They say, “Israel belongs to us!” Well, they can have it. They call Jerusalem the holy city, but St. John calls it Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11), the land where Christ was murdered. They call it the holy land, but God tells them that whoever lifts Jerusalem will surely be cut in pieces (Zechariah 12:3). They will say that they are sons of Abraham, but John the Baptist tells them that God can make the very stones into sons of Abraham (Matthew 3:9). They say that God is on their side, but God warns that in Israel “Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand” (Zechariah 14:13). In time, the land that they believe solely belongs to them and no one else will be the place of their destruction.
Their pride will be their own noose, like Haman hanging by the very rope he reserved for Mordecai. They adore the land and they say, with one of Christ’s disciples, “See what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” (Luke 13:1) but Christ tells them: “Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Luke 13:2) The Temple was destroyed by fire in the midst of war between Jewish fanatics — who dreamt of their pure nation state— and the Roman government.
The destruction of the Temple had been foretold by the prophet Daniel who wrote that “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”. The Messiah came, and the nation for whom He came who rejected Him would partake in the destruction of their own city and their own sanctuary. Christ came to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Judas rejected Him, only to destroy himself in the end. The word Judas means Jew and is synonymous with the Jewish nation. So as Judas destroyed himself, the Jews also destroyed themselves during their war with Rome.
Fascinatingly, the historian Josephus wrote that there was a prophecy that the Temple would be destroyed in a war, and he emphasized that the Jewish fanatics who fought the Romans, “trampled upon all the laws of man, and laughed at the laws of God; and for the oracles of prophets, they ridiculed them as the tricks of jugglers” and became instruments for the destruction of their revered Temple:
“yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning [the rewards of] virtue, and [punishments of] vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own country: for there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, that the city should then be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews, and their own hands should pollute the temple of God. Now, while these zealots did not [quite] disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishments.” (Josephus, War, 4.6.3)
When one reads Josephus’s account of the Roman-Jewish War, one sees that the Jewish rebels destroyed not only themselves, but their own city and temple. Factions vied with one another through violence over power. Simon ben Giora, leader of the peasant faction, warred against John of Gischala, who led the Zealot faction. They fought each other over the temple, and so horrendous was the slaughter that it ended in a literal bloodbath, with the Zealots butchering both Hebrews and Greek converts to Judaism. John’s Zealot faction “went all over the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that many persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.” (War, 5.1.3)
Josephus then makes a profound declaration; he refers to Jerusalem as a wretched city that destroyed itself, and that was no longer a place for God to reside in:
“O most wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred! For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou longer continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulcher for the bodies of thine own people, and hadst made the holy house itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine! Yet mayest thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.” (War, 5.1.3)
When speaking on the destruction of the temple, it is always heard that “the Romans did it,” but when we read Josephus we don’t get such a black and white explanation. What we read in Josephus is that the Jews were destroying themselves, their own city and temple before the Romans came and crushed them and finished off the already ruined temple. Josephus writes that in the Jewish civil war “all the places that were about the temple were burnt down, and were become an intermediate desert space,” and that “almost all of the corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years.” (War, 5.1.4) The factions destroyed the grain storage to starve each other out, and they only starved their own nation. So bad would be the famine:
“that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eating out of their very mouths: and, what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infants. And when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives. And while they eat after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing. But the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others. For when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food. Whereupon they brake open the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating almost up out of their very throats, and this by force. The old men, who held their food fast, were beaten: and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so doing. Nor was there any commiseration shewn either to the aged, or to the infants: but they lifted up children from the ground, as they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down upon the floor.” (Wars, 5.10.3)
Josephus writes of how there was “A deep silence also, and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city. While yet the robbers were still more terrible than these miseries were themselves. For they brake open those houses which were no other than graves of dead bodies, and plundered them of what they had, and carrying off the coverings of their bodies, went out laughing; and tried the points of their swords in their dead bodies; and in order to prove what mettle they were made of, they thrust some of those through that still lay alive upon the ground.” (War, 5.12.3)
It was an utter nightmare.
The Jewish people who were not interested in a war with Rome were the ones who suffered the most. Josephus explains that “the people of the city, between them, were like a great body torn in pieces. The aged men and the women were in such distress by their internal calamities, that they wished for the Romans, and earnestly hoped for an external war in order to their delivery from their domestic miseries.” (War, 5.1.5) The factions, while killing each other, agreed on only one thing and that was killing those who were not for war with Rome: “although they were seditious one against another in other resects, yet did they agree in killing those that were for peace with the Romans, or were suspected of an inclination to desert to them as their common enemies. They agreed in nothing but this, to kill those that were innocent.” (War, 5.1.5) The burning of Jerusalem is not attributed by Josephus to the Romans, but to the Jewish rebels. He speaks of the “vastly rich buildings that fire which was kindled by the robbers hath consumed; for these were not burnt by the Romans, but by these internal plotters” (War, 5.4.4) Josephus later affirms that it was the Jewish revolutionaries who destroyed Jerusalem, and not the Romans:
“for I venture to affirm, that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition, which it was a much harder thing to do than to destroy the walls; so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people and the just vengeance taken on them to the Romans” (War, 5.6.1)
In another part of his history, Josephus writes that “it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it; and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple” (War, preface, 4).
Amazingly, Josephus declares that God abandoned His temple and was with the Rome: “Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God is fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those against whom you fight.” (5.9.4) Jesus Christ, when speaking of Jerusalem, proclaimed: “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” (Matthew 10:15) And Josephus wrote that if the Romans had not destroyed Jerusalem, then God would have used nature to destroy it like Sodom and that the people who were living in Jerusalem were more atheistic than the people of Sodom:
“I suppose that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, that the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water; or else been destroyed by such thunder, as the country of Sodom perished by. For it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments. For by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.” (Wars, 5.13.6)
Josephus says that there was never a generation more wicked than the one that revolted against Rome: “It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men’s iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly; that neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries; nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was from the beginning of the world.” (War, 5.10.5) Christ Himself said that the generation that lived in His time was like a man getting possessed by one demon and then getting possessed by seven demons. The Crucifixion of Christ was in 33 AD, and the Jews commenced their war against Rome in 66 AD, exactly thirty-three years later. Thus, when Christ speaks of the demon that “goes out of a man” and then “goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself” to “enter and dwell” in the man so that “the last state of that man is worse than the first” and declares: “So shall it also be with this wicked generation” (Matthew 12:43-45), He was speaking of the very generation that would revolt against Rome.
When Josephus says that there was no generation more wicked than the one that rebelled against Rome, he was referring to the very generation that Christ described as continuously spiraling deeper into the diabolical. And truly, such people were demonic as was seen in their endless killings, and even their turning to the evils of Sodom which Josephus wrote of, saying that they “indulged themselves in feminine wantonness” and “they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men” (War, 4.9.10). The nation that murdered Christ would destroy itself just a little bit over thirty years after the Crucifixion. And this very nation today is the most pro-homosexual country in the world and even takes pride spreading this phenomenon from the United States.
If in doubt anyone can read “How Jews Brought America to the Tipping Point on Marriage Equality” (by Tikkun) Also see The history of LGBT rights in Israel predates that of many Western nations, including the United States. (Snellings, Satchie). Also see The Gay identification of Tel Aviv: Examining Israel’s Pro-Gay Brand (New York University, Global Liberal Studies) Also see Mor, Zohar; Davidovich, Udi (2016)). Also see My Jewish Learning “Israel is among the leaders in equality for sexual minorities” by Lee Walzer. Today Israel is also becoming intensely anti-Christian where even their most ardent evangelical allies are beginning to notice. CBN’s 700 Club exposes Israel’s persecutions (see Persecution In Israel—CBN—Youtube) Even my own father who was an ardent supporter of Israel today has second thoughts about its ability to exist.
It would not be shocking that Israel, like its ancestors, is heading towards destruction again, being violently divided as it was in antiquity.
Israel right now is split over what many politicians want to do with the High Court. Israel’s right-wing wants to diminish the authority of the High Court to just a merely figurative institution, to overhaul the High Court, limiting its “powers to rule against the legislature and the executive, giving the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) the power to override Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority of 61 votes out of the 120-seat Knesset.”
Netanyahu’s coalition wants to change the way judges are elected. Currently, judges are appointed by a nine-member committee (Judicial Selection Committee). For a judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court, requires the approval of seven out of the nine committee members. According to the Times of Israel, the Committee consists of “two other Supreme Court justices selected by the justices of the Supreme Court; the justice minister, who chairs the committee, and another cabinet minister; two members of the Knesset chosen by the Knesset in a secret vote (usually, but not always, one MK from the coalition and one from the opposition); and two members of the Israel Bar Association chosen by the association’s national council.” There were already negotiations in February and March between academics and government officials, and reportedly compromises were said to have been made for every issue except one: the ruling party refused to give up on its aspiration of appointing a majority of members on the committee that appoints judges.
What the right-wing Knesset members want is for elected politicians to be the majority in the Judicial Selection Committee, effectively putting the Supreme Court under the control of the ruling party in the Knesset. Now, its not as though the government has no representation in the Committee. The Committee consists of two ministers and one member of the Knesset, while the Judiciary has three members. And since a candidate needs a majority of seven (out of nine) Committee members to get elected, then those three government representatives can prevent an election. Regardless, supporters of the judicial overhaul— such as Justice Minister Yariv Levin, Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman — argue that this is not enough.
As they see it, judges should be appointed by elected officials. In their argument, judges — who are not appointed by publicly elected officials — having the power to strike down laws passed by politicians chosen by the people goes against the will of the masses who chose the politicians to represent them. ‘How can members of the Knesset represent the people if their laws are struck down by judges undemocratically elected?’ argues the Israeli right. They want politicians to have the power to choose judges because, as they argue, it would reflect the will of the people. The opponents to this agenda say that such an overhaul would merely allow rightest Knesset members to fill the court with judges who would not hinder the laws they pass no matter how oppressive they may be, and that it would get rid of judicial review on the laws passed in the Knesset.
