Some have speculated that Jesus might have actually returned in the clouds in the spring of AD 66. Quite possibly many who were present at Jesus' trial would have lived to witness this event. Several reasons support this theory. First, Halley's Comet appeared in AD 66. This is significant because it only appears about once every 70 years. Some might have viewed this comet as a fulfillment of Jesus' prediction about signs appearing in the stars in the Luke passage cited above.
The Jewish historian Josephus described the appearance of angelic figures in the clouds over Jerusalem in AD 66:
Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. (Jewish Wars, VI-V-3).
The Roman historian Tacitus also recorded this event. What is interesting about this passage is the date noted. The reference to the "feast" is the feast of unleavened bread which Josephus previously mentioned. This is a week-long festival that begins either on Nisan 15 or possibly even on the 15th of Iyar, the second month (2 Chron. 30). This festival ends on the 21st day of the month which explains why that date is noted. On that date a solemn convocation to the Lord is observed (Deuteronomy 16:8). Thus, this special feast day happens to be the day angels (and perhaps Christ) appeared in the clouds. Coincidence?
Even more interesting is the fact that this date is in the second month Iyar rather than in Nisan. A possible reason for this timing is that precisely 2,000 lunar years elapsed between the last day of Iyar, AD 66 and Marheshvan 1, 2006. However, if Nisan arrived a month later in AD 66, which is quite possible, then exactly 2,000 lunar years elapsed from Iyar 17, AD 66 to Marheshvan 17, 2006. The key fact is that Iyar 21 is only days after Iyar 17, the 17th day of the second month from Nisan (see part 1 of this article for the relevance of that date as it relates to the Genesis flood). Early Christians might have thought Jesus would come at the end of this particular feast rather than in the middle on the 17th day.
Moreover, in part 1 of this article we noted that Noah's flood began on the 47th day of the year and Jesus linked that passage to his coming. Let's multiply 47 by 1,000 for the same reasons we multiplied 41 by 1,000 in part 1. We now divide 47,000 by 12 because we are dividing the millennium into twelve parts to isolate precise "hours" of the millennium. This will be explained more fully in part 3. The result, 47,000/12 years (3,916.66 years), is the precise time from Rosh Hashanah 3852 BC to Iyar 21, AD 66!
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