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Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)


Josephus: Henry Leeming: Josephus' Jewish War and Its Slavonic Version: A Synoptic Comparison (2003) "This volume presents in English translation the Slavonic version of Josephus Flavius' "Jewish War, long inaccessible to Anglophone readers, according to N.A. Materskej's scholarly edition, together with his erudite and wide-ranging study of literary, historical and philological aspects of the work, a textological apparatus and commentary. The synoptic layout of the Slavonic and Greek versions in parallel columns enables the reader to compare their content in detail. It will be seen that the divergences are far more extensive than those indicated hitherto."


Josephus Pleads Still

Maps of the Siege of Jerusalem


Josephus Pleading in Front of the Walls of Jerusalem During Siege Using Theological Arguments

Flavius Josephus

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The Wars of the Jews Library ﻩ Exhaustive Bibliography ﻩ Visual Timeline | Works of Flavius Josephus ﻩ Josephus in Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia ﻩ Ancient Histories of Flavius Josephus ﻩ Flavius Josephus Home ﻩ PACE ﻩ Josephus, the Primary Source ﻩ Scientific Dating ﻩ Governmental Administrations ﻩ First Century Jerusalem ﻩ Historical Maps ﻩ Maps of Jerusalem

Flavius Josephus : Credibility and Importance : Steve Mason Stebbing's Essay | The Credibility Of Josephus ﻩ The Jewish millionaire who surrendered to the Romans ﻩ David Chilton's Synopsis

Preterist Perspectives ﻩ Effects of the Fall of Jerusalem on Christianity ﻩ Did Jerusalem Christians Flee to Pella? | Josephus and Jesus ﻩ Revelation and Josephus

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Compare With Revelation Chapter 8 (The Seven Trumpets)

Revelation 8: 1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

 

VISUAL TIMELINE OF THE ROMAN-JEWISH WAR

Titus: "God co-operates with us. -- Their miseries, by your valor and God's assistance, are multiplied. Their factions, famine, siege, and the falling of their walls without a battery, do they not manifest that God is angry with them, and assists us?" (Jewish Wars, l. vi. c. 1. 5.)


TRACKING THE FIRST JEWISH REVOLT FROM AN
THEOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW

“it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice.”

"God has condemned the city to destruction because of its pollutions and wished to cleanse the sanctuary by fire." (B.J. IV, 323)

POV: Administrative | Factional | Military | Theological


INVESTIGATING CORRELATIONS BETWEEN JOSEPHUS' ACCOUNT
AND THE FIRST CENTURY FULFILLMENT OF BIBLE PROPHECY

Josephus' Theological Take: BJ V, 378-401, VI 267-270

"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." (AD 310s - Eusebius, Demonstratio Evangelica, X)

Jesus Predicting Fall of Temple in Word

"Behold, Your House is Left to you Desolate"
Luke 13:35

"As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. "Do you see all these buildings? I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!"
Matthew 24:2

Jesus Predicting Fall of Jerusalem in Deed

Craig Evans - Towards a Jewish Context of the Temple Action (1993 PDF)


Links Lead to Text Below

JEWISH ANTIQUITIES

WARS OF THE JEWS TO BOOK THREE

 "..The whole population poured forth and each of the fugitives was surrounded by a vast crowd, eagerly asking what had befallen outside.. They casually mentioned the fall of Gischala.. When, however, the story of the prisoners came out, profound consternation took possession of the people, who drew thereupon plain indications of their own impending capture.   But John.. went round the several groups, instigating them to war by the hopes he raised, making out the Romans to be weak, extolling their own power, and ridiculing the ignorance of the inexperienced; even had they wings, he remarked, the Romans would never surmount the walls of Jerusalem.. By these harangues most of the youth were seduced into his service and incited to war; but of the sober and elder men there was not one who did not foresee the future and mourn for the city as if it had already met its doom." (Josephus Wars 4.121-128; ed. Thackeray, vol. 3., pp. 36-39)

BOOK FOUR

BOOK FIVE

"For Eleazar, the son of Simon, who made the first separation of the zealots from the people, and made them retire into the temple ... these seized upon the inner court of the temple and laid their arms upon the holy gates, and over the holy fronts of that court. And because they had plenty of provisions, they were of good courage, for there was a great abundance of what was consecrated to sacred uses, and they scrupled not the making use of them ... [and they] slew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations ... yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices ... 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; till 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."

Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)"

“Many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure; it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were poorer.”

Revelation 6:5 "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny.."

BOOK SIX

  • VI, I, 1 - The Desolate Nature of All Judea - Land was Laid Desolate

  • VI, II, 1 -   Titus Gave Orders To Demolish Tower Of Antonia. - Ceasing of the "Daily Sacrifice", Fulfilling Daniel 9:27

  • VI, II, 4 - Titus Charges The Seditious Jews With Impiety - Titus' Labor to Save the City and Sanctuary.

  • VI, II, 9 - Cutting Off of Infected Limbs - Level of Distress

  • VI, III, 3 - Another Description of the Terrible Famine In The City - She then attempted a most unnatural thing; and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, "O thou miserable infant! for whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves! The famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us; yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a byeword to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews."

Deuteronomy 28:47-57 "Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of vher foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears."

  • VI, III, 4 - Account Of Infanticide And Cannibalism - Revelation 9:6, Deuteronomy 28:53, 57

  • VI, V, 1 - Distress The Jews Were In Upon The Fire Of The Holy House - Matthew 24:2.

  • VI, V, 2 - Concerning a False Prophet - "A false prophet... had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes."

Matthew 24:4-5 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

  • VI, V, 3 - The Signs That Preceded The Destruction - *** - Famous Chapter Showing Providential Work

  • VI, V, 4 - Jews Erroneous Interpretation of Prophecies. - Applying to Themselves Prophecies Belonging to Christ.

  • VI, VI, 1 - Ensigns Carried To The Temple, Acclamations To Titus. - Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15, 34; etc.

  • VI, VII, 3 - What Afterward Befell the Seditious  - Revelation 6:16

  • VI, VIII, 2 - Titus Sells Multitude Of Survivors - Prophecies Regarding the Fate of the People.

  • VI, VIII, 3 - The Possessions of the City After Plunder - Revelation 18:11-12 ; "Times of the Gentiles"

  • VI, IX, 2 - Number of Captives, Dead in the Siege

  • VI, IX, 3 - Number Of Captives And Dead - Numbering Well Over One Million.

  • VI, X, 1 - Seventh Sacking of Jerusalem - Providential Declaration Of Old Covenant Completion.

BOOK SEVEN

  • VII, I, 1 - The Entire City of Jerusalem Destroyed - Finale to The Prophetic Desolation

  • VII, II, 1 - Simon the Tyrant Taken, Reserved for Triumph - Revelation 6:16, etc.

  • VII, 8, 7 - Jerusalem Demolished to Foundations - Fulfillment of Matthew 24:2

“But the shame that would attend them in case they returned without doing any thing at all, so far overcame that their repentance, that they lay all night before the wall, though in a very bad encampment; for 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.” Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, Chapter 4, Paragraph 5 (4:285)

“That same year twelve famous cities of Asia fell by an earthquake in the night, so that the destruction was all the more unforeseen and fearful. Nor were there the means of escape usual in, such a disaster, by rushing out into the open country, for there people were swallowed up by the yawning earth.  Vast mountains, it is said, collapsed; what had been level ground seemed to be raised aloft, and fires blazed out amid the ruin. The calamity fell most fatally on the inhabitants of Sardis, and it attracted to them the largest share of sympathy." Publius Cornelius Tacitus 1.16 62ad

“To all the disasters and abuses thus caused by the princeps there were added certain accidents of fortune; a plague which in a single autumn entered thirty thousand deaths in the accounts of Libitina” Suetonius: De Vita Caesarum—Nero XXXIX


LISTED CHRONOLOGICALLY THROUGH JOSEPHUS' WORKS


Antiquities of The Jews


Book XX, Chapter VIII, Section 5 (Entire)


5. Now as for the affairs of the Jews, they grew worse and worse continually, for the country was again filled with robbers and impostors, who deluded the multitude. Yet did Felix catch and put to death many of those impostors every day, together with the robbers. He also caught Eleazar, the son of Dineas, who had gotten together a company of robbers; and this he did by treachery; for he gave him assurance that he should suffer no harm, and thereby persuaded him to come to him; but when he came, he bound him, and sent him to Rome. Felix also bore an ill-will to Jonathan, the high priest, because he frequently gave him admonitions about governing the Jewish affairs better than he did, lest he should himself have complaints made of him by the multitude, since he it was who had desired Caesar to send him as procurator of Judea. So Felix contrived a method whereby he might get rid of him, now he was become so continually troublesome to him; for such continual admonitions are grievous to those who are disposed to act unjustly. Wherefore Felix persuaded one of Jonathan's most faithful friends, a citizen of Jerusalem, whose name was Doras, to bring the robbers upon Jonathan, in order to kill him; and this he did by promising to give him a great deal of money for so doing. Doras complied with the proposal, and contrived matters so, that the robbers might murder him after the following manner: Certain of those 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 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 of 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.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVE

This is a wonderful introduction to the History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, as Josephus declares that the events which transpired were very significant. The above references of purging by fire might be seen in reference to those used in the New Testament, as well:

Mt 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Mt 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Mt 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mt 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (age).

2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Re 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.


Book XX, Chapter VIII, Section 6 (Entire)

6. These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness (1), and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their folly; for Felix brought them back, and then punished them. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet (2), and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.

PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

See : Matthew 24:4-5 - Commentary Excerpts

1. Matthew 24:24-26
2. Matthew 24:11


PREFACE, Section 1 (Entire)

1. Whereas the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that were ever heard of (1); both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affair themselves, have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by heresay , and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those things that were then present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humour of flattery to the Romans, or of a hatred to the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes ecomiums, but nowhere the accurate truth of the facts, I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our own country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; I, Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work.]

PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Josephus declares the war with the Romans was "the greatest of all" wars "ever heard of" (Like Christ -Matthew 24:21). According to the Preterist view, no matter what amount of bloodshed a war may produce today, the divine retribution and covenantal elements of this war will forever remain unique.   

 


PREFACE, Section 4, Section 11 (Entire)

4. However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans, nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy. Yet I shall suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentation upon the miseries undergone by my own country; for that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it; and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us (1), who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple; Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance. But if anyone makes an unjust accusation against us, when we speak so passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge our affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest calamities again. Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither. This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations. But, if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only.

11. After this, I shall relate the barbarity of the tyrants (the seditious Jews within Jerusalem - TD) toward the people of their own nation, as well as the indulgence of the Romans in sparing foreigners; and how often Titus, out of his desire to preserve the city and the temple, invited the seditious to come to terms of accommodation. I shall also distinguish the sufferings of the people, and their calamities; how far they were afflicted by the sedition, and how far, by the famine, and at length were taken. Nor shall I omit to mention the misfortunes of the deserters, nor the punishments inflicted on the captives; as also how the temple was burnt against the consent of Caesar; and how many sacred things that had been laid up in the temple, were snatched out of the fire; the destruction also of the entire city, with the signs and wonders that went before it (2); and the taking the tyrants captive, and the multitude of those that were made slaves (3), and into what different misfortunes they were every one distributed. Moreover, what the Romans did to the remains of the wall; and how they demolished the strong-holds that were in the country; and how Titus went over the whole country, and settled its affairs; together with his return to Italy, and his triumph.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. A recurring theme in Josephus' work on the Roman war is the clear imputation of guilt upon the Jews themselves for the prosecution of the desolations. This point is underscored in the further descriptions of the type of people that prosecuted the war, on behalf of the Jewish nation.

2. See 6-5-3 - The Signs and Wonders Preceding The Destruction

3. See 6-8-2 Multitudes Sold Into Slavery


Book II, Chapter XVII, Section 1, 2, 3, 4 (Entire)

How The War Of The Jews With The Romans Began


1. This advice (from Agrippa - TD) the people hearkened to, and went up into the temple with the king and Bernice, and began to rebuild the cloisters: the rulers also and the senators divided themselves into the villages, and collected the tributes, and soon got together forty talents, which was the sum that was deficient. And thus did Agrippa then put a stop to that war which was threatened. Moreover, he attempted to persuade the multitude to obey Florus, until Caesar should send one to succeed him; but they were hereby more provoked, and cast reproaches upon the king, and got him excluded out of the city; nay, some of the seditious had the imprudence to throw stones at him. So when the king saw that the violence of those that were for innovations was not be restrained, and being very angry at contumelies he had received, he sent their rulers, together with their men of power, to Florus, to Cesarea, that he might appoint whom he thought fit to collect the tribute in the country, while he retired into his own kingdom.

2. And at this time it was that some of those that principally excited the people to go to war, made an assault upon a certain fortress called Masada. They took it by treachery, and slew the Romans that were there, and put others of their own party to keep it. At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans : for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account: and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple.

3. Hereupon the men of power got together, and confered with the high priests, as did also the principal of the Pharisees; and thinking all was at stake, and that their calamities were becoming incurable, took counsel what was to be done. Accordingly, they determined to try what they could do with the seditious by words, and assembled the people before the brazen gate, which was that gate of the inner temple [court of the priests] which looked towards the sunrising. And, in the first place, they shewed the great indignation they had at this attempt for a revolt, and for their bringing so great a war upon their country: after which they confuted their pretence as unjustifiable, and told them, that their forefathers had adorned their temple in great part with donations bestowed on them by foreigners, and had always received what had been presented to them from foreign nations; and that they had been so far from rejecting any person's sacrifice, (which would be the highest instance of impiety,) that they had themselves placed those donations about the temple which were still visible, and had remained there so long a time: that they did now irritate the Romans to take arms against them, and invited them to make war upon them, and brought up novel rules of strange divine worship, and determined to run the hazard of having their city condemned for impiety, while they would not allow any foreigners but Jews only, either to sacrifice or worship therein. And if such a law should ever be introduced in the case of a single person only, he would have indignation at it, as an instance of inhumanity determined against him; while they have no regard to the Romans or to Caesar, and forbade even their oblations to be received also; that however they cannot but fear, lest, by thus rejecting their sacrifices, they shall not be allowed to offer their own; and that this city will lose its principality, unless they grow wiser quickly, and restore the sacrifices as formerly; and indeed amend the injury [they have offered to foreigners,] before the report of it comes to the ears of those that have been injured.

4. And as they said these things, they produced those priests that were skilful in the customs of their country, who made the report, that all their forefathers had received the sacrifices from foreign nations. - But still not one of the innovators would hearken to what was said; nay, those that ministered about the temple would not attend their divine service, but were preparing matters for beginning the war. So the men of power, perceiving that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, and that the danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them first of all, endeavored to save themselves, and sent ambassadors; some to Florus, the chief of whom was Simon the son of Ananias; and others to Agrippa, among whom the most eminent was Saul, and Antipas, and Costobarus, who were of the king's kindred; and they desired of them both that they would come with an army to the city, and cut off the sedition before it should be too hard to be subdued. Now this terrible message was good news to Florus; and because his design was to have a war kindled, he gave the ambassadors no answer at all. But Agrippa was equally solicitous for those that were revolting, and for those against whom the war was to be made, and was desirous to preserve the Jews for the Romans, and the temple and metropolis for the Jews; he was also sensible that it was not for his own advantage that the disturbances should proceed; so he sent three thousand horsemen to the assistance of the people out of Auranitis, and Batanea, and Trachonitis, and these under Darius, the master of his horse; and Phillip the son of Jacimus, the general of his army.


Book II, Chapter XVIII, Section 2 (Entire)

The Calamities and Slaughters That Came Upon The Jews

2. However, the Syrians were even (equal) with the Jews in the multitude of the men whom they slew (1); for they killed those whom they caught in the cities, and that not only out of the hatred they bare them, as formerly, but to prevent the danger under which they were from them; so that the disorders in all Syria were terrible, and every city was divided into two armies encamped one against another, and the preservation of the one party was in the destruction of the other; so the daytime was spent in shedding blood, and the night in fear (2), - which was of the two the more terrible; for when the Syrians thought they had ruined the Jews, they had the Judaisers in suspicion also; and as each side did not care to slay those whom they only suspected on the other, so did they greatly fear them when they were mingled with the other, as if they were certainly foreigners. Moreover, greediness of gain was a provocation to kill the opposite party even to such as had of old appeared very mild and gentle towards them (3); for they without fear plundered the effects of the slain, and carried of the spoil of those whom they slew to their own houses (4), as if they had been gained in a set battle; and he was esteemed a man of honour who got the greatest share, as having prevailed over the greater number of his enemies. It was then common to see cities filled with dead bodies, still lying unburied (5), and those of old men, mixed with infants all dead and scattered about together (6); women also lay amongst them, without any covering for their nakedness: you might then see the whole province full of inexplicable calamities, while the dread of still more barbarous practices which were threatened, was everywhere greater that what had been already perpetrated.(7)


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Isaiah 9:12
2. Deut. 28:67; Isaiah 17:14
3. Deut 28:54; Zech 14:13; Isaiah 3:5; 9:19; 19:2
4. Isaiah 13:16; Zech 14:2
5. Nahum 3:3; Isaiah 10:6; 28:3; 26:21; Jer. 14:16; 16:4-6; 25:33; 31:40
6. Jer 16:6; 13:14
7. Revelation 6:3-4


Book II, Chapter XIX, Section 6,7 (Entire)

WHAT CESTIUS DID AGAINST THE JEWS; AND HOW, UPON HIS BESIEGING JERUSALEM, HE RETREATED FROM THE CITY WITHOUT ANY JUST OCCASION IN THE WORLD. AS ALSO WHAT SEVERE CALAMITIES HE UNDER WENT FROM THE JEWS IN HIS RETREAT.

