The Widow’s Offering

1 Jesus1 looked up2 and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box.3 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.4 3 He5 said, “I tell you the truth,6 this poor widow has put in more than all of them.7 4 For they all offered their gifts out of their wealth.8 But she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.”9

The Signs of the End of the Age

5 Now10 while some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned11 with beautiful stones and offerings,12 Jesus13 said, 6 As for these things that you are gazing at, the days will come when not one stone will be left on another.14 All will be torn down!15 7 So16 they asked him,17Teacher, when will these things18 happen? And what will be the sign that19 these things are about to take place? 8 He20 said, “Watch out21 that you are not misled. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’22 and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them! 9 And when you hear of wars and rebellions,23 do not be afraid.24 For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once.”25

Persecution of Disciples

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up in arms26 against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and famines27 and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights28 and great signs29 from heaven. 12 But before all this,30 they will seize31 you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues32 and prisons. You33 will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses.34 14 Therefore be resolved35 not to rehearse36 ahead of time how to make your defense. 15 For I will give you the words37 along with the wisdom38 that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents,39 brothers, relatives,40 and friends, and they will have some of you put to death. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name.41 18 Yet42 not a hair of your head will perish.43 19 By your endurance44 you will gain45 your lives.46

The Desolation of Jerusalem

20But when you see Jerusalem47 surrounded48 by armies, then know that its49 desolation50 has come near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee51 to the mountains. Those52 who are inside the city must depart. Those53 who are out in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance,54 to fulfill55 all that is written. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress56 on the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They57 will fall by the edge58 of the sword and be led away as captives59 among all nations. Jerusalem60 will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.61

The Arrival of the Son of Man

25And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars,62 and on the earth nations will be in distress,63 anxious64 over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. 26 People will be fainting from fear65 and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.66 27 Then67 they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud68 with power and great glory. 28 But when these things69 begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption70 is drawing near.”

The Parable of the Fig Tree

29 Then71 he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the other trees.72 30 When they sprout leaves, you see73 for yourselves and know that summer is now near. 31 So also you, when you see these things happening, know74 that the kingdom of God75 is near. 32 I tell you the truth,76 this generation77 will not pass away until all these things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.78

Be Ready!

34But be on your guard79 so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap.80 35 For81 it will overtake82 all who live on the face of the whole earth.83 36 But stay alert at all times,84 praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that must85 happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 So86 every day Jesus87 was teaching in the temple courts,88 but at night he went and stayed89 on the Mount of Olives.90 38 And all the people91 came to him early in the morning to listen to him in the temple courts.92

