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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 24 - Verse 31

Verse 31. And he shall send his angels. Angels signify, literally, messengers, Lu 7:24; 9:52. The word is often applied to inanimate objects, or to anything that God employs to rescue his people from danger, Ps 104:4. But it most commonly refers to the race of intelligences more exalted than man, who are employed often in the work of man's rescue from ruin, and his salvation, Heb 1:14. In either of these senses, it might here refer to deliverance granted to his people in the calamities of Jerusalem. It is said that there is reason to believe that not one Christian perished in the destruction of that city, God having in various ways secured their escape, so that they fled to Pella, where they dwelt when the city was destroyed. But the language seems to refer rather to the end of the world; and no doubt its principal application was intended to be to the gathering of his elect, at the day of judgment.

With a great sound of a trumpet. The Jewish assemblies used to be called together by the sound of a trumpet, as ours are by bells, Le 25:9; Nu 10:2; Jud 3:27.

Hence, when they spoke of convening an assembly, they spoke also of doing it by sounding a trumpet. Our Saviour, speaking to Jews, used language to which they were accustomed, and described the assembling of the people at the last day in language which they were accustomed to use in calling assemblies together. It is not certain, however, that he meant that this would be literally so, but only to indicate the certainty that the world would be assembled together. Similar language is often used, when speaking of the judgment, 1 Th 4:16; 1 Co 15:52. A trump, or trumpet was a wind instrument, made at first of the horns of oxen, and afterwards of rams' horns, cut off at the smaller extremity. In some instances it was made of brass, in the form of a horn. The common trumpet was straight, made of brass or silver, a cubit in length, the larger extremity shaped so as to resemble a small bell. In times of peace, in assembling the people, this was sounded softly. In times of calamity, or war, or any great commotion, it was sounded loud. Perhaps this was referred to when our Saviour said, with a great sound of a trumpet.

They shall gather together his elect. Elect. See Barnes "Mt 24:22".

The word means Christians—the chosen of God. If this refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, it means, God shall send forth his messengers—whatever he may choose to employ for that purpose—signs, wonders, human messengers, or the angels themselves—and gather Christians into a place of safety, so that they shall not be destroyed with the Jews. If it refers to the last judgment, as it doubtless in a primary or secondary sense does, then it means that he will send his angels to gather his chosen, his elect, together from all places, Mt 13:39,41-43.

This shall be done before the living shall be changed, 1 Co 15:51,52; 1 Th 4:16,17.

 

From the four winds. That is, from the four quarters of the globe—east, west, north, and south. The Jews expressed those quarters by the winds blowing from them. See Eze 37:9. See also Is 43:5,6.

From one end of heaven etc. Mark says, Mr 13:27 from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." The expression denotes that they shall be gathered from all parts of the earth where they are scattered.

The word heaven is here used to denote the visible heavens or the sky, meaning that through the whole world he would gather them. See Ps 19:1-6; De 4:32.

{1} "angels" or, "with a trumpet and a great voice" {e} "sound" 1 Th 4:16 {f} "his elect" Zec 14:5

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