It may not be distinctive to them, but I've encountered their arguments of the 30 AD time frame, namely to prove that Daniel's first 69 weeks were finished at the cross in 33AD, so it would be impossible to arrive at anything relative to the final week after that time; no significant events are recorded to match 3 1/2 years after 33 AD, and so forth. One website has a Futurist going a step further and counting the Jewish Calendar to the exact phases of the moon, and supposedly narrowed down the crucifixion of Jesus to be something called Palm-Springs Friday April 3rd or something like that, and he was raised on Sunday, April 5th 33 AD. My dates might be wrong, so I'll find his website and post it on here. He uses the starting point of Nehemiah's permission to continue building the walls. He doesn't start with Ezra's original permission. He also uses the Jewish Calendar instead of the Solar Calendar.Hi Joe,
As far as I know, 33 AD is the traditional date derived from the idea that Christ was born in the year 1 AD and began his 3 1/2 ministry when He was "about 30." I don't think it is a distinctive of futurist eschatology. It was moved back four years after scholars determined that Christ was born around 4 BC because that's when Herod died. I don't think we have much certainty as to the exact date as yet. And it doesn't seem to matter too much, though I do like the exact 40 gap between His Death and the destruction of the Temple.
Julius Africanus, 2nd century, also used the Jewish Calendar and his starting date was with Nehemiah's permission to rebuild the walls and streets. I agree with you, that the correct starting point was with Ezra to begin rebuilding Jerusalem and the House of God.
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]But their calculations are fallacious and their conclusions are specious because they are being led along a road leading to a spurious "interpretation" by the combined effects of
(1) a misleading translation,
(2) the incorrect assumption that the name אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא (Artaḥ-shast) in ch.7 of Ezra and ch.2 of N'ḥemyah refers to Artaxerxes I, and
(3) the standard christian practice of ignoring context.
The fallacy in the christian argument is that they mistranslate verse 25 "from the emergence of the 'word' about returning and rebuilding Y'rushalayim" and ignore − or overlook − the obvious connection between that verse and verse 23 ], "at the beginning of your prayers, a 'word' emerged". Daniyyél specifically mentions in 6:11 (misnumbered verse 10 in christian "versions") that he prayed regularly three times every day.
"Now Daniyyél—as soon as he knew that a Writ had been issued—went up to his house where he had open windows in an upstairs room opposite Y'rushlem, and three times daily he knelt on his knees and prayed and gave thanks before his God, exactly as he had done before this"), so the expression "at the beginning of his prayers", read in context, can logically only refer to the time of the Temple's actual destruction back in 586BCE (65 years before chapter 9 was written). Can there be any doubt that he would have "begun praying" for the Temple to be rebuilt from the time it was actually destroyed? The "septets" are therefore to be reckoned from that year, but christians want the end of the "sixty-nine septets" (when "a 'messiah' will be cut off and will be no more") to coincide with a year round about 30CE, when that man from Natzrat is supposed to have been executed by the Roman authorities, so they have to employ their usual dishonest techniques of manipulative and selective "interpretation" in order to force a much later date for the start of their reckoning. They accomplish this by ignoring verse 23 altogether as well as the obvious connection between verses 23 and 25, and insisting that verse 25 says that the "septets" should be reckoned from the granting of permission "to return and rebuild Y'rushalayim" and this, they claim, refers to Ezra's return to Yisrael in the 7th year of "Artaḥ-shast" (Ezra 7:7-8) − despite there being no mention of a general "permission to return and rebuild Y'rushalayim" being granted at that time − and also by ignoring the more obvious candidates of (1) Cyrus's 1st year (when permission was granted for all the Y'hudim to return and rebuild the Temple) and (2) the 20th year of "Artaḥ-shast", when N'ḥemyah was granted personal permission to travel to Y'rushalayim to see the situation there for himself (see N'ḥemyah, chapters 1 and 2).
But even this only works if "Artaḥ-shast" in Ezra 7:7 is identified with Artaxerxes I, and yet the context of the narrative implies that Ezra arrived in Y'rushalayim soon after the rebuilding of the Temple was completed in Darius I's 6th year (Ezra 6:15), suggesting that "the 7th year of Artaḥ-shast" (Ezra 7:7) refers to the 7th of Darius I (515BCE) rather than the 7th of Artaxerxes I (458BCE), which was nearly 60 years later. Another example of how dishonest the "interpretation" methods adopted by christians are is the way they also conveniently ignore the prediction in v.25 of the appearance of a "messiah-ruler" (מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד mashiyaḥ nagid) after only "seven septets".
