Matthew 24:1
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
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(1) And Jesus went out.—Better, following the best MSS., Jesus departed from the Temple, and was going on His way, when His disciples. St. Mark and St. Luke report the touching incident of the widow’s mite as connected with our Lord’s departure.

His disciples came to him.—We may well think of their action as following on the words they had just heard. Was that house, with all its goodly buildings and great stones, its golden and its “beautiful” gates (Acts 3:2)—through which they had probably passed—its porticos, its marble cupolas, the structural and ornamental offerings which had accumulated during the forty-six years that had passed since Herod had begun his work of improvement (John 2:20), to be left “desolate”? Would not the sight of its glories lead Him to recall those words of evil omen? This seems a far more natural explanation than that which sees in what they were doing only the natural wonder of Galilean peasants at the splendour of the Holy City. They had seen it too often, we may add, to feel much wonder.

Matthew 24:1. And Jesus went out — For the last time; and departed from the temple — Which he never entered afterward; and his disciples came to him — As he was going away; to show him the buildings of the temple — To call his attention to the splendid buildings and sumptuous decorations of the place, saying, according to Mark, Master, see what manner of stones and buildings are here! intending to intimate, probably, what a pitiable calamity they thought it that such a grand structure should be destroyed. Indeed, as the whole temple was built with the greatest cost and magnificence, so nothing was more stupendous than the uncommon measure of the stones, some of which, particularly those employed in the foundations, were in magnitude forty cubits, that is, above 60 feet; and the superstructure was worthy of such foundations. And some of the stones were of the whitest marble, forty-five cubits long, five cubits high, and six broad. Indeed, the marble of the temple was so white that, according to Josephus, it appeared at a distance like a mountain of snow; while the gilding of several of its external parts, especially when the sun shone upon it, rendered it a most splendid and beautiful spectacle. See Bishop Newton, from whose admirable work on the prophecies most of the notes on this chapter are extracted.

24:1-3 Christ foretells the utter ruin and destruction coming upon the temple. A believing foresight of the defacing of all worldly glory, will help to keep us from admiring it, and overvaluing it. The most beautiful body soon will be food for worms, and the most magnificent building a ruinous heap. See ye not all these things? It will do us good so to see them as to see through them, and see to the end of them. Our Lord having gone with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, he set before them the order of the times concerning the Jews, till the destruction of Jerusalem; and as to men in general till the end of the world.And Jesus went out - He was going over to the Mount of Olives, Matthew 24:3.

The buildings of the temple - The temple itself, with the surrounding courts, porches, and other edifices. See the notes at Matthew 21:12. Mark says that they particularly pointed out the "stones" of the temple, as well as the buildings. "In that temple," says Josephus, the Jewish historian, "were several stones which were 45 cubits in length, 5 in height, and 6 in breadth;" that is, more than 70 feet long, 10 wide, and 8 high. These stones, of such enormous size, were principally used in building the high wall on the east side, from the base to the top of the mountain. They were also, it is said, beautifully painted with variegated colors.


Mt 24:1-51. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37. Matthew 24:1,2 Christ foretells the destruction of the temple.

Matthew 24:3-31 He showeth what signs and calamities shall go before

it; and what shall happen at the time of his coming.

Matthew 24:32-35 By a parable of the fig tree he marketh the certainty

of the prediction.

Matthew 24:36-41 No man knoweth the day and hour, which shall

come suddenly.

Matthew 24:42-51 We ought therefore to watch, like good servants who

expect their master’s coming.

See Poole on "Matthew 24:2".

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple,.... He not only went out of it for that time, but took his final leave of it, never to return more to it; having foretold its desolation, which he, in part, by so doing, immediately fulfilled: this the disciples observing, and being intent on the outward splendour, and worldly grandeur of it, were concerned that so beautiful a structure should be deserted; and almost thought it incredible, that so strong, and firm a building could be destroyed.

And his disciples came unto him: as he went, and as soon as he was come out of the temple, and whilst in view of it:

for to show him the buildings of the temple; the walls of it, and courts adjoining to it, how beautiful and firm they were: whether this was done by them to raise in him admiration or commiseration, in hopes he might change the sentence he had passed upon it, is not easy to say; or whether this did not express their incredulity about the desolation of it; which Christ's answer, in the next verse, seems to imply. Mark says, it was "one of the disciples" that observed these to him, who might be accompanied with the rest, and in their name address him; and who, probably, might be Peter, since he was generally their mouth; and that he should speak to him in this manner: "master, see what manner of stones, and what buildings are here!" Luke says, "how it was adorned with goodly stones, and gifts." The Jews give very great encomiums of the second temple, as repaired by Herod; and it was undoubtedly a very fine structure. They say (p), that he built the house of the sanctuary, "an exceeding beautiful building"; and that he repaired the temple, in beauty "greatly exceeding" that of Solomon's (q). They moreover observe (r), that

"he who has not seen the building of Herod, has never seen, , "a beautiful building." With what is it built? says Rabbah, with stones of green and white marble. And there are others say, that it was built with stones of spotted green and white marble.''

These, very likely, were the very stones the disciples pointed to, and admired; and were of a prodigious size, as well as worth. Some of the stones were, as Josephus (s) says,

"forty five cubits long, five high, and six broad.''

Others of them, as he elsewhere affirm (t),

"were twenty five cubits long, eight high, and twelve broad.''

And he also tells us, in the same place, that there were,

"in the porches, four rows of pillars: the thickness of each pillar was as much as three men, with their arms stretched out, and joined together, could grasp; the length twenty seven feet, and the number of them an hundred and sixty two, and beautiful to a miracle.''

At the size of those stones, and the beauty of the work, it is said (u), Titus was astonished, when he destroyed the temple; at which time his soldiers plundered it, and took away "the gifts", with which it is also said to be adorned. These were rich and valuable things which were dedicated to it, and either laid up in it, or hung upon the walls and pillars of it, as it was usual in other temples (w). These may, intend the golden table given by Pompey, and the spoils which Herod dedicated; and particularly the golden vine, which was a gift of his (x); besides multitudes of other valuable things, which were greatly enriching and ornamental to it. Now the disciples suggest, by observing these, what a pity it was such a grand edifice should be destroyed; or how unaccountable it was; that a place of so much strength, could easily be demolished.

(p) Juchasin, fol. 139. 1.((q) Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 24. 2.((r) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 4. 1. & Succa, fol. 51. 2.((s) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 5. (t) Antiq. Jud. l. 15. c. 14. (u) Egesippus, l. 5. c. 43. (w) Vid. Ryckium de Capitol. Rom. c. 21, &c. (x) Joseph. Antiq. l. 15.

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Matthew 24:1. On the following discourse generally, see: Dorner, de orat. Chr. eschatologica, 1844; R. Hofmann, Wiederkunft Chr. u. Zeichen d. Menschensohnes, 1850; Hebart, d. zweite sichtb. Zuk. Chr. 1850; Scherer in the Strassb. Beitr. 1851, II. p. 83 ff.; E. J. Meyer, krit. Comment, zu d. eschatolog. Rede Matth. xxiv., xxv., I., 1857; Cremer, d. eschatolog. Rede Matth. xxiv., xxv., 1860; Luthardt, Lehre v. d. letzten Dingen, 1861; Hoelemann, Bibelstudien, 1861, II. p. 129 ff.; Auberlen in the Stud. u. Krit. 1862, p. 213 ff.; Pfleiderer in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1868, p. 134 ff.; Kienlen, ibid. 1869, p. 706 ff., and Commentaire sur l’apocalypse, 1870, p. 1 ff.; Wittichen, Idee d. Reiches Gottes, 1872, p. 219 ff.; Weissenbach, d. Wiederkunfts-gedanke Jesu, 1873, p. 69 ff., comp. his Jesu in regno coel. dignitas, 1868, p. 79 ff.; Colani, Jésus Christ et les croyances messian. de son temps, ed. 2, 1864, p. 204 ff.

The parallel passages are Mark 13, Luke 21. Luke, however, in accordance with his own independent way of treating his narrative, does not merely omit many particulars and put somewhat differently many of those which he records (as is likewise the case with Mark), but he introduces not a few in a different, and that an earlier historical connection (ch. Matthew 12:17). But this would not justify us, as Luther, Schleiermacher, Neander, Hase suppose, in using Luke’s narrative for correcting Matthew (Strauss, II. p. 337 f.; Holtzmann, p. 200 ff.), to whom, as the author of the collection of our Lord’s sayings, precedence in point of authority is due. It must be admitted, however, that it is precisely the eschatological discourses, more than any others, in regard to which it is impossible to determine how many modifications of their original form may have taken place[14] under the influence of the ideas and expectations of the apostolic age, although the shape in which they appeared first of all was given to them, not by Mark (Holtzmann, p. 95; see, on the other hand, Weiss), but by Matthew in his collection of the sayings of our Lord. This is to be conceded without any hesitation. At the same time, however, we must as readily allow that the discourse is characterized by all the unity and consecutiveness of a skilful piece of composition, and allow it all the more that any attempt to distinguish accurately between the original elements and those that are not original (Keim) only leads to great uncertainty and diversity of opinion in detail. But the idea that portions of a Jewish (Weizsäcker) or Judaeo-Christian (Pfleiderer, Colani, Keim, Weissenbach) apocalyptic writing have been mixed up with the utterances of Jesus, appears not only unwarrantable in itself, but irreconcilable with the early date of the first two Gospels, especially in their relation to the collection of our Lord’s sayings (λογία).

ἐξελθών] from the temple, Matthew 21:23.

ἘΠΟΡΕΎΕΤΟ ἈΠῸ ΤΟῦ ἹΕΡΟῦ] He went away from the temple, withdrew to some distance from it. Comp. Matthew 25:41. For this interpretation we require neither a hyperbaton (Fritzsche, de Wette), according to which ἀπὸ τ. ἱεροῦ would belong to ἘΞΕΛΘΏΝ,[15] nor the accentuation ἌΠΟ (Bornemann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 108 f.)

τὰς οἰκοδομὰς τοῦ ἱεροῦ] not merely τοῦ ναοῦ, but the whole of the buildings connected with the temple, all of which, with the ναός and the porches and the courts, constituted the ἱερόν. Comp. on Matthew 4:5. The magnificent structures (Joseph. Bell. v. 5. 6, vi. 4. 6, 8; Tac. Hist. v. 8. 12) were not then finished as yet, see on John 2:21.

Even Chrysostom, Erasmus, and Bengel did not fail to perceive that what led the disciples to direct the attention of Jesus to the temple-buildings was the announcement contained in Matthew 23:38, which, though it did not refer exclusively to the temple, necessarily included the fate of this latter as well. This the disciples could not but notice; and so, as they looked back and beheld the splendours of the entire sacred edifice, they could not help asking Jesus further to explain Himself, which He does at once in Matthew 24:2, and in terms corresponding with what He had announced in Matthew 23:38.

[14] Although the contents of the discourse itself, as well as the earlier date of the first two Gospels generally, decidedly forbid the supposition that it was not composed till after the destruction of Jerusalem, and that, consequently, it assumes this latter to have already taken place (Credner, Baur, Köstlin, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar). If this supposition were correct, the discourse would have to he regarded as a late product of the apostolic age, and therefore as a vaticinium post eventum. Further, the eschatological views of the apostolical Epistles, though they presuppose corresponding teaching on the part of Jesus, by no means imply any knowledge of the specific discourses in ch. 24, 25 (in answer to E. J. Meyer, p. 50 ff.).

[15] This supposition, indeed, has likewise led to the transposition: ἀπὸ (Lachm.: ἐκ, following B) τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο (B D L Δ א, min. vss. Fathers), which order is adopted by Tisch. 8.

Matthew 24:1-3. Introduction (cf. Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7).

1. went out, and departed from the temple] Read, on the highest MS. authority, “went out from the temple, and was going on his way.” On leaving the Temple Jesus would descend into the valley of Kedron and ascend the opposite slope of the Mount of Olives. Then full in view the Temple would rise with its colonnade of dazzling white marble, surmounted with golden roof and pinnacles, and founded on a substructure of huge stones. Milman writes (History of the Jews, ii. 322) “At a distance the whole Temple looked literally like a mount of snow, fretted with golden pinnacles.”

Matthew 24:1. Καὶ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ, ἐπορεύετο, and Jesus having come forth from the temple, went His way) Such is the reading of the Colinæan editions, and of the following MSS., viz.: Bunkleanus, Cantabrigiensis, Paris, 5, 6, Stephanus η or more; also of Chrysostom, and the Æthiopic,[1028] Arabic, Latin, Persian, and Syriac versions: according to which ἘΠΟΡΕΎΕΤΟ (went His way) has greater force, being contrasted with, and in antithesis to, καθημένου δὲ Αὐτοῦ, and as He was sitting.[1029] Modern transcribers have, as though it mattered nothing, written ἐπορεύτο ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ, He went His way from the temple.[1030] A discourse, which embraced even the end of the world, was appropriately held in the open air.—οἱ μαθηταὶ, the disciples) one especially, as we learn from Mark 13:1.—ἐπιδεῖξαι, to show) It is possible that Jesus had never looked at the outside of the temple, for He was not curious; cf. Gnomon on Mark 12:15. He had looked, and that deservedly, at the inside of the temple; Ibid. Matthew 11:11.—τὰς οἱκοδομὰς, the buildings) The separate parts were in themselves great buildings: even at that time the building was being carried on, which is mentioned in John 2:20. And perhaps it was being the more zealously done, on account of the proximity of the Passover.—τοῦ ἱεροῦ, of the temple) which was doomed to destruction: see ch. Matthew 23:38; and in that very age, too, only a few years after its completion.

[1028] That portion of the Æthiopic or Abyssinian Version which contains the New Testament, is supposed to have been executed in the fourth century by Frumentius, who, about the year 330, preached Christianity in Æthiopia.—(I. B.)

[1029] The verb πορεύομαι, signifying progressive motion, corresponds with the Latin progredior, or the French marcher.—(I. B.)

[1030] Such is the reading of the E. M., and of Bengel’s own Edition of the Greek Testament.—(I. B.)

BDabc Vulg. place the ἐπορεύετο last: and so Hil. 728. Rec. Text puts ἐπορεύετο, without good authority.—ED.

He had now been in the temple for the last time.—V. g.

Verses 1-51. - PROPHECY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, AND OF THE TIMES OF THE END. (Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36.) There is no reason to think, with Olshauson, that St. Matthew or his editor has considerably amplified the original discourse of our Lord by introducing details and expressions from other quarters. The discourse, as we now have it (ch. 24. and 25.), forms a distinct whole, divided into certain portions closely related to each other and it would have been unnatural in St. Matthew, and opposed to his simple and veracious style, to have put words into our Lord's mouth at this moment, which were not actually uttered by him on this solemn occasion. Verses 1-3. - Occasion of the discourse. (Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7.) Verse 1. - From the temple; Revised Version, went out from the temple, and was going on his way (ἐπορεύετο). So the best manuscripts and versions. It was while he was proceeding on the route to Bethany that the disciples interrupted him with their remarks about the temple. He had now taken his final leave of the hallowed courts; the prophecy of the desolation of the house was beginning to be fulfilled (see on Matthew 23:38). His disciples came to him. They were disquieted by Christ's words recorded at the end of the last chapter, which spoke of a terrible retribution about to fall, of the desolation of the temple, of Christ's own departure for a time. St. Mark (Mark 13:3) tells us that Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately when these things should be, and what signs should forewarn of their approach, as in ver. 3. St. Matthew records here that his disciples came to him for to show (ἐπιδεῖξαι, to display) him the buildings of the temple (ἱεροῦ, the whole sacred enclosure). They had gathered from his words that destruction awaited this edifice, but as they gazed upon it they could scarcely bring themselves to believe in its coming overthrow. So as they gained some commanding point of view, they drew Christ's attention to its beauty, magnificence, and unequalled solidity, desiring him to explain further the mode and time of the catastrophe. It was popularly said, "He who never saw the temple of Herod has never seen a fine building." Matthew 24:1Went out and departed from the temple (ἐξελθὼν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο)

Rev., better: Went out from the temple and was going on his way. The temple, ἱεροῦ, not ναοῦ: the whole of the buildings connected with the temple, all of which, including the ναός, or sanctuary, and the porches and courts, constituted the ἱερόν. See on Matthew 4:5.

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