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Matthew Ch. 24 is a discourse on eschatology. Jesus says that this generation will not passaway until "all these things" have taken place. What does "all these things" constitute of. This passage talks of two things: 1. Tribulation Mt. 24:9 ff 2. Second coming of Christ Mt. 24:30 ff

I have read other posts on the site which discusses on "Generation". However, I am concerned with interpretation of πάντα ταῦτα ("all these things") and not γενεὰ ("generation")

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  • (THESE THINGS) There are several "things" spoken of by Jesus in verses 23:36-24:34, but what we interpret them as is important. There is a great distress ( Jesus quote from Daniel 12), and there is a "coming" spoken of by Jesus. But when considering the Jewish prophetic symbolic vernacular, "these things" cannot be referring to the End-time or Second Coming, but all refer to the horrendous destruction of Judaism in 67-70 A.D. THE SECOND COMING is dealt with, later on, in the second half of this prophecy (24:36-25:46). Verses 34-36 serve as an important transition between the two.
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 20:11
  • @ Ashish Kumar - There is indeed "Tribulation" but Jesus defined it as the fulfilment of Daniel 12:1 at the destruction of the Temple...which was the reason for the questioning of the disciples (Mtt. 24:1-3). "The Coming of Christ" was also a topic of "these things" and is the same kind of verbage used by the prophets to describe a Coming In Judgment on a nation. This Judgment did occur along with the horrible tribulation in 67-70 A.D. (See Flavius Josephus, "Wars of the Jews".)
    – ray grant
    Commented Apr 3 at 21:59

2 Answers 2

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To provide a meaningful and correct answer, it should be noted that the division between the first section and the second is misplaced. The second section begins at verse 35, where the final Second Coming is the topic at hand, not at verse 30.

So "all these things" refers to everything Jesus mentioned previous to verse 35. These are the climactic and horrific event leading up to and including the massive conquest of Judea...the destruction of the sacred Temple...and the end of the exclusive Jewish religiosity.

What interpreters struggle with are the meteorological symbols Jesus used to describe the downfall of the Israeli nation--symbols quite often used in the O.T. but which modern students are not familiar with. And they also are hung up on the idea of a "coming on the clouds of Jesus." Here again, these must be hermeneutically interpreted according to the way first century rabbinical scholars would take them. The Old Testament has a plethora of scriptures mentioning God coming "on the clouds." And it more than often referred to a coming in Judgment on a particular nation. (Same terminology used for different occasions in ancient history: destruction of Edom, Egypt, Babylon, Judea).

All these things indeed referred to the coming of God in judgment to the corrupt nation of Israel (go back to chapter 23 for the reasons why!), as well as the events leading up to it.

Don't forget that Jesus began this pungent statement about these things with the great emphatic phrase, "Verily I say unto you!" He definitely meant everything He mentioned previously was to happen within 40 years ("this generation") including the signs in the heavens and His coming in Judgment ("these things"). Notice how many times Jesus used the word, "you" when talking about all these things leading up to the Destruction of Jerusalem! "These things" do not apply to the End-Time, therefore, but to the first century.

The "BUT" is placed at the beginning of a new topic (a contrary conjunction, Gk. peri-de "but concerning that Day"): which is a Day in the indeterminant future. That topic does not include any of "These Things" previously mentioned. "That day" is where the topic of the Second Coming begins.

Second Coming The first section of the Olivet Discourse is not dealing with an alleged End Time Tribulation nor the Second Coming. "All these Things" only deals with the first century Destruction of Judaism. So to answer your question, "all these things" does not include either end-time event you ask about. Notice that the Greek mentions no "antichrist", and when it mentions "great tribulation" (24:21), it is merely quoting a verse from Daniel 12, which also foretold of the Destruction of Jerusalem in much detail.

A recognition of the two sections dealing with different topics, separated by transition verses, leads to a better understanding of all these things. The contrasts are unmistakable: "these" vs "that"..."days" vs "day"..."signs" vs "no sign."

Destruction of Jerusalem------Transition------Second Coming
Matthew 23:1-24:34..................................................Matthew 24:36-25:46

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Peace.

“All these things” speaks of both the tribulation of the church and the events that happen at the presence/coming (parousia = presence) of the Son of man.

The third thing mentioned here in Matthew 24:3 is the end of the age (“world”) where the tribulation of the church finally comes to an end as “all these things” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 24 are fulfilled during this age.

Matthew 24:3 KJV (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

This “generation” (by implication means “age”) is speaking of the “generation” of this evil age of tribulation which shall not pass away until all these things (the things related to the tribulation of the church and His presence) be fulfilled .

The end of this age (“world”) = this “generation” that shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.

Everything that Jesus speaks about in chapter 24 in relation to this age is “all these things” that are to be fulfilled during this generation or age.

The Son of man comes to open up the Scriptures to our understanding (when you shall “see”) and when we hear this interpretation of all these things, it shows us that He is near to us.

Know that He is near when we hear and understand all these things that have happened to the church.

Matthew 24:33-35 KJV (33) So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

When you shall “see”….that is, understand….these things, know that HE (not “it”) is near. The Son of man’s presence is near when we hear His eternal words that speak the understanding of “all these things”.

“When you shall see all these things”…that is, to understand/know these things….”know that Jesus (He) is near, even at the doors”.

The Lord knocks upon our doors with His voice and we are to let Him in by the receiving of His words of life and spirit. We are to hear and believe and receive His words of the heavenly understanding of the Scriptures.

But some will hear and not believe and will continue on as business as usual….behaving with contentions, unbelief, envy, strife, wrath, etc., as they stay in their church divisions where this will be “acceptable” behavior towards the hearing of the Word of God spoken in truth and sincerity. They will not receive the Word of Truth but continue with the word of men and their private interpretations of the Scriptures. The “old” interpretations will seem better as they will reject the "new".

When you shall see these things = when you shall understand these things.

Know that it is near = know that He (the Son of man) is near.

This is part of the answer to the disciples question about the sign of the presence (coming) of the Son of man. “What is the sign of your presence”? We shall know that He is near when He gives us understanding of all these things.

Know that He is near when we hear HIs voice opening up the Scriptures to our understanding. The other part is the sign of the Son of man within our darkened hearts as the Light shines as the lightning (the bright and morning star, the sun) comes from the east and shines to the west when we hear His voice opening up the Scriptures. Hearing His voice has a personal effect upon our own hearts.

(Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?)

The sign of the end of the age (the end of this “generation”)is that all of these things that Jesus spoke to us ahead of time will be fulfilled….up to and including the gospel of the kingdom being preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.

Matthew 24: (34) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (35) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Again, “all these things” also refers to the tribulation that the church was and is to endure in this age as not one stone has been left upon another as the false Christs and false prophets have come forth and have separated the church into divisions where there is envy and strife and hatred of one another rather than being built upon each other as living stones.

Matthew 24:1-2 KJV (1) And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The false Christs and false prophets have thrown us all down (as the stones are not left one upon another) in their tribulation of His body….the “spiritual house”….the temple of His body. It has been and still is a time of tribulation we are currently living in.

1 Peter 2:5 KJV (5) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

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  • @MSWThis answer ignores the transition texts given by Jesus, as well as the declaration about the first section all happening in the First Century. (Matthew 23:36, and 24:34) Notice how many times Jesus used the word, "you"., when addressing the disciples about these tumultuous events. There is indeed a Second Coming, but Jesus did not address that topic until verses 36-25:46. The first section presented "signs" of the pending Destruction, but He taught "no signs" at the Second Coming, repeatedly with several illustrations.
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 0:46

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