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Tuesday, September 30 2014
Esther 3: Haman's Chess Board Plot
"Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai"
Haman was a Vizier of the Persian Empire's King Ahasuerus (Persia became known as Iran in the 1920s). A Vizier was a high-ranking royal official of the Shah, or King, of Persia (the office of Vizier also existed throughout ancient India, Afghanistan and the Arab world). The importance of the Vizier to a Persian King is evident in the origin of chess in which the present-day King and Queen pieces were originally the Shah and the Vizier. It was only when chess reached Europe about 1,000 years after the game's origin that the Europeans changed the Vizier to the Queen and the Shah to the King (with a "Christian" crown on the King's head). It's an interesting coincidence that in this particular incident, the Vizier, Haman, was also going to be replaced by the Queen, Esther, as the closest political associate of the King.
"3:1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 3:2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence." (Esther 3:1-2 KJV)
A vizier was usually a man of wisdom and integrity. Mordecai was a good judge of character. He recognized that Haman was an evil man whose only loyalty was to himself. When Mordecai refused to honor such a dishonorable man, regardless of the political consequences, Haman went into a Satanic rage and plotted to "destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai."
"3:3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment? 3:4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
"Pur" and "Purim" are the singular and plural translations of the Hebrew words (in this case, "Pur" and "Purim" are derived from Persian) pronounced poor and poo-reem. They mean lot and lots. The word is first recorded when Haman "cast Pur, that is, the lot" to determine when would be the best time to carry out his genocide against the Jews.
"3:7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar." (Esther 3:7 KJV)
Haman then made his move. The Persian king accepted the advice of his evil advisor and decreed a genocide of the people of Judah (notice that Mordecai was a Benjamite, but the decree was to kill all of the Jews i.e. the people of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi; see the Fact Finder question below).
"3:8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. 3:9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
Fact Finder: Why did Haman plot to kill all of the Jews - when Mordecai was a Benjamite?
This Day In History
This Day In History, September 30
425: Church of Rome (which was created by the Roman Emperor Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) theologian Jerome died at about age 65. He produced the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate version of the Bible (ironically, most Roman Catholics do not own, let alone read, the Holy Bible).
489: The Battle of Verona. The Ostrogoths under King Theodoric defeated the forces of Odoacer.
1399: Henry Bolingbroke succeeded to the English throne as Henry IV after Richard II abdicated the day before.
1452: The Gutenberg Bible was published.
1541: Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army entered Tula territory in what is present-day western Arkansas.
1630: John Billington, one of the pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, became the first criminal to be hung in the "New World" after he was found guilty of murder (to understand the actual Biblical meaning of "pilgrim," see The Pilgrims).
1846: Ether was first used as an anesthetic. Dr. William Morton, a dentist in Massachusetts, was the first to use anesthesia to extract a tooth.
1871: British garrison troops throughout Canada returned to Britain and were replaced with Canadian militia, who then formed the Canadian Army - small in peace time, big in war, or if invaded e.g. during the Second World War, Canada had an army, navy (with 3 aircraft carriers through the "Cold War" era) and air force of 1 million military personnel, plus another million civilians as homeland defense militia. Canada has not been invaded in 2 centuries (the last to do so was the U.S. during the War of 1812).
1888: The serial killer known as Jack the Ripper murdered his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, in London.
1895: Madagascar became a French protectorate.
1907: Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone in Brantford, Ontario, established the Aerial Experimental Association at Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Bell carried on developmental work on aircraft, experimenting with rockets, kites and gliders (Bell is buried in Nova Scotia).
1938 The League of Nations unanimously outlawed the "intentional bombing of civilian populations." The law was ignored by every war-making nation on Earth, then and ever since.
1938: The Munich Agreement was signed by Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy, Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Edward Daladier of France. It permitted Germany to occupy the Sudetenland, a border region of Czechoslovakia that contained 3,000,000 ethnic Germans.
1946: An international military tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.
1949: The Berlin Airlift ended. Allied aircraft made 277,214 flights to deliver 2,323,738 tons of supplies to Berlin whose land access routes had been cut off by a Soviet blockade.
1952: The Revised Standard Version of the Bible was published in its entirety. The New Testament of the RSV had been available since 1946.
1954: West Germany became a member of NATO.
1962: Mexican-U.S. labor leader Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association (later known as the United Farm Workers).
1966: Nazi war criminals Albert Speer and Baldur von Schrach were released from Spandau prison after 20 year sentences. Their departure left only 1 prisoner, Rudolf Hess, in the prison built for 600 prisoners. Hess died in 1987 at the age of 93 by hanging himself with a lamp cord in the prison reading room.
1980: Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah and Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) introduced the shekel as the nation's monetary unit, replacing the Israeli pound. The shekel was the name of the ancient Israelite monetary unit as recorded in the Bible.
1993: A series of earthquakes struck southwest India. 10,000 bodies were recovered, but an estimated 22,000 people were killed.
1999: Japan's second-worst nuclear accident occurred at a uranium reprocessing facility in Tokai-mura, northeast of Tokyo.
2009: A major earthquake struck Sumatra; over 1,100 people were killed.