Daniel 11:31

31 Forces from him shall appear and 1profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And 2they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.

Daniel 11:31 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 11:31

And arms shall stand on his part
Powerful armies sent by him into Judea; garrisons of soldiers placed in Jerusalem; mighty generals and commanders who fought for him, as Lysias, Philip the Phrygian, Andronicus, Apollonius, Bacchides, and others: and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength;
the temple, which stood in Jerusalem, a fortified city, and was itself a building strong and stable; and especially it was so called, because here the mighty God had his residence, the symbol of which was the ark of his strength, and here he gave strength unto his people: this holy place, sacred to his worship and service, the commanders and soldiers of Antiochus defiled by entering into it, who were men unholy and unclean; by making it a place of luxury and rioting, of whoredom, and all manner of uncleanness; by bringing things into it which were not lawful, and filling the altar with what was abominable, in the Apocrypha: ``4 For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful. 5 The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law forbiddeth.'' (2 Maccabees 6) particularly by erecting a high place upon the altar, and sacrificing swine upon it, as Josephus F6 relates; with which agrees what is said of Antiochus, in the Apocrypha in is written that he ordered:

``46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people: 47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:'' (1 Maccabees 1)
and shall take away the daily sacrifice;
the sacrifice of the lamb in the morning, and in the evening, which the priests were hindered from offering, by the crowds of Heathens in the temple; or prohibited by the order of Antiochus; for he forbad burnt offerings, sacrifice, and libation, to be made in the temple, in the Apocrypha:
``Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:'' (1 Maccabees 1:47)
and Josephus F7 expressly says, that he forbad the daily sacrifices to be offered, which were used to be offered to God, according to the law: and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate; either a garrison of Heathen soldiers in the temple, which drove the priests and people from it, and made it desolate; or rather an idol in it, it being usual in Scripture to call idols abominations, as they are to God and all good men; the image of Jupiter Olympius, as is thought, which was placed upon the altar of God by Antiochus, on the fifteenth day of the month Cisieu, in the hundred and forty fifth year of the Seleucidae, and is called the abomination of desolations, in the Apocrypha:
``And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death.'' (1 Maccabees 1:57)
and the temple itself was ordered to be called the temple of Jupiter Olympius, in the Apocrypha:
``And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place.'' (2 Maccabees 6:2)
and what with this and other things that were done, the temple and city were left desolate; for it is said in the Apocrypha: ``Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in or out: the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased.'' (1 Maccabees 3:45) It may be rendered, "the abomination that maketh astonished" F8; for it struck the people of the Jews with astonishment; it amazed and stupefied them, when they saw such an idol placed in their temple. The Karaite Jews, who by the others are called Sadducees, give a very foreign interpretation of this passage, which Aben Ezra observes:
``it is marvellous (says he) that the wise men of the Sadducees should explain this of future time, and say that this sanctuary is Mecca, where the Ishmaelites or Turks keep a feast; "the daily sacrifice", to be removed, their five prayers; and the "abomination" set up is their idolatrous worship.''
Sir Isaac Newton understands all this of the Romans, and their building a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, where the temple in Jerusalem had stood.

F6 Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 4.
F7 lbid.
F8 (Mmwvm Uwqyvh) "abominationem obstupefacientem", Montanus; "quae obstupefaciet", Calvin.

Daniel 11:31 In-Context

29 "At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before.
30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.
31 Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Daniel 12:11]
  • 2. Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; [Daniel 8:13; Daniel 12:11]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.