Matthew 17:20: A Preterist Commentary


The First Century Faith that Made a Mountain Move

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Matthew 17:20: A Preterist Commentary: Summary and Highlights

In Matthew 17:20, Jesus declares, “[I]f you have faith . . . you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.’”  This mountain may actually be a city since cities are often called mountains in the Bible.  If this interpretation is correct, then Jesus’ words are prophetic.  See the following Preterist commentary on Matthew 17:20 for the fulfillment of this prophecy during Israel’s first century war with Rome.

The following may seem unbelievable.  However, all information is taken from unbiased historical records and is easily verifiable.  Sources listed at the end.

Matthew 17:20 fulfilled preterist commentary mountain that moved

Jesus’ promise that faith can move mountains in Matthew 17:20 is actually an end time prophecy.

The First Century Faith that Made a Mountain Move

20He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 17:20: Mountain means Kingdom or City in the Bible.  This Mountain or City is probably Joppa or Taricheae.

As is implied in Daniel 9:16 and many other verses in the Bible, mountain is term often used to denote a city or kingdom (Psalms 2:6, Psalms 48:1, Isaiah 66:20, Jeremiah 51:25, Joel 3:17). Because of the similarities between this verse and Matthew 21:21 and  since Jesus and his disciples were in Galilee when Jesus spoke these words, it is likely that the mountain referred to in this verse is a city by the Sea of Galilee.  In Matthew 21:21, Jesus declares, “[I]f you have faith and do not doubt . . . you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”   In light of Matthew 21:21, perhaps in v. 20 Jesus implies that the disciples would be able to move one of Galilee’s coastal cities into the sea?  Though the identity of the mountain or city in v. 20 is uncertain, Jesus may have been referring to either the city of Joppa or Taricheae.

Total War: Rome II MATT 17:20 FULFILLED PRETERIST COMMENTARY

In the Bible, mountain is term often used to denote a city or kingdom. Unable to withstand the Romans within the confines of their cities, the people of the mountains of Joppa and Taricheae fled to the Sea of Galilee where they were slain by the combined effects of a severe storm and Roman naval warfare. Thus the mountains of Joppa and Taricheae had been cast into the sea.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 17:20: The Mountains of Joppa and Taricheae were cast into the Sea during the Jewish War.

Perceiving that they could not withstand the Romans within the confines of these cities, many Jews during the Jewish War fled Joppa and Taricheae by ship to the Sea of Galilee.  There at sea, these Jewish rebels were ultimately slain by the combined forces of a violent tempest and superior Roman naval warfare.[ii]  Thus in a sense, the mountains of Taricheae and Joppa had, in fact, been thrown into the sea.

Joppa was the mounatin moved in Matthew 17:20 a preterist view

Joppa. Bauernfeind, Gustav. Market at Jaff. 1877.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 17:20: The Sea Represents Gentile Rome in Revelation.  Thus the Casting of the City to the Sea also prophetically symbolizes the Exile of the Israelites after the War.

There is more to this enigmatic statement.  Sea is often used in the Bible to represent the Gentile nations.  Daniel 7:2-3 and Revelation 17:15 are two examples of this implicit meaning.  During the Jewish War, the fact that many people in Joppa and Taricheae died at sea was an ominous sign hinting to the fate of the rest of Israel.  After the war ended, many Israelites were exiled throughout the Roman Empire.[iii]  Some of these exiles came from Joppa and Taricheae.  Here one can see another way in which Matthew 21:21 and Matthew 17:20 are fulfilled.  The casting of the mountains or cities of Israel into the sea also represents the exile of the Jews throughout Gentile Rome.

Ascent of the Blessed.

To cast something into the sea or Abyss is a Biblical expression signifying death. The Abyss is the realm of the damned also known as outer darkness.

A Preterist Commentary on Matthew 17:20: The Sea also represents the Abyss, the Realm of the Dead.  Therefore, the Casting of the City to the Sea also symbolizes the Death of its People.

Sea has another, deeper meaning in the Bible.  It also represents the Abyss, the realm of the dead.  The hurling of a mountain or city into the sea or Abyss is a symbolic expression of the destruction of a city and the slaughter of its inhabitants.  Hence this expression once again points to the massacre at Joppa and Taicheae during the Jewish War.  Its people having died at the Sea of Galilee, the mountains of Taricheae and Joppa had both literally and figuratively been cast into the sea.

According to Revelation 6:9-11, the plagues of Revelation and their fulfillment during the Jewish War were ultimately a consequence of the prayers of the saints.  After Jesus’ crucifixion, many Christians in Israel were intensely persecuted by their Jewish brethren.  God answered their pleas for justice in A.D. 66, at the start of Israel’s war with Rome.  During this war, Israel was destroyed by the Roman army and many Israelites were killed and exiled.  Jesus was right.  As a result of the faith of the saints, the mountains of Israel had been thrown into the sea.

Arch of Titus: Spoils of Jerusalem MAtthew 17:20 fulfilled  preterism

After the Jewish War, many Israelites were exiled throughout Rome fulfilling Matthew 17:20.

 

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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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[ii] Josephus The Wars of the Jews 3.9.1-3.10.9.

[iii] Ibid., 6.9.3.

Matthew 17:20: A Preterist Commentary: Conclusion

As stated in the above Preterist commentary on Matthew 17:20, Matthew 17:20 was fulfilled during the Jewish War in the first century.   

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Matthew 17:20: A Preterist Commentary

 

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