The Beginning of Birth Pangs & the Timing of Matthew 24

Joel Richardson

Among the many controversial and highly debated portions of Scripture, Matthew 24, most often referred to as “The Olivet Discourse,” or alternately, “The Olivet Prophecy,” is certainly close to the top of the list. The debate primarily swirls around the timing of the fulfillment of the prophecy. What time period was Jesus referring to? Preterist interpreters argue that the entirety of this prophecy was fulfilled in the events that surrounded the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70 A.D. Many Futurists, myself included, believe that Jesus was speaking here entirely of the last days. Many other commentators however, take a rather nebulous, confused or mixed view, seeing portions of the prophecy as speaking of the events of 70 A.D., other portions speaking of the last days, and other portions applying to all of history. C.A. Carson for instance, a brilliant scholar by any standard, outlines the passage as follows:

    vv. 4-14: General prophetic warnings for all of history.
    vv. 15-28: Prophecy concerning the events of 70 A.D.
    vv. 29-31: Prophecy concerning the second coming.
    vv. 32-35: Prophecy concerning the great tribulation.
    vv. 36-44: Timing here is unclear.

In my view, Carson’s outline of the passage is both confusing and confused. Unfortunately, this is merely one of many cases where the fog of scholarship hangs thick over a passage that Jesus intended to be clear and easy to understand.

In this brief and very limited paper, we will zero in on the meaning of Jesus’ reference to “birth pangs” (v.8) and why his use of this phrase clearly contextualizes the timing of the prophecy as the last days. Though the prophecy certainly could be understood to contain shadows of warnings concerning the events of 70 A.D., its ultimate context is clearly the final seven years. This view is consistent with, and bears the pattern of so many Old Testament prophecies, which often contain shadows of immediate or near fulfillment in the days of the prophet, but which have their ultimate and most precise fulfillment in the last days. By recognizing the thorough Day of the Lord emphasis, burden, and orientation of virtually all of the prophets, Bible students will find so much of the prophetic portions of Scripture significantly easier to understand.

By no means does this brief paper represent a comprehensive commentary on Matthew 24, nor even a full discussion of the many important portions of the text which define the timing of its fulfillment. The purpose here is only to highlight Jesus’ crucially definitive statement at the outset of the prophecy concerning “birth pangs”.

As the passage begins, the disciples had asked Jesus what would be the sign concerning the destruction of the Temple, his coming, and the end of the age. Jesus answered and said to them:

“See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” —Matthew 24:4-8

The phrase “the beginning of birth pangs” is a translation of the Greek archē ōdin (ἀρχή ὠδίν). The meaning of the phrase, translated in the KJV as “the beginning of sorrows” is a direct reference to preliminary birth pangs that ultimately lead to the full scale contractions and travail, which leads to the actual birth. Recognizing the Old Testament reference that Jesus was hearkening to is an essential, but often overlooked key to determining the timing of the prophecy. Jesus was pointing his disciples to two key passages from the prophet Isaiah.

The first passage is Isaiah 26, a portion of Scripture found in the middle of what is sometimes referred to as “Isaiah’s little apocalypse”. There, the Lord speaks through Isaiah, specifically contrasting the expectations of the Jewish people regarding deliverance, redemption and physical resurrection with the reality of the pain, suffering and travail that they had corporately experienced. In verses 16-18, the complaint of Israel is raised that despite having endured the great suffering of labor, the expected “birth” of deliverance, redemption and resurrection had not arrived:

O LORD, they sought you in distress; they could only whisper a prayer, your chastening was upon them. As the pregnant woman approaches the time to give birth, she writhes and cries out in her labor pains, thus were we before you, O LORD. We were pregnant, we writhed in labor, we gave birth, as it seems, only to wind. We could not accomplish deliverance for the earth, nor were inhabitants of the world born. —Isaiah 26:16-18

