(Luke 21:1 NASB) And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury.
Luke 21:1: According to the Talmud, the treasury is a reference to 13 trumpet-shaped treasure boxes into which the money was thrown. They were located in the Court of the Women in the temple.
(Luke 21:2 NASB) And He saw a certain poor widow putting in two small copper coins.
(Luke 21:3 NASB) And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;
(Luke 21:4 NASB) for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”
Luke 21:4: This woman gave everything she had to service to Elohim. It is said that she is a widow and very poor. Yeshua makes it a point to say how everyone else is giving out of surplus. They have surplus. And she has nothing. This is in severe violation of Torah for her to be in this way.
It would appear that this was a rebuke of those who were in charge of the money given also.
(Luke 21:5 NASB) And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said,
Luke 21:5: The Temple was a beautiful structure. By this time they had been working on the Temple for about 50 years. Cyrus the Great of Persia paid for the Temple to be rebuilt in about 516 BC. Herod funded a renovation of the Temple in about 20 BC.
(Luke 21:6 NASB) “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.”
Luke 21:6: All that remains of the Temple site is a retaining wall built sometime during the second Temple Period of 516 BC to 20 BC. Yeshua said that there would not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down. That is exactly what happened in 70 AD. It was stated by Josephus that when the Temple was torched by the Romans that the gold in the Temple went in the cracks of the stones that made up the walls. In order to get the gold, all the stones of the Temple had to be overturned.
The wailing wall in Jerusalem is revered for its proximity to the previous location of the Temple.
(Luke 21:7 NASB) And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”
(Luke 21:8 NASB) And He said, “See to it that you be not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is at hand’; do not go after them.
Luke 21:8: The Great Revolt
The Jews’ Great Revolt against Rome in 66 C.E. led to one of the greatest catastrophes in Jewish life and, in retrospect, might well have been a terrible mistake.
No one could argue with the Jews for wanting to throw off Roman rule. Since the Romans had first occupied Israel in 63 B.C.E., their rule had grown more and more onerous. From almost the beginning of the Common Era, Judea was ruled by Roman procurators, whose chief responsibility was to collect and deliver an annual tax to the empire. Whatever the procurators raised beyond the quota assigned, they could keep. Not surprisingly, they often imposed confiscatory taxes. Equally infuriating to the Judeans, Rome took over the appointment of the High Priest (a turn of events that the ancient Jews appreciated as much as modern Catholics would have appreciated Mussolini appointing the popes). As a result, the High Priests, who represented the Jews before God on their most sacred occasions, increasingly came from the ranks of Jews who collaborated with Rome.
At the beginning of the Common Era, a new group arose among the Jews: the Zealots (in Hebrew, Ka-na-im). These anti-Roman rebels were active for more than six decades, and later instigated the Great Revolt. Their most basic belief was that all means were justified to attain political and religious liberty.
The Jews’ anti-Roman feelings were seriously exacerbated during the reign of the half-crazed emperor Caligula, who in the year 39 declared himself to be a deity and ordered his statue to be set up at every temple in the Roman Empire. The Jews, alone in the empire, refused the command; they would not defile God’s Temple with a statue of pagan Rome’s newest deity.
Caligula threatened to destroy the Temple, so a delegation of Jews was sent to pacify him. To no avail. Caligula raged at them, “So you are the enemies of the gods, the only people who refuse to recognize my divinity.” Only the emperor’s sudden, violent death saved the Jews from wholesale massacre.
Caligula’s action radicalized even the more moderate Jews. What assurance did they have, after all, that another Roman ruler would not arise and try to defile the Temple or destroy Judaism altogether? In addition, Caligula’s sudden demise might also have been interpreted as confirming the Zealots’ belief that God would fight alongside the Jews if only they would have the courage to confront Rome.
In the decades after Caligula’s death, Jews found their religion subject to periodic gross indignities, Roman soldiers exposing themselves in the Temple on one occasion, and burning a Torah scroll on another.
Ultimately, the combination of financial exploitation, Romes unbridled contempt for Judaism, and the unabashed favoritism that the Romans extended to gentiles living in Israel brought about the revolt.
(Luke 21:9 NASB) “And when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”
(Luke 21:10 NASB) Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
(Luke 21:11 NASB) and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
Luke 21:11: Much of what Yeshua describes seems to be what happened just before the destruction of Jerusalem:
“In the year 66, Florus, the last Roman procurator, stole vast quantities of silver from the Temple. The outraged Jewish masses rioted and wiped out the small Roman garrison stationed in Jerusalem. Cestius Gallus, the Roman ruler in neighboring Syria, sent in a larger force of soldiers. But the Jewish insurgents routed them as well.
This was a heartening victory that had a terrible consequence: Many Jews suddenly became convinced that they could defeat Rome, and the Zealots’ ranks grew geometrically. Never again, however, did the Jews achieve so decisive a victory.
When the Romans returned, they had 60,000 heavily armed and highly professional troops. They launched their first attack against the Jewish state’s most radicalized area, the Galilee in the north. The Romans vanquished the Galilee, and an estimated 100,000 Jews were killed or sold into slavery. ”
(Luke 21:12 NASB) “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.
(Luke 21:13 NASB) “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.
(Luke 21:14 NASB) “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;
(Luke 21:15 NASB) for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.
Luke 21:15: Before those things (being the destruction of Jerusalem and hardships which happened shortly before then) they will lay hands on you (being the disciples) and persecute you. The accounts of being delivered before kings and governors for His name’s sake is explicitly described in Acts which gives us the adventures and difficult times of Paul, Peter, and others. Revelation tells us of the exile of John. Other historical documents tell us that these things happened to the disciples also.
(Luke 21:16 NASB) “But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death,
(Luke 21:17 NASB) and you will be hated by all on account of My name.
(Luke 21:18 NASB) “Yet not a hair of your head will perish.
(Luke 21:19 NASB) “By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Luke 21:19: In verse 16, Yeshua states that many of them would be put to death. In verse 18, He states that not a hair of their head would perish. Verse 18 is reference to the second death, or judgment. Their fate is in Elohim’s hands, not their own.
By their endurance, they will gain their lives. It is through their perseverance that they maintain their observance to Torah and their testimony of Yeshua.
(Luke 21:20 NASB) “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.
(Luke 21:21 NASB) “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city;
(Luke 21:22 NASB) because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
(Luke 21:23 NASB) “Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people,
Luke 21:23: Yeshua is now finishing His description of the destruction of Jerusalem. Going back to the rest of the article from the Jewish Virtual Library, it states:
Throughout the Roman conquest of this territory, the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem did almost nothing to help their beleaguered brothers. They apparently had concluded too late, unfortunately that the revolt could not be won, and wanted to hold down Jewish deaths as much as possible.
The highly embittered refugees who succeeded in escaping the Galilean massacres fled to the last major Jewish stronghold Jerusalem. There, they killed anyone in the Jewish leadership who was not as radical as they. Thus, all the more moderate Jewish leaders who headed the Jewish government at the revolt’s beginning in 66 were dead by 68and not one died at the hands of a Roman. All were killed by fellow Jews.
The scene was now set for the revolt’s final catastrophe. Outside Jerusalem, Roman troops prepared to besiege the city; inside the city, the Jews were engaged in a suicidal civil war. In later generations, the rabbis hyperbolically declared that the revolt’s failure, and the Temple’s destruction, was due not to Roman military superiority but to causeless hatred (sinat khinam) among the Jews (Yoma 9b). While the Romans would have won the war in any case, the Jewish civil war both hastened their victory and immensely increased the casualties. One horrendous example: In expectation of a Roman siege, Jerusalem’s Jews had stockpiled a supply of dry food that could have fed the city for many years. But one of the warring Zealot factions burned the entire supply, apparently hoping that destroying this “security blanket” would compel everyone to participate in the revolt. The starvation resulting from this mad act caused suffering as great as any the Romans inflicted.
(Luke 21:24 NASB) and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Luke 21:24: Jerusalem fell by the edge of the sword. The Judeans were led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem has been trampled underfoot by the Gentiles since then until May 15, 1948 when Israel became a nation again and more specifically on June 10, 1967 when Israel took back the City of Jerusalem.
(Luke 21:25 NASB) “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
(Luke 21:26 NASB) men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Luke 21:26: After the appointed time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, then these things will happen. Yeshua says there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. This is a direct reference to Israel (Gen. 37:9-10, Isa. 42:6, Phil. 2:15).
Some say that Israel has not yet turned to Elohim. That day will come. Elohim did not promise that He would immediately restore them to Him. he said He would bring them back and they would not have any more idols (Deut. 32:36-39). Then He would take vengeance on those who hate Him (Deut. 32:40-44).
He said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, which is apparently that Israel would be regathered in their land as we see today. And on the earth there would be perplexity among the nations, which is a reference to those surrounding Muslim nations. They are indeed in dismay.
The roaring of the sea and waves is the roaring we see from the Muslim armies surrounding Israel (Isa. 5:26-30, Jer. 6:23).
(Luke 21:27 NASB) “And then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.
Luke 21:27: This is a quote from Daniel 7:13. Daniel describes the return of Messiah in that section (Dan. 7:12-14). Yeshua once again is referring to the prophet Daniel to reference His return in glory.
(Luke 21:28 NASB) “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:28: When we see these things we are to look up because redemption is drawing close. Several places in the Tanakh draw close parallels to this passage also (Psalm 98, Isaiah 12, 25).
(Luke 21:29 NASB) And He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees;
(Luke 21:30 NASB) as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
(Luke 21:31 NASB) “Even so you, too, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.
Luke 21:31: It could be that this parable is very simple in comparing the signs of summer being near telling us that summer is coming and in the same way, when you see these signs, know that He is coming. We have a somewhat similar parable in the Tanakh (Isaiah 28:4-6).
I tried to tie the trees blossoming to His people turning to Torah, but it does not fit very well in this particular case. Although we are told in the book of Malachi to turn to His Torah before the great and terrible day of Yahweh (Mal. 4).
(Luke 21:32 NASB) “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.
Luke 21:32: The Hebrew word for “this” is the same word as “that” in Hebrew. So he could be saying “”Truly I say to you, that generation will not pass away until all things take place.”
(Luke 21:33 NASB) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Luke 21:33: His Words will not pass away because they are the words of His heavenly Father (Isa 40:8, 46:10-13).
(Luke 21:34 NASB) “Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap;
(Luke 21:35 NASB) for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
(Luke 21:36 NASB) “But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:36: Yeshua says to be on guard and alert at all times. We are to be looking for these things. We now see these things that have been prophesied. Wonderful and marvelous things are about to take place.
(Luke 21:37 NASB) Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
(Luke 21:38 NASB) And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.
Luke 21:38: Yeshua would teach in the Temple during the day, which was the place He was speaking of. Why did He go to the Mount of Olives at night? Probably because He knew that is the place where He would return in judgment against those who attack Jerusalem (Zech. 14).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas