The following history, is to help you with points of reference in Scripture and the Testimony. Some of the historical figures are of various backgrounds, because they attested to or were involved in something from the Scriptures and Testimony, the early Hebrew believers or changes in Scripture. Some history is for the in between chronology and serve as a point of reference, a backdrop and a foundation for future events. The sources are also varied, some religious (Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, Qararite, Nazarene, etc) and some secular, so as to not promote a certain groups beliefs or mindset. 

 

The initial titles, such as James the Just, are listed by the popular usage in English, to make it easier for referencing. Following is their name, in that person’s native language, such as Hebrew or Aramaic for James the Just, making it Yaaqob HaTsaddiq. Or in the case of Jerome who was Roman, his name is Hieronymous. When quoting directly, I have no choice but to quote it as the sources have it, even if that does use God, Lord or Jesus, or misspellings. All other times, the spellings of YHWH, Yahusha’ and names such as Yahudiym [Jews] will be used. In the Resources section is a Booklist. My sources for the history are there. It is my hope that this section and the corresponding Timeline, will be a tool, to aid you in your studying.

 

 

 

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M

N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

 

 

A

 

Akiba (Akiva) ben Joseph

Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, was born in 40 CE. He died in Caesarea, Palestine [Now Israel], in 135 CE. Tradition has it that he was an illiterate shepherd who began his studies after the age of 40, joining his five year old son, at school and learned to read. Soon he could recite the entire Pentateuch by heart. His principal teachers were Eliezer ben Hyrcanus and Joshua ben Hananiah. After thirteen years, he opened his own school, under a fig tree, in a village near Jamnia (Jabneh). Akiba is considered, by most Yahudiym, to be one of the great Rabbis.

 

In 95 CE, when word came that the Roman Emperor Domitian, was planning persecutions against the Yahudiym [Jews], he and Gamaliel II, and two other men were chosen to go to the Emperor and make an appeal. Domitian died while they were there and Nerva heard them and ended the fiscus Iudaicus – the taxing of the Yahudiym to rebuild Rome. On the way back to Jamnia, Akiba decided to undertake the tremendous project of codifying the Halakah. This would be continued by Rabbi Meir and then finished by their student Judah HaNasi [Judah the Prince], around 200 CE.

 

Though Akiba preached peace all his life, he gave his blessing to the revolt against the Romans. He was the spiritual force behind the Bar Kochba rebellion of 132 – 135 CE. Rabbi Akiba considered Bar Kochba to be the long awaited Messianic king. Akiba broke the ban on public instruction of the Thorah and was arrested and jailed. He was tried, condemned and executed. According to tradition he was flayed alive in 135 CE.

 

Alexander the Great

Alexander (helper of man) III was born in 356 BCE, in Pella, Macedonia to Phillip II, king of Macedonia. From the age of 13 – 16, he was taught by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. He became king of Macedonia in 336 BCE. He quickly consolidated his political power and took Greece. This was the foundation of the Hellenistic Empire. 

 

In the spring of 334 BCE, he set off on his Persian expedition. In the winter of 334 – 333, Alexander conquered western Asia Minor. In July of 332 he took Tyre. The city resisted so long that when finally taken, Alexander, in a fury, massacred 8000 Tyrians and sold 30,000 as slaves. Jerusalem surrendered quietly. Gaza reisted until all the men were killed. After consolidating his hold on the Mediterranean, he entered and conquered Egypt, in 332 – 331 BCE. Alexander was received as a god and showed great respect for their gods. He conceived and had built a new capital, Alexandria, in Egypt, at one of the mouths of the Nile. He returned to Tyre and from there set out and took Babel. In the spring of 330 BCE, he marched north and conquered Media. In the same year, he set fire to Persepolis. From there he set out eastward toward central Asia. Resistance by the Sythians was strong and the fighting continued until 328 BCE. In the early summer of 327, Alexander crossed the Himalayas to invade India. He crossed the Indus river in the spring of 326 BCE. Alexander’s army suffered heavy losses to battle and environment. He returned to Babel to consolidate his empire. In a great wedding to mingle the royalty of Persia, with Greece, he married two women. Statira, the daughter of Darius III, and Parysatis, the daughter of Artaxerxes III. Eighty of his officers took Persian brides as well. Thousands of similar weddings took place, amongst his soldiers.

 

Alexander was a great military leader. He introduced the practice of  men shaving their beards, because he said that it provided  a ready handle for the enemies to grasp. He trusted in soothsayers and astrologers. He was superstitious and worshipped various gods, sacrificing before battles and often changing major plans because of a “sign”.. Though Alexander took several wives, they seem to have been political marriages. In his latter years, he drank increasingly, as well as became more prone to violent rages. He was credited with compassion in his earlier years, but it is said that the farther from Greece he went, the more barbaric he became.

 

Upon returning to Babel from India, he was considered half mad. In 324, Alexander sent word to all the Greek states, except Macedonia, that he was to be recognized as the son of Zeus-Ammon. After the death of his companion, Hephaestion, Alexander took to drinking even more heavily. After a drinking match, he drank a goblet, containing 6 quarts of wine. The next day he drank heavily again. He developed a fever and became ill. The fever continued for 10 days and on the 11th he died. When his generals asked who would succeed his kingdom, he said, “To the strongest.” For the history of the division of the Greek Empire see “Greek Empire Divided.” In 323 BCE, Alexander the Great died at the age of 33.

 

Scriptures

Daniyel 8:21,22, “And the male goat is the melek Yawan [king of Greece], and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken one, in whose place four arose,  four kingdoms will arise from the Goy, but lacking its strength.”

 

Daniyel 11:2-4, “Now I will tell you the truth. See, three more kings will arise from Pharash [Persia]. The fourth will acquire the greatest wealth of them all; and when he grows strong with his riches, he will arouse all against the kingdom of Yawan [Greece]. A mighty king will then arise; he will rule with great domination and he will do as he pleases. But after he has risen, his kingdom will be broken  and will be divided into the four directions of the heavens- but not to his posterity; nor will it be like his dominion with which he ruled, for his kingdom will be uprooted, and for others besides these.”

 

 

Alexander Janneus

Alexander (helper of man) Janneus was born in 104 BCE and died in 78 BCE, the son of John Hyrcanus, the Maccabean ruler. He was educated by Greek tutors in Rome, and thereby very sympathetic to Hellenistic beliefs. He openly opposed the Parushiym [Pharisees]. When he died in 78 BCE, he left his kingdom to his widow, Alexandra Salome. She appointed her older son, John Hyrcanus II, as Kohen Gadol [High Priest]. She died shortly after, and her younger son, Aristobulus declared himself king.

 

 

Antiochus Epiphanes

One of 13 Selucid monarchs who ruled Syria. Born 215 BCE. Antiochus Epiphanes was also known as Antiochus the IV, the third son of Antiochus the III, also known as Antiochus the Great. Antiochus IV was called Epiphanes meaning “God Revealed”, but was nicknamed Epimanes, meaning, “the Mad,” due to his odd and violent behavior. He even had coins struck, which had written, “Antiochus Theos Epiphanes,” meaning God Made Manifest. He ruled from 175 BCE – 164 BCE, when he died, in Persia, on the way to battle eastern tribes.

 

He intensely promoted Hellenization. This brought him in direct conflict with the Yahudiym [Jews] of Palestine. Onias the III, the Kohen Gadol [High Priest] was replaced in 173 BCE,  by Jason, who promoted the Hellenistic party in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]. Jason even went so far as to change his Hebrew name,  Yahusha` [Joshua], to Jason.  Menelaus, who promoted Hellenization even more, out bid Jason for the position of Kohen Gadol.

 

In 168 BCE, Antiochus was expelled from Egypt. A mistaken report of his death caused Yerushalayim to rejoice. They deposed his appointees and killed the leaders of the Hellenizing party. When Antiochus  felt that the Yahudiym had been a cause in his defeat in Egypt, turned his anger out on them. Upon entering Yerushalayim, he killed Yahudiym of both sexes, by the thousands, looted the Temple and restored Menelaus to power as Kohen Gadol.

 

By 167 BCE, the forced Hellenization of the Yahudiym reached a critical point when he took Yerushalayim by force and plundered the Temple. Antiochus had a Greek altar built over the old one and demanded that the usual sacrifices be stopped and sacrifices of swine only, replace them.  The Yahudiym, threatened with the death penalty for non-compliance, were told, “to depart from the laws of their fathers, and to cease living by the laws of ‘God’. Further, the sanctuary in Yerushalayim was to be polluted and called after Zeus Olympius.” – II Maccabee 6:1,2.  He forbade the practice of ritual circumcision and the observance of Shabbath and feasts under penalty of death. The homes of Yahudiym were searched to see if they possessed a copy of the Thorah or had circumcised their sons. Anyone who refused to eat pork was either jailed or killed. The found copies of the Thorah were burned. All synagogues and schools of the Yahudiym were closed. Yerushalayim was put to flames, its walls destroyed and most of the Yahudiym population was sold into slavery. Foreign peoples were brought in to resettle it and a new fortress was built on Mt. Tsiyon. Many Yahudiym, instead of conforming to the enforced Hellenization, joined the Chasidiym.

 

In 167, when he desecrated the Temple, by erecting a pagan altar to Zeus Olympius on the altar of burnt offering, this sparked the Maccabean revolt. This rebellion lasted from 166  – 160  BCE. The Maccabees, led by Judas Maccabaeus, took Yerushalayim in 164 BCE. On Kislev 25, exactly three years from its defilement, the Yahudiym cleansed and rededicated the Temple. Chanukkah is the 8 day festival celebrating this event.

 

 

Antipater

An Idumean and the first of the Herodians. The Idumeans were Edomites that lived south of Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem] and Yerushalayim. John Hyrcanus I conquered these Idumeans and forced them to accept orthodox Judaism, about 126 BCE.

 

When Alexander Jannaeus died in 78 BCE, he left his kingdom to his widow, Alexandra Salome. She appointed her older son, John Hyrcanus II, as Kohen Gadol [High Priest]. She died shortly after, and her syounger son, Aristobulus declared himself king. A battle for control, between the brothers began. Antipater I of Idumea, backed John Hyrcanus II, hoping to overthrow Aristobulus. They drew the Romans into the civil war and Antipater and John won. In 63 BCE, Pompey took Judea for Rome. Pompey set Antipater up as king of Judea, but part of Rome, in place of the Hasmoneans. Antipater reinstated John Hyrcanus II as Kohen Gadol and ruler of Judea, but under himself. In 47 BCE, Julius Caesar appointed Herod Antipater, as governor of Judea.

 

Antipater appointed his two sons, Phasael and Herod, in his government. Phasael was made a prefect of Yerushalayim and Herod was made governor of Galiyl [Galilee]. When Antipater died, Antony and Octavian, as part of the Second Triumvirate, set up Herod as king of Judea in 37 BCE.

 

 

Antony

Antonius Marcus was born 83 BCE and died in 30 BCE. He was a general in the Roman army. He was close with Caesar and upon Caesar’s death, assumed the role of leadership and executed Caesar’s will. The young Octavian and Antony soon went head to head. Antony’s armies lost to the armies of Octavian and Antony fled in 44 BCE. Octavian made temporary peace with Antony. Antony  was part of the Second Triumvirate, established in 44-43 BCE, to rule over the Roman Empire,  with Octavian, Caesar’s adopted son and heir, and Lepidus, who had served under Julius Caesar. Lepidus was given Africa, Octavian took the West and Antony took Egypt, Greece, and the East.

 

A political marriage between Antony and Octavian’s sister, Octavia took place around 40 BCE. In 36 BCE, Antony sent Octavia back to Rome and arranged for Cleopatra to meet him in Antioch. As Cleopatra sought to protect Egypt by uniting with Rome, through Caesar, she sought the same with Antony. He sent a letter of divorce to Octavia in 32 BCE, and married Cleopatra. Antony and Cleopatra co-ruled the Mediterranean, Mesopatamia and Egypt.  Antony and Cleopatra had several children together.

 

Octavian declared war on Cleopatra in 32 BCE. Cleopatra convinced Antony to send Herod to fight against the Nabateans, instead of lending support to Antony, in his battle against Octavian. In a sea battle known as the Battle of Actium, Antony and Cleopatra deployed their fleet to battle Octavian, only they were overcome, in 31 BCE. They retreated to Egypt. Antony, on hearing a false report of Cleopatra’s death, stabbed himself. When he learned that it was false, he was raised through a window, to Cleopatra and died in her arms. After burying Antony, with Octavian’s permission, Cleopatra put an asp to her breast and killed herself. Octavian killed Caesarion, the son born by Caesar, and the oldest son by Antony and his first wife, Fulvia. The children born by Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian sent to Italy and they were raised by his sister and former wife of Antony, Octavia.  A number of these children married those in future leadership, or produced offspring that did.

 

 

Archelaus

Archelaus (chief of the people) was the son of Herod the Great, by Malthake, a Samaritan woman, which the Yahudiym [Jews] resented . When Herod the Great died in 4 BCE, his kingdom was divided between his sons. Archelaus received Samaritis, Idumea and Judea. He ruled from 4 BCE to 6 CE. Archelaus married the widow, Glaphyra, of his half-brother Alexander, which Herod the Great had killed in paranoia, in 6 BCE. Alexander was the son of Mariamne, the Jewish Princess, the daughter of John Hyrcanus II, the last of the Hasmoneans (Maccabees).  This marriage, of Archelaus, of Shomeron [Samaritan] and Idumean stock, to a Yahudiy [Jew]  and widow of one of the last Hasmoneans, angered the Yahudiym.

 

 In 4 BCE, near the Pesach [Passover] feast, many nationalists declared a revolt against Herod’s successor, Archelaus. The nationalists had camped in tents around the Beyth [Temple]. Archelaus sent troops and had about 3000 of them killed. At the following feast of Shabaoth [Pentecost], the rebels gathered again. They suffered a great slaughter again, with the Beyth cloisters being burned to the ground, the treasury being plundered and many Yahudiym  killed themselves in despair.

 

A delegation of leading Yahudiym went to Rome and petitioned Augustus, the Roman Emperor, to have Archelaus removed and Judea made a Roman province, under a procurator who was responsible to Syria. Augustus agreed and Archelaus was removed and banished to Gaul, in 6 CE and replaced by a procurator named Coponius.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu 2:22, “But hearing that Archelaus was reigning over Yahudah, instead of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. And having been warned in a dream, he departed to the district of Galil.”

 

 

Artaxerxes [Ardeshier Deraz Dast]

Artaxerxes (fervent to spoil) was the son of Xerxes. He ruled Persia from 464 – 423 BCE.

 

Scriptures

 

 

 

Augustus Caesar

 Emperor of Rome. Born 63 BCE and died 14 CE. Caius Octavius was the adopted son of Julius Caesar and took the adoptive name as was custom. He added his own and his name became Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus. Seventeen years later he received the name of Augustus, which he has been known by, for centuries. Octavian ruled from 27 BCE – 14 CE.

 

Octavian’s grandmother was Julius’ sister Julia. Since Julius had no son, he adopted Octavian and educated and trained him. Upon Caesar’s death, he battled Antony for control of Rome. Antony fled in 44 BCE. When Octavian returned to Rome, he found that the Senate was just using him against Antony and had no intention of setting him up as head of Rome. He reconciled his differences with Antony, and with Antony and Lepidus, they formed the Second Triumvirate, which ruled from 43-33 BCE. During a battle with Cassius (the close friend of Julius) and Brutus (the rumored son of Julius, by an affair with his mother Servilia), both involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cassius and Brutus were killed. The Empire was divided between the victors. Lepidus was given Africa, Octavian took the West and Antony took Egypt, Greece, and the East.

 

A political marriage between Antony and Octavian’s sister, Octavia took place around 40 BCE. In 36 BCE, Antony sent Octavia back to Rome and arranged for Cleopatra to meet him in Antioch. He sent a letter of divorce to Octavia in 32 BCE, and married Cleopatra. Octavian declared war on Cleopatra in 32 BCE. Antony and Cleopatra deployed their fleet to battle Octavian, only they were overcome. They retreated to Egypt. Antony, on hearing a false report of Cleopatra’s death, stabbed himself. When he learned that it was false, he was raised through a window, to Cleopatra and died in her arms. Cleopatra put an asp to her breast and killed herself.

 

Octavian slew Caesarion, Clepatra’s son by Julius Caesar, and Antony’s eldest son by Fulvia. The children by Antony and Cleopatra, he spared and they were sent to Rome and Octavia reared them as her own. Ocatavian then ruled Egypt in name and left a praefectus to administer in his absence. In 27 BCE, the Senate conferred upon Octavian the title Augustus, which many, mistakenly thought to be his name.

 

In 4 CE, Augustus Caesar adopted his son-in-law, Tiberius, the son of his third wife, Livia, by her former husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero. Augustus was still Prince when Tiberius began to rule. He died quietly, at 66 years of age, in 14 CE.

 

Scriptures

Luke 2:1,2, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was the governor of Syria.”

 

 

 

B

 

Babylonian Exile

 

 

Bar Kochba

Bar Kochba was originally named Simeon bar Kosba (also spelled Koseba, Kosiba or Koziba). He was the leader of an unsuccessful revolt against the Romans. The Rebellion of Bar Kochba occurred in 132 – 135 CE. I t was an effort of the Yahudiym [Jews] to regain their freedom that Pompey and Titus had destroyed. Simeon Bar Kochba was reputedly of David descent and was hailed as the promised Messiah by Rabbi Akiba, who gave him the title Bar Kochba, which means Son of the Star, a messianic allusion. Bar Kochba took the title of nasi (prince) and struck his own coins, with “Year 1 of the liberty of Jerusalem” on them. Roman historian Dion Cassius notes that the early sect of believers in Yahusha’, refused to join the revolt, because they looked to Yahusha’ as Messiah and not Bar Kochba. The revolt became so serious that the Roman Emperor himself came and took the field, in the summer of 134 CE. Jerusalem was finally taken and Bar Kochba was killed at Betar, his stronghold in southwest Jerusalem. 985 towns in Palestine were destroyed and 580,000 Yahudiym, men and women, were killed in the revolt. Jerusalem was barred to Yahudiym [Jews] after that.

 

Berenike II

Berenike [Berenice] (victorius) was the daughter of Herod Agrippa I and sister to Herod Agrippa II. She had an incestual relationship with her brother, Herod Agrippa II. After Yerushalayim was destroyed, in 70 CE, Titus, the son of the Roman Emperor, Vespasian, took Berenike with him to Rome, as his mistress, intending to marry her. Vespasian wanted Titus to succeed him as Emperor and knew that a Jewish Princess would not help his ascension. Vespasian insisted that Titus put Berenike away, which Titus did.

 

Scriptures

Acts 25:13, “And when some days had passed, Agrippa the king, and Berenike, came down to Caesarea to inquire in shalom, Festus.”

 

Acts 25:23, “And the next day, came Agrippa and Berenike, with great pomp, and entered the beyth hamishphat [house of judgement], with the commanders and heads of the city, and Festus commanded and Shaul came.”

 

Acts 26:30, “And the king rose up, and the governor, and Berenike, and those who sat with them.”

 

 

Beyth Din

Beyth Din (Beth or Bet Din also) was the court of seventy-one rabbinical scholars and legists. It was established in Tiberias after the destruction of the Beyth YHWH, in 70 CE.

 

 

 

C

 

Calendar

Ancient calendars in the Middle East and Mesopatamia used a lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon. Later, calendars were devised, that were based on the sun, the solar calendar. See Julian Calendar for revisions at the time of 46 BCE.

 

Due to constraints by the Romans, in limiting the practices of the Yahudiym [Jews], after another revolt and the destruction of several cities of the Yahudiym, Hillel II (Hillel HaNasi) introduced a fixed calendar, which was no longer based on the first light of the new moon, for each new month. He published Sod ha-Ibbur (“The Secret of InterCalation”) and Kevi’uta de-Yarha (“The Fixing of the New Month”). According to Hai Gaon and Abraham bar Hiyya, this took place in 358 (359) CE. Others site the year 344 for the fixing of the calendar.

 

In the 6th century CE, Jewish astronomers, from Babel, introduced a calendar based on direct observations of the heavens. They based the year on the movements of the sun, instead of the lunar calculations of Hillel II or the lunar sighting of the first light of the new moon. These Jewish astronomers from Babel, also gave the calendar the names of the months that were used in Babel. They made some months “full” with 30 days and some months “defective” with 29. They reconciled the lunar and solar calendar by adding a thirteenth month every third, sixth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth years in a nineteen year cycle. In the East, the Yahudiym [Jews] used the Seleucid calendar, which began in 312 BCE. In the Europe, in the 9th century, they adopted the present “Jewish era,” anno mundi – year of the world, which they stated began in creation-3761 BCE. Which would make the year 2000, 5760/5761 by their dating.

 

 

Caligula

Emperor of Rome. Born 12 CE.  Named Gaius Julias Caesar Germanicus. Caligula Gaius ruled from 37 – 41 CE. He was the son of Germanicus Caesar. He was the  nephew and the adoptive son of Tiberius, and Agrippina the Elder. He had the blood of both Antony and Octavian in him, through his grandmothers. Caligula means “little boots,” which was a nickname given to him as a child by soldiers of the Rhine army commanded by his father. Seven months after he became Emperor of Rome, Caligula became very ill. His behavior became increasingly immoral and tyrannical. He was known for delighting in  cruelty, bloodshed, butchery and torture. Caligula fancied himself divine and demanded to be worshipped like a god. He despised the Yahudiym [Jews]. A  delegation of Yahudiym came to Rome, to plead with Caligula not to demand divine honors from the Yahudiym. He ordered in 41 CE, the erection of his statue, in the Temple in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], which was later abandoned. He was murdered on January 24, 41, at the Palatine games, by Cassius Chaerea, who was insulted by the obscene passwords that Caligula gave him, day after day. On hearing the news, the people were afraid to rejoice, thinking it was a trick to ferret out those that would be glad, at his death. To make sure the people understood that he had been assassinated, the assassins killed Caesonia, his last wife and her daughter. Claudius was named Emperor of Rome.

 

 

Cambyses [Cambujieh]

Cambyses was the son of Cyrus. Also known as Cambyses II. He ruled Persia from 530 – 521 BCE. Cambyses used Babel as his capital city. He assumed the throne after his father’s death and set about to conquer Egypt. Cambyses was not as popular as his father had been. He was a man that was violent and had no regard for others lives, abusive of his power, and was a drunkard. On returning from conquering Egypt, he heard that a pretender had set himself on the throne, named Smerdis (Pseudo Smerdis, who was really Gaumata, a hereditary priest of the Magi tribe). Before Cambyses arrived home, he died. Darius, one of his officers in Egypt and a cousin, ascended to the throne, after killing the pretender Smerdis.

 

Chasidiym

The ancient sect of Chasidiym were not as the more modern sect of Chasids. The Chasidiym arose out of religious Yahudiym [Jews] setting themselves apart from the Hellenizations of the Yahudiym, which began with Alexander the Great, conquering Syria, Palestine and Asia Minor. They began, about 300 BCE, with a pledge to avoid wine for a given period of time, much as a vow of the Nazir would. Later, they went to extremes, according to the common Yahudiym,  to avoid corruption and loss of their faith.

 

Due to the extreme Hellenization under Antiochus IV and his appointed Kohen Gadol [High Priest], Menelaus, many of the Yahudiym [Jews] became shocked. With the building of a gymnasium and participation by an increasing number of Yahudiym youth and kohaniym [priests], while naked, as well as the operations of a number of youth to have their circumcisions hidden, to hide their race, the majority of the common Yahudiym went over to the side and view of the Chasidiym. The numbers increased when in 167 BCE, Antiochus entered on an extreme campaign of persecution. He desecrated the Temple, burned copies of the Thorah, killed those found in possession of it, and those who observed Shabbath or any of the feasts, who had circumcised their sons or refused to eat pork. Many of the Yahudiym, who did not conform, hoping to ride the storm out, joined the Chasidiym, in caves or mountain retreats. They ate off of what they could gather from the fields. The Chasidiym went among the refugees preaching courage and resistance.

 

A family of Yahudiym, that joined those in the caves, were the family of Hasmonai, of the Tribe of Aharon. Mattathias was the family head. His five sons of Aharon were Johannan Caddis, Simon, Judas, Eleazer and Jonathan.

 

 

Claudius

Emperor of Rome. Claudius (lame ruler) ruled from 41 CE – 54 CE. Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus was placed on the throne after the assassination of Caligula, at the age of 51. He was born 10 BCE, at Lugdunum [Lyons] the son of Antonia and Drusus, the brother of Germanicus and Livilla, the grandson of Octavia and Antony, and of Livia and Tiberius Claudius Nero.

 

Claudius, impressed with Herod’s grandson, Herod Agrippa, made Agrippa king over most of Palestine, in 41 CE. When Agrippa died suddenly in 44, riots broke out again and Claudius imposed the procuratorial rule. The freedman of Claudius, Pallas, chose his brother Felix, to be the procurator of Judea.  Due to some riots, Claudius exiled the Yahudiym [Jews] from Rome, but in 42 CE, he ordered a general edict, confirming throughout the Empire, their rights to live by their own laws.

 

In 48 CE, he married his niece, Agrippina the younger, who also had the mixed blood of Antony and Octavian. She persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero, by her first husband, Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. Then she persuaded him to give his 13 year old daughter, Octavia, to her 16 year old son, in marriage. Setting her son Nero, up for the throne. After five years of marriage to Agrippina, Claudius finally perceived the powerbase that Agrippina had set up for herself and her son, and determined to appoint his son Britannicus his heir. Agrippina realized his intentions and fed him poisonous mushrooms. He died after 12 hours of agony, not being able to speak, during that time, in 54 CE. Nero succeeded to the throne.

 

Scriptures

Acts 11:28, “And one of them, named Hagab, stood up and indicated by the Ruach [Spirit], that there was going to be a great scarcity of food in the land, which also took place under Claudius Caesar.”

 

Acts 18:2, “And he found a certain Yahudiy [Jew] named Aqulus, born inPontos, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Yahudiym [Jews] to leave Rome, and he came to them.”

 

 

Claudius Lysias

Claudius Lysias (lame dissolution) was the commander of the Roman troops in Yerushalayim. He sent Shaul to the governor, Felix, to have Felix determine the case against Shaul by the Yahudiym [Jews].

 

Scriptures

Acts 23:26, “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.”

 

Acts 24:22, “And having heard this, having known more exactly about The Way, Felix put them off, saying, ‘When Lysias, the commander, comes down, I will decide your case.’ “

 

 

Clement I

Clemens (mild) Romanus, known as Clement of Rome. He was the first “Apostalic Father”. He was Pope of Rome from 88 – 97 or 92 – 101 CE, as dated by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. He was supposedly the third successor to “St. Peter”. Clement is the author of a letter, written to the church in Corinth, in 96 CE. He speaks with authority to the Christians, in this letter, possibly indicating that he was viewed with the authority ascribed to him.

 

 

Clement of Alexandria

Born Titus Flavius Clemens. Clement was a Christian Apologist. He was the intellectual leader of the Alexandrian  Christian community. Clement was the teacher of Origen. He left the Christian Catechetical School of Alexandria, which he was president of, when Christian persecution broke out in 201 – 202 CE, under the reign of Roman Emperor, Severus. Clement went to Palestine, where he stayed with a former student, Alexander, Bishop of Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], until he died.

 

 

Constantine

Named Flavius Valerus Constantinus. He was born at Naissus in Moesia, about 272. He was the illegitimate son of Constantinus Chlorus, by a legal concubine Helena, from Bithynia. Constantinus was the Caesar to the Augustus  Galerius in 292 CE (see Diocletian). During the reign of Galerius, in 306 CE, Constantine was declared a Caesar and Augustus by the troops, upon his father’s death. Augustus Galerius could not put a stop to this declaration and hesitantly acknowledged Constantine as his Caesar.  Constantine ruled with Lucinius jointly from 307 CE – 313 CE as one of six Augusti-emperors, where Diocletian’s plan was for two, over the East and the West. They divide the Empire in  313 CE. Constantine ruled as sole Emperor from 324 CE – 337 CE. He killed his son, nephew and wife in 326 CE. 

 

Constantine claimed to have become a Christian in 304 CE.  He allowed the freedom of worship to all religions, even after he supposedly became a Christian. He seldom participated in Christian worship and most scholars believe the conversion was purely political. In fact, he did not accept Christian baptism until he was dying in 337. He was baptized by his friend, Eusebius, who was the Bishop of Nicomedia, an Arian. Before his “conversion” to Christianity, Constantine had given the Yahudiym [Jews] legal equality with all the other subjects. After his “conversion”, he oppressed them, taxed them and forbade Christians to associate with them. He banished the rabbis in 337 CE. Also, it was forbidden for a Yahudiy [Jewish] man to marry a Christian woman, punishable by death.

 

A schism in the church, over “consubstantiality” (homoousia) verses similarity (homoiousia) of the Father and the Son, became a major source of public debate. The two major proponents were Bishop Alexander and Arius, in Alexandria, Egypt. Bishop Alexandria stating that the two were one and Arius promoting that “Christ”, was not one, but a created being. This schism became so large, that upon hearing of it, Constantine called the first eucumenical – universal- council of the churches in 325 CE. The council was held at Bithynian Nicaea, near his capital Nicomedia. The council met in a hall of the imperial palace. Constantine presided over the meetings. Arius was anathematized and exiled. It was at this council that it was decreed for the churches to celebrate Easter, on the same day, every year, to be named by the Bishop of Alexandria.

 

In 335, Constantine, knowing that he would die soon, divided his empire between his sons and nephews. To his eldest son, Constantine II, he gave the West – Britain, Gaul and Spain. To his son Constantius, the East – Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt. To his youngest son, Constans – North Africa, Italy, Illyricum and Thrace. To his two nephews, he gave Armenia, Macedonia and Greece. Constantine died in 337 CE. The sons and nephews entered into a civil war, that Constantine, sought to avoid, by dividing his empire. All male relatives of Constantine, except his 3 sons and two of his nephews, Gallus who was dying and Julian, who was five, were killed. Constantius renewed the war between East and West, and his brothers killed each other, in the battles. In 353, Constantius was the sole Emperor of the Empire.

 

 

Constantius

In 335 CE, Constantine, dying, divided his empire between his sons and two nephews. Constantius received the East – Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt. In 337 CE, Constantine died. Civil war began between the brothers. Constantius became the sole Emperor in 353 CE. He supported the Christians and persecuted the Yahudiym [Jews]. When he was battling the Persians, the soldiers under his cousin, Julian, declared Julian Emperor. Constantius, returning from the battle with the Persians, to deal with Julian, died enroute, leaving Julian the undisputed emperor, in 361 CE.

 

In 337 CE, Constantius banished the Rabbis and made marriage of a Yahudiy [Jew] with a Christian woman a capital crime.

 

 

Council of Ephesus

431 CE

 

Council of Jamnia

70 CE

 

 

Council of Laodicea

361 CE

 

 

Council of Nicaea

325 CE. General councils of the whole empire were unknown before the Council of Nicaea. It was convened by Emperor of Rome, Constantine, who endorsed the dogmatic views established.

 

There had been a schism that had developed between the Bishop of Alexandria and a man named Arius. The Bishop believed that the Father and the Son were one and equal -“consubstantiality” (homoousia). Arius believed that the Son was the first and highest creation of the Father - similarity (homoiousia). Their differences became so great and public, that Emperor Constantine, upon hearing about it, called  the first eucumenical – universal- council of the churches in 325 CE. The council was held at Bithynian Nicaea, near his capital Nicomedia. The council met in a hall of the imperial palace. Constantine presided over the meetings. Arius was anathematized and exiled. It was at this council that it was decreed for the churches to celebrate Easter, on the same day, every year, to be named by the Bishop of Alexandria, according to astronomical charts.

 

 

Cyrus [Kurush]

Born 575 BCE, he was also known as Cyrus (the Greek name) the Great and Cyrus II. Kurush’s father was the Persian king Cambyses. His mother, Mandane, was the daughter of the Median king Astyages.  Cyrus was the founder of the Mede-Persian empire and ruled till 530 BCE. He conquered Media, Lydia and the Babylonian Empires. Kurush was very accommodating, as to others religions, permitting the conquered nations to worship their own gods. He even sacrificed to the gods of each city as he entered it. Within a year of conquering Babel, he allowed the Yahudiym [Jews] to return to Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] to rebuild their Temple, which he gave financial assistance for. He died in 530 – 525 BCE, in a battle against an obscure tribe from the east, that bordered the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, the Massagetae. His son, Cambyses, succeeded him as king.

 

Scriptures

 

 

 

Cyrus’ Edict

 

 

 

 

D

 

Darius [Darryoosh]

Darius ruled Persia from 522-521 – 486 BCE. He was also known as Darius the Great. His father was Hystapes. Darius  came to the throne after he killed the imposter Gaumata, posing to be Smerdis, the son of Cyrus and slain half-brother to the then reigning Cambyses.. Cambyses, the King of Persia, left his conquered Egypt to depose the imposter, but died enroute. Darius, a general of Cambyses in Egypt and cousin, deposed Gaumata and took the Persian throne. Darius moved the capital from Babel to Susa, the old Elamite capital. Because of the intense summer heat at Susa, they used the Median city of Ecbatana, as the capital, during the summer months. Darius’ son Xerxes, succeeded him as king.

 

 

Dead Sea Scrolls

 

 

 

Diocletian

Caius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius. Emperor of Rome. Diocles was the son of a Dalmatian freedman. From the time that he was named imperator, by the army, he began calling himself Diocletian. He ruled from 284 CE – 305 CE. He abandoned Rome as the capital and chose Nicomedia in Asia Minor as his capital. To better rule, Diocletian devised a co-ruler system. He chose Maximian as his coruler. Maximian chose Milan as his capital. Six years later, to better administer, Diocletian determined that each Augusti would choose a caesar as his aid and to succeed him. Diocletian chose Galerius and Maximian chose Constantinus Chlorus. Each Augustus chose to retire after 20 years and their Caesar would then become Augustus, appointing a Caesar to follow him. Each Augustus gave his daughter in marriage to his Caesar. Diocletian hoped to stop the warring for succession and unite the empire. In 305 CE, Diocletian and Maximian relinquished their power as Augusti, to their Caesars, Galerius and Constantinus Chlorus, who became the Augusti of the East and the West.

 

In 303 CE, Diocletian, terribly persecuted the Christians. He ordered that all copies of the Scriptures were to be turned over to the authorities and be burned.

 

 

Domitian

Emperor of Rome. He ruled from 81-96 CE.  Born Titus Flavius Domitianus Augustus in 51 CE. He was the son of Vespasian and brother to Titus. When Titus died, Domitian succeeded him as Emperor of Rome. He had statues of himself and his family made, proclaiming themselves, deities. He required officials to speak of him, in their documents, as Dominus et Deus Noster – “Our Lord and God.” The Jews and Chrisitans refused to acknowledge him as a god. In 93 CE, Domitian executed Christians for refusing to offer sacrifices to his image. In 94 CE, he banished the Yahudiym [Jews] of Rome to the Valley of Egeria. Eusebius writes that it was Domitian that banished Yahuchanan [John], the brother of Yaaqob [James] to the isle of Patmos, where the Fourth Basar [Good News] and the Book of Revelations were written. In 96 CE, Emperor Nerva brought them back and restored their rights. Domitian became increasingly mad and torturous, even to his own household. In 96 CE, he was killed, in the night, by several of his household staff.

 

Scriptures

Revelations 1:9, “I, Yahuchanan, both your brother and co-sharer in pressure, and in the kingdom and endurance of Yahusha` HaMashiach, came to be on the island of Patmos for the word of YHWH and for the witness of Yahusha` HaMashiach.”

 

 

 

E

 

Eusebius

In 325 Eusebius issued his Ecclesiastical History.

 

 

F

 

Felix

Antonius Felix (happy) lived in the first century CE. When Herod Agrippa died, the Roman Emperor, Claudius, ended the kingship, and put Judea under the procuratorial rule, in 44 CE. Pallas, the freedman of Claudius, appointed Felix, his brother in this position. Felix  was married to Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Festus succeeded Felix as procurator of Judea, when Felix’s malfeasance was discovered (44-54 CE).

 

Scriptures

Acts 23:24, “and provide beasts, on which to place Shaul, and to bring him safely to Felix, the governor.”

 

Acts 24:22, “And having heard this, having known more exactly about The Way, Felix put them of, saying, ‘When Lysias, the commander comes down, I will decide your

case.’ “

 

Acts 24:24, “And after some days, when Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was a female Yahudiy [Jew], he sent for Shaul and heard him concerning the belief in Mashiach.”

 

Acts 24:27, “But after two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix. And wishing to do the Yahudiym [Jews] a favor, Felix left Shaul bound.”

 

Also, Acts 23:26, 24:2,3,24,25, 25:14.

 

 

 

 

Festus

Portius Festus (swine-like) was appointed procurator in place of Felix, when the malfeasance of Felix, which had been covered over, by Felix’s brother, Pallas, the freedman of the Roman Emperor Claudius (44-54 CE), was uncovered.

 

Scriptures

Acts 24:27, “But after two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix. And wishing to do the Yahudiym [Jews] a favor, Felix left Shaul bound.”

 

Acts 26:24,25, “And while saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, ‘Shaul, you are mad! Much learning is turning you to madness.’ But Shaul  said, ‘I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I speak words of truth and sense.’ “

 

Acts 26:32, “And Agrippa said to Festus, ‘This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar,’ “

 

Also, Acts 25:1,3,4,9,12-14,22-24.

 

 

First Council of Constantinople

 

 

 

G

 

Galatinus, Petrus

Born Pietro Columna Galatinus (1460-1540 CE). He was an Italian theologian and Christian Qabbalist. Galatinus was confessor to Pope Leo X. He was a Franciscan friar. Galatinus is well known for a writing in 1518, titled De Arcanis Catholicae Vertatis (Universal Truths), which dealt with Christian mysticism and Qabbalah, which inspired many Christian Qabbalists. In that work, he is credited with being the first to use the mistaken spelling of “Jehovah.”  This work was published by Gershom Soncino.

  

 

Galba

Emperor of Rome. Servius Sulpicius Galba was born 3 BCE and died 69 CE. Galba ruled from 68 CE – 69 CE. Galba had been the commander of the Roman army in Spain, under Nero. The Senate, tired of Nero and his ways, declared Galba the emperor and Nero fled Rome. The Senate declared Nero a public enemy. Galba sent soldiers to find Nero and found that he had killed himself, before they could execute him.

 

Galba’s reign was short, due to the fact that he was strict in his administration of justice and frugal with funds. When he declared that the liberal gifts which Nero had given, 9/10th’s must be returned to the Treasury, a hoard of enemies arose and Galba’s days were few. A bankrupt senator, Marcus Ortho, declared that the only way that he could pay his debts, was to become the emperor. The Guards backed him and slew Galba, carrying his head to Ortho, who the Senate hurriedly appointed Emperor, because the Roman armies in Germany and Egypt were also declaring their generals as emperor. Germany declared Aulus Vitellius as emperor and Egypt Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Vitellius invaded Italy and Otho killed himself after a reign of 95 days. Vitellius ascended the throne as Emperor.

 

 

Gallio

Marcus Annaeus Novatus (Gallio) was a brother of Seneca. He was the Roman governor. Gallio, who was in Corinth at the time, was ordered by Nero to commit suicide in 65 CE.

 

 

Gamaliel the Elder

Gamaliel (recompense of El) HaZaken [the Elder] was a grandson of Hillel HaZaken. He lived in the first half of the first century. Gamaliel was of the sect of Parushiym (Pharisees). He succeeded as president of the Great Sanhedrin, after his grandfather Hillel. He was so learned, that the Yahudiym [Jews], who favored scholarship, called him “the beauty of the Law,” and first called him, the title that they would only give to six men after him, Rabban – our master. Gamaliel was the teacher of Shaul, and is mentioned in Acts 22:3 and 5:34.

 

Scriptures

Acts 5:34, “But a certain one in the Council stood up, a Parushiym [Pharisee] named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Thorah, respected by all the people, and ordered them to put the Sheliychiym [sent out ones-apostles] outside for a little while.”

 

Acts 22:3, “ ‘I am indeed a Yahudiy [Jew], having been born in Tarsus of Kilikia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been instructed according to the exactness of the Thorah of our fathers, being ardent for YHWH, as you all are today,’ “

 

 

Gamaliel II

Gamaliel (recompense of El) II was the grandson of Gamaliel HaZaken. He succeeded Johanan ben Zakkai as nasi of the Great Sanhedrin, in 80 CE. During this time, the contradictory interpretations of the Thorah, which were transmitted by Hillel and Shammai, were reviewed and voted on. Those which were primarily accepted were those of Hillel, and were made binding on all Yahudiym [Jews]. He is credited with the introduction of the Birkat haMinim in the Amidah, which excluded “Christians from the Jewish faith (Ber. 28b; Meg. 17b). It is not known at what time that he died, but it is not believed that he was alive during the Jewish revolt under the Roman Emperor Trajan in 116 CE.

 

 

Great Sanhedrin

The Great Sanhedrin was established by Ezra and NechemYahu [Nehemiah], after the return of the exiles from Babel. Its seventy or more elders, generally 71, were chosen from the heads of the leading families and from the most learned of the Sopheriym [Scribes]. By the close of the third century, the scholars of the Great Sanhedrin had closed the canon of the Tanak [Old Testament].

 

During the rule of the Romans, the Romans allowed a measure of self-rule to the Yahudiym [Jews], but they chose the head of the Sanhedrin and the Kohen Gadol [High Priest].

 

During the siege of Yerushalayim, an old pupil of Hillel HaZaken, Johanan ben Zakkai, concerned about the destruction of all the teachers and transmitters of the oral tradition, escaped from Yerushalayim, by being smuggled out of the city in a coffin and set up an academy in a vineyard at Yabneh (Jamnia), with the approval of the Romans. When Yerushalayim fell, Johanan organized a new Sanhedrin at Jamnia that was composed of Parushiym [Pharisees] and rabbis. This Beyth Din had no political power but was recognized by most Palestinian Yahudiym [Jews], as being the authority in all religious matters.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu 26:59, “And Rashey HaKohaniym [Chief Priests] and HaZeqeniym [the elders] and all HaSanhedriy [the Sanhedrin] sought witness against Yahusha` that they might put him to death.”

 

Mark 15:1, “And immediately, in the morning,  Rashey HaKohaniym [Chief Priests] had a meeting with HaZeqeniym [Elders] and HaSoferiym [Scribes] and all HaSanhedriyn [the Sanhedrin]. Having bound Yahusha`, they led Him to Pilate.”

 

 

Greek Empire Divided

Alexander the Great left no sons as successors. While he was dying, he was asked by his generals, to whom he would leave his empire, “To the strongest,” he said. Once the world heard of his death, revolts against the Macedonian rule, began to break out. Between the Diadochi (Greek for successors), his generals, the empire was divided between Antipater, Perdiccas, Eumenes, Craterus, Antigonus, Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus. Antipater took Macedonia and Greece, Lysimachus took Thrace, Antigonus took Asia Minor, Seleucus took Babylonia and Ptolemy took Egypt. Antipater defeated Perdiccas for his regency of Macedonia (321 BCE). Lysimachus fought Antigonus;  Ptolemy and Seleucus fought at Ipsus (301 BCE); and Seleucus defeated Lysimachus at Corupedion (281 BCE).  For years the rulers would wage war with each other, trying to widen their empires. Years later, by the end of the major wars, the power was divided among the descendants of Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigonus.

 

Scriptures

Daniyel 8:21,22, “And the male goat is the melek Yawan [king of Greece], and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken one, in whose place four arose,  four kingdoms will arise from the Goy, but lacking its strength.”

 

Daniyel 11:2-4, “Now I will tell you the truth. See, three more kings will arise from Pharash [Persia]. The fourth will acquire the greatest wealth of them all; and when he grows strong with his riches, he will arouse all against the kingdom of Yawan [Greece]. A mighty king will then arise; he will rule with great domination and he will do as he pleases. But after he has risen, his kingdom will be broken  and will be divided into the four directions of the heavens- but not to his posterity; nor will it be like his dominion with which he ruled, for his kingdom will be uprooted, and for others besides these.”

 

 

 

 

H

 

Hadrian

Emperor of Rome. Publius Aelius Hadrianus was born in 76 CE and died in 138 CE. He ruled from 117 – 138 CE. He was the nephew to Trajan. When Trajan died, he succeeded him as Emperor of Rome. When his father died, he had been placed under the guardianship of his uncle, Trajan and Caelius Attianus. Trajan called him to Rome in 91 CE and gave him his niece, Vivia Sabina,  in marriage in 100 CE. Upon Trajans death in 117 CE, Hadrian assumed the throne.

 

In 121 CE, he set out to administer the Empire. Due to his many excursions in the Empire, he was called the wanderer. In 130, he journeyed to Yerushalayim, finding it still in the ruins, much as Titus left it, in 70 CE. He ordered that Yerushalayim should be rebuilt as a Roman colony and renamed Aelia Capitolina. It was an error that prompted yet another Jewish revolt. In 131 CE, he issued a decree forbidding circumcision and the public instruction of the Thorah [Law]. In 132 a Jewish revolt was begun. The Romans destroyed over 985 towns in Palestine and killed over 580,000 people, as well as the large masses that died due to starvation, disease and fire. This revolt reached its peak in 135 CE. Hadrian had to personally take the field. He put an end to the Jewish revolt. Afterwards, he attempted to destroy the ability of the Yahudiym [Jews] to rebound again. Hadrian went further than forbidding circumcision, he also forbade the observance of Shabbath or any Yahudiym feast, and any public performance of any Ibriym [Hebrew] ritual. New and heavier taxes were placed on the Yahudiym. They were allowed in Yerushalayim, only one day a year, and that was to weep before the ruins of the Beyth [Temple]. The Council at Jamnia was broken up and outlawed. The punishment for public instruction of the Thorah, was now death.

 

In 135, he  was stricken with a wasting illness, similar to tuberculosis. He adopted Titus Aurelius Antoninus as heir and successor. He died in 138 from the disease that was ravaging him with pain.

 

 

Hasmoneans

A family of Yahudiym [Jews], that joined the refugees and Chasidiym, in the caves, to avoid the persecution of Antiochus IV, were the family of Hasmonai, of the Tribe of Aharon. Mattathias was the family head. His five sons of Aharon were Johannan Caddis, Simon, Judas, Eleazer and Jonathan. The stories of this family, fill the books of I and II Maccabees.

 

It is written that when an officer of Antiochus IV found them in the caves and insisted that they offer to Zeus, Mattathias came forward and said, “Even should all the people in the kingdom obey the order to depart from the faith of their fathers, I and my sons will abide by the Covenant of our ancestors.” As a Yahudiy [a Jew] came forward to sacrifice, Mattathias killed him with a sword and also the officer of Antiochus. Then he said to the people, “Whoever is zealous for the Law, and wishes to support the Covenant. Let him follow me.” His sons and many of the villagers, went with him to the mountains of Ephraiym. They were joined by the Chasidiym, that remained alive and small bands of rebels.

 

Soon after Mattathias died and was succeeded by his son Judas, also called Maccabee. Judas was a warrior, who was reported to have prayed like a saint before every battled yet fought like a lion in his rage. These warriors would live off of the mountains. Occassionally descending on near by villages, where they killed backsliders in the faith, circumcised sons that had not been circumcised and pulled down pagan altars.

 

When reports of this activity reached the ears of Antiochus, he sent an army of Syrian Greeks to destroy the Maccabean rebels. The Maccabean Yahudiym won the battle in 166 BCE, despite being poorly equipped. Antiochus sent a larger army. Judas defeated them as well, at Mitspah. Yerushalayim was taken by Judas without resistance. He removed all the pagan altars and idols from the Temple and cleansed it and rededicated it. They restored the ancient service of their faith in 164 BCE.

 

Antiochus sent a regent, Lysias to recapture Yerushalayim. On his way there, word reached that Antiochus had indeed died. Lysias desired to be free from the battle, offered to the Yahudiym full religious freedom on condition that they lay down their arms. THe Chasidiym accepted, but the Maccabees did not. Judas felt that in order for Judea to be safe from religious persecution, must be free politically as well. The Maccabees now took their turn in persecution.

 

They pursued those of the Hellenizing party, in Yerushalayim and surrounding cities. In 161 BCE, Judas was killed in battle at Elasa. His brother Jonathan succeeded him as head of the Maccabees. He was killed in battle, at Acco, in 143 BCE. The only surviving brother, Simon, won from Demetrius II of Syria, an acknowledgement of independence for Judea. Simon was supported by Rome. By popular decree, Simon was appointed Kohen Gadol [High Priest] and general as well, in 142 BCE. Since these offices became hereditary, this was the beginning of the Hasmonean dynasty.

 

In 63 BCE, Pompey took Judea for Rome. Hyrcanus II was made Kohen Gadol [High Priest] and ruler of Judea, but under Antipater the Idumean. The Idumeans were Edomites that lived south of Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem] and Yerushalayim. John Hyrcanus I conquered these Idumeans and forced them to accept orthodox Judaism, about 126 BCE.  Judea was now a province of Syria and part of Rome. In 43 BCE, Antony and Octavian appointed Herod the Idumean, son of Antipater, as king over Judea.  The last of the Hasmoneans would eventually be wiped out by the Idumean, Herod the Great.

 

 

Hegesippus

He was a Greek Christian historian that lived in the 2nd century CE. He promoted orthodoxy and opposed the heresy of Gnosticism. His five books of memoirs, are a prime source of information, for the early Christian church. It is believed that he was of Yahudiym [Jewish] descent. This is inferred because of the attention that he paid, in his memoirs, to the Jewish-Christian community in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] and its history of episcopal leaders. His memoirs, part of which have been preserved by the 4th century historian Eusebius, provide a direct witness to the church in Yerushalayim and the fate of the community as a result of the anti-Yahudiym pogroms conducted after 70 CE, by the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Domitian. He wrote an account of “James the Just” [Yaaqob HaTsaddiq], the brother of Yahusha’ HaMashiach.

 

 

Herod Agrippa I

 Herod (heroic) was the son of Aristobulus and Berenice, and brother to Herodias. Aristobulus was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne I, the Yahudiy [Jewish] Princess, one of the last Hasmoneans. Berenice was the niece of Herod the Great, by his sister Salome I. Herod Agrippa I died in 44 CE.

 

Scriptures

Acts 12:1, “And at that time, Herod (Agrippa I), the king, who was surnamed Agrippa, laid hands on some in the qehillah [assembly], to harm them.”

 

Acts 12:19, “And Herod (Agrippa I), when he searched for him, and could not find him, arrested the guards and sentenced them to die. Then he went from Yahudah [Judea], and lived at Caesarea.”

 

Acts 12:21, “And on a day appointed, Herod (Agrippa I) was dressed in royal apparel, and sat on a throne, and made a speech to the HaQahal [The Assembly].”

 

Also, Acts 13:1

 

 

Herod Argrippa II

Herod (heroic) Agrippa  was the son of Herod Agrippa I and Kypros, a cousin. His sister was Berenike, with whom he had incestual relations. His other sister was Drusilla, who married Felix, the procurator of Yahudah [Judea]. He became king, when his father Herod Agrippa I died, in 44 CE.

