This year, in preparing for our Esther Consecration, through studying and meditating on the book of Esther, I have become even more aware of an underlying theme that has to do with the coming of the kingdom of God, and of its timing.
The kingdom of God comes in stages; each stage has a timing for fulfillment; the book of Esther speaks of an ultimate stage of the Messianic kingdom on earth, with worldwide impact.
There are several words for “kingdom” in the Hebrew scriptures. One of the primary ones is malkhut, מלכות. This appears 91 times in the Bible, and surprisingly, 26 times in the tiny scroll of Esther.
Throughout the historical books of the Hebrew scriptures, we find many events dealing with the clash between “God and Government.” These events are written in the Bible because they contain spiritual lessons and prophetic patterns about the kingdom of God (see for instance II Samuel 7:14 and Isaiah 7:14).
Perhaps the greatest foreshadowing of the Messianic kingdom on earth is Solomon’s kingdom (referenced by Yeshua in Matthew 12:42). However, Solomon himself committed horrible sins in his latter life, so the foreshadowing is only partial.
In my view, the second greatest historical event that serves as to foreshadow Messiah’s kingdom on earth is found in the book of Esther. It takes place during the very height of the ancient Persian empire, ruling over most of the known world at that time.
וַיְהִי בִּימֵי אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ; הוּא אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, הַמֹּלֵךְ מֵהֹדּוּ וְעַד־כּוּשׁ, שֶׁבַע וְעֶשְׂרִים וּמֵאָה מְדִינָה
Esther 1:1 –
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia).
Ahasuerus, known also as Xerxes, ruled 127 nations. This was a global empire, virtually a “one-world” government. The events took place in the early 5th century, B.C., toward the end of the biblical records, after the time of Cyrus and Zerubbabel, yet before the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.
This little scroll can be read as the historical chronicle of those events, and also as a prophetic parable of events in the end times. The story of Esther serves as a royal “crowning” or culminating moment at the closing period of the Hebrew scriptures.
Ancient Persia, in the country we now call Iran, dominated the world for more than a full century. In light of current events, it is somewhat stunning to note that at the very peak of “Iran’s” (Persia’s) golden age, the queen and the prime minister were both Jews who believed in the God of the Bible.
I imagine that the mixture of cultures, and perhaps ethnicities, were widespread. It is logical that the “Wise Men from the East” as recorded in the gospels (Matthew 2:1) had learned the Messianic prophecies from the teachings of Daniel, Mordechai and Ezra.
In the book of Esther, there is a certain emphasis on the choosing of the dates (Esther 3:7). The first Pur (lot) was cast in the first month, “Nisan”. The date chosen by the Pur was in the twelfth month of the year, “Adar”, which is therefore the month of the holiday of Purim.
בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן, בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה, לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ; הִפִּיל פּוּר הוּא הַגּוֹרָל לִפְנֵי הָמָן, מִיּוֹם לְיוֹם וּמֵחֹדֶשׁ לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר
In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
The Pur was cast in the first month, and executed in the last month. The Hebraic calendar is lunar; therefore, the dates in the middle of the month, the 14th-15th, are when the full moon appears. Passover occurs on the full moon of the first month; Purim occurs on the full moon of the twelfth month.
Passover speaks of the beginning of the Messianic kingdom, with the birth and sacrifice of the Messiah as the Passover lamb. Haman is suddenly overturned by the messianic figure Mordechai.
Mordechai and Esther rule together with the Persian king over the international empire. What a beautiful image of the messianic kingdom that is! The biblical calendar starts with the sacrificial lamb in the first month and ends up with the global kingdom in the last month.
Think of the double, triple, quadruple meaning of Mordechai’s challenge to Esther. “You were called to the kingdom (malkhut, מלכות) for such a time as this.
כִּי אִם־הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת, רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית־אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ, אִם־לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
This “time” refers to Esther’s queenly position in the Persian government; the date was the month of Adar; the time also happens every year while reading the scroll of Esther; these times” will culminate in the End Times. Each generation has to walk in its own spiritual applications of the biblical patterns and precedents.
There is a time for us now. The “power and the spirit” that was on Elijah also went on to Elisha and on to John the Baptist (II Kings 2:15; Luke 1:17). People change; generations change; but the spiritual dynamics around us do not change. The gifts and callings of God are renewed in every generation.
There was a certain “mantle” or “anointing” that was on Mordechai; and another that was on Esther. Both were manifestations of the Spirit of God. We have access to all of the charismas and energies of the Holy Spirit through Yeshua the Messiah. There is a mantle of Mordechai and of Esther that is available to us today.
There is a unique phrase found three times in the book of Esther: l’vush hamalkhut, לבוש המלכות. This two-word expression is found in the conjunct, or smikhut, form. It means “dressed in the kingdom” or “royally clothed”. Here are the three times:
- Esther goes before the king, arrayed in beauty, to ask for grace and favor (Esther 5:1).
- Haman in his egotistical, evil fantasy asks for himself to wear the king’s own apparel (Esther 6:8).
- Mordechai appears in royal garment, after the king appoints him to be prime minister over the global empire (Esther 8:15).
Clothing in scriptures can represent a spiritual quality. The High Priest wore a “garment of glory” (Exodus 28:2); the kings had special royal robes; the prophets had their “mantles” (II Kings 2:13). We are to be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). We are instructed to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Yeshua” (Romans 13:14). Clothing may symbolize a resurrection body (I Corinthians 15:53; II Corinthians 5:4). The traditional prayer when putting on the tallit (prayer shawl) is to be clothed in light in the world to come.
The spiritual mantle that was on Mordechai and Esther is available for us today. It involves a deeper revelation of the kingdom of God; prayer and intercession; prophetic authority to stand against the spirits of antichrist and antisemitism.
Let’s step into our destiny and identity as children of the Most High God. Let’s pick up the royal mantles of Mordechai and Esther in our generation; and let’s believe for the same results they had. Let’s pray to change a global crisis to a global witness.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, February 24, 2021, and reposted with permission.