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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MASADA—Never Forget

A story of mass suicide

In 2010, I watched a poignant story on the History Channel about the horrible Romans that wanted the Jews in Masada to leave. What it didn't say is where these 'Jews' came from, how they got to Masada and what they did. What they did was commit mass suicide at their leader's command....men killed the women and children, then the men killed themselves.

Who were these people that fled to Masada and stayed there for three years? The area of Judea and Palestine came under Roman rule a couple hundred years before Jesus. Most inhabitants of the area lived in relative comfort and peace because of Roman protection and tolerance. But there was a group of Rabbis, Pharisees that congregated in Herod's Temple, which was completed in the time of Jesus Christ. Jesus had visited the Temple often, trying to convince the Rabbis and Pharisees to stop taking financial advantage of the people. They would not listen. In fact, it was them and their leaders who were responsible for Jesus' death in about 33 A.D.

There were no 'Jews' in the time of Jesus. There were Zealots, however, that representated a small but , deceitful and scary portion of the population. The word 'Jew' was inserted into the Bible many centuries later. But the point is that 'the people' were not afraid of the Romans—they were afraid of the 'Jews', who I consider to be the Zealots. They separated themselves from others and considered themselves above the others. After all, everyone else was wrong and they were right so why mingle with the others?

In the Aramaic version of John 1:47, it states, “Yeshua saw Nathaniel when he came to him and said about him: “Behold, truly a son of Israel in whom is no deceit.” It was the DECEIT of the Rabbis and Pharisees that Jesus was preaching against.

By 70 A.D., the Romans had enough of these Zealots' greed and trouble so they destroyed Herod's Temple. Hundreds of these Zealots fled to the safety of Masada. Masada was a city on top of a rock mount and almost impenetrable. The Romans surrounded the city but the rock sides of the city were too steep to climb without being seen.

Two women and five children hid after their leader, Elazar ben Yair, told the Zealots that they would have to commit suicide rather than be taken by the Roman soldiers. Two woman and five children hid and recounted to Josephus how they hid and what their leader told them to do. He also told them to leave food out so the Romans would know they weren't starving. This message was important to the Zealots. And out of a mass suicide comes the reason Jews say they are persecuted?

So when Jews of today say 'Remember Masada' as an encouragement to always continue on with their ideologies and their refusal to assimilate with any country, they make no mention that the incident they are honoring is suicide. 'Jews' also committed suicide during the Crusades, so it seems that is a viable solution for them when they are cornered.

It should be concerning to Christian Zionists that support Israel by saying 'Israel has the right to exist...the Bible says so.'  Well, if they read a bit deeper, they will find the deceit lies with the Zealots and supporting an illegal country like Israel is a sin.

My research has proven to me that the Jews of today were the Zealots of Jesus' time. I wonder if the United States withdrew all financing to Israel and all of our military from the Middle East, if those Jews in Israel might commit a mass suicide? Interesting.

Post Script:  The Hale-Bopp Comet cult and the Jim Jones cult also committed mass suicide