To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
In today’s title, from Ecclesiastes 3:1, the words “there is a season” are translated from the four times used Hebrew word zman, meaning an appointed occasion. When explored, it describes the time when the ways of the wicked, the destruction they have planned for God’s people, return upon their own heads. This is the time (the season) we have entered, and which is in greater detail hereafter pronounced.
The first time zman appears it is in Nehemiah 2:6, where it’s rendered “him a time.” The verse says, “And the king said unto me, (the queen [Esther] also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.”
The king is Ahasuerus, who Nehemiah calls Artaxerxes, an appellative, meaning the great king. Esther is parenthetically mentioned, by which, when it is known she is the “queen,” we are given a greater understanding of why a king of the Medes would allow Nehemiah to assess and rebuild Jerusalem, which is the “journey” spoken of the in the king’s question.
As we know from our many deeper studies, Esther is the mother of Cyrus, who at this time is about twelve years old. We know, she most likely named him after realizing she was the means Isaiah wrote of: the banner lifted by the LORD (Isaiah 13:2), when He stirred the Medes against Babylon. (See the post of 27 July 2019) It is the pattern of the coming of the Son of man and the children of God, God raising them for this purpose.
The word banner in Isaiah 13:2 is nec, the pole upon which fiery serpent was was lifted. It’s what the LORD is speaking of when, in John 3:8 thru 15, He says, “8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh [this is speaking of the spirit moving, unknown to men while He works, as did Esther, as did Nehemiah – see Nehemiah 2:11 thru 18 below], and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [becuse it is the Holy Spirit moving in them, of which men are ignorant until the time He makes His secret things known]. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master [teacher] of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
The word “journey,” in Nehemiah 2:6, also only appearing four times, is from the Hebrew word mahalak, in context, speaking of the time until we reach the zman, the appointed time, when Nehemiah (meaning Jehovah is our Comforter) “returns” (shuwb). The other occurrences of mahalak are in Ezekiel 42:4, saying there “was a walk” ten cubits breadth (leading into holiness and sanctification), and Jonah 3:3 & 4 where it speaks of the three day’s “journey” through Nineveh preaching repentance. These, in a pattern, are speaking of the work of the LORD, as the Comforter, the Paraclete, leading us into all truth, as the Holy Ghost: unknown to a world blinded by its own ignorance. This three days in Nineveh is the three days the LORD has been in the belly of the earth, in the belly of hell, preaching repentance to the dead, who don’t know Him because of their ignorance, which is the cause of their death, from which they must be born again. “… I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3)
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid you.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey [mahalak].
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey [mahalak], and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
The above speaks of this appointed time, as does Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3, as does Esther in telling of Purim. The other two times the word zman appears are in Esther 9:27 & 31, both speaking of Purim, first rendered “according to their appointed” and then as “in their time.”
1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)
2 The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.
3 And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9 And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
12 And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? now what is your petition? and it shall be granted you: or what is your request further? and it shall be done.
13 Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.
15 For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
16 But the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
17 On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
22 As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time [zman] every year;
28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed [zman], according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
The ten cubits’ “walk”, the appointed time of the enemies’ destruction, this season, is spoken of in steps described by the translated names of the ten sons of Haman. (These names appear in the original language stacked one on top of the other, as do the times spoken of Ecclesiastes 3:2 through 8.)
Here are the names and their translations as they appear in the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, and some, in brackets, with added Hebrew definitions and verse references.
Parshandatha = “given by prayer” [Nehemiah 2:4]
Dalphon = “dripping” [poured out]
Aspatha = “the enticed gathered”
Poratha = “fruitfulness” or “frustration” [our work is opposed]
Adalia = “I shall be drawn up of Jah”
Aridatha = “the lion of the decree”
Parmashta = “superior”
Arisai = “lion of my banners (?)”
Aridai = “the lion is enough”
Vajezatha = “strong as the wind” [as the Holy Spirit moving, unknown to man]
This is the story, the pattern, we see in Nehemiah, Jehovah our Comforter.
1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lies waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said unto me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if your servant have found favor in your sight, that you would send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there THREE DAYS.
12 And I arose in the night [in their ignorance], I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
17 Then said I unto them, You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that you do? will you rebel against the king?
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
1 To every thing there is a season [zman], and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit has he that works in that wherein he labors?
10 I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.
14 I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before him.
15 That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?
22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
The word puwr, the origin of the name Purim, is only used twice. The first is in Psalms 33:10 in telling of the counsel of the heathen coming to “naught.” The other is in Psalms 89:33, where the LORD is speaking of the sure mercies of David, saying He will correct his children and will not “utterly take” from them His loving kindness.
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.
4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5 He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap: he lays up the depth in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the heathen to naught [puwr]: he makes the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.
13 The LORD looks from heaven; he beholds all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashions their hearts alike; he considers all their works.
16 There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in you.
1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: your faithfulness shall you establish in the very heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
4 Your seed will I establish for ever, and build up your throne to all generations. Selah.
5 And the heavens shall praise your wonders, O LORD: your faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto you? or to your faithfulness round about you?
9 You rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, you stillest them.
10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; you have scattered your enemies with your strong arm.
11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours: as for the world and the fullness thereof, you have founded them.
12 The north and the south you have created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in your name.
13 You have a mighty arm: strong is your hand, and high is your right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of your throne: mercy and truth shall go before your face.
15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance.
16 In your name shall they rejoice all the day: and in your righteousness shall they be exalted.
17 For you are the glory of their strength: and in your favor our horn shall be exalted.
18 For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
19 Then you spoke in vision to your holy one, and said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25 I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
26 He shall cry unto me, You are my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take [puwr] from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
38 But you have cast off and abhorred, you have been wroth with your anointed.
39 You have made void the covenant of your servant: you have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.
40 You have broken down all his hedges; you have brought his strong holds to ruin.
41 All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbors.
42 You have set up the right hand of his adversaries; you have made all his enemies to rejoice.
43 You have also turned the edge of his sword, and have not made him to stand in the battle.
44 You have made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.
45 The days of his youth have you shortened: you have covered him with shame. Selah.
46 How long, LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? shall your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore have you made all men in vain?
48 What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
49 LORD, where are your former loving-kindnesses, which you swore unto David in your truth?
50 Remember, LORD, the reproach of your servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;
51 Wherewith your enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.