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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 24

Watson's Exposition on Matthew, Mark, Luke & RomansWatson's Expositions

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Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

1 Christ foretelleth the destruction of the temple:

3 what and how great calamities shall be before it:

29 the signs of his coming to judgment.

36 And because that day and hour is unknown,

42 we ought to watch like good servants, expecting every moment our Master’s coming.

Verse 1

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Departed from the temple. — He had delivered the preceding discourses in the court of the temple: he now departs from it, to enter it no more, taking only, as it would seem, his disciples with him. These, as they were departing, came to him; that is, drew near to him, soliciting his attention to the buildings of the temple. The temple was repaired, beautified, and enlarged by Herod; yet, as the old materials remained, and he was many years in accomplishing the work, proceeding by degrees, so that the services of the temple were not interrupted, it was never considered as another and distinct building from the former, but was always named “the second temple.” Having a questionable title to his throne, he thought by his munificence in this respect to secure the regard of the Jews. They, indeed, greatly admired his work. “They who never saw the temple of Herod,” say the rabbins, “never saw a beautiful work.” Its splendour is praised also by Tacitus, by Philo, and Josephus.

Verse 2

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Not one stone upon another. — How literally this was accomplished is shown by Josephus, who had no intention of confirming our Lord’s predictions, but narrates the matter as a mere historian. The orders of Cesar were to demolish the whole city and temple. This was done, except three towers and a part of the western wall. But the words of our Lord are, There shall not be left here one stone upon another; and accordingly we find the very foundations themselves afterward dug up by the Roman general left by Titus in command of the army; and Maimonides bears witness that the very site of the temple was “ploughed up,” and that thus the words were accomplished, “Zion shall be ploughed as a field.” Who then could foresee but an omniscient Being, that one stone of this vast fabric, of the most massive masonry, should not be left upon another? No human motive could be imagined for so remorseless a demolition of this sacred and most splendid fabric. In proportion as it was strong as a fortress, the preservation of it was important to the victors, as by that they might overawe the country; and the Romans were so tolerant of foreign religions, that they could not be influenced in the act by a fanatic bigotry.

On the contrary, this renowned edifice had been treated by their commanders with veneration, and we learn from Josephus that Titus himself had been anxious to preserve it. But an evil spirit had impelled the Jews, during the siege, to that infatuated obstinacy, and to those reckless atrocities, which excited the besiegers themselves also to more than superhuman rage and malignity; and thus, in this strife of diabolical passions on each side, the wrath of man, losing sight of every consideration but that of revenge, accomplished, unwittingly, the purpose and the word of God. In the whole there was the overruling hand of God. The temple was to be destroyed, in order to effect a complete dispersion of the Jews; for from that time they had no common bond of union. It was a marked punishment also for their superstition, because they trusted in that house and its ceremonies as the sure pledge to them of the Divine favour, instead of securing his friendship and blessing by a real piety. The demolition of the temple was also a standing proof that the Messiah, who was by his presence to make the second house more glorious than the first, although it wanted the shechinah, and the Urim and Thummim, had already come; and it showed how vain was every hope of any other Messiah beside our Lord, seeing that the temple in which the true Christ was to appear had been utterly destroyed. It produced, finally, the total subversion of the Jewish Church; for as such it could not exist, its place of sacrifice being razed to the ground, and its priesthood abolished; and thus was terminated, not mystically, but in reality, the Levitical dispensation, the rites of which could only be performed in the temple at Jerusalem.

Verse 3

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Sat upon the mount of Olives. — From this situation there was a full view of Jerusalem across the intervening valley, and no spot so appropriate could have been selected for the delivery of that series of prophecies which immediately follows. The place was retired; the disciples who were to be the depositories of this wonderful prediction were alone with him, privately; and the very scene of the calamities and horrors, which he depicts in words of awful majesty and solemn pathos, lay stretched before them. The disciples who came to him privately are said, by St.

Mark, to be “Peter and James, and John and Andrew.”

When shall these things be? — The total destruction of the temple just spoken of was doubtless first intended in the things respecting which they inquired; but they properly associated with so great a calamity many other events which they knew must be necessarily concomitant.

The sign of thy coming. — It is difficult to say what idea the disciples attached to the coming of Christ. They looked every moment for a more glorious personal manifestation of Christ as the Messiah; and might connect with that his taking a signal vengeance upon his enemies. But when our Lord speaks of his coming, it is to be remembered that he uses the phrase in three views.

1. A spiritual manifestation either to his disciples, or to the world by his Gospel:

2. His invisible agency as Judge in bringing total destruction upon the impenitent nation of the Jews, through the instrumentality of the Roman armies.

3. His final visible and glorious second advent to judge the world of wicked men; of which, almost throughout the following prophecies, he makes the destruction of the Jews a type and prophecy.

And of the end of the world. — The phrase συντελειας του αιωνος , the end of the age, refers in the language of the Jews both to the coming of Messiah, and to the end of time, and is used in both senses in the New Testament. Here the disciples appear to employ it for that glorious manifestation of their Master which they anticipated; one of honour and glory to them, and destruction to his enemies. This question appears therefore of nearly the same import as the preceding. They, as above observed, had as yet no very definite ideas on this subject; but our Lord replies to the question, by speaking of his coming to take vengeance on the Jews, but expresses this in terms which carry us above that event to the general judgment. — Throughout these prophecies we therefore trace an immediate and ultimate sense, one subordinate to the other, but that so arranged that sometimes the lower event is spoken of exclusively, sometimes the higher, and occasionally both are comprehended in the same expressions, which must then have a higher and a lower acceptation. This is quite in the manner of many of the ancient prophecies; and this peculiarity must be regarded, if either they or the following predictions of our Lord, delivered in the most elevated style of prophecy, can be satisfactorily and truly interpreted.

