Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 24:2 - 24:2

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 24:2 - 24:2


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Ver. 1,2. Mark saith, Mar_13:1,2, one of his disciples. Luke saith, Luk_21:5, some. Mark saith, the disciple said, Master, what manner of stones and what buildings are here! Luke saith, they spake how the temple was adorned with goodly stones and gifts. All three evangelists agree in the substance of our Saviour’s reply. Christ had now done his work in the temple, where he never came more, and was going toward the Mount of Olives, where we shall find him in the next verse. His disciples, either one of them or more, probably one in the presence of the rest, either doubting (considering the structure of the temple) whether it could be destroyed, or at least thinking it pity that so famous a structure should come to ruin, come to him, admiring the stones and buildings. Most think this was the temple builded by Zerubbabel, almost six hundred years before, though it received great additions by Herod (for we have no record that that temple was ever destroyed). Incredible stories are related about the dimensions of the stones, and the ornaments of it. Our Saviour saith unto them,



Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another; that is, this brave, goodly temple shall be utterly ruined. Nor (if we may believe other histories) did this prophecy fail as to the letter of it. Titus, the Roman emperor, taking Jerusalem, about forty years after this, commanded his soldiers to spare the temple when they entered the city, but they in their rage burnt of it what was of a combustible nature; and Turnus Rufus, left general of his army when he went away, drew a plough over it, as God had said. Jer_26:18 Mic_3:12, Zion shall be ploughed like a field. And when after this Alippius, by the command of Julian the apostate, attempted the rebuilding of it, with the help of the Jews, it is reported by divers, that balls or globes of fire rose up from the foundations, destroyed many of the workmen, and made the place inaccessible for any further such attempts. So justly are the Divine threatenings to be feared, whatever improbability of the contrary appeareth to us. We are very apt to be taken with the glistering prosperity of sinners, but we ought to measure the duration of it from the revelations of the Divine will, not from our own reason or fancy; to remember the temple of Jerusalem. There are no places so strong but an almighty God is able to destroy, and sin is enough to blow up. We may also observe how little God values splendid houses of prayer when they are made dens of thieves.