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Matthew 24:30 and the "seeing"

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  • Matthew 24:30 and the "seeing"

    "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."

    I am trying to wrap my head around preterism, and I have only really dabbled in preterist books via google books and amazon "previewing" (I am a horribly cheap person.) And I am comfortable with how preterists interpret the rest of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, but 24:30 seems to be a stumbling block to me. When it says

    "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory."

    It is hard for me to interpret that in a non-literal way.
    I suppose my question is can the word "see" be used in a non-literal fashion? Or has the word "see" been used in a non literal fashion? Its the word "see" that I am getting hung up on here.

  • #2
    I believe in a future return and literally everyone on earth seeing Jesus. But I don't see why there couldn't have been a partial fulfillment with destruction of Jerusalem, and even before that. For example, Jesus doesn't specify a one-time only event, only, "hereafter":

    Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

    Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

    Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Leaf View Post
      "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."

      I am trying to wrap my head around preterism, and I have only really dabbled in preterist books via google books and amazon "previewing" (I am a horribly cheap person.) And I am comfortable with how preterists interpret the rest of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, but 24:30 seems to be a stumbling block to me. When it says

      "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory."

      It is hard for me to interpret that in a non-literal way.
      I suppose my question is can the word "see" be used in a non-literal fashion? Or has the word "see" been used in a non literal fashion? Its the word "see" that I am getting hung up on here.
      One meaning of ὁράω (see) listed in BDAG is to be mentally or spiritually perceptive, perceive.

      From The Gospel of Matthew (NICNT: Eerdmans, 2007), by R. T. France (pages 925-926 via Accordance):
      Matthew’s other addition to the Son of Man saying of Mark 13:26 is the puzzling introductory clause “And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven”, which, because of its obscurity, I have left to the last for comment in the hope that the sense of the rest of the saying may cast light on it. Some interpreters take the “of” to be epexegetic: “the sign which is the Son of Man in heaven;” in that case there is no separate “sign” in view, but the Son of Man himself. But if it is [Matt, p. 926] taken to speak of an actual sign belonging to or about the Son of Man, the sense will depend on whether “in heaven” is taken to specify the location in which the “sign” will be seen or as linked more closely with the immediately preceding words “the sign of the-Son-of-Man-in-heaven,” i.e. the sign of the heavenly authority of the Son of Man. Some take it in the former sense, and speak of a symbol visible in the sky, but there is little in the context to indicate what sort of “sign” might be expected. Some patristic writers supposed that the prediction was of a vision of a cross in the sky such as Constantine is reputed to have seen (Eusebius, Vit. Const. 1.28), but there is nothing in the context to suggest that and surely it would require some indication of what sort of “sign” to look for. If, however, “in heaven” is taken with “the Son of Man,” the following clauses perhaps suggest an answer. The tribes are to see the vindication and enthronement of the Son of Man in heaven, but how are they to “see” it, i.e. to know that it is true? Not perhaps by a celestial phenomenon, but by what is happening on earth as the temple is destroyed and the reign of the “Son-of-Man-in-heaven” begins to take effect in the gathering of his chosen people. In that case the “sign” is not a preliminary warning of an event still to come, but the visible manifestation of a heavenly reality already established, that the Son of Man is in heaven sitting at the right hand of Power (26:64).

      The disciples had asked for a “sign” of the parousia and the end of the age, but Jesus will give no such sign because the parousia will be sudden and unexpected (vv. 27, 36–44). He has urged them too not to interpret current events as signs of the end for Jerusalem (vv. 4–14), and while he has himself [Matt, p. 927] given them one cryptic sign of when that event is to be expected (v. 15) he has warned them that visible “signs and wonders” are rather the province of false prophets (v. 24). It would be consonant with that generally negative approach to the sort of “signs” the disciples (and earlier the Jewish leaders, 12:38; 16:1) wanted that the “sign” here offered is not a prior notification but simply the visible evidence of what has already been achieved.
      Last edited by John Reece; 01-23-2014, 08:09 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John Reece View Post
        It would be consonant with that generally negative approach to the sort of “signs” the disciples (and earlier the Jewish leaders, 12:38; 16:1) wanted that the “sign” here offered is not a prior notification but simply the visible evidence of what has already been achieved.[/indent]

        Do you mean that the destruction of Jerusalem was "the sign of the Son of Man"?

        Doesn't that imply also that Matthew must have been written after those events?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Geert van den Bos View Post
          Do you mean that the destruction of Jerusalem was "the sign of the Son of Man"?
          Not solely; read France's comment again, more carefully.

          Originally posted by Geert van den Bos View Post
          Doesn't that imply also that Matthew must have been written after those events?
          No.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Leaf View Post
            "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."

            I am trying to wrap my head around preterism, and I have only really dabbled in preterist books via google books and amazon "previewing" (I am a horribly cheap person.) And I am comfortable with how preterists interpret the rest of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, but 24:30 seems to be a stumbling block to me. When it says

            "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory."

            It is hard for me to interpret that in a non-literal way.
            I suppose my question is can the word "see" be used in a non-literal fashion? Or has the word "see" been used in a non literal fashion? Its the word "see" that I am getting hung up on here.


            It seemingly it is not about a seeing with the physical eyes, since after the preceding verse the sun has been darkened and the moon doesn't give light either.


            Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:


            "the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" --they are checkmate, Hebrew Shachmat - "mat" from "mut" = to totter., shake.

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            • #7
              I appreciate the input, thank you all.

              Comment


              • #8
                I found a noteworthy take on "the sign of the son of man".

                http://www.preteristsite.com/plain/w...html#matt2430a
                He would preach to them for three YEARS rather than just three DAYS. Ninevah, through the preaching of Jonah, was given forty DAYS to repent before destruction, Jerusalem was given forty YEARS and didn't repent. The Ninevites will quite justly rise up WITH "this generation" and condemn it. I emphasized "this" because whatever happened to long dead Ninevites will happen concurrently with THAT generation and the end result is condemnation, which requires either (1) that this is an event that will happen after all of "this generation" of vipers were dead or (2) any Jew who rejected Christ and survived the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 would have NO chance to repent for they were "resurrected" unbeknownst to them to damnation at that point though they may still live (and we know that many lived and fled to Massadah).

                Thus, while we are considering the "sign" of His coming—remember what "sign" He promised, that of Jonah—that those who would not repent would be destroyed within a specified period of time. The utter desolation of Jerusalem was indeed that sign. This buttresses Holford's contention that "the destruction of Jerusalem is irrefutable proof of the divine origin of Christianity." [Hol DoJ]
                What is there to say against?

                Matthew did specify the sign of Jonah as the three days and three nights Jesus would spend in the heart of the earth according to the three days and three nights Jonah did spent in the belly of the fish, and not as the three years of Jesus' preaching. Matthew even never mentions or hints at three years of preaching.

                +

                The 40 days that were left for Ninevé certainly were not meant to be literal 40 days, like also the three nights and three days of Jonah's stay in the belly of the fish were not menat to be literal three nights and three days in a the literal belly of a fish. The number 40 is number that occurs more often in connection with duration of a certain period of time. So you might ask what the number 40 might denote. (40 is the value of the letter "mem", which as a word means "water")

                +

                How would you arrive at the year 30AD as the year of the beginning of Jesus' preaching?

                +

                Jonah needed only a one day walk to have Ninevé repent.

                +
                If indeed it was this what Matthew meant (3 years preaching to overturn Jerusalem after 40 years) you might see that as one more proof that it was written after 70AD.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I do think the clue of the "three days and three nights" lies in Jonah 2:15,

                  And the Lord said to the fish, and it spewed Jonah onto the dry land.


                  the dry land = "hayabashah"

                  We know from the third day of creation.

                  The whole book of Jonah lays stress on that.

                  Jonah 1:9,
                  And he said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven, Who made the sea and the dry land."
                  - work of the third day.

                  Jonah 1:13,
                  And the men rowed vigorously to return to dry land, but they could not, for the sea was becoming stormier upon them.


                  To return to dry land = לְהָשִׁיב אֶל הַיַּבָּשָׁה, "l'hashiv al hayabashah" -- remarkable is that "hashiv" is a permutation of "yabashah" (written with the same letters).

                  Genesis 1:10, And God called the dry land earth

                  http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...ull=1#post7662

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