Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Pompey the Great, a Roman statesman. ( 29 September 106 BC – 29 September 48 BC).
Pompey the Great was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, and his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still very young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office. His success as a military commander in Sulla's Second Civil War resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. He was consul three times and celebrated three triumphs.
In 66 BC, two royal brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, had begun to battle for the office of the king. Aristobulus appealed to the “world” of Rome, and Pompey's multi-national peace keeping military force.
Later in 63 BC, Pompey decided against Aristobulus, but Hyrcanus refused to appeal to Rome for protection in accordance with the Torah. The Pharisees, however, did request this foreign aid, contrary to the law of the Torah which gave Roman occupation an appearance of legitimacy.
Rome was in its own decline. The people were neglecting the responsibilities that had kept them free. Polybius and Plutarch had warned that the welfare systems supported by the power of the state would cause the people to degenerate resulting in a loss of character and moral fortitude required of a free people. Greed and corruption had brought in political and economic subjugation of the people through a dependence on governments created by men like Caesar and Herod.
Judea had followed the political pattern of Rome with their “free bread and circuses”. Some men entice the favor and support of the people gaining power. Herod had offered a new deal. Social welfare was provided through his government. Membership required baptism. The people were given an ID token made from a white stone with a registered Hebrew name carved on it to guarantee their eligibility for benefits and to keep track of their required and compelled contributions.
The social welfare systems, called Corban by the Jews, or Qurban by the Romans, had previously been systems of voluntary freewill offerings of charity, with hope, and by love for neighbor. The Corban of the Pharisees was no longer a “freewill offering”.
Their government no longer depended on faith, hope, and charity and the Perfect law of liberty but more Covetous Practices which made the people merchandise and cursed children. This new socialist system of benefits by membership formed a government which exercised authority one over the other through imposed taxes legislated by the Sanhedrin.
- “Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap.” Psalms 69:22
- “And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” Romans 11:9
John the Baptist offered an alternative to Herod's Kingdom of Heaven. His was a system based on faith, hope, and charity, the law of love and liberty. If you had two coats and your neighbor had none you were to share. Jesus preached that kingdom, and many chose to follow.
There has always been a hope that men could be ruled by virtue as free souls under God and not by other men. Jesus would bring a more complete salvation in spirit and in truth in a kingdom at hand within you.
The Pharisees had made the “word of God to none effect” by their ordinances which forced the contributions of the people and brought them back into the bondage of Egypt. In Matthew 21:43 Jesus said he was going to take the “Kingdom of God”, a present reality, away from them and it would be “given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
The Pharisee's socialist systems of compelled offerings was set up by leaders who called themselves “benefactors”, but exercised authority one over the other,which was forbidden by Jesus in Luke 22:25, 29 :
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