Monday February 18th: 13 Adar
It was on this day that the 10 sons of Haman were hung upon the gallows that had been prepared for Mordechai and his fellow Jews. It’s recorded for us in the book of Esther 9:1, 5-6, 10:
“Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them…Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them. And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. Also…the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews—they killed.”
There is something interesting among the list of names that merits our attention. In three of these ten names, as it appears in Hebrew, there is one letter in each of these three names that is written smaller than the other letters in the names. These three letters are תשז tav, shiyn and zayin. Over the centuries, there has been a lot of speculation as to what cryptic message the scribes had in mind when they chose to use these smaller letters. An interesting observation developed several decades ago that takes into account their numerical value. The total value of the letters tav, shiyn and zayin, is 707, which now brings us to the next point.
After the close of World War II, dozens of Nazis were placed on trial in Nuremberg, Germany. Of those tried, twelve prominent Nazis were sentenced to death for various war crimes. One of them was Martin Bormann who, unbeknownst to the Allies, had already committed suicide in Berlin. The other most notable man sentenced to die was Hermann Goering. However, on the night before the execution was to occur, Goering took his own life by biting down on a cyanide capsule, meaning that only ten men went to the gallows.
The date for the execution was October 16th, 1946. On the Hebrew calendar that was the 21st of Tishri (also called Hoshana Rabbah, or “The Great Save Us”) in the year 5707. An appropriate way to write this Hebrew year would be תשז tav, shiyn and zayin. In other words, the scribes, by reducing the size of these three letters among the names of the sons of Haman, had hinted of a time when ten other wicked men would be hung upon the gallows.
We will never know why the scribes decided to record the letters in this fashion – maybe they had a prophetic motive and maybe not. We can, however, conclude with confidence that the death of Haman’s sons and these prominent Nazis is evidence that, though the wicked may triumph for a season, in the end, God will avenge and save His people. Those who seek to destroy His people will themselves be destroyed and, oftentimes, with the very weapons they have purposed to use against God’s people.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)
There are times in our lives when it seems that the opposite is our reality. It seems, at times, that the wicked do prosper. Yet, we must hold fast to the promise that, even though the adversary may for a season get his way, no weapon he has formed against us will prosper for his purposes. In the end, the weapons he fashions for our demise will only serve the Creator’s purposes. God will use the attack of the enemy to fashion His weapons – His people – to bring about His purposes. He will use the attack to train us to be His warriors who are here to bring the fight to the enemy. In the end, the enemy’s gallows, or whatever other weapon of destruction they have intended for us, will be used to expose their wicked schemes and ultimately, to destroy them. Be strong and of good courage.