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(See ESTHER.) From a Persian word, "lots"; because Haman had east lots to find an auspicious day for destroying the Jews (Esther 3:6-7; Esther 9:24). The feast of Purim was kept on the 14th and 15th days of Adar. An introductory fast was subsequently appointed on the 13th, commemorating that of Esther and of the Jews by her desire before she ventured into Abasuerus' presence (Esther 4:16). When the stars appear at the beginning of the 14th candles are lighted in joy, and the people assemble in the synagogue. Then the megillah "roll" of Esther is read through histrionically. On Haman's name being mentioned the congregation exclaim, "let his name be blotted out!" His sons' names are read in one enunciation to mark they were all hanged at once.
        At the close of reading the megallah all cry out, "cursed be Haman, blessed be Mordecai; cursed be Zeresh (Haman's wife), blessed be Esther; cursed be all idolaters, blessed be all Israelites, and blessed be Harbonah who hanged Haman!" The repast at home is mainly milk and eggs. At morning service Exodus 17:8-16, the doom of Amalek the people of Agag (1 Samuel 15:8), Haman's ancestor (Esther 3:1), is read. Saturnalian-like drinking and acting, the men assuming women's attire (the Purim suspending the prohibition, Deuteronomy 22:5), and offerings for the poor, characterize the feast (Esther 9:17-18-19-32). The feast began among the Jews of their own accord; Mordecai wrote confirming it, and Esther joined with him in "writing with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purlin."
        (See JESUS CHRIST on "the feast of the Jews," John 5:1, not probably Purim (which the Vaticanus and the Alexandrinus manuscripts reading, "a," favors), but the Passover (which the Sinaiticus manuscript, "the," indicates).)

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'purim' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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