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Mark 13:7-9

Context
13:7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. 1  13:8 For nation will rise up in arms 2  against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. 3  These are but the beginning of birth pains.

Persecution of Disciples

13:9 “You must watch out for yourselves. You will be handed over 4  to councils 5  and beaten in the synagogues. 6  You will stand before governors and kings 7  because of me, as a witness to them.

Mark 13:14-20

Context
The Abomination of Desolation

13:14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation 8  standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee 9  to the mountains. 13:15 The one on the roof 10  must not come down or go inside to take anything out of his house. 11  13:16 The one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 13:17 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! 13:18 Pray that it may not be in winter. 13:19 For in those days there will be suffering 12  unlike anything that has happened 13  from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, or ever will happen. 13:20 And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved. But because of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut them 14  short.

Mark 13:24-27

Context
The Arrival of the Son of Man

13:24 “But in those days, after that suffering, 15  the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; 13:25 the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 16  13:26 Then everyone 17  will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds 18  with great power and glory. 13:27 Then he will send angels and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 19 

Mark 13:30-31

Context
13:30 I tell you the truth, 20  this generation 21  will not pass away until all these things take place. 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 22 

1 tn Grk “it is not yet the end.”

2 tn For the translation “rise up in arms” see L&N 55.2.

3 sn See Isa 5:13-14; 13:6-16; Hag 2:6-7; Zech 14:4.

4 tn Grk “They will hand you over.” “They” is an indefinite plural, referring to people in general. The parallel in Matt 10:17 makes this explicit.

5 sn Councils in this context refers to local judicial bodies attached to the Jewish synagogue. This group would be responsible for meting out justice and discipline within the Jewish community.

6 sn See the note on synagogue in 1:21.

7 sn These statements look at persecution both from a Jewish context as the mention of councils and synagogues suggests, and from a Gentile one as the reference to governors and kings suggests. Some fulfillment of Jewish persecution can be seen in Acts.

8 sn The reference to the abomination of desolation is an allusion to Dan 9:27. Though some have seen the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the actions of Antiochus IV (or a representative of his) in 167 b.c., the words of Jesus seem to indicate that Antiochus was not the final fulfillment, but that there was (from Jesus’ perspective) still another fulfillment yet to come. Some argue that this was realized in a.d. 70, while others claim that it refers specifically to Antichrist and will not be fully realized until the period of the great tribulation at the end of the age (cf. Mark 13:19, 24; Matt 24:21; Rev 3:10).

9 sn Fleeing to the mountains is a key OT image: Gen 19:17; Judg 6:2; Isa 15:5; Jer 16:16; Zech 14:5.

10 sn Most of the roofs in the NT were flat roofs made of pounded dirt, sometimes mixed with lime or stones, supported by heavy wooden beams. They generally had an easy means of access, either a sturdy wooden ladder or stone stairway, sometimes on the outside of the house.

11 sn The nature of the judgment coming upon them will be so quick and devastating that one will not have time to come down or go inside to take anything out of his house. It is best just to escape as quickly as possible.

12 tn Traditionally, “tribulation.”

13 sn Suffering unlike anything that has happened. Some refer this event to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. While the events of a.d. 70 may reflect somewhat the comments Jesus makes here, the reference to the scope and severity of this judgment strongly suggest that much more is in view. Most likely Jesus is referring to the great end-time judgment on Jerusalem in the great tribulation.

14 tn Grk “the days.”

15 tn Traditionally, “tribulation.”

16 sn An allusion to Isa 13:10, 34:4 (LXX); Joel 2:10. 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.

17 tn Grk “they.”

18 sn An allusion to Dan 7:13. Here is Jesus returning with full judging authority.

19 tn Or “of the sky”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context.

20 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

21 sn This is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to interpret. Various views exist for what generation means. (1) Some take it as meaning “race” and thus as an assurance that the Jewish race (nation) will not pass away. But it is very questionable that the Greek term γενεά (genea) can have this meaning. Two other options are possible. (2) Generation might mean “this type of generation” and refer to the generation of wicked humanity. Then the point is that humanity will not perish, because God will redeem it. Or (3) generation may refer to “the generation that sees the signs of the end” (v. 26), who will also see the end itself. In other words, once the movement to the return of Christ starts, all the events connected with it happen very quickly, in rapid succession.

22 sn The words that Jesus predicts here will never pass away. They are more stable and lasting than creation itself! For this kind of image, see Isa 40:8; 55:10-11.



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