Messiah in Purim Chapter 2

  1. Resurrection of Messiah and the Nation of Israel
  2. Nisan 16/17 and the Feast of HaBikkurim
  3. The First and Second Coming of the Salvation of Adonai (the LORD)
  4. Deliverance is conceived in the month of Sivan
  5. Conception of a New Decree
  6. The Hebrew meaning of the word “Decree”
  7. The Torah written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God
  8. God’s gift of eternal life His Living Torah!
  9. Pictographs and ideograms
  10. Hidden message in the Megillah of the Elijah to come
  11. Message of the Grace of God found in the Scroll of His Great Compassion

Resurrection of Messiah and the Nation of Israel:

There is a three-day death and resurrection meta-narrative (story within a story) hidden within the Purim narrative:

Due to wicked Haman’s despicable Decree of Death that was sealed on the 13th day of Nisan Queen Esther fasted for three nights and three days (Nisan 14, 15, 16) and she arose on the third day to go before the king on the 16th day of Nisan. Therefore, even though Esther had not yet ended her fast on the third day of Pesach (Nisan 16) she took off her mourning (fasting) garments and she put on her glorious royal apparel. For it is written:

וַיְהִי בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וַתִּלְבַּשׁ אֶסְתֵּר מַלְכוּת וַֽתַּעֲמֹד בַּחֲצַר בֵּית־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַפְּנִימִית נֹכַח בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַמֶּלֶךְ יֹושֵׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא מַלְכוּתֹו בְּבֵית הַמַּלְכוּת נֹכַח פֶּתַח הַבָּֽיִת׃ וַיְהִי כִרְאֹות הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־אֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה עֹמֶדֶת בֶּֽחָצֵר נָשְׂאָה חֵן בְּעֵינָיו וַיֹּושֶׁט הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר אֶת־שַׁרְבִיט הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֹו וַתִּקְרַב אֶסְתֵּר וַתִּגַּע בְּרֹאשׁ הַשַּׁרְבִֽיט׃

“Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace. When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained grace (חֵן-chen), graciousness, kindness, favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter.”

Nisan 16/17 and the Feast of HaBikkurim:

Looking forward in time these scriptural dates and events are a prophetic, supernatural reminder to us of the Festival of HaBikkurim (firstfruits) when the Messiah of Israel and of all the nations, peoples, and families of the world was resurrected from the dead on the third day after Pesach (Nisan 16/17) .

Looking backward in time this event of the ‘third day after Passover’ is also a prophetic reminder to us of Pharaoh’s failed attempt to annihilate the people of Israel at the border of the Reed Sea (Exodus 14:24-31). In fact all of the following incredible events occurred on Nisan 16/17:

Nisan 16. Israel entered the Promised Land and ate the first fruit of Eretz Israel (Joshua 5:10-12).
Nisan 16. King Hezekiah completed the cleansing and rededication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:1-28).
Nisan 16. Queen Esther hosted the ‘first’ of two banquets with the King of Persia and wicked Haman attending (Esther 5:4-8).
Nisan 16. was the day of the resurrection of the King of Glory; not counting the hidden day of the Suffering Messiah ben Yosef.

Nisan 17.  Noah’s Flood ended when the ark touched down on land. The ark is a type of the Messiah and the new creation (1, 2).
Nisan 17.  The new creation in Messiah began on the anniversary of the rebirth of the world when the ark rested on land.
Nisan 17.  Israel crossed the Reed Sea (Yam Suf).
Nisan 17.  On this date Israel no longer ate manna but ate of the firstfruits that “rose up” from the ground in the land of Israel.
Nisan 17.  After the Temple in Jerusalem was cleansed King Hezekiah presented on this date the first offerings to God (1, 2).
Nisan 17.  Queen Esther intervened on behalf of the people of Israel and succeeded in delivering them from annihilation (1, 2).
Nisan 17.  Haman was hanged on the very same gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.
Nisan 17.  The wave sheaf offering was presented to God on this uncounted day of Messiah’s resurrection; on re’shiyth chatzirat.
Nisan 17. The Messiah was resurrected on this uncounted day.
Nisan 17.  Holy ones were resurrected on this day and were sent into Jerusalem to be witnesses to the resurrection of the Messiah.

