The interpretation of Mordecai’s dream (Greek text only)

“Mordecai said.

‘These things have come from God.

I remember the dream that I had concerning these matters.

None of them has failed to be fulfilled.

There was the little spring that became a river.

There was light and sun with abundant water.

The river is Esther.

The king married her.

He made her queen.

The two dragons are Haman and myself.

The nations are those that gathered to destroy the name of the Jews.

My nation is Israel.

We cried out to God.

God saved us.

The Lord has saved his people.

The Lord has rescued us from all these evils.

God has done great signs and wonders.

These wonders have not occurred among the nations.

For this purpose he made two lots.

One was for the people of God.

One was for all the nations.

These two lots came to the hour.

They came to the moment.

They came to the day of decision

Before God and among all the nations.

God remembered his people.

God vindicated his inheritance.

Thus they will observe these days in the month of Adar,

On the fourteenth and fifteenth of that month,

With an assembly and joy and gladness before God,

From generation to generation forever among his people Israel.’”

Mordecai interpreted the dream he had at the beginning of this book that was in the Greek text only. Once again, this is only in the Greek text, not the Hebrew text. The little spring that became a river was Queen Esther. The 2 dragons were Haman and himself, Mordecai, as they fought with each other. The 2 sides were the Israelites and those who wanted to destroy Israel. They cried out to God and he saved them. God performed great wonders, never seen any other place. The Jews were rescued. There were 2 lots, one for Israel, and one for Israel’s enemies. The enemies lost. God remembered his people and vindicated them. Thus they must always recall this on the 14th and 15th of Adar each year. The Israelites will do this for generations to come.

The origin of the name Purim (Esth 9:24-9:28)

“Haman the Agagite son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. He had cast Pur that is ‘the lot’ to crush and destroy them. When Queen Esther came before the king, he gave orders in writing that the wicked plot that Haman had devised against the Jews should come upon his own head. He and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. Therefore they called these days Purim, after the word Pur. All of this was written in this letter. Because of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had befallen them, the Jews established and accepted as a custom for themselves and their descendants, and all who joined them. Without fail they would continue to observe these two days every year, as it was written, and at the time appointed. These days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every family, province, and city. These days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews. The commemoration of these days should never cease among their descendants.”

This is an official explanation of the feast of Purim. Since this does not have Torah approval, there is a strong emphasis on written documents. After the captivity and exile there is a great insistence on written documents. Purism comes from the idea of casting lots, which Haman did, to decide on what day the persecution and the destruction of the Jews should take place. The movement of Pur into Purim is simple enough. Interesting enough, the Greek text continued to call Haman a Macedonian rather than an Agagite. In the Greek text there is the explicit information that Pur means casting lots in Persian. The Greek text insists that Mordecai established this feast.

The problem of the thirteenth day of Adar (Greek text only)

“You will therefore do well

Not to put in execution

The letters sent by Haman son of Hammedatha.

Haman, the man who did these things,

Has been hanged at the gate of Susa,

With his entire household.

God, who rules over all things,

God has speedily inflicted on him the punishment he deserved.

Therefore post a copy of this letter publicly in every place.

Permit the Jews to live under their own laws.

Give them reinforcements,

So that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month,

Adar, on that very day,

They may defend themselves

Against those who attack them at the time of oppression.

God, who rules over all things,

God has made this day to be a joy

For his chosen people

Instead of a day of destruction for them.”

We continue on with the Greek text of the second letter to the Persian people from King Artaxerxes. However, here the king and Mordecai clearly state that the original letter was sent by Haman and not the king. Until this point, the king was presumed to have sent the first letter also. However, Haman has been hung at the gate to Susa with his whole family. God inflicted on him the punishment that he deserved. This new public document should be published so that all the Jews may live under their own laws. On the 13th day of Adar, they were to give reinforcements to the Jews so that they might defend themselves against any attacks. God will make this a day of joy rather than a day of destruction.

