Mark 13:24–27 is often interpreted as a prediction of the parousia at the consummation of history. In this article the author proposes that these verses, derived entirely from OT texts, metaphorically refer to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The first part of the article provides the narrative context by focusing on the genre and structure of Mark 13 along with the chapter's narrative proximity to Jesus' criticism of the Temple hierarchy in chapters 11–12. The second part of the article explores the function of cosmic portents, the coming of the Son of Man and the gathering of the elect as they appear in the OT and subsequent exegetical traditions. The temporal function of this language provides an important precedent for its function in Mark.

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