Eye Will See Him”
No matter how many times I read Yeshua’s words, it seems that every time I read them again I discover something new or I finally understand something that had previously gone right over my head. This article is a case in point concerning something Yeshua had said about his return in Matthew 24. This particular passage has apparently plagued others as well since none of the commentaries I consulted could offer any help. These sources were obviously as befuddled about what Yeshua described as I had been …that is …up until yesterday morning!
Virtually the entire 24th chapter of Matthew comprises Yeshua’s answer to the question his disciples had asked: “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age”. Many books have been written to interpret what Yeshua told his disciples here in chapter 24 and I’m sure I could write a book as well, but for the sake of keeping this article short and to the point of my discovery, I will focus predominantly on verses 27 and 28. Here is the direct quote from the New King James Translation.
27“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
If you’ve never read these words before your head is probably spinning with questions. What had me so confounded was how to reckon what eagles gathered around carcasses had to do with Yeshua’s return being like lightning flashing across the sky! Even a novice would notice that Yeshua intended a connection between the two sentences because the second sentence begins with the word “for”. This fact is made even more evident and astonishing when one takes a look at the Greek word that is translated “for”. That Greek word is gar (Strong’s #1063), and it means, “assigning a reason”, and it is often translated “because”. It means that what is possible in the first sentence is only possible because of the truth of the second sentence. So I ask it again: What could eagles gathered around carcasses have to do with Yeshua’s return being like lightning flashing across the sky?!
The few commentators that even tried to tackle this passage suggested a connection to prophecies in Ezekiel 39:17-20 and Revelation 19:17-18 where the birds of heaven are called to eat the flesh of men at the last battle before Yeshua’s appearance. But this connection is very loose at best, and it certainly doesn’t explain how the very fact of birds being gathered around carcasses makes it possible for Yeshua’s appearance to be like lightning flashing across the sky.
Still scratching your head? You are going to be absolutely shocked when that little light goes on and you realize how clearly Yeshua saw this day in which we live. He was describing things in metaphorical terms that his disciples would never be able to comprehend, in an endeavor to give them a little bit of an idea of what it would be like in the future. What’s more, he even prophesied that these words he spoke concerning his return would remain in the world until he returned! Later, in the same discourse, he said:
“Assuredly, I say to you, this
generation [its testimony of my words]
will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth
will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”
(Bracketed words in blue my amplification)
Every time we read Yeshua’s words, the very fact that we are able to read them in this day and age fulfills them. The testimony of the generation who witnessed his words remains to this day. And as you will see, it is obvious that Yeshua clearly saw this day and the way things would be.
To answer the question of how eagles gathering around carcasses can make it possible for Yeshua’s return to be like lightning flashing across the sky, we first need to understand what he meant when he said his return would be like lightning flashing across the sky! This part I have understood for some time, and it has to do with how the world will see or view his return.
There are several Scriptures that describe the appearance of Yeshua’s coming and are quoted here. The first quote comes only three verses after the two we are dealing with.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30
Now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Yeshua who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11
Behold, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him … and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. Revelation 1:7
Question: If Yeshua returns to the
If you read again the first sentence of Yeshua’s statement you will notice that this is exactly what he was describing to his disciples. As you read it, keep in mind that the context of this statement is Yeshua’s answer to the question of what “the sign” (a visual) would be of his return. It is also important to note that Yeshua was imploring his disciples not to be fooled by false Messiahs that hide in the shadows. The point he was making (and one that he elaborated on just three verses later) is that everyone, “will see” him return “with power and great glory” with their own eyes, and there will be no question. So here is the first sentence of the two again.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be [seen].” Matthew 24:27
words in blue my amplification)
Imagine this pictorial that Yeshua has painted for his disciples. Lightning, striking in the east, instantly seen reflected off the clouds in the west. Reflections of an event, traveling at the speed of light across the whole world! Could there have been a better analogy Yeshua could have used to describe our modern television technology to his disciples?
You may not agree with this interpretation yet, but all doubt should be removed when you see how the next verse perfectly dovetails with this interpretation. This is the one that never made sense to me before. Keep in mind that what Yeshua describes next must be what makes his previous ascertain possible.
“For (because) wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Could Yeshua possibly have used a more accurate metaphoric analogy than opportunistic scavengers to describe our modern news media?
Is it not they who will train their cameras on the clouds of his return, making it possible for everyone to whiteness the event with their own eyes?
Here are both passages together.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to [and is seen in] the west, so also [in like manner] will the coming of the Son of Man be [seen] [by every eye]. Because wherever the carcass [death and destruction] is, there the eagles [opportunistic television news media] will be gathered together.”
words in blue my amplification)
Is there a better interpretation to explain how eagles gathering around carcasses can make it possible for Yeshua’s return to be like the lightning flashing across the sky?