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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

Jerusalem as Historical City
The Temples of Jerusalem

Jerusalem as Historical City- Temple | Jerusalem as Prophetic Focal Point | Jerusalem as Babylon | Jerusalem as Heavenly City


TOPICS: Does THE "Western Wall" refute Pret VIEW of Matthew 24:2? | HOW MANY JEWISH TEMPLES WERE THERE? | WHY WAS THE SECOND TEMPLE DESTROYED? | WILL THERE BE A TEMPLE REBUILT IN JERUSALEM? | ORACLES AND HISTORIANS

Significance of AD70 | The Avenging of the Saviour | Demonstratio Evangelica | The Destruction of Jerusalem | The Destruction of Jerusalem | Irenaeus | The Signs of the Son of Man's Presence at the Destruction of Jerusalem  | Dissertations on The Destruction of Jerusalem | The Destruction of Jerusalem The Jewish War and Destruction of Jerusalem | The Ways of Providence.. The Overthrow of the Jewish Commonwealth by the Romans and the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus | The Effects of the Fall of Jerusalem on Christianity | The Doom and Downfall of Fruitless Professors | Worst Desolation Ever? | | What if the Second Temple had survived AD70? | The Destruction of Jerusalem in the Qu'ran | Index to the Talmud: The Destruction of the Temple | 9th of Av
 


Does THE"Western Wall" refute Pret VIEW of Matthew 24:2?
 

Window to the Wall
Webcam on Jerusalem's "Western Wall"

 

“Israel’s Indiana Jones” : "argued that the Western Wall -- for centuries considered Judaism's holiest site -- was part of the "newer" area built by King Herod, and therefore not included in the Second Temple's original layout, and thus, not specifically a holy place." (Israel’s ‘Indy’ Puts Forth His Facts)

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting
"The Western Wall is not an actual part of the temple. It is the remnant of the outer retaining wall built by Herod to level the ground and expand the area of the compound housing the Second Jewish Temple. Its holiness derives from its proximity to the Temple site. For the last several hundred years, Jews have prayed at the Western Wall because it was the closest accessible place to the holiest site." (NY Times Correction)

David Brown
"Contrary to popular perception, the Wailing Wall was never a part of the Temple itself, but is merely the exposed Southwestern portion of the massive platform (or "Temple Mount") upon which the Holy Temple once stood, and which now supports the Dome of the Rock and the El Aqsa mosque.  The Temple itself has long since been utterly and completely obliterated, to the point that scholars still argue about its exact positioning on the mount. What is known is that the Holy of Holies was on the Western end, which is the main reason the Western Wall of the platform became so important to later generations of Jews -- it was as close as they could get to the Holy of Holies without actually going on top of the mount, which the most conservative factions will not do, for fear of inadvertently treading on the Most Holy site and profaning it." http://www.amfi.org

Bryan Schwartzman
"(Dan Bahat) argued that the Western Wall -- for centuries considered Judaism's holiest site -- was part of the "newer" area built by King Herod, and therefore not included in the Second Temple's original layout, and thus, not specifically a holy place." (Israel’s ‘Indy’ Puts Forth His Facts)


CHRISTIAN SOURCES

Chrysostom
"How means He from this, "that one stone shalt not be left upon another?" Either as conveying the notion of its utter overthrow; or with respect to the place in which it stood, for its parts were broken up to its very foundations. But I would add, that, after the fate it underwent, the most captious might be satisfied that its very fragments have perished."  (Homily lxxv)

Adam Clarke
"There shall not be left here one stone— These seem to have been the last words he spoke as he left the temple, into which he never afterwards entered; and, when he got to the mount of Olives, he renewed the discourse. From this mount, on which our Lord and his disciples now sat, the whole of the city, and particularly the temple, were clearly seen. This part of our Lord’s prediction was fulfilled in the most literal manner. Josephus says, War, book vii. c. 1: "Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the whole city and temple, te polin apasan kai ton newn kataskeptein, except the three towers, Phaselus, Hippicus, and Mariamne, and a part of the western wall, and these were spared; but, for all the rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground, by those who dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited." Maimonides, a Jewish rabbin, in Tract. Taanith, c. 4, says, "That the very foundations of the temple were digged up, according to the Roman custom." His words are these: "On that ninth day of the month Ab, fatal for vengeance, the wicked Turnus Rufus, of the children of Edom, ploughed up the temple, and the places round about it, that the saying might be fulfilled, Zion shall be ploughed as a field." This Turnus, or rather Terentius Rufus, was left general of the army by Titus, with commission, as the Jews suppose, to destroy the city and the temple, as Josephus observes. The temple was destroyed 1st. Justly; because of the sins of the Jews. 2dly. Mercifully; to take away from them the occasion of continuing in Judaism: and 3dly. Mysteriously; to show that the ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation introduced." (Commentary on Matthew 24 in loc).

The Fourfold Gospel (J.W. McGarvey, Philip Y. Pendelton)
"{But Jesus answered and said unto them, him,} Seest thou these great buildings? See ye not all these things? As for these things which ye behold, averily I say unto you, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that {which} shall not be thrown down.

"In the very hour when the disciples exulted in the apparent permanency of their glorious temple, Jesus startled them by foretelling its utter destruction, which, within forty years, was fulfilled to the letter. The emperor Vespasian, and his son Titus, after a three years' siege, took Jerusalem and destroyed its temple, A. D. 70.  Of the temple proper not a vestige was left standing, but the vast platform upon which it stood, composed partly of natural rock and partly of immense masonry, was for the most part left standing. The destruction of the city and temple, however, was so complete that those who visited it could hardly believe that it had ever been inhabited--Jos. Wars vii. 1. " (Commentary on The Olivet Discourse, 1914)

Origen
"Christ, when He had foretold all that should come upon Jerusalem, "went forth out of the temple," He, who while He was in it, had upheld the temple that it should not fall. And so each man, being the temple of God by reason of the Spirit of God dwelling in him, is himself the cause of his being deserted, that Christ should depart from him. It is worthy of note how they "shew Him the buildings of the temple," as though He had never seen them. We reply, that when Christ had foretold the destruction that should come upon the temple, His disciples were amazed at the thought that so magnificent buildings should be utterly ruined, and therefore they shew them to Him to move Him to pity, that He would not do what He had threatened. And because the constitution of human nature is wonderful, being made the temple of God, the disciples and the rest of the saints confessing the wonderful working of God in respect of the forming of men, intercede before the face of Christ, that He would not forsake the human race for their sins."

Rabanus
"The historical sense is clear, that in the forty-second year after the Lord's passion, the city and temple were overthrown under the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus."  (Matthew 24:2, Quoted in Golden Chain - Matthew 24)

Remigius
"So it was ordained of God, that as soon as the light of grace was revealed, the temple with its ceremonies should be taken out of the way, lest any weakling in the faith, beholding all the things [p. 800] instituted of the Lord and hallowed by the Prophets yet abiding, might be gradually drawn away from the purity of the faith to a carnal Judaism."  (Matthew 24:2, Quoted in Golden Chain - Matthew 24)

Philip Schaff
The forbearance of God with his covenant people, who had crucified their own Saviour, reached it last its limit. As many as could be saved in the usual way, were rescued. The mass of the people had obstinately set themselves against all improvement. James the Just, the man who was fitted, if any could be, to reconcile the Jews to the Christian religion, had been stoned by his hardened brethren, for whom he daily interceded in the temple; and with him the Christian community in Jerusalem had lost its importance for that city. The hour of the "great tribulation" and fearful judgment drew near. The prophecy of the Lord approached its literal fulfilment: Jerusalem was razed to the ground, the temple burned, and not one stone was left upon another. (p. 397-398)

OTHER SOURCES

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting
"The Western Wall is not an actual part of the temple. It is the remnant of the outer retaining wall built by Herod to level the ground and expand the area of the compound housing the Second Jewish Temple. Its holiness derives from its proximity to the Temple site. For the last several hundred years, Jews have prayed at the Western Wall because it was the closest accessible place to the holiest site." (NY Times Correction)

 


HOW MANY JEWISH TEMPLES WERE THERE?

Bryan Schwartzman
"(Dan Bahat) argued that the Western Wall -- for centuries considered Judaism's holiest site -- was part of the "newer" area built by King Herod, and therefore not included in the Second Temple's original layout, and thus, not specifically a holy place." (Israel’s ‘Indy’ Puts Forth His Facts)


WILL THERE BE A TEMPLE REBUILT IN JERUSALEM?

Julian the Apostate | Dom Toutte's St. Cyril | Renewing the Vision of the Future Temple | On The Location of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem | Insights and Patterns Towards Building the Temple Today | Pros and Cons for Building the Temple | Revisioning the Dome of the Rock | Should Christians Support the Construction of a Jewish Temple?


Why Was the Second Temple Destroyed?

JEWISH
"What was the cause of the destruction of the Second Temple... It was groundless hatred"
Yoma, f. 9, b

CHRISTIAN
"Thus the divine vengeance overtook the Jews for the crimes which they dared to commit against Christ."
Eusebius, AD325

 

"Baruch" "Do you think that the place has sinned and that it has been destroyed for this reason, or that the country has done some crime and that it is delivered up for that reason?   And do you not know that because of you who sinned the one who did not sin was destroyed, and that because of those who acted unrighteously, the one who has not gone astray has been delivered up to the enemies?" (Second Baruch, 77, 8-10)

"Enter, enemies, and come, you who hate us, because He who guarded the House has left it." (Second Baruch 8,2)

"You, priests, take the keys of the sanctuary,
 And cast them to the highest heaven,
 And give them to the Lord and say,
 "Guard your house yourself,
 Because, behold, we have been found to be false stewards." (10, 18)

"Jeremiah" "Why was Jerusalem destroyed?  ..because of the sins of the beloved people [Jerusalem] was delivered into the hands of the enemies because of our failings and those of the people." (Paralipomena 4,6)

Pesikta Rabbati "That the enemies come and enter the House for the Master of the House is no longer there, that they might strip and destroy it, that they enter the vineyard and strip it of its grapes for the guardian has gone and left it."

  • Michel Wex Haaretz Interview - Scholar and popularizer of Yiddish, whose latest offering draws from two millennia of Jewish tradition to serve as a primer for being a mentsh "You look at something like the story in the Talmud about the destruction of Jerusalem, about Kamtso and Bar Kamtso. Ultimately it turned on a piece of khnoykishkayt [hypocritical sanctimoniousness]" // Wex focuses on the Talmudic explanation for the destruction of the Second Temple, which is attributed to a feud between two Jews of firstcentury C.E. Jerusalem. The servant of a man throwing a party mistakenly invites Bar Kamtso, an enemy of his boss, instead of his friend Kamtso. The host, rather than making the best of an awkward situation, pointedly refuses to admit Bar Kamtso when he shows up at the gathering. An embarrassed Bar Kamtso offers to cover the cost of the entire party if he is only allowed to stay, but the host kicks him out, humiliating him before his peers, none of whom bothers to come to his defense. Bar Kamtso decides to take his revenge by sabotaging an offering of a calf that the Roman emperor has sent to the Temple. In a fatal display of small-minded pettiness, the Temple’s priests refuse to accept the blemished offering, thereby insulting the emperor, who then orders the city attacked and the Temple destroyed.  In Michael Wex’s − and the Talmud’s − eyes, everyone involved in the tale behaved badly, schmuckishly in fact, and with devastating consequences. Each character allows his anger to get the better of him − and self-control, the author argues, is one of the most basic lessons of Judaism.

Noam Elimelech
“A faithful God, never false, just and upright is He”… these praises are intended to justify God’s destruction of the two temples, as will be explained: “A faithful God, never false” – referring to the destruction of the first and second temples, “just and upright is He”– referring to the destruction of the first and second temples …It is known that the first destruction was due to idolatry, sexual immorality, and the shedding of blood which angered The Holy One, Blessed Be He; the second temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, and we have explained (Bemidbar 35:34) that they did practice study of Torah and the service of God, but most of the shedding of blood was done for the sake of heaven, for they would condemn one who commits some transgression as being a Sadducee, one worthy of death and incarceration, etc. In this, their behavior became very corrupted – all in the name of heaven… “never false” – even though they acted for the sake of heaven, He cannot bear iniquity.   (Haamek Davar, ibid., ibid.)     

Robert Lepor
"
Furthermore, the destruction of Jerusalem came about as a result of this sin [of scorning Torah scholars], as it says, “And they were mocking the messenger of G-d, and they were scorning His words, and were deceitful with His prophets, until the anger of HaShem arose in His nation, to the point of no remedy.”” (Divrei HaYomim II: 36; 16) " (Shmiras HaLashon ה כּסלו - Kislev 5 - Sixty-Fifth Day)

Jerusalem Talmud 'Amidah for Tishab'Av
"Have mercy, O Lord our God, with Your great mercy and Your faithful kindness, upon us and upon Your people Israel and upon Jerusalem Your city and upon Zion the resting place of Your glory, and upon the city, that is mourning and ruined and destroyed and desolate, given over to the hands of strangers, trampled with arrogant hands; and it was inherited by legions, and profaned by idolators, and to Israel Your people you have given it as a portion, and to the seed of Jeshurun you have it as an inheritance, for with fire you have burned it, and with fire you shall in the future build up, as said "For I shall be to it, sayeth the Lord, as a wall of fire around it, and I shall be for glory within it" (y. Ber., 4.3 [8a.]).

"What was the cause of the destruction of the Second Temple, seeing that the age was distinguished for the study of the laws? ... It was groundless hatred" (Yoma, f. 9, b)

Sybilline Oracles Book IV
"An evil storm of war will also come upon Jerusalem from Italy, and it will sack the great Temple of God whenever they put their trust in folly and cast off piety and commit repulsive murders in front of the Temple. . . . A leader of Rome will come to Syria who will burn the Temple of Jerusalem with fire, at the same time slaughter many men and destroy the great land of the Jews with its broad roads. Then indeed an earthquake will destroy at once Salamis and Paphos when the dark water overwhelms Cyprus, which is washed by many waves." (A.D. 80; 4:115-118, 125-129)

Philo
"Pilate laid up in the Temple by night the imperial emblems, and from that time the Jews were involved in rebellion and mutual troubles." (Philo Jud., cf. leg. ad caium 38, pp. 589, 590.)

Rabbi Yochanan
"Yerushalayim was destroyed only because they ruled according to the law of the Torah.”  What? Are we then to judge according to the laws of the gentiles?!  Rather say “Because they based their law on the law of the Torah and did not act beyond the letter of the law.  (Bavli, Bava Metsia 30b).
The Message of the Song of Haazinu

 

Eusebius
"And all this prophecy of what would result from their insolence against the Christ has been clearly proved to have taken place after their plot against our Saviour. For it was not before it, but afterwards from that day to this that God turned their feasts into mourning, despoiled them of their famous mother-city, and destroyed the holy Temple therein when Titus and Vespasian were Emperors of Rome, so that they could no longer go up to keep their feasts and sacred meetings. I need not say that a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord has overtaken them all, in return for their rejection of the Word of God; since with one voice they refused Him, so He refuses them." (Demonstratio Evangelica, X)

"that from that time seditions and wars and mischievous plots followed each other in quick succession, and never ceased in the city and in all Judea until finally the siege of Vespasian overwhelmed them. Thus the divine vengeance overtook the Jews for the crimes which they dared to commit against Christ. " (Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book II, Chapter 6: The Misfortunes which overwhelmed the Jews after their Presumption against Christ)

"I think it must be clear to all that this was the fulfilment (c) of the oracle, which said, "And after the seven and sixty-two weeks the Unction shall be cast out, and there is no judgment in it."

"And you may see better the meaning of the words, "And there is no judgment in it," if you consider the haphazard appointments of the high-priests after Herod's time and in the time of our Saviour. For whereas by the divine Law (d) it was ordained that a high-priest should hold office all his life and be succeeded by his legitimate son, in the period in question, when the Unction had been cast out as the prophecy foretold, Herod first, and after him the Romans, appointed what high-priests they liked haphazard or not according to the Law, bestowing the dignity on common and unknown men, selling and peddling the office, giving it now to one now to another for a year. And the Evangelist St. Luke seems to imply this, where he says, "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod, Philip and Lysanias being tetrarchs, Annas and Caiaphas being high-priests." For how could they both be high-priest at the same time unless the rules of the high-priesthood were disregarded?" (Demonstratio Evangelica (Proof of the Gospel)BOOK VIII)

"But if the fulfilment of the prophecies is. as the saying is, clear to a blind man, as only brought to pass from the period of His coming, why need we any longer be in doubt about the Virgin Birth, or refuse by wise reasoning to base our belief in that which was the beginning of this matter, on the evidence of what we can even now see? And what do we even now see, but the Jews' disbelief in Him, so clearly fulfilling the oracle, which said: "Hearing ye shall hear and not understand, and seeing ye shall see and not perceive, for the heart of this people is waxed hard," and the siege of Jerusalem, and the total desolation of their ancient Temple, and the settling of foreign races on their land, enslaving them with stings, that is to say with harsh enactments—for this is meant by the figures of the flies and bees—and above all the transformation of the heathen world from its former desolation into the field of God. Who would not be struck with astonishment at these spectacles? And who would not agree that the prediction is truly inspired, when he heard that these words were consigned to books and taken care of by our ancestors a thousand years ago, and only brought to a fulfilment after our Saviour's coming?"  (Demonstratio Evangelica (Proof of the Gospel) ;  BOOK VII)

Hippolytus
"Why was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of the ancient fabrication of the calf? Or was it on account of the ancient idolotry of the people? Was it for the blood of prophets? ..By no means, for in all these transgressions, they always found pardon open to them. But it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is co-eternal with the Father (Against the Jew 7)."

Lactantius
"
Why hath God done these evils to this land, and to this house? And they shall say, Because they forsook the Lord their God, and persecuted their. King, who was dearly beloved by God, and crucified Him with great degradation, therefore hath God brought upon them these evils." For what would they not deserve who put to death their Lord, who had come for their salvation? (Lactantius: EPITOME OF THE DIVINE INSTITUTES, Ch. 46)

Pseudo-Sybilline Oracles  (A.D.150)
"And then Israel, intoxicated, will not perceive nor yet will she hear, afllicted with weak ears. But when the raging wrath of the Most High comes upon the Hebrews it will also take faith away from them, because they did harm to the son of the heavenly God.

"Then when the Hebrews reap the bad harvest, a Roman king will ravage much gold and silver. Thereafter there will be other kingdoms continuously, as kingdoms perish and they will afflict mortals. But there will be a great fall for those men when they launch on unjust haughtiness. But when the temple of Solomon falls in the illus-trious land cast down by men of barbarian speech with bronze breastplates, the Hebrews will be driven from their land; wandering, being slaughtered, they will mix much darnels in their wheat. There will be evil strife for all men; and the cities, violated in turn, will weep for each other on receiving the wrath of the great God in their bosom, since they committed an evil deed." (1:360-364, 387-400)

Venerable Bede
"For the greatest cause of destruction to the Jewish people was, that after slaying the Saviour, they also tormented the heralds of His name and faith with wicked cruelty."

John Bunyan
"A heathenish and prodigious act; for therein he showed, not only his malice against the Jewish nation, but also against their worship, and consequently their God. An action, I say, not only heathenish, but prodigious also; for the Lord Jesus, paraphrasing upon this fact of his, teacheth the Jews, that without repentance ‘they should all likewise perish.’ ‘Likewise,’ that is by the hand and rage of the Roman empire. Neither should they be more able to avoid the stroke, than were those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them (Luke 13:1-5). The fulfilling of which prophecy, for their hardness of heart, and impenitency, was in the days of Titus, son of Vespasian, about forty years after the death of Christ. "
(The Doom and Downfall of Fruitless Professors)

John Calvin
"Inconsequence of the obscurity of this passage it has been twisted in a variety of ways. At the end of the ninth chapter I have shewn the impossibility of its referring to the profanation of the Temple which occurred under the tyranny of Antiochus; on this occasion the angel bears witness to such a complete destruction of the Temple, as to leave no room for the hope of its repair and restoration. Then the circumstances of the time convinces us of this. For he then said, Christ shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and shall cause the sacrifices and oblation to cease. Afterwards, the abomination that stupifieth shall be added, and desolation or stupor, and then death will distill, says he, upon the astonished or stupefied one. The angel, therefore, there treats of the perpetual devastation of the Temple. So in this passage, without doubt;, he treats of the period after the destruction of the Temple; there could be no hope of restoration, as the law with all its ceremonies would then arrive at its termination. With this view Christ quotes this passage in Matthew 24, while he admonishes his hearers diligently to attend to it. Let him who reads, understand, says he. We have stated this prophecy to be obscure, and hence it requires no ordinary degree of the closest attention. First of all, we must hold this point; the time now treated by the angel begins at the last destruction of the Temple. That devastation happened as soon as the gospel began to be promulgated. God then deserted his Temple, because it was only founded for a time, and was but a shadow, until the Jews so completely violated the whole covenant that no sanctity remained in either the Temple, the nation, or the land itself. Some restrict this to those standards which Tiberius erected on the very highest pinnacle of the Temple, and others to the statue of Caligula, but I have already stated my view of these opinions as too forced. I have no hesitation in referring this language of the angel to that profanation of the Temple which happened after the manifestation of Christ, when sacrifices ceased, and the shadows of the law were abolished. From the time, therefore, at which the sacrifice really ceased to be offered; this refers to the period at which Christ by his advent should abolish the shadows of the law, thus making all offering of sacrifices to God totally valueless. From that time, therefore. Next, from the time at which the stupefying abomination shall have been set up. God's wrath followed the profanation of the Temple. The Jews never anticipated the final cessation of their ceremonies, and always boasted in their peculiar external worship, and unless God had openly demonstrated it before their eyes, they would never have renounced their sacrifices and rites as mere shadowy representations. Hence Jerusalem and their Temple were exposed to the vengeance of the Gentiles. This, therefore, was the setting up of this stupefying abomination; it was a clear testimony to the wrath of God, exhorting the Jews in their confusion to boast no longer in their Temple and its holiness."  (Commentary)

Thomas Scott
"It is also observable, that the Romans after having been thus made the executioners of divine vengeance on the Jewish nation, never prospered as they had done before; but the Lord evidently fought against them, and all the nations which composed their overgrown empire; till at last it was subverted, and their fairest cities and provinces were ravaged by barbarous invaders." [Thomas Scott, The Holy Bible, etc., 956.]

C.H. Spurgeon
"The destruction of Jerusalem was more terrible than anything that the world has ever witnessed, either before or since. Even Titus seemed to see in his cruel work the hand of an avenging God." (Commentary on Matthew, p. 412)

William Warburton
"For as God's reign over the Jews, entirely ended with the abolition of the temple, so the reign of Christ, in spirit and in truth, had then its first beginning." (William Warburton)

Gary DeMar
"Why are Jews wanting to rebuild the temple.? For the same reason that the temple was maintained prior to its destruction in AD 70 - they do not believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. If the Jews once again build a temple and begin to offer sacrifices, this will only solidify their rejection of the need for the atoning blood of Jesus. It was this rejection that led to the destruction of the temple that was standing in Jesus' day.”

 

Arthur Conan Doyle (1919)
Then comes prophecy, which is a real and yet a fitful and often delusive form of mediumship -- never so delusive as among the early Christians, who seem all to have mistaken the approaching fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, which they could dimly see, as being the end of the world. This mistake is repeated so often and so clearly that it is really not honest to ignore or deny it." (The Vital Message, p.118)

 

"Do you consider the destruction of the Second Temple (70 C.E.) as a sign of the rejection of the Jews?"

