No Man Knows the Day or the Hour: What Does Matthew 24:36 Mean?


Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” King James Version (KJV)

TranslationMatthew 24:36
ESV“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
NASB“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
NIV“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
NLT“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

No Man Knows the Day or the Hour: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

24:29-41 Christ foretells his second coming. It is usual for prophets to speak of things as near and just at hand, to express the greatness and certainty of them. Concerning Christ’s second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new.

Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired.

Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair.

The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven.

Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure.

Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ’s second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids.

That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment.

Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do.

The evil day is not the further off for men’s putting it far from them. What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour’s coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear.

Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord! Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?

Matthew 24:36 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 24

Mt 24:1-51. Christ’s Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37.

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