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xxiii. 21, 25.
ver. 24. d ver. 11.
6. Isa. xix. 2.
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 ? 4 And Jesus answered and said 6 jethers. i.?. unto them, b Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 c For c Jer. xiv. 14:
2. many shall come in my name, saying, I am & Christ ; d and
shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and
rumours of wars : see that ye be not troubled : for all these e ? Chron, «v; things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For e 2 Chron. xv. Hag. ii. 22. Zeki is, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingZech. xiv. 18.
8 render, the Christ. tory, is one key to the interpretation of the millennial ones of the Apocalypse. this chapter. Two parallel inter. How untenable this view is, I hope the pretations run through the former part as following notes will shew; but to be confar as ver. 28; the destruction of Jerusa. tinually meeting it, is the office of polemic, lem and the final judgment being both not of exegetic theology. 4, 5.] Our enwrapped in the words, but the former, Lord does not answer the when, but by in this part of the chapter, predominating. admonitions not to be deceived. See a Even in this part, however, we cannot tell question similarly answered, Luke xiii. 23, how applicable the warnings given may 24. For many ... ] This was the be to the events of the last times, in which first danger awaiting them: not of being apparently Jerusalem is again to play so drawn away from Christ, but of imagining distinguished a part. From ver. 28, the that these persons were Himself. Of such lesser subject begins to be swallowed up persons, before the destruction of Jerusaby the greater, and our Lord's second lem, we have no distinct record : doubtless coming to be the predominant theme, with there were such : but (see above) I believe however certain hints thrown back as it the prophecy and warning to have a furwere at the event which was immediately ther reference to the latter times, in which in question : till, in the latter part of the its complete fulfilment must be looked for. chapter and the whole of the next, the The persons usually cited as fulfilling this second advent, and, at last, the final judge (Theudas, Simon Nagus, Barchochab, &c.) ment ensuing on it, are the subjects. are all too early or too late, and not cor(2) Another weighty matter for the under respondent to the condition, in My name, standing of this prophecy is, that (see with My name as the ground of their Mark xiii. 32) any obscurity or conceal. pretences. See Greswell on the Parables, v. ment concerning the time of the Lord's 380 note. St. Luke gives an addition (ver. second coming, must be attributed to the 8) to the speech of the false Christs, “and right cause, which we know from His own the time is at hand.” 6-8.) wars mouth to be, that the divine Speaker and rumours of wars there certainly were Himself, in His humiliation, did not know during this period; but the prophecy inust the day nor the hour. All that He had be interpreted rather of those of which the heard of the Father, He made known unto Hebrew Christians would be most likely His disciples (John xv. 15): but that which to hear as a cause of terror. Such un. the Father kept in His own power (Acts doubtedly were the three threats of war i. 7), He did not in. His abased humanity against the Jews by Caligula, Claudius, know. He told them the attendant cir. and Nero; of the first of which Josephus cumstances of His coming; He gave them says, “ that it would have brought exterenough to guard them from error in sup. mination to the Jewish nation, had it not posing the day to be close at hand, and been for Caligula's death.” Luke couples from carelessness in not expecting it as with wars "commotions," -and to this near. Regarding Scripture prophecy as I nation against nation seems also to point. do as a whole, and the same great process There were serious disturbances,-(1) at of events to be denoted by it all, it will be Alexandria, which gave rise to the combut waste labour to be continually at issue, plaint against and deposition of Flaccus, in the notes of this and the succeeding and Philo's work against him (A.D. 38), in chapter, with those who hold that the which the Jews as a nation were the Gospel prophecies are inconsistent, in especial objects of persecution; (2) at their description of the end, with those Seleucia about the same time, in which after the Ascension, and those again with more than 50,000 Jews were killed; (3)
John xv. 20: xvi. 2. Acts iv. 2, 3: vii. 59. xii. 1, &c. 1 Pet. iv. 18. Rey, ii 10,
dom : and there shall be famines [t and pestilences], and schon. 17. earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning 23: Mits of sorrows. 9? Then shall they deliver you up to be Pet, iv. 18. afflicted, and shall kill you : and ye shall be hated of all g ch. xi. 6 : nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many & be a Tim... 15: offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one h chasi, 15.0 another. 11b And many false prophets shall rise, and i shall i i Tim. iv.i.
iv. 10, 10. hch. vii. 15.
Acts xx.20. 9 Pet. ii. 1.
ver. 5, 24.
at Jamnia, a city on the coast of Judæa to imply that the earthquakes should be in near Joppa. Many other such national Judæa or Jerusalem. We have an account tumults are recorded by Josephus. In of one in Jerusalem, in Josephus, which one place he calls the sedition a preface of Mr. Greswell (as above) places about Nov. the siege. famine, and pestilence, which A.D. 67. On the additions in Luke xxi. is coupled to it in Luke, are usual com- 11, see notes there ; and on this whole panions. With regard to the first, Gres. passage see the prophecies in 2 Chron. xv. well shews that the famine prophesied of 5–7, and Jer. li. 45, 46. the beginin the Acts (xi. 28) happened in the ninth ning of sorrows (literally of birth pangs)] of Claudius, A.D. 49. It was great at in reference to the regeneration (ch. xix. Rome,--and therefore probably Egypt and 28), which is to precede the consummation Africa, on which the Romans depended so of this age. So Paul in Rom. viii. 22, the much for supplies, were themselves much whole creation ... travaileth together until affected by it. Suetonius speaks of con- now. The death-throes of the Jewish state tinual droughts; and Tacitus of dearth precede the regeneration of the universal of crops, and thence famine, about the Christian Church, as the death-throes of same time. There was a famine in Judæa this world the new heavens and new earth. in the reign of Claudius (the true date of 9-13.? Then, at this time,-during which however Mr. Greswell believes to be this period, not after these things have the third of Nero), mentioned by Josephus happened. These words serve only defiAnd as to pestilences, though their occur nitely to fix the time of the indefinite rence might, as above, be inferred from then, here and in ver. 10. The then in the other, we have distinct accounts of a ver. 14 is, from the construction of the pestilence at Rome (A.D. 65) in Suetonius sentence, more definite. For kill you, and Tacitus, which in a single autumn Luke has some of you shall they cause to carried off 30,000 persons at Rome. But be put to death, viz. the Apostles. This such matters as these are not often related sign was early given. James the brother by historians, unless of more than usual of John was put to death, A.D. 44: Peter severity. earthquakes] The principal and Paul (traditionally) and James the earthquakes occurring between this pro. Lord's brother, before the destruction of phecy and the destruction of Jerusalem Jerusalem : and possibly others. were, (1) a great earthquake in Crete, shall be hated] See Acts xxviii. 22. Taci. A.D. 46 or 47; (2) one at Rome on the tus says that Nero, for the conflagration day when Nero assumed the manly toga, of Rome, persecuted the Christians, a race A.D. 51; (3) one at Apamæa in Phrygia, of men detested for their crimes :' also see mentioned by Tacitus, A.D. 53; (4) one at 1 Pet. ii. 12; iii. 16; iv. 14-16. In Laodicea in Phrygia, A.D. 60; (5) one in chap. x. 22, from which these verses are Campania. Seneca, in the year A.D. 58, repeated, we have only “of all” (men)writes :-“ How often have cities of Asia here nations is added, giving particularity and Achæa fallen with one fatal shock! to the prophecy. 10.] See 2 Tim. iv. how many cities have been swallowed up 16, and the repeated warnings against in Syria, how many in Macedonia! How apostasy in the Epistle to the Hebrews. often has Cyprus been wasted by this The persons spoken of in this verse are calamity! how often has Paphos become Christians. Tacitus says, that the first a ruin! News has often been brought apprehended by Nero confessed, and then us of the demolition of whole cities at a great multitude were apprehended by once." The prophecy, mentioning in their information, xv. 44. On offended, divers places (place for place,-i.e. here see note, ch. xi. 6. Ou hate one and there, cach in its particular locality; another, compare the deadly hatred borne as we say, “up and down"), does not seem to St. Paul and his work by the Judaizers.
Rev. ii. 10.
deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the k china 1 love of w many shall wax cold. 13 k But he that I shall endure 1 ch. iv. 23:. unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 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. m Rom. x. 18. 15 m When ye therefore shall see the abomination of de
Col. i. 6, 28. xii, 11. 15. 27: solation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, y stand in the
vrender, hath abounded. W render, the many; i, e. most men.
I render, hath endured. y render, standing. In the Apocryphal works called the Cle- pregnant meaning of prophecy. The Gos. mentines, which follow teaching similar to pel had been preached through the whole that of the factions adverse to Paul in the Roman world, and every nation had reCorinthian Church, he is hinted at underceived its testimony, before the destructhe name “the enemy.” (See Stanley, tion of Jerusalem : see Col. i. 6, 23: 2 Tim. Essays on Apostolic Age, p. 377.) These iv. 17. This was necessary not only as re. Judaizing teachers, among others, are garded the Gentiles, but to give to God's meant by the false prophets, as also that people the Jews, who were scattered among plentiful crop of heretical teachers which all these nations, the opportunity of resprang up every where with the good seed ceiving or rejecting the preaching of of the Gospel when first sown. See espe- Christ. But in the wider sense, the words cially Acts xx. 30: Gal. i. 7-9: Rom. imply that the Gospel shall be preached in xvi. 17, 18: Col. ii. 17-end : 1 Tim. i. all the world, literally taken, before the 6, 7, 20; vi. 3-5, 20, 21 : 2 Tim. ii. 18; great and final end come. The apostasy of ïïi. 6–8: 2 Pet. ii. (and Jude): 1 John the latter days, and the universal disper. ii. 18, 22, 23, 26; iv. 1, 3: 2 John 7: sion of missions, are the two great signs of false apostles, 2 Cor. xi. 13.
the end drawing near. 15. the abomi. 12.] It is against this iniquity especially nation of desolation] The Greek words are that James, in his Epistle, and Jude, in the LXX rendering of the Hebrew of Dan. more than the outward sense the brother xii. 11. The similar expression in ch. xi. of James, were called on to protest,—the 31, is rendered in the same manner by the mixture of heathen licentiousness with the LXX. To what exactly the words in profession of Christianity. But perhaps Daniel apply, is not clear. Like other prowe ought to have regard to the past tense phecies, it is probable that they are pregof the verb in the original, and interpret, nant with several interpretations, and are
because the iniquity is filled up, on ac. not yet entirely fulfilled. They were incount of the horrible state of morality terpreted of Antiochus Epiphanes by the (parallel to that described by Thucydides, Alexandrine Jews; thus 1 Macc. i. 54 we as prevailing in Greece, which had de read “they set up the abomination of de. stroyed all mutual confidence), the love solation upon the altar.” Josephus refers and mutual trust of the generality of the prophecy to the desolation by the RoChristians shall grow cold.
mans. The principal Commentators have the many,—thus we have, ch. xxv. 5, supposed, that the eagles of the Roman “they all slumbered and slept.” Even legions are meant, which were an abomina. the Church itself is leavened by the dis tion, inasmuch as they were idols wor. trust of the evil days. See 2 Thess. ii. 3. shipped by the soldiers. These, they say,
13.] The primary meaning of this stood in the holy place, or a holy place, seems to be, that whosoever remained faith, when the Roman armies encamped round ful till the destruction of Jerusalem, should Jerusalem under Cestius Gallus first, A.D. be preserved from it. No Christian, that 66, then under Vespasian, A.D. 68, then we know of, perished in the siege or after lastly under Titus, A.D. 70. Of these the it : see below. But it has ulterior mean- first is generally taken as the sign meant. ings, according to which the end will sig- Josephus relates, B. J. ii. 20. 1, that after nify, to an individual, the day of his death Cestius was defeated, “ many of the prin(see Rev. ii. 10),-his martyrdom, as in the cipal Jews removed from the city, as from case of some of those here addressed,--to a sinking ship.” But, without denying the Church, endurance in the faith to the that this time was that of the sign being end of all things. See Luke xxi. 19, and given, I believe that all such interpretanote. 14.] We here again have the tions of its meaning are wholly inapplica
holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand :) 16 then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains : 17 let him which is on the housetop not come down to take 2 any thing out of his house : 18 neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 a And woe unto o Luke xxiii. them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the z read, the things.
