Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 21:23

Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jerusalem;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   War;   Watchfulness;   Scofield Reference Index - Times of the Gentiles;   The Topic Concordance - Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   End of the World;   Israel/jews;   Jerusalem;   Kingdom of God;   Redemption;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jerusalem;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jerusalem;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - War, Holy War;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Captivity;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Kingdom of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Coming Again;   Discourse;   Lord's Supper. (I.);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Presentation ;   Woe;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Judah, the Kingdom of;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - parousia;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath upon this people.

As Ash observed:

(These) touches depict the horror of a nation scattered by God's wrath (Deuteronomy 28:64). The siege would work particular hardship upon pregnant women and those with babies still nursing.[23]

There is no way to entertain any reasonable doubt either: (1) that Jesus uttered this prophecy, or (2) that it came to pass as he said. Here indeed was the Prophet like unto Moses.

ENDNOTE:

[23] Anthony Lee Ash, The Gospel according to Luke (Austin, Texas: Sweet Publishing Company, 1973), Luke, II, p. 115.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But woe unto them that are with-child,.... See Gill on Matthew 24:19.

For there shall be great distress in the land; of Judea. The Greek word αναγκη, here used, properly signifies "necessity", but here intends afflictions and distress; in which sense it is often used by the Septuagint, as in Psalm 107:6 and it is also by the Targumists adopted into their language, and used in the same senseF4Vid. Targum in Gen xxii. 14. & xxxviii. 25. & Targum Sheni in Esth. v. 1. : and indeed, the distress was very great, and such a time of tribulation, as was never known since the beginning of the world, nor never will be the like; what with the enemy without, and their seditions and divisions within, the robberies, murders, and famine, which prevailed and abounded, their miseries are not to be expressed:

and wrath upon this people; of the Jews; even the wrath of God, as well as of man, which came upon them to the uttermost; and their own historian observes, that God, who had condemned the people, turned every way of salvation to their destructionF5Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 15. .

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and e wrath upon this people.

(e) By "wrath" are meant those things which God sends when he is displeased.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

woe unto — “alas for.”

with child, etc. — from the greater suffering it would involve; as also “flight in winter, and on the sabbath,” which they were to “pray” against (Matthew 24:20), the one as more trying to the body, the other to the soul. “For then shall be tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be” - language not unusual in the Old Testament for tremendous calamities, though of this it may perhaps be literally said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect‘s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21, Matthew 24:22). But for this merciful “shortening,” brought about by a remarkable concurrence of causes, the whole nation would have perished, in which there yet remained a remnant to be afterwards gathered out. Here in Matthew and Mark (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22) are some particulars about “false Christs,” who should, “if possible” - a precious clause - “deceive the very elect.” (Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Revelation 13:13.)

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-21.html. 1871-8.

Vincent's Word Studies

Distress ( ἀνάγκη )

Originally constraint, necessity; thence force or violence, and in the classical poets, distress, anguish.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days1! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people2.

  1. Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! See .

  2. For there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people. The city of Jerusalem was divinely sentenced to punishment for her sins.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Ver. 23. See Matthew 24:15-17.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-21.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23.] ἐπὶ τ. γ., general; τῷ λ. τούτῳ, particular. The distress on all the earth is not so distinctly the result of the divine anger, as that which shall befall this nation.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-21.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 21:23. ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, on the earth [but Engl. Vers. in the land]) even outside of Judea. The same phrase occurs in Luke 21:25; but with greater force, Luke 21:35.(225) [The omission of the particle ἐν is favoured as well by the margin of both Editions, as also by the Germ. Vers.—E. B.(226)]— ἐν τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ, in the case of [‘upon’] this people) who have despised so great grace vouchsafed from heaven. [The introduction of the appellation ‘Israel’ is avoided in this case.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 23,24. Josephus tells us, that in the wars which ended in the taking of Jerusalem, by the famine and the sword there perished one million one hundred thousand Jews, and ninety seven thousand were carried into captivity. Jerusalem ever since that time hath been

trodden down by the Gentiles, the Romans, Saracens, Franks, and is at this day trodden of the Turks.

Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Some from this text think, that there shall be a time when the Jews shall repossess the city of Jerusalem. Whether any such thing can be from hence gathered, I doubt. Some here by the times of the Gentiles understand all that time between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. Others, the time when the gospel should be carried over all the world. But their opinion seemeth to me most probable, who interpret it of the time of God’s patience with the Gentiles. As the Jews have filled up their measure, and now the wrath of God is come upon them to the uttermost, so the Gentiles shall have their time also. The Romans have had their time, the Turks now have their time; but their glass is also running out, there will be a fulfilling of their time too, and whether then another sort of barbarians shall possess it, or the Jews or Christians shall recover it, time must interpret.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 21:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-21.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

беременным... питающим сосцами См. пояснение к Мк. 13:17.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-21.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Woe to those who are with child and to those who are breast-feeding in those days! For there will be great distress on the land, and wrath to this people.”

The awfulness of the days that are coming on the land and on Jerusalem are emphasised in terms of the weakest and most vulnerable, those who are pregnant or breast-feeding. And yet in this very application (for the old and blind and lame are not mentioned) there is also stress on the effect it will have on the growth of the seed of these people. Even the most innocent will be affected. Many will be still born or will die in infancy because of what is coming.

We note that Luke omits the suggestion that they pray that their flight might not be in the winter. That suggestion (which did not say that it would be in the winter, only that they should pray that it was not) was in order to compound the horror. If it was not in the winter that would be at least one mercy. Instead he emphasises the distress in another way. Jesus’ full speech, which would include both, must have been even more terrifying.

‘Wrath.’ This is not a normal Lucan concept and confirms that he is giving us words that have been passed on to him. But it is not an idea from which he withdraws (see also Luke 3:7). The idea is of impending doom because of the nature of God in response to sin (compare Mark 3:5; John 3:36; John 10 times in Romans 9 times elsewhere in Paul’s letters; twice in Hebrews; twice in James and six times in Revelation). It is the inevitable consequence of sin (Romans 1:18).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-21.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 21:23. Upon the land, or ‘earth.’ This may be general, but as the direct reference is to the war under Titus, it more probably means: the land of Judea. If the wider sense be adopted, the particular distress (Divine retribution) is brought out in the clause: wrath unto this people.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-21.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 21:23. , etc.: as in parallels as far as ; then follow words peculiar to Lk. concerning the and . The use of the former word in the sense of distress is mainly Hellenistic; here and in St. Paul’s epistles. The latter word expresses the same idea as that in 1 Thessalonians 2:16.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-21.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

in = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

land. Greek. ge. App-129.

wrath. See 1 Thessalonians 2:16.

upon = among. Greek. en. App-104. But all the texts read "to".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-21.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) Great distress in the land.—Literally, great need, or necessity. The word, which St. Luke uses as an equivalent for “tribulation,” is not found in the other Gospels in this sense. It is, however, so used by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 7:26; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:7).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
woe
23:29; Deuteronomy 28:56,57; Lamentations 4:10; Hebrews 9:12-17; 13:16; Matthew 24:19; Mark 13:17
great
19:27,43; Matthew 21:41,44; 1 Thessalonians 2:16; Hebrews 10:26-31; James 5:1; 1 Peter 4:17
Reciprocal: Numbers 33:56 - GeneralDeuteronomy 28:50 - shall not;  Deuteronomy 29:28 - rooted them;  Psalm 40:15 - desolate;  Proverbs 1:27 - distress;  Jeremiah 16:2 - GeneralJeremiah 29:17 - Behold;  Lamentations 1:12 - if;  Daniel 12:1 - there shall;  Hosea 9:14 - what;  Zephaniah 1:15 - is;  Zechariah 11:1 - that;  1 Corinthians 7:26 - that

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 21:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-21.html.