Matthew 24:8

ESV All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
NIV All these are the beginning of birth pains.
NASB But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.
CSB All these events are the beginning of labor pains.
NLT But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
KJV All these are the beginning of sorrows.

What does Matthew 24:8 mean?

In response to a question about the timing of judgment against Jerusalem and the end of the age, Jesus has listed several ideas. However, these are explained as occurrences which should not be read as signs that the end has come. He has mentioned false Messiahs, which Christians are warned not to follow (Matthew 24:4–5) as well as various news about violence, natural disaster, international conflict, and so forth (Matthew 24:6–8).

Now Jesus uses a metaphor to describes these catastrophic events. They are "the beginning of the birth pains." They are not the birth, itself, or even the much-worse pains of labor, itself. In this metaphor, the delivery of the baby would represent the actual end of the age. A woman having birth pains, or contractions, may still be far from delivering the baby. Those pains contribute to the eventual time of birth, but they don't mean the child has actually arrived.

Some interpreters believe Jesus is speaking here about the first half of the time period known as the tribulation, a seven-year stretch just before Jesus returns to establish His millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4). Others think this is a reference to worldwide sin, in general, leading up to that era.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: