Is a modern-day manifestation beginning to stir?
15 Kislev 167 BC
In this year, Antiochus IV of Syria, having visited Jerusalem two years before, and in a zeal to force Hellenistic culture throughout his dominions, issued an edict demanding that Jews in that region be forced to abandon the essential practices of their religion; these included circumcision and observance of Jewish Sabbaths and feast days.
On the 15th of Kislev he erected a statue of Zeus Olympius in the Holy Place of the Temple and ten days later desecrated the altar by sacrificing a pig upon it. Three years later to the day of the desecration, Jewish forces under Yehuda Maccabee — having taken the garrison at Jerusalem and cleansed the Holy Place — dedicated the Temple anew.
The Hebrew word for “dedication” is hanukkah, and it is this particular Hanukkah which we are celebrating this week. Most of the information we have about this comes from the book of I Maccabees, an account written in Hebrew towards the end of the 2nd century BC but surviving only in the Greek translation found in the Septuagint. Although not part of the Biblical canon, it is generally respected as a historical source.
The erecting of the Abomination of Desolation (or Abomination which Makes Desolate) is chronicled in I Maccabees 1:54-59:
“Now the fifteenth day of the month of Cislev, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and built idol altars throughout the cities of Judah on every side.” (Emphasis ours).
350 years before
Three and a half centuries earlier, a forewarning of this had been given to Daniel in Babylon:
“In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery.” (Daniel 11:21, 30b-32a)
There can be no doubt that this passage refers initially to the desecration which took place in the Temple in Jerusalem in 167 BC. However, with verse 36 the time frame appears to shift, to leap ahead towards a future, different manifestation. By verse 40, we are into “the time of the end.”
And 200 years later
Yeshua/Jesus is speaking to His disciples outside this same Temple (now greatly aggrandized by Herod the Great):
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:10-16)
Yeshua’s words, spoken two centuries after the first “Hanukkah” shows that imbedded within the Daniel 11 passage lay indeed prophetic warning of a manifestation reaching far beyond that which would take place during the days of Antiochus IV. Some have seen included here a short-term warning for the Jews when Titus would arrive to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD. This may be valid, yet before this chapter comes to an end, it becomes clear that Yeshua is speaking primarily of a time shortly before He returns “on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” We can therefore conclude that another manifestation of the abomination of desolation — perhaps the one towards which all the others were but harbingers — will be set up before the time of the end.
15 Kislev 2012 AD (Recognition)
On the 29th of November last year, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to pass Resolution 67/19¸ recognizing as a non-member observer “state” an entity called Palestine. This entity claims as its own the regions of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem (including the Old City and Temple Mount).
Last year on the Hebrew calendar the 29th of November fell on the 15th of Kislev. We are not saying that an “abomination which makes desolate” was set up on that date. But we are pointing out that the 15th of Kislev credibility was granted by an organization purporting to represent the desires of all governments of the earth for a territorial entity to now consider itself a nascent (coming into being, though not yet completely formed) “state”. This “state” encompasses the lands under contention in the times of Antiochus IV, with its center the Holy Place in Jerusalem. As in 167 BC, the overseers of this entity (a different people from those of the Covenant) demand that another god be worshipped there (including the site of the ancient Temple itself), and persecute severely any who worship otherwise. Not only would the region be made desolate of the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, its prospective leaders have continually avowed, even during the past year, that once it is finally set in place, its territories will be completely desolate of the Jewish race.
15 Kislev 2013 AD (Stirrings)
On Tuesday November 19th of this year — Israelis awakened to the following headlines:
- “‘State’ of Palestine casts its first UN ballot” (The Times of Israel)
- “Palestinians cast first-ever vote in UN General Assembly” (Ynet).
The Ynet article read, “A routine UN General Assembly vote held special significance for the Palestinian delegation on Monday as it cast a ballot for the first time, an act the Palestinian envoy said brought his nation a step closer to full UN membership” (emphasis ours). The Times article observed, “It was the first time that a Palestinian ‘state’ voted in the General Assembly, almost a year after the 193-nation body elevated it to non-member UN observer state.”
But it was not “almost a year” according to the Hebrew Calendar. The vote was cast on November 18th, which on the Hebrew calendar was to the day one year after the first UN vote, again the 15th of Kislev.
And so-what came into being on this significant date a year ago, has on the same date a year later begun to stir, its first “baby steps” reportedly rewarded with a “warm round of applause.” And more.
Eight days later, on Tuesday of last week (26 November) the UN General Assembly condemned Israel in six resolutions, and declared 2014 to be a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” (“UN condemns Israel 6 times, declares ‘Year of Palestine’“, The Times of Israel).
We are not at this time asserting categorically that the Abomination of Desolation of the Final Day is upon us. But for an evil to have been established and begun to move in such exact cadence with a corresponding evil from the past we take to be no mere coincidence. Something has shifted, a pace is quickening, and something is coming into being of a seriousness which the Spirit would awaken into our awareness.
Know! Be strengthened! Do! Convey insight! Give understanding!
I Chronicles 12:32 speaks of sons of Issachar in David’s day, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
But Daniel 11:32-33, foretelling a time of gathering darkness when the Abomination will be revealed, breaks free from that tribe, extending their capacity to a wider populace and to a deeper level:
“But the people who know their God will display strength and DO! Those among the people with a capacity to receive and convey insight will give understanding to the many” (Literal translation, emphasis ours.).
We repeat here the prayer points we gave a year ago. We believe them to be of even more pertinence today. As we see the pace quickening, ask God to grant you additional insight and understanding!
- For integrity and wisdom for Israel’s leaders to ‘know what to do’ now that the UN decision has been made. “Who is the man who fears the LORD, He will instruct him in the way he should choose” (Psalm 25:12).
- For Believers in Israel and in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to be strengthened with courage, vision, and understanding (Daniel 11:34-35 above).
- That God’s Kingdom advance quickly in Israel at this time, that evangelism awaken and discipleship rise up amongst Jews and Arabs while there is still time.
- Psalm 2 and Zechariah 1:14-17; 2:5 over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
- Ezekiel 36 over the “Mountains of Israel” (i.e. Judea and Samaria).
- Zechariah 9:5-7 over Gaza.
- Zechariah 2:12-13. “And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Hush! All flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
- As the UN has countenanced a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” pray for Palestinian Arabs living in the contested territories, that many be rescued from deception by an enemy who hates them, and come to the God who loves and has a future for them. The Arab believers in the territories are among the most persecuted for their Faith in the Middle East. Pray that among them there rise up those who “know their God”, who will display strength and DO what needs to be done.