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

A Bible study

Matthew 23:36-38


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

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel – when they began, and the Anointing of the Most Holy

Daniel 9:24-27


24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Here is a little about Philip Mauro who wrote the following explanation of two things:

1) when the Seventy Weeks began, and

2) when the Anointing of the Most Holy took place.

Mauro’s explanation is clearer than many, and I hope this will be helpful no matter how we approach this wonderful and amazing book. Mauro was a dispensationalist for a time and lived in an incredible era in which the Scopes trial and the sinking of the Titanic occurred. Verse 27 isn’t the focus. 

Philip mauro


Philip Mauro in 1926“Mauro was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a lawyer who practiced before the Supreme Court, patent lawyer and also a Christian writer. He prepared briefs for the Scopes Trial. His works include God’s PilgrimsLife in the WordThe ChurchThe Churches and the KingdomThe Hope of IsraelRuthThe Satisfied StrangerThe Wonders of Bible ChronologyThe World and its GodThe Last Call to the Godly RemnantMore Than a ProphetDispensationalism Justifies the CrucifixionEvolution at the Bar and Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass.

“Mauro was a creationist and authored an anti-evolution book entitled Evolution at the Bar (1922).

“He married Emily Johnston Rockwood in 1882 and had two daughters, Margaret F. Mauro and Isabel Rockwood Mauro (later Mrs. Charles Stratton French). Together with his daughter Margaret, Mauro was a passenger on the British ocean liner RMS Carpathia when it rescued the passengers of the Titanic in April 1912.”


Luke 4:16-21

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Acts 10:38

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. | A Balanced Look at Fulfilled Bible Prophecy

The Chronology of the Bible

Philip Mauro, 1922

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 – When do they Begin and End?


“Some questions of deepest interest arise in connection with the period covered by our last chronological table; but they are questions of interpretation of Scripture, rather than questions of chronology. All expositors are agreed (so far as we are aware) that the message brought by Gabriel to Daniel gives the measure of years, from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah, the Prince, as sixtynine sevens of years, that is, 483 years. But there is much difference of opinion as to, firsit, which decree it was from which the time began to run, and second, what event it was in the lifetime of our Lord to which the 483 years reached. It is manifest that, unless those two points (the beginning and the ending of the 483 years) can be established with certainty, we cannot continue our chronology down to the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, and the dated line so carefully preserved for 3500 years would fail to reach its objective. But, after much study of the entire subject, we are convinced that the Scriptures do not leave us in uncertainty as to those necessary matters of fact, but that, on the contrary, both events are marked and dated with unusual exactitude. Furthermore, it has become quite clear to us that the differences of opinion, to which we are referred, have arisen altogether from the fact that some of our able chronologists and expositors have adopted the mistaken estimates of Ptolemy as the foundation of their systems of dates, instead of grounding themselves upon the chronology of the Bible. Having committed themselves to a chronological scheme which makes the era of the Persian Empire about 80 years too long, they have been compelled to construe the statements of Scripture in such wise as to force them into agreement with that scheme; and inasmuch as the measure of 483 years from the first year of Cyrus would, if Ptolemy’s table be accepted, come short, by many years, of any event in the lifetime of Christ, one must either abandon that table, or else must search for a decree of a Persian king, many years nearer to Christ, to serve as the starting point of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. The trouble, therefore, is not because of any uncertainty in the Scriptures, but that expositors have turned aside from the Scriptures, and have accepted for the 500 years immediately preceding the coming of Christ, a defective chronology based upon heathen traditions.

In another place we have discussed at considerable length the many interesting questions that have arisen concerning the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, so we shall not go extensively into that subject here. It is appropriate, however, that the main reasons for the conclusions we have reached should be set forth with sufficient fullness to enable the readers of this book to examine them in the light of Scripture.

“Our main conclusions are:

“First, that the canon of Ptolemy is untrustworthy as a basis for a system of chronology, its statements being not authenticated in any way; and that, therefore, it should be rejected as unworthy of our confidence, even if it did not come into conflict with the statements of Scripture;

“Second, that ‘the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,’ from which the prophetic period of Seventy Weeks began to run (Dan. 9:25), was the decree of Cyrus the Great, referred to in Ezra 1:1-4;

“Third, that the 483-year period of Daniel 9:25, reaching ‘unto the Messiah, the Prince,’ ended at the baptism of our Lord, in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, when He was thirty years of age. . .

“The words ‘the Messiah the Prince’ indicate the goal towards which the long chronological line of the Bible had been steadily advancing. In the days of Daniel the voice of prophecy was about to cease, and the inspired history of God’s ancient people was about to come to an end. But, before the sacred record closed, the last stage of the chronology of the Old Testament was made known to ‘Daniel the Prophet,’ and by him was recorded in ‘the Scriptures of Truth.’ From the going forth of the decree of Cyrus, unto the greater Deliverer, of whom Cyrus was a remarkable type, was to be a stretch of sixtynine ‘sevens’ of years.

