Matthew 24:40
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
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(40) The one shall be taken.—Literally, the present tense being used to express the certainty of the future, one is taken, and one is left. The form of the expression is somewhat obscure, and leaves it uncertain which of the two alternatives is the portion of the chosen ones. Is the man who is “taken” received into fellowship with Christ, while the other is abandoned? or is he carried away as by the storm of judgment, while the other is set free? On the whole, the use of the Greek word in other passages (as, e.g., in Matthew 1:20; Matthew 1:24; Matthew 12:45; John 1:11; John 14:3) is in favour of the former interpretation. What is taught in any case is that the day of judgment will be, as by an inevitable law, a day of separation, according to the diversity of character which may exist in the midst of the closest fellowship in outward life.

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?Then shall two be in the field ... - The calamity will come suddenly. There will be no escape for those whom it overtakes.

One shall be taken - The word "taken" may mean either to be taken away from the danger - that is, rescued, as Lot was Luke 17:28-29, or to be taken away "by death." Probably the latter is the meaning.


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 24:41". Then shall two be in the field,.... About their proper business, of husbandry, ploughing, or sowing, or any other rural employment:

the one shall be taken; not by the preaching of the Gospel, into the kingdom of God, or Gospel dispensation; though such a distinction God makes, by the ministry of the word, accompanied by his Spirit and power; nor by angels, to meet Christ in the air, and to be introduced into his kingdom and glory; but by the eagles, the Roman army, and either killed or carried captive by them:

and the other left; not in a state of nature and unregeneracy, as many are, to whom the Gospel is preached; nor with devils at the last day, to be thrust down by them into the infernal regions; but by the Romans, being by some remarkable providence, or another, delivered out of their hands; which was the case of some few, and these of the meaner sort; and therefore persons of a rural life and occupation are instanced in.

{10} Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

(10) Against those that persuade themselves that God will be merciful to all men, and do by this means give themselves over to sin, that they may in the meantime live in pleasure, void of all care.

Matthew 24:40-41. Τότε] then, when the second advent will have thus suddenly taken place.

παραλαμβάνεται] is taken away, namely, by the angels who are gathering the elect together, Matthew 24:31. The use of the present tense here pictures what is future as though it were already taking place. But had this referred to the being caught up in the clouds, mentioned 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Jansen), ἀναλαμβάνεται would have been used instead.

ἀφίεται] is left, expressing οὐ παραλαμβάνεται in its positive form. Comp. Matthew 23:38, Matthew 15:14; Soph. O. R. 599. It is tantamount to saying: away! thou art not accepted. To understand the terms as directly the opposite of each other in the following sense: the one is taken captive, the other allowed to go free (Wetstein, Kuinoel), is grammatically wrong (παραλαμβ. cannot, when standing alone, be taken as equivalent to bello capere, although it is used to denote the receiving of places into surrender, in deditionem accipere, Polyb. ii. 54. 12, iv. 63. 4, iv. 65. 6), and does violence to the context to suit the exigencies of the erroneous reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. Rather compare John 14:3. It is no doubt admissible to interpret the expression in the hostile sense: the one is seized (Polyb. iii. 69. 2; similarly Baumgarten-Crusius) or carried off (Matthew 4:5; Matthew 4:8; Numbers 23:27; 1Ma 3:37; 1Ma 4:1), namely, to be punished. But the ordinary explanation harmonizes better with the reference to Matthew 24:31, as well as with the subsequent parable, Matthew 24:45 ff., where the πιστὸς δοῦλος is first introduced.

δύο ἀλήθουσαι, κ.τ.λ.] of two who grind at the mill, one will, etc. For the construction, in which, by means of a μετάβασις ἀπὸ ὅλου εἰς μέρη, the plural-subject is broken up into two separate persons, comp. Hom. Il. vii. 306 f.: τὼ δὲ διακρινθέντε, ὁ μὲν μετὰ λαὸν Ἀχαιῶν ἤϊʼ, ὁ δʼ ἐς Τρώων ὅμαδον κίε. Plat. Phaedr. p. 248 A, al.; see Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. viii. 37; also ad Dem. de cor. p. 237 f. If we were to adopt the usual course of supplying ἔσονται from Matthew 24:40, we would require to translate as follows: two will be grinding at the mill. But this supplying of ἔσονται is not at all necessary; as may be gathered from the annexing of the participle, we have in this other case, Matthew 24:41, just a different mode of presenting the matter.

ἀλήθουσαι] the hard work usually performed by the lower order of female slaves (Exodus 9:5; Isaiah 47:2; Job 31:10; Ecclesiastes 12:3), and such as is still performed in the East by women, either singly or by two working together (Rosenmüller, Morgenl. on Exodus 11:5; and on the present passage, Robinson, Paläst. II. p. 405 f.). A similar practice prevailed in ancient Greece, Hermann, Privatalterth. § 24. 8. Hemsterhuis, ad Lucian. Tim. 23. On the un-classical ἀλήθειν (for ἀλεῖν), see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 151.

ἐν τῷ μύλῳ] which is not to be confounded (see the critical notes) with μύλωνι (a mill-house), is the millstone (Matthew 18:6) of the ordinary household hand-mill. It may denote the lower (Deuteronomy 24:6) as well as the upper stone (Isaiah 47:2), which latter would be more precisely designated by the term ἐπιμύλιον (Deut. as above). It is the upper that is intended in the present instance; the women sit or kneel (Robinson as above), hold the handle of the upper millstone in their hands (hence ἐν τ. μ.: with the millstone), and turn it round upon the lower, which does not move.Matthew 24:40-41 graphically illustrate the suddenness of the Parusia.—εἷς εἷς (Matthew 24:40) instead of εἷς ἑτέρος, o μία μία in Matthew 24:41. Of these idioms Herrmann in Viger (p. 6) remarks: “Sapiunt Ebraismum”.—παραλαμβάνεται, ἀφίεται, one is taken, one left. The reference may either be to the action of the angels, Matthew 24:31 (Meyer), or to the judicial action of the Son of Man seizing some, leaving free others (Weiss-Meyer). The sentences are probably proverbial (Schott), and the terms may admit of diverse application. However applied, they point to opposite destinies.—ἀλήθουσαι, grinding: ἀλήθω, late for ἀλέω, condemned by Phryn., p. 151.—ἐν τῷ μύλωνι (T. R.), in the mill house.—. τ. μύλῳ (W.H[133]), in or with the millstone. The reference is to a handmill, which required two to work it when grinding was carried on for a considerable time—women’s work (vide Robinson, i., 485; Furrer, Wand., p. 97; Benzinger, p. 85, where a figure is given).40. shall be taken] Properly, is taken or withdrawn. For this present for future of certainty see ch. Matthew 27:63.

40, 41. Instances like these serve to bring out the reflection that the world’s work will be going on then as now; there is also the thought of a real separation in this life beneath an external sameness.Matthew 24:40,[1065] 41. Παραλαμβάνεται, is taken[1066]) sc. into safety, under protection; see Matthew 24:31.—ἀφίεται, is left) sc. in the midst of the dangers, whatever may occur.[1067] The present tense is used with reference to the time of the ΤΌΤΕ, then; and the matter was already present to the Saviour’s eyes.

[1065] τότε, then) at the actual time of the Advent, Matthew 24:39. Comp. ch. Matthew 25:1.—V. g.

[1066] In the original, assumitur.—(I. B.)

[1067] As was the case with the men at the time of the Deluge.—V. g.Verse 40. - The Lord gives two examples of the suddenness of his advent, and its effect in private life. Shall two be in the field. They shall be working together at their ordinary agricultural occupations, with nothing outwardly to distinguish one from the other, good and bad being mingled together. The one shall be taken (παραλαμβανεται is taken, the present implying certainty), and the other left (ἀφίεται, is deft). Christ speaks as though he saw the scene before him. The "taking" implies separation from companions, as Matthew 17:1; Matthew 18:16, etc. This is the work of the angels (ver. 31). There is some doubt as to the destiny of the two classes named. Are the good "taken" and the evil "left"? or are the evil "taken" and the good "left"? Some suppose that the terms allude to the sudden approach of a hostile army by which some are taken prisioners and others allowed to escape; or, since in the parable the tares are first gathered for the burning, those taken must be the wicked, those left are for storing in the everlasting garner. On the other hand, many commentators understand the verbs in a sense opposite to that mentioned above. As (ver. 31) the angels are sent forth to gather the elect, the "taken" are of this class, who are caught away to meet the Lord and his saints (1 Thessalonians 4:17; John 14:3), while the others are left for judgment and reprobation (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Bengel, continuing the reference to the Flood, writes, "Assumitur in tutelam (ver. 31), ut Noachus cum domo sua; sinitur in periculis, quicquid obveniat, ut homines in diluvio." The latter interpretation of the two seems to be the correct one. At any rate, it is plain that the nicest discrimination is exercised, and that among men and women, in all conditions of life, a final severance shall then be made, which shall apportion their lot in the other world. Shall be taken - left

Both verbs are in the present tense, which makes the saying more lively. One is taken and one is left. So Rev.

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