The historical events.
The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
The conquest of Jerusalem in the last days.
The relation to reality of this interpretation.
The "gathering" of Israel at our time.
The final salvation of Israel and the annihilation of its tormentors.
The conquest and dispersion of Jerusalem is an event in the period of the "Great
After the two witnesses of God have prophesied in Jerusalem in the first part of the seventieth week of seven years, they are now killed by the Antichrist when he appears. As a consequence of the subsequent heavy earthquake in Jerusalem all survivors in the city return to their God.
The Antichrist takes this occasion in order to devastate the city with his troops and to deport its inhabitants. After the conquest of Jerusalem and the expatriation of its citizens, the reign of the Antichrist begins – which also lasts for three and a half years.
(See also discourse 86: "The first and the second Antichrist.")
We have both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament several hints at the capture of
Jerusalem by the Gentiles. Accordingly often to that, this town was conquered by its Gentile neighbors and its
inhabitants were killed or expatriated.
Already Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied that the enemy would set up siegeworks round Jerusalem.
I will camp against you encircling you, and I will set siegeworks against you.
Isa 29,1 Woe, O Ariel, Ariel the city where David once camped! Add year to year,
observe your feasts on schedule. 29,2 I will bring distress to Ariel, And she will be a city of lamenting and
mourning; And she will be like an Ariel to me. 29,3 I will camp against you encircling you, and I will set
siegeworks against you, and I will raise up battle towers against you. Isa 29, 1 – 3;
Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem; This is the city to be punished.
Jer 6,1 "Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin, From the midst of
Jerusalem! Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa And raise a signal over Beth – haccerem; For evil looks down from the
north, And a great destruction. 6,2 "The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut
off. 6,3 "Shepherds and their flocks will come to her, They will pitch their tents around her, They will
pasture each in his place. 6,4 "Prepare war against her; Arise, and let us attack at noon. Woe to us, for
the day declines, For the shadows of the evening lengthen! 6,5 "Arise, and let us attack by night And
destroy her palaces!" 6,6 For thus says the LORD of hosts, "Cut down her trees And cast up a
siege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression. Jer 6,
1 – 6;
Now one is fully justified in saying that these prophecies referred to the siege and the
conquest of Jerusalem in 597 and/or 586 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar.
Although the very high city wall of Jerusalem was not seized by means of ramparts at that time, but the city was taken by storm by means of a ram block, which beat a breach into the wall, one can nevertheless say with some certainty that the Babylonians had also built up bulwarks and ramparts (Isa 29,3) (2Ki 25,1).
In the New Testament we have then another hint at a siege of Jerusalem, where a rampart was
They will level you to the ground, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another.
Lk 19,41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 18,42
saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been
hidden from your eyes. 19,43 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a
barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 19,44 and they will level you to
the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because
you did not recognize the time of your visitation." Lk 19,41 – 44;
And here again the assumption is obvious that this is a prophecy of the Lord concerning the
siege, conquest, and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Titus. Even more so, as the city was actually
destroyed at that time and the temple was leveled to the ground and almost no stone was left upon another one.
Only a part of the western wall (also called the "Wailing Wall" by the Gentiles) and the three
mighty towers at the palace of Herod were left standing by Titus as a sign of victory.
Even if since that time almost two thousand years have passed and even if Jerusalem today
lives in a relative peace and quiet, the Scriptures tells us that a third catastrophe of that kind is still to
come over this city in the last days. This assumption can be substantiated by three further passages from the
They will be led captive into all the nations; Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles.
Lk 21,20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize
that her desolation is near. 21,21 "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; 21,22
because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 21,23
"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; 21,24 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. Lk 21,20 – 24;
Apart from the strange fact that there are only two prophecies concerning the fall of
Jerusalem among the Synoptists, namely with Luke – as we can see above in chapter 19 and 21 – , the contents
of the statements of both texts are so different that one inevitably has to conclude that two different events
are described here. In Lk 19,43 – 44 (Titus, 70 A.D. – see above) it says that the enemies will throw up a
barricade and will then level Jerusalem to the ground together with its children – that is to say all
inhabitants. In Lk 21,22 – 24, however, it is pointed out that these are the days of vengeance and that there
will be great distress on earth and wrath to this people.
