What year did the Temple Fall – 68, 69 or 70 CE?

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: Jul 10, 2014

News Letter 5850-016
13th day of the 4th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

July 12, 2014

Shabbat Shalom Family,

We are going to be teaching on August 2nd and 3rd in the Columbus, Ohio area. If you are interested in hearing me teach on the blood moons and learning what no other teacher has said about this, then come out and be amazed. Those in Calgary were stunned and sobered at what they heard and understood. If you want to come then you must move your feet as we explained in last weeks news letter, and email the host to get directions to the hotel. We are doing this because we have limited seating. Once you see this presentation then you too will understand what is coming and then you will know what to do when you see the sword coming. Yes, you too will warn people. Again, this meeting is in Columbus, Ohio on August 2 and 3rd of 2014. I will be presenting the 6 Blood moon teaching and the 2300 Days of Hell and the 70 Shabua of Daniel and more. You must register so we can get the appropriate room. For directions to the hall please contact

Last weeks, Newsletter about moving your feet and the meeking of a horse has caused a number of you to want to help. You are moving your feet and seeing the times we are in and want to do something. Awesome!

This little group of women in Calgary, the little group that could, this little group of wives that did are motivated and wanting to do more. All of you can do the same thing in each and every country you are in. There is no excuse why all of you cannot be a part of this work now in these last days. As we said last week, it is better to die doing something than to die wishing you had done something.

Each time I have gone to another leader for help I have been ignored and rebuked. So, here is what you all can do.
If you know people in the Churches of God, any of the over 800 Churches of God groups, anyone in the 7th Day Adventist groups; if you know people in the 7th day Baptist groups, each and every Messianic or Hebrew Roots groups, every single home group; if you know people who have shown the slightest interest, then tell them to sign up for the Newsletter. Get them a copy of Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016 so they too can learn about the Sabbatical year and have all their questions answered. Tell them why they need to read this book. Don’t just tell them they have to, explain to them why. When you get a copy of this book into their hands, you will be helping them to know when the Sabbatical years are and the more you help, the more people Yehovah is going to protect from the coming war.

Many of the Churches of God are debating the sighted moon versus the conjunction moon or Hebrew Calendar. Here is an article quoting many of their leaders who agree with us that the Moon must be sighted to begin the month. One of them was Mr. Armstrong himself. So share this with them.

Here is a comment I recently re-found and had to share. I have another Facebook page called Sightedmoon.com which I use for some of the ad campaigns I do. We recently reached over 40,000 people with an ad campaign this past week. They looked at the ad and some went to the web site, but we do not know if they bought the book.

I was invited to like Sightedmoon. I already love Joseph Dumond and his teachings and revelations. I have never seen a guy so committed to truth and the love of YHWH and the importance of the feast days and moed, as they are the design and the patterns of how YHWH does things. Thank you, all of you for being here for us!
You are one of the few ministries that I actually trust 99%. There are so many out there to please men, and the compromise is not hard to detect. My friend, David and I as well as a few other friends believe what you teach and there are so many that are resistant for whatever reason – there must be some kind of agenda, at least re the tribes. I believe your teaching on the moon and the jubiliees are for such a time as this (as well as some of the Apocrypha that relates to these times specifically). You aren’t into that crazy equinox thing to discern the times, are you? I have a feeling you are not (No, I am not). These people use a science that isn’t even an exact science that’s only been used for about 2000 years according to a brother – what did they do before that? I think they looked for the abib (aviv) barley! He makes things so that a child can understand. I also have never heard a Messianic Rabbi teach as well as you, Mr. Dumond, and I have already shared this with many and will no doubt share with many more to come. You and your people in ministry are in constant prayers with both David and I. Again, thank you. Lynn.

Brethren, I am preparing a booth for the ICEJ conference in Jerusalem at Sukkot. We have a number of people who want to help and will be there on tour. The ICEJ booth and ad campaign and the current estimate for the booth display are over $16,000.  I also have other opportunities to advertise Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016 in a Christian book magazine for $3,300. We are trying to get the blood moon teaching videotaped and have set aside $7,000 for this. We are going to be short of funds here very soon as we pay for all of these things. I am asking for your help again. I would love to be able to tell you to stop sending money, but we have not yet reached all 13 tribes and saturated them with the Sabbatical & Jubilee year message. I have this week turned down two book shows for The Prophecies of Abraham and Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016. I had to turn down doing these book shows because we just do not have the money. Each one of these has hundreds of thousand of people going by. The cost of these was $3,500 each and I was not sure of the returns we would get from a secular audience.

We need to do some specialized advertising in order to reach more potential brethren with the Sabbatical year message before the Sabbatical year. Please pray and ask Yehovah what you should do. I pray He causes you to move your feet and take action somehow to help us share this message. I need people praying for this message to keep going and not suffer anymore setbacks or holdups. Aviv 2016 is coming fast and we all have much to do. I need people to step up and do a work in their area. I now need all of you to step up and help us get this done. Please, it could be your family members who hear this message and respond to it. There are those of you who think I am doing this to get rich from the sales of the books. Let me once again speak to those people. All the money from the sales of the books goes back into promoting the book and the message. The cost of advertising and promotions is not cheap. The abuse I get from those who are called brethren truly is not worth the expense, but to find new people who want to grow and are thrilled to read and learn about the Sabbath, Holy Days, Sabbatical & Jubilee years along with the sighted moon, and how all of this explains the plan of Yehovah – for these new people and those yet to hear these truths, I seek your help in spending the funds to reach them. It is worth it to know they are learning about Yehovah and are excited. I drive a 1999 1-ton Dodge Diesel pick up. It is all rusted out and I work a full time job to pay my own bills. I most certainly am not doing this to get rich.

Had this one person not stepped up last year and financed the video recording of the teachings we did at Sukkot, none of those awesome teachings would be available now to you for free on our web site. We have more teachings we could do, but we have not the money to record them. There are a number of things we could be doing, but because the will of the brethren is not there, we just cannot do those either.

Brethren, you see what is going on in Israel. You see how fast things have escalated from 3 missing boys, to murder of those boys, to a revenge murder of another teenager, to riots in East Jerusalem, to now a barrage of rockets from Gaza and the expected invasion of Gaza by the IDF. How big is this going to get? You have Iran pushing for unrest all over the Middle East. You have Syria in chaos just to the north of Israel. You have ISIS taking over a large part of Syria and Iraq with the utmost brutality, and you have Egypt on the west side of Israel who just opened up its border to the wounded of Gaza. Egypt has a new military leadership and we are not sure where they stand as far as Israel goes.

How far will it reach? Many of the Christian world think that “The Jews” must be wiped out and then these “good Christians” will be raptured out and then the end comes, because we have these four blood moons on those “Jewish holidays”. They tie this in with the droughts and extreme weather as well as ISIS and think this is it. Brethren, it is not. Ask those ladies in Calgary what these blood moons mean? Ask those men who were at that meeting what these dark moons in 2016 mean, and how they all tie into the next Sabbatical cycle starting in 2017. And when you ask them, look at how sober their facial expressions are. A number of people at this meeting were crying when they understood this.

I need your help. I need your prayers and I need your financial help. I do not need it after 2020. I need it now. I know we are all hurting, but the hurt that is coming is going to be so bad that there is nothing to compare it to in history. Please, now is the time we must let others know about the Sabbatical years. Advertising is one of the best ways for us to get this done. I need your help. $5 or $10, or $100 or $1000 or $10,000, no amount is too small. Many of you have enjoyed and been blessed by the Newsletter all these years and have never helped to cover any of the costs. I am asking each of you and all of you to make a sustained and prolonged effort with me to get this message out, about keeping the Sabbatical year in 2016, to all Sabbath groups and then to all Christians who love Israel and want to obey Yehovah. Please go to the donation page and help us.

During the past few weeks we have been discovering Tomb Stones, which give us the year the person died in relation to the Sabbatical year counting from the destruction of the Temple. I am also learning that the four renown chronologists who looked at them dismissed them because they did not match the theory they were using. I am so furious when I see this. Zuckerman looked at them beginning in the 1920’s, if I have my facts right; Wacholder in the 1940’s. But Zuckerman and Wacholder disagreed on when the Temple was destroyed and there are those today who have the same argument.

Zuckerman follows the same system the Jews use today, which would give you the Sabbatical year beginning at Rosh Hashanah in 2014. Wacholder uses the system that says the Sabbatical year begins at Rosh Hashanah in 2015. And as I have written to you before, both of them drop those historical dates that do not match their own theory. They dropped those years which proved their theory wrong. We wrote of these before and they are also in our book. Chapter 22, page 209 of Remembering the Sabbatical year of 2016 explains how this confusion came about and exactly by whom and why that person fudged the dates. It was all done by Rabbi Yose in order to make Simon bar Kochbah look like he was the promised messiah. Go and read that chapter in the book. If you do not have the book then get one right after the Sabbath is over.

Let us begin in this weeks Newsletter to address exactly when the Temple was destroyed. Was it 68 C.E. as Zuckerman and all the Jewish people say? Was it 69 C.E. as Wacholder and his followers say? Or was it 70 C.E.? Lets look at the facts and then you, who are to judge angels, should be able to discern which is right.
From Wikipedia we read the following.

The account of Josephus described Titus as moderate in his approach and, after conferring with others, ordering that the 500-year-old Temple be spared. (Solomon’s Temple dated to the 10th century BC, though the physical structure was Herod’s Temple, about 90 years old at the time.) According to Josephus, the Roman soldiers grew furious with Jewish attacks and tactics and, against Titus’ orders, set fire to an apartment adjacent to the Temple, which soon spread all throughout. However, Josephus may have written this in order to appease his coreligionists.

Josephus had acted as a mediator for the Romans and, when negotiations failed, witnessed the siege and aftermath. He wrote:
Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as they were of the greatest eminence; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison [in the Upper City], as were the towers [the three forts] also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall [surrounding Jerusalem], it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.[2]

And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he [a foreigner] were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it.[3]

Josephus claims that 1.1 million people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish, and that 97,000 were captured and enslaved, including Simon bar Giora and John of Giscala.[4]

“The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”[5]

Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, saying that the victory did not come through his own efforts but that he had merely served as an instrument of God’s wrath.[6]
2.  Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. Containing The Interval Of About Three Years. From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus To The Sedition At Cyrene. Book VII. Chapter 1.
3.  Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.. Book VI. Chapter 1.1
4. JosephusThe Wars of the Jews VI.9.3
5.  “Milman, The History of the Jews, book 16”. Crcbermuda.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
6.  PhilostratusThe Life of Apollonius of Tyana 6.29

From Judaism online we read the following.

The destruction of the Second Temple is one of the most important events in the history of the Jewish people, and certainly one of the most depressing.
It is a sign that God has withdrawn from (though certainly not abandoned) the Jews. Although the Jews will survive—in accordance with the promise that they will be an “eternal nation” – the special relationship with God they enjoyed while the Temple stood is gone.
Sadly, this period of time, perhaps more than any other reflects the maxim that Jewish past is Jewish future, that Jewish history is Jewish destiny.
There’s no period of time that more closely reflects what is going on today in Israel and among the Jewish people worldwide. We are still living in the consequences of the destruction of the Second Temple, spiritually and physically. And the same problems we had then are the same problems we have now.

States the Talmud (, 9b): “Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Because ofsinatchinam, senseless hatred of one Jew for another.”
What is the antidote to this problem which is so rampant in the Jewish world today? The answer is ahavatchinam, the Jews have to learn to love their fellow Jews.

There’s no hope for the Jewish people until all learn how to communicate with each other, and respect each other, regardless of differences.
God has no patience for Jews fighting each other. It’s extremely important to study this period of time carefully because there are many valuable lessons that we can learn about the pitfalls that need to be avoided.

“JUDEA CAPTURED” Before setting fire to the Temple, the Romans removed anything of value. Then they harnessed a group of Jewish slaves to take these priceless artifacts to Rome. Their arrival in Rome is memorialized in engravings of the Arch of Titus, still standing there today near the Forum which depicts theTriumph or victory parade held by victorious legions to celebrate their victory and display the spoils of war.
It was the tradition in the Roman Jewish community that Jews would never walk under that arch. On the night of May 14, 1948, when Israel was declared a state, the Jews of Rome had a triumphant parade and marched under the arch. Their message: “Rome is gone, we’re still around. Victory is ours.”
But at the time it was a horrible disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people died, many more were enslaved. There were so many Jews flooding the slave market after the Great Revolt that you could buy a Jewish slave for less than the price of a horse. Israel was in despair.(3)

Jerusalem has been conquered, the Temple has been destroyed, but it was not over yet.

A group of about 1,000 Zealots escaped and made their way into the desert , near the Dead Sea, where they holed up in the great fortress on top of a mountain plateau called Masada that rises more than 1,200 feet above the shores of the Dead Sea. Masada was built by Herod, the Great, as a place of refuge for him. As such it was practically self-sufficient. With its own water collection system and storage houses that could feed an army for years. What’s more, the fortress was practically inaccessible from below and easy to defend.
Indeed, the Zealots manage to survive there for three years.

If you go visit the ruins of Masada, you will see the remains of the fortress as well as the Roman siege wall, camps and ramp that the Romans built, using Jewish slave labor, in order to capture Masada(4) .

Josephus reports on the capture of Masada in 73 CE and the narrative resembles in some way the capture of Gamla. Here, too, the Zealots killed their own families, then each other until finally, there was only one man left, and he committed suicide. Josephus recounts the final speech of Zealot leader, Eleazar ben Yair:

“Since we, long ago, my generous friends, resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than God himself, who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time has now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice….It is very clear that we shall be taken within a day’s time; but it is still an eligible thing to die after a glorious manner, together with our dearest friends ….Let our wives die before they are abused and, our children before they have tasted slavery; and after we have slain them, let us bestow this glorious benefit upon one another mutually and preserve ourselves in freedom, as an excellent funeral monument to us. But first let us destroy our money and the fortress by fire…and let us spare nothing but our food; for it will be a testimonial when we are dead that we were not conquered for want of provisions; but that, according to our original resolution, we have preferred death before slavery.”(5)

For the modern state of Israel, Masada is a symbol of Jews who chose to die as free men rather than be enslaved or executed by the Romans, and is held up as a Zionist ideal. Up until recently, Israeli soldiers would go up to Masada to be sworn in, and call out for the mountain to hear and echo back: “Masada will never fall again!” (We will discuss this in greater detail in future installments on modern Zionist history.)
Back in 73 CE when Masada, the last Jewish stronghold, fell, the Romans could finally declare an end to the revolt.

And from the Jewish virtual library

During the summer of 70, the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem, and initiated an orgy of violence and destruction. Shortly thereafter, they destroyed the Second Temple. This was the final and most devastating Roman blow against Judea.

It is estimated that as many as one million Jews died in the Great Revolt against Rome. When people today speak of the almost two-thousand-year span of Jewish homelessness and exile, they are dating it from the failure of the revolt and the destruction of the Temple. Indeed, the Great Revolt of 66-70, followed some sixty years later by the Bar Kokhba revolt, were the greatest calamities in Jewish history prior to the Holocaust. In addition to the more than one million Jews killed, these failed rebellions led to the total loss of Jewish political authority in Israel until 1948. This loss in itself exacerbated the magnitude of later Jewish catastrophes, since it precluded Israel from being used as a refuge for the large numbers of Jews fleeing persecutions elsewhere.

From these three sources we are told the Temple fell in 70 C.E. so where does the notion that it fell in 68 or 69 come from? As I said, from Rabbi Yose and the Seder Olam.
We will now read from Qedesh La Yahweh Press on this important matter.

It is unfortunate, indeed, that we posses no direct testimony by any contemporary historian or other such record that can testify directly as to whether or not Sabbath year was in progress during the period that Jerusalem was captured by the Romans (i.e. in the summer of 70 C.E.) Such a document would end all speculation on the issue and would settle the questions once and for all.
Nevertheless, Josephus, who was a contemporary with that event, goes a long way towards doing just that. In his history of the first Revolt, Josephus mentions an invasion of the Judaean Idumaea by Simon ben Gioras in the winter of 68/69 C.E. The fields of Idumaea, we are told, were cultivated. This detail is important because the Idumaeans in this region and that period were Jewish by religion and would not have cultivated their fields in the few months prior to a Sabbatic year nor during a sabbath year. Therefore, the evidence from Josephus strongly indicates that the Sabbath year could not have taken place until the next year ( 70/71 C.E., Nisan reckoning).
The Chronology of Simon’s Invasion

The sequence of events for Simon’s invasion of Idumaea are as follows: Vespasian, the Roman general, was in Caesarea preparing to march against Jerusalem when word arrived of the death of Emperor Nero. (Josephus Wars, 4:9:2). Nero had died on or about June 9, 68 C.E. Since is was early summer, it would have taken approximately three weeks for news to arrive from Rome to Palestine (this being a reasonable estimate due to the urgency of the message of the Emperors death). Vespasian must have heard of Nero’s Death on or about the beginning of July, which is supported by comparing the statements of Theophilus and Dio. (Theophilus, 3:27 : Dio 65:1, 66:17)

Vespasian after hearing of Nero’s death and the civil war that ensued, deferred his expedition against Jerusalem, “anxiously waiting to see upon whom the empire would devolve after Nero’s death; nor when he subsequently heard that Galb was emperor would he undertake anything, until he had received further instruction from him concerning the war. (Jos., Wars, 4:9:2)

In response, Vespasian sent his son Titus to the new Emperor for instructions. Yet before Titus could arrive in Rome, while he was still sailing in vessels of war around Achaea, it being the winter season, Galba was assassinated and Otho succeeded to the Crown. (Jos., Wars, 4:9:2)
Titus then sailed back from Greece to Syria and hastened to rejoin his father at Caesarea. “The two (Vespasian and Titus), being in suspense on these momentous matter, when the Roman empire itself was reeling, neglected the invasion of Judea, regarding an attack on a foreign country as unseasonable while in such anxiety concerning their own.”(Jos., Wars, 4:9:2)

Otho had ascended to the throne on January 15, 69 C.E. It would have taken about 14 to 21 days for news of Galba’s death to reach Greece where Titus was. Therefore, Titus must have started back for Syria in mid-February and rejoined his father at Caesarea in late February or Early March of 69 C.E. “but another war WAS NOW IMPENDING over Jerusalem.” (Jos., Wars 4:9:3.) At this point Josephus backs up a little to tell the story of how the Jewish faction leader Simon ben Gioras came to lay siege against Jerusalem. The context of this discussion is that the siege of Simon ben Gioras against Jerusalem was about to occur at the same time that Titus made his return trip from Greece.

In the months before the siege Simon had collected a strong force and had over run not only the province of Acrabetene but the whole district extending to the border of Idumaea. He then fortified himself in a city called Nain where “he laid up his spoil of corn” and “where most of his troops were quartered.” Here he began training his men “for an attack upon Jerusalem.” (Jos., War 4:9:3-4. cf. 2:22:2)

The Jewish Zealots, who were allied with and had many members from the Idumaeans, fearing an attack by Simon, made an expedition against him (unthinkable in a Sabbath year), but they lost the contest. In turn Simon “resolved first to subdue Idumaea” and forthwith marched to the borders of that country. (Jos., Wars, 4:9:5.) “not long after,” Simon invaded that country again with a larger force. This time he took control of the fortress at Herodion (Herodium). Through a bit of trickery, Simon was able to convince the Idumaeans that he possessed a force far too great for them to thwart. The Idumaeans unexpectedly broke rank and fled. (Jos., Wars, 4:9:5-6.)

Simon, thus “marched into Idumaea without bloodshed,” captured Hebron, “where he gained abundant booty and laid hands on vast supplies of corn,” and then pursued his march through the whole of Idumaea.”(Jos., Wars, 4:9:7.) On his march through Idumaea, Simon made “havoc also of the whole country, since provisions proved insufficient for such a multitude; for, exclusive of his troop, he had 40,000 followers.” His cruelty and animosity against the nation “contributed to the complete devastation of Idumaea. (Jos., Wars, 4:9:7.)

Just as a forest in the wake of locusts may be seen stripped quite bare, so in the rear of Simon’s army nothing remained but a desert. Some places they burned, others they razed to the ground; ALL VEGETATION throughout the country vanished, either trodden under foot or consumed; while the tramp of their march rendered CULTIVATED LAND harder than the barren soil. In short, nothing touched by their ravages left any sign of its having ever existed.(Jos., Wars, 4:9:5.)

The land was (energon), i.e. “cultivated,” “Productive,” “active.” (GEL, p. 261: SEC,GK. #1753-1756
G1753    ??????????    energeia    en-erg’-i-ah
From G1756; efficiency (“energy”): – operation, strong, (effectual) working.
G1756    ?????????    energe?s    en-ergace
From G1722 and G2041; activeoperative: – effectual, powerful.
G2041    ???????    ergon    er‘-gon
From ?????? ergo? (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.
This evidence proves that the land in Idumaea was at the time planted with crops. It also places Simon’s invasion in the months of Khisleu (Nov. /Dec) when the fields are first sown. The Jews under Simon were also harvesting all consumable vegetation, something not done during a Sabbath year.
In turn the zealots captured Simon’s wife and triumphantly entered the city of Jerusalem as if Simon himself had been captured. In response Simon laid siege to Jerusalem (which he would not have done in a Sabbath year), causing a great terror among the people there. Out of fear the citizens allowed Simon to recover his wife (Jos., Wars, 4:9:8.) but he was not yet able to take the city.

Josephus then backtracks to report the events occurring in Rome at that time. Galba was murdered (Jan., 69 C.E.), Otho succeed to power, and Vitellius was elected emperor by his soldiers. The contest between Otho and Vitellius ensued, after which Otho died, having ruled 3 months and 2 days.(Jos., Wars, 4:9:9.)

This evidence demonstrates, since aggressive war was committed and crops were in production during the winter of 68/ 69 C.E. that those who support the Temple destruction in the month of Ab (the fifth month) 68 C.E.could not possibly have a Sabbatical year starting at Tishri 68 C.E. So this year is eliminated as a potential Sabbatical year. Also, since the Jews by custom did not plant crops during the six month prior to the beginning of a Sabbath year this would also eliminate a Sabbath year in the year 69 starting with the Aviv because Simon’s army was harvesting as much food as they could in the winter of 69 C.E.

(I have skipped the section on who the Idumaeans were. You can read this at Qedesh La Yahweh Press. For brevity’s sake, the Idumaeans were Jewish and kept the Jewish faith and would have kept the Sabbatical years as well.)

There can be no doubt. The Idumaeans of the first century were not only Jews by Religion but were living in the Holy Land, and not in just any part of the Holy Land, but in that portion which had historically belonged to the tribe of Judah. Under Jewish domination they were required to adhere to the Jewish faith or else be forced to abandon the country. At the same time, the Idumaeans were in close alliance with the Zealots, a strict Jewish sect, and demonstrated their loyalty to their faith in the Jewish war against Rome.

With these details, we are compelled to the conclusion that the Edomites living in southern Judaea were strict adherents to Jewish law. If they had not been, an alliance with the Zealots would have been impossible and the other Jews would have found grounds to expel them from the country.
These facts force us to conclude that when Simon invaded the country of Idumaea in the winter of 68/69 C.E. – an act itself not committed in a sabbath year – there was no possible way that these Idumaean Jews would have avoided the Sabbath years laws. But since they did cultivate their fields, we are presented with clear evidence that the winter of 68/69 C.E. was not a part of a Sabbath year (this also proves that 2014 is not a Sabbatical years). Further, since the crops of this planting season would normally be harvested after the beginning of the next year (69/70 C.E. Nisan reckoning), we have evidence that this next year was also not a Sabbath year either.

The attack on Jerusalem by the Jewish factional leader Simon ben Gioras, and the crops grown in Idumaea during the winter of 68/69, prove that this year and the next was not a Sabbatical year. And the fact that Simon was harvesting crops for his army in the winter of 69/70 also shows that the only possible year for the Sabbatical to occur was 70/71 C.E. Nisan reckoning.

Let us conclude this study with what became of Simon.

The experienced and unassuming general Vespasian was given the task of crushing the rebellion in Judaea province. His son Titus was appointed as second-in-command. Given four legions and assisted by forces of King Agrippa II, Vespasian invaded Galilee in 67. Avoiding a direct attack on the reinforced city of Jerusalem, which was defended by the main rebel force, the Romans launched a persistent campaign of terror to eradicate rebel strongholds and punish the population. Within several months Vespasian and Titus took over the major Jewish strongholds of Galilee and finally overran Jodapatha, which was under the command of Yosef ben Matitiyahu, after a 47 day siege. Driven from Galilee, Zealot rebels and thousands of refugees arrived in Judea, creating political turmoil in Jerusalem. Confrontation between the mainly Sadducee Jerusalemites and the mainly Zealot factions of the Northern Revolt under the command of John of Giscala and Eleazar ben Simon, erupted into bloody violence. With Edomites entering the city and fighting by the side of the ZealotsAnanus ben Ananus was killed and his faction suffered severe casualties. Bar-Giora, commanding 15,000 troops, was then invited into Jerusalem by the Sadducee leaders to stand against the Zealots, and quickly took control over much of the city. Bitter infighting between factions of Bar-Giora, John and Eleazar followed through the year 69.

(Factions fought vigorously over the control of Jerusalem, always trying to destroy each others grain stores to starve each other into submission. This is important to note because they would not have been able to plant that winter of 69-70. knowing they could not harvest in 70 because it was a Sabbatical year. So destroying the grains of the other side was a strategic ploy they all set out to do.)

After a lull in the military operations, owing to civil war and political turmoil in Rome, Vespasian was called to Rome and appointed as Emperor in 69. With Vespasian’s departure, Titus moved to besiege the center of rebel resistance in Jerusalem in early 70. The first two walls of Jerusalem were breached within three weeks, but a stubborn rebel standoff prevented the Roman Army from breaking the third and thickest wall. Following a brutal seven-month siege, during which Zealot infighting resulted in burning of the entire food supplies of the city, the Romans finally succeeded in breaching the defenses of the weakened Jewish forces in the summer of 70. Following the fall of Jerusalem, Titus left for Rome, leaving Legion X Fretensis to defeat the remaining Jewish strongholds, finalizing the Roman campaign in Masada in 73–74.
Just before Passover in 70 CETitus began the siege of Jerusalem. He quickly took down the first and second wall, but then met fierce resistance[4] as the factions within Jerusalem realized the necessity of joining forces.[9] However, Simon and John both upheld their reigns of terror over the citizens, causing many to flee to the Romans. To counteract these desertions, Simon put every potential betrayer, including some of his previous friends, to death.[4] In August 70, five months after the siege began, Jerusalem fell to Titus. Simon escaped into the subterranean passages of the city. By means of stone cutters he tried to dig away into freedom, but ran out of food before he could finish. Clothed in the garments of a Judean king he rose out of the ground at the very spot where the Temple had stood,[10] was taken prisoner and brought to Rome.[11]
Like kings of other countries Simon was displayed during the triumphal procession. Judged a rebel and a traitor by the Romans, he was executed by being thrown to his death from the Tarpeian Rock near the Temple of Jupiter.[12]



We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading 

Gen 46     2 Sam 20-21    Ps 90-92      Luke 8:49-9:50

Israel’s Journey to Egypt (Genesis 46-47)

Once again, God spoke to Israel (Jacob) to reassure him of His divine protection. Just as Joseph had recognized, God confirms that it was His plan all along to bring the family of Jacob to Egypt, where he would make of them a great nation. Only God knew everything He still had in store for Israel’s descendants—events to be recorded in the book of Exodus.

In Genesis 45:28, Jacob expressed the desire that will make his life complete: to go to Egypt and see his son Joseph again. That is enough. Here, God comforts Jacob in a way that must have brought the deepest and greatest joy to him. God promises not only that Jacob’s family would be made great in Egypt, but He confirms that Jacob’s last hope will be fulfilled—he will most certainly see his long-lost son. The firstborn of Rachel will be by his side on the day of his death. Their reunion at last arrives and with many tears of rejoicing, Jacob’s sorrow has finally ended, his life is fulfilled and he can face the day of his death in peace.

Jacob’s life has been a long and painful struggle of reaping the seeds of corruption sown in his youth. His own sons had deceived him about what had happened to Joseph using the same items with which he himself had deceived his father Isaac to receive the birthright—a slain goat and a special coat. And for more than 20 years Jacob had believed the lie that Joseph was dead. Jacob told the Egyptian pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the years of my life” (47:9). So sad—and yet so true.

Jacob’s life should be a lesson to us about reaping what we sow (see Galatians 6:7). Of course, all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). And we can be thankful that, upon our repentance, God will relieve us of some of the consequences of sin. But He won’t remove all of them in this life—so that we may learn important lessons, as Jacob’s story shows. His life, in the end, wasn’t all bad. After all, he became a man whose name was changed to Israel, meaning “Prevailer with God” (Genesis 32:28). Though he was ready to die upon seeing Joseph, God gave Jacob 17 more years to spend with Joseph and the rest of his growing family (47:28). Indeed, in our next reading we will see Jacob state at the end of his life that God had “redeemed [him] from all evil” (48:16), at last finding happiness in his final years.

Still, it was a long and difficult road in getting there. But it didn’t have to be—if Jacob hadn’t sown the corrupt seed he did in earlier years. This lesson is “written for our learning” (Romans 15:4). If we’ve been sowing bad seed, the answer is to stop now—asking God’s forgiveness—and to start, with His help, sowing good seed to reap a better tomorrow. The choice is ours to make.

Finally, Genesis 46 catalogs the names of all the members of the family of Israel that immigrated to Egypt. Once there, counting Joseph and his family, the total came to 70 persons. We know from the book of Exodus that this small group of people will grow to 600,000 men at the time of their deliverance from Egypt (12:37), which probably indicates a total population of two to three million people. Joseph settles his father’s family in the land of Goshen—the part of Egypt closest to Canaan and a land well watered with rich soil and well furnished with pastures for their herds—where the family and its descendants will live until the time of the Exodus.

