“Your Deliverance Is Getting Near”
“But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:28.
1-7. (a) What would news headlines announcing destruction of Vatican City mean to religionists of Christendom? (b) What would headlines regarding destruction of the two leading shrines of Islam mean to Mohammedans?
IMAGINE yourself reading the headlines in the newspaper:
2 “Vatican City Has Been Destroyed! The Tremendous Crater Left in the Earth by the Blast of the Nuclear Bomb Has Left No Trace of the Reputed Tomb and Bones of St. Peter!.”
3 Would such headlines in the newspapers of the world mean anything to Roman Catholics, or, in fact, to all religious denominations of Christendom? Would such an event mark the end of a long epoch for them, with great uncertainty as to how to proceed in the future? Yes!
4 Also: “Mecca Has Been Wiped Out by Missiles from the Air! The Sacred Shrine Incorporating the Revered Black Stone Has Vanished amid the Explosion!”
5 Would such headlines in the world press mean anything to the Islamic world? Would it signify the end of an era to them, leaving an unfillable blank in their outlook for the future? On top of that:
6 “The Mosque ‘The Dome of the Rock,’ Second Most Holy Place in the Moslem Realm, Blasted Out of Existence! The Sacred Rock of the Prophet Mohammed Destroyed!”
7 Would such further news headlines add to Moslem convictions that an era had ended for them, leaving a big religious void? Yes!
8. (a) What did destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E. mean to those worshiping there? (b) How is such a meaning to worshipers indicated?
8 Visitors to Rome, Italy, who pass through the triumphal Arch of Titus on the way between the Roman Forum and the Coliseum, see sculptures commemorating the destruction of a world-renowned city and its holy shrine in the year 70 of our Common Era. It is the city of Jerusalem and its temple built by King Herod the Great, the ruler appointed by the Roman Senate over the province of Judea. Did the destruction of that famous city and its temple mean anything to the millions who worshiped there? Did it mean the end of a national and religious epoch to them? Indeed, it did, as profane history testifies. When this very destruction was predicted, thirty-seven years in advance, did the four men who heard the prediction think that it would mean such a thing to their people, their nation? Evidently they did. The question that they asked the Prophet as a follow-up to his startling prediction indicates this.
9. How will the end of an important era of human history be similarly marked, and hence there is need of what?
9 No less so will the approaching end of an important era of human history be marked by an astonishing event similar to that of the year 70 C.E. The need of deliverance becomes very evident and now very urgent. Hundreds of millions in Christendom will be affected by this coming event, an event that itself will be the forerunner of Something so universal in its proportions as to affect all mankind. We need deliverance from such a world disaster!
10. Why is deliverance possible, and what will it mean for the ones delivered?
10 This is something on which the world does not count; otherwise we might reasonably expect it to do something about it. But you the reader can do something about it, if you really desire to enjoy the deliverance that is possible according to an unbreakable promise that comes from the highest authority. The greatest world trouble of all human experience is on its way toward us, but the deliverance is also on its way for those who not only long for it but who take the right, prescribed steps to attain to it. From year to year the signs keep multiplying about us to indicate that deliverance is getting near! Its arrival will mean that the ones delivered will come under a world government superior to that of man, and perfectly able to bless all mankind instead of doom them.
11. Why should there be no room for doubt that we are approaching the end of an epoch, and is there any hope for a better order to come from man thereafter?
11 What observant person today can doubt that we are approaching the end of an epoch? This age of violence into which the world of mankind was suddenly plunged by World War I in the year 1914 cannot fail to reach its grand climax in disaster, unless it is stopped sooner by superhuman power. The repeated proofs of inability of men and nations to rule themselves are bound to lead to a state of world frustration and perplexity where mankind will have no human way out from the resulting chaos. The ferment in all the main fields of human interest, in politics, in education, in moral and social life, in racial relations and in religion, will follow psychological laws and thoroughly corrupt man’s sense of true human values and distort the former pattern of things. No human standards will any longer be respected, recognized and followed. The acceleration in the movement of things is increasing, speeding up the onrush of the end of this epoch in all its features. What then? Is there any reason to believe that man can hope for some miraculous new and better order to come from man, arising from the ashes of his burnt-out old order? No!
