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Gospel Parallel Part 1

Gospel Parallel Part 1

Olivet Discourse Seminar – Session 2 Part 1



Many believers are much more familiar with the book of Matthew than they are the other gospels, simply because Matthew comes first. Consequently, we often read the account of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew in isolation from the parallel passages that treat the same topic in Mark 13, Luke 21, Luke 17, Matthew 10, and Luke 12. However, this leads to an incomplete picture of what Jesus is actually teaching in the Olivet Discourse. If we want to have clear understanding concerning this key teaching, we must pay careful attention not only to Matthew 24, but these other passages as well. In Session 2 Part 1 of the Olivet Discourse Seminar, we work through the Olivet Discourse as recounted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke in line-by-line detail. Join us as we sit at the feet of our Master, asking Him for grace to consider His words with great attentiveness.



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Gospel Parallel



Matthew 24

Mark 13

Luke 21

Matthew 10, Luke 17, and Luke 12


Mat 24:1  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Mar 13:1  And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” Luk 21:5  And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, Preliminary note: Of all of the gospel writers, Luke is often thought to be most concerned with chronological order and detail (Lk. 1:1-4). Also, Luke accompanied Paul in his mission to the Gentiles. In numerous places, Luke’s gospel seems to be concerned with translating concepts for a Gentile audience.  Context: the disciples here are leaving the actual first century temple.
Mat 24:2  But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Mar 13:2  And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” he said,Luk 21:6  “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Jesus is clearly prophesying the destruction of the first century temple that they were observing with their own eyes. This temple, along with the city of Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Roman armies led by the future emperor Titus in 70AD.
Mat 24:3  As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Mar 13:3  And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, [Luk 21:37  And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.]  Luk 21:7  And they asked him, The Mount of Olives had a special place in the eschatological consciousness of the Jewish nation because of Zechariah 14.  3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (NIV Zech. 14:3-5)   Also note that they were sitting opposite the temple. They are sitting on a very eschatologically-significant place, staring at a temple that Jesus had just prophesied would be destroyed. What do you think was on their mind?
“Tell us, when will these things (category 1: the temple’s destruction) be, and what will be the sign of your coming (Gk – parousia; category 2: the Second Coming) and of the close (Gksynteleia) of the age (NIV – “the end of the age” – category 3: signs that we’ve entered the final generation)?” Mar 13:4 “Tell us, when will these things (the temple’s destruction) be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished (NIV/KJV/NKJV-“fulfilled”)?” “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” It is extremely important to note that as part of their question, Peter, James, John, and Andrew ask Jesus concerning three clear categories of signs. 1) signs that will signal the impending destruction of the temple; and 2) signs that will signal when the earth has entered into the final generation at the end of the age. 3) the sign that will accompany his parousia more specifically, when He returns through the sky; Futurists tend to sweep category 1 under the rug in their exegesis of the Olivet Discourse. Preterists usually do the same with categories 2 and 3. However, the disciples want to know when “all these things” will take place. The apostles knew the Scriptures well, and they knew what they were asking. Jesus is also an amazing Rabbi. They ask him for insight concerning three categories of signs, and so in what follows, we should expect him to address all three categories at some point in his discourse. As we continue, then, we must keep in mind that the disciples asked Jesus both concerning the end of the temple and the end of the age.  Also, Mark’s language of accomplished/fulfilled gives the sense that they expected the signs would take place in fulfillment of Scripture. In other words, their questions and were rooted in their understanding of the Old Testament. All three categories of signs, therefore, should have their anchor in the Old Testament. And this is in fact the case, as we will see.
Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray (NIV – “Watch out that no one deceives you”). Mar 13:5  And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Luk 21:8  And he said, “See that you are not led astray. This language is typically applied to false prophets (see, e.g. Jer. 23, Ezek. 13, Mt. 7:15-23). Jesus’ is warning his disciples to actively “watch out,” lest they be deceived and led astray.
Mat 24:5  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,‘ and they will lead many astray. Mar 13:6  Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!‘ (the Messiah) and, ‘The time is at hand!‘ (the nature of the deceiving message). Do not go after them (the agenda of the deceivers). Here we come to the nature of the deception. 1) Deception of identity – to advance their agenda, many Jews would presumptuously take upon themselves the Messianic title that only rightfully belongs to Jesus (Lk. 2:11). Matthew makes it clear that “name” here does not refer to Jesus’ personal name, but His Messianic title. 2) Deception of message – the time for the Messianic kingdom’s establishment is about to be established through their revolt and human power. Jesus here is addressing the same issue that he addressed in Luke 17 (See Olivet Discourse Seminar notes Part 1 for more). 3) Deception of motive/intention – the motive driving these false Messiah’s was to take advantage of the Messianic hopes of the people, lead them to the desert in rebellion against Rome, and rally them to their own man-based agendas in the name of God. See quotations of Josephus from Part 1 for examples. Jesus says, “Do not go after them,” because in reality the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom awaits a future generation. Before that generation comes, the true Messiah must first suffer in this generation (Lk. 17:22-25).
Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end (Gk. telos) is not yet.  :   But the end result is not yet   But the outcome is not yet   But Mar 13:7  And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end (Gk. telos) is not yet. Luk 21:9  And when you hear of wars and tumults (NIV –“revolutions”; NKJV/KJV –“commotions”; NASB – “disturbances”; NRSV/NLT – “insurrections”; NET Bible – “rebellions”), do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end (telos) will not be at once.” Luke makes it clear that “the wars and rumors of wars” refers to first century insurrectionist movements whose aim was to cast off the yoke of Roman oppression. The big question here is: What is Jesus referring to when he says “the end” is not yet/will not be at once? Is he referring to the end of the temple as the consequence of the insurrections? Or is he saying: in this generation you will see insurrections, but the end of the age awaits a future generation?  In Matthew 24:3, the word used for end of the age is synteleia. In the New Testament, it is used six times, always in reference to the end of the age and the Second Coming with one possible exception in Heb. 9:26 (Mt. 13:39, 40, 49; Mt. 24:3; Mt. 28:20; Heb. 9:26). It has the sense of completion and consummation: 4930 συντέλεια [sunteleia /soon·tel·i·ah/] n f. From 4931; TDNT 8:64; TDNTA 1161; GK 5333; Six occurrences; AV translates as “end” six times. 1 completion, consummation, end.   The word used in this verse is telos. Telos has a much broader range of meaning: 5056.     τέλος telos; a an end, a toll:— continually (1), custom(2), customs(1), end(24), ends(2), finished(1), fulfillment(1), goal(1), outcome(6), sum(1), utmost(1).   5056 τέλος [telos /tel·os/] n n. From a primary tello (to set out for a definite point or goal); TDNT 8:49; TDNTA 1161; GK5465; 42 occurrences; AV translates as “end” 35 times, “custom” three times, “uttermost” once, “finally” once, “ending” once, and “by (one’s) continual + 1519” once. 1 end. 1a termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time). 1b the end. 1b1 the last in any succession or series. 1b2 eternal. 1c that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue. 1d the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose. 2 toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods).   17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome (Gk telos; NET Bible “fate”) be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (NIV1 Pet. 4:17)   Possible Alternative translation (Lk. 21:9): And when you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified, for these things (wars and insurrections) must first take place, but the outcome (i.e. of those wars and insurrections) will not be at once. This translation favors destruction of the temple. The others could go either way.
Luk 21:10  Then he said to them, Luke may be indicating a shift in thought there.
Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, Mar 13:8  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Cf. Isaiah 19:22 “I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian— brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. 3The Egyptians will lose heart… (NIV Isaiah 19:2)   This exact phrase – “kingdom against kingdom” is also found in Isaiah 19. Isaiah 19 is clearly an end-times passage. Some verses relate to events leading up to the Messiah’s return, and others apply to after His return. Interestingly, the broader context of Isaiah 13- 24 relates the turbulent situation of many Gentile nations in the Middle East leading up to Israel’s deliverance at the Second Coming, and Isaiah 24 describes the Lord rearranging the earth’s topography through earthquakes and various other disasters.
and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. Luk 21:11  There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (Gk loimos – “pestilences” or “plagues.”). And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. Here we have at least five reasons to conclude that in Luke 21:10a above Jesus was in fact shifting the discussion away from signs leading up to the temple’s destruction, to signs signaling that the earth has entered into the last generation. 1) The possible quotation from Isaiah 19, which is an eschatological passage; 2) The shift from talking about insurrections on a localized area (Israel), to shakings and earthquakes that will impact the entire world (cf. Is. 24); 3) Luke’s mention of pestilences or plagues evokes to mind passages like Psalm 91, which describes God’s protection of the saints in the last days; 4) Luke’s remark about “terrors and great signs from heaven” is another indication that the last generation is in view here, because of the OT association of great signs in the heavens with the last days/Day of the Lord (e.g. Joel 2, Is. 13; see Olivet Discourse Seminar Part 1); and 5) Jesus’ use of the birth pain pains analogy, which, as we saw in Part 1, refers to the end-times shakings that give birth to the age to come (Olivet Discourse Seminar Part 1).
Mat 24:8  All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Luk 21:12  But before all this Here, Luke gives us an important time indicator. Jesus is now turning his attention back to signs that will lead up to the temple’s destruction, before the last generation and beginning of birth pains begins to unfold. Thus, this begins a parenthetical section. Remember, Jesus is addressing all three categories of signs.
Mar 13:9  “But be on your guard. Mat 10:17  Beware of men, Brace yourselves for persecution!
Mat 24:9  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation (NIV – “to be persecuted”; KJV “afflicted”) and put you to death, [and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.] For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, Here, the focus is on the disciples of Jesus being handed over to be tried, persecuted, and flogged in the synagogues. This, of course, is what we see happening all over the Book of Acts. The focus here is clearly the first century. The context of Matthew 10 – which contains some of the exact content as parts of Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21 – is clearly a pre-Temple destruction focus.
and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. Mat 10:18  and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, e.g. Felix, Festus, Agrippa, Publius, and ultimately before Caesar (Ac. 24-28).
[Mar 13:10  And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.] Luk 21:13  This will be your opportunity to bear witness. to bear witness before them (governors and kings) and the Gentiles. Jesus is saying that one of the major signs that will precede the Temple’s destruction, is a witness to both Jew and Gentile, including kings and leaders, in context to great suffering and trial.
Mar 13:11  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Luk 21:14  Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer,Luk 21:15  for I (through the Holy Spirit, cf. Mk. 13:11) will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. Mat 10:19  When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.Mat 10:20  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. (NIVAc. 6:8-10)
Mat 24:10  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Mar 13:12  And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. Luk 21:16  You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. Mat 10:21  Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death (cf. Jn. 9), When Matthew 24:10 is compared to the parallels, it is clear that Jesus is not talking here about the “rebellion” that occurs when the Anti-Christ is revealed (cf. Dan. 8, 2 Th. 2 – See Olivet Discourse Seminar Session 1), or to some great apostasy of the church that happens before that event. The focus is on believing Jews in the first century being turned in to the Sanhedrin to be imprisoned or put to death. Jesus is saying that some will buckle under the pressure.
Mat 24:11  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. Example from Josephus – “(261) But there was an Egyptian false prophet that did the Jews more mischief than the former; for he was a cheat, and pretended to be a prophet also, and got together thirty thousand men that were deluded by him; (262) these he led round about from the wilderness to the mount which was called the Mount of Olives, and was ready to break into Jerusalem by force from that place; and if he could but once conquer the Roman garrison and the people, he intended to domineer over them by the assistance of those guards of his that were to break into the city with him, (263) but Felix prevented his attempt, and met him with his Roman soldiers, while all the people assisted him in his attack upon them, insomuch that, when it came to a battle, the Egyptian ran away, with a few others, while the greatest part of those that were with him were either destroyed or taken alive; but the rest of the multitude were dispersed every one to their own homes and there concealed themselves.”
Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness  (NIV – “wickedness”; KJV – “iniquity”) will be increased (in the land, between family members, etc. cf. Mk. 13:12, Lk. 21:16), the love of many will grow cold. “The affairs of the Jews were growing more troubled. The country was filled with robbers and false prophets fooling the people, although Felix was successful in capturing and killing many of them, including the robber Eleazar. Felix hated the high priest, Jonathan, who persisted in telling him how to run the country, and devised a plot to have him killed. He persuaded Doras, one of Jonathan’s best friends, to arrange to have Jonathan killed by bribing some robbers to do the job. The robbers came into the city as if they were going to worship, daggers hidden under their clothing. Mingling with the crowd, they were able to murder the high priest and escape safely. Since they were not caught and punished, the robbers (named sicarii for the short, curved swords they carried) returned again and again to murder others in the city and in the temple itself – their own enemies and those whom they were paid to kill – not at all concerned about the sacrilege of such murders. And this seems to be the reason God rejected Jerusalem and its impure temple and brought the Romans upon the Jews, purging the city with fire and sending the Jews into slavery as a lesson to them.”  (Around 69 AD) “Within Jerusalem, the Galileans, whom John allowed to do whatever they wanted because of their loyalty to him, were running amuck.  Their urge to plunder was insatiable; murder and rape were their common entertainments. They devoured their spoils and turned to feminine wantonness, decking their hair, dressing in women’s clothing, painting their eyes. Not only did they look like women, they indulged in homosexuality and defiled the whole city, continuing to kill like men. The Idumeans who still remained in the city rebelled against John, killing many of the zealots and driving the remainder into the royal palace where John lived and stored his booty. From there, the zealots were chased into the temple. The zealots who had been dispersed throughout the city joined the others in the temple and prepared to attack both the Idumeans and the citizens of the city.”   43 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” (NIVMt. 12:43-45)
[Mat 24:9  and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.] Mar 13:13  And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. Luk 21:17  You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. Mat 10:22  and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. The Book of Acts tells the story of the apostles and early church being severely persecuted by both Jews and Gentiles.
Luk 21:18  But not a hair of your head will perish. Cf. [Mat 10:30  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.]
Mat 24:13  But the one who endures to the end (Gk. telos) will be saved. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Luk 21:19  By your endurance you will gain your lives (NIV = “by standing firm you will gain life.” cf. Mt. 16:24-28) But the one who endures to the end will be saved. He who is faithful to Jesus even unto death, shall gain life in the resurrection at the end of the age.  13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end (Gk. – telos) the confidence we had at first. (NIV – Heb. 3:13-14)
Mat 10:23  When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. See discussion of Daniel 9 in session 1 of Olivet Discourse seminar. Jesus does not mean the Second Coming here. He means that they won’t finish going through the towns and villages of Israel before He sends the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel 9:26-27.
Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world (Gk – oikoumene) as a testimony to all nations, and then the end (Gk. telos) will come. [Mar 13:10  And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.] It is significant to note that the word for world here is oikoumene (not kosmos, e.g. Mk. 16:15). 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world (Gk. komos) and preach the good news to all creation.3876 οἰκουμένη (oikoumenē), ης (ēs), ἡ (hē): n. fem.; ≡ Str 3625; TDNT 5.157—1. LN 1.39 earth, the world (Lk 4:5; Ro 10:18); 2. LN 1.83 empire, the entire Roman world (Ac 11:28; 17:6; 24:5; Lk 2:1); 3. LN 9.22 people, humankind (Lk 21:26; Ac 17:31; Rev 3:10; 12:9)   3625 οἰκουμένη [oikoumene /oy·kou·men·ay/] n f. Feminine participle present passive of 3611 (as noun, by implication of 1093); TDNT 5:157; TDNTA 674; GK 3876; 15 occurrences; AV translates as “world” 14 times, and “earth” once. 1 the inhabited earth. 1a the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians. 1b the Roman empire, all the subjects of the empire. 1c the whole inhabited earth, the world. 1d the inhabitants of the earth, men. 2 the universe, the world.   And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole Empire as a testimony to all nations (i.e. within that Empire, cf. Mt. 10:18-19; Mk. 13:9-11, Lk. 21:12-15), and then the outcome (i.e. of the insurrections, cf. Lk. 21:8-9; or simply the “end” or conclusion of the Temple) will come (i.e. the Temple’s destruction) (Author Mt. 24:14). So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum (north and northwest of Macedonia), I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. (NIV Rom. 15:19, 23-24)
Mat 24:15  “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Dan. 9:26-27), standing in the holy place (Gk – en topoo hagioo – “in a place holy”) (let the reader understand), Mar 13:14  “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he (or “it) ought not to be (NKJV – “standing where it ought not”; NIV – “standing where it does not belong) (let the reader understand), Luk 21:20  “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Here, Luke gives us clarity about what Jesus is saying here. This phrase may have seemed obscure and cryptic for Gentile readers, so he seems to draw out the meaning with a more dynamically-equivalent rendering.1) Abomination=Gentile armies given to idolatry 2) “in a place holy” “where it does not belong”=Jerusalem and its surrounding environs, i.e. the holy city and holy land 3) desolation=the destruction of Jerusalem by those armies As we saw in Part 1, this is prophesied in Daniel 9 and comes out clearly in the LXX, and is also a viable translation of the Hebrew.
Question: often in Scripture an “abomination” represents an idol or an image of a false god (e.g. Jer. 32:34). How then does Luke apply it to the Roman armies?  Quotations from Josephus:

