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Headword: *bde/lugma e)rhmw/sews
Adler number: beta,202
Translated headword: abomination of desolation
Vetting Status: high
[It is said] that Antiochos [IV] Epiphanes, son of Seleukos [IV] Philopator,[1] was a terrible and grasping man. On capturing the city[2] by the spear he killed 150,000 [people] and then, making an insolent assault and entering into the sanctuary in great arrogance and setting up an altar and an image, the abomination of desolation,[3] and polluting the temple through unpurified sacrifices, he named it a sanctuary of Olympian Zeus; and he began to kill those who would not partake of the flesh of pigs.[4] In his reign too the holy Makkabaioi were killed.
But others say Hadrian set up the statue. Consult the construction of such a statue in the [entry on] 'Antiochos'.[5]
Greek Original:
*bde/lugma e)rhmw/sews: o(/ti *)anti/oxos o( *)epifanh\s, ui(o\s *seleu/kou tou= *filopa/toros, a)nh\r u(pa/rxwn deino\s kai\ pleone/kths: o(\s paralabw\n th\n po/lin dorua/lwton a)nei=le muria/das ih#. katatolmh/sas ou)=n kai\ ei)s to\ a(gi/asma ei)selqw\n e)n u(perhfani/a| pollh=| kai\ sth/sas bwmo\n kai\ ei)/dwlon bde/lugma e)rhmw/sews kai\ to\n nao\n mia/nas di' a)kaqa/rtwn qusiw=n i(ero\n *dio\s *)olumpi/ou proshgo/reusen: kai\ tou\s mh\ a)pogeuome/nous tw=n xoirei/wn krew=n a)nh/|rei. e)f' ou(= kai\ oi( a(/gioi *makkabai=oi a)nh|re/qhsan. oi( de\ le/gousin *)adriano\n sth=sai to\n a)ndria/nta. zh/tei th\n kataskeuh\n tou= toiou/tou a)ga/lmatos e)n tw=| *)anti/oxos.
See already alpha 132, beta 200 and beta 201 for this phrase in other contexts.
[1] Antiochos IV, king of Syria 175-164; Seleukos IV, 187-175. In fact his brother; both were sons of Antiochos III. The events described here took place in 167 BCE.
[2] Jerusalem.
[3] Also mentioned in I Maccabees 1:54, 6:7; Diodorus Siculus 34/35.5.1; Josephus, Jewish War 1.34. The noun bde/lugma, from bdelu/ssw or bdelu/ssomai, literally means a feeling or expression of loathing or revulsion, and hence the object that provokes such a reaction. It is almost solely used in biblical and theological sources with references to this or comparable episodes. An accurate translation would be 'the loathsome thing of desertification' or, as in the smart New English Bible version of Daniel 11:31, 'the abominable thing that causes desolation'. The term e)rh/mwsis means the process of creating a desert, wilderness, or emptiness; it does not refer to emotional 'desolation'. I have chosen, however, to give the phrase its traditional English rendering. What precisely it refers to has been much discussed; possibly an altar of Baal-Shamen, or simply the sacrificing of a pig.
[4] The entry thus far has echoes of George the Monk, Chronicon 287.3-4 and 288.9-10, but with other material included.
[5] alpha 2693.
Millar, F.G.B. (1978), 'The background to the Maccabean revolution: reflections on Martin Hengel's "Judaism and Hellenism"', Journal of Jewish Studies, 29: 1-21
Shipley, G. (2000), The Greek World after Alexander: 323-30 BC, 307-12 with references to other works in bibliography, p. 420
Keywords: art history; biography; Christianity; chronology; ethics; food; historiography; history; military affairs; religion
Translated by: D. Graham J. Shipley on 11 March 2001@15:32:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keywords; minor cosmetics) on 12 March 2001@03:21:22.
William Hutton (Augmented note) on 12 March 2001@23:07:13.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 4 July 2007@10:12:12.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; another keyword; cosmetics) on 23 May 2012@08:47:45.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 15 June 2012@23:48:40.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords) on 23 August 2013@06:13:11.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 November 2014@01:43:48.
David Whitehead (corrected note numbering) on 7 November 2014@03:07:45.
Catharine Roth (betacode typo) on 6 May 2015@00:12:28.


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