Jerusalem, Rome, Revelation – John’s Apocalypse Written Before 70 A.D.

132.   “‘I was,’ said Otho, ‘too formidable to Nero!’….   The soul of Otho was not effeminate like his person.   His confidential freemen and slaves, who enjoyed a licence unknown in private families, brought the debaucheries of Nero’s court…before a mind passionately fond of such things….  

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133.   “The astrologers also urged him to action – predicting from their observation of the heavens, revolutions and a year of glory for Otho….   Many of these men were attached to the secret councils of Poppaea, and were the vilest tools in the employ of the imperial household.”

134.   Now let us hear the famous Judaistic Historian Josephus about that unlovely couple – the evil Pagan Roman Emperor Nero and his Judaistic wicked wife Sabina Poppaea! In chapter three of his own autobiography Life, Josephus tells us: “When I was in the twenty- sixth year of my age [viz. in A.D. 62], it happened that I took a voyage to Rome…at the time when Felix [the Roman Governor and husband of his Jewish wife Drusilla (cf. Acts 24:2-24)] was Procurator of Judea….  

135.   “I became acquainted with Aliturius, an actor of plays much beloved by Nero and a Jew by birth – and through his interest, I became known to Poppaea, Caesar’s wife.   I took care, as soon as possible, to plead with her to procure that the [Judaistic] priests might be set at liberty.   And when, besides this favour, I had obtained many presents from Poppaea – I returned home again.”

136.   In his Antiquities XX:8:3 & XX:8:11 & XX:11:1, Josephus gives us additional valuable information.   He writes: “As to ourselves who have made truth our direct aim, we…shall relate what has happened to us Jews with great accuracy; and shall not grudge our pains in giving an account both of the calamities we have suffered and of the crimes we have been guilty of….  

137.   “Upon Festus’s coming into Judaea [cf. Acts 24:27f], it happened that Judaea was afflicted by the robbers….   The chief men at Jerusalem…erected a wall upon the uppermost building which belonged to the inner court of the temple….   Festus ordered them to pull the wall down again.  

138.   “But the Jews petitioned…to send an embassage about this matter to Nero….  They sent ten of their principal men to Nero, as also Ismael the high priest….   When Nero had heard what they had to say – he…gave them leave to let the wall they had built, stand.   This was granted in order to gratify Poppaea, Nero’s wife, who was a religious[!] woman and had requested these favours of Nero.”

139.   A subsequent Roman Governor of Judaea, “Gessius Florus” – Josephus further explains – “filled Judaea with abundance of miseries.   He was by birth from the city of Clazomenae, and brought along with him his wife Cleopatra (by whose friendship with Poppaea, Nero’s wife, he obtained this Governorship).   She was no way different from him in wickedness….   The unhappy Jews…were not able to bear the devastations which the robbers made among them.”

140.  The Times 1908 Historians’ History of World (II:4:174-77), on the History of Israel, points out that “the Romans allowed the Jews the free exercise of their religion, as they allowed it to all other nations.   But the Jews were the chief people in the Empire who did not belong to the Indo-European race.   There is an incompatibility of temper between that race

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and the Semitic….   The demand for union with the Empire, raised after the death of Herod, had proceeded from the Jews themselves….   We cannot lay all the blame on the Romans; their rule secured the peace of the World….   But we mourn for Greece, and we may be permitted to mourn for Judea.   Nor must we cast a stone at this small and fiery nation, with its obstinate will to live….

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