And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Master, but when shall these things be?—See Notes on Matthew 24:3-14; Mark 13:3-13. St. Luke omits the Mount of Olives as being the scene of the question and the prophecy, and the names of the questioners, the latter being given by St. Mark only. The variations in the report throughout imply an independent source—probably oral—of information, as distinct from transcription either from one of the Gospels or from a document common to both of them. On the whole, he agrees much more with St. Mark than St. Matthew.Luke 21:7-10. They asked him, When shall these things be, &c. — All the particulars in these verses are noticed and explained, Matthew 24:3-8, and Mark 13:3-8.Matthew 24. All that will be necessary here will be an explanation of a few words that did not occur in that chapter.
5-7. (See on Mt 24:1-3.)Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately. Matthew brings two things more within the compass of their question, viz. What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Our Saviour answereth this question from Luke 21:8-32. The most of what he saith we have before met with in Matthew and Mark. It is the harder to distinguish between the signs Christ giveth of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the day of judgment, because the signs of both are generally the same, and most divines think that God in the destruction of Jerusalem intended to give a specimen of the general conflagration, and ruin of the world at the last day; so as signs of the same kind with those seen before Jerusalem was destroyed, shall be seen before the great and terrible day of our Lord’s coming to judge the world. Matthew 24:3
saying, master, but when shall these things be? when the temple shall be destroyed; and one stone shall not be left upon another;
and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? which shows that this refers to the destruction of the temple, and so the signs following; See Gill on Matthew 24:3.And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 21:7-10. Ἐπηρώτ.] those τινές.
οὖν] since in consequence of this assurance of thine that destruction shall occur; when, therefore, shall it occur?
τί τὸ σημεῖον κ.τ.λ.] not an incorrect departure from Matthew 24:3 (de Wette), but substantially as Mark 13:4, from whom Matthew differs by a more precise statement of the point of the question.
Luke 21:8. ὁ καιρός] the Messianic point of time—that of the setting up of the kingdom.
Luke 21:9. ἀκαταστ.] tumults; see on 2 Corinthians 6:5.
Luke 21:10. τότε ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς] then, after these preliminary warnings, entering upon the further description of the impending judgment. Casaubon, following Beza, connects τότε with ἐγερθ. In that case the insertion of ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς would be absolutely without motive. The motive is found precisely in τότε, which, however, notifies simply only a resting-point of the discourse, not “a much later point of time,” to which what follows would belong (Holtzmann, following Köstlin), which variation as to time Luke might have put into the mouth of Jesus as easily as at Luke 21:12.Luke 21:7. διδάσκαλε, Master, suggesting its correlate, disciples, but not necessarily implying that the question proceeded from the Twelve; rather the contrary, for they would not be so formal in their manner of speaking to Jesus (cf. Mt. and Mk.).—πότε οὖν ταῦτα, etc.: the question refers exclusively to the predicted destruction of the temple = when, and what the sign? So in Mk. Cf. Mt.7. they asked him] The questioners were Peter and James and John and Andrew, Mark 13:3.
when...and what sign] Our Lord leaves the former question unanswered (see on Luke 17:20) and only deals with the latter. This was His gentle method of discouraging irrelevant or inadmissible questions (comp. Luke 13:23-24).Luke 21:7. Οὖν, therefore) A particle expressing astonishment, combined with assent.—σημεῖον, sign) Both parts of the answer meet the question concerning the sign; Luke 21:11; Luke 21:25.Verse 7. - And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? St. Mark (Mark 13:3) tells us that these questioners were Peter and James, John and Andrew. They said to their Master, "When shall these things be, and what sign shall precede them?" They asked their question with mingled feelings of awe and gladness: of awe, for the ruin of their loved temple, and all that would probably accompany the catastrophe, was a dread thought; of gladness, for they associated the fall of city and temple with the manifestation of their Lord in glory. In this glory they would assuredly share. But they wished to know more respecting the times and seasons of the dread event. Of late the disciples had begun dimly to see that no Messianic restoration such as they had been taught to expect was contemplated by their Master. They were recasting their hopes, and this solemn prediction they read in the light of the late sad and gloomy words which he had spoken of himself and his fortunes. Perhaps he would leave them for a season and then return, and, amid the crash of the ruined city and temple, set up his glorious kingdom. But they longed to know when this would be; hence the question of the four. The Lord's answer treated, in its first and longer portion, exclusively of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple - the fair city and the glorious house on which they were then gazing, glorified in the light of the sunset splendor; then, as he spoke, gradually the horizon widened, and the Master touched upon the fortunes of the great world lying beyond the narrow pale of the doomed, chosen people. He closes his grand summary of the world's fortunes By a sketch of his own return in glory. The disciples' hearts must have sunk as they listened; for how many ages lay Between now and then! Yet was the great prophecy full of comfort, and in later days was of inestimable practical value to the Jerusalem Christians. The discourse, which extends from ver. 8 to ver. 36, has been well divided by Godet into four divisions.
(1) The apparent signs of the great catastrophe, which must not Be mistaken for true signs (vers. 8b-19).
(2) The true sign, and the destruction of Jerusalem, which will immediately follow it, with the time of the Gentiles, which will be connected with it (vers. 20-24).
(3) The coming of the Lord, which will bring this period to an end (vers. 25-27).
(4) The practical application (vers. 28-36).
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