Luke 21:12
But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
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(12) Before all these.—The special indication that the sufferings from persecution should precede those from wars, famines, and the like, is peculiar to St. Luke, and was, it need hardly be said, abundantly fulfilled.

Luke 21:12. But before all these — Before the appearing of the false Christs — before the rumours of wars — the earthquakes, famines, and pestilences that were to be in divers places; they shall lay their hands on you, &c. — “How fully the particulars foretold in this verse were accomplished, we learn from the Roman historians, Tacitus and Suetonius, who have given an account of the persecution raised against the Christians by Nero. But the history of the Acts will throw the greatest light on this passage. For there we are told, that immediately after our Lord’s ascension, Peter and John were called before the Jewish senate, and beaten; (Acts 4:6-7; Acts 5:40;) that Stephen was brought before the same court; (Acts 6:12;) and put to death; (Acts 7:58;) that Saul made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women, committed them to prison; (Acts 8:3;) and punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, persecuted them unto strange cities; (Acts 26:11;) that James was brought before Herod, and by him put to death; who also laid Peter in prison, intending to kill him likewise; (Acts 12:2; Acts 12:4;) that Paul, formerly himself a persecutor, but now converted, was, in his turn, frequently persecuted; that he and Silas were imprisoned and beaten in the synagogue at Philippi; (Acts 16:23;) that he was brought before the great synagogue of the Jews in Jerusalem; (Acts 22:30;) before King Agrippa and his wife, before the Roman governors, Gallio, Felix, and Festus; and last of all, before the Emperor Nero, in Rome, and his prefect, Helius Cæsariensis.” — Macknight.

21:5-28 With much curiosity those about Christ ask as to the time when the great desolation should be. He answers with clearness and fulness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty; for all knowledge is desirable as far as it is in order to practice. Though spiritual judgements are the most common in gospel times, yet God makes use of temporal judgments also. Christ tells them what hard things they should suffer for his name's sake, and encourages them to bear up under their trials, and to go on in their work, notwithstanding the opposition they would meet with. God will stand by you, and own you, and assist you. This was remarkably fulfilled after the pouring out of the Spirit, by whom Christ gave his disciples wisdom and utterance. Though we may be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot be losers by him, in the end. It is our duty and interest at all times, especially in perilous, trying times, to secure the safety of our own souls. It is by Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions which would put us out of temper. We may view the prophecy before us much as those Old Testament prophecies, which, together with their great object, embrace, or glance at some nearer object of importance to the church. Having given an idea of the times for about thirty-eight years next to come, Christ shows what all those things would end in, namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter dispersion of the Jewish nation; which would be a type and figure of Christ's second coming. The scattered Jews around us preach the truth of Christianity; and prove, that though heaven and earth shall pass away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. They also remind us to pray for those times when neither the real, nor the spiritual Jerusalem, shall any longer be trodden down by the Gentiles, and when both Jews and Gentiles shall be turned to the Lord. When Christ came to destroy the Jews, he came to redeem the Christians that were persecuted and oppressed by them; and then had the churches rest. When he comes to judge the world, he will redeem all that are his from their troubles. So fully did the Divine judgements come upon the Jews, that their city is set as an example before us, to show that sins will not pass unpunished; and that the terrors of the Lord, and his threatenings against impenitent sinners, will all come to pass, even as his word was true, and his wrath great upon Jerusalem.Synagogues, and into prisons - See the notes at Mark 13:9-10.12. brought before, &c.—The book of Acts verifies all this. We have all this justified from holy writ, Acts 4:3 Acts 5:18 Acts 7:4 16:24. What of this shall be seen before the end of the world, time must show; though the prophecies of holy writ speak enough of that also.

But before all these,.... Before all these things come to pass:

they shall lay their hands on you; as the high priest, the priests, and the captain of the temple did upon the apostles, Acts 4:1

and persecute you; as upon the death of Stephen, Acts 8:1

delivering you up to the synagogues; to be scourged there; or to the courts of judicature, the consistories of the Jews, their great sanhedrim; before these the apostles were brought, Acts 4:6

and into prisons; as were all the apostles together, and Peter at another time separately, Acts 4:3

being brought before kings and rulers, for my name's sake; for being called by his name, and calling upon it; for professing, and preaching his Gospel; See Gill on Matthew 10:18.

But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
Luke 21:12-13. Πρὸ δὲ τούτων π.] otherwise in Matthew and Mark. But Luke follows a later modification of the tradition moulded after the result.[241] In opposition to the words of the passage (for πρό means nothing else than before, previously), but with a harmonistic end in view, Ebrard, Diss. adv. erron. nonnullor. opinion. etc. p. 34, says: “persecutiones non post ceteras demum calamitates sed inter primas esse perferendas.”

Luke 21:13. εἰς μαρτύριου] but it shall turn (comp. Php 1:19) to you for a witness, i.e. not: εἰς ἔλεγχου τῶν μὴ πιστευσάντων (Euthymius Zigabenus), but it will have for you the result that ye bear witness for me. The context requires this by means of ἔνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόν. μου, Luke 21:12, and see Luke 21:14 f. The matter itself is regarded as something great and honourable (εἰς μαρτυρίου δόξαν, Theophylact). Comp. Acts 5:41. For the testimony itself, see for example Acts 4:11 f. The reference to martyrdom (Baur, Hilgenfeld, Holtzmann) is opposed to the context and brings in a later usus loquendi.

[241] In respect of this Baur, Evang. p. 477 (comp. his Markusevang. p. 99 f.), thinks that Luke desires to claim what has been previously said by Jesus “altogether specially for His Apostle Paul.” Comp. also Köstlin, p. 158, and Holtzmann. But then it would have been an easy thing for him to name more specially Pauline sufferings. Compare rather Matthew 10:17 f.

Luke 21:12-19. Signs earlier still (Matthew 24:9-14, Mark 13:9-13).

12. they shall lay their hands on you, &c.] The best comment on the whole verse is found in Acts 4:3; Acts 5:17-41; Acts 6:11-13, Luke 12:2, Luke 16:19-31, 2 Timothy 4:16-17. Comp. John 15:20; John 16:2-3.

Luke 21:12. Πρὸ, before) Πρὸ does not here so much denote time (comp. Matthew 24:9, “Then [τότε] shall they deliver you up to be afflicted,” etc.; following after the “pestilences, earthquakes,” etc., in Luke 21:7), as the chief weight of events [what is to be weighed in the mind above all else], as in 1 Peter 4:8.[223]

[223] Πρὸ πάντων, “Above all things have fervent charity;” after having said, “The end of all things is at hand.” The πρὸ πάντων, “before all things,” does not mean time in reference to the previous ‘end.’—E. and T.

Verse 12. - But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you. The Master continues his prophetic picture. From speaking generally of wars, and disasters, and tumults, and awful natural phenomena, which would mark the sad age in which his hearers were living, he proceeded to tell them of things which would surely befall them. But even then, though terrible trials would be their lot, they were not to be dismayed, nor to dream that the great catastrophe he had been predicting was yet at hand. Some doubt exists as to the meaning of "before" (πρό) in this twelfth verse usually has been understood in a temporal sense, i.e. "Before all the wars, etc., I have been telling you of, you will be persecuted." A more definite sense is, however, produced by giving the word πρό (before) the signification of "before," equivalent to "more important" - "more important for you as signs will be the grave trials you will have to endure: even these signs must not dismay you, or cause you to give up your posts as teachers, for the end will not be heralded even by these personal signs." Delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my Name's sake. What may be termed instances of many of these special persecutions are detailed in the Acts (see, for instance, Acts 5:40; and portions of 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16, 21, and following). Luke 21:12
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