Matthew 24: In this chapter in Matthew, we have a discourse by the Yeshua that speaks of the signs that point to His second coming and of the end of the age. The disciples already were familiar with what would happen on the last days because of the writings of the prophets (Zeph. 1:14-18, Micah 5:5-15, and many others). They knew it would be a terrible and dreadful time. They just didn’t know “when” it would take place.
There are many out there who would love to set precise times and dates for the return of the Messiah, but He told us we would not know the hour or the day (Matt. 25:13). He told the disciples that they would not know the “time or the season” (Acts 1:7). It would have been impossible for the disciples to know about when He was to return because so many things had to first take place. Yeshua Himself did not know the day or hour that this would take place (Matt. 24:36).
We need to look at these signs as items to keep us watching, not guessing. The fact that these things will take place is not debatable. The fact that we will not know exactly when this will happen is not debatable either. What we are to do in this section and in the other Gospels is watch and pray (Matt. 24:42).
(Mat 24:1 NASB) And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
Mat 24:1: Yeshua announced in the last three verses of Chapter 23 that He will not establish His kingdom at this time, but will come again to establish it.
Yeshua told them in Matt. 23:38 that the temple would be left desolate. This temple that they have just left was being built by Herod and was still under construction. This temple was constructed of white marble and was a magnificent structure. The disciples are disturbed at this statement by Yeshua so they come to Him, wanting to show Him around the many buildings that comprise the temple.
(Mat 24:2 NASB) And He answered and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
Mat 24:2: “…Do you not see all these things?” The disciples thought they saw it, so they asked Yeshua to take a look. But Yeshua says “Do you REALLY see it?”
History tells us that the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem is comprised of the ancient stones from structures that had previously been erected. However, it is visually apparent that the wall is made up of many different types of stones. Excavations in the area of the temple show stones of different composition also. This shows us that literally, “no stone was left overturned” in the destruction of this temple. It was torn to pieces and scattered.
This was a shock to the disciples who probably talked it over and came to Yeshua with three questions.
(Mat 24:3 NASB) And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Mat 24:3: The three questions were
(1.) When will these things (the destruction of the temple) be?
(2.) What will be the sign of your coming?
(3.) What will be the sign of the end of the age?
Yeshua is going to answer these three questions and we call His answers the “Olivet Discourse” because it took place on the Mount of Olives.
The answer to the first question is best answered in the same discussion written by Luke (Luke 21:20-24). Yeshua made this prophecy long before it was fulfilled in the years 70A.D. to 135 A.D. In Luke 21:24, Yeshua said that Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until “the times of the gentiles be fulfilled.” Jerusalem has not been trodden down by the Gentiles since they took it away from the Arabs in 1967. This apparently means that the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled.
The next two verse in Luke tell us the condition of things when He is about to return (Luke 21:25-26).
(Mat 24:4 NASB) And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
Mat 24:4: The phrase “See to it that no one misleads you…” is characteristic of this entire age. Messiah gives this word of caution because of the enormous amount of deception that will take place, or is taking place. Peter warns us about this also. (2 Peter 2:1-3) We need to be aware of false religious doctrine that is led by traditions instead of Scripture.
(Mat 24:5 NASB) “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
Mat 24:5: We have a multitude of examples of false Messiahs in recent history and today.
Is it also possible that the verse means that many will follow teaching about a false Messiah… This is likely a warning against Christianity.
(Mat 24:6 NASB) “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
Mat 24:6: Wars and rumors of wars are not a sign of the end of the age. Yeshua is bridging the gap between the time of the disciples and the end of the age. This entire discourse does that. We have been through many wars that have involved most of the nations of the world. However, Yeshua said that wars are not a sign in and of themselves.
(Mat 24:7 NASB) “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Mat 24:7: Local wars and regional battles are not a sign of the end times. However, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom are a sign of the birth pangs of His return (v.8). Also widespread famine, pestilences, and earthquakes are other signs of the beginning of the end or “the beginning of sorrows.”
These signs are things that are described in Revelation. They took place between the time of His day and now.
Famine and pestilence are definitely occurring in monumental proportions today. 40,000 children under the age of five will die in the world everyday due to famine, abortion, and rampant disease.
(Mat 24:8 NASB) “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Mat 24:8: These things listed by Yeshua are the beginnings of the sorrows.
(Mat 24:9 NASB) “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.
Mat 24:9: This is likely a message to the disciples of Yeshua. However, I don’t think they were necessarily hated by all nations.
Today, we can see a rising tide of worldwide resentment toward both the Jewish people. The land of Israel is surrounded by nations of Muslims that want nothing more than to see their total destruction and annihilation. In this day, it appears that all nations, peoples, and denominations hate those who follow the true name and character of Yeshua Messiah. This is another precise fulfillment of prophecy in these last days.
(Mat 24:10 NASB) “And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.
Mat 24:10: This is an interesting prophecy. In this day we see that we do not even have national unity with one another. Half of our nation would rather give this country over to the enemy than allow any form of righteousness to govern.
But I think this is a prophecy pointing more toward Muslim people surrounding Israel. They are sharply divided over nationality and Muslim sect. They do not get along well at all. Their hate amongst each other is only eclipsed by their hate for Israel and the United States.
(Mat 24:11 NASB) “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.
(Mat 24:12 NASB) “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
Mat 24:12: False prophets have arisen and deceived many. The most notorious false prophet was Muhammad. His false religion alone has deceived over 1.5 billion people.
(Mat 24:13 NASB) “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.
Mat 24:13: This verse is not saying that “the one who endures persecution until they die will be saved and go to heaven.” We must keep this verse in its proper context of the last days. This verse is saying that of those who are present in the last days, if they are not killed or die by some means, they will escape death altogether (1 Cor. 15:50-55, 1 Thess. 4:14-18, Phil. 3:20-21).
(Mat 24:14 NASB) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
Mat 24:14: This is another highly misused and misunderstood passage. Christians have taken this passage to mean that the Bible will be translated in all languages and the message of Jesus will be told to all people. Keep in mind what the “Gospel of the Kingdom” actually consists of. The “Gospel of the Kingdom” is “repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is almost here (is at hand) (Matt. 4:17, 23, 3:1-2).
Originally, this message was not to go outside the borders of Israel (Matt. 10:5-7).
But Yeshua now says that the message “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” will go to the whole world first, then the end will come. I believe He is speaking of the message given by an angel spoken of in Revelation 11:11-15.
(Mat 24:15 NASB) “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Mat 24:15: We are told that the Abomination of Desolation will be set up by the forces of a prince as described in (Daniel 11:31).
Most Christian commentators erroneously attribute this to Antiochus Epiphanes. But that does not fit at all because Antiochus himself desecrated the Temple. The text in Daniel says that “forces from him will arise.” The Temple Mount was desecrated by Muhammad’s men 59 years after Muhammad’s death. The text surrounding that passage in Daniel 11 is a perfect description of Muhammad, not Antiochus Epiphanes. For another thing, the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus had occurred some 200 years before this prophecy. Yeshua refers to this as a future event.
Daniel tells us “when” the Abomination of Desolation would be built. (Daniel 12:11). This “when” is the same event that Yeshua is speaking of in this verse. The Dome of the Rock is Satan (under the name of “Allah”) taking the place where Elohim places His name. This is spoken of by the Apostle Paul also (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
One interesting side note to this verse is that Matthew states “Let the reader understand.” This is a comment that probably expresses confusion from Matthew. He apparently has hope that the readers of the day it is referring will understand.
The Dome of the Rock was constructed in 691 AD.
(Mat 24:16 NASB) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
(Mat 24:17 NASB) let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house;
(Mat 24:18 NASB) and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak.
(Mat 24:19 NASB) “But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days!
Mat 24:19: When the Abomination of Desolation was constructed, the Jews and followers of Messiah located in that area had to flee the country because it was fully in Muslim control. If they did not flee to somewhere else in the world, they had to convert to Islam or face death.
This passage should be paralleled with Revelation 12 in order to get a better understanding.
(Mat 24:20 NASB) “But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;
(Mat 24:21 NASB) for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.
Mat 24:21: The term “great tribulation” apparently describes the time from the start of the Muslim Empire until today. It is a time that those who are either Jewish or believers in Messiah had to flee into the world. If they stayed in that area, they would either be under the humiliation of the Pact of Umar, enslaved, killed, or forcibly converted to Islam.
(Mat 24:22 NASB) “And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.
Mat 24:22: Elohim promised that He would not wipe out of Israel. He will preserve a portion of them (Isaiah 65:8-9).
(Mat 24:23 NASB) “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.
(Mat 24:24 NASB) “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
(Mat 24:25 NASB) “Behold, I have told you in advance.
Mat 24:25: Do not miss what He is saying here! Yeshua has already warned us what to look for. What all has He told us to look for? The only definitive thing He told us to look for is the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. It is sitting among us and has been for over 1300 years, but no one has even noticed. Until now.
“So as to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect.” The world isn’t looking in the direction of the Muslims as being the evil that they really are. The world says they are just another religion, but that isn’t true. They are the Beast of the last days as described in Scripture.
Remember what Yeshua Messiah tells us in verse 25. “Behold, I have told you in advance.” This is His warning, do not be deceived!
(Mat 24:26 NASB) “If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go forth, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.
Mat 24:26: The next appearance of Messiah will not be a secretive thing such as a baby in a manger. His coming will be a glorious event.
(Mat 24:27 NASB) “For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
(Mat 24:28 NASB) “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Mat 24:28: If we take this passage by itself, it seems somewhat strange. After speaking of His coming in glory like lightning out of heaven, then to speak of flesh-eating birds, seems somewhat odd. This passage is speaking of Messiah coming in judgment (Rev. 19:17-19). Ezekiel speaks of these carrion birds in the last battle also (Ezekiel 39:4-5).
(Mat 24:29 NASB) “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,
Mat 24:29: Notice that He says, “AFTER the tribulation…” The word for “after” means “at the end of.” G3326. meta, a prim. prep.; among, after:– accompanied by*(m)(2), accompanied by(1), accompany*(m)(1), after(82), afterward*(3), against(4), amid(1), among(5), at the end of(1), before*(1), behind(1), companions*(5), follow*(m)(1), gratefully*(1), hereafter*(1), later(12), now*(m)(1), off(1), together*(1), together with(2), toward(3), without*(2).
At the very end of this time of tribulation, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the sky. Since the sun, moon, and stars refer to Israel, this means the Israel will almost be destroyed. His return, which is spoken of in the next verse, will take place at the end of what is referred to as the Great Tribulation. Other parts of Scripture also speak of this event (Rev 6:12-17, Isa. 13:9-11, Joel 2:10). According to the Prophet Zechariah, the arrival of Messiah will occur just before the total destruction of Israel (Zechariah 14:1-6).
(Mat 24:30 NASB) and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
Mat 24:30: What will this sign of the Son of Man be? We can only speculate. Some have thought it could be the “shekinah glory” spoken of in the Tanakh that rested over that tabernacle and later over the temple in Jerusalem. While we do not know exactly, we know it won’t be a cross.
The part of the verse that speaks of the “Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky” is a quote from Daniel 7:13. Keep in mind that Daniel 7 speaks of the armies of the Beast in the last days.
(Mat 24:31 NASB) “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Mat 24:31: As Yeshua is coming down in judgment, we will meet Him in the air as described by the Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 4:13-17). But it was first spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 27:12-13).
The gathering of Israel by the blowing of the trumpet is in Torah (Num. 10:1-9).
(Mat 24:32 NASB) “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
(Mat 24:33 NASB) even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
(Mat 24:34 NASB) “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Mat 24:34: Yeshua says that just as sure as when you see the fig tree has its branch become tender and put forth its leaves, that this is a sign of the coming summer, then know that when you see these things, know that the Son of Man is returning. The fig tree is NOT a special sign of Israel because Israel is spoken of as an olive tree, not a fig tree.
This is a passage that tends to confuse some people into thinking that Yeshua was referring to the generation of people in that day. The word for “this” and “that” is the same in Greek.
The Greek word for “see” in verse 33 is “know,” “perceive,” and “understand.” Yeshua is saying that when we know, perceive, and understand all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
(Mat 24:35 NASB) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
Mat 24:35: Heaven and earth WILL pass away, but there will be a new heavens and a new earth (Rev.21:1). But the words of Elohim are forever (Psalm 89:34, 119:89, Isaiah 40:8).
(Mat 24:36 NASB) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Mat 24:36: No one knows the day or hour or day that Messiah will return. Even Yeshua did not know this. Keep in mind that Yeshua told His disciples they should not concern themselves with the seasons or epochs of His return (Acts 1:6-8). This is because His return was going to be long after their lives have ended.
The day and hour of His return will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:1-7). Paul tells us in that passage not to sleep. To “sleep” in that passage means to stay in sin (1 Cor. 15:34). This same message is given by Yeshua in Revelation 3:1-3. Peter also tells us He will return as a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10-13).
(Mat 24:37 NASB) “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
(Mat 24:38 NASB) “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
(Mat 24:39 NASB) and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
Mat 24:39: Yeshua said in the days of Noah people were eating and drinking and ignoring His righteousness. Because of this the people were totally caught off guard when the judgment came.
Yeshua is saying that the world is going to be going about its business as usual when He comes back, but that business will not be following Torah.
(Mat 24:40 NASB) “Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
(Mat 24:41 NASB) “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Mat 24:41: This is a reference to the resurrection. Some people claim this is speaking of judgment, but that cannot be the case since there is nothing in Scripture about the unrighteous being “taken up” in judgment.
(Mat 24:42 NASB) “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Mat 24:42: It says here that we are to be on the alert for Him. We are not to ignore the signs to prevent ourselves from fanatical conclusions. Some translations use the word “watch” instead of “be on the alert.” The Greek language has eight different words for “watch”. This word watch doesn’t mean to look at the horizon for the sunrise. The Greek word is “gregoreuo” (gray-gor-yoo-o) and it means to watch with vigilance and anxiety, as parents watch a sick child in the hospital.
(Mat 24:43 NASB) “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
(Mat 24:44 NASB) “For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Mat 24:44: There is good reason why Yeshua didn’t tell us when He would return. He wants to act as if He is returning today. We need to constantly live our lives in Torah as if today is our last day on earth.
(Mat 24:45 NASB) “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
(Mat 24:46 NASB) “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
(Mat 24:47 NASB) “Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Mat 24:47: This appears to be a reference to the bad shepherds spoken of by Ezekiel (Ezek. 34:1-6). He says that if we do as we are supposed to do, He will put His people in charge of all His possessions (Rev. 3:21).
(Mat 24:48 NASB) “But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’
(Mat 24:49 NASB) and shall begin to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;
(Mat 24:50 NASB) the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,
(Mat 24:51 NASB) and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth.
Mat 24:51: The message that is often overlooked is that if we are acting in righteousness, we will not miss the time of His coming. Or at least we will not dishonor ourselves at His return.
This is a great principle which is applicable to all people. We are to live our lives in light of the fact that we are going to stand in the presence of Elohim and give an account of ourselves. At that time, we will be judged according to His Torah.