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

Matthew 24:3 – The Apostles’ Question

|| Mark 13:3, 4; Luke 21:7

MT24:3 But, while sitting on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him in a private spot, asking: “Tell us, when will this occur?[1] {MK13:4 and the sign when all this will be fulfilled?[2]} And, what will be the sign[3] of your Arrival[4] [Daniel 7:22; 12:2] and the complete end[5] of the Age?”[6] [Daniel 9:26, 27] {LK21:7 “When will this all occur?”[7]}

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[1] When will this occur: These questions are a compound from all three of the Gospels. When only the Book of Matthew is relied upon some have drawn a different conclusion. We feel it more accurate to include elements from all three witnesses. Do these Jewish disciples of the Nazarene have in mind the Temple? Perhaps they assume the shocking prediction of the Temple’s destruction means the Return of the Messiah in his foretold royal Presence? Their question cannot come from a clear understanding when they did not comprehend much simpler matters regarding the Messiah. If one argues their question in Matthew 24:3 was inspired then it needs to be explained why Mark and Luke omit this part. Just before the ascension of Christ these same men asked: ‘Are you restoring the Kingdom of Israel now?’ (Acts 1:6) Godly men have asked the question “When?” for thousands of years (Psalm 90:13; Habakkuk 1:2).

[2] Fulfilled: In Mark’s Gospel the Greek word SYNTELEISTHAI is used which means “fulfilled” and is similar to Matthew’s SYNTELEIAS (with + end) which means “ending together” or “conclusion.” When we say this we understand that Matthew originally wrote in Hebrew and later translated it into Greek, thus the Nazarene or his disciples never uttered the actual Greek word SYNTELEIAS. It is likely Matthew translates the Hebrew (or, Aramaic) kalah; (see Strong’s #3617) which means “completion, completely destroyed.” The word chosen by Matthew for this Hebrew was SYNTELEIAS.

[3] Sign: This is the Greek SEMEION which occurs again at Matthew 24:30. Note it also occurs in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX) of the Second or Third Century BCE at Daniel 9:27 (SYNTELEIAS).

[4] Arrival: This is the Greek PAROUSIA and means “arrival” or a royal visit (See Thayer’s or Vine’s). Strong’s #3952, “advent, return, coming, presence.” It is only used in one of the Gospels, Matthew. Paul uses it with reference to the return of Christ at 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 9. Jesus had never been recorded using this word by Matthew as the Greek translator. It is believed the Nazarene spoke Hebrew (with certain Aramaic loan words) and so it is possible he used a word like athah; (Strong’s #857, #858, meaning “arrive”) from Daniel 7:13, 22. In the other two Gospels dealing with this subject “the end” of Jerusalem’s Temple, other synonyms are used instead of PAROUSIA: Mark 13:26 ERCHOMENON; Mark 13:35 ERCHETAI (= coming), and, Mark 13:36 ELTHON (= arrive). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines PAROUSIA (Strong’s #3952) as “the coming, arrival, advent… the future, visible return from heaven of Jesus.” The Dictionary of New Testament Theology (DNTT), volume 2, page 898, explains: “Technically the noun is used for the arrival of a ruler or king… The idea of parousia now becomes bound up with the church’s expectations of Christ’s appearing.”

[5] Complete end: Here the Greek is a heightened form of TELOS (= end), SYNTELEIAS (= with + end). The disciples likely assumed that the destruction of the Temple meant the Return (Presence) or Arrival of Christ and therefore “the end of the world” as they knew it. The Greek translator of Matthew (likely Matthew himself) puts the word SYNTELEIAS in the disciples’ mouth. This is a word that only occurred once before in the Nazarene’s parable of wheat and tares at Matthew 13:40. However, note this word occurs in the Jewish Greek Bible (LXX) at Daniel 9:27 in the context of Jerusalem’s foretold ‘desolation.’ Compare also Hebrews 9:26 where SYNTELEIA is used with regard to the First Coming of Christ in the “last days” of the Jewish Age (Hebrews 1:1; Acts 2:17; Jude 18; 1 Corinthians 10:11). Judging from Jesus’ admission that he does not ‘know the day and hour’ (Matthew 24:36) there is no way the Nazarene could tell his disciples about the date of “the complete end” or SYNTELEIAS.

[6] Age: This is the Greek AIONOS which is corrupted into English by aeon or eon. Though in certain contexts the old English word “world” might be correctly understood, it is often misleading for it gives the idea the earth and all life on it is to end. However, the word “Age” conveys a certain period of time during which certain contemporaries live, such as the Age of the Dinosaurs or the Atomic Age. The King James translators did use AION (Strong’s #165 1074) as “ages” in Ephesians 2:7 and Colossians 1:26 so they were fully aware of its real meaning. The implication of “world” might be misleading.

[7] When will this all occur: Can anyone argue that the disciples did not have in mind the Temple and its destruction?

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Preceding

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

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

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Related articles

  1. The disciples confusion at olivet (1)
  2. The disciples confusion at olivet (2)
  3. The disciples confusion at olivet (4)

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

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR:
DESOLATION, OPPRESSION, AND THE PAROUSIA

[“Prove Yourselves Ready!”]
(Key word: Oppression)

[Often called “the Little Apocalypse” we have here combined the parallels in Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21.]

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Setting

|| Mark 13:1, 2; Luke 21:5, 6

MT24:1 And having gone out from the Temple[1] Jesus was going his way and his disciples came toward him to show him the buildings of the Temple. {MK13:1 and one of his disciples asked him: “Teacher, see what kind of stones (LK21:5 it is adorned with fine stones and dedicated things) and what kind of buildings!”} MT24:2 But Jesus responded: “Do you see all these great buildings? Listen to this truth: Everything you see will be thrown down[2] and not a stone left upon a stone!”

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[1] Temple: Here the Greek word is HIERON meaning the entire Temple complex (see Thayer’s and Vine’s) and not NAOS which is always the innermost shrine itself. One must understand how dear the Temple was to the heart of these Jewish disciples.

[2] Thrown down: These words are very similar to Daniel 8:13 and may be the source of the Nazarene’s prophecy.

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Note about

  1. Naos: shrine where a god resides (Matthew 12:4; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16)
  2. Hieron: God’s House a House of prayer; term for the Tabernacle of Moses: House, Sanctuary, and Temple (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 12:4; 21:3) ; Temple [courtyard] – temple compound (Luke 2:27)

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Preceding

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 23:37-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jerusalem, Jerusalem – Your House Is Abandoned!

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

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Related articles

  1. True Religion
  2. More Than a Prophet
  3. Study Guide for Matthew 24
  4. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part I
  5. Apocalypse Talks: Temporary Temples
  6. Matthew 24:1 // Reboot – The end of times
  7. The Summer Is Near

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

Today we start with a chapter where Jesus, after he has been discoursing all day in the courts of the temple, went out from the temple, going on his way to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples coming to him to show him the buildings of the temple. (Matthew 21:23; 24:3)

The apostle Mark let us know that the disciples particularly pointed out the stones of the temple, as well as the buildings.

“In that temple,”

says Josephus, the Jewish historian,

“were several stones which were forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and sixth in breadth”;

that is, more than seventy feet long, ten wide, and eight high. These stones, of such enormous size, were principally used in building the high wall on the east side, from the base to the top of the mountain. They were also, it is said, beautifully painted with variegated colours.

The Temple was renowned for its beauty and was considered to be one of the wonders of the world. It is written in the Talmud,

‘Whoever has not seen Herod’s Temple has never yet seen a beautiful building.’ (SB I,944).

We find the disciples on the Mount of Olives where they question the Nazarene in particular about his own future coming, the time of the desolation of God’s temple and its destruction and the sign of its advent and the end of the world (verses 1-3). They do not understand Jesus his predictions and cannot believe that the temple should be destroyed in their time. – The one by Herod I in 20 BCE. The new construction of the temple that was started was only really completed seven years before it was destroyed.

We are coming closer to the imprisonment of Christ. The writing here can well be talking about the last private school before their final gathering at the upper room. Jesus comes to talk once more about a future time, namely of the last things, and extends to the end of the world, modelled on the impending end of the Jewish Republic. But this private school is still somewhat linked to the previous lesson. – Jesus went out, as he said, and away from the temple,
in which he made the previous speech, of which the last words were that their house should be left deserted to them. Thus, these words refer back to chapter 23:38, where is mentioned that the House shall be left abandoned.

