Mark 13:20

New Testament

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.

2 Baruch 20:1

Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch

1 Therefore, behold! The days come, and the times shall hasten more than the former, and the seasons shall speed on more than those that are past, and the years shall pass more quickly than the present (years). 2 Therefore have I now taken away Zion, That I may the more speedily visit the world in its season. 3 Now therefore hold fast in thy heart everything that I command thee, And seal it in the recesses of thy mind. 4 And then I will show thee the judgement of My might, And My ways which are unsearchable. 5 Go therefore and sanctify thyself seven days, and eat no bread, nor drink water, nor speak to anyone.

 Notes and References

"... There will be other calamities, but none as great as the fall of Jerusalem. The hyperbole is typical of prophecies of destruction. Lane cites Jeremiah 30:7; Joel 2:2; Baruch 2:2; 1 Maccabees 9:27. Deuteronomy 4:32 echoes the same hyperbole, along with a reference to God’s work at creation. The reference is not gratuitous in Mark 13:19. In this context it not only affirms that God is the creator; it implies that God, not the Roman armies, still controls all that happens. God will therefore determine the time of the judgment on Jerusalem. Again the referent of these verses is blurred, and the description applies also to the great tribulation expected at the end of time. The destruction of Jerusalem was terrible—and one need only read Josephus’s description of it to be moved by its horror—but the coming tribulation will be worse. If God had not cut short the time (i.e., of the coming tribulation), no one would survive it. Nevertheless, God ordains the times, and God has cut short the time of suffering. This is good news not only for Jewish Christians in Judea and Gentile Christians in Rome; it is a reminder of God’s provident compassion. Just as God would not allow the flood to wipe out humanity (Genesis 9:11), so God has a purpose for the elect of the covenant community. Beasley-Murray cautions that while there are parallels to God’s cutting short the time of sinners (1 Enoch 80:2) and hastening the time of the end (4 Ezra 4:26), there are few real parallels to the assertion in 13:20 that God will cut short the time of suffering for the sake of the faithful. Beasley-Murray cites 2 Baruch 20:1, and Evans adds 4Q385 = 4QpsEza, frg 3, lines 3-5, “the days hasten in order that the children of Israel may inherit ... I shall cut short the days and the years.” ..."

Culpepper, R. Alan The Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary: Mark (p. 463) Smyth & Helwys, 2007

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