Matthew 24:22

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Ep. 199. 30: In Luke it is thus read, “There shall be great distress upon the earth, and wrath upon this people, and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations.” . Indeed some persons seem to me not unfitly to understand by “these days” the evils themselves, as in other places of divine Scripture evil days are spoken of; not that the days themselves are evil, but the things that are done onthem. And they are said to be shortened, because they are less felt, God givingus endurance; so that even though grievous, they are felt as short. For we ought not to doubt that when Jerusalem was overthrown, there were among that people elect of God who had believed out of the circumcision, or would have believed, elect before the foundation of the world, for whose sake those days should be shortened, and their evils made endurable. Some there are who suppose that the days will be shortened by a more rapid motion of the sun, as the day was made longer on...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Except those days . . . shortened; Gr. ε̉κολβώθησαν, a period or stop put to them; i.e, by the Lord, as Mark adds. The elect are twofold: those who are elected to grace, who are all the faithful and the righteous; and those who are elected to glory, who are all those who shall he saved. Both classes may be here understood, but especially the second. For these are they who are perfectly elected. And whosoever are elected to final grace, so that they persevere in it to the end of life, are those who are also elected to glory. The sense is—unless God from eternity had decreed, and had fulfilled the same in time, that the days of the wasting of Judæa should be shorter—shorter, I mean, than the sins of the Jews and the anger of the Romans demanded, all Jews would have perished. For if the time of the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of Judæa had lasted longer, no flesh, i.e, no Jews, would have survived. For the rage of the Romans against the Jews was very great, as again...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
No flesh: a Hebraism for no person; denoting that no one would have escaped death, had the war continued. (Witham) All the Jews would have been destroyed by the Romans, or all the Christians by Antichrist. (Maldonatus) From this place, Jesus Christ foretells the coming of Antichrist, and forewarns Christians of latter ages, to guard all they can against seduction.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Or otherwise; It is a sign of His future coming that the Lord gives, when He says, “When ye shall see the abomination.” For the Prophet spoke this of the times of Antichrist; and he calls abomination that which coming against God claims to itself the honour of God. It is “the abomination of desolation, "because it will desolate the earth with wars and slaughter; and it is admitted by the Jews, and set up in the holy place, that where God had been invoked by the prayers of the saints, into that same place admitted by the unbelievers it might be adored with the worship of God. And because this error will be peculiar to the Jews, that having rejected the truth they should adopt a lie, He warns them to leave Judaea, and flee to the mountains, that no pollution or infection might be gathered by admixture with a people who should believe on Antichrist. That He says, “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house,” is thus understood. The roof is the highes...


AD 420
That, “Let him that readeth understand,” is said to call us to the mystic understanding of the place. What we read in Daniel is this; “And in the midst of the week the sacrifice and the oblation shall be taken away, and in the temple shall be the abomination of desolations until the consummation of the time, and consummation shall be given upon the desolate.” . Or it may be understood of the statue of Caesar, which Pilate set up in the temple; or of the equestrian statue of Adrian, which stood to the present time in the very Holy of Holies. For, according to the Old Scripture, an idol is called ‘abomination;’ “of desolation” is added, because the idol was set up in the desolated and deserted temple. Because in the one the severity of the cold prevents your flight to the deserts, and your lurking in mountains and wilds; in the other, you must either transgress the Law, if you will fly, or encounter instant death if you will stay. Not remembering that which is written. “The day continues...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But who in this case does he mean by the elect? He means the believers that were hidden away in the midst of them. In order that Jews may not say that it was because of the gospel and the worship of Christ that these ills took place, he showed that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all Jews would have perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews would have remained. But lest those of them who had become believers should perish together with the unbelieving Jews, he quickly put down the fighting and allowed an end to the war. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

John Chrysostom

AD 407
This is a tribulation such as never has been before nor will be. He adds, “And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” By this he is indicating that they are deserving of a more grievous punishment than any that had previously been experienced. He is speaking now of the days of the war and of the siege. If the war of the Romans against Jerusalem had continued, all the Jews would have perished. By “no human being” in this case he means the Jews. And this doubtless applies to Jews at home and abroad. For the Romans were fighting not only against those in Judea but also against those Jews that were dispersed everywhere. They too were outlawed and banished, because of the Romans’ hatred against the Jews of Judea. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

John Chrysostom

AD 407
As above He had obscurely intimated the end of Jerusalem; He now proceeds to amore plain announcement of it, citing a prophecy which should make them believe it. Whence I think that by the abomination of desolation, He means the army by which the city of the holy Jerusalem was desolated. Or because he who desolated the city and the temple placed his statue there. He says, “When ye shall see,” because these things were to happen while some of them were yet alive. Wherein admire Christ’s power, and the courage of the disciples, who preached through those times in which all things Jewish were the object of attack. The Apostles, being Jews, introduced new laws in opposition to the Roman authority. The Romans conquered countless thousands of Jews, but could not overcome twelve unarmed unprotected men. But because it had often happened to the Jews to be recovered in very desperate circumstances, as in the times ofSennacherib and Antiochus, that no man might look for any such event now, Hegav...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
By these things He shows them to be deserving of a more grievous punishment than had been mentioned, speaking now of the days of the war and of that siege. But what He says is like this. If, says He, the war of the Romans against the city had prevailed further, all the Jews had perished (for by no flesh here, He means no Jewish flesh), both those abroad, and those at home. For not only against those in Judæa did they war, but also those that were dispersed everywhere they outlawed and banished, because of their hatred against the former. But whom does He here mean by the elect? The believers that were shut up in the midst of them. For that Jews may not say that because of the gospel, and the worship of Christ, these ills took place, He shows, that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all had perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews had remained, but lest those of them who had become b...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
And this we know was so done when the fall of Jerusalem drew near; for on the approach of the Roman army, all the Christians in the province, warned, as ecclesiastical history tells us, miraculously from heaven, withdrew, and passing the Jordan, took refuge in the city of Pella; and under the protection of that King Agrippa, of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, they continued some time; but Agrippa himself, with the Jews whom he governed, was subjected to the dominion of the Romans. But it is easy to despise money, and not hard to provide other raiment; but how can one avoid natural circumstances? How can a woman with child be made active for flight, or how can she that gives suck desert the child she has brought forth? "Woe,” therefore, “to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days;” to the one, because they are encumbered, and cannot easily fly, bearing about the burden of the womb; to the other, because they are held by compassion for their children,...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. There was at that time [of the capture of Jerusalem] unendurable tribulation. For the Roman soldiers were commanded to spare no one; but God, for the sake of those who would believe or who had already believed, did not allow them to be completely destroyed, but curtailed both the tribulations and the war. For if war had continued any longer, everyone within would have perished of starvation. Some understand these words to refer to the days of the Antichrist; but they are not concerning the Antichrist, but the capture of Jerusalem. That which concerns the Antichrist begins from this point. Listen, then:

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

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