Home>Matthew 24:1-2

Kathleen Kenyon – “The city of Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa was brutally destroyed and devastated after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70, and its ruins still further overturned by the Hadrianic building operations of the second century A.D. Our excavations have shown that with the exception of a few of the public buildings, quite literally scarcely one stone stands on another.” (“Digging Up Jerusalem” London: Ernest Benn, 1974) pp. 236-37)


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The Earthly Jewish Temples as the Copies of the True


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Matthew 24:1-2

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. “Do you see all these buildings? I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Fourfold Commentary on The Olivet Discourse | Golden Chain – Matthew 24:2 | Clarke’s Commentary on Matthew 24



David Brown
Contrary to popular perceptionthe Wailing Wall was never a part of the Temple itself, but is merely the exposed Southwestern portion of the massive platform (or “Temple Mount”) upon which the Holy Temple once stood, and which now supports the Dome of the Rock and the El Aqsa mosque.  The Temple itself has long since been utterly and completely obliterated, to the point that scholars still argue about its exact positioning on the mount. What is known is that the Holy of Holies was on the Western end, which is the main reason the Western Wall of the platform became so important to later generations of Jews — it was as close as they could get to the Holy of Holies without actually going on top of the mount, which the most conservative factions will not do, for fear of inadvertently treading on the Most Holy site and profaning it.” (http://www.amfi.org)

Bryan Schwartzman
“(Dan Bahat) argued that the Western Wall — for centuries considered Judaism’s holiest site — was part of the “newer” area built by King Herod, and therefore not included in the Second Temple’s original layout, and thus, not specifically a holy place.” (Israel’s ‘Indy’ Puts Forth His Facts)


Preterist Commentaries from Historical Preterism

“How means He from this, “that one stone shalt not be left upon another?” Either as conveying the notion of its utter overthrow; or with respect to the place in which it stood, for its parts were broken up to its very foundations. But I would add, that, after the fate it underwent, the most captious might be satisfied that its very fragments have perished.”  (
Homily lxxv)

J.W. McGarvey, Philip Y. Pendelton (1914)
“{But Jesus answered and said unto them, him,} Seest thou these great buildings? See ye not all these things? As for these things which ye behold, averily I say unto you, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that {which} shall not be thrown down.

“In the very hour when the disciples exulted in the apparent permanency of their glorious temple, Jesus startled them by foretelling its utter destruction, which, within forty years, was fulfilled to the letter. The emperor Vespasian, and his son Titus, after a three years’ siege, took Jerusalem and destroyed its temple, A. D. 70.  Of the temple proper not a vestige was left standing, but the vast platform upon which it stood, composed partly of natural rock and partly of immense masonry, was for the most part left standing. The destruction of the city and temple, however, was so complete that those who visited it could hardly believe that it had ever been inhabited–Jos. Wars vii. 1. ” (Fourfold Commentary on The Olivet Discourse)

“Christ, when He had foretold all that should come upon Jerusalem, “went forth out of the temple,” He, who while He was in it, had upheld the temple that it should not fall. And so each man, being the temple of God by reason of the Spirit of God dwelling in him, is himself the cause of his being deserted, that Christ should depart from him. It is worthy of note how they “shew Him the buildings of the temple,” as though He had never seen them. We reply, that when Christ had foretold the destruction that should come upon the temple, His disciples were amazed at the thought that so magnificent buildings should be utterly ruined, and therefore they shew them to Him to move Him to pity, that He would not do what He had threatened. And because the constitution of human nature is wonderful, being made the temple of God, the disciples and the rest of the saints confessing the wonderful working of God in respect of the forming of men, intercede before the face of Christ, that He would not forsake the human race for their sins.”

“The historical sense is clear, that in the forty-second year after the Lord’s passion, the city and temple were overthrown under the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus.” (
Golden Chain – Matthew 24:2

“So it was ordained of God, that as soon as the light of grace was revealed, the temple with its ceremonies should be taken out of the way, lest any weakling in the faith, beholding all the things [p. 800] instituted of the Lord and hallowed by the Prophets yet abiding, might be gradually drawn away from the purity of the faith to a carnal Judaism.”  (
Golden Chain – Matthew 24:2)

Philip Schaff
The forbearance of God with his covenant people, who had crucified their own Saviour, reached it last its limit. As many as could be saved in the usual way, were rescued. The mass of the people had obstinately set themselves against all improvement. James the Just, the man who was fitted, if any could be, to reconcile the Jews to the Christian religion, had been stoned by his hardened brethren, for whom he daily interceded in the temple; and with him the Christian community in Jerusalem had lost its importance for that city. The hour of the “great tribulation” and fearful judgment drew near. The prophecy of the Lord approached its literal fulfilment: Jerusalem was razed to the ground, the temple burned, and not one stone was left upon another. (p. 397-398)

Preterist Commentaries from Modern Preterism

Adam Clarke
“There shall not be left here one stone— These seem to have been the last words he spoke as he left the temple, into which he never afterwards entered; and, when he got to the mount of Olives, he renewed the discourse. From this mount, on which our Lord and his disciples now sat, the whole of the city, and particularly the temple, were clearly seen. This part of our Lord’s prediction was fulfilled in the most literal manner. Josephus says, War, book vii. c. 1: “Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the whole city and temple, 
te polin apasan kai ton newn kataskeptein, except the three towers, Phaselus, Hippicus, and Mariamne, and a part of the western wall, and these were spared; but, for all the rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground, by those who dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited.” Maimonides, a Jewish rabbin, in Tract. Taanith, c. 4, says, “That the very foundations of the temple were digged up, according to the Roman custom.” His words are these: “On that ninth day of the month Ab, fatal for vengeance, the wicked Turnus Rufus, of the children of Edom, ploughed up the temple, and the places round about it, that the saying might be fulfilled, Zion shall be ploughed as a field.” This Turnus, or rather Terentius Rufus, was left general of the army by Titus, with commission, as the Jews suppose, to destroy the city and the temple, as Josephus observes. The temple was destroyed 1st. Justly; because of the sins of the Jews. 2dly. Mercifully; to take away from them the occasion of continuing in Judaism: and 3dly. Mysteriously; to show that the ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation introduced.” (Commentary on Matthew 24 in loc).

R.C. Sproul
“To first-century Jews it was unthinkable that such catastrophic events as the destruction of the Herodian temple, the devastation of the holy city of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jewish people to the four corners of the earth could take place in the foreseeable future.  Such events were eminently not foreseeable, save to one who had information from the omniscient God himself.”  
(Last Days, pp.13)

Greek Word Studies


#2411 hieron {hee-er-on’} from 2413

1) a sacred place, temple
a) used of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus
b) used of the temple at Jerusalem

#3485 naos {nah-os’} from a primary naio (to dwell)

1) used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure)
2) any heathen temple or shrine
3) metaph. the spiritual temple consisting of the saints of all ages joined together by and in Christ

Sharon Nichols
“Did anyone else look into this? What I discovered was that #2411 (the whole temple) is NEVER used in Revelation, it is always #3485, which is the holy sanctuary and the holy of holies (which by definition excludes the courts).

The difference between these two words can also be seen very well in Rev. 11:2:

“But the court which is without the temple (3485) leave out, and measure it not, for it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.

In this one verse we have mention of the “courts” outside the holy sanctuary (which would be part of #2411), the “temple” (3485) and the “holy city”.”


The Tower of Antionia

4. (403) Now on the north side [of the temple] was built a citadel, whose walls were square, and strong, and of extraordinary firmness. This citadel was built by the kings of the Asamonean race, who were also high priests before Herod, and they called it the Tower, in which were reposited the vestments of the high priest, which the high priest only put on at the time when he was to offer sacrifice.  (404) These vestments king Herod kept in that place; and after his death they were under the power of the Romans, until the time of Tiberius Caesar; (405) under whose reign Vitellius, the president of Syria, when he once came to Jerusalem, and had been most magnificently received by the multitude, he had a mind to make them some requital for the kindness they had shown him; so, upon their petition to have those holy vestments in their own power, he wrote about them to Tiberius Caesar, who granted his request: and this their power over the sacerdotal vestments continued with the Jews till the death of king Agrippa; (406) but after that, Cassius Longinus, who was president of Syria, and Cuspius Fadus, who was procurator of Judea, enjoined the Jews to reposit those vestments in the tower of Antonia, (407) for that they ought to have them in their power, as they formerly had. However, the Jews sent ambas­sadors to ClaudiusCaesar, to intercede with him for them; upon whose coming, king Agrippa, Junior, being then at Rome, asked for and obtained the power over them from the emperor; who gave command to Vitellius, who was then commander in Syria, to give them it accordingly. (408) Before that time they were kept under the seal of the high priest, and of the treasurers, of the temple; which treasurers, the day before a festival, went up to the Roman captain of the temple guards, and viewed their own seal, and received the vest­ments; and again when the festival was over, they brought it to the same place, and showed the cap­tain of the temple guards their seal, which corresponded with his seal, and reposited them there. (409) And that these things were so, the afflictions that happened to us afterward [about them] are sufficient evidence: but for the tower it­self, when Herod theking of the Jews had fortified it more firmly than before, in order to secure and guard the temple, he gratified Antonius, who was his friend, and the Roman ruler, and then gave it the name of the Tower of Antonia.”

The Foundation of The Temple in Jerusalem

“There was a large wall to both the cloisters; which wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man. The hill was a rocky ascent, that declined by degrees towards the east parts of the city, till it came to an elevated level. This hill it was which Solomon, who was the first of our kings, by divine revelation, encompassed with a wall; it was of excellent workmanship upwards, and round the top of it. He also built a wall below, beginning at the bottom, which was encompassed by a deep valley; and at the south side he laid rocks together and bound them one to another with lead, and included some of the inner parts, till it proceeded to a great height, and till both the largeness of the square edifice and its altitude were immense, and till the vastness of the stones in the front were plainly visible on the outside, yet so that the inward parts were fastened together with iron, and preserved the joints immovable for all future times.  When this work [for the foundation] was done in this manner, and joined to­gether as part of the hill itself to the very top of it, he wrought it all into one outward surface, and filled up the hollow places which were about the wall, and made it a level on the external upper surface, and a smooth level also. This hill was walled all round, and in compass four furlongs, [the dis­tance of] each angle containing in length a furlong:  but within this wall, and on the very top of all, there ran another wall of stone also, having, on the east quarter, a double cloister, of the same length with the  wall; in the midst of which was the temple itself.”