May 28, 2020 – Thursday
Verses from Why I love Bible Studies (Part 3 of 3)
Luke 19:41-44 NIV
41 As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it
42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
During Bible study when these verses came up, I thought I was prepared. I had read these and the earlier verses, then dug into John MacArthur’s Commentary. It was there I discovered only Luke recorded Jesus weeping. You might think at first He is weeping because He sees His future fate. I know I thought that at first, but I was wrong, very wrong.
Jesus was weeping over what He foresaw and in these few verses above foretells of the complete destruction of Jerusalem in the future. As I read back over it, it is as if He can vividly see the city He loves being destroyed. All of this as He approached the city as its spiritual king as a few earlier verses tell us 35 They brought it [young colt] to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As He went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
It is recorded twice in both Matthew (23:37-38) and Luke (13:34-35a) in the same words of Jesus how He wanted to protect Jerusalem: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. These words seem to be words of anguish knowing what was to come.
I thought I knew about the loss when I quoted MacArthur and how he stated verse 44 was literally fulfilled when The Romans utterly demolished the city, temple, residences, and people. Men, women, and children were brutally slaughtered by the tens of thousands. The few survivors were carried off to become victims of the Roman circus games and gladiatorial bouts.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds For the days shall come … – This took place under Titus, the Roman general, 70 a.d., about thirty years after this was spoken. Cast a trench about thee – The word “trench” now means commonly a “pit or ditch.” When the Bible was translated, it meant also “earth thrown up to defend a camp” (Johnson’s “Dictionary”). This is the meaning of the original here. It is not a pit or large “ditch,” but a pile of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp, and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was done at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus informs us that Titus, in order that he might compel the city to surrender by “famine,” built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with incredible labor in ten days. The professed design of this wall was “to keep” the city “in on every side.” Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished. Shall lay thee even with the ground … – This was literally done. Titus caused a plow to pass over the place where the temple stood.
David Guzik quotes Josephus after Jerusalem was surrounded by the embankment, All hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews, together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did the famine widen its progress, and devour the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms of women and infants that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also, and the young men wandered about the market places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead wheresoever their misery seized them. For a time the dead were buried; but afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the wall into the valleys beneath. When Titus, on going his rounds along these valleys, saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick purification running about them, he gave a groan, and spreading out his hands to heaven, called God to witness this was not his doing.
There can be no question about why He was weeping as He saw foresaw judgment falling on His beloved city.
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton