When the events of Esther were going on in Persia, there were other events in the world going on that will relate to eschatology. There was a group of ten men who had a major role in the history of a nation called Rome, and they were called the “Decem Viri” meaning “ten men.” This concept of “ten men” is alluded to in the Scriptures from the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael in 2 Kings 25.22-30 and Jer 40-41, to the False Messiah and the ten kings with him. We have already seen how the ten sons of Haman are related to eschatology, but there is more. So, let’s look at the Decem Viri of Rome and how they relate to prophecy.
Rome was founded in 753 B.C, but the people grew tired of corrupt rulers, so they founded a republic. But, two classes emerged called the Patricians (the ruling class, wealthy) and the Plebians (the poorer classes). Many disputes followed and the Plebians wanted a law passed that granted equality to everyone. So, the Plebians created the Decem Viri to write a code of laws that would protect the rights of all citizens of Rome. The group was formed around 450 B.C. and just around the the time of the events of Esther, and they remained for two years. They created what was called “The Twelve Tablets” that were written on clay tablets.
Following the fall of the Roman Empire, these laws were lost. In the eleventh century A.D. they were rediscovered and United States law in many cases was influenced by it, including the “veto” (I forbid) where an action can be terminated. The Decem Viri did some good work but these people were forced from their position after a few years due to corruption.
Now, the Decem Viri concept relates directly to the False Messiah who has ten kings who are involved in his empire (Dan 7.7-8, 20, 24; Rev 13.1). The ten sons of Haman allude to the Decem Viri, the ten men with Ishmael and the ten kings of the False Messiah. Rev 17.12 tells us that these ten kings were not royalty, just like Haman’s sons. So, let'[s take this concept to modern times.
There are unusual prophecies found in the list of the ten sons of Haman. They were slain on Adar 13 (Est 9.11-12). Esther requested that the war to protect the Jews continue into Adar 14, and “let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows” (Est 9.13). The question is this, why impale them a day after they were killed? For over two thousand years this act puzzled scholars and rabbis, until World War II.
We are all familiar with Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. He followed the same ideology as Haman, which was to exterminate the Jews. When the war was over, Nazi war criminals were tried in Nuremburg, Germany. eleven men were sentenced to death by hanging on October 16,1946. Two hours before the execution was to be carried out, Hermann Goering committed suicide, leaving ten men to be hanged.
One of the ten men named Julius Streicher shouted “Purim Fest 1946” as he was on the gallows. He published an antisemitic newspaper call “Der Sturmer” which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda mechanism. He wrote an article called “Das Purimfest” (“Festival of Purim”) so we know he was quite familiar with Purim, Haman and his ten sons and what happened, but why did he say “the festival of Purim 1946” before he was hung?
There is a Scriptural answer to this question that is quite amazing. In the list of Haman’s sons there are several Hebrew letters that are written smaller than normal, and you can see them quite clearly when you see the Hebrew. We have already pointed out the enlarged Vav in the last name of the Vaizatha (v 9), but what do these other letters mean?
The name of the first son is Parshandatha, and when you read it in Hebrew you will notice that a small Tav (T sound) is written as the second to the last letter of his name. Now, remember, every jot, tittle and letter in the Scriptures is written by the inspiration of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit-2 Tim 3.16) and these letters and their meanings will not pass away until they are all fulfilled, but we need to know their meanings (Matt 5.18). A second diminished letter can be found in the name Parmashta. His name is spelled with a small Shin (sh sound) in the third to the last letter of his name. A third diminished letter can be found in the last son Vaizatha. In addition to the enlarged Vav in his name, there is also a small Zayin (z sound).
We have already seen that the Hebrew alphabet also represents numbers. When we put all three of these diminished letters together they represent the number 1946, the year the ten Nazis were hung. In addition, if this weren’t enough, the execution of these Nazis took place on on October 16, 1946. Now, October 16 that year fell on Tishri 21 on the Hebrew calendar, which is also called Hoshana Rabbah meaning “the Great Salvation.”
In this same passage, following each son’s name, you will find the Hebrew word “V’et” and this is grammatically untranslated, but it carries the meaning of “ten more” or “and again.” There are the ten sons of Haman and then there will be ten more. The ten Nazis hung at Nuremburg were the sons of Haman in spirit, or “cut out of the same cloth.”
Here is another aspect to this story in Esther and it ties into the Nazis, but it also involves the Russian leader Josef Stalin. Stalin was working on a plot to kill the Jews of Russia in what was called “The Doctor’s Plot.” Nine doctors, of which six were Jewish, were going to go to trial for trying to poison Stalin, which was completely false. Then Stalin would use that as a pretext to deport two to four million Jews to Siberian concentration camps to be annihilated.
But on Purim, March 1, 1953, a few days before the Jewish doctors were going to go on trial and as the trains were being requisitioned to carry the Jews into exile and death, Stalin collapsed in a fit of rage during a meeting in which his supporters expressed opposition to his plans. Jews were freed on that Purim and Stalin died on March 5, 1953. This is not a coincidence and God saved the Jewish people again on Purim. All of these events in Persia, Nuremburg and Russia are precursors to the final end of the False Messiah and his ten kings.
Esther 10.1-3 tells us that the deliverance of the Jewish people and the state of affairs in Persia returned to normal. The king began to levy taxes and the empire grew stronger under Mordechai because we know that he was promoted to a position second only to the king, like Joseph was in Egypt. All of his accomplishments, strengths and “the full account of the greatness of Mordechai” was written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia. This book, however, is now lost.
Mordechai grew great among the Jews and in favor with the multitude of his kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and the one who spoke for the welfare of his people. These closing verses give us a very good picture of Yeshua as the Messiah and what he will do in the Messianic Kingdom (1 Cor 15.20-25).
The Book of Esther spans the period of nine years (years 3 through 12 of the reign Ahasuerus). It teaches how God can move behind the scenes to accomplish his will not only in the time of Esther, but even later with the ten Nazis and the death of Stalin. Let’s go over some of the things he did to accomplish what happened in this story in Esther for instance, but keep in mind, this is what the Lord does in the lives of all men.
Yehovah arranged to have Vashti removed and arranged to have a beauty pageant to replace her. He then made it possible to have Hadassah (Esther) enter the competition and gave her special favor over 400 other women. He placed Mordechai in a position to have access to both Esther and the affairs of state. He arranged the lot of Haman to fall in such a way to give the Jews nearly a year’s worth of warning before the evil decree took effect.
Yehovah also made sure that the decree said the Jews were to be killed by the citizens and not the army of Persia. He restrained Haman’s anger and did not allow him to kill Mordechai immediately. He made sure there were two banquets, with the second one on Nisan 17, a significant day in the Scriptures. He made sure the king and Hamn could not sleep on the same night, at the same time, and that the king heard from a certain book of the chronicles that Mordechai saved his life. He also arranged to have Haman come to the court at that exact moment. He then arranges to have Haman think the king is going to honor him and comes up with an elaborate ceremony, only to find out the ceremony is for Mordechai.
He then makes sure Haman has no time to think about all this when he gets home because he is hastily brought to the second banquet of Esther. He arranges to have his evil decree exposed at the banquet, and the king’s anger elevated to the point that he had to leave Esther alone with the man who was going to kill her and her people. Haman pleads for his life and God arranges to have Haman fall on the couch where Esther was sitting just as the king walks in, causing the king to think that Haman is assaulting his wife!
He then arranges to have Haman hung on the very gallows he made for Mordechai. Then the Jews have enough time to defend themselves a year later when the evil decree took force. Then on Adar 13 a year later the ten sons of Haman are killed and God arranges to have them impaled, which is a picture of the ten Nazis that will be hung at Nuremburg in 1946, and the ten kings that will fall with the False Messiah.
The miracle of Purim came through feasts, starting in Est 1, then in Est 5 and Est 7. These feasts involved the drinking of wine, and wine is a picture in the Scriptures of covenant, marriage, Messiah, teaching, blood, joy and life.
This book teaches us about God’s plan for our lives, too. God has a plan and there will be moments in our lives when God will alter circumstances to accomplish that plan, and we must have courage. Fasting and prayer will help us understand and we must obey the Lord. Yehovah will use everything to accomplish his purpose in out lives. But he also does this in every life and every circumstance of all people on earth. The real miracle of Esther is how the Lord can take all these lives and have them doing exactly what he wants, by the specific people he wants to do them.
The overall context of Esther can be seen in relation to the exile and return. The Jews of Shushan remained in Exile while other Jews were returning to the land to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. The accusations against the Jews in Ezra 4.4-13 can also be seen in Haman’s charges in Est 3.8. The returnees were harassed in the land and now in Persia. Haman’s charges were heard by people who were already prejudiced against the Jews.
Another thing to know is Shushan is referred to in Est 2.1 as the capital (palace) or “Ha Birah” in Hebrew meaning “fortress.” This word is only used in the context of the Temple (1 Chr 29.19). Much of the book takes place in the king’s palace. It had techelet blue wool, argamon purple wool, gold and silver (Est 1.6-7). These materials were in the Mishkan and the Temple (Exo 25.3-4). This palace had an inner court (Est 4.11) and an outer court (Est 6.4), and so did the Temple.
Anyone who entered the king’s chamber without being summoned would be put to death (Est 4.11). This is similar to the law about the High Priest could only go into the inner court of the Holy of Holies under certain circumstances. If he violated the Torah (law-Est 4.11) concerning this he would die. So, the question is, why do we have all this Temple imagery in Esther?
The Jewish people were called to serve God, the true king. But when in exile they must come to a palace, a substitute Temple, to a king who is just a man. They must do homage and seek his favor. The name of Yehovah cannot be found in Esther, but the word “king” is found almost 200 times. God is “hidden” to those who were called to serve him, even though he is guiding things “behind the scenes” as we have just gone over. Serving an earthly king took precedence over serving Yehovah it seems.
This book is a story about life in exile at a time when they should have been going back to Jerusalem to build the Temple. By staying behind, they were subject to the king’s taxes, edicts and rule. They were dependent on a man who was a king when they should have been dependent on Yehovah only. The Jews in this story should have been building Jerusalem and the true Temple, serving the true king who lives forever, instead of remaining in exile to serve a false king in a false temple who only rules a few years. But we also learn that even then, Yehovah saved them and delivered them and caused these circumstances to be used to teach his eschatological plan for his glory.