Abominations of the blasphemous kind tend to repeat because they are the fruit of an antichrist spirit which is always with us. Whenever the spirit manifests itself in the form of a man we get ‘Antichrist’ and that is why St John says, “… you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.” (1 John 2:18) With this in mind, we observe Daniels visions having several (not just one) antichrists, hence abominations (plural) and the gradual revealing of a future ‘man of sin.’
The first example in Daniel’s book is Nebuchadnezzar. He set up an abomination, a statue representative of Babylon and of himself (“You are that head of gold” Dan 2:38), and all people everywhere were forced to worship it. (Dan 3:1-7)
The next example is an overview of world history as it pertains to ‘beast’ dominions that would arise. They were a lion (Babylon), a bear (Medo-Persia), a leopard (Greece) and a terrifying beast. (Rome) Their characteristics were that of antichrist – conquest and power. Then, from out of the fourth beast came ten ‘horns’ and from out of these another horn who, “had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.” (Dan 7:8) He would, speak against the Most High and oppress God’s holy people who would be delivered into his hands for a “time, times and half a time.” (Dan 7:25) This is Antichrist who is yet to come.
It might be helpful at this point to notice how the ‘times’ mentioned are the same period referenced in the book of Revelation. The end-time 3 1/2 years are not taken from Daniel chapter nine as so often assumed since that would require the ‘seventieth week’ to be broken off and sent to the future. Such an interpretation is unnecessary because a different 3 1/2 year period is already revealed in Daniel chapter seven.
The best known AoD in the book of Daniel is that of Antiochus Epiphanes who desecrated the Jewish temple in 167 BC. This is the subject of chapter eight which is described in such detail that liberal scholars have tried to ‘doctor’ the authorship so to make it appear written after the advent had already happened.
The least understood case of abomination is the one which happened in the middle of the seventieth week. (AD 30) Some have muddled it with the AoD to come but it was really the continuation of sacrifice after Christ had said, “Finished!” In this case it overspread from the initial blasphemy for another forty years until the desolation of the temple became complete.
Chapter eleven provides the fifth example, an interesting one because it demonstrates dual fulfilment, ie. how some prophecy has a near fulfilment with a far one later on. The first section predicts more background of Antiochus culminating in, “Then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.” (Dan 11:31) From verse 36 however, the text telescopes forward to a different person, similar in ‘spirit’, but whose actions no longer match the Greek tyrant. It is obviously alluding to a future Antichrist.
We finally come to Daniel 12:11 speaking about the ‘1335 and 1290 days.’ The figures given have no connection to the Antiochus figures quoted in chapter eight, so there is obviously more than one abomination of desolation in Daniels writings. The figures do tie in with the calendar at the time of the cross, so the temple’s alternative sacrifice makes two abominations. However, the context of chapter twelve references future aspects awaiting fulfilment which indicates a 1290-day span may come around again. That makes three separate, identifiable AoD’s in the book of Daniel, four if we count Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.
(continued next post)