Abominations of desolation WhyProphets.com
Summary Antiochus - who?


that lead to

plus, the "Daily sacrifice"
and more proof that the apostasy was completed in the sixth century

What is an "abomination?"

This page shows that the phrase is a general description, and does not mean just one single historical event.

The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel

This page discusses the most frequently referred to Old Testament abomination lead to desolation - when Israel's apostasy led to the Assyrian captivity.

Antiochus IV

Some people think the desecration of the temple was an abomination that led to desolation. But strictly speaking it was not.

When a nation commits abominations, it brings on itself desolations. But sometimes this result is not so obvious, because:
  • If even just a few of the people are righteous, God may spare the nation (as was offered to Sodom and Gomorrah)
  • God may give us a long time to repent
  • Nations that do not have the truth are not treated as harshly as those that do.

But if we look at the history of the world, the pattern is clear:

  • The Great Deluge (Noah's Ark)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • The fall of Israel
  • The Jaredites and later the Nephites twice (Book of Mormon)
  • The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70
  • The End of the World

In each case, when nations commit abominations, they bring on themselves desolations.

The abomination of desolation in Matthew 24

Jesus made a famous reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. This page shows how the prophecy was fulfilled, and specifically what the abominations were.

How people try to twist Matthew 24

Matthew 24 contains clear references to a period of evil coming after the AD 70 desolation - the Dark Ages. But most Christian churches deny that the Dark Ages happened, so they try to make this chapter say something very different.

A British abomination that led to desolation

The pattern of rejecting the truth and the nation being destroyed happens outside the Bible as well. This page shows a particularly clear cut example from early British history.

Daniel 11 and an abomination that led to desolation

The context of Daniel 11:31 seems to place this abomination at the fall of the Roman empire.

The sixth century:

The greatest abomination.

The greatest desolation.

What can we say of the greatest abomination of the last two thousand years? The true church, set up by Christ himself, which went forth to almost the whole world, had became entirely apostate and corrupt by the late sixth century!

Surely we would expect a great desolation of the whole world as a natural result? A desolation such as has not been seen since the days of Noah?

That is precisely what happened. Only now, in the run-up to the end of the world, do scholars begin to realise the extent of the devastation.

Read on.

Abominations and "daily sacrifices"
What does the Bible actually say?

This web site deals with dated Bible prophecies in some detail. Many of these feature an "Abomination" that "makes desolate" and refer to "the Daily Sacrifice." They illustrate how easy it is to innocently misinterpret scripture.

The "daily sacrifice"

The first major problem that most Bible readers come to in Daniel is the reference to the "taking away of the daily sacrifice" (Daniel 11:31 etc.). This is the basis for many interpretations of Daniel, but it is a false basis. Any interpretation built on this single phrase is like a house built on sand - when you look closer, the phrase shifts and disappears.

Just look at the words "daily sacrifice" in a printed King James translation. The word "sacrifice" is in italics. Why? Italicized words are those that were not there in the Hebrew, but the translators thought should be there so the passage would make sense. You can check this in an English / Hebrew Bible: the word "sacrifice" was never there! And while you are in the Hebrew word book, check out the word translated as "daily" - it is just a word that means "continuous". So the words "daily sacrifice" were not in the original text.

It is true that the word "continuous" was often used in the five books of Moses, referring to the fact that temple sacrifices should not stop, but that is not its root meaning. In Daniel, the context does not demand that use. All the interpretations about "evening and morning sacrifices" have more to do with the interpreter's imagination than with what Daniel actually said.

In fact, the word "continuous" is only translated as "daily sacrifice" in Daniel - nowhere else!

Abominations that leave things desolate

This term, according to the Bible, applies to the destruction of Israel by an invading army (making desolate) because of idolatry and other sins (abominations).

This is another example where modern translators add to scripture and totally change its meaning. For example, Daniel 9:27 refers to an "overspreading" abomination. "Overspreading" can also mean "edge", "extremity", or occasionally (in the context of a building) "wing". So the New International Version translators add the phrase "of the temple", a phrase that was not in the original Hebrew. Thus they change the meaning, and make it refer to something happening "on the wing of the temple", in order to support their unbiblical idea that this all refers to Antiochus IV. The temple, incidentally, does not have a "wing". The fulfillment of the "edge" prophecy is discussed in relation to Daniel 9.

When Daniel refers to an "abomination that makes desolate", he does not refer to the defiling of the temple by Antiochus IV in 168 BC:

Why should an "abomination of desolation" be one single event anyway? "Abomination" just means anything that is abominable to God. "That makes desolate" just means "that destroys and lays waste". There are other examples of abominations that make desolate - see for example Ezekiel 33:29 for the definition.

According to William Smith's Bible Dictionary, "abomination of desolation" more accurately means "horrifying apostasy" of the covenant people. Smith also points out that the desolation must come after the abomination, so the idea that raising the Roman standard in the temple in AD 70 was the desolation is wrong. For the significance of AD 70, see the "seventy weeks" page. (This also destroys the Antiochus theory, but nobody will face up to this).

More clues

Another clue that this is a phrase rather than a single event is that it appears in different ways. For example, Daniel 8:13 refers to the "transgression of desolation". Finally, even those who favour a limited interpretation of "abomination of desolation" usually admit that there are at least two different fulfillment's - the desecration of the temple in the second century BC, and the abomination foretold by Christ. If there are at least two fulfillment's, why not more? So this is a phrase rather than a proper name, and can no doubt it could apply to many different events and circumstances. That is by far the simplest explanation.

Jesus' reference to Daniel's abomination of desolation

In Matthew 24:15, Jesus referred to a desolating abomination in Daniel 9:27 - the process of apostasy after Messiah's death and ascension. This is discussed in relation to Matthew 24. Daniel had also referred to other desolating abominations (such as that brought on by the little horn). There is more than one. So why did Jesus say "the" abomination and not "an" abomination?

In summary, "abomination that makes desolate" just means "sins (specifically idolatry) that lead to the nation being overrun by its enemies". There is no "once only" abomination of desolation.


Scribes changing the translation to suit themselves

In the 1830s, Joseph Smith said that there might be minor errors in the text of the Bible. He was condemned for saying that at the time, but with the Book of Daniel we have an example of changes being made right before our eyes.

Consider Daniel chapter 11, which dealing with the kings of the north and of the south. Compare the famous "King James" version of the Bible, published in 1611, with its popular modern counterpart the New International Version. The KJV, following the original Hebrew, allows each verse to be interpreted in different ways. The reader has to use the context to decide its meaning. But the NIV has re-translated the words so that they fit its pre-conceived notion that the chapter is all about Antiochus IV in the second century BC. Some "modern English" Bibles go further, and even put the names of the various Syrian and Greek generals into the text.

All this would be fine and good if we know for certain that Daniel 11 was indeed talking about Antiochus. But if Daniel was actually dealing with another topic, then the modern translators have committed a serious sin by twisting and corrupting the Bible. It is one thing to have your own "private interpretation". It is quite another to re-write the Bible to fit.

Scribes feeding off their own mistakes

Interpretative translation, even with the most honest intentions, can be rather circular: a translation is right only because that's the way translators translate it. Let me explain. The problem is that there are no Hebrew dictionaries from 2500 BC. Also, few (if any) of the texts from that period deal with these exact topics in Daniel. So for the more unique phrases, the scholars have to look at the Bible itself to guess what they mean. This can cause some circular logic:

Some years ago, someone somewhere decided that "the continuous state" in this context meant "the daily sacrifice in the temple". Probably from that, they concluded that "the abomination of desolation" meant the setting up of an idol in the temple. And probably relying on that, they decided that Daniel chapter 11 was all about Antiochus IV. Something of a house of cards, I would say - everything collapses once the initial "daily sacrifice" interpretation is in doubt. However, this house of cards is reinforced in the following way:

Since dictionaries of Biblical Hebrew can only rely on what the Bible itself says (or rather, what scholars believe that it says), the concept of "setting up an idol" becomes an official meaning of the term "abomination that makes desolate". So the next generation of scholars take it for granted and start from that premise as if it is written into the Bible itself. It is not. But it is a very brave (or innocent) student of Hebrew who will argue with the dictionary!


The desolation of Rome - and the entire world

The sixth century re-visited

In this web site I have argued, from prophecy, from history, and from modern revelation, that the last traces of Christ's true church died in the year 570.

I have also argued that the last outpost of faith was probably in Britain, and that the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail are a memory of something precious that was lost.

570 saw the death of the 535-540 generation

Although the legends point to the year 570 as the final loss, the writing was on the wall a generation before that. 570 just saw the death of the generation that had chronicled the abominations of the mid sixth century. - people like Gildas, and Procopius. They and others record that the years around 540 were the worst:

And what had happened in 540? Before looking at that, let us look more closely at how it affected Rome:

The lowest point in all her history

The state of Rome at her lowest point, after 570, is described by Gregory the Great:

"Ruins on ruins .... Where is the senate? Where the people? All the pomp of secular dignities has been destroyed .... And we, the few that we are who remain, every day we are menaced by scourges and innumerable trials"

(See the history of the church at http://www.mcauley.acu.edu.au/~yuri/ecc/mod4.html )

A fuller description is given in "Sketches of Church History" by J. C Robertson (London, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1904) p.154-5 in the chapter called "End of the Sixth Century":

"The state of Italy towards the end of the sixth century was very wretched. Vast numbers of its people had perished in the course of the wars by which Justinian's generals had wrested the country from the Goths, and had again united it to the empire; multitudes of others had been destroyed by famine and pestilence.

"The Lombards, who had crossed the Alps in the year 568, had obliged the emperors to yield the North, and part of the middle, of Italy to them; and they continually threatened the portions which still remained to the empire. No help against them was to be got from Constantinople; and the governors whom the emperors sent to manage their Italian dominions, instead of directing and leading the people to resist the Lombards, only hindered them from taking their defense into their own hands.

"The land was left uncultivated, partly through the loss of inhabitants, and partly because those who remained were disheartened by the miseries of the time. They had not the spirit to bestow their labor on it, when there was almost a certainty that their crops would be destroyed or carried off by the Lombard invaders; and the soil, when left to itself, had in many places become so unwholesome, that it was not fit to live on. Italy had in former times been so thickly peopled, that it had been necessary to get supplies of corn from Sicily and from Africa. But now such foreign supplies were wanted for a very different reason--that the inhabitants of Italy could not, or did not, grow corn for themselves.

"The city of Rome had suffered from storms, and from repeated floods of the river Tiber, which did a great deal of damage to its buildings, and sometimes washed away or spoiled the stores of corn which were laid up in the granaries. The people were kept in terror by the Lombards, who often advanced to their very walls, so that it was unsafe to venture beyond the gates.

"The condition of the Church too was very deplorable. The troubles of the times had produced a general decay of morals and order both among the clergy and among the people."

And so it went on.

What caused this great desolation? The simple answer is the hand of God:


The global desolation of 535-540

[This material is largely based on the book "Catastrophe" by David Keys. This was the basis of two British Channel 4 television documentaries, "Secrets of the Dead", broadcast 27 July and 3rd August 1999.]

A small practice for the end of the world

I have argued elsewhere that the world as we know it may end with massive volcanic activity. It seems that the same thing happened on a smaller scale about the year 535. The famous mount Krakatoa blew up, with a far greater explosion than the better known event of 1883.

It is estimated that the blast was equivalent to 2 000 000 000 Hiroshimas. Flame and ash shot thirty miles out into space. This was "tens or hundreds of times larger than any volcano man ever witnessed".

The sky was darkened for two years - what we would no call a nuclear winter. The temperature dropped. There was less rainfall. There was famine. Drought. (And when it ended - floods). The first ever record of the Bubonic plague.

Trees hardly grew. Plants and animals died. This led to famine and plague on a scale never before recorded. It led to massive migrations of people, and the fall of empires from Europe to China to America. It seemed to be practice run for the end of the world:

It has been described as "the most important date in the history of the last 2000 years". It was also said that "this was the border between the ancient world and our world".

Eye witness accounts

After 570: Signs in the heavens

"[A] wave of meteorites is believed to have struck the Earth around 600 AD and at that time, too, tree rings point to darker skies. Writings at this time describe the chaos in the heavens: "In the year 599, stars shot hither and thither and flew against each other like a swarn of locusts," according to an Islamic text." - Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, Daily Mail, 22 Feb 2000 p.13


If you want to see what happens when mankind as a whole rejects God, you don't need to look any further than the sixth century.

Far worse has been promised for the last days - possibly in your life time.

Are you prepared?

the bottom line

Do you have a food store?


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