THE BOOK OF DANIEL is quoted often in the New Testament Book of Revelation. In many ways, the two books need to be read and studied together. Daniel lived at an important time of ancient history and his story is critical to our understanding of what is happening today. His visions speak powerfully of the end times, and his writing continues to exalt the “Most High God.” The accuracy and reliability of his remarks concerning future events have caused many to question his authorship of this book. However we have complete confidence that he not only wrote the book, but that God used him powerfully to bring His message to His people about what is about to happen in our time. Daniel Chapter 11 The Silent Years!
Daniel Chapter 11 The Silent Years
Daniel 11: Outline
Daniel 11: 1,2 Persian Empire
Daniel 11: 3,4 Greek Empire
Daniel 11: 5-35 Seleucid – Ptolemy Rivalry (“Between the Testaments”)
Daniel 11: 36-39 The Willful King
Daniel 11: 40-45 Armageddon Scenario
Daniel 11: Time Line of Kingdoms
Daniel 11: 2-20 have passed. Daniel 11: 36-45 are clearly future. Daniel 11: 21-35 apparently, have elements of both. Israel endures being a buffer zone between the struggles between the two dynasties. The “400 silent years” between the OT and NT are detailed in advance with such accuracy that skeptics have attempted to “late date” Daniel…
1] Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
2] And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. The angel (of Chapter 10) announces three kings: Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius Hystapes (Smerdis). [Herodotus III. 89-97.] (He helped establish Darius as king in the first year of his reign.) The fourth king, Xerxes, would instigate trouble with the Greeks (486-465 B.C.) (He appears to be Ahasureus of Ezra 4:6, Esther 1:1-12.) He instituted tax reforms, became very powerful, trained over 2 million warriors for 4 years, built special barges, and attacked Greece in 480 B.C. He crossed the Hellespont in seven days. This attack laid the basis for the vendetta that Alexander exploited later.
3] And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
4] And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. The rise of the Greeks, under Alexander the Great, was detailed in Chapter 8. Alexander died without a qualified heir. His half brother, Philip Arrhidaeus, was mentally defective. His two sons (illegitimate Hercules, by Basina, the daughter of Darius, and Young Alexander, posthumously by Roxana) were murdered within 13 years after their father’s death. After 22 years of fighting, Alexander’s four generals divided up the Empire (as was detailed in the notes on Chapter 7).
5] And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. Ptolemy I Soter taking Egypt and Seleucus Nicator taking Syria led to 150 years of warfare, and the repeated trampling through Israel. Chapter 11 chronicles this warfare between the “King of the South” (Egypt) and the “King of the North” (Syria) that continued until Rome marched east and the conquests of Pompey established Roman rule over the area. The continued attempts by Bible critics to “late date” this passage is a testimony to its accuracy. Ptolemy Soter I Soter (323-285 B.C.) was one of Alexander’s wisest and most capable generals and grew very powerful, but now Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-245 B.C.) grew even more powerful. It was under Ptolemy II’s rule that the great library was established at Alexandria and the translation of the Old Testament into Greek (the “Septuagint” translation) was commissioned. The famed mathematician Euclid taught geometry in Ptolemy’s court.
Ptolemy I captured Jerusalem in 321 B.C. on the Sabbath day without resistance. [Josephus, Antiquities XII. i. 1.] However, in 316 B.C. Israel was lost to Ptolemy’s rival, Antigonus. After the Battle of Gaza in 312
B.C., Ptolemy reclaimed it. Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 B.C.), who cooperated with Ptolemy, made himself the master of Babylon and established the Seleucid Empire, ruling from Antioch.
6] And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. “end of years” = after a lapse of several years (2 Chr 18:2; Dan 11:8,13). A political marriage was arranged between Antiochus II Theos (262-246 B.C.) and Ptolemy II Philadelphus’s daughter, Bernice. Antiochus was required to divorce his own wife, Laodiceia, to facilitate this arrangement. Bernice was unable to prevail against her rival Laodiceia who poisoned Antiochus, murdered Bernice, and set her elder son, Seleucus II Callinicus, on the throne (246 – 226 B.C.). [Note: this occurs after the Septuagint translation of the OT (285-270 B.C.), which included the book of Daniel!]
7] But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: Ptolemy III Euergetes (245-221 B.C.), the brother of murdered Bernice, invaded Syria, seized the port of Antioch, and overran Seleucus’ empire as far as Babylon.
