21:9 And when you hear of wars and rebellions, 1 do not be afraid. 2 For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once.” 3
21:10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up in arms 4 against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and famines 5 and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights 6 and great signs 7 from heaven.
21:25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, 8 and on the earth nations will be in distress, 9 anxious 10 over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. 21:26 People will be fainting from fear 11 and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 12 21:27 Then 13 they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud 14 with power and great glory. 21:28 But when these things 15 begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption 16 is drawing near.”
21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 17
1 tn Social and political chaos also precedes the end. This term refers to revolutions (L&N 39.34).
3 sn The end will not come at once. This remark about timing not only indicates that there will be events before the end, but that some time will also pass before it comes.
4 tn For the translation “rise up in arms” see L&N 55.2.
6 tn This term, φόβητρον (fobhtron), occurs only here in the NT. It could refer to an object, event, or condition that causes fear, but in the context it is linked with great signs from heaven, so the translation “sights” was preferred.
8 sn Signs in the sun and moon and stars are cosmic signs that turn our attention to the end and the Son of Man’s return for the righteous. OT imagery is present: See Isa 13:9-10; 24:18-20; 34:4; Ezek 32:7-8; Joel 2:1, 30-31; 3:15.
9 tn Grk “distress of nations.”
10 tn Or “in consternation” (L&N 32.9).
11 tn According to L&N 23.184 this could be mainly a psychological experience rather than actual loss of consciousness. It could also refer to complete discouragement because of fear, leading people to give up hope (L&N 25.293).
12 sn An allusion to Isa 34:4. The heavens were seen as the abode of heavenly forces, so their shaking indicates distress in the spiritual realm. Although some take the powers as a reference to bodies in the heavens (like stars and planets, “the heavenly bodies,” NIV) this is not as likely.
13 tn Grk “And then” (καὶ τότε, kai tote). Here καί has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
15 sn These things are all the events of vv. 8-27. Disciples represent the righteous here. The events surrounding the fall of the nation are a down payment on a fuller judgment to come on all humanity. The presence of one guarantees the other.
16 sn With Jesus’ return comes the manifestation of judgment and final salvation (redemption).