The phrase “the abomination that causes desolation” occurs five times in the Bible. Daniel mentions it three times in his prophecies of future events. People speculate what he means – such as the destruction of the temple or something foreshadowing the end of the world – but whatever the interpretation, the important thing to realize is that it’s something bad, something evil.
Jesus also mentions the abomination that causes desolation. So at the time of Jesus, this part of Daniel’s prophecy has not yet come true or else Jesus wouldn’t reference it as a future event. It is still forthcoming. Also, the fact that Jesus mentions it gives added credence to Daniel’s prophecy.
In Mark’s record of Jesus’s mention of this curious phrase, he includes a warning for those in Judea to run to a safe place in the mountains. This is not a time to stay and fight; resistance is ill advised.
When confronted with something evil, sometimes we need to oppose it and sometimes we need to run. May God grant us the discernment to know the difference.
What do you think the “abomination that causes desolation” means? Do you think it has occurred?