Luke 19:22 (NASB):

If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

What are the "things which make for peace"? How would knowing them prevent the prediction in verses 43-44?


The passage, Luke 19.41:

And when he approached and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you had known on this day—even you—the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you and your enemies will put up an embankment against you, and will surround you and press you hard from all directions. And they will raze you to the ground, you and your children within you, and will not leave a stone upon a stone within you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Jesus is here clearly predicting the seige of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple -- e.g. war, and saying that if they recognized the time of his visitation, e.g. they recognized that he was the messiah coming to them, then Jerusalem would not have experienced war, which is obviously true just from a historical perspective.

E.g. leaving aside any notion that God was punishing Jerusalem, the reason why the jews did not recognize Christ as the Messiah was two fold:

  1. For the Zealots, they wanted a king to throw off the yoke of Rome. Thus it was their rebellion against Rome that also was the cause of rejecting Christ, and this rebellion would lead to war and disaster. Wheras the Christians were told to pray for the king, who was put there by God, whoever he may be. There was no effort to set up an earthly empire. If the jews of Jerusalem would have adopted this attitude, the city would have peace.

  2. For the Pharisees, they were in love with the Law and especially their leadership position in interpreting the Law -- they were in love with the shadow and the type rather than the real thing, and would not give it up when offered the real thing. But when Caligula ordered a statue of himself placed in the temple, they had to revolt, not understanding that God no longer dwelled in any temple made with hands -- that was just a type -- and God no longer wanted any sacrifices -- that was also just a type. If they had recognized Messiah and abandoned the types for the real thing, they would have left Herod's temple to Herod, they would not have rebelled, and Jerusalem would have had peace.

The image here is of recklessness, like Balam, when God was standing in front of them with sword drawn, demanding they change course, but not changing course. Eventually, Jerusalem was plunged into war and destroyed.

But to say that only these two things make peace would be to narrowly restrict this term. What brings peace is always submission to God, rather than rebellion against God. I gave only two examples, but I believe they are the lessons Jerusalem needed to learn in order to have peace.


There is another aspect to obtaining peace, which is of the Sabbath rest, the perfect model of peace. God is always commanding the people to rest and not work. So here we can view the Zealots as trying to work (overthrow Rome) rather than following the instructions of Jesus to come unto him so that he could give them rest. Similarly the Pharisees also continue to work (by trying to perform the works of the law) rather than resting, knowing that Christ had fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and they needed only come unto him as well. So another aspect of "peace" is rest, and in this sense we can say that Jerusalem did not recognize that Messiah had come to them, so that they had entered the seventh day. If they had rested in Christ, they would have truly observed the Sabbath, and so would have had peace.


In terms of context, there is a connection between Jerusalem and peace.

Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.

In terms of sounds:

Jerusalem,  ירושלים 
   shalom,  שלום 

In terms of meanings in Strong's Concordance

Yerushalaim or Yerushalayim: probably "foundation of peace,"

So, there is a strong connection between Jerusalem and peace.

What are the "things which make for peace"?

Accepting Jesus as the Son of God and the King in the Kingdom of God. This would prevent the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jews missed it the last time but he will come again:

Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

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