What does Matthew 24:7 mean?
ESV: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
NIV: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
NASB: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
CSB: For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
NLT: Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.
KJV: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
NKJV: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Verse Commentary:
Human beings tend to attach apocalyptic meaning to catastrophic events. That's a "normal" response to fear and uncertainty, but it's directly contrary to the warnings Jesus gives in this very passage. The disciples have asked Jesus for signs that will warn them of the end of the age and His return (Matthew 24:3). He has begun, instead, to tell them about things that will not be signs of the end. This includes real and rumored wars—tales of violence, catastrophe, unrest, or other scandalous news from far-away places (Matthew 24:4–6).

Now He adds the idea of international struggles, natural disasters, and economic crisis. Such events can feel like "the end" to those who live through them, but Jesus is clear: His disciples should not conclude that the end has arrived based on these kinds of happenings in the world. He said in the previous verse that such things must take place. In the next verse, He refers to these as only "the beginning of the birth pains" (Matthew 24:8).

Because of that ambiguity, there is disagreement about exactly what time period is in mind here. Some interpreters believe Jesus is speaking of general sin and chaos, worldwide, leading up to the final seven-year tribulation, just prior to His millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4). Others believe this is a reference to that seven-year period, itself.
Verse Context:
Matthew 24:1–14 follows Jesus and the disciples out of the temple. This comes after His devastating criticism of the scribes and Pharisees in chapter 23. Christ predicts a moment when the temple will be destroyed without one stone left on another. Later, His disciples ask for more information about these future events. Jesus describes a season in which the world will be in turmoil but that alone will not be proof that the end has come. His disciples will be persecuted, killed, and hated for His name's sake. False prophets will rise and some with them will fall away from the faith.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus makes a dire prediction about the destruction of the temple. Immediately after this, while seated on the Mount of Olives, Jesus responds to a question from the disciples. They ask when judgment will come and what signs will signal His return. Christ describes a season of unimaginable world turmoil and persecution. He points to a specific moment of defilement of the temple, at which point people should run for their lives. Jesus speaks of world-threatening tribulation which will be cut short right before He returns as King and Judge. Since nobody can possibly know when He will return, His followers must live in readiness.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has just left the temple area, after delivering a blistering criticism of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23). After predicting that the temple would be destroyed, He answers their questions about the end times. He speaks of a period when He will be gone from earth and they will be persecuted and killed. The world will be in turmoil, but the gospel will be preached everywhere. Nobody knows exactly when Jesus' return will be completed, so his followers should constantly be prepared. Jesus continues to teach on these themes in the next chapter.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/29/2024 7:29:21 PM
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