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A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Olivet Discourse" in Matthew 24

Kuruvilla Thomas
Bangalore
Published on 2 October 2017




Matthew 24 Timeline

Fig. 1


Introduction

This study treats the "Olivet Discourse" in Matthew 24 as a cryptochiasmus in order to arrive at a coherent reconfiguration of the text. Text that is structured as a cryptochiasmus must be rearranged based on certain principles to be correctly interpreted. A cryptochiasmus is a new concept; see definition in [1]. If you wish to skip the technicalities of a chiastic parse, you may read starting from Section 4 of the Discussion section, which has the reconfigured text.

Many scholars have come to the conclusion that the "Olivet Discourse" is an interweaving of several prophecies into one narrative, and we concur. With this chiastic reconstruction, we will show that this prophecy from Jesus makes predictions about three distinct Periods, and we will address some of the confusion regarding this text, including the "this generation will not pass..." problem.


Note:
We will use the term "Judahite" to refer to the Israelites - primarily those of the tribe of Judah and their descendants - that remained after the Assyrian exile of the Northern Tribes; we will try to avoid the term "Jew" to avoid the confusion it introduces.


Discussion

1. Presuppositions

The disciples ask Jesus three questions in vs. 3: when will this happen? (the destruction of the temple predicted in vs. 2), what will be the sign of your coming?, and of the end of the age? Jesus' prophetic reply, we believe, is regarding the three Periods listed below:

  1. The attack on Jerusalem (70AD) during the The First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD).
  2. The tribulation period before Christ's millennial reign (from 2017AD). The tribulation and persecution of this Period seem to come from Satan through his human worshippers. We get the 2017AD date for the start of this Period from our parse of Revelation 12 [8].
  3. The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD). Christ returns in all his glory at the start of the last days, and the faithful are gathered up. We get the c. 2967AD date for the End of the Age from our parse of Daniel 10-12 [7].

2. Parsing the chiasmus

We will use the NIV translation for this parse.

Parsing this chiasmus involves dividing the text into three categories as above. We will call the period of the First Jewish-Roman war Period 1, the period of the pre-millennial tribulation Period 2 and the "End of the Age" or the last days Period 3.

Categorizing Matthew 24:4-44

Vs 4-14 belong to Period 2. False messiahs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and persecution. Note that all these troubles can be man-made, even the earthquakes. The gospel will be preached to all nations.

Vs 15-22 belong to Period 1. The Judahites are warned to flee as soon as they saw the Roman army ("the abomination") in Jerusalem. Note that these verses refer to a localized event in Judea: only the residents of Judea are warned to flee to the mountains; the mention of "winter" implies that this does not apply to the whole world (winter in the Northern Hemisphere is summer in the Southern); and fleeing on the Sabbath is a problem that only affects Judahites.

Vs 23-28 belong to Period 2. False prophets arise. The Messiah's fame will spread rapidly like lightning (however, this is not the final coming of Christ in glory). The "vulture and carcass" adage helps the faithful identify the Messiah.

Vs 29-31 belong to Period 3. Signs in the heavens. Christ appears in all his glory and the elect are gathered.

Vs 32-33 belong to Period 2. The proverb of the fig tree indicates that the coming of the Millennial reign can be discerned by the signs of this Period.

Vs 34 belongs to Period 1. The text "this generation will not pass away..." points to a period within one generation of Jesus' time.

Vs 35 belongs to Period 2. The phrase "my words will never pass away" refers to the eternal Gospel that is preached to all nations by this Period, so connecting this verse to vs 14. (See Luke 16:16,17 and the "everlasting gospel" in Revelation 14:6.)

Vs 36-44 belong to Period 3. It will be "as it was in the days of Noah". That is, no one will know the hour of the coming of Christ in glory.

This chiasmus does not have a clear closing boundary. Although we chose verse 44 as the end of this chiastic structure, the rest of the chapter and the next chapter, Ch. 25, continue in the same vein with parables about being prepared for Christ's arrival and about being a faithful steward. As an accommodation, we will reconfigure this prophecy in such a way that it ends with Period 3, which will "flow" naturally into the rest of the chapter.




Original text

We color-code the chiastic units of the original text (NIV) below for easy visual identification using: red for Period 1, blue for Period 2, green for Period 3, and black for text outside the chiasmus


Matthew 24 1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”


4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.



3. Building the reconfigured text

From this parse, it appears that verses 4-35 form a 3-unit cryptochiasmus as below:

A1   4-14 Period 2. False messiahs, wars, and rumors of wars and persecution.
  B1   15-22 Period 1. Abomination of desolation. Flee to the mountains.
    C1   23-28 Period 2. False messiahs, lightning from the east, vultures.
      X   29-31 Period 3. Signs in heaven, Christ in glory, gathering up.
    C2   32-33 Period 2. Fig tree parable.
  B2   34 Period 1. This generation will not pass away...
A2   35 Period 2. ...my words will never pass away.


We now reconstruct the phrases in the right order based on the chiastic structure above and based on the ordering rules of a cryptochiasmus [1].

We lead with central pivot point 'X'. The corresponding subunits (For ex., subunit A1 corresponds to A2) are placed contiguously to form units (For ex., A1,A2 is a unit ) so that we get a list of such units.


The sequence selected for rearrangement is:

X  [A1,A2]  [B1,B2]  [C1,C2]       (1)

We have the following sequence when we include verse 36-44:
X         - Period 3
[A1,A2] - Period 2
[B1,B2] - Period 1
[C1,C2] - Period 2
v 36-44 - Period 3. Christ's unexpected return.

We still have text for the Periods in a non-contiguous form. We treat this as multiply-applied cryptochiasmus as below:


M1   X Period 3
  N1   [A1,A2] Period 2
   XX   [B1,B2] Period 1
  N2   [C1,C2] Period 2
M2   v 36-44 Period 3

The sequence selected for rearrangement is:
XX  [N1,N2]  [M1,M2]        (2)

Note that we placed [N1,N2] before [M1,M2] in order to get the time Periods in chronological sequence and also to get it to "flow" with the rest of the chapter. The rules of cryptochiasmus [1] allow this as there is no discernible change in meaning.

Translating this sequence (2) into the sub-units of the first chiasmus, we get:

[B1,B2]  [[A1, A2], [C1,C2]]   [X, v 36-44]        (3)

Further translating (3) into verse numbers, we get:

[15-22,34]  [[4-14,35] [23-28, 32-33]]   [29-31, 36-44]        (4)

We arrive at the reconfigured passage in the next section by rearranging the verses so they are in sequence (4). The introductory verses in Matthew 24 outside the chiasmus are included for completeness.




4. Matthew 24 Reconfigured

Introduction (vs. 1-3)

(Verses 1-3 lie outside the chiasmus but are included here because they introduce the prophecy.)


Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”


Period 1. The Destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD during the First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD) (vs. 15-22,34)

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.


Period 2. The tribulation period before Christ's millennial reign (from 2017AD) (vs. 4-14, 35, 23-28, 32-33)

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.


Period 3 The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD) (vs. 29-31, 36-44)

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.





5. A Commentary on the Reconfigured Text.

We split the passage into 4 sections as above for analysis: The introductory passage and the 3 Periods.

5.1 Introductory Passage (vs. 1-3)

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”


The disciples were admiring the magnificent temple at Jerusalem that Herod built when Jesus predicted that the temple will be completely destroyed. This prediction that "not one stone here will be left on another" came true, quite literally in 70 AD.



3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”


The disciples then asked three questions: when will this happen? (the destruction of the temple), what will be the sign of the coming age of Christ?, and what will the be sign of the end of the age? As we see below, Jesus gives them details on all three events and answers the questions about the signs in three different ways: he gives a definite sign for the first event, a set of signs that indicates approximately when the second event will happen, and says there will be no sign at all for the third.



5.2 Period 1. The Destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD during the First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD) (vs. 15-22,34)


15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— "


The "abomination" is the Roman army and its allies that laid siege to "the holy place", Jerusalem (see Luke 21:20). The Romans killed almost all the Judahites in the city and destroyed the city and its temple (they "caused desolation"). This "abomination " is mentioned in several places in Daniel (Dan. 9:27 [2], Dan. 11:31, 12:11 [7]), and it is the sure sign indicating the immediate arrival of this period of tribulation. The phrase "let the reader understand" may be an acknowledgement of the difficulty of understanding these prophecies in Daniel. (For more details on this Period, see our paper on "The 70 weeks of Daniel" [2] and a history of the war in [3].)



16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.


Jesus exhorted his followers in Judea to flee immediately on seeing the Roman soldiers. According to some historians, the Judahites fled to Pella [4] which is located at the foothills of the Transjordanian Mountains. The Judahite Christian's prayer that their flight does not take place in winter was apparently answered because it took place in the spring (around Mar.) of 70.



21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.


The Romans were ruthless and thorough in their efforts to annihilate the Judahites and destroy their city. This level of comprehensive destruction of a people and their city has never been equaled and will never happen again. The historian Josephus wrote about this period, "…Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were…."



22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.


As we have seen in the paper on "The 70 weeks of Daniel" [2], through a covenant between God and Titus, the Romans were given a period of 7 years for the destruction of the Judahites. After that, the Roman assault was "cut short" and the protection of the Judahites was reinstated by God for the sake of the "elect" - the Christian Judahites who fled to the mountains.



34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.


The events of 70 AD happened within a generation of Jesus' time. The Judahites who converted to Christianity were the only people who moved from the Old Covenant to the New without a break.

We surmise that it was necessary to kill off the Judahites who did not believe in Jesus within one generation to completely close the book on the Old Covenant, so that only Christian Judahites remained. The Judahites of the time were given every reason to believe in Jesus and escape this massacre: they were the first people Jesus and his followers preached to; and they witnessed first-hand a large number of miracles. But they chose to torment and kill Jesus (see Matt.27:25) and his followers. Most of the Judahites who ended up killed by the Romans were the Pharisees and their kind, whom Jesus excoriates in the previous chapter, Matt. 23. They followed a Judaism that was corrupted by Satanic ideas from Babylon (See Matt. 23:15, Rev. 2:9, John 8:44).



5.3 Period 2. The tribulation period before Christ's millennial reign (from 2017AD) (vs. 4-14, 35, 23-28, 32-33)

The narrative of this Period seems to be arranged in a chiastic structure (a regular chiasm and so no rearrangement is required). The first section (vs. 4-8) and the last (vs. 23-28, 32-33) seem to describe events before the start of the reign of the Antichrist or Beast system, and the central pivot section (vs. 9-14, 35) seems to describe the reign itself and its end.



4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.


Jesus outlines some of the signs and troubles of this Period: wars, rumors of wars, famine and earthquakes (the woman in Rev. 12:1 is another sign of this time [8]). The tribulations of this Period come from Satan and his worshippers, who rule the world at this time. False messiahs from Satan will try to lead people astray by showing them signs and wonders and teaching false doctrines.



9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.


For Christians, this time of tribulation comes in the form of persecution and executions. Many will fail the test but those who patiently endure will be saved.



14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


The everlasting Gospel ("good message") of the one true God and of Christ will be preached to all the nations (see also Rev. 14:6), notably to the Northern Tribes of Israel, who have been blinded by God to Christ's message because of the waywardness of their forefathers. After this, Satan's reign on earth will end and Christ's will begin.



23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.


Although we do not believe that Christ will come in all his heavenly glory at this time, the Messiah's arrival will be made known almost simultaneously around the earth, just as lightning in the east is visible in the west. The Messiah will not be found in secret or isolated places. Jesus uses the "vultures" proverb to help identify the Messiah. Just as circling vultures indicate the presence of a carcass on the ground, so also will there be signs to indicate the presence of the true Messiah (see also Luke 17:37 [5]). We believe that Christ's earthly reign will be enforced by a human representative of David's line, in the same way that Satan's present reign is executed through humans that belong to certain bloodlines.



32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.


Just as tender twigs and sprouting leaves on a fig tree indicate summer is here, so also the signs of this Period (wars, famines, earthquakes etc.) indicate the Messiah's reign will come soon.



5.4 Period 3. The Start of the End Times Tribulation (unknown date before 2967AD) (vs. 29-31, 36-44)


29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’


The "distress of those days" may refer to momentous earthly events - earthquakes (Rev 6:12) and anguish and perplexity at the at the roaring and tossing of the sea (Luke 21:25,26) - and signs in the heavens (Luke 21:25) that occur at this time. The stars and heavenly bodies seem to represent Satan's angels that control the nations outside the New Israel - their reign ends and they face judgement (see Isaiah 24:21-23, Psalm 82:6-8 and the opening of the 6th seal Rev 6:12-14 [9]).



30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

The Son of Man, Jesus Christ, returns in all his glory as he begins to "gather the elect" (rapture) up into heaven. The wicked will "mourn" and cower in terror at this sight (Rev. 6:15-17).



36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

No one will know the day or the hour of Christ's coming in glory for the rapture, not even the Son, Christ himself. This verse is strong evidence against the concept of a "trinity" of co-equal Gods.



37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

We believe that this verse is a parenthetical prediction of the date of Christ's final return at the resurrection (Rev 20:11-15) and not this initial return at the start of the rapture (for which no one knows the day or hour). The KJV renders this verse, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be". The age of Noah, the father of mankind, at his death was 950 years (Gen 9:29), which is the same period of time as that between the 2017AD date at the start of the Millennial reign (see parse of Rev 12 [8]) and the 2967AD date at its end (see parse of Daniel 10-12 [7] ). So this verse acts as a sort of validation of the computation of the resurrection date at the end of days. (Interestingly, adding in the 49 years of the coming Messiah's age in 2017AD [2] gets us to around one full millennium.)



38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.


The coming of the Son of Man and the initial "rapture" will happen at a completely unexpected time, while people are living a normal life. The period of the final tribulations begins with this event.

The rest of the chapter and the next chapter, Ch. 25, continue with parables that exhort Christians to be prepared for Christ and to be faithful stewards. There is the implication in these passages that those found living unrighteous lives at the time will not be raptured and will face the end-times tribulations.




Conclusion

With this chiastic reconfiguration, we have shown that this passage contains three interwoven prophecies. While the First Jewish-Roman War appears in all prophetic chiastic reconfigurations, the common theme that connects the other two Periods seems to be the advent of Christ's reign and the associated tribulations (ie., the start of his earthly Millennial Reign, and the start of his Heavenly Reign).

The versions of the Olivet discourse in Matthew, Mark and Luke are all chiastically arranged in a similar manner. Although there are variations in the versions on the surface, remarkably, they all are the same at a deeper structural level. This, to us, is further evidence that the Bible ia divinely inspired and that every "jot and tittle" has been preserved in the text.





References

[1] A Definition of Cryptochiasmus
[2] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The 70 Weeks Of Daniel"
[3] First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) by Wikipedia.
[4] Flight to Pella by Wikipedia
[5] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Condensed Olivet Discourse" in Luke 17:22-37
[6] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 8
[7] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 10-12. Part 3: Daniel 12.
[8] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Revelation 12
[9] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Revelation 4-22 Part 3








Related pages

Daniel 9
Mark 13
Luke 21
Luke 17:22-37
Cryptochiasmus