Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Mark 13

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Verse 1

1 The Jews admired the temple because of its apparent firmness, being remodeled and reinforced through forty and six years of work (Joh 2:20).

Verse 2

2 Notwithstanding the seeming indestructible form of the building, Jesus predicted that the time was coming wlien it not only would be wrecked, but the destruction would be so great that all the stones would be scattered out over the ground.

Verse 3

3 The mount of Olives was near Jerusalem (Act 1:12), and Jesus went from the temple to that place and sat down. The usual trio of disciples, Peter, James and John, was joined by Andrew, and they asked Jesus privately for information.

Verse 4

4 The subject matter of this and the remaining verses of the chapter is the same as that in Matthew 24. It has been dealt with in much detail at that place and the reader is urged to consult those comments. In view of saving space, the comments in the present chapter will be brief and the reader may supplement the information obtained in this chapter with the more exhaustive remarks in Matthew.

Verse 5

5 The false prophets would purposely confuse the destruction of Jerusalem with the second coming of Christ, and he warned his disciples to beware.

Verse 6

6 It was known that a great person to be hailed as the Christ was predicted by the prophets, and these impostors would take advantage of the disturbed conditions to make a claim to the prophecy before the readers of the Old Testament.

Verse 7

7 These wars were the conflicts going on in the northern parts of Palestine and Syria between the Romans and Jews and other people.

Verse 8

8 The Roman Empire was made up of various small nations, and they were set in motion of war activities against each other by the general disturbance between the Romans and Jews. Beginnings of sorrows is commented upon in Mat 24:8.

Verse 9

9 They shall deliver you up refers to the false teachers who were to come among the people. When the disciples resisted they were persecuted and put to death.

Verse 10

0 By the time the wars ended in the destruction of Jerusalem, the Gospel was preached in all the countries of the world. (Rom 10:18.)

Verse 11

1 The apostles were assured of moral and. spiritual victory even though they were brought before the courts. The things necessary to be said would be given them by inspiration from the Father.

Verse 12

2 These family troubles would be caused by the fact that some of the members would be true followers of Christ and others would not. (Mat 10:34-37.)

Verse 13

3 All men would hate the true disciples for the same reason that their own family relations would turn against them. Endure unto the end means to the end of the turmoil caused by the Jewish wars.

Verse 14

4 Abomination of desolation means the Roman army that was a heathen group. Standing where it ought not refers to the territory of Jerusalem which was considered as holy ground. Flee to the mountains. (See Mat 24:16.)

Verse 15

5 Houses had flat roofs and the buildings joined one against the other. The roofs were used in much the same way that a veranda is today. If a man was on the roof of his house when he saw the Roman army, he should go from one roof to another until he reached the wall of the city and then get down and flee.

Verse 16

6 The man in the field should not wait to recover anything.

Verse 17

7 A woman in the condition described here could not travel very well.

Verse 18

8 Winter would be a difficult time to travel, hence the prayer suggested.

Verse 19

9 See particularly the long historical quotation at Mat 24:21.

Verse 20

0 The elect means the people who had elected or chosen to serve the Lord. For their sake the Lord was going to bring an end to the Jewish wars.

Verse 21

1 The scene is changed here and Jesus is talking about his second coming. The disturbances of the Jewish war about Jerusalem would give a pretext for the false prophets to say it was the end of the world, and would announce some certain person to be the Christ who was predicted by the prophets.

Verse 22

2 Signs and wonders would be in the form of some kind of trickery, and even the elect (verse 20) would be deceived were they not warned beforehand.

Verse 23

3 This verse is to emphasize the warning already given.

Verse 24

5 This paragraph is explained in detail at Mat 24:29.

Verse 26

6 Then means that after the long period of the Dark Ages which is the subject of the preceding paragraph, the next great event which the Lord was considering in this broad space of centuries was the second coming of the Son of man.

Verse 27

7 This verse denotes the day of judgment, when the heavenly reapers, the angels, would gather up the people of God from all over the world.

Verse 28

8 Jesus interrupts his main subject to make an illustration. People judge the nearness of summer by the appearance of the fig tree.

Verse 29

9 The presence of the Roman army and other conditions would indicate that the things predicted of Jerusalem were about to be fulfilled.

Verse 30

0 The original word for generation is defined, "all of the people living at one time." The persons living when Jesus was speaking would not all be dead before these things (the destruction of Jerusalem) would be fulfilled.

Verse 31

1 It was intended that the universe was to pass away,. but the sayings of Christ were to hold firm until they had been fulfilled.

Verse 32

2 The verse corresponding with this in Mat 24:36 says nothing about the Son directly. Our present verse specifically mentions him and hence the comments here are to be more decisive than the ones at the former passage. But whether the Father has seen fit to tell him about it since then is another question.

Verse 33

3 If we are always watchful and living right, it will not matter when he comes, for we will be prepared to meet him with joy.

Verse 34

4 This short parable has the important lesson of the necessity of being faithful to the trust bestowed upon the servants of Christ.

Verse 35

5 The periods named are parts of the 24-hour day when people are usually the least active. That would be the special reason for being watchful.

Verse 36

6 Coning suddenly shows that the second coming of Christ will not be a drawn-out affair. That is taught also in 1Co 15:52; 1Th 4:16.

Verse 37

7 The duty of being watchful is on the shoulders of everyone.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Mark 13". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.