In developing the groundwork for Old Testament Endtimes themes, we need to look at the various terms that are used, and if possible, see how the OT saints (believers) understood them. The actual in-depth look at the themes is in the next section. One key question should be asked of each term:
The Endtimes usage of the term is most clearly defined in Zechariah 14. (See below)
Earliest usage: Amos 5:18 - "Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light;"
Ezekiel 13:5 - O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord.
Note: This case shows the term to not always be a technical term for Endtimes related judgment.
Joel 2:1 - And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Lord is coming; Surely it is near, A day of darkness and gloom. A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.... The sun and the moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness. And the Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?
Zephaniah 1:18 - 18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lords wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.
Zechariah 14:1-8 - Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! 6 And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8 And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.
Joel 2:31 - The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 3:13 - Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness. 16 And the Lord roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble.
Verified in the NT as a technical term
1 Thess. 2:1 - Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
1 Thess. 5:1 - Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
2 Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
Jer 30:7 - The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacobs trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Isaiah 2:2 - The millennial kingdom - Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.And many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, 3 To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.
Acts 2:17 - Quoting Joel 2:28 - And it shall be in the last days, God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; Here Peter claims we are in the last days.
Hebrews 1:1 - God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son
The term 'last days' is referred to then in two different senses; The millennial kingdom, and the present age. This term can clearly be seen then as a general term that is defined by it's context.
Daniel 12:13 - But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.
Isaiah 2:12 - For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty, And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.
Zechariah 14:4 - And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south
Joel 3:18 - And it will come about in that day That the mountains will drip with sweet wine, And the hills will flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah will flow with water; And a spring will go out from the house of the Lord,
This term 'In that day' frequently is used in reference to the time before the millennial kingdom, and other times for the kingdom itself, and even for judgments that have already passed. It can't therefore be always guaranteed to be a technical term referring to the Endtimes. The context of the passage will determine its usage.
While this term doesn't denote the same meaning as the above terms, it is a term from the OT that specifically refers to an Endtimes event.
Daniel 11:29 - At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. "For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened, and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. "And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
Daniel 12:9 - "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. "Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. "And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
Matthew 24:15 - "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak
This shows clearly that the term 'Abomination of Desolation' refers to the Antichrist stopping the temple daily sacrifice, and setting himself up as God, which is what the abomination is.