Mark saith, Mar_13:24,25. In those days, afterthat tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shallnot give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and thepowers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Luke saith, Luk_21:25,26And there shall be signs in thesun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earthdistress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the wavesroaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking afterthose things which are combing on the earth: for the powers ofheaven shall be shaken.
Interpreters are much divided in the sense of these words, whether they should be interpreted,
1. Of Christ’s coming to the last judgment, and the signs of that; or,
2. Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem.
Those who interpret it of the destruction of Jerusalem have the context to guide them, as also the reports of historians, of strange prodigies seen in the air and earth, before the taking of it; likewise the word immediately after, & c. But I am more inclinable to interpret them of the last judgment, and to think that our Saviour is now passed to satisfy the disciples about their other question, concerning the end of the world; for although Christ’s coming may sometimes signify that remarkable act of his providence in the destruction of his enemies, yet the next verses speaking of his coming with great power and glory, and of his coming with his angels, and with the sound of a trumpet, and gathering his elect from the four winds, the phrases are so like the phrases by which the Scripture expresses Christ’s coming to the last judgment, 1Co_15:521Th_4:16, and Christ speaking to his disciples asking of him as well about that as the destruction of Jerusalem, I should rather interpret this verse with reference to the last judgment, than the destruction of Jerusalem before spoken of, or at least that these signs should be understood common both to the one and the other, as divers of the other signs mentioned in this chapter are. Some think that the darkening of the sun and the moon here, the falling of the stars, and the shaking of the powers of heaven, are to be taken metaphorically, as signifying the great change there should be in the ecclesiastical and civil state of the Jews; and it is true that such kind of expressions do often in Scripture so signify, Isa_13:10 24:23 Eze_32:7Joe_2:31. But without doubt the literal sense is not to be excluded, whether we understand the text of the destruction of Jerusalem, or of his coming to his last judgment; for as historians tell of great prodigies seen before the former, so the apostle confirms us that there will be such things seen before the day of judgment, 2Pe_3:10,12.