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Jesus Prophesies the Destruction of the Temple

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple courts, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! And what tremendous stones were used to build all this!”[a]

Jesus turned to them and said, “Take a good look at all these enormous buildings, for I’m telling you, there will not be one stone left upon another. It will all be leveled!”[b]

Signs of the End of the Age

Later, while Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the temple, his disciples, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew, came to him privately where he was sitting and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what supernatural sign should we expect to signal your coming and the completion of this age?”[c]

Jesus answered, “At that time deception will run rampant. So beware that you’re not fooled! For many will appear on the scene claiming my authority[d] or saying about themselves, ‘I am God’s Anointed,’[e] and they will lead many astray. You will hear rumors of wars nearby, with more rumors of wars to come. Make sure that you are not thrown into a panic or give in to your fears, for these things are destined to happen. Prepare for it,[f] but still the end is not yet. For nations[g] will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes in place after place—seismic events of epic proportion. And there will be famines and riots.[h] This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin.”

Jesus Warns of Persecution

“Be on your guard! For they will repeatedly hand you over to the ruling councils, and you will be beaten in public gatherings. And you will stand trial before kings and high-ranking governmental leaders as an opportunity to testify to them on my behalf. 10 But prior to the end of the age, the hope of the gospel[i] must first[j] be preached to all nations.

11 “So when they put you under arrest and hand you over for trial, don’t even give one thought about what you will say. Simply speak what the Holy Spirit gives you at that very moment. And realize that it won’t be you speaking but the Holy Spirit repeatedly speaking through you. 12 Brothers will betray each other unto death—even a father his child. Children will rise up to take a stand against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Expect to be hated by all because of your allegiance to the cause that bears my name. But determine to be faithful to the end and you will be saved.”[k]

The Detestable Idol That Brings Misery

14 “When you witness what Daniel prophesied, ‘the disgusting destroyer,’[l] standing where it must not be[m] [Let the reader learn what it means],[n] then those in the land of Judah must escape to higher ground.[o] 15 On that day, if you happen to be outside,[p] don’t go back inside to gather your belongings. 16 And if you’re working out in the field, don’t run back home to get a coat. 17 It will be especially hard[q] for pregnant women and for those nursing their babies when those days come. 18 So pray that your escape will not be during the winter months. 19 For this will be a time of great misery beyond the magnitude of anything the world has ever seen from the beginning of time[r] or ever will see. 20 Unless God limits those days, no one would escape. But because of his love for those chosen to be his, he will shorten that time of trouble.

21 “And if you hear reports from people, saying, ‘Look, the Messiah is over here,’ or, ‘The Messiah is over there!’ don’t believe it. 22 For there will be imposters falsely claiming to be God’s ‘Anointed One.’ And false prophets[s] will arise to perform miracle signs, and if it were possible, they would cause God’s chosen ones to wander off the right track. 23 Be alert, for I prophesy all this will happen!”

The Appearing of the Son of Man

24 “This is what will take place after that suffering:

The sun will be darkened and the moon will reflect no light.
25 The stars will be falling from the sky
    and all the cosmic powers will be shaken.[t]

26 “Then they will see the Son of Man appearing in the midst of clouds and revealed with mighty power and great glory.[u] 27 At that time he will send his messengers,[v] who will gather together his beloved chosen ones from every direction—from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven!”

The Parable of the Fig Tree

28 “Now, learn the lesson from the parable of the fig tree. When spring arrives, and it sends out its tender branches and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is soon to appear. 29 So also, when you observe all these things progressively taking place, you will know that he[w] is coming near, even at the door! 30 I assure you, this family[x] will not pass away until all I have spoken comes to pass. 31 The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before one word I speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”

Live Always Ready for His Appearing

32 “Concerning that day and exact hour, no one knows when it will arrive, not the angels of heaven, not even the Son—only the Father knows. 33 This is why you must be waiting, watching and praying,[y] because no one knows when that season of time will come.”

A Parable of a Man Who Left on a Journey

34 “For those days can be compared to a man who was about to leave on a journey, but before leaving he placed his servants in charge and gave each one work to do while he was away. Then he commanded the watchman[z] to be on guard at all times. 35 So I say to you, keep awake and alert—for you have no idea when the master of the house will return; in the evening, at midnight, at four o’clock in the morning,[aa] or at dawn. 36 Be alert, for he’s coming suddenly and may find you sleeping! 37 And what I say to the four of you, I say to everyone—be awake at all times!”


