|A90 : by Tony Garland |
Revelation 13:5-6 seem to relate to the events leading up to the future abomination of desolation, foreshadowed in history by the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 11:31; 12:11) and mentioned by Jesus (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). Not only does the beast blaspheme, but also those who worship him speak blasphemies: “who is like the beast?" This attribution rightly belongs to God alone (Ex. 15:11; Ps. 35:10; Ps. 89:8; Ps. 113:5; Jer. 49:19; 50:44).
This passage also gives us a key piece of information concerning the timing of the ascendancy of the Antichrist: his power is granted for 42 months (for 3 1/2 360-day years). This would appear to correspond to the last half of the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27 cf. Dan. 7:25).
At the midpoint of the Tribulation when the two witnesses have been testifying for 3 1/2 years (Rev. 11:3), the Antichrist arises from the abyss to overthrow them (Rev. 11:7). He then "sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God" (2Th. 2:4).
Since he is a very busy man and lacks omnipresence, some believe that he will set up the image referred to in Revelation 13:15 which will remain in the Holy Place thereafter. This act of entering the Holy Place and setting up the image is most likely what Jesus had in mind as the abomination of desolation that signals Jews to flee Jerusalem in haste because of the latter half of the Tribulation period is characterized by the severe persecution of the Jews (cf. Revelation 12:13-17).
For additional background, see our coursea and commentaryb on the Book of Revelation.