Therefore, the deliverance narrative of Esther illustrates the resurrection of the the Messiah of God, the Salvation of Adonai (lit. Yeshua) in his first coming. Furthermore, it also illustrates the future full restoration of Israel at the second coming of conquering Messiah ben David; that will be a greater miraculous deliverance and outpouring of blessing upon Israel than in the time of Moses when Israel left Egypt and miraculously walked through the Reed Sea.

The First and Second Coming of the Salvation of Adonai (the LORD):

In his first coming our Messiah Yeshua ben Yosef ben David triumphed over the law of sin and death—the Old Decree of Death. However, this triumph over ‘death’ by our Messiah has yet to lead to the salvation of all Israel. Therefore we learn in the Megillah of Esther there must be a second coming of the Messiah to Israel. We learn from the prophetic meta-narrative of Esther that once the Administration of Haman—the world, the flesh, and the devil; i.e. Pride—is supplanted-overthrown-replaced by the Administration of Mordecai then our final national and international deliverance will begin.

We now know that once this Administration of the Spirit—Mordecai, lit. the Little Man; i.e. Humility—begins Israel will be given unlimited free reign in the New Decree of Life to overcome the rule of our one true enemy—the evil one and his evil world system.

This means that we Israel and the *Commonwealth of Israel are destined to one day permanently supplant, overcome the wicked one’s present day influence-rule over the entire world!

*Commonwealth of Israel: The believing Gentile nations.

Deliverance is conceived in the month of Sivan:

The Yehudim (Jews), the people of the literally Uplifted Hands, were delivered by the Persian (Iranian) king’s second edict in the Purim narrative that occurred in the month of Sivan. As you recall Sivan is the month when on the day of Shavuot the humble servant Moses—more humble “than any man who was on the face of the earth”—received the written Torah of God—the First Decree. However, even greater than the written Torah of Moses is the gift of the Living Torah of the Spirit of the Holy One—the Second Decree. The true Oral Torah of God the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God was gifted to Israel on Shavuot in the month of Sivan. Therefore in the *Megillah of Hadassah we discover:

*The Scroll of Compassion.

Lesson #1.  Permanent deliverance does not come from the Covenant of the Law, the first edict; the ministry-decree of death.

Lesson #2.  Permanent deliverance, however, does come from the Covenant of Grace that is foreshadowed in the Megillah; the second edict. the ministry-decree of life.

Conception of a New Decree:

Therefore, in the Scroll of Esther there exists the witness that Sivan is the month when our Father in heaven (Avinu Shebashamayim) would give us His Living Torah, the Gift of the Indwelling Presence of His Holy Spirit. This Adonai did when He gave a remnant of believing Yehudim the gift of His Spirit on Shavuot (in the Hebrew Year 3790). Shavuot is the mandatory royal Feast of Weeks that falls on the 50th day of Messiah’s victory over death (i.e. his resurrection from the dead) and on the 10th day after Messiah’s ascension into the highest heaven; where now he is seated at the right hand of the Majesty. Therefore:

Point #1. The conception of the New Decree (of life) gave our people of Israel the means to thwart (countervail) the earlier Annihilation Decree.

Point #2.  This was the first act of the Administration of the Humble Man (Mordecai).

The Decree of Life of the Humble Man (cf. Messiah in HaBikkurim) and of Esther –whose name in Persian means Star– was conceived on *Sivan 23. Please note here that in the Torah “stars” are indicative of messengers and of “messages.” The Jewess Hadassah’s Gentile name Esther is symbolic of a Star of Divinity. Therefore uniting the meanings of both of her names (Hebrew/Israel-Hadassah and Gentile/Commonwealth of Israel-Esther) indicates that a universal Message of Divine Compassion exists in the witness of the Megillah of Esther.

*Sivan 23. On this day Haman’s edict for destroying our people was overturned. The Sivan 23 Decree of Life was the conceptual beginning to the ultimate end of Haman’s wicked international rule. The Sivan 23 date of the sealing of the Decree of Life is for us the countervailing grace of God that cancels out the Decree of Death. Therefore, this date of Sivan 23 is quite special for it is referenced only once in all of the Tanakh:

:בעת־ההיא בחדש השלישי הוא־חודש סיון בישלושה ועשרים בו

At that time in the third-month that is the month Sivan, on the twenty-third day

We believe Sivan 23 is the exact same day the prophet Yochanan ben Zekaryah ben Aaron, the first Elijah to come, there will be another, was miraculously conceived in the barren womb of his elderly mother Elisheva. As to the exact time of the birth of the prophet Yochanan his birth occurred at the very beginning of Pesach at twilight Nisan 14. This birth date was exactly *286 days after the conception of the “Grace of God;” which is the literal meaning of the name Yochanan (Grace of Adonai).

*Compare this Sivan 23-Nisan 14 forty week period to the Kislev 25-Tishri 15 forty week period of Messiah’s conception to birth (cf. the Messiah in Chanukkah).

Therefore the conception of the (first) Elijah to come, Yochanan ben Zekaryah ben Aaron occurred on the exact same day as the conception of the Decree of Life that is testified to in the  Megillah of Hadassah.

The Hebrew meaning of the word “Decree:”

The Hebrew word used for ‘decree’ above (i.e. New Decree) indicates a law observed in submission to an unquestionable authority. Chok is the name of a specific class of mitzvot (the chukim) which the human mind cannot rationalize. Its literal meaning is “engraving:”

רוֹאִים בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁאַתֶּם אִגֶּרֶת הַמָּשִׁיחַ הַנֶּעֱזֶרֶת עַל־יָדֵינוּ – כְּתוּבָה לֹא בִּדְיוֹ, אֶלָּא בְּרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים, לֹא עַל לוּחוֹת אֶבֶן, אֶלָּא עַל לוּחוֹת שֶׁל לֵב בָּשָׂר.פ

It being manifestly clear that you are a letter  of the Messiah, cared for by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of hearts of flesh.

וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב אֶחָד וְרוּחַ חֲדָשָׁה אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וַהֲסִרֹתִי לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשָׂרָם וְנָתַתִּי לָהֶם לֵב בָּשָֽׂר׃

And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within you. And I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

וְנָתַתִּי לָכֶם לֵב חָדָשׁ וְרוּחַ חֲדָשָׁה אֶתֵּן בְּקִרְבְּכֶם וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת־לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְּשַׂרְכֶם וְנָתַתִּי לָכֶם לֵב בָּשָֽׂר׃

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם־ה’ וְכָרַתִּי אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה בְּרִית חֲדָשָֽׁה׃ לֹא כַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר כָּרַתִּי אֶת־אֲבֹותָם בְּיֹום הֶחֱזִיקִי בְיָדָם לְהֹוצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲשֶׁר־הֵמָּה הֵפֵרוּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי וְאָנֹכִי בָּעַלְתִּי בָם נְאֻם־ה’׃ כִּי זֹאת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אֶכְרֹת אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי הַיָּמִים הָהֵם נְאֻם־ה’ נָתַתִּי אֶת־תֹּֽורָתִי בְּקִרְבָּם וְעַל־לִבָּם אֶכְתֲּבֶנָּה וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵֽאלֹהִים וְהֵמָּה יִֽהְיוּ־לִי לְעָֽם׃ וְלֹא יְלַמְּדוּ עֹוד אִישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ וְאִישׁ אֶת־אָחִיו לֵאמֹר דְּעוּ אֶת־ה’ כִּֽי־כוּלָּם יֵדְעוּ אֹותִי לְמִקְטַנָּם וְעַד־גְּדֹולָם נְאֻם־ה’ כִּי אֶסְלַח לַֽעֲוֹנָם וּלְחַטָּאתָם לֹא אֶזְכָּר־עֹֽוד׃

“Behold, days are coming,” declares Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant [the Brit Chadashah is the New Decree] with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers [the Old Decree] in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares Adonai. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Adonai, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Adonai,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Adonai, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The Torah written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God:

In the Torah there is a difference between engraved Hebrew letters written without ink and Hebrew letters written with ink. Written letters are only partially penetrating to the objects they are impressed upon. In contrast, engravings are completely penetrating. This is the difference between the written Torah and the Living Torah; the one true Oral Torah of the Spirit.

Do you know the difference between the written Torah and the Living Torah of the Spirit?

First, the written Torah—the law of Moses—is written upon us, it does not dwell within us, and it is not living through us. Second, in contrast the Living Torah—the Oral Torah of the Spirit—dwells upon us, in us, and through us.

On the first Shavuot Moses came down from Mount Sinai and gave us the Ten Commandments that were engraved by the fiery Hand of God. The first Shavuot was a promise from God that one day our hearts would not just be written upon but they would be engraved by the actual Hand of God like the first ten commandments were.

In the second and final Shavuot God our Father sent to us His Living Torah. The Living Torah of God is His own omnipresent Spirit Who indwells us forever. Therefore, it is:

The Spirit of the Holy One is the One Who is our Living Torah.

God is our never-ending Oral Torah for He is eternally present “upon,” “in,” and “through” us and He will never cease from communicating His unending love for us. Therefore it is a true saying that:

The *Engraved Torah is superior to the **written Torah.

*The gift of the actual indwelling Presence of the Ruach HaKodesh, Spirit of the Holy One.

**The inspired HaDavar HaElohim, the Word of God, written in ink on parchment.

Prophecy will cease because all of the written Torah of God will one day be fulfilled. Greater than the temporal fulfillment of the written Torah is the the infinite relational indwelling Presence of the Spirit of God that lives, abides, dwells forever within the spirits, souls, and minds of His children.

כִּי חֶלְקִית הִיא יְדִיעָתֵנוּ וּבְאֺרַח חֶלְקִי מִתְנַבְּאִים אָנוּ, אַךְ בְּבוֹא הַמֻּשְׁלָם יְבֻטַּל הַחֶלְקִי.פ

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part (written Torah); but when the perfect (המושלם) comes, the partial (החלקי) will be done away.”

Therefore, the engraved gift of the Father—the Holy Spirit, the Oral Torah of the Messiah gifted to us on the second and final Shavuot—is the complete fulfillment of all of the written Torah of Moses given to us at the first Shavuot. Therefore, it is the Holy Spirit Himself Who will perfect us on the day of resurrection and it is the Spirit Himself Who will maintain our perfection for all eternity!

God’s gift of eternal life His Living Torah!

Have you received the gift of the real Oral Torah?

Unlike the written Torah that was imprinted upon parchment the Hebrew letters in the Ten Commandments were engraved in stone by the Hand of God. So each letter literally was burned all the way through the stone tablets by the fiery Finger of God (באצבע אלוהים). This penetration of the Hand of God all the way through the stone tablets represents the penetration of the Spirit of the Holy One upon, in and through all of our being.

This penetration throughout all of our being is exactly like that event whereby the all-consuming fiery Hand of God completely penetrated the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The letters of the Ten Commandments were burned completely all the way through the tablets. For this reason:

The letters (pictographs) of the Ten Commandments became completely invisible; just as God is invisible.

However, the invisibility of the Ten Commandments was ultimately made visible. How was the invisible Presence of God made visible? The invisibility of the Ten Commandments was made visible by the physical form (background) that remained as a visible contrast to the actual Hebrew Letters from God’s Hand that remained after He had burned His invisible Presence all the way through the two stone tablets.

In this manner of revelation, therefore, the tablets of the Ten Commandments retained a dual physical form and Divine Spiritual nature.

The dual form and nature of the Ten Commandments included both a visible physical form – the visible stone background that made the invisible letters visible – and a Spiritual nature that included the actual Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One that Indwelt the two tablets of stone. This means that present in the Ten Commandments there was both the invisible Presence of the invisible God and a “visible image” of His Presence that was revealed in the surrounding stone background. Therefore we read regarding the Messiah (1, 2):

.הוא צלם של האלוהים הבלתי נראה, בכור כל בריאה

“He is the Tselem Elohim, image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

And it is also written:

.הן במשיח, בגופו, שוכן כל מלוא האלוהות

Both in Messiah, in his body, dwells all the fullness of the Divinity.

Pictographs and ideograms:

In the Word of God there is the Torah that is made up of both the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit (engraved) and there is the written Torah that is made up of thousands of tiny ancient written images (pictographs and ideograms) whose magnificent meanings are meant to be impressed “upon” and “in” and “through” our conscious being. This is the Torah of God: The Engraved and the written Torah that together abide in the depths of our bodies, minds, souls and spirits. Therefore the real Oral Torah is more than images written on parchment:

The Living Torah of the Spirit is the actual Presence of God forever abiding upon, in, and through all of our being!

Hidden message in The Megillah of the Elijah to come:

The forerunner of the Messiah the prophet Yochanan ben Zekaryah (יוחנן בן זכריה) was born during Pesach (Nisan 14) and his birth was celebrated at the same time the prophet Elijah was being welcomed as an honored guest by all the ews who were observing the Passover Seder. Since Yochanan came in the spirit of Elijah and his full name Yochanan ben Zekaryah means the Remembrance of the Grace of Adonai it must be said that:

The Grace of God was remembered, welcomed, and honored in every observant Jew’s home at the Seder of Pesach.

Since this is an important narrative that prophetically exists embedded deep within the overall message of the Compassion of God found in the Megillah of Esther, it is imperative during this reflection on Purim that we go back and examine the story of the conception and birth of the prophet Yochanan whose name and life is a testimony to the coming of Messiah and to the graciousness, favor, and kindness of God.

While we reflect on this prophetic meta-narrative of the message of the Compassion of God we should also keep in mind the meaning of the name of the prophet’s mother, Elisheva (אלישבע), Elizabeth. Elisheva’s name means: “Promiseof God.” Therefore since the name of the father of the prophet was Zekaryah, Adonai Remembers (זכריה), we should also keep in mind that:

The Prophet of the Grace of God came into existence when God Rememberd His Promise (His Oath).

What follows next, therefore, is the revelation (unveiling) of the hidden messianic meaning of the Sivan 23 conception of the the good news message of the Grace of God—the Decree of Life. If we trace the origin of the witness of the Decree of Life to its source then we find that this promise (אלישבע) of the grace (חסד, חן) of God remembered (זכריה) is connected to His Sivan 6/7 *Festival of Shavuot.

*Shavuot: The Festival of Weeks.

Message of the Grace of God found in the Scroll of His Great Compassion:

 Shavuot – Sivan 6: Yom Rishon, Sunday, Jewish Year 3755 (6 BCE)

{Classical & Mishnaic Hebrew}

כֹּהֵן הָיָה בִּימֵי הוֹרְדוֹס מֶלֶךְ אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה זְכַרְיָה שְׁמוֹ מִמִּשְׁמֶרֶת אֲבִיָּה וְלוֹ אִשָּׁה מִבְּנוֹת אַהֲרֹן וּשְׁמָהּ אֱלִישָׁבַע׃ וּשְׁנֵיהֶם צַדִּיקִים לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וְהֹלְכֵי תֹם בְּכָל־מִצְוֹת ה’ וּבְחֻקֹּתָיו׃ וְלָהֶם אֵין וָלָד כִּי אֱלִישֶׁבַע עֲקָרָה וּשְׁנֵיהֶם בָּאוּ בַיָּמִים׃ וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם בְּכַהֲנוֹ לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים בְּסֵדֶר מִשְׁמָרוֹ׃ לְהַקְטִיר קְטֹרֶת לְפִי גוֹרָלוֹ כְּמִשְׁפַּט עֲבוֹדַת הַכֹּהֲנִים וַיָּבֹא אֶל־הֵיכַל ה’׃ וְכָל־קְהַל הָעָם מִתְפַּלֲּלִים בַּחוּץ בְּשַׁעַת הַקְּטֹרֶת׃ וְהִנֵּה מַלְאַךְ ה’ נִרְאָה אֵלָיו עֹמֵד מִימִין מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת׃ וַיַּרְא זְכַרְיָה וַיִּבָּהֵל וְאֵימָה נָפְלָה עָלָיו׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הַמַּלְאָךְ אַל־תִּירָא זְכַרְיָהוּ כִּי נִשְׁמְעָה תְּפִלָּתֶךָ וֶאֱלִישֶׁבַע אִשְׁתְּךָ תֵּלֵד לְךָ בֵּן וְקָרָאתָ שְׁמוֹ יוֹחָנָן׃ וְהָיָה־לְךָ לְשִׂמְחָה וָגִיל וְרַבִּים יִשְׂמְחוּ בְּהִוָּלְדוֹ׃ כִּי־גָדוֹל יִהְיֶה לִפְנֵי ה’ וְיַיִן וְשֵׁכָר לֹא יִשְׁתֶּה וְרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ יִמָּלֵא מִבֶּטֶן אִמּוֹ׃ וְרַבִּים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יָשִׁיב אֶל־ה’ אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃ וְהוּא יֵלֵךְ לְפָנָיו בְּרוּחַ אֵלִיָּהוּ וּבִגְבוּרָתוֹ לְהָשִׁיב לֵב אָבוֹת עַל־בָּנִים וְאֵת הַסּוֹרֲרִים בִּתְבוּנַת הַצַּדִּיקִים לְהַעֲמִיד עַם מוּכָן לַ ה’׃

(Modern Hebrew)

בימי הורדוס מלך ארץ יהודה היה כהן ממשמרת אביה ושמו זכריה, ולו אשה מבנות אהרן ושמה אלישבע. שניהם היו צדיקים לפני אלהים, הולכי תמים בכל מצוותיו וחקותיו. ובן לא היה להם, כי אלישבע עקרה ושניהם באים בימים. באחד הימים, כאשר כהן לפני האלהים בסדר משמרתו על-פי מנהג הכהנה, יצא גורלו להכנס אל היכל ה’ להקטיר קטרת. וכל קהל העם היה מתפלל בחוץ בשעת הקטרת. לפתע נראה אליו מלאך ה’ נצב לימין מזבח הקטרת. כראותו זאת נבהל זכריה ופחד נפל עליו. אמר אליו המלאך, אל תירא, זכריה, כי נשמעה תפלתך. אלישבע אשתך תלד לך בן ואתה תקרא שמו יוחנן. שמחה וגיל יהיו לך ורבים ישמחו בהולדו; כי גדול יהיה לפני ה’, יין ושכר לא ישתה, וימלא רוח הקדש מרחם אמו. רבים מבני ישראל ישיב אל ה’ אלהיהם, וילך לפניו ברוח אליהו וגבורתו, להשיב לב אבות על בנים, וסוררים אל תבונת הצדיקים, להכשיר עם מוכן לי ה’. פ

There was a priest in the days of Hordos (Herod), king of the land of Yehudah; his name was Zekaryah, of the division of *Aviyah, and he had a wife from the daughters of Aharon, whose name was Elisheva. Both of them were righteous before God, walking with integrity in all the mitzvot of Adonai and in His statutes. But they had no child, because Elisheva was barren, and both of them were advanced in days. It was the day of his priestly service before God in the order of his division, to burn incense according to his lot as is the ruling of the service of the priests, so he came into the Sanctuary of Adonai on **Shavuot. But the entire assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. Suddenly, an angel of Adonai appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zekaryah saw this and was alarmed, and terror fell upon him. The angel said to him, “Do not fear, Zekaryah, for your prayer has been heard, and Elisheva your wife will bear you a son, and you will call his name Yochanan. He will be to you a joy and a delight, and many will rejoice in his birth. For He will be great before Adonai. He is not to drink wine or an intoxicating beverage, and he will be filled with the Spirit of the Holy One from his mother’s belly. He will cause many children of Yisra’el to return to God. He will walk before Him in the Spirit of Eliyahu and in his power, to restore the hearts of the fathers along with the children and the wayward into the understanding of the righteous, to raise up a people prepared for Adonai.”

* Aviyah (אביה): Division number eight of twenty-four priestly divisions/watches.

**Shavuot: On Yom Rishon,  the first day of the week, Sunday, Sivan 6, 6 BCE.

וַיֹּאמֶר זְכַרְיָה אֶל־הַמַּלְאָךְ בַּמָּה אֵדַע אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה כִּי־אֲנִי זָקַנְתִּי וְאִשְׁתִּי בָּאָה בַיָּמִים׃ וַיַּעַן הַמַּלְאָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֲנִי גַבְרִיאֵל הָעוֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וְשָׁלוּחַ אָנֹכִי לְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ וּלְבַשֶּׂרְךָ אֶת־הַבְּשׂוֹרָה הַזֹּאת׃ וְהִנְּךָ נֶאֱלָם וְלֹא תוּכַל לְדַבֵּר עַד־הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר יָקוּם הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה תַּחַת כִּי־לֹא הֶאֱמַנְתָּ לִדְבָרַי וְהֵם יִמָּלְאוּ בְּמוֹעֲדָם׃

Zekaryah said to the angel, “How will I know this word? For I have grown old, and my wife is advanced in days.” The angel answered and said to him. “I am Gavri’el who stands before God and I have been sent to speak to you and to proclaim this good news. But see, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day that this word is established, because you did not believe my words—but they will be fulfilled at their appointed time.”

וְהָעָם הוֹחִילוּ לִזְכַרְיָה וַיִּתְמְהוּ כִּי־הִתְמַהְמַהּ בַּהֵיכָל׃ וַיְהִי בְצֵאתוֹ לֹא יָכֹל לְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי־מַרְאָה רָאָה בַּהֵיכָל וַיִּרְמֹז לָהֶם וְעוֹדֶנּוּ נֶאֱלָם׃ וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר מָלְאוּ יְמֵי עֲבֹדָתוֹ וַיָּשָׁב אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ׃ וַיְהִי אַחַר הַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה וַתַּהַר אֱלִישֶׁבַע אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתִּתְחַבֵּא חֲמִשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים וַתֹּאמַר׃ כָּכָה עָשָׂה לִי ה’ בִּימֵי פָקְדוֹ אוֹתִי לֶאֱסֹף אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִי מִבְּנֵי אָדָם׃

Now the people were waiting for Zeckaryah, amazed that he was taking so long in the Sanctuary. It happened that when he went out, he was not able to speak to them, and they knew that he had seen a vision in the Sanctuary; he signaled to them, but he was still mute. When the days of his service had been *fulfilled, he returned to his house. After these days, his wife Elisheva **conceived and kept herself hidden for five months, and she said, “This is what Adonai has done to me, in the days that He took note of me, to gather up my ***disgrace [the previous reproach of being barren] from the sons of men.”

*The time of Zekaryah (Zechariah) serving in the course of Aviyah (Abijah) during the observance of Shavuot.

**Conceived on Sivan 23, 6 BCE.

***The previous reproach of Elisheva was the Promise of God (אלישבע) being “barren.”


Messiah in Purim Chapter 3 >>