This is Part 1 of 2 of the Markan 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 13 of the Gospel of Mark, i.e., Mark 13:1-37. This discourse and its Matthean and Lukan counterparts, the Matthean End Time discourse (Matt. 24:1 through Matt. 25:46) and the Lukan End Time discourse (Luke 21:5-37), 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 Markan End Time discourse* as a single, long sequence of verses that occupies almost all of chapter 13 of the Gospel of Mark, the writer has divided this discourse into two parts and used Mark 13:23 as the dividing line between them. One reason he has used Mark 13:23 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 Mark switches from describing the teachings of Jesus about the End Times events that will occur before the coming of the Son of man to describing his teachings about events that will occur at or after this 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 Lukan End Time discourses.
Surprisingly, the Markan End Time discourse as a whole is much shorter than the Matthean End Time discourse as a whole. In fact, the two above-mentioned parts of the Markan discourse together correspond to only about the first half of the Matthean discourse. The main reason for this difference is that the Markan 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 or Judgment Day), 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 Markan 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 Mark (or Mark's Olivet discourse), the apocalyptic discourse of Mark (or Mark's apocalyptic discourse), the End Time discourse of Mark, the Little Apocalypse of Mark and the Eschatological discourse of Mark. These persons also often use terms that are synonyms or alternatives for "End Time", such as End-Time, Endtime, End Times, End-Times, Endtimes, end of the world, End of Days, Last Days and the Eschaton. Other terms of these kinds are discussed on the Introduction page of this website.
1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. P 9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. P 14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
• V. 1-20 above generally correspond to Matt. 24:1-22 and Luke 21:5-24 of the Matthean and Lukan discourses.
• The words "there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." in v. 2 are repeated, almost word for word, in v. 2 of Matt. 24:1-22 and v. 6 of Luke 21:5-24. These words seem to be an abbreviated form of the words spoken by Jesus in v. 44 of Luke 19:41-44. See also v. 38 of Matt. 23:29-39.
• While v. 4 describes disciples asking Jesus "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, describes them asking him "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?". In the most nearly similar Lukan passage, v. 7 of Luke 21:5-24, on the other hand, persons who may or may not be disciples are described as asking him "when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?".
• The "sign" that disciples ask about in v. 4 may 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, Mark 13:24-32 and Luke 21:25-37, only Luke describes Jesus speaking of "signs" (Luke 21:25), and describes them as signs in the sun, moon and stars.
• The first part of the question that disciples ask Jesus in v. 4 above seems to generally parallel the question that one saint asks another in v. 13 of Dan 8:5-14. Interestingly, both v. 2 and v. 11 of Dan. 8:5-14 make statements about the temple (or sanctuary) being thrown (or cast) down. In addition, the "abomination of desolation" that Jesus speaks about in v. 14 may correspond to the "transgression of desolation" that one of the saints speaks about in v. 13 of Dan. 8:5-14. Finally, the falling of the stars that Jesus speaks about in v. 25 of Mark 13:24-32 below may be related to the casting down of the stars mentioned in v. 10 of Dan. 8:5-14.
• The four Gospels describe Jesus himself using the phrase "the end of the world" as such only three times: in v. 39 of Matt. 13:36-43, in v. 49 of Matt. 13:47-50 and in v. 20 of Matt. 28:16-20. In spite of this, v. 7 and 13 above seem to describe Jesus using the words "the end" as an abbreviated way of referring to the end of the world. Luke's End Time discourse also seems to describe Jesus using the words "the end" in this way. See v. 9 of Luke 21:5-24.
• V. 5-6 above seem to make generally the same point as v. 21-22 of Mark 13:21-23 below.
• V. 5-6 above are repeated, in almost the same words, in v. 4-5 of Matt. 24:1-22 of Matthew's End Time discourse. These verses are also generally similar to v. 8 of Luke 21:5-24 of Luke's End Time discourse, except that the latter adds the words "the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.".
• In v. 7 above Jesus speaks about when the end will not come, i.e., "the end shall not be yet". See also Matt. 24:6 and Luke 21:9. Only in v. 14 of Matt. 24:1-22 of the Matthean discourse, however, does Jesus return to this subject and state clearly when the end shall come.
• V. 7-8 above are very similar to v. 6-8 of Matt. 24:1-22 of the Matthean discourse. They are also roughly similar to v. 9-11 of Luke 21:5-24 of the Lukan discourse, except that the latter also mentions fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
• Although v. 8 describes Jesus using the word "kingdom", it seems to describe him using this word in a common, general earthly sense in which 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 Bible uses the word "kingdom" and gives examples of KJV Bible verses that use it in these senses.
• V. 9 is generally similar to Luke 21:12, but only roughly corresponds to the first part of Matt. 24:9.
