Daniel 11 Commentary(2)

 

 

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Daniel 11:20-45 Commentary

REFERENCES

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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
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 (Defender's Study Bible)
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 and Daniel 11-35 The Picture Filled In

Daniel 11:36-45 The Reign of the Antichrist; The Wilful King

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 11:20 THEN IN HIS PLACE ONE WILL ARISE WHO WILL SEND AN OPPRESSOR THROUGH THE JEWEL OF HIS KINGDOM; YET WITHIN A FEW DAYS HE WILL BE SHATTERED, THOUGH NOT IN ANGER NOR IN BATTLE. (place, Da 11:7,21) (Dt 15:2,3 2Ki 23:35)

Time: 187-175BC

In his place one will arise - Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175BC)

Will send an oppressor through the jewel of his kingdom - A tax collector.

Oppressor (05065) (nagas) is a verb which means to force someone to do something, as in this context where it refers to forcing someone to pay money (cf 2Ki 23:35).

Walvoord explains the reason for the taxation...

Because of the rising power of Rome, he (Seleucus IV Philopator) was forced to pay tribute to the Romans of a thousand talents annually. In order to raise this large amount of money, Seleucus had to tax all the lands under his domain, including special taxes from the Jews secured by a tax collector named Heliodorus (2Macc 3:7) who took treasures from the temple at Jerusalem (Ed: But read the record from Second Maccabees).

Second Maccabees records a quite incredible story regarding Heliodorus attempts to take funds from the Jewish Temple...

While they (Jews distraught that Heliodorus was attempting to take funds from God's House) were imploring the almighty Lord to keep the deposits safe and secure for those who had placed them in trust, Heliodorus went on with his plan. But just as he was approaching the treasury with his bodyguards, the Lord of spirits who holds all power manifested himself in so striking a way that those who had been bold enough to follow Heliodorus were panic-stricken at God’s power and fainted away in terror. There appeared to them a richly caparisoned horse, mounted by a dreadful rider. (Click picture below to enlarge) Charging furiously, the horse attacked Heliodorus with its front hoofs. The rider was seen to be wearing golden armor.  Then two other young men, remarkably strong, strikingly beautiful, and splendidly attired, appeared before him. Standing on each side of him, they flogged him unceasingly until they had given him innumerable blows. Suddenly he fell to the ground, enveloped in great darkness. Men picked him up and laid him on a stretcher. The man who a moment before had entered that treasury with a great retinue and his whole bodyguard was carried away helpless, having clearly experienced the sovereign power of God. While he lay speechless and deprived of all hope of aid, due to an act of God’s power, the Jews praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his holy Place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with fear and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the almighty Lord had manifested himself. Soon some of the companions of Heliodorus begged Onias to invoke the Most High, praying that the life of the man who was about to expire might be spared. Fearing that the king might think that Heliodorus had suffered some foul play at the hands of the Jews, the high priest offered a sacrifice for the man’s recovery. While the high priest was offering the sacrifice of atonement, the same young men in the same clothing again appeared and stood before Heliodorus. “Be very grateful to the high priest Onias,” they told him. “It is for his sake that the Lord has spared your life. Since you have been scourged by Heaven, proclaim to all men the majesty of God’s power.” When they had said this, they disappeared. After Heliodorus had offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made most solemn vows to him who had spared his life, he bade Onias farewell, and returned with his soldiers to the king. (2Macc 3:22-35) (Ed note: To be fair, the reader should be aware that there are no other records of these truly incredible events to definitively substantiate their authenticity).


Heliodorus Expelled
from the Holy Temple

Wikipedia...

 Seleucus IV Philopator was compelled by financial necessities, created in part by the heavy war-indemnity exacted by Rome (The  Treaty of Apamea in 188BC stipulated that thousand talents were to be paid annually to the Roman government), to pursue an ambitious policy. In an effort to collect money to pay the Romans, he sent his minister Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize (plunder) the temple treasury. On his return, Heliodorus assassinated Seleucus, and seized the throne for himself.

The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was now being retained in Rome as a hostage, and the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164BC). Antiochus managed to oust Heliodorus and an infant son of Seleucus, also named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered.

Yet within a few days will be shattered, though not in anger nor in battle - Some scholars speculate that Heliodorus poisoned Seleucus IV Philopator in order to gain the throne.

Daniel 11:21 IN HIS PLACE A DESPICABLE PERSON WILL ARISE, ON WHOM THE HONOR OF KINGSHIP HAS NOT BEEN CONFERRED, BUT HE WILL COME IN A TIME OF TRANQUILITY AND SEIZE THE KINGDOM BY INTRIGUE. (Place Da 11:7,20) (Will arise: Da 8:9,23,25) (Despicable person: 1Sa 3:13 Ps 12:8 15:4 Isa 32:5 Na 1:14) (By intrigue: Da 11:32, 34 Jdg 9:1-20 2Sa 15:2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Ps 55:21)

Time: 175BC

A DESPICABLE PERSON
ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES
(175-164BC)

Daniel 11:21ff parallels the prophecy of Daniel 8...

Out of one of them (Northern Kingdom - Syria - Seleucids) came forth a rather small horn (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) which grew exceedingly great toward the south (Egypt was south), toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land (Da 11:16, Da 11:41). It grew up to the host (In context appears to refer to Jews - later they are said to commit transgression and would hardly be given over to a human being if they were angelic hosts!) of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It (Rather Small Horn) even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground (Antiochus forbade reading of the Word of Truth, God's Word) and perform its will and prosper. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place (Desecration of the Holy Temple) and the host (Destruction of the Holy People, the Jews who were not overtly transgressing) to be trampled?” He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.” (Da 8:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-notes)

The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Alexander the Great - Da 11:. The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power. In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue. His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people (Jews). And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence. And he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many (especially Jews) while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency. The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true; But keep the vision secret, for it pertains to many days in the future (How so? Antiochus Epiphanes serves as a "type" or a foreshadowing of the future world ruler, the Antichrist). (Da 8:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-notes)

In his place - Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175BC)

A despicable person - Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164BC) What a contrast is God's view (despicable) versus his narcissistic view (Epiphanes = shine upon ~ glorious one).

Despicable (0959) (bazah) means to show contempt for someone or something, to view with disdain or to despise. Antiochus was indeed despised by the Jews.

Bazah - 44x in 42v - Ge 25:34; Nu 15:31; 1Sa 2:30; 10:27; 15:9; 17:42; 2Sa 6:16; 12:9f; 2Kgs 19:21; 1Chr 15:29; 2Chr 36:16; Neh 2:19; Est1:17; 3:6; Ps 15:4; 22:6, 24; 51:17; 69:33; 73:20; 102:17; 119:141; Pr 14:2; 15:20; 19:16; Ec 9:16; Isa 37:22; 53:3; Jer 22:28; 49:15; Ezek 16:59; 17:16, 18f; 22:8; Da 11:21; Obad 1:2; Mal 1:6, 7, 12; 2:9. NAS = careless(1), contempt(1), despicable(1), despise(5), despised(32), despises(2), disdained(1), disdained*(1).

He will come in a time of tranquility - Either the people or the leaders felt secure and were at ease, suggesting Antiochus came when there was a sense of false security. In Daniel 8 we read that Antiochus Epiphanes "will destroy many while they are at ease (salwah)." (Da 8:25-note) (NLT - "defeating many by catching them off guard")

Tranquility (07962) (salwah) means security, prosperity, lack of anxiety or concern. Salwah occurs 8x in 8v - Ps 122:7; Pr 1:32; 17:1; Jer 22:21; Ezek 16:49; Da 8:25; 11:21, 24. NAS = complacency(1), ease(2), prosperity(2), quietness(1), time of tranquility(2).

Wikipedia...

He assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play off of his title Epiphanes. (Reference)

Honor of kingship - Antiochus was not the rightful heir to the throne.

Seize the kingdom by intrigue - Antiochus was a master of "political intrigue."

As the son and a potential successor of King Antiochus III, Antiochus became a political hostage of the Roman Republic following the Peace of Apamea in 188 BC. When his older brother,  Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175BC) followed his father onto the throne in 187BC, Antiochus was exchanged for his nephew Demetrius I Soter (the son and rightful heir of Seleucus). After King Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus, a usurper, in 175BC, Antiochus in turn ousted him. Since Seleucus' true heir, Demetrius I Soter, was still a hostage in Rome, Antiochus, with the help of King Eumenes II of Pergamum, seized the throne for himself, proclaiming himself co-regent for another son of Seleucus, an infant named Antiochus (whom he then murdered a few years later). (Reference)

Matthew Henry comments that Antiochus Epiphanes...

was a cruel and violent persecutor of the Jews. See what decaying, perishing things worldly pomp and possessions are, and the power by which they are gotten. God, in His providence, sets up one, and pulls down another, as He pleases. This world is full of wars and fightings, which come from men's lusts. All changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, are plainly and perfectly foreseen by God. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what He has designed, what He has declared, shall infallibly come to pass. While the potsherds of the earth strive with each other, they prevail and are prevailed against, deceive and are deceived; but those who know God will trust in Him, and he will enable them to stand their ground, bear their cross, and maintain their conflict.

Daniel 11:22 THE OVERFLOWING FORCES WILL BE FLOODED AWAY BEFORE HIM AND SHATTERED, AND ALSO THE PRINCE OF THE COVENANT. (with: Da 11:10 9:26 Isa 8:7,8 Am 8:8 9:5 Na 1:8 Rev 12:15,16) (also: Da 8:10,11,25)

NIV- Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed.

The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him - Describes the military victories of Antiochus IV Epiphanes over his enemies.

Prince of the covenant - The identity of this individual is debated. Some commentaries favor this as reference to the "shattering" (murder) of the high priest Onias III who Antiochus Epiphanes ordered in 172BC. Others feel this represents Ptolemy VI Philometor who was defeated by Antiochus' forces.

Walvoord notes that...

The high priest bore the title “prince of the covenant” because he was de facto the head of the theocracy at that time. In Da 11:28 and Da 11:32 the “covenant” is used for the Jewish state.

Daniel 11:23 AFTER AN ALLIANCE IS MADE WITH HIM HE WILL PRACTICE DECEPTION, AND HE WILL GO UP AND GAIN POWER WITH A SMALL FORCE OF PEOPLE. (work: Da 8:25 Ge 34:13 Ps 52:2 Pr 11:18 Eze 17:13-19 Ro 1:29 2Co 11:3 2Th 2:9)

Gain power with a small force of people - Antiochus the despicable deceiver allayed suspicion when he came against Egypt with a small force but was able to gain power over Egypt as far as Memphis.

