Luke 21.1-37 gives us a lesson using a widow’s two coins; the beauty of the Temple and its coming destruction; the midrashic aggadah about the budding of the fig tree. The date would be about Nisan 12, 30 AD.
v 1…And he looked up and saw the rich (they wanted attention, too) putting their gifts into the treasury (there were thirteen trumpet shaped receptacles with openings in the court of the women. Each was designated for certain projects or donations).
v 2…And he saw a certain poor widow putting in two small copper coins (it’s not the amount that counts in this story).
v 3…And he said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all (of them);
v 4…for they all out of their surplus put into the offering of God (no pain for them at all); but she out of her poverty (a sacrifice for her) put in all that she had to live on (it is the relation to what we keep; a gift’s value is determined by the giver; this is what Yeshua was trying to teach the ruler in Luke 18.18-23 also).”
v 5… And while some were talking about the Temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones (some 60 feet long and 15 feet high) and votive gifts (like the Golden Vine with its clusters which hung over the entrance of the sanctuary, each leaf given as a gift-Mishnah Middot 3.8; Yeshua may have had this in mind when he said, “I am the vine” in John 15.1), he said,
v 6…”As for these things which you are looking at the days will come (in 40 years) in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down (by the Romans in 70 AD; Yeshua is talking about the buildings, not the retaining wall-this was done to a “leprous” house in Lev 14.40; this was part of the plan-Mic 4.10; Deut 28.49-57).”
v 7…And they questioned him, saying, “When therefore will these things be (the destruction of the Temple in v 6)? And what will be the sign (signal) when these things are about to take place (the Jewish historian Josephus was an eyewitness to the destruction of the Temple and listed at least seven signs in Wars of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 5.3-4; everything described in the following verses can be seen if you read Wars of the Jews by Josephus, especially as things led up to the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem)?”
v 8…And he said, “Take heed (beware) that you be not misled (to be deluded or deceived; we have an active part in making sure so one deceives us by studying and knowing the Scriptures in its proper context, and not involving ourselves in Replacement Theology of any kind); for many will come in my name (saying they represent Yeshua, not in opposition to him like in many denominations today; the question to ask is, “Am I following a Torah-based faith in Yeshua found in the Scriptures, or a messiah that tells them that they are not “under the law” or that it has been “done away with?” It is those from the last group that Yeshua speaks about as those who will mislead-Matt 7.21-23), saying, ‘I am he (Yeshua, or possibly a person who will claim to be the Messiah but is a counterfeit) am the Messiah and will mislead many)’, and, ‘The time is at hand (for the redemption and deliverance from Rome-Acts 5.34-38)’; do not go after them (the first sign).
v 9…And when you hear of wars (against Rome) and disturbances (internal factions), do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately (as if the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and the nation would happen all at once).”
v 10…Then he continued by saying to them, “Nation (Greek “ethnos” or race) will rise against nation (race will clash with race (the Jews rose up against the Samaritans), and kingdom against kingdom (Rome fought each other for power and other kingdoms),
v 11…and there will be great earthquakes (there was one in Crete and Asia during the time of Nero, also in Phrygia, Laodicea, Hierapolis and Colossae; Rome had a small one), and in various places plagues and famines (Acts 11.28 speaks of a famine all over during the reign of Claudius about 41 AD); and there will be terror (fearful sights; after 30 AD the Yom KIppur lot never turned up in the right of the high priest again; the crimson, or shanni, cloth didn’t turn white again; the western lamp of the Menorah would not stay lit and the doors of the sanctuary building opened by themselves, meaning the enemy would enter easily-See the book, “History of the Jewish People-Second Temple Era” by Mesorah Publications, p. 153) and great signs (signals) from heaven (Josephus describes chariots and troops seen in the clouds by many; a star resembling a sword stood over the city; a comet continued a whole year; on Nisan 8, at the ninth hour, a great light shone around the altar and sanctuary).
v 12…But before all these things (come to pass) they (high priest, chief priests, Temple guard, Sadducees for example) will lay hands on you (Acts 4.1-3 for instance) and will persecute you, delivering to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake (on his behalf).
