Re: Understanding Prophecy (was Re: Daniel)

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun Jul 07 2002 - 19:14:56 EDT

  • Next message: Jonathan Clarke: "Re: The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind" wrote:

    > George,
    > You wrote: The fact that Mk.13:14 & Mt.24:15 (explicitly) could interpret
    > Dan.11:31 as a
    > prediction of some still future event (probably connected with the Roman
    > seige of Jerusalem) provides some canonical warrant for seeing Daniel as yet
    > unfulfilled prophecy.
    > When Christ referred to "the abomination which causes desolation, spoken of
    > through the prophet Daniel," in Matt.24:15 and Mark.13:14,

            En passant, only Matthew gives an explicit reference to Daniel.

    > he was applying
    > those words of Daniel to the Roman armies which would desolate Jerusalem in
    > AD 66-70. These two verse's parallel passage, Luke 21:20, makes this fact
    > quite clear. In doing so Jesus was referring to Dan. 9:26,27. For there
    > Daniel prophesied of a "ruler who will come" who he said would will "destroy
    > the city and the sanctuary." Daniel said this ruler would "set up an
    > abomination that causes desolation." This ruler, the one who would lead
    > Rome's armies in their desolation of Jerusalem, was General Titus who later
    > became the Emperor of Rome.

             The gospels do have this in view. However, Caligula's
    proposal to erect
    a statue of himself in the Temple - as part of the whole Roman occupation which
    eventually led to the war - may also be involved. This imagery
    corresponds more
    closely - at least in intent - to the earlier action of Antiochus.
    (It may also
    have been in Paul's mind when he wrote II Thess.2:4.)

    > Though Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 also refer to an "abomination which causes
    > desolation," we cannot say with nearly as much certainty that Jesus was also
    > referring to those passages of Daniel when he spoke the words recorded in
    > Matt.24:15 and Mark.13:14. The "abomination that causes desolation" spoken of
    > in Daniel 9:27 clearly refers to an abomination that would bring about a
    > desolation after the time of Christ. It is not at all clear that the
    > abominations spoken of in Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 refer to an abomination that
    > would come after the time of Christ.
    > The prophet Daniel may very well have been foretelling the coming of more
    > than one "abomination," the first one at the time of Antiochus IV and the
    > second one at the time of Rome's destruction of Jerusalem.

             The desecration of the Temple by Antiochus is described in I Maccabees
    1. "Now on the fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the one hundred and
    forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar of burnt
    offering." (I Macc.1:54.a) Unfortunately this Greek text can't be compared
    directly with the Hebrew of Daniel. In Maccabees the phrase bdelugma eremoseos
    ("abomination of desolation") is used, essentially as in Dan.9:27 & 12:11 LXX,
    Mk.13:14 & Mt.24:15. The corresponding phrase in Dan.11:31 is bdelugma
    ephanismenon. It seems very likely that all have a common reference
    to the event
    of "the 145th year" (167 B.C.), though the gospel writers clearly
    intend a Roman
    reference as well. Whether or not the writer of Daniel intended any other
    reference is considerably less certain.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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