"THE BOOK OF DANIEL"
The Vision Of The Time Of The End - II (11:2-35) INTRODUCTION 1. In the tenth chapter, we saw the beginning of the final vision recorded by Daniel... a. A vision that pertains to what will affect Daniel's people (i.e.,Israel)
- Dan 10:14 b. Describing what will occur "in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come" - Dan 10:14 c. Its words were to be closed and sealed "till the time of the end"- Dan 12:9 -- For such reasons this vision has been called "The Vision Of The Time Of The End" 2. In the introductory remarks of the vision, we were given a glimpse of the spiritual warfare that was going on "behind the scenes"... a. With angelic forces withstanding each other - Dan 10:13a,20 b. With angelic forces helping each other - Dan 10:13b,21; 11:1 [Beginning with Dan 11:2, "The Vision Of The Time Of The End" begins in earnest. The "glorious man" proceeds to tell Daniel what will happen "in the latter days" (Dan 10:14), beginning with...] I. THE PERSIAN-GREEK CONFLICT A. FOUR PERSIAN KINGS WILL ARISE... 1. Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth - Dan 11:2 a. The fourth shall be far richer than them all b. By his strength and riches, the fourth shall stir up all against Greece 2. As confirmed by history, these kings who followed Cyrus (Dan 10:1) were: a. Cambyses b. Smerdis c. Darius Hystaspis (Darius the Great) d. Xerxes (called Ahasuerus in the book of Esther - Es 1:1) B. A MIGHTY GREEK KING SHALL RISE AND FALL... 1. A mighty king shall arise - Dan 11:3 a. He shall rule with great dominion b. He shall do according to his will -- This was Alexander the Great 2. His kingdom shall be broken and divided into four pieces - Dan 11:4 a. This was also prophesied in Dan 8:21-22 b. The kingdom will not be given to his posterity, nor will the dominion be as great c. As confirmed by history, Alexander's empire was eventually divided between his four generals after he died in 323 B.C. 1) Seleucus I - who began the Seleucid (Syrian) empire, from Turkey to India 2) Cassander - who took over Macedonia (Greece) 3) Lysimachus - who took Thracia (between Greece and Turkey) 4) Ptolemy I - who ruled over Egypt [At this point, the "glorious man" begins to describe an extended conflict between "the kings of the North" and "the kings of the South" which will have a big impact upon the people of Daniel (Israel)...] II. THE EGYPTIAN-SYRIAN CONFLICT A. THE CONFLICT WILL BEGIN... 1. The "king of the South" will gain in strength - Dan 11:5a a. This king is Ptolemy I b. Who ruled Egypt (306-284 B.C.) 2. As well as "one of his princes", who will gain power over the other
- Dan 11:5b a. This is thought to refer to one of Alexander's princes (generals) b. In which case it is Seleucus I, who ruled Syria (312-280 B.C.) -- Caught in the middle between Syria and Egypt, Israel will bear the brunt of much of the conflict between these two empires B. THERE WILL BE A FAILED ALLIANCE... 1. The "daughter of the South" will go to the "king of the North" - Dan 11:6a a. The event occurred in the reigns of Ptolemy Philadelphus (284-246 B.C.) and Antiochus Theus (261-246 B.C.) b. Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus was given to Antiochus, upon the condition that Antiochus divorce his wife Laodice c. Hoping to make peace between Egypt and Syria 2. But the "daughter of the South" will not retain her authority - Dan 11:6b a. Two years after the marriage, Berenice's father (Ptolemy Philadelphus) died b. Antiochus put her away and restored his first wife Laodice c. Laodice killed Antiochus, and Berenice fled, but was later put to death along with her children and attendants C. THE SOUTH WILL RISE IN ANGER... 1. A "branch of her roots" will come with an army - Dan 11:7 a. This was Berenice's brother, Ptolemy Euregetes (246-221 B.C.) b. Who failing to save his sister, attacked Syria to avenge her death 2. The avenger (Ptolemy Euregetes) will succeed - Dan 11:8 a. Euregetes took their gods, princes, and precious articles to Egypt b. Euregetes ruled longer than the next Seleucid king, Seleucid Callinicus (246-226 B.C.) D. THE CONFLICT WILL ACCELERATE... 1. The "king of the North" (Seleucid Callinicus) will try to invade the kingdom of the South - Dan 11:9-10 a. He does not succeed, though his sons (Seleucid Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great) shall stir up strife b. One son in particular, Antiochus the Great (225-187 B.C.), does succeed in overwhelming Egypt (actually, regain Syrian land taken by Egypt) 2. The "king of the South" will respond in rage - Dan 11:11-13 a. This king of Egypt is Ptolemy Philopator (221-204 B.C.) b. Angry that Antiochus the Great regained control of Syrian territory, he gathered a great army and defeated Antiochus at Raphia c. His victory was short-lived, for Antiochus returned with a better-equipped army in 203 B.C. 3. Others will contribute to the war against the South - Dan 11:14 a. This included Philip, king of Macedon, who aligned with