Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Last Day: The Sequel?

In 2002, while I was still fully within the full preterist movement I penned a movie script I consider a sequel to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ". Aptly called The Last Day, the story was told through the eyes of Ittai, the son of a temple priest. It relates the historical events leading up to the AD70 destruction of the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem and the eventual horrors of that war including a mother who eats her own child to survive. While I no longer hold to a full preterist theology, the script still accurately depicts the historical events of that time. So, if you have never read a movie script; break out the popcorn, turn down the lights and other distractions and immerse yourself in the story.

by Roderick Edwards (c) 2002

Tranquil body of blue water – Overcast day Fade in:
Silently serene, gently rolling waves of blue water. The reflection of drifting puffs of white clouds are carried along with each ripple. But suddenly bubbling up amid the hues of blue, blood red. A single panic stricken man breaks the tranquil beauty as he frantically flails about.

Pan out slightly:
Behind the PANIC-STRICKEN man, a group of men, women and children rush through the water in terror. Screaming and crying. Pushing and pulling one another beneath the now soupy bloody red sea.

Pan out more:
Men in boats and small ships leaning over the bows, thrusts spears and hack away with swords at the terrified people in the water.

Military encampments surrounding walled city – Overcast day
Pan out more:
Large armies of Roman soldiers group in various detachments around a walled city, smoke rising from within the city.
Pan in on a wall of the city:
HAGGARD MAN (in rags cries)
Woe to Jerusalem! Woe to Jerusalem!

Pan down the wall to an area outside the city walls:
A solider loads a catapult with a huge white stone. Another soldier gives a signal and the catapult flings the stone towards the haggard man on the wall.
HAGGARD MAN (on the wall yells again)
Woe to Jerusalem! Woe to Jerusalem!
and then he mumbles almost inaudibly,
…and woe to me also.
just as the stone strikes him dead.
Smoke drifts in and consumes camera view, orchestrated battle music begins.

Fade in text title: THE LAST DAY

Smoke drifts over the text title and the title disappears.
CREDITS ROLL as the camera pans over rocky landscape from above. Clouds and smoke periodically distort camera’s view.

Fade to black
Fade in text: About forty years earlier Dissolve text
Fade in text:
Hill of the Skull Dissolve text
EXT. On the Hill of the Skull – Dawn -- Fog Camera focused only on a HAIRY ARM reaching into a leather bag removing four iron spikes.
Camera follows HAIRY HAND, grasping spike to a position over a BOUND HAND bound to a piece of wood. Details on both hands are vivid (hair, wrinkles, bruises).
Camera follows HAIRY HAND grasping a hammer, drawing back to drive spike into BOUND HAND.
Pan in: on spike entering BOUND HAND as Fades to black and off screen cry of pain.
Fade in: Blurred image of visages hanging from three Tau crosses. Dark clouds pass in front of camera.
Unspecific time elapses

Around a camp fire – Day – Sunny Camera transitions from dark clouds passing by to smoke rising from campfire.
Camera close up of a whole fish cooking over the fire.
Pan out: JAKOB, ELI, RUEBEN and ITTAI sit around the fire. ELI tends to the fish with a stick.
He was a failure.
All those fools.
Camera pans to perplexed ITTAI who appears to be about to speak but doesn’t
RUEBEN (biting a piece off the cooked fish mutters)
We still have the Romans on one hand and the Sanhedrin on the other. That’ll never change.
Ack, That reminds me!
ITTAI grabs an empty bag and stands up quickly, running off into the countryside. Camera stays fixed at campsite viewing ITTAI diminishing into the countryside.
EXT. At a small gate in a wall of the city – Day -- Sunny The wall is very reminiscent of the wall where HAGGARD MAN will stand, but in better condition.
ITTAI drops a few coins into a box as he excitedly enters the gate to the city.
Various animals and their handlers pass by closely to the camera and ITTAI as ITTAI makes his way through the crowded city. ITTAI pushes open a small wooden door to a flat-roofed earthen dwelling.
INT. Inside ITTAI’s house – Dimly lit, diffused sunlight traces through cracks in the walls. ITTAI’S FATHER (sternly)
You are late! These things may just be ceremonies to you but I take them seriously.
ITTAI (humbly)
I’m sorry father. I will not be late again. How is she?

ITTAI’S FATHER (worriedly)
She is resting. She ate some soup earlier and was asking for you.
Camera follows ITTAI to a darker part of the dwelling. ITTAI kneels down beside a cot and caresses the face of his sleeping MOTHER.
ITTAI’S FATHER (from beyond the darkness as the camera slowly focuses on him gathering items for a trip.)
I will return in a few days. Make certain you give her plenty of water to drink. There is some bread in this basket on the table. And get this hole fixed.
Camera zooms in on gaping hole in the ceiling, sunlight flooding in. Screen turns white.
EXT. Inside the city, near a market and common plaza. – Day – Sunny ITTAI’S FATHER makes his way through the crowd. He attempts to reach a splendid golden temple in the background.
ZEALOT ON A STEP (in the plaza)
How much longer will we sit back and let them rule over us!?
A small crowd forms around the ZEALOT ON A STEP. ITTAI’S FATHER is reluctantly caught in the crowd. He disgustedly attempts to get out.
They take our money! They live in the best houses, wear the best clothes, and eat the best food!
MAN IN CROWD (yells)
Yeah! Let’s get rid of Caesar and his soldiers!
I’m not talking about Caesar. I’m talking about the High Priest and his den of thieves!
The now LARGE CROWD cheers and laughs. ITTAI’S FATHER smugly pushes out of the crowd and continues towards the temple.
INT. Inside the temple – a chamber lit by many candles.
ITTAI’S FATHER unloads some of his items onto a table as Yoseph approaches from the center of the chamber.
The crowds are getting more hostile each day. They have no respect for the priests.
Sensing that ITTAI’S FATHER doesn’t want to discuss the issue YOSEPH quickly changes the subject.
How is Hannah? Is she improving any?
ITTAI’S FATHER (avoiding a direct answer)
That son of mine is as wild-eyed as those Galileans. I fear he may become one of them. But he is taking good care of his mother.
YOSEPH smiles at ITTAI’S FATHER and then YOSEPH lights a candle and places it in a candle stand. (7 candle stands)
Fade in text: Patmos Island
Dissolve text
INT. Patmos Island -- Inside dwelling -- Dusk APOSTLE JOHN, a middle-aged man with a pepper gray beard strokes his chin and then leans back in a daze. The daze is long and intense as if he is having an "out of body experience". A piece of cloth covering the window flaps in the wind. JOHN shakes off the daze and looks as if he is processing what just happened. He furiously scrambles around the room looking for items. He collects paper, a writing instrument and ink.
The scratching sound of the writing instrument increases as the camera pans away from JOHN’S intense face and onto his hurried hands and then zooms in on the tip of the pen as the Greek letters seem to appear on the yellowed paper.
The yellowed paper transitions into the yellowed haze of a sandstorm.
APOSTLE JOHN (voice over)
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
EXT. Roof of ITTAI’S house – Day – Windy ITTAI fastens a piece of flagstone over the hole, but then pauses from the work. Looking out over the landscape as it appears a storm is approaching
ITTAI’S FATHER (from inside the house, the camera looking down on him from the hole in the roof)
You’d better hurry up with that. Why didn’t you fix that days ago?
ITTAI (camera view from inside the house through the hole in the roof)
I patched the holes in the wall first.
ITTAI’S FATHER (inspecting mud in the cracks of the walls)
Yes, very good job Ittai.
ITTAI’S FATHER goes to HANNAH'S bedside as the camera follows him into the darkness. He pulls a blanket up around HANNAH’S shoulders.
INT. Inside ITTAI’S house – Many candles dimly lit. ITTAI enters through the door with tools in hand.

Mother woke up earlier long enough to eat some bread and drink some wine. It seemed to bring her new life.
She is peaceful now.
ITTAI and ITTAI’S FATHER join one another at a table. ITTAI’S FATHER unpacks a cloth bag onto the table.
ITTAI (almost from no where asks)
What will you do if the Zealots decide to remove the priests?
ITTAI’S FATHER (caught off guard)
What makes you think such things?
Well, some of my friends talk as if things will never change. But I’m not so sure. Nothing has been quite the same since the Galileans and their teacher. I mean, some of the Zealots were hopeful that he really was the Messiah, but he obviously failed to prove that.
You think too much. You should simply trust what has always been. Who are you to question these things. As bright a boy as you are, why do you think you can understand these things?
I’m just concerned. I’ve heard some of his followers talking about him returning to judge the Jews. You know about that entire dispute over his missing body.

ITTA’S FATHER (abruptly stands up in disgust and begins to go about putting away the items on the table)
Enough of this! I curse his name. Not only did they kill him, he fails to return when his followers said he would. They claim it would be soon, but it has been nearly 40 years now. That doesn’t sound like soon to me. He is dead and gone.
Camera pans in close to ITTAI’S concerned face as his father goes about his business in the background.
Dissolve to black
EXT. Around a campfire – Night – Extremely starry Camera pulls back from a close up of the lapping fire. ITTAI and four other young men sit around the fire eating fish and drinking wine.
I hear they took all of Galilee and even Gischala.
ELI (after taking a big gulp of wine)
It is only a matter of time before they reach Jerusalem.
The Romans would never attack Jerusalem. Especially now that the Zealots control the Temple and most of the city.
Don’t be so sure. If these factions keep fighting like this, the Romans won’t need to take Jerusalem, for it will be left desolate.
What do you think ITTAI? Your father works in the Temple doesn’t he? 

Ever since mother died, father has not performed his Temple duties. He just sits in the house waiting for death to come to him as well. Besides, the Zealots control most of the Temple.
That is not good. All of this fighting is leaving people hopeless even those with good health and some money.
Ha! You should talk. Your brothers are fighting with Ananus’ band.
RUEBEN (to EHUD aggressively)
I didn’t know that. Are you with Ananus as well?
EHUD stares but does not answer
Come on my fellows. None of us are with any of these factions. We are all merely Jews.
RUEBEN (with disdain as ITTAI sinks his head lower with each word)
Oh such great words from the boy who almost believed the words of a failed Messiah. Look at his followers now. Running around hand in hand with Gentile swine. They will probably march along side the Romans against their fellow Jews. Where is your false king now? He is dead and gone. And those who pierced him live on.
Stop it Rueben! Who knows what to believe anymore. The whole world is in chaos. There is war everywhere you look. We’re all just trying to stay alive.
Pan out slowly

The five figures around the fire become silhouettes until the screen fades to black.

Within the Temple complex -- A large foyer – a crowd surrounds ANANUS and company. From a slightly raised platform, ANANUS gives an impassioned speech to the people of Jerusalem, encouraging them to remove the ZEALOTS from the Temple.
ANANUS (flanked by supporters, the crowd listens in fearful awe)
Blood-shedding villains now occupy the holy house. And who let them in the doors? The people of Jerusalem! We did nothing as the ZEALOTS plundered the houses of the nobles. We did nothing as the ZEALOTS made the holy house into a den of thieves. And what will the people of this city do now? I would rather die than see these wretched men sit in the Temple, but even more may I die if the people of Jerusalem do nothing. But perhaps Heaven will help us if we oppose the ZEALOTS who are even worse than the Romans. Perhaps they will be made tamer by their own consciences.
ANANUS gazes over the crowd as if to see how they received his message and then his eyes show disappointment as if to acknowledge that the people are too fearful to oppose the ZEALOTS. ANANUS steps down from the platform and makes his way through the crowd to the exit. The camera crosses the faces of the crowd to capture people displaying the look of those who just let down a leader out of fear.
 EXT. At the door of ITTAI’S house – Night – Raining EHUD bangs nervously on the door. Constantly looking behind him. ITTAI cracks the door, rubbing sleep from his eye.
ITTAI (groggily)
What is…
The ZEALOTS have just attacked ANANUS! ANANUS’ men chased them back into the Temple!
ITTAI (wide-awake now, opens the door to let EHUD step in the doorway)
Ok, but how does that involve you?
ANANUS chose 6,000 men to guard the Temple and not let any of the ZEALOTS out. I was chosen.
ITTAI gives a discouraged look as if he disapproved of his friend being part of this.
I had no choice. They voted and I have to go. Some of the wealthy men paid others to guard in their place.
ITTAI (sighs)
Be careful EHUD. I fear before this is all over, not one stone will remain of Jerusalem.
EHUD merely slowly nods as if to concede a misunderstood point and then runs off. The camera follows for a moment then focuses on a view of the puddles in the empty street.
INT. Undisclosed meeting hall – Night – Stormy ANANUS meets with his commanders to plan what should be done with the besieged ZEALOTS in the Temple. John of Gischala is chosen as an ambassador to the ZEALOTS.
ANANUS (to John of Gischala)
You must convince them to agree to lay down their weapons. It is not right that we Jews fight among ourselves while the Romans take all of Judea.
I will convince them of your words.
The camera stays fixed on a concerned ANANUS who lets out a sigh as in the background, John of Gischala exits the hall amid torrential rain and flashes of lightning.
INT. Somewhere outside the Temple gates. – Night – Storming ANANUS’ MEN unlock a thick chain on a gate to the Temple and let JOHN of GISCHALA enter, then quickly lock the chains back on the gates. JOHN of GISCHALA, with his hands up in the air slowly approaches some of the ZEALOT
JOHN OF GISHALA (looking back at ANANUS’ MEN nervously)
I come to see Eleazar and Zacharias…
The ZEALOTS are about to turn John of Gischala away
JOHN OF GISHALA (smirking)
I have information they will find very useful.
The ZEALOTS look at each other and motion for John of Gischala to disarm. After handing over his sword, John of Gischala is allowed to approach. John of Gischala is closely escorted through many dark hallways until they reach a room filled with many ZEALOTS.
ELEAZAR (surprised)
What’s this?!
He says…
I have information I think you will find most interesting.
INT. Inside ITTAI’S house – Night – Storming Some rain trickles down from the ceiling where a repair was not as effective as expected. ITTAI’S FATHER is lying in a bed, staring off in a daze.
Father, things are becoming very dangerous. Every criminal and highway man from Judea is pouring into Jerusalem to join with the ZEALOTS.
ITTAI’S FATHER turns his head and looks at ITTAI for a brief moment and then turns back to his daze.
ITTAI (reluctantly)
I… I may not be able to protect us if the fighting spreads to the streets. What if the followers of that teacher are correct?… That destruction will come upon us like in the days of Sodom.
The camera slowly pans to and focuses on the rain seeping through the ceiling.
INT. Somewhere inside the Temple – Night – Storming ELEAZAR (angrily)
I knew ANANUS was not the loyal Jew he claims to be! Well, He will not succeed with this plot. We shall send for the Idumean WARRIORS to come join us in defending Jerusalem from the ROMANS and their friend ANANUS.
The camera quickly pans to a figure appearing from the darkness.

And I shall fight along side you.
EXT. Somewhere outside of Jerusalem – Day – Overcast Dozens of muddied legs of horses flick mud and water up on the camera as the camera pans up to reveal the Idumean WARRIORS speedily ridding to Jerusalem. The camera pans the faces of the riders as they ride.
EXT. At one of the gates to Jerusalem. – Day – Overcast ANANUS, JESUS son of Gamalas, and a contingency of men peer out the gate to the landscape beyond.
JESUS son of Gamalas
Word is that they are coming to assist the ZEALOTS.
I don’t understand why the IDUMEANS would help the likes of them. The IDUMEANS are well organized warriors. The ZEALOTS are nothing but thieves and murderers.
ANANUS stares more intently at the landscape, then looks long at JESUS son of Gamalas.
Close all of the gates and post guards on the walls.
JESUS son of Gamalas motions to a few commanders to carry out the orders.
EXT. Atop a wall of the city – Dusk – Brilliant hues of orange and gray clouds. JESUS son of Gamalas speaks to the IDUMEANS from the wall.
JESUS son of Gamalas (pleading patriotically)
There is no such plan. For my own part, though I should prefer peace to death, yet having already declared war and entered the fray, I would rather die nobly than live a captive. There is no plan to surrender to or aid the ROMANS. It is the duty of all Jews to fight against not only these ROMANS but also these insane scoundrels. We invite you to join us, or you may wait outside the gates to see if these things you accuse us of are true. But you will not be allowed to enter with your weapons.
General Simon of the IDUMEANS shouts back up to JESUS son of Gamalas
You claim you are a true Jew, but what Jew closes off the Holy City to his brothers? It is you and ANANUS along with treasonous people who oppose liberty. This is why you have your brothers locked up in the Temple. We shall fight both the ROMANS and you.
The camera stays fixed on the IDUMEAN WARRIORS as JESUS son of Gamalas sighs and disappointedly makes his way down from the wall.
EXT. Outside the city walls, within the IDUMEAN camps – Night – Ferocious Storm. Tents are being whipped about by strong winds and violent rains. The IDUMEANS scatter about trying to collect their belongings and keep their horses from running away. Extremely loud thunderclaps are followed by brilliant streaks of lightning.
EXT. Outside the Temple gates – Night – Ferocious Storm. ANANUS’ guards pull back from the gates and into the shelter of surrounding buildings as the storm releases a barrage of thunder and lightning. 
Somewhere inside the Temple at one of the now unguarded but locked gates. – Night – Ferocious Storm.
A few ZEALOTS are busily sawing on the gate’s bars in the pouring down rain.
And once you get free of the gate, go to the outer gate and cut a way for the IDUMEANS!
The camera stays on the hands of the sawing ZEALOTS then fades to black.
INT. Inside ITTAI’S house – Night – Ferocious Storm ITTAI is busily placing containers on the floor to catch the rain that is pouring in from the ineffectively repaired ceiling. There is a loud banging on the door. He drops one of the containers and rushes to the door.
EHUD (drenched, muddy and bloodied and speaking with dread)
The IDUMEANS are in the city!!! They are killing everyone! The ZEALOTS are free from the Temple!
EHUD runs off in terror before ITTAI can respond. ITTAI slams the door and grabs a candle from the table and crouches down by his father’s bedside. ITTAI looking intently at his father as the glow of the flame reveals his peacefully sleeping face. ITTAI looks at the flame and then blows out the candle.
Fade to black.
EXT. In the streets of the city – Night – Ferocious Storm The IDUMEANS ride through the streets in chaos hacking down people as they try to run away. The IDUMEANS especially concentrate around the Temple. The ZEALOTS join in the fighting.
INT. Undisclosed meeting hall – Night – Ferocious Storm. The doors are knocked open by the IDUMEANS, there is a brief pause between the IDUMEANS and ANANUS’ party both of which have weapons drawn.
EXT. In the streets of the city – Dawn – A hazy morning light. The camera pans the street as bodies lie all over, in muddy puddles where they were cut down.
The camera passes over the body and face of someone who might be EHUD but does not stay focused long enough to confirm.
ZEALOT COMMANDER (standing with a few ZEALOTS next to ELEAZAR)
What shall we do with the bodies of ANANUS and Jesus Gamalas?
ELEZAR (after a long pause)
They don’t deserve the honor of a proper burial. Take them and throw them outside the city for the vultures to devour!
EXT. Just outside the city walls – Day – Partly Cloudy Groups of IDUMEANS are camped just outside the walls of the city. The IDUMEAN GENERAL SIMON sits at a campfire eating a leg of lamb. A ZEALOT hesitantly approaches GENERAL SIMON.
Sir, May I speak with you in private?
EXT. On a wall of the city – Dusk – Sunset ELEAZAR stands on the wall with Zacharias and a few other ZEALOTS, looking on as the IDUMEANS ride away from Jerusalem.
I want to know who told them.
I have men asking questions now.
I do not trust JOHN. For if he provoked us into killing ANANUS even though ANANUS never intended to side with ROMANS what other plots is he capable of? If he could betray ANANUS, he could also betray us.
INT. Inside ITTAI’S house – Day The door to the house is open, the camera pans through the door to focus upon ITTAI packing items into bags. ITTAI’S FATHER lies in a bed in the background.
I will get us out of here father. We can go up to the mountains and once the ROMANS come, order will be restored. Then we can return to Jerusalem. Perhaps you can teach me the Temple duties.
ITTAI continues packing closer to his father.
Maybe I was wrong about traditions. Maybe I could train to read in the synagogue?
Father?….. Father?
EXT. Roman encampment – Day – Sunny slight breeze. The camera pans around the camp as soldiers and fine white horses pass in front of the camera. Roman banners with eagle ensigns flapping in the wind.
INT. Inside Vespasian’s tent – Day – Sunny VESPASIAN (speaking to a commander)
We will wait a little longer. The factions may destroy themselves and then we would be openly welcomed by the people as we were in Gischala.
The ROMAN COMMANDER nods and exits the tent. Vespasian studies a map.
EXT. At a grave tomb – Day – Partly Sunny ITTAI is knelt down with his hand on the door stone.
ITTAI (looking intently at the stone)
Father, what would you have me to do? Even many of my friends have been killed or have joined the ZEALOTS. If I don’t make a choice soon the ZEALOTS may come and accuse me of treason. It’s too dangerous to go to the mountains now, for the ZEALOTS kill those leaving the city as deserters.
EXT. Along the inside wall of the city – Day – Partly Sunny
ELEAZAR and Zacharias stroll along the perimeter of the wall with a few GUARDS in tow.
JOHN is gathering his own following and grows strong.
Yes, I have noticed, but now is not the time to challenge him. We may yet need him when the ROMANS come upon us. Continue to watch his movements and make certain his share of the spoils gained from the nobles is not more than our own.
Simon son of Gioras is also gathering people to him.
SIMON is not within Jerusalem and we can keep him from entering the city as easily as we will restrain the ROMANS.
EXT. Along the city streets – Dusk ITTAI is walking along the streets in an almost hopeless despair. The camera passes close by the face of a ragged woman laughing loudly. Screams are heard off camera but from a house being passed by.
UNSEEN VOICE (from the house)
No! I have no more to give! I gave you everything!
You lie! Give us more!
The sounds of scuffling and a distinct sound of someone just stabbed to death and withering in pain.
EXT. Along the city streets – Dusk ITTAI continues walking along the streets but suddenly stops as he spots a GROUP OF PEOPLE in an alley, that appear to be packing. The PEOPLE are surprised by ITTAI almost as if they fear he will report them.
The GROUP LEADER calms the PEOPLE and then approaches ITTAI.
GROUP LEADER (smiling kindly)
Hello. Are you hungry?
ITTAI (leery)
Um, no thanks. I’m ok.
The GROUP LEADER smiles and begins to withdraw back to the PEOPLE as it appears ITTAI is going to move on. But ITTAI stops and looks at the people now re-engaged in their packing.
ITTAI (hesitantly)
Are you… Are you some of those people who follow that teacher?
The PEOPLE’S faces becoming increasingly fearful, but the GROUP LEADER assures them. The GROUP LEADER approaches ITTAI again.
GROUP LEADER (bold but kindly)
If you mean the Messiah, then yes.
GROUP even more fearful backs away a little.
ITTAI (displaying disdain he mimics from his friends)
How can you believe a dead man is the Messiah?
GROUP LEADER (in a calm voice)
Because he did not remain in the grave. He overcame death.
ITTAI (backing away defensively)
Maybe you stole his body like priests say.
GROUP LEADER (sensing ITTAI’S curiosity)
I don’t think you really believe that.
ITTAI (almost as if surrendering the point)
I’m not sure what to believe anymore. The whole world is in chaos. There is war everywhere you look. I’m just trying to stay alive.
Fade out
Along the inside wall of the city – Night ELEAZAR and Zacharias stroll along the perimeter of the wall with a few GUARDS in tow.
ELEAZAR (worriedly)
JOHN has gained more control than is good. More of the men follow his orders than ours. And word is that SIMON son of Gioras has taken Hebron in Idumaea and could be massing an assault on Jerusalem. Oh, the days that Jews fight Jews.
ZACHARIAS (trying to reassure)
But now, with the death of Nero Rome will surely call off the invasion.
ELEAZAR (almost regrettably)
The people of Judea need not wait for Rome to destroy them, for brothers and fathers deliver each other to death before the ROMANS even lift a sword.
EXT. In the city streets – Day JOHN OF GISCHALA leads a group of men dressed as women as they go through the streets in drunken revelry, taunting the people then turning violent. The MEN DRESSED AS WOMEN begin killing the people without regard.
INT. Jerusalem – Meeting Hall – Day ELEAZAR paces angrily back and forth as ZACHARIAS and other loyal men look on.
ELEAZAR (stops suddenly and appeals to those looking on)
This is intolerable! JOHN is making a mockery of everything we have fought for. The very people of Jerusalem that we liberated from ANANUS are emboldened against us. JOHN will bring the wrath of God upon us before the ROMANS even advance one foot.

ZACHARIAS and the onlookers drop their heads in helpless shame as the camera fades out.
INT. Jerusalem – In an undisclosed room ITTAI is sitting at a table eating with the PEOPLE he met in the street. The GROUP LEADER brings another basket of bread to the table and then sits down.
So, the master warned us before that we should wait and endure this tribulation but when we see Jerusalem surrounded by the armies of the earth that are lead by Rome, that we should flee and not look back.
ITTAI (confused)
But it is not likely that the Romans will attack now that all of Rome is in chaos over the loss of Neron Caesar.
I know these things are difficult to understand while we are in the midst of them but all will be made clear as the kingdom advances.
ITTAI (more confused)
What kingdom? All of Judea lies in ruins and it appears heaven and earth itself is passing away.
You are very observant ITTAI, no doubt the Spirit is revealing these things to you. But the master has taught us a better religion. Not a religion confined to a city or a temple made with stones. But a living, growing kingdom that will continue to exist for ages and ages after this age ends.
ITTAI (concerned)
But what of the marvelous Temple? Will God leave it desolate?
Christ prepares a better temple and a new city that will not fall even while dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters and liars live outside the gates of this new city.
ITTAI flashes a puzzled look at the GROUP LEADER as ITTAI tears of little pieces off bread and pops the pieces into his mouth.
These things will become more clear to you as you read more and more over the scriptures. I am not merely speaking riddles. The very destruction of Jerusalem is within the divine plan of God. He will come upon the clouds and repay the generation that rejected him and pierced him.
The camera pans over ITTAI’S intent face even more. ITTAI continues to nibble at the bread.
 Fade out

EXT. In the city streets – Day
Chaos and commotion ensue as that SIMON son of Gioras with a band of IDUMEANS and other fighters enter the city at the bequest of the nobles of Jerusalem. The ZEALOTS pull back to the Temple once again.
What is happening?
MAN IN STREET2 (running with a crowd of people)
SIMON son of Gioras has come to aid the nobles against the ZEALOTS!
Intense fighting scene as the ZEALOTS quickly retreat to the Temple area where they hold back SIMON son of Gioras with a well-fortified defense including towers of archers and catapults.
EXT. On a wall of the city. – Day Men with weapons drawn run franticly on the wall passing close in front of the camera. A man stops and leans over the wall to look at the landscape beyond the city and then calls to a few other men as they are about to run by him.
More men stop and lean over the wall looking at the landscape beyond which looks normal enough. But soon, over the crest of the horizon hundreds of poles appears with the ROMAN banners of eagles flapping in the wind and then appears the Calvary and infantry that carry those poles.
MAN ON WALL 2 (in desperation to get people to stop and look)
Look! The ROMANS are surrounding the city! And it looks like they have brought the whole world against us.
Some more men stop but most are too involved with the fighting inside the city to worry about the advancing ROMANS.
A man running past stops for a moment and looks at the approaching Roman army.
I see, but never mind them for now. They are at least a day or two away. ELEAZAR and some men have taken the inner courts of the Temple and now opposes JOHN and the other ZEALOTS. You must decide with whom you will pledge your lives.
One of the men looking over the wall turns towards the stopped man and thrust a knife into his chest.
SIMON SUPPORTER (as he pulls the knife from the crumpling body)

I fight with Simon! We shall defeat JOHN and ELEAZAR!
The camera pans down the interior wall and into the city streets where men, women and children run past the camera in haste and terror, tripping over bodies that lay in their paths.  EXT. In the city streets – Day All chaos continues as people run about in terror among the fallen dead. ITTAI and the Christians are being lead along the streets by the GROUP LEADER, towards the gates to make an escape from the city.
Come on we must hurry! The time is here. Jerusalem is being surrounded just as Christ said. We must not turn back for anything. One will be taken and one will be left and those taken by the sword will be food for the vultures. We must hurry so that we will not be taken.
The group pushes their way past other people running in all directions, the people running past are crying and screaming.
Fade to white
INT. Caesarea – Within a council hall – Day Sunlight floods down from the ceiling portals. A council of GENERALS and politicians are engaged in a discussion about the future of the ROMAN leadership.
MUCIANUS (Roman Commander)
He has proven himself in battle. He and his son have taken most all of Judea, the very seat of the revolts.
But Vitellius has already been named Emperor.
And before him there was Otho but how long did that last? We need someone who can lead the Empire through these times, and these unproven men aren’t up to the task. Vitellius sits pampered in Rome while the Empire is being torn apart. We must confirm Vespasian now before another part of the Empire revolts.
Many SOLDIERS stand and cheer chanting Vespasian’s name. VESPASIAN stands up from among the seated soldiers.
The Empire’s brave armies should be holding position around Jerusalem as we speak. And now if you see fit to confer this honor upon me. I, along with my son Titus shall see to it that the revolt in Judea is put down once and for all.
The whole hall bursts into uproarious applause and cheers.
INT. Caesarea -- In a large room – Day VESPASIAN gathers items into leather satchels, preparing for a trip. A few aids attend him. There is a knock at the door. One of the aids opens it to another aid and a Jewish man. The Jewish man is in chains. VESPASIAN stops his packing and greets the Jewish man, motioning to the aids to remove the chains.
Ahhhh… Josephus. Your prediction was correct after all. I have been named Emperor of Rome. So now I want you to chronicle the campaign against those seditious ones of your countrymen.
VESPASIAN’S voice softens and he speaks with more sincerity.
And I want you to make your record with honesty, so that the world will have a true testimony of these things. That perhaps they will read your words and see that Rome has no intent on destroying your people and its great city. We merely wish to restore peace.
JOSEPHUS remains silent but slowly nods his head.
Fade out
EXT. Jerusalem – in and around the Temple complex – Day General chaos as arrows, stones and other types of missiles fly through the air. The camera switches back and forth between the three faction leaders and their men (JOHN, ELEAZAR, and SIMON), all attacking each other. Pools of blood almost paint the entire landscape of streets, steps and courts red.
The camera follows flaming missiles back and forth between the factions. The camera holds on JOHN’S camp as men load a catapult with flaming materials and launch them. The camera follows the flaming mass through the air until it hits and breaks through the side of a granary. Fire quickly engulfs the building as the camera focuses on the grain and then fades out.
INT. Jerusalem – in the Roman camp – in a tent --Night. TITUS and NICANOR confer around a map with several Commanders. JOSEPHUS sits in a corner writing.
NICANOR (pointing to the map)
If we build the forts here, here, and here we can concentrate our efforts on this weaker section of the wall.
COMMANDER 1 (pointing to the map)
We could take up position against the threat of outside reinforcements here.
TITUS (pointing to the map)
No no. This area is more likely to be where they might sneak in reinforcements or supplies. The strategy is to wait them out. The factions within may be toppled by each other.
NICANOR (pacing)
But we must prepare the men for a prolonged siege. This is Judea’s great city and the sedition will not leave it in peace easily.
Yes of course. Each commander must prepare his men to be ready for a full-fledged attack in the event the sedition does not end quickly.
INT. Jerusalem – undisclosed meeting hall – Day JOHN, SIMON and ELEAZAR well accompanied by guards meet to discuss a cease-fire and a refocus on the Romans who are now building encampments around Jerusalem.
ELEAZAR (demandingly)
And when the supplies begin to run out it will only be a matter of time before our troops die.
SIMON (pointing to JOHN)
Had this fool not burnt all the granaries this would not be a concern!
JOHN OF GISCHALA (rising from the table)
I can make sure there is one less mouth to feed!
SIMON jumps up as his and JOHN’S guards briefly scuffle.
ELEAZAR (breaking up the skirmish)
We must not fall back into this fighting amongst ourselves while Rome brings all the world against us.
SIMON slowly sits back down simultaneously with JOHN.
Now, we must begin making plans on how to hold off and then defeat the Romans. My group shall continue to base out of the inner Temple. Simon’s group can man the walls and John's group can watch the city.

How convenient that your group maintains the best defensive area.
This is only because each of our groups is already in control of these areas. Look, If we are going to be successful we must stop fighting among ourselves.
Fade out
At a gate entering the inner Temple – Day ELEAZAR’S faction controls the inner Temple and is allowing some people to enter for the Passover.
No pushing. Everyone who desires to worship in the Temple during this Passover will be allowed to enter. Now stand back.
Throngs of PEOPLE press against the gate to enter the inner Temple. The camera focuses in on four men that are doing most of the pushing.
ELEAZAR GUARD 1 (frantic)
Stand back or I’ll close the gate!!!
Suddenly the four men push harder against the PEOPLE until they push their way through the gate. One of the FOUR MEN pulls a knife from under his clothing and stabs the ELEAZAR GUARD1. More MEN join the FOUR MEN on entering the inner Temple area and begin chasing and attacking ELEAZAR’S MEN and any other person in their path, including worshippers. ELEAZAR’S MEN are out numbered and scurry for the underground vaults of the Temple.
EXT. In a Roman camp outside the city walls. – Evening TITUS stands amid several companies of men training. A commander approaches him.
Sir, more Jews that have managed to escape the city have come to us requesting protection against the factions within.
Yes, that is my order.
The problem is that the Jews have been swallowing items of gold to bring out of the city and after, removing the items from their own dung.
TITUS (with a chuckle)
So, you would blame them for their ingenuity?
No sir, it is just that the Arabs have begun killing the Jews and cutting open their stomachs, looking for the items. They spare neither woman nor child.
TITUS (shocked)
These Arabians are a most uncivil lot. Attempt to keep them in check.
Yes sir.
Fade in
On the way to Pella – Day – Very Sunny ITTAI and the Christians are being lead by GROUP LEADER to the city Pella. They all walk along a path off of the main road.
And so Jesus spoke of this coming to pass. The old system, of the Law is passing away. What our fathers saw by shadow we shall see in fulfillment. Those who were not watching were taken in the destruction and tribulation, but those who hearken unto the Shepherd’s voice follow after him at the end of the age.
How do you know we will be safe in Pella?
Most of the brethren left as soon as Cestius withdrew from Jerusalem. They are already in Pella. God does not mean to use the Romans to destroy the true Israel, but to bring an end to the age and establish his kingdom forever and ever in a world without end.
The camera follows the refugees in silence as they continue on their journey.
Fade out
EXT. Immediately outside the gates of Jerusalem – Day -- Overcast The gates to Jerusalem burst open and a large number of people are thrust out. People from inside the city, upon the walls cast stones down upon those thrust out. TITUS observes this from the camp a little ways off.

PEOPLE ON THE WALLS (shouting down to the Romans)
Take those rebels we have cast out and we shall open up the gates to you in peace!
Some of the Roman soldiers are eager to rush to the gates but TITUS looks suspiciously at the Jews outside the gates and attempts to restrain his soldiers. But a group of soldiers disobeys TITUS’ order and rushes the gates. As the soldiers reach the Jews outside the gate, the Jews pull out weapons against the soldiers and the people on the walls cast down stones and other debris upon the soldiers, killing the most part of them. Some Romans fight themselves free and retreat to the camp. The Jews on the walls laugh and cause a great noise by beating their shields and banging their swords. The Jews outside the gates reenter the city.
INT. Inside the Temple – Night Bolstered by their attack upon the Romans, JOHN and SIMON join together and plan their strategy.
We have pillaged every last grain from the people and only the most wretched of people survive without bearing allegiance to us.
The Romans fail to see that a Jew is more willing to die for this great city than is the Roman to die for another province. We shall come upon them as they build their fortifications around our walls. They will tire of death before we.
Fade out
On the way to Pella -- Under a grouping of trees – Dawn ITTAI and the Christians eat fruits and discuss the situation.
So you have seen this letter?
Yes. The Apostle John wrote it to the churches.
But is it specific? Can you tell it is about Jerusalem?
Let me recite some of the letter and you decide. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all the nations drink of the wine of wrath of her fornication. And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. They stand afar off for the fear of her torment, saying alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is your judgment come.
The camera pans the faces of the group as they solemnly continue eating their food.
Fade out
EXT. Jerusalem – outside the walls – Dawn TITUS, Nicanor, and JOSEPHUS ride along the outside of the walls assessing a good place to breach the defenses.
If the appeal that Josephus makes to the Jews is not successful we will need to bolster the soldiers. They must not act so rashly but be ready to follow your commands.
Surely the Jews will want to preserve their great city from this destruction that is about to come upon it.
I am not so certain sir. They act as madmen that have been cursed with an irrational desire to destroy themselves and all that are with them.
JOSEPHUS and NICANOR approach the walls.
Fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters. Hear me. You must consid…
As JOSEPHUS attempts to persuade his countrymen to make peace, arrows fly out from somewhere in the wall and strike Nicanor in the shoulder. The group moves back out of range in haste.
Your countrymen do not desire life but only death. There is no reasoning with them with words, for they only know and want wrath. They respond like some guilty man who knows his crime has been discovered and it is only a matter of when judgment will come.
Prepare the legions for an all out attack.
The group rides away from the wall and diminishes as the camera stays fixed on the wall.
EXT. Jerusalem – in a Roman fortification immediately outside the walls – Day – Overcast TITUS and Nicanor are conducting the soldiers to raze all trees and rocks around the walls so that the land can be made flat for the movement of war engines and for the building of towers.
Remove all obstacles! Bring that over here! (motioning soldiers to bring a catapult)
CASTOR, a Jew appeals to TITUS from the wall while preparations for war are being made outside the city.
Come hear our pleas. If you would only give us your right hand of fellowship. We would feel secure and agree to be at peace.
TITUS (pausing)
If you truly desire peace it is a noble thing to want to preserve your people. If only many others were of the same mind.
TITUS motions to JOSEPHUS to join him in this negotiation. But JOSEPHUS shakes his head no.
It is trickery my lord. They have no desire for peace.
ENEAS (a Jewish deserter to TITUS)
I shall join you my lord.
CASTOR (smiling)
Yes, Come. I have money with me to share with a fellow Jew.
ENEAS begins to run towards the wall, but as he does CASTOR throws a stone at him, missing him. ENEAS runs back behind TITUS.
TITUS studies CASTOR for a moment then turns to NICANOR.
TITUS angrily walks back towards the camp and enters a tent as the camera pans the Romans continuing to flatten the landscape around the wall.
Fade out
EXT. On the way to Pella -- In a cave – Night ITTAI and the Christians sit around a campfire. The camera zooms out from a fish cooking on the fire.
How will our countrymen be if Jerusalem is destroyed? We will be a scattered people. God will no longer have a people.
That is the whole point ITTAI. The sons of Abraham are not merely those who are Jews on the outside, but the true Jew are those who like father Abraham are Jews on the inside.
But there shall be no Temple to practice our religion.
God seeks not to be worshipped in buildings made with hands and hewn out of stones, but rather God seeks hearts as his Temple, wherein He shall dwell with men.
ITTAI (as he bites into a piece of fish)
These things are difficult to understand… but everything you have said so far is not against scripture.
The Camera zooms into the lapping campfire and then zooms out from burning debris of the next scene.
EXT. Jerusalem – immediately outside the walls. The camera zooms out from the flames of burning debris being loaded onto a catapult as the debris is flung towards the wall. All sorts of Roman machines of war surround and batter the walls.
EXT. Jerusalem – within the city streets. A dirty, ragged woman makes her way down the street amid dead bodies and of those dying and moaning. She holds a young boy as she goes. She looks all around on the ground as she goes.
RAGGED MOTHER (spotting a small clump of grass)
Ahhh. There you are.
The ragged mother kneels down and carefully pulls the grass out of the ground, showing it to the baby and then wrapping the clump grass in a piece of cloth. As she begins to turn and go back the way she came, two men approach her.
THIEF 1 (struggling to take the piece of cloth from the woman)
What is it that you have there?
THIEF 2, overpowering both THIEF 1 and the woman’s clutch, snatches the piece of cloth away.
THIEF 2 (as he unwraps the clump of grass and hastily stuffs it in his mouth)
You do well. You shall live another day woman. Find us more food and we’ll spare you.
THIEF 1 laughs with THIEF 2 as they shove the woman to the ground and they run away. The woman crawls to the piece of cloth lying on the ground. She slowly opens it and first looks at its emptiness, then looks at the child.
O you miserable child! for whom shall I preserve you in this war, this famine, and this sedition?
As the woman sulks over her child a flaming mass of debris flies over head. The camera follows it then fades.
Fade out.
EXT. Jerusalem – outside the walls – Day The Romans have already broken through the first of three walls surrounding the city. They move their battering rams against other parts of the second wall. TITUS walks with a contingency between the first and second wall, assessing the situation. Heaps of bodies of the Jews lie in moats, muddied and decaying.
TITUS looks solemnly upon the bodies in the moat. He looks then up into the sky as if to appeal to heaven.
You know I have not done this to these people but they themselves have done so to their fellow countrymen. I have appealed to them night and day to live in peace. I have sent Josephus to reason with them, whom they even tried to kill several times. I will have no choice but to end their misery not so much to end this revolt against Rome but to end their revolt against God, as they torment their fellows.
As TITUS finishes his appeal to heaven there is a loud crash as a portion of the second wall is broken down. The camera pans around the activity of the Romans moving their machines and battering rams against the walls. And of soldiers entering the area, stepping over mounds of dead bodies as they make their way through the hole in the second wall. The camera pans in on three vultures perched on a rock above the decaying bodies.
EXT. On the way to Pella – in the desert – Day GROUP LEADER
More of the revelation given to the Apostle John And Christ has on his robe and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and lord of lords, and I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried with a loud voce saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God.
The camera pans down to the feet of the group as they leave impressions in the sand.
 INT. Jerusalem – inner Temple area SIMON paces around as his men lean against the walls or lie on the floor. The altar is visible in the background.
We fight for God. We fight for God’s city. It is we who are the saviors of the Jews. We and we alone can lead the city against the Romans. We must think of ourselves as messiahs.
SIMON raises his glance at the men around the room. And they look intently upon him.
And you too, all of you who fight with me are messiahs. We fight a divine war and in such we must use divine weapons. We have depleted our supplies and need more.
SIMON picks up an oil basin used in sacred Temple services and examines it closely.
SIMON (motioning to the men)
Melt all of this down and beat them into swords and arrows.
EXT. Jerusalem – Close to the tower of Antonia – Evening TITUS paces before a company of soldiers.
O my fellow soldiers. You see how divine favor is handing this war into our hands. And why should we not take advantage of the favor of God, that we do not so much fight against these Jews as God brings his own wrath against them through us. But now I ask some of you to be braver than even before, not preferring to die in old age but risking to die honorably by the sword. Who would venture to go against this tower for the Empire?
TITUS points to the tower wherein can be seen some Jews and then he pans the soldiers but none say a thing but look frightened as what TITUS asks would mean almost certain death. Finally a gangly, thin black man steps from the crowd of soldiers.

I readily surrender up myself to thee, O Caesar; I first ascend the wall, and I heartily wish that my fortune may follow my courage and my resolution And if some ill fortune grudge me the success of my undertaking, take notice that my ill success will not be unexpected, but that I choose death voluntarily for your sake.
SABINUS’ courage causes eleven other soldiers to step forward and stand by him.
TITUS pans over SABINUS and the other volunteers and smiles, nodding approvingly.
Fade to black
Jerusalem – Steps up to the tower of Antonia – Evening
SABINUS leads a group of soldiers up the steps towards the tower. The Jews in the tower shoot arrows towards the advancing Romans and roll stones down the steps towards them.
SABINUS takes a few hits of arrows but continues to advance. A tumbling stone crushes two other soldiers. SABINUS makes it to the top where the wall meets the tower, the Jews begin to retreat, thinking there are more Romans than there really is. SABINUS collapses onto a large stone at the top of the steps. The Jews see him alone and come close to him shooting him with a few more arrows. SABINUS manages to kneel and hold his shield in front of him. The Jews move in to kill him by sword but before they can, SABINUS kills four of them and then a barrage of arrows kills SABINUS himself. The remaining Romans retreat down the steps, some of them being killed by arrows in the back.
INT. Jerusalem – In a darkly lit house – Night The camera makes its way through the darkness to focus upon the RAGGED WOMAN who happily eats what appears to be a half-pound blackened cooked piece of meat from a bone. The camera stays upon her as noise of someone loudly entering the house can be heard off camera.
Ahhh. I knew you would return after you so kindly promised to preserve my life.
The woman rises to greet the off camera intruders.
I’ve saved the best portion of my meal for the both of you.
The camera switches to the intruders, THIEF 1 and THIEF 2, their faces showing excitement with the prospect of eating this feast. But then their faces suddenly turn very frightful and the camera switches back to the woman that is holding up a large piece of cloth covering which was concealing the rest of the food.
Oh come now. Do not pretend you are more delicate than a woman or more compassionate than a mother… (pause) Who for the want of life has been driven to eat her own son.
The camera pans down to the contents behind the cloth, which is a barely discernable image of a cooked body. The thieves run out of the house in terror.
Fade out
EXT. On the road to Pella – in the desert – Day GROUP LEADER
In his letter, the Apostle John speaks about being taken and shown things that would happen. John was given a measuring rod to measure the Temple but was told not to measure the court outside the Temple, for it would be given over to the Gentiles and that the Holy City would be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles for forty two months.
His letter is that specific?
Yes, and he relates many more specific things but in a figurative sense so as to veil it from those whom the Lord would veil it.
I would like to speak with this Apostle John for myself someday.
Indeed, and know that he presently endures in this tribulation with us.
The camera pans in closely to the bright sun, the sun’s rays distorting the light as it fades to white.
EXT. Jerusalem -- in the tower of Antonia – Night – Very dark Jewish men patrol the wall connected to the tower of Antonia. Twelve Roman soldiers (including some from the first attempt on the tower) sneak against the Jews guarding the tower and slit some of their throats. A Roman trumpeter blasts out a loud blast of victory from the tower as the group of Romans enters. The Jews are surprised and retreat in fear. TITUS orders attacks against the adjoining wall.
TITUS (running about directing activities)
Quickly! Target the wall 10 spans out.
Barrages of stones are flung at the wall as the camera switches between the fight between the Romans and Jews in the tower and the war machines hitting the wall. After some great length the tower is secured by the Romans and the wall collapses. The camera pans a chaotic flurry of Jews retreating to the Temple.
Fade out
EXT. Jerusalem – below the tower of Antonia – Dawn The camera takes a panoramic view of the area below the tower, bodies are strewn about everywhere along with trash and burning debris. Amid all of this there is still much fighting with it being hardly discerned which person is a Jew or a Roman since the fight is so close together. The camera pans up to the tower, wherein is TITUS and many Roman soldiers.
INT. Jerusalem – In the tower of Antonia – Dawn TITUS (to those with him in the tower)
We must push forward and take the Temple before the sedition is able to make it their strong hold.
A very tall and large Roman centurion (JULIAN) pushes his way closer to TITUS, smiles at TITUS and then leaps from the tower. His immense size puts many of the JEWS to flight as he hacks away at any JEWS not able to retreat fast enough. The JEWS scatter in terror at the sight of him. JULIAN runs after a group of JEWS that retreat toward the Temple. The camera zooms in closely on the running legs of JULIAN and then to his feet, whereon there are shoes with spikes. The camera zooms in on the spikes as they grind against the pavement of the Temple court. JULIAN stumbles and crashes down on his back, his armor making a thunderous noise as he hits. The fleeing JEWS stop suddenly, spotting JULIAN on the ground, rush at him and begin to stab and hit at him with everything they have. JULIAN protects himself as well as he can, all the while lashing out with his sword and killing some of the attacking JEWS. The other Roman soldiers are too engaged with their individual situations to come to JULIAN’S aid. And TITUS is too far away to be of any help. JULIAN’S body goes limp as the JEWS disperse from around his corpse. The camera stays upon his body for a moment then switches to TITUS gazing from the tower.
 EXT. Jerusalem – at the base of the tower of Antonia – Afternoon TITUS is directing a group of soldiers to remove the debris of the fallen wall so that war machines can be brought in closer.
Dig down to the foundation and topple every stone so that we can move in closer.
Many soldiers begin digging around the base of the tower as TITUS is approached by MUCIANUS and JOSEPHUS.
Josephus, I’ve have summoned you to inquire about a most distressing report.
What would that be my lord?
TITUS and JOSEPHUS leave MUCIANUS to supervise the digging and walk among other soldiers clearing debris from the area.
Some of the new deserters have reported to me that the daily sacrifices have ceased to be performed in your Temple.
JOSEPHUS flashes a very disappointed look.
TITUS (more sincere)
It ought not to be that a people neglect their God. I want you to go to the sedition again and appeal to them that at least they would come and fight outside the Temple and outside the city so that these sacred things can be spared.
I will try yet again to convince those very demons to regard the things of God.
Fade out
Jerusalem – outside the Temple gates – Day The camera follows JOSEPHUS approaching the already burning Temple. JOSEPHUS begins his discourse in Hebrew.
JOSEPHUS (speaking in Hebrew sub-titled in English)
Fathers and brothers… Hear me!
JOSEPHUS (continuing in English)
You see what turmoil not only are our bodies in but this very city passes away in death. And even now the holy house is being consumed by fire, and we ought to be restraining those flames.
The camera switches between JOSEPHUS and the JEWS inside the Temple, those JEWS now listening intently and in silence as if they are about to agree with JOSEPHUS’ words – except for JOHN of GISCHALA who has a contrary expression on his face.
And now no sacrifices are given to God while the…
God? This is the city of God, and it is he who will help us in preserving it from being taken!
The camera still switches between the JEWS and JOSEPHUS as JOSEPHUS continues his dialogue.
JOSEPHUS (with a more impassioned tone to JOHN)
Yes. All the world sees how well you have done this. To be sure you have kept this city wonderfully pure for God's sake; the temple also continues entirely unpolluted! Nor have you been guilty of any impiety against him for whose assistance you hope! He still receives his accustomed sacrifices! Vile wretch that thou art! if any one should deprive you of your daily food, you would consider him to be an enemy; but thou hope to have that God for your supporter in this war whom you have deprived of his everlasting worship; and you blame your sins on the Romans. It is the Romans who to this very time take care to have our laws observed, and almost compel these sacrifices to be still offered to God. You would be honorable as some of our noble forefathers that have given themselves up so that the whole body might be preserved. And I say this as a Jew, to a fellow Jew though I doubt it will be of any use since it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.
The expressions of the JEWS are mixed, some seem compelled to give way to JOSEPHUS’ words while others seem to be further enraged.
Fade out
EXT. Jerusalem – Walls of the Temple – Day The Romans are setting up ladders against the Temple walls so that they may enter the Temple without doing it harm. As the Roman soldiers attempt to scale the ladders, Jews from above and below, some even on the ground, knock down the ladders, sending the Romans to their instant death or into the awaiting mob of Jewish swords below. Camera switches to a room inside the Temple where the Jews are stacking all sorts of flammable items, including tar. As the Romans begin to enter a window of the room, the Jews set the materials on fire. Parts of the Temple are ablaze as the camera switches back to frantic Romans trying to get back down the ladders.
EXT. On the road to Pella – Day A small caravan of travelers with pack mules pass by the camera as the camera pans out, revealing ITTAI and the Christians walking along a more open route.
You have spoken of words by the teacher and the apostles but what of the prophets and the psalms? Is there anything by these that prove what you say?
You should not expect less. For if these things are not in the prophets and psalms, it could have been conjured by any wandering nomad or crafty storyteller that seeks to put a whole tribe under his name. These things are true and have much proof from the prophets and psalms. There is no need to abrogate or change even one word so that these things are so. The prophet Daniel thus wrote: "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. ITTAI
So you are saying the teacher Jesus was the Anointed One and that the desolations that Daniel spoke about are now coming upon Jerusalem?
What are your thoughts on that matter ITTAI?
But how do we know the teacher Jesus was the Anointed One?
The great prophet Isaiah, much revered by all Jews spoke of the Messiah saying; He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he as stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord 's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. --- Is there a clearer picture of what Jesus suffered on our behalf?
I have never heard the Rabbis read that part of Isaiah in the synagogues since they had the teacher killed.
The GROUP LEADER tears off a piece of bread and smiles as he hands it to ITTAI. Another caravan passes by the camera as the camera fades out.
Fade out
INT. Jerusalem – inside the tower of Antonia -- Evening TITUS (angrily, to a group of soldiers)
I have extended every mercy and grace to these Jews yet they persist in this madness. And now my own men whom I’ve long restrained from the typical practice of war are dying by larger a number than need be. No more! Burn down the gates of the Temple!
The group of soldiers leave the room immediately.
EXT. Jerusalem – Temple gates – Evening The camera pans out from the Temple gates burning with a horrid blaze that laps ever upward. Jews, both inside and outside the Temple wail loudly but either by the heat of it or by the horror of it, do not attempt to quench the flames.
Int./Ext. Jerusalem – tower of Antonia – Night TITUS gazes out of a window. JOSEPHUS is sitting at a table, writing. The camera pans the sky and reveals a strange comet-like configuration as if a huge sword appears in the sky.
JOSEPHUS, come look at this. It looks like a sword in the sky.
JOSEPHUS (remaining seated)
Yes, my lord. The omen has been hanging over the city for a long time now.
I wonder if such an omen is in favor of the Romans or of the Jews?
I can’t see how it can help the Jews. It is only more proof that God has come upon the clouds to judge this generation.
Ext. Jerusalem – Temple gates – Day TITUS and JOSEPHUS before the lightly smoldering gates as other fires burn all around. Soldiers skirmish with Jews around the Temple.
I have called for the quenching of the gates so that perhaps these rebels would see that I have been restraining my hand and they might leave off their fighting. But as many as my own men have died by my command of restraint I fear I can not hold back Roman fury forever.
These rebels and those that are with them are only Jews in name and not in conduct. For JOHN of GISCHALA has no regard for the people nor the Temple.
TITUS (sighs)
If the sedition does not lay down their arms by morning, I shall order the soldiers to storm the Temple without regard to restraint.
TITUS ascends the steps of the tower as the camera focuses in on the soldiers skirmishing with the Jews. The fighting is a back and forth assault with the Romans pushing the Jews back and then the Jews pushing the Romans back.
INT. On the way to Pella – House of Amos – Night ITTAI and the Christians lodge in the house of a fellow believer. The group lounges on the floor.
Amos is very charitable and has agreed to host us this night of our travels.
Yes. All of you are welcome. You are an encouragement to see, for looking towards Jerusalem from here, it looks as if the whole city is burning and no one is left alive.
When is the last time you were in Jerusalem?
It has been many years now. Perhaps four years.
ITTAI merely nods his head slowly.
I fear we shall never see that great city again, but we are blessed the more to be called to take the truth beyond those walls and to the world.
Fade out
Jerusalem – Around the Temple area – Night The Romans and Jews are still skirmishing. Four Roman soldiers chase a band of Jews next to the Temple. From a golden window of the Temple, a Jew pelts the Romans with rocks. The Romans respond by throwing a spear at the window.
Soldier 1 grabs a piece of wood and holds it to a fire nearby until the wood is lit.