6. 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; but the people upon this took courage, and where the wicked part of the city gave ground, thither did they come, in order to set open the gates, and to admit Cestius (1) as their benefactor, who, had he but continued the siege a little longer, had certainly taken the city; but it was, I suppose, owing to the aversion God had already at the city and the sanctuary, that he was hindered from putting an end to the war that very day.

7. It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world. But when the robbers perceived this unexpected retreat of his, they resumed their courage, and ran after the hinder parts of his army, and destroyed a considerable number of both their horsemen and footmen; and now Cestius lay all night at the camp which was at Scopus; and as he went off farther next day, he thereby invited the enemy to follow him, who still fell upon the hindmost, and destroyed them; they also fell upon the flank on each side of the army, and threw darts upon them obliquely, nor durst those that were hindmost turn back upon those who wounded them behind, as imagining that the multitude of those that pursued them was immense; nor did they venture to drive away those that pressed upon them on each side, because they were heavy with their arms, and were afraid of breaking their ranks to pieces, and because they saw the Jews were light, and ready for making incursions upon them. And this was the reason why the Romans suffered greatly, without being able to revenge themselves upon their enemies; so they were galled all the way, and their ranks were put into disorder, and those that were thus put out of their ranks were slain; among whom were Priscus, the commander of the sixth legion, and Longinus, the tribune, and Emilius Secundus, the commander of a troop of horsemen. So it was not without difficulty that they got to Gabao, their former camp, and that not without the loss of a great part of their baggage. There it was that Cestius staid two days, and was in great distress to know what he should do in these circumstances; but when on the third day he saw a still much greater number of enemies, and all the parts round about him full of Jews, he understood that his delay was to his own detriment, and that if he staid any longer there, he should have still more enemies upon him.

 

Whiston's Footnotes

1. There may another very important, and very providential, reason be here assigned for this strange and foolish retreat of Cestius; which, if Josephus had been now a Christian, he might probably have taken notice of also; and that is, the affording the Jewish Christians in the city an opportunity of calling to mind the prediction and caution given them by Christ about thirty-three years and a half before, that "when they should see the abomination of desolation" [the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns, ready to lay Jerusalem desolate] "stand where it ought not;" or, "in the holy place;" or, "when they should see Jerusalem any one instance of a more unpolitic, but more providential, compassed with armies;" they should then "flee to the mound conduct than this retreat of Cestius visible during this whole rains." By complying with which those Jewish Christians fled I siege of Jerusalem; which yet was providentially such a "great to the mountains of Perea, and escaped this destruction. See tribulation, as had not been from the beginning of the world to that time; no, Lit. Accompl. of Proph. p. 69, 70. Nor was there, perhaps, nor ever should be."--Ibid. p. 70, 71.


Book III, Chapter X, Section 9 (Entire)

A Description of the Country of Gennesareth

9. But now, when the vessels were gotten ready, Vespasian put upon ship-board as many of his forces as he thought sufficient to be too hard for those that were upon the lake, and set sail after them. Now these which were driven into the lake could neither fly to the land, where all was in their enemies' hand, and in war against them; nor could they fight upon the level by sea, for their ships were small and fitted only for piracy; they were too weak to fight with Vespasian's vessels, and the mariners that were in them were so few, that they were afraid to come near the Romans, who attacked them in great numbers. However, as they sailed round about the vessels, and sometimes as they came near them, they threw stones at the Romans when they were a good way off, or came closer and fought them; yet did they receive the greatest harm themselves in both cases. As for the stones they threw at the Romans, they only made a sound one after another, for they threw them against such as were in their armor, while the Roman darts could reach the Jews themselves; and when they ventured to come near the Romans, they became sufferers themselves before they could do any harm to the ether, and were drowned, they and their ships together. As for those that endeavored to come to an actual fight, the Romans ran many of them through with their long poles. Sometimes the Romans leaped into their ships, with swords in their hands, and slew them; but when some of them met the vessels, the Romans caught them by the middle, and destroyed at once their ships and themselves who were taken in them. And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts, or caught by the vessels; but if, in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their heads or their hands; and indeed they were destroyed after various manners every where, till the rest being put to flight, were forced to get upon the land, while the vessels encompassed them about [on the sea]: but as many of these were repulsed when they were getting ashore, they were killed by the darts upon the lake; and the Romans leaped out of their vessels, and destroyed a great many more upon the land: one might then see the lake all bloody, and full of dead bodies, for not one of them escaped. And a terrible stink, and a very sad sight there was on the following days over that country; for as for the shores, they were full of shipwrecks, and of dead bodies all swelled; and as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrefied, they corrupted the air, insomuch that the misery was not only the object of commiseration to the Jews, but to those that hated them, and had been the authors of that misery.

 


Book IV, Chapter IV, Section 3 (Entire)

IV, IV, 3 - Jesus the High Priest Makes a Speech to the Idumeans

3. Now this exit of the messengers was not known either to Ananus or to the guards, but the approach of the Idumeans was known to him; for as he knew of it before they came, he ordered the gates to be shut against them, and that the walls should be guarded. Yet did not he by any means think of fighting against them, but, before they came to blows, to try what persuasions would do. Accordingly, Jesus, the eldest of the high priests next to Artanus, stood upon the tower that was over against them, and said thus: "Many troubles indeed, and those of various kinds, have fallen upon this city, yet in none of them have I so much wondered at her fortune as now, when you are come to assist wicked men, and this after a manner very extraordinary; for I see that you are come to support the vilest of men against us, and this with so great alacrity, as you could hardly put on the like, in case our metropolis had called you to her assistance against barbarians. And if I had perceived that your army was composed of men like unto those who invited them, I had not deemed your attempt so absurd; for nothing does so much cement the minds of men together as the alliance there is between their manners. But now for these men who have invited you, if you were to examine them one by one, every one of them would be found to have deserved ten thousand deaths; for the very rascality and offscouring of the whole country, who have spent in debauchery their own substance, and, by way of trial beforehand, have madly plundered the neighboring villages and cities, in the upshot of all, have privately run together into this holy city. They are robbers, who by their prodigious wickedness have profaned this most sacred floor, and who are to be now seen drinking themselves drunk in the sanctuary, and expending the spoils of those whom they have slaughtered upon their unsatiable bellies. As for the multitude that is with you, one may see them so decently adorned in their armor, as it would become them to be had their metropolis called them to her assistance against foreigners. What can a man call this procedure of yours but the sport of fortune, when he sees a whole nation coming to protect a sink of wicked wretches? I have for a good while been in doubt what it could possibly be that should move you to do this so suddenly; because certainly you would not take on your armor on the behalf of robbers, and against a people of kin to you, without some very great cause for your so doing. But we have an item that the Romans are pretended, and that we are supposed to be going to betray this city to them; for some of your men have lately made a clamor about those matters, and have said they are come to set their metropolis free. Now we cannot but admire at these wretches in their devising such a lie as this against us; for they knew there was no other way to irritate against us men that were naturally desirous of liberty, and on that account the best disposed to fight against foreign enemies, but by framing a tale as if we were going to betray that most desirable thing, liberty. But you ought to consider what sort of people they are that raise this calumny, and against what sort of people that calumny is raised, and to gather the truth of things, not by fictitious speeches, but out of the actions of both parties; for what occasion is there for us to sell ourselves to the Romans, while it was in our power not to have revolted from them at the first, or when we had once revolted, to have returned under their dominion again, and this while the neighboring countries were not yet laid waste? whereas it is not an easy thing to be reconciled to the Romans, if we were desirous of it, now they have subdued Galilee, and are thereby become proud and insolent; and to endeavor to please them at the time when they are so near us, would bring such a reproach upon us as were worse than death. As for myself, indeed, I should have preferred peace with them before death; but now we have once made war upon them, and fought with them, I prefer death, with reputation, before living in captivity under them. But further, whether do they pretend that we, who are the rulers of the people, have sent thus privately to the Romans, or hath it been done by the common suffrages of the people? If it be ourselves only that have done it, let them name those friends of ours that have been sent, as our servants, to manage this treachery. Hath any one been caught as he went out on this errand, or seized upon as he came back? Are they in possession of our letters? How could we be concealed from such a vast number of our fellow citizens, among whom we are conversant every hour, while what is done privately in the country is, it seems, known by the zealots, who are but few in number, and under confinement also, and are not able to come out of the temple into the city. Is this the first time that they are become sensible how they ought to be punished for their insolent actions? For while these men were free from the fear they are now under, there was no suspicion raised that any of us were traitors. But if they lay this charge against the people, this must have been done at a public consultation, and not one of the people must have dissented from the rest of the assembly; in which case the public fame of this matter would have come to you sooner than any particular indication. But how could that be? Must there not then have been ambassadors sent to confirm the agreements? And let them tell us who this ambassador was that was ordained for that purpose. But this is no other than a pretense of such men as are loath to die, and are laboring to escape those punishments that hang over them; for if fate had determined that this city was to be betrayed into its enemies' hands, no other than these men that accuse us falsely could have the impudence to do it, there being no wickedness wanting to complete their impudent practices but this only, that they become traitors. And now you Idumeans are come hither already with your arms, it is your duty, in the first place, to be assisting to your metropolis, and to join with us in cutting off those tyrants that have infringed the rules of our regular tribunals, that have trampled upon our laws, and made their swords the arbitrators of right and wrong; for they have seized upon men of great eminence, and under no accusation, as they stood in the midst of the market-place, and tortured them with putting them into bonds, and, without bearing to hear what they had to say, or what supplications they made, they destroyed them. You may, if you please, come into the city, though not in the way of war, and take a view of the marks still remaining of what I now say, and may see the houses that have been depopulated by their rapacious hands, with those wives and families that are in black, mourning for their slaughtered relations; as also you may hear their groans and lamentations all the city over; for there is nobody but hath tasted of the incursions of these profane wretches, who have proceeded to that degree of madness, as not only to have transferred their impudent robberies out of the country, and the remote cities, into this city, the very face and head of the whole nation, but out of the city into the temple also; for that is now made their receptacle and refuge, and the fountain-head whence their preparations are made against us. And this place, which is adored by the habitable world, and honored by such as only know it by report, as far as the ends of the earth, is trampled upon by these wild beasts (1) born among ourselves. They now triumph in the desperate condition they are already in, when they hear that one people is going to fight against another people, and one city against another city, and that your nation hath gotten an army together against its own bowels. Instead of which procedure, it were highly fit and reasonable, as I said before, for you to join with us in cutting off these wretches, and in particular to be revenged on them for putting this very cheat upon you; I mean, for having the impudence to invite you to assist them, of whom they ought to have stood in fear, as ready to punish them. But if you have some regard to these men's invitation of you, yet may you lay aside your arms, and come into the city under the notion of our kindred, and take upon you a middle name between that of auxiliaries and of enemies, and so become judges in this case. However, consider what these men will gain by being called into judgment before you, for such undeniable and such flagrant crimes, who would not vouchsafe to hear such as had no accusations laid against them to speak a word for themselves. However, let them gain this advantage by your coming. But still, if you will neither take our part in that indignation we have at these men, nor judge between us, the third thing I have to propose is this, that you let us both alone, and neither insult upon our calamities, nor abide with these plotters against their metropolis; for though you should have ever so great a suspicion that some of us have discoursed with the Romans, it is in your power to watch the passages into the city; and in case any thing that we have been accused of is brought to light, then to come and defend your metropolis, and to inflict punishment on those that are found guilty; for the enemy cannot prevent you who are so near to the city. But if, after all, none of these proposals seem acceptable and moderate, do not you wonder that the gates are shut against you, while you bear your arms about you."


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

 

1. Revelation 11:1,2; Luke 21:24

"It is remarkable that the words of the chief priest Joshua, in his speech to the Idumeans, as reported by Josephus, correspond almost exactly with the language of our Lord in Luke 21:24." (Russell, The Parousia, p.427)

 


Book IV, Chapter IV, Section 5 (Entire)

Manifest Indications of Coming Destruction

5. And now did the Idumeans make an acclamation to what Simon had said; but Jesus went away sorrowful, as seeing that the Idumeans were against all moderate counsels, and that the city was besieged on both sides. Nor indeed were the minds of the Idumeans at rest; for they were in a rage at the injury that had been offered them by their exclusion out of the city; and when they thought the zealots had been strong, but saw nothing of theirs to support them, they were in doubt about the matter, and many of them repented that they had come thither. But the shame that would attend them in case they returned without doing any thing at all, so far overcame that their repentance, that they lay all night before the wall, though in a very bad encampment; for 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.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 16:18, “And there were noises and THUNDERINGS and LIGHTNINGS; and there was a great EARTHQUAKE, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.”

2. Revelation 11:13, Matthew 24:7

"Taking advantage of the panic caused by the earthquake, the Idumeans, who were in league with the Zealots, who occupied the temple, succeeded in effecting an entrance into the city, when a fearful massacre ensued. 'The outer court of the temple,' says Josephus, 'was inundated with blood, and the day dawned upon eight thousand five hundred dead.' (Book 4, Ch. 5)." (Russell, The Parousia, p. 444)

Seneca (A.D.65) "How often have cities in Asia, how often in Achaia, been laid low by a single shock of earthquake!  How many towns in Smyrna, how many in Macedonia, have been swallowed up!  How often has Paphos collapsed!  Not infrequently are tidings brought to us of the utter destruction of entire cities." (Seneca Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, trans. Richard M. Gummere, vol. 2, 437)


Book IV, Chapter V, Section 4 (Entire)

On Zecharias, the Son of Baruch
Cf. Matthew 23:35/Lk11:51; Josephus Bel 4:334-344 (iv. 6,4); Targum Lam. ii.20.

(334) And now these zealots and Idumeans were quite weary of barely killing men, so they had the impudence of setting up fictitious tribunals and judicatures for that purpose;

(335) and as they intended to have Zacharias, the son of Baruch, one of the most eminent of the citizens, slain, so 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.

(336) So they called together, by a public proclamation, seventy of the principal men of the populace, for a show, as if they were real judges, while they had no proper authority. Before these was Zacharias accused of a design to betray their polity to the Romans, and having traitorously sent to Vespasian for that purpose.

(337) 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.

(338) Now when Zacharias clearly saw that there was no way remaining for his escape from them, as having been treacherously called before them, and then put in prison, but not with any 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 a their pretended accusation, and in a few words confuted the crimes laid to his charge;

(339) 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 to:

(340) in the meantime the zealots grew tumultuous, and had much ado to abstain 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.

(341) Now the seventy judges brought in their verdict, that the person accused was not guilty,‹as choosing rather to die themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their doors;

(342) hereupon there rose a great clamor of the zealots upon his acquittal, and they all had indignation at the judges, for not understanding that the authority that was given them was but in jest.

(343) 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, ³Thou hast also our verdict, and this will prove a more sure acquittal to thee than the other.² They also threw him down out of the temple immediately into the valley beneath it.

(344) Moreover, they struck the judges with the backs of their swords, by way of abuse, and thrust them out of the court of the temple, and spared their lives with no other design than that, when they were dispersed among the people in the city, they might become their messengers, to let them know they were no better than slaves.

FOOTNOTES

American Tract Society Dictionary
Zacharias: "1. A person mentioned in Mt 23:35 Lu 11:51, and most probably designating the son of the high-priest Jehoida, or Barachias, who was stoned to death by order of king Joash for publicly rebuking the king, his court and the people for their growing corruption, 2Ch 24:20-22. Some suppose the prophet Zechariah to be intended; but history gives no account of his death. Others refer it to a Zacharias the son of Baruch, who was put to death just before the destruction of Jerusalem; but it seems unnatural and unnecessary to suppose that Christ here spoke prophetically." ("Zecharias")

Alfred Edersheim
"We need scarcely remind the reader that this Zechariah was the son of Jehoiada. The difference in the text of St. Matthew may either be due to family circumstances, unknown to us, which might admit of his designation as 'the son of Barachias' (the reading is undoubtedly correct), or an error may have crept into the text - how, we know not, and it is of little moment. There can be no question that the reference is to this Zecharias. It seems scarcely necessary to refer to the strange notion that the notice in St. matt. xxiii, 35 has been derived from the account of the murder of Zacharias, the son of Baruch, in the Temple during the last siege (Jos. War. iv. 5. 4). To this there are the following four objections: (1) Baruch (as in Jos.) and Barachias (as in St. Matt.) are quite different names, in Greek as in Hebrew - Baruch, 'blessed,' Barouc, and Baruchias, 'Jehovah will bless,' BaraciaV. Comp. for ex. LXX., Neh. iii. 20 with iii. 30. (2) Because the place of their slaughter was different, that of the one 'between the porch and the altar,' that of the other 'in the midst (en mes--) of the Temple' - either the court of the women, or that of the Israelites. (3) Because the murder of the Zacharias referred to by St. Matt. stood out as the crowning national crime, and as such is repeatedly referred to in Jewish legend (see references in margin), and dwelt upon with many miraculous embellishments (4) Because the clumsiest forger would scarcely have put into the mouth of Jesus an event connected with the last siege of Jerusalem and derived from Josephus. In general, we take this opportunity strongly to assert that only unacquaintance with the whole subject could lead anyone to look to Josephus for the source of any part of the evangelic narrative. To these remarks we have to add that precisely the same error (if such it be) as in our text of St. Matthew occurs in the Targum on Lament. ii. 20, where this Zechariah is designated 'the son (= grandson) of Iddo,' comp. Ezr. v. 1, and Zech. i. 1, 7. For the correct reading ('son of Jehoiada') in the 'Gospel of the Hebrews,' comp. Nicholson, p. 59." (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah)

Jesus in Matthew 23:35-36
"That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar,"

James Jordan
7. For the mystery of lawlessness [the apostate Judaizing counterfeit of the Pauline Gospel Mystery] is already at work; only he who restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. The Church would be removed from Jerusalem before her destruction; also possibly this means that the fence-sitters like Gamaliel would either be converted to Christianity or would be "converted" to a whole-hearted adoption of apostate Judaism, and in either event would stop restraining. Josephus records that the Zealots and Edomites slew one such restrainer, Zechariah the son of Berechiah or Baruch, in fulfillment perhaps of Matthew 23:35. After the removal of this restrainer, all hell broke loose. See Josephus, Jewish War 4:5:4. Since Jesus had mentioned this man by name, possibly it is he who is particularly referred to here, as one they "know."

