chapter  7
32 Pages

The punishment of Palestine

ByJeremiah W. Cataldo

This chapter discusses the role that messianic expectations played in the eventual punishment by the Roman Empire of the Judaean territory. To fully grasp much of the motivation for the cultural role of "messiah" in Judaea/Palestine, an understanding of the larger sociopolitical imperial context is imperative. Increasing dissatisfaction with a continuing lack of political independence produced increased desires for a messiah as a sociopolitical deliverer among different groups within Palestine – groups that included the followers of the rabbi Jesus. The manner of the defeat and continued resistance to foreign rulers only encouraged growing sectarianism among the Judeans, as well as the popular desire for a messiah who would be king. The chapter addresses Judah Maccabee and his proposed messianic role in delivering Judaea from Greek imperial rule and setting up for the Hasmonean dynasty. The revolt of Simon bar Kochba was in many ways a final blow to the political aspirations of Judeans.