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Mark 13

New International Version

1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, 'Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!' 2 Do you see all these great buildings?' replied Jesus. 'Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.' 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?' 5 Jesus said to them: 'Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9 You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equaled again. 20 If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 24 But in those days, following that distress, ''the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' 26 At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28 Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!''
English Standard Version

1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
King James Version

1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
New American Standard Bible

1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!' 2 And Jesus said to him, 'Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.' 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?' 5 And Jesus began to say to them, 'See to it that no one misleads you. 6 'Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many. 7 'When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. 8 'For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 9 'But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 'The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 'When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 'Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 'You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 'But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 'The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; 16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 17 'But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 'But pray that it may not happen in the winter. 19 'For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20 'Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 21 'And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 'But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. 24 'But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, 25 AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 'Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. 27 'And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. 28 'Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 'Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30 'Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 32 'But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33 'Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 'It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 'Therefore, be on the alert-- for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning-- 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 'What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!''
New Living Translation

1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, 'Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.' 2 Jesus replied, 'Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!' 3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, 4 'Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?' 5 Jesus replied, 'Don't let anyone mislead you, 6 for many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah.' They will deceive many. 7 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately. 8 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. 9 'When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about m 10 For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. 11 But when you are arrested and stand trial, don't worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 'A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 'The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be.' (Reader, pay attention!) 'Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 15 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 16 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 17 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 18 And pray that your flight will not be in winter. 19 For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. 20 In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days. 21 'Then if anyone tells you, 'Look, here is the Messiah,' or 'There he is,' don't believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones. 23 Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time! 24 'At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world--from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. 28 'Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. 32 'However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don't know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! 34 'The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don't know when the master of the household will return--in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don't let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!'
Christian Standard Bible

1 As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!" 2 Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another--all will be thrown down." 3 While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?" 5 Jesus told them, "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and they will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don't be alarmed; these things must take place, but it is not yet the end. 8 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "But you, be on your guard! They will hand you over to local courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. 10 And it is necessary that the gospel be preached to all nations. 11 So when they arrest you and hand you over, don't worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn't you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by everyone because of my name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 "When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be" (let the reader understand), "then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 A man on the housetop must not come down or go in to get anything out of his house, 16 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat. 17 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! 18 "Pray it won't happen in winter. 19 For those will be days of tribulation, the kind that hasn't been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be again. 20 If the Lord had not cut those days short, no one would be saved. But he cut those days short for the sake of the elect, whom he chose. 21 "Then if anyone tells you, 'See, here is the Messiah! See, there!' do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance. 24 "But in those days, after that tribulation: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 He will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28 "Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near--at the door. 30 "Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32 "Now concerning that day or hour no one knows--neither the angels in heaven nor the Son--but only the Father. 33 "Watch! Be alert! For you don't know when the time is coming. 34 "It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. 35 Therefore be alert, since you don't know when the master of the house is coming--whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. 36 Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!"

What does Mark 13 mean?

Jesus' teaching recorded in Mark 13 is called "The Olivet Discourse" because He and the disciples are on the Mount of Olives, east of the temple. In the discourse, Jesus prophesies about the fate of the temple, Jerusalem, and the end times.

The religious and civil officials have categorically rejected Jesus. As leaders of the people, their decision closes the door on God's continued work through the Jews. Judaism will cease being the primary avenue through which God reaches the world. Jerusalem and the temple, which were designed to be the center of God-worship and have become the nationalistic symbol of the Jews, are no longer needed. The disciples will spread the gospel to the world. Jerusalem and the temple will be burned to the ground in AD 70.

The worldwide church agrees on this, but theologians disagree on the less concrete prophetic parts of Jesus' teaching. The interpretation of biblical prophecy depends on the reader's view of the end times. The two primary ways of interpreting Mark 13 try to answer a question: what is the timing of the fulfillment of the prophecies? Were they fulfilled with the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70? Or do they refer to the tribulation, yet in our future? Or perhaps to a mix of both?

Preterism—from praeter, the Latin word for "past"—teaches that all biblical prophecy has been fulfilled. The more moderate partial-preterism allows that there may be some prophecies yet to come to fruition. Both rely on Jesus' words in Mark 13:30: "Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." Many of the prophecies in Mark 13 do appear to have been "completely" fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. The rest, such as earthquakes and famines (Mark 13:8), the defilement of the temple (Mark 13:14), and Jesus' dramatic return (Mark 13:24–27) have not. Preterists "spiritualize" these verses, saying for example, that the "abomination of desolation" was the disrespect with which the Roman army treated Jerusalem. Or, they indicate that the common-level incidents of war and famine prior to 70 AD are the entire fulfillment of these ideas.

Futurism teaches that many of the prophecies in Daniel, Revelation, and the Olivet Discourse have yet to come true, even though the vast majority still reference Israel. The church did not permanently take the place of Israel in God's plan. After the members of the church are raptured, God will again use Israel to reach the world with His truth. Although some prophecies such as war (Mark 13:8) and false teachers (Mark 13:5–6, 21–22) do have other fulfillments, the prophecies directed at Israel will happen to Israel during the seven-year tribulation and later. As for Mark 13:30, futurists explain that "this generation" refers to the generation in the future that will experience the events of the tribulation: the horrors that are to come will come quickly and not last long. This is the view of Got Questions Ministries, the parent company of BibleRef.com.

Jesus starts with a soon-to-be-fulfilled prophecy (Mark 13:1–2). Herod's temple, which the disciples so admire, will be torn stone from stone in AD 70. Although other end-times prophecies mention that the as-yet-un-rebuilt temple will be defiled, there's no mention that it will be destroyed again.

The next section starts the discourse. Matthew mentions that the four disciples not only ask when the temple will be destroyed, they ask when Jesus will return (Matthew 24:3). Jesus follows with a long list of signs that do not point to His return. The signs include false teachers, natural disasters, famine, and persecution (Mark 13:3–13).

Jesus follows with a defining event of the tribulation: the "abomination of desolation." At the midpoint of the tribulation, the Antichrist will defile the temple. Believers must maintain awareness that the end is coming, but not yet here, and realize that any human guru who claims to be the Christ is lying (Mark 13:14–23).

At the end of the tribulation, Jesus' return will be unmistakable. He will come with power and glory and gather His followers to Him (Mark 13:24–27). The parable of the fig tree will remind the tribulation saints that they have all the information they need. Even though they will not know the exact moment of Jesus' return, they can rest that He will come quickly. They should live their lives accordingly (Matthew 13:28–37).

The center of Mark 13 forms a chiasm. A chiasm is a poem of ideas in a forwards-backwards pattern, visualized as A B C B A. In Mark 13:5–6, Jesus says to watch for deceivers. In 13:7–8, He tells them what to do when they hear of international war and disaster. In 13:9–13, He speaks of the more personal persecution of Christians. Mark 13:14–21 speaks of a great disaster and conflict. And in 13:21–23, He tells them again to watch for deceivers.