of that seen in chapters three through five, God was about to act on behalf of the Jewish people, seen through the actions of the king.

 

 

In this respect, the “due season” for Haman to reap that which he had sown was at hand.  And Haman, reaping that which he had sown, began his sudden and rapid fall early in the day, immediately following a night in which both the king couldn’t sleep and Mordecai’s act had been brought to his attention.  Then, all in the same day, Haman was humiliated at the hands of a Jew and subsequently slain because of a Jew.

 

 

(1) HAMAN HUMILIATED

 

 

Haman, believing that the king was talking about him when asking what should be done for the man whom the king delighted to honour, answered with the same self-centered mind-set seen in Satan’s previous actions when he had sought to exalt his throne (Isa. 14: 13, 14).  Haman, with himself in mind, said that the person should be arrayed in royal apparel, with a crown placed upon his head.  Then he should be allowed to sit on the king’s own horse, with a noble prince leading the horse through the street of the city, proclaiming before the one seated on the horse, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour” (vv. 6-9).

 

 

Then, with the king’s next words, the bottom dropped out of Haman’s world.  The king said to Haman,

 

 

Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do so even to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken” (v. 10).

 

 

Haman had appeared in the king’s presence to speak with him about impaling Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him only hours before.  However, because of the previous intervention of the One Who never slumbers nor sleeps - typified by the king, being unable to sleep - the king was the first to raise an issue surrounding Mordecai (note God’s providential control of all things, typified by the king’s control of all things).  Haman now had no choice other than to do as the king had commanded; and, being forced to follow the king’s command, Haman began his trip down a path of utter humiliation and no return - first, at the hands of Mordecai, and then because of Esther.

 

 

Haman, prior to his subsequently being removed from power via death, was forced to array Mordecai in royal apparel, see to it that he was seated on the king’s own horse, lead the horse through the street of the city, and proclaim before Mordecai, seated on the horse, that this was the one whom the king delighted to honour.

 

 

Haman was forced to do this for the one whom the king knew was seated at his gate, the very one about to replace him in the kingdom, the one whom he had sought to impale on a gallows which he had built for that purpose.

 

 

After Haman had done as the king commanded, two things are seen in the text:

 

 

And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate.  But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered” (v. 12).

 

 

Mordecai’s position at the king’s gate portends regal power in the kingdom, which he was about to possess (ref. Chapter 3); and this was portended in another respect by his being arrayed in royal apparel and being led through the street of the city on the king’s horse.  Haman, before he was slain, was forced, by the king’s command, to openly demonstrate Mordecai’s connection with regality (the very power which he himself possessed) through carrying out that which he himself said should be done to the man whom the king delighted to honour.

 

 

Haman, through being forced to carry this out, suffered a degrading humiliation, which could only have been vastly different than anything he had ever come close to experiencing prior to this time.  And this happened in the life of a man at the height of his power, ruling directly under the king.

 

 

Then, when Haman appeared at his home, mourning, with his head covered (humiliated in his own house), his wife and his wise men perhaps summed up and stated the whole of that which was occurring best:

 

 

If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him” (v. 13b).

 

 

Haman, because of that which he had done to the Jews, was on the way down.  He was in the process of reaping that which he had sown.  And his reaping would not only be in exact keeping with that which he had sown and how he had sown, but it would occur, as well, in a rapid and concluding manner.

 

 

(2) HAMAN SLAIN

 

 

The next step in Haman’s fall is seen in chapter seven.  Esther, through a sequence of events surrounding a royal banquet, brought about circumstances resulting in Haman’s death immediately after he had been humiliated at the hands of Mordecai.  He was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; now, later that same day, he was to be slain because of a Jew.

 

 

It was while Haman spoke with those in his home concerning events which had occurred earlier in the day that the king’s servants appeared in order to hurriedly escort him to a banquet which Esther had prepared (6: 14). Because of that which Haman had done, necessitating his reaping the violent whirlwind, God wasted no time moving him from the place of utter humiliation to the place of death.

 

 

Haman, hurriedly escorted to the banquet, had another surprise awaiting him; and this again came at the hands of a Jew.  This time though he wouldn’t be returning to his home with his head covered, to mourn.  This time his lifeless form would be carried back to his house and impaled upon the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

 

 

(The gallows was located “in the house of Haman” [7: 9]. The term “house” is an all-inclusive term, indicating all which Haman possessed.  The gallows was located somewhere on his property.

 

 

Also, the normal use of a gallows in that day was not as an instrument of death itself but as a place where those already slain were to be impaled, as an open display of guilt, humiliation, etc. [e.g., Esther 9: 10, 13, 14]. Haman was apparently slain before being impaled on the gallows.  And being impaled upon the gallows, especially this particular gallows, would simply be a continuation of the humiliation which Haman had previously experienced - humiliated in both life and in death, demonstrating publicly his guilt and shame.)

 

 

The record of Haman’s death begins later on the same day that Haman had led Mordecai through the street of the city, the day following his building the gallows for Mordecai.  Haman was with the king at the second part of Esther’s banquet of wine.  And it was here that Esther made known her petition to the king, which had its origin in her appearance before the king in chapter five.

 

 

The king had previously promised Esther that her request would be granted, even to the half of his kingdom (5: 3).  And Esther had told the king that her request would be made known at a banquet of wine which she would prepare for the king and for Haman.  The first day, the king repeated his promise (5: 6); but Esther delayed her request until the second day of the banquet (5: 7, 8), which is where chapter seven begins.

 

 

Then, at the beginning of the banquet on the second day, the king again asked Esther about her request.  And he once again promised that her request would be granted, even “to the half of the kingdom” (7: 2).

 

 

And Esther then made known her request:

 

 

If I have found favour in thy sight, 0 king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

 

 

For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish...” (vv. 3b, 4a).

 

 

The king, apparently startled, then asked Esther:

 

 

Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so” (v. 5b)?

 

 

And Esther answer,

 

 

The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman” (v. 6a).

 

 

The statement is short, simple, and concise; but it was all Esther needed to say.  The one who had come “to the kingdom for such a time as this,” the queen herself, had spoken.  And though God could have effected deliverance for the Jews through another means, had He chosen to do so, He chose to do it this way (4: 14). Now Esther’s part was done; and the remainder was left to the king.

 

 

Haman, hearing this, was “afraid.”  But seeing the king’s reaction, he could only have become terrified.  The king arose from his place at the banquet and, exhibiting wrath, walked out into the garden.  And such an act by an Eastern king in that day could only mean one thing for the person responsible for his wrath - judgment without mercy.

 

 

Haman knew this, and he knew that he had only one recourse - to turn to the queen herself, one now revealed to be among those whom he had sought to destroy.  Haman fell down upon the couch where Esther was reclining at the banquet, to plead for his life.  But when the king walked back in and saw this, matters only became worse.  The king apparently interpreted this as an act of violence committed against the queen herself (vv. 7, 8).

 

 

The king asked, Will he even assault the queen with me in the house?”  And as the words went out of the king’s mouth, “they covered Haman’s face” - an act which portended impending execution (v. 8b, NASB).

 

 

Then the king’s attention was called to the gallows which stood in Haman’s house, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king.”  And the king said, “Hang [‘impale’] him thereon!” (v. 9).

 

 

So they hanged [‘impaled’] Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  Then was the king’s wrath pacified” (v. 10).

 

 

This was the manner in which God saw fit to bring matters surrounding Haman to an end.  Haman was at the height of his power one day, and he ended that day by building a gallows on which to impale Mordecai.  Then, the very next day, he was humiliated beyond degree and subsequently slain, at the hands of and because of the very ones that he had sought to slay.  And that day ended with a continued humiliation by his being impaled on the very gallows which he had built for Mordecai.

 

 

And if that wasn’t enough, Haman’s ten sons (in whom he took great pride [5: 11]) were later slain and impaled on the same gallows.  And if that wasn’t enough, the book ends with Mordecai (whom Haman hated above all others in the kingdom) occupying all which Haman had possessed - his house, and his position in the kingdom.

 

 

Such is the manner in which God carries out that which He has promised and decreed.  And as it occurred in the type, so will it occur in the antitype, which takes us to the fall of Antichrist and the elevation of the Jewish people yet future.

 

 

ANTICHRIST’S END

 

 

If one first views that which God has revealed about Haman’s end in the Book of Esther, little really needs to be said about Antichrist’s end, for, in reality, it has already been said.  The whole of the matter has been set forth in Haman’s experiences in the type, which foreshadow Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype.  And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

 

 

Thus, viewing that which happened to Haman in the type, one has already seen that which is about to happen to Antichrist in the antitype.  And the same holds true concerning the experiences of Mordecai and Esther in the book.  Seeing that which happened to Mordecai and Esther, one has already seen that which is about to happen to the nation of Israel.  It’s all recorded back in the oft-neglected Book of Esther.

 

 

Antichrist’s end is seen numerous places in Scripture.  He is seen destroyed in the Sea in Exodus (14: 23-28); he is seen slain and impaled on a gallows in Esther (7: 10); he is seen coming to a violent end in Daniel (2: 34, 35, 44, 45; 8: 23-25; 11: 36-45); and he is seen destroyed by Christ at His coming in the New Testament (e.g., 2 Thess. 2: 8; Rev. 19: 11ff).

 

 

Then, exactly as the Jews were delivered in Exodus, Esther, and Daniel, with regality in view (Ex. 14: 30, 31; 19: 5, 6; Esther 8: 1-7; 10: 2, 3; Dan. 12: 1ff), so will it be yet future (Isa. 1: 25-2: 5; Ezek. 37: 21-28; 39: 25-29). Matters can end no other way for either the persecutor or the persecuted, for the type has been set; and, again, the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

 

 

One section of Scripture will perhaps suffice to illustrate the end of Antichrist, apart from the types - Isaiah chapter fourteen.

 

 

Note that this chapter deals with the king of Babylon, the Assyrian (vv. 4, 25).  And between these two descriptions of this man lie verses often attributed to Satan alone (vv. 12-17).  However, Scripture sometimes uses verses of this nature in a dual sense, referring to more than one person (e.g., Isa. 40: 3 [of both John the Baptist and Elijah] or Hosea 11: 1 [of both Christ and Israel]).  And, from a contextual standpoint and that which is stated, this can only be the case in Isa. 14: 12-17.  These verses can only be a reference to both Satan and Antichrist - two inseparably related individuals insofar as their goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations are concerned.

 

 

The things stated in Isa. 14: 12-17 really couldn’t be said of any earthly king of Babylon unless Satan were ultimately in view.  And, for obvious reasons, it could really be said only of the last king of Babylon.  Though Babylon has been Satan’s earthly capital since time immemorial, and he has ruled through all of the earthly kings of Babylon in history, no earthly king of Babylon has ever occupied the type alliance with Satan which Antichrist will occupy ‑ seated on Satan’s throne, exercising Satan’s power and authority.

 

 

In this respect, in verses which have Satan ultimately in view, the entire career of the last king of Babylon, the latter-day Assyrian, is outlined in Isa. 14: 13-17 - from his seeking to exalt himself as God (vv. 13, 14), to his utter humiliation and death (vv. 15-17).  As it happened to Haman in the type, so will it happen to this man in the antitype, for the same reasons.

 

 

For thou hast said in thine heart ... I will be like the most High.

 

 

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [Heb., sheol, the place of the dead; cf. v. 9], to the sides of the pit.

