« הקודםהמשך »
unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at their hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished ? Ye shall not be unpunished : for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard : for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture. And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord. He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion; for their land is desolate, because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger."
The desolations here predicted were to begin with the desolations of Jerusalem, and extend to the end of the world. This prophecy, Daniel, in the first year of Darius, (see 7th chap.) had been considering, for it contained the prediction of the seventy years which ended when Darius took the kingdom, and Daniel evidently supposed that the 2300 days ended with them, and that the sanctuary was then to be cleansed, for he prayed, Dan. ix. 17: “Now, therefore, 0 our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake." But the angel Gabriel was sent to inform Daniel that seventy weeks were cut off, beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, B. C. 457, to the anointing of the Most Holy, or Holiness of Holiness ; that after that, the people of the prince that should come would destroy the city and sanctuary; that to the end of the war, which, according to Jer. xxv., was to result in the destruction of all nations, desolations are determined; and that for the overspreading of abominations, they were to make it desolate till the consummation, and that determined should be poured upon the desolate, which, according to the same chapter that Daniel was considering, would depopulate the earth, when the Lord should forsake his covert as a lion. The sanctuary could therefore not be cleansed till the end of the world, and the 2300 days must extend to the same time; and beginning B. C. 457, would end A. D. 1843, with the end of the seven times.
Our Savior, therefore, in the chapter under consideration, cautions the disciples that when, according to Luke xxi. 20, they should see Jerusalem compassed with armies, to know that the desolations thereof,—which were to extend to the consummation and the end of the seven times,—were nigh. Therefore he says:
Verses 16–20: “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains ; let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And wo unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath-day.”
In obedience to this injunction, we are told that the Christians fled from the city, before its final destruction, to the mountains of Pella, and escaped the calamities which fell upon their countrymen, But had their flight been in winter, they would have been subjected to the inclemency of the season; and had it been on God's holy day they would have desecrated the Sabbath of the Lord.
Verse 21: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
When shall be great tribulation ? Ans. During the overspreading of abominations which were to desolate Jerusalem till the consummation. It was to be a tribulation, such as never was before, and never should be again. According to Jeremiah xxv., this tribulation was to begin on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and extend to all the kingdoms of the world which are upon the face of the earth; it was to begin on the city which was called by the name of the Lord, and to end with a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, when the Lord hath forsaken his covert as a lion. According to Daniel 9th, it was to begin with the destruction of the city and sanctuary, and to end with the consummation, to which time desolations were determined; and according to the 12th of Daniel, it was to end with the time Michael shall stand up, those written in the book are delivered, and many that sleep in
the dust of the earth awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt, and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. According to Zech. xiv., it was to begin with all nations fighting against Jerusalem, and to end when the Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations, and his feet stand on the Mount of Olives, and the flesh of men consume away while they stand upon their feet, their eyes consume away in their holes, and their tongues consume away in their mouths. And according to our Savior, it was to begin when Jerusalem should be compassed with armies, and to end when the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled, and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Till that time, nation was to rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, as the history of the world has shown to have been fulfilled.
Verse 22: "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved : but for the elect's sake those days shall be short
Although those days of tribulation were to continue till the consummation, yet they were to continue till that time, only on the wicked; for they were to be shortened for the ELECT's sake, and them alone. Thus, in past ages, the church has passed through most