Joel 2:17-21 - “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, will dwell on Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will glow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias. …Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations.”
Feast of Unleavened Bread - Passover
Feast of Harvest - Pentecost
Succot - Feast of Ingathering /Tabernacles
You see the ‘judgments of the Lord’ carried the full weight of the Torah or God’s divine law. These three festivals were required of males of the children of Israel. The implications of following these festivals had everything to do about life and death. All males were to participate in the planting and harvesting of the spring and fall crop season. For a male to refuse to participate in the agrarian culture of the land and the festival meant death. To participate meant life. Here the Lord of hosts took divine concepts; obey you live and disobey you die and gave them very literal application. As such for God’s chosen ones to question the Torah or God’s divine law was not open to question. It was God’s command.
On the other hand, the “statues of the Lord’ (Lev. 23:21, 31, 39, 41) were centered on the civil legislative body and tribal law. They would take the spiritual concepts of the Torah and make literal applications for them. The participation in the ‘kingdom of God’ was taking realities in the other-dimensional states in heaven and giving real true-life applications.
Feast of Harvest - Pentecost.
Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement (Judgment)
Succot - Feast of Tabernacles
Participation in these festivals was a miniature yearly play where human action plays out in drama the act of fulfilling God’s Will. It is not that the Lost House of the Tribes of Israel will learn to obey the Lord their God but that they ‘will obey’ the Lord their God. Then they will be restored to ‘The Land’. This is not a promise to dwell in an other-dimensional ‘promised land’, but “you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your father”. Then and only then, “you shall be My people and I will be your God.”
The prophet then Joel picks up this theme.
Joel 2:1 – “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain? Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the Day of the Lord is coming.”
Another lament or oracle is found in Jeremiah to the king of Egypt. Here we see potentially a mini-picture of a future day when the reign of Mubarak, as the modern Pharaoh, will be extinguished and the land will be desolated.
Ezekiel 32:7-9 – When I put out your light, I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. And the bright light of the heaven I will make dark over you, and bring darkness upon your land.’ says the Lord God.”
The prophet Joel then suggests that associated with the catastrophes of an earthquake will be the return of the Lord to Jerusalem, a restoration of the land of Israel as a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’, where the Latter Rain will once again be bountiful, the land will erupt with trees and vegetation, the land will sustain a bountiful of harvest, and the ‘fountain will flow out of the Lords house’.
Joel 2:17-21 - “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, will dwell on Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias. …Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations.”
Yet we shall soon see that the “day of the Lord” also occurred as a mini-drama when the Almighty One came in collision with the sins of this planet earth at the death of His Son on the cross. Within the panorama of the catastrophic events that surrounded the death and resurrection of Jesus on that “day of the Lord” in Jerusalem was a shadow picture of that future “day of the Lord” when Jesus will return again in the clouds of glory as Yahshua ben David (Jesus son of David).
The restoration of the literal chosen ones will be complete to a land where they can study Torah under the rulership of Yahshua who will rule this earth with a ‘rod of iron’. The prophetic vision of the ancient prophets of Israel and Judah will also be complete. But God’s ultimate will for this earth and all His people will still be another thousand years in the future. Did not the prophet Ezekiel state:
Ezekiel 37:21-22 - Surely I will take the children of Israel (House of Judah and the House of Israel) from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.
In the 4th century a copy of the Gospel of Luke was found in the Codex Vatican’s and the Codex Sinaiticus. (Pap. 75, C, L, Coptic). This translation reads:
The Gospel of Peter 4-7(parts) - “And it was noon, and darkness came over all Judaea: and they (Jewish rulers and leaders) were troubled and distressed, lest the sun had set, whilst He was yet alive: (for) it is written for them, that the sun set not on him that hath been put to death. And one of them said, Give him to drink gall with vinegar. And they mixed and gave him to drink, and fulfilled all things, and accomplished their sins against their own head. And many went about with lamps, supposing that it was night, and fell down. And the Lord cried out, saying, My Power! My Power! Thou hast forsaken me! And when he had said it he was taken up. And in that hour the vail of the temple of Jerusalem was rent in twain.
And then they drew out the nails from the hands of the Lord, and laid him upon the earth, and the whole earth quaked, and great fear arose. Then the sun shone, and it was found the ninth hour: and the Jews rejoiced, and gave his body to Joseph that he might bury it, since he had seen what good things he had done. And he took the Lord, and washed him, and rolled him in a linen cloth, and brought him into his own tomb, which was called the Garden of Joseph.
Then the Jews and the elders and the priests, perceiving what evil they had done to themselves, began to lament and to say, ‘Woe for our sins; and the judgment hath drawn nigh, and the end of Jerusalem.’"
Isaiah 13:9,10,13 – “Behold, the day of the Lord comes….For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light: the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine….Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts…and they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.”
Isaiah later exclaims that the Lord of hosts will say:
Isaiah 50:3 - “I will clothe the heavens with blackness.”
Yet the Prophet Amos comes with one of the clearest descriptions of the moment in time when Yahshua was hanging on the tree that the planet earth bowed its head in sorrow and the world became dark.
Amos 8:9 - “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts (Passover) into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, and baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only Son, and its end like a bitter day.”
Now the Apostle Peter was linking this moment of the crucifixion with a future event in the “last days” when once again the Lord of hosts will “pour out of My Spirit on all flesh.” Did it not become the signature of the Apostle Paul and Silas as they traveled to Thessalonica when their host, Jason’s home was attacked by envious Jews who cried out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too?” (Acts 17:6) Had not the fame of the death of Jesus the Nazarene traveled around the Mediterranean and the portents that were associated with His death? So, here were two of Yahshua’s disciples whose fame also traveled ahead of them.
Only days before, Paul and Silas were in the city of Philippi when Paul wrecked the livelihood of a fortune telling merchant by casting a demon out a young woman who was his most profitable diviner. Paul and Silas were dragged to the marketplace, whipped with rods and then imprisoned. With the strains of singing hymns, suddenly a “great earthquake” occurred, the prison doors were opened and the chain and shackles fell off their feet. Cataclysmic events appeared to follow the bond-servants of Yahshua. A literal translation of this same text would state; "These people who caused a physical upturning of the whole world are now also present right here in Thessalonica!"
Was there evidence that the earthquake in Jerusalem that occurred at the moment when Yahshua’s body was laid upon the ground was also an international catastrophic event? For the sun to be “darkened in its going forth” (Isaiah 13:10) suggests that the sun was not actually being obscured as in a solar eclipse. What we are saying is that the sun moved westward from its high noon position to sunset. As the sun sank below the horizon in the west the full moon was also rising in the eastern horizon.
With this sudden trajectory forward in rotation, the tectonic plates were moving. Was there a crustal shift in the mantle of the earth at the death of Yahshua? It does suggest that there was a sudden change in the solar clock forward as the mantle of the earth moved eastward that effectively appeared to move the sun westward and thereby blackened out the sun as it sank in the western horizon. Yet was this the only record of such a catastrophe in the world?
In the Babylonian Talmud, which was compiled between 70-500 CE we find a interesting reference to the hanging of Yeshua.
Babylonian Talmud - On the eve of the Passover Yeshua was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy." (Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin, Missouri: College Press Publishing Company, 1996), 202-203 cited by Michael Gleghorn, Ancient Evidence for Jesus from non-Christian Sources.)
Hanging you say? All modern Christian thought has stated that Jesus underwent a Roman crucifixion on a cross. It is interesting that a 14th century copy of a more ancient manuscript called the Hebrew Gospel of Matthews was preserved by a Jewish scribe called Shem-Tob ben-Isaac ben-Shaprut. Here the death of Jesus written by the Apostle Matthew is written in Hebrews. Let us look at uniquely Torah and Jewish account.
The Hebrew Gospel of Matthews 27:22-31 – “Pilate said to them: If so what shall I do with Jesus who is called Messiah? All of them answered that he should be hung. Pilate said to them: What evil has he done? Then they vigorously cried out: let them hang him let them hang him, let them hang him! Pilate, when he saw that he had no power of resistance and was unable to make any peace with them, before a great dispute among the people might arise because of this, took water and washed his hands before the people and said: ‘I am innocent (of the blood). Be careful what you do. All the people answered and said: His blood will be upon us and upon our seed.
Then he released Barabbas (to them), and delivered to them (the Jewish rulers and officials) Jesus for beating and affliction that they might hang him. Then the horsemen of the court took Jesus under guard and came together before a great company of people (Jews). They clothed Jesus with silk garments and covered him with a greenish silk robe. They made a crown of thorns and placed it on his head and set a reed in his right hand and were bowing down mocking him (saying): Peace be upon you, king of the Jews. They spit in his face and took the reed and struck his head. When they had mocked him (much) they stripped the robe from him dressed him in His own clothes and gave orders to hang him.” (George Howard, The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew Text, Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia 31207, pg 143-145)
As the text continues, Yahshua carried the “gallows” called the ‘the Cross’, and was hanged on a Mount called Gulgota, where He was hanged and while mocked told to “come down from the gallows”, “come down from the tree”.
The Hebrew Gospel of Matthews 27:32-54 – “As they were going out from the city they met a man whose name was Simon the Canaanite. They compelled him to carry the gallows, that is, ‘The Cross’ They came to a place called Gulgota, that is, Mount Calvary, and gave him wine mixed with gall. But when he began to drink it he perceived (what it was) and would not drink it. Then when they placed him on the gallows they divided his garments by lot. Afterwards, they set for him over his head a writing which said: This is Jesus of Nazareth, the king of Israel. Then two thieves were hung with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Those who were passing by mocked him and shook (their) heads saying: ‘See, (how) you would lay waste the temple of God and in yet three days (built it); save yourself; if you are the Son of god come down from the gallows.’ The chief priest and the elders of the people mocked him saying; ‘others he saved; himself he cannot save. If he is the king of Israel let him come down from the tree and we will believe. Since he trusted in God let Him save him now if he wishes, because he said he is the Son of God.’ The thieves who were hung with him said to Him these very same words.
At the sixth hour darkness came in all the world and it remained until the ninth hour. Jesus cried in a loud voice saying, in the holy language: My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? One of those standing there said: This One is calling for Elijah. Immediately he took spongy-bread, filled it with vinegar and gave it to him to drink. Others were saying: We will see if Elijah will come and deliver him.
Jesus cried another time in a loud voice and sent his spirit to his father. Immediately the curtain of the temple was torn into two pieces, from the top downwards; the earth shook and the rocks were broken. The graves were opened and many of those asleep in the dust arose. They came out of their graves and after (this) they entered the holy city and were revealed to many. The captain of the hundred and those standing with him watching Jesus saw the earthquake and the things which were done and were very afraid saying: ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’” (George Howard, The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew Text, Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia 31207, pg 143-145)
In the ancient books of the ante-Nicene Fathers, we find several fascinating passages concerning the death of Yahshua, the earthquake and the dark day.
Julius Africanus was one of the Early Church Fathers in the early 3rd century who wrote in his book, Chronography, under the title, “On the Circumstances connected with our Savior’s Passion and His life-giving resurrection” the following description of Jesus’ death.
Chronography of Julius Africanus - “As to His works severally, and His cures effected upon body and soul, and the mysteries of His doctrine, and the resurrection from the dead, these have been most authoritatively set forth by His disciples and apostles before us.
On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down.
This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the Passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the Passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye.
Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth — manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. But it was a darkness induced by God, because the Lord happened then to suffer." (Julius Africanus, Chronography, cited by George Syncellus (p. 609, 21 Bonn.) = Müller section 8 [fr. Greek]: quoted in The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
Here Julius Africanus quotes two other authors which he stated also referred to the same event, the death of Christ. These two historians were Thallus and Phegon.
Phlegon of Tralles (about 140 CE) wrote a major historical work called "Olympiades". As a distinguished chronicler of the Olympiads, in his 13th book he wrote,
Phlegon - "In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad there was a great eclipse of the sun, greater than had ever been known before; for at the sixth hour the day was changed into night and the stars were seen in the heavens. An earthquake occurred in Bythinia and overthrew a great part of the city of Nicaea."
It was Eusebius, the Roman church historian of the Emperor Constantine, picked up this date of the crucifixion of Jesus, as being the 18th year of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. It was Syncellus who quoted Eusebius in his work called the “Chronicle” in the original Greek;
Syncellus - "Jesus Christ ... underwent his passion in the 18th year of Tiberius. Also at that time in another Greek compendium we find an event recorded in these words: "the sun was eclipsed, Bithynia was struck by an earthquake, and in the city of Nicaea many buildings fell." (Eusebius, Chronicle, cited by George Syncellus (p. 609, 21 Bonn.) = Müller section 8 [fr. Greek]: quoted in The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
The first quoted author of Julius Africanus was an obscure and unknown historian called Thallus who wrote a thesis some time between AD 30 and AD 180. The Early Church Father Jerome (Heironymus) in his Chronological tables translated the mostly lost Eusebius’ Chronicle which was written in Greek into his Latin Chronological tables, which also is lost. Yet these tables are well preserved in an Armenian translation. The Olympiads were played every four years and according to Jerome, the 202nd Olympiad came in the years of 29-32 CE. So the crucifixion of Jesus according to Phlegon occurred in the same year as the 202nd Olympic Games in Greece. Thallus’ now lost work was written after 30 CE and was first quoted by Theophilus of Antioch about 180 CE.
