Matthew 24:15 Index
"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:)"
Research Material

"...the abomination of desolation..." (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11)

  • Among the Jews an idol or other heathen symbol was often termed an "abomination" (1 Kings 11:5, 7; 2 Kings 23:13) or something offensive from a religious point of view (Exodus 8:26; Genesis 43:32; Genesis 46:34). The parallel passage in Luke reads "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh" Luke 21:20). The event foretold is obviously the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, at which time the symbols of pagan Rome were set up within the Temple area. When the Jewish rebellion under Bar Cocheba was suppressed in A.D. 135, the Romans erected a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the site of the former Jewish Temple, and Jews were banned from the city of Jerusalem upon pain of death. (5BC 499)
  • The Jews, after their long captivity, would not make any image. The image on the Roman ensign or banner, they called an abomination, especially when these emblems were placed in a prominent place for them to respect. Such respect they regarded as a violation of the second commandment. When the Roman ensign was set up in the holy place in the temple, they looked upon it as an abomination.... (4BC 1145)
  • As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. (5T 464-465)

"...by Daniel the prophet..."

  • This reference to Daniel is evidence that Jesus believed that Daniel was a historical person, that he was a prophet, and that he wrote the book of Daniel. Because the prophecy of Daniel pointed so clearly to the time the Messiah was to appear, the rabbis, in later centuries, place a curse on those who should attempt a computation of the time (GC 378; Talmud Sanhedrin 97b, Soncino ed., p. 659). (5BC 499)

"...stand in the Holy place..."

  • That is, the sacred precincts of the Temple, including the inner courts from which Gentiles were excluded on pain of death (Acts 6:13; Acts 21:28). (5BC 599)

"...let him understand."

  • Those who assert that Daniel is a sealed book," and not capable of being understood, would do well to ponder Christ's clear statement to the contrary. As the events predicted drew near, it was essential that God's people know whereof the prophet spoke. These events were less than 40 years away, within the lifetime of many ten living. Similarly, as events connected with the end of the world (Matthew 24:3) draw near, Christians should be diligent in their endeavor to understand that which has been written for their admonition (Amos 3:7; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11). (5BC 499)
  • The light that Daniel received direct from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon have come to pass. (4BC 1166)
  • The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” (DA 234)
  • Ministers and people declared that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation were incomprehensible mysteries. But Christ directed His disciples to the words of the prophet Daniel concerning events to take place in their time, and said: “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” And the assertion that the Revelation is a mystery, not to be understood, is contradicted by the very title of the book: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.... Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:1-3. (GC 341)
  • Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: “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:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15, 16Luke 21:20, 21). When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, those who would escape must make no delay. Throughout the land of Judea, as well as in Jerusalem itself, the signal for flight must be immediately obeyed. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down into his house, even to save his most valued treasures. Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction. (GC 25-26)
  • Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem's destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. (GC 37)
  • In Matthew 24, in answer to the question of His disciples concerning the sign of His coming and of the end of the world, Christ had pointed out some of the most important events in the history of the world and of the church from His first to His second advent; namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, the great tribulation of the church under the pagan and papal persecutions, the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars. (GC 393)