Daniel 11:31 Index
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."
Research Material

"...arms shall stand on his part..."

  • Daniel 11:31-35 place the Papal Power in control. With its last serious opposition eliminated (Ostrogoths A.D. 538), the Papacy showed her crushing power... With the Papal Power now in control and the arms of state at their command, persecution followed. (KC 134)

"...they shall pollute the sanctuary..."

  • [Historically] this passage has been understood to describe the action of the great apostate power [Papal Rome] in Christian history that substituted a false sacrifice and ministration for the true sacrifice of Christ and His ministration as high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. (4BC 873)
  • If this applies to the barbarians, it was literally fulfilled; for Rome was sacked by the Goths and Vandals, and the imperial power of the West ceased through the conquest of Rome by Odoacer.
    • Or if it refers to those rulers of the empire who were working in behalf of the papacy against the pagan and all other opposing religions, it would signify the removal of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, which contributed its measure of influence to the downfall of Rome. The passage would then be parallel to Daniel 8:11 and Revelation 13:2. (US 270)

"...and shall take away the daily sacrifice..."

  • It was shown in comments on Daniel 8:13, that "sacrifice" is a word erroneously supplied. It should be "desolation." The expression denotes a desolating power, of which the abomination of desolation is but the counter part, and to which it succeeds in point of time. It seems clear therefore that the "daily" desolation was Paganism, and the "abomination which maketh desolation" is the papacy.
    • But it may be asked, How can this be the papacy since Christ spoke of it in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem?
      • The answer is, Christ evidently referred to Daniel 9:27, which predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, and not to this verse in Daniel 11:31, which does not refer to that event. In Daniel 9:27, Daniel speaks of desolations and abominations in the plural. More than one abomination, therefore, treads down the church; that is, as far as the church is concerned, both paganism and the papacy are abominations. But as distinguished from each other, the language is restricted. One is the "daily" desolation, and the other is pre-eminently the transgression or "abomination" of desolation. (US 270-271)
  • How was the "daily." or paganism, taken away? As this is spoken of in connection with the placing or setting up of the abomination of desolation, or the papacy, it must denote, not merely the nominal change of the religion of the empire from paganism to Christianity, as on the so-called conversion of Constantine, but to such an eradication of paganism from all the elements of the empire that they way would be entirely open for the papal abomination to arise and assert its arrogant claims. Such a revolution as this was accomplished, but not for nearly two hundred years after the death of Constantine. (US 271)
    • As we approach the year A.D. 508, we behold a mighty crisis ripening between Catholicism and the pagan influences still existing in the empire. Up to the time of the conversion of Clovis, king of France, in A.D. 496, the French and other nations of Western Rome were pagan; but following the event, the efforts to convert idolaters to Romanism were crowned with great success. The conversion of Clovis is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the French monarch the titles "Most Christian Majesty" and "Eldest Son of the Church." Between that time and A.D. 508, by alliances, capitulations, and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Burgundians, and the Visigoths, were brought into subjection. (US 271)
    • From the time when these successes were fully accomplished, in A.D. 508, the papacy was triumphant so far as paganism was concerned; for though the latter doubtless retarded the progress of the Catholic faith, yet it had not the power, if it had the disposition, to suppress the faith, and hinder the encroachments of the Roman pontiff. When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity as exhibited in the Roman Catholic Church was, and is, only paganism baptized. (US 271-272)
    • The status of the see of Rome was also peculiar at this time. In 498, Symmachus ascended the pontifical throne as a recent convert from paganism. He found his way to the papal chair by striving with his competitor even unto blood. He received adulation as the successor of St. Peter, and struck the keynote of papal assumption by presuming to excommunicate the Emperor Anastasius (Louis E. Dupin, A New History of Ecclesiastical Writers, Vol. V., pp. 103, "Pope Symmachus"). The most servile flatterers of the pope now began to maintain that he was constituted judge in the place of God, and that he was the vicegerent of the Most High.(US 272)
    • Such was the direction in which events were tending in the West. In what state were affairs at the same time in the East? A strong papal party now existed in all parts of the empire. The adherents of this cause in Constantinople, encouraged by the success of their brethren in the West, deemed it safe to begin open hostilities in behalf of their master at Rome. (US 272)
    • Let it be marked that soon after the year 508, paganism had so far declined, and Catholicism had so far relatively increased in strength, that the Catholic Church for the first time was able to wage a successful war against both the civil authority of the empire and the church of the East, which had for the most part embraced the Monophysite doctrine, which Rome counted heresy. Partisan zeal culminated in a whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war, which swept in fire and blood through Constantinople. The extermination of 65,000 heretics was the result. That such a war took place a few years later will be seen in the following quotation from Gibbon in his account of events under the 508-518:
      • "The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer, which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition, that, since all cold not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, who their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of the Council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name, and by the disciple, oft he God of Peace." (Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, chap. 47, p.516). (US 272-273)
  • We think it clear that the daily was taken away by A.D. 508. This was preparatory to the setting up, or establishment, of the papacy, which was a separate and subsequent event. Of this prophetic narrative now leads us to speak. (US 273)

"...they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."

  • The work of the [Roman] papacy is here delineated. This is the first time this expression occurs in the book of Daniel, although similar words appear in the clause "for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it dislocate" (Daniel 9:27). Christ's words concerning the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15) may be considered as applying particularly to this earlier reference in Daniel 9:27 rather than to Daniel 11:31. Speaking of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in A.D. 70, Jesus identified the Roman armies surrounding the city as "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:20).... In view of the fact that Daniel 9:27 is part of the angel's explanation of Daniel 8:11-13, the natural conclusion is that Daniel 8:11-13 is a blended prophecy (similar to that of Matthew 24 [DA 628]) that applies both to the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Romans and to the work of the papacy in the Christian centuries.... It should further be noted that Jesus' explicit reference to the work of the "abomination of desolation" as yet future in His time makes it certain that Antiochus Epiphanes did not meet the specifications of the prophecy. (4BC 873-874)
  • Having shown quite fully what we think constitutes the taking away of the daily, or paganism, we now inquire, When was the abomination that maketh desolate, or the papacy, placed, or set up? The little horn that had eyes like the eyes of man was not slow to see when the way was open for his advancement and elevation. From the year 508 his progress toward universal supremacy was without parallel. (US 273)
  • When Justinian was about to begin the Vandal war in A.D. 533, an enterprise of no small magnitude and difficulty, he wished to secure the influence of the bishop of Rome, who had then attained a position in which his opinion had great weight throughout a large part of Christendom. Justinian therefore took it upon himself to decide the contest which had long existed between the sees of Rome and Constantinople as to which should have the precedence, by giving the preference to Rome in an official letter to the pope, declaring in the fullest and most unequivocal terms that the bishop of that city should be chief of the whole ecclesiastical body of the empire. (US 273-275)
  • Justinian's letter reads:
    • "Justinian, victor, pious, fortunate, famous, triumphant, ever Augustus, to John, the most holy Archbishop and Patriarch of the noble city of Rome.
    • Paying honor to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, as always has been and is our desire, and honoring your blessedness as a father, we hasten to bring to the knowledge of Your Holiness all that pertains to the condition of the churches, since it has always been our great aim to safeguard the unity of your Apostolic See and the position of the holy churches of God which now prevails and abides securely without any disturbing trouble.
    • Therefore we have been sedulous to subject and unite all the priests of the Orient throughout its whole extent to the see of Your Holiness.
    • Whatever questions happen to be mooted at present, we have thought necessary to be brought to Your Holiness's knowledge, however clear and unquestionable they may be, and thought firmly held and taught by all the clergy in accordance with the doctrine of your Apostolic See; for we do not suffer that anything which is mooted, however clear and unquestionable, pertaining to the state of the churches, should fail to be made known to Your Holiness, as being the head of all the churches.
    • For, as we have said before, we are zealous for the increase of the honor and authority of your see in all respects." (Codex Justiniani, lib, 1, tit 1; translation as given by R. R. Littledale, The Perine Claims p. 293). (US 275)
  • "The emperor's letter must have been sent before the 25th of March, 533. For, in his letter of that date to Epiphanius he speaks of its having been already dispatched, and repeats his decision that all affairs touching the church shall be referred to the pope, 'head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector of heretics." (George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 170). (US 275-276)
  • "In the same month of the following year, 534, the pope returned an answer repeating the language of the emperor, applauding his homage to the see, and adopting the titles of the imperial mandate. He observes that, among the virtues of Justinian, 'one shines as a star, his reverence for the Apostolic chair, to which he has subjected and united all the churches, it being truly the Head of all; as was testified by the rules of the Fathers, the laws of the Princes, and the declarations of the Emperor's piety.