So do any parts of Daniyyél's "prophecies" correspond to historical reality? I have already mentioned that a "messiah-ruler", i.e. Cyrus "the Great", actually did conquer Babylon after "seven septets" (counting from the destruction of the First Temple in 586BCE)... not exactly "seven septets", but close enough (it was actually only 47 years, which equates to seven septets in round numbers); but this had already happened and so Daniyyél's statement of it was not a "prophecy".
"Sixty-nine septets" after the destruction of the First Temple in 586BCE would have ended in about 103BCE − did anything happen in that year that ties in with Daniyyél's predictions? Well, yes... kind of − the last true Hasmonæan kohen-king, the obscure Arostobulus I (a son of Yoḥanan II "Hyrcanus", son of שִׁמְעוֹן הַתַּסִּי Shim'on ha-Tassi, brother of יְהוּדָה הַמַּכְבִּי Y'hudah ha-Machbi) died in 103BCE, but in truth identification of Aristobulus with Daniyyél's "messiah" who would "be cut off and be no more" is tenuous in the extreme and it is hardly likely that Daniyyél was composed this late or that his "messiah" who he says in 9:26 was to be "cut off" and to "be no more" was intended to refer to him.
Daniel wasn't written during Bavbylonian exile, but much later, probably during the reign of Antiochus IV. The "prophecied" destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem already having taken place.
Just for the record, the final week of Daniel happened between 28AD to 32 AD. The destruction of the temple and the death/judgment of the unsealed Jews (those who were not to be delivered) was a bi-product of what transpired after the 70 sevens.
Israel is more than just a race; it is more than just a nation; it is the people of God, from faith, by faith, and only faith. Those who assemble in the name of Christ Jesus, embrance Israel because they are Israel
Yet there is a gap between biblical and historical timeOriginally Posted by Prof Ben-Tziyyon
586 BC coinciding the biblical year 3338.
If you count from 3338 you arrive in 3828, which coincides the year 68 CE (AD).
Rashi on Daniel 9:24,
Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed: on Jerusalem from the day of the first destruction in the days of Zedekiah until it will be [destroyed] the second time.
to terminate the transgression and to end sin: so that Israel should receive their complete retribution in the exile of Titus and his subjugation, in order that their transgressions should terminate, their sins should end, and their iniquities should be expiated, in order to bring upon them eternal righteousness and to anoint upon them (sic) the Holy of Holies: the Ark, the altars, and the holy vessels, which they will bring to them through the king Messiah. The number of seven weeks is four hundred and ninety years. The Babylonian exile was seventy [years] and the Second Temple stood four hundred and twenty [years].
Time gap of 165 years between historical time and biblical time is known as "Sod Daniel", the gematria of which is 165 (70+95).
Hatach from the Ester-scroll is said to be Daniel.
Hatach was the messenger between Ester and Mordechai, between the inner (of the royal palace) and the outer (world).
Hatach was killed, and since then this time gap exists; i.e. the time in which the temple stood is of another order than the historical time, the temple being a reality of another, a higher, level, than the historical.
The Romans did obscure the light.
"The sevenfold light" is in the seven letters of "yom hashishi" , since it enlightens the whole of the seventh day.
Mark, written after the destruction of the Temple, knew about it.
21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Does this help?
The Causes of the War
THE SAFETY OF THE CHRISTIANS.
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." MATT. xxiv. 15-20.
"But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." LUKE xxi. 18-22.
The causes of the war which issued in the destruction of Jerusalem had been accumulating for a long time. The pride of the nation was deeply wounded by the presence in Judea and Jerusalem of a Roman governor, attended with a strong military force. They were restive also under the exaction of taxes levied upon them by the Romans. They doubted whether their submission, and their payment of taxes, was not unlawful for them, and whether the assertion of their independence was not a duty. Hence the question, "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?" The influence of Pilate, who came to Judea as procurator A.D. 26, and continued twelve years, was not calculated to allay their irritation. He was a man of stern temperament, and careless of the peculiar characteristics of the people. By his utter disregard for their religious feelings he gave much offence, and frequently disturbed the repose of the country.
How the causes for revolt were thus intensified, a few facts may illustrate. When he sent troops to winter at Jerusalem, he caused their ensigns, on which were the idolatrous images of the emperor, to be carried into the city. .This no previous governor had allowed, through fear of exasperating the people, who regarded the presence of such idolatrous symbols as an insult to their religion. The ensigns, being covered, were brought in by night. Being discovered the next day, many of the Jews hastened to Caesarea to entreat Pilate to withdraw them. He kept them waiting five days and nights before his palace. On the sixth he sent for them, when he caused them to be surrounded by soldiers, and threatened them with instant death unless they returned home. Throwing themselves upon the ground, and baring their necks, they declared that they would sooner die than that the idolatrous standards should remain in the holy city, contrary to the law. Pilate, astonished at the firmness and determination of their resolution, and fearing the consequences of a revolt, gave an order for the standards to be brought back to Caesarea.
On another occasion a great tumult arose when Pilate made a demand upon the sacred treasury of the temple to meet the expenses of an aqueduct to Jerusalem from a fountain twenty miles off. Many of the Jews were then killed by disguised soldiers, who were sent by him among the crowd with daggers and bludgeons concealed under their garments.
When he undertook the consecration of golden bucklers to Tiberius, in the palace of Herod, the Jews were shocked and alarmed. Headed by their magistrates, and accompanied by the four sons of Herod, they entreated him not to persist in a matter so contrary to their law. He was neither influenced by their entreaties, nor by the threats of complaining of him to the emperor.
A quick succession of unjust, tyrannical governors, who aimed at enriching themselves by all practicable means, greatly vexed the people, until it brought them to the very verge of despair. The cruel oppressions and the shameless rapacity of Gessius Florus, the procurator of Judea, kindled into a general blaze the fire which had long been smouldering. He was appointed by Nero, and was unquestionably the worst Roman governor the Jews ever had. "There were no means at which he scrupled in order to fill his coffers." The robbers committed their depredations with impunity, so long as they gave him a portion. Thus life and property became so insecure that multitudes emigrated to foreign countries. In the year A.D. 66, an edict from the emperor was received at Caesarea, by which the Greek and Syrian inhabitants were placed in the first rank of citizens above the Jews, who had hitherto enjoyed that privilege. This was followed by gross insults from Greeks and Syrians upon the religion of the Jews, producing commotions which were only quelled by the Roman arms. The Jews withdrew their sacred books from the synagogue, and carried them to Narbata, two miles from Caesarea. When several of the principal Jews came to lay their grievances before him, he threw them into prison. This violent act produced a great sensation throughout Judea, and particularly in Jerusalem. At the same time he demanded seventeen talents from the treasury of the temple. This raised a tumult in the city, and strong denunciations were uttered against the governor. Gessius Florus came in person to enforce his demand, and required that all who had spoken against him should be delivered to him. He would listen to no explanations, and in revenge gave his soldiers permission to plunder the upper market, which was on Mount Zion. They further pillaged many private houses, and slew their inhabitants. Many of the best citizens were scourged and crucified. Next Florus attempted to enter the temple with his soldiers. This the people resisted with such bravery that the Romans were compelled to retire into the royal castle for safety. Having thus kindled the flame of rebellion he withdrew, sending information of the state of affairs to his superior Cestius Gallus, the prefect of Syria.
The war, which lasted five years, began A.D. 66, at Masada, a fortress near the Dead Sea, where a party of Jewish warriors surprised the Roman garrison, and put all the soldiers to the sword. Following this up, the leaders of the nation at Jerusalem openly threw off their allegiance, the priests refused to offer up the usual sacrifices for the prosperity of the emperor, and the popular party slew the Roman garrison. This produced a general insurrection. The Jews on the one side, and the Romans and Syrians on the other, in every town attacked each other with the greatest fury. The Jews mustered in great numbers, pillaging and devastatiqg the towns chiefly occupied by the Syrians on both sides of the Jordan. The Syrians in revenge massacred the Jews whenever they fell into their hands. Thus the whole country streamed with blood. When Cestius Gallus, the prefect of Syria, heard of this general revolt, he marched with a strong army into Judea. He hastened towards Jerusalem, and surrounding the city, laid siege to it.
We must here glance for a moment at one circumstance which points out the time for the fulfilment of the prophecy of Daniel, uttered more than 500 years before. "After threescore and two weeks," says the prophet, "shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."1 Of this Christ says, "'vVhen ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand)."2 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed
1 Dan. ix. 26.
2 Mark xiii. 14.
with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."1 The "abomination of desolation" is a Hebrew expression, signifying "abominable, or hateful destroyer." Where Daniel uses the word abominations, Christ adds the word "desolation," because it was to make Jerusalem utterly desolate. As Luke in this connection speaks of the compassing of Jerusalem with armies, I think it clear that, by the abomination of desolation, the Saviour meant to designate the Roman armies. These were composed of soldiers who were idolaters. They carried in front of their legions ensigns or standards upon which were painted the images of eagles and of their emperors. These, Suetonius informs us, the Romans worshipped; whilst Tacitus calls them "the gods of war." Chrysostom says, "that every idol and every image of a man was by the Jews called an abomination." An illustration is mentioned by Josephus: that "when Vitellius, the governor of Syria, was conducting his army through Judea, against Aretas, the king of the Arabians, the principal Jews, on account of their strong abhorrence of the ensigns of the soldiers, on which were eagles and the images of the emperors, earnestly entreated him to lead his army some other way, and that he greatly obliged them by complying with their request." In corroboration of the fact that the Romans worshipped these standards, Josephus adds, "that after the city was taken, the Romans brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them opposite
1 Luke xxi. 20.
the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them in that place." The Roman armies are properly called the abomination of desolation, as desolation marked their advances through all the provinces and nations they had subdued, and as by them the holy city, and its more holy temple, were to be utterly destroyed.
The besieging of Jerusalem by these armies is called the "standing where it ought not," and "standing in the holy place." The entire city, and all the land for several furlongs around it, was regarded as holy. The Saviour here particularly refers to the surrounding of the city by the armies of Cestius Gallus. They soon obtained full possession of Bezetha, or the new city, and were favourably situated for aggressive movements. Thus it would seem that the Christians, equaIIy with the Jews, were shut up in the city to certain destruction. This, which was the beginning of the days of vengeance, still was to be the signal for the safety of the Christians. They were admonished "to possess their souls in patience," -"not to be troubled or terrified," -"for all these things must first come to pass." They were assured that "not a hair of their head should perish," and that this besieging was the evidence that their deliverance was near. To human vision this was the time of their extremity, but it was the time of God's opportunity. Connected with this siege by Cestius Gallus, we shall have occasion to consider the remarkable providence which demonstrates how certainly God will overrule events so as to accomplish His purposes of mercy toward those who love and trust Him. Josephus states that if Cestius Gallus had assaulted the upper city (Zion), he could easily have taken it, and ended the war; but he adds, "For the wickedness of the people God suffered not the war to end at that time." For some reason which historians have not explained, Cestius Gallus, instead of following up his victory by a resolute advance, withdrew his troops from the city to their encampment. This strange movement emboldened the Jews; and being animated with the wildest enthusiasm and the intensest hatred, they seized their weapons, and rushed out with such impetuosity and numbers that they compelled the Romans to give way, and betake themselves to flight.
For three days they pursued the retreating army with great slaughter; they got possession of many engines of war, and large supplies. This enabled them to prolong the defence of the city. Agrippa, at the request of Cestius Gallus, sent ambassadors to entreat them to lay down their arms, promising forgiveness for all the past. Elated by their recent success, they rejected with scorn these overtures; they seized the ambassadors, slew one, and wounded the other. Such conduct was in opposition to the earnest counsel of the more respectable citizens, who formed a very powerful body. They clearly saw that such conduct would exasperate the emperor, and bring against them the whole Roman power. They were not mistaken. The Roman armies, in larger force, soon came, and unrelentingly went on with their work of conquest and ruin.
Flight of the Christians.- Those who forget that God holds in His hands the heart of kings and rulers, and through their instrumentality works out His own designs, are at a loss to account for the retreat of Cestius Gallus, the Roman general. But those who recognize God as the moral governor will understand this strange retreat when the city was ready to surrender. Such will remember that, more than thirty years before, Christ had said to His disciples, " When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains."
Before or during the siege the Christians could not safely flee. Had they attempted it they would have been destroyed, either by the Jews within the city or by the Romans without. The only way of escape was for the general to raise the siege. This was done. The armed Jews in great numbers rushed out, and pursued the retreating army. It was during this time, when the gates were thrown open, that the Christians found their only opportunity for leaving the city and fleeing to a place of safety.
The advice "in patience possess ye your souls," evidently denotes that the Christians were to watch for and seize upon the crisis the moment it should arrive. Also that their flight was to be with great suddenness, and with such haste as to forsake all worldly property. We notice the three specific items in this advice.
(I) All in Judea were to flee to the mountains - Judea was the southern portion of Palestine, including the tribes of Judah, Simeon, Dan, and Benjamin. Jerusalem was a little north of the centre of this territory. This whole region, as well as Jerusalem, would feel the scourge of this war, and all its inhabitants be exposed to its fearful ravages. The mountains to which they were to flee are those of Perea, a mountainous region on the east side of the river Jordan, and considerably north of Jerusalem. This whole territory, including a part of Galilee, was under the government of Agrippa the Younger. As these countries remained obedient to the Roman power, and took no part in the rebellion, they were consequently not disturbed by the war. This, in itself, was a sufficient reason why the Christians should flee thither. In the midst of these mountains were deep secluded ravines and extensive caves, which would be places of refuge should persecution or other troubles invade this region.
What but Omniscience could thirty years ahead foretell, with such minute accuracy, the scenes of the war, and that the mountainous country would be at peace, whilst all around should be terribly convulsed, and that rapine should rage with horrors unparalleled? What but the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God would have preserved these mountains in peace, as a covert from the tempest and a shelter from the storm? Who but God would have thus placed His saints on high, and made their defence the munition of rocks?
(2) Their flight 'Was to be too sudden to admit of any delay, and hasty to permit the carrying anything away with them.- "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes!"1 Great emphasis is given to this advice when we remember that "the Jewish houses were flat-roofed, and commonly had two stairs, one within and the other without the house, by which they went up to the roof." Thus a continued terrace was formed from one end of the city to the other, and terminating at the gates. Dr. Shaw, in his Travels in the East, says, "The top of the house, which is always flat, is covered with strong plaster; upon these terraces several offices of the family are performed, such as the drying of linen and flax, - the preparing of figs and raisins, - where likewise they enjoy the cool refreshing breeze of the evening, converse with each other, and offer up their devotions. . . . One may pass along the tops of the houses from one end of the city to the other without coming down into the street." The counsel is that if any Christian should be on the housetop when the signal for flight should be given, he must speed his way with all possible dispatch. He must not tarry long enough to go down into the house to take any article, even the most necessary. And if any are in the fields, they must instantly leave the plough in the furrrow, and take the nearest way to the mountains; they must not go back to take with them the outer garments laid aside when they commenced their work. But every man, just as he was, no matter
1 Matt. xxiv. 17, 18.
where found, or in what business employed, must flee for his life, and consider himself fortunate if he can only escape; for the days of vengeance had come. In this advice there was great wisdom as well as mercy. They were to seize upon the time when the Roman army was retreating, and when the multitudes of the armed Jews, with their desperate leaders, were passing out of the city in hot and eager pursuit. To leave the city at this period would be easy, and would excite no suspicion. If they collected their valuable effects they would draw upon them the attention of the robbers, who would fall upon them. Besides, if thus burdened, it would have so retarded their flight as to prevent their escape before the return of the Jews and the closing of the gates; for then the fierce ravages of war and pestilence and famine would commence.
(3) They were to pray that their flight might not be either in the winter, or on the Sabbath.-" But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day."1 Since the doom of Jerusalem was decreed and proclaimed, its preservation was no longer a proper subject of prayer. Thus saith the Lord, " Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I wiII not hear thee."2 "Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto Me for their trouble."3 Yea, "though Moses and Samuel stood before Me,
1 Matt. xxiv. 20.
2 (missing footnote)
3 Jer. xi. 14.
yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.. . . Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity."1 How terrible is the condition of that people when an intercessor may not stand up between God and them!- when the voice of pleading and the incense of prayer is forbidden, and they are left to the retributions of incensed justice!
But it was proper for those who were to escape to plead for every mitigating circumstance. Hence that their flight might not be in the winter. Then the hardness of the season, the badness of the roads, the shortness of the days, the severity of the atmosphere, the scarcity of provisions, and the scantiness of clothing would greatly aggravate the miseries of their flight. The winter would cause great suffering to all, but especially to the aged, to the women, and the children. How continued would be their sufferings, if, after reaching the mountains, they should be compelled in their impoverished condition to dwell in the caverns and dens of the earth, as their only refuge from the rude blasts of winter.
Neither on the Sabbath day. - If this refers to the Jewish Sabbath, how wise and merciful the petition. For such was the adherence of the Jews to its mere outward observance, whilst they violated its hallowed spirit, that if the Christians should flee on that day they would arouse the fierce jealousy of the Jews,
1 Jer. xv. r, 2.
and involve themselves in serious delays, if not positive sufferings. If the Christian Sabbath was also included, which I think was the case, then here too there is mercy and wisdom in the prayer. Christ would not, if practicable, have its peace and sanctity disturbed even by such a work of necessity. Besides, many would linger in doubt, - many would fly doubting. Every way it would harass and perplex the conscientious, and that too at a time of such peculiar peril.
Here we must recall the fact that, when Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, had actually taken Bezetha, the new town, he precipitately withdrew his army. It will be well to notice here a few of the facts. When the new town was taken, the principal men were persuaded by Ananus to open the gates to him -they actually invited him into the city, to settle the terms of the surrender. "But," says Josephus, "he overlooked this offer, partly out of his anger at the Jews, and partly because he did not thoroughly believe they were in earnest. Thus, when he had the city in his power, and could have ended the war in a single day, without any assignable reason, he suddenly raised the siege, and commenced a rapid retreat, in which a great portion of his army was slain, and large supplies of provisions and munitions of war fell into the hands of the Jews." The gates of the city were opened, whilst the pursuit was continued for three days. Then the gates were again closed, and the most zealous and active preparations made for defence. Thus, in this most remarkable manner, three days were granted to the Christians in which to flee to the mountains. These were not wintry days. This defeat, says Josephus, took place on the 8th day of the month Marchesvan, which corresponds with the latter part of our September and the early part of October. This was a lovely season of the year. The harvest of corn, and the gathering of grapes, pomegranates, and other fruits was completed. Thus available provisions were abundant.
That their flight was not on the Sabbath may be fairly gathered from the narrative of the historian; for he tells us that during the same siege, only a few days before the retreat of Cestius Gallus, "the Jews left the feast, and betook themselves to their arms without any consideration of the rest of the seventh day, although the Sabbath was the day for which they had the greatest regard." He notices this one occasion as peculiar. But when the defeat of Cestius Gallus is recorded as occurring on the 8th of Marchesvan, not the slightest intimation is given that it was on the Sabbath. The evidence, I think, is clear that their prayer, as advised by their Lord, was heard and answered, and that their flight was neither in the winter nor on the Sabbath.
That they actually fled in haste is evident. Josephus says, "And now it was that a horrible fear seized upon the seditious, insomuch that many of them ran out of the city as though it were to be taken immediately." Again," Many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city as from a ship when it was going to sink." What language can be more expressive of haste? Still again he tells us, that when Titus was drawing his forces towards Jerusalem, "a great multitude fled from Jericho into the mountainous country for security." Jericho lay north and east from Jerusalem, and was directly in the way from the city to the mountains in Perea. It may be that many Christians who had fled from Jerusalem took up a temporary lodgment in Jericho, but on the approach of the army under Titus they fled directly to the mountains. The historian Eusebius says,' "The people of the church in Jerusalem being ordered by an oracle given to the faithful in that place, by revelation left the city, and dwelt in a city of Perea, the name of which is Pella." Epiphanius says that the Christians in Jerusalem were admonished of its destruction by an angel. It was during this critical interval of three days that the Christians made their escape. Bishop Newton remarks, "We do not read anywhere that so much as one of them perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Certainly not when Christ promised, "Not a hair of your head shall perish." "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies."1 Well then hath the psalmist said, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ... He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou
1 Psa. xxv.. 10.
shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. . . . Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, Thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee. . . . For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."1 And the apostle has said, "AIl things work together for good to them that love God." Blessed Jesus! how tender! how faithful is Thine heart! Whom Thou lovest Thou lovest always, and as the apple of Thine eye; and though earth and hell should combine their rage, and earth and heaven pass away, none shall be able to pluck them out of Thine hand. They are safe, absolutely and for ever,-and only they.
