Prophecies of Daniel 11, Part 11

September 9, 2015 at 9:20 AM 1 comment

A print depicting the attack on Jerusalem and the desecration of the Jewish temple by Antiochus Epiphanes IV's forces in 168 BC.

A print depicting the attack on Jerusalem and the desecration of the Jewish temple by Antiochus Epiphanes IV’s forces in 168 BC.

We finally got to the point of learning why the Bible calls Antiochus Epiphanes IV a “despicable” person (cf. Daniel 11:21). We began to understand just how evil that man was because of how corrupt his nature was, especially toward God’s people and the nation of Israel. Antiochus had no compunction against killing a high priest, accepting bribes from men who yearned to be high priest, killing thousands of Jews, and desecrating the Jewish temple in anger. This is what is revealed to us in the latter portion of Daniel 11 and we covered some of this in Prophecies of Daniel 11, Part 10.

Let’s pick it up with Daniel 11:31, which is what we introduced at the end of our last article.

“Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.”

The first part of the above verse is very interesting. In essence, Antiochus Epiphanes IV sends military troops into Jerusalem. According to history, this was initially supposed to be a “peaceful” mission, but it turned out to be anything but peaceful.

Antiochus ordered his general, Apollonius, and a contingent of 22,000 soldiers, into Jerusalem on what he claimed was a peaceful mission. However, when they were inside the city, they attacked the Jews on a Sabbath, when the Jews were reluctant to exert themselves. Apollonius killed many Jews, took many Jewish women and children captive as slaves, plundered the temple, and burned the city.” [1]

Why did Antiochus do this? It is interesting that the same reason runs throughout history from one evil dictator to another. Antiochus’ reason was had its roots in the same reason Hitler used. It was to exterminate Jews. Antiochus wanted to wipe Judaism off the map, replacing it with Hellenistic culture. While Hitler did not necessarily want to replace Judaism with anything (though historically, he did work with representatives of Islam and gained their promise of help in eradicating Jews from the Middle East), the main goal of his “final solution” was to simply eradicate all Jews. I’m sure Hitler had his reasons that he believed were at the root of his “mission,” but in reality, he was prompted by the same spirit that will completely indwell and fill the coming Antichrist. It will be Satan himself who has always hated Jews, Judaism, and Israel (cf. Revelation 12 as one example).

I believe Satan believes that if he can successfully destroy all Jews, then there will be no Jew alive that God can call His final remnant and who would then go into the Millennial Kingdom and enjoy the fullness of the Promised Land. I believe it has been to this end that Satan has worked and continues to work. His goal is the complete eradication of Jews. If he cannot destroy all of them, then at least he can turn them against orthodox Jews.

Antiochus attacked Jews in Jerusalem and desecrated their temple. Constable notes that Antiochus “…prohibited the Jews from following the Mosaic Law, and did away with the Jewish sacrifices, festivals, and circumcision (1 Macc. 1:44-54).” [2] He was in love with the Grecian culture. Remember, the various kings of the North tired (and failed) to reestablish the grandeur of Alexander the Great’s empire after he unexpectedly died. This was certainly part of Antiochus Epiphanes IV’s plan and to that end, he wanted to continue to push Grecian culture into areas that did not have it, thereby overthrowing the previous culture. Antiochus likely honestly believed that by replacing Judaism (and the Mosaic Law) with Hellenistic culture, the Jews eventually would go along with it and forget all about Moses, the Law, and Judaism itself. They would ultimately adopt the pagan rites and rituals of Greek culture, including their gods.

This is one of the reasons why Antiochus placed a statue of Zeus inside the Holy of Holies of the Jewish temple. It was intended to highlight the believed fact that Zeus was greater than Israel’s God because Zeus was now inside the “holy place” and Israel’s God did nothing. The implication, as far as Antiochus was concerned was very clear because Zeus was Antiochus’ specific and personal god (2 Macc. 6:2).

According to Constable, we learn even more about Antiochus’ desecration and demands.

“This happened on December 16, 168 B.C. The Jews referred to this act as ‘the abomination that caused desolation’ (cf. 12:11), since it polluted their altar and made sacrifices to Yahweh on it impossible (cf. 8:23-25). Antiochus further ordered his Jewish subjects to celebrate his subsequent birthdays by offering a pig to Zeus on this altar.” [3]

Is it any wonder that the angelic messenger who first revealed new information to Daniel referred to Antiochus as a “despicable” person? It seems clear enough that Antiochus had his own special pact with Satan himself.

In the gospels, Jesus Himself refers to this event and states that another like it would occur toward the end of this current age, prior to His second coming (Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14). Jesus calls this event the “abomination of desolation” and specifically refers to Daniel as He does so. It’s good to point out at this juncture that if Jesus viewed the book of Daniel as being authentic, then what further proof do we need?

Many students of the Bible today point to the Roman attack on Jerusalem in AD 70, under Titus as fulfillment of Jesus’ words. The problem is that nowhere is there any historical evidence that Titus did to the Jews what Antiochus did. There is no record or evidence that Titus slaughtered anything on the altar or set up any deity inside the Holy of Holies. In fact, records do support the fact that Jewish priests were the ones who actually set fire to the temple so that it could not be desecrated by the Romans. The Romans removed every stone of the temple and melted out the gold overlay as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2, and Luke 21:6, but they did not desecrate the temple itself.

As Constable rightly notes, “the Book of Revelation, which dates after the destruction of Jerusalem, predicts the coming of a ‘beast’ who will behave as Antiochus did, only on a larger scale (Rev. 13).” [4; emphasis added]

Jesus, Paul, and John essentially allude to Antiochus Epiphanes IV being a type of Antichrist, with the final “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2) being the very embodiment of evil personified.

We will continue with Daniel 11:32 next time because Daniel 11 is not done with Antiochus Epiphanes IV yet.

 

[1] Dr. Thomas Constable’s Notes on Daniel, p. 137

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

Entry filed under: israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, second coming, temple mount. Tags: , , , .

Prophecies of Daniel 11, Part 10 What Is Your Church Practicing?

1 Comment

  • 1. Prophecies of Daniel, Part 12 | Study - Grow - Know  |  September 11, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    […] and in at least some ways, we’re not going tremendously deep. In our last installment – Prophecies of Daniel, Part 11 – we covered one verse, Daniel 11:31. There was a lot there about Antiochus Epiphanes IV and […]


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