    • "The authenticity of the title receives unanswerable proof from the edicts in the 'Novellae' of the Justinian code.
      • The preamble of the 9th states that 'as the elder Rome was the founder of the laws; so was it not to be questioned that in her was the supremacy of the pontificate.'
      • The 131st, On the ecclesiastical titles and privileges, chapter ii, states: 'We therefore decree that the most holy Pope of the elder Rome is therefore decree that the most holy Pope of the elder Rome is the first of all the priesthood, and that the most blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, shall hold the second rank after the holy apostolic chair of the elder Rome." (George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 170, 171) (US 276)
  • Toward the close of the sixth century, John of Constantinople denied the Roman supremacy, and assumed for himself the title of universal bishop; whereupon Gregory the Great, indignant at the usurpation, denounced John and declared, without being aware of the truth of his statement, that he who would assume the title of universal bishop was Antichrist. In 606, Phocas suppressed the claims of the bishop of Constantinople, and vindicated that of the bishop of Rome. But Phocas was not the founder of papal supremacy. "That Phocas repressed the claim of the bishop of Constantinople is beyond a doubt. But the highest authorities among the civilians and annalists of Rome spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian as the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable year 533."(George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 172, 173) (US 276-277)
  • George Croly makes this further statement: "On reference to Baronius, the established authority among the Roman Catholic annalists, I found Justinian's grant of supremacy to the pope formally fixed to that period.... The entire transaction was of the most authentic and regular kind, and suitable to the importance of the transfer." (George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 12, 13) (US 277)
  • Such were the circumstances attending the decree of Justinian. But the provisions of this decree could not at once be carried into effect; for Rome and Italy were held by the Ostrogoths, who were Arians in faith, and strongly opposed to the religion of Justinian and the pope. It was therefore evident that the Ostrogoths must be rooted out of Rome before the pope could exercise the power with which he had been clothed. To accomplish this object, the Italian war began began in 534. The management of the campaign was entrusted to Belisarius. On his approach toward Rome, several cities forsook Vitiges, their Gothic and heretical sovereign, and joined the armies of the Catholic emperor. The Goths, deciding to delay offensive operations until spring, allowed Belisarius to enter Rome without opposition. The deputies of the pope and the clergy, of the senate and the people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance. (US 277)
    • Belisarius entered Rome on December 10, 536. But this was not an end of the struggle, for the Goths rallied their forces and resolved to dispute his possession of the city by a regular siege, which they began in March, 537. Belisarius feared despair and treachery on the part of the people. Several senators, and Pope Silverius, on proof or suspicion of treason, were sent into exile. The emperor commanded the clergy to elect a new bishop. After solemnly invoking the Holy Ghost they elected the deacon Vigilius, who, by a bribe of two hundred pounds of gold, had purchased the honor. (Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, chap. 41, pp. 168, 169). (US 277-278)
    • The whole nation of the Ostrogoths had been assembled for the siege of Rome, but success did not attend their efforts. Their hosts melted away in frequent and bloody combats under the city walls, and the year and nine days during which the siege lasted, witnessed almost the entire destruction of the nation. In the month of March, 538, dangers beginning to threaten them from other quarters, they raised the siege, burned their tents, and retired in tumult and confusion from the city, with numbers scarcely sufficient to preserve their existence as a nation or their identity as a people. (US 278)
    • Thus the Gothic horn, the last of the three, was plucked up before the little horn of Daniel 7:8. Nothing now stood in the way of the pope to prevent his exercising the power conferred upon him by Justinian five years before. The saints, times, and laws were now in his hands, not in purpose only, but in fact. This must therefore be taken as the year when this abomination was placed, or set up, and as the point from which to date the beginning of the prophetic period of 1260 years of papal supremacy. (US 278)