Wikipedia...

When the guardians of King Ptolemy VI Philometor of Egypt demanded the return of Coele-Syria in 170 BC, Antiochus launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, conquering all but Alexandria and capturing King Ptolemy. To avoid alarming Rome, Antiochus allowed Ptolemy VI to continue ruling as a Puppet-king. Upon Antiochus' withdrawal, the city of Alexandria chose a new King, one of Ptolemy's brothers, also named Ptolemy (VIII Euergetes). Instead of fighting a civil war, the Ptolemy brothers agreed to rule Egypt jointly.

Daniel 11:24 IN A TIME OF TRANQUILITY HE WILL ENTER THE RICHEST PARTS OF THE REALM, AND HE WILL ACCOMPLISH WHAT HIS FATHERS NEVER DID, NOR HIS ANCESTORS; HE WILL DISTRIBUTE PLUNDER, BOOTY AND POSSESSIONS AMONG THEM, AND HE WILL DEVISE HIS SCHEMES AGAINST STRONGHOLDS, BUT ONLY FOR A TIME. (Jdg 9:4 Pr 17:8 19:6) (Devise his schemes: Da 7:25 Pr 23:7 Eze 38:10 Mt 9:4)

NLT - Without warning he will enter the richest areas of the land and do something that none of his predecessors ever did--distribute among his followers the plunder and wealth of the rich. He will plot the overthrow of strongholds, but this will last for only a short while.

In a time of tranquility - When they felt they were secure.

He will distribute plunder, booty, possessions among them - He used the treasures he gained from his victories to bribe and influence others to cooperate with him (cf 1Macc 3:30).

Only for a time - This phrase reminds us that God is sovereign even over the events of evil men. God set the limits allotted to Antiochus Epiphanes.

Daniel 11:25 HE WILL STIR UP HIS STRENGTH AND COURAGE AGAINST THE KING OF THE SOUTH WITH A LARGE ARMY; SO THE KING OF THE SOUTH WILL MOBILIZE AN EXTREMELY LARGE AND MIGHTY ARMY FOR WAR; BUT HE WILL NOT STAND, FOR SCHEMES WILL BE DEVISED AGAINST HIM. (stir up: Da 11:2,10 Pr 15:18 28:25)

Constable notes that...

After Antiochus had grown strong enough, he marched his army against Ptolemy VI in 170 B.C. He was able to get all the way to the Nile Delta before the Egyptians discovered that he was approaching. He exercised much influence over Egypt usually pretending to be an ally and then using this enemy for his own advantage. Notice how the text highlights Antiochus’ deceptiveness. We can see how he was a forerunner of the future Antichrist. (Bolding added)

Schemes will be devised against him - There was treason against the King of the South.  The idea is that a carefully calculated plan would be orchestrated against the King of the South. The text does not say but the same Hebrew word is used in Da 11:24 where it says Antiochus Epiphanes devises schemes against strongholds.

As described in more detail below, Antiochus defeated the army of Ptolemy Philometor, and in the next campaign made himself master of all Egypt, except Alexandria. While they had frequent conferences at the same table, they spoke lies to each other; and the former returned to Syria laden with riches.

Wikipedia describes the main events related to the Sixth Syrian War which lasted from 170-168BC...

The causes of this conflict are obscure. In 170, Eulaeus and Lenaeus, the two regents of the young king of Egypt Ptolemy VI Philometor, declared war on the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In the same year, Ptolemy's younger siblings Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra II were declared co-rulers in order to bolster the unity of Egypt. Military operations did not begin until 169 when Antiochus quickly gained the upper hand, seizing the important strategic town of Pelusium. The Egyptians realised their folly in starting the war, Eulaeus and Lenaeus were overthrown and replaced by two new regents, Comanus and Cineas, and envoys were sent to negotiate a peace treaty with Antiochus. Antiochus took Ptolemy VI (who was his nephew) under his guardianship, giving him effective control of Egypt. However, this was unacceptable to the people of Alexandria who responded by proclaiming Ptolemy Physcon as sole king. Antiochus besieged Alexandria but he was unable to cut communications to the city and he also needed to deal with a revolt in Judaea so, at the end of 169BC, he withdrew his army.

In his absence, Ptolemy VI Philometor and his brother Ptolemy VIII Physcon were reconciled. Antiochus, angered at his loss of control over the king (Ptolemy VI), invaded again. The Egyptians sent to Rome asking for help and the Senate dispatched Gaius Popilius Laenas to Alexandria. Meanwhile, Antiochus had seized Cyprus and Memphis and was marching on Alexandria. At Eleusis, on the outskirts of the capital, he met Popilius Laenas, with whom he had been hustlas during his stay in Rome. But instead of a friendly welcome, Popilius offered the king an ultimatum from the Senate: he must evacuate Egypt and Cyprus immediately. Antiochus begged to have time to consider but Popilius drew a circle round him in the sand with his cane and told him to decide before he stepped outside it. Antiochus chose to obey the Roman ultimatum. The "Day of Eleusis" ended the Sixth Syrian War and Antiochus' hopes of conquering Egyptian territory. (Reference)

Daniel 11:26 THOSE WHO EAT HIS CHOICE FOOD WILL DESTROY HIM, AND HIS ARMY WILL OVERFLOW, BUT MANY WILL FALL DOWN SLAIN. (that feed: 2Sa 4:2-12 2Ki 8:14 10:6-9 Ps 41:9 Mic 7:5,6 Mt 26:23 Mk 14:20 Jn 13:18) (overflow: Da 11:10,22)

Strauss...

Notice once more that the victory of Antiochus was to be credited to "devices." (schemes) Even those who worked closely with the king of the south, that is, men who ate at the king's table, turned against their ruler. We are not told how Antiochus successfully operated his conspiracy within the top administration in the Egyptian government, but we do know his wicked plan worked, at least for awhile.

Daniel 11:27 AS FOR BOTH KINGS, THEIR HEARTS WILL BE INTENT ON EVIL, AND THEY WILL SPEAK LIES TO EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TABLE; BUT IT WILL NOT SUCCEED, FOR THE END IS STILL TO COME AT THE APPOINTED TIME. (Will be: 2Sa 13:26 Ps 12:2 52:1 58:2 64:6 Pr 12:20 23:6-8 26:23) (speak lies: Ps 62:9 Jer 9:3-5 41:1-3) (but: Pr 19:21 Eze 17:9) (But: Da 11:29,35,40 8:19 10:1 Hab 2:3 Ac 1:7 17:31 1Th 5:1)

Daniel 11:28 THEN HE WILL RETURN TO HIS LAND WITH MUCH PLUNDER; BUT HIS HEART WILL BE SET AGAINST THE HOLY COVENANT, AND HE WILL TAKE ACTION AND THEN RETURN TO HIS OWN LAND. (the holy: The Jews having rejoiced at a report of his death, he took Jerusalem, and slew 40,000 of the inhabitants, and polluted the temple. Da 11:22,30-32 8:24 Ac 3:25

Time: 168BC

Gaebelein

In 168BC he returned from his expedition and had great riches. Then he marched through Judea and did his awful deeds. A report had come to his ears that the Jewish people had reported him dead. In the first and second book of the Maccabees we read of his atrocities. Then he retired to Antioch. (The Prophet Daniel: Key to the Visions & Prophecies of the Book of Daniel)

Comment: See 1Macc 1:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 2Macc 5:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 for a detailed description of the violent atrocities of Antiochus and his murder of thousands of Jews as he marched through Judea

Daniel 11:29 AT THE APPOINTED TIME HE WILL RETURN AND COME INTO THE SOUTH, BUT THIS LAST TIME IT WILL NOT TURN OUT THE WAY IT DID BEFORE. (time: Da 8:19 10:1 Isa 14:31 Ac 17:26 Ga 4:2
as the former: Da 11:23,25

At the appointed time - The sovereign God is in control of time.

He will return - Antiochus IV become angry when Ptolemy VI and his brother, Ptolemy Physcon were reconciled and invaded Egypt a second time.

Will not turn out - Egypt's call for help from Rome resulted in dispatch of the Roman commander Gaius Popillius Laenas (described in the next verse as "ships of Kittim"), who confronted Antiochus IV, telling him to withdraw from Egypt or face the wrath of Rome. As described in Da 11:30 Antiochus withdrew in great anger which he avenged on the "Holy Covenant", the Jews.

Daniel 11:30 FOR SHIPS OF KITTIM WILL COME AGAINST HIM; THEREFORE HE WILL BE DISHEARTENED AND WILL RETURN AND BECOME ENRAGED AT THE HOLY COVENANT AND TAKE ACTION; SO HE WILL COME BACK AND SHOW REGARD FOR THOSE WHO FORSAKE THE HOLY COVENANT. (ships: Ge 10:4 Nu 24:24 1Ch 1:7 Isa 23:1,12 Jer 2:10 Eze 27:6) (enraged: Da 11:28 7:25 Rev 12:12) (have intelligence: Ne 6:12 Mt 24:10)

Ships of Kittim will come against him - This verse continues the story of Antiochus IV's unsuccessful second invasion of Egypt described in the previous passage. The ships of Kittim refer to the Roman forces that turned Antiochus IV away from his designs on Egypt.

NET Bible Note on Kittim...

The name Kittim has various designations in extra-biblical literature. It can refer to a location on the island of Cyprus, or more generally to the island itself, or it can be an inclusive term to refer to parts of the Mediterranean world that lay west of the Middle East (e.g., Rome). For ships of Kittim the Greek OT (Septuagint - LXX) has "Romans," an interpretation followed by a few English versions (e.g., TEV). A number of times in the Dead Sea Scrolls the word is used in reference to the Romans. (Daniel 11 Commentary Notes)

Wikipedia describes the events as follows...

being confronted with the Roman demands that he abort his attack on Alexandria, Antiochus IV played for time; Popillius Laenas is supposed to have drawn a circle around the king in the sand with his cane, and ordered him not to move out of it until a firm answer had been given. The Syrians withdrew. According to Livy,

"After receiving the submission of the inhabitants of Memphis and of the rest of the Egyptian people, some submitting voluntarily, others under threats, [Antiochus] marched by easy stages towards Alexandria. After crossing the river at Eleusis, about four miles from Alexandria, he was met by the Roman commissioners, to whom he gave a friendly greeting and held out his hand to Popilius. Popilius, however, placed in his hand the tablets on which was written the decree of the senate and told him first of all to read that. After reading it through he said he would call his friends into council and consider what he ought to do. Popilius, stern and imperious as ever, drew a circle round the king with the stick he was carrying and said,

"Before you step out of that circle give me a reply to lay before the senate."

