Lessons from the Destruction of Israel’s Temples.
Since today is July 26, 2023, that means that tonight and during the day tomorrow is the ninth of Av on the Hebrew calendar (the dates on the Hebrew calendar begin in the evening, at sundown, and continue through the next day).
The ninth of Av is commonly recognized by religious Jews as the saddest day of the year. They often fast on this day and observe other rituals related to mourning such as not washing and not bathing. This is the day on the Hebrew calendar in which both Israel’s First and Second Temples were destroyed (by the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Romans in AD 70). This is also commonly regarded as the date where the Romans crushed the false messiah Simon Bar Kohkba’s revolt in AD 135 and destroyed the city of Betar. Betar had basically been the last major stronghold of resistance for the Jews in their war against the Romans. The Romans afterwards plowed the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Many other calamities have come upon the Jews on, or very near, this date throughout history.
Is this a coincidence? Or is it God doing exactly what the Bible says He’d do to the Jews if they were not obedient to His Law?
Isaiah 42:21-25: “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable. But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.”
God had warned right in the Law of Moses things like the following from Deuteronomy 28:45-62 (God is speaking to Israel as a nation): “Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favor to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates (Jeremiah actually recorded this happening during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in Lamentations 4:10; and the Jewish historian Josephus records this happening in the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in the first century AD). If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God; Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.”
Hearkening to God’s Law requires hearkening to the One who gave the Law when He would appear in the flesh. Earlier in Deuteronomy, in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, we read: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb (Sinai) in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Later in the Hebrew Scriptures we read in Micah 5:2: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
The types and shadows in the Jewish Scriptures regarding redemption from sin point to the need of a blood atonement from a perfect, divine sin-bearer. And yet despite this, and despite the overall mountain of evidence that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah, Jews continue to reject Him- all while acting puzzled about why God’s wrath on their people didn’t end with the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians and the subsequent Babylonian captivity. The Jews would have said afterwards that they were amended and walking straight, that the bitterness of death is past.
And then, in the first century, a man who is obviously a prophet appears preaching the baptism of repentance in the wilderness (John the Baptist). It is hard for the Jews to deny that this man is sent by God, yet he says that he is not the Christ but is rather the one foretold in the Scriptures to prepare the way before Him. And then the One whom John bears witness to as the Son of God is likewise preaching repentance, warning of the eternal fire of hell for those who continue in sin, rebuking the sins which are prevalent in Israel, and doing undeniable miracles in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And yet the nation of Israel’s religious leaders still condemn Him and deliver Him to the Romans to be crucified. And in spite of that, afterwards His disciples claim He is risen from the dead, His body cannot be found despite the fact that a Roman watch had been dispatched to guard His body, His disciples do further miracles in His name, and He is (after about a dozen years) being preached as the Messiah to gentiles who are believing in Him and bearing righteous fruit which puts the Jewish nation as a whole to shame.
And this is all before Constantine and the Catholic Church, and this is before AD 70, when the Second Temple was destroyed, even came. This is while many who saw Jesus in person yet lived. Within the very lifetime of many of these, Jesus had followers in distant lands- even in cities like Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi etc. And yet for all that, the Jewish nation still rejects Him. The Romans came with a great force against Jerusalem, just like Jesus said would happen in the Gospels. They briefly pull back after the initial compassing of the city, the Christians who had been inside the city flee because that is what Jesus said to do, the Romans come back, and eventually the siege prevails, they take the city, and destroy much of it including the Temple- after 40 years of Israel rejecting its Messiah. So, the Jews as a people surely at least learned their lesson at this point, right? No. And this is all the more incredible since their own Scriptures said that the Messiah would come to the Second Temple, the very Temple which the Romans had just obliterated to the point where one stone was not left upon another (just like Jesus had warned- the Romans tore apart the Temple stones to extract the gold in the Temple which had melted into the stones as the Temple was burning).
Malachi 3:-1-3 (when the Second Temple was standing) says: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he (this is referring to John the Baptist) shall prepare the way before me (proving from the Jewish Scriptures that the Messiah would be God incarnate): and the Lord, whom ye seek (and Israel then, like many today, sought God in a vain, superficial way- mainly for their own prosperity), shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
Yet Israel rejected the Messiah’s rebuke, they refused His purifying, and they thus failed to offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Look at what God had also said about the Second Temple in Haggai 2:6-9 (this was actually written while the Second Temple was being built): “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Yet that Temple was destroyed despite God saying He would give peace there. And that is because Israel rejected the desire of all nations- and so forfeited peace.
Luke 19:41-46: “And when he (Jesus) was come near, he beheld the city (Jerusalem), and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
The Jewish people thus continue in traditions not derived from the inspired writers of Scripture and continue in subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) allowances for sin which their corrupt leaders have taught them (the blind leading the blind).
The ninth of Av on the Hebrew calendar, and its multiple calamities, remains an elephant in the room proving that the Jewish people remain under God’s judgment and that God has honored the request of their ancestors regarding their Messiah who was sent to bless and save them. That request is recorded in Matthew 27:25 as the Jews insisted to Pilate that He be crucified, “His blood be on us, and on our children.”
The ninth of Av is also a rebuke to Zionist professing Christians who advocate that Jews are entitled to a homeland in the land of Canaan- despite the many warnings right in the Jewish Scriptures which state that they are not unconditionally promised the land and that God will cast them out if they are not obedient to Him. Whereas they were rooted out of the land by God’s judgment, what right do they have to re-enter in mass and dwell there again? I’m not talking about the individual Jews who purchased land there at market value, I am talking about the mass theft and murder of the Arabs who had acquired the land and dwelt there peacefully until they were violently driven away and displaced by the Jews as a group (as the Jews proved that they are indeed unrepentant and not properly humbled by God’s judgment upon them).
Consider somebody who has been evicted from a house for not paying rent, and they then come back many years later and retake the house by violently robbing, killing, and/or driving away whoever had come to subsequently inhabit the house (whether they came to own it themselves or were renting from someone else who had come to own the house). Don’t think that God will leave this robbery and murder of the Arabs by the Jews unrequited! And don’t be surprised if further events on, or around, the ninth of Av play a significant role in this requital.
It is reasonable to believe, with all the evidence available, that God has chosen to frequently use the ninth of Av as a day of reckoning and as a preview of Judgment Day. Such judgments upon the Jewish people are warned about right in the Bible and also serve as proof that God will not suffer His name to be taken in vain. Those who profess to belong to Him must be obedient to Him and bring forth the fruit of righteousness before Him. Jesus told a parable illustrating and proving this in Matthew chapter 21. He concluded that parable by telling the Jewish leaders in Matthew 21:42-43: “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
As the ninth of Av then serves as a reminder that Jews that reject Jesus Christ are not in God’s favor, it is also then a rebuke to Zionist professing Christians who have fallen for the delusion that siding with God means supporting modern Jews and modern Israel. This is a great delusion. It is obviously no more proper to bless the nation of Israel now than it was in AD 70 when Jerusalem was being destroyed by the Romans through God’s own judgment. If you dispute that, then please cite the great repentance and reception of Jesus Christ which modern Israel as a whole has had. If such actually existed, they would not be oppressing the Arabs like they are and they would be offering restitution, great restitution, for their violence and theft against them. God is no respecter of persons. And if you think that one group of people has a right to steal from another group then you’re an enemy of God, and don’t be surprised when you get the same condemnation as the thieves which you are supporting and (hence) justifying.
Proverbs 28:4: “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.”
Jews around the world mourn on the ninth of Av for the calamities which have happened to their people on, or very near, this day on their calendar. Yet mourning in itself accomplishes nothing. It’s useless to cry over God’s judgment if you don’t acknowledge, turn from, and make restitution for the sins which warrant judgment.
Proverbs 28:9: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”
Proverbs 28:13: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
And don’t think that you will be spared from God’s judgment any more than the Jewish people if you continue in sin and aren’t obedient to Jesus Christ yourself. There is truly no respect of persons with God.
You say that you believe in Jesus. If you don’t obey Him, you are God’s enemy like the disobedient Jews are.
1 Corinthians 10:5-11: “But with many of them (speaking of the Israelites whom God brought out of Egypt by Moses) God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Let the ninth of Av with its destruction of the two temples, and the many other judgments upon the Jews that are associated with it, drive the truth into the depths of your heart like a stake that Jesus Christ is truly the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His truth will surely prevail in the end, those whom He deems faithful will rejoice, and His enemies will be put to shame and everlasting contempt.
1 Timothy 6:15-16: “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]