Review: Destruction of Jerusalem
Destruction of Jerusalem by L.H. Becker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A condensed retelling of the events of 70AD.
Gruesome, dark, depressing, the work could be seen as very anti-Semitic today. Josephus was looking to show to the Romans how benightedly stubborn his own people were, in the face of Roman power and glory. In my view, this was truly God's judgement on them for continuing to reject their King, Jesus, as they began to do 40 years earlier.
Three little additions to Josephus enhance the book. At the very end, he quotes Jesus in Matthew 23:38 - "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Becker then exhorts us that if God was willing to judge His own beloved city like this for rejected the Messiah, what a warning for every other city.
Also, when recounting the Zealots giving the starving people the bread and oil from the temple in the last days, Becker critiques Josephus, who thinks this is the worst calamity ever. "That the rejection of their Messiah was a crime a thousandfold greater than the drinking of priestly wine, seems not to have occurred to him."
Finally, the viewpoint of the Zealots: "The misguided Jews, to the last, expected to see these prophecies fulfilled in the person of the conquering Messiah, who would reveal Himself in the darkest hour, wither and annihilate the Roman legions with one word, and then transfer the seat of the empire from Rome to Sion."
There is also a short reference to the Christians fleeing to Pella before the Roman storm and seige hits Jerusalem.
Sadly, these passages are not expanded on at all. The rest of the book is Josephus, straight. If anyone can point me to some decent Christian analysis of these events, beyond the historical, I'd appreciate it.
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