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Sunday, February 5 2012
A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba
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).
"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.
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.
The Jewish historian Josephus was an eyewitness of that prophesied destruction in 70 AD; an excerpt from his The Wars Of The Jews:
"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.
Hadrian and Aelia Capitolina
Publius Aelius Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus, more popularly known as Hadrian, was the Roman Emperor from 76 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.
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 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.
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"?
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.