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What is an Abomination of Desolation?

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posted on May, 1 2020 @ 05:02 PM
What is an “abomination of desolation”?
This resolves itself into three questions;
What is meant by “abomination”?
What is meant by “desolation”?
And what is the connection between them?

What is meant by ‘abomination’?

The Hebrew version of this word is found many times in the Old Testament.
I think the real heart of the concept can be found in the thought expressed in Deuteronomy ch13 vv13-14, where the name is applied to the proposal “let us go and serve other gods”.
God’s first and primary directive to his people was “You shall have no other gods but me”.
Anything that breaks that command is offensive to God, and so might be called an “abomination”.

The term is used for the gods of other nations- “Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites”- 1 Kings ch11 v5.
It includes the idols associated with their worship- “Cursed be the man who makes a graven or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord”- Deuteronomy ch27 v15
For that matter, it includes anything else that has been associated with the worship of other gods- gold or silver stripped from their statues, or money brought in from sacred prostitution- Deuteronomy ch23 v18.
Finally, in Proverbs, it gets extended to any behaviour which is not really compatible with obedience to God, such as adultery and dishonesty- Proverbs ch6 vv16-18.

The meaning of the English word is that something is detestable or loathsome.
In modern translations, we may find the phrase “disgusting thing”, which expresses a similar meaning more clumsily, and slightly weakens it.
Anyway, the word is expressing God’s forceful rejection of idolatry and idolatrous behaviour, a reaction which he wants his people to share.

What is meant by ‘desolation’?

The Hebrew version of this word goes back to a verb which means “to be desolate, laid waste”.
In some cases, like Ezra ch9 v3, translated as “astonished”- perhaps because the person’s ability to think has been “laid waste”.

The English word “desolation” comes ultimately from the Latin SOLUS- “alone”. It describes loneliness or bereavement or a sense of having been abandoned.
A “desolate” land is an empty land. It might have been made empty, destructively (“laid waste”), or it might be permanently uninhabited, like the wastes of Antarctica.

The derivation of the English word doesn’t tell us anything directly about the meaning of the Hebrew, but in this case we’ve also got a Greek translation.
The Greek version of the phrase “abomination of desolation” is found in 1 Maccabees, in the Septuagint translation of Daniel, and in the gospel accounts.
The basic meaning of the word used to translate the second part of the phrase is “made uninhabited”, and it comes ultimately from EREMOS- which, again, means “alone”.
This is important, because these passages were written by Jews, who obviously accepted that word as the best rendering of their understanding of the Hebrew.
This gives us good reason to understand “loneliness” as the real heart of the concept.

How does the Abomination bring Desolation?

When Antiochus Epiphanes set up an image of Jupiter in the Temple at Jerusalem, this was described as “an abomination of desolation”.
It’s been suggested that this phrase is a deliberate distortion of the title (“Baal of heaven”) which he would have given to the image.
Even if this is true, the words which were chosen for the distortion still have a meaning, and it’s still worth considering why they seemed appropriate.

Obviously the image was an “abomination” because it offered an alternative object of worship, but in what sense did it bring “desolation”?

One common understanding links “desolation” to the wars that follow the event in the Maccabean histories, and the equivalent troubles described in Daniel and in Matthew ch24.
This view is encouraged by Daniel ch9 v26, which associates “desolations” (in the plural) with war.

But this connection is rather indirect. It goes through the people’s reaction to what the king is doing, and the king’s reaction to their reaction, and so on.
It seems to me, examining the passages closely, that when the abomination “makes desolate,” in Daniel ch9 v27 and ch11 v31, this is an immediate effect, and something distinct from the wars described in the surrounding verses.

It’s possible to find a much more direct connection between “abomination” and “desolation” if we focus on the idea that “desolation” is about loneliness and loss of contact.
To the Jewish people of the time, the Temple in Jerusalem was the primary contact point between the nation and their God, and the continual sacrifice was the primary means of contact.
But the king had “stopped the sacrifices”. Or at least he had diverted them towards his own image, which comes to the same thing.
This had the appearance of breaking the contact between the Jewish nation and their God, leaving them bereft and isolated.
And that, I suggest, is what is meant by “making desolate”. Not a delayed effect, but the immediate consequence of setting up the image.

In that case, we can take the view that” abomination” and “desolation” are two different aspects of one and the same event.
The great sacrilege becomes an “abomination” by presenting an alternative object of worship.
At the same time, it makes a “desolation” by displacing the customary, legitimate, worship, on which the people have been depending.
To put it another way, “abomination” describes God’s own judgement on the sacrilege, and “desolation” describes how the same sacrilege is experienced by God’s people.

So I suggest that anything being put forward as another “abomination of desolation”, whether it’s an event in history or an expected event, needs to be able to match both those features.
It would need to be offering an alternative to the Biblical God, which would constitute the “abomination”.
It would also, at the same time, need to be obstructing the genuine worship of the Biblical God, which would be a cause of “desolation”.

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 05:49 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

OK, since this has already taken place years ago and continues, now what?

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 05:54 PM
a reply to: ArchangelOger
The original took place years ago (Antiochus Epiphanes). Jesus told us to expect another one.
If you think one already exists, does it match both parts of the definition which I've outlined?

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 06:49 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

You know it could refer to death and extinction caused by pollution among other thing's OR mass murders and destruction through war - or both.
A destroyed world polluted by greed and desolate and lifeless because of corporate rape and the very being's meant to be the husbandmen of the world instead ripping it apart to make money.

Think about the sea's filled with chemical's, pesticide runoff, artificial fertilizers upsetting the ecological balance - the other day Spain using tractors to SPRAY BLEACH on a beach just in case there were any corona virus on the sane particles, Plastics choking life and killing it, poising the air and water, the plant's and the animal's.

Not too many people just too much greed and over use of plastic's and chemical's were they are not necessary.

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Quite possibly correct, for the Jewish people the destruction of the temple would have been seen as an abomination and the destruction of THERE city before the Roman's and Greek's and every other tom dick and harry moved into it and rebuilt it since it was a major trade hub would also have been seen as Desolation.

Still maybe that is not what John of Patmos meant's or maybe it is.

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 07:03 PM
a reply to: LABTECH767
That would only work if there was an idolatry in conjunction with the destruction, so that both parts of the definition are fulkfilled.
Don't forget that in Matthew ch24 the abomination is the cue for people to escape, to avoid being caught up in the tribulation which will follow. In other words, the abomination and the tribulation are different things.

edit on 1-5-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 07:18 PM
I agree a lot with what you wrote. It may be even more specific though.

My gut told me it might be a reference to homosexuality. Desolation due to the inability to conceive. Abomination because God probably doesn't like people sodomizing each other (especially given the sanctity of marriage). When the abomination that causes desolation takes the holy seat, that is when people are advised to leave the cities and head to the mountains. I was thinking when an openly gay pope takes power, or even president of the US, then this would indicate it is time to leave. Richard Nixon was actually caught on phone record talking to his staff about how an increased prevalence of homosexuality is an indicator that a nation is about to fall. He refers specifically to the fall of Greeks, Romans, and then there's also the notorious example of Sodom, where sodomy gets its name.

This would mean Jesus's warning applies consistently throughout history. He told the people he was talking to that some of them wouldn't taste death until they saw all this take place, therefore this shows that this phenomenon is on-going, and is happening, and will continue to happen as time progresses. Be sure to still agape love homosexuals though, because we all likely have some sort of sexual sin we need to work through. This was exemplified by Jesus's compassion for the adulteress.
edit on 1-5-2020 by cooperton because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 09:41 PM
As I have understood it, the abomination is the act of idolatry inside the temple. Placing a graven image in the scared temple is the abomination. When the "Holy of Holies" area of the temple becomes desecrated, God's presence is no longer there, it is desolate, empty.

So IMO there must be a functioning temple that then gets desecrated.

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 10:46 PM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

This is my understanding as well regarding the sacrifice of abomination of desolation on the alter of god in revelations.

I think it has happened already. This year in fact, but I can't find confirmation. They were planning it and asked permission.

It is pretty clear to me that the bible predicts the synagogue of satan will rebuild the temple mount and perform a sacrifice to ala and God as one in an attempt to apease Muslim and jew alike. This act is supposed to lay the groundwork for a hybrid religion of the big 3 christian/muslim/jew that is sold as bringing peace, but only brings war and is espoused to by world leaders until fully adopted as a one world religion by the one world government.

