The culmination of Messiah's mission, 19:45-24:53

1. The Messiah and the Temple, 19:45-24:53

vi] Signs of the new age and the end times. 21:5-38

a) Troubles and persecution. 21:5-24


Hearing a comment about the magnificence of the Temple, Jesus declares that the day is coming when "not one stone will be left upon another." The disciples ask what sign will herald this event. Messianic signs are the stuff of millennial speculation, and signs there will be, so, in the passage before us, Jesus speaks of the events leading up to that terrible day "when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies."


The end of the age is upon us. Such requires discernment and patience.


i] Context: See 19:45-20:18. The Signs of the New Age and the End Times is the sixth episode of Jesus' Temple Ministry in Jerusalem, 19:45-21:38. The passage before us, Troubles and Persecution, is the first part of this episode on the signs of the new age.


ii] Structure: This passage, Signs of the new age, presents as follows:

Setting, v5-6:

"not one stone will be left on another ...."

The disciples' question, v7:

"when will these things be, and what will be the sign .....?"

The signs of the age, v8-28:

Preliminary signs of the age, v8-19:


Wars and rumors of wars;

Natural disasters;


The desolating sacrilege, v20-24;

The shaking of the powers of heaven, v25-26;

The great assize, v27.

Saying, v28:

"when these things begin to take place .... your redemption is drawing near."


iii] Interpretation:

The passage consists of oracles concerning "the end of the age." The first oracle addresses the coming of false Messiahs, troubles in the world, and the persecution of Jesus' disciples, v8-19. These "signs" are but the normal state of affairs and are not be taken as a sign of the end. Then there is the oracle concerning the destruction of Jerusalem / the end of the age, v20-24. Then the oracles concerning the shaking of heaven and the great assize, v25-27.


1. Preliminary signs of the age:

False Messiahs, v8. Referring to messianic contenders leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, and false teachers/prophets in our age.

"Wars and rumors of wars", v9-11. Referring to pre and post 70AD - primarily the normal state of affairs.

Persecution, v12-19. Again, pre and post 70AD - again the normal state of affairs, although probably increasing toward the end.


2. The desolating sacrilege, v20-24:

Describing the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD, and Armageddon / the great tribulation in the last day before the return of Christ.


3. The shaking of the powers of heaven, v25-26.

Often seen as describing the dissolution of the earth at the coming of Christ = the shout of the archangel, possibly even the proclamation of the gospel pre and/or post 70AD = the shaking of the nations, cf. Isa.13:10, 34:4, Ezk.32:7, Joel 3:3-4. It seems likely though that this Old Testament prophetic imagery serves to describe, in cosmic terms, the destruction of Jerusalem / the temple / "the apple of God's eye", so N.T. Wright, Dodd, France, also Hatina The Parousia or the Destruction of the Temple?. As such, it also depicts the great tribulation of the last days / Armegeddon.


4. The coming of Christ and the great assize, v27.

Here depicting the heavenly view of these events, namely, Christ's coming, his entering the throne room of the Ancient of Days to enact judgment, cf. Daniel 7:13. The now / not yet realization of the Kingdom of God in the coming of Christ is difficult to conceive. Christ has ascended on high and has already entered the throne-room of the Ancient of days. The destruction of Jerusalem is 70AD is but a visible paradigm of this reality. Yet, from our perspective, Christ's coming is still future, so reminding us that the God who is beyond time has granted us a moment of divine grace. The following mouse-over diagram may help to image the now / not yet reality of the kingdom of God, a kingdom both realized and inaugurated.

[Kingdom diagram expressing the impossible - a kingdom which is now, but not yet]

5. Final exhortations, v28-37:

We are encouraged to read the signs and know that "this generation will not pass away until all [these things] have taken place", v28-33 (v32 has prompted endless debate), and be prepared, v34-36.


The Desolating sacrilege, v20-24: As is typical of prophecy, this saying of Jesus (oracle) consist of layered revelation. The saying concerns the destruction of the temple (Jerusalem) and answers the disciples' question. Yet, the actual event, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70AD, overlay a future fulfilment in the age to come. The sign not only concerns the end of the Restored Kingdom in the destruction of Jerusalem, but also the fading glory of the church in the Present Spiritual Kingdom, and the victory of believers awaiting the Heavenly Kingdom.

The layered nature of prophecy is illustrated in the following diagrams; See the study on The Kingdom of God.

[Kingdom diagram]
[Kingdom diagram]

So, these notes proceed on the assumption that Biblical prophecy is layered. The Biblical prophets usually direct their words to a particular immediate situation, yet it is quite clear that their words often push beyond this situation. When interpreting the passage, commentators will argue over whether the words concern the immediate present, or are still to be fulfilled in the future. In truth, Biblical prophecy brings with it a depth of perspective. It will address the immediate situation, but the immediate situation most often reflects a future reality. The prophecies of Jesus are classic examples of this feature. Here in Luke, Jesus is speaking specifically about the destruction of Jerusalem, yet his words also push well beyond 70AD to the last days - the present day onward to the Great Tribulation and Armageddon.
the prophetic perspective


iv] Synoptics:

On the surface it looks as if Luke has used Mark for these oracles, but the problem is that their wording is non-Markan. Some commentators argue that Luke has used Matthew, but then why would Luke, a gospel writer who loves parables, not used Matthew's parables of the ten virgins and the sheep and the goats? It is hard to believe that these oracles, including their thematic order, do not originate with Jesus. Given their dramatic content and logical order, they would be fixed very early in the oral tradition of the New Testament church. It is not unreasonable to presume that these oracles were available in a local oral form for all three synoptic gospel writers to draw on.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 21:5

The Last Things, v5-36: i] Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple, v5-7. The temple was completely rebuilt between the years 19BC and 64AD. It was massive, consisting of white limestone with gold and silver inlay. Josephus, a Jewish historian of the time, said it looked like a snow-capped mountain. It was totally destroyed during the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans.

legontwn (legw) gen. "[some of his disciples] were remarking" - [certain people] speaking. The genitive absolute participle serves to form a temporal clause; "when some were speaking", NRSV. The "some" are possibly the disciples (see Mat. & Mk.), as NIV, although this is not stated in the Gk.

peri + gen. "about" - Reference / respect: "with respect to, concerning."

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement, indirect speech: "some said [that] it has been decorated ..." Tense of the original statement is retained in the Gk., but not translated. "Some of them were talking about the temple and the beautiful stones and votive offerings which adorned it", TNT.

liqoiV (oV) dat. "with [beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God]" - [it has been decorated] with [beautiful] stones [and with sacred gifts]. The dative is instrumental, expressing means, the means by which it was decorated.


tauta "[as for] what [you see here]" - these things [which you see]. The temple complex. "Yes, you can gaze on all this today, but ..", Phillips.

en ai|V "when" - in which = during which. Temporal use of the preposition en; "when a stone of it will not be left upon a stone."

kataluqhsetai (kataluw) fut. pas. "will be thrown down" - detached from its place. "Will be utterly demolished", Barclay.


ii] The disciples question, v7: Matthew's two-part 2nd question "what will be the sign of your coming and [what will be the sign] of the end of the age", is, to say the least, very interesting. Rather than assuming "your coming" as the second "coming" of Christ, we need to remember that divine judgment is properly described as a "coming" of the Lord. Stein seeks to argue that Christ's coming in judgment on Jerusalem is for Matthew, a type of Jesus' coming at the end of the age." Type it is, but Stein may be reading too much into Matthew's intention. Anyway, for Luke, the focus is on the destruction of the temple / Jerusalem, although "these things" certainly serve as a paradigm for a far greater reality. "What will be the sign when they [these things] are going to happen", Barclay.

didaskale (oV) voc. "teacher" - A rather general term, possibly indicating that, as far as Luke is concerned, these "certain people" were not disciples.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "they asked" - [they questioned him] saying. Redundant attendant circumstance participle, left untranslated as NIV.

pote .... ti "when [will these things happen? and] what [will be the sign]" - The two interrogatives + the fut. ind. of the verb to-be, estai, defy convention. The two conjoined questions direct the following discourse, in that Jesus sets out to answer them. The first part of the question is probably not seeking an actual date for the destruction of the temple, since in Aramaic idiom the next (parallel) phrase in this construction serves to exegete the first, so the two questions are probably best treated as one, "what will be the end of the old order of things, ie. what signs will herald its accomplishment?" The question concerns the "what", ie. the preliminary signals that will serve to warn disciples "when" Jerusalem is about to be destroyed, cf. Dan.12:6,7.

oun "-" - therefore. Drawing a logical conclusion / inferential.

tauta "these things" - these things. The "these things" are still referring to the destruction of the temple / Jerusalem. Marshall argues that the destruction of the temple is properly associated with the end of the age, so "these things" rightly encompass all that is associated with the coming day of the Lord. Bock notes the plural, arguing that more than the destruction of the temple is intended, although the plural most likely refers to the dislodged stones and the votive offerings of the temple, v6. As pointed out in the notes above, Jesus, in prophetic mode, is quite able to address the issue of the destruction of the temple / Jerusalem in 70AD, and do so in the terms of "the desolating sacrilege", while at the same time see beyond an immediate fulfilment of his words to a far greater fulfilment.

kai "and" - Best taken as epexegetic; see pote above.

to shmeion (on) "the sign" - [what (will be)] the sign. Obviously, the sign heralding "these things."

oJtan + subj. "that" - whenever [are about]. Forming an indefinite temporal clause, although "when" rather than "whenever"; "what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass", AV.

ginesqai (ginomai) pres. inf. "to take place" - to become, be. Complementary infinitive, complementing the sense of the verb "are about".


iii] The signs of the age, v8-27: a) Preliminary signs of the age, v8-19 - False Messiahs, natural calamities and political upheaval are signs of the age, but they are not signs of the end. The disciples are not to be led astray by false messiahs using signs to prove their messianic credentials. During (rather than "before") the signs of the age, believers will be persecuted. This will be a time of testimony (gospel proclamation) for believers. Disciples will be given the words that are both wise and powerful, for they are Jesus' words. Mark, in 13:11, refers to the Holy Spirit as the source of these words. Although persecuted and killed, even at the hands of family members, "not a hair of your head will perish" - a promise of spiritual protection, cf.12:4-7. Endurance, during this time, shows that a disciple is truly grafted in Christ through faith; it shows that the word is not sown in shallow ground, cf.8:13.

mh planhqhte (planaw) aor. pas. subj. "that you are not deceived" - you should not be deceived, led astray. Technically, mh with an aorist subjunctive is treated as a subjunctive of prohibition, although the intention is more subtle than a direct command - see subjunctives after verbs of fearing or warning, Wallace 477; "be careful, don't be fooled", NCV. Most translators treat this subjunctive as introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech, "look out that ..." = "look out not to be misled", Berkeley.

gar "for" - Expressing cause / reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why they need to watch out.

eleusontai (ercomai) fut. "will come" - "Appear on the scene", TH.

epi tw/ onomati mou "in my name" - under/upon the name of me. This prepositional phrase is idiomatic, expressing authority. Not Jesus' actual name, but rather his persona. Possibly claiming to be Christ resurrected, so Marshall, although better either claiming to be "the Christ / messiah", ie. claiming Jesus' office, so Nolland, or claiming Jesus' authority, ie. claiming to speak/act in his name, so Plummer. "Many will come claiming that they are my representatives", Barclay.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "claiming" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle, "come and say." "Pretending", Nolland.

egw eimi "I am he" - I am. As above, options such as "I am [the Christ]", NCV, are offered, although rather than "I am he / the one", possibly "I am here" = "I'm here to reveal the secret, namely, the time ..."

hggiken (eggizw) perf. "[the time] is near" - has drawn near. Probably here in a temporal sense, "about to happen", although for Jesus, "at hand" means "is presently impacting upon."

mh poreuqhte (poreuomai) aor. subj. "do not follow" - do not go. A subjunctive of prohibition. The "end is near" message, popularized by apocalyptic preaches in the name of Christ, should be ignored. Life will go on with its usual humps and bumps, and such (wars and rumors of wars, v9-11, persecution, v12-19) are not signs of the end.

opisw + gen. "after [them]" - Spacial.


