A Biblical Word Study
No one that works abomination will enter heaven.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination bdelugma, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Re 21:27
This Greek word, bdelugma, is used to describe Babylon. She is the mother of “abominations.”
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations bdelugma and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS bdelugma OF THE EARTH. Re 17:4-5
The spirit of Babylon was prefigured by religious leaders in Christ’s day. While the Pharisees were highly esteemed among men, their covetousness and self-justification branded them as abomination in the sight of God.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination bdelugma in the sight of God. Lu 16:14-15.
The other two uses of this Greek word are in the variations of the Olivet Discourse. They provide us with a grammatical link to the Old Testament parallel to bdelugma. Jesus, in these passages, also urges us to understand their meaning.
But when ye shall see the abomination bdelugma of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, [“in the holy place” Mt 24:15] (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: Mr 13:14
In the parallel account of Luke we find that armies would surround the city.
For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side . . . . And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Lu 19:43; 21:20-22
Though these are obvious references to the destruction of Jerusalem, they contain a thinly veiled double meaning. Daniel alludes the destruction that would fall on Jerusalem from its abominations. The Hebrew word for those abominations is
Uwqv, shikoots. The passage alludes to Christ’s death and to Israel’s cup of iniquity being filled.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations shikoots he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Da 9:27
The double meaning in Christ’s word requires a basic understanding of the “abomination of desolation” in the book of Daniel. It is not placed until almost 500 centuries after the Destruction of Jerusalem. And it does not stand in “the holy place” where it “ought not” until just before the close of human probation.
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination shikoots that maketh desolate. . . . And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination shikoots that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Da 11:31; 12:11
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Dan 11:45-12:1.
These passages describe the great “falling away” that constitutes the apostate Christianity. She is pictured as Jerusalem. And when the papacy establishes herself in that “holy mountain” as she has sitting in the middle ages, it will be time for all faithful persons to flee the occupied territory.
The “abominations” in Daniel 9 are the same as those in Luke. They refer to the self-justifying covetous practices of the Jews. The “abomination” in Daniel 11-12 parallels the passages in Revelation. They refer to spiritual Babylon. And Jerusalem, in their contexts, is a spiritual Jerusalem.
The Kind of Abominations that Lead to Desolations
Contemporary prophets to Daniel speak of abominations being placed within the sanctuary. This was to be particularly offensive to God and would lead, according to Ezekiel, to the desolation of the corrupted sanctuary by robbers.
For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations shikoots in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. Jer 7:30
But they set their abominations shikoots in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. Jer 32:34
Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things shikoots, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. Eze 5:11
As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things shikoots therein: therefore have I set it far from them. And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it. Eze 7:20-22
These abominations were idols. This is clear both from the passages above and from a score of other passages. Solomon was largely responsible for the reintroduction of these idols into the idolatry-purged nation of Israel.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination shikoots of the Ammonites. . . .Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination shikoots of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination shikoots of the children of Ammon. 1Ki 11:5, 7 [See also 2Ki 23:13]
The New Testament describes a Mystery of Iniquity, the man of sin, that sets himself up inside the spiritual temple of the church and makes an idol of himself. This prophecy of the Roman apostasy connects, by way of parallel, the passage of Daniel 9 and those of Daniel 11-12.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 2Th 2:3-4
The idolatry of the Jews in the time of Jesus was covetousness, and this idolatry had invaded the temple.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth . . .and covetousness, which is idolatry. Col 3:5
And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. John 2:15-17
The three pronged abomination of covetousness, self-justification, and man-worship would be paralleled by the Roman apostasy in every respect.
Daniel 9, 11, 12 are explanations of Daniel 8. In the symbols of Daniel 8 we also see the Abomination of Desolation under the figure “Transgression of Desolation.”
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? Dan 8:13
The relation of “transgression” and “desolation” is simply that the transgression of idolatry leads to the desolation. Rome was the agent that placed idolatrous standards on the holy hill around Jerusalem. These were but symbols of the idolatry that had been practiced within the city for ages. When Christians saw these idolatrous encroachments on the holy ground, they were to flee the city. This, too, was a symbol. For Christians that perceived the encroachments of Roman paganism into the holy precincts of the Christian church were to flee the wilderness at that also. See Rev. 12. And those that perceive it again at the end of time are to flee again, both literally and physically.
When Jesus said “He that has wisdom, let him understand” he was hinting at this double meaning. On one hand, the abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet in 8:13 and 11 and 12 would not be established until the middle ages. On the other hand, the abomination leading to desolation in chapter 9 was already working and had set the nation up to become a type of the end of the world, complete with a call for the faithful to leave the fated city.
A Simplified Summary:
In the Bible idolatry is the primary “abomination.” When idols are brought into a holy place, that is an abomination that brings desolation. Roman idols within the “holy mountain” (Dan 9:16, 20) were the signal of impending destruction of that holy hill. So Roman man-worship in the holy mountain of God’s church is the signal that the papal power will be destroyed. When that worship is set up more completely (Dan. 11:45) in the Holy Mountain of Christianity, it will be the time of the Loud Cry to flee the city (Rev 18:4).
More than this, read the article by Gibbs (from Amazing Facts) on the abomination of desolation. That article connects the apostasy of Sun-worship with the abomination of desolation.