"The Babushka Doll Principle" by Tricia Tillin (1 additional)
Antiochus, Titus and the Antichrist Compared
I in this comparison I hope to show that the events of prophecy and history (in the Babushka Principle manner) overlap and repeat in a truly remarkable way.
I am going to compare three incidents of the "Abomination of Desolation" mentioned in scripture. Firstly that of Antiochus Epiphanes in 168BC, then that of the Roman armies in 70AD and finally a projection of that in the endtimes by Antichrist.
We can learn much by comparing the events themselves and their progression. In each case they took a total of seven years, with the great "abomination" happening in the "middle of the week" as the bible says.
What was the catalyst for rebellion amongst the observant Jews that in each case led to persecution?
Although there were many different factors, a large part of the distaste and unease amongst those living in Israel was the policy of "Hellenisation" which is similar to today's ecumenism. Rendering everything down with "tolerance" and "acceptance" and "unity" overthrows the traditional customs and laws that are in fact important to hang onto. How did it happen in the day of Antiochus Epiphanes?
HELLENISM is the spread of ancient Greek culture, and, to a lesser extent, language. It is mainly used to describe the spread of Hellenistic civilization during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great of Macedon. The result of Hellenization was that elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements.
Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. The major literary product of the contact of Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint translation from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic to Koine Greek, which began in the 3rd century BC in Alexandria".
The conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC spread Greek culture and colonization over non-Greek lands, including the Levant, and gave rise to the Hellenistic age, which sought to create a common or universal culture in the Alexandrian empire based on that of 5th and 4th century BC Athens, along with a fusion of Near Eastern cultures.
There was a general deterioration in relations between Hellenized Jews and other Jews, leading the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes to ban certain Jewish religious rites and traditions. Consequently, the orthodox Jews revolted against the Greek ruler leading to the formation of an independent Jewish kingdom, known as the Hasmonaean Dynasty, which lasted from 165 BC to 63 BC. The Hasmonean Dynasty eventually disintegrated in a civil war. The people, who did not want to continue to be governed by a Hellenized dynasty, appealed to Rome for intervention, leading to a total Roman conquest and annexation of the country.
Nevertheless, the cultural issues remained unresolved. The main issue separating the Hellenistic and orthodox Jews was the application of biblical laws in a Hellenistic (melting pot) culture.
The major literary product of the contact of Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint, as well as the so-called apocrypha and pseudepigraphic apocalyptic literature (such as the Assumption of Moses, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Book of Baruch, the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch etc.) dating to the period.
By the way, almost ALL modern bible translations are based on Alexandrian documents, whereas the Reformers looked to what is called the "Received Text" or Textus Receptus instead. (The Textus Receptus was established on a basis of the Byzantine text-type, also called 'Majority text' whereas later translations looked to the Alexandrian Texts.) This is not a subject I want to cover in these articles but I mention it in passing.
The Melting Pot of Culture
Antiochus IV Epiphanes; a statue from the Seleucid Empire
In a Greek-infuenced culture, the strict laws and exclusive worship of Judaism could not be sustained (indeed, eventually they were made illegal). While many Jews were happy to go along with the flow, others were not. Those who regarded their laws, rituals and worship as sacred rightly objected to this descent into paganism.
The Greek culture was hedonistic and sensual; Greek religion often involved eroticism; Greek philosophy was super-spiritual and concentrated on "wisdom" (sophia) rather than empirical truth. All this was anathema to an observant Jew, yet it was increasingly forced on Israel.
Antiochus Epiphanes was born in 215 BC and ruled from Antioch from 175-163 BC. In 175BC he proclaimed himself king (although he usurped the throne) and Daniel refers to him as a "contemptible person on whom royal majesty has not been conferred". Dan 11:21.
To increase his power and influence, and to ensure compliance, he greatly increased the Hellenisation plan, and after 169 BC he demanded to be worshipped as the Greek god ZEUS, eventually portraying himself as a god on his coins.
Take a look at the coin below showing Antiochus as the god Jupiter (Zeus) ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ ("Basileus Antiochus, God Manifest, Bearer of Victory").
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION: Jupiter Replaces the Father!
At this point I will say that the "coincidental" overlap of the Jupiter/Zeus imagery is yet another instance of the Babushka Principle.
The Greek god Zeus, identical to the Roman god Jupiter (Father-God, god of the heavens, pictured as an old man seated on a throne) was the high god and leader of the Pantheon in pagan times. He was called Iuppiter (or Diespiter father-god) Optimus Maximus ("Father God the Best and Greatest"). As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he ruled over laws and social order.
In 168BC the abomination of desolation substituted the worship of Zeus/Jupiter for that of the Almighty Father. A statue to Zeus was erected in the temple and sacrifices to this god were made on the temple altar.
Likewise In AD70, the forces of Rome set up their golden images of the Roman eagle (Jupiter's symbol) all around the temple area, and even, it is stated, inside its walls. In 'History of the Christian Church', p. 398, Schaff states, quoting Josephus from Wars of the Jews, VI, VI, 1; "The Romans planted their eagles on the shapeless ruins, over against the eastern gate, offered their sacrifices to them, and proclaimed Titus Imperator with the greatest acclamations of Joy." The eagle is the symbol of JUPITER/Zeus!
Not many years later, in the desolate city of Jerusalem, an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple; a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was built on Mount Moria.
The desecration of the temple and unclean sacrifices on its altar were seen as the ultimate idol-worship and "abomination". Through the centuries, God has been patient and forgiving with his people but in each case that judgement befell them, the cause was the worship of idols and false gods. Although both the Romans and Greeks were responsible for much destruction and slaughter in Jerusalem, it cannot be overlooked that the apostasy of many Jews and their turning to secular culture offended God and brought severe judgement upon them. It will do so again!
The word shiqqus, translated "abomination" [detestable thing] in the Old Testament, is associated with idolatrous practices. Not only are the idols an abomination, but they that worship them "become detestable like that which they love" (Hosea 9:10), for they identify themselves with the idols.
In the future there will be another "abomination that makes desolate". What could it be? Revelation 13 refers to the "image of the beast" or an animated statue of the Antichrist made by the False Prophet that all must worship. We also see from 2 Thess 2:3-4 that the Man of Sin seats himself in the Temple proclaiming himself as God and forbidding all other worship (just as Antiochus did.) He will "oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God," and "set himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God" (verse 4).
(These two scriptures could in fact be referring to the same event, if perhaps we are talking about a projection, a video or a hologram of this man.)
The Christian Temple Defiled
It would not be fair to concentrate wholly on the Jewish Temple and religion without noticing that THE "Temple of God" on earth since the crucifixion is the BODY OF CHRIST. What therefore could defile it? What could come into this Body that seeks to replace the Father God with a false god? What could be the equivalent of JUPITER, another father, another messiah?
I have extensively covered this point in my article on the Seals of Revelation, which are already being opened in this present day. I urge you to read about Jupiter, Hitler and the present-day corruption of the Church on this page.
Division and Sects - Then and Now
Back in the day of Antiochus however, we see trouble brewing in Israel with the lax Jews adopting Greek culture and the Hassidim (pious ones) trying to remain separate from it. (Over the centuries, the pro-Greeks developed into the SADDUCEES and the Hassidim became the PHARISEES. See this page about the various religious sects of Judaism including the Zealots and the Essenes)
At the time of the AD70 attack, we also see a similar civil war, an inter-religious division and sectarianism arising within Judaism. Leaving aside for a moment the major division into those who followed Jesus Christ and those who rejected him, we see amongst the Jews various sects arising in the same way as before. And just as before, it was this civil war almost as much as the oppression of the ruling powers that brought down the wrath of the State upon their city. (See this page for details.)
Jason, the Antichrist?
This civil war of ideas extended into the Jewish Priesthood at the time of Antiochus. There was a power-struggle between the conservative High Priest Onias III and his pro-Greek brother Yeshua (Joshua) who took the Greek name JASON. Jason offered Antiochus a large sum of money to be appointed High Priest, promising to turn the nation into a Hellenised state, and Onias was therefore deposed and later murdered. (This event is taken by some Jews to be the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy about the "anointed one" being cut off.)
Jason set about turning Jerusalem into a Greek city, with a "gymnasium" next door to the temple where the contestants participated naked and much bawdiness and uncleanness took place. It was also designed to be a recruiting office for the Antiochus empire. The Jews were encouraged to talk, dress and act like Greeks, and some went as far as trying to undo their circumcision!
it is very intriguing that the false High Priest at this time was called Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus! It is as if the events of the endtimes are being mirrored. Although we associate the ruler Antiochus with the desecration of the temple, it was in fact this false Yeshua (Jason) who did more than most to introduce division amongst the Jews, and to support false religion. He could be likened to the Antichrist (since that title means "another, or a different, alternative Messiah").
Sects, then as now
Therefore, what can we learn about the influences leading up to the attack on Israel, both then and now? It is about the pressure to abandon the faith and confirm to a worldly standard, ecumenistic religion and a selfish hedonistic lifestyle. Food, games, sex, worldly enjoyments, trade, political power and influence and a denial of the ONE true God who had called the Jews to be holy and separate. It is about looking to earthly pleasures and abandoning the heavenly rewards.
But the opposing sects that arose as a result of this pressure became almost as much of a destructive influence as the State! They imploded from within, one side insisting on a modernising influence and the other fanatically hanging on to every jot and tittle of the Law. Could it be that, in the run-up to the third Abomination of Desolation, we see intense pressure on Israel to achieve peace and safety by adopting secular attitudes and abandoning even token adherence to God's Laws? There will surely be some (perhaps even the majority) who are drawn towards the old idea of "hellenisation" as a means to an end. We know that a REMNANT will resist, just as before, and that this remnant of believing Jews will be forced to flee to the wilderness to be protected by God during the three and a half year reign of Antichrist.
This same polarisation (in an atmosphere of religious persecution - then as now) is causing divisions in the Church too. There are those who want to be "seeker-sensitive" but also those at the other end of the spectrum who preach a strict, legalistic gospel. Somehow, the pressures of this anti-Christian society that we live in are forcing Christians into two (or more) opposing camps.
We are seeing almost the same civil war we saw in ancient Israel. While opposing false teaching is a good and necessary thing, the unfortunate result has been giving the wrong impression to the world.
Like Antiochus, the world wants "no trouble" and no rocking of the boat. Any kind of disturbance - public bragging about wealth, arrogant claims of miracle-working, TV evangelism, ridiculous prophecies and speculations, interference in politics, and the spectacle of Christians howling like monkeys and braying like hyenas hasn't helped the world to form a good impression of the Church in recent years. Add to this the public scandals like child abuse, homosexuality, theft and suchlike, and then even a genuine attempt to deal with the problem by opposing heresy adds to the picture. It suggests to the world and its rulers that the Church as a whole is an argumentative, unsociable, untrustworthy and ultimately useless organisation, better done away with altogether!
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting we should pander to the world's opinion and let heresy go, for the sake of peace and quiet. No, I'm pointing out that, like it or not, the ongoing public argument has damaged the Church without meaning to, and that it will probably lead to intense distrust and persecution in the long run. It will play into the hands of the Antichrist powers.
It must be admitted that the fault has often been on both sides. You only need to browse the internet to find factions on each side of the debate - just as in the day of Antiochus you can find the worldly liberals and the fanatical legalists. The task we have as believers is to walk closely with God, maintain a rational and biblical manner, and avoid falling into the ditch either side of the road.
Although we are faced with religious errors, we cannot afford to slide into obsession, fanaticism, aggression or bigotry. While the early Sadducees and Pharisees may have had a valid response to their historical situation, they BOTH ended up rejecting their own Messiah, Jesus Christ. They continued to hold to their opinions even when the Truth personified arose to save them!
If we polarise into camps, merely as a reaction against change instead of a reasoned response, we end up so consumed with our own rights and objections that we are blind to the rational middle-ground that in the First Century had the Person of Jesus Christ reaching out to save. We miss the spiritual, the prophetic and the truly Godly. Possibly we also miss the signs of the coming of the Lord!
The Seven Years
Now we come to the seven years surrounding the Abomination of Desolation. Please remember when reading the chart that all dates are approximate and the events of the Antichrist reign are speculative.
In calculating the middle of the seven years, we need to remember that in God's system, the year BEGINS in the Autumn, at Rosh Hashanah and not as in the Western system, in January. Therefore, the years overlap - as shown below.
|171 BC/66AD||170 BC/67 AD||169 BC/68 AD||168 BC/69 AD||167 BC/70 AD||166 BC/71 AD||165 BC/72 AD||164 BC/73 AD|
|Year One||Year Two||Year Three||Year Four
|Year Five||Year Six||Year Seven|
Titus & Roman Armies
Antichrist & Allies (suggestions)
Prelude (171 BC)
High Priest has been deposed by Jason.
Hellenising influence in full swing.
Temple priests show little interest in the altar services.
Prelude (AD 66)
Jews refuse to offer foreign sacrifices in the Temple; Rome responds. Galilee and other cities overrun.
At Feast of Tabernacles (Seven years begins) Ongoing skirmishes against Romans and civil war amongst the Jews erupts into all-out war.
Jerusalem under threat of invasion, but Jews initially victorious.
Prelude (The Seals)
Nations in turmoil, hardship, violence, disease, debt;
Talk of "end of the world" ridiculed and seen as threat to recovery;
Religion blamed for terrorism, environmental inertia and judgementalism.
170 BC Menelaus made High Priest instead of Jason. Jason flees.
Riots in Jerusalem.
Menelaus has Onias III murdered.
AD 67 Titus sent to put down rebellion.
Preparations made for war.
Local strongholds established.
Roman army marches and takes Galilee and other towns with much slaughter
Peacemaker proposes Global Religion & Government, hailed as a genius, only a few zealots disagree and are persecuted and mocked.
Secularising influences brought to bear on Israel; offers of peace on the basis of "tolerance" and "unity" and the acceptance of all other religions.
"The Great Apostasy" Many Jews turn from their religion. Many Christians support the plans of the Peacemaker. He is seen as a new Messiah for mankind.
Scientific attempts to "save the planet" set in place; technology advances, chip implant proposed for human use, economic recovery promised through Universal Credit and Global Banking. Food controls set in place.
169 BC Syrian-Egyptian war.
Rumours that he has been killed spur Jason to oust Menelaus.
Antiochus sees these acts as rebellion; attacks Jerusalem, raids Temple silver and gold.
AD 68 More towns taken.
June: Nero dies, activities temporarily suspended
Two prophets appear in Israel calling Jews to repent and turn back to God. They are despised and rejected by most.
Civil strife between Observant Jews and others, violence on streets. UN intervenes, declares Israel a World City, commands Jews to submit.
Temple of all Religions begins to be built in Jerusalem on the promise that Jewish worship will be protected. Some observant Jews try to halt building work but are shot.
Promises of health, prosperity, employment, security and peace welcomed by the majority in the world;
Peacemaker seen as almost godlike in his capabilities; only a few dare to speak out in warning, they are arrested by the military forces or killed by mobs.
168 BC Egyptians rally against Antiochus, who returns there; Romans turn him back.
Fortress established, land confiscated, rioting, discontent grows.
AD 69 Idumeans called upon to help the Zealots and bloody battle ensues.
June: war continues, all except Masada taken; Jerusalem split by civil wars between zealots and moderate factions; High Priest Ananias deposed and replaced by Phannias.
Romans hold off, seeing Jerusalem destroying itself from within. Further terror and bloodshed between three warring Jewish sects.
Worsening situation in Israel; Peacemaker and allies march to Holy Land to quell rioting. Armies raised in many other countries. World Peace seen to be at stake.
Signs in the sky, comet seen, disturbances in weather, earthquakes & floods in various places
Peacemaker begins to establish world government and elects leaders of ten global regions. World currency prepared.
International persecution of all who resist the New World Order (Great Tribulation Begins).
167 BC Antiochus tries to strengthen his position by enforcing Greek culture on the Jews; army marches to Jerusalem; city plundered.
Flight of some conservative Jews from city.
Enforced Hellenisation, Jewish worship illegal; Pagan altars set up.
MIDDLE OF THE SEVEN YEARS
Dec 25th Jewish worship illegal.
Statue to Zeus (Antiochus) erected; pig sacrificed on altar.
Jewish sacrifices cease.
AD 70 Spring. Romans arrive just before Passover.
Christians flee to Pella.
city under siege from April to September.
15th day - walls breached.
17th July Daily Sacrifices ceased for ever.
8th August Battering rams begin pounding temple walls.
9th August (Ab) Gates burned.
10th Roman soldiers set Temple on fire
8th September Jerusalem totally conquered.
Eagle standards planted at Temple walls; Jews slaughtered and enslaved.
Peacemaker and armies arrive in Israel, Jerusalem surrounded by armies.
Jewish Remnant call out to God; Apostate Jews surrender and allow Peacemaker to enter, and conduct him to the Temple where he seats himself at the High Altar as God.
Remnant enabled to flee to Wilderness; Christians Raptured.
MIDDLE OF THE SEVEN YEAR
Signs in the Sky. Sun and Moon changed. Enraged by talk of the "Coming of Christ", Peacemaker turns on Jews and other religions; Destruction and great slaughter.
Earth shaken by great meteor; huge earthquake in Jerusalem; much destruction; fear breaks out, quelled by Peacemaker as he promises to restore mankind. [Lucifer and his forces cast out onto earth, antichrist possessed.]
Peacemaker now forbids all religion and worship except that of himself.
|166 BC Maccabees revolt against Hellenised Jews and Antiochus (for next three years).||AD 71 Triumphal procession in Rome with 700 Jewish captives. Temple and city completely demolished. Temple mount defiled with altar of Jupiter.||
Global Government and Currency in place, all commanded to have implanted chip for trade, health and travel. Enforced worship of the Peacemaker.
Global disturbances met with rationing and control of food and water.
|165 BC Attempts to suppress the revolt; negotiations - all fail.||AD 72 Bassus sent to rule Judea.||
Peacemaker decides to rally all armies against remaining objectors and to overthrow all who still believe in a god. He blames the world's crisis on them. They are ruthlessly persecuted.
Two prophets slain and left in the streets amid rejoicing. They rise to heaven.
Even those who supported him amongst the Jews and Church are killed in this purge.
|164 BC Jerusalem liberated
Dec 25th Temple cleansed and rededicated. Antiochus dies 164/163 BC.
|AD 73 April. Last stronghold of the rebels at Masada. 960 died by their own hands rather than surrender to the Romans. (Seven Years Ends)||Wrath from God is poured out, defiant mankind resists, urged on by Peacemaker. They gather to fight at Armageddon and are defeated as Jesus Returns. Earth cleansed.|
The Apostasy of the Jews
It strikes me that the same influence (called Hellenization in the day of Antiochus Epiphanes) - that of forsaking the pure religion of the One True God and his Law in favour of the world's behaviour and morals - is exactly what will snare the Jews of this century and cause what the bible calls "The Great Apostasy", or falling-away.
There is much at stake. The Jews have for centuries waited for their Messiah to come and rescue them from their enemies, give them peace, prosperity, influence, respect and an inheritance in the world. The promises of God to Abraham are seen as still outstanding, and the Messiah is still expected to come to fulfill his promises. But in the meanwhile many have grown tired of fighting, and long for peace and security - this I believe will be offered, but at a price.
If a powerful leader arises to show them the way to a guaranteed peace, with favour shown to their religion and customs, and perhaps even the rebuilding of a Temple in Jerusalem, many might be persuaded. But in effect they would be accepting "another Messiah" (the anti-christ, another-christ) who has come to offer them land, position, peace and security instead of the genuine promises of God through Jesus Christ.
I think we can see many scriptures hinting at this. For instance, Jesus said that the Jews rejected him when he came, but "if another comes in his own name, him you will accept." [John 5:43] He also said that, if any denied him at that time, Jesus would also deny them before the Throne. [Matt 10:33]. To pledge allegiance to a false messiah is to reject God! This is the second time the Jews have had the opportunity to see and accept Jesus as the Christ, but once again many will fail and "... when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
(This is because the Antichrist will, after the initial phase of wooing, renege on his promises and ban ALL religion and worship except that of himself. If any of the Jews disagree they will be wiped out.)
Notes on the Chart
The chart is self-explanatory, so I will make only one further comment, about the enigmatic statement by Jesus about these days. He told his disciples, wherever the dead body is, there the eagles will gather.
In the case of AD70, the dead body was the corpse of Judaism, around which the Roman legions planted their eagle standards; but in the case of the Abomination of Desolation to come the eagles will be angels who hover over the destruction of Jerusalem in order to gather the faithful to God. We are told that the "woman" is enabled to escape from the armies with the help of eagles: "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness" (Revl 12:14)
Wesley's Notes: Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles he gathered together - Our Lord gives this, as a farther reason, why they should not hearken to any pretended deliverer. As if he had said, Expect not any deliverer of the Jewish nation; for it is devoted to destruction. It is already before God a dead carcass, which the Roman eagles will soon devour. Luke 17:37.
This, as well as the parallels with the first two Abominations when we see the Remnant fleeing or being rescued just prior to the great destruction, shows us that the Lord will arrive to deliver and gather his people in the "middle of the week", specifically at Seal Six when the earth is about to be violently shaken by a 'star' falling from heaven.
Please proceed to the next section or go back to a previous page.
- Page One: Introduction and the different cycles
- Page One: Additional (Three attacks compared) [THIS PAGE]
- Page Two: The first fulfillment of Daniel
- Page Three: Fulfilled in Christ
- Page Four: Future Fulfillment
- Page Four Additional (1): Charts of the sevens
- Page Four Additional (2): The third day explored
- Page Four Additional (3): Third day plus 14-18
- Page Five: Jubilees and our own era
- Page Six: Conclusion and summary
(1) Detailed notes on the Antiochus timeline and list of dates here© 2013 Tricia Tillin-Booth. All rights reserved. Birthpangs Website: http://www.birthpangs.org/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.