Verse 4

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Take heed that no man deceive you. — He first cautions them against those false pretenders to the Messiahship, who should mislead many of the Jews; because they would flatter their expectations of a worldly kingdom, and promise them deliverance from the yoke of the hated Romans. Both these feelings formed so strong a passion with the Jews, that they were easily led to join the ranks of any pretender; and Christ’s followers are admonished to take heed, because their carnal and national prejudices were also strong; and under their infatuating influence they also might be seduced from attachment to a religion wholly spiritual, — one too, which would appear anti-national, as containing threatenings of the entire overthrow of their state and nation.

Verse 5

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Many shall come in my name, &c. — The Jews have had pretenders to the Messiahship in different ages; but our Lord speaks here only of those who should appear during that restless period which should precede the destruction of Jerusalem. Among these were Theudas, who promised to divide Jordan, and to lead his followers over dry-shod. Of this impostor, Josephus remarks, πολλους ηπατησεν , “he deceived many.” Also, “the Egyptian,” mentioned in Acts 21:38, who persuaded thirty thousand men to follow him to the mount of Olives, promising to lead them into Jerusalem to subvert the Roman power. This man was vanquished by Festus. One Dositheus asserted that he was the Christ foretold by Moses. Josephus says that the time of the advent of their King Messias being come, many were emboldened to set up for kings, or messiahs; and as to “false prophets,” the same historian observes that there were “many prophets who, to the last, taught the Jews to expect help from God,” and thus encouraged a hopeless resistance to the Romans.

Verse 6

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. — The insurrections, commotions and seditions against the Roman power, and those attended often with prodidious slaughters, were very numerous in different parts of the country before the siege of Jerusalem. “To speak particularly of them,” as Whitby justly remarks, “would be to transcribe a great part of the history of the time by Josephus.”

See that ye be not troubled. — They were not to be troubled for their own safety; for the time of their flight, which he afterward mentions, would not have arrived. They were to wait in calm and confident expectation of deliverance till the appointed signal, still publishing the Gospel, and endeavouring to do good to their country, being assured that all these movements, however apparently tumultuous, were controlled and directed by a higher Power, who would in the best and fittest time provide for their safety. This word of Christ may now calm the agitated minds of his people in all times of public danger. See that ye be not troubled, is still his command; and we have the same reason to confide all our interests to his management, and to be assured that “it shall be well with the righteous.” “To be untroubled in troublous time” is the lofty and exclusive privilege of the true Christian.

All these things must come to pass, &c. — It is a part of that great process of judgment which I am about to execute. — But the end is not yet, the final blow will not be yet struck, the utter destruction of this guilty city will not for some time take place, notwithstanding these alarming commotions.

Verse 7

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

For nation shall rise up against nation, &c. — These seem chiefly to relate to the intestine strifes among the nations of Palestine, or the wars which took place between the tetrarchies, the partial conflicts between the Jews and Romans; including also the commotions by which the Roman empire was itself agitated. The later Jewish writers have here again imitated the words of our Lord, and applied them to the times of their vainly hoped-for future Messiah. “In the times of Messiah wars shall be stirred up in the world, nation shall rise against nation, and city against city.” — Sohar Kadash. R. Eliezer, the son of Abina, said, “When ye see kingdom rising against kingdom, then expect the immediate appearance of the Messiah.” R. Levi said, “In the times of the Messiah a pestilence will visit the world.” Other similar passages occur, quite in our Lord’s phraseology.

Famines. — One was foretold by Agabus, Acts 11:28, and which occurred during the reign of Claudius Cesar; a second also occurred in the time of the same emperor; beside others less general, and which affected particular places.

Pestilences. — These always follow famines.

Earthquakes in divers places. — Grotius has produced accounts of many earthquakes which occurred during this period in Asia, and the islands of the Ægean Sea; and Josephus mentions their occurrence in Judea. In almost all these places, where these fearful commotions of the earth occurred, Jews were found in great numbers; so likewise were there many Christians, who would be warned by them of the near approach of the fulfilment of the words of Christ, as recorded in this gospel of St. Matthew. St. Luke adds, “And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven;” of several of which portents Josephus has left a record, as a flaming sword in the air, a blazing star, a great light between the temple and altar, &c.

Verse 9

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Then shall they deliver you up, &c. — Although the followers of Christ were to be signally delivered from the calamities of the siege of Jerusalem, as it is afterward promised, yet during all these preparatory scenes of tumult and distress, they were to be exposed to persecution for Christ’s sake; the hatred of the Jews increasing against them just as their religion made progress in the world, and as they hastened to fill up their own desperate wickedness. These persecutions, as far as they were the work of the Jews, are specially mentioned by St. Luke 21:12. But our Lord, in the words, Ye shall be hated of all nations, comprehends also the persecutions of his followers among the Gentiles, (in which, however, the Jews were often the chief actors and instigators,) during the period which should elapse from the first promulgation of the Gospel beyond the bounds of Judea to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and indeed subsequently. From the commencement, these predictions of our Lord were fulfilled in his suffering Church and continued for ages. — Of this the Acts of the Apostles bears testimony, and then the painful record is pursued in ecclesiastical history. Thus our Lord promised no worldly inducement, and faithfully warned his hearers what it would cost them to be his disciples. Yet who could predict that not only the Jews, because of their prejudices, might reject his doctrine, and persecute his followers, but that other nations, too, who had no such prejudices, should oppose his holy and benevolent religion, and hate his followers, for his name’s sake, — so that to bear the very name of Christ was sufficient to expose them to shame, and death, — but he who “knew what was in man,” and whose prescient eye surveyed the future with the exactest knowledge.

