News Letter 5845-048
24th day of the Ninth month 5845 years after creation
The Ninth Month in the Sabbatical Year
The Second Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
December 12, 2009
The Truth that Chanukah Hides
The Sabbatical years
The 300 Spartans
I Maccabees 16:14 As Simon was inspecting the cities of the country and providing for their needs, he and his sons Matthias and Judas went down to Jerico in the year one hundred and thirty seven, in the eleventh month ( that is, the month of Shebat)
The one thing that upsets me about the keeping of Chanukah is the fact that it hides so much truth. The giving of gelts and eating latkes, or the spinning of Dreidels and the lighting of eight or nine candles in a Chanukiah all distracts you from the truth of history. Scriptures clearly says we are to have a menorah with only six branches and the Shamash, for a total of seven oil lamps not eight or nine wax candles. The myth that the oil used lasted for eight days cannot be substantiated in scriptures. It does not say this and as of this date no one has been able to quote the scripture in Maccabees where it says the oil lasted for 8 days. This is because it is not there. It is a myth that has come down to us from the talmud. So why do you keep it? Is it because you can’t keep Christmas any longer and now have a Jewish Christmas substitute? We are also told in scriptures that we are not to add to the Torah, so why have you added another festival? Why have you accepted one that others have added and told you to keep?
I am not alone in my concerns. Here is an article from the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195546794679&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter
Stop all the paganism! Let us look at what we can learn from Maccabees for there is truly many great stories here but Chanukah is not one of them. There are three huge teachings in these books that no one ever looks at because they are too busy lighting candles to Satan. If you do not understand that this is what you are doing, then take the time to read The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. You can do so online if you like at http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/00index.htm
One thing we can learn from reading the book of Maccabees is when the Sabbatical Years occurred. Once you know this you can count down to our day and know when the Sabbatical Years are. The Other thing you can learn is where the Temple of Yahweh was built by Solomon and where it currently is. I show this to those who come over to Israel. We also walk right over the very spot where Solomon’s Temple now rest as told to us in Maccabees.
When this is known the fighting over the Temple Mount becomes mundane. They are currently fighting for nothing. A site that always was pagan and never Holy.
Now that I have made some of you upset and angry, read what I have to offer in support of my claims and see if just maybe there is any truth in my statements.
The third thing that we can learn from the book of Maccabees is the identity of the Spartans. If you have seen the movie The 300 which depicts the Battle of Thermopylae in which 300 Spartans fight to the last man against the Persian “God-King” Xerxes and his army of more than one million soldiers. I liked the movie but I liked the truth much more. This week I also include this story as told to us by Stephen M. Collins.
Let’s begin with Qadesh La Yahweh Press, on page 205 of The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle which can be read and I urge you all to read it online for free at http://www.yahweh.org/yahweh2.html
The Sabbath year which extended from Abib, i.e. Nisan (March April), of 134 B.C. to the beginning of the Jewish year in 133 B.C. can also be dated from 1 Maccabees and the works of Josephus by a Seleucid year; the year 178. Once again the dating by 1 Maccabees and Josephus perfectly fits the Sabbath year cycle already demonstrated by the fifteenth year of Hezekiah, the eighth of Arta-xerxes, and the 150th Selueucid year. The evidence relating to the Sabbath year of 134/133 B.C.E. is built around the story of the murder of the High Priest Simon and the subsequent rise to power of his son John Hyrcanus, who attempts to avenge his father’s death.
The Chronology of Simon
The High Priest Simon came to power after the capture and death of his brother Jonathan by the Syrian Greek Empire. Simon then won freedom for the Judeans in the 170th Seleucid year.
Thus the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel in the hundred and seventieth year.
Then the people of Israel began to write in their instruments and contracts, “In the first year of Simon the high priest, the governor and leader of the Jews.” (1 Maccabee 13:41-42)
He also laid a great many men in ambush in many places of the mountains, and was superior in all his attacks upon them; and when he had been conqueror after so glorious a manner, he was made high priest, and also freed the Jews from the dominion of the Macedonians, after one hundred and seventy years of the empire [of Seleucus]. (Josephus, Wars 1:2:2)
This liberation and exemption from tribute came to the Jews in the 170th year of the Syrian Kingdom, reckoned from the time when Seleucus, surnamed Nicator, occupied Syria. (Josephus Antiquities 13:6:7)
At the end of Simons government, Simon and his two sons, Mattathias and Judas, were visiting Simons son in law, Ptolemy, in Dok, near Jericho. Ptolemy then treacherously murdered Simon. 1 Maccabees dates Simon’s murder in the 177th year, in the eleventh month called Sebat (Shebat; i.e. Jan/Feb). [This is recorded in 1 Maccabee 16:14. The Eleventh month is recorded in Zechariah 1:7]
Josephus adds that Simon died having “ruled over the Jews for eight years in all” (Josephus Antiquities 13:7:4). The year 177, therefore equals the eighth year of Simon. This fact is confirmed by other statements in these texts dating the regnal years of Simon.
-1 Maccabees, 13:41- 42 states that the 170th year was dated in contracts as “the first year of Simon”
-Josephus Antiquities 13:6:7, reports that “in the first year of his high priesthood”, Simon “liberated the people from servitude to the Macedonians”, which Josephus then dates as the 170th year of the Syrian kingdom.
-1 Maccabees 14:27, makes the following statement: “the eighteenth day of Elul (August/September), in the 172nd year, being the third year of Simon the High Priest,” etc. This comment equates the 172nd year with Simons third year, thereby agreeing with the fact that the 177th year would have been Simons eighth year.