We shall find a discourse that foretells in the outset the destruction of Jerusalem (e. g., v. 15-21, v. 34); and in the conclusion certainly foretells the final coming of the son of man, with the gathering of all nations, the general judgment of mankind and the resulting permanent state of the good and the bad, (Matthew 25:31-46) in a way substantially equivalent to the predictive descriptions afterwards given by the apostles.

The question of the disciples in verse 3 was obviously misguided, because it attracts the response from Jesus

“Take heed that no man deceive you”.

which echoes the words of God to Zedekiah (Jeremiah 37:9) where he was anticipating a deliverance from the Chaldeans. – When the Romans were surrounding Jerusalem there would have been Jews who encouraged the people, falsely, saying that the Romans would not over throw the city.

Did the disciples think that the coming of Jesus, and the end of the world was to be very soon? Jesus goes to great lengths to let them in gently on the fact that the “time of the gentiles” was to come in the intervening period. (v. 6, 8, 14).

Today still many may wonder what an unfolding end with beginnings of birth pains and those rumors of wars may imply. They should remember it shall only be when the Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

In this last of the five major sermons, Jesus focuses on prophetic and apocalyptic themes of judgment and the end times. The disciples have been listening to the prophetic judgment Jesus has issued on the religious leaders. They have images of collapsing temple buildings, of prophets pursued from town to town, of floggings, and of blood-soaked garments. They can imagine themselves blood-soaked. They wonder when this all will happen, and what it means.

Their master teacher Jeshua answers them to be careful that no one leads them astray, which we should take at heart also! We too must be be aware of it for many will come in Jesus name, doing as if they are the Messiah or the one who can bring people to salvation. Jesus warns for all those people, preachers and so called prophets who, by their talking and frigtening people will lead many astray. (Matthew 24:4-5,11)

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but should not directly be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. In Scriptures many signs of times to come are notated. In the Book of books is written that nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains, it is to say the start of a generation which shall come to see more. (Matthew 24:4-8)

In Scriptures is told that God provides time for man to listen to His Words, and as such, first all over the world, shall the Good News being preached, before the worst battle commences. And we should know that those who preach the Good News and worship the Only One True God, Who is One (and not two or three), shall be mocked and laughed at, and even worse being hand over to persecution and being killed. They that pronounce the Name of the Only One True God  and the true name of the Messiah, Christ (Jeshua the Messiah) will be hated by all the nations because of Jesus and his Father’s name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9-14)

We shall have to face it that many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. All that leading astray might happen because of people prefering to listen to false prophets and human dogma‘s instead of listening to the the Word of God and the believe in the Biblical dogma‘s. It shall all happen also because lawlessness will multiply and the love of many will grow cold, by their selfishness.
Though we might have hope, because those who endures to the end will be saved. They that take time to listen to this Good News of the kingdom which shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, shall recognise the signs when there will be great trouble such as has not happened since the beginning of the world, the end will come. We must hear and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, know and believe that for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short.(Matthew 24:10-14, 21-22)

Even when false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen, we should be alert and keep tot he writings of Scripture and the call of God and His master teacher, because that last one told us beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)

We should know that it shall be with the coming of the Son of Man, being as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, that we should come to see the signs clearly. Because immediately after the trouble of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
That is when the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. (Matthew 24:26-28, 29-30)
At that time all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out his angels with a great shofar, and those heavenly messengers will gather his beloved faithful elect from the four corners of creation, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)

This 24th chapter concludes with a parable of a fig tree. We too should learn from that parable from the fig tree. (Matthew 24:32-33)
Jesus tells them that story because he wants to warn that generation which will not pass away until all these things happen. Though it will pass away, Jeshua’s words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:34-35) But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone, because only Jehovah God is the Only God above all gods Who knows everything. (Matthew 24:36)

Afterwards Jesus also reminds his disciples of those days before the flood, when people enjoyed all the best things of life and were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. We may not forget that at that time they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away, but then it was too late. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39) Then many shal be at work as well, but also find some one taken and the other one left. (Matthew 24:40-41) Therefore we all have to stay alert; for like Jesus and his disciples did not know the time of the end, we do not know what day our Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:42) But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:43-44)

The chapter ends by talking about the “Faithful Servant“, a subject that can also confuse or despair many, or use some to present their leaders as that only reliable servant.
Jesus questions

“ “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45 NIV)

and then continues with telling that the faithful and wise servant, has to be some one who takes good care of that household to give them the necessary things at the proper time (Matthew 24:45-46)

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Preceding

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Signs of the last days when difficult times will come

Matthew 23:37-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jerusalem, Jerusalem – Your House Is Abandoned!