& render, But. ble. The error has mainly arisen from on one day (see ver. 20), and universal supposing that the parallel warning of St. from all parts of Judæa. Putting then St. Luke (ver. 20), “ When ye see Jerusalem Luke's expression and the text together, I encompassed with armies, then her desola. think that some internal desecration of tion draweth nigh,” is identical in meaning the holy place by the Zelots coincided with with our text and that of St. Mark. The the approach of Cestius, and thus, both two first evangelists, writing for Jews, or from without and within, the Christians as Jews, give the inner or domestic sign of were warned to escape. See Luke xxi. 20. the approaching calamity: which was to whoso readeth, let him understand) be seen in the temple, and was to be the This I believe to have been an ecclesiastical abomination (always used of something note, which, like the doxology in ch. vi. 13, caused by the Jews themselves, see 2 Kings has found its way into the text. If the xxi. 2-15: Ezek. v. 11; vii. 8, 9; viii. two first Gospels were published before the 6–16) which should cause the desolation, destruction of Jerusalem, such an admoni. - the last drop in the cup of iniquity. tion would be very intelligible. The words Luke, writing for Gentiles, gives the oute may be part of our Lord's discourse direct. ward state of things corresponding to this ing attention to the prophecy of Daniel inward sign. That the Roman eagles can. (see 2 Tim. ii. 7: Dan. xii. 10); but this not be meant, is apparent: for the sign is not likely, especially as the reference to would thus be no sign, the Roman eagles Daniel does not occur in Mark, where having been seen on holy ground for many these words are also found. They cannot years past, and at the very moment when well be the words of the Evangelist, in. these words were uttered. Also holy place serted to bespeak attention, as this in the must mean the temple : see reff. three first Gospels is wholly without exNow in searching for some event which ample. 16-18.] The Christian Jews may have given such alarm to the Chris. are said to have fled to Pella, a town detians, Josephus's unconscious admission is scribed by Josephus as the northernmost important. The party of the Zelots, as we boundary of Peræa. Eusebius says they learn, had taken possession of the temple. were directed thither by a certain prophetic In the next section he tells us that they intimation, which however cannot be this ; chose one Phannius as their high priest, as Pella is not on the mountains, but be. an ignorant and profane fellow, brought yond them (but in order to reach it would out of the field. I own that the above. not they have to fly exactly over (so literally cited passages strongly incline me to think here] the mountains ? See note on ch. that if not this very impiety, some similar xviii. 12):—Epiphanius, that they were one, about or a little before this time, was warned by an angel. 17.) A person the sign spoken of by the Lord. In its might run on the flat-roofed houses in Je. place in Josephus, this very event seems to rusalem from one part of the city to anstand a little too late for our purpose (A.D. other, and to the city gates. Perhaps how67, a year after the investment by Ces ever this is not meant, but that he should tius): but the narrative occurs in a de descend by the outer stairs instead of the scription of the atrocities of the Zelots, inner, which would lose time. 19, 20.7 and without any fixed date, and they had It will be most important that so sudden been in possession of the temple from the a flight should not be encumbered, by per. very first. So that this or some similar sonal bindrances, or by hindrances of acabomination may have about this time companiment, see 1 Cor. vii. 26; and that filled up the cup of iniquity and given the those things which are out of our power to sign to the Christians to depart. What arrange, should be propitious,- weather, ever it was, it was a definite, well-marked and freedom from legal prohibition. The event, for the flight was to be immediate, words neither on the sabbath day, are
p Dan. ix. 20:
xii. 1. Joel ii. 2.
q Isa. Ixv.8.
Zech. xiv. 2.
ver. 5, 11.
D Dan. ix. 20 winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21. for P then shall be
great tribulation, such as b was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And
except those days should be shortened, there should no a Lechering. flesh be saved : 9 but for the elect's sake those days shall
be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, r Deuts, xiii. 1. here is c Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For 'there
8, 10, 11: ". shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew s John great signs and wonders; insomuch that, s if it were Time possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I
have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth : behold, he
b render, hath not been. Crender, the Christ. peculiar to Matthew, and shew the strong sides the cutting short in the Divine coun. Jewish tint which caused him alone to sels, which must be hidden from us, vari. preserve such portions of our Lord's say. ous causes combined to shorten the siege. ings. That they were not said as any (1) Herod Agrippa had begun strengthensanction of observance of the Jewish Sab- ing the walls of Jerusalem in a way which bath, is most certain : but merely as re- if finished would have rendered them- able ferring to the positive impediments which to resist all human violence, but was might meet them on that day, the shut. stopped by orders from Claudius, A.D. 42 ting of the gates of cities, &c., and their or 43, Jos. Antt. xix. 7. 2. (2) The Jews, own scruples about travelling further than being divided into factions ainong themthe ordinary Sabbath-day's journey (about selves, had totally neglected any preparaa mile English); for the Jewish Christians tions to stand a siege. (3) The magazines adhered to the law and customary observ. of corn and provision were burnt just be. ances till the destruction of Jerusalem. fore the arrival of Titus; the words of Jo.
21, 22.7 In ver. 19 there is proba. sephus are remarkable on this : “ Within bly also an allusion to the horrors of the a little all the corn was burnt, which would siege, which is here taken up by the for. have lasted them many years of siege." See Deut. xxviii. 49–57, which was lite. (4) Titus arrived suddenly, and the Jews rally fulfilled in the case of Mary of Pe voluntarily abandoned parts of the fortificaræa, related by Josephus. Our Lord tion (Jewish Wars, vi. 8. 4). (5) Titus himstill has in view the prophecy of Daniel self confessed, “God has fought for us, and (ch. xii. 1), and this citation clearly shews He it is who has deprived the Jews of these the intermediate fulfilment, by the de. their fortifications : for what could human struction of Jerusalem, of that which is hands or engines do against these towers ?” yet future in its final fulfilment: for Some such providential shortening of the Daniel is speaking of the end of all things. great days of tribulation, and hastening Then only will these words be accomplished of God's glorious Kingdom, is here proin their full sense : although Josephus (but mised for the latter times. 23–26.] he only in a figure of rhetoric) has ex. These verses have but a faint reference pressed himself in nearly the same lan. (though an unmistakeable one) to the time guage : “All calamities from the beginning of the siege: their principal reference is of time seem to me to shrink to nothing to the latter days. In their first meanin comparison with those of the Jews,” ing, they would tend to correct the idea of
22.) If God had not in his mercy the Christians that the Lord's coming was shortened (by His decree) those days (“the to be simultaneous with the destruction of days of vengeance,” Luke xxi. 22), the Jerusalem : and to guard them against whole nation in the ultimate fulfilment, the impostors who led people out into the all flesh) would have perished; but for the wilderness (see Acts xxi. 38), or invited them sake of the chosen ones,-the believing, to consult them privately, with the promise or those who should believe,- or perhaps of deliverance. In their main view, they the preservation of the chosen race whom will preserve the Church firm in her wait. God hath not cast off, Rom. xi. 1,—they ing for Christ, through even the awful shall be shortened. It appears that be troubles of the latter days, unmoved by