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Wednesday, November 16 2011
Has Another Haman Arisen?
The Book Of Esther (which was actually a scroll - "books" were an invention of European printers only a few centuries ago; see also The Roll Of The Book) is the historical account of how a young orphaned Israelite girl from the tribe of Benjamin (see also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?) rose from being a former prisoner-exile to Queen of Persia (Persia is known today as Iran). Originally named Hadassah, meaning myrtle (an evergreen shrub used for its violet flowers and for making perfume), she later became known as Esther, which is a form of the Persian word satarah, which means a star.
Esther's family had been among those of the southern kingdom of Judah, composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (see The Southern Kingdom) and Levi (see Are Levites 'Jews'? and No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?) who had been conquered by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar (see Jeremiah's Field). After the Babylonian empire was itself conquered by the Persian Empire (see Ancient Empires - Persia), many of the people of Judah were returned to Jerusalem (see Ezra, Nehemiah and the Fact Finder question below).
"2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter." (Esther 2:5-7 KJV)
After the king divorced his wife Vashti, he married Esther - who became the new Queen of Persia.
"2:16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 2:17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 2:18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king." (Esther 2:16-18 KJV)
Not all Jews returned to Jerusalem at the end of their prophesied seventy-years exile. Those who went back did so as a nation, not as individuals. All of those who had been exiled were by then dead - those who "returned" had never been there before. Esther was among those who remained in Persia. The approximate dates:
"So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai"
Persia is known today as Iran (see the Fact Finder question below). Even though the people of Judah have been prominent citizens of Persia (Esther, who became Queen of the country, is a prime example), they have also had deadly enemies throughout history. In the present day, that includes people like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has chosen to ignore what the greatest king of Persia / Iran did for the Jews to enable them to return to "Zion" (see the Fact Finder question below). A statement made by Ahmadinejad to the "World Without Zionism" conference in Asia in October of 2005:
"Our dear Imam [referring to Ayatollah Khomeini] said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."
Some people have come to regard Ahmadinejad as a modern-day "Haman." Who was the original Haman?
Haman was a high official, in effect the prime minister, of the Persian king Ahasuerus. Mordecai, the elder cousin of Esther, was a Jew who was loyal to the king of Persia, rather than to the arrogant, self-serving (i.e. a typical sleazy politician) prime minister, Haman. For that, Haman sought to have Mordecai executed.
"5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. 5:14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made." (Esther 5:13-14 KJV)
Haman's obstacle in killing Mordecai involved the fact that Mordecai was more loyal to the king than Haman was - Mordecai had actually prevented an assassination of the king.
"6:1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 6:2 And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
Haman's personal hatred for Mordecai evolved into a genocide hatred toward all of the Jews in the kingdom. The only one who could stop it was Esther, herself a Jew (a Jew by nation, a Benjamite by tribe ; again see Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?), who made a direct appeal to stop Haman's plan (the victory resulted in the present-day observance of Purim by the people of Judah). Haman's gallows that he built to hang Mordecai became the place of execution for Haman himself.
"7:1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. 7:2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
Fact Finder: Why should Iranian leaders who are "anti-Zionist" adhere to their own history that re-established "Zionism" in the time of Cyrus, the greatest Persian / Iranian king that ever lived?
This Day In History, November 16
42 BC: Tiberius was born. He was the Roman Caesar at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire, New Testament Roman Emperors and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1272: King Henry III of England, who had ruled since 1216, died and was succeeded by his son Edward I.
1621: The Pope proclaimed January 1st to be the beginning of the Roman calendar year. Before that time, March was the first month - the reason why a number of today's Roman calendar month names are misnomers e.g. September ("sept" is a prefix meaning "seven") went from being the seventh month to the ninth (see Pope Gregory's Calendar and The Blasphemy Calendar; listen also to our Sermon Do We Use The 'Hebrew' Calendar?).
1686: Britain and France signed the Treaty of Neutrality regarding their colonies in North America in the event of war in Europe. France later supported the revolution of the New England colonies against Britain, not for any purpose of "freedom" (at the very same time that the France-supported revolution in New England happened, France hypocritically had its own colonies in Louisiana and elsewhere in North America - in which France tolerated no independence), but with the intention of conquering New England for France after the colonies became independent of British military support. Later costly wars in Europe diverted French military forces from attempting to do so.
1797: Frederick William II, king of Prussia from 1786, died and was succeeded by his son, Frederick William III.
1885: Louis Riel, who led the "Riel Rebellion" in Canada, was executed.
1894: Over 6,000 Armenians were reported massacred by Turks in Kurdistan.
1918: With the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars), Hungary was proclaimed an independent republic.
1938: The hallucinogenic drug LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland.
1945: At the end of the Second World War, many prominent Nazi scientists who worked for Adolf Hitler's war and holocaust regime (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) were admitted into the U.S. The "reformed" Nazis (many people, at the time and ever since, nevertheless regarded them as war criminals who escaped justice, including Jewish concentration camp survivors who were victims of some of their "experiments") later worked for various government and military agencies, including NASA and nuclear missile programs. See also the New York Times article Nazis Were Given 'Safe Haven' In U.S. (available online at the time of this writing).
1960: Riots occurred in New Orleans after two all-white schools began allowing blacks to attend classes.
1965: The Soviet Union launched its Venus III spacecraft. Its arrival on Venus in March, 1966 made it the first spacecraft to land on another planet.
1988: Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan; she was assassinated in 2007.