1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Mark 13:14

ESV “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
NIV When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
NASB Now when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be— let the reader understand—then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
CSB "When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be" (let the reader understand), "then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
NLT The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be.' (Reader, pay attention!) 'Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.
KJV But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

What does Mark 13:14 mean?

"Abomination" is from the Greek root word bdelugma, which refers to a foul, detestable, blasphemous thing, such as an idol. "Desolation" is from the Greek root word eremosis and means something that has been stripped or laid waste. Some versions translate the phrase as "the abomination that causes desolation." The original event that defined the term occurred about 200 years earlier, when Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig to Zeus in the temple.

Preterists and semi-preterists believe the prophecies recorded here were fulfilled in or before the destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70. To justify that interpretation, the abomination of desolation is interpreted less literally. Some say it is the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem as a whole: to treat God's house in such a manner is supremely sacrilegious. Others think it refers to the way the Jewish leaders used Judaism to make money and gain power.

Another popular interpretation has to do with the sect of the Zealots and their actions leading up to the Roman army's siege. Zealots were as legalistic as the Pharisees, but very anti-Roman. They strongly held that the only leader of the Jewish people was God. They rebelled against the Romans in AD 66 and actually took Jerusalem. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, from late AD 67 to early AD 68 the Zealots occupied the temple area and criminals entered the Holy of Holies. They even committed murders inside the temple.

This is a point where translation from another language can easily lose subtlety of meaning. Looking at Greek, the masculine tense of the word "standing" adjusts the neutral "abomination;" in other words, this abomination is a man. Those who believe the Zealots incited the abomination say this refers to the new high priest, Phanni. But a literal interpretation of Revelation and the end-times prophecies in Daniel identifies this man as the Antichrist.

At the midpoint of the tribulation, the Antichrist will put an end to the sacrifices in the temple. An idol will be set up in his honor that people will be required to worship (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4; Revelation 13:13–15). The Antichrist and his entourage will make Jerusalem desolate (Daniel 9:27). The events prophesied in Revelation match this promise far better than the allegorical interpretations given by preterism. Though, it is possible that the prophecy has several layers of fulfillment and was perhaps fulfilled both prior to the destruction of the temple in AD 70 and will again be fulfilled during the end-times tribulation.

The aside, "let the reader understand," is explicit evidence that Jesus' warnings are to those who read Jesus' words in the future. The aside clearly is not something that Jesus spoke, but something that Mark wrote. Mark assumed readers of his Gospel would understand. It seems this aside could be especially aimed at believers in the end times. This also seems to be evidence that those who come to saving faith in Jesus will have the Bible available to them during the tribulation.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: is a ministry of