Saturday, August 2, 2014

The terrible famine within the city of Jerusalem.

WARNING this status gives very graphic in details as recorded in history on the judgement of unbelieving Israel.

The background leading up to the terrible famine within the city of Jerusalem. The historical setting around AD 30, Jesus had been arrested and led to Pilate, then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands. (John 1:1-3)

Pilate found no fault in Him. When the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."

Pilate goes back an questions Jesus. But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate says do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" Jesus answers "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."

Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, (you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar)." vs. 12. The Jews used the threat of telling Caesar of Pilate let Jesus go. Pilate heard (that threat) and brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

It was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" But the Jews cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" (John 1-19) it is interesting to note Jesus said, "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' (Luke 19:14)

Jewish women wept as Jesus was led to the place of his crucifixion. There were women mourning his impending death. Jesus turning unto them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28), In Luke 21:23 Jesus says, "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and (wrath upon this people).

What does Jesus mean by these above verses? God speaks through the prophet. Notice the consequence was going to be the punishment of the iniquity of the (daughters of God’s people) and there was going to be cannibalism! 

 Lamentations 4:6  The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown in a moment, With no hand to help her!  

Lamentations 4: 9: 12  Those slain by the sword are better off Than those who die of hunger; For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.  The hands of the compassionate women Have cooked their own children; They became food for them In the destruction of the daughter of my people. The Lord has fulfilled His fury, He has poured out His fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion, And it has devoured its foundations. The kings of the earth, And all inhabitants of the world, Would not have believed That the adversary and the enemy Could enter the gates of Jerusalem.

Lamentations 4:9-10 Those slain by the sword are better off Than those who die of hunger; For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of the compassionate women Have cooked their own children; They became food for them In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Ezekiel 5:10 Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgment among you and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.

Ezekiel 5:16-17 When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine, which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.  So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’”

First Century historical fulfillment. 

One woman who had lost everything but her baby to blood-thirsty Jews, then killed her baby son, “and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed.” When the seditious men smelled “the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her, that they would cut her throat immediately if she did not show them what food she had gotten ready. She replied, that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them and uncovered what was left of her son. She said this is my own son and he was killed by my own doing. Come, eat of this food; I have eaten of it myself. The men left, trembling and frightened and the all the city came under distress when they heard about it. (Josephus pp. 443-444.)

The Destruction Of A Vast Quantity Of Corn That Led To Famine During The Siege.

Book V, Chapter I, Section 4 (Entire)

4. And now there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Eleazar and his party, that kept the sacred first-fruits, came against John in their cups. Those that were with John plundered the populace, and went out with zeal against Simon. This Simon had his supply of provisions from the city, in opposition to the seditious. When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he made his men turn about, throwing his darts upon those citizens that came up against him, from the cloisters he had in his possession, while he opposed those that attacked him from the temple by engines of war; and if at any time he was freed from those that were above him, which happened frequently, from their being drunk and tired, he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his party; and this he did always in such parts of the city as he could come at, till he set on fire those houses that were full of corn, and of all provisions.*

The same thing was done by Simon, when, upon the others' retreat, he attacked the city also; as if they had, on purpose done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the Siege, and by thus cutting off the nerves of their own power. Accordingly, it so came to pass, that all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space, ready for fighting on both sides; and that almost all the corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. So they were taken by the means of famine, which it was impossible they should have been, unless they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure.

The Sad Consequences [of The Famine]

Book V, Chapter X, Section 5 (Entire) 

5. It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: - That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they might themselves appear comparatively less impious with regard to strangers. They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to gain a melancholy reputation, by acting gloriously against them, and did almost draw that fire upon the temple, which they seemed to think came too slowly; and indeed when they saw that temple burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled at it, nor did they shed any tears on that account, while yet these passions were discovered among the Romans themselves; which circumstances we shall speak of hereafter in their proper place, when we come to treat of such matters.


The historians of the day wrote extensively about famines of that day. Secular historians such as Josephus wrote that famine fell upon the entire city of Jerusalem. Now trapped inside the city of Jerusalem the people of Israel destroyed their own food supply that would have been sufficient for a siege of Roman for many years.

Josephus, the Jewish historian, describes it in his _The Wars_, books IV-VI. We summarize what he wrote: The Jews always proved to be the Most rebellious people in the Roman Empire. During the days of the apostles they were warned never again to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem or to fortify their city. But during the 60's of the first century, while Rome experienced internal troubles, the Jews rebuilt their walls and fortified the city. In the year 66 the Emperor Nero sent Gessius Florus and his legions to subdue the city. The Jews killed him and 5000 of his men. This angered Rome very much.

They sent Flavius Vespasianus with his legions to deal with the city. Vespasian and his troops moved on to Jerusalem. But Vespasian was recalled to Rome because he was elected Emperor. Titus, his son, took over as commander of Vespasian's men. At the time of the Passover in the year 70 about 1,000,000 Jews gathered in Jerusalem.

During the next five months Jerusalem was totally overcome and destroyed. They destroyed themselves. There were three parties in the city who were jealous of each other and did not trust each other. They destroyed each others' food supplies and homes. Thus the Jews were their own worst enemies.

Of course, we know that hundreds of thousands died from starvation during Titus’ final siege of Jerusalem.   When the Romans decided to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD, they first cut off all food supplies to the walled city and allowed no one to escape. They then waited for its inhabitants to starve to death before they entered the city and destroyed it and leveled it to the ground. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, over a million inhabitants died. Josepheus described in detail the seige and famine. "The famine confounded all natural passions; for those who were just going to die looked upon those who were gone to their rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths. A deep silence, also, and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city. And every one of them died with their eyes fixed upon the Temple." (Josephesus, War of the Jews, 5.12.3)

All this occurred in Jesus’ contemporaries.

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