An examination of Daniel 11:1-45 and 12:1-13

Introduction

I do not fear truth. I welcome it. But I wish all of my facts to be in their proper context.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Furthermore, to redirect a quotation of Alfred Whitehead, “I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of [the scriptures] either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted [its] meaning, or destroyed it altogether.

So therefore, “For me context is the key – from that comes the understanding of everything.” -Kenneth Noland.

When examining the Bible particularly any scripture to do with prophecy, one needs to understand the scripture in context. That may be a few verses or a few chapters either side of the portion under examination. We also need to ascertain who the intended audience was and what they would have understood. We also must remember that the Bible was written for normal people, and to be understood by them. It was not written for some small group of intelligentsia that would be the only ones to hold the knowledge and understanding, whether in Bible times or in the present or in the future.

It is therefore important to approach the examination exegetically, allowing the Bible to interpret itself. We should allow the scriptures to lead us to a natural conclusion, rather than approaching with preconceived ideas.

What follows are the results of such an examination of the Bible Book of Daniel 11, in context without preconceived ideas, endeavoring to see how we can understand it. Any historical events that are not commonly known will be supplied with reference(s) to verify them, and hence the suggested understanding.

Following these principles stated above we find the following:

  • Firstly, the audience were the Jews who were either still in exile in Babylonia or would shortly be returning to the land of Judah after nearly a lifetime in exile.
  • Naturally, therefore, the events recorded would those events most relevant to the Jewish nation, who were God’s chosen people.
  • The prophecy was given by an angel to Daniel, a Jew, shortly after the fall of Babylon to Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian.
  • Naturally, Daniel and the other Jews were interested in the future of their nation, now that the servitude to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and his sons was finished.

With these background points in mind let us begin our verse by verse examination.

Daniel 11:1-2

1 And as for me, in the first year of Da·riʹus the Mede I stood up as a strengthener and as a fortress to him. 2 And now what is truth I shall tell to you:

“Look! There will yet be three kings standing up for Persia, and the fourth one will amass greater riches than all [others]. And as soon as he has become strong in his riches, he will rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece.

Judea ruled by Persia

As a reminder, according to verse 1, an angel speaks to Daniel now under the rule of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the King of Persian, in the first year after their conquest of Babylon and its empire.

So, who should be identified with the 4 kings of Persia mentioned here?

Some have identified Cyrus the Great as the first King and ignored Bardiya / Gaumata / Smerdis. But we must remember the context.

Why do we say this? Daniel 11:1 gives the timing of this prophecy as occurring in the 1st year of Darius the Mede. But it is important to note that according to Daniel 5:31 and Daniel 9:1, Darius the Mede was King of Babylon and what remained of the Babylonian Empire. Furthermore, Daniel 6:28 talks about Daniel prospering in the kingdom of Darius [over Babylon] and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.

Cyrus was already reigning King over Persia for some 22 years[i]  before the capture of Babylon and remained King of Persia until his death some 9 years later. Therefore, when the scripture says,

Look! there will yet be three kings”,

and is referring to the future, we can only conclude that the next Persian King, and the first Persian king of this prophecy, to take the Persian throne was Cambyses II, the son of Cyrus the Great.

This would mean that the second king of the prophecy would be Bardiya / Gaumata / Smerdis as this king succeeded Cambyses II. Bardiya, in turn, was succeeded by Darius the Great whom we, therefore, identify as our third king.[ii]

Whether Bardiya / Gaumata / Smerdis was an imposter or not matters little, and indeed, little is known about him. There is even uncertainty over his real name hence the triple name given here.

Darius the Great, the third king was succeeded by Xerxes I (the Great), who would, therefore, be the fourth king.

The prophecy says the following about the fourth king:

and the fourth one will amass greater riches than all [others]. And as soon as he has become strong in his riches, he will rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece”

What does history show? The fourth King clearly had to be Xerxes. He is the only King who fits the description. His father Darius I (the Great) had accumulated wealth through introducing a system of regular taxation. Xerxes inherited this and added to it. According to Herodotus, Xerxes collected a massive army and fleet with which to invade Greece. Xerxes was gathering his army together, searching every region of the continent. 20. During four full years from the conquest of Egypt he was preparing the army and the things that were of service for the army, and in the course of the fifth year 20 he began his campaign with a host of great multitude. For of all the armies of which we have knowledge this proved to be by far the greatest;” (See Herodotus, Book 7, paragraphs 20,60-97).[iii]

Furthermore, Xerxes according to known history was the last Persian King to invade Greece before the invasion of Persia by Alexander the Great.

With Xerxes clearly identified as the 4th king, then this confirms that his father, Darius the Great had to be the 3rd king and the other identifications of Cambyses II as the 1st king and Bardiya as the 2nd king are correct.

In summary, the four kings to follow Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great were

  • Cambyses II, (son of Cyrus)
  • Bardiya / Gaumata / Smerdis, (? Brother of Cambyses, or imposter?)
  • Darius I (the Great), and
  • Xerxes (son of Darius I)

The remaining Kings of Persia did nothing that affected the status quo of the Jewish nation and land of Judah.

 

Daniel 11:3-4

3 “And a mighty king will certainly stand up and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will. 4 And when he will have stood up, his kingdom will be broken and be divided toward the four winds of the heavens, but not to his posterity and not according to his dominion with which he had ruled; because his kingdom will be uprooted, even for others than these.

3And a mighty king will certainly stand up”

The next King to affect the land of Judah and the Jews was Alexander the Great and the resulting four Empires. Not even the most skeptical dispute about the understanding of these verses as referring to Alexander the Great. It is interesting to note that one of the reasons Alexander invaded Persia was, because according to Arrian the Nicomedian (early 2nd Century), “Alexander wrote a reply, and sent Thersippus with the men who had come from Darius, with instructions to give the letter to Darius, but not to converse about anything. Alexander’s letter ran thus: “Your ancestors came into Macedonia and the rest of Greece and treated us ill, without any previous injury from us. I, having been appointed commander-in-chief of the Greeks, and wishing to take revenge on the Persians, crossed over into Asia, hostilities being begun by you..” [iv]. We, therefore, also have a link between the fourth King of Persia and Alexander the Great.

“and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will”

Alexander the Great stood up and carved out a large empire in ten years, that stretched from Greece to north-western India and included the lands of the defeated Persian Empire, which included Egypt and Judea.

Judea ruled by Greece

“when he will have stood up, his kingdom will be broken”

However, at the height of his conquests, Alexander died in Babylon not long after ceasing his campaigning 11 years after launching his invasion of the Persian Empire, and only 13 years after becoming King of Greece.

“his kingdom will be broken and be divided toward the four winds of the heavens” and “his kingdom will be uprooted, even for others than these”

After a period of nearly twenty years of infighting, his kingdom was broken up into 4 kingdoms ruled by 4 Generals. One in the west, Cassander, in Macedonia and Greece. One to the north, Lysimachus, in Asia Minor and Thrace, one to the east, Seleucus Nicator in Mesopotamia and Syria and one to the south, Ptolemy Soter in Egypt and Palestine.

“but not to his posterity and not according to his dominion with which he had ruled”

His posterity, his offspring, both legitimate and illegitimate all died or were killed during the period of fighting. Therefore, nothing of the empire Alexander had created went to his family line or posterity.

Neither was his dominion successful in turning out the way he wanted. He wanted a united empire, instead, now it was split into four warring factions.

It is a point of interest that the facts of what happened to Alexander and his kingdom is so accurately and clearly described in these verses in Daniel 11, that ironically it is used by some to claim that it was history written after the fact rather than written in advance!

According to the account by Josephus however, the Book of Daniel had to have already been written by the time of Alexander the Great. Referring to Alexander, Josephus wrote And when the Book of Daniel was showed him wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended.” [v]

This split was also foretold in Daniel 7:6 [vi] with the leopard having four heads, and the 4 prominent horns on the goat of Daniel 8:8.[vii]

The mighty King is Alexander the Great of Greece.

The four kingdoms ruled by four Generals.

  • Cassander took Macedonia and Greece.
  • Lysimachus took Asia Minor and Thrace,
  • Seleucus Nicator took Mesopotamia and Syria,
  • Ptolemy Soter took Egypt and Palestine.

Judea ruled by the king of the south.

 

Daniel 11:5

5 “And the king of the south will become strong, even [one] of his princes; and he will prevail against him and will certainly rule with extensive dominion [greater than] that one’s ruling power.

Within about 25 years after the establishment of the 4 Kingdoms, things had changed.

“the king of the south will become strong”

Initially the King of the South, Ptolemy in Egypt was more powerful.[viii]

“as well as [one] of his princes”

Seleucus was Ptolemy’s general [a prince], who became powerful. He carved out part of the Greek Empire for himself of Seleucia, Syria and Mesopotamia. It was not long though before Seleucus had also absorbed the other two kingdoms of Cassander and Lysimachus.

“and he will prevail against him and will certainly rule with extensive dominion [greater than] that one’s ruling power”.

However, Ptolemy prevailed against Seleucus and proved the more powerful, and in the end Seleucus died at the hand of one of Ptolemy’s sons.

This gave the strong King of the South as Ptolemy 1 Soter, and the King of the North as Seleucus I Nicator.

King of the South: Ptolemy I

King of the North: Seleucus I

Judea ruled by the king of the south

 

Daniel 11:6

6 “And at the end of [some] years they will ally themselves with each other, and the very daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north in order to make an equitable arrangement. But she will not retain the power of her arm; and he will not stand, neither his arm; and she will be given up, she herself, and those bringing her in, and he who caused her birth, and the one making her strong in [those] times.”

6And at the end of [some] years they will ally themselves with each other, and the very daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north in order to make an equitable arrangement.”

Some years after the events of Daniel 11:5, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (son of Ptolemy I) gave his “daughter of the king of the south” Berenice, to Antiochus II Theos, the grandson of Seleucus as a wife as “an equitable arrangement.” This was on the condition that Antiochus put away his existing wife Laodice to “ally themselves with each other”. [ix]

King of the South: Ptolemy II

King of the North: Antiochus II

Judea ruled by the king of the south

“But she will not retain the power of her arm;”

But the daughter of Ptolemy II, Berenice did “not retain the power of her arm”, her position as Queen.

“and he will not stand, neither his arm;”

Her father died not long after leaving Berenice without protection.

“and she will be given up, she herself, and those bringing her in, and he who caused her birth, and the one making her strong in [those] times”

Antiochus gave up Berenice as his wife and took back his wife Laodice, leaving Berenice without protection.

As a result of these events, Laodice had Antiochus murdered and Berenice was given over to Laodice who killed her. Laodice proceeded to make her son Seleucus II Callinicus, King of Seleucia.

 

Daniel 11:7-9

7 And one from the sprout of her roots will certainly stand up in his position, and he will come to the military force and come against the fortress of the king of the north and will certainly act against them and prevail. 8 And also with their gods, with their molten images, with their desirable articles of silver and of gold, [and] with the captives he will come to Egypt. And he himself will for [some] years stand off from the king of the north. 9 “And he will actually come into the kingdom of the king of the south and go back to his own soil.”

Verse 7

“And one from the sprout of her roots will certainly stand up in his position,”

This refers to the brother of the murdered Berenice, who was Ptolemy III Euergetes. Ptolemy III was the son of her parents, “her roots”.

“and he will come to the military force and come against the fortress of the king of the north and will certainly act against them and prevail”

Ptolemy III “stood up” in the position of his father and proceeded to invade Syria “the fortress of the king of the north” and prevailed against Seleucus II, the King of the North.”[x]

King of the South: Ptolemy III

King of the North: Seleucus II

Judea ruled by the king of the south

Verse 8

“And also with their gods, with their molten images, with their desirable articles of silver and of gold, [and] with the captives he will come to Egypt

Ptolemy III returned to Egypt with many of the spoils that Cambyses had removed from Egypt many years before. [xi]

“And he himself will for [some] years standoff from the king of the north.”

After this, there was peace during which Ptolemy III constructed a great temple at Edfu.

Verse 9

9 “And he will actually come into the kingdom of the king of the south and go back to his own soil.”

After a period of peace, Seleucus II Callinicus attempted to invade Egypt in retaliation but was unsuccessful and had to return to Seleucia.[xii]

 

Daniel 11:10-12

10 “Now as for his sons, they will excite themselves and actually gather together a crowd of large military forces. And in coming he will certainly come and flood over and pass through. But he will go back, and he will excite himself all the way to his fortress. 11 “And the king of the south will embitter himself and will have to go forth and fight with him, [that is,] with the king of the north; and he will certainly have a large crowd stand up, and the crowd will actually be given into the hand of that one. 12 And the crowd will certainly be carried away. His heart will become exalted, and he will actually cause tens of thousands to fall; but he will not use his strong position.”

King of the South: Ptolemy IV

King of the North: Seleucus III then Antiochus III

Judea ruled by the king of the south

10Now as for his sons, they will excite themselves and actually gather together a crowd of large military forces”

Seleucus II had two sons, Seleucus III and his younger brother Antiochus III. Seleucus III excited himself and raised military forces to try and recover parts of Asia Minor lost by his father with mixed success. He was poisoned in only the second year of his reign. His brother Antiochus III succeeded him and had more success in Asia Minor.

“And in coming he will certainly come and flood over and pass through. But he will go back, and he will excite himself all the way to his fortress.”

Antiochus III then attacked Ptolemy IV Philopator (the king of the south) and reconquered the port of Antioch and went south to capture Tyre “flooding over and pass(ing) through” the territory of the King of the South. After passing through Judah, Antiochus reached the Egyptian border at Raphia where he was defeated by Ptolemy IV. Antiochus then went back home, only keeping the port of Antioch from his earlier gains.

11And the king of the south will embitter himself and will have to go forth and fight with him, [that is,] with the king of the north; and he will certainly have a large crowd stand up, and the crowd will actually be given into the hand of that one.

This confirms those events in more detail. Ptolemy IV is embittered and goes out with many troops and the king of the north’s many troops are slaughtered (some 10,000) or captured (4,000) “being given into the hand of that one” (the king of the south).

12 And the crowd will certainly be carried away. His heart will become exalted, and he will actually cause tens of thousands to fall; but he will not use his strong position.”

Ptolemy IV as king of the south was victorious, however, he failed to use his strong position, instead, he made peace with Antiochus III the king of the north.

 

Daniel 11:13-19

13 “And the king of the north must return and set up a crowd larger than the first; and at the end of the times, [some] years, he will come, doing so with a great military force and with a great deal of goods.”

King of the South: Ptolemy IV, Ptolemy V

King of the North: Antiochus III

Judea ruled by the king of the south

Some 15 years later the king of the North, Antiochus III, returned with another army and attacked the young Ptolemy V Epiphanes, the new king of the south.

14 “And in those times there will be many who will stand up against the king of the south.”

In those times Philip V of Macedonia agreed to attack Ptolemy IV, who died before the attack took place.

“And the sons of the robbers belonging to your people will, for their part, be carried along to try making a vision come true; and they will have to stumble.”

When Antiochus III passed by Judah to attack Ptolemy V, many Jews, sold Antiochus supplies and later assisted him to attack the Egyptian garrison in Jerusalem. The aim of these Jews was “carried along to try making a vision come true” which was to gain independence, but they failed in this. Antiochus III treated them well but did not give them all that they wanted.[xiii]

15 “And the king of the north will come and throw up a siege rampart and actually capture a city with fortifications. And as for the arms of the south, they will not stand, neither the people of his picked ones; and there will be no power to keep standing.”

Antiochus III (the Great), king of the north, besieged and captured Sidon around 200 BC, where Ptolemy’s (V) general Scopas had fled after his defeat at the Jordan River. Ptolemy send his best army and generals to attempt to relieve Scopas, but they too were defeated, “there will be no power to keep standing”.[xiv]

16 “And the one coming against him will do according to his will, and there will be no one standing before him. And he will stand in the land of the Decoration, and there will be extermination in his hand.”

As mentioned above by around 200-199 BC Antiochus III had occupied the “land of the Decoration”, with no-one succeeding in successfully opposing him. Parts of Judea, had been the scenes of many of the battles with the King of the South, and suffered casualties and desolation as a result.[xv] Antiochus III adopted the title “the Great King” like Alexander before him and the Greeks also surnamed him “the Great”.

Judea comes under rule of the king of the north

 17 “And he will set his face to come with the forcefulness of his entire kingdom, and there will be equitable [terms] with him; and he will act effectively. And as regards the daughter of womankind, it will be granted to him to bring her to ruin. And she will not stand, and she will not continue to be his.”

Antiochus III then sought peace with Egypt by giving his daughter to Ptolemy V Epiphanes, but this failed to bring a peaceful alliance.[xvi] In fact Cleopatra, his daughter sided with Ptolemy instead of with her father Antiochus III. “she will not continue to be his”.

18 “And he will turn his face back to the coastlands and will actually capture many“.

The coastlands are understood to refer to the coasts of Turkey (Asia Minor). Greece and Italy (Rome). In about 199/8 BC Antiochus attacked Cilicia (South East Turkey) and then Lycia (South West Turkey). Then Thrace (Greece) followed a few years later. He also took many islands of the Aegean in this time. Then between approximately 192-188 he attacked Rome, and its allies of Pergamon and Rhodos.

“And a commander will have to make the reproach from him cease for himself, [so that] his reproach will not be. He will make it turn back upon that one. 19 And he will turn his face back to the fortresses of his [own] land, and he will certainly stumble and fall, and he will not be found.”

This was fulfilled as a Roman general Lucius Scipio Asiaticus “a commander” removed the reproach from himself by defeating Antiochus III at Magnesia around 190 BC. Then the Roman general turned “his face back to the fortresses of his own land”, by attacking the Romans. However, he was quickly defeated by Scipio Africanus and slain by his own people.

Daniel 11:20

20 “And there must stand up in his position one who is causing an exactor to pass through the splendid kingdom, and in a few days he will be broken, but not in anger nor in warfare.

After a long reign Antiochus III died and “in his position”, his son Seleucus IV Philopater stood up as his successor.

To pay off a Roman indemnity, Seleucus IV ordered his commander Heliodorus to get money from the temple of Jerusalem, the “exactor to pass through the splendid kingdom”  (see 2 Maccabees 3:1-40).

Seleucus IV only ruled 12 years “a few days” compared with his father’s 37-year reign. Heliodorus poisoned Seleucus who died ”not in anger or in warfare”.

King of the North: Seleucus IV

Judea ruled by the king of the north

 

Daniel 11:21-35

21 “And there must stand up in his position one who is to be despised, and they will certainly not set upon him the dignity of [the] kingdom; and he will actually come in during a freedom from care and take hold of [the] kingdom by means of smoothness.”

The next king of the north was named Antiochus IV Epiphanes. 1 Maccabees 1:10 (Good News Translation) takes up the story “The wicked ruler Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus the Third of Syria, was a descendant of one of Alexander’s generals. Antiochus Epiphanes had been a hostage in Rome before he became king of Syria …” . He took the name “Epiphanes” which means “illustrious one” but became nicknamed “Epimanes” which means “the madman”. The throne should have gone to Demetrius Soter, the son of Seleucus IV, but instead Antiochus IV seized the throne. He was the brother of Seleucus IV. “they will certainly not set upon him the dignity of the kingdom”, instead he flattered the King of Pergamon and then seized the throne with the help of the King of Pergamon.[xvii]

 

22 And as regards the arms of the flood, they will be flooded over on account of him, and they will be broken; as will also the Leader of [the] covenant.”

Ptolemy VI Philometer, the new king of the south, then attacks the Seleucid Empire and the new king of the north Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but the flooding army is repelled and broken.

Antiochus also later deposed Onias III, the Jewish high priest, who is likely referred to as the “leader of the covenant”.

King of the South: Ptolemy VI

King of the North: Antiochus IV

Judea ruled by the king of the south

23 And because of their allying themselves with him he will carry on deception and actually come up and become mighty by means of a little nation.”

Josephus relates that meanwhile in Judah there was a power struggle which Onias [III] the High Priest won at that time. However, a group, the sons of Tobias, “a little nation”, allied themselves with Antiochus. [xviii]

Josephus goes on to relate that “Now it came to pass, after two years, … 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”[xix]. Yes, he carried on deception, and conquered Jerusalem because of the “little nation” of treacherous Jews.

24 During freedom from care, even into the fatness of the jurisdictional district he will enter in and actually do what his fathers and the fathers of his fathers have not done. Plunder and spoil and goods he will scatter among them; and against fortified places he will scheme out his schemes, but only until a time.”

Josephus further says “; 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 shew-bread], 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 those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law.” [xx]

Without a care for the consequences Antiochus IV ordered the emptying of the Jewish Temple of its treasures. This was something “his fathers and the fathers of his fathers [had] not done”, despite the capturing Jerusalem by a number of the kings of the south on past occasions. Additionally, in forbidding the daily sacrifices at the Temple he went beyond anything his forbears had done.

25 “And he will arouse his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great military force; and the king of the south, for his part, will excite himself for the war with an exceedingly great and mighty military force. And he will not stand, because they will scheme out against him schemes. 26 And the very ones eating his delicacies will bring his breakdown.”

Having returned home and sorted out the affairs of his kingdom, 2 Maccabees 5:1 records that Antiochus then went on to mount a second invasion of Egypt, the king of the south.[xxi] Antiochus army flooded into Egypt.

“And as for his military force, it will be flooded away,

At Pelusium, in Egypt, Ptolemy’s forces evaporated before Antiochus.

and many will certainly fall down slain.

However, when Antiochus heard reports of fighting at Jerusalem, he thought Judea was in revolt (2 Maccabees 5:5-6, 11). Therefore, he left Egypt and came back to Judea, slaughtering many Jews as he came and sacked the temple. (2 Maccabees 5:11-14).

It was this slaughter from which “Judas Maccabeus, with about nine others, got away to the wilderness” which started the revolt of the Maccabees (2 Maccabees 5:27).

27 “And as regards these two kings, their heart will be inclined to doing what is bad, and at one table a lie is what they will keep speaking. But nothing will succeed, because [the] end is yet for the time appointed.

This appears to refer to the agreement between Antiochus IV and Ptolemy VI, after Ptolemy VI was defeated at Memphis in the first part of the war between them. Antiochus represents himself as the protector of the young Ptolemy VI against Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VIII and hopes they will keep fighting one another. However, the two Ptolemies make peace and hence Antiochus mounts a second invasion as recorded in 2 Maccabees 5:1. See Daniel 11:25 above. In this agreement both kings were duplicitous, and so it did not succeed, because the end of fighting between the king of the south and the king of the north is for a later time, “the end is yet for the time appointed”.[xxii]

28 “And he will go back to his land with a great amount of goods, and his heart will be against the holy covenant. And he will act effectively and certainly go back to his land.

This seems to a summary of the events described in more detail in the following verses, 30b, and 31-35.

29 “At the time appointed he will go back, and he will actually come against the south; but it will not prove to be at the last the same as at the first. 30 And there will certainly come against him the ships of Kitʹtim, and he will have to become dejected.

This appears to be discussing further the second attack by Antiochus IV, the king of the north against Ptolemy VI, the king of south. While he was successful against Ptolemy, reaching Alexandria on this occasion, the Romans, “the ships of Kittim”, came and pressured him to retire from Alexandria in Egypt.

From the Roman senate, Popillius Laenas took to Antiochus a letter forbidding him to engage in war with Egypt. When Antiochus asked for time to consider, the emissary drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus and demanded that he give his answer before he stepped out of the circle. Antiochus submitted to Rome’s demands for to resist would be to declare war on Rome.” [xxiii]

30bAnd he will actually go back and hurl denunciations against the holy covenant and act effectively; and he will have to go back and will give consideration to those leaving the holy covenant. 31 And there will be arms that will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will actually profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant

  • .

    “And they will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation.”

    Josephus recounts the following in his Wars of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 1, para 2, “Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine’s flesh upon the altar;”. Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 1, para 1 also tells us that “He [Antiochus IV] spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months.”

    32 “And those who are acting wickedly against [the] covenant, he will lead into apostasy by means of smooth words. But as regards the people who are knowing their God, they will prevail and act effectively.”

    These verses identify two groups, one acting wickedly against the covenant (Mosaic), and siding with Antiochus. The wicked group included Jason the High Priest (after Onias), who introduced the Jews to the Greek way of life. See 2 Maccabees 4:10-15.[xxiv]  1 Maccabees 1:11-15 summarizes this in the following way :  In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.”

     Opposed to this “acting wickedly against the covenant” were other priests, Mattathias and his five sons, one of whom was Judas Maccabeus. They rose up in rebellion and after many of the events described above, were finally able to prevail.

     33 And as regards those having insight among the people, they will impart understanding to the many. And they will certainly be made to stumble by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plundering, for [some] days.

    Judas and a great part of his army were slain by the sword (1 Maccabees 9:17-18).

    Jonathan another son, was also slain with a thousand men. The chief tax collector of Antiochus set Jerusalem on fire (1 Maccabees 1:29-31, 2 Maccabees 7).

    34 But when they are made to stumble they will be helped with a little help; and many will certainly join themselves to them by means of smoothness.

    Judas and his brothers many times defeated much larger armies sent against them with the help of a small number.

     35 And some of those having insight will be made to stumble, in order to do a refining work because of them and to do a cleansing and to do a whitening, until the time of [the] end; because it is yet for the time appointed.

    The family of Mattathias served as priests and teachers for several generations until the end of the Hasmonean era with Aristobulus who was murdered by Herod.[xxv]

    Pause in the actions of the kings of the north and the kings of the south that affect the Jewish people.

    Judea ruled by Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty, semi-autonomously under the king of the north

    “because it is yet for the time appointed.”

    The period following these battles between the king of the north and the king of the south was one of relative peace with the Jews have semi-autonomous rule as no successors of these kings was strong enough to exert influence or control Judea. This was from about 140 BC to 110 BC, by which time the Seleucid Empire had disintegrated (the king of the north). This period of Jewish history is referred to as the Hasmonean Dynasty. It fell around 40 BCE – 37 BCE to Herod the Great an Idumean who made Judea a Roman client state. Rome had become the new king of the north by absorbing the remnants of the Seleucid Empire in 63 BC.

    Up till now, we have seen prominence given to Xerxes, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the Maccabees. The final piece of the puzzle, up to the arrival of the Messiah and the final destruction of the Jewish system, needs unraveling.

     

    Daniel 11:36-39

    The conflict between the king of the south and the king of the north renews along with “the king”.

    36 “And the king will actually do according to his own will, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and against the God of gods he will speak marvelous things. And he will certainly prove successful until [the] denunciation will have come to a finish; because the thing decided upon must be done. 37 And to the God of his fathers he will give no consideration; and to the desire of women and to every other god he will give no consideration, but over everyone he will magnify himself. 38 But to the god of fortresses, in his position he will give glory; and to a god that his fathers did not know he will give glory by means of gold and by means of silver and by means of precious stone and by means of desirable things. 39 And he will act effectively against the most fortified strongholds, along with a foreign god. Whoever has given [him] recognition he will make abound with glory, and he will actually make them rule among many; and [the] ground he will apportion out for a price.

    It is interesting that this section opens with “the king” without specifying whether he is king of the north or king of the south. In fact, based on verse 40, he is neither king of the north nor king of the south, as he joins the king of the south against the king of the north. This would indicate he is a king over Judea. The only king of any note and a very important one in relation to the coming of the Messiah and affecting Judea is Herod the Great, and he took control of Judea around 40 BC.

    The King (Herod the Great)

    And the king will actually do according to his own will”

    How powerful this king was is also shown by this phrase. Few kings are powerful enough to do exactly what they want. In the succession of kings in this prophecy the only other kings to have this power were Alexander the Great (Daniel 11:3) who “shall rule with great dominion and do according to his will” , and Antiochus the Great (III) from Daniel 11:16, about whom it says “and the one coming against him will do according to his will, and there will be no one standing before him”. Even Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who brought trouble to Judea, did not have this amount of power, as shown by the ongoing resistance of the Maccabees. This adds weight to identifying Herod the Great as “the king”.

    “and he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and against the God of gods he will speak marvelous things”

    Josephus records that Herod was made governor of Galilee at 15 years of age by Antipater.[xxvi] The account goes on to describe how he quickly seized the opportunity to advance himself.[xxvii] He quickly got a reputation for being a violent and bold man.[xxviii]

    How did he speak marvellous things against the God of gods?

    Isaiah 9:6-7 foretold “For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us, and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal father, Prince of Peace. To the abundance of princely rule and to peace there will be no end,”. Yes, Herod spoke against the God of gods [Jesus Christ, God of powerful ones, above the gods of the nations.] as he commanded his soldiers to kill the baby Jesus. (See Matthew 2:1-18).

    As a side thought, the act of murdering innocent babies is also considered one of the most heinous crimes one can commit. This is particularly so as it troubles our God-given conscience, and to commit such an act is to go against that conscience given by God and Jesus our creators.

    “every god” likely refers to other governors and rulers, (mighty ones) which he raised himself above. Amongst other things he also appointed his own brother-in-law Aristobulus as high priest, and then not long after, had him murdered. [xxix]

    Judea ruled by the King, who serves the new king of the north Rome

    “And he will certainly prove successful until [the] denunciation will have come to a finish; because the thing decided upon must be done.”

    In what way did Herod “prove successful until the denunciation [of the Jewish nation] came to a finish.” He proved successful in that his descendants ruled over parts of the Jewish nation until close to their destruction on 70 CE. Herod Antipas, who put John the Baptist to death, Herod Agrippa I, who killed James and imprisoned Peter, while Herod Agrippa II sent the Apostle Paul in chains to Rome, not long before the Jews rebelled against the Romans, bringing destruction upon themselves.

    37 “And to the God of his fathers he will give no consideration; and to the desire of women and to every other god he will give no consideration, but over everyone he will magnify himself.”

    The Bible often uses the phrase “the God of your fathers” to refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (e.g. see Exodus 3:15). Herod the Great was not a Jew, rather he was an Idumean, but due to mixed marriages between the Edomites and the Jews, the Idumeans were often considered as Jews, especially when they became proselytes.  He was the son of the Edomite Antipater. Josephus called him a half-Jew.[xxx]

    Also, Edomites descended from Esau, Jacob’s brother, and hence the God of Abraham and Isaac, should have been his God too. Furthermore, according to Josephus, Herod commonly identified himself as a Jew when addressing the Jews.[xxxi] In fact, some of his Jewish followers viewed him as the Messiah. As such Herod should have given consideration to the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, but instead he introduced the worship of Caesar.

    The ardent desire of every Jewish woman was to bear the Messiah, yet as we will see below, he paid no heed to these desires, when he killed all the boys in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus. He also paid no consideration to any other “god” as he murdered anyone that he viewed as a potential threat.

    38 “But to the god of fortresses, in his position he will give glory; and to a god that his fathers did not know he will give glory by means of gold and by means of silver and by means of precious stone and by means of desirable things.”

    Herod gave submission only to the Roman World power, the militaristic, iron-like “god of fortresses”. He gave glory first to Julius Caesar, then to Antony, then to Antony and Cleopatra VII, then to Augustus (Octavian), by means of delegations with expensive gifts. He built Caesarea as a magnificent seaport named in honor of Caesar, and later rebuilt Samaria and named it Sebaste (Sebastos being equivalent to Augustus). [xxxii]

    His fathers also had not known this god, the Roman World power as it had only recently become the world power.

     39 “And he will act effectively against the most fortified strongholds, along with a foreign god. Whoever has given [him] recognition he will make abound with glory, and he will actually make them rule among many; and [the] ground he will apportion out for a price.”

    Josephus records that after Caesar gave Herod another province to rule, Herod setup of statues of Caesar to be worshipped in various fortified places and built a number of cities called Caesarea. [xxxiii] In this he gave “whoever has given him recognition …. abound with glory”.

    The most fortified stronghold in the land of Judea was the Temple mount. Herod acted effectively against it, by rebuilding it, and at the same time turning it into a fortress for his own purposes. In fact, he built a strong citadel on the north side of the Temple, overlooking it, which he named the Tower of Antonia (after Mark Antony). [xxxiv]

    Josephus also tells us about an event shortly after Herod murdered his wife Mariamne, that “Alexandra abode at this time at Jerusalem; and being informed what condition Herod was in, she endeavored to get possession of the fortified places that were about the city, which were two, the one belonging to the city itself, the other belonging to the temple; and those that could get them into their hands had the whole nation under their power, for without the command of them it was not possible to offer their sacrifices;” [xxxv]

    Daniel 11:40-43

    40 “And in the time of [the] end the king of the south will engage with him in a pushing, and against him the king of the north will storm with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he will certainly enter into the lands and flood over and pass through.

    king of the south: Cleopatra VII of Egypt with Mark Antony

    king of the north: Augustus (Octavian) of Rome

    Judea ruled by the king of the north (Rome)

    “And in the time of the end”, puts these events near the time of the end of the Jewish people, Daniel’s people. For this, we find matching parallels in the Actian War, where Antony was heavily influenced by Cleopatra VII of Egypt (in the seventh year of Herod’s rule over Judea). The first push in this war was made by the king of the south, who was supported at this time “engage with him” by Herod the Great who gave supplies.[xxxvi] Infantry usually decides battles, but this was different in that the forces of Augustus Caesar stormed and prevailed by his navy, which won the great naval fight of Actium off the coast of Greece. Antony was pushed to fight with his navy rather than on land by Cleopatra VII according to Plutarch.[xxxvii]

    41 “He will also actually enter into the land of the Decoration, and there will be many [lands] that will be made to stumble. But these are the ones that will escape out of his hand, Eʹdom and Moʹab and the main part of the sons of Amʹmon.”

    Augustus then followed Antony to Egypt but by land through Syria and Judea, where “Herod received him with royal and rich entertainments” making peace with Augustus by astutely changing sides. [xxxviii]

    While Augustus went straight on to Egypt, Augustus sent some of his men under Aelius Gallus which were joined by some of Herod’s men against Edom, Moab, and Ammon (area around Amman, Jordan), but this failed. [xxxix]

    42 “And he will keep thrusting out his hand against the lands; and as regards the land of Egypt, she will not prove to be an escapee.”

    Later as the battle continued near Alexandria, the navy of Antony deserted him and joined the fleet of Augustus. His cavalry also deserted to the side of Augustus. Indeed, the many ships and many chariots and horsemen, allowed the king of the north, Augustus to overcome Mark Antony, who then committed suicide.[xl] Augustus now had Egypt. Not long after, he gave back land to Herod that Cleopatra had taken from Herod.

    43 “And he will actually rule over the hidden treasures of the gold and the silver and over all the desirable things of Egypt. And the Libʹy·ans and the E·thi·oʹpi·ans will be at his steps.”

    Cleopatra VII hid her treasure in monuments near the temple of Isis, which Augustus gained control of. [xli]

    The Libyans and Ethiopians were now at the mercy of Augustus and 11 years later he sent Cornelius Balbus to capture Libya and those south and southwest of Egypt.[xlii]

    Augustus also proceeded to give many provinces around Judea to the control of Herod.

    The account of Daniel then returns to “the king”, Herod.

     

    Daniel 11:44-45

    44 “But there will be reports that will disturb him, out of the sunrising and out of the north, and he will certainly go forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction.

    The King (Herod the Great)

    Judea ruled by the king of the north (Rome)

    The account of Matthew 2:1 tells us that “After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, look astrologers from eastern parts came to Jerusalem”. Yes, reports that greatly disturbed Herod the Great came out of the sunrising from the east (where the astrologers originated).

    Matthew 2:16 continues “Then Herod, seeing he had been outwitted by the astrologers, fell into a great rage and he sent out and had all the boys in Bethlehem and in all its districts done away with, from two years of age and under.” Yes, Herod the Great went forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. Matthew 2:17-18 continues “Then that was fulfilled which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and much wailing; it was Rachel weeping for her children and she was unwilling to take comfort, because they are no more”. This fulfillment also of Daniel’s prophecy would give a reason for the inclusion of this account in the book of Matthew.

    At around the same time, possibly just 2 or so years earlier, reports that greatly disturbed Herod also came from the north. It was suggestions by another of his sons (Antipater) that two of his sons from Mariamne were conspiring against him. They were tried in Rome but acquitted. However, this was not before Herod considered having them murdered.[xliii]

    There are a number of other incidents that confirm Herod’s tendency to great rage. Josephus records in Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVII, Chapter 6, Para 3-4, that he burnt to death a certain Matthias and his companions that had pulled down and broken up the Roman Eagle that Herod had placed on the Temple.

    45 And he will plant his palatial tents between [the] grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will have to come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.

    Herod built two palaces “palatial tents” in Jerusalem. One on the North-Western Wall of the Upper City of Jerusalem on the western hill. This was a principal residence. It was also directly west of the Temple “between the grand sea” [the Mediterranean] and “the holy mountain of Decoration” [The Temple].  Herod also had another palace-fortress a little south of this principal residence, along the western wall, in the area known today as the Armenian Quarter, hence having “tents”.

    Herod went on to die an unpleasant death of a loathsome affliction for which there was no cure. He even attempted suicide. Certainly, there was “no helper for him”.[xliv]

    Daniel 12:1-7

    Daniel 12:1 continues this prophecy giving the reason for and the focus of why it was included, to point to the Messiah and the end of the Jewish system of things.

    The Great Prince: Jesus and “All things come to a finish”

    Judea ruled by the king of the north (Rome)

     1And during that time Michael will stand up, the great prince, who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.”

    In the sequence of events as we have traced them through Daniel 11, it means that as Matthew chapters 1 and 2 show, Jesus the Messiah “the great prince”, “Michael, who is like God?” stood up at this time. Jesus was born in the last one or two years of King Herod the Great’s life and rule. He stood up to save “the sons of your {Daniel’s] people” some 30 years later when he got baptized at the Jordan by John the Baptist [in 29 AD] (Matthew 3:13-17).

    “And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time”

    Jesus warned his disciples about the coming time of distress. Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, and Luke 21:20 record his warning.

    Matthew 24:15 states Jesus’ words, “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place, (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.”

    Mark 13:14 records “However, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, standing where it ought not, (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.”

    Luke 21:20 tells us “Furthermore, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. Then let those in Judea being fleeing to the mountains and let those in the midst of her [Jerusalem] withdraw and let those in the country places not enter into her.”

    Some link Daniel 11:31-32 to this prophecy of Jesus, however in the continuous context of Daniel 11, and that Daniel 12 continues it (modern chapters are an artificial imposition), it is far more reasonable to link Jesus’ prophecy with Daniel 12:1b which indicated a time of distress far worse than any other one to afflict the Jewish nation up to that time. Jesus also indicated such a time of distress and tribulation would never occur again to the Jewish nation (Matthew 24:21).

    We cannot help but notice the striking similarity between Daniel 12:1b and Matthew 24:21.

    Daniel 12:           “And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time”

    Matthew 24:      “for then there will be great distress / tribulation such as has not occurred since the worlds beginning until now”

    Josephus’ War of the Jews, End of Book II, Book III – Book VII details this time of distress which befell the Jewish nation, worse by far than any distress that befell them before, even taking into account the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the rule of Antiochus IV.

    “And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.”

    The Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah and heeded his warnings of the impending destruction, did indeed escape with their lives. Eusebius writes “But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.” [xlv]

    Those Christian readers who used discernment when reading Jesus’ words, survived.

    2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, these to life everlasting and those to shame and contempt everlasting.”

    Jesus performed 3 resurrections, Jesus himself was resurrected and the Apostles resurrected another 2, and the account of Matthew 27:52-53 that could indicate resurrections at the time of Jesus’ death.

    3 And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness of the expanse, and those who are bringing the many to righteousness, like the stars to time indefinite, even forever”

    In the context of the understanding of the prophecy of Daniel 11, and Daniel 12:1-2, the ones having insight and shining like the brightness of the expanse amongst the wicked generation of Jews, would be those Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah and became Christians.

    6 … How long will it be to end of these wonderful things?  7 … It will be for an appointed time, appointed times and a half.

    The Hebrew word translated “wonderful” carries the meaning of being extraordinary, hard to understand, or God’s dealings with his people, or God’s acts of judgment and redemption.[xlvi]

    How long did the judgment of the Jews last? From the retreat of the Romans of Jerusalem to the fall and destruction was a period of three and half years.

    And as soon as there will have been a finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces, all these things will come to their finish.”

    The devastation of Galilee, and Judea by Vespasian and then his son Titus, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem, with the Temple not having a stone left upon a stone, finished the Jewish nation as a nation. From then on they were no longer a distinct nation, and with all the genealogical records lost with the destruction of the Temple, no-one could prove they were Jewish, or which tribe they came from, nor would anyone be able to claim they were the Messiah. Yes, the dashing of the power of the holy people [the nation of Israel] was final and brought this prophecy to its completion and final part of fulfillment.

    Daniel 12:9-13

    9 And he [the angel] went on to say: Go, Daniel, because the words are made secret and sealed up until the time of the end.

    These words were sealed up until the time of the end of the Jewish nation. Only then did Jesus warn the Jews of the first century that the final part of the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy was going to come and that it would be fulfilled on their generation. That generation only lasted another 33-37 years before its destruction between 66 AD and 70 AD.

    10 Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and be refined. And the wicked ones will certainly act wickedly, and no wicked ones at all will understand, but the ones having insight will understand.”

    Many right hearted Jews became Christians, cleansing themselves by water baptism and repentance of their former ways, and endeavoring to be Christlike. They were also refined by persecution. However, the majority of Jews, particularly the religious leaders like the Pharisees and Sadducees act wickedly, by killing the Messiah and persecuting his disciples. They also failed to understand the importance of Jesus’ warnings of the destruction and final fulfillment of Daniels prophecy that was going to come upon them. However, those having insight, those using discernment, heeded Jesus warning and fled Judea and Jerusalem as soon as they were able once they saw the pagan Roman armies and their insignia of their gods, standing in the Temple were it ought not to, in 66CE and when the Roman army retreated for some unknown reason, used the opportunity to escape.

    11 And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and there has been a placing of the disgusting thing that is causing desolation, there will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

    The intended meaning of this passage is not completely clear. However, the constant feature would appear to be referring to the daily sacrifices at the Temple. These ceased in Herod’s temple around the 5th August, 70 AD. [xlvii] when the priesthood failed to have enough men to offer it. This is based on Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 2, (94) which states “[Titus] had been informed that very day which was the 17th day of Panemus[xlviii] (Tammuz), the sacrifice called “the Daily Sacrifice” had failed, and had not been offered to God for want of men to offer it.” The disgusting thing that is causing desolation, understood to be the Roman armies and their ‘gods’, their legion insignia, had been standing in the Temple precincts a few years earlier on a date somewhere between the 13th and 23rd November, 66 AD.[xlix]

    1,290 days from 5th August 70 AD, would bring you to 15th February, 74 AD. It is unknown exactly when the siege of Masada began and ended, but coins dated to 73 AD have been found there. But Roman sieges rarely lasted a couple of months. 45 days would probably be the correct gap (between 1290 and 1335) for the seige. The date given by Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, Chapter 9, (401) is the 15th day of Xanthicus (Nisan) which was 31 March, 74 AD. in the Jewish Calendar.[l]

    While the calendars I have used are different, (Tyre, then Jewish), it seems a big coincidence that the gap was 1,335 days between 5th August, 70 AD. and 31st March 74 AD., to the fall of the last resistance of the Jewish rebellion and the effective end of hostilities.

    12 Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!”

    Certainly, any Jews that survived to the end of the 1,335 days could have been happy to survive all the death and destruction, but in particular, it was those keeping these events in expectation, the Christians who would have been in the best position to be happy.

    13 And as for you yourself, go toward the end; and you will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.”

    As for Daniel, he was encouraged to continue living, toward the [time of the] end[li], [the time of the judgment of the Jewish system], but he was told he would rest [sleep in death] before that time arrived.

    But, the final encouragement he was given, was that he would stand up [be resurrected] to receive his inheritance, his reward [his lot], not at the time of the end [of the Jewish system as a nation] but at the end of the days, which would be still further in the future.

    (Last Day: see John 6:39-40,44,54, John 11:24, John 12:48)

    (Judgment Day: see Matthew 10:15, Matthew 11:22-24, Matthew 12:36, 2 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 3:7, 1 John 4:17, Jude 6)

    In 70 AD,[lii] with the Romans under Titus destroying Judea and Jerusalem “all these things will come to their finish”.

    Judea and Galilee destroyed by the king of the north (Rome) under Vespasian and his son Titus

     

    In future, God’s holy people would be those true Christians, coming from both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.

     

    Summary of Daniels Prophecy

     

    Book of Daniel King of the South King of the North Judea ruled by Other
    11:1-2 Persia 4 more Persian Kings to affect the Jewish Nation

    Xerxes is the 4th

    11:3-4 Greece Alexander the Great,

    4 Generals

    11:5 Ptolemy I [Egypt] Seleucus I [Seleucid] King of South
    11:6 Ptolemy II Antiochus II King of South
    11:7-9 Ptolemy III Seleucus II King of South
    11:10-12 Ptolemy IV Seleucus III,

    Antiochus III

    King of South
    11:13-19 Ptolemy IV,

    Ptolemy V

    Antiochus III King of the North
    11:20 Ptolemy V Seleucus IV King of the North
    11:21-35 Ptolemy VI Antiochus IV King of the North Rise of the Maccabees
    Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty Era of the Maccabees

    (Semi-autonomous under King of the north)

    11:36-39 Herod, (under King of the North) the King: Herod the Great
    11:40-43 Cleopatra VII,

    (Mark Antony)

    Augustus [Rome] Herod, (under King of the North) Kingdom of the South absorbed by King of the North
    11:44-45 Herod, (under King of the North) the King: Herod the Great
    12:1-3 King of the North (Rome) The Great Prince: Jesus,

    Jews who became Christians saved

    12:1, 6-7, 12:9-12 Vespasian, and son Titus King of the North (Rome) The end of the Jewish nation,

    Conclusion of the prophecy.

    12:13 End of the Days,

    The Last Day,

    Judgment Day

     

     

    References:

    [i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabonidus_Chronicle  The Nabonidus chronicle records “Cyrus’s pillaging of Ecbatana, the capital of Astyages, is recorded in the sixth year of the reign of Nabonidus. … Another campaign by Cyrus is recorded in the ninth year, possibly representing his attack on Lydia and capture of Sardis.” As it is understood that Babylon fell in the 17th year of Nabonidus, which places Cyrus as King of Persia at least 12 years before his defeat of Babylon. He came to the throne of Persia around 7 years before he attacked Astyages, who was the King of Media.  Three years later he defeated as recorded in the Nabondius chronicle. In total approximately 22 years before the fall of Babylon.

    According to Cyropaedia of Xenophon, after thirty-two years of relative stability, Astyages lost the support of his nobles during the war against Cyrus, whom Xenophon understands as being Astyages’ grandson. This resulted in the founding of the Persian empire by Cyrus. (see Xenophon, 431 BCE-350? BCE in Cyropaedia: The Education of Cyrus – via Project Gutenberg.)

    [ii] https://www.livius.org/articles/place/behistun/  For confirmation that Darius the Great succeeded Bardiya / Gaumata / Smerdis see the Behistun inscription where Darius [I] documents his rise to power.

    [iii] https://files.romanroadsstatic.com/materials/herodotus.pdf

    [iv] THE ANABASIS OF ALEXANDER, translation of Arrian the Nicomedian, Chapter XIV, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46976/46976-h/46976-h.htm, for information on Arrian see https://www.livius.org/sources/content/arrian/

    [v] The Complete Works of Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter 8, para 5.  P.728 pdf

    [vi] An examination of chapter 7 of Daniel is out of scope with regard to this article.

    [vii] An examination of chapter 8 of Daniel is out of scope with regard to this article.

    [viii] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Seleucus-I-Nicator According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Seleucus served Ptolemy for some years as Ptolemy’s general before taking control of Babylon and brokering the 4-way spilt that fulfilled Bible Prophecy. Seleucus was given Syria by Cassander and Lysimachus when they defeated Antigonus, but in the meantime, Ptolemy had occupied southern Syria, and Seleucus ceded this to Ptolemy, thus proving Ptolemy, the stronger king. Seleucus was also later assassinated by a son of Ptolemy.

    [ix] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ptolemy-II-Philadelphus “Ptolemy brought the war with the Seleucid Empire to an end by marrying his daughter, Berenice—provided with a huge dowry—to his foe Antiochus II. The magnitude of this political masterstroke can be gauged by the fact that Antiochus, before marrying the Ptolemaic princess, had to dismiss his former wife, Laodice.”

    [x] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ptolemy-III-Euergetes “Ptolemy invaded Coele Syria, to avenge the murder of his sister, the widow of the Seleucid king Antiochus II. Ptolemy’s navy, perhaps aided by rebels in the cities, advanced against Seleucus II’s forces as far as Thrace, across the Hellespont, and also captured some islands off the Asia Minor coast but were checked c. 245. Meanwhile, Ptolemy, with the army, penetrated deep into Mesopotamia, reaching at least Seleucia on the Tigris, near Babylon. According to classical sources he was compelled to halt his advance because of domestic troubles. Famine and a low Nile, as well as the hostile alliance between Macedonia, Seleucid Syria, and Rhodes, were perhaps additional reasons. The war in Asia Minor and the Aegean intensified as the Achaean League, one of the Greek confederations, allied itself to Egypt, while Seleucus II secured two allies in the Black Sea region. Ptolemy was pushed out of Mesopotamia and part of North Syria in 242–241, and the next year peace was finally achieved.”

    [xi] https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/bchp-11-invasion-of-ptolemy-iii-chronicle/, In particular, the quote from a 6th Century monk Cosmas Indicopleustes “Great King Ptolemy, son of King Ptolemy [II Philadelphus] and Queen Arsinoe, the Brother- and Sister Gods, the children of King Ptolemy [I Soter] and Queen Berenice the Savior Gods, descendant on the paternal side of Heracles the son of Zeus, on the maternal of Dionysus the son of Zeus, having inherited from his father the kingdom of Egypt and Libya and Syria and Phoenicia and Cyprus and Lycia and Caria and the Cyclades islands, led a campaign into Asia with infantry and cavalry and fleet and Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants, which he and his father were the first to hunt from these lands and, bringing them back into Egypt, to fit out for military service.

    Having become master of all the land this side of the Euphrates and of Cilicia and Pamphylia and Ionia and the Hellespont and Thrace and of all the forces and Indian elephants in these lands, and having made subject all the princes in the (various) regions, he crossed the Euphrates river and after subjecting to himself Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Sousiana and Persis and Media and all the rest of the land up to Bactria and having sought out all the temple belongings that had been carried out of Egypt by the Persians and having brought them back with the rest of the treasure from the (various) regions he sent his forces to Egypt through the canals that had been dug.” Quoted from [[Bagnall, Derow 1981, No. 26.]

    [xii] https://www.livius.org/articles/person/seleucus-ii-callinicus/  See year 242/241 BC

    [xiii] Wars of the Jews, by Josephus Book 12.3.3 p745 of pdf  “But afterward, when Antiochus subdued those cities of Celesyria which Scopas had gotten into his possession, and Samaria with them, the Jews, of their own accord, went over to him, and received him into the city [Jerusalem], and gave plentiful provision to all his army, and to his elephants, and readily assisted him when he besieged the garrison which was in the citadel of Jerusalem”

    [xiv] Jerome –

    [xv] Wars of the Jews, by Josephus, Book 12.6.1 pg.747 of pdf “AFTER this Antiochus made a friendship and league with Ptolemy, and gave him his daughter Cleopatra to wife, and yielded up to him Celesyria, and Samaria, and Judea, and Phoenicia, by way of dowry. And upon the division of the taxes between the two kings, all the principal men framed the taxes of their several countries, and collecting the sum that was settled for them, paid the same to the [two] kings. Now at this time the Samaritans were in a flourishing condition, and much distressed the Jews, cutting off parts of their land, and carrying off slaves.”

    [xvi] https://www.livius.org/articles/person/antiochus-iii-the-great/ See Year 200BC.

    [xvii] https://www.livius.org/articles/person/antiochus-iv-epiphanes/

    [xviii] The Wars of the Jews, by Josephus, Book I, Chapter 1, paragraph 1. pg. 9 pdf version

    [xix] The Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus, Book 12, Chapter 5, Para 4, pg.754 pdf version

    [xx] The Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus, Book 12, Chapter 5, Para 4, pg.754 pdf version

    [xxi] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Maccabees+5&version=NRSVAbout this time Antiochus made his second invasion of Egypt.”

    [xxii] https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/syrian-war-6/ particularly the events of 170-168 BC.

    [xxiii] https://www.livius.org/articles/person/antiochus-iv-epiphanes/ See 168 BC. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antiochus-IV-Epiphanes#ref19253 paragraph 3

    [xxiv]When the king assented and Jason[d] came to office, he at once shifted his compatriots over to the Greek way of life. 11 He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law. 12 He took delight in establishing a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he induced the noblest of the young men to wear the Greek hat. 13 There was such an extreme of Hellenization and increase in the adoption of foreign ways because of the surpassing wickedness of Jason, who was ungodly and no true[e] high priest, 14 that the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar. Despising the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to take part in the unlawful proceedings in the wrestling arena after the signal for the discus-throwing, 15 disdaining the honors prized by their ancestors and putting the highest value upon Greek forms of prestige.” 

    [xxv] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 3, para 3.

    [xxvi] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIV, Chapter 2, (158).

    [xxvii] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIV, Chapter 2, (159-160).

    [xxviii] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIV, Chapter 2, (165).

    [xxix] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 5, (5)

    [xxx] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 15, (2) “and an Idumean, i.e. a half Jew”

    [xxxi] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 11, (1)

    [xxxii] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 8, (5)

    [xxxiii] Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 21 paragraph 2,4

    [xxxiv] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 11, (4-7)

    [xxxv] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 7, (7-8)

    [xxxvi] Plutarch, Life of Antony, Chapter 61 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:2008.01.0007:chapter=61&highlight=herod

    [xxxvii] Plutarch, Life of Antony, Chapter 62.1 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0007%3Achapter%3D62%3Asection%3D1

    [xxxviii] Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 20 (3)

    [xxxix] Ancient Universal History Vol XIII, p 498 and Pliny, Strabo, Dio Cassius quoted in Prideaux Connections Vol II. pp605 onwards.

    [xl] Plutarch, Life of Antony, Chapter 76 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0007%3Achapter%3D76

    [xli] Plutarch, Life of Antony, Chapter 78.3  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0007%3Achapter%3D78%3Asection%3D3

    [xlii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Cornelius_Balbus_(proconsul)#cite_note-4

    [xliii] Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 23 Paragraph 2

    [xliv] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews,  Book XVII, chapter 6, para 5 – Chapter 8, para 1 https://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-17.htm

    [xlv] https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250103.htm Eusebius, History of the Church Book III, Chapter 5, para 3.

    [xlvi] https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6382.htm

    [xlvii] https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/roman-jewish-wars/roman-jewish-wars-5/  for the problems with giving exact dating for this time period. I have taken the Tyre date here.

    [xlviii] Panemus is a Macedonian month  – moon of June (lunar calendar), equivalent to Jewish Tammuz, the first month of summer, the fourth month, hence June and into July depending on exact start of Nisan – whether March or into April.

    [xlix] https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/roman-jewish-wars/roman-jewish-wars-5/  for the problems with giving exact dating for this time period.

    [l] https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/roman-jewish-wars/roman-jewish-wars-5/  for the problems with giving exact dating for this time period. I have taken the Jewish date here.

    [li] See Daniel 11:40 for the same wording

    [lii] Alternatively, 74 AD. With the fall of Masada and the final remnants of the Jewish state.

    Tadua

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