A.D. 62 - JERUSALEM
Church Historian Suggests James' Death the "Final Straw"
Which Broke the Yoke
Stage 1: Murder of James the Just, "Opposition High Priest" ;
Hegesippus - "James, the brother of the Lord,
succeeded to the government of the Church in conjunction with the apostles..
Because of his exceeding great justice he was called the Just.. Coming therefore in a body to James
(the Scribes and Pharisees) said, 'We entreat thee, restrain the people; for they are gone astray in regard to Jesus, as if he were the Christ..
Do thou therefore persuade the multitude not to be led astray concerning Jesus.
For the whole people, and all of us also, have confidence in thee.. And he answered with a loud voice,' Why do ye ask me concerning Jesus, the Son of Man ? He himself sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the great Power, and
is about to come upon the clouds of heaven.' And when many were
fully convinced and gloried in the testimony of James, and said, 'Hosanna to the
Son of David,' these same Scribes and Pharisees said again to one another,' We
have done badly in supplying such testimony to Jesus.. So they went up and threw
down the just man, and said to each other, 'Let us stone James the Just.' And thus he suffered martyrdom. And they buried him on the spot, by the temple, and his monument still remains by the temple. He became a true witness, both to Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ.
And immediately Vespasian besieged them."
MARCH, A.D. 66 - JERUSALEM
The Final Days of the Jewish Commonwealth ; Anarchy Erupts, and
the Christians Flee
Numerous signs, prodigies, and
portents are seen in the land of Judaea at the outset of the rebellion.
Included in those recorded by Josephus, armed hosts and
in the clouds are seen flying over all the land of Judaea; a light
at night makes the temple appear as though it were on fire;
Halley's Comet, in the appearance of a sword, flies over the region.
NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory says that the closest approach of the comet that year was in
March, immediately prior to the revolt.
Christians seem to have
associated this period with the warnings and admonitions of Jesus Christ in
Matthew 24, because after the withdrawal of Gallus
and the Battle of Beth-horon, a great number of people flee the city of
Jerusalem, led by the Mother Church, which headed east over the Jordan
River to safety in the area of Pella, Jordan. Early Christian
settlements sprung up all over the Roman Decapolis Scythopolis [Bet She'an], Hippos [Susieh],
Gadara [Umm Qais], Pella [Tabaqat Fahl], Philadelphia
[Amman], Gerasa [Jerash], Dion [Adun], Kanatha [Kanawat], Damascus, and
Raphana [Abila] .
Today this region is within the Kingdom of Jordan and the Golan Heights. During the flight out of
Palestine, a number of documents were apparently hidden in the Dead Sea area
along the route -- DSS Caves 4 and 7-10 are of particular interest.
Signs and Portents
Christian Flight to Pella
MAY, A.D. 66 - JERUSALEM
Stage 2: General Revolt in Jerusalem ; Zealot Occupation of
Masada: August-September 66
The Factions in Jerusalem
During the Roman Siege
The Roman Procurator Florus
demands 17 talents from the Jewish Temple treasury. This is the triggering
insult for the Jews to begin their revolt. The Roman garrison in Jerusalem
is overrun by rebels, who take control of the city. The rebels cause cessation
of all sacrifices to the Roman Emperor, thus challenging Rome head-on.
Jewish War, 4.4.5 286-287
"There broke out a prodigious storm in
the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the
largest showers of rain, with continued lightnings, terrible
thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth,
that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication
that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the
world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these
wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.
....The Idumeans thought that God was angry at
their taking arms, and that they would not escape punishment for
their making war upon their metropolis. Ananus and his party thought
that they had conquered without fighting, and that God acted as a
general for them; but truly they proved both ill conjectures at what
was to come... For as the night was far
gone, and the storm very terrible, Ananus gave the guards in the
cloisters leave to go to sleep; while it came into the heads of the
Zealots to make use of the saws belonging to the Temple, and to cut
the bars of the gates to pieces. The noise of the wind, and that not
inferior sound of the thunder, did here also conspire with their
designs, that the noise of the saws was not heard by the others.
So they secretly went out of the
Temple to the wall of the city, and made use of their saws, and
opened that gate which was over against the Idumeans..."
cannot handle the situation, so the (Roman) Syrian Governor, Cestius Gallus, is
called in to subdue the rebellion. He attacks Jerusalem, gets up to the walls of
the city, then unexpectedly withdraws, suffering heavy losses in retreat.
A.D. 66-69 - GALILEE
PROGRESS OF THE LEGIONS UNDER VESPASIAN
After the humiliation of Gallus -- who
subsequently died (some said of shame) -- Nero commands General Vespasian
(Titus Flavius Vespasianus) to take over command of the Jewish War.
While civil war rages in Jerusalem, Vespasian
decides to give time for the infighting in the city to weaken the Jewish
defense against his armies. He then proceeds to subdue Galilee with
the aid of his son
Titus. After a number of sieges and clashes, he
succeeds in calming northern Judaea.
JOSEPHUS CAPTURED IN THE
SIEGE OF JOTAPATA
Josephus in captured in siege of
Jotapata. After a short imprisonment, he serves the Roman field
marshals until the completion of the war. After the war, Josephus is
adopted into the Flavian family, and he writes the definitive history of the
A.D. 68 & 69 - ROME, ITALY
NERO COMMITS SUICIDE; VESPASIAN SUSPENDS OPERATIONS
"THE YEAR OF THE FOUR EMPERORS"
Four emperors possess the
ultimate world power in Rome in quick succession
during this unsettled period. The first is
Domitius Ahenobarbus), who ends the reign
of the Julio-Claudian dynasty by committing suicide on June 9th, 68.
His last words were "Qualis
artifex Pereo" which is translated "what an
artist dies in me"
General Galba in Spain
declares himself emperor while Nero is still alive, and takes power upon his
arrival in Rome. In January, 69, Galba is
murdered by Otho who proclaims himself emperor. On April 15th,
Otho commits suicide and his rival, Vitellius becomes emperor. In June,
Vespasian resumes operations in Judea.
In July, Vespasian is proclaimed emperor by the army. He transfers command
of the Jewish war to his son Titus and heads for Rome. On December 20th,
69, Vitellius is beheaded in Rome and Vespasian is installed as emperor there.
(10/16/54 - 6/9/68)
(1/69 - 4/15/69)
(4/15/69 - 12/20/69)
A.D. 70 - JERUSALEM
TITUS TAKES OVER WAR AND
HEADS STRAIGHT TO JERUSALEM
They will take away your turban
and remove your crown; everything will be changed; the low will be high and the
high brought low. To ruin, and to ruin on ruin, am I going to bring it, to such
ruin as was never known before this man came who is appointed to inflict the
punishment which I am determined to impose on it." (Ez.21:23-27).
With Vespasian taking over the government of the
Roman Empire, his son Titus
Vespasianus (AD 9-79; Joint Emperor AD 69-79 ; Sole Emperor 79-81)
takes over as field marshal of the Roman forces opposing the Jewish revolt.
Titus and Tiberius Alexander, Prefect of Egypt, march to Caesarea from
Alexandria, bringing with them reinforcements from the 18th and 3rd Augusta
Legions. The 12th Legion marched down from Syria, and three thousand
legionaries of the 23rd and/or 24th Legions marched west from the Euphrates.
In April, 70, Titus led the 12th and 15th Legions and the 3rd Augusta and
18th Legion cohorts out of Caesarea towards Jerusalem. Upon arriving,
he encamped on Mount Scopus, north of the city.
Titus Surveying Jerusalem from Mount Scopus (Pierre
Family "Jerusalem as Besieged by Titus")
APRIL, A.D. 70 - PHASE ONE
THE ROMAN ARMY ARRIVES AT JERUSALEM TO PREPARE THE SIEGE
The first night of Titus' encampment with the
15th, 3rd and 18th Legions, the 5th Legion arrived from Emmaus and set camp
north of the city on Mount Scopus. Later the next day, the famed 10th
Legion (founded by Julius Caesar) marched in from Jericho and camped on the
Mount of Olives, east of the city. Instead of waiting to starve the Jews into
submission, Titus decides to assault many different parts of the city and
overwhelm the defenders.
Titus was early on in the middle of the fighting with his soldiers.
At least two times, Titus and his detachment are surrounded by defenders,
only to escape unharmed.
The first obstacle was the Third Wall,
just to the north of the Jaffa Gate. The ground leading up to it was
felled to provide clear fields of fire and to provide timber for siege
equipment. Two of the Jewish factions fighting within
the city agree to work together against the Romans, but a third continued to
fight the other factions. Massive quantities of corn were destroyed in
bitter factional fighting.
"The preparation took several weeks
Finally Titus brought up the artillery, and the assault troops prepared
their heavy equipment. As the soldiers of the Roman army went to their
beds on May 9, all was in readiness."
(Stephen Dando-Collins, Caesar's Legion)
Jerusalem Assault Maps
MAY 10, A.D. 70 - AT DAWN
ASSAULT BEGINS AT THIRD WALL OF JERUSALEM
Assault troops attempt to breach the wall using
a variety of methods - stone-hurling ballistas, spear throwing "scorpion"
catapults, mantlets, siege towers, battering rams, and the testudo
method of interlocking shields for attempt at undermining the wall's
strength. Jewish defenders, with covering fire from 340 artillery
pieces of their own (captured after the Battle of Beth-horon and the taking
of the Antonia Fortress four years earlier), attempt many sallies outside
the walls of the city in a desperate attempt to drive the armies back.
‘Admirable as were the
engines constructed by all the legions, those of the tenth were of peculiar
excellence. Their scorpions were of greater power and their stone-projectors
larger, and with these they not only kept in check the sallying parties, but
those also on the ramparts. The stones that were thrown were of the
weight of a talent, and had a range of two furlongs and more. The
shock, not only to such as first met it, but even to those beyond them for a
considerable distance, was irresistible. The Jews, however, at the first,
could guard against the stone; for its approach was intimated, not only to
the ear by its whiz, but also, being white, to the eye by its brightness.
Accordingly they had watchmen posted on the towers, who gave warning when
the engine was discharged and the stone projected, calling out in their
native language, "The son is coming," on which those towards whom it
was directed would separate, and lie down before it reached them. Thus it
happened that, owing to these precautions, the stone fell harmless. It then
occurred to the Romans to blacken it; when, taking a more successful aim, as
it was no longer equally discernible in its approach, they swept down many at a single discharge.’ Josephus, Jewish Wars,
bk. v. chap. vi. 3.
100lb. Stones thrown 400 yards by
Roman Ballistas used by the 10th Legion
With the 10th Legion providing
covering fire, the 5th, 12th, and 15th roll over three massive siege towers
against the Third Wall -- each determined to be the first to create a
Battering rams are employed
against the wall, and are countered by sacks lowered from the top of the
wall intended to soften the blows.
The Jewish Defenders Put up a Valiant Resistance
And Even Succeeded in Burning Some of the Siege Equipment
The rams kept up their work day in
and day out.. creating a massive din which troubled the sleep of the defenders.
LATE MAY, A.D. 70
- PHASE TWO
THE 5TH, 12TH, and 15TH LEGIONS
QUARTER IN THE CAMP OF THE ASSYRIANS
Titus positioned the battering rams to attack the
central northern tower of the Second Wall. The tower crumbled, and a
section of the wall adjacent to the tower collapsed. The defenders
then retreated inside the First Wall. Josephus was used at this
juncture to implore the partisans to surrender, promising honorable
treatment at the hands of the Romans. The defenders, in response,
threatened death to any of the hundreds of thousands of refugees still inside
should they have attempted to surrender.
Thousands of legionaries poured inside the
ruined section of the wall, only to be caught up in a maze of narrow streets
inside. Suddenly gates opened in the First Wall and the Romans were
overwhelmed and forced to retreat behind the Second Wall.
Titus orders sustained ramming operations and
succeeds in opening several new breaches. When the Romans retake the
Second Wall, the Jews are forced to again retreat inside the first wall.
All buildings between the two walls are then demolished by the Romans.
Titus then suspends the siege.
A.D. 70 - MIGHT & MADNESS
ROMANS PARADE IN FULL DRESS WHILE
FAMINE GRIPS CITY
Over the next four days the legions were parades
in full-dress uniforms as Titus ceremoniously doled out the pay of every
legionary. This was done in full view of the people, in an attempt to
awe the defenders into surrender. People crowded the walls and windows
of the city to watch the process. Josephus was sent again to
negotiate a surrender -- to no avail. The starving masses inside began
resorting to any method of satisfying their hunger. Armed bands roved
the city violently taking food from the women, children and aged -- killing
all who resisted. Jews caught foraging for food outside the walls were
whipped and crucified. Upwards of 500 people a day were crucified
until there were no more crosses to accommodate the victims.
Meanwhile Famine Rages inside the Walls of Jerusalem
SUMMER, A.D. 70
- PHASE THREE
JUNE - WALL OF CIRCUMVALLATION BUILT
TO QUICKEN FAMINE
In order to protect the camps,
supply lines, and seal in the defenders of the city, Titus order the
erection of a wall which would encircle the entire city -- sealing in
the inhabitants and sealing the fate of Jerusalem.
The circumvallation made of
five miles of trench and wall, with over a dozen forts built along its
length. Certainly, the Third Wall was plundered for supplies.
Those inside the city were astonished to see the entire project
completed in just three days. This engineering and construction
feat is a marvel of the ancient world and explains why Rome conquered
the known world.
With this development civil war
inside the city intensified. Josephus called once more for
surrender. This time, he was hit on the head with a stone and was
presumed dead, though he revived and resumed his peace efforts.
Wright's "Vengeance of the Lord"
Josephus Pleading in Front of the Walls of
Jerusalem During Siege
1601 Nevereze's "Jerusalem Besieged"
Ultimate Act of Infamy : "Mary" Devours Child
JULY - ALL FOUR LEGIONS
the Apostle was arrested in the Temple Court where the angry Jewish mob
tried to kill him. He asked for permission to speak to the crowd from the
steps leading up from the Court of the Gentiles into the barracks of the
Antonia Fortress (Acts 21:31-22:29). When Paul stood before the Council the
following day he once again needed to be rescued and was taken up the stairs
into the barracks (Acts 22:30-23:10). The soldiers later took him secretly
at night from the Antonia Fortress to Caesarea (Acts 23:23-35)."
After all four battering rams
were positioned on the northern wall of the fortress, the ground gave way.
A tunnel dug by the defenders collapsed, and a gap in the wall appeared.
Discouraged to find another wall built behind it, operations turned to
volunteers. Sabinus volunteered to climb the hastily erected wall, and
actually reached the top. In his excitement, he stumbled and was cut
down. Two nights later, twenty legionaries and an eagle-bearer from
the 5th Legion quietly climbed the wall and overpowered the Jewish sentries
on duty. The trumpeter blew his instrument to alert the troops below.
Panic-stricken, the other Jewish guards abandoned their posts. Titus
and his officers were among those who flooded, unopposed, over the wall.
The Jewish defenders withdrew to the Temple. Hand to hand fighting
commenced in the Sanctuary of the Temple. The struggle that evening
lasted until the afternoon of the next day.
Die Zerstörung des
Tempels von Jerusalem
1864 Francisco Hayez
After a council of war apparently decided to
spare the temple if possible, as a monument to Rome's glory, full scale
assault began on the Sanctuary. The gates were burned and stormed, but
the fight was a stalemate. Titus withdrew his troops beyond the
Sanctuary and retired to bed.
"Destruction of Jerusalem" by John Martin
9TH OF AV, A.D. 70 - CHURBAN HABAYIT
DATE OF THE DESTRUCTION OF BOTH TEMPLES OF SOLOMON AND HEROD
A single Roman soldier threw a
firebrand into one of the Temple's windows, starting a raging fire. As the
temple burned, the Romans looted it and massacred the defenders. Titus
passed through a curtained opening, and entered the Holy of Holies.
"On the day the Temple fell,
Titus found God's room to be empty."
DESOLATION AND CAPTIVITY OF JEWS
Thousands Sold Into Slavery or used by Army Engineers for Slave Labor
A.D. 71 - ROME, ITALY
JOINT TRIUMPH OF TITUS AND VESPASIAN
A.D. 73 - MASADA
ZEALOT ESCAPE AND FALL OF MASADA ; END OF
Masasa Was Prepared by Jonathan, but finally made into a fortress by Herod.
The King prepared it as a summer vacation spot, and also as a fortress in case
he and his family had to flee... although it was never utilized for this
purpose. One of the earliest acts of the First Revolt was the
seizing of the fortress by Jewish Zealots.
APRIL 15 – The last of the
rebelling enclaves falls to the Romans when the mountain fortress of Masada
is taken after a long siege. Instead of being taken and sold into
slavery, the defenders chose death by group suicide.
This represents the final official action of the First Jewish Revolt.
Roman Items Found at Masada
ROMAN COLOSSEUM (FLAVIAN
AMPHITHEATER) AND ARCH OF TITUS BUILT WITH BOOTY FROM THE TEMPLE IN
JERUSALEM - NUMEROUS OTHER ROMAN ENGINEERING PROJECTS AIDED BY
JEWISH SLAVE LABOR