"For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
Josephus' Jewish Wars - ensigns
Wheresoever, etc. The words
in this verse are proverbial. Vultures and eagles easily ascertain where
dead bodies are, and come to devour them. So with the Roman army. Jerusalem
is like a dead and putrid corpse. Its life is gone, and it is ready to be
devoured. The Roman armies will find it out, as the vultures do a dead
carcass, and will come around it, to devour it. This proverb also teaches a
universal truth. Wherever wicked men are, there will be assembled the
instruments of their chastisement. The providence of God will direct them
there, as the eagles are directed to a dead carcass.
This verse is connected with the preceding by the word "for," implying
that this is a reason for what is said there, that the Son of man would certainly come to destroy the city, and that he would come
The meaning is, he would come by means of the Roman armies, as certainly, as
suddenly, and as unexpectedly, as whole flocks of vultures and eagles,
though unseen before, suddenly find their prey, see it at a great distance,
and gather in multitudes around it. Travellers in the deserts of Arabia tell
us that they sometimes witness a speck in the distant sky, which for a long
time is scarcely visible. At length, it grows larger; it comes nearer; and
they at last find that it is a vulture, that has from an immense distance
seen a carcass lying on the sand. So keen is their vision, and so aptly does
this represent the Roman armies, though at an immense distance, yet spying,
as it were, Jerusalem, a putrid carcass, and hastening in multitudes to
destroy it. " (Albert Barnes Commentary on Matthew 24:28).
John Broadus (1886)
"The meaning of the saying as here applied seems to be, that things will come to pass when the occasion for them exists. When Jerusalem is ready for destruction, the Roman armies will gather and destroy it." (ibid, p. 489)
John Brown (1858)
(On I Peter 4:17-19) "There seems here a reference to a particular judgment or trial, that the primitive Christians had reason to expect. When we consider that this epistle was written within a short time of the commencement of that awful scene of judgment which terminated in the destruction of the ecclesiastical and civil polity of the Jews, and which our Lord had so minutely predicted, we can scarcely doubt of the reference of the apostle's expression. After having specified wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, as symptoms of "the beginning of sorrows," our Lord adds, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my sake." "They shall deliver you up to councils and to synagogues, and shall be beaten," etc. (Matt. 24:9-13,22)
"This is the judgment which, though to fall most heavily on the Holy Land, was plainly to extend to wherever Jews and Christians were to be found, "for where the carcase was, there were the eagles to be gathered together;" which was to begin at the house of God, and which was to be so severe that "the righteous should scarcely,"
i.e. not without difficulty, "be saved." They only who stood the trial should be saved, and many would not stand the trial. All the truly righteous should be saved; but many who seemed to be righteous would not endure to the end, and so should not be saved, etc. Some have supposed the reference to be to the Neronian persecution, which by a few years preceded the calamities connected with the Jewish wars and the destruction of Jerusalem." (ibid., vol. ii. p 357)
Adam Clarke (1837)
Verse 28. For wheresoever the carcass is—
ptwma, the dead carcass. The Jewish nation, which was morally and judicially dead.
There will the eagles— The Roman armies, called so partly from their strength and fierceness, and partly from the figure of these animals which was always wrought on their ensigns, or even in brass, placed on the tops of their ensign-staves. It is remarkable that the Roman fury pursued these wretched men wheresoever they were found. They were a dead carcass doomed to be devoured; and the Roman eagles were the commissioned devourers. See the pitiful account in Josephus, WAR, b. vii. c. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, and 11. (Adam
Clarke's Commentary On Matthew 24)
"for wheresoever the carcase is, &c. I wonder any can understand these words of pious men flying to Christ, when the discourse here is of quite a different thing: they are thus connected to the foregoing: Christ shall be revealed with a sudden vengeance; for when God shall cast off the city and people, grown ripe for destruction, like a carcase thrown out, the Roman soldiers, like eagles, shall straight fly to it with their eagles (ensigns) to tear and devour it. And to this also agrees the answer of Christ, Luke xvii. 37; when, after the same words that are spoken here in this chapter, it was inquired, 'Where, Lord?' he answered, 'Wheresoever the body is: &c.; silently hinting thus much, that Jerusalem, and that wicked nation which he described through the whole chapter, would be the carcase, to which the greedy and devouring eagles would fly to prey upon it" (John Lightfoot, vol. 2, p. 319).
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Date: 09 Feb 2006
"Where the eagles be gathered together" is a direct reference to America and
the coming 1 hour war of revelation 18. See also Jerimiah 50 & 51. A warning
to repent and get right for the lord for the missles will come across the
atlantic and pacific like lighting and devour all.
