Feast of Purim Established

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Feasts

The Feast of Purim was not established by the Mosaic Law. It was commanded by Mordecai (vv. 20-28) and by Esther (vv. 29-32). These two feast days were for remembering the goodness of God working through a number of circumstances to protect His people from extinction. This feast was called Purim (referring to the lot) because of Haman’s use of the lot to determine the time of the execution (3:7). Mordecai proclaimed that the Jews were to make the 14th and 15th days of March official feast days (vv. 18-19). This celebration of the feasts was to involve eating and the giving of gifts to each other and the poor (vv 20-22). Mordecai’s letter declared this to be an official annual custom (v. 23). It is still celebrated by Jews today as part of their annual festivities. Of course,  it isn’t like one of the holy feasts ordained by Moses (Lev. 23). It is something like our Thanksgiving. The book of Esther in its entirety is read in public during these festivities.

Haman hated the Jews so much that he planned to destroy them and cast lots for the best time to do it (v. 24). Then Esther asked the king to save her people and he gave the order for Haman and his sons to be hanged (v. 25). Mordecai wrote a letter stating the Jews must celebrate for two days (called Purim) because of what had happened to them (v. 26).  Now every year the Jews celebrate these two days (vv. 27-28). Queen Esther wrote a letter about this feast and copies were sent to the Jews in the 127 provinces (vv. 29-30). It stated that you and your descendants must follow the instructions given and that these laws about Purim are written by the authority of Esther (vv. 31-32).

Application

I must never let the celebration or the exchanging of gifts at Christmas time rob me of the meaning of this great event. It is Jesus birthday and the biggest gift should be for Him.

Esther 9:18-32 (English Standard Version)


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