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Prophetic Day or Year
Jerusalem's Destruction and the Seventy Weeks

By John Denton

"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." Dan 12:11-12

 

 TIME TO FLEE IDENTIFIED

This paper will overview a portion of the historical account describing the destruction of Jerusalem in the 1st Century of our common era. It compares Daniel's prophetic words regarding this historic event with the account provided by the then contemporary historian Josephus. The paper will pay close attention to the 1,290, 1,335, and 2,300 day periods foretold by Daniel. Some today feel these days are prophetic for years not literal days. Others apply these days as literal days but do so not at the manifestation of our Lord's presence in fire and at the end of the Gospel age but at some other intermediate chronological date. We feel this paper will help all to see how the 'type' was indeed fulfilled and thus help us to anticipate some further potential details in the outworking of the Divine plan.

When examining by cross referencing Jesus' words in Matthew 24:15 with Luke 21:20 we can identify the 'desolating thing' as the Roman armies capable of inflicting this destruction. Daniel in 11:9-17 describes the same details in connection with the Roman armies but this time labels the Romans as the 'king of the north' and the Jewish nation the 'king of the south'. Daniel records how the 'king of the north' (the Romans) would return against Jerusalem the 'king of the south', lay siege to it and destroy it. In verse 17 Daniel also describes Jerusalem as a 'woman' whom the 'king of the north' brings to ruin.

Daniel nailed down the time with further information, showing that the time for fleeing would arrive after the constant daily sacrifice to the Romans had been brought to an end and the 'desolating thing' had appeared and withdrawn. Using the eye witness account of the historian Josephus, the events can be pinpointed to the end of December 66 or 67.

Many 'discerning' disciples identified these events and having understood their significance with Daniel's help, would have been ready to follow Jesus' warning to leave the doomed city of Jerusalem. Starting from January 67 or 68 after the Roman army had withdrawn, persons having been warned of the predicted final destruction on Jerusalem could have got out. Unlike the rest of the Jews, who considered the unexplained withdrawal of the Roman army to be a victory granted to them by God, a sign that he was with them, therefore they considered they were divinely protected and safe in Jerusalem.

Once this start date for the time of the final part had been identified, these discerning ones could make further examination of Daniel's time prophecies linked directly to this starting date, the end of December 66 or 67. These prophecies were provided to identify and anticipate what would occur in the 'final part' of the events in connection with the end of the Jewish system (Daniel 12:8).

 

Chart 17:1      THREE CONCURRENT TIME PERIODS OF DANIEL
Constant feature removed        Happy are the ones      Sanctuary is
Romans appear & withdraw               Arriving at   Restored to its
Time to Flee        Final part starts   this point    Rightful state
End Dec' 66 or 67         TC11?              TC12?             TC13?
  |                         |                  |                 |
  |<---- 1,290 days ------->|<----45 days----->|                 |
  |  Period of escaping     |                  |                 |
  |<------------------------- 2,300 days ----------------------->|
__|_________________________|__________________|_________________|___ 
  |                         |                  |                 |
  |                         |                  |                 |
Dan 8:13,12:8,11        Dan 12:11           Dan12:12        Dan 8:14

There are three time periods plotted out by Daniel that all start from this date, these Jesus recommended his disciples to carefully examine and take into account. According to Daniel the three periods all start simultaneously at the end of December AD 66 or 67.

The first is a period of 1,290 days (Daniel 12:11).

The second a period of 1,335 days (Daniel 12:12).

The third a period of 2,300 days (Daniel 8:14).

 

THE DESOLATING THING RETURNS

After the withdrawal of the Roman armies and for the following three years, those listening to 'Jesus voice' by means of his disciples, separated themselves from the inhabitants of Jerusalem and fled the city. According to Josephus' historical account, during this time, internal anarchy within the city of Jerusalem was continually churning away. Civil war was continuing without let up within the walls of Jerusalem. The warring factions within the Jewish nation had developed into three main opposing divisions, a triangular civil war situation. Jerusalem had become a violent bloody city, these warring factions were tearing the nation apart. These three main warring groups were lead by John of Gischala a Galilean partisan and Zealot leader, Simon Gioras the leader of the priestly party plus an assorted group, and Eleazar son of Simon the main Zealot leader.

Living in the city of Jerusalem had become a nightmare, it was so full of violence and misery, the citizens desperately wanted to get rid of these fanatics. Famine and food shortages had become an everyday problem, there seemed no let up or end to these factions burning hatred for each other. Daily the fighting continued and the casualties mounted. After some three years of this anarchy a Roman general, Titus, marches against the city with four legions of the Roman army, as he is advancing the Jews attack mounting numerous successful guerilla type sorties, attacking and running. Finally Titus is able to secure his camp and fortify it. The 'desolating thing' that causes destruction had now returned, as had been warned.

During a lull in skirmishing with the Romans, the Passover day comes round on the 6th of April 70 or 71 (14th of Xanthicus/Nisan, ref' V-3:1). Whilst Eleazar's rebels were holding the all important temple areas, they were letting people into the courtyards for the Passover festival; although trying to control those admitted. Many of John's warring faction smuggled their way into these temple areas. Fighting broke out between them, John with his men eventually gained control of this key temple area, so Eleazar arranged a truce and successfully unites their two forces, this reduces the three opposing factions to two.

THE TENTH TIME CUE

The 14th of Nisan AD 70 or 71.

By the 6th of April 70 or 71 the Roman armies, under Titus, had returned in full force against Jerusalem to lay siege to it and finish what had been started in 66 or 67. No further escapees could flee once this siege was set, the period allowed for this was over. On the 10th of April, the legions commence leveling the ground between them and the city walls, this was completed after four days on the 14th of April (22nd of Xanthicus/Nisan, ref' Josephus V-7:2). The Roman attack commenced with a barrage of missiles from their siege towers, then Titus brings up his battering rams which begin pounding the walls. Seeing the common danger now literally bashing on their door, Simon, the leader of the third warring division, joins with the new alliance in defending the city against their common enemy. On the 29th of April (7th of Artemisius-Iyyar, ref' V-7:2) one of the battering rams breaches the first wall.

MAY 70 or 71

Five days later, on the 4th May 70 or 71 (12th of Artemisius/Iyyar, ref' V-8:1) the Romans, again using their battering rams, breach the second wall. Titus orders his engineers to begin raising earth ramps up against the walls of the Antonia fortress. When they reach this strongly fortified inner wall, Titus challenges the fanatics alliance to let the citizens go and he would give them their houses back which were now laying in his control. The citizens were more than willing to do this suggestion but the fanatics swiftly put an end to the idea by threatening to kill any that urged surrender. To back up this threat they executed any who even discussed it. The Rebels then mount an attack on the unsuspecting Romans and amazingly pushed them back outside the second wall again.

Four days later on the 8th of May (16th of Artemisius/Iyyar, ref' V-8:2) Titus recaptures this second wall and his troops are again inside the city. He now decides to take a break from the war; trying to impress the onlooking Jews with his army and break down their morale he parades his troops and pays them their wages in front of them. During this time the suffering of the captive citizens became even more acute, famine was taking its toll, the fanatics were confiscating any available food for themselves, any citizens caught concealing food or valuables suffered terrible tortures and deaths. On the other hand, any fleeing citizens caught by the Romans were tortured and crucified in retaliation for the contempt they had for these stupid fanatics causing them so much trouble and danger. The citizens of Jerusalem were truly caught between a rock and a hard place! They were paying the price for ignoring Jesus warning.

By the 21st of May 70 or 71 (29th of Artemisius/Iyyar, ref' V-11:4) the earth ramps against the walls of the Antonia fortress are completed and the Romans bring up their massive battering rams. Two days later, Jewish guerrilla rebels attack the battering rams setting fire to them and demolish their ramps, they pressed their attack right up to the Romans' fortified camp. Titus calls a war council to review the strategy and decides to starve the city into surrender by sealing it off entirely with a five mile long siege wall of stakes surrounding the entire city walls. We are told the legions built this surrounding fortification in three days, if this is true, it is a tremendous feat even by Roman standards, all available timber for some ten miles radius of Jerusalem was chopped down and used, the landscape was denuded of trees for miles.

