Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Daniel 11 and the History of Islam!
What is the amazing TIME SEQUENCE of Daniel 11 as it applies to the history of the Middle East? Here is astonishing new insight into the "longest prophecy of the Bible" -- the remarkable prophecy of Daniel's 11th chapter! Here are staggering prophecies that have been unerringly fulfilled by events that have fashioned the Middle East as we know it today!
by John D. Keyser
Daniel 11 is generally regarded as one of the hardest chapters to understand as far as prophecy goes. With this in mind we will follow along, step-by-step, from verse 1 through verse 29. This will cover all of the ancient history that was fulfilled in this chapter. What the eleventh chapter of Daniel tells of the exploits of the king of the south and the king of the north (Daniel 11:5-15) refers to the Ptolemies and the Seleucids down to the battle of Paneas in 200 B.C. The following section of the chapter deals with the "glorious land" under the Seleucids down to the period of forced hellenization under Antiochus IV (Daniel 11:16-29).
The remainder of the verses cover Rome and the Papacy -- then the Islamic empires of the Arabs and Turks. These prophecies were given to Daniel, 300 to 400 years before the events and in so much detail that the modernists who try to discredit Daniel say that they could have only been written and recorded after the events took place. Chapters 11 and 12 are in response to the visitation of the angel in chapter 10. They follow on directly from chapter 10. I have broken the study up into six sections as follows:
Section 1: Verses 1-5: A description of events as they would take place in Ancient Persia and Greece.
Section 2: Verses 6-9: The wars and conflicts as they would take place between the empires of Syria and Egypt (the Seleucids and the Ptolemies).
Section 3: Verses 10-19: The era of the emperor Antiochus the Great.
Section 4: Verses 20-29: The era of Antiochus Epiphanes who was a type of the anti-Christ to come.
Section 5: Verses 30-39: We will see the prophecy of Rome and the Papacy.
Section 6: Verses 40-45: Islam -- the Arabs and the Turks
Section 1 (Verses 1-5) Ancient Persia and Greece
"In the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to strengthen and fortify him. And now I will tell you the truth: Persia will have three more kings, and the fourth will be wealthier than them all; by the power he obtains through his wealth, he will stir everyone up against the kingdom of Greece" (Daniel 11:1-2, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Keep in mind that this is 300 years before the realm of Greece. From this we know that following Darius, four more kings would arise -- the last one being very wealthy. The first three to whom reference is made were Cyrus, Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes; the fourth was Xerxes who assembled a massive army, the largest ever up to that time with something like one million men under arms. He marched across what is modern day Turkey to attack the Greek states.
Cyrus reigned after the death of his uncle, Darius, and it was he who issued the Edict permitting the Judahites, who had been in captivity just 70 years, to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and city. According to history, Cyrus reigned seven years after the death of Darius and during that time the Persian Empire was at the peak of its glory. He is said to have been the wisest conqueror and the most accomplished prince whose record is given in history. During his reign he divided his time between the three principal cities of his Empire. Seven months of each year he spent in Babylon; three months he lived in Susa, the capital of Persia; the remaining two months of each year he was at Ecbatana, the capital of Media. He died while at Susa at the age of seventy.
Just before Cyrus' death he appointed Cambyses, one of his sons, as his successor, while to his younger son, Smerdis, he gave control over several provincial governments. Advising his sons, he said the following --
"The strength and support of the throne was neither the vast extent of countries, nor the number of forces, nor immense riches; but a due respect for the Deity, a good understanding between brethren, and the art of acquiring and preserving true and faithful friends."
There is every reason to believe that Cyrus, as a result of his close friendship for Daniel, became a true believer in YEHOVAH God of Israel. He certainly must have known about the state of the dead, for his request was that when he died his body was not to be put in a gold or silver coffin but it was to be committed directly to the earth so that it might return to its elements as soon as possible. Most heathen kings expected to have their bodies preserved and be buried with many of their possessions so that they might journey well-equipped into the next life, but Cyrus apparently was not bound by any such superstitions. Both Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar before him reflected the results of the wonderful testimony Daniel gave when in their courts. With the death of Cyrus a good and benevolent king passed away.
A Cruel King
Cambyses, Cyrus' son, came to the throne in his place. Egypt revolted and he advanced against the land and conquered it, but he was an arrogant, cruel and evil king in every way. He refused to take the advice of his father and, in drunkenness and fits of anger, carried on a tyrannical rule. This unprincipled king reigned for seven years and then he died.
Following a short period of trouble, when others tried to usurp authority and rule in Persia, Darius Hystaspes came to the throne. It was during his reign that the Decree was issued to continue the work of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. That work had ceased as a result of the opposition on the part of the enemies of Judah and Benjamin.
During Darius' reign Babylon revolted against the Persian regime. After a year's siege he took the city, destroyed its gates and demolished its walls. This was the beginning of the end of that once proud city, for its final and complete destruction was now made inevitable.
Darius made a foolhardy expedition against the Scythians in the north and, as a result, we have the famous message recorded in history which was sent to him by the Scythian leader. The message was in the form of a present of a bird, a mouse, a frog and five arrows -- the meaning of which was:
"By these you are to know that unless you can fly away in the air like birds or hide your selves in the earth like mice, or swim in the water like frogs, you shall in no wise be able to avoid the arrows of the Scythians."
Scythians or Israelites
The Scythians were Israelites of the Ten-Tribed Kingdom of Israel who had, many years before, left the land of their captors (Assyria). As Scythians they were residing north and west of the Babylonian and Persian Empires. Darius' campaign against them caused him to suffer much and accomplish nothing.
The famous Battle of Marathon was fought during his reign and Darius suffered defeat in Greece. He also had a rebellion on his hands in Egypt. He planned to move against both countries but died after reigning 36 years and before he could carry out his plans. He was succeeded by Xerxes the Great.
Xerxes the Great
Xerxes the Great was the fourth king to whom the angel had referred, who was exceedingly wealthy. With his riches he equipped a great army to wage war against Greece, hiring assistance from Carthage, Spain, Gallia (now France), as well as from Italy. Though he assembled a powerful army and a great navy against Greece, he was finally defeated and retired to Persia. All this was in accordance with the statement made to Daniel --
"...by the power he obtains through his wealth, he will stir everyone up against the kingdom of Greece" (Daniel 11:2 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
History amply bears testimony to the truth of all this in the campaign Xerxes instituted against Greece.
"Then a warrior king will appear who will have an extensive dominion and do as he pleases" (Daniel 11:3 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
At this point the prophecy jumps over several lesser Persian kings and points to Alexander the Great of Greece who finally defeated the Persians in 332 B.C. Alexander is the "warrior king" mentioned in verse 3. He bonded together all the little Greek states and formed the basis of the Greek Empire. He was first the king of Macedonia, then the king of Greece, and he did just as he pleased while he ruled.
Alexander led the Grecian armies against the Persian Empire, which he overthrew with great speed and power. The young commander went on to conquer the then known civilized world. His empire stretched from Europe to India.
Alexander died in Babylon while returning from the battlefield at the age of 33. His death took place in 323 B.C., and his kingdom was divided among four of his generals. He had an unborn son carried by Roxanna at the time of his death. The son was born, but never fully inherited the kingdom of his father.
"But after his appearance, his kingdom will be broken up and scattered to the four winds of heaven, but not for any of his posterity, nor with dominion like that which he had; for his kingdom will be uprooted and belong to others beside these" (Daniel 11:4 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Alexander the Great was succeeded by his four generals:
1. Cassander -- Greece
2. Lysimachuas -- Asia Minor
3. Seleucus -- Syria, and
4. Ptolemy -- Egypt.
"The king of the south will grow powerful; however, one of his officers will overpower him and rule, having an extensive dominion" (Daniel 11:5 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Here, for the first time, we are introduced to a king of the south. The Grecian Empire had been divided into four parts and the ruler of Egypt, the southern division of the Grecian Empire, was called the "king of the south." The first king of the south was Ptolemy Soter, one of Alexander's generals. He controlled Libya, Egypt, Cyrenacia, Arabia, Palestine and several islands in the Aegean Sea.
"...one of his officers..." refers to Seleucus I, called Nicator, (king 306 - 280 BC) -- a governor of Syria who rebelled against this king of Egypt. He took over the Syrian territories and all eastern territories. He carved out a little empire of his own.
Section 2 (Verses 6-9) The Seleucids and the Ptolemies
Here in detail we see the conflicts between these two kings. Before we move on let us make sure a few things are clear. "The king of the north" is representative of Syria of which Seleucus and his dynasty of rulers were a part. Why north? Because Syria was north of Palestine.
The king of the north was Seleucus Nicator and history shows that he was stronger than the king of the south; in fact, the northern kingdom was stronger than any of the other three. The king of the north ruled Syria, all the countries from Mount Taurus to the River Indus -- and several provinces in Asia Minor.
"The king of the south" is representative of Egypt where Ptolemy and his dynasty were rulers. Again, Egypt is south of Palestine. The Bible is the story of YEHOVAH's people Israel and whenever another nation is mentioned it is always spoken of in relation to Israel.
"After some years, an alliance will be made, and the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to effect the agreement, but she will not maintain her strength, nor will his strength endure. She will be surrended together with those who escorted her and the one who begot her and helped her during those times" (Daniel 11:6 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
After a few years Antiochus Theos came to the throne in Syria in the north. In Egypt Ptolemy Philadelphus became king. Antiochus made war against Ptolemy but, due to an insurrection in the eastern part of Antiochus' dominion, it became necessary for him to stop the conflict with Ptolemy.
We read "to effect the agreement." This agreement was a marriage alliance -- but it didn't work. Ptolemy took advantage of the situation and compelled Antiochus to divorce his wife Laodice, disinherit her two sons and take Queen Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy, as his wife. It was Ptolemy's purpose to thus give the crown of Syria to the royal house of Egypt and he specified that Berenice's children should be heirs to the Syrian throne.
Antiochus, the king of Syria, or the north, made the agreement. He divorced Laodice, disinherited her children and Berenice became his wife. It proved to be of no help to Ptolemy, for he died and Antiochus put Berenice and her son away and recalled Laodice.
