Apr 25 2012

An Excellent Plan

James Jordan is continuing his commentary on Esther in the Biblical Horizons newsletter. As always, he makes some interesting observations on Haman’s “prospectus” speech to the king in Esther 3, in which he describes the Jewish people:

The first thing to notice is that what Haman says is correct. The Jews do have different laws and customs. The word here is dat, which is a general word for laws and customs and mores. This much is quite true, and has been no problem in the Persian empire.

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Jan 27 2012

The Great Feast of Jesus

or Riffing on Moses


The Lord’s name might not be mentioned explicitly in the book of Esther (though some scholars see it hidden in the text), but as literature it is riddled with riffs on the patterns found in the Law and the Prophets. We don’t see it because we don’t interpret “musically,” that is, looking for recurring themes. [1]

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Dec 19 2011

Esther and the Ten Words


The systematic typology of the Bible Matrix allows us to follow the structures of the Torah thoughout the rest of the Bible. Here’s something that links the Restoration era with the book of Deuteronomy.

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Oct 4 2011

The Zoo Lounge


or The Times of the Gentiles

Structure of Daniel 7 – Part 1

The book of Daniel consists of 2 parts, a head and a body. Chapters 1-6 follow the Dominion/Covenant pattern (Forming and Filling), topped off with chapter 7 as the Succession, the Future. It is a New Israel, a New Covenant and a New Creation.




But the account of Daniel itself becomes the “head” of a greater body, the history of a new Israel, a nation resurrected from the grave of Babylon, a sweet kingdom-honey swarm drawn by the Warrior Bridegroom from the corpse of the Babylonian lion. Chapters 7 to 12 are the “body.”

1-6 (Daniel)
…..7 (Waters/New Gentile Hierarchy)
……….8 (Sacrificial Animals)
……………9 (Messiah cut off)
……….10 (Daniel “resurrected”)
…..11 (Conquest)
12 (End of the Old World – AD70)

So the history of Daniel’s personal ministry within the belly of the beast is a prefigurement of Israel’s second-Temple history, from Ezra to AD70, the Jews’ ministry as priests within a Gentile kingdom. As with Christ and the Church, the life of the second-Temple Bride was drawn out of the side of a faithful Bridegroom.

Daniel 7 gives us a rundown on the entire era, the construction of Ezekiel’s Temple, the Jew-Gentile worship construct which would last until its destruction (as Land beast and Sea beast) in AD70. You can read more about this in James Jordan’s brilliant Daniel commentary, The Handwriting on the Wall.

Of course, every stanza reflects the same structure. The Bible is entirely contrived. And so is history. Just like the Bible, history looks like a shambles unless you know what’s going on. None of the details that we skip over as meaningless is there for no reason. Dr Leithart gave us some great advice last week for reading the Bible, and we can apply it to life. It is simple. “Pay attention.”

Creation – Initiation
In the first year
…..of Belshazzar king of Babylon, (delegated authority)
….. ….Daniel had a dream (Law given)
….. ….. ….and visions of his head [while] on his bed. (Law opened)
……….Then he wrote down the dream, (Law repeated)
…..[Lit: and the head
of the matters spoken/commanded].

Division – Delegation
Daniel spoke, saying, (Delegated source)
…..“I saw in my vision by night, (Passover darkness)
……….and behold, (Ascension – view into heaven)
……………the four winds of heaven (Pentecostal Spirit)
……….were stirring up the Great Sea. (Gentile swarms)
…..And four great beasts came up from the sea,
…..(New “Day 6″ Land animals as mediators)

each different from the other. (A Succession of rulers)

Notice that this second stanza has the combined themes of water (Exodus) and a new delegated authority (Hierarchy). The Lord was creating a new Temple out of the Gentile empires, taking Sea Monsters and turning them into cherubic Guardians of the Land, just like the four beasts that surrounded His throne in heaven. As the original Aholiab and Bezalel, He took Gentile kingdoms and fashioned them by the crafty Spirit into a throne — a zoo lounge — on earth. The four winds of heaven connect heaven with the four corners of the Land, the Bronze Altar of God…

Ascension – Altar
The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. (King and prophet)
…..I watched till its wings were plucked off; (Authority removed)
and it was lifted up from the [Land] (Ascension/Land/Dust)
……….and made to stand on two feet like a man, (Firstfruits Man)
……………and a man’s heart was given to it. (Man replaces wilderness beast)
……….And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. (A second witness)
…..It was raised up on one side, (Body)
…..and [had] three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. (Head)
And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’
(a Command which leads us from the Altar to the Table, the bread and then the New Covenant wine.)

This structure makes Babylon the kingly empire, the golden head. Daniel was a sort of Covenantal “bridegroom” whose ministry lasted until just after Babylon’s end. Persia was a bridal empire, and you can read about that in the book of Esther. James Jordan’s writings on Esther are brilliant. You should get a hold of them. But that’s only two empires, and the bronze altar (Ascension) has four horns.

Ascension – Table
After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, (Another kingdom)
…..which had on its back four wings of a bird. (Heavenly authority: Exodus 19:4 [1])
……….The beast also had four heads, (Altar-Land with four horns)
……….and dominion was given to it. (Scroll given to Alexander)
……………After this I saw in the night visions, (Daniel the Lampstand)
……….and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong.
……….(This is another “second” empire witness, and at this point in the
……….structure, it seems “unrefinable.”)
…..It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, (Conquest by Head)
…..and trampling the residue with its feet. (Conquest by Body)
It [was] different from all the beasts that [were] before it, and it had ten horns.
(Succession – before and after)

The second pair of empires mimic the first, but corresponding them with the statue in Daniel 2, they are stronger metals but less precious, more corruptible. (Gold doesn’t corrode. Iron rusts.) Roman iron mimics Persian silver. Greek bronze mimics Babylonian gold.

In The Handwriting on the Wall, Jordan notes that the role of the Jews throughout these four empires moved from Priests in Babylon (Altar) to Kings in Persia (Ark) to Prophets under Greek rule (Lampstand) to a Man in Rome (Table). These roles are the four “corners” of the Tabernacle.

He also notes that during Roman rule, a perverse form of the Jewish “Adam,” the Herodian line, is now seen by Daniel as a little horn. We’ll look at that next time. [2]


A note about the picture above: it seems to some that I am stretching Bible texts. I don’t always get it right (I see this as I learn more and revisit texts), but there is a great difference between stretching a cowskin to cover a couch, and stretching a cowskin to cover a cow.

[1] Exodus 19:4 “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”
[2] See The Man of Sin.

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Jul 19 2011

The Bow of Elam


Biblical chronology isn’t always easy, but it provides the answers to many questions we have concerning Bible prophecy. James Jordan shows how crucial the book of Esther is for our understanding of Bible history:

The book of Esther is one of the most neglected of the books of the Bible. To be sure, sermons are preached on it, and commentaries have occasionally been written on it, but almost without exception Esther has been interpreted in isolation from the rest of Biblical history, chronology, and theology. Even many conservative commentators tend to view the events in Esther as minor occurrences that have been inflated in the narrative in order to make the point of the book. This is because they make the wrong assumptions about the dates of these events, and because they do not understand the importance of the events in Esther to the progress of revelation and redemption.

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Jun 26 2011

Shooting Blanks


We receive baptism, but is membership of the visible New Covenant body entirely objective? The Old Covenant church, “the Body of Moses,” was Adamic. The Tabernacle was a Babelic tower, a ladder to heaven, laid out prostrate on the ground. The New Covenant Body, the Body of Jesus, is Evian. As a Temple filled with the Spirit of God, it stands upright and walks on the Crystal Sea.

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Sep 30 2010

Delicious Superfluity – 1


Cooking as Eschatology

But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.


Thanks to Doug Wilson’s recommendations of it, one of the books I took to hospital was The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. It is a mouth-watering fusion of cookbook and theology, pushing the idea of multi-disciplinary insights to the outer limit. But then, we moderns don’t have such biblical horizons, do we? We refuse to see the world as the Bible reveals it to us.

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Sep 7 2010

King Neb’s New Covenant – 2


Of course, God’s new golden-haired boy got things wrong, as all Adams do when given the opportunity of glorious kingdom. The metal man in his dream (the new “empire-Tabernacle”) only had gold at the head, but King Nebuchadnezzar’s obelisk was gold from head to foot. This new king, under whom Israel was now a “Covenant vassal,” would be taught by God that he, too, was subject to a higher authority.

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Aug 24 2010

Veiled Lawlessness

or Mutton Dressed Up as the Lamb


Doug Wilson recently made a distinction between what usually passes for hypocrisy in Christian circles, and the kind practiced openly by the self-righteous:

One of my central pastoral responsibilities is that of keeping Christians away from hypocrisy, of the kind described in the New Testament. But this task, not surprisingly, is often misunderstood — and the reason it is misunderstood is that there are always lots of people who don’t want to be kept out of that kind of hypocrisy, and misdirection is that name of the game.

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Aug 4 2010

The Phantom Booth

or Festivals from the Abyss


Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18

Continuing from New Covenant Virility – 2

GLORIFICATION: (Tabernacles feast, marriage, children, rest)

Wow. This last bit really rubs in the kind of offspring (fruit) Israel gave God. It is the seventh stanza of this section, yet in itself it has seven stanzas. Each section submits itself to the common themes in Glorification, yet each section reiterates one step the sevenfold pattern. Tabernacles was the big feast, so in this final ascerbic prophecy, the prophet turns the annual Feasts into curses. [1] What sublime poetry is Isaiah.

Tabernacles is the Feasts of Booths. It is God’s people reaching maturity as a great tree and sheltering the nations. The cycle began with dry trees (eunuchs, etc.) being made fruitful. Here, God lays the ax to the root of the old tree.

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