34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
34 Verse 34. This generation shall not pass] ηγενεααυτη, this
race; i.e. the Jews shall not cease from being a distinct people,
till all the counsels of God relative to them and the Gentiles be
fulfilled. Some translate ηγενεααυτη, this generation, meaning
the persons who were then living, that they should not die before
these signs, &c., took place: but though this was true, as to the
calamities that fell upon the Jews, and the destruction of their
government, temple, &c., yet as our Lord mentions Jerusalem's
continuing to be under the power of the Gentiles till the fulness
of the Gentiles should come in, i.e. till all the nations of the
world should receive the Gospel of Christ, after which the Jews
themselves should be converted unto God, , &c., I think
it more proper not to restrain its meaning to the few years which
preceded the destruction of Jerusalem; but to understand it of the
care taken by Divine providence to preserve them as a distinct
people, and yet to keep them out of their own land, and from their
temple service. See on . But still it is literally true
in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. John probably lived
to see these things come to pass; compare , with
; and there were some rabbins alive at the time when
Christ spoke these words who lived till the city was destroyed,
viz. Rabban Simeon, who perished with the city; R. Jochanan ben
Zaccai, who outlived it; R. Zadoch, R. Ismael, and others. See
The war began, as Josephus says, Ant. b. xx. c. 11. s. 1, in the
second year of the government of Gessius Florus, who succeeded
Albinus, successor of Porcius Festus, mentioned , in the
month of May, in the twelfth year of Nero, and the seventeenth
of Agrippa, mentioned Acts 25 and 26, that is, in May, A. D. 66.
The temple was burnt August 10, A. D. 70, the same day and month
on which it had been burnt by the king of Babylon: Josephus, Ant.
b. xx. c. 11. s. 8.
The city was taken September 8, in the second year of the reign
of Vespasian, or the year of Christ 70. Ant. b. vi. c. 10.
That was the end of the siege of Jerusalem, which began, as
Josephus several times observes, about the fourteenth day of the
month Nisan, or our April. See War, b. v. c. 3. s. 1, c. 13.
s. 7; b. vi. c. 9. s. 3.
Dr. Lardner farther remarks, There is also an ancient
inscription to the honour of Titus, "who, by his father's
directions and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation and
destroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any
generals, kings, or people, before." The inscription may be
seen in GRUTER, vol. i. p. 244. It is as follows:-
For this complete conquest of Jerusalem, Titus had a triumphal
arch erected to his honour, which still exists. It stands on the
Via Sacra, leading from the forum to the amphitheatre. On it are
represented the spoils of the temple of God, such as the golden
table of the show-bread, the golden candlestick with its seven
branches, the ark of the covenant, the two golden trumpets, &c.,
&c.; for a particular account see the note on . On this
arch, a correct model of which, taken on the spot, now stands
before me, is the following inscription:-
"The Senate and People of Rome, to the Divine Titus, son of the
Divine Vespasian; and to Vespasian the Emperor."
On this occasion, a medal was struck with the following
inscription round a laureated head of the emperor:-IMP.erator
J.ulius CAES.ar VESP.asianus AUG.ustus. P.ontifex M.aximus,
TR.ibunitia, P.otestate P.ater P.atrice CO.nS.ul VIII.-On the
obverse are represented a palm tree, the emblem of the land of
Judaea; the emperor with a trophy standing on the left; Judea,
under the figure of a distressed woman, sitting at the foot of the
tree weeping, with her head bowed down, supported by her left
hand, with the legend JUDAEA CAPTA. S.enatus C.onsultus. at the
bottom. This is not only an extraordinary fulfilment of our
Lord's prediction, but a literal accomplishment of a prophecy
delivered about 800 years before, ,
And she, desolate, shall sit upon the ground.