Mon, Dec 05, 2016

The Times of the Gentiles

... What did Jesus mean when he referred to the times of the Gentiles? When did the times of the Gentiles begin? When will the times of the Gentiles end? What events will happen during this period of time when Gentiles dominate Israel? ...
Series:Articles

The Times of the Gentiles

Gary Gromacki
Th.M., D.Min., Ph.D. Professor of Bible and Homiletics

Editor of The Journal of Ministry and Theology Baptist Bible Seminary at Clarks Summit University Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Pre-Trib Rapture Study Group Dallas, Texas
December, 2016

INTRODUCTION

Jesus made this prediction in his Olivet Discourse: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24, NKJV).[1]

What did Jesus mean when he referred to the times of the Gentiles? When did the times of the Gentiles begin? When will the times of the Gentiles end? What events will happen during this period of time when Gentiles dominate Israel? 

I believe that the times of the Gentiles refers to the period of time that began with the conquering of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s temple by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C. We are currently living in the times of the Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles will end with the second coming of Messiah Jesus who will defeat the Gentile armies led by the Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon and deliver the Jews in Jerusalem.

The times of the Gentiles started during the dispensation of law, includes the dispensation of grace and will end at the end of the seven year tribulation period before the start of the dispensation of the kingdom. The times of the Gentiles includes all of the 70 weeks (490 years) of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27). The times of the Gentiles includes the Church age from Pentecost (Acts 2) until the Rapture (1 Thess.4:13-17). The times of the Gentiles includes the seven year tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy) predicted in Daniel 9:27 and explained in the book of Revelation chapters 6-19.

This paper will survey the key events, dates and people in the times of the Gentiles. During the times of the Gentiles: (1) no Jewish king sits on the throne of David ruling Israel, (2) four Gentile kingdoms in the past (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome) dominate Israel, (3) Jerusalem has been conquered and the temple has been destroyed by Gentile armies in the past (Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and then Titus and the Romans in A.D. 70) and (4) Jerusalem will be conquered in the future by Gentile armies led by the Antichrist during the last half of the tribulation period.

THE PAST HISTORY OF THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of an image of a metallic man which had a head of gold, a chest and arms made of silver, a belly and thighs made of bronze, legs made of iron and feet with ten toes made of part iron and part clay (Daniel 2:31-33). The different metals and parts of the image represent different Gentile kingdoms that will dominate Israel during the times of the Gentiles: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

In the first year of the reign of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream of four beasts (Daniel 7). Daniel wrote, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts. Daniel spoke saying I saw in my vision by night and behold the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other” (Daniel 7:1-3).

Daniel asked an angel for the interpretation of his vision and “he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings” (Daniel 7:17). The four beasts came up out of the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea). The sea in prophetic literature represents the Gentile nations. The four beasts of Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7 refer to the different Gentile kingdoms that dominate Israel during the times of the Gentiles: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

H. A. Ironside points out the differences between Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. “Chapter seven covers practically the same ground as chapter two. It takes in the whole course of the Times of the Gentiles, beginning with Babylon and ending with the overthrow of all derived authority and the establishment of the kingdom of the Son of Man…In the second chapter, when a Gentile king had a vision of the course of world-empire, he saw the image of a man—a stately and noble figure—that filled him with such admiration that he set up a similar stature to be worshipped as a god. But in this opening chapter of the second division, Daniel, the man of God, has a vision of the same empires, and he sees them as four ravenous wild beasts, of so brutal a character, and so monstrous, that no actual creatures known to man could adequately set them forth.”[2]

Babylon: The First Gentile Kingdom in the Times of the Gentiles
The Head of Gold in Daniel 2
The Winged Lion in Daniel 7

Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon that he was the head of gold in his dream of the metallic man: “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O King are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold” (Daniel 2:36-38).

Daniel wrote about the first beast in his vision in Daniel 7: “The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched until its wings were plucked off and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” (Daniel 7:4). Jeremiah described Babylon as a lion (Jeremiah 4:7). Ezekiel described Babylon as a great eagle with large wings (Ezekiel 17:3).

Daniel watched until the lion’s wings were plucked off, it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man. This could be a reference to what happened to Nebuchadnezzar when he boasted about his empire and was judged by God to become like a beast (read Daniel 4:28-33). The reference to his being made to stand on two feet like a man and being given a man’s heart could be a reference to his return to his sanity and the restoration of his kingdom (Daniel 4:34-37).

605-562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon.[3]

605 B.C. - Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians invaded Judah, besieged Jerusalem, took the temple treasures and members of the royal family and they took Daniel and his three friends to Babylon (Daniel 1:1-6).

603 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a metallic man with the different metals representing different Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 2).[4]

597 B.C. – Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians invaded Judah. King Jehoiachin of Judah along with Ezekiel and 10,000 Jews were deported to Babylon (2 Kings 24:14-16; Ezekiel 40:1). Mattaniah, son of Josiah and uncle of Jehoiachin, was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar and given the name of Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17).

593 B.C. Hananiah predicted that the Babylonian yoke would be destroyed by 591 B.C. Jeremiah sent a letter to the captives in Babylon and told them to build houses and marry because they would be in captivity for 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10).

592 B.C. Ezekiel saw the vision of the abominations in the temple in Jerusalem and the departure of the glory of God form the temple (Ezekiel 8-11).

January 15, 588 B.C.-July 17, 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:1-3; Jeremiah 52:4-5) because of Zedekiah’s treaty with Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt in 589 B.C. Ezekiel gave his parable of the boiling pot (Ezekiel 24:1-14) on the day of his wife’s death (Ezekiel 24:15-18).

July 18, 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians took Jerusalem. Zedekiah was taken prisoner, his sons were killed before his eyes and then he was taken to Babylon where he died in prison (2 Kings 25:4-7; Jeremiah 39:6-7; 52:9-11; Ezekiel 12:11-13; 17:16).

King Zedekiah was the last king of Judah to sit on the throne of David. Ezekiel prophesied that Zedekiah would be the last king “until He comes whose right it is” to wear the crown (Ezekiel 21:25-27). Ezekiel is making a reference to Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” The word “Shiloh” means “the one to whom it belongs” and is a reference to the Messiah. Ezekiel predicted that Zedekiah would be the last ruler to sit on the Davidic throne until Messiah comes.

August 15, 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem’s walls and burned Solomon’s temple to the ground on the 9th of Ab. (2 Kings 25:8-10; Jeremiah 52:12-14). The Babylonians took Jews into captivity to Babylon (2 Kings 25:11-12) and they took the bronze pillars from the temple building (2 Kings 25:13-19).

The times of the Gentiles began with Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon’s destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C..5 Since 586 B.C. no Davidic king has sat on the throne of David ruling Israel in Jerusalem. It appeared to the world as if the gods of Babylon were greater than YHWH as Babylon defeated Judah. But Daniel would reveal in the book of Daniel that YHWH is sovereign over world history and his kingdom would come in dramatic fashion and crush the Gentile kingdoms in the future.

562-560 B.C. Evil-Merodach ruled Babylon
560-556 B.C. Neriglissar ruled Babylon
556 B.C. Labashi-Marduk ruled Babylon

556-539 B.C. Nabonidus ruled Babylon. He spent several years attempting to build a great commercial center at Tema in Arabia and left his son Belshazzar in charge of the city. This explains why Daniel was raised to the third position in the kingdom of Babylon (Daniel 5:7, 16, 29).

553-539 B.C. Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus and co-regent of Babylon.

553 B.C. Daniel had the vision of the four beasts representing the four Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 7)

551 B.C. Daniel had the vision of the ram and goat (Daniel 8)

October 12, 539 B.C. - Fall of Babylon - Belshazzar gave a great banquet and used the temple cups to serve wine but he saw God’s handwriting on the wall. He was killed that night by the Persians (Daniel 5).

Medo-Persia: The Second Gentile Kingdom
Arms of Silver in Daniel 2
Bear Raised up on its Side in Daniel 7
The Ram in Daniel 8

Media is the name for northwest Iran. Persia is a description for ancient Iran. Cyrus of Persia brought Media under his control in 550 B.C. The Medes and Persians together conquered Babylon (Daniel 5:28).

Medo-Persia is described as the arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the metallic man (Dan.2:32). Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours” (Dan.2:39). As silver is inferior to gold, so the kingdom of Medo-Persia was inferior to Babylon.

Medo-Persia is described as a bear in Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7: “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: Arise, devour much flesh” (Daniel 7:5). Persia was more prominent than Media and that is why the bear is raised up one side. The three ribs between the bear’s teeth refer to the countries conquered by Medo-Persia: Babylon to the west, Lydia to the north and Egypt to the south.

Medo-Persia is described as the ram in Daniel’s vision in Daniel 8: “Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great” (Daniel 8:3-4). The two horns of the ram refer to Media and Persia. Persia was greater than Media and that is why one horn is described as higher than the other. Media was older than Persia and that is why the higher horn came up last. The Persians under King Cyrus extended their kingdom west, north and south.

550-530 B.C. Cyrus ruled Persia (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 10:1)

October 29, 539 B.C. Cyrus came to Babylon as its liberator. He appointed Darius the Mede to become ruler (Daniel 5:31).