• V. 9-13 above generally correspond to v. 9-13 of Matt. 24:1-22 of the Matthean discourse, except that v. 9-13 do not include a verse in which Jesus speaks about iniquity abounding and the love of many waxing cold (Matt. 24:12).
• While v. 10 describes Jesus speaking about "the gospel" being "published among all nations" and Matt. 24:14 describes him speaking about "this gospel of the kingdom" being "preached in all the world", the Lukan discourse does not describe him making any recognizably similar statement. The Gospel of Luke as a whole does, however, describe Jesus saying that repentance and the remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations at the time of his ascension, i.e., at v. 47 of Luke 24:44-51. See also v. 15-16 of Mark 16:14-20 and v. 8 of Acts 1:1-9.
• V. 10 generally corresponds to v. 14 of Matt. 24:1-22. Unlike the latter, however, v. 10 does not directly link the coming of the end with the publishing of the gospel among all nations, and says only that the latter will occur "first". In spite of this, Mark elsewhere seems to suggest that there is such a link. See, for example, Mark 4:26-29, v. 29 of which describes Jesus teaching that the harvest will come immediately after the fruit is brought forth. See also the Notes included with Matt. 13:24-30 and Matt. 13:47-50.
• The words "the gospel" in v. 10 seem to refer to essentially the same thing as the words "this gospel of the kingdom" in v. 14 of Matt. 24:1-22. This conclusion seems to be confirmed by Matthew's use of the words "the gospel of the kingdom" twice more, in v. 23 of Matt. 4:23-24 and Matt. 9:35, and by Mark's use of the words "the gospel of the kingdom of God" in v. 14 of Mark 1:14-15. If this conclusion is correct, it seems to follow that a major part of the Gospel message involves idea of a relationship between the coming of the end and the coming of an End Time Kingdom.
• Except for the presence of v. 10, v. 9-13 are similar to v. 17-22 of Matt. 10:5-23, which describe what Jesus said to the twelve as he sent them to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Other accounts of the sending out of the twelve appear at Mark 6:7-13 and Luke 9:1-6. An account of the sending out of seventy others appears only at Luke 10:1-16.
• V. 11 describes Jesus ' assurance that those who are persecuted will be given what to speak by the Holy Ghost generally corresponds to v. 14-15 of Luke 21:5-24, but has no counterpart in the Matthean discourse. Interestingly, v. 19-20 of Matt. 10:5-23 describes Jesus giving a similar assurance, but saying that it is "the Spirit of your Father" who will help them.
• The betrayals by family members that Jesus speaks about in v. 12 generally correspond to the betrayals by family and friends that he speaks about in v. 16 of Luke 21:5-24, and possibly also to the betrayals by "one another" that he speaks about in v. 10 of Matt. 24:1-22. The things Jesus says about family members in v. 12 may also be related to things he says about them in Matt. 10:34-36 and Luke 12:49-53.
• The words "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake" in the first part of v. 13 are repeated, almost word for word, in the last part of v. 9 of Matt. 24:1-22. The words "but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." in the last part of v. 13, on the other hand, are repeated, word for word, in v. 13 of Matt. 24:1-22. Interestingly, both parts of v. 13 are repeated, almost word for word, in v. 22 of Matt. 10:5-23, Matthew's account of the sending of the twelve.
• The first part of v. 13 above is repeated, word for word, in v. 17 of Luke 21:5-24. The last part of v. 13 seems to roughly correspond to v. 18-19 of Luke 21:5-24.
• In the 1989 edition of the NRSV published by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the words "abomination of desolation" in v. 14 are rendered into English as "desolating sacrilege".
• The things Jesus says about the abomination of desolation in v. 14 above are very similar to the things he says about it in v. 15 of Matt. 24:1-22 of the Matthean discourse. This abomination seems to correspond to the "abomination that maketh desolate" that Daniel speaks of in v. 11 of Dan. 12:8-13. Note, for example, that the parenthetical phrase "(whoso readeth, let him understand:)" seems to correspond to v. 10 of the latter text. Other possibilities exist, however, including Dan. 8:13, Dan. 9:27 and Dan. 11:31. Of these, Dan. 8:13 is of special interest because it includes the asking of a question similar to that mentioned in v. 2-4 above. Importantly, while these verses include some variations in wording (e.g., "the transgression of desolation" appears in v. 13 of Dan. 8:5-14), they all appear in contexts that involve some supremely grave violation of the first and second commandments, such as worshipping the image of a foreign god, especially an image of this kind that has been placed in the temple of God in Jerusalem.
