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WOW! John literally measured the temple in Revelation 11

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The Date of John’s Revelation

The Date of John’s Revelation 
and
The Josephus Connection
By Scott Nelson

Josephus Mentions 7 Signs and Some Dates
1. A comet that “continued” for a year.
2. A light that shown in the temple on the 8th of Nissan (the first month of the Hebrew calendar).
3. Shortly after, a heifer gives birth to a lamb in the Temple on Passover (Nissan 14th)
4. Same night a heavy brass gate opens of its own accord.
5. Chariots and troops of soldiers seen among the clouds the next month on Jyar 20th

6. About two weeks later on Pentecost an earthquake and a multitude were heard saying, “Let us be gone 
from this place”.
7. A prophet of doom proclaims “woe to Jerusalem” for over 7 years.

Introduction
Rarely does one who searches Scripture and history come across a connection between a Biblical account and a 
separate historical record as astounding as the one about to be shared with you. Indeed, when I originally made the 
connection, I was shaken to the core. Others with whom I have shared this have used terms like “unbelievable”, 
“awesome discovery”, and even an “I’m blown away”! My hope is that I can present this discovery in a manner that 
will have a similar impact on the reader when it is fully comprehended the astonishing significance of the
connection between the timing of John’s vision, what he was told to do that day, and what Josephus recorded 
happened in and around Jerusalem on what had to have been the very same day. 
Both of these sources tell a story that leaves one asking a number of questions for which the other just happens 
to have an answer. They fit together like two very complicated pieces of a jigsaw puzzle so well that it would be 
very difficult to believe they didn’t belong together. The only obstacle that has been in the way and keeping
others from having made this discovery some time ago has been traditional assumptions originally intended to 
salvage the credibility of a beloved writer in the eyes of the “early church fathers”. I have written a separate
article concerning this entitled: Who were the false apostles Yeshua commended the Ephesian church for 
exposing as “liars”? An important premise of my argument is the date of John’s visitation and writing of the 
book of Revelation.
Below is a portion of that article where I argue for an earlier authorship year for Revelation. The main focal 
point is that the Temple in Jerusalem had to have been standing based on information found in Revelation itself. 
Additionally, it is very difficult to imagine, considering that John himself had heard Yeshua predict Jerusalem’s 
destruction on the day of his triumphal entry, that such a tragic and apocalyptic event as the destruction of the 
Temple could have gone without John even alluding to it in any way if indeed it had already occurred.
Another compelling theory I put forth in that article that would further establish an early date for John’s 
Revelation was that a 42-month period of time mentioned by an angel should indicate that John had his vision 
early in the year 67 A.D. 
Below is a segment from that article where I make the case for this earlier date. 
 
Establishing the Authorship Date of Revelation
One detail that must be established is the date of John’s visitation and the writing of the book of 
Revelation. It seems that the majority of scholars (but by no means all of them) have postulated a date of 
around 96 A.D. When it comes to this date that scholars point to, all of them must ultimately rest the
entirety of their case on a single short and obscure statement made by Eusebius in the early fourth century 
where he quoted a lost, late second-century document of Irenaeus. Here are the supposed end-all-debate 
words of Eusebius and his quote of Irenaeus.
“In this persecution, it is handed down by tradition, that the apostle and evangelist John, who was yet 
living, in consequence of his testimony to the divine word, was condemned to dwell on the island of 
Patmos. Irenaeus, indeed, in his fifth book against the heresies, …speaks in the following manner
respecting him; ‘If, however, it were necessary to proclaim the name of the Anti-Christ, … it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation, for it is not long since it was seen, but almost in 
our own generation, at the close of Domitian’s reign.’” (Eusebius, III, XVII) 
It should be pointed out that there is uncertainty as to Eusebius’s understanding of whom Irenaeus was referring
to. Was it Domitian, or Domitius (Nero)? Even if Irenaeus had indicated that the Revelation was given to John 
later during Domitian’s reign, one must ask how much doctrinal stock they want to put in a man who was 
known for making fantastic errors in dates and times. Irenaeus also taught, for example, that Yeshua was 
crucified at fifty years of age! (See Irenaeus Against Heresies, chapter 22) 
Irenaeus’ few words as quoted by Eusebius are all that exist for outside evidence that Revelation was 
written very late in the first century. That’s it! Some scholars claim that other “early church father’s”, like 
Tertullian, Origen, Victorinus, and Jerome, confirm the later date of Domitian’s reign as though “early”
means they were as good as eye witnesses, yet these men wrote anywhere from 100-300 years after
Irenaeus and were simply following his lead. Scholars and teachers who opt for the later date must 
ultimately rest the entirety of their case on these few obscure and unreliable words of Irenaeus. 
There is however within the book of Revelation considerable evidence that clearly indicates it was written 
before the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. If recognized academic credentials are of any value to the 
reader, scholars who have argued for this earlier time period include; David E. Aune, Ph.D.1
; A. Tholuck, 
D.D.2
; and J.A.T. Robinson, Ph.D. just to name a few.

There is also internal evidence that can pinpoint the time of John’s vision to early 67 A.D. In chapter 11, 
John is told to measure the temple of God. 
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 trample the 
holy city under foot—forty two months.” Revelation 11:1-2
The temple that is spoken of here is without question the earthly temple in Jerusalem and not to be 
confused with the temple “in heaven” spoken of later. This should be obvious in light of the fact that “the 
holy city” (Jerusalem) was going to be “trampled”. The one in heaven will never be “trampled”.
Not only does this indicate that at the time of John’s vision the temple had not yet been destroyed, but the 
interpretation of when the “forty-two months” would occur is open to debate. Did the angel mean that 
Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles and trampled for a period of forty-two months? Most English 
translations interject the word “for” into the text, but this word is not found in the Greek manuscripts and it 
is the reason why some translations italicize it. 
Or, could the angel have indicated that the city would fall in forty-two months time from the showing of the 
prophecy to John and then be trampled by the Gentiles for a much longer period of time? In this case I 
would contend the measuring of the temple that John was commanded to do was a prophetic act designed 
to bring about its destruction in 42 months! The fact that the temple and the altar were destroyed, but the 
court outside the temple is still there today would also support this interpretation.
This second interpretation where Jerusalem is predicted to fall in a given time and then is trampled for a 
much longer period of time dovetails perfectly with what Yeshua prophesied in Luke 21:20-24. 
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 
Then let those 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 
 
1
 See Apopogetics Study Bible, Ted Cabat, Ph.D. Editor
2
 See Biblical Illustrator N.T.

 

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.” 
The facts of history are that Jerusalem fell and the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Jerusalem was 
trampled by the Gentiles for at least 1,897 years until 1967 when it was retaken by Israel in the six day war. 
One could argue that Jerusalem is still being trampled by the Gentiles in light of the fact that Islamic 
mosques continue to occupy the temple site! Either way, the point is made. Jerusalem has been trampled for 
a very long time. And, considering the fact that there is no historical record of a short forty-two month long 
trampling of Jerusalem, we must conclude that the angel meant Jerusalem would fall in 42 months time 
from the time he spoke the time-frame to John. Jerusalem was besieged by Rome shortly after Passover in 
70 A.D. and fell several months later. Forty-two months before then would have been early 67 A.D. …right 
at the time of the Neronian persecution! 
Back to the Connection with Josephus
In that article, early 67 A.D. was all the closer to the authorship date of Revelation I needed to be to make the
point I needed to make. I didn’t need a specific day. Indeed, I didn’t think an exact day could be known! So this 
date of early 67 A.D. for John’s visitation on Patmos was in the back of my mind for some time when I came 
across the following passage from Josephus. Here, he gives accounts and dates of some strange signs that 
occurred in and around Jerusalem in the years preceding its destruction.
Josephus
Wars Book VI Part 3
3. Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while 
they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future 
desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the 
denunciations that God made to them. 
Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole 
year. Thus also before the Jews’ rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the 
people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month 
Xanthicus, [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy 
house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good 
sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed 
immediately upon it. 
At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in 
the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, 
and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with 
iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was 
seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the 
temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, 
and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a
very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning 
understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was 
opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the 
desolation that was coming upon them. 
Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a 
certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a 
fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a 
nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were 
seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call 
Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great 
noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.” 
But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, 
four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came 
to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a 
sudden to cry aloud, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice 
against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against 
this whole people!” This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. 
However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and 
took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for 
himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he 
cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in 
the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he 
did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable 
tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” And when Albinus 
(for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such 
words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till 
Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war 
began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day 
uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” Nor did he 
give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this 
was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of 
his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without 
growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in 
our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, 
“Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!” And just as he added at the last, 
“Woe, woe to myself also!” there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him 
immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost. 
***
Josephus Mentions 7 Signs and Some Dates
1. A comet that “continued” for a year.
2. A light that shown in the temple on the 8th of Nissan (the first month of the Hebrew calendar).
3. Shortly after, a heifer gives birth to a lamb in the Temple on Passover (Nissan 14th)
4. Same night a heavy brass gate opens of its own accord.
5. Chariots and troops of soldiers seen among the clouds the next month on Jyar 20th

6. About two weeks later on Pentecost an earthquake and a multitude were heard saying, “Let us be gone 
from this place”.
7. A prophet of doom proclaims “woe to Jerusalem” for over 7 years. 
When I first read this there were a couple of things that caught my attention. 
Even though Josephus didn’t mention a year, I thought one might be calculated based on the sighting of the 
comet. A little research revealed that the comet Josephus mentioned was none other than Halley’s Comet that 
passed by in early 66 A.D. Josephus appears to have said the comet was seen for a whole year! But other 
civilizations around the world recorded that the comet was seen for little more than two months. Modern 
astronomical calculations confirm that it could not have been seen for much more than a couple of months. 
Because of this, and the far-fetched thought of a heifer giving birth to a lamb, many Scholars have dismissed all 
of these signs as mere fables. But from my point of view, most of these signs not only seem plausible, the 
interpretations of them make them even more compelling.

Continued at link…

http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/The%20Date%20of%20John%20w%20timeline.pdf



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