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that Moshiach, through his sufferings, will win our victory over Satan.)
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Why your soul's salvation hangs on the inerrancy of the Bible
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First let's get something clear about erroneous notions of Paul and his founding a new religion, which he didn't. True, the halakhah of his Judaism switched from the Pharisaic oral law to the Ruach Hakodesh, but his religion was still one of the Judaisms of the time, not a new non-Judaism Gentile religion.
Five books of the Hebrew Bible are known as the Five Scrolls
(Chamaish Miglot). Song of Songs is read on the Shabbos of
Passover week (Sepherdim read it on Seder night and Friday
afternoons). Ruth is read on Shavuos (Pentecost). Ecclesiastes
is read on the Shabbos of the week of Tabernacles (Succot).
Lamentations is read of the Ninth of Av, a fast commemorating the
destruction of the Beis Hamikdash. And, finally, the book we are
studying, the Scroll of Esther, is read on Purim.
Both Esther and Job could be produced as plays or musicals with a
high professional production level. In Aaron Frankel's Writing
the Broadway musical, he shows how to lay out the scenario for a
story by identifying the points in the play, visualized as a
series of scenes, where the conflicts in each scene rise to a
crescendo requiring song and/or choreography. Here are a few
ideas on how to organize the telling of Esther's story in this
way. A few possible lyric lines for songs have been put in
quotation marks. Why not think of how you could write an
original play or musical to be presented every Purim in your
ministry, and to be usable in Jewish outreach? (Try your own
creative hand--you can polish the ideas below or come up with
better ones): Scene: Persian city of Susa (modern Iran). Time:
Possible ideas for a scenario with a few song lyric ideas: King
Ahasuerus and company (tipsy): "Queen Vashti, you're not acting
very pretty." Queen Vashti could sing a song to her maidens to
go tell the King she is now a "liberated" woman. The chorus made
up of King Ahasuerus's counsellors ("wise men (chachamim)"--
Esther 1:13) could lament the rebellious female population of the
country and how Queen Vashti will start an insurrection in every
home. A national domestic revolt is imminent, right in homes of
the nation! These wise men could sing, "It's a scandal! Things
are getting out of hand! Queen Vashti refuses to come at the
king's command! (see Esther 1:12)." On a serious note, Esther
1:22 can be taken as an allusion to the fall of mankind in Gen.
Esther singing in front of the harem: "So if I'm Jewish, why
don't I come out of the closet?" (Make sure the diction fits the
character and is in good taste and in agreement with Scripture.
Does this work?)(Look at Esther 2:10-11.) A certain dramatic
license is acceptable sometimes. Esther could sing or recite
some of the great Messianic prophecies in her Hebrew Bible, and
she could dream of the Moshiach being a great King just as she,
by the providence of G-d, might become a great Queen. However,
rather than try to keep her life and her throne, in a later scene
she is urged by her uncle Mordecai and her conscience to decide
to lose her life and her throne for the sake of her people's
salvation. The play's ending tells us, however, that whoever
loses his life can get it back through faith (Luke 9:24; see
Esther 4:14). But the drama could hinge on Esther as she reaches
this crisis decision to lose everything and so matures through
suffering, finally saying (or singing), "If I perish, I perish
(Esther 4:16), I must proclaim the truth." (Rav Sha'ul said, "I
am ready to die in Jerusalem"--Acts 21:13). Her attention could
be drawn to the example of the suffering Messianic figure of
Joseph, who said, "G-d sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a
remnant (sh'airit) on earth and to save your lives by a great
deliverance (Gen. 45:7)."
Mordecai (after he overhears the assassination plot of Bigtha and
Teresh against King Ahasuerus): "I keep my ears open so I never
lose my head--but why does everyone want someone's head? Why
does everybody hate the Jews? Let my life be given me--that is
my petition" (see also Esther 7:3). These are possible working
song titles. He can refer to his ancestor Saul's battle against
that race of anti-Semites called the Amalekites and their king,
Agag (see 3:1). Unfortunately, like Joseph, Mordecai is
forgotten. Instead, Esther 3:1 tells us that King Ahasuerus
promotes Haman. But those who are exalted will be humbled, and
pride goes before the fall. Mordecai is even in more danger when
word leaks out that he is a Jew (Esther 3:4). A yellow star
could be pinned on Mordecai, and a tattoo could be slapped on his
arm to dramatize 3:3-5. The pogrom plot begins ironically in the
month of Pesach in Esther 3:6-7 (the people are "sold" as in
Egypt--see Esther 7:4) and the pogrom countdown will be 11 months
long, finally to be executed on the 13th day of the 12th month.
Haman and Ahasuerus possible duet (after Haman gives him the
money for the king's treasury to pay for the pogrom): "I'd like
to propose a toast (to the death of the people of the L-rd of
Hosts.)" Notice that the shameful and death-dealing results of
racial hatred are so terrible that great bewilderment at the
horror of it all seizes the population (see Esther 3:15). Notice
also that any demonic pleasure anti-Semites enjoy is short-lived,
for what follows is like a terrible hang-over from an extended
drinking bout. But, meanwhile, while the wicked drink and get
drunk, the g-dly fast and pray for deliverance (4:1-3). And
those who are truly sober and ready to stand in the battle will
not run from their Jewish uniform of sackcloth in order to hide
in "civilian" clothes (Esther 4:4). It should be clear in this
drama that "prayer changes things," (see also 4:26) but prayer
requires courage and fearless confession of the truth in order to
make its effect, since faith without works is dead.
Mordecai and Esther duet based on Esther 4:14: "For such a time
as this." Chapter 4 is where the crisis of decision takes place.
Everyone is in a position of some kind of influence and can plead
for the salvation of the Jewish people. Therefore, everyone
should be able to identify with Esther's crisis. All believers
come to the royal dignity for such a time as this (Rev. 1:6;
I Kefa 2:5,9), and have a Rom. 15:27 obligation regarding the
physical well-being of the Jewish people. And if we fail at our
obligation, G-d will raise up someone else to do kiruv outreach
work for Moshiach among the Jewish people (Esther 4:14). But
since G-d has called us to the kingdom for such a time as this,
we should look for his divine favor (Esther 5:2,8; 2:15,17; 7:3;
8:5) and enablement and open doors (5:3). Notice that in Esther
ch. 6 Mordecai gets the favor Esther already has received, and
finally that favor spills out on the entire people of G-d
throughout the land. On the other hand there is an omen of
disfavor over taking the accursed Human in Esther 6:13. If we
ask the L-rd and trust him, he will give us something
supernatural that will be attractive and will win favor for the
cause of the Lord's people and their Scriptures.
Haman (after the scene at the end of chapter 5): "I'm happy and
light-hearted without G-d, (and I'll be even happier without the
people of G-d.
Ahasuerus: "What honor has been given to this man of G-d
(Mordecai)?" Great villain's aside: "Whom would the king wish to
honor more than me?--Esther 6:6)
Haman: "In all modesty, who would the King desire to honor more
than Haman the Magnificent? Haman the Incomparable? Haman the
Sublime? Haman the Glorious etc.?"
Possible trio: Esther and Ahasuerus and Haman: "Who but a devil
would dare to try to destroy the Jews?" (Haman could pretend
innocence as he sings along in the trio.)
Esther solo on 8:17: "How does one become a Jew?" (The fear of
G-d comes on you and your heart is cut by the circumcision of the
Ruach Hakodesh unto conviction and faith in the Moshiach of the
Hebrew Scriptures. Esther could recall stories she had heard of
the coming of the Moshiach who would be like Dovid and Joseph and
suffer for his people as a victim like one of Human's victims.)
What are some of the themes of this story?
1. Getting drunk gets Ahasuerus into trouble twice, once with a
divorce and the other time by flirting with anti-Semitism and
genocide when he plots a pogrom with Haman.
2. Women's rights (Queen Vashti refusing to bow to this
woman-crazy husband of hers) and resisting idolatry (Mordecai the
Benjaminite refusing to bow to Haman the Agagite--see I Sm. 15;
Ex. 17:14-16; Deut. 25:17-19).
3. Ahasuerus and his gradual deliverance from anti-Semitism as he
meets one beautiful Jew and has his mind, that Haman and HaSatan
nearly poison, delivered. This gets us into the roots of
anti-Semitism: see Esther 3:8, hatred of a people who are
different belies hatred of a G-d who is different. Why do people
hate the Bible and pass laws that contradict it? Because people
are lawless by nature and need a new heart.
4. Ahasuerus is delivered from anti-Semitism by, of all people, a
woman. (G-d can use a woman to do anything, and this is another
theme: the most unlikely and the weakest vessels can be used by
G-d for great purposes). And G-d can use unlikely people in
Jewish ministry, too, to effect a "great deliverance" (Gen.
5. Another theme: drunken lust to exploit people for the sake of
fleeting worldly power versus true Biblical sacrificial service
to G-d's people.
6. Notes on Esther's character: the closet religious witness, who
is ashamed of her faith. A big dramatic question to which the
play should provide a suspenseful answer is: will she or will she
not come out of the closet and, whatever the possible loss, tell
people what she believes?
7. Another theme: luck versus providence, and how G-d controls
both ("What a divine coincidence!" could be a refrain in the
score). G-d uses all things to arrive at his own final goal of
protecting his people and keeping them alive until the King of
the Jews returns: feminism, beauty contests, insomnia,
8. The enemies of the true people of G-d will always fall into
the pit that they have dug-Proverbs 26:27.
9. The origin of the festival of Purim and the coming
eschatological event it points to, where all the enemies of
Israel, all the Hamans lacking G-d's heart, will be separated out
and destroyed. Daniel 12:2; 7:13-14.
COMIC POSSIBILITIES: the King's don't-call-us-we'll-call-you
extermination of drop-in visitors, which builds suspense when
Esther drops in unannounced, etc. Also, look at the chance for
Haman to make a great extended double take (a la Oliver Hardy)
at the end of 6:10.
IMPORTANT STAGE BUSINESS: dealing with the King's ring and the
reversal when Mordecal gets it from Haman in 8:2. Seriously, the
Moshiach (see "My Servant" = the Moshiach Zech. 3:8, Isa. 42:1;
Hag. 2:23) is called G-d's signet ring in Hag. 2:23. See Esther
8:10 and the reversal from Esther 8:2. Why do the nations rage
against the L-rd and his anointed, his signet ring, the Moshiach?
On other reversals, see Mordecal's reversal, Esther 6:3-6;
Human's reversal, Esther 7:10; 8:5; 9:24; the Jewish people's
reversal 9:1; etc.
Haman is a type of the Anti-Moshiach in the Bible (along with
Pharaoh, the king of Babylon, Antiochus Ephiphanes, Caligula,
Nero, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and all anti-Semites. This book
makes the astounding statement that G-d is at war with all
anti-Semites, and G-d will curse those who curse the Jewish
people (Gen. 12:3). The Moshiach himself will return at the
final battle at the end of days (Armageddon), which will be the
last battle of G-d against anti-Semites. Esther 9:5 is a picture
of the Day of the L-rd in the Hebrew Bible (Amos 5:9-14; Zeph.
l:14-l8). See also Esther 9:2,16.
The whole show could be done in modern dress with Haman in a
fascist uniform. We need to create spectacles that will draw
outsiders to G-d's House, just as G-d did with the splendor of
the Beis Hamikdash and the annual pilgrimage festivals.
Typological exegesis of Esther. The Moshiach's bride will not be
ashamed of him, that he is from the tribe of Judah. The bride
that does not come to him (Vashti = apostate religion) forfeits
any privileged position and is replaced by the bride that "boldly
approaches the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and
find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16; Esther 5:2).
Notice, as in I Cor. 15:4, the turning-point day of deliverance
is "the third day" (Esther 5:1).
See 9:10. When we taste the dainties of the anti-Semites and
enjoy their fleeting pleasures, we lose our kingship and royal
power, as Mordecai might have (he didn't). However, Modecai's
ancestor learned this lesson the hard way when he seized the
plunder of Amalek (I Sm. 15:17-19), unlike Abraham who abstained
from the plunder (Gen. 14:22-24).
Notice Purim is to be a time of joy (simcha) and feasting and
gladness and a time to send gifts of food to one another and
presents to the poor (Esther 9:22). If this festival were
celebrated each year in the Brit Chadasha kehillah, less
anti-Semitism would befound there. A Purim play could help laugh
the HaSatan out of the sanctuary. Since, according to Romans
chs. 9-11 the Brit Chadasha kehillah "joins" Israel, Esther 9:27
applies to the Brit Chadasha kehillah, because the text says,"the
Jews accepted as a custom for themselves...and all who joined
them, that without fail they should continue to observe these two
days every year.
Mordecai's work in the last verse ("he sought the good of his
people and interceded for the welfare of all his (zar'o)
seed"--Esther 10:3) sounds like the Moshiach in Isaiah 53:12,10
("he made intercession for the transgressors...and he shall see
Important note: Saddam Hussein's army was destroyed on the very
day of Purim, 1991, proving any Haman who threatens to destroy
Israel can still be brought down by the G-d of Israel.
In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the
king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with
feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities
became Jews because fear of the Jews had fallen on them.
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