• The correctness of the interpretation of the abomination of desolation discussed in the preceding Note seems to be confirmed by the fact that, after the time in which the book of Daniel is set, a foreign ruler who fits the description Daniel gives him, the king (or prince) of Grecia, Antiochus IV "Epiphanes" (= manifestation of God), put an image of Zeus in the temple and had a pig sacrificed on its altar. See v. 21 of Dan. 8:15-27 and v. 20 of Dan. 10:5-21. Contrary to what Daniel says in v. 26 of Dan. 9:24-27, however, the temple was not destroyed, but only polluted and later purified and rededicated, an event Jews still celebrate as Hanukkah.
• Daniel's description of the entity Jesus refers to as the abomination of desolation (v. 14) can reasonably be regarded as patterned after a roughly similar prophecy of the prophet Jeremiah. In the Old Testament Auxiliary Files, the writer shows in full the parts of this prophecy that are of interest for present purposes, but divides it into parts that correspond to its KJV Bible paragraph breaks, namely, Jer. 7:8-16, Jer. 7:17-28 and Jer. 7:29-34. In this prophecy, Jeremiah uses the word "abomination" to describe the making of offerings to foreign gods (Jer. 7:10) and setting them up in God's temple (Jer. 7:30), and says that God will punish his people by doing to the temple what he did to Shiloh (Jer. 7:14) and leave the land desolate (Jer. 7:34). Unlike the prophecy of Daniel, however, the persons who commit these abominations are the people of God, and the prophecy is fulfilled when the temple is destroyed by the Babylonians. The idea that Daniel's prophecy was influenced by Jeremiah is suggested by the fact that Daniel attributes some of his ideas to things he learned from books "whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah"; see Dan. 9:2.
• The KJV Bible includes a number of texts which suggest that the teachings of Jesus about the abomination of desolation were influenced by the ideas of both Daniel and Jeremiah. The most explicit of these include his reference to Daniel as a prophet in v. 14 above, and his use of similar terminology. One suggestion of the influence of Jeremiah is the last part of Mark 11:17, in which Jesus' statement about the house of God being a den of thieves seems to be based on Jeremiah's similar statement about its being a den of robbers in v. 11 of Jer. 7:8-16. More generally, there is the fact that Mark describes a situation in which the priestly authorities want to put Jesus to death for prophesying the destruction of the temple, while the book of Jeremiah describes a situation in which the priestly authorities want to put Jeremiah to death for making a similar prophecy. See in this connection Jer. 26:4-16.
• The question of whether events that occurred after the time of Jesus represent fulfillments of his prophecy about the destruction of the temple is interesting, but controversial. One of these was the attempt of the Roman emperor Caligula to place in the temple a statue of Zeus that had been modified to show his own head, an attempt that would likely have succeeded, if the statue had been finished before Caligula was assassinated in 40 AD. Another was the desecration, plundering and destruction of the temple during the first Jewish revolt of 66-73 AD. Still another was the erection on the site of the temple of a new temple in which the emperor Hadrian placed statues of Roman gods after the end of the Second Jewish revolt of 132-135. Many contemporary Christians, however, believe that the real fulfillment will be in our future, after a third Jewish temple is built in the city of Jerusalem as it exists today.
• Although the abomination of desolation mentioned in v. 14 is also mentioned in v. 15 of Matt. 24:1-22, it is not mentioned anywhere in the Gospel of Luke. Instead, in the part of the Lukan discourse where Luke would be expected to mention it, i.e., just before v. 21 of Luke 21:5-24 ("Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains;"), Luke includes v. 20, which says, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.", words that seem to be an abbreviated reiteration of the things Jesus says in v. 43 of Luke 19:41-44.
• V. 14 ends with the statement "then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:". This statement appears, in almost the same words, in v. 16 of Matt. 24:1-22 and in the first part of v. 21 of Luke 21:5-24. All of these statements seem to be based on v. 5 of Zech. 14:1-11. Unlike its Matthean and Markan counterparts, however, Luke 21:21 includes two more statements, a first that urges those in the midst of it [Judaea] to "depart out;" and a second that advises those "in the countries" not to "enter thereinto.".
• The things Jesus says about persons on the housetop and in the field in v. 15-16 above closely parallel the things he says about them in v. 17-18 of Matt. 24:1-22 of the Matthean discourse. While Jesus does not say anything about these persons in the Lukan discourse proper, he does speak about them in v. 31 of Luke 17:26-37.
• The things Jesus says in v. 17-18 that lament the fate of those who are with child and give suck in those days (v. 17), and that urge prayer that their flight not be in winter (v. 18), appear in the same order and in almost the same words in v. 19-20 of Matt. 24:1-22 of Matthew's discourse, although only Matt. 24:20 refers to the sabbath day. In Luke's discourse, Jesus says similar things about those who are with child in those days (Luke 21:23), but says nothing about winter.
• V. 19 above describes Jesus speaking about a time of "affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation … unto this time,". This verse generally parallels v. 21 of Matt. 24:1-22, which describes him speaking about a time of "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,". The most nearly similar Lukan verse (v. 22 of Luke 21:5-24) says, "For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.". In the latter verse, the phrase "days of vengeance" seems to allude to the "day of vengeance" mentioned in v. 2 of Is. 61:1-11, part of which Jesus quotes at v. 19 of Luke 4:16-21. See also v. 4 of Is. 63:3-9 and v. 10 of Jer. 46:9-12.
• V. 19 seems to allude to the middle part of v. 1 of Dan. 12:1-4, which speaks about "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 "no flesh should be saved:" in v. 20 above and its Matthean counterpart, v. 22 of Matt. 24:1-22, seem to echo the words "end of all flesh" in v. 13 of Gen. 6:1-13. See also v. 17 of Gen 6:17-18. This idea seems to be confirmed by the fact that v. 37-39 of Matt. 24:37-51 and v. 26-27 of Luke 17:26-37 describes Jesus comparing these days to those of Noe. Unlike Matthew, however, Luke expands this comparison by adding three verses, Luke 17:28-30, which compare "the day when the Son of man is revealed." to the days of Lot.
• V. 20 and its Matthean counterpart, Matt. 24:22, both include statements about "those days" being shortened "for the elect's sake", although Mark adds, "whom he hath chosen,". The most nearly corresponding verse of the Lukan discourse, v. 24 of Luke 21:5-24, does not use any clearly similar words and says only that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.", words that seem to be differently worded reiterations of the words spoken by Jesus in Luke 21:20 and Luke 19:43-44.
• V. 20 is the first of only three verses in which Jesus uses the word "elect" in the Gospel of Mark, the other two being Mark 13:22 and 27 below. Similarly, Jesus uses "elect" in only three verses in the Gospel of Matthew, i.e., in Matt. 24:22, 24 and 31. In the Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, Jesus uses "elect" only once, in v. 7 of Luke 18:6-8.
• In spite of differences in wording, the events Jesus describes in v. 14 and 20 and their Matthean and Lukan counterparts seem to parallel parts of the "day of the Lord" prophecy of Zech. 14:1-11. The flight to the mountains Jesus speaks about in v. 14, Matt. 24:16 and Luke 21:21, for example, seems to parallel that mentioned in Zech. 14:5, while the desolation (or treading down) of Jerusalem he speaks of in Luke 21:20 and 24 seems to parallel that mentioned in Zech. 14:2. Similarly, the shortening of the days Jesus speaks about in v. 20 and Matt. 24:22, and the fulfilling of the "time of the Gentiles" he speaks about in Luke 21:24, seem 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 "it" or kingdom of God that Jesus speaks about in v. 29 of Mark 13:24-32, v. 33 of Matt. 24:29-36 and v. 31 of Luke 21:25-37.
21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. [end par.]
• V. 21-22 above seem to repeat, with some variations in wording, the things Jesus says in v. 5-6 of Mark 13:1-20 above. See also v. 4-5 and 11 of Matt. 24:1-22 and v. 8 of Luke 21:5-24.
• The warning Jesus gives in v. 21-23 above generally corresponds to the warning he gives in v. 23-25 of Matt. 24:23-28, except that v. 21-23 are not followed by a reference to lightning or to a carcase where eagles gather. The warning Jesus gives in v. 21-23 also roughly corresponds to the warning he gives in v. 22-23 of Luke 17:20-25. Like Matt. 24:23-28, however, Luke 17:20-25 includes a verse (v. 24) that compares the coming of the Son of man to the coming of lightning. In addition, Luke 17:26-37 includes a verse (v. 37) that speaks of a body where eagles gather.
• V. 22 is the second of only three verses in which Jesus uses the word "elect" in the Gospel of Mark. The other two are
Mark 13:20 above and Mark 13:27. Similarly, Jesus uses "elect" in only three verses in the Gospel of Matthew, i.e., in Matt. 24:22, 24 and 31. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus uses "elect" only once, in v. 7 of Luke 18:6-8.
• V. 21-23 are shown as a separate part of the Markan discourse, not so much because of what they themselves say, but rather because they appear between two highly distinctive parts of the Markan discourse, Mark 13:1-20 and 13:24-32, just as Matt. 24:23-28 appears between two highly distinctive parts of the Matthean discourse, Matt. 24:1-22 and 24:29-36. No comparable texts appear in the Lukan discourse, apparently because similar texts already appear earlier in Luke's Gospel, i.e., at Luke 17:20-25 and 17:26-37.
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Meaning of Abomination of Desolation
Spoken of by Daniel the prophet