Next:

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

Photo from the blog of Aaron Richert, pastor of The Church at North Pole in North Pole, Alaska. From the article: Is Matthew 24 about the Rapture?

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Additional reading

  1. Looking into the Future
  2. Prophecies over coming days
  3. Signs of the Last Days
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  5. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  6. Signs of the times – “An object of scorn and ridicule”
  7. The Rapture Wars
  8. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  9. Memorizing wonderfully 35 When the son returns it shall be As it came to pass in the days of Noah
  10. Be not afraid of those trials which God may see fit to send upon thee
  11. From pain to purpose

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The ice in the photo above reminded Tekoa Manning of judgment that often is described using hail. Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara, has an Arabic name meaning ‘valley of stones and also, a valley of streams.’ – Photo from Obadiah’s Cave article Comfortably Numb

Related

  1. Give Your Precious Time To God
  2. The Events of 70 AD do not Fulfill End Times Prophecies Jesus prophesied that the Great Tribulation will be the most severe time in world history. It will surpass all other times of crisis. Some seek to minimize this prophecy by reducing it to symbolism or by seeing it as being totally fulfilled in 70 AD.
    The Great Tribulation will be so severe that God shortens it to three and a half years to keep the entire human race from being physically killed (Matthew 24:21-22). One million people died in 70 AD and in World War II, 50 million died.
  3. This is Not the Way It’s Supposed To Be
  4. Abundant Fruit (Matthew 24: 6, 11)
  5. Famine
  6. Storm Clouds
  7. Stars Falling From the Sky: Figurative Language
  8. Day 159: There will be wars
  9. A Rising Called For!
  10. Fear Not!
  11. Be alert
  12. Comfortably Numb
  13. Trouble Such as Never Was before
  14. “This Generation” Shall Not Pass Away “Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”
  15. What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “This Generation Won’t Pass Away”?
  16. The darker it gets
  17. The Olivet Discourse: For Israelis Only?
  18. The Olivet Discourse: 02 – The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
  19. The Last Days Acceleration of Time
  20. Study Guide for Matthew 24: (Matthew 24:1-2) Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. (Mat 24:3) Jesus’ prediction brings up two questions. (Matthew 24:4-8) Jesus describes general world conditions during the period between His Ascension and the time immediately preceding His second coming. (Matthew 24:9-14) Jesus describes what His disciples must expect during the time between His Ascension and Second Coming. (Matthew 24:15) The sign: the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel.
    1. Yet when we understand the importance and what is said about this event – the abomination of desolation – we must give priority to this event, even more than the easiest interpretation of Matthew 24:34.

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  1. Explaining Matthew 24
  2. Matthew 24:1 // Reboot – The end of times
  3. Matthew 24:3 And Olivet’s Structure
  4. AND when you SEE these THINGS BEGIN
  5. Apocalypse Talks: Temporary Temples – Matthew 24:1-8
  6. Apocalypse Talks: The Fall Is Approaching – Matthew 24:9-14
  7. Apocalypse Talks: Mitigating Disaster – Matthew 24:15-22
  8. Apocalypse Talks: The Bigger Picture
  9. Apocalypse Talks: The Mean Time
  10. Armageddon, Part 3: Are there ‘signs’ that the end is coming?
  11. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part I
  12. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part III
  13. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part V
  14. Matthew 24:12,13
  15. Matthew 24:14
  16. Matthew 24:23,24
  17. Matthew 24:36-44 Sunday School Lessons and Activities
  18. Matthew 24 and the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-33
  19. Three things that must happen before Jesus returns – Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 24:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3
  20. End Times Q&A
  21. Christ’s Coming Again to Judge
  22. Timing of Christ’s second coming
  23. Don’t Be Deceived (about the Coming of Christ)
  24. The Parable of the Fig Tree
  25. Mark 11 – Fig Tree
  26. Being a good servant – talk-notes for 27th Oct 2019
  27. Called or Chosen?
  28. Paul Explains the Second Coming
  29. Hope in the Second-Coming
  30. Faith That Is Fruitful For God

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