The Bible talks about how the Antichrist and many other nations invade Israel in the end times.
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. (Matt. 24: 15-20 ESV)
The Abomination of Desolation is a technical term for an idol being placed in the Jewish temple. Other passages make clear that this idol is a person standing in the temple, not just a statue. This refers to when the Antichrist goes into the Jerusalem temple and declares himself to be God. Upon seeing this, Jesus says that the Jews in Judea (southern Israel), must flee to the mountains immediately.
This particular passage does not say why the situation is so immediately life threatening to the residents of Judea at that time. However, other parts of Scripture provide some clues. First, Daniel 11:41 states that the Antichrist will invade Israel.
He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. (Dan. 11:41 ESV)
An invasion would be necessary to enforce his presence at the temple, which would otherwise be vigorously opposed by religious Jews. Modern-day Jordan is exempt from his invading armies. (1) This likely connects to Jesus’ instruction to flee to the mountains. The mountains in Judea are right next to Jordan. The Jews will likely be air-lifted to Jordan, as indicated by Revelation, when the woman (Israel) gets wings of an eagle to fly to safety. (2)
Furthermore, Zechariah 14 describes a time when all nations will gather against Jerusalem and Judah (Judea) and go to war with it. They will cut Jerusalem in half and exile half of the city, while leaving the residents of the other half. Nevertheless, God comes to the rescue, and creates a valley through which Israel can flee.
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. (Zech. 14:2-3)
In addition to this, Revelation 12 describes a woman (Israel) with twelve stars on her head who flees to the desert for protection. The woman is given wings of an eagle (airplanes?) to fly to safety in the desert. (2) As she is fleeing, the red dragon (Satan) spews out a torrent of water to overtake her. However, the earth opens up and swallows up the flood that Satan had spewed out. This flood likely represents attacking armies.
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. (Rev. 12: 13-16 ESV)
As a result, we can conclude that the Antichrist and his allies launch a surprise attack on the inhabitants of the lower West Bank (Judea). In doing this, we will betray his 7-year contract that he had previously made with them.
The European Union is the end-times Roman Empire predicted in the Bible. However, the EU’s has stated time and time again that it is “illegal” for Jews to live in Judea. Judea is the southern part of the West Bank, which the EU believes should belong to a future Palestinian state.
The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law… (3)
Furthermore, consistent with the Zechariah passage, the EU believes that Jews should not live in East Jerusalem:
As stated in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. (4)
This could be the pretext the Antichrist uses to exile half of the city and invade Judea.
Top Antichrist candidate, Javier Solana, has even signed a paper saying that Israel should be sanctioned for Jewish settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). (5,6) He also endorsed having the UN declare a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, even if no peace deal is agreed. (7) Here we see hints on why Solana might use military force against Jewish settlers in Judea. This would create the situation that Jesus describes, wherein the residents of southern Israel have to flee to the mountains.
Furthermore, this would be consistent with his past behavior. Javier Solana was Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during their air war against Yugoslavia in 1999. (8) Serbian forces were committing war crimes against Albanians who lived in Kosovo. After a bombing campaign by NATO, Yugoslavian forces withdrew from Kosovo. The NATO bombing included military and civilian targets, with about 500 civilians dying. This was called a “humanitarian” intervention, since it was meant to save the Kosovan Albanians from persecution. It later paved the way for them to declare independence in 2008. (8,9) Nevertheless, Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to Javier Solana, complaining about civilian casualties and possible violations of international law. (10)
Much of the international community believes that the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) should be the main part of a future Palestinian state. (11) However, Israel’s military occupies West Bank, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on Israel from the Palestinians, among other reasons. (12) However, Solana could use military force to remove the Jews from Judea. In doing this, he could claim that he is relieving the Palestinians of the military occupation. Furthermore, by eliminating Jews from that area, it could pave the way for the Palestinians to later declare independence. Therefore, invading Judea would cause the situation that Jesus warned about in Matthew 24, wherein the Jews would have to flee upon seeing the Antichrist in the temple in their capital city.
- Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Spring
- “Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 1, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Magic_Carpet_(Yemen).
- “Statement by the Spokesperson on Latest Settlement Announcement by Israeli Authorities.” EEAS. Accessed January 2, 2020. https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/69856/statement-spokesperson-latest-settlement-announcement-israeli-authorities_en.
- “Six-Month Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Bank, Including East Jerusalem, (Reporting Period January-June 2019).” EEAS. Accessed January 2, 2020. https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/palestine-occupied-palestinian-territory-west-bank-and-gaza-strip/68152/six-month-report-israeli-settlements-occupied-west-bank-including-east-jerusalem-reporting_en.
- “Former EU Leaders Urge Sanctions for Israel Settlements.” BBC News. BBC, December 10, 2010. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-11968304.
- “Judea and Samaria Area.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, September 21, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judea_and_Samaria_Area.
- “EU's Solana Calls for UN to Recognise Palestinian State.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, July 12, 2009. https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLC616115.
- “NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 28, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia.
- “Kosovo War.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, January 1, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War.
- Roth, Kenneth. “HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH LETTER TO NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA.” Human Rights Watch, Kosovo: Focus on Human Rights, May 13, 1999. https://www.hrw.org/legacy/campaigns/kosovo98/solana.shtml.
- “United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, October 27, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_2334.
- “Israeli Occupation of the West Bank.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 11, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_occupation_of_the_West_Bank.
- EU Soldiers: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/resources/library/images/20190621PHT55025/20190621PHT55025_original.jpg
- Map of West bank: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bank#/media/File:We-map.png
- Map of West and East Jerusalem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Jerusalem#/media/File:JerusalemEastAndWest.jpg
- NATO Bombing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%D0%9D%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%BE_%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B1%D0%B5_%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B5_%D0%B5%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%88%D0%BA%D1%83_%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%84%D1%83_%D1%83_%D0%9D%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BC_%D0%A1%D0%B0%D0%B4%D1%83.jpeg