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Publisher's Summary

The writings of Josephus contain one of the few historical accounts of the wars of the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation of Palestine in 70 A.D. Born in Jerusalem in 37 A.D. and raised in both the Hellenic and Jewish traditions, Josephus spent his life trying to accommodate his admiration for the Romans with his loyalty to his Jewish heritage. Josephus was a priest who served as a general in the Jewish army during a revolt against the Romans, and a mediator whose attempt to find accommodation between the Jews and the Romans in Palestine led the Jews to consider him a traitor. His historical work, The Wars of the Jews, which was published in 75 A.D., is one of the few historical accounts of the Roman army, the city's temple and fortifications, the sack of the temple, and the siege of Masada.

©1992 Thomas Kerr (P)1992 Recorded Books, Inc

What listeners say about The Destruction of Jerusalem

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Jerusalem falls. The Temple is destroyed.

This is a heart-breaking story of the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus was an eye-witness, even a participant, in the tragic events that started this long and bitter exile. He describes how the Jews were engaged in a struggle of one faction against another: truly, causeless hatred led to the destruction of the Temple. Josephus was a Roman captive at the time. He tried to persuade his people to surrender, so as to avoid the destruction of the city, their lives, and the Temple. All to no avail. The reader can hear the sincerity of Josephus' plea, and also see how his words would seem to be those of a traitor to those who were defending the city against the merciless Romans. Of course we know how the story ends, and that makes the story all the more tragic to hear.

As an addendum to the story, Josephus brings the only classical account of the resistance and martyrdom at Massada. The Jews chose mass suicide rather than decimation and slavery at the hands of the Romans. A pottery shard now in a museum in Jerusalem bears the name of the leader of the Zealots who defended Massada. This was probably the token by which was chosen the man who would be the last to take his own life at Massada.

This is ideal reading for Jews who want to prepare themselves spiritually during the three weeks leading up to the observance of Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple. Christians will find it an interesting account of the military and political scene in Jerusalem just a few decades after the ministry of Jesus. People of a more secular bent will also find this an interesting account of a major turning point in history.

27 people found this helpful

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Great book! HORRIBLE RECORDING!!!!!

This is a great book, but the sound is horrible! I only was able to bear the strugle to listen to the words because I was really interested in listening to Josephus. Honestly you really have to pay much attention ( a real struggle ) to really understand certain parts of the book.
Anyway, the book itself shows by the words of Josephus himself how that wicked generation of 70AD was brought to destruction. It's hard not to feel indignation against that generation as you listen to Josephus eyewitness account of what they did to each other. According to Josephus, it was like God himself was bringing destruction upon these people and the temple. Apparently a repeat chastisement as took place by the Babylonians of 607BC. Wether you are a Jew or a Christian, this is a very good book to read. Although I would rather read the written version rather than listening to this horrible recording.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Insight

Will most history is questioned and some revised, the eyes of a Jewish historian helps me have a better understanding of the Hebrew nation from which came Jesus of Nazareth!

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Compelling and Moving

Jewish historian famous for his eyewitness account of the destruction of Jerusalem. During the siege of Jerusalem, Josephus urged the Jews to surrender the city to avoid annihilation with a rousing and heartbreaking speech that the arrogant and somewhat mad Jews ignored and tried to kill him in the process.


The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was not intended by the Romans but brought about by Jewish terrorists who were also holding hostage and abusing their own populace. Truly a "stiff necked people" as the Bible says.

1.1 million lost to starvation, violence and pestilence none of which was necessary. After reading this glimpse into history I realized how little things have changed in that region of the world in thousands of years.

Historic writings on Masada was surprising and shocking and I was not aware there were survivors that lived to tell a tale of utter insanity and propaganda.


I noticed one of the reviews said they had issues with "noises" in the audio - I had no such issues and thought it (the reading) was 98% clear and was satisfied with the performance.

Aside from the Bible the works of Josephus is the most important things I've read in a long time.

1 person found this helpful

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You need to behave or else!!!

What made the experience of listening to The Destruction of Jerusalem the most enjoyable?

If you think God is all lovey dovey and forgives everything no matter what -- listen to this. What happened in Jerusalem is a good reminder that if God will do this to Jerusalem and the Israelites -- he won't spare anyone who spurns the blood of His Son Jesus. It will put a new spin on why you should fear God. Very sobering what happens in this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Destruction of Jerusalem?

When the woman cooks her baby in a stew and offers it to the Roman Centurion who couldn't believe what was happening.

What about Norman Dietz’s performance did you like?

Excellent converstational style -- very engaging.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

Don't spurn the blood of Jesus - within one generation of Jesus' death (30ad to 70 ad = 40 years) look what Happened to Jerusalem. Serious business!

1 person found this helpful