Conflicts to Come
1 “Also I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I (Gabriel) arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him. 2 And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, (a)three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a (b)fourth will become far richer than all of them. When he becomes strong through his riches he will stir up the whole empire against the realm of Greece. 3 Then a (c)mighty [warlike, threatening] king will arise who will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. 4 But as soon as he (Alexander) has risen, his kingdom will be broken [by his death] and divided toward the four winds of heaven [the north, south, east, and west], but not to his descendants, nor according to the [Grecian] authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom will be torn out and uprooted and given to (d)others (his four generals) to the exclusion of these.
5 “Then the king of the South (Egypt) will be strong, along with one of his princes who will be stronger than he and have dominance over him; his domain will be a great dominion. 6 After some years (e)the Syrian king of the North and the Egyptian king of the South will make an alliance; the (f)daughter (Berenice) of the king of the South will come to the (g)king of the North to make an equitable and peaceful agreement (marriage); (h)but she will not retain the power of her position, nor will he retain his power. She will be handed over with her attendants and her father as well as he who supported her in those times. 7 But out of a branch of her [familial] roots will one (her brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes I) arise in his place, and he will come against the [Syrian] army and enter the fortress of the king of the North, and he will deal with them and will prevail. 8 Also he will carry off to Egypt their [Syrian] gods with their cast images and their precious and costly treasure of silver and of gold, and he will refrain from waging war against the king of the North for some years. 9 And the (i)king of the North will come into the realm of the king of the South, but he will retreat to his own country [badly defeated].
10 “His sons will prepare for battle and assemble a multitude of great forces; which will keep on coming and overflow [the land], and pass through, so that they may again wage war as far as his fortress. 11 The king of the South (Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt) will be enraged and go out and fight with the king of the North (Antiochus III the Great); and (j)the Syrian king will raise a great multitude (army), but the multitude shall be given into the hand of the Egyptian king. 12 When the multitude (army) is captured and carried away, the heart of the Egyptian king will be proud (arrogant), and he will cause tens of thousands to fall, but he will not prevail. 13 For the king of the North will again raise a multitude (army) greater than the one before, and after several years he will advance with a great army and substantial equipment.
14 “In those times many will rise up against the king of the South (Egypt); also the violent men among your own people will arise in order to fulfill the [earlier] visions, but they will fail. 15 Then the king of the North (Syria) will come and build up siege ramps and capture a well-fortified city. The forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even the finest troops, for there will be no strength to stand [against the Syrian king]. 16 But he (Syria) who comes against him (Egypt) will do exactly as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand against him; he (Antiochus III the Great) will also stay for a time in the Beautiful and Glorious Land [of Israel], with destruction in his hand. 17 He will be determined to come with the power of his entire kingdom, and propose equitable conditions and terms of peace, which he will put into effect [by making an agreement with the king of the South]. He will also give him his (k)daughter (Cleopatra I), in an attempt to overthrow the kingdom, but it will not succeed or be to his advantage. 18 After this, he (Antiochus III the Great, King of Syria) will turn his attention to the (l)islands and coastlands and capture many [of them]. But a commander (Lucius Scipio Asiaticus of Rome) will put an end to his aggression [toward Rome’s territorial interests]; in fact, he will repay his insolence and turn his audacity back upon him. 19 Then he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own land [of Syria], but he will stumble and fall and not be found.
20 “Then in his place one (his eldest son, Seleucus IV Philopator) will arise who will send an oppressor through the Jewel of his kingdom; yet within a few days he will be (m)shattered, though not in anger nor in battle. 21 And in his place [in Syria] will arise a (n)despicable and despised person, to whom royal majesty and the honor of kingship have not been conferred, but he will come [without warning] in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.(A) 22 The overwhelming forces [of the invading armies of Egypt] will be flooded away before him and smashed; and also the (o)prince of the covenant [will be smashed]. 23 After an (p)alliance is made with him he will work deceitfully, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people. 24 In a time of tranquility, [without warning] he will enter the most productive and richest parts of the kingdom [of Egypt], and he will accomplish that which his fathers never did, nor his fathers’ fathers; he will distribute plunder, spoil and goods among them. He will devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time [decreed by God]. 25 He will stir up his strength and courage against [his former Egyptian ally] the king of the South (Ptolemy VI) with a great army; so the king of the South will prepare an extremely great and powerful army to wage war, but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him. 26 Yes, those who eat his fine food will betray and destroy him (Ptolemy VI), and his army will be swept away, and many will fall down slain. 27 And as for both of these (q)kings, their hearts will be set on doing evil; they will speak lies over the same table, but it will not succeed, for the end is yet to come at the appointed time. 28 Then he (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) will return to his land with great treasure (plunder); and his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and return to his own land (Syria).
29 “At the time appointed [by God] he will return and come into the South, but this last time will not be successful as were the previous invasions [of Egypt]. 30 For ships of Cyprus [in Roman hands] will come against him; therefore he will be discouraged and turn back [to Israel] and carry out his rage against the holy covenant and take action; so he will return and show favoritism toward those [Jews] who abandon (break) the holy covenant [with God]. 31 Armed forces of his will arise [in Jerusalem] and defile and desecrate the sanctuary, the [spiritual] stronghold, and will do away with the regular sacrifice [that is, the daily burnt offering]; and they will set up [a pagan altar in the sanctuary which is] the abomination of desolation. 32 With smooth words [of flattery and praise] he will turn to godlessness those who [are willing to] disregard the [Mosaic] covenant, but the people who [are spiritually mature and] know their God will display strength and take action [to resist]. 33 They who are wise and have spiritual insight among the people will instruct many and help them understand; yet for many days some [of them and their followers] will fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder. 34 Now when they fall they will receive a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. 35 Some of those who are [spiritually] wise and have insight will fall [as martyrs] in order to refine, to purge and to make those among God’s people pure, until the end time; because it is yet to come at the time appointed [by God].
36 “Then the (r)king (the Antichrist) will do exactly as he pleases; he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and will speak astounding and disgusting things against the God of gods and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is determined [by God] will be done. 37 He will have no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he have regard for any other god, for he shall magnify himself above them all. 38 Instead, he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold and silver, with precious stones and with expensive things. 39 He will act against the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and he will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.
40 “At the end time the king of the South will push and attack him (the Antichrist), and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots and horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overwhelm them and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Beautiful and Glorious Land (Israel), and many countries will fall, but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost [core] of the people of Ammon. 42 Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, but Egypt will not be among the ones which escape. 43 He will have power over the treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Ethiopians will follow in his footsteps. 44 But rumors from the east and from the north will alarm and disturb him, and he will set out with great fury to destroy and to annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his palatial tents between the seas and the glorious Holy Mountain (Zion); yet he will come to his end with no one to help him [in his final battle with God].(B)
a. Daniel 11:2: Cambyses the son of Cyrus, Psuedo-Smerdis, and Darius I Hystaspes.
b. Daniel 11:2: Xerxes I who is also known as Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.
c. Daniel 11:3: There are many reasons for identifying this king as Alexander the Great, as well as identifying the other rulers according to their relationship to the events of those times. There is nothing in the context which makes it necessary to limit the passage to Alexander. Some ruler may arise in the end times to whom the prophecy will also apply.
d. Daniel 11:4: See note 8:22.
e. Daniel 11:6: Lit they will.
f. Daniel 11:6: Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
g. Daniel 11:6: King Antiochus II Theos of Syria.
h. Daniel 11:6: King Antiochus II, Berenice and their baby were later murdered by the divorced wife of Antiochus II.
i. Daniel 11:9: Seleucus II Callinicus, successor to Antiochus II Theos.
j. Daniel 11:11: Lit the latter.
k. Daniel 11:17: Cleopatra I, daughter of Antiochus III the Great, king of Syria, was married to Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt. She supported her husband instead of her father during his attempt to conquer Egypt.
l. Daniel 11:18: Greek and Mediterranean territories under Rome’s influence.
m. Daniel 11:20: Seleucus IV was poisoned soon after coming to power.
n. Daniel 11:21: This contemptible conqueror is identified as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the younger son of Antiochus III the Great, king of Syria, and is a type of the final Antichrist referred to in Dan 11:36; 2 Thess 2:3-12; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7; and Rev 13:5-8. Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to destroy the worship of the true God by robbing the temple of its gold and silver treasures related to worship and setting up a statue of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies. He also breached the walls of Jerusalem, ordered a daily sacrifice of pig, forbade circumcision and destroyed all the sacred scrolls he could find (see note 8:10).
o. Daniel 11:22: Onias III, the high priest at Jerusalem, was murdered by his brother Menelaus, who supported Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus IV later named Menelaus as high priest.
p. Daniel 11:23: Antiochus IV allied himself with Ptolemy VI Philometer, in opposition to Ptolemy VII Euergetes II, as a deceptive way to plunder and conquer much of Egypt.
q. Daniel 11:27: Ptolemy VI who was designated to rule at Memphis, and Ptolemy VII who was designated to rule at Alexandria, lied to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and established a joint rule.
r. Daniel 11:36: The Antichrist is the subject from this point in the prophecy to the end of the chapter.