The Abomination of Desolation
The abomination of desolation is a Hebrew term defined by the placing of an idol to worship in place of YAHWEH, which is set up in the Holy of Holies in the Temple at Jerusalem. The final setting up of an idol will take place in the future when the antichrist, the man of sin, will declare himself God in the rebuilt temple, placing himself up as an idol and demanding worship from the world.
As we can see from this passage, to understand the abomination of desolation, we must jump into the Old Testament. Where did Daniel speak of the abomination of desolation?
Has it happened before?
Daniel wrote of the abomination of desolation in several places. In fact, this event has happened before in history, although not to the specifications in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and 2 Thessalonians 2, and almost two centuries before Yeshua walked the earth as a man. Chanukkah is the Jewish celebration of the rededication of the temple after the abomination of desolation caused by the Syrian king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. There is debate on the dating, but it was in the 160s’ BC. The story of Chanukkah can be found in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees.
In Daniel 8:1-10, he has the vision of the ram with two horns and the he goat with a notable horn. Horns represent kings in Bible prophecy and this is the story of Alexander the Great conquering the Medo-Persian Empire. When the he goat’s notable horn is broken, fall of Alexander the Great, four notable horns replace it. His four generals divided his kingdom upon his death. The one magnifying himself in verses 11-14 is from one of those generals, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. His abomination of desolation led to the rededication of the temple 2,300 days later celebrated today as Chanukkah.
Daniel 11:1-35 can be seen represented historically as well. However, Daniel 11:36-45 doesn’t have the historic fulfillment and describes the attributes of the future man of sin after ending with Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In this way I believe scripture highlights the relationship of these two figures as a type for the future fulfillment and to show the similarities to help us understand the future.
Looking To The Future
But Matthew 24:15-22 is regarding a yet future abomination of desolation found here in Daniel the prophet’s writings:
I find it interesting that the abomination of desolation is always mentioned with the stopping of the daily sacrifice. It seems that the taking away of the daily sacrifice always comes before an abomination of desolation when mentioned in scripture. As evidenced in history, the daily sacrifices won’t be carried out by the Jews if an idol is set up in the Holy of Holies until it is cleansed. So I believe, regardless of time, anytime the abomination of desolation is set up, the daily sacrifice stops even if it isn’t forcibly stopped.
The abomination of desolation is an act of defiance against God for the sole purpose of desolating God’s temple and hatred of His chosen people. Then, to set up an idol for worship in the Holy of Holies is defying God and the first commandment. While Christ’s atoning death on the cross for all our sins has removed the need for the daily sacrifice, in the context of the prophecies of scripture, the Jewish people have been blinded until the fulness of the Gentiles (Romans 11:25-27) and they are going to move back to tradition setup before the final sacrifice, which was in Christ, that they do not yet accept.
There are also some events that will transpire in relation to the abomination of desolation.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
From these scriptures, it is pretty clear what the abomination of desolation is. It is tied to a specific time when the man of sin declares himself God in the rebuilt Jewish temple, the Holy of Holies. It is also shown to be one of the precursors to the “day of Christ,” His coming to catch up His bride in the harpazo at the start of the day of the Lord. The time around this event is chaotic and deadly for those in Judea.
It can be difficult to see the sequence of events that would take us from now to the rebuilding of the third temple necessary for this event to take place. However the temple is rebuilt and the abomination of Desolation comes about, the Bible is clear that this time begins the unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble and the time of great tribulation.
How does so much understanding of prophecy hinge on this event?
This is a pivotal event in understanding Bible prophecy because Daniel’s prophecies lay out in great detail, to the day, the time between main events of the 70th week. I created timelines in chart format from those passages that can be viewed here. Decoding these days all hinges around this event, the abomination of desolation. It is the revealing of the beast to the world and the beginning of his demand of worship from the whole world.
Click passages and definitions on image for
An often confused portion of scripture is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10. This is the passage about the restrainer. Many people believe this restrainer to be the Holy Spirit. However, I believe Daniel 12:1 tells us the restrainer is Michael the archangel, who stands for the children of Israel. The “mystery of iniquity” would seem to be, from the original Greek, speaking to the silent wickedness that is already prevalent, the spirit behind what will bring about what is foretold. And the restrainer is holding (lettingG2722) until taken out of the way. The restrainers act of holding is so that the antichrist is revealed in God’s timing.
The focus of what the restrainer is restraining pertains to the revealing of the beast, or the antichrist. We know this because when the restrainer stops restraining, that’s what happens, that Wicked is revealed. Also...
2 Thessalonians 2:6
So the restrainer is not restraining all evil everywhere. This should be evident by the evil world we see daily on the news. Rather he is restraining the antichrist’s ability to reveal himself. Michael is fully capable of handling this task. Similar tasks have been given him before. Daniel 10:11-13 But that’s not the only reason I believe it’s Michael. My actual foundation is from the Bible.
What is the event in which the removal of the restrainer causes? The abomination of desolation, the revealing of the antichrist. This is the beginning of the great tribulation, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The great tribulation starts with the abomination of desolation, the revealing of the man of sin. Now we see that Michael stands up. What’s even more interesting is that Daniel 12 is connected to Revelation 12 around this same subject, Michael, and same time-frame.
It is the dragon which gives the beast his power. It would seem that Michael is currently holding back the revealing of the antichrist, but at some point in the future will be called to heaven to battle Lucifer. He will prevail over Satan and he will be cast to the earth. He then goes after the woman through the beast whom he gives power to.
I don’t think it’s coincidence that Michael is specifically mentioned as standing up right before the antichrist is revealed and we’re told in the New Testament that the restrainer must stop before the antichrist can be revealed. Not only that, but Michael is the defender of Israel and it’s Israel’s darkest time once Michael stands up and is seen fighting Satan in heaven. And the great tribulation of Matthew 24:15-22 is for Israel, in Judea initially.
The abomination of desolation is a pivotal event in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. What this shows is that God is in control of the timing and based on the framework of exact day prophecies in scripture, this allowing the revealing of the man of sin will be the start of a very chaotic and evil 3 1/2 years on the earth that is full of the judgmement of God.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only. Ref.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only. Ref.