Reference: Judah, The Kingdom Of
On the separation of the ten tribes, Judah and Benjamin formed a kingdom under the name of Judah. Benjamin being but a small tribe, the kingdom of Judah is sometimes spoken of as one tribe. Doubtless the territory of Simeon was also attached to Judah
And you, Bethlehem in the country of Judah, are not among the least [towns in furnishing] rulers for Judah, for you will produce a leader who will become shepherd of my [i.e., God's] people Israel.'"
And Jesus answered them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]' and they will lead many people away [from the truth]. read more. And you will hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending]. Do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And famines and earthquakes will occur at various places [in the world]. But all these things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me. And then many people will fall away [from God] and they will turn one another over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment], and they will hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people away [from the truth]. And because sin will abound, many people will grow cold in their love [for one another]. But the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come. "Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. [Also], the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], is not to take any of the belongings from his house as he comes down [to flee]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] is not [even] to return [to his house] to get his coat. It will be too bad for those who are pregnant and who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath day when you will have to flee [from the city]. [Note: Jewish Sabbath day restrictions on travel (only three-fifths of a mile) and city gate closures would make leaving the city nearly impossible]. There will be great trouble [during these times], such as had never been from the beginning of time up to the present, or ever will be [in the days to come]. And if those days had not been as short as they were no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], those days will be short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'There [he is],' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform great [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray even the elect [i.e., God's people], if possible. You see, I have told you [all this] ahead of time. Therefore, if people say to you, 'Look, he [i.e., Christ. See verse 23] is in the desert,' do not go out there. [Or if they say], 'Look, he is in an inside room,' do not believe him. For just like lightning that appears in the east can be seen even in the west, so it will be with the presence [i.e., coming] of the Son of man. Wherever there is a dead body, [you can expect to see] vultures gathered there. [Note: This may mean that such a significant event as the coming of Christ would surely not go unnoticed]. "But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] "Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true].
And all the people answered, "Let his blood be on our hands, and on our children's [as well]."
But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. read more. Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. However, not one hair of your head will be lost. [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"]. "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled.
For God found fault with the Israelites [or, possibly with the first Agreement], saying [Jer. 31:31ff], "Look, the Lord says, the time will come when I will make a New Agreement with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. [It will] not be like the Agreement that I made with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the country of Egypt. For they did not [continue to] keep my Agreement, so I did not regard them [as acceptable], says the Lord. read more. For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore."