Luke 21:21
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
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(21) Let not them that are in the countries . . .—The noun is sometimes rendered “coasts,” sometimes “region,” sometimes “fields.” The latter meaning would seem to be that here intended. Comp. John 4:35, James 5:4, where the word is so rendered.

21:5-28 With much curiosity those about Christ ask as to the time when the great desolation should be. He answers with clearness and fulness, as far as was necessary to teach them their duty; for all knowledge is desirable as far as it is in order to practice. Though spiritual judgements are the most common in gospel times, yet God makes use of temporal judgments also. Christ tells them what hard things they should suffer for his name's sake, and encourages them to bear up under their trials, and to go on in their work, notwithstanding the opposition they would meet with. God will stand by you, and own you, and assist you. This was remarkably fulfilled after the pouring out of the Spirit, by whom Christ gave his disciples wisdom and utterance. Though we may be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot be losers by him, in the end. It is our duty and interest at all times, especially in perilous, trying times, to secure the safety of our own souls. It is by Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions which would put us out of temper. We may view the prophecy before us much as those Old Testament prophecies, which, together with their great object, embrace, or glance at some nearer object of importance to the church. Having given an idea of the times for about thirty-eight years next to come, Christ shows what all those things would end in, namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter dispersion of the Jewish nation; which would be a type and figure of Christ's second coming. The scattered Jews around us preach the truth of Christianity; and prove, that though heaven and earth shall pass away, the words of Jesus shall not pass away. They also remind us to pray for those times when neither the real, nor the spiritual Jerusalem, shall any longer be trodden down by the Gentiles, and when both Jews and Gentiles shall be turned to the Lord. When Christ came to destroy the Jews, he came to redeem the Christians that were persecuted and oppressed by them; and then had the churches rest. When he comes to judge the world, he will redeem all that are his from their troubles. So fully did the Divine judgements come upon the Jews, that their city is set as an example before us, to show that sins will not pass unpunished; and that the terrors of the Lord, and his threatenings against impenitent sinners, will all come to pass, even as his word was true, and his wrath great upon Jerusalem.In your patience - Rather by your perseverance. The word "patience" here means constancy or perseverance in sustaining afflictions.

Possess ye your souls - Some read here the "future" instead of the "present" of the verb rendered "possess." The word "possess" means here to "preserve" or keep, and the word "souls" means "lives." This passage may be thus translated: By persevering in bearing these trials you "will" save your lives, or you will be safe; or, by persevering "preserve" your lives; that is, do not yield to these calamities, but bear up under them, for he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. Compare Matthew 24:13.

20, 21. by armies—encamped armies, that is, besieged: "the abomination of desolation" (meaning the Roman ensigns, as the symbols of an idolatrous, pagan, unclean power) "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (Da 9:27) "standing where it ought not" (Mr 13:14). "Whoso readeth [that prophecy] let him understand" (Mt 24:15).

Then … flee, &c.—Eusebius says the Christians fled to Pella, at the north extremity of Perea, being "prophetically directed"; perhaps by some prophetic intimation still more explicit than this, which still would be their chart.

See Poole on "Luke 21:20"

Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains,.... See Gill on Matthew 24:16.

And let them which are in the midst of it; either of Judea, as the preceding clause seems to direct the sense; or in Jerusalem, and which indeed was in the midst of Judea; and this sense is favoured by the Persic version, which renders it, "within the city"; let them go out of it, as the Christians did to Pella, Mount Libanus, and other places:

and let not them that are in the countries; either foreign countries, or in towns and villages;

enter thereinto: either into Judea, or into Jerusalem; contrary to this advice, they came from all countries to the feast of the passover at Jerusalem, and were there shut up by the siege and destroyed (c).

(c) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 7. c. 17.

Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luke 21:21. τότε, then, momentous hour, time for prompt action.—φευγέτωσαν, flee! The counsel is for three classes: (1) those in Judaea at some distance from Jerusalem, (2) those who happen to be in Jerusalem (ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς) when the armies appear, (3) those in the fields or farms round about Jerusalem (ἐν ταῖς χώραις) who might be tempted to take refuge within the city from the invaders, thinking themselves safe within its walls, and who are therefore counselled not to enter. The corresponding counsel in the parallels, Luke 21:17-18 in Matthew , 15, 16 in Mk., vividly sets forth the necessity of immediate flight.

21. them which are in Judea] This expression again most clearly proves what was the near horizon of this Prophecy.

flee to the mountains] The Christians, in consequence of “a certain oracular utterance” (Euseb. H. E. iii. 5), or an angel-warning (Epiphan. Haer. i. 123), but more probably in consequence of this warning, fled, before the siege, out of Judaea, to the little Peraean town of Pella, among the Transjordanic hills.

in the midst of it] Rather, her, i.e. Jerusalem.

in the countries] Rather, in the fields.

Luke 21:21. [Τότε, then) Where all human prudence fails, there Christians who bear the name with truth are helped by the word and guidance of their Master and their Lord.—V. g.]—αὐτῆς, of it) viz. the city: in which in the meantime they are directed to ‘tarry:’ ch. Luke 24:47; Luke 24:49.—οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις, who are in the country-regions) who live in the towns and villages: see on Matthew 24:16 [“Let them flee into the mountains”].

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