The Rebellion of Sheba (2 Samuel 20)

Whenever there are divisions among a people, inevitably someone will attempt to assert himself over others into a position of authority. Such is the case with the Benjamite Sheba. Taking advantage of the situation that exists in Israel, with the northern tribes in general rebellion (verse 2), Sheba calls for the army of Israel to follow him against Judah and the king.

David sends Amasa to gather the men of Judah before him. When he does not return in the prescribed time, David places Abishai over the men of Judah to pursue Sheba. Joab is serving under Abishai at this point.

Upon meeting Amasa, Joab kills him—his own cousin—with no established guilt. Joab’s self-justification was probably based, in part, on the fact that Amasa had previously joined Absalom and had served as his general. Yet that crime was pardoned. And in the present situation, it is not known why Amasa was late. Joab didn’t even ask him! As we’ve seen, Joab is a man who continually takes matters into his own hands, sometimes breaking the law or violating direct orders in the process. Worse, Joab may have killed Amasa out of spite for taking his job—or as a political move to regain his position. Eventually these sins will catch up with him (1 Kings 1:5-6; 2:28-35).

Joab and his men come to “Abel of Beth Maacah” (2 Samuel 20:15), in northern Galilee four miles west of Dan, where Sheba is holed up. In seeking peace for her city, a wise woman dealing with Joab is able to convince her city to deliver the head of Sheba to Joab, thus resolving the conflict.
In the end, Joab ends up back over the army (verse 23).

The Gibeonites Avenged;Giants Destroyed (2 Samuel 21; 1 Chronicles 20:4-8)

God allows a famine in the land for three years during David’s reign because of the sins of Saul. Saul, in an incident not recorded elsewhere, had broken the sworn treaty Israel had made with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:16-20), thus violating the law of God (Numbers 30:1-2). In order to settle the matter with the Gibeonites, David agrees to give them seven of Saul’s descendants to be executed.

Yet why would David do such a thing? After all, Old Testament law is quite clear that a son is not to be punished for his father’s sins (Deuteronomy 24:16; compare 2 Kings 14:6; Ezekiel 18:1-4, 14-20). But since David is not condemned in the text, and since God honors the action by ending the famine (2 Samuel 21:14), David has apparently done the right thing. Perhaps the answer to this matter is hinted at in verse 1, which mentions Saul and his “bloodthirsty house.” The original King James has “bloody house” while the NIV has “blood-stained house.” Saul, then, was not the sole perpetrator in this case—so were others of his house. Thus, it would seem that the seven men chosen had played some part in Saul’s war against the Gibeonites, making them personally guilty. Therefore, it would appear that justice is served.

Saul’s concubine Rizpah, mother of two of the men, “remained near the bodies, protecting them from scavengers, from the barley harvest to the early rains (late April to October)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 10). When David is later told of Rizpah’s remarkable example of dedication and self-sacrifice, he is moved to gather the bones of those men and arrange for a decent burial. He also retrieves the bones of Saul and Jonathan from their burial place, brings them to Zelah, and buries them in the tomb of Saul’s father, Kish (verses 11-14).

We then read about the killing of Goliath’s relatives. Here, the account of Chronicles finally joins back up with the book of Samuel. Had we been reading only Chronicles, we may not have noticed the jump of many years between verses 3 and 4 of 1 Chronicles 20. Yet we would have skipped all the way from the conquest of Rabbah to this destruction of the giants—without any mention of David’s great sin, the infighting within his house, the rebellion of Absalom, the rebellion of Sheba and the three-year famine. As stated before, it is evident that Chronicles was compiled with a different purpose in mind than Samuel and Kings—that purpose apparently being to show the positive side of the line of David for others to emulate and to point out tabernacle and temple worship as the focus of David’s kingdom

“You Have Been Our Dwelling Place in All Generations” (Psalms 90-91)

We come now to Book IV of the Psalter, which, as pointed out in the Bible Reading Program’s introduction to Psalms, appears to have originally been joined with Book V in a single collection. As the Zondervan NIV Study Bible notes, this section of the Psalter begins with Psalms 90-100, “a series of 11 psalms arranged within the frame ‘you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations’ (90:1) and ‘his faithfulness continues through all generations’ (100:5)—a series that begins with prayer and ends with praise. The first two of these psalms (90-91) are thematically connected (point and counterpoint); the next three (92-94) form a trilogy that serves as a transition to the final thematic cluster (95-99). At the very middle, Ps 95 anticipates the four following psalms and adds a warning for the celebrants of Yahweh’s reign that echoes the warning of Moses in Dt 6:13-18. Evidently the editors of the Psalter intended readers of this group of psalms to hear echoes of the voice of Moses as interceder (Ps 90) and as admonisher (95:8-11), through which ministries (shared also by Aaron and Samuel) Israel had been blessed under the reign of the Great King, Yahweh” (note on Psalms 90-100). We should also bear in mind that Books IV and V look forward to the coming reign of God over all the earth.

Psalm 90 is the only psalm attributed to Moses in the book of Psalms (although he wrote two other songs that we know of, found in Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32). This attribution makes Psalm 90 the psalm of oldest recorded origin. It is “a prayer to the everlasting God to have compassion on his servants, who through the ages have known him to be their safe haven (v. 1; see also 91:9) but who also painfully experience his wrath because of their sin and his sentence of death that cuts short their lives—a plea that through this long night of his displeasure God will teach them true wisdom (see v. 12…) and, in the morning after, bless them in equal measure with expressions of his love so that joy may yet fill their days and the days of their children and their daily labors be blessed. This psalm has many links with Ps 39” (note on Psalm 90).

