Does Luke 21:22 Teach That All Prophecies In The Old Testament Were Fulfilled In A.D. 70?


Luke 21:20-24 states: "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

This is one of the verses that is used by covenant eschatologists (see our Q & A: "Why Is Covenant Eschatology False And Dangerous?" to find out what covenant eschatology is) in hopes of upholding their theological system.

  1. Context indicates that this was a prophecy spoken by Jesus concerning the destruction of Jerusalem which took place in A.D. 70.
  2. Covenant eschatologists ' false teaching on this passage is that every Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled by A.D. 70. So the ir faulty argumentation is that all the Old Testament prophecies that speak of death being swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:6), the resurrection of the dead (Daniel 12:1,2; Hosea 6:1-2, 13:14, etc.) , etc. has all taken place at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
  3. However, this is one of the cases when "all things" is limited by its immediate context (Luke 21:20-24), which is referring to the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. There are many examples in the Old Testament where it prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 such as Daniel 9:24-27. Luke, the inspired writer, does this in other texts he has written as well. Here are some examples:
  4. Luke 18:31-33: "Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again." The "all things" is limited by the context in that it is speaking of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
  5. Luke 24:44,45: "Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." The "all things" is limited by the context in that it is speaking of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the case that Jesus is the Messiah.

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EschatologyJoey FerrellLuke