The Horror on the Hill

Question from a Site Viewer
Hi. My question is: what is the horror on the hill being talked about in the gospel of Mark? People are told not to go back and get anything from their houses.

Tim’s Answer
Your question is an interesting one. Mark 13:14-16 states:

But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not, let the reader understand, let those in Judea flee to the mountain; and the one on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house, and the one in the field, let him not return to the things he has laid aside to get his clothes.

Daniel the prophet mentions this event three times. In Daniel 9:27 he gives us the time of its occurrence; that is, in the middle of the 70th week. I interpret the weeks to be a reference to a period of years, as the Hebrew word used here simply means “seven.” The midst of the week would be 3.5 years into this last period of time destined upon Israel to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (Daniel 9:24). Daniel 11:31 provides the second prophecy concerning this event and this passage gives us the place of its occurrence. In this passage, Daniel speaks of one whose forces will defile the sanctuary fortress and take away the daily sacrifices and place there the abomination of desolation. Since the sanctuary for Israel is in Jerusalem and there is where the sacrifices are commanded by God to be offered (Deuteronomy 12:10-14; 2 Chronicles 3:1; 7:12), we know that the abomination of desolation will be placed there. Finally, in Daniel 12:11 we have the third prophesy concerning the abomination of desolation. This prophesy also links it to the taking away of the daily sacrifice and states that from its time there will be 1290 days, approximately 3 and 1/2 years. This is all we know from Daniel. Daniel never tells us what it is.

However, we also know from 2 Thessalonians 2:4 that the coming lawless one (whom I believe is the Antichrist) will sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. And finally, we know from Revelation 13:14-15 that one day there will be a great image set up of the beast (which I also think is a reference to the Antichrist) and power will be given to the image to speak and cause those who do not worship it to be killed. It is possible that this image of the beast is the abomination of desolation; or, in your words, the horror.

However, ultimately, Scripture does not state definitively what the horror will be. We can only be assured that it will be dreadful. However, we also understand the words of Jesus that we are not to fear such matters, but only fear God (Matthew 10:28).

And, whatever it is, it does not change our call to represent Christ faithfully on this earth and eagerly wait with expectant hope of His return to take us to be with Him.

May the Lord Jesus deepen your love for Him and for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

tim

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