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Daniel 11, the rise of the king of the North. Verses 17-27

I hate making rookie mistakes, but I am prone to the same errors many of you have encountered; that is, as I was going through my notes I noticed Daniel 11:15, 16 were missing. That would mean that I might have skipped by them when I did the bible study; maybe not. So, for the sake of completion I quickly added them in the previous post; however, this is where I made the rookie error. Note my comments in red
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Daniel 11:16 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.
As you saw in verse fifteen, there will be no strength to make a stand.
  • But he who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand him;”
    Antiochus III – also known as Antiochus the Great, is a forerunner and interchangeable with the Antichrist that is coming.
  • he will also stay for a time in the Beautiful Land, with destruction in his hand.”
    The Revised Version translates the verse this way, “and he shall stand in the glorious land, and in his hand shall be destruction.”
    This is indicative of what will happen to Israel by the hand of Antichrist.
It seems harmless enough, but the most direct descendant would be Antiochus Epiphanes (IV), for he is the one who desecrated the temple; and, he is the one scholars tend to agree, if they agree, is the pattern for the Antichrist that is coming. But, as I looked again at the descriptives I see in Antiochus the III, are there things here that fit the Antichrist? Yes. Are there exceptions? Yes. An example might be:
Daniel 11:42-45 RV He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 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. 44) But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many. 45) And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet, he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

We will get to Daniel 11:42-45 eventually, but for the moment pay attention to the idea that "he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." One might say that this alone indicates that he is not invincible, and he isn't, but it is only the return of Jesus Christ to earth that puts a stop to this guy.

Look at the context of the verses I included and you can see things like Egypt shall not escape; he shall have power over the treasures; "and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps."
In case there is any doubt that this guy meets his end, I give you:

Revelation 19:19-20 RV And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. 20) And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image: they twain were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone:

Yes, the Antichrist persona is also known as the beast.

Let's continue on with Daniel 11; and yes, it actually took me four weeks to cover my notes, but I rushed through chapter 12 and I wish I had not done that.

Antiochus the Great and Ptolemy V come to terms. Antiochus gives Ptolemy his daughter who later helps her husband defeat the plans of Antiochus.
Daniel 11:17 NIV He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him.

He, is Antiochus the Great/AKA, Antiochus III.
  • To set one’s face in any direction is to determine to go there. The meaning here is, that Antiochus, flushed with success, and resolved to push his conquests to the utmost, would make use of all the forces at his disposal to overcome the Egyptians, and to bring them into subjection to his sway. He had driven Scopas from Coelo-Syria, and from Sidon; had subjected the land of Palestine to his control, and now nothing seemed to prevent his extending his conquests to the utmost limits of his ambition. [Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible]
  • From the IVPBBC - Antiochus III's defeat by the Roman, Scipio (191, 190). The increasing Roman control in Greece was established by a peace accord in 196. The Greeks who were unhappy with this new state of affairs made contact with Antiochus, urging him to come to their aid
    By this time, Antiochus, anticipating that he would need to neutralize Egypt, had entered a marriage alliance, sending his daughter, Cleopatra, to be Ptolemy V's bride. He expected her to also be a useful spy, but in this, he was disappointed as her loyalties turned to her new husband.
Daniel 11:18 NIV Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him.

Nevertheless, he made his move toward Greece in 192.

Constantly shifting alliances eventually worked against him, and he lost a large portion of his ten thousand troops at Thermopylae in 191.

Antiochus III then resorted to sea battle to try to keep the Romans out of Asia Minor but was again unsuccessful.
By 190 the larger Seleucid army of seventy-thousand men had arrived to reinforce Antiochus's positions. Roman troops under Scipio were only half this strength when the forces met at Magnesia (about fifty miles north of Ephesus). Yet due to lack of training and tactical errors on the part of the Seleucid army, Antiochus was defeated and much of his army slaughtered.

