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by Dr. John Thomas
Did he mean it was "the whole habitable," "the age," or the Israelites; for world is applied to them all?
If it had been the first he would have said, "The field is the o}lh oijcoumevnh"; if the second, "The field is the aijwvn"; and if the third, "The field is the covsmo"".
The last is the record in the case.
He represents himself as the sower; and says that the seed which he sowed was "the word of the kingdom"; that it was "good seed"; and that he sowed it into the hearts of the Israelites, or "children of the kingdom," of whom there were two classes, good and bad".
These, then, were the field, and therefore, the covsmo" or nation-world.
But the enemy sowed tares into this field, which were to be gathered out and burnt.
This conflagration was to be at harvest-time, concerning which Jesus said, "The harvest is the end of the world".
Did he mean the end of the nation-world?
No; therefore he used another word, namely aijwvn instead of covsmo".
The harvest was to be at the end of the aion, suntevleia tou` aijw`no"; and not at the end of the kosmos, or extermination of the nation Israel from among nations.
The extinction of Israel from the earth will never take place; though a full end will be made of all other nations.
But at the end of what aion was the harvest to be?
Jesus replies, "As the tares are gathered and burned in the fire at harvest time; so shall it be ejn th`/ sunteleiva/ tou` aijw`no" touvtou, in the end of this age".
That is, in the end of the aion in which he flourished.
Then he would send his reapers, namely, the Romans, his angels, or messengers (a]ggeloi) of destruction, to "gather out of his kingdom" of Judea, all the tare-like children of Israel, and cast them into the place of the Lord, "whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem," where there should be wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
When this should be accomplished the aion would be finished, and the commonwealth of Israel should "be no more until He should come whose right it is to reign".
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father".
As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, his disciples asked him saying, "What shall be the sign of the end of the age -- tiv to; shmei`on th`" sunteleiva" tou` aijw`no"?
" or, in the common version, "of the end of the world?
" He replied, ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole habitable (ejn o}lh/ th`/ oijcoumevnh/) for a testimony to all the nations: and then shall come the end".
Having said this, he gave them "the sign," namely, the standing of the abomination of desolation in the holy place, or city, as foretold by Daniel.
First, then, the gospel was to be fully preached to every creature by the apostles; and afterwards, the sign was to appear.
Did the apostles perform their work, or does it yet remain to be accomplished?