Daniel Chapters 10 & 11
This week I am combining chapter 10 and 11 as they really go together. Chapter 10 leads up to the revelation given to Daniel in chapter 11. Due to length of these 2 chapters, I will only include the bible text of chapter 11 (since some print out these pages to read). Please read chapter 10 in your bible now. I will include Chapter 11 bible text in it’s entirety here after the following opening comments in which I hope to give some info to help understand whom the verses in chapter 11 are referring to. First a little summary of Chapter 10.
This vision was given to Daniel about 536 BC. He would have been about 84. God was revealing to him some realities of the unseen world. Remember what Ephesians 6:12 says? For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. We see some of that here in chapter 10. Daniel gets some insight into the struggles going on in his time in the unseen world. Conflicts among unseen powers were going on, and the unnamed angel giving Daniel the vision makes him aware of this fact. The archangel Michael was the guardian of Israel. Greece and Persia had their own angel. Michael and his angels were at war with Satan and his angels. I find it very interesting, and comforting to know that God uses angels to fight Satan on our behalf. You may remember Pastor Matt’s mention in a recent sermon of a quote by Thomas Watson, the 17th century Puritan preacher and author. In referring to Acts chapter 12 of the Apostle Peter’s imprisonment and miraculous freedom from prison, Watson wrote: “The Angel fetched Peter out of prison, but is was prayer that fetched the Angel”. Daniel’s prayer in chapter 10 fetched the angel! Following are a few of many verses in the bible concerning angelic intervention on our behalf:
Psalm 91:1 and 91:11 say: 1: As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One, and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king… 11: He will order his angels to protect you in all you do.
Mathew 18:10 See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation?
God uses angels to help those who are in the family of God. Isn’t he a good God?
Next we will look into Chapter 11.
Chapter 11 Kings of the North and Kings of the South
Chapters 2, 7, 8, 9 and 11 contain predictions about four empires and events from the time of Daniel until the end times. In chapter 11 we see some reference to what many interpret to be events that have yet to take place ie.. the coming of the Antichrist and the Tribulation period.
Below is a general outline of kingdom world history covered in the book of Daniel, the prophecies given to him in visions, dreams and angels. History to us, but much was yet to come in Daniel’s time.
- Babylonian Empire (605–539 BC)
- Persian Empire (539–332 BC)
- Greek Empire, with four divisions (331–146 BC)
- Wars of Syrian and Egyptian Greek Kings (323–146 BC)
- Antiochus Epiphanes desecration of Jerusalem (175–163 BC)
- Roman Empire (146 BC — 400 AD)
- Public Ministry of Christ ( AD 26–30)
- Destruction of Jerusalem by Roman Army (AD 70)
So Daniel’s exile began in the Babylonian Empire, which was conquered by the Media Persian Empire, and after Daniel’s death the Greek Empire, then the Roman Empire. (The Jewish people ruled Judea for a short time before the Roman’s conquered their land). Much of chapter 11 is referring to the divided Greek Empire. During the third and second centuries BC, the Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt (kings of the south), and the Seleucids, who ruled Babylon and other areas north of the Promised Land (kings of the north), continually fought each other for supremacy. This succession of kings is referred to in the prophesy of Daniel chapter 11 in general terms as the “king of the south” and “king of the north” without their names given. These titles refer to different kings (there were many) across the life of the Greek empire. A chart below shows the names of the Greek kings these titles refer to.
During the third and second centuries BC, the Ptolemies, (kings of the south), who ruled Egypt, and the Seleucids, (kings of the north), who ruled Syria, Babylon and other areas in the north, continually fought each other for supremacy. The people of God found themselves right in between these kingdoms in the north and south and their land alternated in possession between these kingdoms that were on the north and south side of them. By verse 21, the king of the north refers is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, (epiphanes means “the mad one”). Antiochus IV Epiphanes is said to be a type of the Antichrist. He was the Seleucid ruler who in the middle of the second century BC moved against the Jewish people in the territory of Judea that he controlled. He put idols in the temple, desecrated the alter by sacrificing a pig on it, sparking the Maccabean (Jewish warriors) revolt, which led to the reign of Jewish kings called “Hasmonean” kings in Judah until Rome’s conquer of Judea and the installation of Herod the Great as the earthly ruler of the Jews.
Daniel Chapter 11.
The “I” in verse 2 refers to the angel giving Daniel the revelation.
11:1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood to strengthen him and to provide protection for him.) 11:2 Now I will tell you the truth.
The Angel Gives a Message to Daniel
“Three more kings will arise for Persia. Then a fourth king will be unusually rich, more so than all who preceded him. When he has amassed power through his riches, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 11:3 Then a powerful king will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases. 11:4 Shortly after his rise to power, his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky — but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.
11:5 “Then the king of the south and one of his subordinates will grow strong. His subordinate will resist him and will rule a kingdom greater than his. 11:6 After some years have passed, they will form an alliance. Then the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, nor will he continue in his strength. She, together with the one who brought her, her child, and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time.
