Dr. Thomas Newton

English Anglican theologian, clergyman, biblical scholar, author, biographer, bishop, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Dissertations on the Prophecies

“the iron cannot signify the Macedonians again, but must necessarily denote some other nation: and we will venture to say that there is not a nation upon earth, to which this description is applicable, but the Romans.”

A.D.70-Primary / Future-Secondary Fulfillment

Not So!  A.D.70 is Total Fulfillment!

“what they conceived would be the destruction of Jerusalem, then they conceived would be the coming of Christ… The coming of Christ and the ‘conclusion of the age’ [are] only different expressions to denote the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Excerpted by John Bray in “The Prophecy of Matthew 24”, 13

Preterist Commentaries By Historicist / Continuists

Dividing Line Between Destruction of Jerusalem and General Judgment – Matthew 24:29

(On the Significance of A.D.70)
“As a general in the wars (Josephus) must have had an exact knowledge of all transactions, and a Jewish priest he would not relate them with any favour of partiality to the Christian cause. His history was approved by Vespasian and Titus (who ordered it to be published) and by King Agrippa and many others, both Jews and Romans, who were present in those wars. He designed nothing less, and yet as if he had designed nothing more, his history of the Jewish wars may serve as a larger comment on our Saviour’s prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Newton, p. 433)

“But none of our Saviour’s prophecies are more remarkable than those relating to the destruction of Jerusalem, as none are more proper and pertinent to the design of these discourses: and we will consider them as they lie in the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew, taking in also what is superadded by the other evangelists upon parallel occasions. These prophecies were delivered by our Saviour about forty years, and were committed to writing by St Matthew about thirty years, before they were to take effect. St Matthew’s is universally allowed to be the first of the four Gospels; [1] the first in time, as it is always was the first in order was written, as most writers affirm, in the eighth year after the ascension of our Saviour. [2] It must have been written before the dispersion of the apostles, because St. Bartholemew [3] is said to have taken it along with him into India, and to have left it there, where it was found several years afterwards by Pantaenus. If the general tradition of antiquity be true, that it was written originally in Hebrew, it certainly was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, for there was no occasion for writing in that language after the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews into all nations. It is asserted upon good authority, [4] that the Gospels of Mark and Luke were approved and confirmed, the one by St. Peter the other by St. Paul. So Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, and Clemens Alexandrinus say expressly that the Gospel of St. Mark was written at the desire of the new converts, and ratified by St. Peter. So the learned Origen affirms, that the second Gospel is that of Mark, who wrote as Peter dictated to him; and the third Gospel is that of Luke, which is commended by Paul. So Tertullian saith, that Mark’s Gospel is affirmed to be Peter’s whose interpreter Mark was; and Luke’s Gospel they are wont to ascribe to Paul. So Jerome saith, that the Gospel according to Mark, who was the disciple and the interpreter of Peter, is said to be Peter’s. These authorities are more than sufficient to weigh down the single testimony of Irenaeus to the contrary; but besides these, Gregory Nazienzen, Athanasius, and other fathers might be alleged to prove, that the Gospels or Mark and Luke received the approbation, the one of St. Peter, the other of St. Paul: and it is very well known, that both these apostles suffered martyrdom under Nero. ” (Prophecy of Matthew 24)

(On Matthew 12:31)
“It is a common figure of speech in the Oriental languages, to say of two things, that the one shall be and the other shall not be, when the meaning is only that the one shall happen sooner or more easily than the other. As in this instance of our Saviour, ” Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” the meaning is, Heaven and earth shall sooner or more easily nass away, than my words shall pass away; the frame of the universe shall sooner or more easily be dissolved, than my words shall not be fulfilled ; and thus it is expressed by St. Luke, upon a like occasion, (xvi. 17,) ” It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”‘ (Disser. on Proph. p. 378, (Phila. Ed. 8vo.)

(On Matthew 24:4-5)
“False Christs our Saviour mentions as the first sign of his coming, ver. 4 and 5 ,– ‘Take heed that no man deceive you, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.’ With this he begins in all the evangelists, and in all useth almost the very same words; only in St. Luke, xxi. 8, he addeth ‘the time draweth near;’ and indeed within a little time this part of the prophecy began to be fulfilled. For very soon after our Saviour’s decease appeared Simon Magus, Acts viii. 9, 10,– ‘ and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying This man is the great power of God! He boasted himself likewise among the Jews, as the Son of God. Of the same stamp and character was also Dositheus the Samaritan, who pretended that he was the Christ foretold by Moses. In the reign of Claudius, about twelve years after the death of our Saviour, when Cuspius Fadus was procurator of Judea, a certain impostor, named Theudas, persuaded a great mu1titude with their beat effects to follow him to the river Jordan; for he said that he was a prophet, and promised to divide the river for their passage, and “saying these things he deceived many,” saith Josephus. But Fadus sent a troop of horse against them, who falling unexpectedly upon them, killed many, and made many prisoners; and having taken Theudas himself alive, they cut off his head, and brought it to Jerusalem. A few years afterwards, in the reign of Nero, and under the procuratorship of Felix, these impostors arose so frequent, that “many of them were apprehended and killed every day.” They seduced great numbers of the people still expecting the Messiah; and well therefore might our Saviour caution his disciples against them.” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

(On Matthew 24:6-7)
The next signs be giveth of his coming are several terrible calamities, as, wars and rumours of wars, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places, ver. 6 and 7,– ‘ And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, arid kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.’ Accordingly there were wars and rumours of wars,’ as appears in the historians of those times, and above all in Josephus. To relate the particulars would indeed be to transcribe great part of his history of the Jewish wars. There were more especially ‘rumours of wars,’ when Caligula the Roman emperor ordered his statue to be set up in “the temple of Jerusalem, which the Jews refused to suffer, and persisted in their refusal : and having therefore reason to apprehend a war from the Romans, were in such a consternation that they omitted even the tilling of their lands: but this storm was soon blown over, and their fears were dissipated by the timely death of that emperor. “

“It is further added, ‘and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.’ There were famines, as particularly that prophesied of by Agabus, and mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, xi. 28, and by Suetonius and other profane historians referred to by Eusebius, ‘which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar,’ and was so severe at Jerusalem, that, as Josephus saith, “many perished for want of victuals.”– And ‘pestilences,’ for these are the usual attendants upon famines. Scarcity and badness of provisions almost always end in some epidemical distemper. We see many died by reason of the famine in the reign of Claudius : and Josephus farther informs us, that when Niger was killed by the Jewish zealots, he imprecated besides other calamities famine and pestilence upon them, (Limonie kai loimon the very words used by the evangelist) “all which, (saith he,) God ratified and brought to pass against the ungodly.” — ” ‘And earthquakes in diverse places,’ as particularly that in Crete in the reign of Claudius, mentioned by Philostratus in the life of Apollonius, and those also mentioned by Philostratus at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos.” in all which places some Jews inhabited; and those at Rome mentioned by Tacitus ; and that at Laodicea, in the reign of Nero, mentioned by Tacitus, which city was overthrown, as were likewise Hierapolis and Colosse; and that in Campania, mentioned by Seneca; and that at Rome in the reign of Galba, mentioned by Suetonius; and that in Judea, mentioned by Josephus. ” For by night there broke out a most dreadful tempest, and violent strong winds with the most vehement showers, and continual lightenings, and horrid thunderings, and prodigious bellowings of the shaken earth: and it was manifest, (as he saith,) that the constitution of the universe was confounded for the destruction of men; and any one might easily conjecture, that these things portended no common calamity.” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