12. (a) From where must this deliverance come? (b) This source was pointed to by whom, and with what effect on his hearers?
12 Dislike the idea as much as the antireligious people may dislike it, yet help for our race simply has to come from a source higher than man, from a friendly heavenly source rather than from a devilish heavenly source. It has to come from the one source that was pointed to by the great Prophet, who spoke about deliverance to four of his followers as they sat on the Mount of Olives with the city of Jerusalem and its temple within full view. The Prophet had his enemies there at Jerusalem who were bent on killing him, just as he has his enemies today. Each reader can determine for himself whether he also is an enemy or not by how he reacts to the mention of the name Jesus Christ! His four followers, his friends, who heard his encouraging words about deliverance were four fishermen from the Roman province of Galilee, namely, Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and his brother John. Why was deliverance a welcome thought to them? Why was it that they spoke to the Prophet about the end of an epoch, “the conclusion of the system of things”? Three reliable historians show why, and in doing so they give us today much food for thought.
13, 14. (a) Why were Jesus and his four followers then in that neighborhood? (b) What did Jesus say about the Herodian temple to the admirers of it?
13 It was just three days before the spring festival that celebrated the deliverance of the nation from further oppression by the mighty world power, Egypt of the Pharaohs, in the year 1513 before our Common Era. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were streaming toward Jerusalem, to an area that has since become sacred also to Arabs and all the Islamic realm. The Prophet Jesus and those four fishermen disciples were among those pilgrims. So on Tuesday, the eleventh day of the spring lunar month of Nisan, Jesus and his disciples visited the temple that King Herod the Great had built at the place where now stands the Mohammedan Mosque, the Dome of the Rock. The temple was so magnificent that some of the disciples could not help but remark about the precious stones that adorned it. That Herodian temple seemed destined to stand there in its glory for centuries to the honor of the God who was worshiped there. But the facts of history prove that Jesus was a true prophet when he said to those temple admirers:
14 “Do you not behold all these things? Truly I say to you, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”—Matthew’s account, Mt chapter 24, verses 1 through 3.
15. (a) That prophecy followed what earlier prophecy as a logical consequence? (b) Stones in that earlier prophecy included what?
15 Such a solemn prophecy would follow as a logical consequence to the terrible prophecy that he had made just two days before this. As he rode amid a jubilant multitude down the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem, he halted and wept as he said to her: “If you, even you, had discerned in this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hid from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.” (Luke 19:41-44) The phrase “a stone upon a stone in you” would include the temple stones. The Roman general Titus, who was used to fulfill this dire prophecy, would not be able to have even the sacred Herodian temple preserved. The prophetic words of Jesus had to come true.
16. From what former experience of Jerusalem could those disciples reason that her coming destruction meant the end of an era?
16 Total destruction to the holy city of Jerusalem and her temple! What could that mean to those four disciples of Jesus but the end of an era for their nation? That would be the second time that Jerusalem and her temple were destroyed by pagan armies. The disciples remembered the first destruction of Jerusalem and her temple by the armies of Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, in the year 607 B.C.E., and how this had meant the end of their nation as an independent theocratic kingdom under the rulership of the royal descendants of King David the son of Jesse of Bethlehem. Jerusalem was then left lying desolate for seventy years, under which circumstances Jerusalem indeed began to be trampled on by the pagan Gentile nations. Even though at the end of the seventy years a worshipful remnant of the nation returned from their exile in Babylonia and reoccupied the land of Judah, no kingdom in the hands of a royal descendant of David was reestablished. Only a governor, Zerubbabel, was appointed by the new world power of Persia to administer the land of Judah. The Davidic kingdom with throne in Jerusalem kept being trampled on by the Gentiles.
17. (a) Why was the Maccabean kingdom not an interruption of the trampling down of the Davidic kingdom? (b) What did the proclamation, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,” mean to many humble people in the land?
17 True, in the second century B.C.E. the nation did gain an independence from the Gentiles and set up a kingdom, but this was in the hands of the Maccabees. These Maccabean kings were of the tribe of Levi and were priests and were not of the tribe of Judah and of the royal family of David. In the year 63 B.C.E. this Maccabean Levite kingdom came to an end, when the Romans under General Pompey took over the rule of the country. So now deliverance from the domination of the world power of Rome became the desire of the oppressed people of Judah. When John the Baptist and thereafter Jesus came proclaiming, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,” this was welcome news to many humble persons in the land of Galilee and of Judea. (Matt. 3:1-4; 4:12-17) To many of the oppressed people this meant deliverance from the Roman yoke and the restoring of the theocratic kingdom in the hands of a rightful heir of King David at Jerusalem.—Acts 1:6.
GENTILE TIMES MUST CONTINUE TO THEIR END
18, 19. (a) By the message, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,” what did Jesus mean and what did he not mean? (b) So what did Jesus say to the people about their “house”?
18 However, Jesus made no promise of deliverance from the Roman yoke. Contrariwise, he foretold the ruin of the nation by the Roman world power and the continuation of the trampling on Jerusalem’s dynasty of Davidic kings by the Gentile world powers. He being born into the human family as a member of the royal house of David, Jesus was the rightful heir of the theocratic kingdom of David. So because he was anointed with God’s spirit and was present among the oppressed people, the “kingdom of the heavens,” the “kingdom of God,” had drawn near. (Luke 17:20, 21) Jesus did not mean that the heavenly kingdom of God for delivering all mankind from oppressive world powers was then at hand. Instead, the Gentile Times for trampling on the rights of the kingdom of God in the hands of descendants of King David had to keep on to their appointed end. Jerusalem and her holy house of religious worship would not be spared. Consequently Jesus said to the people:
19 “Look! Your house is abandoned to you. For I say to you, You will by no means see me from henceforth until you say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name!’”—Matt. 23:37-39.
20. (a) When had those very words as quoted from Psalm 118:26 been used regarding Jesus? (b) When and by whom would those words again be used?
20 Two days previously when the jubilant crowd was accompanying Jesus on his kingly ride into Jerusalem they said those very words of prophetic Psalm 118:26, but the religious leaders of Jerusalem did not feel like the people nor feel that Jesus was the foretold “Blessed” One that came in Jehovah’s name. (Matt. 21:1-9 Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19) No wonder, therefore, that Jesus would not present himself again in the flesh to them as the rightful anointed heir to the kingdom of David at Jerusalem! He would go away and no more be seen by them in the flesh. And yet the day would arrive when he would come into the kingdom and sit on the throne at the right hand of Jehovah God. Then those who would discern the evidence showing that he had come into his kingdom and was present on the throne would see him with eyes of faith. They would discern it to be the due time to say: “Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name!” (Ps. 110:1-6; Acts 2:34-36) They would be disposed to call him “blessed,” because his coming into his kingdom would mean deliverance from their enemies.
21. According to Matthew’s account, what question did those prophecies of Jesus call forth from his four disciples?
21 Hearing his words about his coming again in Jehovah’s name, and hearing shortly afterward his prophecy about the casting down of the stones of Jerusalem’s temple, the four fishermen disciples of Jesus asked him: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”—Matt. 23:38 to 24:3.
22, 23. To what did the disciples’ words “these things” refer, and how is this shown to be correct by Jesus’ answer?