For a few moments he hesitated, astounded at such a peremptory order, and at last replied,

"I will do what the senate thinks right."

Not till then did Popilius extend his hand to the king as to a friend and ally. Antiochus evacuated Egypt at the appointed date, and the commissioners exerted their authority to establish a lasting concord between the brothers, as they had as yet hardly made peace with each other." Ab Urbe Condita, xlv.12.

He will be disheartened and will return - Antiochus IV submits to the request of the Roman Senate not to invade Egypt again.

Become enraged at the holy covenant and take action - Antiochus IV Epiphanes takes out his wrath on Jerusalem and the Temple

Enraged (02194) (za'am) properly means to "foam at the mouth", and thus means to become angry, to express indignation (divine indignation - Ps 7:11, Isa 66:14, Zech 1:12, Mal 1:4). Given the root meaning (foaming at the mouth) it is not surprising that such anger can show in one's face (Pr 25:23).

Za'am - 12x in 11v - Nu 23:7, 8; Ps 7:11; Pr 22:14; 24:24; 25:23; Isa 66:14; Da 11:30; Mic 6:10; Zech 1:12; Mal 1:4. NAS = abhor(1), angry(1), become enraged(1), been indignant(1), cursed(2), denounce(2), denounced(1), indignant(2), indignation(1).

Show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant - Antiochus showed favor to those Jews who apostatized and locked arms with his agenda (which was clearly anti-Semitic).

Daniel 11:31 "FORCES FROM HIM WILL ARISE, DESECRATE THE SANCTUARY FORTRESS, AND DO AWAY WITH THE REGULAR SACRIFICE. AND THEY WILL SET UP THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. (forces: Da 8:24 Rev 17:12) (desecrate: Da 8:11 12:11 La 1:10 2:7 Eze 7:20,21 9:7 24:21,22) (Do away with: Da 8:12,13,26 9:27) (abomination: Da 8:13 9:27 12:11 Mt 24:15 Mk 13:14 Lk 21:20) (Ac 13:40,41)

Forces (02220) (zerowa') is literally the arm, a physical part of the body, but is used repeatedly in the OT as a picture or symbol of might, power or strength.

Zerowa' - 92x in 85v - Gen 49:24; Exod 6:6; 15:16; Num 6:19; Deut 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 9:29; 11:2; 18:3; 26:8; 33:20, 27; Judg 15:14; 16:12; 1 Sam 2:31; 2 Sam 1:10; 22:35; 1 Kgs 8:42; 2 Kgs 9:24; 17:36; 2 Chr 6:32; 32:8; Job 22:8f; 26:2; 35:9; 38:15; 40:9; Ps 10:15; 18:34; 37:17; 44:3; 71:18; 77:15; 79:11; 83:8; 89:10, 13, 21; 98:1; 136:12; Prov 31:17; Song 8:6; Isa 9:20; 17:5; 30:30; 33:2; 40:10f; 44:12; 48:14; 51:5, 9; 52:10; 53:1; 59:16; 62:8; 63:5, 12; Jer 17:5; 21:5; 27:5; 32:17, 21; 48:25; Ezek 4:7; 13:20; 17:9; 20:33f; 22:6; 30:21f, 24f; 31:17; Dan 10:6; 11:6, 15, 22, 31; Hos 7:15; 11:3; Zech 11:17. NAS = rm(53), arms(19), forces(3), help(1), mighty(1), position(1), power(4), shoulder(2), strength(8).

Sanctuary (04720) (miqdash) refers to the consecrated thing or place, especially the sanctuary,  the Holy place, the hallowed part.

Miqdash - 76x in 72v - Ex 15:17; 25:8; Lev 12:4; 16:33; 19:30; 20:3; 21:12, 23; 26:2, 31; Num 3:38; 10:21; 18:1, 29; 19:20; Josh 24:26; 1 Chr 22:19; 28:10; 2 Chr 20:8; 26:18; 29:21; 30:8; 36:17; Neh 10:39; Ps 68:35; 73:17; 74:7; 78:69; 96:6; Isa 8:14; 16:12; 60:13; 63:18; Jer 17:12; 51:51; Lam 1:10; 2:7, 20; Ezek 5:11; 7:24; 8:6; 9:6; 11:16; 21:2; 23:38f; 24:21; 25:3; 28:18; 37:26, 28; 43:21; 44:1, 5, 7ff, 11, 15f; 45:3f, 18; 47:12; 48:8, 10, 21; Dan 8:11; 9:17; 11:31; Amos 7:9, 13. NAS = holy(1), holy place(2), holy places(1), places(1), sacred part(1), sanctuaries(5), sanctuary(65).

Fortress (04581) (mauz) refers to a place or means of safety or protection.

Mauz - 35x - Judg 6:26; 2 Sam 22:33; Neh 8:10; Ps 27:1; 28:8; 31:2, 4; 37:39; 43:2; 52:7; 60:7; 108:8; Prov 10:29; Isa 17:9f; 23:4, 11, 14; 25:4; 27:5; 30:2f; Jer 16:19; Ezek 24:25; 30:15; Dan 11:1, 7, 10, 19, 31, 38f; Joel 3:16; Nah 1:7; 3:11

Desecrate the sanctuary fortress - Literally - "the sanctuary, the fortress"

Do away with the regular sacrifice - The parallel passage in Daniel 8 records that Antiochus Epiphanes...

even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. (Daniel 8:11)

Abomination (08251) (shiqquts) is a very "strong" word referring to that which is filthy, detestable or disgusting (abominable filth). In the OT shiqquts was always used in connection with idolatrous practices, either referring to the idols themselves as being abhorrent and detestable in God's sight, or to something associated with the idolatrous ritual. Idols generally are referred to as an abomination (Jer 16:18; Ezek 5:11, Ezek 7:20).

Abomination of desolation - KJV has "the abomination that maketh desolate." While this abomination was fulfilled in 168BC, the abomination of Da 12:11-note refers to a yet future abomination of desolation which Jesus alluded to in Mt 24:15.

Desolation (08074) (shamem) means ruin or waste and is a primary root which refers to a desolation caused by some great disaster, usually a result of divine judgment. Shamem stresses horror caused by desolation of judgment. Shamem also refers to the reaction to such a ruin, including consternation, astonishment, or being appalled.

Shamem - 86v - Lev 26:22, 31f, 34f, 43; Num 21:30; 1 Sam 5:6; 2 Sam 13:20; 1 Kgs 9:8; 2 Chr 7:21; 36:21; Ezra 9:3f; Job 16:7; 17:8; 18:20; 21:5; Ps 40:15; 69:25; 79:7; 143:4; Eccl 7:16; Isa 33:8; 49:8, 19; 52:14; 54:1, 3; 59:16; 61:4; 63:5; Jer 2:12; 4:9; 10:25; 12:11; 18:16; 19:8; 33:10; 49:17, 20; 50:13, 45; Lam 1:4, 13, 16; 3:11; 4:5; 5:18; Ezek 3:15; 4:17; 6:4, 6; 20:26; 25:3; 26:16; 27:35; 28:19; 29:12; 30:7, 12, 14; 32:10, 15; 33:28; 35:12, 15; 36:3f, 34ff; Dan 8:13, 27; 9:18, 26f; 11:31; 12:11; Hos 2:12; Joel 1:17; Amos 7:9; 9:14; Mic 6:13; Zeph 3:6; Zech 7:14. NAS = appalled(13), astonished(8), astounded(1), become desolate(1), causes horror(1), causing consternation(1), desolate(22), desolated(4), desolating(1), desolation(5), desolations(3), destitute(1), destroy(1), devastations(1), horrified(2), laid desolate(1), laid waste(4), lie deserted(1), lies desolate(1), made me desolate(1), made you desolate(1), made desolate(3), make the desolate(2), make their desolate(2), make them desolate(1), make your desolate(1), make...appalled(1), make...desolate(1), makes desolate(2), ravaged(1), ruin(1), ruined(1), ruins(1).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who has been labeled the "Antichrist of the Old Testament", caused an up an altar to be set up in the Jewish Temple and on this altar he placed an idolatrous image of Zeus (cf 2Macc 6:2). In addition, he turned the priest's chambers into brothels, creating the "abomination that causes desolation". In other words, the Temple was desolate to pious Jews because of the desecration of the altar which destroyed its true purpose. They had no desire to worship in such a polluted environment and thus the Temple was deprived of Jewish worshippers. Just so will the Antichrist establish an abomination in the sanctuary, a demonic counterfeit worship (Da 9:27-note; Da 12:11-note). Even more blatantly defiant of God, the Antichrist will command worship of himself and his image! (2Th 2:3,4, Rev 13:14-note, Rev 13:15-note) God will allow this gross evil because He is using this devilish man to fulfill His purging and purifying purpose in the nation of Israel. While the infinitely good and holy God does not cause evil, in His infinite wisdom and omnipotence is able to bring good out of what others mean for evil. (cf Ge 50:20, Ro 8:28-note)

Henry Morris adds...

It is believed that Epiphanes, aided by traitorous Jews, sacrificed a sow on the altar and erected a statue of Zeus in the temple at Jerusalem. The motive behind this act was his ambition to unify the great empire extending all the way to India, left him by his father, by compelling all people in the empire to adopt the Greco/Roman system of culture and pantheistic religion.

Daniel 11:32 "BY SMOOTH WORDS HE WILL TURN TO GODLESSNESS THOSE WHO ACT WICKEDLY TOWARD THE COVENANT, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD WILL DISPLAY STRENGTH AND TAKE ACTION. (turn to: 2Th 2:9, 10, 11, 12 Rev 13:12, 13, 14, 15) (the people: 1Ch 28:9 Ps 9:10 Jer 31:34 Jn 17:3 2Co 4:3-6 1Jn 2:3,4 5:20) (shall be: Pr 19:5 26:28 Mic 5:7, 8, 9 7:15, 16, 17 Zec 9:13, 14,1 5, 16 10:3, 4, 5, 6,12 12:3, 4, 5, 6, 7 14:1, 2, 3, 4 Mal 4:2 2Ti 2:1, 2, 3 Heb 10:32,33 Rev 6:11 7:9,10 12:7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

By smooth words - Antiochus IV Epiphanes was a "smooth operator" facile in using words laden with flattery. The root verb (for smooth) is balaq which means to be smooth or slippery! What a picture of this despicable king's speech and a foreshadowing of the future king, the Antichrist.

Turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant - This refers to Jews who are enticed by Antiochus to in essence "apostatize", to reject the truth of God's covenant.

First Maccabees alludes to these events recording that

In those days there appeared in Israel men (Jews) who were breakers of the law (act wickedly toward the covenant), and they seduced many people, saying: “Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.” 12 The proposal was agreeable; 13 some from among the people promptly went to the king (Antiochus IV), and he authorized them to introduce the way of living of the Gentiles (Hellenization). 14 Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom. 15 They covered over the mark of their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant; they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing. (1Macc 1:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

Many even from Israel gladly adopted his (Antiochus pagan, godless) religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. (1Macc 1:43)

But - Observe the striking contrast between the Jews who were unfaithful and apostatized versus those Jews who remained faithful to Jehovah and His covenant.

The people who know their God - This refers to faithful, God fearing Jews, who were "jealous" for God which in turn made them "zealous" (display strength and take action), for this verse alludes to the Maccabees who revolted against the forced imposition of godless religion upon the nation of Israel.

Daniel 11:33 THOSE WHO HAVE INSIGHT AMONG THE PEOPLE WILL GIVE UNDERSTANDING TO THE MANY, YET THEY WILL FALL BY SWORD AND BY FLAME, BY CAPTIVITY AND BY PLUNDER FOR MANY DAYS. (Insight: Da 12:3,4,10 Isa 32:3,4 Zec 8:20, 21, 22, 23 Mal 2:7 Mt 13:11,51,52 28:20 Lk 24:44, 45, 46, 47 Acts 4:2, 3, 4 11:26 14:21 2Ti 2:24,25) (Yet: Mt 10:21 20:23 24:9 Jn 16:2 Acts 12:2,3 1Co 4:9 2Ti 1:12 4:6 Heb 11:34 Rev 1:9 2:13 6:9 7:14 13:7, 8, 9, 10 17:6)

Those (Jews) who have insight among the people (Jews) - This description refers to Jews who understood what was happening in Israel, because they knew and believed God's truth. As an aside, one wonders if some of the insight of these Jews was obtained from these prophecies of Daniel written over 250 years earlier. If so, these Jews would have had Biblical insight into the anti-Semitic acts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Give understanding to the many ( = the Jews) - Those who understood the truth instructed others in the truth of the Scriptures. The implication of this statement is these wise Jews appealed to their less knowledgeable Jewish brethren to place their hope in the covenant keeping God, Jehovah, and not in the anti-God teaching associated with paganism and Hellenization.

Yet they will fall by sword and flame - The God fearing Jews who took a stand of God's Truth for the sake of righteousness paid dearly for their faith, suffering persecution and even death at the hands of the rabidly anti-Semitic king Antiochus.

1Maccabees says that...

many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. 63 They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. 64 Very great wrath came upon Israel. (1Macc 1:62, 63, 64)

Gleason Archer records that...

The fulfillment of these predictions came in 168BC, when the standard of revolt was raised by Mattathias, the leading priest in the city of Modein, located in the hills of the tribe of Ephraim. After killing the officer of Antiochus who had come to enforce the new decree concerning idolatrous worship, Mattathias and his five sons (John Gaddis, Simon Thassi, Judas Maccabeus, Eleazar Avaran, and Jonathan Apphus) led a guerrilla band that fled to the hills (1 Macc 2:23–28) and attracted many adherents from various other cities in the Judean province. A large number of these original patriots died in their first engagement with the king’s troops because they refused to fight in their own defense on the Sabbath, the day on which they were attacked (1 Macc 2:38). But revising their policy after this tragic slaughter, they decided they would fight even on the Sabbath, if compelled to do so. Then they engaged in vigorous attacks on all their fellow Jews who had bowed to Antiochus’s ordinance and forsaken their God. Not long afterward Mattathias died, whether from illness or wounds, after entrusting the leadership of the Israelite forces to his own capable sons. Judas Maccabeus (for it was originally he alone that received this title of “Hammer,” rather than the family as a whole) assumed the military leadership and gained a brilliant victory over the forces of Apollonius, whom he slew in battle. Judas’s second triumph involved routing an even larger army under Seron. A third army of formidable proportions came down from Syria under Lysias, Antiochus’s deputy, equipped with a fearsome elephant corps. Thanks to the heroism of Judas’s brother Eleazer, who managed to plunge his sword into an elephant’s chest before it fell on him and crushed him to death, even this mighty host was put to flight by the Maccabean forces. So the Maccabees fulfilled the predictions (cf. Mic 4:12, 13 [Payne, Biblical Prophecy, p. 403] and Zech 9:13; 10:8, 9 [Payne, Biblical Prophecy, p. 449). (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing or  computer version)

Daniel 11:34 NOW WHEN THEY FALL THEY WILL BE GRANTED A LITTLE HELP, AND MANY WILL JOIN WITH THEM IN HYPOCRISY. (They will be: Rev 12:2, 3, 4, 5, 6,13, 14, 15, 16, 17 13:1, 2, 3, 4) (Join: Mt 7:15 Acts 20:29,30 Ro 16:18 2Co 11:13, 14, 15 Ga 2:4 1Ti 4:1,2 2Ti 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 4:3 Titus 1:11 2Pe 2:1, 2, 3,18,19 1Jn 2:18,19 4:1,5 2Jn 1:7 Jude 1:4 Rev 2:20, 13:11, 12, 13, 14)

They will be granted a little help - This passage is somewhat difficult to interpret dogmatically but presumably refers to other Jews who came alongside the Maccabean rebels in their fight against Antiochus.

Many will join them in hypocrisy - This appears to refer to Jews who will join with the Maccabean troops but who in actuality are only pretending loyalty.

1Maccabees records...

Then there united with them a company of Hasideans, mighty warriors of Israel, all who offered themselves willingly for the law. 43 And all who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them. 44 They organized an army, and struck down sinners in their anger and renegades in their wrath; the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety. 45 And Mattathias and his friends went around and tore down the altars; 46 they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel. 47 They hunted down the arrogant, and the work prospered in their hands. 48 They rescued the law out of the hands of the Gentiles and kings, and they never let the sinner gain the upper hand. (1 Mac 2:42-48)

Archer explains that...

because one Seleucid army after another fell before their onslaught, the Maccabean troops were able to intimidate many of their fellow citizens who had previously held back from the conflict. Particularly when the Hasidim began to round up those who had collaborated with the Seleucids and put them to death (1Macc 2:42) and Judas himself (Judas Maccabeus) hunted out those (Jews) in the various cities who had deserted scriptural standards (“the lawless,” as Maccabees calls them), goodly numbers of insincere followers attached themselves to the patriot cause, hoping to save their own skins. Such supporters as these, however, proved to be of more help to the enemy than to the cause of freedom when later invasions were launched against them by the successors of Antiochus Epiphanes after his death in 164.  (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing or  computer version)

Daniel 11:35 SOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE INSIGHT WILL FALL, IN ORDER TO REFINE, PURGE AND MAKE THEM PURE UNTIL THE END TIME; BECAUSE IT IS STILL TO COME AT THE APPOINTED TIME. (Some: Da 11:33 8:10 Mt 16:17 26:56,69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 Jn 20:25 Acts 13:13 15:37, 38, 39) (Refine, etc: Da 12:10 Dt 8:2,3,16 2Chr 32:31 Pr 17:3 Zec 13:9 Mal 3:2, 3, 4 4:1, 2, 3 Jas 1:2 1Pe 1:6,7 Rev 2:10) (Because: Da 11:29,40 8:17,19 9:27 10:1 12:4,11 Hab 2:3 Rev 14:15 17:17)

Time: ~164 BC

Some of those who have insight will fall - Some of the Jews who understood the significance of Antiochus' anti-Semitic actions would die (presumably in war with Antiochus' troops).

To refine (KJV = "try"), purge, and make them pure (KJV = "make...white" - for more discussion of "white" as a wonderful metaphor of salvation see notes on Da 12:10) - This identifies the purpose of God's allowing Antiochus to persecute Israel and is a foreshadowing of the greatest conflict (cf Da 10:1-note "great conflict"), the future time of distress (Da 12:1-note) at the end time, the appointed time when...

Many (Jews) will be purged, purified and refined (cf Zech 13:8, 9); but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Da 12:10-note)

As John MacArthur phrases it...

The gracious design of such suffering was to sanctify them.

Until the end time ("the time of the end" NIV, NLT, NET, ESV) - This time phrase signifies that the persecution of Israel will continue until the final period of time in the future, the time which God has appointed. This time will only come to an end, at the end of the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer 30:7 "but he will be saved from it" or rescued Da 12:1-note), the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21), the last half of the Seventieth Week of Daniel. In other words, anti-Semitism and overt Jewish persecution will continue until the Messiah puts a stop to it at His Second Coming.

The tragic History of the Jews bears out the veracity of this prediction, whether in the Spanish Inquisition (See The inquisition of the church against the Jews 1481-1834), the "Crusades" (see Persecution of Jews in the First Crusade)", the Pogroms, [meaning to destroy, wreak havoc or demolish violently] Hitler's Holocaust, etc.

There are a number of relatively similar time phrases in the eschatological section of Daniel

Da 8:17-note = the time of the end

Da 8:19-note = the appointed time of the end

Da 8:26-note = pertains to many days in the future

Da 9:26-note = even to the end there will be war

Da 10:14-note = in the latter days...pertains to the days yet future

Da 11:27-note = the end is still to come at the appointed time

Da 11:35-note = until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time

Da 11:40-note = at the end time

Da 12:4-note = until the end of time

Da 12:6-note = until the end of these wonders

Da 12:9-note = until the end time

Donald Campbell...

The approximately 135 specific prophecies in the first 35 verses of this chapter have been fulfilled with amazing accuracy, as would be expected of a divine revelation. There is every reason to believe, therefore, that the remaining proph­ecies of the chapter will have the same precise and literal fulfillment in the future.

