Dating the Destruction of the Second Temple

destruction of the second temple

Dating the Destruction of the Second Temple

Josephus describes the events in The Wars of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 4, taking place on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of “Lous”, a lunar month in the Syrio-Macedonian calendar equivalent to the fifth month of Av in the Biblical calendar.

He supplies the “10th day of the month of Lous,” but it is clear the fire did work on the 8th, 9th, and 10th by looking at his notes such as “in the morning” to indicate the passage of a day.

Only the 10th day of Lous is explicitly mentioned, and everything has to be figured by counting days before this by following the narrative VERY CLOSELY to note the clues on the times of day mentioned to figure when a day passes.

The date of August the 5 is achieved by converting Lous 9 into the Julian calendar, which is clearly equal to Av 9. The fire actually burned for several days. Josephus does not use the Roman Calendar at all, he uses the Syrio-Macedonian Calendar, which differs from the Biblical Calendar in the names it gives to the months, so for example. Nisan 15 is the same day as Xanthicus 15 in the Syrio Macedonian Calendar. Lous 10 = Av 10. The reason is that the Syrio-Macedonian calendar was also based on the sighting of the new moon, so month names differ, but the counting of days is the same.

The Syrio-Macedonian and Biblical Calendar Synchronisation.

Month Biblical Syro-Macedonian
1. Aviv / Nisan Xanthicus
2. Ziv / Iyar Artemisius
3. Sivan Dasius
4. Shoshanna / Tammuz Panemus
5. Av Loüs
6. Elul Goripiæus
7. Ethanim / Tishrei Hyperberetaeus
8. Bul / Cheshvan Dius
9. Kislev Apellaeus
10. Tebeth Audinaeus
11. Shebat Peritius
12. Adar Dystrus
13. Adar II

Rabbi Chalaphta in Seder Olam cites the Destruction of the Second Temple.

Seder Olam — The Rabbinic View of Biblical Chronology. Heinrich W. Guggenheimer, Jason Aronson Inc., pg. 264.

“Rabbi. Yose Chalaphta stated:
A day of rewards attracts rewards and a day of guilt attracts guilt. You find it said that the destruction of the first Temple was at the end of the Sabbath, when the priests of the family of Yehoiariv was officiating, on the Ninth of Ab.”
The 9th of Av in AD 70 fell on the first day of the week, i.e. at the end of the Sabbath, August 5.

Frontinus records in his book Strategems and the Second Temple.

A Roman Soldier named Frontinus in his book named Strategems writes the account of the destruction of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, saying: “The divine Vespasian attacked the Jews on the days of Saturn, on which it is forbidden for them to do anything serious, and prevailed.” Similar to the words of the historian Cassius Dio, this Roman soldier equated the day of rest (Sabbath) of the Jews to the Day of Saturn (Saturday, which was known as Saturn’s Day in Rome). This account of Vespasian (also known as Titus) attacking Jerusalem on Sabbath days, tallies with the account seen in the Historical works of Josephus as well.
Reference – Frontinus – The Stratagems 2.1.17. [B]
The Stratagems, Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 17, in “Loeb Classical Library,” Frontinus, p. 98

Again in his account of the second destruction Josephus gives the following account:

On Xanthikos 14, Titus encamped before the city (War 5.99; 5.133; 5.567).
On Panemos 17, the daily sacrifices ceased (6.94).
On Loos 8 the Roman armies completed their earthworks (6.220) and Titus ordered the gates of the temple set afire (6.228).
On the following day, which was Loos 9, Titus resolved to spare the temple (6.241).
On yet the following day, which was Loos 10, amidst the fighting, a Roman solider cast a firebrand into the temple and it was burned (6.244, 252).
The date of the burning is stated explicitly by Josephus: the tenth of the month which is Loos, the day on which of old it had burnt by the king of Babylon (6.250).

In the later correlation of the Macedonian calendar as it was used in Palestine, Loos was parallel to Av, the fifth month. Therefore Josephus’ date of Loos = Av 10 and is identical with Jeremiah chapter 52, verse 12:

12. Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,

Dating the destruction of the Second Temple Cosmologically.

All ancient cultures determined their years by the cycle of the sun and the sighting of the renewed crescent moon. With the help of modern technology and planetarium computer software we are able to accurately rewind time back to AD 70 and the corresponding fifth month of Av. We can accurately determine that the new moon sighting would have occurred for the fifth month of AD 70 on 27th, July at 19:34:21 JST / JD 1746833.21770631.

The following day, 28th would be 1 Av based on the scriptural understanding of a biblical day cycle and consequently the 9 Av would be AD 05.08.70 and JD 1746842, a Sunday, or a 1st day of the week on which the temple was destroyed.

AD 70 new moon sighting Av

– kindly click to enlarge –
Destruction of the Second Temple

9 Av AD 70 and the Priestly Course of Jehoiarib and the Destruction of the Second Temple.

Rabbi. Yose Chalaphta stated, A day of rewards attracts rewards and a day of guilt attracts guilt. You find it said that the destruction of the first Temple was at the end of the Sabbath, when the priests of the family of Yehoiariv were officiating, on the Ninth of Ab.” The 9th of Av in AD 70 fell on the first day of the week, i.e. at the end of the Sabbath, August 5.

In order to pinpoint another crucial event recorded in the Book of Luke, we have to now focus our astute attention to the 24 Priestly Courses initiated by Solomon in 1012 BC. Levitical priests were divided into shifts operating on a rotational basis, who served equally from sabbath noon to the following sabbath noon, beginning with the first course of Yehoiariv.

The 24 Continuous Rotational Courses of the Kohanim.


1st. 1 Chron 24:7 – Jehoiarib
2nd. 1 Chron 24:7 – Jedaiah
3rd. 1 Chron 24:8 – Harim
4th. 1 Chron 24:8 – Seorim
5th. 1 Chron 24:9 – Malchijah
6th. 1 Chron 24:9 – Mijamin
7th. 1 Chron 24:10 – Koz
8th. 1 Chron 24:10 – Abijah
9th. 1 Chron 24:11 – Yeshua
10th. 1 Chron 24:11 – Shecaniah
11th. 1 Chron 24:12 – Eliashib
12th. 1 Chron 24:12 – Jakim
13th. 1 Chron 24:13 – Huppah
14th. 1 Chron 24:13 – Jeshebeab
15th. 1 Chron 24:14 – Bilgah
16th. 1 Chron 24:14 – Immer
17th. 1 Chron 24:15 – Hezir
18th. 1 Chron 24:15 – Happizzez
19th. 1 Chron 24:16 – Pethahiah
20th. 1 Chron 24:16 – Ezekiel
21st. 1 Chron 24:17 – Jachin
22nd. 1 Chron 24:17 – Gamul
23rd. 1 Chron 24:18 – Delaiah
24th. 1 Chron 24:18 – Maaziah

From multiple secular sources we were able to confirm the year (AD 70), the biblical month (Av), the dates, and most importantly that the first, priestly rotational cycle of Jeohoiarib was in office when this unfortunate event occurred. We now have all the information and tools at our disposal to peer back in time as we assemble our jigsaw pieces together in dating the times of the Jewish Messiah

Next: The Continuous Priestly Cycles of Yehoiarib and Aviyah.

Yehoiariv would have therefore been appointed to conduct services from noon on the Sabbath, on the 4th of August, AD 70 to the 11th of August at noon, 7-days later. These dates can be numerically translated using the Julian Dating system as 1746841 to 1746848 while confirming them here.

What can very easily be performed now is to rollback time, in 7-day increments or every 168-days once we have located the first, 8th-cycle of Aviyah (24 x 7) in 3 BC, our pre-selected year.


Running the clock of the cyclical rotations backwards we arrive at our candidate year of 3 BC, in which we are now looking for the 8th Priestly Course of Aviyah mentioned in Luke, in which there are three (3) rotations. this can be transposed as follows in AD 70. This can very easily be accomplished using MSExcel:

What this will now allow us to accomplish is to select a candidate year in which Luke 1:5 will comply in dating the birth, death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua:

5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Yehudah, a certain priest, by name Zeƙaryahu, from the μ division of Aʋiyah, and his wife from the daughters of Aharon, and her name was Elisheʋa. (Good News of Messiah)

Notation: 1:5 μ The key to the priestly rotation riddle is given in Deut. 18:8 חֵלקֶ כּחְֵלקֶ יאֹכֵלוּ “Portion equal to portion they shall eat.” The rotation was unbroken and continuous to ensure that all 24 divisions served for equal time to eat equally from the offerings, taking one week turns. The rotations did not restart every year in Nisan or Tishri as claimed by many, and the regular rotation was not suspended during feasts, because any such innovation would give the divisions unequal shares from the offerings. All the courses rotated in 24 weeks and restarted in the next 24 weeks with no gaps, no skips, and no annual restarts. Like the seven day week the rotation was perpetual.

The correct order of rotations was set forth in Fasti Sacri, in 1865 by Thomas Lewin (ad 1805-1877): “The eighth course, which was that of Abijah, would begin on 16th May B.C. 7.” (Fasti, pg. xxix).

▷ The priestly rotations were founded on the same equality principle as Solomon’s rotating twelve month tax system without yearly correction via a 13th month.

▷ How did Lewin compute the division times? The second Temple was destroyed on the first day of the week on the 9th of Aʋ, when the first of the 24 divisions was beginning (cf. Jos. Ant; Seder Olam). The 9th of Aʋ was Sunday, August 5th, AD 70 by astronomical calculation. Accounting for the rotations backward through time, we arrive here at the service of Aʋiyah (the 8th division) between noon on Ȿabbaȶh, July 6, 3 BC and noon on July 13th, which was month IV.23 to IV.30 in 3 bc. Since 1865, Dead Sea Scroll documents have also confirmed the correct Rotation. See Appendix XVII.

▷ The year is nailed down in Luke 3:1 and 23. Since the divisions come up for service twice or thrice a year, 24 weeks apart, two of the service weeks in 3 BC the selected year must be eliminated to be sure the July 6-13 service is the right one. Now according to the service period to be eliminated from consideration (XI.1-XI.8, Jan 19-26, 3 BC), the five months would be (1) XI.9 to XII.8, (2) XII.9 to I.8, (3) I.9 to II.8, (4) II.9 to III.8), (5) III.9 to IV.8. And the sixth month commences on IV.9. Calculating the term date based on a IV.9 conception date gives us March 14, 2 bc (Aviv/Nisan 7). This, of course, assumes the five month accounting began as soon as Zeƙaryahu ended his week of service, and this is proved at 1:25 γ. But March 14, a week before Passover, is still when the latter rains are heavy, and shepherds did not take their flocks to the the fields then. Considering that Bҽȶhleɦem is at 2543 feet on average, there is still risk even of snow in early March. See 2:8 χ. Nor can the birth be overdue so much as to overcome this obstacle (See 2:6).

▷ As shown by 1:36, however, the new moon day commenced the sixth month of Elisheʋa, and therefore, we have a final witness that neither she nor Luke started counting five moons in the middle of a month. Luke is counting from a new moon day exactly equivalent to the day that Zeƙaryahu came off his priestly division. The first service period in 3 BC is eliminated because the day after it is not a new moon day.

▷ Using the sign in Revelation 12:1-2 to work Luke’s time line backward from Mĕssiah’s birth to Yoɦanan’s conception, we arrive at the same dates for the division of Aʋiyah. The clues all intersect at the same points. See the Birth Chart.

Next: The Continuous Priestly Cycles of Yehoiarib and Aviyah.

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