If, as seems probable, the earlier Greek version of the Book of Esther was made about 179 B.C. (Swete, Introduction of the Old Testament in Greek, p. 25), this suggestion of the connexion of Purim with the Maccabean period made by Haupt and, before him, by Willrich, falls to the ground.
That one of the earlier dates is correct seems probable from the fact that the Falashas know nothing of either the Babylonian or Jerusalem Talmud, make no use of phylacteries (tefillin), and observe neither the feast of Purim nor the dedication of the temple.
I.: if " the feast " is read, a choice remains between Passover and Tabernacles (the definite article would not be very definite after all); if the more probable " a feast," the greater feasts are presumably excluded, but a choice remains between, at any rate, Pentecost (May), Trumpets (September), Dedication (December) and Purim (February).
Adar 13, 2 Fast of Esther, 8 In embolismic „ 14, Purim, years.
PURIM, a Jewish festival held on the 14th and 15th of Adar, the last month of the Jewish calendar.
Purim is the carnival of the Jewish year.
From the 17th century onward Purim plays were performed mostly by the children, who improvised a dramatic version of the story of Esther.
Scarcely more is to be said in favour of the suggestion made by Von Hammer; but better known in connexion with the name of Lagarde, who connects the name Purim with the old Zoroastrian festival of the dead, entitled Farwardigan.
Variant of the Hebrew (4 poupal); but there is absolutely nothing about Purim which suggests any relation with a festival of the dead.
157 seq.) connects Purim with the puchru or assembly of the gods, which forms part of the Babylonian New Year festival Zagmuku, but the inserted guttural is against the identification.
This etymological connexion, suggested by Jensen (Kosmologie, 84), brings the festival of Purim into close relation with the Babylonian New Year festival known as Zagmuku, in which one of the most prominent ceremonials was the celebration of the assembly of the gods under the presidency of Marduk (Merodach) for the purpose of determining the fates of the New Year.
296 seq.) and others have suggested that the drunkenness and masquerading current at the period of Purim are directly derived from the general period of licence allowed at the Sacaea festival of the Babylonian New Year.
Even the fact that this latter was celebrated on the first of Nisan, or a fortnight after the Jewish date for Purim, is confirmed by the Book of Esther itself, which states that "In the first month, which is the month Nisan, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman" (Esther iii.
The death of the god, he suggests, is represented by the Fast of Esther on the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim, while the rejoicing on Purim itself, and the licence accompanying it, recall the union of the god and goddess of vegetation, of which he sees traces in the relations of Mordecai and Esther.
There may possibly be "survivals" of the influence of some such celebrations both on the Book of Esther and on the ceremonies of Purim, but there is absolutely no evidence that the Jews took over the interpretation of these festivals with their celebration.
Nor is there any record of royal privileges attaching to any person at the period of Purim such as occurs in the festivals with which it is supposed to be connected by Frazer.
His further suggestion, therefore, that the ironical crowning of Jesus with the crown of thorns and the inscription over the Cross, together with the selection of Barabbas, had anything to do with the feast of Purim, must be rejected.
The connexion of the Passion with the Passover rather than Purim would alone be sufficient to nullify the suggestion.
However, it is practically certain, both from the etymology of the word Purim and from the resemblance of the festivals, that the feast, as represented in the Book of Esther, was borrowed from the Persians, who themselves appeared to have adapted it from the Babylonians.
This renders it impossible to accept Haupt's suggestion that Purim is connected with the celebration of Nicanor's Day, to celebrate the triumph of Judas Maccabaeus over the Syrian general Nicanor at Adasa (161 B.C.) on the 13th of Adar, since this is the date of the Fast of Esther, and, besides, the Second Book of Maccabees, which refers to Nicanor's Day, speaks of it as the day before Mordecai's Day (2 Macc. xvi.
The date at which the feast of Purim was first adopted by the Jews from their Persian neighbours would be definitely determined if we knew the date of the Book of Esther.
Vii.) that, in 416 A.D., the Jews of Inmester, a town in Syria, illtreated a Christian child during some Purim pranks and caused his death.
In connexion with Purim many quaint customs were introduced by the Jews of later times.
Besides gifts to friends, parents made Purim gifts to their children, especially in the form of Purim cakes.
In later days the same function was performed by the Purim Rabbi, who often indulged in parodies of the ritual.
With Purim is connected the only trace of a true folk-drama among Jews.
Among the German Jews Purim-Spiele were frequent and can be traced back to the 16th century, where there is reference to their being regularly performed at Tannhausen.
Thus the Jews of Cairo celebrated Purim on the 28th of Adar in memory of their being miraculously saved from the persecution of Ahmed Pasha in 1524.
The Jews of Frankfort celebrate their special Purim on the 10th of Adar because of their deliverance from persecution by Fettmilch in 1616.
David Brandeis of Jung-Bunzlau in Bohemia was saved from an accusation of poisoning on the 10th of Adar 1731, and instituted a similar family Purim celebration in consequence.
" Purim"; "Purim Plays," "Purims, Special"; W.
Erbt, Die Purimsage (Berlin, 1900); Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages; Lagarde, Purim, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Religion (Gottingen, 885); Steinschneider, Purim and Parodie (Berlin, 1902); P. Haupt, Purim (Leipzig, 1906); I.
(io) Megillah, " roll " (of Esther), the reading of it at Purim, &c. (11) Mo`ed gaton (" the small M," to distinguish it from the name of this order), or Mashkin (the first word), regulations for the intermediate festivals at Passover and Tabernacles.
(I) The Babylonian festival corresponding to Purim was not the spring festival of Zagmuk, but the summer festival of Ishtar, which is probably the Sacaea of Berossus, an orgiastic festival analogous to Purim.
" Purim, § 7), while agreeing with Winckler that the book is based on an earlier narrative, holds that that earlier text differed more widely from the present in its geographical and historical setting than Winckler seems to suppose.
The problem of the origin of the name Purim, however, can hardly be said to have received a final solution.
(1875), 14$-153; Lagarde, Purim (1887); Zimmern in Stade's Zeitschrift, xi.
Biblica, articles " Esther " and " Purim " (a composite article).
Zimmern indeed connects the Akitu festival with 'that of Purim on the 15th Adar (March); see K.A.T.