 

Scriptures

Acts 25:13, “And when some days had passed, Agrippa the king, and Berenike, came down to Caesarea to inquire in shalom, Festus.”

 

Acts 25:22,23, “And Agrippa said, ‘I would like to hear that man.’  And Festus said, ‘Tomorrow, you will hear him.’ And the next day, came Agrippa and Berenike, with great pomp, and entered the beyth hamishphat [house of judgement], with the commanders and heads of the city, and Festus commanded and Shaul came.”

 

Acts 26:32, “ And Agrippa said to Festus, ‘The man might be set free, if he had not appealed to Caesar.’ “

 

Also, Acts 25:24,26, 26:1,2,19,27,28.

 

 

 

Herod Antipas II

Herod (heroic) Antipas II was the son f Herod the Great and Malthake, the Shomeron [Samaritan]. When Herod the Great died, he divided his kingdom between his three living sons. Herod Antipas received Peraea (the land beyond the Yarden [Jordan] and in the north, Galil [Galilee], which included Esdraela, Tiberias, and Natsareth [Nazereth].

 

He married Herodias, daughter of Aristobulus and Berenice. Herodias was married to Herod Philip, half-brother to Herod Antipas, when she left him to marry Herod Antipas. It was this marriage that Yahuchanan the Immerser [John the Baptist] preached against.

 
Scriptures
MaththiYahu [Matthew] 14:1,3 “And at that time, Herod, the Tetrarch, heard the fame of Yahusha`,” “Now this Herod had seized Yahuchanan [John], and bound him and cast him into prison; on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.”

 

Luke 23:7,8, “And having learned that he was from under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod; for he was at Yerushalayim on those days. And Herod greatly rejoiced when he saw Yahusha`, for he had desired to see Him for a long time, because he had heard many things of Him, and he hoped to see some sign from him.”

 

Also, MaththiYahu 14:6, Mark 6:14,16-18,20-22, Luke 3:1,19, 9:7,9, 13:31, 23:11,12,15, Acts 4:27.

 

Herod the Great

Herod (heroic) was born about 62 BCE and died in 4 BCE. He was the son of Antipater the Idumean, king of Judea. His father had been set up as king of Judea, but part of Rome, by Pompey, in place of the Hasmoneans. When Antipater died, Antony and Octavian, as part of the Second Triumvirate, set up Herod as king of Judea in 37 BCE. Herod set out to make Judea a Hellenistic state.

 

When Octavian declared war on Cleopatra in 32 BCE, Cleopatra convinced Antony to have Herod fight against the Nabateans, in the south, rather than lend support to Antony. This move saved Herod’s kingdom, when Antony and Cleopatra were defeated, in 31 BCE, at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra retreated to Egypt, where they both killed themselves. Herod then negotiated for his kingdom and his life, with Octavian, in 30 BCE. He was successful.

 

Herod was not a Yahudiy [Jew] by birth or conviction. The Idumeans were Edomites that lived in the areas south of Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem] and Yerushalayim. About 126 BCE, John Hyrcanus forced the Idumeans to accept orthodox Judaism. This was the line of the Herods.

 

Herod ended the power of the Kohaniym [Priests] and appointed leaders of his choosing, not once, but six times. The first priest he appointed, was an obscure Babylonian and the last was an Alexandrian.  Official records of descent, that dealt with the priesthood, Herod had burned. He introduced gladiatorial games, Greek athletics which were conducted in the nude, nude statuary, and baths, all of which shocked and angered the Yahudiym. Then he told the Yahudiym that the Temple, which Zerubbabel had built, the Second Temple, was too small and proposed to tear it down and build a new one. The Yahudiym protested, but to no avail. It was torn down in 19 BCE and completed in 63 CE, taking 82 years to complete. In 70 CE, 7 years later, it was destroyed by Titus.

 

Plots against Herod’s life began. He discovered them and arrested those involved, tortured and killed them. Sometimes killing whole families. He sent spies out and even disguised himself to eavesdrop on those he ruled. He became increasingly paranoid.

 

He had 10 wives and 14 children. Against these, he even let his paranoia rage. Wives would accuse the others and their children of conspiracies. Several were killed as a result.

 

See the Herod Family Tree

 

Herod’s sister persuaded him that his second wife, Mariamne, the grandaughter of Hyrcanus II, and sister to Aristobulus, both Hasmoneans that Herod had killed, was plotting to poison him. He had her executed. Mariamnes mother joined those trying to kill him. He put all the plotters to death. Antipater, his son by his first wife, Doris, accused Alexander and Aristobulus, the sons of Mariamne, of attempting to kill him. They were also executed in 6 BCE. Two years later, Antipater was convicted of plotting to replace his father. Herod, being merciful at the moment, had him jailed. Later he heard that Antipater sought to bribe a guard to free him and Herod had him killed, in 4 BCE.

 

All the while, Herod’s health was becoming worse. He suffered from various ailments. Five days after he had Antipater killed, he died at 69 years of age, in 4 BCE. He was hated by all.

 

Herod’s will divided his kingdom among his three remaining sons. Herod Philip, the son of Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra of Egypt), ruled the eastern region known as Batanea, which contained Bethsaida, Capitolias, Gerasa, Philadelphia and Botsra. Herod Antipas, son of Malthake the Samaritan, ruled Perea (beyond the Yarden [Jordon]), and in the north, Galilee, Esdraela, Tiberias and Nazereth.  Archelaus, the son of Maltake and older brother of Herod Antipas, ruled Samaritis, Idumea, and Judea.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu [Matthew] 2:1,3 “And accordingly, Yahusha` was born in Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem] in Yahudah [Judea], in the days of Herod the king, there came magushliym [magicians-magi], from the east, to Yerushalayim.” “Herod the king heard and was terrified; and all Yerushalayim with him.”

 

MaththiYahu 2:16, “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been deceived by the magushiym [magi], was very angry. And he sent, and slew all the children in Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem], and in all its confines, from a child two years and younger, according to the time, that he had carefully learned from the magushiym.”

 

MaththiYahu 2:19, “But when king Herod was dead, a malak of YHWH appeared, in a dream, to Yahuseph [Joseph], in Mitsrayim [Egypt].”

 

Also, MaththiYahu 2:7,12,15,22, Luke 1:5.

 

 

Herod Philip I

Herod (heroic) Philip (lover of horses) was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II. He married his niece Herodias, daughter of Aristobulus and Berenike. Aristobulus was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne I, the Yahudiy [Jewish] Princess. Berenike was the niece of Herod the Great, through his sister Salome I.   Herodias left Herod Philip I and married Herod Antipas, which was not lawful for her to do. It was this marriage, which Yahuchanan the Immerser [John the Baptist] preached against.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu [Matthew] 14:3, “Now this Herod had seized Yahuchanan [John], and bound him and cast him into prison; on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.”

 

Mark 6:17, “For Herod had sent and seized Yahuchanan [John], and bound him in prison, on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife.”

 

Luke 3:1, “And in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberias Caesar, in the governorship of Pontius pilate in Yahudah [Judea], while Herod was Tetrarch in Galiyl, and Philip, his brother, Tetrarch in Iturea and in the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias Tetrarch of Abilene, “

 

 

Herod Philip II

Herod (heroic) Philip (lover of horses) II was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra (not Cleopatra of Egypt). He was born sometime after 47 BCE and died, at an unknown time, after his half-brother Archelaus was exiled, in 6 CE. When his father, Herod the Great, died, the kingdom was divided between Herod’s three remaining sons.  Philip received the  portion east of the Yarden [Jordan], known as Batanea, which consisted of Bethsaida, Capitolias, Gerasa, Philadelphia and Botsra.

 

He married Salome, daughter of Herod Philip I and Herodias.  Herod Philip I was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II, and Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus and Berenike. Therefore Salome was Herod Philip II’s niece. This is the Salome that is referred to in the Scriptures, as the daughter of Herodias, that danced before Herod Antipas.

 

 

Herodias

Herodias (heroic) was the granddaughter of Herod the Great, through his Hasmonean wife, Mariamne I. She was sister to Herod Agrippa I. She first married Herod Philip I, who was her uncle. Herod Philip I was son of Herod the Great by his wife Mariamne II. Herodias and Herod Philip I had a daughter named Salome II. Herodias left Herod Philip, not through divorce, and married another uncle, Herod Antipas II. Herod Antipas II was the son of Herod the Great and his Shomeron [Samaritan] wife, Malthake.

 

Yahuchanan the Immerser [John the baptist] protested the illegal marriage. Herodias’ daughter, Salome, danced for Herod Antipas II. She pleased him so much that he promised her whatever she asked, even half his kingdom. With her mothers prodding, she requested the head of Yahuchanan the Immerser, who protested the illegal marriage publicly.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu [Matthew] 14:3,6, “Now this Herod had seized Yahuchanan [John], and bound him and cast him into prison; on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.” “But when Herod’s birthday festival occurred, the daughter of Herodias danced before the guests and pleased Herod.”

 

Mark 6:17, “For Herod sent and seized John, and bound him in prison, on account of Herodias, his brother’s wife, whom he had taken.”

 

Also, Mark 6:17,18,20,22, Luke3:19.

 

 

Hillel the Elder

Hillel HaZaken was born at the end, around 75 BCE,  and died at the beginning of the first century CE. Hillel was born in Babel and was sometimes referred to as Hillel the Babylonian, in the Talmud. He came to Yerushalayim to study at the school where Shemaya and Abtolim expounded the Law.  

 

He is considered one of the greatest of the sages of the Yahudiym [Jews], during the Second Temple period. He was nasi of the Great Sanhedrin, appointed by Herod. It is stated that he was appointed nasi a century before the destruction of the Temple, which occurred in 70 CE. That places his appointment as nasi, at 30 BCE. He held office for 40 years, until 10 CE.  Hillel was a Parushiy [Pharisee]. He was the founder of a school, which followed his teaching called Beyth Hillel. Hillel’s teachings were more liberal than that of Shammai’s. Hillel’s views became the more dominant after several generations. During the administration of his grandson, Gamaliel’s, grandson, Gamaliel II, as the second nasi of the new Sanhedrin, voted on the contradictory views of Shammai and Hillel. The majority of those accepted were Hillel’s.

 

It was during the time that Hillel was nasi, that he ended the cancellation of debts, which was required in the Thorah of YHWH, HaDebariym [Deuteronomy] 15:1,2.

 

 

Hillel the Prince

Hillel HaNasi was also known as Hillel II. He was born in 330  and died in 365 CE. Due to constraints by the Romans, in limiting the practices of the Yahudiym [Jews], after another revolt and the destruction of several cities of the Yahudiym, Hillel II introduced a fixed calendar, which was no longer based on the first light of the new moon, for each new month. He published Sod ha-Ibbur (“The Secret of InterCalation”) and Kevi’uta de-Yarha (“THe Fixing of the New Month”). According to Hai Gaon and Abraham bar Hiyya, this took place in 358 (359) CE. Others site the year 344 for the fixing of the calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James the Just

Yaaqob HaTsaddiq [James the Just] in 62 CE, was convicted of violating Yahudiym [Jewish] Law and was executed by stoning. – Encyclopedia Americana (1997)

 

As recorded by Eusebius and Hegesippus:

Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book II, Chapter I.

“But the same writer, in the seventh book of the same work, relates also the following things concerning him: ‘The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it ot the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Branabas was one. But there were two Jameses: one called the Just, who was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and was beaten to death with the club by a fuller, and another who was beheaded.’ Paul also makes mention of the same James the Just, where he writes, ‘Other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.’ “

 

Chapter 23 of Book II – the Martyrdom of James, who was called the Brother of the Lord

“But after Paul, in consequence of his appeal to C’sar, had been sent to Rome by Festus, the Jews, being frustrated in their hope of entrapping him by the snares which they had laid for him, turned against James, the brother of the Lord, to whom the episcopal seat at Jerusalem had been entrusted by the apostles. The following daring measures were undertaken by them against him. Leading him into their midst they demanded of him that he should renounce faith in Christ in the presence of all the people. But, contrary to the opinion of all, with a clear voice, and with greater boldness than they had anticipated, he spoke out before the whole multitude and confessed that our Saviour and Lord Jesus is the Son of God. But they were unable to bear longer the testimony of the man who, on account of the excellence of ascetic virtue and of piety which he exhibited in his life, was esteemed by all as the most just of men, and consequently they slew him. Opportunity for this deed of violence was furnished by the prevailing anarchy, which was caused by the fact that Festus had died just at this time in Judea, and that the province was thus without a governor and head. The manner of James’ death has been already indicated by the above-quoted words of Clement, who records that he was thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, and was beaten to death with a club. But Hegissipus, who lived immediately after the apostles, gives the most accurate account in the fifth book of his Memoirs. He writes as follows: ‘James, the brother of the Lord, suceeded to the government of the Church in conjunction with the apostles. He had been called the Just by all from the time of our Saviour to the present day; for there were many that bore the name of James. He  was holy from his mother’s womb; and he drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat flesh. No razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, and he did not use the bath alone. He alone was permitted to enter into the holy place; for he wore not woolen but linen garments. And he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple, and was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel, in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God, and asking forgiveness for the people. Because of his exceeding great justice he was called the Just, and Oblias, which signifies in Greek, “Bulwark of the people” and “Justice,” in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him. Now some of the seven sects, which existed among the people and which have been mentioned by me in the Memoirs, asked him, “What is the gate of Jesus?” and he replied that he was the Saviour. On account of these words some believed that Jesus is the Christ.  But the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection or in one's coming to give to every man according to his works. But as many as believed did so on account of James. Therefore when many even of the rulers believed, there was a commotion among the Jews and Scribes and Pharisees, who said that there was danger that the whole people would be looking for Jesus as the Christ. Coming therefore in a body to James they said, “We entreat thee, restrain the people; for they are gone astray in regard to Jesus, as if he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all that have come to the feast of the Passover concerning Jesus; for we all have confidence in thee. For we bear thee witness, as do all the people, that thou art just, and does not respect persons. Do thou therefore persuade the multitude not to be led astray concerning Jesus. For the whole people, and all of us also, have confidence in thee. Stand therefore upon the pinnacle of the temple, that from that high position thou mayest be clearly seen, and that thy words may be readily heard by all the people. For all the tribes, with the Gentiles also, are come together on account of the Passover.”  The aforesaid Scribes and Pharisees therefore placed James upon the pinnacle of the temple, and cried out to him and said: “Thou just one, in whom we ought all to have: confidence, forasmuch as the people are led, astray after Jesus, the crucified one, declare to us, what is the gate of Jesus.”  And he answered with a loud voice, ”Why do ye ask me concerning Jesus, the Son of Man ? He himself sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the great Power, and is about to come upon the clouds of heaven.”  And when many were fully convinced and gloried in the testimony of James, and said, “Hosanna to the Son of David,”  these same Scribes and Pharisees said again to one another, “We have done badly in supplying such testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, in order that they may be afraid to believe him.” And they cried out, saying, “Oh! oh! the just man is also in error.”  And they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah, “ Let us take away the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings.”  So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to each other, “Let us stone James the Just.”  And they began to stone him, for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned and knelt down and said, “I entreat thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  And while they were thus stoning him one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites, who are mentioned by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying, “Cease, what do ye? The just one prayeth for you.”  And one of them, who was a fuller, took the club with which he beat out clothes and struck the just man on the head. And thus he suffered martyrdom. And they buried him on the spot, by the temple, and his monument still remains by the temple. He became a true witness, both to Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ. And immediately Vespasian besieged them.’  These things are related at length by Hegesippus, who is in agreement with Clement. James was so admirable a man and so celebrated among all for his justice, that the more sensible even of the Jews were of the opinion that this was the cause of the siege of Jerusalem, which happened to them immediately after his martyrdom for no other reason than their daring act against him. Josephus, at least, has not hesitated to testify this in his writings, where he says, ‘These things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, that is called the Christ. For the Jews slew him, although he was amost just man.’ And the same writer records his death also in the twentieth book of his Antiquities.”

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu 27:56, “One of them was Miryam HaMagdaliyth [Mary the female from Magdalah], and Miryam the mother of Yaaqob [James] and Yahuseph [Joseph], and the of the sons of Zabday [Zebedee].”

 

Mark 6:3, “ ‘Is not this the carpenter, ben Miryam [the son of Mary], and brother of Yaaqob [James] and Yahuseph [Joseph] and Yahudah [Judah] and Shimon [Simon]?And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they stumbled in Him.”

 

Acts 12:17, “And he motioned to them with his hand to be still, and he went in and told them how YHWH released him from the beyth hasohar [the house of prison]. And he said to them, ‘Tell these things to Yaaqob [James] and to the brothers. And he went out, and departed to another place.”

 

Acts 21:18, “ ‘And the next day, with Shaul, we went to Yaaqob [James], when all the Elders were with him.’ ” 

 

Also, Mark 15:40, Luke 24:10, Acts 15:13, 21:8, I Corinthians 15:7, Galatians 1:19, 2:9(possibly), 2:12, Yaaqob [James] 1:1, Yahudah [Jude] 1:1.

 

 

Jason

Onias the III, the Kohen Gadol [High Priest] was replaced in 173 BCE,  by Jason, who promoted the Hellenistic party in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]. Jason even went so far as to change his Hebrew name,  Yahusha` [Joshua], to Jason.  Menelaus, who promoted Hellenization even more, out bid Jason for the position of Kohen Gadol.

 

 

 

Jerome

Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius was born about 347 CE, in Stridon, Dalmatia. In 382 CE, he was commissioned by Pope Damascus to make an improved Latin translation of the New Testament. In 385 CE, Jerome left Rome and never returned. He died in 419/420, in Beyth Lechem [Bethlehem], Palestine.

 

Jerome was a biblical translator and considered to be one of the most learned of the Latin Church Fathers. Jerome lived a life of simplicity in diet and possessions. He was the translator of the Latin Vulgate, beginning the translation from the Greek, but then deciding to use the Ibriym [Hebrew]. When he moved to Beyth Lechem, he learned Ibriym [Hebrew] from, what he termed, a Yahudiy [Jewish] convert (technically, it is the Goy [Gentile] that converts to the faith of the Ibriym [Hebrew], not the Ibriym that convert to the faith, of what started as a sect of the Ibriym, and became a pagan religion). Jerome also visited the Netsariym [Nazarenes] (early Jewish believers of Yahusha’ HaMashiach) of Boroea, to examine their Ibriym [Hebrew] copy of MattiYahu [Matthew].

 

 

Johanan ben Zakkai

 

During the siege of Yerushalayim, an old pupil of Hillel HaZaken, Johanan ben Zakkai, concerned about the destruction of all the teachers and transmitters of the oral tradition, escaped from Yerushalayim, by being smuggled out of the city in a coffin and set up an academy in a vineyard at Yabneh (Jamnia), with the approval of the Romans. When Yerushalayim fell, Johanan organized a new Sanhedrin at Jamnia that was composed of Parushiym [Pharisees] and rabbis. This Beyth Din had no political power but was recognized by most Palestinian Yahudiym [Jews], as being the authority in all religious matters.

 

 

John Hyrcanus I

John Hyrcanus was a Hasmonean, third son of Simon. He became the Kohen Gadol [High Priest]and Melek [King] in 135 BCE. The Parushiym opposed his being Kohen Gadol and based their opposition on the fact that his mother had been raped, during the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes. Hyrcanus proved that the allegation was false. He became angered when the Pharisaic court punished the slanderer, with only a few lashings. Hyrcanus then supported the Tsaddukiym [Sadducees].

 

In 128 BCE, he destroyed the Shomeron [Samaritan] Temple on Mount Gerizim.

 

 

John Hyrcanus II

Son of Alexander Jannaeus and Alexandra Salome. When Alexander Jannaeus died in 78 BCE, he left his kingdom to his widow, Alexandra Salome. She appointed her older son, John Hyrcanus II, as Kohen Gadol [High Priest]. She died shortly after, and her syounger son, Aristobulus declared himself king. A battle for control, between the brothers began. Antipater I of Idumea, backed John Hyrcanus II, hoping to overthrow Aristobulus. They drew the Romans into the civil war and Antipater and John won. Antipater reinstated John Hyrcanus II as Kohne Gadol. Julius Caesar later appointed Antipater as governor of Judea.

 

Antipater appointed his two sons, Phasael and Herod, in his government. Phasael was made a prefect of Yerushalayim and Herod was made governor of Galiyl [Galilee]. In 40 BCE, Antigonus, a nephew of John Hyrcanus I, ousted Herod from power and declared himself king of Judea. He removed John Hyrcanus II, as Kohen Gadol, and to insure that he could not be Kohen Gadol again, he ordered that John’s ears be cut off, since it was unlawful for a mutilated person to serve as a kohen.

 

 

Josephus

Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian. He was born around 37 CE and died around 95 CE. He was a priest and called himself a Pharisee. He was about 30, in 66 CE, when the revolutionaries had won back Yerushalayim and most of Palestine. Many of those in the Peace Party were joining the revolt. He was commissioned by the rebels to fortify Galilee and its stronghold of Jotopata, against Vespasian, soon to become the Roman Emperor. 

 

Josephus and his soldiers held out until only 40 soldiers remained alive and were hiding in cave. Josephus wished to surrender, but the other men did not and threatened to kill him if he tried. The men decided to kill themselves, rather than be captured and tortured and killed, or sold into slavery. They drew lots to see what order they would die, each being killed by the next to die. When there was only one other man and Josephus.  He  persuaded the other man to surrender with him. While in chains, about to be sent to Rome, Josephus prophesied that Vespasian would become Emperor of Rome. Vespasian released Josephus and gradually accepted him as an advisor concerning the war against the Yahudiym [Jews].

 

When Vespasian left for Alexandria, Josephus accompanied Titus, the son of Vespasian, to lay seige to Yerushalayim. Josephus was there and wrote of the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Second Temple. After the destruction of Yerushalayim, Josephus accompanied Titus, to Rome and marched, with Titus, in the triumphal procession that exhibited Yahudiym captives and spoils. Josephus was given Roman citizenship, by Vespasian, as well as an apartment in his palace, a pension and valuable lands in Judea. In gratitude, Josephus took the name Flavius, which was Vespasian’s family name, becoming Flavius Josephus. Around 75 CE, He wrote The Wars of the Jews, defending the actions of Titus in Palestine, excusing his own actions and discouraging further revolt against the Romans.

 

In Josephus later years, he wrote The Antiquites of the Jews, possibly hoping to regain the favor of the Yahudiym or to make the Yahudiym more favorable, in the eyes of Goyim [Gentiles]. Despite his attempts, Josephus was considered a traitor by the Yahudiym.

 

 

Judah HaNasi

 

 

Julian

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 332 CE. He was the nephew of Constantine, the Emperor of the Roman Empire. When Constantine died in 337, a civil war broke out among the brothers and two nephews, that Constantine had divided his empire between, in 335 CE. Julian’s father and older brother were killed. Julian was five at the time and his age probably made him of no threat to Constantius, who allowed him to live. He was sent to Nicomedia, to be educated by Bishop Eusebius, who baptized his uncl, Constantine.

 

In 341 CE, Julian and Gallus were banished to Cappadocia, where they remained, virtually imprisoned in a castle of Macellum, for six years. Following a brief time in Constantinople, Julian was again sent to Nicomedia. He was now 17. Having been raised as a Christian, he secretly became a pagan convert. In 354 CE, Constantius summed Julian and Gallus to Milan. Gallus was tried and executed for his cruel reign as Caesar over the Asiatic provinces. He was beheaded. Julian was kept under guard for several months in Italy. Constantius banished him to Athens in 355. It was during this tie that Julian decided that there were no beasts more ferocious than Christians. He accepted the initiation into the Mysteries of Eleusis. For ten years Julian appeared to be a Christian, even reading the Scriptures publicly in church.

 

Constantius gave Julian, his sister, Helena in marriage, and made him Caesar, assigning the government of Gaul to him. Constantius, in a battle against Persia, ordered that soldiers under Julian, be sent to the battle against Persia. The soldiers refused and surrounded Julian declaring him Augustus (Emperor). Constantius was in Cilicia when news of the revolt reached him. He fought against Persia for another year, then he went west to deal with Julian. Julian advanced with a small force and at Sirmium, he declared to the world, his paganism. Constantius died of a fever, in 361 CE, before he could engage Julian in battle. Julian ascended the throne uncontested and became the sole Emperor in 361 CE, at the age of 31.

 

He stopped the excessive tax, which had been levied upon the Yahudiym [Jews], put an end to the discriminatory laws, praised Hebrew charities and acknowledged YHWH as a “the Most High God.”  When he asked the leaders of the Yahudiym [Jews], why they had abandoned animal sacrifice, they answered that they could not sacrifice anywhere except Yerushalayim in the Beyth YHWH [House of YHWH-Temple]. Julian then ordered, in 361 CE, that the Temple should be rebuilt with state funds. Yahudiym were allowed into Yerushalayim again. Exiled Yahudiym flocked to Yerushalayim and gave of their labor and possessions, to rebuild the Temple. As the foundation was being dug, flames erupted from the ground and several workers were burnt to death. The work was resumed later, with the same phenomenon, possibly natural gas. The Christians looked at it as divine intervention. Then Julian died and the funding was stopped and the old restrictions were enforced again and made more severe. The Yahudiym were once again banished from Yerushalayim.

 

The Works of the Emperor Julian, with an English Translation by Wilmer Cave Wright, Vol. III, London, 1953, Letter 51, To the Community of the Jews, “In times past, by far the most burdensome thing in the yoke of your slavery has been the fact that you were subjected to unauthorised ordinances and had to contribute an untold amount of money to the accounts of the treasury. Of this I used to see many instances with my own eyes, and I have learned of more, by finding the records which are preserved against you.  Moreover, when a tax was about to be levied on you again, I prevented it, and compelled the impeity of such obloquy to cease here; and I threw into the fire the records against you that were stored in my desks; so that it is no longer possible for anyone to aim at you such a reproach of impiety.  My brother Constantius of honoured memory was not so much responsible for these wrongs of yours as were the men who used to frequent his table, barbarians in mind, godless in soul. These I seized with my own hands and put them to death by thrustung them into the pit, that not even the memory of their destruction might still linger amongst us. And since I wish that you should prosper yet more, I have admonished my brother Iulus (the Patriarch Hillel II, who was 70 about this time), your most venerable patriarch, that the levy which is said to exist among you should be prohibited, and that no one is any longer to have the power to oppress the masses of your people by such exactions; so that everywhere, during my reign, you may have security of mind, and in the enjoyment of peace may offer more fervid prayers for my reign to the Most High God, the Creator, who has deigned to crown me with his own immaculate right hand. For it is natural that men who are distracted by any anxiety should be hampered in spirit, and should not have so much confidence in raising their hands to pray; but that those who are in all respects free from care should rejoice with their whole hearts and offer suppliant prayers on behalf of my imperial office to Mighty God, even to him who is able to direct my reign to the noblest ends, according to my purpose. This you ought to do, in order that, when I have successfully concluded the war with Persia, I may rebuild by my own efforts, the sacred city of Jerusalem, which for so many years you have longed to see inhabited, and may bring settlers there, and, together with you, may glorify the Most High God therein.” 

 

Julian wrote an essay on his reasons for abandoning Christianity. He asks the Christians, “Why do you not accept the Law which God gave the Jews? …you assert that the earlier Law…was limited in time and place. But, I could quote you from the books of Moses, not merely ten, but ten thousand passages where he says that the Law is for all time.”

 

The Arguments of the Emperor julian Against the Christians, by Thomas Taylor, Ares Publishers Inc., 1980, “It is, however, worth while briefly to relate whence and how the conception of divinty first arrived to us. Afterwards, to compare what is said by the Greeks and the Hebrews of the divinty. And in the next place, to interrogate those who are neither Greeks, nor Jews, but of the sect of Galilaeans, why they have preferred their own doctrine to ours; and still farther, why not adhering to the tenets of the Jews, but departing from them, they have taken a peculiar road, assenting to nothing beautiful, nothing worthy, neither among the Greeks, nor among the Hebrews derived from Moses, but collecting from both nations what is pernicious; impiety, indeed from the Judaic craft; but a depraved min and dissolute life from our indolence and confusion, they think proper to denominate this most excellent worship of divinity.”  “Why, also, do you neither continue in the doctrine of the Hebrews, nor embrace the law which God gave them; but abandoning paternal rites, and giving yourselves up to those whom the prophets proclaimed, dissent more from them than from us?

 

Julian allowed Christianity full freedom, but he withdrew all state subsidies to them, stopped the Christian teachers in universities, ended the exemption of Christian clergy from taxation and civic duties, forbade legacies to be donated to churches, made Christians ineligible for governmental offices, ordered Christians to make full reparations for damages that had been inflicted on pagan reigns during previous reigns, and permitted the demolition of Christian churches that had been built upon illegally seized lands of pagan shrines.  Christians that reacted with violence, to these laws, were punished.

 

In a battle against the Persians, Julian and his armies were led into the waterless wilderness and attacked by Persians. Julian was stabbed. It was rumored that it was with a Christian’s sword. When Julian died in 363, a Christian, Jovian, Captain of the Imperial Guard, was named to the throne to succeed.

 

 

Julian Calendar

Julius Caesar, who reigned from noted that the calendar of the priests, had lost all agreement with the seasons. The original calendar, which was credited to Numa, was a lunar calendar of 12 months. It averaged to 366 days per year. Each pontiff would change it according to what pleased them. By the time of Caesar, the calendar was off by three months. The year began with the coming of spring. The first month was Martius, for the name of the god of sowing. The second month was named Aprilis for sprouting. The third month was called Maius for Maia. The fourth month, Iunius, the month of Juno. The  following months were named by order, 5th –Quinctilis, 6th – Sextilis, 7th – September, 8th – October, 9th – November, 10th – December. January was named for Janus and February for februa, the magic objects used for purification.

 

Julius, seeing the disarray of the calendar, commissioned Sosigenes, a Greek from Alexandria, Egypt, to devise a new calendar, in 46 BCE, based on the Egyptian model. It consisted of 365 days, with an added day every fourth February. The Senate named the fifth month Julius, which had been previously called Quinctilis, the 5th month, when the year began in March. During the reign of Octavian (Augustus), they named the following month after him, so that August followed Julius. During the reign of Tiberius, the successor to Octavian, when the Senate sought to name a month after him, as they had Julius Caesar and Augustus, he declined saying, “What will you do if there should be thirteen Caesars?” No other months were named after Roman Emperors, but retained their former names of numbers.

 

This calendar was found to me incorrect. It made the year too long by eleven minutes and fourteen seconds.

 

 

Julius Caesar

Emperor of Rome.  Caius Julius was born in 100 BCE and  died in 44 BCE. Julius Caesar ruled in the first Triumvirate with Crassus and Pompey, in 60 BCE. He had a son named Caesarion by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in 47 BCE. Also in 47 BCE, Caesar appointed Herod Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, as governor of Judea. Julius was established as the sole dictator in 46 BCE. Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE, by Brutus and Cassius. Brutus was rumored to be Caesar’s son, by an affair with Servilia. Caesar named one of his nephew’s, Caius Octavius (Augustus), as his adoptive son and heir. Octavius was 18 at this time.

 

 

 

K

 

 

L

 

Legion

Legion was a division of the Roman army. Its size varied from about 4,000 to 6,000 men, depending on the time period of Roman history. After Rome became an Empire, a general would be chosen by the Emperor, to command each legion. The 60 veteran and non-commissioned officers, which were called centurions, were the most effective and important leaders. Each centurion led a century, which was a unit of about 100 men.

 

Before the late 100’s BCE, legions were divided into maniples of 120 men. On the battlefield, a legion formed three rows of maniples, with the maniples positioned like the black squares on a checkerboard. Spaces as wide as a maniple were left between the maniples. This was an effective arrangement against masses of invading warriors or enemy forces advancing in tight ranks. The men in the front row of the maniples hurled their spears at the enemy, then attacked with drawn swords. The second row of maniples charged into the empty spaces to relieve their comrades. Finally, the third row advanced with thrusting spears to secure the victory.

 

In 107 BCE, a general by the name of Gaius Marius rearranged the legions into cohorts of about 400 men each. He also opened up the legions to men of the lower classes. This brought about an army of soldiers that were loyal and professional. In the early days of Rome’s Empire, the army had nearly 30 legions. This was the backbone of the Roman army.

 

Scriptures

Mark 5:9, “And He demanded of him, ‘What is your name?’ And he replied to Him, ‘Our name is legion, for we are many.’ “

 

Mark 5:15, “And they came to Yahusha`, and saw the one the demons had been in, him in whom had been legion, clothed and sober and sitting; and they were afraid.”

 

Luke 8:30, “And Yahusha` demanded of him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said to Him, ‘Legion,’ because many demons had entered into him.”

 

 

Letter J

 

The early alphabets did not have a letter “J”.  First, you have Proto-Canaanite script. From that descended the paleo-Arabic, paleo-Aramaic, paleo-Hebrew, and the paleo-Phoenician. The Archaic Greek,  descends from the Phoenician.  And the Latin,  descends from the Greek.[i] See the chart below for the Phoenician letter yod.  In time it changed to one more upright and with a slight curve to the bottom, instead of a sharp angle, about 1000 BCE. The Greeks made the letter a single, vertical stroke about 600 BCE. They named the letter an Iota. It makes the same Y sound of Yod, as a consonant, but also makes an I sound, as in index. The Romans gave the “I”  its capital form about 114 CE. When “I” was the initial letter in a word, they began making an ornamental, descending stroke to the left. This began in the 1200’s and became popular in the 1500’s. Generally the initial sound of I was as a consonant. Eventually, the Letter J came to denote the Y sound and I the I sound. The letter J became different from the I, in 1630, in England.

 

YOD and IOTA to J and I

 

 

Phoenician  1000 BCE  Yod   

                                     

             

Early Hebrew 900 BCE Yod

Hebrew  500 BCE

Heb. Square 200 BCE

 

                   i

Modern Hebrew

 

                 i

Classical Greek 6th Cent. BCE    Iota

                  I

Early Latin

 

                   I

Latin  114 CE

 

                  I

Medieval Consonant

 

                  J

Medieval Vowel

                 

                  I

 

 

 

 

Letter Of Aristeas

The Letter of Aristeas is an apocryphal work, written sometime between 200 and 100 BCE. The author names himself Aristeas and writes the letter to his brother, Philocrates. The work is lengthy and covers a number of subjects. One subject is the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. The author states that the work was commissioned by the King of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphius. According to the letter, 70 kohaniym [priests] of the Yahudiym [Jews] were brought to Alexandria, Egypt, to do the translation. They were housed on the island of Pharos, while translating. It is from these seventy translators, that the Septuagint derives its name. It is also called the LXX – Roman numerals for 70.

 

Though the author of the letter claims to be a pagan, most scholars view him as being a Yahudiy [Jew], due to the detail and sympathy in the writing. Philo of Alexandria,  wrote of the Letter, in De Vita Moysis, 2.25-44. Philo died in 54 CE. This writing is the earliest quoted source. The Letter is quoted and basically copied by Josephus, in his writings, Antiquites of the Jews, 12.1-118. Josephus wrote this work between 75 and 95 CE. It is also mentioned by several of the early Church Fathers, such as Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) in Apology 1.31 and Irenaeus (175 CE) in Against Heresies 3.21.2.

See complete Letter of Aristeas.

 

 

 

 

M

 

Marcion

Marcion was born about 85 CE, at Sinope, which was in Pontus. He was the son of a bishop. Marcion died in 160 CE. After Marcion arrived in Rome, he became a student of Cerdo, a Gnostic Christian, who believed that there was a difference between the God of the “Old Testament” and the God of the “New Testament”. For accepting, developing and teaching such beliefs, he was excommunicated, from the Church, in 144 CE. Though excommunicated, Marcion continued to teach heresies and drew a large following; they came to be called Marcionites, after the founder.

 

Marcion rejected all that was Hebrew. He rejected the Tanak, calling it the Old Testament, making the first distinction as  “Old” and “New”. He rejected the books written by MaththtiYahu [Matthew], Mark and Yahuchanan [John], because of Jewish influences. He accepted the book of Luke, but edited it, removing any Jewish influences. Marcion claimed that Paul was the only true “apostle”. He gathered 10 of Paul’s letters, excluding 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and Ibriym [Hebrews]. Of the 10 that he selected, Marcion edited them, removing what he called, “Jewish corruptions.” As to the other sheliychiym [sent ones, “apostles”], Marcion claimed that they corrupted  the teachings of Yahusha` (he called him Jesus), by mixing in legalism. Marcion rejected Thorah [teaching, law] and replaced it with love and grace.

 

Marcion wrote his own “gospel” and presented it to the Church of Rome. He gave them 200,000 sesterces. After reading his gospel, the Church refused it and gave back the money. His gospel was corrupted and void of all Hebrew references. Due to the listing of “acceptable” books, by Marcion, the Church was forced to determine what books, circulating in the Church, would be authorized. This was the first attempt at an official canon of what came to be known as the New Testament.

 

 

Marcus

Marcus was appointed the first, non-Jewish bishop of Jerusalem, by Rome.

 

 

 

Masoretic Text

 

 

 

Masorites

 

 

 

Medes

To defend themselves from the Assyrians, the Median tribes united and formed a state under a single king in 670 BCE. As Assyrian power diminished, the Medes increased. They imposed their rule over the Persians. The Median capital was Ecbatana, modern Hamadan.

 

 

Menelaus

Menelaus was appointed Kohen Gadol [High Priest] by Antiochus Epiphanes, also known as Antiochus IV. Menelaus was of the Hellenizing party of Yahudiym. Under him, YHWH was identified with Zeus. He also had a gymnasium opened in Yerushalayim. Yahudiym youth and kohaniym [priests] also took part in the athletic games naked. Some of the Yahudiym youth, not wanting their race, by circumcisions, underwent operations to make them appear uncircumcised.

 

 

Mishnah

 

 

Mt. Gerazim

 

 

 

N

 

Nabonidus

King of Babel. Nabonidus behavior was apparently very erratic and he kept to himself much of the time. He did not reside at the palace all of his later reign. His son, Prince Belshazzar, ruled in his absence. Nabonidus, aware of the threat from Cyrus II, returned to the palace. In 540 BCE, Cyrus took Babel quickly.

 

 

Nero

Emperor of Rome. Nero ruled from 54 CE – 68 CE. Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus was originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. On his father’s side, Nero belonged to the Domitii Ahenobarbi. They were named for their bronze colored beards that ran in the family. His paternal grandfather married Antonia, the daughter of Antony and Octavia. His father, Cnaeus Domitius married the second Agrippina, who was 13 at the time. Acknowledging his wifes ancestry and his own, he remarked, “no good man can possibly be born from us.” They named their only son Lucius and added the conomen Nero, meaning, in the Sabine language, valiant and strong.

 

Agrippina’s first husband died. She then married Caius Crispus. Rumor had it that she poisoned him. She then set out to marry her uncle, Claudius, who was the emperor. He was 57 and she 32, at the time. Her ambitions were to set her son up for the throne. She persuaded Claudius to adopt Nero as his son and to give his daughter 13 year old daughter, Octavia to then 16 year old Nero. Agrippina assumed an increasingly amount of power, eventually sitting with Claudius on the imperial dias. After five years of marriage, Agrippina poisoned him, and secured the confirmation of her son to the throne, in 54 CE.  He was 17 at the time.

 

His mother Agrippina, continued to administer while Nero was young. Seneca and Burrus, disgusted by Agrippina’s matiriarchal rule, set about to inspire Nero to administer on his own. Infuriated, she then declared Britannicus, the son of Claudius, the true heir.  Nero poisoned Britannius and Agrippina retired to her villa to write her vindictive memoirs, blackening all she knew. Nero was a good emperor, strengthening the empire.

 

Seneca and Burrus, then diverted Nero from politics by encouraging him to indulge in unrestrained sensuality. He became excessive in all things, visiting brothels and taverns and taking to disguising himself and roaming the streets, beating those he came upon, even murdering them. Nero fell for Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Salvius Otho. She rufused to be his mistress and insisted that he divorce his wife Octavia. Angry at Agrippina for opposing Nero’s divorce, Poppaea persuaded Nero that his own mother was plotting his fall. Nero gave in and had Agrippina killed. He was 22 at the time.

 

Nero, by 62 CE, had exhausted the treasury by his extravagance. In 62 CE, Nero divorced and dismissed Octavia on the grounds of barreness and married Poppaea 12 days later. Poppaea convinced Nero that Octavia planned to remarry and overthrow him. He had his mother’s slayer, claim to be an adulterous lover and she was banished and murdered at the age of 22.

 

Nero hated the haphazard building and layout of Rome and wished that it had been laid out like Alexandria. On July 18, 64, fire broke out in the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly. It burned for nine days and destroyed two-thirds of the city. When looking for a scapegoat for the fire, which he is rumored to have started, he turned to the Christians. This began the tortured persecution of the Christians by Nero.

 

In 68, the Senate, tired of Nero and his ways, declared Galba the emperor and Nero fled Rome. The Senate declared Nero a public enemy. Galba sent soldiers to find Nero and found that he had killed himself, before they could execute him.

 

 

Nerva

Emperor of Rome. Marcus Cocceius Nerva was born in 32 CE and died in 98 CE. With the assassination of Domitian, the Senate, for the first time, chose one from their own ranks to serve as Emperor. Nerva was 66, when he was chosen. He recalled Domitians exiles and restored their property. He freed the Yahudiym [Jews] from the half-shekel tax, that was originally sent to Yerushalayim, but Vespasian claimed for Rome, after the destruction of the Temple. He adopted a man, Marcus Ulpius Traianus (Trajan), to succeed him. Three months later, in 98 CE, after a reign of 16 months, he died.

 

Netsariym

 

 

New Testament Canon

 

 

 

O

 

Octavian

See Augustus

 

 

Origen

Origenes Adamantus was born in 185 CE, probably in Alexandria, Egypt. He was an important theologian and biblical scholar of the early Greek Church. His greatest work was the Hexapla. In the Hexapla, Origen listed the texts of 6 versions of the Tanak [Old Testament] in parallel columns. The versions were Hebrew [Ibriym], and a transliteration of the Ibriym, the Septuagint (the authoritative Greek version of the “OT”), the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotan. The purpose of the Hexapla was to provide a basis for debate with rabbis, who acknowledged the Ibriym alone, as authoritative.  Origen was a student of Clement of Alexandria, whom he succeeded as president of the Christian Catechetical School in Alexandria.  Eusebius wrote that Origen castrated himself, so as to freely teach females.

 

 

Otho

Emperor of Rome. Marcus Salvius Otho, born in 32 CE,  ruled for a few months in 69 CE.  After Galba, the Emperor of Rome, declared that 9/10ths of the gifts that Nero had given, were to be returned to the treasury, many enemies arose against Galba. A bankrupt senator named Marcus Otho declared that he could not pay his debts, unless he became emperor. The Gurads backed Otho and Galba was killed, taking his head to Otho. But Otho’s reign was short. Upon Galba’s death, the Roman armies in Germany and Egypt, also declared their generals to be Emperor. Aulus Vitellius was in Germany and Titus Flavius Vespasianus was in Egypt. Vitellius descended on Rome with his soldiers and Otho killed himself, after reigning 95 days. Vitellius ascended the throne of Rome as Emperor.

 

 

 

P

 

Pergamum

Pergamum was made a sovereign monarchy in 262 BCE. It became a center for art and learning and rivaled Alexandria in Egypt. Pergamum became and ornate capital and was famous for its altar to Zeus. It also boasted luxurious palaces, libraries, baths and theaters. The library was second only to the one in Alexandria, Egypt, for the number of

its volumes.

 

Scriptures
Revelations 1:11, “ ‘That which you see, write in a letter, and send to the seven qehilloth [plural for qehillah-assembly]. To Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thatiyra, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodikea.”

 

Revelations 2:12, “ ‘And to the malak of the qehillah at Pergamos, write, “So says He who has the sharp two-edged sword;” ‘ “

 

Persians

A people of Aryan ethnicity, descending from Shem ben Noach. The land of the Persian was north of the Persian Gulf. The capital city was Parsa, better known by its Greek name, Persopolis. Persopolis was burned to the ground by Alexander the Great in 330

BCE.

 

 

Philo

Philo Judaeus was born 20 BCE and died in 54 CE. He was a Hellinistic Yahudiy [Jew] living in Alexandria, Egypt. Philo was a philosopher, theologian and historian. He was chosen to lead the Yahudiym [Jews] delegation to Caligula, when the persecution and massacres of Yahudiym broke out in Alexandria, in 40 CE. Caligula died before he could judge. Claudius heard them and restored the rights of the Yahudiym in Alexandria.

 

Eusebius describes Philo as belonging to an ancient priestly family of the Ibriym [Hebrews]. He tried to mediate between Hellenism and Judaism. From the perspective of the Yahudiym, he failed.

 

 

Pilate

Pontius Pilate lived in the first half of the first century CE. He was procurator of Judea from 26 – 36 CE. He was summoned to Rome, on accusations of extortion and cruelty, and removed from office.

 

Scriptures

MaththiYahu 27:2, “And they bound Him and carried Him and delivered Him up to Pilate, the governor.”

 

Luke 3:1, “And in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, in the governorship of Pontius Pilate in Yahudah [Judea], while Herod was Tetrarch in Galiyl, and Philip, his brother, Tetrarch in Ituraea and in the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias, Tetrarch of Abilene,”

 

Luke 13:1, “And at that time, some came and told him of those Geliyliyiym [Galileans], whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.”

 

Yahuchanan [John] 19:1, “Then Pilate flogged Yahusha`.”

 

Yahuchanan 19:19, “And Pilate also wrote a tablet and attached it to His cross. And so it was written, ‘This  Yahusha` HaNatsriy [the Nazerene], Melek HaYahudiym [King of the Yahudiym [Jews].’ “

 

Also, MaththiYahu 27:13,17,19,22-24,58,62,65, Mark 15:1,2,4,5,8,9,11,12,14,15,43,44, Luke 23:1,3,4,6,11-13,20,24,52, Yahuchanan 18:29,31,33,35,37,38, 19:4,5,6,8,10,12-16,21,22,31,38, Acts 3;13,4:27, 13:28, I Timothy 6:13.

 

 

Pseudo Smerdis [Berooyeh Doroughi]

Pseudo Smerdis was an imposter, claiming to be the son of Cyrus, Smerdis, while Cambyses was conquering Egypt. He was actually Gaumata, a hereditary priest of the Magi tribe. He ruled Persia for several months in 521 BCE. When Cambyses heard of the imposter reigning, he left Egypt to return and depose the imposter. Cambyses died enroute. Darius, Cambyses’ generals in Egypt and a cousin, captured and killed Pseudo Smerdis, taking the throne.

 

 

Ptolemaic Empire

Ptolemy I, son of Lagus was the ablest and wisest of Alexander’s generals. He received the smallest, but richest division of Alexander’s empire, Egypt. Ptolemy, also known as Ptolemy Soter,  took the body of Alexander back to Egypt and had it entombed in a sarcophagus of gold. He also brought Alexander’s occasional mistress, Thais, and married her. He had two sons by her. In 290 BCE, under the suggestion of Demetrius, he founded the Library and Museum  (House of Muses- specializing in arts and sciences), that were to be the fame of Alexandria, Egypt. The Museum would rival the universities of Athens. Inspired by Aristotle’s penchant for collecting and classifying books, Demetrius recommended the erection of a group of buildings for sheltering great collections of books and also housing scholars and scribes. In 285, at 82 years old, Ptolemy I  appointed his second son, Ptolemy Philadelphus, to the throne. Ptolemy I died two years later.

 

There were many battles between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies for Palestine. In the following wars, Ptolemy the first won and Judea was subject to the Ptolemaic Empire from 321 – 198 BCE. This was the time that the Septuagint was said to be commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus, under the suggestion of Demetrius. During this time, Judea had a measure of self-rule, under the hereditary Kohen Gadol [High Priest] and the Great Sanhedrin.

 

Ptolemy Philadelphus was a lover of extravagance. After several mistresses and one wife, whom he divorced, he married his sister Arsinoe. She ruled the Empire and its wars, while Ptolemy Philadelphus, also called Ptolemy II, dealt with the chefs and scholars of his court. He invited to Alexandria famous poets, critics, scientists, philosophers and artists. During his reign, Alexandria became the literary and science capital of the Mediterranean. Ptolemy II died in 246 BCE.

 

In 198 BCE, Antiochus III, the Seleucid king, defeated Ptolemy V and made Judea part of the Seleucid Empire. By 205 BCE Rome had possession of Egypt, defeating Philip V of Macedon and Antiochus III of Seleucia, who also had their eye on it.

 

 

 

Q

 

Qaraites

In Mesopotamia, the head of the community of Yahudiym [Jews], was called an exilarch. When the Muslims ruled, the caliphs accepted the exilarch as the head of all Yahudiym in Babylonia, Armenia, Turkestan, Persia and Yemen. The office of exilarch was hereditary, in one family, which descended from the line of Dawiyd. The position was one of politics, more than spiritual.

 

In 762 CE, the Exilarch Solomon died. His son Anan ben David was in line for succession; but the heads of the Sura and Pumbeditha academies ignored the hereditary succession and bypassed Anan ben David. Instead, they appointed Anan’s younger brother, Chananya. Anan denounced the two heads of the academies and fled to Palestine.

 

While in Palestine, Anan established a synagogue, and called on Yahudiym everywhere to reject the Talmud and obey only the Thorah, in the Pentateuch. He protested against the changes that Talmudic Rabbis had made in the Mosaic Law. He insisted on a strict fulfillment of the Pentateuch. Anan praised Yahusha` as a holy man, who rejected the Oral Law of the Sopheriym [Scribes] and Parushiym [Pharisees], not the Written Law. Anan viewed Yahusha`, not as starting a new religion or sect, but as cleansing and strengthening the existing beliefs.

 

His followers were called Qaraiym, meaning followers of the text, readers of the Scriptures. They became numerous in Palestine, Egypt and Spain. Throughout the Middle Ages, Qaraiym and the followers of Rabbinic Judaism have been at odds concerning the Talmud.

 

 

 

 

 

Quirinius

Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was governor of Syria beyween 6 and 12 CE. He died in 21 CE.

 

Scriptures

Luke 2:2, “And this census was first made under the governorship of Quirinius in Syria.”

 

 

 

R

 

 

S

 

Samaritans

 

Scriptures
MaththiYahu 10:5, “These twelve Yahusha` sent forth, and He commanded them and said, ‘In the way of the workers of the eliyliym [idolators], do not go and to the cities of the Shomroniym [Samaritans], do not enter.’ “

 

Yahuchanan 4:9, “The Shomron woman said to Him, ‘How do you, a Yahudiy [Jew], ask a drink of me, who is a Shomron woman?’ “

 

Yahuchanan 4:22, “ ‘You are bowing down to what you don’t know, but we are bowing down to what we do know, for HaChayiym [The Living One-The Life] is from the Yahudiym [Jews].’ “

 

Also, Luke 9:52, 10:33, 17:16, Yahuchanan 4:7,39,40, 8:48, Acts 8:25.

 

 

Second Temple

Desecration

In 168 BCE, Antiochus was expelled from Egypt. A mistaken report of his death caused Yerushalayim to rejoice. They deposed his appointees and killed the leaders of the Hellenizing party. When Antiochus  felt that the Yahudiym had been a cause in his defeat in Egypt, turned his anger out on them. Upon entering Yerushalayim, he killed Yahudiym of both sexes, by the thousands, looted the Temple and restored Menelaus, whom he had appointed,  to power as Kohen Gadol.

