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Jerusalem will fall 13:14-23

v14 You will see the awful thing that causes disgust. It will stand where it does not belong. (The reader should understand what this means.) Then anyone in Judea should escape to the mountains. v15 Nobody on the roof should go down into his house in order to take anything out. v16 Nobody in the field should go back in order to get his coat. v17 How awful it will be in those days for *pregnant women! How awful for mothers who still have babies at their breasts! v18 Pray that this will not happen in winter. v19 Those days will be worse than any other days from the time that God created the world until now. And there will never be any days like them again. v20 If the *Lord had not cut the time short, nobody would live. But he has made the time shorter because of the people whom he has chosen. v21 Then someone may say to you, Look, here is the Christ! or Look, there he is! Do not believe it. v22 False *Christs and false *prophets will appear. They will show signs and *miracles. They will try to cheat the people whom God has chosen, if possible. v23 But watch out. I have told you everything before the time. Verse 14 The awful thing that causes disgust are words from the book of Daniel (9:27). In 168 *BC, the *Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes defeated the *Jews. He then put a *Greek *altar in the *Temple in Jerusalem. He put an image of Zeus, the chief *Greek god, in the Holy Place. In *AD 40, the mad ruler Caligula planned to put an image of himself in the *Temple. Fortunately, he died in *AD 41, before he could carry out his plan. When Titus destroyed the *Temple in *AD 70, the *Roman soldiers put their military flags there. Jesus may have meant any future time when people will be completely loyal to anyone or anything other than God. The *Jews expected a power that was completely evil. Paul called this power the man of *sin. This man of *sin would set himself up in Gods *temple and he would demand *worship (2 Thessalonians 2:2-4). The reader should understand what this means. Perhaps Jesus meant when Jerusalem and its *Temple would be destroyed by the *Romans. Mark may have believed that, anyway. Perhaps this is why he did not explain clearly. It might have been dangerous for the Christians to speak about such an idea. They were already suffering because of their *faith. Because of what Jesus had said, Christians left Jerusalem. The writer Eusebius says that they went to Pella. Pella was a city on the other side of the River Jordan. Other people crowded into the city at Jerusalem. They thought that its strong walls and its *Temple would protect them from the *Romans. But, in *AD 70, Titus camped outside the city for five months. He waited for the people to starve to death. The *Jewish writer Josephus described the terrible troubles of all those people in the city who could not get food. Verses 15-16 When the first signs of trouble came, people must hurry to escape. They must not wait to collect their goods from the house. They must not return from the fields to collect a coat. This reminds us about Lots wife. When she looked back, she died (Genesis 19:26). Verse 17 Jesus thought especially about the troubles of mothers with tiny babies and with children who were not yet born. It would be very hard for mothers to watch their babies die of hunger. Verse 18 People who were trying to escape in the winter would find very little shelter from the weather. Food would be difficult to find. The river bottoms that dried up in the summer would be full of water. They would not be able to cross over them. Verse 19 These words come from the book of Daniel (12:1). They were true of the terrible troubles when the *Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Thousands of people died and the *Romans took thousands more as prisoners into other countries. But these words also refer to a time of great troubles before the last days.

Verse 20 The words may refer to when the *Romans destroyed Jerusalem in *AD 70. Or they may refer to the end of the world. But they mean the same. God will make the time of trouble shorter because he controls events in the world. He will not allow anyone to destroy the people whom he has chosen. The people whom God has chosen were the *Jews. But the members of the Christian church are now the people whom God has chosen as well. Verses 21-22 Jesus warns the *disciples about false *prophets who could even perform signs and *miracles (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). False *Christs perhaps means those who oppose Christ. False *Christs can also mean those who claim to be Christians. But they teach wrong things to *disciples. They would teach them to do wrong things. John writes about many false *Christs (1 John 2:18). Verse 23 Jesus had already warned his disciples (Mark 13:5). Now he repeated what he had said to them. They would have greater strength to oppose false ideas because Jesus had prepared them. And they would have greater strength to suffer troubles