The Prophetic Powers of Cassandra and Jesus

Princess Cassandra is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as Trojan King Priam’s most beautiful daughter. She was gifted from Apollo the divine power of foresight after serving as his priestess at the temple. She could see the future and she was afflicted by nightmarish visions of the destruction of Troy by the Achaeans.

The people of Troy did not believe her when she told them her prophetic visions, they thought she was crazy and she was isolated from everyone around her.

She knew that her younger brother Paris would bring about the destruction of the city by bringing home Helen from Sparta. When Helen arrived to Troy Cassandra tried to warn the Trojans that Helen would be the cause of the city’s destruction but the people thought she was jealous of a greater beauty than her own and dismissed it.

The Burning of Troy

From Aeschylus Agamemnon

I do not have the prophet-interpreter’s skills 1130
but from this even I can shape some ill.
What else do we ever hear from prophecies?
From every seer’s words, pure ill englobes
the anxious hearers, fear’s flame blown to full.
Fate—chance—world—what have you done to me?
My own destruction’s mixed into what I lament.
Why then do you bring me here in misery?
To die together with him: is that what’s meant?
A mindless mind, borne off by some divinity; 1140
a museless music, shapeless, strings unbent;
and always tuned, like the mourning-bird’s, to me:
grief unending, gripped like a child life-spent.
The mourning-bird, sweetly singing her own dreadful doom!
And yet the girl changed to bird found a kind of rest.
Her new small brain gave her own sorrows no room;
but I’ll still be awake when the splitting blade shatters my crest.
Goaded by gods, by spirits vainly driven, 1150
frantic and out of tune, resounding fear,
you sing your song, yet still no meaning’s given.
How did ill prophecy’s pathway get you here?
I remember the wedding of Paris,
the doom of his friends.
I remember the banks of Scamander,
my family’s spring.
On those green happy banks
was this prophet’s nurturing;
but the river of hell—on its black and smoking banks— 1160
is where she ends.
Why spell it out so starkly and so plain?
A child could see your meaning. I’m struck down,
lifeblood-bitten by your fate of pain,
by the terror-sorrow melody you sound.
I remember my city’s long struggles,
the offerings made
by my father against disaster,
slain beasts in a ring
outside our walls—than all which, nothing vainer 1170
against destined suffering.
Now into this soil, just like those helpless bulls’,
my warm blood fades.
Still you sing hapless dread with every breath.
Some power on high views you maliciously,
poisons and overwhelms with this sense of death.
Yet where your fates will end you I can’t see.

She saw the people she love be killed or enslaved, the city would be burned, razed, completely destroyed and be left desolate and uninhabited in the future.

Jesus of Nazareth also had apocalyptic visions of Jerusalem and the people did not heed his warnings about losing to their enemies in the next war. Both Jesus and Cassandra foresaw the destruction of their respective societies.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded as foretelling the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. (Mark 13:1-2)

13 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman Empire, under the leadership of Titus, destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem during the First Jewish-Roman War. The event is historically documented, and the temple was indeed razed to the ground, with the stones of the structure toppled.

Siege of Jerusalem by Roman Legions

In the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus was carrying his cross to Golgotha, “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? (Luke 23:27-31).

In this statement, Jesus was expressing his concern for the future and the impending destruction that awaited Jerusalem, urging the women to focus on the greater calamities that were to come. Jesus foresaw the events that would unfold, including the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which resulted in widespread devastation, suffering, and the enslavement of his people. He saw that their children would ignore his warning and fight in a Judean uprising against the Roman Empire. The people wanted to free themselves from Roman oppression in the form of taxes, colonization and religious restrictions. Jesus knew they were expecting a David like military king to deliver them as a messiah would to world dominance. But he rejected Satan’s offer to him in the desert of all the kingdoms of the world.

Jesus was emphasizing the severity of the situation and the need for repentance and spiritual preparation. He was drawing attention to the future tribulations that would affect generations to come, and encouraging them to reflect on their actions and turn to God for spiritual guidance.

Both Cassandra and Jesus would see their beloved temple destroyed and they tried to save the people by warning them about the consequences. They wanted their people to let go of material desires and to right the wrongs they had committed for a spiritual reconciliation towards peace.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44

Looting the Temple Menorah