By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone: Jesus’ prophecy was remarkably fulfilled in 70 C.E. when the Romans demolished Jerusalem and, apart from a few sections of the wall, completely leveled it.
with the temple in view: Or “across from (opposite) the temple.” Mark explains that the temple could be seen from the Mount of Olives, an explanation that would not have been necessary for most Jewish readers.
come to a conclusion: Rendered from the Greek verb syn·te·leʹo, related to the Greek noun syn·teʹlei·a, which means “joint end; combination end; ending together” and occurs in the parallel account at Mt 24:3. (The Greek word syn·teʹlei·a also occurs at Mt 13:39, 40, 49; 28:20; Heb 9:
I am he: That is, the Christ, or Messiah.
end: Or “complete end.” The Greek word (teʹlos) used here is different from the Greek noun rendered “conclusion” (syn·teʹlei·a) at Mt 24:3 and is different from the Greek verb rendered “come to a conclusion” (syn·te·leʹo) at Mr 13:4.
nation: The Greek word eʹthnos has a broad meaning and can refer to people living within certain political or geographical boundaries, such as a country, but can also refer to an ethnic group.
rise: Or “be stirred up; be roused up.” Here the Greek word conveys the idea “to move against in hostility” and could also be rendered “rise up in arms” or “go to war.”
pangs of distress: The Greek word literally refers to the intense pain experienced during childbirth. While it is used here to refer to distress, pain, and suffering in a general sense, it may suggest that like birth pains the foretold troubles and suffering will increase in frequency, intensity, and duration in the time period before the “days of a tribulation” mentioned at Mr 13:19.
local courts: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word sy·neʹdri·on, here used in plural and rendered “local courts,” is most often used with reference to the Jewish high court in Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin. (See Glossary, “Sanhedrin,” and study notes on Mt 5:
all the nations: This expression shows the scope of the preaching work, letting the disciples know that it would extend beyond preaching to fellow Jews. In its general sense, the Greek word for “nation” (eʹthnos) refers to a group of people who are more or less related to one another by blood and who have a common language. Such a national or ethnic group often occupies a defined geographic territory.
the good news: The Greek word eu·ag·geʹli·on is derived from the words eu, meaning “good; well” and ag·gelʹlos, “one who brings news; one who proclaims (announces).” (See Glossary.) It is rendered “gospel” in some English Bibles. The related expression rendered “evangelizer” (Greek, eu·ag·ge·li·stesʹ) means “a proclaimer of good news.”
taking you: The Greek verb aʹgo is here used as a legal technical term meaning “to arrest; to take into custody.” It can imply the use of force.
has endured: Or “endures.” The Greek verb rendered “to endure” (hy·po·meʹno) literally means “to remain (stay) under.” It is often used in the sense of “remaining instead of fleeing; standing one’s ground; persevering; remaining steadfast.” (Mt 10:22; Ro 12:12; Heb 10:32; Jas 5:
end: Or “complete end; final end.”
Judea: That is, the Roman province of Judea.
on the housetop: The roofs of Israelite houses were flat and were used for many purposes, including storage (Jos 2:6), rest (2Sa 11:2), sleep (1Sa 9:26), and festivals for worship (Ne 8:16-18). That is why a parapet was required. (De 22:8) Generally, an external stairway or ladder allowed a householder to leave the rooftop without having to enter the house, which helps us understand the urgency of Jesus’ warning to flee.
Jehovah: Although Greek manuscripts use the word Kyʹri·os (Lord) here, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text. The context shows that Kyʹri·os is used with reference to God, since Jesus was explaining to his disciples what his Father will do during the great tribulation. A number of Bible translations use such renderings as Jehovah, Yahveh, יהוה (YHWH, or the Tetragrammaton), LORD, and ADONAI in the main text or in footnotes and marginal notes to indicate that this is a reference to Jehovah God. (See App. C.) The wording of Jesus’ prophecy here is similar to that of prophetic statements in the Hebrew Scriptures where the divine name is used. (Isa 1:9; 65:8; Jer 46:28 [26:28 in the Septuagint]; Am 9:8) In these four prophetic verses where the Hebrew text contains the Tetragrammaton, existing copies of the Septuagint use Kyʹri·os without the definite article where one would be expected according to standard grammatical usage. Similarly, scholars have noted the unexpected lack of a definite article before Kyʹri·os at Mr 13:20. This may be another indication that Kyʹri·os is used as a substitute for the divine name.
false Christs: Or “false Messiahs.” The Greek word pseu·doʹkhri·stos occurs only here and in the parallel account at Mt 24:24. It refers to anyone who wrongly assumes the role of the Christ, or the Messiah (lit., “Anointed One”).
see: The Greek verb rendered “see” can literally mean to “see an object; look at; behold,” but it can also be used metaphorically, of mental sight, meaning “to discern; perceive.”
the clouds: Clouds tend to obstruct vision rather than facilitate it, but observers can “see” with eyes of understanding.
illustration: Or “parable; lesson.”
Heaven and earth will pass away: Other scriptures show that heaven and earth will endure forever. (Ge 9:
my words will by no means pass away: Or “my words will certainly not pass away.” The use of two Greek negatives with the verb emphatically expresses rejection of an idea, vividly emphasizing the permanence of Jesus’ words. Although some Greek manuscripts use only one of the two negatives, the emphatic reading used in the main text has strong manuscript support.
doorkeeper: In ancient times, doorkeepers, or gatekeepers, served at entrances to cities, temples, and sometimes private homes. Besides ensuring that gates and doors were shut at night, these individuals also served as watchmen. (2Sa 18:24, 26; 2Ki 7:
Keep on the watch: The Greek term has the basic meaning “stay (keep) awake,” but in many contexts it means “be on guard; be watchful.” In addition to this verse, Mark uses the term at Mr 13:34, 37; 14:34, 37, 38.
late in the day: In this verse, reference is made to the four watches of the night of about three hours each, running from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., according to the Greek and Roman division of the night. (See also following study notes on this verse.) The Hebrews formerly divided the night into three watches of about four hours each (Ex 14:24; Jg 7:
at midnight: This refers to the second night watch according to the Greek and Roman division, that is, from about 9:
before dawn: Lit., “when the rooster crows.” According to the Greek and Roman division, this was the name given to the third watch of the night. It refers to the time from midnight to about 3:
early in the morning: This refers to the fourth night watch according to the Greek and Roman division of the night, that is, from about 3:
These stones, found on the southern part of the Western Wall, are believed to have been part of the structures on the first-century temple mount. They have been left here as a grim reminder of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans.