Category: What is the Tribulation? How do we know the Tribulation will last seven years?”

This remarkable Rabbi, of the 12th Century, appears to have nailed it. In fact, he may have pin pointed the time of the “Messiah’s return.” The last days may truly be upon us.

Judah Ben Samuel was a legendary and prolific German rabbi of the 12th  century who made some astonishing and specific predictions about the future of  Jerusalem and Israel that came true.

Judah Ben Samuel, also known as Judah he-Hasid (Judah the Pious), lived and  worked from the end of the 12th century until the beginning of the 13th century  in Regensburg, authoring a number of books in the German language.

Ludwig Schneider of   Israel Today magazine has translated some of his work into English over the  last few years, including “The Book of the Pious – Sefer Hasidim” and the “Book  of Calculations – Sefer Gematriyot.”

Following the Christian crusades to the Holy Land, between 1096-1270, a  regular correspondence developed between the Jews in the Holy Land and the  Christian West. Thus, for example, the rabbis in Worms and Regensburg in Germany  knew that Saladin’s Ayyubids had been ruling in the Holy Land since 1187.

At this time, Judah Ben Samuel published the results of his biblical  calculations (Gematria) and astrological observations and summarized as follows: “When the Ottomans (Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the  Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – conquer Jerusalem they will rule over  Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for  one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the  possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the  Messianic end time.”

One jubilee is 50 years (Leviticus 25). It is the 50th year after seven times  seven years, the year in which each person should regain ownership of his or her  land. Ben Samuel’s calculations were purely theoretical; there was absolutely no  sign at that time of their being fulfilled. He himself was not able to  experience their fulfillment, for it was only 300 years after his death that the  first of his predictions were to come true.

The Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in  1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They remained for eight jubilees (8 x 50 = 400  years), that is to say they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years  later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British. The League of  Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British.  Thus, from 1917, under international law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land.

Then, when Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, exactly one  jubilee (50 years) after 1917, Jerusalem reverted to Jewish-Israeli ownership  once again. Thereby, according to the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel, the  Messianic End Times began.

Many scholars have studied and made reference to Judah Ben Samuel’s writings  in an effort to understand how he reached his conclusions. Among those  referencing Ben Samuel were Rabbi Isaac Ben Solomon Luria, a mystic dealing with  the messianic world (Jerusalem, 1531-1572, Safed); Joseph Solomon Delmegido  (1591 Candia – 1655 Prague), a mathematician and astronomer (“Mazref  le-Chochma”), Azulai I (1724-1806), a famed bibliographer; Samuel David Luzzatto  (1800-1865), a Bible scholar; historian Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891); and Torah  scholar Jacob Epstein (1925-1993).

The secret of how Judah the Pious arrived at such accurate predictions has  less to do with the actual calculations than it does with the fact that he had  consecrated his life to God. His pupils Rabbi Isaac ben Moses (Vienna), Rabbi  Baruch ben Samuel (Mainz) and Rabbi Simcha (Speyer) testify that Ben Samuel was  a model of abstinence and selflessness and was awaiting with a burning desire  the coming of the Messiah.

Ben Samuel was often called “Light of Israel.” Even bishops came to him for  advice. If anyone asked him where his wisdom came from he would answer, “The  prophet Elijah, who will preceed the Messiah, appeared to me and revealed many  things to me and emphasized that the precondition for answered prayer is that it  is fueled by enthusiasm and joy for the greatness and holiness of God.”

But to recap the astonishing predictions: In AD 1217 this scholarly and pious  rabbi prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the holy city of  Jerusalem for eight Jubilees. Now, keep in mind, he made this prediction 300  years before the Ottoman Turks seized control of Jerusalem in 1517. If indeed  1217 and 1517 were jubilee years as Judah Ben Samuel believed, then his prophecy  was exactly right, because exactly 400 years after the Turks took control of  Jerusalem they were driven out of the city and the holy land in 1917 by the  Allied forces under the command of General George Allenby – on Hanukkah, by the  way.

But it gets more interesting still.

The rabbi also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee Jerusalem would be a “no-man’s land.” This is exactly what happened from 1917 to 1967, due to the  fact that the Holy Land was placed under British Mandate in 1917 by the League  of Nations and literally “belonged” to no nation.

Even after Israel’s war of independence in 1948-49, Jerusalem was still  divided by a strip of land running right through the heart of the city, with  Jordan controlling the eastern part of the city and Israel controlling the  western part of the city. That strip of land was considered and even called “no-man’s land” by both the Israelis and the Jordanians.

It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when the entire West Bank of the  Holy Land was conquered by the Israeli army that the whole city of Jerusalem  passed back into the possession of Israel. So once again the prophecy made by  the rabbi 750 years previously was fulfilled to the letter.

It certainly would be significant if both 1917 and 1967 were Jubilee years,  considering the significance of what happened in Jerusalem on those years. But  it gets even more interesting, because Judah Ben Samuel also prophesied that  during the 10th Jubilee Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the  Messianic “end times” would begin. If he’s right, the 10th Jubilee began in 1967  and will be concluded in 2017, the return of the “Messiah.”

“The Bible should be our standard for prophecy and interpretation of  prophetic events,” said Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND, upon learning  of Judah Ben Samuel’s predictions in Israel  Today. “But one cannot ignore what this 12th-century rabbi said and wrote.  It’s well-documented. And I applaud   Israel Today for bringing it to light. The implications of these predictions  is staggering to say the least.”

The tribulation is a future seven-year period of time when God will finish His  discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world. The  church, made up of all who have trusted in the person and work of the Lord Jesus  to save them from being punished for sin, will not be present during the  tribulation. The church will be removed from the earth in an event known as the  rapture (1  Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1  Corinthians 15:51-53). The church is saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians  5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names  such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1213:6-9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-31; 3:14; 1  Thessalonians 5:2); trouble or tribulation (Deuteronomy  4:30; Zephaniah  1:1); the great tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of  the seven-year period (Matthew  24:21); time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1Zephaniah  1:15); time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah  30:7). An understanding of Daniel  9:24-27 is necessary in order to understand the purpose and time of the  tribulation. This passage speaks of 70 weeks that have been declared against  “your people.” Daniel’s people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, and Daniel 9:24 speaks of a period of time that God has given  “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to  bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint  the most holy.” God declares that “seventy sevens” will fulfill all these  things. This is 70 sevens of years, or 490 years. (Some translations refer to 70  weeks of years.) This is confirmed by another part of this passage in Daniel. In  verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after “seven  sevens and sixty-two sevens” (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild  Jerusalem. In other words, 69 sevens of years (483 years) after the decree to  rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will be cut off. Biblical historians confirm that  483 years passed from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time  when Jesus was crucified. Most Christian scholars, regardless of their view of  eschatology (future things/events), have the above understanding of Daniel’s 70  sevens. With 483 years having passed from the decree to rebuild  Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, this leaves one seven-year period  to be fulfilled in terms of Daniel 9:24:  “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to  bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint  the most holy.” This final seven-year period is known as the tribulation  period—it is a time when God finishes judging Israel for its sin. (see also: “12th century rabbi predicted Israel’s future) Daniel 9:27 gives a few  highlights of the seven-year tribulation period: “He will confirm a covenant  with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to  sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an  abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out  on him.” The person of whom this verse speaks is the person Jesus calls the  “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew  24:15) and is called “the beast” in Revelation 13. Daniel 9:27 says that the beast will make a covenant for  seven years, but in the middle of this week (3 1/2 years into the tribulation),  he will break the covenant, putting a stop to sacrifice. Revelation 13 explains  that the beast will place an image of himself in the temple and require the  world to worship him. Revelation  13:5 says that this will go on for 42 months, which is 3 1/2 years. Since Daniel 9:27 says that this  will happen in the middle of the week, and Revelation  13:5 says that the beast will do this for a period of 42 months, it is easy  to see that the total length of time is 84 months or seven years. Also see Daniel 7:25, where the  “time, times, and half a time” (time=1 year; times=2 years; half a time=1/2  year; total of 3 1/2 years) also refers to “great tribulation,” the last half of  the seven-year tribulation period when the beast will be in power. For  further references about the tribulation, see Revelation  11:2-3, which speaks of 1260 days and 42 months, and Daniel 12:11-12, which  speaks of 1290 days and 1335 days. These days have a reference to the midpoint  of the tribulation. The additional days in Daniel 12 may include the time at the  end for the judgment of the nations (Matthew  25:31-46) and time for the setting up of Christ’s millennial kingdom (Revelation  20:4-6). In summary, the Tribulation is the 7-year time period in  the end times in which humanity’s decadence and depravity will reach its  fullness, with God judging accordingly.