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Remembering Antiochus Epiphanes and looking forward to Hanukkah 2015

A Jerusalem resident familiar with the Kotel was surprised to find water flowing from the stones in a decidedly pre-Messianic manner. Though the source was mundane, it is cause for retrospection into what the signs preceding Messiah will look like when they actually do appear. Josh Wander, a resident of the Mount of Olives, frequently prays at the Kotel (the Western Wall). One of his favorite spots is the indoor section to the north of the outdoor plaza. When he went to pray at the holy site on Tuesday, he was surprised to see water flowing in rivulets from between the stones. “I have seen water dripping before but this was clearly more than condensation from the cold stones,“ Wander told Breaking Israel News. Tuesday was the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the day the Roman forces breached the walls of Jerusalem after a long siege in 69 CE. It begins the three week period of austerity leading up to the Ninth of Av, memorializing the destruction of the Jewish Temples. “Perhaps the walls were crying for the destruction of the Temple,“ conjectured Wander. Water flowing from the Temple Mount is one of the precursors to the Messiah described by the prophet Joel. …and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Hashem and shall water the valley of Shittim. Joel 4:18 The watery sign is so significant that it is repeated by the Prophet Ezekiel, who described it in detail. And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1 Wander could not verify the source of the water, whether it was Divine or mundane, but he speculated that since the Messiah has not been announced, the phenomenon was most probably due to leaky plumbing from the Arab Quarter houses that sit above the indoor area. If his theory is correct, this will not be the first time that leaky pipes have led to Messianic false-alarms. In 2015, a burst pipe near Wilson’s Arch, close to where Wander discovered flowing water, led to similar Messianic speculation. A few years previous to that incident, a similar situation near the Border Police Station at the Western Wall caused by clogged pipes in the bathroom, prompted the same reaction.

The recent announcement of the excavation of the Acra fortress in Jerusalem reminds us that the events recorded in Scripture and those in the Commentaries are real. The repeat denials by many that the Temple Mount never held a Temple, and that Jews and Christians believe in fairy tales are constantly confronted by truth from the soil. For years the Temple Sifting Project has excavated the mounds of dirt bulldozed from the area which the Waqf supervises and constantly finds objects fully described in the furnishings of the Temple and clothing of the priests. Pomegranate finials for scepters and rods of authority, golden bells, and seals with the names of persons cited in the Scripture now are on view and published for all to see. The stones and dirt shout “we are here, it’s all true!”

After the division of Alexander’s Empire the area of Syria fell under the jurisdiction of the egotistic and arrogant Seleucids. While Egypt’s Ptolemy Dynasty successfully ruled by assimilating the ancient culture with the Greek, the Seleucids in Jerusalem tried to deliberately force the Jews to turn away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the pantheon of Greek deities. Brutal ways to forcing their culture drew fierce resistance and a revolt by the sons of Maccabee resulted in the liberation and rededication of the Temple and the celebration of Hanukkah.
I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them (Amos 9:14

Today persons of faith see increasing pressure to abandon their ways and accept a forced secularization of life. In Israel daily terror attacks make life even more difficult and dangerous. Yet the recent discovery of the ruins of a failed leader, a failed culture, and a solid wall of a Temple built to honor the God which the dictator sought to deny all point to a reason to celebrate and rejoice in God’s protection of those He chooses and who choose to be protected by Him.

Hanukkah is coming. Let’s look at the physical record of artifacts, stone walls, writings of Josephus and other ancient historians and tell the world our God is real, he protects us and bids us rejoice in times of threat and danger. Hanukkah is coming; I hear it in the stones.

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