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Luke 17:37

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

Read Luke 17:37 Using Other Translations

And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them,Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."
“Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked. Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”

What does Luke 17:37 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Luke 17:37

And they answered and said unto him, where, Lord?
&c.] That is, either the Pharisees put this question to Christ, who demanded of him when the kingdom of God would come, ( Luke 17:20 ) or rather the disciples, to whom Christ more especially directed his discourse, ( Luke 17:22 ) who hearing of the distinction that would be made of persons in these dismal times, ask where it should be; not where the persons would be left, but whither the others would be taken, and by whom: and he said unto them,

wheresoever the body is;
the carcass of the Jewish nation, as at Jerusalem chiefly, and in whatsoever place:

thither will the eagles be gathered together;
the Roman army, whose ensign was the eagle; these will come, seize upon them, and take them and devour them, as they did: the Persic version renders it, "vultures"; (See Gill on Matthew 24:28). These words can by no means be understood of sinners fleeing to Christ for eternal life and salvation; nor of the gathering of saints to him, at the last day; for how fitly soever such persons may be compared to "eagles", the word "body", or "carcass", as in ( Matthew 24:28 ) and which is so read in some copies here, is not so suitable to Christ; and especially at his glorious appearing; and besides, the words are an answer to a question, where such persons would be, who would be taken and destroyed, when others would be left, or preserved; and manifestly refer to the body, or carcass of the Jewish people at Jerusalem, and other fortified places; where they should think themselves safe, but should not be so, the Roman armies gathering about them, and seizing them as their prey: it is yet a more strange interpretation, which is proposed by a very learned man F9; that by the "eagle" is meant, Christ; and by "the body", or "carcass", the church in the times of antichrist; and by "gathering" to it, the coming of Christ: for though Christ may be said to bear and carry his people, as the eagle bears and carries its young upon its wings, which he observes from ( Exodus 19:4 ) ( Deuteronomy 32:11 ) ( Isaiah 63:9 ) yet not a single eagle, but "eagles", in the plural number, are here mentioned; which shows, that not a single person, as Christ, but many are here intended, even legions of Roman soldiers: nor can the church of Christ be compared to a dead and filthy carcass, in the worst of times, even in the times of antichrist; for however forlorn, distressed, and afflicted her condition is, she is kept alive, and in some measure pure from antichristian pollutions; and is represented by a woman, to whom two wings of a great eagle are given (wherefore she should rather be designed by the eagles) to fly with into the wilderness, where she is preserved and nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, ( Revelation 12:14 ) . Nor is Christ's coming ever expressed by the gathering of him to his people; but on the other hand, they are always said to be gathered unto him; see ( 2 Thessalonians 2:1 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F9 Teelmaunus.
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