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Saturday, December 17 2016
The Origins Of The Abomination of Desolation And Hanukkah
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy Place, whoso readeth, let him understand: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
The regional Seleucid Empire was one of the four major branches of the Greek Empire that were established after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids). It was named after Seleucus, one of the Macedonian-Greek generals who fulfilled the Biblical prophecy about Alexander, as recorded by the prophet Daniel. An excerpt:
"8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power." (Daniel 8:20-22 KJV; see also The Prophet Daniel: The Ram and The He Goat)
About 25 dynastic kings of the Seleucid Empire over its lifetime from about 320 to 80 BC, but one king in particular is infamous to the history of the people of Judah (as well as to the later people of true Christianity, as we will read), when he, as emperor, was king of Judea and Jerusalem. His official name was Antiochus IV, or Antiochus Epiphanes (lived 215-164 BC, reigned 175-164 BC). Antiochus became a tyrant over the people of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Jews), who by then had returned to Judea and Jerusalem nearly two centuries earlier, during the time of the Persian Empire (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah).
The outrages committed by Antiochus Epiphanes against the people of Judah culminated in the "abomination of desolation" (as it was called by both the prophet Daniel and by Jesus Christ) of the Temple in 167 BC - sacrificing a pig to the pagan god Zeus in the Temple of the LORD (the second Temple, that had been rebuilt by Ezra and Nehemiah when the people of Judah first returned to Jerusalem). That outrage in turn triggered the revolt by the people of the nation of Judah (i.e. the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi - see A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah; also Are Levites 'Jews'? and Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?), led by those who have become known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans (who will be covered in detail in a subsequent study in this series) - a purification of the Temple that has ultimate Christian meaning, when it will be fulfilled in the few days just before Christ's return (as we shall read in a moment).
There is a time gap of approximately three centuries between the end of the "Old" Testament and the beginning of the "New" Testament. It was during that time that the Greek Empire, and all of its four successor kingdoms, rose and fell. The "abomination of desolation" in the Temple in Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes occurred during that time, so while the "abomination of desolation" is recorded in the Holy Bible as prophecy, by both the prophet Daniel and Jesus Christ, it was not recorded as it was happening, as was the case for all of the rest of Bible History.
We do however have other accurate and genuine historical accounts of the "abomination of desolation" as it happened, primarily from the first book of Maccabees, which is not part of the Holy Bible (although it is often included) but is historically true and correct regarding what Antiochus did in Jerusalem. An excerpt, regarding his "abomination of desolation upon the altar":
"1:20 And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, 1:21 And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, 1:22 And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. 1:23 He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found. 1:24 And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly. 1:25 Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were; 1:26 So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed. 1:27 Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness, 1:28 The land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion." (1 Maccabees 1:20-28, as rendered by the King James Version Apocrypha)
The Maccabees led a rebellion against that occupying superpower - and drove the hypocrites out of their country (see The Boundary Law). Their victory and their restoration of the Temple is commemorated by Jews to this day with Hanukkah (see The Prophet Daniel's View Of Hanukkah).
"4:36 Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary. 4:37 Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion. 4:38 And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down 4:39 They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads, 4:40 And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven. 4:41 Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.
The Abomination of Desolation and Hanukkah In Prophecy - Past and Future
The prophet Daniel recorded the very same events of the "abomination of desolation" as is recorded in Maccabees. The only difference is that the writer of Maccabees recorded it as it was happening, while Daniel recorded it before it happened (the primary criticism of non-believer historians is that the book of Daniel is "too accurate" to have been written before i.e. they deny prophecy). Below is Daniel's writing about the "abomination of desolation" that resulted in the institution of Hanukkah; note carefully that Daniel knew that his prophecy about the "abomination of desolation" was dual - Daniel described it in original occurrence and in "end time" fulfillment - just as Jesus Christ also did, after the original had happened (both were prophecy to Daniel, while one was historic and one was prophetic to the Messiah).
"9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:25-27 KJV)
Daniel wrote that the ultimate fulfillment of the "abomination of desolation" (the original event that caused "Hanukkah" to be observed) will happen just before the time of Christ's return.
"12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:1-4 KJV)
It was from all of that historic and prophetic documentation that Jesus Christ included the "abomination of desolation" in His famous Olivet Prophecy (named after the Mount of Olives, where He spoke it - and where His return will happen; see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin).
"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?].
Fact Finder: How are the Temple vessels involved in the prophecy of the "abomination of desolation"?
This Day In History, December 17
497 BC: The first recorded Saturnalia festival was observed in ancient Rome. It was later further observed at the time of December 25, just a few days after the winter solstice, when the sun begins rising again from the lowest seasonal point in the sky. The pagan-observance date was later used for "Christmas" - a time of year in which the Messiah was surely not born (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?). The same "Sol Invictus" Babylonian / Roman festival was used to invent the Church of Rome's "sun day" worship (see Why Observe The True Sabbath?), as invented and dictated by the Roman Emperor Constantine (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
546: The Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plundered the city (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
942: William I of Normandy was assassinated.
1538: Pope Paul III excommunicated King Henry VIII after He defied Rome and established himself as head of the Church of England. British monarchs remain as head of the Church of England right to the present day.
1577: Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth, England, to explore the Pacific Coast of America (i.e. the continents of North and South America) for Britain. In geographic reality, "America" was the name given to the continents that extend from northern Canada to southern Chile - 35 nations and 1 billion people, all of whom are Americans (see also The First Chinese American War).
1718: Britain declared war on Spain.
1777: France recognized the independence of the New England colonies after their rebellion of 1776 (at the same time however, France hypocritically didn't tolerate independence efforts by any of its own colonies throughout North America, from Louisiana to eastern Canada).
1830: Simon Bolivar died at age 47. Known as the "Liberator," he freed Columbia in 1819 and was elected its president. He then took Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru from the Spain. Upper Peru was renamed Bolivia after him.
1862: General Ulysses Grant (U.S. President 1869-1877) issued "General Order Number 11" expelling all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first U.S. flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A Frenchman, Clement Ader, became the first in the world to fly 13 years earlier near Paris (the word "aviation" itself is a French word - from the name of Ader's aircraft, the Avion).
1909: King Leopold II of Belgium died at age 44.
1914: Beha-a-din, the Ottoman governor of Jaffa, ordered the immediate expulsion of the 6,000 Russian Jews living in the city. The same day, the police rounded up 700 of them, loaded them on an Italian steamer, and shipped them to Alexandria, Egypt (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1939: During the Second World War (1939-1945; see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?), the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew in Montevideo harbor after sustaining damage from British warships off the Rio de la Plata in South America. Its captain, Hans Langsdorff, later committed suicide.
1967: Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt drowned while swimming off Portsea, near Melbourne.
1969: The U.S. Air Force closed Project Blue Book, its study of UFOs, stating that UFO sightings are a result of "a mild form of mass hysteria, individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects."
1971: The India-Pakistan War over East Pakistan (later named Bangladesh) ended when 90,000 Pakistani troops surrendered.
1973: 32 people were killed at the Rome airport when terrorists threw bombs at a Pan Am jet and machine-gunned the terminal building.
1986: The first heart, lung and liver transplant took place, in Cambridge, England.
1991: Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union would cease to exist, and be replaced by a new commonwealth of independent states.
1997: General Uzi Narkiss died at age 72. Under his command, Israeli troops liberated Jerusalem's Old City during The Six Day War (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
2005: U.S. journalist Jack Anderson died at age 83. In the time before today's "politically correct" tyranny turned "reporters" into obedient parrots for government/political propaganda, corporate sponsors or special-interest "minorities," Washington-based Anderson was best-known for his fearless investigations and exposure of numerous corrupt politicians and government bureaucrats.