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The Times of the Gentiles: Luke 21:24 & Rev. 11:1-2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Jul 10, 2024.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    If you do a search for "the times of the Gentiles" you will come across many futurist sites, especially the ones that focus on a supposed mass conversion of national Israel. And the majority of commentaries (John Gill, Joseph Benson, Adam Clarke, to name a few) expound predictably along similar lines. It is refreshing, then, to find others, like Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, who give a more biblical perspective. Text, context, and cross-reference (Rev. 11:1-2) led him to a different conclusion: The times of the Gentiles lasted only 42 months (three and a half years). This is not some ongoing period stretching out over millennia. Here are his comments on Luke 21:24 and Rev. 11:1:


    Meyer on Luke 21:24

    "ἄχρις … ἐθνῶν] till the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, i.e. till the time that the periods which are appointed to the Gentile nations for the completion of divine judgments (not the period of grace for the Gentiles, as Ebrard foists into the passage) shall have run out. Comp. Rev 11:2. Such times of the Gentiles are ended in the case in question by the Parousia (Luk 21:25 f., Luk 21:27), which is to occur during the lifetime of the hearers (Luk 21:28); hence those καιροί are in no way to be regarded as of longer duration."

    I am, not convinced of all the conclusions that Meyer arrives at, but I believe the general strokes are correct. He is especially astute in zeroing in on what most commentators missed - the connection between Luke 21:24 and Rev. 11:2.


    Meyer on Rev. 11:1

    "[It] is intended by this, only that according to the Divine decree, the Gentiles shall tread (πατήσουσι, Luke 21:24) the court and the entire holy city. Allied with this is the determination of the ΚΑΙΡΟῚ ἘΘΝῶΝ by the schematic temporal specification: ΜῆΝΑς ΤΕΣΣΑΡΆΚΟΝΤΑ ΚΑῚ ΔΎΟ, i.e., 3½ years, according to the type of the treading down of the holy city and the sanctuary by Antiochus Epiphanes.” - Meyer


    Adam Clarke and Charles J. Ellicott are very helpful on Rev. 11:2 until their futurism kicks in. Below are the more helpful sections:

    "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

    But the court - is given unto the Gentiles - The measuring of the temple probably refers to its approaching destruction, and the termination of the whole Levitical service; and this we find was to be done by the Gentiles, (Romans), who were to tread it down forty-two months; i.e., just three years and a half, or twelve hundred and sixty days. This must be a symbolical period." - Clarke

    "And the court which is outside the Temple cast out 1, and measure not it; because it was given to the nations (Gentiles): and they shall tread down the holy city forty and two months. The outer court—meaning, perhaps, all that lies outside the Temple itself—is to be omitted. A strong word is used; the words “leave out” are far too weak. He is not only not to measure it, but he is, in a sort, to pass it over, as though reckoned profane. The reason of this is that it was given to the Gentiles. Our Lord had said that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24); the sacred seer catches the thought and the deeper significance. There is a treading down worse than that of the conqueror. It is the treading under of sacred things when the beast-power, or the world-power in men, tramples, like the swine, the pearls of grace under their feet, and turns fiercely upon those who gave them." - Charles J. Ellicott

    Ellicott also adduces Romans 11:25 as cross-reference ("till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in"). 2




    NOTES

    1. A related, but helpful, word study, is a closer look of the "ekballo" of Rev. 11:2. It occurs 70 (!) times in the New Testament, especially the Synoptists: Matt.(22), Mark (17), Luke (17 - 21 if Acts is included). Paul uses it only in Gal. 4:30.

    The word often seems to involve some degree of force and, thus, Rev. 11:2 likely has the same connotation. But sometimes “ekballo” is positive, as in Matt. 9:38, the "send[ing] out laborers into His harvest" and believers ("scribes") bringing out of their treasures things new and old, Matt. 13:52. However, it is much more often used in the sense of "forcing". It is very often used of violence done to demons, and as force used against hardened Jews, casting them out. And this is what is done in Rev. 11:2. The once-fair vineyard, Isaiah 5:1-7, had degenerated into a field of thorns; the "church in the wilderness" becoming "the synagogue of Satan".

    2. He notes that this is "a distinct echo of the words" in Luke 21:24. The examples here of both Ellicott and Meyer remind the Bible student that true cross-references are not only found in exact phraseology, but also in these distinct echos!
     
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The context of Luke 21:24 points to the fulfillment of the "times of the Gentiles" occurring at the return of Christ.
    Likewise Luke 21:28 does not say Christ will return during the physical lifetime of the 1 century audience, but that the signs may begin so if they do, your redemption draws near. Rather than translating "de" as "but" a better rendering would be "Yet if these begin to take place, then...
     
  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    That's what the Parousia is that Tom is referring to, the 'presence' of Christ.

    3 And as he sat on 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 (parousia), and of the end of the world (age)?
    34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. Mt 24

    4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are all about to be accomplished?
    30 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished. Mk 13

    7 And they asked him, saying, Teacher, when therefore shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are about to come to pass?
    32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. Lu 21
     
  4. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    31 Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh. (see Luke 17:20)
    32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. Lu 21
     
  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    From the Song of Moses - Deuteronomy 31:16-30 thru Deuteronomy 32. NOTE Revelation 15:3

    29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do that which is evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. Dt 31


     
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