The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for June 25th was desolate.
1 : devoid of inhabitants and visitors : deserted 2 : joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one 3 a : showing the effects of abandonment and neglect : dilapidated *b : barren, lifeless c : devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope : gloomy
According to M-W:
Something that is desolate is literally or figuratively "abandoned," so you probably won't be surprised to learn that "desolate" has its roots in the Latin verb "desolare," meaning "to abandon." The Middle English word "desolat" comes from the past participle of "desolare," which in turn combines the prefix "de-" and the adjective "solus," meaning "alone." "Desolate" is not at all alone in this family of words. Some other familiar descendants of "solus" include "solitary," "sole," "solo," "solitude," and "soliloquy."
The word desolate brings to mind a passage in Luke 13 and the words of Messiah:
"Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'" (Luke 13:35)
These words are also found in Matthew 23:38-39. The message of these passages is that "the house" (i.e. the Temple) is left empty... without G-d
's presence. There was another desolation that was previously foretold in the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:31). When that earlier desolation occurred around 167 BC it was also left without inhabitant... without G-d's presence.
The abomination of desolation spoken of in Daniel might also be termed the "abomination that results in desolation". Imagine if you will someone coming into your home and dumping 1,000 gallons of raw sewage into your living room. You would vacate the premises because of the absolutely disgusting and unsanitary conditions! In a similar way G-d vacated His house (the Temple) when Antiochus Epiphanes entered the Temple and did what was disgusting in His sight: the idolatrous offering of pig flesh on the altar.
The Hebrew word used in the Daniel 11:13 prophecy regarding the abomination of desolation is shikuts (she KOOTS). The first place in Scripture where this word is used is in Deuteronomy 29:17 referring to the abominations and idolatry of Egypt. 1 Kings 11:5 also uses this word in reference to "Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites." Every mention of shikuts prior to Daniel refers to idolatry or idolatrous practices (e.g. offering of swine's blood to idols). This is exactly what Antiochus did and was the "abomination of desolation".
The rededication of the Temple after the Israelites threw off the yoke of Greek oppression in the Maccabean Revolt (second century BCE
) was known as the Feast of Dedication (or the Feast of Channukah
). Messiah Yeshua
celebrated this festival in Yerushalayim
(John 10:22-23) along with his contemporaries in the first century. Part of this celebration was the joy that G-d's house was no longer desolate. It was a short lived era of celebration as the Temple was one again made desolate in 70 AD when it was destroyed by the Roman general Titus fulfilling Daniel's second prophecy regarding the "abomination of desolation" (Daniel 12:11).
May the day soon come when all Isra'el declares 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'