Purim is the last celebration of the spiritual year. It is the celebration that points to a time when sin is overcome
in this world. God's chosen people, hidden and thriving in the nations, will be raised up and strike a final blow to
those who seek to destroy them.
Purim Tanit Esther - 11 Adar (Fasting Celebrated in Shushan or walled cities)
Purim - 14 Adar (Family Feast and gift giving to the poor day)
Shushan Purim - 15 Adar (Community Celebration, Celebrated outside Sushan or in rural areas)The Amalekites began warring against God's people during Israel's journey up from Egypt. They continued to
fight Israel throughout Amalekite history. God had (raised up and) given Saul the commandment to utterly
destroy every last Amalekite and even their animals and everything that belonged to them, but Saul's pride would
not obey. He and his men spared Agag, the king and the best of the sheep and cattle. They independently
decided that surely God really meant the best of this plunder must not be destroyed. As a result of this terribly
bad choice, God was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel. Saul sought to excuse his disobedience
through justifying it with sacrificial and ceremonial purposes, or "religiosity"; but Samuel saw through his treachery
and labeled this kind of disobedience what it really is: "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than
the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft; arrogance and stubbornness is like the evil of idolatry."
(1 Samuel 15)
The consequences of Saul's disobedience caused immeasurable suffering through years of warring with the
descendants of Amalekites for the children of Israel over the next 620 years. The attempted Holocaust in the
book of Esther was yet another result of Saul's disobedience. Chapter 3 of Esther tells us Haman was a
descendant of Agag. Chapter 9 tells us Esther finally does not hesitate to fulfill the commandment of the Lord
by putting an end to all these Amalekites and also she deliberately did not lay her hand to that plunder.
The Purim (casting of lots) is an annual celebration for all Jews, as told in the book of Esther chapter 9:20-28
(NIV). Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King
Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar
as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into
joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.
He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and
gifts to the poor. So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had
written to them. For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the
Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. But when the plot came
to the king's attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should
come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. (Therefore these days
were called Purim, from the word pur.)
Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them,
the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them
should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. These
days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in
every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of
them die out among their descendants.
This is a very festive joyous celebration. Some women plant pots of barley so they can be mature for the
Bikkurim during the Feast of Unleavened Bread celebration.
Celebration of God's People: Purim
The Casting of Lots
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Congregation T’shuvat Yisrael - God's Holy Days: Purim
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