Matthew 24:20, Pray it won’t happen on the Sabbath!

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.

//In this passage, Jesus warns Israel of the coming day when Jerusalem would be destroyed (it happened about 40 years later). Judeans would have to escape into the mountains! Woe to mothers who are with child!

But Matthew, when he copies Mark’s warning, adds a phrase: “neither on the Sabbath day.” Why?

Matthew, scholars often explain, is the most “Jewish” of the four Gospels. Matthew has a high respect for the Law. It is Matthew who reports that “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

It’s therefore expected that Matthew would retain his respect for the Sabbath as well. So, woe to Jerusalem’s citizens if its destruction happens on a Sabbath! If the call to flee comes on the Sabbath, it could not be obeyed by observant Jews!

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