 

 

They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms:

 

 

That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”

 

 

Thus will this man come to his end - as Haman - with no one to help, for no one will be able to help (cf. Dan. 11: 45).

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

8

Haman’s House Given to Esther

 

 

Then the king said, Hang [impale] him thereon!

 

 

So they hanged [impaled] Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  Then was the king’s wrath pacified.

 

 

On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen.  And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.

 

 

And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai.  And Esther sat Mordecai over the house of Haman ...

 

 

Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged [impaled] upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews (Esther 7: 9b, 10; 8: 1, 2, 7).

 

 

The Old Testament can be divided into three major sections - Genesis through Esther (historic), Job through the Song of Solomon (personal and experiential), and Isaiah through Malachi (prophetic).  And the Book of Esther coming at the end of the first of these three major sections would be the proper place for this book in the Canon of Scripture.

 

 

Insofar as the historical nature (and much of the typical nature) of that seen throughout the first part of these three major sections is concerned, Esther - having to do with Israel - outlines, in a typical fashion, that seen throughout the whole of this first section of Scripture (Gen. 11b ff).  Thus, in this respect, the Book of Esther simply presents a brief summary of all which has preceded surrounding Israel, with the emphasis placed in the same realm seen in the preceding Scriptures which the book outlines - on the latter days, leading into the Messianic Era.

 

 

This first major section of Scripture (Genesis through Esther) is often thought of only in the sense of providing Biblical history, along with spiritual lessons drawn from Biblical history.  However, viewing this section of Scripture from this perspective alone only presents part of the picture.  This section, through mainly its type-antitype structure, is highly prophetic in nature.  In fact, from a typical perspective, this first section is just as prophetic in nature as the third section - from Isaiah through Malachi, containing the major and minor prophets (major and minor in the sense of length, not importance).

 

 

Also, though this first section centers around Israel and the nations from a historical perspective, typology throughout this section is another matter.  The typical structure of this section of Scripture, a section covering about one-half of the entire Old Testament, is somewhat divided between God and Israel and Christ and the Church.

 

 

For example, viewing two parts of Genesis (chs. 2-4 and 23-25), chs. 2, 3 have to do with Christ and the Church, and ch. 4 has to do with God and Israel; then ch. 23 has to do with God and Israel, ch. 24 has to do with Christ and the Church, and ch. 25 has to do with God and Israel once again.

 

 

Both aspects of these typical teachings can be seen in the lives of Joseph in the latter part of Genesis (chs. 37-45) and Moses in the first part of Exodus (chs. 2-4).  Both Joseph and Moses took Gentile brides during a time after they had been rejected by and separated from their brethren (having to do with Christ and the Church, following Christ’s rejection by and separation from Israel, His brethren according to the flesh); but the time came when both Joseph and Moses dealt with their brethren again (having to do with God and Israel, with that time when God resumes His national dealings with Israel).

 

 

(Much of the preceding is developed more fully in the author’s books, HAD YE BELIEVED MOSES, THE BRIDE IN GENESIS, and SEARCH FOR THE BRIDE.)

 

 

Then, whole books deal with matters in this typical manner.  Most of the Book of Exodus deals with God and Israel in this respect, and the Books of 1, 2 Samuel deal with Christ and the Church in this same respect.  Then, the same thing can be seen in the Books of Ruth and Esther.  The Book of Ruth deals with Christ and the Church, while the Book of Esther deals with God and Israel.

 

 

And, viewing‑Matters from a different perspective yet, note that the journey of the Israelites under Moses and Joshua typifies the journey of Christians under Christ today.  An earthly land lay before one in the type, and a heavenly land lies before the other in the antitype.

 

 

This type-antitype structure is that which is referenced through the use of the word typos (type) in the Greek text of 1 Cor. 10: 6, 11; this is the basis upon which particularly the second, third, and fourth of the five major warnings in Hebrews are to be understood (Heb. 3-10); and this forms the basis of a proper understanding of the entire pilgrim walk of the Christian today (a journey from Egypt [a type of the world] to Canaan [a type of the heavenly land, connected with an INHERITANCE [which can be lost! (Gal. 5: 21; Eph. 5: 5)] and a REST - [i.e.,  aSabbath-rest,” which we should “fear” lest we “come short of it:” (Heb. 4: 1, 9, 11)]- awaiting Christians].)

 

 

Thus, saying that this first major section of Scripture is historic in nature, apart from being prophetic, would be far from correct.  Within its typical structure, this section of Scripture is highly prophetic - as prophetic as any section of subsequent Scripture.  And not only are numerous prophecies seen in the types extending from Genesis through Esther but also in places such as Balaam’s prophecies (Num. 22-24), or that seen in God’s promises and warnings to Israel in Lev. 26 and Deut. 28 as well.

 

 

This section of Scripture provides a detailed history of Israel, relating the reason why the nation was called into existence, what was expected of this nation, and the reason why the Jewish people ultimately found themselves uprooted from their land and scattered among the Gentile nations.  Then, viewing the typical aspect of this section of Scripture, events move beyond history into prophecy, showing the end of the matter - the same thing seen in the Psalms and the Prophets.

 

 

This is the way in which God designed and structured this opening section of His Word.  And if man would properly understand God’s revealed Word, he must recognize this fact and study this Word after the same fashion in which it has been given.

 

 

This opening section of Scripture, from Genesis through Esther, forms the backdrop for not only the second major section (a section covering five books, from Job through the Song of Solomon) but the third major section as well (all of the prophetic books, extending from Isaiah through Malachi).  That would be to say, Genesis through Esther forms the backdrop for the remainder of the Old Testament.  And if man does not understand (or if he ignores) that placed at the beginning, it will be impossible for him to ever come into a proper understanding of later revelation (including, of course, the New Testament as well), for the latter is inseparably tied to and built upon the former in this respect.

 

 

God’s revelation to man is progressive in the sense that it has been designed so that a proper understanding of later revelation rests on a proper understanding of former revelation.  One part progresses into the other, and Scripture must be compared with Scripture - later revelation with later revelation (1 Cor. 2: 9-13; cf. Isa. 28: 10)

 

 

For example, in the second section, there are numerous Psalms covering not only Israel’s present condition (scattered among the Gentile nations) but also that which lies in the future for Israel (the end of Gentile world power. with Israel restored to her land and elevated to her proper place among the nations [e.g., chs. 2, 8, 22-24, 37, 45-47, 76, 83, 89, 97, 102, 110, 121, 126, 137, 145]).  And these Psalms cannot be properly understood apart from the backdrop provided by the first section of Scripture.

 

 

The fact that numerous Psalms cannot be properly understood apart from this first section should be easy enough to understand, for this first section of Scripture reveals the history of Israel, revealing why God allowed the Gentile nations to come into the land and uproot His people.  Then, beyond that, the typical aspect of the first section enters into the matter, projecting events out into the future, as seen in the Psalms.

 

 

And all of the prophets present exactly the same central theme.  It is that seen throughout the preceding Psalms, or the preceding historical books, viewing the latter from both historical and typical vantage points.

 

 

Each of the prophetic books (seventeen in all, as there are seventeen historic books) deals with different facets of God’s punishment upon Israel for the nation’s disobedience, followed by the Jewish people’s repentance, followed by the destruction of Gentile world power, followed by God restoring Israel.  These things comprise the overriding theme of all Old Testament prophecy as it pertains to Israel, whether in the historic books, the Psalms, or the Prophets.

 

 

Each of the prophetic books, beginning with Isaiah, covers, after some fashion, this panorama of Israeli history - events extending from the time of the nation’s inception almost three and one-half millenniums ago to the Messianic Kingdom yet future.  But no two of these seventeen books cover exactly the same thing, after exactly the same fashion.  Each book centers around a particular and peculiar facet of study within this panorama of events.

 

 

In this respect, studying these prophetic books is much like studying types.  As no one type provides the complete picture in and of itself, no one Old Testament prophetic book provides the complete picture in and of itself as well.

 

 

Over and over in the Old Testament - beginning in Genesis - the end of Gen tile world power comes into view. There is an emphasis placed in this realm, for Gentile world power must be brought to an end before Israel can occupy the nation’s proper place within a restored theocracy.  This is why one finds the power of Egypt destroyed in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus under Moses (Ex. 14: 27-31); this is why one finds Haman slain in Esther prior to the Jewish people receiving their proper and due recognition (7: 9, 10; 8: 15-17; 10: 1-3); and this is why numerous Psalms and Prophets deal with this subject prior to Israel being restored (e.g., Psa. 2: 1-5; Isa. 24: 21; Jer. 4: 26-28; Ezek. 39: 21, 22; Dan. 11: 36-45; Joel 3: 12-16).

 

 

Gentile world power is going to come to an end.  And its end will be as depicted in Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45, among numerous other places in the Old Testament.  Christ will return and personally destroy Gentile world power in its final form, headed up under Antichrist in that coming day.  And once Gentile world power has been destroyed in this manner, Scripture pictures it as “chaff” thrown into the wind from a threshing floor, being carried away by that wind.

 

 

A threshing floor” is used in Scripture to depict judgment.  This is true of God’s judgment upon Christians at the end of this dispensation (cf. Ruth 3: 2ff; Matt. 3: 11, 12), and it is equally true of God’s judgment upon the Gentile nations at the end of the Tribulation.

 

 

If one understands these things about Gentile world power, the latter part of the Book of Esther will fall naturally into place.  It is simply the story of God bringing Israel to the place of repentance, bringing Gentile world power to an end, and elevating the Jewish people to their rightful place - the place which they were to occupy when called out of Egypt under Moses almost 3,500 years ago.

 

 

And to deny that this sequence of events will occur at the end of Man’s Day is to deny the central theme of all Old Testament Scripture, as it pertains to Israel and the nations.  Much of Old Testament Scripture surrounding Israel and the nations awaits fulfilment.  And, in this respect, when God steps in and begins to fulfil these prophecies, multiplied thousands of prophecies seen throughout the pages of Old Testament Scripture will be fulfilled in a very short period of time.

 

 

God, through the writers of the Old Testament, has provided a voluminous amount of information on this subject; and there is no reason for anyone today to be uniformed or ignorant concerning that which God is about to do.  It has all been laid out in the Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with Moses and ending with the Prophets.

 

 

THE HOUSE OF HAMAN

 

 

A reference to one’s house, such as “the house of Haman,” is often used in Scripture in a different manner than we would normally think of the expression in the West today.  The thought from Scripture, in its broadest usage, can have to do with all which appertains to that person - all his property, all his possessions, and all the people associated with him.

 

 

Or, note in Heb. 3: 5, 6, the house of Moses and the house of Christ.  One has to do with Israelites, who possessed an earthly calling under Moses during the past dispensation; and the other has to do with Christians, who possess a heavenly calling under Christ during the present dispensation.

 

 

Then, the entire nation of Israel is referred to as “the house of Israel” in a similar respect (Matt. 10: 6; 13: 1; 15: 24; 23: 38).  The thought has to do with all which appertains to Israel in a national sense - a peculiar people with property, possessions, and promises.

 

 

Or the thought of “a house” could be used in a different sense yet, with the context always being the determining factor.  The house of David” in 2 Sam 7: 16, for example, had to do with David’s lineage in a regal respect (with the kingly tribe of Judah in view), culminating in the Messiah.

 

 

David had sought to build the Lord a house, but the Lord said that He would make a house out of David instead.  God, referring to David’s lineage, stated that He would establish David’s house - i.e., raise up his seed after him (v. 12).  And, in this manner, the throne of David - having to do with not only David but with Messiah, Israel, and the kingdom - would be established “forever” (cf. Ezek. 37: 24-28; Joel 2: 27; Luke 1: 31-33).

 

 

The reference to the “house of Haman” in the Book of Esther must be understood in a contextual respect as well.  This is a reference to all which appertained to Haman - property, possessions, and people.  And the king giving the house of Haman to Esther following Haman’s death was simply his giving to Esther all which had appertained to Haman (8: 1).

 

 

Then, after the king had given the house of Haman to Esther, he removed his ring from his finger.  This was the ring which he had previously both given to and taken from Haman; and he now gave it to Mordecai.  All this was then followed by Esther placing Mordecai over the house of Haman (3: 10; 8: 2).

 

 

Mordecai, at this time, came into possession of all which Haman had previously possessed.  The king’s ring (giving him power in the kingdom [3: 12; 8: 8]) and Haman’s house (property, possessions, and people in the kingdom) now belonged to Mordecai.  He now held the exact position which Haman had previously held - a regal position directly under the king, with the delegated authority to exercise power throughout the kingdom, emanating from the king (cf. 8: 15-17; 10: 1-3).

 

 

And moving this into the antitype, one finds exactly the same thing concerning the house of Antichrist and the Jewish people.  All which will appertain unto Antichrist in that day will come into possession of the Jewish people following his being put down, exactly as in the type.  The Jewish people, rather than Antichrist, will possess the King’s ring; and they, coming into possession of Antichrist’s house, will then rule the house.

 

 

This is when and how the Times of the Gentiles will end.  Twenty-six hundred years of Gentile rule will come to a sudden and climactic end.  The sceptre will pass from the hands of the Gentiles into the hands of the Jews.  The house which the Gentiles had ruled for millenniums will be placed under Israeli control; and the Jewish people, as God’s firstborn son, exercising the rights of primogeniture (cf. Ex. 4: 22, 23), will then rule the house.

 

 

(1) THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

 

 

The times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21: 24) should never have occurred.  That is to say, Israel should have remained obedient, preventing the Times of the Gentiles from ever occurring.  The Old Testament theocracy should have continued to exist in an uninterrupted manner, with Israel continuing to hold the sceptre and ultimately coming into a full realization of the nation’s calling.

 

 

But, because of Jewish disobedience, God allowed that which has occurred for the past 2,600 years.  And, as it began for a revealed purpose, that purpose will one day be realized, bringing an end to this period of time. That is to say, the Times of the Gentiles is about to be brought to an end, for God’s purpose for allowing this time to occur is about to be realized.

 

 

This period known as the Times of the Gentiles began about 605 B.C.  The stage was set over one hundred years earlier when God allowed the Assyrians to come down and take the northern ten tribes into captivity in 722 B.C.  Assyria was the Gentile world power of that day; and, over one hundred years later, in 612 B.C., the Babylonians, Medes, and Scythians conquered this empire, completely destroying its capital city, Nineveh. Following this, the Babylonian kingdom is seen rising into prominence - as a phoenix, rising out of the ashes of the previously destroyed Assyrian kingdom - becoming the succeeding Gentile world power of that day.

 

 

Nebuchadnezzar succeeded his father, Nebopolassar, in 605 B.C.  And he not only brought about the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles by completing the captivity of the Jewish people (a captivity which began shortly after he came to power), but he also subsequently brought the kingdom of Babylon to the height of its beginning glory among the Gentile nations (Dan. l: 1ff, 4: 30).

 

 

Thus, it was near the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon that the sceptre passed from the hands of Israel into the hands of the Gentiles.  This couldn’t have occurred in 722 with the Assyrian invasion of the land, for the southern two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) still remained in the land; and, along with these two tribes remaining in the land, the theocracy (which had been established over eight hundred years earlier, during Moses’ day) continued without change.  The Times of the Gentiles could begin only when God allowed the Gentiles to remove the southern two tribes from their land, bringing an end to the theocracy.

 

 

The Book of Daniel deals with the Times of the Gentiles within the scope of that seen in the four parts of Daniel’s image (ch. 2), or the four wild beasts (ch. 7).  This period began with a king in Babylon, who came against the Jewish people in Jerusalem; and it will end with a king in Babylon, who will come against the Jewish people in Jerusalem once again, and for the last time.

 

 

It all revolves around the Gentiles and Babylon on the one hand and the Jews and Jerusalem on the other.  The first king of Babylon, through activity surrounding the Jewish people and Jerusalem, brought about the beginning to the Times of the Gentiles; and the last king of Babylon, through activity surrounding the Jewish people and Jerusalem, will bring about an end to the Times of the Gentiles.

 

 

And during the interim, Jerusalem being or not being under Jewish control, or the Temple Mount being or not being under Jewish control has nothing whatsoever to do with the matter.  That which occurred at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, for example - the old city of Jerusalem, along with the Temple Mount, coming under Jewish control - had nothing whatsoever to do with ending the Times of the Gentiles, as many have erroneously sought to teach.

 

 

The Times of the Gentiles exists for a purpose.  This period exists because of Jewish disobedience, and it will not pass out of existence until the reason for God’s purpose surrounding this period of time has been realized. It will not be brought to an end until Israel has been brought to the place of repentance.

 

 

The beginning and end of the Times of the Gentiles are inseparably tied to Israel’s past disobedience and Israel’s future repentance.  Apart from Israel’s past disobedience, the Times of the Gentiles wouldn’t have begun; and apart from the Israel’s future repentance, the Times of the Gentiles couldn’t be brought to a close. Understanding the Times of the Gentiles, in one respect, is that simple.

 

 

(2) THE FINAL YEARS

 

 

What then is about to happen?  The answer can be found in Scripture alone, and it can be found innumerable places in Scripture.  God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles is about to be realized.  Israel is about to be brought to the place of repentance.  That’s what is about to happen!

 

 

Israel, because of the nation’s disobedience, was delivered into the hands of the first king of Babylon; and this act, bringing an end to the Old Testament theocracy, began the Times of the Gentiles.  Now, some 2,600 years later - in order to bring about a climax to that which has been happening throughout this 2,600-year period, in order to put an end to Israel’s disobedience through bringing about Israel’s repentance - this same nation is about to be delivered into the hands of the last king of Babylon; and through that resulting from this climactic act, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to an end, allowing the theocracy to be restored to Israel.

 

 

And central events which will occur during this time have been pre-recorded for all to see.  Specific reference is made in Scripture to Jerusalem being destroyed and trodden under foot for the final three and one-half years of the Times of the Gentiles - the period during which Antichrist will rule the world.  Jerusalem will be destroyed and trodden under foot by the last king of Babylon during this time, with the Jews who do not escape to a specially prepared place in the mountainous terrain of the land of Israel either being killed or sold as slaves throughout the Gentile world (cf. Dan. 9: 26; Matt. 24: 15-22; Luke 21: 20-24; Rev. 11: 1, 2).

 

 

The nation of Israel, as it is known in the Middle East today, will cease to exist under this man’s reign.  This man, in the middle of the Tribulation period, will destroy this nation.  Then he will seek to do, worldwide, that which Hitler failed to do in Europe over half a century ago.  Hitler sought to bring about a Jew-free Europe, but he failed; this man will seek to bring about a Jew-free earth, but he will likewise fail (cf. Jer. 31: 35-37).

 

 

But, through this man’s actions, God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles - which really has to do more with Israel than with the Gentiles - will ultimately be realized.  And this will allow God to bring this period to a close.

 

 

The Jewish people will be brought into such dire straits through the actions of Antichrist that they will have no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers.  They will be brought to the place of repentance; and, once this occurs, there will no longer be a need for the Times of the Gentiles.  It will be then, when Israel repents, that the things typified in Esther chapters six through ten will occur.  It will be then, when Gentile world power has served its Divine purpose, that the Stone will smite the image at its feet (Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45), becoming a great mountain (pointing to a kingdom, the [millennial] kingdom of Christ) and filling the whole earth.

 

 

THE SCEPTRE

 

 

The earth’s sceptre is about to change hands.  Satan, who, with his angels, rules the earth through the Gentile nations, is about to be put down (cf. Ezek. 28: 14; Dan. 10: 13-20; Luke 4: 6; Eph. 6: 12); and Christ, with His co-heirs, will then take the kingdom (cf. Rom. 8: 17-20; Heb. 1: 9; 3:14 - 4: 11; Rev. 19: 7-21).

 

 

The Gentile nations, during the present day, rule the earth under Satan in this manner.  They, under Satan and his angels, hold the sceptre.  Israel has never been nor will ever be placed in this position (i.e., exercise power under Satan, as the Gentile nations do).  The heavenly prince in the angelic world over Israel during Man’s Day is Michael, who has no part in Satan’s kingdom (Dan. 10: 21; cf. Num. 23: 9; Deut. 7: 6).

 

 

But the Times of the Gentiles is about to end, Gentiles are about to relinquish the sceptre, and the nation of Israel is about to take the sceptre (though not under Satan but under Christ, during the Lord’s Day; and Satan will be bound, in the abyss during this time [Rev. 20: 1-3; cf. Joel 2: 27; Luke 1: 31-33]).  Then matters will be completely reversed, for the Gentile nations will be subservient to and be ruled by Israel.

 

 

Thus, the government of the earth is about to undergo a complete change - exactly as seen in the Book of Esther, though only the Jewish and Gentile side of the matter is presented in this book.  One has to go to the Book of Ruth to see the corresponding other part of the picture - Christ and His co-heirs taking the kingdom.  But viewing the complete picture from both Ruth and Esther, governmental rule is about to pass from the hands of Satan, his angels, and the Gentile nations into the hands of Christ, His co-heirs, and the nation of Israel.

 

 

(1) HELD BY THE GENTILES

 

 

The Gentile nations have held the sceptre - ruling under Satan, who rules under God (in a rebel capacity) - since the days of Nebuchadnezzar, about 2,600 years ago.  And, as previously shown, this has been for a reason and a purpose surrounding Israel.  God’s reason for allowing the Times of the Gentiles to exist in the first place had to do with Israel’s disobedience, and God’s purpose for allowing this time to continue for over two and one-half millenniums has had to do with bringing Israel to the place of repentance.

 

 

That time when Israel will be brought to the place of repentance is fast approaching.  And it can equally be said that the end of the Times of the Gentiles is also fast approaching.  As long as Israel remains in an unrepentant state (e.g., today, either among Jews comprising the nation in the Middle East or among Jews remaining scattered among the nations), the Times of the Gentiles will continue.  But once Israel has been brought to the place of repentance, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to an end, suddenly and swiftly.

 

 

God’s purpose for allowing the Gentiles to exercise control in this manner will have been realized, and there will be no further need for the Times of the Gentiles to continue.  Furthermore, it will be time for the final outworking of the principles set forth in Gen. 12: 2, 3.  Not only will the sceptre be taken from the Gentiles and given to Israel, but God - to remain true to His Word - will have to enact judgment upon the same nations which He used to bring Israel to the place of repentance (cf. Zech. 1: 14, 15).

 

 

This is the why of the scene which Scripture presents of the nations both near and at the end of the Tribulation. Mass chaos will exist among the nations near the end of the Tribulation because of God’s wrath (Rev. 6: 12 -17; 16: 17-21).  Then, at the end of the Tribulation, the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands will suddenly and swiftly destroy the final form of Gentile world power, under Antichrist (Psa. 2: 1-5; Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45; Rev. 19: 11ff).  Only then will God’s wrath be pacified, as seen in the type in Esther 7: 10.

 

 

(2) TO BE HELD BY ISRAEL

 

 

During the subsequent Messianic Era, as previously seen, Israel, rather than the Gentiles, will hold the sceptre. And, as Israel occupies her God-ordained place with respect to the nations, the Gentile nations will not only be ruled by Israel but will be blessed through Israel as well.

 

 

God deals with mankind at large through Abraham and his seed, through Isaac and Jacob.  This would have to do with the lineal descendants of Jacob through his twelve sons (the nation of Israel); it would have to do with a lineal descendant of Jacob through Judah and David, Who is destined to sit on David’s throne (Christ); and it would have to do with those placed “in Christ,” through a work of the [Holy] Spirit during the present dispensation (Christians).  Blessings in that day will flow out to the nations of the earth through God’s three firstborn Sons - Christ, Israel, and the Church [of the firstborn].

 

 

But, again, the Book of Esther deals only with Israel and the nations, not with Christ and the Church.  And the Book of Esther outlines exactly what will occur when Israel one day, again, holds the sceptre.  Note the last three chapters in this book, where the Jews hold complete sway over the Gentiles in the kingdom, which is exactly as conditions will exist yet future.

 

 

The power emanated from the king in Esther’s day, exactly as it will emanate from the King during that coming day (cf. Esther 8: 9, 10, 15-17; 9: 1-5; Psa. 2: 6-9; Joel 3: 6-8).  Christ will dwell in Israel’s midst, seated on David’s throne (Joel 2: 27; Luke 1: 31-33); the centre of the [this] earth’s government will then be Jerusalem, not Babylon, Rome, Washington, or any other Gentile capital city; and by means of this rule, though administered with “a rod of iron,” the Gentile nations of the earth will be blessed through Israel.

 

 

This is what the future holds for Israel and the nations, told through a sequence of events in the Book of Esther which God, in His sovereign control of all things, brought to pass almost two and one-half millenniums ago.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

9

Mordecai’s Rise and Greatness

 

 

And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

 

 

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

 

 

And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day.  And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them ...

 

 

And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.

 

 

And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

 

 

For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed (Esther 8: 15-17; 10: 1-3).

 

 

In chapters one and two of the Book of Esther, the complete story of the Jewish people is told in brief, minute form.  Then, throughout chapters three through ten (forming commentary material for chs. 1, 2), the thought of the Jewish people ultimately occupying their God-ordained place on earth - as seen in the opening two chapters (a place having to do with regality) - is continually brought to the forefront.  And, as the sequence of events depicted in the book relative to Israel and the Gentile nations draws to a close, information surrounding the Jewish people occupying their proper place within God’s economy is brought to the forefront in an ever-increasing manner.

 

 

Throughout chapters three through ten, which have to do mainly with a time near and following the end of Gentile world power (foreshadowing events during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, progressing on into the Messianic Era), regality relative to Israel is shown a number of times, several different ways.  And when one arrives at the last four chapters of the book (chs. 7-10), this is seen even more so, with the book ending by taking two whole chapters (chs. 8, 10) to foreshadow Israel holding the sceptre during the Messianic Era.

 

 

Mordecai, at different times throughout the first part of the book, is seen seated “in the king’s gate” (2: 19; 3: 2, 3; 4: 2, 6; 5: 9, 13; 6: 10, 12), an act portending regality (cf. Gen. 22: 17, 18; 24: 60).  Esther, in chapter five, is seen appearing before the king in “royal apparelon the third day, which is the time when Israel will appear in the King’s presence arrayed in this manner - after two days, on the third day; after 2,000 years, in the third 1,000-year period (cf. Hosea 6: 1, 2).

 

 

And following Haman’s death (ch. 7), the whole of chapter eight is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality.  Then, following Haman’s ten sons being slain (ch. 9), the whole of chapter ten is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality once again, which is how the book ends.

 

 

Events surrounding Haman’s death at the end of chapter seven foreshadow the destruction of Gentile world power (headed up under Antichrist) at the end of Man’s Day, resulting in the end of the Times of the Gentiles. God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will have been realized, for the Jewish people will have been brought to the place of repentance.

 

 

Then, in chapter nine, another word picture is given concerning the end of the Times of the Gentiles.  Haman’s ten sons (foreshadowing Antichrist’s ten-kingdom confederacy) are slain and impaled upon the same gallows which Haman had built for Mordecai, the same gallows upon which Haman had previously been impaled.

 

 

Thus, the whole of that seen in chapters seven and nine foreshadow the destruction of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom confederacy, depicting the destruction of Gentile world power at the end of Man’s 6,000-year Day.

 

 

But in chapters eight and ten, quite another story is seen.  The Jewish people are seen occupying their proper God-ordained place in relation to the [millennial] kingdom and regality.  And this place is seen to be the highest of all positions in the kingdom on earth - next unto the King (10: 3).

 

 

Insofar as the Book of Esther itself is concerned, chapters seven and nine together present a complete picture of the end of Gentile world power, and chapters eight and ten together present a complete picture of Israel in the Messianic Era, following the destruction of Gentile world power.  And this is where the book ends - Gentile world power destroyed, Israel holding the sceptre, the theocracy restored, and the Messianic Era ushered in.

 

 

And as the book progresses more and more toward that day, Israel is seen being moved more and more from the shadows into the spotlight.  Then as the book is brought to a close, following the overthrow of Gentile world power, it is the Jewish people alone who are seen in relation to regality, ruling directly under the King.

 

 

ANTICIPATING THAT COMING DAY

 

 

Israel though is presently scattered among the nations and has been since the days of Nebuchadnezzar, about 2,600 years ago.  And, throughout this period, the Times of the Gentiles has been allowed to continue.  The Gentiles, during this time, have been allowed to hold the sceptre; and, throughout this same time, the Gentiles have been allowed to persecute the Jewish people whom God has scattered among them.

 

 

Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance.  Only then can the Times of the Gentiles be brought to an end, for the entire purpose  for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring Israel, through Gentile persecution, to the place of repentance.  Only then, following Israel’s repentance and the end of the Times of the Gentiles, can the things depicted at the end of the Book of Esther be brought to pass.  Only then can Israel, as God’s firstborn son, hold the sceptre directly under the King.

 

 

And to show all these things in what would be considered the commentary section of the Book of Esther (chs. 3-10), God begins at the very heart of the matter.  Viewing Esther within a type-antitype frame work, God begins very near the end of Man’s Day and details a sequence of events, lasting three and one-half years, which brings Man’s Day to a close.  Then, following this sequence of events, which completes Man’s Day, the Messianic Era is ushered in.

 

 

This sequence of events begins with the rise of Antichrist to a position of world power near the middle of the coming Tribulation.  This will be the man who, in the antitype of Haman, brings Israeli persecution to an apex - attempted worldwide genocide.  And, as also seen in the type, this will be the man whom God will use, through this intensified persecution, to bring Israel to the place of repentance.

 

 

Thus, the reason God begins at this point in the book is evident.  The Book of Esther throughout centers around Israel in relation to a future regality.  But Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance; and Gentile world power (which cannot end before Israel has been brought to this place) must then be destroyed (after Israel has been brought to this place), allowing repentant Israel to hold the sceptre.

 

 

Accordingly, Esther chapters three through ten begin very near the end of the Times of the Gentiles, showing the final outworking of God’s plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles.  God simply moves to near the end of the matter (not only here but numerous other places in Scripture as well) and reveals a concluding sequence of events at the end of 2,600 years of Gentile persecution during the Times of the Gentiles.

 

 

The purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will ultimately be realized.  Israel will ultimately be brought to the place of repentance.  Then, Gentile world power will be destroyed, Israel will take the sceptre, and Israel will be elevated to the nation’s proper place on the earth.

 

 

But, until that day arrives, matters relative to Israel and the nations will remain unchanged. The Gentiles will continue to hold the sceptre, and the Jewish people will remain scattered among and persecuted by these same nations.

 

 

(1) ISRAEL, TODAY

 

 

Thus, Israel in the world today still finds itself in exactly the same position which the Jewish people have occupied since the days of Nebuchadnezzar - living during the Times of the Gentiles, scattered among the nations, persecuted by these nations, and still unrepentant.  And, these conditions will, they must, persist until God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles has been realized.

 

 

During the Times of the Gentiles, there have been two restorations of remnants of Jews to the land of Israel. The first occurred during the years following the Babylonian captivity, forming the remnant in the land when Christ came the first time; and the second has occurred during modern times, forming the remnant which is not only presently in the land but will be in the land when Antichrist appears.

 

 

The first remnant returning to the land (near the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles) ultimately found itself uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations.  And this exact same fate awaits the second remnant returning to the land (near the end of the Times of the Gentiles).  This remnant too is about to be uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations, where most of world Jewry still resides (about one-third of world Jewry is presently in the land, with the remaining two-thirds still scattered among the nations).

 

 

The first remnant was uprooted in this manner through the actions of Titus and his Roman legions in 70 A.D. Titus marched against Jerusalem, besieged the city, and ultimately destroyed both the city and the temple.  And more than one million Jews perished in this destruction, with the remainder subsequently driven into Gentile lands.

 

 

The second remnant, in the land today, will be uprooted in a similar manner by Antichrist and his armies. Antichrist, after three and one-half years (in the middle of the Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week), will turn against the Jewish people, break his seven-year covenant with Israel, and destroy both Jerusalem and the rebuilt temple (cf. Dan. 9: 26; Matt. 24: 15-22; Luke 21: 20-24).  And, in the process, above one million Jews in the land will be slain (Zech. 13: 8), with the remainder (other than the remnant which escapes into a specially prepared place in the mountainous terrain of the land [cf. Matt. 24: 16-20; Rev. 12: 6, 14]) being uprooted and driven into Gentile lands.

 

 

Then, for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Jerusalem will be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (cf. Luke 21: 24; Rev. 11: 2).  And it will be during this period that Israel’s suffering at the hands of the Gentiles will reach such extremes (cf. Matt. 24: 21, 22) that the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to cry out to the God of their fathers, fulfilling the type seen in Ex. 2: 23; 3: 9 (among numerous other types and prophecies in Scripture).

 

 

God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will then be realized.  Israel, through Gentile persecution, will be brought to the place of repentance.  It will have taken 2,600 years of Gentile rule and Jewish suffering at the hands of the Gentiles to bring this to pass; and Jewish suffering will have been climaxed by the Holocaust in Europe during the reign of Hitler and a succeeding worldwide Holocaust during the reign of Antichrist.

 

 

Thus, in that coming day, preceded by Jewish persecution and suffering over millenniums of time, God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel and the nations will have been worked out.

 

 

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [‘without a change of mind’]” (Rom. 11: 29).

 

 

The context of Rom. 11: 29 has to do with Israel’s future deliverance at the time of Messiah’s return (vv. 24ff). Israel will have been brought to the place of repentance, and the Times of the Gentiles will have been brought to an end.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He called man, then the nations, and then Israel into existence.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He brought the Times of the Gentiles to pass.  God’s plans and purposes surrounding individuals and nations, occurring during time, will ultimately be realized.

 

 

The Infinite God, unlike finite man, does not get in a hurry in matters of this or of any other nature.  Nor does God do things as man might seek to do them.

 

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

 

 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55: 8, 9).

 

 

God is often seen taking millenniums to bring His plans and purposes to pass.  He is seen working with man in general, with Israel and the nations, and with the Church in this manner. God, in this respect, brings matters to pass within His Own set times, with one thing clear and certain.  God’s plans and purposes - that which He has decreed and revealed in His Word - will always ultimately be brought to pass.

 

 

(2) THE REMNANT PRESENTLY IN THE LAND

 

 

As previously seen, the Jewish people in the world today can be divided into two categories: (a) those in the land, forming the present nation of Israel; and (b) those remaining scattered among the Gentile nations.  Only a remnant though has returned to the land, with the majority of the Jews remaining outside the land and scattered among the nations.

 

 

But why is there a segment of world Jewry back in the land today?  There has been no repentance on Israel’s part, neither the people nor the land have been healed, and man is still living during the Times of the Gentiles.

 

 

Is this somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating their repentance and that seen at the end of the Book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

 

 

Note a short history of Israel during modern times, bringing the matter somewhat up-to-date in this respect:

 

 

The present existing Jewish nation in the Middle East is the end result of a Zionistic movement which had its beginning during modern times in the efforts of Theodor Herzl (and other Jewish leaders) during the closing years of the 19th century.  Herzl (1860-1904), who became the first president of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, was a Hungarian-born Jew who would presently be looked upon as the father of modern-day Zionism.  HerzI, and other Jewish leaders of his day, opened the door to a renewed Zionism among Jews worldwide, Jews scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

 

 

Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, Britain figured prominently in the matter.  Britain, throughout the years leading into and during WWI (1914-1918), was sympathetic toward the Zionistic aspirations of the Jewish people.  But it was only near the end of WWI that all of this was brought out into the open, with the British government acting on the matter.  And a Russian-born Jew, Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), who had become a British subject prior to the war, figured prominently in that which the British government did in this respect near the end of the war.

 

 

Chaim Weizmann, a chemist, had been placed in charge of the Laboratories of British Admiralty during the war.  And, as director, he discovered a process for synthesizing acetone, a substance necessary for the manufacture of high explosives - something which helped, in a major way, to bring about an Allied victory in the war.

 

 

Weizmann was an ardent Zionist.  And the British government, near the end of the war, exercised governmental control over Palestine (though they were not officially given the mandate by the League of Nations until 1922).  Thus, the stage was set for that which then occurred.

 

 

Weizmann, because of his contribution to the war effort, in a manner of speaking, was in Britain’s debt.  And, with Britain both in governmental control of Palestine and looking favourably upon Jewish Zionistic aspirations, Weizmann, through his influence in the British government, brought Zionism to the forefront.

 

 

Weizmann was the person largely responsible for Arthur James Balfour (Foreign Secretary in Britain’s government during the war), on Nov. 2, 1917, issuing what later became known as “The Balfour Declaration.” This declaration, in essence, set the course for future actions which the British government took toward Jewish Zionistic aspirations of that day.  The declaration read, in part:

 

 

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object...”

 

 

Britain though, seeking to carry matters forward in this respect in the Middle East, immediately ran into the same problem which the Jews have experienced in the land for the past half century.  The British government found itself in the middle of, adding fuel to, a 4,000-year old conflict between two half brothers.  And, seeking to appease both participants in the conflict (Arabs and Jews alike), the British began to issue what were called “White Papers,” sharply limiting Jewish immigration.  And the issuance of these papers all but closed the door during the ’20s and ’30s to the Jewish dream of a national homeland in Palestine.

 

 

Then in the late ’30s, WII, with its Holocaust, began to envelope Europe.  And, because of that which occurred during these years (1939-1945), with a Zionistic base already well-established in the Middle East, the flood of Zionism among Jews worldwide following WWII was unstoppable.  Regardless of the White Papers and continued British control and rule in Palestine, nothing was now going to stop the Jewish people from establishing a national homeland within the boundaries of the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

 

And the nation in the land today can be traced back to the succeeding events of May 14, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion stood beneath a picture of Theodor Herzl in the Tel Aviv Museum Hall and, shortly before sunset, declared Israel’s independence.

 

 

Events beginning with Theodor Herzl and continuing through men such as Chaim Weizmann paved the way and opened the door for that which occurred in Tel Aviv May 14, 1948.  And the Jewish frame of mind, worldwide, at the conclusion of WWII was the central driving thrust which brought all that had preceded into reality.

 

 

So, again the question: Is the remnant presently in the land today (approaching 5,000,000 strong) somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating that seen at the end of the Book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

 

 

To address the issue, note two simple facts: (a) The Times of the Gentiles presently continues, and (b) Israel has yet to be brought to the place of repentance.  And, as has previously been shown, an inseparable relationship exists between the two. The reason for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring about Israel’s repentance through the Jewish people being scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

 

 

And, in keeping with the preceding, Scripture clearly reveals when God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to pass - under the reign of Antichrist yet future, at the end of Man’s Day.  Only then, not before, will God heal His people, heal their land, and restore His people to their land within a theocracy.

 

 

The remnant presently in the land is there as a result of Zionism, which, in this case, is little more than finite man’s efforts to help an infinite God fulfil His plans and purposes - an effort to push God’s plans and purposes ahead of His timetable.  Thus, from a Scriptural standpoint, under no stretch of the imagination could this remnant be said to exist in the land in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies concerning God restoring the nation to its land.

 

 

For the latter to be true, God would be violating His Own Word – [which is] an impossibility.  He would be ignoring the purpose behind the past 2,600 years of Jewish history - the scattering of a disobedient people among the Gentiles in order to bring about their repentance.  He would be re-gathering a disobedient and unrepentant people back to a desolate land, during the Times of the Gentiles, before His purpose for scattering these people among the Gentiles had been realized (e.g., Isa. 1: 4-15).

 

 

Thus, God re-gathering His people in fulfilment of the restoration foretold by the Old Testament prophets is simply not what is presently occurring.  According to Scripture, both Israel and the land must first be healed. Only then can the prophesied restoration occur (e.g., Isa. 1: 16 - 2: 5).

 

 

In more ways than one, the remnant presently in the land has returned before the time.  Not only has this remnant returned before God has completed His purpose for the Times of the Gentiles, but this remnant has returned while Christ is still exercising His high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.  And, according to the type in Numbers chapter thirty-five, the slayer (Israel, in the antitype) cannot return to the land of his possession (the land of Israel, in the antitype) until the death of the high priest (which, in the antitype, could only have to do with the termination of Christ’s present high priestly ministry after the order of Aaron, when He departs the heavenly sanctuary and comes forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek).

 

 

According to the type in Numbers chapter thirty-five, for Israel to return to the land before the time foreshadowed by the death of the high priest is to place the nation in great danger.  It is to place the nation in danger of being slain.  And this danger is not only very real but it is about to be realized.

 

 

When Antichrist rises to power in the immediate future, he will attempt to slay the slayer.  He will break his covenant with Israel, uproot the remnant presently in the land, and attempt to destroy all of the Jews worldwide.

 

 

Hitler attempted to bring about a Jew-free Europe, and Antichrist will seek to bring about a Jew-free earth. Failure marked Hitler’s efforts, and failure will mark Antichrist’s efforts (cf, Jer. 31: 35-37).  And, as a nation arose from the ashes of the first Holocaust, so will a nation arise from the ashes of the latter Holocaust, with the latter being the restoration foretold by the prophets.

 

 

Thus, to bring matters to pass, a remnant of Jews has been allowed to return to the land near the end of Man’s Day, not as part of the prophesied Old Testament restoration of the Jewish people, but as a Zionistic undertaking which has occurred under God’s sovereign control of all things.  God, in His sovereignty, has allowed this remnant to return in order to bring about a conclusion to the outworking of His plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles and Israeli repentance.

 

 

(For a detailed discussion of the slayer in Numbers chapter thirty-five, refer to the Appendix [Apx. I].)

 

 

WHEN THAT DAY ARRIVES

 

 

The day of Israel’s prophesied restoration to the land will be following Israel’s repentance, following Christ’s return and the overthrow of Gentile world power, and following the healing of both the people and the land. This is simply what the Old Testament prophets have revealed about the matter, and this is what must be followed.

 

 

Further, Israel will be restored to the land in accord with the seven “feasts of the Lord” in Leviticus chapter twenty-three.  These festivals form the prophetic calendar of Israel and detail the chronology of events, as they will have to do with Israel, from the time of Christ’s return to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom (a period, which, according to Dan. 12: 11, 12, will apparently be seventy-five days in length).

 

 

The first festival, the Passover, has to do with Israel’s national conversion after Christ returns and the Jewish people (still scattered among the nations) look upon the One “whom they have pierced” (Zech. 12: 10).  The Jewish people, in that day, will look upon the Aleph and the Tau (the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet, as Alpha and Omega in the Greek alphabet [cf. Rev. 1: 8; 21: 6]).  These two letters form an un-translated word in the Hebrew text of Zech. 12: 10, which follows and refers back to “me [Christ]” in the verse.

 

 

Israel has slain the Lamb, but the Jewish people have yet to apply the blood.  Thus, insofar as Israel is concerned, not a single festival from Leviticus chapter twenty-three (festivals which must be fulfilled in the order given) has been fulfilled.  But, in that coming day, following Christ’s return, these festivals will be fulfilled, beginning with the Passover (during what would appear, from Dan. 12: 11, 12, to be a seventy-five-day period).

 

 

But note within this order where Israel’s restoration is placed.  It is seen in events surrounding the fifth festival, the Feast of Trumpets (which follows Israel’s national conversion [fulfilling the first festival], among other events set forth through the intervening three festivals).  It will be then, not during the present day, that the fulfilment of verses such as Deut. 30: 3; Ezek. 37: 11-14; Matt. 24: 31 will occur.

 

 

Then, a restored nation, in a restored land, during the Messianic Era, is seen through events surrounding the seventh and last festival - the Feast of Tabernacles.  And it is toward this day that the whole of Scripture moves.

 

 

(1) NEXT UNTO THE KING

 

 

Israel in that coming day will be the restored wife of Jehovah, with the theocracy restored to the nation.  God” will be King; and “Israel,” a nation separate and distinct from the Gentile nations (cf. Num. 23: 9; Deut. 7: 6), will be queen.

 

 

Israel will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (a healed nation placed back in a healed land).  Israel, in that day, will occupy her proper, God-ordained place at the head of the nations.  The Times of the Gentiles will be past, Israel will hold the sceptre, and the Gentile nations of the earth will be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

 

 

In that day, Israel is going to go forth in the antitype of Joseph’s brethren after his reappearance to and their acceptance of him.  Joseph’s brethren, in the type, went forth with the message, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt (Gen. 45: 1-4, 9, 26).  And Jesus’ brethren, in the antitype, are going to go forth with the same message: “Jesus is yet alive, and He is Governor over all the earth.”

 

 

The Jewish people, in that day, will fulfil the one thing which they have yet to fulfil surrounding their calling. They, as Jonah following his being raised from the dead after two days, on the third day, will carry God’s message to the Gentiles.  And, as in Jonah’s experience, the Gentiles will hear and take heed (cf. Isa. 43: 1, 10; Jonah 1: 17; 2:10 - 3: 10).

 

 

(2) GREATNESS, ACCEPTANCE, WEALTH, PEACE

 

 

The end of the matter is seen in both Esther chapters eight and ten.  Chapter eight depicts one facet of Israel’s royal position during the Messianic Era - arrayed in a regal manner (v. 15); and chapter ten depicts another facet of the matter, with four words used to describe Israel in that coming day - greatness, acceptance, wealth, peace (v. 3).

 

 

The only word which probably needs any comment at all is the word “wealth.”  This is the translation of a Hebrew word which has to do with “good,” or a reference to “the welfare of the people.”

 

 

Israel in that day will be great (at the head of the nations, rather than as today), the Jewish people will be accepted (the present-day situation will be reversed), the Jewish people will do that which is good (looking out for the welfare of all), and there will be worldwide peace (cf. Luke 1: 31-33; 2: 13,14).

 

 

And it will be in that day, in accord with Esther 8: 17 - “...many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them” - that the Gentiles are going to recognize the Jew in complete accord with his true identity and calling:

 

 

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We shall go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8: 23).

 

 

Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, pointing to all of the Gentiles, calling attention to that which the future holds for both Israel and the nations (Psa. 122: 6; 126: 1-6; Isa. 60: 1-22).

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

Appendix I

 

 

Two Types of Crowns

 

 

There are two words in the Greek text of the New Testament which are translated “Crown” in English versions.  The first and most widely used word is stephanos (or the verb form, stephanoo), referring to a “victor’s crown” or a crown denoting certain types of “worth” or “valour.”  The other word is diadema, referring to “regal authority,” “kingly power.”

 

 

Stephanos (or the verb form, stephanoo) is the only word used for “crown” in the New Testament outside the Book of Revelation.  This, for example, is the word used referring to the “crown of thorns” placed upon Christ’s head immediately preceding His crucifixion (Matt. 27: 29; Mark 15: 17; John 19: 2, 5).  This is also the word used throughout the Pauline epistles, referring to “crowns” awaiting faithful Christians (1 Cor. 9: 25; Phil. 4: 1; 1 Thess. 2: 19; 2 Tim. 2: 5; 4: 8).  James, Peter, and John also used stephanos in this same sense (James 1: 12; 1 Peter 5: 4; Rev. 2: 10; 3: 11).  The writer of Hebrews used this word (the verb form, stephanoo) referring to positions which will ultimately be occupied by Christ and His co-heirs in “the world [‘inhabited world’] to come” (2: 5-9).  Then John used the word six additional times in the Book of Revelation in several different senses (4: 4, 10; 6: 2; 9: 7; 12: 1; 14: 14).

 

 

Diadema, the other word used for “crown” in the New Testament, appears only three times; and all three occurrences are in the latter part of the Book of Revelation (12: 3; 13: 1; 19: 12).  The first two references have to do with power and authority possessed by incumbent earthly rulers immediately preceding and within the kingdom of Antichrist, and the latter reference has to do with power and authority which Christ will possess at the time He returns and takes the kingdom.

 

 

The way in which these two words are used in the New Testament relative to the government of the earth must be borne in mind if one is to properly understand the Scriptural distinction between the use of stephanos and diadema.  Diadema (referring to the monarch’s crown) is used only where one has actually entered into and is presently exercising regal power.  Stephanos is never used in this respect; it appears in all other occurrences, covering any instance where the word “crown” is used apart from the present possession of regal power.  The possession of such power at a future date (or a past date) can be in view through the use of stephanos.  Then, diadema is used when one actually comes into possession of this power.

 

 

In this respect, overcoming Christians have been promised a stephanos (victor’s crown), never a diadema (monarch’s crown); but the promised stephanos will become a diadema at the time overcoming Christians assume positions on the throne with Christ.  There can be no such thing as either Christ or His co-heirs wearing a stephanos in that day.  They can only wear the type crown referred to by the word diadema.

 

 

To illustrate the matter, note how stephanos and diadema are used relative to the Antichrist and his kingdom. Stephanos is used of the type crown worn by the Antichrist when he is first introduced in the Book of Revelation (6: 2), but later diadema is used relative to his exercise of delegated power and authority (12: 3; 13: 1, 2).

 

 

Antichrist is seen wearing a “crown,” as he goes forth “conquering, and to conquer” in Revelation chapter six.  He is crowned and moves after the described fashion in view of ultimately attaining regal power over the earth; but, at this time, as shown by both the context and the word stephanos, he has not attained such power.

 

 

Then, in chapter twelve he is once again seen wearing a “crown” (all seven heads are crowned at this point in the book.  Antichrist will be the seventh head [seventh ruler] in a succession of rulers), and in chapter thirteen those ruling with him (the ten horns) are also crowned.  As shown by both the context and the word diadema, the matter is entirely different at this point in the book.  Antichrist has now attained regal power over the earth, and he has subordinate rulers exercising power with him.  Thus, diadema, not stephanos, is used in these passages.

 

 

The use of stephanos relative to crowns in connection with Israel in Rev. 12: 1 illustrates the same truth.  Israel today is not occupying the position for which the nation was called into existence – “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19: 6).  Israel is to one day rule upon the earth at the head of the nations, and the nations are to be blessed through Israel; but Israel will not occupy this position until after the time of Rev. 12: 1.  Thus, stephanos is the only word which could be used relative to crowns in connection with Israel at this point in time.  The use of diadema in connection with Israel in this respect awaits events of the coming age.

 

 

Then note the type crowns on Christ’s head - past and future - in Matt. 27: 29; Rev. 14: 14; 19: 12.  Matthew 27: 29 refers to that past time when Christ was arrayed as a mock King.  The word used for “crown” in this verse is stephanos.  Diadema could not be used in this instance, for this word would show Christ actually exercising regal power and authority, wearing “a crown of thorns.”  And this, of course, was something which He did not do at this time, particularly wearing “a crown of thorns.”  Rather, the opposite was shown by the “crown [stephanos] of thorns” - shame and humiliation, relative to the government of the earth.

 

 

Then, in Rev. 14: 14, Christ is seen once again wearing a stephanos (though not “a crown of thorns” this time).  And, again, there is no display of regal power, though that future time when he would wear a diadema is anticipated by both the time (near the end of the Tribulation) and His actions (anticipating His treading the winepress at the time of His return (cf. Isa. 63: 1-6; Joel 3: 9-16; Zech. 14: 1-9; Rev. 19: 11-21).  This is the last time in Scripture that the word stephanos is used relative to a crown resting upon Christ’s head.

 

 

But, when that time arrives - anticipated by Christ seen with a stephanos on his head and a sharp sickle in His hand in Rev. 14: 14 - Christ will come forth wearing “many crowns [‘diadems’]” (Rev. 19: 12).  He can come forth in this manner at that time, for the Father will not only have delivered the kingdom into His hands but He will now have a consort queen and be ready to ascend the throne (cf. Dan. 7: 13, 14; Rev. 19: 7-9); and because of this, when He comes forth, the announcement can be sounded for all to hear: “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”

 

 

Christ, at that time, will have entered into His long-awaited regal position; and the first order of business will be the putting down of the Beast, the kings of the earth, and Satan and his angels (Rev. 19: 17-20: 3).  They cannot be allowed to reign beyond the point Christ assumes regal power.  Their crowns (diadems) must, at this time, be taken and given to others - those to whom they will then rightfully belong.

 

 

An understanding of the distinction between stephanos and diadema will also reveal certain things about the twenty-four elders which could not otherwise be known.  They each cast a stephanos before the throne, not a diadema.  This shows that they were not then occupying regal positions, though crowned and seated on thrones.

 

 

At one time they would have occupied such positions (wearing diadems, seated on thrones); but with the disarray in the governmental structure of the earth, resulting from Satan’s rebellion, they ceased exercising regal power (for, not participating in his rebellion, they no longer retained active positions in his rule).  Their crowns could then be referred to only through the use of the word stephanos; and these crowns would, of necessity, have to be retained until the time of Rev. 4: 10.

 

 

God’s system of government (an incumbent remaining in office until replaced by his successor) would necessitate the twenty-four elders retaining their crowns until their successors were on the scene and ready to ascend the throne.  And at this point in the book, for the first time in man’s history, the one who is to rule with the second Man, the last Adam - Christ’s bride - will have been made known and shown forth.  This will have occurred at events surrounding the judgment seat (chs. 1-3); and these elders can now cast their crowns before God’s throne (ch. 4), for their successors will be on the scene and ready to ascend the throne with Christ.

 

 

(For a discussion of the twenty-four elders in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s books, JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST [revised edition], Chapter XII, and RUTH, Appendix.)

 

 

-------

 

 

The Death of the High Priest

 

Whoso killeth any person, the murdered shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.

 

Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction [ransom] for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

 

 

And ye shall take no satisfaction [ransom] for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest [the high priest (v. 25)]

 

 

So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it (Num. 35: 30-33).

 

 

Numbers chapter thirty-five relates the account of God instructing the children of Israel to set aside six cities to be “cities for refuge.”  And within this account one will find central truths surrounding that future time - which is seen in Hebrews chapter five - when the present high priestly ministry of Christ, after the order of Aaron, is concluded and Christ comes forth from the heavenly sanctuary as the great King-Priest, after the order of Melchizedek.

 

 

Three of the cities of refuge were to be on the east side of Jordan, and the three remaining were to be on the west side of Jordan (Num. 35: 14).  The three cities on the east side of Jordan were selected by Moses, prior to his death and the subsequent entrance of the Israelites into the land of Canaan (Deut. 4: 41-43); and the three cities on the west side of Jordan were selected by the children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, following their entrance into the land (Joshua 20: 1-7).

 

 

These cities were set aside to provide a sanctuary for any man who killed another man through an unpremeditated act.  The Divine decree given to Noah and his sons following the Flood required the death of the slayer at the hands of man:

 

 

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Gen. 9: 6).

 

 

And God’s injunction concerning capital punishment for a capital crime was later reiterated to Moses and is part of the Mosaic Economy as well (Ex. 20: 13; 21: 12).

 

 

The command concerning capital punishment for a capital crime was thus given to Noah and his sons over eight hundred years before it was delivered to the children of Israel under Moses.  Consequently, man not being under the Mosaic Economy today has nothing to do with the validity or non-validity of capital punishment for a capital crime, for not only does the Biblical origin of this injunction precede the giving of the law through Moses but the command given to Noah and his sons (approx. 2,300 B.C.) has never been repealed.

 

 

Although capital punishment for a capital offence has never been repealed, provision was later made for a man who killed another man unintentionally.  This was the Divinely established purpose for setting aside the six cities of refuge (cf. Ex. 21: 12, 13).  These cities were to be located at places where at least one city would be easily accessible to any Israelite living in the land of Canaan.  And should one Israelite kill another Israelite through accidental means - unintentionally - he could flee to the nearest city of refuge and be provided a sanctuary from the near kinsman of the person who had been slain.

 

 

It fell the lot of the near kinsman to fulfil God’s injunction concerning capital punishment for a capital crime. The near kinsman was to confront the slayer and, in turn, slay him.  God’s requirement in the matter was blood for blood (Num. 35: 16-21; cf. Deut. 19: 21).

 

 

God’s previous instructions to Noah and his sons remained unchanged within the framework of God’s instructions to Moses.  Something though was added to these instructions within the Mosaic Economy. Provision was made for the person guilty of accidental, unpremeditated murder.  And once the Israelite guilty of such an act had taken advantage of that provision - once the slayer had fled to and was inside the walls of one of the six designated cities of refuge - the near kinsman, as long as the slayer remained in this place, couldn’t touch him.

 

 

Any individual though who fled to one of the cities of refuge must, at a later time, be returned to the area where the slaying occurred and stand before a judicial court; and, should the testimony at this court prove to be negative, at least two witnesses were required to testify against the man in this manner.

 

 

If the slayer was found to be guilty of wilful murder, he would no longer be granted sanctuary in a city of refuge.  Rather, he would be turned over to the near kinsman to be slain; and the near kinsman, slaying the man, would not be guilty of blood himself.

 

 

But if the slayer, on the other hand, was found to be guilty only of involuntary manslaughter, he would be returned to the safety of the city of refuge to which he had previously fled (Num. 35: 22-28).

 

 

Then there was the matter of a ransomThis ransom constituted a payment for the life of the one found to have committed involuntary manslaughter.  No ransom though was provided for the life of a person found guilty of wilful manslaughter.  Rather, he was to forfeit his own life (blood for blood), apart from a ransom.

 

 

But though the ransom was a provision for the one having committed involuntary manslaughter, there was a stipulation: The ransom could not be used until the death of the high priest (Num. 35:28,32).

 

 

Once the high priest in the camp of Israel had died and the ransom had been used, the individual who had previously been found guilty only of involuntary manslaughter was then free to leave the particular city of refuge where he had been provided a sanctuary and return to the land of his possessionAnd once this had occurred, the near kinsman no longer had any claim on that individual.

 

 

ISRAEL, THE SLAYER

 

 

In the Old Testament (in the type) it was individual Israelites who found themselves guilty of manslaughter (wilful or involuntary) and, consequently, in a position where they would either be slain or be granted protection in a city of refuge.  Today (in the antitype) it is the entire nation of Israel which finds itself guilty of manslaughter and in a position to either be slain or be granted protection.

 

 

The nation of Israel is guilty of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The paschal lamb was given to Israel, and only Israel could slay this lamb (Ex. 12: 1ff).  Jesus was the Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5: 7), to Whom all the sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament pointed; and only Israel could have slain Jesus, which is exactly what, according to Scripture, occurred (Acts 2: 23, 36; 3: 12-15).

 

 

Israel today is unclean through contact with the dead body of God’s Son, with cleansing to be provided on the seventh day - the seventh 1,000-year period, the Messianic Era (Num. 19: 11, 12).  But how is Israel’s act, as the slayer, to be reckoned?  Was it a premeditated act?  Or was it an unpremeditated act?

 

 

If it was a premeditated act, the nation would have to be cut off.  No ransom could be provided (it would have to be blood for blood; the nation would have to pay with its own life); nor, if a premeditated act, could the nation ever be allowed to return to the land of her possession (which would mean, in the final analysis, that God’s promises to Abraham, beginning with Gen. 12: 1-3, could never be realized).

 

 

However, if Jesus was delivered into Israel’s hands after a manner which would allow the nation’s act of crucifying her Messiah to be looked upon as unpremeditated murder - i.e., allow the nation’s act to be looked upon as having been done through ignorance - then Israel could be granted protection and a ransom could be provided.  And beyond that, the ransom could one day be used by the nation, at which time Israel would be free to return to the land of her possession (allowing God’s promises to Abraham, beginning with Gen. 12: 1-3, to be fulfilled).

 

 

The Biblical testimony concerning the manner in which the nation’s act must be viewed was given by Jesus Himself at Golgotha; and the same testimony was later provided by Peter, following the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.

 

 

Note the words of Jesus:

 

 

“… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23: 34a).

 

 

Then note the words of Peter:

 

 

Ye men of Israel...

 

 

But ye denied the Holy One and the just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses...

 

 

And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers (Acts 3:12a, 14, 15, 17).

 

 

Thus, Jesus was delivered into the hands of Israel (cf. Ex. 21: 13; Acts 2: 23) after a manner which not only allowed the Jewish people to act after the described fashion but also prevented them from acting after any other fashion as well.  Consequently, Israel is to be granted protection, a ransom will be provided, and the Jewish people will be free to one day avail themselves of this ransom and return to the land of their possession, though only after the antitype of the death of the high priest - at which time all of God’s promises to Abraham, beginning with Gen. 12: 1-3, will be fulfilled.

 

 

THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE RANSOM

 

 

In the camp of Israel there was only one high priest at any one time.  At the time of the high priest’s death, he was succeeded by another from the Aaronic line; and the high priestly ministry in the Aaronic line continued in this manner, after this fashion.

 

 

Aaron ministered in the sanctuary in the earthly tabernacle, with blood, on behalf of the people.  Jesus, on the other hand, is presently ministering in the heavenly sanctuary, with blood, on behalf of the people - a ministry patterned after the order of Aaron.  And, as evident from Hebrews chapter five, along with other related Scripture, Christ’s present ministry after the order of Aaron will not continue indefinitely.

 

 

There is coming a day when Christ’s present ministry in the heavenly sanctuary will end.  And the termination of this ministry, along with certain events which will occur relative to Israel in that day, was typified by the death of the high priest in the camp of Israel and events which occurred relative to the slayer when the high priest died.

 

 

And these events, as they pertain to the slayer, have to do with two things in the antitype: (1) Israel’s cleansing from defilement through contact with the dead body of the nation’s Messiah, and (2) a restoration the Jewish people to the land of their possession.

 

 

The word ransom (Num. 35: 31, 32 [translated “satisfaction,” KJV]) is from a cognate form of the word for “atonement in the Hebrew text.  The underlying thought behind “atonement” is to cover; and that is the same thought expressed by the “ransom” in this chapter.  This ransom provided a covering - a covering from view, a putting away, a blotting out - of the previous capital act (an unpremeditated act).  And once the ransom had been used, which could be only after the death of the high priest, the whole matter was put awayThe person was then free to return to the land of his possession; and the near kinsman of the one slain could no longer have any claim on him whatsoever, for the matter had been put away and could never be brought up again.

 

 

(In the type, this ransom was connected with some aspect of the person and work of the high priest, or of other priests.  For example, this ransom could not be used until the high priest had diedThen, this ransom had to do with a covering [with atonement] from defilement wrought through contact with a dead body.  And such a work in Numbers chapter nineteen, where cleansing from this type defilement is dealt with, was performed by a priest.

 

 

The high priestly ministry of Aaron and his successors in the camp of Israel, whether in this or in other areas of defilement, was a work on behalf of the saved, not the unsaved.  Their work was for those who had already appropriated the blood of slain paschal lambs, pointing to Christ and His shed blood at Calvary [the slain Paschal Lamb].  This succession of high priests ministered in this manner, on the basis of shed blood, typifying Christ’s present ministry in the sanctuary after this same fashion [a ministry for the saved, on the basis of shed blood].

 

 

Thus, that being dealt with in Numbers chapter thirty-five - portending a priestly work - has to do with the cleansing of saved individuals from defilement [defilement wrought through contact with a dead body], not with issues surrounding the death of the firstborn [issues surrounding eternal salvation].

 

And the Jewish people, for two reasons, find themselves in a position today where they cannot avail themselves of this cleansing [cleansing from contact with the dead body of their Messiah]: (1) The Jewish people today are in an unsaved state; and (2) the Jewish people, even if they were in a saved state today, could not presently avail themselves of the ransom [cleansing] because of the nature of Christ’s present priestly ministry.

 

Cleansing from all defilement during the present dispensation is brought to pass through only one means - through Christ’s present ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat. Though Christ is not of the Levitical line, His present ministry is patterned after the order of Aaron’s ministry; and, because Christ is not of the Levitical line, if God were dealing with Israel on a national basis today, He could not deal with the Jewish people in relation to Christ’s present ministry in the sanctuary [else He would violate that which He Himself established].

 

The Jewish people, if they were being dealt with in relation to the priesthood today, would have to be dealt with in relation to that set forth concerning the priesthood in the Mosaic Economy [as will be done during the coming Tribulation, when God completes His national dealings with Israel during Man’s Day].  The priest, within the Mosaic Economy, had to be of the Levitical lineAnd Christ is not of this line.  Christ is from the tribe of Judah.

 

Thus, dealing with the Jewish people in relation to Christ’s high priestly ministry today would be completely out of the questionThey could not go to Christ and receive cleansing, for the Mosaic Economy does not recognize a priestly ministry of the nature Christ is presently exercising [a non-Levitical ministry patterned after the order of Aaron, a Levite].  And any priesthood which the Jewish people themselves could enact today, from the Levitical line, would be completely non-efficacious.

 

However, note that Christ [though from the tribe of Judah] can conduct a ministry patterned after the order of Aaron for Christians during the present dispensation, for Christians are not under the Mosaic Economy. Christians form part of the one new man, which is neither Jew nor Gentile [cf. Gal. 3: 26-29; Eph. 2: 12-15]. Thus, for Christians, Christ’s lineage has nothing to do with the matter one way or the other.

 

But, before the Jewish people can enter into the picture as matters pertain to the priesthood and the ransom, seen in Numbers chapter thirty-five, Christ must first terminate His present ministry in the sanctuary and come forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.  And, as well, a new covenant [which will replace the old covenant] will be made with Israel at this time [Jer. 31: 31-34].

 

In the preceding respect, from the vantage point of the antitype, it is an easy matter to see why the high priest in the camp of Israel had to die before the slayer could avail himself of the ransom and return to the land of his possession.  God had simply established and brought matters to pass after this fashion in the history of Israel in order to form a type, with a view to the antitype.  Christ’s high priestly ministry in the sanctuary has to terminate first.  Only then can the slayer [Israel] avail herself of the ransom and return to the land of her possession.)

 

 

Thus, the ransom for Israel’s capital offence has already been paid.  Jesus paid this ransom at Calvary, shedding His Own blood - blood which is presently on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary.  However, although the ransom (providing atonement) for Israel’s sin has already been paid, the nation cannot avail herself of this ransom or return to the land of her possession until the antitype of the death of the high priest.

 

 

Israel though must first experience her national Passover in fulfilment of Ex. 12: 7 and Lev. 23: 5 - through applying the blood which was shed 2,000 years ago.  And this can occur only at the termination of Israel’s present blindness (Rom. 11: 25).  Israel, as the two disciples on the Emmaus road in Luke 24: 13ff, must continue in a blinded condition until the resurrected Christ, by His personal presence at His second coming, opens the Old Testament Scriptures to the Jewish people’s understanding in this respect (cf. vv. 16, 25-27, 31).

 

 

In that day, Israel’s eyes will be opened; and a nation will be born at once (Isa. 66: 8).  The entire nation will experience the birth from above at the same time [when the Jewish people look upon the One Whom they have pierced (Zech. 12: 10)]).  And this will occur only after Christ terminates His present ministry, departs the heavenly sanctuary, and comes forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.  Then cleansing can occur, allowing the ransom seen in Numbers chapter thirty-five to be used.

 

 

It will be in that day - not before - that Israel will experience her national Passover, be able to avail herself of the ransom, and be free to return to the land of her possessionAs long as Christ occupies His present position in the heavenly sanctuary, Israel cannot avail herself of the paid ransom and return to this land.  Israel must remain in her present condition - blinded - throughout the present dispensation; and, according to related Scripture, Israel will not be removed from this condition until a few years beyond the present dispensation, at the end of Man’s Day, at the end of the Tribulation.

 

 

(Insofar as Christians are concerned, Christ’s present ministry in the heavenly sanctuary will terminate when the Church is removed from the earth into the heavens, at the end of the present dispensation.  However, Christ’s ministry in the sanctuary will apparently continue for others through the Tribulation, else the saved among the earth-dwellers would have no High Priest.

 

Christ though will not come forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, appearing to Israel after this fashion, until the end of Man’s Day, the end of the Tribulation.  And it will be only at this time that events surrounding the antitype of the death of the high priest in Numbers chapter thirty-five can occur.)

 

 

Also, the Jewish people one day availing themselves of the ransom in Numbers chapter thirty-five would correspond with the fulfilment of events set forth in the second of the seven feasts of the Lord in Leviticus chapter twenty-three - the feast of Unleavened Bread, which immediately followed the Passover.

 

 

Leaven points to that which is vile, corrupt (cf. Matt. 13: 33; 16:1-12; 1 Cor. 5: 6-8); and the fulfilment of this festival in the type had to do with a cleansing of the house, a removing of all leaven from the house immediately following the Passover (cf. Ex. 12: 8-20; Lev. 23: 6-8).

 

 

And in the antitype, it is the same.  The fulfilment of this festival will immediately follow the fulfilment of the Passover.  It will occur immediately following Israel applying the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb, blood shed 2,000 years prior to this time.  And because Israel had previously shed this blood, the entire house of Israel will be found in an unclean condition in that day, an uncleanness which will have to be dealt withIsrael, in that day, will be found in this unclean condition through the nation’s prior contact with the dead body of their Messiah.  The house, resultingly, will be found completely leavened.  And the leaven will have to be removed; it will have to be put out, done away with.

 

 

And this is where the account of the slayer availing himself of the ransom in Numbers chapter thirty-five, following the death of the high priest, is seen being fulfilled in the antitype (along with the fulfilment of that seen in Numbers chapter nineteen).  Israel in that day will be cleansed of this defilement, and the house will no longer be leavened.

 

 

Accordingly, only in that coming day, only following cleansing from Israel’s present defilement wrought through prior contact with the dead body of the nation’s Messiah, will the Jewish people be free to return to the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and only then can the Jewish people realize their calling in this land, with God’s promised blessings flowing out through Israel to the Gentile nations of the earth after the fashion which God intended when He called this nation into existence.

 

 

(A knowledge of the preceding facts will reveal not only truths surrounding Christ’s present and future ministries but also truths surrounding Israel’s present and future status as a nation in the Middle East.  Christ is still ministering in the heavenly sanctuary, with the antitype of the death of the high priest yet to occur; and Israel still remains in unbeliefConsequently, Israel - being unable to presently avail herself of the paid ransom - will not only continue in unbelief, but the nation cannot return to the land of her possession during the present day and time as well.

 

 

To equate the present restoration of a remnant of the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob to the land of Israel with the fulfilment of any of the Old Testament prophecies dealing with Israel’s restoration to this land [such as the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezek. 37] is to ignore the fact that Israel is the slayer.  And this is an established Biblical fact which cannot be ignored.

 

 

The present restoration of a remnant to the land can have nothing whatsoever to do with the fulfilment of any of the numerous Old Testament prophecies surrounding Israel’s restoration.  The fulfilment (after any fashion) of such promises today, from a Biblical standpoint, is impossible, for Christ is still ministering after the order of Aaron in the heavenly sanctuary.

 

 

Thus, the ransom which Christ paid to effect Israel’s cleansing cannot presently be used; nor can Israel return to the land of her possession today.  These things are reserved for the seventh day, which lies just ahead.

 

 

However, a remnant must be present in the land immediately preceding the end of Man’s Day for certain prophecies surrounding Israel and the nations to be fulfilled, though the existence of this remnant has nothing to do with the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies surrounding Israel’s restoration.  Thus, the existence of the nation of Israel in the land today [consisting of almost 5,000,000 Jews] is neither the beginning of nor a partial fulfilment of any Old Testament prophecy surrounding Israel’s restoration to the land.  Rather, this remnant in the land is the result of a Zionistic work among the Jews during about the past century, and this remnant constitutes the existence of an end-time Israeli nation which must be present in the land in order to bring about the fulfilment of numerous Old Testament prophecies surrounding Israel and the nations immediately preceding Christ’s return.

 

 

In this respect, the remnant in the land today constitutes the nation which will shortly make the seven-year covenant with Antichrist.  And this remnant will, in turn, later be uprooted from the land [something which will never occur after the Jewish people have been re-gathered in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy (cf. Isa. 2: 14; Jer. 32: 37-44; Ezek. 37: 19-28; 39: 25-29; Joel 2: 27-32; Micah 4: 1-7)].

 

 

In the middle of the Tribulation, when Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, the nation of Israel, as we know it today, will be uprooted from their land; and the Jews dwelling in the land at that time, who do not escape to a place which God has specially prepared for them in the mountainous terrain of the land [Matt. 24: 16-20; Rev. 12: 6,14] will either be slain or be sold as slaves throughout the Gentile world [cf. Joel 16; Luke 21: 20-24; Rev. 11: 2].

 

 

During the last half of the Tribulation there will be no Jewish nation in the Middle East.  Rather, Jerusalem, the capital of Jewry, will be “trodden down of the Gentiles” until the full end of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, which marks the end of “the times of the Gentiles” [cf. Dan. 9: 24-27; Luke 21: 24; Rev. 11: 2].

 

 

During this time, the entire world - particularly the centre of Antichrist’s kingdom in the Middle East [including the land of Israel as we know it today] - will become like Nazi Germany during the final six years of the Third Reich [1939-1945].  And when the Holocaust of that coming day reaches its darkest hour, Messiah will return, and He Himself will effect the prophesied re-gathering of the nation [Matt. 24: 15-31; Luke 21: 20-27].

 

 

Christ must first complete His present ministry in the sanctuary and return to earth.  Only then can Israel avail herself of the ransom and return to the land of her possession.)

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

Appendix II

 

 

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

 

WITH A PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON REV. 17, 18

 

 

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither, I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

 

 

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

 

 

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

 

 

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

 

 

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev. 17: 1-5).

 

 

Revelation chapters six through eighteen reveal events which will occur during the coming seven-year Tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30: 7).  This will be the time when the final seven years of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy will be fulfilled (Dan. 9: 24-27), completing a prophecy which began to be fulfilled about 2,450 years ago but was interrupted seven years short of completion almost 2,000 years ago, at the time of Christ’s crucifixion.  In this respect, the Tribulation period comprises the fulfilment of the last seven years of the previous dispensation.

 

 

Events during this time will revolve around Israel and the nations, with Israel occupying centre-stage.  This will be the prophesied time of the manifestation of God’s wrath upon the earth-dwellers at the end of Man’s Day.  And the Jewish people during this time, scattered among the nations and the central focus of God’s wrath, will be brought into such dire straits that, to effect deliverance, they will be left without a choice other than to turn to and call upon the God of their fathers (as seen in the type in the Book of Exodus, preceding the deliverance under Moses [Ex. 1: 8 - 3: 10]).

 

 

God will use the judgments of the Tribulation (chs. 6-18) - judgments which will reach a severity unparalleled in man’s history (cf. Matt. 24: 21, 22) - to bring Israel to the place of repentance.  Then Gentile world power will be destroyed (ch. 19b), with Israel subsequently occupying the position for which the nation was brought into existence (ch. 20a).

 

 

All of the judgments during the Tribulation are seen occurring within the scope of that contained in the seven-sealed scroll.  That’s why a search is seen in chapter five for an individual worthy to break the seals of the scroll alone, with nothing stated in this chapter about the subsequently revealed judgments under the seven trumpets and seven vials (seen in chs. 8 - 11, 15, 16).  The reason for this is evident from revelation provided later in the book.

 

 

The seven trumpet judgments lie within the seventh seal, and the seven vial judgments lie within the seventh trumpet (8: 1, 2; 11: 15; 15: 1ff).  In this respect, all of the trumpet and vial judgments lie within the seventh seal, making all of the judgments seen within the seals, trumpets, and vials lie within the scope of that seen in the seven-sealed scroll.

 

 

This is also why a terminus can be seen when the seventh trumpet is blown (10: 7; 11: 15), for the seventh trumpet contains the seven vials, which bring matters surrounding these judgments to an end (16: 17).  Thus, once the seventh seal is broken, the door is opened for all of the remaining judgments to occur.

 

 

Also, note something about the layout of chapters six through eighteen in this book.  That seen in these chapters forms a chronology of events, but this chronology is interrupted numerous times throughout the book in order that additional, explanatory data can be supplied.  And this explanatory data, forming commentary material, drops back and covers events which occur during the same time already covered by the preceding material.  This form of revelation is something seen throughout Scripture.  A complete, chronological sequence of events is given.  Then Scripture drops back and provides additional, explanatory data, or other material about to be further developed in subsequent chapters.

 

 

To illustrate, note Revelation chapter twelve in this respect.  Verses one through six cover the complete sequence of events.  Then the remaining verses in the chapter drop back and form commentary material for the sequence of events already covered in the first six verses.

 

 

The whole of that seen in chapters six through eighteen is laid out in this manner.  For example, the breaking of the first six seals in chapter six covers time during most of the Tribulation.  But chapter seven drops back in time, providing commentary material as it relates to Israel and the nations during the time when these six seals are being broken.  And, through doing this, chapter seven begins setting the stage for the impartation of different types of commentary material surrounding Israel and the nations, with earlier material forming a foundation for later material.  In this particular instance, 144,000 Jews, removed from the nation, are introduced; and later revelation surrounding the 144,000 in the book (chs. 11, 12, 14) builds on the former.

 

 

Understanding how the book is structured is particularly important for correctly understanding chapters eleven through fourteen, along with chapters seventeen and eighteen.  Then bear in mind that Israel and the nations are in view - Israel first, then the nations (cf. Jer. 25: 15-18; Ezek. 5: 5).  And though Israel will be the primary focus of God’s wrath during the time beginning in Revelation chapter six, judgment will befall the Gentile nations as well.  Not only will the Jewish people find themselves scattered among the nations at this time but also the object of an increasing anti-Semitism at the hands of these nations, resulting in God acting accordingly (cf. Gen. 12: 3; Zech. 1: 14, 15).

 

 

OVERVIEW OF CHAPTERS SIX THROUGH EIGHTEEN

 

 

The general overview of Revelation chapters six through eighteen, detailing events which will occur during “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” would be:

 

 

Chapter Six: The first six seals are broken (depicting judgments extending throughout most of the Tribulation, leaving the trumpet and vial judgments to occur during time near the end of the Tribulation (probably within about the last year), when conditions will become as seen in Matt. 24: 21, 22 (cf. Rev. 6: 12-17; 16: 17-21).

 

 

Chapter Seven:  One hundred and forty-four thousand Jews, twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes, are sealed - an introduction to God’s evangels of the Tribulation, who will proclaim the message seen in Matt. 24: 14 - with the apparent results of their ministry seen in the latter part of the chapter.  This chapter provides commentary material on particular events which occur during the time covered by the breaking of the first six seals in the previous chapter, which would cover time during most of the Tribulation.  It is evident from subsequent revelation that the 144,000 in this chapter are saved and set apart during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation, with their ministry occurring during the last three and one-half years.

 

 

Chapters Eight, Nine: The first six trumpets are blown, depicting judgments apparently occurring near the end of the Tribulation (note again that the previous breaking of the first six seals a