1–2 The departure of Jesus ἀπὸ ηνῦ ἱεξνῦ, ―from the temple,‖ is apparently not to be

correlated with a previously specified visit; the last reference to Jesus entering the
temple is in 21:23, and the intervening material presupposes the passage of considerable
time. The disciples, apparently filled with wonder at the sight of ηὰο νἰθνδνκὰο ηνῦ
ἱεξνῦ, ―the buildings of the temple,‖ wanted Jesus to share in their excitement, and they
called his attention to the sight (ἐπηδεῖμαη αὐηῷ, ―to show him‖), probably looking back
and down as they were part way up the Mount of Olives (cf. v. 3) on the way back to
Bethany (cf. 26:6). Herod‘s newly ornamented temple was famous for its gleaming
beauty (see Jos., J. W. 6.4.8. §267: ―the most marvelous edifice which we have ever
seen or heard of, whether one considers its structure, its magnitude, the richness of its
every detail‖; cf. Ant. 15.11.3 §393; b. B. Bat. 4a). The disciples must have been
astounded at the response of Jesus. A time was coming when these glorious structures
would be leveled, when not a stone would be left upon a stone. This prophecy will later,
in distorted form, be directed against Jesus by his opponents (cf. 26:61; 27:40). The
disciples were not slow in recognizing the apocalyptic tone of the announcement, as
their question in v. 3 indicates. While they were familiar with Jeremiah‘s prophecies
concerning the destruction of the first temple (cf. Jer 9:14; 9:11; Mic 3:12), which
occurred in 586 B.C., the thought of the destruction of the second temple could, so they
believed, only signal the time of final judgment, the end of the age. The statement that
there will not be left ιίζνο ἐπὶ ιίζνλ, ―a stone upon a stone,‖ a metaphor for total
destruction (and one that reverses the building process [Hag 2:15]), is found again
(besides in the synoptic parallels) in Luke 19:44, where it also refers to the destruction
of Jerusalem (for the historical fulfillment, see Jos., J. W. 7.1.1 §§1–4). Jesus‘ statement
receives added emphasis from the formulaic ἀκὴλ ιέγσ ὑκῖλ, ―truly I tell you,‖ which
prefaces it.
3 As Jesus sat down on the mountain to deliver the first Matthean discourse (cf.
5:1), so again he sits on a mountain, this time the Mount of Olives, while giving the
fifth and last discourse. Thus Jesus delivers the eschatological discourse from the very
place where the eschatological events were prophesied to begin (cf. Zech 14:4). The
disciples, no doubt troubled by Jesus‘ prophecy, come to him privately for some
privileged information (cf. the coming of the disciples θαη᾽ ἰδίαλ, ―privately,‖ in 17:19).
That the two parts of the question are asked in one breath indicates that the disciples
could not dissociate the destruction of the temple from the end of the age. The
misleading manner in which the questions are juxtaposed thus reflects the mindset of
the disciples (including the evangelist, as may be determined by his redaction of Mark).
The generalizing plural ηαῦηα, ―these things,‖ apparently includes not only the leveling
of the temple but events that had to accompany it, such as the fall of the city of
Jerusalem. Remarkably, the first question, concerning ―when‖ (πόηε) these things were
to occur, is not answered in the discourse. Although Jesus does not answer directly,
however, v. 34, insofar as it refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, would intimate that
that event was to occur within that generation. The second question concerns ηὸ
ζεκεῖνλ, ―the sign,‖ that will point to the eschatological dénouement, indicating ηῆο ζῆο
παξνπζίαο, ―your coming,‖ and ζπληειείαο ηνῦ αἰῶλνο, ―the consummation of the age.‖
The conceptual unity of the parousia and the end of the age is indicated by the single
Greek article governing both (Granville Sharp‘s Rule [see S. E. Porter, Idioms of the
Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Sheffield: JSOT, 1994) 110–11]). The disciples thus
cf. confer, compare
b. breve (metrically short poetic line), or before a tractate indicates Babylonian Talmud.
B. Bat. Baba Batra
ed. edited, edition(s), editor

were unable to separate the two events in their minds: the destruction of Jerusalem must
entail the end of the age and the parousia of Jesus, inaugurating the eschaton. In the
discourse Jesus will three times refer to ἡ παξνπζία ηνῦ πἱνῦ ηνῦ ἀλζξώπνπ, ―the
coming of the Son of Man‖ (vv 27, 37, 39; the word ―coming‖ does not occur in the
other Gospels). ―Parousia‖ now refers not to the visit or presence of an earthly king, as
in the Hellenistic world, but is used technically to refer to the return of Jesus. The
―consummation of the age‖ is not found in the remainder of the discourse (it is found,
however, in 28:20, as well as in 13:39–40, 49; the only other occurrence in the NT is in
Heb 9:26, where, however, the plural ―ages‖ is used; cf. T. Levi 10; 2 Apoc. Bar. 59:8;
LXX Dan 11:35; 12:4, 13). Questions similar to those of the disciples are common in
apocalyptic literature (cf. Dan 8:13; 12:6; 2 Esdr 4:33, 35; 6:7, 11–12; 2 Apoc. Bar.
21:18–19). A similar concern is found in the rabbinic literature (b. Sanh. 98a; 99a;
Pesiq. R. 1[46]).
As far as the apostles were concerned, the ominous words of Jesus concerning the
destruction of the temple could point in only one direction: to the experiencing of the
eschatological judgment. This was a subject to which Jesus had often alluded in his
teaching ministry and therefore something they may well have expected him to indicate.
They were accordingly eager to know how soon this might occur and what sign they
might anticipate to indicate its approach. Their concern was not one of idle curiosity, for
mere information‘s sake, but concern that they might be properly prepared for the time
of judgment. From their perspective, the destruction of the temple must have meant the
coming again of Jesus, not as he now was with them when his glory was veiled but as
the clearly revealed Son of God for all to see. Jesus had now to instruct them more
closely about these matters, about the future he had intimated in his dramatic oracle of

The Beginning of Birth Pangs (24:4–8)
See Bibliography for Introduction to 24:1–25:46.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Be careful lest anyone deceive you. 5 For
many will come in my name, saying: „I am the Messiah.‟ And they will deceive many. 6
And you will soon hear of wars and rumors of wars. See to it that you are not
frightened. For these thingsa must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise
up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be faminesb and
earthquakes in place after place. 8 But all these things are the beginning of birth
JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Biblical Studies
vv verse(s)
NT New Testament
T. Levi Testament of Levi (from Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs)
Apoc. Apocalypse of, apocalyptic or Apocrypha
Bar. Baraita
LXX The Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
Sanh. Sanhedrin
Pesiq. R. Pesiqta Rabbati
a. ―These things‖ added to translation for clarity (ηαῦηα, ―these things,‖ is added to the text in lat sys; cf. Luke 21:9).
Many MSS (C W f13 TR syp,h) add πάληα, ―all (these things),‖ perhaps by the influence of v. 8. The shortest reading,
the simple δεῖ γὰξ γελέζζαη, ―for [they] must be‖ or ―happen,‖ is to be preferred. See TCGNT, 61.
b. Many MSS (C Θ f1,13 TR syp,h mae) insert θαὶ ινηκνί, ―and plagues,‖ before θαὶ ζεηζκνί, ―and earthquakes‖; some
other MSS (L W 33 lat) make ινηκνί, ―plagues,‖ the first of the three items. This insertion is a harmonization with the
text of Luke 21:11 (followed most closely by the former group of MSS).

a. ―These things‖ added to translation for clarity (ηαῦηα, ―these things,‖ is added to
the text in lat sys; cf. Luke 21:9). Many MSS (C W f13 TR syp,h) add πάληα, ―all (these
things),‖ perhaps by the influence of v. 8. The shortest reading, the simple δεῖ γὰξ
γελέζζαη, ―for [they] must be‖ or ―happen,‖ is to be preferred. See TCGNT, 61.
b. Many MSS (C Θ f1,13 TR syp,h mae) insert θαὶ ινηκνί, ―and plagues,‖ before θαὶ
ζεηζκνί, ―and earthquakes‖; some other MSS (L W 33 lat) make ινηκνί, ―plagues,‖ the
first of the three items. This insertion is a harmonization with the text of Luke 21:11
(followed most closely by the former group of MSS).
A. The eschatological discourse, given in response to the disciples‘ question, begins
with the assertion that the world will yet experience much trouble before the coming of
the final or eschatological judgment. The effect of this emphasis, although left implicit,
is to make possible a separation of the destruction of the temple from the experiencing
of the end of the age. In connection with the troubles to be experienced, messianic
claimants will appear. But none of them is the Messiah; it is not yet the end of the age.
This emphasis occurs repeatedly in this chapter as a kind of leitmotif (cf. vv 11, 23–36).
B. Matthew follows Mark closely, often verbatim, in this pericope. In v. 4 he deletes
Mark‘s ἤξμαην, ―began‖ (Mark 13:5), and inserts the formulaic ἀπνθξηζείο, ―answered‖
(which is commonly used with εἶπελ, ―said,‖ in Matthew). Matthew‘s inserted γάξ,
―for,‖ at the beginning of v. 5 (cf. Luke 21:8) ties the sentences more closely together.
Matthew‘s inserted ὁ Φξηζηόο, ―the Christ,‖ completes the ἐγώ εἰκη, ―I am,‖ of Mark
13:6 (cf. Luke 21:8). In v. 6 Matthew rewrites Mark by adding Mark‘s ὅηαλ δὲ
ἀθνύζεηε, ―whenever you hear,‖ to κειιήζεηε δὲ ἀθνύεηλ, ―you are about to hear,‖ thus
heightening the imminence of the expected troubles. In the same verse, Matthew inserts
ὁξᾶηε, ―see‖ (perhaps on the model of βιέπεηε, ―beware,‖ in v. 4), and γάξ, ―for,‖ after
δεῖ, ―it [they] must,‖ and supplies the copula ἐζηίλ, ―is,‖ before ηὸ ηέινο, ―the end.‖
Matthew in v. 7 smooths out Mark‘s syntax, and in v. 8 adds πάληα , ―all,‖ to Mark‘s
ηαῦηα, ―these (things)‖ (cf. the same phrase in v. 2; 4:9; 6:23–24; 13:34, 51, 56; 19:20;
and esp. 24:33–34).
C. Disastrous events were to occur in the future—events that would turn one‘s
thoughts to eschatology. Yet the disciples were not to allow themselves to be deceived
by these events. Outline: (1) warning not to be deceived (v. 4); (2) the coming of false
messiahs who will deceive many (v. 5); (3) reports of war (v. 6 a–b); (4) the delay of the
end (v. 6c); (5) future wars (v. 7a); (6) future catastrophes (v. 7b); and (7) the beginning
of woes (v. 8). The passage consists of a string of short sentences with not much
syntactic parallelism. Some structural parallelism can be seen between βιέπεηε and
ὁξᾶηε, ―see,‖ in vv 4 and 6, both followed by κή with the prohibitive subjunctive. The
two objects of ἀθνύεηλ, ―hear,‖ in v. 6 are parallel; v. 7 furthermore has parallelism in
the ἔζλνο, ―nation,‖ and βαζηιεία, ―kingdom,‖ clauses. ιηκνί, ―famines,‖ and ζεηζκνί,
―earthquakes,‖ are put in parallel by Matthew. The ηαῦηα πάληα, ―all these things,‖ of v.
8 is recapitulative in force.

lat Latin
sy Syriac
MSS manuscript(s)
C The Cairo Geniza
TR Textus Receptus
TCGNT B.M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament
L Leningrad Codes of MT (as published in BHS) or Codex Leningradensis, B19a
esp. especially

Gingrich. 135 do we have evidence of the claim of the title Messiah.‖ as it is used here. of reports of wars more distant.‖ are linked with ςεπδνπξνθῆηαη. 7) do not in themselves signal the end (cf.4 §259. V 4b is quoted in Did. 45 [Theod. Despite what appears to point to the reality of eschatological judgment.D. ―the end is not yet.10. The language is from the stock of apocalyptic literature (cf. W. νὔπσ ἐζηὶλ ηὸ ηέινο.g. Bauer. ―many. 2d ed. For reference to such revolutionary leaders. V Vulgate Did.5. 1979) e. 24. The self-claims of false messiahs. the similar formula [δεῖ γελέζζαη] in Rev 1:1. Or. 6.17. although not until Bar Kokhba in A.1. 573b). Comment 4–5 Jesus begins his answer to the disciples‘ questions by warning them not to be deceived by premature claims of the Messiah‘s presence. The horror and human suffering connected with war are bound to raise eschatological thoughts—and they have indeed throughout history—yet the disciples must realize that these terrible events (and those mentioned in v.e. (On the title.] in reference to what ―must‖ occur in the future). 10:22. 70:2–3. Danker (University of Chicago. vv 13–14. even when in conjunction with events that suggest the coming of the eschaton. ―pseudo-prophets. J.‖ It is not yet the time of the proper eschatological work of the Messiah. or the claims of others on their behalf. Arndt and F. For the absolute use of ηὸ ηέινο. The claim to be the Christ means here the claim to be the eschatological Messiah.‖ means either that they will come using the name of Jesus (see BAGD. see Josephus (e. 573a) or that they will come assuming the messianic office of Jesus (for ὀλόκαηη as ―office. 48:30–41. 6 The disciples will. Theudas (Acts 5:36). ed. cf. whose endeavors had clear eschatological overtones.13. First. for example i. ˓ôlām hazzeh) to ―that age. Ant.. where ςεπδόρξηζηνη. as is spelled out in the explicit claim that follows. in the not distant future. v. but over a period of time—ἐγώ εἰκη ὁ Φξηζηόο. that is Sib..) Revolutionary leaders such as Judas the Galilean (Acts 5:37). ˓ôlām habbā˒). W. ―the end. 2. ―rumors of wars. Gingrich and F. 27). the disciples should not be unduly ―disturbed‖ (ζξνεῖζζε) by these events. W. Dan 2:28–29. 11.‖ who will claim—presumably not at once. the attention is upon the πνιινί. stand in contrast with what will be the unmistakable evidence of the parousia of the Son of Man (v. The prophecy that these messianic pretenders πνιινὺο πιαλήζνπζηλ. It is not yet the transition from ―this age‖ (‫הז ַה‬ ַ ‫עֹולָם‬. 2.e.‖ i. ―the age to come‖ (‫עֹולָם ַהבָא‬. and therefore the Messiah will not yet be present (cf.‖ is in view also in v.‖ lies the Jewish concept of the absolute sovereignty of God in the affairs of this world (cf. 4:1.‖ instead of the plural ὑκᾶο. Sibylline Oracles Theod.‖ The statement that such persons will come ἐπὶ ηῷ ὀλόκαηί κνπ. 2:154–73). 5). ―in my name. ―will lead many astray. exempli gratia. ―wars.‖ For the latter. might well qualify as the kind of pseudo-messiahs in view here.g.8–10 §§433–56. Sib. 22:6. vv 7–8).2 §§285–87. who ―will deceive many.‖ cf. Behind δεῖ γὰξ γελέζζαη.5–8 §§271–85). F.‖ and of ἀθνὰο πνιέκσλ.W. ―pseudo-messiahs. ―it is necessary for [these things] to happen. Theodotion . The potential deception appears to be twofold: that the Messiah has come and that the eschatological judgment has begun. v. hear of πνιέκνπο.. Didache BAGD W. ET.‖ see BAGD.e. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Accordingly. 17. and the anonymous ―Egyptian‖ (Acts 21:38). 6. W. ―you.D. id est. ―I am the Christ [= Messiah]. but with the singular pronoun ζε. F. Or.‖ i. &2ApocBar. see Comment on 1:16. rev.

et alii. This suggests that this period of human suffering may be an extended one. Only such an extended period of travail in birth could bring forth the ―new birth‖ of the created order (cf.‖ in θαηὰ ηόπνπο. Šabb. was understood as pointing to the imminence of the turning of the ages. TDNT 9:672–4) points to the commonly expected period of suffering (the ―woes of the Messiah‖. tr. ed. 7 refers again to wars but now using the more specific imagery of ἔζλνο. &2ApocBar. 2 Esdr 9:3–4). ―Anomia and the Question of an Antinomian Polemic in Matthew. Deep human suffering.‖ In Die Kirche des Anfangs.‖ and βαζηιεία. 2 Esdr 4:42. 10 vols. The signs point to and warn of the reality of future judgment. The time of the end is in God‘s hands alone. 19:28). 16:29. The sufferings. and presumably others like them. are indeed but ἀξρὴ ὠδίλσλ. then.‖ JBL 104 (1985) 617–35. Isa 19:2). Bromiley Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. J. G. Jer 22:23. Exod. ―the beginning of birth pangs. cf. not even ιηκνὶ θαὶ ζεηζκνί. It is clear indeed that the very things mentioned here have characterized the entire church age. ―The godly are always prone to think that evils have reached their utmost limit‖ (Bengel). Much of the language of these verses again reflects standard apocalyptic imagery (for war. E. Despite the emphasis of this passage.. volume written in honor of et al. similarly linked. well-meaning but misled and misleading teachers have not resisted the temptation to interpret contemporary catastrophes as indicators of the imminence of the end. 9–11). Mic 4:9. Jesus accepts the basic correctness of the viewpoint but plays down the idea of imminence. Mek. Kommentar zum Neuen Testament. Str-B 4. 70:8. 4 vols. cf. These sufferings were as closely linked with the dawning of a new reality as were the labor pains of a woman giving birth. Kittel and G.. ―kingdom. Schürmann. W. Strack and P. Leipzig: St. The messianic woes would lead directly to the messianic age. Billerbeck. All these terrifying events. 96b–97a. 66:7–8. terrifying in prospect. 118a. but not its time. Sanh. (Munich: Beck‘sche. Friedrich. earthquakes.2:977–86) that would immediately precede the birth of the messianic age (cf. the imagery of Isa 26:17. and famine. TDNT G. ―nation. 1926–28) OT Old Testament JBL Journal of Biblical Literature FS Festschrift.‖ The imagery of ―birth pangs‖ (1 Enoch 62:4. 1964–76) Šabb. the experience of certain signs. ―La persécution comme situation missionaire (Marc 13. and in the NT 1 Thess 5:3). eds. J. FS H. and others . Schnackenburg et al. The apostle Paul had already to guard against this problem (2 Thess 2:2–3). Things that may for the moment look out of control are nevertheless within God‘s purposes and providence. Šabbat Str-B H. R.7–8 The first half of v. cf. the language of 2 Chr 15:16. Dupont. ET (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. preeminently of human suffering. b. b. ―various places. The sufferings awaiting the disciples were but the beginning of that travail. can be called but ―the beginning‖ of the woes that will precede the coming of the Messiah and the end of the age. In addition to these events. cannot themselves be signs of the imminence of the end. Persecution and Proclamation before the End (24:9–14) Bibliography Davison.‖ rising up against their counterparts (cf. cf. Explanation Beginning in the OT and coming to its fullest expression in the apocalyptic literature of the intertestamental period. ―famines and earthquakes.‖ point to the end of the age. the intervening period between the first coming of Jesus and his return. Benno.

Matthew continues to follow Mark. 9.) omit ηῆο βαζηιείαο. Mark 13:12). ―all. here being somewhat dependent on Mark 13:9–13. 10And then many will fall away.‖ ResQ 14 (1971) 18–27. ―Matthew as a Second Testament Deuteronomy. BTB Biblical Theology Bulletin SNTU Studien zum Neuen Testament und seiner Umwelt Int Interpretation UP University Press RB Revue biblique ResQ Restoration Quarterly TynB Tyndale Bulletin a a. Wenham.‖ TynB 31 (1980) 155–62. and they will kill you. Farmer. adding here εἰο ζιῖςηλ. The second verb. J. ―Missions as Promise and Commission. the same form of the saying in 10:22).” Notes a. Even in some of the new material introduced by Matthew (vv 10–12) Markan influence is to be seen. ‫ א‬omits the last clause. ―to tribulation.‖ through the influence of Mark 13:13 (cf. v. B. ―the nations. A few MSS (1424 g1 [1] Cyr. B.‖ SNTU 8 (1983) 91– 102. Φ inserts εἰο ζάλαηνλ. ―to death‖ (cf. v. ―all. perhaps to soften the statement.‖ RB 96 (1989) 352–57. ―of the kingdom. ―all.‖ Form/Structure/Setting A.12).‖ is omitted by ‫*א‬. 9.) omit ηῆο βαζηιείαο. a pericope already used by Matthew in nearly its entirety in 10:17–22.‖ serves to summarize the Markan material.a and they will hate each other. and they will betray one another. ―A Test of Synoptic Relationships: Matthew 10:17–23 and 24:9–14 with Parallels. V 14 introduces a new factor upon which the coming of the end is contingent—one that points to quite an extended time before the end. ed. perhaps to soften the statement. Translation 9 “Then they will hand you over to tribulation.‖ BTB 19 (1989) 23–29. A. Other MSS (C f1 1 [sys] boms) have only πάλησλ. πάλησλ.‖ through the influence of v. ―of the kingdom. adding here εἰο ζιῖςηλ. ―all. Φ inserts εἰο ζάλαηνλ. and they will deceive many. 209–29. ―Le refroidissement de l‘amour avant la fin (Mt 24. only endurance to the end will bring salvation. Macon. W. Taylor. W. 9. 97–114. b. J.‖ Int 8 (1954) 280–87.‖ In New Synoptic Studies. 9 picks up the verb παξαδώζνπζηλ. ―‗The Love of Many Will Grow Cold‘: Matt 24:9–13 and the Neronian Persecution. In the face of what must yet occur. 9. and now Jesus also warns of the increase of iniquity and the cooling of religious fervor. The gospel must be preached throughout the world before the end can come. D. ―The Gentile Mission as an Eschatological Necessity. the same form of the saying in 10:22). c c. Lüthi.‖ through the influence of v. Thompson. πάλησλ. J. c. 12And because of the proliferation of iniquity the love of many will grow cold. 14And this good news of the kingdomc will be preached throughout the whole world for a witness to all the nations. The first part of v. 11And many false prophets will arise. W. The dependence here is therefore not very great. ―to tribulation. Reicke. Cyropaedia (Xenophon) . although Matthew has not hesitated to use similar material a second time. ‫ א‬omits the last clause. This section of the discourse indicates further suffering—specifically in the form of persecution—that must be endured before the end comes.‖ from Mark 13:9. a b.‖ is omitted by ‫*א‬. and you will be hated by alla the nations because of my name. ―the nations. Légasse. Grassi. ―they will betray. R. and then the end will come. ―to death‖ (cf. ―to tribulation. 13But the one who endures to the end—this is the one who will be saved. Matthew‘s added εἰο ζιῖςηλ. A few MSS (1424 g1 [1] Cyr. Mark 13:12). Again allusion is made to false prophets who will mislead many. Other MSS (C f1 1 s [sy ] boms) have only πάλησλ.‖ through the influence of Mark 13:13 (cf.‖ Ԡ‫א‬Codex Sinaiticus Cyr.‖ omitting ηῶλ ἐζλῶλ. S.1977. ―A Note on Matthew 24:10–12. 1983. GA: Mercer UP.‖ omitting ηῶλ ἐζλῶλ.

and (5) the universal preaching of the gospel before the end (v. especially since v. the present verses describe more of those woes that will occur prior to the birth of the new age. Dialogue with Trypho Barn. Note that structurally the passage consists of a series of short independent sentences linked mainly by θαί. 12). 11). with ἀιιήινπο. The frame of reference is fundamentally the same in the two passages. ―brother [will betray] brother. ―they will hate (vv 9. ―and. (3) the effect of increased iniquity (v. see 10:5–6) become clear. Also worth noting are the repeated παξαδώζνπζηλ. ―of the kingdom‖ [cf. Did. κηζνύκελνη. D. Only then will the end come. 10 will extend even to the end of the age. 35. ―they will kill. 14). Some parallelism of form is found in v. Thus the tribulation described in chap.‖ after πάλησλ. 13). followed by verb plus ἀιιήινπο). Vv 11–12 are distinctive to Matthew (for ςεπδνπξνθῆηαη. 10). including most of its major elements. 82. esp. 10 is essentially a repetition of v.3. Dial. 14 (inclusio). 14 (which was omitted in the use of Mark 13:9–13 in chap. The content of these verses is alluded to or cited frequently by the early church. as well as the emphasizing words ἐλ ὅιῃ ηῇ νἰθνπκέλῃ εἰο καξηύξηνλ. Persecution will be the lot of those who proclaim the gospel throughout the interim period before the coming of the Son of Man (cf. But the passage ends on the announcement that the gospel must be preached universally.‖ is also repeated in the pericope (vv 13.‖ plus verb.‖ C. cf. 14). 9. In addition to the passages mentioned. ―in all the world as a witness‖). 22). 13 with 10:17.‖ leading many astray. ηέινο. 9:35]. 10:23. ―one another. Outline: (1) the experience of persecution (vv 9–10). and only now (and in 28:19) does the reference to the Gentiles in 10:18 (where the mission had been explicitly limited to Israel.‖ Matthew‘s κηζήζνπζηλ. while v. v. v.‖ probably reflecting the Semitic substratum of Jesus‘ words. 9b is clearly dependent on Mark 13:13. Justin Martyr. vv 9–10. Did. ―and then the end will come. ―first. 16:3–5 follows the present pericope very closely. 14).‖ corresponding to ἀδειθὸο ἀδειθόλ. 4:9. Barnabas . 24). (2) the coming of false prophets (v. ―all‖ (cf. 10) is borrowed from Mark 13:10 (Matthew adds ηνῦην.‖ and κηζήζνπζηλ. 16:3. cf.‖ may well reflect the synonym ζαλαηώζνπζηλ at the end of Mark 13:12. ―end. Mark‘s πξῶηνλ. 10 occurs in connection with the proclamation of the kingdom (10:7). 24:14. ―false prophets. 30). The close similarity between this pericope and 10:17–22 suggests that the mission described in chap. where chiasm is also present (ἀιιήινπο.‖ is replaced by Matthew‘s concluding clause θαὶ ηόηε ἥμεη ηὸ ηέινο. which was often concerned with the danger of false prophets (see especially Apocalypse of Peter 1:2. Barn. And as the distress in chap. ―hated. ―they will hate.1). 4:23. ―All the nations‖ are referred to in both v. (4) salvation through endurance (v. which Matthew follows verbatim except for the inserted ηῶλ ἐζλῶλ. V 10 seems to reflect Mark 13:12. If vv 4–8 describe what can be called ―the beginning of birth pangs‖ of the full coming of the messianic age. Comment Dial. 10). E. ―this. Indeed. 10 is essentially the same as that described here (cf. so too the references to anticipated sufferings in the present passage conclude with the note that the gospel of the kingdom must be preached throughout the world before the end comes. 9a and v. ―the Gentiles.‖ before ―gospel‖ and the further modifier ηῆο βαζηιείαο.‖ is probably repeated from the preceding verse (cf. 10:22). vv 5. ―one another.ἀπνθηελνῦζηλ. V 13 repeats Mark 13:13b verbatim. 10. 9 and v. ―they will betray‖ (vv 9.

esp. 4) and will again occur (without the ―many‖) in v. however. 10:22). For the expectation in the apocalyptic literature. v. ―iniquity. v. and Dan 12:4 (see Wenham). 23. ―love. cf.11. 13). 10. cf. 9) and hostility (κηζήζνπζηλ. v. It will be a time of testing.4 §472. for Matthew. πνιινὶ ςεπδνπξνθῆηαη. v. see LXX Dan 11:41 [88 Sy]). 29.9–10 ηόηε is not to be taken in the sense of chronological sequence in either of its occurrences in these verses. The exact nature of the iniquity or ―lawlessness‖ that will abound is not specified (see Davison). The disciples must be prepared to face being handed over to tribulation (for paradwvsousin. The repeated reciprocal ἀιιήινπο.‖ lit.‖ The verb underlying ―proliferation. ―the Gentiles. 24. 10:17. while not impossible. 5 (where the subject of the verb. Taylor‘s suggestion that the subject of these verses is specifically the Neronian persecution of Christians in Rome in A. ―one another. ―because of my name‖ (cf.‖ can be included since the gentile mission is announced with all clarity in v. The persecutors are presumably the ones who reject the message of the disciples. is false messiahs. ―they will kill you‖. canceled by the treachery and hatred mentioned in the preceding verses) rather than a failure of love in relation to the truth (as in 2 Thess 2:10) or God (as in 2 Tim 3:4. The identical periphrastic construction ἔζεζζε κηζνύκελνη. The failure of love refers more likely to love for others (hence. but for Matthew there is no more fundamental failure than this (cf. ζθαλδαιηζζήζνληαη πνιινί.‖ The reference to ―leading many astray‖ has already been made in v. 10). 9. 7:15–27. 1 Enoch 91: 7. 13:21. together with the following words in verbatim agreement (except for the lack of ηῶλ ἐζλῶλ. 21. Those who proclaim the kingdom will furthermore be hated by the Gentiles because of the name of Jesus. One must remember that love. for ζιῖςηο. vv 21. The reference to the experience of persecution from ―all the Gentiles‖ here stands in poignant relationship to the same phrase in v.‖ cf. But there will also be disloyalty and treachery among those who are Jesus‘ disciples. although these contexts too refer to the increase of iniquity.‖ will arise and πιαλήζνπζηλ πνιινύο. cf.‖ which occurs twice in these verses.D. 2 Esdr 5:2. 5. 12 The time of tribulation and persecution will bring with it the increase of ἀλνκίαλ.‖ thus refers to betrayal (παξαδώζνπζηλ. ―they will lead many astray. Here tw‘n ejqnw‘n. 13:21) and even death (ἀπνθηελνῦζηλ ὑκᾶο. cf.‖ which will in turn be responsible for a failure in the fundamental Christian ethic of ajgavph. v. 8. 28.W. ―the Gentiles‖). J. The latter verb is also used figuratively in Josephus. 10:21. ―they will hand you over. ―many will fall away‖ (cf. In every instance it is clear that the end is not yet. 64. ―be brought to the full‖ (πιεζπλζῆλαη). 19. cf. 57. referring to the cooling of hope. Also unclear is the exact sense in which the love practiced by ―many‖ (ηῶλ πνιιῶλ) ―will grow cold‖ (ςπγήζεηαη). is not convincing. undoubtedly because of the pressure of the persecution referred to in v. Instead it points generally to the time of the messianic ―birth pangs‖ mentioned in v. ―tribulation. ―they will hate‖. ―many false prophets. 13:41). which are further described in the present pericope. 9) within the ranks of the followers of Jesus. perhaps echoes the same verb in 23:32. cf. ―you will be hated‖ (cf.‖ δηὰ ηὸ ὄλνκά κνπ. Rev 2:4). but not all the disciples will survive it (cf. for it is just ―all the Gentiles‖ to whom the disciples are sent ―for a witness. 14. 14. means because of the disciples‘ identification with Jesus. 13 The logion of this verse is found verbatim in 10:22b (see Comment there). 11 In this extended time of woes before the end comes. for the same verb form used similarly. Again in a context of tribulation and persecution the promise of ultimate salvation is given to . is the summary of the law (cf. is found in 10:22a. John 16:2). v. cf. 22:36–40). ―they will betray‖. where false messiahs and false prophets (who will do great signs and wonders) are mentioned together.

The proclamation involves the providing of a καξηύξηνλ. 6 (cf. The parousia must therefore be delayed. Rom 15:20–24). This era is obviously to be sharply distinguished from the time of Jesus himself. 14 Another characteristic of the time that precedes the end is the universal proclamation of ηνῦην ηὸ εὐαγγέιηνλ ηῆο βαζηιείαο. the gospel has ―gone out to all the earth. The verb θεξύζζεηλ. Through the missionary work of the apostles. the similar logic of 2 Peter 3:9). But now that proclamation will go not just to the Jews but to ―all the nations. In view. 3. and in varying degree they have been signs experienced by the church down to the present era. Instructions to Flee from Jerusalem (24:15–22) Bibliography . At the same time.‖ occurs regularly.‖ For πᾶζηλ ηνῖο ἔζλεζηλ. 4:23. however.‖ cf.. where Ps 19:4 is quoted by analogy). others will fall away and betray those with whom they formerly stood. This new time frame is inaugurated in the risen Jesus‘ commissioning of his disciples in 28:19 (cf.‖ Indirectly.e. however. that the coming of the end remains contingent on the evangelizing of every last tribe on the earth. 4:23. In this regard. 13. 10:18). The required conditions were all present. when the mission of the twelve was explicitly restricted to Israel (10:5–6). concerning which the disciples inquire in the question of v. and the apocalyptic universalism of Rev 14:6). with εὐαγγέιηνλ. v.‖ stands as the counterpart to the cautionary statement that ―not yet is the end‖ in v. The universality of the proclamation is stressed by the words ἐλ ὅιῃ ηῇ νἰθνπκέλῃ. ―in the whole world‖ (the last word occurs in Matthew only here). Luke 24:47. The end of the present age. But ―the end‖ could already have come in the first century. is the widespread proclamation of the message of the kingdom without geographical or racial restriction. as it does here. he can speak of the spread of the gospel in the most comprehensive language (cf. ―witness‖ (cf. the Second Testament thus corresponding to the First Testament (thus Grassi). All the sufferings in vv 5–12 were experienced in the years prior to A. the point is underlined that severe tribulation will be experienced before the coming of the end of the age. ―proclaim. It will be a time that calls for great endurance from the faithful. ―this gospel of the kingdom‖ (cf. This is not to say. Explanation The unavoidable time of tribulation and persecution that must come will have several effects: the commitment of many will grow cold. rather. 8:4. the recounting of the events that constitute the gospel or ―kerygma. ―and then the end will come. Quite possibly Matthew‘s unique expression ―this gospel of the kingdom‖ (so too in 26:13) is a deliberate paralleling of Jesus‘ teaching as recorded in his Gospel to Deuteronomy‘s reference to this book of the law. ―all the Gentiles. as though it is in the power of the disciples to hasten or delay the coming of the end by their obedience or lack of obedience to the command to evangelize. for example. The concluding statement θαὶ ηόηε ἥμεη ηὸ ηέινο. i. ―gospel‖ (cf. 10:7. v. 9:35. Rom 10:18. The signs of the end have been present to every Christian generation. 9:35). the period before the end will be marked by the proclamation of the good news that Jesus has been announcing in his ministry—the good news of the kingdom.the one who endures εἰο ηέινο. cannot come immediately but must be preceded by a period of universal evangelization (see Thompson).‖ This conclusion of course in no way weakens the continuing force of the missionary mandate throughout the interim period. 26:13). 70 and the fall of Jerusalem.‖ This indeed appears to be the main reason for the delay of the parousia (cf. and iniquity will abound. 9 and 28:19. ―to the end.D. 10:22). even though Paul had not reached the unevangelized territory of Spain (cf.