The attempt to interpret Lk 21,20 – 24 also as the conquest by Titus in 70 involves some problems. Even if the "wrath" could by explained to some extent at the time of Titus (but even that only with the Romans, whereas here in Lk 21,22 the assumption is obvious that this wrath to the people of Israel has to be understood on a worldwide scale), such a global event as a "great distress on earth" in those days is neither handed down to us in history nor explainable from the situation of that time. But if we relate this text to the last days, these statements become much more understandable. The "great distress on earth" conforms with other statements of the New Testament about the last days, with wars, famines, epidemics, and earthquakes in Mt 24,6 – 7; Mk 13,7 – 8, especially, however, with Rev 6,3 – 8. The hatred toward Jews could be explained by the fact that it was the two witnesses in Jerusalem who were mentioned at the beginning, who triggered off these catastrophes through their power over nature and thus brought about the wrath of the world toward the entire people of Israel.
(See also Chapter 01: "The 70th week of seven
We find the second text which is relevant in connection with this subject in the last book of
the Bible, in the Revelation.
The nations will tread under foot the holy city.
Rev 11,1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said,
"Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 11,2 "Leave out
the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they
will tread under foot the holy city for forty – two months. Rev 11, 1 – 2;
Although the name Jerusalem is not explicitly mentioned here, this prophecy refers quite
certainly to Jerusalem. This is implied by the designation "holy city", the fact that the temple of
God is in it, and the fact that this city – where, by the way, the two witnesses are killed – is called the
city where the Lord was crucified in Rev 11,8.
Then it also says that the Gentiles will tread under foot the holy city for forty – two months. This period of time can be interpreted with some certainty as the time of the reign of the Antichrist. And the expression "tread under foot by the Gentiles" corresponds exactly to the designation which we also find here above in Lk 21,24.
Apart from the explicit statement of the text in Rev 11,2 "and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty – two months" this passage from the Scriptures also contains an implicit prerequisite. If the Gentiles will now tread under foot the holy city for 42 months, this means that they did not "tread under foot" the city before, that is to say that they were not in the city. This, and the fact that this "treading under foot" obviously sets in abruptly, corroborate the assumptions that the conquest and the capture of the city by enemy troops is described here.
But we can also establish some connections to this event from the Old Testament.
I will charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.
Isa 5,5 "So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard: I will
remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.
5,6 "I will lay it waste; It will not be pruned or hoed, But briars and thorns will come up. I will
also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it." 5,7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house
of Israel And the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress. Isa 5, 5 – 7;
Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge.
Isa 5,13 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge;
And their honorable men are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst. 5,14 Therefore
Sheol has enlarged its throat and opened its mouth without measure; And Jerusalem’s splendor, her
multitude, her din of revelry and the jubilant within her, descend into it.
5,15 So the common man will be humbled and the man of importance abased, The eyes of the proud also will be abased. 5,16 But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, And the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. 5,17 Then the lambs will graze as in their pasture, And strangers will eat in the waste places of the wealthy. Isa 5,13 – 17;
Although the texts in Isa 5 aim at the two deportations of the people of Israel under
Nebuchadnezzar, they nevertheless contain essential statements, which justify a consideration of them also in
the last days.
So, the hint in Isa 5,6 "I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it" seems to be not relevant for the first and the second deportation, but very well here, in the last days, where just the two witnesses will seal up the sky for three and a half years so that it will not rain.
Also the text of Isa 5,7 "Thus he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed…" corresponds with the statement in Rev 11, 8 – 9, where the Jerusalem of the last days is referred to as "Sodom and Egypt" and the citizens of this city do not permit the dead bodies of the two prophets to be laid in a tomb and thus do not even grant them their right to a funeral.
Then we have in Isa 5,13 the hint at a sudden deportation. This is unambiguously a prophecy for the future, as the armies of Nebuchadnezzar had besieged the city for months and a conquest had been foreseeable already long before. And also the hint at hunger and thirst after the deportation is here, in the last days, after the three and a half years of worldwide drought, caused by the two witnesses, quite plausible. The situation is quite different at the deportation to Babylon, where the Jews finally got something to eat again after months of food shortage in consequence of the siege. There was probably no superabundance, but no hunger either. It is true that the Jews were held captive in Babylon, but they did not have to starve there.
