Daniel 8 and the Transgression of Desolation

The second half of Daniel 8:13 is a profound question asked presumably by Gabriel: “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?” Gabriel knows that there is a chazon (translated “vision”) which concerns both “the daily,” which is paganism, and the “transgression of desolation.”

What is this transgression of desolation? Other prophetic texts indicate that it is papalism.

In Daniel 8:13, the terms “daily” and “transgression of desolation” are closely paired with one following the other. Something very similar is seen in Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11.

Daniel 11:31 – 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 that maketh desolate.

That is, “only he (pagan Rome) who now letteth [will let,] until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked (the abomination that maketh desolate, that is, the papacy) be revealed.”[1]

Daniel 12:11 – And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Historically, we know that the taking away of united pagan opposition allowed the Catholic Church to take center stage. Clearly, papalism must be the “abomination that maketh desolate.”

In Daniel 8:13, Gabriel asks how long the vision will be which concerns paganism, which trod under foot the sanctuary [2], and papalism which trod under foot the host [3].

Daniel 9:26 sheds further light on the subject:

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The phrase “the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” here clearly refers to the actions of pagan Rome in 70 A.D. The phrase “and the end thereof shall be with a flood” reminds us of how the “serpent (papalism) cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman (the true church during the Dark Ages), that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”[4] The phrase “and unto the end of the war desolations (plural) are determined” indicates that papalism is not the only transgression/abomination of desolation.

Jesus refers to pagan Rome as the “abomination of desolation.”[5]

We conclude that Rome as a whole is the transgression/abomination of desolation. Paganism and papalism are both properly called by this term. However, when a distinction is made between paganism and papalism in the book of Daniel, paganism is called the daily, and papalism bears the name most descriptive of Rome’s spiritually empty filthiness.

It is prophetically interesting that the word translated “desolation” may also be translated “to grow numb” or “to make amazed.” Well might Inspiration describe especially the Catholic Church – a system which for many hundreds of years killed and tortured so many – as being numb. And that system of false religion is even today amazing the entire world soon to be wholly content to wonder after it.

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[1] 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.

[2] Remember the destruction of Solomon’s temple by the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar and the destruction of Herod’s temple and Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.

[3] Daniel 8:10.

[4] Revelation 12:15.

[5] Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.

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