Posts Tagged ‘megillah’

Revelation Chapter 5 – The Scroll

“Next I saw in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven, on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it. I cried and cried, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. One of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals” (Revelation 5:1-5).

The Hebrew word for ‘scroll’ is megillah and each old testament book manuscripts were written on parchment paper and rolled up creating a megillah. The first five books of the Bible became one scroll known as Torah and contained the history of the people of Elohim and His instructions for living as a holy community. The scroll Yochanan sees has writing on both sides.

The megillah has seven seals. The Hebrew word ‘seal’ is chatham and means ‘signer’s imprint.’ The ‘signer’s imprint’ came from an individual’s signet ring giving the signer full authority and power to send the message or ‘seal the decree.’ The only one authorized who could break the seal had to be the receiver for the intended message.

In the case of this heavenly scroll, Yochanan wept because no one could be found in heaven, on earth or even under the earth authorized to break the seals and read the scroll. He understood that no heavenly beings were worthy to break the seals; there was no human being on earth worthy to break the seals. He knew Sh’ol held the spirits of the dead and none of these were worthy either. There was no one worthy to open the scroll. One of the 24 elders explained that the Lion of the Tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, was worthy and had won the right to break the seals.

The Lion of Y’hudah comes from the prophetic blessing Ya’akov gave his son before he died. Like a lion Y’hudah’s hand would be on the neck of his enemies. He would stand over his prey and stretch out like a lion. No one would dare provoke him, and his brothers and sisters and their descendants would bow down to him (Genesis 49:8-10). The Hebrew word for ‘lion’ is ari. The prophet Isaiah calls Jerusalem, ‘The city of Ari’el‘ (Isaiah 29:1-2, 7).

The lineage from Y’hudah to Yeshua has King David who was given the promise of an eternal descendant on his throne (2 Samuel 7:12-13, Jeremiah 33:17). It is this descendant who will rule the nations and will be the ‘root’ of King David.

“Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down in front of the Lamb. Each one held a harp and gold bowls filled with pieces of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people; and they sang a new song, “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals; because you were slaughtered; at the cost of blood you ransomed for God persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for God to rule, cohanim to serve him; and they will rule over the earth” (Revelation 5:6-10).

It is not a Lion that Yochanan sees, it is a Lamb. The Lamb looked like it had been slaughtered. In the Hebrew, the phrase is “and I saw he had wounds and bruises that once caused his death.” This detailed phrase supports how the prophet Isaiah described the affliction of Messiah (Isaiah 53:5).

The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven-fold Spirit of Elohim sent out into all the earth. The Hebrew word for ‘horn’ is qeren and symbolizes divinity, salvation, and victory. Abraham found a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. The ram symbolizes the victory of Elohim’s Lamb that would overcome death and be resurrected; the returning ram that would trample the enemies of Elohim.

The Lamb takes the scroll and the four living beings and 24 elders fall down before him. Each held a harp and golden bowls filled with incense. The Hebrew word for ‘harp’ is kinnor and is the word for lyre, King David’s choice of stringed instrument. The golden bowls had pieces of incense representing the prayers of Elohim’s people (Psalm 141:2).

Those present in front of the throne sang a new song. In Hebrew, the word for ‘new song’ is telhillim and means a ‘spontaneous song.’ This spontaneous ‘new’ song focuses on the Lamb who is worthy of praise; for at the cost of his blood, he ransomed for Elohim people from every tribe, language, culture, and nation. The Lamb made them to be a kingdom of priests to serve Him. As the ‘royal priesthood,’ they will serve Yeshua and rule with him over the nations.

The Hebrew word for ‘ransom’ is padah and means ‘redeemed.’ The word ‘ransom’ means ‘to pay for the release of a prisoner.’ People from every nation, tribe, and language had been held captive by the Adversary. The Lamb paid the ‘death price’ required to give life to multitudes. He redeemed them by making a substitute of his life for theirs. The Lamb was worthy because he was completely righteous and could become the atonement.

Then I looked, and I heard the sound of a vast number of angels — thousands and thousands, millions and millions! They were all around the throne, the living beings and the elders; and they shouted out, “Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:11-12).

In the heavenly realm, millions and millions of angels along with the living beings and the 24 elders worship the Lamb. The Lamb is ‘worthy’ having righteous character and entitled to receive adoration. The Hebrew word for ‘worthy’ is zachah which means ‘cleansed, pure, and acquitted.’ The Hebrew word for ‘power’ is ‘oz and means ‘the strength of Elohim.’ Power means the Lamb has spiritual insight into the power and strength of Elohim. He can influence the nations and direct the course of world events.

Riches means that the Lamb holds all that have eternal value in his possession. The word for ‘riches’ in Hebrew is osher and means ‘the riches of Elohim.’

The Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ is chokmah and means ‘skill.’ The Lamb holds all wisdom and ‘skill’ from above as well as below the heavens. Proverbs 8:22-31 personifies wisdom as being present with Elohim before the creation of the world and taking part in the creative process.

The strength of The Lamb is mighty. The Hebrew word for ‘strength’ is gibor and means ‘mighty’ or ‘heroic.’ Gibor has the idea of valor and courage like a warrior who returns from a battle with a decisive victory.

The Lamb is honored with splendor because he fulfilled his obligation. He lived according to Torah, his Father’s standard of righteousness. I n Hebrew, the word for honor in this verse is hadar and means ‘splendor.’

The Lamb has achieved great beauty. His renown goes throughout all the heavens because of what he has done. The Hebrew word for ‘glory’ is kavod and means ‘weight and heaviness.’ His glory ‘comes down’ from the heavens onto the earth.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Worthy – zachah – זחה

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide’ or ‘cut.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for zachah: divide and protect revealed.

Power – ‘oz – עז

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide’ or ‘cut.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for oz: understand the dividing.

“Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword! For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Whoever loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than he loves me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:34-37).

Riches – osher – עושר

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for osher: undertand the binding destroys the highest authority.

“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Wisdom – chokmah – חכמה

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

כ Kaf – Open Palm means ‘allow’ or ‘cover.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for chokmah: protect and allow the mighty revelation.

“But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

Mighty – gibor – גבור

ג Gimel – A Camel means ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for gibor: lift up the house bound to the highest authority.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo‘etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace]” (Isaiah 9:5).

Splendor – hadar – הדר

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for hadar; reveal the pathway of highest authority.

“Warrior, strap your sword at your thigh; [gird on] your splendor and majesty. In your majesty, succeed, ride on in the cause of truth, meekness and righteousness” (Psalm 45:3-4).

Glory – kavod – כבוד

כ Kaf – Open Palm means ‘allow’ or ‘cover.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for kavod: cover the house binding the pathway.

“Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).

“And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth and on the sea — yes, everything in them — saying, “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb belong praise, honor, glory and power forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).

The word ‘creature’ means plants, animals, and all creation waiting for deliverance crying out to the Lamb (Romans 8:22). The words in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth show the complexity of Elohim’s dominion as Creator. This worship is not just for the Lamb, but also for the One sitting on the throne: the ‘I Am’.

In Hebrew ‘forever and ever’ is l’olam v’ed which means ‘to the distant horizon and again.’ The following blessing is included after the Shema:

Baruch shem k’avod malchuto l’olam va’ed.

Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom to the distant horizon and again.

“The four living beings said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped” (Revelation 5:14).

Amen. This word is derived from the Hebrew words emunah meaning ‘faith’ and emet meaning ‘truth.’ The elders and the living beings acknowledge the Truth revealed in Faith.

To conclude this glorious worship of the ‘I Am’ and the Lamb, the four living beings and the elders bow. The word for worship is barak and means ‘bend the knee.’ They worshiped by bending the knee in the Divine Presence of the Eternal King.

