By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone: See study note on Mt 24:2.
with the temple in view: Or “across from (opposite) the temple.” Mark explains that the temple could be seen from the Mount of Olives, an explanation that would not have been necessary for most Jewish readers.—See “Introduction to Mark.”
come to a conclusion: Rendered from the Greek verb syn·te·leʹo, related to the Greek noun syn·teʹlei·a, which means “joint end; combination end; ending together” and occurs in the parallel account at Mt 24:3. (The Greek word syn·teʹlei·a also occurs at Mt 13:39, 40, 49; 28:20; Heb 9:26.) This “conclusion” refers to a time period during which a combination of events would lead to the complete “end” mentioned at Mr 13:7, 13, where a different Greek word, teʹlos, is used.—See study notes on Mr 13:7, 13 and Glossary, “Conclusion of the system of things.”
I am he: That is, the Christ, or Messiah.—Compare the parallel account at Mt 24:5.
end: Or “complete end.” The Greek word (teʹlos) used here is different from the Greek noun rendered “conclusion” (syn·teʹlei·a) at Mt 24:3 and is different from the Greek verb rendered “come to a conclusion” (syn·te·leʹo) at Mr 13:4.—See study notes on Mt 24:3; Mr 13:4 and Glossary, “Conclusion of the system of things.”
nation: The Greek word eʹthnos has a broad meaning and can refer to people living within certain political or geographical boundaries, such as a country, but can also refer to an ethnic group.—See study note on Mr 13:10.
rise: See study note on Mt 24:7.
pangs of distress: The Greek word literally refers to the intense pain experienced during childbirth. While it is used here to refer to distress, pain, and suffering in a general sense, it may suggest that like birth pains the foretold troubles and suffering will increase in frequency, intensity, and duration in the time period before the “days of a tribulation” mentioned at Mr 13:19.
local courts: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word sy·neʹdri·on, here used in plural and rendered “local courts,” is most often used with reference to the Jewish high court in Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin. (See Glossary, “Sanhedrin,” and study notes on Mt 5:22; 26:59.) However, it was also a general term for an assembly or a meeting, and here it refers to local courts that were attached to the synagogues and had the power to inflict the penalties of scourging and excommunication.—Mt 10:17; 23:34; Lu 21:12; Joh 9:22; 12:42; 16:2.
all the nations: This expression shows the scope of the preaching work, letting the disciples know that it would extend beyond preaching to fellow Jews. In its general sense, the Greek word for “nation” (eʹthnos) refers to a group of people who are more or less related to one another by blood and who have a common language. Such a national or ethnic group often occupies a defined geographic territory.
the good news: See study note on Mt 24:14.
taking you: The Greek verb aʹgo is here used as a legal technical term meaning “to arrest; to take into custody.” It can imply the use of force.
has endured: Or “endures.” The Greek verb rendered “to endure” (hy·po·meʹno) literally means “to remain (stay) under.” It is often used in the sense of “remaining instead of fleeing; standing one’s ground; persevering; remaining steadfast.” (Mt 10:22; Ro 12:12; Heb 10:32; Jas 5:11) In this context, it refers to maintaining a course of action as Christ’s disciple despite opposition and trials.—Mr 13:11-13.
end: Or “complete end; final end.”—See study note on Mr 13:7.
Judea: See study note on Mt 24:16.
to the mountains: See study note on Mt 24:16.
on the housetop: See study note on Mt 24:17.
in wintertime: See study note on Mt 24:20.
unless Jehovah had cut short the days: Jesus is explaining to his disciples what his Father will do during the great tribulation. The wording of Jesus’ prophecy here is similar to that of prophetic statements in the Hebrew Scriptures where the divine name is used. (Isa 1:9; 65:8; Jer 46:28 [26:28, Septuagint]; Am 9:8) Although most Greek manuscripts use the term “Lord” (Greek, Kyʹri·os) here, there are good reasons to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced with the title Lord. Therefore, the name Jehovah is used in the main text.—See App. C1 and C3 introduction; Mr 13:20.
false Christs: Or “false Messiahs.” The Greek word pseu·doʹkhri·stos occurs only here and in the parallel account at Mt 24:24. It refers to anyone who wrongly assumes the role of the Christ, or the Messiah (lit., “Anointed One”).—See study notes on Mt 24:5; Mr 13:6.
see: See study note on Mt 24:30.
Son of man: See study note on Mt 8:20.
the clouds: Clouds tend to obstruct vision rather than facilitate it, but observers can “see” with eyes of understanding.—Ac 1:9.
the four winds: See study note on Mt 24:31.
illustration: See study note on Mt 24:32.
Heaven and earth will pass away: Other scriptures show that heaven and earth will endure forever. (Ge 9:16; Ps 104:5; Ec 1:4) So Jesus’ words here could be understood as hyperbole, meaning that even if the impossible happened and heaven and earth did pass away, Jesus’ words would still be fulfilled. (Compare Mt 5:18.) However, the heaven and earth here may well refer to the figurative heavens and earth that are called “the former heaven and the former earth” at Re 21:1.
my words will by no means pass away: Or “my words will certainly not pass away.” The use of two Greek negatives with the verb emphatically expresses rejection of an idea, vividly emphasizing the permanence of Jesus’ words. Although some Greek manuscripts use only one of the two negatives, the emphatic reading used in the main text has strong manuscript support.
doorkeeper: In ancient times, doorkeepers, or gatekeepers, served at entrances to cities, temples, and sometimes private homes. Besides ensuring that gates and doors were shut at night, these individuals also served as watchmen. (2Sa 18:24, 26; 2Ki 7:10, 11; Es 2:21-23; 6:2; Joh 18:17) By likening a Christian to a doorkeeper of a house, Jesus emphasized the need for Christians to be alert and keep on the watch concerning his future coming to execute judgment.—Mr 13:26.
Keep on the watch: The Greek term has the basic meaning “stay (keep) awake,” but in many contexts it means “be on guard; be watchful.” In addition to this verse, Mark uses the term at Mr 13:34, 37; 14:34, 37, 38.—See study notes on Mt 24:42; 26:38; Mr 14:34.
late in the day: In this verse, reference is made to the four watches of the night of about three hours each, running from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., according to the Greek and Roman division of the night. (See also following study notes on this verse.) The Hebrews formerly divided the night into three watches of about four hours each (Ex 14:24; Jg 7:19), but by Jesus’ day, they had adopted the Roman system. The expression “late in the day” in this verse refers to the first night watch, that is, from sunset to about 9:00 p.m.—See study note on Mt 14:25.
at midnight: This refers to the second night watch according to the Greek and Roman division, that is, from about 9:00 p.m. to midnight.—See study note on late in the day in this verse.
before dawn: Lit., “when the rooster crows.” According to the Greek and Roman division, this was the name given to the third watch of the night. It refers to the time from midnight to about 3:00 a.m. (See preceding study notes on this verse.) It was probably during this time that “a rooster crowed.” (Mr 14:72) It is generally agreed that roosters’ crowing has long been and still is a time indicator in the lands to the E of the Mediterranean.—See study notes on Mt 26:34; Mr 14:30, 72.
early in the morning: This refers to the fourth night watch according to the Greek and Roman division of the night, that is, from about 3:00 a.m. to sunrise.—See preceding study notes on this verse.