Welcome back! If you are joining us for the first time, welcome, and thank you for stopping by. We are making our way through the teaching of Jesus found in Matthew, chapters 24 and 25. We have made it through verse 15, where we read that Jesus tells the disciples about the abomination of desolation. Today, we are looking toward Judea in verse 16.
Let’s back up and look at verse 15 again to get a context for verse 16.
Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
A few observations
We know from our study of verse 15, the abomination of desolation is not a good thing. Daniel mentions the abomination 3 times in his book, chapters 9, 11, and 12. Jesus warns of the abomination as well.
Jesus tells them, “let the reader understand.” Scholars believe he is referencing all who read the book of Daniel. Remember, Daniel was a prophet. The first half of his book is about his life and current events. The last half of his book is about future events.
The holy place he is reffing to is the temple. Remember what Jesus said about the temple in verses 1 and 2? He said the temple would be destroyed. Most scholars believe the temple Jesus referred to in verses 1 and 2 was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans. They do not believe Jesus is talking about that same temple in verse 15. That leads one to believe a new temple has been built when this happens.
To date, there is no temple in Jerusalem, but there are plans for one. Many scholars believe the new temple is the one where the antichrist will commit the abomination of desolation. This is a future event.
Who is supposed to flee to the mountains? Those who live in Judea. It’s tempting to apply that passage to those living in America, but last I checked, Judea is in the Middle East, in Israel. How can I flee from Judea in the mountains? I don’t live in Judea or near a mountain. So, the passage would also have to be future.
Many people believe these two passages already happened in AD 70. However, let me offer up what one biblical commentary has to say about that view.
“The abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15 seems to take people by surprise, but there was no surprise when the Romans came under General Titus, who load siege to the city for seven months before its fall in September, AD 70.
In 24:16, the people could flee, but could not with Titus since the Romans built a siege wall all the way around Jerusalem’s walls to prevent this. In addition, the siege left enormous numbers of residents of Jerusalem dead or severely weakened, and when the Romans finally took the city, there was virtually no one who fled.
According to Matthew 24, the temple will be desecrated. However, with Titus in AD 70, it was destroyed before it could be desecrated.
The mountains were crawling with Roman soldiers, so even if they could escape, they wouldn’t get very far.”
Allow me to finish with this thought from a biblical commentary worth considering as we read these passages.
“If Jesus is giving a prophecy of AD 70, he was wrong about much of what actually happened – which is somewhat problematic for one’s Christology.”
Jesus was not wrong.
I can see how easy it would be to think this already happened or think it will happen in the future, and it applies to me. After much study and listening to various pastors preach on this subject, they believe it has not happened yet, and it applies to Israel and not the church or America. Judea is a lot closer to Israel than America.
Next time we’re together, we will look at verses 17 through 20. I hope you will join me.
The Teaching Lady