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And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

24:3 when. Although the disciples still did not fully comprehend what Jesus had been teaching about His coming death and how that could be harmonized with His Messianic mission and the promised kingdom, they knew that momentous events were about to take place. Now they had just heard Him pronounce woes on the scribes and Pharisees and even predict the coming destruction of their great temple. No wonder they asked Him these three questions in such proper order! His answer deals with these questions in that same order, in what has come to be known as His “Olivet Discourse” (Matthew 24 and 25). The bulk of the discourse is recorded here in Matthew, but also portions are found in Mark 13 and Luke 21. The answer to their first question is given in Luke 21:20-24, which should be inserted before Matthew 24:7. By carefully superimposing the latter accounts here on Matthew 24, the whole discourse is comprised of a marvelous outline of future events with the Old Testament Scriptures and Jesus’ previous parabolic teachings. It also provides a foundational outline for the yet-to-be-given prophecies in Revelation.

24:3 sign of thy coming. In this discourse, the Lord actually gives several signs of His coming. Probably the most important sign is the one given in Matthew 24:30.

24:3 end of the world. This phrase really refers to the end of the present world order. “World” is aion in the Greek, meaning the “age” of time and space in which people now live, and have lived since the world was drastically changed by the Flood in the days of Noah, quickly followed by the special call in time and space of the chosen nation Israel.

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