International Standard Bible EncyclopediaAbomination of Desolation
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
des-o-la'-shun: The Hebrew root for abomination is shaqats, "to be filthy," "to loathe," "to abhor," from which is derived shiqquts, "filthy," especially "idolatrous." This word is used to describe specific forms of idolatrous worship that were specially abhorrent, as of the Ammonites (1 Kings 11:5, 7); of the Moabites (1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 23:13). When Daniel undertook to specify an abomination so surpassingly disgusting to the sense of morality and decency, and so aggressive against everything that was godly as to drive all from its presence and leave its abode desolate, he chose this as the strongest among the several synonyms, adding the qualification "that maketh desolate" (Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11), Septuagint bdel-ug-ma er-e-mo-se-os. The same noun, though in the plural, occurs in Deuteronomy 29:17 2 Kings 23:24; Isaiah 66:3 Jeremiah 4:1; Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 13:27; Jeremiah 32:34 Ezekiel 20:7, 8, 30 Daniel 9:27 Hosea 9:10; Zechariah 9:7. The New Testament equivalent of the noun is bdel-ug-ma = "detestable," i.e. (specially) "idolatrous." Alluding to Daniel, Christ spoke of the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15 Mark 13:14).
1. The Historical Background:
Since the invasion of the Assyrians and Chaldeans, the Jewish people, both of the Northern and of the Southern kingdom, had been without political independence. From the Chaldeans the rulership of Judea had been transferred to the Persians, and from the Persians, after an interval of 200 years, to Alexander the Great. From the beginning of the Persian sovereignty, the Jews had been permitted to organize anew their religious and political commonwealth, thus establishing a state under the rulership of priests, for the high priest was not only the highest functionary of the cult, but also the chief magistrate in so far as these prerogatives were not exercised by the king of the conquering nation. Ezra had given a new significance to the Torah by having it read to the whole congregation of Israel and by his vigorous enforcement of the law of separation from the Gentiles. His emphasis of the law introduced the period of legalism and finical interpretation of the letter which called forth some of the bitterest invectives of our Saviour. Specialists of the law known as "scribes" devoted themselves to its study and subtle interpretation, and the pious beheld the highest moral accomplishment in the extremely conscientious observance of every precept. But in opposition to this class, there were those who, influenced by the Hellenistic culture, introduced by the conquests of Alexander the Great, were inclined to a more "liberal" policy. Thus, two opposing parties were developed: the Hellenistic, and the party of the Pious, or the Chasidim, chacidhim (Hasidaeans, 1 Maccabees 2:42; 7:13), who held fast to the strict ideal of the scribes. The former gradually came into ascendancy. Judea was rapidly becoming Hellenistic in all phases of its political, social and religious life, and the "Pious" were dwindling to a small minority sect. This was the situation when Antiochus Epiphanes set out to suppress the last vestige of the Jewish cult by the application of brute force.
2. Antiochus Epiphanes:
Antiochus IV, son of Antiochus the Great, became the successor of his brother, Seleucus IV, who had been murdered by his minister, Heliodorus, as king of Syria (175-164 B.C.). He was by nature a despot; eccentric and unreliable; sometimes a spendthrift in his liberality, fraternizing in an affected manner with those of lower station; sometimes cruel and tyrannical, as witness his aggressions against Judea. Polybius (26 10) tells us that his eccentric ideas caused some to speak of him as a man of pure motive and humble character, while others hinted at insanity. The epithet Epiphanes is an abbreviation of theos epiphanes, which is the designation given himself by Antiochus on his coins, and means "the god who appears or reveals himself." Egyptian writers translate the inscription, "God which comes forth," namely, like the burning sun, Horos, on the horizon, thus identifying the king with the triumphal, appearing god.
When Antiochus Epiphanes arose to the throne, Onias III, as high priest, was the leader of the old orthodox party in Judea; the head of the Hellenists was his own brother Jesus, or, as he preferred to designate himself, Jason, this being the Greek form of his name and indicating the trend of his mind. Jason promised the king large sums of money for the transfer of the office of high priest from his brother to himself and the privilege of erecting a gymnasium and a temple to Phallus, and for the granting of the privilege "to enroll the inhabitants of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch." Antiochus gladly agreed to everything. Onias was removed, Jason became high priest, and henceforth the process of Hellenizing Judea was pushed energetically. The Jewish cult was not attacked, but the "legal institutions were set aside, and illegal practices were introduced" (2 Maccabees 4:11). A gymnasium was erected outside the castle; the youth of Jerusalem exercised themselves in the gymnastic art of the Greeks, and even priests left their services at the altar to take part in the contest of the palaestra. The disregard of Jewish custom went so far that many artificially removed the traces of circumcision from their bodies, and with characteristic liberality, Jason even sent a contribution to the sacrifices in honor of Heracles on the occasion of the quadrennial festivities in Tyre.
