Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
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(32-37) But of that day and that hour.—See Notes on Matthew 24:36-41.

Neither the Son.—The addition to St. Matthew’s report is every way remarkable. It indicates the self-imposed limitation of the divine attributes which had belonged to our Lord as the eternal Son, and the acquiescence in a power and knowledge which, like that of the human nature which He assumed, were derived and therefore finite. Such a limitation is implied by St. Paul, when he says that our Lord “being in the form of God . . . made Himself of no reputation” (or better, emptied Himself), “and took upon Him the form of a servant.” (See Note on Philippians 2:6-7.) It is clear that we cannot consistently take the word “knoweth” as having a different meaning in this clause from that which it bears in the others; and we must therefore reject all interpretations which explain away the force of the words as meaning only that the Son did not declare His knowledge of the time of the far-off event.

Mark 13:32. But of that day and hour knoweth no man — See note on Matthew 24:36. Neither the Son, but the Father — It must be observed here, that “the words ουδε ο υιος, neither the Son, have been omitted in some copies of Mark, as they are inserted in some copies of Matthew: but there is no sufficient authority for the omission in Mark, any more than for the insertion in Matthew. Erasmus, and some of the moderns, are of opinion, that the words were omitted in the text of Matthew, lest they should afford a handle to the Arians, for proving the Son to be inferior to the Father: but it was to little purpose to erase them out of Matthew, and to leave them standing in Mark. On the contrary, St. Ambrose, and some of the ancients, assert that they were inserted in the text of Mark by the Arians: but there is as little foundation or pretence for this assertion, as there is for the other. It is much more probable that they were omitted in some copies of Mark by some indiscreet orthodox, who thought them to bear too hard upon our Saviour’s dignity: for all the most ancient copies and translations extant retain them: the most ancient fathers quote them, and comment upon them. Admit the words, therefore, as the genuine words of Mark, we must, and we may, without any prejudice to our Saviour’s divinity. For Christ may be considered in two respects, in his human and divine nature; and what is said with regard only to the former, doth not at all affect the latter. As he was the great teacher and revealer of his Father’s will, he might know more than the angels, and yet he might not know all things. It is said in Luke 2:52, that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. He increased in wisdom, and consequently in his human nature he was not omniscient. In his human nature, he was the Song of Solomon of David; in his divine nature, he was the Lord of David. In his human nature, he was upon earth; in his divine nature, he was in heaven, John 3:13, even while upon earth. In like manner it may be said, that though as God he might know all things, yet he might be ignorant of some things as man. And of this particular the Messiah might be ignorant, because it was no part of his office or commission to reveal it. It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power, as our Saviour said, Acts 1:7, when a like question was proposed to him. It might be proper for the disciples, and for the Jews too, by their means, to know the signs and circumstances of our Saviour’s coming, and the destruction of Jerusalem; but upon many accounts it might be unfit for them both to know the precise time.” — Bishop Newton. But Dr. Macknight thinks the proper translation of the passage affords a better solution of the difficulty. “The word οιδεν here,” says he, “seems to have the force of the Hebrew conjugation hiphil, which, in verbs denoting action, makes that action, whatever it is, pass to another. Wherefore, ειδεω, which properly signifies, I know, used in the sense of the conjugation hiphil, signifies, I make another to know, I declare. The word has this meaning without dispute, 1 Corinthians 2:2, I determined (ειδεναι) to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified; that is, I determined to make known, to preach nothing among you, but Jesus Christ. So likewise in the text, But of that day and that hour none maketh you to know, none hath power to make you know it; (just as the phrase, Matthew 20:23, is not mine to give, signifies, is not in my power to give;) — no, not the angels, neither the Son, but the Father. — Neither man nor angel, nor even the Son himself, can reveal the day and hour of the destruction of Jerusalem to you; because the Father hath determined that it should not be revealed. The divine wisdom saw fit to conceal from the apostles, and the other disciples of Jesus, the precise period of the destruction of Jerusalem, in order that they might be laid under a necessity of watching continually. And this vigilance was especially proper at that time, because the success of the gospel depended, in a great measure, upon the activity and exemplary lives of those who first professed and published it.” Most commentators, however, prefer the former interpretation. As God, who by his Son revealed to the apostles and first disciples of Jesus the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish state, and marked a variety of particulars which were to precede or accompany it, yet did not acquaint them with the day and hour when it should actually take place; so while he has warned us of the certainty of death and a future judgment, and discovered to us many circumstances which will attend, precede, or follow these solemn, and, to us, infinitely interesting events, he has seen fit to conceal from us the exact time when they shall happen, that we may be always expecting and preparing for them. And therefore the subsequent exhortation as much concerns every one of us, as it could possibly concern those to whom it was first given.

13:28-37 We have the application of this prophetic sermon. As to the destruction of Jerusalem, expect it to come very shortly. As to the end of the world, do not inquire when it will come, for of that day and that hour knoweth no man. Christ, as God, could not be ignorant of anything; but the Divine wisdom which dwelt in our Saviour, communicated itself to his human soul according to the Divine pleasure. As to both, our duty is to watch and pray. Our Lord Jesus, when he ascended on high, left something for all his servants to do. We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return. This applies to Christ's coming to us at our death, as well as to the general judgment. We know not whether our Master will come in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore we must expect death. Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he may not find us secure, indulging in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty. He says to all, Watch, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless.Neither the Son - This text has always presented serious difficulties. It has been asked, If Jesus had a divine nature, how could he say that he knew not the day and hour of a future event? In reply, it has been said that the passage was missing, according to Ambrose, in some Greek manuscripts; but it is now found in all, and there can be little doubt that the passage is genuine. Others have said that the verb rendered "knoweth" means sometimes to "make" known or to reveal, and that the passage means, "that day and hour none makes known, neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father." It is true that the word has sometimes that meaning, as in 1 Corinthians 2:2, but then it is natural to ask where has "the Father" made it known? In what place did he reveal it? After all, the passage has no more difficulty than that in Luke 2:52, where it is said that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. He had a human nature. He grew as a man in knowledge. As a man his knowledge must be finite, for the faculties of the human soul are not infinite. As a man he often spoke, reasoned, inquired, felt, feared, read, learned, ate, drank, and walked. Why are not all these, which imply that he was a "man" - that, "as a man," he was not infinite - why are not these as difficult as the want of knowledge respecting the particular "time" of a future event, especially when that time must be made known by God, and when he chose that the man Christ Jesus should grow, and think, and speak "as a man?" 32. But of that day and that hour—that is, the precise time.

knoweth no man—literally, no one.

no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father—This very remarkable statement regarding "the Son" is peculiar to Mark. Whether it means that the Son was not at that time in possession of the knowledge referred to, or simply that it was not among the things which He had received to communicate—has been matter of much controversy even among the firmest believers in the proper Divinity of Christ. In the latter sense it was taken by some of the most eminent of the ancient Fathers, and by Luther, Melancthon, and most of the older Lutherans; and it is so taken by Bengel, Lange, Webster and Wilkinson, Chrysostom and others understood it to mean that as man our Lord was ignorant of this. It is taken literally by Calvin, Grotius, De Wette, Meyer, Fritzsche, Stier, Alford, and Alexander.

Ver. 32,33. See Poole on "Matthew 24:36". See Poole on "Matthew 24:42". Ideo latet ultimus dies ut observentur omnes dies, God hath concealed from us the knowledge of the last day that we might watch all our days. See the notes on Matthew, in what sense Christ saith he did not know the last day and hour. Watching is opposed to sleeping. There is a natural sleep, and a spiritual sleep, of which the apostle speaks, Romans 13:11 Ephesians 5:14. The latter is here principally intended, to which the watching here commanded is opposed, and signifies an industrious, diligent care to keep ourselves from sin, upon a prospect of the last judgment, and the consideration of the uncertainty of the particular year or day when it shall be; together with such a bodily watching, as may be subservient unto that end, and fit us for prayer. But the watching principally intended, is a striving against sin, which is the spiritual sleep; and thus it is expounded by Luke 21:36, compared with Mark 13:34,35.

But of that day, and of that hour,.... Of Jerusalem's destruction; for of nothing else had Christ been speaking; and, it is plain, the words are anaphorical, and relate to what goes before:

knoweth no man; nay, they that lived to see it, and have spoken of it, are not agreed about the particular day, when it was; much less did they know it beforehand, or could speak of it, and make it known to others:

no, not the angels which are in heaven; who are acquainted with many of the divine secrets, and have been employed in the imparting them to others, and in the executing divine purposes:

neither the Son; Christ, as the son of man; though he did know it as the Son of God, who knows all things, and so this; but as the son of man, and from his human nature he had no knowledge of any thing future: what knowledge he had of future things in his humanity, he had from his deity; nor, as man, had he any commission to make known, nor did he make known the day of God's vengeance on the Jews:

but the Father; who has the times and seasons in his own power, for the executing of any particular judgment on a nation, or the general one; See Gill on Matthew 24:36.

{2} But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

(2) The latter day is not to be searched for curiously, which day the Father alone knows: but let us rather take heed that it does not come upon us unaware.

Mark 13:32-37. Concluding exhortation (Matthew 24:36).

32–37. Final Exhortation to Watchfulness

32. neither the Son] As our Lord is said to have “increased in wisdom” as well as “in stature” (Luke 2:52), to have prayed to the Father (Matthew 14:23; Matthew 26:39; Matthew 26:42-44, &c.); to have received commandment from the Father (John 14:31), even so it is here said by Himself that His knowledge is limited. But we may believe (i) that it is only as the Song of Solomon of Man, that anything could be unknown to Him, Who said “I and my Father are one;” and (ii) that as the Eternal Word, the one Messenger of Divine Revelation, He did not know of that day and that hour so as to reveal them to man. “In Patre Filius scit, though it is no part of His office to reveal it a Patre.” St Augustine, quoted by Bp Wordsworth.

Mark 13:32. Οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, neither the Son) This, which had been omitted in Matthew, has been recorded by Mark, inasmuch as believers being by this time confirmed in the faith, could now more readily bear it [than they could have borne it in Matthew’s early time]. [It is also omitted by Luke, who seems to have softened down several passages of Mark, with which Theophilus, an excellent person, but a νεόφυτος, novice, might have been readily offended.—Harm., p. 481.] Moreover, both in the twelfth year of His age and subsequently, “Jesus increased in wisdom,” [Luke 2:52]: and the accessions of wisdom which He then gained, He had not had before. Since this was not unworthy of Him, it was also not even necessary for Him in teaching to know already at that time the one secret reserved to the Father. Moreover the assertion is not to be taken absolutely (comp. John 16:15), but in reference to the human nature of Christ, independently of [as separated from] which, however, He is not denominated, even in this passage, where there is a climax, which sets Him even as man above the angels: it is also to be taken with reference to His state of humiliation, whence the language which He employs subsequently, after the resurrection, is different, see notes, Acts 1:7 : in fine, both the human nature and the state of humiliation in respect to the office of the Christ being supposed, His words may be understood to mean, without mental reservation, that He knows not, because He had it not among His instructions, to declare that day; as also in order to deter His disciples from requiring to know it. An apostle was able both to know and not to know one and the same thing, according to the different point of view, see note, Php 1:25 : how much more Christ? There is an admirable variety in the motions of the soul of Christ. Sometimes He had an elevated feeling, so as hardly to seem to remember that He was a man walking on the earth: sometimes He had a lowly feeling, so that He might almost have seemed to forget that He was the Lord from heaven. And He was wont always to express Himself according to His mental feeling for the time being: at one time as He who was one with the Father: at another time again in such a manner, as if He were only of that condition, in which are all ordinary and human saints. Often these two are blended together in wonderful variety. He speaks most humbly in this passage, and thereby qualifies [modifies] the feeling of His glory, which His discourse concerning the judgment was carrying with it. You may say, Why is He in this passage called the Son, a denomination which is not taken from His human nature? The answer is: In enunciations concerning the Saviour, He is wont to join a lowly Subject with a glorious Predicate: Matthew 16:28; John 1:51; John 3:13; and vice versa, a glorious Subject (as here) with a lowly Predicate: Matthew 21:3; 1 Corinthians 2:8; moreover, in this passage, the Son is in antithesis to the Father.—εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατὴρ, but the Father) Illustrating the great glory of His omniscience. Comp. Acts 1:7.

Verse 32. - But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. He who from all eternity has decreed the time when this day is to come, is pleased to hide it in the hidden depths of his own counsels. But the eternal Son, and the Holy Spirit, both alike one with the Father, are of his counsels. They are not excluded from this knowledge; they, equally with the Father, know the day and the hour of the end, since they are of the same substance, power, and majesty. Why; then, does St. Mark here add, "neither the Son"? The answer is surely to be found in the great truth of the hypostatic union. The eternal Son, as God, by his omniscience, and as man, by knowledge imparted to him, knows perfectly the day and the hour of the future judgment. But Christ as man, and as the Messenger from God to men, did not so know it as to be able to reveal it to men. The ambassador, if he is asked concerning the secret counsels of his sovereign, may truly answer that he knows them not so as to communicate them to others. For as an ambassador he only communicates those things which are committed to him by his sovereign to deliver, and not those things which he is bidden to keep secret. Mark 13:32
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