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Are Jesus' words in Matthew 23:37 regarding Jerusalem killing prophets about past murders (which are not documented in history prior to the first century) or to the persecution that he and his disciples would (and did) experience in the first century, ala Matthew 23:34?

[Mat 23:29-38 KJV] (29) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, (30) And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. (31) Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. (32) Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. (33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (34) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: (35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

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Matthew 21:33 NASB “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

Bold mine.

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Prophets were killed,persecuted and throw in jail throughout the ages.Zechariah was killed prior to the first century,Jeremiah was beaten and jailed prior to the first century and there are many other examples.

"But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD." 2 chronicles 24:21

“I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of Hosts,” he replied, “but the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I am the only one left, and they are seeking my life as well.”1 King 19:10

"And the officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison."Jeremiah 37:15

The books of chronicles,Kings and jeremiah were written before the first century.

P.S: Prophets were also killed after our Lord ascended into heaven.

"You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, just as your fathers did.Which of the prophets did your fathers fail to persecute? They even killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One. And now you are His betrayers and murderers— ou who have received the law ordained by angels, yet have not kept it.” Acts 7:51

"But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" Acts 7:55

"Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD." 2 chronicles 24:20

Notice how filled with the Holy Spirit,those two prophets were,before they were killed. The Lord's prophets were always mistreated and they are still going to be mistreated until His coming.

"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."Matthew 5:12

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