It is a peculiar thing that the book of Esther does not mention God, particularly since the hand of God is evident throughout the story. In brief, the story is that Haman, the Grand Vizier of Persia in the reign of King Xerxes, became consumed with hatred at the Jews because Esther’s kinsman Mordechai refused to bow down to him. Haman determined to gain revenge not only against Mordechai, but against all the Jews. His plan was to manipulate the king into issuing a decree that on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar all the enemies of the Jews throughout the Persian Empire could rise up and kill them. God’s plan of salvation was already in motion for He had brought Esther in to the palace as Xerxes’ new queen. He worked through Esther to reveal Haman’s plot to the king. At the king’s order, Haman and his sons were executed, and Mordechai and Esther had authority to issue another decree in the king’s name for the Jews to rise up against their enemies on the very day that they were to have been slaughtered. Since that time, Jews have celebrated the feast of Purim every year on the fourteenth day of Adar.
But why is this story important to Christians? And why bring it up now? In answer to the second question, Purim comes around twice this year because it is a leap year. Because there are 13 months in this leap year, Purim Katan, or the “Lesser Purim”, happens in the twelfth month of Adar I, but the greater observance of Purim happens in the thirteenth month, Adar II. The dates for the two Purims are February 14 and March 15.
As for the first question, the importance to Christians comes in two ways. First, since Christians are grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel by virtue of the work of Messiah Yeshua (Ephesians 2:11-13; Romans 11:11-27), anything that happens to our brethren of the House of Judah concerns us deeply. Second, the spirit that motivated Haman was that same spirit of Antichrist, or Anti-messiah, that has been at work from the beginning to destroy the work of God. That spirit is what will be at work at the end of this age to bring about the satanic government of the Great Tribulation. Haman was a type of the Antichrist, as have been many others in history. One that comes readily to mind is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian king who defiled the Temple in Jerusalem and persecuted the Jews to death in the days of the Maccabees. Then there is Herod the Great, who slaughtered the innocent male children of Bethlehem rather than see the infant Yeshua threaten his throne. We could also put Constantine the Great in that category. His establishment of Roman Christianity came at the expense of Jews and believers in Yeshua who followed Torah. In modern times we can add Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who plunged all of Europe into war and who, while liberalizing the legal restrictions against Jews, did so in hope that they would assimilate into European society and cease being Jews. And finally we have the greatest Antichrist figure of all time, Adolf Hitler.
There may still be a question of how “Antichrist” equates to “anti-Jew”. Here it is necessary to be reminded of two more things. First, salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and since salvation is Yeshua, anything that touches them touches Him. Second, it might be more accurate to say “anti-Israel” rather than “anti-Jew” or “anti-Semite”, because God is working through all of Israel, Abraham’s seed, to bring salvation to all nations.
I cannot explain this any better than Asher Intrater of Revive Israel. Asher is one of the leading voices in the Messianic movement in Israel. His profound insights have often astounded me, and such was the case last week when he published the third in a series of short teachings on the Antichrist. Here is the full text of his blog:
Antichrist – Could It Happen Again?
By Asher Intrater, Revive Israel
Haman and Mordechai
The Greek compound “anti-Christos” is the New Testament term for one who is either “the opponent” of Christ (Messiah); or one who “takes his place.” In the modern Hebrew New Testament, the translators chose the word tsorer, based on Esther 3:10 in which Haman is described as an “enemy” or “troubler” of the Jews. Tsorer also is from the same root as “tribulation,” describing the tribulations of the end times (Jer 30:7, Dan. 12:1). Haman is a figure of the Antichrist, who will also cause terrible trouble for the Jews in the time of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21; Rev 7:14).
Mordechai refused to kneel to Haman. Haman became infuriated. When he realized Mordechai was a Jew, he wanted to kill not only him, but also all of his people. This is a central role of the antichrist figure–simply put: kill all the Jews! Esther 3:6 – Haman sought to destroy all the Jews. This aspect of genocide is similar to Pharaoh, Herod and Hitler. It will be a clear identifying mark of the Antichrist of the end times.
A Decision to Make
Could it happen again? – Certainly. If it happened in Persia (ancient Iran), it could happen today. A few years ago, I was in Jordan for a conference of Arab Christians and Messianic Jews. One of the Arab pastors said to me, “Did you know we could be killed for coming to this conference?” I replied, “Is that because you are Christians in a Muslim country?” He said, “No, we could be killed for talking to you, because you are a Jew.”
Haman’s plan was “…to destroy, to kill and to cause to perish all the Jews” – Esther 3:13. This gives profound insight into Yeshua’s words that Satan comes – “to steal, to kill and to destroy” John 10:10. This attack is not only spiritually in the minds of men but also historically in attempted genocides of the Jewish people.
When the nations of the world unite to try to destroy Israel, the Christian community internationally will have to decide which side to be on. Let us all take our place as modern day Mordechais and Esthers to intercede against the plans of Satan and the Antichrist to destroy Israel, the Jewish people and Christians alike.
 See Demystifying the Calendar, posted on The Barking Fox February 2, 2014.
 For a related post on Purim and the spirit of antichrist see Why Amalek Matters, posted on The Barking Fox March 15, 2014.
 See Commonwealth and Cooperation: How Jews and Christians Can Work Together, posted on The Barking Fox in three parts, January 3-9, 2014.