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An illustrated commentary on the Gospels according to Mark and Luke (Volume 2) online

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9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions,
be ° not terrified : for these things must first come to
pass ■ but the end is not by and by.

io Then said he unto them, p Nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom :

1 1 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places,
and famines, and pestilences ; and fearful sights and
great signs shall there be from heaven.

12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on

you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the syna-
gogues, and into pnsons,i being brought before kings '
and rulers for my name's sake.

13 And " it shall turn to you for a testimony.

14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to ' meditate
before what ye shall answer :

15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which
all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay u nor

16 And 'ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and
brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends ; aud w some of you
shall they cause to be put to death.

17 And ye shall be hated x of all men for my name's

18 But? there shall not an hair of your head perish.

19 In your patience z possess ye your souls.

m 2Thes8. 2 : 3, 9, 10; 1 Jolin 4 : 1 ; 2 John 7 n Rev. 1 : 3 o Prov. 3 : 25, 26.... p Haggni 2 : 22 q Acta 4 : 3 ; 6 : 18 ; 12 : 4; 16 : 24 :

Rev. 2: 10. ...r Acts 25 : 23.... s Phil. 1 : 28 ; 2Thess. 1 : 5....1 ch. 12:11 ; Malt. 10 : 19. . . .u Acts 6 : 10. . . v Micah 7 :5,6....w Acts 7 : 59;
12 : 2; 26 : 10 ; Rev. 2 ; 13 ; 6 : 9 ; 12 : 11 I Julio 17 : 14 y Matt. 10 : 30 l Rom. 5:3, Heb. 10 : 36 ; James 1 : 4.

is, the time of the second coming of the Mes-
siah and the manifestation of his kingdom.
These are the words with which the false pro-
phets would endeavor to deceive the church. —
There shall not he one stone left upon
another that shall not be thrown down.
The accompanying illustration shows how com-
pletely this prediction has been realized. It is a
view of the temple site as it now is, standing near
and west of the present Mosque of Omar. " The
Temple of Herod has entirely disappeared, and
its materials have been carried away and used in
other buildings. — The end is not immedi-
ately. The Greek word (iu«9itoc), here rendered
by and by, is never so translated in the N. T. ex-
cept here and in Luke 17 : 7. In both cases, the
word immediately would better convey the mean-
ing. The use of the phrase, "by and 6y," as
equivalent to immediately, has become obsolete.
The meaning is, that the end of the world will
not immediately follow the troublous times pre-
dicted in the preceding part of this sentence. —
Fearful sights and great signs shall there
be from heaven. These words are not found
in Matthew or Mark. Josephus gives an account
of prodigies accompanying the destruction of
Jerusalem, which may be a fulfillment of this
prophecy. See Matthew, ch. 24, Prel. Note.
These are not to be confounded with the signs
mentioned in ver. 25. See on Matt. 24 : 29-31.

12-19. Compare Mark 13 : 9-11, and notes.
Matthew's report is not so full, and contains nei-
ther the directions nor the promises here given ;
but parallel to them is Matt. 10 : 17-22 ; see notes
there. — But before all these. That is, before
the perfected fulfillment of this prophecy. The
language here confirms the view maintained in
the notes on Matthew, that Christ's prophecy in
this chapter was not fulfilled by the destruction
of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish
nation. It still awaits its perfect fulfillment. —
It shall result to you for a testimony.
That is, the malice of Christ's foes shall be made
by God a means of testifying to the faithfulness

of Christ's disciples to him, and his faithfulness
to his disciples. Thus the blood of the martyrs
becomes the seed of the church. — Settle it in
your hearts. The dangers, therefore, were to
be a subject of premeditation, and for them they
were to make preparation ; but for such dangers
the Christian's preparation is that of the heart
rather than that of the head, trust in God
rather than shrewdness and self-trust. — Not
to practice beforehand your defence. The
original (nomii/.iTur) is used in classic Greek
of the practice of a professional rhetorician of
his declamation (see Sophocles, and authorities
there cited) ; and I see no authority in the N. T.
for our English version, though it is sanctioned by
Robinson's Lexicon. The Lord does not prohibit
premeditation ; but he directs his disciples to rest
their defence not on the artifices of the rheto-
rician, but on trust in God and the truth. — But
I will give you both a mouth aud wis-
dom ; i.e., both wisdom to guide, aud power of
utterance. — Shall not be able to gainsay or
withstand; i. e., to speak against, for the disci-
ples' arguments should be unanswerable ; or to
counteract ; for the effect of their trial and de-
fence should be only to promote the cause then
enemies sought to overthrow. In fact, some of
the most eloquent and effective defences of
Christianity have been the unpremeditated re-
sponses of persecuted Christians in the hour of
peril. For Scripture illustrations, see Acts
4 : 19, 20 ; 5 : 29-32 ; 7 : 26— But there shall
not a hair of your head perish. Comp.
Matt. 10 : 30. "Not literally but really true ; not
corporeally, but in that real and only life which
the disciple of Christ possesses." — (Alford.) But
we may say more than this. It is literally though
not corporeally true, that not a hair of their head
should perish, since not a single suffering of any
description, borne for Christ's sake, has per-
ished ; the disciple, as the Master, shall see of
the travail of his soul and be satisfied (isaiah
53 : n). — Iii your endurance ye shall acquire
your life. This is not a mere direction, as our



