Matthew 24:15 reads, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads this, let him understand)” (NKJV). The event that Matthew is speaking of will occur in the middle of the upcoming seven years of tribulation that was prophesied by Daniel. We read of this in Daniel 9:27, “And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (see 9:24-27) is one of the most important prophecies for getting an understanding of coming events. Space forbids us from going into detail on the whole prophecy, but I would like to give you a brief exposition on verse 27, which in turn will give you the meaning of Matthew 24:15.

Before I do, it’s vital to see that a “week” in Daniel’s prophecy is “a week of years”; in other words, 7 years. So when we speak of 70 weeks we are talking about 490 years. The first 69 weeks (483 years) were fulfilled when Christ was crucified, for verse 26 says, “And after sixty two weeks Messiah shall be cut off.” When Christ was rejected by the nation of Israel and delivered over to Pontius Pilate to be crucified, the “prophetic time clock” stopped and the Church Age is now running its course. After the Church is complete and raptured to heaven (1st Thessalonians 4:15-17), the prophetic time clock will begin ticking once again and Daniel 9:27 will be fulfilled.

“And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” The 70th week begins with a 7-year treaty being signed between the Roman Prince (the Head of the Revived Roman Empire) and the apostate Jews living in the land of Palestine. I believe this European leader will mediate a peace agreement between Israel and their Arab nations, guaranteeing the Jews protection if the Arabs were to break the treaty. I also believe part of the treaty involves allowing the Jews to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem and to resume their sacrificial worship in the temple.

“But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” After 3 ½ years the Roman Prince will break the treaty and put a stop to the sacrifices being offered.

“And on the wing of ABOMINATIONS shall be one who makes desolate.” Here are the words that Matthew was speaking about. Not only will the Roman Prince stop the Jews from offering up their animal sacrifices, but he read in Matthew that there will an “abomination…standing in the holy place.” What does this mean? Revelation 13:14-15 provide the answer: “And he (the Antichrist living in Israel) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast (the Roman Prince), telling those who dwell on the earth to MAKE AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST…and cause as many as would not WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST to be killed.” The “image of the beast” will be the supreme act of idolatry (for the Jews will be worshipping a man!) and God calls it an ABOMINATION. This defiling of God’s temple will result in “desolation.” We read the words, “one who makes desolate,” and this refers, I believe, to one of Israel’s enemies being allowed by God to invade the land of Israel and make it “desolate.” You can read of this “desolator” in Daniel 8:23 and of his attacks on Israel in Daniel 11:40-41 and Zechariah 12:2 & 14:2.

“Even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” These last words teach us that once God’s judgment upon His people is completed, the “desolator” will also be judged. I would encourage you to read about that in Daniel 8:25 and 11:45. (282.1) (DO)