Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt

The Jewish revolt led by Bar Kochba in 132 AD was not the work

of a single if a single radical revolutionary. It was the inevitable

result of years of promises not kept to the Jews, and laws which

suppressed the basis of Jews as a nation. To underezd the reason

for Bar Kochba?s Revolt one must go back many years even before the

war. Prior to Hadrian, an emperor by the name of Trajan was the ruler

of the Roman empire. Due to the rebellion of the Jews in the Diaspora

to the east and the west of them, Trajan, in order to keep the Jews in

Palestine from rebelling he had to send a great general to be governor

of the Jews in Palestine, a general who was well with the harshness in

which he treated people. This general?s name was Tineius Rufus, he was

the general that put down the uprising of the Jews in Parthia. Because

of Rufus? reputation of his severity to the Jews, he uprooted any

thought of the Jews in Palestine to rebel against Rome at that time.

The Jews did not want to rebel anyway. Trajan had promised the Jews

that he would rebuild the asenv ,hc, the Jews assumed this also meant

to rebuild Jerusalem.

The Pagans in Palestine did not want the asenv ,hc to be

rebuilt, they thought that if it was rebuilt it would be the rebirth

of the Jewish nation. Also, in addition, Trajan, the Emperor who made

this promise died and was succeeded by Hadrian. The Jews were unsure

if Hadrian would keep the promise that Trajan once made. Hadrian

wanted to go to Jerusalem to see what he was rebuilding before he

started the construction. When Hadrian got there he was awed by the

sight of a once desolate and fruitful city in ruins. He immediately

wanted to start the reconstruction. However later the Jews were

surprised and disappointed to discover that Hadrian wanted to rebuild

Jerusalem not as a city for the Jews to restart in, but as a Pagan

city sanctified to the Pagan G-d Jupiter. He was going to put an alter

where the Jews asenv ,hc once stood. Hadrian was to be the high

priest. What once was called Jerusalem would now be called Aelia


This was a mockery to the Jews. The Jews waited sixty years from

the destruction of the Second asenv ,hc for Rome to restore it to

them. The Jews held themselves back from Rebelling with their

neighboring Jews in Diaspora because they held onto, and believed that

Trajan?s promise would be kept. Furthermore, Hadrian later made a

prohibition of circumcision. "Consequently the Jews saw in Hadrian

another Antiochus Epiphanes. And where there was an Antiochus, a

Maccabee was bound to arise."


The Romans had by now either banned or mocked some of the most

important beliefs in Judaism. If they did not revolt against the

Romans they would have died, in a spiritual sense. Even if the Romans

didn?t kill them, they would not really be Jewish anymore.

Circumcision, which was the physical difference between them as Jews

and, as well as a basic premise of their Jewish beliefs. Their only

choice was to gain their independence. Rabbi Akiva, a great scholar

of his day, also once believed in Tarsus? promise. He had also been

led astray. Therefore, the great Rabbi helped organize thousands of

soldiers to fight for the independence and welfare of the Jewish

people. Rabbi Akiva also picked a man named Shimon Bar Kochba to lead

his army. Rabbi Akiva was sure that Bar Kochba would turn out to be "A

second Judah the Maccabee."

Rabbi Akiva was so sure of this that he called Bar Kochba the

jhan. His name alone was a reference to him being the jhan, his name

Bar Kochba means "Son of a Star" from the word Kochab which means

star. There was also a sentence in the Torah which stated, "A star has

come forth from David." Both times a star is mentioned. This is a

direct referral to him being the jhan. Bar Kochba had to make

sure his army was ferocious and unstoppable. To make sure that his

army only consisted of the strongest warriors, he said that only men

who would bite a finger off his right hand would