Tisha b’Av: to the Jew, this is a date, the 9th of Av. Av is a Hebrew month. It is the 11th month of the civil calendar or the 5th month of the religious calendar. It usually occurs during July or August in the Gregorian calendar. This year, the 9th of Av begins at sunset on Monday, July 31, 2017. The month is not named in the Bible.
The 9th of Av is a day of mourning in Israel. Tragedy came about because of the account of Numbers 13-14. This event occurred immediately after God had delivered Israel out of bondage in Egypt. The short story is the Lord told Moses to send a group of spies to go scout the Promised Land. The spies came back and proclaimed the Jews could not take the land because of the inhabitants of the land were too big and too strong. The people rebelled against Moses. The people stated they would rather go back to Egypt. The nation (except Caleb and Joshua) did not believe God to give them the Promised Land. We know it occurred during the grape harvest per the text (Numbers 13:20). This event is said to have occurred on the 9th of Av. God pronounced judgment on the nation at that time. And this date is said to be a reminder of nation Israel’s lack of faith in God.
Here is a list of Jewish history on the 9th of Av.
- 586 BC, the first Temple was destroyed.
- 70 AD, the second Temple was destroyed.
- 135 AD, Betar fell. It was the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt.
- 136 AD, one year after the fall of Betar, the Temple area was plowed.
- 1290 AD, Jews were expelled from England.
- 1492 AD, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B’Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil.
- 1914 AD, World War I began the downward slide to the Holocaust.
- 2005 AD, Israel turns over the Gaza Strip.
Late July 2017: Tensions are running high in Jerusalem on what many consider to be the Temple Mount. The real estate is home to the Muslim Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Metal detectors have been placed and removed in the last couple of weeks. Security camera placement has not eased the tension. There have been multiple days of rage. Muslim male worshipers have been restricted to age 50 and over. All women have been allowed to ascend the Mount for prayer.
Skirmishes between Palestinians and Israeli forces are occurring south of Jerusalem in Hebron near the location of the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Riots are noted on the Gaza border.
Riots are occurring at the Israeli embassy in Jordan.
Finally on Friday, July 28, 2017 there was some calm on a day of prayer. President Trump is being praised by the King of Jordan for his role in easing the tension.
The 9th of Av (July 31 on a Gregorian calendar) comes Monday at sunset. Pray this is not the calm before a major storm.
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