Also the text here below, Isa 5,25 – 30, may in part apply to the Babylonian army, but the qualities of the bellicose people which is described here seem to be somehow "excessive". These warriors, who are not tired or weak, whose bows are bent all the time, whose chariot wheels are like a whirlwind and whose horses have hoofs as hard as flint, give the impression of a huge martial collective. When they then, on top of that, roar like lions and growl like the roaring of the sea, one has completely the impression that it is not warriors with horses and chariots that are meant here.
The anger of the LORD has burned against His people; He has stretched out His hand against them.
Isa 5,25 On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people,
And He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down. And the mountains quaked, and their
corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, But His hand is
still stretched out.
5,26 He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, And will whistle for it from the ends of the earth; And behold, it will come with speed swiftly. 5,27 No one in it is weary or stumbles, None slumbers or sleeps; Nor is the belt at its waist undone, Nor its sandal strap broken. 5,28 Its arrows are sharp and all its bows are bent; The hoofs of its horses seem like flint and its chariot wheels like a whirlwind. 5,29 Its roaring is like a lioness, and it roars like young lions; It growls as it seizes the prey And carries it off with no one to deliver it.
5,30 And it will growl over it in that day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, there is darkness and distress; Even the light is darkened by its clouds. Isa 5,25 – 30;
A destroyer of nations has set out; He has gone out from his place to make your land a waste.
Jer 4,5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, "Blow the
trumpet in the land; Cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go Into the fortified cities.’
4,6 "Lift up a standard toward Zion! Seek refuge, do not stand still, For I am bringing evil from the
north, And great destruction.
4,7 "A lion has gone up from his thicket, And a destroyer of nations has set out; He has gone out from his place To make your land a waste. Your cities will be ruins Without inhabitant. 4,8 "For this, put on sackcloth, Lament and wail; For the fierce anger of the LORD Has not turned back from us."
4,9 "It shall come about in that day," declares the LORD, "that the heart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled and the prophets will be astounded." 4,10 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Surely You have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’ whereas a sword touches the throat." 4,11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people – not to winnow and not to cleanse,
4,12 a wind too strong for this – will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them. 4,13 "Behold, he goes up like clouds, And his chariots like the whirlwind; His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined!" 4,14 Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, That you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts Lodge within you? 4,15 For a voice declares from Dan, And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim. 4,16 "Report it to the nations, now! Proclaim over Jerusalem, ‘Besiegers come from a far country, And lift their voices against the cities of Judah. 4,17 Like watchmen of a field they are against her round about, Because she has rebelled against Me,’ declares the LORD. 4,18 "Your ways and your deeds Have brought these things to you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart!" 4,19 My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war. 4,20 Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, For the whole land is devastated; Suddenly my tents are devastated, My curtains in an instant. 4,21 How long must I see the standard And hear the sound of the trumpet? 4,22 "For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know." Jer 4, 5 – 22;
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle.
Zech 14,1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will
be divided among you. 14,2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will
be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people
will not be cut off from the city. Zech 14, 1 – 2;
Also here above, in Zech 14,1 – 2 there is talk about the conquest of Jerusalem in the last
days. And also here we have the prophecy – in a similar way as in Lk 21,24 (Isa 5,13) – that the people of
Jerusalem will be taken prisoners and deported.
THE PARABLE OF THE
Let me sing now for my well-beloved a song of my
beloved concerning His vineyard.
My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
He dug it all around, removed its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine.
And He built a tower in the middle of it and also hewed out a wine vat in it;
Then He expected it to produce good grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge between Me and My vineyard.
What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:
I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;
I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.
I will lay it waste;
It will not be pruned or hoed,
But briars and thorns will come up.
I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel
And the men of Judah His delightful plant.
Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.
(See also chapter 13: ‘Lamentation
Now the relation to reality – especially with this subject – should not be lost. Such
events where "the city will be captured, the houses plundered, and the women ravished" may have been
on the agenda as concomitants of wars and conquests in the early days of the history of mankind. But can one
seriously imagine that even today, in our civilized world, such brutal and barbarous manners spread again?
While these lines are written, the conflict in Kosovo has just broken out. The NATO attacks Serbia, the Serbs drive hundreds of thousands of Kosovo – Albanians out of their home country. The empty houses are plundered by the Serbs and then set on fire. The young men among the Kosovo – Albanians are shot dead and then buried in mass graves. The young Albanian women are held captive in buildings and systematically raped by the Serbian soldiers. And all of that in the middle of Europe, a part of the world, which up to that time has been regarded as civilized, democratic, and peaceful.
And here an answer is given to the question above: If all of this is possible in Europe, how much more might it be probable that precisely in the Near East, where the hostility between Israel and the Arabian world has been smoldering for thousands of years, similar brutalities could happen? One only has to imagine what would have happened if in the war of June of 1967 the Arabians (Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians) had won and not the Israelis. Or if Saddam Hussein succeeded today in invading Israel and in capturing it.
So, also as far as the contents of these prophecies of a new conquest and dispersion of Jerusalem in the last days is concerned, there is no reason to classify them as unrealistic. And it is precisely when we look at the passage from Zechariah above, that we recognize a further connection. In the subsequent verse, Zech 14,3, we have the first hint in the Old Testament at a "counterblow" of God, namely at the Battle of Armageddon, which is then described even more concrete in the verses Zech 14,12 – 16.
(See also Chapter 07: "The Battle of Armageddon.")
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations.
Zech 14,3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as
when He fights on a day of battle. Zech 14, 3;
In the book of Joel we have then quite a similar constellation. On the one hand the hint at
the gathering of the Gentile armies and on the other hand the prophecy that the Lord will wage the holy war
against them with his "strong army".
They have scattered My people among the nations; And they have divided up My land.
Joel 3,1 "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the
fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 3,2 I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of
Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance,
Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. 3,3 "They have
also cast lots for My people, Traded a boy for a harlot And sold a girl for wine that they may drink. Joel 3,
1 – 3;
And also here we find as reason for this declaration of war of God, the occupation of the
country and the dispersion of the people by the Gentiles. But in addition we find out here a further detail
concerning the time of this event. "In those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah
and Jerusalem". That means, at the time of the Battle of Armageddon Israel is still dispersed in the
world – and that after the dispersion in the last days pointed out above – and the gathering and return of the
people has not taken place yet.
This is also confirmed by the next verses.
You have sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks.
Joel 3,4 "Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre, Sidon and all the regions of
Philistia? Are you rendering Me a recompense? But if you do recompense Me, swiftly and speedily I will return
your recompense on your head.
3,5 "Since you have taken My silver and My gold, brought My precious treasures to your temples, 3,6 and sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their territory,
3,7 behold, I am going to arouse them from the place where you have sold them, and return your recompense on your head. 3,8 "Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a distant nation," for the LORD has spoken. Joel 3, 4 – 8;
When interpreting these prophecies concerning the conquest and dispersion of Jerusalem the
question arises again and again – which is quite natural – if there is not any other interpretation of theses
passages from the Scriptures. For the most obvious argument is the assignment of these statements to one of
the conquests of the city in history. But as already explained at the beginning, there are prophecies for
these events, and these prophecies can also be assigned to certain events. Nevertheless, texts such as Lk
21,20 – 24 and Rev 11,1 – 2 remain open as prophecies for the future if we look at them in an objective way.
The attempt to anticipate the future and to see the biblical "gathering" of the
people of Israel and its everlasting existence in the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, fails because
of the fact that reality looks different. For in this case we would have to proceed from the assumption that
the repatriation from 1948 on would be a fulfillment of the prophecy of Eze 39,27 – 29 and many other passages
from the Scriptures, where it says:
For I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.
Ezk 39,26 "They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which
they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. 39,27
"When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I
shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.
38,28 "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. 39,29 "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD. Eze 39,26 – 29;
Now probably nobody, at least the Israelites themselves, would want to assert that the Spirit
of God had been poured out on the people of Israel already now. Corrupt politicians, fanatic settlers, and
large numbers of the population, who do not believe neither in the Messiah nor in the God of their fathers,
contradict this assumption unambiguously.
But from that it must be inevitably concluded that the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent repatriation of many Jews to the new state of Israel which has been going on until today was by no means the event, which the Scriptures prophesies as the return and the gathering of the people of Israel. It was solely the will of men, the Zionists of Theodor Herzl, who thought that their time had come to fulfill the dream of the Jews of a state of their own. As it often happens in history, this people did not listen to the voice of its God and did not wait, but tried to realize at that time what God had reserved for a later time. And as it often happens in history, they will – according to the prophecies of the Scriptures – fail in that
This course of events is comparable to the attempt on Hitler’s life in July 1944. At that time the opportunity was favorable as never before, the plan would have found its justification also before history – as the liberation from a tyrant. Everything was painstakingly planned and in case of a successful execution the assailants would have certainly been celebrated as liberators and heroes before the whole world. But Hitler’s time had not come yet. And thus still millions of people had to die, before an end was put to this horrible happenings.
This means for Israel, however, – no matter how hard this is to accept – , that they possibly have caused their renewed expatriation themselves by the premature founding of the state. For the prophecy of the "gathering" cannot be fulfilled, if they – as it is the case at present – are already gathered in Israel. In order that the words of the "gathering" in the Scriptures can be actually fulfilled at the time determined by God, this people has to be dispersed therefore once more for a last time, in order to be then again gathered by its God from all over the world and to be brought back to its land. Then – and only then – they will return to their God, and He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and they will say, "My God", and God will say, "My people".
Of course we also have to ask ourselves here, why just this people again and again goes astray and makes the wrong decisions over and over again. After all it is the "people of God", and when we compare its history to the history of other peoples, we see that in the course of the centuries no other people had to endure so many sufferings as Israel.
Although it does not seem to be very opportune just in our days, to look for an answer to this question in the role which the Jewish people played in the middle of its history at the condemnation of the Messiah to the death on the cross, the relevant passages from the Bible are quoted here:
His blood shall be on us and on our children!
Mt 27,23 And he said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they kept
shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!" 27,24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing
nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd,
saying, "I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves."
27,25 And all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!"
27,26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
Mt 27,23 – 26;
So they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!"
Jn 19,12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews
cried out saying, "If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out
to be a king opposes Caesar." 19,13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and
sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 19,14 Now it was the
day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your
19,15 So they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!"
Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The cief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
19,16 So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. Jn 19,12 – 16;
(See also Discourse 87: "The Turin Shroud.")
One of the most cruel humiliations of this people was – apart from the holocaust – the one
under the occupation of the king of the Seleucides Antiochus Epiphanes IV (175 – 164 B.C.). The sufferings of
the Jews under this perverse ruler are recorded in the Epistles to the Maccabees. And just there, in 2 Mac
6,12 – 16, we also find a hint, which could facilitate our understanding for the sufferings of the Jewish
The sense behind the Jewish people’s suffering.
2Mac 6,12 But at this point I would like to beseech the reader not to get
discouraged because of this misery, but to bear in mind that punishment befalls our people not for the sake
of our destruction and perdition, but for the sake of our education and correction. 6,13 For it is a sign
of great mercy when God does not let the sinners go on in their ways for a long time, but submits them to
punishment very soon.
6,14 For our Ruler does not sit back patiently and watch us with so much forbearance as He watches the other nations, whom He gives full play and whom He lets do as they like until their sins have reached their height and whom He punishes then; but He prevents us from carrying on our sins that far so that He does not have to punish us so destructively in the end.
6,15 Therefore, He never withdraws His mercy completely from us; and even though He chastises and disciplines us by means of a calamity, He never forsake His people. 6,16 This shall be said to the end that we do not forget it. 2Mac 6,12 – 16;
According to this statement of a faithful Israelite one should wish the people of Israel that
the education by their God leads to the fact that the finally listen to this God of theirs and stop acting on
their own authority.
But let us now come back to our original subject, namely the fate of Jerusalem in the last days. In the Old Testament we have even further texts about a downfall of Jerusalem. However, we have to distinguish between the statements in which Jerusalem or Zion is described to be "in ruins" and other ones. The fact that Jerusalem lies in ruins at the beginning of the Millennium, at the beginning of the reign of the Lord, is not caused by the destruction of the city by the Gentiles, but is a consequence of the worldwide earthquake on the Day of the Lord when heaven and earth are reorganized. In contrast to the remaining surface of the planet, Mount Zion will "be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills" (Mi 4,1), but the buildings, houses, and walls of Jerusalem will not withstand these enormous vibrations and will tumble down.
The LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places.
Isa 51,3 Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste
places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and
gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody. 51,4 "Pay attention to Me, O My
people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a
light of the peoples. Isa 51, 3 – 4 ;
Shout joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people.
Isa 52,7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion,
"Your God reigns!" 52,8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully
together; For they will see with their own eyes When the LORD restores Zion. 52,9 Break forth, shout
joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed
Jerusalem. Isa 52, 7 – 9;
So, at the time when the Lord returns to Zion in order to comfort His people and to redeem
Jerusalem, the city will lie in ruins. (See also Isa 61,4; Eze 36,9.33; Ps 102,15)
(See also Chapter 10: "The Millennium.")
The prophecies concerning the conquest and dispersion of Jerusalem in the last days contain,
however, at the same time the promise of salvation.
Jerusalem you have drunk from the LORD’S hand the cup of His anger You will never drink it again.
Isa 51,17 Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have
drunk from the LORD’S hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.
51,18 There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, Nor is there one to take her by the hand
among all the sons she has reared.
51,19 These two things have befallen you; Who will mourn for you? The devastation and destruction, famine and sword; How shall I comfort you? 51,20 Your sons have fainted, They lie helpless at the head of every street, Like an antelope in a net, Full of the wrath of the LORD, The rebuke of your God. 51,21 Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, Who are drunk, but not with wine:
51,22 Thus says your Lord, the LORD, even your God Who contends for His people, "Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again. 51,23 "I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’ You have even made your back like the ground And like the street for those who walk over it." Isa 51,17 – 23;
So, this dispersion, this "cup of reeling" is the last ordeal for the Israelites.
Afterwards the cup of the anger of God is taken out of their hands and put into the hands of their tormentors.
Finally we have another hint at this last tribulation of Israel with Jeremiah.
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.
Jer 30,4 Now these are the words which the LORD spoke concerning Israel and
concerning Judah: 30,5 "For thus says the LORD, ‘I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there is
no peace. 30,6 ‘Ask now, and see If a male can give birth. Why do I see every man With his hands on his
loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? 30,7 ‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.
30,8 ‘It shall come about on that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. 30,9 ‘But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. Jer 30, 4 – 9;
For a little while our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary.
Isa 63,18 For a little while Your holy people had been expelled, our
adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary. 63,19 We have become like those over whom You have never
ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name. Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That
the mountains might quake at Your presence. Isa 63,18 – 19;
Also in the above passage from the Scriptures – Isa 63,18 – 19 – it says that the sanctuary will
be trodden down and that "Your holy people will be expelled". Moreover, it says that this state of
affairs will last only "for a little while". This statement can be brought into perfect harmony with
the forty – two months from Rev 11,2. And at that time the Lord will also very soon fulfill the request of the
prophet "that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your
presence". Three and a half years later, after the Great Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon, the
Lord will actually rend heaven at the seventh bowl of wrath, come down, and the mountains will melt like wax
and the valleys will be raised at His presence.
(See also Chapter 08: "The reorganization of heaven and
With that we also have a summary for "the days of retaliation":
– Jerusalem will be besieged and conquered in the middle of the seventieth week of
seven years by the Gentiles
– the people is partly killed, partly deported or expelled
– the Gentiles will "tread under foot" the city
– the temple itself will be desecrated
– this state of affairs will last only for a short time – 3 1/2 years (until the times
of the Gentiles are fulfilled)
– then the Lord will pronounce Judgment upon heaven and earth (Day of the Lord).