" I certainly do not believe a vengeful God inspired the Roman army to surround Jerusalem and brutally slaughter hundreds of thousand of Jews. It seems to me that even then the vicious serpent of Anti-Semitism had raised its head. Satan would have liked to destroy the Jews in order to nullify God's promises to them." (Jerry Falwell and the Jews, p. 13-14)

"Theologically, any Christian has to support Israel…If we fail to protect Israel, we will cease to be important to God. (Grace Halsell, Forcing God's Hand, (Washington, DC: Crossroads International Publishing, 1999), p 100-101. )  


(On Revelation 16:16 - Armageddon)
"The words strikes fear into the hearts of people!  There will be one last skirmish and then God will dispose of this Cosmos.  The Scripture tells us in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, God will destroy this earth- the heaven and the earth."

The Antichrist will move into the Middle East and place a statue of himself in the Jewish temple, the holy of holies, and demand that the whole world worships him as God..

Millions of Jews will be slaughtered at this time but a remnant will escape and God will supernaturally hide them for Himself for the last  three and a half years of the Tribulation, some feel in the rose-red city of Petra.  I don't know how, but God will keep them because the Jews and the Chosen People of God." (December 2, 1984 sermon)

"Almost all Bible teachers I know are anticipating the Lord's imminent return.  And I do believe myself that we are a part of that terminal generation, that last generation, that shall not pass until our Lord comes."  (Old Time Gospel Hour, 1979, quoted in Prophecy and Politics, p. 32)

  SCHOLARS

M. Bogaert
"the pseudonymity of II Baruch and of other works which depend more or less on it, is not a game; it stems from a deep theological consideration which, in identifying the two catastrophes, sought to find a providential significance to the events of 70 C.E." (Op. cit., 1, p. 241)


WHY WAS JERUSALEM DESTROYED?

“A faithful God, never false, just and upright is He”… these praises are intended to justify God’s destruction of the two temples, as will be explained: “A faithful God, never false” – referring to the destruction of the first and second temples, “just and upright is He”– referring to the destruction of the first and second temples …It is known that the first destruction was due to idolatry, sexual immorality, and the shedding of blood which angered The Holy One, Blessed Be He; the second temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, and we have explained (Bemidbar 35:34) that they did practice study of Torah and the service of God, but most of the shedding of blood was done for the sake of heaven, for they would condemn one who commits some transgression as being a Saduccee, one worthy of death and incarceration, etc. In this, their behavior became very corrupted – all in the name of heaven… “never false” – even though they acted for the sake of heaven, He cannot bear iniquity.   (Haamek Davar, ibid., ibid.)     

Just and straight is He” – Meaning that the world should act according to law and beyond the letter of the law [lifnim meshurat hadin], meaning ‘just’according to law and justice, ‘straight’ beyond the measure of the law. (Noam Elimelech, Parashat Haazinu)

Said Rabbi Yochanan: “Yerushalayim was destroyed only because they ruled according to the law of the Torah.”  What? Are we then to judge according to the laws of the gentiles?!  Rather say “Because they based their law on the law of the Torah and did not act beyond the letter of the law.  (Bavli, Bava Metsia 30b).

The Message of the Song of Haazinu

"Pilate laid up in the Temple by night the imperial emblems, and from that time the Jews were involved in rebellion and mutual troubles." Philo (Philo Jud., cf. leg. ad caium 38, pp. 589, 590.)


Why the Almighty Caused Jerusalem and His Temple to be Destroyed

    The burning of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 CE/AD created a profound dilemma for faithful Jews of the time. Hadn't religious observance throughout the land reached new heights in the years preceding the war? Wasn't the revolt against Rome directly the result of zealous people vowing to have "no master except the Lord?" (Ant. 18.1.6  23). Then why did the Lord allow the Romans to crush the revolt and destroy his Temple?

    Josephus offered a variety of solutions to this problem. His overall goal was to defend the Jews against the accusation that their Lord had deserted them. A further goal, which he only hinted at, was to pave the way for approval by the Roman authorities, at some future time, for the rebuilding of the Temple.

Contents

Death of the High Priest
The Pollution of the City
Pollution of the Temple with Blood
 Assassins in the Temple
     The Slaughter of the Guards
     The Murder of Zacharias
     The Lamentation of Josephus
The Fulfillment of Ancient Prophecies
The Temple is Set on Fire
A Comforting Thought
Omens of Destruction
        Star and Comet
        Light Around the Altar
        Cow Gives Birth to Lamb
        The Eastern Gate
        Miraculous Phenomenon of Chariots in the Air
        Sound of a Great Multitude
        Jesus son of Ananias: A Voice from the East (A must-read.)
Prophecy of the Square Temple
 
 

Death of the High Priest

War 4.5.2 318

    I should not be wrong in saying that the capture of the city began with the death of Ananus; and that the overthrow of the walls and the downfall of the Jewish state dated from the day on which the Jews beheld their high priest, the captain of their salvation, butchered in the heart of Jerusalem.
    A man on every ground revered and of the highest integrity, Ananus, with all the distinction of his birth, his rank and the honours to which he had attained, had delighted to treat the very humblest as his equals. Unique in his love of liberty and an enthusiast for democracy, he on all occasions put the public welfare above his private interests. To maintain peace was his supreme object.

Comment.
    The revolt in part derived from class warfare. The High Priests had authority over the Temple worship and often acted as representatives of the Jews in dealing with the Roman occupation government. They had an interest in maintaining peace, some of them sincerely for the good of the nation, others no doubt to protect their own wealth and power.
    As a result, many revolutionaries, especially the most extreme group, the Zealots,
considered their priests as the enemy. Although some of the younger and poorer priests joined the revolution, others opposed it and, as a result, were assassinated.
    In the passage quoted above, Josephus explicitly connects Ananus' murder by the Zealots to the destruction of Jerusalem. This is one of his major themes, which we might call "The Pollution of the City." No religious motivation, Josephus is saying, can justify the atrocities that the Zealots committed. Not everything can be done for the Divine Name. The Lord destroyed the Holy City because the people had violated the basic principles of His Law and made the Temple unfit for worship.
 
  

The Pollution of the City

         War 4.5.2 323

I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut off those who clung to them with such tender affection.
 

Comment
    This explicitly states Josephus' opinion that the city was destroyed because of its transgressions during the war.
 

Pollution of the Temple with Blood

  Assassins in the Temple
  Antiquities 20.8.5 164-166

            Certain of these robbers went up to the city, as if they were going to worship God, while they had daggers under their garments; and, by thus mingling themselves among the multitude, they slew Jonathan [the high priest]; and as this murder was never avenged, the robbers went up with the greatest security at the festivals after this time; and having weapons concealed in like manner as before, and mingling themselves among the multitude, they slew certain of their own enemies, and were subservient to other men for money; and slew others not only in remote parts of the city, but in the Temple itself also; for they had the boldness to murder men there, without thinking of the impiety of which they were guilty.
            And this seems to me to have been the reason why God, out of his hatred to these men's wickedness, rejected our city; and as for the Temple, he no longer esteemed it sufficiently pure for him to inhabit therein, but brought the Romans upon us, and threw a fire upon the city to purge it; and brought upon us, our wives, and children, slavery - as desirous to make us wiser by our calamities.
 

Comment
    Josephus here seems to make a distinction between two concepts. First, the wickedness of these assassins, some ten years before the war, caused the divine rejection of Jerusalem; but furthermore, the Temple was no longer "pure" enough for the Lord to inhabit. In Jewish Law, ritual uncleanness caused by contact with blood can be removed by purification with fire. So beyond simply abandoning Jerusalem and its people, the area is purified so that it can again become fit for heavenly contact. The people are not rejected, but only made wiser by these calamities.
    This may indicate why all the people were punished, and not just the murderers. Ritual impurity needed to be dealt with, regardless of its source. And the people as a whole did not work hard enough to keep the criminals from defiling the Temple - Josephus states the murder of Jonathan "was never avenged," thus emboldening them -  everyone had a share in the impurity.

