Zev Porat

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

No Such Thing As the "holy place" in Israel's Temple?

By Mike Shoesmith

Some years ago, during an interview with a guest on PNN Radio of which I was the host at the time, I made the following statement: "There is no 'holy place' in the Temple." The guest never questioned me. Neither did any of my friends or associates. One Youtuber who calls himself "Eternalrhythmflow" made fun of me on his Youtube channel and requests for an interview with "Scottie," the channel proprietor went unanswered.

So I figured it was time to offer up an unsolicited explanation because it certainly deserves one.

The context here is important. Why would I, someone who has spent more than twenty-five thousand hours studying the Bible and who has three Bible study books published, say something so obviously wrong to even a basic Sunday school class attendee? Let's look at the context.

The interview was dealing with end-time "news" of a possible rapture date. The guest had worked out a mathematical formula and had determined the date for the "Rapture" of the church. I was friendly with the guest and played along with his findings as we do with every guest. It was interesting stuff to be sure. During the interview I asked the guest if he turned out to be wrong about this date that he should come back on the show to apologize... which he did.

During the interview the issue of Matthew 24:15 came up which reads "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" Virtually every English translation of that verse in Matthew, including our quote from the KJV, uses the words "holy place." The Darby Bible Translation gives us a further elaboration by using the following language: "When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which is spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in [what is a] holy place, (he that reads let him understand,)" Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. Notice we get a little more understanding here with the words "what is a" holy place. Clearly the words "holy place" do not refer to a proper noun as is the case with the Temple. The words "holy place" used in Matthew are descriptive and refer to the place as "holy" and not to an actual place with the title "Holy Place" which would be the case if it really was referring to the Temple. 

Need more convincing? Read on.

Mark's account of these same words of Jesus regarding the time of the end tell a very different story and give us more light on this subject. Sadly many Bible scholars insist that Jesus must have been referring to the "Holy Place" (proper noun) in the Jewish Temple, however, Mark, when recording the words of Jesus, does not back this up at all. He records Jesus' words in Mark 13:14 as: "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:" And every English translator uses the same language as we find in the KJV - "standing where it ought not." Mark hardly makes the case that this is happening in a rebuilt Temple now does he? In fact, if Mark was the only one who recorded this statement by Jesus we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. Since there are many "holy" places in the world, the words "let him that readeth understand" are added. It will not be as easy as "well, it's the rebuilt temple and that's final!" Clearly there is more to this.


Whenever the letters YHWH are used in the original text, or rather, יהוה‎, many or most translators use the all-caps LORD, except in a few cases where Jehovah is used. In any case, whenever we have the name of an actual person or place the first letter of the word(s) is(are) capitalized. It is proper grammar after all. The writers would have been more clear about their intent if in fact Jesus really was referring to the actual Holy Place from the Temple. And this is what I meant when I said "there is no holy (small h) place (small p) in the Temple." The context was Matthew 24:15. And the Gospel of Mark as well as some Bible translators actually back me up on this as well, that is, that Jesus was probably not referring to a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.


You might ask, "what about 2 Thess 2:4 which reads: He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." To which I would answer, is there anything in the Bible to suggest that a temple actually exists and has existed since the (physical) Temple was destroyed? Of course! 1 Cor 6:19 reads: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"


Isn't it possible, and perhaps likely, that a person may show up and claim to be a Christian, standing in the temple of God (among God's people, His temples), and who eventually will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped? Has such a person ever existed? Does such a person exist today? And will he (or has he) stand (stood) in a place which is widely considered to be sacred or "holy" and exalt himself above God? Whoso readeth, let him understand.

1 comment:

  1. Mike or Pastor Gallops,
    Isn't it possible that the Abomination of Desolation refers to the Tomb of Jesus ie the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? It was just rennovated.

    There is no more holy place on the Earth.

    See news article in March 2017.

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