20 “But pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. Wong. 1989. e e.‟ which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel.‖ CB 17 (1960) 183–85. Ford.‖ MS Monograph Series or Manuscript K Kethib (the written consonantal Hebrew text of OT) lit. R. 24. ―La abominación de la desolación. ―no flesh. K. tr. translation. Dodd.‖ g g. no human beingg would be saved. ―to.‖ NRT 55 (1928) 373–76. ―anything. ―or her‖ added in translation. N. 17Let the one who is on the rooftop not come down to take the thingsc from his or herd house. Stanton. Boring. G. ―The Circumstances and Recollection of the Pella Flight.‖ c. 22And if those days were not cut short.‖ instead of ηά. F. ―standing in the holy place. Lüdemann.‖ TZ 26 (1970) 305–20. 24:21). C. ―the (things). nor ever will be. ‫ *א‬has ηό. A few MSS (W Γ Γ f syh) have the pl. ἑζηὸο ἐλ ηόπῳ ἁγίῳ.‖ d d. Connell. ―or her‖ added in translation.” Notes a. 1979.Colunga.‖ CBQ 51 (1989) 90–106. lit. lit. transpose(s) Bib Biblica TZ Theologische Zeitschrift (ThZ) NRT La nouvelle revue théologique a a. e. J.‖ c c. Thibaut. ―The Successors of Earliest Jerusalem Christianity: An Analysis of the Pella Tradition. N. G. B. standing in the holy placea —let the reader understand—16then let those who are in Judea flee tob the mountains.‖ AER 113 (1945) 222–23.‖ JSNT 44 (1991) 3–18. ―upon. The Abomination of Desolation in Biblical Eschatology. Many MSS (‫ א‬K L W Z Γ f13) have ἐπί. ―or her‖ added in translation. ―the (thing). S. ―upon. lit. Minneapolis: Fortress.‖ CB Cultura biblica AER American Ecclesiastical Review JRS Journal of Roman Studies CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly tr. translated by. Many MSS (‫ א‬K L W Z Γ f13) have ἐπί. Stanton. ―The Origin and Significance of the Flight to Pella Tradition. ηὰ ἱκάηηα.‖ JSNT 37 (1989) 17–30 (reprinted in A Gospel for a New People. But for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Rigaux. ―ΒΓΔΛΥΓΜΑ ΤΗΣ ΔΡΗΜΩΣΔΩΣ (Mc 13.f 19But woe to those women who are pregnant and those who are nursing in those days. b b. ―The Fall of Jerusalem and the ‗Abomination of Desolation.‖ probably by the influence of the parallel passage in Mark 13:15.‖ for εἰο. D Θ f1 latt have ηη. πᾶζα ζάξμ with the preceding νὐθ means lit.‖ Bib 40 (1959) 675–83. E. f f. E. ―or her‖ added in translation. b. ηὰ ἱκάηηα. 192–206). ―La grande tribulation. 200–213. translator(s). ―The Matthean Understanding of the Sabbath: A Response to G. lit. H. DC: University Press of America. ―anything.‖ probably by the influence of the parallel passage in Mark 13:15.‘‖ JRS 37 (1947) 47–54. Koester.20). f. 15). A few MSS (W Γ Γ f syh) have the pl. Mt. ―An Exegetical Problem (on Mt. 18and let the one who is in the field not turn back to get his or here garment. Sowers. Translation 15 “When therefore you see „the abomination of desolation. ἑζηὸο ἐλ ηόπῳ ἁγίῳ.‖ is omitted in the minuscule MS 1010 and sys.‖ In Opposition to Paul in Jewish Christianity. ―to.‖ is omitted in the minuscule MS 1010 and sys.-C. ―the (thing). ―standing in the holy place. ―garments.‖ instead of ηά. C. ―the (things). ―garments. D Θ f1 latt have ηη. Washington. of a kind that has not happened since the beginning of the world until the present. ‫ *א‬has ηό. literally D Codex Bezae or Deuteronom(ist)ic . 21For then there will be great tribulation. R.‖ d. A.‖ for εἰο. ―‗Pray That Your Flight May Not Be in Winter or on a Sabbath‘ (Matthew 24. D. M. 14.

―such a kind.‖ for the verb κὴ γέλεηαη. 21 improves the awkwardness of Mark‘s Greek (Mark 13:19) by making ζιῖςηο. As Luke makes very clear in the parallel passage (Luke 21:20). In v. In v. ―no flesh. making only the following significant alterations.‖ Matthew also replaces ὅπνπ νὐ δεῖ.‖ This passage provides practical instructions concerning the flight from the city together with indications of the horrific suffering that is to be experienced. V 22 most naturally belongs to the preceding verses (pace Carson) rather than with those that follow. 3. and changes Mark‘s ηη. ―elect. ―those days‖ (adding the expression twice in v. ―tribulation.‖ with the neuter ἑζηόο. 23.‖ as a matter of special concern for his Jewish readers. In v. or at least part of the question. (3) the difficulty of the flight (vv 19–20). substituting his favorite ηόηε. Finally. in the temple (cf. ―unless the Lord shortened the days‖ (Mark 13:20).‖ the subject of the opening verb. ―your flight. f feminine pl. Matthew omits Mark‘s redundant νὓο ἐμειέμαην.‖ at the end of the verse. ―nor let him go in‖ (Mark 13:15). a grammatical improvement bringing about agreement with the neuter noun βδέιπγκα.‖ and omits Mark‘s redundant ἣλ ἔθηηζελ ὁ ζεόο. ―where it ought not to. Matthew continues to be dependent upon Mark. In the same verse Matthew replaces Mark‘s masculine participle ἑζηεθόηα.‖ Matthew also adds κεγάιε. with the Semitically more appropriate divine passive. This is marked very clearly by the opening reference in Matthew to ―the abomination of desolation. πᾶζα ζάξμ with the preceding νὐθ means lit.‖ spoken of in v. ―unless those days were shortened. Matthew‘s familiar marker ηόηε. Dan 11:31). Matthew adds ηὸ ῥεζὲλ δηὰ Γαληὴι ηνῦ πξνθήηνπ.‖ to modify ζιῖςηο. Among the events to occur before the ηέινο. Matthew closely follows the Markan wording.‖ C. ―those days. ―then. ―then. plate or plural ad comment on pace with due respect to.e.‖ i. of which in a way it becomes a prototype. 15. ―standing.‖ to θόζκνπ. Outline: (1) the exhortation to flee (vv 15–16). ―tribulation. ―things. ―which God created‖ (Mark 13:19). and omitting Mark‘s unnecessary ηνηαύηε.‖ with the specific identification ἐλ ηόπῳ ἁγίῳ. so terrible will this tribulation be that it can be referred to in hyperbolic language befitting the eschatological judgment itself. 21) spoken of in this pericope. and adds κεδὲ ζαββάηῳ. 14 is the ―great tribulation‖ (v. ―abomination.‖ In the same verse Matthew alters Mark‘s θηίζεσο. Indeed. (2) the urgency of fleeing (vv 17–18). using Matthew‘s favorite formula. ―nor on a sabbath. the present passage refers to the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. ―world. ―creation. 2.‖ for αἱ ἡκέξαη ἐθεῖλαη. These verses. 22).‖ also replaces Mark‘s ηὰο ἡκέξαο. of v. referring to the destruction of Jerusalem. 22 Matthew replaces Mark‘s εἰ κὴ ἐθνιόβσζελ θύξηνο ηὰο ἡκέξαο. ―great.g. B. correspond specifically to the initial prophecy of v. ―may not be‖ (Mark 13:18). ―the abomination of desolation‖ (Mark 13:14). 20 Matthew supplies the missing subject ἡ θπγὴ ὑκῶλ. ―that spoken of through the prophet Daniel.‖ Form/Structure/Setting A. after the technical expression ηὸ βδέιπγκα ηῆο ἐξεκώζεσο. 17 Matthew abbreviates Mark by omitting the redundant κεδὲ εἰζειζάησ. The focus of the first part is on the flight from Jerusalem and Judea. and in the second part on the horror of the impending tribulation. ―whom he elected. ―end. following the order of the material in the Markan discourse (Mark 13:14–20). which was to take place in ad 70..‖ to ηά.‖ following the noun ἐθιεθηνύο.‖ is the first word in v. εἰ κὴ ἐθνινβώζεζαλ αἱ ἡκέξαη ἐθεῖλαη. and to the question.‖ The phrase αἱ ἡκέξαη ἐθεῖλαη.‖ thereby pointing the reader to the OT background of the expression.‖ In v. also dependent upon Mark 13. ―in the holy place. ―anything. Matthew‘s syntax in v. ―the days. but differing from or despite the interpretation of .

indeed. some commentators have opted here for a double reference. 15. There is nothing in the content of vv 23–28..g.g. ―flight. 29 must concern an end-time tribulation that yet lies in the future just prior to the parousia. and in each instance the complementary infinitive clause begins with ἆξαη. vv 27–28). 12:9). ending moreover with a reference to this being not the time of the end (v. ―let them flee‖ [v. the statement of v. 22). 21 is a familiar topos that can indeed have been used to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. 6. 21). Bruner).‖ clause and the final clause with the same subject and same verb. The background for these images is found in certain apocalyptic passages of Daniel. the most important being the need to prepare for Matthew‘s ―immediately after the tribulation of those days‖ in v. 28 has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Many commentators therefore have concluded that vv 15–22 refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. and the meaning of the apocalyptic images of Daniel. that requires an eschatological understanding. 29.. which. however. to say the least. Paul‘s reference in 2 Thess 2:3–4 to ―the son of perdition‖ who takes his seat in the temple may also depend upon this material in oral form (v. 24). i. 24–25.4. introduces the parousia. 7:20–21. 70 (see Comment there). of a kind that has not happened since the beginning of the world until the present. both have negative imperative verbs. and is now applied to another parallel event. 16. appears to allude to v. Very obvious structural parallelism can be seen between vv 17 and 18: the definite article ὁ functions as the pronoun subject in each sentence.(4) the horror of the tribulation (v. ―those days. It cannot be denied that these apocalyptic images by their nature can be used to refer to a number of interrelated pivotal events. 19. although a good portion of them nevertheless feel constrained to separate vv 23–28 from vv 15–22 and to understand them as referring to events related to the end of time.. and Revelation is debatable. The larger section of Matthew that begins here and runs through v. On the other hand. see D. as we already see in the application of the Danielic image of the abomination of desolation. 29). Parallelism may also be seen in v. 11:40–45.‖ referred to in 2 Thess 2:3–10 (cf. this does not justify seeing an actual double reference here—at least if we restrict . ―to take. proclaiming himself to be God. There appear to be several reasons for the difficulty of interpreting this material. nor ever will be‖ (v.‖ The added subject θπγή. in referring to a coming time of trouble such as has never been seen before. Did. it would seem that what is referred to in the verses preceding v. e. which referred in the first instance to Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century B. Feeling the force of the arguments for both interpretations. sounds like an eschatological tribulation (cf. Hill. again because of the influence of Matthew‘s ―immediately‖ in reference to the parousia (v. these verses talk not about the Antichrist but about antichrists (v.D. The view of this commentary is that vv 23–28 too refer most naturally to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Furthermore. 22 picks up the same phrase in v. according to the majority of commentators.‖ in v. D. the reference here to a ―great tribulation [ζιῖςηο κεγάιε]. and thus many interpreters have been unable to resist identifying the ―abomination of desolation‖ (v. 22 between the opening εἰ κή. Wenham. E. 2 Thessalonians. Therefore. Rev 11:7. that the passage refers to both the destruction of Jerusalem and the eschatological tribulation (e. cf.‖ picks up the root of the first main verb (θεπγέησζαλ. 12:1. 15) with the eschatological Antichrist who ―takes his seat in the temple of God. The twofold αἱ ἡκέξαη ἐθεῖλαη. Nevertheless. "the great tribulation‖).C.e. Rev 7:14: ηῆο ζιίςεσο ηῆο κεγάιεο. and (5) the divine shortening of the tribulation (v. The Rediscovery of Jesus‟ Eschatological Discourse). 21). 16]). 20 of the present passage. and they repeat material already encountered in vv 4–5. ―unless.

happeša˓ sōmēm. 21:28). 1989) 212–13. Ironically. Although Matthew‘s ἐλ ηόπῳ ἁγίῳ. as found in Dan 8:13. Ezek 5–7. ―in the holy place.2–9 §§261–309).e.‖ is language taken directly from the LXX of Daniel (exactly in Dan 12:11.‖ in 9:27). Dan 9:27). Jesus adopts the same language to indicate that a similar desecration of the temple will occur. see Jos. Ant. was prophesied again by Jesus. E. Comment 15 ηὸ βδέιπγκα ηῆο ἐξεκώζεσο. 13:35).‖ The words as they stand in Matthew apparently refer to the understanding of an apocalyptic mystery (cf. Now they were to know that what Daniel once referred to. but exegesis requires us to limit ourselves to the intention of Matthew. NRSV ―the transgression that makes desolate‖). šiqqûṣ šōmēm (cf. WBC 30 (Dallas: Word.‖ already a technical term before the time of the evangelist. meaning ―desolating rebellion‖ (cf. is referred to as a prophet in the sense of a vehicle of revelation (cf. TX: Word) Jos.‖ i. ―the abomination of the desolation. 12:11 the expression ―abomination of desolation‖ (i. ―of the desolations. clarifies Mark‘s ―where it ought not (to be). ―that makes desolate‖) apparently refers to a specific historical event: the erection by Antiochus IV (―Epiphanes‖ = ―[god] manifest‖) of an altar of Zeus upon the altar of Yahweh in the temple in NRSV New Revised Standard Version (1989) WBC Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas. accomplished by Antiochus Epiphanes as a part of his attempt to wipe out Judaism (the exact phrase βδέιπγκα ἐξεκώζεσο is used to refer to the image set upon the altar in the description of this event in 1 Macc 1:54. The Danielic imagery was familiar to the readers. in the temple (cf. We may perhaps see a further intimation of eschatological events and relate the images here to the apocalyptic material in 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation concerning the Antichrist. see Comment on 1:22).‖ Baal is the ―abomination‖ or ―sacrilege‖ described in the other passages of Daniel (9:27. derives from the Hebrew ‫שִּׁקּוץ שֹֹ ֹמֵ ם‬. fulfilled in the historical events of 167 B. Daniel. The genitive construction is to be understood as meaning ―the abomination that makes desolate. is ‫הףֶּ שַע‬ ‫שמֵם‬ ַ . 12:11) by the word šiqqûṣ.‖ i. ―which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel‖ (for this formula. ―detested. too 2 Macc 8:17.ourselves to the evangelist‘s intention.. 44. 7.1 §§55–59. It functions here.3. 2 Macc 8:17.8.‖ because of the similarity of the words ―desolating‖ and ―heaven.C. though included with the writings rather than the prophets in the Hebrew canon (in contrast to its position in the LXX). The profanation of the temple referred to by Daniel took place in 168 B. Josephus . for parallel instances concerning images. ―Lord of Heaven.. Acts 6:13. and with the plural ηῶλ ἐξεκώζεσλ. lit. Dan 8:15–17). 11:31. cf. which has a numerical value of 490 and which is associated often with the word ―desolating‖ in Jer 4.e.. šiqqûṣ. In Dan 9:27.. Goldingay. 11:31. the understanding of ―abomination of desolation‖ is much disputed. Matthew points specifically to the source of the expression in his added words ηὸ ῥεζὲλ δηὰ Γαληὴι ηνῦ πξνθήηνπ. 18.e. The phrase is apparently a pun on the name Ba˓al Šāmēm. 18. Daniel.‖ Matthew nevertheless retains Mark‘s ὁ ἀλαγηλώζθσλ λνείησ. The expression in a slightly different form. 263. where it refers to an image set upon the altar of the temple in connection with the destruction of the city. The phrase ―abomination of desolation‖ or ―desolating abomination.C. therefore. This is thus privileged information about the future.‖ an allusion to the accompanying devastation of the sacrilege. as a technical expression for an idolatrous ―abomination‖ (‫שִּׁקּוץ‬. See J. by God). ―let the reader understand. without definite articles in 11:31.

evils that could point to the struggles prior to the eschatological era itself. ―to the mountains. Paul. and thus there will be no time to retrieve possessions or clothing. Luke 17:31).. he used the same symbolic language. the necessity of nursing infants (cf. When Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. ―at that time. Historia Ecclesiastica 3.167 B. The words ὅηαλ νὖλ ἴδεηε. having to do with timing. 70. Brandon. detailed correspondence with the actual events makes difficult the conclusion that Matthew‘s prophecy is a vaticinium ex eventu (see Reicke. employing the same Danielic symbol. 70 in my opinion. ―woe [to them]‖). The meaning is more general. i. The one on the housetop (the flat roof of the Palestinian house was a popular place to relax in the evening). The other two.‖ correspond to the first part of the question of v. ―Synoptic Prophecies‖). If Matthew means by the ―abomination that desolates‖ something to be accomplished by the Romans in A. So horrific was this event. that it became a convenient and elastic symbol for the great evils that were to engulf the people in the future. 70. The lack of exact. Initially in view therefore is the destruction of Jerusalem and the concomitant setting up of the desolating abomination in the temple that occurred in A. This is explicitly confirmed by the use of the same expression in 1 Macc 1:54 (cf. Flight would also be easier without baggage. Those who are in Judea ηόηε.e. Koester (the latter with reference only to the Lukan parallel [Luke 21:20–22]). that the disciples should flee when events indicated that the desecration of the temple was inevitable. Lüdemann).‖ are exhorted to flee εἰο ηὰ ὄξε.3). The hills would provide safety as they did in the time of the Maccabean revolt (1 Macc 2:28).D. thus associated the Danielic imagery with the end of the world.‖ Perhaps in response to this remembered logion. Antiochus conquered Jerusalem. 16 That the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. 2. 16) and insisting that only after the image was set up in the temple was the flight to take place (which would in fact have been too late). The Fall of Jerusalem. R. many interpreters have understood the desolating abomination in the present passage to refer to the eschatological antichrist of 2 Thess 2:4. Gen 19:17). But that possibility is not in the evangelist‘s mind. Since the first two are not to be avoided. As we have already noted (Form/Structure/Setting §E). Eusebius. must flee without delay (cf. which in turn is directly prompted by the prophecy of v. The flight should be immediate. Matthew writes about this before A. it has also been defended by Sowers and C. 1:59). cf.D. It is wrong to reject this conclusion by pressing the letter of the text (v. Luke 23:29). The fall of Jerusalem and the accompanying desecration of the temple could not help but bring with them the eschatological age. much of the Christian community fled Judea for the mountains or foothills of the Transjordanian mountains (many settled eventually in Pella in the northern region. Matthew probably means by the words ―let the reader understand‖ that the event referred to implies the end of the age brought about by the deed of a Roman (hence the importance of veiled language) invader—an event that vividly parallels the desecrating act of Antiochus. So too in 2 Thess 2:4 Paul depends on the prophecy of Jesus. when he refers to the antichrist to come. 19–20 Special circumstances—pregnancy. 17–18 The severity of the impending distress is further underlined by the urgency of the need to depart (cf. when in A. 3. Although the identification of this flight with that referred to in the Pella tradition has been challenged (cf.C. that does not prevent the elastic symbol from also being applied to something lying in the future. but the disciples are exhorted to pray that the necessary flight does not have to occur on the sabbath or in the winter. may be avoidable.5.D. when flooding wadis and muddy hillsides could be dangerous (let alone a . Luke 21:20) is linked with the profanation of the temple becomes clear in this and the following verses. ―when you see. and possibly winter or the sabbath—will make the journey particularly difficult. as well as the one working in the field. Thus. these women can only be pitied (νὐαί.D. 40 the Roman emperor Caligula proposed setting up his own image in the temple. the Danielic language came immediately to mind. A time of terrible suffering was about to come. however. like Matthew.

5. but vv 17– 18 prohibit the idea of acquiring provisions. If the Jews were not of a common mind on the subject in the time of the Jewish war (see M. and in this case from the Jews (cf. furthermore. will compare with the suffering of this tribulation. But Matthew there omitted the logion of Mark 2:27 (a point made also in Wong‘s critique of Stanton‘s view).W. whereby he m masculine ˓Erub. and rabbinic elaboration limiting movement to ―2000 cubits‖ in m ˓Erub. cf. if necessary. Delay. Acts 1:12. A flight on the sabbath could have divided members of the community with disastrous consequences.6. it is stated that no suffering. 21–22 The reason for the urgency of the flight is now finally stated. Banks) refers to the difficulties of gates being shut and provisions being unobtainable on the sabbath. Stanton. J. & T. Rather. This is without question also the formulaic language of eschatological judgment (cf.W. the view was hardly unanimous (cf. Ant. Every statement impinging upon the law in Matthew must be considered in the light of the conservative statement of 5:17–19. 5:7). This apparently would still have been a serious matter for the Jewish-Christian membership of Matthew‘s church. or (3) uses the destruction of Jerusalem as a type of foreshadowing of the last judgment. 12. The appropriateness of such hyperbolic language in reference to the final six-month siege of Jerusalem in A. While the point of the reference to the sabbath is hardly clear. revealing his concern to tone down Mark‘s radicalism on the sabbath law.10. and Matthew‘s εὐζέσο‖ at 24:29). either before or after.. too quickly rules out the traditional interpretation (taken above) by concluding that 12:1–14 must indicate that the sabbath was no longer an important issue for the Matthean community.4. Clark.12. and esp. Jub. In the present passage. rather than die (1 Macc 2:41. 23). 2 Macc 6:11. 5. indicates that Jewish persecutors are in Matthew‘s purview. There will be a ζιῖςηο κεγάιε. France (following R. Nothing in the present context. 1989] 287–90). Well could it be said that worse suffering had never been seen nor would again be seen. 10:14. J. 5. 11:16. Proem 4 §§9– 12) The assertion of v.. 14. 22 rests upon God‘s sovereign control of history. ―great tribulation. (2) refers literally to the eschatological judgment of the end of the age. For a review of the possible ways of interpreting the sabbath reference. Jubilees .1 §§420–23. The Zealots [Edinburgh: T.fording of the swollen Jordan) and bitter cold nights uncomfortable. Dan 12:1. and the qualification in Jos.2 §63).3–4 §§460–72).. Stanton‘s own proposal is that these verses refer not to any specific flight but generally to the need to flee from persecution. the context points to the imminent Roman invasion of Jerusalem. probably what is meant is that an urgent flight on the sabbath would make any sabbath observance impossible (cf.11. 70 is evident from the historical information provided by Josephus (J. see too. Although it is apparently true that already in the time of the Maccabees some Jews could bring themselves to fight on the sabbath.D. Ant. ˓Erubin Jub. The reference to the possible need to flee on the sabbath he then takes as something that would further antagonize the Jewish persecutors of Matthew‘s community. Dan 12:1.‖ To emphasize the horror of the sufferings to be experienced.2 §277). passages cited by him: Exod 9:18. 10:17. however. it rings true to conclude with Wong that ―at least some of the members of the Matthean community (probably some of the conservative Jewish Christians who still behave according to their tradition) would hesitate to flee on a Sabbath‖ (17). thereby applying to the former language strictly proper to the latter (see ―Excursus: Imminence. The first might constitute a problem. 419) for a defense of the language as formulaic and not literal (cf. see Stanton‘s thorough discussion. Hengel. 4:3.3 §§512–18). Jos. Jos.W. Jos. 15:1. Exod 16:29. See Beasley-Murray (Jesus and the Last Days. Joel 2:2). See too Comment on vv 15 and 16. we must conclude one of the following: the language (1) is used hyperbolically in reference to the fall of Jerusalem (there is no question concerning the horrible extent of the suffering.. 50:12–13.

H. ―He is‖ added. M. de.22 and Matthew 24. this time. 31 and in 22:14. M. It would cause a degree of suffering that was beyond words. or Quelle (―Sayings‖ source for the Gospels) a a. The time of suffering will be shortened ―for the sake of the elect‖ (cf. ―Jewish Expectations about the ‗Messiah‘ according to the Fourth Gospel.23). in conjunction with the destruction of the temple itself. It must refer to those who have followed Jesus. Eschatological judgment is coming upon Jerusalem in advance of the final judgment of the eschaton. lit. Jonge. And beyond their immediate fulfillment the words of the prophecy also foreshadow a more distant and final fulfillment. ἐθιεθηνύο.‖ Masoretic suggested pronunciation for vocalized Hebrew text of the OT). The Claims of Pseudo-Christs and False Prophets (24:23–28) Bibliography Black. no one (this is the meaning of πᾶζα ζάξμ. ―there is not a syllable which reflects knowledge of events which took place in the Jewish War. ―When ‗Eagles‘ Draw Together. Explanation The prophecy of the desolation of the temple pointed to a major turning point in the history of Israel.e. i. What had happened once by the hand of Antiochus a mere two hundred years earlier would happen again. 407). for example.b 24For pseudo-christs and false prophets will arise. ―great. „Behold. O. 83. a repetition and final fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel.‖ takes on the significance of a semi-technical phrase referring to a unique period of suffering (cf.‖ is used elsewhere in Matthew only in vv 24. Their survival is more important than any national loyalties that might motivate them to fight against the Romans. if possible. The repeated expression αἱ ἡκέξαη ἐθεῖλαη. vv 19. 29).D.‖ Forum 5 (1989) 140–50. the Christ is here!‟ or „He isa there!‟ do not believe that person. still less of the actual destruction of the city and temple‖ (Jesus and the Last Days.1. .‖ JSNT 40 (1990) 33–41. As Beasley-Murray points out. 20:1–2. But if the Christians have fled Jerusalem and the reference is to those in Jerusalem. c c. ―all flesh‖) would have survived (ἐζώζε. &2ApocBar. Had the time not been cut short. A problem sometimes mentioned concerning understanding vv 15–22 as referring to the fall of Jerusalem is the lack of exact correspondence between what is described here and what actually occurred. Jesus accordingly instructs his disciples to flee from Jerusalem. God indeed will not allow the suffering of that time to be prolonged so as to cause ultimate harm to his elect. Guenther. Christians. 2 Tim 2:10). however. ―saved‖ or ―preserved. ―Qere‖ Qere (To be ―read.‖ probably by the influence of the parallel in Mark 13:22.‖ NTS 19 (1972–73) 246–70. A few MSS (‫ א‬W* ff1 r1 boms) lack κεγάια. ―elect.―curtails‖ (θνινβνῦλ occurs in the NT only here and in Mark 13:20) the time of suffering. so that. 70 rather than having been written ex eventu. it may include those who are elect in the sense of those who will yet come to faith in Jesus. It is hardly likely. ―The Aramaic Dimension in Q with Notes on Luke 17. they might deceive even the elect. ―That person‖ added. b b. that Titus erected a statue of himself on the site of the destroyed temple. Q ―Qumran‖. and they will perform greatc signs and wonders. Translation 23 “Then if anyone says to you. Such a catastrophe could only be interpreted as an eschatological event. This may provide confirmation that the passage reflects genuine prophecy of the events of A.‖ refers here to physical safety).26 (Luke 17. ―those days. This statement again has the effect of underlining the gravity of the suffering.

26 is unique to Matthew. the vultures will be gathered together there. For vv 23–25 Matthew follows Mark. Mark 13:22). Many MSS (W f13 TR c ff2 q syh mae) add γάξ. g g. ―from one part of the sky to another part of the sky‖ (Luke 17:24). i i.‖ thereby linking the proverb more closely with the preceding context. thereby heightening the impact of the false messiahs and prophets.” Notes a. therefore. ―Or if they say‖ added. e. v. This catastrophic event together with the destruction of Jerusalem. ―He is‖ added. ―for. ―the elect. d. 4.‖ at the beginning of v. 24 he inserts κεγάια. 26If. too v. ―flashing … shines‖ (Luke 17:24). and finally Matthew inserts ἰδνύ. he isg in the inner rooms!‟ do not believe them. 27 Matthew probably departs from Q in replacing ἀζηξάπηνπζα … ιάκπεη. In v. ―He is‖ added. Matthew (v. 25 and omits Mark‘s πάληα. he is in the wilderness!‟ do not bother tod go there.‖ probably regarding it as too comprehensive in the present context. 27). h. ―There‖ added. ―Them‖ added. 11). ―but you beware‖ (Mark 13:23). ―I have told you beforehand. to the smoother ἀπὸ ἀλαηνιῶλ … ἕσο δπζκῶλ. A few MSS (‫ א‬W* ff1 r1 boms) lack κεγάια. I have told you in advance. and vv 27–28 are probably drawn from Q (cf. b. although a typological anticipation of the final judgment. e. B. namely.f „Look. ―Bother to‖ added. The discourse continues with the motif with which it began in v. 28Whereveri the corpse is. ―signs‖ (cf. Luke 17:24. ―Them‖ added. ―He is‖ added. they say to you. thus will be the coming of the Son of Man.25 Take note.‖ before ηνὺο ἐθιεθηνύο.‖ So too Matthew probably alters ἐθ ηῆο ὑπὸ ηὸλ νὐξαλὸλ εἰο ηὴλ ὑπ νὐξαλόλ.‖ probably by the influence of the parallel in Mark 13:22. Form/Structure/Setting A. ―even. f. In the same verse Matthew also has probably inserted ἡ d d. in the same verse Matthew inserts θαί. 37b). probably regarding it as superfluous.‖ again for emphasis. the coming of messianic pretenders who will attempt to mislead the community of the faithful (cf. Though their miraculous deeds and stupendous claims may be spectacular. is merely one event among many that must yet happen before the end of the age. ―look. ―from the east to the west‖ (v. Matthew‘s changes of the Markan text are minor: in v. „Look.e Or if they say. 25) omits Mark‘s sentence ὑκεῖο δὲ βιέπεηε. The repetition of this theme here has the effect of emphasizing that the desecration of the temple just referred to does not entail the immediate dawning of the eschaton. Many MSS (W f13 TR c ff2 q syh mae) add γάξ. ―comes … and shines. h h. the object of πξνείξεθα. ―There‖ added. ―Or if they say‖ added.‖ thereby linking the proverb more closely with the preceding context. ―Bother to‖ added. c. the coming of pseudo-messiahs and false prophets must not be confused with the parousia of the Son of Man. ―everything‖ (Mark 13:23). ―That person‖ added. ―for. with the less Semitic ἐμέξρεηαη … θαὶ θαίλεηαη. f f. which will happen in a sudden and dramatic way incapable of being missed. ―great. c common or correction by a later hand 1 first corrector 2 second corrector e . ―great.‖ after ζεκεῖα. g. i.h 27For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west.

The parallel between the first and third is heightened by the common verb κὴ πηζηεύζεηε. i. 16:4. ―will do‖ (δηδόλαη. ―false messiah.παξνπζία. Here the claim is made in the third person on behalf of another: ―Here is the Christ‖ (for a similar claim with regard to the kingdom. The repeated warnings dominate the passage.‖ in Matthew (the Markan parallel provides the only other NT occurrence. and even terminology to some extent.1–2). and (5) an appended logion (v. ςεπδνπξνθήηεο.‖ and only the second has a verb. ―in the wilderness‖ (as appropriate to the verb. (4) the unmistakable character of the parousia of the Son of Man (v. So too in 1 John 4:1 false prophets are not distinguished from antichrists. One clear way in which these persons attempt to lead others astray is through the ζεκεῖα κεγάια θαὶ ηέξαηα. There is no clear distinction between the words in this chapter: in each instance the verb πιαλᾶλ. as more appropriate to the Matthean context. ―the parousia. C. the end of the age remains in the future.. ―the Christ. The exact nature of these is not specified. In all three instances an object clause is introduced by ἰδνύ. 4:3. The Rediscovery of Jesus‟ Eschatological Discourse).e. ―do not believe. 4 that the end of the age is reached neither in the terrible sufferings to be experienced nor in the deceptive claims of wonder workers. i. ―here‖ (twice).11 and earlier in 7:15. ―he is. ἐζηίλ. 26). In Rev 13:13 signs are performed by a second beast who leads astray the inhabitants of the earth. too vv 4–5. see Luke 17:21).‖ V 24 contains three pairs of parallel elements worth noting: two subjects. Wenham. with ἐάλ clauses (though the second involves a plural ἐάλ … εἴπσζηλ. cf.‖ and δώζνπζηλ. the first ὧδε. the underlying tradition is probably reflected in Did. The present statement repeats in slightly different form (third person. In the third instance the ἐάλ clause is implied rather than stated. The only significant change in v. 11) probably serves in oral form as the source of Paul‘s statement. ―look.‖ is used (vv 5. Comment 23 The warning not to believe in messianic claimants resumes the main theme of the first part of the discourse. ―false prophet. including even the destruction of the temple and the destruction of Jerusalem.‖ perhaps using it in place of ἐλ ηῆ ἡκέξα αὐηνῦ. ―body‖ (Luke 17:37b).‖ while the third has neither. ―if they say‖ [v.e. 24–25 While this is the onlyoccurrence of ςεπδόρξηζηνο. 27). 24).‖ occurs also in v. (3) repetition of the exhortation (v. κὴ ἐμέιζεηε.‖ though only the first has a subject. 26). ―great signs and wonders. ―do not go out‖). the second ἐλ ηῆἐξήκσ. (2) the impact of false messiahs and prophets (vv 24–25). and the Gospel itself in Justin Martyr. 23). two verbs.‖ for ζῶκα. ―in the private rooms.‖ if this was in the Lukan text (Luke 17:24) and in Q. Dial. D. ἐγεξζήζνληαη. ὁ ξηζηόο. Perhaps the false prophets are to be understood as those who proclaim others as the Messiah (as for example the speakers in v. ―corpse. The supporting statements are designed to strengthen the main affirmation from the beginning of the discourse in v. 2 John 7). These are parallel in the first two instances. So too. 26]). that despite great sufferings. . ―will arise. ―give.‖ Each of the three prohibitions has a different location in view. ―antichrist. 22.‖ in 1 John 2:18. the equivalent. Both nouns are to be understood as the subjects of the verbs. ηέξαηα. ―lead astray. ―in his day. The main structural feature of the pericope is the three prohibitory subjunctives of vv 23 and 26. 11. The sayings tradition here (cf. 32.‖ can have this sense as well as πνηεῖλ). lit. As an outline. 28). giving the pericope the character of an admonitory exhortation. in 2 Thess 2:8–10 (see D. and two objects for the second of the verbs. and the third ἐλ ηνῖο ηακείνηο. ἀληίρξηζηνο.‖ they perform. 28 is the probable substitution of πηῶκα.3 (cf. 35. rather than first person) the warnings of vv 4–5 and 11 (see Comment on those verses). the following may be suggested: (1) exhortation not to believe false claims (v.

