History of the Destruction of Jerusalem & Josephan Studies Archives Flavius Josephus

Governmental Administration of Roman Judea | Factions in Jerusalem During the Roman Siege | Visual Timeline of the Roman-Jewish War | Preterist Perspectives on Josephus | Maps of The Siege of Jerusalem


Louis H. Feldman “As for the impiety of which Josephus accused (John of Gischala), it stems to some extent from the fact that John, like many others, gave a favorable interpretation to the Scriptural prophecies, whereas Josephus saw them as foretelling the ruin of Jerusalem” (Josephus, the Bible and History, p. 234)



“During the Middle Ages, Josephus was the most widely read ancient author in Europe.. Josephus’ literary influence had no equals, with the sole exception of the Bible.”

Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest and Pharisee, was put in command of the national resistance in Galilee at the time of Israel’s revolt against Rome.  When he was captured at Jotapata; his life was spared upon his prediction to rival Vespasian, that the Roman general would soon become emperor.  Upon the fulfillment of this prophecy shortly thereafter, he was commissioned to provide his captors with a history of the Jewish people, although he initially wrote a history of the Roman-Jewish war suited for both a Roman and a Jewish audience.   His works, disputed though they may be regard accuracy, are an indispensable source on the life and history in Roman Judea. THEOLOGICAL

“The destruction of Jerusalem was more terrible than anything that the world has ever witnessed, either before or since. Even Titus seemed to see in his cruel work the hand of an avenging God.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Was Flavius Josephus familiar with the Apocalypse of John?

John’s Revelation – “And there were noises and thundering and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.” (16:18)

Josephus – “for there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continued lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming” (“Wars of the Jews” 4:4:5)

John’s Revelation – “Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” (16:19)

Josephus – “it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of divine justice.” (5:1:1)

John’s Revelation – “And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent.” (16:21)

Josephus –  “Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness;” (5:6:3)







“To cut her off, and on the breakers thrust ?
While thus forlorn he waits, a nearer doom
Seems in a quicksand on his course to loom :
And threat’ning cloud and breakers are forgot
In fears by fate so imminent begot.
Just thus did waiting Zion now espy
A blazing Comet burst upon the sky :
In shape a sword, sword o’er the city hung,
A portent too significant is flung
And memories of all before expire
In view of this presentiment in fire!”




Eichorn‘s Latin commentary, following a suggestion of Herder, interprets the Book of Revelation as a dramatic poem, in the style of Hebrew Apocalyptics, depicting the events of the historical fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 68-69″

Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Fall of Jerusalem: Coleridge’s Unwritten Epic


“(Coleridge’s) epic would have employed the historical events of the fall of Jerusalem to show the re-creation of the ancient religious constitution of man in the new Jerusalem.”


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Read on the ninth of Av in commemoration of the desolation of Jerusalem

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!
How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations,
and princess among the provinces, How is she become tributary!
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks:
among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her.

Lamentations 1:1

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