Daniel 11:19 NIV After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more.
The terms of surrender were humiliating, devastating and accepted without argument. IVPBBC

Daniel 11:20 AMPC+ Then shall stand up in his place or office one who shall send an exactor of tribute to pass through the glory of the kingdom, but within a few days, he shall be destroyed, [yet] neither in anger nor in battle.

Let's try reading it from the NIV.
Daniel 11:20 NIV "His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.

Who is this successor?
  • Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175). This son of Antiochus III had a relatively peaceful reign and appeared to have maintained favorable relations with Jerusalem. The exception alluded to in this verse was when he dispatched one of his chief officials, Heliodorus, to Jerusalem to seize funds that were reported to be either in excess of what was needed or hoarded by anti-Seleucid factions. Before the high priest, Onias III could get to Antioch to appeal the decision and offer explanation,
  • Seleucus was assassinated in a plot carried out by Heliodorus, with Antiochus IV suspected by historians of complicity. IVPBBC
Who gained the most from the murder of Seleucus IV's murder? Antiochus IV.
Antiochus Epiphanes and dealings with Israel are pictured in Daniel 11:21-34.
He obtains his rule by flattery.
Daniel 11:21 AMPC+ And in his place or office [in Syria] shall arise a contemptuous and contemptible person, to whom royal majesty and honor of the kingdom have not been given. But he shall come in without warning in time of security and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries, intrigues, and cunning hypocritical conduct. [Dan 8:9-12, Dan 8:23-25]

CJB "There will arise in his place a despicable man not entitled to inherit the majesty of the kingdom, but he will come without warning and gain the kingdom by intrigue.

a contemptuous and contemptible person – The NASB translated this as despicable. The Hebrew word is, bāzāh: A verb meaning to hold in contempt or to despise. The verb means to hold in disdain, to disrespect. It can mean to prefer something more than the thing despised,
  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164). Antiochus IV, the brother of Seleucus, had been in Rome as a political hostage and was just returning (he had got as far as Athens) when the assassination of his brother took place.
  • His goals included converting Jerusalem into a center for Greek culture and helping the Jews to make the transition to becoming Greek citizens with Greek ways.
  • The intrigues that he became involved in were many, but certainly, the main one concerning Jerusalem was how he handled the high priesthood.
  • The text calls him contemptible, and indeed he was. His title “Epiphanes” means “god manifest”—but the people preferred “Epimanes”—“madman.” While he was certainly a member of the royal line, the throne should have gone to Seleucus's son, Demetrius (who instead was taking Antiochus's place as a hostage in Rome). Another intrigue concerned the throne. He set up a coregency with his nephew (a minor), who a few years later was murdered. IVPBBC

Keep in mind that Antiochus IV Epiphanes is the forerunner for the false prophet of the end times.

Question? How many beasts are we talking about? The Antichrist gets that title, as does the false prophet, and then there are the four empires with lions heads and bears paws, and also that multi-headed beast that emerges from the sea and one of the heads sustains what seems to be a mortal wound. The point is that both characters, the Antichrist and the false prophet, have such similar and destructive characteristics, and, they are both called beasts.

He makes a league with the high priest; deals deceitfully and becomes strong.
Daniel 11:22 CJB Large armies will be broken and swept away before him, as well as the prince of the covenant.
I need to show you a contrasting version.

Daniel 11:22 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.
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken,... That is, with the help of the forces of Eumenes and Attalus, which were like an inundation of water, the party that was on the side of Heliodorus the usurper were bore down, crushed, and destroyed; and thereby Antiochus had a peaceable settlement in the kingdom: or, "the arms of a flood shall be overflowed from before him, and be broken" (r); either the arms of Heliodorus, the forces he had got together; or the armies of the Egyptians, which, like an overflowing flood, had used to run over Judea, Coelesyria, Phoenicia, and other places, and carry all before them, now should be overflowed, and bore down themselves. [John Gill's commentary]
  • prince of the covenant. Onias III was detained by Antiochus, and in the interim Jason, his brother conspired to usurp his position. He (Jason) paid a considerable sum to Antiochus and offered to be cooperative in the Hellenization of Judea (promotion of Greek culture at the expense of Jewish practices).
  • Three years later Menelaus, with the probable support of the Tobiads, paid a larger sum and, the precedent having been established, was awarded the office over Jason.
  • According to 2 Maccabees, Onias was murdered about 171.
  • Many identify him as the prince of the covenant referred to in this verse, but others attach that title to Ptolemy VI (see below). The overwhelming army in some way represents the opponents to Antiochus's reign. This could include internal political opponents, Jewish antagonists or foreign opposition such as that which develops in Egypt. IVPBBC
Daniel 11:23 CJB Alliances will be made with him, but he will undermine them by deceit. Then, although he will have but a small following, he will emerge and become strong.
The meaning of this seems to be, that at first, his own forces would be small; that he would go up in such a way as not to excite suspicion, but that, either by an increase of his forces there, by uniting himself to confederates, by alluring the people by the promise of rewards, or by gradually taking one town after another and adding them to his dominions, he would become strong. Jahn (Heb. Commonwealth, p. 263) says, “with a small body of troops he made himself master of Memphis, and of all Egypt as far as Alexandria, almost without striking a blow.” IVPBBC

Daniel 11:24 NET. In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province, he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long.
into tranquillity, and the fattest places of the province" (s); that is, into such places as were in great tranquillity, and men thought themselves safe and secure, and had no suspicion of his designs upon them, and which abounded in wealth and riches: these were either the principal cities in the kingdom of Syria, which he visited in order to establish himself in their good opinion of him; or the chief places of the province of Phoenicia, where he endeavoured to make himself acceptable by his munificence; or it may be the best parts of the kingdom of Egypt are meant, the richest of them, such as Memphis, and the places about it; where, as Sutorius in Jerome says, he went; and which places being fat, producing a large increase, and abounding in wealth, invited him thither; and which wealth he took, and scattered among his friends and soldiers, as in the following clause: "and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers;" none of his ancestors, more near or more remote; not Antiochus the great, nor Seleucus Ceraunus, nor Seleucus Callinicus, nor Antiochus Theos, nor Antiochus Soter, nor Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the Syrian empire; for, however greater these might be in power or riches, they were inferior to him in success; though they all, or most of them, however, had their eye upon Egypt, and would gladly have been masters of it; yet none of the kings of Syria prevailed over it, as Antiochus did; and this may also refer to what follows: "he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches;" which he took from the places or rich cities he entered into; and these he plentifully and liberally dispersed among his followers, his soldiers, "the small people" he became strong with, Dan_11:23, whereby he gained their affections and attached them to his interest; and in this his liberality and munificence he is said to abound above all the kings that were before him, in the Apocrypha: John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

Makes war against Ptolemy of Egypt who is betrayed and killed and his army defeated.
Daniel 11:25 NIV "With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him.
First Egyptian War, 169. Antiochus's dreams of adding Egypt to his kingdom were finally acted on in 169. His invasion was prompted by Egypt's growing animosity and may even have been in response to Egypt's military action, since the first encounter (November 170) was between Pelusium and Gaza. Nonetheless, Antiochus succeeded in capturing the city of Memphis and securing the surrender of Ptolemy VI. IVPBBC

Daniel 11:26 NIV Those who eat from the king's provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle.
Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-146). Ptolemy VI was young when he came to the throne and was aided by two officials, Eulaeus and Lenaeus, who stirred up antagonism against Syria. The humiliation of Ptolemy in the First Egyptian War is thought to have been the result of bad advice given by his two advisors with the intention of undermining him. IVPBBC

Daniel 11:27 NIV The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail because an end will still come at the appointed time.
Unsuccessful siege of Alexandria. After his successful siege of Memphis, the citizens of Alexandria defied him by making Ptolemy's younger brother king. Antiochus took immediate steps to break their revolt but was unable to take the city. As soon as he had returned to Syria, Ptolemy VI disavowed any loyalty to Antiochus and his coregency with his brother was reinstated. IVPBBC

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