The question has been raised, as to whether these two events, predicted
in the Scriptures, are one and the same or do they occur at different
times and in different places, albeit to the same People?
These two expressions are commonly considered to be synonymous and
referring to the conditions brought about when the covenant of seven years,
made between Israel and the world leader, the man of sin, is broken
after three and a half years by his entry into Jerusalem and the Temple
and setting up therein the image of the beast in the sanctuary,
commanding that all should worship it. Such desecration and flagrant idolatry is
met with head on opposition from even apostate Israel (as they had by
then become) and the greatest anti-Semitic persecution of all times
commences and is to last for three and a half years.
"For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not
since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall
The Greek word here for TRIBULATION is THLIPSIS, which is
translated thus 21 times, affliction 17 times, trouble three times,
burdened, anguish, persecution and to be afflicted once each, 45 times in
all. An examination of the concordance shows that, in addition to Matt.
24:21 the following passages are relevant to the subject :—Matt.
24:29; Mark 13:24; Mark 13:19; Rev. 2:9, 10, 22 and Rev. 7:14.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days."
"But in those days, after that tribulation." Mark 13:24.
These two passages refer back to Matt. 24:21, quoted above,
and to Mark 13:19:
"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not
the beginning of creation which God created unto this time,
neither shall be." Mark 13:19.
These are obviously parallel passages, but neither Luke nor John touch
upon the subject. Although, as has already been seen, THLIPSIS
is of frequent occurrence throughout the New Testament it is not used in
this connection until the Apocalypse:
"These are they which came out of great tribulation."
(Although the A.V. omits the definite article, according to Lachman,
yet it is inserted in the Greek text and accepted, without comment, by
the remainder of textual critics).
The remaining three occurrences of the word in Rev. 2:9, 10 and 22
refer to tribulation, contemporary, but not necessarily the same.
"Behold , I will cast her into a bed , and them that
adultery with her into great tribulation , except they repent of
their deeds." Rev. 2:22.
"I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty , ( but thou art
rich ) .
. . Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer :
devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may
be tried; and ye
shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2:9,
These words were addressed to the church of Thyatira and Smyrna
respectively, who are evidently to be assemblies of believers in Christ
through the preaching of the gospel of the circumcision, during the latter
days. As the word THLIPSIS
may be used of any kind of affliction, restriction, anguish, trouble,
distress, straitness, trial, pressure or persecution, and is so used in
the Scriptures, one cannot be definite in identifying any of these
specifically with the passages in Matthew, Mark or Revelation, chapter
Except for the possibility of the text in Jeremiah 30:7, the only O.T.
Prophet that one can refer to is Daniel that is .analogous to those
that have been quoted from the gospels.
"And at that time shall Michael, stand up, the great
standeth for the children of thy People: and there shall be
of trouble ( Hebrew—TSARAH ) such as never was since there
was a Nation even to that same time: and at that time thy People
be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the
The verse following is of particular interest and with it will be given
a translation by Tregelles:
" And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth
awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting
contempt." Dan. 12:2.
" And many from among the sleepers of the dust of the earth
shall awake ;
these shall be unto life of the age ( or eon ) ; but
those ( the rest of
the sleepers, those who do not awake at this
time ) shall be unto shame
and contempt of the age ( or eon ). "
Dan. 12:2 (Tregelles).
In Matthew's gospel, chapter 24 and in Mark's gospel chapter 13 the
disciples approach the Lord Jesus when upon
the Mount of Olives after leaving the Temple, privately, saying,
"Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be
of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?" Matt.
Here are three questions, which the Lord answers with considerable
detail. Verses 3-14 in Matt. and 5-13 in Mark are in reply
to the last question, then in both gospels He speaks of
"When ye shall see the abomination of desolation,
spoken of by
Daniel the Prophet standing in the holy place (Mk. where it
not ), whoso readeth, let him understand: Then let them which
Judaea flee to the mountains. . . ." Matt. 24:15, 16; Mark
'When' is followed by three 'thens,' the second of which is,
"Then shall be great tribulation."
The next 'then' is two verses later, giving warning of false
Christs and false Prophets, followed by a mention of the form of His
coming (PAROUSIA—personal presence). This is followed,
in verse 29 of Matthew's gospel with:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those
The definite article here obviously refers back to verse 21, showing
" Shall the sun be darkened , and the moon shall not give
light , and the stars shall fall from heaven , and the powers of the
heaven shall be shaken : and THEN shall appear ( become
the sign of the Son of Man in heaven : and THEN
shall all the tribes of
the earth (or land) mourn, and they shall see
the Son of Man
coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory." Matt. 24:29,
30; Mark 13:24-26.
Both gospels continue with similar words:
"And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a
(Matt. marg:—with a trumpet and a great voice.
any trumpet reference) and they shall gather His elect
four winds , from one end of the heaven to the other." Matt.
This ends the answer to the question, "what shall be the sign of Thy
coming?" Evidently these last three verses anticipate
His descent upon the Mount of Olives in fulfilment of Acts 1:11 and
When all this, that has so far been reviewed, is taking place Israel
has, for come considerable time been in full possession of the land, the
Temple has been rebuilt in all its glory. Further, sacrifices have been
taking place regularly upon the altar therein under the direction of
the Levitical Priesthood, in accordance with the Word of the Lord and the
worship of JEHOVAH. It is at the 'end of the age' (SUNTELEIA TOU
AIONON). This is better understood by 'the conclusion of the age,' like the
drawing together of all the fibres that go to the make up of a twisted
thread. It is not the finish of the thread, but the conclusion of a
This 'age' has extended over a considerable period of time and is
referred to much in the Scriptures, both Hebrew and Greek. It is the yet
future period of God's dealing with Israel as a whole—all twelve
tribes and Levi, after the church which is the body of Christ has entered
into the fulfilment of their hope,
having been transformed and translated. This age, or period of
time, is expressed in both Old and New Testaments as 'in the last days'
and 'in the latter days.' These are two of the various translations of
the Greek EN TAIS ESKA TAIS HEMERAIS and, in the Hebrew ACHARITH.
The careful reading of a number of passages where the word ACHARITH is
used in this connection would pay good dividend. This word is used
mainly of Israel's restoration, but is also used concerning individuals and
Nations. The equivalent Greek expression, apart from 2. Timothy 3:1, is
used exclusively of Israel.
The first occurrence is in Genesis 49:1 and the second Deut. 4:25-30.
This latter passage should be carefully read, as having special bearing
on our thesis. Other passages are Deut. 31:29; Deut. 32:20, 29; Isaiah
2:2; Jeremiah 23:20; Jeremiah 30:24; Jeremiah 31:17; Ezekiel 38:8, 16;
Daniel 8:19, 23; Daniel 10:14; Daniel 2:28; Daniel 12:8; and Hosea
In the Greek Scriptures the following passages refer to the same period
of time or some part of it and should also be read with the former:
John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; John 7:37; John 11:24; John 12:48; Acts 2:17;
Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; 1. Peter 1:5, 20; 2. Peter 3:3; 1. John 2:18; Jude
18. Some of these passages say 'the last time' instead of the 'last or
latter days,' but for this reason they should not be set aside.
It may be helpful to look at a few of the passages where these words
are used in connection with God's restoration and redemption of Israel,
for apart from one passage 2. Tim. 3:1, they are used EXCLUSIVELY of
Israel in the N.T.; although the word ACHARITH is sometimes used
Individuals and Nations.
"And Jacob called his sons, and said, Gather yourselves
that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last
(ACHARITH)." Gen. 49:1.
" When thou shalt beget children , and ye shall have remained
long in the
Land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven
image , or the likeness of anything , and shall do evil in the sight
of the Lord thy God , to provoke Him to anger : I call heaven
and earth to witness against you this day , that ye shall soon
utterly perish from off the Land whereunto ye go over Jordan to
possess it ; ye shall not prolong your days upon it , but shall
utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the
Nations , and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen
( Nations ) , whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall
serve gods , the work of men's hands , wood and stone , which
neither see nor hear , nor eat , nor smell. But if from thence thou
shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him , if thou seek Him
all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribula-
tion (TSAR), and all these things are come upon thee , even in the
latter days ( ACHARITH ) , if thou turn to the Lord thy God , and
shalt be obedient unto His voice ;
( For the Lord is a merciful
God ; ) He will not forsake thee , neither destroy thee , nor forget
the covenant of thy
fathers which He sware unto
them . "
" For I know that after my death
ye will utterly corrupt your-
selves , and turn aside from the way which I have commanded
you; and evil will befall you in the latter days ( ACHARITH ). "
" And He said , I will hide
My face from them , I will see what
(ACHARITH) shall be." Deut. 32:20.
" O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would
consider their latter end (ACHARITH)." Deut. 32:29.
" And it shall come to pass in the last days ( ACHARITH ) the
of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the
shall be exalted above the hills." Isaiah 2:2.
" The anger of the Lord shall not return , until He have executed,
till He have performed the thoughts of His heart : in the
( ACHARITH ) ye shall consider it perfectly . " Jer.
" The fierce anger of the Lord
shall not return , until He
done it ,
and until He have performed the intents of His heart: in
days (ACHARITH) ye shall consider it." Jer. 30:24.
" And there is hope in thine end ( ACHARITH—expectation in
days ) , saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again
to their own
border." Jer. 31:17.
Concerning Gog and his allies it is written:
" After many days thou shalt be visited : in the latter
(ACHARITH) thou shalt come into the Land. . . .
And thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to
the Land; it shall be in the latter days (ACHARITH), and
I will bring
thee against My Land , that the heathen ( Nations )
may know Me, when I shall
be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before
their eyes." Ezek. 38:8 and
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh
to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter
(ACHARITH)." Dan. 2:28.
" And He said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in
end (ACHARITH) of the indignation. . . .
And in the latter time (ACHARITH) of their kingdom, when the
transgressors are come to the full." Dan. 8:19 and 23.
" Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy
the latter days (ACHARITH)." Dan.10:14.
"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I , O my Lord,
be the end (ACHARITH) of these things." Dan. 12:8.
" Afterward shall
the children of Israel return , and seek the
Lord their God , and David
their king ; and shall fear the Lord
and His goodness in the latter days
( ACHARITH )." Hosea 3:5.
From these Scriptures it may be seen that "in the latter days" covers
an extended period of time. Events at the commencement, during its
course and at its end, come under the heading, "in the latter days." Deut.
4:25-30, taken in conjunction with Deut. 30:1-10; Jer. 23:20 and 30:24;
and Hosea 3:5 all indicate the beginning, with restoration of the whole
of Israel to the Land in view. With this Ezek. 38:8 and 16 fall into
line. Isaiah 2:2 and Micah 4:1 and 2 cover the middle, and the passages
in Daniel the end of the period.
Bearing all these facts in mind the position of Jeremiah 30:7 can be
considered. It will be noticed that the word
ACHARITH occurs in verse 11 of chapter 29 in verse 24 of
chapter 30 and verse 17 of chapter 31 The greater part of
these chapters deals with the restoration of Israel to the Land
and its sequel and the immediate context, Jer. 30:3 is:
" For lo , the days come , saith the Lord , that I will
the captivity of my People Israel and Judah , saith the Lord:
I will cause them to return
to the Land that I gave to
fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that
spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah ( not yet
united ). For
thus saith the Lord : We have heard a voice of
trembling, of fear, and
not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether
a man doth travail with child?
Wherefore do I see every man
with his hands on his loins , as a woman in
travail , and all faces
are turned into paleness?
Alas , for that day is great , so that none is like it: it is even the
time of Jacob's trouble , but he
shall be saved out of it. For it
come to pass in that day , saith the Lord of hosts, that I
will break his
yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and
no more serve themselves of him : But they
shall serve the Lord their God , and David their king , whom I
up unto them. Therefore fear thou not , O My servant
Jacob , saith the
Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel, for, lo, I
will save thee from afar ,
and thy seed from the land of their
captivity ; and Jacob shall return ,
and shall be in rest, and be
quiet, and none shall make him afraid."
Obviously, with the quotation of this passage in its context, it
places itself before the restoration of Israel to the Land.
When, in due course, they get there Israel will find the Land in
desolation. Scorched earth aptly describes what they will find,
for Gog has been led to come up against the Land and has
devastated it, destroying the cities and villages that have been so
laboriously built and the crops that have been raised are no more. It will
be this invasion that will bring about their condition just described.
Fear, with the memory of Hitler's
massacres still on their mind and the expectation of worse to come,
world-wide Jewry will throw themselves upon the mercy of their Lord God,
as it were in sackcloth and ashes, and in
response GOD will, by His power alone, destroy Gog and his
allies in the land before separating Israel from the Nations and
leading them back as described in Ezek. 20:33-38.
Need anything more be said to emphasise that Jacob's trouble and (the)
great tribulation of Matt. 24 and other passages are not the same.
The church, the body—
the MAN OF SIN
Jacob's trouble . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.the great tribulation
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restoration in the apostasy