Temple’s Destruction Foretold

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Overhearing an innocent expression of appreciation for the beauty of the stones from which the Temple was constructed, Jesus uttered the prediction that the time was shortly to come when not one of those stones would remain in its place.

(Matt. 24:1-3; Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7)

(Huck 213; Aland 287-288; Crook 324-325)[1]

וַיֹּאמְרוּ הֲרֵי מַה נָּאוֹת אֲבָנִים אֵלּוּ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלּוּ שֶׁאַתֶּם רוֹאִים [הִנֵּה] יָמִים בָּאִים וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּיֵּיר אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן שֶׁלֹּא תִנָּתֵץ וַיִּשְׁאָלוּהוּ לֵאמֹר רַבֵּנוּ אֱמוֹר לָנוּ אֵימָתַי יִהְיוּ אֵלּוּ וּמָה הַסִּימָן שֶׁאֵלּוּ עֲתִידִים לְהֵעָשׂוֹת

And they said to him, “Look how beautiful these stones are!”

But Yeshua replied, “These stones you see—Behold! The days are coming when there will not remain a stone upon a stone that will not be torn down.”

So they asked him, “Rabbi, tell us, when will these things be, and what is the sign that these things are going to be done?”[2]

A reproduction of our reconstruction in an ancient Hebrew script. Font, based on the Isaiah Scroll from Qumran (1QIsaa), created by Kris Udd.

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Conclusion

Overhearing an innocent expression of appreciation for the beauty of the stones from which the Temple was constructed, Jesus uttered the prediction that the time was shortly to come when not one of those stones would remain in its place. Those who heard Jesus make this shocking prediction asked him when this would take place and what was the sign that it was going to happen. Their question became the starting point of a discourse in which Jesus foretold the destruction and eventual redemption of Jerusalem.


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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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