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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Matthew 24



Other Authors
Verse 1

Went out and departed from the temple ( ἐξελθὼν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο )

Rev., better: Went out from the temple and was going on his way. The temple, ἱεροῦ , not ναοῦ : the whole of the buildings connected with the temple, all of which, including the ναός , or sanctuary, and the porches and courts, constituted the ἱερόν . See on Matthew 4:5.

Verse 3

Coming ( παρουσίας )

Originally, presence, from παρεῖναι , to be present. In this sense in Philemon 2:12; 2 Corinthians 10:10. Also arrival, as in 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Peter 3:12. Of the second coming of Christ: James 5:8; 1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

Of the world ( αἰῶνος )

Rather the existing, current age. They do not ask the signs of the Messiah's coming at the end of all time, to judge the world.

Verse 4

Deceive ( πλανήσῃ )

Lit., lead astray, as Rev.

Verse 5

In my name ( ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου )

Lit., on my name, i.e., on the strength of; resting their claims on the name Messiah.

Verse 12

Shall abound ( πληθυνθῆναι )

Lit., shall be multiplied. See Acts 6:1, Acts 6:7; Acts 7:17; Acts 9:31; Hebrews 6:14.

Of many ( τῶν πολλῶν )

The A. V. in omitting the definite article, misses the force of Christ's saying. It is not the love of many people only that shall be chilled, but of the many, the majority, the great body.

Wax cold ( ψυγήσεται )

The verb means originally to breathe or blow; and the picture is that of spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind.

Verse 14

World ( τῇ οἰκουμένη )

Lit., the inhabited. The whole habitable globe. Rev., in margin, inhabited earth.

Verse 15

Abomination of desolation ( βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως )

The cognate verb, βδελύσσομαι , means to feel a nausea or loathing for food: hence used of disgust generally. In a moral sense it denotes an object of moral or religious repugnance. See 2 Chronicles 15:8; Jeremiah 13:27; Ezekiel 11:21; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31. It is used as equivalent to idol in 1 Kings 11:17; Deuteronomy 7:26; 2 Kings 23:13. It denotes anything in which estrangement from God manifests itself; as the eating of unclean beasts, Leviticus 11:11; Deuteronomy 14:3; and, generally, all forms of heathenism. This moral sense must be emphasized in the New Testament use of the word. Compare Luke 16:15; Revelation 17:4, Revelation 17:5; Revelation 21:27. It does not denote mere physical or aesthetic disgust. The reference here is probably to the occupation of the temple precincts by the idolatrous Romans under Titus, with their standards and ensigns. Josephus says that, after the burning of the temple the Romans brought their ensigns and set them over against the eastern gate, and there they offered sacrifices to them, and declared Titus, with acclamations, to be emperor.

Verse 17

Him which is on the house-top ( ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος )

From roof to roof there might be a regular communication, called by the Rabbis “the road of the roofs.” Thus a person could make his escape passing from roof to roof, till, at the last house, he would descend the stairs on the outside of the house, but within the exterior court. The urgency of the flight is enhanced by the fact that the stairs lead into this court. “Though you must pass by the very door of your room, do not enter to take anything out. Escape for your life.”

Verse 22

Should be shortened ( ἐκολοβώθησαν )

Rev., had been shortened. A very picturesque word. The verb is, literally, to dock, to cut off, leaving a stump, as a limb. Wyc., abridged. As a fact, various causes did combine to shorten the siege. Herod Agrippa was stopped in his work of strengthening the walls by orders from the emperor; the Jews, absorbed in their party strifes, had totally neglected preparations to stand a siege; the magazines of corn and provisions were burnt before the arrival of Titus. Titus arrived suddenly, and the Jews voluntarily abandoned parts of the fortification. Titus himself confessed that God was against the Jews, since otherwise neither his armies nor his engines would have availed against their defences.

Verse 24

Signs and wonders ( σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα )

See on Matthew 11:20. The two words often joined in the New Testament. See John 4:48; Acts 2:22; Acts 4:30; 2 Corinthians 12:12. The words do not denote different classes of supernatural manifestations, but these manifestations regarded from different points of view. The same miracle may be a mighty work, or a glorious work, regarded with reference to its power and grandeur; or a sign of the doer's supernatural power; or a wonder, as it appeals to the spectator. Τέρας , (derivation uncertain) is a miracle regarded as a portent or prodigy, awakening amazement. It most nearly corresponds, therefore, to the etymological sense of the word miracle (Lat., miraculum, a wonderful thing, from mirari, to wonder )i1.

Verse 26

In the desert - Secret chambers

Rev., wilderness - inner chambers. Both retired places, indicating that the false Messiahs will avoid public scrutiny.

Verse 27

Shineth ( φαίνεται )

Rev., better, is seen. The coming of the Lord will be a plain, unmistakable fact, like the lightning which lightens both ends of the heaven at once, and is seen of all. It will not be connected with some particular place, but will manifest itself and be recognized over the whole world. Compare Revelation 1:7: “Every eye shall see him.”

Verse 28

Carcase ( πτῶμα )

From πίπτω , to fall. Originallya fall, and thence a fallen body; acorpse. Compare Lat. cadaver, from cado, to fall. See Mark 6:29; Revelation 11:8. On the saying itself, compare Job 39:30.

Eagles ( ἀετιό )

Rev. puts vultures in margin. The griffon vulture is meant, which surpasses the eagle in size and power. Aristotle notes how this bird scents its prey from afar, and congregates in the wake of an army. In the Russian war vast numbers were collected in the Crimea, and remained until the end of the campaign in the neighborhood of the camp, although previously scarcely known in the country.

Verse 30

Mourn ( κόψονται ).

Stronger: beat their breasts in anguish

Verse 31

With a great sound of a trumpet ( μετὰ σάλπυγγος φωνῆς μεγάλης )

Some read with a great trumpet. The blowing of trumpets was anciently the signal for the host of Israel on their march through the desert. It summoned to war, and proclaimed public festivals, and marked the beginnings of months; Numbers 10:1-10; Psalm 81:3. Hence the symbolism of the New Testament. Jehovah's people shall be summoned before their king by sound of trumpet. Compare the proclamation of Christ as king at the trumpet of the seventh angel, Revelation 11:15.

Verse 32

A parable ( τὴς παραβολήν )

More strictly, the parable which she has to teach. Rightly, therefore, Rev., her parable.

Branch ( κλάδος )

From κλάω , to break. Hence a young slip or shoot, such as is broken off for grafting. Such were the “branches” which were cut down and strewed in the Lord's path by the multitudes (Matthew 21:8).

Verse 40

Shall be taken - left

Both verbs are in the present tense, which makes the saying more lively. One is taken and one is left. So Rev.

Verse 41

The mill ( τῷ μύλῳ )

The ordinary hand-mill with a handle fixed near the edge of the upper stone, which is turned by two women.

Verse 42

What hour

Later texts, however, read ἡμέρᾳ , a, day. ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ , in what kind of a day, whether near or a remote one. Similarly Matthew 24:43: ἐν ποίᾳ φυλακῇ , in what kind of a watch, whether a night or a morning watch.

Verse 43

Would come ( ἔπχεται )

Rev., was coming. But the present is graphically thrown in as in vv, Matthew 24:40, Matthew 24:41: is coming or cometh.

Broken up ( διορυγῆναι )

Rev., broken through. See on Matthew 6:19. Wyc., undermined.

Verse 45

In due season ( ἐν ακιρῷ )

At the regular hours which his Lord observes when at home; and not delaying because he thinks that his Lord delayeth his coming (Matthew 24:48), but doing his duty in its appointed time.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 24:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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