Esther 8-10 (The Daily Walk Bible).

One of the reasons for the book of Esther is to explain the origin of the Purim festival. It has been celebrated by the Jewish people since it’s inception, but it is not one of the big three which requires going to Jerusalem. It is celebrated locally, which probably explains why it isn’t mentioned in the New Testament.

The celebration of Purim today goes like this (from The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible): “On the 13th of Adar a fast, called the Fast of Esther, is observed. That evening they attend the synagogue, where after the evening service the book of Esther is read. When the name of Haman is read, the congregation says in unison, ‘Let his name be blotted out.’ The young add their part with noisemakers and Purim rattles. The public reader recites the names of Haman’s sons in one breath to convey the idea that they were hanged together. The next morning (the 14th of Adar) the congregation assembles again in the synagogue to conclude the formal religious exercises. The rest of the day is devoted to mirth and rejoicing. Large numbers of hymns have been composed for public service, as well as plays, dramas, and recitations. The theme of the festival has been rehearsed many times in the centuries of persecution in ancient and modern times. A prominent feature of the feast is sending food and gifts to the poor (Esth. 9:19).” The month of Adar corresponds to February/March in our calendar.

While we do not celebrate all the feasts and festivals that were given to the Jewish people, we do have some rather significant celebrations. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, and Easter celebrates his resurrection. These both are times of joy that remember something special and specific that God has done for us, which is exactly the point of Purim!

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