The safety of those who put their confidence in God is beautifully illustrated in all the circumstances attending the flight of the Christians from Jerusalem. Their Lord told them not to be terrified or troubled by all the strange and desolating events which should awaken alarm, and which threatened the certain destruction of the city. They must possess their souls in patience, and not prematurely attempt to escape the terrors of that day; no, not when they saw the Roman armies encamped around the city; no, not when the work of desolation had begun, and they saw the new city a heap of ruins, because He would keep them, and at the proper time make the way plain
1 Psa. xci. I-II.
and safe for their escape. Such was the confidence which the Christians reposed in this word of their Lord that they strictly obeyed His directions. We have seen how Cestius Gallus besieged the city, and had it in his power; but that, at an unexpected moment, and without any assignable reason, he raised the siege, and precipitately fled. Then the Jews threw open the gates and rushed out, and for three days victoriously pursued. It was at this critical, this wholly unexpected opportunity of only three days that the Christians fled without danger either from the Romans or the Jews. Immediately on the return of the Jews the gates were closed. The sentinel was there at every gate holding his ceaseless, jealous vigils. Thus a way of escape was made for the Christians. Flushed by their success, the Jews were emboldened in their determined resistance, and were shut in to the famine, the pestilence, and the sword,-to sufferings the most fearful and to deaths most strange and terrible.
Who can thoughtfully ponder the prediction and its fulfilment, and not feel that the hand of God was in them, and that God does govern in all the affairs of men; a protection and a reward to all who serve, and a ruin to all those who follow their own hearts?
Even now I seem to hear the kind whispers of His love saying, "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."1 Methinks I can now hear the swelling shouts of joyful gratitude bursting from the Christian bands as they again come forth from their hiding-places, singing, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. . . . The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge."2
But three days were given to the Christians to secure their safety by flight. Can there be any doubt that, if after all the instruction and admonition they had received, they had hesitated, doubted, lingered, and thus consumed the three days, that they too would have been shut in, and made to partake, as the reward of their unbelief, of the miseries and plagues which befel the unbelieving Jews? God had forewarned them' and provided the way of escape. Can anyone doubt that, if they had lingered in order to secure some worldly interest, to finish some plan or work, or to secure treasures, that they would have miserably and foolishly lost their lives? True faith works promptly, -works with energy, and is ready for any sacrifices. Is it not plain that unless the Christians, and such of the Jews as may have accompanied them, had made the matter of their escape the one present and absorbing interest, to which every
1 Isa. xxvi. 20, 21.
2 Psa, xlvi. 1-3, 7.
other interest must instantly give way, that they could not have been saved from the impending ruin? And what does all this teach impenitent men, whose dangers are a thousandfold more terrible and threatening than those which gathered in massive clouds of blackness over Jerusalem? How many days has any man in which to escape? Who can fix the number? How many hours in which to escape? Who can certainly number them? Why do men linger? What plan, what work, what treasure-making detains them? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Taken From Chapter 4 in book:
THE JUDGMENT OF JERUSALEM
Predicted in Scripture, Fulfilled in History
By William Patton
(Written in 1876)
70 weeks were all about Messiahs redemption at the cross and the ascension.
The destruction of temple and exile was all about them not believing in that fact.
How else does one explain a prophecy that begins with a promise of restoration and rebuilding, a forgiveness of sins and everlasting righteousness etc, yet ends with their destruction of the sanctuary and the city.
From the going forth of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalam..until Messiah, would be 69 weeks (483 years). Messiah would then fulfill the decree to atone for sin etc in the 70th week.
Looking back, the most likely decree was given in 457 BC .....
+ 483 = 26 AD, the year Jesus was identified as Messiah (by his prophecied forerunner), at his baptism and began his ministry to fulfill the decree to atone for the sins of the world. At the end of it Jesus said "it is finished" and he rose victorious .
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