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said unto them, Take heed that nation, and kingdom against no man deceive you.
kingdom : and there shall be 5 For many shall come in famines, and pestilences, and my name, saying, I am Christ; earthquakes, in divers places. and shall deceive many.
8 All these are the beginning 6 And ye shall hear of wars, of sorrows. and rumors of wars : see that 9 Then shall they deliver ye be not troubled : for all these you up to be afflicted, and shall things must come to pass, but kill you : and ye shall be hated the end is not yet.
of all nations for my name's 7 For nation shall rise against sake.
While giving these in- not necessary for them, nor for any junctions as to watchfulness, in view men, to know, since, as to all practical of the destruction of the city, the purposes, the day of one's death is as Saviour passed on, insensibly as it important to him as the day of the were, to ihe duty of watchfulness in world's dissolution. general, in respect to another coming 5. In my name; assuming my digof the Son of man, in which all would nity. || Saying, I am Christ; prebe concerned ; namely, his coming at tending to be the Messiah. Many, the end of the world. To this the Sa- | accordingly, did pretend to be the viour could easily pass, as the disciples Messiah, between the death of Jesus had probably, in their minds, connect- and the destruction of Jerusalem. ed the two events together; and the They were deceivers, whose objects proper distinction between them could were solely selfish and worldly ; exbe happily made by the nature of his citing among the people the spirit of exhortations, those which related to insurrection, and provoking the viothe latter being of a more general lent interference of the Roman power. character. The exhortation thus en- 6. Wars, and rumors of wars. For larged, and leading onward to the some time before the destruction of final coming of the Messiah, extends Jerusalem, the land of Palestine and to the 30th verse of the 25th chapter; the surrounding regions were in much and then commences a description of military commotion. || The end ; the the general judgment of the world, end of the Jewish state. the closing of the present dispensation, 7. Nation shall rise, &c. The parand the entering of all men on the ticulars specified in this verse are endless retributions, for bliss or for images of troublesome times. There woe, of the future world.
were also many civil disturbances both Thus he replied to all the inquiries in and around Palestine at the time of his disciples. His replies were spoken of. There were also distresseminently practical, without indul- ing famines; twice in Rome, once in ging the curiosity of his disciples. Greece, and once in Palestine. PesHence he said nothing specific in re- tilences are a frequent accompaniment spect to the continuance of the world of famines. Some remarkable earthafter the coming of the Messiah to de- quakes are also recorded as having stroy Jerusalem. But by his contin- taken place a few years before the deued and repeated exhortations, he let struction of Jerusalem. them know that, at the appointed pe- 9. Hated of all nations; very genriod, there will come an end of the erally hated, not only by Jews, but world, for which they ought to be pre- also by the Gentiles. The troubles pared, so as to render up their account. peculiar to the Saviour's followers are But when this end would be, it was here mentioned.
10 And then shall many be unto the end, the same shall offended, and shall betray one be saved. another, and shall hate
14 And this gospel of the another.
kingdom shall be preached in 11 And many false prophets all the world, for a witness unto shall rise, and shall deceive all nations; and then shall the many.
end come. 12 And because iniquity 15 When ye, therefore, shall shall abound, the love of many see the abomination of desolashall wax cold.
tion, spoken of by Daniel the 13 But he that shall endure prophet, stand in the holy place, 10. Be offended ; be induced to re extensively, throughout Palestine, the nounce their professed attachment to neighboring regions, and the Roman me, and become hostile to my true empire in general. This expression followers.
was frequently used to denote the 11. False prophets; pretended re- Roman empire. There is satisfactory ligious teachers.
evidence, that some years before the 12. Iniquity - the love of many, &c. destruction of Jerusalem, the gospel The great prevalence of impiety short- was preached in all the countries ly before the destruction of Jerusalem, around Palestine; in Egypt, Ethiopia, and the cruel treatment which the and other parts of Africa; very exadversaries of the Messiah's followers tensively in Asia, and in various parts would exercise towards them, would, of Europe. || For a witness to all nathe Saviour predicted, chill-mutual tions ; so that testimony to the truth love, make men more anxious about may be very extensively borne. || The their own safety than about the good | end ; that is, of the Jewish state. of others, and cool their love to their 15. The abomination of desolation ; Master. Iniquity did indeed attain a the desolating abomination, or the fearful height among the Jews just abominable destroyer. The Roman before the destruction of their city, army was meant, by which Jerusalem
13. Unto the end ; that is, of his and the temple were to be destroyed. life. It was also true that the perse. Compare Luke 21 : 20. This name cutions and calamities which the fol- was given to it on account of its being lowers of Christ would suffer in con- a heathen army, invading the soil, and sequence of their attachment to him destroying the building, which had would furnish a severe test of their been regarded as peculiarly sacred. characters; and if they should abide || By Daniel the prophet ; Dan. 9: this trial, and maintain their Chris- 26, 27. || In the holy place. The tian integrity to the end of these suffer country of Palestine was sometimes ings, they would have very satisfac- called holy, because it was inhabited tory evidence of true love to Christ and by the people whom the Lord had set of final salvation. The sufferings of apart for himself; but more particumany, too, would end only with their larly the city Jerusalem and the counlives. || Endure; that is, in attach- try around it were called holy, on acment to me. Such a person would count of the temple's being situated certainly enjoy salvation, while apos- in Jerusalem. The immediate vicinitates would fail of eternal life. See ty of Jerusalem was probably meant 10: 22.
by our Lord. In this verse, he began 14. This gospel of the kingdom ; the to give his disciples special directions announcement of the Messiah's reign, respecting their conduct when they and the doctrines of his religion. See should see the Roman army encamped on 4: 23. || In all the world; very near Jerusalem. Instead of the ex(whoso readeth, let him under- 19 And woe unto them that stand :)
are with child, and to them that 16 Then let them which be give suck in those days ! in Judea flee into the moun- 20 But pray ye that your tains :
flight be not in the winter, nei17 Let him which is on the ther on the Sabbath-day: house-top not come down to take 21 For then shall be great any thing out of his house :
not 18 Neither let him which is since the beginning of the in the field return back to take world to this time, no, nor ever his clothes.
pression holy place, Mark (13:14) uses frequently resorted to, when an inthe inore general expression " where vading army was near. || Not come it ought not." || Whoso readeth, &c. dawn. The steps leading to the roof This clause, in a parenthesis, appears of a house were on the outside. It was to have been thrown in by the evan- also possible to pass from house to gelist, so as to excite the readers of house on the roofs, till a person should his times to greater attention. It was arrive at the city wall. Thus, in or. important that each one should par. der to escape, there was no need of ticularly note this coinmencement of coming down into the house. The certain ruin to the city, so that he Saviour directed, that his followers might take suitable and seasonable should make their escape as soon as measures for escape.
possible, without losing any time in 16. Into the mountains ; the moun- collecting their goods. tainous tracts in the vicinity of Judea. 18. To take his clothes. Should a In these ridges of mountains there person be laboring in the field without were extensive caverns, affording a his full dress, let him not return to his safe retreat. When the Romans, at house, lest he should be overtaken by an early period of the war, were besieg- the enemy, or be shut up in the city. ing Jerusalem, a favorable opportunity Let him flee at once. presented for taking it, by some of the 20. In the winter. The wintry seapeople within opening the gates. But son in Palestine was peculiarly un. the Roman general, suspecting the favorable for travelling. The roads designs of the people, unexpectedly were in a bad condition, and storms withdrew from the city. The Chris- were very frequent. ll On the Sabtians in the city and other prudent bath-day. A person attempting to flee citizens took warning and fled to Pella would be more easily detected on the and to other places beyond the Jor- Sabbath, and the Jews might prevent dan. In besieging the city, Titus at his escape. Many, too, might be hin. first encamped at so great a distance dered from fleeing, by a superstitious from it, as was favorable to the escape reverence for the Jewish Sabbath ; or of those who desired to fee. He per- by applying to the Christian Sabbath mitted those who wished to escape to some of the superstitious views in pass through his camp and go wher- which, as Jews, they had been edu-, ever they chose.
cated. 17. It would be requisite to make 21. Great tribulation. The troubles all possible haste in fleeing from the experienced by the Jews during the scene of danger. On the house-top. siege by the Roman army were altoThe roofs of houses in Palestine were gether unexampled. Josephus, the nearly flat, and afforded a suitable Jewish historian, remarks, that if the place for taking a view of what might misfortunes of all men, from the bebe passing. Such a place would beginning of the world, should be com.
22 And except those days 25 Behold, I have told you should be shortened, there should before. no flesh be saved: but for the 26 Wherefore, if they shall say elect's sake those days shall be unto you, Behold, he is in the shortened.
desert, go not forth : Behold, he 23 Then if any man shall say is in the secret chambers, beunto you, Lo, here is Christ, or lieve it not. there, believe it not.
27 For as the lightning com24 For there shall arise false eth out of the east, and shineth Christs, and false prophets, and even unto the west; so shall also shall show great signs and won the coming of the Son of man be. ders; insomuch that, if it were 28 For wheresoever the carpossible, they shall deceive the cass is, there will the eagles be
gathered together. pared with those of the Jews, they desert. Some would give out word would appear far inferior.
