The holiday Yom Kippur written in vintage letterpress type

Yom HaKippurim: A Day Like Purim
From CG Workbook Seven: Readings for the Moedim

The name of Esther's fast and feast is Purim. Most assume, as the text hints, that the purim, or lots, cast by Haman against the Jews are what characterize this holiday. Sound-alike words can offer additional hints to Biblical themes and its internal commentaries. The fall feasts' central theme is coverings, which is derived from the middle feast in the fall, Yom HaKippurim.

Workbook Two offers a more complete explanation about the hints to coverings associated with the clouds of Yom Teruah and the winged birds with feathers on the 5th Day of Creation, but Sukkot is an obvious covered shelter of leafy branches.

What about Yom Kippur, the Day of Coverings, itself? The kaphar of kippur means a covering, atonement. On Yom Kippur the High Priest can see the covering cherubim in the Holy of Holies when he enters in a cloud of incense, and he makes a covering of blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

On the seven-branched menorah, Yom HaKippurim is chiastic to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During the Days of Unleavened Bread beginning with actual Sabbath day of Unleavened Bread, Israel fasts from all forms of leaven, but on Yom HaKippurim, Israel fasts both food and water for a day. The days of fasting that Esther proclaims for the Jews is during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Ki in Hebrew means "like, similar to." Pur is a lot, an object of chance that determines fate. The suffix im designates plural. On Yom Kippur, the High Priest drew lots, or purim, to designate the fate of the two goats, one L'Adonai, and one L'Azazel. The goat L'Adonai is slaughtered and its blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat of the Covenant. L'Azazel is taken to the wilderness with all the sins of the nation and pushed over a precipice.

Goat. Photo based illustation. The scapegoat was a goat that was driven off into the wilderness as part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement in Judaism during the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. The rite is described in Leviticus 16.

In this sense, Yom HaKippurim is "A Day like Purim." One figurative goat is banished like Vashti from the presence of the king and replaced by a holy woman. One man is hanged in disgrace like wicked Haman (may his name be blotted out), while the blood of the one for YHVH is admitted into the Throne Room, the Holy of Holies, and it covers all Israel in safety. Esther is holy to Adonai, and she is admitted into the King's Presence for her people.

When Esther says, "If I perish, I perish," it results in Esther being given the second-in-command authority of the king to remedy the death decree against the Jews. In like manner, when Yeshua accepts the cup of death, he becomes the "second-in-command" to the Father to annul the death decree against man by virtue of his sacrifice. The holy ones of the King die in order to live on Yom Kippur, "killing" the nefesh (soul) with hunger and thirst, denying it pleasure.

Those who did not heed Esther's decrees suffered the consequences. Those who do not heed the decrees, statutes, commandments, and precepts of Yeshua will also suffer the banishment L'Azazel.

Mordechai and Esther-a Sacrifice Like Isaac - a Priest Like Melchitzedek

The role of the sacrificed goat may also be pictured by Mordechai's actions. Mordechai was elevated to second in the Kingdom, for he risked his life by refusing to bow to Haman. As a result, he was covered in the King's robes in honor and given the royal horse and crown.

In a sense, Mordechai also sacrificed his own adopted daughter Hadassah by insisting that she go to the King unbidden. Scripture appears to present a virtual sacrifice as equivalent to an actual physical death of an animal. Merely the acceptance of one's death for the sake of the Land, Covenant, or People may substitute for the actual death, which may or may not follow.

Queen Esther's sacrificial role as a co-heir, "up to half the Kingdom," protected her far-flung people Israel among the nations. Esther knew that going before the King unbidden would be a walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but like the goat L'Adonai, she says, "If I perish, I perish," and she puts on the royal coverings to approach the inner chamber of the King's house.

The Ten Awesome Days of repentance between Rosh HaShanah and the judgment of Yom Kippur have a parallel with Haman's ten sons hung with him in judgment. Even the problem with rescinding the King's decree is related to the principles of Yom Kippur, which brings atonement for the nation. The decree was "a public law known by the people of the King's provinces - so transgression would be a public offense like the sin of Vashti" (Zlotowitz, 2003, p. 78).

The changing of garments at Yom Kippur demonstrates some connections to Esther. In her first visit to the bedchamber of the King, Esther wears very simple garments upon the Chief Eunuch's advice. This wins her personal favor. The High Priest also removed his official ornamented garments when he visited the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

When she goes to invite the King to a banquet, Esther changes to royal robes. This second trip to the inner chamber seems the reverse practice of the High Priest, but a clue is given in the Book of Hebrews, which explains an additional priestly pattern, the pattern of the royal priesthood of Melchitzedek, which Yeshua fills. This makes sense. Esther dresses in the simple fashion of the Levitical priesthood's entrance to the Holy of Holies on her first visit to the King, but her successive trip merits the garments of a sacrificial royal priesthood.

Angry Birds?

A great picture is given of repentance and judgment in the book of Yonah, which is read in synagogues at Yom Kippur. Yonah, whose name means "dove," was a native-born son of Israel who did not want to work to lead the inhabitants of Nineveh to repentance. Interesting that in the fight against doing his work that he was swallowed by a great fish, isn't it? Fish and birds were created on the Fifth Day, and the beasts and man on the Sixth Day. Rosh HaShanah, the Fifth Feast is joined to Yom Kippur by Ten Days of Awe. The Fifth Spirit of Adonai is Power, and the Sixth is Knowledge. Knowledge is the spirit of sacrificial love.

The Spirit of Power spit Yonah the dove in the direction he needed to go! Birds and fish spread the gospel! With the Spirit of Power, Adonai convinces the angry little bird Yonah that preaching the Gospel to Nineveh is something he wants to do, although there is still reluctance. He really didn't want them to return! Yonah was good with "us four and no more."

Nineveh is a picture within itself. The letter nun means an abundance of productive fish. Schools of fish learning the gospel of Messiah Yeshua! It also has a symbolic numeric value of...50! Fifty is the number of the greatest shmittah year of all, the Yovel (Jubilee).

Nineveh was a foretaste of the repentance and return of the world to its inheritance from the Creation. When Yonah yielded his vessel as an instrument of repentance, the whole city repented...they even put sackcloth and ashes on the cattle! Birds, beasts, and man returned and repented.

Yonah left the city and sat down, still waiting to see if the Creator would destroy the city of repentant fish and beasts. Adonai miraculously caused a vine to grow and shade him, just as He promised He would do in the 7th and 50th years. Because Yonah's attitude was bad, however, because he didn't want the world brought to repentance and safety in the time of judgment, the vine withered. Yonah was the first Angry Bird!

Friends, the Yovel and shmittah is the work of the Father, but He requires our willing participation in proclaiming and teaching the Gospel; he desires fishers of men. We lay the foundation at a local level, but Yonah was required to leave the comfort of his own country, the comfort of a shade of Jubilee for himself, to bring the nations to their Jubilee. We can't just sit and enjoy the shade the Father has given us. We can't have that little bit of anticipation to see the destruction of the Day of the Lord because we believe that we'll sit in our little shelters and watch.

We MUST proclaim the gospel and welcome the nations to join us under the covered shelter of Sukkot and to watch our Father miraculously provide for us and all who will return to Him even down to the repentant beast. We must work in a day when man can still work, before the Jubilee trumpet blows. The shofar will plainly reveal who is a man conformed to the image of Elohim, a man who has repented of the beast within. A repentant man is one who has subdued the beast of his nefesh (soul: appetites, emotions, intellect) to submit to the Ruach Adonai, and he demonstrates this by fasting on the Sixth Feast, which is not a feast of physical food, but spiritual bread of Heaven.

If we think that we can build our own little shelter and be secure, then Adonai will dry up His Jubilee protection of the miraculous vines and leave us with the shelters we've made with the work of our own hands. Obviously that's not enough. That's no Sukkot to be proud of. There's no liberty, joy, peace or safety in that. We are the birds who deliver the message of Good News and repentance to the fish, but The Holy One of Israel gives the increase when we deliver the Word with sacrificial love, the Spirit of Knowledge; when the work of the Spirit is perfected in that love, then the Father returns us to our inheritance, a Day that is all Shabbat reserved for all who revere Him with Yirat Adonai, the Spirit of Reverence.

A religious orthodox Jew wearing a prayer shawl draped prays at the Wailing Wall. Jerusalem Israel.

Don't return alone, Angry Birds. Deliver the message before the end of Yom Kippur when the judgments are sealed, and deliver it with the gladness with which you received the Good News that our Messiah Yeshua died to redeem our nafshim from the unclean Beast of self-idolatry. Is this a time to hoard goods, or is it a time to proclaim the prophetic Word?

"But he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, 'Where have you been, Gehazi?' And he said, 'Your servant went nowhere.'

Then he said to him, 'Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothes and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants?'" (2 Kings 5:25-27)



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