The Abomination of Desolation

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And by" abomination" He meaneth the statue of him who then took the city, which he who desolated the city and the temple placed within the temple, wherefore Christ calleth it, "of desolation. For, "Then,"saith He, "let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. When these things should be, "when the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place.

Pseudo-Chrysostom "Whence I think that by the abomination of desolation, He means the army by which the city of the holy Jerusalem was desolated. Clement of Alexandria Second Century "For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction These two thousand three hundred days make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway" The Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. Eusebius Pamphilius "But the number of calamities which every where fell upon the nation at that time; the extreme misfortunes to which the inhabitants of Judea were especially subjected, the thousands of men, as well as women and children, that perished by the sword, by famine, and by other forms of death innumerable,--all these things, as well as the many great sieges which were carried on against the cities of Judea, and the excessive.

Jerome "it may be understood of the statue of Caesar, which Pilate set up in the temple; or of the equestrian statue of Adrian, which stood to the present time in the very Holy of Holies. For, according to the Old Scripture, an idol is called 'abomination;' "of desolation" is added, because the idol was set up in the desolated and deserted temple.


Remigius "And this we know was so done when the fall of Jerusalem drew near; for on the approach of the Roman army, all the Christians in the province, warned, as ecclesiastical history tells us, [marg. This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A. This second desolation of the temple perfectly paralleled its first destruction. On both occasions the abominations were done by the apostate people of God and the desolation was an act of judgment performed by a heathen army.

Theodore Robinson " Smith's Bible Dictionary " Abomination of Desolation , mentioned by our Saviour, Mt , as a sign of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, with reference to Da ; ; The prophecy referred ultimately to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and consequently the abomination must describe some occurrence connected with that event Most people refer it to the standards or banners of the Roman army.

Marvin Vincent Abomination of desolation.

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The cognate verb means to feel a nausea or loathing for food: hence used of disgust generally. In a moral sense it denotes an object of moral or religious repugnance. See 2 Chronicles ; Jeremiah ; Ezekiel ; Daniel ; It is used as equivalent to idol in 1 Kings ; Deuteronomy ; 2 Kings It denotes anything in which estrangement from God manifests itself; as the eating of unclean beasts, Leviticus ; Deuteronomy ; and, generally, all forms of heathenism. This moral sense must be emphasized in the New Testament used of the word.

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Compare Luke ; Revelation , 5; The Evangelist says that this "abomination" is to stand in the "holy place", whereby is naturally meant the Temple see also Daniel , where the Vulgate reads: "there shall be in the Temple the abomination of the desolation" , and the Roman standards were actually introduced into the Temple only after it had been entered by Titus, that, too late to serve as a warning for the Christians of Judea. Other scholars are of the mind that the desecration of the Temple by the Zealots who seized it and made it their stronghold shortly before Jerusalem was invested by Titus, is the event foretold by Our Lord.

But this view is commonly rejected for the simple reason that "the abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel and referred to in St. Matthew's Gospel , was certainly something connected with idolatrous worship.

Abomination of Desolation

Others, finally, interpret Our Lord's warning to His disciples in the light of the history of the attempt to have his own statue set up and worshipped in the Temple of Jerusalem. The following are the principal facts of that history. About A. He also appointed to the government of Syria , bidding him carry out that decree even at the cost of a war against the rebellious Jews. Whereupon the Jews in tens of thousands protested to the governor that they were willing to be slaughtered rather than to be condemned to witness that idolatrous profanation of their holy Temple.

Soon afterwards Petronius asked Caligula to revoke his order, and Agrippa I , who then lived at Rome , prevailed upon the Emperor not to enforce his decree. It seems, however, that Caligula soon repented of the concession, and that but for his untimely death A.

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II, ; tr. In view of these facts it is affirmed by many scholars that the early Christians could easily regard the forthcoming erection of statues in the Temple as the act of idolatrous abomination which, according to the prophet Daniel , portended the ruin of the House of God , and therefore see in it the actual sign given by Christ for their flight from Judea.

This last interpretation of the phrase "the abomination of desolation" is not without its own difficulties. Yet it seems preferable to the others that have been set for by commentators at large.

All the Gentiles and even many of the Israelites submitted to this decree. They were commanded to build pagan altars, temples, and shrines, and to sacrifice pigs and other unclean animals there. They were forbidden to circumcise their sons and were required to make themselves … unclean in every way they could, so that they would forget the Law which the Lord had given through Moses and would disobey all its commands.

Many of the Jews were ready to forsake the Law and to obey these officials. Any books of the Law which were found were torn up and burned, and anyone who was caught with a copy of the sacred books or who obeyed the Law was put to death by order of the king. Month after month these wicked people used their power against the Israelites caught in the towns.

Yet, as horrible as this was, some still resisted.

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They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Yet many in the resistance lived. The account continues with the rise of the Hasmonean priestly family of Mattathias, including his son and successor Judas Maccabeus, who would not compromise with paganism. We can learn a great deal about this end-time prophecy from the original abomination of desolation Daniel foretold.