The Abomination of Desolation—An act that desecrates the temple. The temple had to be ritually clean to worship God in the temple properly. This is a technical term for what happened historically when Antiochus Epiphanes (Epiphanes meaning the glorious one; a self-designation, a comparison to the deity) sacrificed an unclean animal—a pig—on the altar he set up for the false God Zeus in Jerusalem in 167 BC (Daniel 11:31). This past event has an ultimate parallel in the future: At the midpoint of the tribulation, the Beast (Antichrist) enters the temple and demands worship as God (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 13:4,8,12,15).
Daniel received and wrote his prophecy about Antiochus in 539 BC
But Antiochus didn’t desecrate the temple until 167 BC. Antiochus accurately fulfilled this prediction almost 400 years after Daniel prophesied:
“His (Antiochus’s) armies shall rise up and desecrate the sanctuary fortress. They shall abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination that makes desolate (by offering a pig on the altar dedicated to Zeus in the temple of the Lord)” (Daniel 11:31).
Daniel gave us more information:
“And he (Antichrist) shall make a firm covenant with many for one week (week of seven years, the tribulation). But in the middle of the week he (Antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate (the Antichrist), until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator” (Daniel 9:27).
Jesus Prophesied about the Antichrist
Jesus, who prophesied about this between 29 AD and 33 AD, used this historical event as a type to illustrate the future desecration of the temple by the Antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation:
“When you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Mark 13:14).
The future Jews living in Israel during the first half of the tribulation should pay attention. The first half of the tribulation was terrible enough, but until that moment, they were sheltered by a peace treaty. But, when the Antichrist enters the temple and demands worship as God, that treaty is broken, and Jesus warns them to head for the hills!
In Mark 13:14-19 Jesus gives some examples:
• “Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
• “Let him who is on the housetop not go down or enter the house to take anything out of his house.
• “Let him who is in the field not turn back to take his garment (not even necessities).”
• “Woe to women who are pregnant and to those who nurse in those days!”
• “Pray that your escape may not be in winter.”
“For in those days there will be distress as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, nor ever shall be.”
The Apostle Paul adds more detail to this future outrage
When Antichrist enters the temple, he’ll have a gold statue of himself placed for people to worship.
“For that Day (the tribulation) will not come unless a falling away (the rapture) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
And the Apostle John in Revelation tells us more:
“He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And he was given authority to wage war for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to speak blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:5-6).
• Daniel prophesied three hundred years before it happened (539 BC), a ruler would desecrate the temple.
• Antiochus 4 Epiphanes was that historic desecrator who sacrificed a pig in God’s temple on an altar dedicated to Zeus.
• Daniel prophesied that a future ruler would also desecrate the temple in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week.
When the Antichrist enters the temple:
1. The Jews in Israel must immediately flee!
2. He will have a gold statue of himself for worship in the temple.
3. He will blaspheme God and demand worship as god.
4. This will initiate unprecedented tribulation.
The Abomination of Desolation
To escape this time, you must be saved. Please watch the video on this page for more information.