The Abomination of Desolation
The abomination of desolation is a Hebrew term that many Christians don’t understand. It is defined by the placing of an idol to worship in place of YAHWEH, which is set up in the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in 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 in 165 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 in 167 BC led to the rededication of the temple 2,300 days later celebrated today as Chanukkah. From the beginning of the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus in 171 BC to the rededication was 2,300 days! Link | What Is Chanukah? | 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.
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 on the Temple Mount, the Holy of Holies. It is also shown to be one of the precursors to Christ’s coming to catch up His bride, the church, in the harpazo -- before the day of the Lord. The time around this event is chaotic and deadly for those in Judea.
From my study of Bible prophecy and current news, I believe that the Magog invasion precedes and is the precursor to the rebuilding of the third temple. From the faith built seeing God intervene on their behalf, I think Israel will rebuild the temple and reinstate the daily sacrifice only to come to sudden destruction brought about by the antichrist when he stops their sacrifices and declares himself God, placing Himself as an idol to be worshipped. The Bible is clear that this time begins the time of Jacob’s trouble and the great tribulation.
Here’s how I believe this may happen in my own words
Some background is required here. I believe Michael the archangel is the restrainer. When He “stands up” and goes to heaven for the war with Lucifer, the man of sin will no longer be restrained from revealing himself and taking the power given him by the dragon.
The antichrist declares himself god in the Jewish temple that has been rebuilt at that point. Having witnessed God’s protection over them at the Gog/Magog invasion, Israel will no longer be profaning the Lord. Israel today is mostly a secular state governing a population of Jews and others. I believe they will try to become more like their forefathers after this monumental event they have prophesied and will understand when it happens. They will genuinely want to obey God, but they’re blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles, so they’re worshipping the only way they know, how their fathers did.
So when the man of sin performs the abomination of desolation, the Orthodox Jews will be up in arms about it. We have the evidence of this from the Maccabean revolt, which was the result of Antiochus IV Epiphanes performing the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11. What I believe will happen, is that some Jew will assassinate the antichrist and give him that mortal head wound.
We see in Revelation 12 that Michael and his angels cast Lucifer out and he immediately goes after Israel realizing his time is short. This is the point at the abomination of desolation where he heals the mortal wound and the world now has a reason to wonder at this man who would claim to be god. This recent assassination attempt empowers the antichrist even more to apply his policy of peace and security by wiping out religious fundamentalism that doesn’t line up with worship of himself. His evidence for the need will be that they just tried to kill him. Seeing his authority from the dragon, many in the world will agree. That’s when I believe we see Joel 2:1-10 and the armies that go through and kill 2/3 of Israel. Zechariah 13:8-9 I think this scenario explains the head wound and the continued policy of conquering by peace, even after the abomination of desolation.
Examining the current hatred being fostered in the Muslim dominated areas through their mosques, I believe that the coming of the 12th Mahdi as the false prophet of Bible prophecy may direct worship to the new global leader with signs and lying wonders. This new leader’s policy of the destruction of Israel will work well with Muslim fanatics’ desire to accomplish their stated goal of wiping Israel off the map. To them, this will be prophecy fulfilled and perhaps even rocks and trees will cry out there are Jews hiding behind them. The army of Joel 2:1-10 seems a supernaturally empowered group. Men’s faces will be pale. While this may seem incredible or impossible now, events are unfolding in the world that may cause this false peace to come about soon.
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
A often-confused portion of scripture is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10. This is the passage about the restrainer. Many people assume 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.
Who will be immediately affected by this event?
Given today’s technology and Bible prophecy, this will be an event viewed around the whole world. We know this event is the beginning of beast worship as he sets himself up to be above all that is called god. However, according to Yeshua and prophecy, the immediate after-effects of this event are localized to the region of Judea. (Matthew 24:16 | Mark 13:14) Currently, Israel is comprised of about 80% Israelis and 20% Palestinians with small minorities of others. Also, as of May 1, 2006, Israel has become the one country with the greatest concentration of Jews in the world. Clearly, the people being addressed when saying to run to the mountains are the Jews, Israel, living in Judea. But why are they told to run to the mountains? That answer can be found in scripture as well.
Israel is destined for a time of great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-22 | Mark 13:14-20), when Michael stands up (Daniel 12:1), the time of Jacob’s trouble. (Jeremiah 30:4-7)
Do the stopping of the daily sacrifice and the abomination of desolation happen at the same time?
The abomination of desolation we are to look for is defined by Daniel according to Christ. Matthew 24:15-22 So we need only look there for our definition of this time.
Notice that they all associate the abomination of desolation with the stopping of the daily sacrifice. I believe Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 8:13 are referring back to Antiochus IV who performed the abomination of desolation previous to Christ’s initial arrival on the earth and resulted in the Maccabean revolt and subsequent celebration of Chanukah. However, it’s telling that even that time, separated by over 2,000 years from the end-times version, still associates the stopping of the daily sacrifice with the abomination of desolation.
If I say that it will be two weeks from the time I get my paycheck and cash it, does that mean that my getting the paycheck is separated by two weeks before I cash it? AND is a logic statement. If I say from something AND something are so many days, that means the two events together define the starting point of those days.
It would be completely different if scripture said, “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days, and then abomination that maketh desolate will be set up.” However, that’s not what it says.
The abomination of desolation is a pivotal event in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. There are many pivotal events in prophecy that are also tied to it, from the time of great tribulation and the time of Jacob’s trouble to the return of Christ.
“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.