Netanyahu’s administration wants to alter the Committee by removing the two representatives of the Israeli Bar Association from the panel. It would change the rule of having two members of the Knesset to having three members of the Knesset (two from the coalition and one from the opposition). The Committee would also consist of three cabinet ministers, including the justice minister who will serve as committee chair.
Instead of having to have a majority of seven votes from the nine member Committee, a simple majority of five votes would be required to elect a Supreme Court judge. Since two members of the Committee must be Knesset members who are part of the coalition government, and three must be cabinet members, this would give Netanyahu’s administration an automatic majority five votes that it needs to get the judges it wants.
From 1948 until 1953, Israeli Supreme Court judges were appointed by politicians. This changed in 1953 with the enactment of the Judges Law, and its been in place for seven decades. Such a sudden change in the status quo is bound to spark a vicious reaction.
The anger intensified after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, who criticized the plan for causing a tumult within the military (Gallant has refused to quit). The outrage provoked a national refusal to work, which caused many services to stop and impeded air traffic. This pushed Netanyahu to announce a temporary halting in the judicial legislation to allow for a potential compromise between the right-wing ruling coalition and the opposition parties. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir announced that he agreed with the pause on the judicial overhaul, in a deal with Netanyahu that the judicial plan will be submitted to the Knesset for approval in the next session. “I agreed to remove the veto to reject the legislation in exchange for a commitment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the legislation would be submitted to the Knesset for approval in the next session,” Itamar Ben-Gvir said in a statement. Negotiations between the enemy parties will continue on, but its possible they will be stalled with stubbornness and hatred will still increase and intensify.
The pause is suppose to last until the next Knesset session, which starts in early May, and is meant to provide time for negotiations between the ruling party and opposition figures. “Out of national responsibility, from a desire to prevent the nation from being torn apart, I am calling to suspend the legislation,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “When there is a possibility to prevent a civil war through negotiations, I will give a time-out for negotiations.”
The fact that Netanyahu says that a civil war could happen because of major judicial shifts, speaks volumes as to how real the prospect of civil war in Israel is. The tension is high enough that a civil war could erupt. Despite Netanyahu’s pause, Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and one of the creators of the judicial overhaul agenda, pushed to have the Judicial Appointments Law go through the Knesset constitution committee. The bill was eventually passed by the committee and is now awaiting to be approved by the Knesset. In the final version of Rothman’s proposed amendment, the Judicial Appointments Committee will have eleven members (as opposed to nine which is the status quo), which would consist of three Supreme Court judges, three ministers from three different coalition parties, three lawmakers from the coalition and two lawmakers from the opposition, giving Netanyahu’s coalition a majority in the committee for the election of judges.
Rothman’s proposal would also allow the governing coalition to choose two Supreme Court judges on its own, without the Committee.
Tensions still linger in the air of Israel. Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi spoke of how there is a storm forming within the country that is very different to anything the military has sensed: “This hour is different to any that we have known before. We have not known such days of external threats coalescing, while a storm is brewing at home”. His words are almost reminiscent to the words of Josephus. Former Defense Minister Benny Gantz, attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that “the responsibility for a fratricidal war lies with you”.
Its not just in Israel that civil war is being warned about, but in the Arab speaking world as well. In an editorial written in the newspaper A-Rai al-Yom, published in London, it states that “everyone who follows Israel’s affairs is fully and clearly convinced that the main question in the country today is not whether a civil war will break out, but when.” It further writes that “when talking about an indication of a deep rift in Israeli society, which is divided into ‘Israel the First’, as it is called, it largely represents middle-class Jews who manage the Israeli economy and bear the burden of military service, and those who represent secular Israel against Netanyahu and his religious coalition.”
The rift in Israel is for the most part between the secular and moderately religious Jews, and the Orthodox and settler extremists. American conservatives who favor the Orthodox Jews have yet to see what cruelty and viciousness their extremism can lead to. The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has also predicted a civil war in Israel, saying: “The situation in the enemy entity is unprecedented at the internal level. The strategic environment and the current foolish government are pushing matters into two major conflicts: the first, within Israel and the second with the Palestinians. It may expand throughout the region. … For the first time, we are hearing talks by the president, prime ministers and former defense ministers, all talking about civil war, bloodshed, immigration and an explosion that may occur in the near future.” Netanyahu himself warned: “Israeli society is on a dangerous collision course. We are in the midst of a crisis that is endangering the basic unity between us.”
For the first time in the modern state of Israel, civil war is being seriously discussed. It makes one wonder if this wicked generation of Israel — which has embraced Sodom and anti-Christianity — will destroy itself through the horrors of its ancient ancestors who both Josephus and Christ referred to as wicked.