Bible Book of Daniel, Part 8 - Chapters 10 & 11
We now come to Daniel’s third and final vision, at the approximate age of ninety – the most detailed one.
The key aspects of this come out in chapter eleven (and then leading into the final chapter twelve here), with chapter ten being the setting of how he first received this vision and the angelic and spiritual input for this. Therefore, both chapters ten and eleven are covered in this section.
It’s 536 BC and three years into the Medo-Persian rule through King Cyrus, after Babylon. The Jews had started to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city a few years earlier after Cyrus’s decree. However, many Jews remained in Babylon, and those who had gone to Jerusalem were struggling with opposition.
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel,” – Daniel 10:1a
This will have affected Daniel, who sought God again for understanding and help. He was in a three-week fast at this Passover time of year, and had travelled around 35 miles outside Babylon near the river Tigris with some other Jews celebrating this.
“In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” – Daniel 10:2-3
He then sees a heavenly figure that is described like Christ, the Son of God, elsewhere in Scripture (Ezekiel 1:24-28, Daniel 3 & Revelation 1:13-18):
“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” – Daniel 10:5-6
Although others with Daniel didn’t see this vision, they still fled in fear – probably sensing that this was a significant spiritual moment:
“And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.” – Daniel 10:7
Daniel remains, but he clearly has no energy and is tired, ending up with him sleeping face-down. Three weeks of fasting and such an experience with the Son of God (which makes others flee) obviously takes its toll on Daniel:
“Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” – Daniel 10:8-9
There is then presumably another angelic being that appears and asks Daniel to stand up, as he was words to say to him:
“And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.” – Daniel 10:10 - 11
During this whole chapter, there are several references to angelic beings coming and helping Daniel. It is difficult to see if they are always separate or the same ones mentioned again. However, the main point is what they are communicating to Daniel.
This angel makes the point that there was a three-week delay in coming to provide these words, which are about the future later days (he was sent, therefore, can't be the Son of God in the earlier verses).
The reason for the delay is that there was a spiritual war between this angel and what is described as the Prince of Persia (namely Satan himself), that was so bad that Michael had to come and help out (there are differences in opinion on whether Michael is a chief angel or Christ Himself):
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” – Daniel 10:12-13
This point is often picked up by mainstream Christian teachers, that our prayers are answered straight away when said; however, there can be a delay in receiving the answer because of all kinds of spiritual delays and warfare.
This is true, although bear in mind that in this context, Daniel was about to receive the most detailed prophecy about the end times ever, which would certainly attract serious spiritual warfare. Also, Satan probably realised that the rebuilding of Jerusalem was the key to future things as per the previous 70-week prophecy in chapter nine.
Daniel is back on his face again and now dumb, with another potentially-different angel coming to help by touching his lips. This enables Daniel to speak; however, he confirms that he has no more strength or breath in him.
“And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and space, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.” – Daniel 10:15-17
Yet another angelic being like a man appears to Daniel and tells him to be strong, which enables strength to come back to Daniel and to be able to ask for more words and understanding:
“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.” – Daniel 10:18-19
To finish off this particular chapter, now that Daniel’s strength is restored, this angelic being needs to go back and fight the Prince of Persia (Satan). This may be the second angel mentioned in verses 10 and 11 who was previously involved against the Prince of Persia. There is then another angel on the way back, the Prince of Grecia.
“Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” – Daniel 10:20-21
Therefore, in short, there have been multiple angelic beings (including the Son of God) involved in not only revealing a final vision to Daniel but comforting him and enabling his strength to come back after a serious spiritual war with Satan trying to stop this.
We then come to chapter eleven and a description of this vision; however, several years later, with the new King Darius in charge.
This provides vast amounts of detail over these 45 verses, outlining future happenings in a different format to previous ones like images of beasts and metals in statues.
Around 200 specific details have already come true up to around verse 40, with 135 major events predicted over the first 35 verses which are around 18% of such events in the bible as a whole.
There is an overall theme of two kings - one in the north, and one in the south.
Although they are continually against each other, at the very end they come together as a joint effort against God's people.
Therefore, I understand that these two different angles that appear different upon first impressions, are ultimately controlled by Satan for his ultimate goal against Christ and His people.
The northern king has a spiritual aspect that follows the kingdoms described in previous prophecies. It begins with Medo-Persia in Babylon, provides further details about the demise of Greece after Alexandar the Great, and emphasises the spiritual development of Rome afterwards into the Papacy and Catholicism.
