The destruction of the temple and the end of the world

Fri, 01/10/2010 - 15:21

The question of whether the early Christians were disappointed in their expectations regarding some calamitous end-of-the-world event crops up repeatedly both in academic and popular theologizing and continues to be a major factor in the modern discrediting of the New Testament. Sitting in Brussels airport the other day waiting for my friend Wes to arrive from Glasgow, I resumed my slow intermittent reading of Karen Armstrong’s book The Bible: The Biography (see also ‘A biography of the Bible and the loss of peace’) and arrived at this paragraph:

The Jesus movement was becoming controversial even before the disaster of 70. Christians, like all the other Jewish groups, were shocked to the core when they saw Herod’s magnificent shrine reduced to a pile of burnt, stinking masonry. They may have dreamed of replacing Herod’s temple but nobody had envisaged life without a temple at all. But the Christians also saw its destruction as an apokalypsis, a ‘revelation’ or ‘unveiling’ of a reality that had been there all along but had not been seen clearly before – namely that Judaism was finished. The temple ruins symbolized its tragic demise and were a sign that the end was approaching. God would now pull down the rest of the defunct world order and establish the kingdom. (64-65)

What she gets right – although she doesn’t provide any evidence for it – is that the early Christian movement would have seen the destruction of the temple as a sign that Judaism was finished. The significance of this world-shattering event in the theologically interpreted narrative of the New Testament is almost entirely overlooked by mainstream evangelicalism.

But there are a number of things, in my view, that Armstrong still gets wrong.

1. I doubt that the early Christians were so surprised by the war and its devastating outcome. I’m not sure what level of historical-critical confidence we may have in Jesus’ prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem, but widespread use of prophetic texts throughout the New Testament must have consistently raised the possibility in people’s minds that recalcitrant, rebellious Israel was on a broad path leading to national disaster.

2. Some Jewish apocalypticists may have imagined – though the relationship between apocalyptic language and reality is always difficult to assess – that God was about to press the big red button that would initiate cosmic disintegration and the introduction of a wholly new order of things. But by no means all – and I certainly do not think that this was the outlook of the New Testament, which I would argue shares the geopolitical realism of the Old Testament. Nowhere in the prophets is the wrath of God, whether against Israel or against the nations, presented as an end-of-the-world event.1

3. In the light of Jesus’ discourse on the mount of Olives, the apocalyptic or revelatory significance of the destruction of Jerusalem was not simply that second temple Judaism was finished but that the Son of Man – both as Jesus and as the community that identified itself with him – was vindicated for pursuing an alternative strategy of extreme faithfulness in the face of opposition. This is the template that Daniel 7-12 provides: the humiliation of disloyal Israel, the vindication of the faithful suffering saints – and, of course, the defeat of the pagan aggressor, which brings us to a final point.

4. Insofar as the destruction of the temple was thought to portend a subsequent ‘judgment’ that would in some way affect the ‘world’, I think the focus has to be on the challenge that this vindicated Jesus movement presented to the oikoumenē or ‘world’ or empire or culture of Greek-Roman paganism. This was the ‘defunct world order’ that the creator God, who had been the God of Israel, would eventually pull down and over which he would reign through the one who had been appointed Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.

It was a long and at times very distressing wait for this ‘triumph’, and inevitably adjustments and developments took place that moved the church some considerable distance beyond the language and outlook of Jesus’ apocalyptic discourse. In the face of opposition and persecution the faith of many grew cold, many would have become disillusioned, disappointed. But I do not think that the imminent eschatological expectations of either Jesus or the early church were fundamentally frustrated. On the basis of the faithfulness of Jesus – and not by way of Torah observance – the descendants of Abraham came to inherit the mighty empire that had for so long oppressed the people of God.

Comments

Andrew:

I think the prophets did preach an end of the world event.  Maybe there is a semantic difference in the term "end of the world," but the whole bit about beating swords into plowshares and the kingdom of God, where the lame will walk and the prisoners will be set free, etc., all that encompassed a "new world," albeit one still on the same planet.

Also I don't know what evidence you could cite to say that christians weren't surprised by the war against Rome. History records that the Jesus movement remained in Jerusalem and worshipped at the temple. James was a leader in both the Jesus group and the temple. That would not indicate to me that they thought the temple was in any way on the path to disaster.

Now, there are writings that indicate that after James was murdered a few years before the war that the Jesus movement left en masse and relocated in Pella. My guess is that as Jewish nationalist fervor increased before the war, minority strains of Judiasm found it more difficult to co-exist.

After the temple was destroyed, yeah there was a change in thinking among christians. We can see cleary the differences between the texts written before and after the temple was destroyed. Beforehand, Jesus and Paul preached the kingdom was so imminent that one shouldn't worry about the details of daily life. Afterwards, the discussions turned to organizational structure (what are the qualifications of a deacon?) and patience for the apocalypse (for god, one day is like a thousand).

This is a bit puzzling: "On the basis of the faithfulness of Jesus – and not by way of Torah observance – the descendants of Abraham came to inherit the mighty empire that had for so long oppressed the people of God."

How did the descendents of Abraham inherit a mighty empire? Do you mean the post-Constantine lifiting of chrisitianity as the official religion of the empire? Or just the fact that christianity became a larger religion? Either way, christians for many centuries persecuted and killed Abraham's descendants, so I don't think old Abe would have looked too kindly on that deal. Fact is God told him that his descendants would prosper if they followed the Torah. How were they to know the terms of the deal had changed?

For paulf...

I don't know if you will read this, but on your comment... "Now, there are writings that indicate that after James was murdered a few years before the war that the Jesus movement left en masse and relocated in Pella."...

I am interested in this. Any chance you could provide a reference for these writings?

Jesus's Olivet Discourse included a warning to Christians, to leave Jerusalem when the city was surrounded by armies. The Jewish war lasted about three years, and per Josephus, Cestius stopped the war for three days. Also, when Nero was killed, Vespasian stopped the war for about a year while Galba, Otho, and Vitellius were killing each other. Then Vaspasian became Emperor, and his son Titus took over the war effort, and promptly destroyed Jerusalem. So the delays allowed plenty of time for believing Christians to "run to the hills of Judea", and survive. While the non-believing Jews were destroyed (especially their leadership), when the Temple and city were destroyed. I would like to compare the dates and circumstances of the writings you talked about with Josephus. Thanks, gary

Gary:

I've read about it in several books, one that comes to mind offhand in which it was treated in some detail is James Tabor's "The Jesus Dynasty." I believe the Jesus movement left after James was killed in 62-63 CE and before the actual start of the war in 67 CE.

You should be careful when referring to Jews as "non-believing!" It was their fervent belief in the power of YHWH that led them to their suicidal war against Rome. They thought god would intervene on their side and were willing to die for it.

Of course if you were serious about the bible you would know that the warning in the Olivet discourse describes a day yet to occur. Or at least that's what I was taught in church. :)

paulf,

Thanks. Per your comment, "you would know that the warning in the Olivet discourse describes a day yet to occur", with all due respect, I do not think so. In "non-believing", I meant those that did not believe in Jesus, nor did they follow his advice. So they thought that the Jewish Messiah was going to come to their rescue, and destroy the Romans, even when the Romans were on the doorstep of the temple. Of course, the old, weak, and starving people in Jerusalem at the time would have preferred that the Romans captured the city (according to Josephus), but the zealots prevented a peaceful surrender. And of course the zealots were responsible for the destruction of the cities corn supply, which resulted in mass starvation (again according to Josephus). A gruesome description was of the Jewish woman who stewed her own child for food. I appreciate the info, I will check "The Jewish Dynasty". Gary

 

Concerning "The Jewish Dynasty", by James Tabor, one review stated, "His book challenges many of the beliefs that Christians hold dear, maintaining that Jesus is neither the son of God nor the son of Joseph but most likely the child of a Roman soldier named Pantera"....I do not think so! I wasted my time with enough bogus sources, so one major misque means I would not trust anything else he has to say. Thanks anyway. Gary

Gary, I wasted my time responding to you, please do not engage any of my comments again. Andrew runs a thoughtful forum, and it would be nice to keep it that way.

I will certainly comply. Enjoy, and my God Bless you.

