Daniel 11 - Outline of Daniel (Book Notes menu page)
II. Daniel's Visions concerning the Times of the Gentiles (ch. 7-12)
D. The Time of the End (ch. 10-12)
1. The Preparation for the Vision (10:1-21)
2. The Rise of the Little Horns (11:1-45)
  1. A vile person who foreshadows the Antichrist (Antiochus Epiphanes). 11:1-35
  2. The willful king at the Time of the End (the Antichrist). 11:36-45
In Dan 10:20,21, the angel Gabriel had given Daniel a brief overview of the state of the warfare in the spiritual realms.
Now (in ch.11), he continues, providing a detailed explanation of that warfare, through the times of the second (Medo-Persian) and third (Greek) gentile world empires (v.1-20), with special emphasis upon the terrible reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (v.21-35).
    From the perspective of Daniel, all of this (except v.1) was prophetic of future events. From our perspective, all of these events are now history. Because these events were foretold with amazing detail, sceptics argue that they must have been recorded after they occurred. Having refused the ample evidence for the early dating of the book of Daniel (see the Book Notes at Daniel 1, "Introduction"), they reject the evidence of fulfilled prophecy which the LORD has given so that men might recognize Him (Isa 46:9,10).
     The fulfilled prophecy of v.1-35 serves to demonstrate the certainty of prophecy which is yet to be fulfilled. The final portion of the chapter (v.36-45) is unfulfilled prophecy concerning the rise of the Antichrist (the little horn of Dan 7:7-8, 23-26). The fulfilled prophecy, concerning the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (the little horn of Dan 8:8-14), also serves to illustrate the reign of the future Antichrist.
1. Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede,
[even] I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
2 And now will I shew thee the truth.
Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;
and the fourth shall be far richer than [they] all:
and by his strength through his riches
he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
Also, I in the first year of Darius... stood to confirm and strengthen him...-
Darius the Mede had taken control of Babylon (Dan 5:31), not through his own ability (as it appeared to men), but because Gabriel {whose name means 'Warrior of God'} had enabled that transition of power, in accordance with the pre-determined plan of God.
and now I will show thee the truth {ie., faithful testimony, reliable speech}...-
Having looked briefly at history (v.1), the angel proclaims events that would surely come to pass in the future (as viewed from Daniel's time).
     NOTE: The comments below (on v.2-19) showing the now historical fulfillment of these then prophetic statements, and which are shown in [ brackets ], are adapted from concise notes at www.allabouttruth.org/bible-prophecy.htm. This brief summary of events is readily corroborated and expanded from numerous secular historical resources. (The dates provided, in this section, represent periods of reign, not the full life-span of the rulers.)
Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia... and the fourth...-
Darius the Mede was co-regent in Babylon during the reign of Cyrus II (a.k.a. Cyrus the Great, who ruled c.550-530 BC). Daniel received this vision during the reign of Cyrus (Dan 10:1). The "three kings in Persia; and the fourth" which succeeded Cyrus were:
  1. Cambyses II (530-521 BC) [Referred to as Artaxerxes in Ezr 4:7,11,23]
  2. pseudo-Smerdis (521 BC)
  3. Darius I (521-485 BC), son of Hystaspes (cp. Ezr 4:24).
  4. Xerxes (486-465 BC, the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther, Esth 1:1), excelled in wealth and power, and launched an elaborate campaign against Greece.
    The sense of v.2 is that there would be four Persian kings, from the time of Daniel, until the time of conflict with Greece. This conflict would continue, for more than a hundred years, until Greece (under Alexander) defeated the Persian Empire. The succession of Persian kings, following Xerxes includes:
    • Artaxerxes I (465-424 BC), whose decree marks the start of Daniel's Seventy Weeks
      (Neh 2:1-8; see Book Notes at Dan 9:25).
    • Xerxes II (assassinated after reigning a few weeks)
    • Darius II (423-404 BC)
    • Artaxerxes II (404-358 BC)
    • Artaxerxes III (358-338 BC)
    • Artaxerxes IV (assassinated after reigning a few weeks)
    • Darius III (336-330 BC)
3 And a mighty king shall stand up,
that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken,
and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven;
and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled:
for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
[ The "mighty king" was Alexander the Great (336-323 BC) who, shortly after conquering the Persian Empire, died abruptly at the age of 32. His empire was not bequeathed to his children (who were murdered) but instead was divided up amongst his generals (the Diadochi {a GK word meaning 'successors'}). Four lesser kingdoms emerged from the rubble of Alexander's empire: Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.]
     The Greek empire of Alexander is the 'third beast' depicted as a 'Leopard' in Dan 7:6, and as the 'Rough Goat' and 'He Goat' of Dan 8:5-8, 20-22. These passages also speak of the division of Alexander's kingdom into four kingdoms (depicted as four heads, and four horns). The two most powerful of these kingdoms, were the Egyptian kingdom under the Ptolemys (referred to, in the following verses, as 'the king of the south'), and the Syrian kingdom of the Seleucids (referred to as 'the king of the north'). Since the Bible concerns itself with other nations only in their relationship to the nation of Israel, the designations 'north' and 'south' are relative to the land of Israel, which was caught in the conflict between these two Greek factions.
5. And the king of the south shall be strong, and [one] of his princes;
and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion;
his dominion [shall be] a great dominion.
[ The first "king of the South" was Ptolemy I Soter (305-283 BC). He was the first to sit upon Egypt's throne after Alexander's demise. Seleucus I Nicator (305-281), who served under Ptolemy as "one of his princes" during the Diadochi Wars (which followed Alexander's death), acquired the throne of Syria for himself, becoming the first "king of the North." Syria was by far the largest portion of Alexander's divided empire and thus, Seleucus' dominion was great indeed.]
6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together;
for the king's daughter of the south
shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement:
but she shall not retain the power of the arm;
neither shall he stand, nor his arm:
but she shall be given up, and they that brought her,
and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in [these] times.
[ Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283-246 BC), Ptolemy I's successor, gave his daughter Berenice in a marriage-alliance to his rival Antiochus II Theos (261-246 BC) who succeeded Seleucus I's son, Antiochus I Soter (281-261 BC) {there is no reference to Antiochus I in Daniel ch.11}. Upon the death of Ptolemy II, Antiochus II returned to his ex-wife, Laodice (whom he had divorced in order to marry Berenice). Laodice took Antiochus' return to her bed as an opportunity to poison Antiochus and to have Berenice and her child murdered {they were 'given up' or 'handed over'} so that her own son, Seleucus II Callinicus (whom she had borne to Antiochus), could ascend the throne.]
7 But out of a branch of her roots shall [one] stand up in his estate,
which shall come with an army,
and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north,
and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes,
[and] with their precious vessels of silver and of gold;
and he shall continue [more] years than the king of the north.
9 So the king of the south shall come into [his] kingdom,
and shall return into his own land.
[ Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BC), Berenice's brother ("out of a branch of her roots," ie., "one of the descendants of her line"), upon hearing of Berenice's murder, launched a successful campaign against Seleucus II (246-225 BC) who fled to Asia Minor. Ptolemy took 40,000 talents worth of silver, 4000 talents of gold and 2500 idols from the Syrians before returning back to Egypt, at which time Seleucus recovered Syria.]
10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces:
and [one] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through:
then shall he return, and be stirred up, [even] to his fortress.
11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler
{bitterness, rage},
and shall come forth and fight with him, [even] with the king of the north:
and he shall set forth a great multitude;
but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
12 [And] when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up;
and he shall cast down [many] ten thousands:
but he shall not be strengthened [by it]
{or, 'he shall not prevail'}.
13 For the king of the north shall return,
and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former,
and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
[ Seleucus III Soter (225-223 BC) succeeded Seleucus II, raised up an army and launched a campaign against Attalus I (241-197 BC) of the Attalid dynasty {in the western extremes of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey}. He was assassinated after a brief two-year reign. His younger brother, Antiochus III (a.k.a. "Antiochus the Great," who ruled from 223-187 BC) succeeded him after his death, amassed an army and marched against Ptolemy IV (221-205 BC) of Egypt. He was successful up until his defeat at Raphia in 217 BC, a loss which nullified his previous gains.]
     [ Ptolemy IV Philopater {the king of the south, in v.11}, his heart being lifted up after his victory at Raphia in Palestine, sought to enter the Holy of Holies of the Jewish temple, an act forbidden by Jewish law. The Jews resisted him, inciting his anger, and he had "tens of thousands" put to death.]
     [ After his defeat, Antiochus turned towards the east, and, following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, marched as far as the Kabul Valley in Afghanistan, enjoying great success and acquiring for himself the title "Antiochus the Great." He returned to wage war against the Ptolemies and by 198 BC, nearly 20 years after his defeat at Raphia, Antiochus had succeeded in taking possession of Palestine. The battle of Panium (198 BC) marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Palestine. Thus, upon the king of the North's return following his initial defeat, the king of the South did not prevail.]
14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south:
also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision;
but they shall fall.
15 So the king of the north shall come,
and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities:
and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people,
neither [shall there be any] strength to withstand.
16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will,
and none shall stand before him:
and he shall stand in the glorious
{ie., beautiful} land,
which by his hand shall be consumed.
[ Egypt rose up in rebellion against Ptolemy IV, a rebellion which continued well into the reign of his successor, Ptolemy V Epiphanes (205-181 BC), and during the latter's reign Antiochus III and Philip V (221-179) of Macedon agreed to divide up Ptolemaic interests abroad. Thus "many" rose up against the king of the South, though the rebellion was eventually suppressed ("they fell down"). The king of the North, as mentioned a moment ago, returned and routed the king of South, in whom there was "no strength to make a stand." The Beautiful Land refers to Palestine which finally came under Seleucid rule after more than a century of Ptolemaic supremacy.]
17 He shall also set his face to enter
with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him;
thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her:
but she shall not stand [on his side], neither be for him.
18 After this shall he turn his face unto the isles
{ie., coastlands}, and shall take many:
but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease;
without his own reproach he shall cause [it] to turn upon him.
19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land:
but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
[ Antiochus III made peace with Ptolemy V and gave his daughter Cleopatra in marriage to his young rival, hoping to use her to conquer Egypt through intrigue rather than through armed conflict. {Her designation as "the daughter of women" is a reference to her renowned beauty. Her father's "corrupting her" refers to his intended purpose of using her as his agent against her husband's best interests.} To his dismay Cleopatra stood against her father. Antiochus then turned against Asia Minor, marching as far as Greece ("the coastlands"), but was turned back by the Romans at Thermopylae (191 BC) and finally defeated at Magnesia in 190 BC. He was killed while trying to plunder a pagan temple near Susa (187 BC) just a year following the peace accords with Rome at Apamea (188 BC); thus he stumbled and fell and was found no more.]
20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes [in] the glory of the kingdom:
but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
Antiochus III was succeeded by his son Seleucus IV Philopator (187-176 BC), who heavily taxed his kingdom to pay demands placed upon him by Rome. He was poisoned ('destroyed... not in battle') by his treasurer Heliodorus.
21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,
to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom:
but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
22 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 in his estate shall stand up a vile {ie., despicable, contemptible} person...-
Although the rightful heir to the throne was Demetrius Soter, the son of Seleucus IV, the throne was usurped by Antiochus IV Epiphanes through 'flattery' {ie., slippery or smooth promises, intrigue}. His power was secured by a series of military victories (overflowing like a flood).
     One of those whom he deposed was Onias III, the high priest in Jerusalem (referred to, here, as 'the prince of the covenant'). Antiochus Epiphanes ruled from 175 - 163 BC. His rise to power, as the little horn out of one of the four horns of the Greek empire, 'in the latter time of their kingdom', was previously described prophetically in Dan 8:9-12, 23-25. In ch. 11, Antiochus Epiphanes receives much more attention (in v.21-35) than any of the prior kings, because his character and actions foreshadow those of the coming Antichrist.
23 And after the league [made] with him he shall work deceitfully:
for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province;
and he shall do [that] which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers;
he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches:
[yea], and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
he shall enter peaceably...- cp. v.21.
Antiochus Epiphanes, like the Antichrist whom he foreshadows, professed to be a peace maker, but his accomplishments were the work of deceit {ie., treachery}. At first, his followers were relatively few, but he increased his following by redistributing wealth to those who were in league with him.
25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage
against the king of the south with a great army;
and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle
with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand:
for they shall forecast devices against him.
26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him,
and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
27 And both these kings' hearts [shall be] to do mischief,
and they shall speak lies at one table;
but it shall not prosper: for yet the end [shall be] at the time appointed.
After consolidating his power, Antiochus Epiphanes attacked Egypt (in 170 BC). Although the Egyptians had a larger army, Antiochus was prevailing until the Egyptians sought an end of hostilities. At the peace table, Antiochus Epiphanes and the king of Egypt (Ptolemy VI, 181-145 BC) each made deceitful promises of friendship to the other.
28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches;
and his heart [shall be] against the holy covenant;
and he shall do [exploits], and return to his own land.
Antiochus Epiphanes departed from Egypt enriched with the spoils of battle. However, because his plan to take all of Egypt had been thwarted, he expressed his frustration by desecrating the Temple in Jerusalem, while enroute back to Syria.
29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south;
but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him:
therefore he shall be grieved, and return,
and have indignation against the holy covenant:
so shall he do; he shall even return,
and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
Only two years after declaring peace with Egypt, Antiochus returned with his army, intending to conquer Egypt (in 168 BC). However, his progress was opposed by the Roman navy ('the ships of Chittim,' ie., Cypus). The Romans demanded that he abandon any plans for war with Egypt. Antiochus submitted, but was "grieved" to do so.
     Again, while returning through the land of Israel, he took out his frustrations by expressing "indignation against the holy covenant." Again, he desecrated the Temple, but this time he was intent upon destroying the Mosaic system in order to 'Hellenize' the Jewish population. Some secular Jews ("them that forsake the holy covenant") were willing to assist in that process.
31 And arms shall stand on his part,
and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength,
and shall take away the daily [sacrifice],
and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:
but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits].
By his military might, Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to eradicate Judaism and forbade Jewish religious practices, including the keeping of the feasts, and the performance of sacrifices and circumcision. He commanded that all copies of the Hebrew Scriptures be destroyed.
     He also set up an image of Zeus (Jupiter) in the Temple, offered a pig on the altar, and commanded the monthly sacrifice of a pig thereafter. These actions comprised 'the abomination that maketh desolate' in his day. However, this was not 'the abomination of desolation' which Jesus said would be set up by the Antichrist. Rather, it was a foreshadow of the Antichrist's future actions. (Mat 24:15 refers to Dan 9:27 and 12:11)
     Antiochus Epiphanes persuaded many Jews, to forsake the God of Israel in favor of the Greek gods, by flatteries (promises of advantage). His armies slaughtered a hundred thousand citizens who refused to cooperate. Yet, there were many who stood true to their God. In 166 BC, a priest named Mattathias refused to submit to the ungodly demands. He and his five sons (the Maccabees) led a revolt against the oppression and desecrations of Antiochus.
33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many:
yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, [many] days.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help:
but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35 And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them,
and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end:
because [it is] yet for a time appointed.
...they shall fall by the sword... many days...-
The period of the Maccabean revolt was very difficult and costly for the Jewish people. Some, who joined the movement, had wrong motives ("cleaving to them with flatteries"). But persecution and suffering purged the movement, revealing those who were faithful. Although the suffering was intense, the time was limited to "many days... for a time appointed."
     By the end of 164 BC, Judas Maccabeus ('the Hammerer') had succeeded in routing the Greeks and restoring the Temple for Jewish worship (an event celebrated as 'Hannukah' or 'the Feast of Lights,' and mentioned in the NT as 'the Feast of the Dedication.' Joh 10:22). These events, mentioned here prophetically, were not recorded historically in the Bible. However, they are well documented in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees, and by the Greek/Jewish historian Josephus.
...even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.-
With these words, the angel's message jumps from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (v.21-35) to the time of "the willful king," the Antichrist (whom Antiochus foreshadowed), who will arise at "the time of the end... a time appointed."
     As Daniel was receiving this message, it was almost entirely (except for v.1) prophetic of future events. From our viewpoint, everything up to v.35a has now been fulfilled in history. The events of this section, which are now history, were contemporary with the first 69 weeks of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (Dan 9:24-26). Now, the angel looks beyond an interval of unrevealed length, to the Seventieth week (Dan 9:27), the period of great Tribulation when the Antichrist will reign. That period is also known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer 30:7).
36 And the king shall do according to his will;
{Contrast this self-willed impostor with the true Christ, John 5:30; 6:38}
and he shall exalt himself,
{Contrast this self-exalting impostor with the true Christ, Php 2:5-8}
and magnify himself above every god, {2The 2:4; Rev 13:8}
{Here is the ultimate position of unregenerate man. Rom 8:7,8}
and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, {Dan 7:25; Rev 13:5,6}
and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished:
{Rev 13:7}
for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women,
nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:
and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour
with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,
whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory:
and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
...he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished {completed, fulfilled}...
"The indignation" is the wrath of God for man's rebellion against Him. God's indignation was first expressed against Israel (Lam 2:6; Eze 21:31), which is the cause of their captivities, dispersion, and tribulation under the gentile powers. God's indignation will also be poured out upon the gentile nations (Isa 10:24,25; 26:20,21; Jer 10:10; Zeph 3:8). [This paragraph is duplicated here, from the Book Notes at Dan 8:19.]
     God's wrath, for Israel's worship of idols and neglect of the Sabbatical years, extended over a period of 490 years (the Seventy Weeks). God's wrath, for Israel's rejection of their Messiah (at the end of the 69 weeks), and for Israel's acceptance of the Antichrist (at the beginning of the Seventieth Week, cp. Dan 9:26,27; Joh 5:43), will be poured out over a period of three and one half years (the length of Christ's earthly ministry, and also the length of the Antichrist's reign in Jerusalem). At the close of the Tribulation, God's wrath will have been satisfied (see Eze 39:22-29).
neither shall he regard {ie., consider, give heed to} the God of his fathers...- (v.37)
Because of this statement, some scholars believe the Antichrist will be a Jew. However, this statement could apply equally to an apostate from Christianity or any other religion. The book of Revelation reveals that there are two antichrists who will work together. The first rises out of the sea (ie., out of the gentile masses). He may well be an apostate Christian (Rev 13:1; 1Joh 2:18,19). The second rises out of the land (ie., out of the land of Israel). He is an apostate from Judaism (Rev 13:11).
...nor the desire of women...-
This phrase may have dual significance:
  1. The Antichrist will have no regard for the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Psa 2:2,3
    "The desire of women" refers to the Messiah, the seed of the woman who would crush Satan's head. It was the desire of every godly Jewish woman that she might give birth to the Redeemer, the promised 'seed of the woman' (cp. Gen 3:15,16; Isa 7:14; 9:6,7; Luk 1:30-38; also see Hag 2:7).
  2. The Antichrist may be homosexual, without the natural man-woman desire. Gen 3:16 with Song 7:10; Rom 1:26,27
    While the words may allow this possibility, the context strongly suggests that the previous point is the primary meaning. In v.36-39, the self-deification of the Antichrist is in view: He magnifies himself above every god... the God of gods... the God of his fathers... [the One] desired by women... having no regard for any god... (except himself).
but in his estate {ie., in stead of honoring the true God and His Christ}...
...shall he honour the god of forces {HB=ma'oz, fortresses, strongholds} -
The HB word "ma'oz" is used several times in this chapter: in v.1 ('strengthen'), in v.7,10,19 ('fortress, fort'), v.31 (the sanctuary of 'strength,' ie., the Temple of the LORD, cp. Psa 27:1), v.39 ('strongholds'). The word refers to places that are secure.
     In the place of the true and living God, in whom is true strength (Psa 37:38-40), the Antichrist will promote a "strange {ie., foreign, alien} god" who guarantees peace and security to Israel and the world.
...a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour....-
The Antichrist, who magnifies himself above all (v.37), presents himself as the god that can guarantee unprecedented security. Having accepted Satan's offer of all the kingdoms of this world (the offer that Jesus refused, Mat 4:8-10), the Antichrist will receive unprecedented power and the worship of men (Rev 13:2,4).
thus shall he do in the most strong holds {the most secure fortresses, the places of guaranteed security}...-
Wherever men worship him they will enjoy the promise of his protection and security, and they will be 'acknowledged and increased with glory.' The Antichrist will put his followers in places of authority. Meanwhile, those who refuse to honor this "strange {foreign} god" will be stripped of all legal and financial protections (Rev 13:15-17).
he shall divide the land {HB='adamah, ground, earth's resources, territory} for gain {ie., for reward, for a price}.-
This may mean that...
  • The Antichrist will reward his followers with properties confiscated from the nonconforming outcasts.
  • As the price of peace, he will also divide the land of Israel (the inheritance which was previously divided to God's people, Deu 32:8,9; Joel 3:2) and Jerusalem (the place which the LORD has chosen for His Name, Rev 11:1,2).
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him:
and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind,
with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships;
and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land,
and many [countries] shall be overthrown:
but these shall escape out of his hand,
[even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries:
and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
{Joel 3:19}
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:
therefore he shall go forth with great fury
to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace
between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;
yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
...him... he...- To avoid confusion when reading v.40-45,
observe that every occurrence of the pronouns 'he, him, or his' refers to the willful king (the Antichrist), just as they did in v.36-39.
at the time of the end...- ie., During the 'seventieth week.'
the king of the south... the king of the north shall come against him...-
At the beginning of the seventieth week, the Antichrist will enter into a covenant with Israel, guaranteeing their security (Dan 9:27). Therefore, when other nations attack Israel, they also "come against him" who claims to be their ally and defender.
     In the earlier section of this chapter (v.1-35), 'the king of the south' referred to the Greek Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt and 'the king of the north' referred to the Greek Seleucid kingdom based in Syria. However, the closing section of the chapter is prophetic of far future events, when neither Greek kingdom would be in existence. The terms probably apply to the same land areas, which will be under new rulers and systems of government, at that time.
     The king of the south is identified, in v.43, as Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia ('Cush').
     The king of the north is not specifically identified. However, we may assume that it is Syria and her allies, which will include the kings of the far north, Gog and Magog (Russia), whose advance, into Israel at a time when she is 'at peace,' was foretold by Ezekiel (Eze 38:1-16). Ezekiel states that Gog and Magog will be accompanied by Persia {Iran}, Ethiopia, Libya, and Togarmah {Turkey}. Perhaps most of the Arab world, supported by Russia's military might, will come against Israel at once. However, questions will be raised by Sheba and Dedan (regions of the Arabian peninsula, within modern Yemen and Saudi Arabia) and the merchants of Tarshish (who may represent the economic interests of Europe and other western nations).
     The prophecy concerning Gog and Magog (Ezekiel ch. 38-39) has multiple layers (the first of which is in view here):
  1. An invasion of Israel, in the early part of the Tribulation period,
    while Israel thinks it has obtained a state of peace and security, through the covenant with the Antichrist (Eze 38:1-16). Following the supernatural defeat of Gog and his allies (Eze 38:17-23), the Antichrist will claim the victory and proclaim himself as the true defender of Israel.
  2. An extended war, concluding with the battle of Armageddon,
    at the close of the Tribulation period (cp. Eze 39:17-20; Rev 19:17-20). The destruction caused by this war is worldwide in scope (Eze 39:6). When the conflict is finally over, the people of Israel will take seven years to clean up the debris of war and seven months to bury the dead (Eze 39:8-13). The result of the war will be that the nations (who enter the subsequent period of Christ's Millennial Kingdom) will know the LORD (Eze 39:21-29).
  3. The final rebellion at the end of Christ's thousand year reign of true peace and security.
    The rebellion will be quickly crushed by fire from heaven, and will be immediately followed by the final judgments, and by the establishment of Christ's eternal kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth. Following this event, there will be no time (and no need), for burying the dead or for teaching the heathen. cp. Rev 20:7-9; Eze 38:22,23
and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over...
...and many countries shall be overthrown:-
Following the retreat of Gog and Magog, the Antichrist will invade and overwhelm the nearby countries that came against Israel. (cp. 'overflow' in v.10,22)
he shall enter also into the glorious land...- The glorious land is Israel (cp. v.16; Dan 8:9).
In the process of defending Israel, the Antichrist will enter and occupy the land of Israel.
but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.-
These lands (which are within the modern country of Jordan) may be spared the Antichrist's military action, because they had not joined in the attack on Israel. Having escaped military invasion, these lands become a refuge for Israelites who later flee to escape from the Antichrist's persecution (cp. Isa 16:4; Mat 24:15,16; Rev 12:6).
he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver...- cp. Rev 13:16,17
but tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him...-
The Antichrist's actions will not secure peace for long. The tidings out of the east and north will report massive armies approaching from China (out of the east) in cooperation with Russia's weakened military (out of the north, cp. Rev 9:14-16; 16:12). This will be the second phase of the 'Gog and Magog' invasion (see point "2" above).
     The Antichrist will set out to contend with these forces ('with great fury to destroy...'). But the appearance of another Contender will cause him to pause and persuade his enemies to join him in standing against the return of the true Christ (Rev 16:13-16; Mat 24:29,30).
he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain {ie., Jerusalem, Mt. Zion}.-
Jerusalem lies between the Mediterranean and the Dead seas. Following the Antichrist's proclamation of himself as Israel's defender, he will establish himself as the object of worship in the Temple (2The 2:4).
     Since this occurs 'in the midst' of the seventieth week (Dan 9:27), marking the beginning of the last half of the Tribulation period (which continues for 42 months, Rev 13:5), it appears that the events of v.40-43 occur during the first half of the Tribulation. Verse 44 occurs near the end of that seven year period.
     The Antichrist's blasphemous self-deification (v.45a) will not be allowed to continue.
he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
None can stand against the One who will destroy the Antichrist. Dan 7:11,26; 2The 2:8; Rev 19:11-21
Note that the flow of thought continues, without break, into the next chapter.

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