A Spiritual Meaning to the Book of Esther
Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 10, 2010
I finally got around to writing a detailed study to show the time frame of the book of Esther and how it relates to Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and other books of the Bible written during the Persian empire, the second world power, and how those events relate to end times. Here is the link. https://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/spiritual-timing-of-esther/
Let me tell you something. When you asked God for wisdom, and He handed you a big black book over 1000 pages long. What did you do? Did you say it was too hard, and give up? Or did you look for someone to read it for you, and give you the quick run down on what it says? We are in the end of a spiritual war. Don’t you think it’s time to read the manual? The best thing you can do is pick up the book, read it, and if you need help, find someone who is able to explain how to understand scripture.
For a long time I’ve wandered if the Book of Esther had a deeper meaning than the story easily found on the surface. The answer is found in a few key words, the first being Ahasuerus, found not only in the book of Esther, but the book of Ezra.
Ezra 4:6 KJV And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
This is the same Ahasuerus in the book of Esther.
Esther 1:1 KJV 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:)
We now have texts placing the book of Esther in a particular point in history. To understand the spiritual relationship between these books, we need to compare and understand the situations in both Jerusalem and Ahasuerus’ kingdom.
Esther 3:6 KJV 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.
Haman, a high ranking official, and advisor to Ahasuerus, devised a plan to destroy all the Jews. What connection does this have with the book of Ezra? To answer this question we need to review a few texts to gain a better understanding.
Ezra 1:1-2 KJV Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, (2) Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Ezra returned to Jerusalem to fulfill one of Jeremiah’s prophecies. A general rule of Bible study tells us, when a scripture writer references texts from another writer, the original texts should be located and added to the study, thereby providing a complete explanation. The original text can be easily located by searching a few key words, or using a Bible with chain references.
Jeremiah 27:21-22 KJV Yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; (22) They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
Ezra returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of the Lord, the temple, and return the vessels. This instantly brings to mind another book describing the return to Jerusalem after the 70 year captivity in Babylon. There is a parallel book to Ezra providing additional details, Nehemiah, who also returned to Jerusalem. His book records additional information explaining the spiritual implications of Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews.
Nehemiah 1:1-3 KJV The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (2) That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. (3) And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
It is important to understand, Ezra returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of the Lord, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls and gates. Some people claim the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are not consistent. When you understand the details of these books, you can see why Ezra and Nehemiah recorded different accounts.
Two people can work at the same company. It would not be unusual for each to write a book about the same company with different details and views. If an engineer writes about his experiences, they would drastically differ from the views of an accountant, or a sales person. Since Ezra and Nehemiah worked at different locations in Jerusalem, you would not expect to see a perfectly consistent amount of overlapping details. Nehemiah’s insight to the situation is much different than Ezra’a for a reason. A major aspect of Bible study is reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide your mind from scripture to scripture in order to gather all the details. God has placed the answers within His collection of books we call the Bible. It is up to us to uncover the details.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 KJV And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, (5) And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: (6) Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. (7) We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. (8) Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: (9) But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. (10) Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. (11) O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.
Many people see little reason to study the book of Nehemiah, a record of Jerusalem’s walls being rebuilt. This may be based on the fact it centers on the subject of keeping God’s commandments. These people may not know what the key word, “wall,” spiritually represents. The answer is easily found by searching the word wall in the Bible.
Psalms 51:17-18 KJV The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (18) Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Psalm 51 seems to provide an adequate answer. Additional texts provide a more complete explanation.
Psalms 122:6-7 KJV Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (7) Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
Zechariah 2:5 KJV For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
A wall can represent God’s character. The Bible explains this by using words and symbols such as; peace, and contrite heart, two attributes seldom found in men. God pulls these together by saying, “the Lord will be unto her a wall,” referring only to Himself.
Isaiah 26:1 KJV In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Isaiah 60:18 KJV Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
God also uses the word wall to represent His salvation. It is plain to see, Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews is an acted parable showing his intent to destroying God, His character, and the salvation He offers by destroying the Jews. This is also a prophecy showing us a time will come when others will plot to destroy God’s followers in an attempt to destroy His character, thereby withholding His salvation.
It’s simple to see, Haman was offended because Mordecai put his faith in God. Haman not only wanted to hang Mordecai, but destroy all the Jews. This would have stopped the work on the temple, and the walls of Jerusalem, each represeting a number of spiritual symbols.
This study is an illustration showing God’s ability to record all the information necessary to explain His parables and prophecies in His Bible. Scripture has revealed evidence showing the connection between the books of Ezra and Esther. Using only the Bible we have shown a plot existed to destroy all the Jews. The Bible also explained the work a remnant of His followers were to accomplish, which was foretold in a prophecy by Jeremiah, showing how God builds one prophecy upon another. When the Bible is diligently studied, the Holy Ghost will establish rules of interpretation placed within God’s word, along with all the facts required to complete the study. The main point of this study verifies, every detail required to interpret parables and prophecies is contained within the Bible. Every detail is already supplied by the word of God, written with His infinite wisdom, beyond our comprehension.
Here are a couple of free Bible Study Internet resources I have been using. I have to tell you. I have been learning so much from these classes taught for free by pastor, teacher, and lecturer Dr. Lee Gugliotto. He has taught classes in biblical languages, theology, and hermeneutics at several seminaries. His book, Handbook for Bible Study, was awarded a Gold Medallion, the equivalent of an Oscar for Christian writers. Since working with Dr. Lee, my insight into God’s Word has more than tripled.
WebStudy is a virtual classroom over the Internet. It will train you to listen for God’s voice in the text so the Bible can explain itself. You will master study basics that lay the foundations for deeper personal learning.
QuikerStudy relies on the way the Holy Spirit led Bible writers to express truth God revealed to them. It equips you to use basic Bible study tools and to understand scripture guided by three simple principles––integrated into a single skill. Easy enough for children, it is the ultimate online inductive experience for the whole family.
CuppaJ Cafe serves the most satisfying CuppaJesus in town. We brew up a fresh daily devotion, verse-by-verse from the text to bring out its full flavor. Then we share each daily devotional with those who come to the Cafe to give the group a taste of what the text has to offer, so they can have a deeper, personal learning experience with Christ later that day.
How we brew up the word:
- First, we define words, explain the meaning of figures and symbols, and acquaint them with people, places, and things in the text
- Then, we lead the people on a simple trip through the text
- Pour out a Christian thought from it, and…
- Invite everyone to interpret the text from the writer’s words
- Finally, we challenge everyone to spend time in the text alone with Christ later in the day to pour out another and better CuppaJesus from the same brew