Archive for September 2009

An Exposition of the Book of Esther: A Christian Commentary

September 19, 2009

The casting of “pur” or “lot” in the Book of Esther is like the rolling of dice, but as we know from Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

An Exposition of the Book of Esther: The Little Known (Little Understood?) Book of Prophecy that Reveals God’s Magnificent Plan of Salvation Through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

The Book of Esther (Like the Book of Ruth) Displays God’s Providence for His Glory and Honor

The Book of Esther is read every year to the assembled congregations of the Jewish people in their synagogues to the present day.  It is read as part of the celebration of the Feast of Purim (also known as the “Feast of Lots” which are objects used as a form of divination, something like “dice”, and from which we get the term “lottery”.)  The feast is celebrated to remember the deliverance of the Jews whose date of destruction, their judgment day, was pre-determined by the casting of “pur” or “lot” (Esther 9:24) to be at the end of the year, but was ultimately, amazingly, turned into a day of deliverance and salvation, in accordance with God’s Will, which was all pre-ordained by God (Proverbs 16:33). And through that deliverance of the Jews in Persia, God was able to enable them to return from captivity and to restore Jerusalem and the Holy Temple in advent of the coming of The Lord Jesus Christ, The Jewish Messiah, about 450 years later.

The Book of Esther is About Deliverance and Salvation Through Jesus Christ

The Book of Esther is indeed about the miraculous physical deliverance of the Jews of national Israel (the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and David).   More importantly, however, it is also about the miraculous spiritual deliverance of the true “Jews,” the body of believers, the Church of Jesus Christ (the spiritual descendants of Abraham through Christ who include a remnant of both national Israel and the Gentile nations).  Because the Book of Esther has both an earthly (historical) meaning and a Heavenly (spiritual) meaning, it is an “historical parable“, which involves significant use of “allegories” and “Types“. Therefore, while the Book of Esther does provide an accurate account of an actual period in history, it was nonetheless orchestrated, recorded, and written under the inspiration of Almighty God, by His Holy Spirit, and it is incorporated into God’s Word the Bible for the edification and consolation of His people, which glorifies God in the process.  The Book of Esther is, therefore, an historical vignette orchestrated by God in the first instance (historically), and written down as precisely crafted in the Bible in the second instance (spiritually) to fulfill God’s own purposes.

The Book of Esther Reveals God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan Through Jesus Christ…From Beginning to End and Forever

Perhaps the most important of God’s purposes for the Book of Esther was to convey, in one short (ten chapter) account, most, if not all, of the key elements of His magnificent salvation plan.  The messages of the Book of Esther is the same Gospel message that can be found everywhere else in the Bible as it focuses on the Person and Work of the LORD Jesus Christ. The only difference is that, each time Jesus is found in the Bible, we can learn more about Him and God’s Gospel plan through Him (which glorifies God in the process).  However, to truly “see” Jesus (to believe with our hearts and not just our minds), we must have our “spiritual eyes” opened by God.  Given that this can be the case, then another purpose for God having provided us with the Book of Esther is that it will edify and strengthen the faith of the saints (the elect of God, the believers).

Perhaps just as significantly, the Book of Esther is also a book of Prophesy, because it culminates with a picture of Judgment Day at the end of creation and the eternity in Heaven that will follow for all who are counted among the people of Jesus… and the eternal death and destruction in hell for all those who are not.

So where do we see Jesus in the Book of Esther?

Some Christian commentaries conclude that it is Esther who, “as the advocate for her people,” is the deliverer of salvation to her people and therefore portrays Jesus Christ.  Is that correct?   Let’s look at the six main characters in the order of their appearance:

1) King Ahasuerus: A very great and powerful king who reigned over a “glorious  kingdom” with the “honour of his excellent majesty.”

2) Queen Vashti: A beautiful queen, the first wife of the king Ahasuerus.  When she was bidden by the king (by his “commandment”) to a great feast, she refused to come while holding her own feast for the women; so the king decreed that she could never again come into his presence.  He also decreed that her royal estate be given “to another that is better than she.”  King Ahasuerus sent letters to all his provinces to be published “to every people after their language.”

3) Mordecai: A certain Jew, “the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite“, who lived in the king’s palace and sat in the king’s gate. He was the nearest kinsman to Esther, being her elder cousin.

4) Esther: A fair and beautiful maid, a virgin, (and an orphan, because “for she had neither mother or father”)  who was brought up by Mordecai, and he “took for his own daughter“… “when her father and mother were dead“.)  Esther pleased king  Ahasuerus and “she obtained kindness of him.”  “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

5) Hegai (Hege): The King’s Chamberlain, the keeper of the women (evidently a eunuch). (We also read about another King’s Chamberlain in Chapter 4, named Hatach, who is evidently also a eunuch.)

6) Haman: A chief prince of king Ahasuerus who because he saw that Mordecai bowed  not to him (Haman), nor reverenced him, “Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that  were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

The Plot:  King Ahasuerus replaces his first queen, Vashti, for her disobedience, and gives her royal estate to Esther (the Jewish orphan raised up by her elder kinsman, Mordecai) who has been anointed by the King’s Chamberlain, Hegai.  Later, prince Haman, in his prideful wrath, determined (by the casting of lots, or pur) a specific day at the end of the year to destroy Mordecai and his people (the Jews), and then convinced the king to decree the destruction of “a certain people” (the Jews) from throughout the land by accusing that they did not keep the king’s laws.  Haman also sought to have Mordecai hanged on the highest gallows that Haman had made.  When Mordecai heard about it, he put on sackcloth and ashes outside the palace gate.  “Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.” Later under commandment from Mordecai, Esther went into the kings presence (at the risk of death, but walking by faith…”if I perish I perish“) to inform the king (over time through two sequential banquets) of Haman’s plot to kill her people.  However, Mordecai, because of an earlier act of faithfulness to the king (which Esther had “certified the king [thereof] in Mordecai’s name”, although the king had forgotten for a time), was honored by the king, and arrayed in the king’s royal apparel wearing the king’s royal crown and allowed to ride through the street of the city on the king’s horse.  This was the very honor that Haman, because of his pride, had sought for himself.  Instead of receiving that honor as he expected, Haman was subsequently humiliated. Moreover, when Esther later revealed Haman’s plot to the king, and, as the king soon supposed Haman was about to assault Esther, Haman was ordered to be hung from the same gallows that he had made for Mordecai.

In the final battle, at the end of the year, where Haman had planned to have all the Jews destroyed and consumed in one day, all those who hated the Jews, including all of the ten sons of Haman were themselves removed “with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction.”  The next day, after this great battle, the Jews rested from their enemies and “made it a day of feasting and gladness,” to be remembered and kept throughout every generation.  Finally, because the king had advanced Mordecai “next unto the king” (his right-hand man, so to speak), Mordecai was “great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.”  We also read earlier, after the death of Haman, that “Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.  The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

The Spiritual “Types” Represented by Each Person In the Book of Esther

If we compare this historical account with the rest of the Bible, we can find some amazing and unequivocal parallels between the following:

Note to reader: The following corollaries are NOT fantastical allegorical interpretations, but are entirely derived from the Bible alone!  It is my prayer that you also will come to see that truth.

1)  King Ahasuerus with Heavenly Father (or more generically, Almighty God)

2) Queen Vashti with National Israel of the Old Testament

Vashti was a beautiful first queen, but she rebelled against the King and refused to come to his feast, but rather held her own feast for the women in the royal palace that belonged to the King.

3)  Mordecai with Jesus Christ (God as Savior)

It is Jesus Christ who delivers His people, the “Jews.”  He is the one who ascended to the Right Hand of God the Father.  Jesus is the One Who we read about in Revelation 19:11-16. Jesus wears the “many crowns”, riding the “white horse”, and Jesus bears the Name that is “Faithful and True“.  He is the one who Satan sought to destroy on the cross, but it was Jesus who instead vanquished Satan at the cross.  Jesus (as the God-Man) is the One Who nurtures the believers by serving in the role of their near kinsman.  We also know that at the Great Battle at the end of the age, on Judgment Day, all who are in league with Satan (the unbelievers) will be destroyed with him at that time.  Then will the “Jews” (the true believers in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, please see Romans 2:28-29) find rest from their enemies.  We also know that the believers are referred to throughout the Bible as the Bride of Jesus Christ (and Jesus Christ is also God).  That bride is described in the Bible with all the attributes ascribed to Esther.  The true believers replaced national Israel (pictured by Vashti), God’s former chosen people, whom He effectively divorced at the cross (please see Jeremiah 3:8 regarding the initial divorce by God of the first ten tribes of Israel, see also Isaiah 50:1) because they would not come when bidden to the final Passover Feast (they rejected Jesus as Messiah, the Perfect Passover Lamb of God, see also Luke 14:15-24).

4)  Queen Esther with the Body of Believers (from both Jews (the remnant) and Gentiles; the true “Jews” or the eternal Israel)

5)  Hegai (Hege) and Hatach, the King’s Chamberlains, with God, the Holy Spirit

Hegai (Hege) (הֵגֵא (hēḡē’) H1896 was a chamberlain eunuch appointed by King Ahasuerus to attend Queen Esther whose name means either “eunuch” or “Meditation“; “Word“; “Groaning“; “Separation”, who prepared Esther to come into the presence of the King by purifications with nothing but what Hegai appointed, and that was “six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with [other] things for the purifying of the women.”  Remembering that in Romans 8:26 we read, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Another of the King’s Chamberlains, who also would have had to have been a eunuch like Hegai, is named Hatach, הֲתָךְ (hăṯāḵ)H204 meaning either “a Gift” or “Verily” (hence “Truly” or “Truth), and both attributes are clearly used in the Bible as representations of the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit Anoints the believer, Is An Intermediary for them in prayer to God the Father, Is “The Gift from God”Acts 10:45, and also IsThe Spirit of TruthJohn 16:13 Who leads the believer into all Truth (Jesus)!  (Please see the more extensive exposition further below.)

6)  Haman with Satan

Regarding Haman’s role, from Isaiah 14:12-15, we clearly see that Satan, the chief prince of all the angels that became devils, in his great pride sought to “be like the most High,” but was subsequently consigned to Hell. (Note that Satan wanted to exalt his throne above the “stars” of God; In the Bible the stars represent the believers, typified by Esther (whose very name means “Star”).  We see this also clearly in Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.“)

Remember also, in Matthew 4:8-10, how the devil, like Haman to Mordecai, having been given the power by God to rule this world upon the Fall of Adam, desired for Jesus to “fall down and worship” him, and Jesus answered, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Biblical Validation of the Esther Exposition

This commentary was not written with any presumption that this author understands every nuance of the Book of Esther.   No one (other than God Himself) can ever claim the ability to plumb the depths of the riches of God’s Word, the Bible.  However, if we humbly, faithfully, and prayerfully approach the Bible with no other pre-suppositions than that God is the Sole Author of the Bible, then we can begin to see by that faith (albeit as “through a glass, darkly” 1 Corinthians 13:12) the truths that God has hidden within His Word.  Most importantly, it is absolutely impossible without being led by God, the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost, as we read in 1Corinthians 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (e.g, scripture with scripture).  This effort requires careful comparison of Biblical scripture with Biblical scripture, which was Spiritually written entirely by the Wisdom of God (via human scribes) as we read in 2 Peter 1:2, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

As we have already learned, there is much more to the Bible than meets the “physical” eye, and it’s not just an intellectual exercise. The Bible itself uses such terms such as “mystery” and “dark sayings” to describe how it has been uniquely crafted by God in a magnificent, and yes, even a mysterious way, whereby He has deliberately veiled or hidden the true spiritual meanings of its passages from those whom He has not given the “spiritual eyes and ears.” Please also see The Hearing Ear, and the Seeing Eye.

In Mark 4:11+12 we read, “And he (Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples) said unto them, Unto you (the elect of God, all true believers) it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (the non-elect), all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.”  In the final analysis, it is only by the Grace of God that anyone is empowered by God to discover that Jesus Christ is the mystery and hidden wisdom of the whole Bible, and that salvation is by Jesus Christ Alone. (See 1Corinthians 2:7+8.)

It has been argued by some theologians and academics that the hermeneutics being applied in the studies found within the pages of the Bereansearching blog are “dangerous”.  However, the only thing “dangerous” about this method of Biblical interpretation is that unless it is done faithfully, trusting in God to guide the reader by His Holy Spirit and using the Bible as its own sole interpreter, men will indeed arrive at erroneous conclusions based on their own thoughts rather than those of God.

It should also be noted that, no matter how well these or other such studies explain with clarity the Purpose of God for the believers to understand the Bible, the unbelievers will still not see or understand any of it, because God leaves them in their spiritual blindness.  For example, we know that in Matthew 13:34  we are told that, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:” and in Mark 4:34, “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.” Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes and yet expounded upon the Parable of the Sower and the Wheat and the Tares to his disciples and yet the expositions are plainly available for all to see to this day.  We must therefore conclude that even when a parable is expounded in the open, the non-elect unbeliever will not accept the truth being provided.

But those who are God’s elect will see and understand, because as we read in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.Daniel 2:20-23 also tells us, “¶Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast [now] made known unto us the king’s matter.” Note that the word “matter” can also be translated as “word” from the Hebrew, מִלָּה (millâ)H4406

The Expositional Outline of the Prophetic Book of Esther:  

Comfort for the Believers at all Times (God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan Explained in Ten Chapters)

(Psalm 68:5, “A father of the fatherless (i.e.,Esther), and a judge of the widows (i.e.,Ruth and Naomi), [is] God in his holy habitation.“)

Chapter I.          God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan: National Israel (under the Law) rebels: making a way for the remnant of both Jews and Gentiles (under Grace)(Esther 1:12 and Esther 1:19) Please see Romans 4:15

Chapter II.         God Remembers His Covenant:  The Establishment of the New and Better Covenant (Esther 2:1-4)   Please also see Hebrews 8:6-13.

  • Jesus Christ (Mordecai) Shows Mercy to the Fatherless (Esther)  (Esther 2:7)
  • The Work of the Holy Spirit in Purifying the Believer (Esther) to enter into God’s presence: (Esther 2:15)
  • A Rebellion Against the King by Those (possibly eunuchs) Who Kept the Door, Bigthan and Teresh (possibly representing the fallen angels of 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6 Revelation 12:9?) (Esther 2:21-23)

Chapter III.        Satan Given Dominion Over This Creation Immediately Upon the Fall of Adam (Esther 3:1 and Esther 8:5)  Please see Romans 6:23

Chapter IV.       The Atonement of Jesus Christ (Esther 4:1) followed by “three days and nights” of fasting.

Chapter V.        The Faith of the Saints (Christ’s Faith, Ephesians 3:11&12)  (Esther 5:1&2) Please see Hebrews 12:2, Numbers 24:17, and Psalms 45:6 (note that Esther did not put on “royal apparel” until the “third day”)

Chapter VI.       Palm Sunday (Esther 6:11)

Chapter VII.      The Last Passover Feast and Christ’s Victory over Satan at the Cross (Esther 7:10)

Chapter VIII.     The Great Commission and the New Testament Era Beginning at Pentecost (Esther 8:1-17)

Chapter IX.       Judgment Day and the Transition to Eternity

Chapter X.        Eternity in Heaven (Esther 10:3) Please see Galatians 3:16 & 29

NOTE: There is not one direct reference to God found anywhere in the Book of Esther.  As a result, Martin Luther declared it to be an apocryphal book.  It is also the only Old Testament book missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls, possibly because the Essene sect believed that Esther was not sufficiently faithful to the Mosaic Law, i.e., she married the “Gentile” Persian king.  Nonetheless, it is important to also note that Mordecai is specifically mentioned among those who returned to Jerusalem in the restoration following the initial captivity into Babylon as can be found in both Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7. This double witness validates that Mordecai was a real person in history during the associated time period.

Selected Expanded Expositions From the Book of Esther

Esther 2:1: God Remembers His Covenant

In Esther 2:1, we read, “After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.” This verse can in no way be interpreted as saying that King Ahasuerus changed his mind and later intended to restore Queen Vashti to her former estate, for Esther 2:4 and Esther 2:17 make it clear that she is replaced by Esther.  How then are we to interpret this verse?  When we realize that God had in effect been married to National Israel in the Old Testament as we read in Isaiah 50:1, “Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” and in effect did warn that He would put her away for her rebellion in Hosea 2:2, “Plead with your mother, plead: for she [is] not my wife, neither [am] I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;” and furthermore that He would betroth Himself to whom He had not been married as we read in Hosea 2:23, “And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.”  We also know that this people who were “not my people” includes the remnant chosen by Grace out of all the world, including a remnant from National Israel (Hosea 2:16-20).

What else does the Bible say on this issue?  With respect to remembering Vashti we know that God never forgot His covenant with Israel for we read in Leviticus 26:42, “Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”  This is also repeated in the last four verses in Isaiah 16:1-63, beginning with “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”

Psalm 105:7-10, “He [is] the LORD our God: his judgments [are] in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.Which [covenant] he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant:

God remembered and performed His covenant to Israel with a new and everlasting covenant in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ (with the spiritual eternal Israel, the true believing Christians, out of all the world saved by grace, and not by the works of the law, through the fulfillment of God’s law by Jesus Christ His Beloved Son). That is why we also read in Luke 1:72, that Zacharias, under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit, said that in Jesus Christ, God was about, “To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;”

Esther Chapter 3: The “Law” is Given

Mordecai Refuses to Reverence Haman, So Haman Seeks to Destroy Both Mordecai and All the Jews

In Esther 3:5&6, we read, “And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, [even] the people of Mordecai.”  This is exactly what we know to be the situation that we find in in Matthew 4:8-10, where the devil, having been given the power by God to rule this world upon the Fall of Adam, desired for Jesus to “fall down and worship” him, and Jesus answered, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  The devil wrathfully hates God and not only desired to kill Jesus, but to also continues seeking to kill all of those who believe in Jesus and who are the true Christians.  In 1 Peter 5:8,  we are told to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Haman’s Plot Against the Jews

Next in Esther chapter 3 we read where Haman, as the chief of the princes with him, because of His pride, reports to the king in verse 8, that there is a people that is scattered throughout the kingdom who do not keep the kings laws and the king should not suffer them to live.  Haman even offered a great sum of silver to bring about the people’s destruction in verse Esther 3:11, “And the king said unto Haman, The silver [is] given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.”  Then in Esther 3:12 we read, “¶ Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and [to] every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.”  The Bible, the extant Law of God, has gone out to all the earth and it makes clear in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death;” We would all remain condemned to Hell according to the Law of God (apart from the Mercy and Grace of God).

Isn’t it an interesting “coincidence” that when God gave the commandment (the Law) to Adam and Eve to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and despite God telling them that the day they ate of it that they would die, that the serpent (Satan) effectively had caused them to not “keep the King’s law.”  Isn’t it also true that, until the cross, Satan was allowed to come before God (see Job 1:6 & 7) to be the accuser of the believers for not perfectly keeping the Law of God, for in Revelation 12:10 we read, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”  Note also that the not only was Judgment Day in view when God gave the first commandment, i.e. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death;” but in the second part of that verse is the decreed way of escape by God’s grace that we read about in Esther 8:9, “the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”, but God allowed Satan to have dominion over this whole creation by right of conquest.  That is why Jesus said in John 18:3, ¶Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Esther 4:1: The Atonement of Christ

When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

A close look at Esther 4:1 will reveal a beautiful summation of the atonement of Jesus Christ, the One Who “perceived all” that God’s Law decrees.  Jesus knew that He must come as the sin bearer to redeem His people and so He humbled Himself (typified by Mordecai’s putting on of sackcloth with ashes), as the king of Nineveh did in Jonah 3:6, “For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.”  Jesus humbled Himself by taking on a human body of low estate to become the sin bearer of all who would believe on Him.  Incidentally, if we look at Psalms 69:11, in this clearly Messianic Psalm that, “I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.”  Please remember that this is the same Psalm that so particularly reveals the details of Christ’s atonement on the cross.  As a result it is the most frequently quoted Psalm referring to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, including that by Jesus Himself.  In Psalms 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away.”  Compare this with John 15:24 &25, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”  In Psalms 69:21 we read that, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”  That verse Messianically describes what happened to Jesus while He was hanging on the cross, as we find in Matthew 27:34, “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted [thereof], he would not drink.”  Also in John 19:28-30 we read, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.  Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth.  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  In verse 9 we find, Psalms 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”  Compare this with John 2:17, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” and Romans 15:3, “For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

If Jesus had not provided a substitutionary atonement for His people, the “Jews,” the Law would demand that they would perish at Judgment Day at the end of the age (typified by the end of the year in Esther).  When Jesus died on the cross in Jerusalem, Jesus completed that work and, like Mordecai, gave out a “loud and bitter cry” as we read Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Matthew 27:50, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (see also Mark 15:34&37 and Luke 23:46)

Notice also the parallels between the actions of Esther (as a type for the Church) and Mordecai in Esther 4:4, “So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told [it] her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received [it] not.” with that of Peter (as another “type” of the Church) and Jesus when Peter attempted to physically defend Jesus and keep Him from His atoning work.  In John 18:10&11 we read, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.  Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

That cup was the cup of God’s wrath for sin that Jesus had to suffer for the sins of His Elect!

In Esther 4:16 we read, “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Note that we had already compared Mordecai putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes and giving out a loud and bitter cry being equivalent to the suffering atonement of Jesus Christ.  But now we can see mention of a period of three days and three nights. It is clearly reminiscent of the three days and three night period of Jesus atoning sacrifice, death and burial between the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night (Passover evening) until His Resurrection on Sunday morning,  on the third day, 1 Corinthians 15:4For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Esther Chapter 5: Jesus’s Resurrection on the Third Day Made it Possible for Believers to Boldly Enter God’s Throne Room of Grace

Chapter 5 begins with, “Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on [her] royal [apparel], and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.” Note that Esther did not put on “royal apparel” until the “third day” and we know that Jesus rose from the dead on “the third day.”

Esther boldly entered the throne room of King Ahasuerus, per the instruction given to her by Mordecai. Does not this parallel what we read in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

And in Hebrews 10:19-22,  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of JesusBy a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Also we read in Ephesians 3:11&12, “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”  And in 2 Corinthians 5:7 we read, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

Jesus instructed us to freely ask…John 14:13&14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].  We also read in Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Also, in Psalm 65:4, “Blessed [is the man whom] thou choosest, and causest to approach [unto thee, that] he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, [even] of thy holy temple.

The Golden Sceptre of Grace (Another Type of Jesus Christ)

Regarding the Golden Sceptre (שַׁרְבִּיט (šarbîṭ)H8275) held in the King’s hand (likely right hand)…these  verses clearly apply…and are therefore also a prefigurement of Jesus and His being The Means by which we can boldly enter the Throne Room of God the Father to receive His Grace:

Genesis 49:10 “The sceptre (שַׁרְבִּיט (šarbîṭ)H8275) shall not depart from Judahnor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (descended from Judah) and He is that Sceptre that does not depart from Judah.

Numbers 24:17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre (שַׁרְבִּיט (šarbîṭ)H8275) shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”

Psalm 45:6, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre (שַׁרְבִּיט (šarbîṭ)H8275) of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.”(שַׁרְבִּיט (šarbîṭ)H8275)

Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre (ῥάβδος (rhabdos)G4464) of righteousness is the sceptre (ῥάβδος (rhabdos)G4464) of thy kingdom.”

God’s has total control over the hearts of kings…Proverbs 21:1,  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” and in Daniel 4:25, “That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Esther Chapter 8: The New Testament Era Begins: The Great Commission and Pentecost (Which Occurs Only in the Third Month) 

As additional confirmation that the parallels derived from Esther with God’s whole plan of salvation are correct, please look at Esther 8:9, which describes how on the 23rd day of the third month a new decree (“all that Mordecai commanded“) went forth by messengers on beasts under the commandment of Mordecai to every people and tongue in every province in the kingdom of King Ahasuerus.  This new decree, while not annulling the first decree (God’s Law is eternal, unchangeable, and irrevocable…Just like the Law of King Ahasuerus) , which originally allowed for the destruction of the “Jews” (the people of Mordecai), did offer a way of escape for the people of Mordecai from the judgment day set forth in the first decree. This is just like the Law condemning sinners was never annulled by God the Father, but God the Father provided The Way of escape from the just penalty for sin according to the Law through the Atoning Sacrifice of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Remember how God was describing the eternal Heaven and Earth in Psalm 148:6, “He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.” When God makes a decree it will not pass!”

NOTE: Is it only a coincidence that The Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of “First Fruits” when the wheat first starts to ripen) is always during the third month of the Hebrew calendar (Sivan)?   On Pentecost in 33 AD (in the third month), we read in Acts 2:4-6, that the apostles were “all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because every man heard them speak in his own language.”  And what they each heard the apostles speaking in his own language was “the wonderful works of God.”!  At that same time, Peter stood up and preached the Gospel of Salvation to that multitude, and of those who heard, about three thousand souls “gladly received his word were baptized.”

In Esther 8:9 we read, “Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that [is], the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth [day] thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which [are] from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.

Is not that amazingly similar to the last words of Jesus after the resurrection and just prior to His Ascension to Heaven?…

Mordecai “Commanded” just as Jesus “Commanded”: The Great Commission!

Acts 1:4-8, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  

This is entirely consistent with what we read in Matthew 28:18-20 (the last verses of Matthew), “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Please note the similarity of this language with what Jesus commanded in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  In Revelation 14:6&7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and peopleSaying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The Fear of God!

Note also how in Esther 8:17, “And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.”  Does not this sound exactly like the conversion that happened at the beginning of the New Testament era starting at Pentecost* in 33 A.D. when the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ was first proclaimed?  The New Testament did not annul the Old Testament Law, but it offered the Good News of the Way of escape through Jesus Christ from the penalty of the Law, “the wages of sin is death“.   This is clear as we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Didn’t many of the people obtain the necessary “fear” of God and become Christians (the true “Jews”), thereby obtaining peace with God, as a result?  Again, is not this is exactly what was declared in Revelation 14:6&7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and peopleSaying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  Side Note: This is also what happened to the mariners in the Book of Jonah, they heard Jonah speak of the Lord, they cried unto the Lord, and after they threw Jonah into the sea, they became believers… as we read in Jonah 1:15&16, “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea:and the sea ceased from her raging.Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.”

To have the fear of the Jews can also be interpreted as having the same fear of God that the Jews had.  And as we are told in Psalm 34:9, “O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want (no lack) to them that fear him.” (and remember that Amalek, the ancestor of Haman, “feared not GodDeuteronomy 25:18, and therefore God said that He would blot out the remembrance of Amalek forever.) We also read in Psalm 36:1, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, [that there is] no fear of God before his eyes.”  And we know that Haman was “wicked”.

Is not this repeated in the account given in Acts 10:42-45?  There we read, “And he (Jesus) commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead.  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

And let’s look further at Acts chapter 2 (and Acts chapter 13) to see how closely it correlates with Esther Chapter 8.

Gladness and Feasting!

We see the word “gladness” is used similarly in Acts 2:46, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” Moreover, in Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

Fear of the Jews, Fear of God!

We see that the word “fear” is used in Acts 2: 43, “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

[And dear reader, please do not forget that this is also reiterated in the Book of Revelation, Revelation 14:6&7, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and peopleSaying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.]

The Role of Pentecost as the Feast of the First Fruits

We should also note the significance of Pentecost as it is the second of the three major feast days in the Hebrew calendar between Passover in the first month (Nissan) and the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Ethanim/Tishri).  We see it described by God in Leviticus 23:15&16, “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” and Deuteronomy 16:9, “Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from [such time] as thou beginnest [to put] the sickle to the corn.” (the corn refers to barley corn, and the seven weeks, or 49 days, plus one equals 50 days or “Pentecost”)

The barley harvest lasted from Passover to Pentecost…and is it just a coincidence that in Ruth 1:22 we read that Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, “...came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.“?   Moreover, in Ruth 2:23 we read that Ruth found favor in the eyes of Boaz such that she was able to “…glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest;” (e.g., from Spring until the Fall). For more on the Book of Ruth, please see this exposition: The Book of Ruth.

So this period between Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (which is at the time of the final harvest) spiritually represents the whole New Testament (New Covenant) era in which we see the “first fruits” of salvation, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out at the preaching of Jesus Christ in 33 AD on Pentecost until the end of time when the final harvest of souls are brought into God’s harvest house, Heaven, as typified by the Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of “Ingathering”).  Remembering also that in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the first fruits of them that slept.” Therefore, just as the first grains of the barley harvest were prophetic and symbolic of Jesus Christ as the first of mankind to be harvested, the first grains of the wheat harvest gleaned at Pentecost are prophetic and symbolic of the elect of God who will participate in the first resurrection (i.e., everyone called and chosen to become the children of God from the time of Adam until Christ’s return).

Esther Chapter 9: The End of the Year, Judgment Day, and the Transition to Eternity

With this concept in mind let’s look at Esther, Chapter 9.  There we read of a slaughter of Haman’s ten sons (a probable reference to the ten horns/ten kings that “completely” rule in the apostate corporate churches with the beast/antichrist during the final tribulation according to Revelation 17:12) on the thirteenth day of the last month of the year.  We read in Esther 9:18, “But the Jews that [were] at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth [day] thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth [day] of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

It is also noteworthy that the Feast of Unleavened Bread (which presaged the partaking of Jesus Christ) also began on the fourteenth day coincident with the Passover (that was Judgment Day for Jesus and hence the believers, but then we read in Leviticus 23:5&6, “In the fourteenth [day] of the first month at even [is] the LORD’S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” And then in Numbers 28:16&17, “And in the fourteenth day of the first month [is] the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month [is] the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.”

Please note how it was also on the fifteenth day that God declares the children of Israel departed from their bondage in Egypt, because of what we read in Numbers 33:3&4 “And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.” And is not this quite interesting, in the Book of Revelation 11:12, we find almost the exact same kind of wording, “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” So God was clearly presaging “the end of the world” in both Esther Chapter 9 and Numbers 33, in that the children of Israel represented the body of Believers going up to Heaven and the Egyptians, represented all the unsaved of the world, watching them depart and being prepared for Judgment!

The fifteenth day has other profound significance.  The fifteenth day is the day of the seventh month (Ethanim/Tishri) that begins the last of the three holy feasts (the only one not yet fulfilled), the Feast of Tabernacles!

The Feast of Tabernacles (also called Feast of Booths or Sukkot in Hebrew when those celebrating the feast would do so while living in booths made from tree branches) was the seventh and final feast commanded in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). Most significantly, it was the third of and final of the three yearly occasions when all Jewish men were to appear in Jerusalem before the Lord to worship as we read in Deuteronomy 16:16, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread (starting with Passover), and in the feast of weeks (Pentecost), and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:”.  It was also when the temple in Jerusalem was being dedicated during this time as we read in 1 Kings 8:2, “And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which [is] the seventh month.”

And similarly, The Feast of Tabernacles was when the Jews returned from captivity to rebuild the temple during the time of Ezra as we read in Ezra 3:1-6, “And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel [were] in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to JerusalemThen stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as [it is] written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear [was] upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, [even] burnt offerings morning and evening. They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as [it is] written, and [offered] the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; And afterward [offered] the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD. From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not [yet] laid.

In the New Testament, Jesus preached during the Feast of Tabernacles (see John 7:2) in John 7:37-39, “In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (Note: Interestingly enough, the seventh month was then called “Ethanim” (now Tishri), which means “strong” “valiant” or “constantly flowing” as pertaining to “living water”.)

In Leviticus 23:33-43, the Feast of Tabernacles was established to take place on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, lasting for seven days. The Feast of Tabernacles begins just five days after the Day of Atonement and 15 days after the Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), and all three convocations in the seventh month are pointers to heralding the end of the world, Judgment Day, and subsequent abiding in Heaven for the believers). The Feast of Tabernacles begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, shortly after the completion of the fall harvest period, and continues for seven more days and ends on the 23rd day of the month. The time marked a celebration of the harvest as well as a remembrance of God’s provision during Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness living in tents (or tabernacles). It was also the time that the participants would bring in a tenth of their harvest (tithe) to Jerusalem.  It was also a holy day or Sabbath wherein no work could occur. Each day included offerings to the Lord, with the eighth day (the 23rd day) marking another holy day when no work is done.

What does all this mean?…The Feast of Tabernacles points to the completion of the Eternal Temple of God, The New Jerusalem, all of the work is done, the departing of the believers from the bondage to sin and death, and it consists of all of the believers in Heaven praising God forever!

The End of the Year is When Eternity Begins

In the Book of Esther, the first decree went forth into all the great kingdom of Ahasuerus to be carried out in the end of the year in the twelfth month, Adar.  Isn’t it interesting that just as it is obvious that the twelfth month in the Book of Esther can be equated to the end of the year, God Himself defines the “end of the year” to a time of harvest.  In Exodus 23:16 we read, “And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, [which is] in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.”  Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 13:39 that, “the harvest is in the end of the world.”  The harvest that is equated to “the end of the world” refers to the completion of the final harvest wherein the believers’ souls, the “wheat,” are gathered into God’s barn, while the unsaved, the “tares,” are gathered together and taken out to be burned as we read in Matthew 13:30, “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”   At the end of time, the last Trump should herald the end of this creation and the transition to eternity wherein the true “Jews” (Christians from all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues) will celebrate the eternal Jubilee brought about by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the new Heavens and the new Earth in the presence of Almighty God.

Esther Chapter 10: Eternity In Heaven, Believers Rest in the Peace of Jesus Christ

The last chapters of Esther prophetically speak of the believers rejoicing in Heaven for all eternity.  Just as the Jews in Esther’s day had rest from their enemies, we are reminded in Psalm 37: 38-40, “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is their] strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

In the verse just previous to the above, in Psalms 37:37, we read, “Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.”  Who is He that is Perfect Who brings us peace?  The “Prince of Peace”, our LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  See Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

God, Through Christ Jesus, Speaks Peace to All of His People, His Saints, The Believers, His “Seed”!

In Esther 10:3 we read, “For Mordecai the Jew [was] next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.”  Isn’t it a fact that Jesus Christ is “The Prince of Peace” (see Isaiah 9:6) and that in John 20:21 we read, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”  It is hard to miss how Mordecai is a “type” of Jesus (as One with God Himself) as we can also read in Psalm 85:8, we learn that, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”  and in Psalm 122:7&8 we read where God is referring allegorically to the body of believers (Jerusalem, the city of God), “Peace be within thy walls, [and] prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace [be] within thee.”  In Acts 10:36, “The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” Finally, what we find in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Note also what is said in Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” All believers are considered the seed of Christ (the true eternal Jews), for we read in Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.“, and in Galatians 3:29, “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  And the promise is the Covenant of God which He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as we Acts 3:23Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” The believers are the progeny of the Lord Jesus Christ to whom He speaks Peace…Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Please note the beautiful and clear parallels between Esther 10:3 and the following verses:

2 Samuel 22:50&51, “Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. [He is] the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.”

Psalm 18:50, “Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Psalm 22:30&31, “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done [this].”

Psalm  25:13,  “His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.”

Psalm 37:25&26, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.

Psalm 69:35 &36,  “For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.”

Psalm 89:4 “Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

Psalm 89:29, “His seed also will I make [to endure] for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

Psalm 89:36, “His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.

Psalm 112:2, “His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Isaiah 43:4-7 speaks of God speaking to Jesus about the gathering of the believers, Jesus’s “seed“, to whom God gives to Jesus from throughout the world to glorify Him, “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the westI will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; [Even]every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”

In Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

The Bible makes it clear that, in God’s Eyes, a “Jew” does not necessarily refer to a literal physical descendent of Abraham through Isaac, as we read in Romans 2:28&29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

Romans 9:1-8 reiterates how God views the eternal spiritual Israel (the believers in the Messiah, Jesus Christ), for Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit to write the following: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,  That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.  For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:  Who are Israelites; to whom [pertaineth] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of God], and the promises;  Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”   This is also consistent with what we read again in Psalm 22:30, “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” 

To underscore this idea, God tells us in Ephesians 2:11-22, “Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

We also know that the devil seeks to destroy those who are believers, those who form the true Church and are the Bride of Christ as we read in Revelation 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Finally in 1 Peter 1:23, in referring to the believer, it says that we are born again of the incorruptible seed by the word of God and therefore have eternal life through Jesus Christ… “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth andabideth for ever.


1] King Ahasuerus, Who Sat on the Throne of  “His Glorious Kingdom and The Honour of His Excellent Majesty”

Ahasuerus:  According to Strong’s Concordance of Persian origin.  It is said to be more of a title, refering to a king, rather than a specific name.  It is believed to be the same as either Artexerxes or Xerxes (which has been said to mean “Mighty Eye” or “Mighty Man”, but this is also unclear from the Biblical text alone).  No genealogy is provided (Remember that God Himself has no genealogy).  It should be noted that in Daniel 9:1 we read, that “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;”. Darius is one of the kings of Persia who commanded, in Ezra chapter 6, that the Jews rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem.  In Ezra 6:14 we read, “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”

All Glory and Honor and Majesty Belong to God, He Alone is Excellent!

Esther 1:4,  “When he shewed the riches of his glorious (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 kingdom and the honour (יְקָר (yᵊqār))H3366  of his excellent (תִּפְאָרָה (tip̄’ārâ))H8597 majesty (גְּדוּלָה (gᵊḏûlâ))H1420 many days, [even] an hundred and fourscore days.

Psalm 8:1, “{To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.} O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935 above the heavens.

Psalm 8:5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ)) H3519 and honour (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926.

Psalm 21:5, “His glory (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 [Is] great in thy salvation: honour (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935 and majesty (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926 hast thou laid upon him.”

Psalm 104:1, “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935 and majesty (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926.

Psalm 111:3. “His work [is] honorable (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935 and glorious (also “majesty” (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Psalm 145:5, “I will speak of the glorious (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 honour (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926 of thy majesty (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935, and of thy wondrous works.”

Psalm 145:10-13, “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.They shall speak of the glory (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 majesty (הָדָר (hāḏār)) H1926 of his kingdom.Thy kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion [endureth] throughout all generations. Actually, all of Psalm 145 extols, and speaks praise to, Almighty God’s Glorious Honor and Majesty.

Psalm 72:19, “And blessed [be] his glorious (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled [with] his glory (כָּבוֹד (kāḇôḏ))H3519 ; Amen, and Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:13, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious (תִּפְאָרָה (tip̄’ārâ))H8597 name.

Psalms 148:13, “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory (הוֹד (hôḏ)) H1935 [is] above the earth and heaven.

Psalm 150:1&2, “¶ Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Jude 1:25,To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

1 Chronicles 16:25-27, “For great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also [is] to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.  Glory and honour [are] in his presence; strength and gladness [are] in his place.

1 Timothy 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jeremiah 10:10, “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

 God and His Word are Unchangeable

God’s Law is eternal, unchangeable (cannot be altered or annulled) and is irrevocable, just like the law of the Medes and the Persians.

Esther 1:19, “If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.”   (Compare with: Daniel 6:8, “Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.”  and Daniel 6:15, “Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians [is], That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.“)

Malachi 3:6, “For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Numbers 23:19, “God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

I Samuel 15:29, “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.

Jeremiah 4:28, “For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken [it], I have purposed [it], and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

God’s Word (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) is “Published” Throughout All His Empire

Esther 1:20, “And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

Psalms 68:11, “The Lord gave the word: great [was] the company of those that published [it].

Mark 13:10, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Deuteronomy 31:30, “And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.  Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.

And to emphasize that the Kingdom of God is from all nations, Revelation 7:9&10, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and beforethe Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

 The Seven Wise Men in Shushan the Palace

In Esther 1:13&14 we read, “Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so [was] the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:  And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom;)”  Who do these seven wise men represent who know both times, law, and judgment?  God gives us the answer in Revelation 4:5, “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Please note the similarity to what we find in Exodus 19:16 where we read, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that [was] in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”  and in Exodus 34:2, “And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.  Remember what God told Moses when Moses was to go up to Mount Sinai to visit with God?  In Exodus 33:20 we read, “And he (God) said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live“.  Doesn’t it appear that Mount Sinai was used of God to typify His throne?  Furthermore, by typifying God’s throne, both Mount Sinai in Exodus (and Shushan the palace in Esther 1:2, “[That] in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the palace,“) must therefore represent Heaven.  We can say this because of what we read in Isaiah 66:1 (and Acts 7:49), “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest?“.  Finally, isn’t it also reasonable to conclude that the seven wise men in the book of Esther could therefore be representative of the “seven Spirits of God” that are always with Him and see His face and Who know the times, law, and judgment (which relates to the “fire”)?

 2] Mordecai, a Jew, and an Elder Who Sat in the Gate

Esther 2:5, “[Now] in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name [was] Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;  Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

Although the meaning of “Mordecai” is not clear, but it is said to mean “little man”, which is interesting because Mordecai’s warning that saved the kingdom was not remembered.  Doesn’t this sound somewhat similar to what we read in Ecclesiastes 9:13-17, “This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me: [There was] a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise [men are] heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

We do know that as a Benjaminite, Mordecai was of the tribe of Benjamin (the only full brother of Joseph), whose name means “son of my right hand.”  When Moses gave a blessing to the sons of Jacob/Israel, this is how he blessed Benjamin in Deuteronomy 33:12, “[And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”  Jair means “He Enlightens“: “Shimei*” means “renowned” or “famous“: and “Kish” means “power” (also “bow” or “snare”…like the river Kishon). We know that a man named Kish was also the father of the first king of Israel, King Saul.  1 Samuel 9:1&2, “Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.”  The only progeny of King Saul to have been recorded as not having been killed off was Mephibosheth (King Saul’s grandson through Jonathan). Please see this exposition of Mephibosheth.

Is there a King Saul, Jonathan, Mephibosheth Connection to Esther and Mordecai?

It should also be noted that the genealogy provides some additional information that could be pertinent to any study of Mordecai, so let’s look a bit closer.  The genealogy makes it clear that Mordecai was at least indirectly related (a kinsman) to King Saul.  As mentioned above, a man named Kish was the father of King Saul, who was also a Benjamite (perhaps ironically, so too was the Saul in the New Testament who later became known as Paul).  While King Saul was an outwardly handsome man, of great stature, and a king after the people’s heart, he was faithless and not a king after God’s own heart as was King David.  Nonetheless, God did show compassion and grace toward a remnant of that line by the hand of King David.  This was true for Mephibosheth (a grandson of Saul through Jonathan) who we read about in 2 Samuel 9:13, “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.” We also know that Mephibosheth had a least one son in David’s day, because we read that he had a young son named Micha in 2 Samuel 9:12And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name [was] Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba [were] servants unto Mephibosheth.

While it remains unclear if Mordecai (and hence also Esther) are descended from Kish apart from King Saul, or through King Saul via Jonathan and then Mephibosheth.  Either would seem to be possible, but if descended from Kish through Saul/Jonathan/Mephibosheth/Micha, and perhaps a later descendent who was also named Kish (again meaning “power” (also “bow” or “snare”…like the river Kishon), then Mordecai and Esther would also be viewed as both having:

1) A “royal lineage” through the failed house of Saul (and only due to the promised covenant between David (a type of Jesus Christ) and Jonathan (whom David loved and Jonathan loved David).

2) And, been beneficiaries of the eternal covenant established between the house of David and Jonathan, Saul’s son, that would ensure Jonathan’s seed continued “forever” as we read in 1 Samuel 20:42And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.”

This genealogical connection would then be particularly noteworthy, and yes, even amazingly ironic, when we consider that King Saul disobeyed God’s command to utterly destroy the Amalekites, as we read in 1Samuel 15:2&3, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” King Saul disobeyed God by capturing, but not killing, Agag, “Agag the king of the Amalekites1 Samuel 15:8.

The following is the discourse between King Saul and Samuel, who, as a prophet of God, condemned King Saul for that disobedience. In 1 Samuel 15:20-23, we read, “And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.”  It is therefore most interesting that had King Saul been obedient to God’s command, the book of Esther might not have needed to be written, because the adversary, Haman, who sought to destroy Mordecai and all of his people (the Jews), was none other than a descendent of King Agag (who Samuel hewed in pieces in 1 Samuel 15:33)!

Mordecai and Esther, as Benjamites, Possibly Related to King Saul, Fulfilled God’s Command that King Saul Disobeyed

So is it not most interesting, yes, even Amazing, that in the book of Esther, the descendants, or at least relatives, of King Saul  would thus have fulfilled the earlier command of God, which King Saul had failed to do, in putting out the name of Amalek forever, as typified by the hanging of Haman and his ten sons as we read in Exodus 17:14-16, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn [that] the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation.” It was therefore clearly all foreordained by God to play out and be recorded exactly as it occurred in Esther!

(NOTE: There is some additional irony to be found in the Bible with regard to the Amalekites and King Saul, the son of Kish, according to 2 Samuel 1:13, it was was none other than “the son of a stranger, an Amalekite” who looted King Saul’s crown and who evidently falsely claimed to David that he had dealt the final lethal blow to King Saul after King Saul had been wounded in battle by Philistine archers (even though the wounded King Saul is recorded in two places in the Bible as having taken his own life by falling on his sword, see both 1 Samuel 31:1-6 and 1Chronicles 10:4). The full account regarding that Amalekite begins in 2 Samuel 1:1 where we read that, “Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;” and ends with David putting that Amalekite to death 2 Samuel 1:16, “And David said unto him, Thy blood [be] upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed.” The same account is also brought up later by King David in 2 Samuel 4:10, “When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who [thought] that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:”).  

It is also clear that no matter how many times the Amalekites were “slaughtered” at various times in the Bible, that nonetheless, somehow, Haman survived (and Haman was a descendent of king Agag, who ruled the Amalekites in the time of king Saul and king Agag was killed by Samuel).  It seems clear however, that even though the last reference to the slaughter of the Amalekites, which occurred during the reign of  Judah’s King Hezekiah (where we are told that 500 men from the tribe of Simon “smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped)” that some Amalekites continued to live until the time of Esther.  Given that there are no further mentions of the Amalekites or Agagites beyond the book of Esther, that therefore the death of Haman and his ten sons marked the final end of the line for the Amalekites.

Who is Jair?

As noted above, Jair means “He Enlightens“: Jair’s father was “Shimei*”, which means “renowned” or “famous“: and his grandfather was “Kish”. As for Jair, we read of a man named Jair in Judges 10:3-5, who was a judge in Israel; and in 1 Chronicles 20:5 of another son of a man named Jair (named Elhanan, which means “God is a gracious giver”) who slew the brother of the giant Goliath.  The genealogical namesakes remind us that Mordecai (like Saul who became Paul) was of a line that should have been cut-off by God, but nonetheless was instead a recipient of God’s grace.

An Elder in the City

We know that Mordecai was an elder in the city because he sat in the king’s gate.  Further, despite having saved the life of the king, he and his good deed were soon forgotten.  This is similar to the account in Ecclesiastes 9:14&15, “[There was] a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.”  Isn’t this similar to the wisdom of Jesus Christ who became poor that the believer’s might become rich in Him.  Didn’t Jesus save His beloved Church, the “city” of the New Jerusalem?  Nonetheless, following the abasement Mordecai suffered by the putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes, eventually he was exalted to the right hand of the king.  Isn’t this similar to what we read of Jesus?

Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

2 Peter 1:17, “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Also in Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

In Psalm 145 we read, “(David’s Psalm of praise.) I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

Revelation 5:11-13, “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Revelation 7:12, “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 19:1, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

Mordecai’s Attributes:


Mordecai was a humble man who did not boast of his having saved the King.


Mordecai always took the wise and appropriate actions towards God and man.

Concern for Others

Mordecai showed compassion to Esther by raising her up as his own daughter and continuing to be concerned about her welfare and that of her (and his) people.

A Man to Whom Glory and Honor Was Ultimately Given

In reviewing the attributes of Mordecai and his portrayal relationship to Jesus in overturning the forces of darkness and receiving honor and glory in ultimate victory we can look to Psalm 21:1-13, “{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!  Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.  For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.  He asked life of thee, [and] thou gavest [it] him, [even] length of days for ever and ever.  His glory [is] great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.  For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.  For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.  Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate theeThou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.  Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of menFor they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, [which] they are not able [to perform].  Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, [when] thou shalt make ready [thine arrows] upon thy strings against the face of them.  Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: [so] will we sing and praise thy power.

(Note that in both Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7 we can read of a man named Mordecai, clearly considered a  senior person at the time, who was taken into captivity by the King of Babylon and later returned after the captivity.  The dates of the various Medo-Persian kings is not entirely clear, but there is at least the possibility that this could be the same Mordecai who, with Esther, has been relocated first to Persia after Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon was conquered.)

 3] Esther: A Portrait of the Bride of Jesus Christ

Esther 2:7, “And he brought up Hadassah, that [is], Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid [was] fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

Esther 2:15, “Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

Esther’s Name

Esther’s  Persian name, of uncertain meaning or derivation.  Some commentaries claim that the name means “a star,” which, if true, would be consistent with the theme that Esther represents the believers over whom the devil wants to reign as we read in Isaiah 14:13.  Note also in Psalm 148:3, “Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.” bearing in mind that Jesus is the Light! John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Esther’s Hebrew name “Hadassah“, means “myrtle wood.”  Because this name is of Hebrew origin it is easier to find correspondence in other parts of the Bible.  When we search the scriptures, we find the following verses in which hadassah (myrtle) is also used:

Nehemiah 8:15, “And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as [it is] written.

Isaiah 41:19, “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together:

A quick aside…In Isaiah 61:3, we read where God says, immediately following the most significant Messianic verses in Isaiah 61:1 & Isaiah 61:2 (The same words proclaimed by Jesus in Luke 4:18 and John 1:32, John 3:34) addressing Jesus’s salvation gospel message to the otherwise hopeless of the world (those who would become His Church) ” ...that they might called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Isaiah 55:13, “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.

Zechariah 1:8-11, “I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.  Then said I, O my lord, what [are] these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these [be].  And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.  And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

It can be concluded from the above that the myrtle tree is a representation of the believers, i.e., in the case of Isaiah 41:19, where in the wilderness (i.e., the world) thorns (unsaved people) flourish, God raises up myrtle trees (the believers).  Notice how in Zechariah 1:11, the “angel” (actually “messenger”) of the LORD stood among the myrtle trees.  Does not God stand among the believers?  Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Esther’s Attributes:

Esther was a “maid” (verse 2:7)…II Kings 5:2-4, “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.  And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord [were] with the prophet that [is] in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.  And [one] went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that [is] of the land of Israel.”  NOTE; God used the little “maid” to be a witness of His power in Syria.

Esther was “fair” (verse 2:7)…Job 42:15, “And in all the land were no women found [so] fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.”  Song of Solomon 2:10, “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Song of Solomon 4:7, “Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.

Song of Solomon 6:10, “ Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?

Esther was “beautiful” (lit. of good appearance or good countenance) (verse 2:7)…Song of Solomon 6:4, “Thou [art] beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as [an army] with banners.” and Isaiah 52:1, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”  NOTE: God declares his bride to be the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21:2, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Isaiah 52:7,  “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Esther was a “virgin” (verses 2:3 with 2:8)…Isaiah 62:5, “For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy God rejoice over thee.”  Jeremiah 31:4, “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.

I Corinthians 7:28, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.”

II Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.

Esther was an “orphan.” (Esther 2:7)… Lamentations 5:3, “We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers [are] as widows.

As and orphan, Esther was also “fatherless”…Deuteronomy 10:18, “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

Job 29:12, “Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and [him that had] none to help him.

Psalms 68:5, “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation.

Jeremiah 49:11, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve [them] alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

James 1:27, “ Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Esther was “loved.”  (Esther 2:17)… Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.

I Kings 10:9, “Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

John 3:16,  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  We know that God loves those whom He sacrificed His Son to save.

John 13:23, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.”  Jesus loved John who typified all true believers.

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”  Jesus reveals (manifests) Himself to those whom He loves.

John 15:9, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

II Thessalonians 2:16, “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through

grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Esther found “grace.” (Esther 2:17)

Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Jeremiah 31:2, “Thus saith the LORD, The people [which were] left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; [even] Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.

Acts 4:33, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Acts 20:32, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Esther found “favor.”  (Esther 2:17)…Genesis 39:21, “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Psalms 5:12, “For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as [with] a shield.

Psalms 30:5, “For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

Psalms 30:7, “LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled.

Psalms 89:17, “For thou [art] the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.

Psalms 119:58, “I entreated thy favour with [my] whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

Proverbs 3:4, “So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 8:35, “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

Proverbs 12:2, “A good [man] obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

Isaiah 60:10, “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

Luke 1:30, “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Acts 7:10, “And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

Acts 7:46, “Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

Esther was made a “Queen.”  (Esther 2:17)…I Kings 10:13, “And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside [that] which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.

II Chronicles 9:1-3, “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.  And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.  And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,.

Matthew 12:42, “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon [is] here.

Esther wore a “crown” (Esther 2:17)…Genesis 49:26, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Leviticus 21:12, “Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God [is] upon him: I [am] the LORD.

Proverbs 4:9, “She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Isaiah 28:5, “ In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

Revelation 2:10, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

II Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

4] Hegai (and Hatach): Types of the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit

Hegai (Hege): In Esther chapter 2 we read of the King’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, Hegai (who was in all likelihood a eunuch, see below).  We are told that Esther obtained kindness of him, and later received a total of twelve months of purification, six months with the oil of myrrh and six months with sweet odors.  It would not be inconsistent to conclude that in this prophetic parable, Hegai is a type of the Holy Spirit that anoints and purifies (sanctifies) the believers, and Who makes it possible for the believers to come into the presence of The Everlasting Almighty King, God Himself.

Please note how in Esther 2:15 we are told, “Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail (which in the Hebrew means “the father of power, might, strength, and virtue,” i.e. another portrait of God the Father) the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.”  Again we can see the connection with the Holy Spirit, because the believers who have been sanctified by the anointing and indwelling of the Holy Spirit require “nothing but” that which the Holy Spirit provides in order to come into the presence of the Everlasting King…The Lord God Almighty!

It is also interesting that the name Hegai (also spelled once as Hege in the Esther account) is thought to mean in the Persian, fittingly, “eunuch”  However, some translators have concluded that Hegai (Hege) can also be interpreted as “meditation; word; groaning; separation  If indeed this is the case, we can certainly see parallels between Hegai and the Holy Spirit given what we find in Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will] of God.

When we pray, we pray in The Spirit/The Holy Ghost, as we read in, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” and Jude 20&21, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” And we also know that The Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirit: Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And is it not most interesting that they “myrrh” is applied for the first half of the year, and the “sweet odors” the second half of the year.  Is it not interesting that the Old Testament points to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and that myrrh is used to prepare a dead body for burial as we read in John 19:38-40, where Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus prepared the body of Jesus with “myrrh and aloes” before placing Him in the tomb, and “wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”  And when Asa, the King of Judah died, we read in 2 Chronicles 16:14 that, “they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds [of spices] prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.” But is it not also interesting that the New Testament entails the Church age, involving the active evangelizing of the whole world for the building Jesus Christ’s Church.  We also read in Revelation 8:3-4, that, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Could it also be that we are being provided some insights on God’s timeline of history?  The Old Testament Covenant Period was 2000 years from Abraham until Jesus’s (the promised Messiah’s) Atonement, and then from Jesus’s Atonement, which marked the beginning of the New Testament Covenant Period until now, is about 2000 years as well.

Hatach: We are first introduced to Hatach in Esther Chapter 4.  There we see him as the vehicle of communication between Esther and Mordecai in verses 5&6 and between Mordecai and Esther in verses 9&10. It is also interesting to note that Hatach (הֲתָךְ hăṯāḵ reportedly means “Verily” (hence “Truth“)   or possibly also “Gift” ), and is also a proper masculine noun. Both attributes are clearly used in the Bible as representations of the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit. See for example: for “Truth”; John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13 and for “Gift”; Act 2:38, Act 10:45, Hebrews 6:4. It was through him that Esther communed with Mordecai “to know what it [was], and why it [was]” and thereby learned the details of Haman’s plot against the Jews. Hatach was serving in the role of an intercessor!

If we therefore consider that, if Esther represents the eternal Church (the believers) and Mordecai is an allegorical prefigurement of the Lord Jesus Christ, then it would seem quite reasonable to view Hatach, like Hegai earlier, as another “Type” for God, representing the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit.  Most particularly so, because Jesus said, in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” The Holy Spirit communicates to us The Truth, and we know that Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). We also know that Salvation is a Gift, for in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” and Hebrews 6:4 says, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,…” and in John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in youI will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

We can now more clearly see that as both Hegai and Hatach thus had an important role in ensuring the deliverance of the Jews through preparation and intercession, just as the Holy Spirit Works in the preparation, sanctification, and intercession for the believers.

5] Haman as an Agagite Was Also an Amalekite: a Vessel “Unto Dishonour”

Esther 3:1, “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that [were] with him.

Esther 7:6, “And Esther said, The adversary and enemy [is] this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.“*

* The specific words “adversary“, “enemy“, and “wicked” (when taken together) are used pointedly in the Bible to unequivocally describe the devil, Satan (i.e, 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:; Matthew 13:39, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.“; and, Matthew 13:38, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”  One more thing should be noted however…the word that the King James translators took to mean as “adversary” is actually the Hebrew word אִישׁ (‘îš) H376, which is actually a far more benign word, translated over 1000 times in the Bible, as simply meaning “man” and never translated anywhere else in the Bible as “adversary”.  However, when we do look up the proper Hebrew word for “adversary”… Lo and behold…the word is, most significantly, שָׂטָן (śāṭān) H7854! Yes, the devil himself, the arch-enemy of God and all of God’s elect!  Is it possible that somehow the translators were moved by God to lead us to this interpretation, perhaps even unbeknownst to themselves?  Only God knows for sure.

Haman:  According to Strong’s Concordance: of foreign derivation, however is very close to Hebrew word meaning “rage,” “tumult,” “destroy,” or “vex.” Another translation claims the name means “Magnificent” (which is not inconsistent with what we read of the devil in Isaiah 14:12…”How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!)

Hammedatha:  “Threshing”?   Possibly pertains to the last judgment, or threshing when the evil are cast into hell

Agagite:  “Flame”?  Again possibly pertaining to those things that are taken out and burned by fire.

Haman’s Genealogy: Haman was a direct descendent of King Agag, hence Amalek, hence Esau.  Let’s see what God has to say about each of these individuals that make up the ancestry of Haman:


Malachi 1:2&3, “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? [Was] not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,  And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

In Obadiah 8-10, “Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise [men] out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of EsauAnd thy mighty [men], O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. For [thy] violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

Romans 9:13, “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.


Genesis 36:12, “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these [were] the sons of Adah Esau‘s wife.

We also can find that, in Exodus 17:8-13,  Joshua fought against Amalek under the inspiration of Moses, who arms were supported by Aaron and Hur, and that Joshua (who’s very name is the same as Jesus) slew the Amalekites with the sword. The Amalekites were evidently not completely destroyed, however, and at the end of this war Moses was ordered to write in a document, as a reminder, that the Lord would one day blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven as we read in Exodus 17:14-16, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:  For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn [that] the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation.

The reader should also note that another translation of the original Hebrew for the beginning word “Because” in Exodus 17:16 claims that it is “Because the hand of Amalek is against the throne of the LORD,” and therefore “the LORD hath sworn [that] the LORD [will have] war with Amalek from generation to generation.” If so, then this is another clear indicator that the Book of Esther is intended to provide us with insights on the spiritual battle ongoing until Judgment Day of the devil against God as it is typified by Haman against Mordecai (and hence also King Ahaseurus).

God reiterates His command in Deuteronomy 25:17-19, “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;  How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God.  Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].

In that context it should be remembered that it was the Edomites who would not let the Israelites pass and threatened to kill them if they even set foot inside of Edom.  See Numbers 20:14-21.  And remember that “Esau is Edom” as we read four times in Genesis 36 (verses 1, 8, 19, 43).  Note that with regard to “Edom”, God has nothing good to say in the Bible, in fact, the last time that Edom is mentioned in the Bible, in Malachi 1:4we read, “Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.”

Amalek was the first enemy that Israel encountered after the crossing of the Red Sea as we read in I Samuel 15:2&3, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

I Samuel 15:18, “And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

King Agag:

I Samuel 15:32&33,  “Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.  And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

It is also interesting to note that in the parable of Balaam versus Israel (where Balak, the king of Moab, sought to hire Balaam to curse Israel), God made Balaam prophesy that Israel (and its ultimate King, Jesus Christ) would be exalted above king Agag as we read Numbers 24:7, “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed [shall be] in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”  However, Balaam was forced by God to curse the line of Amalek as we read in Numbers 24:20, “ And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek [was] the first of the nations (the first of the  nations to confront returning Israel); but his latter end [shall be] that he perish for ever.(NOTE: There are several references to the slaying of the Amalekites, with some, at times, escaping. It is not clear how Haman’s family escaped, but obviously they did.  In 1 Samuel 30:17 we find, “And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.” and in 1 Chronicles 4:43, “And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.“)

(Another NOTE: The Bible, in Joshua 13:22, also tells us that this same Balaam (the son of Beor, “of Pethor of Mesopotamia”, according to Deuteronomy  23:4) was a “soothsayer” (diviner) and that Balaam was among those that Israel subsequently slew with the sword (also in Numbers 31:8).  According to the Bible, Balaam was deserving of death because he gave counsel to Balak to cause Israel to stumble, as we read in Numbers 31:16, “to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.” and in Revelation 2:14,”But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac (Balak) to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”  Moreover in Micah 5:12 God specifically stated, “And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:”)

Haman, like Satan, is the “Accuser”

Note the similarity between the accusation by Haman against the Jews in Esther 3:8&9 (“And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.“) with what we find in Ezra 4:4-6, “Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,  And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.  And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they [unto him] an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.”  Furthermore, we also know according to Revelation 12:10, that Satan (described in the immediately preceding verse as, “…the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.“) is the accuser of the brethren before God, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 

And let us consider the end of all those, like Haman, who are deemed to be enemies and wicked as we had read in Esther 7:6, “And Esther said, The adversary and enemy [is] this wicked Haman…” 

Psalm 37:20, “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD [shall] be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Psalm 37:28, “For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God.”

Psalm 11:2 “For, lo, the wicked bend [their] bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

Then there is this analysis that was recently found on the internet at under “Foreshadowings“, and it is very well said:
“Just as Haman plotted against the Jews in order to destroy them, so has Satan has set himself against Christ and God’s people. Just as Haman is defeated on the gallows he built for Mordecai, so does Christ use the very weapon that his enemy devised to destroy Him and His spiritual seed. For the cross, by which Satan planned to destroy the Messiah, was the very means through which Christ “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:14-15). Just as Haman was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai, so the devil was crushed by the cross he erected to destroy Christ.”

APPENDIX: Questions and Answers

Having provided this study and the fundamentals through which it was derived, let’s look at a few questions that have been brought to this author’s attention regarding the preceding commentary.  First, it has been asked, “What are the implications of a pagan, drunken, self-centered, and rash king (who seeks and is bound by the counsel of his advisors) being likened to God?

1) Can A Pagan King Be Likened To God?

Is it really possible that a “pagan” king can be likened to God?  If we turn to Genesis 41:39-44, we can see a similar account where another pagan king, a pharaoh of Egypt, elevated Joseph (who, like Mordecai, is a classic allegorical pre-figurement of Jesus Christ) to his right hand.  Notice the language, “And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;  And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him [ruler] over all the land of Egypt.”  Isn’t it Jesus Christ to whom every knee will eventually bow? (see Philippians 2:10)  And doesn’t the fine linen pertain to the righteousness of Christ which will eventually also be imputed to the believers? (See Rev. 18:19).  What about kings Cyrus and Darius of Persia when they each gave a commandment to rebuild the temple? (see Ezra 1:1-2, Ezra 6:12)  (Also note that in Ezra 6:14, Artaxerxes (Ahasuerus) is also listed with Cyrus and Darius, right after the God of Israel as having given that commandment.)  In Daniel 6:25, we read, “Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.”  Who is it that has the power to declare to all people, nations and languages, that dwell in all the earth, “Peace be unto you?”  Only God Himself! (John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26, and Revelation 1:4)  So then, you be the judge, can a pagan king be likened to God?

2) Is God Drunken with Wine?

Regarding the issue of “drunkenness”, there is no place in the book of Esther where there is an explicit reference to drunkenness on the part of the king Ahasuerus.  What was recorded in Esther 1:10 was only, “When the heart of the king was merry with wine.”  We should take a moment to review what is a parable…A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly or spiritual meaning.  While we may speculate that in the historical context this means drunkenness, we have to be careful to see what God means spiritually by the use of such language.  If it can only mean drunkenness, then we would also have to accuse God of being a drunkard, because in Judges 9:12-13, we read, “Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, [and] reign over us.  And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?”  Incidentally, in this parable, “the vine” represents Jesus Christ (John 15:1+5), and as everywhere in the Bible, good wine represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Even “Strong wine” as we find in Numbers 28:7 “And the drink offering thereof [shall be] the fourth [part] of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy [place] shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD [for] a drink offering.”

