Re: Matthew 24:30

From: Russ Reeves (
Date: Sat Feb 17 1996 - 18:46:13 EST

> At any rate, the position you advocate here was being argued at that time,
> with the additional assertion that ALL the gospel references to an event to
> occur within the lifetime of listeners were referring to events of the year
> 70. The reason why I don't think this is an adequate interpretation of the
> INTENT of the original passage is found at the end of the verse in question
> Mt 24:30 and in the verse that follows it. When the sign appears (beginning
> of vs. 30) ALL THE NATIONS ON EARTH will beat their breasts--and they will
> see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven WITH POWER AND MUCH
> GLORY. Then in vs. 31 there is the gathering of the "elect" from all the
> earth. Surely this sequence has to refer as a whole to the eschatological
> consummation, not merely to what happened in the year 70.

I hate to re-hash what has probably been thoroughly hashed <g>, but
I think the Dictionary of NT Theology (under the first entry for
"earth" - 1:518), addresses this very well. "It is frequently
difficult to decide whether a particular passage is speaking of a
particular county, especially the land of Israel, or of the populated
earth as a whole. With our modern outlook on the world we are
inclined to think globally and universally. However, the NT can use
"the earth" in a very particularistic way, PASAI hAI PHYLAI TES GES
(Matt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7) means in the setting of Zech. 12:10-14 "'all
the tribes of the land.'" Since Matthew 24 is filled with OT
allusions, and considering the similarity of the passages, I think
Matt.24:30 should be interpreted in a manner consistent with Zech.
12:10-14. I wish I had a copy of the Septuagint to check how similar
the two are. Also, Matt. 24:16 is a command to flee the land of

I think Revelation 1:7 should be considered a parallel passage
due to the similarity of language, though I have no idea if one
borrowed from the other. But Rev. 1:7 states that "every eye will
see Him, even they who pierced him," indicating that those who did
the piercing will see him, expecting fulfillment in the near future.

Russ Reeves

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