John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 8 (Mark 13:8)

For nation shall rise against nation ,.... The nations of the world one against another, and the Romans against the Jews, and the Jews against them:

and kingdom against kingdom ; which is a synonymous phrase with the former, and what the Jews call, מלות שונות , "different words", expressing the same thing, often used in their commentaries:

and there shall be earthquakes in divers places ; of the world:

and there shall be famines : especially in Judea, as in the times of Claudius Caesar, and at the siege of Jerusalem:

and troubles ; public ones of various sorts, as tumults, seditions, murders, &c.; This word is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions.

These are the beginnings of sorrows ; as of a woman with child, as the word signifies; whose pains before, though they are the beginnings and pledges of what shall come after, are not to be compared with those that immediately precede, and attend the birth of the child: and so all those troubles, which should be some time before the destruction of Jerusalem, would be but small, but light afflictions, the beginning of sorrows, in comparison of what should immediately go before, and attend that desolation; See Gill on Matthew 24:7 , Matthew 24:8 .

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary