Yellowstone volcano eruption: What does the Bible say about Yellowstone erupting?
YELLOWSTONE volcano erupting is a terrifying prospect – and one a biblical expert bizarrely believes was foretold in a Bible prophecy about the end of the world.
Bizarre claims have been made to suggest a cataclysmic Yellowstone volcano eruption will “purify” the planet in the end days.
The Wyoming supervolcano, one of the biggest in the world, will supposedly erupt together with tremendous earthquakes.
A biblical prophet in Israel believes two-thirds of the planet will drown in fire when the world comes to an end.
Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri, a Jerusalem-based Kabbalist, claimed the apocalyptic scenario was foretold in the Old Testament.
According to the rabbi, the world’s fiery demise was prophesied in the Book of Zachariah and the Book of Psalms.
He told Breaking Israel News the end days are described in Psalms 104:32.
The passage reads: “Who looketh on the earth, and it trembleth; He toucheth the mountains, and they smoke.”
The rabbi said: “This describes what will happen in the End of Days before the final redemption.
“There will be an earthquake in Israel, but it will be beneficial, opening up the Temple Mount, bringing forth living waters, purifying the city to receive the Messiah.”
Rabbi Batzri also interpreted Yellowstone volcano’s eruption from a passage in Zachariah 13:9.
Zachariah 13:9 reads: “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 tied; they shall call on My name and I will answer them; I will say: ‘It is My people’ and they shall say: ‘Hashem is my God’.”
The Rabbi said the entire planet will be fraught with powerful earthquakes and volcano eruptions when the end days arrive.
He said the natural disasters will “purify” the world by fire “like a crucible”.
This describes what will happen in the End of Days before the final redemption
Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors seismic and volcanic activity in Yellowstone National Park, fears Yellowstone erupting could have an effect on a global scale.
These would include disrupted global climate and heavy ash fallout throughout the US.
The USGS said: “The surrounding states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming would be affected, as well as other places in the United States and the world.
“Such eruptions usually form calderas, broad volcanic depressions created as the ground surface collapses as a result of withdrawal of partially molten rock – magma – below.
“Fortunately, the chances of this sort of eruption at Yellowstone are exceedingly small in the next few thousands of years.”
But the geological agency is not convinced the supervolcano will erupt.
Yellowstone volcano last erupted 640,000 years ago and before this last erupted 1.2 million years and two million years ago.
The probability of Yellowstone erupting again is very slim – about one in 730,000 or just 0.00014 percent.
However, the USGS said there is not enough data on past Yellowstone eruptions to make a “critical judgement” on future volcanic activity.
The USGS said: “There is no evidence that a catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone is imminent, and such events are unlikely to occur in the next few centuries.
“Scientists have also found no indication of an imminent smaller eruption of lava.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel: It’s possible we will recognize Golan Heights
Friedman revealed in the interview that Israeli intelligence prevented terrorist attacks on US soil, Israel Hayom reported.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said “it’s possible”, that the US might recognize the Golan Heights in the future in an interview with Israeli daily Israel Hayom.
“I personally can not imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria,” Friedman said. “And giving up the territory of the Golan Heights may put Israel in a great security disadvantage.”
Friedman made it clear in the interview that the Trump administration might consider future American recognition of the Golan Heights as an Israeli territory, according to Israel Hayom.
The ambassador was asked to respond to US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s statements from three weeks ago concerning the Golan Heights where Bolton told Reuters that “there’s no discussion of it, no decision within the US government.”
Friedman clarified that Bolton was describing the current situation and not the US’s future position.
In addition, Friedman rejected the possibility that any American government would reverse President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “I do not see it happening, no matter which party is in power,” he said. “In order for any government to cancel the move, they will have to reach the conclusion that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, but Tel Aviv.”
Furthermore, the ambassador described talks between the administration and Israel concerning the West Bank and said that the Israelis have not yet approached the Americans about creating territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and the adjacent settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, which would likely remain part of Israel in the event of territorial swaps for a two-state solution.
Friedman also addressed the recent decision by the administration to cut UNWRA budgets, and said “UNRWA is a critically damaged organization. It does not promote regional peace and perpetuates the conditions that make peace more difficult. As such, the US does not see how another investment in it will restore its value properly for the US taxpayer. ”
Friedman revealed in the interview that Israeli intelligence prevented terrorist attacks on US soil, Israel Hayom reported.
The ambassador also spoke about Trump’s overall policy and the recent investigations surrounding Trump’s administration.
(CNN)As I watched Donald Trump announce that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy to that city, I could only think of one thing: my high school youth group Bible study.
Diana Butler Bass
Diana Butler Bass
I know that sounds odd. Especially coming from a liberal Episcopalian like me. But there you have it. The President makes a world-important declaration about global politics, and an absurdly apocalyptic thought arises, “Jerusalem? The Last Days must be at hand!”
When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I attended a “Bible church,” a nondenominational congregation that prided itself on a singular devotion to scripture. We read the Bible all the time: in personal Bible study and evening Bible classes. We listened to hourlong Sunday morning sermons. For us, the Bible was not just a guide to piety. It also revealed God’s plan for history. Through it, we learned how God had worked in the past and what God would do in the future.
Central to that plan was Jerusalem, the city of peace, and the dwelling place of God. It was special to the Jews because it was the home of Abraham and David. It was special to us because it was where Jesus had died and risen. We believed that ultimately, Christ would return to Jerusalem to rule as its king. We longed for this outcome — and we prayed that human history would help bring about this biblical conclusion.
Jerusalem was our prophetic bellwether. God’s plan hung on its fate. Whenever Israel gained more political territory, whenever Israel extended its boundaries, it was God’s will, the end-times unfolding on the evening news. Jerusalem, as the spiritual heart of Israel, mattered. Jerusalem was God’s holy city, of the ancient past, in its conflicted present, and for the biblical future.
For many conservative evangelicals, Jerusalem is not about politics. It is not about peace plans or Palestinians or two-state solutions. It is about prophecy. About the Bible. And, most certainly, it is about the end-times.
Why Jerusalem's holy sites are so significant
Why Jerusalem’s holy sites are so significant 01:59
When I was young, our pastor insisted that Jerusalem had an important role to play in these end-times events. When the Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah, he explained, God chose the church to accomplish his mission. Soon this “church age” would end with the rapture of true believers.
But God still loved the Jews, he told us, and wanted to redeem them. Thus, absent the church, the Jews would experience a great religious rebirth and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. This would spark a series of cataclysmic events that would culminate in the Battle of Armageddon, the last war of humanity. But it would also cause the Jews to finally accept Jesus as their savior. After all this occurred, Jesus would return in glory and God’s kingdom — a thousand-year reign of peace. And it would begin in Jerusalem.
This theology — a literal belief that all these things must happen before Jesus will return to reign on Earth — is called “dispensational pre-millennialism” and it is not the quirky opinion of some isolated church. Although the majority of Christians do not share these views, versions of dispensational pre-millennialism dominate American evangelicalism.
It originated as a small movement in the 1840s, but by the 1970s, millions of evangelical and fundamentalist churchgoers had embraced some form of it. Dispensationalism was popularized in a best-selling book called “The Late, Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey; and later, in the 1990s, it reached an even larger audience through the “Left Behind” novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. The theology spread via Bible camps and colleges, through theological seminaries and revival meetings, in films and videos, by Sunday school materials, and in daily devotional guides — all teaching that the end of the world was near, and that Jerusalem was the physical place where this apocalyptic drama would unfold.
Colbert: Trump can't locate Jerusalem on map
Colbert: Trump can’t locate Jerusalem on map 01:08
If you know evangelicals, chances are very good that you know this theology, whether you believe it or not. You cannot avoid it. And if you hear the President of the United States say something about Jerusalem, you take notice. Especially when that President won 81% of the white evangelical vote.
When the President issued his order, I was not the only person hearing echoes of dispensationalism. Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s evangelical advisers, declared: “Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy.”
Other evangelical pastors and teachers also praised the action as “biblical” and likened it to a “fulfilled prophecy.”
While that may sound benign (or perhaps nutty) to the theologically uninitiated, they are referring to the “prophecy” of the conversion of the Jews, the second coming of Jesus, the final judgment, and the end of the world — the events referred to as the biblical apocalypse.
I doubt that President Trump could explain dispensational pre-millennialism. I doubt he knows the term. But his evangelical supporters know it. Some of his advisers are probably whispering these prophecies in his ears. Trump might not really care how they interpret the Bible, but he cares that white evangelicals continue to stand with him. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is one way to affirm his commitment to these evangelicals — reminding them that he, Donald J. Trump, is pressing biblical history forward to its conclusion and that he is God’s man in the unfolding of these last days.
I may not believe it — anymore, at least. You may not believe it. Donald Trump might not even truly believe it. But millions do. That matters. Not only for American politics, of course. For the peace of Jerusalem. And for peace for the rest of us as well.
One of the portions of the book of Revelation whose meaning is hotly debated is the reference to Mystery Babylon in chapter 17. It appears that this will be the location of the Antichrist’s governmental and spiritual headquarters. But, where exactly is Mystery Babylon located? Will it be headquartered in Jerusalem, New York, Mecca, or Rome? Or, will it be ancient Babylon rebuilt?
Dr. David Reagan and I asked these questions on our television program Christ in Prophecy of Bible prophecy expert Bill Salus, the founder and director of Prophecy Depot Ministries based in La Quinta, California. Bill is a prolific writer and conference speaker, best known for his insightful book about Psalm 83 and the war that is depicted in it.
Arguments Against a Rebuilt Babylon
Bill Salus: David and Nathan, it is good to be with you. I want to personally thank you for your May edition of the Lamplighter magazine where I got my new nickname — the Star Trek Eschatologist. Boy, thanks for that!
Dr. Reagan: Well, I called you that because you boldly go where no one else has gone before when it comes to being an Eschatologist.
Bill Salus: Well, that label has created some repercussions everywhere I go, for now people think I’ve become some kind of pest exterminator! They don’t know what an Eschatologist is, so I’ve got to explain the label to them. Eschatos means “last or final” in the Greek, and ology is “study,” so together Eschatology is the “study of the last and final days.”
Nathan Jones: Alright, Captain Salus, are you ready to embark on another journey?
Bill Salus: Let’s boldly go!
Nathan Jones: Yes, let’s boldly address the subject of Mystery Babylon. Let’s go right to the source text, which is Revelation 17:1-6:
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’
So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:
Mystery, Babylon the great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”
Bill, when it comes to Mystery Babylon there are questions like who, and what, and where. Let’s start with the where. Dr. John Walvoord holds to the most popular view in his Bible Knowledge Commentary believing that this Mystery Babylon, this prophetic Harlot, is actually the future rebuilt city of Babylon. Do you agree?
Bill Salus: I confirm that Dr. Walvoord holds the popular view, also held by other Bible experts such as Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Joel Rosenberg, and quite a number of others. Various Bible prophecy teachers adhere to one of several potential candidate cities being Mystery Babylon.
We are told in Revelation 17-18 that Mystery Babylon will be a great city. I remind people that, according to 2 Peter 1:20, no prophecy is subject to private interpretation. So, we have to look at the details of the prophecy. We’ve got to weed through the various interpretations given for the different candidate cities and narrow the list down to the actual one. There are five main candidate cities, and four of them cannot be the right ones.
I’m not advocating that I know for sure which is the correct one, but I think the body of evidence sways towards the direction of Rome. That will be my argument.
There are three primary reasons why I have concerns with Mystery Babylon being a rebuilt Babylon.
Let’s start with reason number one, and let’s focus on “rebuilt.” Unlike the other four candidate cities, Babylon is not a significant city right now. Saddam Hussein tried to rebuild it a little bit. The other candidate cities are already significant cities and so they could easily become that prophesied city, but the bottom line is the Antichrist would have to rebuild Babylon. To this day it’s located in a war-torn area due to schisms between the Shiites and the Sunnis, causing the complete rebuilding of Babylon unlikely. Some of the advocates for a rebuilt Babylon remind us that Dubai was built very rapidly into a city, and so could Babylon, but that seems highly unlikely within the limited Tribulation time-line.
For reason number two, let’s focus on the “Mystery” of Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. By definition, in the Old Testament a mystery was something that was concealed. In the New Testament, it is revealed. An angel reveals this mystery to us in Revelation 17:7-18. He tells us in verse 9 that Mystery Babylon will be “a city that sits on seven hills,” which at the time when John wrote Revelation, was the notorious description of Rome. The Romans even had coinage at the time of the goddess Roma sitting on seven hills.
Verse 15 describes the Harlot’s global reach across many tribes, tongues, peoples and nations. And, most importantly, verse 18 tells something significant. “The woman you saw,” referring to Mystery Babylon in this vision given to John, “is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” So, let’s break that down. The woman he saw, past tense, sits on the waters, meaning the multiple tribes, tongues and nations. And, the city reigns over the kings of the earth. There could only be one city that held such power at the time John wrote. He would clearly recognize Rome. The text doesn’t say it will be the city that reigns over the kings, it says it is reigning.
Lastly, for reason number three, I find this to be a very disturbing verse for those others who advocate a city other than Rome as Mystery Babylon, and that is Revelation 18:20. “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her! God has judged her for the way she has treated you.” God was referring to the martyrdom of the holy Apostles. That’s two or more apostles plural had to be judged and executed under the present authorities of what this end times Babylon would eventually become. Peter, Paul, Andrew and Jesus’ brother, James — these apostles were killed by the “Babylon” of their time, IE. Rome.
Look at some of these other candidate cities, particularly a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq. Which of the Apostles were killed in Babylon? Was it John? Was it Matthew? No! Not one of them were killed in Babylon.
Dr. Reagan: One argument against Babylon comes from the book of Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied that when Babylon is destroyed by the Medes it will become as Sodom and Gomorrah, never to be rebuilt again. Advocates of Mystery Babylon being a rebuilt Babylon will often claim Babylon wasn’t destroyed in the same way as Sodom. Isaiah doesn’t say that. He said Babylon would become as Sodom and Gomorrah. And, it has become as Sodom and Gomorrah — erased forever.
Nathan Jones: Isaiah 13:20 reads, “It will never be inhabited nor will be settled from generation to generation.” Wouldn’t a rebuilding of Babylon break that prophecy?
Bill Salus: Correct, yes. Isaiah 13 provides another textual argument I have against Mystery Babylon being a rebuilt Babylon.
Before them earth trembles, Heaven shakes, Sun and moon are darkened, And stars withdraw their brightness. Joel 2:10 (The Israel Bible™)
Blood moon. (Credit: Nabarun/Wikimedia Commons)
On the night of Friday, July 27th, the longest lunar eclipse of the century will appear in the heavens over Israel, with one rabbi labeling it “an omen for Israel.”
Though it is remarkable in its longevity, lunar eclipses are not rare, occurring an average of three times each year.
In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifically described solar eclipses as being a bad omen for the nations. Indeed, the complete solar eclipse that transversed the continental United States last summer ushered in the most devastating hurricane season in US history.
The same source in the Talmud specifies that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel since Israel is spiritually represented by the moon. If the lunar eclipse takes place in the east side of the heavens, then it is a bad omen for all the nations in the east, and similarly, if it occurs in the western hemisphere of the sky, it is a bad sign for all the nations in the west.
It is important to note that the lunar eclipse on Friday night will appear in the eastern sky. Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi and teacher, has a particularly clear and definitive understanding of the upcoming lunar eclipse in the context of the Talmud in his blog, Lazer Beams.
“People may try to interpret this as having significance for world politics but the lunar eclipse is an omen for Israel,” Rabbi Brody explained to Breaking Israel News. “If anything, this may be a warning specifically for Israel and potential war from the east. In today’s context, that might be Iran.”
If during the course of the lunar eclipse the moon appears red, as the upcoming eclipse will be, the Talmud states that this is an omen that great wars will come to the world.
At the end of this section describing the omens contained within eclipses, the Talmud states a disclaimer: “When Israel does the will of the place (God), they have nothing to fear from all of this,” citing the Prophet Jeremiah as a source.
Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2
Rabbi Brody cited a prophecy in Isaiah concerning the possible timing of the Messiah’s arrival.
The smallest shall become a clan; The least, a mighty nation. I Hashem will speed it in due time. Isaiah 60:22
The rabbi cited Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, an 11th century French Torah scholar who is known by the acronym, “Rashi.”
“Rashi explains that if the Jews so merit, the geula (redemption) will be hastened; if they don’t merit, it will come anyway in its appointed time,” Brody wrote in his blog. “My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush explained to me that a ‘hastened’ redemption will be a merciful and joyous redemption, whereas an ‘in its time’ redemption is liable to be one of wars and strife, Heaven forbid.”
Rabbi Brody noted that the lunar eclipse falls on the 16th day of the Hebrew month of Av. The preceding day – the 15th of Av – is referred to as Tu B’Av, which Rabbi Brody explains is “the best day of the year for the Jewish People.”
Rabbi Brody also notes that the lunar eclipse falls during the Sabbath after Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples.
“[This is] the Sabbath of consolation, when Hashem consoles His people the Shabbat following the 9th of Av,” Rabbi Brody wrote.
Brody highlighted that the remarkable duration of the eclipse also had significance.
In the context of the lunar eclipse being a sign for Israel, Brody clarified how it could be either an omen for bad or an omen for good.
“The total time of the upcoming eclipse, the longest of this century, will be 6 hours, 13 minutes,” the rabbi explained. “613 is the exact number of the Torah’s commandments. Coincidence? No such thing.”
The specific meaning of this eclipse will depend on how a person relates to the 613 commandments.
“Everything Hashem does is a phenomenal mercy,” Brody said. “There is so much good in Israel even though this is one of the most difficult generations. The yetzer hara (evil inclination) has the most incredible tools in all the screens and the Internet, to pull people away from God and kedusha (sanctity). Even so, people are still holding on to their belief.”
This was the key to what type of omen this lunar eclipse will be in the context of global redemption focused on Israel.
“If someone is clinging to Hashem, there is no safer place than the land of Israel,” Rabbi Brody said. “But if someone is not doing hashem’s will, then there is no more dangerous place than the land of Israel.”
Other spiritual leaders also saw significance in this lunar eclipse. In a recent video, Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, a Torah Codes expert, found clues hidden in the Book of Numbers for this specific lunar eclipse. Using a Torah program that searches for equidistant letter sequences in the Bible, he discovered the words אב ליקוי חמה (the month Av, lunar eclipse). He also found a code for the exact date, 15th of Av, 5778.
In this code was a verse the rabbi felt was especially poignant for this era.
The rabbi noted that Tu B’av is the Jewish holiday of love. But, he warns, it is precisely a perverted power of love that can turn the lunar eclipse into a harsh judgement for Israel.
“There is no more abomination of the land than homosexuality,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “We need to do tshuva (repentance) for such a severe sin. The Torah warns us that this sin brings a lot of anger from heaven.”
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-4 (The Israel Bible™)
Nephilim. (Video Screenshot)
Archaeologists have discovered a collection of 5,000-year old graves in China that contain remarkably tall skeletons, a description strongly reminiscent of the Biblical Nephilim who are believed to also play a significant role in the Final Battle on Mount Zion at the End of Days.
Throughout Eastern China in the Jiaojia village, archaeologists have been excavating the ruins of houses, graves, and sacrificial pits, unearthing more than 200 graves. The evidence of their discovery leads the experts to believe that the males in the village averaged a height of six feet, three inches.
That would be considered tall even by today’s standards when the average Chinese male stands at five feet, six inches. But considering the rapid growth of human height since this period, the inhabitants of Jiaojia 5,000 years ago would have been absolutely colossal by comparison
The skeletons found in China are consistent with the giants found in the Biblical narrative who were remarkably tall but still able to breed with human women. This is precisely the role Nephilim played in the beginning of the Bible preceding the story of the flood in the time of Noah. The text implies an unnatural sexual relationship between the Nephilim and human women.
The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:4
According to the text, Nephilim survived the flood and later reappeared in the Land of Israel. When the spies were sent to scout out the land, they were met by Nephilim who were so large that they deeply intimidated the Children of Israel.
And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’ Numbers 13:33
In addition to the Biblical references to this giant race of men, they figure prominently in later Jewish traditions. Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion, explained that the Nephilim are not human though their history and their fate are intertwined with those of men.
“The Nephilim were angels that God was forced to send to Earth as a punishment, “Rabbi Berger explained. “Some of them mixed with men, and those are the ones we read about in the Bible.”
Rabbi Berger related a teaching from Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, the preeminent Lithuanian Torah scholar from the 18th century known as the Vilna Gaon. The Vilna Gaon connected Nephilim with the final days of the Messiah.
“The Gaon of Vilna wrote about another group of Nephilim who didn’t mingle with man. They settled beyond the Sambatyon River and are hidden from us,” Rabbi Berger said. According to rabbinic literature, the Sambation is the mythical river beyond which the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were exiled by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser.
“They observe the commandments and are very holy, but it is written that they are eight feet tall, Rabbi Berger said. “They are truly formidable to behold. They will remain hidden until the final battle for Mount Zion, at which time they will come to help Israel in the battle.”
For those searching for archaeological proof that the Biblical Nephilim could have existed, the findings in China may serve as a starting point. The findings are truly ancient, dating from the late neolithic area, which ended between 3000-2000 BCE. If the skeletons were from an particularly tall race of people, it is reasonable to believe that similar breeds existed in other parts of the world.
Archaeologists in China also found that the taller skeletons were contained in larger tombs, indicating a correlation between height and social status. Scientists conjectured that wealthier people had access to better food, which would account for their greater height.
“And say to him, “Thus said God of Hosts: Behold, a man called the Branch shall branch out from the place where he is, and he shall build the Temple of Hashem.” Zechariah 6:12 (The Israel Bible™)
Israeli security forces stand guard outside the Temple Mount as clashes with Muslim rioters over new security measures continue, July 21, 2017. (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)
The horrific murder of three family members on Friday night signaled a painful upsurge in the battle for the Temple Mount indicated that the recent struggle is part of the archetypal end-of-days battle between good and evil that could bring the Third Temple.
In a bloody and brutal attack, a Palestinian terrorist entered the house of a family as they sat down to their Sabbath meal on Friday and murdered a grandfather and two of his children. The motive the terrorist cited on the Facebook post announcing his intentions was to avenge the placing of metal detectors on the Temple Mount.
The attack was, indeed, connected to the Temple Mount, said Rabbi Shlomo Katz, a Torah educator and musician, but not the way the Muslims think. Rather, he believes that Jewish teachings show the attack was integrally connected to the coming of the Third Temple.
“With the murder this Shabbat, we see that everything is coming down to the Temple Mount,” Rabbi Katz told Breaking Israel News. “In these final days before Moshiach (Messiah), we need to have clarity about this.”
Rabbi Katz sees this tumultuous time as an opportunity for Israel to move forward towards the Third Temple.
“The Temple Mount was in our hands and we gave it away. We have another chance now to say to the world that this is God’s house,” the rabbi said. “That is what the struggle is about, and has always been about.”
The rabbi stated that the real struggle for the Third Temple “begins in our hearts.”
“The Temple service can only be done in joy, and there is no joy like dispelling doubt,” he said. “We are arguing about things, like the murder of a family, like the Temple Mount, things that there really should be no doubt at all in anyone’s minds, especially ours. Only when we have no doubt will we be ready for the Temple.”
This heinous act comes at the end of the three-week period of austerity leading up to the fast day on the Ninth day of Av, a holiday commemorating the destruction of the two Temples. In two days, all of Israel will be mourning the Temple as the memory of the Salomon family rests heavily on the hearts of the Jewish people.
But there is a powerfully Phoenix-like aspect to the holiday. Though the sad day is a reminder of great loss, the Talmud (Brachot 2:4) teaches that the Messiah will be born on the Ninth day of Av. This renewal of the Temple coming from its own destruction is referred to explicitly by the Prophet Zechariah.
Thus said God of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth month (Av), the fast of the seventh month, and the fast of the tenth month shall become occasions for joy and gladness, happy festivals for the House of Yehuda; but you must love honesty and integrity. Zechariah 8:19
According to Jewish tradition, the arrival of the Messiah will be necessarily be preceded by pains, similar to the pangs of a woman giving birth, as referred to by the prophet Isaiah.
Like a woman with child Approaching childbirth, Writhing and screaming in her pangs, So are we become because of You, Hashem. Isaiah 27:16
The Yalkut Shimoni, a compilation of rabbinic commentary on the Bible believed to have been composed in the 13th century, said these pains would be caused by conflict between nations.
The year in which Melech Hamashiach will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other…The king of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia. The King of Arabia, will go to Edom (the leader of the Christian nations) to take counsel and the King of Persia (Ahmadinejad) will threaten to destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panic. They will fall on their faces and will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too, will be outraged and in a state of panic ask, “Where do we go?” Yalkut Shimoni
Moshe Feiglin, a right-wing political figure and former member of Knesset, warned that this current conflict could evolve into a final battle for Israel’s very existence.
“They killed two policemen and then they killed a family,” Moshe Feiglin said. “This is all because for fifty years we have said the Temple Mount is theirs and not ours. If the beating heart of the Holy Land belongs to them, then it all belongs to them.
“If we give in now, we will bring down the final, most destructive war.”
“Moshe called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come forward and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” Leviticus 10:4 (The Israel Bible™)
For the first time in 2,000 years, a group of Kohanim (men of the Jewish priestly caste) living close to Jerusalem’s Old City are studying the relevant Jewish laws to be able to ascend the Temple Mount and enter the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence is said to dwell.
This incredible development was initiated by Israel’s first responder organization ZAKA, based on a decision by the ZAKA Rabbinical Council following an an unprecedented event occurring during the three weeks of austerity leading up to the Ninth Day of Av: the July 14 Palestinian terror attack against Israeli police officers that left three dead corpses, the most powerful source of ritual impurity, on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
Horrific as the attack was, it served a divine purpose. “When the Jewish people are not moving ahead quickly enough, God does something to force it upon us,” Yaakov Hayman, a prominent Temple Mount activist and expert, told Breaking Israel News. “When those Arabs did what they did, they created a new situation on the ground. We weren’t preparing for it, so something happened that forced us to deal with it.”
The “new situation on the ground” is that Kohanim, men descended patrilineally from Aaron the Priest, will now be trained, for the first time in millennia, to enter the area where the Holy of Holies once stood. Their purpose will not be to offer sacrifices or pray for the Jewish people, but to retrieve bodies should the need for this awe-filled Biblically mandated task arise.
The ZAKA council, headed by Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, ruled that there is a religious obligation to remove every dead body from the Temple Mount – Jewish, non-Jewish and even terrorist – but that in certain situations, only Kohanim can do the job.
Kohanim are forbidden from becoming ritually impure and have stringencies place upon them that other Jews do not. Kohanim are forbidden from entering cemeteries or coming into proximity with dead bodies. Normally, contact with a dead body would be forbidden to a Kohen, but this ruling overrules that condition.
The training will require the revival of Torah laws “our people have [not] used for thousands of years, let alone on a yearly, monthly or daily basis, like most other laws,” explained ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav to Breaking Israel News.
“Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount) is the holiest place and there is a requirement that all ritually impure objects be removed as quickly as possible,” he continued. “So, in this case, the rabbis ruled that it is acceptable for a Kohen to become impure himself to remove something from the Temple Mount.”
Meshi-Zahav added that the ruling brought hopes of redemption. “Of course, we hope that by giving the Temple Mount the proper respect it deserves, we will bring about the Messiah. We want the redemption to come as quickly as possible.”
“There is certainly something interesting happening here,” Rabbi Ari Kahn, a member of the ZAKA Rabbinical Council and the head rabbi of the West Bank settlement Giv’at Ze’ev, said to Breaking Israel News.
Rabbi Kahn said there was “something natural” about watching rabbis rule on decisions they have not faced for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Due to the stringencies placed upon them, until now, Kohanim were not allowed to volunteer with ZAKA. Meshi-Zahav said the group is already in the process of hand-selecting these new first responders specifically tasked with Temple Mount duties. The members of the team of Kohanim will be “religious, God-fearing people, knowledgeable about Jewish law,” He noted that learning the laws pertaining to ascending the Temple Mount is not simple.
As one of the few ZAKA volunteers sufficiently familiar with Temple Mount laws, Joshua Wander was the first to go up after the June 14 attack. He pointed out the need to ZAKA for a Temple Mount team of volunteers able to cope with the halachot (Jewish laws) on the Temple Mount.
“The positive side of this whole thing that’s gone on in the past two weeks is that it’s really created an interest globally to relearn these laws which have been almost lost, and thank God we are bringing back these laws,” he told Breaking Israel News.
Before ascending, ZAKA volunteers will be required to carry immerse in a ritual bat and ascend wearing a minimum number of clothes, not wearing shoes, bringing in the smallest possible amount of equipment, and entering and leaving by the shortest possible route.
The guidelines Rabbi Nebenzahl used for his ruling were based on the writings of Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, a medieval Spanish Torah authority known by the acronym Ramban. The Ramban discussed the deaths of Aaron the Cohen’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, inside the Tabernacle.
Now Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before Hashem alien fire, which He had not enjoined upon them. And fire came forth from Hashem and consumed them; thus they died at the instance of Hashem. Leviticus 10:1-2
The Ramban explains that these bodies needed to be removed speedily by a priest, as described in a following verse of the Bible.
Moshe called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come forward and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” Leviticus 10:4
This is not the first time an organization has acted to prepare Cohanim for the Messianic era. The Temple Institute, a non-profit government and privately funded center of “research and preparation for the Holy Temple” – located in Jerusalem’s Old City – established a “Cohanim Training Academy” last spring, in which Kohanic students are taught and practically prepared to serve in the Temple.
Kohanim practice performing Temple rituals (The Temple Institute)
Reflecting on how a tragedy led to a miraculous renewal of Torah laws pertaining to the Temple, Hayman compared it to a parable in the Talmud which illustrated that the greatest light of redemption comes from the deepest darkness. The Talmudic story tells of a group of revered rabbis, including Rabbi Akiva, a first-century rabbi and a major contributor to the oral tradition, who visited the site of the Temple, then a pile of rubble. A fox ran out of the ruins, and one rabbi began to cry, but Rabbi Akiva laughed. Rabbi Akiva asked him why he cried and the rabbi cited the Biblical verse describing the holiness of the site.
“…any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.” Numbers 1:51
The rabbi lamented that now, even wild animals could roam through the site. Rabbi Akiva explained that the Prophet Micah described the tragic scene they were seeing in front of their eyes.
Assuredly, because of you Tzion shall be plowed as a field, And Yerushalayim shall become heaps of ruins, And the Har Habayit A shrine in the woods. Micah 3:12
Rabbi Akiva explained that just as this prophecy of destruction had already come to pass, it was inevitable that the prophecy of Zechariah on the same subject would also come to pass.
Thus said God of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Yerushalayim, each with staff in hand because of their great age. Zechariah 8:4
According to Hayman, the prophecy can be interpreted to mean that if the Jewish people do not take control of the Temple for holy purposes, another nation will take the opportunity to profane it.
“It is a like a lion being pestered by flies. Every now and again he wags his tail, but it doesn’t do much. Then he roars and that changes the whole picture,” said Hayman. “We are just waiting for the Lion of Judah to roar, to give the blast that will turn everything on its heels and indicate redemption is here.”
The timing of the shift is significant. The ZAKA ruling reviving Temple laws came just days before the Jewish people will fast and mourn the destruction of the first two Temples: Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of the month of Av.
Maayan Hoffman and Abra Forman contributed to this article.
“O Israel, your ‘Wailing’ Wall shall become a ‘Hailing’ Wall.” To wail means to cry out with lament or grief. To hail means to salute, greet or acclaim enthusiastically, such as, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
In the Spirit, I saw the very shekinah glory of God begin to gradually seep through the cracks of the Wailing Wall while “homecoming angels” on the wall were stuffing love notes into every crack, imparting revelation into the minds and hearts of the “standing room only” multitude of God’s chosen people who were now facing the answers to their prayers. Blinders began dropping off of their eyes as the Wailing Wall appeared to be turning into a giant theater screen. Many began to see visions of the King of kings and Lord of lords in all of His glory in 3-D technicolor. In the Spirit, these panoramic scenes on the wall could be seen by the Jewish people all around the world. A homesick feeling began to spread in epidemic proportion in the hearts of God’s chosen people, turning their hearts toward home. God would not force His people to return home, but He did have “a ways and means” committee to help make them willing to go.
In the Spirit, I sensed great earth-shaking events were now being pre-approved by the Father. These events will cause a great nest-stirring for God’s people, the Jews, to be willing to leave where they had grown comfortable, living in seemingly secure places of the earth. But I saw a great shaking in the world’s economy coming that would literally gouge the side out of their Titanic-like financial investments and businesses. I sensed the Father conversing with the angels on this, saying, “Yes, that will do it!”
Synagogues were being revisited by the greatest teacher ever, Jesus Christ, revealing Himself through scripture as their Messiah—the King of the Jews!
In the Spirit, I saw angels setting up camp around Jewish synagogues, and Jesus Himself walking right through many synagogue doors into the midst of their ceremonies. I also saw Him stand up in their midst and read and proclaim, once again, Isaiah 61, but this time, He read the whole chapter as many of their ears and eyes began to pop open! To many, Jesus began to show Himself openly. Some were having visions; others were convinced they were seeing Him!
“And the plazas of the city will be filled with young boys and girls playing in her open places” (Zech. 8:5).
I saw children dancing in the streets of Jerusalem. At first, it appeared that they were dancing with a make-believe friend. I then saw Jesus laughing and twirling them in the air and catching them as they danced together, as the joy of the Lord began running down through the streets of Jerusalem and beyond! Parents of these small children began to experience the presence of God as children began to talk about their experiences, visions and encounters with Jesus Christ, proclaiming Him to be their Messiah! Children were bringing His anointing and carrying His glory into their families!
In closing, I sense the Father saying, “The intercession of nations for Israel is beginning to be heard, creating the greatest move of My Spirit in all of history in the lives of My chosen people, the Jews. Intercession must increase and prevail to bring My people home.”
Amid the intensifying battles surrounding the Temple Mount, the Catholic Church expressed its concerns in terms that placed the blame entirely on Israel while referring to the site exclusively by its Muslim name. One bishop stated in an interview on Vatican Radio that there has, in fact, been no Palestinian violence.
On Sunday, Pope Francis addressed the crowd gathered in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, telling them that he viewed “with trepidation the grave tensions and violence” surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“I feel the need to express a distressed appeal for moderation and dialogue,” the Pope said, calling on the people to pray for the sake of Jerusalem.
The violence the Pope is referring to began ten days ago when three Palestinian terrorists murdered two Druze Israeli policemen while they guarded the entrance to the Temple Mount. The Israeli police entered the site and, after a gunbattle, killed the three terrorists.
“Run speak to this young man saying: Yerushalayim shall be inhabited without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein. For I saith Hashem will be unto her a wall of fire round about and I will be the glory in the midst of her.” Zechariah 2:8 (The Israel Bible™)
Jerusalem, circumscribed by walls since it was a tiny hamlet inhabited by Jebusites thousands of years ago, is finally fulfilling its prophesied destiny as an unwalled city – a reality which seemed almost impossible until very modern times.
Numerous ancient walls have been discovered by archaeologists plumbing the depths of Jerusalem’s past, including a 7-meter-wide wall from the First Temple period which was found beneath the modern Jewish quarter. The massive wall was built to shore up Jerusalem’s northern defenses in view of the impending invasion by Assyrian king Sennacherib, but it is also testimony to the strategy required to defend a town topographically inferior to the mountains surrounding it.
It would have been unthinkable at this stage to envisage a Jerusalem without walls. David, king of Israel, prayed that God maintain the walls of his capital, asking:
Do good in Thy favour unto Tzion; build Thou the walls of Yerushalayim. (Psalms 51:20)
The walls of Jerusalem were destroyed by the Babylonians during the destruction of the First Temple, but immediately after the Jews returned to Zion, their initial task was to erect walls around Jerusalem. Nehemiah describes in extended detail the building of this wall (Nehemiah 3:1-32) as well as the attempts by the Samaritans to belittle the wall and harm its construction. (3:33-35).
These attempts led to a remarkable feat of construction being attempted by Nehemiah, with workers holding their hammers and chisels in one hand and their swords in the other to prevent the enemy from taking advantage of the unfinished wall.
It is against this backdrop that the prophet Zechariah made the remarkable prophecy that Jerusalem would one day be unwalled.
Yerushalayim shall be inhabited without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein. For I saith Hashem will be unto her a wall of fire round about and I will be the glory in the midst of her. Zechariah 2:8-9
With such a struggle going on to complete the construction of the wall and its necessity so evident, it seemed utterly far-fetched to imagine a city being inhabited in a defendable manner without walls surrounding it. Indeed, even in subsequent eras Jerusalem remained a walled city and the wall’s status was halakhically (adhering to Jewish law) defined by the requirement to eat certain tithes and sacrifices within the walls of Jerusalem.
At the end of the Second Temple period, with Jerusalem growing and sprawling further northwards beyond the original walls, a second fortified wall was built to the north, containing 14 towers according to the historian Josephus, as well as a moat in front of it. Later, during the life of Jesus, a third wall was built stretching the city even further north.
In subsequent generations, Jerusalem was renamed, repopulated and denuded of its walls, but no Jews were allowed to enter the city by the Roman conquerors. The walls of Jerusalem were erected once again later in a vain attempt to protect against Sassanian, Muslim and Crusader invaders but Jerusalem did not grow beyond its borders even as it gained influence in three religions.
Suleiman the Magnificent restored the walls of Jerusalem in 1536 and they have stood the test of time, but it was only 150 years ago that Jews seriously began contemplating establishing neighborhoods and communities outside the walls.
It was the dream of one Jew, Joseph Rivlin, to be the architect of the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. Rivlin, a scion of the establishers of the Ashkenazic community in Jerusalem, wished not only to escape the crowded, squalid living conditions in the Old City but also to be surrounded by “the walls of fire” envisaged by Zachariah.
He was a practical dreamer and set about establishing the Nahalat Shiva neighborhood together with six other friends. The only problem was that none of those friends were willing to live in the neighborhood. With armed robbers and wild animals abounding and no walls of fire visible, Rivlin was the sole brave soul who ventured to move there.
Even his wife refused to join him there, and Rivlin led a solitary existence outside the walls for two years and eight months, suffering from frequent attacks by marauders until others finally racked up the courage to join him.
Rivlin went on to found a total of 13 neighborhoods outside the walls, until he earned himself the Yiddish nickname “Shtetlmacher”, or Town-Maker. He died impoverished, unable to pay even the doctor who treated him, but his legacy as the harbinger of Zachariah’s prophecy lives on in modern Jerusalem
Today, in a clear fulfillment of Zechariah’s unlikely prophecy, just 5 percent of Jerusalem’s 800,000 population live today within the walls, while the other 95 percent are spread over a vast municipal area. While Zechariah’s “wall of fire” is not visible to the naked eye, few believers could deny that the modern, unwalled Jerusalem, simply by virtue of its blessed continuance, is protected by Divine grace.