Enter subtitle here

2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The apocalyptic earthquake (Zech. 14:4) will convulse the remaining temple stones so there shall not be left one stone upon another. This to make way for the building of the Temple for Messiah's reign in the future age (Ezekiel's vision).

7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

[The Jewish revolt against Rome was engineered by the bandit governor Florus to save his own skin] 'The basest of men'.

The "cloud no bigger than a man's hand" was first visible in the sky about A.D. 40-in the reign of Claudius Caesar, when Cumanus was appointed Procurator of Judea. Under him a tumult was occasioned in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, by a Roman soldier making a contemptuous gesture at the exercises of the Jews. A collision ensued between the Jews and the Roman soldiery, in which many Jews were slain.

Afterwards a number of Jews out of Galilee, going up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Tabernacles were molested by the Samaritans, and one of the Jews slain. The Jews appealed to Cumanus for the punishment of the murderer without success. The affair becoming known at Jerusalem during the feast, caused great excitement, and a band of Jews marched to Samaria, under Eleazar, and burned several villages and slew the inhabitants.

Cumanus arrived with a troop of horsemen from Caesarea, and dispersed the Jewish band, which, however, though scattered, betook themselves to acts of violence throughout the country. In several conflicts a great number of Jews were captured and crucified. A new class of troublers succeeded them, the Sicarii, who concealed daggers under their garments, with which to stab in the crowds at the feasts. Jonathan, the High Priest, fell a victim to them.

Many others were slain, and great public fear was established.

Another faction made its appearance among the people, pretending inspiration, and allured numbers of the Jews into the wilderness. Troubles were increased by the uprise of an Egyptian who pretended to be a prophet, and gathered as many as thirty thousand to him and attempted to break into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. The attempt was defeated by the Roman soldiers, and the army of the Egyptian dispersed. But after a short interval, numbers of these scattered marauders combined to agitate for Jewish independence. They incited the Jews to revolt against the Romans. Not succeeding with the respectable part of the nation, they broke up into bands and ravaged the country in all directions, plundering and murdering and burning.

Festus (after Cumanus and Felix) addressed himself to the pacification of the country, capturing and killing the insurgents in all directions. He was soon, however, superseded by Albinus, who was not actuated by any desire to promote the public welfare. He not only embezzled the revenue but sold to others the license to steal and plunder. He liberated all kinds of prisoners for money, and gave authority to the insurgent ringleaders in Jerusalem to do as they liked for the same consideration. These ringleaders forgot their politics and turned common robbers, who put the whole city in fear. Those who were robbed kept silence for fear of their lives, and those who escaped flattered the robbers for fear of being robbed.

Troubles were aggravated by the appointment of Gessius Florus to the governorship. This man made no sort of dissimulation of his corruptions, but openly proclaimed that any one had liberty to turn robber who shared the spoils with him. The result naturally was the desolation of whole districts. In fear of being accused before Caesar, he deliberately sought to goad the nation into revolt against Rome. He demanded seventeen thousand talents out of the treasury on the plea that Caesar wanted them.

The people in tumultuous assembly decided to appeal to Caesar against Florus, on hearing which, Florus marched an army to Jerusalem. The people were cowed, and Florus ordered his soldiers to plunder the upper market place. Three thousand six hundred Jews, with their wives and children, were, in consequence, slain in the streets and houses. Many of the quiet inhabitants were brought before Florus, who had them scourged and then crucified in his presence.

The principal men among the Jews advised submission to stave off further calamities, and Florus, fearing their advice would be taken by the Jews, and that there would be no rebellion, commanded the people next day to go out and salute the Roman soldiers, instructing the soldiers beforehand not to return the salute. The people went out and saluted the soldiers, who gave no answer. The impatient among the Jews gave vent to their feelings and the soldiers attacked the crowd. The crowd fled, and in getting in at the gate, the crush was so great that vast numbers were suffocated and trampled to pieces. The Jews in the city rallied and beat back the soldiers by missiles from the tops of the houses.

Florus then sent word to Cestius Gallus, President of Syria, that the Jews had revolted. The violent of the people made an attack upon the fortress Masada, and slew the Roman garrison. The High Priest and the Pharisees met and resolved to suppress the revolt: but their efforts were overborne by the violence of the people. The High Priest and the Pharisees then sent for Roman soldiers to suppress the sedition before it should become hopeless. Agrippa sent three thousand horse. By this time, the lower city and the temple were in the power of the insurgents. On the arrival of the Roman horse outside the walls, the party of the High Priest and Pharisees, desiring peace with Rome, seized the upper city to help the Romans.

Seven days' fighting ensued, ending in the triumph of the insurgents, who set fire to the High Priest's house and the Palace of Agrippa and Bernice in Jerusalem. Manahem, the son of Judas the Galilean, became leader of the revolt, and broke open the Roman armoury in the city and distributed arms among the people. They then laid siege to the tower of Masada (in the city) which capitulated after several days. The Roman garrison, who were promised their lives, were slain after giving up their arms. The High Priest, Ananias, who was with the Roman party was found concealed in an aqueduct and slain.


Tidings of these events reaching Caesarea, the entire Jewish community in that city, numbering twenty thousand, were put to the sword by the Romans. Hearing of this, the whole nation became enraged, and the insurrection became general. Bands of Jews ravaged the country, and put immense numbers of the Syrians and Roman Colonists to death. The disorder became terrible through all Syria. Every city was divided into a Jewish party and a Roman party, who slew each other in the daytime, and spent the night in fear. It became common to see whole cities filled with dead bodies lying unburied; women, old men, and infants forming a large proportion of the slain.

Cestius Gallus, seeing the Jews everywhere in arms, got together a large body of troops, and marched it to Ptolemais. Here he was joined by auxiliaries from various parts of the country. Cestius marched hastily to the city of Zebulon, the inhabitants of which fled to the mountains at his approach. He gave over the city to plunder and then set fire to it. He overran and devastated the surrounding country, then returned to Ptolemais; thence he marched to Caesarea, from which a division of his army was sent to Joppa.

Joppa, taken by surprise and attacked on both sides, fell an easy prey to the Roman soldiers, who fell upon the Jewish inhabitants, and exterminated old and young, to the number of eight thousand four hundred. Narbatene next fell a prey to the Romans, who destroyed the bulk of its inhabitants, and laid waste the surrounding country.

Having overpowered resistance in Galilee, Cestius marched to Antipatris, where, at Aphek, the Jewish insurgents were in force. The Jews fled before the Romans, and the Romans burnt their camp and the surrounding villages. Cestius then marched to Lydda. He found the city empty of men, the male population having gone up to Jerusalem to the feast of Tabernacles. Cestius burnt the city, and marched towards Jerusalem. He encamped within six miles of the city. The Jews, hearing of his approach, broke up the feast, and marched in enormous numbers to the Roman camp, and attacked the Romans.

The Romans repulsed them, but the Jews seized the heights overlooking the Roman army, and resolved to resist the march of Cestius to Jerusalem. The Romans tried to negotiate a retreat, but the Jews killed one of the ambassadors and wounded the other. Cestius then attacked them and put them to flight, and pursued them to Jerusalem. He pitched his camp within a mile of the city. On the fourth day, he brought his army within the walls. The violent party among the Jews retired into the inner city and into the Temple, defying the Romans. The Romans attacked the insurgents.

For five days they assailed the inner walls within which the insurgents had retired. The attack was without result. On the sixth day, Cestius, with a select body of soldiers, attempted to break into the Temple by its most assailable part. The Jews repelled the attack. The attack was renewed several times, but each time was repulsed. The Romans then began to undermine the wall, under the protection of their shields; but, at this point, when success was within reach of the Roman grasp, Cestius, apparently unconscious of the fact, ordered the soldiers to retire.

The soldiers obeyed and marched out of the city. The insurgents, perceiving their unexpected retreat, recovered their courage, which had begun to desert them, and returned to the attack. They issued from the Temple, and ran after the Romans, harassing the hinder part of the army. Cestius encamped outside the city; next day he moved further off, which the Jews perceiving, they followed him in increasing numbers, and kept a shower of darts on both flanks of the retiring army. Many of the Romans were slain.

The Romans halted at Gabao, seven miles from Jerusalem. Here they stayed two days. The surrounding hills became full of Jews. Cestius, perceiving his danger, ordered a forced march to Bethhoron. To reach this, the army had to go through mountain passes. To these, the Jews ran before, and occupying the heights, pelted the Roman army with darts and stones. The Roman army, unable to flee, gave itself up to despair. During the night, the principal part of the Romans escaped, leaving their siege engines and baggage behind them. The Jews continued the pursuit, and then returned to Jerusalem in great triumph to concert measures for a war of independence.

Ways of Providence Ch 24.

14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

" The constitution of Mount Sinai was the founding of the Hebrew world, or KOSMOS, because it ordered, or arranged, the things pertaining to Israel as a system SUI GENERIS. This system had times peculiar to itself, which were appointed at. the promulgation of the law. These are termed in Scripture AIONES, that is, AIONS, from AEI alway and ON passing. The etymology of AION does not express the duration of the time; its continuance is defined by the Mosaic law.

The Hebrew Commonwealth under the Sinaitic constitution was not intended to continue always. The time of its existence was predetermined of God, but not revealed in the law or the prophets, but "reserved in His own power" (Acts 1:7; Mark 13:32)#. It is termed AION, and its approaching termination SUNTELEIA TOU AIONOS the end of the time, that is, of the Hebrew Commonwealth under the Mosaic law.

But, though the precise duration of this great time (1697 years) was kept secret, the lesser times, or AIONES, aions, of which it was composed, were very minutely specified, as in the case of the Jubilees, so that the whole time of the commonwealth was the AION TON AIONON, the aion of the aions, the time of the times, or age of the ages. Hence, while the Lord Jesus designated the consummation as the end of the time, Paul indicated it as the end of the times, or ages.

Elpis Israel 2.1.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Whether Christ come to-morrow, or in a hundred years time. it is ours to patiently wait and watch. 

"What I say unto you I say unto all, watch!" 

It is easy to be deluded by the thought that watching is vain unless Christ come soon. Watching is as needful for those who have to die, as for those who have not to die.

Death is nothing more than an instantaneous introduction to the day to which the watching relates. In this connection think of two typical first century brethren: Paul and Demas. These both knew the truth; both commenced to watch; one continued to do so until he fell asleep in death; the other through love of the present evil world, forgot Christ and gave up watching.

Let us go forward to the time of their awaking. The angels awake them with the announcement that Christ is here, and calleth for them. Imagine the men! As they went off to sleep so they awake. Paul's mind is full of Christ, and is now overwhelmingly rejoiced that the day of waiting is over, and that the day for praise, honour, and salvation has actually come! As he is escorted to the judgment seat he is cheered and encouraged...

But what about Demas? He gave up watching, and now what?... hopeless anguish he realises his folly. He gave up watching, and now naught remains but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. Dear brethren, let us be wise. Are we watching?

To watch is to anticipate Christ's coming - to walk so that the announcement that Christ is here will not create confusion and alarm.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1894. p 341.

27 And then shall he send his angels [the saints], and shall gather together his elect [the 10 tribes] from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven [All continents of the earth].

28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

This generation - The generation that witnesses the rebirth of the state of Israel (v28 putteth forth her leaves Ye Know summer is nigh)

'All these things'...both the destruction AD 70 and the restoration of Israel 1948 ' - "...can these bones live? " shall live, and I shall place you in your own land" (Eze 37:3,14). .

This generation ... Israel declared a nation state 1948...+ 70 years = 2018. (In scripture generations are reckoned in 40, 70 and 120 year eras).

'The Jewish State' (Herzl) first published in 1896. First Zionist Congress 1897. The 50 years of Jerusalem's recapture has already passed (2017).

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thess 5:4)

v35-37 Watch ye therefore... Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

"It is better that we know not the day and the hour. Were it otherwise, what a mass of penitents and fear-driven worshippers there would be. These are not the people God requires for His temple. It is better as it is. Let us watch and pray."

TC 09/1901

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

'...the Olivet discourse, while primarily intended for the information of the apostles, was useful, and in the sense hinted at, applicable to every generation of believers that should come after. Because of this it was placed on record by the Spirit of God long after its immediate purpose had been served, and it still answers its purpose.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 50

34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

This falls into the explanation of the parable of the talents and the pounds, only that is intended to bear not so much on how the servants should be dealt with on the master's return, as on the need for their constant readiness on account of the uncertainty of the time of his return. The applicability of this has been direct to every generation of believers since Christ's departure, notwithstanding its special realization in that one that is actually contemporary with his appearing.

Always having in view that there is no conscious interval in death, and that the occurrence of death is an incalculable eventuality, there has always existed, and will to the last moment exist,

a need for daily circumspection and readiness for the coming of the Lord.

There never can be a time when a man can reasonably feel that the coming of the Lord is a remote contingency. It never can be more remote from a man's consciousness than the day of his death, and because this may be any day, the shadow of the Lord's coming is over every hour of a man's present life. We are actually in the position sketched in this parable. We are exactly like servants who do not know when the master's wheels may roll up to the door. It is therefore no artificial or superfluous exhortation the Lord delivers when he says

"Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

Nazareth Revisited Ch 32

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

The 'You' is the disciples to whom he communicated the Olivet prophecy. The 'all' includes the Latter Day believers because the prophecy encompasses the end of the Jewish Commonwealth to the end of the 'times of the Gentiles' - summer time v28...the time of harvest - the gathering of the wheat and tares (Raised dead) and the subsequent sheep and goat nations to the battle of Armageddon.

It is highly encouraging to see all these things steadily developing before our eyes. As some have remarked, we live almost in the age of sight instead of faith.

Dr. Thomas, somewhere in Eureka, expresses the opinion that the pre-adventural settlement of Israel in the Holy Land would be the result of an international arrangement among the Powers. It looks very like as if this might actually be realised.