Laodice poisoned her husband Antiochus and placed her son, Seleucus Callinicus, on the throne. Berenice and her son, with an Egyptian guard, were returning to Egypt but Laodice and her son pursued Berenice, killing her, her son and the Egyptian guard. All were given up to death as prophesied.
"A shoot from her stock will appear in his place, will come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north; he will fight and overpower them. He will also take their gods with their molten images and their precious vessels of silver and gold back to Egypt as booty. For some years he will leave the king of the north alone..." (Daniel 11:7-8, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
The statement "A shoot from her stock" refers to Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222) Berenice's brother. Euergetes succeeded his father and came to the throne of Egypt. Learning of the cruel death of his sister and her son, Ptolemy attacked the king of the north, for Seleucus was then on the throne of Syria. He did prevail, as prophecy declared he would, and carried away to Egypt their princes, gods and vessels of silver and gold.
"...who will [later] invade the realm of the king of the south, but will go back to his land" (Daniel 11:9 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Seleucus Callinicus' sons, Leleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great, raised a large army and Antiochus the Great, at the head of the army, moved against the king of the south, but because of trouble at home and within his own government, he returned.
Section 3 (Verses 10-19) Antiochus the Great (222-187 B.C.)
About 200 B.C. Antiochus III stood at the height of his power. He had fought successfully against the Armenians and the Parthians. Like Alexander the Great, he had even invaded India and been accorded the name "the Great." Now he was impatient to advance westward as well, since he felt called to be defender of Hellenism and protector of the Greeks. His decisive victory at Paneas in 200 and the subsequent withdrawal of the Egyptians from Palestine made it possible for Antiochus to continue his conquests once more into Asia Minor, from where he could then advance upon Thrace and Macedonia.
For this reason the Judahites, who had surrendered their capital to Antiochus' commander (Polybius Histories xvi, 39. 4), were respected politically; their cult was even supported. In addition, Antiochus made the young Ptolemy V his son-in-law and let the income from Palestine continue to flow into the Ptolemaic treasury.
Antiochus, however, made a fatal error: his claims in Asia Minor and Hellas, as well as his collaboration with Hannibal, provoked the Romans and led to a violent counterattack. Antiochus was forced out of Hellas and then, in 190 B.C., was defeated at Magnesia in Lydia by Scipio Asiaticus. He was sentenced to pay enormous reparations over the course of twelve years. Therefore, the wealthy house of the Seleucids suddenly found itself ruined. Antiochus tried to retain his financial position by confiscating temples, which were the central banks of that period; but he was slain at Elymais during one of these episodes.
"His sons will wage war, collecting a multitude of great armies; he will advance and sweep through as a flood, and will again wage war as far as his stronghold" (Daniel 11:10 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
The words "His sons" are telling us about the sons of Seleucus II. Seleucus III (226-223) who was murdered and Antiochus III the Great (222-187) who marched -- "as far as his stronghold" -- the border forts of Egypt.
"Then the king of the south, moved with anger, shall come out and fight against the king of the north; and he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand. And when the multitude is taken, his heart shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not triumph" (Daniel 11:11-12, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Ptolemy IV Philopater (221-204), king of the south, was "moved with anger" and fought against Antiochus the Great, the king of the north, whose forces were taken by Ptolemy in a great victory. Ptolemy destroyed many but he was not strengthened or able to hold his own. In spite of all the gains he made he went home and squandered it all and left nothing to his descendants.
"For the king of the north shall again raise an army, greater than the former one; and after some years he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies" (Daniel 11:13 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Antiochus the Great gathered a much larger army and possessed plenty of wealth to carry on the campaign. Ptolemy saw his army destroyed.
"In those times, many shall resist the king of the south; and the men of violence among your own people shall assert themselves in order to fulfill the vision; but they shall fail" (Daniel 11:14 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Ptolemy Philopater, was a boy king on the throne of Egypt. He was helped by a strange group of people. This is probably the first time we see mention of them in the Bible. They were renegade Hellenistic Judahites (called "robbers of the people") who, because of their wickedness, contributed materially to the fulfillment of this vision. These Judahites favored Ptolemy, king of Egypt, having recognized from this vision given to Daniel that he was to be ultimately successful. However, they fell when Antiochus the Great, the king of the north, regained power over Palestine.
"Then the king of the north arrives and throws up siege works, and captures a well fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his elite troops, for there shall be no strength to stand" (Daniel 11:15 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
This describes the great military victories that Antiochus the Great achieved. He conquered and took everything. The "well fortified city" is the city that held all the arms etc. It was "Sidon".
"But the one who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and all of it shall be in his power" (Daniel 11:16 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Even a new improved Egyptian army could not hold back Antiochus. He conquered the "Glorious Land" -- in Scripture this will always refer to the land of Palestine. It happened in 198 BC and Antiochus then used Palestine as a base to move down and try to conquer Egypt.
"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 to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him" (Daniel 11:17 -- King James Version).
The Romans backed up the interests of Ptolemy. Antiochus conquered Egypt and once again to cement the alliance he married his daughter Cleopatra I to Ptolemy V Epiphanes (king 203-181) -- the king of Egypt. He hoped to corrupt her into betraying her husband into his hands. The plan failed when Cleopatra disobeyed her father and sided with her husband. She even congratulated the Romans when they finally triumphed over Antiochus the Great.
"He will turn to the coastlands and capture many; but a consul will put an end to his insults, nay pay him back for his insults" (Daniel 11:18 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Thwarted in Egypt, Antiochus the Great moved his attention to the islands of Greece. He conquered all the islands around Crete and Cyprus also the islands in the Aegean Sea. In doing this he was moving west and coming against a new power of Bible prophecy -- the Roman Empire. The consul who stood up against him was the Roman Lucius Scipio. The brother of Lucius was Scipio Africanus -- who fought against the famous Hannibal. In 190 B.C. Lucius defeated Antiochus so badly in the Battle of Magnesia that he was forced to give his son Antiochus Epiphanes as a hostage to pay Roman tribute; and Antiochus the Great had to turn back.
"He shall then retire to the fortresses of his own land, only to meet trouble and to disappear" (Daniel 11:19 -- Moffatt Translation).
After his defeat Antiochus fled and withdrew all his forces back into the Tarus Mountains. When he returned to his own fortified cities he was killed by an uprising of his own people when he attempted to plunder the Temple of Elymais.
Rome was now ascending to power. The authority once wielded by the Empire of Greece and the kings of the north and south, as well as the east and west, was passing. Grecian history, beyond the days of Antiochus the Great, became intermixed with that of the expanding Roman Empire.
Section 4 (Verses 20-29) Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.)
"His place will be taken by one who will dispatch an officer to exact tribute for royal glory, but he will be broken in a few days, not by wrath or by war" (Daniel 11:20 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Seleucus IV (king 187-175) took the place of Antiochus the Great. During his reign he devoted himself to grinding down the poor and taking as much money as he could from all so that he could maintain good relations with the Romans. History records how he sought to tax the Temple in Jerusalem to pay Roman tribute. He reigned only 11 years and eventually was murdered by his own minister -- Heliodorus, a tax collector. "He will be broken in a few days, not by wrath or by war" -- he was poisoned and died in his sleep.
In order to rescue the dynasty of the Seleucids, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a brother of the murdered king, hastily made himself king of Syria. After the battle of Magnesia, he had lived in Rome as a hostage. He was captivated by the city -- particularly the Hellenism cultivated in diplomatic circles there. The crown prince (later King Demetrius I), who was not yet of age, had just been brought to Rome as a hostage in place of his uncle. During the journey back to Syria, Antiochus heard of Heliodorus' attempt to seize control; and he used the opportunity to usurp the throne in Antioch.
Following his natural inclinations and his admiration for Hellenism, he tried to continue the expansionist policies of his father Antiochus the Great. From Ptolemy V he borrowed the surname Epiphanes, "manifest," to indicate that he was a manifestation of the deity. Strongly reinforcing a tradition of the Seleucids, he required men to worship him as Olympian Zeus (II Macc. 6:2; also on coins), thereby giving a special Western emphasis to his imperialism and Hellenism. Unlike his father, he was always careful to keep on good terms with Rome and its allies in Asia Minor.
The immediate goal of Antiochus IV was to seize control of Egypt, which had lost most of its power. His brother-in-law and sister in Egypt had died and could no longer claim the income from the taxes mentioned above. Naturally the Judahites became involved in the struggle since Antiochus IV needed money for his Egyptian campaigns and also because Judea was an important staging area. Neither reason was anything new in the history of Israel, Judah and Judaism. In his enthusiasm for Hellenism and in his efforts to unify his empire (I Macc.1:41), however, he made use of cultural and religious coercion such as had long ago been employed by the Babylonians and Assyrians -- but not by the Persians and only to a limited extent by Alexander and his Epigoni. The traditional Judahite religion was to be replaced by a new state cult, the Levitical ordinances by a Hellenistic way of life.
"His place will be taken by a contemptible man, on whom royal majesty was not conferred; he will come in unawares and seize the kingdom through trickery" (Daniel 11:21 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
This is Antiochus IV Epiphanies (king 175-164) the brother of Seleucus IV and the "contemptible man" of Bible prophecy. He escaped from a prison in Rome where he was being held as a hostage. He returned to Syria and through bribes and corruption got himself into a position of power. He over-rode all the rightful heirs to the throne, Seleucus IV's son -- Demetrius, his sister Cleopatra I of Egypt and her son -- Ptolemy VI.
Antiochus Epiphanes was ambitious and refused to honor the treaties of peace signed by Ptolemy Lagus and Antiochus the Great in 302 B.C. The disputed territory was Coelo-Syria and Palestine. After the death of his father Antiochus the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes seized the throne of Syria at Antioch (which was named for his father) and launched a successful campaign against Egypt and Israel. In 170 B.C. he plundered the Temple, murdered the high priest and shut down the sacrifices for the next six years -- see Daniel 8:14.
Two years later, in 168 B.C., Epiphanes was defeated near Alexandria, Egypt, by the Roman army. In frustration and humiliation, he marched back through Judah on his way to Syria, and in a rage slaughtered 80,000 Judahites, banned the Torah scrolls, abolished all Judahite religious services, forbade circumcision and forced the people to eat swine.
Antiochus Epiphanes then began his military conquests against Egypt with a small force of men.
"With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant" (Daniel 11:22 -- New King James Version).
The "prince of the covenant" was the High Priest who ruled in Jerusalem at that time. Antiochus IV Epiphanies removed him and made the office one that could be bought. Whichever Judahite could pay the highest price, was made the High Priest. As a matter of fact he made one High Priest after another.
"And, from the time an alliance is made with him, he will practice deceit; and he will rise to power with a small band. He will invade the richest of provinces unawares, and will do what his father and forefathers never did, lavishing on them spoil, booty, and wealth; he will have designs upon strongholds, but only for a time" (Daniel 11:23-24, Tanakh: the Holy Scriptures).
Antiochus tricked and deceived his nephew (Ptolemy VI (181-145)) the king of Egypt. He overran Egypt, something that none of his predecessors were able to do. He took them into his own possession largely because of Ptolemy's own minister's treachery -- so much so that in verse 27 they held a peace conference.
"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 wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him. Even those who eat his rich food shall be his undoing; his army shall be swept away, and many fall down slain. And as for the two kings, their minds shall be bent on mischief; they shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail; for the end is yet to be at the time appointed. And he shall return to his land with great substance, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall take action, and return to his own land" (Daniel 11:25-28, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
On his way back from Egypt to Syria Antiochus Epiphanes wrought havoc in Jerusalem. He slew 8,000 of the holy ones, the faithful people of Judah who kept the covenants and laws. He defiled the sanctuary. He tried to burn the Scrolls of the Law. He persecuted YEHOVAH's people -- and that was just in a passing visit! It was this type of thing that provoked the revolt of the Macabees which you can read about in the Apocrypha books.
"At the appointed time he shall come again into the south; but it shall not be this time as it was before" (Daniel 11:29 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
He brought a second expedition down against them. When he came back in about 168/167 BC he actually defiled the Temple -- he sacrificed a pig on the altar in the holy place. He dedicated YEHOVAH's Temple to the worship of the pagan god Zeus. In this, he was a forerunner of all the apostates who would tread down not just the literal Temple but the spiritual temple which is the true Church of YEHOVAH God.
This is the end of that period. When we go into verse 31 we come into the period of the Roman Empire, verse 35 into the Papal era, and verse 40 into Islam.
Section 5 (Verses 30-39) Rome and the Papacy
We begin our study of this section with the Romans coming into Palestine just a few years before the birth of Yeshua the Messiah. Rome sent General Popilius to face down Antiochus Epiphanes. The Romans arrived in what Daniel called the "ships of Kittim."
"For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall loose heart and retreat, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and concentrate on those who forsake the holy covenant. Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall do away with the continual burnt offering; and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate" (Daniel 11:30-31, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Epiphanes was asked to consider terms. Popilius drew a circle around him with his sword and told him to decide before he left the drawn circle. Epiphanes had to agree to the terms and General Popilius forced him to return to his own land, remain peaceful and honor the authority of Rome. On his return to Jerusalem, Epiphanes once again took his anger out on the Judahites.
Antiochus Epiphanes secured and entrenched his power more thoroughly. He waged political war with Ptolemy Physcon while keeping the rightful heir, Ptolemy Philometer, under his control. This caused much discontent in Egypt. Soon Epiphanes plundered the city of Memphis of its wealth and placed Ptolemy Philometer in control of lower Egypt.
Ptolemy Philometer finally conspired with his brother Ptolemy Physcon and sought Roman assistance in dealing with Epiphanes. The ships of Rome came and broke the power of Antiochus Epiphanes IV.
"And arms shall stand on his part" or "Forces from him shall appear" -- an alternative reading to that says "and apart from him shall arms stand" or apart from Antiochus Epiphanes and his Greek legions and Assyrian soldiers another force -- another nation -- another kingdom -- will enter upon the stage of world history and they shall stand up in the Holy land of Palestine and "profane the Temple." They shall take away the daily sacrifices and place there the abomination of desolation.
When Yeshua was talking to and warning the disciples, on the mount of Olives, he told them to read Daniel. He said, "When you see this abomination of desolation you'll know its time to flee". Those words were not future tense. They were current to the days in which the Messiah lived. After all, he told the disciples to watch for this. Forty years after Yeshua said to them, "You'll see what Daniel predicted", those words from Daniel's prophecy and the words from Matthew 24 and Luke 21 were fulfilled. When the legions of Rome and the armies of the Roman prince Titus came and infested the whole city of Jerusalem, they captured it after a terrible siege and then burned the city to the ground and destroyed it.
Notes Philip Mauro --
"The Roman army, which, by comparison of the Lord's words in Matthew 24:15, 16 and Luke 21:20, 21, is clearly seen to be "the abomination which maketh desolate," encompassed Jerusalem before the failure of the daily sacrifice..." (The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, p.177).
Further, Mauro goes on to say --
"Now, as a matter of historic fact, the daily sacrifice was taken away during the siege of Jerusalem; and this was counted by the Jews an event of such importance, and such a portent of approaching disaster, that Josephus has recoded the very date on which it occurred, saying: "And now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and make a ready passage for his army to come up, while he himself had Josephus brought to him; for he had been informed that, on that very day, which was the seventeenth day of Panemus, the sacrifice called 'the daily sacrifice' had failed, and had not been offered to God for want of men to offer it; and that the people were grievously troubled at it" (Wars, VI. 2.1.). -- Ibid., p.177.
The Romans burned the Temple to the ground. The gold melted and ran down through the crevices of the bricks so the Roman soldiers tore it down stone by stone to get the gold and the silver out. That fulfilled the words of Yeshua when he said there wouldn't be a stone of the Temple left standing one on top of the other. Then to really defile it, Titus, the Roman prince went to the high altar of the Temple, planted the standards of the Roman legions by it and then proceeded to sacrifice a pig on the alter in the Holy of Holies. He fulfilled Daniel 11:31 that he should defile the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice and place there the abomination. Read on, for in verse 32 we are introduced to two categories of people.
"He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant; but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action" (Daniel 11:32 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Two groups of people are mentioned here. Firstly, those who reject the Covenant -- and in distinction from them, those who know their God and because of this they are capable of doing great exploits.
The people who rejected the Covenant, historically according to this prophecy were the Jews (those NOT descended from the tribe of Judah) of Yeshua's day. For 40 years they were given the gospel of repentance, remission of sin etc. preached to them by the disciples and apostles -- and they rejected it. All through the Book of Acts you'll find the persecution of the early church, even before the Romans persecuted them. Everywhere Paul went the Jews followed and stirred the people up. They stoned them. They beat them. They hounded the servants of YEHOVAH God to their death and martyrdom. They rejected Yeshua the Messiah, and YEHOVAH's offer of mercy.
Notice that there is a category of people like the ones we find in 2nd Thessalonians, and it says that YEHOVAH God has blinded their eyes so that they won't even be able to understand the Truth. Once people reject the Truth they give themselves over to a seducing spirit. One of those seducing spirits is the spirit of flattery. Beware of people who allow themselves to be lifted up by a spirit of pride and flattery. Those who love to take distinctive titles and lord it over people.
The second group of people in the above verse are the ones who accepted the covenant, were strong in YEHOVAH God and were able to carry out great exploits. Read through the book of Acts to learn more about these people and their exploits. Verse 32 gives us a standard -- "people who know their God." Know Him -- be strong in Him and you too will do exploits.
"And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand though they shall fall by the sword and flame, and by captivity and plunder, for some days" (Daniel 11:33 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
"And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand" -- and they did! As fast as the Romans persecuted the early church it increased. YEHOVAH multiplied the church. They did instruct the church and they did increase, but they suffered terrible persecution. It tells us here that in the midst of what they were doing for YEHOVAH God, "they shall fall by the sword and flame, and by captivity and plunder, for some days."
"When they fall, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery" (Daniel 11:34 -- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
In 313 A.D. a so-called "Christian" emperor, Constantine, took over the Roman Empire. Research indicates that he was not a Christian at all. He did, however, cause the church to be helped a little because he passed the Edict of Molane in 313 that gave the church freedom, civil rights and no more persecution. Was that a good thing? Did it keep YEHOVAH's church pure? No it didn't -- read the last part of verse 34. As a result of that many joined themselves to the church by intrigue or flattery. It may say in your Bible " -- that same spirit of deception." All the pagans came in. It was popular to be a Christian now. There were jobs for Christians in the emperor's service. It was the "in thing" to be a Christian. So the pagan priests changed their vestments. The pagan temples were turned into churches -- they just happened to keep their little statues and give them Christian names. The same was with their ceremonies. Did you ever wonder why the church building is such an important part of Christianity today. In the days of the Acts of the Apostles the "church" was the people, not a building.
The pagans flooded in and became Christian in name only. The true church of YEHOVAH God was absorbed and swallowed up by what was called "Christendom." They seduced YEHOVAH's church by flattery and deception where they couldn't put it down by persecution. Isn't that the same today? When there was opposition there was a stand for Truth, but now the church welcomes people with all sorts of strange gods and ideas of worship. Hudson Taylor, a great English missionary to the Chinese, once said, "Fellowship at the expense of Truth is treason".
The deception and the flattery come with words like "Let's all come together", "Let's all join forces", "fellowship with the other churches." Gradually your stance is watered down, adulterated and diluted. That is a greater menace than open persecution. YEHOVAH's message is not to unify -- it is to "come out from them and walk in total separation." Unity is spoken of only in the midst of TRUE believers.
"And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purge them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time" (Daniel 11:35 -- New King James Version).
This verse spans the whole Christian era of prophecy. It speaks of great tribulation through which the saints will pass. So in Revelation the revelator can say, "Who are these in white robes?" and the answer will come back, "Those are the ones who came out of great tribulation, washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."
In verse 36 we are introduced to the anti-Christ system again. One of the masterpieces of Satan to counterfeit Christendom -- headed up with its vice-Christ, its Pontiff.
"Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things" (Daniel 11:36-38, New King James Version).
The king, as mentioned in verse 36, is the king of this adulterated church system -- the Pope himself. "Exalted and magnified above every God", is definitely the position in which he sees himself. Let's read from Thessalonians:
"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, New King James Version).
