The Kidron Valley: Exploring the Crucial Link Between Jesus, Insurrection, and Our Nation
1 Kings 17:1-7 Amplified
Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 And the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3 “Go from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan [River]. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to sustain you there [with food].” 5 So he went and did in accordance with the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he would drink from the brook. 7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
There is an interesting and important thread that runs through the Old Testament, concerning the process by which idols were removed from God’s people. Israel’s history was marked with idolatry. From the moment they were redeemed out of Egypt, Israel worshiped other gods. Standing at the foot of Mount Sinai In Exodus 32, where they were to wait for God’s Law, Israel made a golden calf to worship in the name of Yahweh. When Moses came down the mountain he burned the idol, crushed it to fine dust, and poured it into a nearby river. In Deuteronomy 9:21 Moses recounts this event for Israel’s remembrance:
I took your sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it in the fire and thoroughly crushed it, grinding the metal thoroughly until it was as fine as dust; and I threw its dust into the brook that came down from the mountain.
While Moses made the people drink the water into which the idol dust was thrown, he notes that the dust of the idol was thrown into the “brook that descended from the mountain.” This sets a precedent for actions of the righteous Kings throughout Israel’s history. Each and every time the Lord raised up a righteous King to deliver His people from their wicked practices and their enemies, they would remove the idols from the land in a similar manner that Moses did at Sinai. The righteous King Asa followed suit with this.
1 Kings 15:11-13 Amplified
Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father (forefather) David. 12 He expelled the male cult prostitutes (sodomites) from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers [Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijam] had made. 13 He also deposed his [great-grand]mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid (obscene, vulgar) image for [the goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her horrid image, and burned it by the Brook Kidron.
Perhaps the greatest reformer King in Israel’s history with the exception of Jesus Christ, was King Josiah. His reforms were substantial, and are documented in great detail in 2 Kings 23. Consider the way in which the brook Kidron is at the center of his removal of idols:
2 Kings 23:4-6; 12
Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal, for [the goddess] Asherah, and for all the [starry] host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel [where Israel’s idolatry began]. 5 He got rid of the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense [to pagan gods] in the high places in Judah’s cities and all around Jerusalem—also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations [of the zodiac], and to all the [starry] host of heaven. 6 Josiah brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, and burned it there, and ground it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the common people [who had sacrificed to it].
The altars [dedicated to the starry host of heaven] which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the house of the Lord, the king tore down; and he smashed them there and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron.
When King Hezekiah came to power he made a point of cleansing all the impurity and wicked practices that had been carried into the Temple. The priests who ministered there followed suit as Moses and the Righteous Kings had done.
2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:13
The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s house. Then the Levites received it to take out to the Kidron Valley [for disposal].
The pattern of crushing idols and idolatrous altars, and throwing them into the Brook Kidron, was symbolic. It represented how God would permanently remove idolatry from the lives of His people.
So there is a pattern of the Kidron being a key part of the destroying and disposing of idols.
2 Samuel 14:23
Then David called for Absalom, and he came to the king and bowed his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.
So the soon-to-be Betrayer, Absalom, kisses the King…. (remember this).
2 Samuel 15:1
After this, Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him.
2 Samuel 15:13-18
Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his [d]servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, let us flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom! Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 The king’s servants said to him, “Listen, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [e]with him. But the king left behind ten women who were [f]concubines to take care of the house (palace). 17 The king left, and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 All of David’s [g]servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, Pelethites and the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king.
600 men are involved with this coup and betrayal that is happening, I want you to remember that number.
And 10 men left behind….
2 Samuel 15:22-23
So David said to Ittai, “Go on and cross over [the Brook Kidron].” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people crossed over. The king also crossed the Brook Kidron, and all the people went on toward the way of the wilderness [that lies between Jerusalem and the Jordan River].
2 Samuel 15:30-31
And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
Remember this as we go forth, David represents Jesus, Absalom represents the Pharisees, and Ahithopel represents Judas.
2 Samuel 17:23
23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
Now we will tie the Kidron, the Mount of Olives, and the destruction of idols, to the account of Jesus' Arrest and Crucifixion, for you to understand it in a way you may have never viewed it before.
Having said these things, Jesus left with His disciples and went across the [a]ravine of the Kidron. There was a garden there, which He and His disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who was betraying Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples.
Jesus Christ is crossing over the area where many other kings and leaders took idols to be destroyed, Kidron was known as a death valley, poor people were buried there who could not afford burials. David crossed over the Kidron as he was fleeing from Absalom, Jesus is crossing over this place of death where idols are destroyed, to his death to be lifted up on a cross to defeat death. So he is crossing over that place of death and destruction of idols to defeat it.
