A Question on Matt. 24:34

Q. My question is about Matt 24:34, many people use the term generation to mean seventy years from the formation of the country of Israel in 1948 to the second coming. When Jesus spoke to the disciples wasn’t he using the Jewish year of 360 days? If you use the 360 day format then 70 years is 25,200 days for a 70 year period. Seventy years using our 365 1/4 day year would be 25,567.5 days or 367.5 more days for the same 70 year period or 2018. Using our calendar that would would work out to be 69 years or about one year less and make His second coming in 2017. Seven years earlier for the rapture would be 2010. How do you see it?

A. Technically a generation is the span of time between the birth of a man and the birth of his first child. (In Biblical times this averaged about 40 years.) In effect, what Jesus said in Matt. 24:34 was that the generation of people being born when the first End Times signs appeared would still be alive at the 2nd coming, so He was talking about a life span, not a generation. Using Psalm 90:10 as our authority we see that man’s average life span is 70 years, and that’s where the number 70 came from.

Most scholars agree that the first of the end times signs was the re-birth of Israel in 1948, because none of the specific signs Jesus gave in the Olivet Discourse could have taken place before then.

As for what calendar He was using, to me there’s a danger here of crossing the line between understanding the signs of the times and conducting a fruitless search for unknowable dates. I’m more comfortable leaving the nuances of the various calendars to someone else.

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