Luke 21:5
And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
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(5, 6) And as some spake of the temple.—See Notes on Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2, where the “some” are identified with the disciples.

Goodly stones.—These were probably so called, either as being sculptured, or as being of marble, or porphyry, or other of the more precious materials used in building.

Gifts.—St. Luke uses the more strictly classical word for “offerings,” according to some of the best MSS., in the self-same form as the Anathĕma (1Corinthians 12:3; 1Corinthians 16:12), which elsewhere in the New Testament is confined to the idea of that which is set apart, not for a blessing, but a curse. The fact that he is the only writer to use it in its good sense is characteristic of his Gentile and classical training. Other MSS., however, give the more usual term, Anathēma, as if it had been found necessary to distinguish the form of the word according to its uses.

Luke 21:5-6. And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones — Such as no engine now in use could have brought, or even set upon each other. Some of them (as an eye-witness who lately measured them writes) were forty-five cubits long, five high, and six broad, yet brought thither from another country. See this more fully elucidated Matthew 24:1, and Mark 13:2. And gifts — Which persons delivered from imminent dangers, had, in accomplishment of their vows, hung on the walls and pillars. The hanging up such αναθηματα, or consecrated gifts, was common in most of the ancient temples. Tacitus speaks of the immense opulence of the temple at Jerusalem. (Hist. Luke 5:8.) Among others of its treasures, there was a golden table, given by Pompey; and several golden vines, of exquisite workmanship, as well as immense size; which some have thought referred to God’s representing the Jewish nation under the emblem of a vine, Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:8; Ezekiel 15:2; Ezekiel 15:6. He said, The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another — The accomplishment of this prediction is proved and illustrated, Matthew 24:2, and Mark 13:2.

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.Goodly stones - Beautiful stones. Either referring to the large, square, and well-finished stones of which the eastern wall was built, or to the precious stones which might have been used in decorating the temple itself. See the notes at Mark 13:1.

Gifts - This word properly denotes anything devoted or dedicated to God. Anciently warriors dedicated to their gods the spoils of war - the shields, and helmets, and armor, and garments of those slain in battle. These were suspended in the temples. It would seem that something of this kind had occurred in the temple of Jerusalem, and that the people, to express their gratitude to God, had suspended on the pillars and perches of the temple gifts and offerings. Josephus mentions particularly a golden "vine" with which Herod the Great had adorned the columns of the temple ("Antiq." xiii. 8). See also 2 Macc. 5:16; 9:16.

Lu 21:5-38. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem and Warnings to Prepare for His Second Coming, Suggested by It—His Days and Nights during His Last Week.

5-7. (See on [1713]Mt 24:1-3.)

Ver. 5,6. Matthew and Mark say, that some of his disciples spake these words to him, and received this answer, as he was going out of the temple. For the

goodly stones which the disciples admired, we are told that there were some of them forty-five cubits long, five in depth, and six in breadth. The gifts here mentioned are called in the Greek, anayhmata, not anayemata, nor dwra. The latter word, dwra, signified any gifts, money or plate, &c., which men voluntarily offered. Anayemata signified things accursed, or devoted to God, as all the goods of Ai were, Joshua 7:1-26. But this word signified such gifts or presents made to God, as might be hung up and exposed to open view. Our Lord, to take off his disciples eyes from those gay and stately things, prophesieth the utter ruin of the temple, to that degree that one stone should not be left upon another; which how it was afterwards fulfilled within less than forty years, See Poole on "Matthew 24:1", See Poole on "Matthew 24:2", and See Poole on "Mark 13:1", See Poole on "Mark 13:2". God by that providence not only destroying the vain confidence of the Jews, who took their temple to be an asylum, or sanctuary, for them from the providence of God, or his justice rather; but also severely punishing them for their profanation of his holy place; and also lets them know that the time was come, when God would put an end to all types of the Messiah, and also to all that worship, which could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; but stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation, Hebrews 9:9,10.

See Poole on "Matthew 24:1", See Poole on "Matthew 24:2", and See Poole on "Mark 13:1", See Poole on "Mark 13:2".

And as some spake of the temple,.... These were the disciples; Mark says, one of them; but it seems there were more than one; one might begin the discourse, and others join him:

how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts; See Gill on Matthew 24:1.

he said; what follows. This was as he went out of the temple.

{2} And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and {a} gifts, he said,

(2) The destruction of the temple is foretold so that the true spiritual building may be built, whose chief builders must and ought to be cautious.

(a) These were things that were hung up on walls and pillars.

Luke 21:5-6. Καί τινων λεγ. κ.τ.λ.] These expressions gave the occasion for Jesus to utter the following discourse, and that, as is plain from the discourse itself, to His disciples (the apostles also included), to whom, moreover, the τινές belonged.

ἀναθήμασι] Lachmann and Tischendorf, following A D X א, have the Hellenistic form ἀναθέμασι (see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 249, 445; Paralip. p. 391 ff., 417, 424). On the many votive offerings of the temple, partly also such as the two Herods had given, and even Ptolemy Euergetes, see Joseph. Bell. vi. 5. 2; Antt. xv. 11. 3, xvii. 6. 3; c. Apion. I. 164; Ottii Spicileg. p. 176 f., and generally, Ewald, Alterth. p. 81 ff. The most splendid was the golden vine, presented by Herod the Great. See Grotius. For the votive gifts of Julia, see in Philo, p. 1036 D.

ταῦτα ἃ θεωρ.] Nominative absolute. See on Matthew 7:24; Bernhardy, p. 69; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 325 f. [E. T. 379 f.].

Luke 21:5-38. See on Matthew 24:25; Mark 13. In Luke a very free reproduction from the Logia and Mark. That this discourse was spoken on the Mount of Olives (Matt. Mark), there is in him no trace. Rather, according to him, it still belongs to the transactions in the temple, which began Luke 20:1 (comp. Luke 21:37); hence, moreover, the ἀναθήματα are found only in Luke.


Luke 21:5-7. Introduction to the discourse (Matthew 24:1-3, Mark 13:1-4).—καί τινων λεγόντων, and some remarking. A most unemphatic transition, as if what follows were simply a continuation of discourse in the temple on one of many topics on which Jesus spoke. No indication that it was disciples (any of the Twelve) who asked the question, or that the conversation took place outside. Cf. the narrative in Mk. The inference that Lk. cannot have known Mk.’s narrative (Godet) is inadmissible. Lk. omits many things he knew. His interest is obviously in the didactic matter only, and perhaps we have here another instance of his “sparing the Twelve”. He may not have cared to show them filled with thoughtless admiration for a building (and a system) which was doomed to judicial destruction.—λίθοις καλοῖς, beautiful stones: marble, huge; vide Joseph., B. J., Luke 21:5; Luke 21:2.—καὶ ἀναθήμασι, and votive or sacred gifts, in Lk. only; the reference implies that the spectators are within the building. These gifts were many and costly, from the great ones of the earth: a table from Ptolemy, a chain from Agrippa, a golden vine from Herod the Great. The temple was famous for its wealth. Tacitus writes: “illic immensae opulentiae templum,” Hist., vi. 8.—κεκόσμηται: perfect, expressing the permanent result of past acts of skilful men and beneficent patrons—a highly ornamented edifice, the admiration of the world, but marked for destruction by the moral order of the universe.

5-7. The Doom of the Temple, and the Question about the End.

. as some spake] We learn from the other Evangelists that those who spoke were the Apostles, and that the question was asked as Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives opposite to the Temple, perhaps gazing on it as it shone in the last rays of sunset.

with goodly stones] bevelled blocks of stone, of which some are described as having been forty cubits long and ten high; double cloisters; monolithic columns; alternate slabs of red and white marble, &c. See Jos. B. J. v. 5 and Bab. Succa, f. 51, 1.

and gifts] Rather, sacred offerings (Psalms 62), such as the golden chain of Agrippa; gifts of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Augustus, Helen of Adiabene, and crowns, shields, goblets, &c.; the golden vine with its vast clusters given by Herod. (Jos. B. j. v. 5, § 4. See 2Ma 5:16; and Jos. Antt. xiii. 3, xv. 11, § 3.) Hence Tacitus calls it “a temple of immense opulence,” Hist. Luke 5:8.

Luke 21:5. Ἀναθήμασι, dedicatory offerings) There were various precious memorials dedicated to it for ever. See Josephus. [Such are in our day, for instance, banners, monumental slabs, and other things of the kind, which are wont to be hung up and erected in temples (churches).—V. g.]

Verses 5-7. - The temple - its impending ruin. The disciples questions. Verse 5. - And as some spake of the temple. After the Lord's remark upon the alms-giving of the rich men and the poor widow to the treasury of the temple, the Master left the sacred building for his lodging outside the city walls. As far as we know, his comment upon the widow's alms was his last word of public teaching. On their way home, while crossing the Mount of Olives, they apparently halted for a brief rest. It was then that some of his friends called attention to the glorious prospect of the temple, then lit up by the setting sun. It was, no doubt, then in all its perfect beauty, a vast glittering mass of white marble, touched here and there with gold and color. Whosoever had not gazed on it, said the old rabbis, had not seen the perfection of beauty. It is possible that the bystander's remark was suggested by the memory of the last bit of Divine teaching they had listened to. "Lord, is not the house on Zion lovely? But if only such gifts as those you have just praised with such unstinting praise had been made, never had that glorious pile been raised in honor of the Eternal King." More probable, however, the sight of the great temple, then bathed in the golden glory of the fast-setting sun, recalled some of the Master's sayings of that eventful day, notably such as, "Your house is left unto you desolate," which occurred in the famous twice-spoken apostrophe, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets!" (Matthew 23:38; Luke 13:35). "What, Lord I will that house, so great, so perfect in its beauty, so loved, the joy of the whole earth, - will that house be left desolate and in shapeless ruins?" With goodly stones. The enormous size of the stones and blocks of marble with which the temple of Jerusalem was built excited the surprise of Titus when the city fell. Josephus mentions ('Bell. Jud.,' v. 5) that some of the levelled blocks of marble or stone were forty cubits long and ten high. And gifts; better rendered, sacred offerings, such as the "golden vine," with its vast clusters, the gift of Herod - which probably suggested the discourse, "I am the true Vine" (reported in John 15.) - such as crowns, shields, vessels of gold and silver, presented by princes and others who visited the holy house on Zion. The temple was rich in these votive offerings. The historian Tacitus, for instance, calls it "a temple of vast wealth" ('Hist.,' 5. 8). Luke 21:5Stones

See on Mark 13:1.

Offerings (ἀναθήμασιν)

Only here in New Testament. From ἀνατίθημι, to set up. Hence of something set up in the temple as a votive offering. Such were the golden vines presented by Herod the Great, with bunches of grapes as large as a man, and mounted above the entrance to the holy place. The magnificent porch of the temple was adorned with many such dedicated gifts, such as a golden wreath which Sosius offered after he had taken Jerusalem in conjunction with Herod; and rich flagons which Augustus and his wife had given to the sanctuary. Gifts were bestowed by princes friendly to Israel, both on the temple and on provincial synagogues. The word ἀνάθεμθ (Galatians 1:8, Rev.), is the same word, something devoted, and so devoted to evil and accursed. Luke uses the classical form. The other is the common or Hellenistic form. The two forms develop gradually a divergence in meaning; the one signifying devoted in a good, the other in a bad sense. The same process may be observed in other languages. Thus knave, lad, becomes a rascal: villain, a farmer, becomes a scoundrel: cunning, skilful, becomes crafty.

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