The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.
Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)
The book of is curious. It’s the only book in the Bible that never overtly mentions God. It contains no references to the Mosaic law or to sacrifices. You don’t see priests making offerings here, or saints singing psalms, or prophets pointing the people back to God’s promise. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (ESTHER: THE QUEEN OF PERSIA)
True, Esther doesn’t mention the name of God, yet underlying the story are veiled references to God. Cousin Mordecai encourages Esther to go before King Xerxes saying. “Who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). He was implying that God might use Esther to deliver the Jews. Esther then asks Mordecai to gather the Jews and fast; she herself fasted for three days (Esther 4:3) showing her petition to God for assistance.
Continue reading THE BOOK OF ESTHER DOESN’T MENTION GOD, SO WHY IS IT INCLUDED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
While Ahasuerus was entertaining his royal officials (see notes on Esther 1:8), his queen, Vashti, was serving as hostess at a feast for the wives of these men, Separation of men and women at such royal events must have been the normal practice in the Persian court. Continue reading SEPARATION OF PERSIAN WOMEN