Jewish View of AD 70

Singalphile
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Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Singalphile » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:39 am

Is there any sort of official or consensus view about the events around AD 70 from a Jewish perspective? Did (or do) Jews believe that those events were predicted or heralded by God in any way? From a Christian perspective, God did prophesy and warn about it in both the OT and NT (at least some Christians see it that way). As I see it, it would seem very odd of God not to make mention of arguably the greatest and longest-lasting calamity or punishment against Israel that has ever occurred. I would think that the Jews (back then, I mean) might think it odd as well.

I have not really found anything from that perspective.
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dwilkins
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by dwilkins » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:21 am

It's probably not exactly what you're looking for, but for a Christian view of the implications of the Roman war I'd read "Dialog with Trypho the Jew" by Justin Martyr. He basically says that because of that calamity, God has reject the Jews and replaced them. Interestingly, he invented the terms "second coming" and "second advent" as part of an argument for why Christians are now God's people, which might be the ultimate irony for dispensationalists.

I'd also look at Josephus' book six of The Jewish War, which is the description of the sacking of Jerusalem. You'll find all sorts of descriptions of imagery that overlaps with Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel where those books use the imagery to describe the sacking of Jerusalem under the Babylonians. It seems to me that Josephus, as a Jew, was implying that this destruction was a judgment by God, just as the previous ones were. In the older case, several prophets wrote to warn the people about what was going to happen. Preterists argue that a central theme of the New Testament is a warning against a repetition of such a judgment as well as an offer of deliverance from it.

Doug

Singalphile
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Singalphile » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:22 pm

Yeah, not quite was I was looking for, but close, as far as Josephus goes. (I have skimmed through a fair amount of that. I have a multi-volume set that I got at a library sale.)

Again, I'm looking for the (ancient and/or modern) Jewish explanation for why there was no prophecy regarding AD 70 ... or if perhaps they do think there was some prophecy about it (as Christians generally do).
Last edited by Singalphile on Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paidion
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Paidion » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:36 pm

It's probably not exactly what you're looking for, but for a Christian view of the implications of the Roman war I'd read "Dialog with Trypho the Jew" by Justin Martyr. He basically says that because of that calamity, God has reject the Jews and replaced them. Interestingly, he invented the terms "second coming" and "second advent" as part of an argument for why Christians are now God's people, which might be the ultimate irony for dispensationalists.
I have read the Dialogue with Trypho at least three times, and I have never seen this. I am really surprised that you say he used the terms "second coming" and "second advent" as part of an argument for why Christians are now God's people. Doug, would you please provide the reference for that? The apostle Paul didn't teach that the Jews were replaced by the disciples of Christ, but that through Christ, Jewish and Gentile believers would come into one fold, and also that the Israel of God always existed, and that it contintued to exist as the "olive tree" in which some branches would be removed and others grafted in.
I'd also look at Josephus' book six of The Jewish War, which is the description of the sacking of Jerusalem. You'll find all sorts of descriptions of imagery that overlaps with Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel where those books use the imagery to describe the sacking of Jerusalem under the Babylonians. It seems to me that Josephus, as a Jew, was implying that this destruction was a judgment by God, just as the previous ones were. In the older case, several prophets wrote to warn the people about what was going to happen. Preterists argue that a central theme of the New Testament is a warning against a repetition of such a judgment as well as an offer of deliverance from it.
Josephus came to realize that the Romans couldn't be defeated, and so he began to support them. After that, he thought that those Jews who resisted, especially the Zealots, deserved to be eliminated by the Romans. I don't recall that he said that God was behind it, but I may have forgotten.
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by dwilkins » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:55 am

I'm not sure how you missed it, but the following is a whole chapter making the point. Justin is clearly proposing something like what we define as replacement theology or supersessionism. The Jews were invited to come into the New Covenant as part of the New Testament narrative, but unbelieving Israel under the Old Covenant has no standing.

Chapter 123. Ridiculous interpretations of the Jews. Christians are the true Israel

Justin: As, therefore, all these latter prophecies refer to Christ and the nations, you should believe that the former refer to Him and them in like manner. For the proselytes have no need of a covenant, if, since there is one and the same law imposed on all that are circumcised, the Scripture speaks about them thus: 'And the stranger shall also be joined with them, and shall be joined to the house of Jacob;' Isaiah 14:1 and because the proselyte, who is circumcised that he may have access to the people, becomes like one of themselves, while we who have been deemed worthy to be called a people are yet Gentiles, because we have not been circumcised. Besides, it is ridiculous for you to imagine that the eyes of the proselytes are to be opened while your own are not, and that you be understood as blind and deaf while they are enlightened. And it will be still more ridiculous for you, if you say that the law has been given to the nations, but you have not known it. For you would have stood in awe of God's wrath, and would not have been lawless, wandering sons; being much afraid of hearing God always say, 'Children in whom is no faith. And who are blind, but my servants? And deaf, but they that rule over them? And the servants of God have been made blind. You see often, but have not observed; your ears have been opened, and you have not heard.' Is God's commendation of you honourable? And is God's testimony seemly for His servants? You are not ashamed though you often hear these words. You do not tremble at God's threats, for you are a people foolish and hard-hearted. 'Therefore, behold, I will proceed to remove this people,' says the Lord; 'and I will remove them, and destroy the wisdom of the wise, and hide the understanding of the prudent.' Isaiah 29:14 Deservedly too: for you are neither wise nor prudent, but crafty and unscrupulous; wise only to do evil, but utterly incompetent to know the hidden counsel of God, or the faithful covenant of the Lord, or to find out the everlasting paths. 'Therefore, says the Lord, I will raise up to Israel and to Judah the seed of men and the seed of beasts.' Jeremiah 31:27 And by Isaiah He speaks thus concerning another Israel: 'In that day shall there be a third Israel among the Assyrians and the Egyptians, blessed in the land which the Lord of Sabaoth has blessed, saying, blessed shall my people in Egypt and in Assyria be, and Israel my inheritance.' Since then God blesses this people, and calls them Israel, and declares them to be His inheritance, how is it that you repent not of the deception you practise on yourselves, as if you alone were the Israel, and of execrating the people whom God has blessed? For when He speaks to Jerusalem and its environs, He thus added: 'And I will beget men upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall inherit you, and you shall be a possession for them; and you shall be no longer bereaved of them.' Ezekiel 36:12

Trypho: What, then? Are you Israel? And speaks He such things of you?

Justin: If, indeed, we had not entered into a lengthy discussion on these topics, I might have doubted whether you ask this question in ignorance; but since we have brought the matter to a conclusion by demonstration and with your assent, I do not believe that you are ignorant of what I have just said, or desire again mere contention, but that you are urging me to exhibit the same proof to these men.

And in compliance with the assent expressed in his eyes, I continued:

Justin: Again in Isaiah, if you have ears to hear it, God, speaking of Christ in parable, calls Him Jacob and Israel. He speaks thus: 'Jacob is my servant, I will uphold Him; Israel is my elect, I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any one hear His voice in the street: a bruised reed He shall not break, and smoking flax He shall not quench; but He shall bring forth judgment to truth: He shall shine, and shall not be broken till He have set judgment on the earth. And in His name shall the Gentiles trust.' Isaiah 42:1-4 As therefore from the one man Jacob, who was surnamed Israel, all your nation has been called Jacob and Israel; so we from Christ, who begot us unto God, like Jacob, and Israel, and Judah, and Joseph, and David, are called and are the true sons of God, and keep the commandments of Christ.

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Paidion
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Paidion » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:49 am

I wrote:
Doug, you wrote:It's probably not exactly what you're looking for, but for a Christian view of the implications of the Roman war I'd read "Dialog with Trypho the Jew" by Justin Martyr. He basically says that because of that calamity, God has reject the Jews and replaced them. Interestingly, he invented the terms "second coming" and "second advent" as part of an argument for why Christians are now God's people, which might be the ultimate irony for dispensationalists.
[Underlining mine]

I have read the Dialogue with Trypho at least three times, and I have never seen this. I am really surprised that you say he used the terms "second coming" and "second advent" as part of an argument for why Christians are now God's people. Doug, would you please provide the reference for that? The apostle Paul didn't teach that the Jews were replaced by the disciples of Christ, but that through Christ, Jewish and Gentile believers would come into one fold, and also that the Israel of God always existed, and that it continued to exist as the "olive tree" in which some branches would be removed and others grafted in.
Well, I've read the quote you posted, and I still see nothing in it indicating that God has "replaced" the Jews, or that Justin invented the terms "second coming" and "second advent." Are you basing this on his quote from the Septuagint, "Therefore I will remove this people..." (Isaiah 29:14)?

Justin also quotes from Ezekiel 36:12 'And I will beget men upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall inherit you, and you shall be a possession for them; and you shall be no longer bereaved of them' (Ezekiel 36:12). This doesn't suggest replacement but addition, and the quote from Isaiah 29:14 "I will remove this people" suggests subtraction just as Paul said that some branches would be grafted into the olive tree (Israel) while others would be cut off from the olive tree. Thus Israel would never be replaced by anyone, but would continue, but with some branches being different.

Also I do not see the terms "second coming" or "second advent" at all. So on what basis do you think Justin invented these terms?
Paidion

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dwilkins
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by dwilkins » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:05 am

I didn't quote his use of the terms "second coming" and "second advent" because I thought it was common knowledge that he invented the terms. They don't exist previously in the ANF writings, and didn't appear in scripture, so as far as I know they'd never been used before. Do you have an example that proves otherwise?

As far as the quote I provided and the Christian church representing Gods people going forward, again, I'm not sure what to say. The whole point of the book and Justin's argument in this passage is that the Christians are the good guys and the Jews who failed to believe in Christ have missed the end game of their religion.

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Homer
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Homer » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:44 am

I think I must agree with Paidion here. There is, and has been, only one olive tree. A great number of branches were pruned off, remnant branches remained, and an enormous number of new branches have been grafted in, but it is still the same tree.

How can it ever be proven that Justin was the first to use certain terms and he was the inventor of them? They may have been used in an oral way for some time prior to Justin or even in lost writings. Seems the best that can be said is that his is the earliest written record of their use.

Singalphile
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Singalphile » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:49 pm

It would appear that religious Jews did not and do not think that God predicted or warned about the destruction of the second temple, which has, as you know, lasted nearly 2,000 years. If there were true, it would be strange, I think. Some Jewish people apparently think that prophecy ceased after Malachi, although I didn't read any particularly good reason for that.

Anyway, I'm not sure. All I did was google around a bit.

If I ever meet a religious, Orthodox Jewish person, I'd like to ask him or her about it.
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Re: Jewish View of AD 70

Post by Paidion » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:19 pm

It appears that you are right, Doug, about Justin coining the terms "second coming" and "second advent". I found "second coming" four times in his writings and "second advent" eight times. No other writer in volume 1 of the ANF used either term, and no writer in volume 2 used it. We next find the term "second coming" in Tertullian's writings in volume 3.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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