from Rembrandt's "Haman Recognizes His Fate"

From Rembrandt’s “Haman Recognizes His Fate”

Christian supporters of Israel see Tuesday’s address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as more than just a political speech.

They’re calling it a “wake-up call,” and a “warning,” one that appears eerily similar to another from 2,500 years ago in which the Jewish people found themselves in grave danger.

With the Feast of Purim and Netanyahu’s speech converging in the same week, there are lessons to be drawn from history, they say.

Purim celebrates Queen Esther’s brave intervention to stop a plot that, if allowed to go forward, would have led to a genocide against the Jews.

But is the biblical story of Esther replaying thousands of years later?

The threat Israel faces today does include some of the same national players, the same dates and the same stakes, according to Bible scholars and Christian friends of Israel.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu’s speech Tuesday will occur on the biblical Fast of Esther – the same day Mordecai told Queen Esther of Haman’s evil plot to kill the Jews and pleaded for her to approach the king of Persia on Israel’s behalf.

Tuesday is Adar 12 on the Hebrew calendar. This is the day in which Esther asked for prayer and fasting as she was about to approach the ruler of the ancient world, her Persian husband and king, to plead for the lives of her people. She would expose Haman’s plot to exterminate them.

Today it is again Persia, now called Iran, which stands at the center of an alleged murderous plot.

Instead of Haman scheming to kill the Jews, it’s Iranian mullahs who are accused of plotting to wipe Israel off the map, and being aided in the process by the soon realization of a goal more than 20 years in the making – obtaining a nuclear arsenal.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a Christian Zionist organization, said the drama unfolding in Washington this week, with more than 30 Democrats vowing to boycott Netanyahu’s speech because of a breech in “protocol,” is alarming. The Democrats won’t show, they said, because Netanyahu arranged the speech with House Speaker John Boehner, bypassing President Obama.

Netanyahu will use the speech to push for stronger terms in a nuclear arms deal that the U.S. and other world powers are negotiated with Iran.

“It is a tragic day in the history of this once-great nation that a sitting president and members of Congress would join the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, global boycott movement and refuse to attend an address by America’s ally and steadfast friend, Israel,” Cardoza-Moore told WND. “God warned the prophet Obadiah that in the latter days He would wipe out the descendants of Edom because they stood by while their brother Jacob was held in captivity and did nothing.

“Likewise, Esther was also warned that if she remained silent, relief would come for the Jews from another place, but she and her family would perish,” Cardoza-Moore said.

Could Congress be Israel’s modern-day Esther? Is Netanyahu, a modern-day Mordecai, pleading with America’s legislative body, the one that most directly represents the American people, to intervene in the situation by asking the “king” to foil the scheme of the ant-Semitic Haman, who in this case is the Iranian regime?

Cardoza-Moore is asking Christians and Jews to fast and pray leading up to Netanyahu’s speech.

“Let the events unfolding in Washington, D.C., this week be a wake-up call to Christians, Jews and people of conscience around the world to fast and pray as in the days of Queen Esther, that God would deliver Israel from Haman in Persia and his accomplice in the White House,” Cardoza-Moore said.

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There is one difference, however, between the biblical narrative and today’s turn of events.

Israel is not defenseless.

And if America is not going to protect Israel’s security, Israel could act on its own, although that is not the preferred option as it would undoubtedly lead to global condemnation and further isolation.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly that Israel cannot accept a nuclear Iran, which it considers its mortal enemy based on statements from Iranian leaders vowing to destroy the Jewish state as part of its apocalyptic vision for the world.

Watch video of Iranian mullah’s recent sermon aired on Iranian State TV in which he boasts of Iran’s sophisticated missile technology and its ability to destroy Tel Aviv.

World leaders, convening in the so-called P5+1 meetings, are in the final throes of a secret deal that critics say would allow Iran to continue limited enrichment of uranium under international monitoring.

This comes with worries about compliance. Iran’s record of compliance with other international obligations has been abysmal, Israel’s supporters say. They point to United Nations Resolution 1701, requiring the end of armed militias in Lebanon. Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias continue to wreak havoc on Israel’s northern border, building its arsenal of Iranian-supplied rockets and missiles, even though Israel in 2006 removed its forces from southern Lebanon in compliance with the resolution.

Now, another American-brokered deal is coming down the pike, only the stakes are higher this time, involving nuclear capability for a hardline Islamic state which Netanyahu called the “world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” in his address Monday to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

As Netanyahu was preparing to speak to Congress, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was launching a new round of talks Monday with Iranian negotiators in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux. The final push for a deal is on, with talks expected to last through Wednesday.

Kerry has warned Netanyahu not to use his speech before Congress to reveal “selective details” from the looming pact with Iran, according to a report by Arutz Sheva/Israel National News.

A member of Netanyahu’s entourage told journalists traveling with him Sunday that the Israeli leader had not intended to offend Obama by speaking to Congress.

Indeed, the prime minister made a special point to “thank” Obama “for all he has done for Israel” during his AIPAC speech.

“We are trying to explain to the Americans what is causing us concern,” the aide told Arutz Sheva, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We know a great deal about the emerging agreement. … In our view, it is a bad agreement.”

Mark Biltz, author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Biblical Signs,” said Wednesday is the 13th of Adar on the Jewish calendar, the day all the Jews were to be killed under Haman’s plot.

Esther 3:13 states: “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.”

But since the biblical day starts at sunset, Netanyahu’s speech Tuesday will actually begin the 13th of Adar here, and it will be the 13th of Adar in Israel as he is speaking.

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Biltz noticed another key point in the Old Testament story of Esther that correlates with the drama unfolding in Washington.

“The key to the Jews’ survival from the evil Persian Empire vowing their extermination was Mordecai’s and Esther’s determination to ‘break protocol’ in making their case before the government,” Biltz said.

When Haman approached the king he said:

“And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws …” (Esther 3:8).

In the Gemara, which is a rabbinical analysis of the Bible, the phrase “There is a certain people” could be rephrased to mean, “There is a sleeping nation,” Biltz said.

“Many in Israel and in the United States are sleepwalking, not realizing the danger that exists,” he said.

Esther 3:13 states: “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.”

In a Nov. 14 sermon aired on Iran’s state-run TV (see video above), Ayatollah Ali Movahedi-Kermani made the following statement: “The Sejjil ballistic missile can hit and raze to the ground any place in Israel, as well as any American base in the region.” Crowds listening to the speech shouted: “Death to America! Death to England! Death to Israel!”

Joel Richardson, author, Bible teacher and filmmaker, said there is no doubt Iran’s leaders harbor an apocalyptic dream of destroying Israel.

Around the same time as the November sermon, he said the Iranian government completed a massive mural in Vali-Asr Square in Tehran portraying the so-called 12th Imam or “Mahdi” and the Muslim version of Jesus, whom they call Isa, leading a line of Iranian leaders.

“Not only has the present Iranian government made it entirely clear that it is one of the greatest enemies to the United States, to Israel, and our closest allies, but they are also an unstable apocalyptic death cult,” said Richardson, author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and “When A Jew Rules the World.”

Despite all this, President Obama appears poised to make concessions to Iran, he said.

“Even worse, he is also actively seeking to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose nation faces the greatest threat by Iran,” he said. “It grieves me to admit that we have literally reached the place where giving the president the benefit of the doubt requires us to believe he may very well be insane. After all, if he is not insane, then he must be evil. I wish there were another option for me to choose.”

Richardson said American Christians who support Israel now find themselves in a nearly impossible moral dilemma.

“On one hand, we are commanded to pray for governmental leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4), but we are also called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6),” he said. “But it seems as though President Obama has made it impossible to pray both prayers. For if the president is successful, then the security of Israel is compromised on an existential level.”

Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi at Beth Israel in New Jersey and author of two best-selling books, “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” both of which warn of impending judgment on America, said the relationship between America and Israel has been spiraling downward for the last few years and is now at a critical point.

“Combine that fact with America’s rapidly accelerating apostasy from God and it doesn’t bode well for America,” he said.

“In ancient times, the Jewish people were faced with the specter of extermination as evil men planned their destruction. Esther approached the throne with a plea to save her people. Now again, after two-and-a-half thousand years, a specter of destruction hangs over Israel,” he added. “It is no accident that at the same time of the year that commemorates the ancient drama, the leader of Israel now approaches the throne of America with a petition to save his people. And from where did the threat of destruction come in ancient times? From the land of Persia – the same land which now threatens the destruction of the Jewish state.”

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