The south is more of a secular worldly mindset beginning in Egypt. The north's pursuit of worship eventually includes and leads this secular humanitarian south to form one world alliance against God. Revelation then develops this as a worldwide 'beast' influence.
In terms of what each of these 45 verses means, here is a quick summary of each one and what the interpretation most likely is in real-time history.
Because of so much detail in these verses, there are many interpretations, particularly the later in time. I've therefore commented on what I understand the meaning is based upon the Historicist method of interpretation throughout this whole book, and building upon the existing theme of various world kingdoms overtime against God, developing into a final antichrist 'little horn' figure.
However, I have referred to other points of difference both in this method and the mainstream Futurist and Dispensationalist one.
There are then seven key points throughout these forty-five verses to help break down this history and link to the previous visions and worldly kingdoms. These are the main points to help navigate through the chapter's detail.
If you’re not into this kind of detailed history, then this can seem monotonous. However, I've kept as concise as possible, and it’s still important to quickly go through each of the 45 points, to appreciate just how much God is prophesying historical details.
To visualise this on display, there are 45 separate pieces of wood representing each verse in chapter eleven placed on the board. It may come across as like a game of bingo, and is the only visual part of chapters ten and eleven here; this is deliberately done to simply see an overview of the detail here rather than becoming more complicated and looking further into what each of these two kings is doing overtime.
1. Medo Persia
We begin with the current Medo-Persian kingdom which is the second one prophecised through previous visions in chapters two, seven and eight. The first Babylon one has already been taken over at this point.
Verse 1 - This is the Medo-Persian empire who were strengthened, and conquered the Babylonians in their first year of Darius’ reign:
“Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.” – Daniel 11:1
Verse 2 - Four kings then came after Darius; Cambyses (530-522 BC), False Smerdis (522 BC), Darius the Great (522-486 BC), and Xerxes the Great (486-465 BC). This final fourth one is more rich and powerful, as he assembles an army and specific reference then to Greece being the next kingdom after Medo-Persia, who he attempts to conquer:
“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.” – Daniel 11:2
Verse 3 - A powerful king is then described with great influence and determination, which fits in perfectly with Alexander the Great in the new Grecian kingdom:
“And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” – Daniel 11:3
2. Greece's Downfall
We now enter the next historical kingdom from previous prophecies in Daniel - Greece.
There is a lot of detail now on the internal struggles and wars between two of the four resultant General's regions, described as the north and south in relation to their location around God's people in Israel (and the final north-south battle at the end of the chapter also being around God's people).
Verse 4 - There are then the four specific divisions of this Greece kingdom referred to, relating to the four General taking over these after Alexander the Great’s death as detailed earlier (Ptolemy, Cassander, Lysimachus, and Seleucus):
“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.” – Daniel 11:4
Verse 5 - These four regions reduce to two after the other two are defeated by them, leaving Seleucus in the North and Ptolemy in the South. This verse refers to the later South king first becoming strong, but then Seleucus in the north becomes even greater. We now begin an ongoing dialogue between this Northern king based in Babylon and the Southern king in Egypt:
“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.” – Daniel 11:5
Verse 6 - We then have the daughter Berenice of King Ptolemy II in the South marrying King Antiochus in the North (both new kings). This stems from Ptolemy's desire for dominating the north, who persuades Antiochus to disown his existing wife, Laodice. However, this unravels a series of events where Antiochus annulled the marriage after Ptolemy dies and returns to his first wife; but Laodice then killed him (and Berenice), and placed her son Seleucus Callinicus on the Northern throne instead:
“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.” – Daniel 11:6
Verse 7 - When Ptolemy Euergetes took his father’s throne in the South, he issued an army against the North for killing his sister Berenice. Therefore, Egypt (the South) is victorious over Syria (the North):
“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:” – Daniel 11:7
Verse 8 - This identifies how Ptolemy returns from the North with idols that had been taken away from southern pagan Egypt 300 years earlier:
“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.” – Daniel 11:8
Verse 9 - Ptolemy returns safely back to Egypt in the South, even though the northern Syrians tried to fight back in 242 BC but ended up being defeated in a storm:
“So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.” – Daniel 11:9
Verse 10 - The Northern king Antiochus the Great then retaliates with his sons and takes troops against Ptolemy IV in the South.
