From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
Books Utilized Code Numbers at End of Chapter
WEB: He looked up, and saw the rich people who were putting their gifts into the treasury.
Young’s: And having looked up, he saw those who did
cast their gifts to the treasury -- rich men,
Conte (RC): And looking around, he saw the wealthy putting their donations into the offertory.
21:1 And He looked up. Why He was (implicitly) looking down we don’t know. After an extended period discussing controversial matters with a variety of individuals, He may well have been taking a short rest since no one seemed to have anything more to say. Then, when “He looked up” He saw something that had not been happening earlier or which He was too involved in other matters to say anything about. [rw]
Or: That “He looked up,” may mean that He had been bowed in meditation, or that the offerings were made on a place above that on which He sat. The exact position of the “treasury” is not certainly known. Lightfoot understands the treasury to have been in the Court of the Women. If it was the cloister surrounding this court, or some part of it, Christ, sitting in the court, would obviously be “over against it” (Mark 12:4). Before this time, Jesus is said (John ) to have spoken “in the treasury, as He taught in the temple.” 
and saw the rich men. Standing last and emphatically in the sentence, "Saw them that were casting, etc.--rich men." Not the rich only were casting in. Compare Mark xii. 41. 
St. Mark tells us that the gifts were large (Mark ). 
gifts into the treasury. In the central court of the
WEB: He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins.
Young’s: and he saw also a certain poor widow
casting there two mites,
Conte (RC): Then he also saw a certain widow, a pauper, putting in two small brass coins.
21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow. Her economic status (“poor”) combined with her widowhood combined to assure that she would not have much to give. [rw]
casting in thither two mites. The mite was the smallest current coin. Two of these little pieces were the smallest legal offering which could be dropped into the “trumpet.” But this sum, as [Jesus], who knew all things, tells us (verse 4), was every particle of money she had in the world; and it was this splendid generosity on the part of the poor solitary widow which won the Lord’s praise. 
WEB: He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them,
Young’s: and he said, 'Truly I say to you, that
this poor widow did cast in more than all;
Conte (RC): And he said: "Truly, I say to you, that this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you. i.e., “It may not seem that way [but] the reality is. . . .” 
that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all. In proportion to her means, which is God's standard (2 Corinthians ). 
How truly God looketh at the heart!
According to that the gift of one, a woman, very poor, outweighs the
donations of “many rich men,” who “cast in much” (Mark ). 
Because “one coin out of a little is better than a treasure out of much, and it is not considered how much is given, but how much remains behind.” --Saint Ambrose. In the Talmud a High priest is similarly taught by a vision not to despise a poor woman’s offering of meal. The true estimate of human actions, as Godet well observes, is according to their quality, not according to their quantity. 
Weymouth: For from what they could well spare they have all of them contributed to the offerings, but she in her need has thrown in all she had to live on."
WEB: for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on."
Young’s: for all these out of their superabundance
did cast into the gifts to God, but this one out of her want, all the living
that she had, did cast in.'
Conte (RC): For all these, out of their abundance, have added to the gifts for God. But she, out of what she needed, has put in all that she had to live on."
21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury [poverty, NKJV] hath cast in all the living that she had. God’s estimate of benevolence takes in not only what is given, but what is reserved. The mere pittance of the widow, bestowed out of what was not enough for a living—her want, or lack—was of more value in His sight than the great sums out of the superfluity [= abundance] of men who, no matter how much they gave, had still left more than they had any need to use. 
all the living. Means, probably, all that she had for the next day’s subsistence. 
For thought: the misuse of the “mite” concept: The essence of charity is self-denial. But in these days most people give “mites” out of their vast superfluity,--which is no charity at all; and they talk of these offerings as “mites,” as though that word excused and even consecrated an offering miserably inadequate. 
In depth: Incidents Luke omits that are narrated by John and which appear to have occurred between where verse four stops and verse five begins. Luke omits (1) the incident of the Greeks who ask to see Jesus (John 12:20-22); (2) His exclamations of triumph (John 12:23); (3) the prediction of the Passion (John 12:24-28); (4) the heavenly voice (John 12:28-30); (5) the prediction of triumph through suffering (John 12:31-36); (6) His rejection by the people (John 12:37-50). 
WEB: As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said,
Young’s: And certain saying about the temple, that
with goodly stones and devoted things it hath been adorned, he said,
Conte (RC): And when some of them were saying, about the temple, that it was adorned with excellent stones and gifts, he said,
21:5 Introductory note: Jesus speaks as a prophet and how that impacts the language He uses . It seems not inappropriate that our Great Prophet, who was about to accomplish His function of Great High Priest, should close His utterances connected with the temple by this prophecy in the strictest sense. He looks forward to the destruction of the temple, of the Old Testament polity, and, as closely joined with that, of the whole pre-Messianic constitution of things.
We need to bear in mind that He here speaks as a prophet, in the manner of other prophets; sometimes, in figurative and metaphorical language, not describing the future with the definiteness of history, leaving much obscure in the interpretation, until the events shall be fully accomplished. These are obvious features of prophecy in the Old, and elsewhere in the New Testament, and, hence, to be looked for here.
If it be objected that He was Divine, and other prophets human, let us not forget that He, also, was human. When we consider that He Himself said, concerning this very subject—His own second advent—that He knew not the day nor the hour, we can only speculate, with reverence, as to what difference there was in prophetic activity between Him and the earlier prophets, who spoke as they were borne on by the Holy Spirit.
Divisions of the lengthy prophecy that follows. The prophecy
is divided into three parts embracing—1.
The destruction of
And as some spake of the temple. From Luke’s account, we might think of this conversation as arising within the temple courts. Matthew 24:1, and Mark 13:1, show us that it was as He went forth from the temple, on Tuesday evening—Wednesday eve, in the Jewish reckoning—and that the subject was proposed by His disciples. Could it be that they remembered what He had said (, 44), and “spake” by the way of lamentation over so much beauty and grandeur? 
how it was adorned with goodly
stones. The enormous size of the stones and blocks of
marble with which the
Or: Either referring to the large, square, and well-finished stones of which the eastern wall was built, or to the precious stones which might have been used in decorating the temple itself. 
and gifts. This
word properly denotes anything devoted or dedicated to God. Anciently warriors dedicated to their gods the
spoils of war--the shields, and helmets, and armor, and garments of those slain
in battle. These were suspended in the
temples. It would seem that something of this kind had occurred in the
He said. This offering an appropriate opportunity to share with them more of the coming tragedy that they and the nation would live through. [rw]
WEB: "As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down."
Young’s: 'These things that ye behold -- days will
come, in which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone,
that shall not be thrown down.'
Conte (RC): "These things that you see, the days will arrive when there will not be left behind stone upon stone, which is not thrown down."
21:6 As for these things which ye behold. He rules out any possibility of misunderstanding. This temple. These stones. They will face a horrible fate. [rw]
the days will come. Further, there will be wars and tumults but by these believers are not to be terrified. It is always a temptation of shallow minds to interpret every unusual event as a sign of the approaching end of the world. Our Lord assured His disciples that all through the passing years such events would happen without warranting the conclusion that the great event is near; as He declared. 
"The whole extent
In this kind of context of convulsions rocking the Empire from East to West, the idea of a tragedy on this scale would fit in well with the horror of the time. [rw]
in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. There is a remarkable passage in 2 Esdr. x. 54, “In the place wherein the Highest beginneth to show his city, there can no man’s building be able to stand.” The Lord’s words were fulfilled, in spite of the strong wish of Titus to spare the temple. Josephus, writing upon the utter demolition of the city and temple, says that, with the exception of Herod’s three great towers and part of the western wall, the whole circuit of the city was so thoroughly leveled and dug up that no one visiting it would believe that it had ever been inhabited (‘Bell. Jud.,’ vii. 1. 1). 
How this [prediction] must have amazed the disciples, with their ideas of the sanctity, as well as the vastness of the place, we may conceive from the fact that Titus himself, when he saw the greatness of the rock masses in its walls, ascribes its conquest to the power of God (Josephus, Jewish Wars, vi. 9, 1). But the obstinacy of the Jews had driven him to destroy it against his choice (Josephus, Jewish Wars, vi. 4, 5), and thus God had, indeed, through him, wrought out the Saviour’s prediction. 
WEB: They asked him, "Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?"
Young’s: And they questioned
him, saying, 'Teacher, when, then, shall these things be? and
what is the sign when these things may be about to happen?'
Conte (RC): Then they questioned him, saying: "Teacher, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things will happen?
21:7 Introductory note: What happens between the previous verse and what is now asked. They had walked on, perhaps in meditative silence, down the steep slope from the temple eastward, and up the side of Olivet, until they were again on a level with, or above, the temple platform, and over against it. Then Jesus sat down, as we learn from Matthew 24:3 and Mark 13:8. 
And they asked him. As if nothing else had engaged their thought. 
The questioners were Peter and James and John and Andrew, Mark 13:3. 
saying, Master, but
when shall these things be? Luke’s
sources seem to have presented here what principally related to the destruction
and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? To them it was inconceivable that something this horrible and world shattering could possibly occur without a warning sign (or signs) coming first: What will it be? Jesus answers them by pointing out that the signs will come in multiple number and in significantly different forms. [rw]
when . . . and what sign. Our Lord leaves the former question unanswered and only deals with the latter. This was His gentle method of discouraging irrelevant or inadmissible questions (compare , 24). 
WEB: He said, "Watch out that you don't get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is at hand.' Therefore don't follow them.
Young’s: And he said, 'See -- ye may not be led
astray, for many shall come in my name, saying -- I am he, and the time hath
come nigh; go not on then after them;
Conte (RC): And he said: "Be cautious, lest you be seduced. For many will come in my name, saying: 'For I am he,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' And so, do not choose to go after them.
21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived. They had free will and they had brains fully
capable of reasoning out whether a person was truly the Christ or not. As I said to my young daughters, “The good
Lord gave you a brain. He expects you to
use it.” [rw]
for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ. Many of these pretenders appeared in the lifetime of the apostles. Josephus mentions several of these impostors (‘
Alternate interpretation as a reference to those tempting Christians in particular by claiming to be the returned Jesus of Nazareth : In their earnest desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man (chapter 17:22) they would be in danger of supposing that any pretended of whom they might hear, was really Christ Himself. The reference, I think, is not to “false Christs” in the sense commonly understood—that is, men addressing themselves to the Jews, and claiming to be the Messiah of prophecy, but to those addressing themselves to Christians, and claiming to be the Christ of history. And this sufficiently accounts for the absence of any allusion to them in the secular and Jewish histories of the period covered by the prophecy.
and the time draweth near. Although one could easily imagine a false Messiah arising who would proclaim “the time for My establishing My earthly kingdom draweth nigh and is about to occur,” that is not the subject under discussion, which is the destruction of the Jewish temple. One would hardly expect a false Christ to proclaim what would surely undercut the popularity of His mission—because I’m now back the temple will be destroyed! How could that possibly gain the disciples he seeks?
However, the language of the false Messiah would convince many that he was what he claimed and his kingdom language would convince them that establishment of his kingdom was now imminent as well. (After all, wouldn’t the two inevitably go hand-in-hand?) In contrast, when Christians heard the same words, they would understand this to be an indication that Jesus’ words were being fulfilled instead. Traditionalists will be fantasizing of imminent glory. In contrast, Christians will recognize that these are an indication that the time of the destruction of the temple is near—not the re-establishment of the traditional Jewish monarchy. [rw]
go ye not therefore after them. Give them no credence. Be not persuaded to leave your posts of patient continuance in My service, where your heavenly Father shall have stationed you. 
WEB: When you hear of wars and disturbances, don't be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won't come immediately."
Young’s: and when ye may hear of wars and
uprisings, be not terrified, for it behoveth these
things to happen first, but the end is not immediately.'
Conte (RC): And when you will have heard of battles and seditions, do not be terrified. These things must happen first. But the end is not so soon."
21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars. Hear of:” Bad news travels fast. And not always accurately. The war may be genuine but it may just be local military posturing either intended to frighten a possible / likely foe. (Always cheaper than an actual war!) Or the hatred on both sides of a border may be so palpable that you’d have to be dense not to expect war. If you have relatives there. If products you grow or make are sold there. In such cases the news doesn’t have to be confirmed yet to be extremely unnerving. Especially when you know that wars will precede what happens to the Jewish temple. [rw]
and commotions. Insurrections. Subjects rising against their rulers. 
Tumults—political disturbances. 
akatastasias, conditions of
instability and rottenness, the opposite to peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16. Such commotions were the massacre of 20,000
Jews in their fight with the Gentiles at
be not terrified. The last verb is appropriately used in classical Greek of a scared animal: “be not scared.” 
for these things must first come to pass. Coming to pass is a certainty; only the specific timing is at issue. And—as despairing as these will be to the soul—“the end” still had not arrived. There is a useful lesson for us today: as the world periodically goes through various crises: the Lord will return on His own schedule and not just because the world is making a mess of itself. [rw]
but the end is not
by and by [immediately, NKJV]. I.e., immediately. Such an announcement of the plan of
The words are most important as a warning against the same eschatological excitement which Paul discourages in 2 Thessalonians (“The end is not yet,” Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7). The things which “must first come to pass” before the final end were (1) physical disturbances—which so often synchronize with historic crises, as Niebuhr has observed; (2) persecutions; (3) apostasy; (4) wide evangelization; (5) universal troubles of war, etc. They were the “beginning of birth-throes” (Matthew 24:8); what the Jews called the “birth-pangs of the Messiah.” 
Historical note: first century fulfillment of “wars and commotions” . The best commont on the primary fulfillment of this Discourse is the Jewish War of Josephus, and the Annals and History of Tacitus (Ann. xii. 38, xv. 22, xvi. 13), whose narrative is full of earthquakes, wars, crimes, violences and pollutions, and who describes the period which he is narrating as one which was “rich in calamities, horrible with battles, rent with seditions, savage even in peace itself.
The main difficulties of
our Lord’s Prophecy vanish when we bear in mind (i)
that Prophecy is like a landscape in which time and space are subordinated to
eternal relations, and in which events look like hills seen chain behind chain
which to the distant spectator appear as one; and (ii) that in the necessarily
condensed and varying reports of the Evangelists, sometimes the primary
fulfillment (which is shown most decisively and irrefragably by verse 32 to be
the Fall of Jerusalem), sometimes the ultimate fulfillment is
predominant. The Fall
WEB: Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Young’s: Then said he to them, 'Nation shall rise
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
Conte (RC): Then he said to them: "People will rise up against people, and kingdom against kingdom.
said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against
the focus of the text is on
Weymouth: And there will be great earthquakes, and in places famines and pestilence; and there will be terrible sights and wonderful tokens from Heaven.
WEB: There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
Young’s: great shakings also in every place, and
famines, and pestilences, there shall be; fearful things also, and great signs
from heaven there shall be;
Conte (RC): And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there will be great signs.
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places. Two criteria are given: (1) the size—“great” and (2) the fact that they won’t be confined to one place but occur in a variety of ones, “divers places.” These are probably literal earthquakes, but the “political earthquakes” of verse 10 should not be totally ruled out as possibilities either. [rw]
and famines. Foretold by Agabus; fulfilled under Claudius Caesar. 
pestilences. Josephus (B.J., vi. 9.3) mentions both
pestilence and famine as the immediate preludes of the storming of
and fearful sights and great signs. Among the former may be especially enumerated
the foul and terrible scenes connected with the proceedings of the Zealots (see
fearful sights. Only here in New Testament, and rare in classical Greek. In Septuagint, Isaiah 19:17. Not confined to sights, but fearful things. Revision, better, terrors. Used in medical language by Hippocrates, of fearful objects imagined by the sick. 
Although “fearful sights” could easily be run together as part of the heavenly “great signs” and to be looked for in that arena, it seems more appropriate to divide this into two separate categories: heavenly phenomena (objectively real, illusionary, or totally fear driven) and earthly phenomena that raises awe, shock, or fear—things that one has seen oneself or that others claim to have seen . . . which would run the gauntlet from objectively true, to something briefly observed and misunderstood to being told the 100th version of a rumor of what someone else supposedly saw last week. Either way, emotionally wrenching and destabilizing. [rw]
and great signs there shall be from heaven. Meteoric prodigies, comets, boreal lights, falling starts, flaming swords, and conflicts of warriors in the sky, as reported by Josephus and Tacitus. Such things have been often apparent to the imagination, in times of national trouble. Book vi. Of Josephus’ Wars of the Jews, is sufficient to help one to realize what may have been before the mind of Christ. 
In particular: Josephus mentions a sword-shaped comet. Both Tacitus and Josephus mention that portent that, “Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds, / In rank, and squadron, and right form of war;” and Tacitus tells us how the blind multitude of Jews interpreted these signs in their own favor (Hist., v.13). 
WEB: But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake.
Young’s: and before all these, they shall lay on
you their hands, and persecute, delivering up to synagogues and prisons, being
brought before kings and governors for my name's sake;
Conte (RC): But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, handing you over to synagogues and into custody, dragging you before kings and governors, because of my name.
But before all these. If any one feels a lack of harmony between this statement and Matthew 24:9 or Mark 13:9, which seem to make the persecutions come after, or in company with these things, he may [remove] the difficulty either by laying a special emphasis on all—“before all these”—which the Greek will warrant, or he may understand “before,” not as showing a relation of time, but of importance—above all these things. Excellent scholars have, respectively, adopted both views. But the adverb “then” hardly gives occasion for much difficulty. The persecutions here foretold, were, as a matter of fact, among the first experiences of discipleship after the time of this discourse. See the Book of Acts, from 4:8, throughout. 
they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you. Although the language would apply quite well to individual outbursts of violence or repression, the following words show that the perpetuators intended to make the situation even worse for the victims by invoking the power of organized bodies that had the legal status and authority to do even worse than any individual name calling or abuse. [rw]
delivering you up to the synagogues. As in the case of Stephen and those whom Saul persecuted. 
and into prisons. As with Peter and John (Acts 4:3; ); the apostles (), Paul and Silas. 
being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. They are not just going to use whatever local authority the synagogue might have, they are also going to do their best to drag you before secular authorities and find an excuse to have them punish you as well. In retrospect, the apostles surely remembered what happened to Jesus as a forerunner of such excesses—first moving against Him through the invoking of Jewish power (the Sanhedrin) and then utilizing Roman power and pressuring it to give a veneer of legality to the proceedings that, acting independently, the Sanhedrin could not have. (And also to rule out the danger of the Romans having a fit with them acting without approval, not to mention being able to blame the death on the Romans if any large Jewish backlash occurred.) [rw]
WEB: It will turn out as a testimony for you.
Young’s: and it shall become to you for a
Conte (RC): And this will be an opportunity for you to give testimony.
And it shall turn to you for a testimony. I.e., prove an opportunity for you to testify more widely and effectively to the truth of the gospel. (Compare Acts 5:41; Philippians 1:12ff.). The practice of the apostles, Peter and Paul eminently, as familiar to us from the Acts, interprets the meaning here. 
See Mark 13:9. “In nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation,” Philippians . “A manifest token of the righteous judgment of God,” 2 Thessalonians 1:5. 
WEB: Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer,
Young’s: 'Settle, then, to your hearts, not to
meditate beforehand to reply,
Conte (RC): Therefore, set this in your hearts: that you should not consider in advance how you might respond.
Settle it therefore in your hearts. Decide beforehand; make this your standpoint policy even before the challenge arises. Be prepared ahead of time; there is no need to panic. [rw]
not to meditate. “To meditate” has in it something of anxious forethought; the parallel word in Mark being that which the Revision translates “be not anxious.” In such an emergency they are forbidden to depend on any ability of their own. 
before what ye shall answer. A public speaker of their day would have given considerable thought to what to say. Even his “spontaneous” “spur-of-the-moment” interjections might well be pre-plotted for maximum effect. They would have no need for such. Trust in Christ (verse 15)—they would say the right things. [rw]
WEB: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict.
Young’s: for I will give to you a mouth and wisdom
that all your opposers shall not be able to refute or
Conte (RC): For I will give to you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict.
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom. As in Exodus 4:11, 12; Jeremiah 1:9; Isaiah 6:6. God, as Milton says, “sendeth forth His cherubim with the hallowed fire of His altar to touch the lips of whom He will.” 
Eloquence, ability to speak as the case may demand. Compare Exodus 4:11. .
Utterance and thought, matter and manner, substance and form of discourse. The cause being His, Jesus assumes the whole care of its management through them. 
which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay [contradict, NKJV] nor resist. That is, so as effectually to arrest their testimony, or to break its evidential force. In another sense they might powerfully resist and silence the disciples, but the testimony of these would prevail, even at the sacrifice of their lives, if need be. 
Weymouth: You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives, friends; and some of you they will put to death.
WEB: You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death.
Young’s: 'And ye shall be delivered up also by
parents, and brothers, and kindred, and friends, and they shall put of you to
Conte (RC): And you will be handed over by your parents, and brothers, and relatives, and friends. And they will bring about the death of some of you.
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends. There is no absolute protection anywhere. If one were to list the least likely place one would be endangered, it would be from these sources. Yet even there, there is no rock sure protection against betrayal. The closest of bonds may be shattered out of rage, anger, or the desire to protect themselves against being branded as accepting your “heresy.” [rw]
and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. Of the four to whom He was immediately speaking, perhaps all, and certainly two were martyred. 
WEB: You will be hated by all men for my name's sake.
Young’s: and ye shall be hated by all because of
my name --
Conte (RC): And you will be hated by all because of my name.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. All the records of early Christianity unite in bearing witness to the universal hatred with which the new sect were regarded by pagans as well as Jews. The words of the Roman Jews reported in Acts xxviii. 22 well sum this up, “As concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” The Roman writers Tacitus, Pliny, and Suetonius, bear the same testimony. 
“We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes,” Acts 24:5. “They speak against you as evil doers,” 1 Peter . “Reproached for the name of Christ,” 1 Peter . “A malefic, an excessive, execrable superstition” (Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius). 
WEB: And not a hair of your head will perish.
Young’s: and a hair out of your head shall not
Conte (RC): And yet, not a hair of your head will perish.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish. Not, of course, to be understood literally ; for compare verse 16. Bengel’s comment accurately paraphrases it: “Not a hair of your head shall perish without the special providence of God, nor without reward, nor before the due time.” The words, too, had a general fulfillment; for the Christian community of Palestine, warned by this very discourse of the Lord’s, fled in time from the doomed city, and so escaped the extermination which overtook the Jewish people in the great war which ended in the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). 
It is a proverbial speech, signifying that they should have no hurt or damage by any thing which their enemies should do against them. When at the last you come to cast up your accounts, you shall find you have lost nothing, and your enemies shall also find that they have gained nothing. 
WEB: "By your endurance you will win your lives.
Young’s: in your patience possess ye your souls.
Conte (RC): By your patience, you shall possess your souls.
In your patience possess ye your souls. The Revision correctly reads it as a promise, not a command. “Patience,” here, as commonly in the New Testament, is persevering endurance, against obstacles, in the exercise of faith. By this, those who held out faithful till His return would win, or gain, acquire, “purchase” (McClellan), make sure of, their souls. This is according to Matthew 10:22; Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 2:12. The opposite case is that of John 15:6. The declaration closes the preceding series thus: By faithful endurance of persecutions and trials for My sake, not only will ye not suffer the least real damage, but rather, by this very course make sure of your souls = your eternal life. 
Endurance, not violence, is the Christian’s protection, and shall save the soul, and the true life, even if it loses all else. 
when you see
Young’s: 'And when ye may see
Conte (RC): Then, when you will have seen
And when ye shall see
then know that
the desolation thereof is nigh. The
previous phenomena would occur repeatedly:
wars, rumors of wars, famines, etc are in the plural number. But when the armies arrive and besiege
In depth: The difference in language with Matthew and
Mark . The substitution of
surrounded by armies for the expression "abomination of
desolation". We see nothing to
hinder us from regarding this sign as identical in sense with that announced by
Matthew and Mark in Daniel's words (in the Septuagint): "the abomination of desolation standing
in the holy place." Why not
understand thereby the Gentile standards planted on the sacred soil which
surrounds the holy city? Luke has
substituted for the obscure prophetic expression a term more intelligible to
Gentiles. It has often been concluded
from this substitution, that Luke had modified the form of Jesus' saying under
the influence of the event itself, and that consequently he had written after
the destruction of
WEB: Then let
those who are in
Young’s: then those in Judea, let them flee to the
mountains; and those in her midst, let them depart out; and those in the
countries, let them not come in to her;
Conte (RC): Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and those who are in its midst withdraw, and those who are in the countryside not enter into it.
Then let them which are in
and let them which are in the midst of it part out. If in
and let not them
that are in the countries enter thereinto. The [flee]
direction is then made more specific: “
WEB: For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Young’s: because these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all things that have been written.
Conte (RC): For these are the days of retribution, so that all things may be fulfilled, which have been written.
For these be the days of vengeance. See Daniel 9:26, 27. Josephus again and again calls attention to the abnormal wickedness as the cause of the divine retribution which overtook them. In his Wars of the Jews he declares that no generation and no city was “so plunged in misery since the foundation of the world” (v. 10.5). 
that all things which are written may be fulfilled. See ; Isaiah 29:2-4; Hosea 10:14, 15; Deuteronomy 28:49-57; 1 Kings 9:6-9; Psalms lxxix. 1-13; Micah 3:8-12. 
WEB: Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people.
Young’s: 'And woe to those with child, and to
those giving suck, in those days; for there shall be great distress on the
land, and wrath on this people;
Conte (RC): Then woe to those who are pregnant or nursing in those days. For there will be great distress upon the land and great wrath upon this people.
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! Their case in particular is bewailed, because they will be peculiarly unable to bear that long and hurried flight, which alone can avert a horrible fate. 
shall be great distress in the land. I.e.,
The anguish and
suffering brought upon the people by the siege was terrible. Although the seat of war was eventually and
finally transferred to the city of
and wrath upon this people. Josephus, speaking long afterward of the fulfillment of this prophecy, says (Preface to the Jewish Wars), “It appears to me that the misfortunes of all men from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were.” Jewish Wars, V. 10, 5: “Neither did any other city suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the foundation of the world.” Such, repeated in substance a hundred times, was the testimony of one of themselves, an eyewitness both to the wickedness and the distress. 
great distress . . . and wrath. 1 Thessalonians 2:16, “Wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” Josephus says that, when there were no more to plunder or slay, after “incredible slaughter and miseries,” Titus ordered the city to be razed so completely as to look like a spot which had never been inhabited. Wars of the Jews, vi. 10, vii. 1. 
WEB: They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Young’s: and they shall fall by the mouth of the
sword, and shall be led captive to all the nations, and Jerusalem shall be
trodden down by nations, till the times of nations be
Conte (RC): And they will fall by the edge of the sword. And they will be led away as captives into all nations. And
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword. Josephus computes the number of those who perished in the siege at eleven hundred thousand, besides those who were slain in other places. 
and shall be led away captive into all nations. The number of the Jews taken by the Romans during the war amounted to about ninety-seven thousand, besides eleven thousand who were either starved through neglect, or starved themselves through sullenness and despair. Some of the youngest and handsomest were sent to Rome to adorn the triumph of Titus; many were distributed to the several cities of Syria, where they perished in the theaters, being compelled to fight with wild beasts, and to engage in mortal combats with each other. The remainder of those above seventeen years of age were sent to labor in the Egyptian mines, and those under that age were sold for slaves. 
Denoting the oppression and contempt which shall follow conquest. 
The estai patoumene of the original implies a more permanent result than the simple future. Compare Revelation 11:2. 
until the times of the Gentiles be
fulfilled. Survey of approaches : These
words have received divers interpretations. Some would have the times of the Gentiles to
signify, only the period during which the Romans held the city, till it was
rebuilt. Others till the end of the
world, during the whole Christian dispensation.
Others find here a plain prophecy, that
Read as inferring the future conversion of the Jews en masse : Implying (1) that one day Jerusalem shall cease to be "trodden down by the Gentiles" (Revelation 11:2); (2) that this shall be at the "completion" of "the times of the Gentiles," which from Romans 11:25 (taken from this) we conclude to mean till the Gentiles have had their full time of that place in the Church, which the Jews in their time had before them--after which, the Jews being again "grafted into their own olive true," one Church of Jew and Gentile together shall fill the earth (Romans 11).
Read in a chronological sense as indicating the
transition of discussion from destruction of the temple to the bodily return of
Jesus : These words separate the prophecy of Jesus
which belongs solely to the ruin of the city and temple from the eschatological
portion of the same prophecy. Hitherto
the Lord’s words referred solely to the fall of
Read as an indication of the period of Gentile dominancy within the ranks of God’s chosen people : “The times of the Gentiles”—their seasons—or opportunities, are to be understood as the antithesis of the season of Jerusalem (19:44), the opportunity, that is, which is to be afforded the Gentiles for sharing the blessedness of the gospel. They are even to administer the kingdom of God, the true theocracy, which will be taken away from the wicked husbandmen, and given to others (20:16).
That period, as distinguished from the existing one, would be eminently the times of the Gentiles. The plural, “the times,” is freely employed by us, as a larger synonym, for “the time,” and so in Scripture (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1). The plural may, of course, be used to signify different periods, of the nations successively (Godet), but not so reasonably.
“Fulfilled” = ended, brought to a close. That would be naturally at the end of the world, unless some intimation were given of a prior date. [ ? ]
WEB: There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves;
Young’s: And there shall be signs in sun, and
moon, and stars, and on the land is distress of nations with perplexity, sea
and billow roaring;
Conte (RC): And there will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. And there will be, on earth, distress among the Gentiles, out of confusion at the roaring of the sea and of the waves:
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. See Matt. xxiv. 29. These are figurative expressions, signifying primarily the great distresses and portents which would attend the destruction of the city--but under that type the end of the world. 
St. Matthew (xxiv.29)
supplies more details concerning these “signs.” The sun would be darkened, and the moon would
not give her light; the stars would fall from heaven. These words are evidently a memory of
language used by the Hebrew prophets to express figuratively the downfall of kingdoms. So Isaiah (xiii. 10) speaks thus of the
and upon the earth distress of nations. What is happening in the physical – political world seems just as ominous as what is being seen in the sky and heavens. [rw]
distress. Denotes anxiety of mind, such an anxiety as men have when they do not know what to do to free themselves from calamities; and it means that the calamities would be so great and overwhelming that they would not know what to do to escape. 
of nations. It’s
not going to be limited to one location.
It isn’t going to be just
with perplexity. Confusion, uncertainty, bewilderment at what was happening. “This wasn’t the way it was supposed to turn out. It couldn’t turn out this way, could it?” There are disasters that are incomprehensible to those who have to live through them and, if it ever makes sense to them, it only comes afterwards. [rw]
the sea and the waves roaring. This is not to be understood literally, but as an image of great distress. Probably it is designed to denote what these calamities would come upon them like a deluge. As when in a storm the ocean roars and wave rolls on wave and dashes against the shore, and each succeeding surge is more violent than the one that preceded it, so would the calamities come upon Judea. They would roll over the whole land, and each wave of trouble would be more violent than the one that preceded it, until the whole country would be desolate. The same image is also used in Isaiah 8:7-8 and Revelation 12:15. 
In depth: When
interpreted as not referring to the destruction of
WEB: men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
fainting at heart from fear, and expectation of the things coming on the world,
for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Conte (RC): men withering away out of fear and out of apprehension over the things that will overwhelm the whole world. For the powers of the heavens will be moved.
Men's hearts failing them. This is an expression denoting the highest terror. The word rendered "failing" commonly denotes "to die;" and here it means that the terror would be so great that men would be ready to die in view of the approaching calamities. 
for fear and looking after those things which are coming on the earth. Fear, of the present; expectation, of the future. 
They have no way of specifying what form the future tragedy will take. But based on what has happened and what is happening, they can only assume something at least as bad if not far, far worse. [rw]
for the powers of heaven. An obscure phrase, meaning, perhaps, the physical forces that control the movements of the heavenly bodies. 
shall be shaken. Efforts to make the heavenly language basically literal: This is given as the ground of all the changes spoken of in these two verses, “the powers of the heavens” being those forces and laws which hold the heavenly bodies in their places, and maintain the visible order of the universe. These are so disturbed, to the Savior’s view, that it is as if all nature were falling into ruin. Luke avoids all decided recognition of the popular and poetic view of the heavens, or sky, as a firm canopy, or vault, in which the heavenly bodies are fixed, or under which they move. In the Revelation (), the stars fall out of it upon the earth. And in Matthew 24:29, it is added to what we have here that “the stars shall fall from heaven.” In the light of the more advanced science of modern times, such views might be thought childish, but to the simple conception of earlier days, nothing could be more sublime than these descriptions of general collapse and destruction. 
Other approaches: Although the text could intend the connotation that the physical heavens themselves are being shaken, in this passage the emphasis seems to be that “those things which are coming on the earth” are demonstrations / proofs of how “the powers of heaven” have already been crippled. It isn’t that things are visibly happening in the heavens, but that the earthly events are tangible evidence that something dramatic has already drastically changed in the heavenly quarters beyond this physical earth.
To a pagan this could easily mean that the gods had turned against them and what is happening on earth verifies that. To a Jew or Christian, it could mean that Satan has been decisively crushed and his power curbed, resulting in the protection he could provide to Christianity’s earthly enemies being broken. Or it could mean the powerful restraining hand of God that had kept things stable on earth was now removed and the earth would see what otherwise would have been normal events if His providential hand had not been involved.
On the other hand, we may be guilty of striving toward an over-literalism that the ancients—in their “ignorance”—would never have been guilty of: that all that is meant is that all elements of stability have been crunched into pieces everywhere one looks—both “below” and “above,” so to speak. Scientific “accuracy” is not their goal; conveying reality and truth was. [rw]
WEB: Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Young’s: 'And then they shall see the Son of Man,
coming in a cloud, with power and much glory;
Conte (RC): And then they will see the Son of man coming on a cloud, with great power and majesty.
And then shall they see the Son of Man coming. The words may refer to more than one event, for prophecy sees in one world-crisis the premonition of others, and finally of the end of all things. The Son of Man comes in every great world-crisis (Matthew 16:17, 28), and each coming, seen, like all spiritual events, by the soul and not by the senses, is a foreshadowing of His coming when every eye shall see Him. 
Nothing is said in this place as to any millennial reign of Christ on earth. The description is that of a transitory appearance destined to effect the work upon quick and dead--an appearance defined more particularly by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 15:23 and 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. 
in a cloud. So the Savior departed from the earth, and so, it is promised, that He shall return (Acts 1:9-11). Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. The cloud is His vehicle—“who maketh the clouds His chariot” (Psalms 104:3). 
with power and great glory. Expressive, partly, of the indescribable majesty and splendor of His personal appearance, partly, of the impressiveness of His attendant [angels and the dead] (Matthew 25:31; 1 Thessalonians ). 
WEB: But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near."
Young’s: and these things beginning to happen bend
yourselves back, and lift up your heads, because your redemption doth draw
Conte (RC): But when these things begin to happen, lift up your heads and look around you, because your redemption draws near."
And when these things begin to come to pass. Assuming that these phenomena are to take only a short period of time: The emphasis is on “begin.” That state of things will not long continue. It is the omen of an imminent revolution, which will be to the disciples a glad and glorious deliverance. It is a time, therefore, that calls for prompt action. 
Assuming that these phenomena may take a significantly longer period of time: The time to be joyous is as early as you can be sure things are happening that point to the event. There is no need to wait till the proverbial “last minute.” Indeed, why deny yourself the anticipatory joy that is rightly yours after repeated hardships? The world sees the omens of catastrophe; you see those of redemption! [rw]
then look up, and lift up your heads. He views them as bowed down under the trials and disappointments of the long waiting for Him (; 18:8), and calls to them, literally, “Straighten yourselves up”; behold the happy change! The Lord is at hand! 
for your redemption draweth nigh. When these things are
seen, then the Christian Church will be liberated from all subservience to the
Jewish rulers, and established in the earth in its own power and right. Many of the events of the book of Acts and
the arguments of the Epistles, manifest how difficult
it was for the early Christians to emancipate themselves from Jewish
prejudices, and rise to the demands of a whole world lying in sin. The Apostle to the Gentiles himself made frequent
WEB: He told them a parable. "See the fig tree, and all the trees.
Young’s: And he spake a
simile to them: 'See the fig-tree, and all the trees,
Conte (RC): And he told them a comparison: "Take notice of the fig tree and of all the trees.
And He spake
to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees. Many have
supposed that Jesus indicated
a parable. The word is used in its most general sense—an illustrative comparison. The sense is obvious: As surely as you know from the fresh shoots of the trees in spring that summer is at hand, so surely may you understand, when the things of which I have spoken come to pass, “that the kingdom of God is nigh,” in its completed glory and blessedness. 
the fig tree. A common tree and early in bloom. 
and all the trees. This is added by St. Luke only. The fig-tree would be specially significant to Jewish readers. 
Weymouth: As soon as they have shot out their leaves, you know at a glance that summer is now near.
WEB: When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near.
Young’s: when they may now cast forth, having
seen, of yourselves ye know that now is the summer nigh;
Conte (RC): When presently they produce fruit from themselves, you know that summer is near.
When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. They know by personal observation—“of your own selves”—that summer is close when these various trees begin to bear fruit. You can’t figure out everything by observation, but this is a case where you can. [rw]
Weymouth: So also, when
you see these things happening, you may be sure that the
WEB: Even so
you also, when you see these things happening, know that the
Young’s: so also
ye, when ye may see these things happening, ye know that near is the reign of
Conte (RC): So you also, when you will have seen these things happen, know that the kingdom of God is near.
likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the
WEB: Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished.
Young’s: verily I say to you -- This generation
may not pass away till all may have come to pass;
Conte (RC): Amen I say to you, this lineage shall not pass away, until all these things happen.
Verily I say unto you. “I am saying something very important to you. Pay close attention.” [rw]
This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Interpreted as meaning within a matter of decades . In the interpretation of this verse, a verse which has occasioned much perplexity to students, any non-natural sense for “generation,” such as being an equivalent for the Christian Church (Origen and Chrysostom) or the human race (Jerome) must be at once set aside. [The Greek here for] generation denotes roughly a period of thirty to forty years. Thus the words of the Lord here simply asserted that within thirty or forty years all he had been particularly detailing would be fulfilled. Now, the burden of his prophecy had been the destruction of the city and temple, and the signs they were to look for as immediately preceding this great catastrophe. Before forty years had elapsed the city and temple, now lying before them in all its strength and beauty, would have disappeared.
“Generation” interpreted as meaning the survival of the Jewish race . It is clear that by “generation” the Savior did not mean the people then living; for while this is one of the significations of the word, it is not the only one, nor is it one which will harmonize with the context.
It also means race, breed, kind, sort, species. Hence, as all the things predicted can not be said to have been fulfilled so long as the times of the Gentiles continue (verse 24), we must select out of these meanings that which best agrees with this face—saying nothing here of the second coming and the wonderful events connected with it. The word “race” meets this requirement and seems also to be indicated by the marvelous preservation of the Jews as a distinct people.
The interpretation given by Lange—“the generation of those who know and discern these signs”—meaning that there shall always be believers in Christ up to the time of His final coming—would satisfy the demand of the context which I have mentioned, but is objectionable on other grounds. After telling Christians how they shall know the signs, and what they shall do and how they shall feel when they see them—thus taking it for granted that there will be Christians then; surely nothing is added to the sense of the passage by a formal announcement of this fact. In my apprehension [= understanding], therefore, this interpretation enfeebles rather than strengthens the main thought.
In depth: Possible scenarios of why the text speaks of a relatively near term fulfillment when only part of the passage was actually within that historical context : The declaration that all which had just been predicted would come to pass within about forty years from that time occasions a serious difficulty, when we look back on it in the cool light of history, and can see that, after many generations, the Son of man has not come in His final glory yet. There are three obvious ways of diluting the difficulty:
1. The discourse, as given by Luke, or by either of the other Synoptists, is abridged, and demonstrably not given in the actual order of its delivery. This appears from the fact that each differs, in points, from both the others. And if we suppose some sentence to have been spoken which is not recorded for us, or the present sentence to have been spoken with some unrecorded modification, the knowledge of that might relieve the statement of all appearance of discrepancy with later facts.
2. Christ, as we have said before, is speaking, in all this as a prophet. Now prophecy, as a rule, takes no precise note of elapsing time. What it foresees, it foresees as passing pictorially before the vision, in its separate acts, or even as simultaneously present, with no standard to measure, or, rather than no hint of the existence of, definite intervals of time. If, then, we might be allowed reverently to imagine that our Lord now beholds all down to the destruction of Jerusalem as one moving picture, and all after that down to the grand consumption as another, then “all things” might express the former—which would take place before that generation should have ceased from the earth. “The times of the Gentiles,” the commotions of heaven and earth, and the coming of the Son of man, appear as one event, accomplished in effect when its first hour struck, following the “all things” which shall have been fulfilled.
3. The sentence under consideration may have early become misplaced in the reports of the discourse. We see frequently verses and whole paragraphs, of the same contents, differently situated in the different Gospels. It does not seem improbable that, if another, a verbatim, report had been brought from the very lips of Jesus we should have found these words somewhat differently connected with the preceding
Such variation would be particularly liable to occur in the discourse before us. The subject was mysterious and abstruse. The two ends, that of Jerusalem and that of the world, were so blended in the prophecy, and according to the custom of prophecy, that, of the apprehension [= understanding] of the disciples, they became almost entirely identified.
We, who live after the fulfillment touching the one event, find it difficult to distinguish in the oracle what related to each event. How impossible must it have been for the disciples to do so before either event! They would, naturally, remember the discourse as one, on one theme, and did cherish the belief that the second coming might take place within the term of their own lives.
There would thus be to them no occasion for minute care in the connection of this sentence. It seems, therefore, in no special degree improbable that some change of its position had become fixed in the early reports of the discourse. That it was allowed, in God’s providence, to be so handed down to us, might be—known unto God are His own reasons—to give the most effectual proof that our records of the Gospel were written before the year 70 A.D.—a proof which the speculations of these last days have shown to be of exceeding great importance.
WEB: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
Young’s: the heaven and the earth shall pass away,
but my words may not pass away.
Conte (RC): Heaven and earth shall pass away. But my words shall not pass away.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. A matter of ordained and settled certainty; in no case of possible contingency. "The Lord's counsel shall stand, and He shall do," etc. (Isaiah 46:10). "The Lord is not man that He should lie, nor the son of man," etc. (Numbers ). "There failed nought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken" (Joshua ). 
Historically speaking, each generation has tended to look around and fall into the trap of regarding everything as, essentially, permanent and unchanging since so much is comparatively stable for decade after decade. Not so easy since the eruption of massive technological changes in the late twentieth century, however! Even before that, the reality was and is that things in this world do change. Nations rise and fall. Belief systems live, modify (for either better or worse), or are replaced by others.
Change is, whether we like it or not and whether it moves in a direction at any given point in time that we prefer. But there is one unchanging reality that no force of mankind can alter: Christ’s will is unalterable and irrevocable. Love it or hate it, it is--while you and I merely die. [rw]
WEB: "So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.
Young’s: 'And take heed to yourselves, lest your
hearts may be weighed down with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and anxieties of
life, and suddenly that day may come on you,
Conte (RC): But be attentive to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts may be weighed down by self-indulgence and inebriation and the cares of this life. And then that day may overwhelm you suddenly.
And take heed to yourselves. Be watchful, as they who expect great dangers, and know not when they will come. 
lest at any time your hearts be overcharged. Overburdened, weighed down, dulled due to either excess or old fashioned worry and anxiety. Either can gut our emotional well-being. [rw]
with surfeiting. [This] is the effect of yesterday’s debauch. 
The headache after drunkenness. 
and drunkenness. Intoxication, intemperance in drinking. The ancients were not acquainted with distilled spirits. They became intoxicated on wine and strong drink, made of a mixture of dates, honey, etc. 
and cares of this life. Rather, “cares pertaining to life,” here viewed as a worldly, self-indulgent life, a luxurious living. 
Standing by itself, one would expect that the “wears and tears of everyday life”—ones that inevitably grind on every human being—are under discussion. Standing strong in faith under such ongoing pressure is itself a major challenge! However, the mention of this in the clear context of excess argues the perceived need for “a conspicuous show of consumption” or--as yet a more recent but also past generation put it, “keeping up with the Joneses!--is specifically in mind. It is not mere survival that threatens to wear us out, but survival and abundance in the degree of luxury to which we and our family have become accustomed . . . and without which others (and ourselves) will be tempted to look upon us as sad failures. Instead of being things to enjoy, keeping, maintaining, and increasing them becomes a heavy burden in itself. [rw]
And so that day come upon you unawares. The one person destined for disaster is the person who has not prepared himself or herself for it. If our mentality is always, “tomorrow I can change,” we never change. Or if our thinking is, “it can’t really be that bad a behavior; no one else considers it such”—well, we won’t change then either. And when the time of answerability arrives, we have nothing left but empty excuses. And the dreadful consequences. [rw]
WEB: For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth.
Young’s: for as a snare it shall come on all those
dwelling on the face of all the land,
Conte (RC): For like a snare it will overwhelm all those who sit upon the face of the entire earth.
For as a snare. Suddenly, unexpected and fatal, as the hidden snare is to the frightened captive bird. 1 Thess. v. 2, 4; Rev. iii. 3; 1 Cor. xv. 52. 
This is a continuation of what has been said at the end of verse 34: The return comes upon you so unexpectedly it’s like you are a bird caught in an unescapable trap. [rw]
9:12, “as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are
caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time.” There is the same metaphor in Isaiah 24:17. The common metaphor is “as a thief,” 1
Thessalonians 6:3; Revelation 3:3, ; but
shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Literally, “them that sit.” A Hebraism (Genesis , etc.), but perhaps with the collateral notion of “sitting at ease,” Jeremiah , 25:29 (LXX). “Face of the earth” is also a Hebraism, 2 Samuel 18:8. 
be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all
these things that will happen, and to stand before the
Young’s: watch ye, then, in every season, praying
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are about to
come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.'
Conte (RC): And so, be vigilant, praying at all times, so that you may be held worthy to escape from all these things, which are in the future, and to stand before the Son of man."
Watch ye therefore, and pray always. Alertness and prayer were to go hand in hand. Alertness to keep the coming disaster from sneaking upon them unawares and prayer for escape from the disaster and the strength to endure the turmoil and unrest of the time. [rw]
that ye may be
accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass. Jesus has in mind the core disaster of the
fall of Jerusalem and the insurrection that led to it, events that could easily
drag in those whose only evil was being in the wrong place at the wrong
time. They could not keep the events from
happening, but they could escape being in
and to stand before the Son of
“The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,” Psalms 1:5. “Who shall stand when He appeareth,” Malachi 3:2. 
Or: “Stand” = take your stand, as in . It implies a certain stateliness, and consciousness of dignity and right. This is more conformable to usage of the verb form than Meyer’s “be placed”; that is, by the angels. So to stand before the Lord, at His coming, requires that one should have watched and prayed, and faithfully done a servant’s part. 
Weymouth: His habit at this time was to teach in the Temple by day, but to go out and spend the night on the Mount called the Oliveyard.
WEB: Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and every night he would go out and spend the night on the mountain that is called Olivet.
Young’s: And he was during the days in the temple
teaching, and during the nights, going forth, he was lodging at the mount
called of Olives;
Conte (RC): Now in the daytime, he was teaching in the temple. But truly, departing in the evening, he lodged on the mount that is called Olivet.
note: Luke closes his
narrative of Christ’s labors and teachings during the last three days of His
public activity, by a particular statement of how He spent the time. The days in the temple,
from the Sunday on which He arrived there; His nights on the
And in the day time He was teaching in the temple. This was core of His day—every day: teaching. Even in His last days on earth and in a city where hostile authorities were in control, He did not deviate from this mission. [rw]
and at night He went out. The city was crowded under the best of circumstances and at feast times “bursting at the seams.” No doubt there were at least certain places in the city itself that would not only have been willing to lodge Him, but be happy to do so. On the other hand, it would have made His capture far too easy and brought unearned danger to those sheltering Him if he routinely used only one easily identifiable location. Even when you have full knowledge of how things are going to turn out, you still make things harder for your enemy and not easier. In this case, by “losing yourself” in the ranks of the huge pilgrim throng. [rw]
and abode. = Lodged, passed the night. In classic Greek, the verb often signifies “to lodge in the open air”; but probably not so here. 
Or: Literally, “used to bivouac;” it is very probable that He slept in the open air with His disciples, as is very common with Orientals. He would be safe on the slopes of Olivet, among the booths of the Galilaean pilgrims; see 22:39; John 18:1, 2. 
in the mount that
is called the mount of Olives. The notice is retrospective, applying to Palm
Sunday, and the Monday and Tuesday in Passion Week. After Tuesday evening He never entered the
Weymouth: And all the people came to Him in the Temple, early in the morning, to listen to Him.
WEB: All the people came early in the morning to him in the temple to hear him.
Young’s: and all the people were coming early unto
him in the temple to hear him.
Conte (RC): And all the people arrived in the morning to listen to him in the temple.
And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear him. No matter how controversial He might be among the religious leadership, the masses of pilgrims still thought they had something to learn from Him. It’s far from impossible that part of His appeal grew out of His ability to annoy these individuals who all too often were blatantly full of themselves and short on humility. And, when dealing with Jesus, inevitably coming out on the losing side of the argument. [rw]
early in the morning. According to eastern custom, as thus described in Dr. Hackett's
Biblical Illustrations, "During the greater part of the year, in
(with number code)
1 = Adam Clarke. The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and
Volume I: Matthew to the Acts. Reprint,
2 = Marvin R. Vincent. Word Studies in the New Testament. Volume I:
The Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,
and Jude. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.
3 = J. S. Lamar. Luke. [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]
4 = Charles H. Hall. Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;
volume two: Luke-John.
5 = John Kitto. Daily Bible Illustrations. Volume II: Evening Series:
The Life and Death of Our Lord.
6 = Thomas M. Lindsay. The Gospel According to St. Luke. Two
7 = W. H. van Doren. A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament:
Saint Luke. Two volumes.
8 = Melancthon W. Jacobus. Notes on the Gospels, Critical and
Explanatory: Luke and John.
Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.
9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
The Parables of Jesus.
Board of Publication, 1881.
11 = Albert Barnes. "Luke." In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.
Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.
12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Reprint, Grand
13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
14 = D.D. Whedon. Commentary on the Gospels: Luke-John. New
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
S. S. Scranton Company, no date.
17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
of St. Luke.
18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
M. Spence. Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Translated by William Pringle. Reprint,
20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible ...with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.
23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
Volumes I and II. (Luke
is in part of both).
D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint.
28 = Charles R. Erdman. The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition.
29 = Elvira J. Slack. Jesus: The Man of
Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.
30 = Arthur Ritchie. Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.
The Young Churchman Company, 1906.
31 = Bernhard Weiss. A Commentary on the New Testament. Volume
Two: Luke-The Acts.
32 = Matthew Henry. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume V:
Matthew to John. 17--. Reprint,
Company, no date.
33 = C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual: An Expository and Practical
Commentary on the Books of Scripture. Second Edition.
34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.
35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
New York: George H. Doran Company, [no date].
48 = George
Miracles of Our Lord.
George Routledge & Sons, 1878.
49 = Joseph Parker. The People's Bibles: Discourses upon Holy Scrip-
50 = Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
Paraphrase on the New Testament: The Four Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.
51 = Matthew Poole. Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1600s.
52 = George R. Bliss. Luke. In An American Commentary on the New
53 = J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Fourfold Gospel.
54 = John Trapp. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1654.
55 = Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews. The Life of Christ.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,
56 = Frederic W. Farrar. The Gospel According to St. Luke. In “The
the University Press, 1882.