Bible Accuracy

Strong Bulls of Bashan

I was writing what I thought would be this week’s post, when a scripture I was including in that post leaped off the page at me, and floored me.

This is the Easter season, and my post was originally to be about the seemingly infinite number of Bible prophecies Jesus fulfilled in his first coming. This is currency upon which Christians capitalize far too little. What I mean is that whereas other books tell their stories, the Bible foretells its stories. What makes the Bible remarkable is that it is written in advance of the historical facts it records, not after. It builds off no other book, and it references no other book.

With this in mind, my original post focused on Easter and the many astounding prophecies of the Crucifixion written in Psalm 22, 1,000 years before those events occurred. Here are some examples:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophecy

  • My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ~ Psalm 22:1

Fulfillment

  • About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi , Eloi , lama sabachthani?”-which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ~ Matthew 27:46

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophecy

  • I am poured out like water… ~ Psalm 22:14

Fulfillment

  • …one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. ~ John 19:34-35

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophecy

  • …they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him.” ~ Psalm 22:7-8

Fulfillment

  • He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” ~ Matthew 27:43

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophecy

  • Yet you brought me out of the womb… From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. ~ Psalm 22:10

Fulfillment

  • “Do not be afraid, Mary… You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. ” ~ Luke 1:30-32

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophecy

  • But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me ~ Psalm 22:7

Fulfillment

  • They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. ~ Matthew 27:29-30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You get the point. Psalm 22 is loaded with specific prophecies about the crucifixion. But here is the prophecy that stopped me dead in my tracks:

Prophecy

  • Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. ~ Psalm 22:12

Fulfillment

  • Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus… and gathered the whole garrison around Him. ~ Matthew 27:27

Do you know how many times I have read these two verses? I’ve lost count. But I have never, EVER, seen what I saw this time. Look at those verses again. Right there, hidden in plain sight, Messiah is telling us exactly where his killers will be from!!!

Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. ~ Psalm 22:12

bashan is modern-day syria and the golan heights

Left: Map of ancient Israel. Right: Map of Israel now. These maps are from the New King James Bible. Yellow circle, arrow, and text in arrow added by alwaysproventrue.com.

Why does this matter? It matters because of this verse:

The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Jewish Temple]. ~ Daniel 9:26

This is the verse upon which so much of the church hangs their end times prophecy hat. This verse says that the Antichrist (the ruler who will come) will come from the people who destroy Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. 700 years after this verse was written, Rome fulfilled it perfectly. The Roman Army destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. Therefore, common church wisdom holds that the Antichrist will come from Rome, and be a European. Case closed, right? Wrong!

The rate at which the Roman Empire conquered new lands outgrew its ability to occupy those lands with Roman soldiers. There were not enough men in Rome to stock the wildly successful Roman Army. Therefore, the empire’s provinces were increasingly tended to by Roman Army units (legions) ethnically comprised of “provincials,” or people local to the provinces. In Psalm 22:12, Messiah foretells that the Roman legion crucifying him will be staffed by men from Bashan (Syria).

History tells us that less than forty years after the Crucifixion, Roman legions stationed in Syria (comprised of Arab provincials) destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. What is fascinating is that the Jewish Temple was a trophy of the Roman Empire, and Rome had no intention of destroying it. In fact, the Roman commander tried desperately to stop the Arab troops from burning the Temple.

At which time one of the [Arab] soldiers, without…orders [without orders from the Italians]…and being hurried on by a certain divine fury [demonic hatred of the Jews], snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house [I have heard it taught for years that this arsonist soldier was drunk. However, Josephus does not say the soldier was drunk. He says the soldier was "hurried on by a certain divine fury." This sounds more like demonic possession. This is exactly what we see in the Middle East today among the descendants of this soldier (who, by the way, do not drink!). So, an Arab soldier set fire to the Jewish Temple not on a command from the Roman Empire, but on the command of his demonic hatred of the Jewish people, God's chosen people.]

And now a certain person came running to Titus [the Roman commander, an ethnic Italian, not an Arab], and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire [The Italian commander not only does not order the fire to be set, he tries to stop the fire! The Jewish Temple was a crown jewel of the Roman Empire. It was a trophy, and the Romans had no intention of destroying it.]; Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire [The Italian commander verbally and visually commands the Arab troops to STOP the fire], …

And now, since Caesar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers [The Italian commander has lost control of the Arab troops], and the fire proceeded on more and more…Titus supposing… that the house [Jewish Temple] itself might yet be saved… came in haste… to persuade the soldiers to quench the fire [Again the Italian commander orders the Arab troops put the fire out]…yet were their passions [hatred of the Jews] too hard for the regards they had for Caesar [their demonic hatred of the Jews outweighed their respect for Caesar], and the dread they had of him who forbade them [their hatred of the Jews outweighed their fear of the consequences of disobeying a direct order from Caesar], as was their hatred of the Jews, and a certain vehement inclination to fight them [demonic determination to fight the Jews]… And thus was the holy house burnt down, without Caesar’s approbation [So, an eyewitness, who just happens to be possibly the greatest historian of all time, tells us that the Temple was burnt down without Italian permission, and against the frantic orders of the Italian commander. Is this just a tad bit different than we are led to believe by most American Bible teachers?]

~ Josephus (who was actually present at this event), Wars of the Jews

The Syrian Arab troops took it upon themselves to destroy the Temple, and would not listen to the Roman commander when he told them to stop. Their hatred of the Jews was stronger than any fear they had of the Italian Caesar. Nothing has changed. The nations surrounding Israel today are comprised of the ethnic ancestors of those who destroyed the temple in 70 A.D., and we see in these nations a hatred of the Jews stronger than any fear they might have of Israeli or U.S. military might. Israel’s most zealous enemies back then are Israel’s most zealous enemies to this day.

But not in my wildest dreams did I think the Bible itself would confirm the non-European ethnicity of these enemies. In Psalm 22:12, Messiah does exactly that with his “strong bulls of Bashan” comment. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that he did not say “strong bulls of Rome.” Therefore, Daniel 9:26 dictates that we must look to Middle Eastern regions north of Israel (not European regions west of Israel) as the lands that will produce the Antichrist and his revived end times empire.

In closing, I stress that geography approximate to Turkey, not Rome, will produce the Antichrist. He will rule over a revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire, not a revived Roman Empire. The Bible defines multiple prophetic criteria for the Antichrist’s host empire (beheading of Christians, extreme cruelty to women, trying to change set times and laws, denial of the trinity). Rome fulfills none of these criteria. Islamic Ottoman Turkey fulfills every single one. See for yourself:

The Bible is always proven true.

18 responses

  1. To discount the Papacy sitting on its throne showing himself to be god and claiming to forgive sins is fallacy. The antichrist isn’t coming, he’s been here for centuries persecuting the saints and the word of God. Look at their blood soaked history of persecuting christians. Who is so poised to run the world besides him? The united nations and all the kings of the earth come to bend the knee before him. No doubt you are right to point out Turkey’s role in all this but the United States (2nd beast) is just as guilty in following the beast and his image. The whole world, including the muslims of Turkey and Syria, Iran etc. all follow the beast in their persecution of Israel, Christians and the word of God. The math can’t be denied. All of the Popes’ exalted titles add up to 666 in four different languages. Your council is good but on this subject I believe you are following the popes Jesuit who convinced everyone to take their eyes off the pope and look into the future for an antichrist. Do the math sir, roman numerals, vicarius filii dei and all the other titles. God Bless.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    • alwaysproventrue.com

      Brother, thanks for your comment. I do respect the fact that you are so well-versed in the background of your beliefs (very refreshing nowadays!), and I love your zeal. But as you know, I disagree with your facts. In multiple posts, I have laid out the many criteria that the beast and the Antichrist must fill. A major one is that the end-times beast will be chopping off Christians’ heads. Catholicism does not do this. Islam does. Another major criteria is denial that God has a son. Catholics bless themselves in the name of the Father, and OF THE SON, and of the Holy Spirit. Islamists deny the Son. Those two facts alone disqualify the pope and Rome, but there are multiple others, all laid out in my multiple posts. And with respect, I need to point out that the U.N. is dominated by Islamists and Leftists, none of whom have any respect for the Pope, much less any inclination to submit to him. Look at who is feared. Look at who is respected. It is Islam, not Catholicism. God Bless.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

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  3. yes strong bulls of bashan surrounded him.
    but did you also acknowledge dogs and lions surrounded him?
    what’s your take on that?

    April 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    • alwaysproventrue.com

      Great question.

      Well, “dogs” was a way of referring to gentiles. In Matthew 15:24, Jesus tells a gentile woman that he was sent “only to the lost sheep of Israel,” meaning only to the Jews. After she pleaded with him to help her, he said, “it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs [the gentiles].” She replied, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table [acknowledging her understanding of the fact that gentiles were referred to as dogs]. Jesus then told her, “woman, you have great faith [in Jesus Christ]! Your request is granted.”

      I believe that the “dogs” at the crucifixion represent the fact that gentiles, not Jews, physically crucified Jesus.

      As for the lions, notice that Jesus referred to them as not just lions, but as “roaring lions.” We see this same reference in 1 Peter 5:8.

      Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8

      I believe the “roaring lions” present at the crucifixion were Satan and demonic powers rather than literal lions.

      Thank you for your comment!

      April 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM

  4. Greycoat

    Great post. Came here after Googling “Strong Bulls of Bashan” upon reading Psalms 22 and the phrase wanting to get greater insight into what the phrase meant. I’m looking for an “anti-Christ” of Syrian regional heritage with the Islamic anti-Christ spirit. I believe he is already here, but just hasn’t taken on that role yet. Just a side note our Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Hugging I never heard a sound more beautiful than the Islamic Call To Prayer President Obama, who if he puts any “god” before Allah it is himself and not the true God of the Bible, is reported to be half-Arab with Syrian heritage on his father’s side in their family tree in part. Back on point, the Islamic Mahdi is our anti-Christ. “Chrislam”, which is an apostasy from hell, will no doubt aid and assist in the delusion that the Mahdi and false Christ “isa” are of “god”, i.e. false god “Allah which is a creation of Satan, and perhaps the then Pope and “Church of Rome” will play a part in assisting in that delusion and lie, but the anti-Christ won’t be a “Roman” for as you noted the Romans didn’t destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD but Syrian “mercenaries” in the Roman legions. Another person I enjoy reading and watching their videos is Walid Shoebat. He, a former Muslim, appears to hold the same end-time views that you have with regards to the anti-Christ. Well thank you for letting me ramble and I’ll explore your sight. Looks interesting. I’m a 7th Trumpet Resurrection then Rapture believer, so I believe we’ll go through this “stuff”, i.e. trib, if we live to see it as Christians in our lifetimes, and I believe I will live to see it for it’s coming, i.e. start, is soon. I’m just looking for the signing of the 7 year peace treating to commence it.

    August 26, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    • alwaysproventrue

      Greycoat,

      Thank you for the kind words, and for your insight.

      You mentioned Walid Shoebat. I am aware of his teachings and I have a link to his website on my website. The fact that God placed him in America (of all nations on earth), and put such boldness in his heart, and discernment in his brain, gives me further hope that God has great plans for America.

      Again, thank you for your comments.

      God bless!

      August 27, 2013 at 6:52 AM

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  7. Chris

    I just discovered your site while searching for information on the Roman Legion that crucified Jesus in preparation of a bible study on Daniel and Revelation. I concur with your thoughts on this — the “Boaster” hasn’t come yet (it wasn’t Nero) and he won’t be European. Verses in the Bible hint that he will be of Middle Eastern descent of some sort (e.g., “The Assyrian”, etc.).

    I’d like to point out something that you may or may not have heard regarding Psalm 22, which is referenced above, that is incredibly, incredibly interesting! I don’t believe I can attach my notes to this post, so I’ll attach a couple links to the information (I believe I have more information in my notes, so I can email them to you, if you’d like). Here they are:

    http://www.insectman.us/articles/biblical/crimson-worm.htm
    http://www.discovercreation.org/newsletters/TheCrimsonOrScarletWorm.htm

    Just another way that God incorporated hidden information into His Word to confirm it and to confirm that Jesus *IS* the Messiah. I’ll be returning to your site often! Thank you!

    RocItMan

    PS – I appreciate that you link to my favorite commentator and teacher, Chuck Missler, and to Walid Shoebat.

    March 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    • alwaysproventrue

      Chris,

      You make an excellent point about the Antichrist being referred to in the Bible as the “Assyrian” (modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, etc.). Indeed, he is not called the “Roman” or the “European.”

      I will give a thorough read to the info you posted. I heard the worm reference explained once in church, but I did not quite follow, and I never looked back into it. Thanks to you, I now will.

      Missler and Shoebat are two of my favorites. I’m glad you like them too. I find that both of them are willing to dig into Scripture and acknowledge what it says– whereas far too many pastors and teachers refuse to color outside the lines of their particular denonimations, including those in “non-denominational” churches.

      Thanks a million for stopping by the site. And thanks so much for the kind words and the links! God bless!

      March 19, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      • Rocitman_777

        Thanks for the reply! Yes, Chuck Missler has done more for my Biblical understanding than 40 years in the church! I always imagined getting to Heaven to thank him personally for his work, study, and podcasts… until I had the absolute privilege to meet him last year and tell him in person! I use a ton of his stuff in our Bible studies to take them deeper than your “standard” bible study.

        I’ve attached my notes… I think it consolidates the worm information, plus it is written more for a skeptical person. If I remember correctly, I first heard about this from… Chuck Missler.

        God bless you for the work you’re doing for the Kingdom!

        Chris

        March 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      • alwaysproventrue

        That’s awesome! He seems like a great guy. I’m sure he got energized by hearing your feedback. Good for you for telling him! Encouragement is (in my opinion) sorely lacking in the church. I even try to tell the worship band members “great job” if I pass them after service. Keep up the good work, and thank you for what you do for the Kingdom too!

        March 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      • Rocitman

        So I was perusing your site tonight (love it) and clicked the link “Name of the Lord” in the Categories section… here is something you might want to include. It is VERY powerful, and once you see it, oh so obvious.

        I haven’t had a chance to write a lesson on this yet, but it is very powerful because you can lead ANYONE through this and they’ll see it (non-believer, Jew, Christian, etc.)

        First, I start by demonstrating that languages – particularly writing — has evolved. I start with two charts (below) to demonstrate the evolution of writing, up through the Latin letters we use today. Writing began as pictograms, which symbolized a thought or idea, shown in the charts. As writing progressed, letters were constructed to convey more complex and precise thoughts. By using the charts, a person can see this

        Ancient Hebrew (or Proto or Paleo-Hebrew):

        http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/28_chart.html

        http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_One/Pictograms/pictograms.html

        As an example, I show how the first two letters of Ancient Hebrew convey meaning and spell out a word.

        · Aleph (previously El) symbolizes an ox head. Oxen are strong. They convey strength, power, etc. They are also put at the front of a cart, so they also represent ‘first’. Conceptually, the ox represents something strong, powerful, first, etc.

        · Bet is a rectangular swirl, which is believed to represent a mud brick home or tent floor plan. It represents a home or tent (house). This conveys the idea of a family, a house, or ‘in’.

        Interestingly, Aleph Bet (AB) is how you spell ‘father’ in Hebrew… do you see it conceptually? Aleph bet is the ‘strength’ of the ‘home’, or the ‘first’ of the ‘family’… the ‘leader’ of the ‘home’… etc. Could God use the ancient meanings of Hebrew to ‘hide’ additional information in the Bible? I think so!

        Maybe even in the Holy name God gave Moses?

        For that, check out this video:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wiBtYITrxM

        Hope you enjoyed this! By the way, look at the ancient symbol of the letter tav (or taw) and what it meant conceptually….

        March 20, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      • alwaysproventrue

        Wow, the meanings of tav and YHVH as shown in the links are fascinating. I will continue studying this topic. Thank you for mentioning it!

        March 20, 2014 at 6:14 AM

      • Rocitman_777

        I’m sorry if I’m spamming you, but I just need to share some comments related to our agreement that the antichrist isn’t European. And something in yellow highlight that could be poetentially astonishing!

        Tonight, I’ll finish our study on Daniel. Because Daniel is such a fascinating book and provides some insight into the Antichrist, it is natural for people to ask, speculate, and discuss who they think the big “Boaster” is going to be. I’ve been laying the ground work on this over the past few weeks and it might be helpful for you, too.

        - We know that he will persecute true believers (believers in Christ) – We know that the system of the antichrist (or anything antichrist) denies that Jesus came in the flesh (i.e., the Son of God) – We know that those that reject the system of the antichrist are beheaded – We know that Satan is a great counterfeiter and just as their is the Holy Trinity, there will be a false trinity: Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet – We know that the false prophet performs miracles and causes people to worship the antichrist – We know that both the Boaster and his false prophet install a one world religion (well, attempt to create a one world religion) – Daniel 9 tells us that the “leader that will come” comes from the people that crucify the Messiah. That was the Romans. Myopia causes people to think western Europe and forget the Eastern Empire (Byzantium) that persisted 1000 years longer… and includes Assyria… “The Assyrian”) – Daniel calls him the “Little Horn” (why? All words in the Bible are inspired, so it must have some meaning. “Horns” are used as a metaphor to describe leaders and kings in the Bible, but this “Little Horn” is special. And for such a powerful leader, the Bible curiously describes him as a singular “Little” horn. Why?)

        Christianity is different from all other religions in that our righteousness has nothing to do with ourselves or our works. It is what Jesus did alone. In fact, taken further, Christ emphasized that our righteousness shouldn’t be on display (Matthew 6): we should not pray publicly for all to see like hypocrites; when we give, we should give so that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing; we should fast so it isn’t obvious, etc. (I believe there is a distinction between publicly practicing righteousness in Matthew 6 and letting our light shine before others in Matthew 5). Bottom line: our righteousness is not for public display or should be publicly visible.

        *** Islam, on the other hand, IS about works and deeds. Radical Islam sells death by martyrdom. It requires public prayer. In fact, in some instances, you could probably gauge someone’s “righteousness” by how often or how long they pray. How? Google “zabiba” — it is the prayer bump (check out both Wikipedia’s description and google images… it is enlightening). In some instances, the prayer bump can become quite large… almost like like a… small horn. The more “righteous and pious” someone is and the more they pray, the bigger the callus. Someone with a visible, “small horn” must surely be a very pious individual. ***

        Coincidence that Islam denies that Jesus is the Son of God or that God can have a Son? (This was important enough to be affirmed, vocally, by the Lord at the onset of Jesus’ ministry and at the conclusion of His ministry: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” ). Coincidence that Islam denies the crucifixion (of Jesus anyway)? That radical adherents seem to favor beheading? (I had someone dissent and say the French liked to do that in the past…) Or that Islam seeks, including militarily, to install a One World Caliphate?

        Just a side note: for believers that insist the Boaster must be European and a fake Jesus, how effectively could that individual deceive believers of Jesus as the Messiah into thinking he is Jesus? Not very! They already know what to expect from Jesus: Kind, forgiving, merciful to the poor, etc. Anyone false or evil would quickly stand out! However, how easily would it be to deceive those that don’t believe in the Son of God and already accept that there must be one, true, religion at any cost, and that it is better to kill infidels? Very, very easy. As Walid Shoebat says, it fits, it fits, it fits.

        You are probably already familiar with the following information from Walid, but here is Chuck discussing it with some depth:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD9U9LNUQEY

        Hope you find this interesting!

        March 20, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      • alwaysproventrue

        Fascinating stuff, and not spam at all, no worries. I knew about the three Greek/Arabic letters from Shoebat, and I am very glad that Missler is open to considering the possibility. Many pastors refuse to even consider it because they would then have to admit that they have been wrong all these years. The zabiba info you left was especially fascinating. I have heard Shoebat mention that airport security should look for zabiba as a sign of trouble because jihadists zealously prostrate themselves before carrying out their missions. However, I have never heard or considered zabiba as signifying the little horn, wow! Thank you!

        March 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

  8. Greycoat

    Dear Rocitman,

    You stated “Daniel 9 tells us that the “leader that will come” comes from the people that crucify the Messiah. That was the Romans.” Did you know that the “Roman legions that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD came from Syria manned, i.e. filled, with Syrian mercenaries? They may have been under Roman command, but the “people” doing the destruction were anything but Roman. Josephus mentions that the legions were based and came from Syria. From a quick Google Search the following excerpt:

    “First Witness: Publius Cornelius Tacitus

    Publius Cornelius Tacitus was both a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire that wrote extensively concerning the specific period that we are now examining. The surviving portions of his two major works — the Annals and the Histories — have become a vital source of information from this period of the Roman Empire. Speaking of the Roman attack of Jerusalem, Tacitus details the specific legions and the peoples that primarily composed the attacking army:

    “Titus Caesar…found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th…To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied…by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbors…” (Tacitus, The History, New Ed edition Book 5.1. Editor: Moses Hadas, Translators: Alfred Church, William Brodribb (Modern Library; New York, 2003)).

    There are several important bits of information that we can gain from this reference. First, we learn that the Roman legions had been stationed in Judea, Syria and Egypt. Secondly, we learn that beyond the Roman legions, there was also “a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews” who accompanied the soldiers. Sadly, little has changed since the first century regarding the general regional hatred of the Jewish people. In fact, it was precisely this ancient hatred that was the driving factor in the unfolding of events that led to the destruction of the Temple, as we will see.

    Second Witness: Titus Favius Josephus

    Titus Flavius Josephus, another irreplaceable historian from this period also confirms the report of Tacitus:

    “So Vespasian sent his son Titus [who], came by land into Syria, where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the kings in that neighborhood” (Flavius Josephus, The Complete Works of Josephus, The Wars of the Jews or The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, Book III, Chapter 1, Paragraph 3).

    Once again, Josephus reveals that the Roman legions used to attack Jerusalem were stationed in Syria. This is where Titus gathered them together as he proceeded toward the Jewish capital. He also details that “a considerable number” of auxiliaries, or volunteers, from Syria and the surrounding regions were also gathered for the attack. Later, Josephus also details the specific number of Arab soldiers who joined forces with the invading armies:

    “Malchus also, the king of Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmen, the greatest part of which were archers; so that the whole army, including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsemen and footmen, when all were united together, amounted to sixty thousand” (Flavius Josephus, The Complete Works of Josephus, The Wars of the Jews or The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, Book III, Chapter 4, Paragraph 20).

    While the numbers of men that composed a legion fluctuated, during this time period a legion contained approximately 5,000 men. Here we see that there were enough Arab auxiliary/volunteer soldiers to compose more than a full legion!

    The Eastern Legions

    Now lets look at the specific legions that were used to attack the Jewish people as well as the regions where they were stationed during the time period leading up to 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed. Of the six legions, only one was garrisoned just outside of the Middle East; this being Legion V Macedonia. The remaining five legions were all stationed in the Middle East. Below is a list of the legions and where they were stationed prior to 70 A.D.

    Legion V Macedonia:

    Judea or Moesia

    Legion X Fretensis:

    Syria

    Legion XV Appolinaris:

    Syria

    Legion XII Fulminata:

    Asia Minor/Syria

    Legion XVIII:

    Egypt

    Legion III Gallica:

    Syria

    All of these Legions would have consisted of a majority of Eastern soldiers; Arabs, Syrians, Egyptians etc. Even Legion V Macedonia, although possibly stationed in Moesia — or modern day Serbia and Bulgaria — also would have consisted of a majority of Eastern soldiers. By 70 A.D. not only the Eastern provincial Legions, but literally the entire army had come to be dominated by “provincials”. Lawrence J.F. Keppie, scholar of Roman History and author of Legions And Veterans: Roman Army Papers 1971-2000 (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000) confirms this reality when he states that after 68 A.D., “the legions…consist[ed] almost exclusively of provincials.” (Keppie page 116) In other words, after 68 A.D. the soldiers in the Roman legions were almost exclusively non-Italian peoples from the provinces on the edges of the Empire.”

    The article further states that my 70 AD only 22% of the entire Roman army consisted of Italians and before then was dominated by provincials. So the people doing the burning and destruction in Jerusalem weren’t the type of people you might imagine singing “O Sole Mio” but Syrians and surrounding provincials including Alexandria in the west as well.

    Link: http://www.hope-of-israel.org/peopleofprince.html

    March 23, 2014 at 10:48 PM

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