John and the Approaching Sabbath Year
After killing Simon, Ptolemy imprisoned Simon’s wife and two sons, Mattathias and Judas, and then sent men to kill his third son, John Hyrcanus. John, fortunately, escaped the assassins’’ hands. (1 Macc 16:18-23; Josephus Wars 1:2:3, Antiq 13:7:4) Ptolemy then withdrew to the fortress of Dagon, located above Jericho, while John, “assuming the high priestly office of his father, first propitiated the deity (Yahweh) with sacrifices, and then marched out against Ptolemy and attacked his stronghold.” (Josephus Antiquities 13:8:1, Wars 1:2:3)
Though John Hyrcanus was superior to Ptolemy in his forces, he was at an emotional disadvantage, for Ptolemy had brought John’s mother and brothers up to the city walls and tortured them in the sight of all. John seeing his family treated in this way, “slackened his efforts to capture the place”. But John’s mother helped to change his mind when she yelled to him that it would be pleasant for her to die in torment if the enemy paid the penalty. After hearing these words, “Hyrcanus was seized with a powerful desire to capture the fortress, but when he saw her being beaten and torn apart, he became unnerved and was overcome with compassion at the way in which his mother was being treated.” (Josephus Antiquities 13:8:1, Wars 1:2:3)
These events occurred in the eleventh and twelfth months, i.e. Shebat and Adar, of the 177th year, since they immediately followed Simon’s murder in the eleventh month of that year. (1 Macc 16:14) Abruptly Hyrcanus was forced to withdraw his troops because the Sabbath year was arriving (i.e. the 178th year):
And as the siege was drawn out into length by this means, that year on which the Jews used to rest came on; for the Jews observe this rest every seventh year, as they do every seventh day; so that Ptolemy being for this cause released from the war, (19) he slew the brethren of Hyrcanus, and his mother; and when he had so done, he fled to Zeno, who was called Cotylas, who was then the tyrant of the city Philadelphia. (Josephus, Antiquities 13:8:1)
And as the siege was delayed by this means, the year of rest came on, upon which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every seventh day. On this year, therefore, Ptolemy was freed from being besieged, and slew the brethren of John, with their mother, and fled to Zeno, who was also called Cotylas, who was tyrant of Philadelphia. ( Josephus Wars 1:2:4)
It is extremely unlikely that anyone could have endured torture in this horrible manner for seven months, which would have been required if the Sabbath year had begun with Tishri (Sept./Oct.) instead of Nisan. Neither does it seem plausible that Hyrcanus would have been unable to take the small fortress at Dagon within that amount of time, especially under these circumstances. The evidence, therefore, clearly indicates that the Sabbath year at that time began with Nisan, which was only about a month or so away from the time that the siege began.
[For those of you who insist the Sabbatical Year begins with Tishri, you need to read this last paragraph again very slowly. All these events took place in the month of Shebat, the 11th month. Then the Sabbatical year began in the 1st month of the year Aviv or Nisan.]
War and the Sabbath
The practice of not warring on the Sabbath (whether the Sabbath day or Sabbath Year) was the law of the Jews during the days of John Hyrcanus. For example, the War Scrolls states, “But in the year of release they shall mobilize no man to go into the army, for it is a Sabbath of rest for the sovereign (Yahweh). (1 QM 2:6-10 Dead Sea Scroll titled the War Scrolls from the Essenes’ apocalyptic vision of the final battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.) The word of Josephus, in this regard, are very important, for he points out that the army of Hyrcanus remained “inactive” during the Sabbath year, “the year of not working the ground,” because “they observe this custom every seventh year, JUST AS ON THE SEVENTH DAY.” (Josephus Antiquities 13:8:1)
Up until the invasion of Judea by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Jews would neither go to war or defend themselves on the Sabbath. But after the outrage committed by Antiochus Epiphanes against the Jews at Jerusalem in 167 B.C.E., after the Jews refused to defend themselves on the Sabbath day and were needlessly slaughtered because of it, a decree was issued by the priest Mattathias and his friends stating:
Whosoever shall come to make battle with us on the Sabbath day, we will fight against him: neither will we all die, as our brethren that were murdered in the secret place. (1 Macc., 2:41 and 1 Macc 2:27-41)
The fact that the Jews of this period avoided military aggression during the Sabbath year as they did on the Sabbath day explains why Hyrcanus was unable to pursue his war against Ptolemy even though by doing so he might have saved the lives of his mother and brothers.
This is one section of the Maccabees that shows us the year of 134 B.C. as a Sabbatical year. You can read of the many scriptures from I and II Maccabees telling us about the other Sabbatical year of 162/161 BC at http://www.yahweh.org/publications/sjc/sj12Chap.pdf Make sure you study the chart in this chapter carefully.
With just this information alone you can count by 7 from one Sabbatical year to another and even down to our time. You can also purchase the Sabbatical and Jubilee calendar I have for sale on my web site at Visit the Charts Archive. It has each and every Sabbatical year from the Creation of Adam up to our time and beyond to the 120th Jubilee year. If you want to understand when the Sabbatical years were and how they are prophetic time clocks of Yahweh then you need to have this booklet showing you when these things occurred in history and how you can count down to the time the Messiah returns.
You have now the information explaining two events about the Sabbatical years which are lost and forgotten by all the Chanukah celebrations. We are now going to look at a third event that Chanukah covers over and is forgotten. For some of you this will be too much.
It is also during this tumultuous time of the Maccabees that another event takes place. We have a hint in the Dead Sea scrolls, but it is not until you tie the information from those scrolls to the Maccabees that any of it makes complete sense.
Here are two quotes about the timing of when the Essenes lived.
Josephus first mentions the Essenes as a distinct Jewish group in the time of Jonathan (160-142 BCE): “Now at this time there were three schools of thought (haereseis) among the Jews” (Ant. 13.171).
It must also be noted that the archaeologists who excavated the site of the Qumran settlement determined that it was inhabited by the community from c. 150 BCE until 68 CE (see R. de Vaux, Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls).
The Essenes believed the end of the world was very near. Everything they did was in preparation for the expected Messiah. But have you ever asked yourselves why they thought this. It was due in part to the wars that were happening during the Maccabee revolt. As you are well aware Antiochus Epiphanes was an example of the Antichrist that we look for in our time. To them He was the anti-messiah.
But there was another huge event that they write about and we are now going to share this with you. This is more information that the keeping of Chanukah hides. A tradition not found in Torah.
