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Posts tagged ‘Temple Mount’

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Before Roman Judean rule

Rome, Ara Pacis museum: cast of a portrait of ...

Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus – Rome, Ara Pacis museum

The Trojan refugee Aeneas had escaped to Italy and founded the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The Year of the Consulship of Balbus and Vetus was gone by and the Rome considered to have become a real Roman Empire bastion (on 21 April 753 bCE) had sent their conquerors also to the East. One of the most prominent patrician houses at Rome which were known for their pride and arrogance and intense hatred of the commonalty, brought Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus better known simply as Tiberius Claudius Nero. After he had divorced Vipsania Agrippina, he had married Augustus’ daughter Julia the Elder (from his marriage to Scribonia) and was adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. {Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero.}

On the verge of accepting command in the East and becoming the second most powerful man in Rome, Tiberius suddenly announced his withdrawal from politics and retired to Rhodes, possibly as an interim solution: he would hold power only until his stepsons would come of age, and then be swept aside.

Instalment of Roman client king of Judea

Rome, Ara Pacis museum: collection of casts of...

Rome, Ara Pacis museum: collection of casts of busts showing the members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, March 28 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In in 63 BCE the Romans had taken over control of Syria, and then intervened in the Hasmonean civil war. A Roman client king of Judea was installed. But he seemed for many “the evil genius of the Judean nation” {Tierney, John. “Herod: Herod the Great”, Catholic Encyclopedia (1910): “Herod, surnamed the Great, called by Grätz “the evil genius of the Judean nation” (Hist., v. II, p. 77)} Though the Jews were granted exemptions from the official Roman state religion, they were not happy with this ambitious man and saw their tribe threatened very hard by this ruthless savage. For others he was Herod the Great (not to be confused with Herod Antipas who came later) and became known as Herod I. He has been described as “a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis“.

Worshippers of One God

By the Greek experience they had learned that others could not be forced to worship their idols and they saw for themselves that the Jews, who only wanted to worship One God, were not like other pagan people who had already several gods and perhaps could have advantage in some extra ones. By the years the Jews had prove that they were not going to conform to a worship which would not have been according to their Laws of worship. So the Romans granted the Jews an official status of being exempt from Roman state religion when they were willing to pay their punitive tax called fiscus Judaicus.

At the time Judea was a very important place for several major trade routes. It was sort of like the great way-station for the incense trade coming from Yemen up the Arabian Peninsula and going out to the Mediterranean. It was also one of the most agriculturally productive pieces of land in the Middle East famous for its olive oil (which was used as a main source of light, and not just for cooking), for its dates (the chief sweetener in the times before sugar), and for its wine.

Thorn in the flesh for the Jews

Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre

A thorn in the flesh was the centre of trade and the Roman administrative capitol of Judea, the artificial port city of Caesarea (one of the two largest in the Empire). Like in the most important Roman cities there was a beautiful amphitheatre, a hippodrome for chariot races and people could gamble and enjoy life or give one’s desires in their pleasure gardens. There was also a huge temple dedicated to the Roman god-emperor, Augustus Caesar.

Temples were sacred places and for the People of God the mount in Jerusalem was most sacred and they did not like the pagan ideas of their oppressor who had found an ambitious project in the re-building of ‘the Temple’, which was almost certainly an attempt to gain popularity among his subjects who, he knew, held him in contempt and also to make amends for his cruelty toward the rabbis.

Build walls around the Temple Mount

It took 10,000 men ten years just to build the retaining walls around the Temple Mount (on top of which the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, stands today). The Western Wall (formerly known as the Wailing Wall or “Kotel Ma’arabi”) is merely part of that 500-meter-long retaining wall that was designed to hold a huge man-made platform that could accommodate twenty four football fields. When it was completed, it was the world’s largest functioning religious site and until today it remains the largest man-made platform in the world.

‘Foresight is the essence of government’, he must have thought and forward looking to a growing Jewish community of which there were already about 6-7 million Jews living in the Roman Empire (plus another 1 million in Persia), they should have felt welcome in the town they had to visit in their lifetime. Because it was considered to go for pilgrimage to  Jerusalem for the three pilgrimage festivals: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.  (Exodus 23: 17; Deuteronomy 16:16). The Mishnah says,

“All are under obligation, to appear, except minors, women, the blind, the lame, the aged, and one who is ill physically or mentally.”

Also knowing that according to the Mosaic law every one should take an offering, though the value thereof is not fixed (comp. Exodus 23: 14; Deuteronomium 16:17) this would mean they had to buy goods in the city and could bring in money for the Roman Empire by the taxes. They were sure of collecting at least the tax for a fixed minimum of three silver pieces, each of thirty-two grains of fine silver (Ḥagai 1:1-2). While the appearance of women and infant males was not obligatory, they usually accompanied their husbands and fathers, as in all public gatherings (Deuteronomy 31:12), which would mean lodging and food for them to be provided. The Talmud plainly infers that both daughters and sons joined the pilgrims at the Passover festival in Jerusalem (Pes. 89a; Giṭ. 25a).

Herod understood that in case the Jews could find a nice place where they could come together to celebrate their festivals, they also would spend a lot of money over there, which would be good for the tax-income. To accommodate such a huge number of people there was a need for a huge space. Hence the size of the platform.

Several Jews where also astonished what the emperor could establish and in the Talmud it was notated:

“He who has not seen Herod’s building, has never in his life seen a truly grand building.” (Talmud-Bava Basra 4a)

In Judea the pilgrimages to Jerusalem were kept up regularly, but the principal gathering of the people was on the Sukkot festival, called “Ḥag ha-Asif” = “Festival of Gathering” (1 Kings 8:65; 2 Chronicles 7:8, 9). The people went undisturbed to Jerusalem for the festivals (Yer. Ta’an. iv. 7; Giṭ. 88a). From beyond Palestine, especially from the River Euphrates, they journeyed to Jerusalem for the festivals. Some even endangered their lives passing the guards posted to stop the pilgrimages (Ta’an. 28a; Grätz, “Gesch.” 3d ed., iii. 157, 668). The number of Jewish pilgrims to the Temple was computed by the governor Gesius Florus (64-66), who counted 256,500 paschal lambs at one Passover festival; allowing ten persons to one lamb, this would make 2,565,000 pilgrims (Josephus, “B. J.” vi. 9). The Tosefta records the census of Agrippa, who ordered the priests to take one hind leg of every paschal lamb, and counted 1,200,000 legs, which would make the total 12,000,000, (Tosef., Pes. iv. 64b). {These figures are evidently exaggerated, and are based on the desire to double the 600,000 of the Exodus, a tendency frequently noticed in the Haggadah.}  It is calculated that ancient Jerusalem comprised an area of 2,400,000 square yards, and, allowing 10 yards for each person, would contain 240,000 persons {see Luncz, “Jerusalem,” i, English part, pp. 83-102}. {Jewish Encyclopedia}

Temple servants also servants of the emperor

Having built the Temple, Herod took pains to make sure it would be run without future problems of this kind. He appointed his own High Priest, having by then put to death forty-six leading members of the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court.

In that Holy of Holies which was covered in gold there was such a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Z’kharyah or Zachariah who had a wife who descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God Who is One. He was a respected priest who could use his words to enlighten many people.
In the other buildings were the walls and columns were of white marble; the floors were of carrara marble, its blue tinge giving the impression of a moving sea of water, the congregation gathered and waited for Zachariah who did not seem to come at his regular time. They waited and waited  and became restless. what they did not know was what happened in the house, where the curtains were tapestries of blue, white, scarlet and purple thread, depicting, according to Josephus, “the whole vista of the heavens.” those heavens seemed to have opened for the priest who was astonished and did not believe his eyes and ears.

A special messenger to a priest

Unannounced, an angel of God had appeared just to the right of the altar of incense and got the priest Zachariah paralyzed in fear. But the angel reassured him not to fear because this messenger of God came to tell that their prayer to receive a child was been heard and would be answered positively.  Elisheva (Elizabeth), his wife, who also observed all the mitzvot and ordinances, but did not seemed to be blessed to have children, would bear a son by him. Both where were quite old and had passed the age of having children so Zachariah did not believe the angel Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring him this glad news.
As priest before God, now not believing the messenger of God, he was punished and became unable to say a word until the day of his son’s birth. He would not be able to say any word until he would be filled with the Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) when the baby would leave his mother’s womb and would get people to  rejoice when he was born, having to face the one who  was going to turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah. That son of those old people would herald and go before his face in the spirit and power of Eliyahu (Elijah), to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Most High a people prepared for him.

Dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things were performed, because he did not believe the words, which were fulfilled in their season, he went out the  sanctuary, to the waiting people, who marvelled while he tarried in the temple and saw at his face and how he behaved that something special had happened. They knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people. When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy.

Luke’s story of the temple priest

The physician Luke (Colossians 4:14) has generally been credited with the writership of the following account:

“5  In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well on in years. 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well on in years.” 19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realised he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.”  (Luke 1:5-25 NIV)

Elisabeth’s other family member also receiving honour of being with child

Eastern Christianity fresco of the Visitation in St. George Church in Kurbinovo, Macedonia

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy by which God had taken away away her reproach among men or her  public disgrace, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of  Natzeret/Nazareth to an Essene young girl, a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Miryam/Miriam (the same name as the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, the Hasmonean princess). Miriam is today better known as Mary (Maria), the mother of Christ (and by many also called the mother of God, though God did not have a mother and has been for ever, so did not have a beginning as eternal Spirit).  Mary or Miryam/Miriam became pregnant with the Messiah and lost her virginity at the exact same time (her first time), thus confirming the Messiah’s physical birth (a physical to Spiritual parallel) as a First Born Son (physical for Mary and Joseph, but Spiritual for Jehovah), and legal heir to the throne of King David. This was a serious situation for the young girl, because in the East, the betrothal or engagement was entered into with much ceremony, and usually took place a year before the marriage and was so sacred that the parties entering into it could not be separated save by a bill of divorcement, which could be called in when somebody seemed to have been unfaithful. Unfaithfulness to each other was deemed adultery and could result in stoning to death.

26  In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.” (Luke 1:26-30 NIV)

Shame over the family

Joseph or Yosef, her husband, being a righteous man,chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced, not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Most High appeared to him in a dream, saying,

“Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

Not interested in Judean politics

At the time that Jewish nationalistic feelings were rising to the surface and Hellenism dominated Judea, the devote Miriam (Mary) was not interested in politics and the significant number of Greeks as well as other gentiles who adopted the Greek lifestyle who came to settle the land. As a result of Herod’s interference and the ever-spreading Hellenistic influences among the Jewish upper classes, the Temple hierarchy had become very corrupt, but her family always stayed truthful to her God, who was the God of Abraham and which she considered the Only One God, the Divine Creator. But perhaps she also might have looked forward to a solution and to their promised land and have sang:

“Maran de-bashamaya,” “Our Master in heaven, to Thee we beg, even like a captive to his master. All captives are ransomed with money; but Thy people Israel, with mercy and supplication. O grant us our request and prayer, and let us not return from Thy presence in vain.”

The Sadducees, a religious group of the wealthy, who collaborated with the Romans in order to keep their power base, now had come in control of the Temple, much to the chagrin of the mainstream Jewish majority, the Pharisees, and of the extreme religious minority, the Zealots.

Dating “Before and after Christ”

HerodtheGreat2.jpg

Basileus or King, emperor Herod the Great

Evidence for the 4 BCE date as the death of Herod in Jericho, is provided by the fact that Herod’s sons, between whom his kingdom was divided, dated their rule from 4 BCE, and Josephus tells us that Herod died after a lunar eclipse.  {Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.4} Elisabeth and Mary having become pregnant before his death, should then also have been delivered their child before the so called Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars.That Medieval Latin term specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi (“In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ”) was long wrongly taken as the year of birth of Christ Jesus. This Gregorian calendar dating system was devised in 525, but was not widely used until after 800, when the Trinitarians got in the majority of those who still kept to the teachings in which Miriam (Mary) strongly believed. Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e., after the death of Jesus. However this would mean that the ~33 years commonly associated with the life of Jesus would not be present in either BC or AD time scales. {Donald P. Ryan, (2000), 15.} Others use it as “Anno Domine” “Year of the Lord” meaning Year of God an having the years BC ‘before Christ’ as the years ‘Before God’ of the “years before God his birth”, which would naturally be impossible, having God being the creator when he would not yet have been born or been in existence.

From told before

Palestine after Herod's deathIsrael had not yet seen realized the long-awaited fulfilment of the promise regarding the Seed through whom blessings would flow. (Ge 22:15-18) Israel had tried to create their won country and to liberate themselves many times from several oppressors. But their own efforts at salvation had produced nothing, unreality. They did not yet form a political nation where there could be found freedom “from enslavement to corruption” and peace for which all creation “keeps on groaning together and being in pain together.” (Romans 8:19-22; compare 10:3; 11:7.) Jehovah, their God had made Jerusalem like a woman who had been made pregnant by her husband and who brought forth numerous children. (Isaiah 54:1-8). After several prophets telling about a saviour to come the time seemed to be ripe.

Later the devout Jew and convert to the new faith, the apostle Paul quoted this prophecy of Isaiah chapter 54 and applied it to “the Jerusalem above [which] is free, and she is our mother.” (Galatians 4:26, 27)

At the end of the current time indication the stars and the moon came to stand in a situation which was predicted by the earlier prophets. Some wise men knew those predictions of a great king and noticed the signs which were predicted in many books. some started traveling and following the stars to find the right place where that king would come to earth.

They did not know that out of that simple devout woman from Nazareth would arise such a great prophet. The apostle John his vision recorded at Revelation 12:1-5 brings the pregnant heavenly “woman” to the forefront. In his revelation we can see that there is given birth to “a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod.” The shepherding of the nations with an iron rod is directly connected with the Messianic Kingdom of God, and hence the vision must relate to the producing of that Kingdom, so that, following the defeat of Satan’s attack on the newborn “child,” the ensuing cry goes forth:

“Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.” (Revelation of the apostle John 12:10)

The anguish of the pregnant heavenly “woman” preceding the birth calls to mind Paul’s expression at Galatians 4:19, “childbirth pains” there apparently representing stirring interest and fervent desire to see full development of matters reached (in Paul’s case, the full development of the Galatian believers as Christians).

  • Lectionary sermon for 15 December 2013 (Advent 3 A) on Matthew 11:2-11 (billpeddie.wordpress.com)
    John’s undoing in this instance was that he believed Herod Antipas the Tetrarch had done something quite immoral, and despite knowing Herod Antipas’ unpleasant reputation, told him so. Herod Antipas had been named as king by Caesar Augustus on the death of his father King Herod the Great, but the Romans had decided his power should be limited and only gave him a quarter share of his father’s territory. He set about trying to win back more power by building the city of Tiberius in honour of his current patron the Emperor Tiberius. The immoral action which had offended John was that Antipas also fancied his brother’s wife, Herodias, so he divorced his own wife and married Herodias. Well it is one thing to believe the king had done wrong, but telling him so was quite another. It is understatement to say upsetting a ruthless king from a ruthless family by calling him immoral was not a wise career move and it was probably no surprise to anyone that John was now imprisoned, and, according to the historian Josephus, in the forbidding fortress Machaerus.
  • Tiberius (14-37) (mkukahiwaharuno.wordpress.com)
    During this time, Augustus’ death in 14 had then caused Tiberius to become ruler.  However, at the time of Augustus’ death, he had hesitated to take over as ruler because he felt as if he was inadequate for the position.  He had even gone as far as telling the senate that he was reluctant and inadequate to fill this role.  He was then appointed control of the Praetorian Guard.  The authority in which Tiberius had during this time since he was Augustus’ heir was also greatly and positively impacted because of his tribunician power, the fact Augustus adopted him and Augustus’ bequest to him of his estate along with one of the most important components, his name… Augustus.  However, Rome’s armies had saw the death of Augustus in a different aspect which was it simply being their way to possibly obtain munity.
  • Sorting out the Agrippinas (timesonline.typepad.com)
    One of the problems of the first century AD is that there are simply too many Agrippinas. Not only the “Elder Agrippina” (the wife of the glamorous prince Germanicus, who kept his memory alive after his suspicious death and was morally upright to the point of being a bit of a pain in the neck) and the “Younger Agrippina” (daughter of the Elder A, wife of Claudius and mother — and lover it was said — of Nero). There’s also the virtuous lady that we tend to know as Vipsania, who was the first wife of the emperor Tiberius….the one he really loved but was made to divorce in order to marry the dreadful Julia. Vipsania was actually “Vipsania Agrippina”, the daughter of Augustus’ aide, Agrippa.This last Agrippina is often missed. In fact the traditional title of the picture, below right (by Rubens, now in the National Gallery in Washington) was “Tiberius and Agrippina”… but has been changed to A0000e45“Germanicus and Agrippina”, partly because the traditional pairing seemed so odd (the Elder Agrippina hated Tiberius, whom she believed was heavily implicated in the death of Germanicus). But actually it’s a pairing that makes perfect sense if you remember it could be what we would call “Tiberius and Vipsania”. This is the sad loving couple who were forced to divorce by the imperial dynastic machine.
  • The Story of Mary and the Birth of the King (womenfromthebook.com)
    or over 500 years the nation of Israel chafed under the thumb of first one Gentile kingdom and then another—Babylon, Persia, the Greco Macedonians, and now Rome, with its absolute ruler Caesar Augustus, and Herod the Great, one of his ruthless client kings. It wasn’t unusual, particularly during Passover season, for passions to ignite as the tribes of Israel revisited the story of God’s intervention and the stunning liberation of their ancestors.  When the white-hot flames of resistance and rebellion flared, they were summarily stamped out under the cruel boot of Herod’s soldiers.Exorbitant taxation compounded the misery of oppression in pre- and first-century Palestine: the mandatory tribute to Rome; locally imposed taxes; several layers of temple tax; impromptu levies to fund military expeditions and building projects. Privation and hardship enveloped the land like a dank, smothering blanket, and peasants found themselves forced to sell their land holdings—inheritances from generations past—in order to survive. The swelling ranks of day laborers told the tale.
    +
    On a cool autumn morning sometime before Herod’s death, in the frontier town of Nazareth in Lower Galilee, a young woman prepared for a long trip to Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus called for a census, declaring “all the world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1-5) and ordered that everyone[1] must register in their ancestral home. And so, Mary, nearly full-term in her pregnancy, helped Joseph load the cart with the necessities they would need to see them through their journey to the ancient city of David.
  • Signs and Wonders (mnorth52.wordpress.com)
    Astrology boomed under the Caesars: here we had a severely autocratic regime which considered it worthwhile to be seen as “one with the gods”, and so it greatly benefited the emperors to have the legitimacy of their sovereignty literally “written in the stars.”Tiberius was no exception: having become self proficient in divination, after a dream which told him to give a large sum of money to a certain person, he decided he was the victim of enchantment, and had the man put to death. So even if you have no connection with someone (even an emperor), you could find your life terminated simply on the arbitrary say-so of interpretation of dreams. Freud no doubt would have been in his heaven among the Romans.
  • Rome’s Religion (ecpsocialstudies6.wordpress.com)
    Honoring gods was a big part of Roman life. There were thousands of Roman gods. The ancient Romans believed gods lived everywhere—in trees, by the side of the road, in a flower, under the bed, and maybe even in the oven in your house.  In ancient Rome, everything had a spirit in charge of it.
  • Tiberius Used Quantitative Easing To Solve The Financial Crisis Of 33 AD (businessinsider.com)
    Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from 14 AD to 37 AD.  He was frugal in his expenditures, and consequently, he never raised taxes during his reign. When Cappadocia became a province, Tiberius was even able to lower Roman taxes. His frugality also allowed him to be liberal in helping the provinces when, for example, a massive earthquake destroyed many of the famous cities of Asia, or when a financial panic struck the Roman Empire in 33 AD.As with many financial panics, this one began when unexpected events in one part of the Roman world spread to the rest of the Empire. To quote Otto Lightner from his History of Business Depressions, “The important firm of Seuthes and Son, of Alexandria, was facing difficulties because of the loss of three richly laden ships in a Red Sea storm, followed by a fall in the value of ostrich feather and ivory. About the same time the great house of Malchus and Co. of Tyre with branches at Antioch and Ephesus, suddenly became bankrupt as a result of a strike among their Phoenician workmen and the embezzlements of a freedman manager. These failures affected the Roman banking house, Quintus Maximus and Lucious Vibo. A run commenced on their bank and spread to other banking houses that were said to be involved, particularly Brothers Pittius.
  • Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 22:15-21 (thedivinelamp.wordpress.com)
    Pharisees are in a special manner said to be the instigators or concocters of this scheme, to insnare our Redeemer, both, because they were most hostile to Him, and among them, especially the following captious question was agitated. Instead of being struck with feelings of dread at the punishment menaced by our Redeemer, and conceiving feelings of true sorrow, they become more hardened in their iniquity, and endeavour to insnare Him.
  • The man behind the emperor: major Augustus exhibit opens in Rome (rawstory.com)
    A political genius, a great reformer, a patron of the arts — but ancient Rome’s first emperor Augustus was also a family man, as highlighted in a new exhibition that opened in Rome this week.The show marks 2,000 years since the death of the founder of the Roman Empire and the man most associated with the “Pax Romana”, a period of immense architectural and artistic achievement.“We wanted to look at the personality of Augustus beyond the official persona,” said Daniel Roger, chief conservator at the Louvre museum in Paris, which is co-organising the exhibition in Rome.

    Through some 200 items including statues, jewelry and platters, the exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale delves into the emperor’s family life and tries to depict the ebullient mood of the time.

    The show brings together for the first time statues of Augustus in his attire as a divine leader and as a star general, as well as an equestrian one found in the Aegean Sea in Greece and displayed in Italy for the first time.

  • Augustus (aaam4e.wordpress.com)
    Augustus got very sick in 23 BC he died visiting his fathers grave on August 19 14 AD

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

Maaseh Shlichim – Chapter 2

English: Apostles receive the gift of tongues ...

Apostles receive the gift of tongues (Acts 2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


*

2.1 And when the moed of Shavuot was fully counted by the omer, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from the shamayim as of a groaning Ruach, and it filled all the Bayit {7} where where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them divided tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. {8}

4 And they were all filled with the Ruach Hakodesh, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Ruach Hakodesh gave them the utterance.

5 And there were dwelling at Yahrushalayim, Yahudim, {9} devout men, out of every nation {1} under the shamayim.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, {2} and were confused, because every man heard them speak in his own language. {3}

7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, See, are not all these who speak Galilaeans?

8 How then do we hear them speaking in our own native language?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Eylamites, and those Yisraelites dwelling in Aram, among whom were Yahudim, and those from Kappadokia, those from Pontos, and also Asia Minor, {4 }{5 }

10 Phrygia, and Pamphulia, in Mitzrayim, and in the parts of Libya near Cyrene, and Yahudim and gerim from Romiyah, along with the Yireh-vuvh, {6 }{7 } {both Yehuḏim and converts/both Jews and proselytes }

11 Cretes and Arabians, {8 } we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of יהוה {speaking the great wonders of Elohim Jehovah}. 12 And they were all amazed and stunned, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What does this mean? {9 }13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Kepha, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, You men of Yahudah, and all you that are staying at Yahrushalayim, {10} be this known to you, and listen to my words:

15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but nine o’clock in the morning.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the navi Yo-El; {11}17 And it shall come to pass in the yamim acharonim, said יראו {Elohim Jehovah }, I will pour out from My Ruach upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on My avadim and on My female avadim I will pour out in those days from My Ruach; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will show wonders in the shamayim above, and signs in the olam beneath; dahm, and fire, and vapor of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into dahm, before that great and terrible Yom יהוה {splendid day of יהוהJehovah} comes: {12}21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the Name of the Master יהוה shall be saved. {13}22 You men of Yisrael, {14} listen to these words; יהושע {Jeshua} of Natzeret, a man approved of יהוה {Jehovah} among you by nisim and wonders and signs, which יהוה {Jehovah} did through Him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of יהוה {Jehovah}, you have taken, and by the hands of Torah-less men, you have impaled and killed: {1}

24 Whom יהוה {Jehovah} has raised up, having demolished the cords {2} of death: because it was not possible for Sheol to hold Him.25 For Dawid spoke concerning Him, I saw my יהוה {Jehovah} always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my lev have gilah, and my tongue had simcha; moreover also my body shall rest in tikvah:

27 Because You will not leave my being in Sheol, neither will You allow the Kadosh-One of Yisrael to see corruption.28 You have made known to me the ways of chayim; You shall make me full of simcha with Your presence.29 Men and Yisraelite brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch Dawid, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 Being a navi, and knowing that יהוה {Jehovah} had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Moshiach to sit on his kesay;

31 He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of the Moshiach, that His being was not left in the Sheol, neither did His flesh see corruption.32 This יהושע {Jeshua} has יהוה {Jehovah} raised up, of which we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the Right Hand of יהוה {Jehovah} exalted, and having received from Abba the promise of the Ruach Hakodesh, He has sent out all this, which you now see and hear.34 For Dawid is not ascended into the shamayim: {3} but he he said himself, the Master יהוה {Jehovah} said to My Master, Sit at My right hand,

35 Until I make Your enemies Your footstool.36 Therefore let kol Beit Yisrael know {4} assuredly, that the Master יהוה {Jehovah} has made known that same יהושע {Jeshua}, whom you have impaled, as both Melech and Moshiach.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced in their levim, and said to Kepha and to the rest of the shlichim, Men and Yisraelite brothers, what shall we do?

38 Then Kepha said to them, Shuv, and be immersed every one of you in the Name of the Master-Yah {5} יהושע {Jeshua} ha Moshiach for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Ruach Hakodesh.39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, {6} even as many as יהוה {Jehovah} our אלהינו {Elohim} shall call. {7}

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying, Save yourselves from this sinful generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were immersed: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand beings. {8}

42 And they continued steadfastly in the shlichim’s Torah and chavurah, and in breaking of lechem, and in the tefillot. {9}43 And fear came upon every being: and many wonders and signs were done by the shlichim.

44 And all that believed were echad, and had all things be-yachad;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and divided them to all men, as every man had need.46 And they, continuing daily as echad in the Beit HaMikdash, {10} breaking lechem from bayit to bayit, {11} did eat their food with simcha and a pure lev,

47 Offering tehilla to יהוה {Jehovah}, and having favor with all the people. And יהוה {Jehovah} added to the congregation of Yisrael daily all those being saved.

*

English: text of the Acts of the Apostles 2:17...

Notes from the Bible translators of the Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible:

{7} The House is not a room. And is not an upper room. It is merely a Hebraic way of identifying the place as the House of  YHWH on Mt. Moriah. Even in the land of Yisrael today, the Temple Mount is known as Har HaBayit, or the Mountain of the House. The Spirit fell in The Temple, or the “House” of YHWH, since that was the only place Yisraelites would be gathered by commandment according to Deut. 16 and Lev. 23. Had these Yisraelites been in an upper room, the Set-Apart-
Spirit could not have been given, since they would be in disobedience to the Torah, as would YHWH, if He gave it to those who were not in His House, but rather in a prayer room of their own choosing. The so-called church as a separate entity from Yisrael, was never born on that day, since the events were promised and prophesied and fulfilled to Yisraelites in the Temple in YHWH’s House.

{8} Another indication that Yisrael was being renewed, as as opposed to a gentile church being birthed, as the Torah was also given in voices of thunderings, or (as the sages teach) in the 70 known tongues of the nations. The Torah was now being placed in their hearts, and this sign of divided tongues indicated that very implanting within the disciples.

{9} Note that these people were not pagans but returning returning Yisraelites in varying stages of return. No pagans would go and worship YHWH on Shavuot/Feast of Weeks. Later in verses 8-11 we see that these men were Yisraelites but not Jews, even though the term Jew is used here to include other Yisraelites both natural and by conversion.

{1} The term “every nation” is indicative of non-Jewish Yisraelites, since this was before the exile of 70CE and the Jews at that time had not yet been exiled to every nation under heaven like they are today, which had in fact occurred to Efrayim at that time.

{2} The “multitudes of the nations.” We see both the devout Jews and the multitudes from the nations coming together around the feasts as the restoration work begins.

{3} Native tongue of the many Yisraelite nations that were visiting.

{4} The Parthians and Medes in Acts 2:9, are identified as an area where Efrayim (ten tribes) was scattered, according to I Chronicles 5:26. The Gozan River was in the area of Medo-Persia. They later formed a large part of the Scythian peoples, who later would settle Northwest Europe as the invading Anglo-Saxon and barbarian nations. The Eylamites in Acts 2:9, were most likely descendents of Ullam, son of Sheresh, son of Maachah, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph.
“Eylamites descended from Ullan, son of Maachah, son of Manasseh, son of Yoseph…” Kol Shofar Monthly Newsletter, Vol.2 No.6 p.2.
{5} The exiles from Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Asia, were all to be considered the dispersed exiled chosen people according to Peter in 1 Peter 1.1.
{6} Known in Hebrew as Yireh-YHWH, or YHWH fearers who were not natives.
{7} Clearly many non-Yisraelites by birth were also in YHWH’s House joining Yisrael and thus being Yisrael as seen by the term gerim/strangers and Yireh-YHWH converts. Notice that Libyans and Egyptians also become Yisrael and received the seal of the Spirit.
{8} Arabs can and have always been welcome to become Yisrael based on Torah terms.
{9} Most believers still don’t clearly see the significance of this event, seeing it as the birth of a new religion, or non-Yisraelite entity, rather than as the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31.

{10} A clear two-house reference. The Jews, and those non-Jews staying for the feast.
{11} Joel’s prophesy in Joel 2:28-32 was given exclusively to Yisraelites and not to pagans, or gentiles. Peter states that this Yisraelite prophecy is fulfilled in the men and women standing there that day.
This prophecy states that the “all flesh” under consideration in the context of Joel 2:27, is the flesh of Yisrael and Yisrael alone. In Joel 2:27, YHWH states that this promise is to Yisrael, since it is He who dwells in the midst of Yisrael. YHWH further elaborates about this last days outpouring of the Spirit upon all Yisraelite flesh in Joel chapter 2:28, 29. The promised outpouring of the Spirit would take place upon your sons, your daughters, your old men, your young men, your men servants, and your female servants.
Obviously the key word here is “your,” or Joel’s people. If we are honest with Scripture and we let
Scripture interpret Scripture, the “all flesh” that received the Spirit had to be Yisrael’s sons, daughters, young men, old men and all sojourners among them.
Yisrael was being renewed without any new church being born.

{12} At the second coming.
{13} MarYah in the Peshitta, literally meaning that to call on YHWH through Yahshua is salvation itself.
{13} BS note: And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} shall be saved. (Joel 2:28-32, Rom. 10:13. )

{14} The multitudes from all the nations despite not being Jewish, or speaking Hebrew, are called “Yisrael” by Peter.
{1} v.23: Yahshua’s death was arranged by the will of the Father, in order to redeem man individually and Yisrael collectively, as seen in John 10:16-17. This was and remains the Father’s plan to cleanse all His children from both houses. The Jews did not kill Messiah. The Father’s predetermined plan did.
{2} Peshitta term khabelyeh in context means ropes not pain.

{3} Dawid’s spirit ascended only after the resurrection of Messiah, and his body remains in the grave for the return of Messiah.
{4} In the setting, an obvious reference to kol, or all Yisrael, or those returning from both houses.
{5} Aramaic Mar-Yah Yahshua, a clear reference to His deity.

{6} A Hebraic idiom as outlined in Ephesians 2:13 and Daniel 9:7 and elsewhere, that speak of the 10 tribes of Efrayim-Yisrael.
{7} The perpetual promise to all of Joel’s regenerated children, even as many as are generations away.
{8} Further proof that this event could not have taken place in the so called “upper room” since that tiny upper room of the last supper can’t hold 3,000 people, or even 120, and certainly did not have a baptismal pool.
{9} Three times daily.

{10} The final proof that these events did not birth an upper room church, as by definition they could not continue in the temple, unless they were there in the first place.
11 This is a remez (scriptural hint) on the unity of Yisrael being restored from house to house, between Judah and Efrayim.

*

Acts of the Apostles in the version of the Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible, Updated Third Edition, with Scriptural Supervision and Doctrinal Oversight by Rabbi Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky, Your Arms To Yisrael Publishing, 2007, 2008 CE

Preceding: The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 1

Compare with: Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

English: Group of Kohanim studying the Halacho...

Group of Kohanim studying the Halachot of Tumah and Taharah in anticipation of the coming of Moshiach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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  • Water from the Rock (faithgracetorah.net)
    As believers in Messiah Y’shua we understand there there are no idle words in scripture, which is why it is so fundamentally important to grasp the deeper levels of understanding that we can see utilizing the PaRDeS method of study.
    +
    knowing that Joshua (Yehoshua, Y’shua) is the Messiah’s name it may be logical to conclude that the events surrounding Joshua’s ascending to leadership and his relationship to Moses are Shadows of Messiah.
    +
    It was Moses who changed his name from Salvation to YHWH is salvation. Moses represents the Law/Torah and we can see here a beautiful hint that the Torah/Law points to salvation from YHWH.
  • Mitzvot 487 – 489 (tqnbytdvd.wordpress.com)
    Attitude is every bit as important as the physical act itself. We are commanded to rejoice in these festivals. To look forward to them with enthusiasm, to absolutely enjoy meeting with our brothers an sisters, and above all to give total praise to God. And when we understand WHY we keep these festivals, we should rejoice even more!
  • The Dumb Spirit (kumi07.wordpress.com)
    Inability to speak about YHVH, to praise His Name, to glorify Him may
    indicate a dumb spirit. Once this dumb spirit is gone by the Ru-ach
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    from the rooftops, we can glorify & praise His Name wherever we are.
    We are no longer bound.  When we are no longer bound, the Ru-ach has
    freedom , & in freedom the Ru-ach reigns, & miracles happen.
  • Do You Speak in Tongues? (eternalchrist.wordpress.com)
    it is important to recognize that (while our Gentile brothers and sisters enjoy the favors of Christian liberty) Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the feasts of Israel. He is our Passover Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost.
    +
    we do know that the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to all believers, but not the same gifts. In his first letter to the assembly at Corinth (chapter 12), the apostle Paul (the 12th apostle since he was appointed by Christ whereas Matthias was chosen by lottery) noted the various gifts of the Spirit including wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, and tongues. In the Bible tongues means language and not gibberish which is so often heard by the false teachers of the word of faith gospel.
  • Rastafari Shavuot – Feast of Weeks – Pentecost Pt.1 (melekmediahouse.wordpress.com)
    Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai before Israel entered the Land of Promise. More specifically, it is the giving on the One Law of Jah and it’s Ten Articles (otherwise known as ’10 Commandments’). This is the true and living charter of “Human Rights” – this is the Hebrew Rights Charter. This document is the contract between Israel and YHWH, agreed to before Israel could enter into Jah’s appointed Holy territory and receive the inheritance of Canaan and all the blessings from YHWH.
  • Acts 1-3 By Jack AKA Brutus (obterns2013.wordpress.com)
    People from many nations were amazed the disciples were speaking in their native language. Acts 2:8 “Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Then in verse 11 “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”Right away they’re persecuted for what they did, in verse 13 “They have had too much wine.” Here we see that the followers of Christ are persecuted when they are seriously being moved by the Holy Spirit. I know most of us can attest to similar things happening in our own lives. I personally can think of many times where I’ve been shot down after doing what I was convinced God was leading me to do.
  • Did the Avot Keep all the Mitzvot? (bassous.wordpress.com)
    The Avot were commanded to keep the seven noachide laws and indeed kept them, but they were not commanded to keep the other mitzvot – did the Avot keep the Torah before it had been given?

    There are several examples of the Avot (and others) going against Torah commands;
    +
    The Avot did not keep the mitzvot, but rather got to their lofty spiritual level by ‘having understood everything there is to understand in true wisdom and corrected themselves in every way.’ What the Rambam means is each mitzvah achieves a certain spiritual effect/tikun, the Avot had the ability to be able to tap into creating these effects and tikkunim without necessarily performing the technical details of the mitzvah.

  • Happy (Greek) Easter (sojourningwithjews.com)
    Shavuot begins on Sivan 6 on the Hebrew and is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and guess what? It is also the day that the Holy Spirit fell upon the believers as recorded in Acts 2:1-6. I’ll use a quote from the CJB in order to capture a better flavor:
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    The gift of peace comes when we let YHWH’s Spirit, His Ruach dwell. To do that we have to constantly trust in Him, for “The one steadfast of mind YHWH guards in perfect peace, for he trusts in YHWH. Trust in YHWH forever, for in YHWH, Elohim, is a rock of age” (Isaiah 26:3-4). He wants us to be at peace, “the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
  • Engrafted Into The Story: Romans 11 And Reconciliation (politicaljesus.com)
    The problem with supersessionism is that it is first and foremost, a rejection of God’s plan that includes the strategy of engraftment. Understanding our Gentile place is crucial part of understanding the mission of YHWH, the Word that YHWH sent went to Israel and Judah first, and then the Gentiles.

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