This study on the incredible chapter 11 of the book of Daniel was given by Pastor Barry Forder at Calvary Portsmouth on 11th July 2021.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
The first thing we need to realise as we begin this chapter is that chapter breaks are man’s invention, they we’re not in the original. Some of the chapter breaks in the Bible are in unfortunate places because they actually serve to confuse rather than help us.
At first glance it is easy to make the assumption that as we move in to chapter 11, we are starting something fresh and it is Daniel speaking; however verse 1 of chapter 11 is just a continuation of chapter 10 verses 20-21. Thus we find, it is the angel who had been sent to Daniel that is speaking to him here.
That being the case, we are still in the 3rd year of Cyrus (as we were at the beginning of chapter 10). The angel starts by explaining to Daniel that in the first year of Darius (two years ago), he (i.e. the angel) was involved in spiritual warfare regarding Darius. Two years back from this point would have been about the time the Jews were being allowed to leave Babylon and return to their own land, as had been decreed by Cyrus. Could it have been in regard to Darius’ releasing of the Jewish captives that this angel had come to confirm and strengthen the king?
135 Fulfilled Prophecies in just 34 verses!
Before we move into the following verses, it is incredible to realise that, between verse two and thirty-five, there are a staggering 135 fulfilled prophecies. Bible critics hate this chapter because it offers irrefutable proof that the Bible is the Word of God; for no man could accurately predict, with such detailed precision, the rise and fall of world empires, the political manipulating and deception of successive kingdoms, and the battles that would be fought. And once again, we need to remind ourselves, that all of this was recorded hundreds of years before the prophesied events actually took place.
The Apostle Peter talks about the ‘more sure word of prophecy’ that we can depend upon, far more so than any emotion or feeling. Throughout scripture, prophecy confirms the Word and shows it to be true. Sceptics will continue to doubt these things, yet with each archaeological discovery they are forced to withdraw their theories and accusations as the evidence continues to mount in support of the Word of God. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia
As Daniel is writing this, Cyrus is the king of Persia (it is presumed that Darius has by now died). Daniel is told that from this point there will stand up another three kings, followed by a forth who will be far richer than his predecessors, and that this forth king will ‘awaken’ the Greek empire. From history we know that after Cyrus, Cambyses (Cyrus’ son) became king, reigning until 521 B.C. Cambyses discovered that an impostor (by the name of Guamata), pretending to be his own younger brother Smerdis (also called Artaxerxes), was claiming the kingdom for himself.
‘Smerdis’ announced a three-year exemption from taxes and won the hearts of the people, at which point Cambyses, realising that he was defeated, committed suicide. This psudo-Smerdis then reigned for a short period before Darius the Great eventually took control of the Persian Empire. It was in the 2nd year of Darius the Great (518 B.C.) that Darius signed a decree to allow the rebuilding of the Temple and thus ending the ‘Desolations of Jerusalem’. (See Ezra 4:24 / Ezra 6:8-12 / Haggai 1:1, 15 & 2:18). These then were the three kings that followed Cyrus. However, after Darius the Great came Xerxes, also know as Ahasuerus. In the book of Esther we are told that his kingdom spread from India to Ethiopia, covering 127 provinces (Esther 1:1). According to historians, Xerxes fielded two and a half million men, the logistics of which is staggering even by today’s standards. Not being content with the vast empire already in his hands, he led his army against Greece. The Greek historian Herodotus records that in around 482 B.C., Xerxes had two bridges built across the width of the Hellespont in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. These bridges were then destroyed by a storm that so enraged Xerxes, that he beat the sea 300 times with a belt! Eventually he did cross and subdued much of Greece starting a bitter rivalry that would later become the source of Alexander the Great’s obsession with conquering the Persian Empire.
Thus, just as Daniel was told by the angel, Cyrus was succeed by three other kings (Cambyses, psudo-Smerdis and Darius the Great), and then came a forth, Xerxes, who was indeed far richer than his predecessors and through his military strength he started a war with Greece that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Persian Empire.
NB: Following Xerxes, there were another eight Persian rulers, ending up with Darius III who was defeated by Alexander the Great.
- Cyrus II, the Great, son of Cambyses I, ruled from c.550–530 BC (ruler of Anshan c. 559 BC – conquered Media 550 BC)
- Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, ruled 529–522 BC
- Smerdis (Bardiya), alleged son of Cyrus the Great, ruled 522-521 BC (possibly a usurper)
- Darius I, the Great, brother-in-law of Smerdis and grandson of Arsames, ruled 520–486 BC
- Xerxes I, son of Darius I, ruled 485–465 BC
- Artaxerxes I Longimanus, son of Xerxes I, ruled 465–424 BC
- Xerxes II, son of Artaxerxes I, ruled 424 BC
- Sogdianus, half-brother and rival of Xerxes II, ruled 424–423 BC
- Darius II Nothus, half-brother and rival of Xerxes II, ruled 423–405 BC
- Artaxerxes II Mnemon, son of Darius II, ruled 404–359 BC (see also Xenophon)
- Artaxerxes III Ochus, son of Artaxerxes II, ruled 358–338 BC
- Artaxerxes IV Arses, son of Artaxerxes III, ruled 338–336 BC
- Darius III Codomannus, great-grandson of Darius II, ruled 336–330 BC defeated by Alexander
(Source – Wikipedia.org)
3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
Here we are again introduced to Alexander the Great, who, as we have already noted in chapter 7 & 8, was ‘broken’ (died) at a young age and his kingdom divided between his four generals. Note once again the precision of scripture, the kingdom was not given to Alexander’s posterity (children), nor did it have the stature that it had done under him. Of the four divisions of the empire, our primary focus in the following verses will be on Seleucus (who took what we know today as Syria), and Ptolemy (who took Egypt). What we find, when we look at a map of this area, is that Israel falls smack bang in the middle of these two competing factions of Alexander’s empire.
Back in Daniel 10:14 the angel said to Daniel: “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” Thus the vision is concerning Israel, and hence the nations that directly effect her.
Many commentators call the period between the close of the Old Testament (Malachi), and the beginning of the New Testament (Matthew), the ‘Silent Years’. Indeed, between these two books there was a period of about 400 years. However, far from the Bible being silent about this time, we find it detailed with incredible precision in this chapter.
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
From history we know that after Alexander died, Ptolemy 1st Soter (323-285 B.C.) took the area associated with Egypt, which also included Israel. Geographically, Ptolemy’s kingdom was south of Israel, hence the title ‘king of the south’. Some historians think that Ptolemy may have been Alexander’s half brother; certainly he was one of his most trusted friends and generals in his army. It was the custom of Macedonian kings to assert their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Ptolemy tried to do just this and took the body of Alexander, temporarily taking it to Memphis in Egypt. After a short struggle with his rivals, Ptolemy was offered the throne of the whole kingdom; however he declined, preferring to hold what he had and be strong in Egypt rather than risking all to be the sole successor of Alexander. During this time Seleucus I Nicator, who had been another of Alexander’s generals, served Ptolemy as one of his princes, yet Ptolemy was ‘strong above him’. Ptolemy invaded what we know today as Syria on numerous occasions, and eventually, in 316 B.C., Seleucus was given the ‘Babylonian satrapy’ – an area that stretched from Syria to India. This then paved the way for 150 years of conflict that would follow between the ‘kings of the south’ – known as the Ptolemaic dynasty, and the ‘kings of the north’ – known as the Seleucid dynasty.
And in the end of years they [Antiochus II Theos (north) & Ptolemy II Philadelphus (south)] shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter [Bernice] of the south shall come to the king of the north [Antiochus II Theos] to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she [Bernice] shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
‘After the lapse of several years’ (which is how the Hebrew is to be understood) in c.250 B.C., a political marriage was arranged between the king of the north, Antiochus II Theos (262-246 B.C.), and Bernice, the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (the king of the south). In order for this to take place, Antiochus II had to divorce his own wife, Laodacia. Understandably, Laodacia was non-too impressed with this and ended up poisoning her ex-husband, murdering Bernice, and placing her own son, Seleucus II Callinicus on the throne.
But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
The ‘her’ referred to is Bernice. The one who came from the same roots, was Ptolemy III Euergates, her brother. Euergates invaded Syria, taking the port of Antioch and overrunning Seleucus’ empire as far as Babylon.
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
The spoils that Euergates took back to Egypt included 2500 idols (gods), 4000 talents of gold and 40,000 talents of sliver. He reigned for 24 years, surpassing that of his rival (Seleucus II Callinicus) who reigned for 20 years.
NB: If someone can steal your god, you have the wrong one in the first place!
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
With Euergates back in Egypt, Seleucus II (king of the north) led an ill-fated attempt to attack Euergates (king of the south) but got soundly defeated, returning to Antioch with only a remnant of his army.
10 But his [i.e. Seleucus II Callinicus (north)] sons [i.e. Seleucus III Soter & Antiochus III] shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one [of his sons, Antiochus III] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through [Judea]: then shall he return [to Syria], and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
11 And the king of the south [Ptolemy IV Philopator] shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north [Antiochus III the Great]: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his [i.e Ptolemy IV Philopator’s] hand.
12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
Seleucus II’s sons were Seleucus III Soter, who was murdered during a campaign in Aisa Minor (Turkey), and Antiochus III, also known as Antiochus the Great (who reigned until approx. 187 B.C.). He recovered much of the territory that had been conquered by Euergates and resumed war against Egypt. Antiochus also ‘passed through’ Judea attacking much of what had been held by Egypt. Because of this, in about 221 B.C. a multitude (large army) was assembled by Ptolemy IV, (Euergates’ son). His army marched through Judea and was met in Lebanon by Antiochus. This led, in the spring of 219 B.C., to the battle of Raffia (about 20 miles south of modern day Gaza)
Ptolemy IV Philopator led about 70,000 men against Antiochus’s 60,000. Antiochus was defeated, sustaining great losses. Antiochus was forced to sign a peace treaty with Ptolemy who then embarked on a victory tour of the area, stopping off at Jerusalem. However as he was about to enter the holy of holies in the Temple, ignoring the warning of the high priest, he was suddenly struck with paralysis and therefore unable to enter. It would seem that God was protecting the holy place until a specific time that was yet to come (has had been prophesied to Daniel in chapter 8). After Defeating Antiochus’ multitude, and the Jerusalem Temple incident, he returned home to convalesce; and being ‘lifted up in his heart’ against the God of the Jews, he comforted himself by launching a wave of persecution against the Egyptian Jews – but surprisingly, this did not make him feel better! Nor did the fact that Antiochus, rather than being discouraged by the defeat, then set about rebuilding his army for a rematch….
13For the king of the north [Antiochus III the Great] shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
14 And in those times there shall many [including early Rome] stand up against the king of the south [i.e. Ptolemy V Epiphanes]: also the [children of] robbers of thy people [i.e. Egyptians under Ptolemy V] shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
15 So the king of the north [i.e. Antiochus III the Great] shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
16 But he [Antiochus III the Great] that cometh against him [Ptolemy IV Philopator] shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land [Israel], which by his hand shall be consumed [due to the ravages of war].
12 years after the battle of Raffia, Antiochus the Great set out with an even larger army than before to go against Egypt. By now Ptolemy IV Philopator had died and his young son, Ptolemy V Epiphanes was ruling with the help of his advisors. Among Antiochus’ army were some Jewish mercenaries; at this point we also see the first sight of Rome who also wanted a piece of the Egyptian spoils. The ‘robbers of Daniel’s people’ (technically the Hebrew infers the children of the robbers…) were the Egyptian forces under Ptolemy V, who having seen what Ptolemy IV Philopator had accomplished were confident they could stop Antiochus again. As a result of this confidence, one of Ptolemy’s allies, named Scopas, re-took Judea for Ptolemy, but only for a very short time; for in c.198 B.C. Scopas was driven back and defeated by 100,000 of Antiochus’ troops at Sidon. Thus none were able to withstand the strength of Antiochus. As a result of all of this changing of hands, Judea was reduced to poverty as the ravages of war took effect.
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
Rather than just destroying Egypt, and wanting to be seen to be doing the right thing, Antiochus III the Great made an agreement with the now new king of Egypt, Ptolemy V Epiphanes, by giving him his own beautiful daughter as wife – only problem was that Ptolemy V Epiphanes was just 10 years old. The giving of daughters to rival kings was an attempt at ensuring peace between kingdoms; and it also gave the father a spy in the enemy’s camp! However this backfired for Antiochus III as his daughter fell in love with Ptolemy V Epiphanes and sided with him instead of remaining loyal to her father.
After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
After his success in Egypt, Antiochus III the Great turned his attention elsewhere in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Initially he was successful, however in Asia Minor (today’s Turkey) he encountered ‘the new kid on the block’ – ROME! Rome under Manius Acilius Glabrio then forced Antiochus back toward Syria, thus causing the ‘reproach offered by him to cease’. However, rather just settle for this, Rome then pursued Antiochus and turned the tables on him putting him under tribute to them, forcing him to pay taxes to them.
Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
Desperately in need of some quick cash, Antiochus died whilst attempting to rob a temple ‘in his own land’ at Elymais, in Persia in 187 B.C.
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
Antiochus was succeeded by his son, Seleucus IV Philopator. Seleucus inherited his father’s great debt and as a result brought in heavy tax increases, which surprisingly did not go down well with the people! In fact, so unpopular was this move that Seleucus was assassinated by his minister, Heliodorus. So as the angel foretold to Daniel, Seleucus died ‘neither in anger nor battle’, but as a result of a political issue.
As an interesting aside, 2 Maccabees records that he entered the Temple in Jerusalem in order to take its treasure (no doubt under the orders of Seleucus) but was turned back by ‘three forms of God’.
We now come to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who we first met back in chapter 8; and as we noted there, he is a type (or model) of the Antichrist who is yet to come. It is interesting to note that the Greek name for Antiochus Epiphanes is translated as ‘the shining one’; which is the same as the Hebrew word ‘nachash’, first used in Genesis 3:1 referring to the Serpent.
When Seleucus IV Philopator was assassinated, his eldest son, Demetrius, should have succeeded him; however Demetrius was being held hostage in Rome. Antiochus Epiphanes had himself been a hostage in Rome but had recently been exchanged for his elder brother. According to Dake’s Bible commentary: “Antiochus Epiphanes was on his way back from Rome when his father, Seleucus IV died. Heliodorus who poisoned the king had already declared himself king, as had several others, but Antiochus came home peaceably (not in war) and using flattery obtained the kingdom. He flattered Eumenes, king of Pergamos, and Attalus his brother, and got their assistance. He flattered the Romans, and sent ambassadors to court their favour, paying them tribute which was in arrears. He flattered the Syrians, gained their favour, and took the throne with their backing.”
Thus, Antiochus Epiphanes, although not the rightful heir, took the kingdom anyway.
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
The ‘they’ referred to in this verse are the ones who were ‘overthrown’ by Antiochus with the help of his supporters. However, not only were Antiochus’ rivals overthrown, but so also was the Jewish High Priest, Onias, who, according to 2 Maccabees, had been conspiring with the Spartans. In his place, Antiochus agreed to let Onias’ brother, Jason, assume the role of High Priest, after Jason had agreed to pay Antiochus a large sum of money. (Just like today!).
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
Jason did not hold the office of High Priest for very long, for a Benjaminite called Menelaus, who was on his way to pay Antiochus money from Jason, used Jason’s money to bribe Antiochus to give him the title instead.
And thus with just a small group of supporters, Antiochus IV Epiphanies returned from Rome and became king in the place of his father.
He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
Antiochus proceeded to move to subdue Lebanon, Phoenicia and Judea, and he appointed rulers over these areas whom he supplied with the spoils of war that he had gained, thus effectively bribing them to ensure their loyalty to him.
Knowing that a war with Ptolemy VI’s Egypt was likely, he tried to plan against an Egyptian attack or invasion by strengthening his borders, whilst at the same time preparing to attack Egypt.
25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain
Eventually, Antiochus marched against Egypt with a large army capturing Ptolemy VI Philometor; whom he then let stay on the throne as a vassal king, firstly, so as not to alarm Rome who had a watchful eye on proceedings, but also because Philometor was actually Antiochus’ cousin (i.e. the son of his father’s sister’s who had been given to Ptolemy V by Antiochus III the Great).
One of the reasons the Ptolemy VI ‘did not stand’ was because Antiochus had bribed some of Ptolemy’s key men to turn against him and support Antiochus’ cause instead. Thus those who had eaten meat with Ptolemy were the ones responsible for ‘destroying him’ and defeating his army.
And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
Although Antiochus had allowed Ptolemy VI Philometor to continue as king in Egypt, those in Alexandria chose Philometor’s younger brother to be king. Knowing that Philometor’s own people had rejected him, Antiochus seized this as an opportunity to befriend his cousin for his own ends. Philometor was quite happy to play along with this psudo-friendship whilst at the same time plotting how he could throw off the yoke of Antiochus.
Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
Antiochus then returned to Syria far richer than when he had left. However, on the way he went via Israel, for a false report of Antiochus’ death had been met with celebrations in Israel; something that was worthy of punishment in Antiochus’ eyes.
29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
A short time later, Antiochus once again invaded Egypt, but it was not nearly so successful a campaign as his first attempt at Pelusium (former), or his second invasion that led to his conquering all of Egypt (except Alexandra), when he made Ptolemy VI Philometor his vassal (latter).
Whilst this was taking place, Antiochus’ fleet had captured Cyprus, but this had awakened the concerns or Rome. Shortly after, Antiochus was met near Alexandra, in Egypt, by the Roman Consul, Gaius Popillius Laenas, who told him that he must immediately withdraw from both Cyprus and Egypt. Antiochus replied that he would like time to think. Gaius consented to his wish by drawing a circle around him and telling him that he could take as long as he wanted to reach a decision, but that he must have decided by the time he left the circle! In other words, Antiochus either had to withdraw, or he would be at war with Rome.
Having been publicly humiliated, Antiochus wanted to vent his anger and frustration, and what better place to do it than upon the people he already despised – the Jews.
On top of this he had been sent word that Jason, the ex-High Priest whom he had deceived, had gathered an army and marched against Jerusalem to depose Menelaus the Benjaminite. The fact that Menelaus, the then High Priest, was a Benjaminite was a direct violation of the holy covenant that God had given to Moses, wherein the Levites were the only tribe permitted to be priests in Israel.
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
In his rage, Antiochus took Jerusalem by storm killing 40,000 Jews and selling many others into slavery. In addition to this he “boiled swine’s flesh and sprinkled the broth in the Temple and on the alter; broke into the holy of holies; took away the golden vessels and other sacred treasures; restored Menelaus to office; and made Philip, a Phrygian, governor of Judea. (1 Macc. 1:24; 2 Macc 5:21). He also prohibited Jewish worship and consecrated the Jewish Temple to Jupiter Olympius [placing a statue of Jupiter in the holy of holies]. After taking away the Jewish sacrifices in the Jewish Temple, Antiochus offered a swine upon the alter and make the Temple desolate of divine worship” – Finis Jennings Dake
32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
Many Hellenistic Jews were seduced by Antiochus and even went as far as worshipping the image he has set up. This atrocity led to the Maccabean revolt, which lasted for almost three and a half years. See notes on Daniel 8:14.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Up until this verse we have been reviewing fulfilled prophecy – and let us not lose sight of the fact that Daniel recorded this hundreds of years before it happened – however, in this verse we get our first hint at a double fulfilment.
The Law of Double Reference:
“This law observes the fact that often a passage or a block of Scripture is speaking of two different persons or two different events that are separated by a long period of time.”
In the following verses we will now begin to see the one of whom Antiochus IV Epiphanes is a type; a.k.a. Antichrist. Whilst some of the following details are applicable to Antiochus, the scope of the following prophecies goes far beyond anything that has happened thus far in history, and therefore the following verses are awaiting fulfilment during Daniel’s 70th week.
J Vernon McGee says the following: “At this point history ends and prophecy begins. The text passes from a vile person to a vicious character, moving over a bridge of unmeasured time. Antiochus Epiphanes was certainly a contemptible person, but he could not measure up to the king described in verses 36–39”.
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
cf Rev 13 / Daniel 7:8, 24-25
It is from this verse that Antichrist gets the title ‘The Wilful King’. As we noted in our study of Revelation 13, Antichrist has a mouth full of blasphemes, and he will exalt himself above all god. This includes the God of the Christians and Jews, as well as Allah, Buddha, ‘mother-earth’ etc. In order for Antichrist to get away with this all the world’s religions will need to be moulded into one prior to this time. Right before out eyes we are witnessing the beginning of this process as the Roman Catholic Church is joining hands with the Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists etc. and amazingly, protestants and evangelical churches are joining in too! The desire for unity is far outweighing the concern for Biblical truth.
Antichrist will prosper – but only for as long as God allows.
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Some have mistakenly thought that this implies that Antichrist will not be interested in women. However we are told that he will not regard the desire of women, i.e. he will not regard that which women desire. The question is then asked, what was it that, in Daniel’s day, women desired? Answer: to be the one who gave birth to the Messiah. Right from Genesis 3 it had been prophesied that the Saviour would be the Seed of the Women; thus for Jewish women, the highest honour, their greatest desire (and hence the reason that barrenness was so despised) was to bring forth the One who would save the people from their sins.
So not only will Antichrist not regard God, he will not acknowledge Jesus either. In John’s first letter he tells us:
“Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
The ‘god of forces’ can also be translated ‘god of fortresses’, with the implication being ‘the one who is holding the fort’ or ‘kingdom’. Paul tells is in 2 Corinthians 4:4, that the ‘god’ who is holding the fort of this earth, for now at least, is Satan.
Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
Satan will establish his man as the ruler over the nations of this world; and in return Antichrist will cause all people to acknowledge and worship ‘the dragon who gave power to the beast’ (Rev 13:4). Antichrist’s kingdom will be divided into ten regions, over which ten kings will reign; however this many also refer to the dividing up of the land of Israel for financial reward: “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1-2)
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
On this side of the prophetic divide we can only speculate at these references to the king of the south and king of the north (verse 40). What is clear from this verse is that we are not talking about the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, for earlier in this chapter the Seleucid empire was referred to as the king of the north; and yet now, Antichrist, who has picked up the mantle of Antiochus Epiphanes is being attacked from a king from presumably further north of Israel than Syria is. Scholars propose that the king of the south may be a united Africa with the king of the north being the Russians. Whoever they prove to be, they will march against Antichrist, passing through and trampling over the land of Israel (much like the earlier conflicts had done). We also find the tidings from the east will trouble Antichrist (verse 44); east of Israel is Asia, including China.
So in this scenario we have the north (Russia?), the south (Egyptian led Africa?) and the east (China etc.?), and yet we find that Antichrist will subdue all of them. What makes this particularly interesting is that, in Daniel 7:24, we were told that Antichrist will subdue three of the ten kings. Could these be the three that will be subdued, and their marching against Antichrist be the reason he needs to subdue them in the first place?
It is also interesting to note that modern day Jordan (Edom, Moab & Ammon) will escape out of Antichrist’s hands. In Revelation 12 we find that it will be during this time that Israel will flee to the wilderness – which many commentators believe will be Petra, in Jordan.
Verse 43 alludes to the fact that Antichrist will have control over the worlds monetary systems – cf. Rev 13:17
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Antichrist will set up camp in Israel, between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, yet he will be defeated at the appointed time, and no one will even be able to help him. cf. 2 Thes 2:8 / Dan 7:26 / Dan 8:25 /
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study!