Also take for example, in Luke 10:34, we read how the Good Samaritan treated the “half-dead man” (BTW: the half-dead man is someone who is physically alive, but spiritually dead, and hence unsaved), “And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  The wine represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and the Oil represents the Holy Spirit (Psalms 23:5), and Jesus is that Good Samaritan as He saves every believer.  In Psalms 104:14-15, we read how the Lord God “causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;  And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man’s heart.”  We have just observed what the wine and oil represents, and every believer should know that the bread represents Jesus Christ’s body that was given for us(please see John 6:35 and John 6:31 and Matthew 26:26, Mar 14:22, and Luke 22:19 ).

Before we leave the subject of wine at the feast (Jesus’s death on the final Passover) to which Vashti (national Israel) refused to come.  Did the wine (Jesus’s shed blood, as the atoning sacrifice culminating with His crucifixion) cheer God (make His heart merry)?  In Isaiah 53:5 we read how Jesus “[was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  And then in Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

One other aspect that relates to feasting and wine that is in the book of Esther not yet mentioned relates to the “banquets of wine” at which king Ahasuerus sat down with Haman in the presence of Esther (Esther, chapters 5-7).  Did God ever sit down at a feast table with Satan in the presence of believers where wine was also present?  Indeed He did.  At the last Passover feast, the “last supper,” God (as Jesus Christ) sat next to Judas Iscariot (who we know was indwelt with Satan, Luke 22:3) in the presence of Jesus’s eleven other disciples (believers) at the Passover feast where we know the Jesus instituted the sacrament service with wine (representing His shed blood).  As Jesus said in John 13:18, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture (Psalms 41:9) may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Note also how that immediately after the banquet of chapter 7, Haman was hung on the high gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  The same day as the Passover Feast at which Judas Iscariot subsequently betrayed Jesus (under the prompting of Satan, see John 13:2), Jesus was hung on the cross (see Galatians 3:13).  The fact of the matter is, although Satan sought to destroy Jesus at the cross, it was Satan who was actually dealt a death blow on that same cross.  (Incidentally, at the same time, so was Judas Iscariot (who in effect was typifying Satan) hanged, see Matthew 27:5).  On the last day, Judgment Day, Satan and all his dominion will be permanently cut-off and cast into the lake of fire, as typified by the death and subsequent hanging of Haman’s ten sons.

3) Is God Self-Centered?

There is not too much that can be said about this other than God is the Great “I AM.”

In Revelation 4:11, we read, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

In Esther 1:4, we read about king Ahasuerus’s “riches of his glorious kingdomand the honour of his excellent majesty …”  (Psalms 148:13, “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.” and Psalms 150:2“Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.“)

In Esther 1:1 we read that the kingdom comprised 127 provinces*.  This is a large prime number, and as a result, it cannot be divided into any smaller numbers.  God’s kingdom is also great and indivisible.  Just as the decrees or commandments of king Ahasuerus could not be rescinded, neither can the laws of God be nullified by another decree.  God’s law is eternal and irrevocable (as is to be expected of a just God). Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luk 21:33, God says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”  God also says in the Bible (Romans 6:23), “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  When someone goes to hell for his sins, it is an irrevocable edict.  And if someone is saved by grace (through Jesus’s perfect fulfillment of the law), God assures that person will remain in Heaven forever.

* Interestingly, Sarah lived 127 years as we read in Genesis 23:1 ¶ “And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: [these were] the years of the life of Sarah“.   We also know that Abraham was told that in Genesis 22:18 “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”  But Sarah, as the mother of Isaac, was also the vehicle by which God would bless all the nations of the earth through here Descendent, Jesus Christ.  So the number 127 would therefore seem to point to “all the nations of the earth” from another vantage point.

4) Is God Rash?

The anger and wrath of a just God in the face of sin is never rash.  When God sends sinners to hell for eternity, some might consider that rash (particularly in our day).  If all we see in Esther chapter 1 is a simple historical account, it might appear as though the action of Ahasuerus was rash.  Keep in mind that one sin is sufficient to send anyone to hell (just look at what happened to Adam and Eve, and hence all of mankind descended from them, for their one sin).  Queen Vashti was bidden by the king to come to the feast (while at the same time she was holding her own feast “for the women [in] the royal house which [belonged] to king Ahasuerus.”).  Remember the parable of Matthew 22:1-14?  The “remnant”, that Jesus said was bidden to the wedding feast, but who refused to come and then slew the King’s servants (the Christians), was National Israel!  Like Vashti, she acted rebelliously.  She refused to come.  She was disobedient.  Anyone who takes the same action in response to God’s command to “Come unto me” will be cast out of the presence of God forever.  Would anyone dare call that rash? [It has also been pointed out to this teacher, that Queen Vashti has attributes that can also be likened to the apostate church (as opposed to the true eternal church of Jesus), which in effect also refuses God’s command to come to His feast while conducting its own feast in the house that otherwise belongs to God]

5) Would God Seek and Be Bound to the Advice of Counselors?

The answer to this question is found in the fact that God is in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  That is why we read in Genesis 1:26,  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”  God Counsels with Himself.  Note also how there were 7 counselors.  The number seven pertains to the perfection of God’s plan, so it is entirely appropriate that there would be 7 counselors.  Please see Revelation 1:16 and 20 regarding the 7 stars in Jesus’s right hand that were described as a “mystery” and which were “the angels (messengers) of the seven churches.”  Finally, as was explained above, God is bound by His own law that He established before the foundation of the world.

6) How Can Queen Vashti Represent National Israel Permanently Being Replaced by Esther?

Many people have taken issue with the idea that Queen Vashti could represent National Israel and “her royal estate being given unto another that is better than she,” (The another, meaning the Jewish maid, Esther, a figure or type of the true eternal body of believers from both the Old and New Testaments.)  This can be so because the gospel of salvation (through the person and work of Jesus Christ, The Jewish Messiah) is intended for the whole world, both Jew and Gentile, and no longer exclusive to National Israel (although a remnant will nonetheless be saved).

Please see Matthew Chapter 22 where Jesus provides the parable about the king who prepares a marriage feast for his son, but those that were bidden did not come…”they made light of it” and others slew the servants of the king.  So then in verses 7 -9 we read, “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.” Isn’t this just like the case we read about for Queen Vashti, the kings first wife, and then the search for another wife who was better than she (more worthy)?

The concept of God becoming estranged from National Israel is a difficult one for most Christians to accept.  God said that except for adultery there could be no divorce (please see Matthew 5:32 based on Deuteronomy 24:1) and the Bible makes clear the spiritual adultery of National Israel (please see Hosea 2:2).  Nonetheless, based on Mark 10:2-12, God took the higher road, in that the final separation did not finally take place until the death of Jesus (God in the Flesh) on the cross.  That death effectively terminated the previous marriage according to the original law (Genesis 2:24), freeing Jesus to marry another whom God esteemed to be better than she, which is the new bride, the eternal Christian Church. 

7) Who Best Represents the Likeness of Jesus Christ: Esther or Mordecai?

Many, if not all, other commentaries on the Book of Esther claim that Esther (if she can be likened to anyone or anything) is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, because (the authors of those commentaries claim), “Esther saved her people from destruction.”  Is that true?  Before we begin to answer that question, we must first be aware that absolutely nowhere in the Bible is a bride (or queen) ever likened to Jesus Christ.  Jesus is always the Bridegroom (or Prince or King), while the Church (the body of Believers) is always represented by a woman, the bride (see Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luk. 5:34, Psa. 19:5, Isa. 61:10, Jer. 7:34, Jer. 16:9, Jer. 25:10, Jer. 33:11, Joel 2:16, Rev. 18:23).  That having been said, was it Esther or Mordecai that saved the Jews?

In Esther 2:22, we read where Mordecai overheard a coup against the king, “And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told [it] unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king [thereof] in Mordecai’s name.”   Who had the knowledge at the first?, and in whose name was the testimony certified?  It was in Mordecai’s name, not Esther’s!  When we, as Christians, petition (pray to) Heavenly Father, do we close the prayer in the name of the bride, or the Bridegroom?  We are to pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ!  He is the One with knowledge that gives life, and He imparts it to us by His Holy Spirit.  We don’t even know how or what to pray for unless He first tells us.  Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Remember also that Esther was an orphan (being “fatherless,” she was, according to the Bible, spiritually desolate by nature…as everyone is before being saved), she was brought up or nourished by Mordecai, and not the other way around.  He was, in effect, her kinsman redeemer (much as Boaz, another figure of Christ, to Ruth the Moabitish widow…and as a “widow” she was another Biblical figure of everyone who is desolate by nature before being saved. Please see: The Introduction to Ruth and Esther ).  Esther went into the king’s presence at the instruction of Mordecai, walking by faith (“if I perish, I perish“).  She only acted as any faithful believer in Christ should act, humbly trusting in God’s mercy alone to save her.  Note that in Hebrews 12:2, we read, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  The Church is the vehicle that God uses to bring the salvation message to save the true Jews (the elect of God, the true believing Christians).  The believers pray to their Father in Heaven for the salvation of God’s elect in the name of Jesus Christ.  We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).  Furthermore, aren’t the believers told in Hebrews 4:16 to “…come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.“?

*Note: Shimei (or Shimhi or Shimi or Shimea) is also the name of a different man descended from Saul who we read about in II Samuel 16:5, “And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name [was] Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.”  Later in II Samuel 19:16-20, Shimei repented of his sin against David and begged for mercy and David granted it in as we read in II Samuel 19:23, “Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.”  However, in the case of that Shimei, we later read I Kings 2:36-46 that because he did not obey King Solomon’s commandment to not cross the Brook Kidron (he turned again to folly), King Solomon had that Shimei put to death. (For more background how this was pre-determined by David immediately before his own death in his last words of instruction to his son Solomon, please see also 1Kings 2:8&9)

The Battle of Armageddon: The Earthly Version Already Happened!

September 19, 2009
Mount Tabor, Israel…which overlooks the river Kishon and the valley of Megiddo/Jezreel.

Judges Chapters 4 & 5: The Battle of Armageddon (Judgment Day) Prefigured!

            Judges chapters 4&5 are unusual.  This is because God not only records an “HISTORICAL PARABLE” in chapter 4, but then God provides us with the revelation of the deeper spiritual meaning of that “HISTORICAL PARABLE” in chapter 5.   We are therefore provided the uncommon opportunity to empirically test (and to prove) this methodology of allegorical/typological interpretation through a direct comparison of the preliminary derived spiritual understanding of, and conclusions drawn from, Judges chapter 4 with those that God Himself specifies in Judges chapter 5.  Judges chapters 4&5 are particularly salient for us today as they also provide prophetic insights (and foreshadowings) on what we can expect at the end of time culminating with Jesus’s return on Judgment Day.


Concerning end-times prophecy, you can pick up almost any book on the subject today and you’ll find many references to “the Battle of Armageddon” (mentioned in Revelation 16:16).  In those books you’ll often find a description of some future earthly/physical battle that the authors believe will take place between various nations of the world and national Israel in the literal physical location of the plain of Megiddo in northern Israel.  Is there any validity to this interpretation?  Let’s take a look at what God has to say in Judges chapters 4&5, focusing in particular on the roles of Deborah and Barak in the destruction of the Canaanites and the implications that they hold for us today.  

And as we proceed, please bear in mind that this Judges 4 account is entirely prophetic! Although the events in the account actually occurred in history, and are accurately recorded in the Bible, the account nonetheless foretells what will occur in the short period just prior to the end of the world and Judgment Day when Jesus returns from Heaven on the clouds of Glory and destroys this world and all who hate God and His Word.

Israel Under the Judgment of God

Judges 4:1, begins with the ominous statement, “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.

This statement reminds us of what God said earlier in the book of Judges.  In Judges 2:11-23, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:  And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.  And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.  Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.  And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; [but] they did not so.  And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.   And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;  I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:  That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not.  Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

What is particularly ominous about the first verse of Judges 4 is that it was Israel, the people of God, that did evil in the sight of the LORD.  As a result, in the very next verse we learn, And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host [was] Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.

It should be noted from the preceding that God Is Sovereign, and God Is fully in charge of the historical situation and the destiny of His people.  Old Testament Israel was the corporate church of that time.  God’s corporate church in our day includes all those who claim to be Christian, but who have, in almost every case, become apostate.  Just as we can read in the Book of Judges, it is GOD Who turns the corporate church over to the oppressor, the devil, the “Abomination of Desolation”, as spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14, as a judgment against it for its sin of apostasy (rebellion, a form of spiritual fornication).

Revelation 20:7&8 tells us that, in the very last few days leading up to Judgment Day, God would “loose” the devil for a “little season”(Revelation 20:3) as a judgment against the whole world, beginning with the apostate corporate church (1 Peter 4:17),”And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog (see Ezekiel 38:1-23), to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.”

Jabin (the king of Canaan) and Sisera (the Captain of Jabin’s Army) Are “Types” for the Devil/the Abomination of Desolation

We should therefore not be surprised to learn that the oppresser in the Judges 4&5 case is Jabin (יָבִין (yāḇîn)) H2985, which means “whom God observes”, but is from the root word בִּין (bîn) H995  meaning “intelligent”, “cunning”, “wisely”, who is the king of Canaan, the country originally inhabited by Canaan, the grandson of Noah, who Noah cursed in Genesis 9:25. Furthermore, Jabin reigned in Hazor, which happens to be a city (like Ai), which Joshua (Hebrew for Jesus, meaning “Saviour”) burned and where Joshua slew a previous king, also named Jabin (Joshua 11:1-15).  Although we are not given an exact derivation for the name “Sisera”(סִיסְרָא (sîsrā’)) H5516, who was the captain of Jabin’s army, the name is said to mean something like a “field of battle” or “battle array” or “onset”.  However, we do know that Sisera is from “Harosheth”(חֲרֹשֶׁת (ḥărōšeṯ))H2800.  Harosheth, also spelled Charosheth, meaning to engage in “mechanical work”, “carving”, or “cutting”, is derived from the root word, “charash” (חָרַשׁ (ḥāraš)) H2790, which is often translated negatively as “deviseth”, as is found in Proverbs 6:14; and in Proverbs 6:16-19, where it is used in a context to describe the things that God “hates” and are an “abomination” to God.  It appears already, therefore, that Jabin and Sisera can be none other than “types” or “allegorical figures” of Satan/antichrist, the “abomination of desolation”, (Matthew 24:15 & Mark 13:14), as he is loosed upon the world (by God) just before Judgment Day, as we read in Rev 20:3 and Rev 20:7-10.

It is imperative to understand that this Old Testament account is indeed a very clear allegory for the short time period when God will pour out His wrath and punishment on the corporate church for its apostasy, as well upon the world that is also in rebellion against God, just before Final Judgment Day, and which is often called the Great Tribulation.  During that short period of time, which is identified in Revelation 20:3 and Revelation 20:7 as a “little season” when the devil will be loosed “out of his prison” upon the world to do his worst and afterwards will be defeated in the final battle of Armageddon and “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.”  One has to wonder whether or not the world has already entered into that short period of time when God unleashes the devil as a judgment tool, just as God did with Jabin and Sisera upon the people of Israel?

In Judges 4:3, we read how the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he (Jabin) had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.  The iron represents the judgment of bondage and its accompanying oppression for sin (see Psalm 107:10 &11, Revelation 2:27 and Revelation 19:15).  That is why God refers to the land of Egypt as the “iron furnace” in Deuteronomy 4:20, 1 Kings 8:51, and Jeremiah 11:4.  It also corresponds to what we find in Daniel 7:19-27, where the fourth beast (representing the antichrist during the final tribulation?) had “iron teeth” (1 Peter 4:17, “judgment must begin at the house of God“), but his kingdom would be destroyed at the end of that period when the “Ancient of days (God Himself) came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Deborah, a Portrait of the Bride of Christ, Declaring Judgment

In the next verse we learn of the faithful woman, Deborah.  Deborah was a prophetess, and she was the only female to be a judge in the nation of Israel.  However, what is really key within this account, is that Deborah is also a portrait of the Bride of Christ, the body of true believing Christians, the Saints, who continue to faithfully proclaim God’s Word within the context of the apostate era in which God will be pouring out His wrath on the apostate church, and this God-hating world, just prior to Judgment Day. The context is clear.  Therefore, every believer should take note to “Keep Yourselves in the Love of God”, as each believer will be expected to be a faithful and watching witness for Jesus until the end of time, when Jesus comes back with all His Saints in Heaven to destroy this ungodly world and all the ungodly people on Judgment Day as we read in Jude 1:14-21:

¶And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

The Words of God, as are found only in the Bible, contain both the Spirit of God and the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus’ Sacrifice, exemplified by His shed blood, which is the means of obtaining eternal life. The proclamation of this “good news” is the means that God uses to raise people from the dead to eternal life.

Deborah Means “Bee” and She Faithfully Declares God’s Word

Deborah means “bee”, by interpretation from the original Hebrew, דְּבוֹרָה (dᵊḇôrâ) H1682, which is from the root word דָּבַר (dāḇar) H1696 meaning to “speak” or “declare” and is intimately linked with the Hebrew word for “wordדָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697. (For more on God’s use and meaning of the word “dāḇar” in the Bible, please see Chapter 2 here.)  It is also an interesting fact that, where bees gather, you will also find honey, and “honey” is a type that God uses in relation to His Word/the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Judges 14:8&9, and Psalm 119:103, and Revelation 10:9&10 and below under Abinoam). 

However, “bees” דְּבוֹרָה (dᵊḇôrâ) H1682 are also used by God in the Bible to denote a means of judgment that God sends in response to rebellion (because they are given power to chase and sting). See for example:

Isaiah 7:18, “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall hiss for the fly that [is] in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that [is] in the land of Assyria.”

Deuteronomy 1:44, “And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, asbees do, and destroyed you in Seir, [even] unto Hormah“).

Psalm 118:12, “They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.”

It is also noteworthy that Jesus said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” That last day is Judgment Day!

Note: It is interesting to note that although Psalm 145:5 reads, “I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.” The Hebrew word that was translated as “works” should more accurately be translated “words” (דָּבָר (dāḇār) H1697).

Deborah is NOT an Allegorical “Type” of Jesus Christ!

It is often claimed by theologians (particularly in our day) that, in this historical account, it was the woman, Deborah, who “saved the Israelites from Canaanite forces”, and moreover…”if there is any allegory to be found in this account…it must therefore be Deborah who is the one who should be viewed as a “Type” of Jesus Christ”.  

However, in this study, it will be clearly shown and proven that it was NOT Deborah, but rather Barak, who was the key figure as a “Type” of Jesus Christ.

Today, Barak is shoved aside by modern, humanistically and worldly (not Godly), focused theologians, who, consciously or not, are in complete rebellion against God’s line of authority. Such theologians (and so-called academics) want only to elevate the woman, Deborah (who actually represents the Church, the “Body” of Believers, the “Bride” of Jesus Christ), above the man, Barak, who was really the savior in this historical allegorical account. Barak serves as an allegorical “Type” who God used to represent The Lord Jesus Christ in this historical account (which is therefore also an historical parable). Jesus Christ Alone Is The Head of the Church, as well as The “Bridegroom” in the Heavenly Marriage, as we read in the Book of Revelation.

Anyone who interprets and argues that Deborah was the “savior” is entirely contradicting God’s clearly established and clearly enunciated plan of authority and headship…for we know, according to 1 Corinthians 11:3, that, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.” as well as what we read in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” and Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

And is it not interesting that, when God recounts the great men of Faith in Hebrews, Chapter 11, that in amongst the Judges Gideon and Sampson, it was NOT Deborah who was mentioned, but rather Barak? We find this in Hebrews 11:32-34, “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets:  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”  This is because in each case the “man” named is actually a type of Jesus Christ that is entirely consistent with what we read in Luke 24:27 and John 5:39.

Deborah Was the Wife of “Lapidoth”

Deborah was a prophetess (one who declares the word of God) and a judge in Israel.  We also know that she was the wife of Lapidoth (לַפִּידוֹת (lapîḏôṯ)H3941), which is a plural form of the Hebrew word, “lapid” (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ), meaning “lamp” “torch” “lightning“, see below under Barak).  We see the word lapid used 14 times in the Bible:lamp(7x), firebrand(2x), torch(2x), brand(1x), lightning(1x), burning(1x).

The first time “lapid” appears in the Bible, it is quite terrifying, as we read in Genesis 15:1-21 where God promised Abram (Abraham) a future land of inheritance, and instructed that Abram prepare a sacrifice of five animals (heifer, goat, ram, turtledove, and pigeon; of which the first three were divided (cut) into pieces), and afterward Abram fell into a deep sleep and had a horrible vision where God revealed that the descendants of Abram (Abraham) would be in servitude in Egypt for 400 years, spanning four generations (to wit, Levi, Kohath, Amram, and Aaron), but then would come out with great substance.  Then we next read in Genesis 15:17 “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp (“lapid” לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940) that passed between those pieces.”  And then the LORD made a covenant with Abram (Abraham) regarding the Promised Land of Israel for an inheritance to his descendants.

In Isaiah 62:1, we read, “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ) that burneth.”  

In Nahum 2:4 we read, “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940), they shall run like the lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300).” (More on this below under Barak)

In Zechariah 12:6, we read, “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940) of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem.

The word “lapid” (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ) thus appears to have more generally been used in the verses above in a manner that speaks more to God’s Holy Covenant, His Justice, His Atonement for Salvation, and His Righteous Judgment, just as the word “Barak” also implies. The use of the original Hebrew word (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ) is generally much more ominous than the other word in the original Hebrew (נִיר (nîr) H5216) that the King James translators also interpreted as “lamp” or “candle” (see below).

Deborah would seem therefore to be a typological representation of the true believers during a time of great apostasy who actively, and faithfully, declare the whole counsel of God’s Word that brings the message of both deliverance and judgment when the devil is loose.  Deborah is indeed an allegorical picture of the remnant of the Christian church which remains faithful to the end, enduring the end-times’ “Great Tribulation” as Jesus described in Matthew 24:21.  Such true believers, together with all other believers throughout history, are described in the Bible as the Bride of Christ as described in Revelation 21:2.

We should also remember that Jesus is The “Lamp,” translated from a different Hebrew word (נִיר (nîr) H5216) that is normally translated in the King James Bible variously as lamp (35x), candle (9x), light (4x). It is translated in English as “lamp” here in 2 Samuel 22:29 For thou [art] my lamp (נִיר (nîr) H5216), O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.” and Psalm 119:105, Thy word is a lamp (נִיר (nîr) H5216unto my feet, and a light (אוֹר (‘ôr)H216),unto my path.” We can derive the correlation between Jesus and the lamp because Jesus is The Word made flesh, as we read in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Deborah’s Palm Tree

Note that Deborah dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah (the “palm tree” may be another reference to Jesus, because as we read in Psalm 92:12, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”).  Such trees represent life and strength typifying the attributes of Jesus Christ.  Reinforcing this idea is the use of the word “dwelt.”  For the believer, Jesus is our dwelling place (i.e., Psalm 90:1, {A Prayer of Moses the man of God.} “LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God“).  We also know that the palm tree was located “between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim“.  Ramah means “high place,” and Bethel means “house of God.”  Ephraim pertains to the tribe of Ephraim, descended from the younger son of Joseph who received the double portion, and who Jacob blessed with his right hand and said “in thee shall Israel bless.”

It is worth a moment to consider why the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.  A judge is someone who hears a matter and then pronounces a sentence against an accusation, whether vindication or condemnation and subsequent punishment.  When the believers bring the gospel of salvation they are always bringing the two-fold message of deliverance from the bondage to sin and Satan through Jesus Christ or the alternative just punishment of sin which is an eternity in Hell on Judgment Day.  How can anyone truly know about salvation through Jesus Christ unless they first understand from what they are being saved?  Every human being is by nature in desperate need of a Savior to protect him or her from the coming judgment and wrath of God, which is the just penalty for his or her sins.  Furthermore, we know that if “He that spared not his own son” (Romans 8:32) in that Jesus had to endure God’s wrath in Hell, will not God also do the same to those who do not become saved? 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;

Barak, a Portrait of Jesus Christ as the Ultimate Judge

Next we read in Judges 4:6, And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, [saying], Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

This is the first reference to Barak.  Barak (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300), interestingly enough, also means “lightning” (exactly as Lapidoth, the husband of Deborah!), but also “glittering sword.”  Might Barak therefore also be a type or allegorical prefigurement of Jesus Christ? 

  1. In Exodus 19:16, we read of when Moses was on Mount Sinai and God made His presence known to the people, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300), and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that [was] in the camp trembled.
  2. It should be noted that immediately following the giving forth of the Ten Commandments, we also read in Exodus 20:18, “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ), and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw [it], they removed, and stood afar off.

It is as if God is saying that Barak and Lapidoth are essentially the same

For more evidence that this is indeed the case, in Ezekiel 1:13, we read in the same verse where Ezekiel describes the “visions of God,” “As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance [was] like burning coals of fire, [and] like the appearance of lamps (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ): it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300).”  This is repeated in Daniel 10:6, where we read how Daniel, just like Ezekiel, describes Jesus in a vision, “His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300), and his eyes as lamps (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ) of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.”  And is it not most interesting, that we see the same two words together again in Nahum 2:4, where judgment is being pronounced against Nineveh, “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches (לַפִּיד (lapîḏ)H3940 ), they shall run like the lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300).” These three verses inextricably link “lapid” and “barak” together.

Moreover, as if the picture of Barak representing the Lord Jesus Christ is not clear enough, we find in Psalm 77:18 and Psalm 97:4 the following declarations of the LORD reigning and His works and judgments, “The voice of thy thunder [was] in the heaven: the lightnings (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.” and “His lightnings (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.” 

Lightning and Arrows Used Together to Bring Judgment

Then there is additional emphasis on the connection with Jesus, Being God’s Word, and His association with bringing judgment, there is Zechariah 9:14, “And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow (חֵץ (ḥēṣH2671) shall go forth as the lightning (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300): and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.” Also please note the particular and unmistakable harmony of these three additional verses that also tie “lightning” with “arrows“, or weapons of warfare, to bring destruction, hence judgment:

Psalm 18:14, “Yea, he sent out his arrows, (חֵץ (ḥēṣ) H2671) and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq))H1300), and discomfited them.”

Psalm 144:6, “Cast forth lightning (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300,) and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows (חֵץ (ḥēṣ) H2671), and destroy them.

NOTE: Psalm 45 is another synopsis of Jesus coming on the clouds of Glory as KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS (1 Timothy 6:15Rev 17:14Rev 19:16 coming conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2) with a “sword” and “arrows” on Judgment Day (the first seven verses) and they Jesus coming to meet His Bride (Revelation 21:2), the Queen, the Eternal Church, to take Her to Heaven with Him (the last ten verses). This Psalm, to a large degree, mirrors what we find also in Solomon’s Song.

Psalm 45:1-7 “¶ [[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.]] My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue [is] the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword (חֶרֶב (ḥereḇ)H2719) upon thy thigh, O [most] mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness [and]righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows (חֵץ (ḥēṣ)) H2671 [are] sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; [whereby] the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Psalm 45:8-17, “All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Kings’ daughters [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he [is] thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre [shall be there] with a gift; [even] the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king’s daughter [is] all glorious within: her clothing [is] of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

Another note: The use of the word “myrrh” (מֹר (mōr)) H4753 is particularly noteworthy as it points to Jesus and His Sacrificial Death and Atonement. Solomon’s Song 1:13A bundle of myrrh [is] my well beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts” and

Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” and

John 19:39, “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound [weight].”

God uses “Lightning/Lightnings” to Describe Jesus and His Second and Final Coming in the New Testament

Remember how, in Matthew 24:27, we read where Jesus Christ tells us directly that His coming on Judgment Day will appear as lightning, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Note the harmony with Psalm 77:18, “The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300) lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.”  Clearly this points to Jesus being both the Light of the world and the Judge of the world.

In Matthew 28:3, describing “the angel of the Lord descended from heaven”, we read that, “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:Luke 17:24, “For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”

Revelation 4:5, “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 8:5, “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

Revelation 11:19, “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

Revelation 16:18, “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.

Finally, back in Deuteronomy 32:41, the same word Hebrew word “barak” is alternatively translated as “glittering sword”, “If I whet my glittering sword (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.”  We this also in Job 20:25, where God has just outlined what will happen to the wicked and the hypocrites of the world on Judgment Day, “It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300cometh out of his gall: terrors [are] upon him.”  

More verses to ponder:

Job 38:35 “Canst thou send lightnings (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300), that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we [are]?

Isaiah 34:5&6 “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curseto judgmentThe sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

Ezekiel 21:28 “And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword [is] drawn: for the slaughter [it is] furbished, to consume because of the glittering (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300):” 

Nahum 3:3, “The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering (בָּרָק bārāq)H1300) spear: and [there is] a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and [there is] none end of [their] corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:

Habakkuk 3:11 “The sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering. (בָּרָק (bārāq)H1300) spear.

When we consider that all of the above verses are talking about Judgment Day, we must conclude that not only does “Barak” clearly and irrefutably represent Jesus Christ, but Barak also represents Jesus Christ as Both The Judge, and The Means of Judgment coming on Judgment Day! 

NOTE: Some other verses come to mind that support this last statement.  First in Psalm 7:11-13 we read, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day. If he turn not, he will whet his swordhe hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.” It is very difficult to begin to understand the might of God’s wrath against the wicked, against God’s enemies on Judgment Day.  But that Sword of Truth is Jesus, and He told us that His Word is what will bring judgment on Judgment Day as we read in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

Abinoam, a Portrait of The Father in Heaven

Barak is also the son of Abinoam.  If the typological/allegorical methodology of interpretation, that has so far been employed in this study, is Biblically valid (e.g, That it is entirely God ordained and true), then we should logically expect, given the evidence that Barak so clearly and unequivocally represents Jesus Christ, that Barak’s father, Abinoam, would provide at least some evidence that Abinoam is a typological representation of The Father in Heaven.  In other words, we have a sound basis, or “scientific” means, to both test, and hopefully prove, this methodology of allegorical interpretation and to see whether it is God ordained or not.  We start with the theory based on previous evidence found in God’s Word (1 Corinthians 2:13), and now, using deductive reasoning, we are enabled to make a prediction using that theory.  In this passage of scripture, regarding Abinoam, we can put the theory to the test.  If the prediction (i.e. that Abinoam should be a clear “type” of The Father in Heaven) is validated, then likewise the theory is also validated! 

In perfect confirmation, with the above prediction, we find that Abinoam means “father (אָב (‘āḇ)) H1 of “beauty (נֹעַם (nōʿam)) H5278” or “father (אָב (‘āḇ)) H1 of pleasantness (נֹעַם (nōʿam)) H5278).”  Both progenitive attributes, “beauty” and “pleasantness“, as translated from the original Hebrew texts, can be shown to be unequivocal references to Jesus Christ, therefore, the “father” of those attributes (“beauty” and “pleasantness”), which unequivocally point to Jesus Christ, must be a “Typological” representation of God the Father in Heaven! Can this be proven?  It most certainly can!

Noam (“Beauty”), the name of the first staff in Zechariah 11 represents the Lord Jesus Christ

In Psalm 27:4 we read, “One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (נֹעַם (nōʿam)) H5278 of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” Also in Psalm 90:17 we read, “And let the beauty (נֹעַם (nōʿam)) H5278 of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

And it is EXTREMELY significant to find that God tells us in Zechariah 11:10-13*, “And I took my staff, [even] Beauty (Noam), and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.  And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.  And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” Note, specifically, that it was the “poor of the flock that waited on me” … it was the believers who knew that it was the Word of the LORD!  The believers who wait upon God must “know” that it was Jesus who was cut asunder, and that the price paid by the chief priests was thirty pieces of silver, because Jesus is the Word made flesh as we read in John 1:14.

These prophetic verses also describe exactly what happened to Jesus Christ (we know that Jesus (The WORD of the LORD) was cut asunder and that Jesus was broken by God for all believers, and that so also was the first covenant of works under the Law broken, in order that the new covenant of grace could be instituted) and the thirty pieces of silver were the price given to Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus, and that Judas “cast down the pieces of silver in the temple” (“The house of the LORD“), and which were later used to buy “the potter’s field, to bury strangers in“!

Note to the Reader: There is general agreement by most theologians and Biblical scholars that the passage in Zechariah, chapter 11, regarding the broken staff named “Beauty” (Noam) and its price, the thirty pieces of silver used to buy the potter’s field, prophetically points to Jesus Christ, but this is only because there is an explicit reference/description of it in both Matthew 27:3-10 and Acts 1:15-19.  In the Matthew account, Judas is seemingly filled with remorse for betraying Jesus, and he tries to return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests (Matthew 27:3). When the chief priests and elders refuse to accept the money, Judas casts the thirty pieces of silver to the temple floor and leaves and hangs himself (Matthew 27:4&5). Not wanting to put “blood money” into the treasury, the priests use the silver pieces to buy a potter’s field (Matthew 27:6&7). “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy* the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.” (Matthew 27:9).

It should also be noted that Exodus 21:32 lists “thirty shekels of silver” as the price the must be paid by an owner of any ox that gores another’s manservant or maidservant (hence it is the established value by God for a servant’s life), and we all should know that Jesus’s earthly life was one of servitude and that Jesus is also known as the “Suffering Servant”.

But what about “pleasantness“?  In Proverbs 3:17, God, through King Solomon, is describing wisdom and understanding (again clear references to Jesus Christ) where we read, “Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness (noam), and all her paths [are] peace.”  [Note: Don’t let the feminine gender reference confuse you, because in the very next two verses, we see wisdom equated to “the tree of Life” and “that by wisdom the LORD founded the earth.”  We know, therefore, that “wisdom” has to be referring to Jesus Christ because of what we read in John 14:6, and Revelation 2:7 and Revelation 22:2, and John 1:1-4.] Also, given that all of wisdom’s “paths are peace”, we should bear in mind that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” according to Isaiah 9:6.

The Bible Is Self-Validatiing!

This is yet another excellent example of the perfection of God’s craftsmanship of both the actual history, and the recording of it in the Bible, to convey spiritual truth which can be found out if sought for like hidden treasure (see Proverbs 3:13-15).  If “beauty” and “pleasantness” (noam) represents Jesus Christ, then Abinoam unequivocally represents The Father of Jesus Christ, hence God the Father in Heaven.  Because Abinoam is the father of Barak, Barak is again seen (from a new perspective, beyond the meaning of Barak in the Hebrew and God’s use of Barak in Biblical scripture) to represent Jesus Christ, the Son of God, The Father.

Perhaps most importantly, the prediction was correct and therefore, likewise, the methodology is also proven to be valid. We have thus all been clearly shown a proven means of interpretation of the Bible from the Bible!  (and it was all simply done by only comparing spiritual things with spiritual things…by comparing scripture with scripture)

In the Matthew 27:3-10 account of the 30 pieces of silver being cast down in the temple, which were used by the chief priests to buy the potter’s field (“the field of blood“), please note that in verse 9 it references the prophet “Jeremy” (Jeremiah) versus Zechariah, which can lead to some confusion.  If we look at Jeremiah 32:6-15, we can indeed see a number of similarities, as it references “redemption“, that it was “a field” purchased for “17 shekels of “silver” and reference to an “earthen vessel” (a pot made by a potter), and “Then I knew that this [was] the word of the LORD.” Note how this compares to Zechariah 11:11, “the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.” It is not clear why Jeremiah states “17” “shekels of silver” versus “30″ “pieces of silver” as is found in both Matthew 27 and Zechariah 11 (Interestingly, Exodus 21:32 lists “thirty shekels of silveras the penalty to an owner of any ox that gores another’s manservant or maidservant). Then Jeremiah 32:12 concludes that the evidence of the purchase would be written in “the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.” The purpose of these passages was to provide a testimony that although the Jews (Judah and Benjamin) would go into Babylonian captivity, God would free the captives after 70 years, (Jeremiah 29:10and return them to Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, which allegorically pointed to Jesus freeing the believers from captivity in prison (in bondage within the gates of hell) to the New Jerusalem (heaven).  So the Gospel theme nonetheless remains consistent. 

What about the second staff, “Bands”?

We should also note that in reading one verse further in Zechariah 11:14, we find God telling us, “Then I cut asunder mine other staff, [even] Bands (חֵבֶל (ḥēḇel) H2256), that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.” The Hebrew word translated as “Bands” (חֵבֶל (ḥēḇel) H2256) is used in the Bible to indicate a “bond” or “pledge” with reference to “a cord/rope (as twisted), especially a measuring line; by implication, a district or inheritance (as measured)” or figuratively, to pervert, destroy or bring “sorrows like a woman in travail”.  The use of the name “Bands” for the second of the two staves would seem to be telling us that God is providing a second witness to His ending, or dissolution, of His marital relationship with National Israel, because Jesus is of the tribe of Judah, and when the first staff, “Beauty” (Noam, hence Jesus, “the word of the LORD”), was cut asunder, so too was the marital covenant relationship with National Israel. Remember the the moment that Jesus died, the veil of the Temple leading to the Holy of Holies was rent, from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45 ) which indicated that God’s temporal marriage to National Israel (the Old Testament church) had ended, along with all animal sacrifices, and which marked the beginning of the new eternal marital covenant (the New Testament church) with the Gentiles with a remnant of national Israel.

There might also be the implication that with the breaking of the stave “Beauty”, representing Jesus in His Atoning Sacrifice, that the just judgment that is due to all of mankind, represented by the stave “Bands” would also be broken as well and that covenant, which was previously limited to only National Israel, would subsequently apply to the whole world through the Tribe of Judah (Jesus is from the Tribe of Judah).

Moreover, it should also be noted how the words “bands” and “cords” (albeit different in the original Hebrew) are used in Psalm 2:1-3, where we read, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying]Let us break their bands (מוֹסֵר (môsēr)) H4147 asunder, and cast away their cords (עֲבֹת (ʿăḇōṯ))H5688 from us.” The majority of mankind (the “heathen”) have no interest in a marital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as they are opposed to Him and His Church. We also find in Psalm 129:4, “The LORD [is] righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked“, which is indicative of the fact that all believers were captives to the devil and have now been set free by Jesus.

One More Thing: Honey, like Noam, is another reference to the Word of God, Jesus Christ (and the Gospel of Jesus Christ)

It was earlier mentioned with regard to Deborah (meaning “bee” in the original Hebrew,  דְּבוֹרָה (dᵊḇôrâ) H1682, which is from the root word דָּבַר(dāḇar) H1696 meaning to “speak” or “declare” and is intimately linked with the Hebrew word for “wordדָּבָר (dāḇār)H1697).  It is an interesting fact that where bees gather you will also find “honey” (דְּבַשׁ (dᵊḇaš))H1706 or “honeycomb” (נֹפֶת (nōp̄eṯ))H5317, that comes from bees, are both often used typologically for the Word of God/the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Judges 14:8&9, and Psalm 119:103, and Revelation 10:9&10). And this is entirely consistent with the fact that Deborah was a “prophetess”, or someone who faithfully proclaims the Word of God.  However, “bees” דְּבוֹרָה (dᵊḇôrâ) H1682 are also used by God in the Bible to denote a means of judgment that God sends in response to rebellion (because they are given power to chase and sting, see for example Isaiah 7:18 and Deuteronomy 1:44).  It is also noteworthy that Jesus said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” That last day is Judgment Day!

We also know that the promised land (typifying Heaven) is frequently described in the Bible as a place flowing with “milk and honey”H1706.  And it should be noted here that when Paul’s was shipwrecked, that the “certain island” that Paul prophesied about in Acts 27:26 was named Melita (now known as Malta) in Acts 28:1.  Melita means “Honey” and it was also used in this event to portray “Heaven”… to where all 276 souls on the ship were saved, even though the ship (representing the corporate church just before judgment day) was destroyed.  Some swam,And the rest, some on boards, and some on [broken pieces] of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”  

Getting back to the meaning of honey, please also note for example, in Psalm 119:103, we read, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey H1706 to my mouth!”  In Proverbs 24:13 &14, we can see a clear link between honey and “knowledge of wisdom”, which is associated with The Word (Which Is Jesus), “My son, eat thou honeyH1706, because [it is] good; and the honeycombH5317, [which is] sweet to thy taste: So [shall] the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found [it], then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

And in Ezekiel 3:3&4, when God told Ezekiel to eat the roll (words were on the roll/scroll) we read, “And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat [it]; and it was in my mouth as honey H1706 for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.” Clearly God is equating honey with His Word.

Please also note the similarity with Revelation 10:9&10, “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”

Also in Psalm 19:7-11, we read, “The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple.The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart:the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether. More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey H1706 and the honeycombH5317. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.”  

Please also note that when Jonathan ate the honey that his eyes were enlightened!  See1 Samuel 14:25-29, with the last verse saying, “Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey H1706

So then, it is therefore no coincidence that we find in Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant (Noam) words [are as] an honeycombH5317, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”  Given that we have been shown that Noam is representative of Jesus, then we can see that this verse is really telling us that “Jesus’s words are like honeycomb and sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”  Jesus’s words (and He is The Word) give us eternal life and they are very sweet and indeed very healthy for us!

Finally, with regard to honey, as it is described in the Bible, we are also apparently given some warnings that we should take in the Word carefully, such as meditating on it, and not rushing through it as we also read in Proverbs 25:16, “Hast thou found honeyH1706? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.”  We simply cannot absorb the Bible as if we were reading any other book. And in Proverbs 25:27, we find this additional warning, “[It is] not good to eat much honeyH1706: so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory.”  

While this last point is not entirely clear to this teacher, it may be that we are also being admonished by God that while studying God’s Word to seek enlightenment, we must be careful to discern our personal motivations.  Is it to glorify God? (which is all that it should be) or is it somehow a vehicle by which we are contributing to our own vanity because we have been enabled to see things that might otherwise be hidden from others? (Remember Jonathan and how his “eyes have been enlightened” when he “tasted a little of the honeyH1706 “, 1Sa 14:29 .) If we have been enlightened by God through the reading and hearing of God’s Word, not only should we be willing to humbly share that honey with others, but we must never presume for one moment any pridefulness as a result of any such enlightenment. Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.Whatever spiritual discernment that we might have, it is solely a gift from God, and therefore, God, Alone, gets ALL of the Glory!

The Believers are From Every Nation, Typified by “Galilee of the Gentiles”

But what does it mean to be from Kedesh-naphtali?   Kedesh (קֶדֶשׁ Qedesh H6943, which means  “holy place”, “ceremonially clean”, or “sanctuary”) was established by Joshua (“Jesus”&”Saviour”) as a “city of refuge for the slayer” (together with the city of Shechem in mount Ephraim, see Joshua 20:7).  Furthermore, in Joshua 21:32 we read that Kedesh is in the area of land given to the tribe of Naphtali known as Galilee.  So we can see therefore that Barak was a Galilean just as Jesus was!  And Jesus most certainly was ceremonially clean and from a Holy Place (Heaven)!

But what about Barak taking ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and Zebulun toward mount Tabor?  From Matthew 4:12-15 (and Isaiah 9:1), we learn that the land encompassing both Naphtali (“Wrestling” in Hebrew) and Zebulun (“Dwelling in Hebrew) or Naphtalim and Zabulon in Greek, is identified as being within the region of Galilee, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he (Jesus) departed into Galilee;  And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah 9:1) the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, [by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;” And when we look at Isaiah 9:1, we see that it read specifically as, “Nevertheless the dimness [shall] not [be] such as [was] in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict [her by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.” (But PLEASE also be sure to read the rest of Isaiah 9:2-6, footnoted below, as it succinctly lays out salvation is for the believers from every nation through Jesus Christ).**

But what does it mean to be from Zebulun? Is it not also most interesting that the town of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, in not only in the Galilee region, but it is also specifically in the land of Zebulun, just as was the home of Jonah (almost next-door in Gath-Hepher), but now, not surprisingly, we see that this same area was also the home of Barak! Please see: An Exposition of the Book of Jonah  and the map below:                                                               

Map Source:

When we look closer at the verses in Judges 4, we get the distinct impression that God is declaring that a multitude (typified by the number ten thousand) of believers is drawn from all the nations of the world,  both Gentile (non-Israeli) nations as well as the remnant saved by grace from the nation of Israel (primarily during the New Testament era and hence relating to the New Testament Church) and that they would go with Jesus to whatever mount Tabor represents (see below).

This interpretation is corroborated by Revelation  5:9-13, where, respecting the Lamb (Jesus Christ, “Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David”  Who “prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereofRevelation 5:5-6, and Who we know Is “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), we read the following:

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” 

It is important to note the very close similarity of the above to that which can be found in the Old Testament, in Daniel 7:9-14, where we see another account of Judgment Day illustrated by very similar language, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fireA fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before himAnd there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The Ancient of Days would have to be God The Father, while the Son of man is clearly Jesus Christ.

And even back during the wilderness sojourn, we are told that when the Ark of the Covenant rested, then Moses said in Numbers 10:36, “And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.”  The words translated for many thousands in the original Hebrew text read, רָבַב (H7231) אֶלֶף (H504) which can be read as “myriad thousand”, “millions of thousand”, or “ten thousand thousand.” So again, the eternal Israel is being typified by God by these numbers in the Bible.

The “out every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” and “all people, nations, and languages” refers to all those saved by grace from both national Israel together with the Gentile nations and “the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousandsshows us that the number of believers, the eternal Israel, saved by Jesus out of all nations, is a great multitude consistent with “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues“, and was therefore indeed “a great multitude, which no man could number.”  

It should also be noted that we read of a seemingly smaller number “an hundred and forty and four thousand.” in Revelation 7:4 and in Revelation 14:1-3, it is clear that the number 144,000 is a spiritual number representing all who are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ (the number is composed of 12 (representing the twelve tribes of ancient Israel) time 12 (representing the 12 Apostles of the New Testament era) times 1000 which emphasizes “completeness”.   And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

So we see then that the “ten thousand(s)” is a spiritual number used by God for typifying the great multitude of all of those who are saved by Jesus Christ, Who Is their Redeemer, just as the number 144,000 also represents all those who are redeemed.

That multitude of believers is found in Heaven, praising God for their salvation, as we read on in Revelation 7:9-10 where they, “stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

Remember also what we read in Matthew 12:14-18, after Jesus healed the man with the withered hand, “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them allAnd charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Mount Tabor, a Portrait of Heaven with Judgment in View?


As a mountain, we know that there is at least the possibility that mount “Tabor” (תָּבוֹר (tāḇôr)) H8396, a prominent dome-shaped mountain (whose meaning in Hebrew is simply “Mount”) could represent “Heaven“. This is because of what we read in Psalm 121:1&2 {A Song of degrees.} “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills (from הַר (har)) H2022 in Hebrew, which can also be translated “mountains” or “mount”), from whence cometh my help. My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. And shortly afterward, we read in Psalm 123:1, “¶[[A Song of degrees.]] Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Moreover, we read in Psalm 3:4I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill (הַר (har)) H2022. Selah.” We can also see this relationship expounded to us in Psalm 68:15&16,  “The hill (הַר (har)) H2022of God [is as] the hill (הַר (har)) H2022of Bashan; an high hill (הַר (har)) H2022 [as] the hill (הַר (har)) H2022of Bashan. Why leap ye, ye high hills (הַר (har)) H2022? [this is] the hill (הַר (har)) H2022[which] God desireth to dwell in;yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever.”

Psalm 87:1¶[[A Psalm [or] Song for the sons of Korah.]] His foundation [is] in the holy mountains (הַר (har)) H2022.”

Our Only Help is From God, and God Is Upon His Holy Hill, Which Can Only Be Pointing Us to Heaven.

Then in Psalm 123:1 {A Song of degrees.}, we read,  “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.”  We also know from Psalm 11:4The LORD [is] in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne [is] in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” However, we also find God’s use of allegory, with hills and mountains being representative of Heaven, such as we find in  Psalm 24:3Who shall ascend into the hill (הַר (har) H2022) of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place” and Psalm 48:1Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain (הַר (har) H2022) of his holiness.

Psalm 87:1 “e¶[[A Psalm [or] Song for the sons of Korah.]] His foundation [is] in the holy mountains (הַר (har) H2022).

Psalm 125:2, “As the mountains (הַר (har) H2022 [are] round about Jerusalem, so the LORD [is] round about his people from henceforth even forever.

And we should also consider that while both Isaiah 2:2–4  and Micah 4:1–5  were temporally referring to the earthly Jerusalem, they both were actually, spiritually, pointing to the eternal Heavenly Jerusalem. “…the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” We know this because of what we read in Revelation 21:2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It is not entirely clear what is the true derivation of the meaning of the word “Tabor” (תָּבוֹר (tāḇôr)) H8396. There do seem to be a number of somewhat conflicting explanations.  One explanation is that it is derived from the root word that means to be “broken in pieces” (תְּבַר (tᵊḇar)) H8406 , or something akin to broken rocks as can be found in a rock quarry.  In that case, perhaps it could be an indirect reference to a place where believers are found before God, given that believers are referred to as “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5) who are also “broken” in terms of the heart (Psalm 34:18,The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”) as well as the spirit (Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.“).  Another explanation is that it is related to the root word “taher” (טָהֵר (ṭāhēr))H2891 , meaning to be “pronounced clean” or “purged” and “purified”.   Without doubt, Heaven is entirely “Pure” and all believers who ascend to Heaven are made spiritually “clean” and “purged of sin” and “purified” through sanctification by the Holy Spirit as a result of Jesus Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice.

It is also interesting to note here that mount Tabor is generally considered to be the leading candidate for the site of  Jesus’s Transfiguration (The “Mount of Transfiguration“)…and while we can’t confirm or deny that assertion from the Bible; we can say that based on what we can learn in the course of this study, it would not be surprising if it was. For the record, Mt. Hermon is also considered to be a prime candidate for the location of Jesus’s Transfiguration.

More Evidence that Mt. Tabor Represents Heaven

It is also noteworthy that we do find mount Tabor in association with “the heavens” as we read in Psalm 89:11&12, “The heavens [are] thine, the earth also [is] thine: [as for] the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.”  The “heavens” and “earth” are mentioned together, and then immediately following so too we find a counterpoint, with “the north and the south” being representative of this created earth, and the high mountains, specifically mount Tabor and mount Hermon, representing “the heavens” that “rejoice“. Psalm 89:11&12 therefore provides a clear correlation in the Bible between mount Tabor with heaven!

And is this not also consistent with what we read in Matthew 5:12, where Jesus said, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” and Luke 6:23, “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”  Finally in Revelation 18:20, “Rejoice over her, [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Note: From a topological perspective, mount Tabor is only 575 m (1,886 ft) above sea level, while mount Hermon, the highest point in Israel (which even now includes a ski resort, as it is generally snow capped in winter) is 2,236 m (7,336 ft) in elevation. However, mount Tabor, while only a quarter as high as mount Hermon, is uniquely prominent in that it is a singular peak rising abruptly as unique mound from the surrounding Megiddo plain as shown in the photo at the top of this post.

Mount Tabor is also mentioned in a somewhat different way in Judges 8:18 in that when Gideon asked the two remaining Midianite kings the following question and their reply (just before Gideon had them killed), “Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men [were they] whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou [art], [so were] they; each one resembled the children of a king.” The children of a king refers to the believers who are the children of God.  For more about the meaning of “children of a king”, please see: mephibosheth-and-a-covenant-of-grace/ 

Note also that these Midianite kings, Zebah (זֶבַח (zeḇaḥ) H2078) which means “sacrifice“, and Zalmunna (צַלְמֻנָּע (ṣalmunnāʿ) H6759) which means “deprived of protection“,  had earlier killed the brothers of Gideon, evidently at the foot of mount Tabor, and were themselves then killed by Gideon. Note also that in Psalm 83:9-12, where we read of the death brought to the enemies of God, “Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as [to] Sisera, as [to] Jabin, at the brook of Kison (Kishon) [Which] perished at Endor (Endor, the same that was the home of a witch 1 Samuel 28:7, is located in the valley of Megiddo): they became [as] dung for the earthMake their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as ZalmunnaWho said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.”  

The other two Midianite kings, who Gideon also slew, were named Oreb (עֹרֵב (ʿōrēḇ)H6159) means “Raven” (an unclean “fowl of the air”), and Zeeb (זְאֵב (zᵊ’ēḇ)H2062) means “Wolf”, [which the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, protects His flock from, remembering also in Matthew 7:15  “¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”].

Therefore, in Psalm 83:9-12, God is clearly equating Barak and Gideon, because they both defeated and killed those named individuals who were clearly identified as “enemies” of God as stated in Psalm 83:2.  Moreover, we can see more clearly how Barak and Gideon are spiritual representations of Jesus, Who, on Judgment Day, will defeat the devil and his accomplices, the false teachers who have sought to subdue the Church of God (take “the houses of God in possession”) through apostasy. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.” Psalm 83:3.

It should also be noted that the plain of Megiddo and its environs have been recorded as the location of two great tragedies that befell National Israel: 1) the death of Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, which is where the River Kishon begins in the south east corner of the valley of Megiddo  (1 Samuel 31:8) and 2) the death of King Josiah who was killed by the Pharaohnechoh, king of Egypt in the valley of Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30 and 2 Chronicles 35:22).

The River Kishon is at the Foot of Mount Tabor (to which Judgment Comes from Heaven)

In Judges 4:7, we read how God, speaking through Deborah, would bring Sisera to the river Kishon* (meaning “winding” קִישׁוֹן (qîšôn)H7028 from the Hebrew “qowsh or yaqosh”(קוֹשׁ (qôš)) H6983 , meaning “to set a trap or snare, like that of a fowler“) that is located at the foot of mount Tabor in the middle of the plain of Megiddo (from which Armageddon is derived) for Barak to meet in battle.

The Allegorical Location of the Battle of Armageddon (Judgment Day) Set as a Snare

Armageddon is specifically mentioned as the location representing the end of the world as we read in Revelation 16:16-18, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is doneAnd there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” 

We also not that in Psalm 69:22&23 we read, “Let their table become a snare (פַּח (paḥ))H6341 before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap  (מוֹקֵשׁ (môqēš)) H4170. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.”  These verses are referenced in Romans 11:9&10, ¶And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway”. Note also that the wicked try to snare the righteous, but they will be caught in the net of their own devices as we read in,

Psalm 140:5, “The proud have hid a snare (פַּח (paḥ))H6341 for me, and cords (or bands, (חֵבֶל (ḥēḇel) H2256); they have spread a net (רֶשֶׁת (rešeṯ)) H7568 by the wayside; they have set gins (מוֹקֵשׁ (môqēš)) H4170 for me. Selah.

Psalm 141:9 &10, Keep me from the snares (פַּח (paḥ))H6341 [which] they have laid for me, and the gins (מוֹקֵשׁ (môqēš)) H4170 of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets (מִכְמָר (miḵmār))H4364, whilst that I withal escape.

Psalm 142:3, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare (פַּח (paḥ))H6341 for me.

Remember, that Jesus spoke of Judgment Day in the context of asnare” in Luke 21:34&35, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” And look at how Jesus statement harmonizes with what God gives to us in Psalm 9:15-17, “The heathen are sunk down in the pit [that] they made:in the net (רֶשֶׁת (rešeṯ)) H7568 which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared (נָקַשׁ (nāqaš)) H5367 in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God.

Please note also that God tells us clearly in Isaiah 28:13 that those, who refuse to hear the Word of God, will be condemned as though they would be caught in a snare. “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared (קוֹשׁ (qôš)) H6983, and taken.

Moreover, regardless of the derivation of mount Tabor, which the evidence provided above makes a strong case for Tabor to represent Heaven, we do know that God clearly has established severe Judgment at the foot of mount Tabor in association with the river Kishon (“to snare”), and the Megiddo (e.g., Armageddon) valley that it flows through. This is because it is also a fact that after Elijah confounded the 450 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:20-40 on top of mount Carmel (near the Mediterranean Sea), that we read in verse 40, “And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

We should also take particular note that both mount Tabor and mount Carmel are both mentioned in the same verse in Jeremiah 46:18, “[As] I live, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor [is] among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, [so] shall he come.” It would seem that God is saying that He Is surely coming again in Judgment (on Judgment Day) as surely as He did bring Judgment to the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon) from both mount Tabor and mount Carmel in the past.

*Note: The destruction of Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon is corroborated in Psalm 83:9, “Do unto them as [unto] the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:

Deborah “Arose”

By Judges 4:9 we find that Deborah “arose” and went with Barak to Kedesh (the city of refuge).  In Judges 4:10, we read how Barak “called” Zebulun and Naphtali (the believers from out of the Gentile nations) and he “went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went with him.  These references of going up with Barak prophetically make it clear that all believers are partakers of the first resurrection of the dead “in Christ” which took place on Easter Sunday, 33 A.D.  This is why we read in verse eight, “And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, [then] I will not go.”  While anyone can speculate that in the earthly historical account that Barak was “fearful”, hence cowardly, the Bible does not support that anywhere explicitly. In fact, quite to the contrary, Hebrews 11:32 lists Barak as one of the great men of faith!  This is because the spiritual implication (that Jesus’s resurrection and ascension to Heaven includes that of His Churchwithout whom He would not go) would otherwise be lost.  This idea is also entirely consistent with what we find in Ephesians 1:20, “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],” and in Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

Deborah and Barak map

Map source:

Judges 4:14-16, Judgment Day (The Ultimate Armageddon) is Coming!

Skipping ahead to Verse 14 we read, “And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this [is] the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee?  So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.”  Does this sound familiar?  It should, because in Jude 14&15 we are given a prophesy of the second coming of Jesus on Judgment Day with “ten thousands of his saints.”  There we read, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,: To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Please note the similarity in the language we find concerning the last words of Moses before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for themYea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” Remembering also that just previously in Judges 4:10, we read how Barak “called” Zebulun and Naphtali (the believers from out of the Gentile nations) and he “went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went with him.”  Barak is a clear and unequivocal “Type” of the LORD Jesus Christ!

Remember also what we find in the clearly Messianic verses of Zechariah 14:4&5, where the verses end by declaring that on Judgment Day, Jesus will come with all of His saints with Him, “and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.”

And there are these key verses in 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, “¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Other verses to ponder regarding God’s use of “ten thousand” as it pertains to the saints in Heaven and the Judgment to come:

Daniel 7:9 &10, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels as burning fireA fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”

Revelation 5:11&12 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

In Judges 4:15&16, we see the total defeat of Sisera and all his host: “And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all [his] chariots, and all [his] host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off [his] chariot, and fled away on his feet.  But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; [and] there was not a man left.” Note how well this harmonizes with what we read in Psalm 106:10&11, regarding God’s salvation of national Israel leading them through the Red Sea, and the subsequent destruction of Egyptians led by Pharaoh that sought to kill them in the Red Sea. “And he saved them from the hand of him that hated [them], and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.”  When Judgment Day comes, Jesus with all of His Saints will forever destroy ALL of Jesus’s (and their) enemies, the devil and his host, and consign them to Hell, and there will be none of them left.

The Believers (The “Saints”) Will Actively Take Part in Bringing Judgment on Judgment Day! 

It should also be noted here that the 10,000 men who come down from mount Tabor after Barak represent all of the “saints”, the “believers”, the “saved”, the “sons of God” who will come down from Heaven with Jesus on Judgment Day (we know this from Jude 1:14, “…Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.“).  It is the eternal Church, the body of believers, of which Jesus Is The Eternal Head.  It is clear that the physical destruction of the host of Sisera was by the “physical sword“, and, in the historical account,  it could not have been done by Barak alone, that Judgment by the “physical sword” would have had to have also been done by those who came with Barak.  

Repeating what was said earlier…the last words of Moses, before his death in Deuteronomy 33:2&3, were, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saintsfrom his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.  Yea, he loved the people; all his saints [are] in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; [every one] shall receive of thy words.” Remembering also that just previously in Judges 4:10, we read how Barak “called” Zebulun and Naphtali (the believers from out of the Gentile nations) and he “went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went with him.”  Barak is a clear and unequivocal “Type” of the LORD Jesus Christ!

Remember also what we find in the clearly Messianic verses of Zechariah 14:4&5, where the verses end by declaring that on Judgment Day, Jesus will come with all of His saints with Him, “and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.”

If we turn to Psalm 149:5-9, we read that, “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.[Let] the high [praises] of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”  

God graciously grants this participation in the Judgment as an “honor” to His Saints. As frail human beings, it is difficult for us to fathom, and disturbingly hard to imagine and look forward to, but the saints will become like Jesus in their new glorified bodies at the resurrection, and then the saints, “the sons of God”, will see things perfectly like Jesus does now. We know this because of what we find in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Additional corroboration can be found in these prophetic verses, in 1 Corinthians 6:2&3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Please also see again 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. ¶For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (not go before) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The TwoEdged Sword

And what is the “twoedged sword”? It is the Word of God, and therefore a “Spiritual Sword”! The Bible tells us so here in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Also in Revelation 1:16 where we read about the twoedged sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus (“the Son of man“), “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.”  Everyone who is unsaved will be judged on the basis of God’s Word, Who is Jesus, and it is the saved believers who are the attendant messengers and witnesses of that Word, both now and forever.  Finally, we know from John 12:48 where Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The Word of God (Jesus is both The Word and the Bringer of the Word) is also the Spiritual “Twoedged Sword” by which God will both Judge and Destroy all of the unbelievers on Judgment Day.

But why is the “Word of God” specifically identified with a “twoedged” sword?  It is because the Word of God brings both life and death, both salvation or condemnation, “comfort” and “vengeance” (see: .  We read in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Jael is Another Picture of the Church’s Role in the Final Judgment

There is one last aspect of final judgment in the literal historical account of Judges chapter 4, which seems to point to the woman, Jael, (the wife of, Heber, a Kenite, and a descendent of the Father-in-Law of Moses, Jethro who was a Midianite priest), who is directly involved in the slaying of Sisera with a hammer and tent peg.  Jael is the woman who fulfilled the prophesy of Deborah.  She had the honor of killing Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army.  Sisera had come to Heber’s property and sought refuge there, knowing that Heber was in alliance with the Canaanite King, Jabin. She brought Sisera into her tent, covered him with a blanket, and gave him some milk to drink (verses 18–19).  Jael seemed kind at the time, but she knew what she had to do next. After Sisera was refreshed he fell asleep.  Then Jael took a tent peg and a hammer and silently placed the nail to Sisera’s temple and hit the peg with the hammer, driving it through his head with such force that it killed Sisera.

In this account, Jael served as another “Type” of the eternal church bringing about the death of the devil’s captain through the bringing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who Is The “Word” (Jeremiah 52:7, “[Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?”.  For more on Jael’s role, see below in Chapter 5.

Judges Chapter 5 is God’s Commentary on Judges Chapter 4

Let us move ahead to Chapter 5 to test the validity of this exposition and interpretation of Judges chapter 4.  In Judges chapter 5, we read of the song of Deborah and Barak.  In that song, giving praise to God for “the avenging of Israel,” we find that there four very significant verses:

Five Very significant Verses In Judges, Chapter 5

#1… in Judges 5:12,

we read, Awake, awake, (עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 Deborah: awake, awake, (עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 utter a song: arise, (קוּם (qûm)) H6965 Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.    We need to take a close look a the underlined phrases in this verse.

#1A: “Awake, awake”

The repetition of the words Awake, awake (two times) is worthy of note.  It reminds us of what we find three times in Isaiah (with the first having the word awake three times):

Isaiah 51:9, “Awake, awake,(עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake,(עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. [Art] thou not it that hath cut Rahab, [and] wounded the dragon?”

Isaiah 51:17, “Awake, awake,(עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, [and] wrung [them] out.

Isaiah 52:1, “Awake, awake;(עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Psalm 7:6 is particularly noteworthy as it involves the use of both “awake” and “arise” in the same verse, but, most importantly, the words are found within a verse that is entirely focusing on Judgment Day! ” Arise,קוּם (qûm) H6965 O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake (עוּר (ʿûr))H5782 for me [to] the judgment [that] thou hast commanded.” 

Psalm 9:19&10, harmonize with the above, “Ariseקוּם (qûm) H6965 O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sightPut them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves [to be but] men. Selah.”

These awakenings are pointing to the resurrection of the saints (the holy city adorned in beautiful garments as a bride for her Husband, Jesus) because of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, but also clearly pointing to Judgment Day when Jesus will arise from His Throne in Heaven and come down from Heaven to destroy all of His, and the believers’, enemies.  Jesus is the arm of the LORD Who destroyed Egypt (Rahab) wounded the dragon, the devil (Sisera in this historical account). In Isaiah 51:17, God is referring to the earthly Jerusalem, while in Isaiah 52:1, God is referring to the Jerusalem and Zion which are the true eternal Church (typified by Deborah in this historical account).