that the Messiah was in the desert, 22. Shortened. The time occupied preparing for the rescue of the Jews, in the siege and destruction of the city and wishing the Jews to come to him would be made comparatively short. and join his forces. || He is in the seJerusalem possessed great advantages cret chambers ; in the retired apartfor defence against a besieging army; ments of some house, with his confiand a protracted siege would natural dential friends, and soon to make his ly be expected. But divine provi- appearance. Impostors would condence would order otherwise. And trive various ways to draw followers accordingly, when the city fell, the after them. commander of the Roman army was 27. All the pretences just spoken of struck with admiration at the event. were, the Saviour taught, to be disre|| No flesh be saved ; the whole nation garded. For when the Messiah should would be cut off. Such were the suf- actually come, there would be no such ferings by famine and intestine com- thing as a going forth to meet him; motions, that had the time been pro- there would be no messengers to antracted, there would have been an nounce him. But, as the lightning, in entire destruction. || For the elect's the midst of the darkness and blacksake; for the sake of "Christians, cho- ness of the storm, suddenly flashes sen and beloved of God. While war forth, so amid the terrors surrounding should be raging in the country, they the city, would the Son of man, on a would necessarily share in the priva- sudden, come in his vengeance. And tions and dangers incident to such a as it cannot be said of the lightning, It state of things.
is here, or, It is there ; so will it be in 23. Here is Christ ; here is the Mes- respect to the Son of man; he will siah. The Jews cherished the vain break forth at length suddenly, and at hope, that in the midst of their trou once make a wide destruction, before bles, the Messiah would appear, and there shall be time scarcely to think rescue them from their enemies. of what is taking place.
24. False Christs ; false, pretended 28. And as an eagle, discerning his Messiahs. || False prophets ; religious prey, darts on it suddenly, so will the teachers falsely pretending to a divine Messiah come; leaving no time for commission. Il Show great signs; pre- any to announce his coming, and tend to perform miracles. The great leaving no time then for escape from signs would be “lying wonders.” his vengeance. Jesus here referred The very elect; even the Christians. to his coming, by means of the Roman 26. He"; the Messiah. || Is in the army, to destroy Jerusalem. Under 29 Immediately after the trib- of the earth mourn, and they shall ulation of those days, shall the see the Son of man coming in the sun be darkened, and the moon clouds of heaven, with power and shall not give her light, and the great glory. stars shall fall from heaven, and 31 And he shall send his the powers of the heavens shall angels with a great sound of a be shaken.
trumpet; and they shall gather 30 And then shall appear the together his elect from the four sign of the Son of man in heav- winds, from one end of heaven en : and then shall all the tribes to the other. the general name eagle, the Bible in- 30. Shall appear the sign of the cludes the culture, a well-known bird Son of man; the Messiah will reveal
himself (see Luke 17:30); will show 29. Immediately; very shortly after publicly and clearly that he has come. the troubles spoken of, or, as Mark There shall be a proof that he has says (13: 24), in those days. ll Shall come. || Tribes of the earth; more the sun be darkened, &c. This Jan. properly, tribes of the land ; the Jews, guage is strikingly similar to that ihe unbelieving Jews. || The Son of which the Hebrew prophets were in man coming; that is, by the instruthe habit of using, when they predict- mentality of the Roman army to deed or described such signal calamities stroy Jerusalem. When God interas the overthrow of a city or of a na poses, by whatever means, for the tion. In their boldly figurative mode of rescue of his people and the overthrow speaking, they represent the heavens of his foes, similar language is emand the earth as in commotion, and ployed to express his interposition. all nature as reverting to chaos. We See Deut. 33: 26. Ps. 18: 9-11. need not, then, seek for an explanation Is. 19:1. || They shall see. The atof each particular, in such a descrip-tending events will show that the Mestion; but are to regard the whole de- siah has come. scription as exhibiting a universal ruin, 31. And he shall send his angels. a crashing of all the powers of nature, Angels are spoken of as the ministers such as would take place in the event of divine providence, the instruments of the putting out of the sun and of by which God accomplishes his purthe moon, of the falling down of the poses. See Ps. 34: 7. 91: 11, 12. stars, even of all the heavenly host. | || With a great sound of a trumpet. || Powers of the heavens; the host of The language is metaphorical. The heaven, the heavenly luminaries, as in angels are spoken of as accomplishing Gen. 2:1. The plirase seems to be the purposes of God in respect to the here employed as summing up the deliverance of his people; and, to several particulars mentioned just be complete the figure, they are furnished fore. For the use of similar figures, to with trumpets, so as to awaken attenexpress overwhelming calamities and tion, and to make known, and summon universal changes, see Is. 13: 10, to, a place of safety. || His elect; his where the fall of the city of Babylon chosen people, the followers of Christ was predicted, and its ruin likened to Those of them who lived in Jerusathe state of things which would follow lem and the vicinity would be made the darkening of the sun and moon, special objects of divine protection in and the ceasing of the stars of heaven this season of peril; by taking timely to shine. See also Is. 24 : 23. 34:4; warning, and fleeing to the mountains also Ezek. 32: 7, where calamities to (v. 16), under the divine care they fall on Egypt are predicted. See also would be safe. || From the four winds, Amos 8:9; and Joel 2: 28–31, com- from one end, &c.; that is, from every .pared with Acts 2: 17-20.
quarter. See Ezek. 37:9. Luke 13:29.