Gary

Paulf,

Concerning, "Of course if you were serious about the bible you would know that the warning in the Olivet discourse describes a day yet to occur. Or at least that’s what I was taught in church."

I would guess the Gary is serious about the Bible, which is why the thought that it's still future to us today is nonsense.  It was future to when the Gospel was written and when Jesus stated it, yes, but not to us today.  Jesus himself, in the Olivet discourse no less, specially stated that all would be fulfilled within his generation (Matt 24:24, see also Matt 16:28).  What you were "taught" was in error.  I would suggest you take a read for yourself and a careful look into history (e.g. Josephus and others, and the NT epistles).  Every single event foretold by Jesus (and the OT prophets) were fulfilled within that generation (just as they said they would) with no exception.

"I think the prophets did preach an end of the world event.  Maybe there is a semantic difference in the term “end of the world"

The difference is what they considered to be the "world".  They didn't think of the world in a physical global sense like we do today.  You need to read the prophets through a Hebraic mindset, which is vastly different than ours today.  Also, the phrase "end of the world" is nowhere in the Scriptures.  Neither is "end of time".  The phrase "time of the end" is, but that has a completely different meaning.  The "end" foretold was about the end of the Old Covenant "world" (system) of law and death which started with Adam (to which more law was added (Gal 3:19) via Moses).  A new covenant (world) was to be ushered in by the Messiah, one where "righteousness" would dwell (2 Peter 3:13) instead of "the sin" and "the death", which was again brought in by the first Adam.  Summary, a better term would be a "Covenantal World".

"After the temple was destroyed, yeah there was a change in thinking among christians. We can see cleary the differences between the texts written before and after the temple was destroyed. Beforehand, Jesus and Paul preached the kingdom was so imminent that one shouldn’t worry about the details of daily life. Afterwards, the discussions turned to organizational structure (what are the qualifications of a deacon?) and patience for the apocalypse (for god, one day is like a thousand)."

I see no difference between the texts because all the texts were written before AD 70. Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, James, etc. all wrote/preached of the imminent return.  The patience some epistles mention is in regard to their being persecuted by the Judaizers, which in and of itself testifies to when they were written.  Post AD 70, there were no more Judaizers to attack the Church, thus no need for the Christians to be patience any longer.  God made it abundantly clear as to whether or not it was by "faith" or by observance to "the law" that one entered into this new Covenant promised to Israel.  An Israel (the one new man), made from two men (Eph 2:15) (the "body" of Adam, and the Gentile "man", two corporate entities united thought the "body" of Christ).

Rich, you omitted the smiley-face after my quip about being serious. It was a joke about my fundamentalist upbringing, although neither you nor Gary seem to have any sense of humor. Gray is an ernest young man who refuses to read something because he disagrees with the conclusion. I have no interest in a discussion with such a person.

It reminds me of many decades ago when I attended a Christian college and there was a bible teacher with a "liberal" reputation, and dopey freshman lined up to meet with this gentleman and scholar so they could correct his views. I had fairly standard beliefs at the time, but I had the wisdom to know that it would be incredibly arrogant to presume that I knew more than someone much more learned than me.

Anyway, on the world question, my point was that the teminology is not important. Call it what you will, I think we basically agree on that point.

Not however, on your next point. If you think that the NT was entirely written before 70 CE, then I think you are not only in opposition to 99% of bible scholars, but even the mast majority of conservative scholars. There is way too much evidence to the contrary.

God made abundantly clear that "the law" was no longer operative, did he? Maybe from your point of view, but if you were an Israelite 2,000 years ago you might think differently. Jesus followed the law, he is quoted as saying people should follow the law and that every point of the law would be fulfilled. He preached kingdom of god, he never went to a crowd and said "have faith that my death will save you from your sins and you will go to heaven."

So years later a random guy named Paul who has never even met Jesus, and has fights with the disciples of Jesus, this Paul has a "vision" and comes up with a new idea about "faith" replacing the law, and an entire nation is expected to logically change 1,500 years of beliefs? Based on what, some letters written to his followers that probably were not accessible to Jews for a half-century after the death of Jesus? That's not what I would call abundantly clear.

Paulf,

Sorry, I missed the humor in your post.  I don't know that much (nothing actually) about you so I don't have your past as a reference to base things you say against.

"Not however, on your next point. If you think that the NT was entirely written before 70 CE, then I think you are not only in opposition to 99% of bible scholars, but even the mast majority of conservative scholars. There is way too much evidence to the contrary."

Ah, but that is changing more and more every day with the works of people like Ken Gentry (Before Jerusalem Fell) and A.T. Robinson (Redating the New Testament).  Both of these works demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that the Revelation was written pre AD70.

You say there is way too much evidence to the contray.  Here you are wrong.  When you actually go investigate the "evidence" it is lacking big time.  The evidence for the Revelation being written post AD70 is pretty much a single statement made by Eusibeus.  And that single statement is so unclear it isn't funny; not to mention Eusebius was wrong on a number of historical facts.  After that all one has is other scholars resting on each other while they all rest on the one single statement made by Eusebius.  Am I the only one who sees a problem here?  Then, once the Revelation is dealt with, all the others fall in place as well.  I would highly recommend those two books to you.  They are quite the eye openers.

"God made abundantly clear that “the law” was no longer operative, did he? Maybe from your point of view"

Yup.  If you don't call what took place in AD 70 an "abundantly" clear message, then I don't know what else to say.  Seems to me God couldn't have been any clearer (outside the fact that all the prophets testified to that very event).

"if you were an Israelite 2,000 years ago you might think differently"

This is true.  That is why God raised up people like Paul, as well as Jesus spending 3 years teaching his disciples about the Kingdom of God.  Have you never read Romans?  Paul uses the OT Scriptures to clearly show the truth of faith verse law.  Abraham didn't have "the Law" yet he was credited with "righteousness" before circumcision.  One of Paul's many points.

There were some Jews who did believe the "message" and were saved.  They were the "remnant" that was foretold by the Prophets.  See Romans 9:27 and Romans 11:5

The problem wasn't God it was Israel who didn't believe their own Scriptures.  They would listen to the Apostles just as they would neve listen to the prophets.  But, God was faithfull to Israel regardless. Romans 11:1-6

"Jesus followed the law, he is quoted as saying people should follow the law and that every point of the law would be fulfilled".

Of course he did (so did Peter, Paul  etc. post cross and resurrection).  He was a Jew born under the law.  He had to be in order to save Israel.  He was Israel's Messiah, their second Adam. The Gentiles shared in their "spiritual things" (Romans 15:27).  If God did not save/resurrect Israel, then the Gentile has no vine to be engrafted into.  All the promises made through the prophets were made to Israel.  The Gentile was outside their promises and their covenant (Eph. 2:12).  Much more could be said on that.

Concerning your point on the law being fulfilled, it was!  All was fulfilled in AD70 when the last enemy ("the death") was defeated.  That is why those 40 years (AD 30 -70) were termed the "last days".  God was wrapping all things up in Christ.  That was the time all the prophets pointed to.  During the "last days" the old (Covenant) was on its way out (Heb. 8:13), and the new was on its way in.  In AD 70 it was all completed.  The old was gone, and the new was consummated.  A new heavens and a new earth was created.  Praise God!

It is really sad that people think the way god sends "a message" about the law is to slaughter the people who were trying their best to follow it. Not only to kill them, but with such cruelty and prolonged violence that they suffered immensely for three years as the Romans waited them out.

That barbaric idea was used early in antiquity to justify persecution of the Jews. It is just another barbaric belief -- like woman are property to be bartered or kept as war spoils or that homosexuals should be stoned -- that should be deemed abhorrent today, but for some reason has lived on.

Once again, Jesus did not tell the Jews that he was going to die to save their sins and that they had to believe in the atoning power of his death. In fact, he said those who fed the hungry and helped the oppressed would be invited to his kingdom.

As for Paul, God told Abraham that his seed would be blessed. Jews logically took that to mean his heirs. Paul said, no, what god meant was his one heir, which made nonsense out of the promise.

You do a good job summarizing what you've been taught in Sunday School. Talk to me again sometime when you can demonstrate some level of critical thought.

uh?

After that response you had the nerve to say "Gray is an ernest young man who refuses to read something because he disagrees with the conclusion. I have no interest in a discussion with such a person."

In fact I do not think you are correct when you stated, "Andrew runs a thoughtful forum, and it would be nice to keep it that way."  After your response to me (and to Gary's eariler) if that were true, you would be gone.  You seem to have a serious attitude problem.

"You do a good job summarizing what you’ve been taught in Sunday School."

I can guarantee you I was not taught anything I believe in Sunday School.  I am a Full Preterist!  One who knows every single prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled.  The Resurrection, the Judgement, the "second coming" all of it.  Did you learn that in Sunday School?  I doubt it.  In fact, with the things you've stated here, I doubt you ever learned anything.

Do me a favor, "please do not engage any of my comments again".

-Rich

Oh, I didn't know you were a Full Preterist. I would have guessed the glass was half full.

Full Preterists of course are so much more right than Armenian Calvinst Neo-dispensationalists.

Before I let this die I have one serious point. Believing that god practices collective punishment dehumanizes the target, in this case the ;ews.

I imagine the horrible suffering of those who slowly starved to death or were crucified by the thousands when tried to escape. If that was god's plan, he is not very nice.

Another thing that kills me is the genocide at Jericho. It is a cute story we teach kids. Yeah for god the people of Jericho were ad. They deserved what they got. !

But I wonder: how did they kill the toddlers? The grandmothers? Sword through the belly? Smash their heads? Good god.

Gary, concerning, "I am interested in this. Any chance you could provide a reference for these writings?

Ask and you shall receive!

The historic verification is usually traced to early Christian writers Eusebius and Epiphanius who reported that the Jerusalem Christians fled to the Decapolis city of Pella just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. Eusebius (AD 260-340), the famed Church historian, writes:

"But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come thither from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men...the general course of the whole war, as well as its particular occurrences in detail, and how at last the abomination of desolation, proclaimed by the prophets, stood in the very temple of God so celebrated of old, the temple which was now awaiting its total and final destruction by fire...[is] accurately described in the history written by Josephus". (Eusebius: Ecc.History III:5)

Epiphanius writes:

"For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella, the town already indicated, across the Jordan. It is said to belong to Decapolis"

http://christeternalchristianchurch.com/positionpaper8.htm

For additional insight, follow the link and read the article.  In the article the writer attributes a statement made by Josephus, but I am not too sure it relates to the Christians.

One thing is clear though.  Jesus returned in that "generation" just as he said he would (Matt. 24:34).  That is why all the Apostles taught and believed in a soon/imminent returned.  All the eschatological expectations were fulfilled as God promised in the Prophets.  All is complete!

Rich, Thank you very much. I was not aware of  "Eusebius and Epiphanius who reported that the Jerusalem Christians fled to the Decapolis city of Pella". I have read Josephus, "The Wars of the Jews", and it fits as stated. In fact, the translator, William Wiston, his notes state regarding the delay by Cestius, " if Josephus had been now a Christian, he might have probably taken notice of also; and that is, the affording the Jewish Christians in the city an opportunity of calling to mind the prediction and caution given them by Christ about thrity-three years and a half before, that "when they should see the abomination of desolation" {the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns, ready to lay Jerusalem desolate.} "stand where it ought not," or, "in the holy place" or, "when they should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies," they should then "flee to the mountains". By complying with which those Jewish Christians fled to the mountains of Perea, and escaped the destruction." Pella and Perea must be similar places, maybe. But at least I have another source of info from your web site reference to check out. Nero replaced Cestiius, because of his screw up, with Vespasian, who took Galilee. Vespasian then rested his troops in Cesarea after Nero died, and before he was made emperor by his men (although he sent Titus and Agrippa to Rome during that time to see what was going on (according to Josephus). So there was planty of time for the Christians to escape. Interesting stuff. Gary.  PS - the Roman ensigns had eagles on them, an abomination to the Jews, especially when they brought them into the temple area.

I have to do some more checking. Perea is east of the Jordan River (so probably hilly)...Pella is in northern Greece.

Gary,

yes, I have read "Wars of the Jews" a couple of times and studied large sections of it as well.

Concerning the time "when they should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies" and the Christians departing to Pella,  I would say it was after the Idumeans came, surrounded the City, entered, and then departed, not Rome.  If you remember, once Titus showed up to surround Jerusalem, nobody was able to leave the city, well, not without being captured and crucified.  It was too late once the Roman armies showed up.

Also, about "{the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns, ready to lay Jerusalem desolate.} “stand where it ought not,” or, “in the holy place”.

I would look more to the Zealots capturing the temple and entering the "holy of holies" as the fulfillment of this prophecy by Christ, not the Roman armies.  The Zealots had long defiled the Temple many times over before Rome ever showed up.

Thanks for the info. Josephus was a struggle to get through, but VERY interesting stuff. I also found it VERY interesting that Josephus referred to Titus as "king", and "Caesar" (5.2.2). Just my opinion, but like Rev 17:10-11....I think John wrote it with a frame of referance of Israel, not Rome....it was based on a dream, and John was not a Roman history scholar. From an Israelite sitting in Jerusalem (or Patmos), he would view the in-fighting in Rome amongst Otho, Galba, and Vittelius as something having to do with Rome, not Israel. So the 7 kings would be Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius (the restrainer), Nero (the 6th king - when Rev was written "now"), and Vespasian would be the 7th king....who must remain only a little while (that is, a little while in Israel, as leader of the Roman army attacking Israel - he was in Israel only a little over 1 year). This based upon a Jewish ex-general, Josephus, considering the Roman General in Israel equivalent to "king". The 8th, who belonged to the seven, was Titus (Vespasian's son), who actually went to perdition because he was the actual person to destroy Jerusalem and the temple. Then almost for completeness, there are 10 horns...and there just happens to be 10 people, from Julius to Vespasian, if you now include Otho, Galba, and Vitellius. Obviously this is my conjecture.....but I happen to like it better than the premillennial dispensationalists talking about Jesus coming back to a rebuilt temple in 2010+, overseeing animal sacrifices again. That approach I have always found very distasteful. Regardless - very interesting stuff. Gary

Gary,

"I think John wrote it with a frame of referance of Israel, not Rome"

That cannot be stated loud enough!

"better than the premillennial dispensationalists talking about Jesus coming back to a rebuilt temple in 2010+, overseeing animal sacrifices again"

Amen a thousand time over!

What is intesesting is they think they are going to rebuild the Ark of the Covenant too.  Guess they have never read Jeremiah 3:16 :)

I think you and I could sit down together and have some really great conversations over a beer or two.  I think we would agree on much.

-Rich

oh, the trick for me concerning Josephus was to get the audio book.  Then listen to it at two times speed (those guys always talk slow).

I have a 40 minute drive to work (another 40 back) everyday, so getting through it multiple times was rather pleasant.  That story reads like a great epic battle movie.  Too bad somebody does make a 3 movie series (like Lord of the Rings).  It would be awesome!

-Rich

Or Jeremiah 7:22 (difference between KJV or RSV, versus NIV). I think a few beers and theology go together quite well! Like John 2:10.

Rich and Gary I have nvolve myelf in deep study of Josephus Antiquites and Wars.  I would count it an honor and a pleasure to have some fellow Christians carry a good talk on my blog. It holds similar views and I give an account of how I came to understand a past tense Second Coming in the year 70.

.  Synagogueandchurchblogspot.com

Hi Hi Hi Gentleman,

After tiring of my own 'scraps' of reading and other peoples' confused recollections, I set myself the challenge of digesting Josephus' Wars in its entirety.  It took six months of patient commitment to fact. I reread and annotated each page. I made cross-references between pages and to scripture. It was horrible.  The correspondence with Revelation is beyond coincidence. Revelation is without reasonable doubt Jesus' detailed prediction of Jerusalem's horror. (Matt 23) Josephus is the actual historical record of the horror that came to pass in the lives of that generation - fact for fact.

Before AD 70  Judaism was an: earthly, fleshly, exclusive, local, partial, temporal, and incomplete system without its Messiah.  Jesus’ Messianic credential  is simply what came to pass in His own generation:  the dismantling of the 1000 year-old covenantal temple, and end the Jewish age (aioonos) in that generation.  Mtt 24:1-3, 34; 26:64. This fulfillment demonstrated to all ages a: heavenly, spiritual, universal, complete, eternal, and truly open system of  blessing for all nations was revealed at the marriage feast to New Jerusalem, at the demise of the old. Rev 18:24- 22.

 To a previous correspondent fpaul, I submit the irony of Jesus being invited to every modern Jewish wedding during the  'mazel tov!'  toast at the 'Chuppa'. This irony is explained by Moshe Howard. (in the Jewish Magazine Feb 2009. accessed 30 Sept 2010)

"The Talmud cites two sources for the tradition of breaking a glass at a wedding. However, we should note that in the beginning it was not broken by the groom, but by the father of the groom. Later in time, it developed to become that the glass that the blessings were made over was smashed on a nearby wall, some communities even had a special stone [rock] in the shape of a lion [emphasis added] upon which to smash that glass.

"Some give the reason for the incorporating the smashing of the glass into the wedding ceremony as a remembrance of the Temple, basing it on a verse in Palm 137, "If I forget you Jerusalem...if I do not bring Jerusalem to mind at the height of my joy…"  (End of quote)

YHWH (Jer 31:31ff) is both the father and bridegroom. He points to a new covenant. (ibid)  Jesus is both Father  and bridegroom. He points to a new covenant. (Jn 14:9; Jn 3:29; Mt 26:28) He is also Lion of Judah and the Rock. (Rev 5:5; Rom 9:33) The glass broke against the Rock in the shape of a lion. In Talmudic tradition the father-groom was replaced by the Son-groom. YHWH gave authority to His son in that generation. (Mtt 28:18). David foretold of the rejection of the rock-Messiah in Ps 118:22. The Son of David foretold His own rejection as the rock-Messiah in Mtt21:42. The harlot-bride Jerusalem then crucified her own prophet and Messiah as she killed every other prophet sent to her under the old covenant. (Mtt 23:34ff; Lk 13:33ff; Rev 18:24-19:2).

The marriage contract was with Israel in the Jerusalem temple. (The conditions may be observed in 1 Kgs 8:1-9:5, the dedication of the temple.) The condition of unfaithfulness and divorce contract also applied to the Jerusalem temple. (These may be observed in 1 Kgs 9:6-9) Now to apply these observations -

The bride who rejected the Son was trampled underfoot in 1260 days, 42 months, three and half years, time, times and half a time...level to the ground. (Lk 21:24; Rev 11:1-2: Wars 7:1:1) To that generation His resurrection was as a sign of Jonah. (Mt 13:39) To that generation He gave His Messianic sign as a 'coming in clouds' - always a biblical term for divine judgment in scripture - a divine judgment foretold by both Solomon and Jesus, a wiser than Solomon. (1 Kgs 9:6-9; Lk 21:24-32: Wars 7:8:375ff) Before that generation the Messiah swore this would come to pass in that generation on oath before God before the high priest of the nation. (Mt 26:64) And it came to pass. (Josephus 7:5:2).

The reasoning is thus:

  1. The national covenant was in the Jerusalem temple in AD 70. 1 Kgs 8-9
  2. Jesus foretold His coming, the end of the temple and end of age in AD 30 Mt 24:1-3

Therefore Jesus signaled His coming as the end of the temple and end of the Mosaic age forty years before it was trampled underfoot as a glass.  This fulfillment is the sign of His claim to Messiahship.

'Biblical' Israel at its height ceased to exist as a national entity in that generation  The basis of its language, culture, cosmology, religion, means of redemption, and 2000 year mandate to divine mandate to preference, privilege, and exclusivity died in 1260 days. This made biblical and divine practice of the Mosaic religion impossible.  All this was foretold by a Nazarite carpenter who lives forevermore, and whose claim to Messiahship is recalled in the marriage tradition of smashing a glass underfoot - the end of its time, end of it temple, and the end of biblical priority, AD 70.                                                              Morry.

We've had the destruction of the temple. And judgement on Rome. Or have we? Watch out for this event which is predicted for today (11 My 2011)!

At random...

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