“Be careful and see to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name [appropriating for themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me alone], saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and disturbances [civil unrest, revolts, uprisings], do not panic; for these things must take place first, but the end will not come immediately.”
“Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and [deadly and devastating] pestilences (plagues, epidemics); and there will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you,
turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. This will be a time and an opportunity for you to testify [about Me]. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you [skillful] words and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed and handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be continually hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your [patient] endurance [empowered by the Holy Spirit] you will gain your souls.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [hostile] armies, then understand [with confident assurance] that her complete destruction is near. At that time, those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city (Jerusalem) must get out, and those who are [out] in the country must not enter the city; for these are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.
Woe to those women who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For great trouble and anguish will be on the land, and wrath and retribution on this people [Israel]. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
“There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars;
and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with [transcendent, overwhelming] power [subduing the nations] and with great glory.
Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.”