[Ch. XXL

20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with
armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the
mountains ; and let them which are in the midst of it
depart out ; and let not them that are in the countries
enter thereinto.

22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all a
things which are written may be fulfilled.

23 But woe unto them b that are with child, and to
them that give suck, in those days ! tor there shall be
great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and
shall be led away captive into all nations : and Jorusa-
lem c shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the
times' 1 ol the Gentiles be fulfilled.

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the

a Deut. 28 : 25, 48; Dan. 9 : 26, 27 j Zech. 11 : 6; 14 : 1, 2 b Lam. 4 : 10 c Dan. 12 : 7 ; Rov. 11 : 2 d Row. 11 : 25.

English version renders it, to keep the 60ul pa-
tient in trouble, but a declaration that the Chris-
tian obtaius his true life by patient endurance of
tribulation. The original Greek word rendered
patience (vrtoueuij) is literally remaining under ;
hence the significance of the promise, applicable
to all ages of the church, is that true life is ob-
tained, not by ingenious contrivances to escape
from life's ills, but by patiently remaining under
whatever burden Christ bids us carry for his sake.
It therefore interprets such declarations as Isaiah
53 : 4, and is interpreted by such passages as
Matt. 10 : 39 ; see note there.

20-24. And when ye shall see Jerusa-
lem encompassed with armies. This sign of
the approaching desolation is generally regarded
as identical with Matt. 24 : 15. " When ye there-
fore shall see the abomination of desolation
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, staud in the
holy place." This seems to me improbable. See
note there. I should rather agree with Alford,
that Matthew and Mark give the inner or domes-
tic sign of the approaching calamity to be seen in
Jerusalem and possibly in the temple itself,
designated by the phrase Holy Place, while
Luke gives the outward and contemporaneous
state of things. An opportunity to flee was af-
forded by the course of history. Cestius Gallus,
the Roman prefect, made an attack on Jerusalem
in the fall of A. d. 66, but was beaten off and re-
treated. It was not till the beginning of a. d. 70,
that Titus made his appearance before the walls
of the city to inaugurate the final and successful
siege. Thus time and warning were afforded to
those that believed Christ's prophecy of the ap-
proaching desolation of the city ; and the early
Christian writers tell us that the Christians
availed themselves of it and fled from the city,
so that not one is known to have perished in the
siege. — Let not them that are in the coun-
try districts enter into it, i. e., into Jerusa-
lem. Those that dwelt in the country might
naturally, on the approach of the Roman legions,
enter Jerusalem, either as a protection or to re-
enforce it. This Christ's disciples are forbidden
to do, for the reason stated in the next verse. —
These be the days of vengeance, i. e., of
divine vengeance. To resist the Roman army
would therefore be fighting a vain battle against
God himself. "We may call to mind the expres-
sion even of a Titus: 'That God was so angry