My own best guess, however, is that it is James who is referred to. James was martyred in A.D. 62 by a particularly wicked High Priest, Ananus, who was immediately deposed. He was succeeded by Jesus the son of Damneus, who was succeeded by Jesus the son of Gamaliel. Presiding over all these acting high priests, however, was the retired but still active Ananias, the same Ananias whom Paul rebuked in Acts 23:3. This corrupt man presided over everything in the Temple like a spider. Shortly after James's murder the Temple of Herod was finally completed. If there is anyone who is a likely candidate for Man of Sin, or at least the first person to occupy that position, it is Ananias. You can read about him briefly in Josephus's Antiquities 20:9, where the martyrdom of James is also recounted. (I might add that according to Luenemann's commentary on Thessalonians, which is part of Meyer's Commentary on the New Testament, an expositor named Harduin suggested that Ananias was the Man of Sin; Meyer's Commentary, vol. 7, p. 614.) - Abomination of Desolation)

John Lightfoot
"The truth of this story we leave to the relators: that which makes to our present purpose we observe: that it was very improbable, nay, next to impossible, that those that heard the words of Christ (concerning Zacharias slain before the Temple and the altar) could understand it of any other but of this, concerning whom and whose blood they had such famous and signal memory; and of any other Zacharias slain in the Temple there was a profound silence. In Josephus, indeed, we meet with the mention of one Zacharias, the son of Baruch, (which is the same thing with Barachias,) killed in the Temple, not long before the destruction of it: whom some conjecture to be prophetically marked out here by our Saviour: but this is somewhat hard, when Christ expressly speaks of time past, ye slew; and when, by no art nor arguments, it can be proved that this Zacharias ought to be reckoned into the number of prophets and martyrs. " (Matthew 23)

Targum Lam. ii.20
"See, O Lord, and observe from heaven against whom have you turned. Thus is it right for the Daughters of Israel to eat the fruit of their wombs due to starvation, lovely children wrapped in fine linen? The Attribute of Justice replied, and said, " Is it right to kill priest and prophet in the Temple of the Lord , as when you killed Zechariah son of Iddo, the High Priest and faithful prophet in the Temple of the Lord on the Day of Atonement because he told you not to do evil before the Lord?"

William Whiston?
" (9) Some commentators are ready to suppose that this" Zacharias, the son of Baruch," here most unjustly slain by the Jews in the temple, was the very same person with "Zacharias, the son of Barachias," whom our Savior says the Jews "slew between the temple and the altar," Matthew 23:35. This is a somewhat strange exposition; since Zechariah the prophet was really "the son of Barachiah," and "grandson of Iddo, Zechariah 1:1; and how he died, we have no other account than that before us in St. Matthew: while this "Zacharias" was "the son of Baruch." Since the slaughter was past when our Savior spake these words, the Jews had then already slain him; whereas this slaughter of "Zacharias, the son of Baruch," in Josephus, was then about thirty-four years future. And since the slaughter was "between the temple and the altar," in the court of the priests, one of the most sacred and remote parts of the whole temple; while this was, in Josephus's own words, in the middle of the temple, and much the most probably in the court of Israel only (for we have had no intimation that the zealots had at this time profaned the court of the priests. See B. V. ch. 1. sect. 2). Nor do I believe that our Josephus, who always insists on the peculiar sacredness of the inmost court, and of the holy house that was in it, would have omitted so material an aggravation of this barbarous murder, as perpetrated in. a place so very holy, had that been the true place of it. See Antiq. B. XI. ch. 7. sect. 1, and the note here on B. V. ch. 1. sect. 2."

William Paley (1851)
"IV. Matt. xxiii. 34. “Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

There is a Zacharias whose death is related in the second book of Chronicles,[1] in a manner which perfectly supports our Saviour’s allusion. But this Zacharias was the son of Jehoiada.

There is also Zacharias the prophet; who was the son of Barachiah, and is so described in the superscription of his prophecy, but of whose death we have no account.

I have little doubt but that the first Zacharias was the person spoken of by our Saviour; and that the name of the father has been since added or changed, by some one who took it from the title of the prophecy, which happened to be better known to him than the history in the Chronicles.

There is likewise a Zacharias, the son of Baruch, related by Josephus to have been slain in the temple a few years before the destruction of Jerusalem. It has been insinuated that the words put into our Saviour’s mouth contain a reference to this transaction, and were composed by some writer who either confounded the time of the transaction with our Saviour’s age, or inadvertently overlooked the anachronism.

Now, suppose it to have been so; suppose these words to have been suggested by the transaction related in Josephus, and to have been falsely ascribed to Christ; and observe what extraordinary coincidences (accidentally as it must in that case have been) attend the forger’s mistake.

First, that we have a Zacharias in the book of Chronicles, whose death, and the manner of it, corresponds with the allusion.

Secondly, that although the name of this person’s father be erroneously put down in the Gospel, yet we have a way of accounting for the error by showing another Zacharias in the Jewish Scriptures much better known than the former, whose patronymic was actually that which appears in the text.

Every one who thinks upon the subject will find these to be circumstances which could not have met together in a mistake which did not proceed from the circumstances themselves." (Evidences of Christianity)

 


Book IV, Chapter VI, Section 3 (Entire)

The Wickedness and Perversions of the Seditious Jews.

3. And now the commanders joined in their approbation of what Vespasian had said, and it was soon discovered how wise an opinion he had given. And indeed many there were of the Jews that deserted every day, and fled away from the zealots, although their flight was very difficult, since they had guarded every passage out of the city, and slew every one that was caught at them, as taking it for granted they were going over to the Romans; yet did he who gave them money get clear off, while he only that gave them none was voted a traitor. So the upshot was this, that the rich purchased their flight by money, while none but the poor were slain. Along all the roads also vast numbers of dead bodies lay in heaps, and even many of those that were so zealous in deserting at length chose rather to perish within the city; for the hopes of burial made death in their own city appear of the two less terrible to them. 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, and, at the same time that they defiled men with their wicked actions, they would pollute the Divinity itself also, they left the dead bodies to putrefy under the sun; and the same punishment was allotted to such as buried any as to those that deserted, which was no other than death; while he that granted the favor of a grave to another would presently stand in need of a grave himself. To say all in a word, no other gentle passion was so entirely lost among them as mercy; for what were the greatest objects of pity did most of all irritate these wretches, and they transferred their rage from the living to those that had been slain, and from the dead to the living. Nay, the terror was so very great, that he who survived called them that were first dead happy, as being at rest already; as did those that were under torture in the prisons, declare, that, upon this comparison, those that lay unburied were the happiest. These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of men, 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 [the rewards of] virtue, and [punishments of] vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own 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 hand should pollute the temple of God. Now while these zealots did not [quite] disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 9:20-21 portrays the generation that was worthy of the 'woes' of Matthew 23 and 24. A generation 'more atheistical' than all previously seen, according to Josephus.

Zephaniah 1:8 "And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. 9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence an deceit. "

2. Ezekiel 38:21

 


Book IV, Chapter VII, Section 6 (Entire)

Account Of The Lake Asphaltitis (Modern Dead Sea)

6. Now, this destruction that fell upon the Jews, as it was not inferior to any of the rest in itself, so did it still appear greater than it really was; and this, because not only the whole of the country through which they had fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it, but because the Lake Asphaltitis was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river. (1) And now, Placidus, after this good success that he had, fell violently upon the neighbouring smaller cities and villages; when he took Abila, and Julias, and Bezemoth, and all those that lay as far as the lake Asphaltitis, and put such of the deserters into each of them as he though proper. He then put his soldiers on board the ships, and slew such as had fled to the lake, insomuch that all Perea had either surrendered themselves, or were taken by the Romans, as far as Macherus.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 14:20; 16:3-4; Psalm 78:44

 


Book IV, Chapter IX, Section 10 (Entire)

The Pollutions of the Transvestite Leaders

10. And now, as soon as Simon had set his wife free, and recovered her from the zealots, he returned back to the remainders of Idumea, and driving the nation all before him from all quarters, he compelled a great number of them to retire to Jerusalem; he followed them himself also to the city, and encompassed the wall all round again; and when he lighted upon any laborers that were coming thither out of the country, he slew them. Now this Simon, who was without the wall, was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves, as were the zealots who were within it more heavy upon them than both of the other; and during this time did the mischievous contrivances and courage [of John] corrupt the body of the Galileans; for these Galileans had advanced this John, and made him very potent, who made them suitable requital from the authority he had obtained by their means; for he permitted them to do all things that any of them desired to do, while their inclination to plunder was insatiable, as was their zeal in searching the houses of the rich; and for the murdering of the men, and abusing of the women, it was sport to them. They also devoured what spoils they had taken, together with their blood, and indulged themselves in feminine wantonness, without any disturbance, till they were satiated therewith; while they decked their hair, and put on women's garments, and were besmeared over with ointments; and that they might appear very comely, they had paints under their eyes, and imitated not only the ornaments, but also the lusts of women, and were guilty of such intolerable uncleanness, that they invented unlawful pleasures of that sort. And thus did they roll themselves up and down the city, as in a brothel-house, and defiled it entirely with their impure actions; nay, while their faces looked like the faces of women, they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors, and drew their swords from under their finely dyed cloaks, and ran every body through whom they alighted upon. However, Simon waited for such as ran away from John, and was the more bloody of the two; and he who had escaped the tyrant within the wall was destroyed by the other that lay before the gates, so that all attempts of flying and deserting to the Romans were cut off, as to those that had a mind so to do.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Zephaniah 1:8 "And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. 9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence an deceit. "

 


Book IV, Chapter IX, Section 2 (Entire)

Vespasian Surrounding Jerusalem

CHAPTER 9.

That Vespasian, After He Had Taken Gadara Made Preparation For The Siege Of Jerusalem; But That, Upon His Hearing Of The Death Of Nero, He Changed His Intentions. As Also Concerning Simon Of Geras.

1. And now Vespasian had fortified all the places round about Jerusalem, and erected citadels at Jericho and Adida, and placed garrisons in them both, partly out of his own Romans, and partly out of the body of his auxiliaries. He also sent Lucius Annius to Gerasa, and delivered to him a body of horsemen, and a considerable number of footmen. So when he had taken the city, which he did at the first onset, he slew a thousand of those young men who had not prevented him by flying away; but he took their families captive, and permitted his soldiers to plunder them of their effects; after which he set fire to their houses, and went away to the adjoining villages, while the men of power fled away, and the weaker part were destroyed, and what was remaining was all burnt down. And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city; for as to such as had a mind to desert, they were watched by the zealots; and as to such as were not yet on the side of the Romans, their army kept them in, by encompassing the city round about on all sides.

2. Now as Vespasian was returned to Cesarea, and was getting ready with all his army to march directly to Jerusalem, he was informed that Nero was dead, after he had reigned thirteen years and eight days. Bnt as to any narration after what manner he abused his power in the government, and committed the management of affairs to those vile wretches, Nymphidius and Tigellinus, his unworthy freed-men; and how he had a plot laid against him by them, and was deserted by all his guards, and ran away with four of his most trusty freed-men, and slew himself in the suburbs of Rome; and how those that occasioned his death were in no long time brought themselves to punishment; how also the war in Gall ended; and how Galba was made emperor (16) and returned out of Spain to Rome; and how he was accused by the soldiers as a pusillanimous person, and slain by treachery in the middle of the market-place at Rome, and Otho was made emperor; with his expedition against the commanders of Vitellius, and his destruction thereupon; and besides what troubles there were under Vitellius, and the fight that was about the capitol; as also how Antonius Primus and Mucianus slew Vitellius, and his German legions, and thereby put an end to that civil war; I have omitted to give an exact account of them, because they are well known by all, and they are described by a great number of Greek and Roman authors; yet for the sake of the connexion of matters, and that my history may not be incoherent, I have just touched upon every thing briefly. Wherefore Vespasian put off at first his expedition against Jerusalem, and stood waiting whither the empire would be transferred after the death of Nero. Moreover, when he heard that Galba was made emperor, he attempted nothing till he also should send him some directions about the war: however, he sent his son Titus to him, to salute him, and to receive his commands about the Jews. Upon the very same errand did king Agrippa sail along with Titus to Galba; but as they were sailing in their long ships by the coasts of Achaia, for it was winter time, they heard that Galba was slain, before they could get to him, after he had reigned seven months and as many days. After whom Otho took the government, and undertook the management of public affairs. So Agrippa resolved to go on to Rome without any terror; on account of the change in the government; but Titus, by a Divine impulse, sailed back from Greece to Syria, and came in great haste to Cesarea, to his father. And now they were both in suspense about the public affairs, the Roman empire being then in a fluctuating condition, and did not go on with their expedition against the Jews, but thought that to make any attack upon foreigners was now unseasonable, on account of the solicitude they were in for their own country.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

 

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Luke 21:20

Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing 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 [are nursing] in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day Matt. 24:16-20
 

"And now Vespasian had fortified all the places round about Jerusalem ... those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city; for as to such as had a mind to desert, they were watched by the zealots; and as to such as were not yet on the side of the Romans, their army kept them in, by encompassing the city round about on all sides.:"

 Luke 21:20 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

Matt. 24:16-20 "Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing 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 [are nursing] in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day."

 


Book V, Chapter 1, Section 1

“it so happened that the sedition at JERUSALEM was revived, and PARTED INTO THREE FACTIONS, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the EFFECT OF DIVINE JUSTICE.
 

Revelation 16:19 Now the great city (Rev. 11:8) was DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was REMEMBERED BEFORE GOD, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
 


Book V, Chapter I, Section 3 (Entire)

What Terrible Miseries Afflicted the City

3. But now the tyrant Simon, the son of Gioras, whom the people had invited in, out of the hopes they had of his assistance in the great distresses they were in, having in his power the upper city, and a great part of the lower, did now make more vehement assaults upon John and his party, because they were fought against from above also; yet was he beneath their situation when he attacked them, as they were beneath the attacks of the others above them. Whereby it came to pass that John did both receive and inflict great damage, and that easily, as he was fought against on both sides; and the same advantage that Eleazar and his party had over him, since he was beneath them, the same advantage had he, by his higher situation, over Simon. On which account he easily repelled the attacks that were made from beneath, by the weapons thrown from their hands only; but was obliged to repel those that threw their darts from the temple above him, by his engines of war; for he had such engines as threw darts, and javelins, and stones, and that in no small number, by which he did not only defend himself from such as fought against him, but slew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations. For notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten leave of them, how cruel soever they were, to come into that court, were yet often destroyed by this sedition; for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went over all the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, 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; till 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. And now, "O must wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred! 'For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou long continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulcher for the bodies of thy own people, and hadst 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 domestical lamentations, but for historical narrations; I therefore return to the operations that follow in this sedition.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Ezekiel 38:21

 


Book V, Chapter I, Section 4 (Entire)

The Destruction Of A Vast Quantity Of Corn
That Led To Famine During The Siege

4. And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred first-fruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John plundered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon. This Simon had his supply of provisions from the city, in opposition to the seditious. When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he made his men turn about, throwing his darts upon those citizens that came up against him, from the cloisters he had in his possession, while he opposed those that attacked him from the temple by engines of war; and if at any time he was freed from those that were above him, which happened frequently, from their being drunk and tired, he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his party; and this he did always in such parts of the city as he could come at, till he set on fire those houses that were full of corn, and of all provisions.* (1) The same thing was done by Simon, when, upon the others' retreat, he attacked the city also; as if they had, on purpose done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the Siege, and by thus cutting off the nerves of their own power. Accordingly, it so came to pass, that all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides; and that almost all the corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. So they were taken by the means of famine, which it was impossible they should have been, unless they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure.

Whiston's Footnote

1. This destruction of such a vast quantity of corn and other provisions, as was sufficient for many years, was the direct occasion of that terrible famine, which consumed incredible numbers of Jews in Jerusalem during its siege. See Joel 1:10

 


Book V, Chapter I, Section 6 (Entire)

The Makeup of the Roman Army That Came Against Jerusalem

6. Thus did John hope to be too hard for his enemies by these engines constructed by his impiety; but God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon him, before he had reared any of his towers; for Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them. Of these legions he ordered the fifth to meet him, by going through Emmaus, and the tenth to go up by Jericho; he also moved himself, together with the rest; besides whom, marched those auxiliaries that came from the kings, being now more in number than before, together with a considerable number that came to his assistance from Syria. Those also that had been selected out of these four legions, and sent with Mucianus to Italy, had their places filled up out of these soldiers that came out of Egypt with Titus; who were two thousand men, chosen out of the armies at Alexandria. There followed him also three thousand drawn from those that guarded the river Euphrates (1); as also there came Tiberius Alexander, who was a friend of his, most valuable, both for his good-will to him, and for his prudence. He had formerly been governor of Alexandria, but was now thought worthy to be general of the army [under Titus]. The reason of this was, that he had been the first who encouraged Vespasian very lately to accept this his new dominion, and joined himself to him with great fidelity, when things were uncertain, and fortune had not yet declared for him. He also followed Titus as a counselor, very useful to him in this war, both by his age and skill in such affairs.

PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 9:14

"That river (Euphrates) formed the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire, and we know as a matter of fact that it was kept by four legions, which were regularly stationed there (Conybeare and Howson, chap. xxii). These four legions we conceive to be symbolised by the four angels bound at, or on, the river. The 'loosing of the angels' is equivalent to the mobilising of the legions, and we cannot but think the symbol as poetical, as it is historically truthful." (Russell, The Parousia, p. 415)


Book V, Chapter II, Section 1 (Entire)

How Titus Marched To Jerusalem, and How He Was in Danger as he Was Taking a View of the City of the Place Also Where He Pitched His Camp

1. NOW, as Titus was upon his march into the enemy's country, the auxiliaries that were sent by the kings marched first, having all the other auxiliaries with them; after whom followed those that were to prepare the roads and measure out the camp; then came the commander's baggage, and after that the other soldiers, who were completely armed to support them; then came Titus himself, having with him another select body; and then came the pikemen; after whom came the horse belonging to that legion. All these came before the engines; and after these engines came the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the ensigns, with the eagle (1); and before those ensigns came the trumpeters belonging to them; next these came the main body of the army in their ranks, every rank being six deep; the servants belonging to every legion came after these; and before these last their baggage; the mercenaries came last, and those that guarded them brought up the rear. Now Titus, according to the Roman usage, went in the front of the army after a decent manner, and marched through Samaria to Gophna, a city that had been formerly taken by his father, and was then garrisoned by Roman soldiers; and when he had lodged there one night, he marched on in the morning; and when he had gone as far as a day's march, he pitched his camp at that valley which the Jews, in their own tongue, call "the Valley of Thorns," near a certain village called Gabaothsath, which signifies "the Hill of Saul," being distant from Jerusalem about thirty furlongs. There it was that he chose out six hundred select horsemen, and went to take a view of the city, to observe what strength it was of, and how courageous the Jews were; whether, when they saw him, and before they came to a direct battle, they would be affrighted and submit; for he had been informed what was really true, that the people who were fallen under the power of the seditious and the robbers were greatly desirous of peace; but being too weak to rise up against the rest, they lay still.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Take note of these ensigns, as they will play a significant part in the coming desolation of the Temple. 

Matthew 24:28 - 'For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'

 


Book V, Chapter II, Section 2 (Entire)

How Titus Marched To Jerusalem, and How He Was in Danger as he Was Taking a View of the City of the Place Also Where He Pitched His Camp

2. Now, so long as he rode along the straight road which led to the wall of the city, nobody appeared out of the gates; but when he went out of that road, and declined towards the tower Psephinus, and led the band of horsemen obliquely, an immense number of the Jews leaped out suddenly at the towers called the "Women's Towers," through that gate which was over against the monuments of queen Helena, and intercepted his horse; and standing directly opposite to those that still ran along the road, hindered them from joining those that had declined out of it. They intercepted Titus also, with a few other. Now it was here impossible for him to go forward, because all the places had trenches dug in them from the wall, to preserve the gardens round about, and were full of gardens obliquely situated, and of many hedges; and to return back to his own men, he saw it was also impossible, by reason of the multitude of the enemies that lay between them; many of whom did not so much as know that the king was in any danger, but supposed him still among them. So he perceived that his preservation must be wholly owing to his own courage, and turned his horse about, and cried out aloud to those that were about him to follow him, and ran with violence into the midst of his enemies, in order to force his way through them to his own men. And hence we may principally learn, that both the success of wars, and the dangers that kings (1) are in, are under the providence of God; for while such a number of darts were thrown at Titus, when he had neither his head-piece on, nor his breastplate, (for, as I told you, he went out not to fight, but to view the city,) none of them touched his body, but went aside without hurting him; as if all of them missed him on purpose, and only made a noise as they passed by him. So he diverted those perpetually with his sword that came on his side, and overturned many of those that directly met him, and made his horse ride over those that were overthrown. The enemy indeed made a shout at the boldness of Caesar, and exhorted one another to rush upon him. Yet did these against whom he marched fly away, and go off from him in great numbers; while those that were in the same danger with him kept up close to him, though they were wounded both on their backs and on their sides; for they had each of them but this one hope of escaping, if they could assist Titus in opening himself a way, that he might not be encompassed round by his enemies before he got away from them. Now there were two of those that were with him, but at some distance; the one of which the enemy compassed round, and slew him with their darts, and his horse also; but the other they slew as he leaped down from his horse, and carried off his horse with them. But Titus escaped with the rest, and came safe to the camp. So this success of the Jews' first attack raised their minds, and gave them an ill-grounded hope; and this short inclination of fortune, on their side, made them very courageous for the future.

Whistons' Footnote

1. We may here note, that Titus is here called "a king," and "Caesar," by Josephus, even while he was no more than the emperor's son, and general of the Roman army, and his father Vespasian was still alive; just as the New Testament says "Archelaus reigned," or "was king," Matthew 2:22, though he was properly no more than ethnarch, as Josephus assures us, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 11. sect. 4; Of the War, B. II. ch. 6. sect. 3. Thus also the Jews called the Roman emperors "kings," though they never took that title to themselves:" We have no king but Caesar," John 19:15. "Submit to the king as supreme," 1 Peter 2:13, 17; which is also the language of the Apostolical Constitutions, II. II, 31; IV. 13; V. 19; VI. 2, 25; VII. 16; VIII. 2, 13; and elsewhere in the New Testament, Matthew 10:18; 17:25; 1 Timothy 2:2; and in Josephus also; though I suspect Josephus particularly esteemed Titus as joint king with his father ever since his divine dreams that declared them both such, B. III. ch. 8. sect. 9.

 


Book V, Chapter II, Section 3 (Entire)

How Titus Marched To Jerusalem, and How He Was in Danger as he Was Taking a View of the City of the Place Also Where He Pitched His Camp

3. But now, as soon as that legion that had been at Emmaus was joined to Caesar at night, he removed thence, when it was day, and came to a place called Seopus; from whence the city began already to be seen, and a plain view might be taken of the great temple. Accordingly, this place, on the north quarter of the city, and joining thereto, was a plain, and very properly named Scopus, [the prospect,] and was no more than seven furlongs distant from it. And here it was that Titus ordered a camp to be fortified for two legions that were to be together; but ordered another camp to be fortified, at three furlongs farther distance behind them, for the fifth legion; for he thought that, by marching in the night, they might be tired, and might deserve to be covered from the enemy, and with less fear might fortify themselves; and as these were now beginning to build, the tenth legion, who came through Jericho, was already come to the place, where a certain party of armed men had formerly lain, to guard that pass into the city, and had been taken before by Vespasian. These legions had orders to encamp at the distance of six furlongs from Jerusalem, at the mount called the Mount of Olives (1) which lies over against the city on the east side, and is parted from it by a deep valley, interposed between them, which is named Cedron.

Whistons' Footnote

1. This situation of the Mount of Olives, on the east of Jerusalem, at about the distance of five or six furlongs, with the valley of Cedron interposed between that mountain and the city, are things well known both in the Old and New Testament, in Josephus elsewhere, and in all the descriptions of Palestine.

 


1827 Pierre Family's "Jerusalem as Besieged by Titus"

Titus' view from Mt. Olivet


Book V, Chapter III, Section 1 (Entire)

How The Sedition was Again Revived Within Jerusalem and yet the Jews Contrived Snares for the Romans

1. Now the warlike men that were in the city, and the multitude of the seditious that were with Simon, were ten thousand, besides the Idumeans. Those ten thousand had fifty commanders, over whom this Simon was supreme. The Idumeans that paid him homage were five thousand, and had eight commanders, among whom those of the greatest fame were Jacob, the son of Sosas, and Simon, the son of Cathlas. John, who had seized upon the temple, had six thousand armed men, under twenty commanders; the zealots also that had come over to him, and left off their opposition, were two thousand four hundred, and had the same commander they had formerly, Eleazar, together with Simon, the son of Arinus. Now, while these factions fought one against another, the people were their prey of both sides, as we have said already; and that part of the people who would not join with them in their wicked practices, were plundered by both factions. Simon held the upper city, and the great walls as far as Cedron, and as much of the old wall as bent from Siloam to the east, and which went down to the palace of Monobazus, who was king of the Adiabeni, beyond Euphrates; he also held the fountain, and the Acra, which was no other than the lower city; he also held all that reached to the palace of queen Helena, the mother of Monobazus; but John held the temple, and the parts thereto adjoining, for a great way, as also Ophla, and the valley called "Valley of Cedron;" (1) and when the parts that were interposed between their possessions were burnt by them, they left a space wherein they might fight with each other; for this internal sedition did not cease, even when the Romans were encamped near their very walls. But although they had grown wiser at the first onset the Romans made upon them, this lasted but for a while; for they returned to their former madness, and separated one from another, and fought it out, and did everything that the besiegers could desire them to do; for they never suffered anything that was worse from the Romans than they made each other suffer (2) ; nor was there any misery endured by the city after these men's actions that could be esteemed new. But it was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown, while those that took it did it a greater kindness; for I venture to affirm, that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition, which it was a much harder thing to do that to destroy the walls; so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people (3), and the just vengeance taken on them by the Romans; as to which matter let every one determine by the actions on both sides.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Jeremiah 31:40
2. Isaiah 9:16
3. Daniel 9:26
4. Ezekiel 38:21

 


Book V, Chapter VI, Section 1 (Entire)

The Vast Slaughters Occurring Within The City

1. Now the warlike men that were in the city, and the multitude of the seditious that were with Simon, were ten thousand, besides the Idumeans. Those ten thousand had fifty commanders, over whom this Simon was supreme. The Idumeans that paid him homage were five thousand, and had eight commanders, among whom those of the greatest fame were Jacob, the son of Sosas, and Simon, the son of Cathlas. John, who had seized upon the temple, had six thousand armed men, under twenty commanders; the zealots also that had come over to him, and left off their opposition, were two thousand four hundred, and had the same commander they had formerly, Eleazar, together with Simon, the son of Arinus. Now, while these factions fought one against another, the people were their prey of both sides, as we have said already; and that part of the people who would not join with them in their wicked practices, were plundered by both factions. Simon held the upper city, and the great walls as far as Cedron, and as much of the old wall as bent from Siloam to the east, and which went down to the palace of Monobazus, who was king of the Adiabeni, beyond Euphrates; he also held the fountain, and the Acra, which was no other than the lower city; he also held all that reached to the palace of queen Helena, the mother of Monobazus; but John held the temple, and the parts thereto adjoining, for a great way, as also Ophla, and the valley called "Valley of Cedron;" (1) and when the parts that were interposed between their possessions were burnt by them, they left a space wherein they might fight with each other; for this internal sedition did not cease, even when the Romans were encamped near their very walls. But although they had grown wiser at the first onset the Romans made upon them, this lasted but for a while; for they returned to their former madness, and separated one from another, and fought it out, and did everything that the besiegers could desire them to do; for they never suffered anything that was worse from the Romans than they made each other suffer (2) ; nor was there any misery endured by the city after these men's actions that could be esteemed new. But it was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown, while those that took it did it a greater kindness; for I venture to affirm, that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition, which it was a much harder thing to do that to destroy the walls; so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people (3), and the just vengeance taken on them by the Romans; as to which matter let every one determine by the actions on both sides.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Jeremiah 31:40
2. Isaiah 9:16
3. Daniel 9:26

 


Book V, Chapter VI, Section 3 (Entire)

Hailstones One Hundred Pounds in Weight Thrown Upon City

3. However, John stayed behind, out of his fear of Simon, even while his own men were earnest in making a sally upon their enemies without. Yet did not Simon lie still, for he lay near the place of the siege; he brought his engines of war, and disposed of them at due distances upon the wall, both those which they took from Cestius formerly, and those which they got when they seized the garrison that lay in the tower Antonia. But though they had these engines in their possession, they had so little skill in using them, that they were in great measure useless to them; but a few there were who had been taught by deserters how to use them, which they did use, though after an awkward manner. So they cast stones and arrows at those that were making the banks; they also ran out upon them by companies, and fought with them. Now those that were at work covered themselves with hurdles spread over their banks, and their engines were opposed to them when they made their excursions. The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts and those that threw stones were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls also.

Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent (1), and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came from it, and cried out aloud, in their own country language, THE STONE COMETH so those that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground; by which means, and by their thus guarding themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm. But the Romans contrived how to prevent that by blacking the stone, who then could aim at them with success, when the stone was not discerned beforehand, as it had been till then; and so they destroyed many of them at one blow. Yet did not the Jews, under all this distress, permit the Romans to raise their banks in quiet; but they shrewdly and boldly exerted themselves, and repelled them both by night and by day. 

"The missiles shot by the catapults, stone-throwers, and "quick-firers" flew all over the temple, killing priests and worshipers at the very altar itself.  For despite war, the sacrifices went on..."   (Josephus - The Essential Writings p.329)

"All the Roman engines were well built, but those belonging to the Tenth legion were most powerful. Their stone -projectors hurled boulders weighing a talent (75-85 pounds) a quarter mile, and the Jews set lookouts on the towers to spot the fired stones which, being white, shone and whizzed as they flew.  When they saw the stone discharged, these watchmen would call out,'Sonny's coming!' ("The stone" in Hebrew is ha-eben, which is easily corrupted to ha-ben, "the son.") - at which those in the line of fire dropped down to let the stone pass through harmlessly.  When it occurred to the Romans to blacken them, the stones were more effective, destroying many with a single shot." (p.340)


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. "The missiles shot by the catapults, stone-throwers, and "quick-firers" flew all over the temple, killing priests and worshipers at the very altar itself.  For despite war, the sacrifices went on..."   (Josephus - The Essential Writings, Paul L. Maier translator, p.329)

 


Roman Ballista

The Roman ballista shot stones, up to 160 pounds in weight, at an angle of about 50 degrees over an average range of 300 to 500 yards. (p.299)

"All the Roman engines were well built, but those belonging to the Tenth legion were most powerful. Their stone -projectors hurled boulders weighing a talent (75-85 pounds) a quarter mile, and the Jews set lookouts on the towers to spot the fired stones which, being white, shone and whizzed as they flew.  When they saw the stone discharged, these watchmen would call out, 'Sonny's coming!' ("The stone" in Hebrew is ha-eben, which is easily corrupted to ha-ben, "the son.") - at which those in the line of fire dropped down to let the stone pass through harmlessly.  When it occurred to the Romans to blacken them, the stones were more effective, destroying many with a single shot." (p.340)

Cannonball-shaped stones such as these, found in Jerusalem, were hurled by the Roman catapults at the Jews, holed up in the Holy City.  (The Topical Josephus, Cleon L. Rogers Jr., p.180)

1. Rev 16:21. 

"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." (Revelation 16:19-21, KJV)

"As with the other plagues of Revelation, imagery is borrowed from the plagues that were brought upon Egypt by Moses. (In the current case, the seventh plague: Exodus 9:18-26). The plague of hailstones also calls up associations with "the large stones from heaven" that God threw down upon the Canaanites when the Land was being conquered under Joshua (Josh. 10:11); as Deborah sang, the very stars of heaven make war against the enemies of God (Jud. 5:20)." - The Days Of Vengeance, Chilton, p. 417

"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." (Revelation 16:19-21, KJV)

"I wouldn't recommend starting a negotiation by calling the other side "Miserable creatures", but then I assume Josephus knew what he was doing."


Book V, Chapter IX, Section 4 (Partial)

Josephus Sent By Titus To Discourse With Countrymen

4. While Josephus was making this exhortation to the Jews, many of them jested upon him from the wall, and many reproached him; nay, some threw their darts at him: but when he could not himself persuade them by such open good advice, he betook himself to the histories belonging to their own nation, and cried out aloud, O miserable creatures! are you so unmindful of those that used to assist you, that you will fight by your weapons and by your hands against the Romans? When did we ever conquer any other nation by such means? and when was it that God, who is the Creator of the Jewish people, did not avenge them when they had been injured? Will not you turn again, and look back, and consider whence it is that you fight with such violence, and how great a Supporter you have profanely abused? Will not you recall to mind the prodigious things done for your forefathers and this holy place, and how great enemies of yours were by him subdued under you? I even tremble myself in declaring the works of God before your ears, that are unworthy to hear them; however, hearken to me, that you may be informed how you fight not only against the Romans, but against God himself. In old times there was one Necao, king of Egypt, who was also called Pharaoh; he came with a prodigious army of soldiers, and seized queen Sarah, the mother of our nation. What did Abraham our progenitor then do? Did he defend himself from this injurious person by war, although he had three hundred and eighteen captains under him, and an immense army under each of them? Indeed he deemed them to be no number at all without God's assistance, and only spread out his hands towards this holy place, which you have now polluted, and reckoned upon him as upon his invincible supporter, instead of his own army. Was not our queen sent back, without any defilement, to her husband, the very next evening? - while the king of Egypt fled away, adoring this place which you have defiled by shedding thereon the blood of your own countrymen; and he also trembled at those visions which he saw in the night season, and bestowed both silver and gold on the Hebrews, as on a people beloved by God. Shall I say nothing, or shall I mention the removal of our fathers into Egypt, who, when they were used tyrannically, and were fallen under the power of foreign kings for four hundred ears together, and might have defended themselves by war and by fighting, did yet do nothing but commit themselves to God! Who is there that does not know that Egypt was overrun with all sorts of wild beasts, and consumed by all sorts of distempers? how their land did not bring forth its fruit? how the Nile failed of water? how the ten plagues of Egypt followed one upon another? and how by those means our fathers were sent away under a guard, without any bloodshed, and without running any dangers, because God conducted them as his peculiar servants? ..It was God who then became our General, and accomplished these great things for our fathers, and this because they did not meddle with war and fighting, but committed it to him to judge about their affairs. ...And, to speak in general, we can produce no example wherein our fathers got any success by war, or failed of success when without war they committed themselves to God. When they stayed at home, they conquered, as pleased their Judge; but when they went out to fight, they were always disappointed: for example, when the king of Babylon besieged this very city, and our king Zedekiah fought against him, contrary to what predictions were made to him by Jeremiah the prophet, he was at once taken prisoner, and saw the city and the temple demolished. Yet how much greater was the moderation of that king, than is that of your present governors, and that of the people then under him, than is that of you at this time! for when Jeremiah cried out aloud, how very angry God was at them, because of their transgressions, and told them they should be taken prisoners, unless they would surrender up their city, neither did the king nor the people put him to death; but for you, (to pass over what you have done within the city, which I am not able to describe as your wickedness deserves,) you abuse me, and throw darts at me, who only exhort you to save yourselves, as being provoked when you are put in mind of your sins, and cannot bear the very mention of those crimes which you every day perpetrate. For another example, when Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, lay before this city, and had been guilty of many indignities against God, and our forefathers met him in arms, they then were slain in the battle, this city was plundered by our enemies, and our sanctuary made desolate for three years and six months. And what need I bring any more examples? Thus it appears that arms were never given to our nation, but that we are always given up to be fought against, and to be taken; for I suppose that such as inhabit this holy place ought to commit the disposal of all things to God, and then only to disregard the assistance of men when they resign themselves up to their Arbitrator, who is above. As for you, what have you done of those things that are recommended by our legislator? and what have you not done of those things that he hath condemned? How much more impious are you than those who were so quickly taken! You have not avoided so much as those sins that are usually done in secret; I mean thefts, and treacherous plots against men, and adulteries. You are quarrelling about rapines and murders, and invent strange ways of wickedness. Nay, the temple itself is become the receptacle of all, and this Divine place is polluted by the hands of those of our own country; which place hath yet been reverenced by the Romans when it was at a distance from them, when they have suffered many of their own customs to give place to our law. And, after all this, do you expect Him whom you have so impiously abused to be your supporter? To be sure then you have a right to be petitioners, and to call upon Him to assist you, so pure are your hands! And it is plain madness to expect that God should appear as well disposed towards the wicked as towards the righteous, since he knows when it is proper to punish men for their sins immediately; accordingly he brake the power of the Assyrians the very first night that they pitched their camp. Wherefore, had he judged that our nation was worthy of freedom, or the Romans of punishment, he had immediately inflicted punishment upon those Romans, as he did upon the Assyrians, when Pompey began to meddle with our nation, or when after him Sosius came up against us, or when Vespasian laid waste Galilee, or, lastly, when Titus came first of all near to this city; although Magnus and Sosius did not only suffer nothing, but took the city by force; as did Vespasian go from the war he made against you to receive the empire; and as for Titus, those springs that were formerly almost dried up when they were under your power since he is come, run more plentifully than they did before; accordingly, you know that Siloam, as well as all the other springs that were without the city, did so far fail, that water was sold by distinct measures; whereas they now have such a great quantity of water for your enemies, as is sufficient not only for drink both for themselves and their cattle, but for watering their gardens also. The same wonderful sign you had also experience of formerly, when the forementioned king of Babylon made war against us, and when he took the city, and burnt the temple; while yet I believe the Jews of that age were not so impious as you are. Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God is fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those against whom you fight

Now even a man, if he be but a good man, will fly from an impure house, and will hate those that are in it; and do you persuade yourselves that God will abide with you in your iniquities, who sees all secret things, and hears what is kept most private? Now what crime is there, I pray you, that is so much as kept secret among you, or is concealed by you? nay, what is there that is not open to your very enemies? for you show your transgressions after a pompous manner, and contend one with another which of you shall be more wicked than another; and you make a public demonstration of your injustice, as if it were virtue. However, there is a place left for your preservation, if you be willing to accept of it; and God is easily reconciled to those that confess their faults, and repent of them. O hard-hearted wretches as you are! cast away all your arms, and take pity of your country already going to ruin; return from your wicked ways, and have regard to the excellency of that city which you are going to betray, to that excellent temple with the donations of so many countries in it. Who could bear to be the first that should set that temple on fire? who could be willing that these things should be no more? and what is there that can better deserve to be preserved? O insensible creatures, and more stupid than are the stones themselves! And if you cannot look at these things with discerning eyes, yet, however, have pity upon your families, and set before every one of your eyes your children, and wives, and parents, who will be gradually consumed either by famine or by war. I am sensible that this danger will extend to my mother, and wife, and to that family of mine who have been by no means ignoble, and indeed to one that hath been very eminent in old time; and perhaps you may imagine that it is on their account only that I give you this advice; if that be all, kill them; nay, take my own blood as a reward, if it may but procure your preservation; for I am ready to die, in case you will but return to a sound mind after my death.

 


Book V, Chapter I, Section 1 (Entire)

Abomination of Desolation

BOOK V. Containing The Interval Of Near Six Months. From The Coming Of Titus To Besiege Jerusalem, To The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced.

CHAPTER 10.

How A Great Many Of The People Earnestly Endeavored To Desert To The Romans; As Also What Intolerable Things Those That Staid Behind Suffered By Famine, And The Sad Consequences Thereof.

1. As Josephus was speaking thus with a loud voice, the seditious would neither yield to what he said, nor did they deem it safe for them to alter their conduct; but as for the people, they had a great inclination to desert to the Romans; accordingly, some of them sold what they had, and even the most precious things that had been laid up as treasures by them, for every small matter, and swallowed down pieces of gold, that they might not be found out by the robbers; and when they had escaped to the Romans, went to stool, and had wherewithal to provide plentifully for themselves; for Titus let a great number of them go away into the country, whither they pleased. And the main reasons why they were so ready to desert were these: That now they should be freed from those miseries which they had endured in that city, and yet should not be in slavery to the Romans: however, John and Simon, with their factions, did more carefully watch these men's going out than they did the coming in of the Romans; and if any one did but afford the least shadow of suspicion of such an intention, his throat was cut immediately.

2. But as for the richer sort, it proved all one to them whether they staid in the city, or attempted to get out of it; for they were equally destroyed in both cases; for every such person was put to death under this pretense, that they were going to desert, but in reality that the robbers might get what they had. The madness of the seditious did also increase together with their famine, and both those miseries were every day inflamed more and more; for there was no corn which any where appeared publicly, but the robbers came running into, and searched men's private houses; and then, if they found any, they tormented them, because they had denied they had any; and if they found none, they tormented them worse, because they supposed they had more carefully concealed it. The indication they made use of whether they had any or not was taken from the bodies of these miserable wretches; which, if they were in good case, they supposed they were in no want at all of food; but if they were wasted away, they walked off without searching any further; nor did they think it proper to kill such as these, because they saw they would very soon die of themselves for want of food. Many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure; it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were poorer. When these had so done, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses, and ate the corn they had gotten; some did it without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they were in, and others baked bread of it, according as necessity and fear dictated to them: a table was no where laid for a distinct meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked, and ate it very hastily.

3. It was now a miserable case, and a sight that would justly bring tears into our eyes, how men stood as to their food, while the more powerful had more than enough, and the weaker were lamenting [for want of it.] But the famine was too hard for all other passions, and it is destructive to nothing so much as to modesty; for what was otherwise worthy of reverence was in this case despised; insomuch that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eating out of their very mouths, and what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infants; and when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives: and while they ate after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing; but the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food; whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating almost up out of their very throats, and this by force: the old men, who held their food fast, were beaten; and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so doing; nor was there any commiseration shown either to the aged or to the infants, but they lifted up children from the ground as they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down upon the floor. But still they were more barbarously cruel to those that had prevented their coming in, and had actually swallowed down what they were going to seize upon, as if they had been unjustly defrauded of their right. They also invented terrible methods of torments to discover where any food was, and they were these to stop up the passages of the privy parts of the miserable wretches, and to drive sharp stakes up their fundaments; and a man was forced to bear what it is terrible even to hear, in order to make him confess that he had but one loaf of bread, or that he might discover a handful of barley-meal that was concealed; and this was done when these tormentors were not themselves hungry; for the thing had been less barbarous had necessity forced them to it; but this was done to keep their madness in exercise, and as making preparation of provisions for themselves for the following days. These men went also to meet those that had crept out of the city by night, as far as the Roman guards, to gather some plants and herbs that grew wild; and when those people thought they had got clear of the enemy, they snatched from them what they had brought with them, even while they had frequently entreated them, and that by calling upon the tremendous name of God, to give them back some part of what they had brought; though these would not give them the least crumb, and they were to be well contented that they were only spoiled, and not slain at the same time.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

 

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. Revelation 6:5

Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)"
 


Book V, Chapter X, Section 2 (Entire)

Intolerable Things Those That Stayed Behind Suffered By Famine

2. But as for the richer sort, it proved all one to them whether they staid in the city, or attempted to get out of it; for they were equally destroyed in both cases; for every such person was put to death under this pretense, that they were going to desert, but in reality that the robbers might get what they had. The madness of the seditious did also increase together with their famine, and both those miseries were every day inflamed more and more; for there was no corn which any where appeared publicly, but the robbers came running into, and searched men's private houses; and then, if they found any, they tormented them, because they had denied they had any; and if they found none, they tormented them worse, because they supposed they had more carefully concealed it. The indication they made use of whether they had any or not was taken from the bodies of these miserable wretches; which, if they were in good case, they supposed they were in no want at all of food; but if they were wasted away, they walked off without searching any further; nor did they think it proper to kill such as these, because they saw they would very soon die of themselves for want of food. Many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure; it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were poorer (1). When these had so done, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses, and ate the corn they had gotten; some did it without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they were in, and others baked bread of it, according as necessity and fear dictated to them: a table was no where laid for a distinct meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked, and ate it very hastily.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 6:5-6

 


Book V, Chapter X, Section 5 (Entire)

The Sad Consequences [of The Famine]

5. It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: - That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they might themselves appear comparatively less impious with regard to strangers. They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to gain a melancholy reputation, by acting gloriously against them, and did almost draw that fire upon the temple, which they seemed to think came too slowly; and indeed when they saw that temple burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled at it, nor did they shed any tears on that account, while yet these passions were discovered among the Romans themselves; which circumstances we shall speak of hereafter in their proper place, when we come to treat of such matters.

 


Book V, Chapter XI, Section 1 (Entire)

How The Jews Were Crucified Before the Walls of the City

1. 1. SO now Titus's banks were advanced a great way, notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from the wall. He then sent a party of horsemen, and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out into the valleys to gather food. Some of these were indeed fighting men, who were not contented with what they got by rapine; but the greater part of them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by the concern they were under for their own relations; for they could not hope to escape away, together with their wives and children, without the knowledge of the seditious; nor could they think of leaving these relations to be slain by the robbers on their account; nay, the severity of the famine made them bold in thus going out; so nothing remained but that, when they were concealed from the robbers, they should be taken by the enemy; and when they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves for fear of being punished; as after they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for him to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies. (1)

Whiston's Footnote

1.Reland very properly takes notice here, how justly this judgment came upon the Jews, when they were crucified in such multitudes together, that the Romans wanted room for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies of these Jews, since they had brought this judgment on themselves by the crucifixion of their Messiah.

 


Book V, Chapter XIII, Section 4 (Entire)

The Great Slaughters and Sacrilege That Were in Jerusalem

4. Hereupon some of the deserters, having no other way, leaped down from the wall immediately, while others of them went out of the city with stones, as if they would fight them; but thereupon they fled away to the Romans. But here a worse fate accompanied these than what they had found within the city; and they met with a quicker despatch from the too great abundance they had among the Romans, than they could have done from the famine among the Jews; for when they came first to the Romans, they were puffed up by the famine, and swelled like men in a dropsy; after which they all on the sudden overfilled those bodies that were before empty, and so burst asunder, excepting such only as were skillful enough to restrain their appetites, and by degrees took in their food into bodies unaccustomed thereto. Yet did another plague seize upon those that were thus preserved; for there was found among the Syrian deserters a certain person who was caught gathering pieces of gold out of the excrements of the Jews' bellies (1); for the deserters used to swallow such pieces of gold, as we told you before, when they came out, and for these did the seditious search them all; for there was a great quantity of gold in the city, insomuch that as much was now sold [in the Roman camp] for twelve Attic [drams], as was sold before for twenty-five. But when this contrivance was discovered in one instance, the fame of it filled their several camps, that the deserters came to them full of gold. So the multitude of the Arabians, with the Syrians, cut up those that came as supplicants, and searched their bellies. Nor does it seem to me that any misery befell the Jews that was more terrible than this, since in one night's time about two thousand of these deserters were thus dissected.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Eze 7:19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

 


Book V, Chapter XIII, Section 6 (Entire)

The Great Slaughters and Sacrilege That Were in Jerusalem

BOOK V. Containing The Interval Of Near Six Months. From The Coming Of Titus To Besiege Jerusalem, To The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced.

CHAPTER 13.

6. But as for John, when he could no longer plunder the people, he betook himself to sacrilege, and melted down many of the sacred utensils, which had been given to the temple; as also were many of those vessels which were necessary for such as ministered about holy things, - the caldrons, the dishes, and the table; nay, he did not abstain from those pouring-vessels that were sent them by Augustus and his wife; for the Romans emperors did ever both honour and adorn this temple: whereas this man, who was a Jew, seized upon what were the donations of foreigners; and said to those that were with him, that it was proper for them to use divine things while they were fighting for the Divinity, without fear, and that such whose warfare is for the temple should live of the temple; on which account he emptied the vessels of that sacred wine and oil (1) which the priests kept to be poured on the burnt-offerings, and which lay in the inner court of the temple, and distributed it among the multitude, who, in their anointing themselves and drinking, used [each of them] above an hin of them; and here I cannot but speak my mind, and what the concerns I am under dictates to me, and it is this: - I suppose that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, (2) for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical that were those that suffered such punishments (3); for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.(4)


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

 

1. Revelation 6:6 "On the purport of these words, "See thou hurt not," etc., commentators are not agreed whether there is herein contained a command not to injure the oil and wine, or an injunction not to do wrong in respect to them. If the former be adopted, avdik. will be = blapt. as often in this book. If the latter, we may suppose mh. avdik. to mean, "See that thou dost not adulerate" (literally, "play the rogue with it"). Thus the four articles are adverted to which (according to the simplicity of living in the East) form the main support of life." (Bloomfield's Greek Testament, in loc.)

2. Isaiah 3:9 ; Rev. 11:8
3. Matt 3:7; 12:39-42; 23:1-38; 24:34; 27:25; Rev. 1:1,3,7; 22:6, 10, 20
4. Isaiah 9:16; Dan. 9:26
5. Ezekiel 38:21

 


Book V, Chapter XIII, Section 7 (Entire)

The Great Slaughters And Sacrilege In Jerusalem

7. And, indeed, why do I relate these particular calamities? while Manneus, the son of Lazarus, came running to Titus at this very time, and told him that there had been carried out through that one gate, which was intrusted to his care, no fewer than a hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred and eighty dead bodies(1), in the interval between the fourteenth day of the month Xanthieus, [Nisan,] when the Romans pitched their camp by the city, and the first day of the month Panemus [Tamuz]. This was itself a prodigious multitude (2); and though this man was not himself set as a governor at that gate, yet was he appointed to pay the public stipend for carrying these bodies out, and so was obliged of necessity to number them, while the rest were buried by their relations; though all their burial was but this, to bring them away, and cast them out of the city. After this man there ran away to Titus many of the eminent citizens, and told him the entire number of the poor that were dead, and that no fewer than six hundred thousand were thrown out at the gates, though still the number of the rest could not be discovered; and they told him further, that when they were no longer able to carry out the dead bodies of the poor, they laid their corpses on heaps in very large houses, and shut them up therein; as also that a medimnus of wheat was sold for a talent; and that when, a while afterward, it was not possible to gather herbs, by reason the city was all walled about, some persons were driven to that terrible distress as to search the common sewers and old dunghills of cattle, and to eat the dung which they got there; and what they of old could not endure so much as to see they now used for food. When the Romans barely heard all this, they commiserated their case; while the seditious, who saw it also, did not repent, but suffered the same distress to come upon themselves; for they were blinded by that fate which was already coming upon the city, and upon themselves also.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Isaiah 34:3; Amos 8:3; Ezekiel 6:5; Jeremiah 31:20; 31:40 2. Nahum 3:3; Jer. 16:4; 9:22; 7:33; Matthew 24:28

2. Revelation 6:7-8


Book VI, Chapter I, Section 1 (Entire)

The Desolate Nature Of Jerusalem And All Of Judea
That The Miseries Of The Jews Still Grew Worse

1. Thus did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under, even while the famine preyed upon themselves, after it had preyed upon the people. And indeed the multitude of carcases that lay in heaps one upon another (1) was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench (2), which was a hinderance to those that would make sallies out of the city, and fight the enemy: but as those were to go in battle array, who had been already used to ten thousand murders, and must tread upon those dead bodies(3) as they marched along, so were not they terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them: nor did they deem this affront offered to the deceased to be any ill omen to themselves; but as they had their right hands already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and in that condition ran out to fight with foreigners, they see to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them; for the war was not now gone on with as if they had any hope of victory, for they gloried after a brutish manner in that despair of deliverance they were already in. And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in on-and-twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down (4): nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea, and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now see it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the was had laid all signs of beauty quite waste: nor, if any one that had known the place before had come on a sudden to it now, would have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Deut 28:26; Is. 34:3; Jer. 7:33; 9:22; Rev. 19:17-18; Ezek 39:17-18; Jer 19:7; 16:4; 7:33; Nahum 3:3; Ezek 6:5; Matthew 24:28
2. Deut 28:21; Jer 14:12; 21:6; 24:10; Amos 4:10; Is 34:3; Jer. 29:17-18; 34:17 ; Ezek. 6:11-12; 7:15 12:16, 14:19-21; 28:23; 38:22; 33:27
3. Isaiah 10:6; 28:3; 26:21; Jer. 14:16; 16:4-6; 25:33; Nahum 3:3
4. Isaiah 10:18-19, 34; Jer 6:6; 7:20; 22:7-8; Ezek. 6:14; 12:20; Joel 2:3; Isa. 13:5-9; 17:9; 14:31
5. Revelation 8:6-7

 


Book VI, Chapter II, Section 1 (Entire)

How Titus Gave Orders To Demolish The Tower Of Antonia, And Then Persuaded Josephus To Exhort The Jews Again, [To A Surrender.]

1. And now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and make him a ready passage for his army to come up; while he himself had Josephus brought to him (for he had been informed that on that very day, which was the seventeenth day* of Panemus, [Tamuz,] the sacrifice called "the Daily Sacrifice" had failed, and had not been offered to God for want of men to offer it, and that the people were grievously troubled at it) and commanded him to say the same things to John that he had said before, that if he had any malicious inclination for fighting, he might come out with as many of his men as he pleased, in order to fight, without the danger of destroying either his city or temple; but that he desired he would not defile the temple, nor thereby offend against God. That he might, if he pleased, offer the sacrifices which were now discontinued, by any of the Jews whom he should pitch upon. Upon this, Josephus stood in such a place where he might be heard, not by John only, but by many more, and then declared to them what Caesar had given him in charge, and this in the Hebrew language. So he earnestly prayed them to spare their own city, and to prevent that fire which was just ready to seize upon the temple, and to offer their usual sacrifices to God therein. At these words of his a great sadness and silence were observed among the people. But the tyrant himself cast many reproaches upon Josephus, with imprecations besides (2); and at last added this withal, that he did never fear the taking of the city, because it was God's own city. In answer to which, Josephus said thus, with a loud voice : -

"To be sure, thou hast kept this city wonderfully pure for God's sake! the temple also continues entirely unpolluted! Nor hast thou been guilty of impiety against him, for whose assistance thou hopest! He still receives his accustomed sacrifices! Vile wretch that thou art! If any one should deprive thee of thy daily food, thou wouldst esteem him to be an enemy to thee; but thou hopest to have that God for thy supporter in this war whom thou hast deprived of his everlasting worship! and thou imputest those sins to the Romans, who to this very time take care to have our laws observed, and almost compel these sacrifices to be still offered to God, which have by thy means been intermitted! Who is there can avoid groans and lamentations at the amazing change that is made in this city? since very foreigners and enemies do now correct that impiety which thou hast occasioned : while thou, who art a Jew, and was educated in our laws, art become a greater enemy to them than the others! But still, John, it is never dishonorable to repent, and amend what hath been done amiss, even at the last extremity. Thou hast an instance before thee in Jechoniah, the king of the Jews, if thou hast a mind to save the city, who, when the king of Babylon made war against him, did, of his own accord, go out of this city before it was taken, and did undergo a voluntary captivity with his family, that the sanctuary might not be delivered up to the enemy, and that he might not see the house of God on fire: on which account he is celebrated among all the Jews, in their sacred memorials, and his memory is become immortal, and will be conveyed fresh down to our posterity through all ages. This, John, is an excellent example in such a time of danger; and I dare venture to promise that the Romans shall still forgive thee. And take notice, that I, who make this exhortation to thee, am one of thine own nation; I, who am a Jew, do make this promise to thee. And it will become thee to consider who I am that give thee this counsel, and whence I am derived; for while I am alive I shall never be in such slavery as to forego my own kindred, or forget the laws of our forefathers. Thou hast indignation at me again, and makest a clamour at me, and reproachest me; indeed, I cannot deny but I am worthy of worse treatment than all this amounts to, because, in opposition to fate, I make this kind invitation to thee, and endeavor to force deliverance upon those whom God hath condemned. And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them, -and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city? - for they foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen! and are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, *(3) and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions."

"These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of men, 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 [the rewards of] virtue, and [punishments of] vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own 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 hand should pollute the temple of God. Now while these zealots did not [quite] disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment." - Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Bk VI, Ch II, Sn 1

"And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them, - and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city? For they foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen. And are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, (8) and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions." (Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Bk VI, Ch II, Sn 1)


Whiston's Footnotes

1. This is a very remarkable day indeed, the seventeenth of Panemus, [Tammuz,] A.D. 70, when, according to Daniel's prediction, 606 years before, the Romans "In half a week caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease," Dan. ix. 27; for from the month of February, A.D. 66, about which time Vespasian entered on this war, to this very time, was just three years and a half.

2. See Bishop Lloyd's Tables of Chronology, published by Mr. Marshall, on this year. Nor is it to be omitted, what year nearly confirms this duration of the war, that four years before the war begun was somewhat above seven years five months before the destruction of Jerusalem, ch. 5. sect. 3.

3. Josephus speaks so, that it is most evident he was fully satisfied that God was on the Romans' side, and made use of them now for the destruction of the Jews, which was for certain the true state of this matter, as the prophet Daniel first, and our Saviour himself afterwards had clearly foretold. See Lit. Accompl. of Proph. p. 64, etc.

4. Ezekiel 38:21

 


Book VI, Chapter II, Section 4 (Entire)

How Titus Earnestly Laboured To Save The City And Sanctuary

4. Now Titus was deeply affected with this state of things, and reproached John and his party, and said to them, "Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition wall* (1) before your sanctuary? Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and on it to engrave the Greek, and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond that wall? Have we not given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman? And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? and why do you pollute this holy house with the blood both of foreigners and Jews themselves? I appeal to the gods of my own country, and to every god that ever had any regard to this place, (for I do not suppose it to be now regarded by any of them;) I also appeal to my own army, and to those Jews that are now with me, and even to you yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this your sanctuary; and if you will but change the place whereon you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; nay, I will endeavour to preserve you your holy house, whether you will or not." (2)

Whiston's Footnotes

1. Of this partition-wall separating Jews and Gentiles, with its pillars and inscription, see the description of the temple, chap. XV.
2. That these seditious Jews were the direct occasions of their own destruction, and of the conflagration of their city and temple, and that Titus earnestly and constantly laboured to save both, is here and everywhere most evident in Josephus.

 


Book VI, Chapter II, Section 9 (Entire)

Cutting Off of Infected Limbs

9. In the mean time, the Jews were so distressed by the fights they had been in, as the war advanced higher and higher, and creeping up to the holy house itself, that they, as it were, cut off those limbs of their body which were infected, in order to prevent the distemper's spreading further; for they set the north-west cloister, which was joined to the tower of Antonia, on fire, and after that brake off about twenty cubits of that cloister, and thereby made a beginning in burning the sanctuary; two days after which, or on the twenty-fourth day of the forenamed month, [Panemus or Tamuz,] the Romans set fire to the cloister that joined to the other, when the fire went fifteen cubits farther. The Jews, in like manner, cut off its roof; nor did they entirely leave off what they were about till the tower of Antonia was parted from the temple, even when it was in their power to have stopped the fire; nay, they lay still while the temple was first set on fire, and deemed this spreading of the fire to be for their own advantage. However, the armies were still fighting one against another about the temple, and the war was managed by continual sallies of particular parties against one another.

 


Book VI, Chapter III, Section 3 (Entire)

Another Description Of The Terrible Famine That Was In The City

3. Now of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable ; for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did anywhere appear (1), a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a-fighting one with another about it (2), snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. Nor would men believe that those who were dying had no food; but the robbers would search them when they were expiring, lest any one should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dying: nay, these robbers gaped for want, and ran about stumbling and staggering along like mad dogs, and reeling against the doors of the houses like drunken men; they would also, in the great distress they were in, rush into the very same houses two or three times in one and the same day. Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew everything, while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch, and endured to eat them; nor did they at length abstain from girdles and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed : the very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibres, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attic, [drachmae.] But why should I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, while I am going to relate matter of fact, the like to which no history relates, either among the Greeks or Barbarians! It is horrible to speak of it, and incredible when heard. I had indeed willingly omitted this calamity of ours, that I might not seem to deliver what is so portentous to posterity, but that I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age; and besides, my country would have had little reason to thank me for suppressing the miseries that she underwent at this time.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Ezekiel 13:19
2. Deut. 28:54; Isaiah 3:5; 9:19; 19:2; Zech 14:13; Jer 13:14; 16:6

 


Book VI, Chapter III, Section 4 (Entire)

Another Description Of The Terrible Famine That Was In The City


Ultimate Act of Infamy : "Mary" Devours Child

4. Now there was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezub, which signifies the House of Hyssop. She was eminent for her family and her wealth, and had fled away to Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude , and was with them besieged therein at this time. The other effects of this woman had been already seized upon; such I mean as she had brought with her out of Perea, and removed to the city. What she had treasured up besides, as also what food she had contrived to save, had also been carried off by the rapacious guards, who came every day running into her house for that purpose. This put the poor woman into a very great passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations she cast at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them to anger against her; but none of them, either out of the indignation she had raised against herself, or out of the commiseration of her case, would take away her life (1); and if she found any food, she perceived her labours were for others, and not for herself; and it was now become impossible for her any way to find any more food, while the famine pierced through her very bowels and marrow, when also her passion was fired to a degree beyond the famine itself: nor did she consult with anything but with her passion and the necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural thing; and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, "O thou miserable infant! for whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition ? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves! The famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us; yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a byeword to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews." As soon as she had said this, she slew her son; and then roasted him, and ate one half of him (2), and kept the other half by her concealed. Upon this the seditious come in presently, and smelling the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her that they would cut her throat immediately if she did not shew them what food she had gotten ready. She replied, that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them; and withal uncovered what was left of her son. Hereupon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, and stood astonished at the sight; when she said to them "This is mine own son; and what hath been done was mine own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself! Do not you pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother; but if you be so scrupulous, and do abominate this my sacrifice, as I have eaten the one half, let the rest be reserved for me also." After which, those men went out trembling, being never so much affrighted at anything as they were at this, and with some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. Upon which, the whole city was full of horrid action immediately; and while everyone laid this miserable case before their own eyes, they trembled, as if this unheard-of-action had been done by themselves. So those that were thus distressed by the famine were very desirous to die (1); and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not live long enough either to hear or see such miseries.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 9:6; Jer 3:8; 8:3
2. Deut. 28:53, 57; Ezek. 16:20; Lam. 2:20; 4:10

Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of vher foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities. Deuteronomy 28:47-57

Lamentations 4:9-10 (New International Version) 9 Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field. 10 With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed.

 


Book VI, Chapter V, Section 1 (Entire)

The Great Distress The Jews Were In Upon The Conflagration Of The Holy House

1. While the holy house was on fire, everything was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain; nor was there a commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity(1); but children, and old men, and profane persons, and priests, were all slain in the same manner; so that this war went round all sorts of men, and brought them to destruction, and as well those that made supplication for their lives, as those that defended themselves by fighting. The flame was also carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the groans of those that were slain (2); and because this hill was high (3), and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought that the whole city had been on fire. Nor can one imagine anything either greater or more terrible than this noise; for there was at once a shout of the Roman legions, who were marching all together, and a sad clamour of the seditious, who were now surrounded with fire and sword. The people also that were left above were beaten back upon the enemy, and under a great consternation, and made sad moans at the calamity they were under; the multitude also that was in the city joined in this outcry with those that were upon the hill; and besides many of those that were worn away by the famine, and their mouths almost closed when they saw the fire of the holy house, they exerted their utmost strength, and brake out into groans and outcries again: Perea did also return he echo, as well as the mountains round about, [the city,] and augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething-hot (4), as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number that those that slew them; for the ground did nowhere appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over the heaps of these bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them.

And now it was that the multitude of the robbers were thrust out [of the inner court of the temple] by the Romans, and had much ado to get into the outer court, and from thence into the city, while the remainder of the populace fled into the cloister of that outer court. As for the priests, some of them plucked up from the holy house the spikes that were upon it, with their bases, which were made of lead, and shot them at the Romans instead of darts. But then as they gained nothing by so doing, and as the fire burst out upon them, they retired to the wall that was eight cubits broad, and there they tarried; yet did two of these of eminence among them, who might have saved themselves by going over to the Romans, or have borne up with courage, and taken their fortune with the others, throw themselves into the fire, and were burnt together with the holy house; their names were Merius to son of Belgas, and Joseph the son of Daleus.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Isaiah 3:5; 9:19; 19:2; Jer 13:14; 16:6; Zechariah 14:13
2. Isaiah 13:4; Jeremiah 47:2; Matthew 13:42,50, etc.
3. Isaiah 13:4
4. Revelation 8:8

Ezekiel 9:5-7 (New International Version) 5 As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.  7 Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city.

Lamentations 2:20-21 (New International Version) 20 "Look, O LORD, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? 21 "Young and old lie together in the dust of the streets; my young men and maidens have fallen by the sword. You have slain them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered them without pity.

 


Book VI, Chapter V, Section 2 (Entire)

Concerning A False Prophet

2. And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to spare what was round the holy house, burnt all those places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the gates, two excepted; the one on the east side, and the other on the south; both which, however, they burnt afterward (1). They also burnt down the treasury-chambers, in which was an immense quantity of money, and an immense number of garments, and other precious goods, there reposited; and, to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire riches of the Jews were heaped up together, while the rich people had there built themselves chambers, [to contain such furniture.] The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer [court of the] temple, whither the women and children and a great mixed multitude of the people fled, in number about six thousand. But before Caesar had determined anything about these people, or given the commanders any orders relating to them, the soldiers were in such a rage, that they set the cloister of fire; by which means it came to pass that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of these escape with his life.

A false prophet* (2) was the occasion of these people's destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such deliverance (3).

Whiston's Footnotes

1 Reland here justly takes notice that these Jews who had despised the true Prophet, were deservedly abused and deluded by the false ones.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Isaiah 1:7; 26:11; 33:12; 66:15; Jeremiah 5:14; 7:20; Matthew 3:11-12; 13:40, etc.

Matthew 24:4-5 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.


Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 3 (Entire)

The Signs That Preceded The Destruction

3. 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 (1); but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider (2), did not regard the denunciations that God made to them (3). Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year (4). 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 eight day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan,] 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 light lasted for half an hour (5). This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it.


Tisha Be'AV - Churban HaBayit

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. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner, [court of the 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 (6). Now, those that kept watch in the temple came thereupon 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 this signal forshewed the desolation that was coming upon them.

Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one-and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] 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 armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities (7). 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 (8), and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence." (9)

“A supernatural apparition was seen, too amazing to be believed. What I am now to relate would, I imagine, be dismissed as imaginary, had this not been vouched for by eyewitnesses, then followed by subsequent disasters that deserved to be thus signalized. For before sunset chariots were seen in the air over the whole country, and armed battalions speeding through the clouds and encircling the cities.”  (Chilton, Jerusalem Under Siege)

But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian, and an husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity (10), came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, 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!" (11) 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 anything for himself, or anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still he went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers 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 did he 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!" (12) 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.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

"Since Josephus still uses the Syro-Macedonian month Xanthicus for the Jewish month Nisan, this eighth, or, as Nicephorus reads it, this ninth of Xanthicus or Nisan was almost a week before the Passover, on the fourteenth; about which time we learn from St. John that many used to go 'out of the country to Jerusalem to purify themselves,' John 11:55, with 12:1; in agreement with Josephus also, B. V. ch. 3. sect. 1. And it might well be, that in the sight of these this extraordinary light might appear."
- William Whiston (translator of Josephus)

1. Isaiah 47:13-15 Back
2. Matthew 13:14-15; Deut 29:4; Isaiah 6:9-10 Back
3. Revelation 9:20-21 Back
4. Isaiah 34:5; Luke 21:11; Matthew 24:29 Back

"The comet was regarded as an omen predicting the fall of the city to the Romans which actually occurred four years later." [Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Guide to Halley's Comet (New York, Walker and Co., 1985), 6.]

5. Zechariah 14:7; Isaiah 30:26 Back
6. Isaiah 45:2; Ezek 21:15; Nahum 3:13 Back
7. Psalm 68:17; Isaiah 40:5; 19:1; Zech 9:14; Rev 1:7; Jer. 4:13; Wars V,I,3; Wars V,IX,4

Tacitus (A.D. 115) - Roman historian
"13. Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world." (Histories, Book 5, v. 13). Comp. Tacitus, Annals, xiv, 12, 22; xv, 22, 47; xvi, 13. Back

8. Isaiah 29:6; Rev. 11:12 Back
9. Revelation 11:12 Back
10. I Thess. 5:2-3; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27; Eze. 7:25 13:10,16;Jer 8:11 Back
11. Isaiah 66:6 - also Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 19:9; Revelation 18:23 Back
12. Ezekiel 16:23; 24:9 Back

Compare With Revelation Chapter 8 (The Seven Trumpets)

Revelation 8: 1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

 


Book VI, Chapter V, Section 4 (Entire)

War Elevated By Jews Applying To Themselves Prophecy Of Another

4. Now, if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, by all ways possible foreshews 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 (1), had made their temple four-square, while at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles, - "That then should the city be taken, as well as their holy house, when once their temple should become four-square." But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." (2) The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination.  Now, this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea (3). However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure; and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city and their own destruction."


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Isaiah 25:12; 30:25
2. Presumably Daniel 2:44, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."
3. This is Jesus Christ, and not Vespasian, in prophecy. As Revelation 11:15 reads, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Acts 2:29-31)

 


Book VI, Chapter VI, Section 1 (Partial)

How The Romans Carried Their Ensigns To The Temple,
And Made Joyful Acclamations to Titus.

1. And now the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the holy house itself, and of all the buildings lying round about it, brought their ensigns to the temple* (1) and set them over against its eastern gate; and there did they offer sacrifices to them, and there did they make Titus Imperator (2), with the greatest acclamations of joy. And now all the soldiers had such vast quantities of the spoils which they had gotten by plunder, that in Syria a pound weight of gold was sold for half its former value.


Whiston's Footnote

1. *Havercamp says here :- "This is a remarkable place; and Tertullian truly says that the entire religion of the Roman camp almost consisted in worshipping the ensigns, in swearing by the ensigns, and in preferring the ensigns before all the [other] gods."


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Regarding these events, Schaff writes, on page 398 of "History of the Christian Church," "Thus was fulfilled the prophecy concerning the 'abomination of desolation' standing in the holy place." (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; comp. Luke 21:20). All of which was to happen before the passing of that generation (Matt. 24:34).

"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.)


"The replacement for Vespasian, the newly crowned Emperor, was the wicked Titus, from whose mouth the verse 'Where is their G-d, the Rock in Whom they trusted?' seemed to come. For Titus blasphemed and cursed Heaven!"

"What did he do? He seized a prostitute, and entered the Holy of Holies, spread out a Sefer Torah, and committed a sin on it. He then took a sword and thrust it into the curtain dividing between the Holy and the Holy of Holies. A miracle occurred and blood spurted forth, causing him to think that he had killed "himself" (where "himself" is a euphemism for Heaven)…"

"Abba Chanan says, 'Who is like You, O Strong One, G-d?' (Psalms/Tehilim 89:9), 'Who is like You Strong and Hard, for You hear the blasphemy and the cursing of that wicked person, and are silent?' "

"He took the curtain and made it like a sack and he brought all the holy vessels from the Temple and put them into it, and placed the curtain with the vessels on a ship for transport to Rome where he would use them to boast (as we see to this day recorded on the Arch of Titus)."…

"On the way to Rome, a giant wave was about to crash down on his ship and sink it, when Titus again blasphemed, 'It seems that the G-d of the Jews has power only on the water; let Him come onto the land and fight me!' Whereupon a Heavenly voice was heard, saying to him, 'Wicked person, the son of a wicked person, the grandson of Esav, the wicked! I have a small creature who lives on the land. Get off the boat and fight with it.' "

"As he stepped off the boat, a small insect entered through his nose and lodged in his brain, where it pecked for seven years, causing him incredible agony… After he died, his brain was examined and they found in it a creature the size of a wild bird weighing two selahs. Before he died, he instructed that his body be cremated, and his ashes scattered over the seven seas, so that the G-d of the Jews would not be able to find him and bring him to Judgment."

"Onkelos the son of Kalonykos was a nephew of Titus, and he considered converting to Judaism. He had his uncle raised from the dead by magic and asked him, 'Who is most important in the next world?' Titus answered, 'The Jews are.' Onkelos asked, 'Should I attach myself to them?' Titus responded, 'No! They have too many laws; you wouldn't be able to observe them all. Better to fight against them and be a leader in the world, as it says, 'Those who oppressed them were on top.' " (Megillat Eichah 1:5)

"Titus' nephew asked, 'What is your judgment in the next world?' 'My judgment is what I decreed on myself. Every day I am burnt anew and my ashes are scattered over the seven seas.' "(The Month of Av)

"IMP[ERATOR] CAESAR VESPASIANUS AUG[USTUS]..."

This is the beginning of the Latin inscription on this triumphal column dedicated to Titus, who led the siege against Jerusalem. The abbreviation "LEG-X-FRE" appears at the bottom, indicating that the column was erected by the Tenth Roman Legion. Most likely, this column stood at on of the entrances to the Roman temple in Jerusalem. The column was discovered as part of the foundation to a Moslem palace south of the Temple Mount." (Picture by Zev Radovan)


Book VI, Chapter VII, Section 3 (Entire)

What Afterward Befell the Seditious When They Had done a Great Deal of Mischief

3. So now the last hope which supported the tyrants, and that crew of robbers who were with them, was in the caves and caverns under ground; whither, if they could once fly, they did not expect to be searched for; but endeavored, that after the whole city should be destroyed, and the Romans gone away, they might come out again, and escape from them. This was no better than a dream of theirs; for they were not able to lie hid either from God or from the Romans (1). However, they depended on these under-ground subterfuges, and set more places on fire than did the Romans themselves; and those that fled out of their houses thus set on fire into the ditches, they killed without mercy, and pillaged them also; and if they discovered food belonging to any one, they seized upon it and swallowed it down, together with their blood also; nay, they were now come to fight one with another about their plunder; and I cannot but think that, had not their destruction prevented it, their barbarity would have made them taste of even the dead bodies themselves.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 6:16; Luke 23:29,30

 


Book VI, Chapter VIII, Section 2 (Entire)

Multitudes Sold Into Bondage

2. It was at this time that the commanders of the Idumeans got privately together, and took counsel about surrendering themselves up to the Romans. Accordingly, they sent five men to Titus, and entreated him to give them his right hand for their security. So Titus, thinking that the tyrants would yield if the Idumeans, upon whom a great part of the war depended, were once withdrawn from them, after some reluctance and delay, complied with them, and gave them security for their lives, and sent the five men back; but as these Idumeans were preparing to march out, Simon perceived it, and immediately slew the five men that had gone to Titus, and took their commanders, and put them in prison, of whom the most eminent was Jacob, the son of Sosas; but as for the multitude of the Idumeans, who did not at all know what to do, now their commanders were taken from them, he had them watched, and secured the walls by a more numerous garrison. Yet could not that garrison resist those that were deserting; for although a great number of them were slain, yet were the deserters many more in number. These were all received by the Romans, because Titus himself grew negligent as to his former orders for killing them, and because the very soldiers grew weary of killing them (1), and because they hoped to get some money by sparing them; for they left only the populace, and sold the rest of the multitude, *(2) with their wives and children, and every one of them at a very low price, and that because such as were sold were very many, and the buyers very few; and although Titus had made proclamation beforehand that no deserter should come alone by himself, so that they might bring out their families with them, yet did he receive such as these also. However, he set over them such as were to distinguish some from others, in order to see if any of them deserve to be punished; and indeed the number of those that were sold was immense; but of the populace above forty thousand were saved, whom Caesar let go whither every one of them pleased.


Whiston's Footnote

1. This was an eminent completion of God's ancient threatening by Moses, that if they apostatized from obedience to his laws, they should be "sold unto their enemies for bondmen and bondwomen." (Deut xviii. 68.) But one thing here is peculiarly remarkable, that Moses adds, - Though they should be "sold" for slaves, yet "no man should buy them;" i.e either they should have none to redeem them from this sale into slavery; or rather that the slaves to be sold should be more than were the purchasers of them, and so they should be sold for little or nothing; which is what Josephus here affirms to have been the case at this time.

Deut. xxviii, 68; Jer. xliv, 7; Hos. viii, 13; ix, 3; xi, 35; Esd. xv, 10-14, with Authentic Records, part. I, p. 49, 121, and Reland Palestina, tom. ii, p. 715.

 

PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Jeremiah 14:12, 18; 15:2; 18:21


Book VI, Chapter VIII, Section 3 (Entire)

The Possessions of the City After Plunder

3. But now at this time it was that one of the priests, the son of Thebuthus, whose name was Jesus, upon his having security given him, by the oath of Caesar, that he should be preserved, upon condition that he should deliver to him certain of the precious things that had been reposited in the temple (1) came out of it, and delivered him from the wall of the holy house two candlesticks, like to those that lay in the holy house, with tables, and cisterns, and vials, all made of solid gold, and very heavy. He also delivered to him the veils and the garments, with the precious stones, and a great number of other precious vessels that belonged to their sacred worship. The treasurer of the temple also, whose name was Phineas, was seized on, and showed Titus the coats and girdles of the priests, with a great quantity of purple and scarlet, which were there reposited for the uses of the veil, as also a great deal of cinnamon and cassia, with a large quantity of other sweet spices, (30) which used to be mixed together, and offered as incense to God every day. A great many other treasures were also delivered to him, with sacred ornaments of the temple not a few; which things thus delivered to Titus obtained of him for this man the same pardon that he had allowed to such as deserted of their own accord.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 18:11-12


Book VI, Chapter IX, Section 2 (Entire)

The Number of Captives and of Those that Perished in the Siege

2. And now, since his soldiers were already quite tired with killing men, and yet there appeared to be a vast multitude still remaining alive, Caesar gave orders that they should kill none but those that were in arms, and opposed them, but should take the rest alive. But, together with those whom they had orders to slay, they slew the aged and the infirm; but for those that were in their flourishing age, and who might be useful to them, they drove them together into the temple, and shut them up within the walls of the court of the women; over which Caesar set one of his freed-men, as also Fronto, one of his own friends; which last was to determine every one's fate, according to his merits. So this Fronto slew all those that had been seditious and robbers, who were impeached one by another; but of the young men he chose out the tallest and most beautiful, and reserved them for the triumph; and as for the rest of the multitude that were above seventeen years old, he put them into bonds, and sent them to the Egyptian mines (1) Titus also sent a great number into the provinces, as a present to them, that they might be destroyed upon their theatres, by the sword and by the wild beasts; but those that were under seventeen years of age were sold for slaves. Now during the days wherein Fronto was distinguishing these men, there perished, for want of food, eleven thousand; some of whom did not taste any food, through the hatred their guards bore to them; and others would not take in any when it was given them. The multitude also was so very great, that they were in want even of corn for their sustenance.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1 See the several predictions that the Jews, if they became obstinate in their idolatry and wickedness, should be sent again or sold into Egypt for their punishment, Deuteronomy 28:68; Jeremiah 44:7; Hosea 8:13; 9:3; 9:4, 5; 2 Samuel 15:10-13; with Authentic Records, Part I. p. 49, 121; and Reland Painest And, tom. II. p. 715.


Book VI, Chapter IX, Section 3 (Entire)

The Number Of Captives, And Of Those That Perished In The Siege.

3. Now the number (1) of those that were carried captive during the whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand (2); as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege, eleven hundred thousand * (3), the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation, [with the citizens of Jerusalem,] but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army (4), which, at the very first, occasioned so great a straitness among them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine as destroyed them more suddenly. And that this city could contain so many people in it is manifest by that number of them which was taken under Cestius, who being desirous of informing Nero of the power of the city, who otherwise was disposed to contemn that nation, entreated the high priests, if the thing were possible, to take the number of their whole multitude. So these high priests, upon the coming of their feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour to the eleventh, but so that a company not less than belong to every sacrifice, (for it is not lawful for them to feast singly by themselves,) and many of us are twenty in a company, found the number of sacrifices was two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred; which, upon the allowance of no more than ten that feast together, amounts to two millions seven hundred thousand and two hundred persons that were pure and holy; for as to those that have the leprosy, or the gonorrhea, or women that have their monthly courses, or such as are otherwise polluted, it is not lawful for them to be partakers of this sacrifice; nor indeed for any foreigners neither, who come hither to worship.

Whiston's Footnote

1. The whole multitude of the Jews that were destroyed during the entire seven years before this time, in all the countries of and bordering on Judea, is summed up by Archbishop Usher, from Lipsius, out of Josephus, at the year of Christ 70, and amounts to 1,337,490. Nor could there have been that number of Jews in Jerusalem to be destroyed in this siege, as will be presently set down by Josephus, but that both Jews and proselytes of justice were just then come up out of the other countries of Galilee, Samaria, Judea, and Perea and other remoter regions, to the passover, in vast numbers, and therein cooped up, as in a prison, by the Roman army, as Josephus himself well observes in this and the next section, and as is exactly related elsewhere, B. V. ch. 3. sect. 1 and ch. 13. sect. 7.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Jeremiah 15:2; Isaiah 6:12
2. The whole multitude of the Jews that were destroyed during the entire seven years before this time amounts to 1,337,490.
3. Luke 21:20


Book VI, Chapter X, Section 1 (Entire)

That Whereas The City Of Jerusalem Had Been [Six] Times Taken Formerly, This Was The Second Time Of Its Desolation. A Brief Account Of Its History

1. And thus was Jerusalem taken, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, on the eight day of the month Gorpieus [Elu]. It had been taken five (1) times before, though this was the second time of its desolation ; for Shishak, the king of Egypt, and after his Antiochus, and after him Pompey, and after him Sosius and Herod took the city, but still preserved it; but before all these, the king of Babylon conquered it, and made it desolate, one thousand four hundred and sixty-eight years and six months after it was built. But he who first built it was a potent man among the Canaanites, and is in our tongue called [Melchizedek] the Righteous King, for such he really was; on which account he was [there] the first priest of God, and first built a temple, [there,] and called the city Jerusalem, which was formerly called Salem. However, David, the king of the Jews, ejected the Canaanites, and settled his own people therein. It was demolished entirely by the Babylonians, four hundred and seventy-seven years and six months after him. And from king David, who was the first of the Jews who reigned therein, to this destruction under Titus, were one thousand one hundred and seventy-nine years; but from its first building, till this last destruction, were two thousand one hundred and seventy-seven years; yet hath not its great antiquity, nor its vast riches, nor the diffusion of its nation over all the habitable earth, nor the greatness of the veneration paid to it on a religious account, been sufficient to preserve it from being destroyed. And thus ended the siege of Jerusalem.


Whiston's Footnotes

1. * Besides these five, who had taken Jerusalem of old, Josephus, upon further recollection, reckons a sixth, (Antiq. b. xii. ch. i. sect. 1,) who should have been here inserted in the second place - Ptolemy, the son of Lagus.

This is the proper place for such as have closely attended to these latter books of the War to peruse, and that with equal attention, those distinct and plain predictions of Jesus of Nazareth, in the Gospels thereto relating, as compared with their exact completions in Josephus's history; upon which completions, as Dr: Whitby well observes, Annot. on Matthew 24:2, no small part of the evidence for the truth of the Christian religion does depend; and as I have step by step compared them together in my Literal Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies. The reader is to observe further, that the true reason why I have so seldom taken notice of those completions in the course of these notes, notwithstanding their being so very remarkable, and frequently so very obvious, is this, that I had entirely prevented myself in that treatise beforehand; to which therefore I must here, once for all, seriously refer every inquisitive reader. Besides these five here enumerated, who had taken Jerusalem of old, Josephus, upon further recollection, reckons a sixth, Antiq. B. XII. ch. 1. sect. 1, who should have been here inserted in the second place; I mean Ptolemy, the son of Lagus.


Book VII, Chapter I, Section 1 (Entire)

The Entire City Of Jerusalem Was Demolished, Excepting Three Towers

1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.


Book VII, Chapter II, Section 1 (Entire)

Concerning Simon the Tyrant How He Was Taken, and Reserved for the Triumph

1. NOW at the same time that Titus Caesar lay at the siege of Jerusalem, did Vespasian go on board a merchantship and sailed from Alexandria to Rhodes; whence he sailed away, in ships with three rows of oars; and as he touched at several cities that lay in his road, he was joyfully received by them all, and so passed over from Ionia into Greece; whence he set sail from Corcyra to the promontory of Iapyx, whence he took his journey by land. But as for Titus, he marched from that Cesarea which lay by the sea-side, and came to that which is named Cesarea Philippi, and staid there a considerable time, and exhibited all sorts of shows there. And here a great number of the captives were destroyed, some being thrown to wild beasts, and others in multitudes forced to kill one another, as if they were their enemies. And here it was that Titus was informed of the seizure of Simon the son of Gioras, which was made after the manner following: This Simon, during the siege of Jerusalem, was in the upper city; but when the Roman army was gotten within the walls, and were laying the city waste, he then took the most faithful of his friends with him, and among them some that were stone-cutters, with those iron tools which belonged to their occupation, and as great a quantity of provisions as would suffice them for a long time, and let himself and all them down into a certain subterraneous cavern (1) that was not visible above ground. Now, so far as had been digged of old, they went onward along it without disturbance; but where they met with solid earth, they dug a mine under ground, and this in hopes that they should be able to proceed so far as to rise from under ground in a safe place, and by that means escape. But when they came to make the experiment, they were disappointed of their hope; for the miners could make but small progress, and that with difficulty also; insomuch that their provisions, though they distributed them by measure, began to fail them. And now Simon, thinking he might be able to astonish and elude the Romans, put on a white frock, and buttoned upon him a purple cloak, and appeared out of the ground in the place where the temple had formerly been. At the first, indeed, those that saw him were greatly astonished, and stood still where they were; but afterward they came nearer to him, and asked him who he was. Now Simon would not tell them, but bid them call for their captain; and when they ran to call him, Terentius Rufus (2) who was left to command the army there, came to Simon, and learned of him the whole truth, and kept him in bonds, and let Caesar know that he was taken. Thus did God bring this man to be punished for what bitter and savage tyranny he had exercised against his countrymen by those who were his worst enemies; and this while he was not subdued by violence, but voluntarily delivered himself up to them to be punished, and that on the very same account that he had laid false accusations against many Jews, as if they were falling away to the Romans, and had barbarously slain them for wicked actions do not escape the Divine anger, nor is justice too weak to punish offenders, but in time overtakes those that transgress its laws, and inflicts its punishments upon the wicked in a manner, so much more severe, as they expected to escape it on account of their not being punished immediately. (3) Simon was made sensible of this by falling under the indignation of the Romans. This rise of his out of the ground did also occasion the discovery of a great number of others Of the seditious at that time, who had hidden themselves under ground. But for Simon, he was brought to Caesar in bonds, when he was come back to that Cesarea which was on the seaside, who gave orders that he should be kept against that triumph which he was to celebrate at Rome upon this occasion.

Whiston's Footnote

1. This Tereutius Rufus, as Reland in part observes here, is the same person whom the Talmudists call Turnus Rufus; of whom they relate, that "he ploughed up Sion as a field, and made Jerusalem become as heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high Idaces of a forest;" which was long before foretold by the prophet Micah, ch. 3:12, and quoted from him in the prophecies of Jeremiah, ch. 26:18.


PRETERIST PERSPECTIVES

1. Revelation 6:16; Luke 23:29,30


Book VII, Chapter 8, Section 7

Jerusalem Was Demolished to the Very Foundations

Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing but that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those that hath destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruins; some unfortunate old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women are there preserved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and reproach. Now who is there that revolves these things in his mind, and yet is able to bear the sight of the sun, though he might live out of danger? Who is there so much his country's enemy, or so unmanly, and so desirous of living, as not to repent that he is still alive? And I cannot but wish that we had all died before we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of our enemies, or the foundations of our holy temple dug up after so profane a manner.


Historical records with some signs (AD 66-70)
Compiled by Don Hochner

 

Josephus (Jewish historian) Wars Book 6, Chapter 5, Sections 2 and 3
War 6:286 (6.5.2.286) Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God: and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes.
War 6:288 ¶ (6.5.3.288) 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.
War 6:289 (6.5.3.289) Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.
War 6:290 (6.5.3.290) 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], 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 light lasted for half an hour.
War 6:291 (6.5.3.291) 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.
War 6:296 (6.5.3.296) So these publicly declared, that this signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month Artemisius [Jyar],
War 6:297 (6.5.3.297) 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,
War 6:298 (6.5.3.298) and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen
War 6:299 (6.5.3.299) running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. 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,
War 6:300 (6.5.3.300) and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.”
 
Eusebius (Christian historian), Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 8, Sections 1-6
1 Taking, then, the work of this author, read what he records in the sixth book of his History. His words are as follows:94 “Thus were the miserable people won over at this time by the impostors and false prophets;95 but they did not heed nor give credit to the visions and signs that foretold the approaching desolation. On the contrary, as if struck by lightning, and as if possessing neither eyes nor understanding, they slighted the proclamations of God.
2 At one time a star, in form like a sword, stood over the city, and a comet, which lasted for a whole year; and again before the revolt and before the disturbances that led to the war, when the people were gathered for the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth of the month Xanthicus,96 at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone about the altar and the temple that it seemed to be bright day; and this continued for half an hour. This seemed to the unskillful a good sign, but was interpreted by the sacred scribes as portending those events which very soon took place.
3 And at the same feast a cow, led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.
4 And the eastern gate of the inner temple, which was of bronze and very massive, and which at evening was closed with difficulty by twenty men, and rested upon iron-bound beams, and had bars sunk deep in the ground, was seen at the sixth hour of the night to open of itself.
5 And not many days after the feast, on the twenty-first of the month Artemisium,97 a certain marvelous vision was seen which passes belief. The prodigy might seem fabulous were it not related by those who saw it, and were not the calamities which followed deserving of such signs. For before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen throughout the whole region in mid-air, wheeling through the clouds and encircling the cities.
6 And at the feast which is called Pentecost, when the priests entered the temple at night, as was their custom, to perform the services, they said that at first they perceived a movement and a noise, and afterward a voice as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us go hence.’
 
Tacitus (Roman historian), Histories, Book 5
Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure. Some few put a fearful meaning on these events, but in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire.
 
Sepher Yosippon (A Mediaeval History of Ancient Israel) translated from the Hebrew by Steven B. Bowman. Excerpts from Chapter 87 "Burning of the Temple"
 
For one year before Vespasian came, a single great star shining like unsheathed swords was seen over the Temple. And in those days when the sign was seen it was the holiday of Passover and during that entire night the Temple was lit up and illuminated like the light of day, and thus it was all seven days of the Passover. All the sages of Jerusalem knew that it was a malevolent sign, but the rest of the ignorant people said that it was a benevolent sign.
 
Now it happened after this that there was seen from above over the Holy of Holies for the whole night the outline of a man's face, the like of whose beauty had never been seen in all the land, and his appearance was quite awesome.
 
Moreover, in those days were seen chariots of fire and horsemen, a great force flying across the sky near to the ground coming against Jerusalem and all the land of Judah, all of them horses of fire and riders of fire. When the holiday of Shavu'oth came in those days, during the night the priests heard within the Temple something like the sound of men going and the sound of men marching in a multitude going into the Temple, and a terrible and mighty voice was heard speaking: "Let's go and leave this House."
 
I found another one:
 

The "Bet Kol" and the Destruction of the Temple at AD 70

During Judah's apostasy during the 6th century BC, the prophet Ezekiel saw the Glory Cloud depart from the Temple and travel east, to the Mount of Olives (Ezek. 10:18-19; 11:22-23); later, in his vision of the New Jerusalem, he sees the Glory-Cloud returning to dwell in the new Temple, the Church (Ezek. 43:1-5). This vision was fulfilled when Christ, the incarnate Glory of God, ascended to His Father in the Cloud from the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50-51) and sent His Spirit to fill the Church during the Feast of Pentecost--around AD 30.
 
A later image of this transfer of God's Glory can be found in Jewish historical writings. At Pentecost at AD66, as the priests in the Temple were going about their duties, there was heard "a violent commotion and din" followed by "a voice as of a host crying, 'We are departing hence!'" This departure of the Deity from the temple at Pentecost of AD 66 was exactly 36 years after the Holy Spirit was first given in power to the apostles and the others at the first Christian Pentecost recorded in Acts Chapter Two. And now, again on Pentecost day, the witness was given that God himself was abandoning the Temple at Jerusalem. This meant that the Temple was no longer a holy sanctuary and that the building was no more sacred than any other secular building.
 
Remarkably, Jewish writings state that the Jews had come to recognize that the Shekinah glory of God left the Temple at this time [AD 66] and remained over the Mount of Olives for 3.5 years. During this period a voice was heard to come from the region of the Mount of Olives asking the Jews to repent of their doings (Midrash - Lam. 2:11). This has an interesting bearing on the history of Christianity because we know that Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected from the dead on the Mount of Olives -- the exact region the Jewish records say the Shekinah glory of God remained for the 3.5 years after its departure from the Temple on Pentecost, AD66. The Jewish reference states that the Jews failed to heed this warning from the Shekinah glory (which they called "Bet Kol", the voice of God), and that it left the earth and retreated back to heaven just before the final seige of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD70.
 
From Pentecost AD 66, no thinking person among the Christians who respected these obvious miraculous signs associated with the Temple could believe that the structure was any longer a holy sanctuary of God. Josephus himself summed up the conviction of the many people who came to believe that God "had turned away even from his sanctuary" (Wars, 2.539), and that the Temple was "no more the dwelling place of God" (Wars, 5.19), because "the Deity has fled from the holy places" (Wars, 5.412).

 

http://www.preteristvision.org/commentaries/jewishcommentary.html
 
Another one from other source:
 
Writing while these events were still uppermost in the minds of the Jews, St. John declares that the Shekinah, the Glory of God, rests on the true Holy Temple/City and consummate Paradise: the Bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9-11).
 

YEHOVAH's "Shekinah" remained in the Temple all through the life and death of the Messiah and up to the year 66 A.D. -- when it was seen leaving the Temple and alighting on the Mount of Olives. Notice!

There is also another reason why Christians in the first century were very interested in the Mount of Olives. This is because it was believed that the Shekinah Glory of God which supposedly dwelt inside the Holy of Holies at the Temple left the sanctuary and went to the Mount of Olives and hovered over that spot at the time of the Roman/Jewish War which ended in A.D. 70. The fact that the Shekinah Glory left the old Temple and migrated to the top of the Mount of Olives was an important event to Eusebius [church historian and scholar A.D. 260?-340?]. -- Secrets of Golgotha, by Ernest L. Martin. 1988: ASK Publications, Alhambra, CA. P. 83.

In Eusebius' book Proof of the Gospel we find this passage –

Believers in Christ congregate from all parts of the world, not as of old time because of the glory of Jerusalem, nor that they may worship in the ancient Temple at Jerusalem, but...that they may worship at the Mount of Olives opposite to the city, whither the glory [the Shekinah Glory] of the LORD [YEHOVAH, YHVH] migrated when it left the former city. (Book VI, Chapter 18 (288)).

According to Eusebius the "Shekinah" Glory left the Temple and hovered over the Mount of Olives during "the siege of Jerusalem" (66 A.D. to 70). However, Eusebius was not the only observer who mentioned that the "Shekinah" Glory left the Temple before the destruction of the Temple and hovered over the Mount of Olives. A Jewish rabbi named Jonathan -- who was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem -- said the "Shekinah" Glory left the Temple and for three and a half years

"abode on the MOUNT OF OLIVES hoping that Israel would repent, but they did not; while a Bet Kol [a supernatural voice from heaven] issued forth announcing, Return, O backsliding children [Jer. 3:14]. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you [Mal. 3:7], when they did not repent, it said, I WILL RETURN TO MY PLACE [Hosea 5:15]" (Midrash Rabbah, Lamentations 2:11). -- Secrets of Golgotha, by Ernest L. Martin. 84.

There was yet another writer who recorded the fact of the "Shekinah" presence of YEHOVAH God moving from the Temple in Jerusalem just before the war with the Romans. Josephus mentioned that in the Spring of 66 A.D. some astonishing events took place within the Temple. He recorded three miracles associated with YEHOVAH's "Shekinah" and the Temple -- and each one showed clearly that the "Shekinah" was departing from the Holy of Holies. In War VI, 290 he stated "that a GREAT LIGHT shone over the altar for thirty minutes at 3 o'clock in the morning (a week before Passover in A.D. 66) and then it DEPARTED. He said the sacred scribes interpreted this sign as a bad omen for the Temple. It was like the Shekinah Glory moving away from the Tabernacle in the wilderness as a sign to disassemble the Tabernacle and transport it to another location" (ibid.).

Josephus goes on to say that "a few days later (during Passover itself) the enormous brass gates of Nicanor, requiring twenty men to open and close them, opened at midnight of their own accord (War VI, 293-295). This was also interpreted as showing a desolation coming upon the Temple. And then, about fifty days later, on Pentecost, the final sign was given which definitely showed that the Shekinah Glory was departing the Temple as the other signs indicated (ibid.):

Moreover, at the festival which is called Pentecost, the priests on entering the inner court of the Temple at nightfall, as their custom was in accomplishment of their ministrations, stated that they first became aware of a commotion and a roar, and after that the voice of a great multitude saying "We are departing hence" (War VI, 299).

When we couple Josephus' information with that of Rabbi Jonathan (also an eyewitness) we can see that the "Shekinah" went directly to the Mount of Olives and remained over the top of the mountain for 3 and 1/2 years -- from late Spring in 66 A.D to about December of 69 A.D, some eight months before the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. It then went back to heaven and had not returned to earth up to the time he wrote.

What do YOU think ?

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Date: 23 Nov 2004
Time: 14:28:14

Comments:

This is the best site ever!!!!


Date: 26 Mar 2005
Time: 15:26:27

Comments :

We know they were sold into captivity to Egypt as Deut 29;68 foretold, also they were sold to work in the mines in Ethopia and were known as the Falasha.  They were not redeem by their own brothers as was the law spoken of in Leviticus 25;48.  The lord allowed a distant nation to come against them (Duet 28;49) the descendents of these were scattered from one end of the earth to the other as foretold in the curses of Deut 28;64.  They became known as a byword.   Do you think it will ever come a time, where GOD will reveal the truth about the original Hebrew chosen people for his glory.  To show the world he is the one and only true GOD?  He said he would!


Date: 04 May 2005
Time: 11:28:29

Comments0:

I wonder was Jerusalem destroyed because of Christ?
Or because they stood up to the Romans?


Date: 24 Nov 2005
Time: 12:17:59

Comments on 6-5-4:

THE PROPHECY IS FOR VESPASIAN BECAUSE FLAVIUS JOSEPH IS ACTUALLY A FLAVIAN HIMSELF,HE WAS NOT ADOPTED BY VESPASIAN HE LIES-THE PROPHECY IS ACTUALLY FOR ELEAZAR THE TRUE MESSIAH WHOSE IDENTITY WAS STOLEN BY TITUS FLAVIUS AND USED BY TITUS AND FLAVIUS JOSEPH TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS.


Date: 02 Dec 2005
Time: 21:07:37

Comments:

If legions = angels, then everything is fair game for any interpretation you need or desire.  Of course this makes your interpretation completely arbitrary and therefore useless.


Date: 07 Dec 2005
Time: 08:15:32

Comments:

JESUS predicted the fall of Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44. The prophecy is still effective because HE included "your children within you." The next nation to fall under this prophecy will be the USA. We are making the same misteake the Jews were making. Adultery Mark 10:11-12. Killing War is killing. Federal government is lying about Iraq war and treatment of prisoners.
Bob Robinson, PO Box 161, New Sharon, IA 50207
641-637-4082 bbr7941@kdsi.net www.bbr7941.net
www.bbrpartyofONE.org
Bob Robinsonm, PO Box 1q


Date: 09 Dec 2005
Time: 10:08:41

Comments0:

Revelation was written 25 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. It's talking about a future event.]


Date: 12 Dec 2005
Time: 09:18:36

Comments:

I think you need to be more specific about the war itself


Date: 29 Dec 2005
Time: 09:55:09

Comments:

Josephus gave one of the most reasonable, appealing, and compelling arguments I have ever heard. Using the historical accounts of Jehovah's dealings with His people would have moved any reasonable individual.  The speech is encouraging to read...................R H


Date: 05 Feb 2006
Time: 20:49:12

Comments:

~? Umm, are you addressing that comment to Josephus!? I'm not really sure he'll hear you [he's probably suffering horrible tortures in some darkened corner of Hell somewhere, for daring not to mention anything about Jesus the Nazarene anywhere, in any of his writings... tut, tut ;)]


Date: 06 Apr 2006
Time: 15:07:05

Comments on 5-9-4:

I wouldn't recommend starting a negotiation by calling the other side "Miserable creatures", but then I assume Josephus knew what he was doing. Still, the results weren't exactly great were they?
I imagine the Romans listening to all this naively and assuming that Josephus was sweet-talking the Jews. It's so funny, it should have been in "Life Of Brian"


Date: 07 Jun 2006
Time: 09:09:31

Comments:

The Jews had finally reached "the fullness of their iniquity," and judgement was imminent. What disturbs me is that, so far, his discription doesn't sound all that different from any American city. I'll wager that things happen in my town worse than anything that happened there. In the words of an old, negro spiritual, "Sometimes it causes me to tremble."


Date: 14 Aug 2006
Time: 14:48:03

Comments:

A look at Daniel 9:26 speaks to the side of the '' people of the prince'' that would destroy the city and the sanctuary'' which was the roman armies. Gods had of vengeance was upon those armies. Luke 21:20 It was the outward demonstration of the return of Christ to the earth, '' in power and great glory ''. wayne O pal talk


Date: 27 Oct 2006
Time: 00:53:46

Comments:

I believe your conclusion/s are the result of quoteing 'out of context'. It is a well known fact that the country was on the verge of revolt and finally went all the way. The killing of Roman soldiers brought about the demise of the Jewish State. I'm surprised it took three years!

L. H. O'Brien


Date: 30 Nov 2006
Time: 12:42:21

Comments0:

Sir or Sirs, you asked what do I think? I believe you are referring to your article concerning the earthly stones which the Roman General Titus and his army hurled at the Jews. I do believe you are comparing these stones with Christ’s hailstones mingled with fire that He cast out of heaven on the Egyptians (Exodus 9:22-26). Joshua 10:11 is concerning these hailstones. They truly were real hailstones that the Lord Jesus cast out of heaven upon the Amorites. Josephus indeed was a priest at this time. There is not any indication of Christ’s heavily hailstones mentioned in his writing during this overthrow of Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70. They were not earthly stones by no means in either event. Revelation 16:17-21 does not have anything to do with the Roman and Jewish War. The earthly stones that Titus, the Roman General, and his host used to overthrow Jerusalem in AD 70 was from the Earth. The scriptures in Revelation are stating the Bible has been fulfilled: the end of all (Revelation 14:16).

—A Web Viewer


Date: 15 Jan 2007
Time: 16:38:24

Comments on 6-5-3:

Ezekiel 10:4 (New International Version)

4 Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD.


Ezekiel 10:18-19 (New International Version)

18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.


Date: 14 Mar 2007
Time: 14:31:22

Comments:

l think Re 20:9 is about the second coming of Jesus and not about Jerusalem. lt says they went down the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of saints and the beloved city.. this did not happen at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Re 21:10 says and he carried me in the spirit to a high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem coming out of the heaven of God. indeed verse 20:7 tells us it was after Satan has been released from prison that after 1000 years that he gathers the nations for war. by ciru black


Date: 18 Mar 2007
Time: 16:37:05

Comments:

Is it correct to state that the epistle to the Hebrews was received by Jewish Christians in Judea and, owing to the contents of the epistle, thousands of them fled to Pella in the Decapolis and thereby escaped the horrors of the First Jewish revolt?

Bob Stevens
Concord, CA


Date: 07 May 2009
Time: 09:05:04

Your Comments:

Incredible. With so many "end times" prophecy teachers out there, I wonder why I never hear them speak of these things?
For some 20 years now I've been hearing the dispensationlist perspectives on Revelation and I've always had diffictulty with it, although I didn't know exactly why. For one thing, I have trouble with the way they teach their interpretations as though they were indisputable fact, as if to imply that anyone who didn't believe their interpretations were obviously misguided. Second, in my own reading of Revelation, when I would read of the tribulation and the judgments, I got the impression that if they were future events that happened in my lifetime that I would go through them too! I never saw any indication in my own study of Scripture that there would be a rapture of the church to spare it.
Thank you for putting this stuff online. It has helped me a great deal!
Steve V., Southern California


Date: 09 Aug 2013
Time: 23:38:35

Your Comments:

The most evil, Un-Godly, Un-Abrahamic verse in all recorded scripture and one that exposes Christianity for what it truly is - the antithesis of love: "NOT A BRICK SHALL STAND" - stated while dancing in a passion and hoisting posters of love. How varied from Abraham who battled with God to save even the most evil city of Sodom - and was blessed for it.

The most false statement in all recorded scripture: That Jesus foretold the temple destruction: prove it - where is your 1st century writing!? It was Solomon & Jeremiah who said this. Nor is it a brilliant prophesy in the Gospels of a temple that was previously destroyed.
Lunatic Christians who do not demand proof do not realize that even the exile of the Jews is what saved them from destruction, as seen in all other nations, and as foretold by the God of all Gods in Genesis: 'Know for a surety thy seed shall be in bondage; know that I shall return you unto your land" - This happened despite Christianity & Islam's best efforts to stem it.
 

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