The name means ‘son of a star’ (from the prophecy in Num. 24: 17); he was the leader of guerrilla forces who fought the Romans from 132 to 135 CE when the emperor Hadrian prepared to erect a temple to the god Jupiter on the site of the Jerusalem Temple. Bar-Kochba believed himself to be the Messiah, and was hailed as such by Rabbi Akiba. His enthusiastic supporters suffered (and inflicted) heavy losses before their final defeat. Christians in the area refused to join the revolt and were persecuted, according to Justin and Eusebius.