Introductory Comments to the Book of Esther

Something taken out of historical content, isolated from the surrounding histories, lacks in full understanding of any given context. It is awareness without much understanding. This is the reason for the following graphic. Scripture sometimes advances in years between chapters and sometimes between verse. This distorts the value of the in between events in history. The Book of Esther is one of these points of skipped years. Example: Esther 1:3 states “in the third year of Ahasuerus’s reign”. Esther 2:16 is four years later…”in the seventh year of his reign”. Esther 3:7 we read “in the twelfth year of his reign”. This is another four years later than Esther 2:16. In short, a minimum of 8 years of blank history passes between Esther 1:3 and Esther 3:7. It isn’t blank but not sometimes covered in the Bible.

What else surrounded Esther’s background in history? We cannot give a good mental awareness, knowledge, and understanding of histories that lead up to the Book of Esther unless we explain a few things in world and Bible history prior to, at the time of, and after the Book of Esther. This is where we will begin this study of Esther. The hollow orange section with the red “X” in the following chronology identifies a time-period for which we know Esther became wife of King Xerxes. It is likely she lived on as Queen Mother after his death, but for how long we do not know. We do understand that King Ahasuerus died in 465 B.C. The bold red rectangular box shows that Bible history is extended to the end of this chart. Charts can be discouraging when one tries to look at it in general. Read each item within its own context of history. This is how we define aha moments.

We do not like to inundate our articles with graphs and charts because so many spend zero time examining them even if for their own personal gain and added insight. Plus, we have a problem with Persian historians. We have multiple “historians” who juggle kingships and years to best fit his or her assumptions, perspectives, or motives. The following is as accurate as we have found. It comes from a worthy read:

https://www.bible-history.com/old-testament/persian-kings.html

JIV NOTE: Satraps of provinces within the Persian Empire were also called Kings. King Herod of the Christmas history in Judea was a Satrap of the Emperor of Rome but called a king.

2 Chronicles 36:23 – Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him and let him go up.

JIV NOTE: Cyrus the Great of Persia released the Jews of Babylon and elsewhere with his empire borders to return to Judah or specifically Jerusalem. Most opted to move elsewhere of to stay put.

This chart reveals the later demise of the Persian Empire (Achaemenid dynasty). The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon in 536 BC. The Persian Empire succeeded the Babylonian Empire. It was Cyrus (King of Persia) who issued the famous decree for the Jews to return to their homeland to rebuild their Temple. [JIV NOTE: Darius was king of Babylon, not Persia) Under Darius the second Temple of Zerubbabel was completed; and under Xerxes, or Ahasuerus, the events recorded in the Book of Esther in the Bible happened. Under Artaxerxes I the Jewish state was reformed by Ezra, and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Nehemiah. The capital of the Persian Empire was Shushan. The Empire lasted a little more than 200 years and came to an end in *330 BC.”

The 330 B.C. demise of the Persian Empire had much to do with Queen Esther’s king-husband Ahasuerus [aka Xerxes 130 years earlier]. JIV NOTE: Some translations confuse things even more by suggesting that Xerxes was aka Artaxerxes. Persian records are far from exacting.

Yes, this is too much history for some readers. Without this knowledge, how does one confirm its value in paralleling secular histories and Bible facts over the same time periods. There is NO CONFLICT since bible and secular histories are simultaneous or concurrent events. Bible and secular histories are not individual and different. They are both a common and often simultaneous history of our world through the eyes of their authors but often not connected by the dots. One is not fact and the other a religion. It is religion that puts a false spin on their disconnect by not connecting the dots. The same is TRUE of secular revisionist historians. Connecting some of these dots is our role at Ahabiblemoments.com. We make the connections because it all adds up to ONE HISTORY.

Following is an exert from excellent research done by Mary Jane Chaignot:

King Ahasuerus

By Mary Jane Chaignot

  • Scholars are uncertain which king is referred to by this name.
  • For a long time, they believed it was another name for Xerxes I, who reigned from 485-465 BCE.
  • He was the son of Darius I of Persia; his mother was the daughter of Cyrus the Great.
  • During his reign, he had to deal with revolts in Egypt and Babylon.
  • He was successful in both ventures, but highly unpopular in Babylon after melting down the revered statue of the idol Marduk. Some scholars think this might have been the cause of subsequent rebellions by the Babylonians.
  • He was also in command during the Battle at Thermopylae when 300 Spartans and 1000 Greeks stood up to the entire Persian army. Though the Spartans were ultimately defeated (by the treachery of a fellow countryman), their stand allowed the people of Athens time to vacate the city.
  • The city of Athens was destroyed (whether on purpose or by accident is a matter of debate), which led to high anti-Persian sentiment.
  • After unsuccessfully trying to defeat the Greeks on the sea, Xerxes had to return to Babylon to deal with further unrest in that area.
  • This is most likely due to his representation in the Book of Esther, and it surely didn’t hurt that he had destroyed the statue of Marduk.
  • According to Josephus, “after the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son, Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes.”
  • Josephus claims this king married a Jewish wife, who was responsible for saving the Jews.
  • He goes on to relate the story of Vashti, Esther, and Mordecai.
  • Daniel 9:1 also mentions Ahasuerus, who was supposedly the father of Darius, King of Media. Unfortunately, no such individual is given secular documentation. [JIV NOTE] Why? Perhaps because he may have been the son of the Jewess Queen Esther. *Leviticus Rabbah 13:5 states this Darius to be the son of Queen Esther. *Hebrew Midrash scholars.

https://biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/king-ahasuerus.php

This will help connect the elusive bible and secular history dots, give the reader points of reference, and eliminate confusion or give guidance in some true Bible student minds; those who wish to go beyond the “milk of the Word and the isolated stories within the Bible”.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Prevailing Hope – When Life Hurts

Real Life…..REAL HOPE

Life is not easy. We all face challenges. Some people seem to have it easy, while others have more than their share.Whether your pain is small or large, the truth is the same. There is Hope. Prevailing Hope -When Life Hurts is about how to face challenges head-on with a Living Hope that will not let you down.

About the author:
Brenda McKee learned from a young age that life is tough and sometimes it really HURTS. During her 30 plus year battle with Multiple Sclerosis and other severe health issues, along with the heartbreak of domestic violence, Brenda has endured with prevailing hope and been an inspiration to many! With her faith in a loving God and her service dog at her side, Brenda finds triumph in the midst of tragedy, with lots of laughs along the way. Her story gives something exceptional and beautiful to the world

About the book:
Prevailing HOPE is my story, and my heart – to give you hope in the midst of all we go through on this earth. It’s my journey, and how the Lord has shown me how I can be okay, even when life is not okay. My prayer is that all who read this, will draw closer to the Source of All Hope – the Lord Jesus Christ. This book is NOT a pity story, easy answers, or me saying it’s going to be okay; it may not – but WE CAN BE! This book IS ABOUT real stuff we face, hope in the midst of pain, finding REAL joy and strength, and how we can enjoy life every day.

“Prevailing Hope: When Life Hurts,” is now available to buy on Amazon

The Book of Esther

Introduction to Esther

How does one discuss or explain verses in a Bible book that does not even mention God, Jehovah, heaven, eternity, End Time, Prophets, or prophesies from the prophets or other books in the Old Testament? Since a verse-by-verse approach is not fitting for a book that constitutes an inclusive segment within history and being that the Book of Esther is the LAST book of history in the Bible, we need to take the surrounding events that played up to this event around 480 B.C. to perhaps 465 B.C.

Let’ begin with a timeline. Why? If it is the last historical book of the Old Testament that means historical event led up to it. It also means it has an influence on things that followed. This history of Esther and the Jews results from the hundreds of thousand if not millions of Jews (Judeans) including those from the kingdom of Judah who were also taken captive who did not return to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, Nehemiah or Ezra. But she undoubtedly knew of them and the return of 50,000 to 60,000 Judeans shortly before her birth.

STAY TUNE for the Timeline next week!!

Zechariah Chapter 14

Insightful and key chapter into what is going to happen “On That Day”

This critical chapter regarding the end of End Time events cannot or should not be commented upon until one has read it from scripture. We will highlight each verse as we read through Zechariah 14 using the MKJV and comment accordingly one verse at a time. There is victory in Jesus. This chapter gives us great insight into what is going to happen beginning On That Day.

The Coming Day of the Lord

What happens beginning On That Day

Zec 14:1  Behold, the day of Jehovah comes, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst.

This is the beginning of On That Day we read throughout Zechariah.

Zec 14:2  For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem; and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women raped. And half of the city shall go into exile, and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

ALL NATIONS

All nations mean ALL nations. America is part of all nations. She is already heading down that road with the election loss of President Trump. Even the millions of Jews in New York could not find it in their hearts to support him. He made Jerusalem the embassy center/capital of Israel for the USA. Why are we so blinded?

Zec 14:3  And Jehovah shall go out and fight against those nations, like the day He fought in the day of battle. cf. Zechariah 12:9. The Targum [aka: Tanakh] of Judaism adds “at the Red Sea.”  There are multiple of other war incidents where God intervenes on behalf of Israel. We should not ignore them.

Zec 14:4  And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall divide from its middle, from the east and to the west, a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

As in the day of Egyptian captivity and escape, God divided the Red Sea so Israelites had an escape route. This passage may imply the same thing, that is, the dividing of a mountain range blocking their escape path “in that day.”

Zec 14:5  And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. And Jehovah my God shall come, and all the saints with you.

This earthquake is also mentioned in Amos 1:1 “Amos’ earthquake”. Plus we read of the return of the raptured saints along with Jesus. This is the beginning of the end for political correctness, Satan, his minions, antisemitism, antichristianity…

Zec 14:6  And it will be in that day, there shall not be light; the glorious ones shall shrink.

            See next verse…

Zec 14:7  And it will be one day which shall be known to Jehovah, neither day nor night; but it will happen that at evening time it shall be light.

“…one day which shall be known to Jehovah”. This simply means the day of world history reckoning is known only to God the Father. Neither day nor night? John 8:12 points out that Jesus will be the light of the world. He will become the light of the world.

Zec 14:8  And it shall be in that day, living waters shall go out from Jerusalem [under the throne: Revelation 22:1]; half of them shall go toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea. In summer and in winter it shall be.

The eastern Sea is the Mediterranean and the western sea is the Jordan connected to the Dead Sea. All will become as fresh water, no longer salt for the seas. [Revelation 21:1]. The elevation of Jerusalem will be raised so “crystal clear and healing waters” can flow in opposite directions from under the throne of Jesus.

Zec 14:9  And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name shall be one. The Millennial Reign of Christ from Jerusalem. Back in Zechariah 13 we studied that ALL idols will no longer exist in object form or in mind.

Zec 14:10  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. And it shall rise and dwell in its place, from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate; to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king’s winepresses.

Micah 1:3,4; Revelation 16:20 The highest place [on earth] shall be Jerusalem for it will rise above all others.

Zec 14:11  And they shall dwell in it, and there shall never again be a shutting in, but Jerusalem shall dwell safely. Ezekiel 34:28; Isaiah 40:4 “God’s hand will be over his chosen and they will KNOW that he is their God and they his people”. All past sin will be wiped from their minds.

Zec 14:12  And this shall be the plague with which Jehovah will strike all the peoples who have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall rot in their sockets. And their tongue shall rot in their mouth.

This is the effect of nuclear fallout upon exposure to it. One’s flesh shall melt while s/he stands on foot. This is God’s hand of judgment.

Zec 14:13  And it shall be in that day a great panic of Jehovah [for he] shall be among them And they shall each one lay hold of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. As in the day of Jehosephat, God simply caused great confusion amongst the attacking troops who were lined up against Israel. God confused them and they slew each other while still in their own camp. Perhaps it isn’t so odd that the Battle of Armageddon is fought in the Valley of Jezreel; aka Valley of Jehosephat [2 Chronicles 20:1-30] also known as the Kidron Valley which is between the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem. What city is near these places? City of Margeddo.

Zec 14:14  And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations all around shall be gathered, gold, and silver, and clothing in great abundance.

Obviously the enemy is routed if not wiped off the face of the world. The fact that Judah is mentioned and not identified as Israel is confusing. Commentary after commentary venture down roads of guessing. Some commentaries say Judah will fight against Jerusalem, in Jerusalem, with Jerusalem, at Jerusalem, etc.

They ”also fight” means in this KJV verse [in Hebrew] to “pull together, assemble against, join [gam]”

Zec 14:15  And so shall be the plague of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the ass, and of all the beasts which shall be in these tents, like this plague.

A neutron bomb [see 14:12 comments] being used is guess work but since the same deterioration that happens to the enemy will also happen to other living creatures OUTSIDE of Jerusalem/Israel. The common denominator is something as effective as radiation fallout. Isaiah 31:4 points out that God’s hand of protection is over his chosen but not over the living things in the camps of their enemies.

Zec 14:16  And it shall be, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

This is not an option or choice without consequence. See Zechariah 14:17,18. No rain for a year if no one from any nation attends this required annual Festival of Tabernacles, sometimes called Festival of Tents in Jerusalem. One may think this to be very harsh, but that same person does not understand holiness and why God created Adam. We have spent our entire history trying to make God fit into OUR definition of life on earth.

Zec 14:17  And it shall be, whoever  will not come up from all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, even on them shall be no rain.

Worshiping the King of kings is not an option without consequence. How this global travel will be done is a mystery, but it is not an option. This will distinguish between the goats and the sheep. No longer will there be quasi-denominational or religious factors. After the end of the 1,000 Millennial Reign God will judge the intent of each person’s heart. No longer will there be fake news and false worship. Denominationalism is GONE! Denominationalism is a great enemy of following Jesus. There are no two or three ways about the truth. Denominations continue to want THEIR’S to be the one and only way.

Zec 14:18  And if the family of Egypt does not go up, nor come in, they shall have no rain, but the plague [no rain for a year] with which Jehovah shall strike the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles [Tents].

Read between the lines. No rain for their crops means people will still work for a living. Even the Dead Sea will by then produce a fishing industry [Ezekiel 47:8,9].

Zec 14:19  This shall be Egypt’s offense, and the offense of all the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Let this verse be self-evident. All eyes will be upon the light on the hillside, that being Jerusalem. They will finally be the light of the world. Isaiah 49:3 states: He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant; because of you, people will praise me.”

Zec 14:20  In that day there shall be on the bells of the horses, HOLY TO JEHOVAH. And the pots in Jehovah’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

Exodus 28:36 is the precedence. [LITV] He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
because of you, people will praise me.”
This is repeated in Isaiah 29:3. No more vote for me or the other guy, mileages, school funds, environmental issues, etc. There will be one central government situated in Jerusalem, Israel.

Zec 14:21  Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holy to Jehovah of Hosts. And all those who sacrifice shall come and take of them, and boil in them. And in that day there shall no longer be a trader in the house of Jehovah of Hosts.

This is not a verse for which a full understanding from a “do it our way” christian seeks to hear. We refer to those who are religious but do not make Christ central to their life. God will demand full allegiance and consecrated [holy] living… “In That Day.” It is obvious people will still have choices. All will know the truth but still some think denial will somehow make it the way s/he wishes it to be. It is these people who rise-up against God/Jesus once Satan is released from his 1,000 Millennial bondage…but only for a little while.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020