Revelation 6 – The Seals

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Feast of Lots – Purim

“Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, instructing them to observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and the fifteenth day, every year, [to commemorate] the days on which the Jews obtained rest from their enemies and the month which for them was turned from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; they were to make them days of celebrating and rejoicing, sending portions [of food] to each other and giving gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther

Purim is a memorial to the deliverance of the Jewish people from near annihilation while they were in exile in Persia (modern-day Iran). During the reign of Ahasuerus (King Xerxes), a wicked anti-semitic man named Haman came to power. He wanted all the Jews in the kingdom destroyed because they had customs that wouldn’t allow them to bow down and worship him. ‘Lots’ or purim were cast to choose the day of their destruction. A Jewish man named Mordecai, along with his niece who had become Queen, interceded for the Jewish people and the destruction was averted. 

Purim celebrations are joyous with melodramas and audience participation. Groggers or noisemakers are used to drown out the name of Haman while the audience cheers for Mordecai and ‘ohhhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ for Queen Esther. Cookies called Hamantaschen are baked to look like Haman’s tricorn hat. Food is collected and put in baskets to give to the poor, the widow and the fatherless. Children dress in the costumes of their favorite Purim character.

Within the account of Purim there are an array of characters. As you read one or two specific verses from the megillah or scroll of Esther about each of them, watch how power corrupts, faith overcomes, and truth is revealed. More importantly, watch God work His hand of protection for the Jewish people, for without it, they would have been destroyed. Without the Jewish people, there would have been no Yeshua from the Tribe of Judah.

In these last days, the Jewish people and the nation of Israel are under great attack from the nations around the world. As global events continue to unfold, each person will have to choose a side: Israel and God’s people or the international community. As you read the account of Esther, check your own thoughts about the Jewish people. Are you rebellious Queen Vashti, faithful Queen Esther, discerning Mordecai, transformed King Ahasuerus, vindictive Zeresh, or anti-semitic Haman? 

Vashti

The queen who disobeyed King Ahasuerus’ command and lost her royal position in the kingdom.

“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she” (Esther 1:19).

Esther (Hadassah)

Hadassah means ‘myrtle’ in Hebrew while in Persian, Esther means ‘star’ and comes from the root for ‘hidden.’  She was ‘hidden’ in the king’s palace and became an intercessor for the lives of the Jewish people.

“Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai … who had a cousin named Hadassah. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died” (Esther 2:4-5).

Ahasuerus

The King of Persia who was also known as King Xerxes who makes rash decisions and then has to face the consequences.

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on Esther’s head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17).

Mordecai

Hadassah’s uncle from the Tribe of Benjamin who remained faithful to God and honored King Ahasuerus. Mordecai means ‘warrior.’

“During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai” (Esther 2:21-22).

Haman

The King Ahasuerus’ right-hand man who descended from Amalek. His ancestors were to be destroyed by King Saul, except he disobeyed God and allowed some Amalekites to live. Just like his ancestors, Haman had an anti-semitic heart.

“Then Haman said to King Ahusuerus, ‘There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business’” (Esther 3:8-9).

Haman’s Wife

Zeresh, Haman’s jealous wife, wanted her husband to rise to power in the kingdom, but she also understood the favor of God on the Jewish people.

“His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, ‘Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy’” (Esther 5:14).

The Decree of Destruction

“Letters were sent by courier to all the royal provinces ‘to destroy, kill and exterminate all Jews, from young to old, including small children and women, on a specific day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to seize their goods as plunder'” (Esther 3:13).

For Such a Time as This” – A Prophetic Vision

“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’” (Esther 4:12-14)

The Queen – The Bride of Messiah

The Bride petitions the King for the lives of God’s Chosen People.

“Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king’” (Esther 7:3-4).

The King – Messiah Yeshua

The King rewards the Bride because of her faithful and courageous stand for his chosen people.

