The Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70

From Issue: Discovery 12/1/2014
Arch of Titus in Rome with items from the temple.

Though Jerusalem is a city with a great heritage, in the year A.D. 70 the Roman army destroyed this historic place. Most Jews in the first century despised the Romans and did not like being under the control of the emperor. As a result, the Jews in Judea rebelled against the Roman government in A.D. 66. This rebellion started what is referred to as the Jewish Wars, which lasted from A.D. 66 to A.D. 73.

During this time, the Roman emperor, Nero, sent an army to Judea to fight the Jews and crush the rebellion. General Vespasian led the army, and under his leadership, the Romans took back control of the northern part of Judea. They then focused their efforts on taking Jerusalem, but Emperor Nero died before they could take the city.

After Nero’s death, General Vespasian was crowned as emperor of Rome. His son, Titus, was left in command of the Roman army in Judea, and Titus led the siege and assault on Jerusalem. In A.D. 70, the Romans broke through the city’s walls and destroyed everything in sight. They killed thousands of people in the city in addition to destroying the Temple. This destruction is very significant, because Jesus previously prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed, along with the rest of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1-34). Thankfully, those who heeded Jesus’ warnings were able to survive by fleeing to the mountains just as Jesus had predicted.


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