“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
The Lord told us that Israel will be led away captive as a fulfillment to Moses’ prediction that stated: if the nation would “not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book” (Deut. 28:58, 63–68). This warning had already been fulfilled previously, in the Babylonian captivity (Jer. 16:13; 40:1, 2; 52:12–16, 28–31; Dan. 1:1–3; 9:11–14; etc.).
In relation to Gabriel’s clarification to Daniel concerning the restoration from Babylonian captivity (Dan. 9:24, 25), there was also a warning that a repetition of the sins against God would result in a second destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (Dan. 9:26, 27).
In Matt. 24:15–20 and Luke 21:20, Christ referred to this second destruction and the scattering of the Jews. This instance was not to be alleviated “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Sadly, the Jews were trodden down and their self-rule that they had under Romans prior to A.D. 70 was never returned. And since that dreadful year Jerusalem has remained mostly under Gentile control (Romans, Turks, Crusaders, and Arabs). Since that time Jerusalem was not regarded as a truly Jewish city. Though recently the new State of Israel has controlled of a part of the city, Old Jerusalem is still not a Jewish city.
The times of the Gentiles refers to the time when the gospel would reach the world. And this got fulfilled when the Jewish nation rejected Christ and crucified Him, and they were no longer God’s special people. God’s covenant was then transferred from literal Israel to spiritual Israel or the church. The New Testament church was commissioned to spread the gospel to all nations (Acts 1:8; 13:46; 18:6; 28:25–28; Rom. 1:16).
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