We are told in 1 Maccabees 14:37 that at the beginning of Simons reign, (142 B.C.- 134 B.C.) after he dislodged the Macedonians from the Akra which was a fortified tower or Citadel to the south of the Temple in the City of David that Simon began to rebuild this Akra Citadel. They restored the Akra to its original state prior to the Antiochus Epiphanes desolation of the Temple in 167 B.C. The Temple was 150 feet wide going North and South and 500 feet long going East and West. The Akra was a rock formation south of the Temple, and south of the Gihon Spring, which David had fortified and it towered over the Temple. It was used to keep peace in the Temple should different factions start up. It was also used to protect the Temple from outsiders.
But there was a problem. If this Akra Citadel should be captured again by the gentiles in the future they would once again have this fortress that could be used against the Israelites. This same tower looked over and into the Temple.
Simon decided to change his mind about the Akra. After securing all of Jerusalem, he stopped the rebuilding of the Akra, which the Jews were again fortifying. Josephus states that Simon consulted with the authorities in Jerusalem and they all confirmed it was better for the protection of the nation and the Temple that the Akra should have its summit reduced in size. (War V.4,1) They then assigned men to begin the destruction of that southern summit. As Josephus stated: ‘So they all set to and began to level the hill.’ (Antiquities XIII.6,7.)
[Brethren just so you realize what we are talking about. The Akra was part of the City of David. It was the southernmost Easternmost part of the City of David. Looking up from the south towards the north in the Kidron Valley you would have seen the Citadel of David and then this Akra which towered over the Temple which was situated on the Ophel which was directly over the Gihon Spring. To know exactly where the City of David was we can go to 2 Chronicles 32:30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
When I am in Israel I take people to the pool of Siloam and I read this scripture to them. I then ask them which way is west and then they begin to see where the Citadel of David once stood. You can see the mouths drop and then they begin to understand. It is one of my favourite moments on the tour. We also read in 2 Chronicles 33:13 Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God. 14 After this he built a wall outside the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate; and it enclosed Ophel, and he raised it to a very great height.]
After accomplishing this levelling by Simon, the result made the adjacent hill called the Ophel, (upon which stood the Temple), higher than the former Akra. (Wars V 4,1.) But Simon went even further than this. He thought it was prudent if he thoroughly levelled the Akra to the ground. (War I 2,2.) Josephus said: ‘So they all set to and began to level the hill, the Akra, and without stopping work night or day, after three whole years brought it down to the ground and the surface of the plain.’ (Antiquities XIII.6,7.)
They cut to the bedrock, the Akra. This meant that the Ophel knoll just to the north (on which the Temple stood) was then higher than the Akra as Josephus stated in War V. 4,1. But this did not end the matter. With the Akra cut down, the Temple was now left without a fortress to protect it.
Simon was presented with a major problem. The original Akra, The City of David or Mount Zion, had been levelled to the ground. There was no longer a fortress adjacent the Temple to protect it and supervise the worshipers. He then built a fortress to the north of the Temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands. Simon called this the Baris. Later in Herods time, Herod rebuilt the Baris into the same shape and size as the Roman garrisons of his time. This is now what most today call the temple mount. It is not where the Temple was. This is where the Baris was and it was call Fort Antonio after Mark Anthony by Herod.
Simon and the Jewish Authorities then noticed a prophecy in Isaiah 29 that the whole of the City of David (then called Ariel) was prophesied by Yahweh to be levelled to the ground. Indeed, such destruction of the original Zion is effectively what Simon and the Jewish authorities had done. They had completely destroyed the original city of Jerusalem with its Citadel and Mount Zion and they left the southeast ridge without its former Akra. What had once been a high area called Mount Zion and reckoned as being the ‘utmost heights,’ was so levelled to the ground that it now became known as ‘the Lower City’.
They did this by tearing down many of the original buildings on the former Mount Zion and rebuilt them to the west on what was from then on called Mount Zion. The upper City became the Lower city and the Lower City to the west became the Upper City.
In Micah 4:10 we read “You Zion shall go fourth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field.”
This is exactly what happened. Mount Zion was tore down and moved to the west. All the dirt from the Akra was pile up to the west of the City of David and it was called Mount Zion as it is to this very day.
The context of the eleven chapters of Isaiah, 25-35, reveals the utter destruction of Zion and finally, even the Temple Mount on the Ophel, itself. Look at the beginning of the long prophecy in Isaiah chapter 25. Notice verse two. The Jewish Targum shows this prophecy to be a reference to Jerusalem. Isaiah said, ”For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defensed city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built [or, it shall never be rebuilt].”
This prophecy of Isaiah fits the time of Simon the Hasmonean perfectly. The Syrian Gentiles were then and had been for twenty years, occupying the City of David, The Citadel, but Isaiah stated that the palace of the foreigners shall be destroyed and never be rebuilt.” Notice the full prophecy of Isaiah 25:5 “Thou shalt bring down the noise of the strangers [foreigners]….the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.” Going on to verse 12 Isaiah predicts: “And the fortress of the high fort of thy wall shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.” This again is a prophecy of utter destruction of the fortress and the high fort of thy walls [of Judah’s wall, not Moab’s]. This is a prophecy about a cutting down to bedrock of a fortress-and the context of Isaiah 25-35 shows it refers to Jerusalem. Simon would have understood this prophecy as justification for cutting down Jerusalem’s Citadel in which the Syrian Gentiles had taken refuge.
There is more, in Isaiah 25:12 ‘The fortress of the high fort of your walls He will bring down, lay low, And bring to the ground, down to the dust.’
And in Isaiah 27:9 there is still more. ‘Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered; And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: When he makes all the stones of the altar Like chalkstones that are beaten to dust, Wooden images and incense altars shall not stand. 10 Yet the fortified city will be desolate, The habitation forsaken and left like a wilderness; There the calf will feed, and there it will lie down And consume its branches’
There is yet more. Even the Ophel Hill, the hill on which the Temple Stood, that was located just to the North of the Original Mount Zion where King David’s City had stood, and King Daivd’s City was East of the pool of Siloam that Hezekiah had dug from the Gihon Spring, the Ophel hill would become totally forsaken and made a place only for caves and dens. In the King James the word Ophel is redered as “ Forts’ in Isaiah 32:14. It reads 14 Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks–.
Yes even the Ophel, The Temple Mount would eventually become “a pasture of flocks” and a place of caves. This final chapter in the destruction of Ariel, Mount Zion, took place in 70 C.E. when the Romans destroyed the Temple to its very foundation. Yeshua prophesied that, “Not one Stone would be left upon another.” When you go there and stand over the Gihon Spring you can see that not one stone is left upon another. Yet when you go to what today is called the Temple mount you can clearly see the stones on upon the other from Herod’s time. They are the ones with the 4-6 inch border around the outside edge.
Moving Mount Zion to the south western hill and building up the Baris North of Temple which finally become Fort Antonio and is today called the temple mount, is not all that Simon and his contemporaries performed. When they looked at the state of the Temple, its walls and buildings, that had utterly been profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes and later with some rebellious Jewish renegades who controlled the Temple Mount, led by Acimus, who controlled the Temple Mount between the time of Antiochus and Simon the Hasmonean, they were appalled at the destruction and desecration that had been accomplished to the Temple over that twenty-five year period.
The Temple was standing in its place as a hulk of profaned architecture that bore no signs of holiness or sanctification. Something also had to be done to the Temple itself. Simon, who was the High Priest of the Nation, along with the other Jewish authorities in Jerusalem decided to completely renovate the Temple and to make a new type of Jerusalem for the people of Judah. Indeed, when Simon got through rebuilding the Temple and Jerusalem, he had a type of “New Jerusalem” that looked nothing like it appeared from the time of Solomon down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Simon and the Jewish authorities, for all practical purposes built a new Temple and a new City of Jerusalem. The Construction of a new Temple was done in two stages. It started with the actions of Judas Maccabeus about twenty years before Simon began to reign. Notice what the Jews did in 164 B.C. after the desolation of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. Judas Maccabeus (the older brother of Simon the Hasmonean) had the Temple purified and rededicated as best he could. In so doing, he caused the Altar of Burnt Offerings to be torn down and the old stones stored away in the region of the Temple Mount. He then had a new Altar built in its place.
I Maccabees 4:42-50 “He chose blameless priests, devote to the law; these purified the Sanctuary and carried away the stones of the Abomination [an idol shrine] to an unclean place [such as the valley of Hinnom]. They deliberated what ought to be done with the altar of burnt offerings that had been desecrated. The happy thought came to them to tear it down, lest it should be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it; so they tore down the altar. They stored the stones [of that altar] in a suitable place on the Temple hill, until a prophet should come and decide what to do with them. Then they took uncut stones, according to the law, and built a new altar like the former one. They also repaired the Sanctuary and the interior of the Temple and purified the courts.”
(This is what the celebration of Chanukah is suppose to represent but today it is recorded in Wikipedia that In the United States, Hanukkah is considered as one of several primary holidays within the Christmas and holiday season. See the end of this article.)
The rebuilding of the Altar of Burnt Offerings and refurbishing the earlier Temple was done about twenty years before the reign of Simon the Hasmonean. This ‘purification’ by Judas Maccabeus was the first occasion when the festival of Hanukkah was ordained for the Jewish people. It is normally believed that this is the only occasion when the festival was ordained for the Jews to observe, but this is not what history tells us. There were to be two addition al times when the New Festival of Hanukkah was to be sanctified. These two other occasions will be shortly explained.
It was at first thought proper by Judas Maccabeus that a simple purification of the Temple structure was all that was necessary to resume a sanctified ceremonial service at the Holy Place. But the “purification” of Judas was only a partial affair. The High Priesthood soon fell to Alcimus who was a priest in charge of the Temple for the next five years. Alcimus was a thorough going Hellenist and as a last act of rebellion against the principles of true religion as viewed by righteous Jews, he started to tear down the inner wall of the Temple to allow the Gentiles unrestricted access into the sacred enclosure. I Maccabees 9:54-56 The author of Maccabees states that these actions brought about his untimely death that many Jews thought was Yahweh’s judgment upon the rebellious priest. I Maccabees 9:56-57
These abominations of the High Priest Alcimus were a further pollution to the Temple. This made the former attempt at purifying the Sanctuary by Judas to be looked on by the Jews as incomplete. Indeed, for twenty years after the debaucheries by Antiochus, the Temple could not be adequately purified because of the Gentile troops in the Syrian garrison. (This was the Akra, the City of David) With the Akra located alongside the Temple, the Syrians continuously harassed the Jewish worshipers who attempted to enter the Sanctuary. I Maccabees 1:36. This situation after Alcimus continued for 15 years while the Syrians were in the Akra.
The fact is, the Temple had been so utterly desecrated for three year by Antiochus Epiphanes and his supporters, both Gentile and Jews, that only minor repairs could be done by Judas and other while the Syrians occupied the Akra garrison. This was also the case after the defilements caused by Alcimus. Simon however defeated the Syrians in the Akra. This allowed Simon and the Jewish authorities to focus their attention on the Temple once again. What they witnessed before them was a sad spectacle to behold. The only appraisal that could adequately describe what they observed was that of the prophet Daniel. It was to them an ‘abomination of desolation.” Daniel 11:31; 12:11. To the Jewish authorities this signified, through the prophecies of Daniel, that Yahweh had accounted the building and its site as utterly desolate and thoroughly stripped of all holiness.
Recall that Antiochus gave orders to set up the idol of Zeus Olympus in the Holy Of Holies. He also dedicated the whole of the Temple structure to the worship of Zeus. He even commanded many swine to be offered on the altar with their grease splattered on the stones in all areas of the Temple, including the holiest parts. Antiquities XIII.8,2. Even that did not end the pollution. Second Maccabees 6:4,5 laments “The gentiles filled the Temple with debauchery and revelry; they amused themselves with prostitutes and had intercourse with women even in the sacred court. They also brought in the Temple things that were forbidden, so that the Altar was covered with abominable offering prohibited by the laws.”
One can only imagine the filthy graffiti and other defilement’s that marred the majority of the stones of the Temple. In the prophecies of Daniel the word “desolation” was used to appraise the condition of the once beautiful Temple. To Simon and the Jewish authorities, this was the only adequate word to describe the wrecked Temple standing in front of them. The scars of pollution embracing the Temple were so deep that the Jewish authorities considered its condition as being “abominable’ and “desolate”.
When they looked closely at the biblical revelation about the situation they were witnessing, they were able to determine that no amount of repair or washing down could erase the evidence of the corruption. They read about the judgment of Yahweh found in the Holy Scriptures in Ezekiel 7:22. The teaching in that verse showed that Yahweh had formerly decreed that once the Temple in the time of Nebuchadnezzar had been stripped of its furniture and taken to Babylon, Yahweh then reckoned the whole of the Temple, the whole and not just a part of it, as thoroughly polluted and without the slightest holiness.
Simon and the Jewish authorities were also able to read in the Law of Moses what should be done with polluted houses that could not be purified because of the utter contamination and desolation that accompanied them. In Deuteronomy 7:26 Moses stated that if any abominable thing, like an idol, was brought into a house, even the whole house itself should be destroyed along with the abominable thing because that single abomination contaminated and desolated the whole house.
There was also the example of Achan and his family. When Achan was found with a single accursed thing in his baggage, not only was Achan and his family destroyed but also al his baggage had to be consumed together because that one item contaminated the whole. Joshua 7:11-26 As a matter of fact, if an Israelite’s house had been so contaminated with the evidence of leprosy throughout the house, its house and belongings had to be destroyed together. Leviticus 14:33-45. The specific instructions were: 44 then the priest shall come and look; and indeed if the plague has spread in the house, it is an active leprosy in the house. It is unclean. 45 And he shall break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place.
In this case Yahweh ordered the house and its stones to be deposited in an “unclean Place”.
We must now switch to the Book of Enoch. I do not normally quote from this book but this will add to our understanding of what we have been reading.
Enoch 90:28-30 We are going to also include rendering of Charles and Charleworth in brackets.
“I stood up to see till the old House [The old Temple] was removed [the text reads submerged, see R.H. Charles]; and all the columns were brought out [Charles: carried off], and all the pillars and ornaments of the House [the old Temple] were at the same time wrapped up [Charles: literally submerged] along with it [the house was also submerged], and it [the old Temple] was taken out [Charles: carried off, Charlesworth: abandoned] and put in a place [literally in one place] in the south [literally at the right hand] of the land. And I looked till the Lord of the Sheep brought [Charles: brought about] a new house greater and loftier than that first and raised it up [a new Temple was built] in the same place as the first which had been removed [Charles: folded up-like taking a blanket off a bed and folding it up]: all its columns were new, and it ornaments were new and larger than those of the first [Temple], the old one which he had taken away; and the Lord of the Sheep [Israel] was in the midst of it [this new Temple]
Remember an important point. Recall that when Simon and the Jewish authorities read the Law of Moses that any contaminated house of the Israelites was to be torn down, a further command was given about the disposition of the polluted stones of the house. Leviticus 14:45 And he shall break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place.
Everything connected with a contaminated house (even Yahweh’s house) had to be carried off to an unclean place. And what was the Valley of Hinnom? It was long known as an unclean place where defiled idols and polluted houses had their remains buried and destroyed.
It was simple for Simon and the Jewish authorities to read what happened to such contaminated houses in Jerusalem in the time of Jeremiah. They read how the Royal Houses of the Kings of Judah and others were defiled in the time of Jeremiah. And what did the prophet Jeremiah inform the people to do with those defiled houses? Jeremiah ordered that those contaminated houses would be broken down into pieces “and they shall bury them in Tophet.” And where was Tophet? It was the Valley of Hinnom on the southern side of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 19:1-15. Tophet was also an unclean place and a fit place to fullfil Leviticus 14:45 which instructed that the defiled stones, timbers and mortar of any polluted house should be buried in such a place.
So where did Simon place the stone of the former Temple that was now polluted beyond the place of purification? The Book of Enoch says the stone were placed at ONE PLACE on the right side of the land. When you are facing east as the Temple of Yahweh did then the one place to the right hand side is a perfect description of The Valley of Hinnom. More specifically where the Valley of Hinnom meets the Kidron.
Simon and the Jewish authorities also noticed that the abominable possessions of Achan were thoroughly destroyed and even the geographical area where the abomination had occurred was declared anathema. It was called the Valley of Achor. They concluded that even the area where the polluted Temple once stood was also no longer a holy and sanctified region. Even the ground supporting the Temple had been defiled. So they also removed the topsoil and dirt under the Temple and removed it according to the biblical instructions.
It was during this time that others began to protest what Simon and the Jewish authorities were doing. These people believed that they were in the last days and that the Messiah was about to come. They fled Jerusalem for fear that Simon might have them killed.
This group then began to write of this time and they referred to themselves as the “Teacher of Righteousness” and to describe Simon the Hasmonean as “The wicked Priest”.
Let us conclude this article with what the Teacher of Righteousness had to say and recorded this in what we today call the Dead Sea Scrolls.
“This was the time of which it is written, Like a stubborn heifer thus was Israel stubborn (Hosea4:16), when the Scoffer [the Man of Lies] arose who shed over Israel the waters of lies [The Scoffer deceived All Israel]. He caused them to wander in the pathless wilderness, laying low the everlasting heights [what was intended to remain high and lofty for long ages he had cut down and laid low], abolishing the ways of the righteous and removing the boundary [other translators render the word ‘boundary’ as ‘landmark’] with which the forefathers had marked out their inheritance, that he might call down on them [Israel] the curse of His Covenant and deliver them up to the avenging sword of the Covenant.
The demolishing of the “everlasting heights” is a direct reference to Mount Zion which took three years of day and night work to tear down to the very bedrock. The moving of the “Landmark” is referring to the moving of Mount Zion from its original place in the City of David and taking it over to the west side or what is now the upper city. This Teacher of Righteousness who was also a priest could no longer take what Simon the Hasmonean or as he called him That Wicked Priest, was doing to the Temple Mount and the City of David and the Akra, which as this Teacher of Righteousness says he was “laying low the lofty heights.” Another translation of the Dead Sea scrolls says it this way, “He brought down the lofty height of old”
The expression of lofty heights is found in Psalm 48:1-4 Great is Yahweh and most worthy of Praise in the city of our El, His holy mountain. It is beautiful in its Loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.
Brethren as Paul Harvey used to say now you know the rest of the story. If you want to read this story in greater detail then order the book The Temples Jerusalem forgot by Ernest L. Martin from www.askelm.com
As I was preparing this article I received the following email from a couple who toured with us in Jerusalem this Sukkot in 2009.
David Sielaff from www.askelm.com “carries on the work of Ernest L Martin”
Askelm.com stands for ask Ernest L Martin, a Christian/bible/history scholar who passed away 01/2002, left a lifetimes library of work behind to benefit others, that David Sielaff manages and promotes, and expands upon some.
Thanks to YAH and Joe Dumond from www.sightedmoon.com for reminding me/us of this information as he walked us about the old city of Jerusalem, and the temple mount site(s), this past sukkot 09’, pointing out these beliefs/findings of Ernest L Martin (and other historians/writings) whom I knew of, thru David Sielaff from www.thebyteshow.com but, on a first pass basis, mostly forgotten, with some hesitancy, from the unbelievableness of it all, but now after going there and being blessed by Joe’s “tour” we can really picture the pieces’ to put together. It’s not just an audio file or words to read in a book, but a real place we’ve really been, and can place the pieces in the correct orientation, to fit together. With YAH’s reminder to revisit these teachings again, we can’t wait to go again, after a thorough going over of these teachings, again. And enjoy, coincidently (or not so coincidently), a very peaceful place, the old/real temple site, just south of the hustle and bustle of all the “goings on”, up above, to the north, in the distraction caused by YAH
See you, next time, in Jerusalem!!
Jon and lori levesque
The Levesques were witnesses also to just how hard it is to come out of hell. After I showed them the Temple location we then went to hell and back. Gehennah is Hell
Another person on this tour was also impressed by the things I showed him about the Temple and the location. He also this week sent me a youtube video he has made on the location of the Temple. It is very good. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/video/video.php?v=1155663893678&ref=mf
The third and final thing that Chanukah hides from you is the story of the Simeonites. Brethren instead of wasting your time in the rituals of the lighting of the Channukiah, spend some quality time reading the books of Maccabees and then Josephus and see what you might learn. You may just lean the rest of the story that the bible mentions but never finished telling you about.
THE MISSING SIMEONITES
By Steven M. Collins
This article is part of the co-operation that Steven Collins has given me in sharing these truths about the lost tribes of Israel. You can learn more from his site and buy the books he has for sale at http://stevenmcollins.com/index.html
In the book of Numbers, we find that the Israelites under Moses undertook a first and second census of the tribes of Israel while they were in the Wilderness. The results of those enumerations of the tribes of Israel reveal some surprising results. This column will attempt to at least partially explain what seems to be some incomprehensible results.
The first census is listed in Numbers Chapter One. In Numbers 1:1-3 and verse 18, we see that the census tallied the number of males “twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel.” Therefore, we should keep in mind that the entire population of Israel’s tribes in the Wilderness consisted of far more than the tally in Numbers 1. As a guideline, one would ordinarily double the numbers to allow for one wife per man of military age. Given the polygamous culture at that time, some of the men may have had a number of wives. It is difficult to make an estimate of the number of children, but we should keep in mind that large families were very common at that time. Numbers 1:46 records that 603, 550 adult males were numbered in the census. Based on some of the above rough methods of estimating the number of the entire nation of Israel at that time, we can see that the Israelites can be conservatively estimated to be body of approximately 3,000,000 people. For American readers, that number would equal the approximate population of Oregon. The actual number of Israelites was likely higher as the tribe of Levi wasn’t included in this census, nor were the people of the “mixed multitude” which accompanied the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 12:38).
Listed below are the populations of adult males per tribe, given in the order listed in Numbers 1.
Modern readers will notice that the tribe of Judah was, at that time, the largest tribe. The three smallest tribal figures are the three tribes which descended from Jacob and Rachel: Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. However, when the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are totalled together, they numbered 72,700, showing the actual total of Israelites descended from Joseph constituted the second largest grouping in Israel. Notice that the tribe of Simeon was the third largest tribe in this census, taken approximately 1450 B.C.
Now, let’s examine the census taken approximately 40 years later in 1410 B.C. (if the dates on the chapter headings in my book are accurate). For purposes of comparison, listed below are the totals from each census and the change in the total of adult males in each tribe. The second census is listed in Numbers 26. Numbers 26:2 confirms that it is the sum of males “twenty years old an upward…all that are able to go to war in Israel,” so each census was conducted with the same criteria.
TRIBE 1st Census 2nd Census Change
Reuben 46,500 43,700 -2,800
Simeon 59,300 22,200 -37,100
Gad 45,650 40,500 -5,100
Judah 74,600 76,500 +1,900
Issachar 54,400 64,300 +9,900
Zebulon 57,400 60,500 +3,100
Manasseh 32,200 52,700 +20,500
Ephraim 40,500 32,500 -8,000
Benjamin 35,400 45,600 +10,200
Dan 62,700 64.400 +1,700
Asher 41,500 53,400 +11,900
Naphtali 53,400 45,400 -8000
TOTALS 603,550 601,730 -1,820
The national totals indicate the number of Israelites enumerated under Moses had dropped very slightly, but the tribal totals reveal something very different had transpired. The most evident change is that over half the tribe of Simeon inexplicably “disappeared” from the census totals. What happened? Simeon, the third largest tribe in Israel in the first census, had plummeted to be the smallest tribe of all in the second census! Another anomaly leaps out at the reader.
The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh shared the birthright blessing of the Abrahamic covenant, which included being blessed with large population growth. Manasseh had, indeed, risen dramatically in population, going from 32,200 to 52,700, a gain of 20,500 people, by far the largest increase in any tribe. However, its brother tribe which shared this birthright blessing, Ephraim, dropped 8,000 people to join Simeon at the bottom of the population totals of the tribes in Israel. Even the tribe of Benjamin outnumbered the Ephraimites at that time. Judah was still the largest tribe, but Manasseh’s explosive growth resulted in the tribe of Joseph being the largest tribe if Manasseh and Ephraim were added together. As many readers might observe, something “doesn’t add up” in these figures. As commentator Paul Harvey says here in America, let’s examine what happened to determine “the rest of the story.”
I believe the key to what happened in Numbers 26 is found in the previous chapter. In Numbers 25, we learn that Phineas, a Levite, executed “a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites” (verses 7-14). Phineas leaped to execute this Simeonite prince for his audacity in rebelling against God by taking a Midianite woman into his tent at a time when god was punishing Israel for such deeds. Indeed, God sent a plague among the Israelites which killed 24,000 people, and that plague was stayed by the action of Phineas.
The Bible does not record which tribes suffered the most from that plague. Even if one assumes the Simeonites bore the brunt of this plague, it does not begin to account for the drop in population of approximately 56,000 males of 20 years and older among the tribes which lost population between the two censuses. Also, Numbers 25:9 records that 24,000 people died in the plague, it does not state that all those slain were “males 20 years of age and older.” This indicates that 24,000 men, women and children of all ages died in the plague, and that perhaps 6,000 of that total were males 20 years and older. Where did the rest go?
It is my belief that after the execution by a Simeonite prince by a Levitical priest, there was a great dissension in the camp of Israel. We know from the accounts in the Torah of their wanderings in the Wilderness that the Israelites were very prone to revolting against Moses over various provocations. We know from Genesis 34:25 that Simeon and Levi were the two most impulsive sons of Jacob, the two most likely to settle a matter “by the sword.” To put it in modern American terms, they were the kind who “shot first and asked questions later.” Genesis 49:5-7 prophesies that impulsive wrathfulness leading to violence would characterize both Simeonites and Levites through all the millennia up to and including the “latter days.”
In the episode of Phineas the Levite unilaterally executing a Simeonite priest, the two most violent tribes were likely at loggerhead, and a civil war among the tribes was not improbable. God usefully directed the Levites’ propensity to violence into becoming a tribe of butchers, killing, cutting up and sacrificing innumerable animals under the system of animal sacrifices established in ancient Israel. Simeon had no such outlet.
I believe a logical explanation for the sudden drop in several tribes’ population is that most of the tribe of Simeon and varying contingents of the other tribes literally “walked out” of the camp and left the main body of Israelites to strike out on their own. The huge drop in the number of Simeonites indicates that the Simeonites led this partial “exodus” from the Israelite camp. The Simeonites were impulsive and the execution of one of their chieftains (however just) could easily have provoked such an action.
The census figures indicate that the tribes of Ephraim and Napthali contributed most of the remaining Israelites who accompanied most of the tribe of Simeon as it left the Israelite encampment. The census data indicates that the entire tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Issachar and Benjamin stayed with Moses as their second census totals reflect normal demographic growth.
Would God or Moses have allowed so large a mass of Israelite to leave the camp? I think the answer is yes. Indeed, they may have encouraged it as a way to end the dissension in the camp. There was no commandment of God that forbid any Israelites to leave the camp in the Wilderness, so the only penalty that exiting Israelites would bear would be that their children would not enter the Promised land with the children of those who stayed. Remember that every adult (except Caleb and Joshua) were under a death sentence in the Wilderness. For their rebellion, they would wander till the entire generation who refused to go into the Promised Land at first was dead! Under such circumstances, many could have thought: “If my choice is stay and die in this desert or leave and trust to my wits and sword to make a living, I’ll choose the second option.”
The tribe of Simeon, naturally impulsive, would likely have led such a mini-exodus. The fact that Manasseh grew greatly between the censuses and that Ephraim dropped dramatically argues that this can only be explained if a large number of Ephraimites left the camp. Both tribes were the birthright tribes, and they shared the same promises. If no one had left the camp, the population figures of Ephraim and Mansseh should have reflected the same growth.
If we limit our number of exiting Israelites to only those tribes who had net reductions in their tribal totals, we have about 50,000 males above age twenty and all their wives and children (perhaps 200,000 people). The tribes whose populations stayed static indicates that some of the natural growth of those tribes was deleted from the census because contingents of their tribes also joined the exodus. The total of those leaving the camp may have been larger than 200,000. If such an event occurred, there would have been a powerful stimulus to conduct the second census to “see who we have left.” Indeed, Numbers 26:1-2 shows that right after the events described above, God told Moses to take a census of all the tribes.
Where did the departing Israelite go? There are three groups of people exhibiting Israelite characteristics which surfaced in the world outside of the Promised Land. One group was the Sea Peoples who raided and settled throughout the Mediterranean World while most of Israel lived in Israel during the time of the book of Judges. Both Yair Davidy and I have commented in our books about the Israelite nature of some of the identifiable tribes in the Sea Peoples. However, it could be also noted that some of the Sea Peoples were Israelites who sailed from the promised Land to seek new homelands as colonists or to escape the various invasions of oppressors which are enumerated in the book of Judges.
There is a second group, famous in the ancient world, which exhibited the traits of the tribe of Simeon and which acknowledged a tribal tie to the Israelites. That group was the Spartans of ancient Greece. The Spartans were known to be descended from a people non-native to Greece who arrived there in ancient times. The Spartans were famous as being the most martial of the Greek city-states. It was the Spartan King Leonidas with 300 elite bodyguards who held back the army of the Persian Empire at the battle of Thermopalyae. They had a rigorous, martial community which was very different from the rest of the Greek city-states. The tribe of Simeon would be expected to “live by the sword” and be a martial community wherever they settled. However, there is more evidence than that.
The Book, Sparta, by A.H.M. Jones, a Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge University, noted several things about Sparta. He states the Spartans worshipped a “great law-giver” who had given them their laws in the “dim past” (page 5 of his book). This law-giver may have been Moses.
Professor Jones also noted the Spartans celebrated “the new moons” and the “seventh day” of the week” (page 13). Observing new moons was an Israelite calendar custom, and their observance of “a seventh day” could originate with the Sabbath celebration. Prof. Jones also notes, as do other authorities, that the Spartans were known for being “ruthless” in war and times of crisis. This sounds exactly like the Simeonite nature, which was given to impulsive cruelty, as the Bible confirms.
Interestingly, Prof. Jones writes that the Spartans were themselves divided into several “tribes” which constituted distinct military formations within the Spartan army (pages 31-32). If the Spartans were descended from Simeonites and several other Israelite tribes who left the rest of their tribesmen just prior to the census of Numbers 26, it would make sense that they would be allied together as distinct tribes even in a new homeland like Sparta. The Spartans also founded a colony in Italy called “Tara” (pages 11 and 33). The name “Terah” is a Semitic/Israelite name as Terah was the father of Abraham (Genesis 11).
Also, I make the case in my book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, that Carthage was founded by Semites from Israel, Tyre and Sidon who continued the Semitic/Hebrew language of the Israelites as well as the Baal worship that Israel, Tyre and Sidon shared. Carthage and the Greeks were historically enemies, but Sparta exhibited a community of interest with Carthage. When Carthage’s army was not fighting well against the Roman legions, it was a Spartan named Xanthippus who traveled to Carthage to reorganize and drill the Carthaginian army to fight Rome. Who better than a Spartan to teach military tactics? This event is recorded on page 14 of a book, Hannibal’s War With Rome, by Terrence Wise and Mark Healy.
I have saved the greatest proof to the last, however. The Spartans themselves declared that they were a fellow tribe of the Jews and corresponded with an ancient Jewish High Priest about their relationship. The book of I Maccabees14:16-23 records this correspondence, which includes this statement:
“And this is the copy of the letter which the Spartans
sent: The Chief magistrates and the city of the Spartans
send greeting to Simon, the chief priest, and to the elders
and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our
kinsmen.” (Emphasis added.)
Notice the Spartans called the Jews “our kinsmen.” The Spartans did not proclaim themselves to be Jews, but rather that they were “kinsmen” to the Jews (i.e. members of one of the other tribes of Israel). That the Spartans acknowledged a common ancestry with the Jews of the tribe of Judah gives powerful weight to the assertion that they were Israelites who migrated to Greece instead of the Promised Land. The Spartan culture is most like that of the tribe of Simeon, most of which apparently left the Israelite encampment in the Wilderness after a Simeon prince was executed by a Levite.
There is a third group of wanderers in ancient history which manifested a Simeonite/Israelite ancestry, but this column is now long enough. The story of another band of Simeonites who struck out on their own in the world will be told in a future column.
Shalom and Greetings to all,
I Maccabees 12: 5 This is a copy of the letter that Jonathan wrote to the Spartans: 6 “Jonathan the high priest, the senate of the nation, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people send greetings to their brothers the Spartans. 7 1 Long ago a letter was sent to the high priest Onias from Arius, who then reigned over you, stating that you are our brothers, as the attached copy shows. [1  Onias: Onias I, high priest from 323-300 or 290 B.C. Arius: Arius I, king from 309 to 265 B.C. The letter was sent long ago, i.e., a century and a half before. ]8 Onias welcomed the envoy with honor and received the letter, which clearly referred to alliance and friendship. 9 2 Though we have no need of these things, since we have for our encouragement the sacred books that are in our possession, [2  The sacred books . . . in our possession: a reference to “the law, the prophets and other books,” as mentioned in the Prologue to Sirach (1 Macc 12:1), after 132 B.C.]
10 we have ventured to send word to you for the renewal of brotherhood and friendship, so as not to become strangers to you altogether; a long time has passed since your mission to us. 11 We, on our part, have never ceased to remember you in the sacrifices and prayers that we offer on our feasts and other appropriate days, as it is right and proper to remember brothers. 12 We likewise rejoice in your renown. 13 But many hardships and wars have beset us, and the kings around us have attacked us. 14 We did not wish to be troublesome to you and to the rest of our allies and friends in these wars; 15 with the help of Heaven for our support, we have been saved from our enemies, and they have been humbled. 16 So we have chosen Numenius, son of Antiochus, and Antipater, son of Jason, and we have sent them to the Romans to renew our former friendship and alliance with them. 17 We have also ordered them to come to you and greet you, and to deliver to you our letter about the renewal of our brotherhood. 18 Therefore kindly send us an answer on this matter.”
19 This is a copy of the letter that was sent to Onias: 20 “Arius, king of the Spartans, sends greetings to Onias the high priest. 21 A document has been found stating that the Spartans and the Jews are brothers; both nations descended from Abraham. 22 Now that we have learned this, kindly write to us about your welfare. 23 We, on our part, are informing you that your cattle and your possessions are ours, and ours are yours. We have, therefore, given orders that you should be told of this.”
I Maccabees 14: 16 3 When people heard in Rome and even in Sparta that Jonathan had died, they were deeply grieved. [3  The embassy to Rome and Sparta was sent soon after Simon’s accession to power, and the replies were received before Demetrius’ expedition (1 Macc 14:1-3)–probably in 142 B.C.]17 But when the Romans heard that his brother Simon had been made high priest in his place and was master of the country and the cities, 18 they sent him inscribed tablets of bronze to renew with him the friendship and alliance that they had established with his brothers Judas and Jonathan. 19 These were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.
20 This is a copy of the letter that the Spartans sent: “The rulers and the citizens of Sparta send greetings to Simon the high priest, the elders, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people, our brothers. 21 The envoys you sent to our people have informed us of your glory and fame, and we were happy that they came. 22 In accordance with what they said we have recorded the following in the public decrees: Since Numenius, son of Antiochus, and Antipater, son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us, 23 the people have voted to receive the men with honor, and to deposit a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of Sparta may have a record of them. A copy of this decree has been made for Simon the high priest.”