Mark 13:1-2. See what manner of stones, &c. Our Lord, in the conclusion of his lamentation over Jerusalem, (Matthew 23:38-39,) had declared that the temple should never be favoured with his presence any more; a declaration which, doubtless, appeared very strange to the disciples, and affected them much. For which reason they stopped him as he was going away, and desired him to see what a fine, sumptuous building the temple was: insinuating, probably, that they were surprised to hear him talk of leaving it desolate, for that so rich and glorious a fabric ought not to be deserted rashly. Jesus said, There shall not be left one stone upon another This superb building, which you behold, adorned with huge stones of great beauty, shall be razed to the very foundation. It seemed exceedingly improbable that any thing like this should happen in that age, considering the peace of the Jews with the Romans, and the strength of their citadel, which forced Titus himself to acknowledge that it was the singular hand of God which compelled them to relinquish fortifications which no human power could have conquered. Bishop Chandler justly observes, “That no impostor would have foretold an event so unlikely and so disagreeable.” Defence of Christianity, pp. 472, 473. Add to this, that it was not usual with the Romans to destroy either the cities or the temples of the countries they conquered. And with regard to this temple, Josephus tells us, ( Bell., Mark 7:9,) that Titus having held a council of his generals, who were for burning the temple, declared that he would by all means save that edifice as an ornament to the empire. But God had determined and declared that it should be destroyed. Accordingly, the soldiers burned it without paying any regard to Titus’s orders. See notes on Matthew 24:42.
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