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Vespasian was the Roman emperor from 69 to 79 AD (see also New Testament Roman Emperors). Before becoming emperor (for the origin and meaning of "emperor," see Emperor), he was a successful battlefield commander of a legion (a legion varied in strength from about 3,000 to 6,000 troops, or more, along with cavalry, roughly equivalent to a modern-day army brigade, or division, in some countries). Vespasian's place in Bible History began however in 66 AD when he was promoted to overall commander of 3 legions (i.e. a corp commander) and given the task of putting down the revolt of the Jews in Roman-occupied Israel. The fact that he needed 3 legions attests to how lethal, and effective, the Jewish insurgency had become in that little country. That, along with the fact that 3 years later, when he became emperor, victory still eluded him. The Romans had the massive equipment and the superior troop strength, while the Jews had the heart because they were fighting for freedom, to free their nation, their homes and their families, from an imperialistic invader who arrogantly claimed the right to rule over them. The difference in ferocity may have been due to that, like most invaders throughout history, most of the Roman troops merely wanted to survive their ordered tour of duty in a foreign land and go home, while the Jewish defenders were home - their only choices were liberty or death.

Roman Soldiers The "final solution" (a term also used by Adolf Hitler centuries later) was passed on to his son Titus (who also later became emperor, reigning from 79-81 AD) who succeeded his father Vespasian as supreme commander of the Roman forces in Israel. Titus overcame the "home town advantage" and achieved victory in 70 AD simply by slaughtering the population as a whole. After a 143-day siege of Jerusalem, which began at Passover when the city was crowded with non-combatant civilians from all over the country, the Roman onslaught went in. They destroyed practically everyone and everything, including Herod's Temple, exactly as spoken by Jesus Christ 40 years earlier (see below). The regular population and the great number of Passover visitors who had been trapped there were mercilessly slaughtered, with an estimated 600,000 people killed. The murderous blood bath (although the Roman military conduct had been reduced to nothing more than abject savagery, there were of course no war crimes trials afterward because, usually, only those who lose wars are brought to man's justice; The Lord's Judgment awaits them, and all others like them, before and ever since, however) continued throughout the countryside until no resistance, real or imagined, was left. That round of Jewish resistance effectively ended with the fall of Masada. The Romans, who had also crucified the Christ about 40 years earlier, had "liberated" another country from its own people (see also Ancient Empires - Rome).

What About The Jews Who Were Christians?

In one of His most famous prophecies, found in Matthew 24:1-44 and Luke 21:5-36, Jesus Christ warned the apostles, and through them, the early church at Jerusalem, of the coming fall of the city, and what they could do to save themselves:

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains [see Who Should Flee Into The Mountains?]; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:20-24 KJV)

This prophecy was dual. It was partially fulfilled in 70 AD, but it also clearly has an end-time application as well - it's going to happen again, just prior to The Return Of Jesus Christ, as the above verses continue:

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25-27 KJV)

The Christians in Jerusalem in 70 AD learned their lessons well. When they saw the Roman onslaught coming, they heeded Jesus' warning:

"Under the reign of Vespasian, Rome declared war against the Jews because of their repeated revolts, and General Titus besieged the city of Jerusalem 70 A.D. It is said that eleven hundred thousand [i.e. one million, one hundred thousand] Jews perished in the six month siege, but the church there escaped the horrors of the siege by following the instruction of Christ in Matthew 24, and fleeing to the mountains beyond the Jordan. This timely retreat was made to the small town of Pella." (Hugh Smith's History)

"In the fall of Jerusalem, few if any Christians perished. From the prophetic utterances of Christ, the Christians received warning, escaped from the doomed city, and found refuge at Pella, in the Jordan valley." (Hurlbut's Story of the Christian Church)

Fact Finder: Where will God's end-time "two witnesses" be martyred? Why there?
See Sodom and Egypt; see also World War 3 In Prophecy

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