  1. Mark 13:1 This is Solomon’s temple, rebuilt by Herod the Great. He began the project in 19 BC, prior to the birth of Christ, using some of the greatest marble and gold ornamentation found in the Middle East. Some of the stones he used were five meters long and over one meter high.
  2. Mark 13:2 This prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled by the Roman prince Titus, who, in the Roman war of AD 67–70, destroyed the temple. There is still standing in Rome today the Arch of Titus, which commemorates his conquest of Jerusalem. In about AD 135, the emperor Hadrian completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and built a new city on its foundations.
  3. Mark 13:4 Although it is possible to translate this “the end of the world,” the Hebraic mind-set of the end of days is a transition into a new age of the Messiah’s coming that would restore all things. Note also that this teaching regarding the last days was not given publicly but only to four disciples.
  4. Mark 13:6 Or “making use of my name.”
  5. Mark 13:6 Or “I am” (the one), or “It is I.”
  6. Mark 13:7 As translated from the Aramaic.
  7. Mark 13:8 Or “ethnic groups.” Although implied in the Greek, the Aramaic text is explicit: “Peoples will rise over peoples and kingdoms over kingdoms.”
  8. Mark 13:8 The word riots (rebellious uprisings) is found only in the Aramaic manuscripts. See also 2 Chron. 15:6 and Isa. 19:2.
  9. Mark 13:10 As translated from the Aramaic (lit. “hopes”).
  10. Mark 13:10 The chronological reference (“first”) takes us back to v. 7. That is, the end will not come before the gospel is preached to all nations.
  11. Mark 13:13 Or “you will be rescued” or “preserved” or “delivered.”
  12. Mark 13:14 Or “the abomination [sin] that brings desolation [desecration].” See Dan. 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Jesus is saying that Daniel’s prophecy had not yet been fulfilled in his time. Many see the fulfillment of this prophecy in AD 70, when Titus, the Roman prince, went into the temple and sacrificed animals to Jupiter.
  13. Mark 13:14 The Aramaic is “the defiling sign of desolation piling up” (setting up).
  14. Mark 13:14 These parenthetical words were added by Mark to encourage us to seek the Lord for the understanding of this mystery. Jesus, speaking in the role of the true Prophet, gives us truth to ponder in veiled language.
  15. Mark 13:14 See Jer. 16:16; Zech. 14:5; Luke 21:20-22.
  16. Mark 13:15 Or “on the roof.”
  17. Mark 13:17 Or “woe.” Jesus is not cursing them, but stating how dreadfully difficult it will be for them.
  18. Mark 13:19 Or “such as has not been seen from the beginning of the creation that God created until now.”
  19. Mark 13:22 The Aramaic is “prophets of lies.”
  20. Mark 13:25 See Isa. 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9. This can also be viewed as a Hebraic metaphor of the lights of the natural realm being shut off and replaced with heaven’s glory. Lights out on the old order. Sun, moon, and stars are also representative of the governmental structures failing with great calamity. A new order, a new glory, is coming to replace the fading glories of this world.
  21. Mark 13:26 See Dan. 7:13.
  22. Mark 13:27 Or “angels.” The Greek word for “angels” can also mean “messengers.”
  23. Mark 13:29 Or “it.”
  24. Mark 13:30 As translated from the Aramaic, which employs a homonym that can be translated either “this generation will not pass away,” or “this family will not pass away. The generation in which Jesus lived on earth has indeed passed away, but the Christian “family” of believers remains and endures. Arguably one of the most difficult verses in the Gospels to interpret, “this generation” could also refer to the Jewish people (race).
  25. Mark 13:33 Most Greek manuscripts do not have “and praying”; however, there are ancient authorities who make reference to its inclusion here.
  26. Mark 13:34 Or “doorkeeper.”
  27. Mark 13:35 Or “when the rooster crows.”

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times(A)

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”(B)

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives(C) opposite the temple, Peter, James, John(D) and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.(E) Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.(F) On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.(G)

12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.(H) 13 Everyone will hate you because of me,(I) but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.(J)

14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’[a](K) standing where it[b] does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!(L) 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world,(M) until now—and never to be equaled again.(N)

20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.(O) 22 For false messiahs and false prophets(P) will appear and perform signs and wonders(Q) to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard;(R) I have told you everything ahead of time.

24 “But in those days, following that distress,

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[c](S)

26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds(T) with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.(U)

28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation(V) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.(W) 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.(X)

The Day and Hour Unknown

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.(Y) 33 Be on guard! Be alert[e]!(Z) You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants(AA) in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”(AB)


  1. Mark 13:14 Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11
  2. Mark 13:14 Or he
  3. Mark 13:25 Isaiah 13:10; 34:4
  4. Mark 13:29 Or he
  5. Mark 13:33 Some manuscripts alert and pray

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