The Book of Esther
Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them, The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year; And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim. And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry. And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
Mordecai’s Letter of Instruction
It may be possible that months had passed or maybe even years since the events which occurred on the fourteenth and fifteenth of the month of Adar. Mordecai, now the prime minister of Susa, recored all the things that had happened to the Jews and sent letters encouraging them to celebrate these two days annually as the Feast of Purim. He issued a decree instructing them that they were to have two distinct holidays to observe. The Jews needed to remember what had taken place in their lives and be mindful of their wonderful deliverance from extinction. The letter Mordecai had written reaching all the Jews near and far in distances up to 2,000 miles, would encourage them to celebrate with expressions of joy, days of feasting and festivities that included: gifts to the poor as well as the exchange of presents.
Esther’s Letter of Influence
Esther writes a second letter, with all authority, opening with the words, “peace and truth,” an oriental greeting giving assurance to the Jews of their triumph over their enemies and encouraging them to observe the days of Purim. The observance of, “The Feast of Purim,” decreed by King Ahasuerus in the second letter written by Esther, added “fasting and lamenting” to the festivities as prescribed. The commemoration of this appointed time would establish for them and their descendants a remembrance of God’s providential intervention and would be recorded in the book of the chronicles of the king.
Thought: Can we truly trust God in everything in life? Will He, in His infinite wisdom, bring good from evil to accomplish the best possible means to an end, which He has in view? In truth, God’s infinite wisdom is displayed in bringing good from evil and beauty out of ashes. Though Haman wanted to kill and destroy all the Jews in the kingdom and evil was meant against them, God, in His infallible wisdom, used this evil for the good of the people bringing Esther to the forefront whom God used to deliver her people. Nothing can thwart the purpose of God even though man may try and some circumstances may actually appear like God is not sovereign. Our God is still in charge!
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5)