Humanly speaking, the teachers of the Christian system had as fair a chance to be heard in the world and to collect disciples among the civilized states around them, in an age of great and very free religious inquiry, as the followers of the various philosophic schools, and the founders of innumerable sects. Even Judaism had been widely propagated, and numbers of proselytes made from the Gentiles in various parts, without being followed by persecution on that account; and neither the Jews, who openly despised idolatry, nor the Epicurean sects, who denied a God and a providence, were molested. But our Lord knew the hearts of men everywhere, and how they would be affected by a religion simple in its worship, humbling in its doctrines, terrible to sinners in its disclosures of a general judgment and future punishments, rigid in its moral discipline, and holding out to hope few beside spiritual blessings: he knew how the carnal mind, which is naturally enmity to God, would manifest itself when a religion of this character, and pressing upon it with the weight of this authority, should be everywhere introduced; and the event proved the infallibility of his knowledge, and the truth of his predictions.

Verse 10

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Many shall be offended, &c. — The difficulties and sufferings of the Christian life in these seasons of persecution would be as stumbling blocks to many, who would hasten out of so rough and dangerous a path; and such persons would be the first to betray others and deliver them up to their persecutors, and so discover the hate which apostates usually feel to the faithful. For, nobly as the early Christians, as a body, braved the storms which were excited against them — and truly it was then seen with what sublimity religion invests the human character, — there were among them false brethren, who either entirely shunned the cross, or fainted when it began to press heavily. Thus our Lord warns his apostles, not only of outward, but of internal treachery.

Verse 11

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

And many false prophets shall arise, &c. — Here also he warns them of what they, as the founders and chief pastors of Churches, would feel to be a bitterer trouble than either persecution or the treachery of those cowards who should desert their ranks; — the false doctrines and “damnable heresies” which should spring up in the Churches themselves. For, by prophets here we must understand teachers; and that these appeared in the Churches during the life of the apostles, and almost immediately after the reception of Christianity in various places, we learn from the Acts of the Apostles, and the epistles of St. Paul, Peter, Jude, and John. All these denounce the false teachers who had mingled Judaism, and pagan philosophy, and the dreams of an oriental imagination, with the pure evangelism which had been first taught them, and had seduced many disciples to follow their errors, and to practise their vices.

Verse 12

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

And because iniquity shall abound, &c. — To interpret iniquity ανομια , of those outrages and mock trials in which all justice was denied to Christians, so that through these discouragements and sufferings the love of many should grow cold, is but to make our Lord repeat the same sentiment as that contained in verse 10. The words appear rather to point out a new danger to which the Church would be exposed: not only would it be persecuted by enemies, betrayed by apostates, distracted by heresies but, through the abounding corruption of manners for which that age was remarkable, many Christians would fall into gross and licentious habits, and so dishonour their profession. Love to Christ is the only preservative from sin; and especially when all example strongly enforces it, and the public standard of morals is low. When man is not upheld by outward circumstances, he can only be sustained by some inward principle; and that which renders sin most abhorrent to the will, is “the love of God shed abroad” in the heart. But if by little and little, by unwatchfulness, and compliances with the example of others in smaller things, the vigour of that affection is suffered to decay, then the more powerful temptations prevail, and the Divine principle of love becomes extinct. For by growing cold we are not to understand the lukewarm state, but an entirely lapsed condition; the fire is not merely cooled, but gone out. For that, in this strongest sense, we must take the word ψυχω , appears from our Lord promising salvation in the next verse, only to those that should endure to the end; which sufficiently indicates that those whose love had grown cold had fallen into a state by which salvation was forfeited.

Verse 13

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

But he that shall endure to the end, &c. — Not to the end of these persecutions and troubles; for men may outlive their sufferings for Christ’s sake, and the grace too which carried them through the trial, and fall away in times of subsequent ease and prosperity. Much less are we to understand, with others, by being saved, being delivered from the calamities of the siege of Jerusalem: for these words like the preceding verses, refer to Christians throughout the world, and not merely to those in Jerusalem, or even Judea. The salvation, as the connection shows, is eternal salvation; and it is promised to them that endure. Here the word υπομενω , may be taken in the sense of remaining when others apostatize and depart; or in the sense of patiently sustaining all the afflictions, and conflicts, and temptations spoken of, to the end of life; for then only is our salvation secure and certain.

Verse 14

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

And this Gospel of the kingdom, &c. — This good news of the spiritual kingdom of Christ being established by his death and intercession, so that all men might become its subjects and receive its great immunities, shall be preached in all the world, εν ολη τη οικουμενη . This phrase sometimes signifies the Roman empire, which then embraced the greater portion of the civilized world. It is so used in Luke 2:1; and this is the sense here, although in some cases the Gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem was carried beyond this limit. We have, however, in these words, one of those portions of this series of prophecies which have a double reference; and the prediction in the text will be most literally accomplished before that end of time and of the mediatorial dispensation shall come, of which the end, as it is intended of God’s forbearance with the Jews, was a type. That cannot arrive until all flesh has seen the salvation of God, through the publication of Christianity.

For a witness unto all nations. — The term witness, μαρτυριον , appears to be used in a similar sense as in 1 Corinthians 2:1, where St. Paul calls the Gospel “the testimony of God.” It is that which witnesses and attests the love of God to the human race, and authoritatively makes the offer of salvation as from God to all who hear it.

Verse 15

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

When therefore ye see the abomination, &c. — Our Lord now proceeds to point out the signal at which his followers should provide for their own safety by flight, lest, being enclosed by the Roman armies, they should share in the common calamity. The abomination of desolation is several times mentioned in Daniel, to whose words our Lord refers, as to be then fulfilled. The Roman eagles which were carried as the standards of their legions, and were sacrificed to as divinities, and therefore as idols were called an abomination by the Jews, are here referred to. The Roman army also carried with it other idols, so that collectively it was “an abomination;” and of the desolation which it inflicted the Jews had frequent and severe experience. The holy place must here be taken in a large sense: for when the Roman standards were planted in the temple, the city was taken, and the possibility of flight cut off. But the city and its suburbs were considered as holy in consequence of the proximity of the temple; and it is remarkable that Jerusalem was invested by the Romans under Cestius Gallus, prefect of Syria, some time before the final siege was commenced, but that general withdrew his army, and thus afforded all who believed the words of Christ opportunity to escape. Early and uniform tradition states that the Christians universally fled, after the Roman standard had thus been seen in the holy place, and remembering these very words of our Lord, they retired beyond Jordan, and in other directions; so that, when Titus sat down before the city, there was not one Christian remaining in it. Thus they were saved by their faith.

Verse 17

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

The housetop. — The flat terrace which formed the roof, from which a person might descend by stairs, not into the street, but into the gateway, without going into the house. The exhortation presses haste, although it was not perhaps designed to be taken literally.

Verse 18

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Return back to take his clothes. — It was necessary for those employed in labour to lay aside their long, flowing, upper robes; which in this case being deposited in the house, or at some distance in the field, they are cautioned against going back to secure. This again is to be understood emphatically. — Fly without delay for your lives.

Verse 19

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

But wo to them that are with child, &c. — Pregnant women, and those who had children at the breast, would not be in a condition to escape, or must endure great miseries in attempting it. Of the sufferings of helpless females and children during the invasion of Judea, and the siege of Jerusalem, and the horrible famine there, frightful accounts are found in Josephus.

Verse 20

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

In the winter, &c. — Not in the winter, because of the difficulty of travelling, the want of food in the fields, and the inclemency of the weather: nor on the Sabbath day; not because it was unlawful to travel more than five furlongs on that day, a rule which, as it affected the Jewish Sabbath, Christians would not regard; but because the gates of cities were kept scrupulously closed on the Sabbath day. Thus we read in Nehemiah 13:19, “And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath.” Persons without burdens might indeed go in and out; but no beasts could pass, on which the fugitives might be taking their flight; nor could they take any burden of provision and necessaries for their journey, which circumstance would render the attempt in many cases hopeless. Those who believed Christ’s words would be the only persons to attempt to escape; but the Jews, infatuated with a persuasion of their safety, would in consequence uphold this law of their Sabbath in all its strictness. For these reasons, not that he by these words establishes the Jewish Sabbath, our Lord directs his disciples to pray that God would so order the matter that the necessity of escaping should not fall upon them either in the winter or on the Sabbath. And were the march of Roman armies, and the decisions of Roman councils, to be interfered with in answer to the prayers of a few poor Christians? Let philosophy scoff; but let faith adore: so it was. The first Roman army which surrounded Jerusalem retired; and when Vespasian succeeded to the command, various delays, arising out of the intestine troubles of the empire, occurred before the siege was finally undertaken; and not only was the opportunity afforded for flight, but the urgent moment fell neither upon the Sabbath, nor in the depth of winter.

Verse 21

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Such as was not from the beginning of the world, &c. — This is not a hyperbolical expression; for no one can read the narrative of the Jew Josephus, without acknowledging that this national calamity has no parallel. This narrative appears to have been written and preserved under a special providence, of which Josephus himself was unconscious, that future times, in the testimony of an eye witness, and he not a Christian, might have full and unsuspected proof of the exact accomplishment of the words of Christ. In this verse critics have not failed to remark the force of the triple negatives, ουδ’ ου μη γενηται , which we render more feebly, no, nor ever shall be. On surveying the calamities brought upon the Jews, Josephus exclaims, “If the misfortunes of all, from the beginning of the world, were compared with theirs, they would appear much inferior; no other city ever suffered such things, as no other generation from the beginning of the world was ever more fruitful in wickedness.

Verse 22

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. — The elect are the Christian Jews, who had fled to the mountains, where they must have perished but that the subjugation of Judea, and the termination of the war were hastened, partly by the valour of the Romans, and partly by the intestine divisions of the besieged, who might, if united, have held out longer. But both these were under the special direction of God. The numbers which perished in this terrible war are calculated, by Josephus, at upward of a million of people, during the siege of the capital alone; and the number sold into captivity, at more than one hundred thousand. After some time many of the more peaceable Jews were allowed again to settle in Judea; among whom we find the Christians who had been thus so signally preserved, by attending to the warning of their Lord.

Verse 23

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, &c. — The caution refers to the time preceding the siege, that which was occupied by it, and even to the period that followed; and the renewal of this warning against false Christs and false prophets, shows to how great a danger the Jewish disciples were exposed through their national prejudices: for all these pretenders addressed themselves to the passions, and before the destruction of Jerusalem, held out the delusive hopes of deliverance, under an assumed Divine commission; or afterward promised the restoration of the nation.

Verse 24

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Great signs and wonders. — What these were we have now no means of judging; whether deceptions, or the result, to a certain extent, of a permitted supernatural agency. From the detected character of popish “signs and wonders,” which bear so strong a resemblance to those of Jewish and pagan miracles, we may conclude it probable that they were imposture, and “lying wonders,” but artfully contrived by the more skilful to mislead the ignorant mass, prepared for delusion by that gross superstition and belief in magic which prevailed among them. Simon Magus bewitched the people of Samaria with his “sorceries;” and Josephus calls the false prophets who appeared at this time among the Jews μαγοι and γοντες , magicians and sorcerers, As to amulets, charms, sorceries and enchantments, the Jews of that age were notoriously credulous; and as incredulous as to the real miracles of our Lord and his apostles! The truth of these miracles obtains from this a stronger evidence, and the unbelief of the Jews a MORAL solution. By a credulous people they must have been admitted as demonstrative of the doctrines in confirmation of which they were wrought; but they hated the doctrine itself, and this passion overpowered every mental habit, and changed, as to those glorious evidences of pure and holy truth, the whole character of their minds. —

Nor is this case without parallel. The CREDULITY OF INFIDELITY in our own age has often been remarked; and it is exemplified in the readiness with which both those who entirely reject the holy Scriptures, and the critics who would explain away their supernatural character, admit the most absurd theories in opposition to them, and the deceived confidence with which they teach them to others.

If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. — The elect are the Christians as distinguished from the Jews; and the words express the powerful efforts to deceive made by the seducers, and the great difficulty in succeeding with Christians. This would arise from the abundant evidence they had of the truth of Christ’s mission; the witness in themselves, in their own moral experience, of the certainty and excellence of his religion; and from that elevation of the intellect, and that dominion over superstition, which Christianity truly received never fails to produce. Accordingly, we find that the body of Christians remained unmoved by the most plausible of these pretenders. — But those that should argue from the words, “if it were possible,” or more simply, if possible, ει δυνατον , that the seduction of the elect, that is, of even true Christians, is impossible, forget how solemnly our Lord warns them to “take heed” and to “watch” and “pray;” all which supposes danger, and that of no common kind. Nor does the phrase ει δυνατον express more than great difficulty. Thus, Acts 20:16, “He hasted, if it were possible for him, ει δυνατον αυτω , to be at Jerusalem the day of pentecost.” It was difficult, but clearly not impossible; he might or he might not. So also, in Romans 12:18, “If it be possible, ει δυνατον , live peaceably with all men:” where the matter is difficult indeed, but if impossible, the exhortation would have been superfluous.

Nor, when the circumstances of the Jewish Christians are considered, will it appear that they were out of the reach of this seduction. Like others, they felt the sting of Roman oppression, and the flame of patriotic feeling cannot be supposed to have burned less ardently in their minds than in those of the unbelieving part of the nation; and that various Jewish prejudices, as to the superiority of their nation, and the perpetuity of their institutions, so far as they were national, clung very closely to the early converts, we have sufficient evidence from the New Testament. Now, if these feelings were not strictly regulated, and these prejudices kept in subordination to great Christian principles, the judgment would naturally be darkened by the feelings, and their attachment to Christianity be shaken from the moment they began to regard it as anti-patriotic, and opposed to the national liberation from a foreign yoke, and its future hoped for civil glory. Here their danger lay, and this would expose them to the delusions of artful men. That few were led aside, proves that it was difficult, indeed, to deceive the very elect; but that none fell into this snare, is improbable. This, at least, we know, that they were in danger, or they would not have been so solemnly warned; and if they escaped, it was, as we must all escape evil of every kind, by “taking heed.” Behold, says Christ, I have told you before; so that if you fall you will be without excuse.

Verse 26

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

He is in the desert. — Several of the false Messiahs collected their deluded followers in the deserts or wilderness, probably not only for the sake of secrecy, but under some notion that the delivering Messiah would issue out of the desert for their redemption.

In the secret chambers. — Taking counsel with the heads of the people, and maturing his plans, so that all are to hold themselves in readiness to join him at the first signal. — Believe it not. We may also probably infer from these cautions, that some Christians even, still clinging to the idea that our Lord, as the true Messiah, would interpose by a manifestation of himself to save the state from utter ruin, might look for his visible appearance, although they rejected the false Messiahs; and might therefore listen to reports of his being in the desert, or in some secret place. A notion was certainly held by the Jews subsequently, that the Messiah lay hid in some obscure place as in an island of the sea, or the walks of the garden of Eden, with other similar absurdities; and some notion of this kind might be held under the influence of strong Jewish feelings by some of the weaker Christians respecting their Saviour. This affords an obvious reason why our Lord in the next verse describes the manner of his real coming, which would be publicly and suddenly, though not visibly, except by the effect, and not to save but to execute judgment.

Verse 27

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

For as the lightning, &c. — In the noble and illustrative comparison here used, his disciples were taught that he would not appear in the desert or in secret places, but,

1. In public majesty as Judge, to be known “by the judgment which he should execute:”

2. Suddenly, without whispering premonitory rumours, even as the lightning from heaven.

3. Through the length and breadth of the land by the sudden and general meeting of the Roman armies in march, from, the east even to the west, all hastening from the Mediterranean coasts on the east, toward Jerusalem on the west; which interpretation is confirmed and illustrated by what follows: For where the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. The carcass is Jerusalem; and the eagles are the Roman standards bearing the figures of this swift, powerful, and ravenous bird of prey. As eagles rush upon the dead carcass to tear and devour, so did the ravenous legions of Rome hasten as to their appointed prey, to the devoted city, dead to truth and godliness, and where the great body of the Jews was collected from all quarters. Those who prefer referring the particle γαρ to verse 26, as containing the reason for disregarding the rumours of the Messiah’s appearance, evidently mistake the connection, and break and injure the sense, by isolating verse 27. Our Lord’s fine allusion seems to be taken from Job 39:30: “Her young ones also suck up blood; and where the slain are, there is she.”

Verse 29

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, &c. — From this verse to the thirty-first, another instance occurs of prophecy with a double reference, as the elevation of the style itself intimates; for this coming of our Lord to judge the Jewish nation is described in the strongest and sublimest language of the Old Testament. In the prophetic style, the sun, moon, and stars represent states and their princes and nobles; and the darkening or eclipsing of them, their destruction. Of this numerous instances occur in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Thus, when the last mentioned prophet predicts the subversion of Egypt, he addresses Pharaoh “And when I put thee out, I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light, and all the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee,” Ezekiel 32:7-8. But the language of Christ rises above that of the prophets: not only are the sun and moon darkened, but the stars fall from heaven; and not the stars, the lesser, lights merely, but the powers of heaven, a phrase which includes all the celestial luminaries, “the greater and the lesser lights.” These shall be shaken from their very orbits; so that the destruction of all the orders and dignities of the Jewish state, represented by these luminaries, shall be irreparably and for ever cast down and destroyed. And so it has been, ever since that day which the Prophet Joel, speaking of the same event, calls “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” Jewish kings, princes, and heads of tribes; judges, nobles, priests, and rulers, have passed away, and entire “darkness” covers the heaven of that state which once glowed so richly with the “bright lights of the various orders of dignified and holy men.” Not fewer than twelve thousand of the Jewish nobility perished in the siege of Jerusalem.

Verse 30

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

And then shall appear the sign of the Son Of man. — As the former verse applies not only figuratively to the destruction of the Jewish state, but literally to the last day when the natural sun, moon, and stars of heaven shall be darkened, and heaven and earth shall pass away for ever; so this verse is to be understood in the same manner. The sign of the Son of man is that demonstration of the supernatural character of the judicial visitation of the Jews, that to the Christians it should be as sure a sign that it was Christ who was then inflicting his vengeance upon his enemies, as though there should be a visible personal appearance of him. Even Josephus, a Jew, acknowledged in these events the special displays of the more immediate agency of an angry God; and much more to Christians, taught by Christ to expect his coming in this manner, would they be the sign of his majesty to whom “all power in heaven and earth” had been committed, and thus prove a mighty confirmation of their faith. At the last day “the sign of the Son of man” will be his personal manifestation. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. — Αι φυλαι της γης , the tribes of the land or the earth, the word being used both in the restricted and the extended sense, and is to be taken here in either, as the words are considered as referring to the judgment of the Jews or to the judgment of the world.

The Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, &c. — This is the manner in which the Judge shall descend when time shall be no longer; in his own glory, and the glory of his Father, and the glory of the holy angels; and to this final and most glorious advent the words are, in the highest sense, to be referred. But they are also to be understood as immediately applicable to the event of which our Lord was speaking; for that our Lord is represented in Scripture as coming in this manner, in a figurative as well as literal sense, appears from Daniel 7:13, where he is said to come “with the clouds of heaven” to the Ancient of days in order to receive his mediatorial kingdom. The same image is also frequent in the prophets, when they speak of the Almighty coming to execute his judgments upon nations. “The Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt,” Isaiah 19:1. “The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet,” Nahum 1:3.

Verse 31

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

And he shall send his angels, &c. — Here the events of the last day seem to be exclusively referred to; and the more immediate application of the prophecy to be left behind; although, no doubt, as the destruction of the Jews is described by metaphors taken from the day of judgment, and is to be considered as an awful type of the perdition of sinful men in general, and especially of those who reject the Gospel; so the signal deliverance of the Christians from being shut up in Jerusalem, and perishing with its devoted inhabitants, was also a type of that separation which shall be made between the righteous and the wicked at the last day, and the deliverance from the terrors of the general judgment of all who believe in Christ. This shall be done by the ministry of the attendant angels; for they will come not only to give pomp to the scene, but to be actors in it: the separation of the good from the bad is expressly ascribed to the ministry of angels in the parable of the tares. Several of the commentators take the angels here to be the apostles; and the gathering together of the elect to be the collecting of the Gentiles into the Church of Christ, from the most distant nations. This, however, introduces a perfectly distinct and apparently an inapposite subject, and it unnecessarily violates the connection. The sound of a trumpet is introduced here with great effect, because the great assemblies of the Israelites were convoked by trumpets. Now the vast assembly of the good of all ages, the general assembly and Church of the first-born, is to be summoned even from the very grave itself; and they shall all be “caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall be for ever with the Lord.”

Verse 32

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Parable of the fig tree, &c. — Here the word parable is used in the sense of a simple comparison. The fig tree was well known in Judea; and as the putting forth of its leaves was a certain sign of summer, so the occurrence of the signs he had mentioned was to be the infallible indication that the full and final destruction of Jerusalem was close at hand, even at the doors. Our Lord adds this as the conclusion of this part of his discourse, because he had now given an answer to the question of his disciples, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” Verse 3.

Verse 34

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

This generation shall not pass away till all these things, &c. — By all these things, we are to understand all the calamities with which Christ had threatened the Jews; not his coming finally to judge the world, which was but a subject ingrafted upon the other, and not that which was in answer to the question of the disciples, just referred to. That he leaves this phrase to be interpreted by the scope and circumstances of the discourse, is evident from the preceding verse, where the same phrase, all these things, παντα ταυτα , must necessarily be restricted to preliminary and premonitory events, and not to the whole of those of which he had been speaking. There is no just place therefore for those laborious efforts at interpretation which the declaration of Christ,” This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled,” have called forth. The generations of men are clearly not intended, nor the race of the Jews, but the generation of men then living; all of whom should not die before the accomplishment of these prophecies as they respected the Jewish state, which occurred about forty years afterward. Many young persons would survive it; and of the apostles then present, at least John. No doubt also some few of the Pharisees themselves, who had been reproved by Christ, might see these events, although the names of those whom Lightfoot mentions rest upon no satisfactory evidence.

Verse 35

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Heaven and earth shall pass away, &c. — See note on Matthew 5:18.

Verse 36

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Not the angels of heaven, but the Father. — St. Mark adds, “Neither the Son;” and some early translators appear to have read this clause also in their copies of this Gospel. Those critics who would reject it as an interpolation certainly do not produce sufficient reason for its omission; and although at first sight it appears to create a difficulty, that will disappear upon a careful consideration. That the day spoken of must be understood of the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as of the day of judgment, — in other words, that the prophecy still runs on in twofold reference to both these events, — appears from our Lord exhorting his disciples, verse 42, to “watch,” because of the uncertainty in which they would be kept as to the arrival of the day and the hour of which he speaks. That men and angels too should be ignorant of the exact time both of the visitation of Jerusalem, and of the general judgment, must follow, if they had no revelation of it; for no creature is, in the proper sense, prescient. But that the Son, who had predicted even minute circumstances respecting the siege of the Judean metropolis, and the calamities to be brought upon the nation, should be unacquainted with the time of these occurrences, even if the distinction which had been made between Christ’s prophetic endowments by the Holy Spirit and his knowledge as God were admitted, is highly improbable. That as a man “he grew in wisdom” as well as stature, we know from inspired testimony; still, this took place previous to the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon him at his baptism, which communication of the Spirit was to him “without measure;” and accordingly, we find that his predictions bear the character, and are in proof, of a perfect prescience.

Of his knowledge of the exact time, the day and the hour, both of the final visitation of Judea, and also of that appointed day in which God will judge the world, there can therefore be no reasonable doubt; and hence we must seek for the explication of the text in that idiomatic use of the word TO KNOW, which the Hebrew so often furnishes, and which the evangelist would naturally follow, although he wrote in Greek. To know, in this place, appears to bear the sense of the Hebrew conjugation hiphil, and to signify, therefore, to make to know, that is, to declare or reveal. This is the solution adopted by several critics, and is not without example in the New Testament. The word is so used by St. Paul: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ;” &c., 1 Corinthians 2:2, where undoubtedly the apostle by TO KNOW, means TO MAKE KNOWN; for he is speaking, not of the kind of knowledge he determined to acquire, but of that which he resolved alone to communicate. The meaning will then be, that by none of the three means of communication by which God has been pleased to reveal his purposes, neither inspired men nor angels, nor even the Son himself, was the exact time of that visitation MADE KNOWN or revealed.

Christ had generally declared that the generation among whom he lived should not “pass away until all these things were fulfilled;” but a more particular revelation was withheld, and the time kept hidden with THE FATHER until he should make it known by the fact of its sudden occurrence. The Father is the great Fountain of authority, even to the Son; a point which our Lord often adverts to, and specially so when the Son is regarded officially as Mediator. In his prophetic office he makes known those counsels of the Father which he alone perfectly knows; but the wisdom of God has placed a limit upon the nature and extent of the revelations to be made to man. In this the moral benefit of creatures, and the circumstances of their probation are always kept in view; but of these, God alone can judge. The reserve expressed in the text is parallel to that in our Lord’s words after his resurrection; when the disciples inquired, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” and he answered, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.” And similar to this is the declaration of St. Paul: “Which in HIS OWN TIMES he shall show, who is the true and only Potentate, King of kings,” &c.

Verse 37

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

As it was in the days of Noe, &c. — These words doubtless refer to the calamities which were to befall the Jews, and they predict the careless and carnal security in which the day of their visitation would surprise them, How far this and the following verses describe the state of men in general previous to the day of judgment, is at least doubtful. The reference is to the twofold coming of Christ, which indeed runs through the prophecies, sometimes more emphatically relate to one than to the other; and, as remarked above, abrupt transitions from one to the other occur. Here the moral state of the Jews, as a nation, appears to be exclusively referred to, and a striking, but just parallel is exhibited between them and the antediluvians. Both were long warned by divinely commissioned men; both disbelieved God’s testimony; both abandoned themselves wholly to their worldly interests and pursuits, to their sensualities and other vices; and, in both cases, the long delayed, threatened judgment came upon them unawares, and the destruction became a standing monument to future ages of the righteous severity of God. The next verse indicates the criminal cause of the whole catastrophe in both cases, — and they knew not, ουκ εγνωσαν , they considered not, they laid not to heart the frequent warnings they had received, and the gracious offers which the mercy of God made to them, during that space for repentance which the long suffering of God afforded them.

Verses 41-42

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Two men shall be in the field. — These instances of separation relate to the singular deliverances which those who believed in Christ experienced in these calamities. This would appear the more remarkable when they occurred, as here mentioned, in the same family, men of the same household working in the field; and women of the same family employed in the domestic service of grinding corn. In respect to faith in Christ, houses were often divided, and Christians mingled with unbelievers; but, by these instances of deliverance, it was showed that “the Lord knoweth them that are his.” The word women is not in the Greek, but is properly supplied: the work of grinding was generally performed by the females of each house, — Hence, “to grind,” as well as to bake, &c., was, among the Jews, reckoned among the duties of a wife. The mill, μυλων , was a hand mill, into the upper stone of which two handles were fixed, and turned by two persons. Sometimes but one handle was used, which was thrown by one of the grinders to the other, and so back again.

Verse 42

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Watch ye therefore; for ye know not, &c. — It is the opinion of many of the commentators, that the preceding verse terminates our Lord’s discourse as to the destruction of the Jews, and that this verse introduces a distinct discourse which relates wholly to the last day. But what precedes cannot be throughout satisfactorily interpreted of one event only; and, as to what follows, the best view is, that it applies throughout more emphatically to the second personal advent of Christ, than to his more immediate invisible manifestation in judgment; and that the discourse continues to rise, until in the next chapter it terminates exclusively in the solemnities of the last day. This exhortation to watchfulness in particular, instead of commencing a new discourse, is obviously the great lesson which our Lord intended to enforce, by informing his disciples that their inquiry, “WHEN shall these things be?” could not be more particularly answered; “the day and the hour” was hidden from them, that they might live always in the Spirit of vigilance, and the exercise of holy duties.

Verse 43

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

If the good man of the house, &c. — The similitude is here familiar and striking. The coming of a thief upon a house, when the family are all asleep, fitly denoted the sudden and unexpected character of those calamities which were about to fall upon a nation lulled into the deep sleep of spiritual delusion, and even political infatuation; while the true disciple being forewarned, and continuing to watch, would, like the master of a house prepared to frustrate the attacks of a night robber, escape the danger. The exact meaning of our Lord’s words appears, however, generally to have escaped interpreters. The night, with the Jews, was divided into four watches; from six to nine, from nine to twelve, from twelve to three, and from three to six. “Now,” says our Lord, “if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched.” How, it may be asked, is it that the knowledge of the time of the attack is represented as a motive to watchfulness in this case; when our Lord’s great reason for watchfulness is drawn from the time of his coming being unknown, because purposely kept a secret? This apparent difficulty will be removed if we remark that our Lord does not say that the master of the house obtains information as to the hour in which the thief would come, but the WATCH, which was of three hours duration. This premonition represents the degree of information given by Christ, that “this generation” should not pass away before his predictions, as to the Jews, should be fulfilled. This was information as to the TIME, but it was not exact and particular; and therefore, as the night takes place within the period of the existing generation, sooner or later, it behooved them to be in readiness for it. Just as if the master of a family had received information that a thief would come in some particular watch, but the exact time not being mentioned, he would keep awake and upon his guard during the whole watch of three hours.

Hence the exhortation in the next verse, Be ye also ready; for in such an, hour as ye think not. the Son of man cometh. The readiness of a Christian for all national calamities, for all visitations of sudden affliction of any kind, for the hour of death, and for the day of judgment, may be summed up in the one great and all-important habit of watchfulness. For as this supposes suitable apprehensions of our spiritual dangers; steady attention to the warnings of our Lord; the habits of prayer and trust; the preference of spiritual and heavenly things to things present and earthly; and a state of moral preparation for every event, so that every interest of ours, in time and in eternity, is placed under the security of the love and faithfulness of our Saviour; it necessarily includes every thing that can make us READY for “the coming of the Son of man,” in whatever sense that phrase is understood. — That the apostles understood our Lord as referring, under the figure of the coming of a thief in the night, not only to the destruction of the metropolis of their country, but also to the sudden burst of the terror of the last day upon a careless world, may be inferred from the application of his words to the latter event. Thus, 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

Suffered his house to be broken up. — Literally the word signifies to be dug through; because the eastern houses are generally formed of dry clay, or bricks hardened in the sun but not burned: and it was the manner of house robbers to enter them by perforating the walls. “In the dark,” says Job, “they dig through houses, which they have marked in the day time.” The law of Moses, Exodus 22:2, gave power to those within the house to kill such thieves with impunity: “If a thief be found breaking or digging through, and be smitten till he die, there shall no blood be shed for him;” that is, the case shall be deemed one of justifiable homicide.

Verse 45

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Who then is a faithful and wise servant? &c. — This parable refers to ministers; and was at once designed by Christ to instruct his disciples who were about to be raised to that office, and to reprove the scribes and doctors of the law who pretended to it. Such public teachers of his religion are compared to stewards, persons set over a household, or large family of servants, and whose business it was to direct their labours, and to give to them their portion of provisions monthly; here called, in due season. Who then, says our Lord, is that servant? Τις αρα εστι ; Chrysostom thinks that the τις expresses how rare and valuable such servants are: but it is probably used in the sense of WHOEVER, and answers to the corresponding words, “Blessed is that servant,” &c. Whoever he may be, he is truly and eminently happy, he is the object of God’s special favour, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. The office and duties of a true minister are by this parable forcibly pointed out, It is of Divine appointment, not of human assumption; it conveys the power to rule in the family, but as a servant, responsible to the great common Master: the object of this rule is to promote the service of the Lord in all the duties which may be assigned to each; and in order to this, the food, the wholesome doctrine of Christ by which alone strength for holy labours is imparted, must be administered fully, as out of the abundance which the Master has provided; STATEDLY, according to the rules of the house; and in DUE SEASON, that there may be nothing deficient in the administration either as to kind, or the circumstances of the servants.

Verse 47

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

Ruler over all his goods, &c. — He shall be promoted to a higher honour, who is faithful in the inferior ministrations at first assigned him. His gifts shall be multiplied, his usefulness and influence enlarged, and his reward in eternity shall be heightened.

Verse 48

Watson - Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark

My Lord delayeth his coming, &c. — And from this delay doubts whether he will come at all, nourishing a secret infidelity as to the fact of his being a severe judge of unfaithful servants, or at least grows presumptuous upon the long suffering and patience exercised; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, acting the part of a tyrant instead of a mild and faithful director; and to eat and drink with the drunken, giving himself up, not only to pride and violent tempers, but to sensuality and indulgence, ease and luxury: the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looked not for him, &c., and the surprise shall be followed by the highest degree of punishment; for to be cut asunder, or sawn asunder, or cut in pieces, was one of the terrible modes of capital punishment among the Jews, as we learn from Hebrews 11:37, “they were sawn asunder;” which death, Jewish tradition says, Isaiah suffered from Manasseh. The Targum also on Esther 9:14, reads, “Whosoever does not wish prosperity to Mordecai shall be cut in pieces, and his house shall be made a dunghill.” So Samuel “hewed Agag in pieces, before the Lord? This punishment is transferred from corporal torment to the terrible inflictions of God’s wrath upon unfaithful servants in another world. Some, however, take διχοτομεω , in the sense of severe scourging, in which sense the Greek τεμνειν , and the Latin discindere, are sometimes used.

Others use the word in the sense of discarding or depriving of office, or cutting off from the family. Beza renders, separabit eum. Still the weight of the punishment belongs to the eternal state, as is sufficiently denoted by what follows: and appoint him his portion with hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. St. Luke adds to hypocrites, “unbelievers;” both terms were probably used by our Lord, and with great force, inasmuch as such unfaithful ministers have usually presumed much upon the sanctity of their profession as affording them the hope of the Divine favour; whereas our Lord intimates that that very profession unworthily supported would only be charged upon them as a mask of hypocrisy, and their pretended zeal for faith would not prevent them from being ranked with unbelievers, only with an aggravated punishment. In this highly admonitory parable, Christ looks beyond his immediate disciples, whom he was about fully to constitute apostles and evangelists, and to send forth “into all the world,” to gather Churches and to rule and feed them in his name, as his “stewards,” to the Christian ministry as he knew it would exist and be abused in future ages. The character of pride, tyranny, sensuality, luxury, and infidelity, which are here so forcibly drawn in few words, have been written broadly and legibly upon the priesthood of all fallen Churches; and the threatened punishment is so tremendous that it will make even the faithful minister tremble lest he should fall by unwatchfulness into the same condemnation.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Matthew 24". "Watson's Exposition on Matthew, Mark, Luke & Romans". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwc/matthew-24.html.
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