. Make a Donation

Index Page
About The Author
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Sunday, February 5 2012

A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba

The complete series of studies for A History Of Jerusalem:
1. In The Beginning
5. The Glory Of Solomon
9. Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids
13. The Herodian Dynasty
17. Constantine and Muhammad
2. Melchizedek's Salem
6. The Temple Of The LORD
10. Abomination Of Desolation
14. The Coming Of The Messiah
18. The British Mandate
3. Jebus Of Canaan
7. The Capital Of Judah
11. The Hasmonean Kingdom
15. Titus And The Zealots
19. Zionism
4. The City Of David
8. Ezra And Nehemiah
12. Pompey And The Caesars
16. Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba
20. War And Peace

King Solomon greatly expanded the city of Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Glory Of Solomon) and built the first Temple of the LORD (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Temple Of The LORD). The city and the Temple that Solomon built were reduced to rubble by the Babylonians in 586 BC (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah).

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

"36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 36:12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." (2 Chronicles 36:11-21 KJV) 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

36:23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia,

All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up. (2 Chronicles 3:11-23 KJV)

The people of Judah returned seventy years later, precisely as the LORD said that He would have them do. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple were rebuilt by the nation of Judah (the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi) under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah from about 516 BC (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah). It was in that "Second Temple" that the original "abomination of desolation" occurred during the Greek era (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation and A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids). With the rise of the Roman Empire four centuries later, Herod greatly expanded the city and the Temple (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty), to what it was when the Messiah came (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah). Exactly as prophesied by the Messiah, Jerusalem and the "Herodian" Temple were completely destroyed (see History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots) - reduced to rubble (the photograph shows some of the actual excavated stones that the Messiah spoke of).

"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.

24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:1-2 KJV)

The Jewish historian Josephus was an eyewitness of that prophesied destruction in 70 AD; an excerpt from his The Wars Of The Jews:

Fallen Stones

"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; 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 ; and because this hill was high , 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 , 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." (Book VI, Chapter V, Section 1)

Hadrian and Aelia Capitolina

Publius Aelius Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus, more popularly known as Hadrian, was the Roman Emperor from 117 to 138 AD. As shown on the map below, the Roman Empire by the second century had inflated to its greatest territorial extent, from the Middle East and north Africa, to southern Europe right up into Britain - where remnants of the Roman occupation, and of Hadrian himself, are still evident e.g. parts of "Hadrian's Wall," that was constructed as a northern border to "separate Romans from the barbarians," can still be seen today.

Hadrian After beginning as a "crush and intimidate" empire, the Romans later sought to inflict "Roman culture" (which consisted of little more than the worship of their military and war "gods") by building, or at least naming, places and things throughout the Roman Empire from their Latin imperial models.

The name "Britain" is based on its Latin designation, Britannia, the name given to the "Roman Province of Britannia." The city of London too originated from a Latin name, Londinium, which was given to the Roman colony that was established there after the invasion by the Roman Emperor Claudius in 43 AD.

The same principle was used throughout the Roman Empire, including in Judea and Jerusalem. Hadrian renamed the land of Israel and Judea as "Syria Palaestina" when the Romans merged Syria and the land of the Philistines (i.e. Gaza) into a single Roman province - in doing so, totally ignoring the very existence of Judea and its people (in the same way that "Palestine," a term for the Philistines, does to this very day).

The same was done to Jerusalem; Hadrian renamed it as Aelia Capitolina, or Colonia Aelia Capitolina - "Colonia," a Roman colony, "Aelia," after Hadrian's own name Aelius, and "Capitolina," from the Roman pagan god Jupiter Capitolinus.

The Roman Empire

The Bar Kokhba revolt

The Romans had totally destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, just as the Babylonians had done in 586 BC. Jerusalem lay in ruins for decades after 70 AD, exactly as it had done after 586 BC. The difference however was that the city and the Temple were rebuilt by Jews after the Babylonian destruction, whereas it was the Romans, under Hadrian, who did the rebuilding after the Roman destruction. The Bar Kokhba revolt began when the people of Judah confronted the reality that the city was being rebuilt as a Roman colony, with the Roman name Colonia Aelia Capitolina, and the greatest outrage of all, with a pagan Roman temple on the site of the Temple of the LORD.

Bar Kokhba Coin The Bar Kokhba revolt, that lasted from about 132 to 136 AD, was the third, and last, major Jewish uprising against the Romans. It was led by Simon bar Kokhba, who was proclaimed as a "Messiah" who would restore the Kingdom of Israel, or at least Judah (to this day, the people of Judah still define the Messiah as a mere human conquering king).

The rebellion was briefly successful in that it restored Jewish independence over a small area of Judea for a short time, however the insurgency was no match for the massive amount of manpower in nearly a dozen Roman Legions that responded to the challenge. The Romans thereafter limited, and then banned, Jewish access to the city, with the decree:

"It is forbidden for all circumcised persons to enter or stay within the territory of Aelia Capitolina. Any person contravening this prohibition will be put to death."

The Romans then attempted to remake the city into the image of a Roman town, even with attempts to construction the grid pattern of streets (surely a difficult task, considering Jerusalem's location on and over its many hills and valleys).

The Roman control of the city continued on for a few centuries, during which also the Roman version (perversion) of Christianity was born. So hence that Jerusalem went from a mere Roman military colony, an outpost/checkpoint in their conquered territories, to a Roman "Christian" city at the center of "their" religion. Their claim to Jerusalem in that way, and their building their idol-filled "churches" and "holy places" there, were the later basis of the so-called "crusades" against the Muslim world (the Islamic religion was created in about the sixth century AD) when the Muslims too claimed Jerusalem for "their" religion.

Fact Finder: How did the Roman "crusades" become a struggle between Roman Catholicism and Islam for control of Jerusalem? How were the "crusades" a portrayal of the end time "king of the north" and "king of the south"?
See Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy

Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Christian Living
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
The Spirit World

This Day In History, February 5

45 BC: Cato, Roman philosopher, committed suicide.

1428: King Alfonso V ordered Sicily's Jews to attend "Christian" (i.e. Church of Rome) sermons so that they would become "converted."

1555: The Diet (from the Latin word dieta meaning a day; the word diary has the same origin) of The Holy Roman Empire opened at Augsburg. Proclaimed by Charles V, it dealt with numerous religious matters. Among the decisions reached: that no member of the empire would go to war with another on religious grounds, and both Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism were to be allowed (see also The Holy Roman Empire).

1556: Henry II of France and Philip of Spain signed the truce of Vaucelles.

1631: Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, arrived from England in the English-created colony of Boston (prior to the coming of the English, the site of Boston was nothing more than swamp and wilderness).

1679: The Treaty of Nijmegen was signed by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and King Louis XIV of France.

1783: Sweden recognized the independence of the New England colonies.

1811: After King George III became incapacitated by age and illness, the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent of England, later to be George IV.

1841: The union of Upper and Lower Canada became effective. "Upper" and "Lower" Canada were terms based simply on the flow of the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean; "Upper Canada" was present-day southern Ontario, "Lower Canada" was southern Quebec.

1881: Thomas Carlyle, English author and historian, died at age 85.

1941: Andrew Barton Paterson, Australian poet, died. He is widely credited as the author of Waltzing Matilda.

1954: The most northerly group of islands in Canada was named the Queen Elizabeth Islands. William Baffin was credited with the 1616 discovery of the islands.

1973: Construction began on the CN Tower in Toronto.

1983: Klaus Barbie, wanted Nazi war criminal, was imprisoned in Lyons, France, after extradition from Bolivia.

1997: Switzerland's three largest banks, facing international pressure, announced that they had created a 100 million Swiss franc Holocaust memorial fund as a gesture of good will toward their critics.

1997: Fire swept through the library of Pulkovo Observatory, Russia's most famous astronomical institution. The fire and the water used to fight it destroyed or damaged nearly 5,000 rare old books. Arson was the suspected cause - the "Russian Mafia" was believed to be responsible because they wanted the observatory's extensive grounds, near St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), made available for hotel construction.


Copyright © Wayne Blank