"From the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that desolates is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days" (Dan. 12:11 NRSV).
Does anyone know what this abomination is that he is talking about?
Like the Revelation to John several centuries later, Daniel was written at a time of great religious suffering. Israel had long been occupied by foreign invaders, but most had let the people and their religion alone. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, however, was not so considerate. He forbade the practice of the Jewish religion and committed the greatest possible abomination in the eyes of believing Jews by raising a statue of Caesar in the holiest of places, the great Temple in Jerusalem. This “great abomination” horrified Jews and eventually sparked the Maccabean uprising that led to the retaking of the Temple by a band of Jewish rebels.
Although Daniel is a confusing and inconsistent book, its theme (at least in chapters 7-12) seems to advocate a less radical approach than armed rebellion. Leave the consequences to God, according to the vision. The offense will not go unpunished. In this verse we read that the abomination will only stand for 1,290 days. (At Daniel 8:14 the number is given as 2,300 days.) The point is not an exact prediction; it is an assurance that God is in charge, and retribution can be left to the Lord. The purpose is to comfort a grieving people, just as the purpose to the Revelation in the New Testament is to offer similar comfort to followers of Jesus being persecuted by the Roman Empire.