3. The Suppression of the Jewish Cult:
Under these conditions it is not surprising that Antiochus should have had both the inclination and the courage to undertake the total eradication of the Jewish religion and the establishment of Greek polytheism in its stead. The observance of all Jewish laws, especially those relating to the Sabbath and to circumcision, were forbidden under pain of death. The Jewish cult was set aside, and in all cities of Judea, sacrifices must be brought to the pagan deities. Representatives of the crown everywhere enforced the edict. Once a month a search was instituted, and whoever had secreted a copy of the Law or had observed the rite of circumcision was condemned to death. In Jerusalem on the 15th of Chislev of the year 145 aet Sel, i.e. in December 168 B.C., a pagan altar was built on the Great Altar of Burnt Sacrifices, and on the 25th of Chislev, sacrifice was brought on this altar for the first time (1 Maccabees 1:54, 59). This evidently was the "abomination of desolation." The sacrifice, according to 2 Maccabees was brought to the Olympian Zeus, to whom the temple of Jerusalem had been dedicated. At the feast of Dionysus, the Jews were obliged to march in the Bacchanalian procession, crowned with laurel leaves. Christ applies the phrase to what was to take place at the advance of the Romans against Jerusalem. They who would behold the "abomination of desolation" standing in the holy place, He bids flee to the mountains, which probably refers to the advance of the Roman army into the city and temple, carrying standards which bore images of the Roman gods and were the objects of pagan worship.
Frank E. Hirsch
Smith's Bible DictionaryAbomination of Desolation
Mentioned by our Saviour, (Matthew 24:15) as a sign of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, with reference to (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) The prophecy referred ultimately to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and consequently the "abomination" must describe some occurrence connected with that event. It appears most probable that the profanities of the Zealots constituted the abomination, which was the sign of the impending ruin; but most people refer it to the standards or banners of the Roman army. They were abomination because there were idolatrous images upon them.
ATS Bible DictionaryAbomination of Desolation
The ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION foretold by, Daniel 9:27 denotes, probably, the image of Jupiter, erected in the temple of Jerusalem by command of Antiochus Epiphanes. But by the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by our Lord, Matthew 24:15 Mark 13:14, and foretold as about to be seen at Jerusalem during the last siege of that city by the Romans under Titus, is probably meant the Roman army, whose standards had the images of their gods and emperors upon them, and were worshipped in the precincts of the temple when that and the city were taken. Luke 21:20. See ARMOR.
Of the Harmony Subsisting Between the Three Evangelists in their ...
... In like manner, what Matthew states thus, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination
of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place ...
/.../the harmony of the gospels/chapter lxxvii of the harmony subsisting.htm
The Fraud, Pride, and Tyrannical Kingdom of Antichrist, as ...
... temple] the enemy shall sit, endeavouring to show himself as Christ, as the Lord
also declares: "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which has ...
/.../irenaeus/against heresies/chapter xxv the fraud pride and.htm
Matt. xxiv. 1, 2
... For He brought in also a prophecy, to confirm their desolation, saying, "But when
ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on the gospel of saint matthew/homily lxxv matt xxiv 1.htm
Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold.
... b 14 But ^a 15 When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken
of through Daniel the prophet [Daniel 4:11], standing in the holy place ...
/.../mcgarvey/the four-fold gospel/cxiii destruction of jerusalem foretold.htm
The Old and New Testaments have Many Things in Common -- Far More ...
... When we reach v.15 a clear allusion is made to the Man of Sin: "When ye therefore
shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pink/the antichrist/the old and new testaments.htm
Now Let us Shew Briefly, if You Will, that These Things were ...
... and ye received Me not, another will come in his own name, and him ye will receive."
And again, "When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by ...
/.../34 now let us shew.htm
The Impending Judgment
... But when ye see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not (let him
that readeth understand), then let them that are in Judea flee unto the ...
/.../chadwick/the gospel of st mark/chapter 13 8-16 the impending judgment.htm
The Situation of the Jews During this Period.
... to the setting up of this "image" in the Temple that our Lord had reference when
He said, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (for the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pink/the redeemers return/5 the situation of the.htm
On Daniel. Ii. The Interpretation by Hippolytus, (Bishop) of Rome ...
... accomplished, there will remain only one week, the last, in which Elias will appear,
and Enoch, and in the midst of it the abomination of desolation will be ...
/.../on daniel ii the interpretation.htm
Antichrist in Daniel
... elapses between the time when he makes a covenant with Israel, the taking away of
the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination of desolation: vv.23 ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pink/the antichrist/4 antichrist in daniel.htm
Abomination of Desolation
Abomination to God: Adultery
Abomination to God: Idolatry
Abomination to God: Incest
Abomination to God: Lying With a Woman in Her Menses
Abomination to God: Offering Children in Sacrifice
Abomination to God: Offering Seed to Molech
Abomination to God: Sodomy
Abomination to God: Sorcery and Necromancy
Abomination to God: The Hire of a Whore and Price of a Dog, As a Consecrated Gift
Abomination to God: Uncleanness
Abomination to God: Unjust Weights and Measures
Abomination: Unclassified Scriptures Relating To
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