Antiochus b. Also some violent Jews, prompted by what they perceived as the fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall 4. The "king of the North" shall prevail against the South, but then fall - Dan 11:15-19 a. Again, this is Antiochus the Great 1) The forces of the South were not able to resist him 2) He stood in the "Glorious Land" (Israel) with destruction in his power b. He tried to strengthen his kingdom by giving his daughter in marriage 1) His daughter Cleopatra, given to Ptolemy Epiphanes (204-180 B.C.) 2) But she came to favor the purposes of her husband rather than her father c. Antiochus then turned his attention to the coastlands (Mediterranean) 1) Making war with the Romans 2) But was defeated by Scipio Asiaticus, a Roman military leader d. Defeated by the Romans, Antiochus the Great returned home and died soon after [At this point our attention is focused on one leader of the Seleucid (Syrian) empire, who would have a powerful impact upon the people of Daniel, Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.)...] III. THE RISE OF ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES A. PRECEDED BY A TAX COLLECTOR... 1. One who will impose taxes on the "glorious kingdom" (Israel?) Dan 11:20 a. This is Seleucus Philopator (187-175 B.C.) b. Oldest son of Antiochus, and his immediate successor 2. Whose reign will be short-lived a. Compared to his father, who reigned thirty-seven years b. Who died, not in battle, but was poisoned B. THEN WILL COME A VILE MAN WITH NO HONOR... 1. Held in contempt, the people will not give him honor - Dan 11:21 a. His official name was Antiochus "Epiphanes" (the Illustrious) b. His people refereed to him as Antiochus "Epimanes" (the Insane) 2. He shall take the kingdom peaceably, but with intrigue - Dan 11:21-24 a. This may refer to his dealings with the Egyptians (or perhaps Israel) b. After making a league with them, he will act deceitfully and become strong with a small number of people c. Through peaceful means he will plunder the riches places of the province 3. He will provoke the "king of the South" - Dan 11:25-28 a. Two times Antiochus invaded Egypt b. The Egyptian king, Ptolemy Physcon, sought to oppose him, but was betrayed by his own people c. Both kings were deceitful liars, but their plotting was subject to the times and manner appointed by God d. On his return home, Antiochus passed through Israel, and was moved against the holy covenant (the institutions of the Law of Moses) C. HE WILL BRING BLASPHEMIES AGAINST ISRAEL... 1. Once again Antiochus Epiphanes will head toward the South - Dan 11:29-30a a. This was his third invasion b. But he was not as successful as before c. For Roman ships from Cyprus (Kittim) threatened reprisal 2. Frustrated, he will take out his rage against "the holy covenant" - Dan 11:30b-32a a. By showing regard for those who forsake the holy covenant b. By defiling the sanctuary fortress (i.e., the temple) c. By taking away the daily sacrifices d. By placing there "the abomination of desolation" e. By flattering those who do wickedly against the covenant 3. In the years 169-167 B.C., Antiochus Epiphanes: a. Took the city of Jerusalem and plundered the temple b. Commanded the Jews to worship the Greek idol which he set up in the temple c. Put an end to daily sacrifices and polluted the altar by offering swine flesh on it d. Forbid circumcision, the observance of the Sabbath, and possession of a copy of the law D. THOSE WHO KNOW GOD WILL RESIST VALIANTLY... 1. They shall be strong - Dan 11:32b-33a a. Carrying out great exploits b. Instructing many 2. When they fall, they shall receive aid - Dan 11:33b-34 a. For many days they shall fall by sword, flame, captivity and plunder b. They will receive a little help, even from many through intrigue 4. When those of understanding fall, it will be to refine them- Dan 11:35 a. To purge them, and make them white b. Until "the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time." -- The events described here were fulfilled during the Maccabean period, which began in 168 B.C. with the revolt of Mattathias (an elderly priest) and his five sons CONCLUSION 1. Up to this point, there is little controversy over the content of the vision... a. It describes the conflict between the Persians and the Greeks, followed by the conflict between the Syrians and the Egyptians b. The latter described in detail, because Israel was caught in the middle c. Israel in particular would suffer the blasphemies of one Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes 2. From Dan 11:36 on, there is quite a diversity of opinions... a. Some believe Antiochus Epiphanes is still the subject b. Others suggest that a Roman emperor is being described c. Still others believe it refers to someone yet to come We shall examine the remaining portion of this chapter and the final chapter in our next study... Note: The historical information in this lesson was taken from Albert Barnes' commentary on Daniel.