In the Book of Daniel, Chapters 10 and 12, we find the final vision of Daniel’s prophetic ministry. The year was 533 BC. The prophecy is obviously about the future of Daniel’s people, the Jews who were then in captivity. In verse 1, of Chapter 12, the prophetic reference is to “thy people, which were the Jews. In verse 11 we find the subject of our study, the 1290 days:
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.”
Here we have a vision that Daniel received and understood about his people, the Jews, and their daily sacrifice. Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled steadily, as the period about which it was written gradually unfolded. This is the traditional continuous-historic context, and one which the early religious reformers well understood. Therefore, there is no reason to believe the Lord was telling Daniel about any abolishment of sacrifices that might take place 2500 years later, at the end time.
The obvious questions should be: Are the 1290 days actual days, or are they years as in the day for a year principle; and what is the “abomination that maketh desolate”? Since sacrifices were offered at the temple in old Jerusalem, then some abomination that would make it desolate would have to be established—a defilement preventing the offering of sacrifices.
The prophecy was given to Daniel in the year 533 BC for it was in the “third year of Cyrus king of Persia” (Dan. 10:1), and we can determine that date from history.
Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne of Babylon in about 606 BC. Babylonians took the nobles, artisans and priests captive, and they left only the poorest people in the land. There were apparently no purified priests left in the land who could offer sacrifices. Twenty-three years later, 583 BC, is the time supported to be when this took place and sacrifices came to an end.
So with that historic background in place, let’s look at Daniel 12:11 again. “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.”
By applying the day for a year principle to that verse, we can now understand the vision. “A thousand two hundred and ninety days” would be 1290 years.
Daniel knew when the regular evening and morning sacrifices were discontinued, so he looked from that time forward, some 1290 years, and understood that some unbelievable event was going to occur on the temple mount that would make it “desolate.” What would it be? The answer to that question Daniel did not know, but since the 1290 years have now passed, perhaps we can figure it out. So let’s do a little calculation:
1290 Hebrew years x .9857 = 1271.5 Solar years.
1271.5 - 583 BC (when sacrifice ended) = 688.5 AD.
So what happened in 688.5 AD? Well, from 684 to 691 AD, the Moslem Kalifah, Abd el Malik ibn Marwan, built a memorial to Muhammad (often spelled Mohammed) on God’s temple mount—the
Dome of the Rock (pictured left).
(We are using the figure of 688.5 as the date for the Dome of the Rock because of the difference between its general construction dates of 684 and 691, which is not an exact date, but still fits within the prophecy. However, other researchers apply the date of 685 AD as the beginning of construction for the Dome of the Rock. Greatbuildings.com places the date for its construction at 684 AD.)
Another way of figuring it is by taking the year 606 BC, the year Nebuchadnezzar ascended to the throne, and add 684 AD. What do you get?
606 BC + 684 AD = Daniel’s 1290 day/years.
The Dome of the Rock, known in Arabic as Qubbat As-Sakhrah, is not a mosque for public worship but rather a Muslim shrine for pilgrims. Abd al-Malik’s purpose was to erect a beautiful Muslim building that could compete with the majestic churches of Christendom and would be a symbolic statement to both Jews and Christians of the superiority of the new faith of Islam.
One should not confuse the golden-domed Qubbat As-Sakhrah, the Dome of the Rock (pictured as upper right structure), with the Al-Aqsa Mosque (lower right structure with dark gray dome), which is a place of worship and not a shrine, and which is also placed near the Dome of the Rock.
NOTE: Some may argue that temple sacrifices could have been abolished a year or two earlier, or a couple of years later than 583BC. But everyone agrees that sacrifices were not abolished before the destruction of the temple in 586 BC. The Dome of the Rock was under construction on the temple mount for about 7 years, from about 684 to 691 AD. Leaving the widest latitude for scholarly argument, that 7-year window cannot be circumvented.
The Dome of the Rock = the Abomination of Desolation
That is not just coincidence or suppositional theology. The “day for a year” interpretation fits the words of Daniel 12:11 and it fits known history. The construction date of the Dome of the Rock is a plain historic fact that you can prove from any good encyclopedia of world history.
For the first time in scripture we run into the Moslems. Islam, and nobody else, was responsible for the construction of the “abomination that maketh desolate”—the Qubbat As-Sakhrah, the Dome of the Rock.
Just before His death and Resurrection, Jesus gave a prophetic sermon to His disciples as recorded in Matthew 24. In Mark 13 we find the same sermon, but with a little more information. In verse 14, of Mark 13, we read: “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, Spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not ... then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains.”
This verse indicates that the abomination of desolation is an “it,” and not a “him,” which helps fit the conclusion that the Dome of the Rock IS that abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. Before 688 AD, both Christians and Jews could freely worship in Jerusalem and on the temple mount, but the temple mount has now been made desolate for over 1300 years, and the Jews can not offer sacrifices to the Lord on His holy mount while that Dome of the Rock to the false prophet remains.
In the Qur’an (often spelled Koran), the most sacred book of Islam written entirely by Muhammad, this Islamic “prophet” wrote what has become known as the “great lie”—the lie being that it was not Isaac that Abraham attempted to sacrifice upon the alter. Muhammad had removed Isaac’s name and replaced it with that of Ishmael, the father of the Arab people.
In honor of Ishmael, the faithful Muslims built the Dome of the Rock upon the very spot where that altar stood, the very spot where Solomon had built his temple to the Lord, the very spot where the Jewish temple stood that was destroyed in 70 A.D. As a result Jerusalem became the second most holy place for the faithful Muslim. All other people, especially Christians and Jews, became known as infidels, and to give it up to an infidel would cause a revolt like no other.
Solomon’s Temple was built over the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and on that bedrock the Ark of the Covenant, within the Kodesh Ha-Kodeshim, the Holy of Holies, was kept. The stone floor upon which the Dome of the Rock was constructed is rough and not smooth—not suitable as a threshing-floor. Trying to thresh and recover grain from that floor would have been extremely difficult. (Above Left: Rough stone floor inside Dome of the Rock.) So it is obvious that the Dome of the Rock could hardly be placed where the Holy of Holies was located, particularly when there was a perfectly smooth flat rock, very suitable for threshing grain, just 300 feet away.
The irony of it all is that the Dome of the Rock is not exactly where Solomon’s Temple stood as the Moslems believe. The actual Temple site was north of the Dome of the Rock. Today there is a little gazebo aptly named the “Dome of the Tablets,” or “Dome of the Spirits” (pictured above right), that covers the smooth flat threshing floor where the Holy of Holies of the old Temple was formerly located. And the old Eastern Gate lines up perfectly with the “Dome of the Tablets,” as indicated it was supposed to line up with the Holy of Holies (pictured left).
In John’s Revelation we read: “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles:...” (Rev. 11:2.) This court, “which is without the temple,” is known as the “Court of the Gentiles,” of Solomon’s Temple; it being where common people and even unwashed slaves were allowed. This is exactly where the Dome of the Rock is located. The place upon which the Mosque is built is named As Sakhr, the rock from which Muhammad supposedly ascended into heaven. How appropriate it is that they built the Mosque, dedicated to Muhammad, on the wrong rock, in the Court of the Gentiles. How truly Ironic!