Siege of Jerusalem
The day before the Siege of Jerusalem is often cited as a Pinpointed Lunar Sabbath. The city was overthrown on Sivan 23 after a siege by Pompey the Great.
This page presents the rationale for considering it as a Pinpointed Lunar Sabbath, and discusses several objections.
Josephus recordsthat when the city was under siege by Pompey, they were able to construct siege works on the Sabbath while the Jews were not allowed to fight offensively against them:
"Pompey pitched his camp within [the wall], on the north part of the temple, where it was most practicable; but even on that side there were great towers, and a ditch had been dug, and a deep valley begirt it round about, for on the parts towards the city were precipices, and the bridge on which Pompey had gotten in was broken down. However, a bank was raised, day by day, with a great deal of labor, while the Romans cut down materials for it from the places round about. And when this bank was sufficiently raised, and the ditch filled up, though but poorly, by reason of its immense depth, he brought his mechanical engines and battering-rams from Tyre, and placing them on the bank, he battered the temple with the stones that were thrown against it. And had it not been our practice, from the days of our forefathers, to rest on the seventh day, this bank could never have been perfected, by reason of the opposition the Jews would have made; for though our law gives us leave then to defend ourselves against those that begin to fight with us and assault us, yet does it not permit us to meddle with our enemies while they do any thing else.
"Which thing when the Romans understood, on those days which we call Sabbaths they threw nothing at the Jews, nor came to any pitched battle with them; but raised up their earthen banks, and brought their engines into such forwardness, that they might do execution the next day. And any one may hence learn how very great piety we exercise towards God, and the observance of his laws, since the priests were not at all hindered from their sacred ministrations by their fear during this siege, but did still twice a-day, in the morning and about the ninth hour, offer their sacrifices on the altar; nor did they omit those sacrifices, if any melancholy accident happened by the stones that were thrown among them; for although the city was taken on the third month, on the day of the fast, (6) upon the hundred and seventy-ninth olympiad, when Caius Antonius and Marcus Tullius Cicero were consuls, and the enemy then fell upon them, and cut the throats of those that were in the temple; yet could not those that offered the sacrifices be compelled to run away, neither by the fear they were in of their own lives, nor by the number that were already slain, as thinking it better to suffer whatever came upon them, at their very altars, than to omit any thing that their laws required of them."
A footnote clarifies that the overthrow of Jerusalem occurred on the 23rd of Sivan:
"(6) That is, on the 23rd of Sivan, the annual fast for the defection and idolatry of Jeroboam, "who made Israel to sin;" or possibly some other fast might fall into that month, before and in the days of Josephus."
This shows that the mechanical engines and battering-rams were positioned on the day of the Sabbath (the 22nd), and that the city was then overthrown on the 23rd. This pinpoints the Sabbath as being on the 22nd of the month.
While it is true that the city fell on the 23rd of Sivan, it did not fall in one day but three months after the seige engines and battering-rams were moved up to the walls. This means that it was not the previous day (the 22nd) that the siege works were installed, but at some uncertain day three months prior.
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book 14, Chapter 4
- Wikipedia: The Siege of Jerusalem