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Wednesday, November 22 2017

The Roman Emperors: Vespasian

"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; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out"
"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"

Vespasian was the ninth Roman Emperor after Julius Caesar. He reigned at the time that the Messiah's fall of Jerusalem prophesy was first fulfilled (i.e. it was a dual prophecy that has yet an end-time fulfillment to come). Over a million people of Judea were killed, but very few Christians died because they heeded His warning to flee before it was too late.

Vespasian

The Messiah's warning, nearly 40 years before the event happened.

"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)

"21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to 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." (Luke 21:20-21 KJV)

The fall of Jerusalem during the reign of Vespasian (Vespasian began the siege, but when he was made Emperor, the task was completed by another general, Vespasian's son Titus, who also later became Emperor, reigning from 79-81 AD) is one of the most documented events of history. Honest historians also included how Christians survived the onslaught by heeding the Messiah's 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)

The Romans seemed to target the Temple because it became the center of the reason that the people of Judah were rebelling against their foreign masters. The destruction and looting of the Temple was commemorated by the Romans on the Arch of Titus that is still in plain public view today.

The Arch of Titus

Another historian who was also an eyewitness of the events was Josephus. Translated excerpts, as recorded in his The Wars Of The Jews:

"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 , a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a-fighting one with another about it , 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." (Book VI, Chapter III, Section 3)

Further, the fire and destruction, as recorded by the eyewitness, Josephus:

"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)

Fact Finder: What happened to the menorah ("lampstand") that was looted from the Temple by the forces of Vespasian?
See Who Vandalized The Menorah?


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This Day In History, November 22

498: Upon the death of Pope Anastasius II, Symmachus was elected Pope in the Lateran Palace, while Laurentius was elected Pope in Santa Maria Maggiore (see The Struggle For The Papacy).

845: Nominoe, the first King of all Brittany (a region of northwestern France), defeated the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon, near Redon.

1220: Frederick II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Honorius III at St. Peter's in Rome (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes). Frederick pledged to defend the Catholic Church and launch the next "Crusade" for the Church of Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1497: Vasco Da Gama of Portugal became the first navigator to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in his search for a sea route to India.

1718: Edward Teach, the English pirate known as "Blackbeard," was killed off the east coast of North America.

1757: Austrian forces defeated the Prussians at Breslau during the Seven Years War.

Kolin

1830: The Belgian Congress voted to establish the country into a monarchy.

1837: Scottish-born Canadian journalist and politician (he was the first Mayor of the city that is known today as Toronto) William Lyon Mackenzie called for a revolution against the United Kingdom in his essay "To the People of Upper Canada." Mackenzie fled to the U.S. after the people of Canada rejected his rebellion.

1860: Prior to the U.S. Civil War, a secessionist meeting was held in Abbeville, South Carolina, causing some to refer to the city as "The Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy" (Jefferson Davis held one of his last cabinet meetings there on May 2 1865).

1869: In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched. It was one of the last clippers ever built, and the only one still surviving today.

1878: In Afghanistan, the British under Sir Samuel Browne bombed and captured the Ali Masjid fortress, thus beginning the Second Afghan War.

Ali Masjid

1906: The International Radio Telecommunications Commission adopted "SOS" as a new distress call.

1942: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Soviet Army completed the encirclement of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

Invasion of Russia

1943: Lebanon became independent after 23 years of French rule.

1963: U.S. President John Kennedy was assassinated at age 46. The shots were allegedly fired in Dallas from the Texas School Book Depository by a former U.S. Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, who himself was shot and killed 2 days later while denying the charge and claiming "I'm just a patsy."

John F. Kennedy

1967: United Nations Resolution 242 was passed by the Security Council. It intended to provide Israel with secure frontiers, while at the same time requiring it to return "conquered" territories, and stated a need for a just solution for the Palestinian refugees (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Balfour Declaration).

1975: Juan Carlos was sworn in as king of Spain, the first Spanish monarch since Alfonso XIII went into exile in 1931. General Francisco Franco, who had ruled Spain since 1939, died 2 days earlier.

1990: Margaret Thatcher announced her resignation as British Prime Minister after 11 years in office.

1991: The UN Security Council chose Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Boutros Boutros Ghali to be UN Secretary General, succeeding Javier Perez de Cuellar.

2005: Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank