The Last Supper

The Upper Rooms

The Gospels give us a few hints where the last supper was to be held: we should look for a man with a pitcher of water, guest chambers with large “upper rooms” furnished and prepared:

“And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.”

– Mark 14:12-13

The only place where we have a good enough description of Jerusalem before its destruction is The Wars of the Jews by Josephus, and in fact we can find exactly those upper rooms that Jesus mentioned in the towers next to the temple:

“Now the towers that were upon it were twenty cubits in breadth… and the beauty of the stones, were no way inferior to those of the holy house itself. Above this… there were rooms of great magnificence, and over them upper rooms, and cisterns to receive rain-water. They were many in number…with large bedchambers, that would contain beds for a hundred guests a-pieceThe number of the rooms was also very great, and… their furniture was complete… There were, moreover, several groves of trees, and long walks through them, with deep canals, and cisterns, that in several parts were filled with brazen statues, through which the water ran out. There were withal many dove-courts of tame pigeons about the canals…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 5, 4:3-4

This description has all four elements that meet the description of where Jesus said the Last Supper should take place:

  1.  large upper rooms
  2.  furnished and prepared
  3.  guest chambers
  4.  a man with a pitcher of water

That is too much for just a coincidence, how many such “upper rooms” could there have been in ancient Jerusalem?  This must have been the exact location of the Last Supper.

Simon and John Prepare

In the book of Luke, Jesus specifically sends Simon and John to prepare the Last Supper:

“Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter {Simon;} and John {leaders of the rebels;}, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat… when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water… he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.”

– Luke 22:7-13

Ironically, those upper rooms where Jesus held his last supper is the exact location where thousands of Jews starved to death in the famine about 40 years later in Jesus’ second coming:

“AND now did Titus consult with his commanders what was to be done. Those that were of the warmest tempers thought he shouldstorm the wall… others advised to… guard against the coming out of the Jews, and against their carrying provisions into the city, and so to leave the enemy to the famine… Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies… the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead… but the famine confounded all natural passions… A deep silence also, and a kind of deadly night, had seized upon the city; while yet the robbers… brake open those houses which were no other than graves of dead bodies… went out laughing, and… they thrust some of those through that still lay alive upon the ground; but for those that entreated them to lend them their right hand and their sword to despatch them, they were too proud to grant their requests, and left them to be consumed by the famine…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 5, 12:1-3

And even more ironically, it was Simon and John, the leaders of the rebel factions in Jerusalem that prepared the second last supper in the upper rooms, and they did it on purpose to serve the Romans:

“… When, therefore, John was assaulted on both sides, he.. attacked him from the temple by his engines of war. And… he sallied out with a great number upon Simon and his partytill he set on fire those houses that were full of corn, and of all other provisions. The same thing was done by Simon… as if they had, on purpose, done it to serve the Romans, by destroying what the city had laid up against the siege… Accordingly, it so came to pass, that …  almost all that corn was burnt, which would have been sufficient for a siege of many years. So they were taken by the means of the famine… they had thus prepared the way for it by this procedure.”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 5, 1:4

The Master Says Prepare

“Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter {Simon;} and John {John;}, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.”

– Luke 22:7-13

And that was literally the last supper for thousands and thousands of Jews.

“So the Romans being now become masters of the walls, they both placed their ensigns upon the towers, and made joyful acclamations for the victory they had gained, as having found the end of this war much lighter than its beginning; for when they had gotten upon the last wall, without any bloodshed, they could hardly believe what they found to be true; but seeing nobody to oppose them, they stood in doubt what such an unusual solitude could mean. But when they went in numbers into the lanes of the city with their swords drawn, they slew those whom they overtook without and set fire to the houses whither the Jews were fled… and when they were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses, that is, of such as died by the famine; they then stood in a horror at this sight, and went out without touching any thing.”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 6, 8:5

These similarities between the two stories are too much:

Simon and John prepared the way for the last supper for some Jews and they did it to serve their master in Jerusalem at the house next to a man with a pitcher of water in the large upper rooms which were furnished and prepared.

It is impossible to tell whether that is a description of the event in the New Testament or in the Wars of the Jews, because they are the same exact story.  This cannot be a coincidence and proves definitively that Matthew, Mark and Luke were written after the publication of the Wars of the Jews in 75 AD and are based on that document.

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