Matthew’s imagery in the Olivet Discourse clearly resembles the imagery of the Old Testament. In II Samuel 12:11-12 we read:
He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind. He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water. (ESV)
David’s song of deliverance picks up on a similar theme later used by the Jewish writer St. Matthew when speaking about the coming of the Lord in the clouds. The nature of David’s vision was a spiritual reality that God had rescued him amidst the hands of his enemies. Matthew uses this in chapter 24:30 to refer to the coming of the Son of Man to gather his elect. He accomplishes this, not physically, but by the proclamation of the gospel through the trumpet call of the gospel. Matthew echoes a reality grounded in Old Testament imagery to detail events in the first century.