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without a money belt and [provision] bag and [extra] sandals, did you lack anything?” They answered, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money belt is to take it along, and also his [provision] bag, and he who has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this [Scripture] which is written must be completed and fulfilled in Me: ‘And He was counted with the criminals’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment [and is settled].” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
The Garden of Gethsemane
39 And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place [called Gethsemane], He said to them, “Pray continually that you may not fall into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” 43 [d]Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His [e]sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground
So there is intense distress on the Mount of Olives because betrayal and death were pursuing Jesus, just as David wept there because betrayal and death were pursuing him through Absalom, Ahithophel, and others.
2 Samuel 15:30-31
And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
Now Jesus’s arrest is mentioned in all 4 gospels.
Matthew 26: 47-56, Mark 14: 43-52, Luke 22: 47-53 and John 18:1-11.
Even though the 4 gospels say similar things they don’t all say the same thing.
Judas is accompanied by Roman guards…remember this along with Absalom and the number 600 that I mentioned before.
Matthew 26:47 KJV And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Amplified: As Jesus was still speaking, Judas [Iscariot], one of the twelve [disciples], came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, [who came as representatives] from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Luke 22:47 KJV And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
Amplified: While He was still speaking, a crowd came, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve [disciples], was leading the way for them. He approached Jesus to [a]kiss Him.
Mark 14:43 KJV And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
Amplified: And at once, while He was still speaking, Judas [Iscariot], one of the twelve [disciples], came up, and with him a crowd of men with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders [of the Sanhedrin].
In the interlinear Greek the word ochlos translates to a crowd, more specifically it can be translated to mean a dynamic crowd
Definition of dynamic: pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic
In John 18:3 KJV Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
John uses the word band of men rather than multitude or crowd
Amplified: So Judas, having obtained the Roman [a]cohort and some officers from the high priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
The interlinear Greek word is speiran which translates to cohort.
So what is a cohort?
A cohort is a 10th part of a legion.
Which is 600 armed men!!
Which is the exact amount of men mentioned when David was crossing the Kidron.
2 Samuel 15:18
18 All of David’s [g]servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, Pelethites and the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king.
For Jesus and His 11 disciples with him (remember that Judas flew the coop) that is A LOT of soldiers to send after 12 men.
This is a tactical choice on the part of the Roman army.
What were the Romans expecting to happen to send 600 men?
Were they preparing for an armed rebellion, an armed resistance?
To have an armed rebellion you need weapons and rebels.
A rebel: a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler.
Now as we read on in the account we do see a weapon was involved.
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword [back] in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
So we see that some of Jesus' followers indeed carried weapons on them.
However are they actually rebels?
Well to answer this we have to go back in Scripture well before the arrest at Gethsemane.
Were Jesus' opponents attempting to smear him as spreading anti-Roman propaganda? Was this the Plan of the Pharisees?
Absalom attempted to smear David as being anti-Israel, that Israel needed to be rid of David… we see a similar happening here.
15 Then the Pharisees went and conspired together plotting how to trap Him by [distorting] what He said. 16 They sent their disciples to Him, along with the [a]Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are sincere and that You teach the way of God truthfully, without concerning Yourself about [what] anyone [thinks or says of Your teachings]; for You are impartial and do not seek anyone’s favor [and You treat all people alike, regardless of status]. 17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it permissible [according to Jewish law and tradition] to pay a [b]poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, asked, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius [a day’s wage]. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “[[c]The Emperor Tiberius] Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were caught off guard, and they left Him and went away.
Jesus' reply here was brilliantly maneuvering around what they were attempting to do to him which is to entrap him in this question, so he might answer that the Jews should not pay tax to the Roman government, which would be inciting them to break the law..which could be considered sedition. Now remember this word.
However, Jesus replies in a brilliant manner.
In the Roman culture of that time, Cesear was considered God.
Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was the ruler at the time.
The process of deifying Roman rulers came from Eastern cultures, as the Empire expanded and conquered those regions. The Greeks and the Egyptians customarily worshiped their rulers as gods, including the pharaohs and Alexander the Great, even while they were still alive.
There is considerable evidence of the worship and deification of Roman rulers.
The first undisputed Roman ruler to be deified was Julius Cesar. He began to be worshiped while he was alive due to his military successes. Statues were erected and games were held in his honor.
His successor and adoptive son, Augustus, became the first Roman Emperor in 27 BCE. He inherited the divinity of Cesar and was also worshiped during his lifetime, though similar to Cesar
Now what Jesus was truly saying in His answer to the Pharisees was that Casaer was not God! There was a staunch difference between the two.
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s, Jesus was separating the two showing that Casaer and God were two different entities.
Now stating that Casaer was not God was a politically charged statement, however it was one the Pharisees could not maneuver their way around because if they disagreed with Jesus they would be agreeing with the Casaer is God concept which at that point they themselves would have committed public blasphemy!!
So was Jesus and his men viewed as rebels as revolutionaries, in opposition to the Roman Empire, was that truly what the Pharisees were attempting to entrap Him with being they themselves were in the back pocket of Rome.
What we would call Controlled Opposition.
To understand this we must go to the crucifixion.
With Jesus at Golgotha, calvary, are 2 men. Now, at first sight these two men are perceived to be thieves, but if we take a closer look we will understand what truly the charges were against them and against Jesus
Now with interpretations, there seems to be this issue of interpreting who these other 2 men really were.
38 At the same time two robbers were crucified with Jesus, one on the right and one on the left.
They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.
Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be executed with Him.
There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
Now Luke 23:32 categorizes them as criminals, meaning committing crimes against the Roman authorities
So these 2 men are indeed criminals according to the Roman authorities but Jesus isn’t considered a criminal by Rome, yet he is being led by the criminals.
In the Greek, it is heteroi kakourgoi which translates to other criminals.
In Luke 23:32 the entire direct translation from Greek to English is:
Were being led away now also other criminals two with him to be put to death.
The words also, other, and 2 bring forth this other perspective of what is going on.
To put it in perspective for us:
If I told you this morning I was at The Diner with two ministers, it does not tell you anything about what I do, it only describes what they, the 2 ministers, do.
However if I said this morning I was at The Diner with 2 other ministers, that indicates that I also am a minister it is not only describing what they do but what I do as well.
Now back to Luke 23 and the crucifixion.
He was being led away now along with other criminals–two with him to be put to death.
This doesn’t mean Jesus was a revolutionary but from the perspective of the authorities it was very likely that Jesus was condemned with the accusation of sedition.
Sedition: conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.
In New Testament Greek the words robber and thief are not interchangeable.
I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up from some other place [on the stone wall], that one is a thief and a robber.
As you can see they are different words and mean different things.
This is not a matter of shoplifting or stealing a piece of fruit from the market.
The two men being crucified with Jesus are not thieves.
A better translation is revolutionaries.
The man called Barabbas was imprisoned with the insurrectionists (revolutionaries) who had committed murder in the civil rebellion.
The word rebel in Greek is stasiaston.
The word insurrection in Greek is stasei.
So the word is translated as insurrectionist or revolutionary.
Given what we know so far, it is very possible to consider the fact that these two “thieves” with Jesus are really insurrectionists and revolutionaries.
Which would place Jesus from the point of view of the Roman authorities as being an insurrectionist and revolutionary as well.
He was considered a rebel.
During this time there was a very intricate and difficult socio-political atmosphere in Judea.
The Pharisees were in the back pocket of Rome and therefore willing to forsake their own to appease the Roman authorities and therefore keep the illusion of their position.
The Pharisees were very corrupt and far from Holy and Jesus' ministry on earth very much shined a light and exposed that many of the Pharisees were a fraud.
Many called Jesus the son of God, So what did the Son of God, someone being called the Son of God during this time.
Now today if you are a Christian and someone approaches you and says Jesus is the Son of God that is going to resonate and bear witness in your spirit and you will probably say YES and Amen!
However, if one is not a Christian and the same thing is said, they will say they don’t believe that or they will mock you.
Now from the Roman perspective Son of God had two possible implications.
One political in nature, and one religious in nature.
The Romans believed in one being the son of God however in their beliefs that would be the emperor who is Casaer!
So the Roman emperor, Casaer, is the son of God from the point of view of the Romans.
So to claim that someone else is indeed the son of God could have MAJOR political implications.
Let us examine closely the words of Pontius Pilate.
Who was the Roman Governor in Judea at the time of Jesus's arrest?
Notice Pontius Pilate doesn’t talk about the miracles at all that Jesus performed, healing the sick, raising the dead, and multiplying food to feed over 5000 people.
NOR does Pilate address at all ANY of Jesus’s teachings.
Pilate hyper focuses on one 1 very specific thing.
Then the whole assembly got up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Jesus, asserting, “We found this Man misleading and perverting our nation and forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and claiming that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), a King.” 3 So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is just as you say.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this Man.” 5 But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people [to rebel], teaching throughout Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as here [in Jerusalem].”
6 When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that He belonged to the jurisdiction of [a]Herod [Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee], he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Jesus before Herod
8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly pleased. He had wanted to see Him for a long time because of what he had heard about Him, and was hoping to see some [miraculous] sign [even something spectacular] done by Him. 9 And he questioned Him at some length, but Jesus made no reply. 10 The chief priests and the scribes were standing there, continually accusing Him heatedly. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking and ridiculing Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—before this they had been enemies.
Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release
13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who corrupts and incites the people to rebellion. After examining Him before you, I have found no guilt in this Man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and indeed, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” 17 [b][Now he was obligated to release to them one prisoner at the Feast.]
18 But they [loudly] shouted out all together, saying, “Away with this Man, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection that happened in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate addressed them again, wanting to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting out, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what wrong has He done? I have found no guilt [no crime, no offense] in Him demanding death; therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent and unrelenting, demanding with loud voices that Jesus be crucified. And their voices began to prevail and accomplish their purpose. 24 Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he handed over Jesus to their will.
Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium (governor’s palace). Now it was early and the Jews did not enter the Praetorium so that they would not be [ceremonially] unclean, but might [be able to] eat [and participate in the Feast of Unleavened Bread which began after] the [f]Passover [supper]. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered, “If He were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you [for judgment].” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your own law.” The Jews said, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to indicate by what manner of death He was going to die. 33 So Pilate went into the Praetorium again, and called Jesus and asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus replied, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own people and their chief priests have handed You over to me. What have You done [that is worthy of death]?” 36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world]. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.” 37 So Pilate said to Him, “Then You are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say [correctly] that I am a King. This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth [who is a friend of the truth and belongs to the truth] hears and listens carefully to My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him [scornfully], “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no guilt in Him [no crime, no cause for an accusation]. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. So shall I release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all shouted back again, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a [g]robber.
Notice that in both Luke and John Pilate has this political fixation ONLY of “Are you a king”?--This is what Pilate is Hyper focused on.
After this interrogation, Pilate states that “he finds no fault in this man”.
Now why is this?
Well, it’s because Jesus answered Pilate's political questions correctly to Pilate's satisfaction.
When Pilate, point Blank asks Jesus “Are you a king”?
Jesus rebuttals with “My kingdom is not of this world”.
Jesus answered from the perspective of Pontius Pilate from the Roman perspective He was not claiming to be the son of God, the emperor, or to have an earthly Kingdom.
Anything religious really was not a big deal for the Romans because they were a pagan society, to begin with therefore people could believe religiously whatever they wanted.
AS LONG AS YOU DON’T BRING POLITICS INTO IT, SOUND FAMILIAR?
So let's look at the second possible perspective of the Romans–the religious one.
The Romans in their belief and mythology were already familiar with the concept of being a son of God in the sense of a human being actually being the son of a god and a mortal woman.
Example. In the movie Clash of the Titans, Perseus is the son of a god and a mortal woman.
So if all this information comes to the Roman commander, Yeshua, has some followers, some are armed and oh by the way there is a claim that he is the son of God.
What would it mean from their cultural perspective that there is a possibility that the individual in question, Jesus, could be the son of God…Like Perseus.
The Roman commander might ask, well what God? What type of God? What God is he the son of?
Remember there were many false gods worshipped during that time
Remember they did not have the New Testament, they only in the Jewish faith had the Old Testament to look at.
So is he the son of the Lord of Hosts or another god?
So from the Roman perspective, they are going to arrest a man, who has followers, some of them are armed, and claims to be the Son of a God of War.
Now why would they believe this, well back in the Old Testament, the Lord of Hosts, the name for God the general, led Israel to conquer Canaan, led David to slay Goliath, conquer the Philistines, led Joshua to destroy Jericho, and so on.
So from the Roman perspective, this is a God of war.
This explains the cohort, the 600 Roman soldiers that the commander took to arrest Jesus.
Given the fact that Simon Peter actually engaged in a violent act to defend his master and was prepared at that moment unto death to defend himself, yes these men with Jesus were very focused, to say the least.
Now once Judea became a Roman Province the Jews became subject to the Romans and their law.
So let's look at what the Roman law says when it comes to carrying weapons.
Now in that the area of Judea the danger of rebellion was more common than other areas, the threat was constantly there of an uprising.
This law or lex was passed by a family Ulia was passed to protect citizens from severe punishments at the hand of Rome. This law was passed in 50 BC.
This law prohibited the possession of weapons other than hunting or for self-defense while traveling. Very specific law.
In 81 BC a law came to be that forbid weapons in pomerium which was the civil section of the city
The word pomerium is a contraction of the Latin words post moerium, which means beyond the walls.
You had to enter through the gate to get into this area, if one just breached the border without following protocol it would be considered a symbolic invasion and they would be killed
This law was broken by Pompei the Great in 52 BC when he completely broke the law by bringing the entire Roman legion into that area to restore public order. There were points with certain rulers where they only allowed certain units of the Roman army to carry certain weapons.
So The disciples with Jesus, being fishermen, even if they were carrying a dagger or a knife and claimed it was for fishing, it still would have been frowned upon by the Roman Authorities and they would be suspicious of such
Now to the charge that Pilate had written and put atop the cross Jesus was crucified on…
So when Pilate heard this said, he was [even] more [b]alarmed and afraid. 9 He went into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus did not answer him. 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me at all if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the sin and guilt of the [c]one who handed Me over to you is greater [than your own].” 12 As a result of this, Pilate kept making efforts to release Him, but the Jews kept screaming, “[d]If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar! Anyone who makes himself out [to be] a king opposes Caesar [and rebels against the emperor]!” 13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called [e]The Pavement, but in [f]Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the [g]Passover [week], and it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Look, your King!” 15 But they shouted, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
16 Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified.
17 So they took Jesus, and He went out, [h]bearing His own cross, to the place called [i]the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription [on a placard] and put it on the cross. And it was written: “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 And many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but, ‘He said, “I am King of the Jews.”’” 22 Pilate replied, “What I have written I have written [and it remains written].”
To understand what really the Pharisees are saying here we must go all the way back to 1 Samuel.
1 Samuel 8:4-9
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.” 6 But their demand [a]displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge and rule over us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. 8 Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned (rejected) Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 So now listen to their voice; only solemnly warn them and tell them the ways of the king who will reign over them.”
The Jews were rejecting God as their King and wanted their allegiance to an earthly flawed King.
When The Pharisees incited the people to shout in John 19:15.
But they shouted, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
It was a rejection all over again of God as their King and pledging their allegiance to an earthly King, thus the Pharisees revealing truly in their heart who they served and it was not Almighty God. This is one of the reasons Jesus said to Pilate that their sin was greater than his.
Also the Jewish people in a way were enslaved to Rome, and the Pharisees benefited from this financially, and politically, and Jesus being made the ruler would of meant they lose their power, authority, and entitlements, so in order to keep their power and position they wanted their own people to continue to be slaves! Sound familiar.
This was done as well to try and make the charge of sedition stick.
This is why Jesus says to Pilate in John 19:12
You would have no authority over Me at all if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason, the sin and guilt of the [c]one who handed Me over to you is greater [than your own].”
This is why the charge was “King of the Jews” being put on the cross is so crucial.
First of all, Pilate had had it with the Jewish Authorities wanting to crucify a man that he found no fault in so King of The Jews was in a way a mockery of them, However, anyone who claimed to be a King in the perspective of the Roman Authorities could be considered a rebel, a revolutionary, and committing the act of sedition.
Also in the Old Testament Jesus' coming is referenced to as a King.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And 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 one that shall not be destroyed.
So truly Jesus was the King of The Jews and the entire world and Fulfilling prophecy when that charge was put on the cross.
Therefore these things further clarify why that Charge was on the Cross which also further solidifies what the Jews were accusing him of, which means Jesus would have been crucified with 2 other Insurrectionists.
So the crucifixion and persecution that took place leading to Calvary had to do with being accused of insurrection.
An innocent man was accused of insurrection and sentenced for it.
Does this sound familiar to January 6th?
Innocent men and women being accused of an insurrection and imprisoned for it while the authorities incite those to condemn them?
Does this sound familiar with persecuting former leaders and the authorities and even religious authorities accusing them?
These rulers of the darkness and territorial spirits that ruled over the Roman Empire, pythos was a spirit during that time, and there were others, that same oppressive, enslaving, persecuting rulers of the darkness and powers over Rome is at work in our nation and influencing and directing our government and leadership. These are ancient rulers of the darkness that we are dealing with.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.
However Almighty God is high and lifted up far above every power, principality, and might, this is why our Focus first and foremost needs to be on Him not on intel, not rabbit holes, not psyops, and our faith should not be in men nor should be allowing those to hyper-focus us on men above God, because men are fallible and will fail you, However,, the Lord thy God never fails and the nation turning to Him, HIS people humbling themselves and turning to Him is what will turn the nation. Man is a tool in the hands of an infinitely powerful God to accomplish His work and His will on the earth.
And at the cross, the accusation of Insurrection turned into deliverance for the world that day, think about that one for a moment.
John 3:16 For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Posted in Teaching and Prophetic Insight
Ron Williams - December 2nd, 2023 at 6:56am
Thank you for these studies and the blog. I look forward to reading over these things finding them very helpful!
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