Christian Churches of God
The Story of Esther and its Meaning
(Edition 2.0 20040102-20070204)
The story of Esther is about a young Jewish girl who marries the king of Persia, although the meaning of the Book of Esther is much more involved than that. The Book of Esther tells the story of the Church of God, Christ, God Almighty and the millennial reign of the Kingdom of God.
Christian Churches of God
(Copyright © 2004, 2007 Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)
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There are two books in the Bible that are named after a woman, Esther and Ruth. Both of these books are full of spiritual meaning and show us aspects of God’s plan of salvation. The book of Esther takes place in Persia after a time when the Jewish people had been scattered throughout many lands.
Each of the characters in the Book of Esther represents someone or something from the Bible concepts. Below is a list of the main characters in the story and the symbolism associated with each one.
King Ahasuerus -- God the Father
Queen Vashti -- Physical Israel
Seven Chamberlains (or Eunuchs) -- Seven Spirits of the Seven Churches
Seven Wise Men --Those (prophets) who had seen the Angel of Presence (or Face of God)
Mordecai -- Jesus Christ
Esther -- Spiritual Israel (Church)
Queen Esther’s Seven Maidens -- Seven churches of Revelation.
Hegai (Eunuch in charge of the women) - Holy Spirit (power of God) directing/protecting the Church
Two Doorkeepers -- The two fallen Cherubs that rebelled, i.e. the lion-headed and the man-headed system.
Haman -- Satan
Hatach (servant in the king’s court assigned to attend Esther - sent to find out what was wrong with Mordecai) - angels that watch over the Church
Signet Ring - Rulership and Authority
Sceptre - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ granting us access to the throne of God
Horse - the power of God
Harbonah- angel in charge of the bottomless pit
The story of Esther is not only a story about a Jewish woman who became queen of Persia, but a story that symbolically outlines the plan of salvation and teaches us how we will inherit the Kingdom of God.
In the first chapter of Esther we learn that King Ahasuerus gave a lavish banquet for the leaders/royalty of the land that lasted for 180 days. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the king’s palace (which commentators believe was meant to dishonour the woman). The king sent seven eunuchs who served in the presence of the king to ask Queen Vashti to come to his banquet, but she refused to go. The king then talked with seven wise men, (“the seven princes of Persia and Media who saw the king’s face”) about this and they encouraged the king to put Vashti away and find another queen who would be more worthy and loyal.
Here we see the symbolism of God the Father inviting physical Israel, which was set apart as the best (Vashti means best), to become the elect and be part of His Kingdom. Spiritually, the seven Chamberlains or Eunuchs sent to Queen Vashti show us the seven angels of the Churches of God who were commanded to bring Israel before God. It is through Israel that all the people of the world are to come into God the Father’s Kingdom. Like Queen Vashti, physical Israel refused God’s first invitation and turned their backs on God’s Law. God the Father divorced physical Israel after their repeated times of breaking His Laws, especially in relation to the first commandment.
The seven wise men who saw the king’s face are the prophets who saw the face of the Angel of Yahovah. These include: Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. They attempted to warn and instruct Israel over the years but Israel went with different pagan gods throughout history.
Just like Queen Vashti refused the King’s invitation to the banquet, Israel refused God’s invitation and is in rebellion as they no longer keep God’s laws. Israel and Vashti were both judged by the Law. God does not forget His people. There will be another time when God works directly with physical Israel. Spiritual Israel must be brought into the Church before the rest of mankind is brought into the Church.
The King’s decree went out to all the lands that the king was looking for a new queen. Many women from far and wide were prepared to see the king. The women did not need anything; all things were provided for them. Just as God gives each one of us whatever we need to be a part of His Kingdom and family.
The concept of women coming from all nations to see the king is the same with the Church today. God chooses people from all tribes and families to be part of spiritual Israel (the Church).
Many years before the time of this story the Jews had been taken from Jerusalem and sent to different lands. This happened when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, exiled Jeconiah, King of Judah. Therefore, there were Jews living in the lands of King Ahasuerus.
One of the young women taken in to be a possible bride to the king was Esther. In this story, Esther symbolizes spiritual Israel (the Church of God). Esther’s name in Hebrew was Hadassah, which means myrtle. Esther’s father’s name was Abihail (SHD 32), which means my father is might. Esther’s father and mother died and Mordecai, her uncle, had raised her. Mordecai symbolizes Jesus Christ. The name Mordecai has the origin, according to the rabbinical commentaries, of mera dachya, which means pure myrrh. (For much more information on the meaning of the name Mordecai see Commentary on Esther (No. 063)). Mordecai had provided for and taught Esther everything she needed, just as Christ teaches and provides for the Church.
It is interesting to look at how myrrh is harvested. When the myrrh tree is cut and the cut penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree secretes a resin which coagulates into a hard and glossy gum. Therefore, Myrrh is harvested by repeatedly wounding the trees to bleed the gum. This is a reminder of the scripture in Isaiah 53:5
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (RSV)
Esther followed Mordecai’s advice and did not tell anyone she was from physical Israel. Esther was obedient to Mordecai. In the same way the Church is to listen to and obey all that Christ tells the Church to do. The Church is also like Esther and remains hidden from most of the world until the Last Days.
Esther found favour in the sight of Hegai. He was the person in charge of all the possible brides for King Ahasuerus. Hegai (SHD 1896) means eunuch. Hegai gave Esther seven choice maidens from the king’s palace and placed Esther in the best place in the harem. Esther remained in the care of Hegai for 12 months of purification and anointing. Mordecai walked by the palace every day to learn how Esther was doing. This is just like Christ checking on each of us in the Church on a daily basis just as he did with physical Israel in the Wilderness. (Deut 23:12-14).
After a woman was chosen to go to see the king, she was sent to the harem or house of the women. Shaashgaz (SHD 8190), which means thy servant is beautiful, was a eunuch in the charge of concubines. Because the concubines had been with the King, they remained in the second harem forever. This is just like those of us who come into the Church, never leave the truth and avoid all worship of pagan gods and their holidays. See the paper Satan’s Days of Worship (No. CB23).
Esther went to see the king in the Tenth month. The king loved Esther more than all the other virgins. She found great favour and kindness from the king. King Ahasuerus set a crown upon Esther and made her queen. This symbolizes the elect, God’s Church, becoming queen in place of physical Israel. The king gave a great banquet for all his princes and servants which represents the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is when Jesus Christ returns to earth and the dead in Christ rise first and the first resurrection occurs and we enter the millennium.
Mordecai became aware of a plan by the two doorkeepers to hurt King Ahasuerus. The doorkeepers’ names are Bigthan (SHD 904) meaning in their wine press and Teresh (SHD 8657) meaning strictness. Mordecai told Queen Esther of the doorkeeper’s plan and she warned the king. The two doorkeepers were hanged on the gallows, and the events were recorded in the King’s Book of Chronicles. The two doorkeepers are representative of the two Covering Cherubs, the man-headed system (Satan) and the lion-headed system that rebelled. For more information on the rebellion see The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4).
After all these things happened, the king promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. In the story, Haman represents Satan. The meaning of his name is interesting. Haman (SHD 2001) means the magnificent. Hammedatha (SHD 4097) means double and Agagite (SHD 92) means will overthrow. Here we see concepts of Satan coming out. Satan was created perfect (Ezek. 28:12), then attempted to overthrow God’s Throne (Isa. 14:14).
Mordecai is a descendant of Saul, son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin (Est. 2:5). Saul was told to kill Agag but he did not follow God’s command; he allowed Agag to live. Years later Haman who was also of the family of Agagites/Amalekites was born. Haman hated the Jews and later in the story he plots to have all the Jews killed. The main point to think about here is that we need to listen and follow God’s word and directions. If we do not listen to what God tells us our decisions can have a major impact on our family and other people many years in the future. We see this from Saul’s disobedience.
Haman rose to a position of authority over all the princes who were with him. Haman’s position required all to bow down and show obeisance to him. When Mordecai would not bow down to Haman (or any false god), Haman was furious. Haman, like Satan, wanted Mordechai to bow down and worship him. This is symbolic of the New Testament scriptures where Messiah refused to bow down to worship Satan (Mat. 4:8-10).
