The Jewish observance of Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of Av (the fifth month of the Hebraic calendar), is traditionally an annual day of fasting and repentance, and is often referred to as “the saddest day in Jewish history.” Tisha B’Av is regarded as a day when Jews from around the world commemorate the destruction of both the First and Second Temples (655 years apart) in Jerusalem—a date which marks many of the worst tragedies in Israel’s history, both past and present. The Three Weeks before Tisha B’Av is the period of mourning where we grieve over the loss and destruction of the temple in Jerusalem as well as many of the other horrific events that have taken place during this season historically. The Three Weeks begins with fasting on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz the same day the Romans breached Jerusalem’s walls in 69 CE. This period concludes on the 9th of Av…three weeks later when both the Holy Temples were set aflame hundreds of years apart. In 2015 the three weeks begins on July 4th and ends on July 25th which is Erev Tisha B’Av (the night before Tisha B’Av). As is Jewish culture holidays begin on sundown the night before and end at sundown the night of. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth [month], the fast of the fifth [Tisha B’Av], the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.'”—Zechariah 8:19 Demonic powers have left a distinctive mark on Israel’s history during this season. However, I believe that instead of the Body of Messiah expecting the worse, we need to awaken to our preemptive prophetic power and authority to dismantle these demonic cycles. Recorded below is an abbreviated list of many of the historical accounts of demonic activity recorded on Tisha B'Av:
- 2448/1312 BC – Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.
- 3340/421 BC – Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
- 3830/70 AD – Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.
- 3892/132 AD – Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed – over 100,00 killed.
- 3893/133 AD – Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem.
- 4855/1095 AD – First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.
- 5050/1290 AD – Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
- 5252/1492 AD – Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.
- 5674/1914 AD – Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides – 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
- 5702/1942 AD – Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
- 5749/1989 AD – Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.
- 5754/1994 AD – The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina), which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.
[The above list was compiled by: Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu]
- 5765/2005 AD – Gush Katif expulsion [my addition].
As you can see, a negative history tries to repeat itself time and again during this season, and more particularly, on this day. However, as intercessors and prophets, I believe that the Lord is calling us to awaken to the arrival of Tisha B’Av. If we are spiritually aware of the history surrounding this day, we can walk in humble repentance and declare the Lord’s protection in advance in order to prevent further destruction. It is not difficult to see that the summer of 2015 has already been full of things that will be remembered as negative in our history. And yet we hope that our God is faithful to His people who remain faithful to Him in the midst. The Lord is calling us to be educated! He is calling us to Awaken! And with this awakening we can break the evil cycles of the enemy. We are being called to repent as Jewish and Gentile Believers in Yeshua—as the One New Man. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”—Acts 17:24 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”—1 Corinthians 3:16-18 I will write more about Tisha B’Av next time…