  • “Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea, moved his army from Cesarea to winter quarters in Jerusalem, where he planned to abolish the Jewish laws. Former procurators had always had their armies enter the city accompanied by flags carrying no pictures of men, out of respect for the Jewish laws forbidding images, but Pilate’s flags bearing Caesar’s likeness were secretly erected throughout Jerusalem during the night. As soon as the flags were discovered, crowds of Jews traveled to Caesarea to demand Pilate to remove them. He refused, feeling it would be a dishonor to Caesar if he were to comply with the Jews and take the flags down. The crowd continued to petition Pilate for five days. On the sixth day, Pilate concealed soldiers in the area of his judgment seat, and when the crowd came to petition him again, they were surrounded and threatened with immediate death unless they abandoned their cause and returned home. The Jews threw themselves to the ground, bared their necks to the soldiers’ weapons, and said they would willingly die before abandoning their laws. Pilate, impressed by their determination and courage, ordered the flags returned to Caesarea.
  • “On Tiberius’ orders, Vitellius prepared to go to war with Aretas. His army, consisting of two legions of foot soldiers and horsemen, began to advance toward Petra, passing through Ptolemais, in Judea, on their way. As they passed through Judea, the Jewish leaders met Vitellius and asked him not to cross their land, sin the Roman flags bore many images on them. Vitellius granted their request and diverted his army over the Great Plain…”
  • “Hearing the hated king [Herod the Great] was dying, two well-respected Jewish educators, Judas and Matthias, urged their students to pull down the golden eagle Herod had erected over the temple gate in defiance of the Jewish law about images. They warned the students they would probably die in the attempt, but that it would be a worthy and long remembered death. In the middle of the day, in front of the crowd in the temple, the students climbed the temple gate, pulled down the golden eagle, and cut it to pieces with axes…”
  • “(47) Now, as Titus was upon his march into the enemy’s country, the auxiliaries that were sent by the kings marched first, having all the other auxiliaries with them; after whom followed those that were to prepare the roads and measure out the camp; then came the commander’s baggage, and after that the other soldiers, who were completely armed to support them; then came Titus himself, having with him another select body; and then came the pikemen; after whom came the horse belonging to that legion. (48) All these came before the engines; and after these engines, followed the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the ensigns, with the eagle”…
  • “1. (316) And now the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the holy house itself, and of all the buildings round about it, brought their ensigns to the temple, and set them over against its eastern gate; and there did they offer sacrifices to them, and there did they make Titus imperator, with the greatest acclamations of joy.”

