Mark 13:24 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
24-27. All before the beginning of this paragraph describes the ruin of the Jewish state; all subsequent to that beginning predicts the judgment day. Did but this report of our Lord’s discourse alone exist, not the slightest difficulty would exist in its interpretation. All the difficulty in fact arises in Mat 24:29 being the parallel passage to the first verse of this paragraph; and all the difficulty in that verse arises from the word “immediately.”
Mark says that the “sun shall be darkened,” etc., “in those days, after that tribulation.” Making allowance for prophetic perspective and for the intentional obscurity, the phrase “those days” may bring us down to the last period of time. It thus stands in contrast with the phrase “these things” in the apostle’s question. The period of the destruction and the period of the advent stand, as the Lord intended, in stupendous contrast.
If we ask, When shall the second advent take place? Mark answers, It is in THOSE DAYS which are after that (Jewish) tribulation. If we ask, In what part of THOSE DAYS? Matthew will answer, Immediately after the (mundane) tribulation of THOSE DAYS.
We have then this parallel: a tribulation including the city’s destruction, a tribulation ending in the world’s judgment.
That a tribulation is to precede the second advent is the clear doctrine of Scripture. Thus, in Rev 20:7-10, at the close of the millennial thousand years, Satan, who had been bound during that period, is let loose, and with his armies besieges the camp of the saints just before the appearance of the judgment throne. And in 2 Peter 3: “In the last days scoffers shall come,” etc. Of this truth the Jewish tradition gives a shadowing, in the doctrine that a desperate tribulation shall precede Messiah’s advent. “The Jews (as Kuinoel observes) expected that great calamities would precede the advent of the Messiah; yet at the time when these calamities should have reached their height they hoped that he would unexpectedly appear.” Bloomfield’s Recensio Synoptica.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).