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Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Matthew 24:36-41 – About That Day and Hour

|| Mark 13:32, 33

MT24:36 “But, about that day and hour[1] no one knows[2] neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son[3] but only the Father. {MK13:33 Keep looking and remain awake[4] for you do not know when the appointed time is.[5]} MT24:37 For even as the days of Noah[6] so will be the Arrival of the Son of Humankind.[7] [Daniel 7:13, 22] MT24:38 For as in those days before the Cataclysm[8] [Genesis 7:17 LXX] they were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the Ark.[9] [Genesis 7:13] MT24:39 And they knew not until the Cataclysm came and swept them away, so will be the Arrival of the Son of Humankind.[10] MT24:40 Then two will be in the field,[11] one will be taken along[12] and the other left behind.[13] MT24:41 Two women will be grinding in the mill,[14] one will be taken along and one will be left behind.

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[1] That day and hour: An appointed time for what? Is it not the Arrival or parousia of Christ? It would seem so. The following context compares and contrasts the Parousia or Arrival with the Master’s return to judge his Household. The fact that the Nazarene uses “day and hour” would argue that he does not have some generational period in mind, but something which occurs in a single day.

[2] No one knows: The ignorance is absolute with the exception of the Father. This point is repeated to the disciples at Acts 1:7, ‘It is not yours to know times or appointed times which the Father put within His own authority.’ If the disciples’ original question inferred a “day and hour” then they asked a question Jesus could not answer. The Nazarene does answer within his own limitations and according to what is already written in the Prophets. With Luke 21:8 in mind how could some Bible student or evangelical prophet claim to know more than Christ, by having worked out some time chronology, which Jesus would have known had it really existed?

[3] Nor the Son: The Son’s ignorance here indicates his inferiority contrasted with his Father, God.

[4] Remain awake: There is a tension here between ignorance and expectation. Perhaps the expectation or hope is heightened by the ignorance. All the Saints hope the Parousia will occur in their lifetimes but they cannot go about predicting this would actually take place (Luke 21:8; Romans 13:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Revelation 16:15).

[5] You do not know when the appointed time is: No professed disciple of Jesus Christ can claim to know “The Appointed Time is near!” as the Nazarene warns of it in Luke 21:8. It would be the height of arrogance and presumptuousness to assert one knew more than Christ! (Deuteronomy 18:20-22) No doubt because of human egocentricity, and a degree of self-importance, various persons have always assumed Christ must return because they are alive!

[6] Days of Noah: Is the point here to calculate some length to the “generation” before the Return of Christ, or is it merely to warn about the attitudes of persons before the Flood? At Luke 17:26-31, in discussing ‘the revealing of the Son of Man,’ the emphasis is on “that day” not a generational period preceding the Return of Christ.

[7] The Arrival of the Son of Humankind: This is the Nazarene’s second of three uses of the word PAROUSIA which means the arrival or visit of a royal or important person. Thayer’s, page 490 (Strong’s #3952): “… the advent, i.e. the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah.” It can be translated “presence” but synonyms such as “came, coming, arrive, arrived, arrival” are used most often in Matthew ch 24, 25; Mark ch 13; Luke ch 21. “Parousia became the official term for a visit of a person of high rank… of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory.” (Bauer, Ardnt, and Gingrich A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, page 635)

[8] Cataclysm: This is exactly the Greek word normally translated “flood.” The Greek means to “wash (down) much” or a big deluge. The Nazarene points to those contemporaries of Noah who were preoccupied with everyday matters without any concern for Noah’s prediction of a Flood. Jesus clearly believes in the Flood account otherwise it would be absurd to use it as a parallel to his own Arrival. Interestingly, the Greek word CATACLYSM is used in Daniel 9:26 (LXX) in the context of Jerusalem’s foretold destruction or desolation.

[9] The day Noah entered the Ark: The “day” of the Flood parallels the parousia of Christ, that is that “day and hour” when the Master arrives or returns for his judgment on his own Household. Note the next phrase specifically likens the day of the flood to the Return of Christ. Luke 17:29 adds, ‘on the day Lot left Sodom.’

[10] The Arrival of the Son of Humankind: This is the last of three uses of PAROUSIA where it is compared to the day of the Flood, not that whole generational period before.

[11] In the field: In Luke 17:27-31 this is “on that day” of the “revealing of the Son of Man.” In these cases, approved persons in the field and at the mill are engaged in normal labors. This would have been a fine opportunity for the Nazarene to mention how these persons were zealously involved in some missionary activity, but he does not. This is a “day” and a limited period of time for workers, are in the field or at the mill only during the working “day” of twelve hours (Matthew 20:6).

[12] Taken along: In Greek this is PARALAUBANETAI and may be compared to the related word used at John 14:3, PARALEMPSOMAI, where Jesus seems to refer to the gathering of his Chosen. This word in John 14:3 is the same word at Luke 17:34. DDNT, Vol 3, page 747ff: “LAMBANO, originally grasp, seize [compare 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and HARPAGESOMETHA]… PARALAMBANO means to draw someone to oneself… Forms of the word (ANALAMBANO) are used of the ascension of Christ in Acts 1:11… ANALEMPSIS, lifting up high, being taken up in Luke 9:51 is generally interpreted of Christ’s ascension. PARALAMBANO to take someone with oneself, to choose out from a large number (John 14:3; Matthew 24:40).” The use of these words is so similar in thought to 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to imply being “taken along” in the Rapture.

[13] Left behind: There will be those who do not participate in the Rapture who are “left behind” or abandoned to the events to occur on earth (Note Revelation 11:12). As we shall see all is not necessarily lost by this abandonment but it does rule out any thought of heaven.

[14] Two women will be grinding in the mill: If one is “taken along” (grabbed or seized or received home to Christ) and the other is “left” it is obvious that the woman “left” is left at the mill as her fellow worker is “taken along.” In Luke 17:37 this is where the disciples ask, “Where, Lord?” and he answers with the cryptic similar to Matthew 24:28. Why does Jesus not give an example of two good women praying at the church or otherwise in the service of God?

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Preceding

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

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