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Verse 3. He sat upon the mount of Olives. See Barnes "Mt 21:1".

From that mount there was a magnificent view of the whole city.

The disciples came unto him privately. Not all of them, but Peter, James, John, and Andrew, Mr 13:3. The prediction that the temple would be destroyed, Mt 24:2 had been made in the presence of all the apostles. A part now came privately to know more particularly when this would be.

When shall these things be! There are three questions here:

1st. When those things should take place.

2nd. What should be the signs of his coming.

3rd. What should be the signs that the end of the world was near. To these questions he replies in this and the following chapters. This he does, not by noticing them distinctly, but by intermingling the descriptions of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the end of the world; so that it is sometimes difficult to tell to what particular subject his remarks apply. The principle on which this combined description of two events was spoken appears to be, that they could be described in the same words, and, therefore, the accounts are intermingled. A similar use of language is found in some parts of Isaiah, where the same language will describe the return from the Babylonish captivity, and deliverance by the Messiah, and therefore was used by the prophet. See Barnes "Isa 1:1, paragraph 7.

Sign of thy coming. Evidence that thou art coming. By what token shall we know that thou art coming?

{c} "end of the world" 1 Th 5:1

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