BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT

Extant Documentation of Fulfilled Prophecy

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EXTANT DOCUMENT. OF FULFILLED PROPHECY

EXTANT DOCUMENTATION OF FULFILLED PROPHECY

71 AD TO 400 AD

BY CHRISTIAN WRITERS 

                  PURPOSE. Every document must have a purpose for existing, Without purpose such document would be worthless. Therefore, this document is collected for the purpose of definite proof regarding fulfillment of Christian Doctrines taught and practiced during the period from 71 A.D. To 400 A. D. This Document is a harvest of Christian Doctrines collected over a period of 50 years. This is not to say that other evidences is not extant. However, if the teacher cannot accept this amount of evidence, and discuss the issues herein demonstrated he is in violation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and Romans 12:1-2, “Prove what the will of God is”.

What did early Christians believe about fulfilled prophecy? (Before 400 AD)

Uninspired records of how early Christians worshiped and what doctrine they believed!

Matthew 24 and Luke 21:20-32 Fulfilled in 70 AD

Destruction Jerusalem

·      71+AD The Jewish Sibylline Oracles (On Jerusalem) But now a certain insignificant and impious king has gone up, cast it down, and left it in ruins with a great horde and illustrious men. He himself perished at immortal hands when he left the land, and no such sign has yet been performed among men that others should think to sack a great city” (5:408-413;  OTP 1:403)

·      71+AD The Jewish Sibylline Oracles (On Jerusalem) For murder and terrors are in store for all men because of the great city and righteous people which is preserved throughout everything which Providence held in special place. . (5:225-227; OTP 1:398)

·      71+AD The Jewish Sibylline Oracles (On Jerusalem) He seized the divinely built Temple and burned the citizens and peoples who went into it, men whom I rightly praised.? For on his appearance the whole creation was shaken and kings perished, and those in whom sovereignty remained destroyed a great city and righteous people. . . . (5:150-154; OTP 1:396)

·      71+AD The Jewish Sibylline Oracles (On the cause of the desolation) “And then Israel, intoxicated, will not perceive nor yet will she hear, afflicted with weak ears. But when the raging wrath of the Most High comes upon the Hebrews it will also take faith away from them, because they did harm to the son of the heavenly God. . . . “Then when the Hebrews reap the bad harvest, a Roman king will ravage much gold and silver. Thereafter there will be other kingdoms continuously, as kingdoms perish and they will afflict mortals. But there will be a great fall for those men when they launch on unjust haughtiness. But when the temple of Solomon falls in the illustrious land cast down by men of barbarian speech with bronze breastplates, the Hebrews will be driven from their land; wandering, being slaughtered, they will mix much darnels in their wheat. There will be evil strife for all men; and the cities, violated in turn, will weep for each other on receiving the wrath of the great God in their bosom, since they committed an evil deed. (A.D. 150; 1:360-364; 387-400)

·      71+AD  The Jewish Sibylline Oracles (On the cause of the desolation) “An evil storm of war will also come upon Jerusalem from Italy, and it will sack the great Temple of God whenever they put their trust in folly and cast off piety and commit repulsive murders in front of the Temple. . . . A leader of Rome will come to Syria who will burn the Temple of Jerusalem with fire, at the same time slaughter many men and destroy the great land of the Jews with its broad roads. Then indeed an earthquake will destroy at once Salamis and Paphos when the dark water overwhelms Cyprus, which is washed by many waves.” (A.D. 80; 4115-118, 125-129)

·      71+AD The Jewish Talmud (On the Significance of the Forty Year Period) “Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the doors of the Hekal would open by themselves, until R. Johanan B. Zakkai rebuked them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself (Predict thy own destruction) ? I know about thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for Zechariah Ben Ido has already prophesied concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars” (The Soncino Talmud, Seder Mo’ed, vol. III Yoma, p. 186) (Note: This was fulfilled to the letter! See: The History Of The Destruction Of Jerusalem)

·      75 AD  Flavius Josephus (note: Josephus was not a Christian but a Jewish Historian) “A false prophet was the occasion of these people’s destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now, a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such deliverance.” (The History Of The Destruction Of Jerusalem Book VI, Chapter V, Section 2).

·      90 AD Clement of Rome (Displaying Fulfillment of Matthew 24:14) The Martyrdom of Peter and Paul. “But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. (11) Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealously, the greatest and most righteous pillars (of the Church) have been persecuted and put to death. (12) Let us set before our eyes the illustrious (13) apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, (14) compelled (15) to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation, due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, (16) and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. (17) Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.” (Chap. V. - - The First Epistle to the Corinthians)

·      90 AD Clement of Rome (On the Last Days) “the Books and the Apostles teach that the church is not of the present, but from the beginning. For it was spiritual, as was also our Jesus, and was made manifest at the end of the days in order to save us. (Chap. XIV. - - The Second Epistle to the Corinthians)

·      130 AD  Barnabas (On the demise of the Temple in the last days) Moreover I will tell you likewise concerning the temple, these wretched men being led astray set their hope on the building, and not on their God that made them, as being a house of God. . . . So it cometh to pass; for because they went to war it was pulled down by their enemies. . . . Again, it was revealed how the city and the temple and the people of Israel should be betrayed. For the scripture saith, and it shall be in the last days, that the Lord shall deliver up the sheep of the pasture and the fold and the tower thereof to destruction. And it so happened as the Lord had spoken. (“Epistle of Barnabas 16:1ff").

·      130 AD  Barnabas (On fulfillment of prophecy) “Moreover understand this also, my brothers. When ye see that after so many signs and wonders wrought in Israel, even then they were abandoned, let us give heed, lest haply we be found, as the scripture saith, many called but few chosen. . . “ (4:1-15;  Epistle of Barnabas)

·      130 AD  Barnabas (On the fulfillment of prophecy) “Therefore the son of God came in the flesh to this end, that He might sum up the complete tale of their sins against those who persecuted and slew his prophets.” (5:9-11, Epistle of Barnabas)

·      130 AD  Barnabas ( on water of life)  “Let us now inquire whether the Lord took care to manifest anything before hand concerning water and the cross. 2Now for the former of these, it is written to the people of Israel how that they shall not receive that baptism which brings forgiveness of sins; but shall institute another to themselves that cannot. 3For thus saith the prophet: Be astonished, O Heaven! And let the earth tremble at it, because this people have done two great and wicked things; they have left me, the fountain of living water, and have digged for themselves broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 4 Is My holy mountain a Zion, a desolate wilderness? For ye shall be as a young bird when its nest is taken away. 5 And again the prophet saith, I will go before thee, and will make plain the mountains, and will break the gates of brass, and iron; and will give thee dark, and hidden, and invisible treasures, that they may know that I am the Lord God. 6 And again; He shall dwell in the high den of the strong rock. And then, what follows in the same prophet? His water is faithful; ye shall see the King with glory, and your soul shall learn the fear of the Lord. 14 And what follows? And there was a river running on the right hand, and beautiful trees grew up by it; and he that shall eat of them shall live forever. The signification of which is this: that we go down into the water full of sins and pollutions; but come up again, bringing forth fruit; having in our hearts the fear and hope which is in Jesus, by the spirit. And whosoever shall eat of them shall live forever”. (Epistle of Barnabas 10:1-14).

130 AD Barnabas (on destruction of fetus). “Thou shall not destroy thy conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill them after they are born”. (Epistle of Barnabas 14:11).

130 AD Barnabas ( on resurrection and retribution). “It is therefore fitting that learning the just commands of the Lord, which we have before mentioned, we should walk in them. For he who does such things shall be glorified in the Kingdom of God. 8 But he that chooses the other part, shall be destroyed together with his works. For this cause there shall be both a resurrection, and retribution. 9 I beseech those that are in high estate among you, if so be you will take the counsel which with good intention I offer to you, you have those with you towards whom you may do good; do not forsake them. 10 For the day is at hand in which all things shall be destroyed, together with the wicked one. The Lord is near, and His reward is with Him”. (Epistle of Barnabas 15:7-10).

140 AD Justin Martyr (A Manual of church History p. 239) 5) They seek to show that Christianity is the oldest religion in the world, and not, as their enemies maintained, a thing of recent origin. Justin, e.g., maintains that Moses wrote the Pentateuch long before the Trojan War, and hence farther back than the Greeks could trace their history. Christianity is simply a fulfillment of the prophecies and types of the Old Testament. It is maintained that all that is pure and noble in Greek literature was stolen from the Old Testament; that Socrates and Plato, e.g., derived their ideas of God from Moses. The Sibyl is quoted as prophecy. (6) The apologists stake everything on the Old Testament. Christ came to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, and to impress Old Testament teachings on men’s minds, but he taught nothing new. To make these things appear, the allegorical method of interpretation is freely employed. (7) The main evidence for Christianity, therefore, is prophecy. Miracles might be wrought by demons, but a prediction can come from God alone. Much effort is made to show definite fulfillment of prophecies. (8) The purity of Christ’s life and teachings, and the marvelous transforming power of Christianity are constantly and most impressively set forth.

·      150 AD Justin Martyr (On fulfillment of Isaiah 2:4) CHAP. XXXIX. - - Direct Predictions By The Spirit. “And when the Spirit of prophecy speaks as predicting things that are to come to pass, He speaks in this way: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”” (12) And that it did so come to pass, we can convince you. For from Jerusalem there went out into the world, men, twelve in number, and these illiterate, of no ability in speaking: but by the power of God they proclaimed to every race of men that they were sent by Christ to teach to all the word of God; and we who formerly used to murder one another do not only now refrain from making war upon our enemies, but also, that we may not lie nor deceive our examiners, willingly die confessing Christ.” (First Apology of Justin Martyr, Ch. 39)

·      138 AD  Aristides (Character of the Apology) It is largely occupied with an exposition of the Christian idea of God and of Christ, and the Christian plan of salvation, by way of comparison with heathen religions. The author displays a remarkable acquaintance, not only with Greek and Roman philosophy and religion, but also with the Egyptian, Persian, and possibly with the Indian systems. The writer sets forth the characters of the heathen deities in a repulsive light, and the apology comes near being a polemic; but the writing is conciliatory in spirit, and might have been expected to make a favorable impression on an emperor who had little regard for the current polytheism. No nobler defense of Christianity was ever written. It is possible that that it had something to do with the comparatively favorable attitude of Antoninus toward Christians. The Church, as represented by Justin, consists of believers only. All the members are priests, and the sacrifices that these priests make are thanksgivings poured out over the cup and bread. The only officers mentioned are deacons and presidents. Baptism is administered only to believers, after fasting and prayer. Like Barnabas and Hermas, Justin seems to have regarded baptism as the culmination of the process of regeneration, in which remission of sins actually takes place. Christians meet together every Sunday. Some one reads as long as there is time from the writings of the apostles or prophets. Then the president instructs or exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then all rise together and pray. After this, bread and wine mixed with water are brought. The president gives thanks, the people saying ‘Amen.’ Then there is a distribution to each member present, and a part is sent to the sick. A collection for the poor follows. Justin gives us the most detailed and lifelike view of the ordinances and worship of the early Christians that we have.

·      150 AD Justin Martyr (On the ‘Millennial Reign’ of Christ) CHAP. XI. - - What Kingdom Christians Look for. And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that which is with God, as appears also from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged with being Christians, though they know that death is the punishment awarded to him who so confesses. For if we looked for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what we expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not concerned when men cut us off; since also death is a debt which must at all events be paid. (First Apology of Justin Martyr, Ch. 11)

·      150 AD  Justin Martyr (On The Power of the Jews in the First Century) “The power of the Jews was now grown so great, that after this Antiochus they would not bear any Macedonian king over them; and that they set up a government of their own, and infested Syria with great wars.” (Quoted by Whiston, p. 2009)

·      150 AD Justin Martyr (On the Significance of A.D. 70) CHAP. XLVII. - - Desolation of Judaea Foretold. That the land of the Jews, then, was to be laid waste, hear what was said by the Spirit of prophecy. And the words were spoken as if from the person of the people wondering at what had happened. They are these: “Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. The house of our sanctuary has become a curse, and the glory which our fathers blessed is burned up with fire, and all its glorious things are laid waste: and Thou refrainest Thyself at these things, and hast held Thy peace, and hast humbled us very sore.” (6) And ye are convinced that Jerusalem has been laid waste, as was predicted. And concerning its desolation, and that no one should be permitted to inhabit it, there was the following prophecy by Isaiah: “Their land is desolate, their enemies consume it before them, and none of them shall dwell therein.” (7) And that it is guarded by you lest anyone dwell in it, and that death is decreed against a Jew apprehended entering it, you know very well. (First Apology, Ch. 47)

·      160 AD Clement of Alexandria (On Matthew 24:15, The Abomination of Desolation) “We have still to add to our chronology the following, - - I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is “the half of the week,” as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: “How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away.”? “These two thousand three hundred days,  then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, “Blessed is he that cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: “And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” Daniel 12:1-12. “ (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 334)

·      160 AD Clement of Alexandria (On Matthew 24:3, 34) “But our Master did not prophesy after this fashion; but, as I have already said, being a prophet by an inborn and every-flowing Spirit, and knowing all things at all times, He confidently set forth, plainly as I said before, sufferings, places, appointed times, manners, limits. Accordingly, therefore, prophesying concerning the temple, He said: “See ye these buildings? Verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another which shall not be taken away (Matt. 24:3); and this generation shall not pass until the destruction begin (Matt. 24:34). . . . “And in like manner He spoke in plain words the things that were straightway to happen, which we can now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among those to whom the word was spoken. (Clementine Homilia, 3:15. See Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, 8:241.)

·      160 AD Clement of Alexandria (On the Significance of the A.D. 70) “Whence also Peter, in his Preaching, speaking of the apostles, says: "But we, unrolling the books of the prophets which we possess, who name Jesus Christ, partly in parables, partly in enigmas, partly expressly and in so many words, find His coming and death, and cross, and all the rest of the tortures which the Jews inflicted on Him, and His resurrection and assumption to heaven previous to the capture of Jerusalem. As it is written, These things are all that He behooves to suffer, and what should be after Him. Recognizing them, therefore, we have believed in God in consequence of what is written respecting Him." (Miscellanies 4:15)

·      160 AD Tertullian Chap. Viii. - - Of the Times of Christ’s Birth and Passion, And of Jerusalem’s Destruction. “Accordingly the times must be inquired into of the predicted and future nativity of the Christ, and of His passion, and of the extermination of the city of Jerusalem, that is, its devastation. For Daniel says, that “both the holy city and the holy place are exterminated together with the coming Leader, and that the pinnacle is destroyed unto ruin.” (7) And so the times of the coming Christ, the Leader, (8) must be inquired into, which we shall trace in Daniel; and, after computing them, shall prove Him to be come, even on the ground of the times prescribed, and of competent signs and operations of His. Which matters we prove, again, on the ground of the consequences which were ever announced as to follow His advent; in order that we may believe all to have been as well fulfilled as foreseen. ? “Therefore, when these times also were completed, and the Jews subdued, there afterwards ceased in that place “libations and sacrifices,” which thence forward have not been able to be in that place celebrated; for “the unction,” too, (6) was “exterminated” in that place after the passion of Christ. For it had been predicted that the unction should be exterminated in that place; as in the Psalms it is prophesied, “They exterminated my hands and feet.” (7) And the suffering of this “extermination” was perfected within the times of the lxx hebdomads, under Tiberius Caesar, in the consulate of Rubellius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, in the month of March, at the times of the Passover, on the eighth day before the calends of April, (8) on the first day of unleavened bread, on which they slew the lamb at even, just as had been enjoined by Moses. (9) Accordingly, all the synagogue of Israel did slay Him, saying to Pilate, when he was desirous to dismiss Him, “His blood is upon us, and upon our children;” (10) and, “If thou dismiss him, thou art not a friend of Caesar;” (11) in order that all things might be fulfilled which had been written of Him. (12) “ (Against the Jews, Ch. 8) (On the Significance of A.D. 70)

·      160 AD Tertullian CHAP. XXIII. - - The Dispersion of the Jews, And Their Desolate Condition For Rejecting Christ, Foretold. “now, since you join the Jews in denying that their Christ has come, recollect also what is that end which they were predicted as about to bring on themselves after the time of Christ, for the impiety wherewith they both rejected and slew Him. For it began to come to pass from that day, when, according to Isaiah, “a man threw away his idols of gold and of silver, which they made into useless and hurtful objects of worship;” in other words, from the time when he threw away his idols after the truth had been made clear by Christ. Consider whether that follows in the prophet has not received its fulfillment: “The Lord of hosts hath taken away from Judah and from Jerusalem, amongst other things, both the prophet and the wise artificer;” that is, His Holy Spirit, who builds the church, which is indeed the temple, and household and city of God. For thenceforth God’s grace failed amongst them; and “the cloud were commanded to rain no rain upon the vineyard” of Sorech; to withhold, that is, the graces of heaven, that they shed no blessing upon “the house of Israel,” which had but produced “the thorns” wherewith it had crowned the Lord, and “instead of righteousness, the cry” wherewith it had hurried Him away to the cross. And so in this manner the law and the prophets were until John, but the clews of divine grace were withdrawn from the nation. After his time their madness still continued, and the name of the Lord was blasphemed by them, as saith the Scripture: “Because of you my name is continually blasphemed amongst the nations” (for from them did the blasphemy originate); neither in the interval from Tiberius to Vespasian did they learn repentance. Therefore, :has their land become desolate, their cities are burnt with fire, their country strangers are devouring before their own eyes; the daughter of Sion has been deserted like a cottage in a vineyard, or a lodge in a garden of cucumbers,” ever since the time when “Israel acknowledged not the Lord, and the people understood Him not, but forsook Him, and provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger.” So likewise that conditional threat of the sword, “If ye refuse and hear me not, the sword shall devour you,” has proved that it was Christ, for rebellion against whom they have perished. In the fifty-eighth Psalm He demands of the Father their dispersion: “Scatter them in Thy power.” By Isaiah He also says, as He finishes a prophecy of their consumption by fire: “Because of me has this happened to you; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” But all this would be unmeaning enough, if they suffered this retribution not on account of Him, who had in prophecy assigned their suffering to His own cause, but for the sake of the Christ of the other God. Well, then, although you affirm that it is the Christ of the other god who was driven to the cross by the powers and authorities of the Creator, as it were by hostile beings, still I have to say, See how manifestly He was defended by the Creator: there were given to Him both “the wicked for His burial,” even those who had strenuously maintained that 342. ?   His corpse had been stolen, “and the rich for His death,” even those who had redeemed Him from the treachery of Judas, as well as from the lying report of the soldiers that His body had been taken away. Therefore these things either did not happen to the Jews on His account, in which case you will be refuted by the sense of the Scriptures tallying with the issue of the facts and the order of the times, or else they did happen on His account, and then the Creator could not have inflicted the vengeance except for His own Christ; nay, He must have rather had a reward for Judas, if it had been his master’s enemy whom they put to death. At all events, if the Creator’s Christ has not come yet, on whose account the prophecy dooms them to such sufferings, they will have to endure the sufferings when He shall have come. Then where will there be a daughter of Sion to be reduced to desolation, for there is none now to be found? Where will there be cities to be burnt with fire, for they are now in heaps? Where a nation to be dispersed, which is already in banishment? Restore to Judaea its former state, that the Creator’s Christ may find it, and then you may contend that another Christ has come. But then, again, how is it that He can have permitted to range through His own heaven one whom He was someday to put to death of His own earth, after the more noble and glorious region of His kingdom had been violated, and His own very palace and sublimest height had been trodden by him? Or was it only in appearance rather that he did this? God is no doubt a jealous God! Yet he gained the victory. You should blush with shame, who put your faith in a vanquished god! What have you to hope for from him, who was not strong enough to protect himself? For it was either through his infirmity that he was crushed by the powers and human agents of the Creator, or else through maliciousness, in order that he might fasten so great a stigma on them by his endurance of their wickedness. (Against Marcion, Ch. 23) (On the Significance of A.D. 70)

·      170 AD Melito, Bishop of Sardis (On the Significance of A.D. 70) “Thou smotest thy Lord: thou also hast been smitten upon the earth. And thou indeed liest dead; but He is risen from the place of the dead, and ascended to the height of heaven.” (ANF 8:757, His Various Works, Including Homily of the Pascha)

·      174 AD Irenaeus (On Significance of A.D. 70) Chap. IV. - - Answer to Another Objection, Showing That The Destruction of Jerusalem, Which Was The City Of The Great King, Diminished Nothing From The Supreme Majesty’ And Power Of God, For That This Destruction Was Put In Execution By The Most Wise Counsel Of The Same God. 1. Further, also, concerning Jerusalem and the Lord, they venture to assert that, if it had been “the city of the great King,” (12) it would not have been deserted. (13) This is just as if anyone should say, that if straw were a creation of God, it would never part company with the wheat; and that the vine twigs, if made by God, never would be lopped away and deprived of the clusters. But as these (vine twigs) have not been originally made for their own sake, but for that of the fruit growing upon them, which being come to maturity and taken away, they are left behind, and those which do not conduce to fruitification are lopped off altogether; so also (was it with) Jerusalem, which had in herself borne the yoke of bondage (under which man was reduced, who in former times was not subject to God when death was reigning, and being subdued, became a fit subject for liberty), when the fruit of liberty had come, and reached maturity, and been reaped and stored in the barn, and when those which had the power to produce fruit had been carried away from her (i.e., from Jerusalem), and scattered throughout all the world. Even as Esaias saith, “The children of Jacob shall strike root, and Israel shall flourish, and the whole world shall be filled with his fruit.” (1) The fruit, therefore, having been sown throughout all the world, she (Jerusalem) was deservedly forsaken, and those things which had formerly brought forth fruit abundantly were taken away; for from these, according to the flesh, were Christ and the apostles enabled to bring forth fruit. For all things which have a beginning in time must of course have an end in time also. ? 2. Since, then, the law originated with Moses, it terminated with John as a necessary consequence. Christ had come to fulfill it: wherefore “the law and the prophets were” with them “until John.” (2) And therefore Jerusalem, taking its commencement from David, (3) and fulfilling its own times, must have an end of legislation (4) when the new covenant was revealed. “  (Against Heresies, Book 4, Ch. 4)

·      177 AD  Athenagoras. Next to Justin Martyr may be ranked Athenagoras, the Athenian philosopher, who embraced Christianity as a result of an examination of the Scriptures, with a view to their refutation, and who wrote an apology for the Christians to Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus (C. 177). The Apology is written in rhetorical style, abounds in quotations from the Greek classics, and is exceedingly conciliatory in tone, verging upon flattery. The arguments employed and the character of the theology are not very different from those of Justin. In some respects this is one of the best and most admirable of all the Christian apologies of this age.

·      185 AD   Origen  “But if “the children of Israel are to sit many days without a king, or ruler, or altar, or priesthood, or responses;” and if, since the temple was destroyed, there exists no longer sacrifice, nor altar, nor priesthood, it is manifest that the ruler has failed out of Judah, and the leader from between his thighs. And since the prediction declares that “the ruler shall not fail from Judah, and the leader from between his thighs, until what is reserved for Him shall come,” it is manifest that He is come to whom (belongs) what is reserved - - the expectation of the Gentiles. And this is clear from the multitude of the heathen who have believed on God through Jesus Christ. (Principles, 4:1:3)

·      185 AD  Origen  “Therefore he, also, having separated from her, married, so to speak, another, having given into the hands of the former the bill of divorcement; wherefore they can no longer do the things enjoined on them by the law, because of the bill of divorcement. And a sign that she has received the bill of divorcement is this, that Jerusalem was destroyed along with what they called the sanctuary of the things in it which were believed to be holy, and with the altar of burnt offerings, and all the worship associated with it. . . And what was more unseemly than the fact, that they all said in His case, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” and “Away with such a fellow from the earth”? And can this be freed from the charge of unseemliness, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children”? Wherefore, when He was avenged, Jerusalem was compassed with armies, and its desolation was near, and their house was taken away from it, and “the daughter of Zion was left as a booth in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a besieged city.” And, about the same time, I think, the husband wrote out a bill of divorcement to his former wife, and the bond of her hands, and sent her away from his own house, and the bond of her who came from the Gentiles has been cancelled about which the Apostle says, “Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances, which was contrary to us, and He hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; “ for Paul also and others became proselytes of Israel for her who came from the Gentiles.” (Commentary on the Gospel According to Matthew, Book 2. sec. 29.)

·      200 AD  Hippolytus of Rome  (on the Significance of A.D. 70)  “And whereas thou didst pour out His blood in indignation, hear what thy recompense shall be: “Pour out Thine indignation upon them, and ley Thy wrathful anger take hold of them;” and, “Let their habitation be desolate,” to wit, their celebrated temple. ? 7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of that ancient fabrication of the calf? Was it on account of the idolatry of the people? Was it for the blood of the prophets? Was it for the adultery and fornication of Israel? By no means, he says; for in all these transgressions they always found pardon open to them, and benignity; but it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is coeternal with the Father. Whence He saith, “Father, let their temple be made desolate; for they have persecuted Him whom Thou didst of Thine own will smite for the salvation of the world;”  that is, they have persecuted me with a violent and unjust death, “and they have added to the pain of my wounds.” In former time, as the Lover of man, I had pain on account of the straying of the Gentiles; but to this pain they have added another, by going also themselves astray. Wherefore “add iniquity to their iniquity, and tribulation to tribulation, and let them not enter into Thy righteousness,” that is, into Thy kingdom; but “let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous,” that is, with their holy fathers and patriarchs. (Expository Treatise Against The Jews, 6, 7)

·      200 AD  Hippolytus of Rome (On the Significance of A.D. 70)  30. Come, then, O blessed Isaiah; arise, tell us clearly what thou didst prophesy with respect to the mighty Babylon. For thou didst speak also of Jerusalem, and thy word is accomplished. For thou didst speak boldly and openly: Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate as overthrown by many strangers. The daughter of Sion shall be left as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” ? What then? Are not these things come to pass? Are not the things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are not their walls cast down? Are not their cities destroyed? Their land, do not strangers devour it? Do not the Romans rule the country? And indeed these impious people hated thee, and did saw thee asunder, and they crucified Christ. Thou art dead in the world, but thou livest in Christ.” (Fragments of Dogmatic and Historical Works, 30)

·      200 AD  Hippolytus of the Rome Come, then, O blessed Isaiah; arise, tell us clearly what thou didst prophesy with respect to the mighty Babylon. For thou didst speak boldly and openly: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate as overthrown by many strangers. The daughter of Sion shall be left as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” ? What then? Are not these things come to pass? Are not the things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are not their walls cast down? Are not their cities destroyed? Their land, do not strangers devour it? Do not the Romans rule the country? And indeed these impious people hated thee, and did saw thee asunder, and they crucified Christ. Thou art dead in the world, but thou livest in Christ.” (Fragments of Dogmatic and Historical Works, 30)

·      200 AD Tertullian Chap. VIII. - - Of Jerusalem’s Destruction. “Accordingly the times must be inquired into of the predicted and future nativity of the Christ, and of His passion, and of the extermination of the city of Jerusalem, that is, its devastation. For Daniel says, that “both the holy city and the holy place are exterminated together with the coming Leader, and that the pinnacle is destroyed unto ruin.” (7) And so the times of the coming Christ, the Leader, (8) must be inquired into, which we shall trace in Daniel; and, after computing them, shall prove Him to be come, even on the ground of the times prescribed, and of competent signs and operations of His. Which matters we prove, again, on the ground of the consequences which were ever announced as to follow His advent; in order that we may believe all to have been as well fulfilled as foreseen. ? “Therefore, when these times also were completed, and the Jews subdued, there afterwards ceased in that place “libations and sacrifices,” which thenceforward have not been able to be in that place celebrated; for “the unction,” too, (6) was “exterminated” in that place after the passion of Christ. For it had been predicted that the unction should be exterminated in that place; as in the Psalms it is prophesied, “They exterminated my hands and feet.” (7) And the suffering of this “extermination” was perfected within the times of the 1xx hebdomads, under Tiberius Caesar, in the consulate of Rubellius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, in the month of March, at the times of the Passover, on the eighth day before the calends of April, (8) on the first day of unleavened bread, on which they slew the lamb at even, just as had been enjoined by Moses. (9) Accordingly, all the synagogue of Israel did slay Him, saying to Pilate, when he was desirous to dismiss Him, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children;” (10) and, “If thou dismiss him, thou art not a friend of Caesar;” (11) in order that all things might be fulfilled which had been written of Him. (An Answer to the Jews 8.)

·      225 AD  Origen (On Luke 21:20) “But let this Jew of Celsus, who does not believe that he foreknew all that happened to Him, consider how, while Jerusalem was still standing and the whole Jewish worship celebrated in it, Jesus foretold what would befall it from the hand of the Romans. For they will not maintain that the acquaintances and pupils of Jesus Himself handed down His teaching contained in the Gospels without committing it to writing, and left His disciples without the memoirs of Jesus contained in their works. Now in these it is recorded, that “when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall ye know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Origen, Against Celsus, 2:13)

·      225 AD Origen (On The Faulty ‘Literal Method of Bible Interpretation’) “Many, not understanding the Scriptures in a spiritual sense, but incorrectly, have fallen into heresies.” (Principles, 4:1:7) “8. Having spoken thus briefly on the subject of the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it seems necessary to explain this point also, viz., how certain persons, not reading them correctly, have given themselves over to erroneous opinions, inasmuch as the procedure to be followed, in order to attain an understanding of the holy writings, is unknown to many. The Jews, in fine, owing to the hardness of their heart, and from a desire to appear wise in their judging that those statements which were uttered respecting Him ought  to be understood literally, i.e., that He ought in a sensible and visible manner to preach deliverance to the captives, and first build a city which they truly deem the city of God, and cut off at the same time the chariots of Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; that He ought also to eat butter and honey, in order to choose the good before He should come to how to bring forth evil. ? They think, also, that it has been predicted that the wolf—that four-footed animal—is, at the coming of Christ, to feed with the lambs, and the leopard to lie down with kids, and the calf and the bull to pasture with lions, and that they are to be led by a little child to the pasture; that the ox and the bear are to lie down together in the green fields, and that their young ones are to be fed together; that lions also will frequent stalls with the oxen, and feed on straw. And seeing that, according to history, there was no accomplishment of any of those things predicted for Him, in which they believed the signs of Christ’s advent were especially to be observed, they refused to acknowledge the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; nay, contrary to all the principles of human and divine law, i.e., contrary to the faith of prophecy, they crucified Him for assuming to Himself the name of Christ.” (Principles, 4:1:7)? “Now the cause, in all the points previously enumerated, of the false opinions, and of the impious statements or ignorant assertions about God, appears to be nothing else than the not understanding the Scripture according to its spiritual meaning, but the interpretation of it agreeably to the mere letter.” (Principles, 4:1:8)

·      225 AD  Origen  (On The Significance of A.D. 70) “But when he goes on to say that “those who inflicted death upon Jesus suffered nothing afterwards through so long a time,” we must inform him, as well as all who are disposed to learn the truth, that the city in which the Jewish people called for the crucifixion of Jesus with shouts of “Crucify him, crucify him,” preferring to have the robber set free, who had been cast into prison for sedition and murder and Jesus, who had been delivered through envy, to be crucified, ? that this city not long afterwards was attacked, and, after a long siege, was utterly overthrown and laid waste; for God judged the inhabitants of that place unworthy of living together the life of citizens. And yet, though it may seem and incredible thing to say, God spared this people in delivering them to their enemies; for He saw that they were incurably averse to any amendment, and were daily sinking deeper and deeper into evil. And all this befell them, because the blood of Jesus was shed at their instigation and on their land; and the land was no longer able to bear those who were guilty of so fearful a crime against Jesus. (Origen Against Celsus, Book 8, ch.42)

·      225 AD  Origen (On the Significance of A.D. 70) “I challenge anyone to prove my statement untrue if I say that the entire Jewish nation was destroyed less than one whole generation later on account of these sufferings which they inflicted on Jesus. For it was, I believe, forty-two years from the time when they crucified Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Contra Celsum, 198-199)

·      225 AD  Origen (On the Significance of A.D. 70) “Therefore he, also, having separated from her, married, so to speak, another, having given into the hands of the former the bill of divorcement; wherefore they can no longer do the things enjoined on them by the law, because of the bill of divorcement. And a sign that she has received the bill of divorcement is this, that Jerusalem was destroyed along with what they called the sanctuary of the things in it which were believed to be holy, and with the altar of burnt offerings, and all the worship associated with it. And a further sign of the bill of divorcement is this, that they cannot keep their feasts, even though according to the letter of the law designedly commanded them, in the place which the Lord God appointed to them for keeping feasts; but there is this also, that the whole synagogue has become unable to stone those who have committed this or that sin; and thousands of things commanded are a sign of the bill of divorcement; and the fact that “there is no more a prophet,: and that they say, “We no longer see signs;” for the Lord says, “He hath taken away from Judaea and from Jerusalem,” according to the word of Isaiah, “Him that is mighty, and her that is mighty, a powerful giant,” etc., down to the words, “a prudent hearer.” Now, He who is the Christ may have taken the synagogue to wife and cohabited with her, but it may be that afterwards she found not favour in His sight; and the reason of her not having found favour in His sight was, that there was found in her an unseemly thing; for what was more unseemly than the Circumstance that, when it was proposed to them to release one at the feast, they asked for the release of Barabbas the robber, and the condemnation of Jesus? And what was more unseemly than the fact, that they all said in His case, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” and “Away with such a fellow from the earth”? And can this be freed from the charge of unseemliness, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children”? Wherefore, when he was avenged, Jerusalem was compassed with armies, and its desolation was near, and their house was taken away from it, and “the daughter of Zion was left as a booth in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and as a besieged city.” And, about the same time, I think, the husband wrote out a bill of divorcement to his former wife, and gave it into her hands, and sent her away from his own house, and the bond of her who came from the Gentiles has been cancelled about which the Apostle Says, “Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances, which was contrary to us, and He hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;” for Paul also and others became proselytes of Israel for her who came from the Gentiles.” (COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW, Book 2, sec. 19.)

·      225 AD  Origen (On the Significance of A.D.. 70) “This Jew of Celsus continues, after the above, in the following fashion: “Although he could state many things regarding the events of the life of Jesus which are true, and not like those which are recorded by the disciples, he willingly omits them.” What, then, are those true statements, unlike the accounts in the Gospels, which the Jew of Celsus passes by without mention? Or is he only employing what appears to be a figure of speech, in pretending to have something to say, while in reality he had nothing to produce beyond the Gospel narrative which could impress the hearer with a feeling of its truth, and furnish a clear ground of accusation against Jesus and His doctrine? And he charges the disciples with having invented the statement that foreknew and foretold all that happened to Him; but the truth of this statement we shall establish, although Celsus may not like it, by means of many other predictions uttered by the Savior, in which He foretold what would befall the Christians in after generations. And who is there who would not be astonished at this prediction: “Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles;” and at any others which He may have delivered respecting the future persecution of His disciples? For what system of opinions ever existed among men on account of which others are punished, so that any one of the accusers of Jesus could say that, foreseeing the impiety or falsity of his opinions to be the ground of an accusation against them he thought that this would redound to his credit, that he had so predicted regarding it long before? Now if any deserve to be brought, on account of their opinions, before governors and kings, what others are they, save the Epicureans, who altogether deny the existence of providence? And also the Peripatetics, who say that prayers are of no avail, and sacrifices offered as to the Divinity? But someone will say that the Samaritans suffer persecution because of their religion. In answer to whom we shall state that the Sicarians, on account of the practice of circumcision, as mutilating themselves contrary to the established laws and the customs permitted to the Jews alone, are put to death. And you never hear a judge inquiring whether a Sicarian who strives to live according to this established religion of his will be released from punishment if he apostatizes, but will be led away to death if he continues firm; for the evidence of the circumcision is sufficient to ensure the death of him who has undergone it. But Christians alone, according to the prediction of their Savior, “Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake,,” are urged up to their last breath by their judges to deny Christianity, and to sacrifice according to the public customs; and after the oath of abjuration, to return to their homes, and to live in safety. And observe whether it is not with great authority that this declaration id uttered: “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My father who is in heaven. And whosoever shall deny Me before men,” etc. And go back with me in thought to Jesus when He uttered these words, and see His predictions not yet accomplished. Perhaps you will say, in a spirit of incredulity, that he is talking folly and speaking to no purpose, for his words will have no fulfillment; or, being in doubt about assenting to his words, you will say, that if these predictions be fulfilled, and the doctrine of Jesus be established, so that governors and kings think of destroying those who acknowledge Jesus, then we shall believe that he utters these prophecies as one who has received great power from God to implant this doctrine among the human race, and as believing that it will prevail. And who will not be filled with wonder, when he goes back in thought to Him who then taught and said, “This Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles,” and beholds, agreeably to His words, the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached in the whole world under heaven to Greeks and Barbarians, wise and foolish alike? For the word, spoken with power, has gained the mastery over men of all sorts of nature, and it is impossible to see any race of men which has escaped accepting the teaching of Jesus. But let this Jew of Celsus, who does not believe that He foreknew all that happened to Him, consider how, while Jerusalem was still standing, and the whole Jewish worship celebrated in it, Jesus foretold what would befall it from the hand of the Romans. For they will not maintain that the acquaintances and pupils of Jesus Himself handed down His teaching contained in the Gospels without committing it to writing, and left His disciples without the memoirs of Jesus contained in their works. Now in these it is recorded, that “when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall ye know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Ch. 13)

