Accumulating arms by deceiving the Roman authorities, the Jews awaited a suitable opportunity, and when Hadrian left they openly rebelled. After Y. Aharoni, Carta’s Atlas of the Bible, Heb. Simon ben Kosiba, surnamed Simon bar Kochba ("son of the star") was a Jewish Messiah. The Bar Kokhba War reminds us that freedom is not free. Thousands of Jewish refugees fled to Bethar during the war. Firstly, Bar Kokhba appears to have been hailed as a messiah by rabbi Akiba.9 Secondly, it is reported that Bar Kokhba persecuted those Christians who did not deny Jesus or refused to partake in Bar Kokhba’s rebellion against Rome.10 Thirdly, the false messiah is characterized as ‘a liar’ (tr. Bar Kokhba was able to defeat Roman forces garrisoned in Jerusalem, and for about two years an independent Jewish state was established. Immediately after this war, Trajan was assassinated and succeeded by Hadrian. Omissions? In between the first one (see Jerusalem Destroyed) and this one, there was a little known conflict called the Kitos War, which was fought primarily outside Judea.But the Great Revolt and the Bar Kokhba revolt were fought wholly within the Jewish homeland. For the first time, the Jews presented a united … Judaea was desolated, the remnant of the Jewish population annihilated or exiled, and Jerusalem barred to Jews thereafter. It was a tremendous blood bath. Many people were not very happy with the Romans and their ways. Bar Kochba and Messiah ben Joseph? In 135 C.E., Hadrians army besieged Bethar and on the 9th of Av, the Jewish fast day commemorating the … This in combination with his charismatic personality produced a natural leader that captured the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Today there are a number of archaeological sites that could be Beitar, which was the location of the last great battle of this war, but the exact site is not known conclusively. The Je… bar Kochba was a great leader and warrior, and led a revolt of tens of thousands of Jews against the Romans (similar to recent conflicts in Chechnya, or Grozny.) In those instances the rabbis were at best neutral. Foremost among the martyrs was Rabbi Akiva. After a string of almost unbroken successes for four to five years he now began to suffer reverses. Bar-Kochba believed himself to be the Messiah, and was hailed as such by Rabbi Akiba. Extent of the Bar Kokhba revolt in its first year, 132 C.E. They did not join the first rebellion, but the reason they didn’t join the second rebellion is because Rabbi Akiva declared Bar Kokhba the Messiah, and the disciples of Yeshua knew that Bar Kokhba was not the Messiah, and that brought a great calamity and finally the exile of the Jews from Judea to Galilee, and from there to the rest of the Roman Empire. It was Rabbi Akiva who ascribed to Shimon bar Kochba the famous messianic verse: “A star will shoot forth from Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). Their hopes were dashed. However, Beitar was betrayed. Simon bar-Kokhba ("Son of a star"; originally named "bar-Koziba"; later referred to by Jews as "bar-Kosiba", "son of a lie") was the last significant false Messiah.In 130 AD, Emperor Hadrian forbade Jews from visiting Jerusalem and ordered that a temple to the idol Jupiter be constructed on the site of the Second Temple, ruined since the revolt of 70 AD. He also forbade Jews from living there. He simply lowered it almost 1,000 feet. Simon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כוכבא ‎) (died CE 135) was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi ("Prince"). That is how he got the name “Kochba,” which means “star.” In essence, Rabbi Akiva crowned him the Messiah. Enraged by these measures, the Jews rebelled in 132, the dominant and irascible figure of Simeon bar Kosba at their head. Indeed, it could be said that Bar Kokhba's dream was not fulfilled until the State of Israel was founded on 14 May 1948. Overall, Hadrian unleashed and eight to ten year reign of persecution after the defeat of Bar Kochba almost unmatched in Jewish history. He had a great and sincere faith. However, due to Roman pressure and internal dissention he apparently never got to actually rebuilding it. He felt that the rabbis had turned against him. Hadrian did not stop there. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. That is how he got the name “Kochba,” which means “star.” In essence, Rabbi Akiva crowned him the Messiah. Therefore, the ability of these leaders to restore relatively normal relations was unusual, to say the least. It did not end until Hadrian died. Shortly, Ben Kozba became known as Bar Kokhba (Bar Kochba), which means son of a star, based on a verse in the Torah (Numbers 24:17) that likens the Messiah to a star. It was total war. The leader of this revolt was Shimon bar Kokhba. The next war was led by one of the most enigmatic people to appear in Jewish history, a man whom we know very little and yet for the role he played we should know a great deal. In the ancient world that was an enormous army, greater in number than the entire Roman army. Simon ben Kosevah, or Cosibah, known to posterity as Bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בן כוסבה‎; died 135 CE), was a Jewish military leader who led the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE. Bar Kokhba, original name Simeon Bar Kosba, Kosba also spelled Koseba, Kosiba, or Kochba, also called Bar Koziba, (died 135 ce), Jewish leader who led a bitter but unsuccessful revolt (132–135 ce) against Roman dominion in Judaea. Tradition holds that the name Bar Kokhba was given to him by Rabbi Akiva, who believed that the rebel leader might be the Messiah. Only forty years after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jews attempted to rebuild it –with the permission of the Roman government. The decrees of Hadrian were the most fearsome in history against the Jewish people. However, the rabbis objected to such an act of self-mutilation, and therefore he resorted to the test of “simply” uprooting trees. It was Rabbi Akiva who ascribed to Shimon bar Kochba the famous messianic verse: “A star will shoot forth from Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). The war became so serious that in the summer of 134 Hadrian himself came from Rome to visit the battlefield and summoned the governor of Britain, Gaius Julius Severus, to his aid with 35,000 men of the Legion X. Jerusalem was retaken, and Severus gradually wore down and constricted the rebels’ area of operation, until in 135 Bar Kokhba was himself killed at Betar, his stronghold in southwest Jerusalem. ed., 1966. From letters and documents unearthed in the Judean Desert we know the real name of the leader to have been Simeon bar Kosiba. Some of the rabbinic scholars in his time imagined him to be the long-expected Messiah. Bar Kokhba (also called Bar Koziba) was a false Messiah and so he did not have this special ability that Messiah would have. The primary non-Jewish sources are an epitome of Cassius Dio’s Roman History and a handful of lines by the ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. After reading the name of Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina” I went into the wipi website and they make Hadrian look like a sweet smelling flower. It followed a long period of tension and violence, marked by the first Jewish uprising of 66-70 CE, which ended with the destruction of the Second Temple, and the Kitos War (115-117 CE). His independent kingdom lasted for three years before being crushed through great Roman effort. Yet during this period, the name of bar Kokhba was equated with that of the Messiah. Bar Kokhba remains an important historical figure in Israel today because he was the last leader of a Jewish state before the rise of Zionism in modern times. Its secret fortifications and entrances were revealed to the Romans by insiders — but not the rabbis, as Bar Kochba feared. This would be fitting as Bar-Kokhba was descended from the Davidic dynasty (which is the Messianic dynasty according to Jewish tradition) and the Messianic hopes of the nation centered around him. As the pressure of Rome bore down upon him he began to worry about betrayal and was on the lookout for spies. He first reconquered the Galilee to cut the Romans off from the sea. The name means ‘son of a star’ (from the prophecy in Num. The Bar Kochba Revolt: A Disaster Celebrated by Zionists on Lag Ba'Omer . The Talmud says that anyone who wanted to join his army had to be willing to cut off their little finger. Yet, in a fit of almost insane paranoia Bar Kochba accused the great sage, Rabbi Elazar, of being the spy and executed him. Rabbi Gershom and rabbi Aha and perhaps others agreed. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. However, other sages felt strongly that Bar Kokhba was not the Messiah, and two incidents vindicated them. Bar Kokhba took the title nasi (“prince”) and struck his own coins, with the legend “Year 1 of the liberty of Jerusalem.”. They made a strong effort to deliver the Jewish people from under the Roman yoke. He then lost the support of the rabbis completely. Their main headquarters was in the city of Lod. Comment: Jesus of Nazareth and Simon ben Kosiba are the only Jewish leaders who are positively identified as Messiahs in the Jewish sources: Jesus is explicitly called "Messiah" by Flavius Josephus , Ben Kosiba in several rabbinical treatises. In many ways, the Bar Kochba Revolt differed markedly from its predecessors. He realized that the final solution to the Jewish problem lay not only in killing Jews but in destroying Judaism. The Emperor at the time was named Trajan and they negotiated with him at length to rebuild the Temple. Bar Kochba followed the same strategy that the Jews had followed in the first rebellion against Rome. The Romans were so hard pressed that Hadrian brought his best general and all of his troops from England, Gaul, Germany and all of the provinces scattered throughout the Roman world. By the third year of his reign there were already signs of disenchantment. Dio Cassius gives a brief account of the course of the revolt. The tannaim were divided, some supporting his rebellion, others not. 9 Secondly, it is reported that Bar Kokhba persecuted those Christians who did not deσy Jκsus or rκλusκι to pζrtζπκ iσ ”ζr Koπνbζ s rκbκllioσ ζμζiσst Roςκ. No discussion of the rabbinic Messiah can ignore the figure of Shimon Bar Kokhba, the leader of the Judean revolt against Rome from the 132-135 CE.According to several rabbinic sources, Rabbi Akiba, the greatest sage of the time, proclaimed that Bar Kokhba was the Messiah. Britannica now has a site just for parents! If Kochba was not a Davidide (descendant of David) how could Rabbi Akiva declare bar Kochba as the Messiah? He said that the only way that the Jews would get anything from the Romans would be to take it by force. The first one lasted from 63 to 73 CE, culminating in the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and the exile of the Jews from Jerusalem. Then they began calling him, “Bar Koziba,” meaning the son of a lie; a false messiah. 24:17); he was the leader of guerrilla forces who fought the Romans from 132 to 135 CE when the emperor Hadrian prepared to erect a temple to the god Jupiter on the site of the Jerusalem Temple. Those who supported him saw him as a messianic figure. Bar Kokhba was derided by some as “Bar Koziba” (a pun on the Hebrew word for liar). After 135 CE, when the rebellion was crushed, Hadrian acted even more ruthlessly and set about on a campaign to wipe away not only the remnants of the Jewish people but the memory that they had ever existed. Beitar fell to the Romans on Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, in 135 CE, adding it to calamitous national tragedies of the Jewish people. In either event, the Jews were so well-fortified and supplied they could have held out at Beitar indefinitely. It is remarkable considering that the Romans had never suffered as many casualties in any of their wars. He, too, entertained ideas of allowing the Jews to rebuild the Temple and have a measure of autonomy. During four of those years there was an independent Jewish state. According to Dio Cassius and Jewish sources, at least a half a million Jews were killed. Peerbolte 7 summarises as follows; There are three elements which would point especially towards identification with Bar Kokhba. Many details of the war are unclear to us. What we do know about him is that he was a person of tremendous physical strength. However, he made certain conditions that were untenable, one of which was that it should be built in a different location. Had they done so, the Romans, who were constantly harassed by guerilla warfare and marauding Jewish soldiers, would have retreated. The sobriquet Bar Kokhba, “Son of a Star,” was given to him in accord with Num. They had never experienced such as bitter war as the ten year war they had with the Jews. Jewish tradition is rich with stories about the “10 Martyrs Murdered by the [Roman] Government.” It is during Hadrian’s reign that this happened. He forbade mention of the name Jerusalem and renamed the holy city, Aelia Capitolina. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Between 132 and 135, he was the leader of the last resistance against the Romans. Reputedly of Davidic descent, he was hailed as the Messiah by the greatest rabbi of the time, Akiva ben Yosef, who also gave him the title Bar Kokhba (“Son of the Star”), a messianic allusion. Rabbi Akiva was so widely respected among the people that if he saw in Shimon messianic qualities then the people immediately elevated him to the level of the Messiah. Then he surrounded Jerusalem and forced them out. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bar-Kokhba-Jewish-leader, Jewish Virtual Library - Biography of Shimon bar Kokhba. 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