Quotation from Tertullian

  • “The camp religion of the Romans is all through a worship of the standards, a setting the standards above all gods.”

Note that Matthew is not directing readers to Daniel 12, which clearly refers to the end of the age. Daniel 12 teaches clearly that at the end of the age, there will be another “abomination of desolation.” Daniel 11 and many other OT passages show that this will also involve Jerusalem being surrounded by idolatrous armies: 40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land (implying resistance from Israel). Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many (cf. 2 Ki. 18-19, Is. 36-37 for possible type). 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas atthe beautiful holy mountain (NKJV – “between the seas and the glorious holy mountain, cf. Is. 29, Zech. 12). Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. (NIVDan.  11:40-45)

Mat 24:16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Luk 21:21  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, Because not much time before they get trapped in by the invading armies. The siege began just after Passover, when multitudes were coming to Jerusalem for the Feast. Titus let them into the city, but would not let them out. This put extra strain on food supplies.
Eusebius (c. AD 263–339) “3. But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.”   M.S. Mills –“Eusebius, the fourth century church historian to whom we are indebted for much of our record of the happenings in the early church, reports that the Jerusalem church took Jesus’ prophecy literally, for according to him, the Jerusalem Christians, remembering Jesus’ warning, before the war of ad 66–73 fled to Pella, a city of Decapolis, east of the Jordan, and thus outside the area of conflict. Eusebius says every Christian fled Jerusalem….The Church was thus spared the ravages of the Jewish-Roman war.”   The first legion of armies to surround Jerusalem in an attempt to squelch the rebellion was the 12th legion, commanded by Cestius, the president of Syria. This was in AD 66. If Eusebius’ account is accurate, then the believers in Jerusalem apparently interpreted this as the first “wave” of the “abomination” that would eventually desolate Jerusalem.


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Tim Miller (124 Posts)

Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.

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