Purim in Adar 2: Faith, Unity, and Divine Timing

Purim is in Adar 2, the most notable event in the Hebrew month. It is thought to be the axis on which the entire month revolves. In 2024 or other “Leap Years,” Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar 2.

Purim and Adar 2 

Esther 9:28 says this about Purim:

  • “So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to cease from among the Jews, nor their memory fade from their descendants.”—Esther 9:28 (AMP)

If you aren’t familiar with the Purim story, I encourage you to read the book of Esther. It has 10 chapters that provide a tremendous testimony of the faithfulness of God and the power of selfless obedience.

Expanding on that understanding, Purim represents:

  • The salvation and deliverance of the Jewish people
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Faith 
  • Strategy
  • Mentorship
  • Timing

One of the most well-known quotes from the book of Esther is, “…for such a time as this.”

  • For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”—Esther 4:14 (emphasis added)

Esther and Mordechai put tremendous value on obedience to God’s instruction and following God’s timing. They kept the Father’s intent and purpose at the forefront of their hearts and minds and linked their actions to participate in what God was doing. They recognized that should they choose silence it would come with personal consequence but ultimately God would be faithful to His Word. 

God’s Word and the Torah Portion

In Jewish learning, the Torah, or the first five books of the Bible, is divided into 54 individual portions and is linked to a specific week. During the weekly service, this portion of scripture is read aloud in synagogues across the nations. 

The first public Torah readings were recorded in the book of Nehemiah when Ezra read to the captives who had returned to Jerusalem:

  • “Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel.”—Nehemiah 8:1 (emphasis added)

The people stood to their feet as Ezra opened the scroll and blessed the Lord.

They lifted their hands and shouted, “Amen! Amen!” 

I can almost hear the “swoosh” in my spirit of all the people standing at once in honor with attentive hearts. Feet shuffling. Mothers quieting children. A holy hush, and then, in one moment, Ezra’s voice breaks the silence—the silence of captivity. 

  • 70 years of bondage washing away. 
  • Grief. 
  • Hope.
  • Repentance.
  • Honor. 
  • Longing. 

All that had been lost and all that was to come.

The nation gathered as “one man” proceeded to bow their heads in worship and put their faces on the ground, and “all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:9).

If I further imagine this moment I can hear the muffled tears and anguish coming from the dry and exhausted hearts being washed in the reading of the Word. And then in the midst of the crowd, the intercessor buckled at the knees and let out a cry that felt more like the wailing of a lost generation being restored. 

Men, women, children—the generations stood, bowed, and wept—together as one. 

This is the power of God’s Word. It is life-giving and life-changing. 

The Israelites had been in captivity for more than 3 generations and had lost sight of God’s instruction. The public reading birthed in this gathering became a practice to help prevent the Torah from being lost ever again. It created a rhythm of corporate study that is still practiced today as we seek the holiness of God to model our own lives after.  The Water Gate symbolized the cleansing of God’s Word—the birthplace for what became known as “Torah portions” or “parashat” for the generations to follow.

The Ransom Money

  • “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”—Exodus 30:11-16

This scripture is part of the Torah portion read on the last Shabbat before the month of Adar. Therefore, during the days of the Temple, the nation began to bring their half-shekel offering from the first of Adar until the beginning of Nisan (the following month) in obedience to this instruction to be used to support the Temple and to unlock protection “that no plague would be among them.”

Remember, Purim is in Adar 2, and Purim is connected with the story of Esther. In Esther 3:9, it is recorded that Haman offered to “hand over *330 tons of silver” or “10,000 kikar of silver”  for the royal treasury to rid the king’s kingdom of the Jewish people who, according to Haman, were “scattered and dispersed.” Essentially, he was preying on their division and lack of unity. 

The rabbis teach that Hashem knew Haman’s evil intent and pre-empted his efforts by causing the Jews to give their ½ shekel offering before this time, hence protecting them against future attempts to harm them—in this case, Haman’s plans for annihilation. 

Obedience to God’s instruction preempts the plans of the enemy. This is why Purim and Adar 2 are connected to faith, unity, and divine timing! 

When the Jewish people were divided, they stood only as individuals, but in unity, in community, they stood in strength. Haman’s plot was based on their assumed division as a nation. God insisted upon the ½ shekel offering—no more, no less—because it represented that each person was only a fraction of the whole and needed to be combined with others to be made complete.

The merit of this obedience and unified community offering not only unlocked protection but also demonstrated that Haman’s claim that the people were divided, which is an open door to the enemy, was false.

As Believers, it is extremely insightful that the seed we sow today, our obedience today, unlocks protection and blessing for tomorrow. And like Esther and Mordechai, our “yes” to God’s instructions releases generational blessings. 

*Interestingly, “Tosfos in Tracate Megillah [16a] indicates that this [amount offered by Haman] was a half Shekel for every Jewish person. Source Link.

Letter: Kuf —Symbolic of “Kedushah”, Holiness, or the Holy One

The letter for the month of Adar is “kuf,” which symbolizes “kedushah”, or holiness and the Holy One. Holiness represents being separate or removed–not only from the standpoint of other nations and cultures but also from the perspective of being removed from materialism and fully immersed in spiritual matters. One cannot seek to be separated unto God without obedience to God’s Word; holiness and obedience are irrevocably entwined.

In a leap year, some connect the 13th month of Adar 2 to the tribe of Levi; this tribe was called to be separated and “holy unto the Lord” and serve Him as priests.

