1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Matthew 24 didn't say much about these times.

Reader comment on item: How Church Attendance Affects American Attitudes toward Israel
in response to reader comment: How Church Attendance affects attitudes toward Isarel. Jesus was Jew..the true Messiah. Non believers come up short.

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Sep 25, 2014 at 21:26

Hi, Anne.

I agree with what you said about wisdom. Matthew 24, however, is not a straitforward read, and it deals mostly with events that happened in 70 CE (AD).

Matt 24:
[15] When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
[16] Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
[17] Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
[18] Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
[19] And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
[20] But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
[21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Yes, the destruction of the Temple was greater tribulation than the Holocaust)
[22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

That happened in 70 AD

[23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
[24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
[25] Behold, I have told you before.
[26] Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

This has been going on for 2000 years.

[27] For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
[28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

I have seen plenty of red moons, reddish eclipses, etc; and these have not been confined to my generation. Isaiah said,

Isaiah 13
[9] Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
[10] For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
[11] And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
[12] I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
[13] Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
[14] And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
[15] Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
[16] Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
[17] Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
[18] Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
[19] And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Apparently, this "shaking of the heavens" will not be physically obvious; because it happened before, when the Medo-Persians attacked Babylon, 2500 years ago, and there is no scientific record of it. It is my opinion, that Matthew 24 refers to an invisible event, in the spirit world.

Matt 24
[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

When will these things happen? Jesus said they have already happened:

[32] Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
[33] So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
[34] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
[35] Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
[36] But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Zechariah talks about a time of great mourning:

Zech 12:
[2] Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
[3] And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
[4] In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
[5] And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.
[6] In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
[7] The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
[8] In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
[9] And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
[10] And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
[11] In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
[12] And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
[13] The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
[14] All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart
.

Isaiah said,

"...in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

What day is that? Is it obvious? Not really. How many times, have nations come against Jerusalem? Have these attacks been accompanied by great mourning for those who were pierced in battle? Undoubtedly! Think about that. The Jews don't look upon this as a Messianic prediction, and with good reason.

The key to understanding what TIME FRAME Zechariah's prediction is talking about, is the fact that Judah and Jerusalem will be strong and robust in those days, and will defeat their enemies. That could not have been the attack on Jerusalem in 70 AD (which Jesus prophesied in Matt. 24), when the Temple was destroyed; nor did it refer to the attack 70 years later, after which the Jews were scattered into all the world. It certainly did not refer to the First Crusade, when the Jewish and Muslim defenders of the city were overwhelmed. It can only refer to an attack in modern times: in 1948, 1967, 1973 or some future event.

Jesus did not refer to this event in Matthew 24. The fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD was just the beginning of sorrows for the Jewish people, sorrows which would continue until 1948. Some time after THIS, the "Messianic Era" would happen; but that would be long, long after the "this generation" he spoke of. He merely spoke of a time to come, long, long after 70 AD, when:

Matt 24
[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

I believe THOSE times are spoken of in detail in the book of Revelation, a book that is not clearly understood by many people.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Matthew 24 didn't say much about these times. by Michael S.

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)