It is getting real folkes.

That was supposed to happen a month ago but I cant find out whether it did or not. When you search temple mount sacrifice April 1st 2020 all that pops up is articles prior to passover this year talking about the sanhedrin asking for permission to do it, but I cant find any articles published after 4 -1-2020 regarding whether it happened or not. Iirc it has but now I cant find confirmation. I seem to remember people posting about how it happened last month, but the world hadn't ended yet.
edit on 1-5-2020 by Stevenmonet because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 02:07 AM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck
In other words, a fairly literal re-enactment of the offence of Antochus Epiphanes.
But that event would be an abomination only for the adherents of that temple, on the premise that the temple was originally dedicated to a more sprirtual purpose. That's what was happening in the original episode.

So I tend to focus on Paul's insight thaat the Christian community itself is the temple of God, under New Testament conditions, and speculate from there. "Do you not know that you [plural] are God's temple [singular], and that [i.e. because] God's Spirit dwells in you [plural]"- 1 Corinthians ch3 v16

This makes the proposition "the physical temple will be rebuilt" redundant.

edit on 2-5-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 02:20 AM
a reply to: Stevenmonet
But as I was observing to the Swampbuck, such an event would be an abomination only for the adherents of that temple. Jesus advises his followers to "leave" when the abomination occurs; but his followers, by definition, won't have been part of that secret temple plot in the first place, so the theory does not really work.

Incidentally, you are the second person on tbis thread to suggest that the abomination is found in Revelation. Always check your sources, even Biblical sources. The text is Matthew ch24 v15.

edit on 2-5-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 02:24 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Davenport Iowa.

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 02:26 AM
a reply to: cooperton
That doesn't quite fit with the definition of "desolation" as "preventing the worship of God". There has to be some kind of interference with God's worship which simultaneously stops the true and intrudes the false.

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 02:27 AM
a reply to: ColoradoJens
Which matches the definition found in the opening post in what way? Or perhaps your'e just responding to the title.

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 05:00 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

So he admits that there are other gods but forbids you to praise them...

I find this a very dictatorial attitude of grandeur...

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 05:26 AM
a reply to: NoConspiracy
For the same reason that the makers of Cartier watches object to the sale of fake Cartier watches. He does not want people to buy fakes.

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 05:35 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Oh i agree there are some that pretend to be him but there are some that don't. He definitely says no other, not the ones that pretend to be me. So there are gods that have their own "brand".

To go with the cartier allegory, there are watch makers that have their own brand. It would be like cartier saying you shall not buy any other brand, because........ (fill in any argument of superiority).

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 06:08 AM
a reply to: NoConspiracy
By the premise of the Bible. he is the Creator of the universe. By definition, there is only one.By definition, he would have the prescriptive right to obedience and control. (So our emotional reactions to other humans who claim obedienc,e without that right, are not relevant here).

Anyone or anything being idenified as a "god" is claiming what belongs to the Creator God alone and is therefore a fake.

Your objection to the allegory does not apply if you stick with the original form of the allegory instead of changing it. Do not buy fakes.

edit on 2-5-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 06:24 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

A watch is a watch, it depends only what brand is written on it, if you use a brand you don't own yes you are guilty as charged(fake), but having your own brand no one is to say you are a fake...

Everything God passed down to us has been brought to us by humans, it is not so much god i don't thrust but humans to not interpret his message correctly...
The bible is interpreted in so many ways and they all claim to be the ones that did it correctly, but no one says see what you find out to be your truth and stick to it. They all want you to buy their "brand".

posted on May, 2 2020 @ 06:34 AM

originally posted by: NoConspiracy
A watch is a watch, it depends only what brand is written on it, if you use a brand you don't own yes you are guilty as charged(fake), but having your own brand no one is to say you are a fake...

"Having your own brand" is not the allegory i was using, so the concept isn't relevant. It isn't my practice to keep going round in circles on threads of this kind, so if you bring up the point again I'll just refer you to my previous answers.

I'm not going to get into a vague general discussion about whether the Bible should be believed or not. I limit myself to the task of discussing some aspect of what it says. In this case, the meaning of the concept "Abomination of desolation".

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