Purim begins this Wednesday, and I’d like to show you there’s more to this festival than meets the eyes.
It took me a while to see this during a Bible study I was doing on an unrelated subject. Don’t get me wrong, I understood Purim was a celebration marking the defeat of Haman in the Book of Esther.
But there’s so much more to the story when you begin connecting the dots of Scripture.
You get the complete picture when you complete a jigsaw puzzle of clues found all over several other books of the Bible.
It doesn’t begin in Esther. Esther represents a continuation of a significant biblical subplot whose story is still not finished and won’t be until the restoration of all things.
Let’s start in the Book of Numbers where you may recall a significant prophecy of the future Kingdom of Heaven on earth that would be presided over by the Redeemer-Messiah. The prophecy was proclaimed by the unlikely character Balaam apparently under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In it, he said about the One we today know as Jesus-Yeshua: “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”
Note the reference to Agag, who re-emerges as a central figure in Esther. The tormenter of the Jewish people, including Esther and her uncle, Mordechai, was Haman, who is identified in the book as “the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy” (Esther 3:10). In 1 Samuel 15:8, Agag is identified as “the king of the Amalekites.” Now work backwards in your Bible and turn to Exodus 17:14-6, where God tells Moses: “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
When Saul was king of Israel during the time of Samuel, he was commanded to wipe out the Agagites, who were synonymous with Amalekites. Yet, Saul spared Agag, the king, who was later executed by Samuel. But, apparently, other Agagites also survived to sire Haman, who at the time of Esther was conspiring to destroy all the Jews in Persia. Who was Haman’s father? Hammedatha, who, according to etymological study, was “given by Hom,” the moon god. The name Hammedatha can also mean “he that troubleth the law.”
Further, we learn in Genesis 36:12 the origin of the Amalekites: “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.” Esau, of course, was the brother of Jacob who despised and rejected his birthright. He also became the father of the Edomites.
You almost need a flowchart to get the complete picture. There’s Agag, there’s Haman, there’s Hammedatha, there’s the Amalekites, there’s Hom the moon god, and there’s Esau – and there’s a connection between all of them.
But let me make it simpler for you. There are a bunch of bad guys named here – and they are all linked. There’s a common thread. And some of these bad hombres are still around today – and will be until Jesus returns and executes justice, not only removing any surviving evildoers, but removing their spiritual influence in the world, too.
These are persistent, serial enemies of God’s people. They represent thorns in the side of Israel from generation to generation. And the origin of all of them is with Esau, the brother of Jacob. Agag, Haman, Hammedatha, Amalek, the moon god and Esau are not only all ethnically linked, they are spiritually connected.
The Book of Esther was not the end of the story. It was the middle. It represented a miraculous triumph by the Jews over their persecutors. But the fight between Jacob and Esau continues. How does it end?
Let’s go back to where we started in the Book of Numbers and the prophecy of Balaam to see.
I always found this verse to be a little puzzling because it proclaims Jesus the Messiah as “higher than Agag.” I never thought Agag was that big of a deal. But what he represents is a big deal. He represents Esau and the dark spirit of rebellion in Esau – a spirit, we’re told in Malachi 1:3 and Romans 9:13 that God hated. And Esau or Agag also represents the ultimate enemy, Satan, in this prophecy.
The ultimate Purim triumph will come when Jesus the Messiah crushes this serpent’s head when He returns to proclaim and occupy His throne in the Kingdom of God on earth and restores Israel and the rest of the world to the way it was intended to be before the fall in the garden.