The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 21, Part 1

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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 21 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 11-16-2012

1 Then looking up He saw those casting the gifts of their riches into the treasury. 2 And He saw a certain needy widow casting two lepta there.

Lepta (singular λεπτόν, 3016) are very small coins. The Codex Bezae (D) inserts the explanatory phrase “which is a quadrans” (κοδράντης, 2835) into this verse. That manuscript also substituted κοδράντης for λεπτόν at Luke 12:59, where we see an example of a liberality taken in the copying of manuscripts in order to satisfy a difference in the vernacular, whether of the region or period. Evidently another copyist of the scrolls which led to the Codex Bezae meant to clarify lepton here by adding a note rather than changing the word. Marginal notes have often been known to eventually find their way into the texts, and here that process is evident.

3 And He said “Truthfully I say to you that this poor widow has cast more than all! 4 For all of them from their abundance have cast in the gifts, but she from her want has cast in all the substance she had!”

The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text have “the gifts of God”; the text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B).

If a very rich man gives a hundred dollars for a cause, and a poor widow two dollars, then proportionally the widow has given much much more than the rich man. Her gift would be accounted for much greater in the eyes of God.

5 And upon some speaking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and ornaments,

The verb κοσμέω (2885) is to adorn here. The word also appears in Luke at 11:25 in a past tense where it is translated as ornamented. This word is a verbal form of the noun κόσμος (2889), which is usually translated as world in the King James Version. The word κόσμος literally means the order, adornment, decoration, embellishment, or fashion of something. In the cases where it refers to the world, as the King James Version calls it, the κόσμος is the adornment or order of the οἰκουμένη, the Greco-Roman dwelling-space, and therefore it more properly refers to the society. By no means did the ancient Greeks ever perceive that the word κόσμος could refer to the planet and everything on it.

He said: 6 “These things which you behold, the days shall come in which there is not left here a stone upon a stone which shall not be thrown down.”

The jews' wailing wall is shown to date after the time when the temple was completed. All claims to its having been a part of any of the Jerusalem temples are jewish propaganda. It is much more likely to be the remains of a Roman structure from the period following the destruction of Jerusalem, when a Roman fortress was built there. Coins and other artifacts from the first century have been found beneath it by archaeologists. It is clear, as can be established from the historian Josephus, that after 70 AD every stone which comprised the temple at Jerusalem had indeed been thrown down.

From Josephus' Wars of the Judaeans, Book 7, Lines 375-377, Josephus records the words of the general of the Sicarii, Eleazar, to those who were besieged by the Romans at Masada in the fourth year of the reign of Vespasian (which was a few years after Jerusalem had been destroyed by the legions under Titus): "375 And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the [Judaean] nation, which was fortified by so many walls all around, which had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? 376 Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It is now demolished to the very foundations; and has nothing but that monument of it preserved. I mean the camp of those who has destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruins; 377 some unfortunate old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women are there preserved alive by the enemy for our bitter shame and reproach."

7 Then they questioned Him, saying “Teacher! So when shall these things be?” and “What is the sign when these things are going to come?”

The version of this exchange as it is recorded in Mark's Gospel states at Mark 13:3: “And upon His being seated in the Mount of Olives opposite the temple they questioned Him by themselves, Petros and Iakobos and Iohannes and Andreas: 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what is the sign when all these things would be about to be accomplished?'” Here Luke's account also records only these two questions. Yet we can see from the account as it was recorded by Matthew that the apostles asked Christ three separate questions, from Matthew 24:3: “Then with His sitting upon the Mount of Olives the students came forth to Him by themselves, saying: 'Tell us, when shall these things be?' and 'What is the sign of Your coming, and of the consummation of the age?'” It should not be said that the Gospels of Mark and Luke conflict with that of Matthew. We should only observe that Mark's and Luke's accounts are from different perspectives, and facts were remembered differently. Note that Mark describes that only four apostles engaged in this dialogue with Christ, a fact which Matthew and Luke omitted altogether. That does not mean that others were not present, but only that they themselves did not engage in the dialogue.

Whenever various people witness an event, one person remembers three parts of an event, for example, out of perhaps three or four or five or more, and another person either remembers or feels it only matters enough to record two of the three parts, or three parts of a four-part event where one of those parts is not recorded by the first person who related the event. That is not a discrepancy, rather it is human, and happens all the time when various people recollect the same event. We may have parts of an event that we can label A, B, C, D,and E, and one person recalls and records A, C and D while a second records B, D and E. Both accounts are true, yet neither is complete by itself. Thus is the nature of the Gospel accounts.

The question “Tell us, when shall these things be?” was in reference to the statements of Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem which He had just forewarned. The question “What is the sign of Your coming...?” was in reference to the ultimate return of the Christ, and the additional question not recorded by either Mark or Luke but recorded by Matthew, was “...and of the consummation of the age?” in reference to Christ's many statements which mention the end of the age, or world as the King James Version has it, such as at Matthew 13:40 and the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares where Christ says “Therefore just as the tares are gathered and burn in fire, thusly it shall be at the consummation of the age.” Mark received his gospel from Peter. Luke received his gospel from other eye-witnesses as he himself attested in its opening verses. It may well be that neither of their witnesses understood the full impact of the question nor felt it important enough to record it all, however Matthew did record it all. It may also be perceived that the meaning of the final two questions, concerning “the sign of [His] coming, and of the consummation of the age”, may have been considered one and the same in the eyes of the other witnesses, and therefore only Matthew took care to record it fully.

The apostles could not have known that the answers to these questions would describe separate events, which would occur many years apart from each other. They imagined the destruction of Jerusalem to mark the end of the age and the return of Christ. Many Christian Preterists hold that same errant conclusion today. In fact, so do many futurists, who esteem the contemporary sewer in Palestine to be the Jerusalem of prophecy when in fact Jeremiah told us that the old city would be forever destroyed, as a broken bottle could not be put back together, in Jeremiah chapter 19. Christ did not clarify the matter for us, by dividing His answers so that they may correspond to the different questions which were asked. Rather, He gave one long discourse in a single answer to all three questions. It is a challenge for us to sort it out, and it must be said that none of us are going to be able so do so with absolute clarity.

8 And He said “Watch that you are not deceived. For many shall come by My Name saying ‘I am’ and ‘The time has come near.’ You should not go after them.

Matthew 24 4 And replying Yahshua said to them: “Watch lest anyone should deceive you! 5 For many shall come by My Name saying ‘I am the Christ’, and they shall deceive many. 

Mark 13:5 Then Yahshua began to speak to them: “Watch that not anyone would deceive you! 6 Many shall come in My Name saying that ‘I am He’, and they shall deceive many.  

In the first few centuries of Christianity many men were preaching a false Christ, meaning that they were attributing teachings to Yahshua Christ and His apostles which He did not actually intend for us. But it is not evident in any of the records which we have that they were claiming to actually be the Christ. Yes, there was Apollonius of Tyana, who was probably only a neo-Pythagorean philosopher, but much of what is related about him comes from a biographical novelist named Philostratus who lived a century later, and from the emendations of fanciful writers of tales from the fourth century and later. There were also several minor would-be Messiah figures in Jerusalem around the time of Christ, such as Judas the Gaulonite, who was described by Josephus, and who was really just a tax-protestor. None of these fits the circumstances which Yahshua Christ relates here. Yahshua tells us specifically that many would come claiming to be Him, and that has not happened until this present era.

In the present era, over the last two centuries, there have been many figures specifically claiming to be the Christ, meaning an advent or reincarnation of Yahshua Christ. Among these are the Korean named Sun Myung Moon, another Korean named Ahn Sahng-Hong, Marshall Applewhite, Jim Jones, Bahá'u'lláh, and a host of several dozens of other assorted freaks. The circus clown otherwise known as Sun Myung Moon recently announced himself to be the “third messiah”, coronated himself at ceremonies attended by congressmen and dignitaries, claimed for himself to be the “sinless savior of the world” and that he would “conquer and subjugate the world”, and had all of his “news” published in his own newspaper, the Washington Times. Governments around the world, including the United Nations and the United States government, participate in programs connected to the so-called Unification Church which Moon founded. Now he is dead, and forgotten by most people outside of his own cult, however that cult controls a global business empire which Moon and those who assisted him had developed under the guise of religion. He is but one example of such a false christ, but a rather illustrious one.

Now if this prophecy can only be seen to have been realized in more recent times, because there is no such attestation of any such things having happened in the early centuries of Christianity, then this entire discourse must also be applicable to these more recent times, as well as what obviously applies to the past and to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. In other words, Christ's answers to all three of the questions posed by the apostles must be in and throughout this entire discourse.

9 But when you hear of wars and disturbances, you should not be scared. For it is necessary that these things come first, but not immediately is the end.”

Many commentators seek to contain their interpretations of the words of Christ here to be a reference to the period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and while in the provenance of God it is evident that His warning would certainly be interpreted that way, and it was, the verses which both preceded and which follow show that it cannot have been intended to be limited to that period, because it is clearly describing something much greater.

10 Then He said to them: “Nation shall arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There shall be both great earthquakes and famines and plagues in various places. There shall be both terrors and great signs from heaven.

These words describe something far beyond the uprising against Rome in Judaea which culminated into a war roughly thirty-two years after Christ had spoken. That something did not occur in the first century AD. The first century was a time of relative peace through out the Roman empire, and is part of the period labeled by historians as the Pax Romana, or sometimes the Pax Augusta after Caesar Augustus, which is generally said to have endured from 27 BC to 180 AD. Except for the Judaean uprising, a couple of failed incursions into the territory held by the Germanic tribes, border skirmishes with the Parthians, the expansion of the empire into a few areas such as Britain and Pannonia and Dacia, and a couple of contentions for the imperial office, the empire was in a state of relative rest throughout the period. It could hardly be described as one in which “nation arose against nation” and “kingdom against kingdom”, accompanied by famine and earthquakes and plagues. The statement concerning “terrors and great signs from heaven” may be taken literally or figuratively, however it does not seem to have happened in the first century, and it is impossible to quantify until it happens. One must strive to find notable events of the first century AD which these statements could have been intended to describe. Therefore they must transcend that period, and be describing something much greater. In Matthew chapter 24, after the words of Christ recorded here, Matthew also records the statement (at 24:8) which says: “And all these things are the beginning of travails.

12 But before all of these things they shall lay their hands upon you and persecute you, being handed over to the assembly halls and prisons, being led before kings and governors because of My Name.

Once one realizes what is being forewarned here, one must realize that the prescience of Christ is astounding in an age where there were a myriad of philosophies and their proponents. Some of these philosophies had been established for centuries and had perhaps hundreds of thousands of adherents. Countless other philosophies were obscure and short-lived. From a worldly perspective, what chance would an upstart creed have of success in the face of so many obstacles? Understanding this prescience alone leads one to the inevitable conclusion that Christianity is the world's only true religion. Christ did not merely hope for the spread of His Gospel into the wider world. He knew it would spread, He knew it would be met with harsh opposition, and He knew what the result would be for those who followed even though He did not teach direct rebellion from the worldly authorities. He knew that His creed would spread throughout the Roman world, and He knew that His followers would be despised and persecuted unto death, and that they would be brought before the highest councils, where they would attest to Him and to His Word. He knew it all, spoke of it here in long in advance of its happening, and indeed it did happen just as He had indicated. That is why, as He is recorded as having said in verse 13:

13 It shall result in a testimony for you.

The first Roman persecutions of Christians occurred under Claudius and then under Nero, instigated by the jews. While these alone are sufficient to fulfill Christ's words, the persecution of Christians continued for several centuries, until Christianity was finally given official recognition as a legitimate creed in the fourth century AD. However it was then beginning to be distorted, another topic which is far beyond the scope of this discussion.

The spread of Christianity throughout the Greco-Roman world, under the penalty of death for its professors and in spite of the popularity of the prevalent pagan and sophistic cults, along with the realization that Christ forebode all of these things in detail far in advance, tells us that He is God and that all of the assertions of His Gospel message are certainly true. That these things happened “result in a testimony to you”, as the words of Christ say here. By them we know that He is true.

We saw in the statements concerning false Christs that such a prophecy was not fulfilled until relatively recent times, and not at all in the first century. And while the subsequent statements may in some ways fit the unfolding of events leading up to the destruction of the old Jerusalem, in many ways they do not, and we must look to another manner of their fulfillment, since Christ is answering three questions at once here and those questions have to do not only with the destruction of the temple buildings of the old city, but also of the time of His coming and the time of the culmination of the age.

The coming of men falsely claiming for themselves to be Christ is seen in history only in the past two hundred years. While we have always had war with us in some degree, over the past two hundred years we have never had so much war! Since the emancipation of the jew in Europe in the time of Napoleon, we have been in a state of continual war and revolution. And while it seems remote to us now, only 70 years ago 63 million people died in World War Two alone, where practically every single nation on earth was involved. And Christ says but not yet is the end. And while we have not had a lot of famine in White Adamic lands lately, we saw 20 million Ukrainians and Russians die from famine during the Stalin regime, and on a much smaller scale many died from starvation during the Dust Bowl and Depression era here in North America. Many Europeans died due to famine and disease in post-War Europe. It was a famine, organized by certain elements in France, which enticed the common people into supporting the famous revolution there which initiated the modern era. We cannot really say that any of this will not happen again. When and if it does, we glorify our God because His word is true.

We can see the fulfillment of the words of Christ in ancient times, but we can see them unfolding once again before our eyes. The prophetic Jerusalem is not in Palestine. It is the seats of government of the main body of the people of God wherever in the world they happen to be. The true people of God are not jews, they are White Christians: the children of the nations of Israel according to the flesh, as Paul relates in both Romans chapter 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 10, and as ancient history proves, which is why Paul took the Gospel to Europe in the first place.

14 Therefore you set it in your hearts not to practice speaking in defense beforehand. 15 For I shall give to you a mouth and wisdom which all those opposing you shall not be able to withstand or contradict.

Many people today use these words as an excuse not to study the Scripture! If that were true, then why did Paul of Tarsus, who was in his later years a victim of these very persecutions prophesied by Christ, at the same time write to Timothy to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Why did Paul esteem the men of Berea to be “more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Why did Paul ask Timothy to bring him books and parchments from the Troad as he was on his way to see Paul in Rome? (2 Timothy 4:13)

Luke wrote his gospel so that “thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” (Luke 1:4) Christ says in the Revelation “blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7) The closing of the twentieth chapter of the gospel of John: “30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31)

Christ expected all of those hearing Him to be readers of Scripture, and so did Paul. Without a study of Scripture, one is ignorant and susceptible to the devices of men. The Spirit teaches us all things, by guiding us in our study of Scripture! There are no excuses. If one studies Scripture, he can build his foundation on the bedrock. If not, his foundation stands on ever-shifting sand. The mouth and wisdom to speak which are inspired by the Spirit of God draw upon our study of Scripture for their raw material.

16 But you shall be handed over even by parents and brethren and kinsmen and friends, and they shall kill some of you,

The accounts of these words as recorded by both Matthew and Mark also tell us that the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom would occur in all nations at this time, just before the “time of the end”, something that had not happened by 70 AD.

Matthew 24:14: “And this good message of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the Nations, and then shall the end come.”

Mark 13:10: “And in all the Nations it is first necessary for the good message to be proclaimed.”

It must be noted, that Mark's version of Yahshua's discourse connects the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom directly to the testimony of persecuted Christians, where from Matthew's version one may be lead to believe that the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom would follow those persecutions. Luke's version of the discourse does not mention the Gospel of the Kingdom.

While Matthew and Mark seem to have recorded these things in respect to the “culmination of the age”, such an interpretation is not immediately evident in Luke, except with the understanding that the prophecy of Jerusalem being surrounded by armies has a dual fulfillment, one concerning what had happened to the ancient city in 70 AD, and another of the time of the end and speaking of prophetic Jerusalem. These things as Luke records them were literally fulfilled in the persecutions of Christians during the days of the Roman empire, when it was actually criminal to be a Christian. Today while Christianity itself is not criminalized, we see the de facto criminalization of many Christian precepts which Christians everywhere should be adhering to, but which the so-called churches have abandoned since they are controlled by government, and which most so-called Christians are now oblivious to. Examples of the Christian precepts which are now outlawed in our modern governments are the Christian's obligation to separate himself from the sexually immoral (i.e. 1 Corinthians chapter 5) and to prefer those of one's own race and profession over others (Romans 12:10). Those who follow these precepts are indeed persecuted today. Expressions of one's Christian profession are also now being outlawed in many venues. If the eternal enemies of God and Christ, the jews who have once again come to be the princes of this world, have their way then Christianity itself shall be outlawed anew. However for the time being, at least, the corrupted jewish perversion of Christianity currently being promoted by the Roman Catholics and all of the mainstream protestant sects is much more useful to the children of satan than the actual preclusion of Christianity would ever be.

At this point the Gospel of Matthew records the following, at Matthew 24:11-12: “11 And many false prophets shall arise and they shall deceive many, 12 and for reason that lawlessness is multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold. “

17 and you shall be hated by all on account of My Name.

Luke 6:22-23: “22 Blessed are you when men hate you and when they separate from you and they reproach and they cast out your name as evil because of the Son of Man: 23 Rejoice in that day and leap, for behold, your reward is great in heaven! For in accordance with these same things did their fathers do to the prophets.”

If you are a true Christian, you should not love the world, nor should you expect that the world love you. If you have those expectations, then you are not a Christian. Christians that profess the truth are hated by the world, and the evidence of that is certainly with us today.

18 Yet a hair from your heads shall by no means be lost. 19 In your endurance must you gain your lives.

This last clause does not teach salvation by the merit of men. Rather, in Revelation 13:10 we read that “If one is for captivity, into captivity he goes. If one is to be slain by the sword, he is to be slain by the sword. Thus is the patience and the faith of the saints.” The sovereignty of Yahweh God must be recognized by all Christians. Our fates are predetermined, God knowing in advance what path the choices which each of us are destined to make are going to lead us down. Whether we like it or not, those choices ultimately submit to and effect (not affect, effect) His will. Therefore Paul tells us at Romans 8:18: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Likewise Peter, in 1 Peter 4:12-14: “12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” We are each destined to undergo certain trials, and after that, we shall have our lives – the lives that count which are those which we shall have upon either departing from this world, or upon the culmination of the age, depending upon the time. If indeed, of course, we are children of Yahweh born from above in the first place.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, then you know that her desolation has come near. 21 Then those in Judaea must flee into the mountains, and those in her midst must leave the land, and those in the countryside must not enter into her!

Here we have a sharp departure from the gospels of Matthew and Mark. Where those first two gospels at this point in the discourse of Christ record His words which speak of the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14), Luke instead records His words which speak of the desolation of Jerusalem. It is very likely that Christ said all of these things in His discourse, and that while Matthew and Mark recorded the one part, Luke contains the record of another.

The words of Christ as recorded by Matthew and Mark shall not be discussed here, since they are beyond the scope of what is recorded by Luke, and the “abomination of desolation” is a deep topic which was discussed at length here last year where both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were exposited. It shall suffice to say that the reference is also found in Daniel chapters 11 and 12 where the prophet mentions the “abomination that maketh desolate”.

