Class Notes: 6/27/2012
The doctrine of Anti-Semitism in our study of Esther and the providence of God
In our study of Esther and the providence of God, when we stopped last time we saw that God was protecting Esther and Mordecai in spite of the fact that they were out of the geographic will of God and not living according to the Mosaic law that God had given to the people of Israel.
According to the Mosaic law Esther was not to marry anyone who was not from Israel Deut 7:3; or have sexual relations with a man who was not her husband Ex. 20:14; Net note 36 and yet this was the purpose of her being included in the harem.
When you are in the will of God, you can rest in the fact that God is causing all things to work together for good. Mordecai is not resting in God, because he is out of God's will but even though they are both out of the directive will of God, God has a plan for their lives and God is going to overrule in their circumstance because of His faithfulness for His people in spite of their unfaithfulness. 2Tim 2:13;
Esther 2:12-14; Esther was not in the beauty contest simply to win the king's affections; the women in the contest were being prepared to have sexual relations with the king which may or may not result in becoming his wife.
This is indicated by the words in the evening she would go there and in the morning return and after that they would be transferred to the harem of concubines, under Shaashgaz. The women in the harem of concubines would never see the king again unless specifically requested for by the king.
Esther 2:15; When Esther goes she takes nothing except what Hegai recommended. and everyone who saw her approved. She stood out above all the others because God was going to put her on the throne as queen to preserve His people in spite of the fact that she was out of the directive will of God.
Esther 2:16-20; Esther was taken to King Xerxes in 479 B.C., his seventh year, the 10th month Tebeth was the Babylonian name for the month that corresponds to our December-January.
The king was attracted to Esther and therefore immediately made her queen in place of Vashti and a big banquet was prepared and he proclaimed a holiday and gave away many gifts.
Esther 2:20; Throughout all this, Esther had still not revealed her nationality.
Esther 2:21; The fact that Mordecai was at the king's gate on a daily basis most likely means that he had some kind of official position in the judicial system and explains how he could have uncovered an assassination plot against the king. Esther 2:21-23;
After learning about the royal guards' plot to assassinate the king Mordecai told Queen Esther, who told the king. She gave credit to Mordecai for uncovering the scheme that after being confirmed resulted in the two men who were involved in the plot being hung on a gallows.
Rather than being hung by the neck on a gallows as is the practice today, the men were probably impaled on a stake or post. Ezra 6:11; A record of Mordecai's discovery of the assassination attempt was officially recorded.
Esther 3:1; Haman is promoted to the highest position by Xerxes. This occurred after Mordecai had saved the king from the assassination but there is no record of him being rewarded for it.
Haman is described as an Agagite most likely because he was from a province in the Persian empire called "Agag." Archeologists have uncovered an inscription that indicates that this was a name of a province in the Persian Empire.
Esther 3:2: Haman's promotion meant that the other people who worked at the palace were expected to pay him special respect by kneeling before him. Mordecai however would not bow to Haman or show any respect to him. Net note 5
The Bible does not describe to this showing of respect as act of worship, as was commanded of the Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Dan 3:8-15; Most likely since the officials at the king's gate had to kneel before Haman, the people also had to bow before the king in the same manner as we would show respect to royalty today.
Esther 3:3-4; Net notes 7& 8 His justification appears to be his Jewish nationality and the Mosaic law which in this case is a possibly a legalistic misapplication of doctrine. For several years Mordecai had not let Esther tell the king she was Jewish but now in a significant change of practice Mordecai actually disclosed his national heritage as justification for not giving honor to a high Persian official.
Esther 3:5-6; Haman is enraged by Mordecai's refusal and sets out to find a way to kill not just Mordecai but all the Jews. This is a case of anti-Semitism. If Haman is successful, the Jews throughout the entire kingdom of Xerxes, including those who had obeyed God and returned to in the land of Palestine would have been killed.
The Jews who had returned to the land had been faithful to the Lord and were worshiping in the rebuilt temple according to the Mosaic Law. If Haman's plan were to be carried out the Jews in Palestine would also be annihilated and God would not be able to complete His plan of salvation and fulfill His unconditional promises to Israel. This of course is satan's hidden agenda that is being advanced behind a rhetorical veil.
God therefore would not permit this to occur and in anticipation of this event he had promoted Esther to be queen so she was in the perfect place to prevent it. God and His plan cannot be thwarted. Job 42:2; He is always working on behalf of His people. Jer 29:10-14; even if they like Esther and Mordecai are out of his directive will.
No Matter What; God is always completely in control of all things, all of time and He always protects and advances his Word and those associated with it. Matt 5:18;
Esther 3:7;We see here that Haman used a pur, Net note 15 a Babylonian word for the lot, to determine when he would ask the king to make and edict for the Jews to be killed.
The Isrealites familiar with the Holy Days would be familiar with this concept because it was used every year on the day of Atonement to determine which goat would be killed and which one would be lead into the wilderness and released. Lev 16:5-10;
The casting of lots was also used to assign the land to the tribes of Israel Josh 18:8-10;
They would have understood from this that God was working in the chaos of the cosmos to protect His people even in the timing of the date of the events because the date chosen by the "pur" or lot by "chance" or more accurately by Divine providence would give the Jews almost a year to prepare for the conflict if it were to occur.
This occurred a little more than four years after Esther had become queen, in 478 B.C. On the first day of the year, in Nisan (April-May) 474 B.C., at the beginning of Xerxes' 12th year, the pur was cast to select a day and month that the execution of the Jews was to begin.
The Persian religious system stressed fate and chance. By casting the lot, Haman was allowing "fate", to dictate his move against the Jews. He was unaware of the fact that the God who created all things and who ultimately controls all events was in control of the situation. Prov. 16:33; Net note 114
We have seen that God had already prepared and pre-positioned Esther who was to be His channel for delivering His people from Haman. The month chosen by the lot was the 12th month that corresponded to February-March almost a year later. The day, stated in Esther 3:13;, was the 13th of the month. Esther 8:12; Esther 9:1;
Esther 3:8-9; Haman went in to the king to present his plan and falsely accused all of the Jews of refusing to obey the king's laws, he suggested that the king would be better off if the Jews, scattered throughout the empire, were to be hunted down and killed. Net note 20
Haman said that he was willing to bear the costs involved in carrying out the decree. Ten thousand talents of silver would have weighed about 750,000 pounds. That amount of silver is worth about 285 Million dollars today.
Esther 3:10-11; Xerxes, gave Haman permission but did not take his money. By giving Haman his signet ring, Xerxes was allowing Haman who became called "enemy of the Jews" to send out a proclamation for the extermination of the Jews to the entire empire in the king's name and authority.
Haman is called the "enemy of the Jews" five times in the KJV of the book of Esther. Esther 3:10; Esther 7:6; Esther 8:1;Esther 9:10, 24; This brings us to the Doctrine of Anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is defined as a person, a group, an organization, or a nation who is hostile to Israelites or Jews.
The descendants of Shem are classified as the Semitic race of peoples. Semites include the Akkadians, Elamites, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arabs, Syrians, Lydians, Carians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Midianites, some Armenians, some Ethiopians, and Israelites.
We see from this that the term anti-Semitic is a misnomer because the phrase applies only to being anti-Israel as a race and nation, not to all Semitic peoples.
The term is defined as intolerance, hatred, prejudice, opposition, persecution, and the exercise of terrorism and military activity against the Jewish race.
Since Israel and the Jewish race is the center of the angelic conflict, there is great Satanic motivation and opposition against the Jews, not only in the Middle East, but wherever they are scattered throughout the world because this is the devil's world.
This persecution and hostility to the Jews will reach its peak in the Tribulation. Satan is the ultimate sponsor of all anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is part of Satan's evil plan to advance his hidden agenda of impeding and terminating God's plan and purpose. Gen 3:14-15;
© Copyright 2020, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.