1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear, for the day of the Lord is about to come. Indeed, it is near! 2 It will be a day of dreadful darkness, a day of foreboding storm clouds, like blackness spread over the mountains. It is a huge and powerful army—there has never been anything like it ever before, and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come! 3 Like fire they devour everything in their path; a flame blazes behind them. The land looks like the Garden of Eden before them, but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness—for nothing escapes them! 4 They look like horses; they charge ahead like war horses. 5 They sound like chariots rumbling over mountain tops, like the crackling of blazing fire consuming stubble, like the noise of a mighty army being drawn up for battle.
17 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! 18 Pray that it may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, or ever will happen. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved. But because of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut them short. 21 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe him. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the elect.
Notes and References
"... The prophecy of the temple’s destruction, and the question regarding its timing, indicate that what is in view in 13:14-20 is the time between the presence of the abomination and the actual destruction. The commands to flee Judea and to do so quickly, and the laments for the pregnant and nursing women, suggest that danger is imminent, but not yet fully present. As often noted, the hope that the flight not occur in winter reflects the fear that the surrounding rivers would be overflowing then, making effective flight difficult or impossible.153 Nothing in the context suggests that Mark has suddenly switched topics to Jesus’ parousia or to a universally endured tribulation. Some argue that the declarations of 13:19-20, that is, that the tribulation will be the worst in history, and that “no life” would have been saved unless God had shortened the days, imply that the topic has shifted to “the final tribulation.” ... The notion that it will be unparalleled is hyperbolic, (compare Exodus 9:18; 11:6; Deuteronomy 4:32; Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; 1 Maccabees 9:27; Testament of Moses 8:1; 1QM 1:11-12; Revelation 16:18. Exodus 9:18) and the declaration that “all flesh” would be destroyed is conditioned by the address of the oracle to the Judeans ..."
Sloan, Paul Mark 13 and the Return of the Shepherd: The Narrative Logic of Zechariah in Mark (pp. 183-184) T&T Clark, 2019