Mark 13The original temple of Solomon was destroyed at the time of the captivity. On the return of the Jews, it was rebuilt upon a more moderate scale, as described in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah; and it had been enlarged and ornamented by Herod the Great, a short time before our Savior's coming; so that at this time it exhibited great magnificence and splendor.—Buildings. The temple did not consist of one single structure. There was a great central edifice, containing the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies; and around this there was a vast arrangement of walls, courts, colonnades, and passages, so that the whole presented a very imposing spectacle. The plans of the temple which are often met with are of use in expanding the general ideas of the reader to proper conceptions of the magnitude and extent of the edifice; but they cannot be depended upon in detail.
There shall not be left, &c.; that is, it shall be utterly destroyed. The expression is probably not intended to mean that literally every single stone should be separated from the rest.
The Mount of Olives; east of Jerusalem. The buildings of the temple were in full view from it.
Councils were Jewish tribunals, which were allowed by the Romans to exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The synagogue was also used for other purposes than religious worship. Its officers had a certain degree of ecclesiastical power; and it was often a place of trial and punishment for various offences.
Abomination of desolation. This is a Hebrew mode of expression, equivalent to terrible desolator or destroyer,—referring to the Roman army standing about Jerusalem. The prophet Daniel makes three allusions to the presence of this destroyer at the holy city. (Dan. 9:27, 11:31, 12:11.)
Had shortened; should shorten.
This passage has given rise to much discussion among commentators. The language itself is such as seems intended to describe the final judgment at the end of the world; while the manner in which it is introduced, by the expression, "In those days," at the commencement of the 24th verse, and still more decisively the declaration in the 30th verse, seem clearly to show that the passage relates to events which took place in the time of the apostles. If this latter is the case, the language is evidently highly figurative, and is intended to exhibit in the 24th and 25th verses, the terrible commotions of the times; in the 26th, the power and energy with which the cause of Christianity was to be advanced; and in the 27th, the rapid gathering in of converts from all countries and regions. If, on the other hand, this passage is to be considered as referring to the final judgment, it becomes necessary to suppose, as some commentators have done, that the sacred writer has omitted some portion of our Savior's remarks, or transposed the order of them in such a way that this prediction seems to be included, with the rest, as the subject of the general statement in v. 30, when in fact, if the omissions were supplied, or the order restored, it would appear that it was not so. It is difficult, however, to admit the possibility of such omissions or alterations, without impeaching the faithfulness, or at least the historical infallibility, of the record.
Authority to his servants; to each one his proper charge.
The terrible predictions of sorrow and suffering contained in this memorable conversation were all most signally fulfilled.
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