15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
Here Jesus introduced the Great Tribulation (24:15-28). The Great Tribulation is the last three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’
Jesus referred to the “abomination of desolation” in Daniel 9:27. It was a technical expression for an abomination that makes desolate. This “abomination” was when an idolatrous image would be set up in the temple. An “abomination” is an object of disgust. This abomination causes desolation. Daniel referred to this event three times (9:27; 11:31; 12:11).
In the book of Revelation, the beast will order all men to worship this idol. Failure to worship will be punishable by death.
Re 13:15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
An abomination of the temple took place in 168 B.C. by Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes who made a shrine to Zeus. He ruled Palestine from 175-165 B.C. as a deputy of the Greek empire. His enemies called him Epimanes (madman). He died as a madman because Judas Maccabaeus defeated him so many times. Antiochus IV sacrificed pigs on this altar, an unclean animal to the Jews. In A.D. 40 the Roman emperor Caligula anticipated setting his image in the temple. These events are a preview of a coming “abomination of desolation.” We find in Second Thessalonians that the future antichrist will do this:
2 Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
The event of the “abomination of desolation” will launch the last half of the Tribulation. It will be a time when many national armies will invade the city of Jerusalem.
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place”
Daniel made this statement while standing in the temple.
(whoever reads, let him understand),
Jesus thought it necessary that we read and understand this prophecy in Daniel. The Word of God gives this exhortation to anyone in the future who reads Matthew 24.
The last “seven” of Daniel is the seven years of the Tribulation period.
Daniel predicted that 70 sevens (years; 9:24; 9:2) would occur before the Messiah would come. That is 490 years. He predicted that time would begin at the time of the decree by King Artaxerxes (445 B.C.) to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Neh 2:5-6). Daniel also prophesied that 483 years (“seven and sixty-two sevens”) would pass “until Messiah the Prince” (Da 9:25). There are 483 years between the decree of Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. until the Triumphal Entry by Jesus into Jerusalem.
Daniel described the crucifixion of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 in Daniel 9:26.
Da 9:26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
The deceitful prince will make a covenant with many during the beginning of the Tribulation. At the middle of the Tribulation (the beginning of the Great Tribulation) he will set up the abomination of desolation declaring himself to be God.
Da 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
From the time that the antichrist abolishes Jewish sacrifice, there will be 1,290 days until the Messiah returns.
Da 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
There will be 1,260 days of trouble (Re 12:6) followed by 30 days (Da 12:11) and another 45 days (Da 12:12). The additional days to the 1,260 of Revelation may have to do with the time Jesus establishes His kingdom around the world. The book of Revelation gives further description of the abomination of desolation in Revelation 13:1,5. The “forty-two months” are three-and-a-half years or 1,260 days of the Great Tribulation.