Related Resource: Daniel 10 Commentary
Gird your minds (with truth) for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope (aorist imperative = Do it now! It is urgent!) completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1Pe 1:3-note)
Looking at Daniel 11:1-45 we see truth in the form of a prophecy that shines in a dark place in history for Israel and for us who live in the last days. Peter reminds us that
we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (2Pe1:19-note)
Shortly before Jesus was arrested, He prayed for His disciples (and for us) in His great intercessory prayer in John 17 beseeching His Father to
Sanctify (set them apart from the defilement of the world and for the use by God) them in the truth. Thy Word is truth.’ (Jn 17:17)
In order to understand Daniel 11 remember that this vision begins in Daniel 10, where the message is stated to be '' true and one of great conflict (or warfare)''. Daniel describes a ''divine'' being whose appearance puts him flat on his face (Da 10:9). Daniel records that the divine one said…
O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
Daniel was a man of high esteem because…
he knew his God
he did not compromise
he stood firm
he was able to take action (because he knew God and he walked in the light of what he knew)
he allowed God’s word to be a light to him in the midst of many dark places.
Daniel wanted to know the truth, to be able to understand the messages that God had given him.
In Da 8:27 we saw that
Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then [he] got up again and carried on the king's business; but [he] was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it."
Daniel wanted to understand the truth. And here in Daniel 10 we see that God wanted Daniel to understand the vision (O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words") so He sent forth an angelic messenger, who was not without opposition, for
the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding [him] for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help [him] , for [he] had been left there with the kings of Persia." (Da 10:13)
HOW DOES TRUTH
APPLY TO OUR LIVES?
God wants us to know the truth, but there is another who does not want us to know the truth. Satan and his demonic hosts go to great effort to keep the children of God ignorant of the "Word of Truth" because he knows that the truth of God…
(1) Sanctifies (sets apart) us unto God (Jn 17:17)
(2) Gives us understanding ("Give me understanding according to Thy word - Ps119:169)
(3) Is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path ("Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" Ps 119:105)
(4) Cleanses us and sets us free ("you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (Jn 8:31, 32, 36)
(5) Frees us from all misconceptions ("He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ… 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; Ep 4:11, 12, 13, 14) (note)
Paul tells us to
be strong (present imperative = continually be strengthened - passive voice = emphasizes strength comes from outside source = Spirit and grace of God) in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on (aorist imperative = Do it now! It is urgent!) the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up (aorist imperative = Do it now! It is urgent!) the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." (Eph 6:10-note, Ep 6:11-note, Ep 6:12-note, Ep 6:13-note) (See notes on spiritual warfare).
Paul then goes on to describe the first piece of armor as the belt of truth ("Stand firm therefore having girded your loins with truth… Eph 6:14-note). A soldier on duty kept his belt tight because it held the sheath for his sword and kept his shield in place. Many Christians have ''loose belts'' and so they are unable to stand firm and cannot take action because they don’t understand the "word of truth" (2Ti 2:15-note)
As the day of Christ’s return nears many Christians are being tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine and do not understand the "word of truth" that shines like a light in a dark place.
Daniel 10:21 However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.
Daniel 11:2 And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece.
In Daniel 10:21 and Daniel 11:2 the angel emphasizes that what he is going to tell Daniel is the truth. He lays out for Daniel the future beginning with the Persian kings and extending to the very end of time! In Daniel 11 and Daniel 12 God gives Daniel a panoramic of what will come to pass in the next 490 years, thus expanding on what was outlined in the 70 weeks of Daniel in Da 9:24-note, Da 9:25-note, Da 9:26-note, Da 9:27-note).
After a decree to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem in 445BC (Ed note: other conservative sources favor the date of 444BC) there would be 7 "weeks" (sevens) and 62 "weeks" (sevens) or 483 years that would follow. After the first 7weeks or 49 years, the prophetic word in the book of Malachi marks the end of the OT canon (396BC - Note: Some commentaries favor this as a reference to the completion of the Temple rebuilding). Then God was silent with no word of truth for the next 400 years.
What will the Jews do during this time when God is silent? They must embrace the word of truth which will take them from 396BC to 33AD (Da 9:25-note) and then it will jump over to the very last days of the desolation of Jerusalem in 70AD (Da 9:26-note).
So the Jews needed that word, the WORD OF TRUTH because from about 396BC until Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist), God was silent.
1). a message of great conflict, of warfare.
One of the ways to stand in warfare is to have the belt of truth. Another way to stand in warfare is to be able to get the sword out of the sheath and this sword is the word of God.
2). AN EXPLANATION OF What will happen to the Jews in the last days
3). a message of truth
Relationship of Daniel 10-12
to the other prophecies in Daniel:
(Click summary timeline of prophetic events in Daniel)
Nebuchadnezzar = the head of gold = Babylon. (626-538BC)
In the days of the 10 kings, a Stone is going to crush the statue & set up a kingdom of God.
Lion = Nebuchadnezzar (626-538BC)
Bear = Medes-Persians (538-331BC)
Leopard = Greece and its 4 subdivisions after Alexander's death
DT beast and little horn
Ram = Medes & Persians
Goat = Greece (331-146BC) conquered by Rome (never named specifically-only described as dreadful, etc.)
445BC Decree initiates countdown to advent of Messiah (April 6, 32AD) (Da 9:25-note)
396BC God’s Old Testament Canon is complete
Messiah cut off (crucifixion) (Da 9:26-note)
Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed by Roman General Titus (Da 9:26-note)
146BC-476AD - Roman Empire Rules (Some date beginning at 63BC)
Daniel’s 70th week. A covenant made for 1 week (7yr) and broken in middle of the 7 yrs (Da 9:27-note)
Gap of time between the 4th beast (Rome) and the 10 Horn stage (Revived Rome)
God now explains what happens from the time of the Ram with 2 horns (Medo-Persian)
|VERSE||NATION &/or KING|
Silver = Da 2:32, 39
|Da 11:3, 4||
Bronze = Da 2:32, 39;
Kings of South = Egyptian Period = Ptolemy Empire
Antiochus III (the Great) became king of the North takes Palestine
THERE IS AT LEAST A 2000+ YEAR TIME GAP
BETWEEN Daniel 11:35 AND Daniel 11:36
(Click here for additional discussion)
Da 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.''
This verse seems to describe an intrigue in which all of history is trying to come to an end but God stops it and does not let these two kings succeed because the end has not yet come.
(Ed note: Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometer resorted to deceit and betrayal as they sat down together at a banquet pretending to want peace, for each king was trying to make the most of the situation for his own advantage. Antiochus set Philometer up as king at Memphis, whereas Ptolemy Euergetes reigned at Alexandria, but eventually these two Egyptians agreed to joint rule, thus frustrating the plans of Antiochus).
Da 11:30 "For ships of Kittim (Cyprus) (Roman fleet from Kittim = Cyprus sided with Egypt) will come against him (Antiochus Epiphanes); 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."
Rome was rising in power at this time and commander of the Roman ships told Antiochus Epiphanes that he would not conquer Egypt and that if he tried to do so, he would have to face Rome! So Antiochus Epiphanes backed down and went back home (north) stopping in Israel, where he took out his anger on the Jews in Jerusalem (Ro 11:30) (Ed note: He showed favor to the apostate Jews who forsook "the holy covenant" Da 11:30b choosing to abandon the Mosaic Law [1Macc2:18, 2Macc6:1])
Da 11:35 "And 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."
The phrase "the end time" leaps forward across thousands of years of history from Antiochus to the time of the 10 toes and the Stone (described in Da 2:40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45-note), a time equating with the 10 horns and little horn (described in Daniel 7) and the time of the "prince" who would make and then break a seven covenant during Daniel's Seventieth Week (Da 9:24-note, Da 9:25-note, Da 9:26-note, Da 9:27-note)). So "the end time" is yet future, and yet the events in the time of Antiochus provide a preview or foreshadowing of that "the appointed time".
HIS ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION AND
THE MACCABEAN REVOLT
AS PREDICTED IN DANIEL 11:20-35
GLEANINGS FROM THE BOOK OF MACCABEES, a book which is found in the Apocrypha (Ed note: derived from Greek apocrypha = "things that are hidden"), which some feel is inspired and part of canon, despite the fact that Jesus never quoted from any of the Apocrypha. Nevertheless, 1 & 2 Maccabees do provide a good history of the Syrian period and Antiochus Epiphanes (AE). Antiochus believed that in order to conquer nations, it was necessary to get them to speak Greek, to wear Greek clothes, adopt Greek philosophy, worship Greek gods and thus effectively assimilate them into his empire. Many of the Jews who had returned from the Babylonian exile had neglected the Word of Truth and were captivated by the Greek lifestyle, the fashions, philosophers, (Aristotle, Plato, etc) Proverbs teaches the importance of what one allows into their heart, Solomon writing that…
"As a man thinks in his heart so he is" (Pr 23:7a)
and the necessity to continually
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it [flow] the springs of life." (Pr 4:23)
Paul adds that believers must "take the helmet of salvation" (Eph 6:17) because it protects our head, the way that we think. This was the problem for many of the Jews. They were not watching the way they thought! So Antiochus Epiphanes had great success in "Hellenizing" (converting to Greek culture) the Jews who went so far as to even enter into covenant with Antiochus Epiphanes. In First Maccabees we read that ‘’In those days of Antiochus Epiphanes, lawless men came forth from Israel and they misled many.’’
Daniel in a similar description records that
by smooth words he (referring to Antiochus Epiphanes) will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. (Da 11:32)
In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us.” This proposal pleased them, and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.
WHY WERE THE JEWS LED ASTRAY?
COULD THEIR APOSTASY HAVE BEEN PREVENTED?
The Jews had a record of the truth that if read would have revealed to them that these events would transpire and that Antiochus Epiphanes would come to power, and bring with him a Greek political agenda and deceptive strategies, but would also meet his end. But, because the Jews for the most part did not know the truth, they were led astray.
1Macc 2:15 Then the king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them offer sacrifice
So during this time there was a great apostasy by the Jews, apostasy referring to a turning away from something one once held to be true. These apostate Jews even went so far as to kill a pig in honor of Zeus on the Jewish altar as described in First Maccabees:
1Macc 1:41 Then the king (Antiochus Epiphanes) wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that each should give up his customs. 43 All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion (pagan idolatry); they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. 44 And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, 45 to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and feasts, 46 to defile the sanctuary and the priests, 47 to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, 48 and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, 49 so that they should forget the law and change all the ordinances. 50 “And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.”
If a Jew disobeyed Antiochus' command and circumcised a child, he had the child mutilated, hung the parents, killed the child and hung it around the hanging parent!
Mattathias, a Jewish priest, refused to sacrifice a pig and because of his refusal to sacrifice, God used him to turn many to righteousness. The Writings of Josephus gives the details of these events (click to read description). When Matathias refused to offer an sacrifice to idols, another priest came forward to offer sacrifice, but Matathias and his sons struck down the apostate priest, Antiochus’ general and his soldiers, crying out
Is any one be zealous for the laws of his country and for the worship of God let them follow me.
He and his sons fled to the desert where they hid in caves. Antiochus' forces pursued them into the desert and upon overtaking them, sought to coerce the Jews to repent which they refused to do. The Syrians then burned their caves on the Sabbath day and because these Jews were Orthodox, they refused to fight on Sabbath and about 1000 (including women and children) were smothered by the fires and died in the caves. Many escaped and joined themselves with Matathias who told them that they must fight even on the Sabbath or they would become their own enemies by so rigorously observing the law, for their adversaries would always chose that day to attack.
(Ed note: Josephus goes on to record "So Mattathias got a great army about him, and overthrew their idol altars, and slew those that broke the laws, even all that he could get under his power; for many of them were dispersed among the nations round about them for fear of him. He also commanded that those boys which were not yet circumcised should be circumcised now; and he drove those away that were appointed to hinder such their circumcision." Writings of Josephus)
Antiochus Epiphanes heard a rumor about trouble in Persia, so he left his men. An army of 60,000 infantry and 5000 Calvary went against Judas Maccabees, who was Matathias’ son (Click here to read Josephus' record of this story). Judas Maccabees sought God to help him and about 5000 of the Syrian army were killed. Lysias called back his troops and returned to Antioch, where he prepared to invade with a larger army. Judas Maccabees told his people that God had given them this victory and they should cleanse the temple and dedicate it to the Lord. The Temple was cleansed on Dec 25, 165BC, Hanukah.
(Ed note: Josephus' records "Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city, and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.")
these Jews knew their God,
stood firm, took action
did not compromise
they knew the truth
they gave insight to many.
Many died during that time
but the people who knew their God
stood firm and took action.
Hasmonean priests ruled up to 63BC, when Pompey conquered Jerusalem. Daniel 11 starts under the Medes & Persians but moves immediately to the Grecian Empire. It’s all in the writing of truth and if we pay attention to that writing we can know what will come to pass.