The abomination of desolation is commonly conceived as a statue, no doubt because it is reported to “be set up” by Daniel and “stand” by YHVH’s Savior.
This grammatical interpretation is only to be expected when knowledge of abstract spirituality is lost to society.
The more comprehensive and higher abstract meaning is “To raise in authority or power; invest with power: They set the general up as a dictator.”
“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour…
- whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive;
- and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.” (Daniel 5:18-19)
The specific abomination that maketh desolate described in Daniel’s prophecy and referenced by Jesus Christ reaches the highest levels of human collaboration with the gods of this world.
It is the political alliance of the Jewish leadership with any ungodly military power in the delusion that this nation will protect them from their enemies.
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared…
- if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries…
- Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods… it will surely be a snare unto thee.” (Exodus 23)
“king of Babylon, sent letters and a present [offer of alliance] to Hezekiah . And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them [agreed to it]…all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not [as part of the terms of the alliance]. Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said…Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 39)
Bear in mind that Hezekiah was the most exemplary king in all of ancient Judah.
“He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.” (II Kings 18:5-6)
So why such harsh judgment on the alliance with Babylon?
Who says it is judgment? There is a difference between punishment and consequences. Look back at the original commandment against making a covenant with idolatrous nations in Exodus 23 where the LORD says not to do it because “it will surely be a snare unto thee.” The bottom line is simply that two cannot walk together except they be agreed.
- “An unjust man is an abomination to the just:
- and he that is upright in the way is abominatin to the wicked.” (Proverbs 29:27)
Remember, the king of Babylon is controlled by the god of this world, Satan himself.
“ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
- Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
- Therefore thus saith the LORD God…your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. For the LORD shall rise up…he shall be wroth…and bring to pass his act, his strange act.” (Isaiah 28:14-21)
In conformity with the Mosaic code, the precedent set with Manassas, the thundering denouncements made by multiple prophets, and history providing unquestionable validation, the abomination that causes desolation is defined as an unholy religious-political-military alliance with a foreign power.
“arms shall stand on his part,
- and they [the military] shall pollute the sanctuary of strength,
- and shall take away the daily sacrifice,
- and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” (Daniel 11:31)
There are multiple historical examples of a covenant made between Jewish rulers who forsake YHVH’s covenant to make and alliance with the rulers of Daniel’s four prophetic kingdoms.
Daniel’s prophecy was undoubtedly in the minds of the small cadre of righteous Jews struggling to rebuild a temple after being released from the Babylonian exile.
The most familiar recurrence of Daniel’s prophecy came to pass in the second century BC under the Greek Seleucids and gives us a solid basis for understanding its future recurrence of “overspreading” of multiple “abominations” (Daniel 9:27)
The Seleucids gained supremacy in Palestine through the victories of Antiochus III in the Fifth Syrian [northern] War at the beginning of the second century B.C. The king entrenched his success by showing favor to the Jews for their assistance against his Ptolemaic [southern Egyptian] rivals….[Emphases added here and below.] Those benefactions set the tone for three decades of cordial collaboration between the Seleucid regime and the Jewish nation. Greek poleis [cities] flourished in Palestine, and Jewish intellectuals felt the influence of Hellenic culture. Appointment of the high priest, it appears, was subject to the approval of the Seleucid monarch…
Trouble began…from individual ambitions and family rivalries within the Jewish state...
Jason seized the occasion to aim for the High Priesthood [held by Onias]…[had intelligence] shrewdly offered…a promise to increase revenues through higher taxes…
The Jewish leader, who had already changed his given name from Jesus [with its Jewish cultural implications] to Jason [with its Greek cultural implications]…offered…to register the “Antiochenes” in Jerusalem…as the installation of a Greek politeuma of Hellenized Jews within the city of Jerusalem…
The installation of a Greek politeuma, i.e. a government for the administration of civil affairs applicable to the Antiochenes living in Jerusalem, has major implications which is well worth taking our time to understand.
Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BCby Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great‘s generals…eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East…the capital of the Seleucid Empire…63 BC, when the Romans took control, making it the seat of the governor of the province of Syria…
It was also the main center of Hellenistic Judaism – ‘”The main religious issue dividing Hellenized Jews from traditional Jews was the application of biblical laws.”
What Jason was offering was to transfer the civic duties, such as paying taxes in the form of both money and sacrifices, of the Hellenized Jews from the theocratic Commonwealth of Israel to the Greek ruler. This was a slippery slope indeed, as will be seen as we return to our episode in Jewish history.
Menelaus, the envoy sent by Jason with revenues for the king, lusted after supreme power himself. He took a leaf from Jason’s book, promised Antiochus more money than his superior had provided, and won the king’s consent for his own appointment as High Priest. The new appointee was…a sharp break with Jewish tradition…
Menelaus’ tenure as High Priest intensified turmoil and civil upheaval. The new High Priest, we are told, acted in an arbitrary and tyrannical fashion, even expropriating gold plate from the Temple treasury…arranging for Onias’ [rightful high priest overthrown by Jason] assassination…through the connivance of…one of the king’s chief ministers…
[Backed by Menelaus] Antiochus did not scruple to march troops into the holy city, enter the Temple, and cart off priceless treasures to Syria…
A report reached Palestine that Antiochus had been slain in battle, thus inspiring dissidents to grasp at opportunity. Jason returned from exile, crossing the Jordan with a thousand men, and attacked Jerusalem…wreaked vengeance for his setbacks by conducting murderous purges of his fellow citizens…
Antiochus…returned to Jerusalem in a fury, ordering his soldiers to conduct a massacre in the city, the outcome of which, according to II Maccabees, was the death of 40,000 Jews and a like number sold into slavery. His authority was to be established unambiguously and ruthlessly…Some time in 167 he dispatched…a force of 22,000 men, to terrorize the populace of Jerusalem. His orders, according to II Maccabees, were to massacre all adult males and sell women and children into slavery…launched an attack on the Sabbath when unsuspecting crowds had gathered on his invitation to review a military parade. Numerous innocent citizens were slain, the city ransacked, and parts of it se on fire…succeeded by a more permanent presence. Seleucid forces occupied a citadel, the Akra and installed there a military colony, an “abode of aliens” according to I Maccabees, a place for “a sinful race and lawless men.” In all likelihood, the garrison expanded with the addition of renegade Jews, the “Antiochenes” enrolled by Jason as citizens of the polis or politeuma a few years earlier; and foreign settlers, the “people of a foreign god” as designated by the author of Daniel. The Akra would serve as a rampart of Seleucid strength in Jerusalem for the next quarter of a century. Dissident Jews took the only recourse remaining to them: flight, escape to the desert and mountains, and preparations for guerilla resistance.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes now readied his most extreme measures…direct interference in the spiritual realm. All previous policy by his predecessors was cast to the winds. To the shock and consternation of the Jews, Antiochus seemed determined to stamp out their religion itself. The king implemented this extraordinary scheme through a series of drastic decrees in the latter part of 167…a general call for allegiance in the Seleucid kingdom. In any case, Antiochus directed subsequent measures quite specifically at Jewish practices, in damaging and disastrous fashion. He forbade burnt offerings, sacrifices, and libations in the Temple; he ordered the erection of altars, shrines, and images, the sacrifice of pigs and other impure animals, the elimination of circumcision, the burning of the Torah, and a range of activities that would require violation of Jewish practices and profanation of religious life. The dictates applied not just to Jerusalem but to the towns of Judaea generally, and evidently also to Samaria. Disobedience brought the death penalty…
His agents entered the Temple, defiled it with illicit intercourse, piled unclean offerings upon the altar, and compelled Jews to eat pagan sacrificial victims and to parade with wreaths of ivy at Dionysiac festivals. The Temple itself was now rededicated to Zeus Olympios and the sanctuary at Mount Gerizim to Zeus Xenios….the introduction of a pagan altar into the Temple at Jerusalem…the first sacrifice of a pig o that altar, an act of unspeakable desecration for the people of Judaea. There was valiant resistance among many of the citizenry. But the soldiers of Antiochus ruthlessly punished dissent, torturing and executing those who preferred martyrdom to capitulation. The measures of the king were devastating and calamitous.
By now the modern mind should be able to grasp that
- the abomination that makes the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel desolate
- is the presentation of a false savior from mortal death replacing the true Singularity source of Eternal Life in the Resurrection of the Dead.
For certain, the minds of Jesus’ apostles were fixed on their recent history of the Maccabees when Jesus reiterated them to his disciples.
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” (Luke 21:20-21)
The following excerpt is from an excellent hermeneutical deduction of “the abomination of desolation” as being the army, i.e. “the people of the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26).
Mark 13:14 and Luke 21:20-21 record Jesus’ words during the Olivet discourse very similarly. The biggest difference between these two gospels is that instead of saying, “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong” . . . .” Luke says, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies . . . .” Luke appears to be defining the abomination that causes desolation…
Graven images and foreign gods are an abomination according to the Law of Moses. The spiritual presence of the deity in the idol was expected to ensure martial victory to its devotees. Through faith in their idols of Zeus, two pagan armies caused the desolation of Israel. The Greeks were the first to do so in the second century B.C. during the Maccabean Wars. Then in the first century A.D., the Romans caused even greater havoc during the Jewish War. The abomination that causes desolation is the Greek and Roman armies with their pagan idols of Zeus and Jupiter on their ensigns that literally caused the desolation of the Holy Land…
The Romans did almost exactly the same thing in A.D. 70! Upon seizing the Temple, the Romans set up their ensigns on the eastern gate and offered sacrifices to them (Wars 6.6.1). The main ensign was Aquila, the eagle that carries ZEUS’ lightning bolt. Here we see a veritable idol of Zeus like that erected 200 years earlier by the Greek army in the Jewish Temple during the Maccabean Wars.
In Iyyar A.D. 66, Gessius Florus entered Jerusalem with the Roman army and killed almost four thousand people in the city. Later that year Cestius surrounded Jerusalem with the 12th Legion. The third time the Roman army encompassed Jerusalem was in A.D. 70 under the command of Caesar Titus.
The presence of the Roman army outside of Jerusalem…was Jesus’ sign to His people to quickly flee the city in fulfillment of Luke 21:20-21. The massacre that ensued in Iyyar of A.D. 66 in the Upper Marketplace immediately after the Roman army entered the city explains why Jesus told his people to drop everything and leave after seeing Jerusalem surrounded by armies in Luke 21:20-21. Similarly Cestius’ arrival to and abrupt departure from Jerusalem in Tishri of A.D. 66 preceded a violent civil war in the city. In both occasions those who failed to quickly leave Jerusalem after seeing these armies put their lives in great risk…
Thus in both Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:20-21 Jesus tells His people to flee to the mountains when they first see the Romans.
And this is exactly what they did. They understood what Jesus had warned them would happen because it was a repeat of what Daniel had prophesied that had come true in the not-too-distant past.
As Roman armies gathered to besiege Jerusalem, Believers were able to flee the city, heeding Yeshua’s words in Matt 24.
According to Yeshua’s prediction, this recurred in “that generation” of 40 years, in AD 70, in the First Jewish War, when the temple was destroyed.
“And Yeshua/Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Yeshua/Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down… Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ / the Predicted Ruler to Come; and shall deceive many.” (Matt 24:1-5)
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination [hybrid physical manifestation of a god / evil spirit / alien] of desolation [this is the objective of the abominable being – to destroy humanity]spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand [exactly what the abomination is, don’t wait to see an idol]:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains…For then shall be great tribulation, [proving the point] such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”(Matthew 25:15-24)