The Destruction of the Second Temple: Harmonizing the Gospels and insights from Philip Mauro


A Bible study


Matthew 23:36-38

NASB

36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

Mark 13:1,2

1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”


The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70, by David Roberts (1850)


Recently, Crissy of KNOWING THE TIME, because what’s coming matters quoted Gerald Stanton in a comment at Christian’s blog, Showing Ourselves Approved. The Stanton quote is the part of Crissy’s comment that I want to address. You can read all of her comment at the link below, labled: “Crissy says: August 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm.” 

Let’s Have a Real Conversation About the RAPTURE

Gerald Stanton:

[copied and pasted]

“The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the “time of the Church’s trouble,” but the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.).

It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiah,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of the children of Israel,” the “son of Moses,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation” of the temple ritual. These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.). Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church.


A foundation for understanding

All of the Bible is for all believers, Jews and Gentiles. Certainly it is crucial to know who is being addressed in a given passage, but if we keep believing and stating that “this is for the Jews” we will only add to the confusion and discouragement in the Church today. I pray that my post will not add to the confusion.


The testimony of Scripture

In studying the End Times, I’ve had many questions about how to understand Jesus’ prophecies in Matthew 24. Some Christians believe that all of these prophecies remain to be fulfilled. However in harmonizing Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we find that Jesus gave us an important key to understanding which was recorded by Luke: the timeframe, “but before all these things.” 

The Lord declared that but before all these things” the Temple would be razed. This happened when Titus and the armies of Rome left not “a stone standing.” Jesus even gave instructions to His disciples concerning what to do when they saw Rome’s armies surrounding Jerusalem. I believe that the disciples took the Lord’s warning to heart, as many have seen. About the safety of Christians during this period Albert Barnes (1832) wrote:

It is said that there is reason to believe that not one Christian perished in the destruction of that city, God having in various ways secured their escape, so that they fled to Pella, where they dwelt when the city was destroyed. The Christian Flight to Pella

And Paul Maier wrote this in Christian History magazine:

Josephus, our major source for all this information, does not name a single Christian victim in connection with great Jewish War. Why not? With immense luck—or blessing—the earliest Christians largely escaped all this horror for two reasons: (1) Only four years before the war’s outbreak, James the Just of Jerusalem (the first Christian bishop according to both Acts 15 and Eusebius) was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin, which must certainly have led the struggling Jewish-Christian community to think about leaving. (2) Eusebius, ‘the father of church history,’ also tells us that Christians were warned by an oracle to flee the city some time before war’s outbreak. In fact, they evacuated to Pella and other cities north of Jerusalem, and so escaped the Roman siege and conquest.  Not One Stone Left Upon Another

Another of the Lord’s prophesied events was the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). This too was fulfilled when the armies of Rome brought Imperial standards (graven images) into the sacred precincts:

54. Romans occupy Temple [70 CE]
316 Now that the rebels had fled the city, and the temple itself and every thing around was burning, the Romans brought their standards into the sacred spot. And, setting them up facing the eastern gate, they sacrificed to them. And with the greatest acclaim they proclaimed Titus emperor.
JosephusJewish War 6.316

At least two prophecies then have been fulfilled. Let us rejoice for this confirms the words of the Saviour! What He said to His disciples about these matters was fulfilled to the letter.

Returning to the timeframe key in Jesus’ prophecy, please see how Luke 21 helps us to more clearly understand His words in Matthew 24:

Luke 21:10-24

10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days;for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.


Who was Philip Mauro? 

Philip was “a famous lawyer, supreme court lawyer, [and] prepared briefs for [the] Scopes Trial.” He left Dispensationalism for a more historically Protestant view. Sadly, he failed to see (that I know of) that Israel would be reborn as a nation. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss his insights about 70 A.D.

Philip Mauro in 1926“It is greatly to be regretted that those who, in our day, give themselves to the study and exposition of prophecy, seem not to be aware of the immense significance of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence, and the dispersion of the Jewish people among all the nations. The failure to recognize the significance of that event, and the vast amount of prophecy which it fulfilled, has been the cause of great confusion, for the necessary consequence of missing the past fulfillment of predicted events is to leave on our hands a mass of prophecies for which we must needs contrive fulfillments in the future. The harmful results are two fold; for first, we are thus deprived of the evidential value, and the support to the faith, of those remarkable fulfillments of prophecy which are so clearly presented to us in authentic contemporary histories; and second, our vision of things to come is greatly obscured and confused by the transference to the future of predicted events which, in fact, have already happened, and whereof complete records have been preserved for our information.”

Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation


“No matter what view of eschatology we embrace, we must take seriously the redemptive-historical importance of Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D.70.”

R.C. Sproul


Thinking about the time of Jacob’s trouble (update)

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It bothers me that most Christians say that “the time of Jacob’s trouble” lies entirely in the future. That is because as a small girl and teen in the 50’s and 60’s, talk about and images of the Holocaust were everywhere. If you feel my thinking is wrong, please let me know in a comment or use my Contact the author page.

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Here are the opening verses of the passage that contains the prophecy of “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” 

Jeremiah 30

King James Version 

30 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

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What is the time of Jacob’s trouble?

I was taught that the time of Jacob’s trouble was a seven-year Tribulation at the End of the Age – the Seventieth Week of Daniel. With study, I came to realize that the Seventieth Week of Daniel had been fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ, and therefore could not be a final seven years. The Seventy Weeks were a consecutive period of 490 years. The Seventieth Week was not postponed – there was no so-called gap.

All that I have been taught has to be sorted out and tested by the Word of God. Understanding the time of Jacob’s trouble is part of this process.

The prophecy of the time of Jacob’s trouble

Here are the major themes of Jeremiah 30, the chapter in which this time is foretold (this is the only place in Scripture where it is mentioned):

judgment and restoration,

vengeance upon the nations who despoiled Israel,

rule by David their King, whom God shall raise up for them (Messiah),

the latter days.

The consequences of failure

We are told that the Jewish people failed to know the time of their visitation, that is, the coming of Messiah the first time. He Himself spoke of this when He wept over Jerusalem,

Luke 19:41-44

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

42 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.

43 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,

44 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.

The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD -- a painting by David Roberts (1796-1849).After this failure of the Jewish people, and during the years of their Great Revolt against Rome (66-70 A.D.), the Romans, “the people of the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26), destroyed the Jewish nation, the Temple was razed, more than a million Jews died (Josephus) and the rest were scattered and led into captivity. 

Most American Christians believe that the time of Jacob’s trouble lies in the future. Some Christians believe that it began with Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah and the captivity. Did it begin with this invasion, or with the Roman fury against the Jews and their dispersion?

Medieval manuscript Jews identified by rouelle are being burned at stake, 1515Whichever it is, it is most likely an extensive period. I believe that “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) is the centuries that include the pogroms, the Spanish Inquisition, the unremitting enmity against the Jews, the Holocaust, and the current constant warring against and slandering of Israel. 

Think, what could be worse for Jacob than what has already befallen him? 

Here are the statistics of Germany’s “Final Solution” from Jewish Virtual Library

The Estimated number of Jews killed

67%

Pre-Final Solution Jewish Population          =   8,861,800

Jewish Population Killed in Final Solution   =  5,933,900

(Poland, Baltic Countries, Germany/Austria, Protectorate, Slovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, White Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Romania, Norway, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Denmark, and Finland.)

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Hope

Auschwitz_aerial_view_RAFWhile in our day the Jews are being attacked and maligned, and antisemitism is still very much alive, and though those Jews who live in the Land live in daily peril, are the Jews destined to suffer yet again to the same or to a greater degree, in some final horrible seven years of trouble? Or are they still in the midst of this time of trouble?

If it is so that they are in the midst of this time, but are now back in the Land and continuing to return to it, are they close to and awaiting the fulfillment of the rest of Jeremiah’s prophecy, their restoration in “the latter days,” at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Son of David? 

Jeremiah 30

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

11 For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

12 For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.

15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

18 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

21  And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.

22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

24 The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

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Resources

The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

The Seventy Weeks

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The Time of Jacob’s Trouble future or fulfilled?

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