The End Times According To Daniel
Part Three, Chapters 11 and 12
In chapter 10, Daniel tells of a revelation he received in 539 BC concerning
a great war that was coming. It was
still over 200 years away and would last nearly 200 years after that, and would
pit the Seleucids against the Ptolemys. Remember from our previous study that Seleucus and Ptolemy were two of the four generals who
assumed power at the death of Alexander the Great and divided the Greek Empire
among them. Seleucus
took parts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon,
and later Iran and Iraq, while Ptolemy got Egypt, Israel,
This vision troubled Daniel because he could see that Israel would be
caught up in the ongoing battle between them.
The Seleucids would be located on Israel's northern border, and the Ptolemys would be just to their south. The only way for either one to confront the
other would be to march their armies through Israel. So he undertook a limited fast and began
praying for understanding.
Three weeks later an angel visited him and provided a more detailed
explanation of the revelation. These
details are contained in chapters 11 and 12 and have given historians enough
information to document 135 historically fulfilled prophecies in the first 35
verses of chapter 11. This unparalleled
display of predictive prophecy has caused the Book of Daniel to be carefully
inspected by those hoping to find flaws in the prophecies, or clues that would
justify their claim that Daniel is actually a book of history, written by
someone else after the events it describes took place, rather than
prophecy. But the only result of this
inspection has been that Daniel is now the most thoroughly validated book in
the entire Bible. We'll pick up the
angel's explanation at the beginning of the era of the Kings of the South and
The Kings Of The South And The North
"Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more
kings will appear in Persia,
and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has
gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.
Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as
he pleases. After he has appeared, his
empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It
will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised,
because his empire will be uprooted and given to others. (Daniel 11:2-4)
The three who would follow Cyrus as King of Persia were Cambyses (530-522 BC) Pseudo-Smerdis (522BC) and Darius 1
(522-486 BC). The fourth was Zerxes 1 (486-465 BC) who chose the young Jewish woman
Esther to be his wife. Her story is told
in the Book of Esther, and will soon premier as a major motion picture.
130 years later Alexander the Great defeated Persian King
Darius III at the Battle of Guagamela, effectively
conquering the Persian Empire. When Alexander died a few years later, his
four commanding generals took over and the account will now focus on the
descendants of two of them. Those from the family of Seleucus
are called "King of the North", and those of Ptolemy are "King
of the South."
Because this account can be verified in
the historical record, and because the focus of this study is Daniel's End
Times prophecies, I'll just insert the names of the central characters and
dates of their reigns where applicable, and a note or two as we go along. This will give us a hint of the incredible
accuracy of the prophecies in Daniel 11, and prepare us for the shift from
history to prophecy at verse 36. All dates are BC of course.
"The king of the South (Ptolemy I Soter,
323-285) will become strong, but one of his commanders (Seleucus I
Nicator, 311-280) will become even stronger than he and will rule his own
with great power. After some years, they
will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South (Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus,
285-246) will go to the king of the North (Antiochus II Theos, 261-246) to make an alliance, but she will not
retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be
handed over, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who
supported her. (Antiochus left his wife Laodice
for Berenice, but Laodice
conspired to have Antiochus, Berenice, and her father
Ptolemy II killed. The city of Laodicea in Rev. 3 is named
after her.) (Daniel 11:5-6)
"One from her family line will arise to take her place.
(Berenice's brother Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246-221. He killed Laodice to avenge his sister and
father.) He will attack the forces of
the king of the North (Seleucus II Callinicus, 246-226) and enter his
fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. He will also seize their gods, their metal
images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some
years he will leave the king of the North alone. Then the king of the North will invade the
realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. His sons (Seleucus III Ceranus, 226-223
and Antiochus III, called the Great, 223-187) will prepare for war and
assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry
the battle as far as his fortress. (Daniel 11:7-10)
"Then the king of the South (Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221-203) will march out in a rage and fight
against the king of the North (Antiochus the Great), who will raise a
large army, but it will be defeated. (The Battle of Raphia in
217) When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with
pride and will slaughter many thousands (10,000 according to the historian Polybius), yet he will not remain triumphant. For the king of the North (still
Antiochus) will muster another army, larger than the first; and after
several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped. (Daniel
"In those times many will rise against the king of the South
(Ptolemy V Epiphanes, 203-181). The violent men
among your own people (Jews) will rebel in fulfillment of the vision,
but without success. (Ptolemy's general Scopas
crushed the rebellion in 200) Then
the king of the North (still Antiochus the Great) will come and build up
siege ramps and will capture a fortified city.
The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best
troops will not have the strength to stand.
