The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 121 of 210
Index | Zoom
24: 34 - 25: 30.
pp. 186 - 192
We must pause to consider Matt. 24: 34, "this generation shall not pass, till all
these things be fulfilled".  Is the Lord Jesus referring to the generation He was
addressing, or the nation as a whole in the future, or concentrating on the generation at
the end time who will witness all He has revealed of the period just before the Second
Coming, and the Coming itself?
The word used for generation is genea, and we are sometimes told that this cannot
mean a nation as a whole but must be kept to the concept of a generation of people. This
is not true. Arndt & Gingrich in their lexicon give as the first meaning, "those descended
from an ancestor, a clan, then race", and therefore it can mean the nation of Israel here.
But we feel that the Lord is meaning more than this. It is essential that we interpret this
verse in the setting that we find it.
Once again we remind ourselves that Christ is dealing with the end of the age, as He
had been asked vivid details of this time which leads, without a break, to His Coming in
glory. Genea has a secondary meaning of generation, and surely if this is the meaning of
the word here, it most naturally refers to the generation of that special time of the last
seven years of the age. We can then understand why that particular generation will not
pass away till all these events have been fulfilled. What it cannot mean is the generation
of the disciples to whom the Lord was speaking. The generation certainly passed away
without the fulfillment of the Lord's prophecy.
The early Christians had enough sense to see that this interpretation was impossible,
for Christ had not returned and the apostles and their contemporaries had died.
Nevertheless they still expected the Lord's Second Coming and held to the belief for a
long period. Thus we can say that the group of people who live to see these things (the
events of Matt. 24:) come to pass, will live to see the end of the prophecy fulfilled.
There is therefore no problem such as is made by those who insist that "this generation"
must mean the one that the Lord addressed, and the idea has caused endless controversy
which is quite needless.
If Matt. 24: is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D. as some teach,
then (1) the Lord did not come with His holy angels; (2) nor did the kingdom of
everlasting righteousness foretold by Daniel come to pass. This was to take place at the
smashing of the Gentile image and domination (Dan. 2: 34, 35, 44, 45) by the stone cut
without hands (Christ) which was scheduled at the end of the last week of years, at
Christ's return.
These are only some of the problems caused by wrong interpretation and should be a
lesson to all of us.