God's word interprets itself (Gen. 40:8, 41:15; Dan. 2:28). We are not allowed to make our own interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20). Therefor, the scriptures are the source for their meaning, and most all of the NT books are quoting from the OT. We must first identify a few things when we are reading scripture: 1) who is the speaker, 2) who is the audience, 3) what is the subject matter / context, 4) what is the time period, and 5) meanings of the words of the original language.
Many of the English translations are good and will provide an overall understanding of the actual words. But much of the cultural background of the Israelite and Judean vernacular is not carried through with a simple translation of the connected words in a sentence. People of different cultures use idioms and sayings that have a certain flavor or connotation which is not evident with a simple translation of individual words. The entire sentence or phrase has a meaning as the whole, such as "a fish out of water" or "a dog with a bone".
The Jews had ways of referring to the temple in Jerusalem and to their feast days that we have to learn and become familiar with. The background of Matthew 24 is set in the second temple period of the 1st century AD, after Herod began expanding and rebuilding while the Mosaic law was still in effect approximately 31 AD. Jesus was speaking to His disciples during the week before Passover, and the subject matter (context) was the destruction of the temple.
The disciples knew their history. They knew of the destruction of the 1st temple. When Jesus told them in Matt. 24:3 that the newly built temple with its huge buildings, and massive stones, newly restored in their day was going to be torn down they were shocked. Can you imagine their first thoughts? What was one of the first associations that would have come to their mind? Wouldn't they have immediately thought of the destruction of the 1st temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC?
Was there any basis from their history and from the OT for the disciples to think of an end-of-time event such as we are constantly bombarded with by misguided preaching today? Not at all. Their lives centered around that temple in Jerusalem and the feast days. If that temple was going to be torn down, then their first thoughts most probably were "which army is God sending to destroy it this time?"
That is the background for their question what shall be the signs of your coming. The coming of the Lord is a phrase from the OT that signified God's presence being felt by the agency of wars, pestilence, floods, famines, locusts, etc. They never saw God literally come down from the skies riding on a cloud.
The disciples knew the judgment language of the OT and were familiar with its metaphorical and figurative nature. The meaning of the sun being darkened, and the moon not giving her light stems from Joseph's dream in Gen. 37:9-10,
"9 And he dreameth yet another dream, and recounteth it to his brethren, and saith, `Lo, I have dreamed a dream again, and lo, the sun and the moon, and eleven stars, are bowing themselves to me.'
10 And he recounteth unto his father, and unto his brethren; and his father pusheth against him, and saith to him, `What [is] this dream which thou hast dreamt? do we certainly come -- I, and thy mother, and thy brethren -- to bow ourselves to thee, to the earth?'" (YLT)
Jacob recognized the significance of the sun as the head of the family, the moon as their mother, and the eleven stars as Joseph's brothers. In national prophesies God used the sun for the king, the moon for the queen or lesser ruling authority, and the stars for the tribes of Israel, or other national princes, satraps, or governors. They were not literally the sun, moon, and stars. Matt. 24:29 was not literally going to be seen in the sky above.
The principal holds. The sun being darkened means the king will lose his power, and will no longer rule. The moon not giving her light is the removal of a queen or governor from her/his position of authority, and the stars falling were the removal of all lessor princes and governors from their authority over that land / nation. It is the language of political upset and removal of kings and their courts.
We have to identify which nation was being warned in order to know which ruling authorities were about to be removed from power. The immediate context in Matt. 24 was of the king ruling over Judea (Herod) and the Sanhedrin priestly rule over the Jews. The next or higher level would be the "king" which ruled over Herod, or Caesar because at that time Judea was a province of the Roman empire. Stars falling were the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the priests of the temple. They were not literally the twinkling lights in the night time sky.
Matt. 24 continues from Matt. 23 where Jesus had just pronounced the doom of that temple.
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.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (KJV)
"Your house..." The temple was no longer God's house. God had already left it just as he had before the 1st temple was destroyed (Ezek. 10:18-19). Notice now the phrase in vs. 39 - "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
This phrase was associated with the pilgrimage feasts of Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles). The priests and hundreds of the people would stand on the walls of Jerusalem and sing and chant that phrase from the "hallel" of Psalms 118 as they watched the caravans traveling up through the hills and valleys to Jerusalem for each those 3 feasts. (1)
The disciples heard him. Jesus was speaking just before Passover. The first pilgrimage feast of the year was Passover / Pesach. Which feast then would the disciples have associated with His coming in judgment of the wicked scribes and Pharisees?
Did Jesus tell them which Passover feast and which year? No, but the disciples knew the phrase associated with the feast day they were about to celebrate and were certainly aware that Jesus was making reference to it.
There is another idiom which Christ deliberately used in Matt. 24::35 - heaven and earth. The Jews called the temple "heaven and earth" where God met with man, the portal between the two. (2) God called the old covenant "heaven and earth." (3) So, if we identify the Hebrew idiom in English, Matt. 24:35 becomes "the temple shall pass away" and "Moses' words shall pass away".
And, in the very next vs. 36 we find another Hebrew idiom - "But of that day and hour knoweth no man,...." The disciples would have immediately known this reference to the Feast of Trumpets / Yom Teruah on the 1st of Tishri because that is how they spoke of it. That feast day on the first day of the month had to wait on the official proclamation of the Council after they had received the report of the witnesses to the new moon. The Feast of Trumpets could not take place until they new which day was the first day of the month, so no one knew the day or the hour but our Father in heaven who controls the moon.
Jesus identified the Feast of Trumpets as the end of that age of the 2nd temple worship system and the disciples understood it. They still did not know which year it would happen, but we do. Secular history has recorded it for us.
People assume that the last day, the last trump is one judgment day to come sometime in the future, but they are not aware of the full meaning of the Feast of Trumpets where the "last trump" was known as the one which caused the fall of the walls of Jericho. The Feast of Trumpets was a memorial feast celebrating God's victory at Jericho. The last trump was when the walls fell. The last trump of the 1st century AD was when the walls of that temple in Jerusalem fell, and Josephus records that they were torn down by the Romans by the 1st of Tishri. (4)
There is much more that proves Matt. 24 has already happened, that proves there is no division or separation of the subject at vs. 36. I highly recommend the two year video study of Don Preston who goes over the Olivet discourse in great detail tracing all of it back to the OT prophesies. The first one begins here: DonPreston They are 15 to 20 min on average.
BTW, Revelation is John's Olivet discourse.
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Psa. 118:26 - "According to the Midrash, in Psalm 118:26 it is the people of Jerusalem who thus greet the pilgrims. In the original sense of the Psalm, however, it is the body of Levites and priests above on the Temple-hill who thus receive the congregation that has come up." at Biblehub
When Heaven and Earth Passed Away - ReenactingTheWay
Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away - ShreddingTheVeil
Signs of the Feasts - Part II - ShreddingTheVeil