Mattityahu Jewish New Testament

chapter 24
As Yeshua left the Temple and was going away, his talmidim came and called his attention to its buildings.
2. But he answered them, “You see all these? Yes! I tell you, they will be totally destroyed — not a single stone will be left standing!”
3. When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the talmidim came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that you are coming, and that the ‘olam hazeh is ending?”
4. Yeshua replied: “Watch out! Don’t let anyone fool you!
5. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray.
6. You will hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off; see to it that you don’t become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come.
7. For peoples will fight each other, nations will fight each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world;
Peoples or "ethnic groups" (Greek ethni; see 5:47N). Recent decades have seen a noticeable increase in both ethnic awareness and ethnic strife. The term is distinct from "nations," i.e., political entities (Greek basileiai, "kingdoms").

8. all this is but the beginning of the ‘birth-pains.’
The notion that the Messianic Age will be ushered in with a series of convulsions in history referred to as the "birth pains" is familiar in rabbinic Judaism; see the quotations in v. 1N, v. 14N; for more examples see Chapter 11, "The Pangs of Times," in Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts, New York: Avon Books, 1979; and compare Revelation 6-18. The "Messianic Age" referred to is the period after Yeshua's second coming (see v. 30), when he will establish peace among the nations and fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah 2:1-4.

9. At that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me.
10. At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other,
Betraying and hating each other. Similarly, according to the Talmud,
"Our rabbis taught, 'For Adonai will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees that theirpoweris gone' (Deuteronomy 32:36). The Son of David will not come until there are many denouncers." (Sanhedrin 97a)

The phrase, "...when he sees that their power is gone," is here understood to mean that the people of Israel will be at the mercy of informers. It is then that God will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants by redeeming them through the Messiah, the Son of David.

11. many false prophets will appear and fool many people;
12. and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah.
13. But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered.
14. And this Good News about the Kingdom will be announced throughout the whole world as a witness to all the Goyim. It is then that the end will come.
Again, a surprisingly similar view of how the Messianic Age will come can be found on the same page of the Talmud:
"It has been taught that Rabbi Nechemyah said, "In the generation of Messiah's coming impudence wi II increase; esteem will be perverted [people won't esteem each other]: the vine will yield its fruit, yet wine will be expensive [because everyone will get drunk and become careless and lazy, so that there will be scarcity]; and the Kingdom will be converted to heresy, and no one will rebuke them."'(Sanhedrin 97a)

The Soncino English edition of the Talmud has this note on "the Kingdom will be converted to heresy": "Hebrew minut [which can mean "heresy" generally or "Christianity" specifically, 22:31-32N]. By 'the Kingdom' is meant the Roman Empire, and the statement is a remarkable forecast by R. Nehemia (150 C.E.) of the conversion of Rome to Christianity under Constantine the Great in 313." However, Travers Herford believes this does not refer to the conversion of Rome but "is merely a way of saying that the spread of heresy and the consequent decay of religion will be universal" (Christianity in the Talmud, p. 209). The passage continues:

"This supports Rabbi Yitzchak, who said, 'The Son of David will not come unlil the whole world is converted to the beliefs of the heretics." Raba said, 'What verse [proves this]?' [Answer:] 'It is all turned white: he is clean' (Leviticus 13:13)." (Sanhedrin 97a)

The Soncino Edition's note says, "This |in the light of Leviticus 13:9-17] refers to leprosy: a white swelling is a symptom of uncleanness; nevertheless, if the whole skin is so affected, it is declared clean. So here too; when all are heretics, it is a sign that the world is about to be purified by the advent of Messiah."

15. “So when you see the abomination that causes devastation, spoken about through the prophet Dani’el standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand the allusion)" (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11) (пусть читатель догадается, о чём идёт речь),
When Antiochus IV ("Epiphanes") conquered Jerusalem in 167 B.C.E. he erected an altar to Zeus in the Temple. 1 Maccabees 1:54 and 6:7 refer to this as a fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, but Yeshua is pointing to an additional, future fulfillment.

16. “that will be the time for those in Y’hudah to escape to the hills.
17. If someone is on the roof, he must not go down to gather his belongings from his house;
18. if someone is in the field, he must not turn back to get his coat.
19. What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
20. Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on Shabbat.
21. For there will be trouble then worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again!! (Joel 2:2, Daniel 12:1))
22. Indeed, if the length of this time had not been limited, no one would survive; but for the sake of those who have been chosen, its length will be limited.
23. “At that time, if someone says to you, ‘Look! Here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ don’t believe him.
24. For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles — amazing things! — so as to fool even the chosen, if possible.
25. There! I have told you in advance!
26. So if people say to you, ‘Listen! He’s out in the desert!’ don’t go; or, ‘Look! He’s hidden away in a secret room!’ don’t believe it.
The rabbis similarly warn against credulity:
"Rabbi Shmu'el taught in the name of Rabbi Y'hudah, 'If someone tells you when the day of redemption is coming, don't believe him, for it is written, "The day of vengeance is in my heart" (Isaiah 63:4). If the heart does not tell its secrets to the mouth, how can the mouth tell anything?'"(Midrash on Psalm 9:2(1))
On false messiahs see 1:22N.

27. For when the Son of Man does come, it will be like lightning that flashes out of the east and fills the sky to the western horizon.
28. Wherever there’s a dead body, that’s where you find the vultures.
Wherever there's a dead body, that's where you find the vultures. Birds preying on carrion seem to refer here to persons used by demonic spirits to carry out evil purposes; they gather around false messiahs (corpses) and draw people away from the truth. Scholars surmise that Yeshua is quoting a folk proverb.

29. “But immediately following the trouble of those times, the sun will grow dark, the moon will stop shining, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in heaven will be shaken. . (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10; 3:4(2:31); 4:15(3:15); Isaiah 34:4; Haggai 2:6, 21)
30. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn (Zechariah 12:10–14) and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. (Daniel 7:13–14)
All the tribes of the Land will mourn. Zechariah 12:10-14 refers to the day when the people of Israel will mourn over God, who has been pierced, as they would mourn over a firstborn son (see Yn I9:37&N).

Here and at Rv 1:7, where the same passage of Zechariah is cited, Greek ge in other English versions is rendered "earth," not "Land." Besides obscuring the New Testament's support for the Jewish people's claim to the Land of Israel today, this erroneous translation ignores the fact that Zechariah is clearly speaking of the Land of Israel and not of the whole earth. See 5:5&N and last paragraph of Section VI of the Introduction to the JNT.

Coming on the clouds. Again, in the same part of the Talmud we read:
"Rabbi Nachman said to Rabbi Yitzchak, 'Have you heard when Bar-Nafle willcome?" 'Who is Bar-NafleV heasked. 'Messiah,' heanswered. 'Do you call Messiah Bar-NafleT 'Yes,' he replied, 'for it is written, "In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David hanofelet [that is fallen]" (Amos 9:11).'" (Sanhedrin 96b-97a)

The Soncino English edition of the Talmud adds in a note by the general editor, Isidor Epstein, that bar-nofelet means "literally, 'son of the fallen.' Bar-Nafle is generally assumed to represent the Greek uios nephelon, the 'son of the clouds'; cf. Daniel 7:13, 'there came with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man,' which R. Nachman gave a Hebrew connotation." The passage from Amos is also quoted in Ac 15:16.

31. He will send out his angels with a great shofar;, (Isaiah 27:13) and they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Shofar, "ram's horn," or, loosely, "trumpet." The ram's hom is blown at the season of the Jewish High Holy Days, one hundred times on Rosh-HaShanah (New Year), also called the Feast of Trumpets; and once at the end of Yom-Kippur (Day of Atonement). Judaism also understands that the Day of Judgment will be announced by blasts on the shofar. Ten Tanakh verses mentioning the shofar are recited in the Rosh-HaShanah synagogue service. See also 1С 15:52&N, 1 Th 4:16&N, Rv 8:2&N.

32. “Now let the fig tree teach you its lesson: when its branches begin to sprout and leaves appear, you know that summer is approaching.
The fig tree here is often taken to represent the Jewish people — for example, by the Messianic Jew Paul Liberman, who called his 1976 book on the end-time revival of the Jewish people The Fig Tree Blossoms (Tree of Life, P.O. Box 19381, San Diego, С А 92119). See also Mk 11:12-14, 20-24N.

33. In the same way, when you see all these things, you are to know that the time is near, right at the door.
The time is near. Or: "he is near."

34. Yes! I tell you that this people will certainly not pass away before all these things happen.
This people will certainly not pass away. If "this people" is the correct translation of Greek ё genea avte, Yeshua is guaranteeing that the Jews will persist as a people until his second coming. He is echoing the promise of Jeremiah 31:34-36(35-37):

"Thus says Adonai, who gives the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea and its roaring waves — Adonai of Heaven's Annies is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says Adonai, then the seed of Israel also will stop being a nation before me forever. Thus says Adonai: If heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth beneath searched out, then I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done."

Thus after proclaiming the New Covenant at Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34), God immediately states that the Jewish people will last at least as long as the sun and the moon. Both Yeshua and Jeremiah refute Replacement theology (see 5:5N, 5:17N).

However, e genea avte could mean "this generation." If so, Yeshua must have meant either his own generation or a future one. If his own, then either all these things already happened long ago, an interpretation which strains credibility if words mean anything; or they did not happen, in which case the prophecy was false, since his own generation passed away by the early second century at the latest. Those who think he meant that a future generation will see all these things happen have the problem of determining how to recognize it, because vv. 4-33 can be variously understood. Thus some believe "this generation" began with the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 or with Israel's recovery of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, while others maintain it has not begun yet.

Also, what constitutes a generation's passing away? A biblical generation (40 years), the average age at death (70-80 years), or when the last person born at the indicated time has grown old and died (100-plus years)? Arndt and Gingrich's A Greek-English Lexicon is inconclusive. Under "genea" it gives the root meaning, "family, descent," and adds: "1. Literally, those descended from a common ancestor, a clan; then race, kind generically.... The meaning nation is advocated by some in Ml 24:34, Mk 13:30, Lk 21:32; but see also 2. 2. Basically, the sum total of those bora at the same time, expanded to include all those living at a given time — generation, contemporaries {cf. Genesis 7:1, Psalm 11:8 (and many New Testament references, including all three cited under '1'])."

35. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36. “But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father.
But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father. (In some printings of the Jewish New Testament the words "in heaven, not the Son, only the Father" were inadvertently omitted.) Compare Daniel 12:8-10, Acts 1:6 and the following citations, again from Tractate Sanhedrin in the Talmud:

"Rabbi Shmu'el bar-Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan, 'May the bones of those who calculate the end [that is, the time of the Messiah's coming] be blasted away! As soon as the time [which they have determined] arrives and the Messiah has not come, they say, "He will never come!" Rather, wait for him, as it is written, 'Though he tarry, wait for him' (Habakkuk 2:3)." (Sanhedrin 97b; the same phrase from Habakkuk is echoed in Article XII of Maimonides' creed.)

"Whenever Rabbi Zera' came upon scholars trying [to calculate when the Messiah would arrive], he would say to them, 'It has been taught that three things come when the mind is diverted: the Messiah, finding a lost article, and a scorpion. So don't postpone his coming by thinking about it!'" (Sanhedrin 97a)

According to the Zohar, Rabbi Yose and Rabbi Y'hudah were in a cave, where they found a supernatural book and began studying it, but it disappeared in a flame and a gust of wind. When they came and told Rabbi Shim'on what had happened,
"he said to them, "Perhaps you were examining the letters that deal with the coming of the Messiah?... It is not the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, to reveal too much to the world. But when the days of the Messiah approach, even children will be able to discover secrets of wisdom, and through them be able to calculate the time of the end; then it will be revealed to all."" (Zohar 1:117b-118a)

37. For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach.
38. Back then, before the Flood, people went on eating and drinking, taking wives and becoming wives, right up till the day Noach entered the ark;
39. and they didn’t know what was happening until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the Son of Man comes.
1-39 Chapters 24-25, the "Olivet Discourse" (because it was given on the Mount of Olives, v. 3), discusses the future and constitutes Yeshua's fifth and final teaching in the book of Mattityahu (see 13:1-52N). It is interesting to compare with this chapter a Talmud passage that predicts events prior to the Messiah's coming:

"Rabbi Yitzchak said that Rabbi Yochanan said, in the generation when the Son of David is to come, scholars will be few in number. As for others, their eyes will fail from sorrow and grief. There will be much trouble, and evil decrees will be renewed, with each new evil coming quickly, even before the other has ended.' "Our Rabbis taught that the following would happen during the seven years at the end of which the Son of David is to come. In the first year, 'I will cause it to rain upon one city and cause it not to rain upon another city' (Amos 4:7). In the second, the arrows of hunger will be sent forth [food shortages, with no one being fully satisfied]. In the third, there will be a great famine, during which men, women, children, pious men and saints will die; and [hunger will cause] the Torah to be forgotten by its talmidim. In the fourth, there will be surpluses of some things but shortages of others. In the fifth there will be great plenty — people will eat, drink and rejoice; and the Torah will return to its talmidim. In the sixth year, there will be sounds [in the light of what follows, either rumors of wars (compare Mt 24:6) or heavenly voices or shofar blasts (see 8:2N) announcing the Messiah's coming]. In the seventh year there will be wars. And at the end of the seven years the Son of David will come." (Sanhedrin 97a)

This period, with its failing eyes, trouble and evil decrees, is referred to generally in vv. 8, 21; its seven-year duration, following indications in the book of Daniel, is made explicit in the book of Revelation (see Rv 11:1-2N). Hunger and famine appear in v. 7; the death of saints in vv. 9-10; the Torah being forgotten by its students in v. 12; eating, drinking and rejoicing in vv. 37-39; the shofar in v. 31; wars in vv. 6-7.

40. Then there will be two men in a field — one will be taken and the other left behind.
41. There will be two women grinding flour at the mill — one will be taken and the other left behind.
42. So stay alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord will come.
43. But you do know this: had the owner of the house known when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into.
44. Therefore you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him.
45. “Who is the faithful and sensible servant whose master puts him in charge of the household staff, to give them their food at the proper time?
46. It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes.
47. Yes, I tell you that he will put him in charge of all he owns.
48. But if that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is taking his time’;
49. and he starts beating up his fellow servants and spends his time eating and drinking with drunkards;
50. then his master will come on a day the servant does not expect, at a time he doesn’t know;
51. and he will cut him in two and put him with the hypocrites, where people will wail and grind their teeth!

next chapter...