Is There a “Place of Safety” for the Church?–Part Four (Resources & Notes)

[Note:  Eusebius wrote that:  “the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella.  And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 3, Chp. 5).]

[Note:  A combined Jewish revolt overturned the Roman occupation of Jerusalem in the fall of AD 66, and Jewish insurgents were able to route the Roman Twelfth Legion led by Cestius Gallus who was the imperial legate in Syria.]

[Note:  Josephus wrote:  “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’” (Wars of the Jews, Josephus, Bk. 6, Chp. 5, Sec. 3).  (See also, Epiphanius, Panarion29, 7, 7-8.)]

[Note:  Petra proper is a protected area within the Petra Archaeological Park managed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan.]

[Note:  “From the time of Ahaz, Edom became an Assyrian vassal state, like the other nations of Palestine and Syria. Tiglath-Pileser III (745–727 B.C.E.) mentions, together with the kings of Palestine and Syria, Qosmalaku, king of Edom, who surrendered to him (Pritchard, Texts, 282). Sennacherib mentions the king of Edom, Aiarammu (ibid., 287), who surrendered to him in his campaign against Jerusalem (701 B.C.E).  Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.E.) mentions Qosgabri king of Edom together with the 22 vassal kings whom he swore to loyalty at Nineveh (ibid., 291). In addition to its subjugation to Assyria, Edom was, beginning with the eighth century B.C.E., under pressure from the Arabian tribes that impoverished the land and brought about its decline in material culture. Toward the end of the kingdom of Judah (beginning of the sixth century B.C.E.), when Judah was rising up against Babylonian rule, Edom was among the peoples preparing to rebel against the Babylonian king. The king of Edom sent messengers to a meeting of rebels called in Jerusalem by Zedekiah king of Judah (Jer. 27).  Later, however, during the destruction itself, Edom was on the other side, sending its troops against Judah (II Kings 24:1; ‘the bands of Edom’ should be read in place of ‘the bands of Aram’), and even participating in its destruction. This is verified from the recently discovered Arad letters, in which Judah is guarding itself against Edom’s penetration into the land (Y. Aharoni). Edom’s participation in the destruction of Judah aroused the great anger and strong condemnation of the poets (Ps. 137; Lam. 4:21–22) and prophets (Isa. 34, which is to be dated to this period; Jer. 49; Obad.) of Judah.  The anger and condemnation continued in the following generation in the prophecies of Deutero-Isaiah (Isa. 63).” (Jewish Virtual Library, pdf., p. 8.)]

[Note:  Some scholars point out that the Uz of Edom is where the story of Job takes place, and that he was a relative of Esau.  In some cases associating him by the Septuagint (LXX) tradition with Jobab whose father was Zerah, or as the son of Jobab on etymological and genealogical terms (Gen. 36:8-19, 33; Job 1:1-5; Jer. 25:15-21; Lam. 4:21; Ezk. 14:14.)]

[Note:  Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage landmark, and Jordan is a member of the United Nations and the Arab League.]

[Note:  The word sela‘ is used in the broader sense in Isaiah 16:1-5, and it is not directly associated with the specific city of Petra.]

[Note:  Amaziah “slew of Edom in the Valley of Salt 10,000, and took Sela by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day” (II Kings 14:7).  This battle was waged in northern Edom, the Valley of Salt and in Sela.  Amaziah “smote 10,000 men of Seir.  The men of Judah captured another 10,000 alive and took them to the top of a rock and threw them down from the top of the rock; and they were all dashed to pieces” (II Chron, 25:11–12).]  

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