11:7 “There will arise in his place one from her family line who will come against their army and will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and will move against them successfully. 11:8 He will also take their gods into captivity to Egypt, along with their cast images and prized utensils of silver and gold. Then he will withdraw for some years from the king of the north. 11:9 Then the king of the north will advance against the empire of the king of the south, but will withdraw to his own land. 11:10 His sons will wage war, mustering a large army which will advance like an overflowing river and carrying the battle all the way to the enemy’s fortress.
11:11 “Then the king of the south will be enraged and will march out to fight against the king of the north, who will also muster a large army, but that army will be delivered into his hand. 11:12 When the army is taken away, the king of the south will become arrogant. He will be responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of people, but he will not continue to prevail. 11:13 For the king of the north will again muster an army, one larger than before. At the end of some years he will advance with a huge army and enormous supplies.
11:14 “In those times many will oppose the king of the south. Those who are violent among your own people will rise up in confirmation of the vision, but they will falter. 11:15 Then the king of the north will advance and will build siege mounds and capture a well-fortified city. The forces of the south will not prevail, not even his finest contingents. They will have no strength to prevail. 11:16 The one advancing against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand before him. He will prevail in the beautiful land, and its annihilation will be within his power. 11:17 His intention will be to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, and he will form alliances. He will give the king of the south a daughter in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but it will not turn out to his advantage. 11:18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastal regions and will capture many of them. But a commander will bring his shameful conduct to a halt; in addition, he will make him pay for his shameful conduct. 11:19 He will then turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall, not to be found again. 11:20 There will arise after him one who will send out an exactor of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed, though not in anger or battle.
11:21 “Then there will arise in his place a despicable person to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will come on the scene in a time of prosperity and will seize the kingdom through deceit. 11:22 Armies will be suddenly swept away in defeat before him; both they and a covenant leader will be destroyed. 11:23 After entering into an alliance with him, he will behave treacherously; he will ascend to power with only a small force. 11:24 In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long. 11:25 He will rouse his strength and enthusiasm against the king of the south with a large army. The king of the south will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to prevail because of the plans devised against him. 11:26 Those who share the king’s fine food will attempt to destroy him, and his army will be swept away; many will be killed in battle. 11:27 These two kings, their minds filled with evil intentions, will trade lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time. 11:28 Then the king of the north will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land. 11:29 At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did.11:30 The ships of Kittim will come against him, leaving him disheartened. He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor those who forsake the holy covenant. 11:31 His forces will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary, stopping the daily sacrifice. In its place they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 11:32 Then with smooth words he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly. 11:33 These who are wise among the people will teach the masses. However, they will fall by the sword and by the flame, and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time. 11:34 When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully. 11:35 Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time.
11:36 “Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur.11:37 He will not respect the gods of his fathers — not even the god loved by women. He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. 11:38 What he will honor is a god of fortresses — a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. 11:39 He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.
11:40 “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him. Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river. 11:41 Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. 11:42 He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. 11:43 He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him. 11:44 But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 11:45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.
Up to verse 36, we see kingdoms fighting kingdoms for world dominance, Media Persia, then the Greek Empire with much fighting among themselves and the Jewish people in between them. Now beginning with verse 36, these events can’t easily be matched with what has happened in history, so many believe that the verses from verse 36 on refer to the future Antichrist. So what can we gather about this Antichrist from this chapter? We see from the following verses that the Antichrist will:
(v 36): act in self-will, exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god. He will also blaspheme the true God and prosper for a limited period of time.
(v 37): He will be an irreligious person.
(v 38–39) He will place confidence in military might.
(v 40–43) his military might will be challenged and he will be initially victorious in battle.
(v 44–45) However, he will face renewed conflict, will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem and will finally come to an end.
As verse 36 says, “what has been decreed must occur”. In other words Jesus will be his end. Yes, the tribulation period will be the worse time on earth for people, but thankfully God will cut it short, otherwise no one living then would be saved (Matt 21:22). Personally I do not think Christians will still be on earth during this terrible time. So what can we learn from Daniel thus far?
We have seen Daniel’s confidence and faithfulness to God. And we see how God cared for him. We can learn a lot from Daniel’s prayers and how he responds to impending danger. Daniel prayed not only for his people, but for those rulers who held him in exile. He fully worked for and obeyed his rulers, except in the case where doing so would cause him to be disobedient to God.
We also see much of this prophesy in this book has already been fulfilled. This should give us confidence in God and his word. And we know that whatever is yet to come, Christ has prepared a place for us. As I mentioned I believe the church will be raptured up before the great tribulation to go to that place Christ has prepared for us. Whatever we believe concerning the end times, our thoughts, prayers and actions can be focused on today and how we might do God’s will in our time in this world. We know from the words of Jesus in the bible, and from the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament, that God has a purpose for us today. Aren’t you thankful for the universal church, and the local congregation? Isn’t it great that we can be with other believers, and be led by a faithful and well educated shepard? Think of the faithful Christians over the decades who have worshipped in the pews we sit in on Sundays. We worship a great God and are part of a great eternal family of God. That’s comforting isn’t it? God still has a plan for us.