 

The Slaughter of the Guards
War 4.5.1 305-313

    The Idumaeans ascended through the city to the Temple. The Zealots were also in great expectation of their coming, and earnestly waited for them. When therefore these were entering, they also came boldly out of the inner Temple, and mixing themselves with the Idumaeans, they attacked the guards; and those that were upon the watch, but were fallen asleep, they killed as they were asleep; but as those that were now awakened made a cry, the whole multitude arose, and in the amazement they were in, caught hold of their arms immediately, and betook themselves to their own defence. So long as they thought they were only the Zealots that attacked them, they went on boldly, as hoping to overpower them by their number; but when they saw others pressing in upon them also, they perceived the Idumaeans were got in; and the greater part of them laid aside their arms, together with their courage, and betook themselves to lamentations. But some  few of the younger guards covered themselves with their armor and valiantly received the Idumaeans, and for a while protected the weaker people. Others, indeed, gave a signal to those that were in the city of the calamities they were in; but when these were also made sensible that the Idumaeans were come in, none of them durst come to their assistance; only they returned the terrible echo of wailing, and lamenting their misfortunes. A great howling of the women was excited also, every one having a relative in the guards who was in danger of being killed.
    The Zealots also joined the the shouts raised by the Idumaeans; and the storm itself rendered the cry more terrible; nor did the Idumaeans spare anybody...and acted in the same manner as to those that supplicated for their lives, as to those that fought them, insomuch that they ran those through with their swords who desired them to remember the kinship there was between them and begged of them to have regard to their common Temple. There was no place for flight nor any hope for preservation; they were driven one upon another in heaps, so were they slain. Thus the greater part were driven together by force, as there was now no place of retreat, and the murderers were upon them, and having no other way, they threw themselves down headlong into the city, undergoing a more miserable destruction, in my opinion, than that which they avoided, because it was voluntary. And now the outer Temple was all of it overflowed with blood; and that day, as it dawned, saw eight thousand five hundred dead there.

Comment
    This massacre of their countrymen on the part of the revolutionary extremists and their allies occurred within the court of the Temple itself. These and other murders, such as that of Jonathan, are associated by Josephus with the irrevocable pollution of the Temple. In Jewish Law, human blood and corpses cause ritual uncleanness; add to this that the blood was shed in the atrocity of mass murder, and the implication  is that the Temple could never be cleansed.
    The Idumaeans were descendants of the Biblical Edomites and had been forcibly converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean kings. The revolutionary party, the Zealots, manipulated them to increase their forces during the revolt.
 

 The Murder of Zacharias
    War 4.5.4 335-344
 
     And now these Zealots and Idumaeans were quite weary of simple massacre, so they had the audacity to set up mock trials and courts of justice for that purpose. They intended to have Zacharias, the son of Baris, one of the most eminent of the citizens, slain. What provoked them against him was that hatred of wickedness and love of liberty which were so eminent in him; he was also a rich man, so that by taking him off, they did not only hope to seize his effects, but also to get rid of a man that had great power to destroy them.
    So they called together, by a public proclamation, seventy of the principal men of the populace, for a show trial, as if they were real judges, although they had no proper authority. In front of  these citizens Zacharias was accused of a design to betray their city to the Romans and to have traitorously sent to Vespasian for that purpose. Now there appeared no proof or sign of what he was accused; but they affirmed themselves that they were well persuaded that so it was, and desired that such their affirmation might be taken for sufficient evidence.
    Now when Zacharias clearly saw that there was no way remaining for his escape from them, as having been treacherously called before them and imprisoned, but with no intention of a legal trial, he took great liberty of speech in that despair of life he was under. Accordingly he stood up, and laughed at their pretended accusation, and in a few words confuted the crimes laid to his charge; after which he turned his speech to his accusers, and went over distinctly all their transgressions of the Law, and made heavy lamentations upon the confusion they had brought public affairs into.
    In the meantime the Zealots grew tumultuous, and could scarce refrain from drawing their swords, although they designed to preserve the appearance and show of judicature to the end. They were also desirous, on other accounts, to try the judges, whether they would be mindful of what was just at their own peril.
    Now the seventy judges brought in their verdict, that the person accused was not guilty -- choosing rather to die themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their doors.
    Hereupon there arose a great clamor by the Zealots upon his acquittal, and they were all indignant at the judges for not having understood that the authority that was given them was but in jest. So two of the boldest of them fell upon Zacharias in the middle of the Temple, and slew him. And as he fell down dead they bantered him, and said, "Now you have our verdict also, and a surer release." They then threw him down out of the Temple into the valley beneath it.
 

 Comment
     The Zealots add the sin of bearing false witness to the crime of murder in the Temple.
    As a side note: This passage has an intriguing parallel with the Book of Matthew: "...upon you [is] all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar." (Matt. 23:35) Can this last victim,  murdered in the Temple, be the same as the "Zecharias son of Baris" referred to above?
    If so, it would be counted either as a prophecy that became fulfilled or a confusion on the part of  Matthew. However, in this case, the resemblance seems to be mere coincidence. As Thackeray points out in his translation (Loeb edition), Matthew can be read as referring to Zecharias son of  Jehoiada, who was stoned to death in the Temple court (2 Chronicles 24:21); Matthew had confused his name with Zechariach son of Berechiah. This is a reasonable explanation; still, the coincidence is quite curious.

 

The Lamentation of Josephus
War 5.1.4 19-20

The darts that were thrown by the engines [of the seditious factions] came with that force, that they went over all the buildings and the Temple itself, and fell upon the priests and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that many persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and barbarians, with their own blood. The dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.
    Oh most wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy internal pollutions! For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou longer survive, after thou hadst been a sepulchre for the bodies of thine own people, and hast made the Holy House itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine. Yet mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.
    But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of History, since this is not a proper time for domestic lamentation, but for historical narrations.

 
Comment
    The revolt fell apart into factions vying for power. The actions of the Jews against the Temple during this civil war, Josephus here asserts, were more terrible than that inflicted by the Romans. Again emphasizing the unclean blood in the Temple, Josephus laments that the later destruction by the Romans was necessary, and that these conquerors were acting as agents of the Lord -- almost as priests -- in their role as purifiers.
    There is also a hint here, hidden in the form of an emotional outburst, that the Temple should be allowed to be rebuilt. "Mayst thou again grow better," he asks, pointing toward a return to its former state, and expects this after the Jews "appease" the author of their destruction, indicating that they act peacefully both toward heaven and its agents of destruction, the Romans. But it is too soon after the war, which greatly angered the Roman populace, for Josephus to make an explicit appeal to the Emperor that the Temple be rebuilt.
 
 
 

 The Fulfillment of Ancient Prophecies

 

    War 4.6.3 381-388

    But these Zealots came at last to that degree of barbarity as not to bestow a burial either on those slain in the city, or on those that lay along the roads; but as if they had made  an agreement to cancel both the laws of their country and the laws of nature, an, at the same time that they defiled men with their wicked action, they would pollute the Divinity itself also, they left the dead bodies to putrify under the sun.
    ...These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of man, and laughed at the Laws of God; and for the oracles of the prophets, they ridiculed them as the tricks of jugglers. Yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning virtue and vice, by the transgression of which these Zealots occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their country.
    For there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, that the city should then be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews and their own hands should pollute the Temple of God. Now, while these Zealots did not disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment.

Comment
    This passage segues into a different explanation of the destruction: that it had been prophesied in advance. The theme of prophecy is quite important to Josephus -- indeed, he owed his life to one -- and throughout his work he stresses that the observable fulfillment of  prophecy is proof of the truth of the Jewish Bible.
    Yet the idea that Jerusalem was destroyed as the fulfillment of a prophecy is not manifestly the same as stating it was destroyed because of the sins of the people. In the above passage, Josephus tries to link the two concepts. The prophecy is not that the Temple is destined to be destroyed, but that it would be destroyed due to a war started by the Jews that would pollute the Temple. This is an interesting sliding between two concepts. If it was ordained in advance that the Jews would pollute the Temple, how can they be held accountable? Did the Lord cause the destruction to fulfill a pre-ordained plan or instead  to punish contemporary sins?
    Josephus either wants it both ways, or else oscillates between them as events dictate. In a similar fashion, he notes elsewhere that the Pharisees, with whom he aligned himself, believed in free will but also that some things, although not all, were decreed by fate (War 2.8.14).  The two concepts of the destruction pose the old question, are humans predestined or do they have free will?
    Incidentally, the "certain ancient oracle" cited by Josephus in this passage is unknown to present scholars.

 

 The Temple is Set on Fire

Introductory Comment
    Here is Josephus' description of the moment when the first flame is put to the Temple. The agent of destruction is an anonymous Roman soldier, acting impulsively against the orders of the commander, Titus -- but obeying the orders, Josephus implies, of the highest authority.
 

    War 6.4.5 249-253

    So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the Temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the Holy House; but, as for that House, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of the ages: it was the tenth day of the month Lous, [Av,] upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon; although these flames took their rise from the Jews themselves, and were occasioned by them; for upon Titus's retiring, the seditious lay still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those that guarded the Holy House fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning in the inner court of the Temple; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the Holy House itself.
    At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the Holy House, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward the Jews made a great clamour, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered anything to restrain their force, since that Holy House was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard upon it.

 
Comment
    We have here all three possible explanations for the Temple destruction: that it was a chance act of war, that it was a Divine response to the murderous actions of the seditious party, or that it was fated according to some vast and mysterious plan.
    The aspect of fate is stated by Josephus in saying that "God for certain long ago doomed it to the fire," and then pointing out that the Second Temple was set on fire by the Romans on the same day that the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. (Thackeray notes that this date accords with Jeremiah 53:12 but not with the seventh of Av in 2 Kings 25:8, and that Jewish tradition memorializes both on the Ninth of Av.) This would seem to indicate a design greater than a direct response to freely committed sin. This was, says Josephus, "according to the revolution of the ages" -- again, not due to specific human actions.
    Josephus says rather directly that is was the Lord who started the flames by directing the activity of the anonymous Roman soldier. For this soldier set the fire "without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking," as though he had the authority to do what he was doing. When he put the fire to the golden window he was "being hurried on by a certain divine fury." The Greek is daimnoioi horme tini chromenos, which can be translated also as in Thackeray's version "moved by some supernatural impulse." The soldier is an agent of heaven, and his impulsive attack may reflect divine anger at the people for their pollution of the Temple. The emotional "fury" is different from the cool, mathematical "revolution of the ages" that calendrically pre-determined the fate of the Temple. Josephus has jumped from one explanation to the other. Can they be joined into one?
 
 

A Comforting Thought

 

    War 6.4.8 267-268

    Now, although any one would lament the destruction of such a work as this was, since it was the most admirable of all the works that we have seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the glorious reputation it had for its holiness; yet might such a one comfort himself with this thought, that it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevitable, both as to living creatures and as to works and places also.
    However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were not observed, as I said before, wherein the Holy House was burnt formerly by the Babylonians.

Comment
    Josephus finds comforting the idea that "fate had decreed" the destruction, that it was "inevitable." In this way he counters the idea that the deity of the Jews had abandoned them or had been defeated by the Romans and their deities. Everything the Romans did was at the behest of, not in spite of, divine will.
    Why had fate decreed the destruction? Again Josephus points out the identity of the date with that of the Babylonian destruction. So even though he wants to teach that the people were being punished -- the Pharisaic view that humans had free will -- yet here he again oscillates to the  concept that everything is ordained in advance. The First Temple destruction was also the product of divine will, Josephus states elsewhere, as it was foretold by Jeremiah (Antiquities 10.8.3 142).
    In the excerpts that follow we will see how Josephus attempts to reconcile these views by saying that fate can be avoided if people would only heed the heavenly warnings and cease from their foolishness.
 



Omens of Destruction

 
Introductory Comment
    The third paragraph of the fifth chapter of  Book 6 of the War contains a fascinating series of omens that foretold the fall of the Temple well in advance of the beginning of the revolt. Josephus stresses the theme that the destruction had to was predestined. This destiny seems detached from the sins of the people, for these omens are not connected to any particular evil. They are:

        Star and Comet
        Light Around the Altar
        Cow Gives Birth to Lamb
        The Eastern Gate
        Miraculous Phenomenon of Chariots in the Air
        Sound of a Great Multitude
        Jesus son of Ananias: A Voice from the East

    Does this mean the war and destruction could not be helped, but were only parts of a predestined and mysterious plan? In a comment on these signs Josephus gives his view: these were warnings from the Deity, and if only the omens had been heeded, disaster could have been averted. I discuss this further below.
    This paragraph follows immediately upon Josephus' description of the burning of the Temple. It is the means by which he steps back from the awesome drama he has been relating and puts it in the context of world history and the philosophy of human folly.
 
 

War 6.5.3 288-309

    Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them.

Star and Comet

 

    Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.
 

Light Around the Altar

 
    Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan, April, about a week before Passover] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it.

Cow Gives Birth to Lamb

 
    At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.

The Eastern Gate

 
    Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner  temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again.
    This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them.

Miraculous Phenomenon of Chariots in the Air

     Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Iyar, May or June] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.

Sound of a Great Multitude

    Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."

Jesus son of Ananias: A Voice from the East

     But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple [Sukkot, autumn, 62 CE], began on a sudden to cry aloud,

    "A voice from the east,
    a voice from the west,
    a voice from the four winds,
    a voice against Jerusalem and the Holy House,
    a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides,
    and a voice against this whole people!"

This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city.
    However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before.
    Hereupon the magistrates, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was,

    "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"

And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him.
    Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow,

    "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"

Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come.
     This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force,

    "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the Holy House!"

And just as he added at the last,

    "Woe, woe to myself also!"

there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.

 
Comment
    These astounding tales apparently circulated among Jews after the war and were then collected by Josephus. They show the need of the populace to make sense of the destruction as well as Josephus' own interest in prophecy, which he uses here to indicate to his non-Jewish readers that the Temple  and the City were not burned at the whim of the conquering Romans but were deliberately allowed, if not destined, to be destroyed by the Deity.
    The omens fall into interesting groups. The star and comet always accompany momentous events; one recalls the comet presaging the death of Julius Caesar and the star at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.The other omens are associated with Jewish festivals. The next six signs that are described occur within days of each other, in an unspecified year, but probably in the early 60s. Just before the Passover celebration three of these signs occur together, and just after it the chariots in the air appear. Fifty days after this same Passover, on Shavuot (Pentecost), the earthquake and strange sounds occur. And Jesus ben Ananias first makes his appearance at the festival of Sukkot.
    One notes that Passover is a spring festival, and Sukkot an autumn one, suggesting that these all occurred within the same year, which, by the clues given (Albinus as procurator, the duration of Jesus' lamentation), would have been 62. As it happens, Josephus was most likely in Rome in that year, not in Jerusalem (see the Chronology), so he is forced to report these signs at second hand.
     Students of the New Testament cannot fail to have noticed parallels in these passages with events surrounding Jesus of Nazareth. The fantastic events occurring at the Passover bring to mind those related at the death of Jesus thirty years earlier, also at a  Passover, when the curtain of the Temple was split in two, and the earth shook (Matthew 27:51). At the following Pentecost the apostles have a vision of Jesus and begin to speak in tongues, while at Josephus' Pentecost sounds and voices are heard -- there are auditory miracles  in both texts.
    The sad story of Jesus son of Ananias related by Josephus has a number of parallels with the New Testament, the first of which is the coincidence of a man named Jesus prophesying against the Temple. As the name "Jesus" (Joshua) is one of the most common held by men in Josephus' works, it should not be taken as significant in itself. But one wonders if the tales of the two Jesuses became intertwined by their tellers, with elements of one story creeping into the narrative of the other. For this hypothesis one notes several parallels.

  •     Woe to the people - Matt. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and pharisees!" (The Greek word translated as "woe" is "aiai" in Josephus, "ouai" in Matthew.)
  •     Prediction of the Temple Destruction - Matt. 24:2, which is associated with the "woes".
  •     The leaders of Jerusalem bring the doomsayer to the Roman governor - Matt. 27:2. As an aside -- Whiston mistranslates this section to refer to "our rulers," not "the rulers."  Readers who have studied my article on Josephus' account of Jesus will recognize this important point. Josephus does not use the first person here, despite Whiston (why did he do this?); see rather the Loeb edition for the Greek "hoi archontes" and Thackeray's correct translation.
  •   The governor interrogates him, but the accused says nothing to defend himself. (Matt. 27:13-14)
  • The accusation as unclear in Josephus' story as in the New Testament.  The grounds here are simply said to be " supernatural impulse." What crime is that for the leaders?

    The major difference is that the nonresponding Jesus ben Ananias is let free in Josephus, and allowed to continue his woes against the city; Jesus of Nazareth was not set free, although Pilate was supposedly inclined in that way.  What is the difference between the cases?  Was it due to additional claims the earlier Jesus made about himself?
    An odd coincidence was that Jesus ben Ananias arose near the beginning of Albinus' governorship, very soon after the death of James the brother of Jesus of Nazareth.

 
 

 Prophecy of the Square Temple

War 6.5.4 310-311

Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation; but that men perish by those miseries which they madly and voluntarily bring upon themselves; for the Jews, by demolishing the tower of Antonia, had made their Temple four-square, while at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles, -- "That then should their city be taken, as well as their Holy House, when once their Temple should become four-square."

Comment
    The source for this prophecy is unknown today.
    Josephus repeats once more his theme that the prophecies and omens are meant as warnings. This leaves the paradox: a prophecy that is a warning is not a prophecy, for it would never come to pass if the warning were heeded. Obeying divine warnings would thus remove the proof of the truth of divine speech. Then people who do good by their own accord would never find reason to have faith in holy writings. Perhaps this is the ultimate, if unintended, direction of Josephus' interpretation of history.
 


BIBLICAL WRITINGS

Exodus 25:8-9
"And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. According to the pattern of the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it."

Wisdom 9:8
"you commanded to build a temple on your holy mountain and an altar in your royal city, in the form of the holy temple which you prepared from the beginning."

Ethiopic Enoch
"Then I stood still, looking at that ancient house being transformed: all the pillars and all the columns were pulled out; and the ornaments of that house were packed and taken out together with them and abandoned in a certain place in the South of the land.  I went on seeing until the Lord of the sheep brought about a new house, greater and loftier than the first one, and set it up in the first location which had been covered up -- all its pillars were new, the columns new; and the ornaments new, as well as greater than those of the first, (that is) the old (house), which was gone.  All the sheep were within it." (I En. 90:28-29)

Acts 7:48
"the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands"

Hebrews 8:5
"... who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the Tabernacle. For He said 'See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain'."

Hebrews 9:11
"the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation."

I Peter 2:4-10
"Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation."

Revelation 21:3,12-13
"Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.  He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people..  Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west."

II Baruch 4:1-7
"This city will be delivered up for a time, and the people will be chastened for a time, and the world will not be forgotten.  Or do you think that this is the city of which I said: On the palms of my hands I have carved you?  It is not this building that is in your midst now; it is that which will be revealed with me that was already prepared from the moment that I decided to create paradise.  And I showed it to Adam before he sinned.  But when he transgressed the commandment, it was taken away from him -- as also Paradise.  After these things I showed it to my servant Abraham in the night between the portions of the victims.  And again I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed him the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels.  Behold, now it is preserved with me -- as also Paradise.  Now go away and do as I command you."

 

EXTRA-BIBLICAL JEWISH WRITINGS

Jerusalem Talmud 'Amidah for Tishab'Av
"Have mercy, O Lord our God, with Your great mercy and Your faithful kindness, upon us and upon Your people Israel and upon Jerusalem Your city and upon Zion the resting place of Your glory, and upon the city, that is mourning and ruined and destroyed and desolate, given over to the hands of strangers, trampled with arrogant hands; and it was inherited by legions, and profaned by idolators, and to Israel Your people you have given it as a portion, and to the seed of Jeshurun you have it as an inheritance, for with fire you have burned it, and with fire you shall in the future build up, as said "For I shall be to it, sayeth the Lord, as a wall of fire around it, and I shall be for glory within it" (y. Ber., 4.3 [8a.]).

Midrash on Nathan's Prophecy (Qumran)
"It is the house which [He will create] for [himself at the E]nd of days, as it is written in the book of [Moses the sanctuary of] the Lord, which Thy hands have established.  The Lord will reign forever and ever.." (DJD V [1968]: 53)

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 149a
"... the structure of the Tabernacle corresponds to the structure of heaven and earth."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 231a
"Now, the Tabernacle below was likewise made after the pattern of the supernal Tabernacle in all its details. For the Tabernacle in all its works embraced all the works and achievements of the upper world and the lower, whereby the Shekinah was made to abide in the world, both in the higher spheres and the lower. Similarly, the Lower Paradise is made after the pattern of the Upper Paradise, and the latter contains all the varieties of forms and images to be found in the former. Hence the work of the Tabernacle, and that of heaven and earth, come under one and the same mystery."

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 235b
"Now, the lower and earthly Tabernacle was the counterpart of the upper Tabernacle, whilst the latter in its turn is the counterpart of a higher Tabernacle, the most high of all. All of them, however, are implied within each other and form one complete whole, as it says: "that the tabernacle may be one whole" (Ex. XXVI, 6). The Tabernacle was erected by Moses, he alone being allowed to raise it up, as only a husband may raise up his wife. With the erection of the lower Tabernacle there was erected another Tabernacle on high. This is indicated in the words "the tabernacle was reared up (hukam)" (Ex. XL, 17), reared up, that is, by the hand of no man, but as out of the supernal undisclosed mystery in response to the mystical force indwelling in Moses that it might be perfected with him."

Menacoth 29a
"It was taught: R. Jose b. Judah says, An ark of fire and a table of fire and a candlestick of fire came down from heaven; and these Moses saw and reproduced, as it is written, And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount. Will you then say the same [of the tabernacle], for it is written, And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which hath been shown thee in the mount! — Here it is written ‘according to the fashion thereof’, whilst there ‘after their pattern’."

b.Hag. 12b
"ZEBUL is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem and the [heavenly] Temple and the Alter are built, and Michael, the great Prince, stands and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: I have surely built you a house of habitation [ZEBUL] a place for you to dwell in forever (1Kn. 8:13) And where do we derive that it is called heaven? For it is written: Look down from heaven, and see, even from your holy and glorious habitation. (Is. 63:15)

Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 164a
"
Then he began to expound to them this verse: A song of degrees for Solomon (li-shelomoh). Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord guard the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (Ps. CXXVII, 1-2). Said he: ‘Was it Solomon who composed this Psalm when he built the Temple? (for li-shelomoh could be understood to mean "of Solomon"). Not so. It was King David who composed it, about his son Solomon, when Nathan came to him (David) and told him that Solomon would build the Temple. Then King David showed unto his son Solomon, as a model, the celestial prototype of the Temple, and David himself, when he saw it and all the activities connected with it, as set forth in the celestial idea of it, sang this psalm concerning his son Solomon.

RoshHaShannah 24b
"
Abaye replied: The Torah forbade only those attendants of which it is possible to make copies, as it has been taught: A man may not make a house in the form of the Temple, or an exedra in the form of the Temple hall, or a court corresponding to the Temple court, or a table corresponding to the [sacred] table or a candlestick corresponding to the [sacred] candlestick, but he may make one with five or six or eight lamps, but with seven he should not make, even of other metals."

M. Ta'an 4.8
"the Holy of Holies below is aligned opposite the Holy of Holies above"


Yitzhak Baer
"The most essential principle in the worldview of our forefathers was that the lower world serves only as a reflection of the upper world.  There follow from this the details of their human Torah, both universal and individual, and their outlook regarding the place of the Jewish people in history; and one cannot separate between these two aspects." (Yisra'el ba'Amim, 83-84)

Haamek Davar
A faithful God, never false, just and upright is He”…
these praises are intended to justify God’s destruction of the two temples, as will be explained: “A faithful God, never false” – referring to the destruction of the first and second temples, “just and upright is He”– referring to the destruction of the first and second temples …It is known that the first destruction was due to idolatry, sexual immorality, and the shedding of blood which angered The Holy One, Blessed Be He; the second temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, and we have explained (Bemidbar 35:34) that they did practice study of Torah and the service of God, but most of the shedding of blood was done for the sake of heaven, for they would condemn one who commits some transgression as being a Saduccee, one worthy of death and incarceration, etc. In this, their behavior became very corrupted – all in the name of heaven… “never false” – even though they acted for the sake of heaven, He cannot bear iniquity."  (Rashi, Devarim 32:4)

Flavius Josephus
"and the Temple shall be made according to the measure and the vessels that he Himself showed him." (Ant. 3.99-101)

Rivka Nir (2003)
"One may also include within this group (pseudepigraphic-apocalyptic literature) the literature of the Qumran sect, which expresses conceptual and linguistic relations and ideological and theological characteristics similar to those of the pseudepigraphic and apocalyptic literature.  Like the apocalyptic literature, the Qumran sect's theological focus was on the eschatological anticipation of the approaching end of days, on the war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, and on the appearance of the expected messianic age.  Similar to the apocalyptic literature, the Qumran scrolls expressed absolute negation of the historical Jerusalem and temple.  The sect anticipates a new Jerusalem and a new temple in which atonement will be achieved, not by means of the flesh of burnt-offerings and the fat of the sacrifices, but by  a spiritual sacrifice "of lips of justice like a righteous fragrance" (1QS ix 4-5).  The scrolls of this mysterious sect also include chapters and fragments of works from the apocalyptic literature (such as the Book of Enoch, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Book of Jubilees, etc.), which likewise betray an ideological proximity to the world of Christianity." (The Destruction of Jerusalem and the idea of Redemption, p. 13)

"The Jerusalem that God promised to engrave on the palms of His hand is not the Jerusalem that is about to be destroyed, the historic Jerusalem of the Second Temple.  Rather, he refers here to another Jerusalem, one kept by God in the heavens, which He himself created before time, alongside paradise -- a transcendent and preexistent Jerusalem." (p. 20)

"The author of this book is not at all interested in the rebuilding of the temple and of Jerusalem; indeed, not a word is said in the entire book regarding the hope and anticipation for its future restoration.  According to his view, the historical Jerusalem and temple, which were built by man on earth, were from the outset inferior and condemned to a limited life span, as against the heavenly Jerusalem and sanctuary, which were formed by God in hoary antiquity and will enjoy eternal existence." (p. 21)

Philo of Alexandria
"It was determined, therefore, to fashion a tabernacle, a work of the highest sanctity, the construction of which was set forth to Moses on the mount  by divine pronouncements.  He saw with the soul's eye the immaterial forms of the material objects about to be made, and these forms had to be reproduced in copies, perceived by the senses, taken from the original draught, so to speak, and from patterns comprehended in the mind.. So the shape of the model was stamped upon the mind of the prophet, a secretly painted or moulded prototype, produced by immaterial and invisible forms; and then the resulting work was built in accordance with that shape by the artist impressing the stampings upon the material substances required in each case." (Mos. 2.74-76 [LCL; 6:485-87])

Rabbi Yochanan
"Yerushalayim was destroyed only because they ruled according to the law of the Torah.”  What? Are we then to judge according to the laws of the gentiles?!  Rather say “Because they based their law on the law of the Torah and did not act beyond the letter of the law.  (Bavli, Bava Metsia 30b).

 

 

Dr. Jortin
"The temple was so magnificent that it was esteemed for art and beauty one of the wonders of the world; whence it was natural to expect that the Romans according to their usual custom, amidst their conquests, would endeavour to preserve it safe and entire. And Josephus tells us that Titus laboured with all his power to save it, but that his soldiers, as if moved by a divine impulse, would not hearken to his positive and repeated orders, but set fire to every part of it till it was entirely consumed and the soil on which it stood was ploughed up and not one stone left on another." (Remarks on E. Hist. vol. i, p. 30.)

 


ORACLES AND HISTORIANS

Sybilline Oracles
(On the cause of the desolation) "And then Israel, intoxicated, will not perceive nor yet will she hear, afllicted with weak ears. But when the raging wrath of the Most High comes upon the Hebrews it will also take faith away from them, because they did harm to the son of the heavenly God. . . .

"Then when the Hebrews reap the bad harvest, a Roman king will ravage much gold and silver. Thereafter there will be other kingdoms continuously, as kingdoms perish and they will afflict mortals. But there will be a great fall for those men when they launch on unjust haughtiness. But when the temple of Solomon falls in the illus-trious land cast down by men of barbarian speech with bronze breastplates, the Hebrews will be driven from their land; wandering, being slaughtered, they will mix much darnels in their wheat. There will be evil strife for all men; and the cities, violated in turn, will weep for each other on receiving the wrath of the great God in their bosom, since they committed an evil deed. (A.D.150; 1:360-364, 387-400)

"An evil storm of war will also come upon Jerusalem from Italy, and it will sack the great Temple of God whenever they put their trust in folly and cast off piety and commit repulsive murders in front of the Temple. . . . A leader of Rome will come to Syria who will burn the Temple of Jerusalem with fire, at the same time slaughter many men and destroy the great land of the Jews with its broad roads. Then indeed an earthquake will destroy at once Salamis and Paphos when the dark water overwhelms Cyprus, which is washed by many waves." (A.D. 80; 4115-118, 125-129)

Cornelius Tacitus
"Cneius Pompeius was the first of our countrymen to subdue the Jews. Availing himself of the right of conquest, he entered the temple. Thus it became commonly known that the place stood empty with no similitude of gods within, and that the shrine had nothing to reveal." (Cornelius Tacitus - Histories, Book V. A.D.70)

What do YOU think ?

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Date:
03 Oct 2003
Time:
06:42:40

Comments

The destruction of the temple in 70CE was the end of what was known as Orthodox Judaism. The Jews were no longer a theocracy, no longer able to worship and sacrifice in the temple (which was no more) and no longer a people. Based on percentages, the 70CE slaughter was by far worse than the 20th century holocaust of Rabbinic Judaism - a religion given birth in the 2nd century CE.


Date:
05 Oct 2004
Time:
10:47:41

Comments

I Need information on another writing of Warfield's: Evolution, Science, and Scritpure; Selected writings. I don't know if you can help me but that would be sweet. Thanks laura_sweetpea@yahoo.com


Date: 05 Oct 2005
Time: 11:07:28

Comments:

I find the above to be very informative and intriguing. However, I'm not completely persuaded that Israel is the restraining force. I believe that it may be the power of the Holy Spirit spoken of in scripture. -Pastor David Hernandez


  Date:

01 Oct 2006
Time:
12:12:10

Comments

I submit that the reason Jerusalem was destroyed was indeed all of the reasons listed below - which perfectly correspond to why the hearts of many people are likewise cast off into outer darkness.  Jerusalem's fall is an important historical picture of the judgment and coming of Christ upon all mankind.  Those that are drunken will be desolated, and those that are watching will be saved.   Its as simple as this:  God destroyed Jerusalem as a warning to all mankind throughout all generations not to kill the messenger of the gospel in their hearts. - TDD

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