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The Messiah and Jerusalem's Deliverance
#1
Good morning,

I'm not a Jew or Messianic Jew. I'm just a Christian looking to learn more.


I've read passages like Zech. 14 that suggest that the Messiah would deliver Jerusalem from her enemies. Is that accurate?

If so, why was Jerusalem destroyed in 70 CE and the Jewish Nation scattered abroad? If I'm not mistaken, it would seem that Jerusalem suffered the curse of the Law (Deut. 28:15-68.) But I'm under the impression that the Jews sought to strictly obey the Torah. So why'd it happen?

Why didn't God deliver Jerusalem from the Romans?
#2
Hello, Bluefinger.

Zec 14 is indeed a chapter speaking of the end times, aka the Messianic Age, or at least the period leading directly to it. We need to first understand that although the Messiah will be a remarkable individual, he will not be G-D because G-D is not a man (Num 23:19, Hos 11:9) and the Messiah is to fear G-D (Isa 11:2-3).
We can also know with certainty that the Messianic Age has not yet arrived because none of the elements of Zec 14 have occurred.

But you raise a good question. If Jews try so hard to follow the Torah, why was the Second Temple destroyed and the Jews scattered throughout the world?

To understand the nature of this time, we need to examine Dan 9, where Daniel is bothered by two verses in Jeremiah: One that says Babylon’s reign would last 70 years (25:12), and the other that the Jews would return to Israel after 70 years (29:10). Daniel was bothered because Babylon had just ended, yet the Jews were not returning, so maybe the Babylonian exile, which was supposed to last only 70 years, was magnified a la Lev 26:18 and would now last 490 years. Comes along Gavriel and tells him that the two verses speak of different times: The Babylonians took root in Israel 18 years before the fall of the First Temple, so their fall, 70 years later, would be 18 years before the end of Israel’s 70-year exile. Gavriel tells Daniel that there were indeed 70 weeks decreed on the Jews, but the Second Temple era would be included in that 490 year span, and after the time is completed, the Messianic Age can begin. 7 weeks (49 years) after the Babylonian exile began, an anointed prince would deliver the word to rebuild the city. Sure enough, right after Babylon’s fall, G-D’s anointed one, Cyrus (Isa 45:1), does just that (Ezra 1:1-3), and the city was rebuilt, but in tumultuous times, for about 62 weeks (434 years). After these 62 weeks, an anointed one (the High Priesthood) will be cut off, yet the governing power, Rome, would permit the sacrificial system to remain, a promise that was broken 3 ½ years (half a week) later. Then, after the completion of the 490 years, when the Second Temple fell, the Messianic Age could begin.

And that is why G-D didn’t eliminate the Romans during the Second Temple Era: the 490 years had to be completed. Although there is always the possibility for repentance and national Torah adherence, resulting in potentially the hastening of the ultimate redemption, this unfortunately did not occur. There were many issues plaguing the Jews: assimilation, intermarriage, idolatry, mistrust, and on and on. Even the office of the High Priest was sold to the highest bidder, and occasionally held by a non-Jew. Although there were certainly many Jews who steadfastly upheld the Torah in all its nuances and precepts, those who do so have historically been the minority, as we see from I Kings 19:18, where among the entire nation only 7000 were not worshipping Baal.

I hope this helps your understanding.
#3
(04-23-2013, 09:25 AM)benyosef Wrote: Hello, Bluefinger.

Zec 14 is indeed a chapter speaking of the end times, aka the Messianic Age, or at least the period leading directly to it. We need to first understand that although the Messiah will be a remarkable individual, he will not be G-D because G-D is not a man (Num 23:19, Hos 11:9) and the Messiah is to fear G-D (Isa 11:9).


Please take note that I'm not here to discuss Greek theology. I'm primarily concerned with the historical context in which the Apostolic Church, primarily Jews, first began. Numbers 23:19 does say that God is not a man, but it's to drive home the point that He doesn't lie. He will bless His people. That being said, why were the Jews cursed (Deut. 28:15-68 ) for so long?

Also, it's not saying that God can't take the form of a man. He took the form of fire on a bush on Mount Sinai. God is not a flame that He should go out when doused with water. It's the exact same usage here. Again, Hosea 11:9 is talking about the character of a man, not the anatomy of a man. God is saying that He won't come in to Ephraim looking to utterly destroy it in wrath. Yet, we see that Ephraim was exiled to the four winds. What's going on here?

And for Isaiah 11:2-3, I agree. But there is no indication in the New Testament that Jesus never revered the Father.
Quote:We can also know with certainty that the Messianic Age has not yet arrived because none of the elements of Zec 14 have occurred.

But let's look at the timing here benyosef. Zechariah 14 was written in between Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple. It could therefore be determined that the prophecy was about the second temple, meaning it didn't come true per your interpretation. Indeed, armies did surround Jerusalem, fueling revolutionary attitudes among the Jews of the first century, but the invaders were not destroyed. Quite the opposite.
#4
Quote:But you raise a good question. If Jews try so hard to follow the Torah, why was the Second Temple destroyed and the Jews scattered throughout the world?

To understand the nature of this time, we need to examine Dan 9, where Daniel is bothered by two verses in Jeremiah: One that says Babylon’s reign would last 70 years (25:12), and the other that the Jews would return to Israel after 70 years (29:10). Daniel was bothered because Babylon had just ended, yet the Jews were not returning, so maybe the Babylonian exile, which was supposed to last only 70 years, was magnified a la Lev 26:18 and would now last 490 years.

I agree and disagree. I'm under the impression that the full extent of the curse was placed on probation. If the Jews were faithful during that course, then they would not have suffer the full extent of the curse. If they weren't however, then the curse would fall on them. I refer to Matthew 18:21-36, where the debt is the curse. 70 years was chump-change compared to what happened after the Romans came in. And that is a point that I think needs to be directly addressed.

If the Torah magnifies the curse, then would you not agree that the Jews were cursed? And that brings me to address the rabbinical schools. Jesus said that, if the eye of the body is light, then the entire body is full of light. But if the eye is dark, the entire body is dark. He, of course, was talking about the religious leaders, the rabbinical school. Do you think that maybe this curse came upon the entire Jewish Nation because their leaders weren't teaching correctly and thus leading everyone into sin?
#5
Quote: Comes along Gavriel and tells him that the two verses speak of different times: The Babylonians took root in Israel 18 years before the fall of the First Temple, so their fall, 70 years later, would be 18 years before the end of Israel’s 70-year exile. Gavriel tells Daniel that there were indeed 70 weeks decreed on the Jews, but the Second Temple era would be included in that 490 year span, and after the time is completed, the Messianic Age can begin. 7 weeks (49 years) after the Babylonian exile began, an anointed prince would deliver the word to rebuild the city. Sure enough, right after Babylon’s fall, G-D’s anointed one, Cyrus (Isa 45:1), does just that (Ezra 1:1-3), and the city was rebuilt, but in tumultuous times, for about 62 weeks (434 years). After these 62 weeks, an anointed one (the High Priesthood) will be cut off, yet the governing power, Rome, would permit the sacrificial system to remain, a promise that was broken 3 ½ years (half a week) later. Then, after the completion of the 490 years, when the Second Temple fell, the Messianic Age could begin.

And that is why G-D didn’t eliminate the Romans during the Second Temple Era: the 490 years had to be completed. Although there is always the possibility for repentance and national Torah adherence, resulting in potentially the hastening of the ultimate redemption, this unfortunately did not occur. There were many issues plaguing the Jews: assimilation, intermarriage, idolatry, mistrust, and on and on. Even the office of the High Priest was sold to the highest bidder, and occasionally held by a non-Jew. Although there were certainly many Jews who steadfastly upheld the Torah in all its nuances and precepts, those who do so have historically been the minority, as we see from I Kings 19:18, where among the entire nation only 7000 were not worshipping Baal.

I hope this helps your understanding.

The three rabbinical schools were preaching Torah observation, yet all of them were crushed by the Romans. Surely, God would have blessed them, even if the rest of the Jews went astray.

Additionally, we know that the high priest wasn't cut off until John of Gischala disbanded the traditional high priesthood and formed his own, long after 490 years. So, something isn't adding up here.

And, interestingly enough, Paul makes the same argument of 1 Kings 19:18 about his camp of Jews in Romans 11:1-5. The book of Acts shows that the disciples preached to the Jews but were rejected, primarily by the rabbinical schools. The disciples of Jesus then took His teachings to the Gentiles, where they were warmly received. And the Jewish Nation was scattered in 70 CE, the Gentiles became even more blessed, and the Christian converts became blessed seven-fold with the inheritance of the entire Roman Empire. So, I'd like to make the argument that Jesus was the rightful Anointed One, being a high priest and king by the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:6-7.)[/i]
#6
John the Baptist called Jesus "the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." You Jews know of the Passover lamb, whose blood protected your ancestors when the destroying angel went through Egypt and passed over all those whose entry ways were covered in lamb's blood. Yet, Jews came for the Passover in 69-70 and were not permitted to leave by Vespasian. All those that went to Jerusalem that year either died of famine or slaughter, or were carried off as a trophy in their shame and humility. Meanwhile, all those that trust in Jesus were spared. The rabbinical schools lost all of their power and had to go into hiding. But Jesus' disciples did not hide. Not one 'Christian' was harmed during that war.

Doesn't strike you as a bit odd? If the rabbinical schools were correct in their teaching, then the Torah explicitly states that they should be blessed (Deut. 28:1-15.) But blessed is not how one would describe the Jews over the last two thousand years, especially during WWII. (I'm not antisemitic. My argument is against the rabbinical schools, not against the Jews.)

So, how do you explain this? Why did the Jews become a byword among the Gentiles while the Christians inherited the entire Roman Empire (without lifting a sword, might I add)?
#7
If all Num 23:19 wanted to say is that G-D doesn’t lie, it would simply have said so. What does it add to tell us that G-D is not a man or the son of man? To tell us exactly that: He is not human. Can He take on the form of a man? Consider this: The Torah says (Num 23:19, I Sam 15:29, Hos 11:9) G-D is not a man, but never says G-D is not a cloud or fire. What are the implications? If someone were to claim to be G-D, these verses disprove his claim; but when G-D appeared in cloud or fire (Exodus 3 and 34) there were no theological contradictions. The Messiah will also not be G-D because Isaiah tells us the future Davidic king will fear G-D, and G-D fears nothing.

Regardless of when Zec 14 was written, it is apparent it speaks of an event yet to occur. For example:
“G-D shall be king over all the earth: in that day G-D will be one, and His name one” (14:9)
“And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (14:11)

Based on your questions, it appears you are not so familiar with Lev 26 and Deut 28. G-D tells us Jews that when we do not hearken to His ways and do not take His Torah seriously, we will be dealt with very harshly: cursed in our endeavors (Deut 28:16-19), children taken into captivity (Deut 28:41), scattered among the nations (Lev 26:33), and made a byword among the gentiles (Deut 28:37). It’s worth pointing out that throughout the Torah, whenever G-D warns of dire circumstances, or whenever the prophets admonish the Jews and urge them to repent, there is no mention about believing in or rejecting the Messiah. From the Christian perspective, one would think this would show up at least once. There are many commandments in the Torah, some appear multiple times (like Shabbos, Passover, idolatry), and while many Christians have told me they are no longer applicable, the one law I’m being told to accept is not mentioned even once. Why not?
#8
Yet the claim is made that Jesus was king, high priest, and died as a Passover offering for our sins. Each of these claims cannot be verified or can be explicitly disproven. The gospel lineages do not mention Aaron, so he could not have been a high priest. To argue he was “in the order of Malchitzedek” is unusual because A. what does that mean?, and B. Paul makes the case that while Jesus had a human mother, Malchitzedek had no parents, and so would actually outrank Jesus, and C. there is no evidence from Psalm 110 that it speaks of the Messiah. There is very little prophecy, if any, in Psalms, and David wrote a lot about his own life’s ups and downs, so it makes more sense to say this speaks of David. The lineage accounts try to prove Jesus’ claim to the throne, yet both agree he had no human father by which to trace his tribe, and so is ineligible. Whether he died for anybody’s sins but his own is impossible to prove, but even more importantly, Ezekiel 18 speaks at length against this concept of vicarious atonement, saying that this proverb of the fathers eating sour grapes and the sons’ teeth are set on edge shall no longer be said, but rather “the soul that sins shall die.” Further, the Passover was not used to achieve atonement, so any comparison between a Passover and Jesus’ “atoning death” is specious at best.

The above ignores the fact that a Passover offering had to be a first-year unblemished animal from the flock, and had to be eaten that night. None of these can apply to Jesus.

Does it not strike you as odd that the rabbis, who certainly were familiar with Jewish texts, ignored Jesus? We know that they certainly were conscious of claims to Messiahship from the Bar Kochba incident, so what would account for their surety of Jesus not being the Messiah? When Paul later tried to preach to the Jews and was rebuffed time and again, he grew angry at us and went around converting gentiles, who drank his words thirstily. Why? In order to attract a large following from the pagan communities, he needed to present a message to which they could relate. Keeping hundreds of commandments was not known in their world, but a dying demigod who was born of a virgin was very much in line with their doctrines. And so Paul used his magic pen to distort the Jewish texts to gain a rather large following. Although this example is from the book named “Hebrews,” who were not known for being pagans, Paul still used this approach in his evangelizing efforts. Hb 10:5 claims that G-D did not ask for sacrifices, but prepared a body instead. The message here is clear: there would be one sacrifice which would trump all others. However, this “quote” is attributed to Psalm 40:6, which reads, “Sacrifices You did not desire, but my ears You have opened,” which means that opening one’s ears to G-D word is superior to sacrifices, a sentiment paralleled in Hosea 6:6.
#9
I don’t know where you get this idea that the high priesthood was disbanded “long after 490 years.” We know the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, and that it stood for 420 years following a 70-year Babylonian exile, meaning the 490-years count began around 420 BCE. The high priesthood could not have outlasted the Temple itself.
#10
(05-10-2013, 07:03 AM)benyosef Wrote: I don’t know where you get this idea that the high priesthood was disbanded “long after 490 years.” We know the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, and that it stood for 420 years following a 70-year Babylonian exile, meaning the 490-years count began around 420 BCE. The high priesthood could not have outlasted the Temple itself.

I think you erred in stating that the 70 weeks began upon the start of the Babylonian exile. However, according to Daniel 9, 70 years had already passed before the 70 weeks were even decreed. But let's put your opinion into perspective.

The Babylonian exile began around 608 BCE. Some argue that the count began even earlier than that. 70 years later, Cyrus of Persia and Darius the Mede took the Babylonian kingdom. By your count, 70 of the 490 years would have already passed.

483 subtracted from 608 only lands you at 125 BCE. That means that, according to your timing, the high priest would have been cut off 192.5 years before John of Gischala overthrew the traditional high priesthood and set up his own.

Maybe we should concede to the possibility that somebody else wrote Daniel and at a far later date.


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