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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 21 - Verse 24

Verse 24. Shall fall, &c. No less than one million one hundred thousand perished in the siege of Jerusalem.

Shall be led away captive. More than ninety thousand were led into captivity. See Barnes "Mt 24:1, and following.

Shall be trodden down by the Gentiles. Shall be in posses sion of the Gentiles, or be subject to them. The expression also implies that it would be an oppressive subjection, as when a captive in war is trodden down under the feet of the conqueror. Anciently conquerors trod on the necks of those who were subdued by them, Jos 10:24; 2 Sa 22:41; Eze 21:29. The bondage of Jerusalem has been long and very oppressive. It was for a long time under the dominion of the Romans, then of the Saracens, and is now of the Turks, and is aptly represented by a captive stretched on the ground whose neck is trodden by the foot of the conqueror.

Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. This passage has been understood very differently by different expositors. Some refer it to the time which the Romans who conquered it had dominion over it, as signifying that they should keep possession of it until a part of the pagans should be converted, when it should be rebuilt. Thus it was rebuilt by the Emperor Adrian. Others suppose that it refers to the end of the world, when all the Gentiles shall be converted, and they shall cease to be Gentiles by becoming Christians, meaning that it should always be desolate. Others, that Christ meant to say that in the times of the millennium, when the gospel should spread universally, he would reign personally on the earth, and that the Jews would return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. This is the opinion of the Jews and of many Christians. The meaning of the passage clearly is,

1st. That Jerusalem would be completely destroyed.

2nd. That this would be done by Gentiles—that is, by the Roman armies.

3rd. That this desolation would continue as long as God should judge it proper in a fit manner to express his abhorrence of the crimes of the nation—that is, until the times allotted to them by God for this desolation should be accomplished, without specifying how long that would be, or what would occur to the city after that. It may be rebuilt, and inhabited by converted Jews. Such a thing is possible, and the Jews naturally seek that as their home; but whether this be so or not, the time when the Gentiles, as such, shall have dominion over the city is limited. Like all other cities on the earth, it will yet be brought under the influence of the gospel, and will be inhabited by the true friends of God. Pagan, infidel, anti-Christian dominion shall cease there, and it will be again a place where God will be worshipped in sincerity—a place even then of peculiar interest from the recollection of the events which have occurred there. How long it is to be before this occurs is known only to Him "who hath put the times and seasons in his own power," Ac 1:7.

{w} "until the times of the Gentiles" Ro 11:25

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