October 27, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Monay after the Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 18:21-36, 2 Kings 17:1-18, Titus 1
Evening – Psalm 20, 24, Dt. 4:1-9, Mt. 24:15-28

Commentary, Matthew 24:15-28

Our Lord continues to address the coming destruction of Jerusalem.  He uses the sack of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes, written about in Daniel 9, as a warning.  Antiochus conquered Jerusalem and offered a pig on the altar of the Holy of Holies.  Christ is saying that when the disciples see the Romans preparing to attack and desolate Jerusalem as the Greeks did under Antiochus, they are to leave the city (see Mt. 23:38, “your house is left unto you desolate).  The danger is so great they should not even stop to gather belongings (vss. 17-18).  The flight will be especially hard on women and children (24:19), and they are to pray that it will not happen in winter or on a Sabbath (24:20). The tribulation of verse 21 is not a period of intense trouble after the “rapture.”  It is the trouble experienced in Jerusalem during the time of the siege and conquest of Jerusalem.  This occurred in 70 A.D.

Our Lord again warns against false Christs and prophets claiming to be the deliverer sent to fight the Romans.  The disciples are not to believe their reports.  When He does come, it will not be a man to fight the Romans.  It will be as God.  He will come as the lightning flashing across the sky.

Our reading closes with another reference to the devastation of Jerusalem, “wheresoever the carrion is, there will the eagles [vultures] be gathered together.  One of the Roman symbols was an eagle.  Our Lord is saying that Jerusalem is spiritual carrion and the Roman eagles will gather around it.

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