13 For calamity follows on calamity, and wound on wound, and tribulation on tribulation, and evil tidings on evil tidings, and illness on illness, and all evil judgments such as these, one with another, illness and overthrow, and snow and frost and ice, and fever, and chills, and torpor, and famine, and death, and sword, and captivity, and all kinds of calamities and pains.' 14 And all these shall come on an evil generation, which transgresses on the earth: their works are uncleanness and fornication, and pollution and abominations. 15 Then they shall say: 'The days of the forefathers were many (even), unto a thousand years, and were good; but behold, the days of our life, if a man has lived many, are three score years and ten, and, if he is strong, four score years, and those evil, and there is no peace in the days of this evil generation.'
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.
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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