“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.” – Daniel 11:10
Verse 11 - The South king Ptolemy IV then fights back with victory at the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC involving a great army:
“And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, 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.” – Daniel 11:11
Verse 12 - Ptolemy returned home to Egypt but then became proud and complacent. There was a desecration of the temple in Jerusalem with unlawful sacrifices and worship of Pagan gods (reference here to the tens of thousands of Jews being killed):
“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.” – Daniel 11:12
Verse 13 - The northern king Antiochus then attacks the southern king again but this time with greater force, and defeats the southern Ptolemy V Epiphanes at the Battle of Panium in approximately 200 BC, driving Egypt out of the Palestine region:
“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.” – Daniel 11:13
Verse 14 - The southern king’s five-year-old son takes the throne, and the northern king sees an opportunity to fight back and join forces with Philip V of Macedonia. However, they didn’t succeed because Rome helps Ptolemy in southern Egypt once they agreed to taxation and provided men for fighting. It's interesting to note this first involvement of Rome as the 'robbers', and who will eventually 'fall' at the end of time within the context of Daniel's 'visions':
“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.” – Daniel 11:14
3. Antiochus Epiphanes
This Greek king is identified in these last few verses and into verse fifteen.
Although this king is referred to and did have a devastating effect on God's people; as detailed in chapters seven and eight, he can't actually be the later 'little horn' that mainstream scholars assume. This is too early and not from the fourth Roman kingdom now being mentioned (see further post here).
Also, verse fourteen says he won't succeed and falls, and it can't be him taking the land in the next verse sixteen as he already owned it through his father.
Verse 15 - Antiochus in the north invades Coele-Syria in 201-198 BC and defeats southern Egypt’s armies in Sidon, and Egypt's General Scopas and his army surrendered.
“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.” – Daniel 11:15
4. Roman Period
We now have the fourth and final kingdom from previous prophecies in chapters two, seven and eight - Rome.
Although slowly introduced from verse fourteen, this matches the point of them becoming the dominant kingdom as a new 'he' party in verse sixteen.
As the pagan secular Rome period begins, the three main Emporers are identified until verse thirty (Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, and Caesar Tiberius).
The mainstream Futurist (and Preterist) positions actually see the previous Antiochus Epiphanes as fulfilling this role, rather than Rome, as a future antichrist little-horn figure. This assumes he obtains a title (verse 21) and is not standing (verse 22), and where he then brought in help from the Romans. He is then seen as doing damage (verse 28), attacking Jerusalem (verse 31), and killing Jews in Jerusalem (verse 33).
Verse 16 - We now have Rome coming against the northern Antiochus, and eventually conquering the Seleucid empire and then Syria in 65 BC. This is after first overcoming Greece at the Battle of Pyda in 168 BC as seen in earlier prophecies, and to now take over the role of the northern king. Pompey the Great, a Roman General, therefore conquers and occupies Judea in 63 BC, the glorious land, as a military base:
“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 land, which by his hand shall be consumed.” – Daniel 11:16
Verse 17 - Julius Caesar in northern Rome then sets armies against the south, which include Jewish forces loyal to him (the 'upright ones'). He then falls in love with a lady called Cleopatra in Egypt, who becomes his mistress (she was the daughter of Antiochus in the north but given to the Egyptian king in an effort to control Egypt). Cleopatra later didn't support Julius as specified at the end.
“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.” – Daniel 11:17
Verse 18 - After conquering Egypt in the south, Julius Caesar then succeeds with Asia Minor and the North Africa coastline on his journey back. Meanwhile, back in Rome, Marc Antony as a supporter of Julius Caesar helps defend him against opponents.
“After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, 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.” – Daniel 11:18
Verse 19 - Julius Caesar returns home to northern Rome but is then assassinated in 44 BC while trying to plunder the temple.
“Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” – Daniel 11:19
Verse 20 - The Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar then takes over having the longest period of peaceful reign between 27 BC and 14 AD, covering the period of Christ’s birth, and specifically bringing in a tax levy. He finally dies peaceably in his bed as detailed at the end of the verse:
“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.” – Daniel 11:20
Verse 21 - The Emporer Tiberius Caesar took over peaceably but reluctantly through the false flattery of the Roman senate.
“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.” – Daniel 11:21
Verse 22 - Tiberius was a horrible person and poor leader, and led to violence against and killing alleged seditionists. There is even reference to Christ Himself being crucified during this period (Pilate was the uncle of Tiberius’ wife).
“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.” – Daniel 11:22
5. Christ in the Centre
Right in the centre of the forty-five verses after verse twenty-two, we have the life of Christ on earth prophecised.
This prophecy is then slit into the new AD and New Testament period, following the BC Old Testament.
There are differences in how these next verses to thirty now relate to the continuing Roman Kingdon. This one goes back into the BC period as a wider summary of the key events again, and form of Hebrew parallelism.
Others focus on Rome's victory over Jerusalem in 70 AD or jumping several centuries into the future when Papal ecclesiastical Rome emerges in the sixth century and the military Crusades, Inquisitions and persecution in key times like the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.
Verse 23 - This now goes back to when the Romans first conquered the Greeks in 168 BC and then made a 'league' with the Maccabean Jews. This was a key period when the Jews revolted against what was happening through appointed kings but eventually submitting to Rome's authority which grows and strengthens afterwards.
“And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.” – Daniel 11:23
Verse 24 - We have a time span of a 'time' mentioned which as in chapter nine means a year and therefore 360 days. This in turn implies 360 years historically when applying the same day-year principle. From 31 BC, when Roman rule was established under Octavian (later Emporer Augustus) after defeating Mark Antony at the battle of Actium, then 360 years later we arrive at 330 AD when the Roman Emperor Constantine transferred the capital of Rome to Constantinople. During this period Rome slowly conquers other places and cities like Egypt in more peaceful ways and protection than traditional warfare, including other king's leaving them legacies.
“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.” – Daniel 11:24
Verse 25 - This outlines the lead up to the battle of Actium in 31 BC when Octavian (Augustus Caesar) from Rome in the north fights against Antony and Cleopatra in southern Egypt and wins.
“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.” – Daniel 11:25
Verse 26 - Antony and Cleopatra then flee from the battle, leaving northern Rome to gain victory and Emperor Augustus establishing power:
“Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.” – Daniel 11:26
Verse 27 - There is an emphasis at this time of Antony in the south and Octavian/Augustus in the north attempting an alliance, although both striving for dominance, and as above, the Roman north wining. Such an alliance is not yet permitted until a later time:
“And both of 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.” – Daniel 11:27
Verse 28 - Octavian/Augustus then returns to Rome with great spoil from Egypt, to then see Rome later destroy Jerusalem and its temple against God in 70 AD through Tiberius:
“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.” – Daniel 11:28
Verse 29 - Now at the end of the earlier 360 year time in 330 AD, Constantine moves his capital to Constantinople. Although in an eastern direction, this is towards southern Egypt unlike previous attacks:
“At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.” – Daniel 11:29
Verse 30 - Reference is made to the Barbaric tribes invading Rome, in particular the Vandals by warships. There is then the emergence of Papal Rome in the sixth century and being against God's Holy Covenant.
“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.” – Daniel 11:30
6. Papal Rome
We now have a distinctive religious flavour with reference to 'holy covenant, the 'sanctuary', 'daily sacrifice', and 'abomination/desolation of.
This clearly relates to the start of the religious side of Rome from 538 AD as symbolised in the 'little horn' in chapters seven and eight, with the resultant persecution of God's believers in the middle dark ages from verse thirty-two onwards.
Former Protestant Reformers took this historical interpretation and saw the Papacy in this northern king role.
However, Futurists then identify a second fulfilment of the antichrist here, following the early foreshadowing role of Antiochus at the end of BC. This figure is above every God (verse 30), and sometimes even seen as a homosexual and/or Jewish (verse 37); it is also world-leading, powerful, and a tyrant.
Verse 31 - This transition in the Roman empire to Papal power is further emphasised and affiliated at 538 AD after the final three regions are subdued. An army helps Rome as 'arms', as Gothic tribes invade:
“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.” – Daniel 11:31
Verse 32 - This new Papal religion will entice and attract interest and believers; however, there will remain core Christian believers that do not conform to this new religious system, for example, the Waldensians, Wycliffe in England, and Martin Luthur of course in Germany with the Reformation.
“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.” – Daniel 11:32
Verse 33 - The dark Middle Ages is predicted of 1,260 years between 538 and 1798 AD where the Papacy rules and persecutes those who follow God’s biblical ways. However, God's Word and protestant faith is still spread through God raising up people like the Protestant Reformers and means such as the printing of God’s Word:
“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.” – Daniel 11:33
Verse 34 - During this difficult period, some believers will be sheltered from harm and part of Reformations like Luthur’s, and the American and French Reformations, whilst others will continue to follow the Papacy’s authority:
“Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.” – Daniel 11:34
Verse 35 - Persecutions and deaths will continue right up until the time of the end from 1798 AD, which according to earlier prophecies in Daniel is when things will change, as knowledge increases.
