Zechariah And Jesus Predict The Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

COPYRIGHT WARNING

One of the most stunning proofs for the Bible as the word of God, is its incredible ability to predict word-events, hundreds of years before they took place. Critics of the Bible, as well as the atheists who claims that there is no proof for the existence of God, often repudiate Bible prophecy and claim that the Bible does not predict any future event.

When we examine the prophecy of Zechariah, written nearly 700 years before Jesus entered Jerusalem, we find that the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., was predicted—not only by this Old Testament prophet, but also by Jesus when He declared to the nation that He was their promised Messiah.

Thus says the LORD my God,… “For I will no longer pity the inhabitants of the land,” says the LORD. “But indeed I will give everyone into his neighbor’s hand and into the hand of his king. They shall attack the land, and I will not deliver them from their hand.”—Zechariah 11:4-6

New Testament Fulfillment:

Now as Jesus drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” —Luke 19:41-44

Zechariah’s prophecy describes Israel being given “into his neighbor’s hand and into the hand of his king.” This is a reference to the Roman General Titus in 70 A.D., when he came to Jerusalem and took the city by force. This prophecy of Zechariah 11:4-6 is fulfilled by Jesus’ further prediction, in Luke 19:41-44 (above), where He tells the leaders of Israel, “Your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side…”

This prophecy of Jesus was literally fulfilled when Titus surrounded Jerusalem and allowed no one to leave for food or water. After nearly starving to death, the Jews opened the gates and allowed the Roman army to sack the city, burn the temple, and kill over a million Jews. The rest were disbursed to the four corners of the earth.

This entire event is recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus in his book: “The War of the Jews.”[1]

See the 14 Predictions of Jesus

All of these events took place in the history of Israel—precisely as Jesus predicted, in Luke 19:41-44 as well as the prophet Zechariah in 11:4-6. Several hundred years in advance, Zechariah told Israel that upon their rejection of the Messiah, God would remove His hand of protection and allow their enemies to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple.

Is it possible that a nation could once again, repeat the grave errors of Israel and forget the Lord, leading to the demise of a great world power and leader in declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world?

It is certain that the United States is following in the same errors of Israel, as we have also forgotten the Lord. Beginning with September 11, 2001, for the first time in over 200 years, our enemies have been able to kill U.S. citizens inside our own borders. Whether the Lord—has in fact—began the removal of His protection from our nation, only time will tell. America was called into existence by circumstances beyond the power and control of the ordinary and powerless men who sought to stand in opposition to British rule. Those who are known as the founders of our nation were well aware, that in order for the United States to exist at all as a nation, the Lord of heaven would by necessity, make our existence possible.

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”[2]

John Quincy Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”[3]

The Mayflower Compact was the first government document written in America. This document highlighted two important Biblical Principles.[4]

1. The Pilgrims stated that they had come to this continent for the express purpose of Evangelizing those here to a saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. Individuals would knit themselves together into a community which would govern themselves according to the standards found in God’s Word.

How far we have drifted from our Spiritual Heritage.

It is certain that if God has begun the same process with the United States as He began with Israel after 70 A.D., our enemies will have many more successful attacks on our beloved nation in the future, if we do not repent and turn back to the Lord. We may very likely suffer the same fate as Israel—when Jesus pronounced their desolation after having denied the Lord His rightful place in their nation.

God had designated Israel for slaughter by the Romans, because they failed to recognize their Messiah-King. Jesus arrived on the precise date that Daniel had predicted, in Prophecy 308 and Prophecy 309, and caught the Jews completely unaware. As Pilate gave the nation a choice between Jesus, as their King, or Caesar; they chose to stay in their bondage. Pilate brought the scourged and beat Jesus before the very citizens He came to free—as he proclaimed: “Behold your King!”

Rejecting Jesus further, the leaders of Israel and all the people cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate then asked, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priest answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Pilate then delivered Jesus to be crucified, and they led Him away (John 19:14-16).

The destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of Israel’s international dispersion, took place in the year 70 A.D. During this siege and the conquering of the city, 1.1 million Jews died and the remaining 97,000 were taken away as captives of war. Many of the captured Jews were sold in slave markets while the rest were dispersed to various nations, all over the earth. Because this judgement was specifically intended for the Jews who rejected their Messiah, the disciples of Jesus were warned in advanced to leave the city. Jesus said to them:

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled… There will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”[5]

The Messianic Jews evacuated Jerusalem after its first siege in 66 A.D., ahead of the final Roman siege in 70 A.D.

Siege of Jerusaelm 70 ad

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, by David Roberts (1850)

The “lowly” king who came riding on the foal of a donkey, in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 Prophecy 338, was summarily rejected and then killed, just as Daniel 9:25 had predicted, Prophecy 310.

From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and the fulfillment of this Prophecy, the land of Israel will be ruled and overrun by the Gentiles.

And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

Jesus warned the citizens of Israel that their denial of Him as the Messiah would leave their land “desolate.” Titus’ Siege upon Jerusalem did in fact leave the city in ruins and allowed for the fulfillment of Luke 21:24:

“Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” This took place precisely as Jesus said: “Because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Since 70 A.D., Jerusalem remained under Gentile domination for almost 2,000 years. The Jews did not have rulership over Jerusalem again until 1967. The “Times of the Gentiles” will not end until the seven-year Tribulation is concluded and Jesus returns to earth with His church. Jesus’ prediction that Jerusalem would be “Trampled by the Gentiles,” was literally fulfilled, just as He said.

The facts of history do not lie. Every event that Jesus described in detail came to pass exactly as He said they would. The fourteen predictions that Jesus made and their complete fulfillment leave us with sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus is: “A Prophet like me…” that Moses spoke of.

For Moses truly said to the fathers, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” —Acts 3:22-26

For a detailed look at the return of the Jews—to the Land of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, see Prophecy 309.

The preceding is from the new book by Robert Clifton Robinson: “The Prophecies of the Messiah.”

The Prophecies of the Messiah Cover


NOTES:
[1] Flavius Josephus, Book 5, chapter 22, sections 1-3
[2] Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, New Jersey: American Philosophical Society, 1951), Vol. I, p. 475, to Elias Boudinot on July 9, 1788. Signer of the Declaration of Independence; surgeon general of the continental army; ratifier of the u. s. constitution; “father of american medicine”; treasurer of the u. s. mint; “father of public schools under the constitution”
[3] John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6
[4] Original version as recorded by William Bradford

The signing of the Mayflower Compact (image: Library of Congress Call #LC-D419-185)
In ye name of God Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by ye Grace of God, of great Britaine, Franc, & Yreland, King, defender of ye Faith, &c.

Haveing undertaken, for ye Glorie of God, and advancements of ye Christian faith, and the honour of our King & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northern parts of Virginia; Doe by these presents, solemnly & mutualy, in ye presence of God, and one of another; covenant & combine ourselves together into a Civill body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just & equal Lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witnes wherof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye 11 of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soveraigne Lord King James, of England, France, & Yreland, ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth, Ano: Dom. 1620
[5] Luke 21:20-24

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