with this people, that even he feared His wrath,
if he should suffer grace to be shown to the
Jews,' and how he refused every mark of honor
on account of the victory obtained, with the at-
testation that he had been only an instrument in
God's hands to punish this stiff-necked nation."
— (Lange.) All things that are written.
The reference cannot be to Christ's previous
intimations of the destruction of Jerusalem (John
2 : 19 ; Matt. 21 : 4i ; 23 : as), for these were not as yet
written. The language refers to O. T. prophe-
cies, such as Lev. 26 : 14-23 ; Deut. 28 : 15, etc. ;
29 : 19-28 ; Dan. 9 : 26, 27 ; Zech., ch. 11 ; 14 : 42.—
Distress in the land, i. e., of Palestine ; and
wrath (of God) upon his people, the Jews.
Let them who wish to eliminate the conception of
divine wrath from theology, consider whether
they can eliminate such scenes as the destruction
of Jerusalem from history. — They shall fall
by the mouth of the sword, etc. For descrip-
tion of fulfillment of this prophecy, see Matt.
24 : 21, note, and Prel. Note to that chapter.
Over a million of Jews are said by Josephus to
have been slain, and ninety-seven thousand to
have been taken captive. — Shall be trodden
down of the nations (com P . Rev. n : 2), until
the time of the nations shall be fulfilled.
There is no reason philologically for regard-
ing the word Gentiles (lyroJr) here as equiva-
lent to Romans ; the ordinary significance in
N. T. usage, is heathen nations. The language
describes aptly the present and past condition of
Jerusalem, which since the dispersion of the
Jews has been under the feet of successive Gen-
tile nations, is so now, and is to remain so until
the time of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, i. e., not till
they have fulfilled their mission as executors of
divine punishment (so Oosterzee aud Bengel),
but till their time of trial and redemption is
past, as the time of trial and redemption of the
Jewish nation as a ?iation, was ended with the
destruction of the holy city. So, substantially,
Alford. The times of the Gentiles are the Gen-
tile dispensation, just as the time of Jerusalem
is the Jewish dispensation ; the great rejec-
tion of the Lord by the Gentile world, answers
to its type, his rejection by the Jews. This
being finished, the end of all things shall come,
the time of which the destruction of Jerusa-
lem was a type. So we have in Rev. 11 : 18.
"The time of the dead," which is interpreted

Ch. XXL]



moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress e
of nations, with perplexity ; the sea and the waves
roaring ;

26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking
after those things which are coming on the earth : for
the f powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming s
in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass,
then look up, and lift up your heads ; for your redemp-
tion b draweth nigh.

29 And' he spake to them a parable ; Behold the fig
tree, and all the trees ;

30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of
your own selves that summer ia now nigh at hand.

31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to

Eass. know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at

32 Verily I say unto you. This generation shall not
pass away till all be fulfilled.

33 Heaven J and earth shall pass away: but my
words shall not pass away.

e Dan. 12: l....f 2 Pet. 3 : 10-12.... g Rev. 1:7; 14 : 14.... h Rom. 8 : 23.... i Matt. 24 : 32; Mark 13: 28.... j lsa. 40 : 8 ; 51 :!

there as the time "that they should be

25-28. I believe the language here to be
parallel to, perhaps only a different report of,
that in Matt. 24 : 27-31, and to be descriptive,
not of signs which shall accompany the destruc-
tion of Jerusalem, but of those to accompany
the final coming of Christ, after a long period of
tribulation. See Matt., ch. 24, Prel. Note. The
direction of verse 28 must be regarded as ad-
dressed through the then hearers to the uni-
versal church, as indeed the whole prophecy is.
Nor must we forget in interpreting it, that it was
not the divine design that the disciples should
know how long was to be the period of tribula-
tion, that it was meant that the church in every
age should live in expectancy of it, and that
even Christ himself did not know the day and
the hour (Matt. 13 : 32, note). — A ii<l there shall be
signs in the suu, and in the moon, and in
the stars. Compare the more definite language
of Matt. 24 : 29. — And upon the earth dis-
tress of nations. Literally, a shutting up, as
of men in a besieged city. The world will be
beleagured, and from it there will be no escape.
Observe that in the original, the word here ren-
dered nations, is that in verse 41 rendered Gen-
tiles. In the destruction of Jerusalem the dis-
tress fell upon the Jews, and was inflicted by the
Gentiles ; in the time now spoken of (the time of
the Gentile nations) the distress will fall upon
them ; they will be the beleagured and the
anxious. — With perplexity. They will doubt
what the portents may mean, and their fear will
be interspersed by the feeling that they know
not what a day or an hour may bring forth. —
The sea and the waves roaring. Natural
signs on the earth will accompany those in the
heavens. The picture is partially interpreted by
what occurs during an earthquake on the sea-
coast. — Men's hearts fainting (as in a swoon)
for fear (of what they already see) and for
expectation of those things coming upon
the habitable globe. Not upon Judea or Pal-
estine ; the original Greek word is never used
with that limited sense in the N. T. See Matt.
24 : 13, 14, note. Clearly something more than
any of the events, terrible as those were, which
accompanied the destruction of Jerusalem, is

indicated by the language here. — Then shall
they see. Not merely the Jews but the nations,
i. e. the Gentile nations, shall see. It is not true
that either Jew or Gentile recognized in the
destruction of Jerusalem a sign of the truth that
Jesus was the Christ. See Matt. 29-31, note ; and
on the phrase "Son of man," Matt. 10 : 23, note.
Comp. with the language here, Matt. 25 : 31 ;
26 : 64 ; Mark 14 : 62, where Christ uses analo-
gous language, and where he indubitably refers
to his final coming to judge the world. — And
when these things begin to come to pass,
i. e., the first appearance of the promised
signs of Christ's final coming. — Look up and
lift up your heads. The metaphor is of one
sitting down in grief, with bowed head, Mho on
the coming of succor lifts up the head, both to
receive the word and let it awaken hope. — Be-
cause your redemption draweth nigh.
That coming of Christ which will fill the unbe-
lievers with terror, will fill his own children with

joy (Psalm 90 : 11-13, with Rev. 1 : 7).

For reasons partly indicated in the notes here,
and more fully in the notes on Matt., ch. 24, it
seems to me impossible to regard these verses
(25-28) as merely a prophecy of the destruction of
Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews. This,
though a common orthodox interpretation, re-
quires us to give to such language as that of
verses 25 and 27 a meaning which belittles, if it
does not positively falsify, Christ's words; to
attribute to the words nation (htpvtov) and earth
(t>]g yr\g) a meaning which they nowhere else
bear in the N. T. ; to ignore the teaching of
parallel passages of Scripture, and partly of
Christ's own words elsewhere employed in
describing his Second Coming ; and to ignore
his explicit declaration in Mark 13 : 32, that
he does not know when that Second Coming will
take place. The language here and in Mat-
thew should be compared with that of Rev.
6 : 12-17, and the remarkable parallel between
Christ's prophecy and John's vision noticed. In
both the sun and moon are darkened and the
stars fall from heaven ; in one, the heavens are
shaken, in the other, rolled together as a scroll ;
in both, the powers of nature are shaken upon
the earth ; here, the sea and waves roaring ;
there, mountains and islands moved out of their



[Oh. XXI.

34 And take heed* to yourselves, lest at any time
your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, 1 and drunk-
enness, and cares of this life, and so that day come
upon you unawares.

35 l<or m as a snare shall it come on all them that
dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch" ye therefore, and pray always, that ye
may be accounted ° worthy to escape all these things

that shall come to pass, and top stand before ') the Son
of man.

37 And in the day time he was teaching in the tem-
ple ; and at night lie went out, and abode in the
mount 1 that is called the mount of Olives.

38 And all the people came early in the morning to
him in the temple, for to hear him.

k Rom. 13: 12, 13; 1 Thess 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 4 : 7....1 I»a. 28 : 1-3 ; 1 Cur. 6 : 10.... m 1 Tliess. 5.2, 2 Pet. 3 : 10 ; Rev. 16: 15..
n Matt. 25 : 13 o ch. 20 : 35 p P». I : 5 q Jude 24 r John 8 1, 2.

places ; in both, the nations are represented as
in fear and perplexity and faintheartedness,
and endeavoring to escape from the besieged
earth. I know not how any one can read the
two accounts together and not be satisfied that
John's vision was of that event which his Lord
had previously described.

29-33. See notes on Matt. 24 : 32-35.— My
words shall not pass away. Nothing ap-
parently is so fugitive as words, and the words
of Christ were spoken, not reduced to writing by
him, or in his lifetime ; yet history has demon-
strated the truth of this declaration, and his
words have proved more enduring than monu-
ments, temples, cities, or even civilizations, and
shall in their influence outlast the world itself.
Observe in the structure of this promise an addi-
tional indication, that the prophecy here relates
to the end of the world, not merely to the end of
the Jewish dispensation. On the meaning of the
word generation (yusu) which would be better,
rendered race, see on Matt 24 : 34.

