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Friday, January 5 2018
The Greek Empire: The Seleucids and The Abomination of Desolation
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy Place ... Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains ... And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"
After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. (see The Greek Empire: Between The Testaments and The Greek Empire: Alexander Of Macedonia and The Greek Empire: Alexander's March To India), his kingdom was divided up by four of his generals - precisely as prophesied in the Book of Daniel over 200 years before it happened (see The Greek Empire: Alexander's Horns To The Four Winds):
"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 8:21-22 KJV)
Seleucus was the Greek general who became the political ruler of the vast region (as shown on the map above, the largest of the 4 divisions of Alexander the Great's empire) that included Syria, Mesopotamia (known today as Iraq), Persia (known today as Iran) and Afghanistan - right up to the borders of India. With the title Seleucus I Nicator, Seleucus became the father of the Seleucid dynasty.
The successors of Seleucus:
Of all of the kings of the Seleucid dynasty, one in particular, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, had the greatest affect upon the history of the people of Judah after their return from their Babylonian exile in the time of the Persian Empire (see Biblical Eras: The Rebuilding Of Judah And Jerusalem). Antiochus IV Epiphanes committed the infamous "abomination of desolation" in the Temple in Jerusalem (see the Fact Finder question below).
Moreover, it was that "abomination of desolation" by Antiochus IV Epiphanes that the Messiah specifically spoke of in referring to an end-time version of it that will be committed just before His Return (verses 15 and 16 below; the prophet Daniel was given to clearly see the first one before it happened and the yet-future one as well; see The Abominations Of Desolations By The Kings Of The North And South and The Personality Of The Man Who Will Be The Beast):
"24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple [see also What Temple Did Ezekiel See? and When Will There Be No More Temples Built In Jerusalem?].
Fact Finder: How was the Hasmonean (i.e. the "Maccabees") Kingdom of Judah the direct result of the "abomination of desolation"?
This Day In History, January 5
1066: King Edward ("Edward the Confessor") of England died without an heir. It led to a succession struggle that eventually resulted in the Norman conquest of England.
1477: During the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, Charles the Bold was defeated and killed by Swiss forces at the Battle of Nancy.
1527: Swiss Anabaptist reformer Felix Manz, 29, was drowned as a "suitable punishment" for teaching adult baptism (see Anabaptists and Why Isn't Infant Baptism Valid?). The modern-day "water boarding" torture also originated during the Church of Rome's medieval "Inquisition" in which those who taught baptism by immersion, according to the Biblical Command, were partially drowned until they "repented."
1554: A great fire devastated Eindhoven, Netherlands.
1757: An assassination of Louis XV of France was attempted as he was entering his carriage at Versailles. The attacker, Jean-Francois Damiens was later executed by drawing and quartering, the traditional form of capital punishment used for those who murdered royalty.
1762: Peter III became Czar of Russia upon the death of Elizabeth.
1809: Britain and the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) signed the Treaty of Dardanelles, also called the Treaty of Canak. Its main provision was that no warship of any power should enter the Dardanelles or Bosphorus.
1834: In an apparent description of a great meteor shower, Kiowa Indians recorded this date as "the night the stars fell."
1895: The public degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire in Paris; his uniform badges and buttons were cut off, and his sword was removed and broken.
1896: German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays.
1909: Colombia recognized the independence of Panama.
1913: During the First Balkan War, at the Battle of Lemnos, Greek admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis drove the Turkish fleet back to its bases within the Dardanelles where it remained for the rest of the war.
1914: The Ford Motor Company made headlines by raising standard wages from $2.40 for a 9 hour day (about 27 cents per hour) to $5.00 for an 8 hour day (about 63 cents per hour). The invention of the timed and moving assembly line actually decreased labor costs per vehicle for the company, while at the same time raising wages for the workers.
1919: Spartacists in Berlin led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht attempted to take over the government and seized a number of buildings.
1919: The German Workers Party, later to be called the Nazi Party, was formed. It later elected an Austrian-born immigrant named Adolf Hitler as its leader (see also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1919: The Soviet army took Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, during the Baltic War of Liberation. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania eventually successfully defended their independence from attacks from both Russia and Germany during that conflict.
1941: During the Second World War (1939-1945), British forces completed their rout of the Italians at Bardia, Libya (see also Libya In History And Prophecy).
1944: Britain's The Daily Mail became the first transoceanic newspaper.
1964: Pope Paul VI met Patriarch Athenagoras I in Jerusalem, the first encounter by the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches in 5 centuries.
1968: In Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubcek succeeded Antonin Novotny as First Secretary of the Communist Party. His policy of democracy within a Communist framework led to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.
1972: U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the development of a "Space Shuttle" program. The first flight took place on April 12, 1981. The program was terminated on July 21, 2011 after 134 launches and 133 landings. Two Shuttles were lost: Challenger from a launch failure on January 28, 1986 and Columbia from a re-entry failure on February 1, 2003. A total of 14 U.S. astronauts were killed in Space Shuttle flights - 7 lost in each of Challenger and Columbia.
1993: Oil poured onto the coast of northern Scotland's Shetland Islands after the 89,000-ton Liberian-registered Braer hit rocks in heavy seas. The tanker carried 84,500 tons of crude oil. A huge oil slick stretched 25 miles up the coast.
1996: Yahya Ayyash, the "Engineer," the elusive mastermind behind a wave of Islamic suicide bombings against Israel, was killed in Gaza by a booby-trapped cell phone.