1tn Grk “He”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated. 2tn Grk “looking up, he saw.” The participle ἀναβλέψας (anableya") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. 3tn On the term γαζοφυλάκιον (gazofulakion), often translated “treasury,” see BDAG 186 s.v., which states, “For Mk 12:41, 43; Lk 21:1 the mng. contribution box or receptacle is attractive. Acc. to Mishnah, Shekalim 6, 5 there were in the temple 13 such receptacles in the form of trumpets. But even in these passages the general sense of ‘treasury’ is prob., for the contributions would go [into] the treasury via the receptacles.” Based upon the extra-biblical evidence (see sn following), however, the translation opts to refer to the actual receptacles and not the treasury The offering box probably refers to the receptacles in the temple forecourt by the Court of Women used to collect freewill offerings. These are mentioned by Josephus, J. W. 5.5.2 (5.200), 6.5.2 (6.282); Ant. 19.6.1 (19.294); and in 1 Macc 14:49 and 2 Macc 3:6, 24, 28, 40 (see also Mark 12:41; John 8:20). 4sn These two small copper coins were lepta (sing. “lepton”), the smallest and least valuable coins in circulation in Palestine, worth one-half of a quadrans or 1/128 of a denarius, or about six minutes of an average daily wage. This was next to nothing in value. 5tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 6tn Grk “Truly, I say to you.” 7sn Has put in more than all of them. With God, giving is weighed evaluatively, not counted. The widow was praised because she gave sincerely and at some considerable cost to herself. 8tn Grk “out of what abounded to them.” 9tn Or “put in her entire livelihood.” 10tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. 11sn The Jerusalem temple was widely admired around the world. See Josephus, Ant. 15.11 (15.380-425); J. W. 5.5 (5.184-227) and Tacitus, History 5.8, who called it “immensely opulent.” Josephus compared it to a beautiful snowcapped mountain. 12tn For the translation of ἀνάθημα (anaqhma) as “offering” see L&N 53.18. 13tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 14sn With the statement days will come when not one stone will be left on another Jesus predicted the total destruction of the temple, something that did occur in a.d. 70. 15tn Grk “the days will come when not one stone will be left on another that will not be thrown down.” 16tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Jesus’ comments about the temple’s future destruction. 17tn Grk “asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated. 18sn Both references to these things are plural, so more than the temple’s destruction is in view. The question may presuppose that such a catastrophe signals the end. 19tn Grk “when.” 20tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. 21tn Or “Be on guard.” 22tn That is, “I am the Messiah.” 23tn Social and political chaos also precedes the end. This term refers to revolutions (L&N 39.34). 24tn This is not the usual term for fear, but refers to a deep sense of terror and emotional distress (Luke 24:37; BDAG 895 s.v. πτοέω). 25sn The end will not come at once. This remark about timing not only indicates that there will be events before the end, but that some time will also pass before it comes. 26tn For the translation “rise up in arms” see L&N 55.2. 27sn See Isa 5:13-14; 13:6-16; Hag 2:6-7; Zech 14:4. 28tn This term, φόβητρον (fobhtron), occurs only here in the NT. It could refer to an object, event, or condition that causes fear, but in the context it is linked with great signs from heaven, so the translation “sights” was preferred. 29sn See Jer 4:13-22; 14:12; 21:6-7. 30sn But before all this. Another note of timing is present, this one especially important in understanding the sequence in the discourse. Before the things noted in vv. 8-11 are the events of vv. 12-19. 31tn Grk “will lay their hands on you.” 32sn Some of the persecution is of Jewish origin (the synagogues). Some fulfillment of this can be seen in Acts. See the note on synagogues in 4:15. 33tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. 34tn Grk “This will turn out to you for [a] testimony.” 35tn Grk “determine in your hearts.” 36tn This term could refer to rehearsing a speech or a dance. On its syntax, see BDF §392.2. 37tn Grk “a mouth.” It is a metonymy and refers to the reply the Lord will give to them. 38tn Grk “and wisdom.” 39sn To confess Christ might well mean rejection by one’s own family, even by parents. 40tn Grk “and brothers and relatives,” but καί (kai) has not been translated twice here since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. 41sn See Luke 6:22, 27; 1 Cor 1:25-31. 42tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context. 43sn Given v. 16, the expression not a hair of your head will perish must be taken figuratively and refer to living ultimately in the presence of God. 44sn By your endurance is a call to remain faithful, because trusting in Jesus is the means to life. 45tc Some important Greek witnesses plus the majority of mss (א D L W Ψ Ë1 Ï) read the aorist imperative κτήσασθε (kthsasqe) here, though some mss (A B Θ Ë13 33 pc lat sa) read the future indicative κτήσεσθε (kthsesqe). A decision is difficult because the evidence is so evenly balanced, but the aorist imperative is the harder reading and better explains the rise of the other. J. A. Fitzmyer assesses the translation options this way: “In English one has to use something similar [i.e., a future indicative], even if one follows the [aorist imperative]” (Luke [AB], 2:1341); in the same vein, although this translation follows the aorist imperative, because of English requirements it has been translated as though it were a future indicative. 46tn Grk “your souls,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. In light of v. 16 that does not seem to be the case here. The entire phrase could be taken as an idiom meaning “you will save yourselves” (L&N 21.20), or (as in v. 18) this could refer to living ultimately in the presence of God. 47map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 48sn See Luke 19:41-44. This passage refers to the events associated with the fall of Jerusalem, when the city is surrounded by armies. 49tn Grk “her,” referring to the city of Jerusalem (the name “Jerusalem” in Greek is a feminine noun). 