Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SIX Part VI

Ezekiel 9 Prophecy: Type and Antitype   


The prophet Ezekiel wrote in chapter 9: 1-11 (emphasis mine):

       v 1  He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand,   v  2  And behold, six men came from the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.   

       v  3  And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man in linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;  v  4  And the Lord said unto him: Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

      v  5  And to the others He said in my hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eyes spare, neither have ye pity.  v  6  Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.  

       v 7  And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they [the six men] went forth, and slew in the city.  v  8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue [remnant]of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?

      v  9  Then He said unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.  v  10  And as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity,but I will recompense their way upon their head.  v 11  And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded me.”

These verses point to the amazing prophecy given to Daniel regarding the 1) Seventy weeks [490 literal years] that are determined [Hebrew chalak, “cut- off”] for your people [the Jews] and for your holy city [Jerusalem],  2) The overspreading of abominations” that desolate “the city’ and the sanctuary” [the temple].”  Dan. 9: 26, 27 (NKJV, last part), which reads: “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. . . . and on the wing (“overspreading,” KJV) of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.

Compare the foregoing to the following:Matt. 24: 1, 2, 15; Luke 21: 20-24; “The Desolation of Jerusalem,” ch. 1 of the Great Controversy by Ellen G. White (emphasis mine) :

      “The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there give a more decisive testimony to God’s hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty.

     “The Savior’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of that chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God’s mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future.  The records of the past,— the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the ‘battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood’ (Isaiah 9: 5)—what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God  shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan’s rule.

        “But in that day, as in the time of Jerusalem’s destruction, God’s people will be delivered,’ every one that shall be found written among the living.’ Christ has declared that He will come the second time, to gather His faithful ones to Himself: ‘Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ Matt. 24: 30, 31. Then shall they that obey not the gospel be consumed with the spirit of His mouth, and be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. 2 Thess. 2: 8. Like Israel of old, the wicked destroy themselves; they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their natures have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of His glory is to them a consuming fire [Heb. 12: 29; Deut.4; 24; 9:3].

       “Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape, so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction, and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Jesus declares, ‘There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.’ Luke 21: 25; Matt. 24: 29; Mark 13: 24-26; Rev. 6: 12-17. Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to ‘know that it is near, even at the doors.’ Matt. 24: 33. ‘Watch ye therefore’ (Mark 13: 35) are His words of admonition. They that heed the warning shall not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, ‘the day of the Lord so cometh as thief in the night.’ 1 Thess. 5: 2-5.

      “The world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Savior’s warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure; in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world’s progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security,—then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, ‘ and they shall not escape.’ 1 Thess. 5: 3.” – GC 36-38.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: HOW CHRIST’S PROPHECY WAS FULFILLED: The Siege, Capture, and Destruction (By Vance Ferrell, Harvestime Books)


      “After the death of Christ, the Jews became more and more intransigent and rebellious. In August A.D. 66, when Florus (the Roman procurator of Judea) made several mistakes, the Jews appealed toAgrippa (who earlier had listened to Paul, Acts 26: 28)—and were told to forget it. Angered, they threw stones at Agrippa as he left the city; and, for the next four years, Jerusalem was to know no peace.

     “Some of the Jews immediately seized parts of Jerusalem, and fighting broke out among them. The Roman garrison of soldiers, in the Fortress Antonia (next to the Temple Mount), was slaughtered.Ananias the high priest and his brother, descendants of Annas who condemned Christ, were slain b y Jewish factions who then turned on one another.

     “Retaliating, Florus slew 20, 000 Jews in Caesarea. Jews then attacked cities throughout Judea, slaying Romans. Finally, the dilatory Cestius Gaius, legate of Syria, decided to do something.  Heading south with 30, 000 troops, he burned Joppa and then surrounded Jerusalem. Just as the Jewishmoderates were about to hand over the city to him, he unexpectedly withdrew and headed toward the coast.  This surprise retreat served to strengthen the determination of the Jews to resist the Romans. The Jews immediately left the city and set off in close pursuit.

     “At a battle near Beth-horon, Cestius only succeeded in making good his escape to Antioch by sacrificing much equipment, all his siege engines, and the greater part of his army. (nearly 6,000 soldiers). ‘Running and singing,’ the Jews returned to Jerusalem and to a terrible fate. It was the end ofOctober, A.D. 67.  (It was at this time that the pro-Roman king, Agrippa II, and his sister Bernice, fled the city of Jerusalem to Galilee, where they later rejoined the Romans and went to Rome. After 6 months after his return to Rome, Gaius died.)

     “It was significant that, when Christ foretold this coming suffering and destruction [in His mini-apocalypse, Matthew 24], He had carefully warned His followers that they must continue as usual to faithfully observe the seventh-day Sabbath (Matthew 24: 20). He also told them to flee when the Roman armies arrived (verses 15-16). This they did, when Cestius withdrew from the city on October, A.D. 67. Heading east, they crossed the Jordan River and found refuge in the town of Pella.

     “Soon after this, in February 68, Emperor Nero appointed his best general, Vespasian, to put down the rebellion. He immediately went to the region with the fifth and tenth legions, and was later joined by his son, Titus at Ptolemais, who brought with him the fifteenth legion.  With the strength of 60,000 professional soldiers, the Romans prepared to sweep across Galilee and march on Jerusalem. Heading south toward Jerusalem, he quickly took Jotapata, Joppa again, and all of Galilee, and sold 30,000 Jews into slavery.  At the Jordan he slew 15,000 Jews.

     “The history of the war was covered in dramatic detail by the Roman-Jewish historian Josephusin his work, The Wars of the Jews, [I am going through his works in my library]. Josephus, a leading Jew, had served as a commander in the city of Jotapata, when the Roman army invaded Galilee in 67. After an exhausting siege which lasted 47 days, the city fell, with an estimated 40,000 killed. All the remaining Jewish resistance committed suicide,–except for Josephus and one of his soldiers, who surrendered to Vespasian. Immediately after meeting General Vespasian, Josephus dramatically predicted that he would soon become Roman Emperor. Startled by this, and finding Josephus totally willing to cooperate, instead of killing him, Vespasian used Josephus to provide the Romans withintelligence about the ongoing revolt.

     “By 68 A.D., the entire coast and the north of Judea has been subjugated by the Roman army, with decisive victories won at Taricheae and Gamala, where Titus distinguished himself as skilled general.

     “There remained the last and most significant fortress of Jewish resistance, which was Jerusalem.  Vespasian was preparing to march there when the campaign came to a sudden halt. Startling news had just arrived of Nero’s suicide on the outskirts of Rome on June 9, as the people of Rome were coming to kill him.

     “Almost simultaneously, the Roman Senate had declared Galba, then governor of Hispania (modern Spain), as Emperor of Rome. Vespasian decided to await further orders, and sent Titus to greet the new princeps (leader). But before reaching Italy, Titus learned that Galba has been murdered and replaced by Otho, governor of Lusitania (modern Portugal), and that Vitellius and his armies in Germania (Germany) were preparing to march on the capital, intent on overthrowing Otho. Not wanting to risk being taken hostage by one side or the other, he abandoned the journey to Rome and rejoined his father in Judea.

      “Meanwhile, Otho was defeated in the First Battle of Bedriacum and committed suicide. When the news spread across the armies in Judea and the province of Egypt, they took matters into their own hands and declared Vespasian emperor on July 1, 69 A.D. Vespasian, happy that Josephus’ prediction might come true, quickly accepted. He then had Mucianus lead a strong force drawn from the Judean and Syrian legions to Rome, while Vespasian himself traveled to Alexandria, leaving Titus in charge to end the Jewish rebellion. By the end of 69, the forces of Vitellius had been beaten and Vespasian was officially declared emperor by the Senate on December 21, thus ending the Year of Four Emperors.”

To be continued next week)