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  • How long is this generation?

    I know most will say 40 or 70 years, but what does Genesis 15:12-16 say?

    Originally posted by NKJV
    12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...6;&version=50;
    What are your thoughts? It appears to me that the Lord is telling Abram that his people, descendants, will be afflicted for 400 years and that this nation they serve (Egypt) will be judged (7 plagues) and they will come out of there will great possessions to a land (Israel) that the Lord has promised to Abram but cannot have yet because the iniquity of those who live there are is not yet fulfilled.

    So, God is saying that a generation is 100 years, no?

    (Thanks again David and quiet dove for your assistance in this discussion.)

    Since the Lord has told Abram that a generation is 100 years, where do people come up with 40 and 70 year generations when talking about the Israel's most recent claim of God's holy land?

    Now, for the end times connection. I think that when Jesus said that "this generation will not pass away," He was referring to the last generation of humans on earth prior to His second coming. Meaning, once we see the signs of His coming (the Fig Tree parable), we know that it is coming before we die. How does this fit into your end times opinion? Obviously people do not normally live to be 100 years old so do these passages connect with one another?
    Last edited by mfowler12; Jan 7th 2009, 10:26 PM. Reason: removed specific date-setting phrase

  • #2
    Originally posted by mfowler12 View Post
    I know most will say 40 or 70 years, but what does Genesis 15:12-16 say?



    What are your thoughts? It appears to me that the Lord is telling Abram that his people, descendants, will be afflicted for 400 years and that this nation they serve (Egypt) will be judged (7 plagues) and they will come out of there will great possessions to a land (Israel) that the Lord has promised to Abram but cannot have yet because the iniquity of those who live there are is not yet fulfilled.

    So, God is saying that a generation is 100 years, no?

    The reason I post this here is because Jesus told His followers that "this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place." Matthew 24:33

    I know that some on here feel that some other time frame, but I find it interesting that Jesus said that this generation will not pass away and the Lord talking to Abram says that the fourth generation is 400 years (100 years by my math).

    Does this change your opinion on the end times scenario?
    Things mean what they mean in the context in which they appear. Matthew 24:33 is not intended to denote a duration of time, but rather, it refers to the Jewish people.

    That is, Jesus is saying "This people will not pass away . . . " and etc.
    Last edited by David Taylor; Jan 7th 2009, 08:58 PM. Reason: removed quoted specific date-setting phrase

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BroRog View Post
      Things mean what they mean in the context in which they appear. Matthew 24:33 is not intended to denote a duration of time, but rather, it refers to the Jewish people.

      That is, Jesus is saying "This people will not pass away . . . " and etc.
      How do you come to that conclusion? The Lord in Genesis is the same Lord in Matthew, no? I don't understand why there would be a different meaning.

      Now, I admit that this could very well be a language and interpretation problem on my end. Please, if you have any insight to the Greek/Hebrew versions, share with me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BroRog View Post
        Things mean what they mean in the context in which they appear. Matthew 24:33 is not intended to denote a duration of time, but rather, it refers to the Jewish people.

        That is, Jesus is saying "This people will not pass away . . . " and etc.
        If this is only for the Jewish people:
        Matt 24:32-33 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
        Then why does the parallel Luke verses here:
        Luke 21:29 "And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand."
        what does Luke want us to understand "and all the trees" to mean, if the passage is only intended for the Jewish people?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BroRog View Post
          Things mean what they mean in the context in which they appear. Matthew 24:33 is not intended to denote a duration of time, but rather, it refers to the Jewish people.

          That is, Jesus is saying "This people will not pass away . . . " and etc.


          I'm not entirely convinced that it's talking specifically about the Jewish people, but I do see your point and agree. Generation should be interpreted as a class of people, and not as duriration of time. Jesus used this word several times in other passages. From the context, it seemed clear in some cases, that He was referring to a class of people, and not to an era of time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by divaD View Post
            I'm not entirely convinced that it's talking specifically about the Jewish people, but I do see your point and agree. Generation should be interpreted as a class of people, and not as duriration of time. Jesus used this word several times in other passages. From the context, it seemed clear in some cases, that He was referring to a class of people, and not to an era of time.
            Could you post those scriptures?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mfowler12 View Post
              Could you post those scriptures?



              One place would be Matthew ch 12 starting from verse 38, ending with verse 45.

              Another place- Matthew 23:24-39. There are more than this, but this should present the general idea, especially after looking at the link I provided below.

              Since posting my other post, I decided to do a search on the Net to see if I could find anything that is basically saying what I'm trying to say. I found this link. It gives a pretty good explanation, and of course states it much better than I ever could. I don't mean to cheat by letting someone else explain things for me, but sometimes things are so well written, such as the link below, that I could never express this position as well as is in this link, even tho I pretty much see it the same way.

              http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/generation.shtml

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                Things mean what they mean in the context in which they appear. Matthew 24:33 is not intended to denote a duration of time, but rather, it refers to the Jewish people.
                Ah.

                So... even though the context of Matthew 24 is the destruction of the Second Temple (there was only one Second Temple), and the fact that the Second Temple was destroyed in that generation exactly as Christ described, and that Christ was answering a question on when something would happen...

                No, no, nevermind. Let's change the definition of the word and ignore how Christ used it in the gospels as referring to a timeframe of people, just as it was used later on in the epistles.
                To This Day

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by markedward View Post
                  Ah.

                  So... even though the context of Matthew 24 is the destruction of the Second Temple (there was only one Second Temple), and the fact that the Second Temple was destroyed in that generation exactly as Christ described...

                  No, no, nevermind. Let's change the definition of the word and ignore how Christ used it in the gospels as referring to a timeframe of people, just as it was used later on in the epistles.
                  Wow, has someone stood on your pet?

                  Psa 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
                  Psa 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
                  Psa 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
                  Psa 24:6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
                  Psa 24:7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Partaker of Christ View Post
                    Wow, has someone stood on your pet?
                    This doesn't appear to answer any of the points I made, namely:

                    1. The context of the Olivet Discourse was the destruction of the Second Temple. There can't be a second, Second Temple. That would make it a third temple. But Christ pointed at the temple right in front of Him and said "It's gonna get destroyed". The disciples asked, "When", and He responded "This generation shall not pass before it happens".

                    2. The Second Temple did get destroyed within the lifetime of that very same generation.

                    3. The word in Greek, genea, specifically refers to a group of people living at the same time. If Christ was speaking about a race of people, the Greek would have used the word for race, being genos.
                    To This Day

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by markedward View Post
                      Ah.

                      So... even though the context of Matthew 24 is the destruction of the Second Temple (there was only one Second Temple), and the fact that the Second Temple was destroyed in that generation exactly as Christ described...

                      No, no, nevermind. Let's change the definition of the word and ignore how Christ used it in the gospels as referring to a timeframe of people, just as it was used later on in the epistles.
                      The context of Matthew 24 is not limited to the destruction of a building or a building complex. And the meaning is enhanced if we open the context to the previous chapter as well.

                      Let's start back in Matthew 23 to find two items pertinent to the issue. First, notice how Jesus uses the term "generation" in this chapter, which comes just before Matthew 24. Next, notice what Jesus says will happen to "this house."

                      "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

                      "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

                      "Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
                      Lament over Jerusalem

                      "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

                      The first underline shows how Jesus is using the term "generation", which he uses to indicate people not a period of time. Jesus, as a prophet of God is using a familiar prophet's word, "woe" which he uses to denounce those affected and curse them to suffer a misery they deserve. He is saying something like, "You! Pharisees! May you suffer terribly for what you are about to do. I am going to send you wise men and scribes and rather than hearing their important message, you will kill them. For this you deserve a terrible fate at the hand of an angry God."

                      The next underline was spoken by Jesus in a tender way toward the city of Jerusalem. He wanted to treat them with care to raise them from chicks to full grown birds, so to speak. But they refused. Instead, her "house" was left desolate -- house, meaning "dynasty". Her leadership would all be gone: no king to rule them; no Pharisees to encourage them; no scribes to teach them the Bible; no one to protect them and care for them.

                      Not only was the temple destroyed, but as Jesus says also,

                      Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

                      Jesus told the Pharisees that they would have the guilt of their fathers on their heads because, just as their fathers killed the prophets sent to them, they would also kill the wise men and scribes Jesus would send. In this chapter, Jesus has now turned to the Apostles to tell them that they will be killed. And as a just recompense for killing the wise men Jesus will send, the people will fall away, betray one another, hate one another, and lawlessness will be increased. The Apostles will have just enough time to spread the Gospel message worldwide, and then the end will come.

                      Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

                      Not only did the temple fall, but the entire population, especially in Judea, came under a great attack from the north just as it was in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes who came from the North to desolate the temple, turn the people to Hellenism, and remove all vestiges of Judaism from the land. Just as Antiochus tried to wipe out Judaism, the Romans tried to wipe out the Jews. And after that, all the Hitlers of the world attempted to wipe out every living Jew so as to be rid of them once-and-for-all. The persecutions will keep coming and coming and coming until it will be impossible to see how the Jews will survive. But, because God accounts the Hebrews as his chosen people, for their sake the days of persecution will not go so far as to wipe them all out.

                      "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."

                      The days of great tribulation and persecution will not last. Soon after God's vengeance against his people has been spent, he will turn to them once again to love her has his own again. Great and Terrible celestial events will portend the coming of the Messiah to rule over his kingdom and his people, who will say "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." At that time, the Hebrew people will return to the land of promise from the four winds, from the nations into which they were scattered.

                      Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

                      Just as the green leaf of the fig tree indicates that summer is coming soon, the gathering of the Jews back to the land of promise is a sign that Jesus is very near, right at the door. His people will not be wiped out and will be waiting for him when he returns. The heavens and earth will pass away, but a promise of Jesus will never fail to come true.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by David Taylor View Post
                        If this is only for the Jewish people:
                        Then why does the parallel Luke verses here:
                        what does Luke want us to understand "and all the trees" to mean, if the passage is only intended for the Jewish people?
                        David,

                        It's a parable, not an allegory.

                        A parable makes a conceptual analogy, taking into account that most people will know what it means when trees gain their green leaves.

                        Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter time. At the beginning of spring, the trees begin to form buds at the end of their branches. By the end of spring, the buds continue to grow into fully formed, green leaves. Just as the leaves are fully grown and ready to take advantage of the summer sun, the summer arrives just in time.

                        By analogy, the nation of Israel will come back to life, the Hebrew people will return to the promised land, the temple will be rebuilt, the priesthood will be reconstituted, and many other preparations will take place in anticipation of the coming Messiah. And just as the entire nation comes to life in both a material and a spiritual sense, the Lord will return just in time.

                        The difference in wording between Luke and Matthew is simply because Matthew likes to be brief, and tends to leave out some details in favor of having more accounts of Jesus in his gospel.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by markedward View Post
                          This doesn't appear to answer any of the points I made, namely:

                          1. The context of the Olivet Discourse was the destruction of the Second Temple. There can't be a second, Second Temple. That would make it a third temple. But Christ pointed at the temple right in front of Him and said "It's gonna get destroyed". The disciples asked, "When", and He responded "This generation shall not pass before it happens".

                          2. The Second Temple did get destroyed within the lifetime of that very same generation.

                          3. The word in Greek, genea, specifically refers to a group of people living at the same time. If Christ was speaking about a race of people, the Greek would have used the word for race, being genos.
                          A new temple will be built. This is the one that Jesus will enter in triumph at his return, entering the east Gate, which will remain locked until his return.

                          While genea can certainly indicate an entire race living during a specified period of time, the term can also indicate a succession of the same family line as seems to be the point in Matthew 1:17.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mfowler12 View Post
                            I know most will say 40 or 70 years, but what does Genesis 15:12-16 say?



                            What are your thoughts? It appears to me that the Lord is telling Abram that his people, descendants, will be afflicted for 400 years and that this nation they serve (Egypt) will be judged (7 plagues) and they will come out of there will great possessions to a land (Israel) that the Lord has promised to Abram but cannot have yet because the iniquity of those who live there are is not yet fulfilled.

                            So, God is saying that a generation is 100 years, no?

                            (Thanks again David and quiet dove for your assistance in this discussion.)

                            Since the Lord has told Abram that a generation is 100 years, where do people come up with 40 and 70 year generations when talking about the Israel's most recent claim of God's holy land?

                            Now, for the end times connection. I think that when Jesus said that "this generation will not pass away," He was referring to the last generation of humans on earth prior to His second coming. Meaning, once we see the signs of His coming (the Fig Tree parable), we know that it is coming before we die. How does this fit into your end times opinion? Obviously people do not normally live to be 100 years old so do these passages connect with one another?

                            I have to go with the "face value / literal interpretation" in this instance.

                            Jesus was speaking TO his disciples, when he saidParaphrasing)
                            "Do you see this temple & surrounding buildings? I tell you the truth, some of YOU standing here right now will see them destroyed. This generation, meaning the generation of you, my disciples, will not pass until this is fulfilled.
                            So when YOU, my disciples see the Abomination, (which is the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem) you need to flee to the mountains.
                            Just like the fig tree, when the leaves begin to bud, you (my disciples) know summer is just around the corner... and so is the destruction."

                            I don't see how Jesus could be talking about a FAR FUTURE generation, seeing how he kept specifying "YOU" to his disciples. It would have been very confusing to them

                            That would be like me telling my daughter, "I will take you to Disney Word before you're out of school.".... (but I didn't really mean my daughter, I meant some other person, like maybe a grandchild 30 years from now....)

                            That's my thought.
                            Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
                            _______________________________________________
                            There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                              I have to go with the "face value / literal interpretation" in this instance.

                              Jesus was speaking TO his disciples, when he saidParaphrasing)
                              "Do you see this temple & surrounding buildings? I tell you the truth, some of YOU standing here right now will see them destroyed. This generation, meaning the generation of you, my disciples, will not pass until this is fulfilled.
                              So when YOU, my disciples see the Abomination, (which is the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem) you need to flee to the mountains.
                              Just like the fig tree, when the leaves begin to bud, you (my disciples) know summer is just around the corner... and so is the destruction."

                              I don't see how Jesus could be talking about a FAR FUTURE generation, seeing how he kept specifying "YOU" to his disciples. It would have been very confusing to them

                              That would be like me telling my daughter, "I will take you to Disney Word before you're out of school.".... (but I didn't really mean my daughter, I meant some other person, like maybe a grandchild 30 years from now....)

                              That's my thought.
                              The statement about the perpetual "genea" comes much later in the prophecy. Destruction of the temple is just a small portion of a larger view.

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