Mark saith, Mar_13:14, standing where it ought not. Here are two questions:
1. What is here meant by
the abomination of desolation.
2. What text in Daniel our Lord refers to.
As to the latter, there are three places in Daniel which mention it: Dan_9:27, for the overspreading of abominations, or, as it is in the margin, with the abominable armies he shall make it desolate. Dan_11:31, They shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.Dan_12:11, From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up. Mr. Calvin thinks that the text in Daniel here referred to is that of Dan_12:11. Others say that it is that of Dan_9:27, contending that those two other texts speak of Antiochus, which is the very reason given by others to the contrary. It is of no great consequence to us to know which verse our Saviour refers to. Be it which it would, it was spoken of by Daniel the prophet; by which quotation our Saviour doth both give his testimony to that book, as a part of holy writ, and also lets his disciples know, that what he told them was but what was prophesied of, and so must have its accomplishment, and that the Jewish worship was to cease. As to the second question, amidst the great variety of notions about it, I take theirs to be the best who understand the abomination of desolation to be meant of the Roman armies, which being made up of idolatrous soldiers, and having with them many abominable images are therefore called the abomination; those words, of desolation are added, because they were to make Jerusalem desolate; and so St. Luke, who hath not these words, possibly gives us in other words the best interpretation of them, Luk_21:20: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. When, saith our Lord, you shall see the abominable armies stand in the holy place, that is, upon the holy ground, (as all Judea was), whoso readeth those prophecies of the prophet Daniel, let him understand, that as through the righteous judgment of God he once suffered the holy place to be polluted by the abominable armies of Antiochus, which he foretold, so he will again suffer the holy place to be polluted by the abominable armies of the Romans, who shall make the holy place desolate, which was prophesied by the prophet Daniel as well as the former. Therefore, saith our Saviour, when you see the Roman armies pitch their tents before Jerusalem, be you then assured God will give Jerusalem into their hands, and then all that I have foretold shall come to pass.