Date: 16 Apr 2007
Keep in mind this passage is teaching about when the end of the age would
come!(matt24:3) The word SOMA in Luke17:37 and PTOMA in Matt24:28(auditory
slip?) do not both mean carcass or dead body- Soma means "body" (live body
that is!)I believe both should read SOMA. (Eagles of the Near East do eat
carrion, i.e. dead fish near the shores of the Sea of Galilee. So not that
it matters , but here again is a perfect example of pseudoscientists trying
to explain it couldn't be Eagles-yes it could and is without doubt EAGLE).
Eagles have tremendous eyesight- which spiritually speaking refers to the
gift of prophesy in the body of Christ. When the body gathers( one will be
taken one will be left) unto the Lord and begins to function as HIS body we
will have the necessary forewarning to know when these things are taking
place, and what we should do!
Date: 16 Mar 2009
Failed to mention the proceeding context in Luke 17:37.
Two in bed (@ night)... One shall be taken... the other left
Two at mill (obviously daytime)... One shall be taken... the other left
Two in field (obviously daytime)... One shall be taken... the other left
The preceeding context in matthew 24:28 is "The coming of the Son of man"...
Body,(soma) can also refer to a dead body. See Websters 1959 Unabridged
dictionary, Louw & Nida Lexicon, Thayer Lexicon, Strong #4983 only says soma
is 'complete, whole'. Somatic cells of dead beef in the freezer are complete
and whole. A bodythat is dead (fresh) is still a body... and eagles like
fresh meat. That is "wheresoever" a body will, the eagles also will be
It may mean some army under eagle ensign... but immediate context must be
overlooked to say Rome alone is the 'interpretation'... whether Josephus
quoted that verse or otherwise.What did Josephus say about "One will be
taken, one will be left?
Nothing as far as I can see.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment
Date: 13 May 2009
I think about Project Bluebeam and End time deception. How can we say with
certainty that the LORD was not warning us (the specific endtime
inhabitants) of amazing signs and such. The Project BB's ability to create
an intensely real appearing hologram of, say, Yeshua...would certainly dupe
the undiscerning, christian-in-name-only types. So thus, HE warns us to go
not to those places where 'they say he is'.
Ive also considered the idea that if a pretrib rapture occurs, when Yeshua
speaks about the eagles and carcasses...could it "possibly" mean that we can
be raptured and yet our bodies still be left behind. What point is there in
our flesh joining to the Lord? No flesh hath seen YHWH. We receive new
bodies as well, glorified, resurrection bodies...so where does our flesh go?
I wonder if this is possible? It's something to consider for further study.
Ive actually wondered this for a long time.
We cannot fall prey to the fallacy of the writings of Lahaye and company.
The "Left Behind" books and movies are full of unscriptural nonsense!
Date: 05 Feb 2010
The "Eagles" being gathered where ever the "corpse" is applied to the Romans
gathering the death bodies. To expect this to be a future event is WAY
outside of the text. Christ was referring to the destruction of the temple
in 70AD, and the gathering happens during that time frame; not some 2000
years into the future.
Date: 01 Jun 2011
The eagle was the insignia of the Romans (Rome) in the past as well as
Hitler (Germany) Many of them died in their fight for world supremacy and
the expansion of their empire. we need to look today to the nations that
have the eagle as their symbol to see where the future carcasses will be.
Date: 24 Jun 2011
I'm not a scholar on scripture. I depend on the Lord to explain scriptures
to me by what he's shown me in life, and experiences he's allowed me to see.
This is what I see in matthew 24-28. I am a hunter and outdoorsmen and have
observed nature. It can be very wounderful or very cruel. An eagle claims
it's prey whether it be live or dead,even selects it. It takes what it want,
and bring it back to its nest, the bigger the family, the bigger the nest,
bigger the territory. It sounds alot like the greedy and powerful men of the
world. Staking claims and positions," MORE is power". On the other hand a
vulture takes what is given. It really uses no force,unless it is eating, it
then will show some agression when others show up to eat, but are usually
busy eating, getting what they can. Their garbage collectors not hunters. I
beleive God uses the word "eagles" cause eagles are decisive, they plan and
always watch and are ready to strick when opportunity arises. I'm sure that
the greedy and powerful men of this world, know the scriptures and are
advised by scholars on what's going to happen. Some are even part of making
these future event happen.And are in postion to take what they want, when
this day come. Vultures will only feed when the beast is finished eating its
kill. I beleive God is saying, the people that are killed or taken or
flee.The things of their life will be taken,whether that be positions or
power or possession,it will be devoured like a fest at the kings round
table, and the one's that are left,will have no rights to whats theirs, and
are very valnerable to the horrors of that day.The Powerful!Gold and silver
will they boast amoungst themselves,but there true reward will be there
pride, thinking they made it, mission accomplished, we're finally on top.
What fools. stuart shepley (2011)