KJV: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
(NASB®): In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.
Dates of Daniel's visions:
Daniel 7 = 555 BC
Daniel 8 = 553 BC
Daniel 9 = 538 BC
Daniel 10 = 534 BC (Third year of Cyrus)
Unlike the vision in chapter 8, when Daniel faints and doesn't understand, he does generally understand this vision.
KJV: 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
|Previously, in Daniel 9, Daniel had prayed earnestly for the Jews to be allowed to return to Jerusalem. They were allowed to do this when Cyrus issued his decree in 536 BC. In Ezra 3:8 to 4:5, it describes that in the second month of the second year (534 BC), they laid the foundation of the temple, which caused troublemakers to rise up and try to stop the work. The timing (534 BC) makes it likely that Daniel was mourning and praying because the work was stalled and Cyrus was receiving bad reports about the Jews.|
KJV: 4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
The Hiddekel river is the Tigris river.
In vision, Daniels sees a being of magnificence. The description is similar to the vision John had in Revelation of Christ (Rev. 1:13-15). Daniel sees and hears Christ in vision, but what Christ showed Daniel in the vision isn’t described.
As in other places in Scripture, people nearby became very fearful when a supernatural being appeared. When Christ appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, those around him could see light, but could not hear the words and were afraid (Acts 22:9).
KJV: 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
A being now appears to help strengthen Daniel and help him understand what he saw. Gabriel did this after the previous vision, using the same greetings and methods, and now returns to help again.
Gabriel had also called Daniel greatly beloved in the previous vision. John, the apostle, was called the disciple who Jesus loved. God loves all His people and clearly lets us know throughout Scripture.
KJV: Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
|Prayer is important. God hears you and responds. Prayer can be a catalyst for God to act. The same thing happened in chapter 9 when Daniel prayed.|
KJV: But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
The name Michael appears five times in the Bible. It is used in Jude 1:9 when he contends with the devil about the body of Moses, and in Revelation 12:7 when he leads angels in a war against the devil and his angels. In Daniel 10, Michael is mentioned twice, and both times he is contending with evil forces. In Daniel chapter 12, Michael delivers His people and resurrects many.
The name Michael means "who is like God." The name is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation, calling Michael the archangel and the prince. The word "angel" means "messenger," and "arch" means "chief, greatest, or highest." So, "Michael the archangel" simply means "the greatest messenger who is like God." He displays the power and attributes that belong only to God, such as resurrecting the dead, evicting the devil from heaven, and interceding for and redeeming the saints. This evidence reveals that the true identity of Michael is Jesus Christ.
Whenever Michael appears in the Bible, he is the victor in some struggle between good and evil. In Daniel chapter 10, we are provided with another glimpse into the great controversy between Christ and Satan. We get a peek behind the scenes as supernatural beings strive for the minds of humans. These struggles are taking place everywhere. This particular struggle for the prince of Persia’s mind, was an intense and very important struggle. Gabriel was unable to convince the prince for three full weeks. But, Michael, Christ Himself, came and resolved it. Cyrus, the prince of the kingdom of Persia, did not succumb to the bad reports and did not stop the work of rebuilding the temple.
KJV: Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
|This vision is going to relate more information about the “latter days”. It isn’t as concerned with Medo-Persia and Greece, but more with Rome and the Time of the End.|
KJV: 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
|Being in the presence of sinless beings, much less Christ Himself, has a weakening effect on sinners. The angel touches Daniel to strengthen him.|
KJV: 20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
|After explaining the vision to Daniel, Gabriel would return to continue to influence the prince of Persia. The beings standing up to what was happening there, were Gabriel and Michael.|
KJV: “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him."
Gabriel here refers back to when he had helped Darius, just like he is now helping Cyrus. Angels work on behalf of humans to help us make right decisions. We cannot see what is happening behind the scenes, but there are forces at work against us and on our behalf.
Note: Darius the Mede refers to Cyaxares II, who was an uncle to Cyrus the Great and son of Astyages. Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC at which point Cyaxares II became its king. In about 537, Cyaxares II gave his daughter in marriage to Cyrus and the Median kingdom as her dowry, thus cementing the merged Median and Persian kingdoms. Cyaxares II, under the throne name of Darius, died about 537, and Cyrus then fully took the throne. The reference to Darius the Mede differentiates this Darius from Darius the Persian who ruled after Cyrus.
|Medo Persia - 2nd Realm|
|534 - 465 BC||Daniel 11:2
KJV: 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.
Gabriel begins to explain what will happen in the latter days. The explanation is given in plain language, not symbols. It builds on the prophecy of Daniel 8. Just like in Daniel's vision in chapter 8, the realms of Medo-Persia and Greece are named, leaving no doubt as to the starting point of this vision. Note: Unlike the visions in Daniel 2 and 7, Babylon (the 1st realm) had already been replaced by Persia at the time of this vision, so no mention is made of it.
King Cyrus reigned when the vision was given. He was followed by:
1st King = Cambyses II (530-522 BC)
2nd King = Bardiya/Smerdis (522 BC) (Smerdis was an usurper)
3rd King = Darius I (521-485 BC) (522-486) (same as Darius Hystaspes, son of Hystaspes)
4th King = Xerxes I (486-465 BC) (the rich 4th King) (also called Ahasuerus)
Xerxes was the rich fourth king. He did “stir up all” as he stockpiled supplies for four years while assembling his army, which had contingents from 40 nations. They all marched together, against Greece. But were defeated. This was Xerxes, the same as Ahasuerus of Queen Esther (Esther 1:4-7). He ruled when the empire's territory was at its greatest extent.
Note: Some interpretations leave out Smerdis, who was an usurper, and identify Artaxerxes I (reigned 465-424 BC) as the rich 4th King. However, it was Xerxes I, not Artaxerxes I, who assembled a multi-national army (“he shall stir up all”).
Note: Cambyses and Cyrus had coregency for one year in Babylon occurring in Cyrus’ first year, from 538 to 537 B.C. Cyrus did not take up the title, “King of Babylon,” until the end of that year of coregency.
|465 - 336 BC||Skipped||Xerxes was the last Persian king who invaded Greece. The defeat of Persia by Greece gives us a clue to look for Greece to arrive as next power. The prophecy now skips over the next 9 Persian rulers: Artaxerxes I (465-424), Xerxes II (424), Sogdianus (424-423), Darius II (424-404), Artaxerxes II (404-358), Artaxerxes III (358-338), Artaxerxes IV (338-336), Darius III (336-330) and Artaxerxes V (330-329).|
|Greece - 3rd Realm|
|336 - 323 BC||
KJV: And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
The mighty king is Alexander the Great (336-323 BC) who united the Greeks and quickly conquered the Persians. This famous young leader began to rule when he was only 20 years old and by the time he was 25 he had conquered much of the Eastern world. His amazing feats are exemplified by the battle of Arbela (also called the Battle of Gaugamela) in 331 BC, when he conquered the Medes and Persians by defeating the much larger army of Darius III, with a force of less than 50,000 men.
Parallel Prophecies: "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." (Dan. 8:21)
See map of Alexander the Great's realm
|323 - 305||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.
When Alexander was in his prime, he suddenly died (reigned 336-323 BC). With his successors ("diadochi", the leaders, generals, families and friends in power at his death) unwilling to proceed with unity, 40 years of civil war followed until four separate stable powers emerged. His kingdom was not divided to his descendents to rule, but fought over and won by the strongest. The four political powers and their territories are:
- Greece (Macedonia) (Cassander, a nobleman and son of Alexander's General Antipater)
- Asia Minor (Thrace,Macedon) ((Lysimachus, held a prominent position in Alexander’s circle and was his immediate bodyguard)
- Syria (Persian Empire, part of Asia Minor, Northern Syria, Mesopotamia, the east) ((Seleucus I, one of Alexander's Generals)
- Egypt (Palestine and parts of Syria) (Ptolemy I, one of Alexander's Generals)
Parallel Prophecies: The 4 heads on Leopard (Dan. 7:6) and 4 horns on goat (Dan. 8:8).
See map of the four divisions of Grecia
|305 - 283||
KJV: 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.
Verse 5 begins an outline of the struggles between the kings of Ptolemaic Egypt (south) and Seleucid Syria (north). Daniel saw that Greece would replace Medo Persia in previous prophecies also (Daniel 8:20-21).
Seleucus I served as an admiral under Ptolemy I in 314 BC (he was "one of his princes"), fighting together against other Diadochi. Seleucus had great success and went on to gain territory. The four powers were allied together to defeat other threats and when they defeated Antigonus I in 301 BC at the Battle of Ipsus, Ptolemy I took control of the Coele-Syria region (southern Syria or Lebanon, Syria and Israel). However, the other alliance members assigned all of Syria to Seleucus. The question of ownership of the region resulted in an ongoing war between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. However, Seleucus I, who had gained power through the help of Ptolemy I, did not take military action to reclaim the region. Once both were dead their successors began a long series of wars. Thus, Ptolemy was strong, but Seleucus became stronger and established the Seleucid Empire. Verse 5 begins the description of the intrigues between the King of the North (Seleucids - Syria) and the King of the South (Ptolemies - Egypt).
|283 - 246||
KJV: 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.
|Ptolemy II (283-246 BC) fought against Antiochus I (281-261 BC) in the first Syria war (274-271 BC) and was victorious. He then fought against Antiochus II (261-246 BC) in the second Syrian war (260-253 BC). Ptolemy II was losing and agreed to a peace agreement (253 BC) in which Antiochus II would marry his daughter Berenice (250 BC). In order to do this, Antiochus II divorced his wife Laodice I, and transferred the succession to Berenice's children. When Ptolemy II died in 246 BC, Antiochus II took back Laodice I, but he soon died. Berenice made claims to the throne for her infant son Antiochus, but both were killed by Laodice I, who's own son, Seleucus II, could then ascend to the throne.|
|246 - 225||
KJV: 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: 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. 9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
NASB®: 9 Then the latter will enter the realm of the king of the South, but will return to his own land.
Berenice's brother ("branch of her roots"), Ptolemy III, succeeded Ptolemy II. Determined to avenge his sister's murder, he invaded Syria, fighting against the newly crowned Seleucus II (246-225 BC). Ptolemy III was very successful and gained new territories. Ptolemy took 40,000 talents worth of silver, 4000 talents of gold and 2500 idols from the Syrians back to Egypt.
After Ptolemy returned to Egypt, Seleucus II recovered Northern Syria and the nearer provinces of Iran.
|225 - 217||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: His sons will mobilize and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one of them will keep on coming and overflow and pass through, that he may again wage war up to his very fortress.
|Selecus II's son, Seleucus III (225-223 BC), succeeded him and launched a campaign against Attalus I of the Attalid dynasty to regain territory in Asia Minor. Seleucus III was assassinated, but the effort was carried on successfully by Achaeus who took control of the army and recovered the lost territories.Seleucus III's younger brother, Antiochus III ("Antiochus the Great," 222-187 BC) succeeded him. During the fourth Syrian war (219-217 BC), his armies regained territory and was positioned in Phoenecia to invade Egypt. He waited for over a year while consolidating his new territories and considering diplomatic proposals sent by the Ptolemies.|
KJV: 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.
|Meanwhile, the Ptolemy's were recruiting and training an army. In 217 BC Ptolemy IV (221-205 BC) defeated Antiochus III at the Battle of Raphia, the largest battle since the Battle of Ipsus eighty years earlier. Antiochus III's loss nullified his previous gains. Ptolemy IV regained control over Coele-Syria.|
KJV: 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.
NASB®: "When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cause tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.
|Ptolemy IV (reigned 221–204 BC), his heart being lifted up after his victory in Palestine, sought to enter the Jewish temple. The Jews resisted him and he had "tens of thousands" put to death.|
KJV: 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.
NASB®: For the king of the North will again raise a greater multitude than the former, and after an interval of some years he will press on with a great army and much equipment.
|Ptolemy IV's son, Ptolemy V (reigned 204-181 BC), succeeded to the throne as a child amidst a bloody conflict. Antiochus III set about to take advantage of the situation and successfully launched an invasion to take back Coele-Syria. This was the fifth Syrian War (202-195 BC). In 200 BC, the Seleucids and Ptolemaics met at the Battle of Panium. Antiochus III was victorious, largely due to the use of cataphracts, which was heavy armored equipment with complete scale armor for the horses. By 198 BC, Ptolemaic rule in Palestine was over.|
KJV: 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.
NASB®: "Now in those times many will rise up against the king of the South; the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down.
NLT: At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed.
|The Ptolemies signed a treaty with Antiochus III in in 195 BC and the Ptolemies' reign was weakened. They suffered from the Egyptian Revolt, in which there were many rebellions by native Egyptians that took away over half the country over 20 years (206-185 BC). The word translated to "robbers" means son and denotes kinship, such as a family or nation. It is usually translated to "son" or "children". Notice that the NASB® translates it to "violent ones among your people". The Jews would try to rise up to fulfill prophecy. The pro-Seleucid Jewish faction in Jerusalem joined a short-lived attempt to exploit the situation in Egypt in order to break out from under Ptolemaic rule of Palestine.|
KJV: 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.
NASB®: Then the king of the North will come, cast up a siege ramp and capture a well-fortified city; and the forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even their choicest troops, for there will be no strength to make a stand.
|Ptolemy VI (reigned 180 to 145 BC) succeeded to the throne and Egypt declared war on the Seleucids, launching the sixth Syrian war (170-168 BC). But, Antiochus IV (175-164 BC) launched a preemptive attack and quickly gained control of all Egypt except Alexandria. He besieged Alexandria, but withdrew in 169 BC. However, he soon turned back towards Egypt again. The Ptolemies were to weak to withstand and sent a request to the Roman Senate for assistance.|
KJV: 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.
NASB®: But he who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand him; he will also stay for a time in the Beautiful Land, with destruction in his hand.
NLT: The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel,[d] intent on destroying it.
Antiochus seized Cyprus and Memphis, and was marching towards Alexandria when Popilius, a Roman representative, met him. Popilius delivered the ultimatum from the Senate that Antiochus must immediately evacuate Egypt and Cyprus. Antiochus IV wanted more time to consider, but Popilius drew a circle around Antiochus in the sand and told him to decide before he stepped outside it. Antiochus obeyed and withdrew. Rome had just defeated the Macedonians under Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus in the pivotal Battle of Pydna, and Rome had become too powerful to defy. Rome was doing "according to his own will".
Rome is described in this verse as the one coming against him and none shall stand before him. Paullus was military leader and consul in 168 BC, representing the Roman Senate. In other words: "But he [Paullus] that cometh against him [Antiochus IV] shall do according to his [Paullus'] will, and none shall stand before him [Paullus]: and he [Antiochus IV] shall stand in the glorious land [Judea], which by his [Antiochus IV's] hand shall be consumed."
After complying with the Roman Senate's orders, Antiochus IV (reigned 175-164 BC) returned north from Egypt. On the way he stopped at Jerusalem ("glorious land"), which had been under Seleucid rule since around 200 BC. He sided with the Hellenized Jewish faction, outlawed Jewish religious rites and ordered the worship of Zeus. The Jews refused and Antiochus killed many Jews and destroyed the city of Jerusalem ("consumed"). (Note: As an interesting side note, in 166 BCE, Judas Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenizing Jews, of whom there were many. A large Seleucid army was sent to quash the revolt, but returned to Syria on the death of Antiochus IV, after which the power of the Selucids disintegrated. By 143 BC, the Jews in the form of the Maccabees had established their independence.)
The defeat of the Greeks by the Romans gives us the clue that the focus will now shift from Greece to Rome.
|Rome - 4th Realm|
|168 - 101||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: 17 "He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect; he will also give him the daughter of women to ruin it. But she will not take a stand for him or be on his side.
NLT: He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail.
Rome launched into major conquests. Paullus' son Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus (lived 185 - 129 BC), who was with his father at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC, went on to win major wars by defeating the mighty Carthaginian Empire (149-146 BC) and Numantia (in Hispania) (143-133 BC). Scipio was consul twice and considered the greatest and most considerable man in Rome. Scipio married Sempronia Gracchae (lived 170 -101 BC), who was the daughter of Cornelia the Mother of the famous Gracchi, and her husband Tiberius Gracchus. Sempronia's brothers, politicians Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus, were powerful policians, however, Scipio was decidedly opposed to the practices of the Gracchi. The couple had an unhappy marriage. When Scipio died in 129 BC, Sempronia and her mother, were suspected of causing his death.
Parallel Prophecies: This begins the period matching the description of the little horn in Daniel 8:9 where Rome waxes great toward the south (Carthage and Northern Africa in 146 BC) (Dan. 11:17), east (Greece and Syria in 65 BC) (Dan. 11:18-19) and pleasant land (Judea in Ps. 106:21-25, Jews lost independence and became a client kingdom of Rome in 63 BC when General Pompey captured Jerusalem) (Dan. 11:20).
KJV: 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 stumble and fall, and not be found.
NASB®: 18 Then he will turn his face to the coastlands and capture many. But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him; moreover, he will repay him for his scorn.
NLT: 19 He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more.
The greatest challenge to Roman supremacy from the end of the second to the middle of the first century BC was the long-lived Mithridates VI of Pontus (lived 135-63 BC) (reigned 120 - 63 BC). By 87 BC, Mithridates had taken over Roman lands and controlled almost all of Asia Minor, Greece, Thrace, part of Macedon, and dominated the Black Sea and Aegean, with the help of his general, Archelaus. The Mithridatic Wars (88-63 BC) were between Rome and the Kingdom of Pontus. At the center of these wars were the Islands of Greece in the Aegean Sea, the number of which range between 1,200 to 6,000. Control of the sea was key to victory. Because of the war, the large scale problem of piracy in the Mediterranean worsened. A large network of pirates had joined together and coordinated operations over wide areas with large fleets. The pirates dominated the whole Mediterranean. It was thought that Mithridates fostered piracy as a way to weaken the Romans. In 67 BC, Pompey (lived 106-48 BC) was voted to be given full power against the pirates, including dominion over the waters of the entire Mediterranean sea and fifty miles inland for three years. He was given a fleet, soldiers and money. He had great and quick success, bringing an end to piracy within three months. Based on his success, in 66 BC, Pompey was given supreme command in the war against Mithridates. He finally defeated Mithridates in Asia Minor in 66 BC. Then he went on to take control of Syria in 65-63 BC and captured Jerusalem in 63 BC.
In 60 BC, Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey formed a political alliance (triumvirate) that dominated Roman politics for several years. But, when Pompey's wife died (54 BC), who was Caesar's daughter, and Crassus died in battle (53 BC), it broke the links between Pompey and Caesar. The triumvirate disintegrated into infighting. Subsequent events led Pompey to become scornful of Caesar’s power. But, Julius came out victor in the Great Civil War (49-45 BC). Pompey fled to Egypt, hoping that his former client, King Ptolemy, would help him. But the Egyptian king didn't want to offend the victorious Caesar. When Pompey left his ship to come ashore at Pelusium, he was stabbed and killed by one of Ptolemy's officers in 48 BC. Pompey's supporters continued the war until 45 BC went Julius defeated them. In 44 BC, Julius was named "dictator in perpetuity," after which he was quickly assassinated.
See map of the Roman realm in 44 BC
See map of the Expansion of the Roman Republic
|44 BC - 14 AD||
KJV: 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.
|After Julius Caesar's death (100 - 44 BC), the second Triumvirate was officially formed in 43 BC, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's loyal cavalry commander Lepidus. Octavian (lived 63 BC - 14 AD) became the first Roman Emperor as Caesar Augustus (reigned 27BC - 14 AD). He was a "raiser of taxes." He was in power when Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be censored/taxed (Luke 2:1).He died in his sleep while sick in AD 14 ("neither in anger, nor in battle").|
|14 AD - 37 AD||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
|Tiberius became the next emperor (14 AD - 37 AD), not through popular demand and not through conquest, but through the influence of his mother and "flatteries". He was not given the "honour of the kingdom" because he refused to hold certain titles, including Imperator, August and Pater Patriae. He even declined the Civic Crown and laurels. Tiberius came to rule "peaceably," not through civil war or conquest. After a time in office, he increasingly engaged in cruel and licentious activities that made him despised ("a vile person") by the people and the senate. He eventually refused to participate in administrative and ruling activities and retired to live a gloomy and depressed life. He became a tyrannical recluse.|
|12 BC - 31 AD||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.
A flood is used in the Bible to indicate an invading army. This one is broken or shattered.
Tiberius was one of Rome's greatest generals. From 12 to 6 BC, he successfully campaigned in Pannonia, Germania, Dalmatia and Raetia. In 6 AD, Tiberius and Quaestor Legatus Germanicus led a campaign against a major revolt in Illyricum, which lasted for nearly four years. During the campaign, in 9 AD, the Roman legions under Varus met a force of Germanic tribes at the Battle of the Teutoburg. Historians emphasize the profound consequences of this battle as changing the course of world history. At the time, Varus was named Legatus Augusti pro praetore and led three of the Roman legions in the southern part of Illyricum, and Arminius was a Roman military leader in command of Germanic auxiliary forces for Rome. As a boy, Arminius had been given as tribute by a Germanic tribal leader to Rome to be raised by the Romans. As he learned of abuses in Roman treatment of Germans and their plans to violate treaties and subjugate Germania, he began laying plans of betrayal. He secretly warned the tribal leaders and planned a brilliant and well-planned ambush. Arminius sent word to Varus of a revolt in the Rhine area. Varus went to help put down the revolt, but instead found himself and his armies in an indefensible position. The Romans were massacred and lost three full legions ("overflown from before him... and broken"). The Germans went on to clean out all Roman forts, garrisons and cities east of the Rhine. It stunned the Roman world. Germania, no longer a Roman province, remained free from then on. After Tiberius became emperor, he sent back his armies for revenge, in 14 AD, raiding, killing and devastating the land. They then withdrew back across the Rhine. Rome never again attempted to completely conquer the Germanic territories east of the Rhine river. Historians have labeled this battle as Rome's greatest defeat. (Note: In 117 AD, emperor Trajan gained a corner of Germania, which was later lost in the 270s under emperor Aurelius. After that, the Germanic tribes were increasingly integrated into the Roman world and eventually took outright control of the military and a divided realm.)
See map of the Roman Empire borders at the Rhine River
Learn more about the history of Germania
Jesus Christ (prince of the covenant) died on the cross ("broken") in 31 AD under the Romans during the reign of Tiberius (emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD) (Luke 3:1).
Note: The reference to the overflowing flood is similar to the wording in Daniel 9:26, which refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and links it to Jesus' death. This is reasonable and could be the case. But, based on the verse's order and wording, and since Tiberius was no longer alive in 70 AD, the arms of a flood seem more likely to be referring to the destruction of Tiberius' forces in 9 AD.
|31 AD - 440 AD||Skipped||
The rest of the Roman rulers are now skipped over until the next phase of the Roman realm when it divided into decentralized kingdoms of mixed germanic-roman peoples (486 AD). The defeat of Rome by the Germanic tribes in verse 22 cued us to look for the next phase of the Roman realm when it would come under the command of the Germanic tribes. This was previously prophesied in Daniel 2 and 7, by the 10 toes and 10 horns, symbolizing that Rome would become a decentralized, or divided, realm.
As revealed in Daniel 7, a little horn would come up and take the place of 3 of the 10 horns. This symbolized the papacy that would rise up and cause 3 of the germanic tribes to be removed. This form of divided Rome would then continue until the second coming. This prophecy follows right along with Daniel's previous prophecies. We've seen an order established repeatedly of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Divided Rome and then Papal-led Divided Rome. This prophecy is no different and verse 23 now transitions to describe the rise of Papal-led Divided Rome.
|Establishment of Divided Rome & the Rise of the Papacy (Pope Leo I "The Great")|
|440 - 461 AD||
KJV; 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 [et].
NASB®: 23 "After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people. 24 In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.
NLT: 23 With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers.
The word translated here to “deceitfully” is the same word used in Daniel 8:25 when describing the Papal power causing “craft” (deceit) to prosper. Daniel 8:25 revealed that the intelligence (policy) of the Papacy enabled it to successfully promote and engage in deceitfulness. It described how the Papacy would boast and lift up (magnify) itself in its own mind. It also revealed that "by peace he will destroy many", meaning that the Papacy would destroy others when they felt secure and at ease, when they didn’t expect it. This idea of taking advantage of others when they feel secure is repeated here in Daniel 11:24 when he enters "peaceably".
Verse 23 is referring to the time when the Papacy would "come up" or develop and grow in power. It gained power with only a small number of people ("a small people"). The groundwork for this rise to power was laid when persecution of Christians was put to an end in 313 AD. Around that time, emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity and the church began to gain favor in the realm. It became the official religion of the empire in 380 AD, when the emperors' Edict of Thessalonica ordered all subjects to profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and of Alexandria, which made Nicene Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. After this, increasing Germanic invasions brought chaos to the Realm, and the church stepped in as a means of bringing stability to Rome. The first sack of Rome occurred in 390 AD by a Gallic tribe, the second in 410 AD by the Visigoths, and the third in 455 by the Vandals.
See a map of Germanic Invasions from 378-439 AD
Pope Leo (440 - 461) was the first pope to be called "the great". He was the pope in power when Attila the Hun came against Rome in 452 and the pope persuaded him not to attack. Then when the Vandals attacked Rome in 455, Leo persuaded their leader not to burn the city or murder the citizens. Gaiseric, the leader of the Vandals, kept his agreement with the Bishop of Rome ("after the league made with him"), and these negotiations gave the pope power and prestige to grow into a leadership role ("become strong with a small people"). The Vandals looted and plundered and left the city in a devastated and unstable state, after which the church then became the key to order and justice. The citizens of Rome, having little resources left, stripped stones and marble from monuments and buildings, and burned statues to make lime. An increasing number of new churches were built, most by using spoils from the city. An example of this is Saint Peter's Basilica, which was built from materials of the abandoned Circus of Nero. This use of the spoils of war became a common feature in Rome for hundreds of years ("scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches").
The pope thus rose as a man of peace ("he shall enter peaceably"), not through battles and conquests of armies, and gained access to the rich and fertile regions of the district ("even upon the fattest places of the province"). As a peacemaker or mediator, he would render judgments. The imperial court relied on him to settle disputes. Even before becoming pope, Leo was sent by emperor Valentinian III to settle a dispute between the chief military commander, Aetius, and the chief magistrate, Albinus.
He stepped in to fill the vacuum of political leadership as western Rome crumbled, addressing both the spiritual and temporal needs of the people. Pope Leo was the first Pope to be given the title of Pontifex Maximus, a title previously reserved for Roman Emperors.
Pope Leo was distinct in his assertions of the primacy of the Roman church over all others. He sought to settle disputes in the eastern churches and eliminate all heresies. He exerted influence over the western and eastern emperors, emphasizing unity in religion as a key to solving political problems. He appealed to emperor Valentian in a dispute with another bishop, and the emperor addressed a constitution supporting Leo and emphasized papal supremacy and the necessity of one supreme head for the spiritual kingdom.
A main obstacle to this was the Arian version of Christianity. The Vandals were the foremost Arian power against the empire at this time. It had to be overcome by the nicene (Catholic) version. In Daniel 7:24, it is the little horn that "subdues three kings". The papacy would devise plans and through its influence bring about the demise of the three tribes ("forecast his devices against the strong holds"). This would take scheming. The three tribes that were to be uprooted were Arian tribes that dissented from the beliefs of the Papacy. The military might of state powers would eventually eliminate these Arian obstacles. Pope Leo was also known to be the first pope to order the death of his enemies.
Note: The word translated to "time" is not the same word used in Dan. 7:25 for "time, times and 1/2 time" (nor in Dan. 4:16-32). A specific time frame (day=year) doesn't necessarily apply here.
|Vandal Wars (Ricimer vs. Gaiseric)|
KJV: 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.
The decline of the western Roman empire was characterized by an increasing number of puppet emperors. The emperors were dominated by Germanic military leaders. The most marked example of this was the general Ricimer, who virtually ruled the western empire from 456-472 AD. He would install emperors, depose and murder seemingly at will.
Emperor Majorian (reigned 457-461 AD) was one of the last emperors to make a concerted effort to restore the Western Roman Empire. He set in motion a plan to attack Africa by building an invasion force at Cartagena, Spain. However, the Vandal leader, Gaiseric (390-477), was one step ahead of Marjorian. Gaiseric bribed key Romans ("they that feed on the portion of his meat") in Cartagena to turn traitor ("shall destroy him"). This enabled Gaiseric to sail a Vandal fleet against Marjorian's fleet just before it was about to embark in 461. Gaiseric's forces virtually destroyed the entire Roman fleet ("army shall overflow").
|461 - 468 AD||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: 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. 28 Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.
During emperor Majorian's absence, Ricimer convinced the senate to turn against the emperor. When Majorian returned to Italy in 461, Ricimer arrested him, deposed him, had him tortured and finally beheaded. With Marjorian's death, the Western throne was vacant. The Vandals saw this as an opportunity to increase their influence in imperial politics. Gaiseric supported Olybrius' candidacy for appointment as emperor. Gaiseric had family ties with Olybrius. If Olybrius was on the throne, Geiseric would become the real power behind the throne in the West, replacing Ricimer. To put pressure on both the western and eastern (Emperor Leo I) rulers to appoint his desired candidate, the Vandals extended their attacks on Sicily and Italy to the territories of the Eastern Empire, sacking and enslaving people living in Illyricum, the Peloponnese and other parts of Greece.
Gaiseric maintained that the peace treaty he had signed with Majorian was no longer valid. There followed a number of attemps to come to an agreement, and as the NLT version of the Bible says "these kings will plot against each other at the conference table" ("speak lies at one table"). Ricimer sent an embassy to Gaiseric asking him to respect the treaty. A second embassy was sent by Leo I asking for the end of the raids and the release of the wife and daughters of Valentinian. When Ricimer appointed Severus to the throne, the Vandals continued their raids. The raids deeply affected the economy of the Italian landowners, especially senators. Some representatives of the Italian aristocracy went to the Emperor to pledge for a reconciliation with Gaiseric. Severus chose the patrician Tatian and sent him to the King of the Vandals, but, Gaiseric again rejected the peace proposal. The Vandals took much wealth and riches in these raids ("return into his land with great riches"). More study needs to be done regarding how the Vandals' heart was against the holy covenant.
|468 - 481 AD||
KJV: 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.
NASB®: 29 At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. 30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
In 468 the Western (Anthemius, puppet of Ricimer) and Eastern (Leo) Roman emperors launched an enormous expedition against the Vandals ("he shall return, and come toward the south"). The expedition was composed of 50,000 soldiers and 1,100 ships. At the Battle of Cap Bon (468 AD), the Vandal's superior naval force ("ships of Chittim") met the invaders and captured the Western fleet and defeated the Eastern fleet through the use of fire ships.
This disastrous expedition against the Vandals bankrupted the Western and Eastern Empires and greatly reduced their military might. The northern armies returned home and were dejected and broken ("grieved"). Since the edict by Theodosius in 380, emperors had spent much resources and energy attempting to suppress all non-Nicene forms of Christianity, especially Arianism. The Vandals were the biggest obstacle to this goal and the Roman realm had just failed again. During next 70 years the effort would continue and would be successful. The annihilation of the three Arian tribes (3 horns uprooted in Dan. 7, Heruli 493, Ostrogoths 538 and Vandals 534) that dissented from the beliefs of the Papacy would be carried out. These horns were uprooted through the power of the state by the influence of the Papacy ("intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant").
See map of Roman realm in 476 AD
See map of the Vandal Kingdom in 526 AD
|Uniting of Church and State (Clovis I, King of the Franks)|
|481 - 538 AD||
KJV: 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.
NLT: 31 His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. 32 He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
Clovis reigned as king of the Franks (a Germanic tribe) from 481 to 511 AD. He was instrumental in the transition from central Roman power to a divided realm (486 AD), and he and his descendents were also instrumental in the transition from 10 nations (horns) into 7. In 486, he conquered the last stand of the Roman military in the west in the Battle of Soissons. This effectively ended any chance of continuing central Roman authority. He continued to expand his territory, becoming the most powerful tribe in the realm.
Clovis was converted to Catholicism in 496 AD, the first "Barbarian" king to do so. His army converted also. He was officially recognized as the first Christian Catholic King in 508 AD by the Eastern Roman emperor. Clovis integrated church offices into the structure of his government. He flattered church leaders and appointed them to important positions of power. His armies "surrounded" the church, standing where it ought not, appearing as the abomination of desolation that Jesus warned about (this was also prophesied in Daniel 8). Because of the Franks' involvement in the church, it empowered the Roman church to rise to unprecedented power in the Realm. This was a church-state union that continued for the next 1290 years.
See map of the rise of the Frankish Empire
These verses, said in another way: The armies of Clovis ("arms shall stand on his part") will contaminate God's heavenly sanctuary ("the sanctuary of strength"), which is His system of ministry for His church. They will interrupt Christ's continual ministry in His heavenly sanctuary ("take away the daily sacrifice") and they will establish an idolatrous system of state interference in the church ("abomination") that makes the sanctuary deserted ("desolate") of people seeking salvation. Those who act wrongly and do harm to God's everlasting covenant ("such as do wickedly against the covenant") will be willing to act dishonestly in return for praise that furthers their own interest ("corrupt by flatteries"). But, those who know God will resist this takeover and be strong and do bold and daring feats ("do exploits").
|Persecution of God's True Church (many brave souls)|
KJV: 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.
As seen in other prophecies, God's people are given into the hand of persecuting Roman church-state powers for 1260 years (538 to 1798 AD). Many brave souls were killed with the sword and burned at stake ("by flame"), put in prison ("captivity"), and persecuted through bribery and convincing others to kill them in order to get their property ("spoil"). Despite intense persecution, God’s people ("they that understand") still spread the gospel ("instruct many"), including the Waldenses, Albineses and Hussites. Many fell and there was no one to help them. When Protestantism and the reformation became more popular, some joined through false motives and didn't really help the cause, but perhaps gained advantages in areas where protestants ruled. God's people will endure this situation until the time of the end.
The "time of the end" begins when the scattering of God's people ends and the ecclesiastical supremacy of the papacy ends (1798 AD - see Daniel 12).
|Papal Self-Exaltation (Pope Innocent III)|
|538 - 1798 AD
1198 - 1216 AD
KJV: 36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
A power is here brought to light that wants to take the place of God ("magnify himself above every god"). We know from multiple other prophecies that this describes the Roman church of the middle ages. The Papacy set itself up as if it was God on earth and was allowed to have ecclesiastical supremacy for 1260 years ("till the indignation be accomplished"). This prophecy characterizes these actions as blasphemous ("speak marvellous things against the God of gods"). As indicated in the verses, the papacy regarded a different God than that of the early Christians ("God of his fathers"). It also promoted celibacy ("desire of women"). It put its own decrees above all other churches and above the Bible itself ("magnify himself above all").
Pope Innocent III (reigned 1198 - 1216 AD), the most powerful pope in history, fits the description in these verses more than any other during the middle ages. It was during his reign that the title "Vicar of Christ" was claimed for the popes, after which it has consistently been used since. The Catholic version of Christianity had spread throughout the Roman realm by this time.
See map of the Religious Divisions of Europe in 1096 AD
KJV: 38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
NASB®: But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.
The Papacy not only exalted itself in the religious sphere, but also in the political sphere. It convinced state powers to persecute its citizens and enforce religious laws for the 1260 years during its ecclesiastically dominant phase. But, it especially exalted itself in the political arena from 752 to 1299, during its politically dominant phase. The popes claimed authority over emperors and kings, claiming the right to determine who would be legitimate rulers. The perception was that if a king wanted to be the ruler of a Christian nation, then he would need the blessing of the recognized leader of Christianity. The papacy could achieve success through threat of excommunication and releasing subjects from their oaths of loyalty.
The papacy reached the apex of its power during the reign of Pope Innocent III. He exercised influence over Christian states and claimed supremacy over all of the realm's kings. He is known for increased involvement in imperial elections and for calling a council (the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 AD) to modify the law in furthering his power as the universal authority in the realm. Innocent issued the "Papal Decree on the choice of a German King, 1201," which he used to force the acceptance of his choice of the three men contesting to become emperor. In it he said "It is the business of the pope to look after the interests of the Roman empire, since the empire derives its origin and its final authority from the papacy; its origin, because it was originally transferred from Greece by and for the sake of the papacy...its final authority, because the emperor is raised to his position by the pope who blesses him, crowns him, and invests him with the empire" (Medieval Sourcebook: Innocent III (r.1198-1216): Letters on Papal Polices, Fordham.edu, http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/innIII-policies.asp).
See a map of the Holy Roman Empire in 1200 AD
Map including country names
The papacy was weak on its own. It exerted power by convincing state powers to cooperate. It placed its hope in the support of the state ("god of fortresses"). This sort of approach was not done by the early Christians ("whom his fathers knew not") who placed their hope in Jesus Christ. Kings and popes would collect images and costly relics. Popes would find relics and send costly gifts to various rulers ("honour with gold, and silver..."). Indulgences were sold to build extravagant cathedrals. It was enabled to accomplish all these things (verses 36-39) via state political powers.
KJV: Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
NLT: Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward.
During the middle ages, feudalism developed as the Franks expanded territory under the Carolingian dynasty. The relationship between lord and vassal evolved. This type of system forms a pyramid of power, where loyalty at each level ensures its strength. At the top of the pyramid would sit the ultimate ruler of all levels. This system was especially prevalent from the 9th to the 15th centuries. The church became integrated into this system as an organization and as individual clergymen. By 1200 AD, during Pope Innocent III's reign, the papacy had more vassals than the other temporal rulers. Papal fiefs included England, Poland, Sicily, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Aragon. Pope Innocent III was known to drive out existing feudal lords and threaten with excommunication anyone who refused to acknowledge his supremacy. Thus, the papacy controlled much land and would parcel out land for a price or distribute land as a reward ("shall divide the land for gain").
Feudalism gradually faded over the next several hundred years. France official abolished it during the French Revolution in 1789.
|World War I & II (George V and VI, Kings of the United Kingdom and British Dominions)|
|1798 AD - Second Coming
1914 - 1936 AD
KJV: And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
NASB®: At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.
NLT: Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood.
Time of the End: As Daniel 12 reveals, the time of the end would begin after the 1260 years of persecution, in 1798. So, the phrase "at the time of the end" indicates that the events in verses 40-45 will occur between 1798 and the second coming.
The realm of the two kings: As established early on in Daniel 11 as Greece divided into 4 divisions of political power (Dan. 11:5-6), the King of the North and the King of the South represent the two main political powers that war against each other within the same realm, generally positioned north and south of each other. This follows on consistently throughout the chapter. Since the King of the North and the King of the South are the primary opposing forces within the SAME realm, we need to know what realm is in power after 1798 (the time of the end), and what it looks like politically, in order to properly identify the kings.
We know from Daniel 2 and 7 that there are 4 earthly realms, before the everlasting realm of Jesus, that successively rule over the area where the large part of Christianity dwells. These are Babylon (609 to 539 BC), Medo-Persia (539 to 331 BC), Greece (331 to 168 BC) and Rome (168 BC to Second Coming). The Roman realm is the 4th and final earthly realm and it continues until the second coming. However, its form of government changes in dramatic and complex ways. When Rome became the dominant realm over Greece in 168 BC it was a republic. In 27 BC it transitioned into an empire under emperors who were granted authority by the senate. In 285 AD it divided into two halves, east and west. Over the next several hundred years, the eastern half morphed into a completely separate entity, adopting Greek instead of Latin, losing much of its traditional Roman character and becoming the Byzantine Empire. Prophecy treats the 4th realm as continuing in the western half (Note: This does not preclude the fall of the eastern half being portrayed in the 5th Trumpet of Revelation, which defines the political environment in the Roman realm as it allowed the "tormenting" of the Byzantines by the Ottomans for 150 years before cutting off all hope of support and letting the Byzantine Empire be "killed"). In 486 AD, the realm became decentralized as it divided into 10 tribes/kingdoms (Dan. 2:41). Three (Vandals, Ostrogoths, Heruli) of the 10 quickly disappeared due to the influence of a political-religious power (papacy - Daniel 7:23-24) and the remaining 7 (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, Italians, Swiss) continue until the second coming (Dan. 2:44). Though divided, they have central influences that work across borders (such as the papacy and house of Habsburg), and the Bible treats them as one prophetic unit or realm.
The 4 divisions of Greece are symbolized by horns in Daniel 8:8 and the 10 divisions of Rome are symbolized by horns in Daniel 7 (Dan. 7:17,23-24). In Daniel 11, just like two of the four divisions of Greece became the King of the North and King of the South, two of the 10 divisions of Rome become the King of the North and the King of the South. The identity of each will become apparent as we continue on to look at their activities below. (Note: The 4 divisions of Greece are also symbolized by heads in Daniel 7, but the 7 political divisions of Rome, which are also symbolized by heads, cannot be the powers referred to by the King of the North and the King of the South because the 7 heads are consecutive powers and not simultaneous powers.)
The territory of the 4th realm expanded dramatically during the 1700s as the tribes settled in the new world. The Roman realm now includes much of Europe, USA, Canada, South America, Central America, Australia, and more.
Political Environment: In 1798, the 1260 years of papal ecclesiastical dominance was brought to an end as part of the activities of the French Revolution. Additional revolutions occurred throughout Europe and other countries, which eroded the power of Austria, the House of Habsburg, and conservative forces throughout the realm. The more liberal western powers, such as Britain, France and the USA, who had nurtured and spread the ideas of the enlightenment, were steadily rising in power.
Beginning with Napoleon's foray into Egypt in 1798, Europeans began to get increasingly involved in the middle east and North Africa. This was in the territory controlled by the Ottoman empire, which was vast, including modern day Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Macedonia, Greece, Armenia, Moldavia, Romania, and Bosnia.
By the end of the 19th century, it became apparent that European powers, having already colonized much of the world, were going to also colonize the Middle East.
These verses in Daniel 11:40-45 specifically have to do with the Middle East. It names Egypt, Libyans, Ethiopians, Edom, Moab and Ammon, and refers to Palestine ("glorious land") and Jerusalem ("Holy Mountain"), all of which are identifiable locations in the Middle East and northern Africa. Remember that the language of chapter 11 is not symbolic, but given in plain language as a straight-forward explanation of the vision that occurred in chapter 10. The area being referred to is the territory controlled by the Ottoman Empire when the time of the end began (1798 AD). Since the King of the North enters into these countries during the time of the end, all we have to do is look at history to see when that happened. We can expect two major European powers (two of the 7 remaining tribes) to engage in a war against each other and that it will involve a battle in the middle east. Let's now look at how history unfolds during the time of the end to fulfill this prophecy with precision and exactness in every detail.
King of the South pushes at the King of the North: In 1914, World War I (1914-1918) broke out. Germany, under Kaiser Wilhelm II, had the largest army and was the primary leader of the Central Powers, which included Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. Wilhelm had been building up the German navy for some time in an attempt to gain diplomatic power over Britain. His policies are said to be largely responsible for causing World War I.
Over the past century, the Ottomans had lost much territory and unless something changed the trajectory, their empire would collapse. They decided to take action. In 1914, the Ottoman empire declared holy war and joined forces with Germany and the Central Powers. The highest religious authority of the caliphate in Constantinople, on behalf of the Ottoman government, declared Jihad against the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro), calling Muslims across the world and promising them the status of martyr if they fell in battle. Note: The war eventually drew in all the world's economic great powers, including the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Italy, Japan and the United States.
King of the North comes against him: The provocative actions of the Central Powers led by Germany ("king of the south push at him"), resulted in a fast and hard response from the Allied Powers led by the British ("king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind"). The British, under King George V (reigned 1910-1936), and its allies, immediately engaged the Ottomans militarily in the middle east. The French and British also sent agents into the Middle East to foment revolution in Ottoman domains. The allied armies entered the middle eastern countries ("enter into the countries") and within four years destroyed the Ottoman armies. They conquered the countries, completely covering the area and sweeping through like a flood ("overflow and pass over"). British and allied naval dominance was critical to success ("many ships"). Behind the scenes, the British and French concluded a secret treaty (Sykes-Picot Agreement) to partition the Middle East between them. Syria and Lebanon became French protectorates. Iraq, Kuwait, Trans-Jordan and Palestine became British mandated territories. The Ottoman empire was dismembered in 1922. Note: Most of the Arabian peninsula was conquered by the British ally, Ibn Saud, who created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
KJV: He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape [Greek = malat] out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
He shall enter also into the glorious land: The word translated to "glorious" is “tsbiy” and means beautiful or pleasant. The same hebrew word is used in the following verse to refer to the promised land that the Lord gave to the Israelites: "In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory [tsbiy] of all lands:" (Ez. 20:6). The pleasant land, flowing with milk and honey is the general area we now refer to as Israel and Palestine. We also have this same word used elsewhere in other prophecies (Dan. 11:16, 41, 45, 8:9), which are all consistently used to refer to the land of Israel.
The king of the north would also enter, in addition to the other countries, into the land of Israel. In 1917, the British defeated the Ottoman forces as part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during World War I. They captured Jerusalem in December and occupied Palestine ("enter also into the glorious land").
These shall escape: During the 1800s, a movement called Zionism emerged. The movement was formalized in 1897 and expanded rapidly. In 1914, the British promised support to the Zionist movement to recreate a Jewish homeland. In 1920, the League of Nations established the British mandate of Palestine, which included the territory to the west of the river Jordan and the territory to the east of the river Jordan. The entire area was at first allotted for establishing a Jewish homeland.
However, in 1922, the United Kingdom released the area east of the Jordan River from involvement in the Jewish settlement. The east area is where the people of Edom, Moab and Ammon were located in Bible times ("Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon"). These areas escaped from being part of the Jewish settlement ("these shall escape out of his hand"). The Mandate territory was formalized into two administrative areas:
Note: The Hebrew word malat means "to slip away". It can portray the sense of being rescued or being allowed to escape. These three countries were allowed to slip away. They didn't fight against the British to overcome them, but were released or let go by the British. An example of usage of the word malat is in 2 Kings 23:18 "And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone [malat], with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria." Another example is Proverbs 28:26 "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered [malat]." Yet another example is Isaiah 31:5 "As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve [malat] it." See also Isaiah 66:7 "Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered [malat] of a man child."
KJV: 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape [Greek = peleta]. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
Egypt shall not escape: Egypt was in the hands of the British from 1882 - 1956. Though Britain had occupied Egypt prior to the war, it was only after the Ottoman empire declared war in 1914, that Egypt formally ceased to be Ottoman territory. The British declared Egypt to be a protectorate on December 18, 1914 ("the land of Egypt shall not escape"). The oil, trade routes and riches associated with the Suez canal and other resources were controlled by Britain ("the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt").
The British had become heavily involved in Egyptian affairs in 1875 when they purchased a 44% share in the Suez Canal Company. The control of "the precious things of Egypt", such as oil, was at stake. After riots in 1882, the British decided direct control of Egypt was needed. Thus began Egypt’s occupation by Britain. Lord Cromer became the British agent in Egypt in 1883 and ruled the country for the next 24 years. British advisers were placed in all areas of government to guide the Egyptian ministers. British forces were permanently stationed in Egypt and the Egyptian army was disbanded and refashioned under British officers. The predominant position of the British in Egypt was recognized in an agreement with the French in 1904. In 1906, the Ottoman-British agreement gave Britain complete control over both Red Sea gulfs (Suez and Aqaba), including the Straits of Tiran. In response to German threats in 1914, military reinforcements were sent to Egypt and it was declared a protectorate. Between 1914 and 1922, Egypt was formally part of the British Empire. The United States recognized the British protection of Egypt in 1919. The United Kingdom declared Egyptian Independence in 1922 and created the Kingdom of Egypt. It was only nominally independent. The British kept control of foreign relations, communications and the military. The British occupied Egypt during World War II (1939 to 1945). In 1956, the British and French finally withdrew troops from the Suez.
Note: It is a different Hebrew word translated to "escape" in this verse, pelata, as compared to the previous verse, malat. The word "peleta" in verse 42 is used in connection with the concept of a remnant. It is a portion that escapes, avoids something or is delivered. In this case (Daniel 11:42), Egypt would NOT be a remnant that would escape the whirlwind or avoid the hand of the King of the North. An example of usage of the word peleta is in Joel 2:3, where nothing escapes: "A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape [peleta] them." Another example is in Ezra 9:14: "Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping [peleta]?"
Ethopians: The Ethiopians, in Bible times, occupied the area south of Egypt on the Nile, also known as Cush. This corresponds generally to the country now known as Sudan.
Before World War I, Sudan was united with the Kingdom of Egypt, but Egypt’s control over it was nominal because Britain was dominant in both countries and administered control between 1899 and 1956. In 1908, the British had redrawn Sudan's border, but just like Egypt, it wasn't until 1914 that Sudan officially ceased to be Ottoman territory and formally became part of the British Empire ("Ethiopians shall be at his steps"). In 1954, Egypt and Britain agreed that Sudan should be granted independence in 1956.
Libyans: The Libyans, in Bible times, were located to the west of Egypt, which basically corresponds to modern day Libya. In 1912, Libya had become colonized by the Italians. The British forces defeated the Ottoman allies in 1917 in Libya, and the terms of the British and Italians were accepted ("Libyans... shall be at his steps"). The Italians took full control of Libya in 1930 until 1947 when Libya became independent.
|1936 - 1945 AD||
KJV: But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
NASB®: But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many.
World War I had a very destablizing effect on the world. Its unresolved issues culminated in conditions that fueled World War II (1939 - 1945) during the reign of Britain's George VI (1936 - 1952 AD). The Empire of Japan had aims of dominating Asia and the Pacific and went to war with China in 1937 ("tidings out of the east"). Also during the late 1930s, Nazi Germany began making aggressive territorial demands in northern Europe and in 1939 made an agreement with Russia to overrun the countries that lay between them ("tidings... out of the north") (note that north and east here are not referring to kings anymore). The chief leaders of the Axis powers were Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. By 1942, Nazi Germany, its occupied territories and allies controlled the majority of Europe. Atrocities were committed including the Holocaust in which 11 million people were killed.
The activities of Japan and Germany disturbed the Allied powers ("trouble him") and caused them to rise up against the Axis powers. Britain and the United States led the effort, along with Russia who later turned against Germany. The war eventually involved the vast majority of the world's countries and was the deadliest war in human history. The allied powers steadily took back the territories lost, as hundreds of thousands died along the way ("go forth with great fury to destroy"). The newly invented atomic bombs were used on the towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in which 129,000 people died instantly. The total casualties of the war is estimated at 50 - 85 million people ("utterly to make away many").
|1945 - Close of Probation||
KJV: And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
NASB®: He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
The “holy Mountain” is used in the Bible to refer to Jerusalem (Dan. 9:16, Zech 8:3, Is. 66:20, Joel 3:17). Jerusalem is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea ("between the seas"). This last verse reveals that the King of the North would establish a home or place of rule in Jerusalem.
In 1945, after World War II, in order to prevent another such conflict, the United Nations was founded. In 1947 the British put the future of western Palestine into the hands of the United Nations, the successor organization to the League of Nations which had established the Mandate for Palestine. The United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine. This plan would end the British Mandate over Palestine and create an independent Arab and independent Jewish state and an International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. The idea was to solve the conflict between the Palestinian nationalists and the Jewish nationalists. However, the plan was rejected by the Arabs.
The British decided to end the Mandate on May 14, 1948 and withdraw its troops by August 1. On May 14, the executive head of the World Zionist Organization formally declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The U.S.A. recognized the new nation on that same day, which was now critical to Israel's ongoing success as the balance of power had tilted from Europe to the USA as a global superpower. On May 15, the Arab-Israeli War began. Combined Arab forces of Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia entered Palestine and attacked Israeli forces and Jewish settlements. After 10 months of fighting, Israel took control of the area originally assigned to it in the Partition Plan, as well as almost 60% of the area assigned to the Arab state. It also took control of West Jerusalem (in 1967 it also took East Jerusalem). Thus, the King of the North established a headquarters or royal dwelling place (the capitol of a kingdom) (“plant the tabernacles of his palace”) between the Mediterranean Sea and Dead Sea in Jerusalem (“between the seas in the glorious holy mountain”).
Israel was admitted to membership in the United Nations on May 11, 1949 (the United Nations, which started out with 51 member states, now has 193). Though the internationalization of Jerusalem never materialized as the UN declared in 1947, the UN still maintains its view that Jerusalem is an international city and now refers to Israel as the Occupying Power in Jerusalem. The Israeli conflict continues to this day, with Israel resolutely holding its ground in its capitol, Jerusalem. Admidst all the conflict and opposition, it still receives significant support from key countries, such as the USA. However, at some point, in fulfillment of the last portion of this verse, the forces behind the continuance of the state of Israel and specifically Jerusalem ("holy mountain") as its capitol ("tabernacles of his palace"), will come to an end ("come to his end") because no one will help them ("none shall help him").
This is where we are in time. The King of the North's end is the only event left in Daniel chapter 11 before Jesus' second coming (Michael delivers the righteous - 12:1-2). We know from other prophecies that it isn't only the King of the North, but all earthly powers and nations that come to their end during the time of trouble (seven last plagues). Though the end is sure, any individual within these nations may choose to stand on the side of Jesus and be saved from the pending disasters. Daniel chapter 12 reveals a time of trouble like the world has never seen. But, Jesus stands for his people, delivers them, resurrects them, gives them everlasting life and causes them to shine as the stars forever.
|Close of Probation & Time of Trouble (Michael the Prince)|
|Close of Probation||
KJV: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered [malat], every one that shall be found written in the book.
NASB®: Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
The words "at that time" indicate that the time of trouble will begin near the time when the King of the North comes to his end in verse 45.
We now see, for the first time, a king that will stand for God's people. The sweeping review of history through the lives of key rulers in Daniel 11, has shown countless struggles for power, mistreatment of God's people and violence against God's covenant. All of this now culminates in the arrival of a final ruler. Michael is the star of this entire prophecy. One final struggle is portrayed and then He brings all strife to an end.
Those who are delivered, God's true church, are delivered because their name is found written in the book. This takes us back to Daniel 7 when the court scene was shown, judgment was set, and the books were examined. The judgment was the same event portrayed in Daniel 8 as the cleansing of the sanctuary, which began 2300 years after the decree to restore Jerusalem in 457 BC. This event began in 1844, when the court was seated, and now it ends when Michael stands up after the names in the book are finalized.
This time of trouble is the worst the world has ever seen. It is the time of God's wrath when it is unmixed with mercy. The Spirit of God is finally withdrawn from the unrepentant and the earth descends into chaos and unrestrained evil activity. This is also the time of the seven last plagues. Christ protects His people during the plagues and He returns to earth during the 7th plague to rescue His people ("thy people shall be delivered").
KJV: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
|The many that are resurrected refers to the 1st resurrection (Rev. 20:5-6). The righteous dead are raised to life (1 Thess. 4:16-17) to join the righteous living in ascending to meet God in the air. They are raised to "everlasting life". There is also a special resurrection for those who pierced Him (had a hand in Christ’s death on the cross), who will briefly live in order to see him coming in the clouds of glory (Rev. 1:7, Matt. 26:64, Mark 14:62). This latter group is raised to "shame and everlasting contempt".|
|Daniel 12:3 KJV: And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.||Christ and the saints ("wise) rule forever. The wise shine, reminding us of the bright white clothing that the righteous wear in Revelation, which means that Christ's righteousness is lived out within them. The righteous who spread the gospel are here portrayed as stars, just like in Daniel 8, Revelation 1 and elsewhere, where stars are messengers.|
KJV: 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Full understanding of the prophecy would not occur ("seal the book") until the "time of the end". But then, many will study and search the Bible and knowledge of the prophecy will increase.
One of the heavenly beings asks to know when that would occur. The other being states that it will occur after the 1260 years of persecution of God's people. As seen in multiple other prophecies, that time period began in 538 and ended in 1798.
KJV: 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Daniel doesn't quite understand and asks the same question. The heavenly being then explains it again, describing the time of persecution, but this time, providing another time frame that also points to the same "time of the end".
This time, the description is in relation to the 1290 days of the abomination of desolation. Earlier we saw that the abomination of desolation was set up in 508 AD when the armies of the Franks “surrounded” the sanctuary. They did this by forming an official partnership with the Papacy that set up a substitute system of priestly mediation on earth that obscured Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. The date of 508 AD, plus 1290 years, brings us to 1798 AD, the same date in which the 1260 years ended. Both dates point to the beginning of the “time of the end”.
For those who continued on for 1335 days, there was a blessing. In starting at the same time as the 1290 years, in 508 AD, and adding 1335 years, we come to 1843. The book was sealed (not fully understood) until the time of the end (1798), after which the prophecies would begin to be fully understood. Those who participated in studying and an increased knowledge of the prophecies from 1798 to 1843 discovered many prophetic truths. By 1843, there was a large group of people who came to the conclusion that Jesus would come in 1843. They were overjoyed to proclaim this wonderful message. John, in Revelation 10, describes this as eating a book (understanding it) and it being very sweet. Of course we know that the book was later bitter in their stomachs and they were told to prophesy again (Rev. 10:8-11). In fine-tuning their understanding, they finally settled on October 22, 1844, but were greatly disappointed (bitter in stomach) when the Lord didn't come. In spite of their mistake in what even was taking place, the Advent believers proclaimed the judgment message and ushered in the judgment time period (the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14), which began in 1844. This was similar to the mistake the disciples of Jesus made when they assumed He would be made an earthly king, but were disappointed by His death. But, just as the disciples regrouped and spread the message of Christ's resurrection, the Advent believers regrouped and began to preach the soon return of Jesus ("prophesy again"). There was a special blessing for all those who participated in the judgment hour message and became part of the resulting movement ("blessed is he that waiteth").
Daniel's writings, portions of which were sealed until the time of the end, would be unsealed after 1798 when Daniel would "stand in thy lot" and his words would bear his testimony and be preached throughout the entire world.