Letter To The Jews / Chapter 6

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6: The Length Of The War Foretold

Now, just as YHWH is in control of the times and seasons concerning your people, he was also in control of the length of the war.

For Josephus considers the “true beginning” of the war, as the time when the Jewish rebels captured the fortress of Masada from the Romans. At the same time, the son of the high priest persuaded the priesthood not to receive gifts or sacrifices from any foreigner.1

As a result, Caesar was robbed of sacrifices to God on his behalf, which is perhaps what Daniel's prophecy means when it says that “from him the regular sacrifice was taken away, and the site of his sanctuary was thrown down.” 2

About half way through the war, Titus broke through the walls of Jerusalem and was almost at the Temple. At that time, the “daily sacrifice” failed, and could no longer be offered to God, because there were not enough men to offer it.3

And so the prophecy perhaps has a double meaning, and therefore a double confirmation of its truth. For the regular sacrifice was earlier taken away from Caesar, and also it was taken away from YHWH himself, even before the Temple was destroyed.

The war ended with the capture of Masada4 by the Romans, the same fortress that had been taken earlier by the Jewish rebels, and that had indicated the beginning of the war. The war lasted for 7 years, which was also predicted by the angel who spoke with Daniel.

While Daniel was praying concerning the devastation of Jerusalem and the holy temple by the Babylonians, the angel appeared and told him that Jerusalem would be rebuilt, but would be destroyed again.

“And the city and sanctuary will be destroyed by the people of a prince to come, and end in flooding; and until the end, war and desolations have been decided. And he overpowers5 a covenant for the many for one seven; and at the half of the seven he will cause sacrifice and offering to cease. And on a wing of abominations is one making desolate; and until a conclusion that has been reached, it will be poured out upon the one being desolated.” 6

In a fulfillment of this, the Romans came like a flood against your ancestors, and warred with them for 7 years. Half way through the war, general Titus caused sacrifice and offering to cease with the destruction of the Temple, and the Roman armies brought their idols to the holy place, their eagle standards which they worshiped as gods, and which were abominations in the eyes of YHWH.

1 66CE. Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book 2, Chapter 17, Section 2. 2 Daniel 8:11. 3 70CE. Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book 6, Chapter 2, Section 1. 4 73CE. 5 This word is related to the one used to describe the floodwaters overpowering or prevailing over the Earth, in Genesis 7:18,19. 6 Daniel 9:26,27.

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