Those who receive much should be generous (Greek text only)

“Many people,

The more they are honored

With the most generous kindness of their benefactors,

The more proud they become.

They not only seek to injure our subjects,

But in their inability to stand prosperity,

They even undertake to scheme against their own benefactors.

They not only take away thankfulness from others,

But carried away

By the boasts of those who know nothing of goodness,

They even assume that they will escape

The evil-hating justice of God,

Who always sees everything.

Often many of those

Who are set in places of authority

Have been made in part responsible

For the shedding of innocent blood.

They have been involved in irremediable calamities.

By the persuasion of friends

Who have been entrusted

With the administration of public affairs,

These men by the false trickery

Of their evil natures

Beguile the sincere goodwill of their sovereigns.”

Once again, this is found in the Greek text only, not in the Hebrew text. Some people have been blessed by God and benefactors. However, they can become proud. They sought to injure our Persian subjects and even their own benefactors. They are not thankful but evil in the sight of God who sees everything. This is especially bad when irresponsible authorities try to shed blood. By false trickery and their evil nature they beguile the goodwill of kings. This is a veiled reference to Haman, since this and the other decree are both from the same person, King Artaxerxes. He cannot contradict himself, since Haman wrote the first decree and Mordecai wrote this one.

The response of the king (Esth 8:7-8:8)

“Then King Artaxerxes said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew.

‘See!

I have given Esther the house of Haman.

They have hanged him on the gallows.

Because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews.

You may write as you please with regard to the Jews,

In the name of the king,.

Seal it with the king’s ring.

An edict written in the name of the king

And sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.’”

The king said that he given the house of Haman to Queen Esther. In fact, they had hanged him on his own gallows. She and Mordecai could write what they wanted about the Jews. He was going to give them his signet ring. However, he said that anything that he has written could not be revoked. Therefore, he stood by his original decree that Haman wrote. However, he would stand by anything that they would write also. There could be not revocations. It is interesting to note he took no blame. He seems to say, “Whatever” to every question that comes up.

Mordecai sends the decree to Queen Esther (Esth 4:6-4:8)

“Hachratheus went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him all that had happened. He said that Haman had promised to pay ten thousand talents into the royal treasury to bring about the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of what had been posted in Susa for their destruction. He wanted him to show it to Queen Esther. He told him to charge her to go in to the king. He wanted her to plead for his favor in behalf of her people. He said.

‘Remember the days when you were an ordinary person.

You were brought up under my care.

Haman, who stands next to the king,

He has spoken against us.

He demands our death.

Call upon the Lord!

Then speak to the king on our behalf.

Save us from death!’”

Once again there is a discrepancy between the Hebrew text that does not have the small speech of Mordecai that is found in the Greek text only. The name of the eunuch is slightly different in the Greek text also. However, the idea is about the same. Mordecai gave the decree to the eunuch. He told him that Haman was behind this move to extinguish the Jews in the Persian kingdom. He wanted him to show this decree to Queen Esther. He also wanted Queen Esther to intercede with the king to stop this destruction. In the small soliloquy, Mordecai reminded the queen that she was once an ordinary young girl under his care. He wanted here to be aware that Haman was behind all that was happening since he was calling for their death. He wanted her to pray to God and then speak to the king. Somehow Mordecai does not feel that he is the right one to present this petition to the king.

The posting of the decree (Esth 3:14-3:15)

“Copies of the document were posted in every province. All the peoples were ordered to be prepared for that day. The couriers went in haste by order of the king. The matter was expedited also in Susa the capital. While the king and Haman caroused together, the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.”

Now we are back to the mixed Hebrew and Greek text. Obviously, the couriers brought the decree out to all the provinces. Everyone was to get ready for this massacre day. They also spread this news in the capital city of Susa. King Artaxerxes and Haman sat down to drink, thinking that their mission was accomplished. However, the city of Susa was confused by this decree.