Resurrections and Other Odd Facts

Resurrections

Widow of Zarephath’s son (1 Kings 17:17 – 24) by Elijah

The Shunammite woman’s son (2 Kings 4:18 – 37) by Elisha

The man raised out of Elisha’s grave (2 Kings 13:20 – 21)

The widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11 – 17) by Jesus

Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:52 – 56) by Jesus

Lazarus (John 11) by Jesus

Various saints in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:50 – 53)

Tabitha (Acts 9:36 – 43) by Peter

Eutychus (Acts 20:7 – 12) by Paul

The two witnesses (Revelation 11:7 – 11)

The faithful (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:23)

Everyone (Revelation 20:11 – 15)

Jesus

Did Not Die

Enoch (Genesis 5:23 – 24)

Elijah (2 Kings 2:11)

Will Not Die

The faithful on earth at the end (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Deaths at the fall of Jerusalem

Josephus estimated that the total Jewish deaths in the final battle were 1.1 million, obtained by actual count of bodies taken out of the city.  The city’s population, normally about 250,000, had been swelled by Passover pilgrims who were trapped by the advancing Roman army, so the population at the start of the siege is estimated at 3 million.  The death toll at the fall of the city does not count those captured during the siege as they tried to escape.  About 500 per day were crucified facing the wall for about 4 months.  At times, the soldiers ran out of wood for crosses despite re-using them repeatedly.  When the siege and last battle were over, another 100,000 were sold into slavery, which greatly reduced the price of a slave in that region.  Those not suited to slavery were executed, but the quantity is unknown.  About a quarter million died in other battles in Israel.  No estimates were found for deaths in the various Jewish quarters of other major cities.  As a side note, the amount of gold plundered from Jerusalem caused the price of gold in Syria to drop by 50%.

Environmental Impact of the Fall of Jerusalem

The amount of wood needed for siege machines, cooking, siege walls, and crosses depleted all timber within about 50 miles, which is most of Israel.  Several other cities in Israel also suffered sieges, using up the trees of Galilee.  Josephus commented that the Roman soldiers had run out of wood when the wall was first breached, so they dismantled the Antonia (fortress) to build subsequent defensive walls with stone.

History of Crucifixion

The earliest reference to crucifixion is associated with King Darius I (519 BC), the same one as in Daniel.  Crucifixion was common in the Persian empire for centuries.  The Greeks, however, found it barbarous (preferring exile, but occasionally strangulation or poison), but routinely crucified Persians.  In the empire of Carthage (now Tunis), crucifixion was common for centuries.  The Roman empire adopted and refined the method and used it for many “minor” crimes for the purpose of keeping order among conquered peoples.  A Jewish king between 103 – 76 BC, crucified 800 rebels, reportedly Pharisees, in Jerusalem.  At the conclusion of the Third Servile War (Spartacus), 6000 gladiators were crucified at intervals of 105 feet along the Appian way leading into Rome.  The practice was outlawed by Constantine in 337 AD.

Why the darkness at the crucifixion was not an eclipse

Passover, the date of Jesus death, was held on the 14th of Abib, a lunar month.  The first of the month was the new moon, so the 14th was always the day of the full moon.  A full moon happens when the sun and moon are on exactly opposite sides of the earth so that the illuminated side is facing directly toward the earth.  When a solar eclipse occurs, the moon passes between the earth and the sun, so the moon and sun are on the same side of the earth.  Therefore, solar eclipses can happen only on the day of the new moon, and cannot happen on the day of the full moon.  The darkness at Jesus death was in the middle of the day, so could not be a lunar eclipse, which occurs when the earth is between the sun and moon (full moon), at night.