 

By 167 BCE, the forced Hellenization of the Yahudiym reached a critical point when he took Yerushalayim by force and plundered the Temple. Antiochus had a Greek altar built over the old one and demanded that the usual sacrifices be stopped and sacrifices of swine only, replace them.  The Yahudiym, threatened with the death penalty for non-compliance, were told, “to depart from the laws of their fathers, and to cease living by the laws of ‘God’. Further, the sanctuary in Yerushalayim was to be polluted and called after Zeus Olympius.” – II Maccabee 6:1,2. Yerushalayim was put to flames, its walls destroyed and most of the Yahudiym population was sold into slavery. Foreign peoples were brought in to resettle it and a new fortress was built on Mt. Tsiyon.

 

In 167, when he desecrated the Temple, by erecting a pagan altar to Zeus Olympius on the altar of burnt offering, this sparked the Maccabean revolt. This rebellion lasted from 166  – 160  BCE. The Maccabees, led by Judas Maccabaeus, took Yerushalayim in 164 BCE. On Kislev 25, exactly three years from its defilement, the Yahudiym cleansed and rededicated the Temple. Chanukkah is the 8 day festival celebrating this event.

 

Scriptures

Yahuchanan [John] 10:22, “Hag HaChanukkah [Feast of The Dedication] was in Yerushalayim, and it was winter.”

 

 Reconstruction of Second Temple

Herod, in his zeal for Hellenizing his kingdom,  told the Yahudiym that the Temple, which Zerubbabel had built, the Second Temple, was too small and proposed to tear it down and build a new one. The Yahudiym protested, but to no avail. It was torn down in 19 BCE and completed in 63 CE, taking 82 years to complete. In 70 CE, 7 years later, it was destroyed by Titus.

 

Scriptures
Yahuchanan [John] 2:20, “And the Yahudiym [Jews] said to Him, ‘Forty and six years, this Heykal [Sanctuary] was building; and will you build it again in three days?’ “

 

Destruction of Second Temple

The destruction of the Second Temple, occurred in 70 CE. Titus, son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, was put in charge of finally putting an end to the Jewish revolts, that had been going on for years, the Yahudiym [Jews] desiring their independence from Rome. The most detailed accounts of this siege and the destruction of the Temple, are by Josephus, who surrendered to Vespasian’s troops and became an advisor to the Romans, against the Yahudiym.

 

Yerushalayim was surrounded by Roman legions. Josephus  called to the Yahudiym, from the Roman lines, for Yerushalayim to surrender. They refused and fought till the city and the Temple were destroyed. The Yahudiym within the barricaded city were starving. Those that dared to sneak out of the city, to find food, when caught, were crucified. Those crucified numbered in the thousands. Josephus reports, “The multitude of these was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses were wanting for the bodies.” The siege lasted about five months. The city was filled with the dead. It is reported that over 116,000 bodies were thrown over the city walls. Titus then had flaming brands thrown into the city and the Temple was set on fire.  97,000 fugitives were caught and sold as slaves. Josephus numbered that 1,197,000 Yahudiym were killed in this siege and afterwards. The high priesthood was abolished, as was the Sanhedrin. The Tsaddukiym [Sadducees] disappeared and what little of the Parushiym [Pharisees] and the Rabbis were left, became the leaders of the remnant of the Yahudiym.

 

Attempted Rebuilding

In the time of Julian, the Roman Emperor, Julian asked the leaders of the Yahudiym [Jews] why they had abandoned animal sacrifice. They answered that accoding to their Law, they were only allowed to sacrifice, in Yerushalayim, at the Beyth YHWH [House of YHWH – the Temple]. Julian then revoked the order, not allowing the Yahudiym into Yerushalayim, in 361 CE. He also sent state funds for the rebuilding of the Beyth. Exiled Yahudiym, flocked from all over and gave of their labor and possessions, for the rebuilding of the Beyth. But, when they began to dig the foundation, fire erupted, possibly from natural gases, from the ground, and burnt several of the workers. Work stopped for a time. When they began to resume the work, the same phenomenon occurred again. The Christians rejoiced in this, seeing it as divine intervention. Before they could progress again, Julian died and was replaced by Jovian, a Christian. Jovian withdrew the state funds and restricted Yahudiym from Yerushalayim again.

 

The following accounts are from various sources, and where I believe the Christian accounts to be exaggerated and manipulated, as with all things, you can weed through and find the truth.

 

The Ecclesiatical History Of Socrates, Surnamed Scholasticus, Or The Advocate. Comprising A History Of The Church, In Seven Books, From The Accension Of Constantine, A.D. 305, To The 38th Year Of Thoedosius II, London, 1897, Chapter XX,  “The Jews being instigated by the Emperor to rebuild their Temple, are frustrated in their attempt by miraculous interposition.  -  The superstition of the Emperoro became still more apparent in his further atempts to molest the Christians. Being fond of sacrificing, he not only himself delighted in the blood of victims, but considered it an indignity offered to him, if others did not manifest a similar taste. And as he found but few persons of this stamp, he sent fot the Jews and inquired of them, why they abstained from sacrificing, since the law of Moses enjoined it? On their replying that it was not permitted them to do this in any other place than Jerusalem, he immediately ordered them to rebuild Solomon’s Temple. Meanwhile, he himself proceeded on his expedition against the Persians. The Jews, who had been long desirous of obtaining a favourable opportunity for rearing their temple afresh, in order that they might therein offer sacrifice, applied themselves very vigorously to the work; and conducting themselves with great insolence toward the Christians, threatened to do them as much mischief as they had themselves suffered from the Romans. The Emperor having ordered that the expenses of this structure should be defrayed put of the public treasury, all things were soon provided; so that they were furnished with timber and stone, burnt brick, clay, lime, and all other materials necessary for building. On this occasion Cyril bishop of Jerusalem, calling to mind the prophecy of Daniel, which Christ also in the Holy Gospels has confirmed, predicted in the presence of many persons that the time would very soon come in which one stone should not be left upon another in that the temple, but that the Saviour’s prophetic declaration should have its full accomplishment. Such were the bishop’s words: and on the night following a mighty earthquake tore up the stones of the old foundations of the temple, and dispersed them altogether with the adjacent edifices. This circumstance exceedingly terrified the Jews; and the report of it brought many to the spot who resided at a great distance: when therfore a vast multitude was assembled another prodigy took place. Fire came down from heaven and consumed all the builder’s tools: so that for one entire day the flames were soon preying upon mallets, irons to smooth and polish stones, saws, hatchets,  adzes, in short all the various implements which the workmen had procured as necessary for the undertaking. The Jews indeed were in the greatest possible alarm, and unwillingly confessed that Christ is God: yet they did not his will; but influenced by inveterate prepossessions they still clung to Judaism. Even a third miracle which afterwards happened failed to induce a belief of the truth. For the next night luminous impressions of the cross appeared imprinted on their garments, which at daybreak they in vain attempted to rub or wash out. They were therefore blinded as the apostle says, and cast away the good they had in their hands: and thus was the temple, instead of being rebuilt, at that time wholly overthrown.”

 

Khosru Parvez, the Persian, took Yerushalayim from the Christians in 614 CE. The Christian Byzantine King, Heraclius, takes Yerushalayim in 628 CE. The Moslems would take Yerushalayim in 637-38 CE, building the Dome of the Rock, over the Temple Mount in 691 CE. The Caliphate of Omar took Yerushalayim about 717-720 CE. Abd al-Aziz excluded the Yahudiym from the Temple Mount and restricted them to praying at only one gate. In 1073 CE, Turkish Selijuks conquer Yerushalayim. The Fatimads, descendants of Mohammed’s daughter Fatima, conquer Yerushalayim, in 1098 CE. The European Crusaders capture Yerushalayim in 1099 CE.  When Saladin conquered Palestine, in 1187 CE, Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides) was the personal physician to Saladin’s oldest son, Nur-ud-Din Ali and to Saladin’s vizier. He used his favor at court, to persuade Saladin to allow the Yahudiym to settle there again. Crusaders recapture Yerushalayim in 1228-29 CE. The Christians again prohibit Yahudiym from living in Yerushalayim. In 1243-44 CE, the Egyptians capture Yerushalayim from the Crusaders. The Mongols take Yerushalayim in 1260 CE. The same year, the Mamluks defeat the Mongols, taking Palestine. In 1516-17 CE, the Turkish Ottoman Empire conquers Palestine and takes Yerushalayim. The British capture Yerushalayim from the Turks in 1917 CE. The same year the Balfour Declaration is issued, promising a Jewish homeland. 1948 CE, saw the establishment of the Nation of Israel. Despite the authority of the Nation of Israel, the Arab Nations, still control part of Yerushalayim and the Temple Mount, allowing the Yahudiym access to only one wall of the original Temple, called the Wailing Wall.

 

 

Seleucid Empire

Seleusus, one of the Macedonian commanders under Alexander the Great, founded the Selucid Dynasty, in 301 BCE,  by gaining control of Iran, Mesopotamia, northern Syria and much of Asia Minor. Antigonus I challenged Seleucus for Babylon. In 312, Seleucus and Ptolemy defeated him at Gaza. The Seleucid Empire consisted of Elam, Sumeria, Persia, Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, Phoenicia and sometimes Asia Minor and Palestine. Seleucus set up Seleucia and Antioch as his capitals. He was assassinated in 281 BCE. He ruled for 35 years. The Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt, fought over Palestine numerous times, over the centuries. In the original division of Alexanders kingdom, Judea, (Palestine south of Samaria) had been given to the Macedonian general, Ptolemy. The Seleucid Empire never accepted this decision and did not want to be cut of from the Mediterranean Sea and all the trade that would come from it and the trade between Jerusalem and Damascus.

 

In the following wars, Ptolemy the first won and Judea was subject to the Ptolemaic Empire from 321 – 198 BCE. This was the time that the Septuagint was said to be commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus. In 198 BCE, Antiochus III, the Seleucid king, defeated Ptolemy V and made Judea part of the Seleucid Empire. Antiochus IV, thought of Judea as a source of revenue and heavily taxed them. He also enforced Hellenization on them. Antiochus IV ignored the hereditary office of Kohen Gadol [High Priest] and appointed Jason, who supported the Hellenizing party. Due to Jason not acting with the speed that Antiochus wanted, Antiochus appointed Menelaus the position of Kohen Gadol.

 

 

Septuagint

According to legend, the Septuagint was commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus, at the suggestion of Demetrius. He invited some seventy Yahudiym [Jewish] scholars to come from Judea, about 250 BCE, to translate the Hebrew Scriptures, into Greek. Supposedly the King housed them each in separate quarters, on Pharos, and would not allow communication between them. They were to each translate the 5 Books of Mosheh. According to tradition, all 70 versions agreed word for word, proving that it was inspired text of divine origin. This information is from a letter supposedly written by Aristeas, in the first century CE (See Letter of Aristeas), though parts are believed to have been written in the first century CE.

 

This Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures came to be known as the hermenia kata tous hebdomekonta – the Interpretation according to the Seventy – in Latin, Interpretatio Septuaginta, which came to be called, The Septuagint.

 

However it was written, the Pentateuch was written before the close of the third century, and the Prophets in the second century.

 

 

Sergius Paulus

A proconsul.

 

 

Shammai the Elder

Shammai HaZaken was in 50 BCE and died in 30 CE. He was one of the leaders of the Great Sanhedrin. He served as av bet din, in the Sanhedrin, when Hillel was nasi. Shammai was the founder of the school, which bore his name as Bet Shammai. The views of Bet Shammai were more strict than those of Bet Hillel, which were considered lenient. Not always were the personal views of Shammai so strict. About one third of the views ascribed to him are lenient.

 

 

 

T

 

Talmud

According to Rabbinic tradition, Mosheh had passed down, not only a Written Law (Thorah  -Torah SheBiktav), in the Books of Mosheh, but also an Oral Law (Thorah – Torah She-B’al Peh). This was, as the Rabbi’s teach, “which Moses received at Sinai, and transmitted to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly…”  This is written in the Ethics of the Fathers 1:1.

 

This Oral Law was compiled and eventually written. The entire body of this Oral Law, which comprises  the Mishnah and the Gemara,  is called the Talmud. Talmud is a Post Biblical Hebrew word meaning teaching, lesson, learning. It comes from the root, lamad, to learn. This Oral Law was handed down from teacher to pupil, for generations, and expounded upon each time. This Law and commentary was a source of contention, between different sects of the Ibriym [Hebrews], prior to the rebuilding of the Second Temple, by Herod.

 

The main source of this contention, is  whether or not the Oral Law is of divine origin and is legally binding. The Parushiym [Pharisees] taught that it was. The Shomeroniym [Samaritans], Tsaddukiym [Sadducees] and Qaraiym [Qaraites] did not. They viewed it as commentary and not legally binding. The Parushiym dismissed the Shomeroniym as being pagan, mixed breeds, cultic and heretic. When the Second Temple was destroyed by Titus, in 70 CE, the bulk of the Tsaddukiym disappeared, and with them, their objections. The Rabbi’s, the inheritors of the Parushiym beliefs, became the authority for Orthodox Judaism. The practices of the Parushiym became Rabbinic Judaism. 

 

A sect of Yahudiym, developed when Anan ben David, the nephew of the Exilarch Solomon, established a synagogue, after 762 CE, and called on Yahudiym everywhere to reject the Talmud and obey only the Thorah, in the Pentateuch. He protested against the changes that Talmudic Rabbis had made in the Mosaic Law. His followers were called Qaraiym, meaning followers of the text, readers of the Scriptures. Throughout the Middle Ages, Qaraiym and the followers of Rabbinic Judaism have been at odds concerning the Talmud.

 

Originally, the Oral Law was not written down.

As the rabbinic decisions became too numerous to memorize, rabbis, such as Hillel, Akiba and Meir sought to classify the law and create ways to aid in memorizing it. These attempts did not gain widespread acceptance. As the revolts and persecutions against the Yahudiym [Jews] increased, the number of men that knew the Oral Law decreased, putting oral transmission in jeopardy. From about 10 CE to 220 CE, rabbinical tannaim (teachings of the Oral Law) accumulated. Rabbi Akiba attempted to codify Halakah. His student, Rabbi Meir,  continued the work. Their student, Judah HaNasi [Judah the Prince], rearranged the whole Oral Law and wrote it out, with some personal additions, calling it the Mishnah of Rabbi Jehuda. It was so widely accepted that it came to be called The Mishnah, and was considered the authority of the Yahudiym. This was written about 200 CE.

 

From 220-500 CE, rabbinical amoraim (expounding) accumulated even more. This commentary of the Mishnah was called the Gemarah. Towards the end of the fourth century, the schools of Palestine collected their commentaries, in what is known as the Palestinian Gemarah. About the same time, 397 CE, Rab Ashi, the head of the college in Sura (Babel), began to codify the Babylonian Gemarah. This was completed by Rabina II bar Samuel. The Babylonian Gemarah is about eleven times longer than the Mishnah. From 500-650 CE, rabbinical saboraim (reasoners) revised the mass of commentary and put the finishing touches on the Babylonian Talmud. The Mishnah is the same in both, the Palestinian and the Babylonian Talmuds. It is the Gemarah which is different in the two, the Babylonian being four times longer than the Palestinian.

 

To the Amoraim, the word Talmud applied only to the Mishnah, but in modern usage it applies to both the Mishnah and the Gemarah. Modern Talmud also includes Rashi’s commentary, the Tosefta (the remnants of the Law, which Judah HaNasi omitted when he compiled the Mishnah), and Midrashiym (expositions).

 

 

 

 Targums

 

 

 

Tacitus

Tacitus was a first century, Roman historian. He wrote Histories and Annales.

 

 

Tertullian

Born Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus, in 155/160 CE, at Carthage (now Tunisia). He died sometime after 220 CE, the date of his last known writing. He was an important early Christian theologian for the West. Tertullian was a leading member of the African church. Sometime before 210, Terrtullian left orthodox Christianity and joined a sect called Montanism. Montanism was founded by the 2nd century Phrygian prophet Montanus. Montanism stood in judgement on any compromise with the ways of the world. Tertullian was dissatisfied with the laxity of contemporary Christianity and gave himself fully to Montanism. Though the Montanists were not as strict as Tertullian. He ended up breaking with them and founding his own sect, that existed until the 5th century in Africa.

 

 

Tiberius

Emperor of Rome. Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar was born in 42 BCE. He ruled  from 14 CE – 37 CE. Tiberius was the son of Livia and Tiberius Claudius Nero and son-in-law of Emperor Octavian. Octavian adopted Tiberius as his son and successor in 4 CE. Though Octavian retained title of Prince, Tiberius began to rule at that time. Octavian died in 14 CE and Tiberius became Emperor.  In 19 CE, Tiberius conscripted 4000 Yahudiym [Jews] from Rome and forced them into suicidal soldering in Sardinia. He expelled the rest of the Yahudiym from Rome. Twelve years later, he recanted and ordered that the Yahudiym should be unmolested in their practice of their religion.

 

After a fainting spell, which it was presumed that he was dead, Gaius was looked to as the new emperor. Then it was found that Tiberius was recovering and not dead. A friend of all involved, to cover the embarrassment of the situation, smothered Tiberius with a pillow, in 37 CE. Gaius succeeded him as Emperor (see Caligula).

 

 

Titus

Emperor of Rome. Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus was born in 40 CE and died of a fever, in the same farmhouse that his father died in, in 81 CE. Titus ruled from 79 CE – 81 CE. He died in the second year of his rule as sole Emperor. His brother Domitian succeeded his as Emperor.

 

 

Toldoth Yeshu

This is a derogatory version of the life of Jesus, growing out of the response of the Jewish community to Christianity. The tradition presented here is most commonly dated to approximately the 6th century CE. The text it self is closer to the 14th c.

 

 Text from Jesus in the Jewish Tradition, Morris Goldstein, pgs. 148-154.

 

“In the year 3671 in the days of King Jannaeus, a great misfortune befell Israel, when there arose a certain disreputable man of the tribe of Judah, whose name was Joseph Pandera. He lived at Bethlehem, in Judah.

 

Near his house dwelt a widow and her lovely and chaste daughter named Miriam. Miriam was betrothed to Yohanan, of the royal house of David, a man learned in the Torah and God-fearing.

At the close of a certain Sabbath, Joseph Pandera, attractive and like a warrior in appearance, having gazed lustfully upon Miriam, knocked upon the door of her room and betrayed her by pretending that he was her betrothed husband, Yohanan. Even so, she was amazed at this improper conduct and submitted only against her will.

 

Thereafter, when Yohanan came to her, Miriam expressed astonishment at behavior so foreign to his character. It was thus that they both came to know the crime of Joseph Pandera and the terrible mistake on the part of Miriam. Whereupon Yohanan went to Rabban Shimeon ben Shetah and related to him the tragic seduction. Lacking witnesses required for the punishment of Joseph Pandera, and Miriam being with child, Yohanan left for Babylonia.

 

Miriam gave birth to a son and named him Yehoshua, after her brother. This name later deteriorated to Yeshu. On the eighth day he was circumcised. When he was old enough the lad was taken by Miriam to the house of study to be instructed in the Jewish tradition.

 

One day Yeshu walked in front of the Sages with his head uncovered, showing shameful disrespect. At this, the discussion arose as to whether this behavior did not truly indicate that Yeshu was an illegitimate child and the son of a niddah. Moreover, the story tells that while the rabbis were discussing the Tractate Nezikin, he gave his own impudent interpretation of the law and in an ensuing debate he held that Moses could not be the greatest of the prophets if he had to receive counsel from Jethro. This led to further inquiry as to the antecedents of Yeshu, and it was discovered through Rabban Shimeon ben Shetah that he was the illegitimate son of Joseph Pandera. Miriam admitted

it. After this became known, it was necessary for Yeshu to flee to Upper Galilee.

 

After King Jannaeus, his wife Helene ruled over all Israel. In the Temple was to be found the Foundation Stone on which were engraven the letters of God's Ineffable Name. Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished. Therefore, the Sages took measures so that no one should gain this knowledge. Lions of brass were bound to two iron pillars at the gate of the place of burnt offerings. Should anyone enter and learn the Name, when he left the lions would roar at him and immediately the valuable secret would be forgotten.

 

Yeshu came and learned the letters of the Name; he wrote them upon the parchment which he placed in an open cut on his thigh and then drew the flesh over the parchment. As he left, the lions roared and he forgot the secret. But when he came to his house he reopened the cut in his flesh with a knife an lifted out the writing. Then he remembered and obtained the use of the letters.

 

He gathered about himself three hundred and ten young men of Israel and accused those who spoke ill of his birth of being people who desired greatness and power for themselves. Yeshu proclaimed, "I am the Messiah; and concerning me Isaiah prophesied and said, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.'" He quoted other messianic texts, insisting, "David my ancestor prophesied concerning me: 'The Lord said to me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.'"

 

The insurgents with him replied that if Yeshu was the Messiah he should give them a convincing sign. They therefore, brought to him a lame man, who had never walked. Yeshu spoke over the man the letters of the Ineffable Name, and the leper was healed. Thereupon, they worshipped him as the Messiah, Son of the Highest.

 

When word of these happenings came to Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin decided to bring about the capture of Yeshu. They sent messengers, Annanui and Ahaziah, who, pretending to be his disciples, said that they brought him an invitation from the leaders of Jerusalem to visit them. Yeshu consented on condition the members of the Sanhedrin receive him as a lord. He started out toward Jerusalem and, arriving at Knob, acquired an ass on which he rode into Jerusalem, as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah.

 

The Sages bound him and led him before Queen Helene, with the accusation: "This man is a sorcerer and entices everyone." Yeshu replied, "The prophets long ago prophesied my coming: 'And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,' and I am he; but as for them, Scripture says 'Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.'"

 

Queen Helene asked the Sages: "What he says, is it in your Torah?" They replied: "It is in our Torah, but it is not applicable to him, for it is in Scripture: 'And that prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.' He has not fulfilled the signs and conditions of the Messiah."

 

Yeshu spoke up: "Madam, I am the Messiah and I revive the dead." A dead body was brought in; he pronounced the letters of the Ineffable Name and the corpse came to life. The Queen was greatly moved and said: "This is a true sign." She reprimanded the Sages and sent them humiliated from her presence. Yeshu's dissident followers increased and there was controversy in Israel.

 

Yeshu went to Upper Galilee. the Sages came before the Queen, complaining that Yeshu practiced sorcery and was leading everyone astray. Therefore she sent Annanui and Ahaziah to fetch him.

 

The found him in Upper Galilee, proclaiming himself the Son of God. When they tried to take him there was a struggle, but Yeshu said to the men of Upper Galilee: "Wage no battle." He would prove himself by the power which came to him from his Father in heaven. He spoke the Ineffable Name over the birds of clay and they flew into the air. He spoke the same letters over a millstone that had been placed upon the waters. He sat in it and it floated like a boat. When they saw this the people marveled. At the behest of Yeshu, the emissaries departed and reported these wonders to the Queen. She trembled with astonishment.

 

Then the Sages selected a man named Judah Iskarioto and brought him to the Sanctuary where he learned the letters of the Ineffable Name as Yeshu had done.

 

When Yeshu was summoned before the queen, this time there were present also the Sages and Judah Iskarioto. Yeshu said: "It is spoken of me, 'I will ascend into heaven.'" He lifted his arms like the wings of an eagle and he flew between heaven and earth, to the amazement of everyone.

 

The elders asked Iskarioto to do likewise. He did, and flew toward heaven. Iskarioto attempted to force Yeshu down to earth but neither one of the two could prevail against the other for both had the use of the Ineffable Name. However, Iskarioto defiled Yeshu, so that they both lost their power and fell down to the earth, and in their condition of defilement the letters of the Ineffable Name escaped from them. Because of this deed of Judah they weep on the eve of the birth of Yeshu.

 

Yeshu was seized. His head was covered with a garment and he was smitten with pomegranate staves; but he could do nothing, for he no longer had the Ineffable Name.

 

Yeshu was taken prisoner to the synagogue of Tiberias, and they bound him to a pillar. To allay his thirst they gave him vinegar to drink. On his head they set a crown of thorns. There was strife and wrangling between the elders and the unrestrained followers of Yeshu, as a result of which the followers escaped with Yeshu to the region of Antioch; there Yeshu remained until the eve of the Passover.

 

 Yeshu then resolved to go the Temple to acquire again the secret of the Name. That year the Passover came on a Sabbath day. On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu, accompanied by his disciples, came to Jerusalem riding upon an ass. Many bowed down before him. He entered the Temple with his three hundred and ten followers. One of them, Judah Iskarioto apprised the Sages that Yeshu was to be found in the Temple, that the disciples had taken a vow by the Ten Commandments not to reveal his identity but that he would point him out by bowing to him. So it was done and Yeshu was seized. Asked his name, he replied to the question by several times giving the names Mattai, Nakki,

Buni, Netzer, each time with a verse quoted by him and a counter-verse by the Sages.

 

Yeshu was put to death on the sixth hour on the eve of the Passover and of the Sabbath. When they tried to hang him on a tree it broke, for when he had possessed the power he had pronounced by the Ineffable Name that no tree should hold him. He had failed to pronounce the prohibition over the carob-stalk, for it was a plant more than a tree, and on it he was hanged until the hour for afternoon prayer, for it is written in Scripture, "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree." They buried him outside the city.

 

On the first day of the week his bold followers came to Queen Helene with the report that he who was slain was truly the Messiah and that he was not in his grave; he had ascended to heaven as he prophesied. Diligent search was made and he was not found in the grave where he had been buried. A gardener had taken him from the grave and had brought him into his garden and buried him in the sand over which the waters flowed into the garden.

 

Queen Helene demanded, on threat of a severe penalty, that the body of Yeshu be shown to her within a period of three days. There was a great distress. When the keeper of the garden saw Rabbi Tanhuma walking in the field and lamenting over the ultimatum of the Queen, the gardener related what he had done, in order that Yeshu's followers should not steal the body and then claim that he had ascended into heaven. The Sages removed the body, tied it to the tail of a horse and transported it to the Queen, with the words, "This is Yeshu who is said to have ascended to heaven." Realizing that Yeshu was a false prophet who enticed the people and led them astray, she mocked the followers but praised the Sages.

 

The disciples went out among the nations--three went to the mountains of Ararat, three to Armenia, three to Rome and three to the kingdoms buy the sea, They deluded the people, but ultimately they were slain.

 

The erring followers amongst Israel said: "You have slain the Messiah of the Lord." The Israelites answered: "You have believed in a false prophet." There was endless strife and discord for thirty years.

 

The Sages desired to separate from Israel those who continued to claim Yeshu as the Messiah, and they called upon a greatly learned man, Simeon Kepha, for help. Simeon went to Antioch, main city of the Nazarenes and proclaimed toe them: "I am the disciple of Yeshu. He has sent me to show you the way. I will give you a sign as Yeshu has done."

 

Simeon, having gained the secret of the Ineffable Name, healed a leper and a lame man by means of it and thus found acceptance as a true disciple. He told them that Yeshu was in heaven, at the right hand of his Father, in fulfillment of Psalm 110:1. He added that Yeshu desired that they separate themselves from the Jews and no longer follow their practices, as Isaiah had said, "Your new moons and your feasts my soul abhorreth." They were now to observe the first day of the week instead of the seventh, the Resurrection instead of the Passover, the Ascension into Heaven instead of the Feast of Weeks, the finding of the Cross instead of the New Year, the Feast of the Circumcision instead of the Day of Atonement, the New Year instead of Chanukah; they were to be indifferent with regard to circumcision and the dietary laws. Also they were to follow the teaching of turning the right if smitten on the left and the meek acceptance of suffering. All these new ordinances which Simeon Kepha (or Paul, as he was known to the Nazarenes) taught them were really meant to separate these Nazarenes from the people of Israel and to bring the internal strife to an end.

 

 

 

Trajan

Emperor of Rome. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajanus was born in 52 CE, in Spain, of an Italian family and died in 117 CE. Prior to his death, Nerva adopted Trajan to succeed him as Emperor. Nerva died in 98 CE, and Trajan became Emperor of Rome. Trajan was in Cologne, leading an army at the time of Nerva’s death. He continued his work there, coming to Rome nearly two years later, always remaining the “general” , with a military bearing, during his reign. While in Mesopatamia, he developed dropsy and his body strength was broken. He was returning to Rome, when he died on the way, in 117 CE. His nephew, Hadrian. succeeded him.

 

 

 

U

 

 

V

 

Vespasian

Emperor of Rome. Titus Flavius Vespasian was born in 9 CE, of plebeian stock and ruled from 69 CE – 79 CE. This was the first time a commoner had ascended the throne. When Galba was killed in 69, the Roman troops in Egypt declared their general, Vespasian, the Emperor of Rome. The Senate had declared Otho to be the Emperor. At the same time, Romes troops in Germany, declared their general, Vitellius to be Emperor, and Egypt’s troops declared Vespasian, their general, to be Emperor. Vitellius marched on Rome and Otho  killed himself, after a 95 day reign, in 69 CE. In October of 69, Vespasian’s troops defeated Vitellius’s and he marched on Rome. Once again, his troops defeated Vitellius’ and he was taken from hiding and killed in December of 69 CE.

 

Vespasian was engaged in a battle against Judea. He arrived in October of 70 CE, for Senate confirmation to the Throne. Vespasian sent his son Titus to Judea to end the revolt of the Yahudiym [Jews]. Titus captured Yerushalayim and the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. To add insult to injury, Vespasian ordered that the half-shekel tax, that was annually sent to Yerushalayim, by each Yahudiy, was to be used instead to build up Rome. Vespasian was proud of the success of Titus, but not of the Yahudiy mistress, Berenice, that he wished to marry. Vespasian insisted that she be put away, and she was, to better smooth the path, to the throne, for Titus. While Vespasian ruled, he delegated more and more administration of the Empire to Titus. In 79 CE, after visiting Reata, the city of his birth, Vespasian died. Titus succeeded him as Emperor.

 

 

Vitellius

Emperor of Rome. Aulus Vitellius Germanicus, born in 15 CE,  ruled for a few months in 69 CE, after Otho. Otho ruled for a few months in 69 CE.  After Galba, the Emperor of Rome, declared that 9/10ths of the gifts that Nero had given, were to be returned to the treasury, many enemies arose against Galba. A bankrupt senator named Marcus Otho declared that he could not pay his debts, unless he became emperor. The Guards backed Otho and Galba was killed, taking his head to Otho. But Otho’s reign was short. Upon Galba’s death, the Roman armies in Germany and Egypt, also declared their generals to be Emperor. Aulus Vitellius was in Germany and Titus Flavius Vespasianus was in Egypt. Vitellius descended on Rome with his soldiers and Otho killed himself, after reigning 95 days. Vitellius ascended the throne of Rome as Emperor.

 

Vitellius was an epicurean who looked at the office of Emperor as a feast. He primarily left governing matters to his freedman, Asiaticus, who became the wealthiest man in Rome, within 4 months. Vitellius learned that Vespasian, the former general of the Roman army in Egypt, who had also declared Vespasian Emperor, had sent his general, Antonius to Italy to dethrone him. In October 69 CE, the troops of Antonius defeated those of Vitellius, in Cremona and then marched to Rome. In Rome, they were victorious as well. Vitellius was found in hiding and was tortured, then killed in December 69 CE, and the body thrown into the Tiber River. Vespasian ruled Rome as Emperor.

 

 

Vowel Points

The ancient Hebrew alphabet consisted primarily of consonants. The vowels were spoken and read, but they were not written. In the Middle Ages, partly due to persecutions and deaths of educated Yahudiym [Jews] and partly due to the dispersion of the Yahudiym,  the average Yahudiy, was not able to read Hebrew. The Yahudiym that lived in the Middle East, used Arabic and Aramaic for their everyday language. The Yahudiym that settled in the lands of Europe, adopted the language of the natives for their everyday language. Hebrew was primarily used for liturgy.  Most of their literature would be written in the language that they used everyday and not Hebrew.

 

The Masorites found it necessary to create a system of vowel points, enabling any literate Yahudiy, to read the Hebrew.

 

 

 

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Xerxes [Khashayarshah]

Xerxes was the son of Darius the Great. He ruled Persia from 486 – 465 BCE.

 

 

 

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YHWSh`’s Birth

The books of MattiYahu [Matthew] 2:1 and Luke 1:5, date Yahusha`’s birth to the time when Herod the Great was king. Herod the Great died in 4 BCE. Therefore his birth would have to occurred around 6 BCE. The reason being, Herod the Great ordered the slaughter of all male children, in Beyth Lechem and its vacinity, who were two years old and younger (MattiYahu [Matthew] 2:16). If Herod died in 4 BCE and the child he was seeking to kill was at least 2 years old, that would move the date back to 6 BCE. Also, Luke 2:1,2, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was the governor of Syria.”  Quirinius was known to be a legate of Syria between 6-12 CE. Josephus notes a census by him, but places it as 6-7 CE. It is possible that the dating is incorrect for Common Era, versus Before Common Era. Tertullian records a census of Judea by Saturnius, who was governor of Syria in 8-7 BCE. So the possibility exists that Luke had the wrong governer. Another factor is that of a star. The Chinese have record of a bright star or comet that appeared in 5 BCE.

 

Luke says that Yahusha` was about 30 when he was immersed by Yahuchanan [John] (Luke 3:23). Luke 3:1,2, “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was govenor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galil, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of YHWH came to Yahuchanan [John] ben ZekarYahu [Zechariah] in the desert.”

 

The following are the reigns of the mentioned rulers:

Tiberias Caesar - 14 CE – 37 CE

Pontius Pilate - 26 CE – 36 CE
Herod (Antipas) – 4 BCE – 39 CE
Philip – 4 BCE – 34 CE

Lysanias - ?

Annas (the former Kohen Gadol)– 7 CE – 14 CE

Caiaphas (the present Kohen Gadol and son of the former) – 18 CE – 36 CE

 

The 15th year of Tiberius’s reign makes that 28-29 CE, when Yahusha`  was immersed, about 30 years old. That would put his birth anywhere between 1 BCE, at 30, to 10 BCE, at 40.

 

 

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