538 B.C. Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to the land of Israel to rebuild the temple (2 Chronicles 36:21-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5) in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (cf. Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-13). Zerubbabel led 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem (Ezra 1-4).

The last verse of the Hebrew Bible contains Cyrus’ decree for the Jews to return to build the temple: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people, may the LORD his God be with him and let him go up” (2 Chronicles 36:23).

October 5, 537 B.C. The Jews set up the altar for the temple (Ezra 3:1-7)

October 19-25, 537 B.C. The Jews celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (Ezra 3:1-7)

536 B.C. The Jews laid the foundation for the second temple (Ezra 3:8-13). Daniel was given a vision of the future of Israel during the Greek period and the future tribulation period (Daniel 10- 12).

536-530 B.C. The Samaritans hindered the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:1-5).

536 B.C. The final vision given to Daniel (Daniel 10-12) was given during the third year of the reign of Cyrus. The exiles had returned to Israel but Daniel had not returned. Daniel fasted for three weeks as he mourned this vision. Gabriel explained that the reason for his delay was that he was stopped for 21 days by the prince of Persia (a demon behind the Gentile king Cyrus; Daniel 10:13). Gabriel said that he had to go back to fight this demon of Persia and then he said the prince of Greece (another demon) would come (cf. Daniel 10:20). Here we see that behind the Gentile kings were demons influencing their political decisions to oppose Israel and the Jews.

530-522 B.C. Cambyses II (the son of Cyrus) ruled Persia. 530-520 B.C. The work on the temple stopped (Ezra 4:24). 522 B.C. – Gaumata (called Pseudo-Smerdis) ruled Persia

September 29, 522 B.C. Darius I returned home from Egypt campaign and killed Gaumata

521-486 B.C. Darius I defeated nine kings in 19 battles during the first two years of his reign (521-520 B.C.). He then created a strong central government with satraps to govern his provinces. He established a postal system with 111 stations from Susa to Ephesus. He gave permission for the temple in Jerusalem to be finished (Ezra 4-6).

520 B.C. Zerubbabel led the Jews to resume the rebuilding of the temple under the encouragement of Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 5:1-2; Haggai 1:1, 15; 2:10; Zechariah 1:1, 7; 7:1)

519-518 B.C. Tattenai (a satrap of Syria) sent a letter to Darius protesting the rebuilding project but Darius told Tattenai to leave the Jews alone (Ezra 5:3-6:14).

516 B.C. The Jews finished rebuilding the second temple. “So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia. Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius” (Ezra 6:14-15).

490 B.C. Darius the Great and the Persians fought against the Greeks and were defeated at the battle of Marathon

486-464 B.C. Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) ruled Persia.

483 B.C. Ahasuerus deposed Vashti as his queen and made Esther his queen in her place (Esther 2:5-18). He defeated Greece and took Athens (cf. Daniel 11:2).

480 B.C. The Persian fleet was defeated by the Greeks at the battle of Salamis.

474 B.C. Haman sent a letter to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire (Esther 3:7, 12). The Jews were to be killed on March 8, 473 B.C. Ahasuerus helped deliver Esther, Mordecai and the Jews from wicked Haman and his plot to destroy all the Jews. Haman hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai.

473 B.C. The Jews first celebrated the Feast of Purim (Esther 9:17-21). 464-423 B.C. Artaxerxes I ruled Persia.

458 B.C. Ezra led the second return of Jews from Persia back to the land of Israel (Ezra 7-8). Ezra confessed the sins of the Jews who had intermarried with foreign wives and they divorced their foreign wives (Ezra 9-10).

March 5 445 B.C. Artaxerxes I made a decree for the Jews to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This is the beginning date for Daniel’s 70 weeks (490 years) prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27). Daniel predicted “Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks (69 weeks). The prophecy was fulfilled on March 31, A.D.30 when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey (the Triumphal entry).[6]

Artaxerxes I permitted Nehemiah, his cupbearer, to return to the land of Israel to rebuild the broken down walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1-2).

Sanballat the Samaritan, Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arab opposed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:19).

September 22, 444 B.C. Nehemiah and the Jews finished rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days in spite of opposition (Nehemiah 6-7).

September 27-28, 444 B.C. Ezra read the book of the law and explained it to the people and they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (Nehemiah 8).

430 B.C. Ezra wrote 1 and 2 Chronicles (the last two books of the Tanak).

423-404 B.C. Darius II ruled Persia
404-359 B.C. Artaxerxes II ruled Persia
359-338 B.C. Artaxerxes III ruled Persia
338-336 B.C. Arses ruled Persia
336-331 B.C. Darius III ruled Persia

 

Greece: The Third Gentile Kingdom
The Brass Belly on the Image of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2
The Winged Leopard in Daniel’s Vision in Daniel 7
The Goat with the Large Horn in Daniel’s Vision n Daniel 8

Greece was the third Gentile world power to conquer Israel. Philip of Macedon united the Greek city states. Hellenism spread across the world as a result of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia. Greek became the common language from 300 B.C. to A.D. 300.

Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that in his dream of the metallic man that its belly and thighs were made of bronze (Daniel 2:32). Daniel interpreted the bronze belly and thighs as “a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth” (Daniel 2:39).

Daniel wrote about the third beast in his vision in Daniel 7: “After this I looked and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads and dominion was given to it” (Daniel 7:6).The leopard with wings would be an incredibly fast creature. Alexander the Great conquered the known world faster than any other Gentile ruler.

Daniel had a vision of the Goat (Greece) defeating the Ram (Medo-Persia) (Daniel 8:1-14). “And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken” (Daniel 8:5-8a). In this vision, the male goat represents Greece and the large horn on the goat represents Alexander the Great. Through a series of battles Alexander the Great and the Greek army defeated Darius and the Persians.

334-323 B.C. Alexander the Great ruled Greece

Daniel predicted that Alexander the Greek would be a mighty king who would rule with great dominion and do according to his will (Daniel 11:3). Alexander the Great and his Greek army crossed the Hellespont to attack the Persians. When he came to Troy Alexander honored Achilles, whom he claimed to be his ancestor. Alexander defeated the Persians at Granicus. He cut the knot tied about the yoke of the chariot of Phrgian king Gordius.

333 B.C. Battle of Issus: Alexander the Great and his Greek army defeated Darius and the Persians. Alexander then marched his army south along the coast. He laid siege and conquered Tyre. After Alexander conquered Gaza he went up to Jerusalem and met Jaddua the high priest.

Josephus tells us that when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem that Jaddua the high priest showed him the reference in the book of Daniel and Alexander spared the city as a result in 332 B.C. Josephus wrote, “When Jaddua, the high priest, heard that Alexander was coming, he was terrified and ordered his people to join him in prayer and sacrifice to God. When he learned that Alexander was not far from the city (Jerusalem) he went out in procession with the priests and the people. Alexander saw the procession coming toward him. The priests were clothed in linen and the high priest in a robe of blue and gold. On his head was a miter with the golden plate on which God’s name was inscribed. Approaching alone, Alexander prostrated himself before the Name and greeted the high priest. As the Jews welcomed Alexander with one voice, he replied, “When I was in Macedonia, considering how I would become master of Asia, I saw this very person in my sleep, dressed as he is now. He urged me not to delay, but to cross over confidently and take dominion over the Persians. Alexander was escorted into Jerusalem by the high priest and his attendants. He went up into the temple, where he sacrificed to God according to the high priest’s directions. And when the book of Daniel was shown to him, which predicted that one of the Greeks would destroy the Persian empire, he thought himself to be the one so designated. When he offered the Jews whatever they desired, the high priest asked that they might observe their own laws and be exempt from the tribute every seventh year. Alexander granted these requests.”[7]

Alexander and the Greeks entered Egypt and the country surrendered without a fight. Alexander founded the city of Alexandria, which later became the capital city of the Ptolemies. Alexander took an expedition to the oracle of Jupiter Ammon (Amen-Ra) where he was declared to be the son of the god. Alexander the Great led the Greek army to defeat Darius and the Persians once again this time at the battle of Gaugamela. Alexander took his army as far as India before returning to Babylon.

323 B.C. Alexander the Great died as a result of malaria

323-301 B.C. – The period of the Diadochi (Greek for successors). After the death of Alexander the Great there was a power struggle between Alexander the Great’s four generals. The Greek empire was divided into four realms.

Daniel had two visions concerning Greece and what would happen after the death of Alexander. In Daniel 7 Daniel wrote “After this I looked and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it” (Daniel 7:6). The four heads refer to four Greek rulers who came after the death of Alexander the Great.

In Daniel 8:8 Daniel wrote, “Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.” The large horn that was broken refers to the death of Alexander.

The four horns that came up after Alexander refer to his four generals who became rulers as the Greek empire was divided: (1) Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia (western Asia Minor), (2) Ptolemy I ruled Egypt, (3) Cassander ruled Macedonia (including Greece) and (4) Seleucus ruled Syria and Babylon (including Persia).

323-198 B.C. Ptolemies. The Ptolemies were fourteen kings of the Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt from 323 to 30 B.C. They were friendly to the Jews and allowed them to maintain their religious freedom. The Ptolemies fought the Seleucidae for control of the land of Israel (275, 245, 240, 219, 217, 202-198 B.C.). The capital city of the Ptolemies was Alexandria in Egypt. Daniel predicted the conflict between the Ptolemies (Kings of the South) and the Seleucidae (Kings of the North) (Daniel 11:5-20).

323-285 Ptolemy I Soter was a general of Alexander the Great who became the ruler of Egypt and the first of the Ptolemies. (Daniel 11:5a)

312 B.C. – Jerusalem was captured by Ptolemy I after he defeated Antigonus’ son Demetrius I at the battle of Gaza. Seleucus I Nicator traveled to Babylon where he founded the Seleucid Empire.

301 B.C. Jerusalem was recaptured by Ptolemy I

285-246 B.C. Ptolemy II Philadelphus ruled Egypt. Ptolemy II and Antiochus II Theos of Syria made an alliance when Antiochus II Theos divorced his wife Laodice and married Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice around 250 B.C. (Daniel 11:6a). The Septuagint (LXX) is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament which was translated during the days of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

246 B.C. Berenice and Antiochus II Theos lost their power when Laodice poisoned them and Berenice’s baby and Laodice’s son Selecus II Callinicus came to the throne in Syria.

246-221 B.C. Berenice’s brother Ptolemy III became the king of Egypt and fought against Syria and defeated Seleucus II Callinicus (Daniel 11:7-8). Ptolemy III avenged the death of his sister Berenice, put Laodice to death and returned to Egypt with many spoils of war.

227 B.C. Seleucus II Callinicus (the king of the North) was defeated by Egypt (the king of the South) and after he died (from falling off his horse) his son Seleucus II Soter began to reign (Daniel 11:9)

223-187 B.C. Antiochus III became the Seleucid ruler (king of the north) at 18 years old and ruled for 36 years (Daniel 11:10)

217 B.C. Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt defeated Antiochus II of Syria (Daniel 11:11-12). 203 B.C. Antiochus III and the Seleucid empire conquered Jerusalem after the battle of Panium (part of the Fifth Syrian War) in which Antiochus III the Great defeated the Ptolemies. Antiochus III won this battle with the support of some Jewish revolutionaries (the violent ones of your people). (Daniel 11:13-14). Antiochus sought to consolidate his control of Israel. He captured the fortified city of Sidon (Daniel 11:15).

199 B.C. Antiochus III had established himself in the Beautiful land = Israel (Daniel 11:16).

193 B.C. Antiochus III gave his daughter Cleopatra (not the one associated with Mark Antony) to marry the Egyptian king Ptolemy V Epiphanes (Daniel 11:17). This attempt to bring about a peaceful alliance failed.

190 B.C. Antiochus III and the Seleucid army invaded Greece but was defeated by the Romans at the battle of Magnesia (Daniel 11:18). Antiochus III lost 53,000 men while Rome lost only 400 men. His son Antiochus IV was taken to Rome as a hostage for 12 years.

187 B.C. Antiochus III returned to Syria and died. His military campaigns were an attempt to reunite Alexander the Great’s empire under his rule. He failed.

187-176 B.C. Seleucus IV Philopator ruled the Seleucid empire. He heavily taxed his people to pay Rome. He was poisoned by Hilodorus after Seleucus IV sent him to rob the temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:20)

175 -163 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes became king of the Seleucid Empire and ruled. He forced the Jewish high priest Onias III to step down in favor of his brother Jason who was replaced by Menelaus three years later.

Daniel predicted the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes who is described as the little horn of Daniel 8. Daniel wrote, “And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land (Israel). And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth to the ground. He did all this and prospered” (Daniel 8:9-14).

The little horn of Daniel 8 refers to Antiochus IV Epiphanes – the ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He was the eighth king of the Seleucid dynasty. He came to power in 175 B.C. after murdering his brother.

Daniel gave this prediction in Daniel 11 about Antiochus Epiphanes who is described as a ruler of the King of the North who would persecute Israel: “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his father have not done, nor his forefathers; he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him. Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper for the end will still be at the appointed time. While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land. At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south but it shall not be like the former or the latter. For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved and return in rage against the holy covenant and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering (Daniel 11:21-34).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes illegally seized the Seleucid throne from Seleucus IV Philopator and proclaimed himself king (Daniel 11:21). The name Epiphanes means “the Illustrious one.” He was nicknamed Epimanes which means “The Madman.” He turned aside an invading Egyptian army and deposed Onias II (the high priest who is called the prince of the covenant) (Daniel 11:22). Antiochus IV made an alliance with Egypt after his military victories and robbed the rich and gave the money to this followers (Daniel 11:23-24).

170 B.C. – Antiochus IV attacked Egypt defeated Ptolemy VI at the battle of Pelusium near the Nile Delta. This fulfilled Daniel 11:25-27.

168 B.C. Antiochus IV was forced to withdraw from Egypt by the Romans (Daniel 11:29-30a). Roman General Popilius Laenas drew a circle around Antiochus IV and told him to make a decision to leave Egypt. Antiochus IV returned to Israel in a rage.

December 15, 167 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes persecuted the Jews for their refusal to accept Greek customs (Daniel 11:30-32). He set up an altar to Zeus. He desecrated the temple in Jerusalem by offering a pig on the altar (Dan.11:31-32; 1 Macc.1:41-64; 2 Macc.6). He looted Jerusalem, set fire to parts of the city, and slaughtered Jews on the Sabbath. He renamed the temple in Jerusalem for Zeus, prohibited circumcision and Sabbath observance, banned and burned Torah scrolls and ordered sacrifices to pagan gods.

“An on the fifteenth day of Chislev in the one hundred and forty fifth year they set up upon the altar an ‘abomination of desolation’ and in the cities of Judah on every side they established high places; and they offered sacrifices at the doors of the houses and in the streets. And the book of the Law which they found they cut them in pieces and burned them in the fire…And according to the decree they put to death the women who had circumcised their children, hanging their babies around their mother’s necks, and they put to death their entire families, together with those who had circumcised them” (1 Maccabees 1:54-64).

167 B.C. – The Maccabean Revolt

Daniel predicted the Maccabean revolt. Daniel wrote, “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time” (Daniel 11:34-35).

166 B.C. Mattathias was a priest who refused to offer the sacrifice to the Greek gods at Modin. He killed an apostate Jew who did and this led to the insurrection. He lit the spark for the Jewish fight for freedom.

166-160 B.C. Judas Maccabeus (called “the Hammer”) led the Maccabees in their revolt against the Seleucid empire

164 B.C. The Maccabees captured Jerusalem following the battle of Beth Zur and rededicated the temple. The Jewish feast of Hannukah celebrates the liberation of Jerusalem. The lampstand in the temple had oil in it for one day but it lasted for eight days. The Jewish feast which commemorates this victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucids is called Hanukkah or the Feast of Lights. Interestingly enough, Jesus taught in the temple during this festival of Hanukkah and declared that He is the light of the world (John 10:22).

139 B.C. Simon signed a treaty with Rome which guaranteed the priests would have political power. He was made a high priest and this legitimatized the new dynasty of the Hasmoneans (1 Maccabees 14:25-49).

135-63 B.C. Hasmoneans ruled Israel (a time of Jewish independence). The Hasmoneans were ruling priests in Israel from 135 to 63 B.C. Two religious political parties emerged from them. The Hasidim represented the conservatives who resisted Hellenization in Israel and they became known as the Pharisees. The Hellenizers adopted Greek customs and this group became known as the Sadducees. Both of these groups vied for power in Israel.

The Hasmoneans were named after Mattathias’ great grandfather (1 Maccabees 14:25-49). For 80 years the Jews experienced independence and this time was viewed as the golden age of Jewish nationalism.

This time of independence and self rule did not mean that the times of the Gentiles had come to an end. The throne of David was not occupied by a king of David during this time. The nation would be conquered by Rome (the fourth Gentile kingdom) in 63 B.C. The Jews would never live in Israel as a free self governing people again until the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum writes, “The times of the Gentiles can best be defined as that long period of time from the Babylonian empire to the Second coming of the Messiah, during which time the Gentiles will have dominance over the city of Jerusalem. This does not rule out temporary Jewish control of the city, but all such Jewish control will be temporary until the Second Coming of the Messiah. Such temporary control was exercised during the Maccabean period (164-63 B.C.), the First Jewish revol tagainst Rome (A.D. 66-70), the second Jewish revolt against Rome, also known as the Bar-Cochba Revolt (A.D. 132-135) and since 1967 as a result of the Six-Day War. This too is temporary, as Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem for at least another 3 and a half years (Rev.11:1-2). Any Jewish takeover of the city of Jerusalem before the Second coming of the Messiah must, therefore, be viewed as a temporary one and does not mean that the Times of the Gentiles have ended. The Times of the Gentiles can only end when the Gentiles can no longer tread down the city of Jerusalem.”[8]

Rome
Iron Legs on Nebuchadnezzar’s Image in Daniel 2
Ten-Horned Monster Beast in Daniel’s Vision in Daniel 7

The image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 had iron legs. The iron legs on the image represent Rome (the fourth Gentile kingdom to conquer Israel). Daniel wrote, “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others” (Dan.2:40).

The fourth beast in Daniel’s vision recorded in Daniel 7 was a ten horned monster beast. This ten horned monster beast also represents Rome. Daniel wrote: “After this I saw in the night visions and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:7).

63 B.C. Pompey and the Romans conquered Jerusalem and Israel.

49 B.C. Julius Caesar became Roman emperor. He made war against Pompey and defeated him in Egypt. Because Antipater helped Julius Caesar, Julius made Antipater a Roman citizen. Antipater then made his son Herod governor of Galilee.

47-40 B.C. Herod (later called the Great) was governor of Galilee. He went to Rome and became a friend of Caesar when the Parthians attacked and captured Jerusalem.

37-4 B.C. – Herod the Great ruled Israel as King (Josephus, War 1.343-357; Antiquities 14:465- 491; 15:5-7). He was the son of Antipater and an Idumean (from Edom). He consolidated his power by killing members of his family including some of his sons and his wife Mariamme. Herod the Great was a great builder. He renovated the second temple in Jerusalem. Herod built palaces at Caesarea Maritima and in Jericho. He also built palaces and fortresses at the Herodium and Masada. Herod rebuilt the capital city of Samaria and renamed in Sebaste (from the Greek equivalent of Augustus).

31 or 30 B.C.-A.D. 14 – Caesar Augustus was first known as Octavian. He was the nephew of Julius Caesar. He defeated Mark Antony at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. Caesar Augustus divided his territories into two types of provinces: senatorial and imperial. The senatorial provinces were ruled by proconsuls appointed by the Roman Senate for one year terms. They ruled over the more loyal and peaceful provinces. The imperial provinces were ruled by legates appointed by the emperor himself and prefects called procurators. Caesar Augustus was the Roman emperor when Jesus was born (Luke 2:1). Quirinius was the legate of Syria (Luke 2:2).

4 B.C. Jesus is the descendant of David who will sit on the Davidic throne ruling Israel in the future millennial kingdom.

There are two genealogies of Jesus in the gospels: one in Matthew 1:1-17 and one in Luke 3:23-38. Why are there two genealogies of Jesus? The genealogy of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew focuses on the line of Joseph. This genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Christ. It traces the line of King David through Solomon and goes from father to son. The genealogy is divided into three sections of 14 names each: Abraham to David (Mt.1:2-6), David to Jeconiah (Mt.1:6-11) and Jeconiah to Joseph (Mt.1:12-16).

Why wasn’t Joseph seated on the throne of David ruling Israel from Jerusalem? The reason is that God placed a curse on King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah or Coniah) who was a wicked king of Judah. Read Jeremiah 22:24-30. God said this about King Jeconiah, “Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30). Jeconiah did have children and descendants. But none of Jeconiah’s children or descendants ruled Israel sitting on the throne of David.

The right to rule Israel as king was passed down from father to son. But Israel now had a dilemma. God had placed a curse on King Jeconiah and his descendants. Who could reign as king of Israel if the line of David was cursed? Joseph was a physical descendant of David and Jeconiah. Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth and not a king in Jerusalem. Joseph had the legal right to rule Israel because he was a physical descendant of David. But he could not rule because he was the physical descendant of Jeconiah.

The virgin birth of Jesus to Mary is the solution to the curse placed on Jeconiah! Matthew identified “Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Mt.1:16). The word “of whom” in Greek is a feminine relative pronoun. Matthew indicated here that Jesus was the physical son of Mary but not of Joseph. In this way Jesus avoided the curse placed on Jeconiah and his physical descendants.

Jesus was born of the virgin Mary who was a physical descendant of King David through Nathan. Jesus received the physical right to rule Israel through Mary. The genealogy of Jesus through Mary is found in Luke 3:23-38.

Joseph passed on the legal right to rule Israel by naming Jesus as his son (Mt.1:25 – notice “he called his name Jesus.”). This is why the two genealogies of Jesus are necessary. Only Jesus can prove that He is the rightful heir to the Davidic throne. He is the physical descendant of Jesus through Mary who has the legal right to sit on David’s throne because Joseph named him as his son.

Before Jesus was born the angel Gabriel told Mary that God would give her son Jesus the throne of his father David and he would reign over Israel forever. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32- 33).

4 B.C. Herod the Great had some Jewish boy babies in Bethlehem killed in his attempt to kill the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18). After changing his will several times, Herod the Great died and his kingdom was divided among his three surviving sons: Archelaus ruled Judea (Matthew 2:22), Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea and Philip ruled Iturea and Trachonitis (Luke 3:1). Herod the Great was buried at the Herodium.

A.D. 14-37 Tiberius Caesar ruled Rome (Luke 3:1; 20:22, 25; 23:2; John 19:12, 15)

March 31, A.D. 30 Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey in the event known as the Triumphal entry (Luke 19:19-43). Jesus wept over Jerusalem and said, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side and level you and your children within you to the ground and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:42-44). Jesus predicted on his triumphal entry that Jerusalem would be surrounded by enemies and destroyed. This prediction was fulfilled by Titus and the Romans forty years later in the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple. Jesus gave the reason for Jerusalem’s destruction: The Jews did not know or recognize the time of their visitation. On Palm Sunday the Jews hailed Jesus as their Messiah. But on Good Friday they cried Crucify him.

The day of visitation was predicted by Daniel. The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem happened on the day when Messiah the Prince would be presented to Israel at the end of the 483 years predicted by Daniel (Daniel 9:25).

Jesus gave his Olivet Discourse after he predicted the destruction of the temple. Just as the glory of God left Solomon’s temple and then it was destroyed by the Babylonians, so Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple as he left it to go to the Mount of Olives where he predicted the times of the Gentiles (Mt.23:38; 24:1-3).

Roman governor Pontius Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified. But on the third day King Jesus arose from the dead. The risen Jesus appeared to his disciples for forty days and gave infallible proofs of his resurrection. Then Jesus ascended to the third heaven to sit down on the Father’s throne in heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11).

Renald Showers writes, “Several factors indicate that David’s throne is separate and distinct from God’s throne in heaven. First, several descendants of David have sat on his throne, but only one of his descendants ever sits on the right hand of God’s throne in heaven. That descendant is Jesus Christ (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 8:1; 12:2). Second, David’s throne was not established before his lifetime (2 Sam.7:16-17). But contrast, since God has always ruled over His creation, His throne in heaven was established long before David’s throne (Psalm 93:1-2). Third, since God’s throne in heaven was established long before David’s throne and since God’s throne is established forever (Lam 5:19), then it was not necessary for God to promise to establish David’s throne forever (2 Sam.7:16) if they are the same throne. Fourth, David’s throne was on earth, not in heaven. David and his descendants who sat on his throne exercised an earthly ruling authority. They never exercised ruling authority in or from heaven. By contrast, as noted earlier, the Bible indicates that God’s throne is in heaven. Fifth, the Bible’s consistent description of David’s throne indicates that it belongs to David. When God talked to David about his throne, God referred to it as ‘your throne” (2 Samuel 7:16; Psalm 89:4; 132:12). When God mentioned David’s throne to others, He referred to it as ‘his throne’ (Psalm 89:29; Jeremiah 33:21), ‘David’s throne’ (Jeremiah 13:13) and ‘the throne of David’ (Jeremiah 17:25; 22:2, 4; 22:30). By contrast, the Scriptures’ consistent description of the throne in heaven indicates that it belongs to God the Father.”[9]

A.D. 37-41 Caligula ruled Rome as emperor.

A.D. 41-54 Claudius ruled Rome as emperor. An extensive famine happened during his reign (Acts 11:28).

A.D. 49 or 50 Claudius expelled Jews from Rome. Aquila and Priscilla came to Corinth from Rome as a result (Acts 18:1-2).

A.D. 54-68 Nero ruled Rome as emperor

Paul appealed to go to Caesar (Roman emperor Nero) for a fair trial (Acts 25:8, 10-12, 21; 26:32; 27:24; 28:19)

A.D. 64-68 - Nero persecuted Jews and Christians throughout the Roman empire as he blamed them for the fire in Rome

A.D. 68-69 Roman emperor Galba
A.D. 69 Roman emperor Otho
A.D. 69 Roman emperor Vitellius

A.D. 69-79 Roman emperor Vespasian

A.D. 70 – The Romans led by General Titus (the son of Vespasian) destroyed Jerusalem and the second temple on the 9th of Av (the same date as Solomon’s temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians).[10]

The Roman general Titus did not want to destroy the temple. He told the Jewish defenders of the city “I appeal to my own army and the Jew that are now with me and even to you yourselves that I do not force you to defile this sanctuary; and if you will but change the place where you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; no, I will endeavor to preserve your holy house, whether you will or not.”[11]

But after Jerusalem was taken by the Romans, Titus gave the “order that they should now demolish the entire city and temple but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came after believe that it had ever been inhabited”[12]

The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70 fulfilled Jesus prediction that he made to the disciples in A.D. 30. “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1-2).

A.D. 73 – The Romans laid siege to the Jewish rebels at Masada[13]

A.D. 81-96 Roman emperor Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty. Both Suetonius (Domitian, 13.2) and Cassius Dio (Roman History, 67.4.7) allege that Domitian gave himself the title of Dominus et Deus. Domitian persecuted Jews and Christians throughout the Roman empire who refused (Eusebius, Church History, 3.17-20). Eusebius wrote “With terrible cruelty Domitian put to death without trial great numbers of men at Rome who were distinguished by family and career and without cause banished many other notables and confiscated their property. Finally he showed himself Nero’s successor in hostility to God. He was the second to organize a persecution against us, though his father Vespasion, had no such evil plans” (Eusebius, Church History, 3.17). The apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos around A.D. 95 “for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev.1:9). There John wrote the book of Revelation.

A.D. 115-117 - Jews revolt against the Romans

A.D. 117 - Simeon of Jerusalem (the second bishop of Jerusalem) was crucified under Trajan by the proconsul Atticus in Jerusalem.

A.D. 130 - Roman emperor Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem and decided to rebuild the city and rename it Aelia Capitolina.

A.D. 131 - Hadrian abolished circumcision which he viewed as mutilation.

A.D. 132-135 - Simon Bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Romans and controlled Jerusalem for three years. Rabbi Akiva proclaimed him the messiah. Hadrian sent Sextus Julius Severus to crush the revolt and retake the city.

A.D. 136 - Hadrian reestablished Aelia Capitolina and did not allow Jews and Christians to live in the city.

A.D. 136-140 - A temple to Jupiter was built on the Temple Mount and a temple to Venus was built over Golgotha.

A.D. 138 - Christians were permitted to return to Jerusalem after the death of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius becomes the Roman emperor.

A.D. 259 - Jerusalem is ruled by Odaenathus as King of the Palmyrene Empire

A.D. 272 Jerusalem becomes part of the Roman empire again after Aurelian defeats the Palmyrene Empire at the Battle of Emesa (Homs).

A.D. 313 Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity throughout the Roman empire

A.D. 325 Jews are banned from entering Jerusalem except once a year to pray at the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av.

A.D. 326 Helena (Constantine’s mother) visited Jerusalem and ordered the destruction of Hadrian’s temple to Venus built over Calvary. Helena supposedly found the cross of Christ during the excavation.

A.D. 335 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built over the place of Calvary.

A.D. 361 Julian the Apostate became Roman emperor and permits Jews to return to Jerusalem. Alypius of Antioch is commissioned to rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem.

A.D. 363 An earthquake in Galilee along with the death of Julian the Apostate at the battle of Samarra ends the attempt to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

A.D. 614 Jerusalem is destroyed. The church of the Holy Sepulchre is burned. Much of the Christian population of Jerusalem is killed.

A.D. 617 A mob of Christians killed Jewish governor Nehemiah ben Hushiel.

A.D. 625 Mohammed made the Al-Aqsa Mosque one of the three holy mosques of Islam.

A.D. 629 Byzantine emperor Heraclius took Jerusalem after the defeat of the Sassanid Empire at the battle of Nineveh in 627.

A.D. 637 Caliph Umar the Great conquered Jerusalem and entered the city after his defeat of the Byzantine empire at the Battle of Yarmouk.

A.D. 691 Muslim Caliph Abd al-Malik Ibn-Marwan finished the Dome of the Rock on the temple mount

A.D. 701 Muslim Caliph al-Walid finished the Al-Aqsa Mosque

A.D. 1099-1118 Crusaders captured Jerusalem and made the Dome of the Rock into a Christian church = Templum Domini (“the Temple of the Lord”) and the Al-Aqsa Mosque into the headquarters of the Order of the Knights Templar

A.D. 1187 Saladin recaptured Jerusalem for the Muslims and makes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa back into mosques

A.D. 1541 The Golden Gate is sealed to bar the Messiah from entering the gate and ruling Jerusalem

A.D. 1799 Napoleon and the French invade Palestine but he is defeated at Acre

A.D. 1873 The temple inscription forbidding Gentiles entrance to the temple courts is discovered

 

THE MODERN HISTORY OF ISRAEL IN THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

1897 Theodore Hertzl holds First Zionist Congress and pushes for Israel being a Jewish homeland[14]

1900-1917 -Zionism and early Jewish immigration to Israel June 1916 - Arab revolt against Ottoman Empire

November 2, 1917 - Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration revealed Great Britain’s intent to create a Jewish homeland in the land of Israel (called Palestine): “His majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

1914-1918 World War I and the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire

1933-1936 Mass Jewish immigration to Palestine after Nazis come to power in Germany

1933-1945 Hitler and the Nazis killed over six million Jews in the Holocaust

1936-1939 Arabs revolt in Palestine against the British Mandate

1939-1945 World War II and the Jewish Resistance to the British Mandate

February 14, 1947 – Great Britain referred the question of the future of Palestine to the United Nations

November 29, 1947 The United Nations divided Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian States

May 14, 1948 Israel declared its Independence

At four o’clock in the afternoon on May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the establishment of the state of Israel.

May 15, 1948 The first Arab-Israel War began

Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia invaded Israel following the announcement of Israel’s independence. Israeli armed forces defeated the Arab armies. Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt assumed control of Gaza as a result. 700,000 Palestinians became refugees as a result of the first war.

February 24, 1949 Israel signed an armistice agreement with Egypt, Joran, Lebanon and Syria 1949-1956 Arabs and Israelis continued to experience conflicts

July 1956 Suez Crisis/ Second Arab-Israel War is fought

June 2, 1964 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is formed

May 1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Aqaba to Israeli shipping after the UN troops withdraw

June 5-10, 1967- Six Day War

Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan after Nasser had declared his intention to annihilate Israel and concentrated his Egyptian troops along his border with Israel. The six day war ended with the Israeli army occupying Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Syria’s Golan Heights and Jordan’s West Bank.

June 7, 1967 Israeli Colonel Motta Gur at the command post on the Mount of Olives gave the order to attack the Temple Mount. Israeli Defense forces reached the temple mount and entered the Muslim Dome of the Rock. Israeli Defense Forces Chaplain Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the shofar and prayed at the liberated Western Wall.

September 1, 1967 - Aram Summit Conference held in Khartoum (Sudan) did not recognize Israel

1969 - Yasser Arafat elected chairman of the PLO

1970-1971 - PLO is expelled from Jordan and moves to Lebanon

September 5, 1972- Palestinian commandos murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics

October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War begins

Egypt attacked Israeli forces along the east bank of the Suez Canal. The Syrians attacked Israel at the Golan Heights at the same time. Israel responded by defeating both armies.

October 25, 1973 – Cease Fire Agreement ends Yom Kippur War

March 14-15, 1978 – Israel invaded southern Lebanon in response to PLO attack

March 26, 1979- Egypt and Israel sign a peace treaty. The Sinai Peninsula is returned to Egypt.

President Jimmy Carter hosted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House. They signed the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. This was the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country. Egypt became the first Arab country to recognize Israel. Israel agreed to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula which it had taken from Egypt in the Six Day War of 1967. Egypt agreed to let Israeli ships have access to the Suez Canal.

1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists June 6, 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon and drove the PLO out of Beirut

May 17, 1983 Israel and Lebanon sign a peace agreement

December 9, 1987 First Palestinian Intifada begins

July 31, 1988 - King Hussein of Jordan renounces Jordan’s claim on the West Bank and severed all administrative and judicial links

November 15,1988- Palestine National Council (PNC) proclaimed the establishment of a Palestinian state

April 16, 1993 – Hamas carried out first suicide bombing attack within Israel

September 13, 1993 - The Oslo Peace Accord is signed by Israel and the PLO

A set of agreements between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed in Oslo in 1993 marked the start of the Oslo process- a peace process. Issues: borders of Israel and Palestine, the question of Israel’s military presence in and control over Palestine, the Palestinian right of return. The Oslo Accords fell short of the promise of a Palestinian state. 

February 25, 1994 – Massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

May 4, 1994 – Cairo Agreement is signed between Israel and the PLO

October 26, 1994 – Israel and Jordan sign peace treaty

September 28, 1995 – Oslo II Accords signed between Israel and the PLO. The Palestinians were given control over parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

November 4, 1995 - Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin was assassinated

Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir who opposed the signing of the Oslo Accords. Rabin had been attending a mass rally at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv, held in support of the Oslo accords. Israel’s foreign minister Shimon Peres was appointed Israeli prime minister.

January 15, 1997 – West Bank City of Hebron is divided into areas of Israeli and Palestinian control

October-November, 1998 – Wye River Memorandum and Israeli withdrawal from a section of the West Bank

May 23-24, 2000 Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanon

July 11-26, 2000 – Camp David II Summit failed to resolve conflicts

September 29, 2000 Second Intifada began

The second Palestinian uprising took place in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The uprising included numerous suicide attacks against Israeli citizens within the state of Israel.

October 2000- Suicide bombing attacks against Israel increased in frequency

February 6, 2001 – Ariel Sharon is elected Prime Minister of Israel

March 27, 2002 - Hamas suicide attack killed 30 Israeli citizens during a Passover Seder

March 29-April 21, 2002 - Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield and invaded and occupied much of the West Bank

July 22, 2002 – Israel assassinated a military leader of Hamas

April 30, 2003- The USA published the “Road Map” towards a Middle East Peace

June 4, 2003 – A Mideast Peace Summit was held in Jordan by President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas

June 19, 2003- Israel began construction of a West Bank Security Wall or Fence

October 14, 2003 – Geneva Accords: Some Israeli and Palestinian politicians released a symbolic peace agreement

November 18, 2003 – The European Union (EU) formally condemned the Israeli West Bank Wall/Fence

February 2, 2004- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza

June 28, 2004 – First Israeli casualties from Hamas rockets

July 9, 2004 – World Court rules that the West Bank Fence/Wall violates international law

October 26, 2004 – Israel’s Parliament voted to dismantle all Jewish settlements in Gaza

November 11, 2004 – Yasser Arafat died in Paris

January 10, 2005 – Mahmoud Abbas is elected President of the Palestinian Authority

February 8, 2005 – Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas agreed to ceasefire

March 10, 2005 – Sasson Report revealed illegal Israeli outposts in West Bank and Gaza Strip

August 22, 2005 – Israel removed the last Jewish settlements in Gaza

January 5, 2006- Ehud Olmert replaced Ariel Sharon as Israeli Prime Minister when Sharon suffered a stroke

July-August, 2006 – Israel-Lebanon War

June 10-18, 2007 – Hamas took over Gaza. Abbas swore in New West Bank Government and Israel placed a blockade on Gaza

November 27, 2007 – Annapolis Peace Conference Took Place

November 14, 2008 – Hamas fired rockets into Israel

December 27, 2008 – Operation Cast Lead: Israel bombarded and occupied Gaza

January 21, 2009 – Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire and Israeli troops left Gaza

March 26, 2009 – Close Israeli elections resulted in Netanyahu forming a coalition government

June 4, 2009 – In his Cairo address President Obama stated his support for the creation of a Palestinian state

June 14, 2009 – Under pressure from America Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu conditionally endorsed a Palestinian state

August 26, 2009 – The Palestinian Authority issued a plan to create a Palestinian state within two years

May 31, 2010 – Israeli commandos boarded ships carrying guns for Gaza and killed nine activists

March 19, 2011 – Hamas launched rockets from Gaza against Israel

May 19, 2011 – President Obama called for negotiations to begin for a Palestinian state based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

September 20, 2011 – Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought full UN membership for a Palestinian state

October, 2011 – Hamas released Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit in exchange for over 1000 Palestinian prisoners

November 11, 2011- The UN Security Council fails to vote for Palestinian statehood

January 25, 2012 – Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Jordan end without progress

May 7, 2012 – Israeli PM Netanyahu formed a new coalition government and pledged a renewal of the peace process

October 24, 2012- Palestinians in Gaza fired 60 rockets into Israel

November 12, 2012 – The Palestinian Authority sought Non-Member State Status at the United Nations

November 14, 2012 – Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip

November 29, 2012 – The United Nations voted to accept Palestine as a Non-Member Observer State

July 29, 2013 – Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks resumed in Washington D.C.

April 23, 2014- The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced agreement to form a unity government

June 13, 2014- Palestinians in Gaza launched rocket attacks against Israel

July 8, 20-14 – Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas militants in Gaza

August 26, 2014 – Egypt worked to end violence between Israel and Gaza

March 16, 2015 – Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said no to a two-state solution on the eve of elections in Israel

May 13, 2015 – The Vatican recognized the State of Palestine in a new treaty

September-October, 2015 – Escalating violence between Palestinians and Israelis

September 14, 2016- The United States committed $38 billion over ten years to provide military assistance for Israel (the largest agreement the USA has ever made with any country)

November 24, 2016- Arson -terrorists set fires across the state of Israel

 

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES IN THE FUTURE

The Rapture of the Church will happen before the tribulation period (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58)

The Rapture of the Church is imminent. It could happen at any moment. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back personally for His Church. The Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with the souls of Christians who have died. These souls will be joined to their bodies and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then Christians who are alive will be transformed as we are given our glorified bodies. Then the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and return to the Father’s house in heaven. All of this will happen in a moment. Jesus predicted that the Church would be kept from the hour of trial which will come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 3:10).

Gentile nations (Gog and Magog) will invade Israel during a time of peace (Ezekiel 38-39)

The Gentile nations described in Ezekiel 38:2-6 include Russia (Gog, Magog, Rosh), Turkey (Meshech and Tubal and Togarmah), Iran (Persia), Ethiopia, Libya, Germany (Gomer) and the Islamic nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Usbekistan, Kirghizia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.[15] These Gentile nations will invade Israel to steal resources (Ezekiel 38:13). The Gentile nations will be destroyed by God on the mountains of Israel as God will send a great earthquake (Ezekiel 38:19) and the Gentile nations will fight against each other (Ezekiel 38:21) as God will rain down flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22). As a result the nations will know that the LORD is the Holy One in Israel (Ezekiel 38:23, 39:7).[16]

Scholars differ on the timing of this Ezekiel 38-39 Gentile invasion of Israel. Will it happen before the tribulation period? Will it happen before the Rapture of the Church? Will it happen early in the tribulation period? Will it happen at the end of the millennium?

Randall Price believes that the Ezekiel 38-39 Gentile invasion will happen before the tribulation period. He writes, “If the next war is that of Gog and Magog, it may be the war that cripples Islamic control and begins the process of re-ordering the world powers. Daniel 7:23-24 indicates that a one world government will first arise, which will then be divided into ten governments. If the war of Gog and Magog occurs first and puts down the Islamic power base, it is possible that a new world alliance—on the order of a United Nations, NATO-like organization—could assume control for global stability. However, because this occurs before the Antichrist’s rise to power, there will be no central figure to sustain this government, and it will be re-organized into the ten allied nations.”[17]

Mark Hitchcock believes that this Ezekiel 38-39 Gentile invasion will happen during the beginning of the tribulation period. He writes, “Ezekiel says that these nations led by Gog will come against Israel in the latter years, at a time when the people of Israel are living in peace and prosperity (38:8-12). This probably describes the first half of the Tribulation period, when Israel will be living under her peace treaty with the Antichrist. Near the middle of the Tribulation, Russia and her Islamic allies will descend upon the nation of Israel like a storm, covering the land like a cloud (38:9). These nations will invade Israel (1) to cash in on the wealth of Israel (Ezek.38:11-12), (2) to control the Middle East, (3) to crush Israel (the Islamic nations mentioned in Scripture hate Israel), and (4) to challenge the authority of the Antichrist (Dan.11:40-44). Israel will be under her peace treaty with Antichrist, so an attack against Israel is a direct challenge to Antichrist’s power. After God has destroyed the armies of Ezekiel 38, Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel and invade her himself (Daniel 11:41-44).”[18]

Rome -The Fourth Gentile Kingdom will come to power. The ten toes on the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream refer to ten kings who will come out of the old Roman Empire (Daniel 2:41-43).

Daniel interpreted the ten toes of iron and clay on the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream: “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, must as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another just as iron does not mix with clay” (Daniel 2:41-43). The ten toes refer to ten kings who will come out of the old Roman empire. The toes are partly made of iron and partly made of clay which shows strength (iron) and vulnerability (clay).

The Rise of the Antichrist (Daniel 7:8, 21, 24-25)

Daniel saw a little horn rise among the ten horns of the fourth beast. Daniel wrote, “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking pompous words” (Daniel 7:8).

Daniel wanted to know about the little horn in his vision “which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows” (Daniel 7:21). An angel revealed to Daniel the meaning of the ten horns and the little horn. The angel said “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:24-25).

The Antichrist is the little horn of Daniel 7. He will come on the scene after the ten kings of the Revived Roman Empire are on the scene. He will defeat three kings in his rise to power. The ten kings will then give their authority to the Antichrist. This will happen before the middle of the tribulation period. The Antichrist will be proud and will speak words against God (the Most High). He will persecute the tribulation saints. He will also try and change times and laws. He will persecute and kill many saints in the last half of the tribulation period. The phrase time, times and half a time refer to the last 3 and a half years of the tribulation period.

John saw a scarlet beast full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (Rev.17:3). An angel told John about the significance of the monster beast with seven heads and ten horns: “But the angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those that dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not and yet is. Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is and the other is not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition” (Rev.17:7-11)

The beast that carries the harlot (apostate Church) had seven heads and ten horns. The angel told John that the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. I believe that the seven kings or kingdoms refer to Gentile kingdoms that have opposed Israel. Five have fallen: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. One is = Rome. The other is not yet come refers to Revived Rome. Revived Rome will continue a short time. The beast that was and is not is himself also the eighth refers to the coming Antichrist. He is of the seven and is going to perdition (read Revelation 19:20 to see that the Antichrist will be thrown into the lake of fire at the second coming of Christ to earth).

The ten kings of the European Union (EU) will be united in giving authority to the Antichrist (the beast). John wrote: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). These verses show that we should be looking for a change from democracies to monarchies in the near future and possible dictatorships. The ten kings will have authority with the Antichrist (the beast) for one hour. They will share equal authority with the Antichrist for a short time and then they will unite and give their authority to the Antichrist. The giving of authority by the 10 kings to the Antichrist may happen before the tribulation period or early in the tribulation period.

The Antichrist (the Roman Prince) will make a seven year covenant with Israel (Daniel 9:27)

The tribulation will officially begin when the Antichrist signs a covenant with Israel for seven years. In his 70 weeks prophecy Daniel wrote: “Then he shall confirm a covenant with man for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering and on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

The referent for the pronoun “he” (Dan.9:27) is the “prince who is to come” who is of the people who will destroy the city and the sanctuary (temple) (Dan.9:26). The Antichrist will be a Gentile.[19] He will be the Roman prince. He will make a covenant with Israel for one week (seven years).

A possible result of the signing of this covenant is that Israel will be permitted to build a temple on the temple mount. Today many Jews are preparing for the day when Israel will build a temple in Jerusalem.[20]

The ten kings of United Europe will destroy the apostate world church (Revelation 17:16-18)

“And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” The ten kings will hate the harlot (the apostate world church) and destroy her with fire. This will happen before the middle of the tribulation period. The woman is identified with the great city that rules over the kings of the earth = Rome.

Egypt (the King of the South) and Syria (the King of the North) will invade Israel (Daniel 11:40)

Daniel predicted an invasion of Israel by Gentile nations in the end times: “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships.” The King of the South refers to Egypt and the King of the North refers to Syria in Daniel 11. These nations are not mentioned in the invasion of Israel by Gentile nations in Ezekiel 38-39. So this invasion of Israel must occur at a different time than the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion.

Antichrist and the Armies of the West will invade Israel and put down the rebellion (Daniel 11:40b-45)

Daniel predicted that the “king” (future Antichrist) will invade Israel and take control. “And he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land (a reference to Israel) and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” (Daniel 11:40b-45).

Antichrist and his army will enter the Beautiful Land (Israel) and take many countries (Daniel 11:40b-41a).

Antichrist will not totally defeat Edom, Moab and Ammon (modern Jordan) (Dan.11:41b). Antichrist will defeat Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia (Dan.11:42-43).

Antichrist will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver from Egypt (Dan.11:43). Antichrist will be disturbed by rumors from the east and north (Dan.11:44).

Antichrist will set up his military headquarters between the Mediterranean Sea and Mt. Zion (Dan.11:45).

The Antichrist will stop the Jews from offering sacrifices in the temple in the middle of the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27)

Daniel wrote “But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. (Daniel 9:27b). Right now the Jews do not have a temple on the temple mount. But the Jews will rebuild the temple and start offering sacrifices.[21] In the middle of the tribulation period the Antichrist will stop the Jews from offering sacrifices.

The Abomination of Desolation: The Antichrist will go into the tribulation temple and declare himself to be god. The False Prophet will set up the image of the Antichrist in the tribulation temple (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:14-15).

Daniel predicted this future abomination of desolation that “On the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).

Jesus predicted the abomination of desolation in his Olivet Discourse (A.D. 30): “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place whoever reads, let him understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16).

Paul wrote that the man of sin (the Antichrist) will oppose God and exalt himself above all that is called God. He will go into the temple of God and declare himself to be God. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

The apostle John predicted that the False Prophet (the beast from the earth) would make an image of the Antichrist (the beast out of the sea) and would animate the image to that it could speak and order those who refuse to worship it to be killed. John wrote of the False Prophet that “he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast would both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:14-15).

The Gentiles will dominate Jerusalem and the tribulation temple during the last half of the tribulation period (Revelation 11:1-3)

John wrote: “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”

John was given a reed by the angel to measure the tribulation temple, the altar (place of sacrifice) and the worshippers. John was told not to measure the court outside the temple. This is probably a reference to the court of the Gentiles.

In the second temple there were several courts. The court of the priests was reserved for the Jewish priests. The court of Israel was reserved for Jewish men. The court of women was reserved for Jewish women. These three courts were on the same level as the temple building. From this level a person would descend five steps to the outer court which was called the court of the Gentiles.

Archaeologists have discovered an inscription from the second temple. It says “No foreigners may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.” Gentiles were permitted to go into the court of the Gentiles but they could not go beyond the barricade.

John wrote here that in the future the Gentiles will trample the holy city (Jerusalem) underfoot for 42 months (the last half of the tribulation period).

The Dragon (Satan) will persecute Israel during the last half of the tribulation period (Revelation 12:13-17).

“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The dragon refers to Satan and the woman refers to Israel. Satan will be cast out of heaven in the middle of the tribulation period and will be confined to the earth. He will persecute Israel (the woman) who gave birth to the male child (Jesus Christ). A righteous remnant of Israel will be protected by God during these last three and a half years. Israel will be given the two wings of a great eagle (airplane?) which shall carry them to a place in the wilderness (Petra?). Satan will try and destroy these Jews but God will protect them (earth opens its mouth to swallow up the flood). Satan will then make war on the rest of her offspring = Messianic Jews who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.

The Antichrist will fight against the tribulation saints and rule the world during the last half of the tribulation period (Revelation 13:7-8)

“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:7-8).

John predicts that the beast out of the sea (the Antichrist) will make war with the saints (tribulation saints; not the church) and overcome them. Many believers will be martyred by the Antichrist for their refusal to take the mark of the beast and for their refusal to worship the beast. Daniel predicted that the little horn (the Antichrist) would “persecute the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:25). The word “persecute” literally means to wear out. Daniel also predicted that the “saints will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25), which refers to the last three and a half years of the tribulation period.

The Gentile nations will lay siege to Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Zechariah revealed “The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him: Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples: all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it….”

Zechariah predicted that the Gentiles would lay siege of Judah and Jerusalem in the future. All the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. Just as Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem and destroyed Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C. and just as Titus and the Romans besieged Jerusalem and destroyed the second temple in A.D. 70, so the Gentile nations will lay siege to Jerusalem and the tribulation temple at the end of the coming tribulation period.

The Gentile nations will attack and capture Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-2)

Zechariah made this prediction about the future attack of Jerusalem by Gentile armies: “Behold the day of the Lord is coming and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”

Zechariah predicted the day of the Lord judgment. The nations will be gathered to battle against Jerusalem and the city will be taken. The Gentile armies will loot the homes of the residents of Jerusalem and will rape their women. Half of the population of the city will be taken into captivity. But a righteous remnant will not be killed and will survive.

God will gather the Gentile nations to Armageddon (the valley of Megiddo) (Revelation 16:14, 16)

In the sixth bowl judgment the Euphrates river will be dried up and demons will perform sign miracles and influence “the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). John wrote “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). All the Gentile armies will come together at Megiddo for the final battle. At this time they will see the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. Instead of fighting against one another the Gentile armies will unite to fight the Lord Jesus Christ and his army coming from heaven.

THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO EARTH WILL END OF THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

When will the times of the Gentiles end? The times of the Gentiles will end with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth.

King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed that a stone cut without hands would crush the metallic man image at its feet (Daniel 2:35). Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar what would happen to the image: “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:35)

The stone cut without hands represents the Lord Jesus Christ who will crush the Gentile kingdoms at the feet (the final form of the Roman empire) at his second coming to earth. Jesus did not destroy the Roman empire at his first advent. He will destroy the final form of the Roman empire at his second advent.

Daniel predicted that the Son of Man would come with the clouds of heaven to earth to reign as King over the nations. Daniel wrote “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13- 14).

King Jesus (the Jewish Messiah) will defeat with a word the Gentile armies led by the Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:15a, 19-21).

 “Now I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war…And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean followed Him on white horses. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword that with it He might strike the nations….” (Revelation 19:11-15)

King Jesus will ride on a white horse with the armies of heaven following him on white horses. King Jesus will strike the nations with a word- which is described as a sword (Eph.6:17; Heb.4:12).

John wrote, “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

The Antichrist and the kings of the earth and their armies will be gathered together at Armageddon to fight the Lord Jesus Christ and his army coming from heaven. The Antichrist and False Prophet will be captured alive and thrown into the lake of fire. They will be the first two people to enter the lake of fire. The Gentile armies will all be killed by the word of Messiah Jesus at the battle of Armageddon.

The LORD will destroy all nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:8-9; 14:3- 5a)

Zechariah predicted that the LORD would fight for Israel: “In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:8-9).

“Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through my mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal” (Zechariah 14:3-5a).

Jerusalem will be surrounded by Gentile armies at the end of the tribulation period. The Lord Jesus Christ will defeat the Gentile armies at Armageddon but he will come back to earth on the Mount of Olives. When his feet touch down at the Mount of Olives the mountain will experience an earthquake and it will be divided. A valley will be created and the elect Jews in Jerusalem will be able to escape and run to their Messiah.

King Jesus will judge individual Gentile survivors of the tribulation period to determine who enters the kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46)

After the battle of Armageddon King Jesus will sit on the throne of His glory and judge the Gentiles (individual Gentiles who survive the tribulation period). Jesus gave this prediction in his Olivet Discourse: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).

Believing Gentiles who physically survive the tribulation period (called sheep) will enter the millennial kingdom (Matthew 25:33-40). The evidence that they are believers is their actions of caring for Jews in the tribulation period. Believing Gentiles will give food to starving Jews and drink to thirsty Jews. They will open their homes and provide shelter to Jews who are strangers. They will clothe Jews that are naked. They will visit Jews when they are sick and in prison.

Unbelieving Gentiles who physically survive the tribulation period (called goats) will not enter the kingdom but will be sentenced to hell called everlasting fire (Mt.25:41) and everlasting punishment (Mt.25:46). Unbelieving Gentiles will be resurrected to stand at the Great White Throne judgment after the millennial kingdom and then will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

THE REIGN OF KING JESUS ON THE DAVIDIC THRONE IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

The times of the Gentiles will be followed by a time of great blessing for the Jews as their Messiah King Jesus will sit on the Davidic throne in the millennial temple and rule the world from Jerusalem.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Stone will became a Great Mountain = God’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44-45)

Daniel explained to King Nebuchadnezzar that the stone which became a great mountain is a kingdom that God will establish: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold-the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this.” God revealed to the Gentile King Nebuchadnezzar the future times of the Gentiles and how they would come to an end. The Messiah is the stone cut without hands that will destroy the Gentile kingdoms in the future. God will set up his eternal kingdom that will never be destroyed after the Gentile kingdoms are all destroyed.

Daniel’s Vision: Daniel predicted that the kingdom would be given to the Jewish believers and their Messiah (Daniel 7:27)

After the destruction of the Antichrist (the 11th king of Daniel 7:23-26), Daniel predicted that an everlasting kingdom would be set up for the Jewish people. “Then the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27). The future kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and the Gentiles will serve and obey the Jewish Messiah.

Jesus will sit on the throne of his glory after his second coming and the apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28)

“So Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Jesus predicted that he as Messiah would sit on the throne of his glory in the regeneration. The term “regeneration” refers to the future millennial kingdom. The Son of Man is a messianic title used by Daniel that Jesus applied to himself (cf. Daniel 7:13-14). At this time the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel. The existence of the twelve tribes of Israel in the future kingdom shows that God has a program for Israel and that He has not cast away his chosen people.

Jesus predicted in the Olivet Discourse that he will sit on the throne of his glory after his second coming to earth (Matthew 25:31)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory”

Jesus predicted in the Olivet Discourse his literal second coming in glory. The holy angels will come with Jesus and He will sit on the throne of his glory. Jesus distinguishes this throne from the Father’s throne in Revelation 3:20-21. Jesus is currently seated on the Father’s throne in heaven. But when he comes to earth he will sit on the throne of his glory, a reference to the Davidic throne in Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom.

King Jesus will sit on the Davidic throne in the millennial temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 43:6-7; Jeremiah 3:17)

Ezekiel wrote, “Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever” (Ezekiel 43:6-7).

Ezekiel heard an angel predict that God’s throne would be in the temple. This is the temple where King Jesus will reign in Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom. This temple is described in detail in Ezekiel 40-48.

The prophet Jeremiah predicted, “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 3:17).

Jeremiah predicted that Jerusalem will be called The throne of the LORD in the future and all the nations would come to it.

King Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron in the millennial kingdom (Revelation 12:5)

John predicted that the woman (the nation Israel) would have a male child (Jesus) would rule the nations: “She bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And he child was caught up to God and His throne.”

Why does the Messiah have to rule with a rod of iron? There will be unsaved Gentiles who are born to the believing Gentile physical survivors of the tribulation period. Many of these Gentiles will rebel against the Lord Jesus at the end of the millennium when Satan is loosed from the abyss and leads the final rebellion.

Gentiles will come to Jerusalem each year to worship King Jesus in the millennial kingdom. Those Gentiles who do not come up to worship King Jesus during the Feast of Tabernacles will be punished with no rain (Zechariah 14:16-19)

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

The ones who are left of all the nations will be believing Gentiles who physically survive the tribulation period. After experiencing the judgment of the Sheep-Goats and entering the kingdom as the Sheep they will go up to Jerusalem every year to worship the King (Jesus) and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. King Jesus will judge Gentile families who refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship. They will have no rain. This plague of no rain will have devastating economic implications for Gentiles living during the millennial kingdom. Zechariah singled out Egypt saying that if they did not come up to worship the King in Jerusalem that they will have no rain. This is the punishment for all the Gentile nations that refuse to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (a Jewish festival held in the fall).

CONCLUSION

The Times of the Gentiles began with the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. 

The Times of the Gentiles focuses on Gentile kingdoms that have dominated Israel in the past: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

The Times of the Gentiles includes the Church age from Pentecost to the Rapture. Many Gentiles are being saved during the Church age (from Pentecost until the Rapture). The fullness of the Gentiles should not be confused with the times of the Gentiles. Paul wrote that “blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25-26a). During this present Church Age most Jews have rejected Christ and the gospel. Many Gentiles have been saved. Many Gentiles will be saved during the tribulation period (read Revelation 7). God will deliver Israel from the Gentile armies in the future tribulation period at the second coming of Messiah Jesus. At that time Israel will trust in Jesus as their Messiah and experience the fulfillment of the New Covenant (Romans 11:26b-27; Jeremiah 31:33-34).

During the Times of the Gentiles Jews have been persecuted by Gentiles and the city of Jerusalem has been invaded and destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C..Titus and the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the second temple in A.D. 70.

After the destruction of the second temple Jews were dispersed around the world. Many returned to the land of Israel and Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. The Israelis have had to fight for their survival as a nation. They defeated Arab nations in the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. The Times of the Gentiles have not ended even though at this time Israel is a free sovereign nation and not under the control of a Gentile foreign army.

The Times of the Gentiles includes the future seven year tribulation period and involves a final Gentile kingdom that will be ruled by the Antichrist. He will persecute Israel during the last half of the tribulation period. He will defile the

The Times of the Gentiles will end with the second coming of Christ to the earth at the end of the tribulation period. King Jesus will defeat the Gentile armies at the battle of Armageddon and deliver the righteous remnant of Jews at Jerusalem. King Jesus will then judge the Gentile nations in the Sheep-Goat Judgment.

The Times of the Gentiles will be followed by the millennial kingdom when King Jesus will reign over Israel and the world as he sits on the Davidic throne in the temple in Jerusalem.

Endnotes


[1] In A.D. 30 Jesus predicted the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in his Olivet Discourse. His prediction was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Titus and the Romans surrounded Jerusalem and then destroyed the city and the temple. Josephus gives a detailed description of the fall of Jerusalem in The Wars of the Jews Book 5.2-Book 6.

[2] H. A. Ironside, Lectures on Daniel the Prophet (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1911), 117-118.

[3] All dates are taken from notes from Dr. Harold Hoehner’s class on Introduction to the New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary and from Randall Price, The Temple and Bible Prophecy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999/2005), 615-638.

[4] Robert Anderson wrote, “Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great image, and Daniel’s vision in interpretation of that dream, were a Divine revelation that the forfeited scepter of the house of David had passed to Gentile hands, to remain with them until the day when ‘the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (The Coming Prince [Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1957], 31.

[5] Clarence Larkin wrote, “The ‘Times of the Gentiles’ began when God transferred earthly rule from the Kings of Israel to the Gentile king Nebuchadnezzar and they will continue until Israel again becomes the Head of the Nations” (The Book of Daniel). Israel will become the head of the nations again when King Jesus rules the world sitting on the throne of David in the millennial temple in Jerusalem. Daniel recognized that our sovereign God “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21).

[6] Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, p. 1009.

[7 ]Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11.

[8] Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Bible Study Collection (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1983), 29:4.

[9] Renald Showers, Israel My Glory (January-February 2001), 30.

[10] M. F. Blume argues from a preterist view that the times of the Gentiles ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Titus and the Romans. See his article “When and What are the Times of the Gentiles? (http://mikeblume.com/timesgen.htm). For a critique see Stanley Toussaint, “A Critique of the Preterist View of the Olivet Discourse,” BSac 161 (October-December 2004): 469-90.

[11] Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 6.2.4.

[12]  Ibid., 7.1.1

[13]  Ibid., 7.8.9

[14] The dates for the modern history of Israel are found on this website: http://Israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.timeline.

[15] Randall Price, The Temple and Bible Prophecy, 456-457.

[16] In the book Left Behind the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion of Israel by the Gentile nations happens before the Rapture of the Church. This is a possible scenario. I personally believe that the Rapture of the Church will happen before the invasion of Israel by the Gentile nations. The fact that the people of Israel will burn the weapons for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9-10) and take seven months to bury the dead (Ezekiel 39:12-13) could be used to argue for a pre- tribulation period invasion of Israel by the Gentile nations.

[17] Randall Price, The Temple and Bible Prophecy, 461.

[18] Mark Hitchcock, “Gog and Magog” in Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, 972.

[19] Randall Price, The Temple and Bible Prophecy, 476.

[20] Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999).

[21] Randall Price indicates that The Temple Institute has made preparations for the third temple. They have built a six foot high Menorah of pure gold, the jeweled breastplate to be worn by the high priest, the golden altar of incense, the table of showbread, silver trumps to call worshiper so the temple at festival times, the pure gold crown or mitre to be worn by the high priest and the copper washbasin or laver to be used by the priests for ritual purification prior to officiating in the temple. The Temple Mount Faithful led by Gershon Salomon have prepared the cornerstone for the third temple. Read The Preparations for the Last Days Temple in the book The Temple and Bible Prophecy, p. 325-416.