Truth, Understanding, Insight

This Generation 1967 - 2007

12th June 2007, seh, mgh


6) Two Eras of prophecy

As previously mentioned, history has shown there was approximately a 40 year period from the time Yahshua delivered the prophecy in 33CE to the fulfilment of the first section of the prophecy with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE.

The prophecy's first section 33CE - 70CE

We can learn from the history of the period between the crucifixion of the Messiah and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews. There were evident signs given for the faithful. The signs for the period to the destruction of Jerusalem were:

But when you shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in various places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. (Luke 21:9-12)

There were many wars in this region. In the period to 67CE, out of 29 legions for the Empire, 6 Roman legions were amassed in the Middle East area particularly on the coastal region of Israel. This compared with only 4 in Britain where a major effort was being undertaken by the Romans to take control of Britain. There was a ten year war with Parthia over Armenia close to the Israeli region. In 66CE the Jews rose in bitter revolt against Roman rule and were ruthlessly subdued by the Roman forces (The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History by Colin McEvedy 1967). Other wars brought the nearby provinces of Cappadocia, Mauretania, Thrace and Pontus under Roman control.

There were three earthquakes recorded in the New Testament for this period: at the crucifixion Matthew 27: 51-54, at the resurrection Matthew 28: 2 and at the time of the imprisonment of Paul and Silas. Another earthquake shook Pompei in 63 CE. In 79CE “Pompei a thriving town, (was) still being rebuilt from a devastating earthquake 16 years earlier” (Time-Life International Nederland 1965). This means that the Mediterranean world would have been aware of this earthquake in 63CE and its tremors felt in parts of the Empire. In August 79CE, thirteen years later, Pompei and Herculaneum were buried under the volcanic ash of Vesuvius. There were famines in Judea at this time. In the reign of Claudius Caesar there was famine as shown in Acts 11: 28.

Persecution came when in 64CE Rome was almost destroyed by fire and this gave Nero an excuse for the first persecution of the Christians. This would have been a sign to the faithful Jews and Christians who would have remembered the Messiah's words.

The period 33-70CE was a turbulent time in Israel and one in which there were significant natural occurrences such as earthquake and famine. Wars were being fought in neighbouring provinces, Nero's persecution of Christians was taking place and trouble was increasing between the Jews and occupying Roman forces in Israel. Within a 40 year period, a Biblical generation, from the time the prophecy was given, all of the first section was fulfilled. To the alert Christian the prophetic signs were evidence of the calamity that came. The followers of the Messiah heeded the warning and fled.

The Prophecy's second section 1967 – 2007?

The Messiah's prophecy has two distinct sections: what was to happen until Jerusalem is destroyed, and then, what was to happen after the freeing of Jerusalem, which occurred in 1967. This second section is recorded in Luke 21:25. Both eras imply a time period defined by 'a generation.'