Oracles of Insurrection: The Prophetic Catalyst of the Great Revolt
|Author(s):||Anthony J. Tomasino|
|Affiliation:||Bethel College, IN|
|Year: 2008||Volume: 59||Issue: 1||086-111 pp.
|Keywords:||Second Temple period, historiography, Josephus, Flavius, Jewish War, First Jewish War, prophecy, Book of Daniel, Messianism|
|Abstract:||The role of prophecy in the Great Revolt of 66-74 CE has been much debated. In this study, it is argued that prophetic activity did not initiate the revolt, but contributed to its spread. An important piece of evidence in this debate is the so-called ‘ambiguous oracle’ that Josephus claims was crucial in inspiring the rebels to resistance. We consider here the rhetorical function of this oracle in Josephus’ account of the war, but conclude that there is no compelling reason to dismiss the prophecy as the historian’s own invention. We then consider how this oracle served the cause of the rebel leaders. Finally we turn to the thorny issue of the identity of the oracle. We systematically present a case that the weight of evidence favours identification of the oracle with Daniel 9:24-27: the ‘seventy weeks’ prophecy that was a source of much chronomessianic speculation.|
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