We see in the story of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32:28 three groups of people represented:

  • Those who accepted the calf as an intermediary god.
  • Those who worshiped the calf as god—these 3,000 were put to death.
  • Those who clung to Hashem—the tribe of Levi. 

The tribe of Levi was unwilling to betray Moses’ leadership (he was also a Levite), so they stood together and stood independently against the majority of the nation. The Levites chose to remain steadfast to Hashem’s (the Name referring to God when not in prayer) instruction and embrace His ways, while the majority of the nation let their doubts and fears lead them astray as they accepted or worshiped the golden calf. 

The Levites possessed a unique ability to serve and demonstrate loyalty to both God and their fellow man without compromise, and hence, they received the great honor of serving in the temple. Their obedience opened the door to holiness and separation unto the Lord. 

Blessed and Separate: The Gift of Sabbath Rest

The concept of the separation and blessing of holiness is introduced as early as Genesis 2:3 when it says:

  • God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.” —Genesis 2:3 (CJB)

Thus, the first time the word holiness is used is in reference to the Sabbath, and I love how the Complete Jewish translation highlights that the discipline of rest and obedience was linked to productivity. The weekly Sabbath is a special time of blessing and holiness –permanent, enduring, and set apart.  

According to Jewish teachers, “kedushah” has 2 stages:

  1. It begins with our own efforts and discipline. 
  2. It ends with the gift of sanctification from the Father. Our journey towards holiness begins with us but it ends with Him. 

Holiness is prepared for, invited, and awakens something in Heaven that is first awakened within us below.

In Exodus 33:7-11, we see that Moses had a practice and discipline of seeking the Lord in His Tabernacle; when Moses entered, the pillar of the cloud descended and he spoke to God face-to-face. But first, Moses had to “go out, enter, and seek.”  His obedience on Earth quite literally opened the Heavens and was the key to “face-to-face encounters.”

Obedience activates. Obedience opens doors.

Holiness represents a separation and a rising above. Rising above material things in thought and practice means embracing God’s Kingdom and His way of doing things. Holiness is not elitist. The Torah states, “Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy”  (Leviticus 19:1-2).

Moving Up

  • “The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below.”—Proverbs 15:24

It is paramount in our spiritual life that we remain vigilant to move upward and onward, as being stagnant in our journey leaves room for regression. As Lou Holtz famously said,“Nothing on this earth is standing still. It’s either growing or it’s dying.”

There is no middle ground.

We were created with a capacity to grow, develop, and yearn for spiritual things. We were made to be in a relationship and seekers of God moving forward in our development; there is in essence, no such thing as standing in one place. 

In Judaism, it is believed that holiness allows us to sanctify the mundane. Something ordinary may not seem like a holy task, but when it is linked to obedience, we can find the spark of holiness in the midst and elevate it.

When we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, we pursue holiness through daily obedience.

And yet, our quest to be separated from the Lord should not be one of complete isolation–as we discussed the oil and water of Shevat—we must mix but not be conformed to the ways of the world. Our efforts should benefit not only us but also others as an example and a guide for how to serve the Father.

Our Creator is the most holy, and yet He engages with humanity and is an active part of our existence; He influences us towards holiness and a lifestyle of following instruction. 
Like Esther and Mordechai, we are called to surrender our passions and desires toward the fulfillment of God’s will and purpose in our lives–this discipline refines and purifies and is deemed holy unto the Lord.

The Neutralization of Haman’s Decree and the Amalekites

In the Purim story, Haman–a descendant of Amalek–put his sight on the annihilation of the Jewish people.  Amalek was a descendant of Esau who traded his birthright and inheritance (a spiritual transfer) for a physical bowl of stew. Therefore, in Jewish tradition, Esau represents spiritual impurity—the opposite of holiness.

The story of the enmity between Israel and Amalek is one of perpetual struggle that raises its head throughout scripture, you can read more about that here, but for brevity’s sake, in 1 Samuel 15, we read that Saul failed to completely annihilate the Amalekites as he was instructed to do so by God.  Five centuries later, Haman, who was believed to be a direct descendant of King Agag, whom Saul spared, began to decree the genocide of the Jewish people in step with this ancestral feud. 
Saul’s failure to completely annihilate the Amalekites and fully obey God, sparing King Agag and the best of their livestock, went against God’s clear instruction and resulted in the eventual rise of Haman, “the son of Hammedatha the Agagite” (Esther 3:1).

Purim in Adar 2 is a picture of a miracle. Haman’s decree was neutralized and he was hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.

We are reminded through the story of Purim that holiness and obedience to God must always be sought after without compromise and with “full obedience.” There is no middle ground. There is no compromise or ceasefire; as the human race we are either rising or falling.

Summary: Fully Surrendered

In Purim in Adar 2, I believe the Lord is calling us to walk closer to His heart in a place where we are fully obedient. He is calling us to “enter into” a space where we can seek Him “face-to-face.”  This realm is only accessed through daily obedience and our “yes” to allow the Father to position us for our own “for such a time as this moment.” We cannot choose logic or partial surrender; we must choose to fully obey according to God’s Word even when we do not fully understand.

In 1 Samuel 15:20-23, we read Saul’s logic in his partial obedience. His reasoning “made sense,” but it was man’s reasoning and not fully following God’s instruction. Five centuries later the Jewish people were suffering the consequence of reason and logic over obedience.

Next month in Nisan, we remember the Israelites leaving Egypt and crossing over into the Promised Land. Similar to the lessons of Shevat—instruction and obedience precede laying hold of the promise.

During Purim in Adar 2, may we fully surrender to the plans and purposes of God “for such a time as this.”