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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MATTHEW 24

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    CHAPTER XXIV

    1. Went out and departed from the temple (exelqwn apo tou ierou eporeueto). Rev., better: Went out from the temple and was going on his way. The temple, iJerou, not naou: the whole of the buildings connected with the temple, all of which, including the naov, or sanctuary, and the porches and courts, constituted the iJeron. See on Matt. iv. 5.

    3. Coming (parousiav). Originally, presence, from pareinai, to be present. In this sense Philip. ii. 12; 2 Cor. x. 10. Also arrival, as in 1 Cor. xvi. 17; 2 Cor. vii. 6, 7; 2 Thess. ii. 9; 2 Peter iii. 12. Of the second coming of Christ: Jas. v. 8; 1 John ii. 28; 2 Peter iii. 4; 1 Thess. iv. 15.

    Of the world (aiwnov). 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.

    4. Deceive (planhsh). Lit., lead astray, as Rev. 5. In my name (epi tw onomati mou). Lit., on my name, i.e., on the strength of; resting their claims on the name Messiah.

    12. Shall abound (plhqunqhnai). Lit., shall be multiplied. See Acts vi. 1, 7; vii. 17; ix. 31; Heb. vi. 14.

    Of many (twn pollwn). 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 (yughsetai). 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.

    14. World (th oikoumenh). Lit., the inhabited. The whole inhabitable globe. Rev., in margin, inhabited earth.

    15. Abomination of desolation (bdelugma thv erhmwsewv). The cognate verb, bdelussomai, 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 Chron. xv. 8; Jer. xiii. 27; Ezek. xi. 21; Dan. ix. 27; xi. 31. It is used as equivalent to idol in 1 Kings xi. 17; Deut. vii. 26; 2 Kings xxiii. 13. It denotes anything in which estrangement from God manifests itself; as the eating of unclean beasts, Lev. xi. 11; Deut. xiv. 3; and, generally, all forms of heathenism. This moral sense must be emphasized in the New Testament used of the word. Compare Luke xvi. 15; Apoc. xvii. 4, 5; xxi. 27. It does not denote mere physical or aesthethic 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.

    17. Him which is on the house-top (o epi tou dwmatov). 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."

    22. Should be shortened (ekolobwqhsan). 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.

    24. Signs and wonders (shmeia kai terata). See on Matt. xi. 20. The two words often joined in the New Testament. See John iv. 48; Acts ii. 22; iv. 30; 2 Cor. xii. 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. Terav (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).

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

    27. Shineth (fainetai). 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 Apoc. i. 7: "Every eye shall see him."

    28. Carcase (ptwma). From piptw, to fall. Originally a fall, and thence a fallen body; a corpse. Compare Lat. cadaver, from cado, to fall. See Mark vi. 29; Apoc. xi. 8. On the saying itself, compare Job xxxix. 30.

    Eagles (aetoi). 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 know in the country.

    30. Mourn (koyontai). Stronger: beat their breasts in anguish.

    31. With a great sound of a trumpet (meta salpiggov fwnhv megalhv). 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. I summoned to war, and proclaimed public festivals, and marked the beginnings of months; Num. x. 1-10; Ps. lxxxi. 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, Apoc. xi. 15.

    32. A parable (thn parabolhn). More strictly, the parable which she has to teach. Rightly, therefore, Rev., her parable.

    Branch (kladov). From klaw, 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 xxi. 8).

    40. Shall be taken-left. Both verbs are in the present tense, which makes the saying more lively. One is taken and one if left. So Rev. 41. The mill (tw mulw). The ordinary hand-mill with a handle fixed near the edge of the upper stone, which is turned by two women.

    42. What hour. Later texts, however, read hJmera, day. poia hJmera, in what kind of day, whether a near or a remote one. Similarly ver. xliii. ejn poia fulakh, in what kind of a watch, whether a night or a morning watch.

    43. Would come (ercetai). Rev., was coming. But the present is graphically thrown in as in vv. 40, xli. is coming or cometh.

    Broken up (diorughnai). Rev., broken through. See on Matt. vi. 19. Wyc., undermined.

    45. In due season (ev kairw). At the regular hours which his Lord observes when at home; and not delaying because he thinks that his Lord delayeth his coming (ver. 48), but doing his duty in its appointed time.

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