The Abomination of Desolation is one of the most interesting prophecies in the Bible because Jesus identifies it as a specific sign that the end is near.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
When the Abomination of Desolation occurs, it will usher in the second three and one-half years of Tribulation known as the Great Tribulation.
What exactly is an abomination? An abomination is a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, or habit. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Syrian king in 167 B. C., erected a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and desecrated the sanctuary and its holy vessels. This was an abominable act.
What Antiochus IV Epiphanes did so long ago, however, only serves as a type of the abomination that will be committed by the Antichrist. The Antichrist himself will be the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies in Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11, and Matthew 24:15. This is why Jesus referred to the desecration of the Temple as a still future event. That prophecy states that the Antichrist will stand in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, will cause all sacrifices to cease, declare himself to be God, and require all men to serve him as God. That this ultimate abomination will be committed is further validated in Dan. 12:11, Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:3-4, and Rev. 13:8.
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Matthew 24:15 (KJV)
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand):
2 Thess. 2:3-4 (KJV)
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Rev. 13:8 (KJV)
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Following that abomination, the desolation will occur. A desolation is a state of complete emptiness or destruction. The “desolation” will be atomic wars in which all grass will be burned up; one-third of the trees will be burned up; oceans and rivers will be contaminated and cities will be burned. (Ezek. 29:9-11).
9 And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.
10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
The final three and one-half years of the Tribulation will be a time of distress never known before by man. Were the days not shortened no one would be able to survive. But God has a remedy, even in these worst of times. Look for Unfulfilled Prophecy #6 to see how God will move during this time.