If the catastrophic events as recorded by Phlegon can now be assimilated into the gospel stories of the crucifixion of Yahshua, then we have a prime reference to the date of the crucifixion of Jesus.
It was also the early church father, Origen, who was a friend of Julius Africanus, who wrote two passages in his work, Against Celsius confirming this association of dates;
Origen - "Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events (although falling into confusion about some things which refer to Peter, as if they referred to Jesus), but also testified that the result corresponded to his predictions. So that, he also, by these very admissions regarding foreknowledge, as if against his will, expressed his opinion that the doctrines taught by the fathers of our system were not devoid of divine power." (Origen, Against Celsus 2. 14 cited by The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
Origen - "And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles." (Origen, Against Celsus 2. 33 cited by The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
Origin - "Regarding these we have in the preceding pages made our defense, according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Saviour suffered." (Origen, Against Celsus 2. 59 cited by The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
We then have the testimony of the 6th century Christian Neo-Platonist, Philopon, who wrote;
Philopon, a Christian Neo-Platonist - "Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Christ, and no other [eclipse], it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any [similar] eclipse in previous times." (Philopon, De opif. mund. II. 21 cited by The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
Then there was the 6th century Christian chronicler, Cassiodorus, who spoke of the uniqueness of this eclipse;
Cassiodorus - Under these co[n]s[ul]s Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered the VIIIth day before the Kalends of April, and an eclipse [lit. failure, desertion] of the sun occurred, such as never was before or since."
Written in Latin: "Tib (erius) Caesar V (Cusp., et solus) coss. (Cusp., Domitius et Scribonianus.) His coss. Dominus noster Jesus Christus passus est VIII calend. Aprilis, et defectio solis facta est, qualis ante vel postmodum nunquam fuit.") (Cassiodorus, Chronicon (Patrologia Latina, v. 69) "Tib[erius] Caesar V [Cusp., et solus] coss. [Cusp., Domitius et Scribonianus], quoted by The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
What is lost in the Easter celebrations of the Christian denominations is that the origins of Easter can only be found in the Passover festival of the Lord celebrated even today in the spring Passover rites of the Jews. The parallels of Jesus as the Passover or the Pesach (Paschal) Lamb are lost as the hidden and mystical meanings of the Passover festival has been hidden in what is referred as the ‘mythical fog of the ancients’.
When the Roman Catholic Church did ‘change times and laws’, the 25th day of March in the Julian calendar was selected as the conventional date for the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. As such the festival was converted from the lunar calendar of the Hebrews to the fixed solar calendar of Rome. Even this date was a fixed date. Easter was then fixed by convenience to the spring solar equinox on the Roman Julius calendar. Here as early as 243 CE in the works of Cyprian, De Pascha Computus, in probably northern Africa, the early Roman Christians linked the Passover, the spring equinox, and the 14th day of Nisan with the Passion of the Lord. (See The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion of Jesus, AD 33 )
Now five hundred years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have a Roman author testifying to the death of Jesus on the 8th day before the Kalends of April, which in the Roman Julian calendar was 25th March, 33 CE. So according to the Roman Christian testimony, the death of Jesus was sometime between March 25 and April 3, 33 CE. With the conversion to the Gregorian calendar, the date March 25 Roman Julian solar date and April 3 Hebrew lunar date would actually have now be converted to April 1 Gregorian date for the crucifixion of Jesus. No wonder this was called April fools day.
The Great Earthquake and Clues to the Restoration of Paradise
The Coming of the Messiah along with Major Planetary Crustal Changes on this Earth
The Great Earthquakes at Yahshua’s Death and upon His Return
Jesus’ Death, the Earthquake and the Omens to ‘The Jews’
The Rending of the Temple Veil
Omens that Began at the Death of Jesus
The Sanhedrin banished from the Chamber of Hewn Stones
Forty Years of Omens on the Jewish People
The Lord’s Lot came to the Left Hand
The Crimson Red Cord would not turn White
The Lamp on the Menorah refused to give any Light
The Doors of the Hekel open on their Own
The Star, the Comet and the Lamb birthed to the Red Heifer