Regarding that Judgment, we read in Psalm 9:7-10, “But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousnesshe shall minister judgment to the people in uprightnessThe LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

#1B: Leading “Captivity Captive”

The key phrase is “lead thy captivity captive.”  This phraseology describes the action of Jesus, through His Atoning Sacrifice, plundering the devil’s prison house of hell and freeing the captives/prisoners and the restoring of God’s elect to their former estate.  It refers to the action of God in bringing His people back, or delivering them, from the bondage and oppression into which He had earlier placed them for their transgressions of His law in Adam and through time (see Jeremiah 29:14Jeremiah 30:3Jeremiah 32:44, all of Jeremiah 33Ezekiel 39:25Amos 9:14, and Zephaniah 3:20).  The phraseology describes the ultimate restoration of the fellowship mankind initially had with God in the Garden of Eden; the significant difference being that this restored fellowship is more intimate and can never be lost again.

The specific phraseology of “lead thy captivity captive” is found in only two other places in the whole Bible. 

In Psalms 68:18, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell [among them].” and in

Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

In Psalm 68 it is a Messianic prophecy pointing to Jesus, and in Ephesians it is a specific statement about the Lord Jesus Christ referring back to Psalm 68!  Jesus Is the Only means whereby the Elect of God are delivered from the bondage to sin and oppression of Satan and finally and fully restored into fellowship with God at the end of time!

There can therefore be absolutely no doubt that God, using this phraseology, specifically established Barak as a pre-figurement of Jesus Christ, and what Jesus will do to the oppressor (the devil) and his host (the unsaved) when Jesus returns on Judgment Day!

And looking back at Psalms 68:18, notice how the verse just before it reads in Psalm 68:17 “The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angelsthe Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place].

Note how this is also consistent with what we read in Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;”  In Psalm 146:7, we read of God, “Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

And to what prison is the Bible is referring? It is the prison house of the devil (“Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12) due to the fall of Adam as we read 14:17, “[That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? And remember that Jesus made clear in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and thegates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

#2… is Judges 5:19, The Valley of Meggido Represents Armageddon and Judgment Day

God makes it clear in Judges 5:19 that the battle in chapter 4 is to be linked with the valley of Megiddo, and therefore there is no question of its relationship to the Battle of Armageddon, The kings came [and] fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.if we compare this to what we find in Revelation 16:16, which describes Judgment Day, “¶And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Another link between Armageddon and Judgment Day, when Jesus returns as Judge (but also with salvation for the believers), can be found in Zechariah 12:10&12And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” And  this refers back to 2Kings 23:29, when King Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Nechoh in the valley of Megiddo and there was a great mourning for King Josiah in Jerusalem. (Hadadrimmon is a town in the valley of Megiddo named after two false gods of Syria (Haddad and Rimmon))

And we know from Judges 5:21 that the Valley of Megiddo is through which the river Kishon flows (1 Kings 18:40), “The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.”

#3… in Judges 5:20,

God shows that this whole event has been a perfectly crafted historical parable typifying Armageddon at Judgment Day, because He says, They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.  Clearly, this description has nothing to do with the earthly, historical and physical battle we read about in Chapter 4.  Rather God is telling us that Chapter 4 contained typological representations, which form another “historical parable“.  Chapter 4 portrayed Jesus Christ (typified by Barak in this historical account) coming down from Heaven (typified by mount Tabor in this historical account) accompanied by His multitudes of saints (typified first by the ten thousand men, and secondly, by the “stars” in Chapter 5, please see below regarding Genesis 22:17, Isaiah 14:13, Dan 12:1-3) on Judgment Day (typified by the battle in the valley of Megiddo, a.k.a. Armageddon) to slay Satan and all of his host, the fallen angels and the unsaved of the world (typified by the kings of Canaan and all their host).

Genesis 22:17, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Job 38:7, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Also, in Psalm 147:4, we read where God knows all the stars (the believers, the sons of God) and their names, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names.”

From Isaiah 14:12-15, we clearly see that Satan, the chief prince of all the angels that became devils, in his great pride sought to “be like the most High,” and “above the stars of God“, but was subsequently consigned to Hell. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Note that Satan wanted to exalt his throne above the “stars” of God; In the Bible the stars represent the believers as we read next in Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” And this verse is particularly salient to this exposition, given that it was written within the context of the end of the World and Judgment Day!

Please note that the two preceding verses, Daniel 12:1&2, read as follows: “¶And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

#4…in Judges 5:21, The River Kishon

God tells us that, The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.  This appears to be further evidence of the finality of the death that is in view, i.e. when God casts Satan and all his dominion into the lake of fire (from Revelation Chapter 20) for all eternity!  And it is also consistent with the last verse, Judges 5:31, “So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but [let] them that love him [be] as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.”

#5… In Judges 5:24-27, Jael is praised by Deborah and Barak

We read in the song of Deborah and Barak concerning the heroism of Jael, “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, [and] she gave [him] milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.” As was mentioned above, in this account, Jael served as another “Type” of the eternal church bringing about the death of the devil’s captain through the bringing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the “Word” (Jeremiah 52:7, “[Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jael might therefore spiritually represent the true believers, at the end of time, who will play a role with Jesus in the Final Judgment in the defeating of the devil, the arch-enemy of God and man.

Judges 5:28-30, is a lamentation of Sisera’s mother who longingly waits for the return of her son with the spoils of war, but Sisera, like the devil and his minions, will never return.  The devil and all those who are also enemies of God will be destroyed in the final battle on Judgment Day! But happily, for the believer, we are encouraged to read the last verse, Judges 5:31, “So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but [let] them that love him [be] as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.”  In Heaven, the believers will have their rest in Jesus for all eternity!


In this study we have seen yet another case where God has masterfully crafted history, and the recording of it, to prefigure the return of the Lord Jesus Christ on Judgment Day.  From it we have learned that the battle of Armageddon is not some future earthly battle involving earthly political nations, i.e. Russia, etc., attacking the political state we now know as national Israel in the valley of Megiddo.  That scenario has nothing to do with the Armageddon of the Bible, because Armageddon is actually Judgment Day itself!  Judgment Day will be the last event in history when the Lord Jesus Christ will come back in the clouds of Glory to destroy all wickedness, and send all of the unsaved to an eternity in Hell, and put an end to this entire creation, which is under the curse of sin.  It will mark the end of time and the beginning of eternity wherein righteousness will dwell in new heavens and a new earth forever.  In 2 Peter 3:10 we read, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” But thankfully in 2 Peter 3:13 we read, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

It should also be noted how prevalent judgment is in the word picture painted by God in Judges 4 & 5.  It is safe to say that the whole account is dripping with judgment.  First we found that Deborah, who typified the believers, is described as a judge who declared judgment during a time of judgment from God on National Israel.  Then we found that Barak represents Jesus as the ultimate Judge at a battle that perfectly typifies the ultimate judgment that definitely will come on the Last Day, Judgment Day.  We even saw how the geographic setting appears to be pointing to that judgment.  It is therefore entirely appropriate that God has painted this so very vivid picture of judgment in the book entitled “Judges.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:11, we are admonished, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  Given that God has recorded such a clear and unequivocal prophetic warning of the final judgment that is so assuredly coming; it is incumbent on everyone to search his or her own conscience (and heart) and ask himself or herself the big question: Am I ready to meet God?  It is my sincere prayer that whosoever reads this review will undergo that self-examination and be able to answer in the affirmative.  If not, it is still possible to cry out to God for mercy, for it is still the day of salvation.  (Please also remember that Barak was just a pre-figuring “shadow” of Jesus Christ, not the “substance.”  Only through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ is there any hope of salvation. Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.“)

**Isaiah 9:2-6, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Today’s Application: Are You Ready?

Jesus is the only Way of escape from the just penalty for our sins. All other ways that man can devise will lead only to Hell come Judgment Day. You are either with God or against God.  Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ?  Please pray to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and He will show you mercy. Judgment Day is for any individual only a heart beat away, but for the world it is coming very soon, given all of the signs of the times that we are currently all living in.

A Christian Study of The Book of Jonah

September 19, 2009
Engraving of “Jonah Cast Out by the Big Fish” published in “The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation” Published by Charles Foster in 1883. The engraving is now in the public domain.

“Can There Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?”  

“Search, and Look: For Out of Galilee Ariseth No Prophet”


In John 1:45 we read, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Why did Nathanael ask this question?  We get the feeling that it was some kind of contemporary euphemism which indicated that Nazareth, a city in Galilee, was a place of poor reputation.  We find support for this idea in John 7:52, where we read, “They (the chief priests and Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Nicodemus*), Art thou also of Galilee?  Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” (We should also be aware that this is entirely consistent with what we read just a few verses prior in John 7:40-41, “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the ProphetOthers said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?“)

Wouldn’t it be logical to assume that these men, being Jewish “chief priests and Pharisees,” would have had to have been thoroughly familiar with the scriptures (“Moses in the law, and the prophets”…the Old Testament in that day) to allow them to make such a bold and emphatic challenge to Nicodemus?  Nonetheless, all true believing Christians know that Jesus is “Good” in answer to Nathanael’s question (for He is God, as we read in John 1:1-3 and John 1:14), and that He also was the specific fulfillment of the Prophet found in Deuteronomy 18:1 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;Mat 21:11 because Acts 3:20-26 gives us this commentary, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.  For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.”  The New Testament also makes reference to Jesus as, “the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” as we read in Matthew 21:111 for example, “And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

However, we must remember that the priests and Pharisees in Jesus’ day were looking for that coming “Prophet” only on the basis of what they found in the Old Testament “scriptures.”  It is clear from the challenge to Nicodemus by the chief priests and Pharisees that, according to their understanding and knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures, there was no scriptural basis or precedent to expect that a prophet would arise out of Galilee.  How, then, are Christians (who use the New Testament to claim that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture) to deal with this issue?  The answer is that we must be like the Bereans of Acts 17:10&11, who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

The Book of Jonah Is the Place to Search and Look!

             The Bible offers no “plain and simple” information from which to determine either 1) a rebuttal to the challenge made to Nicodemus by the chief priests and Pharisees , or 2) whether or not Nicodemus was himself able to give them such a rebuttal.  However, when we look in Matthew 12:38-41, isn’t it interesting that we find the account in which “certain of the scribes and Pharisees” asked Jesus to show them a sign to validate that He was indeed the Messiah (that great Prophet) to which Jesus’s only response was to refer them to the book of Jonah.  They said, “Master, we would see a sign from thee.  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Greek for “Jonah”): For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas [is] here.” (please also see Matthew 16:4)

In Luke 11:29&30, Jesus provides additional insights, “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”

Could it be that the Old Testament support we seek is found in that book, the Book of Jonah?

[The reader should also take note of the importance of the above statements by Jesus, because Jesus also validated that Jonah was indeed a real person, and a real prophet, and that Jonah was really swallowed by a fish/whale for 3 days and nights…and moreover that he served as a “sign”hence anyone who disbelieves in the book of Jonah is, in effect, calling Jesus, hence God, a liar.]

[It should also be noted that the Book of Jonah is read every year to the assembled congregations of the Jewish people in their synagogues on Yom Kippur to the present day. Yom Kippur, which occurs on the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri), is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast, confession, and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.  Sadly, they remain entirely unaware that Jonah was established by God as a prophetic sign of The Messiah, Jesus Christ.]

At this point, it would be quite helpful to recall what Jesus Himself said regarding the challenge of the chief priests and Pharisees to Nicodemus to “search and look.”  First, in Mathewt 23:1-3, we read, “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,  Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”  In other words, the scribes and Pharisees did not practice what they preached.  They did not “search and look”; but Jesus said we should do whatsoever they said to do, which in this case is to “search and look.”  Secondly, Jesus specifically told the Jews themselves to “search the scriptures,” as we read in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (Jesus).”**  So let’s do just that.  Let’s search and look in the scriptures as Nicodemus was challenged to do; particularly looking in the book of Jonah as Jesus implied, to see if we can refute the question and assertion that form the subtitles of this paper (and also to see how the book of Jonah testifies of Jesus).

Chapter 1: Jonah (or Jesus?)

Let’s begin our search of the scriptures by focusing on the very first verse of Jonah, where we read:

Jonah 1:1, “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

A lot of very important information is packed into this little verse.  At the start, it is clear that Jonah’s office was that of a prophet, for the word of God came specifically to the prophet to declare unto the people (Hebrews 1:1, Jeremiah 29:19, Hosea 12:10, and many others).  We also learn that Jonah’s father was named Amittai.

The son of Amittai?  

Who is this Amittai?  When we “search the scriptures”, we find that the only information concerning him is found in 2 Kings 14:25, and there we find that God provides pretty much the same information.  However, when we search out the meaning of Amittai we can begin to see what God has in view.  In the Hebrew, Amittai means “faithful”, “trustworthy”, or “true”.  Who is it that is repeatedly declared to be faithful and true in the scriptures?  God!  In Isaiah 25:1 we read, “O LORD, thou [art] my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful [things]; [thy] counsels of old are faithfulness [and] truth.  In Deuteronomy 7:9, we read, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”  In John 7:28 we read, “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.”  We can see then that Amittai is a type or figure chosen by God to represent God the Father.  So who does that suggest Jonah might spiritually represent?  Remember how above in John 5:39 Jesus said the scriptures testified of Him, hence the title of this chapter heading, “Jonah (or Jesus?)”

But what about Gath-hepher? 

If we go back for a moment to 2 Kings 14:25, we are provided additional evidence to confirm that we are on the right track.  There we learn that Jonah’s abode or home was in Gath-hepher; “He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which [was] of Gath-hepher.” 

Gath-hepher is a primary clue from at least two distinct vantage points.  First, if we look in the back of our Bibles at the ancient map of National Israel, we will find, to our utter amazement, that the town of Gath-hepher from the Old Testament is located no more than two miles north of Nazareth from the New Testament.  To assure ourselves that this is indeed the case, we have only to search it out in God’s word.  From Joshua 19:13, we learn that this town (also referred to as Gittah-hepher) was within the borders of the land given to the tribe of Zebulun, “And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittah-hepher (in the original Hebrew this is the same as “Gath-hepher”, and, which translated, means either “well of the winepress” or “winepress of digging” or “winepress of shame, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Remmon-methoar to Neah;” 

From Matthew 4:12-15 (and Isaiah 9:1), we learn that the land of Zebulun (Zabulon in Greek) is identified as being within the region of Galilee, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he (Jesus) departed into Galilee;  And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (“Isaiah” in Greek, see Isaiah 9:1) the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, [by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles (nations);”

Please also note that when we take a close look at Isa 8:11-22, and then Isaiah 9:1 (which Matthew 4:12-15 just pointed us to) and then the verse closely following (Isaiah 9:2), we can gain some additional insights to show us that Jesus is the Christ, and that “Great Prophet”, Whom the people in Jesus’s day were not expecting to have come from Galilee nor would see that Jesus would be the Means of Salvation to all the world (gentiles) and not just the Jews only (of which a remnant would still be saved).

For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (See also Romans 9:30-33) 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.17 And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.”  Then Isaiah 9:1 reads, “Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.”  The dimness and darkness surrounded the nation of Israel (“both houses of Israel” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”). However, in the very next verse (Isaiah 9:2) we read, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”  Which leads us to John 9:5, where Jesus announces, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” after which he immediately healed a blind man, “born blind”.  Then we read later in John 9:39,”And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”

Getting back to the issue of Galilee…From this Bible study we can see that Jonah was the son of Amittai who was from Gath-Hepher which is in the land given as part of the inheritance to the tribe of Zebulun which is in the region known as Galilee.  Isn’t that astounding?  They were both Galileans!  God raised up the great prophet Jonah from the exact same neighborhood as the ultimate “Prophet”, Jesus Christ (except that Jonah lived about 800 years earlier than Jesus).  (NOTE: The reader should also be aware that another prophet of God, Nahum, was evidently, like both Jonah and Jesus, also been from Galilee, as Capernaum (which is located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee) in Hebrew means “village of Nahum“… Please see the study on the book of Nahum: ). At a minimum, one has to seriously question why the chief priests and Pharisees would have so ardently declared, “Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,” given that the prophet of God, Jonah (and likely also Nahum), could clearly be identified with the region known as Galilee. As we go on, we will see that these locational correlations between Jonah and Jesus are far more than just coincidence, but for the moment it might be profitable to take a slight detour to review another aspect of this geographical information.

The “Winepress of Shame”?

From our geographical study of Gath-hepher we have found the unequivocal similarity between Jonah and Jesus based on the fact that both were “prophets” from Galilee.  However, there is one other aspect denoted by Gath-hepher that we must consider.  Gath-Hepher is a compound word that is generally thought to mean, “well of the winepress.”  In the Hebrew, Gath means “Winepress.”  The word hepher, while sometimes translated dig, pit, or well, also means “shame” or “reproach””  Amazingly, when we search the Bible, we can again see how this focuses our attention on Jesus.  Let’s look at the winepress first.

“Gath” (גַּת, gat or gittahH1660) is translated as “winepress” in Lamentations 1:15, “The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a winepress H1660 (gath/gittah).” 

For further insight on the spiritual role of the “winepress” in scripture let’s look at Isaiah 63:1-6, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat (winepress)? H1660 (Jesus) have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance [is] in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is comeAnd I looked, and [there was] none to help; and I wondered that [there was] none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

In Joel 3:13, we read, “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press H1660 is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great.” And in Revelation 14:19, “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.”  In Revelation 19:13, we see this picture of Jesus, “And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Moreover, in Isaiah 34:6, “The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, [and] with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.

Clearly the “winepress” refers to God’s wrath that must be brought to bear in judgment for sin.  Jesus, as the believers’ atoning sacrifice, first had to endure that wrath and suffer the shame of God’s reproach for their sins.  But for those who remain dead in trespasses and sins, they will be tread down in the winepress of God’s wrath by Jesus as their Judge.

It should be noted here that if we look closely at the word “hepher” (חָפַר (ḥāp̄ar) H2658) in the original Hebrew we find the following:

  1. The verb חפר (hapar) means to dig, both in order to unearth something and to bury something. Hence this verb may be used both to describe (1) a quest for something wanted, and (2) a quest to obscure or cover-up something unwanted.
  2. The latter usage appears to have evolved into its own verb, namely חפר (haper), to be ashamed, again both because (1) something secret was exposed or (2) something embarrassing is sought to be covered.

In both instances, we can clearly see that, from a Godly/Spiritual standpoint, the “something” that is to be both exposed or covered is SIN! Jesus bears the exposed sins of the believers, he bears our shame, He became “sin for us” as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  Also in Isaiah 53:5&6, “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And our sin is covered in the robes of Jesus Christ’s righteousness as we read in Isaiah 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Jesus is the Bridegroom, and the eternal Israel (the eternal Church), is the Bride adorned in the robes of Christ’s righteousness.

Psalms 69 gives us a glimpse of the shame and reproach Jesus had to suffer.  However, we are also reminded how, on Judgment Day, Jesus will return as the Judge who pours out God’s judgment on the unsaved for whose sins He did not pay in the winepress of God’s wrath.  We read of this in Isaiah 47:3&4, “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet [thee as] a man, As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” and in Daniel 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

But thank God Almighty that all believers can joyously proclaim what we read in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.“!

Jonah: the “Dove” (a Sacrificial Animal Offering)

Did you know that Jonah’s name means “dove“?  Do these terms relate to/prefigure Jesus?  Indeed they do!  Remember what the dove or pigeon was used for in the scriptures?  The dove or pigeon was used as a sacrificial offering for the “poor” and “leprous“.  We read this in Leviticus 5:7, “And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.”  Also in Leviticus 14:29, “And the rest of the oil that [is] in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.  And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;  [Even] such as he is able to get, the one [for] a sin offering, and the other [for] a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.  This [is] the law [of him] in whom [is] the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get [that which pertaineth] to his cleansing.

We know that only Jesus is the valid atoning sacrifice which can satisfy God’s Levitical Law of Sacrifice for our spiritual destitution and the cleansing of our sin, our spiritual uncleannesses (typified by leprosy) and that it was He who was prefigured by the dove and the pigeon.  Interestingly, when we look in Jonah 1:4-16, we find that the mariners were forced to cast Jonah into the sea, because it was the only way that they could be saved from the tempest.  In essence, Jonah was “sacrificed” by the mariners to appease the wrath of God that otherwise would have destroyed the ship and all who were aboard it.  We should also remember God’s usage of the dove in the account of our LORD’s baptism, see Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:21&22, and John 1:31-34.

I trust that you have begun to see the amazing informational potential of the book of Jonah and its answer to both the question raised by Nathanael in John 1:45 and the challenge laid down by the chief priests and Pharisees to Nicodemus in Jesus’s day in John 7:52.  By way of exhortation, let’s review what we’ve learned:

Jonah was a prophet (a “Good” thing, in answer to Nathanael’s question) and, perhaps more importantly (regarding the challenge and erroneous assertion of the chief priests and Pharisees to their peer, Nicodemus), he arose from Galilee (the exact same region as Jesus!).  Furthermore, Jonah’s dwelling place was in Gath-hepher, which pointed to the judgment of God as we have seen.  That winepress was where the LORD became sin for the believers as God the Father pressed out of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, the sweat as it were great drops of blood as one treading under foot the grapes in the vat. This was indeed the dwelling place of Jesus!  It was most necessary for Him to dwell in Gath-hepher for a time that He might become a sacrifice for the poor in spirit, the spiritually leprous and hence unclean with sin.  For the believers, Jesus became poor and unclean, that they might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9) and clean before God.  Jesus was also referred to by God as the Prophet.  Jonah was also the son of Amittai, which means faithful and true.  We know that Jesus is the Son of God who is Faithful and True.  Finally, the dove again points us to the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of God’s elect and reminds us of the Holy Spirit as He came upon Jesus to validate His ministry as the Priest, Prophet, and King, and His evangelical work through His believers bringing salvation to a hostile world, yours and mine (typified by Nineveh in the book of Jonah).

 Chapter 2: Jonah’s Sojourn in the Sea Prefigures Jesus Christ’s Atonement and Eternal Sacrifice 

Some critics might dismiss the above exposition of Jonah as simply another one of so many so-called “fanciful” or “allegorical” interpretations.  They might say that these comparisons are only curious “coincidences” and have no validation other than in the mind of the beholder.  On that, you’ll have to judge for yourself.  However, before you pass judgment, it might be helpful to look at one more key element of comparison whereby God Himself provides the unequivocal validation for the above exposition.  When we carefully look at the corollary between: 1) what we find in the book of Jonah with 2) what we know about from the Bible concerning death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (that Jesus pointed to in Matthew 12:38-41), we will find something very interesting.  We know that Jesus was referring to the three-day and night period that began with His torment beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night and which was completed at His resurrection on Easter Sunday morning because of what we read in Jonah 1:17: Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

In Hell Forever?

However, in Jonah 2:1&2, we also read, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell(***) H7585 cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.”  Jonah is described here as being in “Hell”, but we know he was only in a fish/whale at the bottom of the sea, correct?  Then, later, in Jonah 2:6 we read, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.”  Now Jonah is crying out that he is there “for ever“, which means “for everlasting eternity“!  

But doesn’t it explicitly state in Jonah 1:17 that Jonah was only in the belly of the fish/whale for three days and three nights?  And why does it say “the earth with her bars,” if Jonah was only in the sea?  Please remember, this Bible student did not put these words in the Book of Jonah, and neither did any New Testament era theologian.  These words are in the original Hebrew texts just as they have been for over 2500 years.  They were put in the Bible by God Himself through the work of His Holy Spirit (please see 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21).  They unequivocally pre-figured Jesus’s Atonement, His Torment, Death, Burial, and Resurrection; as well as the fact that Jesus, somehow, supernaturally, in the space of the referenced “three days and nights”, actually endured the equivalent of an eternity (“forever“! as Jonah cried) inHell” (as Jonah also cried) for the sins of all who would ever believe on Him as their Savior (The Atonement began in the Garden of Gethsemane Thursday evening, followed by Jesus going to the cross and dying on Friday afternoon, and then Jesus’s body entombed before sundown Friday, and remained there until the Resurrection on Sunday morning, which was the third day).  

We must also stop for a minute and think about what it means for Jesus to be called the “Lamb of God” that we see in John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  and in John 1:36, “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”  We know that this is referring back to the Passover lamb that we first read about in Exodus 12:5-10, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast [with] fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” Clearly one would have to say, given that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover lamb, Who died on Passover Day, then this roasting by fire must therefore be picturing Jesus, as the Lamb of God, burning in Hell until the Resurrection morning, on the first Easter Act 12:4 Sunday. Remember also the burnt ram offering by Abraham.  The ram was killed and burnt as a sacrifice for God in substitution for Isaac in Genesis 22:13. And is it not interesting that God tells us in Genesis 22:8 “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” God “Himself” would be the Lamb for a burnt offering!

As for “the earth with her bars,” we are given another reference to the prison house of hell, which also parallels with Jesus’s description of his atoning sacrifice in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Note: When Jesus said in John 19:30, “it is finished“, Jesus fulfilled the role of the Passover Lamb sacrifice, but Jesus’s dead body was taken to a tomb to lie until Resurrection on the third day, Sunday morning.  Moreover, Jesus said to the one repentant thief on the cross in Luke 23:43, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise“.  We must assume then that the spirit of the thief went to Heaven, given that for a believer, “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”  But is it not also true that Jesus said in John 10:30 that,I and [my] Father are one.” Also in John 14:9 we are told, “¶ Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?

So it is entirely feasible that while the thief went directly to Heaven, Jesus may not have, particularly when we are told later in John 20:17, after Jesus’s bodily resurrection from the dead, when, ” Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God.

We are also told in Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”  If we assume that the full penalty was paid for the sins of the elect at that point (serving as the elect’s substitutionary Judgment Day), then why was it also necessary for Jesus’s Body to lay in the tomb until Easter Sunday morning?  We should also Remember that in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, we read that Jesus cried aloud, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?“, which highlights the unimaginable supernatural (as well as physical) agonies that Jesus was enduring upon the cross.  

Jonah’s three day and three night journey in the whale’s belly is a prefigurement, and “sign”, of Jesus’s being in hell for the equivalent of “forever”.  We also know most certainly that Jesus paid the Full Price for the sins of His elect Church, and that Jesus was raised up from the dead on the third day, Easter Sunday morning. Therefore, Jesus, somehow, in some way, spiritually, endured the full equivalent of the eternal horrors of Hell, whether culminating at the cross (but starting in the Garden of Gethsemane Thursday night), or continuing until Easter Sunday morning, while His Body remained dead in the tomb.

In Jonah 2:3 and Jonah 2:5 we are told, “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.Jonah was reiterating that he had been cast into hell, just as we saw earlier as Jonah explicitly stated in Jonah 2:2

Please note the similarity with Psalm 18:4-6, where we read, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hellשְׁאוֹל (šᵊ’ôl))H7585 compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (went before) me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”  

Finally, we are reminded that Jesus, as He stood before John in the Book of Revelation, said in Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Being Drawn Out from the Depths of Hell, and Knowing No Corruption!

We also read in Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell שְׁאוֹל (šᵊ’ôl)H7585; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.”  And this is exactly what Peter preached at Pentecost, essentially word for word from Psalm 16:10 regarding Jesus in Acts 2:27, and thereby also confirming Jesus’s connection to Jonah, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (ᾅδης (hadēs) G86neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Please see the whole of this account in Acts 2:22-36)

Interestingly, when we go to Psalm 49:15, we read, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: שְׁאוֹל (šᵊ’ôl)H7585 for he shall receive me. Selah.” The word for “grave” is the exact same Hebrew word for “hell.”  Some scholars try to explain away the use of “hell” by saying it is just “death” or “in the grave”, but they ignore the fact that Peter is quoting Psalm 16:10 in the Greek New Testament by referring to the “hell” there as “hades”, which is not the grave, but a place of disembodied spirits/souls. The correct Hebrew word for “grave” is קֶבֶר, H6913 qeber, keh’-ber; or (feminine) קִבְרָה qibrâh; from H6912; meaning a sepulchre:—burying place, grave, sepulchre.”  Moreover, in Deuteronomy 32:22 God tell us that, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell (שְׁאוֹל (šᵊ’ôl))H7585, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

It should be noted however that there is another Greek words that are also translated as “hell” in the New Testament.  One is γέεννα (geenna) G1067 as we read where Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. G1067  However, in Revelation 20:14 we again see hell  “And death and hell (ᾅδης (hadēs) G86 were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Please also note the consistency between this and what we read in 2 Samuel 22:4-7, “”I will call on the LORD, [who is] worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell H7585 compassed me about; the snares of death prevented (went before) me; In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry [did enter] into his ears.

It is worth reading all of 2 Samuel 22 for more comparable insights, like in verses 16 and 17, “And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;  And God repeats this almost word for word in Psalm 18:15-17, “Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Note also the similarities between what we read in Jonah 2:3, “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.” with Psalm 42:7, “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” as well as Psalm 69:1&2, “[[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.]] Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.Psalm 88:7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted [me] with all thy waves. Selah.”

Note also the similarity of Psalm 16:10 to Jonah 2:6, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” Interestingly, in most reference Bibles, “many scholars and theologians” have highlighted this verse (usually marked with a star) as being “Messianic” (because “the verse embodies a prophetic reference to Christ”, which was confirmed in the New Testament by Peter at Pentacost), which would seem to at least suggest that those same scholars and theologians are in agreement that Jesus was in hell at some point. 

Crown of Thorns?

One additional note of interest from Jonah chapter 2 is where we read in the preceding verse, Jonah 2:5, we read “The waters compassed me about, [even] to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.”  The word weeds comes from the Hebrew word for “reeds” or “red” as in Red Sea, but isn’t it true that “weeds” can also be likened to thorns and thistles?  

And think about this, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Issac, the Angel of the LORD stopped Abraham at the last moment and said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.” and in the very next verse, in Genesis 22:13, we read, “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.  The ram caught in the thicket was pointing to the substitutionary atonement and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the believers so that they won’t have to endure the wrath of God to sacrifice for their sins. The ram (e.g., Jesus) was caught in a thicket (e.g., of thorns) by his horns (e.g., his head).  And the ram took the place (“in the stead” or “instead”) of  Abraham’s son, Issac.

Therefore, couldn’t it be said that the weeds that were wrapped about the head of Jonah during his torment were similar to the crown of thorns placed around the head of Jesus during his torment?  Moreover, it should be remembered that the “Red Sea” is a picture of hell where Pharaoh and all his host were swallowed up in Exodus.

Other Thoughts from Chapter 2

Jonah 2:6, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Sacrifices of Thanksgiving Versus Lying Vanities

Jonah 2:8 “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

Jeremiah 10:8“But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock (staff?, gallows?) [is] a doctrine of vanities.”

Jonah 2:9, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay [that] that I have vowed. Salvation [is] of the LORD.

Hosea 14:2, “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.”

Isaiah 1:13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Psalm 107:2, “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.”

Psalm 116:17, “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

Chapter 3: Preaching to the Gentile World

Jonah Chapter 2 ended with these words, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry [land].” When we consider that Jonah’s 3 day sojourn in the great fish/whale was a typological representation or “sign” pointing to Jesus’s atoning sacrifice, Jonah’s exiting of the sea creature would have to represent Jesus’s resurrection. Jonah’s exit would also therefore presage the beginning of the New Testament era where the Gospel proceeds forth into the Gentile world.  Prior to Jonah, God never recorded one of His Prophets being sent to the Gentiles. But here we see it happening as a type of Jesus’s post-resurrection, when He “arose” as the “firstborn from the dead”(Colossians 1:18) and declared the Great Commission to His eleven disciples, as we read in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” While not exactly the same, there is nonetheless a clear corollary with what we next find in Jonah 3:1&2, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and represented the center of the Gentile world of its day.

Upon his entry into Nineveh, Jonah 3:4 cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Note two key things here, 1) There is only a pronouncement of judgment, without any mention of repentance or mercy, and 2) the timeframe given is forty days, and the number forty is always used in the Bible to signify a “testing period.” Israel was tested during Moses’s 40 days on Mount Sinai and Jesus was tempted in the wilderness sojourn for 40 days. And what do we see immediately after the pronouncement of judgment day for Nineveh?…a great conversion! Jonah 3:5 reads, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” The people of Nineveh believed God and repented and humbled themselves in the hope that God might yet show them mercy.

We read more of the details in Jon 3:6-9 where everyone in the kingdom of Nineveh, from the king to the nobles and below, humbled themselves before the God of the Bible, the God of all creation.  The humbling effort was manifest by the putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes and proclaiming and observing a total fast that applied to all creatures in the kingdom in the hope that it might deter God’s wrath. “Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?”  Chapter 3 ends with,”And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.”  

This change of mind of God is entirely consistent with what we know from God’s Own Mouth as we read in Jeremiah 18:8, “If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.”

So because there was evidence of both conversion and repentance after hearing the word of God preached, Nineveh averted its declared Judgment Day.  Throughout the whole New Testament era, the Gentile world has similarly heard the Word of God preached to it from the prophets of God as typified by Jonah.  God uses the believers as His Ambassadors to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice to the whole wold, such that if anyone believes God (as He is revealed in the Bible) and is humbled and repentant for sins, and cries out to God for mercy and Salvation through Jesus Christ, he or she can escape God’s wrath on Judgment Day.

And, dear reader, please note how well the above harmonizes with the Word of God as scribed by the Apostle Paul to the Colossians in Colossians 1:21-29, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Chapter 4: God is Gracious and Merciful (and Completely Sovereign)

We learn in Jonah 4:1 that when Jonah saw how God spared Nineveh, “it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.”  It is difficult for this student of the Bible to see an allegorical “type” for Jesus in this reaction of Jonah, the man.  Nonetheless, the next verse tells us why Jonah is unhappy. It is because he “knew” that God was a “gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah knew this because, being a prophet of God, that it is made clear in the scriptures as we read in Exodus 34:6

 as God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,…” and Psalm 86:5, “For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.We also have this which was declared after Jonah by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Next we see in Jonah 4:3 that Jonah would rather die than deal with the situation. We can only speculate on why Jonah was in such despair. One thing that we do know is that, approximately 120 years later, another king of Nineveh, Sennacherib, destroyed all but Jerusalem in Judah, during the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18 & 2Ki 19, 2Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36 & Isaiah 37). Whether or not this could have been foreseen by Jonah, we do not know.  However, roughly 150 years subsequent to Jonah, the prophet Zephaniah did pronounce a perpetual judgment against Nineveh that stands to this day (Zephaniah 2:13-15). This is also consistent with the denouncement against Assyria as given in Isaiah 10:5-19. And please also see Ninevah’s destruction as discussed in the study of the Book of Nahum.

As for wishing to die, Moses said something similar in Numbers 11:15, “And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

Elijah the prophet also felt similarly when he was pursued by Jezebel as we read in 1 Kings 19:4, “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers.

 A lesson on God’s Magnificent Grace and Mercy

Jonah 4:4-11 that begins with, “Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

God provides us insights on how God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked as we are told in Ezekiel 33:11, “Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Moreover, God tells us in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”  The people of Nineveh, starting with the King of Nineveh in Jonah’s day, humbled themselves before the Lord.  God saw and spared them.

God Alone is Sovereign Over His Creation 

Jonah 4:10, “Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither modest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

We can see that from the human, earthly, perspective, that Jonah was contending with God over the Administration of God’s Creation.  God used the gourd as an object lesson on His Sovereignty over His Creation. Jonah didn’t create the gourd, God did.  And God also had the power to keep it alive or kill it. 

We should also remember that God explicitly stated the following (via Moses in Deuteronomy 32:39-42 as part of what is referred to as the “Song of Moses”) where God makes clear that He is the only True God, and is completely Sovereign, and that He Alone has the power over life and death, and that goes beyond the physical, it includes eternal life in Heaven and eternal death in Hell: See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword (“Barak”, in the original Hebrew, please see:, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.”  For more on God’s Total Sovereignty please see:

See also 1 Samuel 2:6, “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

The Gourd Came and Went “In the Night”

Why did God mention “night” rather than day?  It is likely because if we go back to Genesis 1:1-5, we read that God equates the night with darkness (wherein is no light), “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”  The night came first, and there was no light until God sent it.

The people of Nineveh were in darkness (hence in the night).  They had not yet seen “The Light”.  They were typifying the world in darkness until a preacher (Jonah) came to them bringing the light. And when they heard the word of God and of God’s judgment about to come upon them, they believed God and exhibited signs of repentance.  But God established Nineveh as a physical “type”, which while only temporally and physically saved from destruction, allegorically represents those in the entire world (mainly the Gentile nations Isaiah 9:1) who will be eternally spiritually saved through the hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught in Matthew 4:16 (referring to Himself as prophesied back in Isaiah 9:2), “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” The gourd also died in the night, as ultimately Nineveh, generations later, would as well be destroyed in the night (darkness), having never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God is Sovereign over His entire Creation.

Other thoughts on the “Night”

Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.”

1Thessalonians 5:7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

Psalm 30:5,”For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

God Loves and Cares for His Creation 

Jonah 4:11, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus taught us the following, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We, by nature due to the original Sin of Adam, are enemies of God.  But God not only loves His enemies, He (as Jesus the Savior) voluntarily died for those of His enemies whom He chooses to save.   And let us also not forget, Psalm 50:10, “For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.”

All that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can say in response to the last verse of Jonah is what Jesus taught his disciples in Luke 11:2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”


             The big lesson of the book of Jonah is that God sent the prophet Jonah to the wicked city of Nineveh (typifying the world) to warn them of His impending judgment.  Although in the historical account, Jonah was acting rebelliously, he was nonetheless used by God to portray Jesus Who voluntarily left His Heavenly habitation and from the face of God the Father to come to this sin cursed earth to dwell among men, become the atoning sacrifice for the sins of God’s elect, and calm the raging sea of God’s wrath that would otherwise have destroyed them for their sins (and thereby reiterating what we read in Jonah 2:9, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay [that] that I have vowed. Salvation [is] of the LORD.”  As a result of Jonah’s atonement and resurrection after three days (typifying that of Jesus (as “a sign”) according to Jesus’s own teaching), the people of Nineveh were able to hear the warning, repent of their evil ways, and cry out to God for mercy; and then God showed them mercy.  (Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” and God also tells us in Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”)  However, if the people of Nineveh had not repented, then God would surely have destroyed them.  Now each of us, who hear the similar warning of the impending Judgment of God from God’s Word the Bible, are in the same position before God as were the people of Nineveh.  The big difference is that the next time, on Judgment Day, while God does promise to spare (from His just wrath) all individuals who repent and cry out to Him for mercy, His judgment on the rest of world will not be stayed.  Those remaining non-believers will end up in Hell forever as the just payment for their sins.  According to the Bible, Judgment Day is inevitable!  Regardless of how soon Judgment Day is for all of this creation, for any one individual it is actually only a heartbeat away (and therefore generally much sooner than anyone might think).

Today’s Application: Are You Ready?

            The Bible makes it clear that if God was willing to put His own Son through Hell to save a people for Himself, how much more would He be willing to send the wicked who reject Him to Hell for their sins (please see Romans 8:32).  Jesus is the only Way of escape from the just penalty for our sins. All other ways that man can devise will lead only to Hell.  Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ? Please pray to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and He will show you mercy.

POSTSCRIPT #1:  Yet Another Proof: A Condensed Version of God’s Salvation Program Interwoven in the Book of Jonah

Please also note how in Jonah 1:5, “the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god;”.  They cried out to their false gods for salvation and found no help, but then in verse 9, Jonah witnessed to them about his God, the True God, the “LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry [land].“.  Then in Jonah 1:14&15, we read that they “cried unto the LORD” asking for mercy; and finally, after they cast Jonah into the sea (who in effect became their atoning sacrifice), “the sea ceased from her raging” (the demands of hell, according to the Law of God, were assuaged) in Jonah 1:16 “Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.”  In effect, these men were converted and received salvation from God.  Please, dear reader, do not miss the very important and unambiguous fact that no matter how hard the mariners tried to save themselves through their own efforts (by rowing or lightening the ship), or by crying out to their false gods (representing false religions), they remained doomed to a watery grave.  In the same way, mankind cannot hope for a moment to find salvation from God’s wrath and hell by doing “good works” or through faith in any other god, because “Salvation is of the Lord.”  (It should be noted here that this quote is taken verbatim from Jonah 2:9.) Salvation can only come through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  That ultimately is the essence of the book of Jonah.

POSTSCRIPT #2: Psalm 88 Describes the Agony of Jesus Enduring the Wrath of God Like Jonah

It is now more than a decade since this study was first posted.  Since then this author has continued to see additional harmony with the rest of the Bible.  In just reading Psalms 88, it is clear that they Psalmist is describing a situation matching that of both Jonah (in the fish/whale) and Jesus (enduring God’s wrath in “Hell” beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane, as The Atoning Sacrifice for sin…culminating in the resurrection that was typified by the vomiting of Jonah out of the great fish/whale).

Psalms 88 starts with: “O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:”  and then goes on to read, “Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deepsThy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.”

The Psalm goes on to describe affliction and the forsaking of God (Reminding us of Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” and the corollary when Jesus cried out from the cross of sacrifice (see Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?“)

“Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about togetherLover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.”

POSTSCRIPT #3Jonah or Jesus?: Sleeping in a boat during a tempest, then arising when called, and being the means to calm the sea and wind to save the ship and all who were aboard it

There is at least one other interesting parallel between Jonah and Jesus that is worth an effort to compare and contrast. Let us first take a closer look at Jonah 1:2-16, and consider the account of Jonah going into a ship with other men with a tempest arising while Jonah slept and, when, once awakened by panic stricken companions (who were about to perish), he was able to provide the means to calm the wind and waves of the sea to save the ship and his companions who were aboard it.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. [1]Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

Now let us take a closer look at the account in the life of Jesus as recorded in both Matthew 8:23-27 and in Mark 4:35-41. There we read:

  “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

 “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ship.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

In both of these accounts in the lives of both Jonah and Jesus, we can see the supernatural actions taken by God to first bring a tempest against a ship in which both Jonah and Jesus were found to be sleeping by companions.  And once awakened, God intervened to stop the wind and waves from destroying the ships and thus saved the people aboard them.

In the first instance, we see that Jonah, who although a prophet of God, was still only a man and thus only a type of Jesus, having no power to directly stop the wind and waves himself, was nonetheless a prefigurement of Jesus (Who is also God) Who exercised His power over creation to directly stop the wind and waves to save the ship and all aboard it.

It should hopefully be clear from this comparison that God has provided us with another amazing example of how He uses types and figures in the Old Testament to point to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament.

[1]The “casting of lots” is a means that is used in the Bible to determine God’s Will as we read in Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

POSTSCRIPT #4: Parallels in Psalm 107

It is also interesting to note how the whole account in Jonah chapter 1 is also quite similar to what we find in Psalms 107:23-30.  “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

     * The chief scribes and Pharisees were specifically addressing Nicodemus, a fellow “man of the Pharisees,” “a ruler of the Jews,” but “who came to Jesus at night,” and who lastly gave evidence that he had become a believer in Christ.  Please see John 3:1, John 7:50, and John 19:39.

     ** In Luke 24:27, where we find Jesus searching out the scriptures for His disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets (which would have included Jonah), he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

     *** From the Hebrew word “sheol,”H7585 which is the only word in the Old Testament that is translated as “hell” as we read in the following sample of verses:Deuteronomy 32:22, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.Psalm 18:5 “The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (went before) me.Psalm 116:3, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”  (Incidently please note the similarities in the language of the last two verses with what we find in Jonah 2:3, “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.” and in Jonah 2:6 “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.“)  Finally in Psalms 86:13, “For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.