The Meaning of Luke 21:24 Explained

Luke 21:24

KJV: And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

YLT: and they shall fall by the mouth of the sword, and shall be led captive to all the nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by nations, till the times of nations be fulfilled.

Darby: And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the nations until the times of the nations be fulfilled.

ASV: And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

What does Luke 21:24 Mean?

Study Notes

trodden down of the Gentiles
The "times of the Gentiles" began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar 2 Chronicles 36:1-21 , since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile overlordship.

Context Summary

Luke 21:20-28 - The Coming Of The Son Of Man In Glory
This paragraph clearly has its first reference to the fall of Jerusalem, which took place a.d. 70. The directions given by our Lord were of the greatest service to the Christian church, the members of which in large numbers, fled to Pella, across the Jordan, and so escaped the horrors of the siege. But beyond this each great event, such as the dissolution of the Hebrew state, the overthrow of the Roman Empire, the rise of the Reformation, the French Revolution, and so forth, is another stage in the advent of our Lord. He is always "coming in a cloud" so far as the eyes of men are concerned; but with the growing glory of clearer revelation and increased spiritual power. And all these stages are leading up to His final unveiling at His second advent.
That generation did not pass away before these portents were fulfilled; but each great period or chapter of history closes with similar signs. It is as though nature were as sympathetic to the experiences of the race, as the body is to the motions of the soul. Again behold the travail-pangs of creation, through which the new heavens and the new earth are being born. See Romans 8:22, etc. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 21

1  Jesus commends the poor widow
5  He foretells the destruction of the temple, and of the city Jerusalem;
25  the signs also which shall be before the last day
34  He exhorts them to be watchful

Greek Commentary for Luke 21:24

Edge of the sword [στοματι μαχαιρης]
Instrumental case of στοματι — stomati which means “mouth” literally (Genesis 34:26). This verse like the close of Luke 21:22 is only in Luke. Josephus (War, VI. 9.3) states that 1, 100, 000 Jews perished in the destruction of Jerusalem and 97, 000 were taken captive. Surely this is an exaggeration and yet the number must have been large. [source]
Shall be led captive [αιχμαλωτιστησονται]
Future passive of αιχμαλωτιζω — aichmalōtizō from αιχμη — aichmē spear and αλωτος — halōtos Here alone in the literal sense in the N.T.Shall be trodden under foot (εσται πατουμενη — estai patoumenē). Future passive periphrastic of πατεω — pateō to tread, old verb.Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled First aorist passive subjunctive with αχρι ου — achri hou like εως ου — heōs hou What this means is not clear except that Paul in Romans 11:25 shows that the punishment of the Jews has a limit. The same idiom appears there also with αχρι ου — achri hou and the aorist subjunctive. [source]
Shall be trodden under foot [εσται πατουμενη]
Future passive periphrastic of πατεω — pateō to tread, old verb. [source]
Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled [αχρι ου πληρωτωσιν καιροι ετνων]
First aorist passive subjunctive with αχρι ου — achri hou like εως ου — heōs hou What this means is not clear except that Paul in Romans 11:25 shows that the punishment of the Jews has a limit. The same idiom appears there also with αχρι ου — achri hou and the aorist subjunctive. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 21:24

Romans 7:23 Bringing into captivity [αἰχμαλωτίζοντα]
Only here, 2 Corinthians 10:5, and Luke 21:24. See on captives, Luke 4:18. The warlike figure is maintained. Lit., making me prisoner of war. [source]
Romans 7:23 Bringing me into captivity [αιχμαλωτιζοντα]
See note on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery Luke 21:24; note on 2 Corinthians 10:5. Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), “captivity to the law of sin” (Romans 7:23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds. [source]
Romans 7:23 Warring against [αντιστρατευομενον]
Rare verb (Xenophon) to carry on a campaign against. Only here in N.T. The law of my mind (τωι νομωι του νοος — tōi nomōi tou noos). The reflective intelligence Paul means by νοος — noos “the inward man” of Romans 7:22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (Romans 7:12, Romans 7:16, Romans 7:22). Bringing me into captivity See note on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery Luke 21:24; note on 2 Corinthians 10:5. Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), “captivity to the law of sin” (Romans 7:23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds. [source]
2 Corinthians 10:5 Every high thing that is exalted [παν υπσωμα επαιρομενον]
Same metaphor. υπσωμα — Hupsōma from υπσοω — hupsoō is late Koiné{[28928]}š word (in lxx, Plutarch, Philo, papyri) for height and that figure carried on by επαιρομενον — epairomenon Paul aims to pull down the top-most perch of audacity in their reasonings against the knowledge of God. We need Paul‘s skill and courage today. Bringing every thought into captivity (αιχμαλωτιζοντες παν νοημα — aichmalōtizontes pān noēma). Present active participle of αιχμαλωτιζω — aichmalōtizō common Koiné{[28928]}š verb from αιχμαλωτος — aichmalōtos captive in war (αιχμη — aichmē spear, αλωτος — halōtos verbal of αλισκομαι — haliskomai to be taken). See note on Luke 21:24. Paul is the most daring of thinkers, but he lays all his thoughts at the feet of Jesus. For noēma (device) see note on 2 Corinthians 2:11. To the obedience of Christ Objective genitive, “to the obedience unto Christ.” That is Paul‘s conception of intellectual liberty, freedom in Christ. Deissmann (St. Paul, p. 141) calls this “the mystic genitive.” [source]
2 Corinthians 10:5 Bringing every thought into captivity [αιχμαλωτιζοντες παν νοημα]
Present active participle of αιχμαλωτιζω — aichmalōtizō common Koiné{[28928]}š verb from αιχμαλωτος — aichmalōtos captive in war See note on Luke 21:24. Paul is the most daring of thinkers, but he lays all his thoughts at the feet of Jesus. For noēma (device) see note on 2 Corinthians 2:11. [source]
Hebrews 4:12 Sharper than any two-edged sword [τομώτερος ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν μάχαιραν δίστομον]
Τομώτερος sharperfrom τέμνειν tocut, N.T.oolxx. The word of God has an incisive and penetrating quality. It lays bare self-delusions and moral sophisms. For the comparison of the word of God or of men to a sword, see Psalm 57:4; Psalm 59:7; Psalm 64:3; Ephesians 6:17. Philo calls his Logos ὁ τομεύς thecutter, as cutting chaos into distinct things, and so creating a kosmos. Ὑπὲρ thanis literally, above. Πᾶσαν anyis every. Δίσμοτον only here and Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12, lit. two-mouthed. In lxx always of a sword. See Judges 3:16; Psalm 149:6; Proverbs 5:4; Colossians 900); of rivers with two mouths (Polyb. xxxiv. 10,5). Στόμα mouthof the edge of a sword, Luke href="/desk/?q=lu+21:24&sr=1">Luke 21:24; Hebrews 11:34. Often in lxx, as Genesis 34:26; Joshua 10:28, Joshua 10:33, Joshua 10:35, Joshua 10:37, Joshua 10:39; Judges 1:8. So occasionally in Class., as Homer, Il. xv. 389. Κατεσθίειν or κατέσθειν todevour is used of the sword, Deuteronomy 32:42; 2 Samuel 2:26; Isaiah 31:8; Jeremiah 2:30, etc. Μάχαιρα swordin Class. a dirk or dagger: rarely, a carving knife; later, a bent sword or sabre as contrasted with a straight, thrusting sword, ξίφος (not in N.T. but occasionally in lxx). Ῥομφαία , Luke 2:35(see note), elsewhere only in Revelation, very often in lxx, is a large broadsword. In lxx of Goliath's sword, 1 Samuel 17:51 [source]
Revelation 1:16 A sharp, two-edged sword [ῥομφαία δίστομος ὀξεῖα]
The (Greek order is a sword, two-edged, sharp. For the peculiar word for sword see on Luke 2:35. Two-edged is, literally, two-mouthed. See on edge, Luke 21:24. Homer speaks of poles for sea-fighting, “clad on the tip ( στόμα , mouth ) with brass.” [source]
Revelation 1:16 In his right hand [εν τηι δεχιαι χειρι]
For safe keeping as in John 10:28.Seven stars (αστερας επτα — asteras hepta). Symbols of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20), seven planets rather than Pleiades or any other constellation like the bear.Proceeded Present middle participle of εκπορευομαι — ekporeuomai old compound (Matthew 3:5) used loosely again like εχων — echōn sharp two-edged sword “A sword two-mouthed sharp.” ομπαια — Romphaia (as distinct from μαχαιρα — machaira) is a long sword, properly a Thracian javelin, in N.T. only Luke 2:35; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Hebrews 4:12. See στομα — stoma used with μαχαιρης — machairēs in Luke 21:24 (by the mouth of the sword).Countenance (οπσις — opsis). Old word (from οπτω — optō), in N.T. only here, John 7:24; John 11:44.As the sun shineth Brachylogy, “as the sun when it shines.” For παινει — phainei see John 1:5. [source]
Revelation 1:16 Proceeded [εκπορευομενη]
Present middle participle of εκπορευομαι — ekporeuomai old compound (Matthew 3:5) used loosely again like εχων — echōn sharp two-edged sword “A sword two-mouthed sharp.” ομπαια — Romphaia (as distinct from μαχαιρα — machaira) is a long sword, properly a Thracian javelin, in N.T. only Luke 2:35; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Hebrews 4:12. See στομα — stoma used with μαχαιρης — machairēs in Luke 21:24 (by the mouth of the sword).Countenance (οπσις — opsis). Old word (from οπτω — optō), in N.T. only here, John 7:24; John 11:44.As the sun shineth Brachylogy, “as the sun when it shines.” For παινει — phainei see John 1:5. [source]
Revelation 11:2 They shall tread under foot [πατησουσιν]
Future active of πατεω — pateō here to trample with contempt as in Luke 21:24, even the holy city (Matthew 4:5; Isaiah 48:2; Nehemiah 11:1). Charles thinks that only the heavenly city can be so called here (Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10; Revelation 22:19) because of Luke 11:8 (Sodom and Gomorrah). But the language may be merely symbolical. See Daniel 9:24. [source]
Revelation 11:18 The time of the dead to be judged [ο καιρος των νεκρων κριτηναι]
For this use of καιρος — kairos see Mark 11:13; Luke 21:24. By “the dead” John apparently means both good and bad (John 5:25; Acts 24:21), coincident with the resurrection and judgment (Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15.; Revelation 20:1-15). The infinitive κριτηναι — krithēnai is the first aorist passive of κρινω — krinō epexegetic use with the preceding clause, as is true also of δουναι — dounai (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμι — didōmi), to give. [source]
Revelation 11:2 Leave without [εκβαλε εχωτεν]
Literally, “cast without” (second aorist active imperative of εκβαλλω — ekballō not measure it Prohibition with μη — mē and the first aorist active (ingressive) subjunctive of μετρεω — metreō This outer court is left to its fate. In Herod‘s temple the outer court was marked off from the inner by “the middle wall of partition” Future active of πατεω — pateō here to trample with contempt as in Luke 21:24, even the holy city (Matthew 4:5; Isaiah 48:2; Nehemiah 11:1). Charles thinks that only the heavenly city can be so called here (Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10; Revelation 22:19) because of Luke 11:8 (Sodom and Gomorrah). But the language may be merely symbolical. See Daniel 9:24.Forty and two months Accusative of extent of time. This period in Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7. It occurs in three forms in the Apocalypse (forty-two months, here and Revelation 13:5; 1260 days, Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6; time, times and half a time or 3-1/2 years, Revelation 12:14 and so in Daniel). This period, however its length may be construed, covers the duration of the triumph of the Gentiles, of the prophesying of the two witnesses, of the sojourn of the woman in the wilderness. [source]
Revelation 11:18 Thy wrath came [ηλτεν η οργη σου]
Second aorist active indicative of ερχομαι — erchomai the prophetic aorist again. The Dies Irae is conceived as already come.The time of the dead to be judged (ο καιρος των νεκρων κριτηναι — ho kairos tōn nekrōn krithēnai). For this use of καιρος — kairos see Mark 11:13; Luke 21:24. By “the dead” John apparently means both good and bad (John 5:25; Acts 24:21), coincident with the resurrection and judgment (Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15.; Revelation 20:1-15). The infinitive κριτηναι — krithēnai is the first aorist passive of κρινω — krinō epexegetic use with the preceding clause, as is true also of δουναι — dounai (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμι — didōmi), to give.Their reward This will come in the end of the day (Matthew 20:8), from God (Matthew 6:1), at the Lord‘s return (Revelation 22:12), according to each one‘s work (1 Corinthians 3:8).The small and the great (τους μικρους και τους μεγαλους — tous mikrous kai tous megalous). The accusative here is an anacoluthon and fails to agree in case with the preceding datives after δουναι τον μιστον — dounai ton misthon though some MSS. have the dative τοις μικροις — tois mikrois etc. John is fond of this phrase “the small and the great” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12).To destroy First aorist active infinitive of διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō carrying on the construction with καιρος — kairos Note τους διαπτειροντας — tous diaphtheirontas “those destroying” the earth (corrupting the earth). There is a double sense in διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō that justifies this play on the word. See Revelation 19:2. In 1 Timothy 6:5 we have those “corrupted in mind” God will destroy the destroyers (1 Corinthians 3:16.). [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 21:24 mean?

And they will fall by [the] edge of [the] sword will be led captive into the nations all Jerusalem will be trodden down by [the] Gentiles until that are fulfilled also be [the] times of [the] Gentiles
καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν (καὶ ἔσονται) καιροὶ ἐθνῶν

πεσοῦνται  they  will  fall 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Plural
Root: πίπτω 
Sense: to descend from a higher place to a lower.
στόματι  by  [the]  edge 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: στόμα  
Sense: the mouth, as part of the body: of man, of animals, of fish, etc.
μαχαίρης  of  [the]  sword 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: μάχαιρα  
Sense: a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh.
αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται  will  be  led  captive 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: αἰχμαλωτίζω  
Sense: to lead away captive.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
ἔθνη  nations 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.
Ἰερουσαλὴμ  Jerusalem 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: Ἰερουσαλήμ  
Sense: denotes either the city itself or the inhabitants.
ἔσται  will  be 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
πατουμένη  trodden  down 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: πατέω  
Sense: to tread.
ἐθνῶν  [the]  Gentiles 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.
ἄχρι  until 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἄχρι  
Sense: until, unto, etc.
οὗ  that 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
πληρωθῶσιν  are  fulfilled 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: πληρόω  
Sense: to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full.
(καὶ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
καιροὶ  [the]  times 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: καιρός  
Sense: due measure.
ἐθνῶν  of  [the]  Gentiles 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.