Daniel 11 Commentary(1)

 

 

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Daniel 11:1-19 Commentary

REFERENCES

Don Anderson
Paul Apple
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Wayne Barber
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Wayne Barber
Brian Bell
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Rich Cathers
Rich Cathers
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W A Criswell
Ron Daniel
Ron Daniel
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Easy English
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A C Gaebelein
A C Gaebelein
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Grant Richison
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Daniel Study Guide
Daniel Commentary
Daniel 10-12; Daniel 11:40  Daniel 11:2-45

Daniel 10, Daniel 11; Daniel 12, Daniel 11-12
Daniel 11:1-4  Have I Got a Plan for You

Daniel 11 A Portrait of a Deceiver

Daniel 11:36 The Last Chapter of Human History

Daniel 11 Notes
Daniel 10:1 - 11:1 The Unseen War

Daniel 11:2-20 The Unfolding Drama of Pre-History (Pt. 1)

Daniel 11:21-35 The Unfolding Drama of Pre-History (Pt. 2)

Daniel 11:36-45 For the Time of the End

Daniel 10:1-11:35 Daniel 11-12
Daniel 11:1-35 Da 11:36-37 Da 11:38-39 Da 11:40-43 Da 11:44-12:1

Daniel Expository Commentary Notes

Daniel 11:1-45 Conflict and Conquest
Daniel 11:2-35 Prophetic History Of The Jews
Daniel 11:36-45 Rise & Fall Of Antichrist

Daniel 11:2-45 - From Here to Eternity
Daniel: The Men who were Loyal to God

Daniel 9:1-12:13 Maintain Bible Study and Prayer
Daniel 11 Notes 

Book of Daniel - Chronological Structure of Daniel
The Prophet Daniel (Annotated Bible)
The Prophet Daniel: Key to the Visions & Prophecies of the Book of Daniel
Daniel 11 Notes
Daniel 11 Commentary

Daniel 11:1-20 The Kings of the North and the Kings of the South

Daniel 11:25-35 Two Hundred Years of Fulfilled Prophecy

Daniel 11:36-45 The Antichrist of the Old Testament
Daniel 11 The Ultimate Prophecy

Daniel 11:1-45 The Willful King

Daniel Commentary - scroll down
Daniel Commentary

Daniel 11 The kings of the South & North and the Antichrist

Book of Daniel In Schematic - Be a Berean

Daniel 11:1-35: The Reign of Rebellion--Part 1

Daniel 11:1-35: The Reign of Rebellion--Part 1  - Study Guide
Daniel 11:36-45: The Reign of Rebellion--Part 2 

Daniel 11:36-45: The Reign of Rebellion--Part 2  - Study Guide

Summary of each chapter with excellent footnotes
Daniel 11: Intro Da 11:1, 2 Da 11:3-14 Da 11:15-20 Da 11:21-28 Mp3

Daniel 11:29-35 Da 11:36 Da 11:37 Da 11:38, 39 Da 11:40-45 Mp3
Daniel 11:32 Devotional

Daniel 11 Commentary Notes
The Antichrist
Daniel 11: Who is the Antichrist?
Daniel 11:2-4 Daniel 11:5-20 Daniel 11:21
Daniel 11:22-31 Daniel 11:32-35 Daniel 11:36
Daniel 11:37-45

Daniel 11:1-35 The Reign of Rebellion

Daniel 11:36-12-13 How Long Until...-

Daniel 11:32 Knowing God
Study Guide for Daniel
Daniel 10:1-21, 11:1-35 Voices from Babylon (1879)
Daniel Commentary

Daniel 11:32-33 Knowledge Commended

Daniel 11:32  Valiant for Truth
Daniel 11:32  People Who Know Their God

Daniel 10 God Prepares Me For The Future
Daniel 11: The Time of the End
Daniel 11 World History From Darius To The Time Of The End
Daniel 11:2-12:13: Waiting And Watching    
Daniel 1-6 - Pt 1 - Living Out a Biblical Worldview
Daniel 7-12 - Pt 2 - Gaining Understanding of the Time of the End

Daniel 1-6 - You're A Brave Man, Daniel!
Daniel 7-12 - Fast Forward to the Future
Discovering What the Future Holds - 40 Minute Bible Study

Daniel 11:1 "IN THE FIRST YEAR OF DARIUS THE MEDE, I AROSE TO BE AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND A PROTECTION FOR HIM. (First year: Da 5:31 9:1) (Be an encouragement: Da 10:18 Ac 14:22)

Daniel 11:1 - Fits Better as Last Verse of Daniel 10
Daniel 11:2 - Persia Prophecy
Daniel 11:3-4 - Alexander the Great/Greek Prophecy
Daniel 11:5-20 - Seleucid and Ptolemy Prophecies
Daniel 11:21-35 - Despicable Person Prophecy
Daniel 11:36-45 - King Does As He Pleases Prophecy

First year of Darius - 538BC

I arose - This is still the supernatural interpreter of Daniel 10, presumably an angel. This verse would best be included at the end of Daniel 10 not the beginning of Daniel 11. Obviously the "chapter breaks" are not inspired but added by men.

Encouragement (02388) (chazaq) means to make firm or strong, to strengthen, to give strength, to encourage (from en = in + coeur = the heart) (to fill with courage or strength of purpose).

Protection (04581) (ma'oz) signifies a stronghold or fortress, a protected place, a place of safety.

Ma'oz - Seven of 35 OT uses are in Daniel 11 - Jdg 6:26; 2Sa 22:33; Neh 8:10; Ps 27:1; 28:8; 31:2, 4; 37:39; 43:2; 52:7; 60:7; 108:8; Pr 10:29; Isa 17:9, 10; 23:4, 11, 14; 25:4; 27:5; 30:2, 3; Jer 16:19; Ezek 24:25; 30:15; Da 11:1, 7, 10, 19, 31, 38, 39; Joel 3:16; Nah 1:7; 3:11

To be an encouragement and protection for him - The benevolent angel's role in the context of angelic conflict over the Persian empire reflects the supernatural protection God provided through His angel for King Darius the Mede, who reaffirmed the decree by Cyrus which permitted Israel to rebuild their Holy Temple in Jerusalem including the return of the Holy utensils used in Temple worship (see Ezra 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5). In addition to reiterating Cyrus' original decree, Darius the Mede decreed that the full cost of rebuilding was to be paid from the royal treasury and any violation of his edict would result in death (Ezra 6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12). And so Darius "blessed" the sons of Abraham and in turn was "blessed" (protected by God's angel in Persia) in accordance with God's covenant promise to Abraham that...

I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Ge 12:3)

Comment: Donald Barnhouse chronicles the "legacy" of "cursing" Abram and his descendant, Israel...

When the Greeks overran Palestine and desecrated the altar in the Jewish temple, they were soon conquered by Rome. When Rome killed Paul and many others, and destroyed Jerusalem under Titus, Rome soon fell. Spain was reduced to a fifth-rate nation after the Inquisition against the Jews; Poland fell after the pogroms; Hitler’s Germany went down after its orgies of anti-Semitism; Britain lost her empire when she broke her faith with Israel.

Beloved, this promise is still in effect and any nation that "curses" Israel today, is destined to receive the "curse" from God Himself. As I write these notes in May, 2010 (some 62 years after Israel's rebirth as a nation - May, 1948), the government of the United States under the leadership of President Barak Obama is showing definite signs of "distancing" themselves from Israel. Dear sons and daughters in the family of the Living God, may we heed the exhortation of the Psalmist and of Paul to...

let everyone who is godly pray to Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found (and may) entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (and) for kings and all who are in authority (especially our leaders in America), in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (Ps 32:6, 1Ti 2:1, 2).

Daniel 11:2 "AND NOW I WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH. BEHOLD, THREE MORE KINGS ARE GOING TO ARISE IN PERSIA. THEN A FOURTH WILL GAIN FAR MORE RICHES THAN ALL OF THEM; AS SOON AS HE BECOMES STRONG THROUGH HIS RICHES, HE WILL AROUSE THE WHOLE EMPIRE AGAINST THE REALM OF GREECE. (will: Da 8:26 10:1,21 Pr 22:21 Am 3:7 Jn 10:35 18:37,38 Rev 21:5) (far: Ps 73:6,7) (Arouse: Da 11:25 7:5 8:4)

Daniel 11:2-35
HISTORY "PREWRITTEN":
THE FINAL PROPHECY
PRONOUNCED

Now I will tell you the truth (cp Da 2:45, Da 4:37, Da 8:12, 26, Da 10:1, Da 10:21, Da 11:2) - Don't read pass these words too quickly as do the critics of the Book of Daniel who decry this incredible book as "too incredible" to believe that it was written around 538BC (exact date is uncertain). And Daniel chapter 11 is one of the main reasons the skeptics try to "prove" that Daniel is a forgery written centuries later, well after the events described in this chapter.

Donald Campbell writes that...

Porphyry, a third-century A.D. philosopher, was one of the first to take the position that the Book of Daniel was historical fiction, written by someone in Judea about 165 B.C. to encourage resistance against Antiochus Epiphanes. His conclusion was based on the presupposition that predictive prophecy was impossible and that since chapter 11 speaks so accurately of events in the intertestamental period it must be history and not prophecy.

Unfortunately, the views of Porphyry did not die with him. Rather, as R. K. Harrison states, "Objections to the historicity of Daniel were copied uncritically from book to book, and by the second decade of the twentieth century no scholar of general liberal background who wished to pre­serve his academic reputation desired to challenge the current critical trend" (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 1111) (Campbell, Donald: Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society.)

ESV Study Bible explains the purpose of these detailed prophecies, noting that  although...

Judah was about to be restored from exile, and yet it was not really free. It would be subject to the Persians, and then to Alexander's Greeks; after that it would be caught in the middle between powerful heirs of Alexander's empire, the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. Pious Jews would readily fall into bewilderment: how do these circumstances display God's concern for His people, and how will God ever use His now-insignificant people to bring blessing to the whole world? The vision is therefore reassurance for the faithful. (Ed note: cf  remnant) (ESV Online Study Bible Crossway)

PRESENT YOUR CASE
BRING FORTH YOUR
STRONG ARGUMENTS

According to some scholars, Daniel 11 contains some 135 fulfilled prophecies! Little wonder that skeptics and unbelievers aggressively seek to refute the authenticity of this book! Otherwise they would have no excuse for rejecting the only God Who is all knowing and in total control of the history of the world. If they accepted Daniel as "the writing of truth" (Da 10:21, cf "true" = Da 10:1, "the truth" = Da 11:2) these scoffers and mockers (2Pe 3:3-note) would be forced to accept the truth of God's own words in Isaiah testifying that because He is the only God Who can foretell the future, He is also the only God Who can provide salvation to sinners (a truth they gnash their teeth at now but at which they will one day weep over when they take their last breath!)...

"Present your case," the LORD says. "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says. Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them, and know their outcome; Or announce to us what is coming. Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. (Isa 41:21, 22, 23)

"Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isa 45:21, 22)

All the nations have gathered together In order that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this and proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear and say, "It is true." "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and there is no Savior besides Me." (Isa 43:9, 10, 11)

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it. Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place. (Isa 44:6, 7)

"Who has performed and accomplished it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? 'I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'" (Isa 41:4)

Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; (Isa 46:9, 10)

"I declared the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. (Isa 48:3)

PERSIAN KINGS
DURING TIME OF
ISRAEL'S RESTORATION
(559-404BC)
NAME OF
KING
DATE
(BC)
BIBLICAL
NAME
BIBLE
REFERENCE
Cyrus 559-530 Cyrus Isa 44:28, 45:1
Da
Ezra 1-3
Cambyses II 530-522 - Da 11:2
Pseudo
Smerdis
522 - Da 11:2
Darius I
the Great
522-486 Darius (Hystaspes)
(Not Darius the Mede of Da 6:1, 11:1)
Ezra 4:5, 24
Ezra 5:5, 6, 7
Ezra 6:1, 12-15
Xerxes I 486-464 Ahasuerus Esther 1:1, 2, 10:3
Artaxerxes I 465-424 Artaxerxes Ezra 4:7-8, 11, 23
Ezra 6:14, 7:1,7,11-12,21
Ezra 8:1
Neh 2:1, 5:14, 13:6
Xerxes II 424 - None
Darius II 423-404 - None

Gaebelein comments on three more kings...then a fourth noting that...

The three kings were: Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes and Darius, Known in history as Cambyses, Pseudo Smerdis and Darius Hystaspes (not Darius the Mede). The fourth one was Xerxes, who, as history tells us was immensely rich. The invasion of Greece took place in 480BC. (The Prophet Daniel: A Key to the Visions and Prophecies of the Book of Daniel)

Three more kings...then a fourth...

(1) Cambyses II (530-522BC)
(2)
Smerdis (522BC)
(3)
Darius I  Hystaspes (522-486BC)
(4)
Xerxes I (486-464BC)

From the chart above (which does not list all the Persian kings) one can conclude that the prophecy in Daniel 11:2 only mentions some of the Persian kings and skips over others. Remember also that Da 10:13 ("the kings of Persia") emphasizes that demonic powers were influential in the reign of all of these kings.

Will arouse the whole empire - This refers to the Persian empire.

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge comments that...

Herodotus says the army of Xerxes consisted of 5,283,220 men, besides the Carthaginians, consisting of 300,000 men, and 200 ships

Wikipedia adds this note:

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Xerxes' first attempt to bridge the Hellespont ended in failure when a storm destroyed the flax and papyrus bridge; Xerxes ordered the Hellespont (the strait itself) whipped three hundred times and had fetters thrown into the water. Xerxes' second attempt to bridge the Hellespont was successful. Xerxes concluded an alliance with Carthage, and thus deprived Greece of the support of the powerful monarchs of Syracuse and Agrigentum. Many smaller Greek states, moreover, took the side of the Persians, especially Thessaly, Thebes and Argos. Xerxes set out in the spring of 480BC from Sardis with a fleet and army which Herodotus claimed was more than two million strong with at least 10,000 elite warriors named Persian Immortals. Xerxes was victorious during the initial battles.

At the Battle of Thermopylae, a small force of Greek warriors led by King Leonidas of Sparta resisted the much larger Persian forces, but were ultimately defeated. According to Herodotus, the Persians broke the Spartan phalanx after a Greek man called Ephialtes betrayed his country by telling the Persians of another pass around the mountains. After Thermopylae, Athens was captured and the Athenians and Spartans were driven back to their last line of defense at the Isthmus of Corinth and in the Saronic Gulf. The delay caused by the Spartans allowed Athens to be evacuated.

Wikipedia adds that following the Battle of Thermopylae there was a great naval battle in 480BC, the Battle of Salamis, which resulted in the defeat of Xerxes' naval forces and was followed by additional defeats (The land Battle of Plataea and the sea Battle of Mycale), which led Xerxes to withdraw and cease all attempts of Persia to conquer Greece.

Daniel 11:3 AND A MIGHTY KING WILL ARISE, AND HE WILL RULE WITH GREAT AUTHORITY AND DO AS HE PLEASES. (mighty: Da 7:6 8:5, 6, 7, 8,21, 22) (do: Da 11:16,36 Da 4:35 5:19 8:4-14 Eph 1:11 Heb 2:4 Jas 1:18)

THE GREEK
PERIOD
(331-63BC)

Alexander
the Great

(331-323BC)

 Division of Alexander's Empire into 4 Parts:
Ptolemaic and Seleucid Dominate
(Da 7:6, Da 8:8, Da 8:21,22, Da 11:4)

 

Ptolemaic Dynasty
Dominates Israel

(323-204BC)

Seleucid Dynasty
Dominates Israel

(204-165BC)

Maccabean Revolt and Rule
(165-63BC)

     

Antiochus IV Epiphanes
(175-164BC)
(Da 8:23)
Abomination of Desolation
(165BC)
(Da 11:31)

A mighty king will arise - This is a prophecy that was fulfilled in the rise of the Grecian Empire (See multiple prophecies of the Grecian Kingdom = "Bronze" Kingdom in Da 2:32-note, Da 2:39-note; "Leopard" in Da 7:6-note, "Male [shaggy] goat" Da 8:5, 6, 7, 8-note; "Shaggy goat" = Da 8:21-note) which defeated and replaced the Medo-Persian Empire in 331BC as the dominant world power. The mighty king is Alexander the Great who ruled from 331-323BC, dying unexpectedly in Babylon as discussed below.

From Daniel 10:20 we know that the Grecian empire was under the satanic/demonic influence of the "prince of Greece". The order of "command" would have been God (superior to all evil forces although not the source of evil Himself), Satan, the prince of Greece and then the man, Alexander the Great. And so as we follow the visible, earthly events of Daniel 11, we need to remind ourselves that behind the visible is an invisible angelic conflict between good and evil angelic beings!

Daniel 11:4 "BUT AS SOON AS HE HAS ARISEN, HIS KINGDOM WILL BE BROKEN UP AND PARCELED OUT TOWARD THE FOUR POINTS OF THE COMPASS, THOUGH NOT TO HIS OWN DESCENDANTS, NOR ACCORDING TO HIS AUTHORITY WHICH HE WIELDED, FOR HIS SOVEREIGNTY WILL BE UPROOTED AND GIVEN TO OTHERS BESIDES THEM. (Risen: Job 20:5-7 Ps 37:35,36 49:6-12 73:17-20 Lk 12:20) (Broken up: Da 7:6 8:8,22 Ps 39:6 Ec 2:18,19 4:8 Mt 12:25) (Uprooted: Da 7:8 Jer 12:15,17 18:7 31:40 45:4)


Click to enlarge

FOUR DIVISIONS
of the Grecian Empire
(After Alexander's Death)
(And after
Battle of Ipsus ca 301BC)

     Northern Kingdom (Syria) Seleucus I Nicator

     Southern Kingdom (Egypt) Ptolemy I Soter

     Western Kingdom of Cassander

     Eastern Kingdom of Lysimachus

As soon as he has arisen - We do well to remember that these details were all future to Daniel, for at the time of this prophecy, Greece did not even exist as a united empire, much less an empire divided among four generals! This verse describes the rapid rise of Alexander the Great to power, swiftly conquering a major portion of the world in only about 8 years (331-323BC).

His kingdom will be broken up - Alexander the Great died at age 32, a broken man without an appointed heir (cf Da 7:6-note; Da 8:8-note = "the male goat...the large horn was broken", Da 8:22-note = "the broken horn")

The four points of the compass (Da 8:8-note = "four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven"; Da 8:22-note "four horns...represent four kingdoms") - After his death, four of Alexander's generals eventually assumed rule of his kingdom which was divided into four parts after the Battle of Ipsus 301BC. The following prophecies in Daniel 11:5-35 focus primarily on the Northern (Syria - Seleucid) and Southern (Egypt - Ptolemaic) kingdoms as these two kingdoms repeatedly interacted with the Beautiful Land (Israel - Da 11:16), the "apple of His (God's) eye" (Dt 32:10KJV).

See Diadochi for a discussion of the four divisions Alexander's empire (see the map above with links to the first rulers of the four divisions)...

The Diadochi (plural of Latin Diadochus, from Greek: Diadokhoi, "successors") were the rival successors of Alexander the Great, and their Wars of the Diadochi followed Alexander's death. This was the beginning of the Hellenistic period of Greek history, the time when many people who were not Greek themselves adopted Greek philosophy and styles, Greek urban life, and aspects of the Greek religion.

Daniel 11:5 "THEN THE KING OF THE SOUTH WILL GROW STRONG, ALONG WITH ONE OF HIS PRINCES WHO WILL GAIN ASCENDANCY OVER HIM AND OBTAIN DOMINION; HIS DOMAIN WILL BE A GREAT DOMINION INDEED. (the king:  Da 11:8,9,11,14,25,40) (one: Da 11:3,4)

KINGDOMS IN
"GREAT CONFLICT"
(cf Da 10:1)
KINGS OF
THE NORTH

KINGS OF
THE SOUTH

Syria

Egypt

Seleucid Dynasty
(Click list of rulers)

Ptolemaic Dynasty
(Click list of rulers)

As alluded to above Scripture records Greece would be subject to the rule of the invisible, demonic prince of Greece (Da 10:20), and he undoubtedly influenced the affairs of the subsequent divisions of the empire. While Scripture does not allow us to say much about the influence of the invisible spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, they were surely present and influential in the fulfillment of the prophecy of a great conflict (Da 11:1), which was manifest by over 150 years of warfare between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies with Palestine in the center.

Donald Campbell...

The two divisions were: Syria, ruled by Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals, and his successors; and Egypt, ruled by Ptolemy, another of Alexander's generals, and his succes­sors. It is important to observe that the warfare between these dynasties greatly affected the Jews because they were between the anvil and the hammer. (Campbell, Donald: Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society.)

Henry Morris sums up Daniel 11:5-35 noting that...

Here begins a detailed prophecy of the future conflicts that would develop between two of the divisions of Alexander's empire--the descendants of Ptolemy I in Egypt and those of Seleucus I in Syria. These are identified as "the king of the south" and "the king of the north," in view of their geographical relations to the land of Israel. Their conflicts are outlined because of their impact on Israel, located directly between them. The king of the north, Seleucus, became stronger than Ptolemy. Each line continued through many successors, only the more important of which are enumerated in the prophecy. Thus, a number of generations are ignored, but the major developments and trends are clearly outlined.

King of the South - Ptolemy I Soter (323-285BC), founder and first king of the Ptolemaic dynasty centered in Egypt.

The south (and "north") - Refers to the directions relative to the central point, the land of Palestine.

Along with one of his (King of the South's) princes who will gain ascendancy over him (Ptolemy I Soter) - Although somewhat "cryptic", this passage describes Seleucus I Nicator (312-281BC), the first King of the North, the Seleucid dynasty, centered in Syria. Seleucus had been appointed satrap over Babylon (321BC) but when he became fearful of Antigonus, Seleucus fled to Egypt to serve under Ptolemy. Wikipedia records the background...

In the summer of 315BC Antigonus arrived in Babylon and was warmly welcomed by Seleucus. The relationship between the two soon turned cold, however. Seleucus punished one of Antigonus' officers without asking permission from Antigonus. Antigonus became angry and demanded that Seleucus give him the income from the province, which Seleucus refused to do. He was, however, afraid of Antigonus and fled to Egypt with 50 horsemen.

With Ptolemy's aide (Ptolemy gave Seleucus 800 infantry and 200 cavalry) Seleucus marched on (he gathered more soldiers as he marched) and conquered Babylon.

His domain...a great dominion - The King of the North, Seleucus I Nicator, eventually gained control of the entire area from Asia Minor to India and over time became stronger than the King of the South, Ptolemy I Soter in Egypt.

Miller explains that eventually...

Antigonus was defeated in 312BC at Gaza, and Seleucus returned to his former satrapy; there he greatly increased his power, eventually controlling more territory than Ptolemy. With the inception of Seleucus’ rule, the “Seleucid era” was inaugurated. Seleucus’ kingdom included Babylonia, Syria, and Media. According to Arrian, it was the largest of all the divisions of the Greek Empire. (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary, 18) (Logos version) (Wordsearch version).

The prophecies in Daniel 11:5 through Daniel 11:35 trace a period of about 150 years (312 = beginning of Seleucus minus 164 = end of Antiochus Epiphanes - Result = 148 years) up to and including the reign of the despicable one, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ruled the northern empire from 175-164BC.

Walvoord adds that...

In tracing the struggles between Egypt and Syria, the prophecy is selective and not all the rulers are mentioned, but usually the identification is clear. (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Daniel 11:6 "AFTER SOME YEARS THEY WILL FORM AN ALLIANCE, AND THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF THE SOUTH WILL COME TO THE KING OF THE NORTH TO CARRY OUT A PEACEFUL ARRANGEMENT. BUT SHE WILL NOT RETAIN HER POSITION OF POWER, NOR WILL HE REMAIN WITH HIS POWER, BUT SHE WILL BE GIVEN UP, ALONG WITH THOSE WHO BROUGHT HER IN AND THE ONE WHO SIRED HER AS WELL AS HE WHO SUPPORTED HER IN THOSE TIMES. (After some years: Da 11:13 Eze 38:8,9) (king: Da 11:7,13,15,40) (retain: Job 38:15 Ps 10:5 Eze 30:21 Zec 11:16)

Time: ~ 252BC (alliance)

Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.

After some years - During this time gap of some 30 years (cf Da 11:13), the King of the North, Seleucus I Nicator (312-281BC), had died and was followed by Antiochus I Soter (281-261BC), who is not mentioned in Daniel's prophecy. However, his successor, Antiochus II Theos (261-246BC), is mentioned in Da 11:6.

During this 30 year time gap, the King of the South, Ptolemy I Soter, had also died (323-285BC), and was followed by his son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246BC). Because of continued clashes between the King of the North and the South, the latter sought to form an alliance.

Form an alliance - As was commonplace in ancient times intermarriage was utilized in an attempt to bring about peace between warring kingdoms. In this case, the king of the south, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246BC) and his daughter, Berenice (Seleucid queen) was given in marriage to Antiochus II Theos (261-246BC) about 252BC.

A peaceful arrangement - Literally "to make a straightening" (bring about uprightness, fairness, equity)

Wikipedia adds this note on the politically expedient marriage of Berenice...

Berenice, also called Berenice Syra, was the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (King of the South - Egypt)...In 261BC she married the Seleucid monarch Antiochus II Theos (Ed: Note that the Third King of the North {Syria, the Seleucid Kingdom} Antiochus I Soter {281-261BC}  was passed over in Daniel's prophecy),  who, following an agreement with Ptolemy II Philadelphus (249BC), had divorced his wife Laodice I and transferred the succession to Berenice's children. In 246BC, when Ptolemy II Philadelphus died, Antiochus II Theos took up again with his first wife, Laodice. The Syrian King (King of the North)  died shortly after, many suspect from poisoning. Queen Berenice claimed the Regency for her son, Seleucus and conquered Soloia with her army, however, she and her son were both poisoned by Laodice as well. Berenice's brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes succeeded their father (as King of the South) and set about to avenge his sister's murder by invading Syria and having Laodice killed. This is also mentioned in the Book of Daniel 11:6. (Reference) (For more discussion see also the Third Syrian War)

But she will not retain her position of power...but she will be given up - This refers to Berenice. In a move which would be very costly, upon the death of the King of the South, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Antiochus II Theos recalled Laodice, who, who had Berenice and her son assassinated, apparently poisoned Antiochus and set her son Seleucus (aka = Callinicus) on the throne as King of the North.

Given up...the one (Berenice's father, Ptolemy II) who sired her and he who supported (strengthened) her (Berenice) - Her father Ptolemy II Philadelphus died ("given up") a few years after the political marriage.

Daniel 11:7 "BUT ONE OF THE DESCENDANTS OF HER LINE WILL ARISE IN HIS PLACE, AND HE WILL COME AGAINST THEIR ARMY AND ENTER THE FORTRESS OF THE KING OF THE NORTH, AND HE WILL DEAL WITH THEM AND DISPLAY GREAT STRENGTH.

Time: 246-241 (War)

But one of the descendents of her line will arise in his place - Refers to Berenice's royal line, specifically her brother Ptolemy III Euergetes who arose in place of his father Ptolemy II Philadelphus and presumably as an act of revenge came against and conquered the King of the North in a war (See Third Syrian War) which lasted from 246 to 241BC, during which Ptolemy occupied Antioch (the capital of the Seleucid kingdom) and even reached Babylon. In exchange for a peace in 241BC, Ptolemy was awarded new territories on the northern coast of Syria, including the port of Antioch. The Ptolemaic kingdom was at the height of its power.

The King of the North - Seleucus II Callinicus (246-225BC)

And he will deal with them - Ptolemy III Euergetes not only conquered Seleucus II Callinicus in the Third Syrian War but he also killed Laodice.

And display great strength - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge records that "Ptolemy Euergetes, who, to avenge his sister's death, marched with a great army against Callinicus, took all Asia from mount Taurus to India, and returned to Egypt with an immense booty."

Daniel 11:8 "ALSO THEIR GODS WITH THEIR METAL IMAGES AND THEIR PRECIOUS VESSELS OF SILVER AND GOLD HE WILL TAKE INTO CAPTIVITY TO EGYPT, AND HE ON HIS PART WILL REFRAIN FROM ATTACKING THE KING OF THE NORTH FOR SOME YEARS. (gods: Ge 31:30 Ex 12:12 Nu 33:4 De 12:3 Jdg 18:24 Isa 37:19 46:1,2 Jer 43:12,13 46:25 Ho 8:6 10:5,6) (Precious vessels:  Da 1:2,3 10:3 Isa 2:16 Ho 13:15)

Their metal images...precious vessels ("vessels of their desire") - After conquering the fortress of the King of the North, Ptolemy III Euergetes returned to Egypt with 4000 talents of gold and 40,000 talents of silver (Est value - $160 million) and 2500 idols and idolatrous vessels. In ancient times when a nation was utterly defeated and subjugated, that nations "gods" were taken as booty.  (cf, Is 46:1, 2; Jer 48:7; 49:3; Hos 10:5). Euergetes means "benefactor", which is what the Egyptian populace called him as a result of his returning treasures which had been stolen by the Persian King Cambyses in 524BC.

Egypt - The center of the southern Ptolemaic kingdom is mentioned by name but the northern kingdom never mentions Syria, probably because it did not exist at the time of this prophecy.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the times when these prophecies were being fulfilled, were during the 400 year "silence" when God did not speak between the close of the Old Testament and the onset of the New Testament.

Refrain from attacking - (See brief note that alludes to this phase of the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes) This predicts that Ptolemy Euergetes would not attack Syria for a number of years.

Daniel 11:9 "THEN THE LATTER WILL ENTER THE REALM OF THE KING OF THE SOUTH, BUT WILL RETURN TO HIS OWN LAND.

Time: 240BC

New Living Translation - Later the king of the north will invade the realm of the king of the south but will soon return to his own land.

Then the latter - This is a reference to the King of the North, Seleucus II Callinicus, who invaded Egypt and came against the King of the South in 240BC but was forced to retreat and return to his own land, soundly beaten. As predicted in the following passages (Da 11:10ff) however, the sons of Seleucus II Callinicus proved more successful in the great conflict against Egypt.

Note that Palestine was once again in the center between these two warring kingdoms.

The secular source Wikipedia has this remark...

This war is cryptically alluded to in Daniel 11:7-9

Daniel 11:10 "HIS SONS WILL MOBILIZE AND ASSEMBLE A MULTITUDE OF GREAT FORCES; AND ONE OF THEM WILL KEEP ON COMING AND OVERFLOW AND PASS THROUGH, THAT HE MAY AGAIN WAGE WAR UP TO HIS VERY FORTRESS. (overflow: Da 11:22,40 9:26 Isa 8:7,8 Jer 46:7,8 51:42)

Time: ~223BC (Antiochus III begins rule)

New Living Translation - However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy's fortress.

THE RISE OF
ANTIOCHUS III THE GREAT

In Daniel 11:10-19 God prophesies events that indicate Syria will gain ascendancy over Egypt and in so doing would gain control of the Holy Land, which in turn sets the stage for the persecutions in Israel brought about by the despicable Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes (Da 11:21-35).

His sons - The sons (successors) of Seleucus II Callinicus continued the great conflict against Egypt, as summarized in Daniel 11:11-19 and then in great detail in Da 11:20-35. The sons included Seleucus III Ceraunus (Thunder) (aka - Seleucus III Soter = "Savior") who reigned from 225BC until his assassination in 223BC and his brother Antiochus III, who would soon become known as Antiochus III the Great. Seleucus III and Antiochus III of the North waged continual war against the King of the South Ptolemy Philopator.

One of them will keep on coming and overflow -  Note the detail of the prediction. The plural sons becomes the singular one, for after the assassination of the first son, the focus immediately shifts to Antiochus III the Great (223-187BC) who succeeded his brother.

Pass through - Antiochus III the Great passed through the beautiful land of Israel to attack Egypt which was then under the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-204BC). Though Antiochus III did not defeat Egypt, he was successful in gaining control of Israel during his campaign of 219-217BC,


Fortress of Gaza
On Southern Coast
Click to enlarge

Up to his very fortress -  Antiochus campaigned in Phoenicia and Palestine, as far south as the fortress at Gaza, his (Ptolemy IV Philopator's) very fortress but as predicted (and as became true) below the Egyptian king was enraged at the intrusion of his archrival into his empire and this precipitated the famous Battle of Raphia (aka, Battle of Gaza) in 217BC.

The fulfillment of all of these predictions not only prove that God is able to anticipate history by hundreds of years, but that He is also able to set the stage for events in the Holy Land, which was the primary concern of this revelation to Daniel.

Daniel 11:11 THE KING OF THE SOUTH WILL BE ENRAGED AND GO FORTH AND FIGHT WITH THE KING OF THE NORTH. THEN THE LATTER WILL RAISE A GREAT MULTITUDE, BUT THAT MULTITUDE WILL BE GIVEN INTO THE HAND OF THE FORMER.

Time: 217BC

The king of the South - Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-204BC) launched a counterattack against Antiochus III.

Will be enraged and go forth and fight against the king of the north - In an attempt to recapture his lost territory to the north, Ptolemy IV Philopator attacked Antiochus III the Great on the southern borders of Israel, at Battle of Raphia which was...

also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 BC near modern Rafah (see map) between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king of Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom during the Syrian Wars. It consists one of the largest battles of the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Diadochi and was waged to determine the sovereignty of Coele Syria. (Reference)

The historian Polybius, records an interesting "anecdotal" fact regarding this battle...

Ptolemy's elephants were of the African Forest Elephants; those of Antiochus were mainly of the large Syrian Elephants, brought from India. According to Polybius, the African elephants could not bear the smell, sound and view of their Indian counterparts and would easily give way and rout. (Reference)

The latter will raise a great multitude - Referring to the large Syrian army (62,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, 103 elephants) raised by Antiochus III the Great .

That multitude will be given - This phrase ("be given") reminds us that even the results of these great conflicts are in the hands of El Elyon: Most High God, Who is Sovereign Over All for...

it is He Who changes the times and the epochs. He removes kings and establishes kings (Da 2:21)

Into the hand of the former - The hand is often (as in this verse) used in the Old Testament as a symbol of power (cf, Dt 4:34, 5:15, 7:8, 15, 11:2) so to be given into the hand of someone meant to be given over into their power. At the Battle of Raphia in 217BC, Ptolemy IV Philopator defeated Antiochus III the Great who lost virtually his entire army. Egypt regained control of Palestine but this control would be relatively brief as described in Da 11:12ff.

Jerome records that...

Antiochus lost his entire army and was almost captured as he fled to the desert.

Daniel 11:12 WHEN THE MULTITUDE IS CARRIED AWAY, HIS HEART WILL BE LIFTED UP, AND HE WILL CAUSE TENS OF THOUSANDS TO FALL; YET HE WILL NOT PREVAIL. (his heart: Da 5:19,20,23 8:25 Dt 8:14 2Ki 14:10 2Ch 25:19 26:16 32:25 Pr 16:18 Isa 10:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Ezek 28:2,5,17 Hab 2:4, 5, 6 Acts 12:22,23 1Ti 3:6 1Pe 5:5)

NLT - After the enemy army (of Antiochus III the Great) is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will have many thousands of his enemies killed. But his success will be short lived.

His heart will be lifted up - Describing the pride of Ptolemy IV Philopator which is an ever present danger for men who achieve success for such an attitude calls forth the opposition of God...

GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (Jas 4:6-note, 1Pe 5:5-note, quoting the Septuagint of Pr 3:34)

He will not prevail (literally "become strong") - Ptolemy IV Philopator was proud and thus did not pursue his military advantage, even though he had caused tens of thousands of Syrian soldiers to fall. He did however acquire all of Palestine and there was a period of "relative peace" in Palestine and peace between Syria and Egypt for about 14 years (see Da 11:13).

Below is a map (click to enlarge) depicting the extent of Ptolemy IV's empire prior to the events described in Daniel 11:13.

Daniel 11:13 "FOR THE KING OF THE NORTH WILL AGAIN RAISE A GREATER MULTITUDE THAN THE FORMER, AND AFTER AN INTERVAL OF SOME YEARS HE WILL PRESS ON WITH A GREAT ARMY AND MUCH EQUIPMENT.

Time: ~201BC

SELEUCID SUPREMACY
ENSUES...

Daniel 11:13-35

For - Explains why  Ptolemy IV Philopator would not become strong and prevail (note that Ptolemy IV's fall seems to begin when his heart began to "rise". cf 2Chr 26:15, 16, 32:25, Pr 16:18)

The king of the North - Antiochus III the Great was able to regroup and proceeded to turn in other directions specifically seeking to conquer regions to his east and to his north.

After an interval of some years - In about 201BC, some 15+ years after having been defeated by Egypt (Da 11:11), Antiochus III returned to Palestine with a much larger army and was able to repulse the Egyptians who were now under the rule of the child king (age 4-6 yrs), Ptolemy V Epiphanes (203-181BC). Thus Antiochus brought the Beautiful Land under his control as far south as the fortress of Gaza.

Daniel 11:14 NOW IN THOSE TIMES MANY WILL RISE UP AGAINST THE KING OF THE SOUTH; THE VIOLENT ONES AMONG YOUR PEOPLE WILL ALSO LIFT THEMSELVES UP IN ORDER TO FULFILL THE VISION, BUT THEY WILL FALL DOWN.

NLT - At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Lawless ones among your own people will join them in order to fulfill the vision, but they will not succeed.

Now in those times - This phrase amplifies the previous passage describing after an interval of some years.

Many will rise up - The Macedonians under Philip V of Macedon and the Jews ("violent ones") living in Israel joined Antiochus III the Great in opposing the Egyptians. Evidently some of the politically zealous Jews believed that they could gain more freedom if Antiochus III succeeded, but that did not happen.

Wikipedia records some details explaining why Philip V of Macedon allied himself with Antiochus III...

Following an agreement with the Seleucid king Antiochus III to capture Egyptian held territory from the boy king Ptolemy V, Philip was able to gain control of Egyptian territory in the Aegean Sea and in Anatolia. (Reference)

The king of the South - Ptolemy Philopator and his queen died mysteriously in 203BC and were succeeded by their son, the child king Ptolemy V Epiphanes (203-181BC).

Violent ones (Literally = "the sons of the violent ones") among your people - "Violent ones" (pariys) was used in OT to describe robbers (Ezek 7:22). Here it is a reference to Jews who would arise to assist Antiochus in his campaign against Egypt.

In explaining "violent ones" (literally "sons of violence") the NET Bible note says...

"Son(s) is sometimes used idiomatically in Hebrew to indicate that someone is characterized by a certain quality. So the expression "sons of violence" means that these individuals will be characterized by violent deeds. (KJV = "robbers")

In order to fulfill the vision - This phrase is difficult to interpret with certainty. Dr Walvoord feels that...

The reference to establish the vision is probably a prophecy of the afflictions of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes already recorded in Daniel 8.... (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

But they will fall down - This phrase refers to those who aided Antiochus III.

Miller explains that

Although General Scopas of the Egyptian forces was ultimately defeated, he punished the leaders of Jerusalem and Judah who rebelled against the Ptolemaic government. Scopas’ squelching of such a Jewish uprising against Egypt may have been suggested by Polybius.

Daniel 11:15 "THEN THE KING OF THE NORTH WILL COME, CAST UP A SIEGE RAMP AND CAPTURE A WELL-FORTIFIED CITY; AND THE FORCES OF THE SOUTH WILL NOT STAND THEIR GROUND, NOT EVEN THEIR CHOICEST TROOPS, FOR THERE WILL BE NO STRENGTH TO MAKE A STAND. (cast up: Jer 5:10 6:6 33:4 52:4 Eze 17:17) (shall not: Da 11:6 8:7 Jos 1:5 Pr 21:30,31)

Time: 199-198BC

NLT - Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught.

The King of the North will come - Antiochus III the Great

A well fortified city - Apparently a reference to Sidon, (see prophecy against Sidon in Ezek 28:20, 21, 22, 23, 24) the fortified city that Antiochus III besieged circa 199-198BC (see note below) forcing the Egyptian General Scopas, to surrender. Antiochus III had just recently defeated Scopas at the battle of Panium (synonymous with Caesarea Philippi near the headwaters of the Jordan River).  Antiochus' victory resulted in the Syrian occupation of all Palestine as far south as Gaza.

NET Bible notes that...

This well-fortified city is apparently Sidon. Its capture from the Ptolemies by Antiochus the Great was a strategic victory for the Seleucid kingdom.

Walvoord records that...

The Egyptian armies led by Scopas were defeated at Paneas, near the headwaters of the Jordan River. Antiochus III subsequently forced Scopas to surrender at Sidon, referred to as “the most fenced cities,” literally “a city of fortifications,” which the Seleucid king captured in 199-198BC. This victory resulted in the Syrian occupation of all Palestine as far south as Gaza. (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Wikipedia adds that Scopas

appointed to the chief command of the army in Coele-Syria (the region of southern Syria disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty) where he had to make head against the ambitious designs of Antiochus III the Great. At first he was completely successful, and reduced the whole province of Judaea into subjection to Ptolemy V Epiphanes, but was afterwards defeated by Antiochus III at the battle of Panium. Shutting himself up within the walls of Sidon, after an ineffectual attempt by Ptolemy to relieve him he was ultimately compelled by famine to surrender (Polybius XIII.1-2, XVI.18-19, 39; Josephus, Antiguities XII.3.3; St. Jerome, ad Daniel 11:15-16). (Scopas of Aetolia)

The forces of the south will not stand their ground - The KJV says "the arms of the south shall not withstand". This description may allude to the unsuccessful attempt of 3 Egyptian commanders to liberate Scopas who was besieged at Sidon.

Daniel 11:16 BUT HE WHO COMES AGAINST HIM WILL DO AS HE PLEASES, AND NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND HIM; HE WILL ALSO STAY FOR A TIME IN THE BEAUTIFUL LAND, WITH DESTRUCTION IN HIS HAND. (Da 11:3,36 8:4,7)

HISTORICAL TURNING POINT:
SYRIA TAKES PERMANENT POSSESSION
OF PALESTINE

Time: 198BC

NLT- The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it.

Beautiful land - The land of splendor. The land of glory. The glorious land of Israel (Da 11:41,45 8:9 Isa 8:8, Jer 3:19, Ezek 20:6) Upon the surrender of Scopas to Antiochus III at Sidon, the Holy Land became the permanent acquisition of the Seleucids (Syria) and was never again under the dominion of the Ptolemies of Egypt.

Miller writes that...

With the defeat of the Egyptians at Sidon, Antiochus (“the invader”) acquired complete control over Phoenicia and Palestine. Although Palestine had come under Antiochus’s control for a brief time previously (ca. 219–217BC), now the “Beautiful Land” (Palestine; cf. Da 8:9; Ezek 20:6) would become a permanent possession of the Syrian Empire. This fact is extremely important because it sets the stage for the reign of terror to follow under the Syrian Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary, 18) (Logos version) (Wordsearch version).

Beautiful (6643) (tsebi) - 18x in 18v in the NAS - 2 Sam 1:19; Isa 4:2; 13:19; 23:9; 24:16; 28:1, 4f; Jer 3:19; Ezek 7:20; 20:6, 15; 25:9; 26:20; Dan 8:9; 11:16, 41, 45. NAS =  Beautiful(3), beautiful(4), beauty(4), glorious beauty(2), glory(5).

With destruction in his hand (NIV "will have the power to destroy it") - This phrase indicates that while he clearly had the capability to destroy any who opposed him, when Antiochus III entered Jerusalem in 198BC, the Jews welcomed him as a "deliverer and benefactor" (Gleason Archer) and as a result he was well disposed towards the Jews. He did however punish Jews who were pro-Egyptian.

Daniel 11:17 HE WILL SET HIS FACE TO COME WITH THE POWER OF HIS WHOLE KINGDOM, BRINGING WITH HIM A PROPOSAL OF PEACE WHICH HE WILL PUT INTO EFFECT; HE WILL ALSO GIVE HIM THE DAUGHTER OF WOMEN TO RUIN IT. BUT SHE WILL NOT TAKE A STAND FOR HIM OR BE ON HIS SIDE. (set: Da 11:19 2Ki 12:17 2Ch 20:3 Pr 19:21 Eze 4:3,7 25:2 Lk 9:51) ( Ruin: Da 9:26 Ps 56:9 Eze 17:17 Mt 12:30 Lk 11:23 Ro 8:31)

NLT - He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail.

He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom - Antiochus III the Great sought to gain full possession of Egypt during the years 198-195BC.

A proposal of peace which he will put into effect - Apparently Antiochus III felt the growing threat of Rome and sought to initiate peace with Egypt by offering his daughter Cleopatra I Syra to Ptolemy V in 192BC.  Antiochus III clearly hoped that Cleopatra would remain loyal to her father and be a staunch advocate for Syria which would then give Antiochus III  control over Egypt. However, Cleopatra consistently sided with her husband, the boy king Ptolemy V Epiphanes against her father.

Daughter of women - This refers to Antiochus' daughter, Cleopatra, because at that time she was still a child and therefore under the care of her mother and a nurse.  Ryrie adds that she was a "daughter of women" "since she was still so young as to be under the control of her mother"

To ruin it - This is a difficult phrase to interpret. Walvoord writes that...

The expression corrupting her (Da 11:17KJV) may mean “to ruin the land,” that is, Antiochus the Great purposed by this betrothal of his young daughter to the seven-year old Ptolemy to ruin his former opponent and present ally. As Young states, “In this stratagem, however, Antiochus fails, because Cleopatra constantly sides with her husband over against her father.” (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Daniel 11:18 "THEN HE WILL TURN HIS FACE TO THE COASTLANDS AND CAPTURE MANY. BUT A COMMANDER WILL PUT A STOP TO HIS SCORN AGAINST HIM; MOREOVER, HE WILL REPAY HIM FOR HIS SCORN.

Time: 191-188BC

See Roman–Syrian War ( 192-188BC)

NLT - After this, he will turn his attention to the coastal cities and conquer many. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and will cause him to retreat in shame.

Then - Marks a succession of time. KJV has "after this" (Da 11:18KJV)

He will turn his face to the coastlands - Antiochus III subdued most of the coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean. Although he experienced some initial successes (capture many), this move proved to be a serious mistake for this was also a region in which the growing power of Rome was beginning to "flex its muscles".

But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him - The Roman commander, Lucius Cornelius Scipio (Asiaticus), was sent against Antiochus III forcing him to withdraw and take refuge in Antioch in Asia Minor, which resulted in his disgrace.

Miller explains these events...

In 191BC the Romans, fighting with their Greek allies, routed the Syrians at Thermopylae and forced them to withdraw from Greece and flee to Asia Minor. Then 30,000 Roman troops pursued Antiochus into Asia and defeated his much larger army of 70,000 at the Battle of Magnesia near Smyrna (Turkey) in 190BC. In 188BC the Romans forced Antiochus to sign the Treaty of Apamea. Polybius reported that the Syrian king was ordered to surrender territory, much of his military force, twenty hostages (one of whom was Antiochus IV), and pay a heavy indemnity to Rome. (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary, 18) (Logos version) (Wordsearch version).

Walvoord comments that...

Antiochus the Great begins to suffer reverses, however, as indicated in verse 18, where “prince for his own behalf refers to the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, who, as Young expresses it, “brought about the defeat of Antiochus.” The reference to “the reproach offered by him,” refers to Antiochus’ scornful treatment of the Roman ambassadors at a meeting in Lysimachia (Thrace), when he said contemptuously, “Asia did not concern them, the Romans, and he was not subject to their orders.” (A commentary on the Holy Scriptures) (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Daniel 11:19 "SO HE WILL TURN HIS FACE TOWARD THE FORTRESSES OF HIS OWN LAND, BUT HE WILL STUMBLE AND FALL AND BE FOUND NO MORE. (Job 20:8 Ps 27:2 37:36 Jer 46:6 Eze 26:21)

Time: 187BC

He will stumble and fall and be found no more - Apparently Antiochus III was in need of funds to pay the tribute demanded by the Romans and so he sought to rob the temple at Elymais only to be murdered (in 187BC) by those guarding the sanctuary of Jupiter (Zeus).

The tribute payment to Rome was one of the conditions of the Treaty of Apamea (following his defeat by the Romans at the Battle of Magnesia)...

For the future, he keeps no elephants and pay for the cost of the present war, incurred on his account, 500 Euboic talents down and 2500 more when the Senate ratifies the treaty; and 12,000 more during twelve years, each yearly installment to be delivered in Rome. He shall also surrender to us all prisoners and deserters, and to Eumenes whatever remains of the possessions he acquired by his agreement with Attalus, the father of Eumenes. If Antiochus accepts these conditions without guile we will grant him peace and friendship subject to the Senate's ratification. (Treaty of Apamea)

Walvoord records that...

Antiochus the Great, who could have gone down in history as one of the great conquerors of the ancient world if he had been content to leave Greece alone, instead fulfilled the prophecy of verse 19 in that he had to return to his own land, defeated and broken. He was killed trying to plunder a temple in Elam. (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

The last days of Antiochus III the Great are summarized by Wikipedia...

Antiochus then moved to Asia Minor to secure the coast towns which had belonged to the Ptolemaic overseas dominions and the independent Greek cities. This enterprise brought him into antagonism with Rome, since Smyrna and Lampsacus appealed to the republic of the west, and the tension became greater after Antiochus had in 196 BC established a footing in Thrace. The evacuation of Greece by the Romans gave Antiochus his opportunity, and he now had the fugitive Hannibal at his court to urge him on.

In 192 BC Antiochus invaded Greece with a 10,000 man army, and was elected the commander in chief of the Aetolians. In 191 BC, however, the Romans under Manius Acilius Glabrio routed him at Thermopylae and obliged him to withdraw to Asia. The Romans followed up their success by attacking Antiochus in Anatolia, and the decisive victory of Scipio Asiaticus at Magnesia ad Sipylum (190 BC), following the defeat of Hannibal at sea off Side, delivered Asia Minor into their hands.

By the Treaty of Apamea (188 BC) the Seleucid king abandoned all the country north of the Taurus, which Rome distributed amongst its friends. As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the outlying provinces of the empire, recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence.

Antiochus mounted a fresh expedition to the east in Luristan, where he died in an attempt to rob a temple at Elymaďs, Persia, in 187 BC. The Seleucid kingdom as Antiochus left it fell to his son, Seleucus IV Philopator, by his wife Laodice.

R A Torrey sums up the preceding section writing

From the preceding verses in this chapter let us learn,

1. That God, in his providence, sets up one and pulls down another, as he pleases.

2. That this world is full of wars and fightings, which result from the indulgence of the lusts of men.

3. That all the changes and revolutions of states were plainly and perfectly foreseen by the God of heaven.

4. That no word of God can fall to the ground, but what he has declared shall infallibly come to pass.

For the elucidation of the historical parts of Scripture, it is advantageous to notice the writings of heathen authors: light is thus thrown on many passages of Holy Writ, by shewing the accomplishment of the prophecies therein contained, or customs elucidated, which, in the course of years, or in our more northern latitude, would be to us inexplicable. We have therefore reason to bless God for human learning, by which many have done great service to the readers of His blessed word.

Walvoord sums up the life of Antiochus II writing that...

Antiochus the Great, who could have gone down in history as one of the great conquerors of the ancient world if he had been content to leave Greece alone, instead fulfilled the prophecy of verse 19 in that he had to return to his own land, defeated and broken. He was killed trying to plunder a temple in Elam. From the standpoint of the history of Israel, this was important because Antiochus the Great was followed by Seleucus IV Philopator (187–175BC), who in turn was succeeded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164BC), the notorious persecutor of the Jews described in detail in Daniel 11:21-35. In these prophecies, properly interpreted, is an accurate prophetic picture of this period, which would be remarkable even if it was history. As prophecy, it bears the unmistakable imprint of divine inspiration.  (Daniel 11 - World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Go to Daniel 11:20 Commentary

 

 


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