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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:

  • Antiochus I Soter (261-246 BC)

  • Seleucus II Callinicus (246-225 BC)

  • Seleucus III Soter (225-223 BC)

  • Antiochus III Megas (223-187 BC)

  • Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 BC)

  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC)

  • Antiochus V Eupator (164-162 BC)

  • Demetrius I Soter (162-150 BC)

  • Alexander Balas (150-145 BC)

  • Demetrius II Nicator (145-140 BC)

  • Antiochus VI Epiphanes (145-138 BC)

  • Antiochus VII Sidetes (138-129 BC)

  • Demetrius II Nicator (restored) (129-125 BC)

  • Cleopatra Thea (125-123 BC)

  • Antiochus VIII Grypus (125-96 BC)

  • Seleucus V (125 BC)

  • Antiochus IX Philopator (114-95 BC)

  • Seleucus VI (95 BC)

  • Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator (95 BC)

  • Demetrius III Philopator Soter (95-88 BC)

  • Antiochus XI Epiphanes Philadelphus (95 BC)

  • Philip I (95-83 BC)

  • Antiochus XII Dionysus (87 BC)

  • Philip II (84-83 BC)

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).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

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?].

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?]

24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [see Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives]

24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [see How Does Satan Impersonate Jesus Christ? and Where Did True and False Prophets Originate?] 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. [see Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?]

24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The Streets of Jerusalem 24:15 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:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

24:30 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. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [see Trumpets: The Prophecy Of The Return Of Jesus Christ]

24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [see The Raptures]

24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:1-51 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was the Hasmonean (i.e. the "Maccabees") Kingdom of Judah the direct result of the "abomination of desolation"?
See Biblical Eras: The Greeks, The Abomination Of Desolation And The Maccabees

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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.

Charles The Bold

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."

Water boarding

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.


Copyright © Wayne Blank