Jerusalem has hours to live. Already thirty-nine of the forty gates made famous by the scholar-Captain Simon Theophilus have fallen, their ancient arches collapsed into rubble or surmounted by the red-horned banners of the vile Dulcarnenis.
Now the thundering of the Libyan siege machines ceases; the drug-frenzied idolaters charge through the colonnades of the Temple itself. Men, women, and children are indiscriminately slaughtered in the courts where the One True God’s promised Messiah walked. The Captain of Israel withdraws into the shadow of the sanctuary itself. He and the last platoon of his red-cloaked knights are swarmed and hacked to death. The purple banner emblazoned with the sacred name of God in gold thread is trampled into the blood of Israel’s last ruler.
The Holy Place and the Holiest of Holies are irrevocably profaned by lecherous Ethiopian mercenaries who swear oaths on a Baal as they fight over the great Menorah and the Table of Showbread. A torch is tossed against cubit-thick shrouds and God’s Temple begins to burn. The conflagration will still smolder a month from now, when the scorched ruins are knocked down on the orders of Jezebel’s heir; pagan sacrifices will be dedicated to Baal on Zion. Where is the glory now in Israel?
872 years have passed since Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem.