This is Part 1 of 2 of the Lukan End Time Discourse page of the Bible prophecy website titled "Jesus and the End Time". This End Time or Olivet discourse shows and discusses the King James Bible passages ("texts" for short) that appear in chapter 21 of the Gospel of Luke, i.e., Luke 21:5-37. This discourse and its Matthean and Markan counterparts, the Matthean End Time discourse (Matt. 24:1 through Matt. 25:46) and the Markan End Time discourse (Mark 13:1-37), are singled out for special treatment for the reasons given on the Introduction page of this website. The most important of these is that these discourses include the longest and most complete descriptions of the End Times teachings of Jesus that can be found in the Gospels in which they appear. As a result, these discourses can reasonably be regarded as together comprising the single most important set of Biblical texts that a person can use to understand the Eschatology of Jesus as it is described in the King James Bible (or KJV Bible).
While the KJV Bible shows the Lukan End Time discourse* as a single, long sequence of verses that occupies most of chapter 21 of the Gospel of Luke, the writer has divided this discourse into two parts and used Luke 21:24 as the dividing line between them. One reason he has used Luke 21:24 as this dividing line is that this verse appears just before one of this discourse's main literary and logical break points. More importantly, he has used this verse as the dividing line because it lies at the point where Luke switches from describing the teachings of Jesus about the End Times events that will occur before the coming of the Son of man and the End Time Kingdom to describing his teachings about events that will occur at or after the time of their coming. This, in turn, makes it easier to find and compare both of these parts with the most nearly similar parts of the Matthean and Markan End Time discourses.
Surprisingly, the Lukan End Time discourse as a whole is much shorter than the Matthean End Time discourse as a whole. In fact, the two above-mentioned two parts of the Lukan discourse together correspond to only about the first half of the Matthean discourse. The main reason for this difference is that the Lukan discourse does not include a description of the teachings of Jesus about the End Time Judgment (an event also referred to as the Day of Judgment, Judgment Day or simply "the Judgment"), like that included at the end of the Matthean Discourse. The writer discusses the differences between these teachings in an Appendix titled "Comparative Notes on the End Time Judgment" that appears at the end of Part 2 of the Lukan End Time Discourse page. Because the teachings of Jesus about the End Time Judgment have such important consequences, the writer also discusses them and their most plausible interpretations at length in a special set of Notes titled "Notes on Everlasting Punishment" that appears on the Home page of this website.
* Special Note on Alternative Names or Terms:
Persons who write books and articles for the popular apocalyptic literature, or who create Bible prophecy websites, often refer to this and other End Time discourses using names other than those preferred by the writer. Some examples of these other names include: the Olivet discourse of Luke (or Luke's Olivet discourse), the apocalyptic discourse of Luke (or Luke's apocalyptic discourse), the End Time discourse of Luke, the Little Apocalypse of Luke and the Eschatological discourse of Luke. These persons also often use terms that are synonyms or alternatives for "End Time", such as End-Time, Endtime, End Times, End-Times, Endtimes, days of vengeance, Last Days, Last Time and the Eschaton. Other terms of these kinds are discussed on the Introduction page of this website.
P 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. 9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. 10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19 In your patience possess ye your souls. 20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. [end par.]
• V. 5-24 above generally correspond to Matt. 24:1-22 and Mark 13:1-20 of the Matthean and Markan discourses.
• Unlike the Matthean and Markan discourses, the Lukan discourse does not explicitly say that Jesus spoke it on the mount of Olives. Instead, Luke seems to suggest this by saying that Jesus spoke it as some of those with him "spake of the temple" (v. 5) or beheld it (v. 6), and that at night he "abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives." (Luke 21:37). In view of this place reference, and the many parallelisms and other similarities between its verses and those of the Olivet Discourses of Matthew and Mark, the writer may refer to Luke 21:5-37 as the Olivet Discourse of Luke, whether or not other writers choose to do so.
• The words "there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." in v. 6 are repeated, almost word for word, in v. 2 of Matt. 24:1-22 and v. 2 of Mark 13:1-20. These words seem to be an abbreviated form of the words Jesus speaks in v. 44 of Luke 19:41-44. With the possible exception of Luke 23:27-31 (not included), the only arguably similar earlier statement that Jesus makes in the Gospels is v. 38 of Matt. 23:29-39, in which he says, "Behold, your house is left to you desolate.".
• V. 7 above describes persons referred to as "they" asking Jesus, "when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?". Its Markan counterpart, v. 4 of Mark 13:1-20, is similar, but describes named disciples asking him privately, "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?". Its Matthean counterpart, v. 3 of Matt. 24:1-22, on the other hand, describes "the disciples" coming to him privately and asking him, "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?".
• The "sign" that Jesus is asked about in v. 7 seems to correspond to "the sign of the Son of man in heaven" that Jesus speaks about in v. 30 of Matt. 24:29-36. In the Markan and Lukan counterparts of the latter text, Mark 13:24-32 and Luke 21:25-37, only Luke describes Jesus speaking about "signs" (Luke 21:25), and describes them as signs in the sun, moon and stars.
• The first part of v. 7 above describe the disciples asking Jesus a question that seems to be generally similar to the question that one saint asks another in v. 13 of Dan 8:5-14. Interestingly, both v. 6 and v. 11 of Dan. 8:5-14 involve statements about the temple (or sanctuary) being thrown (or cast) down. Other similarities between the End Time discourses and Dan. 8:5-14 are discussed in Notes included with v. 29 of Matt. 24:29-36 and v. 25 of Mark 13:24-32.
• V. 8 above makes generally the same point as v. 23 of Luke 17:20-25, and includes a similar warning about people that will make false claims about him. V. 8 also generally corresponds to Matt. 24:4-5 and Mark 13:5-6 of the Matthean and Markan discourses, except that it adds, "the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.". Unlike the Matthean and Markan discourses, however, the Lukan discourse does not include verses that correspond to Matt. 24:23-25 or Mark 13:21-23.
• V. 9 above describes Jesus telling his listeners not to be terrified when they hear of "wars and commotions" because "the end is not by and by.". This verse generally parallels Matt. 24:6 and Mark 13:7, which describe Jesus telling his disciples not to be troubled when they hear of "wars and rumours of wars" because "the end" is "not yet" (Matt. 24:6) or "shall not be yet" (Mark 13:7). Jesus' use of the words "the end" in v. 9 is surprising. This is because all three of these verses describe Jesus answering a question about "the end" that he is asked only in the Matthean discourse, i.e., in Matt. 24:3. One possible explanation is that "the end" that Jesus speaks of in v. 9 addresses the thought about the immediate appearance of the kingdom of God that Luke mentions in Luke 19:11.
• Jesus' use of "the end" in v. 9 is also surprising because it is the only verse in the Lukan discourse (or, in fact, in the whole of the Gospel of Luke) in which Jesus uses these words as such. This is all the more surprising because Jesus uses the words "the end" as such three times in the Matthean discourse (Matt. 24:6, 24:13 and 24:14) and twice in the Markan discourse (Mark 13:7 and 13:13).
• V. 9-11 above generally correspond to Matt. 24:6-8 and Mark 13:7-8 of the Matthean and Markan discourses. All of Luke 21:10, Matt. 24:7 and Mark 13:8, for example, describe Jesus saying, "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:". On the other hand, while v. 11 ends with Jesus speaking about "fearful sights and great signs" from heaven, Matt. 24:7-8 and Mark 13:8 end with Jesus speaking about the beginning(s) of sorrows. These sights and signs may be the same as those that Luke mentions in v. 25 of Luke 21:25-37. See also v. 29 of Matt. 24:29-36 and v. 24-25 of Mark 13:24-32.
• Although v. 10 describes Jesus using the word "kingdom", it seems to describe him using this word in a common or general sense in which it has little to do with the kingdom that the writer refers to as the End Time Kingdom (or kingdom of the End Times). In the Auxiliary Sense File titled "Senses of the Word Kingdom", the writer describes the senses in which the KJV Bible uses the word "kingdom" and gives examples of verses that use it in these senses.
• V. 11 is the first verse of the Lukan discourse in which Jesus uses words like "heaven" and "heavens". These words may arguably have any of the meanings they have when they are used in longer phrases like "the God of heaven", "the host of heaven", "the heaven of heavens" and "the kingdom of heaven", and apparent contractions thereof like "heaven", "the heaven" and "the heavens". In the accompanying Auxiliary Sense file titled "Senses of Words Like Heaven", the writer describes the senses in which the Bible uses words of this kind and gives examples of Bible verses that use them in these senses.
• V. 12-19 above seem to generally correspond to Mark 13:9-13, except that they do not include a verse that corresponds to v. 10 of Mark 13:1-20. V. 12-19 also seem to roughly correspond to Matt. 24:9-13, except that they do not include verses that correspond to v. 11-12 of Matt. 24:1-22.
• Surprisingly, neither v. 12-19 nor any other part of the Lukan discourse describes Jesus speaking about preaching the gospel in all the world (Matt 24:14) or publishing it among all nations (Mark 13:10), or about this preaching or publishing being associated with the coming of "the end". See in this connection Matthew's use of "then shall the end come" in Matt. 24:14 and Mark's use of "first" in Mark 13:10. Luke does, however, describe Jesus saying that repentance and the remission of sins should be preached among all nations at the time of his ascension, i.e., at v. 47 of Luke 24:44-51. See also Mark 16:15-16 and v. 8 of Acts 1:1-9.
• In v. 12 and 16 above, Jesus gives two warnings about persons that will betray his followers. A first (v. 12) refers only to "they", and a second (v. 16) refers to family and friends. The first warning generally corresponds to the first part of Matt. 24:9 and to Mark 13:9. The second roughly corresponds to Mark 13:12, but is not mentioned in the Matthean discourse. Jesus does, however, speak of betrayals by "one another" in Matt. 24:10. The betrayals by family members that Jesus speaks of in v. 16 may, however, be related to those he speaks of in v. 35 of Matt. 10:34-36 and v. 37 of Matt. 10:37-42. See also v. 51-53 of Luke 12:49-53.
• The assurance Jesus gives in v. 14-15 above that those who are persecuted will be told what to say generally corresponds to the assurance he gives in Mark 13:11of the Markan discourse, but is not mentioned in the Matthean discourse. Matthew does, however, describe Jesus giving an assurance of this kind in v. 19-20 of Matt. 10:5-23. Surprisingly, Mark 13:9-13 as a whole includes words similar to those included in v. 17-22 of Matt. 10:5-23, Matthew's description of the sending of the twelve to preach that "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (v. 7). This is surprising because no words of these kinds appear in Mark's or Luke's description of the sending of the twelve, Mark 6:7-13 and Luke 9:1-6, or in Luke's later description of the sending of seventy others, Luke 10:1-16.
• The words "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." in v. 17 are repeated word for word in the first part of Mark 13:13, and almost word for word in the last part of Matt. 24:9. The latter verses, however, are followed, either immediately (Mark 13:13) or a few verses later (Matt. 24:13), by the words "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.", words that have no obvious counterparts in the Gospel of Luke. One possible explanation is that v. 18-19 use phrases like "not perish" and "possess ye your souls" to mean substantially the same thing as the word "saved". See also in this connection how the John uses the words "not perish" in v. 15-16 of John 3:14-18 and v. 27-28 of John 10:24-31, among others.
• While all of v. 20 above, Matt. 24:15 and Mark 13:14 describe Jesus using the word "desolation" as such, only v. 20 describes him using it to refer to the desolation of Jerusalem by unnamed armies. Matthew and Mark, on the other hand, both describe Jesus using this word in the phrase "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,", an apparent reference to the entity mentioned in v. 11 of Dan. 12:8-13. See also v. 13 of Dan. 8:5-14, Dan. 9:27 and Dan. 11:31.
• While the Lukan discourse says nothing about "the abomination of desolation" standing "in the holy place" (Matthew 24:15) or "where it ought not" (Mark 13:14), v. 21 does include the statement that Matthew and Mark show right after these words, i.e., "Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains;". In Luke, however, these words follow v. 20's statement about the desolation of Jerusalem, a desolation that Jesus speaks about again in v. 24. These verses, in turn, seem to be differently worded repetitions of v. 43-44 of Luke 19:41-44. See also v. 38 of Matt. 23:29-39. Finally, see the Special Note included after the Notes for v. 5-24.
• The words "Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains;" in the first part of v. 21 are repeated, almost word for word, in Matt. 24:16 and in the last part of Mark 13:14. All statements of this kind seem to be based on v. 5 of Zech. 14:1-11. Unlike its Matthean and Markan counterparts, however, v. 21 adds two more statements, a first that urges "them which are in the midst of it [i.e., Judaea]" to "depart out;", and a second that urges "them that are in the countries" not to "enter thereinto.".
• The phrase "days of vengeance" in the first part of v. 22 above does not appear as such anywhere else in the New Testament. In addition, the similar phrase "day of vengeance" does not appear at all in the New Testament. Jesus' use of the words "that all things which are written may be fulfilled." in the last part of v. 22, however, suggests that these days (or day) are written about in the Old Testament. The Old Testament texts Jesus may have had in mind when he spoke these words are discussed in the next Note.
• While the words "days of vengeance" are not used as such anywhere in the Old Testament, the arguably similar words "day of vengeance" are used in three Old Testament verses, all of which appear in texts that involve End Time-like interventions in human affairs, i.e., v. 2 of Is. 61:1-11, v. 4 of Is. 63:3-9 and v. 10 of Jer. 46:9-12. Of these, v. 1-2 of Is. 61:1-11 are of special interest because Luke 4:16-21 describes Jesus applying v. 1 and part of v. 2 of Is. 61:1-11 to himself while reading from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue of Nazareth. In Luke 4:16-21, however, Luke describes Jesus stopping before reaching the part of Is. 61:2 that uses the words "the day of vengeance". See also the avenging that Jesus speaks of in Luke 18:7-8.
• While v. 22 uses the words "days of vengeance" to describe the time it speaks of, the most nearly similar verses of the Matthean and Markan discourses, Matt. 24:21 and Mark 13:19, use very different words. Specifically, Matthew 24:21 speaks of a time of "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,", while Mark 13:19 speaks of days of "affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation…unto this time,". These longer statements may be based on Dan. 12:1, part of which reads, "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:". Another possibility, however, is v. 7 of Jer. 30:4-17, a possibility that is supported by the apparent End Time significance of Jer. 30:18-24.
• The words that Jesus uses in the last part of v. 22, "that all things which are written may be fulfilled.", seem to be related to the words he uses in the last part of v. 32 of Luke 21:25-37, "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.". See also the words that he uses in the most nearly similar Matthean and Markan verses, v. 34 of Matt. 24:29-36 and v. 30 of Mark 13:24-32.
• The words that Jesus uses in the last part of v. 22 also seem to generally parallel the words that disciples use in last part of the question they ask him in v. 4 of Mark 13:1-20, "[what shall be the sign when] all these things shall be fulfilled?". See also the words that Jesus uses in v. 44 of Luke 24:44-51, "that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.".
• The words "But woe unto them that are with child...in those days!" in v. 23 above are repeated, almost word for word, in Matt. 24:19 and Mark 13:17 of the Matthean and Markan discourses. In Luke, these words appear just after the verses that mention flight to the mountains (v. 21) and days of vengeance (v. 22). In Matthew and Mark, these words are separated from the verse that mentions flight to the mountains by two other verses, one that refers to him which (or that) is on the housetop (Matt. 24:17 and Mark 13:15) and one that refers to him which (or that) is in the field (Matt. 24:18 and Mark 13:16). While no statement of either of these kinds appears in the Lukan discourse proper, statements of both of these kinds appear in v. 31 of Luke 17:26-37.
• Neither v. 5-24, nor any other part of the Gospel of Luke, includes a verse that corresponds to Matt. 24:20 of the Matthean discourse or to Mark 13:18 of Markan discourse, both of which describe Jesus urging those in Judaea to pray that their flight not be in winter. Only in the Matthean discourse, Matt. 24:20, does Jesus add that they should pray that their flight not be "on the sabbath day:".
• In the last part of v. 23 and first part of v. 24, Jesus speaks of distress, slaughter and captivity that seem to apply only to "the land" [i.e., Judaea (v. 21)] and "this people.". In the most nearly similar verses of the Matthean and Markan discourses, Matt. 24:22 and Mark 13:20, on the other hand, Jesus speaks of days so perilous that "no flesh" should be saved, but adds that God will shorten these days "for the elect's sake". One explanation for these differences may be found in Luke 18:7-8, in which Jesus suggests that there is a relationship between the coming of the Son of man and God's avenging "his own elect, which cry day and night unto him,".
• Jesus' statement in v. 24 that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles," seems to be a differently worded version of what he says in v. 6 and 20, and an abbreviated version of what he says in Luke 19:41-44.
• In spite of differences in wording, the events that Jesus speaks of in v. 20-24 and their Matthean and Markan counterparts seem to parallel parts of the "day of the Lord" prophecy of Zech. 14:1-11. The flight to the mountains that he speaks of in v. 21, Matthew 24:16 and Mark 13:14, for example, seems to parallel that mentioned in Zech. 14:5, while the desolation/treading down of Jerusalem that he speaks of in v. 20 and 24 seems to parallel that mentioned in Zech. 14:2. In addition, the fulfilling of the "time of the Gentiles" in v. 24 seems to involve a divine intervention like that mentioned in Zech. 14:3. Finally, Zech. 14:1-11 describes these events as associated with the coming of the Lord (Zech. 14:5) and the establishment of the Lord's kingship (or kingdom?) "over all the earth:" (Zech. 14:9), events that seem to parallel the coming of the kingdom of God that Jesus speaks of in v. 31 of Luke 21:25-37. See also the coming of the "summer" or "it" that he speaks of in v. 32-33 of Matt. 24:29-36 and v. 28-29 of Mark 13:24-32.
Historical Note on the Destruction of Jerusalem:
Because Jerusalem was compassed and destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., it is not clear today whether v. 20 and 24 are prophecies of Jesus that were fulfilled by the destruction of 70 A.D., or are prophecies that will be fulfilled by another destruction of Jerusalem that will take place in the future.
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