(On Matthew 24:14)
But notwithstanding the persecutions and calamities of the Christians, there was to be an universal publication of the gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem, ver. 14,– ‘ And this gospel of the ‘kingdom’ (this gospel of the kingdom of God) ‘shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come;’ and then shall the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish polity come to pass ; when all nations shall be or may be convinced of the crying sin of the Jews in crucifying the Lord of glory, and of the justice of God’s judgments upon them for it. The Acts of the Apostles contain only a small part of the history of a small part of the Apostles; and yet even in that history we see, the gospel was widely disseminated, and had taken root in the most considerable parts of the Roman empire. As early as in the reign of Nero, the Christians were grown so numerous at home, as -o raise the jealousy of the government, and the first general persecution was commenced against them under pretence of their having set fire to the city, of which the emperor himself was really guilty, but willing to transfer the blame and odium upon the poor innocent Christians. Clement, who was a contemporary and fellow laborer with St. Paul, says of him in particular, that ,he was a preacher both in the east and in the west, that he taught the whole world righteousness, and travelled as far as to the utmost borders of the west :” and if such were the labours of one apostle, though the chiefest of the apostles, what were the united labours of them all ? It appears indeed from the writers of the history of the church, that before the destruction of Jerusalem the gospel was not only preached in the lesser Asia, and Greece, and Italy, the great theatres of action then in the world ; but was likewise propagated as far northward as Scythia, as far southward as Ethiopia, as far eastward as Parthia, and India, as far westward as Spain and Britain. Our ancestors of this island seem to have lain as remote from the scene of our Saviour’s actions as almost any nation, and were a “rough inhospitable people,” as unlikely to receive so civilized an institution as any people whatever. But yet there is some probability, that the gospel was preached here by St. Simon the apostle ; there is much greater probability, that it was preached here by St Paul; and there is absolute certainty, that Christianity was planted in this country in the days of the apostles, before the destruction of Jerusalem. Agreeably to this, Eusebius informs us, that the apostles preached the gospel in all the world ; and some of them it passed beyond the ocean to the Britannic isles.” Theodoret likewise affirms, that the apostles had induced every nation and kind of men to embrace the gospel, and among the converted nations he reckons particularly the Britons. St. Paul himself, in his Epistle to the Colossians, i. 6,23, speaketh of the gospel’s being ‘ come into all the world, and preached to every creature under heaven :’ and in his Epistle to the Romans, x. 18, very elegantly applies to the lights of the church what the Psalmist said of the lights of heaven, ‘ their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.’ But how improbable, and in all human appearance impossible was it, that a few poor fishermen, and such inferior, illiterate persons should propagate and establish a new religion, in so short a space of time, throughout the world ! Doubtless it was not man’s but God’s work, and from the same divine spirit proceeded both the prophecy and the completion !” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

(On Matthew 24:15)
‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand,). Then let them which be in Judea, flee into the mountains,’ – – ver. 15 and 16. Whatever difficulty there is in these words, it may be cleared up by the parallel place in St. Luke, ‘And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains,’-xxi – 20, 2 1. So that,’the abomination of desolation’ is the Roman army, and ‘the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place’ is the Roman army besieging Jerusalem. This, saith our Saviour, is ‘the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,’ in the ninth and eleventh chapters ; and so let every one who readeth those prophecies, understand them. The Roman army is called ‘the abomination,’ for its ensigns and images, which were so to the Jews. As Chrysostom a affirms; “every idol, and every image of a man, was called an abomination’ among the Jews.” For this reason, as Josephus informs us, the principal Jews earnestly entreated Vitellius, governor of Syria, when he was conducting his army through Judea against Aretas, king of the Arabians, to lead it another way; and be greatly obliged them by complying with their request. We farther learn from Josephus, that after the city was taken, the Romans ” brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them over against the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there.” The Roman army is therefore fitly called ‘the abomination’ and ‘the abomination of desolation,’ as it was to desolate and lay waste Jerusalem : and this army’s besieging Jerusalem is called ‘ standing where it ought not,’ as it is in St. Mark, xiii. 14; or ‘standing in the holy place,’ as it is in St. Matthew; the city, and such a compass of ground about it, being accounted holy. When therefore the Roman army shall advance to besiege Jerusalem, then let them who are in Judea consult their own safety, and flee into the mountains. His counsel was wisely remembered, and put in practice, by the Christians afterwards. Josephus informs us, that when Cestius Gallus came with his army against Jerusalem, ” many fled from the city, as if it would be taken presently :”   and after his retreat, “many of the noble Jews departed out of the city, as out of a sinking ship :” and a few years afterwards, when Vespasian was drawing, his forces towards Jerusalem, a great multitude fled from Jericho aij thn opeinhn — into the mountainous country, for their security. It is probable that there were some Christians among these, but we learn more certainly from ecclesiastical historians, that at this is juncture all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem, and removed to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan: so that they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country, and we do not read any where that so much as one of them perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Of such signal service was this caution of our Saviour to the believers. (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XIX)

(On Matthew 24:25-26)
But ‘behold,’ saith our Saviour, ‘I have told you before,’ –ver. 25. Behold I have given you sufficient warning. ‘Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold he is in the secret chambers, believe it not,’– ver. 26. It is surprising that our Saviour should not only foretel the appearance of these impostors, but also the manner and circumstances of their conduct. For some be mentions as appearing in ‘the desert,’ and some in ‘the secret chambers ;’ and the event hath in all points answered to the prediction. Several of the false Christs and false prophets conducted their followers ‘into the desert.’ Josephus in his Antiquities saith expressly, that “many impostors and cheats persuaded the people to follow them into the desert,” where they promised to show manifest wonders and signs done by the providence of God ; and many being persuaded suffered the punishment of their folly; for Felix brought them back, and chastised them.” Again in his history of the Jewish war, speaking of the same persons, he saith, that “these impostors, under a pretence of divine inspiration, affecting innovations and changes, persuaded the multitude to grow mad, and led them forth ‘into the desert,’ as if God would there show them the signs of liberty. Against these Felix, for it seemed to be the foundation of a revolt, sent horse and foot soldiers, and slew a great number of them.” The Egyptian false prophets, mentioned by Josephus, and in the Acts of the Apostles, xxi. 39,– ‘led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers:’ but Felix marching with his forces, and “coming to an engagement with him, the Egyptian himself with a few others fled away, and most of those who had been with him were slain or taken prisoners.” There was likewise “another impostor” mentioned by Josephus, “who promised salvation to the people, and a cessation of all evils, if they would follow him ‘into the desert;’ but Festus sent horse and foot against him, and destroyed the deceiver himself, and those who followed him.” These things happened before the destruction of Jerusalem; and, a little after, Jonathan a weaver persuaded not a few indigent fellows to adhere to him, and led them forth ‘into the desert,’ promising there to show signs and apparitions;” but of his followers most were slain, some were made prisoners, and he himself was afterwards taken, and burnt alive by order of Vespasian. As several of these impostors thus conducted their followers into ‘the desert,’ so did others into the secret chambers’ or places of security : as particularly the pseudo-prophet mentioned by Josephus, who declared to the people in the city, that God commanded them to go up into the temple, and there they should receive the signs of deliverance.” A multitude of men, women, and children, went up accordingly; but instead of deliverance, the place was set on fire by the Romans, and six thousand perished miserably in the flames, or by throwing themselves down to escape them.” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24  Dissertation XIX)

(On Matthew 24:29)
“‘immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not giver her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.’ Commentators generally understand this, and what follows, of the end of the world, and of Christ’s coming to judgment; but the words ‘immediately after the tribulation of those days,’ show, evidently, that he is not speaking of any distant but of something immediately consequent upon the tribulation before mentioned, and that must be the destruction of Jerusalem.”

(On Matthew 24:29-30Nature of Christ’s Return)
“‘The coming of Christ’ is also the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, as may appear from several places in the Gospels, and particularly from these two passages; ‘There are some standing here,’ saith our blessed Lord, ‘who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom,’ Matt xvi. 28, that is, evidently, there are some standing here who shall live, not till they end of the world, to the coming of Christ to judge mankind, but till the destruction of Jerusalem, to the coming of Christ in judgment upon the Jews. In another place, John xxi.22, speaking to Peter concerning John, he saith, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’ what is that to thee, if I will that he live till the destruction of Jerusalem? as in truth he did, and long. ‘The coming of Christ,’ and ‘the conclusion of the age,’ being therefore only different expressions to denote the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, the purpose of the question plainly is, when shall the destruction of Jerusalem be, and what shall be the signs of it?'” (Newton, p. 374)

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.’ The plain meaning of it is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ’s power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will be led from thence to acknowledge Christ and the Christian religion. In the ancient prophets, God is frequently described as coming in the ‘clouds,’ upon any remarkable interposition and manifestation of his power ; and the same description is here applied to Christ. The destruction of Jerusalem will be as ample a manifestation of Christ’s power and glory, as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven.”

(On Matthew 24:30 ; Nature of Christ’s Return)
“Our Saviour proceedeth in the same figurative style, ver. 30 – ‘ And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.’ The plain meaning of it is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ’s power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will be led from thence to acknowledge Christ and the Christian religion. In the ancient prophets, God is frequently described as coming in the ‘clouds’ upon any remarkable interposition and manifestation of his power; and the same description is here applied to Christ. The destruction of Jerusalem will be as ample a manifestation of Christ’s power and glory as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven.” (ibid., p. 408-409)

(On Matthew 24:34)
“He proceeds to declare that the time of his coming was at no very great distance, and to show that he hath been speaking all this while of the destruction of Jerusalem, he affirms with his usual affirmation, ver. 34, ‘Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled!’ “It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of the foregoing discourse to the destruction of Jerusalem, and part to the end of the world, or any other distant event, when it is said so positively here in the conclusion, “All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation.” It seemeth as if our Saviour had been aware of some such misapplication of his words, by adding yet greater force and emphasis to his affirmation, v 35 – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away'” (Newton, p. 426)

(On Luke 21:11)
To these St, Luke addeth, xxi. 11, that ‘there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’ Josephus, in the preface to his history of the Jewish war, undertakes to relate ” the signs and prodigies, which preceded the taking of the city;” and he relates accordingly, that “a star hung over the city like a sword, and the comet continued for a whole year ;” that “the people being assembled to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night there shone so great a light about the altar and the temple, that it seemed to be bright day, and this continued for half an hour;” that ” at the same feast a cow, led by the priest to sacrifice, brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple;” that ” the eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass and very heavy, and was scarcely shut in an evening by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen, at the sixth hour of the night, opened of its own accord, and could hardly be shut again;” that “before the setting of the sun there were seen over all the country chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities ;” that ” at the feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going into the inner temple by night as usual to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice as of a multitude saying, Let us depart hence;” and what be reckons as the most terrible of all, that one Jesus, an ordinary country fellow, four years before the war began, when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and down the streets day and night, ‘A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice against all the people.’ The magistrates endeavoured by stripes and tortures, to restrain him; but he still cried with a mournful voice, ‘Woe, woe to Jerusalem!,’ This he continued to do for seven years and five months together, and especially at the great festivals; and he neither grew hoarse nor was tired; but went about the walls, and cried with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe to the city, and to the people, and to the temple;’ and as he added at last, ‘ Woe, woe also to myself,’ it happened that a stone from some sling or engine immediately struck him dead. These were indeed fearful sights and great ‘signs from heaven:’ and there is not a more creditable historian than the author who relates them, and who appeals to the testimony of those who saw and heard them. But it may add some weight to his relation, that Tacitus, the Roman historian, also gives us a summary account of the same occurrences. He saith that “there happened several prodigies, armies were seen engaging in the heavens, arms were seen glittering, and the temple shone with the sudden fire of the clouds, the doors of the temple opened suddenly, and a voice greater than human was heard, that the gods were departing, and likewise a great motion of their departing.” Dr. Jortin’s remark is very pertinent. “If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many, who gave little heed to portents, and who know that historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed ; but as the testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions of Christ, so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these historians.” But even allowing all that incredulity can urge that in the great calamities of war, and famine, and pestilence, the people always grow superstitious, and are struck with religious panics;– that they see nothing then but prodigies and portents, which in happier seasons are overlooked ;– that some of these appear to be formed in imitation of the Greek and Roman historians as particularly the cow’s bringing forth a lamb ;– that armies fighting in the clouds, seen in calamitous times in all ages and countries, are nothing more than meteors, such as the aurora borealis ;– in short allowing that some of these prodigies were feigned, and others were exaggerated, yet the prediction of them is not the less divine on that account. Whether they were supernatural, or the fictions only of a disordered imagination, yet they were believed as realities, and had all the effects of realities, and were equally worthy to be made the objects of prophecy. ‘Fearful sights and great signs from heaven’ they certainly were, as much as if they had been created on purpose to astonish the earth.” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

(On Luke 21:24)
To St. Matthew’s account St. Luke addeth, ‘And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,’ — xxi. 24. The number of those who ‘fell by the edge of the sword,’ was indeed very great. “Of those who perished during the whole siege, there were,” as Josephus saith, “eleven hundred thousand.” Many were also slain at other times and in other places. By the command of Florus, who was the first author of the war, there were slain at Jerusalem three thousand and six hundred: by the inhabitants of Ceasarea above twenty thousand: At Scythopolis above thirteen thousand : At Ascalon two thousand five hundred, and at Ptolemais two thousand: At Alexandria, under Tiberius Alexander, the president, fifty thousand: At Joppa, when it was taken by Cestius Gallus, eight thousand four hundred: In a mountain called Asamon, near Sepphoris, above two thousand : at Damascus ten thousand: In a battle with the Romans at Ascalon ten thousand: In an ambuscade, near the same place, eight thousand: at Japha fifteen thousand. ‘Of the Samaritans, upon Mount Garizin, eleven thousand and six hundred: At Jotapa forty thousand: At Joppa, when taken by Vespasian, four thousand two hundred: At Tarichea six thousand five hundred, and after the city was taken, twelve hundred: At Gamala four thousand slain, besides five thousand who threw themselves down a precipice: Of those who fled with John from Gischala six thousand : Of the Gadarenes fifteen thousand slain, besides an infinite number drowned: In the villages of Idumea above ten thousand slain: at Gerasa a thousand: At Machaerus seventeen hundred : In the wood of Jardes three thousand: In the castle of Massada nine hundred and sixty: In Cyrene, by Catullus, the governor, three thousand. Besides these, many of every age, sex, and condition, were slain in this war, who are not reckoned ; but of these who are reckoned, the number amounts. to above one million, three hundred fifty seven thousand, six hundred and sixty; which would appear almost incredible, if their own historian had not so particularly enumerated them.

But besides the Jews who ‘fell by the edge of the sword,’ others were also to ‘be led away captive into all nations:’ and considering the number of the slain, the number of the captives too was very great. There were taken, particularly at Japha, two thousand one hundred and thirty: At Jotapha one thousand two hundred: At Tarichea six thousand chosen young men were sent to Nero, the rest sold, to the number of thirty thousand and four hundred, besides those who were given to Agrippa: Of the Gadarenes two thousand two hundred: In Idumea above a thousand. Many besides these were taken at Jerusalem, so that as Josephus himself informs us, “the number of the captives taken in the whole war amounted to ninety-seven thousand; the tall and handsome young men Titus reserved for his triumph ; of the rest, those above seventeen years of age were sent to the works in Egypt, but most were distributed through the Roman provinces, to be destroyed in their theatres by the sword or by the wild beasts; those under seventeen were sold for slaves.” Of these captives, many underwent hard fate. Eleven thousand of them perished for want. Titus exhibited all sorts of shows and spectacles at Caesarea, and many of the captives were there destroyed, some being exposed to the wild beasts, and others compelled to fight in. troops against one another. At Caesarea, too, in honour of his brother’s birthday, two thousand five hundred Jews were slain; and a great number likewise at Berytus, in honour of his father’s. The like was done in other cities of Syria. Those whom he reserved for his triumph were Simon and John, the generals of the captives, and seven hundred others of remarkable stature and beauty. Thus were the Jews miserably tormented, and distributed over the Roman provinces ; are they not still distressed, and dispersed over all the nations of the earth ?” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XX)

(On The Fulfillment of Isaiah 35)
“The prophet Isaiah foretold, that the Messiah should cure the lame and the blind, the deaf and the dumb; and accordingly these very persons were cured in great numbers by Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold likewise, that these miracles should be wrought in the desert; and accordingly in the desert Jesus wrought them: and by the way I suppose this prophecy was one principal reason why most of the false Christs and false prophets led their followers into solitudes and deserts, promising there to show signs and wonders. The prophet Isaiah foretold, xxxv. 1, &,c.-, The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. – They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. ‘The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, The lame man shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.’ The apostle and evangelist St. Matthew relates, xv. 29, &c. that ‘Jesus departed from thence (from the coast of Tyre and Sidon) ‘and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee, and went up into a mountain and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them : insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see – and they glorified the God of Israel.’ Since then the miracles of the Messiah were wrought by Jesus alone; Jesus alone can have any just claim to he the Messiah; and from his works we may conclude, John vi. 14,– ‘ This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world! (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XIX)

(On The “Transition Text” Theory)
“It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of the foregoing discourse to the destruction of Jerusalem, and part to the end of the world, or any other distant event, when it is said so positively here in the conclusion, “All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation.” It seemeth as if our Saviour had been aware of some such misapplication of his words, by adding yet greater force and emphasis to his affirmation, v 35 – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away'” (Newton, p. 426)

(On Symbols For Rome in Scripture)
“The four different metals must signify four different nations: and as the gold signified the Babylonians, and the silver the Persians, and the brass the Macedonians; so the iron cannot signify the Macedonians again, but must necessarily denote some other nation: and we will venture to say that there is not a nation upon earth, to which this description is applicable, but the Romans.” (Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 240. )

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
Comment Box Disabled For Security

24 Apr 2004


Dear Thomas, It is interesting to find another Dr. Thomas Newton. I Have a D.Min., Phd.c, MA-MFT, M.div. I live in Portland Oregon. I Am graduate from George Fox University. God’s speed Thomas

25 Apr 2004


Where can I obtain a copy of Dr. Newton’s 730-page book, Dissertations on the Prophecies, written in 1754? Brother John Bray republished this work but I cannot find it on Amazon. Please reply to neilholland@kiwepublishing.com Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *