The Eviction of the Jewish Tenants

When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt He had Moses warn them that He was not giving them the land for their goodness; He was displacing the Canaanites for their evil:

"It is not for any goodness or sincerity of yours that you are entering their land to possess it; no, it is for the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is dispossessing them for you, and to keep the word that he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Be in fact sure, then, that it is not for any goodness of yours that God gives you this rich land to possess, for you are a headstrong people." (Dt.9:5-6).

Moses warned the Israelites that if they behaved wickedly, as well, God would displace them, too:

"God will send you and the king you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods of wood and stone. You will become a thing of horror, a proverb, and a byword to all the peoples among whom the Lord takes you." (Dt.28:36-37).

When God had the Israelites build their first place of worship in the land of Ephraim in a place called Shiloh, the move, again, was temporary. When wickedness overtook that site, God uprooted His place of worship and moved the temple to another location, this time to Jerusalem in Judea.

But this move was not permanent either. God had Jeremiah warn the Jews that if they lived according to the lifestyle of the surrounding nations (i.e., continued to pursue money and false gods, as they were doing), He would remove from them their sceptre of leadership and give it to someone else again, moving the temple of God yet another time. (Jer.7:1-15).

"Now go to my place in Shiloh where at first I gave my name a home; see what I have done to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel! And now, since you have committed all these sins..."

"I will treat this Temple that bears my name, and in which you put your trust, and the place I have given to you and your ancestors, just as I treated Shiloh. I will drive you out of my sight, as I drove your kinsmen, the entire race of Ephraim." (Jer.7:12-15).

When Jesus appeared, the eviction Jeremiah and the the other prophets had foreseen was at hand. The mantel of leadership was being changed once again. The Jewish tenants which were leading the people away from God and were evicted and replaced by a new people of Christ's choosing.

The temple was burned to the ground and rebuilt in the hearts of those who obeyed God. And the entire House of Israel was displaced to Babylon, to the foreign nations Moses had long ago foreseen. There they have remained for almost 2000 years.

In changing the management, Jesus told the people a parable:

"A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed.

Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest.

He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, "They will respect my son" he said. But those tenants said to each other, "This is the heir. come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.

Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others." (Mark 12:1-0).

When Jesus picked up a whip and drove the moneylenders out of the temple, He was not exhibiting anger. He was fulfilling scripture -- following the orders of God who instructed Him to throw the wicked tenants out of the vineyard. His action was a sign from God that the moment prophesied had come.

"Listen. An uproar from the city! A voice from the Temple! The voice of the Lord bringing retribution on his enemies." (Is.66:6).

At precisely the same time that Jesus was driving the evil tenants out with His whip, an historical event of exactly the same order occurred as well. It is recorded in official Jewish history:

According to the Mishna, in 30 A.D., the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, evicted the Seat of the Jewish Sanhedrin from their quarters inside the temple (the 'Chamber of Hewn Stone') on consecrated ground, and banished them outside the temple where they took up new quarters in the Hanuyot (in the southern Royal Portico). (Sanhedrin 41:2; Aboda Zara 8:2).

This eviction of high priest and the change of tenants and priests by God was forecast by Isaiah:

"Now go to this steward, to Shebna, the master of the palace who is hewing a tomb for himself high up, carving out a room for himself in the rock. 'What right have you here, and what relatives have you here for you to hew a tomb for yourself in this place?' See -- God hurls you down, down with a single throw." (Is.22:15-17).

"I dismiss you from your office, I remove you from your post, and the same day I call on my servant Eliakin, son of Hilkiah. I invest him with your robe, gird him with your sash, entrust him with your authority; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the House of Judah. I place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; should he open, no one shall close, should he close, no one shall open. I drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a throne of glory for his father's house." (s. 22:19-23).

The high priest Caiaphas and those who surrounded him were evicted.. Jesus appointed Peter in his place. The House of David went to Babylon where the food of God has ever since been offered in abundance to the nations:

"To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; there the Lord will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).

"I am coming to gather the nations of every language. They shall come to witness my glory. I will give them a sign (the sign of the cross) and send some of their survivors to the the distant islands that have never heard of me or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory to the nations." (Is. 66:18-19).

"For as the new heavens and the new earth I shall make will endure before me, so will your race and name endure...all mankind will come to bow down in my presence, says the Lord." (Is.66:22-23).

See Also:

1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 5, 'Two Cities'
2. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 35, 'Prelude to Eternity'

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