Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:34 (KJV)
Generation – Boy does this cause some confusion. Is the text really saying that no one among that living generation will die until all those signs happen? If so, then Yeshua had to have returned already, right? Well that’s what the Preterists believe. Me, not so much.
How is this verse justified if the signs didn’t appear prior to that living generation’s death? Well let’s jump in. The word here in Greek is genea and can mean more than a certain period of lineage. While the meaning in Greek can imply several ranks of natural descendants, or successive members of a geneology, the intention here is that “genea has the sense of ‘age'” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). And now we’re exploring something that aligns better with what we know to be true. Yeshua hasn’t returned yet, and surely those signs didn’t all appear before that immediate generation died. Yeshua is referring to a lineage of people, not a specific time in space.
But Yeshua didn’t speak in Greek, He spoke in Hebrew and probably Aramaic. So what was the word he would have used in Hebrew? To find out, we need to inspect the Septuagint to see which Hebrew word genea translates from. That Hebrew word is toledot. We can get a sense of this word when reading Genesis 6:9 about the generations of Noah. Notice the word doesn’t imply a specific man representing his own generation, but rather infers a lineage that extended from this man. Toledot is about lineage.
So who was Yeshua speaking to when explaining the signs in Matthew 24? He was speaking to His disciples. The lineage of the disciples of Yeshua shall not pass until all the signs have been fulfilled. Is that making more sense now? We are among that lineage. We too are disciples. We are a part of this ‘age’ we call the “end of times”.
Could this also be revealed in this verse?
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
We are the elected, we are the chosen. But all these signs must be fulfilled BEFORE the elect die. Is that referring to us, our immediate generation? Not the way we think. It refers to all of those who are found in the grace of Yeshua. Those who keep the commandments, and hold the testimony of Yeshua. Those who lived before and after us. As long as there are disciples, this generation hasn’t died.
So think of your life. You are a part of this lineage, and that’s amazing! These signs could be in your future, but whenever they do happen, they’ll be obvious. Everyone will know that Yeshua is returning. So don’t be deceived.