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Questions & Answers (Daniel 10-12)

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Question: Don't the titles KON and KOS refer to their position in relation to Israel?

Answer: Possibly, but not necessarily. There are several possibilities to consider, that are all consistent with the precedent set by Greece earlier in Daniel 11:
  • (a) The King of the North could be located to the north of the King of the South and the King of the South to the south of the King of the North (the view presented in this study). The reference point can be seen in light of the territory and government of the applicable realm. So, just as the ram (Medo-Persia) pushes west (Babylon), north (Lydia) and south (Egypt) in relation to its location in the east (Dan. 8:4), and as the little horn (Rome) waxes great from its location toward the south (Carthage and Northern Africa), east (Greece and Syria) and the pleasant land (Judea/Israel) (Dan. 8:9), the compass directions described in Daniel 11 would also be given in relation to the realm and location of the kings themselves.
  • (b) The King of the North could be located in the northern section of the realm and the King of the South in the southern part of the realm.
  • (c) The King of the North could be located north of a fixed point in the realm, such as Israel, and the King of the South would be south of the fixed point. When the realm of Greece divided into 4 kingdoms and the northern king became the King of the North in Daniel 11:4-7, it was located north of Israel. However, the verses in Daniel 11:40-45 are no longer referring to the realm of Greece and must be evaluated in the light of the realm of Rome as it existed and was located after 1798. Israel was no longer part of the Roman realm at that time. Also, Daniel's other parallel prophecies do not revolve around Israel, but around the realm that rules over God's chosen people to spread His message (which Israel was until 34 AD when the 70 weeks allotted to it ended (see Daniel 9).

Question: Does the King of the North need to represent the same entity through all of the verses dealing with the Roman realm?

Answer: Depending on the date of the events, the two main opposing forces within a realm are different. Powers wax and wane. The powers described in Daniel's previous prophecies rise and fall, not only as realms come and go, but also within a single realm. For example, in Daniel 7, the 10 kingdoms (10 horns) that rise within Rome (dreadful beast) rise hundreds of years after imperial Rome rules. Also, three of the ten disappear and there is a little horn power that rises after the ten. So here too, in Daniel 11, powers come and go. There is nothing to require that the two forces in later verses be the same as the forces in earlier verses.

Question: Are the events described in verses 40-45 a repeat of the events described in verses 31-36?

Answer: The horrible scenes from verses 31-36 outline religious-related events of the Middle Ages (as already established in Daniel's other parallel prophecies): the church-state union, persecution of God's people and blasphemous actions. When just reading through verses 40-45 literally, there is no language that sounds like a repeating of those types of events. Rather, it describes a straight-forward war similar to the many other descriptions of battling nations in the chapter.

We know from other prophecies that there will be a church-state union set up by the Protestant USA just prior to the second coming of Jesus ("Image of the Beast" - Revelation 13) that resembles the church-state union set up by papal Europe during the Middle Ages (verses 31-36). But, this fact does not force verses 40-45 to focus on that particular event above any others. Interestingly, verses 40-45 do reveal the identity of the main end-time power behind that event (image of the beast), the English tribe (eventually led by the USA), by pointing to the political power behind the establishment and continuance of the capital in Jerusalem.

Question: Since prophecies are parallel, and the papacy's wound is healed during the time of the end (see Rev. 13), shouldn't the King of the North in Daniel 11:40-45 represent the papacy?

Answer: The principles of parallelism and "repeat and enlarge" are central to Bible prophecy. However, this parallelism is in no way forfeited by seeing verses 40-45 fulfilled by the end-time state powers (divided Rome) instead of one of the end-time church powers (papacy). Note that the 10 toes and 10 horns on the beast (divided Rome) exist to the Second Coming of Jesus and make sense as a parallel to the KON and KOS. Plus, the KON and KOS were identified in the realm of Greece as two of its four divisions, so it also makes sense that the KON and KOS in the realm of Rome would also be identified as two of its divisions. Also, Daniel provides clues to interpreting his own prophecy, and there is nothing in Daniel's other prophecies to indicate a healing of the papal wound.

Question: Isn't there both a literal and spiritual/symbolic interpretation to Daniel 11?

Answer: With the plain, literal language of chapter 11, the story just continues on through the chapter in the same manner from start to finish. There is no indication to treat later verses differently from the rest of the chapter. When Jesus transferred the care of His people from the nation of Israel to the Christian church after the cross, the powers that rule over His people continue to be literal. Daniel's previous prophecies continued through this transition in the same way, outlining the literal powers that rule over God's church to the end of time.

Question: Doesn't the language of verses 44 ("destroy", "make away many") indicate the King of the North persecutes God's people?

Answer: Daniel 11:40-45 is simply continuing the pattern of chapter 11 to bring attention to major events/wars and key historical figures along the parallel timeline. The king goes out and destroys many, just like kings from previous passages in chapter 11. This doesn't necessarily mean the destruction is referring to God's people.

Question: Do the "tidings out of the east...and north" symbolize the loud cry of the angel in Revelation 18?

Answer: Since no symbolic language is indicated, the "tidings" would not be symbolic. The literal language used indicates that news or information is heard by the King of the North that originates from a place to the east and north of his location.

Question: Are these last verses in Daniel 11 part of the last warning message to the world (present truth)?

Answer: Yes. The last warning message to the world is the 3 Angels' Messages (including the loud cry as they are expounded - Rev. 18). The message focuses on true vs. false worship and the resulting mark of the beast vs. seal of God. The power that causes the mark of the beast to be given is the end-time power in Revelation that sets up the "image of the beast" and forms the church-state union of Babylon, which is the same power behind the KON's capitol currently planted in Jerusalem (Dan. 11:45). This very power is a major component of the subject of the 3 Angels' Messages... "Present Truth". Dan. 11:40-45 provides another piece of identification of the end-time power that causes the mark of the beast to be given.

Question: Does the prophecy need to be fulfilled exactly in every detail?

Answer: Yes. All prophecies are fulfilled according to every specification. The Bible doesn't waste any words. The interpretation should be very striking in the straight-forward exactness of its fulfillment of every detail.

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