”That same day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Esther the queen. Also Mordecai appeared before the king, for Esther had revealed his relationship to her” (Esther 8:1).

Mordecai – The Warrior

The warrior who fought for the lives of the chosen people is rewarded with a signet ring, the seal of the King, and dressed in royal robes.

“The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s house. Meanwhile, Mordecai left the king’s presence arrayed in royal blue and white, wearing a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan shouted for joy” (Esther 8:2, 15).  

The Jews – The Kingdom

The Jews celebrate Mordecai’s decree that freed them from certain death, keeping alive the nation of Israel.

“For the Jews, all was light, gladness, joy and honor. In every province and city where the king’s order and decree arrived, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a holiday. Many from the peoples of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews had overcome them” (Esther 8:16-17).

Haman – The Adversary

Haman builds a gallows 75 feet high in order to kill Mordecai, his sworn enemy. The word 75 in Hebrew is abos and means ‘to feed,’ ‘fatten’ or ‘food for livestock.’ The actual Hebrew letters that make up 75 are ayin and hey. The Hebrew letter pictures for these two letters mean ‘window’ and ‘reveal.’ The numerical meaning of 75 could mean ‘seeing and revealing’ the Adversary’s true desire: to destroy the Jewish people so Yeshua would not be born; and to destroy the nation of Israel in our day so he cannot return and end the rule of the ‘god of this world.’

“Haman had just fallen on the couch where Ester was, when the king returned from the palace garden to the wine banquet. He shouted, “Is he even going to rape the queen here in the palace, before my very eyes?” The moment these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Harvonah, one of the king’s attendants, said, “Look! The gallows seventy-five feet high that Haman made for Mordekhai, who spoke only good for the king, is standing at Haman’s house.” The king said, “Hang him on it.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordekhai” (Esther 7:8-10).

Yeshua and Purim

“After this, there was a Judean festival; and Yeshua went up to Yerushalayim. In Yerushalayim, by the Sheep Gate, is a pool called in Aramaic, Beit-Zata, in which lay a crowd of invalids — blind, lame, crippled. Now that day was Shabbat, so the Judeans said to the man who had been healed, ‘It’s Shabbat! It’s against Torah for you to carry your mat!’” (John 5:1-3, 9-10)

In John chapter 5, Yeshua goes to Jerusalem and celebrates an unnamed Biblical festival. In Bethesda, meaning ‘House of Mercy,’ he heals a crippled man on the Sabbath. The only Biblical festival to occur on a Sabbath during the years of Yeshua’s ministry was Purim in 28 CE. It is believed by scholars that the Spirit of God left out the specific name of the feast in the Gospel because references to God is not found in the book of Esther.  

There is, however, the alef and the tav found throughout the book of Esther.  In Revelation 22:13, Yeshua says that he is the ‘beginning and the end, “the alef and the tav.”  He would not have used the Greek letters ‘alpha’ and ‘omega’ because he spoke Hebrew.   The Hebrew letters alef and tav make the word ‘et’ and are sprinkled throughout the sentences in the Hebrew Scriptures.  They do not have a specific meaning like ‘the’ or ‘and’ though they sometimes modify a noun.  Until Yeshua explains those letters as a ‘sign’ of himself in Revelation, a reader of the Hebrew language couldn’t ‘see’ him in passages like Esther 4:7 and 9:29. Though the name of God is not found in Esther, Yeshua, who is the alef and the tav, is.

Purim – Victory over Anti-semitism and Death

“Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:20-22).

The day of ‘lots’ became an annual memorial to the Jews’ victory over anti-semitism and Purim has been observed from the days of Persia through the days of Yeshua until today.  Each of us has to choose whether we want to be like the warrior Mordecai who stood for the God of Israel, like Queen Esther who was willing to lay down her life for the Jewish people or like King Ahasuerus whose life was transformed by the faithful Jews in his life. Or, we can be like Haman who desired to destroy the nation of people from whom salvation would come.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.   For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.