Haman and Croesus Parallels

For our historical identification of Haman of the Book of Esther,

see:

The Wicked Haman Un-Masked?

http://www.academia.edu/5791968/The_Wicked_Haman_Un-Masked

 

 

The following is taken from: http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d980210.htm

 

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More Teachings With Opposite Meanings

The Book of Genesis records events that are the oldest in the Holy  Scriptures. These early teachings and examples can have meaning for us today. In  one section of Genesis, we have early narratives that use a single word in the  context of two prophecies, but the intended sign in one prophecy of that  same word is the exact opposite from that in the other sign. This is to  instruct us that we must use an extra amount of caution in giving God’s answer  in interpreting signs. Of course, if we have the spirit of God in us, as  did Joseph the son of Jacob (and given the unique authority to reveal the  meaning of signs), then we can make the correct interpretation. Look at  Genesis 40:823.

“And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and  there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations  belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. And the chief butler told his  dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; And  in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her  blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And  Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into  Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

“And Joseph said unto him, This is the  interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Yet within three  days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy  place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former  manner when thou wast his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with  thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto  Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the  land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me  into the dungeon.

“When the chief baker saw that the interpretation  was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I  had three white baskets on my head: And in the uppermost basket there  was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them  out of the basket upon my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the  interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: Yet within  three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall  hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee. And it  came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a  feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of  the chief butler [exalting his head with a crown] and of the chief  baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto  his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: But he  hanged the chief baker [the rope around his neck lifted up his head]: as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet did not the  chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.”

Such puzzles and play on words were used quite often in ancient times. And,  as I have shown, they are even used in the Bible as signs and prophecies.  One must be profoundly careful in interpreting them. In the secular world, most  of us remember the prophetic oracle that was given to King Croesus of Lydia in  Asia Minor when he wanted divine knowledge if he would win the war against the  Persians that he was evoking. The famous oracle at Delphi stated that if he set  out against the Persians he would destroy a great empire.

Croesus, of course, interpreted the prophetic oracle in his own favor. But  alas, the prophecy came true. The “great empire” that would be destroyed was  that of Croesus himself and his Lydians. It is well known that the oracles that  were given to the ancients (before such readings became unpopular by the first  century) could almost always be interpreted in a positive or a negative sense  and seldom did they ever prove wrong (that is, if the priests were expert and  clever in manipulating the words).

There are such prophecies or situations even in the Holy Scriptures. Note the  incident involving Haman and Mordecai mentioned in the Book of Esther. Haman  hated Mordecai. Indeed, Haman had constructed a gallows for Mordecai, but the  Persian king (whose queen was Esther) wanted to honor Mordecai unbeknown to  Haman.

“And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been  done to Mordecai for this? There is nothing done for him. And the king said, Who  is in the court? And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman  standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. So Haman came in. And  the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth  to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do  honour more than to myself?

“And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king  delighteth to honour, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king usethto wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which  is set upon his head: And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of  one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withalwhom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the  street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man  whom the king delighteth to honour. Then the king said to Haman, Make haste,  and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to  Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that  thou hast spoken.

“Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed  Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and  proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king  delighteth to honour. And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman  hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh  his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him…. And  Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the  gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken  good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him  thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  Then was the king’s wrath pacified” (excerpts from Esther chapters 6 &  7).

This true story is again pertinent to our study of interpreting signs or any biblical circumstance. Haman made a big mistake in his  interpretation. This event is recorded by God to show that we must learn to be  careful in what we might hastily assume to be proper.

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