Be honest. Have you ever heard of the 9th of Av? How about Tisha B’Av? If you are like me until a couple of weeks ago and you are not Jewish, you probably never have. If instead I asked you if you have ever heard of January 1st, April 1st or December 25th you would probably be able to tell me exactly that those are New Year’s Day, April Fool’s Day and Christmas. What I discovered through reading an article recently absolutely shocked me! It caused me to do some research and the more I learned, the more shocked I became.
The 9th of Av (also referred to as Tisha B’Av in Hebrew) is a day of mourning and fasting by Jews in memory of some very horrific events that have occurred almost exclusively to the Jewish people over their entire history. The article I read specifically detailed a couple of events that happened on that day, but as I researched further I discovered even more than I would have ever imagined. To help clarify what this all means I should first acquaint you with the Jewish calendar, which is very different from the Gregorian calendar most (but not all) of the world uses today. First and foremost, under the Jewish calendar a “day” begins at sundown and ends at sundown of the “next” day (in our calendar). We think of a day that starts at midnight and ends at midnight 24 hours later. Also, under our calendar there are 365.25 days in every year with that additional 1 day being added on February 29 of every 4th year which is known as a leap year. In the Jewish calendar there are 353, 354 or 355 days in a year and the additional days are added with a 13th month every 11 years or so. Confused? I highly recommend going to www.hebcal.com/converter and it will show you how to convert a specific day from the Jewish calendar to the Gregorian calendar and vice versa.
Basically, we count years as BC (also known as BCE – Before the Common Era). Christians believe it stands for Before Christ. AD (again, known politically correct as CE -Common Era) is referred to us as Anno Domini, or the year of our Lord. BC and BCE refer to the same time period just as AD and CE are the same. At the time of this writing we are in 2017 on the Gregorian calendar but we are in 5777 in the Jewish calendar which goes back to the Creation. The bottom line is Av is the 5th month of the year and typically corresponds to late July or early August in the Gregorian calendar. Whereas our calendar begins in January, the Jewish calendar begins in the Spring time.
Why is all this important? From our perspective a set date like Christmas always falls on the exact same day on the Gregorian calendar. Because the Jewish calendar is less known and less used trying to convert the dates to see when they fall on the calendar we use can be confusing. For example, the next five 9th of Av fall in the following years on the Gregorian calendar are:
- 2017 – August 1
- 2018 – July 21
- 2019 – August 10
- 2020 – July 30
- 2021 – July 18
What shocked me so much while researching and reading about the 9th of Av were how many terrible things happened to the Jews ON THAT EXACT DATE! Not on the 10th or 15th of Av but on the 9th of Av! Put these things into the context of historical events and I believe you will see stunning similarities. Each and every one of these horrible events in the history of the Jews occurred on the 9th of Av:
- 1312 BC – The Jews had wandered in the wilderness for 2-3 years. After hearing from God who told Moses “Send thou men that they may search the land of Canaan, which I GIVE (capitals mine) unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them” (Numbers 13:2), Moses sent out 12 spies to investigate the promised return to their land of Canaan. Ten of the 12 came back and said the land COULD NOT be conquered to which the Jews replied, “And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?” Numbers 14:3. While the spies returned on the 8th of AV, the Jews cried out on the 9th of Av. The result? God said “Surely they SHALL NOT SEE (capitals mine) the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.” Numbers 14:23.The Jews then wandered for another 38 years before Caleb was allowed to bring them (and the next generation) into the Promised Land. Instead of following God’s promise to them, they said they would rather go back to slavery in Egypt and they cried this out on the 9th of Av!
- 586 BC – The destruction of the 1st Temple by the Babylonians. In the Jewish religion it is incumbent on the High Priest to enter the Holiest of Holies in the Temple on Yom Kippur to ask God for the forgiveness of the Jewish people. If the Temple does not exist with the Holiest of Holies, the High Priest cannot ask for the forgiveness of his people. When the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple they took the Jews into slavery. “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity and his glory into the enemy’s hand.” Psalm 78:58-61. This occurred on the 9th of Av.
- 70 AD – Shortly after the Crucification of Christ in 33 AD and the uprising against the Romans the Jews sought from 67 to 70 AD to overthrow the Romans. At the conclusion of that time, the Romans destroyed the now rebuilt Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews to the four corners of the earth. It is estimated 2,500,000 Jews were killed while 1,000,000 were dispersed and sold into slavery. When Christ came to Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives shortly before dying for our sins, He said when looking upon the city “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. Saying, ‘If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon the, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee on every side. And shall lay thee with the ground, and they children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of they visitation.” Luke 19:41-44. Yes, the Temple was destroyed about 37 years later in one day, on the 9th of Av.
- 135 AD – Over 500,000 Jews were butchered by 80,000 Roman soldiers at the battle of Betar after a rebellion against the Romans and their emperor Hadrian. You got it! This happened on the 9th of Av. (Corrected 7/18/18).
- 1095 AD – First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II in which 10,000 Jews were massacred on the first day. What was the first day? The 9th of Av.
- 1290 AD – The Jews are expelled from England accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of property and books. This began on the 9th of Av.
- 1306 AD – On July 22nd King Philip IV of France expelled all Jews from his kingdom. Many of these Jews came to France after they had been expelled from England in 1290 AD. In doing so King Philip confiscated and sold off their assets for his personal gain. 100,000 Jews were arrested on this date. Again, this dates equates to the 9th of Av in the Jewish calendar. (added to original post on 4/22/18).
- 1492 AD – As result of the Inquisition, the Jews are expelled from Spain at a great loss of property. It is interesting to note that Queen Isabella of Spain used the proceeds from the confiscation of the Jews properties to fund the trip of Christopher Columbus to discover a path to India. Of course, he instead discovered America which has become one of Israel’s staunchest supporters since their declaration of Independence in 1948. The Queen gave the Jews 3 months to leave Spain but the final day of their departure had to be on, you guessed it, the 9th of Av.
- 1555 AD – Pope Paul IV forced the Jews living in Rome to live in a ghetto. This happened on the 9th of AV. (added to the original post on 4/22/18).
- 1648 AD – The Chielminicki Massacre began in which the Cossacks killed over 250,000 Ukrainian and Polish Jews (added to the original post on 4/22/18).
- 1914 AD – Germany declares war on Russia, beginning WWI. Even though the allies won, the Treaty of Versailles ending the war was viewed by the Germans as unfair to them and the civil unrest that followed ultimately resulted in World War II and the Holocaust. Germany officially declared war on Russia in 1914 on the 9th of Av.
- 1929 AD – Mufti Hajj Amin Al Hussein stirs up riots against all Jews at the Wailing Wall at the Temple site in Jerusalem resulting in the Hebron Massacre (added to the original post on 4/22/18).
- 1941 AD – Heinrich Himmler received approval from the German Nazi party on the 9th of Av to enact the “Final Solution” to eradicate the Jews from Europe. The result was the killing over the next 4 years of approximately 6 million Jews or one third of the world Jewish population.
- 1942 AD – As part of the “Final Solution”, on the 9th of Av the Germans began mass deportation of the Jews from their Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka where they would be killed.
- 1989 AD – Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait regarding recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. This happened on the 9th of Av.
- 1994 AD – A radical group supported by Hezbollah and Iran car bombed the Association Mutual Israelite Argentine (AMIA) Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring over 300. This was the deadliest bombing in Argentine’s history in a country with one of the largest Jewish populations (230,000) in the world outside of Israel. There have long been accusations that the government was involved as well, with the current Pope requesting an investigation. This happened on the 9th of Av.
- 2005 AD – On the 9th of Av, after disengagement from the Gaza strip, Israel expelled 8,000 Jews that were living there.
Is ALL this only a coincidence? Did I even catch all the events that have occurred to the Jews and to Israel on the 9th of Av over the past 3,500 years? Probably not!!! I headlined this post as The 9th of Av – History or Prophecy? because this history is well documented. That can not be disputed. But for the vast majority of horrific events that have greatly affected the Jewish people and their homeland of Israel ALL to occur on one specific date in a year tells me that there is a Plan to bring the Jews into believing that Jesus Christ is THEIR Yeshua or messiah. Now, I am NOT saying that ANYTHING will happen on the 9th of Av in 2017, 2018, 2019 etc. I can only speak to what the Bible says. I do firmly believe, however, that when the time comes and we can look back and see the events foretold but not yet fulfilled, we will see the prominence of the 9th of Av in the Plan God has for the Jews (and the rest of us). There are a number of major, negative events still to come prophesied (see my post on Time Line for the Final Days) like the Rapture, War of Gog of Magog or the Abomination of Desolation that would NOT surprise me one bit if they happened on THAT date, the 9th of Av! As for me, I will be watching and listening on the 9th of Av to witness the fulfillment of God’s perfect Plan!
We should ALL take comfort in knowing that God has a Plan that will happen EXACTLY as He promised. Pass this along if you feel the same so that we can ALL “therefore, comfort one another with these words”.