And there were also gathered among the people, soldiers of Rome, and many would not
so much as stand near unto them, for they were not of the seed of Abraham; and many
were astonished that John should number these Gentiles among the house of Israel;
but John forbade no man the blessings of that God who called him forth.
Summary: Roman occupation of Israel began in 63 BCE. While the Jewish people were
granted various measures of autonomy, Judea was ruled by Roman authority or Jewish
leaders operating under the name of Rome. During the days of Yeshua, the social,
political, and religious climate of Judea was a complex mix of differing ideologies.
Yeshua’s ministry unfolded in the midst of several primary social groups: the Zealot
party, the Herodians, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. Each of these
groups held differing religious and secular views and agendas, including those pertaining
to Roman occupation.
63 BCE — Romans invade Judea and besiege the temple in Jerusalem, bringing an end
to Jewish sovereignty. Judea becomes a client kingdom of Rome.
37 BCE — Having been appointed ‘King of the Judea’ by the Roman Senate, Herod the
Great takes Jerusalem and secures the throne of Judea.
4 BCE — Death of Herod the Great, his kingdom is divided among three of his sons
as an inheritance:
6 BCE — Birth of Yeshua. Archelaus is removed from his position by Caesar Augustus
due to complaints resulting from his cruelty towards the Jewish people and for violating
Mosaic Law. The territory is reorganized as the Roman province of Judaea and placed
under the authority of a series of Roman prefects (governors), which came to include
70 CE — After years of uprisings and revolts throughout Judea, Jerusalem is besieged
and destroyed by Roman forces. Most of the inhabitants are either killed or enslaved.
Joseph(father of Yeshua) — died in 17 CE; was among a group of civilians from Nazareth
crucified by Roman soldiers as an object lesson and act of revenge in response to
an attack from the Zealot leader, Judas of Gamala.
Joseph Caiaphas — purchased the position of High Priest from the Roman governor,
Hearing, therefore, that John baptized in the waters of Jordan, by the lands of Perea,
Pilate inquired of Herod Antipas concerning him; for the Jews were ever disputing
among themselves the coming of the Anointed One, seeking always to throw off the
yoke and power of Rome.
Now there came unto John certain of his disciples and one of them, being a Zealot,
spoke, saying: “Rabboni, we know that you are sent by God unto the people, tell us,
therefore, by what power shall the Anointed One throw off the power of Rome. For
at his coming we would lift the sword against the oppressor, that we might establish
again in Jerusalem the throne of David.”
33. Now when the Pharisees saw that the Zealots grew troubled because of Yeshua,
they took counsel whereby they might cause the Zealots to turn against him.
34. And one spoke unto the Lord, saying: “Master, we know that you are true and faithful
unto God always, being equal and just towards all men; for you regard not the station
of any man.
35. Tell us, therefore, what say you of taxes which the Romans impose? Is it just
to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?”
36. But Yeshua, perceiving the trickery of their hearts, spoke, saying: “You hypocrites,
for what just cause would you entangle me? Show me the tribute money.”
37. And they gave unto the Lord a silver denarius. And the Lord showing it unto the
38. “Whose image and inscription do you see?” They answered, “Caesar’s.”
39. Then said the Lord unto them, “Give unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,
and give unto God the things which are God’s.”
40. Now when the Zealots heard this they seethed with indignation against the Lord,
for he commanded that all men should pay tribute unto Caesar.
And Pilate, hearing the shouts of the people asked concerning it, for he understood
not the tongue of the Jews.
And one of his servants said: “My lord, the people say that this Yeshua is a king
appointed by God to rule over the people.”
Now when Pilate heard this, he was greatly troubled because of it, for he feared
that the Jews would rise up against Rome because of the Galilean.
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Yeshua 5:1-7 Was this Rome’s first encounter with Yeshua?