Daniel: Chapter 11
There are four major sections in this chapter:
- Comfort and strengthening of Darius the Mede, Daniel 11:1
- Detailed information of the reign of Hellenistic rulers who had influence over Israel, Daniel 11:2-20
- The rise of a vile person, Antiochus Epiphanes, Daniel 11:21-35
- The willful king, the Antichrist, Daniel 11:36-45
Daniel 11:1-45 is a continuation of the vision of Daniel that began in Daniel 10:1-21. The focus in Daniel 10:1-21 was upon Christ, activities within the spiritual realm, and assurances given to Daniel who was physically and greatly affected by the events in the vision. Up to this time, the visions and dreams given to Daniel had been in the form of symbols relating nations and men's behaviors to things and unnatural beasts. The pendulum of time also swung back and forth from the future near to Daniel’s time and to the far future. This chapter stands in stark contrast to the others, for the great detail provided for the near future of Israel through verse 35 that spans the next several centuries following Daniel's days. From verse 36 on to the end of the chapter, the pendulum of time leaps forward by more than two millennia to the revealed Antichrist during the seven years of tribulation. Why the change and detail relative to the previous chapters? It may be that this chapter serves as a sign to Israel that Daniel is indeed a prophet to be listened to, Deuteronomy 18:22.
A very discrete timetable was laid out in Daniel 9:1-27, as discussed on this site on the web page expounding on Daniel 9:1-27, with a definitive starting point that began with the decree to build the walls and streets of Jerusalem. The next point on the timetable marked the end of trouble during the construction of the temple. The third point indicated the time that the Messiah would appear and be cutoff, but not for himself. The 70th week gave the duration of the tribulation. The covenant between the Antichrist and Israel is the signal of its beginning, and at the midpoint of this period would be the moment of desolation, and the desecration of the temple. This is the tribulation temple that will be rebuilt on the temple mount in Jerusalem, and be operational sometime during the first half of the seven years of tribulation. The events of this chapter would have been very fresh in the minds of the people of Israel during Christ’s first appearance, and would serve as a witness against them for not being prepared to receive their King. It also serves as a witness against this generation who refuses to obey the Word of God, and seeks to fulfill their own will. So much of prophecy is being fulfilled within this generation that it cannot be ignored, such as the return of Israel to their land, the recapture of Jerusalem, and the many other events that are a prelude to the coming seven years of tribulation. The time to accept Christ as your Savior is now! After the rapture of the church from this world, there will be seven years of tribulation. It is better to be prepared now for the rapture then to delay your decision. Those who have been left behind will live through the horrors of the tribulation. If you wish to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior, and know the King of kings, follow this link on salvation.
In Daniel 11:1, the very first verse provides a continuation from the previous chapter. The angel give assurance and comfort to Daniel in Daniel 10:1-21, after the angel had received aid from the angel Michael. Here, the angel indicates that he provided strength and confirmation to King Darius the Mede during his first year of rule. This verse illustrates the influence of angels within our physical realm, through the establishment and destruction of empires. Recall the events outlined in Daniel 6:1-3, where the governors and satraps sought to further their own gain at the expense of the King, but Daniel is God’s man on the scene. They could not thwart or turn Daniel from living an upright life before his God and serving the king, so they devised a plot that would destroy Daniel by the king’s own hand. The king did not recognize the trap, and was completely overcome by his foolish actions, but it was God working His sovereign will that preserved Daniel and King Darius. As a result of this deliverance, the king wrote praises and honors to God, Daniel 6:25-27.
Here is the work of this angel in confirming and strengthening King Darius over his kingdom in his first year. This angel’s actions demonstrates the force and will of God's sovereignty working in the affairs of men. As has been brought out in previous chapters, Satan and his demons also have influence over those who bow to his wishes, such as the little horns in Daniel 7:1-28 and Daniel 8:1-27.
Daniel 11:2 is a snapshot of the next four kings after Cyrus, with emphasis on the fourth. It is the fourth king who married Ester as detailed in the book named after her. The importance of Xerxes, or Ahasuerus as named in the book of Ester, is that he was the catalyst that would precipitate the actions of future kings in Greece. Through his accumulated riches, Xerxes sought to build an immense army and navy to invade and conquer Greece. Not only did he fail, but Daniel 11:2 indicates that he only managed to stir up all of Greece against him, and thereby create a deep-seeded anger and revenge that would one day be satisfied through the exploits of Alexander the Great as described in Daniel 11:3, and shown in the associated web page on Daniel chapter 11 timelines.
Alexander the Great
In Daniel 11:3, is the description of Alexander the Great, who lead the conquest against Persian empire, as prophesied by the multi-metallic image in Daniel 2:39. Suddenly, at his strength, Alexander would die, and his kingdom would be divided among his four generals, or as stated in these verses being divided toward the four winds of heaven, but none will ever achieve the level of prosperity of Alexander, Daniel 11:4.
The succeeding Grecian empire
Daniel 11:4-20 has a complex and detailed list of prophetic events for succeeding generations within the four divisions of Alexander's kingdom. It is a great exercise in comparing the history of that period of time with the passages in this section of Daniel 11:1-45. It is important to note that as one harmonizes human history with the scriptures, that it has always been the case that over time our history has had to be amended, modified, or corrected when new information or archeological evidence had been found. There has never been a time that scripture had to be changed, for is God's word and is unchangeable. A list is provided in the hope of aiding the reader in seeing who it was that fulfilled these passages, and can be viewed in the associated web page on Daniel chapter 11 timelines. All of these events lead up to the verses that provide insight on the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who is a type of the Antichrist who will appear in the seven years of the tribulation. More is written on this topic in the web page on Daniel chapter 8 in the section describing the little horn.
The emergence of the Roman empire
Near the end of the Grecian empire, one of the kings is shown to turn his attention toward the west, the area claimed by the Roman empire. As Antiochus the Great presses to conquer the islands to the west, he will be stopped by the Romans and forced to return to his own land, Daniel 11:18-19.
In Daniel 11:21-35, more detail is provided concerning Antiochus IV Epiphanes. So much has already been stated concerning the “little horn” in the web page on Daniel chapter 8, who has since been identified as Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Within that section, a comparison was made between the little horn and the Antichrist as he appears in Revelation 13:1-18 and Daniel chapter 7, during the seven years of tribulation. It is important to stress that unlike all antichrists who deny that Jesus is the Christ, and deny the Father and the Son, it is these two antichrists who also remove the sacrifices, and receive the praise of men as opposed to God. The apostle John had written about the spirit of the antichrist being present always, 1John 2:18-23.
The spirit of the Antichrist is present among the church today as John stated. What is different between these and the little horns of Daniel 7:1-28 and Daniel 8:1-27, is that the sacrificial system of worship will be in place, and these Antichrists (or little horns) will supplant the Jewish worship of God with their own. Both Antiochus Epiphanes and the Antichrist (during the last half of the seven years of tribulation) will stop the sacrifices and desecrate the temple. During both periods, the children of Israel will suffer enormously. However, the suffering in the world during the tribulation period will eclipse any other time of suffering that has ever been recorded in history, including the horrors of the World War II. However, as will be seen in Daniel 12:1-13, the children of Israel have a promise by God that those who are written in the book of life will be spared, Daniel 12:1. In order to be written in the book of life, an individual must believe in Jesus as stated in the gospel of John, John 3:16-18, and as the Apostle John stated in 1John 5:1-7.
This section of Daniel 11:1-45 continues with the detailed prophetic account of the activities and characteristics of this vile person. As with the previous verses, there is ample historical evidence that others have worked through to map the events which were prophesied in this section against the historical record. Therefore, this will not be repeated here. However, in context with the entire section, beginning with Daniel 10:1-21, the attributions of this man are the same as Satan himself, whose angels, or demons, are seen battling God’s messengers. Even Jesus, during His earthly ministry, accused the Pharisees of being followers of the devil, Satan, John 8:42-44.
Antiochus Epiphanes is no different, as he displayed a propensity toward lies, deceit, and desired to take God's place. He epitomized the spirit of the Antichrist. He came peaceably, and then seized the kingdom by intrigue. He had no regard for the priestly office in Jerusalem, and had the levitical high priest murdered.
After his conquest against Egypt in Daniel 11:25-27, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, on his return to his home, made a stop at Jerusalem and began to severely persecute the Jews. He particularly sought out those whose heart was right with God. These individuals chose to die and suffer rather than to submit to the will of Antiochus and worship other gods, Daniel 11:28.
The intervention of the Roman empire
Later, he attempted to invade Egypt again, but this time Rome will have begun to exercise their own military might by sending their ships from Cyprus against him, as stated in Daniel 11:30. Without achieving his aim, Antiochus Epiphanes is forced to return home.
His reign of terror on Jerusalem
In Daniel 11:30-35, as he retreated to his land, he again stopped along the way at Jerusalem. Enraged because of being thwarted by Rome, he again persecuted the Jews, but more severely. This time he encouraged and sought those who were traitors and forsook the holy covenant. He also erected an image of his god Zeus in the temple, and sacrificed pigs blood on the altar, Daniel 11:30-32.
God is not without His faithful who rose up and fought against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and eventually succeed during the revolt of the Maccabees, but only after a prolonged period of time, of 2,300 days. This is referred to in Daniel 8:9-14. As described in earlier chapters of Daniel, this time also foreshadows the events of the last 3 ½ years of the seven years of tribulation by the Antichrist, Daniel 9:27. During the tribulation, as with the events here during Antiochus Epiphanes, there will be a specific time in which the desecration will occur, Daniel 12:11. This relates to the same time frame that Jesus warned of during his Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:14-21. The Lord Jesus Christ was not referring to the time that Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D. At that time the temple was destroyed by Titus, and no image was erected as was done by Antiochus Epiphanes. Instead, Titus destroyed the temple and the Jews were dispersed from the land of Israel.
To learn more about the Apostle John's description of Antichrists, or the Apostle Paul describing THE Antichrist, see further information in this web site on Daniel chapter 7, and the Apostle John's description of the Antichrist in Revelation chapter 13. In Daniel 11:36-45, the time pendulum leaps forward from the days of Antiochus Epiphanes by more than two millennia to the future events during the seven years of tribulation. This king, the Antichrist, will have such control over all human activities that he will set himself as god, as shown in the following summary of Daniel 11:36-37. The Antichrist will:
- Does what he wills
- Exalt and magnify himself above every god
- Blaspheme God
- Prosper till the wrath has been accomplished for what has been determined shall be done
- Will not regard the god of his fathers or the desire of women
- Will not regard any god
- He will exalt himself above every god
The Antichrist will set himself up as god, and cause all throughout the world to worship his image , Daniel 7:23-25, 2Thessalonians 2:3-12, Revelation 13:5-8, and Revelation 13:11-12.
The Antichrist will be very powerful. In fact, he will draw his power from Satan and direct people to worship Satan. Not only will the Antichrist reject God and the god of his fathers, but Jesus as well. Recall that the very first prophetic passage concerning Christ was given in the book of Genesis regarding the Seed of the woman, Genesis 3:14-15. Jewish women desired to be the mother of the son who would be the redeemer and restore man to God. This was fulfilled by Mary and Jesus. So, to reject this desire, Antichrist will also reject any word ever written or prophesied concerning the redemptive work of Christ through the shedding of His blood that those who put their trust in Christ would have eternal life with Him. For the church today, that means becoming joint heirs with Christ to rule with Him during His millennial reign that follows the seven years of tribulation.
Daniel 11:39-43 also shows that the Antichrist will be very powerful with the military forces he will have at his disposal. He will lavish his favors upon those whom he chooses, and extend his influence over the world. Later verses show that there will be a coalition of forces from the south and north who will fight against the Antichrist, but to no avail. This is illustrated in the Daniel chapter 11 timelines. All of these countries, as well as Israel will fall to the Antichrist. The Antichrist will conquer and loot the Egyptian riches. This is not a description of the battle of Armageddon, but one of several wars that will occur during these seven years of tribulation. Only Edom and Moab, the area east and south of the Dead Sea will escape from his influence. This may be the location where God causes His people of Israel to evacuate to for the last half of the tribulation, Revelation 12:13-17.
The dragon represents Satan and the woman is Israel through whom the Messiah, Jesus Christ was brought into the world for His first advent. Satan still desires to destroy the children of Israel and God’s plans, but he will be unsuccessful. After making his attempt to destroy this remnant who have escaped to the protection of the Lord, Satan will then turn his wrath upon the tribulation saints, and will successfully war on them through the Antichrist. These attacks on the saints of God will continue until the time that is predetermined, the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation. At that time both the Antichrist and the false prophet will be destroyed, Daniel 7:8-11. These passages cited in Daniel 7:1-28 also relate to the final two verses in Daniel 11:1-45, which describe the battle of Armageddon and the end of the Antichrist and the false prophet, Daniel 11:44-45.
In Daniel 11:45, the Antichrist hears news from the north and east, about the advance of the 200,000,000 man army coming out of the land of China, which will trouble the Antichrist, Revelation 9:13-16. Here is where the battle lines will be drawn across length of Israel from Armageddon, through the Kidron Valley, into the land of Edom, Revelation 16:16, Joel 3:2, Joel 3:12, Isaiah 34:1-5, and Isaiah 63:1. See also the web page on the Armageddon battle front on this site.
The final verse, Daniel 11:45 indicates that the Antichrist will establish his headquarters at the end, in Jerusalem, which is between the two seas, the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Then he will come to his end with no one to help. This is shown in Daniel 7:11, as well as in Revelation 19:19-20.
Both the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Immediately following this, will be the reign of Christ and his millennial reign. Which are you ready for, the rapture or the tribulation? Revelation 20:1-6.