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5.2.1 - Abomination of Desolation

“The . . . phrase abomination of desolation . . . refers to an idol, or false god, and its worship, placed in the temple of God and causing desolation. Two of the four references noted in Daniel (Dan. 8:13+ and Dan. 11:31+) are generally taken to refer to the pollution of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 B.C. Antiochus, with the help of some apostate Jews, set up a statue in the Temple, raised an altar to Jupiter Olympus on the altar of burnt offering, and sacrificed swines’s flesh. . . . Daniel’s other two references (Dan. 9:27+; Dan. 12:11+) clearly cannot be to Antiochus. Some commentators argue that the case of Antiochus gives us a clue to the proper understanding of [Jesus’s references to the phrase in Mat. 24:15 and Mark 13:14] . . . it is impossible to equate the Roman armies compassing Jerusalem to destroy it [in 70 A.D.] with ‘the abomination of desolation.’ . . . ‘the abomination of desolation’ remained to be fulfilled after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans. . . . The action of Antiochus foreshadowed the final abomination of which Daniel and Christ spoke. . . . The abomination of desolation, therefore, is the final and greatest eruption of idolatry, as the Antichrist sets up his abominable worship in the Temple in Jerusalem and proclaims himself to be God [Dan. 11:36+; 2Th. 2:4].”1 We believe the golden image erected by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:1 prefigures the image of the beast, the idol associated with this final abominable, desolating act (Rev. 13:15+). See Foreshadowing the Great Tribulation.

Notes

1 Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms, 3rd (Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), s.v. “Abomination of Desolation.”


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