MASS DEATHS

Being now completely sealed in, the famine soon became even more acute and the conditions in the city degenerated further. One group of Simons rebel fighters made plans to surrender to the Romans, but Simon finds out and executes them by mutilation, throwing their bodies over the wall to the Romans. The enormous number of deaths suffered to this point can be illustrated by the number of bodies that had been brought out through just one of the city gates; 115,000 corpses in 2 1/2 months, between the 6th of April and 22nd of June (ref' V-13:7). Some claimed that as many as 600,000 corpses had been thrown out by this time. The bodies were now piling up in heaps, some mansion houses were being used as body depositories, the stench of decomposing corpses was terrible.

Finally the battering rams breach part of the inner-wall but to their dismay they found that John's rebels had been busy building a second inner-wall behind it. Titus now has to give his demoralized troops a 'pep talk'. On the 26th of June (5th of Panemus/Tammuz, ref' VI-1-7) the Romans mount an attack and get through the breached wall taking the fight to the temple gates but eventually they are forced to retire to the Antonia castle tower. On the 5th of July (14th of Panemus/Tammuz, ref' VI-2:7) Titus orders his troops to destroy the foundations of the Antonia in order to make an easy attack route for his legions.

On the 18th of July (27th Panemus/Tammuz) the Jews set a fire trap for the Romans in the colonnade connecting the temple with the Antonia fortress, pretending to retreat, they enticed Romans soldiers to climb over into the colonnade to give chase, the Jews then fire the trap and many Roman troops are burned. To prevent a repetition of this incident, the next day, the 19th of July (28th of Panemus) the Romans fire the north colonnade themselves. By now the famine had become so severe that Josephus relates how a starving woman killed her own baby, roasted and ate it, things could hardly have been worse for these suffering citizens.

DISGUSTING THING DESTROYS THE HOLY PLACE

By the 29th of July (8th of Lous/Ab) the earthworks are completed. Titus orders the battering rams up to the western side of the temple outer courtyard. Finding the going tough, the Romans try to scale the walls to the Temple with ladders, the Jews repulse this attack. With nothing else working, Titus orders setting fire to the temple gates. Holding a council meeting to discuss the fate of the temple, Titus declares his intentions are to save it from being burnt. Despite this, on the 31st of July (10th of Lous/ Ab, ref' VI-4:5) the Roman troops probably out of spite and contempt, set fire to the temple buildings. The rebels now flee the temple for the city, to carry on the fight from there. The Romans having now captured the temple areas carry the standards of their legions into these courtyards and make sacrifices to them.

THE ELEVENTH TIME CUE

The 10th of Ab (31st of July) AD 70 or 71.

On the 31st of July 70 or 71 (10th of Lous/Ab) the Roman armies finally destroy the temple, the 'desolating thing' now stands in the holy place and destroys it. The Jewish religious system centered round the sacrifices and festivals performed at this temple were brought to their end once and for all time.

 

Chart 17:2.     THE FIRST APPLICATION OF THE 1,290 DAYS
Constant Feature          The Temple   Happy are          Sanctuary
Removed, Romans         Destroyed by   the ones         is restored
Appear and             the Returned    Arriving              to its
Withdraw,                  Romans       at this            Rightful
Time to flee.              Armies        Point                State
31 Dec' 66 or 67        31 July 70 or 71   ?                     ?  
  |                           |            |                     |
  |<------1,290 days -------->|<-45 days-->|                     |
  | From 1st Jan' 67          |            |                     |
  | to 31st of July 70 or 71  |            |                     |
  |  3 years 7 months         |            |                     |
  |                           |            |                     |
  |<------------- 1,335 days ------------->|                     |
  |<---------------------- 2,300 days -------------------------->|
  |____________________|______|____________|_____________________|
 TC9                 TC10   TC11          TC12                  TC13
Dan 8:13, 12:8,11      |   Dan 12:11     Dan12:12           Dan 8:14
Final part starts      |<--- Roman armies return 6th April 70 or 71

 

From the end of December 66 or 67 to the end of July 70 or 71 can be reckoned as 3 years 7 months or 43 months of 30 days each; 43x30=1,290 days, according to Bible reckoning. Daniel's signs identified December the 31st 66 or 67 as the start of the 'final part of the end' when the Roman armies under Cestuis withdrew, 1,290 days after this the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed by the same returned Roman armies on the 31st of July 70 or 71 (Daniel 12:8,11).


END OF THE JEWISH SYSTEM

The war was not yet over, after the temple is burned the Roman troops turn their attention to the rest of the city of Jerusalem. They burn and ravage the lower city, 10,000 Jews are caught and executed, everything was plundered that was worth plundering.

The remaining rebels even at this dire stage, will not concede to the terms of Titus' surrender, taking refuge in the upper city, including Herod's palace which still remained in their control. The Romans now once again have to start building earth ramps to attack the upper city. They start building their assault ramps on the 10th of August (20th of Lous/Ab), after eighteen days these ramps are completed on the 27th of August (7th of Gorpiaeus/Elul).

THE TWELFTH TIME CUE

The 26th of Gorpiaeus/Elul (14th September) AD 70 or 71

The Romans breach the upper city walls and burn the houses. By the evening of the 28th of August (8th of Gorpiaeus) the whole city is burning. The remaining rebels cannot hold out for much longer, once the temple had been destroyed they were finally forced to realize that God was not supporting them, the fight went out of these remaining religious fanatics. Over the next couple of weeks prisoners are winkled out and rounded up, 97,000 in all, with according to Josephus; 110,000 dead. If the 115,000 corpses taken out through one of the gates, mentioned earlier, are added to this, we get a total figure of 225,000 dead, (bearing in mind that these are Josephus figures).

The Roman troops combed the remains of the city for hidden plunder, any remaining rebels hidden in the underground tunnels were ferreted out killed or taken prisoner. They pull down the walls of the city to their foundations to prevent any possible repeat situations. The city and temple, after burning were now both completely demolished. Titus finally holds a three day feast for his troops, commends his most courageous, and promotes any worthy officers.

Just 45 days after the temple is burnt, the rest of Jerusalem has been destroyed and plundered, prisoners taken, rebels ferreted out and executed. The Jewish administration system from their capital city Jerusalem had now also been completely wiped out.

SEPTEMBER THE WAR IS OVER

By mid-September, with the war over, cleaning up completed, and peace restored, Titus leaves for Caesarea. The end to this second time period of Daniel, marking the 'final part of the end' has now come round. The 1,335 days counting from the same starting time when the Roman armies under Cestuis withdrew at the end of December 66 or 67 concludes with the city of Jerusalem being destroyed by these same returned Roman armies. Any former inhabitants of Jerusalem who had got out earlier now arrived to see this date still free and alive, could be described as 'happy' they had fled and survived these desolations not being destroyed with the 225,000 who died in this war of Jerusalem. (Daniel 12:12).

 

Chart 17:3.       THE FIRST APPLICATION OF THE 1,335 DAYS
Constant feature    The Temple is   Happy are            Sanctuary
Removed, Romans      Destroyed by   the ones           is restored
Appear and          the returned    Arriving                to its
Withdraw,               Romans       at this              Rightful
Time to flee.           Armies        Point                  State
End Dec AD66 or 67  End/July 70 or 71 14th Sept 70 or 71        ?
  |                        |            |                       |
  |<---- 1,290 days ------>|<-45 days-->|                       |
  |From 1st January 67or68 |            |                       |
  | to 31st of July 70or71 |            |                       |
  |   3 years 7 months     |            |                       |
  |<---------- 1,335 days ------------->|                       |
  |1st Jan 67 or68 to 14th Sept 70 or71 |                       |
  |     3 years 8 months 15 days        |                       |
  |<----------------------- 2,300 days ------------------------>|
__|_________________|______|____________|_______________________|___
  |                 |      |            |                       |
Dan 8:13,12:8,11    |    Dan 12:11    Dan12:12              Dan 8:14
TC 9                |     TC 11        TC 12                  TC 13
Final part starts  TC 10,<--- Roman armies return 6th April AD 70 or 71

 

THE END OF THE JEWISH LAND OF ISRAEL

Any rebels of the Jewish resistance who had managed to escape from the siege of Jerusalem,* retreated to last pockets of resistance setting up last ditch defenses around the Dead Sea areas. One of the very last of these to hold out was the famous hill fortress of Masada overlooking the dead sea. Nearly three years after the Roman armies had returned to lay siege to Jerusalem and destroy it, they now come against Masada and proceed to lay siege to it.

