Daniel Chapter 11, part 1

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Daniel Chapter 11 part 1 The King of the North

Basic and General Study of the Book of Daniel

After introducing himself to Daniel (in chapter 10), the heavenly messenger now starts to reveal to Daniel future events that are to affect the Jews, his physical brethren and nation, and ultimately, Christians, his spiritual brethren.

Before we go further, please note that the first 20 verses of the angel’s discourse were relayed to Daniel and written down by him many years before the events detailed in them came to pass. They were fulfilled in detail. What that serves to do is give us a strong reason to believe the rest of the chapter, regarding events that have not yet happened, will also be fulfilled.

DAN.11:1 Also I (The angel of Dan10:18) in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. (536 BC.)

DAN.11:2 and now will I show 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.

The fourth king was Xerxes (486-465 BC.), known in the Bible as Ahasuerus and the husband of Queen Esther. He spent four full years stockpiling supplies and assembling manpower for a military expedition against Greece, just as the angel had predicted. He truly "stirred up all." His army swarmed with contingents from forty nations . . . Together they marched, perhaps 300,000 of them, mostly on foot, all the way from their homelands to the battles of Salamis (480) and Plataea (479) in Greece--and to complete defeat.

DAN.11:3 and a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

DAN.11:4 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.

The Persian invasions gave rise to calls for revenge in the Greek city-states, calls that were answered 150 years later when the Macedonians, under Alexander, launched their invasion and conquest of Persia. The primary excuse given for Alexander’s aggression was that it would avenge the past violation of the Greek homeland. This “mighty king”, Alexander the Great, in only ten years, conquered most of the civilized world, “with great dominion”.

Similar to Daniel 8:22, the angel’s message points to the fact that Alexander died at a young age and, rather than being passed on to his posterity or family, his empire was “divided toward the four winds” among his four generals

Seleucus (over Syria and Mesopotamia), Ptolemy (over Egypt), Lysimachus (over Thrace and portions of Asia Minor), and Cassandra (over Macedonia and Greece). This division was anticipated in a previous revelation: the four heads of the leopard (Dan7:6) and the four prominent horns on the he-goat (Dan8:8). They never achieved the same extent of dominion Alexander had, “not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion”.

Verses 5-20 of Daniel 11 go on to outline the continued conflicts between the Ptolemies who ruled Egypt “the king of the South” and the Seleucids who ruled Syria “the king of the North”. The King of the South and the King of the North, are not just two individuals, but they refer to the successive kings of these two realms.

Kings of the North:

SELEUCUS I NICATOR Ruler and later king 312–280 BC





ANTIOCHUS III (“The Great”) 223–187 BC



Kings of the South:







These two kingdoms were constantly striving to conquer the other. Since Israel was located in the middle of the two, its territory was continually exposed to the military campaigns of the two kingdoms. Israel's land and people were subservient at various times to one kingdom or the other. The prophecy focuses mainly on these 2 kingdoms because they affected Israel, God’s people. Verses 5 to 20 dwell on the history of their wars and conflicts that were fulfilled in detail and can be proven historically.

Bible scholars and even critics agree that this passage reflects accurately the history of those times. How remarkable, to be given a pre-account of historical events!

We won’t at this time study verses 5 to 20 as we will focus on the verses from 21 onwards, which describes the reign of the “man of sin” and the future Antichrist of the End Time; and this will enable us to recognize him when he comes.

Some of the events in this chapter fit the character and actions of Antiochus Epiphanes (175–163 BC), or “Epimanes” (the Madman), as his critics called him. He was certainly a “vile person” as far as the Jews were concerned. He sacked Jerusalem twice, killed tens of thousands of Jews, banned the worship of Jehovah, and was said to have slain a pig in the Holy of Holies, thus defiling the temple, and erected an altar to Zeus Olympios in the temple environs. His cruel and tyrannical rule provoked the Jewish Maccabee rebellion, which eventually led to the indepen­dence of Judea for a time.

DAN.11:21 and in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

** PSA.55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Although the passage from verse 21 onwards bears some resemblance to the activities of Antiochus Epiphanes, the focus has shifted onto the anti-Christ ruler of the End Time. The prophetic details simply don’t match with the details of past historical events in the time of the ancient Syrian kingdom. However, there is much that we can learn from the activities of Antiochus Epiphanes, as an historical example of what the future Antichrist’s rule will be like. This passage is like a near/far Prophecy. (See the appendix in the Daniel 8-part 2 class)

Jesus in His sermon on the signs of the times clearly states,

“When you shall see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (Mat.24:15)

as a future event, not a past one as would be necessary if the passage were talking about Antiochus. Author and lecturer John Lennox explains it this way:

“At the time of the end another leader like Antiochus will arise, who will do similar things. In Antiochus there were the seeds of an evil that will gestate and come to its fearful fruition in a time yet to come. Antiochus and the events of his time therefore, form a prototype or thought model of the future, which will help Daniel and us imagine what is to come – and to be aware of similar tendencies in our own day. Indeed, as we read the explanation given to Daniel by Gabriel, it is hard to resist the impression that something much more distant and much more sinister than Antiochus is in view.

“As in Daniel 8, so it is here. Daniel uses the life and times of Antiochus IV as a thought model of the end time, when an altogether more sinister leader will appear, who will exalt himself as God…

"The events from verses 21 to 35 involves a blending of Antiochus IV, as king of the north, into the end-time king of the north. Daniel 11, then, adds to chapters 7, 8, and 9 by giving us a fourth preview of the time of the end; and of its domination by the final human enemy of God, the last king of the north, the man of sin, the beast from the sea who exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped.” (End of quotation from John Lennox, “Against the flow”, chapter 22)

From here on, the vision jumps into the future. Don’t miss part 2 of this study of chapter 11 of Daniel.

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (JOHN 3:16)

If you haven’t done it yet, please pray this simple prayer:

"Dear Jesus, I want to know You personally. Please forgive all my faults. I accept that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. I invite You into my heart and life. Thank you for your gift of eternal life and please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to read and understand Your Word. Amen"

Compiled and edited by Gaetan from multiple sources.

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