But of That Day and Hour Who Knows? This is a common response by those who yet believe Jesus’ second coming is future. This is a brief response to demonstrate why that reasoning does not follow. The view addressed here comes from a study citing Luke 21:34-35, as a day of uncertainty. The writer maintained that since those verses followed Luke 21:32, which clearly delineated the A.D. 70 fall or Jerusalem, then they must of necessity be speaking of a yet future unknown coming of the Lord. The following is a partial reply.
Not Knowing the Day and Hour
Luke does not mention the phrase, “but of that day and hour no man knows” as does Matthew and Mark. That does not mean that the idea is not present in the text. Clarke correctly deduces the idea from the language of surprise suggested by the “unexpectedness” indicated in the text. Normal life continued without interruption allowing for its surprise.
The idea of not knowing the day is prophetic and relates directly to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This is confirmed by two passages from the Old Covenant. The first, is the Song of Moses, (Deuteronomy 32) where Moses speaks of Judah’s last days, when God takes vengeance on the perverse and crooked generation, (Deut. 32:5, 20).
In fact, Jesus draws from that very context to pronounce his judgment upon the Jews. Four times in Deuteronomy 32, he mentions that God would take vengeance on the terminal generation of Israel, (Deut. 32:35, 41, 43). Compare Luke 21:22. Twice in Moses’ prophecy, God says that Judah would not know the time of the event. “For they are a nation void of counsel, nor is there any understanding in them. Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” (v. 28-29).
Jesus quotes directly from this verse and laments because Judah did not know the time of her visitation i.e. judgment. “Now as He drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes,” (Luke 19:41-44).
Not only did Judah not know the day and hour, they did not know the “generation” because of their unbelief!
The reason Judah did not know the “day and hour” of her visitation is because God said the event was “laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures?” (Deut. 32:34). In other words, God had not revealed the “day and hour” of the event. It was His secret, stored up like precious treasure in His own mind.
Zechariah 14:7 – But of That Day and Hour Who Knows?
The prophet Zechariah writes concerning the day of the Lord. His context is the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. He cannot possibly be speaking of a day that ends all life on the planet. In verses 16-20, he says that all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and keep the Feast of Tabernacles. He specifically names Egypt and then categorically includes all the nations.
These events could not be possible given a scenario where the earth is burned and destroyed. Yet, in verse 7, he says that when the Lord comes with all his saints, the following occurs:
“It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one day which is known to the Lord–Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light.” (Zech. 14:6-7. )
It is this text which Jesus quotes while giving the prophecy on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, while speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. He likewise draws from Deuteronomy 32. Moses spoke of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in her last days as a time which only the Lord knew. Yet God said that event concerned Israel in their latter (last days), Deut. 31:29-32:43.
Therefore, the day which only God knew referred to a time when he would bring destruction upon the Jewish nation in A.D. 70.
Things Equal to the Same Thing Are Equal To Each Other
We have established that Deuteronomy 32:28-29 and v. 34, referred to a day only known by God i.e. sealed up in his treasures). But the day of Lord in Zechariah 14:7, was a day only known to the Lord, hence likewise sealed up in his treasures. Therefore, the day of the Lord in Zechariah 14:7, equals the time of judgment in Deuteronomy 32:34.
Now since the unknown day of the Lord in Zechariah 14:7 equals the unknown day of the Lord in Matthew 24:36, and Mark. 13:32, and since they equal the second coming of Christ, then Deuteronomy 32:28-29 and 35, equals the second coming of Christ. But the events of Deuteronomy 32 speak of the last days of Judah and their end in 70 A.D. That is proof positive that the destruction of Jerusalem equates in time with Jesus’ second coming. Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
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