Matthew 24:10
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
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(10) Shall many be offended.—The words point primarily to those who were believers in Christ, and found, a stumbling-block either in the new aspects of truth from time to time presented, or in the slowness of its victory, or in the delayed coming of the Lord. (Comp. 2Peter 3:4.)

Shall hate one another.—The words received a terrible fulfilment in the faction-fights of the Zealots and Sicarii at Jerusalem (Jos. Wars, iv. 3), in the disputes in every city between believing and unbelieving Jews (Acts 13:50; Acts 14:19; Acts 17:5; Acts 18:6; Acts 19:9), in the bitter hatred of the Judaisers against St. Paul (Acts 23:12).

Matthew 24:10-13. Then shall many be offended — That is, shall stumble and fall, or shall be turned out of the right way. By reason of persecution, many apostatized from the faith, particularly those mentioned by Paul, 2 Timothy 1:15; and 2 Timothy 4:10. And shall betray one another — To illustrate this, it is sufficient to cite one sentence out of Tacitus. Speaking of the persecution under Nero, he says, “At first several were seized, who confessed, and then by their discovery a great multitude of others were convicted and barbarously executed.” And many false prophets shall rise — Or false teachers, namely, in the Christian Church. Such were Simon Magus, and his followers, the Gnostics, who were very numerous. Such also were the Judaizing teachers, termed by Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:13, false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Such likewise were Hymeneus and Philetus, 2 Timothy 2:17-18. And the love of many shall wax cold — Because of these trials and persecutions from without, and these apostacies and false teachers from within the church, the love of many to Christ and his doctrine, and to one another, shall wax cold. Some shall openly desert the faith, as Matthew 24:10; others corrupt it, as Matthew 24:11; and others grow indifferent about it, as Matthew 24:12. But he that shall endure unto the end — He who shall not be terrified by these trials and persecutions; who shall neither apostatize from the faith himself, nor seduce nor be seduced by others; he who shall not be ashamed to profess his faith in Christ, and his love to the brethren, nor be deterred therefrom: the same shall be saved — Both here and hereafter. It is very remarkable, and was certainly a most signal act of Providence, that none of the Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. See on Matthew 24:16. So true and prophetic also was that assertion of St. Peter upon this same occasion, The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, 2 Peter 2:9.24:4-28 The disciples had asked concerning the times, When these things should be? Christ gave them no answer to that; but they had also asked, What shall be the sign? This question he answers fully. The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end. Our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world. The end of the world shall not be till the gospel has done its work. Christ foretells the ruin coming upon the people of the Jews; and what he said here, would be of use to his disciples, for their conduct and for their comfort. If God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God, but tempt him. It becomes Christ's disciples, in times of public trouble, to be much in prayer: that is never out of season, but in a special manner seasonable when we are distressed on every side. Though we must take what God sends, yet we may pray against sufferings; and it is very trying to a good man, to be taken by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the sabbath day. But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect's sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath. Christ foretells the rapid spreading of the gospel in the world. It is plainly seen as the lightning. Christ preached his gospel openly. The Romans were like an eagle, and the ensign of their armies was an eagle. When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, 2Th 2:1. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.Many shall be offended - See the notes at Matthew 5:29. Many shall stumble, fall, apostatize from a profession of religion. Many who "professed" to love me will then show that they had no "real" attachment to me; and in those trying times it will be seen that they knew nothing of genuine Christian love. See 1 John 2:19.

Shall betray one another - Those who thus apostatize from professed attachment to me will betray others who really love me. This they would do to secure their own safety, by revealing the names, habitations, or places of concealment of others.

Shall hate one another - Not that real Christians would do this, but those who had professed to be such would then show that they were not his true followers, and would hate one another. Luke adds that they should be betrayed "by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends," Luke 21:16. They would break over the most tender ties to surrender Christians to punishment. So great would be their hatred of Christianity, that it would overcome all the natural endearments of kindred and home. This, in the persecutions of Christians, has often occurred, and nothing shows more fully the deep and deadly hatred of the human heart to the gospel. Compare the notes at Matthew 10:21.


Mt 24:1-51. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37.

Mark saith, Mark 13:12,13, The brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. Luke saith, Luke 21:16,17, And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. Many shall be offended; the meaning is, shall turn apostates, stumbling at these great afflictions and persecutions for the gospel.

And shall betray one another. We read of several apostates in holy writ, such as Phigellus, Hermogenes, Demas, Hymeneus, Philetus, and others; but all things not being written that were done, we have no particular record of such treachery as is here mentioned. But it is no other than we may reasonably presume was done, though we had not been assured of it, to justify our Saviour’s prediction. There is no time of great persecution but proves a time of great apostasy and some treachery. It hath been a constant observation, that no hatred flames to that degree with hatred upon the account of religion. Nor is what our Saviour here predicted more than the history of all ages of the church have justified. And then shall many be offended,.... That is, many who had been hearers of the apostles, and professors of the Christian religion; who were highly pleased with it, and were strenuous advocates for it, whilst things were tolerably quiet and easy; but when they saw the apostles, some of them beaten, and imprisoned; others put to death, and others forced to fly from place to place; and persecutions and affliction, because of Christ and his Gospel, likely to befall themselves, would be discouraged hereby, and stumble at the cross; and fall off from the faith of the Gospel, and the profession of it:

and shall betray one another; meaning, that the apostates, who would fall off from the Christian religion, would prove treacherous to true believers, and give in their names to the persecutors, or inform them where they were, that they might take them, or deliver them into their hands themselves: these are the false brethren, the Apostle Paul was in perils among:

and shall hate one another; not that the true Christians should hate these false brethren, any more than betray them; for they are taught to love all men, even their enemies; but these apostates should hate them, in whose communion they before were, and to whom they belonged; and even to a very great degree of hatred, as it often is seen, that such who turn their backs on Christ, and his Gospel, prove the most bitter enemies, and most violent persecutors of its preachers and followers.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Matthew 24:10. Καὶ τότε] and then, when those persecutions will have broken out against you.

σκανδαλισθήσονται πολλοί] many will receive a shock, i.e. many Christians will be tempted to relapse into unbelief, see on Matthew 13:21. For the converse of offendentur in this sense, see Matthew 24:13. Consequence of this falling away: καὶ ἀλλήλους παραδώς.] one another, i.e. the Christian who has turned apostate, him who has continued faithful. What a climax the troubles have reached, seeing that they are now springing up in the very heart of the Christian community itself!Matthew 24:10. σκανδαλισθήσονται: natural sequel of apostolic tribulation, many weak Christians made to stumble (vide Matthew 13:21); this followed in turn by mutual treachery and hatred (καὶ ἀλλήλους, etc.).10. offended] Disappointed hopes will bring about a disruption of Christian unity and love.Matthew 24:10. Σκανδαλισθήσονται, shall be offended) sc. shall make shipwreck of their faith.[1036]—ἈΛΛΉΛΟΥς, one another) This is the saddest of all.

[1036] As of love, Matthew 24:12.—V. g.Verse 10. - Shall many be offended. The persecutions directed against the disciples in general shall in many cases result in overcoming their steadfastness and sapping their faith. Shall betray one another. To curry favour with enemies and to secure their own safety in troublous times, Christians were found to inform against friends, and to deliver them up to the civil authorities. Tacitus notes instances of this degrading cowardice. "First those were seized who confessed that they were Christians; and then on their information a vast multitude was convicted" ('Ann.,' 15:44). Shall hate one another. Dissensions in religion cause the most bitter hatred, the very opposite of that love which is the essence of Christianity (John 15:17). Where one of a pagan family embraced Christianity, the convert was regarded as an outcast, and cut adrift from the nearest domestic ties. The same treatment obtains even now in India. The reference in the text chiefly concerns contentions among professing Christians; we see such effects every day; they appear in every page of ecclesiastical history; they have stained the annals of our own and every nation.
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