Photo credit: Joshua Paquin
The Last Jews in Jerusalem
The Second Greatest Human Anguish
By Craig C. White
Note: Illustration is of a model of Herod’s Temple in the Israel Museum of Jerusalem. It may be that the next temple is Jerusalem’s last stronghold!
During the Great Tribulation a small band of Jews will be hold-up on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. While most of their countrymen have been captured or killed; this small band will stand as the last beacon of hope that God will restore their city and nation. The armies of their enemies will finally flood into the city. As the last few remaining Jews in Jerusalem pray for deliverance they will look up and behold their God!
The greatest human anguish was Jesus’ cup of suffering and death on the cross. Before Jesus was taken prisoner he prayed.
Luk 22:41-44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus was strengthened by an angel because he was in the form of frail humanity. The suffering before him no other person has ever born. Nor could any other person ever bear. Jesus was beaten so badly that he was not recognizable as a man (Isa 52:14). Then he was hung on a roman cross until he died, bearing God’s punishment for the sins of the world. On the road to Golgotha to be crucified he turned to the women by the way and told them not to weep for him, but to weep for the suffering that was to come upon them.
Luk 23:27-31 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
There is a terrible time of judgment and suffering coming upon the land of Israel; more terrible than the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.; more terrible than the holocaust.
Mat 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 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.
The Tribulation begins in the whole land of Israel, it becomes Great Tribulation in the city of Jerusalem, it then culminates on Mount Zion. Two thirds of the people in all the land of Israel will die (Zec 13:8). Then half of the people in Jerusalem will be taken captive (Zec 14:2).
Zec 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Zec 14:1-2 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Anyone who tries to flee Jerusalem will be captured (Isa 30:16). Then the residue of the city will huddle together on mount Zion (which is the hill of Ophel or the “City of David”) in Jerusalem and wait for their redeemer.
Isa 30:15-18 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. 16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. 17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill. 18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
The debate continues about the origin and meaning of the name Jerusalem. The best deduction is that it means “fortress or stronghold of peace”. Mount Zion will be the last stronghold. When Jesus returns in power and glory Jerusalem will be the capital of peace throughout the world.
Isa 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
The nations besiege the City of David where the last few people of Jerusalem are bunkered.
Isa 29:1-4 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. 3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
Note: It may be that Israel’s next temple will be built in the City of David. It was where King David placed the ark of God in a tabernacle he prepared when he took it from the house of Obededom (2Sa 6:12-17).
They are in sore distress. What can they do? Here is God’s instruction.
Joe 2:12-17 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
God hears the supplications of those trapped on mount Zion. The residue of Jerusalem escapes through the new valley that Jesus makes in the Mount of Olives. God doesn’t only part seas. He is also able to split mountains.
Zec 14:3-5 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
Azal is the wilderness east of the Mount of Olives where the azazel was released (Lev 16:8-27). The Hebrew word “azazel” is translated “scapegoat” in English. Azazel means “complete removal”. Just as Jesus Christ completely removed our sins by his death (Psa 103:12, Isa 43:25, Jer 31:34, Jer 50:20, Mic 7:18, 1Jo 1:7). Jesus now completely removes the residue in Jerusalem from harm.
Then Jesus “whom they have pierced” will destroy all the nations that have come against Jerusalem. The few remaining Jews in Jerusalem will see Jesus and mourn for their unbelief. They will turn to Jesus the Messiah.
Zec 12:9-10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
The whole nation of Israel will see Jesus and believe. They will mourn for their rejection of him. Israel will never be in unbelief again forever. Glory to God!
Zec 12:11-14 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
Just as God will make a way of escape for the Jerusalem residue; God has provided two escapes for Israel before the time of Jacob’s trouble. The first is to turn to the Lord Jesus “while it is called today”. This is explained in the book written to the Hebrews.
Heb 3:7-19 7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The second way of escape is given only to those who are in Judaea. Flee to the mountains!
Mat 24:15-18 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
Luk 21:20-22 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
In the wilderness of the mountains, Part of Israel will be nourished for three and a half years.
Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Here is my message to Israel. Escape this day of human anguish. My prayer for Israel, turn to Jesus the messiah while it is called today!