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Notes on Revelation

'...when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies...'

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."--Luke 21:20

Number in Scripture
Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance
E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913)

The Sieges of Jerusalem

have been 27 in number, or three times nine, and they are stamped with the number of Divine completenss (3) and the number of judgment (9). As the significance of other numbers is involved and illustrated in these 27, we give a complete list of all Jerusalem's sieges.

1. By the children of Judah against the Jebusites (Judg 1:8) about 1425 BC, and as this is the first, we may note the solemn words which so vividly stamp, from the first, what was to be the after history of the city,--"Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it,and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire." This was about 1400 BC, or 700 years before Rome was founded. This siege was only partial, for in David's reign we still find the Jebusites occupying the citadel.

2. By David against the Jebusites (2 Sam 5:6-10; 1 Chron 12:23-39), about 1046 BC.

3. By Shishak, king of Egypt, against Rehoboam (2 Chron 12:9; 1 Kings 14:25,26), about 971 BC. To this there was only a feeble resistance, and the Temple was plundered.

4. By the Philistines, Arabians, and Ethiopians against Jehoram (2 Chron 21:16), about 887 BC. In this siege the royal palace was sacked, and the Temple again plundered.

5. By Jehoash, king of Israel, against Amaziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 14:13,14), about 826 BC. The wall was broken down and the city and Temple pillaged.

6. Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, against Ahaz (2 Chron 28), about 841 BC. The city held out, but Ahaz sought the aid of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, who stripped the Temple.

7. By Sennacherib, king of Assyria, against Hezekiah (2 Chron 32), about 713 BC. In this case the siege was raised by a Divine interposition, as foretold by Isaiah the prophet.

8. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, against Jehoiakim (2 Chron 36:7), about 606 BC, when the Temple was partly pillaged.

9. By Nebuchadnezzar again, against Jehoiachin (2 Chron 36:10), about 599 BC, when the pillage of the Temple was completed and 10,000 people carried away.

10. By Nebuchadnezzar, BC 590-585, against Zedekiah (2 Chron 36:17-20), when the overthrow was complete, the Temple burnt with fire, * and the city lay desolate for 50 years. After some 58 years, it was again besieged.

* It was in the ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar that the house of God was burnt; and on the ninth day of the fourth month that the famine prevailed (2 Kings 25). It may be noted also here, that it was in the ninth year of Hosea that the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away (2 Kings 17:6).

11. By Ptolemy Soter, king of Egypt, against the Jews (320 BC). More than 100,000 captives were taken to Egypt.

12. By Antiochus the Great, about 203 BC.

13. By Scopus, a general of Alexander, about 199 BC, who left a garrison.

14. By Antiochus again, 168 BC, the worst siege since No. 10. The whole city was pillaged, 10,000 captives taken, the walls were destroyed, the altar was defiled, ancient manuscripts perished, the finest buildings were burned, and the Jews were forbidden to worship there. This was the Preteritist fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy (9 and 11), and a foreshadowing example of what the Futurist fulfilment will yet be.

15. By Antiochus again, about 162 BC, against Judas Maccabaeus. This time honourable terms were made, and certain privileges were secured.

16. By Antiochus Sidetes, king of Syria, against John Hyrcanus, about 135 BC.

17. By Hyrcanus (son of Alex. Jannaeus) and the Priest Aristobulus. The siege was raised by Scaurus, one of Pompey's lieutenants, about 65 BC.

18. By Pompey, against Aristobulus, about 63 BC. The machines were moved on the Sabbath, when the Jews made no resistance. Only thus was it then reduced; 12,000 Jews were slain.

19. * Herod with a Roman army besieged the city in 39 BC for five months.

* Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, with a Parthian army took the city in 40 BC; but there was no siege, the city was taken by sudden surprise.

20. By Titus AD 70. At this memorable siege the conquest was complete. The Second Temple (Herod's) was burnt (in spite of Titus' orders). The tenth legion was left to carry out the work of destruction, and for another 50 years the city again disappears from history, as it did after the tenth siege.

21. The Romans had again to besiege the city in 135 AD against the false Messiah, Bar-Cochebas, who had acquired possession of the ruins. Not much is known of this, perhaps the most awful of all the sieges. So great and severe was the struggle, that Hadrian, in announcing to the Roman Senate the conclusion of the war, refrained from using the usual congratulatory phrase. The city was now obliterated. Its very name was changed, and it was renamed Aelia Capitolinus. A Temple was erected to Jupiter, and a statue of Hadrian placed on the site of the Holy of Holies. For 200 years the city passed out of history, no Jews being permitted to approach it.

* So great was the relief which Rome experienced by this suppression of Jerusalem and the Jews, that the toast became common at Roman feasts, "Hierosolyma Est Perdita," "Jerusalem is destroyed," the guests immediately greeting it with the shout Hurrah. This is the origin of our "Hep! Hep! Hurrah," H, E, P, being the abbreviation of the three words, formed by their initial letters (on the principle known as Notarica, or Notricon). To this day Hep or Hip is said by only one person, the rest joining in the shout which greets it!

22. After 400 years of so-called Christian colonization, Chosroes the Persian (about 559 AD) swept through the country; thousands were massacred, and the church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed. The Emperor Heraclius afterwards defeated him, and restored the city and the church.

23. The Caliph Omar, in 636-7 AD, besieged the city against Heraclius, and after a feeble resistance, followed by capitulation on favourable terms, the city passed into the hands of the Turks, thus marking one of the most important events connected with it and with chronology.

24. Afdal, the Vizier of the Caliph of Egypt, besieged the two rival factions of Moslems, and pillaged the city in 1098.

25. In 1099 it was besieged by the army of the first Crusade.

26. In 1187 it was besieged by Saladin for seven weeks.

27. The wild Kharezmian hordes, in 1244, captured and plundered the city, slaughtering the monks and priests.

It seemed necessary to give this brief outline, because of several points which arise out of it. The list was made, in the first instance, without any reference whatever to "Number in Scripture." It was not till some time after, in considering the number nine as the number of judgment, that we noted the fact, that the number of these sieges was 27, or three times nine, and thus we saw the significance of the number.

Then, without looking at the list, we anticipated that there would be something peculiar about the numbers 10 and 20, ten being the number of ordinal perfection, and marking some cycle of completeness. So it proved on examination, for both the tenth and twentieth sieges were marked by the destruction of the Temple by fire! The tenth witnessed the destruction of Solomon's Temple by Nebuchadnezzar; the twentieth saw the destruction of Herod's Temple under Titus!

It was next felt that seven being the number of spiritual perfection, there would be something to mark off the seventh, fourteenth, and twenty-first sieges from all the others, and to connect them in some way with the perfection of Divine Revelation. So it proved on examination. These three were each the subject of Divine Prophecy! The seventh in 2 Chronicles 32; the Fourteenth in Daniel 11; the twenty-first in Luke 19:43, 44. And there is a siege yet future--a twenty-eighth siege--which is also foretold in Scripture (see Zech 14, etc.). These four form an epanodos, the first corresponding to the fourth (the first and fourth sieges in each case being raised by Divine interposition); while the second corresponds to the third in the terrible character of each, thus:

A. The 7th--Sennacherib. The siege raised by a miraculous interposiiton by an angel from heaven (2 Chron 32).
B. The 14th--antiochus (Dan 11)--one of the most awful.

B. The 21st--Hadrian (Luke 19:43,44)--one of the most complete.

A. The 28th--Antichrist. Yet future. But the siege will be raised by a glorious deliverance, not by an angel, but by the Lord Himself coming from heaven (Zech 14).

Egyptian-Palestinian Military Meetings
Military cooperation between Egypt and the Palestinian Authority has apparently begun. An official Palestinian military delegation made an official visit to the Egyptian army, at the invitation of the Egyptian armed forces. PA neswpaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida reports that the visit included many meetings, including one with the Egyptian Chief of Staff. The Oslo accords stipulate that the PA is forbidden from establishing an army. A month ago, the Egyptian ambassador to the PA threatened that his country would offer military aid to the PA in case of a clash with Israel.

(Arutz-7 News: November 17-18, 1997)



The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly condemned Israel in an emergency session yesterday for its settlement policies. Israel's unwillingness to halt construction in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem was the main issue at the 139-3 (US, Israel, Micronesia voted nay) vote. There were 13 abstentions.


Egypt is attempting to join the Iran-Iraq-Syria alliance. Akbar al-Yom reports that Mubarak, in his recent visit to Damascus, authorized Syrian President Assad to speak about this with the Iranians.

(November 13, 1997)

Senior British officials Thursday set Europe and Israel on a collision course, when they said London will exert intense pressure on Israel to be more forthcoming in the peace process after Britain assumes the presidency of the European Union (EU) on January 1.They signaled that, despite Israeli objections, Europe now intends to translate its formidable economic power into political clout and become a major player in the peace process. The officials left no doubt that they hold Israel exclusively to blame for the lack of progress. They highlighted three areas where Britain would concentrate its efforts: support for the US formula of a "time-out" on settlements; support for a "credible and substantial" further redeployment in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; and support for improved security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.

In another development, the EU's 'Luxembourg Declaration' has created cause for alarm. The declaration, which was adopted by the 15 EU heads of government last Saturday (12-13-97), commits Europe to: * "enhance its support to Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem;" * offer "specific suggestions" on final-status issues, such as "possible Palestinian statehood, borders/security arrangements, settlements, refugees, Jerusalem, and water issues;" and * continue using its "watch instruments" to monitor developments on human rights, Jerusalem, and settlements. Only one of the 18 points relating to the peace process in the declaration "recalled the EU's determination to fight terrorism where it occurs and for whatever reason." (Jerusalem Post)

(F.Y.I. - Israel in the News, Week Ending: December 20, 1997/21 Kislev 5758)

The Jewish Community of Hebron Hostage
Hebron-Past, Present & Forever
David Wilder

But not only is Hebron being held hostage. The State of Israel is being held hostage, not by the Arabs, but by ourselves. Just as the Jewish Community of Hebron is surrounded by hills filled with armed terrorists, so too is Israel surrounded. Not by hills, but by mountains of fear, doubt, and anxiety. Until our self-image changes and we realize that Erez Yisrael belongs to us, and that we really do have a legitimate right to be here, we will continue to cower behind apologetics that, sixty years ago, resulted in a holocaust. We must stop regretting our existence and stop flinching every time Arafat, or anyone else, flexes his muscles. After fifty years of statehood, it's time to start growing up. (3/98)

UN VOTES TO CONDEMN ISRAEL: The United Nations General Assembly (GA) voted overwhelmingly to condemn Israel for its continued policy of "settlement." The international body, which resumed its tenth emergency special session on Tuesday, voted 120 in favor, 3 opposed and 5 abstentions. It was also decided to convene a meeting in Geneva, at which time the matter of continued construction and the relevant issues concerning the previous Geneva conventions would be discussed. David Westin, the UN Ambassador from the European Union spoke of the continued "illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank [Judea and Samaria] as well as Jerusalem." The GA reiterated its decision that should Israel continue its lack of compliance with previous resolutions, it would reconsider the situation in order to make further appropriate recommendations to Member States.

(F.Y.I. - Israel in the News, Week Ending: March 21, 1998/23 Adar 5758)

Mini-Arab Summit in Morocco To Assess Israeli Intransigence
Kuwait Radio Kuwait in Arabic 1400 GMT 10 Apr 98

Press reports published in Rabat today say that the Moroccan capital will soon host a mini-Arab summit to discuss the peace process in the Middle East.

Reports indicate that the summit, in which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, and representatives from Morocco and Lebanon will take part, will prepare an Arab plan to confront Israeli intransigence.

Ireland Agreement Seen Affecting Peace Process Efforts
Ma'ariv in Hebrew 12 Apr 98 p 5
by Hemi Shalev "We Are Even More Alone"

There are few violent conflicts based on a lethal combination of religion, nationality, and territory left in the Western world. Now that an agreement has been reached in Ireland, the number of such flagrant disputes has gone down even more. Although the hot weather indicates otherwise, most Israelis still view themselves as part of the civilized, enlightened, and usually chilly Western world. As of today, Israel has become more of an oddity in this world, more alone than before.


What is more important is that the settlement in Ireland may have practical and direct repercussions on the peace process in our region, if only due to the simple fact that it will provide renewed momentum to the international, especially American, desire to solve conflicts wherever they may be.

One must not forget that the agreement in Belfast was reached by a U.S. mediator with the backing of a resolute President who did not heed his advisers' warnings and did not fear the reaction of the Irish lobby, which is no less powerful than the Jewish one. Clinton said that his conclusion from the Ireland agreement was that "one should never stop," not even in the Middle East.

The diplomatic achievement in Ireland will make a hero of British Premier Tony Blair, who is due here in a few days. In contrast, Israel has now been deprived of the grounds for its traditional reaction in the past to any British involvement. Israeli politicians will no longer be able to say "First solve your troubles in Northern Ireland, and then talk to us," the punch line used not too long ago with Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

See also History of Syria
See also History of Jordan


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