Matthew 13:24-43: A Preterist Commentary

The Jewish Revolt Began on the Wheat Harvest hence the Wheat Harvest Imagery in Matthew 13:24-43

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Matthew 13:24-43: A Preterist Commentary: Summary and Highlights

In Matthew 13:24-43, Jesus tells a parable in which the events surrounding the time of the end are symbolized as a wheat harvest.  The fact that the end of the age is depicted as a wheat harvest is not surprising in light of the fact that the Jews revolted against Rome at the start of the wheat harvest in A.D. 66 marking the beginning of the end of the age and the most tragic war in Israel’s history.  For a detailed interpretation of this parable in addition to its first century fulfillment during see the following Preterist commentary on Matthew 13:24-43.

The following may seem unbelievable.  However, all information is taken from unbiased historical records, cited and easily verifiable.

Matthew 13:24-43 preterist commentary harvest is end of age Jewish war

The fact that the end of the age is depicted as a wheat harvest in Matthew 13:30 is no coincidence since the events surrounding the end of the age began when the Jews revolted against Rome at the start of the wheat harvest.

The Jewish Revolt Began at the Wheat Harvest hence the Wheat Harvest Imagery in Matthew 13:24-43

24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “

After Jesus finished His message, His disciples asked Him to explain the parable of the weeds.

37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The second coming Matthew 13:41 preterist commentary

The second coming according to Revelation 19.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:39: In v. 39 Jesus says, “The [Wheat] Harvest is the End of the Age.”  Not Surprisingly, the Jews Revolted against Rome around the Start of the Wheat Harvest.

In v. 39 Jesus says the harvest is the end of the age.  According to vs. 25-26, this harvest is the wheat harvest.  The Jewish revolt began in the month of Iyyar.  On the twenty-first day of that month, Jesus returned leading an army of angels of the harvest mentioned in Matthew 13:39-42 on the clouds of heaven as predicted in Revelation 19:11-14.  Unknowingly recording the second coming of Christ, the non-Christian historian Josephus writes:

[O]n the twenty-first day of the month of Artemisius [Iyyar], a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.1

The second coming Matthew 13:41 preterist commentary

The angelic army in the sky of A.D. 66. Notice the similarities between this event and the second coming as it is described in Revelation 19.

The wheat harvest occurs in the month of Sivan, the following month.  Thus in fulfillment of this parable, the Jewish revolt against Rome and Jesus’ appearance in the sky with His army of angel harvesters at the end of the month of Iyyar portrayed in the image above both occurred right at the start of the wheat harvest.  As stated above, this angelic army in the sky presumably lead by Christ appears to literally fulfill Revelation 19:11-14 and is the first miraculous appearance of Christ in the clouds during the second coming.  The fact that this presage occurred at the start of the wheat harvest is a potent warning of the impending fulfillment of Matthew 13:39-43 in which the angels following Christ in the sky are soon to begin their duties as harvesters pulling up the weeds and burning them.  As will be explained shortly, these weeds are the wicked people of Israel.  The fire engulfing these weeds represents both the otherworldly fires of hell and the earthly fires that were about to engulf Israel upon the arrival of Vespasian and his armies.

For a detailed explanation of how the army in the sky in A.D. 66 literally fulfills Biblical prophecy concerning the “coming” aspect of the second coming see Jesus, the Son of Man, was Seen in the Clouds in A.D. 66.  For an additional explanation of the other appearances of Christ during the Jewish War which seem to literally fulfill every detail of every prophecy concerning the parousia or second coming. See Historical Evidence that Jesus, the Son of Man, was LITERALLY SEEN in the Clouds in the First Century.

Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:41-42

Each trumpet plague of Revelation signified important events in and around the Jewish War with Rome. Every plague was marked by an audible trumpet sound.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:41-42: The Angels of the Harvest in vs. 41-42 are the Seven Angels of the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation.

The angels of the harvest in vs. 41-42 are led by the seven angels of the seven trumpets and bowls of Revelation.  As is discussed in exhaustive detail in the commentary on the Book of Revelation, the seven trumpets and bowls are primarily fulfilled in several battles throughout the course of the Jewish War, each of which is literally signaled by the sound of a trumpet.

