“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, etc.”—Matt. 24: 15-20.



THE Romans were conquering the world.  When they came to the Jews, the latter voluntarily surrendered to the Romans, and assisted them in their wars.  For this kindness of the Jews to the Romans, Julius Caesar made the following decree:

“Whereas Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander the Jew, hath demonstrated his fidelity and diligence about our affairs, and this both now and in former times, both in peace and in war, . . . . I will that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his children, be ethnarchs of the Jews, and have the high priest­hood of the Jews forever, according to the customs of their forefathers, and that he and his sons be our conferderates, and that besides this, every one of them be reckoned among our particular friends.  I also ordain, that he and his children retain whatsoever privileges belong to the office of high priest, or whatever favors have been hitherto granted them.  And if at any time hereafter there arise any questions about the Jewish customs, I will that he determine the same.  And I think it not proper that they should be obliged to find us winter quarters, or that any money should be required of them.”— Josephus Antiq., Book XIV, Chapter X.

     This decree will help many of our readers to understand how it was that the Jews, in New Testament times, were under Roman authority and yet had their own religious and church governors and laws.







The Jews, being allowed to collect their own taxes and use the larger part of the taxes for the support of their religious worship, soon greatly enriched their capital city, Jerusalem.  The Jews began to threaten the throwing off of the Roman government entirely; and the Romans began to fear that the Jews were getting too rich; hence, there arose wars between the Jews and Romans.  In the year A. D. 70, Titus Caesar, the son of the Roman emperor, came against Jerusalem to besiege it.  The seige lasted nearly seven months.  The account of this siege covers several pages in Josephus’s History of the Jews.  It was never the purpose of Titus to destroy the city, but to encamp about it until its inhabitants laid down their arms, and then plunder the city for its gold.  During the siege, the Jews kept making skirmishes out of the city, ensnaring the Romans.  The Roman soldiers became vexed at this, and thus their animosity against the Jews was aroused.  Titus there began to attack the outside walls of the city, and took both the first and the second wall.  Titus sent the Jews word that he did not want to destroy their city, and if they wished to try the fortune of war, they might come outside of the city.  Josephus did his best to get the Jews who were in rebellion either to surrender to Titus or to go out and meet him outside of the city, and thus spare Jerusalem; but John, the leader of the Jews, would not listen to his advice.  On account of the long siege, the famine in Jerusalem became exceedingly alarming.  Many Jews deserted, jumped over the walls, and ran to the Romans, perferring to be slain by their enemy rather than to perish.  Still John would not surrender the city.

However, the Jews did go out by companies and attack the fortresses of the Romans.  The Jews were driven back, and took refuge in the temple.  Titus advanced and set the gates of the temple on fire.  The Jews attacked the Romans near the outer edge of the temple again and again, but were finally driven to the inner court.  Titus, having ordered his soldiers not to set fire to the temple itself, went back to spend the night







in his camp.  He intended to return the next morning, and begin a siege to last until the Jews within the temple should surrender.  The Jews acted so arrogantly, however, and the fury of the Romans was so enraged, that the latter could not be restrained from mischief.  Josephus says that it was by divine appointment that the temple should be burned that night, which was the tenth night of the month Ab; or about the first of September.

     It was just this day and month that the temple was formerly destroyed by the Babylonians.  So one of the soldiers, without waiting for orders, or without caring what might come to him for so doing, set fire to the temple itself.  A certain one in­formed Titus of the fire.  He quickly came, and did his best to get his soldiers to put out the fire, but they were so furious against the Jews that they paid no attention to Titus and spread the fire the more.  While the house was on fire, the Romans slew ten thousand Jews.  They proceeded to burn all the cloisters, chambers, and other small buildings around the temple grounds.  Then the Romans brought their ensigns into the temple and set them over against the eastern gate; and there did they make Titus Emperator.  Titus then made a speech to the Jews, and offered them terms of mercy.  The Jews would not accept his terms, and so Titus went against them again.  Then followed great slaughter of the Jews and the conflagation of the whole city.

     The number of Jews who perished during the whole siege was 1,100,000.  The reason why there were so many Jews in Jerusalem at that particular time was that they had come up to keep the Passover, and were suddenly shut up by the Roman army, and held there all the summer.

     One other thing needs to be mentioned; viz., that during the siege, before Titus came inside the city, the daily sacrifices ceased to be offered, because no one could be found to offer them.  Titus heard thereof, and entreated through Josephus that the daily sacrifices be begun again, but they never were.







     Let us now read Daniel 9: 26, 27, thus: “The people (Romans) of the prince (Titus) that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end shall be war, a decree of desolations.  And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one seven; and in the middle of the seven, he shall cause the sacrifice and obla­tion to cease, and upon a wing of abominations shall be the desolator, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolator.” (R. V.)

     When the Roman soldiers brought their ensigns, images of Titus, and set them up in the temple, the abomination of desola­tion was thus set up.  This act of the soldiers was nothing more than what they were accustomed to do after gaining a victory.  In fact, these ensigns were often the sole object of the soldiers’ worship.  Even so, we are not at a loss in ascer­taining the origin of such worship.  It can be traced back to the days of Nimrod.  The “name” that Nimrod’s followers proposed to make was nothing more than an image of Nimrod or his wife, and this image all his followers learned to wor­ship.  This custom was handed down through the ages.  So the image of Titus set up in the holy place was a great abomi­nation in God’s sight, because it was an image of an Antichrist in the very temple that was built to honor Jehovah.  Moreover, it is clear from what we have said above, that the setting up of this image was not the ultimate fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy.  It is prophesied that the desolator will take away the sacrifices, yet Titus did his best to get the Jews not to cease their sacrifices.  So we can see that this prophecy has another fulfilment in the future.

     “WHOSO READETH LET HIM UNDERSTAND.”  Just here comes this timely caution of our Lord.  Such expressions indicate something more than the ordinary.  What is the significance of this caution just here?  Just this: for us not to be too hasty in concluding that the abomination set up by the Romans is all there is in the prophecy.  The dis-­







ciples asked Jesus when the temple would be destroyed, and also what would be the sign of the end.  He answered both questions together.

So then the abomination of desolation will be set up again near the end of the Gentile Age.  It will be during the last seven years of this dispensation.  By that time the Jews will have gathered back to Palestine in their unbelief, and will have resumed the offering of the daily sacrifices; Antichrist will take away the daily sacrifices, and will set up his own image in the holy place.  This will be the ultimate fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the abomination of desolation.

Jesus did not give the disciples a definite answer to their question concerning the time of the destruction of the temple.  In regard to the sign of the end of the age, Jesus refers them to the abomination of desolation.  By this all might know that the end is near.  This abomination was never set up by the Romans until within less than thirty days of the taking of the entire city.  So the sign of the end of which Jesus spake ap­pears at a rather late hour of the Jewish Age; but it appeared in time to give many of the Jews sufficient warning of that which was coming.  As it concerns the end of the Gentile Age, the abomination will be set up 1335 days before the end. (Dan. 12: 12.)  So those who are living at that time may understand that the end is near.

Jesus tells the Jews that when they see the abomination, “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains” for refuge: for by this sign they may know that the end is near.  This injunction applies both to the past and to the future.

Just here I make some suggestive thoughts as to dates. I believe the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11th chapter, will appear during the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread which follows the Passover, say the seventh day.  Then add forty­-five days, and we have Pentecost for the day on which Anti­christ confirms the covenant with the Jews.  Three years after the Two Witnesses begin their testimony, will be Passover






week again, when the Jews will be gathered in Jerusalem; and against the city at that time Antichrist will lay siege.  Six months later, the abomination is set up.  This would be the same time of the year at which it was set up by the Romans.  Then seven years after the Two Witnesses begin their testi­mony, during Passover week, Jesus comes down from heaven and captures Antichrist.  Forty‑five days later, on the day of Pentecost, Jesus is anointed King.  If this is a true reckoning, it is a glorious revelation of truth.  Yea, why is it not true, since all the particulars coincide precisely?

So then at the setting up of the abomination of Antichrist, we may expect multitudes of Jews in Jerusalem and Judea.  The injunction of our Lord to them is that they get to the mountains as quickly as possible.  Just as the Romans turned upon the Jews after they had set their ensigns in the temple, and slaughtered thousands of them; even so, Antichrist, after he has set up the abomination, will turn to the slaughter of the Jews.  In the days of Titus, many who lost their lives could have been saved if they had fled to the mountains; but they were slow to do so.

The next injunction of our Lord is: “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”  Then He adds: “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”

Just here let me refute that doctrine, unwarrantably based upon this Scripture, that it is sinful to bear children in these days, because we are looking for Jesus.  No such meaning is intended here.  The only meaning is that the Jewish women, who are at the time of the abomination in the above mentioned condition, will be unable to flee fast enough before the armies of Titus or Antichrist, as the case may be.  Just here Dan. 11: 37 is applicable: “He shall not regard the desire of women.”  “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.”  In the cold winter it would be very difficult to






get up into the mountains.  It was unlawful for a Jew to travel more than about three‑quarters of a mile on the Sab­bath.  This distance would not put them far enough from Jerusalem to be out of danger.  Hence, they were to pray that their flight be neither in the winter nor on the Sabbath.

Thus we have given an explanation of the abomination of desolation.