Jesus continues to describe the normal ongoing state of affairs on earth, affairs which could easily be used as signs of the end of the age by apocalyptic preachers.

oJtan + subj. "when [you hear]" - Introducing an indefinite temporal clause, although "when" rather than "whenever", as NIV.

akatastasiaV (a) "revolutions" - confusions, insurrections, uprisings.

mh ptohqhte (ptoew) subj. "do not be afraid" - do not fear. A subjunctive of prohibition; "do not be scared", Moffatt.

gar "-" - for. Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why there is no need to be frightened, namely because wars and insurrections are not a sign of the end.

dei + the inf. "must [happen]" - [to happen, become, be] is necessary. The infinitive, "to become / happen", functions as the subject of the verb "is necessary." The subject of the infinitive, "these things", is the accusative. These events are the necessary "birth pangs", as Mark calls them, the ongoing troubles prior to the end.

alla "but" - Adversative. The end does not follow on from such events, they are not signs of the end; "but the end does not come immediately after this", Cassirer.

to teloV "the end" - Given the context, the end is the end of the temple / Jerusalem, the "desolation", v20, but as noted above, the end of the temple is a paradigm for an even greater "end".


tote adv. "then" - Temporal.

autoiV dat. pro. "[he said] to them" - Dative of indirect object.

egerqhsetai (egairw) fut. pas. "[nation] will rise" - will be raised up. cf. 2Chron.15:6. "Nations will go to war against one another", CEV.

ep (epi) + acc. "against" - Spacial; "against."


kata + acc. "in various [places]" - Spacial, "throughout", or distributive, as NIV.

apo + gen. "[great signs] from [heaven]" - Expressing source/origin. Probably cosmic activity, eg. lunar eclipse. "Mighty portents from the sky", Rieu.


pro + gen. "before" - before, above. Most commentators argue for a temporal sense (even though both Matthew and Mark have no temporal indicator), although primary importance, "above", is more likely, "even greater than all these troubles, they will lay hands ...."

ef (epi) + acc. "[they will seize you]" - [they will lay the hands of them] on [you]. Spacial.

paradidonteV (paradidwmi) pres. part. "they will deliver you / they will hand you over" - handing over. The participle is adverbial, either modal, expressing the manner in which the action of the verb "persecute" is accomplished, "they will persecute you, handing you over to the courts and dragging your before kings ...", or consecutive, expressing the result of the arrest. With eiV, the sense is to hand over to someone in authority.

apagomenouV (apagw) pres. pas. part. "you will be brought" - being led away. A rather awkward use of the participle here, but it works best aligned with "handing over", although since it is accusative it is technically adjectival, attributive, limiting by describing uJmaV, "you", so Nolland, cf. Culy.

epi + acc. "before [kings]" - Spacial; "to, up to."

eJneken + gen. "and all on account of [my name]" - because [of the name of me]. Causal; possibly "for my sake", "on my account, but probably better, "because of the confession of me which you make", Nolland, or simply "because of your connection (association) with me", Barclay.


apobhsetai (apobainw) fut. "this will result / and so" - it will turn out, result.

uJmin "in your / you" - for you. Dative of interest, advantage; "this will be an opportunity for you to bear witness."

eiV + acc. "[being witnesses to them] / [will bear testimony to me]" - toward [a testimony]. Purpose / endview - goal. Possibly of the gaining of a good reputation by suffering persecution bravely as an innocent, "it will have as a result, a testimony", Hartman, or more likely, of testifying to those who persecute, "this (your sufferings) will be your chance to tell people about your faith", CEV.


oun "but" - therefore. Drawing a logical conclusion / inferential; "Determine therefore, not ...", TNT.

qete (tiqhmi) aor. imp. "make up [your mind]" - place, put [in the heart of you]. Idiomatic; "don't worry about what you will say to defend yourselves", CEV.

promeletan (promeletaw) pres. inf. "beforehand" - to prepare ahead of time. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what should not be placed in the heart / determined in the mind, namely, the preparation beforehand of ones defense.

apologhqhnai (apologeomai) aor. pas. inf. "how you will defend yourself" - to defend oneself. Given that the infinitive promeletan is read as a substantive, this infinitive is best classified as epexegetic, explaining what is prepared beforehand, namely, one's defense.


gar "for" - Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why there is not need to worry about what needs to be said, "because, ...."

uJmin "you" - to you. Dative of indirect object / interest, advantage; "I give for your advantage .."

stoma (a atoV) "words" - mouth. "The power of speech", Plummer.

h|/ dat. pro. "that" - which. Dative of direct object after an anti prefix verb, here as two infinitives; "all the ones being opposed to you will not be able to resist or to contradict that (that = the mouth and wisdom given to you)." "I will give you an ability to speak, and a wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or to refute", Barclay.

oi antikeimenoi (antikaimai) pres. part. "adversaries" - [which] the ones being opposed [to you]. The participle serves as a substantive; "opponents", TNT.

antisthnai (anisthmi) aor. inf. "to resist" - [will not be able] to resist. Complementary infinitive, completing the sense of the verb "be able." So also, "to contradict." The opponents "will find no words in which to answer, and will be unable to refute what the disciples have advanced", Plummer. Obviously, being able to give testimony to Jesus in the face of persecution is not the means of evading that persecution, but rather is the means of communicating the gospel.


uJpo + gen. "by" - by. Agency. As Jesus has pointed out, he brings division.

qanatwsousin (qanatow) fut. "they will put [some of you] to death" - they will put to death [out of you]. The agents are unidentified. Certainly, in ancient societies people had more opportunity to take the law into their own hands, but the sense here may be to hand over to the courts for the judge to "sentence to death." Possibly best not to identify the agents; "Some of you will even be killed", CEV.

ex (ek) + gen. "some of [you]" - Here serving as a partitive genitive, as NIV.


uJpo + gen."[all men]" - [you will be hated] by [everyone]. Expressing agency; "by". "Everyone", in the sense of universal, seems a bit of an exaggeration, although "everywhere" works; "you will be hated everywhere", Phillips. Nolland suggests "all sorts of people", even all sorts of human associations, eg. families, synagogues, social groups ....

esesqe misoumenoi "will hate" - you will be hated. Future periphrastic: the future verb to-be + the pres. part. This construction possibly serves to express the durative (ongoing) nature of the persecution.

dia "because [of me]" - because of, on account of [my name]. Causal; "because of your association with me." For "my name", see v12.


kai "but" - and. Treated as an adversative here.

ou mh apolhtai (apollumi) aor. subj. "not .... will perish" - may by no means perish. Subjunctive of emphatic negation, "will never ever perish." Of course, many believers have been martyred over the years, cf. v16, so what is the point of this promise? i] The promise may be literal, Luke, cf. Acts, holds to "the reality of divine protection in the midst of extreme difficulty", Nolland; ii] The promise concerns spiritual preservation, "your souls will be absolutely safe", Plummer; iii] Possibly, but unlikely, "no harm will befall you without the Father's permission", Geldenhuys; iv] The promise may refer to the safety of the Christian church as a whole, rather than of the safety of individual members. Of these options, a spiritual sense seems best, "although put to death not a hair will perish", Ellis, so Stein etc. Of course, some disagree, eg. Fitzmyer. "The disciple who is allied to Christ is secure (eternally secure in Christ) - despite persecution and the threat to physical life", Bock.


en + dat. "by [standing firm] / [stand firm]" - in, on, with, by [the endurance]. Here instrumental, as NIV, although locative is possible = "in the sphere of"; "in steadfastness you will gain possession of your souls", Berkeley. The sense is certainly retained by employing an imperative, as TNIV, although such is not in the Gk.

uJmwn gen. pro. "-" - of you. The genitive may be treated as verbal, subjective, but better, adjectival, possessive; "by your endurance", ESV.

kthsasqe (kataomai) aor. imp. "you will gain [life] / you will win [life]" - you will gain, acquire, obtain [the souls of you]. The NIV follows the variant kathsesqe fut. ind.; "you will participate in eternal life", Marshall, not "you will preserve your earthly life", Schweizer. Metzger suggests that the aor. imp. is more likely original, "save your souls by means of / in the sphere of steadfastness." Surely in the sense of "a steadfast faith", following the spiritual sense of v18, rather than "a steadfastness in the face of persecution."


