346: Zechariah 11:9


365 Prophecies: Prophecy 346

The Messiah will take the Kingdom from those who reject Him and offer it to others. Those who have rejected Him will find their “House a desolation.” Those who are left in Jerusalem will starve and eat their dead in order to survive.

Old Testament Prediction:

Zechariah 11:9 Then I said, “I will not feed you. Let what is dying die, and what is perishing perish. Let those that are left eat each other’s flesh.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

Luke 19:41-44 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.”

Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Matthew 21:43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

Luke 8:18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.

Application:

History describes the Siege of Jerusalem that occurred in 70 A.D. The Roman army general, Titus, who later became the Emperor of the Roman empire, came with his second in command, Tiberius Julius Alexander.

Titus brought his army to the western side of Jerusalem: Three legions of soldier from 5th Macedonica, 12th Fulminata, and 15th Apollinaris. On the east side of Jerusalem, Titus brought 10th Fretenis, near the Mount of Olives.[1]

The Roman strategy was to cut off the food and water supplies to Jerusalem and starve the people into submission. Many people died of starvation during this siege by Titus, as the food supplies of the Jews inside the city of Jerusalem were depleted. Some people resorted to eating the flesh of their dead in order to survive. This was the fulfillment of Zechariah 11:9, “Let those that are left eat each other’s flesh.” This is the 346th Old Testament Prophecy.

During Passover, Titus allowed the pilgrims to enter the city to celebrate Passover, but then refused to allow them to depart.

A few attacks by the Jews on the Roman soldiers killed some of Titus’ men. In an astute move by Titus, he dispatched his men to bring the Jewish historian “Josephus” to the city to try and reason with the Jewish leaders to surrender peacefully. Instead, the Jews put an arrow into Josephus, viewing him as a traitor for seeking the surrender of Jerusalem to the Romans. In one of the attacks by the Jews, Titus was nearly killed.

About midday, May of 70 A.D., Titus built a siege wall around the city and destroyed the newly built third wall with a battering ram. The Antonia Fortress of Herod was taken just north of the Temple Mount. This was in fulfillment of one of the 14 predictions Jesus made.

“…your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you…”

As fighting ensued inside Jerusalem, the Jews were forced into the Temple, as a second attempt at negotiating a cease fire failed.

One of the Roman soldiers threw a burning spear into the wall of the Temple, setting it on fire. Titus did not plan to destroy the temple, but we should remember that Jesus had predicted that “not one stone would be left upon another,” when He pronounced judgement on the Jews for their rejection of Him as the Messiah.

.[2]
The Siege of Jerusalem, by Dave Roberts, 1850

Titus had planned to take the Jewish Temple and turn it into a Roman temple, dedicated to the Emperor. Fire spread throughout the Temple building and quickly destroyed the entire structure. On Tisha B’Av, August 9th of 70 A.D., the Temple was completely destroyed.

As the blaze accelerated into an intense heat, the Jews trapped inside the Holy Place were burned alive. The gold that lined the entire inner structure of the Holy Place melted and ran into the cracks of the foundation stones. In their greed, the Roman soldiers, seeing the melted gold between the stones of the temple, pried up one stone after another until the Temple was obliterated.

According to 2 Chronicles, 3:8, the gold that lined the entire inner structure of the Holy of Holies was about 23 tons. At $1,500.00 per ounce, this would place the value of the gold inside the Holy place at 1 Billion, 104 million dollars.[3]

“…and they will not leave in you one stone upon another…”

By September 7th, 70 A.D., Jerusalem was completely under Roman control. In the process of taking the city, 1.1 million Jews were killed. 97,000 were captured and made slaves. Many were evicted from Jerusalem and forced to live as refugees throughout the surrounding nations.[4]

Historians record that the Roman General Titus refused the offer of the Jews to surrender. Titus stated that he believed that his actions against the Jews were an instrument of God’s wrath.[5]

“The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”[6]

It is remarkable that the first and second temples were both destroyed on the the 9th of August, same month and day. The chance that this could occur by mere coincidence is of course, beyond chance. God was making a statement to the world that He is sovereign over all the events of human life.

Josephus wrote the following in his description of the city of Jerusalem, after the Romans had destroyed it.

“This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.”
“And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he [a foreigner] were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it.” *[7]

These words by Josephus are a reminder of the prophetic statement of Jesus when He described the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, in Matthew and Luke’s accounts, regarding the future desolation of Jerusalem.

Matthew 24:1-2 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

[8]
The stones from the Temple that were “thrown down” onto the streets of Jerusalem by the Roman soldiers, on the 9th of August, 70 A.D.

Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”

Luke 19:41-44 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.”

Jesus described perfectly the siege of Jerusalem, when Titus surrounded the city and built siege walls to take down the walls and enter Jerusalem. This all happened precisely as the Lord had predicted. Jesus told the leaders of Israel that their city and their Temple would be destroyed because they had rejected Him as their Messiah when He came in fulfillment of all the scriptures.

God holds each one of us personally responsible for the knowledge that we have. If we have been made aware that Jesus came to earth and died for our sins and then rose again on the third day, we are accountable to God for this knowledge. If we do not receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our house will also be left to us “desolate.” At the end of our time here on earth, we will find that we have missed what was most important—a relationship with God. The Bible declares by Jesus fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, that He alone is this way into eternal life.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.


[1] Levick, Barbara (1999). Vespasian. London: Routledge, pp. 116–119. ISBN 0-415-16618-7
[2] Public Domain: The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, by David Roberts (1850).
[3] According to the New Living Translation by Thomas Nelson, Open Bible Commentary, Page 580.
[4] Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. Containing The Interval Of About Three Years. From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus To The Sedition At Cyrene. Book VII. Chapter 1.1
Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.. Book VI. Chapter 1.1
[5] Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana 6.29
[6] Milman, The History of the Jews, book 16
[7] Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.. Book VI. Chapter 1.1
[8] Released by Author into Public Domain: This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository Stones from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (Jerusalem) thrown onto the street by Roman soldiers on the Ninth of Av, 70 C.E. Source=Own work by uploader |Author=Wilson44691 |Date=2009-05-27 |P

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