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Matthew 24:20

But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Perhaps this saying contains a puzzle. It admonishes us to pray that our departure from this body would not happen in the time of rest from good works, which the sabbath signifies, nor in the time of unfruitfullness, which is winter. It is notable, however, that God did not create the winter of misfortunes. Winter means the time that we are possessed by the fleshly passions. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
In the winter: an inconvenient season for flying away. Or on the sabbath, when it was lawful to travel only about a mile. (Witham) Pray to God that you may be enabled to escape those evils, and that there may be no impediment to your flight. (Estius, in different location)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then, to show again the greatness of the calamity, He says (that). Do you see that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. For indeed the most part of them were already departed this life. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world. But wherefore neither in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day? Not in the winter, because of the difficulty arising from the season; not on the Sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the law. For since they had need of flight, and of the swiftest flight, but neither would the Jews dare to flee on the Sabbath day, because of the law, neither in winter was such a thing easy; therefore, Pray ye, says He; for then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Recall that this discourse is addressed to the Jews. He is speaking here of the ills that should overtake them. He is not speaking primarily to the apostles, who did not keep the Jewish sabbath day. They were nowhere around when Vespasian did these things. Indeed, most of the apostles would soon be dead or in other distant parts of the world. It is to the Jews that he says “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath.” Pray that it not be in winter, because of the difficulty of the season. Pray that it not be on the sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the law. For they had need of flight, and of the swiftest flight. The Jews would not dare to flee on the sabbath day, because of the law. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
He addressees these words to the Jews in the person of the apostles; for the apostles would have already departed from Jerusalem by the time that flight would be necessary. To the Jews, then, He says to pray that their flight not be in winter when they would not be able to flee on account of the severity of the weather; and that it would not be on the sabbath day when they rested according to the law and would not dare to flee. But you, O reader, understand it also in this manner: we must pray that our flight from this life, that is, our end, not be on the sabbath during idleness from good deeds, nor in winter, when no good fruit is brought forth, but rather in tranquility of soul, free from all disturbance. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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