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1: (Mk 13:1,Lu 21:5).
2: There shall not he left one stone upon another - This was
most punctually fulfilled; for after the temple was burnt, Titus,
the Roman general, ordered the very foundations of it to be dug
up; after which the ground on which it stood was ploughed up by
3: As he sat on the mount of Olives - Whence they had a full view
of the temple. When shall these things be? And what shall be
the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? - The
disciples inquire confusedly,
Our Lord answers distinctly concerning,
- Concerning the time of the destruction of the temple;
- Concerning the signs of Christ's coming, and of the end of
the world, as if they imagined these two were the same thing.
- The destruction of the temple and city, with the signs
preceding, ver. 4, &c, 15, &c. (Mt 24:4,15).
- His own coming, and the end of the world, with the signs
thereof, ver. 29 - 31. (Mt 24:29-31).
- The time of the destruction of the temple, ver. 32, &c. (Mt 24:32).
- The time of the end of the world, ver. 36. (Mt 24:36).
4: Take heed that no man deceive you - The caution is more
particularly designed for the succeeding Christians, whom the
apostles then represented. The first sign of my coming is, the
rise of false prophets. But it is highly probable, many of
these things refer to more important events, which are yet to come.
5: Many shall come in my name - First, false Christs, next, false
prophets, (Mt 24:11). At length, both together, (Mt 24:24).
And indeed never did so many impostors appear in the world as a
few years before the destruction of Jerusalem; undoubtedly
because that was the time wherein the Jews in general expected
6: Wars - Near: Rumours of wars - At a distance. All these things
must come to pass - As a foundation for lasting tranquillity.
But the end - Concerning which ye inquire, is not yet - So far from
it, that this is but the beginning sorrows.
9: Then shall they deliver you up to affliction - As if ye were
the cause of all these evils. And ye shall he hated of all
nations - Even of those who tolerate all other sects and parties;
but in no nation will the children of the devil tolerate the
children of God. (Mt 10:17).
10: Then shall many he offended - So as utterly to make shipwreck
of faith and a pure conscience. But hold ye fast faith, (Mt 24:11).
in spite of false prophets: love, even when iniquity and offences
abound, (Mt 24:12). And hope, unto the end, (Mt 24:13). He that
does so, shall be snatched out of the burning. The love of many
will wax cold - The generality of those who love God will (like the
Church at Ephesus, (Re 2:4),) leave their first love.
13: (Mt 10:22,Mk 13:13,Lu 21:17).
14: This Gospel shall he preached in all the world - Not
universally: this is not done yet: but in general through the
several parts of the world, and not only in Judea And this was
done by St. Paul and the other apostles, before Jerusalem was
destroyed. And then shall the end come - Of the city and temple.
Josephus's History of the Jewish War is the best commentary on
this chapter. it is a wonderful instance of God's providence,
that he, an eye witness, and one who lived and died a Jew, should,
especially in so extraordinary a manner, be preserved, to transmit
to us a collection of important facts, which so exactly illustrate
this glorious prophecy, in almost every circumstance.(Mk 13:10).
15: When ye see the abomination of desolation - Daniel's term is,
The abomination that maketh desolate,(Da 11:31); that is, the standards of the desolating legions, on
which they bear the abominable images of their idols: Standing in
the holy place - Not only the temple and the mountain on which it
stood, but the whole city of Jerusalem, and several furlongs of
land round about it, were accounted holy; particularly the mount
on which our Lord now sat, and on which the Romans afterward
planted their ensigns. He that readeth let him understand
- Whoever reads that prophecy of Daniel, let him deeply consider it.(Mk 13:14,Lu 21:20,Da 9:27).
16: Then let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains - So the
Christians did, and were preserved. It is remarkable that after
the Romans under Cestus Gallus made their first advances toward
Jerusalem, they suddenly withdrew again, in a most unexpected and
indeed impolitic manner. This the Christians took as a signal to
retire, which they did, some to Pella, and others to Mount Libanus.
17: Let not him that is on the house top come down to take any
thing out of his house - It may be remembered that their stairs
used to be on the outside of their houses.
19: Wo to them that are with child, and to them that give suck
- Because they cannot so readily make their escape.
20: Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter - They did so;
and their flight was in the spring. Neither on the Sabbath
- Being on many accounts inconvenient; beside that many would
have scrupled to travel far on that day. For the Jews thought
it unlawful to walk above two thousand paces (two miles) on the
21: Then shall be great tribulation - Have not many things spoken
in the chapter, as well as in (Mk 13:14 )&c., (Lu 21:21) &c.
a farther and much more extensive meaning than has been yet
22: And unless those days were shortened - By the taking of
Jerusalem sooner than could be expected: No flesh would be
saved - The whole nation would be destroyed. But for the elect's
sake - That is, for the sake of the Christians.
23: (Mk 13:21,Lu 17:23).
24: They would deceive, if possible, the very elect - But it is
not possible that God should suffer the body of Christians to
be thus deceived.
27: For as the lightning goeth forth - For the next coming of
Christ will he as quick as lightning; so that there will not be
time for any such previous warning.
28: For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles he
gathered together - Our Lord gives this, as a farther reason, why
they should not hearken to any pretended deliverer. As if he
had said, Expect not any deliverer of the Jewish nation; for it
is devoted to destruction. It is already before God a dead
carcass, which the Roman eagles will soon devour.(Lu 17:37).
29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days - Here our
Lord begins to speak of his last coming. But he speaks not so
much in the language of man as of God, with whom a thousand years
are as one day, one moment. Many of the primitive Christians not
observing this, thought he would come immediately, in the common
sense of the word: a mistake which St. Paul labours to remove,
in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. The powers of the
heavens - Probably the influences of the heavenly bodies.(Mk 13:24,Lu 21:25).
30: Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven - It
seems a little before he himself descends. The sun, moon, and
stars being extinguished, (probably not those of our system
only,) the sign of the Son of man (perhaps the cross) will appear
in the glory of the Lord.
31: They shall gather together his elect - That is, all that have
endured to the end in the faith which worketh by love.
32: Learn a parable - Our Lord having spoke of the signs preceding
the two grand events, concerning which the apostles had inquired,
begins here to speak of the time of them. And to the question
proposed, (Mt 24:3), concerning the time of the destruction of
Jerusalem, he answers (Mt 24:34). Concerning the time of the
end of the world, he answers (Mt 24:36).(Mk 13:28,Lu 21:29).
34: This generation of men now living shall not pass till all
these things be done - The expression implies, that great part of
that generation would be passed away, but not the whole. Just
so it was. For the city and temple were destroyed thirty - nine
or forty years after.
36: But of that day - The day of judgment; Knoweth no man - Not
while our Lord was on earth. Yet it might be afterward
revealed to St. John consistently with this.
37: (Lu 17:26).
40: One is taken - Into God's immediate protection: and one is
left - To share the common calamities. Our Lord speaks as having
the whole transaction present before his eyes.
41: Two women shall be grinding - Which was then a common
employment of women.
42: Ye know not what hour your Lord cometh - Either to require
your soul of you, or to avenge himself of this nation.(Mk 13:33,Lu 12:35,21:34).
45: Who then is the faithful and wise servant - Which of you
aspires after this character? Wise - Every moment retaining the
clearest conviction, that all he now has is only intrusted
to him as a steward: Faithful - Thinking, speaking, and acting
continually, in a manner suitable to that conviction.
48: But if that evil servant - Now evil, having put away faith
and a good conscience.
51: And allot him his portion with the hypocrites - The worst of
sinners, as upright and sincere as he was once.
If ministers are the persons here primarily intended, there is
a peculiar propriety in the expression. For no hypocrisy can
be baser, than to call ourselves ministers of Christ, while we
are the slaves of avarice, ambition, or sensuality. Wherever
such are found, may God reform them by his grace, or disarm them
of that power and influence, which they continually abuse to his
dishonour, and to their own aggravated damnation!