8] And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. His spoils for Egypt included 4000 talents of gold, 40,000 talents of silver, and 2500 idols. [Polybius, Histories V. 38 ] These included some carried from Egypt by Cambyses 280 years earlier. He continued more years than his rival: 24 years vs. 20.
9] So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
10] But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. After two years Seleucus reorganized and marched south against Egypt, got clobbered, and returned to Antioch with only a small remnant of his army. The sons of Seleucus II were Seleucus III Ceraunus (226-223 B.C.), who was murdered during a campaign in Asia Minor, and Antiochus III (“The Great”) (223-187 B.C.) who recovered the fortress of Seleucia, the province of Coele-Syria, Tyre, and then resumed the war with Egypt.
[Polybius, Histories, II. 71.]
In 312 B.C. a large Egyptian army, led by Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-203 B.C.), marched through Judea until it was met in Lebanon by Antiochus who routed it and captured many Judean cities both west and east of the
Jordan. Initially, the army of Ptolemy IV was larger than that of Antiochus III. In the spring of 219 B.C., at the battle at Raphia (20 miles south of Gaza), Antiochus commanded 60,000 men and Ptolemy, 70,000. Antiochus was defeated with a loss of 10,000 infantry and 300 cavalry. Ptolemy, indolent and dissolute, signed a peace treaty with Antiochus III. Ptolemy IV celebrated his victory by a tour of the eastern Mediterranean provinces including Jerusalem. He was prevented from entering the Holy of Holies by paralysis. Returning to Egypt, he took out his chagrin and humiliation by persecuting the Egyptian Jews.
11] And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
12] And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
13] For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
14] And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. After the death of Ptolemy IV, his son, four years old, succeeded him as Ptolemy V Epiphanes (203-181 B.C.). Twelve years after the Battle of Raphia, Antiochus III set out with a greater army than before for the conquest of Egyptian territory.
The “many” that stood up against the King of the South included Antiochus and his ally, Philip of Macedon, as well as risings among the vassals of Egypt. In 200 B.C., an Egyptian mercenary named Scopas attempted to wrest Judea from Antiochus. After a temporary success, he was defeated by 100,000 troops at Sidon in 198 B.C. None were able to stand against Antiochus III (“The Great”).
15] So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
16] But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. “The glorious land” is Judea, cf. Dan 8:9; Jer. 3:19.
17] He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. In 197 B.C., Antiochus III set out with a fleet to attack Cilicia, Lycia, and
Caria, which were under Egyptian control. However, he encountered a disastrous defeat by an upstart power rising on the banks of the Tiber: Rome. Antiochus’ daughter, Cleopatra, was given in a political marriage
to Ptolemy (arranged in 197, consummated in 193 B.C., the groom being 10 years old) along with Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Judea as dowry, and in the hopes that he could eventually annex Egypt. He was disappointed,
however, as she became a devoted wife instead and sided with Egypt (and her new ally, Rome).
18] After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
19] Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumbleand fall, and not be found. In 196 B.C., Antiochus had turned toward the west in Greece, Asia Minor, and crossed the Hellespont to seize part of Thrace. It was Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, who encouraged Antiochus III to fight with the Romans. In 191 B.C., Antiochus was defeated by the Romans at Thermopylae. In 190 B.C. his army of 80,000 suffered an ignominious defeat in a decisive battle near Smyrna where the Roman commander, Lucius Scipio, forced him to renounce all claims in Europe and Asia Minor. [Appian, Roman History: The Syrian Wars, XI. i. 5; XI. vii. 38.] He had to surrender all territory west of the Taurus Mountains and pay a heavy tribute of 15,000 talents (over 30 million dollars). He was ruined. He took it all out on the northeastern part of his kingdom, plundering the temples in his realm.
20] Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. Seleucus IV Philopater (187-175 B.C.) succeeded Antiochus III, giving his son Demetrius as a hostage in the place of his brother Antiochus, and to meet heavy Roman tribute, oppressed Israel through taxation .[2 Maccabees 3:1-12, 24-31.] After 12 years of rule, he is murdered by his treasurer, Heliodorous, who hoped to take over but is out-intrigued by Antiochus IV (“Epiphanes”) 175-164 B.C.
21] And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Legitimate candidates might have included Demetrius, the son of the Seleucus IV, held as a hostage in Rome, or the younger son, also named Antiochus, who was still a baby in Syria. Antiochus IV was the brother of Seleucus IV, who had also been a hostage for his father in Rome for 14 years. Just prior to the murder of his brother by Heliodorus, he had been recalled to Antioch. His brother died before he reached the capital, and with the help of the king of Pergamum, and posing as the guardian of young Antiochus who was in Syria, Antiochus IV, with numerous intrigues, gained the throne.
22] And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. “Prince of the covenant” refers to the murder of Onias III, the High Priest
in 171 B.C. [2 Maccabees 4:30-35.]
23] And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24] He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. Unlike his fathers, Antiochus IV robbed the richest places of the country under his control. He attacked his enemies when they least expected it. There was a power contest between Antiochus’ two nephews, Ptolemy VI Philometer (181-145 B.C.) and Ptolemy VII Euergetes (Physicon) for control of Egypt.
25] And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army, and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
26] Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. After the death of his mother, Cleopatra, Ptolemy IV Philometer received bad advice regarding Antiochus IV who swept over his army. When Antiochus conquered Ptolemy Philopater, the Alexandrians brought his brother Ptolemy Physicon to the Egyptian throne.
27] And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table, but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
28] Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant, and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
Antiochus took Philometer under his protection. As uncle and nephew, they eat together at one table and, with lies, discussed policy with one another.
29] At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
30] For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. In his second campaign against Egypt, Antiochus was less successful and failed to take Alexandria. Furthermore, he encountered the Roman navy. Chittim, or Kittim, is found in the Dead Sea Scrolls as a general reference to the people of the Mediterranean, Cyprus in particular. The Roman fleet of Caius Popillius Laenas sailed from Cyprus to Egypt after a stunning Roman victory over Perseus of Macedon near Pydna, south of Thessalonica. [Livy’s Annales, XLIV. 37.] The intimidation of the Romans caused Antiochus to return in humiliation to Syria and, looking for someone to take it out on, he then focused on oppressing the Jews.
31] And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
32] And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. The famed “abomination of desolation” now takes place. [2 Maccabees 5:11-18; 6:1-11. Josephus, Antiquities, XII. ii. 6.] (Two centuries later Jesus predicted this would occur again in the future. It will require a Temple, the preparations for which have begun.) The opposition led to the Maccabean revolt, and the ultimate rededication of the Temple (celebrated to this day at Hanukkah) and begins the period of the Hasmoneans.
33] And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
34] Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35] And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
[In vv. 1-35, approximately 135 prophetic statements have been counted. This is an impressive introduction to the section which follows.]
The remainder of the chapter, verses 36 – 45, has yielded a number of diverse views. Some have attempted to restrict the passage to the historical Antiochus IV, and while his megalomania lends itself to such views, the language seems to go far beyond that. The “Willful King” has been identified by Ibn-Ezra with Constantine the Great; Rashi and Calvin understood him to represent the Roman Empire; Jerome, Theodoret, Luther, J.N. Darby and most “Pre-trib” scholars see him as the Antichrist. The similarity to other prophetic passages are striking: 2 Thess 2, etc.
Next Session: Chapter 12— The Climax of All History!
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Chuck Missler Bio
Recruited into senior management at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, Chuck established the first international computer network in 1966. He left Ford to start his own company, a computer network firm that was subsequently acquired by Automatic Data Processing (listed on the New York Stock Exchange) to become its Network Services Division.
Returning to California, Chuck found himself consulting, organizing corporate development deals, serving on the board of directors at several firms, and specializing in the rescuing of financially troubled technology companies. He brought several companies out of Chapter 11 and into profitable operation. Chuck thrived on this type of work.
As Chuck notes, his day of reckoning came several years ago when — as the result of a merger — he found himself the chairman and a major shareholder of a small, publicly owned development company known as Phoenix Group International. The firm established an $8 billion joint venture with the Soviet Union to supply personal computers to their 143,000 schools. Due to several unforeseen circumstances, the venture failed. The Misslers lost everything, including their home, automobiles and insurance.
It was during this difficult time that Chuck turned to God and the Bible. As a child he developed an intense interest in the Bible; studying it became a favorite pastime. In the 1970s, while still in the corporate world, Chuck began leading weekly Bible studies at the 30,000-member Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in California. He and Nancy established Koinonia House in 1973.
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