In Matthew 24 Jesus has finished His sermons on the Temple Mount, for the leaders and the crowds, and is going to the Mount of Olives. The disciples comment about the stones of the Second Temple, built by Herod, and Jesus predicts they are coming down. (Rome accomplished this in 70 A.D.) Back on the Mount of Olives, the disciples ask when the end will come, this is the start of several lessons about the end times and the kingdom of God. Jesus, in Matthew 24:6, uses the phrase, “wars and rumors of war”. Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 also are references, Luke has the term revolutions.
War or Battle
We do not tend to think of these as the same thing, but in the Greek (Strong’s 4171) they are the same word or from the same root word-polemos. There are a few times polemos is translated as the word fight. The occurrence of this word/idea is rare in the Gospels but not in the Epistles. (Mounce Reverse Interlinear NT) The above verses account for most times it is translated as war with Luke 14:31 being the other time, it talks about a king planning a war.
I find it interesting that Paul and the other Epistle writers talk about war, battles, and fighting more than Jesus did.
Akoe (Strong’s G 189) is the Greek word for a rumor. This is a root for many words that deal with hearing or reports.
In studying the idea of rumors, I found two Old Testament verses that cover rumors very well. These are from the NIV.
Jeremiah 51:46 tells us to not lose heart because a new rumor shows up every year.
Ezekiel 7:26-Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor.
The major difference between then and now is these reports can appear in minutes instead of months.
To introduce the difference between fight and battle and not talk a little about it now, did not seem right. In the New Testament, several words (5 to 8) are translated as the word fight. They indicate levels of conflict and possible places. One is strictly about fighting over words.
On the Mounts
For those that want to think Jesus just walked about saying love, love; I will point to these sermons before His death. These interactions should be classified as fighting and the whole morning in the Temple as battle after battle, or a war.
The types and shadows of these days started with Abraham leading Isaac to the mount to be sacrificed, Joshua’s journey into the Promised Land, David’s return after the death of Absalom, and Elisha’s trip to Mt Carmel.
Jesus cleansed the Temple and ended the curse of fig leaf acts started by Adam and Eve. He silenced the religious leaders and prophesied the end of the Second Temple. Jesus’ sorties from the east bank included raising a dead man, healing blind eyes, and bringing a sinner back to the Father. He cried over Jerusalem and announced His death, then still did a victory ride into the city to fulfill the words of Zechariah 9:9.
Yes, there have been wars and reports of wars, how could we expect anything else. Come, Lord Jesus!
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