Vincent's Word Studies
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Went out and departed from the temple (ἐξελθὼν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο)
Rev., better: Went out from the temple and was going on his way. The temple, ἱεροῦ, not ναοῦ: the whole of the buildings connected with the temple, all of which, including the ναός, or sanctuary, and the porches and courts, constituted the ἱερόν. See on Matthew 4:5.
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Originally, presence, from παρεῖναι, to be present. In this sense in Philippians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 10:10. Also arrival, as in 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Peter 3:12. Of the second coming of Christ: James 5:8; 1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
Of the world (αἰῶνος)
Rather the existing, current age. They do not ask the signs of the Messiah's coming at the end of all time, to judge the world.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Lit., lead astray, as Rev.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
In my name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου)
Lit., on my name, i.e., on the strength of; resting their claims on the name Messiah.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Shall abound (πληθυνθῆναι)
Of many (τῶν πολλῶν)
The A. V. in omitting the definite article, misses the force of Christ's saying. It is not the love of many people only that shall be chilled, but of the many, the majority, the great body.
Wax cold (ψυγήσεται)
The verb means originally to breathe or blow; and the picture is that of spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
World (τῇ οἰκουμένη)
Lit., the inhabited. The whole habitable globe. Rev., in margin, inhabited earth.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Abomination of desolation (βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως)
The cognate verb, βδελύσσομαι, means to feel a nausea or loathing for food: hence used of disgust generally. In a moral sense it denotes an object of moral or religious repugnance. See 2 Chronicles 15:8; Jeremiah 13:27; Ezekiel 11:21; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31. It is used as equivalent to idol in 1 Kings 11:17; Deuteronomy 7:26; 2 Kings 23:13. It denotes anything in which estrangement from God manifests itself; as the eating of unclean beasts, Leviticus 11:11; Deuteronomy 14:3; and, generally, all forms of heathenism. This moral sense must be emphasized in the New Testament use of the word. Compare Luke 16:15; Revelation 17:4, Revelation 17:5; Revelation 21:27. It does not denote mere physical or aesthetic disgust. The reference here is probably to the occupation of the temple precincts by the idolatrous Romans under Titus, with their standards and ensigns. Josephus says that, after the burning of the temple the Romans brought their ensigns and set them over against the eastern gate, and there they offered sacrifices to them, and declared Titus, with acclamations, to be emperor.
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Him which is on the house-top (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος)
From roof to roof there might be a regular communication, called by the Rabbis "the road of the roofs." Thus a person could make his escape passing from roof to roof, till, at the last house, he would descend the stairs on the outside of the house, but within the exterior court. The urgency of the flight is enhanced by the fact that the stairs lead into this court. "Though you must pass by the very door of your room, do not enter to take anything out. Escape for your life."
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Should be shortened (ἐκολοβώθησαν)
Rev., had been shortened. A very picturesque word. The verb is, literally, to dock, to cut off, leaving a stump, as a limb. Wyc., abridged. As a fact, various causes did combine to shorten the siege. Herod Agrippa was stopped in his work of strengthening the walls by orders from the emperor; the Jews, absorbed in their party strifes, had totally neglected preparations to stand a siege; the magazines of corn and provisions were burnt before the arrival of Titus. Titus arrived suddenly, and the Jews voluntarily abandoned parts of the fortification. Titus himself confessed that God was against the Jews, since otherwise neither his armies nor his engines would have availed against their defences.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Signs and wonders (σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα)
See on Matthew 11:20. The two words often joined in the New Testament. See John 4:48; Acts 2:22; Acts 4:30; 2 Corinthians 12:12. The words do not denote different classes of supernatural manifestations, but these manifestations regarded from different points of view. The same miracle may be a mighty work, or a glorious work, regarded with reference to its power and grandeur; or a sign of the doer's supernatural power; or a wonder, as it appeals to the spectator. Τέρας, (derivation uncertain) is a miracle regarded as a portent or prodigy, awakening amazement. It most nearly corresponds, therefore, to the etymological sense of the word miracle (Lat., miraculum, a wonderful thing, from mirari, to wonder).
Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
In the desert - Secret chambers
Rev., wilderness - inner chambers. Both retired places, indicating that the false Messiahs will avoid public scrutiny.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Rev., better, is seen. The coming of the Lord will be a plain, unmistakable fact, like the lightning which lightens both ends of the heaven at once, and is seen of all. It will not be connected with some particular place, but will manifest itself and be recognized over the whole world. Compare Revelation 1:7 : "Every eye shall see him."
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Rev. puts vultures in margin. The griffon vulture is meant, which surpasses the eagle in size and power. Aristotle notes how this bird scents its prey from afar, and congregates in the wake of an army. In the Russian war vast numbers were collected in the Crimea, and remained until the end of the campaign in the neighborhood of the camp, although previously scarcely known in the country.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Stronger: beat their breasts in anguish
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
With a great sound of a trumpet (μετὰ σάλπυγγος φωνῆς μεγάλης)
Some read with a great trumpet. The blowing of trumpets was anciently the signal for the host of Israel on their march through the desert. It summoned to war, and proclaimed public festivals, and marked the beginnings of months; Numbers 10:1-10; Psalm 81:3. Hence the symbolism of the New Testament. Jehovah's people shall be summoned before their king by sound of trumpet. Compare the proclamation of Christ as king at the trumpet of the seventh angel, Revelation 11:15.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
A parable (τὴς παραβολήν)
More strictly, the parable which she has to teach. Rightly, therefore, Rev., her parable.
From κλάω, to break. Hence a young slip or shoot, such as is broken off for grafting. Such were the "branches" which were cut down and strewed in the Lord's path by the multitudes (Matthew 21:8).
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
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.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
The mill (τῷ μύλῳ)
The ordinary hand-mill with a handle fixed near the edge of the upper stone, which is turned by two women.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Later texts, however, read ἡμέρᾳ, a, day. ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ, in what kind of a day, whether near or a remote one. Similarly Matthew 24:43 : ἐν ποίᾳ φυλακῇ, in what kind of a watch, whether a night or a morning watch.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Would come (ἔπχεται)
Broken up (διορυγῆναι)
Rev., broken through. See on Matthew 6:19. Wyc., undermined.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
In due season (ἐν ακιρῷ)
At the regular hours which his Lord observes when at home; and not delaying because he thinks that his Lord delayeth his coming (Matthew 24:48), but doing his duty in its appointed time.
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.