Dr. E. Schuyler English once told of a man on Long Island who was able to satisfy a lifelong ambition by purchasing a very fine barometer. When he unpacked the instrument, he was dismayed to find that the needle appeared to be stuck, pointing to the section marked "Hurricane."  After shaking the barometer vigorously, the man wrote a scorching letter to the store from which he had purchased the instrument and, on his way to his office in New York the next morning, mailed the protest. That evening he returned to Long Island to find not only the barometer missing, but his house also. The barometer's needle had been right-there was a hurricane! (Campbell, Donald: Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society.)

A LEAP
IN TIME

Daniel 11:36 "THEN THE KING WILL DO AS HE PLEASES, AND HE WILL EXALT AND MAGNIFY HIMSELF ABOVE EVERY GOD AND WILL SPEAK MONSTROUS THINGS AGAINST THE GOD OF GODS; AND HE WILL PROSPER UNTIL THE INDIGNATION IS FINISHED, FOR THAT WHICH IS DECREED WILL BE DONE. (Do: Da 11:16 8:4 Jn 5:30 6:38 exalt: Da 7:8,20,25 Isa 14:13 2Th 2:4 Rev 13:5 17:3) (God: Da 2:47 Dt 10:17 Jos 22:22 Ps 136:2) (Until: Da 7:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 8:19 12:7,11, 12, 13 Rev 11:2,3 12:14 13:5) (For: Da 4:35 9:26 Job 23:13,14 Ps 33:10 Pr 19:21 Isa 46:10 Acts 4:28 Rev 10:7 17:17)

Seiss (writing in 1879) introduces his discussion of Daniel 11:36-45 quoting Martin Luther who...

writes: "This prophecy applies entirely, as all expositors unanimously agree, to the Antichrist, whose spirit is of the pope, but whose body is another, who corporeally oppresses, destroys and persecutes the congregation of the Lord."...(Seiss continues) That this Seleucid tyrant (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) and despoiler of the Jews is embraced in the description may be readily admitted; but the relation of Antiochus to "the king," upon whom the emphasis here falls, is no more than that of Cyrus to Christ, or that of the destruction by the Romans to the end of the world. The one is simply the typical forerunner of the other. Identity or the confinement of the portrait to Antiochus is never once to be though of, unless we can arrange to transfer him down to the still-pending period of the resurrection of the the dead (Ed note: Da 12:2-note continues the prophetic vision, chapter 12 being a poor chapter break), to which the time of this monster is so specifically assigned."

Whoever this king may be, or from whatever quarter he may come, he is the last representative of the bestial world-power that ever bears rule upon earth. The terms of the angel's description, particularly as continued in the succeeding chapter, establish this beyond mistake. He is to "prosper till the indignation is accomplished" -- till God's angry visitations on the Jews for their sins are finally and fore ever exhausted and ended (Ed: cf the summary statements dealing with transgression, sin and iniquity in Da 9:24-note)--- which is manifestly not yet the fact.

In the ninth chapter the angel had said that "desolations are determined" (Da 9:26-note)-- desolations which "make desolate even until the consummation (Da 9:27KJV-note)" and he here says that this king shall prosper for the doing of "that which is determined (Da 11:36KJV)." His prosperity must therefore run to the consummation. And so in the next chapter (Daniel 12) the time of his doings is specifically noted as contemporaneous with the period of the great tribulation -- the period when the woes of the prophet's people are to reach a perpetual end --- the period when every one written in the  Book shall be delivered -- the period when the many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall be exhausted by fulfilment (Da 12:2-note) -- "the time of the end" (Da 8:17, Da 11:35KJV-note, Da 11:40KJV-note, Da 12:4KJV-note, Da 12:9KJV-note) -- "the end of the days," when Daniel shall stand in his lot (Da 12:13KJV-note). The character assigned to this king, and the manner in which the angel introduces him as "the king," identifies him with the little horn which comes up after the ten kings in the first vision (Da 7:23, 24, 25, 26-note)...and with "the prince that shall come," who makes a covenant with the many for seven years, and in the midst of the seven breaks it and desecrates the temple with abominations, as stated in the third vision (Da 9:26-note, Da 9:27-note). But the power spoken of in each of those instances extends to the termination of all mere human rule on earth -- to the sitting of the judgment --- to the time when transgressors are come to the full (Da 9:24-note) -- "even until the consummation (Da 9:27KJV-note)." He must therefore be the very last of this world's powers.  (Joseph Augustus Seiss - Voices from Babylon or The Records of Daniel the Prophet - Daniel 11:36-45. Pages 285-287. Published in 1879)

Daniel 11:36-45
THE FUTURE KING:
THE ANTICHRIST

Then (See expressions of time) - When? At the appointed time (God's perfect timing which indicates His complete control of history), the time which is still to come. While not everyone agrees, as explained below, at this juncture it appears that Daniel describes events that take us into the future at "warp speed", so that between Daniel 11:35 and Daniel 11: 36, there is a gap of at least over 2160 years. Notice that if one carefully follows the pronouns describing the "king" in Da 11:36, this king proves to be the same one designated "him...him...he" in Daniel 11:40-note (which cannot be Antiochus because this verse says the King of the South comes against this other king - Antiochus cannot be both the "king of the north" and "him...him...he" in this verse!). Continuing this same line of reasoning, the king of Da 11:36 is the same "he" who will "come to his end" in Da 11:45-note, which in turn is clearly linked with the future "time of distress", rescue of the Jews in Daniel 12:1-note and resurrection in Daniel 12:2-note (none of which has yet occurred!). In sum, if one interprets Daniel 11:36-12:3 literally, the king of Daniel 11:36 is clearly not Antiochus IV Epiphanes but another king who has all the "pedigree" of the future Antichrist.

David Guzik adds that...

Here we shift from what was fulfilled in the Ptolemies and the Seleucids to what will be fulfilled in the Antichrist, the final world dictator. Daniel was told that this revelation pertained to the latter days (Da 10:14-note), and Da 11:36 begins to look more towards this final world dictator, who is sort of a "last days Antiochus Epiphanes." We know that everything about this prophecy was not fulfilled during the career of Antiochus Epiphanes. Jesus specifically said the real abomination of desolation was still in the future (Matthew 24:15). (Daniel 11 Commentary)

John Whitcomb identifies Daniel 11:36 as descriptive of future events for the following reasons...

The fact that these events will occur during the future Great Tribulation (Ed comment: This period is the last 3.5 years and it difficult to identify when in the Da 11:36 through 45 that time period is being described. Certainly the last few verses are clearly in the last 3.5 years but it is otherwise difficult to be dogmatic) is suggested by

(1) the chronological reference of Da 12:1-note ("now at that time"), which places the events of Da 11:36-45 into the time of final resurrection and judgment (Da 12:2-note);

(2) the transitional events of Da 11:35-36, which continue "until the end time";

(3) the broad scope of Da 10:14-note, which would fail if its only possible fulfillment, namely, Da 11:36-12:3, is not eschatological; and

(4) what we know of the career of Antiochus Epiphanes, which simply does not fit the wording of Da 11:36-12:1.20 (Whitcomb, J. Daniel Everyman's Bible Commentary)

Dr Donald Campbell offers the following points to support the premise that Daniel 11:36 begins a section which refers to unfilled future events...

Though not all have agreed, the evidence seems conclusive that the spotlight now falls on an evil ruler of the last days-Antichrist.

(1) According to the angel's words, the scope of this prophecy was to include the "latter days" (Da 10:14-
note).

(2) In the opening verses of this section (Da 11:36, 37, 38, 39), introductory statements are made as if this person is being introduced in this context for the first time. This corresponds with the fact that the story of Antiochus in relation to the Jews was brought to completion (Da 11:35).

(3) The prophecies (through Da 11:35) find fulfillment in history, but there is no historical correspondence with what now follows.

(4) This king is actually distinguished from the king of the north (Da 11:40-
note). Therefore, he cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes.

(5) The entire section (Da 11:36-45) corresponds remarkably with other recognized prophecies of the final Antichrist (Da 7:24, 25, 26, 27; 8:23, 24, 25-
note; Da 9:26-note, Da 9:27-note; 2Th 2:3, 4; Rev 13, 17).

(6) In connection with this person's rule there will occur the time of Great Tribulation (Da 12:1 "great distress"). (Campbell, Donald: Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society)

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary adds that another reason this section refers to a future prophecy is because...

Da 11:36 mentions a king whose period is “the indignation,” a technical term drawn from Israel’s prophetic literature, usually having reference to eschatological events (e.g., Isa 26:20). (Ed comment: See more discussion on the indignation below) (Pfeiffer, C F: Wycliffe Bible Commentary. 1981. Moody or Logos or Wordsearch)

Jerome (original written in 417AD) wrote that...

The Jews believed that this passage has reference to the Antichrist alleging that after the small help of Julian a king is going to rise up who shall do according to his will and shall lift himself up against all that is called god, and shall speak arrogant words against the God of gods (Jerome's Commentary on Daniel. Translated by Gleason L. Archer, Jr. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Book House, 1958. Page 136)

Gleason Archer writes that...

This present section (Da 11:36, 37, 38, 39) contains some features that hardly apply to Antiochus IV, though most of the details could apply to him as well as to his latter-day antitype, “the beast.” Both liberal and conservative scholars agree that all of chapter 11 up to this point contains strikingly accurate predictions of the whole sweep of events from the reign of Cyrus (during which Daniel brought his career to a close Da 1:21-note) to the unsuccessful effort of Antiochus Epiphanes to stamp out the Jewish faith. But the two schools of thought radically differ in the explanation for this phenomenon. Evangelicals find this pattern of prediction and fulfillment compelling evidence of the divine inspiration and authority of the Hebrew Scriptures, since only God could possibly foreknow the future and see to it that his announced plan would be precisely fulfilled. (Archer, G. L., Jr. Daniel. In F. E. Gaebelein, Ed., The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 7: Daniel and the Minor Prophets. Page 143. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. or  computer version)

Remember that if God has perfectly fulfilled 135 prophecies from Daniel 11:1-35, the sure word of prophecy in these following verses Daniel 11:36 through Daniel 12:3 will be fulfilled just as perfectly!

The king - Note that in contrast to the pattern in this chapter, this one is identified only as "the king" without qualifying him as from the North or the South (cf every previous mention of the king - Da 11:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 25). The only previous use of king with geographic designation is in Da 11:3 where king refers to Alexander the Great who "will rule with great authority and do as he pleases" (Da 11:3-note) even as will the Antichrist. See also the discussion on Da 11:40. And so the king is a reference to the infamous Antichrist, the same individual that Daniel 9:26-note referred to as the "prince who is to come" who originates from the people who destroyed Jerusalem (the Romans).

