I710 Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD… Prophecy Fulfilled

I710 Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD… Prophecy Fulfilled

The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD is a well-documented fact of history, it is the climax of the War between the Jews and Romans which started in 66AD.

On 10 th of Nisan 32 AD (according to the calculation of Sir Robert Anderson) Jesus presents Himself as the Messiah in what we refer to as the Triumphal Entry to fulfill prophecy. However as Jesus’ followers rejoice, Jesus beheld Jerusalem and wept saying:

Luke 19:43-44
(43) For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
(44) And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Supporting passages where Jesus states that the Temple will be destroyed are in Matthew 24:1-2 and Mark 13:1-2

As we will see, The details of Jesus’ prophecy were fulfilled in 70 AD as indicated by historical and archaeological evidence.

We need to confirm when this was written as for this to be a prophecy, Luke’s Gospel needs to be written prior to 70AD.

Acts 1:1 states: “ The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,”

Luke is referring to his former writing that we know as the Gospel of Luke.

Acts 28:30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

Acts ends with Paul in a house in Rome, not yet martyred. As Acts documents the chronology of the early church and Paul’s missionary journeys, we can also determine its date by what is not written. No mention in the book of Acts of the persecution of Christians under Nero or the War of the Jews beginning in 66 AD.

The historian Eusebius of Caesarea records that Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero which is prior to 70 AD:

“It is related that in his time Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified, and the title of “Peter and Paul,” which is still given to the cemeteries there, confirms the story, no less than does a writer of the Church named Caius, who lived when Zephyrinus was Bishop of Rome.” 2

Was Luke an accurate Historian?

Archeologist William Ramsay states:

“… that Luke is a historian of the first rank ; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy ; he is possessed of the true historic sense ; he fixes his mind on the idea and plan that rules in the evolution of history ; and proportions the scale of his treatment to the importance of each incident. He seizes the important and critical events and shows their true nature at greater length, while he touches lightly or omits entirely much that was valueless for his purpose. In short, this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” 3

Noted historian and scholar Edward Musgrave Blaikloc of New Zealand scholar states:
“For accuracy of detail, and for evocation of atmosphere, Luke stands, in fact, with Thucydides. The Acts of the Apostles is not shoddy product of pious imagining, but a trustworthy record… it was the spadework of archaeology which first revealed the truth.” 4

As we can see, Luke, the physician accurately recorded history prior to 70 AD.

After the events of the Acts of the Apostles, we see a sequence of events that happens over a few short years that ends with the Temple destruction.

The Christian persecution and Paul’s execution during the reign of Nero which happened between 64 and 68 AD

The beginning of the Jewish rebellion in 66 AD
Vespasian invades Judea and is proclaimed emperor in 69 AD
Titus begins his encampment around Jerusalem on 14 Nisan 70 AD. (May 1) 38 years after Jesus was crucified.

With the campaign against Jerusalem, were Jesus words accurate? To understand this, we need to know the what happened during the siege of Jerusalem as well as understand the layout of Jerusalem in the 1 st Century.

Jerusalem in the 1 st century was a magnificent ancient city. In addition to the natural fortifications with the deep valleys that surround it, Jerusalem had an outer wall built by Herod Agrippa, a second inner wall which was rebuilt by Nehimiah and a first wall that surrounds the City of David. Josephus describes the walls and towers in detail.
While there are no photographs and artwork of Jerusalem from the 1 st century, it’s possible to imagine a scene from Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers where you can see an Orc army approach and the battle that ensues.

Titus approaches from the North and sets up camp on Mt. Scopus for a good view of the city and temple.

The Romans began their campaign by cutting down the trees and burning the suburbs that surround Jerusalem in order to build their embankments:

Josephus:
“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: nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change:” 6

Rome surrounded Jerusalem and put a trench around it

” …that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side”

[Max I. Dimont summary of the Siege of Jerusalem in Jews, God and History]
“Titus completely sealed off Jerusalem from the rest of the world with a wall of earth as high as the stone wall around Jerusalem itself. Anyone not a Roman soldier caught anywhere in this vast dry moat was crucified on the top of the earthen wall in sight of the Jews inside the city. It was not uncommon for as many as five hundred people a day to be so executed.” 7

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that it found a site that served as a backdrop for the Great Jewish Rebellion against Rome to back up Josephus account. The Authority has uncovered a 70 meter long section of Jerusalem’s main drainage duct. It was inside this drainage duct that Jerusalem’s Jewish inhabitants hid from the Roman invaders when Rome sacked Jerusalem. 9

• On May 1, Nisan 14, Titus and three legions (V, XII and XV) move camp to the northwest corner of
Jerusalem, two stadia (1/4 mile) from the tower Psephinus. The Xth Legion remains on the Mt. of Olives.

• Titus begins his assault with battering rams on the NorthWest corner with the intention of capturing the
upper city and Antonia Fortress.

• After 15 days of battering the wall, it cracks and the Romans setup camp within the third wall and begin assault on the second wall.

• On May 30, the second wall is breached, only 5 days after the third wall. According to Josephus, Rome requests the citizens to surrender, but are attacked by militants.

• In early June, Titus builds earthworks against the Antonia Fortress in order to attack the temple.

• The Zealots attack the earthworks, so Titus cut off supplies to starve the city out.

• The Antonia earthworks are completed in 21 days by July 20, all timber that was within 10 miles of the city had been used.

• On July 24, the Romans take Antonia.

• On August 5, all sacrifices in the Temple are halted.

• By August 15, horrible famine takes hold.

• August 27, Av 8, Titus orders the Temple gates set on fire.

• On Av 10 the Temple burns to the ground
“But as for that house, God had, for certain, long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the month Av upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon;
…At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it.

Rome laid the Temple even with the ground: “And shall lay thee even with the ground, … and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another;

[quote from Josephus] “it (the Temple) 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.” 10

Because the retaining wall remains, there has been an argument that this prophecy didn’t come to pass. But when we look at this prophecy closer, it refers to the Temple, not the retaining wall around the Temple Mount.
Items to note:

• The Western Wall is not visible from the Temple area
• The top of the wall WAS torn down while larger stones at the bottom remained.
• The retaining wall is NOT a building.

It is currently unknown where the Temple was situated on the Temple Mount. In addition to the traditional placement where the Dome of the Rock is situated, there is also a case for a location both North of the traditional location on the Temple Mount as well as South. In addition to this, Bob Cornuke’s recent book “TEMPLE – Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About The Location of Solomon’s Temple” proposes that the Temple was situated in the city of David, not on Temple Mount. Because there is controversy on the location of the Temple, it shows that this prophecy is fulfilled. It is simply not known with absolute certainty where the Temple stood.

Rome killed all who were in Jerusalem: “and thy children within thee…”

“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” 11

“To give a detailed account of their outrageous conduct is impossible, but we may sum it up by saying that no other city has ever endured such horrors, and no generation in history has fathered such wickedness” 12

As Jesus’ warning was in 32 AD, this brings up the question of whether or not anybody heeded His warning.

Eusebius states:

“On the other hand, the people of the church in Jerusalem were commanded by an oracle given by revelation before the war to those in the city who were worthy of it to depart and dwell in one of the cities of Perea which they called Pella. To it those who believed on Christ migrated from Jerusalem…” 13

Epiphanius also states:
“since all the disciples had settled in Pella after their remove from Jerusalem—Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdraw from it because of the siege it was about to undergo” 14

As followers of Jesus took his words seriously, we can note that they were spared from the tragedy in Jerusalem.

Not only has Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the Temple been fulfilled in detail, this event was the Catalyst that not only redefined Judiasm into Rabbinic Judiasm, but led to the “Diaspora” which is predicted by not only Moses, but throughout the prophets:

Rabbi Ken Spiro has the following comments:
“The destruction of the Second Temple is one of the most important events in the history of the Jewish people, and certainly one of the most depressing.
It is a sign that God has withdrawn from (though certainly not abandoned) the Jews. Although the Jews will survive
― in accordance with the promise that they will be an “eternal na:on” ― the special rela:onship with God they enjoyed while the Temple stood is gone.” 1

Lev 26:33
(33) You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland.

Disperse comes from the Hebrew: “poots” ץוּפּ

Meaning: dash in pieces, disperse, break, cast or spread abroad.
This wasn’t fulfilled during the Babylonian captivity, but it did happen after the destruction of the Temple.
Nations comes from: Goy or Goyim
יו goy Meaning: Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

Deu 28:64-67
64 ADONAI will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will serve other gods, made of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known.
65 Among these nations you will not find repose, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; rather ADONAI will give you there anguish of heart, dimness of eyes and apathy of spirit.
66 Your life will hang in doubt before you; you will be afraid night and day and have no assurance that you will stay alive.
67 In the morning you will say, ‘Oh, how I wish it were evening!’ and in the evening you will say, ‘Oh, how I wish it were morning!’-because of the fear overwhelming your heart and the sights your eyes will see.

Jer 9:16
16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known. I will send the sword after them until I have wiped them out.”
Eze 22:15
15 I will scatter you among the Goyim and disperse you throughout the countries; thus I will remove your defilement from you,

Hos 9:17
17 My God will cast them aside, because they wouldn’t listen to him, and they will become wanderers among the Goyim.
י 
There was another uprising under Bar Kokhba from 132 to 135 which was crushed by Emperor Hadrian. After the defeat, Judea was renamed to Syria Palestina to remove any historic Jewish connection to the land.

Shlomo Sand states:
Two thousand years of wandering brought the Jews to Yemen, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Poland and deep into Russia. But, the story goes, they always managed to preserve blood links between their scattered communities. Their uniqueness was never compromised.
At the end of the 19th century conditions began to favour their return to their ancient homeland. If it had not been for the Nazi genocide, millions of Jews would have fulfilled the dream of 20 centuries and repopulated Eretz Israel, the biblical land of Israel. Palestine, a virgin land, had been waiting for its original inhabitants to return and awaken it.

The Jewish people remained a distinct culture throughout the countries that they’ve dwelt in despite severe persecution by many claiming to be “Christians” including the Holocaust where over 6 million perished.

In summary:
Luke, a historian “of the first degree” accurately records Jesus’ words prior to the destruction of the temple. Jesus prophesied this because the Jews “knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Or simply, they didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. This was the catalyst to not only redefine Judiasm due to the Temples destruction, but also be the event to fulfill the prophesies of the Diaspora from Moses and the Prophets.

Overall Conclusion:

Scripture accurately records in detail history before it happens. This shows that Bible prophecy is of supernatural origin. It is not by mere chance that these prophecies have been fulfilled.

So What Factor
We can’t simply look at the destruction of Jerusalem as a tragedy of ancient history as there are many tragic events throughout history that include many nations and cultures. The history of Israel however, was written before the events occurred. Since prophecy has been fulfilled in Israel’s destruction and the Diaspora, it has also been fulfilled in regathering the Jews again to Israel, the Jewish homeland as prophesied in Ezekiel 37.
This brings the next event on the prophetic clock to be the fulfillment of the “Day of the Lord”, mentioned many times throughout the prophets as “That Day” or the “Day of the Lord” and detailed in the Revelation of Jesus Christ as revealed to John.
While God made a Covenant with Abraham regarding Israel, there have been no covenants made by God to the nations we dwell in. If God punished the Jews for rebellion and failing to recognize Jesus as Messiah, what of our nations? “Christians” can certainly claim no moral ground with the numerous atrocities committed in the name of God over the past 2000 years including 1900 years of Jewish persecution, the Inquisition, and even the holocaust as Adolf Hitler presented himself as a Christian to a Christian majority in Germany.

As world events grow darker, we can use these observable events to show that Bible Prophecy is taking place before us. Even so, we must remain followers of Jesus. Just as Christians in the 1 st century listened to Jesus and were spared the wrath, so must we recognize the times we’re living in and look to Jesus as our only hope.

Blaiklock, The Archaeology of the New Testament, page 96, Zondervan Publishing Houst, Grand Rapids,
Michigan, 1970. Print

Dimont, Max I. Jews, God, and History. (50th Anniversary Edition) ed. London: Penguin, 2004. (Kindle Locations 1615-1618). Kindle Edition

Epiphanius of Salamis, and Frank Williams. “The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis A Treatise Against Eighty Sects in Three Books.” 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 3 July 2015. <http://www.masseiana.org/panarion_bk1.htm>.

Eusebius of Caesarea. The Ecclesiastical History (Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 1691-1693). Aeterna Press,
2015. Kindle Edition.

Eusebius of Caesarea. The Ecclesiastical History (Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 1841-1843). Aeterna Press.
2015. Kindle Edition.

Goldberg, G. J. “Chronology of the War Derived Directly from the Works of Flavius Josephus.” According to Josephus: Part 7, The Fall of Jerusalem. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2015.
<http://www.josephus.org/FlJosephus2/warChronology7Fall.html>.

Israel Antiquities Authority. “Ancient ‘Escape Tunnel’ Discovered In Israel.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2007. Web. 3 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910085142.htm>.

Josephus, Flavius, and Robert Traill. The Jewish War of Flavius Josephus A New Translation. Ed. Isaac Taylor.
Vol. 2. London: Houlston and Stoneman Paternoster Row, 1851. 154. Print.

Josephus, Flavius. Josephus Flavius: Complete Works and Historical Background (Annotated and Illustrated)
(Annotated Classics) (Kindle Locations 7085-7087). Annotated Classics. 2013. Kindle Edition.

Josephus, Flavius. Josephus Flavius: Complete Works and Historical Background (Annotated and Illustrated)
(Annotated Classics) (Kindle Locations 7532-7539). Annotated Classics. 2015. Kindle Edition.

Josephus, Flavius. Josephus Flavius: Complete Works and Historical Background (Annotated and Illustrated)
(Annotated Classics) (Kindle Locations 7995-7997). Annotated Classics. Kindle Edition.

Josephus, Flavius. Josephus Flavius: Complete Works and Historical Background (Annotated and Illustrated)
(Annotated Classics) (Kindle Locations 7990-7992). Annotated Classics. Kindle Edition.

Ramsay, William Mitchell. The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953. Print.

Sand, Schlomo. “Israel Deliberately Forgets Its History.” – Le Monde Diplomatique. Le Monde
Diplomatique, 1 Sept. 2008. Web. 31 July 2015. <http://mondediplo.com/2008/09/07israel>.

Spiro, Ken. “History Crash Course #35: Destruction of the Temple.” Aish.com. N.p., 7 July 2001. Web. 29 June
2015. <http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48944036.html>.

Related posts