christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

daniel 12, the abomination of desolation, part six

Read Daniel 11-12 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: definition of abomination of desolation and daniel 11, the abomination of desolation, part five

Daniel’s final reference to the abomination of desolation is in Dan 12:

“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Dan 12:1-4

“At that time, Michael shall stand up.” At what time? At the time when the king of the north comes to his end, Dan 11:45. The angel is still on the same topic. There has not been a break in it just because we have had a chapter division. So “At that time” links this passage with the passage in Dan 11 about the king of the north, who, we saw, was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes in every particular.

But this passage also makes it clear that the events being discussed take place at the time of the end. So what is going on? Antiochus Epiphanes lived over 2000 years ago.

One possibility comes from a principle well established in Scripture, that the history of the patriarchs and Israel is history, but also prophecy. In Gen 22, God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Whoa, Isaac was not Abraham’s only son! But the history prophesies of the Father sacrificing His only Son, the Promised Seed, the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). How about the history of Pharaoh taking Abraham’s wife, resulting in plagues on Pharaoh’s house, so that his wife is restored to him and he is sent out of Egypt laden with the riches of Egypt (Gen 12:10-20)? This history prophesies of Pharaoh enslaving Israel, the wife of YHVH the Father (Jer 31:32); which resulted in plagues on Egypt, so that Israel was restored to YHVH and sent of out Egypt laden with riches (Exo 1-12). And this history continues to prophesy, when we realize that Egypt is a type of the kingdom of darkness from which YHVH is delivering the Bride of Messiah! And there are so many examples of this recurring cycle of history as prophecy through the Old Testament.

So this means that Antiochus is a type, and that this history of Israel prophesies of another like him, and the history of the king of the north will repeat. And at that time, Michael will stand up, and the events of this chapter will be fulfilled.

The angel goes to explain that at that time, there shall be a time of trouble for the people of Israel, greater than any time of trouble before it, but that Israel will be delivered from it. Not all Israel will be delivered, though – only those whose names are found written in the Book. And then, those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, to either everlasting life or everlasting death.

The angel is still giving Daniel event markers. The time of trouble, the great deliverance, but only of those whose names are written in the Book of Life, and the resurrection – these are the event markers. So we can speculate all day long, but the truth is, we won’t know for sure what these event markers are until they come to pass. Prophecy is not so much a crystal ball into the future, as a verifier that God’s Word is true, in which He spoke the end from the beginning. But these visions are sealed until the time of the end – that is, they won’t be understood. But at the time of the end, they will be – by those who are wise and who understand – because they have to do with the time of the end.

Now I do have a theory. And that is, that Hitler also fulfills some of these prophecies concerning the king of the north. Did he set up an abomination of desolation? YES – he sacrificed the Jews as an olah, a whole burnt offering, in the ovens of the concentration camps, maliciously, in order to slap God in the face. The definition of olah, remember, is a holocaust – the ascending up of the smoke. I myself keep in the back of my mind the possibility that the Holocaust was Israel’s prophesied time of trouble, which was unequaled by anything in history before it. The Holocaust certainly fits that criteria. And a remnant of Israel was delivered, and he has been returned to his own Land with a great deliverance. But is that THE time of trouble? We will not know for sure until the history of this age has finished.

“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” Dan 12:8-12

This is the final reference to the abomination of desolation in Daniel. If, as we saw in Dan 11, it was Antiochus Epiphanes who took away the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination in the Temple (and he did do that), then from that date to another significant date, there will be 1290 days. So I did some math. Guess how many days are in 3-1/2 years, more or less? 1290.

There is one school of interpretation that says that every reference to 3-1/2 which is in prophecy, is referring to the same event in historic time. I don’t agree. I think 3-1/2 is a significant number which occurs throughout Scripture (like 7 and 40 do), but nowhere does it say that every reference to it must be to the same event.

Certain spiritual events which take place in historic time seem to occur in the same time frame. It rained for 40 days and nights during Noah’s Flood; Jesus fasted and was tempted for 40 days, and Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Just because all of these things were “40,” does not mean they all refer to the same event in historic time. It just means, 40 means something signifiant in the spiritual realm. And likewise I think 3-1/2 means something significant in the spiritual realm, but that does not mean everything 3-1/2 must refer to the same event.

Case in point: we saw in Dan 9 that 3-1/2 years after Messiah was anointed, He was cut off; and then 3-1/2 years after that, He confirmed the covenant with many. This event took place in real historic time. In our passage above, we see that 3-1/2 years after the abomination of desolation, something significant will happen.

Something significant did happen: 3-1/2 years after Antiochus set up the abomination in the Temple, Judas Maccabees and his forces (those who knew their God and who did exploits, Dan 11:32) retook Jerusalem and the Temple, and purified it. Antiochus set up the abomination in 167 BC, and Judas retook Jerusalem and the Temple in 164 BC, toward the end of the year. This is the event that Hanukkah celebrates every year.

So what does the 1335 days refer to? I don’t know – we are given no details about it, other than it seems to be a blessed event.

On one level, it appears that the abomination of desolation passages have already been fulfilled, before Jesus was even born. But then, we realize that Jesus referred to the abomination of desolation as a future event in Mar 13. We saw previously, that a second instance of an abomination of desolation occurred, that was future to Jesus’ time: when Caligula tried to set up his statue in the Temple in 39 AD, and did set up his statue in synagogues throughout the Empire, which ultimately brought about the desolations perpetrated on the Jews and on Jerusalem in 70 AD and 135 AD.

Bunny trail: 70 AD is 20 x 3-1/2 years from the time that Jesus was born, more or less. And 135 AD is 40 x 3-1/2 years from the time that Jesus was born, more or less. Not sure if that means anything, but what an interesting bit of trivia.

On yet another level, the angel linked the historic events surrounding Antiochus to the time of the end in this chapter. Does that mean that Israel is in for yet another go round? Well, we saw that the Jews have already been through the Holocaust. But if that was Israel’s time of trouble, Dan 12 makes it clear that the end is the next event on the stage of world history. And so we seem to be entering into it.

The case can be made that the prophecies in Daniel concerning the abomination of desolation have already been fulfilled. And the case can be made that they have been fulfilled, not just once, but several times, and may be fulfilled yet again. Only God is so great, that He can tell what will happen in the future, and from that same passage, we can see it fulfilled in exact detail not only once, but in layers upon layers. Truly He is the great and almighty God and there is none like Him!

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