Most Christians are totally unaware of the great significance of Passover as it has been replaced by the celebration of Easter (derived from the word Astarte, the goddess of Fertility). A celebration never ordained by the Lord, but instituted by Emperor Constantine who was a sun worshipper, and having deep pagan roots (do not take my word but research it out for yourself). It is essential for the church to restore the centrality of Passover in Christian worship if it is to be a Bride without spot or wrinkle prepared for her Bridegroom, Jesus the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach.
The Day of Remembering
In a few weeks time we are going to be celebrating one of God's Feasts that He gave to Moses to give to the Israelites.
Many people try to say that people who have accepted Yeshua as Messiah do not need to keep any of God's Feasts. If we read Romans 15:4 it says “ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Tenach we might have hope.” Wow Shaul / Paul only had the Tenach /Old Testament, so are we prepared to learn from the past and what it all means? Yeshua said in Matthew 5:17 - 18 “Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah and the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to uphold. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys these commands and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Therefore as we learn and study Torah the 1st 5 books of the Bible we will begin to understand more about God's ways and the Feasts which God gave to all who believe in him for the Jew and the Gentile. For the Gentile who has been grafted into the Olive tree and the Jewish person it is not a salvation issue but a way of drawing closer to Almighty God.
Hanukah or Chanukah means “dedication”,and refers to the rededication of the Temple after a great Jewish military victory in 165 BCE This feast is not a feast that was given to Moses or a feast of the Lord's. In fact it is not mandated in the Bible. The details are found in the books of First and Second Macabees in the Apocrypha, the books written in the 400 years between the Tenach (Old Testament) and B’rit Chadashah (New Testament). If you read the books of the Macabees you will see that God was not silent in these years. He was still very much at work fulfilling His promises and preserving His people. You will also see that there are good Biblical reasons to celebrate this feast. In John's Gospel 10:22-23 we will see that Yeshua observed this holiday:
“Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Yeshua was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s colonnade.”
Chag HaAsif (or Final Ingathering or Final Harvest)
Are you prepared for God's appointed times?
Are you even aware what these appointed times of the Lord (Yeshua’s Prophetic Calendar) to which Genesis 1:14 refers? And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for appointed times (H4150) (seasons) and for days and years; (JUB) The Biblical calendar is based on the lunar cycle. The moon reflects the sun which sets both the daily and yearly cycles. It has no light of itself just as we have no light of ourselves and only reflect the Son of God where the 'o' in Son is complete! What are these appointed times that God (Elohim) has given to mankind through the Jewish people? Yeshua has fulfilled the first four annual Appointed Times of God given in Leviticus 23:4-22. He is the Paschal Lamb who was slain for the sins of the World on Passover as the sinless offering as represented by the Feast of Matzah, Unleavened Bread. He was raised on the day after the Sabbath as our First Fruits and seven weeks later He sent the Holy Spirit on Shavuot Pentecost to compete the first four feasts! What about the last three festivals given in Leviticus 23:23-44 called the Fall Feasts?
Fall or Autumn Feasts
In the last Newsletter we wrote on Yom Teruah which starts the final Appointed Times that are still to be fulfilled in Yeshua. When Messiah comes for his bride we see a connection between the ancient Jewish wedding feast. The bridegroom has the Shofar blown and shouts that he is on his way to collect his bride who knows she has to be ready and waiting as she did not know when her bridegroom was coming for her. At Yom Teruah / Rosh Hashanah The Day of Shouting or Blowing of Shofar is connected to when the Lord comes back both as Bridegroom and King of kings. At the final SHOUT/Shofar the Lambs Book of Life is closed after the 10 Days of Awe culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement which is the last opportunity to repent and turn to the LORD. Five days later on the full moon begins Sukkot, the most important Feast of Tabernacles / In-gathering when the fruits of the land were gathered and brought joyfully before the LORD for seven days of celebrations. Much can be said about the significance of the Feasts and especially how Yeshua will fulfill it as the Bridegroom at the Wedding Feast of The Lamb of God. Facts of Sukkot/Feast of Booths:
What is the significance of Sukkot?
Forty days before Tuesday 15 July (Tammuz 17) we celebrated Shavuot/Pentecost.
On this day (15 July) hopes for a ceasefire in the rain of rockets from Gaza were crushed as Hamas continued sending rockets from Gaza even with Israel's unilaterally ceasefire. This could be a very significant time for Israel and the world. We are living in very prophetic times "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains" (Mat 24:7-8)... Israel is God's time piece.
The destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Titus in 70 AD. Painting by Francesco Hayez.
Going back to Moses
Forty days after Shavuot is the Fast of Tammuz 17 (15 July 2014) the beginning of a three week period building up to the 9th Av Tish'a B'Av on the 5 August. Moses received the Ten Commandments (10 Words) on Shavuot fifty days after crossing the Reed Sea, but he tarried on the Mount for 40 days with YHVH. This allowed the evil of Egypt to rise up in the Israelites that led to the building of the golden calf and Moses smashing the two tablets and the Levites standing with Moses by killing 3000 Israelites. This has sent a shock wave through time for tragedy to befall the Jewish people at this time of the year leading to severe loss during this three week period through the ages.
Do you believe in divine coincidence? On the 17th of Tammuz, the Jewish People remember tragic coincidence. On this day in both 586 BC and in AD 70, the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians and the Romans respectively.
And in yet another remarkable coincidence, the First and Second Temples were destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Romans in AD 70 three weeks later on the 9th of Av which has become an annual fast day called Tish'aB'Av.
In Judaism, the breach of Jerusalem's walls and the subsequent destruction of the Temple is considered no mere coincidence. These great tragedies were the result of rebellion and idolatry.
"And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them.... Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods." (Deuteronomy 31:16-18)
We are in a three-week period of teshuvah (repentance) called Bein ha-Metzarim (Between the Straits) or The Three Weeks that ends with the fast of Tish'aB'Av.
With this in view the next few weeks could be very significant for Israel and the world. The IDF has gone into Gaza to remove the control Hamas has had over Gaza to rain rockets down on Israel citizens. With the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in the Ukraine has taken media focus off Israel.
This together with the world becoming more aware of Hamas glorifying death of its own people, Israel has an opportunity to do what it could not do in the 2012 infada with the tacit support of Egypt and Saudi Arabia no less!
So there is no place for celebration during this period, but as the Orthodox Jews limit celebrations at this time—not carrying out marriages and avoiding other expressions of joy, such as playing musical instruments and reciting songs of praise. Although this is a time of mourning, it is also a time of hope since Zechariah prophesied that the 17th of Tammuz would be transformed into a day of joy.
"The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace." (Zechariah 8:19)
The 17th of Tammuz, therefore, is a minor fast that carries the hope of a major promise:
On this day and throughout The Three Weeks, the Jewish People look forward to the coming Third Temple and the Messianic Era when the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) will reign in Jerusalem.
Many in Israel are preparing for the building of the 3rd Temple. Two key elements required for this to happen is a so called peace in the Middle East and a Red Heifer that fits all the Torah requirements given in Numbers 19 so the Temple Mount may be purified by using its ashes to make 'water of purification'. Only nine Red Heifer have been recorded since Moses. The tenth Red Heifer is a complete picture of Yeshua as He has fulfilled all these Torah requirements and more.
In Luke 21:24-28 Yeshua said "They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.""
At present there are signs in the heavens that could be God warning us to be prepared for what is going to happen. It is called a Tretrad where there are four red moon that appear on the feasts of Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Trumpets) over 2014 and 2015 with a full solar eclipse on Nissan 1 next year as shown below and discussed on YouTube clip by BHN Ministries.
So this is a critical time tobe praying for Israel, the IDF and the whole Middle East. About 99.9% of God's Chosen Jewish People in Israel do not yet recognize that Yeshua (Jesus) has fulfilled the Messianic prophecies regarding the suffering Messiah (His first coming). They also do not know, therefore, that He will be returning to rule in Jerusalem as King Messiah.
"I have placed My chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on My holy mountain." (Psalm 2:6)
Have any of you really looked at the Book of Ruth or as in Hebrew it is called the Megilot Rut (Scroll of Ruth). The name of Ruth means friend and she was a true friend and daughter in law to Naomi whose name means pleasant.
The book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges and if we look at the book of Judges it tells us that during the time of the Judges Israel had no King and that the people did what they thought was right. In other words a law unto themselves. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was only called on and worshipped when things were not going well. We see that there was a famine in the land. In Hebrew the word for famine is 'raav' and this is far more than just no food, it is a lack of morality and disobedience to God. We do not read of no rain at the time but that the Midianites and even the Philistines kept attacking and taking the food from the Israelites.
A man by the name of Elimelech, (my God is King) his wife Naomi (pleasant) and two sons Machlon(sickly) and Kilyon(consumption) left Bethlehem (House of Bread) in Judea and went to Moab to get away from the famine. They had hardly arrived when Elimelech dies. I understand from the ancient writing that it was believed that no Israelite was to leave the land of Israel unless one seah of flour cost the price of 7 seah as well as there being no food to buy. So Elimelech was disobedient to God and does not seem to trust or turn to God. Elimelech's two sons take wives for themselves from the Moabite women. We are not told anywhere in scripture that this was forbidden but in Deuteronomy 2:4-5 we can see that no Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord for 10 generations. The wives names were Oprah and Ruth. Both men die after they had lived there for 10 years and so Naomi who now has no grandchildren decides to leave Moab and go back to Bethlehem in Judea where she has heard that there is now enough food.
Naomi leaves and both Oprah and Ruth leave with her but she then tells them to go back to their own mothers house. They both refuse at first but when Naomi says that she is to old to have any more children and so she could not give them a husband. Even if she had a son or sons would they wait until these sons were old enough to marry them. Bitterness has crept in and she tells them that she is bitter and that the Lord is against her. Oprah leaves as she has Moab in her blood but Ruth stays with Naomi. We now have one of the most amazing speeches by a women in the bible. Ruth goes on to say don't insult me by telling me to leave you as your people are my people and your God is my God. Finally she says “May the Lord bring terrible curses on me and worse ones as well if anything but death separates you and me.” In other words Ruth has found her identity in Israel and wants to become part of Israel. Ruth had married into the people of Israel. Ruth has crossed over and become and Israelite. She would learn everything she needed to know about the customs and traditions as well as how to pray from her mother-in-law.
In Chapters 2, 3 and 4 we see the victory that Ruth and Naomi have. Ruth is submissive, obedient and a modest woman who does everything her mother-in-law tells her to do. She is also hard working and due to this, redemption comes to her through grace. Ruth only speaks when spoken to. She finds her kinsman redeemer due to being obedient to Naomi. God uses Ruth and she becomes the mother of Obed who is the grandfather of King David. Ruth is the 2nd Gentile who God places in the family tree of our Messiah. Why because he loves all people and if obedient will use whom he wants to use. Are we like Ruth obedient to the word of God. Listening and following his ways.
Until next time have a blessed time.
Traditionally the day following the first day of Unleavened Bread is called Reshit Katzir (רֵאשִׁיתצִיר), the "beginning of the harvest" (sometimes confusingly) called the Feast of Firstfruits. In ancient times, on this day a sheaf (omer) of barley (the first grain crop to ripen) was waved before the LORD in a prescribed ceremony to mark the start of the counting of the Omer, thereby initiating the forty nine days plus one countdown to the harvest festival of Shavuot.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:9-14)
There are differences of opinions as to when the wave offering (tenufat haOmer) was done. If we look at Scripture we see the phrase “the day after the Sabbath” in other words which Sabbath as this could refer to:- First day of the week (Sunday ) Yom Rishon and this would have followed the weekly Sabbath or it could have followed the High Sabbath in other words the day after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The wave offering would then happen on the 16 Nissan the day following the High Sabbath. This could then occur on any day of the week (Joshua 5:11) This would then tie into Yeshua's resurrection.
It was on this day that the priest would take the sheaf (omer) of barley which was the first grain crop to ripen, this was harvested and waved before the Lord to the North, South, East and West as a symbolic way of dedicating this sheath of barley to the Lord. This was also the start to the counting of the omer; initiating the forty nine day plus one countdown to the harvest festival of Shavuot. A male lamb was then sacrificed as a burnt offering (olah) to the Lord as well as a minchah ( unleavened barley bread mixed with oil) and wine. Only after this wave offering was performed could the crop be used.
We see that a lamb, bread and wine are offered and it is these symbols that Yeshua used when he spoke about himself being the sacrifice to the Lord.
Today as there is no Temple to perform the offerings, processionals and sacrifices in, they now no longer take place. Therefore the Rabbis state that the counting of the seven weeks is to still be performed even though the waving of the offering cannot be done. Instead prayer and blessings from special prayer books take place as well as reflecting on the symbolic meaning of the day. The counting of the days from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest at Shavuot (Pentecost) seven Sabbaths and one day 49 + 1 = 50 fifty days starts. Finally many congregations read from Psalm 67 because it has seven verses and forty nine words in Hebrew which corresponds to the 7 weeks and fifty days of Sfirat haOmer
Shaul (Paul), in the book of 1Corinthians 15:20 &23 speaks of Yeshua as the First Fruits. Yeshua is the First Fruits of the dead. He showed himself to numerous people on that day the 16 Nissan. We need to go a little deeper and see that as the Priests and the people were waving the First Fruits wave offering and praying for a good and perfect harvest during the next seven weeks we need to spend time with the Lord looking at the areas we need healing and changing in so that we will become more like Yeshua as if we become more like Yeshua we will get even closer to the Father.
Next time we will look at Shavuot
Have you had a Passover experience? The more I look at scripture and unpack Passover the more I begin to see that if we have not had a Passover experience we will not be able to fully understand what Yeshua did for each one of us at Passover.
Can you imagine what was going through the minds of the Israelites as they chose a lamb and killed it and then did what they had been asked by Moses to do. If your house was not marked with the blood of a year old lamb, death would enter in and kill the 1st born son of the family. In some cases that could be the father as well as his first born child and even their pets or domestic animals. The Israelites were told to choose a year old lamb on the 10th Nissan and keep it in their homes till the 14 Nissan when they were to then sacrifice the lamb. Imagine the children, had they given the lamb a name, had it become like a pet. How hard it must have been to then kill that year old lamb. This is a small picture of what our Father in Heaven felt when Yeshua hung on the tree knowing that he was sinless and was willing to take All of our sin, the sin of the world on himself so that we can be reconciled to our Father, on condition that we allow the blood of Yeshua to be our covering. We also need to accept that Yeshua as the only way.
I want to look at a verse in Chapter 12 from the book of Exodus as we miss so much with the English. We are not all Hebrew and Greek scholars but can I challenge you to look up the Hebrew or Greek meaning of words and scripture will come alive as you do this. I am going to use the literal translation as this will help us understand . Exodus12:30 “And Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians and there is a great cry in Egypt, for there is not a house where there is not (one) dead.”
In the verse we see the English word cry. There was a great cry in Egypt. Now the Hebrew word used here is צְעָקָ֥ה transliterated tzeaqah cry ,cry out , out cry (Strongs 6818). The same word is used when the Hebrews cried out to God under the weight of their bondage in Egypt.
It is also used and describes Esau's response to the loss of his blessing in Genesis 27:34. In the context used here a strong out cry frequently indicates that righteousness is absent or judgement is being executed. The Hebrews cried under the weight of their bondage in Egypt Exodus 3:7. The Lord heard their cry and came to deliver them through the mighty acts in Exodus. God promises to hear the cry of the afflicted, the alien the orphan and the widow (Exodus 22:22 Psalm 9:12). God however returns punishment to the wicked in kind. In response to the outcry of the Hebrews, the Egyptians uttered a great cry because of their sorrow over the death of their first-born. This is not a cry of what have we done to deserve this killing of our first-born this was a cry about having lost somebody. It was not a cry of deep deep grief.
There is another Hebrew wordזְעָקָ֥ה zeaqah cry out, cry (Strongs 2201) This is similar to the word used above but is a cry from the heart, a very painful cry, a deep cry to God for help, a cry of what should we do so that the distress will depart This word is used when Mordechai cries out when he hears what Haman has planned for the Jewish nation.
The next verses go on to say that Pharaoh calls for Moses and Aaron, and tells them to take all the people, their flocks and herds of animals and go. He then says bless me. Amazing Pharaoh has seen all the plagues that God had brought against the Egyptians and they had not affected the Israelites but he is unwilling to repent for his behaviour. The great I Am has revealed himself to Pharaoh and the Egyptians but their gods are still far more important. They are not prepared to change. What can we learn? Are we a people who cry out to God with the wrong motives. Can we cry out like Mordechai and look past what has happened and ask the Lord to show us why these things have happened. Are we then willing to change to come to that place of repentance and weep like Yeshua wept over Jerusalem asking the Lord to come into our lives? Are we willing to put the blood of Yeshua on the doorposts of our heart so that Yeshua will Passover and even hover so that he can protects us from the evil one haSatan? Do we obey God's instructions even if we do not understand why we need to do certain things.
Purim and the Book of Esther
This month Jewish people throughout the world will be celebrating what is called Purim, or “The Feast of Lots” starting on the evening of the 15 March (or 14 Adar 2). This is not a Feast or celebration commanded by the Lord but a Feast that came about through God's divine intervention in saving the Jewish people. One can read about this in the Book of Esther. Due to space and time we cannot look at the whole book, but I would like to pick up on a few points that happen in the story and suggest that you take time to really read and unpack the story.
