Had been shortened (ekolobwqhsan). From kolobo, lopped, mutilated, as the hands, the feet. It is a second-class condition, determined as unfulfilled. It is a prophetic figure, the future regarded as past. For the elect's sake (dia tou eklektou). See Matthew 22:14 for another use of this phrase by Jesus and also Matthew 24:31 . The siege was shortened by various historical events like the stopping of the strengthening of the walls by Herod Agrippa by orders from the Emperor, the sudden arrival of Titus, the neglect of the Jews to prepare for a long siege. "Titus himself confessed that God was against the Jews, since otherwise neither his armies nor his engines would have availed against their defences" (Vincent).