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Matthew 24:21

    Matthew 24:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Because in those days there will be great sorrow, such as there has not been from the start of the world till now, or ever will be.

    Webster's Revision

    for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.

    World English Bible

    for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 24:21

    For then shall be great tribulation - No history can furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews: - rapine, murder, famine, and pestilence within: fire and sword, and all the horrors of war, without. Our Lord wept at the foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for any humane person to read the relation of them in Josephus without weeping also. St. Luke, Luke 21:22, calls these the days of vengeance, that all things which were written might be fulfilled.

    1. These were the days in which all the calamities predicted by Moses, Joel, Daniel, and other prophets, as well as those predicted by our Savior, met in one common center, and were fulfilled in the most terrible manner on that generation.

    2. These were the days of vengeance in another sense, as if God's judgments had certain periods and revolutions; for it is remarkable that the temple was burned by the Romans in the same month, and on the same day of the month, on which it had been burned by the Babylonians. See Josephus, War, b. vi. c. 4.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 24:21

    There shall be great tribulation - The word "tribulation" means calamity or "suffering." Luke Luk 21:24 has specified in what this tribulation would consist: "They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled." That is, until the time allotted for the Gentiles "to do it" shall be fully accomplished, or as long as God is pleased to suffer them to do it.

    The first thing mentioned by Luke is, that they should fall "by the edge of the sword" - that is, would be slain in war, as the sword was then principally used in war. This was most strikingly fulfilled. Josephus, in describing it, uses almost the very words of our Saviour. "All the calamities, says he, which had befallen any nation from the beginning of the world" were but small in comparison with those of the Jews. - Jewish Wars, b. i. preface, section 4.

    He has given the following account of one part of the massacre when the city was taken: "And now, rushing into the city, they slew whomsoever they found, without distinction, and burned the houses and all the people who had fled into them; and when they entered for the sake of plunder, they found whole families of dead persons, and houses full of carcasses destroyed by famine, then they came out with their hands empty. And though they thus pitied the dead, they had not the same emotion for the living, but killed all they met, whereby they filled the lanes with dead bodies. "The whole city ran with blood," insomuch that many things which were burning were extinguished by the blood." - "Jewish Wars," b. 6 chapter 8, section 5; chapter 9, section 2, 3. He adds that in the siege of Jerusalem not fewer than "eleven hundred thousand" perished (Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 9, section 3) - a number almost half as great as are in the whole city of London. In the adjacent provinces no fewer than "two hundred and fifty thousand" are reckoned to have been slain; making in all whose deaths were ascertained the almost incredible number of "one million three hundred and fifty thousand" who were put to death.

    These were not, indeed, all slain with the sword. Many were crucified. "Many hundreds," says Josephus ("Jewish Wars," b. v. chapter 11, section 1), "were first whipped, then tormented with various kinds of tortures, and finally crucified; the Roman soldiers nailing them (out of the wrath and hatred they bore to the Jews), one after one way and another after another, to crosses, "by way of jest," until at length the multitude became so great that room was lacking for crosses, and crosses for the bodies." So terribly was their imprecation fulfilled - "his blood be on us and on our children," Matthew 27:25. If it be asked how it was possible for so many people to be slain in a single city, it is to be remembered that the siege of Jerusalem commenced during the time of the Passover, when all the males of the Jews were required to be there, and when it is estimated that more than "three million" were usually assembled. See Josephus, Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 9, section 3, 4.

    A horrible instance of the distress of Jerusalem is related by Josephus. The famine during the siege became so great that they ate what the most sordid animals refused to touch. A woman of distinguished rank, having been plundered by the soldiers, in hunger, rage, and despair, killed and roasted her own babe, and had eaten one half of it before the deed was discovered. - Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 3, section 3, 4. This cruel and dreadful act was also in fulfillment of prophecy, Deuteronomy 28:53, Deuteronomy 28:56-57.

    Another thing added by Luke Luk 21:24, was, that "they should be led away captive into all nations." Josephus informs us that the captives taken during the whole war amounted to "ninety-seven thousand." The tall and handsome young men Titus reserved for triumph; of the rest, many were distributed through the Roman provinces to be destroyed by wild beasts in theaters; many were sent to the works in Egypt; many, especially those under seventeen years of age, were sold for slaves. - Jewish Wars, b. vi. chapter 9, section 2, 3.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 24:21

    24:21 Then shall be great tribulation - Have not many things spoken in the chapter , as well as in Mark 13:14 and c., Luke 21:21 and c. a farther and much more extensive meaning than has been yet fulfilled?