"He shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods". We shall now have a look at just a few of the great blasphemies this unholy dynasty of Popes have said.
1). Ferraris says: "The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that HE IS NOT A MERE MAN, BUT, AS IT WERE, GOD...so that if it were possible the angels might err...contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the Pope."
2). The Decretals of Pope Gregory IX state: "He, the Pope, is said to have heavenly power and hence changes even the nature of things...can make something out of nothing...turn injustice into justice...he has the fullness of power."
3). Pope Pius IX declared of himself -- "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."
4). Pope Leo XIII, in July 1894, said: "The Pope is of so great authority that he can modify, explain or interpret Divine Laws."
5). This same Pope, in July 1895, went on to proclaim: "We hold upon this earth the place of Almighty God."
6). The Bishop of Bayloon called this Pope: "The visible personification of the Spirit of God."
7). Ireland's Roman Catholic Hierarchy in 1949 styled Pope Pius XII as: "A mediator between God and men. ANOTHER CHRIST."
"But in their place he shall honor a God of fortresses" -- in a marginal Bible and some of the other translations this verse reads, "he shall honor the protecting gods" (v. 38). Who are the protecting gods of this system? The Patron Saints -- everybody has a little saint for every occasion and every day of the week.
He will not regard the desire of woman (v. 37).
"The spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which YEHOVAH God created to be received with thanks giving by those who believe and who know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:1-3, NIV).
In the days of the Apostle Paul -- and through the first few centuries A.D. -- Rome was a "holy city" in name only. Reports estimate that there were about 6,000 prostitutes in this city with a population not exceeding 100,000. Historians tell us that "all the ecclesiastics had mistresses, and all the convents of the Capital were houses of ill fame."
Cardinal Peter D'Ailly said he dared not describe the immorality of the nunneries, and that "taking the veil" was simply another mode of becoming a public prostitute. Violations were so bad in the ninth century that St. Theodore Studita forbade even female animals on monastery property! In the year 1477, night dances and orgies were held in the Catholic cloister at Kercheim that are described in history as being worse than those to be seen in the public houses of prostitution.
Priests came to be known as "the husbands of all the women." Albert the Magnificent, Archbishop of Hamburg, exhorted his priests: "Sinon caste, tamen caute" (If you can't be chaste, at least be careful). Another German bishop began to charge the priests in his district a tax for each female they kept and each child that was born. He discovered there were eleven thousand women kept by the clergymen of his diocese!
"He shall honor a god which his fathers did not know with gold and silver" -- the crowning blasphemy of this system is the worship of the Eucharist, to set up the wafer and the wine and consecrate them saying they have been turned into the body and blood of Yeshua.
The Council of Trent proclaimed that the belief in transubstantiation is essential to salvation and pronounced curses on any who would deny it. The Council ordered priests to explain that not only did the elements of the Mass contain flesh, bones, and nerves as a part of the Messiah, "but also a WHOLE CHRIST." The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each individual species the WHOLE CHRIST, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and humanity, is really present."
After the bread has been changed into "Christ" by the priest, it is placed on a monstrance in the centre of a sunburst design. Before the monstrance Catholics bow and worship the little wafer as God! This practice, in our opinion, is similar to the practices of heathen tribes that worship fetishes.
Is it Scriptural? Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "In the absence of Scriptural proof, the Church finds a warrant for, and a propriety in rendering Divine worship to the Blessed Sacrament in the most ancient and constant tradition..." This reasoning brings to mind the words of Yeshua, "...making the word of God of none effect through your tradition" (Mark 7:13).
The Monstrance was -- and is -- set in gold and silver and precious stones.
"Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain" (Daniel 11:39 -- New King James Version).
Section 6 (Verses 40-45) Islam -- the Arabs and the Turks
"At the time of the end, the king of the south will lock horns with him, but the king of the north will attack him with chariots and riders and many ships. He will invade lands, sweeping through them like a flood; he will invade the beautiful land, too, and many will fall, but these will escape his clutches: Edom, Moab, and the chief part of the Ammonites" (Daniel 11:40-41, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
There are some Bible students who tell us that the king of the north and the king of the south is in reference to the Russians and the Africans. They put the whole chapter into the future and say that this is the Russians coming down to attack the anti-Christ. We have already learned that historically the king of the south and the king of the north before the Messiah's birth were the Ptolemies in Egypt and the Seleucids in Syria. Who were they in the Christian era?
They were the Arabs or Saracens in the south and the Turks were the king of the north and both, though in a larger sense, have occupied the stations of the former and original Kings. With the exception of them, there is none in all past history, to whom the appellation of "the kings of the south and north" can with any propriety be adapted. The Caliphs of the Saracens and the Emperors of the Turks have a clear as well as an exclusive right to the name, and have sustained the characters. They occupy the place of the kings of the north and the south during the period of the "time of the end", even as during that appointed time, the Pope bore all the marks of the king who did according to his will, and magnified himself above all.
The king of the south -- or the Muslim Arabs -- did indeed push at or wage war on apostate Christendom. The Arabs from 634-644 A.D., coming from their headquarters at Mecca, south of Palestine, conquered some 36,000 cities or strongholds, destroyed some 4,000 Christian churches, and erected some 1,400 Moslem mosques. They established an Empire which reached from Persia, through North Africa into Spain and the South of France. They sacked Rome, the seat of the Papacy, and even fought the Papal forces at sea. They besieged Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, on two occasions in 674-678 A.D., and 717-718 A.D.
The Turks -- or king of the north -- were to continue to wage war, even more successfully on nominal Christianity. From the 11th to the 17th Century, they became the scourge of Christendom. Just as Daniel the prophet had predicted, they "entered into the countries", the Christian territories of Asia Minor, and "overflowed and passed over" the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, conquering the Balkans and finally capturing Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, before going on to reach the very gates of Vienna.
"He will invade the beautiful land, too, and many will fall, but these will escape his clutches: Edom, Moab, and the chief part of the Ammonites" (Daniel 11:41 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
Entering the Glorious Land, Overthrowing Many Countries Except Edom, Moab and Ammon
These events outlined in verses 41, were fulfilled exactly by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the king of the north. The Turks did indeed conquer Palestine or the glorious land, bringing to an end the Christian Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Many countries were indeed overthrown with the conquest by the Turks of Christian Territories such as the Principalities of Tripoli and Edessa, and not only countries, but many important figures in Christendom were to be overthrown in their unsuccessful Crusades to liberate the Holy Places of Palestine from the Turks. The only territories to escape enforced incorporation in the Ottoman Empire, were Ammon, Edom and Moab. These ancient Biblical territories were the home of the wandering Arab tribesmen, who, whilst embracing Islam, never submitted to Turkish rule or authority.
"He will lay his hands on lands; not even the land of Egypt will escape. He will gain control over treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and Cushites will follow at his heel" (Daniel 11:42-43, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
The Land of Egypt Shall Not Escape
In verses 42 and 43, we read that Egypt and its treasures are to fall to the king of the north, together with the Ethiopians and the Libyans. This in fact came to pass in 1516/1517 A.D. when the Ottoman Emperor, Selim I, having conquered Palestine, marched on into Egypt, stripping the land of its wealth. The book Turkish History by Sir Paul Rycaut tells us that --
"About 500 families of the noblest and richest of the Egyptians, were commanded to remove from Cairo to Constantinople in ships hired for the purpose. Into this fleet besides the King's treasures and riches, he conveyed all the public and private ornaments of that most rich and famous city."
The book History of the Ottoman Turks tells us that "A thousand camels laden with gold and silver" carried the spoils of war from Egypt to Constantinople. In 1550, the Turks brought Libya under their Imperial sway, and the Ethiopians on the Southern boundary of the Ottoman Empire were compelled to pay tribute to the Turks. Thus was the prophecy of Daniel fulfilled.
"But reports from the east and north will alarm him, and he will march forth in a great fury to destroy and annihilate many" (Daniel 11:44 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
News or Tidings Out of the North and East
A number of Bible students frequently misapply this verse 44 of Daniel's prophecy, to suggest an end time attack by China on Soviet Russia. How foolish are these fables, for once again this verse finds exact historical fulfillment in the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Since there was no one word for northeast in the original language of Scripture, the expression "north and east" is used to describe pressure and attack coming upon the Turks from a territory north and east of their Empire. This was Imperial Russia. From the mid-18th Century onwards, Russian attacks upon the North Eastern borders of Turkey became increasingly frequent.
The Turks sent their armies and navies against Russia "with great fury" as Daniel predicted, but never with success. In 1768 the Turkish armies were badly defeated, and in 1770, the Turkish fleet was wiped out by the Russians. In 1774 and 1777, more defeats were experienced. In 1806, the Russians seized Moldavia and Wallachia, and destroyed another Turkish fleet. In 1826, Turkey was compelled to surrender all Asian fortresses to the Russians, and to grant Greek independence in 1829. Only the intervention of Great Britain saved the Ottoman Empire from ruin at the hands of Russia in the Crimean War of 1853, and as a result of the conflict of 1877/78, the nations of Turkey's Balkan Empire, gained their freedom.
This gradual destruction of the Ottoman Empire, seen as trouble from the north and east in Daniel's prophecy, parallels with events known as the "drying up of the River Euphrates" in the Revelation vision.
The Final End
We are told of the final collapse of the king of the north -- the Ottoman Empire (verse 45):
"He will pitch his royal pavilion between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain, and he will meet his doom with no one to help him" (Daniel 11:45 -- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
The "beautiful holy mountain" situated between the seas, the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, is Mount Zion. "His royal pavilion" can also be translated as "the tents of his army" -- and history once again explains prophecy. During the Great War of 1914-1918 the Ottoman Turks, established their military headquarters in Jerusalem at Mount Zion. Driven from that city in December 1917 by British and Commonwealth forces led by General Allenby, the Turks subsequently lost the cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Aleppo during the following year -- those cities having been the three capitals of the pre-Roman king of the north. Deserted by their German allies, the Turks surrendered to the Allies, or "came to an end with none to help" just as Daniel had foretold. Within six years the Ottoman Emperor had been deposed, the Caliphate abolished and Turkey declared a Republic under Mustapha Kemal, thereby ending the king of the north phase of Islam in prophecy.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
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