The book of Esther was written down sometime between 400 & 300 BCE so that the Jewish people would remember what the Lord God Almighty has done for them and how the Lord's will, no matter what anybody else tries to do, will happen. God's timing is always perfect and on time and that He has a deep desire to look after His people. It also shows us God's sovereignty to bring about His will even when not everything is God's will and people try to do things against God.
God's name is not mentioned once in the book but you can feel His presence throughout the book. Esther starts off by telling us that there was a King called King Achashverosh and he ruled over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, in other words people of many different races and ideas and beliefs.
We read that he liked to hold banquets and show off his wealth. He was in fact a pagan worshiper. It goes on to say that on the seventh day when he was under the influence of alcohol, showing that he did not keep the Sabbath he ordered Queen Vashti to come to him. Now we have to realise that in those days women did not go walking about and in fact nobody went before the King unless they were summoned.
Because he was drunk, he commanded that the Queen come into the banquet wearing only her crown. This was an insult to her and so she refused. The King consulted his sages and they decided to do away with her and that a new queen was to be found.
If you read the story we see that Esther a Jewish woman was chosen. Her parents were dead and she had an Uncle called Mordechai who walked closely with the Lord and knew that the Lord would one day take them back to the land of Judah and Israel. He had told Esther not to let anybody know that she was a Hebrew.
Esther would listen to what her Uncle told her to do and so she was different to the other women. Mordechai would sit at the city gates and through this he saved the life of King Achashverosh.
At this time we read about a man called Haman. Now we need to understand a little about Haman. We are told that Haman is the son of Hammedatha, who was an Agagite. Do you remember who the Agagites were? We read about them way back in Exodus 17:8 -16 and then again in Deuteronomy 25:17 – 19? We read that Amalak was Esau's grandson. In 1Samuel 15 Saul is told to go and do battle with the Amalakites and King Agag and to kill all of them, and not to take any of their possessions. Saul disobeys and this was one of the reasons that he lost the Kingship of Israel. Haman is a direct descendant of King Agag. Keep this in mind.
Mordechai's good deed goes unrewarded but Haman for no apparent reason is promoted by the King. Haman hates Mordechai and so puts into action a plan to get rid of all the Jewish people through King Achashverosh's kingdom.
We need to look at Mordechai who was faithful to His God. Are we faithful to God even when we hear about terrible things that are about to happen or when we are blamed for things that have happened. He remembers God's promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and God's covenant. He would have heard what Jeremiah had to say about a New Covenant that would be different and would deep in his heart know that God would have to do something if he is a Covenant keeping God.
Mordechai puts on sack cloth and ashes and tore his clothes. The tearing of ones clothes is still done today as a sign of mourning when one loses a family member. When Esther hears about this she sends clothes and a message to Mordechai who sends a message back to Esther telling her what was going to happen to the Jewish people. Due to her faithfulness to Mordechai and God she asks that everybody fast and pray for 3 days and that she would then go to the King and hope that he would call her but if he does not extend the golden sceptre to her and she has to die then God must have another plan.
Esther goes into the courtyard and the King sees her and extends the golden sceptre. She asks that both he and Haman come to a banquet. There the king offers her many things but she just asks that he and Haman come again the next day and she will then do His majesty’s bidding.
Haman is so happy but when he sees Mordechai at the gate he gets angry and asks advise on how to get rid of him. He builds a massive gallows on which he Haman is going to hang Mordechai for all to see.
It is interesting that on the night that Haman builds his gallows the King cannot sleep and asks to have the books of Chronicles or records brought to him. I think he was thinking that if read to him he would fall asleep. The part about Mordechai saving the kings life is read to him and he hears that he Mordechai had not been rewarded.
Haman happens to be in the courtyard wanting to talk to the king, I would think about hanging Mordechai but when asked what would he give to a person the king wanted to honour, Haman thinks it is him and pride steps in. I can imagine his face when he hears how he is to honour Mordechai the Jew. But he does not have time to do anything about this as he needs to attend Esther's banquet after Mordechai has been honoured.
At the banquet Esther tells the king what Haman had planned to do to her and the Jewish people. The king angered goes outside and Haman throws himself at the Queen begging for his life. The King sees this and decides to put Haman to death on the stake that Haman had built with the original intent to hang Mordechai. Esther asks the King to change the decree about killing the Jews but as it had the Kings seal on he could not but he gave the Jews the right to defend themselves.
