Abomination of Desolation

January 3, 2022

Therefore when you see the 'ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15).

The words, ‘abomination of desolation’ is a Hebrew expression, meaning an abominable or hateful destroyer. The Gentiles were called an abomination by the Jews. Then he [the Apostle Peter] said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean (Acts 10:28). Calling someone ‘unclean’ was another way of saying he/she was abominable.

Daniel the prophet spoke of the ‘abomination of desolation’ 600 years earlier (Daniel 9:26-27; 11:31; 12:11), but with regard to the Greeks who conquered Israel before the Romans did. In 168 B.C. the Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes conquered Jerusalem. He marched into the Temple, set up a statue of the Greek god Zeus, and sacrificed a pig on the altar of incense. This caused the Jews to revolt to remove Antiochus' desecration from the Temple. Under the Maccabees the Jews drove the Greeks out of Judea and gained control of their land for about 100 years until the Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem and brought it under Roman rule.

The abomination of desolation Jesus spoke of was the sacking of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Roman army. He made this clear in Luke 21:20, But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. The Roman army was also called the ‘abomination’ because the images of the emperors and eagles that were carried in front of the legions were regarded as gods by the Roman people. In A.D. 70 the Roman General Titus invaded Jerusalem to end a Jewish revolt, entered the Temple, burned it to the ground, and carried off the golden lampstand and other Temple artifacts to Rome. Although the Jews did not listen to the warning of Jesus when Rome laid siege to the city, many Christians did and avoided the carnage when Rome killed millions of Jews in the conquest of the city and nation.

Jesus also referred to the Antichrist who, in the end times, will make a covenant with Israel for 7 years and then break it by doing something similar to what Antiochus Epiphanies, then Titus did in the Temple. The abomination may be the ‘image of the beast’ the Antichrist will have set up and worshiped in the newly erected Temple (Revelation 13:14). Those who are alive at that time must recognize that the breaking of the covenant with Israel and the abomination of desolation will be the beginning of the worst 3½ years in world history (Matthew 24:21). Jesus said (Luke 21:36), Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

“Holy Spirit, keep us watching and waiting for the signs of the end times when our world will be turned upside down. May we be like Jesus and continue to prepare others for this time by sharing the Gospel. To His honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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