Daniel 7 also implies that the Antichrist will be a king...

As for the ten horns (on the "dreadful and terrifying beast", the Roman Empire), out of this kingdom ten kings will arise (This fact projects this prophecy into the future as there has yet to be a "Ten King/Kingdom Stage" of the Roman Empire, implying that it will be revived and will have a 10 King stage); and another (Another what? Implication is "another king", an 11th if you will) will arise after them (The 11th king arises after the 10 are in existent and arises from them which indicates they must be contemporaneous not sequential kingdoms), and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. (Da 7:24-note)

Will do as he pleases - Self willed ("Strong willed"). This self oriented focus is common to other godless rulers - Alexander the Great (Da 8:4-note, Da 11:3-note), Antiochus III "the Great" (this is not Epiphanes) (Da 11:16-note)

Will exalt himself above every god - This speaks of his self-deification (if he is above every god, the clear implication is that he considers himself to be a god! cf the root of all human sin in Ge 3:5).

Guzik rightly observes that this description is not perfectly fulfilled Antiochus Epiphanes and thus is additional support that the description of the the king which begins in Da 11:36 points to another king, one yet future...

Antiochus Epiphanes certainly did this in the general sense that all sinners oppose God. Yet he remained loyal to the Greek religious tradition, which revered the entire Olympian pantheon. Antiochus Epiphanes put a statue of Zeus in the temple, not of himself. This will be far more precisely fulfilled in the Antichrist, who sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2Th 2:4, cf Rev 13:15, 16-note). (Daniel 11 Commentary)

Paul describes the Antichrist's "god complex" in the context of explaining to the saints at Thessalonica that they are not in the terrifying Day of the Lord instructing them to...

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness (Remember - In Scripture one's name often speaks of one's character. What is the character of this man?) is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes (present tense = not just once or twice but as his continual practice, his lifestyle of anti-god attitude and actions) and exalts (present tense = continually)  himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God (The Temple was destroyed in 70AD, thus this verse underscores the fact that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt), displaying (present tense = continually; Greek = apodeiknumi = means to cause something to be known as genuine, in this case that he is the "real deal", that he really is god! Remember is a master deceiver) himself as being God. (2Thes 2:3,4)

Will speak monstrous things against the God of gods - He blasphemes the true and living God.

Daniel offered a similar description of the "Little Horn" (aka, the "King" of Da 11:36) in chapter 7...

And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (for this same time phrase see Da 12:7, cf Rev 12:6-note, Rev 12:14-note) (Da 7:25-note)

John adds ...

And there was given to him (Antichrist = The King = The Little Horn = The Beast of Revelation 13) a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (Rev 13:5-note, Rev 13:6-note)

Will prosper (cf "prosper" in Da 8:12-note referring to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a foreshadowing of the Antichrist) - He will be allowed to have power.  Where did he get his power and/or authority to prosper? Ultimately the sovereign God allowed him to prosper, but in Revelation 13 John teaches that...

the dragon (Satan - see Rev 12:9-note for several of his many names) gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (Rev 13:2-note)

Even the usually non-futuristic older commentary by Matthew Henry remarks that...

The remainder of this prophecy is very difficult, and commentators differ much respecting it. From Antiochus the account seems to pass to Antichrist (however unfortunately Henry goes on to equate the historical Roman Empire with the Antichrist)

Kenneth Gangel makes the point that...

Readers dissatisfied with the premillennial interpretation of this chapter should look at the InterVarsity Press publication The Meaning of the Millennium for a variety of positions on end-time events. The premillennial interpretation is hardly some recent position rising out of prophecy mania developed in twentieth-century fundamentalism. (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Daniel)

UNTIL THE INDIGNATION
IS FINISHED

Indignation (02195) (za'am) literally means frothing at the mouth and speaks of fury and in the Scriptures is often a dramatic picture of God's great displeasure with sin (Isa 26:20; Isa 30:27; Hab 3:12).

 

Za'am - 22 verses - Ps 38:3; 69:24; 78:49; 102:10; Isa 10:5, 25; 13:5; 26:20; 30:27; Jer 10:10; 15:17; 50:25; Lam 2:6; Ezek 21:31; 22:24, 31; Da 8:19; 11:36; Hos 7:16; Nah 1:6; Hab 3:12; Zeph 3:8. NAS = indignation(21), insolence(1).

 

Indignation is defined as (extreme) anger (mingled with contempt, disgust, abhorrence) aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean. The 1828 Webster's defines indignation as "The anger of a superior; extreme anger; particularly, the wrath of God against sinful men for their ingratitude and rebellion. The effects of anger; the dreadful effects of God’s wrath; terrible judgments."

Until the indignation is finished - "Until" is an expression of time which indicates that the Antichrist will prosper for a time but that his seemingly indomitable kingdom will come to an abrupt end when the indignation is finished.

So what is the indignation? In the present context, the indignation speaks of God's wrath which will be poured out on the nation of Israel during the last 3.5 years of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, the Great Tribulation.

Henry Morris agrees...

Claiming to be the greatest of all men, representing the highest attainment of the cosmic evolutionary process, and energized by Satan himself (cf Rev 13:2-note), this man, the final Antichrist, will briefly attain world dominion, but only until God's "indignation be accomplished"--the "day of God's wrath," the great tribulation, the seventieth week of the prophetic calendar. (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible) (Online Version)

We see a foreshadowing of God's final indignation in Daniel 8, where the angel lets Daniel know...

what will occur at the final period of the indignation (Hebrew = za'am; Lxx = orge [word study] = wrath), for it pertains to the appointed time (Heb = moed; Lxx = kairos) of the end. (Daniel 8:19-note)

While the prophecy of Daniel 8 focuses on the emergence of the Grecian empire and specifically on the anti-Semitic reign of the rather small horn, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, this description of Antiochus seems to foreshadow the future reign of terror of the Antichrist (See also Da 8:26-note "pertains to many days [in the future]")

In a similar use of indignation Isaiah writes...

 

Come (All verbs in red are commands), my people, enter into your rooms, and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while, until indignation (za'am) runs its course ("has passed by" - NIV, ESV). For behold (interjection to arrest the reader's attention - Listen up!), the LORD (Jehovah) is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth (When will Jesus return to punish the earth? Has this happened yet? This must speak of His Second Coming - see chart comparing the Rapture versus the Second Coming) for their iniquity (cp Rev 19:11-21); and the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:20, 21)

 

Thomas Constable Comments: Before the restoration of Israel, however, God’s people would experience hard times (in the Tribulation, cf. Rev. 12)...Yahweh would come out of His heavenly place of quiet to punish Earth Dwellers for their secret sins in the Tribulation. The earth itself, the forces of nature, would assist the Lord, metaphorically, by exposing sins that lay hidden (cf. Isa 26:12). (Daniel Expository Commentary Notes)

 

KJV Bible commentary on Isaiah 26:20: The passing over of the indignation (za'am, indignant denunciation) may refer to the survival of the Jewish remnant during the Tribulation Period. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson or Logos)

 

John Martin comments: Isaiah wrote that the future remnant should hide during the time of distress (God’s wrath in the Tribulation) (Ed note: See same phrase Da 12:1-note), knowing that deliverance from the Lord will come. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos or Wordsearch)

The prophet Zephaniah also uses indignation (za'am) in a passage describing the future Great Tribulation...

Therefore wait (command) for Me,” declares the Lord, for the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation (NIV = "My wrath"), all My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal (NIV = "jealous anger"). (Zeph 3:8)

 

John Hannah comments: The prophet concluded the “judgments” portion of his prophecy by reverting to the universal theme with which he introduced the section. He began with a summary statement of universal judgment (Zeph 1:2, 3); then he delineated God’s judgment on Judah and Jerusalem (Zeph 1:4-2:3) and on other nations (Zeph 2:4-15). Then for emphasis he repeated the judgment on Jerusalem (Zeph 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Now he ended this long section with another general summary of universal judgment. In the Lord’s impending universal judgment on the nations, His cup of wrath was about to be poured out; at that time His grace would take second place to His anger! At the end of the yet-future Tribulation, God will cause the nations’ armies to assemble toward Jerusalem, and in the Battle of Armageddon (See Campaign of Armageddon) (cf. Zech 14:2; Rev 16:14, 16) He will pour out on them His wrath (za‘am, from “foam”), all His fierce anger (cf. Zeph. 2:2), and the fire of His jealous anger (lit., “jealousy”). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos or Wordsearch)

 

John MacArthur adds: The prophet transitions from the historical invasion of Judah by Babylon to the future day of the Lord. He speaks of the Great Tribulation, when the Lord will gather all the nations for judgment (cf. Joel 3:1,2,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Zech 12:2,3; 14:2; Mt. 24:21). The faithful remnant, presumably the meek of Zeph 2:1, 2, 3, are exhorted to wait in trust for Him to carry out His judgment. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos)

For that which is decreed will be done - This phrase alludes to the sovereignty of God even over the time of this evil ruler and serves as a good reminder to all of us that God is in control, even when events and circumstances seem to us "out of control".

We see a similar statement in Isaiah 10...

For a complete destruction one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.  Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, “O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. For in a very little while My indignation (Heb = za'am = intense anger, curse) against you will be spent and My anger will be directed to their destruction.  (Is 10:23, 24, 25).

 

I agree with John MacArthur who comments: The indignation covers the entire period of Israel’s exile (Isa 26:20; Da 11:36). Here is the promise that it will end with the return of the Messiah (Isa 11:1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6-16).

Dr John Walvoord sums up this verse noting that...

Beginning with verse 36, a sharp break in the prophecy may be observed, introduced by the expression the time of the end in verse 35. Up to this point, the prophecy dealing with the Persian and Grecian Empires has been fulfilled minutely and with amazing precision. Beginning with verse 36, however, an entirely different situation obtains. No commentator claims to find precise fulfillment in the remainder of this chapter. Although Zöckler and others attempt to relate Daniel 11:36-45 to Antiochus (Antiochus IV Epiphanes), many students of Scripture have recognized from antiquity that another king must be in view (Ed: Even if they did not necessarily identify him as the Antichrist). Ibn Ezra, for example, identified this king with Constantine the Great; Rashi and Calvin referred him to the Roman Empire as a whole; and Jerome, Theodoret, and Luther, among others, identified him with the New Testament Antichrist. (Daniel 11 World History From Darius To The Time Of The End)

Daniel 11:37 "HE WILL SHOW NO REGARD FOR THE GODS OF HIS FATHERS OR FOR THE DESIRE OF WOMEN, NOR WILL HE SHOW REGARD FOR ANY OTHER GOD; FOR HE WILL MAGNIFY HIMSELF ABOVE THEM ALL. (Regard: Ge 3:16 Dt 5:21 21:11 Song 7:10 Eze 24:16 1Ti 4:3) (regard: Ge 3:5 Isa 14:13 2Th 2:4)

Show no regard - Antichrist although from a religious background (the specifics of which are debatable) will turn his back on his ancestral religion.

It should be noted that this aspect of the king's behavior/preference was the opposite of the practice of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who has been historically documented to be a benefactor (giver of gifts) to various pagan cults. In other words Antiochus did in fact show regard for his ancestral (pagan) gods and he did not honor a god of fortresses in place of these deities. Mark Mercer writes that...

The gods of the Seleucid ancestors of Antiochus IV were Apollo, the patron and ancestor of the dynasty, as well as Zeus. Walbank points out, however, that these special relationships did not, of course, deter the various royal houses from the worship of other gods and goddesses as well and from founding cults and temples to them....How do the benefactions of Antiochus contribute to an understanding of Da 11:37, 38? Many of his gifts to Greek cities were of a religious nature, and they benefited the cults of the gods of his fathers, mentioned above, for whom the text says the king showed no regard. In addition, these gifts to various cult centers demonstrate that to say Antiochus IV did not regard any god is inaccurate (Da 11:37). To be specific, he resumed the construction of the temple of Zeus in Athens. He also made contributions to the temple of Zeus in Olympia. He built a temple for Jupiter Capitolinus at Antioch. He contributed in some way to the building or rebuilding of the temple of Apollo at Daphne. The imposition of the edict of 167B.C. involved the introduction of the Dionysus cult. Finally, during the panyguric at Daphne in the summer of 166, a vast number of images were involved in the procession and following these games Apollo was honored with a new coinage of gold staters and tetradrachms. Antiochus also contributed some statues around the altar at Delos. Delos was thought to be the birthplace of Apollo and was considered sacred to him.

 

The above facts show that Antiochus did indeed show regard for the gods of his fathers, Apollo and Zeus, as well as to others—unlike the King of the North in Dan 11:37, 38. In conclusion, the opinions of two ancient historians note the character of Antiochus In conclusion, the opinions of two ancient historians note the character of Antiochus IV Epiphanes as it relates to religion:

Nevertheless in two great and important respects his soul was truly royal— in his benefactions to cities and in the honours paid to the gods (Livy 41.20.5)

But in the sacrifices he furnished to cities and in the honours he paid to the gods he far surpassed all his predecessors . . . (Polybius 26.1.10)

From what Livy and Polybius have to say about Antiochus IV Epiphanes, to view him as the King of the North in Da 11:36-45 is difficult. This factor favors the fifth view regarding Dan 11:36-45, that a yet-future king will fulfil the prophecy. (Mark Mercer - The Benefactions of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Daniel 11:37-38: An Exegetical Note - TMSJ 12/1; Spring 2001, p 89-93 - See article for documenting references)

Clearly this documentation of Antiochus IV's affection and support of numerous pagan deities, is strong support that this passage does not refer to that historical king as some posit (suggest), but to a future, yet to be revealed king.

The gods of his fathers - "Gods" is the Hebrew word Elohim and thus one could also translate this passage as "The God of his fathers", which has led some to suggest that the Antichrist is Jewish. E.g., we see this phrase in the description of Amon, the son of Manasseh, the writer recording that Amon...

forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD. (2Ki 21:22)

Most commentators feel this phrase signifies that the Antichrist simply rejects the religion practiced by his parents without specifying the religion.

The desire of women - This phrase has also led some to favor a Jewish origin for the Antichrist because Jewish women often expressed the desire to be the mother of the Messiah (cf Hag 2:7KJV which uses "desire" to refer to Messiah). Certainly the Antichrist (anti = against or instead of) will show no regard for Christ (cf 1Jn 2:22) and will magnify himself above Christ.

Some commentators interpret this phrase as signifying Antichrist has no desire for women (some even saying this suggests he is of homosexual orientation) and/or that he is virtually devoid of natural affection.

Will magnify himself above them all (cf 2Th 2:3,4) - Ultimately the Antichrist will demand that all the earth’s inhabitants worship him above God or even so-called gods (Rev 13:12-note, Rev 13:14-note, Rev 13:15-note).

Daniel 11:38 "BUT INSTEAD HE WILL HONOR A GOD OF FORTRESSES, A GOD WHOM HIS FATHERS DID NOT KNOW; HE WILL HONOR HIM WITH GOLD, SILVER, COSTLY STONES AND TREASURES. (A god: Rev 13:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 17:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 18:12) (Isa 44:9)

But instead - Instead of the gods of his fathers.

A god of fortresses (Heb = ma'oz = strongholds, place or means of safety) - This phrase refers to Antichrist's honoring of military strength, might or power. What a marked contrast with believers who see the Almighty as their stronghold, refuge, strength or place of safety (Nah 1:7, 2Sa 22:33, Neh 8:10 = strength, Isa 25:4 = defense, Pr 10:29, Ps 28:8 = defense, Ps 31:2 = strength, Ps 43:2). The Antichrist's honoring of a false god as his strength reminds one of the words of the Psalmist...

Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and was strong in his evil desire. (Ps 52:7)

Keil comments that...

The god of fortresses is the personification of war, and the thought is this: he will regard no other god, but only war; the taking of fortresses he will make his god; and he will worship this god above all as the means of his gaining the world-power.

His fathers -  This phrase is used about 70x in Bible and almost every time refers to Jewish ancestral line. While one cannot be dogmatic as discussed above, this phrase could suggest that the Antichrist has a Jewish ancestry. This line of reasoning would also be consistent with the idea of "anti" = instead of. Thus the "counterfeit Christ" the one who is "instead of" the True Christ might logically be expected to be Jewish thus fulfilling OT prophecies that the Messiah (Christ) would be of this line.

He will honor him - Antichrist will fortify the god of fortresses by providing a generous "budget" for a military arsenal, even as if it were an "offering" to this personified deity! That Antichrist honors a "god of fortresses" is seem by his continual engagement in war -- Da 11:40, 42, 43, 44, 45; Da 7:8, Da 7:24 Rev 13:4; Rev 16:13, 14, 15, 16).

Lehman Strauss has an interesting note...

"God of forces" should read "goddess of strongholds." (Ed: I'm not sure this is correct as the Hebrew noun is masculine) Even though the Antichrist shall not have regard for any god at all, verses 38 and 39 seem to teach that he will create his own god, which is love of warfare and victory. With some people their god is sex, or money, or prestige, but with the Antichrist the pride of his heart will be to have men at his feet. If they will not yield to him willingly, then he will bring them there by force. Gold and silver and mere things hold no attraction for Satan. He is "the prince (ruler) of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and the whole world is his sphere of operation (1John 5:19), but he must be the mighty master of men and angels. To bind the Antichrist to himself he will offer him particular honors and influence. The seventieth week will be Satan's greatest hour, and he will make the most of it. The Antichrist will be his willing tool, doing his bidding completely. (Lehman Strauss Commentary – The Prophecies of Daniel) (The Prophecies of Daniel - Wordsearch)

Daniel 11:39 "HE WILL TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE STRONGEST OF FORTRESSES WITH THE HELP OF A FOREIGN GOD; HE WILL GIVE GREAT HONOR TO THOSE WHO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AND WILL CAUSE THEM TO RULE OVER THE MANY, AND WILL PARCEL OUT LAND FOR A PRICE. (A price: Rev 18:9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

With the help of a foreign god - In context this to best be interpreted as a "god whom his fathers did not know" in the preceding verse. Some interpret this as an allusion to Satan, who is described by John as the "power" behind the Antichrist (cf Rev 13:2-note)

Foreign (05236) (nekar) means alien, strange, as of a deity that is not the true God (eg, Ge 35:2, Dt 32:12, of idols Jer 8:19).

Nekar - 35x in 34v - Gen 17:12, 27; 35:2, 4; Ex 12:43; Lev 22:25; Dt 31:16; 32:12; Josh 24:20, 23; Jdg 10:16; 1Sa 7:3; 2Sa 22:45, 46; 2Chr 14:3; 33:15; Neh 9:2; 13:30; Ps 18:44, 45; 81:9; 137:4; 144:7, 11; Isa 56:3, 6; 61:5; 62:8; Jer 5:19; 8:19; Ezek 44:7, 9; Da 11:39; Mal 2:11. NAS = aliens (2), foreign(16), foreigner (6), foreigners (10), strange(1).

He will give great honor to those who acknowledge him - Antichrist will reward (? bribe) those who worship/honor/express loyalty to him, even as Antiochus had done in a foreshadowing action (Da 11:24 "he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them"). So just as with the despicable Antiochus Epiphanes, Antichrist has those who will acknowledge him (apostatize) and come over to his side, in essence "selling their soul" in order to get favors from him. In fact, Revelation 13 says that

And he (the second beast or False Prophet) causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Rev 13:16-note, Rev 13:17-note; See their horrible everlasting destiny = Rev 14:9-note, Rev 14:10-note, Rev 14:11-note = the cost of "selling one's soul"! cf Mt 10:28)

Gangel adds that...

The ultimate politicians, both Antiochus and Antichrist know how to manipulate people by rewards (make them rulers) and political payoffs (distribute the land at a price).

Daniel 11:40 "AT THE END TIME THE KING OF THE SOUTH WILL COLLIDE WITH HIM, AND THE KING OF THE NORTH WILL STORM AGAINST HIM WITH CHARIOTS, WITH HORSEMEN AND WITH MANY SHIPS; AND HE WILL ENTER COUNTRIES, OVERFLOW THEM AND PASS THROUGH. (at the: Da 11:35 8:17 12:4) (king of the south: Da 11:5,6 Eze 38:14-18) (like: Isa 5:28 21:1 66:15 Jer 4:13 Zec 9:14) (with horsemen: Eze 38:4,15 Rev 9:16 16:12) (overflow: Da 11:10,22)

At the time of the end - In context, this time phrase clearly conveys an eschatological (speaking of future things) meaning.

The king of the North - This phrase would further support the premise that Da 11:36-45 does not refer to Antiochus IV Epiphanes who is clearly a king of the north. However in this passage this king of the north is fighting against the king described in the previous passages (Da 11:36, 37, 38, 39). Who then is the King of the North? Commentators speculate that this might be Russia, but I think one cannot be dogmatic. Certainly for those persons living in the end time will know clearly who this refers to as they view current events. Therefore, one gains little by attempting to speculate too much on the exact meaning of some the clearly future events described in Da 11:40-45. I agree with Kenneth Gangel who says...

If the angel intends to stay with his imagery from the beginning, the Antichrist may find himself battling Egypt and Syria. But one arriving at such a conclusion with any amount of dogmatism does so only to his or her peril.

He will enter countries, overflow them and pass through - Like a flood flows through the land, this metaphor pictures the military might as overwhelming the enemies. As to who the "he" is in this passage, there is some disagreement, but the context would still seem to favor that this pronoun refers to the Antichrist.

Daniel 11:41 HE WILL ALSO ENTER THE BEAUTIFUL LAND, AND MANY COUNTRIES WILL FALL; BUT THESE WILL BE RESCUED OUT OF HIS HAND: EDOM, MOAB AND THE FOREMOST OF THE SONS OF AMMON. (Enter: Da 11:45 Eze 38:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) (But these: Isa 11:13, 14, 15 Jer 9:26 48:47 49:6)

He will also enter the beautiful (KJV - "glorious", YLT - "desirable") land (cf Da 8:9-note, Da 11:16-note) - The Antichrist comes into Israel. As an aside some commentators such as the generally well respected author Leupold inappropriately associate this phrase with the church, which in a word, makes no sense whatsoever and thus is nonsense! One is reminded again of the importance of holding fast to the golden rule of interpretation in prophecy (and all Scripture for that matter)...

If the plain sense makes good sense (in context), seek to make no other sense or it is (potentially) nonsense! (cf 2Ti 2:15-note)

The beautiful (Heb = tsebiy) land is not the church but Israel, the land which God promised to His chosen people (cf God's unconditional, unbreakable promise in Ge 15:18, 19, 20, 21), as recorded in Ezekiel where God says...

on that day (Read Ezek 20:4) I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory (tsebiy) of all lands. (Ezekiel 20:6)

Edom, Moab...Ammon - These countries will be spared from the wrath of the Antichrist. Why? We cannot state with certainty therefore it is useless to speculate.

Daniel 11:42 THEN HE WILL STRETCH OUT HIS HAND AGAINST OTHER COUNTRIES, AND THE LAND OF EGYPT WILL NOT ESCAPE. (Stretch out: Eze 29:14 Zec 10:10,11 14:17 Rev 11:8)

Stretch out his hand against other countries - The hand is repeatedly used as a metaphor symbolizing power or might, indicating the Antichrist will wield his dominant power against countries such as Egypt.

The land of Egypt - The fact that Egypt is specifically named suggests that this indeed refers to literal Egypt, which is not a powerful nation in our time but will achieve some degree of power in the future.

Daniel 11:43 "BUT HE WILL GAIN CONTROL OVER THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF GOLD AND SILVER AND OVER ALL THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF EGYPT; AND LIBYANS AND ETHIOPIANS WILL FOLLOW AT HIS HEELS. (Libyans: Jer 46:9,10 Eze 38:5) (At his: Ex 11:8 Jdg 4:10)

He will gain control - The Antichrist will take valuable booty in the land of Egypt.

Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels -

Daniel 11:44 BUT RUMORS FROM THE EAST AND FROM THE NORTH WILL DISTURB HIM, AND HE WILL GO FORTH WITH GREAT WRATH TO DESTROY AND ANNIHILATE MANY. (East: Da 11:11,30 Eze 38:9, 10, 11, 12 Rev 16:12 17:13 19:19, 20, 21)

While it is not possible to be dogmatic as to the timing of the event in Daniel 11:36-45, the events in this verse suggest it is almost surely the last half of the 7 years of Daniel's Seventieth Week, during which the Antichrist unveils his ''true colors''. He is indeed the "son of destruction" (2Th 2:3), a very destructive man even as foreshadowed by the despicable Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Rumors from the east and from the north will disturb him - The exact meaning of this phrase is uncertain.

The east - While one cannot be dogmatic, this could refer to the armies described in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (see Rev 9:13, 14,15, 16, 17, 18, 19-notes and Rev 16:12-note). In his commentary on the Revelation, Dr Tony Garland comments that...

The movement of these kings probably contributes to the “news from the east and the north” which disturbs the Antichrist (Da 11:44). (See Campaign of Armageddon)

He will go forth with great wrath - While the Antichrist is dominating North Africa, he is made aware of these rumors which cause him to go back into the beautiful land in a state of great rage.

Destroy (08045) (shamad) always expresses complete “destruction” or “annihilation.” The destruction depicted by shamad usually involves a rather sudden catastrophe such as warfare or a mass killing.

Annihilate (02763) (haram) means to completely destroy, to devote to destruction, to exterminate, to annihilate, to doom with the ultimate idea of bringing about a complete and utter destruction.

Haram - 51x in 47v - Ex 22:20; Lev 27:28, 29; Nu 21:2, 3; Deut 2:34; 3:6; 7:2; 13:15; 20:17; Josh 2:10; 6:18, 21; 8:26; 10:1, 28, 35, 37, 39, 40; 11:11, 12, 20, 21; Jdg 1:17; 21:11; 1Sa 15:3, 8, 9, 15, 18, 20; 1Kgs 9:21; 2Kgs 19:11; 1Chr 4:41; 2Chr 20:23; 32:14; Ezra 10:8; Isa 11:15; 34:2; 37:11; Jer 25:9; 50:21, 26; 51:3; Da 11:44; Mic 4:13. NAS = annihilate(1), covet(1), destroy them utterly(1), destroy utterly(1), destroyed them utterly(1), destroying(1), destroying them completely(2), destruction(2), devote(2), forfeited(1), set apart(1), sets apart(1), utterly destroy(11), utterly destroyed(22), utterly destroying(3).

Mounce adds that haram...

is used most often to designate cities that are to be utterly destroyed. This involves the total annihilation of the human and animal population and the burning of all items not given over in consecration to God. On several occasions, God commands Israel to destroy the cities of Canaan and other neighboring nations (Nu 21:2, 3; Dt 2:34; Jos 8:26), but there are also instances of foreign nations following the practice (2 Ki. 19:11; 2 Chr. 20:23; Da 11:44). Isaiah writes that Yahweh has devoted the foreign nations to the ban (Isa 34:2). These nations are devoted to the ban because of their sin: prolonged immoral and idolatrous practices and hostility against God and his people (cf. Ge 15:16; Deut 7:4, 5, 25, 26; 9:5). (Mounce, W. D. Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan)

Daniel 11:45 HE WILL PITCH THE TENTS OF HIS ROYAL PAVILION BETWEEN THE SEAS AND THE BEAUTIFUL HOLY MOUNTAIN; YET HE WILL COME TO HIS END, AND NO ONE WILL HELP HIM. (Between: Joel 2:20 Zec 14:8) (And the: Da 11:16,41 Ps 48:2 Isa 2:2 14:13 Mic 4:2 2Th 2:4) (He will come: Da 2:35 7:26 8:25 Eze 38:22,23 39:2 2Th 2:8 Rev 13:10 14:14-20 Rev 19:19-21 20:2,9)

He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion - While the exact meaning is uncertain, this event may correspond the the gathering of the armies at Armageddon. The apostle John records...

And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.  (Rev 16:16-note) (See also the Campaign of Armageddon)

Gangel observes that...

Megiddo, mentioned twelve times in the Old Testament (Josh. 12:21; 17:11; Jdg 1:27; 5:19; 1Kgs. 4:12; 9:15; 2Kgs. 9:27; 23:29, 30; 1Chr. 7:29; 2Chr. 35:22; Zech 12:11), lies on a major highway connecting Egypt with Syria. No one can say with certainty that Daniel 11:45 and Revelation 16:16 indicate the exact geographical site of the final battle between good and evil, but no interpretation makes any better sense (Ed note: Gangel like many identifies Armageddon as a "battle" when it is more accurately a campaign or a war - see Campaign of Armageddon). Daniel's angel seems to say that the great world leader finds his final defeat right there (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Daniel)

Between the seas - the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The beautiful mountain - Mount Moriah, the place of Temple Mount.

Yet he will come to his end - This describes the demise of the Antichrist.

The end of Antichrist is described in multiple passages...

Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the (Little) horn (the Antichrist) was speaking; I kept looking until the beast (the Antichrist) was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. (Da 7:11)

And then that lawless one (the Antichrist) will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming (as described in Rev 19:11-20 - see below) (2Thes 2:8)

And I saw the beast (the Antichrist) and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast (the Antichrist) was seized, and with him the false prophet (Beast #2, "another beast" of Revelation 13 - Re 13:11, 12, 13, 14-note) who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (Rev 19:19-note, Rev 19:20-note including discussion of the "Lake of Fire").

No one will help him - As he ruled alone, he will die alone. God is sovereign. He is in control of the appointed time of the end for both men and devils (cf Da 7:12-note, Da 8:19-note). It is God alone...

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

No help - Equates with "No escape"! His doom is sure. This reminds me of Luther's great words announcing God's sure and final triumph over all evil for all time (Hallelujah. Amen!)...

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
(play)

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. (2Th 2:8, cf Re 20:9-
note)

S R Miller nicely sums up chapter 11 commenting that...

Daniel 11 has enormous theological value.

First, the reality of the God of the Bible is demonstrated. Campbell relates:

In the first 35 verses there are at least 135 prophecies which have been literally fulfilled and can be corroborated by a study of the history of the period. (Campbell, D. Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society)

Since no human being can know the future (apart from divine inspiration), there must be a God in heaven who revealed these matters.

Second, the divine omniscience and omnipotence of the Lord is set forth. God foretells future events and therefore must have supreme knowledge and power over history.

Third, for those who live after the predicted events have occurred, there is the confidence that since the previous prophecies have been fulfilled, the subsequent promises of deliverance and triumph will just as assuredly come true.

Fourth, the fulfillment of these amazing predictions evidences that the Holy Scriptures are truly a product of supernatural revelation.

Therefore this section of the Book of Daniel is not an unimportant record of historical events but a rich testimony to the believers’ glorious God and the trustworthiness of his Word. (Miller, S. R. - Daniel - New American Commentary) (Logos version) (Wordsearch version).

 

 


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