In Esther 3:4, we see that Mordecai eventually revealed to the king’s other servants that he was a Jew. The word used for “Jew” can mean someone from the specific tribe of Judah, but it can also mean someone from one of the 12 tribes of Israel. This is a good lesson for us as Christians. Even when things are difficult, we must not be afraid to reveal we are Christians and remain faithful to God the Father and His laws.
Haman’s hate for Mordecai and the Jews grew and he made a plan to kill all of the Jews. Haman started his plan in the first month and they cast Pur (lots) daily before Haman until the twelfth month in order to choose the day.
Haman planning to kill all of the Jews symbolizes Satan trying to kill all of God’s people who try to worship and obey the One True God over the years. Satan even tried to have Moses and Christ killed when they were born (see Ex. 1:15-16,22; Mat. 3:16). A lot of baby boys died at these times as Satan unsuccessfully tried to make sure Moses and Christ could not carry out God’s Plan.
God will not allow anything to happen that interferes with His Plan of making everyone part of His family in the future. Satan may try to discourage or hurt us, but God will only allow things to happen that can help us and make us stronger. Originally Satan’s name was Lucifer, which means light bringer. Once Lucifer rebelled his name was changed to Satan, which means adversary. An adversary is someone who is against us and tries to hurt us or says bad things about us.
In the story of Esther, after the year of casting Pur, in the first month, Haman tells the king there are people in his kingdom who do not keep his laws and need to be destroyed. The King gives Haman his signet ring and tells him to “do with them as it seems good to you.” (Est. 3:11). By giving him his signet ring, the king gave Haman the authority to issue a decree to kill all of the Jews on the chosen day, which was the 13th day of the twelfth month. This decree was issued on the 13th day of the first month which was the day before the Passover season begins.
Haman going before the king accusing the Jews reminds us that Satan (Haman) goes before God (the king) and accuses us day and night (Rev 12:10). And, just as Haman was given authority from the king, The One True God has given Lucifer (Satan) charge of the Earth.
Mordecai learns of the king’s decree, rips his clothes, puts on sackcloth and ashes and cries out loudly. It grieved Mordecai to learn that Haman was trying to destroy the Jews, just like Jesus Christ is grieved when Satan attacks the elect. When someone was wearing sackcloth and ashes, they could not come to the Temple of God or in this case, enter the king’s gates. Mordecai could not approach the king in this state. When Jesus Christ became a man and put on the clothing of a human being, he could no longer be in the presence of God the Father. Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life for mankind and the fallen Host to reconcile us to God the Father. For more information about Jesus Christ see Who is Jesus? (No. CB2).
Esther sends one of the King’s chamberlains, Hatach to find out why Mordecai is wearing sackcloth. Just as Jesus Christ directs the Church, Mordecai gives Esther the information about the plan to kill the Jews and asks her to go to the king to try and help prevent this. Mordecai points out to Queen Esther that many lives depend on what she does.
In the story of Esther, Queen Esther represents the Church of God. The Church is tasked with going before God on behalf of all of the people and fallen Host in prayer and fasting. Today, many people on the planet depend on what the Church does in these Last Days. At times, some people in the world are not happy with God’s Laws and the people that strive to keep His laws, but it is still our responsibility to help them understand God’s Plan and how to obey Him. For more information on God’s Plan for mankind see The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4) and God's Plan of Salvation (No. CB30).
Esther gets word back to Mordecai asking him and all the Jews to fast for three days and then she would attempt to approach the king. In those days if one went to the king without being asked for, one could be put to death. However, death was avoided if the king put out his golden sceptre to the individual. The golden sceptre represents the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
It is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we are able to boldly approach the throne of God in grace (Heb 4:16), just as touching the golden sceptre allowed someone to approach the King.
Esther went to the king on the third day. The king put out his sceptre to the queen indicating she was able to approach him and asked what her request was. Esther invited the king and Haman to a special meal (banquet) on the following day. The king and Haman both accepted the invitation. Here we see Esther (the Church) dealing with those that are trying to destroy God’s people. At the first banquet, Esther did not let her request be known, but instead invited the king and Haman to a second banquet the following day. This covers the concepts again of the First and the Second Resurrections.
