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Lesson 31 – Daniel 11

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11


Week 31, Chapter 11

We managed to get only as far as the first 4 verses of Daniel 11 last week. Recall that what we are reading is an oracle delivered to Daniel by an unnamed angel or spiritual being. This is NOT Daniel pronouncing this prophecy; he is only relaying to us what that heavenly messenger said to him.

The time is around 535 B.C. and Media-Persia is now the reigning gentile world empire. Cyrus the Great (a Persian) is the king and he is in his 3 rd year in power. Daniel is no longer in the employ of the royal palace.

Verses 1-4 told us that 3 Persian kings would reign and then a 4 th Persian king would arise who was very wealthy (history proves that this was King Xerxes); and this king’s unmatched wealth would be used to construct a Persian army meant to conquer and expand the empire. One of Xeroxes’ goals was the conquest of Greece. However after trying many times and having only partial success, the prophecy says that a Greek king would arise who would turn the tables and wind up attacking and conquering Persia. Thus the 2 nd gentile world empire (Media-Persia) gives way to the 3 rd gentile world empire: Greece. And history proves that this victorious Greek king was Alexander the Great. He died as a very young man (32 years old), left behind no children (even though his wife Roxanne was pregnant with a son at the time of his death), and so as the passage predicts, the Greek Empire was divided up into 4 districts, each ruled by its own king. And none of these rulers was a relative of Alexander’s.

I want to spend a few moments talking about the term Greece. We’re going to get a bit technical, but I think this is something that in the long run helps you to navigate the Bible, and it is important to help us understand Bible prophecy as it was originally written and intended versus how it is popularly spoken about today. As used here in Daniel the term Greece is what is called an anachronism. That is, while hundreds of years later on this region or kingdom that would become an empire would be called Greece, it wasn’t at the time of Daniel. In fact, the word Greece doesn’t appear in the Book of Daniel. Bible translators have added the word Greece in place of the original Hebrew. And the word that they replaced is Yavan , or as we’ll see it in Bible Encyclopedias, the English-ized form is Javan. Let’s briefly look at Genesis 10 and the well-known Table of Nations because it is here that we find the origins of the territory of Javan. CJB Gene sis 10:1 Here is the genealogy of the sons of Noach- Shem, Ham and Yefet; sons were born to them after the flood.

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 2 The sons of Yefet were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Yavan, Tuval, Meshekh and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Rifat and Togarmah.

4 The sons of Yavan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.

5 From these the islands of the nations were divided into their lands, each according to its language, according to their families, in their nations. Yavan was a son of Japheth and grandson of Noah. Yavan was Japheth’s 4 th son. When we look at a map of the region in the form of the Table of the Nations as given in Genesis 10, it helps us to understand what the people of Daniel’s day envisioned as the region that our English Bibles usually mislabel as Greece. And while the territory of Javan certainly doesn’t include the entire region assigned to his father Japheth, it does include large areas of the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. It even includes the island of Crete (Kittim), and goes as far west as Tarshish in modern day Spain (notice that Kittim and Tarshish were 2 sons of Javan). Some Bibles will call Greece “Macedonia”, but that too is quite incorrect as Macedonia was only a relatively small kingdom at the time of Daniel, which grew and became more powerful by the time of Alexander’s father, Phillip. It would be like calling the United States “New York”.

Alexander was born a Macedonian. But he conquered all the territories surrounding Macedonia. Technically this only expanded Macedonia’s boundaries but upon that expansion the word used for his growing empire was in Hebrew Yavan (Javan), not Greece and not Macedonia. In Sanskrit Yavan was translated to Yavana, which when translated to the Macedonian language became Ionia. Later this empire became called Hellas (from where we get the term Hellenization, which means the introduction of Greek culture). The word Greece in reality is only an English translation of the Latin word Graecia, which referred to the empire of Hellas (Greece). How it is that Hellas got translated into Latin as Graecia is anybody’s guess.

I tell you all this because while it sure simplifies matters to just drop in the term Greece in our Bibles and talk about the Greek Empire, nobody until the late days of Rome in the 4 th or 5 th centuries A.D. ( perhaps 9 centuries after the time of Daniel) would have ever heard the term Graecia or Greece, and it obscures the reality that the Bible uses the term Javan (not Greece) because it helps us to understand that this was part of the territory assigned to Noah’s son Japheth shortly after the Great Flood. And we learn that the territory of Javan is significantly more expansive than only Greece or Macedonia. So when speaking of the Greek Empire prophetically, we need to cross out that word and go back to using Javan, as taken from the Table of Nations, because that is the term used in the prophecy and it more accurately defines the territory that is being referred to. If you are serious about Bible prophecy, as opposed to only enjoying the dramatic teachings of some well meaning modern prophecy teachers, and the resultant array of denominational End Times doctrines, then this is the route we must take. Admittedly it takes a little more work to go about it this way, but we’ll also arrive at something much closer to the truth.

Now before we dive in to the remainder of chapter 11 I want to explain my approach and why I

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 want to go this direction. Most of this chapter explains the next several centuries of history in the terms of wars and conflicts between the King of the North against the King of the South. And much of this prophecy can be explained right down to the various kings and potentates and nations involved, because most of this is history past and it is well documented with only a few disagreements over the details. However, some of the prophecy hasn’t happened at all, or has only partially happened. And as we discussed last time, that is because this prophecy of chapters 11 and 12 has intermingled 3 different eras: the first latter days, the second latter days, and the End of Days (the End Times) that results from the second latter days. And this is essentially also what happened in the prophecies concerning the Messiah, so it was quite difficult to place the various aspects of Messiah’s work on earth into eras. In fact, most of the ancient Jewish religious authorities saw it as concerning only 1 era, and thus they misunderstood Messiah’s mission. So my goal is to untangle this prophecy of Daniel 11 and 12 and try to demonstrate as best I can which of these prophetic events belong in which era. I readily admit that I can’t be 100% certain; and I will also tell you that God is a God of patterns, so the first playing out of these events sets the pattern for the next time they play out. The first latter days is a type and shadow of the second latter days.

Therefore while I will necessary have to speak of history and kings and territories, I’m going to do it in a summary fashion or I’ll have your eyes rolling into the back of your heads. Even with this Reader’s Digest version it is a complex matter; however it is not necessary that we approach it too deeply as do History scholars in order to gain a solid understanding.

So with that open your Bibles to Daniel chapter 11, and we’re going to re-read this in sections.

RE-READ DANIEL 11:5 – 20

As a rule we can take the term “south” to mean Egypt. So the king of the South is usually referring to the king of Egypt. Where this can get a bit confusing is that we have been used to thinking of the king of Egypt as an Egyptian Pharaoh. But by the time of Alexander the Great that was no longer the case. Egypt was conquered and so there were non-Egyptian kings ruling over Egypt.

The North, then, refers to areas north of Egypt, and generally (but not entirely) to areas north of the Holy Lands. And the way we are to understand this juxtaposition is that the king of the north will constantly engage in battles with the king of Egypt, as we see throughout Daniel chapter 11.

Historically speaking, it is well documented that when Alexander the Great died his Empire became divided into 4 districts. The Ptolemy family dynasty ruled over Egypt. The first Ptolemy to acquire Egypt and to rule over it was Ptolemy Soter. He is the king of the south of verse 5.

The prince that eventually gained power over Ptolemy Soter was a man named Seleucus, a particularly adept general under Alexander the Great. Seleucus at first acquired the district that was Babylon. However in no time a fellow named Antigonus took Babylon from him. Seleucus fled for his life to Ptolemy in Egypt. Ptolemy appointed him a general in his army, and later as allies were able to wrest the Babylonian district away from Antigonus and back into Seleucus’s

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 hands.

The Seleucus family dynasty, then, became the rulers of the north and their reach and power far exceeded that of the Ptolemy family dynasty of the south (of Egypt).

Verse 6 says that after some undefined number of years passed an alliance is formed between the kings of the north and south. A daughter of the king of the south will be the token of the alliance. This has to be referring to marriage, which is the age old way of sealing alliances between nations. And historically we find that about 35 years after the death of Seleucus, the 1 st king of the north, his grandson Antiochus II will marry Berenice a daughter of Ptolemy. However Berenice had a rival for power; Laodice. Laodice was already a wife of to Antiochus; and when Antiochus married Berenice for political purposes Laodice set about to get rid of her. Two years after the marriage, Berenice’s father Ptolemy died and with it the political need for the marriage. Antiochus divorced Berenice. And in something resembling the old TV series Dallas, the conniving Laodice had no intention of having her favorable situation undone again. So she poisoned her husband Antiochus in retribution, and then had Berenice and her infant son murdered. Laodice now owned the throne of the kingdom of the north.

However verse 7 explains that someone in Berenice’s ancestry will regain power (in the south) and then come against the king of north. The reference is to another of the Ptolemy family dynasty, her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He takes Egypt’s army, marches to the north, and in the process avenges his sister Berenice by killing the queen of the north, Laodice. Then in verse 8, we hear that the king of the south will bring fabulous booty from the north back to Egypt and have great success for years against the king of the north.

The Egyptians were so awed by the success of this 3 rd Ptolemy to rule over them that they gave him the nickname of Euergetes, which means well-doer.

Next, verse 9 explains that the king of the north had enough of this domination of the king of Egypt and so took an army to attack the king of Egypt (the king of the south). But the king of the north was defeated and he retreated home. His name was Seleucus Callinicus; he marched against Ptolemy about 240 B.C., and was lucky to return home alive.

Family being what it is, verse 10 explains that the sons of the king of the north didn’t like it that their father was defeated and so decided to do something about it themselves. Two sons of Seleucus Callinicus, Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great, began a war campaign to recover the honor of their family. Cernaunus was killed in the process, but Antiochus the Great eventually marched upon Egypt with a huge, irresistible force of troops from the north. But according to verse 11 the king of the south doesn’t take this attack lying down and advances to meet the king of the north in battle. It happened exactly as predicted. The next Ptolemy to rule Egypt, Ptolemy Philopator, enraged at the hubris of Antiochus organized a battle force of 70,000 infantry, 5,000 horsemen, and 73 elephants. In response the king of the north raised an even bigger multitude of soldiers and when the two kings met in battle Antiochus was defeated and the king of the south Ptolemy Philopater won decisively. According to Polybius Antiochus lost 10,000 infantry, 300 cavalry, and 5 elephants. In addition over 4000 of his troops were taken prisoner.

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 However as predicted by the prophecy in Daniel, the results of this astounding outcome were soon squandered by Ptolemy as he sought to live a life of ease and luxury and allowed his Egyptian military to become weak and disorganized. Therefore, verse 13 prophecies that the king of north, Antiochus, shall again gather a multitude, even more formidable than before, and again attack the king of Egypt. This actually happened; it was about 13 years later and Ptolemy Philopator was now dead. His only son, his heir, was only 4 years old.

The king of the north, Antiochus the Great, was nothing if not persistent. He had created an alliance with Phillip the king of Macedonia, and also some rebel factions in Egypt who wanted to effect some political change in Egypt. So in verse 15 the prophecy is that the king of north, now feeling powerful again, would re-start his war against Egypt beginning with capturing a fortified city. Records indicate that this was probably the city of Sidon; however it might have been Gaza, much further south. Ptolemy, king of Egypt, reacted by sending his best general, Scopas, to try and recover his lost territory. He failed.

Verse 16 now tells of the downfall of the king of the north. Dr. Kiel puts it this way: “Having reached the height of victory (Antiochus the Great) falls under the dominion of pride and haughtiness by which he hastens on his ruin and overthrow.” The land of Glory means the Holy Lands, which is where Antiochus’s surrender to the forces of the south will come.

But then verse 17 says that Antiochus will give a daughter to the king of the south in order to seal a treaty. That daughter is Cleopatra, who was given to Ptolemy (this is not the same Cleopatra of Hollywood movie fame). However the marriage couldn’t be finalized for several years because it wasn’t sexually consummated. And this is because this particular Ptolemy that Cleopatra we given to was only 7 years old at the time. No doubt Antiochus’s hope was that by using his daughter Cleopatra he could infiltrate and heavily influence this mere child she had married. It didn’t work. Cleopatra sided with her child-husband and worked against her father Antiochus.

Verse 18 explains how Antiochus suffered yet another defeat. But this time it was brought about by a new player: a Roman. The prophecy is that the king of north will now try to extend his influence to the “isles” (meaning the islands of the Mediterranean). And sure enough, history reveals that a Roman magistrate named Lucius Asiaticus defeated Antiochus’s forces. This was a huge humiliation for Antiochus as his forces should have been far superior to those that these islands could have mustered. But then verse 19 speaks of the end of the power of the king of north. Indeed, Antiochus returned home, a defeated and humiliated king, and now vulnerable spent the next few years merely trying to keep hold of his throne. We hear no more of him after this time.

I want to stop and take a breath as we’ve moved quickly through history, because I don’t want us to miss an important point. Everything in chapter 11 is described as future events to Daniel; these are things that were yet to happen. There is no verb confusion, no misunderstanding of tenses. Everything we read was to happen well after the time of Daniel. Therefore, for even those conservative and fundamental Christian scholars who have fallen prey to the seminary teaching that the Book of Daniel was written around the time of Antiochus Epiphanies (about 165 B.C.), there is a problem. Because if the writer of Daniel lived at a time AFTER all these

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 events I’ve just described to you, then he is a king-sized liar. He is deceiving his readers by presenting us with material that he says is predictive prophecy, but whom modern scholars says he was but retelling past history.

Then I challenge all who would think such a thing, whether you are scholar, teacher, pastor or layperson: why do you keep Daniel, a book of deception, in your Bible? But even more, Christ Himself upholds Daniel, over and over again, often quoting him and even referring to Daniel by name in the Book of Matthew. Then for us to accept that Daniel was written not in the 6 th century B.C. as the writer purports, but rather in the 2 nd century B.C., and that the supposed prophecy is not prophecy at all, also destroys Jesus’s personal credibility and makes the NT Gospels based on nonsense. And that has been the intent all along with these liberal scholars who have taken over our commentaries, our Bible colleges, and our seminaries. I say in the strongest possible language that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and I am appalled that some of our most respected Christian teachers and leaders have ignorantly accepted such garbage and regurgitate it to their students and congregations without so much as a thought about the repercussions of their false statements. This is a result of learning and teaching manmade doctrines instead of God’s Word.

Daniel 11:20 says that in place of the king of north a new king will appear who will send an extractor (probably meaning a Tax Collector) throughout the Glorious Kingdom. The GloriousKingdom is of course the Holy Lands. And historically we find that Antiochus the Great was replaced by Seleucus Philopator. He sent his Prime Minister Heliodorus to seize the Temple treasury in Jerusalem, however for some reason he didn’t do it. Legend is that an apparition appeared to him and warned him not to do it……and he didn’t. Almost immediately thereafter Seleucus Philopater mysteriously died, and ancient records say that Heliodorus poisoned him.

At this point we arrive at the time of the infamous king of the north, Antiochus Epiphanies. This is the fellow that is at the heart of the Book of Maccabees, the one who defiled the Temple and essentially attempted to kill off biblical Hebrewism. Please note that we have been encountering a lot of repeating of family names, so don’t think I’m repeating or rearranging these names in history. Just as families today will reuse names, generation after generation, so it has always been. And especially when reading the Bible, or when deciphering ancient documents, it can be difficult to place persons sharing a common name into a proper historical order.

Let’s re-read another portion of Daniel 11.

RE-READ DANIEL 11:21 – 39

Everything that we have read until verse 21 is connected to the first latter days. It happened in reference to the years leading up to the appearance of the Messiah, and to His crucifixion. That is not to say that a king or kings of the south and a king or kings of the north will not engage in battle once again in the second latter days. However starting in verse 21 we can definitely see an overlap. That is what is happening occurs in both the first and the second latter days. Therefore this is where the untangling of prophecies and placing them in their

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 proper eras starts to get a little more challenging. And by definition, there will be opinion involved (but hopefully well-founded opinion).

The “despicable man” of verse 21 is Antiochus Epiphanies, but is also very likely representative of the future Anti-Christ. Antiochus Epiphanies was the Adolph Hitler of his era. This was not a misguided or manipulated or misunderstood man; he was incorrigible and wicked. In the mid-1800s the bible commentator Moses Stuart had this to say about Antiochus Epiphanies that sets the historical tone for this man of infamy.

“ Epiphanies was one of the most extraordinary characters exhibited on the pages of history. He was both avaricious and prodigal, excessive in his indulgences and prone to violent passions, a compound of the veriest folly and weakness in some respects, and of great cunning and dexterity in some others, especially to flattery. At one period of his reign, there was a prospect of his becoming quite powerful. But reverses came upon him, and he died at last nearly as his father had done before him, and on the like occasion. Indeed his extravagances and follies and cruelty were so great, that his contemporaries gave him the nickname of epimanes (which means madman). But he gave himself, instead, the title of epiphanies, meaning illustrious.” We must pay attention to the character and life and choices of Antiochus Epiphanies because the Anti-Christ will be patterned after them and take them to a heretofore unimaginable level.

Verse 21 introduces this unnamed ruler (who turned out to be Antiochus Epiphanies and later on will be the Anti-Christ), with the title of “despised” or “despicable” man. He didn’t have regal dignity and in fact was a usurper. The throne rightly belonged to Demetrius Soter, the son of Seleucus Philopator.

Verse 22 says that large armies of this king (Epiphanies) will achieve great victories even over the prince of the covenant. The main issue with this verse is the identification of this “prince of the covenant”. There have been a number of educated guesses, including Ptolemy Philometer of Egypt, the Jewish High Priest Onias III, and a few more. Some have ascribed at least some of this meaning to the time of the appearance of the Anti-Christ. But then who is the prince of the covenant that is broken and swept away by the Anti-Christ? One could rightly call Yeshua the prince of the covenant, but it is hard to see how this relates to Antiochus Epiphanies. If we transfer this from the 1 st latter days to the 2 nd latter days and Christ’s return it still doesn’t fit. Therefore my opinion is that this is referring to someone during Epiphanies’ reign with which he made a treaty (a covenant), but the covenant was broken. I don’t know who that was.

Verse 23 seems to continue speaking about this prince of the covenant, but with whom this king (Epiphanies) was deceitful. History shows that Epiphanies (the king of the north) pretended to have a friendly intent towards Egypt (the king of the south) so that he could win their hearts. It may be that an actual treaty occurred between Epiphanies and the king of Egypt. Personally I see no reference here to the future Anti-Christ. But then in verse 24 we hear echoes of warning that we hear repeated in churches the world over; echoes taken from the Book of Ezekiel about something that will happen in the 2 nd latter days.

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 Ezekiel 38:10-11 CJB 10 “Adonai ELOHIM says: ‘When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11 You will say, “I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates.

When men think that all is safe and secure, Epiphanies will come and do things that even his ancestors didn’t think to do, as ruthless as many of them were. This directly refers to Israel but might extend to most of the planet in the days of Anti-Christ. He will plan how to take spoils from some, and give it to those who will uphold him. Wealth redistribution. A kind of Robin Hood plan. But of course, politicians throughout the ages have tried this, but they don’t do it to do good for the poor, they do it to disguise their true intents, and to only fool and appease the poor. It was to attain the acclaim of the deceived masses so that they can increase their power, in the name of social welfare. Along with this the elite who support this leader reap the real benefits. Most of what is taken from others is given to the leader’s friends and cronies. There is nothing new under the sun.

And as the prophecy states, all while this slight of hand is going on, behind the scenes plans are being devised to attack the institutions (fortresses) of national sovereign power. In the case of Antiochus Epiphanies, he took from some, gave to others, and curried enough favor until he was able to get the necessary support to go after the king of the south. Epiphanies was plotting against Egypt all the time he was assuring them of his friendship and allegiance. Therefore in verse 25 we hear of his attack against the king of the south. Egypt will put together a big army and offer stiff resistance to the king of the north, but because of the inroads the king of the north had made into the wallets of the leaders of the south, many of their leaders had been co- opted into treason and were secretly on the northern king’s side. This is referring to the first major overt campaign of Epiphanies against Egypt. The king of Egypt, probably Ptolemy Physcon at this time, couldn’t stand against the northern forces because so much treachery had occurred over the years among those of his own citizens who had only pretended to be supporters.

Verse 27 says that both kings’ hearts were evil. In other words, there was no good guy in this intrigue. Both of these kings, of the north and south, were playing a dangerous game of liar’s poker with each other; deceiving one another, and trying to one-up the other. Posturing to gain advantage. Can you not picture our leaders today meeting with Assad of Syria, or the current leader of Iran, or the Russian President, and telling each other things that neither of them believes? And now in our time, sadly, the leaders of the United States and Europe are meeting with the leaders of Israel doing the same thing. Telling lies to each other and pretending true friendship. And of course, this will go on with the future Anti-Christ as he plays the highest stakes game in the history of the world; a game that he knows is not so much between him and

Lesson 31 – Daniel 11 the world as between him and God for the supremacy of our planet.

Let’s stop here and we’ll continue in chapter 11 next time.