50sn The phrase its desolation is a reference to the fall of the city, which is the only antecedent present in Luke’s account. The parallels to this in Matt 24:15 and Mark 13:14 refer to the temple’s desolation, though Matthew’s allusion is clearer. They focus on the parallel events of the end, not on the short term realization in a.d. 70. The entire passage has a prophetic “two events in one” typology, where the near term destruction (a.d. 70) is like the end. So the evangelists could choose to focus on the near time realization (Luke) or on its long term fulfillment, which mirrors it (Matthew, Mark). 51sn Fleeing to the mountains is a key OT image: Gen 19:17; Judg 6:2; Isa 15:5; Jer 16:16; Zech 14:5. 52tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 53tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 54tn Or “of punishment.” This is a time of judgment. 55tn The passive construction with the infinitive πλησθῆναι (plhsqhnai) has been translated as an active construction for simplicity, in keeping with contemporary English style. 56sn Great distress means that this is a period of great judgment. 57tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 58tn Grk “by the mouth of the sword” (an idiom for the edge of a sword). 59sn Here is the predicted judgment against the nation until the time of Gentile rule has passed: Its people will be led away as captives. 60tn Grk “And Jerusalem.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 61sn Until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled implies a time when Israel again has a central role in God’s plan. 62sn Signs in the sun and moon and stars are cosmic signs that turn our attention to the end and the Son of Man’s return for the righteous. OT imagery is present: See Isa 13:9-10; 24:18-20; 34:4; Ezek 32:7-8; Joel 2:1, 30-31; 3:15. 63tn Grk “distress of nations.” 64tn Or “in consternation” (L&N 32.9). 65tn According to L&N 23.184 this could be mainly a psychological experience rather than actual loss of consciousness. It could also refer to complete discouragement because of fear, leading people to give up hope (L&N 25.293). 66sn An allusion to Isa 34:4. The heavens were seen as the abode of heavenly forces, so their shaking indicates distress in the spiritual realm. Although some take the powers as a reference to bodies in the heavens (like stars and planets, “the heavenly bodies,” NIV) this is not as likely. 67tn Grk “And then” (καὶ τότε, kai tote). Here καί has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 68sn An allusion to Dan 7:13. Here is Jesus returning with full judging authority. 69sn These things are all the events of vv. 8-27. Disciples represent the righteous here. The events surrounding the fall of the nation are a down payment on a fuller judgment to come on all humanity. The presence of one guarantees the other. 70sn With Jesus’ return comes the manifestation of judgment and final salvation (redemption). 71tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. 72tn Grk “all the trees.” 73tn Grk “seeing for yourselves, you know.” The participle βλέποντες (bleponte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. 74tn The verb γινώσκετε (ginwskete, “know”) can be parsed as either present indicative or present imperative. In this context the imperative fits better, since the movement is from analogy (trees and seasons) to the future (the signs of the coming of the kingdom) and since the emphasis is on preparation for this event. 75sn The kingdom of God refers here to the kingdom in all its power. See Luke 17:20-37. 76tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.” 77sn This is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to interpret. Various views exist for what generation means. (1) Some take it as meaning “race” and thus as an assurance that the Jewish race (nation) will not pass away. But it is very questionable that the Greek term γενεά (genea) can have this meaning. Two other options are possible. (2) Generation might mean “this type of generation” and refer to the generation of wicked humanity. Then the point is that humanity will not perish, because God will redeem it. Or (3) generation may refer to “the generation that sees the signs of the end” (vv. 25-26), who will also see the end itself. In other words, once the movement to the return of Christ starts, all the events connected with it happen very quickly, in rapid succession. 78sn The words that Jesus predicts here will never pass away. They are more stable and lasting than creation itself. For this kind of image, see Isa 40:8; 55:10-11. 79tn Grk “watch out for yourselves.”sn Disciples are to watch out. If they are too absorbed into everyday life, they will stop watching and living faithfully. 80sn Or like a thief, see Luke 12:39-40. The metaphor of a trap is a vivid one. Most modern English translations traditionally place the words “like a trap” at the end of v. 34, completing the metaphor. In the Greek text (and in the NRSV and REB) the words “like a trap” are placed at the beginning of v. 35. This does not affect the meaning. 81tn There is debate in the textual tradition about the position of γάρ (gar) and whether v. 35 looks back to v. 34 or is independent. The textual evidence does slightly favor placing γάρ after the verb and thus linking it back to v. 34. The other reading looks like Isa 24:17. However, the construction is harsh and the translation prefers for stylistic reasons to start a new English sentence here. 82tn Or “come upon.” 83sn This judgment involves everyone: all who live on the face of the whole earth. No one will escape this evaluation. 84sn The call to be alert at all times is a call to remain faithful in looking for the Lord’s return. 85tn For the translation of μέλλω (mellw) as “must,” see L&N 71.36. 86tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” since vv. 37-38 serve as something of a summary or transition from the discourse preceding to the passion narrative that follows. 87tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 88tn Grk “in the temple.” 89tn Grk “and spent the night,” but this is redundant because of the previous use of the word “night.” 90tn Grk “at the mountain called ‘of Olives.’”sn See the note on the phrase Mount of Olives in 19:29. 91sn Jesus’ teaching was still quite popular with all the people at this point despite the leaders’ opposition. 92tc Some mss (those of Ë13) place John 7:53-8:11 here after v. 38, no doubt because it was felt that this was a better setting for the Grk “in the temple.”