New International Version
Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
King James Bible
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Darby Bible Translation
But pray that your flight may not be in winter time nor on sabbath:
World English Bible
Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath,
Young's Literal Translation
and pray ye that your flight may not be in winter, nor on a sabbath;
Matthew 24:20 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter - For the hardness of the season, the badness of the roads, the shortness of the days, and the length of the nights, will all be great impediments to your flight. Rabbi Tanchum observes, "that the favor of God was particularly manifested in the destruction of the first temple, in not obliging the Jews to go out in the winter, but in the summer." See the place in Lightfoot.
Neither on the Sabbath-day - That you may not raise the indignation of the Jews by travelling on that day, and so suffer that death out of the city which you had endeavored to escape from within. Besides, on the Sabbath-days the Jews not only kept within doors, but the gates of all the cities and towns in every place were kept shut and barred; so that their flight should be on a Sabbath, they could not expect admission into any place of security in the land.
Our Lord had ordered his followers to make their escape from Jerusalem when they should see it encompassed with armies; but how could this be done? God took care to provide amply for this. In the twelfth year of Nero, Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria, came against Jerusalem with a powerful army. He might, says Josephus, War, b. ii. c. 19, have assaulted and taken the city, and thereby put an end to the war; but without any just reason, and contrary to the expectation of all, he raised the siege and departed. Josephus remarks, that after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, "many of the principal Jewish people, πολλοι των επιφανων Ιουδαιων, forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship." Vespasian was deputed in the room of Cestius Gallus, who, having subdued all the country, prepared to besiege Jerusalem, and invested it on every side. But the news of Nero's death, and soon after that of Galba, and the disturbances that followed, and the civil wars between Otho and Vitellius, held Vespasian and his son Titus in suspense. Thus the city was not actually besieged in form till after Vespasian was confirmed in the empire, and Titus was appointed to command the forces in Judea. It was in those incidental delays that the Christians, and indeed several others, provided for their own safety, by flight. In Luke 19:43, our Lord says of Jerusalem, Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. Accordingly, Titus, having made several assaults without success, resolved to surround the city with a wall, which was, with incredible speed, completed in three days! The wall was thirty-nine furlongs in length, and was strengthened with thirteen forts at proper distances, so that all hope of safety was cut off; none could make his escape from the city, and no provisions could be brought into it. See Josephus, War, book v. c. 12.
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LibraryThe Carrion and the Vultures
'Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'--MATT. xxiv. 28. This grim parable has, of course, a strong Eastern colouring. It is best appreciated by dwellers in those lands. They tell us that no sooner is some sickly animal dead, or some piece of carrion thrown out by the way, than the vultures--for the eagle does not prey upon carrion--appear. There may not have been one visible a moment before in the hot blue sky, but, taught by scent or by sight that their banquet …
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