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,
Sanhedrin 98bBabylonian Talmud
Rav says: The son of David will not come until the evil Roman kingdom will disperse throughout Eretz Yisrael for nine months, as it is stated: “Therefore will He give them up, until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel” (Micah 5:2). Once a period equivalent to a term of pregnancy passes, the redemption will come. § Ulla says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him, as I fear the suffering that will precede his coming. Likewise, Rabba says: Let the Messiah come, but after my death, so that I will not see him. Rav Yosef says: Let the Messiah come, and I will be privileged to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s excrement. I am willing to undergo all the pain and disgrace associated with his arrival.
Notes and References
"... Despite the absence of the terms ‘woes’ or ‘birthpangs’, the details in this passage use the same vocabulary to describe the same familiar phenomena. Such descriptions in the rabbinic writings bear remarkable consistency in content and approach to the centuries-old Old Testament prophecies of the Day of the Lord and its antecedents previously described; equally, they bear striking similarity to many of the much more nearly contemporary sayings of Jesus relating to the End, which are stated in terms full of Old Testament allusion: he describes the beginning of the birth-pains in Mark 13:8 as follows: ‘Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.’ On family breakdown he says: ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death’ (Mark 13:12); and regarding the spiritual health of the people: ‘And then many will be caused to stumble and will betray and hate one another. Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of many will vanish’ (Matthew 24:10, 12). Jesus’ ready usage of themes and terminology familiar from both Old Testament and the later writings of the Rabbis is entirely consistent with his own rabbinic background. The apocalyptic literature of the period up to the 2nd century AD is essentially eschatological in content, employing many of the same themes and motifs as the rabbinic writings. Here, consequently, the woes are mentioned far more frequently: Charles goes as far as to state that ‘The woes before the Messianic Age are a feature of all Apocalypse.’ Three typical examples show very similar themes to both the biblical and the rabbinic texts: 2 Bauch 27:1-13 (early 2nd century AD) ..."
Steedman, Robin Anthony Colossians 1:24 and Vicarious Suffering in the Church (pp. 251-252) University of Birmingham, 2013