The following is an email I sent to my brother, as we continue to discuss what "holy place" refers to in the Olivet Discourse. The "abomination of desolation" will "stand in the holy place." This is a sign the Disciples of Jesus were supposed to "see" and recognize it as somehow connected to the destruction of the temple, or the end of Jewish religion. This is just my musings on the subject for your consideration...
Jer 31.38-40 seems to indicate that Jerusalem, as a city, is holy territory. And that is not new, since Jerusalem has long been considered the "holy city." Isaiah, Daniel, Nehemiah, Matthew, and John referred to Jerusalem as the "holy city."
The extension of "holy place" from the temple to the city of Jerusalem appears to be an extended application of holy ground to holy people. The land in proximity to God's presence is holy, such as the Holy Place next to the Most Holy Place, or Moses' standing on holy ground next to the burning bush. And the people in Jerusalem, in proximity to the temple, are holy, being in the immediate vicinity of God's house, and benefiting from His priesthood.
Specifically, under the Law, the people of Jerusalem were made holy due to the priests being themselves made holy by the anointing oil, enabling their service on behalf of Israel, to render both themselves and the people who lived in God's immediate presence to be made holy. The purpose of the priestly service, after all, was to enable the people to come into immediate contact with the glory of God, causing them to be made holy. And those, among the common people, who lived in Jerusalem, lived in the presence of God's glory in the temple, enabling them to be considered holy, along with the priests.
Interestingly, I think it was author Gordon Lindsay who pointed out that [in Bible Prophecy] the larger dimensions of the city of Jerusalem better fit *today's Jerusalem* than the one that followed the Persian restoration or the time of Jesus! I don't know, however, whether Lindsay was pointing to Zech 14.10-11 or to Jer 31.38-40? They both represent expansion of the original territory of Jerusalem, expanding the area considered "holy."
As I said, in Zech 14, we have an extended application of what is made "holy"...
21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them.
It does appear, in Bible Prophecy, that the goal of making the Jewish People holy will somehow be achieved. It was initially made possible, legally, by Christ's priestly work in offering himself as a sacrifice to God. But this only made a small portion of Israel holy, namely, the Christian remnant of Israel.
But prophecy seems to indicate that the wicked in Israel will be removed, and the believing remnant turned into a fully consecrated nation, once again. At that time, the OT sacrificial system will no longer be required as a medium for transmitting holiness from God to the People. Instead, Christ's administration of his sacrifice will enable a whole nation to be declared holy, simply by their verbal commitment to God as a nation.
But what happened in the 70 AD event is different inasmuch as only a remnant of believers were created at that time. At that time, the "holy place" would've still been Jerusalem and the temple, although their priestly services would no longer have been needed nor recognized. Instead, the unbelieving majority would've been viewed as "devoted to destruction" by their failure to live under the administration of Christ's priestly services.
Thus, they were violators of God's "holy ground," requiring God to call in an unholy pagan army as "abominable desolators" of God's holy city. God's holiness had already been distributed outwards from Jerusalem among the people, and the Roman army took their stand among them, defiling God's holy people and the land from which Christ's ministry was launched.
At worst, it may be an interesting way of looking at it?