Jesus and Zippori
By Dr. Thomas S. McCall
Zippori Photo From Hebrew University
One of the more interesting events during our trip to Israel with Zola Levitt Tours in the summer of 2011 was when we visited the Orthodox Kibbutz near the neighboring towns of Nazareth and ancient Zippori (known as Sepphoris to the Romans). The friendly group welcomed our pilgrims and provided our people with dress similar to what was worn in First Century Israel, and a demonstration of how bread was cooked by families in those days.
Zippori is revered by Orthodox Jews as the birthplace of Talmudic Judaism. After the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem Temple and Jews were scattered over the world, Rabbi Judah Hanasi codified the “Oral Law”, which had been passed down verbally from generation to generation, as a kind of extended commentary on the Torah, the five books of Moses. His work was called the Mishnah, the core of the Talmud. He did this work in Zippori around 200 A.D. Because of this, Zippori is a favorite place to visit when the Orthodox Jewish pilgrims come to Israel. However, most Christian groups know nothing about Zippori, and do not visit it.
While our group enjoyed the festivities down the hill, I remained by the main building of the Kibbutz, sitting on a bench. When our excellent Israeli guide, Ilan, came over, I asked him if he knew the story of the connection between Jesus and Zippori. He said no, and wanted to know about it. I mentioned a book that was written a decade ago on the subject. At the time I could not remember the title, but later got the name, JESUS AND THE FORGOTTEN CITY, by Richard Batey.
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The Antichrist will persecute the Jews on an industrial scale like Adolph Hitler did. 1/3 of the world’s Jewish population died under Hitler. 2/3 will die under Antichrist’s reign (Zachariah 13:8)
Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler review SS troops during Reich Party Day ceremonies. (September 1938)
Many have written about their hatred for the Jews from the time of the Bible. Christ said that they would suffer because they did not recognize Him at the time of His visitation. Corporate Israel refused to recognize Him as their long awaited Messiah.
Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.(NASB)
Matthew 23: 37-38 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!(NASB)
Within the militantly intolerant and violent Nazi Third Reich, Jews were considered to be foul, have shameful lives, and were subjected to horrible treatment. The Nazis wanted to first expel them from Germany and then later to subject them to cruel treatment as well as painful death simply because they were Jews. The Nazis used the same despicable kind of language found in Martin Luther’s The Jews and Their Lies when describing them publicly. It also appeared in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Nazi Germany did not invent anything new regarding the treatment of Jews. They simply amplified the anti-Jewish attitude inherent in European Christianity and its history. The constant “question” which rose in Hitler’s party and later in his administration was, what do we do with the Jews? The issue became known as the “Jewish Question.” They attributed the Jews as the source of all economic and social problems. Their answer was found in 1941which became known as the “Final Solution.”
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The Oracles of God came to Israel
In many sections of the Old Testament the Jewish prophets predicted in great detail the worldwide regathering of Israel. There many passages that describe the Jews coming back to the land in unbelief (Ezekiel 20:33-38; 22: 17-22; Zephaniah 2: 1-2 etc.) These passages describe the Jews coming back after a major persecution and before a major persecution. The 1st one was the Nazi Holocaust. The next one will be the Great Tribulation. Hitler eliminated 1/3 of the world’s Jews. Antichrist will kill 2/3 of them (Zechariah 13:8).
Jesus did say in His Olivet Discourse that the final regathering would occur finally and completely after His Second Coming. Jesus’ account of this re-gathering is found in Matthew 24:31 and in Mark 13:27.
The Matthew account reads:
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Mark Passage reads:
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Following the Second Coming, Christ will send His angels all over the world to re-gather every Jew and bring them back into their Land. The reference to the Matthew passage is Isaiah 27:12-13, which prophesied that the final restoration of Israel will be signaled by the sound of a great trumpet. The reference to the Mark passage is Deuteronomy 30:4, which also emphasizes that the final restoration will come from the earth as well as heaven. Those who are gathered from the uttermost parts of the earth will be living in Israel, the one-third Remnant that survives the Tribulation. Those who are gathered from the uttermost part of Heaven will be the resurrected Old Testament saints. This part of the Olivet Discourse summarizes many Old Testament prophecies, specifying that the final world-wide restoration will come only after the Second Coming, not before (Isaiah 11:11-12:6; 43:5-7; Jeremiah 23:5-8; 31:7-14; Ezekiel11:16-21; 20:40-42; 36:22-31).
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