Is Queen Esther a feminine type of Messiah? As I was sitting here thinking about it, and the various memories I have of our family and friends observing it, I thought I would spend some time and write out some thoughts about the upcoming feast. Some may not have stopped to consider this question or have even thought about the similarities between these two Jews, but they are very similar in several different ways. Some of these ways may be obvious, but others not so much. So in looking forward to this “biblical observance,” I want to compare her life to his.
What is Purim?
Next week, beginning on Tuesday night, March 15, 2022, and ending on Wednesday night, March 16, there is Ta’anit Esther – “the fast of Esther” – and then Purim begins on Wednesday night, March 16, 2022, and ends on Thursday night, March 17, 2022 (in Jerusalem it extends through Friday night). The biblical feast of Purim celebrates the bravery of Hadassah / Queen Esther, who was willing to lay down her life – if needed – to try and save her people from extinction. Purim is observed by reading the book of Esther from the Megillah scroll, and gifts of food and charity are given, as well as feasting and merriment.
Purim & Hanukkah – “Not Biblical Feasts”?
Now some people do not count Purim or Hanukkah as being “biblical feasts,” because they are not listed as part of the seven feasts that are listed discussed within the Torah; however, they are mentioned in the Bible. In fact, Purim is based on the whole book of Esther, and Hanukkah is prophesied in Daniel 7-8, and then based on the events in I Maccabees, and then mentioned in John 10:22-23. So even though Purim is not mentioned in Leviticus 23, I still consider it a “biblical feast.”
Both Jews Were Raised By Men Who Were Not Their Biological Fathers
Hadassah /Esther were raised by her cousin, Mordecai, for she had neither father nor mother, and when her parents died, he went ahead and raised her as his own daughter. In the “New Testament,” Yeshua (Jesus) was raised by Joseph who was not His biological father. So they were both raised by men who were not their biological fathers, just as Moses himself was also raised by a man who was not his biological father.
Both Jews Have a Non-Hebrew Names
One similarity that I immediately see between Queen Esther and “Jesus” is that they are both Jews who are more popularly known by their non-Hebrew names, as opposed to their Hebrew names. Hadassah was told by her relative Mordecai to tell them that her name was Esther to hide her Jewish identity in order to save her life at the time, and Yeshua‘s name – an alternate form of “Joshua” – through the transliteration process from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English is “Jesus,” and as a result of this process, His Hebrew name has been “hidden.” In fact, there are even many Messianic Jews who do not know that Yeshua is really an alternate form of Yehoshua (“Joshua”), which I was surprised when I discovered this.
Both Jews in a Royal Office
Another obvious similarity between the two – Esther and “Jesus” – is that they are both Jews who have (or will be) placed in a royal office. Esther was chosen to be the queen of Persia by King Xerxes (or King Ahasuerus) to replace Queen Vashti. On the other hand, Yeshua has been chosen by God, the highest of all Kings, to be the anointed Promised Messiah, but He as yet to ascended His throne. This will happen after He returns, and He finishes setting up His Kingdom. Even though He was also anointed by Yochanan (John) the Immerser, my question is will He be anointed for office again by the Jewish people, like David had been? Many people do not realize that David was anointed with oil a total of three times: once by the prophet Samuel; once by the men of Judah; and once by the elders of all of Israel. So will Messiah Yeshua go through a similar process of multiple anointings as “the son of David”?
Both Jews Interceded When Jewish Lives Were Threatened with Extinction
When Haman threated the Jews of Persia with extinction, she gathered all the Jews of Shushan and had them all fast – not eat or drink – for three days and nights, and when she goes in to the king without him calling her first, which was against Persian law, to intercede that God might be with her. According to the prophet Zechariah, we read,
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity; and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD [Joshua/Yeshua] shall go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley;…And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee…. (Zechariah 14:2-4a, 5b)
And just like Joshua led an invasion force into Israel, so our “New Testament” Joshua/Yeshua will lead His own invasion force of angels and saints into the land of Israel, “And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen around about shall be gathered together,…” (Zechariah 14:14). And just like Joshua of old, the sun shall not go down on this battle, for as we read,
But it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. (Zechariah 14:7)
Both Jews “Laid Their Lives Down” to Save Their People
After three days and nights, Queen Esther went before the King. She even said before she left her own rom, “If I perish, I perish.” She knew as far as Persian law was concerned, the moment she stepped foot into the throne room, she was dead, since she had not been summoned by the king. And although her “death” would end up being symbolic only, “Joshua’s”/Yeshua‘s death was literal, and He did lay down His life for the salvation of the Jews and all people, not just those in one city or region, or even country.
Both Jews Experienced a “Form” of Resurrection
Queen Esther experience a “form” of resurrection when she reached the foot of the throne, and the king held out his golden scepter to her, which gave her life, instead of the death Persian law required. Joshua/ Yeshua experienced resurrection after being dead for three days in the tomb. God gave Him life and miraculously raised Him from the dead, as Shi’mon Petros proclaimed in his first sermon on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost):
You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus (Joshua/Yeshua) of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:22-24)
So as we are observing the coming feast of Purim, let’s not just think about the bravery of Hadassah / Esther, and the salvation she brought to the Jewish people of Persia, but let’s also remember how her life illustrates the salvation that the Messiah Joshua / Yeshua has brought to all of Israel and the nations through His Intercessory life, death, and resurrection. May His name be forever praised!