Matthew 24, The Tribulation & the Holocaust

“Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Matthew 24:19f

If this “great tribulation” refers to 70 AD (and I’m convinced that it does) then the focus on the 20th century “holocaust” that suggests that particular tribulation is the greatest of all Jewish tribulations is unbiblical. Such a 20th century focus also does the work of minimizing the reason for this “great tribulation” of AD 70 that was found in the just punishment of the Jews for their crime in the crucifixion of the Christ and replaces it with a focus on the putative innocence of the Jews at the hands of those reported to have been Christians.

That what God calls “The great tribulation” as recompense for the Jewish crime of the slaughter of their Messiah has been the standard reading of Scripture up until the second half of the 20th century.

Many respected exegetes and theologians throughout history married this promised “great tribulation” as consequence to deicide just as they married the self-maledictory oath of Mat 27:25,

‘Then all the people answered and said, Let His blood be on us and on our children.’

with the blood of 1.1 million deaths in AD 70 at the hands of the Roman Armies.

Evidence of this connecting of AD 70 with the Jewish self-maledictory oath as standard Christian interpretation is seen in the examples below,

C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), wrote,

‘For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Read the record written by Josephus of the destruction of Jerusalem, and see how truly our Lord’s words were fulfilled. The Jews impiously said, concerning the death of Christ, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” Never did any other people invoke such an awful curse upon themselves, and upon no other nation did such a judgment ever fall. We read of Jews crucified till there was no more wood for making crosses; of thousands of the people slaying one another in their fierce faction fights within the city; of so many of them being sold for slaves that they became a drug in the market, and all but valueless; and of the fearful carnage when the Romans at length entered the doomed capital; and the blood-curdling story exactly bears out the Savior’s statement uttered nearly forty years before the terrible events occurred.’

And again in the pages of the Geneva Study Bible,

‘The destruction of Jerusalem was more terrible than anything that the world has ever witnessed, either before or since. Even Titus seemed to see in his cruel work the hand of an avenging God.’ (Commentary on Matthew, p. 412-413).

Matthew Henry offers,

“The Jews’ curse upon themselves has been awfully answered in the sufferings of their nation.”

If this reading is accurate then when we read in

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

it informs us that the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was a greater tribulation than what is called today, “The Holocaust.”

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

12 thoughts on “Matthew 24, The Tribulation & the Holocaust”

  1. You must understand, the leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism created the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators. The worst genocide in history wasn’t the Holocaust … in fact, it was perpetrated by members of the very same group of people who claim they were the victims of one. Without Jews, there never would have been Bolshevism. For a Jew, nothing is more insulting than the truth. The bloodthirsty Jewish Terrorists have murdered sixty six million in Russia from 1918-1957.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    1. Just so people know… the above quote from Solzhenitsyn was never written down or spoken publicly. It came from a private conversation and the other party to the conversation reports this is what Solzhenitsyn reputedly said.

      1. It’s true that I haven’t yet found it written down in what I’ve read of Solzhenitsyn. Still, the substance of it rings true … (and I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s authentic) especially if you read his “200 Years Together”.

      2. The scripture is full of creation and decreation motifs. Matthew 24:21 refers to the
        Mosaic covenant world of the Hebrew people. Yahweh created their world and then
        destroyed their world as He promised in Deuteronomy. They had an if then promise
        from Yahweh. They failed and the curses of Deuteronomy came down.

        It is wrong to compare the so called jewish holocaust to this scripture.
        The verse was about those people in the first century. The verse was never
        intended to be understood as for all of time and all people. It was the greatest tribulation
        for all of the Mosaic covenant world and for all of their time. Because their time ran out
        as a nation in ad70 when they were destroyed utterly.

        It has nothing to do with global history.

        See also IIPeter 3 Noahs “world” that then was was destroyed by water in the flood.
        Maybe a global catastrophe but it did not cause the matter/material of the globe to
        cease to exist. Yahweh simply destroyed the world that then was for their evil only continually.

        And began another “world”. We now live in the Messianic Age. An age which lasts
        forever. There are no more worlds to come. Christ has turned the Kingdom over to His Saints.

        We just do a very poor job of running it for Him.

  2. These Bolshevik “jews” are some of the same in Palestine today that
    say they are Israeli ? Ashkenazi ? Sepheridic? who cares.

    They have nothing to do with the Hebrew Judean nation that
    Yahweh took to Himself as His portion after giving the other nations
    to members of His Divine Council or as some folks say angels.

    Yahwehs portion and people were Hebrews that lived in the millenia before
    Christ and had a nation until ad70, There DNA may be in some folks today,
    but at what percentage? Do they even know who they are? Could it be me or Bret?

    Maybe. Doesnt matter. Doesnt have anything to do with the Bolshevik “jews”

    Someone murdered millions of people in the 20th century and continue into the 21st.
    Its all been woven into this fantastic fairy tale that drives the theology and therefore
    every facet of a bunch of people who are the members of a huge cult called Dispensationalists.

    When you understand what it teaches you come to realize its as big a cult as Mormonism.
    Their fairy tale is as fantastic as Joseph Smiths. Its really embarrasing for christianity.

    And now this group of neocons christians and their cultural marxist progressive left have ruined
    the culture and driven a wedge into every little diverse corner they can get their hands on.

    Its all one big lie to keep everyone confused while a small group runs off with all the money
    and power. Or should I say is going to retain all the money and power in the next world reset.

    And they are not Yahwehs unsaved Judeans walking around the earth today waiting
    for His millenial reign to wake up and all a sudden become saved good guys.

    No they already know the story is a fairy tale. They made it up. They plan to keep on going on with it as long as we let them. Poor ignorant christians. They dont ever seem to wake up.

  3. What do you do with all the time statements Bret?

    In the New Testament there are over 100 verses dealing with
    a first century time frame for fulfillment.

    Even more verses if you count the translation bias butchering
    the greek word mello and its forms. The imminence and building
    crescendo of NT fulfillment is thunderous.

    Are we to believe that The Holy Spirit inspired human writers to tell
    the redemption story and get the timing all wrong?

    Christ said that if He didnt do the things He said He would do, not to believe in Him.

    Matthew 24 is only one place Christ clearly states that His Parousia would be before
    the generation then living in the first century passed.

    By definition there cant be two second comings. Either Christs parousia occurred when He
    said it would, or He is a false prophet by biblical definition.

    Maybe there are false presuppositions about the character, nature and thus timing of
    Christs parousia. Because I see no mention anywhere in scripture of a third coming.

    I do not believe Christ was a false prophet!! I believe He did exactly what He said He would do.
    There is no doubt in my heart and mind that Christ is my Lord and Saviour. I know without a doubt
    I will dwell with Him forever when I leave this earth. Yet people tell me my theology is heresy
    for believing what Christ has clearly stated. I wonder if those people also wonder about my salvation?

    Wondering what your thoughts on the subject might be Bret?

    1. Partial Preterism yes. Full preterism… no.

      And all the way through Scripture we find “comings of God.” It is not hard to see the Lord Christ speaking of a judgment coming that is distinct though related to a final coming.

      Were it not for the second advent:

      We would have a creation (Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3) without a consummation (Acts 3:20–21; Rev. 20:11), resulting in an open-ended universe (1 Cor. 15:23–24; 2 Peter 3:3–4).
      We would have a world eternally groaning (Rom. 8:22; 2 Cor. 5:1–4), without any glorious perfection (Rom. 8:21; 2 Peter 3:12–13).
      We would have a Savior quietly departing (Luke 24:50–52; 1 Cor. 15:5–8), without any victorious demonstration (Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10–11).
      We would have a redemption spiritually focused (Rom. 8:10; Eph.1:3), without a physical dimension (Rom. 8:11; 1 Thess. 4:13–18).
      We would have a Redeemer bodily ascended (Acts 1:8–11; Col. 2:9), without any physical family (1 Cor. 15:20–28; Phil. 3:20–21).
      We would have a gospel continually necessary (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8), without any final completion (Matt. 28:20; 1 Cor. 15:24).

      Look, there are whole books (many which I’ve read) that expose the heresy of full Preterism. I’m not going rehash what is those books here. If people want to read of the heresy that is hymaneanism they can get the following books I’ve read.

    2. Matthew 24:30 does not say Jesus would come back immediately after the tribulation, but sometime after. The interim between which is disputable. Matthew 24:29 invokes a common symbol for God’s judgement which we see in the judgement of Babylon, Nineveh, etc. (Cf. Isaiah 13) and is intended to back taken allegorically therefore. What Christ is doing then is comparing the ultimate downfall of Jerusalem with it’s ultimate redemption. We see the same thing in Daniel 12 and Joel 2. Jesus is just picking up on that motif. The contrast is therefore thematic and not neccessarily temporal. As to why Jesus didn’t return in the first century, I refer you to Jeremaiah 18:9-11, Zechariah 12:10, and Romans 11. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Ashton,

    Your comment intrigues me greatly, but I’m afraid I don’t understand it completely. I am particularly curious about the Scriptures you refer to that explain why Jesus did not return in the first century. Care to expand on that?
    I am at this time a partial preterist in my understanding of Matthew 24, but that does leave the question of Christ’s actual second coming. When will it be, what will be the signs ( if any ), etc. I am trying to develop an intelligent Scriptural response to many in my church who are all wrapped up in dispensational rapture theology, and properly unravelling the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 would go a long way in doing this… I think.

    If it’s not too much trouble, when you answer my question, could you send me an email directly, as I don’t always get back to internet discussion threads like this one.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *