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2011.12.04 - Esther, Part 4

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 42:13 Size: 7.2 MB
  • A look at Esther 2:5-7.

Turn to Esther 2. We read in Esther 2:5-7:

Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

I will stop reading there.

We saw last time that Shushan is a spiritual synonym, because it is basically the word lily and lily identifies with Christ, and so Shushan identifies with Jesus. This is why the virgins were taken to Shushan the palace.

We keep reading about Shushan. It is the central location of King Ahasuerus’ government because it represents Christ. In Shushan, there is a certain Jew.

We do not have to turn there, but we looked at Zechariah 8:23 which speaks of a Jew. Many of the people of the world would grab hold of His skirt, and that Jew is Jesus. He was born of the tribe of Judah. He was a Jew.

Mordecai is a type of Christ in these verses, and Esther is a type of the believers, even though, at times and later on, Esther can be a type of Christ herself. But in these verses, Mordecai is a picture of Christ and Esther is a picture of the believers.

Esther is a picture of the believers because Esther is an orphan. Her mother and father are dead. God typifies believers as widows, strangers, and orphans, and Esther is an orphan.

Mordecai brought up Esther, his uncle’s daughter. So Esther was the daughter of Mordecai’s uncle, his father’s brother. Yet after Esther’s parents died, Mordecai adopted her. He adopted her and raised her as his own daughter. That again pictures the relationship between God and His people.

This is mentioned a few times, but especially in Galatians 4 where it says in Galatians 4:5:

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

This is also in the verse that Robert read earlier in Ephesians 1:5:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself…

So when Christ saves people, we are adopted into the family of God. We become the children of God by adoption. Mordecai adopted Esther, and so we can clearly see that relationship here.

So Esther is a picture of the believers. Her Hebrew name is Hadassah, which is basically a feminine form of the myrtle tree that we find in Zechariah 1, and Hadassah or the myrtle tree represents the believers.

Does God use trees to typify people? Yes. Yes, He does. There are many verses that can show this. He used certain trees to typify believers, but not all trees.

We looked at myrtle trees last week in Isaiah and we saw how it is always used in a positive sense. It is always used in relationship to a blessing.

So in Zechariah 1, we found hadac (had-as), the masculine form of Hadassah that is Esther’s Hebrew name, and we found this three times. Of the six total times that this is in the Old Testament, it is found three times in Zechariah 1 and then three times in other places, twice in Isaiah and once in Nehemiah.

In Zechariah 1:8-11, we read:

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom JEHOVAH hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of JEHOVAH that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

So three times we read of myrtle trees in this passage or hadac (had-as). God directed us here through the study of Esther. This is because when you study the Bible, you look at every word. You look at where that word is found and for relationships to that word, and it directed us right here to Zechariah.

The interesting thing in this passage is the date that is given in Zechariah 1:7:

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of JEHOVAH unto Zechariah…

Zechariah 1:1 tells us that God began speaking to Zechariah in the eighth month in the second year of Darius. Then three months later on the 24th day of the 11th month, He speaks to Zechariah and He gives him a vision. This is a very difficult vision to understand.

I do not know how many times I have read this and wondered what this was about. There is someone riding a red horse and a man standing among myrtle trees. The question is asked, “What are these?” and the answer is, “We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.”

Really, I do not know if this has ever been understood and I do not know how much we are going to understand now. I think we will understand a few things, but one thing that we have to understand is the timing that the vision is given.

Why did God tells us about the 24th day of the 11th month? We know that He does not just throw things out there. When we write something, we just naturally and habitually date it. My notes today say 12/4/11. It does not mean anything. It is just today’s date. This is how we write letters. This is how we communicate. We always date things, but everything in the Bible is there for a purpose. It is not there out of habit or form. God does not always follow this form, for one thing. He does not always date things. Yet here He did and He is emphasizing the 24th day of the 11th month.

Let us go back to Haggai, which we talked about last week. I just want to make sure that we go over this and think about this again. Haggai and Zechariah were contemporary prophets. Ezra 5:1 confirms this. It says in Ezra 5:1-2:

Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

So God joins them together. They were living at the same time. We know that Zechariah began to prophesy in the eighth month of Darius’ second year.

Now look at Haggai 1:1:

In the second year of Darius the king…

This is the same king and the same year. It continues:

…in the sixth month, in the first day of the month…

So this is 6/1. The vision in Zechariah was 11/24. If you read the rest of what comes in Haggai 1, for instance, look at what God says in Haggai 1:10-11:

Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains…

This describes a spiritual famine that identifies with the great tribulation. How long was the great tribulation? It was 23 years. It began May 21, 1988 and it ended May 21, 2011, an exact 23 years. Within it, there was drought and famine throughout the whole 23 years for the church. But for the whole world, it was just for that first part of 2300 evening/mornings. Then God began to send dew and to send rain during the latter rain in September of 1994.

So this language of the first day of the sixth month identifies with this, but then there is a change. A little later on in Haggai 1:13-15, it says:

Then spake Haggai JEHOVAH'S messenger in JEHOVAH'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith JEHOVAH. And JEHOVAH stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of JEHOVAH of hosts, their God, In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

This is 6/24 and now a change is made. Their spirits are stirred up to go work in the house of God. Spiritually, this has to do with the Gospel going out and people being blessed. It has to do with rain falling, which would be one way to describe this spiritually. Yet this is all within this 23-day period from 6/1 to 6/24.

How many days are there from December 1st to December 24th? We just subtract 1 from 24 and we have 23 days.

So Haggai 1, the whole chapter, is describing a 23-day period. Then in verse 15, that 24th day of the 6th month comes in the 2nd year of Darius the king. So the 23 days ends on 6/24 of Darius’ 2nd year.

Since Haggai and Zechariah are living at the same time and prophesying at exactly the same time and in the same year of Darius, we turn the next page, as God conveniently put these two books right next to each other, Haggai to Zechariah, and we find in Zechariah 1:7:

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month…

On 6/24, after 23 days, they began to be stirred up and to work in the house of the Lord. 11/24 in the same year of the same king would be how much later? It would be exactly five months.

So if you were writing this, to lay this out you would say Haggai 1, 23 days, and then, for some reason, it is followed by five months that ends in Zechariah 1:7. We just cannot help but notice how this seems to associate with the 23 years of the great tribulation that ended on May 21, followed by five months that ended on October 21. Is this a coincidence? Then we read about hadac (had-as) or Esther.

In Esther, Lord willing, if we get a chance to continue in these studies, we are going to find information that we have never seen before that links the book of Esther to May 21 very directly and then goes into the future.

To me, I started studying Esther for other reasons and I was at the point of saying, “Let us just move on. Okay, it did not happen as we had expected and as we had thought. Let us just move on. I am fully ready and in some ways desirous to look towards the future of an unknown length of time and just get back to trying to live and survive in this world.”

Believe me. There is no glory, there is no thing that is attracting me to continue to look at this, but as I was praying for wisdom and praying, “God, what is happening and what is going on?” what I found is a period of time that is after five months where five months are mentioned, and this clarifies that those five months were not a mirage. Five months are found here, and yet there seems to be more information.

Perhaps this identifies with the statement in Revelation 9, which says in Revelation 9:12:

One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

The one woe was describing the five months and it is past. Now two more woes come hereafter from now.

One thing that at least I have learned and probably all of us have is that we have to be humble and we have to say, “Well, this is what the Bible is teaching and this is what I think is going to happen,” because in every stage that we have learned about, there has been more information that we did not know.

Prior to 1994, we thought that was it, but then we learned, “Okay; it is not 2300 evening/mornings. It is actually a 23-year great tribulation.” Then when we thought we had that worked out, we learned about five months after that.

Our problem has been that when we get to a point and we think that we have learned everything, we do not realize that there might be some more to learn. This is the reason why we can say that there is a good probability, but I just will not be definite about this because there might be something more that we have not seen. History shows that this has been the case, and so no way would I say that this is absolutely going to happen.

But then again, please keep in mind that it has been said – and maybe you have heard this – that we should not be looking for a date. Well, that is not true. We look for truth. We look for truth whether it is about election, whether it has to do with the resurrection, whether it has to do with anything in the Bible. God gives us the privilege to look for truth.

To say that looking for a date is another gospel, I am sure that many churches would agree with this statement and fully support this kind of statement, but God does not. God does not. He has made many statements in His Word indicating that His people have the privilege to look into His Word with an intense look, like we read in 2 Peter 3, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.”

This is an intense looking. The word “looking” in 2 Peter 3 is the same word we find in Acts 28 when the viper attaches to Paul’s arm. I am sure that the natives had their eyes on him and were looking to see if he was going to fall down dead, but he did not. This is that same word.

Going back to Zechariah 1, let us try to understand a little of what is going on in this vision. We read in Zechariah 1:8:

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse…

The color red is identified with Satan. He is spoken of as a figure who is typified as a red dragon in Revelation 12:3:

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon…

That dragon is Satan and he is spoken of in connection with the color red. But more than this, look at Revelation 6:4:

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth…

Who is peace? It is Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace.

So this rider on the red horse has a mission to go take Christ from the earth. This describes Satan pretty well.

It continues:

…and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

This is descriptive of Satan. He is the antichrist. But how does he take peace from the earth? How does he kill spiritually? He does this through false gospels, through what the whole world is hearing via the churches and congregations today. They take peace from the earth.

It is interesting that by saying, “Peace, peace,” and “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” they are actually taking peace away from people and the possibility that they might become saved if they were to hear the true Gospel. This would only apply to when God was saving; but we are still looking into some things, and so I do not want to get into this too much.

But here, the rider on the red horse in Revelation 6:4 is Satan; so let us go back to Zechariah 1:8:

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse…

From everything we know, we would just say that this is Satan, but we are going to have to read this a little bit more. It continues:

…and he stood among the myrtle trees…

Who stood? Who stood among the myrtle trees? It has to be the man. He is the only one mentioned. It has to refer back to the man. Can you be on a horse and stand? Well, yes. You could ride your horse amongst the myrtle trees and it could be spoken of as if you were standing; or perhaps he got off the horse and we are just not told that part.

But where it says:

…he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom…

Jay P. Green’s Interlinear says “the ravine” instead of “the bottom,” and it could have this idea. This is the only place that this word is used and it is somewhat related to the word “bells” like the “bells of the horses” in Zechariah 14; but this is the only place where this word for “bottom” is found, so I do not spiritually know what this means. It could be like a ravine in a valley where there are trees.

So this man who was riding the red horse:

…stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

Here is one man on a red horse and behind him is like an army. Picture this where you have the soldiers who are mounted. In this case, they are on “red horses, speckled, and white.” The specked and white, I am not exactly sure of what God is trying to get at by that.

Then we read in Zechariah 1:9-10:

Then said I, O my lord, what are these?…

This would be Zechariah. What is going on? What is this all about?

It continues:

And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees…

Again, this is just a reference to a man. It continues:

…answered and said, These are they whom JEHOVAH hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

This reference to “to and fro” we also find in Zechariah 6.

This is a different word in Job, but this is found in Job also. One day, Satan presents himself when the “sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD.” Satan is asked, “Whence comest thou?” and he says, “From going to and fro in the earth.” This is said twice in the book of Job, but that is a different word.

In Zechariah 6, we have the same word. Let us just read from verse one. It says in Zechariah 6:1-7:

And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?

This is the same question that we read of in Zechariah 1. It continues:

And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth…

Now who is the bay? The bay was not mentioned. It was red earlier. From what I got from Strong’s, it just says that this is a word that means “strong” as in “a strong color,” such as red. Since the other three colors of horses were mentioned, we can understand that the bay horse identifies with the red horse.

It continues:

And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.

Three times here, we find the same word that we find in Zechariah 1. In this case, the red horse and chariot walk to and fro through the earth.

Going back to Zechariah 1, this is the answer that we find at the end of verse 10. We read again in Zechariah 1:9-11:

…what are these?…These are they whom JEHOVAH hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of JEHOVAH that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

“To and fro” is also found in Ezekiel 19. This is a parable of lions, a lioness, and her cubs. It says in Ezekiel 19:5-6:

Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.

“He went up and down,” and “up and down” is the same word as “to and fro.” This now is familiar. This is a lion that goes “up and down” to devour men.

Compare this to 1 Peter 5:8, which says:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Now we have a pretty good tie-in with Satan and that the word “to and fro” is identifying with him. The color red is also identifying with him.

Actually, there are three things. The three things that identify with Satan are the color red, the rider on the red horse, as we saw in Revelation 6:4, and the going to and fro in the earth identifies with Satan as he goes about as a roaring lion.

So we would just say, without question, this man who is on the red horse and standing among the myrtle trees is Satan and those who are on the other horses, red, speckled, and white, are his emissaries, except that the man who stood among the myrtle trees is identified.

It says again in Zechariah 1:10-11:

And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom JEHOVAH hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of JEHOVAH that stood among the myrtle trees…

That is God Himself. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same word “stood” and the same word “myrtle trees” and the same word “among” as the previous two mentions, so we would have to think that the man that stood among the myrtle trees is the angel of Jehovah. It is Christ.

Is Christ riding on a red horse? Is it Christ with an army behind Him who are on red and white and speckled horses? That does not make sense.

What does Satan go about to do? In Revelation 6:4, the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth. He sets one against another that they kill one another. And we know that the lion goes about to devour men.

But what is the report from these when they answer the angel of Jehovah? It is those on the red and white and speckled horses who are providing this answer when they are asked what they are doing. It says in the end of Zechariah 1:11:

…We have walked to and fro through the earth…

Were they causing mass destruction? No. It continues:

…and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

This is strange. It is strange that “all the earth sitteth still.”

The word “sitteth still” is one Hebrew word that is translated as “sit” or “dwell” or “inhabit,” like when you dwell in a house. So this has to do with being very stationary or being very still. This is why it is not just translated “sitteth” but “sitteth still”; because when you dwell in a home, you normally stay there. You do not move all the time.

So this is the report:

…all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

Let us look at this word “rest,” because it is really interesting how God uses this and that He places this word in a location in Zechariah 1 that is five months after 23 days, which is significant. It is five months after 23 days, and the report from the riders on the red horses, speckled, and white is that “all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.”

Well, in Joshua 11, Joshua is now coming to the point where the conquest of the land of Canaan is completed. It says in Joshua 11:21-22:

And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims…

Anakims were giants. It continues:

…from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

The name Joshua is the Hebrew form of Jesus.

Then we read in Joshua 11:23:

So Joshua [Jesus] took the whole land, according to all that JEHOVAH said unto Moses; and Joshua [Jesus] gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

The whole land “rested from war,” and this was another unusual thing about the report that those on the red horses, speckled, and white gave. It is “all the earth,” the whole earth.

I am still waiting to see that for one day. Would that not be something if all the earth sat still and was at rest, if it rested from war for a single day? Physically, we are never going to see this. This is never going to happen, not in this life. It never has and it never will, but God does not have something physical in mind.

Here, it is the picture of Christ conquering the Promised Land and giving it to His people by lot for an inheritance. Then the land rests from war.

Look at Joshua 14 and we will find the same word “rest.” We read in Joshua 14:13-15:

And Joshua…

Again, Joshua is a type of Christ. It continues:

…blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed JEHOVAH God of Israel. And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

We find this same word “rest” in the phrase, “the land had rest.”

I want to look at this because this is the meaning of the word. Sometimes we find a couple of verses where it seems to point to something and then other verses do not seem to point to that. Not in this case. This is the meaning of the word. “At rest” means “peace, no war.”

This is exactly opposite of the rider on the red horse, if this were Satan, this is exactly opposite of what he was trying to do when he was active. He tried to take peace and cause war, but not in this case.

Let us go to 2 Kings 11:17 to set the context and then we will look at verse 20. It says in 2 Kings 11:17:

And Jehoiada made a covenant between JEHOVAH and the king and the people, that they should be JEHOVAH'S people; between the king also and the people.

Then we read in 2 Kings 11:20-21:

And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet…

“In quiet” is the same word as “rest.” It continues:

…and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house. Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.

So Athaliah, that wicked woman, was slain, and then the boy king, Jehoash, was set on the throne. Athaliah and the little over six-year period that she reigned, we can identify with the great tribulation. She was killed and then there was rest.

Also, let us go to 2 Chronicles 23. This is the same account, but it gives us a little bit more information. We read in 2 Chronicles 23:16:

And Jehoiada made a covenant…

Then we read in 2 Chronicles 23:17:

Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

Then Athaliah is killed. Then it says in verse 20 that the king is set “upon the throne of the kingdom.” Then the same word for “at rest” is in verse 21.

Go to Isaiah 14. We read in Isaiah 14:3-7:

And it shall come to pass in the day that JEHOVAH shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve. That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! JEHOVAH hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.

Why? Because Satan, who was the oppressor, has been removed.

Then Isaiah 14:8 says:

Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon…

Remember how God likens the righteous to cedars in the Psalms. It continues:

saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.

So Satan, who oppressed, is out of the picture and now the people of God are at rest. They are at rest and all is quiet. It is all peaceable.

So this word is used to describe a time of victory for Christ and of peace when the warfare is over. And we find it after five months in the book of Zechariah, five months that had followed after 23 days. Then we have this vision of the myrtle trees, which is the same as Esther’s name in masculine form or hadac (had-as).

Let us stop here and have a word of prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, we do thank You for Your grace. Father, we pray for wisdom. We ask for understanding. We pray that we follow Your methods carefully. We do pray that You would lead us and help us and guide us into the truth of Your Word, whatever that truth is. If we are going to be here for a long time, then we just pray that You would help us to be prepared for this in our minds. But we also pray that we would look to receive whatever You are teaching us. Father, we pray these things in Christ’s Name. Amen.