“The words ‘unto the Messiah’ tell us with all requisite clearness and certainty to just what point in the life-time of Jesus Christ the measure of 69 sevens (483 years) reaches. The word Messiah (equivalent to the Greek Christos) means ‘the anointed.’ We ask, therefore, where, in the earthlife of our Lord, was He anointed and presented to Israel? The answer is clearly given in the Gospels and Acts. It was at His baptism in Jordan; for then it was that the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in bodily shape as a dove; and then it was thatJohn the Baptist bore witness to Him as the Son of God, and the Lamb of God. As the apostle Peter declared: ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power’ (Acts 10:38); and from that time He gave Himself to His public Messianic ministry as a ‘minister of the circumcision.’

“To this important matter we have also the Lord’s own testimony. For, after His return in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, where, according to Isaiah 9:1,2, the ‘Great Light’ was to arise (see also Mat. 3 :12-16), He went on the Sabbath day into the synagogue in Nazareth, and read from the prophet Isaiah these memorable words: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor’; and then, having sat down, and the eyes of all being fastened intently upon Him, He said, ‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears’ (Luke 4 :16-21) . Thus the Lord declared Himself to be at that time the ‘Anointed’ One, that is the Messiah.

“John the Baptist was sent to ‘bear witness’ of Christ, and ‘that He should be made manifest to Israel’ (John 1:6,7,31). this special ministry of John was discharged by him at the time of Christ’s baptism. When, therefore, the Lord Jesus had been ‘anointed’ with the Holy Ghost, and had been ‘made manifest to Israel’ by the witness of John, then the words of the prophecy ‘unto the Anointed One’ were completely fulfilled. From that great and wonderful event, down to the day of His death, He was constantly before the people of Israel in His Messianic character, and was devoting Himself continuously to the fulfilling of His Messianic service, in going about doing good, manifesting the Father’s Name, doing the Father’s works, speaking the Father’s words, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the glad-tidings of the Kingdom of God.

“Indeed, even before He announced Himself in the synagogue in Nazareth as God’s ‘Anointed One,’ He had plainly said to the woman of Samaria (when she spoke of ‘Messias, Who is called Christ’) ‘I that speak unto thee am He’ (John 4:25,26). Moreover, to the Samaritans who came out to see Him upon hearing the woman’s report and her question ‘Is not this the Messiah?’, He so fully revealed Himself that they were constrained to confess Him, saying, ‘We have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ (the Anointed One) the Saviour of the world’ (v.42).

“Again, the purpose, as well as the effect, of the ministry of John the Baptist’s public testimony toChrist is clearly revealed by the words of those who, upon hearing that testimony, followed Him. We read that ‘One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him (Jesus) was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ’ (John 1:40,41).

“In these Scriptures the Holy Spirit has caused the important fact that Jesus was the Anointed One to be stated both in Hebrew and in Greek, so that the significance of it should not be lost. That ‘this Jesus is the Christ’ is the great point of apostolic testimony (Acts 17:3); and it is the substance of ‘our faith,’ for ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’ (I John 5:1,4,5). It is also the Rock-foundation upon which He builds His church (Mat. 16:18; I Cor. 3:11).

“Thus the Spirit of God has been pleased to give us proof upon proof that, from our Lord’s baptism and manifestation to Israel, He was, in the fullest sense, the Messiah or the Anointed of God. Manifestly there was no previous event in the earthly lifetime of our Lord which could be taken as meeting in any way the words of Gabriel. And it is equally clear that no subsequent event could be taken as the fulfillment of those words. For there was, and could be, no subsequent occasion when the Lord was any more the ‘Anointed One’ than when the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism. Thus the Scriptures absolutely shut us up to the Lord’s baptism, as the occasion when He was Anointed, and presented to Israel in His Messianic office. His baptism then marked the termination of the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25, and the beginning of the 70th week from the starting point of that prophecy.

“But, on top of all the foregoing evidences is the culminating proof found in the fact that this epoch (His baptism), and this alone, is formally dated in the Scriptures (and in the most conspicuous way), and His age at the time is stated. For in Luke 3:1-3 the era of the preaching and baptism of John is given with extraordinary minuteness, which certifies to us that this era has a place of special importance in connection with the chronology of Scripture as a whole. It is an impressive fact that both the decree of Cyrus, and the baptism of John — that is to say, both the beginning and the ending of the sixty-nine weeks — are set forth with great particularity, and that they are given with reference to the reigns of Gentile rulers. One is given as occurring ‘in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,’ and the other ‘in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. . .’ This is an indication that the things which were to be consummated within the time-limit of seventy weeks were not matters which concerned the Jews only, but were of world-wide interest, having to do with the salvation of Gentiles as well as Jews. God’s dealings theretofore had been matters of Jewish history; but now, beginning with the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord,’ a new era was beginning, one in which God’s dealings were to be matters of world history. It is appropriate, therefore, that we should have at this point a change from terms of Jewish to terms of Gentile chronology.”