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vasion of Antiochus. The presence of the Roman army round the Holy City was itself an abomination of the worst kind, and one which foreboded coming ruin. The words of Daniel seemed to find a second fulfilment; Rome had taken the place of Syria. ... The patristic interpreters thought of Pilate's attempt to introduce the effigy of the emperor into the city, or of similar insults offered to the Jewish faith by Hadrian .. or of acts committed at the time of the capture of the city. . .. or of the Roman standards—which bore the figure of the eagle.. .. Standing where he ought not; the abomination is personified. . . All Palestine, but especially Jerusalem, was to the Jew holy ground, where the Gentile had no right to be.
Let them which be in Judaea; not the Apostles themselves, but other Jewish Christians who remained in the country. ... When the signal is given, not a moment may be lost; the citizen who is resting or praying on his roof must not stop to collect his property, or the countryman, who is at work, to go after the clothing he has left in another part of the field. Men went up to the flat roofs of their houses to sleep, to worship, to watch, to proclaim tidings good or bad, to spend the feast of Tabernacles, and doubtless for many other purposes; so usual a place of resort was the roof
that the law required it to be fenced with a parapet, as a protection against falls. The roof was accessible from without, by a staircase or ladder, so that the man on the roof might escape without entering his house."
And Isaac Williams: "Origen suggests that the abomination standing in the holy place implies that Antichrist will sit in the temple of the Scriptures, proving by those very Scriptures that he is God. And, indeed, we have seen much of this tendency; for all heresy, and even Socinianism, which has the great mark of Antichrist in denying the Son, seats itself in Scripture... St. Jerome likewise explains the abomination of desolation as any false doctrine taking its station in the Holy Place, that is, in the Church of God, and showing itself to be God. And certainly they who look deeper into the causes of things may see why any false principle should be said to make desolate, especially when seated in the Church; in fact no desolation, strictly speaking, can take place, excepting from the setting up of false principles : such is emphatically, peculiarly, and in some sense alone, the abomination that maketh desolate."
The Bible Commentary says: “The original expression, abomination of desolation, occurs with only a slight variation in three passages
of the Septuagint translation of Daniel. In the second of these, and perhaps in the third, it refers to the pollution of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, and is interpreted of the idolatrous altar set up there.
The first passage in Daniel clearly refers to something which is to follow the coming and death of the Messiah, that is, to something connected with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. From Josephus it appears to have been the belief of the Jews that Daniel foretold the Roman desolation, as well as that by Antiochus. . It is an abomination to be punished by desolation. So the idol set up in the temple by Manasseh led to the destruction of the first temple; and the same may thus have been applied to the idol of Antiochus, though the desolation did not proceed to utter destruction. Following this clue, we should naturally understand the present passage as implying some pollution of the temple by the Jews, to be punished by its destruction at the hands of the Romans. The pollution has with great probability been identified with the atrocities committed in the temple by the Zealots, particularly by their seizure of the Holy Place and profane performance of sacrifices, and the murders committed in the temple. Josephus himself speaks of the conduct of these Zealots as the fulfilment of an
ancient saying that the temple would be destroyed when it had been polluted by the Jews themselves; and it is at least probable that the prediction here spoken of is the very prophecy of Daniel.”
First Thought.-We are to understand by the abomination of desolation whatsoever is set up in God's place by sinful and defiant men which is hostile and hateful to Him. In the old Jewish days idolatry was the most sacrilegious of sins, and when idolatry was practised within the temple precincts it was an abomination which God would surely punish by bringing desolation upon the offenders. Yet just as every one who wilfully sets himself up in hostility to the divine religion is an Antichrist, so every one who wilfully teaches false doctrine in the pulpits of the Church, or lives a wantonly immoral life while holding high station in the Church, brings the abomination of desolation into the holy place. The preaching of Unitarianism by a priest, or deliberate ignoring of the Church's law concerning the indissolubility of marriage, sets up such abomination of desolation.
It is most true that the vagaries of individuals, no matter how highly placed they may be, cannot commit the faithful as a body to that
which God hates. There may be guilt indeed, a partaking in the evil deeds of the blasphemer, when discipline is not exercised by those who have authority to exercise it, in order to silence him; but often there are hin ces to the wielding of authority which cannot easily be overcome. The heart of the Church may be loyal, though evil teachers and those who live in flagrant sin, are not disciplined as they ought to be.
And while we are bound to be keen to maintain the Church's good name and her authority, we are wise to look often into our own hearts, to make sure that we hold stedfastly all the faith, hating as an abominable thing every form of heresy; and that we are strict in our own living, tolerating in ourselves no departure from that high moral code which our Lord imposed upon His followers.
There may be found among us, even in these days, the abomination which makes desolate, but let us be sure that we ourselves have neither part nor lot in it.
Second Thought. The Master says, “Let him that readeth understand.” We are not to forget the lessons of the past, and to be disturbed beyond measure by every apparent triumph of the adversary. Antichrist in his most terrible manifestation has not yet appeared; Satan is