When Haman was leaving the king’s palace after the first banquet, he saw Mordecai. Haman was filled with rage and anger and went to talk with his wife Zeresh. Zeresh (SHD 2238) means gold. Haman’s marriage to Zeresh (gold) reminds us of Satan’s love for power and wealth being his downfall. Haman goes over all the details with his wife and friends including the news of the special invitation to Esther’s second banquet. Haman (Satan) is filled with pride, vanity and arrogance. Yet he still complains of not being satisfied with what he has because Mordecai the Jew is still alive.
We know as God’s people we are to be happy in whatever state or condition we find ourselves (Heb. 13:5). We also know that once Lucifer was filled with iniquity or wickedness, he was never happy or satisfied with anything. Haman received advice from his wife and friends to build a gallows fifty cubits (about seventy-five feet) high. Fifty cubits is a measurement that is used many times in the Bible related to Noah’s ark, tabernacle in the wilderness, and Solomon and Ezekiel’s temples. A gallows is a high tower. It was to be used to hang Mordecai on. Haman decided to follow the advice of his wife and friends and had the tower built.
That night, after the first banquet, King Ahasuerus could not sleep. He asked for the book of records to be read. The king heard the past record of when Mordecai reported the plan of the two doorkeepers to hurt the king. The king asked what reward was given to Mordecai for this, and was told that nothing was done for Mordecai’s help and loyalty (Est. 6:1-3).
Haman was called in to see the king. But before Haman could ask about killing Mordecai, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man whom the king desires to honour?” Haman thought the king was referring to him, because Haman (Satan) only focused on himself and not others. So Haman’s response was, “Let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, a horse on which the king has ridden, and the royal crown that is upon the king’s head; and let the robe and horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honour, and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honour’” (Est. 6:4-11).
Haman soon learns the king was referring to Mordecai and not himself. This made Haman very angry, but Haman did what he was instructed to do and Mordecai was honoured in the exact way that Haman thought he would be honoured. Here we should think about how this represents Messiah taking over the role of Day Star of the planet. The white horse that Mordecai rides on symbolizes the power of God. In Revelation 19 it describes a time in the future when Christ will return riding on a white horse with many crowns on his head wearing a white robe, leading the armies of heaven. Satan will have to acknowledge that Messiah will replace him as ruler of this world.
Shortly thereafter, at the second banquet, the king asked Esther for the third time, “What is your petition Queen Esther? And it shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done” (Est. 7:1-2). This is a reference to half of the Inner Counsel (2 of the 4 covering cherubs plus the 12 beings under the man and lion headed systems) rebelling and leading one third of the angels into rebellion. The fallen Host disobeyed God and lost their positions (jobs) just as the lion and man cherub did. At the second banquet we are dealing with the judgment of the fallen Host as well. For more information on the rebellion see Lesson: The Creation of the Family of God (CB4_2).
Then Queen Esther answered, If I have found favour with you O king, and if it please your majesty, grant me my life – this is my petition. And my people – this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and to perish. But if we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king. (Est. 7:3-4).
This is a reference to the fact that we are all slaves or bondmen and bondwomen to God and Christ. Esther (the Church) went to the King (God) to ask for help because her people were going to be destroyed, which would limit God’s Plan.
Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?” And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.” Then Haman was afraid before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realising that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life (Est. 7:5-7).
Here we see Haman (Satan) pleading for intercession by the Queen (Church). 1 Corinthians 6:3 shows us that eventually the Church will judge the fallen Host and they will be judged by what we do now. Even now the Church intercedes on behalf of all of mankind and the fallen Host through fasting and prayer.
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. Then said the king: “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” As soon as the words left the king’s mouth, the king’s chamberlains covered Haman's face. Then Harbonah, one of the seven chamberlains of the king, said, “A gallows seventy-five feet high, stands by Haman’s house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king” (vv. 8-9). Harbonah symbolizes the Angel that is in charge of the bottomless pit that confines Satan and the fallen host during the millennium.
Then the king said, “Hang him on it!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's fury subsided (v. 10).
How people try to hurt God’s prophets and people, they are also hurt (2Kgs. 1:10-15; 2:23-24). In the end Satan and the fallen Host will be destroyed as spiritual beings. The fallen Host will be made human and have a chance to repent and live God’s way. (Is 14:12-17)
Isa 14:12-17 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.' 15But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. 16Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?' (RSV)
On that day, King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman to Esther and she set Mordecai to rule over all Haman’s house and possessions. The king also gave his signet ring, which he got back from Haman, to Mordecai. The ring symbolizes the rulership which will be given to Jesus Christ as he replaces Satan as the Morning Star. Jesus Christ will have rulership over the elect and the rest of the world and we will share in that rulership.
Esther again falls at the king’s feet and pleads for the life of the Jewish people. The King again extends his golden sceptre to Esther and Esther asks that he reverse the decree which was devised by Haman and save her people. Esther’s pleading reminds us that we, as the Church, going boldly before the throne of God, need to be praying daily, pleading for the people of the planet to repent and follow God’s Laws.
Because the first decree which was sealed with the king’s ring could not be revoked, the king instructed Mordecai to write a second decree in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s signet ring. On the 23rd day of the third month (sometime after the Feast of Pentecost), the king issued the decree which granted the Jews the right to assemble and defend their lives on the 13th day of the 12th month, to destroy and kill the entire army of the people or province that might attack them and to plunder their spoil. The message that they would be able to protect themselves went out to all people in their own language. This shows us that even during times that seem very difficult, God will watch over and protect us and grant us a way to overcome.
2Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen.` Here we see Mordecai representing Jesus Christ’s second coming when he will return as King of Kings. The symbolism of the blue and white are truth and purity and tie to the colors in the garments of the High Priest. The purple is the royal color of rulership. For more information on the symbolism of these colors see Lesson: Law at our Doorposts (No. CB80) and the series on the Garments of the High Priest, beginning with The Garments of the High Priest (No. CB61).
As the decree reached all of the provinces, there was great feasting and celebration. Many others became Jews as people were now afraid of the Jews and the power the King had given them following the death of Haman. Just as God’s people will not be taken to a place of safety during the end times, the Jews were not taken out of the land to a safe haven; rather they were given protection from God where they were. God provides protection to those who obey Him wherever they are.
On the 13th day of the 12th month the Jews gathered in their towns and those who wanted to hurt the Jews could not stand before them, because the fear and dread of the Jews had come upon them. Even the governors and satraps feared Mordecai. So it is in the Last Days when the planet is in fear and dread of Messiah and his people. People will come and ask how to become a Jew or how to obey God.
Mordecai (Christ) became greater and greater. The Jews killed their enemies. Haman’s ten sons were also hanged. Haman’s ten sons symbolize the ten kings of the Last Days who receive their power from the Beast. This is a representation of the ten toes of Daniel and ten horns in Revelation.
The Jews killed numerous people who tried to kill them. First 500, then 3,000, and lastly 75,000 were killed. The Jews declared the Fourteenth and Fifteenth days of the Twelfth month as days of feasting and rejoicing since they got rid of their enemies. The Jews did not take their plunder or belongings. This is to show us that nothing of this world’s satanic system will go into the Millennium.
Queen Esther and Mordecai sent out a second letter to the 120 provinces of the kingdom of King Ahasuerus with words of peace and truth. This is the message of the Last Days that the Church and Christ put out as the Gospel of Peace to the World. This represents the communication of the Church of God to the whole world.
In the last chapter of Esther we see Mordecai was second only to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and in favour with his kinsman. He is the one who sought the good of his people and spoke for the welfare of his whole nation. Here we clearly see Jesus the Christ, as King of Kings, ruling the planet under the One True God’s Laws to ensure the good and welfare of people and the planet.
Esther is a remarkable story of a young Jewish girl but has so much more meaning than most would realise. Let us, as the Church, work as hard and be as obedient and as faithful as Esther was to get the Gospel out to the entire world and live by every word of God.