Is Esther a prefigure of Jesus?
Editor’s Note: This is included, more because of the interesting and helpful comment from the one who wrote than because of the comments we had to make to her.
I just wanted to say thank you for all the time you put into writing Shadow to Reality. listened to a message you recorded on tape which gives snippets of the book. It’s revolutionized my Old Testament study in a great way. (note: this is available under John Oakes at www.ipibooks.com, as is the book From Shadow to Reality).
I also wanted to ask you a question. I’ve been digging around for prefigures and foreshadows and I’m finding some cool new stuff. How do you go about confirming that the information you’re extracting is an actual foreshadow? I want to do my proper exegesis but I’m not always confident in what I’m doing. Esther is the book I’m working on now and Mordecai and Esther seem to both be prefigures of Jesus in one way or another. How can I do a good job of accurately relating what I learn in the OT to Jesus? How can I be sure I’m matching things up correctly?
1. Esther means Star: Jesus is the bright Morning star (Revelation 22:16)
2. King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) throws a feast inviting everyone: Resembles God in the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-23)
3. Queen Vashti refuses to come: Israelites possibly? She didn’t respond to the call for the banquet, and was therefore replaced by Esther (kind of like Great Banquet parable?) (I found that to be really interesting. Never looked at Queen Vashti’s role in the story this way, not sure if it’s exactly what this is about just yet, but the correlation seems to be there)
4. Haman incredibly jealous of Mordecai: Satan incredibly jealous of the Lord
5. Haman plots to kill the Jews 3:13 ( destroy, kill, annihilate): Satan comes to kill steal and destroy ( John 10:10)
6. Mordecai was paraded through the streets on a horse by the person who intended to have him killed: Jesus was ushered in by the crowd on a donkey – same crowd yelling crucify him a few days later (John 12:13-15)
7. Esther was willing to lay down her life so that the people could be saved: Jesus laid down his life for mankind
8. There is a reference to three days that I think is important in 4:16: It probably correlates to the 3 days before Jesus resurrected.
9. Esther Saves the Jews: Jesus saves mankind
10. The Battle in Esther 9, The Jews defeat their enemies: Sounded very similar to Judgment Day (Revelation 17:14 –> They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings–and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.)
Again, thank you for writing this book. I prayed that God would restore to me the joy of my salvation. Somehow I happened upon your CD and my walk with God has been totally transformed. I’m itching to get home and read every night to see how awesome His word is over and over again. Understanding these things has helped me fall in love with God again. I’ve been a disciple for almost 10 years now and I’m just now uncovering some of these amazing mysteries.
How encouraging! Thanks. What you need to do is get a copy of the book, From Shadow to Reality. It is available at www.ipibooks.com You should pick up a copy immediately. Let me add that there is an appendix at the back of this book in which I suggest a set of “rules” for interpreting possible foreshadows and prefigures. I think you will find these rules to be helpful. By the way, I do mention, very briefly, Esther as a prefigure of the Messiah in my book. I think you are on the right track here. We need to be careful not to “stretch” the story too much, but I believe the details are too good to be just a coincidence. Yes, I agree that the situation was set up by God as a prefigure of the work of Jesus.
One more thing. One of the “rules” I give for interpreting prefigures and foreshadows is this: 3. If one already knows that a general event in the Old Testament is a foreshadow/prophecy/prefigure/type, then it is safer to assume that the details are foreshadows as well.
It seems to me that the story of Esther, as you are using it, is a perfect example of this principle in action. I really like your example.
Thanks so much for your input.