Sunday, August 24, 2014

good luck, boy

By J. O. Allen

I remember — for it was only yesterday —
I saw you sprawled upon the bed at play
With toy soldiers. Your cardboard men
Marched bravely on the counterpane.

I saw you — it was only yestermorn —
In your toy soldier suit and tooting horn
Charge gaily — yet with grim intent —
To crush the foeman in his tent.

And I remember — it was not so long ago —
I saw you lead your men against the foe;
Your army was but three small boys,
Your arms — assorted Christmas toys.


And yet — it seems so far away —
But still I know it was today —
I saw you standing, khaki clad —
And, oh! — I loved you, lad!

More poems

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Esther -- Part 5

Evidence of Warning
Thomas Allen

    Although the Jewish purpose of Esther may be to justify Purim, to the Christian its purpose is, or should be, entirely different. Its purpose must be much deeper than the surface justification for Purim, a celebration of vengeance.

    Why would God have a book placed in the Bible whose purpose appears to be a justification of a holiday void of any religious substance and that glorifies man’s vengeance? (God reserves vengeance to Himself [Deut. 32:35, Ps. 94:1, Rom. 12:19, Heb. 10:30].) Why would God have a book placed in the Bible that ignores Him? Could Esther be a warning to Christians about Pharisaism, which is now called Judaism? The book presents much evidence that it is a warning.

    The writer of Esther hints at this purpose by giving the main characters the names of pagan gods and goddess. Esther’s Jewish name is Hadassah (2:7), which is Babylonian for bride and a title of a goddess. Esther is a variant of Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and father by adoption, is a variant of Marduk, the chief Babylonian god.

    The book contains other hints that it should be treated as a warning and not like other books of the Old Testament. It has fasting without prayer (4:16). When Mordecai learns of Haman’s plan to kill the Jews, he tears his cloths, puts on sackcloth, and scatters ashes on his head. He mourns and cries out loudly (4:1). Other Jews begin wailing and weeping and fasting (4:3). Noticeably lacking from the mourning of Mordecai and the other Jews is prayer for Divine deliverance or pity. Later, Esther asks the Jews to fast for her (4:16), but she does not ask them to pray for her. (Although some commentators claim that prayer is implied, the writer of Esther has deliberately avoided any suggestion that the fasting serves any religious purpose.)

    Though verse 4:14 implies providence, it does not suggest that the providence be Jehovah God. Based on the way that the book is written, deliverance of “the Jews from another place” is a vague reference to some human entity and not to God. The book relies on human cunning and resourcefulness rather than Jehovah God to deliver the Jews. Salvation is through human ingenuity instead of Divine intervention.

    Although it lacks reverence toward God, the book does give preeminence to financial consideration (3:9), mammon. No Messianic hope is given. It is man-centered and glorifies vengeance.

    Esther shows the ability and skills of Jews to deceive. Mordecai is so proud of being a Jew that he flaunts his Jewishness (3:2, 4; 4:1). Yet he forbids Esther to reveal that she is a Jewess (2:10). He wants her to deceive the king by not revealing her real identity. However, Haman, who hates Jews, knows that Mordecai is a Jew (3:4-6; 6:13). Most likely, Mordecai is known to be a relative of Esther, who visits and inquires about her every day (2:11). Obviously, he has a close relationship with her. Apparently, Esther and Mordecai have so deceived Xerxes and Haman that they cannot figure out that Esther is a Jewess. (Even if the relationship between Esther and Mordecai were not fully known to Xerxes and Haman, courtiers must have known that Esther was a Jewess. They would have surely told the king and especially Haman.) Moreover, Xerxes has been so deceived that even after he has given Haman permission to slay the Jews (3:9-11), he honors Mordecai (6:10-11), a known Jew. He also seems surprised that Haman plans to kill the Jews when Esther explains Haman’s plot to the king (7:5-6). (If the king does not know that Haman plans to kill the Jews, then he is senile.)

    Esther certainly is an enchanter. She has the king under her spell from the first time he sees her to the end of the story. He does just about everything that she asks him to do. He even allows her to violate protocol without penalty. Even Haman at times seems to be under her spell.

    While queen and before revealing that she is a Jewess, Esther has to violate many Old Testament and Jewish laws. To maintain her non-Jewish deception, she has to have eaten unclean foods and, worse, to have bowed to the king and, by that, acknowledge his deity, a violation of the first commandment. In this respect, she stands in sharp contrast to Daniel. Daniel risks death to obey the Old Testament laws. (Perhaps by Esther’s time the rabbis had concocted outs for disobedience.) She places glory above obedience. Thus, a Jew will abandon religious scruples if necessary to deceive a Gentile.

    The writer also shows the cold-heartedness of a Jewess. After Esther reveals Haman’s plan to kill the Jews including her, the king leaves the room in shock. While the king is gone, Haman throws himself at the feet of Esther, who is reclining on her couch, and begs for mercy. The king returns and sees Haman on Esther and concludes that he is making sexual advances on the queen — hence, more proof of his impaired mental faculties. So, he orders Haman executed. Esther remains silent and lets Haman die for a crime that he does not commit (7:3-10).

    Esther also shows a bitter hatred of Gentiles (Christians are Gentiles) and a desire for their destruction. She asks for a second day of killing and the hanging of Haman’s ten sons (9:13). The king grants the request. In stark contrast to Jesus’s teachings, it teaches hatred of one’s enemies and bloody vengeance.

    Not only is Esther’s vindictiveness shown, but also that of the Jews in general. They revel in their bloodletting. They rejoice with “fasting and gladness” (9:19) in their carnage. No remorse on their part is displayed.

    Perhaps most important, Esther shows how easily Jews can manipulate Gentiles. In Esther the manipulation is mostly with guile and fear. With ease she maneuvers the king and the Persians to do Mordecai’s bidding.

    Once Mordecai becomes prime minister, provincial rulers and other officers of the king aid the Jews in their slaughter of the Gentiles because of the fear of the Jews (9:3). Many fear the Jews so much that they convert to Judaism (8:17). Thus, through terror, Jews get Gentiles to kill other Gentiles for them. Esther warns Gentiles about Jews using Gentiles to kill Gentiles for the benefit of Jews. History shows that this warning is frequently ignored.

    One puzzling aspect of the story is that the king offers the Jews the property of those whom they kill. Uncharacteristically of Jews, the Jews refuse to take the property of their victims. Perhaps the reason that the Jews decline their rapine is that they use it to buy the favor of the king. Much of this property probably escheats to the king. The lesson maybe “beware of Jews acting altruistically — especially when connected with destructive acts.”

    According to Halley, Esther describes a Jewish take over of a great empire. He writes:
Mordecai was great in the king’s house, next unto the king; he waxed greater and greater; his fame went forth throughout all the provinces (9:4; 10:3). This was in the reign of Xerxes, the mighty monarch of the Persian Empire: Xerxes’ prime minister, a Jew; his favorite wife, a Jewess: Mordecai and Esther, the brains and heart of palace![38]

    Esther 6:13 gives a stern warning to Christians. If Gentiles begin falling before Jews, they will have an extremely difficult time prevailing against the Jews. Most likely, the Jews will destroy them. The history of the Western world since the mid eighteenth century illustrates this fact.

    As suggested above, the primary purpose of Esther is to warn Christians of the leaven of the Pharisees (Matt. 16:6, 11), Judaism. God foresaw times when Jews would seek to gain power over Christians and use that power to pillage and destroy them. He had this book inserted into the Old Testament to warn Christians against the guile of the Jews and the destruction that it brings.

    Many see Esther as the most pro-Jewish book in the Bible. In reality, it is the most anti-Jewish book in the Old Testament.

    Christians have failed to heed this warning of Esther. The result is that Christianity has been in a state of decline in the United States and Europe as the power of Jews have grown.

    The above discussion is not an indictment of all Jews. Some Jews are not ready to sacrifice humanity to the Jews. However, far too many Jews are the children of the devil (John 8:44) and vipers (Matt. 12:34, 23:33) and lust after such sacrifice. There is an old lawyer joke: 98 percent of the lawyers give the other 2 percent a bad name. So it is with Jews: 90 percent of the Jewish leaders give the other Jews a bad name.

    Although Esther is about Jews, its warning extends beyond Jews and Judaism. It is a general warning against all religions that have descended from the Mysteries and their practitioners. These religions include Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Hinduism, Islam, human secularism, Theosophy, and the New Age religions.

    Most, if not all, writers of Biblical commentaries, dictionaries, and handbooks believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people. They are not. At least, if John is correct, they are not. John writes (1 John 2:22, 4:3) that Jews and all others (Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Hindus, Muslims, human secularists, Theosophist, atheists, etc.) who deny that Jesus is Christ and do not confess Jesus Christ are the antichrist. Jews and their allied antichrists have been successfully suppressing and destroying Christianity for decades. The question is this: Are the writers of these commentaries, dictionaries, and handbooks ignorant, are they deceived with fear of the Jews, or are they among the antichrists?

    “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth” (Gal. 4:16)?
    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6a).

38. R. Pfeiffer, p. 477.

Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.

Part 4

 More articles on religion.