22 The disciples’ words, “these things,” undeniably included the predicted destruction of Jerusalem then in view of the disciples seated on the Mount of Olives. In the course of the prophecy that Jesus then gave in answer to their question he definitely spoke of the coming destruction of that Jerusalem by the Roman legions in the year 70 C.E., then only thirty-seven years away. (Matt. 24:15-20) In his account of Jesus’ prophecy Doctor Luke speaks of Jerusalem’s destruction in great detail (Luke 21:20-24) and says:
23 “Furthermore, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. Then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.”
24, 25. (a) Before that prophecy went into fulfillment why were Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and Judea equipped to act obediently? (b) How did they act, and what did this mean for them?
24 Before this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 C.E. and even before the Jews revolted in the year 66 C.E. and brought on Jerusalem’s second destruction, the disciples Luke, Matthew and Mark had written their accounts of Jesus’ prophecy. Thus the inspired records were there for any Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and Judea to consult and then to act upon after the Roman general Cestius Gallus tried to deal with the revolt promptly but suddenly lifted the siege and withdrew after surrounding Jerusalem with his armies encamped upon the holy precincts roundabout the city.*
25 Before the Roman armies under a new general, Titus, could return, the faithful Jewish Christians fled from doomed Jerusalem and the province of Judea. For the most part they sought refuge on the eastern bank of the Jordan River in the province of Perea. Their obedient action spelled deliverance for them when later the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and then swept through the province of Judea destroying cities and killing off Jews by the tens of thousands and at last leading off 97,000 surviving Jews into captivity and slavery.
26. How severe was the vengeance of those days, or the meting out of divine justice?
26 In 73 C.E., with the fall of the fortress of Masada about midway west of the Dead Sea the whole province of Judea was subjugated, cleared of all rebels, by the Roman armies. In the five-month siege of Jerusalem, from Nisan 14 until Elul 6 (September 6, Gregorian time calendar), when the city was taken by General Titus, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus estimates that 1,100,000 Jews died. If the earlier days of the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E. were days of divine vengeance, the days of this second destruction of Jerusalem were no less days of divine vengeance, “days for meting out justice” from heaven, just as Jesus had predicted three days before he was murdered outside the walls of the bloodguilty Jerusalem.
27. What question now arises as to the extent of the application of Jesus’ prophecy?
27 Certainly, with these events the then Jewish system of things with its homeland and capital city and temple of worship came to a conclusion. (1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26-28) But was the desolating of Jerusalem and Judea the farthest point in history to which Jesus’ prophecy as recorded in Matthew 24:3 to 25:46; Mark 13:3-37 and Luke 21:7-36 extended and had application?
28. Had deliverance by God’s kingdom come with the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy on literal Jerusalem and Judea?
28 Well, when Jerusalem and her temple were destroyed in 70 C.E. and all Judea was subjugated by the year 73 C.E., did the surviving Jewish Christians have reason to believe that the kingdom of God had come? No! Did they by faith see Jesus in his Messianic kingdom and did they say: “Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name”? No! Had the promised “deliverance” come, more particularly deliverance from the Roman world power, the desolator of Jerusalem and Judea? No! For at that time the Christians were still largely to be found inside the territory of the Roman Empire, although there were Christians outside the empire in Parthia, India, Scythia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. Why, for more than two centuries after the Jewish disasters of 70-73 C.E., the Christians suffered terrible persecutions at the hand of the Roman Empire, yes, even after the days of Emperor Constantine.
29. (a) When had Jerusalem begun to be trampled on by the Gentile nations? (b) So, as regards this, what did Jesus prophesy to show that his prophecy reached out beyond 70 C.E.?
29 The Roman Empire was the fourth of the Gentile world powers that had trampled on Jerusalem’s kingdom in the hands of the royal heir of King David; first, Babylon; second, Medo-Persia; third, Greece (Macedonia); and fourth, Imperial Rome. So complete was the desolation of the Roman province of Judea that the Roman Emperor Vespasian sold pieces of land therein as real estate to Gentile buyers. Hence Jesus’ words as given on the Mount of Olives in 33 C.E. had to reach out far beyond the destruction of Jerusalem and her temple in 70 C.E., for, when telling of her siege and fall, Jesus predicted: “And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [Gentile] nations, until the appointed times of the [Gentile] nations are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) Even after the Roman Empire lost its grip over the Middle East, the land where King David and his royal successors used to reign continued under the domination of Gentile political powers. No Messianic kingdom in the hands of a rightful heir of King David could come into power until those “appointed times of the [Gentile] nations” ended in God’s own prefixed time.
30, 31. The way that Jesus described “great tribulation” right after telling of Jerusalem’s siege and fall indicates what?
30 The siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the subjugation of all Judea by the Roman legions was indeed a time of “great tribulation” for the Jewish people. But certainly this did not measure up to the proportions of the tribulation that Jesus foretold farther along in his prophecy of the “sign” of his presence and of the “conclusion of the system of things.” Although his prediction of the “great tribulation” followed right after his description of the siege of ancient Jerusalem, yet the language that he used appears to make it apply to something far greater than Jerusalem’s destruction, something like it but future from it. In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ prophecy his language reads:. “For then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.”—Matt. 24:21, 22.
31 In John Mark’s account of Jesus’ prophetic language it reads: “For those days will be days of a tribulation such as has not occurred from the beginning of the creation which God created until that time, and will not occur again. In fact, unless Jehovah had cut short the days, no flesh would be saved. But on account of the chosen ones whom he has chosen he has cut short the days.”—Mark 13:19, 20.
32. Because of the language used in connection with “great tribulation,” what questions do we properly ask about tribulations?
32 Later on in his prophecy Jesus spoke of Noah and the flood of Noah’s day, and so we ask, Was Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E. a tribulation greater than that of the Flood 1,656 years after man’s creation? Was Jerusalem’s destruction by the Roman armies the worst tribulation that occurred till then since the beginning of God’s creation of mankind, not even leaving out the Noachian flood? In the 1,898 years since Jerusalem’s destruction has no disaster occurred that equals it or surpasses it? Has no “great tribulation” occurred again since 70-73 C.E. that compares with the Jewish disaster of those years or that far exceeds it? What about the destruction of human lives and cities in World War I of 1914-1918 and in World War II of 1939-1945? The desolating of Jerusalem and Judea in the first century was only a small-scale affair in comparison with those global conflicts. Well, then, did Jesus make a mistake in calculating the disastrous proportions of the Jewish disaster of 70-73 C.E.? Such a thing could not be true of Jesus. So how shall we take his language?
33, 34. What further parts of the prophecy would keep Jesus from using extravagant language about the devastation of Jerusalem and Judea?
33 Jesus was not exaggerating here the measure of the devastation of Jerusalem and Judea. He foreknew and foretold that the Gentile Times for trampling on the rights of the Davidic kingdom would continue on after Jerusalem’s destruction. He compared the days of his return-presence with the days of Noah in which the global flood destroyed all mankind but Noah’s family inside the ark, thereby suggesting something far worse than Jerusalem’s destruction. He spoke of “all the tribes of the earth,” not just the twelve tribes of Israel, beating themselves in lamentation at what they see coming. (Matt. 24:30) All this in that one and the same prophecy on the “sign” of his presence and the “conclusion of the system of things.”
34 Furthermore, in the Revelation that he gave to his apostle John twenty-six years after Jerusalem’s destruction Jesus spoke of the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” as being gathered to the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon and he thereafter described the enormous slaughter to be wrought in that war of Armageddon. (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-21) This would keep Jesus from using extravagant language.
35. Evidently, then, Jesus was speaking of Jerusalem from what standpoints?
35 It is therefore evident that Jesus was here using Jerusalem’s destruction as a prophetic illustration, speaking of it not only in a literal way but also in a typical way, as typical of something far greater. So he had a greater unfaithful doomed Jerusalem in mind, and he was in fact prophesying about the destruction of the larger unfaithful Jerusalem and the world disaster of which it will be the initial part. He was prophesying about the antitypical Jerusalem and Judea, namely, Christendom, which, according to the statistics of today, numbers close onto a thousand million members world wide.
36. Why can Christendom be said to be the antitypical unfaithful Jerusalem and Judea?
36 Christendom claims to be the spiritual Israel that is in the new covenant with God by the mediation of Jesus Christ. She claims to be the spiritual Zion or Jerusalem, to whom God’s promises belong or apply. Christendom’s pope at Vatican City is revered as being the vicegerent or vicar of the heavenly Jesus Christ who is “the lion of the tribe of Juda.” (Rev. 5:5, Dy) The bringing of Christendom into existence was indicated in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the weeds, and in that same parable he foretold the destruction of Christendom and her weedlike Christians, the antitypical unfaithful Jerusalem and Judea.—Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43.
WORLD DISTRESS SINCE END OF GENTILE TIMES
37. How can we see that Jesus’ prophecy extends down to here in connection with Christendom and even beyond this present year?
37 Jesus’ prophetic words in Matthew 24:21, 22 and Mark 13:19, 20 being viewed from this standpoint, we can see that his prophecy applies down here to these last days of the antitypical unfaithful Jerusalem and Judea, Christendom. Jesus’ prophecy about the things that were due to occur certainly extended itself down to the year 1914 C.E. and beyond 1914, even beyond this present year. How so? By the fact that Jesus said: “And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled,” and then added more. (Luke 21:24) We need not here repeat the proof that the Gentile Times, “the appointed times of the nations,” ended around October 1, 1914. History proves it!
38, 39. (a) Since what year have the earlier words of Jesus’ prophecy been fulfilled particularly upon Christendom? (b) What did that “beginning of pangs of distress” indicate for Christendom?
38 Since that marked year of 1914 Christendom along with the rest of the world of mankind has had fulfilled upon her Jesus’ words near the beginning of his prophecy, namely: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”—Luke 21:10, 11.
39 Matthew’s parallel account reads: “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.” (Matt. 24:7, 8) When nation rose against nation and kingdom against kingdom in 1914–1918, twenty-four out of the twenty-eight nations involved were nations of Christendom, the antitypical unfaithful Jerusalem and Judea. Unavoidably, then, for Christendom especially, the first world war and the notable food shortages, pestilences and earthquakes meant a “beginning of pangs of distress.” Those “pangs of distress,” as serious as those of a woman in childbirth, did not mean that Christendom was about to give birth to a new Christian order, a world converted to Christianity, but meant that she was nearing her painful death. But true Christians were nearing deliverance!
On the first attack on Jerusalem in 66 C.E. by Cestius Gallus, Josephus’ Wars of the Jews, Book II, Chapter XIX, gives the most complete account. In section 1 he states that Cestius Gallus drew to within “fifty furlongs” of Jerusalem at the time of the celebration of the feast of the tabernacles (Ethanim [or Tishri] 15-21) which in that year should have run from about October 19-25 (Gregorian calendar). The Jews attacked and did some damage to the Romans; then, after mentioning a wait of “three days,” Josephus says Cestius Gallus brought his army up to Jerusalem and on the thirtieth of Tishri (about November 7) he brought his army into the city. (Sec. 4) In section 5 he says that the Romans made an attack on the temple wall for five days and on the sixth day undermined the wall. Then, for no reason, he retired from the city and was pursued by the Jews. (Secs. 6, 7) According to the Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary, Vol. 2, p. 866, Vespasian arrived in Palestine early in 67 C.E. and first endeavored to get the rest of the country under control. He became emperor in 69 C.E. and left his son Titus to carry out the attack on Jerusalem.
[Picture on page 745]
Christians in Jerusalem fled to safety before its destruction in 70 C.E.