Instead of giving “birth”, to a child, which would be the natural expected conclusion of labor pains, instead Israel only gives birth “to wind”. But then the Lord interjects and promises that despite the great pains of the past, the day is indeed coming when Israel will in fact give birth. The birth however is not merely a baby, (though a very special baby would indeed come), but instead, the “birth” is a reference to the physical resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the gentile nations, the deliverance of the Jewish people, and ultimately, the redemption of the whole earth. The promises of the Lord ring out:

Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits. —Isaiah 26:19

Next, the passage speaks of that time that Jesus refers to as “the Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21):

Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while until indignation runs its course. For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain. —Isaiah 26:20-21

Later, in Isaiah 66, the themes of birth and resurrection are emphasized once again. What is so interesting about this particular reference is that it specifically addresses the paradox that the Messiah would actually be born long before the labor pains even begin:

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? —Isaiah 66:7

But then the Lord promises that unlike Israel’s former experiences, she would indeed give birth. Gone would be the days of labor pains without birth. The Lord promises that He will indeed bring about the messianic age. With it will come the redemption, resurrection, vindication and many comforts of that glorious age.

“Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God. Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her, that you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, that you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom. For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem. Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, And your bones will flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants, but He will be indignant toward His enemies. For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the LORD will be many. —Isaiah 66:9-16

In summary, after considering the most prominent references in the Old Testament to “birth pains” and the last days, we see that they are integrally linked to the following events:

    The great tribulation.
    The coming of the Messiah.
    The judgment of the nations.
    The vindication of Israel.
    The resurrection of the righteous dead.
    The redemption of creation.
    The glories of the Messianic age to come.

In conclusion, the point in considering these two passages is to help us recognize how the disciples, all highly Old Testament literate Jews, would have understood the reference to “the beginning of birth pains”. Not only was Jesus’ reference clear, but so also is the analogy of a birth very simple and easy to understand. The initial labor pains begin, increasingly becoming worse, until finally, the birth takes place. When Jesus began his prophecy by speaking of a series of specific signs, and referred to these events as “the beginning of birth pains”, he was clearly contextualizing the remainder of the prophecy as referring to the last days that would include all of the specific events listed above. Obviously, because the events of 70 A.D. did not include the physical resurrection of the dead, any effort to tie Jesus’ prophecy to the events that surrounded the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, is seen to be a clear distortion of the passage. When we simply acknowledge Jesus’ clear reference to Isaiah’s prophecy, there is no room for the Preterist view that Jesus was speaking of the events of 70 A.D. Jesus’ Olivet Discourse is a prophecy the entirety of which is concerning the last days, all of which are yet future.

45 Responses to The Beginning of Birth Pangs & the Timing of Matthew 24

  1. […] The Beginning of Birth Pangs & the Timing of Matthew 24 […]

  2. Philip Brown says:

    Great comments Joel. I would also point out that Revelation 12 is a continuation of the woman in labor. Revelation 12 has strong parallels to Isaiah 66:9-16. The symbol of the woman in labor is also used in 1 Thessalonians 5:3. After the resurrection is the “sudden-destruction” wrath of God (Isiah 26:19-21). The well-known symbol of the woman in labor is also why Jesus was surprised at Nicodemus for not understanding why we must be “born again” (John 3:9-10) in order to enter the kingdom. Nicodemus was a “teacher of Israel” but did not remember that the “earth will give birth to the dead” (Isaiah 26:19). “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to [spiritual]” bodies (John 3:6). This is not to say that there isn’t truth to a figurative “born again” experience. But most symbols have their root in the literal. We are forever saved from death when we are “born again” into eternal-life “spiritual” bodies.

  3. Chase Norman says:

    The only reason that i can think of why people think Jesus was talking about 70AD is because Jesus said this would all happen in that Generation,

    Joel,could you comment on that key word used when describing these events?

  4. securitymom says:

    Nice commentary Joel. I do enjoy all your work. And actaully – I hate to post this here but after emailing you at 3 different email addresses and getting no response – I just want an answer please. I ordered your MidEast Beast/DVD special back on Oct 2 and never received it. I look forward to reading it – please check your emails and respond please. I’d rather have your work than a paypal refund. Kindest regards.

  5. Joel says:

    Phillip,

    Excellent.

  6. Philip Brown says:

    I think there were two generations that would not pass away, until all these things have happened. The generation of Christ was focused upon in Luke 21. That adult generation did not pass away until they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies in 70 AD (Luke 21:20). After that, the time of the Gentiles continued with Jerusalem being trampled upon by Gentiles (Luke 21:24) until 1967. After the Six Day War, Gentiles no longer controlled Jerusalem. This marked the adult end-time generation, as focused upon in Matthew 24. That adult (baby-boom) generation will not pass away before the return of Christ and the end of the great tribulation.

  7. Joel says:

    There are a few possible explanations for how (genea) relates to this end time prophecy. Some say it simply means race. Some say it is a reference to the final generation. My view is a bit more nuanced. I believe that Jesus used it to ultimately refer to the final generation that sees the events described in the prophecy, but it also had a bit of a double meaning, subtly pointing to those who would witness and experience the events of 70 A.D.

    Preterists will argue that it can only mean one thing. Apparently Jesus is not allowed to speak in a more nuanced, subtle manner, using any form of hint or double meaning, unless he first receives their permission.

  8. Joel says:

    In my view, Luke 21 is also future, an end-time prophecy. By the time the Roman armies arrived at and surrounded Jerusalem, it was much too late to depart or flee to the mountains. Josephus records the account of over 4000 who were killed in one night as they made efforts to leave. They were often cut open in the search for a few pieces of silver in their bellies. As such, if Luke 21 primarily refers to 70 A.D. as many argue, then Jesus was giving some horrendous advice. The armies marched slowly to Jerusalem from the North, taking various cities along the way. Good advice would have been more along the lines of, “When you hear of armies coming for Jerusalem from the North, flee ahead of time.”

    A good article below:

    http://www.signetringministries.org/2012/09/23/luke-2120-24-fulfilled-or-future/

  9. Giles says:

    this is a good website.

    Does the phrase “until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled” refer to the 1967 war and capture of Jerusalem? (i.e. from babylonian exile til 67, gentiles controlled jerusalem).
    I seem to recall you speaking about it in one of your books, or in another article on this site bt cant remember where. Was that the 6 day war, or is this to do with future events?

  10. Greg says:

    I attempted to post a comment but was blocked. Have a blessed day!

  11. Joel says:

    Securitymom,

    For some very odd reason, my e-mail was kicking out your e-mails into my junk folder (including your order). I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. I’d be happy to send out what you wanted. Just send me an e-mail or let me know here.

    Blessings

  12. Faust says:

    Joel, I am still quite perturbed that you would ever think that the Patriots could ever beat the cowboys? The baffling thing is not a Preterist view of Matthew 24, but rather that a 49er would ever beat a patriot that would beat a cowboy. A pick-axe, against a rifle, against two six shooters- you be the judge! Cowboys take ALL.
    Americans Team forever!

    Faust

  13. Joel says:

    Jesus is a Patriot.

  14. Christine Annunziato says:

    Great article and praying for you and your family. Hope to have you back in Cali soon!…Keep up the great work!! 🙂

  15. Joel says:

    Hi Christine. Oh yeah, I do hope to come out again. Say hi to the crew for me. Blessings!

  16. Bruce says:

    Is the biblical hermeneutic for Isaiah to interpret Jesus or for Jesus to interpret Isaiah?

  17. […] Source Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailMoreDiggPrintRedditStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInGoogle +1PinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  18. Geórge says:

    Brother Joel,

    Are you aware of a blogger named Alan Kurshner? He really has it in for you.

    http://www.alankurschner.com/2012/11/17/a-response-to-richardsons-interpretation-of-the-beginning-of-birth-pangs-in-matthew/

  19. Joel says:

    George,

    Thanks for that. I read through the link. As I did, I was scratching my head, as the author has entirely misrepresented my view. I am actually in full agreement with his perspective, and versa-visa. I went back and read through my article to see if I was perhaps not clear enough in my brevity, but cannot seem to understand how it was so misread. Based on what I have read, he appears to be an over anxious brother taking the theologian-as-MMA-fighter approach to promoting his ministry. Of course, within the world of theology, some debates need to be had, but even then, it must be done in a brotherly manner and proper spirit. By the grace of God, as the Body of Christ, we will all mature to this place together.

  20. Geórge says:

    *This comment has been removed by Joel*

  21. […] in Israel’s repentance and deliverance) and the beginning of birth pangs in Matthew 24:4-8, read about it here.  Just because similar terminology is used does not always mean there is a direct parallel.  The […]

  22. chris says:

    While it seems that just about everything here makes sense and I’m in agreement with, there’s one giant exception; where in the world does everyone come to the solid conclusion of some sort of 7 year ‘tribulation’? I consistently see only 3 1/2 years of a Antichrist reign, that’s all.

  23. Joel says:

    Chris,

    The key to understanding Daniel’s final 70th week (Daniel 9:24,25) is Jesus’ commentary in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21. In Matthew 24: 4-14, Jesus is primarily describing the first half of the week as the beginning of birth pangs. Then after verse 15, after the Abomination of Desolations, come the major tribulations, particularly in the land of Israel. While I would agree with you technically that the “Great Tribulation” primarily refers to the final 3.5 years, the first 3.5 years, aka. the beginnings of birth pangs, does include major global upheavals, great persecution and the Antichrist will already be quite active during this time, even if not primarily to destroy the saints. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t look too lightly on these times, though your point is understood.

    Here is an excellent article discussing this in much greater detail:

    http://the.mysteryofisrael.org/2012/11/23/distinguishing-the-peace-we-are-looking-for/

    Blessings!

  24. chris says:

    It seems to me that the Abomination of Desolation spells the almost immediate end and the Second Advent. Jesus’ words appear to impart a sense of urgency when that event occurs and not another drawn out 3 and 1/2 years of tribulation. I also notice that the Second Advent is also directly tied to it in 2 Thessalonians.
    The Antichrist entering Jerusalem and the Temple surely implies a Jewish military defeat as spoken of in Zechariah soon followed by the appearance of the Messiah.
    As far as Daniel’s 70 weeks go, I have a hard time believing they are fulfilled before the final destruction of Satan after the Millennium because of what the 70 weeks are to complete. Sokme of the seventy weeks goals are already completed, but some will not be completed until the final end, namely ‘a finishing of transgressions’ and ‘an end to sins’ both of which evils are alive and well when Satan and the whole world make a final attempt at destroying the Saints.
    Just observations I have.

  25. Joel says:

    Chris,

    Daniel 9:27 is clear that the Abomination of Desolations comes specifically in the middle of the seventh week, ie 3.5 years in and 3.5 before the end:

    Dan 9:27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of [fn]abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

    The same is restated in Rev 11:2-3:

    “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months (3.5 years). And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days (3.5 years), clothed in sackcloth.”

    The references to what the seventieth week accomplishes are primarily with regard to Israel as the context indicates. (cf. Daniel 12:7 “finish shattering the power of the holy people”). These things will all be complete at the onset of the Millennium.

    Blessings

  26. Marshall says:

    What you have to understand about this discourse is that all prophecy has a “primary” fulfillment and a “secondary” fulfillment. As when G_d told Adam that in the day he ate of the tree, he would die. While he did not physically “drop dead” on the spot, he began the process of dying and time as we know it began. This was the primary fulfillment of G_d’s prophecy. The secondary fulfillment was 960 years later whe he physically gave up the ghost and returned to the dust in which he was made. Jesus’ description was a “now or never” scenario, it was both. Look a prophecy throughout the ages and you will see just such as I have described.

  27. Marshall says:

    In addition, to say that Jesus is to reign on THIS earth for 1,000 years is ludicrous. Unless you want to admit that Jesus testified to Pilate that his “kingdom was not of this earth.” Besides those who are reigning with him during his reign have been beheaded which makes it somewhat of a mute point anyway. We know that there will be a new heaven and a new earth on which the kingdom Jesus will reign.

  28. chris says:

    Ludicrous? I am firmly convinced that Jesus will indeed reign on this earth as per numerous prophecies.

  29. Joel says:

    Of course He is going to reign on this very earth. Jesus reference to His Kingdom not being of this World was true when He spoke it to Pilate. But it was just that, an issue of timing, not some metaphysical comment.

  30. Scott says:

    Good article. I read Alan’s as well. It seems to me that the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord’s wrath are synonyms, though, rather than the former preceding the latter in chronological order. The Great Tribulation is going to be the worst time in history according to Jesus. A chronological view would make the Day of the Lord’s wrath less severe than the Great Tribulation. This cannot be correct, yet it is a point that has not been adequately addressed. I personally believe the solution is found by the recognition of a mistranslation. Submitted for your review,

    Blog

  31. Barnabas says:

    The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are not the same. The Great Tribulation is the wrath of man and Satan against the Jews and Christians and begins at the midpoint of the 70th Week. The Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture, and becomes imminent at the 6th Seal. It is God’s wrath.

    An honest examination of the 6th seal signs will reveal that they appear in many references to the Day of the Lord, whether in Isaiah, Joel, Matthew 24, etc.

    This is known as a prewrath rapture scenario. Only prewrath satisifies the conditions of not knowing the day of the Rapture and of the Great Tribulation being cut short. Note: what is cut short is not the time fof the Antichrist’s authority (42 months) but his ability to persecute the Church.

    The distinctive of the Day of the Lord is that it is God’s wrath, not the wrath of man nor of Satan when he is thrown down to the earth at the midpoint. You can see the reaction of the nations when the 6th seal is opened.

  32. Scott says:

    Our Lord in effect stated that “No man knows the day and hour” of the abomination of desolation/Great Tribulation when he said, “Pray that your flight be not in winter or on the Sabbath.” Any explanation used for this passage may also apply to the Rapture. Both describe an unknown day and hour. I am aware of Daniel chapter 9, however, the language of Jesus concerning the timing of the abomination of desolation is quite plain in the Olivet Discourse.

  33. Scott says:

    Mr. Richardson brings up an important point concerning our Lord’s reference to passages in Isaiah when He described the “birthpains” in the Olivet Discourse. I personally see a reference to the Day of the Lord’s wrath in Isaiah 13 when our Lord described the Great Tribulation later in the Discourse:

    “Behold, the day of the Lord comes…The sun will be darkened in its going forth…I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,” (Isaiah 13)

    “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:” (Matthew 24)

  34. Scott says:

    I believe the saying by our Lord, “except those days should be shortened” (Matthew 24) refers to a predetermined 42 month period mentioned numerous times in Scripture. Mark 13:20 says, “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”

    Also, I read Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 to say that God will hand the saints over to the Beast for the entirety of that 42 month period.

    I no longer personally believe the prewrath view is as Scripturally solid as I once did. Blessings.

  35. nate says:

    mat 24; 32 after the Jews were defeated by the romans and existed in other nations all over the world about ad 80 and then in may 1948 came together as a nation, is that not the fig tree (the Jews) putting forth leaves , and the generation (70 years) born then would not pass away until the rapture of his church, 70 years from 1948 would point to sometime before 2018, that would not be the day or the hour. the people of these days are so much like the days of Noah. God gave us a free will to accept Jesus as our savior or not, so for those alive today that have not accepted him will have that ability until an event so terrible that no flesh would be saved so at this time he returns to collect his Church. I hope to see him soon!

  36. R. Muhammad says:

    Joel, if you believe Jesus will reign on the earth, what about Heaven and Hell? What about the destruction of the Earth and matter where the elements will burn, 2 Peter 3:10? How long do you think Jesus will reign on Earth? 7 years?

    Thanks,

    R.M.

  37. Nathaniel Paglinawan says:

    the article on the link is good, however he should exegete more of the Reveleation 17 to 19 and cross reference to Isaiah 21.

  38. Daleen says:

    Joel, I read your Mideast Beast and The Islamic Antichrist some years ago and to me it was a total revelation, as I had been brought up in a conservative charismatic environment where the restoration of the Roman Empire was preached as the only truth regarding the end times! Since reading your books, I have again studied several modern day prophets’ expository on the end times and I feel I have come full circle now! I am “back” to all your teachings about the end times and I am so thankful for your insight and clear teaching! Thank you so much for all the teachings you have available on YouTube! I love it and it is part of my daily devotions! The Underground series are so relevant to what is happening in the Middle East at the moment – it is literally seeing prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes!!

    I have a question though regarding your stance about the Pre-tribulation rapture? Most charismatics preach about a Pre-tribulation Rapture and then the Second Coming of the Lord after the 7 year tribulation. Do you have any reading or video material that will help me understand the Scripture in this regard?

    God bless you in all you endeavors!

    Daleen van Niekerk from South Africa

  39. Kelli says:

    I tweeted you, Joel, about this passage. I’ve read your Book MidEast Beast- and did not get my answers.. I thought you might mention the church in some scenerios, specifically define your argument for futurist perspective. I have been studying Rev inductively for 2 years through Precept Ministries (we are AF and moved 3xs during this time) w/out a leader… But with leader notes (studying w/them 16yrs). Anyway, This study led me to more questions than answers because Rev. Has sooo many whacked commentaries, I decided I wanted to ‘see’ it. After struggling so much I finally vented to another leader and they recommended your book…last week. I devoured your book as best I could knowing Id have to return to it to ‘see’ all that you proposed, but found your integrity with scripture respectful and God honoring, so I don’t think I’ll have much objection after looking into those areas I haven’t studied or don’t understand…
    All this to say Thank you- your courage is inspiring. I am sure you face persecution and vulgarity daily. I find even as I read some of the above reasonings of interpretation … As a true challenge to untwist –
    Anyway, since your book didn’t answer my Matt 24 questions, I looked on Internet to see if there was more out there (not a huge media fan- …I think you were my first tweet-of course, now I see it as a great tool)
    I hope after I review some of the related articles and responses… I hope that you will allow me to ask questions- I believed 24-even 25 were supporting the ‘day of the Lord’ -coming- but… I swear… I mention anything other than that being as a rapture reference, I was smacked!!! So, at least now I don’t think I’m going crazy in the head and my discernment might have been on the right track… I can’t wait to read it next to Your references – didn’t see this connection- might explain a lot!

  40. Sean Sanders says:

    Sept 23, 2017 shows the woman in rev 12. Virgo has Jupiter in her womb for several months before birth. IMO this can be about when the beginning of the 7 years Begin. Micah 5:3 speaks of God refocusing after the woman gives birth again, on Israel. 2017/18 os 70 years after 1947/48. Food for thought

  41. Arnold Rajan says:

    Great Work Brother. Need some help – if Gog is the Antichrist and will attack Israel when they are experiencing peace [Ezk 38-39], when will he be sitting in the temple in Jerusalem claiming to be god? Will he be in Jerusalem 3 1/3 years ruling while the 2 witnesses prophesy against him? Why and when does he leave to return to attack as per Ezk 38-39? Thanks.

  42. Joel says:

    Arnold,

    The invasion seems to be at the beginning of the 3 final 3.5 years. Jerusalem is surrounded by armies just before the Antichrist enters Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24). Jerusalem will be trampled down underfoot the armies of the AC for 42 months (Rev. 11:2).

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