Happy Purim! As I am writing to you, Purim is less than a week away!
Purim or the Festival of Lots is the holiday Mordecai instituted for all the descendants of the Hebrews to celebrate. It is a day for us to remember and celebrate how God saved our people from destruction through Queen Esther.
Esther 4: 17:
“And now, O Lord God, the King, the God of Abraham, spare thy people, [who] are looking upon us to destruction, and they have desired to destroy thine ancient inheritance. Do not overlook thy peculiar people, whom thou hast redeemed for thyself out the land of Egypt. Hearken to my prayer, and be propitious to thine inheritance, and turn our mourning into gladness, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; and do not utterly destroy the mouth of them that praise thee, O Lord.”
Purim is the plural form for Pur which means “lot” or “lots” [like a dice] because Haman cast lots in order to decide on the date to kill all the Hebrews.
Esther 3: 5 – 7:
“5 And when Haman understood that Mardochaeus [Mordecai] did not obeisance to him, he was greatly enraged, 6 and took counsel to destroy utterly all the Jews who were under the rule of Artaxerxes.7 And he [Haman] made a decree in the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, and cast lots daily and monthly, to slay in one day the race of Mardochaeus [Mordecai]: and the lot fell on the fourteenth of the month which is Adar”.
Esther 9: 26 – 28:
“26 Therefore these days were called Phrurae [Purim], because of the lots; (for in their language they are called Phrurae [Purim]) because of the words of this letter, and all they suffered on this account, and all that happened to them. 27 And established it, and the Jews took upon themselves, and upon their seed, and upon those that were joined to them, neither would they on any account behave differently: but these days a memorial kept in every generation, and city, and family; and province. 28 And these days of the Phruare [Purim], shall be kept for ever and their memorial shall not fail in any generation. ”
A Month of Joy
Purim is celebrated on the 14th and 15th of the month of Adar (which occurs in February or March). It is a fun holiday where we get to have a party, eat delicious food, and fellowship with friends and family.
Esther 9: 19 – 23:
“19 On this account then the Jews dispersed in every foreign land keep the fourteenth of Adar a holy day with joy, sending portions each to his neighbor. 20 And Mardochaeus [Mordecai] wrote these things in a book, and sent them to the Jews, as many as were in the kingdom of Artaxerxes, both them that were near and them that were afar off, 21 to establish these joyful days, and to keep the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar; 22 for on these days the Jews obtained rest from their enemies; and the month, which was Adar, in which a change was made for them, from mourning to joy and from sorrow to a good day, to spend the whole of it good days of feasting and gladness, sending portions to their friends, and to the poor. 23 and the Jews consented accordingly as Mardochaeus [Mordecai] wrote to them.”
Celebration of Purim
Purim is not one of the High Holidays that God commanded us to celebrate, so don’t feel like you have to make a big celebration. We like to do something that will commemorate this day for us.
Our Purim will be pretty low-key. We plan to decorate with blue and white streamers, to light the menorah (to remind us that the Lord is always with us), to eat snacks, and play games – because it’s a party!
Whatever you decide to do for Purim, I hope you have a fun and joyous celebration! Shalom!
Scripture references are from the Septuagint.