The Beast and the Great Tree

(Daniel 4:10-17; Matthew 13:31-32)

The clearest explanation of the abomination of desolation is found in the fourth chapter of Daniel.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a vision of a great tree that “could be seen to the ends of all the Earth … and the birds of the air came and rested in its branches.”1Dan 4:11-12

An angel commanded, “Chop down the tree and cut its branches … Let the beasts get out from under it, and the birds from its branches. Nevertheless, leave the stump and the roots in the Earth bound with a band of iron and bronze.”2Dan 4:13-14

God’s Kingdom was chopped down, and a band of iron and bronze was placed around it so it could regrow later. This was just another way of describing the desolation of the Church. The beasts in the Old Testament symbolize the Gentiles, the nations that had not been sanctified, not set apart by God. They were sent out of the tree.

The angel said that the tree was King Nebuchadnezzar, who must become as a beast in the field until seven times pass over him,3Dan 4:16 “a time, times, and half a time,” and he must remain as a beast so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.4Dan 4:17

King Nebuchadnezzar as the king of Babylon symbolized the king of Mystery Babylon, whose kingdom is the “kingdom of the beast” in the Book of Revelation.

Jesus called the corrupted kingdom of heaven a great tree in Matthew 13, and said that the birds of the air represented the workers of Satan.