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Revelation and Jerusalem's Destruction {in AD 70} - Ecumenical thread
Westside Church of Christ ^ | 2009 | Rusty Miller

Posted on 12/27/2011 5:04:12 AM PST by Cronos

Revelation and Jerusalem's Destruction

by Rusty Miller

We believe the book of Revelation to be a prophecy regarding the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. But when there is so much disagreement about this in the religious world, how do we prove such?

First, the book would have meant something to its readers. Note that in the letters to the churches (ch. 2-3), two of the churches (Smyrna and Philadelphia) are comforted regarding their persecution by the Jews, whom Jesus calls ""a synagogue of Satan"" (2:9; 3:9). These churches would have been comforted by the coming judgment on Jerusalem. When Jerusalem is destroyed, with it go all the records, genealogies and traditions of Judaism, and the churches would cease suffering at their hands.

In addition, perhaps the best evidence in favor of linking the book to Jerusalem's destruction is found in the descriptions of the book itself. When we couple the words of prophecy with the words of history, it is sometimes uncanny how similar they sound. Let us examine just a few key passages.

In Revelation 6, we find the opening of the first six seals. In the first, a rider on a white horse, symbolizing conquest, and in the second, a rider on a red horse, symbolizing war (bloodshed) ride out through the land. As often follows conquest and war, the third seal features ""a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine'"" (6:5-6). As the war against Jerusalem was waged, the Roman siege lines cut off all supplies to the city, and the infighting among various factions of the Jews caused much of the surplus food to be destroyed. Josephus even describes the horrid tale of a woman who roasted and ate her own child, concluding "". . . So those that were thus distressed by the famine were very desirous to die; and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not lived long enough either to hear or to see such miseries"" (Jewish Wars, Book 6, Ch. 3).

In Revelation 8, the seven trumpets begin to sound, and here, the descriptions get even more uncannily like the historical record. The first trumpet brings forth hail and fire (v. 7). The armies of the Roman general Vespasian, dispatched by Nero to quell the Jewish rebellion, were equipped with what Josephus calls engines (catapults) which are used to launch arrows, darts, stones and flaming arrows and darts. The result, in the battle for Galilee (the first line of Jewish defense), was ""That Galilee was all over filled with fire and blood"" (Ibid, Book 3, Ch. 4).

The second trumpet sounds, and the terror visits the sea vv. 8-9), and shortly after Vespasian's victory at Galilee, he came to destroy the pirate ships of Joppa. He forces them out to sea, where they are met by a violent storm, which Josephus describes: ""The greatest part of them were carried away by the waves, and dashed to pieces against the abrupt parts of the rocks, insomuch that the sea was bloody a long way, and the maritime parts were full of dead bodies; for the Romans came upon those that were carried to the shore, and destroyed them; and the number of the bodies that were thus thrown out of the sea was four thousand and two hundred"" (Ibid, Book 3, Ch. 9).

Perhaps the most convincing arguments for Jerusalem as the topic of Revelation are found in chapter 11. The chapter begins with John being told to measure the temple (v. 1) and this temple is in ""the holy city"" (v.2). These are clear references to Jerusalem, for that is where the temple was. This also helps in dating the book before the destruction of AD 70, for in that destruction, the temple was destroyed. Imagine John being told to measure something which his 1st century readers all understood was no longer in existence! Chapter 11 continues with the story of the two witnesses of God, and their deaths at the hand of the beast, after which John records, ""And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is mystically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified"" (v. 8). First, in both Deuteronomy (32:28-33) and in Isaiah (1:10), God refers to the Jewish people, and Jerusalem in particular, as Sodom, and Ezekiel 23 links Israel to her harlotries in Egypt. So, there is precedent for John's use of these names to describe what had once been the city of God. But if there is any doubt where this evil takes place, John clears it up with his reference to the city ""where also their Lord was crucified."" Jesus was not crucified in Rome, or in Berlin, or in Moscow, or in Washington, D.C. Our Lord was crucified in Jerusalem, and this is the city God has prepared for destruction in the book of Revelation.

Finally, when all the destruction is done, what happens? A new city appears, to take the place of the old harlot which had been destroyed by God's wrath. ""And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband"" (Rev. 21:2). When God is finished with the destruction of Jerusalem, He replaces her with a new city, which He also calls Jerusalem. This new Jerusalem is everything the first was not: pure, spotless, without unbelievers and the immoral. God destroyed the old Jerusalem to make way for the new one.

These are but a few of the references to the destruction of Jerusalem found in Revelation, but they are sufficient to cause us to understand that this is what John's book discusses. We urge you to examine other passages in the book, particularly in tandem with the historical record of Josephus. In such a way, you can obtain a better understanding of this challenging book.


TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: rapture; revelation
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Note -- many folks mistakenly mix up Revelation with Daniel with the writings of Paul. Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled in Antiochus IV and his desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem and the restoration of the Jewish Kingdom by the Maccabees, while Paul's is about the future.

Revelation is purely about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It is complete.

1 posted on 12/27/2011 5:04:15 AM PST by Cronos
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To: mdmathis6; GiovannaNicoletta; Gamecock; one Lord one faith one baptism; Boogieman

Ping to you — an interesting article.


2 posted on 12/27/2011 5:05:25 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Cronos
Revelation is purely about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It is complete.

Complete? Oops. How embarrassing, those Jooooz never go away. Now they have the gall to have the non-city of Jerusalem (destroyed and unoccupied, like Babylon) declared as their capital! Clearly, the Jooooz did not get the Praeterists' memo. No wonder supercessionists hate Israel. It messes up their "nice," "neat," packaged "theology."
3 posted on 12/27/2011 5:45:22 AM PST by Tzfat
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To: Cronos

This should be interesting.


4 posted on 12/27/2011 5:46:56 AM PST by Lee N. Field ("Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit...")
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To: Cronos

When was Revelation written?


5 posted on 12/27/2011 5:51:17 AM PST by Daveinyork
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To: Cronos
Daniel IS about Antiochus IV and the other events that would happen over the next 400 years (where no prophets appeared and God seemed to be silent).
Revelation, like other parts of the Bible is talking about two events, one being the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (the near future) and also about the judgement of the world (far future).

Much of the content of the Bible is not in linear time as we understand it - the Hebrew writers seemed to have a different concept of "flow of time", and God also, being outside the box of space and time, would not "view" time in a linear fashion (there is no past and future, as Jesus is the Lamb slain BEFORE the foundations of the earth were laid).

The Bible is written so that even the simplest of people can understand its message (redemption), but also deep and complex enough for life-long scholars to wrangle over meaning and content - we never have to worry about getting bored by studying the Word.

6 posted on 12/27/2011 5:56:08 AM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Tzfat; Daveinyork; Lee N. Field
What are you talking about, TZfat? This is a historical fact that Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 69-70

The FACT that the Jews of today have rebuilt Jerusalem (and YES, Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel, full stop) has nothing to do with the FACT that what Revelation said, namely the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 69-70 happened.

the book of Revelation was about that time, not any future time

7 posted on 12/27/2011 6:03:57 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Cronos

From what I’ve read, Revelation was written about 95AD while John was on Patmos.
Secondly, some prophecies referred to more than one event.


8 posted on 12/27/2011 6:11:31 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: Daveinyork; Lee N. Field; Psalm 73
There are two options:

  1. Iraeneus says that Revelation was written during the reign of Domitian, during the last part of the first century, about 95 or 96 A.D. -- all other sources using this date quote from Iraeneus (NOTE: I'm not saying he wasn't right, or that he was right, just that Iraeneus is the source of the 96 AD date) in Adversus haereses -- ‘that the Apocalypse was seen not long ago, but almost in our generation, toward the end of Domitian’s reign,’
  2. Epiphanius according to Moses Stuart in his Commentary on the Apocalypse, vol 1 says that John was banished and then returned under Claudius and john "who prophesied in the time of Claudius... the prophetic word according to the Apocalypse being disclosed". Epiphanius places John's kicking out ot Patmos in connection with the banishment of the Jews from Rom in AD 54

    Note that at the beginning of the Syriac version of Revelation the document states that it was written in Patmos, “whither John was sent by Nero Caesar.”

Now a lot of the problem about interpreting this is that we in the modern world don't realise that the names of the Roman Emperors, at least the ones we call them, may not be their real "names" and were not necessarily "titles" etc. --> for example, "Nero" was born "Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus", he was adopted by Claudius and became "Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus" and then took the TITLE "Augustus" when he was made Emperor

Note that Caesar was the name adopted by those from Caesar's "family" -- Augustus (who was born Octavian and took the TITLE Augustus) was Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son, hence he had the name Caesar. Tiberius, Augustus' adopted son was born "Tiberius Claudius Nero" and adopted as "Tiberius Julius Caesar"! Then you had Caligula whose name we know "Caligula" was actually a nick-name given to him as a kid when he wore little shoes (Caligulae!) with the troops in Germany when he accompanied his father Germanicus

anyway, the point is that Nero's name also contained "Domitius" -- while the guy we call Domitian (who was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96) was called "Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus "!

As a side note -- even the "Emperors" before 300 AD weren't called that - their official position was "princep" or first citizen. The "imperator" word meant field-marshall.

Anyway, so we've seen that the other Christian writers place this in the time of the guy we call "Nero" and if we examine Iraeneus closely he says that this was during Domitian's time, but he would know the names of emperors etc. a lot better than we English speakers 2000 years later knew -- so was this "Domitius Nero" he referred to? I think it's a lot more probable.

9 posted on 12/27/2011 6:24:34 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Scotsman will be Free

Refer to my post above — all those that say it was in 95-96 AD refer to their interpretation of Iraeneus. Added to the confusion is that the Roman Princep’s names were kind of similar to us English speakers!


10 posted on 12/27/2011 6:26:19 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Psalm 73

true enough, but I’m talking about the historical timeline and the historical facts. People are also mixing up different books and different prophecies.


11 posted on 12/27/2011 6:26:52 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Cronos; Tzfat
TZfat is pointing out the inconvenience of the Jewish return.

Since they have returned, (and therefore messed up your neat little Revelation is done) package...

your view agrees totally with the Palis...

Jews need to be out of Israel (which shouldn't exist anyway)...

and should all “disappear” to make sure they don't mess up any more of your replacement theology

12 posted on 12/27/2011 6:32:53 AM PST by Mrs.Z
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To: Cronos
As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Luke 19:41-44

13 posted on 12/27/2011 6:46:51 AM PST by Oratam
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To: Mrs.Z; Tzfat
Firstly -- there is NO relationship between the HISTORICAL FACT that Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 with the FACT that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state of Israel TODAY. Utterly seperate facts

Secondly, why do you say that the Jewish return to Israel is inconvenient? I disagree with your statement -- some Jews stayed on through the centuries, others moved to Yemen, Egypt, Europe etc and many returned starting in the 1800s. This is NOT "inconvenient" as you state -- they have and had a right to go to a desert and make it blossom.

Thirdly, your statement "and therefore messed up your neat little Revelation is done" is again wrong --> Revelation talks about the destruction of Jerusalem not about the Jews never coming back to it. So, despite you saying that the Jewish return is inconvenient, I utterly disagree with you. I am pro-Israel and they have a right to their land. Why would you say otherwise?

Mrs. Z: "Jews need to be out of Israel (which shouldn't exist anyway)..." -- SHAME ON YOU. What a horrible thing to say. Israel has every right to exist despite what you or others may post. the Jews have EVERY right to stay on in Israel with Jerusalem as their capital. How can you state such horrible anti-semitic and anti-Jewish statements?

14 posted on 12/27/2011 6:49:46 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Mrs.Z; Tzfat
Mrs. Z: "Jews need to be out of Israel (which shouldn't exist anyway)... and should all “disappear” -- SHAME ON YOU. What a horrible thing to say. Israel has every right to exist despite what you or others may post. the Jews have EVERY right to stay on in Israel with Jerusalem as their capital. How can you state such horrible anti-semitic and anti-Jewish statements?

But let's not make this about you and focus on this thread which talks of the historical fact that Revelation is about the past destruction of Jerusalem in AD 69-70

15 posted on 12/27/2011 7:03:01 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Cronos
"What a horrible thing to say. Israel has every right to exist despite what you or others may post. the Jews have EVERY right to stay on in Israel with Jerusalem as their capital."

Only as long as they have the power to keep it. If someone stronger comes along and takes the land then THEY have every right to stay on as long as they are powerful to keep it. On one has had any claim to that land other than by force of arms for over 3,500 years.

16 posted on 12/27/2011 7:27:54 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Cronos

I think that you’d better read Revelation again. How you can reconile the entire chapter with just the destruction of Jerusalem is a mystery to me. Just read the first paragraph of chapter 21, for instance.


17 posted on 12/27/2011 7:29:40 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: Daveinyork
Also, note that Apocalypse begins with "[1] The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John"
18 posted on 12/27/2011 7:31:01 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Scotsman will be Free
John is talking allegorically of how the Christian community is now the "new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." -- remember that this is Christ's bride, the church.

Ephesians 5:22-33 says

23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

This is clearly talking of how Christ's bride is readied after the destruction of Jerusalem as described in earlier chapters.

19 posted on 12/27/2011 7:35:44 AM PST by Cronos (Nuke Mecca and Medina now..)
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To: Cronos
Ah John says in Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit *on* the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a *Trumpet*..... John was not talking about a Sunday morning sunrise worship day, he was speaking about ‘that’ day a specific appointed time yet to dawn.

So John by his own words tells us that he was brought forward in Spirit to the Lord's day. Peter tells everybody how God measures time, that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years... and that dispensation of time has not yet begun. a n d

Daniel was told to Daniel 12:9 And he (not Daniel) said, ‘Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Not even Daniel understood fully what he was directed to write. Hmmmm interesting now that there are 7 *seals* listed in Revelation and we have yet to have them all completed. So Antiochus is long gone and the ‘end’ is not yet here.

What John wrote in Revelation is what was given him by the Spirit as to the condition of what had taken place, what would be taking place, and declares Who the VICTOR would at the end of the Lord's day. Regardless of traditions of men that make up their own interpretations.

20 posted on 12/27/2011 7:58:10 AM PST by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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