Matthew 24:10

New Testament

6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these things are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name. 10 Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, 12 and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved.

4 Ezra 5:2

2 Esdras

1 ‘But now to speak of the signs: there will come a time when the inhabitants of the earth will be seized with panic. The way of truth will be hidden from sight, and the land will be barren of faith. 2 There will be a great increase in wickedness, worse than anything you now see or have ever heard of. 3 The country you now see governing the world will become a trackless desert, laid waste for all to see. 4 After the third period (if the Most High grants you a long enough life) you will see confusion everywhere. The sun will suddenly begin to shine in the middle of the night, and the moon in the day-time. 5 Trees will drip blood, stones will speak, nations will be in confusion, and the courses of the stars will be changed.

 Notes and References

"... If we conclude that the sayings about “this generation” were not created by the Q circle, but rather stem from pre-existing tradition and probably even the original Jesus movement, may we not, by the same historical logic that produced the communal history of the Q people, infer that Jesus himself was led to this way of speaking not by a theological system but rather by concrete experiences of rejection? I not only think we can, but we should. (a) Even in the Gospels the sayings have been placed in contexts where Jesus is speaking to crowds or opponents. That is, the “hortatory tendency” of the Gospels could not transform these sayings into general teaching about the state of Jesus’ contemporaries. They have retained their polemical edge, and it is hard to imagine that they at one time functioned differently. (b) In addition, it is unlikely that Jewish eschatological expectations are sufficient to explain the state of the tradition as it stands. To be sure: one finds in Second Temple texts the idea that lawlessness would increase as birth pangs of the Messianic age (4 Ezra 5:2; m. Sotah 9:15). Jesus may even have inherited a belief in “the dismal state of Israel in the time preceding the final judgment” (see 1 Enoch 93:9; Jubilees 23:14). However, those notions cannot sufficiently explain the Jesus tradition, since what we find is not general commentary on “this generation” and its depravity, but rather sayings that have opposition to and/or rejection of Jesus in view. For instance: why is “this generation” worse than the Ninevites? Because the Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah, whereas “this generation” has not. Even if Jesus entered his ministry with some eschatological expectation about a sinful generation preceding the end, these sayings imply it was his own rejection that triggered him to speak about it ..."

Ferda, Tucker S. Jesus and the Galilean Crisis: Interpretation, Reception, and History (pp. 371-372) University of Pittsburgh, 2016

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