In Daniel 11 we continue what we started in chapter 10. It is a literal prophecy covering the same period as Daniel 2, 7 and 8 except for the fact that as in Daniel 8 it does not start with Babylon.
We have a very important statement from Ellen G.White regarding Daniel 11:
“The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfilment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place.” (Test.Vol.9, page 14) No doubt she had the last part 11:40-45 in mind which is treated in this website as a separate study under Daniel (www.bereanbiblecorner.com)
Daniel 11:1 Gabriel talking to Daniel and relating what took place some time in the past, in the first year of Darius the Mede. The question can be raised, who is the “HIM” who was confirmed and strengthened? In most commentaries this point is not discussed but we have some help from Dr.Eric Livingston who writes as follows:
“A reference to Michael in Daniel 10:21 is appropriate contextually. Just follow the 4-fold use of the verb hzg ‘be strong’, ‘to strengthen’, from verse 18 to verse 21. (not always in the translations in 10:21). It is clear that a supernatural being is strengthening humans Michael, another very strong superhuman, assists the other supernatural being (Gabriel) in the endeavour of the latter. The direction of strengthening is always from the greater (superhuman) to the lesser. So 11:1 should not refer to Gabriel strengthening Michael. The ‘him’ must be the human Darius.”
(email letter 8.11.2010)
What Dr.Livingston writes is confirmed by Ellen G.White in her book “Prophets and Kings”. She writes about Daniel’s prayer of chapter 9 and then she adds:” Daniel’s prayer had been offered in the first year of Darius (9:1), the median Monarch whose general, Cyrus, had wrested from Babylonia the sceptre of universal rule. The reign of Darius was honoured by God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, ‘to confirm and to strengthen’ (11:1). (P.K.556)
Thus we find that Daniel 11 is a continuation of Daniel 10. Gabriel talking to Daniel.
Daniel 11:2a reads as follows: “Now I will show thee the truth”. This is clearly in context of what is said in 10:21 “I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth”.
From the second part of Daniel 11:2 till the end of the chapter we have virtually a literally described forecast of history as we have about the same period described in Daniel 2, 7 and 8 only we have again more detail added. We will also notice that the main portion of this chapter deals with battles between the King of the South and the King of the North. It is first literal secular and later ecclesiastical spiritual. The directions South and North are in relationship to Palestine, the glorious land with Jerusalem, Daniel’s birth place. In his mind Darnel is still connected with his land of his birth, as we have seen in Daniel 6:10 in Babylon he prays towards Jerusalem.
The king on the South of Jerusalem being Egypt and the King on the North of Jerusalem being land armies entering Palestine from the North. This has been seen in Babylon being east of Palestine but not coming through the Arabian desert, but moving East to West and then from a northern spot going from North to South entering Palestine. Abraham in his journey form Ur did the same and when he arrived at Haran, he rested for some time and then moved from North to South. Later Western land armies did the same moving from West to East through minor Asia and then from the North to the South into Palestine and thus for the people of Palestine becoming King of the North.
We will also notice later in chapter 11 that at a certain point the literal becomes spiritual, or the local becomes universal, as we have seen happening with the little horn of Daniel 8. The same power revealing itself in different phases. For affirmation of this we quote from McCready Price: ‘If the prophecies of chapter 2, 7 and 8 run down to the end of human history, and in the latter portions give many predictions about Rome and its warfare against the people of God and the truths which they held dear, it is highly reasonable to expect that this eleventh chapter will also cover the same ground and give additional detail.” (Price page 273)
Now we turn back to Daniel 11:2 and onward and will find what the additional detail is all about.
This predicts three kings in Persia and the fourth one richer and strong and shall stir up against Grecia. Who are these kings? We will use historians to explain that to us. The information given in the text has to match history. These kings shall stand up in Persia and will be most likely after Cyrus who was the ruling king when this prophecy was written by Daniel. It says in the text that the fourth one shall be very rich more than those before him and will go to war with Grecia.
Seventh-day Adventists commentators like George McCready Price, Dr.Bill Shea, Dr.Mervyn Maxwell, Dr.Gerhard Pfandl, Pastor Alfred De Ligne, Dr.Ed.Thiele, Pastor Kenneth Cox, the new Andrews Study Bible footnote and non SDA Bible commentators like the KJV Bible Commentary, McArthur and McGee all agree on the following names: being the three kings after Cyrus: Cambysus, false Smerdis, Darius the Great and as the fourth one Xerxes the one who married Esther.
Only one SDA commentator on the book of Daniel, Dr.Jacque Doukhan from France and of Jewish origin currently professor at Andrews University differs and we will give his view on this issue. Doukhan writes as follows:” the three kings are of Persian origin. We are in the reign of Cyrus (with co-regent Darius). Thus the three kings would be Cambysus (530-522) Darius (522-486), Xerxes, the Ahasueres of Esther (486-465), and Arthaxerxes (465-423). Not only did Jewish tradition adopt the interpretation, history also confirms it. Arthaxerxes was as depicted in the prophecy, extremely rich”. (Doukhan page 167)
By Darius, Doukhan has the following footnote: “Some commentators include the name of Smerdis the impostor (522)……………….We have chosen to omit him for several reasons: 1.He reigned less than one year (several months). 2. He was an impostor originating from Media, and the prophecy speaks of Persian kings. 3. It is very probable that he never existed and was just a rumor concocted by Darius to justify his ascension to the throne. Herodotus would have accepted and recorded the official version. Isaac Asimov refers to it as perhaps, one of those cases where a great lie has been foisted on history.” (Doukhan page 180)
If you do a Google search regarding the False Smerdis you will get plenty of information one way or another. We will not deal with it any further than only say that what Doukhan writes has some merit
The last sentence of 11:2 read “He shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. The NASB version reads: “He will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece.”
Initially the Greeks were humiliated by the Persians, until a mighty Macedonian stood up. Daniel 11:3 states that a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion.” That mighty king was no one else than Alexander the Great who took the battlefield in 331BC in favor of Greece and defeating the Persians completely. The Medo-Persia Empire was replaced by the Grecian empire. We have discussed this in Daniel two when brass replaced the silver and in Daniel seven when a leopard replaced the bear and in Daniel 8 when the goat replaced the ram. Alexander’s warfare was like a whirlwind, to say it in modern language like a blitzkrieg.
Here we have again the same information as in chapter seven and eight the breaking up of Alexander’s empire into four parts towards the four winds of heaven, see 8:8.9.
Also in 7:6 the leopard with four heads, indicating a division in four parts. We know that Alexander died at a rather young age and no one of his family or from his government administration took the throne but his empire was divided among his generals. McCready Price describes this fourfold division as follows: “As the division was first made, Ptolemy got Egypt and thus became the King of the South, as further spoken off in Daniel 11. Seleucis had Syria and Babylon to the North of Palestine, becoming the king of the North, in Jewish parlance; Lysimachus got Asia Minor and Cassanders had Macedonia and the adjacent lands. With the Mediterranean to the West and the desert to the east; there are no kings of either the West or the East as spoken of by the Jews and Bible prophets “(Price p.164)
King of the North and King of the South.
From here onward Daniel eleven focuses on battles between North and South with Palestine, Jerusalem or the Glorious Land in the middle. We have already noticed that Daniel from a geographical point of view puts Jerusalem in the centre or in between these two waring parties. In direct line from Jerusalem Egypt is south, and the Egyptian armies always approaching Jerusalem from the South. In the opposite direction we find as has been mentioned here above opposing armies always entered Palestine or Jerusalem from the north. The Babylonian armies from east going westward and then tuning at a northern point down into Palestine towards Jerusalem. Syria entered from the north and later the Roman armies from Italy coming over land entered Palestine from the North towards Jerusalem. In that manner these nations earned the title King of the North in Daniel eleven. As mentioned also Abraham moved from Ur westward and when he reached Haran he was exactly North of Canaan and turned south from the north towards the land God wanted him to be.
Later the Italian armies going over land had no choice but marching eastward till they reached the point north of Palestine and turning south from the north towards Jerusalem and so they earned the title King of The North. And when secular Rome transformed into ecclesiastical Rome the title King of the North was transferred to that new phase of the Roman Empire.
This part of chapter 11 starts with the king of the South or Egypt. As far as interpretation of verse 5 and onward is concerned Dr.Pfandl writes in his book on Daniel, page 106, that a variety of interpretations do exist among Seventh-day Adventist commentators and scholars of Daniel. Especially this applies to the point of view at which verse in Daniel eleven does Pagan Rome and Papal Rome start
The same is true when consulting non SDA scholars and Bible commentators. Most of these men do not mention Papal Rome but talk more about Antiochus IV whose activities on the surface may found to be fulfilling prophecy but when accurately examined it fails completely. We have dealt with this in detail in Daniel 8 and we have given ample evidence that Antiochus IV does not fit the given characteristics of the little horn of Daniel eight and for the same reason also does not fit to qualify for being the King of the North in Daniel eleven.
The dividing line is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which gives us pre- and post- crucifixion situations and thus moving from the literal to the spiritual and from the limited geographical to the unlimited universal. We will use McCready Price and how he writes about it: “Both God’s work and that of His enemy are today on a global scale. Moreover it is a principle of universal validity that all other prophecies of the Old testament, if they reach, to periods this side of the cross, always become abstract and spiritual for the concrete, objective things of the Old testament have now become spiritualised, what was local and nationalistic now becoming worldwide and universal. Literally hundreds of terms like Zion, Israel, etc. have since the cross come to us with a wider and more spiritual connotation. One reason for this providentially planned situation is that the people of God are now found on all the continents of the world; hence the new wine positively cannot be confined in old bottles. “If ye are Christ’s then ye are Abraham’s seed; heirs according to the promise.” (Price p.314)
Now we return to Daniel 11:5. From the different Seventh-day Adventist resources available we have selected McCready Price for giving us the application from history for 11:5 and following parts of Daniel 11. But we will check others as well if necessary.
The four divisions of the Grecian Empire became eventually only two parts, North and South. Seleucis one of the generals and who had been under Ptolemy took most territory in the North and Ptolemy became ruler of the South or mainly Egypt. Ptolemy in Egypt was strong, but Seleucis who took off to the North became stronger with great dominion.
History reveals that the North, Syria was always at war with the South, Egypt, and known in history as the Syrian wars. Getting tired of the situation by way of marriage arrangements the rulers tried to establish peace. In reality it was war between Greek generals because both Seleucis and Ptolemy had been in the army of Alexander the Great. The Greek language remained in both territories, North and South. The Jews being in the middle of it all suffered from it. The reader will notice from the text that the marriage arrangement did not work out as planned.
Because of what is described in 11:6, infighting and killings, a king from the South organised a large army and took off to the North and prevailed. This king fought a successful war against the North and the territory was in the hands of the Egyptians for a long time.
Daniel 11:8, 9
The king of the South as part of his war expedition to the North brought back to Egypt lots of booty also stuff which had been part of war loot taken from Egypt to the North. The NASB version is somewhat clearer regarding the last party of 11:8, 9: “And he on his part will refrain from attacking the king of the North for some years. Then the latter will enter the realm of the king of the South but will return to his own land.” There would be no war between North and South for some years but then the king of North would attempt again a war against the South, Egypt, but unsuccessful had to return back to his own land. We are assured that history unearthed, confirms this prophetic language of Daniel accurately.
Sons of the king of the North plan again war against the South, Egypt, and this time they succeed. The text says: “shall come and overflow and pass through.” It is described in a manner that the Syrian armies of the North swept through the land like an overwhelming flood, all through the territories down south of Syria.
The king of the South not happy and satisfied with this defeat retaliates in great anger and military force and now the king of the North is on the loosing end of the war. Commentators apply this to the historical battle of Raphia in 217BC where Antiochus lost 10.000 men on the battlefield and 4000 taken as prisoners of war.
Price explains that the king of the South returned home in triumph but was not very welcome when passing through Judea and Jerusalem. To cool his anger he killed many thousands of the Jews and went residing in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. This explains how he was exalted and lifted up in pride but at the same time a cruel killer of the Jews. However he would not prevail but again be involved with war from the North.
Price again tells us that peace lasted about twelve years. These years were used by the king of the North to prepare a severe war as a counter attack against the South. He even went to India to avail himself of a new supply of Elephants. Thus prepared he returned to the South stronger than before and with a greater army.
This part of Daniel eleven is very critical in regard to its interpretation because some commentators do introduce here already the Roman Empire which according to prophecy was to follow the Grecian Empire, as we know from chapter 2, 7 and 8.
These commentators think that the expression robbers of thy people are those who robbed or did harm to the Jews, the people of Daniel. I checked this in two directions, first the two volumes of TWOT and found that the Hebrew word for robbers is to be understood as “revolting” or “coming up against something” Next I checked with the NASB which reads: “The violent ones among your people”. NRSV: “The lawless among your people, and the NEB “But some hotheads among your own people will
rashly attempt to give substance.” Also the Dutch, old and new translations, German and French all read that it speaks about Jewish people joining the revolt from the North against the South, Egypt.
To introduce the Roman Empire at this point in Daniel eleven is too early. Our favoured Daniel commentator Dr.Shea also includes revolting Jews in the group coming up against the king of the South, Egypt, (See Shea in his book page 244 and his book is available from www.adventistbookcentres.com)
The impact of 11:14 is that there has been a massive rebellion against the king of the South, Egypt which was supported by Jews as well. But it had no success “they shall fall”, or “to no avail”. Then we have the expression to establish the vision, some read here a vision. Does this mean the vision as we have it in Daniel’s book or does it mean that somebody had a vision of establishing a new world power? Some fanatic Jews had a vision of Jewish world rule, but it all failed. The world at this point in time of history becomes ready for the next world empire, the Roman one of which we will learn more in the following verses of Daniel eleven.
Of the four divisions of the Grecian divided empire after Alexander’s death not one of them was able to establish a new world empire; they may try to exalt themselves as 11:14 reads but to no avail. Other commentators have stated the fact that from there onward there have always been rebellious Jews in the revolt against the rulers of the day up till the time that in AD70 all of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. There action was self-destructive, they robbed themselves or with the words of Hosea 13:9 “O Israel, the Lord says, thou hast destroyed thyself.” Ellen G.White makes a similar statement in her book DESIRE OF AGES page 165, “In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple.” While the Romans did the actual destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in AD70 in essence it was self inflicted by the Jews themselves called here in 11:14 “robbers of thy people”. They robbed themselves.
This is an interesting part of Daniel eleven. After the failed rebellion from the North, Syria, which was supported by rebellious Jews against the South, Egypt, it appears from this verse that a new king from the North shall come up against the
South, Egypt. The North seems to be very persistent in not giving up conquering the South, Egypt. This attack from the North is so formidable that the South not “even with their choicest troops”(NASB) is able to withstand the North this time.
The question to be answered, who is this new power from the North, the new Syrian king that not even the best troops of Egypt are able to stand up against him.
We must let the historians answer this question. Comparing the different historians who have dealt with this issue, it is difficult to pinpoint precisely which one is mentioned here in 11:15
Some say Antiochus III and others do mention Antiochus IV Epiphanus the one who is also taken as the little horn of Daniel 8 and who here in Daniel eleven eventually becomes the king of the North. However sufficient arguments have been presented
in Daniel 8 to disqualify completely Antiochus IV from that position, in Daniel 8 and consequently here in Daniel 11 as well.
However one thing can be established from history that the North, after the failed rebellion against the South as described in 11:14, did come back by way of Antiochus III or IV, for both cases seems to be historical evidence. Our conclusion is that 11:15 is not yet the starting point for the Roman Empire to become the King of the North of Daniel eleven. Before we turn to 11:16 we will say more about this return from the North to the South. Because Antiochus IV Epiphanus is most likely the one who led this rebellion against the South the reader of this study may like to do a Google search regarding this issue. You will find that the Roman army was already on its way to establish a new world empire. Antiochus IV met the Romans in Egypt and was totally defeated. He was met by the Roman ambassador C.Popilius Leanas and he told Antiochus that the Roman Senate would have him leave Egypt. Antiochus asked for time to think. The ambassador drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus and asked for a decision before he could step out of the circle. Antiochus was humiliated and defeated and he left for Mesopotamia and died there in obscurity. There are other reasons given in Daniel which should make it crystal clear that Antiochus IV Epiphanus does not qualify for being the little horn of Daniel 8 or the king of the North of Daniel 11. He may have done certain things which may look like he is the one but in other points he missed the mark and thus is dismissed as fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy in this respect.
In this part of Daniel eleven we may find some clues which world power or empire would follow the fourfold divided Grecian Empire. We know already from Daniel 2, 7 and 8 that it would be the Roman Empire and according to Daniel 8 under one symbol of a little horn but operating in history in two phases, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome, or the secular followed by the ecclesiastical.
According to 11:16 someone would come up against the “him” of 11:15 who led out in the rebellion against the South, Egypt. We agree with McCready Price’s comment and we will quote him:” It would be evident that a new power is here brought to view .He that cometh cannot be the king of the South, for the previous verse has declared that the forces of the south shall not stand. Against him must refer to Antiochus and the one that comes against him must be the Romans, who not only dictated terms to Antiochus, but who henceforth became more and more the complete master of the East. By the battle of Pydna, June 22, 168BC, the Romans under Aermilius Paulus crushed forever the last traces of independence of the states of Macedonia and Greece. Mommsen expresses it:’ The whole empire of Alexander the Great had fallen to the Roman commonwealth, as if the city had inherited from his heirs. From all sides kings and ambassadors came to congratulate her,’” (Price p.286)
The next part of 11:16 speaks about the strength of the Roman armies which nobody could withstand. Also the Glorious Land, the land of the Jews, was invaded being also the land of Jesus who lived under the ruling of the Romans and it is added that it would be consumed by the Romans or in his hand shall be destruction. History confirms that eventually Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD70 and at the loss of millions of Jewish lives. Jewish rebellion had caused this act of destruction by the Roman army.
We are confident that so far we have presented a logical historical sequence of Daniel 11:1-16 according to what has been found as fulfilment in history. We are thus of the opinion that the Roman Empire enters Daniel 11 by verse 16, and not before verse 16..We also believe that from here on the Roman Empire qualifies to be called the King of the North and first in its Pagan phase followed later by the Papal phase when we reach 11:31. The expression king of the North does not appear anymore until we reach 11:40.
Our next task is to work ourselves through 11:17-39 and find fulfilments of what is described in these verses in the history of the Roman power. We will consult those who have made a special study of it and use their findings. Our main source will be again McCready Price but others will be quoted as well. Price is the only one who deals with it verse by verse which is easier to follow.
The “he” and the “his” in the beginning of this verse refers to 11:16, the Romans. In what follows we have a description of the development and further establishment of the Roman Empire which took possession of all the territories of the former fourfold divided Grecian Empire. Various commentators do agree that in 11:17-19 we have a description of the victories of Caesar and his successful career in the many lands around the Mediterranean like N.Africa and the other side even into Spain. The British Isles also came under Roman rule. It is stated that Caesar fought and won fifty battles, took one thousand cities, and slain one million one hundred ninety two thousand men. (Price page 289 and quoting from Uriah Smith)
He is the one who issued that famous statement “Veni, vidi ,vice” I came, I saw , I conquered. We read in 11:19 that he returns to his own fortress, Rome and there he found his own opponents and was assassinated by a dagger through the hands of Cassius Brutus, which happened in the year 44BC not far from the birth date of Jesus Christ. Those who are interested in reading all this in detail should get Dr.Shea’s book on Daniel or the book “God Cares” vol.I by Dr.Mervyn Maxwell, still available from Adventist Book Centres.
Caesar had no successors from his own family. A period of civil strife followed from which Augustus (Octavius) stood up as the sole ruler in the empire. He is the one who
established the Roman tax system throughout the empire as is described in 11:20
“an exactor to pass through” . Some translations say it clearly “a raiser of taxes” or a “tax collector”. In the New Testament we are reminded of this event in Luke 2:1 where Joseph with Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be registered for tax reasons, and at the same time fulfilling Micah 5:2 that Christ the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Daniel 11:20 ends saying that the one who would stand up would come to his end neither in anger nor in battle. Augustus died in AD14 peacefully in his bed, age seventy six. (Price p.291). Against the will of Augustus, Tiberius got on the throne in Rome. Daniel 11:21 describes Tiberius as a vile person. The honour of the Kingdom was not given to him, but he got it after the death of Augustus. The one nominated by Augustus was Agrippa, a highly respected man, but he died before the death of Augustus, and so Tiberius got to wear the purple of Rome. (Price p.291)
Tiberius was successful in his warfare. The text reads that the opposing forces “shall be broken” or NASB version: “forces will be flooded away before him and scattered”. In the KJV it reads further “Yea also the Prince of the covenant”. No doubt this refers to the death of Christ. We have discussed this by Daniel 9:25-27 and it did occur under the reign of Tiberius in AD31. Christ’s death took place in Palestine under Pilate and confirmed by historian Flavius Josephus, page 480 and by the Roman historian Tacitus.
This section of Daniel can be divided in two parts. The last part of Daniel 11:22 took us to the death of Christ in AD31 The Prince of the covenant be broken”. From that point we go to 11:31 where we are informed about Papal Rome activities similar to what we have learned from Daniel 8:11, 12 which historically can be reckoned as have taken place in the time between AD476-AD538. AD 476 the terminal year of the secular phase of the Roman Empire and AD538 the commencement of the ecclesiastical phase of the Roman Empire. The next or second part of 11:23-39 according to the text 11:32-39 runs from 538-1798 which takes us into the time of the end where in 1798 Papal Rome received its deadly wound through the activities of the French Revolution. We will not give a verse by verse commentary but will provide a summary from commentators we have consulted to get us through these verses of Daniel 11. The newly (2010) Andrews University Study Bible has the following footnote by this passage of scripture:” This lengthy passage about the vile and blasphemous ruler matches the description of the character and activities of the little horn found in chapters 7 and 8 of Daniel. The vile person is not explicitly called the king of the North in this part of chapter 11”.
The last time we met king of the North in Daniel eleven was in 11:15 and the next time will be in 11:40. We treat all in between as a graphic description of the Roman Empire in its two phases Pagan Rome followed by Papal Rome. This matches Daniel 8 where the two phases of Rome are symbolised by the little horn and described in four verses 8:9-12, but very little detail is given. In Daniel 11:15-45 we have thirty verses dealing with the same time span in history. Daniel 11:15-19 the establishment of Pagan Rome which started with the decisive battle of Pydna in 168BC. Then we have 11:20-30 the running of Pagan Roman Empire with Augustus the raiser of taxes consolidating the empire. See notes by 11:20. But by verse 30 pagan Rome ends and Papal Rome activities is taking over in 11:31. The Papal Roman phase runs till 11:40 when an attack takes place from the king of the South against the king of the North. By that time it should be clear who the king of the North is and if that is clear it will not be difficult to identify the king of the South who launched the attack.
Daniel 11:40-45 deals with last day or time of the end activities of the king of the North which is the revived Papal Roman power or the healing of the deadly wound as stated in Rev.13:3.. We like to refer the reader to the special detailed study of 11:40-45 in this same section of Daniel studies.
However we like in advance of this point say something about the King of the North as mentioned in 11:40. In the past and may be still some today, held that the King of the North in 11:40 was Turkey the seat of the Ottoman Empire. In my reading I have found very little substantial ground for that view, except for the fact that geographically it can be held that Turkey is north of Jerusalem in Palestine It is purely based on a literal interpretation of this part of Daniel’s prophecy. We have pointed out here before that from AD31 the death of Christ the literal must be dealt with spiritual and the local geographical as global universal. That solves all problems and brings it in harmony with the New Testament view of Biblical Israel.
Those who hold that Daniel 11:36-39 deals with France and its French revolution also have a problem to solve. France was an eminent son of the Papacy and if the king of the South is France, then we must conclude that France attacked itself. We will see later and the special study of 11:40-45 makes it clear that the French Revolution represents a new system attacking the Church of Rome and inflicting a deadly wound which would last at least till the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. France as a nation was not responsible but the atheistic, God ignoring system is responsible which was carried forward by the communistic manifesto of Marx/Lenin and clearly described in Revelation 11:7, 8 as spiritual Egypt launching attacks against God and His Word. What was before AD 31 literal Israel with a literal geographical territory and a literal city Jerusalem and a literal temple or sanctuary; all has become spiritual or transferred to heaven. We still have a literal Israel people but universal on earth and with a heavenly city New Jerusalem capital of its heavenly land Canaan and a heavenly sanctuary with its High Priest Jesus Christ Himself, and not a human is God’s high Priest on earth
Read Hebr; 8:1-3 and 12:22.Not heirs of a part of the world but heirs of the whole world, Rom.4:12-16 and now those who are of Christ are Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promise, Gal.3:13, 14, 29 The reader of this is also directed to Revelation studies part III and part V. in the Revelation section of this website. And read in the doctrinal section “Israel in the Scriptures”.
After this lengthy interlude we turn back where we left of, Daniel 11:23. From 11:22 we learned that the “Prince of the Covenant be broken”, which took place in AD31. Then in 11:23 we learned more about Rome’s development and also decline of the empire. Briefly we follow McCready Price who took much from Dr.Ed.Thiele who has given quite some detail information about Pagan Rome and its development in history. We also have taken information from others like Dr.Shea. History tells how many leagues and treatises Pagan Rome made to establish its power and often in a deceitful manner. In history and in the present time treatises are often not worth more than the paper upon which it is written, and those who sign them, it seems they do not take their signature serious.
In this verse we have a description of a large army explained by the historians as a naval forces going to battle. Price writes it was the battle of Actium, September 2, 31BC between Rome and Egypt and Egypt being the looser. (Price 296)
History reveals that part of the Roman army left in Egypt revolted against Rome which had to be dealt with at the loss of many lives.
We conclude from historical sources and using different translations that different government officials were involved in Roman administration, even brothers in law and deceiving each others by lies. Even Egyptian officials were involved. But eventually the Roman administrators gained the upper hand and returned home.
After the problem mentioned in 11:27 and which was resolved in favour of Rome they turned to the people of the covenant, the Jews. It can mean there was an outright revolt by the Jews against the Romans. Rome was not very happy with the Jews which may have caused Christians to turn away from the Sabbath and accept the Roman first day Sunday worship. They did not like to be associated with the Jews because of Seventh-day Sabbath keeping. History reveals that there have been several Roman activities of persecution against the Christians especially under Diocletianus
in the fourth century This may be included in the statement “his heart shall be against the holy covenant”. As mentioned before the Christian church of the New Testament is now Israel and as such qualifies to be called the people of the holy covenant, in this verse as well.
Daniel 11:29, 30
In this verse we seem to have a double play. First the ships of Kittim which is commonly understood as naval forces from Cyprus. It is known in history that the Roman Empire was attacked by Vandals making inroads in its territory and eventually with other Eastern tribes causing its decline and downfall in the end, AD476.The text also mention another action against the people of the covenant, Christians. At the same time we find in history a gradual departure from the Holy Covenant by unfaithful Christians under leadership of the bishop of Rome who showed interest in secular power. The emperor of Rome makes a deal with the bishop and transfers the seat of the Roman Empire to Constantinople in Turkey, and leaving the city of Rome in the hands of the bishop and there the second phase of the Roman Empire commenced as the Papal Roman phase.
Papal Rome fortifies itself with military forces and starts its activities which are known as the dark ages of history. We have reached AD538 or the beginning of the 1260 prophetic period of Papal Rome Supremacy. The Church of Rome now enforces upon the people its apostate style of worship, called in Daniel 8:12 a worship in transgression of true Biblical worship. The actions are against the sanctuary and taken away the daily. See for detail Dan.8:11,12. Pagan Rome is now fully replaced by Papal Rome. In Daniel 11:32-39 we are dealing with this period and getting more information regarding what took place in that time of history which was terminated by the French revolution in 1798 and the imprisonment by French armies of the ruling pope in that year.
From this verse onward we have further prophetic information about the activities of Papal Rome in addition to what we have been told in 11:31. In that verse we are told that it would act against the sanctuary and trample upon the truths of God’s Word as in 8:11-13. All these activities would take place by flatteries, smooth deceiving words and misleading. The Christian world would be openly led astray into a deeper experience of apostasy known in history as the dark ages. The same as later was written about by the apostle Paul in 2Thess.2:3, 4 with great display of pomp and pride almost acting as God on earth. Some Popes of the dark ages did call themselves God on earth. But as there were still faithful ones in the days of Elijah, the 7000 who had not bowed their knee before Baal, so the text says there would still be people “who know their God be strong and do exploits.”
The true and faithful ones would be persecuted for many days. No doubt this refers to the lengthy time of the prophetic 1260 year period of Papal supremacy. Many great truthful Bible teachers and Bible believing people have perished as martyrs by the sword and by the flame on the stake. We think about the early Albigenses and later the Waldenses followed by the early and later reformers.
In their fall, persecution, they would receive some help. This makes connection with what we later read in Revelation 12:16 that the earth would come to the rescue of the woman. (Study Revelation Part IV in the Revelation section). In the seventeenth century, in 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers sought refuge in the newly discovered lands of the Americas.
However not all who migrated to the Americas were honest people some did by flatteries or as the NASB reads they were hypocrites, joining them in hypocrisy.
Also not all people who joined the reformation were honest true Bible believing people. Many joined for alternative reasons and caused lots of trouble and unnecessary bloodshed. The same as a mixed group of people from Egypt joined with Israel in the Exodus from Egypt, Ex.12:38
This verse seems to indicate that those who did fall by way of persecution as described in 11:33, 34 and 12:10, it would be for them a spiritual process of refining and purification. Paul wrote later in Rom.5:3-5 that tribulations have a refining character or act in spiritual development. It would make their clothes white as we read about in Rev.7:14 about the ones coming out of great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, Rev.12:11. All of them have been given white robes, Rev.6:11. Papal suppression could not stop their faithfulness rather it made them stronger and many more joined the reformation.
Here we have a further graphic description about the king, Papal Rome:
a. Shall do according to his will, operating independently away from God and
b. Shall exalt himself as later described by Paul in 2 Thess.2:3, 4
c. Magnify himself similar to what we have read in Daniel 8:11 about the little
horn taking the title vicar of Christ on earth and thus qualifying of being
the Anti-Christ, falsely acting in place of Christ while hypocritically giving
the impression of being in favour of Christ
d. Speaking against the God of gods, against the Creator of heaven and earth.
Medieval Popes called themselves God on earth, God’s High Priest on earth,
and priests were given the power to call Christ down from heaven to be
sacrificed again on the altar in the church See Joshua 22:22 about God of gods.
e. He shall prosper. For 1260 years it looked like this would continue for ever
unopposed. But a time was set in prophecy where it would come to an end
as determined. That time was the end of the 1260 year period in 1798 and
as we will notice when we reach 11:40
f. 11:37. The king would have no regard for the God of their fathers. Bible
religion was completely set aside, the Bible was indexed as a forbidden book ,
and in its place Papal decrees and traditions. Roman customs were transferred
and given Christian meanings. Seventh-day Sabbath keeping replaced by first-
day Sunday keeping. Roman feast days like Christmas and others were
introduced and given a Christian flavour.
g. It is the desire of women to bear children but this was set aside for the Papal
clergy and celibacy was introduced and for those making a vow to serve the
church in one or another capacity which is even practiced today in the 21st
h. 11:38 Again about self-exaltation. Because it is repeated it seems to be the
most serious offence against God. Even today itinerating Popes are honoured
and revered almost as being divine.
i. Then it speaks about a god being introduced and honoured with gold and
silver and precious things. It is not difficult to refer this to the medieval
veneration of saints and even not in the least Mary veneration. She is elevated
to be co-mediatrix having a part in the salvation of people and declared
having been bodily ascended into the heavens like Jesus Christ.
j. Then a god whom his father knew not. We have mentioned Mary under “i”.
She is even called the queen of heaven and worshiped and prayed to in the
Church of Rome Countries, Continents and the whole world have been
dedicated to Mary by Papal decree. Regarding the god of forces, the KJV
margin uses the word “Mauzzim” which means “protectors”. Saints through
the Papal system have been appointed as protectors of places in divers
manners. The EU flag, blue field with 12 stars is the Mary flag and under
that flag the European nations are at present marching and operating.
k.11:39.The strange god mentioned is most likely the same as we have discussed
under 11:38. The late Pope John Paul II was totally and completely dedicated
to Mary and openly told the world, making the world moving under Mary. The
last part talks about “dividing the land for gain” .The seat of the Church of
Rome the Vatican is also a mini-state and as such the Vatican is involved in the
political and financial affairs of the world even in this day of the 21st century.
As explained before the king of the north has been gradually transformed from a Secular Pagan Roman Empire into an Ecclesiastical Papal Roman Empire thus we accept that the mentioning of the King of The north here in 11:40 refers to the Papal Roman System, as discussed in the previous verses. The king of the South was literal Egypt before Calvary but also has made a transformation as the King of The North has, and as we have learned from Revelation 11:7, 8.
Daniel 11:40 starts with at the time of the end which is, as we have mentioned here before, the late 18th century or precisely the year 1798 when the King of the North, Papal Rome came under severe attack of France by way of the French revolution.
It appears that we have a repeat of what happened as described in 11:25., of which McCready Price writes that Antony of Egypt waged war against Octavius his brother in law.(Octavius became later Augustus) Octavius was more skilful than Antony and Antony lost the war. Octavius was left as the undisputed master of the Roman world.
(See Price page 296/7)
In Medieval times before 1798, France was an eminent son of Papal Rome and a strong supporter of the Papacy. So there was close relationship between the two, as between Antony and Octavius. However the French revolution an atheistic uprising in France against the Papal system inflicted a deadly wound, see Rev.13:3. The world thought that the papacy was completely dead and terminated for ever. The ruling Pope was imprisoned and died in prison. But the wound would start to heal. A year later a new pope was elected and in 1870 declared to be infallible under certain circumstances of issued Papal decrees. In 1929 Mussolini returned to the Papacy certain pieces of real estate and thus creating the mini-state Vatican within the city of Rome. The Pope now is not only being head of the Church of Rome but also King of a sovereign state. In that position it can send and accept ambassadors to and from the nations of the world. Most nations of the world have ambassadorial relationship with the Vatican even socalled protestant USA. In 2009 Russia also established full unlimited ambassadorial relationship with the Vatican.
However the attack against the papal system started in 1798 did not finish with the end of the French revolution. The teachings of the French revolution were put in the Marx/Lenin manifesto and used in the Russian revolution of 1917 and was even spread around the world, east and West. This inflicted also much harm and pain to the Papal system including Eastern Orthodox Churches 11:40 reads that the King of the North, Papacy would turn around and make a counter attack like a whirlwind. To offset the Atheist attack of the French revolution and its aftermath in the Russian revolution which created the atheistic Soviet Union and what did happen? This whirlwind counter attack by the King of the North, the papal power took place in the late eighties of the 20th century and brought down the total system of the atheistic Soviet Union. The holy alliance between the USA and the Vatican fulfilled this whirlwind counter attack and placed the Papal System again in the forefront of the present world among its nations.
This modern re-development of the Papal power in the world is in process before our very eyes and will in the end complete the healing of the deadly wound and the world wondering after “the beast”, Revelation 13:3. For more detail regarding 11:40-45 the reader is referred to the special study of these verses and to study Revelation 17 in the Revelation section.
The final statement is filled with sure hope that the world will not return into a long period of the medieval system as in the past. It may look like for some time, but the last sentence of 11:45 reads “he shall come to en end and none shall help him”. That will be the end of all things of this sin sick and suffering world. Christ will stand and declare His rulership on planet earth, Revelation 11:15. The oft prayed prayer called The Lord’s Prayer” in which we pray “Thy Kingdom come”, will then be fulfilled.
The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan will have come to an end. Satan defeated at Calvary will now see his kingdom being crushed and Christ’s Kingdom of Glory taking its place on earth.
Are you preparing to be a citizen of that Kingdom? Accept Jesus today as your personal Saviour who died in your place on the cross of Calvary and make Him the Lord of your life.
Pastor Jan T.Knopper
Revisited August 2013