Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech this week comes at the same time as the Jewish festival of Purim. Interesting.
[Darris McNeely] The news that I’ve been watching is abuzz with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech before the United States Congress this week. You know, it’s interesting – I didn’t realize it until putting together some of the dates that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech just two days before the Jewish celebration of Purim, an ancient celebration that dates all the way back to an event in the book of Esther in the Bible during the ancient Persian Empire. The Jews were in captivity and Persia was the big kid on the block. Back at that time, there was an effort made that is told in the book of Esther to exterminate the Jews. It’s history’s first holocaust. Anti-Semitism is a very, very old evil. In Esther 3:13 Esther 3:13And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
American King James Version×, it makes this one statement, and I think it captures the danger that was there for the Jews in the Persian Empire at the time, that “letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is in the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.” Again, history’s first effort to exterminate the Jews. The story in Esther shows that it didn’t happen due to the courage of the young Jewess named Esther, who along with her uncle Mordecai thwarted the effort that was being hatched at that time.
Well, the Jews celebrate Purim every year to mark this particular event. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to talk to the American Congress about the Iranian effort to build and develop a nuclear weapon. This has been dominating the news for years, and it has finally come to a critical point in the negotiations. Many fear that a bargain will be struck that will allow Iran to develop that weapon. Israel, the State of Israel, has a very, very acute visionary understanding of what is taking place there. Iran for years has said that they will destroy the State of Israel, they will push the Jewish state into the Mediterranean. With one bomb, one nuclear weapon detonated over Israel, that could happen. Israel has said it will not happen. And so, the Prime Minister comes to the United States to make this plea, to make this call, this warning, and it promises to be a very interesting speech.
But to connect it all together, as this warning is given, with what we know from the story of history, the Bible as told in the book of Esther, and connected with this very interesting Jewish celebration of Purim, we recognize that we are at a very, very serious time right now.
There’s a map that I had recently seen in one of the newspapers that kind of showed exactly what is taking place with Iran, which is in the heart of the ancient Persian Empire, as they have extended their influence into Syria, into Lebanon, down into Yemen, and their efforts also in Iraq, to almost encircle the State of Israel with the danger they pose there. It’s a very critical, perilous period going on in the Middle East right now, and the negotiations toward Iran’s efforts for a weapon, the warnings that are being sounded, are ones that should be understood, listened to. We’re at a very critical period. There’s a great deal at stake.
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