I don’t know about you all, but every teacher I ever heard applied a generic label to this passage. Either short or long term. In other words, it is always presented as a general rise in war. The “long” view would point to the 2 World Wars of the 20th century etc. On the other side, the “short” view restricts it to the time right before the end (sometimes within Daniel’s 70th week), but is still general in reference. Frankly, the long term interpretation stinks; if it occurs before the final generation, it is not a sign of anything. We can safely discard that thinking right now! The “beginning of the birth pangs/sorrows” cannot be an open-ended time frame, it has a beginning and an ending. The last 3.5 years of this age (AKA the Great Tribulation after the Abomination of Desolation as told by Jesus in these chapters) certainly can’t be open-ended either. Ok so if it specific to the final generation - and specifically to Daniel’s 70th week - and Jesus didn’t “leave us hanging” for details, where do we look? How about the fact that He QUOTED the Old Testament. Where? The Prophet Isaiah, chapter 19 to be exact.
Isaiah 19: 1-4
The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; And they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, City against city and kingdom against kingdom. Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists. Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, And a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
So there we have time right before Christ returns, and it specifically involves Egypt. Where do have a prophecy of an end time war involving Egypt? And who is this “mighty king”? If you follow the “breadcrumbs” Jesus left us, we are to look in the book of Daniel. The Abomination of Desolation is mentioned not only in Daniel chapter 9, but also chapters 8, 11, and 12. Let’s leave aside chapter 8 though it does talking about several Kingdoms going to war against each other, and zoom in on what has long been perhaps the confusing chapter in the entire Bible, Daniel chapter 11. There it has the Abomination and “kingdom against kingdom”, one of which is in fact, Egypt.