·      225 AD Origen (On The Significance of A.D. 70) But if “the children of Israel are to sit many days without a king, or ruler, or altar, or priesthood, or responses;” and if, since the temple was destroyed there exists no longer sacrifice, nor altar, nor priesthood, it is manifest that the ruler has failed out of Judah, and the leader from between his thighs. And since the prediction declares that “the ruler shall not fail from Judah, and the leader from between his thighs, until what is reserved for Him shall come,” it is manifest that He is come to whom (belongs) what is reserved—the expectation of the Gentiles. And this is clear from the multitude of the heathen who have believed on God through Jesus Christ. (Principles, 4:1:3)

·      250 AD  Cyprian (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus)  (On the Fulfillment of Prophecy)
“the Holy Spirit foretells and forewarns us by the apostle, saying, “In the last days,” says he, “perilous times shall come, and men shall be lovers of their own selves, proud, boasters, covetous, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, hating the good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a sort of form of religion, but denying the power thereof. Of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, which are led away with divers lusts; ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth. And as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; but they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, even as theirs also was.” Whatever things were predicted are fulfilled” (Treatises of Cyprian Treatise I, sec. 16.)

·      250 AD Cyprian That the Jews should lose Jerusalem, and should leave the land which they had received, ? In Isaiah: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers shall devour it in your sight; and the daughter of Zion shall be left deserted, and overthrown by foreign peoples, as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a keeper’s lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a city which is besieged. And unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” {5} Also in the Gospel the Lord says: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not! Behold, your house shall be left unto you desolate.” {6} (Three Books of Testimonies Against The Jews., 6)

·      250 AD Lactantius “And the prophets had predicted that all these things would thus come to pass. Isaiah thus speaks: “I am not rebellious, nor do I oppose: I gave my back to the scourge, and my cheeks to the hand: I turned not away my face from the foulness of spitting.” The same prophet says respecting His silence: “I was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” David also, in the 34th Psalm: “The abjects were gathered together against me, and they knew me not: they were scattered, yet felt no remorse: they tempted me, and gnashed upon me with their teeth.” The same also says respecting food and drink in the 68th Psalm: “They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Also respecting the cross of Christ: “And they pierced my hands and my feet, they numbered all my bones: they themselves have looked and stared upon me; they parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Moses also says in Deuteronomy: “And thy life shall hang in doubt before thine eyes, and thou shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of thy life.”  Also in Numbers: “God is not in doubt as a man, nor does He suffer threats as the son of man.” Also Zechariah says: “And they shall look on me whom they pierced.” Amos thus speaks of the obscuring of the sun: “In that day, saith the Lord, the sun shall go down at noon, and the clear day shall be dark; and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and your songs into lamentation.” Jeremiah also speaks of the city of Jerusalem, in which He suffered: “Her sun is gone down while it was yet day; she hath been confounded and reviled, and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword.” Nor were these things spoken in vain. For after a short time the Emperor Vespasian subdues the Jews, and laid waste their lands with the sword and fire, besieged and reduced them by famine, overthrew Jerusalem, led the captives in triumph, and prohibited the others who were left from ever returning to their native land. And these things were done by God on account of that Crucifixion of Christ, as He before declared this to Solomon in their Scriptures, saying, “And Israel shall be for perdition and a reproach to the people, and this house shall be desolate; and every one that shall pass by shall be astonished, and shall say, Why hath God done these evils to this land, and to this house? And they shall say, Because they forsook the Lord their God, and persecuted their King, who was dearly beloved by God, and crucified Him with great degradation, therefore hath God brought upon them these evils.” For what would they not deserve who put to death their Lord, who had come for their salvation? (Lactantius: EPITOME OF THE DIVINE INSTITUTES, Ch. 46)

·      250 AD  Lactantius “but He also opened to them all things which were about to happen, which Peter and Paul preached at Rome; and this preaching being written for the sake of remembrance, became permanent, in which they both declared other wonderful things, and also said that it was about to come to pass, that after a short time God would send against them a king who would subdue the Jews, and level their cities to the ground, and besiege the people themselves, worn out with hunger and thirst. Then it should come to pass that they should feed on the bodies of their own children, and consume one another. Lastly, that they should be taken captive, and come into the hands of their enemies, and should see their wives most cruelly harassed before their eyes, their virgins ravished and polluted, their sons torn in pieces, their little ones dashed to the ground; and lastly, everything laid waste with fire and sword, the captives banished forever from their own lands, because they had exulted over the well-beloved and most approved Son of God. And so, after their decease, when Nero had put them to death, Vespasian destroyed the name and nation of the Jews, and did all things which they had foretold as about to come to pass.” (Lactantius: Divine Institutes, Book IV)

·      325 AD  Eusebius “If any one compares the words of our Saviour with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly divine and marvelously strange.” (Book III, Ch. VII)

·      325 AD Eusebius “It is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of our Saviour in which he foretold these events. His words are as follows: “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” The historian, reckoning the whole number of the slain, says that eleven hundred thousand persons perished by famine and sword, and that the rest of the rioters and robbers, being betrayed by each other after the taking of the city, were slain. But the tallest of the youths and those that were distinguished for beauty were preserved for the triumph. Of the rest of the multitude, those that were over seventeen years of age were sent as prisoners to labor in the works of Egypt, while still more were scattered through the provinces to meet their death in the theaters by the sword and by beasts. Those under seventeen years of age were carried away to be sold as slaves, and of these alone the number reached ninety thousand. These things took place in this manner in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the holy evangelists, who give the very words which be uttered, when, as if addressing Jerusalem herself, he said: “If thou hadst known, even thou, in this day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall cast a rampart about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee and thy children even with the ground.” And then, as if speaking concerning the people, he says, “For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” And again: “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” (Book III, Ch. VII)

·      325 AD Eusebius “Meander, who succeeded Simon Magus, exhibited himself in his conduct an instrument of diabolical wickedness, not inferior to the former. He also, was a Samaritan, and having made no less progress in his impostures than his master, reveled in still more arrogant pretensions to miracles; saying that he was in truth the Saviour, once sent from the invisible worlds for the salvation of men; teaching also, that no one could overcome even the very angels that formed the heavens in any other way, than by being first initiated into the magic discipline imparted by him, and by the baptism conferred by him for this purpose.” (Book 3, Ch. 26)

·      325 AD   Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On James, the Lord’s Brother in A.D. 65) Says James: “Why do ye ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man? He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of heaven.” (Book 2, chapter XXIII)

·      325 AD Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:34) “And when those that believed in Christ had come thither from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.” (Book III, Ch. 5)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:7) Caius had held the power not quite four years, [1] when he was succeeded by the emperor Claudius. Under him the world was visited with a famine, [2] which writers that are entire strangers to our religion have recorded in their histories. [3] And thus the prediction of Agabus recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, [4] according to which the whole world was to be visited by a famine, received its fulfillment. And Luke, in the Acts, after mentioning the famine in the times of Claudius, and stating that the brethren of Antioch, each according to his ability, sent to the brethren of Judea by the hands of Paul and Barnabas, [5] adds the following account. (Book II, Ch. VIII)

·      325 AD Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:14) “Thus, under the influence of heavenly power, and with the divine co-operation, the doctrine of the Saviour, like the rays of the sun, quickly illumined the whole world; [1] and straightway, in accordance with the divine Scriptures, [2] the voice of the inspired evangelists and apostles went forth through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Book II, Ch. III)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:14) “The same historian records another fact still more wonderful than this. He says that a certain oracle was found in their sacred writings which declared that at that time a certain person should go forth from their country to rule the world. He himself understood that this was fulfilled in Vespasian. But Vespasian did not rule the whole world, but only that part of it which was subject to the Romans. With better right could it be applied to Christ; to whom it was said by the Father, “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession.” At that very time, indeed, the voice of his holy apostles “went throughout all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Book III, Ch.8)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:15) “---all these things, as well as the many great sieges which were carried on against the cities of Judea, and the excessive sufferings  endured by those that fled to Jerusalem itself, as to a city of perfect safety, and finally the general course of the whole war, as well as its particular occurrences in detail, and how at last the abomination of desolation, proclaimed by the prophets, stood in the very temple of God, so celebrated of old, the temple which was now awaiting its total and final destruction by fire, --- all these things any one that wishes may find accurately described in the history written by Josephus.” (Book III, Ch.5)

·      325 AD Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Matthew 24:21) “But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella.” (Book III, Ch. 5)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On Nero and Domitian) “Tertullian also has mentioned Domitian in the following words: ‘Domitian also, who possessed a share of Nero’s cruelty, attempted once to do the same thing that the latter did. But because he had, I suppose, some intelligence, he very soon ceased, and even recalled those whom he had banished. (vol. 1, pp. 148-149)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On the ‘Millennial Reign’ of Christ) “This same historian (Papias) also gives other accounts, which he says he adds as received by his from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange parables of our Lord, and of His doctrine and some other matters rather too fabulous. In these he says there would be a certain millennium after the resurrection, and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very earth; which things he appears to have imagined, as if they were authorized by the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they propounded mystically in their representations. For he was very limited in his comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most of the ecclesiastical writers, urging the antiquity of man, were carried away by a similar opinion; as, far instance, Irenaeus, or any other that adopted such sentiments. (Book III, Ch. 39)

·      325 AD  Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On the Significance of A.D. 70) “if any one compares the words of our Saviour with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly divine and marvelously strange.” (Book III, Ch. VII)

·      325 AD Eusebius Pamphilius, Ecclesiastical History: (On the Significance of A.D. 70) “It is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of our Saviour in which he foretold these very events. His words are as follows: “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” The historian, reckoning the whole number of the slain, says that eleven hundred thousand persons perished by famine and sword, and that the rest of the rioters and robbers, being betrayed by each other after the taking of the city, were slain. But the tallest of the youths and those that were distinguished for beauty were preserved for the triumph. Of the rest of the multitude, those that were over seventeen years of age were sent as prisoners to labor in the works of Egypt, while still more were scattered through the provinces to meet their death in the theaters by the sword and by beasts. Those under seventeen years of age were carried away to be sold as slaves, and of these alone the number reached ninety thousand. These things took place in this manner in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the holy evangelists, who give the very words which be uttered, when, as if addressing Jerusalem herself, he said: “If thou hadst known, even thou, in this day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a rampart about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee and thy children even with the ground.” And then, as if speaking concerning the people, he says, “For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” And again: “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” (Book II, Ch. VII)

·      296 – 373 AD  Athanasius:  The Great Defender of Christian Orthodoxy, did not live in the first century but he did say some incredibly “unorthodox” (preterist) things about A.D. 70, the Resurrection of the dead, Christ’s return and the completion of God’s revelation: 1) “For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up His abode in one body among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is checked, and THE CORRUPTION OF DEATH WHICH BEFORE WAS PREVAILING AGAINST THEM IS DONE AWAY. For the race of men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to meet THE END OF DEATH.” (Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 9 Verse 4; cf. I Cor. 15:21-26) [2] “Perhaps with regard to the other (prophecies) [the Jews] may be able even to find excuses and to put off what is written to a future time. But what can they say to [Daniel’s 70 weeks], or can they face it at all? Where not only is the Christ referred to, but He that is to be anointed is declared to be not man simply, but Holy of Holies; and Jerusalem IS TO STAND TILL HIS COMING, AND THENCEFORTH, PROPHET AND VISION CEASE IN ISREAL.” (Athanasius’ On The Incarnation of the Word, Section 39 Verse 3; cf. Dan. 9:24ff) [3] “And this was why Jerusalem stood till then – namely, that there they might be exercised in the types as a preparation for the reality. …FROM THAT TIME FORTH ALL PROPHECY IS SEALED and the city and temple taken. … Why are [the Jews] so irreligious and so perverse as to see what has happened, and yet to deny Christ, Who has brought it all to past? …WHAT THEN HAS NOT COME TO PASS, THAT THE CHRIST MUST DO? WHAT IS LEFT UNFULFILLED*, that the Jews should now disbelieve with impunity?” (Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 40 Verses 1-8) [4] …THE DEVIL, THAT TYRANT AGAINST THE WHOLE WORLD IS SLAIN. …NO MORE DOES DEATH REIGN; but instead of death henceforth is life, since our Lord said, ‘I am the life’; so that everything is filled with joy and gladness; as it is written, “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.” (Athanasius’ The Festal Letters, Letter IV. No. 3, 4) [5] “For He raised up the falling, healed the sick, satisfied those who were hungry, and filled the poor, and, what is more wonderful, RAISED US ALL FROM THE DEAD; having ABOLISHED DEATH, He has brought us from affliction and sighing to the rest and gladness of this feast, a joy which reaches even to Heaven ….How must all its hosts joy and exult, as they … look on sinners while they repent! …and finally on the enemy who lies weakened, lifeless, bound hand and foot, so that WE MAY MOCK AT HIM; ‘WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY, O DEATH? Where is your sting, O Grave?’ Let us then sing unto the Lord a sing of victory! ..Wherefore let us not celebrate the feast after an earthly manner, but as KEEPING FESTIVAL IN HEAVEN WITH THE ANGELS.” (Athanasius’ The Festal Letters, Letters VI. No. 9-12)

·      345 AD Athanasius “So the Jews are indulging in fiction, and transferring present time to future. When did prophet and vision cease from Israel? Was it not when Christ came, the Holy One of Holies? It is, in fact, a sign and notable proof of the coming of the Word that Jerusalem no longer stands, neither is prophet raised up nor vision revealed among them. And it is natural that it should be so, for when He that was signified had come, what need was there any longer of any to signify Him? And when the Truth had come, what further need was there of the shadow? On His account only they prophesied continually, until such time as Essential Righteousness has come, Who was made the Ransom for the sins of all. For the same reason Jerusalem stood until the same time, in order that there men might premeditate the types before the Truth was known. So, of course, once the Holy One of Holies had come, both vision and prophecy were sealed. And the kingdom of Jerusalem ceased at the same time, because kings were to be anointed them only until the Holy of Holies had been anointed. Moses also prophecies that the kingdom of the Jews shall stand until His time, saying, “A ruler shall not fail from Judah nor a prince from his loins, until the things laid up for him shall come and the Expectation of the Nations Himself.” And that is why the Savior Himself was always proclaiming “The law and the prophets prophesied until John.” So if there is still king or prophet or vision among the Jews, they do well to deny that Christ is come; but if there is neither king nor vision, and since that time all prophecy has been sealed and city and temple taken, how can they be so irreligious, how can they so flaunt the facts, as to deny Christ Who has brought it all about? . . What more is there for their Expected One to do when he comes? To call the heathen? But they are called already. To put an end to prophet and king and vision? But this too has already happened. To expose the God-denyingness of idols? It is already exposed and condemned. Or to destroy death? It is already destroyed. What then has not come to pass that the Christ must do? What is there left out or unfulfilled that the Jews should disbelieve so light-heartedly? The plain fact is, as I say, that there is no longer any king or prophet nor Jerusalem nor sacrifice nor vision among them; yet the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of God, and the Gentiles, forsaking atheism, are now taking refuge with the God of Abraham through the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. (Incarnation, Ch. VI)

·      375 AD  Chrysostom: “What then saith He? “Take heed that no man deceive you, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” ? For since they felt as being told of vengeance falling on others when hearing of that which was to be brought upon Jerusalem and as though they were to be out of the turmoils, and were dreaming of good things only, and looked for these to befall them quite immediately; for this cause He again foretells to them grievous things, making them earnest, and commanding them on two grounds to watch, so as neither to be seduced by the deceit of them that would beguile them, nor to be overpowered by the violence of ills that should overtake them. ? “For the war, saith He, shall be twofold that of the deceivers, and that of the enemies, but the former far more grievous, as coming upon them in the confusion and turmoils, and when men were terrified and troubled. For indeed great was the storm then, when the Roman power was beginning to flourish, and cities were taken, and camps and weapons were set in motion, and many were readily believed. ? “But of wars in Jerusalem is He speaking; for it is not surely of those without, and everyone in the world; for what did they care for these? And besides, He would thus say nothing new, if He were speaking of the calamities of the world at large, which are happening always. For before this, were wars, and tumults, and fighting; but He speaks of the Jewish wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the Roman arms were a matter of anxiety. Since then these things also were sufficient to confound them, He foretells them all.” (HOMILY ST. MATTHEW)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 23:36) “For I will ask them, Did He send the prophets and wise men? Did they slay them in their synagogue? Was their house left desolate? Did all the vengeance come upon that generation? It is quite plain that it was so, and no man gainsays it.” (Homily LXXIV on Matt. XXIII 29, 30)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:1, 2) “And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” ? Therefore did they come unto Him privately, as it was of such matters they meant to inquire. For they were in travail to know the day of His coming, because of their eager desire to behold that glory, which is the cause of countless blessings. And these two things do they ask him, when shall these things be? That is, the overthrow of the temple; and, what is the sign of thy coming? But Luke saith, the question was one concerning Jerusalem, as though they were supposing that then is His coming. And Mark saith, that neither did all of them ask concerning the end of Jerusalem, but Peter and John, as having greater freedom of speech.

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:14)  “After this again, what is more grievous than all, they shall not have so much as the consolation from love. Then indicating, that these things will in no degree harm the noble and the firm, He saith, Fear not, neither be troubled. For if ye show forth the patience that becomes you, the dangers will not prevail over you. And it is a plain proof of this, that the word shall surely be preached everywhere in the world, so much shall ye be above the things that alarm you. For, that they may not say, how then shall we live? He said more, Ye shall both live and preach everywhere. Therefore He added moreover, “And this gospel shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come,” of the downfall of Jerusalem. “For in proof that He meant this, and that before the taking of Jerusalem the gospel was preached, hear what Paul saith, “Their sound went into all the earth;” and again, “The gospel which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven.” And seest thou him running from Jerusalem unto Spain ? And if one took so large a portion, consider what the rest also wrought. For writing to others also, Paul again saith con-coming the gospel, that “it is bringing forth fruit, and growing up in every creature which is under Heaven.” “But what meaneth, “For a witness to all nations?” Forasmuch as though it was everywhere preached, yet it was not everywhere believed. It was for a witness, He saith, to them that were disbelieving, that is, for conviction, for accusation, for a testimony; for they that believed will bear witness against them that believed not, and will condemn them. And for this cause, after the gospel is preached in every part of the world, Jerusalem is destroyed that they may not have so much as a shadow of an excuse for their perverseness. For they that saw His power shine throughout every place, and in an instant take the world captive, what excuse could they then have for continuing in the same perverseness? For in proof that it was everywhere preached at that time, hear what Paul saith, “of the gospel which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven.” Which also is a very great sign of Christ’s power, that in twenty or at most thirty years the word had reached the ends of the world. “After this therefore,” saith He, “shall come the end of Jerusalem.” For that He intimates this was manifested by what follows.

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:15) “For this it seems to me that the abomination of desolation means the army by which the holy city of Jerusalem was made desolate.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:15) “Or because he who had desolated the city and the temple, placed his statue within the temple.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:15) “And see how He relates the war, by the things that seem to be small setting forth how intolerable it was to be. For, “Then,” saith He, “let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Then, When? When these things should be, “when the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place.” Whence He seems to me to be speaking of the armies.” (Homily 76, Number 1)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:15) For He brought in also a prophecy, to confirm their desolation, saying, “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand.” (12) He referred them to Daniel. And by “abomination” He meaneth the statue of him who then took the city, which he who desolated the city and the temple placed within the temple, wherefore Christ calleth it, “of desolation.” Moreover, in order that that they might learn that these things will be while some of them are alive, therefore He said, “When ye see the abomination of desolation.” (Of Matthew 24:1, 2)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:16, 17, 18) 1.         HAVING spoken of the ills that were to overtake the city, and of the trials of the apostles, and that they should remain unsubdued, and should overrun the whole world, He mentions again the Jews’ calamities, showing that when the one should be glorious, having taught the whole world, the others should be in calamity. ? And see how He relates the war, by the things that seem to be small setting forth how intolerable it was to be. For, “Then,” saith He, “let them which be in Judaea flee into the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place.” Whence He seems to me to be speaking of the armies. Flee therefore then, saith He, for thenceforth there is no hope of safety for you. (Homily 76, Number 1)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:19) “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck,” [Matt. 24:19] to the one because of their greater inertness, and of their pregnancy; to the other, because they are held by the tie of feeling for their children, cannot save their sucklings. For money it is a light thing to despise, and an easy thing to provide, and clothes; but the bonds of nature how could anyone escape? How could the pregnant woman become active? How could she that gives suck be able to overlook that which she had borne? (Homily 76, Number 1)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:20, 21) Then, to show again the greatness of the calamity, He saith, “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.” [Matt. 24:20, 21] (Homily 76, Number 2) Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world. But wherefore neither “in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day?” Not in the winter, because of the difficulty arising from the season; not on the Sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the law. For since they had need of flight, and of the swiftest flight, but neither would the Jews dare to flee on the Sabbath day, because of the law, neither in the winter was such a thing easy; therefore, “Pray ye,” saith He; “for then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be.” And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings. For neither can anyone say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed he was both a Jew, and a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming. “But mark, I pray thee, the exceeding greatness of the ills, when not only compared with the time before, they appear more grievous, but also with all the time to come. For not in all the world, neither in all time that is past, and that is to come, shall anyone be able to say such ills have been. And very naturally; for neither had any man perpetrated, not of those that ever have been, nor of those to come hereafter, a deed so wicked and horrible. Therefore He saith, “there shall be tribulation such as never was, nor shall be.” (Homily 76, Number 2)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:22) “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” [Matt. 24:22] By these things He shows them to be deserving of a more grievous punishment than had been mentioned, speaking now of the days of the war and of that siege. But what He saith is like this. If, saith He, the war of the Romans against the city had prevailed further, all the Jews had perished (for by “no flesh” here, He meaneth no Jewish flesh), both those abroad, and those at home. For not only against those in Judaea did they war, but also those that were dispersed everywhere they outlawed and banished, because of their hatred against the former. “But whom doth He here mean by the elect? The believers that were shut up in the midst of them. For that Jews may not say that because of the gospel, and the worship of Christ, these ills took place, He showeth, that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all had perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews had remained, but lest those of them who had become believers should perish together with the unbelieving Jews, He quickly put down the fighting, and gave an end to the war. Therefore He saith, “But for the elect’s sake they shall be shortened.” But these things He said to leave an encouragement to those of them who were shut up in the midst of them, and to allow them to take breath, that they might not be in fear, as though they were to perish with them. And if here so great is His care for them, that for their sakes others also are saved, and that for the sake of Christians remnants were left of the Jews, how great will be their honor in the time for their crowns?” (Homily 76, Number 2)

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:34) Therefore He saith, they shall come not by themselves or at once, but with signs. For that the Jews may not say, that they who then believed were the authors of these evils, therefore hath He told them also of the cause of their coming upon them. “For verily I say unto you,” He said before, “all these things shall come upon this generation,” having made mention of the stain of blood on them. Then lest on hearing of the showers of evils, they should suppose the gospel to be broken through, He added, “See, be not troubled, for all things must come to pass,” i.e. which I foretold, and the approach of the temptations will set aside none of the things which I have said; but there shall indeed be tumults and confusion, but nothing shall shake my predictions. “Without were fightings, within were fears;” and, “perils among false brethren,” and again, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:4-5) “What then saith He? “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” For since they felt as being told of vengeance falling on others when hearing of that which was to be brought upon Jerusalem and as though they were to be out of the turmoils, and were dreaming of good things only, and looked for these to befall them quite immediately; for this cause He again foretells to them grievous things, making them earnest, and commanding them on two grounds to watch, so as neither to be seduced by the deceit of them that would beguile them, nor to be overpowered by the violence of ills that should overtake them. For the war, saith He, shall be twofold that of the deceivers, and that of the enemies, but the former far more grievous, as coming upon them in the confusion and turmoils, and when men were terrified and troubled. For indeed great was the storm then, when the Roman power was beginning to flourish, and cities were taken, and camps and weapons were set in motion, and many were readily believed. But of wars in Jerusalem is He speaking; for it is not surely of those without, and everywhere in the world; for what did they care for these? And besides, He would thus say nothing new, if He were speaking of the calamities of the world at large, which are happening always. For before this, were wars, and tumults, and fighting; but He speaks of the Jewish wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the Roman arms were a matter of anxiety. Since then these things also were sufficient to confound them, He foretells them all.

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: (On Matthew 24:7) Then to show that He Himself also will assail the Jews with them, and war on them, He speaks not of battles only, but also of plagues sent from God, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, showing that the wars also He Himself permitted to come upon them, and that these things do not happen for no purpose according to what has been before the accustomed course of things amongst men, but proceed from the wrath on high.