34-3G. These verses are peculiar to Luke.
Parallel to them is Matt. 24 : 38-51, and Mark
13 : 33-37. In all these reports the practical
lesson is the same, the duty of prayer and watch-
fulness. The language interprets the more gen-
eral direction in Matthew and Mark, "Watch
ye, therefore ; " this watching is not in order to
give the disciple a better and earlier apprehen-
sion of the approach of the last day, but to
guard against insidious dangers which threaten
to make even the disciple of the Lord unpre-
pared for it and for Him (Matt. 24 : 42, note). — Lest
your hearts grow heavy. This expression is
equivalent to wax gross in Matt. 13 : 15 ; see
note there. — With surfeiting and drunk-
enness and cares of this life. Two very
incongruous vices are here mentioned, equally
inconsistent with the spirit of true piety ; the
one the vice of self-indulgence, the other that
of worldly anxiety ; the one the vice of the
spendthrift, the other that of a mere worldly
thrift. Comp. Matt. 13:22, note.— And that
day come upon you unforeseen. Not
merely suddenly — it will come so to all — but
unlooked for ; or, as in our English version, un-
awares, i. e., upon us while unwatchful, un-
guarded, and so unprepared for its coming. —
For as a snare shall it come. If the Bible
afforded the material for foretelling, even approx-

imately, the time of its coming, this would not be
true. — On all them that dwell on the face
of the whole earth. Clearly here our Lord
is speaking, not of the destruction of Jerusalem,
but of the last great day. And this is usually
the meaning in the N. T. of the phrase that
day, when used absolutely, as here (Matt 22 : 42,
note). — Watch ye, therefore, in every sea-
son (iv jtavrl xaiQw). In prosperity, against the
enticements of self-indulgence ; in adversity,
against the encroachments of earthly cares. —
Praying that ye may be accounted
worthy. Observe, not be worthy, but reckoned
worthy. Here is the germ of that doctrine of
justification by grace through faith, of which we
find the elaboration in Paul's epistles (Rom. 4 : 2-6).
— To be made to stand before the Son of
man. Not to stand, as in our English version ;
the verb (ar« .?)>«<) is in the passive, not the ac-
tive voice. W r e are not, and cannot be worthy, to
stand before the Messiah ; but we may be ac-
counted as worthy to be made to stand before him,
by his grace. It is through Christ we have ac-
cess by faith into the divine peace, in which we
stand here against the wiles and assaults of the
devil (Ephes. 6 : is, u), and by that grace we are to
be made to stand before him in the last great
day (Jude 24), the evidence of our faith being our
obedience, manifested in a life of watching and
prayer. Comp. James 2 : 18. On the meaning
of the phrase, " to stand before the Son of man,"
see Psalm 1:5; Mai. 3:2; John 2 : 28. On this
whole admonition against forgetfulness of the
Lord, and consequent self-indulgence and sin,
compare Rom. 13 : 11-14 ; Ephes. 5:3-6; Col.
3 :l-6.

37, 38. He was by day in the temple
teaching; at night going out he bi-
vouacked on the mount called of Olives.
In that climate and at that season there was no
hardship in sleeping in the open air, wrapped in
his burnoose or cloak. Some nights he seems to
have spent at Bethany (Matt. 21 : 17), probably at
the house of Martha and Mary. Bethany was on
the other side of the Mount of Olives. — And all
the people came early in the morning to
him in the temple. This does not necessarily
indicate anything more than curiosity on their
part, and is not inconsistent with the subsequent
demand for his crucifixion. Such inflections of
popular feeling are common, and in a city

Ch. XXII.]




NOW" the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh,
which is called the Passover.

2 And ' the chief priests and scribes sought how they
might kill him ; for they feared the people.

3 Then" entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot,
being of the number of the twelve.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the
chief priests and captains, how he might betray him
unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted » to give him

6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray
him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

7 Then came the day" of unleavened bread, when
the passover must be killed.

8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and pre-
pare us the passover, that we may eat.

9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we
prepare ?

io And he said unto them. Behold, when ye are en-
tered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing
a pitcher of water ; tollow him into the house where he
entereth in.

ii And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house,
The Master saith unto thee. Where is the gucstcham-
ber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples ?

12 And he shall shew you a large upper room fur-
nished : there make ready.

13 And they went, and found as he had said unto
them : and they made ready the passover.

14 And x when the hour was come, he sat down, and
the twelve apostles with him.

Malt. 36 • 2 ; Mark 14 : 1, etc..

.t Ps. 2 • 2 : Acts 4 : 27.... n Mutt. 28 14 . Mark 14 10. e
w Ewd., cli. U. ..x Matt. 86 20, Mark 14 17.

John 13 : 2, 27.... v Zech. 11 : 12...

thronged as Jerusalem was on Passover week,

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