24:36 “But as for that day and hour no one knows it – not even the angels in heaven 1 – except the Father alone. 24:37 For just like the days of Noah 2 were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 24:38 For in those days before the flood, people 3 were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 24:39 And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. 4 It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. 5 24:40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left. 6 24:41 There will be two women grinding grain with a mill; 7 one will be taken and one left.
24:42 “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day 8 your Lord will come. 24:43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief 9 was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 10
1 tc ‡ Some important witnesses, including early Alexandrian and Western
2 sn Like the days of Noah, the time of the flood in Gen 6:5-8:22, the judgment will come as a surprise as people live their day to day lives.
3 tn Grk “they,” but in an indefinite sense, “people.”
4 sn Like the flood that came and took them all away, the coming judgment associated with the Son of Man will condemn many.
5 tn Grk “So also will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
6 sn There is debate among commentators and scholars over the phrase one will be taken and one left about whether one is taken for judgment or for salvation. If the imagery is patterned after the rescue of Noah from the flood, as some suggest, the ones taken are the saved (as Noah was) andthose left behind are judged. The imagery, however, is not directly tied to theidentification of the two groups. Its primary purposein context is topicture the sudden, surprisingseparation of the righteous and the judged (i.e., condemned) at the return of the Son of Man.
7 tn According to L&N 46.16, this refers to a hand mill normally operated by two women.
8 tc Most later
9 sn On Jesus pictured as a returning thief, see 1 Thess 5:2, 4; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15.
10 sn Jesus made clear that his coming could not be timed, and suggested it would take some time – so long, in fact, that some will not be looking for him any longer (at an hour when you do not expect him).