3. The four angels
- Positioned at the four corners of the land (of Judah, I believe, because God’s judgment of Judah was imminent and occurred shortly thereafter) The Greek word here translated earth is based on the root word for soil. “By extension a region or the solid part or the whole of the terrene (including the occupants in each application) country, earth, ground, land, world.” (Strongs)
- Holding back the four winds to prevent them from blowing against anything
4. a. The winds in this passage might represent–
- In Jeremiah 49:36-37, they may represent enemies coming from all directions bringing destruction to Judah.
- In Daniel 7:2, they may represent a huge storm in the sea.
- In Acts 2:2, the sound of a mighty rushing wind announced and accompanied the Holy Spirit’s arrival.
b. God’s purpose for the four angels holding back the four winds
- In Matthew 8:26, Jesus rebuked the waves and the sea, and there was a great calm.
- In Matthew 14:31-32, the violent wind and waves ceased when Jesus and Peter got into the boat after walking on the water.
A short suspension in the Romans’ attack on Jerusalem allowed Christians the opportunity to escape as Jesus encouraged them to do in Matthew 24. Historians believe no Christians died in the famine and destruction of Jerusalem that resulted from the Romans’ siege. (because they heeded Jesus’ warning to flee when they saw the signs–see Lesson 12 Day 5)
…the city (Jerusalem) was at this time crowded with Jewish strangers and foreigners from all parts so that the whole nation may be considered as having been shut up in one prison prior to the execution of the Diving vengeance. According to Josephus, this event took place suddenly, thus, not only fulfilling the prediction of our Lord that these calamities should come like the swift-darting lightning “that cometh out of the east and shines even unto the West.” and “as a snare on all of them (the Jews) who dwelt upon the face of the whole earth” Matt. 24:27; Luke 21:35), but justifying, also, his friendly direction that those who fled from the place should use the utmost possible expedition. Destruction of Jerusalem by George Peter Holford (a free online version)
In 2 Peter 3, Peter encourages the saints not to give up hope. Jesus’ promise to return in judgment on Jerusalem within that generation would come to pass just as He said. He reminds them that God delays because He is merciful. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone. He earnestly desires everyone will repent before it’s too late.
Examples of the warning signs a loving, merciful God sent while holding back the day of His judgment:
Our Lord proceeded, “And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) – Josephus has collected the chief of these portents together, and introduces his account by a reflection on the strangeness of that infatuation, which could induce his countrymen to give credit to impostors, and unfounded reports, whilst they disregarded the divine admonitions, confirmed, as he asserts they Were, by the following extraordinary signs :
1. “A meteor, resembling a sword, 1 Chron 21:16 hung over Jerusalem during one whole year.” This could not be a comet, for it was stationary, and was visible for twelve successive months. A sword too, though a fit emblem for destruction, but ill represents a comet.
2. “On the eighth of the month Zanthicus, (before the feast of unleavened bread) at the ninth hour of the night, there shone round about the altar, and the circumjacent buildings of the temple, a light equal to the brightness of the day, which continued for the space of half an hour.” This could not be the effect of lightning, nor of a vivid aurora borealis, for it was confined to a particular spoil and the light shone uninterruptedly thirty minutes.
3. “As the High Priest were leading a heifer to the altar to be sacrificed, she brought forth a lamb, in the midst of the temple.” Such is the strange account given by the historian. Some may regard it as a “Grecian fable,” while others may think that they discern in this prodigy a miraculous rebuke of Jewish infidelity and impiety, for rejecting the ANTITYPICAL Lamb, who had offered Up Himself as an atonement, “once for all,” and who, by thus completely fulfilling their design, had virtually abrogated the Levitical sacrifices. However this may be, the circumstances of the prodigy are remarkable. It did not occur in an obscure part of the city, but in the temple ; not at an ordinary time, but at the passover, the season of our LORD’S crucifixion in the presence, not of the vulgar merely, but of the High Priests and their attendants, and when they were leading the sacrifice to the altar.
4. “‘ About the sixth hour of the night, the eastern gate of the temple was seen to open without human assistance.” When the guards informed the Curator of this event, he sent men to assist them in shutting it, who with great difficulty succeeded. — This gate, as hath been observed already, ‘Was of solid brass, and required twenty men to close it every evening. It could not have been opened by a “strong gust of wind,” or a slight earthquake;” for Josephus says, it was secured by iron bolts And bars, which were let down into a large threshold; consisting of one entire stone.” 
5. “Soon after the feast of the Passover, in various parts of the country, before the Setting of the sun, chariots and armed men were seen in the air, passing round about Jerusalem. ” Neither could this portentous spectacle be occasioned by the aurora borealis, for it occurred before the setting of the sun ; or merely the fancy of a few villagers, gazing at the heavens, for it was seen in various parts of the country.
6. “At the subsequent feast of Pentecost, while the priests were going, by night, into the inner, temple to perform their customary ministrations, they first felt, as they said, a shaking, accompanied by an indistinct murmuring, and afterwards voices as of a multitude, saying, in a distinct and earnest manner, “LET US DEPART HENCE.” This gradation will remind the reader of that awful transaction, which the feast of Pentecost *as principally instituted to commemorate. First, a shaking was heard ; this would naturally induce the priests to listen : an unintelligible murmur succeeds; this would more powerfully arrest their attention, and while it was thus awakened arid fixed, they heard, says Josephus, the voices as of a multitude, distinctly pronouncing the words “LET US DEPART HENCE.” — And accordingly, before the period for celebrating this feast returned, the Jewish war had commenced, and in the space of three years afterwards, Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman army, the temple converted into a citadel, and its sacred courts streaming with the blood of human victims.
7. As the last and most fearful omen, Josephus relates that one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a rustic of the lower class, during the Feast of Tabernacles, suddenly exclaimed in the temple, “A voice from the east a voice from the west — a voice from the four winds– a voice against Jerusalem and the temple — a voice against bridegrooms and brides — a voice against the whole people !” These words he incessantly proclaimed aloud both day and night, through all the streets of Jerusalem, for seven years and five months together, commencing at a time (A. D. 62) when the city was in a state of peace, and overflowing with prosperity, and terminating amidst the horrors of the siege.
This disturber, having excited the attention of the magistracy, was brought before Albinus the Roman governor, who commanded that he should be scourged. But the severest stripes drew from him neither tears nor supplications. As he never thanked those who relieved, so neither did he complain of the injustice of those who struck him. And no other answer could the governor attain to his interrogatories, but his usual denunciation of “Woe, woe to Jerusalem !” which he still continued to proclaim through the city, but especially during the festivals, when his manner became more earnest, and the tone of his voice louder. At length, on the commencement of the siege, he ascended the walls, and, in a more powerful voice than ever, exclaimed, “Woe, woe to this city, this temple, and this people !” And then, with a presentment of his own death, added,” Woe, woe to myself “‘ he had scarcely uttered these words when a stone from one of the Roman engines killed him on the spot.
Such are the prodigies related by Josephus, and which, excepting the first, he places in the Year immediately preceding the Jewish war. Several of them are recorded also by Tacitus. Nevertheless, it ought to be observed that they are received by Christian writers cautiously, and with various degrees of credit. Those, however, who are most skeptical, and who resolve them into natural causes, allow the “superintendence of GOD to awaken his people by some of these means.” Whatever the fact, in this respect, may be, it is clear that they correspond to our LORD’S prediction of “fearful sights, and great signs from heaven;” and ought to be deemed a sufficient answer to the objector, who demands whether any such appearances are respectably recorded. (Excerpted from Destruction of Jerusalem emphasis added)
c. God showed His mercy to us by sacrificing His only Son.
Jesus took ALL the punishment I deserved. God placed ALL the sin of the entire world–past present and future on Him. It pleased God to crush Him.
I believe, accept, and receive His gift of redemption for my body, mind and spirit. The blood He shed has redeemed me from the curse of the law.
I am no longer condemned. I am sózóed!
sózó definition — save, heal, preserve, rescue ~ (Strongs)
8. The conclusion which the Jews drew from this event was that the security of the temple was gone.