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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The prophetic rabbi--and what he allegedly predicted


This amazing prophecy from World Net Daily:

Following the Christian crusades to the Holy Land, between 1096-1270, a regular correspondence developed between the Jews in the Holy Land and the Christian West. Thus, for example, the rabbis in Worms and Regensburg in Germany knew that Saladin’s Ayyubids had been ruling in the Holy Land since 1187.
At this time, Judah Ben Samuel published the results of his biblical calculations (Gematria) and astrological observations and summarized as follows:
“When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
One jubilee is 50 years (Leviticus 25). It is the 50th year after seven times seven years, the year in which each person should regain ownership of his or her land. Ben Samuel’s calculations were purely theoretical; there was absolutely no sign at that time of their being fulfilled. He himself was not able to experience their fulfillment, for it was only 300 years after his death that the first of his predictions were to come true.

The Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in 1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They remained for eight jubilees (8 x 50 = 400 years), that is to say they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British. The League of Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British. Thus, from 1917, under international law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land.

Then, when Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, exactly one jubilee (50 years) after 1917, Jerusalem reverted to Jewish-Israeli ownership once again. Thereby, according to the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel, the Messianic End Times began.

Many scholars have studied and made reference to Judah Ben Samuel’s writings in an effort to understand how he reached his conclusions. Among those referencing Ben Samuel were Rabbi Isaac Ben Solomon Luria, a mystic dealing with the messianic world (Jerusalem, 1531-1572, Safed); Joseph Solomon Delmegido (1591 Candia – 1655 Prague), a mathematician and astronomer (“Mazref le-Chochma”), Azulai I (1724-1806), a famed bibliographer; Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865), a Bible scholar; historian Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891); and Torah scholar Jacob Epstein (1925-1993).
The secret of how Judah the Pious arrived at such accurate predictions has less to do with the actual calculations than it does with the fact that he had consecrated his life to God. His pupils Rabbi Isaac ben Moses (Vienna), Rabbi Baruch ben Samuel (Mainz) and Rabbi Simcha (Speyer) testify that Ben Samuel was a model of abstinence and selflessness and was awaiting with a burning desire the coming of the Messiah.

Ben Samuel was often called “Light of Israel.” Even bishops came to him for advice. If anyone asked him where his wisdom came from he would answer, “The prophet Elijah, who will precede the Messiah, appeared to me and revealed many things to me and emphasized that the precondition for answered prayer is that it is fueled by enthusiasm and joy for the greatness and holiness of God.”
 In AD 1217 this scholarly and pious rabbi prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the holy city of Jerusalem for eight Jubilees. Now, keep in mind, he made this prediction 300 years before the Ottoman Turks seized control of Jerusalem in 1517. If indeed 1217 and 1517 were jubilee years as Judah Ben Samuel believed, then his prophecy was exactly right, because exactly 400 years after the Turks took control of Jerusalem they were driven out of the city and the holy land in 1917 by the Allied forces under the command of General George Allenby – on Hanukkah, by the way.
But it gets more interesting still.
The rabbi also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee Jerusalem would be a “no-man’s land.” This is exactly what happened from 1917 to 1967, due to the fact that the Holy Land was placed under British Mandate in 1917 by the League of Nations and literally “belonged” to no nation.

Even after Israel’s war of independence in 1948-49, Jerusalem was still divided by a strip of land running right through the heart of the city, with Jordan controlling the eastern part of the city and Israel controlling the western part of the city. That strip of land was considered and even called “no-man’s land” by both the Israelis and the Jordanians.

It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when the entire West Bank of the Holy Land was conquered by the Israeli army that the whole city of Jerusalem passed back into the possession of Israel. So once again the prophecy made by the rabbi 750 years previously was fulfilled to the letter.

It certainly would be significant if both 1917 and 1967 were Jubilee years, considering the significance of what happened in Jerusalem on those years. But it gets even more interesting, because Judah Ben Samuel also prophesied that during the 10th Jubilee Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the Messianic “end times” would begin. If he’s right, the 10th Jubilee began in 1967 and will be concluded in 2017.

“The Bible should be our standard for prophecy and interpretation of prophetic events,” said Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND, upon learning of Judah Ben Samuel’s predictions in Israel Today. “But one cannot ignore what this 12th-century rabbi said and wrote. It’s well-documented. And I applaud Israel Today for bringing it to light. The implications of these predictions is staggering to say the least.”

Forget the Mayan Calendar.  Forget, if you will, the Papal Prophecies attributed to Máel Máedóc. With Rabbi ben Samuel, we have a prophetic timetable that has proved true for eight centuries. And it's in its final decade's run.

Soon we will either conclusively determine that these were false prophets, or we will conclusively determine that they weren't.

Stand by. ADDED NOV 30: I've been trying for ten days now to track down the source of this prophecy, as WND has proven not to look too deeply into the veracity of some of its sources. So far, this is the best I can come up with: 1906 Jewish Encylclopedia
Ethical writer and mystic; died Feb. 22, 1217 ("Oẓar Ṭob," 1878, p. 045; Berliner, "Magazin," 1876, p. 220; "Kerem Ḥemed," vii. 71 [erroneously 1216]; "Ben Chananja," iv. 248 [erroneously 1213]). He was descended from an old family of cabalists from the East that had settled in Germany. His grandfather Kalonymus was a scholar and parnas in Speyer (died 1126). His father, also called "He-Ḥasid" (= "the pious"), "Ha-Ḳadosh," and "Ha-Nabi" (Solomon Luria, Responsa, No. 29), was president of a bet ha-midrash in Speyer, and from him Judah, together with his brother Abraham, received his early instruction. Samuel (see A. Epstein in "Ha-Goren," iv. 81 et seq.) died while Judah was still young (idem, "Jüdische Altertümer in Worms und Speier," in "Monatsschrift," xli. 41, 42). About 1195 the latter left his native place and settled in Regensburg (Ratisbon), on account of an "accident" (Moses Minz, Responsa, No. 76)—most probably persecution experienced by the Jews of Speyer generally.
He founded a yeshibah in Regensburg and secured many pupils. Among those who became famous were Eleazar of Worms, author of the "Roḳeaḥ"; Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, author of "Or Zarua'"; and Baruch ben Samuel of Mayence, author of "Sefer ha-Ḥokmah." Eleazar applies to his teacher in several passages terms expressive of the highest esteem, such as "father of wisdom" (Paris MS. No. 772, fol. 73a; comp. Epstein in "Monatsschrift," xxxix. 459).
Legend describes Judah as an excellent bowman who at the age of eighteen was ignorant of the daily prayers. When, however, enlightenment suddenly came upon him he performed many miracles. He restored fertility to a young married woman. The prophet Elijah is said to have partaken of his "Seder" meal and to have been seen by him in a synagogue. He miraculously prevented a Jewish child from being baptized, and knew the exact year of Israel's redemption.
I need a lot better fact-checking than that, before I give any credence to WND's version of this prophecy.

UPDATE Feb 27, 2013 (not 3013)
I was able to find one other source for this story, besides WND:
 There may be a slight problem with the 1917 date though--it's after that year's Rosh Hashanna.


  1. There was an early Methodist scholar who wrote a set of commentaries in the late 18th century. His name was Adam Clarke. His commentaries are still in print. He did some calculations that said Israel would become a nation again in 1948. At least that is what my memory tells me. I remember looking it up and finding that he did predict it. I am away from home so I can't check it out, but I think I am correct.

    Maybe the catalyst will be Obama running for a third term and being inaugurated in 2017 but that would give the U.S. more importance than we rate in the Bible.

    Grace and peace.

    1. Actually, what Clarke wrote was,
      "And cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days - This is seventy-five days more than what is included in the three years and a half, or the time, times, and a half in the seventh verse; and as we have met with so many instances of prophets days and years, this undoubtedly is another instance; and as a day stands for a year, this must mean a period of one thousand three hundred and thirty-five years, which period is to bring all these wonders to an end, Daniel 12:6. But we are left totally in the dark relative to the time from which these one thousand three hundred and thirty-five years are to be reckoned. If, however, we reckon them from the above epoch, a.d. 612, when Mohammedanism arose, they lead us to a.d. 1947, when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be brought in; and thus a final closure of vision and prophecy be made, as then all the great events relative to the salvation of men shall have taken place. Wars and contentions will probably then cease over the whole world; Jews and Gentiles become one fold, under one Shepherd and Bishop of souls; and the triune God be properly worshipped and glorified, from generation to generation, over the face of the whole earth. But all these conjectures may be founded in darkness. We have not chronological data; and 'the times and seasons God has reserved in his own power.'"
      He was off by a year.


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