The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against
him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful
Land (Israel, captured from the King of
the South in 197) and will have the power to destroy it. 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 (Cleopatra I married Ptolemy V in 194) in
marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or
help him. (Don't confuse this
Cleopatra with the later one, Cleopatra II, consort to both Julius Caesar and
Marc Anthony) Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and
(teaming up with the famous Carthaginian General Hannibal) will take many of
them, but a commander (Roman Consul Lucius
Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, with whom Cleopatra and
Ptolemy had sided) will put an end to his insolence and will turn his
insolence back upon him. After this, he
will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and
fall, to be seen no more. (Antiochus the Great died in battle in 187) (Daniel 11:14-19)
"His successor (Seleucus IV Philopator) will send out a
tax collector (Heliodorus) to maintain the royal splendor. In a few
years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.
(Heliodorus engineered a coup against him)
"He will be succeeded by a contemptible person (Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175-164) who has not been given the honor of
royalty (Antiochus Epiphanes mounted a palace
revolt against his young cousin and rightful heir Demetrius
I). He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will
seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before
him; both it and a prince of the covenant (Onias III, the last legitimate
High Priest, who was murdered in 170) will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he
will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When
the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what
neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot
and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but
only for a time. (Daniel 11:20-24)
"With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage
against the king of the South (Ptolemy VI). 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.
Those who eat from the king's provisions (Ptolemy's family) will
try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle.
The two kings (Antiochus and Ptolemy), 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.
The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth,
but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action
against it and then return to his own country. (On his way back to Syria in 169 Antiochus Epiphanes
plundered the Temple in Jerusalem and killed many priests) (Daniel
"At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time
the outcome will be different from what it was before. Ships of the western
will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his
fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who
forsake the holy covenant. (Daniel 11:29-30) (As Antiochus stood in Egypt on the shore of the Mediterranean,
the Roman Commander Popilius Laenas
drew a circle around him in the sand, telling him that if he stepped out of the
circle for any other reason than to surrender and go home, he would be killed.
Humiliated and furious he took out his rage on the Jews, prompting the Maccabean revolt.)
"His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple
fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the
abomination that causes desolation (168).
With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant,
but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. (The Hasidim, who
remained faithful to God, were the ancestors of today's Hasidic Jews. They are world renowned for their trade in
diamonds) (Daniel 11:31-32)
"Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they
will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall,
they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them.
(The Maccabeans, who defeated Antiochus, cleansed the
Temple and restored Jewish autonomy, setting up
the Hasmonean Dynasty that ruled Israel for
about 100 years until the Romans came.) Some of the wise will stumble, so
that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end,
for it will still come at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:33-35)
The King Who Exalts Himself
"The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt
and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the
God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for
what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the god(s)
of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but
will exalt himself above them all.
Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his
fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly
gifts. He will attack the mightiest
fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who
acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute
the land at a price. (Daniel 11:36-39)
With verse 36 we've shifted from history to prophecy and are in the middle
of Daniel's 70th Week, at the beginning of the Great
Tribulation. We're now discussing the
man of whom Antiochus Epiphanes is our clearest
model, the anti-Christ, called "the king" here. Note the similarity between this passage and 2
Thes. 2:4 He will oppose and will exalt
himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets
himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
The anti-Christ will appear to be victorious for most of his time in
command, because God has determined that Daniel's 70th week will
play out. He won't fear God the Father
at all, intending instead to replace Him.
Nor will he fear the Son. It was
the dream of every Jewish woman to be the mother of the Messiah, so the phrase
"the one desired by women" refers to Jesus. And as Paul wrote he'll place himself above
everything that's called God. He'll
honor a foreign god, a god of fortresses, with much silver and gold.
Since he'll exalt himself above everything called god, I can't see him
worshipping any god. Instead, I think
this god of fortresses is his military might, purchased at great cost and
sufficient to overpower even the most obstinate resistance. At the same time,
he'll reward those loyal to him with great wealth, power and land. This is the ultimate carrot and stick
"At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in
battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and
cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep
through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land.
Many countries will fall, but Edom,
and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his
hand. He will extend his power over many
will not escape. He will gain control of
the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the
Libyans and Nubians in submission. But
reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a
great rage to destroy and annihilate many.
He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy
mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. (Daniel
Although Antiochus, who modeled him, was himself a King of the North the
anti-Christ is not. We know this because
the Kings of the South and North both come against him here. Some say we have to find a new King of the
North for this passage and suggest Russia, but I think the model has
been too firmly established in the previous verses to justify changing without
notice. No, I believe the end times
remnants of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires will attempt to re-assert their
historic dominance over the Middle East. He'll defeat them and move his headquarters
to Israel exercising control from there over a world that seems to exclude only
an area of the Jordanian desert called Petra (Bosrah in Isaiah 63), where the
faithful remnant of Israel awaits the return of Earth's legitimate King. (Rev.
But then the coalition of victors from the wars recently fought east of the
Euphrates, sensing that his control is not yet absolute, will begin their march
to Armageddon intent upon capturing the Middle East
and all its wealth for themselves. Not
even the devil himself can keep man from acting on his greed, and as the
anti-Christ sees this enormous army swooping down from the East and North, he
goes after them in a rage.
Those of you who followed our Revelation study will recall that in Rev. 9,
we saw a great war among the powers of the Far East
for dominance over that region. Then in Rev.
16 the River Euphrates was dried up to permit the victors in this war to
team up and cross into the Middle East, intent upon conquest there. This is the
report from the East and North that Daniel's describing. Remember the King of the North has just been
defeated, so reports of troop movement from the North must be someone else.
Perhaps this is the Chinese –Russian alliance the world has long feared.
The End Times
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects
your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not
happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your
people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will
awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who
lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel,
close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will
go here and there to increase knowledge." (Daniel 12:1-4)
Once again, we're reminded that this is the Great
Tribulation. During this time Daniel's people, the remnant of Israel, will be
protected in the Jordanian desert, awaiting their deliverance by the
Messiah. As He returns to save them and
set up His Kingdom, the faithful of Israel's past will come out of the
ground to receive the promise they died believing, that God would one day send
a redeemer to pay for their sins so that He could dwell with them forever. 1000
years later the unbelievers will also awake, but to shame and everlasting
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this
bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man
clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it
be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?"
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted
his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him
who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time.
When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things
will be completed." (Daniel 12:5-7)
The Great Tribulation will last for 3 ½ years, the time required to break
the Jewish people of their human pride and soften their hearts to receive the
King who has waited so long for them to accept Him.
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what
will the outcome of all this be?"
He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed
up and sealed until the time of the end.
Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will
continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are
wise will understand.
"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the
abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches
the end of the 1,335 days.
"As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then
at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."
Unlike John, who was told not to seal up the words he'd written (Rev.
22:10), Daniel learned that he'd received all the detail God was prepared
to give him. The prophecy was for the End of the Age. The angel told him that
none of the wicked would ever understand it, but one day those who are wise
would figure it out.
Then he threw out two numbers that, as far as I'm concerned, not even the
wise have a clue about yet. I've read
dozens of interpretations of the 1290 days and the 1335 days, and none is
persuasive, at least to me. Some of them
arbitrarily use the year for a day concept, others add the 1290 and the 1335
together, and still others insert the Hebrew intercalary 13th month
to explain the difference between the clear 1260 day duration of the Great
Tribulation and the 1290 number given here.
The most forthright admit to indulging in pure speculation.
Personally, I think these two numbers are like the 7 thunders of Rev. 10
and the 666 of Rev. 13. God has not yet disclosed their true meaning to
man, perhaps because doing so would reveal too much about the End Times and
alert the enemy prematurely. And notice
that they were given to Daniel after he was told that the wise would one day
understand this prophecy. To me it looks
like the angel's promise didn't include the 1290 and 1335 days.
But I can speculate with the best of them, so here goes. If I'm wrong and
the meaning of these two numbers is not still one of the Lord's secrets, then
the explanation may be so simple we've gone right by it. For example, several times we've been told
that there are 1260 days from the Abomination of Desolation to the end of the
Great Tribulation. Immediately after
that, those who've survived it will see the sun and moon darken and the stars
fall. Then they'll see the sign of the
Son of man, and finally the Lord Himself will appear in the sky. (Matt.
24:29-30) It all sounds pretty clear.
But then three times in the span of
23 verses Jesus said that those on Earth wouldn't know the day or hour of His
return to them in advance. (Matt. 24:42, 44, & 25:13)
If He appears in the sky on Rosh Hashanah, as I believe, and if His first
official act is one of judgment, as Matt. 25:31 seems to say, then
perhaps this judgment will begin on Yom Kippur, 10 days after Rosh
Hashanah. His actual appearance on Earth
could take place at a time known only to Him sometime between these two Holy
Days. Suppose that 20 days are then consumed
in judging Israel (Matt.
19:28) and the Gentiles, (Matt. 25:31-46) and cleansing the defiled Temple making it fit for
use again. (By now you know I'm
convinced that the same Temple
used during Daniel's 70th week will be used in the Millennium. If not, read my study called "The Coming
Temple".) This scenario would make
it 1290 days from the Abomination of Desolation to the re-dedication of the
cleansed Temple, consistent with the view held
by some that the 1290 day period pertains to the Temple's disposition.
But then come 45 more days for a
total of 1335. I suggest that this time
may be necessary to set up the Kingdom. There's a lot that needs to be done,
like crowning the Prince of Israel, organizing the priesthood behind the family
of Zadok and teaching them their new duties,
especially concerning the new cycle of Holy days (Ezek. 44-46)
positioning the New Jerusalem in its orbit abound Earth, reassigning the Tribal
allotments in Israel (Ezek, 45 & 48) and installing the governments
of the Nations. If things unfold as I've
described them, and it's a big "if", then 1335 days from the
Abomination, the Millennial
Kingdom will be
Those who have both waited for and actually reached that day will be truly
blessed, because they will have been eyewitnesses to the most amazing time in
human history, and at its conclusion will have found themselves among the
victors, poised to experience the fulfillment of all their dreams. It will be a celebration such as has never
before been seen on Earth. If you listen
carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-30-06