The burning of the Temple in A.D. 70 fulfills Matthew 13:40 preterism

The burning of the Temple in A.D. 70. The burning of the weeds in Matthew 13:40 was fulfilled both in Rome’s scorched earth policy and the subsequent casting of the wicked to Gehenna.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:40: The Burning of the Weeds in v. 40 is fulfilled in the Burning of Israel during the Jewish War and the Fires of Hell.

The burning of the weeds represents the casting of the wicked into the fires of hell.  This act of judgment is foreshadowed by Rome’s charred-earth policy.  During the Jewish War, the Romans swept through Israel like a wildfire not only burning each city that rebelled against them but also igniting the surrounding countryside as well.   With Israel ablaze in unquenchable fire, the province became an earthly reflection of the fires of Gehenna.2  Therefore, the burning of the weeds represents both the destruction of Israel by fire and the casting of the wicked into hell.

Jerusalem to Pella Matthew 13:30 preterist commentary

Jerusalem to Pella

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:30: The Gathering of the Wheat into the Barn represents both the Return of the Jewish Christians to Israel after the War and the Resurrection of the Dead.

The barn signifies post-war Israel in which the Jewish Christian saints who had fled to Pella during the war returned to repopulate the province.  The barn also represents heaven.  The gathering of the wheat, the sons of the kingdom, into the barn, heaven, is an allegorical reference to the resurrection of the dead.  According to 1 Corinthians 15:52, the resurrection occurs at the last trumpet.  The last trumpet is the seventh trumpet of Revelation.  This trumpet blown at the start of the siege of Jerusalem in Passover of A.D. 70 marks the resurrection of the dead.3  Evidence in favor of this interpretation is found in v. 43: “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

 Resurrection Matthew 13:30 preterist commentary

The resurrection was to occur at the seventh and last trumpet of Revelation which was blown at the start of the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 13:43: Spirits in Heaven are described in Near-Death Experiences as Beings of Light as implied in v. 43: “The Righteous will shine like the Sun in the Kingdom of Their Father.”

Jesus finishes His explanation with the words, “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43).”  Here Jesus implies that the resurrected bodies of the saints are not unlike Christ’s own resurrection body after His ascension into heaven as it is pictured in Acts 9:3 and Revelation 1:13-15.  In v. 43, Jesus describes the afterlife bodies of the saints in much the same way that they are pictured in many near-death experiences.  According to the testimony of many people who have survived clinical death, beings in hell look like dark shadows whereas beings in heaven are said to exude light. Here one can see the fulfillment of Matthew 13:43 in the resurrection to heaven: “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  See How the Resurrection Bodies of the Saints Perfectly Mirror Jesus’ Resurrection Body after His Ascension Into Heaven Fulfilling Philippians 3:20-21 and ALL Other Bible Verses on the Resurrection!!!.

Matthew 13:43 fulfilled

According to the testimony of near-death experiences, spirits in hell (demons) are described as dark shadows as they appear in the movie Ghost.

 

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Interested in THE PRETERIST VIEW OF ESCHATOLOGY, or are you a PRETERIST struggling with a prophecy or verse?  It DID happen just like the Bible says!  If you liked this essay, see PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY for a detailed explanation of the FULFILLMENT OF ALL MAJOR END TIME PROPHECIES IN THE BIBLE. The more unbelievable the prophecy, the more amazing and miraculous the fulfillment!

Also see Historical Evidence that Jesus was LITERALLY SEEN in the Clouds in the First Century. For an explanation of how the end of the age and its fulfillment during the Jewish War mirror Genesis 1-3; how the Bible teaches that the resurrection of the dead is a resurrection of heavenly bodies to heaven, not a resurrection of perfected earthly bodies; and how the resurrection is a mirror opposite of the fall see How the Jewish War and Resurrection to Heaven Mirror Genesis and the Fall; and How Preterism fixes the Age of the Earth Problem and unravels the Mysteries in Genesis.

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Matthew 13:24-43: A Preterist Commentary: Conclusion

As stated in the above Preterist commentary on Matthew 13:24-43, the events surrounding the war with Rome at the end of the age are symbolically depicted as a wheat harvest. 

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Matthew 13:24-43: A Preterist Commentary

  1. Josephus The Wars of the Jews 6.5.3.
  2. Unquenchable fire is literally fire that becomes so large and hot that it cannot be intentionally put out.
  3. See the commentaries on 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: Preterism, the Rapture and the Resurrection, Revelation 11 and Revelation 12.

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