Here in Luke, speaking of the desolation of Jerusalem, we can reference the prophesy of Daniel at chapter 9, where we see the promise of the destruction of Jerusalem after the cutting off of the Messiah:

Daniel 9:24-27: “24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [Much can be said here about Israel under the law, the end of judgement under the law is a matter of prophecy, as Paul also professes.] 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [This chronology was given here in exacting detail last year when Mark chapter 13 was presented in two parts.] 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince [the Romans, the people of Messiah the Prince] that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week [following a three-and-a-half year ministry] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” The desolate are the Edomite Jews left at Jerusalem, and the city was made desolate, as Christ professed at Matthew 23:38, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate”.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, then you know that her desolation has come near. 21 Then those in Judaea must flee into the mountains, and those in her midst must leave the land, and those in the countryside must not enter into her!

Here one may wonder how anyone may safely flee a city which is encompassed with armies. Typically, fleeing a besieged city one is at the mercy of the assaulting army and must surrender to them. Yet comparing this prophecy of Christ as it was recorded by Luke to the history of Jerusalem later recorded by Josephus, we see the events unfold exactly as they are foretold. This prophecy fulfilled, and not recorded in this manner in the other Gospels, proves that the Gospel of Luke was truly inspired by Yahweh God. (The Paul-bashers must take note of this.) As it is related by Josephus in Wars Book 2, chapters 18 and 19 (2:457 ff.), four years before the final siege of Jerusalem by Titus, the Roman legate of Syria, Cestius Gallus, assembled an army in 66 AD to put down the seditions which were occurring in Galilee and in Judaea. The city of Jerusalem was besieged by Cestius, who nearly taking the city, stopped short and withdrew for no apparent reason.

Josephus, Wars of the Judaeans, Book 2 Lines 538-540: “538 And now it was that a horrible fear seized upon the seditious [the people in Jerusalem], insomuch that many of them ran out of the city, as though it were to be taken immediately; but the people upon this took courage, and where the wicked part of the city gave ground, there did they come, in order to open the gates and to admit Cestius as their benefactor, 539 who, had he but continued the siege a little longer, would have certainly taken the city; but it was, I suppose, owing to the aversion God had already at the city and the sanctuary, that he was hindered from putting an end to the war that very day. [Josephus infers that a prolonged war would punish the wicked city more severely.] 540 It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and, by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world.”

After this first siege by Cestius, as Josephus records, the city populated with many wicked people, the better and most eminent citizens “swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink”, and surely many of them may have been heeding the prophetic warnings of Christ given here, warnings which only Christians would have. (See Josephus’ Wars, 2:556.)

22 Because these are the days of vengeance, by which all the things written are to be fulfilled! 23 Woe to those having conceived and to those with sucklings in those days! For there shall be great violence upon the earth, and wrath for this people! 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and they shall be taken away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be tread upon by the heathens until the times of the heathens should be fulfilled.

The vengeance and captivity foretold here was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, “the people of [Messiah] the Prince” of Daniel 9:26. Paul alludes to this in his epistle to the Romans, at 16:20, where he tells the Romans that God was about to bruise Satan under their feet. This destruction is recorded fully only by Josephus in his Wars of the Judaeans, but it is also mentioned in many Roman records, such as those of the Roman chronicler Tacitus.

But this captivity is not the diaspora, or dispersion of the Old Testament Israelites by any means, that having taken place from 721 to 585 B.C. The Jews base their false claims of persecution under the name of Israel on this captivity, as if it were the diaspora of Old Testament Israel. Rather, this captivity, by which tens of thousands of non-believing, non-Christian Judaeans were distributed as slaves throughout the empire, and hundreds of thousands were killed (Josephus states 1.1 million), although many still remained to revolt from the Romans again 60 years later, is the captivity of the “bad fig” Canaanite and Edomite “Judaeans”, called today and ever since “Jews”, which was foretold by the prophet at Jeremiah 24:8-9, 29:17-19.

Jeremiah 24: “1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Before finishing the chapter it must be noted that King Zedekiah and his princes and the residue of Jerusalem, the subjects of the rest of the chapter, were not the bad figs. The text says that they were first to be handed over to the bad figs, and then they were to be punished: “8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: 9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.”

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