v 13…It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony (like Peter and other talmudim, or Paul in Acts 24.24-26, 26.19-28).
v 14…So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves (a premeditated defense);
v 15…for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist of refute.
v 16…But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death (like Stephen and James),
v 17…and you will be hated by all on account of my name (what he has said and done; for his sake).
v 18…Yet not a hair of your head will perish (you will be resurrected with a new body and reign in the Olam Haba).
v 19…By your perseverance (endurance and patience in what you experience) you will win your souls (be delivered from the present distress, possess peace and joy even during the above afflictions and not be deceived by false prophets).
v 20…And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies (the Roman army with Vespasian and Titus did this on Nisan 12, right before Passover, trapping multitudes inside the city), then recognize that her desolation is at hand.
v 21…Then let those who are in Judea (where Jerusalem was; they saw the Romans coming) flee to the mountains (ranges, away from the city), and let those who are in the midst of the city depart (before the city is closed up), and let not those who are in the country enter the city (for protection-many fled to Pella and other places when Vespasian approached because they were watching; believers will flee there from the False Messiah in the birth-pains);
v 22…because these are days of vengeance (for rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah and the kingdom), in order that all things which are written (in the Scriptures) may be fulfilled (given meaning).
v 23…Woe (lamentations await you) to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days (because of the extra burden and not being able to move fast to escape; some will decide to stay and endure the siege); for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to his people (the generation in 70 AD),
v 24…and they will fall by the edge of the sword (Josephus says over a million were slain), and will be led captive unto all nations (97,000 were sold to Egypt, and then dispersed from there); and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot (treated lightly, dominated) by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles (their domination of the city) be fulfilled (eschatologically, then Israel will be regathered and Yeshua returns to set up Israel and the kingdom of God, the Temple and the Torah-Rom 11.25-26; Ezek 37.11-28).
v 25…And there will be signs (signals) in the sun and moon and stars (may be literal, but Ecc 12.2 uses these in a figurative sense, too; true knowledge of God in Torah facts will be dark, believers will be persecuted and individual people and teachers will fall), and upon the land dismay among the nations (the surrounding nations) in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves (turbulence among the wicked-Isa 57.20),
v 26…men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the land (of Judea), for the powers of the heavens will be shaken (government stability will be removed by Yehovah).
v 27…And then will they see the son of Man (Bar Enosh and an eschatological title from Dan 7.13) coming in (or with) a cloud with power and great glory (in the kingdom to bring judgment upon Judea, the city, and the Temple-Luke 12.49-53).
v 28…But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads (don’t get down); because your redemption is drawing near (Jewish persecution of the believers in Yeshua, as evidenced all through the book of Acts, will cease).”
v 29…And he told them a parable (a midrashic aggadah), “Behold (take note) the fig tree (Israel) and all the trees (nations);
v 30…as soon as they put forth (leaves), you see it (for yourselves, you don’t need a hint because it is so obvious) that summer is near (here).
v 31…Even so you, too (likewise), when you see these things happening (like the leaves coming forth), recognize the kingdom of God (his movement and rule in action and power) is near (here to overthrow his enemies).
v 32…Truly I say to you, this generation (in the first century) will not pass away until all things (just described) take place.
v 33…Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
v 34…Be on guard (for yourselves) that your hearts may not be weighed down by dissipation and drunkenness (eating and drinking to dull the senses) and the worries of life, and that day (when Rome comes to destroy Jerusalem) come upon you suddenly like a trap (and you are caught);
v 35…for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of the land (Galilee, Judea, Israel as a whole).
v 36…But keep on the alert at all times (and seasons), praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place (concerning the fall of Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, the Temple, etc), and stand (with confidence to prevail) before the son of Man (when this judgment comes).”
v 37…Now during the day he was teaching in the Temple (as the Passover lamb he was being inspected for blemishes), but at evening he would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet (watching like Jonah-Jonah 4.3).
v 38…And all the people would get up early in the morning and come to him in the Temple to listen to him (directly; zeal motivated them to come repeatedly because “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks”-John 7.46).
Leave a Reply