Here, lift me up and I’ll make sure that Jew doesn’t show his face through that window again.
SOLDIER 2 lifts SOLDIER 1 up to the window and SOLDIER 1 tosses the burning piece of wood through.
The camera focuses on the wood landing on debris in the Temple and immediately igniting a huge blaze. The whole Temple appears to begin to burn. The skirmishing Jews stop fleeing from the Romans and fall to their knees in astonishment and anguish. They howl with regret.
INT. Jerusalem – Tower of Antonia – Night TITUS is awakened by a soldier that burst in with other soldiers.
The Temple is burning! The Temple is burning!
TITUS jumps up immediately, dons his clothing and collects his arms and shield and runs towards the Temple with many soldiers following behind. Upon reaching the Temple, TITUS stops and looks up at the inferno that crackles loudly as it bellows out black smoke. Although it seems hopeless, TITUS begins to issue orders to extinguish the fire.
TITUS (motioning to soldiers)
Quench the fire! Save the Temple!
The Jews resume attacking the Romans with a renewed, insane fury which in turn causes more Romans to disregard TITUS’ commands and thus the soldiers throw more pieces of flaming debris at the Temple.
TITUS makes his way inside the Temple with a few of his generals, carrying eagle ensigns by their side. He stands in awe as the camera pans the now spoiled beauty of what was a glorious Temple.
INT/EXT. Jerusalem – tower of Antonia – Night JOSEPHUS sits at a table near a window, looking towards the mountain of flames engulfing the Temple.
He removes a piece of paper from a satchel and begins to write.
JOSEPHUS (voice over as he writes)
One cannot but lament at the destruction of such a fine work as this, but we can take some comfort in knowing it was God Himself that decreed its destruction. For on this exact day was the former Temple also burnt by the Babylonians 516 years ago.
The camera focuses in on the burning Temple and then slowly pulls back in a panoramic manner as if the camera is ascending away from the Temple, showing the whole city and surrounding countryside. The burning Temple remains central in the camera’s focus.
All the while some somber music is being played.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up.
Fade to Black
Jerusalem – Day Smoke still smolders. There is nothing but ruins all around. Dead bodies are strewn everywhere. Roman soldiers are conducting chained prisoners away from the city.
TITUS surveys the ruins with JOSEPHUS.
The only thing I regret more than the loss of our great city is that SIMON and JOHN were allowed to spend their final breaths in that holy house.
TITUS (shaking his head)
Nay, JOSEPHUS. They did not have that honor. Some soldiers reported chasing those devils into tunnels beneath the Temple. No doubt they died choking black smoke, preparing them for the air of Hell itself as they laid down to death.
The camera pans around the ruins of the city and the countryside and the broken Jewish captives as they are being led away, slowly fading as if this would be the end of the story.
 EXT. At the entrance to Pella – Day Happy children run about and in front of the camera laughing and playing. The camera focuses on ITTAI and the Christians arriving at the city.
GROUP LEADER (motioning to the city beyond)
Pella! We having been preserved now have an important duty. A duty to advance the kingdom among the nations. Our persecutors, who were by name our very own brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers are no more able to hinder us.
Do you think any nation will know that Israel ever existed after this?
It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. But we are the remnant. The true Israel that shall dwell among men, advancing the kingdom like a small seed growing into a large tree or like a rock becoming a mountain.
Fade out

 Text fades in and out on the screen as the same somber music as that which was played during the Temple burning scene plays.

The Jews were dispersed among the nations of the world. In the 1930-1940s the Nazis exterminated Six million people of Jewish ancestry. People with Jewish ancestry began to return to the Middle East en masse during the late 1800s.
Many people still await the Messiah.
The Roman Empire eventually adopted a political form of Christianity, which gave rise to the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Empire finally collapsed for various reasons, some of which were corruption and the failure of the political system to withstand fragmentation.
The Christians went on to influence much of the world throughout the centuries, both negative and positive but have as of late adopted a more fatalistic stance, which seems to withdraw from advancing the idealized kingdom on earth. Many Christians reject that Jesus was completely victorious over his enemies and instead they still await the Messiah.


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