·      375 AD  ‘John’ Chrysostom, Homily St. Matthew: Matthew 24:16-18  “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. And let him that is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him which is in his field return back to take his clothes.” HAVING spoken of the ills that were to overtake the city, and of the trials of the apostles, and that they should remain unsubdued, and should overrun the whole world, He mentions again the Jews? calamities, showing that when the one should be glorious, having taught the whole world, the others should be in calamity. And see how He relates the war, by the things that seem to be small setting forth how intolerable it was to be. For, “Then,” saith He, “let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Then, When? When these things should be, “when the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place.” Whence be seems to me to be speaking of the armies. Flee therefore then, saith He, for thenceforth there is no hope of safety for you. For since it had fallen out, that they often had recovered themselves in grievous wars, as under Sennacherib, under Antiochus again (for when at that time also, armies had come in upon them, and the temple had been seized beforehand, the Maccabees rallying gave their affairs an opposite turn); in order then that they might not now also suspect this, that there would be any such change, He forbids them all thought of the kind. For it were well, saith He, to escape henceforth with one’s naked body. Therefore them also that are on the housetop, He suffers not to enter into the house to take their clothes. Indicating the evils to be inevitable, and the calamity without end, and that it must needs be that he that was involved therein should surely perish. Therefore He adds also, him that is in the field, saying, neither let this man turn back to take his clothes. For if they that are in doors flee, much more they that are out of doors ought not to take refuge within. “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck,” to the one because of their greater inertness, and because they cannot flee easily, being weighed down by the burden of their pregnancy; to the other, because they are held by the tie of feeling for their children, and cannot save their sucklings. For money it is a light thing to despise, and an easy thing to provide, and clothes; but the bonds of nature how could anyone escape? how could the pregnant woman become active? how could she that gives suck be able to overlook that which she had born? Then, to show again the greatness of the calamity, He saith, “Pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.” Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. For indeed the most part of them were already departed this life. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world. But wherefore neither “in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day?” Not in the winter, because of the difficulty arising from the season; not on the Sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the law. For since they had need of flight, and the swiftest flight, but neither would the Jews dare to flee on the Sabbath day, because of the law, neither in winter was such a thing easy; therefore, “Pray ye,” saith He; “for then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be.” And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings. For neither can anyone say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed He was both a Jew, an a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming. What then saith this man? That those terrors surpassed all tragedy, and that no such had ever overtaken the nation. For so great the famine, that the very mothers fought about the devouring of their children, and that there were wars about this; and he saith that many when they were dead had their bellies ripped up. I should therefore be glad to inquire of the Jews. Whence came there thus upon them wrath from God intolerable, and more sore than all that had befallen aforetime, not in Judaea only, but in any part of the world? Is it not quite clear, that it was for the deed of the cross, and for this rejection? All would say it, and with all and before all the truth of the facts itself. But mark, I pray thee, the exceeding greatness of the ills, when not only compared with the time before, they appear more grievous, but also with all the time to come. For not in all the world, neither in all time that is past, and that is to come, shall anyone be able to say such ills have been. And very naturally; for neither had any man perpetrated, not of those that ever have been, nor of those to come hereafter, a deed so wicked and horrible. Therefore He saith, “there shall be tribulation such as never was, nor shall be.” “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” By these things He shows them to be deserving of a more grievous punishment than had been mentioned, speaking now of the days of the war and of that siege. But what He saith is like this. If, saith He, the war of the Romans against the city had prevailed further, all the Jews had perished (for by “no flesh” here, He meaneth no Jewish flesh), both those abroad, and those at home. For not only against those in Judaea did they war, but also those that were dispersed everywhere they outlawed and banished, because of their hatred against the former. 2. But whom doth He here mean by the elect? The believers that were shut up in the midst of them. For that the Jews may not say that because of the gospel, and the worship of Christ, these ills took place, He showeth, that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all had perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews remained, but lest those of them who had become believers should perish together with the unbelieving Jews, He quickly put down the fighting, and gave an end to the war. Therefore He saith, “But for the elect’s sake they shall be shortened.” But these things He said to leave an encouragement to those of them who were shut up in the midst of them, and to allow them to take breath, that they might not be in fear, as though they were to perish with them. And if here so great is His care for them, that for their sakes others also are saved, and that for the sake of Christians remnants were left of the Jews, how great will be their honor in the time for their crowns? By this He also encouraged them not to be distressed at their own dangers, since these others are suffering such things, and for no profit, but for evil upon their own head. But He not only encouraged them, but also led them off secretly and unsuspectedly from the customs of the Jews. For if there is not to be a change afterwards, and the temple is not to stand, it is quite evident that the law also shall be made to cease. However, He spake not this openly, but by their entire destruction He darkly intimated it. But He spake it not openly, lest He should startle them before the time. Wherefore neither at the beginning did He of Himself fall into discourse touching these things; but having first lamented over the city, He constrained them to show Him the stones, and question Him, in order that as it were in answering them their question, He might declare to them beforehand all the things to come. But mark thou, I pray thee, the dispensation of the Spirit, that John wrote none of these things, lest he should seem to write from the very history of the things done (for indeed he lived a long time after the taking of the city), but they, who died before the taking, and had seen none of these things, they write it, in order that every way the power of the prediction should clearly shine forth.” (Homily 76)

·      403 AD  Sulpicius Severus  (On the Roman-Jewish War) “So then, after the departure of Nero, Galba seized the government; and are long, on Galba being slain, Otho secured it. Then Vitellius from Gaul, trusting to the armies which he commanded, entered the city, and having killed Otho, assumed the sovereignty. This afterwards passed to Vespasian, and although that was accomplished by evil means, yet it had the good effect of rescuing the state from the hands of the wicked. While Vespasian was besieging Jerusalem, he took possession of the imperial power; and as the fashion is, he was saluted as emperor by the army, with a diadem placed upon his head. He made his son Titus, Caesar; and assigned him a portion of the forces, along with the task of continuing the siege of Jerusalem. Vespasian set out for Rome, and was received with the greatest favor by the senate and people; and Vitellius having killed himself, his hold of the sovereign power was fully confirmed. The Jews, meanwhile, being closely besieged, as no chance either of peace or surrender was allowed them, were at length perishing from famine, and the streets began everywhere to be filled with dead bodies, for the duty of burying them could no longer be performed. Moreover, they ventured on eating all things of the most abominable nature, and did not even abstain from human bodies, except those which putrefaction had already laid hold of and thus excluded from use as food. The Romans, accordingly, rushed in upon the exhausted defenders of the city. And it so happened that the whole multitude from the country, and from other towns of Judaea, had then assembled for the day of the Passover: doubtless, because it pleased God that the impious race should be given over to destruction at the very time of the time of the year at which they had crucified the Lord. The Pharisees for a time maintained their ground most boldly in defense of the temple, and at length, with minds Obstinately bent on death, they, of their own accord, committed themselves to the flames. The number of those who suffered death is related to have been eleven hundred thousand, and one hundred thousand were taken captive and sold. Titus is said, after calling a council, to have first deliberated whether he should destroy the temple, a structure of such extraordinary work. For it seemed good to some that a sacred edifice, distinguished above all human achievements, ought not to be destroyed, inasmuch as, if preserved, it would furnish an evidence of Roman moderation, but, if destroyed, would serve for a perpetual proof of Roman cruelty. But on the opposite side, others and Titus himself thought that the temple ought specially to be overthrown, in order that the religion of the Jews and of the Christians might more thoroughly be subverted; for that these religions, although contrary to each other, had nevertheless proceeded from the same authors; that he Christians had sprung up from among the Jews; and that, if the root were extirpated, the offshoot would speedily perish. Thus, according to the divine will, the minds of all being inflamed, the temple was destroyed, three hundred and thirty-one years ago. And this last overthrow of the temple, and final captivity of the Jews, by which, being exiles from their native land, they are beheld scattered through the whole world, furnish a daily demonstration to the world, that they have been punished on no other account than for the impious hands which they laid upon Christ. For though on other occasions they were often given over to captivity on account of their sins, yet they never paid the penalty of slavery beyond a period of seventy years.” (CH. XXX, Sacred History)

·      403 AD  Sulpicius Severus  (On the Significance of A.D. 70)  “Moreover, they ventured on eating all things of the most abominable nature, and did not even abstain from human bodies, except those which putrefaction had already laid hold of and thus excluded from use as food. The Romans, accordingly, rushed in upon the exhausted defenders of the city. And it so happened that the whole multitude from the country, and from other towns of Judaea, had then assembled for the day of the Passover; doubtless, because it pleased God that the impious race should be given over to destruction at the very time of the year at which they had crucified the Lord.” ? “Thus, according to the divine will, the minds of all being inflamed, the temple was destroyed, three hundred and thirty-one years ago. And this last overthrow of the temple, and final captivity of the Jews, by which, being exiles from their native land, they are beheld scattered through the whole world, furnish a daily demonstration to the world, that they have been punished on no other account than for the impious hands which they laid upon Christ. For though on other occasions they were often given over to captivity on account of their sins, yet they never paid the penalty of slavery beyond a period of seventy years. (CHAPTER XXX, Sacred History)

·      419 AD  Augustine  (On Matthew 24:15) “Luke to show that the abomination spoken of by Daniel will take place when Jerusalem is captured, recalls these words of the Lord in the same context: When you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army, then know that the desolation thereof is at hand (xxi. 20). For Luke very clearly bears witness that the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled when Jerusalem was overthrown.” (vol. 6, p. 170)

·      419 AD  Augustine  (On the ‘Final Destruction’ of the Jews) Chapter 48 - - That Haggai’s Prophecy, In Which He Said That The Glory Of The House Of God Would Be Greater Than That Of The First Had Been, Was Really Fulfilled, Not In The Rebuilding Of The Temple, But In The Church Of  Christ. ? “This house of God is more glorious than that first one which was constructed of wood and stone, metals and other precious things. Therefore the prophecy of Haggai was not fulfilled in the rebuilding of that temple. For it can never be shown to have had so much glory after it was rebuilt as it had in the time of Solomon; yea, rather, the glory of that house is shown to have been diminished, first by the ceasing of prophecy, and then by the nation itself suffering so great calamities, even to the final destruction made by the Romans, as the things above-mentioned prove. But this house which pertains to the new testament is just as much more glorious as the living stones, even believing, renewed men, of which it is constructed are better. But it was typified by the rebuilding of that temple for this reason, because the very renovation of that edifice typifies in the prophetic oracle another testament which is called the new. When, therefore, God said by the prophet just named, “And I will give peace in this place,” He is to be understood who is typified by that typical place; for since by that rebuilt place is typified the Church which was to be built by Christ, nothing else can be accepted as the meaning of the saying, “I will give peace in this place,” except I will give peace in the place which that place signifies.” (City of God, Book XVIII, Ch. 48)

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                  JESSIE E. MILLS, D.M.   INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BIBLICAL RESEARCH.

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