The translation of verse 3 is disputed. Where the KJV and NKJV have “destruction,” other modern versions have “dust.” The word here literally denotes “powder,” though it can have the sense of “being crushed” or, as a footnote in the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh says, “contrition” (being broken and humbled). Paired with the word “return” in the next line, the idea in the KJV and NKJV seems to be that God has punished people for sin, bringing them to destruction or humbling, and then commands them to “Return” (to Him), this being the Old Testament term for “Repent.” Just as God would here be telling the people to return to Him in verse 3, Moses in verse 13 asks God to “Return” to His people—not in repentance but in attentive care. Yet those who advocate the word “dust” in verse 3 see the pairing with “return” as meaning that God commands mortal human beings to return to dust (i.e., to the ground), recalling the curse of Genesis 3:19. Moreover, this is seen to fit better with the imagery of people quickly perishing in the verses that follow (Psalm 90:4-6). It should be noted, however, that Moses used a very different word for dust in Genesis 3. And the context of quickly perishing could just as well mean, “Repent, for you don’t have much time.”

Life can sometimes seem long to people—like they have plenty of time to do whatever they will do. But a human lifetime, indeed, as long a time as human beings have been around, is only a very short period in God’s eternal perspective. Moses says that a thousand years (just over the longest time that anyone had ever lived, perhaps hearkening back to Adam, Methuselah and Noah, who lived to be 930, 969 and 950 respectively) are gone as yesterday (a single day) to God—or as an even shorter period of time, a watch in the night having been about four hours in the Old Testament period (verse 4). Early rabbinic tradition came to view this verse, juxtaposed with God’s Sabbath command about resting from daily toil, as meaning that the thousands of years of human history are represented by the days of the week—6,000 years of man’s sin and futile toil followed by a 1,000-year Sabbath of God’s rule. The apostle Peter appears to have been referring to Psalm 90:4 when He wrote of Christ’s coming at the end of human history: “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
The NIV apparently gives the correct sense of the beginning of verse 5 in Psalm 90: “You sweep men away in the sleep of death.” The latter part of the verse and verse 6 compare human life to grass springing up in the morning and, in the heat of the sun, withering by the end of the day. This should not be construed literally to mean that grass lives only one day—though it sometimes does live only a few days in the Middle Eastern deserts. This is rather a figurative picture, keeping with the imagery of human life as beginning and ending within a single “day.”

Verse 8 is a reminder that God sees all of our sins—even our secret ones. We may hide things from other people, but we can’t hide them from God—and His perspective is the one that ultimately counts.

In verse 9 Moses laments, “All our days pass away under your wrath” (NIV)—so that “we finish our years like a sigh.” In its note on verse 7, The Nelson Study Bible states regarding being consumed by God’s anger and wrath: “The allusion is to the anger of God against the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness (see Num. 13; 14). An entire generation spent their lives wandering in the wilderness because of their unbelief and rebellion.” Other commentators, however, suggest that the context is not the wilderness experience of Israel but life outside the Garden of Eden. “If fellowship with God could be pictured as life lived together in a Garden, then it was sin that had excluded humanity from such a wonderful life (Gen. 3:22-24). Accordingly man now lives outside the Garden under the wrath of God” (George Knight, Psalms, comments on Psalm 90).

The latter idea here seems to fit better with the age limits Moses cites in verse 10. He presents a typical human life span as 70 years and points out that it may be extended to 80 if someone’s physical constitution permits. This is not to cap human life at 80, but it does seem to label 80 as being a rather old age for people. Yet consider that Moses himself was already 80 at the time of the Exodus. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, he lived to be 120—and his brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, were even older when they died around that time. It seems odd that at such an age, looking back over the years of wilderness wandering, Moses would be saying that life might be stretched to 80. This fact would seem to support Moses having written this psalm closer to the time of the Exodus, when he perhaps did not expect to live to be 120—so that, as mentioned above, God’s judgment in the psalm would refer to the whole of human experience since the Garden of Eden rather than merely Israel’s years of wandering.

In any case, Moses’ point in verse 10 is that human life is brief and that, even if it’s longer than usual, it’s still filled with labor and sorrow. It brings to mind Jacob’s statement to the Egyptian pharaoh: “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage” (Genesis 47:9).
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states that the beginning of Psalm 90:11 is meant in the sense of a “strong affirmation: ‘Nobody knows the power of your anger!'” The rest of the verse apparently means that the fear of God is justified because of what His wrath can result in. The point is that man should live carefully, with awe and respect for God, fearing to disobey Him. Moses in verse 12 asks God to “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The idea here, the central point of the psalm for our sakes, is that we come to recognize how short our time is, to value the time we have so as to use it wisely (compare Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 4:5).

In Psalm 90:13, Moses pleads with God to return—meaning, as mentioned earlier, to revisit His servants with help and care. He interjects with the question common to laments, “How long?” (verse 13)—how long will it be until God does what he is asking. When will God return and satisfy us with His unfailing love so that we may be glad and rejoice? (verse 14). Moses asks that God make us glad in proportion to the affliction He has laid on us in this life (verse 15). In fact, He will ultimately go far beyond that. For as the apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:18, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Moses prays that God’s beauty (verse 17), the wonderful vision of His work and glory (verse 16), would be upon us, giving our lives and work a sense of continuity and meaning. His loving intervention for us establishes true value and purpose for life. “Frail, limited, and sinful as man is, the love of God can transform what is weak to His own glory” (Expositor’s, note on verse 17).

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible, in its introductory note on Psalm 90, states: “So that the melancholy depiction of the human state here might not stand alone, the editors of the Psalter have followed it immediately with a psalm that speaks in counterpoint of the happy condition of those who ‘dwell in the shelter of the Most High’ (91:1 [compare 90:1]) and ‘make the Most High {their} dwelling’ (91:9; see also 92:13). To isolate Ps 90 from this context is to distort its intended function in the Psalter collection. See also Ps 103.”

Psalm 91 is without attribution in the Hebrew Masoretic Text. The Greek Septuagint version adds a superscription saying that the psalm is “of David.” We should note a thematic connection between the previous psalm and this one. Psalm 90 begins with the words, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations” (verse 1). This psalm begins, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (91:1; compare verse 9). The Zondervan NIV Study Bible refers to Psalm 91 as “a glowing testimony to the security of those who trust in God—set beside Ps 90 as a counterpoint to the dismal depiction of the human condition found there” (note on Psalm 91).

The first two verses present four different designations for God: Elyown (“Most High”); Shaddai (“Almighty” though perhaps meaning All-Nourishing or All-Sufficient as the root shad means “breast”); Yahweh (translated “the Lord” but meaning “He Is That He Is,” signifying Eternal, Ever-living or Self-Existent); and Elohi (“My God” or “My Strong One”). These distinctions communicate various aspects of God’s nature. Note in verse 14 that God sets on high those who have known His name—not referring to Hebrew pronunciation but to understanding who He is and what He is all about, which His names help to reveal.
Dwelling “in the secret place of the Most High” (verse 1) recalls David’s words in Psalms 27:5 and 31:20, which mention God hiding His people in the secret place of His presence within His tabernacle or pavilion. Abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1) is related to verse 4: “And He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.” This is a figurative picture of God as a mother bird sheltering its young—imagery found elsewhere in David’s psalms (61:4; 63:7). As noted before, the word for “wings” can also denote “skirts” or the borders of a garment—with the imagery of a man taking a woman under his wing as symbolic of marriage (see the Bible Reading Program comments on Ruth). It is likely that parent-child and husband-wife metaphors are being blended in these various references to show the great care God has in protecting His people—as the imagery is also blended with the idea of God being the defensive refuge and fortress of His people (compare 61:3-4; 91:2, 4). Psalm 91:3 says God will deliver His people “from the snare of the fowler”—that is, traps laid by bird catchers (see also 124:7)—again comparing God’s people to young birds.

The psalmist goes on to explain various ways that God’s people will be kept from harm. It is important to focus on this and hold tight to the scriptural promises here. However, we must recognize that while God’s people have His certain promise of protection, this does not mean that no harm of any kind will ever come to them in this life. Note verse 7, where thousands will fall around you but you yourself as a servant of God will not be touched. This has often been the experience of God’s people, just as declared here. But the verse does not say that God’s people will never be touched by peril or death. Verse 10 should be understood in the context of verse 7—that when many around God’s people fall, they will be spared. Here, too, it is not stated that no calamity will ever befall those who serve God. The psalm itself points out that they will experience trouble in life (verse 15). Consider what happened to Job, David, Paul and others—and even to Yeshua Messiah, the quintessential righteous person.

Verses 11-12 say that God has commissioned His angels with protecting His people—that they will carry you through life “lest you dash your foot against a stone.” So do God’s people never stub their toes? That is not what is meant here. It does not say, “…so that you will never dash your foot against a stone.” Rather, the point is that God’s angels often intervene to protect us, sometimes even from seemingly minor harm. In the monumental confrontation between Yeshua and Satan prior to the start of Yeshua’s ministry, the devil resorted to quoting Scripture, twisting it to suit his aims. And he chose these verses among others to make his challenge. He told Yeshua to throw Himself from the pinnacle of the temple because Psalm 91:11-12 promised that God’s angels would be there to catch Him (Matthew 4:5-6). Yeshua countered, “It is also written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test'” (verse 7, NIV)—quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, referring to the negative sense of challenging God’s grace. Clearly God’s promise of protection does not mean that we may arrogantly presume on His favor through trying to set the terms of how He must intervene for us (by deliberately placing ourselves in harm’s way).

Besides helping us to better understand Psalm 91, Yeshua’s response teaches us something else about comprehending the Bible in general by His words “it is also written.” We should not base our understanding of a biblical subject on just one or a few verses when there are others that bear on the matter. Rather, we are to consider all of the verses that bear on a matter and deduce the truth from the whole of pertinent Scripture.

With all this in perspective, let’s notice more specifically what Psalm 91 tells us. Verse 3 does not say that we will never fall into an enemy trap or experience deadly illness. Yet we can take confidence that God says here that He will deliver us from these. Sometimes this means keeping us from them (perhaps most of the time), but it may mean rescuing us after a period of affliction. And at times ultimate deliverance—salvation—is in view. Even if we should die, God will later resurrect us to be utterly impervious to harm, just as He is.

Verses 5-6 do not say that we will never experience terrifying situations, disease or devastation though He often spares us from these. But when these do come, confidence in God’s care and His overall plan will help us to not “be afraid”—that is, to not live in fear. Even this does not mean that we will never go through doubting moments of worry and fright. Rather, the idea is that, if we earnestly seek God, our lives will not be characterized by fear but by faith (compare 94:19).

In the concluding verses, God Himself speaks within the words of the psalm (91:14-16). Verse 15 assures us that He will answer our prayers and that, whatever troubles do befall us, He will be with us in them—helping us to endure them. Moreover, we see again here that God will deliver us (verses 14-15), if not immediately then over time—and certainly when we are later resurrected to be in His Kingdom. “Long life” and “salvation” in the final verse applies most fully to that future time. God often does bless His people with longevity and deliverance in this life, but consider that Yeshua Messiah, the most righteous person to ever live, died at age 33. The ultimate long and satisfying life is that which is still to come—in contrast to the brevity and sorrow of life today as presented in Psalm 90.

Luke 8:49-9:50

Yeshua continues with His wondrous healing of the people. He raises a ruler’s daughter from the dead. He ordered them to tell no one.
And having called His twelve taught ones together, He gave them power and authority over all demons, and to heal diseases.
He sent them out. He said: “Take nothing at all for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money – neither have two undergarments.”
They were to stay in a house that showed them hospitality, but leave and brush the dust off their feet of those villages who refused to hear the Good News.
We then read the account of the death of Yochanon the Immerser at the hand of Herodes.

Yeshua feeds the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. Yeshua asks His disciples, “who do men say that I am.” This is when Peter replies, “The Messiah of Elohim.” He warned them to tell no one for the Son of Adam had to suffer much, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day.”

Yeshua takes with Him Peter, John, and Jacob and went up to a mountain to pray. The three witnessed Yeshua transforming in His skin and garments and speaking with Moses and Eliyahu and they spoke to Yeshua about His coming death.

Yeshua warned His disciples to speak of this to no one. When they returned, Yeshua is called upon to heal a man’s son who was demon possessed and who could not be healed by the Apostles. Yeshua healed him and cast out the demon.