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Hanukkah In Prophecy
A key prophecy by Jesus Christ about the "abomination of desolation" that will occur in the days just prior to His Return:
"24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The Origin Of Hanukkah
The Messiah specifically referred to "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet." What did Daniel write?
"11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days." (Daniel 11:31-33 KJV)
In Matthew 24:13-30 (quoted above), Christ was obviously speaking of the abomination of desolation that will happen just before His return (as plainly described in the full context of His prophecy - see the Fact Finder question below), based upon two major prefigures of that end-time abomination of desolation.
The first involved the Seleucid king (see The Seleucids) Antiochus IV in 167 B.C. when he entered the Temple (see Temples) in Jerusalem, erected an altar to the pagan god Zeus, and sacrificed a pig on it. That desecration, dated as the 25th of Kislev according to the Bible Calendar, triggered the Maccabean Revolt by the Hasmoneans (see The Maccabees). Their eventual victory and cleansing of the Temple is still commemorated by Jews today by the annual Festival of Hanukkah.
The second involved the fall of Jerusalem In 70 A.D. (see Titus Vespasianus; also Pella) when the Romans erected their idolatrous Roman eagle military standard (interestingly, Adolf Hitler's Nazis used the very same sort of eagle for their political and military symbol) in the Temple. Idols (see Second Commandment) are just as abominable to God as pigs (see Clean and Unclean) and both were abominations that caused desolation of the Temple, but neither of those incidents can possibly be what Christ was talking about in describing the yet future time of His return. The only factors that they all have in common is that they occurred / will occur in Jerusalem, in Judea, and all happened / will happen as a matter of military force with a religious motive i.e. an end-time "Christian" warlord, who will quite likely regard himself as a modern-day "crusader" (see The Crusades).
In its full context, Christ's reference to the abomination of desolation wasn't talking about the incident with Antiochus IV, which occurred over 150 years before Christ made that prophecy, or the Roman military idols, which happened only about 40 years after Christ made that prophecy. Christ was talking about the abomination of desolation that will occur in Jerusalem just before His return. Christ's prophecy doesn't specify what the abomination will be, but it will be just as despicable to God's Holy Place as the sacrifice of a pig, or the worship of an eagle idol.