What is the fast of the 9th day of the month of AV?
Shalom Shalom ! What is the fast of the 9th day of the month of AV?
According to tradition, the sad historical advent of this day is recounted in the book of Numbers chapter 14 when the twelve spies were sent into Canaan.
Ten spies brought back an evil report after surveying the land they were about to inherit.
Consequently, the congregation wept and wailed all night, then decided to stone Moses and choose a leader who would return them to Egypt.
God swore that they would not enter His rest, and that generation died prematurely in the desert. These events set the historical character for the 9th of Av.
History continued to remember this infamous day as both of our Holy Temples were destroyed on the 9th of Av:
First in 587 BC the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple…
Then in 70 AD the Romans destroyed the Second Temple built by Zerubbabel and refurbished by King Herod; the very one Yeshua visited and prophesied that not one stone would remain upon another.
The fast of the 9th of Av is mentioned in Zechariah 8:19 in a prophetic statement.
“So says YHVH of Hosts: the fast of the fourth , and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the 10th, shall become for joy and gladness and cheerful Feasts…”. The 9th Av is the fifth fast mentioned.
Jews have been fasting on this day, and mourning the destruction of their Temple for 2,587 years.
The fast expresses deep sorrow and mourning for the loss of YHWH’s presence, and a genuine heart’s desire for YHWH to return to His people. But keep in mind this prophecy declares that, in Israel’s future, this day will be day of joy, not of mourning.
We will return to this point later in the message.
Since the temple which Yeshua entered was destroyed on the 9th of Av, (the very day the First Temple was destroyed), many calamities have befallen the Jewish people on the same day.
A brief list of the dark events of the 9th of Av in modern times:
-9th Av 1095, The First Crusade…10,000 Jews slaughtered in the 1st month alone.
-9th Av 1492, The expulsion of Jews from Spain was to be completed.
-9th Av (August 1-2, 1914), Germany declared war on Russia sparking World War 1
-9th Av, (24th August, 1929), 68 Jewish adults and children in Hebron were massacred by Muslim Arab
-9th Av (2nd August 1941) Nazi Party approved “The Final Solution”.
-9th of Av (July 22 1942) the mass deportation of the Jews from Warsaw began.
-9th Av 1994 (18th July) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was bombed, taking the lives of 86 Jews and wounding more than 300.
In 1987, when I first immigrated to Israel, the 9th of Av was hardly mentioned, except in the ultra-Orthodox communities, but over the years it’s significance has increased and found its way into the general community. A few years ago, quietly, without any exposure or argument, a bill was passed in parliament to mark this day of fasting as a national holiday. Shops are required to close at 5PM, and by 6.30PM, owners who don’t comply are heavily fined.
Following this day of fasting, we enter a period of 3 weeks of deep mourning which is called “Bein Hametzarim”, meaning “between the narrow places”, or “between the straits”. During this time, for the observant Jew, there are no marriages, no music, no swimming or traveling, and, for the very devoted, no changing of clothes (or at least no new clothes). All of this takes place in the two months of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Jerusalem has now entered this two-month period during which hundreds of buses transport groups of Israelis of all sizes and levels of observance, from all over the country to visit Jerusalem in the evenings. They leave their occupations late afternoon and arrive in Jerusalem between 5PM and midnight.
Outside the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, the buses unload their passengers, who arrive noisy, happy, singing and making a deafening noise. But, once they enter the gates, their entire mood changes to solemn prayerful soul searching. Then they will spend at least an hour in a synagogue for prayer. The more devout groups stay for midnight prayers, eventually traveling home in the early hours of the morning.
During this time, Jerusalem at midnight becomes more congested than Tel Aviv at midday! Normally it can take me 20 minutes to drive from one end of Jerusalem to the other, but during these two months, even at 9PM, it can take a few hours.
What can possibly turn this cursed day into a day of joy as prophesied? What do these crowds aspire to?
All these people are longing for one thing; the building of another temple! And nothing short of this will satisfy!
When the Third temple is built it will cause an unprecedented nationwide, and worldwide, return of Jews to religious Judaism, inspired by the newly built temple and the institution of sacrifices. But this will be a counterfeit fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, a plan of Satan. With their temple rebuilt, Jews worldwide will stop fasting on the 9th of Av because their long awaited hope has been realized, and there will be great excitement.
But the terrible outcome of this counterfeit deception will be a disaster which will far outweigh those of the nation’s 3,400 year history; because many Jewish people will once again reject their true Messiah and choose, not a Barabbas, but a False Messiah, the Antichrist.
As the last rejection of the Messiah resulted in the destruction of the Temple and a 2,000 year exile, so this rejection will cause judgment from God in which two thirds of the Jewish people will perish [Zechariah 13:8-9]. What remains of Israel will be a refined remnant who will enter the age of Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom when Israel will take her place at the head of the nations.
My concern is that the Church would not be ignorant or indifferent that the increasing millions of Jews, who are fasting and repenting every year in this season, are on a collision course with the Antichrist. This is a deep grief to the heart of YHVH and His longing is for us to share His heart and pray for Israel and particularly for the remnant, those who will believe on Messiah Yeshua now in this season, and those who will be the refined remnant entering the Millennium. Our prayers will powerfully participate in this true redemptive process…
Are you a passive spectator or are you grieved and travailing in prayer for the third who will be saved and refined?
“For Zion travailed and also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?” Isaiah 66:8
For Zion’s sake I (Isaiah) will not be silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness and vindication go forth as brightness,
And her salvation goes forth like a burning torch. [Isa. 62:1]
The building of a third temple with priests and sacrifices will impart no benefit at all to me or to my family, or to any other Jew; it cannot add anything whatsoever to what Yeshua has accomplished on the cross. Furthermore, It will bring persecution to the Messianic community.
Instead, history will be repeated.
In Yeshua’s day, religious Jews could not endure that their holy ground was controlled by the Romans, and many rioted over and again against their earthly rulers, believing that God was on their side to drive out this foreign pagan entity with its false gods.
A recent modern expression of religiously motivated fanaticism in Jerusalem is the Islamic claim of ownership over the Temple Mount. They believe their god is supreme and is with them in their struggle against the Israeli police force. Even the removal of the metal detectors and cameras from the Mount didn’t quench the fire of their religious zeal but only increased their riotous fervor to annihilate Israel for the sake of their false god.
Yet this is merely a foretaste of the religious zeal we will witness when the Third temple is built as it inspires an unprecedented and nationwide return to Judaism. This religious zeal will almost certainly spark an intense persecution of Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) who live in Jerusalem and greater Israel. The religious Jews believe we are worshiping false Gods (trinity) and they won’t tolerate this “idolatry” in light of what they believe to be God’s long-awaited “geula” (redemption). As such, we expect to witness and be subject to a recapitulation of the first century situation when Yeshua first arrived here. And these events are at the doorstep as the preparations for the rebuilding of the third temple have been well underway for several decades.
It truly is time to “Watch and Pray” as our Lord warned [Luke 21:36] because the spiritual war is raging, and His coming is “at the door”!