By Robert Wurtz II
When it comes to understanding the significance of this particular segment, it is important to realize the impact that "one man" by the name of Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph has had on modern Rabbinic Judaism and the Jews. I personally believe it would be next to impossible to overstate the negative impact this one man has had on the cause of God in the earth concerning His people the Jews. He is the closest 'type' of the the false prophet of the book of Revelation that we have yet to see and his FALSE MESSIAH Simon Bar Kochba has been a 'type' of the ANTI CHRIST to the Jews for almost 1900 years.
After 70 CE and the destruction of the Temple, Rome attempted to stifle the Jews desire to revolt by bringing in pagans to strengthen the non-Jewish population and by founding cities with names like Flavia Neapolis and Flavia Ioppe. There was also a heavy tax imposed by them called the "fiscus iudaicus" on the Jews of Israel and the diaspora. They also minted coins to remind the Jews that Jerusalem had been destroyed which read 'Iudaea devicta' or more simply 'Judah Defeated.' The Romans then recruited Yohanan ben Zakkai and the group of Pharisees that followed him to help them rule the Jews. This grew into a national government under the Romans. Yavneh, or Jamnia (In Greek), became the center of Rabbinic authority. Gamaliel II joined Zakkai and with the help of Rome ruled the people until they had put down ALL the other competing Pharasiac groups that would compete with them for influence and AUTHORITY.
However, from 90 CE onward rebellion and unrest continued to grow against Rome and ANYONE that competed with them for authority. The non-believing Jews were cursing the Nazerenes and other 'heretical' sects (sects not in step with their Rabbinic cause) with the Birkat ha Minim and it would not be long until Rome likewise would be on the receiving end of the academy at Yavneh's thirst for POWER and AUTHORITY.
Over the next 50 years a concerted effort to establise the total rule of the Rabbi's was well towards being completed. Rabbi Akiba ultimately is responsible for driving the last nail into the coffin of the seperation of the Jewish Christians (Nazarenes) and the non-believing Jews (and all other competing groups as well). When Akiba exalted Bar Kochba to be Messiah the Nazarenes could not tolerate this and it spelled the end of that relationship. I believe it was an INTENTIONAL act on Akiba's part to ultimately seize authority and alienate the Nazarenes and their influence. it was also strategic in that is exceedingly made the Nazareens look like they were unpatriotic, etc..
According to McClintock and Strong 'BarKochba, son of the star, or SIMEON BAR-COCHBA, was the Jewish false Messiah who applied to himself the prophecy of Balaam (Numbers 24:17), and incited the Jews to revolt against the emperor Hadrian (A.D. 130). He passed himself off for the Messiah, and his pretensions were supported by Akiba, the chief of the Sanhedrin. The better to deceive the credulous Jews, according to Jerome, he pretended to vomit flames, by means of a piece of lighted tow which he kept in his mouth. Bar-Kochba profited by the seditious state in which he found the Jews, and took Jerusalem in A.D. 132. He issued coins having on one side his own name, and on the other "Freedom of Jerusalem." (end of quote) He was a very violent man who was proported to once cut a finger off of thousands of his troops to keep them in subjection. I would characterize him as a throw back from the days of the Sacarii. He kept his troops in subjection by vile atrocities. Both him and Akiba were sorely judged for their behavior through unimaginable violent deaths (filleting, etc.)-but the Rabbi's later exalted them as martyrs and heroes. They established an entire system of Judaism founded by a man who had deceived the people that Bar Kochba was the Messiah. This resulted in the death of Israel as the land of God's people for centuries. After the Romans put their uprising down they renamed Jerusalem "Elia Capitolina" and renamed Israel PALISTINE as a mockery of them before the Philistines (Palistine is not what the land of Israel was called in the time of Jesus as many bible maps suggest). Thousands were killed and the Jews were evicted from the land until just about the last 100 years. Of all the mysteries in all my studies of the Jews, the greatest one of all is how so many non-believing Jews persecuted the Nazerenes, Ebionites, and Messianists because they siad they followed a 'false Messiah' and yet they EXALT Akiba over Abraham, Moses, David, and God Almighty and he appointed the false messiah Bar Kochba. That is a hypocrisy that can't possibly be explained.
* No material from this lesson was taken from Internet sources.
* Quotes are labeled from their sources.
* Information is a synthesis of lectures and particularly excerpts from Daniel Gruber's bold and revealing book "Rabbi Akiba's Messiah" (The Origins of Rabbinic Authority). I recommend this book to everyone interested in the issue of why modern Jews do not believe in Christ as their Messiah. It is an integeral part of understanding so key issues. It is published by:
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