* Note: It is quite possible that when these refugee religious fanatics were fleeing Jerusalem they would have smuggled out with them many religious scrolls from the temple library knowing they would all likely be destroyed before long by he Romans. Hiding these in caves or safe keeping only to be discovered much later, becoming known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. When it looked like there was no hope for the defenders, the remaining 960 committed suicide. The Roman armies marched into Masada on the 8th of April 73 or 74 (16th of Xanthicus/Nisan, ref' VII-4:1-2) and retook the fortress they had lost to the Jewish Zealots back in 66 or 67. After chasing fugitives and refugee bands, either capturing them or driving them from the land, the curtain was finally brought down on the Jewish nation and its resistance to the Romans on the world stage.

THE THIRTEENTH TIME CUE

The 28th of Artemisius/Iyyar (20th May) AD 73 or 74

The territories of Israel were sold off and by mid-May of the year 73 or 74 the Jewish homeland and territories had been rubbed out, nothing was left remaining of the entire Jewish system. God had completed what he had warned would happen, he had wiped their existence away, never again would Jehovah back this nation. No longer was any part of the sanctified Jewish religion, its national administration or territories left.

The third time period of Daniel marking the 'final part of the end' had come round, 2,300 days after the Roman armies under Cestuis had withdrawn at the end of 66 or 67, the complete Jewish system including its territories is wiped out (Daniel 8:14). Using bible reckoning 2,300 days amounts to 76 months (each 30 days long) plus 20 days, or 6 years 4 months 20 days, calculated from the end of 66 or 67 it brings us to the 20th of May 73 or 74. The old Jewish sanctified arrangement was removed, a new sanctified arrangement was taking its place. Removing all traces of the old, the 'new' could be said to have come into its rightful state, the full transition had taken place.

THE TEMPLE REPLACEMENT

The stone built temple at Jerusalem, the center of Jewish worship, is superseded by a new living stone temple, as Paul plainly pointed out some ten years before the temple was destroyed in 70 or 71, he said at Ephesians 2:20 speaking to the spirit anointed Christians living in Ephesus "You have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Jesus Christ is the foundation cornerstone. In union with him, the complete building is being harmoniously joined together and is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah. In union with him you too are being built up together into a place for God to inhabit by spirit" (NWT). This new 'living' temple, constructed with selected people is built in the heavens not on earth.

THE CITY OF JERUSALEM'S REPLACEMENT

Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish administration is superseded by a new heavenly city administration, as testified by Paul some nine years before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. He said to some of the 'adopted Sons' at Hebrews 12:22: "You have approached Mount Zion..a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens, and God the Judge of all" (NWT). This new heavenly administration city of Jerusalem, will eventually administer over all things in existence.

THE NATION AND LAND OF ISRAEL'S REPLACEMENT

The Jewish nation were superseded by a new nation, as was pointed out by Peter some ten years before the land of Israel was wiped off of its territories in 73 or 74. Peter said to the anointed disciples at 1 Peter 2:9: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (NRSV). Again this holy nation is to inhabit the heavens. It is for this very reason that the Revelation to John was withheld, further details on these new things could not be given until the old ones had been removed (compare Revelation 11:1 the new heavenly Temple, 21:2,10-21 the new heavenly Jerusalem, 7:4-8 the new heavenly Israel).

The old symbols had now been cleared away. In just over three fearful years, the Jewish nation had undergone an entire annihilation, brought about by God in three stages.

First its religious system, centered at the temple, destroyed on the 31st of July 70 or 71.
Second its government administration system, completely wiped out by the 14th of September.
Thirdly and finally, the Jewish nation lost its territories by the marker date, 20th of May 73 or 74.

Everything that God had given this nation had been stripped away. The model of God's Kingdom project had now been destroyed. The real thing was now under construction its foundations already laid.

Chart 17:4. THE FIRST APPLICATION OF THE 2,300 DAYS
Constant feature       The Temple      Happy are            Sanctuary
Removed, Romans       Destroyed by     the ones           is restored
Appear and           the returned      Arriving                to its
Withdraw,                Romans.        at this              Rightful
Time to flee.     Final part starts      Point                  State
31 Dec 66or67     31 July 70or71. 14th Sept 70or71     20th May 73or74
  |<----- 1,290 days ------->|<--45 days-->|                       |
  |   From 1st Jan 67or68    |             |                       |
  | to 31st of July 70or71   |             |                       |
  |    3 years 7 months      |             |                       |
  |<------------ 1,335 days -------------->|                       |
  |From 1st Jan'67or68 to 14th Sept' 70or71|                       |
  |      3 years 8 months 15 days          |                       |
  |<------------------------- 2,300 days ------------------------->|
  |      From 1st of January 67or68 to the 20th of May 73or74      |
  |                     6 years  4 months  20 days                 |
__|___________________|______|_____________|_______________________|
 TC9                TC10    TC11         TC12                    TC13
Dan 8:13,12:8,11      |   Dan 12:11     Dan 12:12            Dan 8:14
Final part starts     |<----- Roman armies return 6th April AD 70 or 71

Reviewing the time cues:-

9th Time Cue. 31st of December 66 or 67, Between October 66 or 67 and the end of December 66 or 67, the constant feature had been removed the daily sacrifice to Rome. The Roman armies appeared against Jerusalem and by the end of December 66 or 67 they had unaccountably withdrawn, the time to flee starts.

10th Time Cue. The 6th of April 70 or 71, the Roman armies under Titus return against Jerusalem and lay siege to it, the opportunity to flee ends.

11th Time Cue. The 31st of July 70 or 71 the Roman armies destroy the temple, the Jewish religious system comes to its end.

12th Time Cue. The 14th of September 70 or 71, the Romans have completely destroyed Jerusalem, the Jewish administration center, executions carried out, prisoners deported; the war at Jerusalem ends, peace is restored.

13th Time Cue. By the 20th May 73 or 74 the Romans have removed the last national resistance of the Jews, taking Masada and clearing the land of all last pockets of resistance. All the lost Jewish lands and territories are sold off.

This treatise overviewed the destruction of Jerusalem in the 1st Century by the Romans. It evaluates and compares Daniel's prophetic words regarding this historic event with the account provided by the historian Josephus. It clearly establishes that the typical fulfillment were literal days not weeks of years and that these days occurred at the final part of the last days of the Jewish system of things. Some today apply an anti-type fulfillment to these days but modify their magnitude by liberally apply a year for each day. Others apply literal days to events that happened many decades ago and to events that did not bring about the conclusion of the age. We can find no scriptural support for such views. The anti-type descriptions we find in the Revelation (Rev 11) also give no evidence nor support for this type of time domain manipulation. Therefore, it is our thinking that if one entertains the idea of an anti-type at the close of the Gospel age one should explore the likelihood that this anti-type will match the type very closely and result in literal days at the conclusion of the age. We all do well in an examination such as this, to keep in mind the admonition of the Apostle Paul to not go beyond what is written. 1

Note 1: The historical reference material used in this work was: The Complete Works of Josephus, 1981 Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 49501

Permission is granted to electronically copy and redistribute these files provided the copy right notice, URL site and E Mail addresses are retained.

This information is reproduced by permission of the authors: Copyright = John Denton. Bible Research & Investigation Co

 

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Date: 28 Oct 2005
Time: 15:22:13

Comments0:

Hello,
I just signed up for the message board. I'm looking for a person named John Denton. I notice he has an article on here. Is there some way that I can contact him because I want to talk to him about his 50,000-year time line plan? I've been trying to write to him with the e-mail he gives, but it doesn't work.
Thanks,
Jewels


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