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The Longest Prophecy in the Bible,

Daniel 11

Daniel 11 is living historic proof of two central things: 1) the veracity of God's Word, the Bible;  2) since 9/10ths of this prophecy is already fulfilled and in the history books, it shows conclusively in one chapter that Bible prophecies (in this case Old Testament) are to be taken quite literally, and not figuratively--allegorizing away their literal meaning is not an option for the honest Biblical historian.  The verses up to verse 35 of this prophecy in this study have been linked up with and compared to "A Manual Of Ancient History" by Rawlinson, a noted British historian of impeccable credentials.  Amillennialists, basing their theories and allegorizations on their church father Origen cannot stand up to this chapter with any coherent explanation, other than that the Bible's prophecies should be interpreted literally.  But not wanting to do this, they try to teach that Daniel was written "by a bunch of Jews in 139BC in an effort to influence their brethren with Messianic prophecies".  Such claptrap denies the Old Testament canon as being the true Word of God, a very serious thing to do, and amounts to nothing more than interpretive slight of hand. Even if Daniel were written in 139BC, which eliminates about half of the details of this prophecy, the other half have been fulfilled, right up to the 1930's.  So I guess Daniel must have been written by Daniel in 539 BCE, the first year of Darius the Mede (Daniel 1:1), as it clearly states in the Bible.  There is absolutely no way a "bunch of Jews wanting to influence Messianic prophecies" could have written even the latter half of these prophecies and gotten it right.  The laws of probability say just as much. It goes directly against the laws of probability and averages, which is a very specific science (there are mathematical books on the subject).

 

THE MIDDLE EAST IN PROPHECY: NOTES

(HISTORY FROM "A MANUAL OF ANCIENT HISTORY" BY RAWLINSON)

Daniel 11:1, "Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him."  The angel talking to Daniel is giving the actual date when this prophecy was given to Daniel.  Daniel 10 describes the coming of this angel to speak with Daniel, and it was probably Gabriel.  [October 9, 539 BCE]

Daniel 11:2-3, "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.  And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall bear rule with great dominion, and do according to his will [that is referring to Alexander the Great]."

1.        Three kings in Persia stand up (in importance) following Cyrus.  Canbyses, Pseudo Smerdis, Darius.  Xerxes was the fourth and richest of all--stirred up all against.Grecia.  In response, Philip of Macedonia plans a great war with Persia, but dies.  Alexander his son takes over the plans and invades Persia.  He met the Persian army at the Battle of Issus, B.C. 333 (cf. Daniel 8:2,5-6).  Final battle, defeat of Persia took place at the Battle of Arbella, B.C. 331 (Dan. 11:2-3). 

2.        Daniel 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 besides those."  "His (Alexander's) kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds."  Alexander dies in B.C. 323.  His four generals divide his empire.  By 301 B.C. the four generals are ruling over these territories: 1) Ptolemy (Soter), Egypt and part of Syria, Judea; 2) Seleuscus (Nicator), Syria, Babylonia, territory east to India; 3) Lysimachus, Asia Minor; 4) Cassander, Greece and Macedonia. 

3.        In this prophecy of God, attention now focuses on only two of the four generals: Egypt-Ptolemy (Soter), and Seleuscus (Nicator), the king of the south and the king of the north respectively.  This is now a prophecy and history of the Holy Land passing back and forth between these two divisions or kingdoms which came out of Alexander's empire at his death.  Their wars were mainly fought over possession of the territory of Judea.

Daniel 11:5, "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."  Ptolemy I consolidates his power and forcesin Egypt.  Seleucus (Nicator) consolidates his power and forces in Syria, assumes the diadem as king there. 

Daniel 11:6, "And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times."  Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus (king of the South) marries Antiochus II (king of the North).  Philadelphus dies in 247 B.C.  Antiochus divorces Bernice (Philadelphus's daughter), takes back Laodice his first wife.  Laodice doesn't trust him, murders both him and Bernice.  Seleucus II becomes the new king of the North.

Daniel 11:7, "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."  Philadelphus's son, Bernice's brother becomes the next king of the South (Ptolemy Euergates III), and he invades Syria in 245 B.C. to avenge Bernice's murder.  He took immense booty, 2,500 gold molten images and vessels. Daniel 11:8, "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."  Seleucus II dies in 226 B.C.  His two sons take the kingdom of the north, first Seleucus III in 226-223 B.C., and then Antiochus III (the Great), together they attack Egypt and recover their port and fortress (Seleucia) (verse 10).  Verse 9, "So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land." Verse 10, "But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress."  Verse 11, "And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand." Verse 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."  The king of the South, now Ptolemy IV (Philopater), with an army of 20,000 inflicted severe defeat on Antiochus the Great.  He killed tens of thousands and again annexed Judea to Egypt.  But this was a throw-away victory because of a speedy peace treaty too hastily drawn up. 

Daniel 11:13-14, "For the king of the north 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.  And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall."  B.C. 205 Ptolemy Philopater dies--left the throne to an infant son Ptolemy Epiphanes.  Antiochus the Great (III), king of the north, masses a great army, allies with Philip of Macedon and others against Egypt--assisted by some of the Jews.

Daniel 11:15-16, "So the king of the north 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.  But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed."  Antiochus III takes Sidon from Egypt, ruined Egyptian interest in Judea at Battle of Mount Panium, B.C. 198, took possession of Judea.

Verse 17, "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."  Antiochus III marries his daughter Cleopatra (not the famous one) to Ptolemy Epiphanes hoping to gain Egypt as well, but the plan fails.  He turns his attention to Asia Minor, B.C. 197-196, but is stopped by the Roman General Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, at the battle of Magnesia in B.C. 190.  Verse 18, "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."  Antiochus III killed in B.C. 187.  Verse 19, "Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found."

Daniel 11:20, "Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within a few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle."  Antiochus III's son, Seleucus Philopater IV (187-176 B.C.) reigned eleven years, was killed by his tax collector Heliodorus.  Seleucus Philopater left no heir. 

Verse 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."  Seleucus Philopater IV's younger brother, Antiochus Epiphanes (IV), came by surprise, took the kingdom by flattery.  Drives out Heliodorus in 176 B.C.  In verse 22 at the end it mentions the prince of the covenant.  This is talking about the high priest of the Jews, who was at this time under control of no government of man (i.e. under no government of Satan).  Verse 22, "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."  This was an attempt by Antiochus Epiphanes (IV) to replace the Jewish high priest of God by another who would be subservient to him.

Verses 23-24, "And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.  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 father's 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."  Although only a few were with him at first, yet by this Roman manner, by deceit and flattery, he crept into power and prospered.  He also invaded Galilee and Lower Egypt.  His fathers, the former kings of Syria, had favored the Jews, but says Rawlinson's history, page 255, they "were driven to desperation by the mad project of this self-willed monarch."

Verse 25, "And he shall stir up 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."  Verse 26, "Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him [the king of the south], and his army shall overflow, and many shall fall down slain."  Antiochus Epiphanes marches against Ptolemy Philometor (king of the south), defeated him through treachery of his (Philometor's) own officers.

Verse 28, "Then shall he return into his own 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 in 168 B.C. returns from Egypt with great plunder, massacres many Jews, loots the temple.   Verses 29-30, At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south, but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter 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."  Antiochus Epiphanes IV invades Egypt again, with no success this time.  Philometor (king of the south) gets help from Rome.  The Roman fleet came against Antiochus and forced him to surrender to terms of Popillius of the Roman fleet, return from Egypt and restore Cyprus to Egypt.  Smarting from defeat he vented his wrath on the Jews, extended special favors to Jews who would turn from their religion. 

Note:  This period of time is just at the end of the 6th head or candle (symbolically, on the candelabra or minorah) of the Old Testament church or congregation.  This sixth head or candle corresponds to our era of the church, and this prophecy is a foreshadow of how our church era and work will be cut short.  It is also a foreshadow of how an end-time resurrection of the king of the north, the Holy Roman Empire, will flow into the holy land and of what this leader of the new Roman Empire will do.

Verse 31, "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 [or that astonisheth]."  Then Antiochus Epiphanes [as a fore-runner of the abomination that makes desolate mentioned by the apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Daniel 11:36, the anti-Christ] sends troops to the holy land, has them desecrate the sanctuary and abolish the daily sacrifices (Daniel 8:11,24), and place the abomination of the image of Jupiter Olympus in the Holy of Holies (the most sacred part of the temple building).  Verse 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."  Right here I am going to insert a historic piece from Josephus which shows historically who this people were that knew their God and were strong and did exploits.  Right at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, the following occurred: 

 

Background history for the Festival of Lights, taken out of Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews", translated by William Whiston, Kregel Publications, pp. 256-257, 258-262.

2. Now Antiochus [Epiphanes IV], upon the agreeable situation of the affairs of his kingdom, resolved to make an expedition against Egypt, both because he had a desire to gain it, and because he contemned the son of Ptolemy, as now weak, and not yet of abilities to manage affairs of such consequence; so he came with great forces to Pelusium, and circumvented Ptolemy Philometer by treachery, and seized Egypt.  He then came to the places about Memphis, and when he had taken them, he made haste to Alexandria, in hopes of taking it by siege, and of subduing Ptolemy, who reigned there.  But he was driven not only from Alexandria, but out of all Egypt by the declaration of the Romans, who charged him to let that country alone.  Accordingly, as I have elsewhere formerly declared, I will now give a particular account of what concerns this king,--how he subdued Judea and the temple; for in my former work I mentioned those things very briefly to go over that history again, and that with great accuracy."

Now here is where we can get a real historic picture of just how evil this Antiochus was.  The Bible often uses a prior historic type to represent a future coming event, and Antiochus is just such a fore-type.  The famous secular philosopher Santayana is often quoted as saying "He who forgets the lessons of history is doomed to relive them."  We'd be wise to take note of this guy, as we live in such perilous times with the world filled with weapons of mass destruction and mad dictators with itchy trigger fingers.  And when we see a temple being built in Jerusalem, we'd be extra wise in putting our spiritual affairs in order, as the time will be getting shorter to the final fulfillment of these prior events.  And if Antiochus is a type of a future European dictator who touches off World War III, Judas Maccabee is a type of Yeshua the Messiah and his conquering army, coming to save the world (cf. Zechariah 14:1-15 and Revelation 19:1-21).  Notice Judas hardly lost a man in many of the battles he fought. 

            "3. King Antiochus [Epiphanes] returning out of Egypt [Hereabout Josephus begins to follow the first book of the Maccabees], for fear of the Romans, made an expedition against the city of Jerusalem; and when he was there, in the hundred and forty-third year of the kingdom of the Seleucidae, he took the city without fighting, those of his own party opening the gates to him.  And when he had gotten possession of Jerusalem, and slew many of the opposite party; and when he had plundered it of a great deal of money, he returned to Antioch.

4.                Now it came to pass, after two years, in the hundred and forty-fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of that month which is by us called Chasleu.that the king came up to Jerusalem, and, pretending peace, he got possession of the city by treachery:  at which time he spared not so much as those that admitted him into it, on account of the riches that lay in the temple; but, led by his covetous inclination, (for he saw there was in it a great deal of gold, and many ornaments that had been dedicated to it of very great value,) and in order to plunder its wealth, he ventured to break the league he had made.  So he left the temple bare, and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense], and table [of shewbread,] and the altar [of burnt-offering;] and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet.  He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation, for he forbade them to offer to God, according to the law.  And when  he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their wives and children, so that the multitude of those captives that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand.  He also burnt down the finest buildings; and when he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel in the lower part of the city [this citadel seems to have been a castle built on a hill, lower than mount Zion, though upon its skirts, and higher than mount Moriah, but between them both.], for the place was high, and overlooked the temple on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians.  However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked part of the [Jewish] multitude, from whom it proved that the citizens suffered many and sore calamities.  And when the king had built an altar upon God's altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country.  He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their God, and to adore those whom he took to be gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars, in every city and village, and offer swine upon them every day.  He also commanded them not to circumcise their sons, and threatened to punish any that should be found to have transgressed his injunction.  He also appointed overseers, who should compel them to do what he commanded.  And indeed many Jews there were who complied with the kings commands, either voluntarily, or out of fear of the penalty that was denounced: but the best men, and those of the noblest souls, did not regard him, but did pay a greater respect to the customs of their country than concern as to the punishment which he threatened to the disobedient; on which account they every day underwent great miseries and bitter torments; for they were whipped with rods, and their bodies were torn to pieces, and crucified while they were still alive and breathed: they also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses.  And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed; and those with whom they were found, miserably perished also.

5.                  When the Samaritans saw the Jews under these sufferings, they no longer confessed they were of their kindred."  Is that any wonder?  Also if you look at history in   II Kings 17:5-6, 24, Assyria in 721BC took all of Samaria captive and replaced the population with other races, deporting the ten tribes of Israel to the Caspian Sea region, never to return.  So these Samaritans were a pretender race that wasn't really related to any of the 12 sons of Joseph, the 12 tribes of Israel.  This Antiochus Epiphanes was also a forerunner of a super-dictator who will come out of Europe, as prophecied in Daniel, and come into Jerusalem by flattery, and take it and the temple captive, cutting off the evening and morning sacrifices (cf. Daniel 8:5-25; 11:33-40).  Classic pre-Millennialists believe this event marks the beginning of the tribulation, when in Matthew 24 Jesus warns the people who will read and understand this warning of his in Matthew 24 to flee to the mountains when they see Jerusalem compassed with armies "and the abomination that makes desolate standing in the Holy place where he ought not."  [It is my guess, these will be Messianic Jewish Christians, as the Orthodox Jews wouldn't be regarding Yeshua's warning in the New Testament.]  So a greater repeat of this "Antiochus history" is yet to come to the Israeli nation [this event will spill over into this world as World War III begins]. 

Now let's go back to Antiochus Epiphanes IV, where we see here, the temple has been polluted with swine's blood.  How is the Messiah going to come to the temple, and go through all the ceremonies prescribed by the law of Moses for a Jewish newborn male child?  Think, if Jesus, Yeshua, didn't go through this, he would have been disqualified as the Messiah and his death couldn't have paid for the sins of the world.  Yeshua, Jesus, was totally sinless throughout his life, from the very beginning to the very end.  Here we see Antiochus being used by Satan to try to thwart God's plan of salvation for the world.  What follows is truly miraculous, for Antiochus's army was huge and powerful when compared to the forces Judas Maccabeus commanded.

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Content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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