here referred to as the coming of the Son of Man. 39). J. The second claim. Luke 17:24. ―if possible. see de Jonge). John 7:27. 1 John 2:28). v. 53:8–10). Possibly underlying this warning is the notion that the Messiah would at first be only secretly present (cf. 31). ―do not believe‖. As there can be no doubt about the perception of lightning. flashing from one end of the sky to the other (cf. although the language does connote comprehensiveness for Matthew (cf. 3:13. 28 This proverb. ―in the desert.. however. The disciples are not to be surprised by these developments: Jesus has foretold them (cf.g. 27 With the unmistakable clarity and suddenness of ἀζηξαπή. is that the Messiah is ἐλ ηνῖο ηακείνηο. 8:13. 1 Cor 15:23.‖ is that the ἐθιεθηνί. Rev 19:20. the only other NT occurrences of the word are in Luke 12:3. occurs also in Luke 17:37b. are in the care of their Father (cf. ἡ παξνπζία ηνῦ πἱνῦ ηνῦ ἀλζξώπνπ.g. The purpose of these mighty deeds is to lead astray the elect (ὥζηε.‖ which does not occur elsewhere in the Gospels. the return of the Son of Man will need no human heralds and will rest on no doubtful human claims. a christological point is made of such foreknowledge). Acts 6:8. 2. however. ―in the Assemblies/Sanhedrin. ―signs. see too 1:7.‖ This somewhat peculiar statement could have resulted from a misunderstanding of the underlying Aramaic. The warnings in this passage against false prophets find an OT background in Deut 13:2–4. where the false prophet does signs). 8:11). as Black speculates. if it were possible to do so.‖ will occur. ζεκεῖα. ―so that. παξνπζία. νὕησο ἔζηαη ἡ παξνπζία ηνῦ πἱνῦ ηνῦ ἀλζξώπνπ. 15:1 (cf. Comment on 3:1–12.W. Lord?‖ apparently concerning the location either of the one ―taken‖ or the one ―left. ―in the private (or secret) rooms. cf. ―parousia. Jos.‖ The imagery of flesheating birds is found elsewhere in the OT (Job 39:27–30. 13:13. The disciples are not to believe (κὴ πηζηεύζεηε. the statement intends only a contrast with a fully public appearance in the desert (Matthew uses ηακεῖνλ in 6:6.‖ That messianic deliverance would come from the desert was a widely shared expectation. ―elect‖ or ―chosen‖ (elsewhere in Matt 22:14. John 13:19 where. There is no special significance to Matthew‘s reference to east and west other than perhaps a smoothing out of Q (cf. The implication of the εἰ δπλαηόλ. Jas 5:7–8:2. ―lightning‖ (the only other occurrence in Matthew is in 28:3). 2 Peter 3:4. Zech 9:14.. 24:22. Hab 1:8) and NT (Rev 19:17– . which may have been be˒idrayya. and elsewhere) and also occurs in other NT writings (e. 23) such a claim in spite of whatever tribulation they may experience or whatever miraculous signs they may observe. 10:29–31) and that it is therefore not within the power of these enemies to accomplish their purpose. that the Messiah is ἐλ ηῆ ἐξήκσ. ―thus will be the coming of the Son of Man‖ (vv 37. 1 Thess 2:19.―wonders. there will be no doubt concerning the appearance of the Messiah. 8:12–14. Str-B 1:86–87. Luke 17:24). ―do not go out. 26 The warning of v. ―coming‖ or ―presence‖). ―What will be the sign of your parousia?‖ In addition to these two occurrences of the word παξνπζία (lit. which probably explains why John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness (cf. referring to a private place of prayer. 24). becomes an important word in the Pauline vocabulary (e.‖ occurs in Matthew only here.‖ More probably. Rev 12:1. where it is spoken in response to the question ―Where.‖ and the infinitive here express purpose). in much abbreviated syntax.‖ seldom has a positive meaning in Matthew and in the NT is modified by κεγάια only in Luke 21:11. rather more enigmatic than others in the Gospels. As the evangelist next indicates. which thereby becomes a kind of refrain in response to the initial question. it occurs twice again in this chapter in precisely the same clause. &2ApocBar. Here finally is an answer to one of the questions asked by the disciples in v.13. 23 is now repeated in a twofold prohibition. namely. &1QS.5 §261). The first claim. 3. ―the parousia of the Son of Man..‖ results in the alteration of the negative formula from ―do not believe‖ to κὴ ἐμέιζεηε.

‖ In Ruf und Antwort. All those who offer easier alternatives in the present. Tübingen: Mohr. of course. Bultmann. as surely as you know that where you see vultures gathered there is a carcass. Kidder. F. are pretenders: false prophets and false messiahs. ―‗This Generation‘ in Matthew 24:34. xxiv. J. but a reference to the Romans does not make sense here. Fascher.‖ JTS 15 (1964) 299–300. the proverb need not be allegorized.‖ NTS 9 (1962–63) 380–82. Tübingen: Mohr. C. Grässer. P.21). This interpretation has the advantage of being fully consonant with the context of the immediately preceding verses. FS E. Kümmel. aggravated by the ongoing experience of suffering. B.: Geschichte seiner Auslegung. Künzi. W. 24. nor does the carrion symbolize anything in particular. 46). The disciples are not to be taken in by their claims.‖ Studia Biblica et Theologica 3 (1973) 15–31.25. L. M. Leipzig: Koehler und Amelang. J. On the other hand. since there is no reference to judgment in the immediate context. 1973. ed. 31–46. the judgment of the world will take place (cf. ―‗Von dem Tage aber und von der Stunde weiss niemand … ‘: Der Anstoss in Mark. ―On Immediately in Mt 24. as it might have in the preceding pericope.26). G.‖ AUSS 21 (1983) 203–9. to force the kingdom by greater deeds of power or by messianic claims. 36): Eine exegetische Skizze zum Verhältnis von historisch-kritischer und christologischer Interpretation.‖ JTS 12 (1911) 460–61. J. S. ―Les forces des cieux seront ébranlées (Mt 24.‖ RSR 29 (1939) 114–15. F. Fuchs. It and it alone remains the hope of God‘s people. Higgins. parallel or paragraph SBS Stuttgarter Bibelstudien (Stuttgart/Wurzburg: Echter/KBW) RSR Recherches de science religieuse AUSS Andrews University Seminary Studies . There is only one true answer to the church‘s agony and longing in the present interim period: the real coming of the Son of Man. Dupont. 32 (Matth. 25:30. E. E. so you will not be able to miss the coming of the Son of Man. 30). a degree of eschatology already realized through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. ―The Sign of the Son of Man (Matt. JTS Journal of Theological Studies par. Holman. Das Naherwartungslogion Mk 9. There is in the church. Explanation Jesus teaches his disciples not to be overeager in their acceptance of messianic claimants no matter what impressive miraculous deeds may accompany them and despite what may seem like an unwarranted delay in the appearance of the Messiah. who seem to offer a way out of sufferings and the promise of eschatological blessings before the eschaton.30 par. That experience of fulfillment. And by its very nature there is no way in which it can possibly be missed. 1964. always stands in tension with the continuing fallenness of the world and our own unredeemed bodies. 39. 28–29 et par. Whether νἱ ἀεηνί refers to ―eagles‖ or ―vultures‖ does not matter (the two were often classed together).‖ In Zeit und Geschichte. whose advent will be as conspicuous as lightning in the sky. ―The Ensign of the Son of Man (Matt. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk. 13. Die Naherwartung Jesu. Lövestam. 475– 83. C. The most natural application of the imagery is to judgment. 1977. E. When the Son of Man comes. Mc 13. xxiv. A. Glasson. ―La parable de figuier qui bourgeonne (Mc 13. ―The Idea of an Imminent Parousia in the Synoptic Gospels. however.). FS R. T.29. 51. The parousia of the Son of Man brooks no rivals. SBS 61. The Return of the Son of Man (24:29–36) Bibliography Burkitt. must be regarded as false and dangerous. Lc 21. it may be that the proverb points primarily to the unmistakable character of the parousia.‖ RB 75 (1968) 462–63.29. Dinkler. 213–24.1 par. ―Die Naherwartung in der Verkündigung Jesu. Thus. E. mit einem Nachwort zur Auslegungsgeschichte von Markus 13. 30). vv 30. Every attempt to break that tension by greater claims of fulfillment. 1964. Joüon. As tempting as it appears to many commentators. which may be the point of the proverb here.

―then. possibly ―it.‖ perhaps to soften the difficulty of the verse.‖ which has already occurred at the beginning of the verse. D it add: ―When the beginning of these things happens. Guthrie. ―Untergang und Neuschöpfung: Zur theologischen Bedeutung neutestamentlicher Texte vom ‗Ende‘ der Welt. ed. Jesus and „this Generation.‖ In Christ the Lord. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Vögtle. Schütz. 35Heaven and earth will pass away. 62). 32. D. H. Würzburg: Echter. FS A.‖ RSR 14 (1924) 539–44. 31And he will send his angels with a great trumpet call. See TCGNT. j j. look up and lift your heads because your redemption draws near. L. FS D. νὐξαλνῖο. ―Cette géneration ne passera pas. R.‖ for ἀλαθύςαηε. ―the sound (of)‖ (D lat). ed. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk. ―in heaven. H. ―Die Stellung der ‗Terminworte‘ in der eschatologischen Verkündigung des Neuen Testaments. 30 parr. xxiv. M. 127–50. ———. neither the angels of heaven. ―great trumpet‖. 1980. ―these things. when you see all these things.‖ g g. Many MSS (‫א‬1 L W 0133 f1 TR g1 1 vg sy co) omit νὐδὲ ὁ πἱόο. i i. Lambrecht.‖ BZ 1 (1957) 283–89. A few MSS (‫ *א‬e mae) omit ηόηε. Schnackenburg. 51–66. Metz et al. ―look up. Freiburg: Herder. you know that summer is near. H. ζάιπηγγνο κεγάιεο. Zeller. know that heg is near. 403–13. ed. Merklein and J. Gembloux: Duculot.j but thek Father alone. Metzger notes that ―the presence of κόλνο [‗only‘ or ‗alone‘] and the cast of the sentence as a whole‖ favor the originality of the phrase (TCGNT. 35 in its entirety. 1:551–78. H.‖ TP 52 (1977) 258–71. . A few MSS (1424 aur b. Mt. FS R.‖ ZNW 10 (1909) 333–34. lit.‖ To νὐξαλῷ many MSS add the definite article ηῷ (W f1. Rahner. FS K. Malvy.c and thend all the tribes of the earth will mourn. at the doors. ed. ―the heavens. Rowdon. perhaps judging it alien to the context. ηῶλ νὐξαλῶλ. Since the subject is included in the verb form. Lange. 33 Thus also you. many MSS (B f13 TR sa) add θσλῆο.‖ or ηῆο θσλῆο. ―Le logion de l‘ignorance (Mc.‖ RB 75 (1968) 63–79. ―Das Feigengleichnis der Synoptikern. 1982. ―stand up. J. ―‗Dieses Geschlecht‘ im Neuen Testament. 61–62. Zeller. P.‖ c c. Wenham. 1964. xiii.‖ In Biblische Randbemerkungen. 34 Truly I tell you that this generation will by no means pass away before all these thingsh happen. ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ.‖ taken from the parallel in Luke 21:28. Or. nor the Son. the sun will be made dark and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the skya and the powers of heavenb will be shaken. Wiksell. 1974.e and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds. ―sound (of). New Testament BZ Biblische Zeitschrift ZNW Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft TP Theologie und Philosophie (ThPh) a a. Fiedler and D. from one end of heaven to the other. Including the phrase are ‫*א‬2 B D Θ f13 28 it vgmss. D. Merklein. D has the pl.13 TR). lit.‖ clearly for christological reasons. Winandy. BETL 53. ―Prophetisches Wissen um die Zukunft in synoptischen Jesusworten.‖ In Gegenwart und kommendes Reich. J. Stockholm: Almqvist &amp. ―the heaven. B.f 32Learn the meaning of the parable concerning the fig tree: Just when its branch becomes tender and it sprouts leaves.―The ἡ γελεὰ αὕηε Eschatology in Mk 13.‖ b b. 349–60. f f. 36).” BETL Bibliotheca ephemeridum theologicarum lovaniensium (Leuven/Gembloux: Leuven UP/Peeters) ConBNT Coniectanea biblica. ―Kirche und Parusie. ―neither the Son. perhaps through the influence of Exod 19:16.‖ In Gott in Welt. J. A. ‫ *א‬omits v.‖ h h. R. d d. ―‗This Generation Will Not Pass … ‘: A Study of Jesus‘ Future Expectation in Mark 13. Schnackenburg. lit. with which it agrees verbatim except for ἀλαβιέςαηε. 1975. 1995. f ff1 vgmss) omit ηαῦηα. Meinertz. e e. and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Oberlinner.‘ ConBNT 25.‖ In L‟apocalypse johannique et l‟apocalyptique dans le Nouveau Testament. ed. Leicester: InterVarsity.i 36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows. Translation 29 “And immediately after the tribulation of those days. but my words will never pass away.

‖ seemingly to tie this pericope more closely with what precedes.13 TR). 30 do we find a substantial departure from Mark. edited by Jacob ben Chayim. ―glory. B.‖ to after δόμεο. f ff1 vgmss) omit ηαῦηα. ―neither the Son. the discourse finally turns to the climactic event that alone signals the end of the age: the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven. d.‖ taken from the parallel in Luke 21:28. perhaps through the influence of Exod 19:16.‖ again from standard apocalyptic vocabulary. lit.‖ for ἀλαθύςαηε. In v. A few MSS (‫ *א‬e mae) omit ηόηε. who probably has created the reference to ―the sign of the Son of Man‖ to correspond to the question of v. lit. This is described using apocalyptic imagery that emphasizes the gathering of the elect. Metzger notes that ―the presence of κόλνο [‗only‘ or ‗alone‘] and the cast of the sentence as a whole‖ favor the originality of the phrase (TCGNT. ζάιπηγγνο κεγάιεο. look up and lift your heads because your redemption draws near. In v. ―sound (of). j. Or. ―stand up. 3. to ἐπὶ ηῶλ λεθειῶλ ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ. The pericope contains a striking juxtaposition of stress on imminence and reference to the indeterminacy of the time of the parousia of the Son of Man. ―the heaven. with which it agrees verbatim except for ἀλαβιέςαηε. in material that is unique to Matthew. ‫ *א‬omits v. many MSS (B f13 TR sa) add θσλῆο. Venice (1524/25) vg Latin Vulgate (as published in Weber‘s edition) . ―immediately. and substitutes νὐξαλῶλ. perhaps judging it alien to the context.‖ h. K W Γ f insert κνπ. ―my. ―in heaven.‖ which has already occurred at the beginning of the verse. 62). k. Including the phrase are ‫*א‬2 B D Θ f13 28 it vgmss. i. For this pericope Matthew continues to follow Mark very closely (here 13:24– 32). 30 Matthew conforms the language more closely to the language of Dan 7:13 by changing Mark‘s ἐλ λεθέιαηο. 61–62. ―the sound (of)‖ (D lat). 31 Matthew adds κεηὰ ζάιπηγγνο κεγάιεο. ―on the clouds of heaven. A few MSS (1424 aur b. See TCGNT. 35 in its entirety. ―then. Many MSS (‫א‬1 L W 0133 f1 TR g1 1 vg sy co) omit νὐδὲ ὁ πἱόο. 30). e. ―look up.‖ To νὐξαλῷ many MSS add the definite article ηῷ (W f1.‖ B Codex Vaticanus or MT MS. D it add: ―When the beginning of these things happens. ―the heavens. As for changes of the Markan text. In v. ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ. f. Only in the first half of v. The reference to the ―tribes of the earth‖ mourning seems to be drawn from standard apocalyptic imagery.‖ c. ―with a great trumpet. 29 Matthew adds (see Burkitt) the very problematic initial εὐζέσο. while the concomitant judgment is left implicit (v. ―much‖ or ―great. D has the pl.‖ for Mark‘s γῆο. lit. the following should be noted.Notes a. ―heavens. ―earth‖ (Mark 13:27).‖ perhaps to soften the difficulty of the verse.‖ b. ―these things.‖ or ηῆο θσλῆο. ―my.‖ clearly for christological reasons. K W Γ f insert κνπ. thereby making the termini the ends k k. νὐξαλνῖο.‖ In the same verse Matthew shifts πνιιῆο. with its full complement of trial and suffering leading the unknowledgeable to the hasty and mistaken conclusion that these events themselves marked the end.‖ so that it also modifies the latter. ―great trumpet‖. ―in (the) clouds‖ (Mark 13:26). ηῶλ νὐξαλῶλ.‖ g.‖ Form/Structure/Setting A. possibly ―it. Since the subject is included in the verb form. After the extended discussion in vv 4–28 of the era preceding the coming of the Son of Man.

Thus the references to ―this generation‖ not passing before some predicted event takes place (23:36. used there in a discussion of the problem of the delay of the parousia. We may note only the addition in v.‖ and ὄςνληαη. the omission of Mark‘s redundant γηλόκελα. 16:6–8. where syntactically the parallelism is nearly exact (ὅηαλ clauses. 35). a warning to the present generation (v. 29). A reference to the ―changing‖ of sun. an independent logion (v. while &1Clem. with again allusion to the OT). Also note the deliberately rhyming θόςνληαη. 2 and probably referred to in vv 15–22 if not also vv 23–28 (see Comment for these two passages) or (2) a yet future experience of great suffering. Formally. v.‖ in the same clause. 36). (3) the lesson of the fig tree (vv 32–33). (5) the lasting character of Jesus‘ words (v. This pericope finds more unity in content than of form. (4) fulfillment to the present generation (v. even more extensive reflection of this same material is found in Did. 24:34) and also the reference to ―some standing here who will …‖ (16:28) make especially good sense if they refer to the approximately forty years . and finally a logion concerning knowledge of the time of the end (v. 10.‖ to Mark‘s simple ηαῦηα. 23:3–4 (and 2 Clem.5. 35). 11:2–3) may reflect the tradition underlying the fig-tree analogy (vv 32–33). and finally the addition of the concluding κόλνο. but cf. probably reflecting the influence of oral tradition. Two major possibilities present themselves: (1) the words refer to the desecration of the temple and the destruction of Jerusalem prophesied in v. and (6) the time known only to the Father (v. an intensification of the suffering of the interim era. 31). 36). 15:5. of which the judgment of Jerusalem is only a foreshadowing. ―the tribulation of those days. ―happening. object clauses introduced by ὅηη). Mark 13:30). which consists of a quotation of OT material (v. In regard to the length of time itself. Vv 30–31 in pre-synoptic oral form are probably behind Paul‘s reference to the parousia of Christ in 1 Thess 4:16. occurs in Barn.‖ Matthew‘s changes of the Markan text in the parable of the fig tree and the following logia are very minor. several of the imminence sayings in Matthew fit the fall of Jerusalem particularly well. C.‖ is much debated. The first interpretation would seem to have the clear advantage. ―all. to be experienced just prior to the parousia. D. probably dependent upon this material (v. ―they will see. The following outline may be suggested: (1) the coming of the Son of Man (vv 29–30). and stars. ―these things‖ (Mark 13:29. moon. Parallelism is found at two points in the pericope: in the four clauses of the OT material in v. which adds force to the preceding negations. 34). and Matthew’s εὐζέσο Running through the prophecies of eschatological or quasi-eschatological events in the Gospel of Matthew are strands of imminence and delay. (2) the gathering of the elect (v. One of the greatest challenges for the interpreter is to bring these diverse strands together. 29). a parable and its application (vv 32–33). ―immediately.of heaven rather than Mark‘s mixture of ―the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. given the context. ―they will mourn. γηλώζθεηε. 34 is strikingly similar to the syntax of 5:18. and that is also the particular challenge of the present discourse. Comment 29 The meaning of ηὴλ ζιῖςηλ ηῶλ ἡκεξῶλ ἐθείλσλ. Delay. 30.‖ Excursus: Imminence.‖ of v. ―only‖ (v. 33 of πάληα. 29 (Matthew seems responsible for this parallelism. consisting of four subjects and four future verbs connected by θαί) and in the parable and its application in vv 32 and 33. were it not for the decidedly complicating presence of Matthew‘s added εὐζέσο. a reference to the coming of the Son of Man (vv 30– 31. 36). 34).

Patte. for example. 70. but only the Father‖—a statement that the early church can hardly have created. the sayings about the impossibility of knowing the time of the parousia and about the consequent need for being constantly ready: e. 28:19). Thus commonly vv 15–28 are taken..D. The setting up of the desolating abomination in the temple must also on this view either anticipate the rebuilding of the temple (referred to specifically in Matthew‘s redaction) or be taken metaphorically. He means that immediately (not simply ―very soon after‖ as Bruner argues) after the destruction and desecration of the temple the parousia is to be expected. These verses presuppose an interim period of unspecified length between the death of Jesus and the parousia. the following conclusion becomes plausible. Two key facts provide the basis for understanding these complex data. To be sure. to 24:6. We are now in a position to understand Matthew‘s redactional insertion of εὐζέσο. that no answer is given in the discourse to the initial question concerning the fall of Jerusalem and that the discourse therefore has no relevance to the original readers of the Gospel.D. 29. the building of the church (16:18–19. In their minds. including the preaching of the gospel to the nations (cf. 70 date together with the inserted ―immediately‖ necessitate seeing the intended tribulation as a yet future one. This. cf. 18:18). the material concerning the uncertainty of the time of the parousia noted above has not been integrated into the statement made by the evangelist here. they naturally assumed the imminence of the parousia.‖ in v. contain a consistent note of delay. Burnett. McNeile. References to the parousia and the accompanying final judgment.‖ governed by Matthew‘s ―immediately. Gundry. thought immediately of the parousia and the end of the age. the need to proclaim the gospel to the nations (24:14. neither the angels of heaven. This conclusion means. on the other hand. although the evangelist may well have believed that the period of forty years satisfied the various requirements. We may point. as referring to something such as the Holy Land or the community of God. Schweizer. upon hearing the prophecy of the destruction of the temple. and Harrington. Broer [who tries to soften Matthew‘s ―immediately‖ to mean ―still within this generation‖ (218)]). the two were inseparable.‖ have been understood very differently. however. The disciples. as we have seen. Consequently. as we have argued. ―immediately. The first of these is the statement of Jesus in 24:32 (= Mark 13:32) that ―about that day and hour no one knows. and unnaturally. e. It need hardly be said that the words κεηὰ ηὴλ ζιῖςηλ ηῶλ ἡκεξῶλ ἐθείλσλ. 24:48: ―my master is delayed‖. 25:13). The second key fact is that the disciples were unable to conceive of the fall of Jerusalem apart from the occurrence of the parousia and the end of the age (as the question of 24:3 indicates). post A. 50. however. Paul‘s view in Rom 10:18). chapter(s) . 8 but particularly to the parables of chaps.g.between the time of Jesus and the fall of Jerusalem.g. Possibly also 10:23 is to be understood in the same way. he did not teach the imminence of the parousia. to refer to an eschatological tribulation and the coming of the Antichrist. and 25:19: ―after a long time‖).. however. Knowing that Jesus had taught the imminence of the fall of the temple. In agreement with this motif of delay are such things as the choosing of the twelve (4:19). 25:5: ―the bridegroom was delayed‖. ―after the suffering of those days. He also may have regarded the interim as sufficiently long to account for the delay passages. is able to dissolve completely the tensions that lie in the material of the discourse. as in 2 Thess 2:3–4 (as. and Jesus‘ promise to be with his people to the end of the age (28:20). Although Jesus taught the imminent fall of Jerusalem. 44. It is furthermore hardly chaps. In my opinion the evangelist uses material from Jesus that is not finally compatible with the association of the parousia with the fall of Jerusalem. and they began to speak of both as imminent. The futurist interpretation is the main rival to the view taken here. leaving the latter to the undetermined future (cf. is only conceivable if the evangelist writes before and not after A. nor the Son. Hill. In light of these two facts. 24:42. No hypothesis. Grundmann. the imminence that was a part of the destruction of the temple prophecy now became attached to the parousia itself. This overt statement concerning Jesus‘ own ignorance of the time of the parousia makes it virtually impossible that he ever himself spoke of the imminence of that event. 24 and 25 (see esp. A priori convictions concerning a late.

Joel 2:10 and 4:15] for θῶο. Matthew‘s reference to αἱ δπλάκεηο. It is very difficult to believe that the words ―immediately after the tribulation of those days‖ refer only to something general in the indeterminate future. is not verbally paralleled in these LXX passages. later time just prior to the eschaton (cf. namely. so may we perceive the fall of Jerusalem as an anticipation of the final judgment. leaves no time for a secondary reference to something in the future that must precede the parousia. cf. it is extremely unlikely that the evangelist had any such thing in mind. ‫צבָא‬ ְ ‫כָל־‬. 1966] 402). With Paul we can see the imagery as pointing ultimately to the Antichrist of the end of time (2 Thess 2:3–4). Isa 13:13. a passage that is based on the present material in oral form. 29. Blomberg. see Hagner. E. however. effectively frame the only reference to a specific event in the whole of vv 4–28. B. the words seem to require a specific antecedent (note both the definite article ηήλ and the demonstrative pronoun ἐθείλσλ). ―and the powers of heaven will be shaken.‖ of heaven is probably not a reference to spiritual beings (as is probably the case in Rom 8:38. These verses. Carson: ―the entire interadvent period of thlipsis‖). vv 15–22 with their reference to the desecration of the temple and the accompanying instructions about fleeing. which speak only vaguely of the danger of pseudo-messiahs and false prophets.‖ and πάληα ηὰ . Rather than something vague. R. 15. The fourth line. Le discours eschatologique. cf. ols ā˓. Hag 2:6. The lines used to describe the changes in the sun. in keeping with the first three lines. indicates that he thought of the end as imminent. as the concluding component of the destruction of Jerusalem. As G.g.‖) For solid refutation of the Dispensationalist understanding of this material. The ―immediately‖ of v. Ford. 2:21: ―I will shake [ζείσ] the heavens‖). the fig tree parable of vv 32–33). Other scholars. ―Imminence and Parousia in the Gospel of Matthew. Finally. Although Isa 13:10 also mentions the stars not giving their light. in some witnesses to the LXX text (B L) of Isa 34:4 the same Hebrew expression. Meier. Eph 1:21. both to the fall of Jerusalem and to the sufferings of the end time and the Antichrist (e. in order to accommodate the ―immediately‖ of v. is alternately translated πᾶζαη αἱ δπλάκεηο. while allowing that vv 15–22 refer to the fall of Jerusalem. Bruner). 1957] 87) points out. Cranfield. The only specific item in the preceding context that could correspond to ―the suffering of those days‖ is the desecration of the temple referred to inv. θαὶ αἱ δπλάκεηο ηῶλ νὐξαλῶλ ζαιεπζήζνληαη. see Carson‘s and Bruner‘s perceptive remarks.‖ however. Morris. moon and stars are drawn from the language of the LXX Thus the reference to the sun being darkened and the moon not giving its light is taken from the apocalyptic material of Isa 13:10 (the only significant difference is Matthew‘s synonym θέγγνο [cf. The Abomination of Desolation. The desolating sacrilege of 24:15 and a time of indescribable suffering that is cut short only for the sake of the elect can easily suggest to us a time of future crisis that truly brings us to the brink of the eschaton. 29 take vv 23–28 as referring to some other.. 1 Peter 3:22) but. Isa 34:4: ―the heaven will be rolled up like a scroll‖ (cf. Only Matthew‘s ἀπὸ ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ. ―light‖). C.legitimate to read the passage in the light of 2 Thess 2:3–4. ―the powers. mention should be made of those who find a deliberate double reference in vv 15– 28. Matthew‘s ―immediately. While it is indeed true that from our perspective we may see a double reference in the material. a further reference to the objects of the sky. Agbanou. The Gospel according to St Mark [Cambridge: Cambridge UP. that the content of vv 23–28 corresponds closely to that of vv 4– 14. however. Matthew next alludes to the LXX of Isa 34:4: ―all the stars will fall [πεζεῖηαη] like leaves from a vine and as leaves fall from a fig tree [ἀπὸ ζπθῆο]‖ (with this last point.‖ finds no direct parallel in the OT but is similar to the statement in Joel 2:10: ―the heaven will be shaken‖ (ζεηζζήζεηαη). But just as Jesus and the evangelist had no trouble applying the symbolism of Daniel to the fall of Jerusalem yet to occur. ―all the powers. ―from the sky. It is clear. Beasley-Murray (A Commentary on Mark Thirteen [London: Macmillan.‖ added to complete the sense. (For a fuller treatment of this subject.

Jer 4:21. S. &1QM. Here alone is mention made of κεηὰ δπλάκεσο θαὶ δόμεο πνιιῆο. ―mourn. the question of v. This language is virtually the same as that of Zech 12:10–14 (where both the same verb as in Matthew. The same combination of Zech 12:10–14 and the Dan 7:13 reference to the coming of the Son of Man is found in Rev 1:7. i.g. θόςεηαη. Possibly the ―sign‖ is the setting up of an ―ensign. 3 vols. of New Testament Theology. ―all the stars. ―with power and great glory.‖ The attempt of Tasker. 2:15–4:17) together with a trumpet call (thus Glasson. naturally identifying its symbol with the sign of the Son of Man. It is obviously some further spectacular event that will by its conspicuousness alert the world to what immediately follows. Schweizer. Rengstorf.‖ with ηόηε. 1 Enoch 80:2–8. the tribes of the earth. where the glory of the return of the Son of Man is also connected with judgment. 29 or as itself (as an appositional genitive) the coming of the Son of Man mentioned in the last half of the present verse (contra Gundry. TDNT 7:236–38). Christ‘s return to the earth. he makes it impossible to take the sign as either the phenomena in the sky of v. it is very difficult to know what he had in mind. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Carson is quite correct in denying any obstacle to understanding Dan 7:13–14 as a reference to the parousia. 3). by the reference to the mourning of ―all the tribes of the earth‖ (πᾶζαη αἱ θπιαὶ ηῆο γῆο).‖ as well as ἡ γῆ. 25:32). 30 When Matthew introduces the reference to the appearance of ηὸ ζεκεῖνλ ηνῦ πἱνῦ ηνῦ ἀλζξώπνπ ἐλ νὐξαλῷ. Matthew thus apparently regards the appearing of the sign of the Son of Man as something independent of both. here heightened by the eschatological and thus consummative character of this event. ―the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. probably for emphasis. and Garland to understand these words as referring not to the parousia but to the fall of Jerusalem in A. see too 2 Thess 1:7–8). but its view like every other must remain speculative (for discussion see K. 1975–78) contra in contrast to . ―upon the clouds of heaven. The actual assertion concerning the parousia is made using the words from Dan 7:13. will be attended by unusual phenomena in the sky. ―then.D. The New International Dictionary. 16:27. here meant as ―the land [of Israel]. Following the second ηόηε. 102:2. Apocalyptic imagery of this sort became commonly used in depicting the coming of eschatological judgment (in addition to passages already cited. e. 49:22.e.. 70 is hardly convincing.‖ which is often mentioned (see. are to be understood as all the nations of the earth (cf. The mourning of humanity before the prospect of the imminent judgment that must accompany this event is readily comprehensible (cf. H. The early church eventually identified the sign as the cross (see Apocalypse of Peter 1. which suggests that the combination depends upon early Christian tradition rather than upon a common source. unique to Matthew. see Amos 8:9. The parousia of the Son of Man has the marks of a theophany. so too Higgins). ed. ―all the tribes. Bruner). NIDNTT C..‖ is the reference to the coming of the Son of Man. Epistula Apostolorum 16.ἀζηέξα. but if so.‖ and introduces the following reference to the actual coming of the Son of Man with another ηόηε. ἐπὶ ηῶλ λεθειῶλ ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ. which in the OT originally meant the tribes of Israel. quoted again in the Gospel in 26:64 and alluded to earlier in 10:23. NIDNTT 3:730–37). ―then. see Hagner.‖ and the phrase πᾶζαη αἱ θπιαί. Ezek 32:7–8. in short.‖ The coming of the Son of Man.‖ which is implied already in the words of Daniel. Brown (―The Matthean Apocalypse‖). the parousia itself (cf. In keeping with Matthew‘s universal perspective. but this is preceded.‖ occur—this in connection with looking on ―me whom they have pierced‖ [LXX: ―mocked‖]). It is apparently forced by Matthew‘s ―immediately‖ but goes against the normal use of the language (see Wenham‘s critique). Brown.. Hill). 2 Esdr 5:4–5. France. Isa 18:3.

and false prophets but specifically. but the gathering of the righteous remains implicit in 13:41. the main point is that the fall of Jerusalem was to be experienced by that generation (pace Kidder). Deut 30:4. distress. ―all these things‖ (cf. pseudo-messiahs. The πάληα ηαῦηα. The gathering of the ἐθιεθηνύο. 12:41–42. Matthew‘s πάληα ηαῦηα. 34 The πάληα ηαῦηα. 10:23.‖ is used consistently in the Gospel to refer to Jesus‘ contemporaries. Ezek 34:13. lit.‖ The point of Matthew‘s (like Mark‘s) statement is the comprehensiveness or universality of the gathering of the saints. 33. referring to the eschatological Judge. including the fall of Jerusalem. The coming of the Son of Man may occur at any time. vv 15–22). In the same way. 24). 36:24). The reference to the blowing of a great ζάιπηγγνο. ―all these things. ―trumpet‖ (the word occurs in Matthew only here). Yet the components of the analogy (v. for judgment and blessing. The involvement of the angels in this eschatological gathering of the people is referred to also in 13:41.. The attempt to explain ἡ γελεὰ αὕηε. ἐγγύο ἐζηηλ ἐπὶ ζύξαηο. however. 34. in connection with the gathering of the righteous is found in Isa 27:13 (in the NT a reference to the eschatological trumpet occurs in conjunction with the descent of the Lord from heaven in 1 Thess 4:16. cf. to the desecration of the temple and the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. one knows that summer is near. 16:28. ―he [possibly: ‗it‘] is near. Jer 32:37. With the glorious coming of the Son of Man will be the gathering of the righteous and their subsequent vindication and reward (cf.31 A part of the end-time expectation of Israel was the gathering of the dispersed people of God from the four corners of the earth (see.g. all of which like the present logion are prefaced by the emphatic ἀκὴλ ιέγσ ὑκῖλ. But just as the sprouting fig tree indicates that summer is near but not yet present. 33) are difficult to understand. the most natural understanding of ―he (it) is near. there as in 1 Cor 15:52 the trumpet is associated with the resurrection of the dead.‖ cannot include the parousia itself. those listening there and then to the teaching of Jesus (ἡ γελεὰ αὕηε. in each case the gathering concerns the judgment of the wicked (a twofold gathering.‖ as the generation alive at the time of the parousia or more generally as the human race or people of God goes against the natural meaning of the phrase and . Jas 5:9) is that it refers to the coming of the Son of Man. ―truly I tell you.‖ formula. that is. at the doors. ―from the four winds of heaven I will gather you. 23:36). ―this generation. 32–33 The point of the parable of the fig tree is a simple one. 16:27. ―all these things. from the ends of heaven to its ends‖) is close to that of the LXX of Zech 2:10: ἐθ ηῶλ ηεζζάξσλ ἀλέκσλ ηνῦ νὐξαλνῦ ζπλάμσ ὑκᾶο. says the Lord. e. so the coming of the Son of Man is near but not yet present. 45. where. The exegesis of this phrase cannot be separated from the understanding of the final clause of v. When a fig tree begins to sprout leaves. refers here not simply to the gathering of Israel but to the gathering of Christian disciples. cf.‖ of this verse can include no more than the same phrase in the preceding verse and thus cannot include the coming of the Son of Man (so too Blomberg). 25:31–32. ―this generation. 25:34). at the doors‖ (for this expression. Isa 60:4. is found in 13:30. should probably be taken to include everything spoken of in vv 4–28. ιέγεη θύξηνο. Mark‘s simple ηαῦηα. The phrase refers not only to general marks of the interim period such as tribulation. 23:36). all the signs prior to the parousia. both Jews and Gentiles. 24:22. they mean merely that all is in readiness.‖ which in turn may be governed by the understanding of v. and dramatically. ―these things‖). cf. when certain events take place. ―from the four winds. As in the other imminence sayings (cf. Matthew‘s language (ἐθ ηῶλ ηεζζάξσλ ἀλέκσλ ἀπ θξσλ νὐξαλῶλ ἕσο [ηῶλ] θξσλ αὐηῶλ. With the immediately preceding context of this parable referring so unmistakably to the parousia of the Son of Man. 11:16. which Matthew makes no mention of here). one may know that the end is near. John 11:52). ―elect‖ (see too 22:14.

36 In very strong contrast to the emphasis in v. 11–12). would no doubt have been quite comfortable. 35 This verse is parenthetical. and the Son of Man could have come to any of those generations. the nations will mourn the prospect of their judgment while the elect will be gathered together in joyful anticipation of entering into their inheritance. The fact that. that it will need no proclaimers and no interpretation. including . the words of Jesus will not fail. 25:13.g.g. are the signs of the approach of the eschaton and the eschaton itself. perhaps having been initially suggested to the evangelist by the previous reference to the passing of ―this generation.‖ refers to the event. including the catastrophe of the fall of Jerusalem. e. is not a requirement of Matthew‘s very high Christology. and not just partially. By contrast. e. however. however. are transitory and are destined to pass away in their present form with the dawning of the eschaton (cf... the question of v. which is the usual contrasting element in such statements (e. 44) is said to be beyond human determination altogether.g.‖ see v. cf. 2 Peter 3:7. 44. vv 39. which by this formula (for ―day and hour. Isa 51:6. the expression clearly alludes to a sinful generation.. see the LXX of Zech 14:7: ―there will be one day.‖ these events would occur). and that day is known to the Lord [γλσζηὴ ηῷ θπξίῷ]‖. ηῆο ἡκέξαο ἐθείλεο θαὶ ὥξαο.. say. which is Lövestam‘s conclusion).makes the words irrelevant both to Jesus‘ listeners and to Matthew‘s readers. for OT background. the experienced signs of the interim up to the point of the nearness of the parousia of the Son of Man—the present verse clearly indicates the impossibility of knowing the time of the Son of Man‘s coming and the end of the age in advance of their actual occurrence (cf. ―when. and the ignorance of the Son on a matter such as this is compatible with the development of a kenosis doctrine (i. ―day and hour‖ are split in vv 42. the month or year could be known (rightly Meinertz. as Lövestam has shown. every generation since the time of Jesus has been confronted with the reality of signs pointing to the end. the climactic return of the Son of Man. In agreement with apocalyptic expectation of the first century. &2ApocBar. Lövestam. with his embracing of the full humanity of Jesus. ―but my words‖) will endure forever. will be so startling and conspicuous. They are thereby made the equivalent of the word of God. so that. What is so remarkable in the present verse is the statement that ―neither the angels of heaven nor the Son [νὐδὲ ὁ πἱόο]‖ know the time of the parousia. the words of Jesus (νἱ δὲ ιόγνη κνπ. Acts 1:7. The former can be known with all certainty.e. The omniscience of the Son. seemingly so permanent. as in the Markan parallel) omitted this reference to the ignorance of the Son as seemingly incompatible with the Christology of the early church. one ripe for judgment. 50. ―of that day and hour. The time of the coming of the Son of Man is in the keeping of ―the Father alone‖ (ὁ παηὴξ κόλνο. when it occurs.‖ Heaven and earth. cf. Blomberg). It is little wonder that many copyists (here. 26) but on the authority and reliability of his words concerning the future. Explanation History will be full of suffering and evil. 33 concerning what can be known— namely. This stress on our ignorance of the actual time of the parousia continues through the next several pericopes (cf. Though all else of the present order will pass away. 3 concerning πόηε. so glorious and great. the emphasis falls not on the teaching of Jesus generally (as. In the present context. 50. What must be differentiated. the time of the latter remains hidden. in 7:24. an ―emptying‖ of divine prerogatives) such as Paul (Phil 2:6–8) and his predecessors had already developed—and with which Matthew. fits the fall of Jerusalem (and not merely the end of the age. Carson. 21:8). Consequently. that will seem to herald the eschaton and the coming of the promised one. 42. But the coming of the Son of Man. Isa 40:8). 25:13).

the fact of the future return of the Son of Man is what counts. ―Their children‖ added.g 42 Watch. A. veillez.13 TR lat syh). ―Synoptic Parousia Parables and the Apocalypse. c c. ―also. eating and drinking. NT teaching about eschatology finds its proper outcome in ethical living rather than in the speculations of so-called prophecy conferences.‖ NTS 23 (1977) 165–69.‖ perhaps by harmonization with v.‖ BibLeb 11 (1970) 238–47. ―‗Ihr wisst nicht. F. Falke. . and thus the word is retained by the UBSGNT. ―In the time of‖ added for clarity. d d. Some MSS omit θαί. 1963. Strobel. the Son of Man is coming. therefore.‖ is omitted by ‫ א‬L W Θ f1.h co). ―also‖ (D W Q. But the actual time of the parousia and the end of the age is known only to God.43f).‖ In Untersuchungen zum eschatologischen Verzögerungsproblem. ἐθείλαηο. ἦξελ. 44. Including the θαί are ‫ א‬L W Θ f1. Leiden: Brill. ―those. 38For as they were in [those] c days before the flood. h h. ―The Parable of the Thief at Night. he would have watched and would not have permitted him to break into his house.p sams bopt) have ὥξα.3. ―swept away.the present generation. f1. The UBSGNT indicates the difficulty of deciding the question by including the word in brackets. Lövestam. 44Because of this you yourselves must also be ready. J. because in an hour you do not expect. one will be taken and one will be left. lit. 37 (see Note a). Uncertainty concerning the time is in a sense a non-issue. an welchem Tag euer Herr kommt‘: Auslegung von Mt 24. ―Dans l‘ignorance du jour. Gollinger.36–42. perhaps by the influence of v. Geoltrain. but in brackets. because you do not know on what dayh your Lord is coming. 207–15. Walvoord. R. perhaps influenced by the θαί in v. or to satisfy our curiosity about the future.13 TR lat mae bo. H. as the following pericopes will show. Many MSS. b b. 95–107. D f13 it vgs add ―two will be in one bed. to motivate us to appropriate conduct in the present. 39b. 43 But know this: that if the master of the house had known in which night-watch the thief was coming. what we can know.‖ f f.‖ In Spiritual Wakefulness in the New Testament. LUÅ ns 1.‖ instead of ―day. Incertidumbre sobre el Tiempo del Retorno del Hijo del Hombre (24:37–44) Bibliography Bauckham. P. 1961.” BibLeb Bibel und Leben AsSeign Assemblées du Seigneur ns new series GTJ Grace Theological Journal a a. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill. thus it will bea in the time ofb the parousia of the Son of Man.‖ AsSeign 5 (1969) 17–29.37–51. ―‗Bei der Wiederkunft des Menschensohnes‘: Eine Meditation zu Mt 24.‖ which is taken nearly verbatim from the parallel in Luke 17:34. ―hour. the signs that we can discern—everything that points to the apparent imminence of the end—all of this is meant. E. The information that is available to us is intended not for its own sake. g g. Lund: Gleerup. or to enable us to relax until just before the event. 40Then there will be two men in the field. marrying and giving their childrend in marriage. until the day Noah entered the ark—39and they did not know until the flood came and destroyede all of them—thus will be [also]f the parousia of the Son of Man. one will be taken and one will be left. add θαί.‖ Including ἐθείλαηο are B D it sa.‖ BibLeb 6 (1965) 208–12.13 TR lat syh. Translation 37 “For just as the days of Noah were.p. J.‖ here (B D it vgmss sys.55. ―Das Gleichnis vom nächtlichen Einbrecher (Mt 24. one will be taken and one will be left. resulting in the reading ―the days. e e. ―Is Posttribulational Rapture Revealed in Matt 24?‖ GTJ 6 (1985) 257–66. Instead. Many MSS (K L Γ TR lat sys.

―parousia‖ (vv 37. The following may be suggested as an outline: (1) the analogy with the days of Noah (vv 37–39). at the beginning of v.Form/Structure/Setting A. Matthew omits the remainder of Mark‘s sentence. 24:17–18. For Q‘s ―in the day(s) of‖ the coming or revelation of the Son of Man (Luke 17:26. This ethical emphasis dominates to the end of the discourse. One further Matthean addition seems apparent. already used in vv 3 and 27). or at cockcrow. perhaps to emphasize the continuing action and thus the unexpected catastrophe of the flood.‖ for ηῆο νἰθίαο. however.‖ as the modifier of θύξηνο. the parenthetical and awkward θαὶ νὐθ ἔγλσζαλ. it is unlikely that Luke changed θπιαθῇ to ὥξᾳ). In v. Matthew‘s reference at the beginning of v. for which. 39. which appears to be dependent on Mark 13:35. Departing from Mark. he is dependent on Mark. Matthew probably abbreviates Q by omitting the material in Luke 17:28–29 concerning the parallel instance of Lot as well as that in Luke 17:31–33. Luke 17:34– 35). In v.‖ since the latter makes no sense apart from the Markan context.‖ picking up the verb in the exhortation of v. cf. ―Lord. Matthew substitutes the nonspecific πνίᾷ ἡκέξᾷ. ―your. 44). while in the second (vv 45–51) the return is sooner than expected and in the third (25:1–13) it is later than expected. to θπιαθῇ. Thus the burden of the eschatological discourse becomes the motivation of the Christian‘s conduct. ―of the house. 12:39–40). 25:1–13) that serve to illustrate the truth of the centrally important logion of v. (2) the sudden separation (vv 40–41). of the Son of Man.‖ for Mark‘s πόηε. lit. 43) and two exhortations (vv 42. (3) the key exhortation to ―watch‖ (v. Matthew now adds three pericopes (vv 37–44. ―watch‖ (given Luke 12:38. & Vv. Luke 17:26–35. 36.‖ which with the following present participles forms a periphrastic construction. also 10:39). all related to the central point of the uncertainty of the time of the coming of the Son of Man. 42).‖ and ἐπὶ ηὸ αὐηό. in the first parable (vv 37–41) the return of Christ is completely unexpected. ―hour‖ (cf. ―together. B. or at dawn. 42. C. Finally. Luke 12:39–40). ―in the field. ―what day. Except for the logion of v. ―in bed. In the same verse. Matthew apparently draws on Q for this passage (cf. 44 Matthew adds δηὰ ηνῦην. changing ἐπὶ θιίλεο. 43 and 44 again follow Q fairly closely (in a different context in Luke. 38 to ―as they were in [those] days before the flood. the mention of which reflects Matthew‘s special emphasis on the eschatological judgment. may well be a Matthean addition to Q (rather than reflecting a Lukan deletion of the material). Matthew inserts ἐγξεγόξεζελ λ. For vv 37–39 the following redactional changes may be noted. 42. 45–51.‖ which for Matthew is the important issue. which is drawn from Mark 13:35. Since the time of the coming of the Son of Man cannot be known. ―because of this.‖ and ὑκῶλ. 30) Matthew twice substitutes the technical expression παξνπζία.‖ and abbreviating Q slightly but preserving the symmetrical parallelism. The motif throughout these passages is the uncertainty of the time of the parousia and the accompanying end of the age.‖ apparently regarding it as redundant after ―what day. and (5) the concluding application (v. Christians are called to be in a state of continuous readiness.‖ to ἐλ ηῷ κύιῷ. The following alterations may be noted. cf. or at midnight. ―and they did not know. The basic components of the pericope are two analogies (vv 37–39. ―when.‖ which repeats exactly the main point that Matthew wants to emphasize in these and the following verses. 44).‖ in order to emphasize the concluding application. 43 Matthew probably changes ὥξᾳ. 43). some of which he has already used (cf. 42. (4) the analogy of the thief (v. In vv 40–41 Matthew follows Q quite closely (cf. As Blomberg astutely observes.‖ to ἐλ ηῷ ἀγξῷ. The first analogy consists of two parallel sentences that . ―at the mill. Luke 12:39). ―in the evening. ―he would have watched.

Thus the coming of the Son ―as a thief in the night‖ can be found in 1 Thess 5:2. the imminent danger)] until the flood [θαηαθιπζκόο] came and swept them away. while those who are left await the prospect of judgment. though left implicit. see 2 Peter 2:5. which is then awkwardly linked with the following ἕσο. 39). The term παξνπζία. first occurs in the disciples‘ question (v. the second providing much fuller information to make the analogy understandable. Gos. This fact leads to the main exhortation of the passage in v. ―as‖). And they had no inkling of the judgment that was to come upon them until it was too late: ―they did not know [νὐθ ἔγλσζαλ (i. unaware of what is about to befall them. They are going about their normal activities. 27 and twice here (vv 37. 21. The people of Noah‘s day were oblivious to all else than their own pleasurable living. Presumably those who are ―taken‖ are among the elect whom the angels of the Son of Man are to gather at his coming (v. broken only by the feminine participle ἀιήζνπζαη. The periphrastic construction (εἰκί + present participle) stresses the ongoing activity mentioned in the four participles (all with the euphony of the same endings): ηξώγνληεο θαὶ πίλνληεο. 3) and then in the clause νὕησο ἔζηαη ἡ παξνπζία ηνῦ πἱνῦ ηνῦ ἀλζξώπνπ. ―will be. Matthew has broken up the structure somewhat by his insertion of the parenthetical θαὶ νὐθ ἔγλσζαλ. ―eating and drinking. They stand merely as indicators of the living of everyday. Did. Comment 37–39 The parousia of the Son of Man is likened to the suddenness with which Noah‘s contemporaries were overwhelmed by the flood (see Gen 6:5–24). 38 is very close to the language of the LXX of Gen 7:7. 16:1. Vv 40 and 41 present nearly exact symmetry. for the coming of the Son of Man will mean judgment for the wicked. marrying and giving in marriage. is to impress upon the disciples and the church the importance of being ready for the parousia when it Gos.‖ The reference to Noah entering the ark in v. v. γακνῦληεο θαὶ γακίδνληεο. 16:1.‖ and corresponding subordinate clauses (introduced by ὥζπεξ ο. Gospel of Thomas .‖ clause (which goes with the periphrastic construction more naturally).‖ which becomes like a refrain. 37) down to 25:13. 2 Peter 3:10. Thom. The parousia of the Son of Man will in a similar way come suddenly upon an unsuspecting generation that is carrying on its ordinary activities. The judgment motif. 21. This is put very vividly in the reference to two men working in a field and two women grinding at the mill (the repeated κία is feminine). Thom. Rev 16:15. is obviously also pertinent. ―and they did not know‖ (v. Thom. Noah is referred to in Matthew only here (for the flood as a warning to later generations. the four parallel present participles should be noted. ―grinding. Several motifs of this pericope are picked up in early Christian writings. ordinary life. which is a repetition of the exhortation of this verse. 40–41 At the time of the coming of the Son of Man there will be a division of humanity. 39). ―therefore.‖ D. The exhortation to ―watch‖ is found in 1 Thess 5:6.‖ found only in Matthew in the Gospels. 103.‖ in the next verse). some will be taken. 3:6). 42 The main purpose of this section of the discourse. The stress on the impossibility of knowing the time of the parousia is also found in Rev 3:3. ―until. 31). The application of these verses is made clear in the exhortation that follows (note the νὖλ. some left behind. ―thus will be the coming of the Son of Man. ―thus will be the parousia of the Son of Man. ―parousia. 42.‖ for the verb ἔζνληαη.‖ No special significance is to be read into these particular participles. when suddenly one of them is taken and the other is left.. Rev 3:3. occurring in v. Did. Gos. from the present pericope (i. Within the subordinate clause of the second sentence.e..e.have exactly parallel main clauses.

Again. From this logion of Jesus is drawn the image of his return as a thief in the night.‖ is used. Thus the watching involves an active dimension. 16:15 (see esp. 25:14–46). 10:25. ―hour..‖ 44 A concluding application is made here. never allow this connection to be broken. Matthew‘s noun θπιαθῇ. But since Christians cannot know the time of the coming of the Son of Man. Being ―ready‖ here. where it is in an hour of the night that the thief breaks in. which reaffirms the point already made in vv 36 and 42: the time of the parousia of the Son of Man cannot be known in advance. 42 (and 25:13).‖ and verb. Rev 3:3. And thus in Jesus‘ eschatological discourse. fits particularly well with the verb ἐγξεγόξεζελ λ. 16:15). ―watch‖ (cf. ―he would have watched. 14:25). He is coming ᾗ νὐ δνθεῖηε ὥξᾳ. γξεγνξεῖηε. 52. who did not know the time in which the thief would come. 50. the ―hour. ―master of a house.‖ alone and not to ―day‖ too. of course. since the time of this event cannot be known in advance.‖ is emphatic) are to be ἕηνηκνη. The reason for the necessity of this readiness is stipulated once again in the ὅηη.‖ is made also in vv 36. ―ready‖ (the word is used in the very same sense. as Lövestam points out. be always prepared. The νἰθνδεζπόηεο. The ―day‖ has been mentioned in v. namely. for his coming. θιέπηεο. disciples should be acting as disciples are supposed to act. Eschatology is never presented for the sake of mere information but always and consistently as the motivation for ethical living. Because the time of the event must remain unknown (cf. Lövestam). only the sudden unexpectedness of his coming (cf.‖ Inasmuch as the situation of Christians is similar to that of the housemaster. the only other occurrences of the word in Matthew are in 22:4.‖ connotes not simply looking for but being prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. 25:13. such ―signs. where the point of comparison is. 1 Thess 5:2. 1 Thess 5:6. 13:27. 1 Peter 5:8. vv 36. righteous conduct of the disciples (cf. and perhaps precisely because of the pervasiveness of and the consequent inurement to. That is. In fact. The language of the thief breaking in (same noun. 44. ―on account of this. simple analogy is drawn with the reference to the householder who would have watched had he known the time when the thief was going to break into his house. means the living of life ―in communion with the Lord and in faithfulness to him‖ (106).occurs. ―your Lord. v. ―in an hour you do not expect. they (the ὑκεῖο. eschatology and ethics are brought together. 43 The further. 46) that becomes the focus of the end of the discourse (cf. 42. δηνξύζζεηλ. the use of γξεγνξεῖλ in 1 Cor 16:13.‖ also provides a number of analogies in Matthew (cf.‖ there will be no time to prepare for the parousia of the Son of Man. the fact of the parousia. the followers of Christ are to remain in a state of constant readiness. Reference to uncertainty concerning the ἡκέξα. it is implied that they must continuously watch. at the beginning of the stream of eschatology in the the NT. it will catch many by surprise. 11. whenever it may occur. ―you. the faithful. 20:1. 25:13). The NT writers. and they will consequently not be ―ready. i. Explanation Although the world will have seen and experienced much that hints at the proximity of the eschaton. ―watch.‖ clause. not the . 21:33). For this sense of spiritual vigilance. 50. This is the only place in Matthew where the expression θύξηνο ὑκῶλ. In the present passage the second element. probably because of the context provided by the preceding verse. means to be living righteously. Rev 3:2–3. 44. is to maintain themselves in a state of constant readiness.‖ The exhortation to the disciples and the church. ―day. as in the exhortation to ―watch‖ in v. Spiritual wakefulness. introduced by δηὰ ηνῦην. 2 Peter 3:10. ―thief. ―therefore‖ or lit.‖ is mentioned in v. cf. ―because. ―to dig through [a house wall of dried mud]‖) has been used earlier by Matthew in 6:19–20. 8). to their credit. however. lit. but as a noun.‖ This is the only reference of this kind to ὥξα. in 25:10. They must not be embarrassed at the time of the parousia.e.

―His return‖ added for clarity. were probably not a part of Q. ―that. and with slightly different word order.‖ resulting in the reading ―the (evil) servant.‖ to complete the sense of the clause.43–44. The agreement between Matthew and Luke is quite close. 25. many MSS W f[1]13 TR latt sy mae bomss. Lk 12.‖ where Luke has νἰθνλόκνο.42. Leiden: Brill. Translation 45 “Who then are the faithful and wise servantsa whom theb master appointed over his household servantsc to give them their food at the right time? 46 Blessed are those servants whom their master comes and finds doing thus. The evangelist stresses the need to be prepared for that coming reality. Los Fieles y Malvados Siervos (24:45–51) Bibliography Bauckham. Schwarz. 24.45–51 par. 1978.14–30). Munich: Kösel. 5:561– 66.‖ In Die Knechtsgleichnisse der synoptischen Evangelien.‖ NTS 23 (1977) 165–69. NovTSup 2. Frankfurt am Main: Knecht.” Form/Structure/Setting A. νἰθεηείαο. Betz. ―household servants. Pesch. ―Gleichnis vom guten und vom bösen Knecht. is what matters.‖ probably by influence of the parallel in Luke 12:42. lit. 47 Truly I tell you that he will appoint them over all his possessions. M.‖ d d.‖ by metonymy. In v. Sing. 25:13). Matthew probably draws the pericope from Q (cf. ―house‖. O.time of the parousia. SANT 29. 48 But if thosed evil servantse should say in their heart. preferring it to the omitted brief parable of Mark 13:34–36. A. ―ηὴλ ηξνθὴλ ([ηὸ] ζηηνκέηξηνλ) ἐλ θαηξῷ? Mt 24. ―his.42–46. ―A Prophetic Pronouncement: Q 12:42–46.‖ e e. ―The Dichotomized Servant and the End of Judas Iscariot. R. Luke 12:42–46). Weiser..‟24 49 and begin to beat their fellow servants. B. ―and the master said‖ (Luke 12:42). Thus too. „My master delays his return.45–48. Strobel. J. ―Synoptic Parousia Parables and the Apocalypse. The following more significant differences between Matthew and Luke may be noted. 1971.‖ BibNot 59 (1991) 44.45–51). is ―household. F. 45 Matthew has δνῦινο.47f. the ἔξρεζζαη. See Note a above. Dewey.‖ in the Lukan parallel (Luke 12:45).‖ Évangile: Cahiers bibliques 49 (1968) 5–57. DuBuit. v. ―Das Gleichnis vom heimkehrenden Hausherrn und seinem Knecht (Mt 24.‖ In So liest Man synoptisch. in the Gr. R. A. ―steward‖ RevQ Revue de Qumrân BibNot Biblische Notizen NovTSup Supplement(s) to Novum Testamentum SANT Studien zum Alten und Neuen Testament a a. . language. and eat and drink with drunkards.‖ In Untersuchungen zum eschatologischen Verzögerungsproblem. D f1 TR e sys read ζεξαπείαο. Many MSS (W Θ f13 TR lat syh) add αὐηνῦ. The emphasis in this and the second parable (25:1–13) remains on the unknown and unknowable time of the coming of the Son of Man (cf. whereas the great third apocalyptic passage focuses on the final judgment. ―my master [delays] to come.45/Lk 12. R. ―Das Gleichnis vom treuen und untreuen Knecht: Mt 24. 1961.‖ Forum 5 (1989) 99–108. 50. ―servant‖ has been changed to the pl. ―Les paraboles de l‘Attente et de la Miséricorde (Mt 24.‖ RevQ 5 (1964) 43–58. G. 50 the master of those servants will come on a day which they do not expect and in an hour which they do not know. where there will be weeping and the grinding of teeth. 215–22. ―to come. The setting of the parable in Luke 12:41 and the introductory formula θαὶ εἶπελ ὁ θύξηνο. (affecting also pronouns and related verbs) in order to avoid the masc. This is the first of a succession of three passages that have to do with the requirement of appropriate conduct (= watchfulness) in the period prior to the coming of the Son of Man. and Kratz. ‫ א‬q read νἰθίαο.‖ c c. ―slave. 51 and he will cut them to pieces and put their inheritance among the hypocrites. 178–225. A. ―servant. C D L Θ) add ὁ θύξηόο κνπ ἐιζεῖλ. b b. Cf. The sing. The word here. 24 f. ‫ *א‬Γ Θ sys mae omit ἐθείλνο.

δνῦινο in Luke 12:45). It is difficult to know here and in Matthew‘s νἰθεηείαο.‖ is probably original to Q. C. ―wise. ―this parable‖). Matthew‘s ἀκήλ. ―he will put. ―the menservants and the maidservants‖ (Luke 12:45).‖ V 50 contains the striking parallel construction ἐλ ἡκέξᾳ ᾗ νὐ πξνζδνθᾷ θαὶ ἐλ ὥξᾷ ᾗ νὐ γηλώζθεη. 9). 50. εἴπῇ. ―hypocrites.‖ clause with four parallel verbs.‖ may well be a condensing of Luke‘s ηνὺο παῖδαο θαὶ ηὰο παηδίζθαο. ―the faithful and wise servant. 23 (these verses contain the only other reference to πηζηόο. v. and (2) the wicked servant (vv 48–51).‖ in Matthew). 49) is alluded to in the Gospel according to the Hebrews (Eusebius. 47). 8. 13:42.‖ is used elsewhere in Matthew to describe appropriate discipleship in 7:24. with Luke‘s θαὶ κεζύζθεζζαη. there is some general parallelism between the two halves of the pericope. 49. 1894) . to the more usual formulaic expression. Series Graeca. on the other hand. the concluding clause. Matthew‘s ὑπνθξηηῶλ. and (c) the punishment (v.‖ seems to betray (in contrast to Luke‘s single servant [Luke 12:45]). 1857-66.‖ In vv 48–51a we encounter one of the most complex sentences in Matthew. ―unfaithful‖) in the direction of his favorite vocabulary. Migne (Paris. ed. ―if. lit.‖ as the somewhat clumsy retention of ἐθεῖλνο. In the same verse. ―he will come. 47. 45) concerning a hypothetical servant who is given certain responsibilities indicates the parabolic character of this pericope (cf.‖ and ζήζεη. ―eat.‖ and πίλῃ. with three parallel main verbs in the future tense. Luke‘s ἔξρεζζαη. 46.‖ is probably an alteration of Q‘s ἀιεζῶο.(Luke 12:42. ―slave. 8:12.‖ and relative clauses beginning with ὅλ. and (c) the reward (v. ―amen.‖ Close to this is the ―good [ἀγαζέ] and faithful servant‖ spoken of in 25:21. 45). Theophania [PG 24. 51 is almost certainly an alteration of Q (Luke 12:46: ἀπίζησλ. ―that one. v. 46). ―truly‖ (Luke 12:44). is probably an addition to Q and therefore is not found in Matthew. ―faithful. A suggested outline: (1) the faithful servant (vv 45–47). Matthew‘s ηνὺο ζπλδνύινπο αὐηνῦ. whether Matthew or Luke reflects what was actually in Q. Syntactical parallelism may be seen in the two sentences composing v. but cf. ―food‖ (Luke: [ηὸ] ζηηνκέηξηνλ. Luke 12:41: ηὴλ παξαβνιὴλ ηαύηελ. J. P. 10:16. Its didactic character leads Dewey to conclude that it represents ―a prophetic pronouncement of Wisdom‖ (103). 50). 46) as the θαθόο. And finally. both with the subject δνῦινο. ―where there will be weeping and the grinding of teeth. In v. ―drink. ―to come‖ (Luke 12:45).685]). θξόληκνο. ―measure of grain‖). 48 Matthew probably alters Q in order to refer to a second servant (cf. 50). the tension concerning Jesus‘ association with the outcasts in Luke). ―servants‖). ―with the drunkards. ―and to become drunk‖ (Luke 12:45). lit. and most conspicuously in the parable of the ―wise virgins‖ (25:2. ―say. ―in a day he does not expect and in an hour he does not know. The opening question (v.‖ ἐζζίῃ. ἐθεῖ ἔζηαη ὁ θιαπζκὸο θαὶ ὁ βξπγκὸο ηῶλ ὀδόλησλ.‖ as well as an extended ἐάλ. ἥμεη.‖ δηρνηνκήζεη. ―begin. ―bad (one). In v. further divided into (a) the question (v. being an alteration of Q (cf. 51). 4. In v. ―household servants‖ (Luke: ζεξαπείαο. ―he will cut. 22:13.‖ ξμεηαη. Comment 45–47 The rhetorical question with which the passage begins concerns the identification of ὁ πηζηὸο δνῦινο θαὶ θξόληκνο. 25:30). Its point is to illustrate the importance of faithful conduct during the era prior to the unknown time of the return of the Son of Man (cf.‖ is an obviously Matthean addition to Q (cf. The idea of delegated PG Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Matthew‘s κεηὰ ηῶλ κεζπόλησλ. (b) the identification (v. 45 and the beatitude of v.‖ V 51b contains a common Matthean formula. ―his fellow servants.‖ in v. the ἐθεῖλνο in v. and ηὴλ ηξνθήλ. As the outline shows. (b) the unexpected return of the master (v. further divided into (a) the identification (vv 48–49). The passage (esp. ―whom.

145:15 [LXX 144:15]). of course. 51 The wicked servant faces a dreadful punishment: dismembering and a future place (for this meaning of κέξνο. 16:17). see 18:28–33) and begins to eat and drink with profligates (κεζπόλησλ. 42. ―will cut in two. Luke 21:34–36.‖ see 25:5. 5:3–11. ―drunkards‖). lit.e.‖ is found in the NT only here and in the Lukan parallel (it is used similarly in &3ApocBar. What the present passage says through a parable. lit. 50 The reason one ought not to fall into such shameful conduct is that despite the present apparent delay of the coming of the master (i. Mark 13:34). the Son of Man). ―all. where the ―drunk‖ are contrasted with the sober and watchful (in a context stressing the sudden coming of the Lord). Rather than providing for the needs of his fellow servants.e.‖ see BAGD. truly and deeply happy. esp.‖ directs the reader to another contrasting servant rather than. where the good and faithful servant is granted authority ἐπὶ πνιιῶλ. The clause ἐιζὼλ ὁ θύξηνο αὐηνῦ. vv 36.authority is not uncommon in the Bible (cf.‖ Matthew returns here to the central point of this section of the discourse: the unknown time of the parousia of the Son of Man (cf.‖ the master‘s possessions (cf. as in Luke. 23. ―bad. as ―punish them with the sword and death‖ in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. ―that servant. i. esp. 39.. E. for other references cf. lit. Heb 11:37. 42. 25:13). violates the commands of his master. says in a straightforward admonitory exhortation. The giving of food in due season is common biblical imagery for provision of needs (cf. cf. where the language is close to Matthew‘s]. v. H. ―blessed‖ (cf. ―truly I tell you. Gen 39:4–5) and is also used by Matthew in 25:21.‖ in Matthew. Quite possibly this v . The servant who is found faithfully fulfilling the master‘s commission is rewarded by being delegated greater responsibility. 16:3 [tr. ὁ θύξηνο there meaning ―Lord‖ and echoed in the present passage. the wicked servant takes advantage of his absence. he will return. Pss 104:27 [LXX 103:27. V 46 characterizes as καθάξηνο. ―when his master comes. ―My master delays‖ (for ρξνλίδεηλ. Jr. ―fellow servants. 44). the same servant who is thought of as entertaining an altogether different train of thought and engaging in a very different behavior (Luke 12:45). J. ―share. 1983) 1:677]. This servant says ―in his or her heart‖ (for which. 200b). δηρνηνκήζεη. ―on a day which you do not expect and in an hour which you do not know. cf. 25:21. Since the master is delayed... ed. NY: Doubleday. 13:16. 506b) among the hypocrites in the eschatological judgment. 48–49 Matthew‘s insertion of θαθόο. indeed over πᾶζηλ. ―to delay. ending the Lukan eschatological discourse. 1 Thess 5:7. The ―bad‖ servant (θαθόο is used to refer to persons elsewhere in Matthew only in 21:41) begins to act shamefully.‖ formula adds weight to the promised reward. H. the word is used also in 11:6. on the problem of the delay. Isa 47:8). That the time remains unknown should have motivational power for ethical living in the present. and acts irresponsibly. to the coming of the Son of Man referred to in the preceding passage (cf. Cf. the bad servant beats them (for other mistreatment of ζύλδνπινη. and that return will be ἐλ ἡκέξᾳ ᾗ νὐ πξνζδνθᾷ θαὶ ἐλ ὥξᾷ ᾗ νὐ γηλώζθεη. The ἀκὴλ ιέγσ ὑκῖλ. LXX Deut 8:17. Charlesworth (Garden City. Luke 12:38). ―over much‖).‖ alludes. and v. 44. Gaylord. The reason for this shameful conduct is all important in the context. 23 in an illustration making a point similar to that of the present passage (cf. see 2 Peter 3:4). BAGD.‖ before δνῦινο ἐθεῖλνο. that servant who is found faithfully doing what had been assigned to him or her (cf.

Word Biblical Commentary (687). (2002). A. Dallas: Word.1 1 Hagner. Vol. 33B: Word Biblical Commentary : Matthew 14-28. D. Incorporated. .