“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.” – Daniel 11:35
Verse 36 - There is a clear reference to the Papacy’s claim to be head of the church and equality with God Himself, including the ability to forgive sins, which will continue and prosper for the prophesied 1,260 year period:
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” – Daniel 11:36
Verse 37 - We then see further detail of the Papacy’s beliefs, namely claiming equality with God, and celibacy:
“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.” – Daniel 11:37
Verse 38 - Reference is then made to the Papacy’s use of military might to secure dominion in Europe, and with new god-images and practices like the Virgin Mary, indulgences, and elaborate art and materials, which the early church fathers did not recognise:
“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.” – Daniel 11:38
Verse 39 - The Papacy’s resultant influence over Christendom is explained, for example, the Virgin Mary, Saints, and Sun Worship – and leading to the formation of territories, Papal States, and Dioceses for economic gain:
“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.” – Daniel 11:39
7. Time of the End
We are now into the 'time of the end' after the little horn's demise as a political influence from 1798 (still being a religious one).
Therefore, future verses get harder to specify as we reach the current time, particularly from verse forty-one, and with verse forty understood to be covering two events.
The Historicist method still sees the role of the northern Roman Papacy being fulfilled right until the end of time as originally prophecised and through the statue leading to the final stone in chapter two's vision. The role of the secular southern king is then fulfilled in new countries going forwards.
However, Futurists see this as the eventual rise of the antichrist figure in Israel in the final seven years at the end of time and seeing an eventual downfall.
Verse 40 - This refers to after 1798 and the 'time of the end' as mentioned earlier in Daniel and after 1260 years of the little horn dominance. Two other countries can then be assumed to fit in the role of the southern king following Egypt. Firstly, France attacked the Papacy in the northern role in 1798 to take the Pope captive by Napolean in the French Revolution. Secondly, the USSR in the 1980s when the Papacy partnered with the US and their military and economic power to enter western countries of the Warsaw pact to influence western capitalism and Roman Catholicism.
“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.” – Daniel 11:40
Verse 41 - We then have a religious reference to the northern king’s influence, which may mean Christian believers and the Christian church generally. However, if you look at a literal geographical area, mainstream Futurists see Isreal as the emphasis, although more likely to be an equivalent area such as the United States with a strong Christian heritage. Many will be overpowered by this, although two particular ones will not which are interestingly original descendants of Abraham and therefore a sense of true believers not accepting things:
“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.” – Daniel 11:41
Verse 42 - This northern king will then dominate many countries and areas, including the southern kingdom, and indicate worldwide influence (matching the later symbolism in Revelation):
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” – Daniel 11:42
Verse 43 - This leads to the northern king’s financial and economic control. Two particular areas are stated, with Ethiopia being at the very southern edge of Egypt, therefore, suggesting total control of the secular south:
“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” – Daniel 11:43
Verse 44 - However, as we near the end of these verses and ultimately earthly time, something will trouble this dominating northern power, which causes him to cause mass destruction and killings. Two regions of the east and north are mentioned, and probably referring to a spiritual influence that is threatening the rule of this religious power form these symbolic directions:
“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.” – Daniel 11:44
Verse 45 - In the final scene before this world-controlling northern power comes to an end, there is a reference to the religious and church influence of this power being used and affecting God’s true believers, actually 'in' the comparable glorious mountain:
“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.” – Daniel 11:45
These two chapters have a lot of detail both in the way that Daniel received this final vision in chapter ten, and then the actual content of it in chapter eleven.
This is the most detailed historical prophecy in the bible over these forty-five verses, with most Christian scholars agreeing on a significant portion. However, differences are inevitable with such detail, particularly towards later times.
Applying the Historicist interpretation of prophecy as per all the old Protestant Reformers and previous prophetic dreams and visions in this book, these follow the same pattern of four consecutive kingdoms from Babylon to Rome being against God's people.
Further details are then provided here, and although there are some differences in specific detail, mainstream Futurists see this as indicating a future antichrist still to come and dominate Israel after an initial foreshadowing through Antiochus Epiphanes in late BC.
However, I believe these re-emphasise the four kingdoms leading to Papal Rome's antichrist influence. This is specifically pictured by two north and south sides here on either side of God's people - the former more religious, and the latter more secular.
Although against each other, they're both parts of Satan's wider strategy to bring about one combined worldwide attack under a spiritual banner against Christain followers in the last days, as detailed more in the next and last chapter twelve of Daniel.