Lost Cities of Africa: Introduction
The five cities in this review span a vast gulf of history, from the 11th century B.C. to the 15th century CE. But they also span a cultural gulf, between the super-Saharan world of the famous civilizations of antiquity and the sub-Saharan world that remains little known and poorly understood.
Corinthian columns at Leptis Magna, in Libya, one of the best preserved Roman cities.
The former is the familiar world of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, in which the extraordinarily long narrative of Egyptian history, represented here through the tale of the lost city of Tanis, gives way to the Classical world, and the famous names of Alexandria, a Greek city with an Egyptian flavor, and Leptis Magna, one of the best preserved of all Roman cities.
The sub-Saharan world has its own rich history, with its own narrative of the rise and fall of empires, but the lack of written sources, combined with the relative paucity of archaeological research, means that this narrative is largely unknown.
The haunting site of Great Zimbabwe offers a rare window on this untold history, although it took the efforts of unbiased and professional archaeologists to start to unravel its mystery. It has been subject to interpretation (or misinterpretation) through ideologically rather than scientifically motivated research.
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo, close to the Chimanimani Mountains and the Chipinge District. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country’s Late Iron Age.
The two worlds are bridged by the ancient city of Meroe and the venerable Kushite civilization of which it was capital. The Kushites are rarely seen as much more than adjuncts to their more famous neighbor to the north, Egypt, but in practice they represent a coming together of the super- and sub-Saharan worlds.
Initially they developed in imitation of the Egyptians, but the establishment of Meroe signaled a geopolitical shift towards the sub-Saharan world and the development of a new, uniquely sub-Saharan culture.
Corinthian columns at Lepti) Magna, in Libya, one of the be.it preserved Roman cities.
The Lost City we’ll look at tomorrow is…
Signs of the End of this Age
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
“There shall not be left here one stone upon another” – fulfilled literally in 70 A.D., when the Romans under Titus completely destroyed Jerusalem and the temple buildings. Stones were even pried apart to collect the gold leaf that melted from the roof when the temple was set on fire.
“Thrown down” – excavations in 1968 uncovered large numbers of these stones, toppled from the walls by the invaders.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
“Mount of Olives” – a ridge a little more than a mile long, beyond the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem and rising about 200 feet above the city.
“When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of they coming, and of the end of the world?” – Jesus doesn’t go into great detail, but He does tells us what to watch out for in this chapter.
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
In 70 A. D. the Romans burned the temple and destroyed the city. In the words of Jesus, “there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Sorrows” – the rabbis, as well as the prophets, spoke of “birth pangs.” They will lead into the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7).
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Ancient rock-cut tombs on the lower slope of the Mount of Olives. The rectangular openings to the tombs have been enlarged, probably when the tombs were used as dwellings by Christian monks.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
“The abomination of desolation” – the detestable thing causing the desolation of the holy place. The primary reference in Daniel (9:27, 11:31, 12:11) was to 168 B.C., when Antiochus Epiphanes erected a pagan altar to Zeus on the sacred altar in the temple of Jerusalem.
There are two more stages in the progressive fulfillment of the predictions in Daniel and Matthew: (1) the Roman destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. and (2) the setting up of an image of the antichrist in Jerusalem (see Thess 2:4; Rev 13:14-15).
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
“The Mountains” – the Transjordan mountains, where Pella was located. Christians in Jerusalem fled to that area during the Roman siege during shortly before 70 A.D. a similar fleeing will occur during the future great tribulation period (identified with Daniel’s 70th “week,” Dan 9:27).
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:
“Neither on the Sabbath” – only Matthew includes this because he was writing to Jews, who were forbidden to travel more than about half a mile on the Sabbath.
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
“Great tribulation” – Josephus, the Jewish historian who was there, describes the destruction of Jerusalem in almost identical language. Many believe that reference is also to a future period of great tribulation (see Dan 12:1).
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
“Days should be shortened” – some hold that t
The Prophet Daniel Described The New World Order This Way.
Dan 7:7-8, 7:23-25
his statement means that the tribulation will be of such intensity that, if allowed to continue, it would destroy everyone. Other believe that Christ is referring to the cutting short of a previously determined time period (such as the 70th “seven” of Dan 9:27 or the 42 months of Rev 11:2, 13:5).
I believe we are in the tribulation at this time, but not the Great Tribulation. The Bible doesn’t tell us when the tribulation begins. I believe the “shorting of days” is being done now because it seems to me that the days go by quickly, and that is what I believe Jesus was talking.
God is making the time go quicker so we can get out of here and be with Him forever.
“The elect’s sake” – the people God, during the tribulation, including some Jews and Gentiles.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The abomination of desolation is definitely one of the most interesting and misunderstood prophecies found in the Bible. The element that makes this prophecy especially intriguing is that Jesus identifies it as a specific sign that the end is near. A careful study of Matthew 24 reveals that it is one of the many Bible passages that has a dual application. It speaks not only of the abomination of desolation that warns of the imminent destruction of the temple and Jerusalem but it also parallels this with the end of this world as we know it and the second coming of Jesus.
28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
“There will the eagles be gathered together” – the coming of Christ will be as obvious as the gathering of vultures around a carcass.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Jesus’ words are more certain than the existence of the universe, i.e., “verily.”
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the Goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
…the Great Zimbabwe.