has been observed by many that no Divine Name or Title is found in the book of
This is the more remarkable, since, in this short book of only 167 verses, the Median King is mentioned 192 times, his kingdom is referred to 26 times, and his name 1 "Ahasuerus" is given 29 times.
Jehovah had declared (Deuteronomy 31:16-18) 2 , that if His People forsook Him, He would hide His face from them. Here this threatening was fulfilled. But, though He was hidden from them, He was working for them. Though the book reveals Him as overruling all, His Name is hidden. It is there for His People to see, not for His enemies to see or hear.
Satan was at work, using Haman to blot out the Nation, as once before he had used Pharaoh for the same purpose (see Appendix 23 and 25). Jehovah’s counsel must stand. His promise of Messiah, the coming "Seed" of the woman (Genesis 3:15), must not fail. Therefore He must overrule all for the preservation of His People, and of the line by which that "Seed" was to come into the world.
His working was secret and hidden: hence, the name of "JEHOVAH" is hidden secretly four times in this book, and the name "EHYEH" (I am that I am) once. The Massorah (Appendix 30) has a rubric calling attention to the former fact; and (at least) 3 three ancient manuscripts are known in which the Acrostic 4 letters in all five cases are written Majuscular (or, larger than the others) so that they stand out boldly and prominently, showing the four consonant letters of the name JeHoVaH. In the Hebrew , , , , or, as written in Hebrew from right to left, , , , . In English, L,O,R,D. Also the five letters of the fifth Acrostic, "EHYH."
The following phenomena are noticed in examining the four
Acrostics which form the name "Jehovah":
1. In each case the four words forming the Acrostic are consecutive.
2. In each case (except the first) they form a sentence complete in itself.
3. There are no other such Acrostics in the whole book, except the fifth Acrostic at the end; though there is one other, forming another Divine Title, in Psalm 96:11 (See note there.)
4. In their construction there are not two alike, but each one is arranged in a manner quite different from the other three.
5. Each is uttered by a different speaker. The first by Memucan (1:20); the second by Esther (5:4); the third by Haman (5:13); the fourth by the inspired writer (7:7).
6. The first two Acrostics are a pair, having the name formed by the Initial letters of the four words.
7. The last two are a pair, having the name formed by the Final letters of the four words.
8. The first and third Acrostics are a pair, having the name spelt backward.
9. The second and fourth are a pair, having the name spelt forward. They thus form an alternation:
10. The first and third (in which the name is formed
backward) are a pair, being spoken by Gentiles.
11. The second and fourth (in which the name is spelt forward) are a pair, being spoken by Israelites. They thus form an Alternation:-
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 "Due Respect Our Ladies
Hi' V ekal Hannashim Yitt enu.
it and-all the-wives shall-give
1 2 3 4
"Due Respect Our Ladies
The four words are:
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 "Let Our Royal Dinner
Yabo' Hammelek V eHaman Hayyom
let-come the-king and-Haman this-day
1 2 3 4
"Let Our Royal Dinner
The four words are:
1 2 3 4 1 3 2 4
zeH 'eynennV shoveH l eY
this availeth nothing to-me
1 3 2 4
The English may be freely rendered "Yet am I
This was the climax, the end had come. Hence the name is spelt by the final letters:
1 2 3 4 1 4 2 3
kY kal ethaH elayV hara'aH
that evil was-determined aginst-him
1 4 2 3
It is noted in some manuscripts by Majusclar letters, which
have Massoretic authority (see Appendix
30). The words forming the Acrostic are
The Acrostic is formed by the final letters, and the name is spelt backward.
The king asks "Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?": that is to say, to sell for destruction Queen Esther and her People. In saying this he unconsciously gives the name of Him who came down to deliver His People out of the hand of Pharaoh, and had then come down to deliver them again out of the hand of Haman, "the Jews’ enemy", who, like Pharaoh, sought to destroy the whole nation (compare Exodus 2:23-25 with 3:14,15). The great enemy of the Messiah - the living Word - was seeking to destroy all hope of His promised coming (Genesis 3:15), and make void the repeated promise of Jehovah.
Ahasuerus only pointed to human agency, but his words point us to the Satanic agency which was behind it. The Acrostic is in the final letters of his question "Who is he, and where is he?" Only the great "I am that I am" could know that, and could answer that question. Esther and Mordecai knew the human instrument, but none could know who was directing him but the One Who sees the end from the beginning.
The words forming the Acrostic are
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
hu'E zeH v e`eY zeH
[who is] he this [man] and where [is] this [man]
1 2 3 4
We may English it thus:
Thus was the name of the great "I AM" of
presented to the eye, to reveal the fact that He who said of E H Y H "this
is My Name for ever, and this is My Memorial unto all generations"
was there to remember His People. Here was a "generation"
in Persia who experienced the truth and the power of this Name, as a former "generation"
had done in Egypt.
The same "I AM" had indeed come down to deliver them from Haman; as He had from Pharaoh, and from the great "enmity" (of Genesis 3:15) which instigated both to accomplish the Satanic design of exterminating the Nation of Isreal.
In these five Acrostics we have something far beyond a mere coincidence; we have design. When we read the denunciation in Deuteronomy 31:16-18, and see it carried out in Persia, we learn that though God was not among His people there, He was for them. Though He was not acting as Jehovah, "that dwelleth between the Cherubim," He was "the God of Heaven," ruling and over-ruling all "in the Heaven above and in the Earth beneath" for the fulfillment of His purposes, and in the deliverance of His People. Hence, though His name, as well as His presence, is HIDDEN, yet, it is there, in the Word; and so wonderfully interwoven that no enemy will ever know how to put it out.
In the note on Esther 1:1
this Ahasuerus is identified with Astyages, who is the same as Darius the Mede. See
notes Appendix 57.
2. The Talmud (Kelim 139) says "Where do we get Esther in the Law?" And the answer is "Deuteronomy 31:18, ‘and I will surely hide my face’". So here, the outward form of the revelation takes on the form of its inward and spiritual meaning. For the same reason we have the Divine Title "the God of heaven" as characterising the book Ezra-Nehemiah. See note on 2Chronicles 36:23.
3. How many more there may be will be ascertained only when all the special scrolls of Esther shall be examined.
4. For other examples of Acrostics in the Hebrew text, see Appendix 63 vii.
5. In the use of these terms, "backward" and "forward" the English reader must bear in mind that Hebrew is read from right to left both in the spelling and wording.
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