It is interesting that after the Nuremberg trials 11 men where condemned to be hung but only 10 were hung as 1 man committed suicide before his execution could take place.
This is what one of the men Streicher said as he was about to be executed.
Streicher cried out, 'Now it goes to G-d.' He was pushed the last two steps to the mortal spot beneath the hangman's rope. The rope was being held back against a wooden rail by the hangman. Streicher was swung suddenly to face the witnesses and glared at them. Suddenly he screamed, 'Purim Fest 1946.'
Streicher had been a Nazi since early in the movement’s history. He was the editor and publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper "Das Strummer." In May of 1924 Streicher wrote and published an article on Purim titled "Das Purimfest" (The Festival of Purim). In order to publish his article Streicher must have had a good deal of knowledge about Jewish thought and practice. However we can only speculate to what extent he was aware of the remarkable parallels between Haman and his own execution. However, they are indeed striking:
“And the king said to Esther the queen, ‘The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the capital, and the ten sons of Haman...Now whatever your petition, it shall be granted; whatever your request further, it shall be done.’
Then said Esther, ‘If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews that are in Shushan to do tomorrow also as this day, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.’ ” (Esther 9:12-14)
If Haman’s ten sons had already been killed, how could they be hanged again but the Jewish Sages comment on the word “tomorrow" in Esther's request: "There is a tomorrow that is now, and a tomorrow which is later." (Tanchuma, Bo 13 and Rashi, Shemot 13:14).
In the Megilla the scroll of the book of Esther, the names of Haman’s ten sons are written very large and in two columns. This is in distinct contrast to the style of the rest of the Megilla. The left-hand column contains the word v'et (and) ten times. According to our Sages the word v'et is used to denote replication. The inference is that another ten people were hanged in addition to Haman's ten sons.
If we examine the list of Haman's sons three letters are written smaller: the taf of Parshandata, the shin of Parmashta and the zayin of Vizata. Those three letters together form taf-shin-zayin, the last three numbers of the Jewish year 5707, which corresponds to the secular year 1946, the year that those ten Nazi criminals were executed.
The Nuremberg trials were a military tribunal and thus the method of execution was usually by firing squad. The court, however, prescribed hanging. Esther’s request "Let Haman's ten sons be hanged" echoes down the ages,
Equally uncanny is that the date of the execution (October 16, 1946) fell on "Hoshana Rabba" (21 Tishrei), the day on which Jews who are not believers in Yeshua(Jesus) believe that G-d seals the verdicts of Rosh Hashanah for the coming year.
As the Megilla recounts, a decree that the king has sealed cannot be rescinded, and thus Achashverosh had to promulgate a second decree to allow the Jewish People to defend themselves. In other words, that first decree was never nullified.
Our Sages teach us that eventually the Jewish People will return to G-d either voluntarily, or if not, G-d will raise up another despot whose decrees will be “as severe as Haman” (Sanhedrin 97b).
When we look toward the place of our original encounter with Haman and see the rise of a fanatic whose rhetoric rivals our most vicious enemies, we should remember that history most often repeats itself for those who fail to learn its lessons.
What can we learn? I think that we can see that God is Sovereign and that he does not break his covenant. Why are the Jewish people still here today? Once again God does not break Covenant. He will rescue His people and will judge those who fight against Him. The book of Esther is a warning to the world, “Don't mess with my people or I will intervene!”
This is also for Believers who stand with Israel and are going to have to make choices as persecution comes and a warning to those who believe God has finished with Israel.
Below is a recipe to make Hamantashen a triangle biscuit that is eaten at Purim. I like this type which is a bread biscuit.
1 package instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk,
125g softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
You can use cream cheese, or chocolate spread, poppy seeds, apricot jam or puréed apple
In a large bowl, combine the lukewarm milk, yeast and 2 eggs; blend well. Beat the sugar and butter together and then slowly add the sifted flour and salt with the milk, yeast and egg mixture blending thoroughly to make a soft dough. Place on floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is not sticky, adding more flour if necessary.
Put dough in an oiled bowl, turning over once to oil all around. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and set in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Punch dough down. On a floured board, roll out 1/2 of the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling in center of each circle and bring edges up to form a triangle as per picture on right. Pinch edges to hold triangle shape.
Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with remaining beaten egg and bake in a preheated 180C-degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden. This recipe can be doubled. You should get 24 hamantaschen.