Daniel 11: The Reference PointWhen the angel refers to south, north and east, he is looking at the directions from a certain location or reference point. Knowing his perspective is critical to understanding his interpretation.
Precedent from Daniel's previous prophecy:In Daniel's previous vision, he saw the ram (Medo-Persia) pushing west (toward Babylon), north (toward Lydia) and south (toward Egypt) in relation to its location in the east (Dan. 8:4). He also saw the little horn (Rome), from its location in the west, waxing great toward the south (Carthage and Northern Africa), the east (Greece and Syria) and toward the pleasant land (Judea/Israel) (Dan. 8:9). These reference points were from the location of the king/kingdom's perspective.
Applying the precedent to Daniel 11:In like manner, the compass directions described in Daniel 11 are also given from the perspective of the realm and location of the kings themselves. The reference point is not a fixed location that doesn't move, such as Israel. Rather, it is the location of the kings within the realm, which move as the realm moves. This is important because we must follow-the-realm as its territory changes, just like we do in Daniel's previous prophecies. Our reference point must change as the realm changes.
During the Roman realm, its territory moved out of the Middle East to western Europe (and eventually expanded to the New World). So this becomes our new reference point. A king in western Europe is going to see an attack from the north from a different perspective than a king in Egypt sees it. The perspective depends on who is being attacked and who is attacking. Once the two main divisions of power within the realm are identified, the reference point is then seen from their perspectives.
- The King of the North is the division located further north of the King of the South.
- The King of the South is the division located further south of the King of the North.
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