Matthew 24:38
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
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24:29-41 Christ foretells his second coming. It is usual for prophets to speak of things as near and just at hand, to express the greatness and certainty of them. Concerning Christ's second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new. Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired. Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair. The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ's second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids. That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do. The evil day is not the further off for men's putting it far from them. What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour's coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear. Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord! Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?For as in the days ... - The things mentioned here denote attention to the affairs of this life rather than to what was coming on them. It does not mean that these things were wrong, but only that such was their actual employment, and that they were regardless of what was coming upon them. CHAPTER 24

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.

See Poole on "Matthew 24:39".

For as in the days that were before the flood,.... Not all the days before the flood, from the creation of the world; but those immediately preceding it, a century or two before it:

they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage: not that these civil actions of life were criminal in themselves, had care been taken that they were not abused. It is lawful to eat and drink, provided it be in moderation, and not to excess; and to marry, and give in marriage, when the laws, rules, and ends thereof, are observed: and therefore this must be understood, either of their wholly giving themselves up to the pleasures of life, and lusts of the flesh, without any concern about the affairs of religion, the worship and glory of God, the welfare of their souls and their approaching danger, of which Noah had given them warning; or of their luxury and intemperance, in eating and drinking, and of their libidinous and unlawful marriages; for the word here used for eating, signifies eating after the manner of brute beasts: they indulged themselves in a brutish way, in gluttony and drunkenness; and it is certain from the account given of them, in Genesis 6:2 that they entered into unlawful marriages, and unclean copulations: wherefore these things may be spoken of them, as what were really sinful and wicked, and denote a course of sinning, a constant practice of these sins of intemperance and lust, and which is still more fully expressed in the next clause:

until the day that Noe entered into the ark. The Arabic version renders it, "the ship"; the vessel which God directed him to make, for the saving of himself and family. Now the men of that generation persisted in their wicked course of living, after, and notwithstanding, the warning God had given them by Noah, of the flood that would come upon them; and all the while the ark was building, even to the very day that Noah and his family, by the order of God, went into the ark.

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Matthew 24:38. ἦσαν with the following participles is not an instance of the periphrastic imperfect. It rather stands by itself, and the particles are descriptive predicates. Some charge these with sinister meaning: τρώγοντες, hinting at gluttony because often used of beasts, though also, in the sense of eating, of men (John 6:58; John 13:18). So Beza and Grotius; γαμοῦντες καὶ γαμίζοντες, cuphemistically pointing at sexual licences on both sides (Wolf, “omnia vagis libidinibus miscebantur”). The idea rather seems to be that all things went on as usual, as if nothing were going to happen. In the N. T., and especially in the fourth Gospel, τρώγω seems to be used simply as a synonym for ἐσθίω. In like manner all distinction between ἐσθίειν and χορτάζεσθαι (= to feed cattle in classics) has disappeared. Vide Mark 7:27-28, and consult Kennedy, Sources of New Testament Greek, p. 82.

Matthew 24:38. Τρώγοντες, eating) This includes the arts of cookery, confectionary, and other matters connected with luxury. They were employed in this, and in nothing else.

Verse 38. - They were eating, etc. The Lord describes the reckless way in which men went on their usual course, pursued their pleasures and avocations, with the doom. hanging over them, in spite of the warning given. The word for "eating" (τρώγοντες) implies the idea of gnawing food greedily like an animal, hence eating gluttonously. They had learned to drink to excess long before Lot's time (Genesis 9:20, 21). The periphrastic form of expression, η΅σαν τρώγοντες... πίνοντες, denotes not a single act, but habitude. Until the day. Though they had watched Noah building the ark, and heard him preach righteousness for many a year, they took no heed. It must be observed that Christ here confirms the historical accuracy of this episode in Genesis. Matthew 24:38
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