b) The desolating sacrilege, v20-24. Luke now records his take on the "desolating sacrilege", explicitly tying it to the destruction of Jerusalem. The Roman suppression of the rebellion was severe, with some one million people losing their lives. It is recorded by the Christian historian Eusebius that the Christian community left the city and retreated to Pella, and this in fulfillment of these verses. As outlined in the introductory notes, we are best to understand this prophecy, as with all prophecy, in the terms of layered fulfilment. As the Lord's hand was not stayed from rebellious Israel, so, in the great falling away, his hand will not be stayed in the last day. Woe to those caught up in this distress - may the days be short.

oJtan + subj. "when [you see]" - Forming an indefinite temporal clause, although "when", rather than "whenever", as NIV.

kukloumenhn (kuklow) pres. pas. part. "being surrounded" - being surrounded, encircled. As of a siege. The participle forms a dependent statement of perception expressing what is seen, with the present tense possibly being connotative expressing intended action; "when you see that Jerusalem is about to be surrounded / encircled by armies"; "on the point of being surrounded", TH.

uJpo + gen. "by [armies]" - Expressing agency. Possibly "military camps."

oJti "that" - Here introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they should know, namely "that its desolation has drawn near."

authV gen. pro. "its" - [the devastation] of it [has drawn near]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, although it may be classified as verbal, objective.

hJ erhmwsiV (iV ewV) "desolation" - the devastation. "Abomination of desolation / desolating sacrilege", cf. Mark 13:14, Dan.12:11. Descriptive of a major affront to God's person, here an affront to the apple of his eye, even though this affront falls within God's judgment upon religious Israel.


tote "then" - Temporal; "at that time those who are in Judea must flee to the hills, .......", Barclay.

oi en + dat. "[let] those who are in [Judea flee]" - the ones in [Judea flee]. The preposition en, "in", being locative, expressing space/sphere, serves to form a prepositional phrase which, being transformed into a substantive phrase by the nominalizer oi, stands as the subject of the verb feugetwsan, "flee". The same syntax applies to oiJ en mesw/ and oiJ en taiV caraiV, "the ones in the midst (inside the city)" and "the ones in the field (countryside)." As noted above, it is believed that the Christians deserted the city prior to the Roman siege. In normal military strategy, once a city is encircled, the population is not allowed to escape so as to hasten starvation and weaken its defense.

authV gen. pro. "[in the city]" - [in the midst] of her. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.


oJti "because" - Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why believers need to escape Jerusalem at this time.

hJmerai (a) "this is the time" - days [these are of vengeance]. Emphatic position.

ekdikhsewV (iV ewV) gen. "of punishment" - of vengeance, punishment. The genitive construction "the time/day of..." may be classified as adjectival, attributive, "punishment time", of definition, "the time, namely, ..", adverbial, reference respect, "the time, with respect ...." This genitive tends to express the action that takes place at that time, so probably better adverbial, temporal, "the time when"; "the days when vengeance is carried out", Culy. "Vengeance", or "punishment", is probably too strong. When God deals with his people it is usually termed as "chastisement", given that redemption remains a possibility where there is repentance. Without repentance Jerusalem / the temple is doomed for its rebellion, cf. Hos.9:7, (Jer.51:6, of Babylon).

tou plhsqhnai (pimplhmi) aor. pas. inf. "in fulfillment" - to be fulfilled. The articular infinitive may form a consecutive clause, expressing result, "with the result that", or final clause, expressing purpose, "in order that"; "so that everything the scriptures say will come true", Barclay. Probably better forming a noun clause in apposition to "punishment" (epexegetic); "these are the day of retribution, [the days during which] / (namely when) all that stands written in the scriptures is to find its fulfilment", Cassirer.

panta adj. "of all" - all, every. Here functioning as a substantive, "everything", subject of the infinitive "to be fulfilled" and therefore, accusative; "that all may be fulfilled", Meyer.

ta gegrammena (grafw) perf. pas. part. "that has been written" - the things having been written. The participle is forming an adjectival clause, "which is written"; "that is written in the scriptures", Moffatt.


ouai "how dreadful it will be" - woe. Expressing sudden danger, TH. "Alas", Rieu.

en + dat. "in [those days]" - in. Temporal; possibly "during." "It will be an awful time", CEV.

taiV en gastri ecousaiV "for pregnant women" - to the ones in the belly having. As with taiV qhlazousaiV, "the ones nursing", the participle serves as a substantive, dative of interest, disadvantage; "for those who have a child in the womb / who are pregnant." The preposition en is locative, expressing space/sphere.

gar "-" - for. Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why it will be a time of woe for pregnant and nursing women.

anagkh (h) "[great] distress" - need = distress, calamity. "Great indeed will be the misery in this land", Fitzmyer.

epi + gen. "in [the land]" - in, on, upon [the earth, land]. Spacial.

orgh (h) "wrath" - wrath, anger [to this people]. Expressing judgment / chastisement on the people of Israel, ie. divine wrath. "Great" probably also applies to the "wrath".

tw/ law/ toutw/ "against this people" - for this people. Dative of interest, disadvantage. "God's wrath will descend on the people", Barclay, "everywhere in the land people will suffer horribly and be punished", CEV.


Drawing on Old Testament imagery, judgment upon Jerusalem culminates in the people put to the sward (some one million according to Josephus, although probably an exaggeration) and many taken into exile as slaves, Deut.28:64, Jer.20:4-6, Ezk.32:9, ....

pesountai (piptw) fut. "they will fall" - So, "they will die / be slain by the sword."

stomati (a) dat. "by [the sword]" - by the mouth [of the sword]. Instrumental dative. The genitive, "of the sward", is possessive. Probably just a literary allusion, Sir.28:18, so as NIV.

aicmalwtisqhsontai (aicmalwtizw) fut. pas. "taken as prisoners" - they will be led captive [into all the nations]. "They will be led away captive to all countries", Barclay.

estai patoumenh "will be trampled" - Verb to-be + part. = periphrastic future. The construction is probably expressing the complete nature of the action, but possibly a "permanent condition", Godet. "Jerusalem will be completely violated by the nations."

uJpo eqnwn "by the gentiles" - by the nations. Instrumental.

acri ou| + aor. subj. "until" - until [are fulfilled, completed]. Forming a temporal clause referring to a future event, as NIV. "And this will last until", Barclay.

eqnwn (oV) gen. "[the times] of the Gentiles" - For the genitive see "days of punishment", v22. What is meant by this rather vague statement? Plummer comes up with six possibly interpretations. Obviously, our own view of eschatology will influence the interpretation we give the statement. Marshall notes that Luke seems to imply a limited time of Gentile domination over Jerusalem / Israel. The most popular view is that this is the period of Gentile evangelization, a time followed by the restoration of Israel, so Ellis, Bock, Stein. Of course, this view is partly responsible for the West's unquestioning support for the modern state of Israel. No other state could so easily appropriate the land of its neighbors, subjugate and/or dispossess resident peoples of a different race and get away with it. The apostle Paul does refer to the restoration of Israel, cf. Rom.8:13-14, 12:5-11, and it is not unreasonable to argue that Luke understood his friend's views and shared the same hope. Yet, the Biblical restoration of Israel has nothing to do with the modern state of Israel. It is more likely that the conversion of Jews over the last 2,000 years represents the restoration of Israel, rather than the creation of the modern state of Israel foisted on the people of Palestine by Western guilt. Taking the statement at face value, it is likely that "the times of the Gentiles" refers to the period of the Roman action against Jerusalem during the years of 68-70AD, while "fulfilled" refers to the completion of the siege; "until the triumph of the Romans over Jerusalem is complete", Fitzmyer. The phrase "the times of the nations" alludes to Daniel 12:7, which refers to God's judgment upon Israel at the hand of the Gentiles and this for a determined period, "a time, two times and half a time", ie. however long the siege lasted, cf. Caird. One suspects that this is the intended meaning of the passage, but Nolland's view is certainly worth considering. He argues that Following the pattern already established in the Old Testament, the instrument of God's chastening hand, in this case Rome, having acted with excess, has guaranteed its own judgment, this judgment being "the times of (judgment upon) the nations (Rome)." "Jerusalem will be violated by the nations (Rome); and this will last until they finish what was given them to do"


Luke Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]