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Daniel Chapter 11: Courage, Commitment and Character in A Corrupt Culture

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Daniel 11:1 ESV
“And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
Isaiah 44:6 ESV
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Isaiah 44:7 ESV
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Prophecies about Persia
Daniel 11:2 ESV
“And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.
King Ahasuerus
The four kings that would rule in the future were Cambyses (529–522), Pseudo-Smerdis (522–521), Darius I Hystapes (521–486), and Xerxes (496–465), the Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther.
But the most important of the four kings, and the wealthiest, was Xerxes I, the Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther. He ruled an empire that reached from Ethiopia to India and he had a great passion to conquer Greece. In 480 he tried to invade Greece, but his vast fleet was defeated at Salamis and Samos, and his army was defeated at Plataea. All of this occurred between chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Esther.
He came home a bitter and angry man and sought to find relief for his wounded pride by enjoying his harem. It was at this time that Esther entered the picture. Xerxes was assassinated in August 465.
Now the angel says, Look, there are going to be three kings and then following those three there is going to be a fourth, he’ll be stronger and richer than the others and he is going to try to stand up against the nation of Greece. Now the prophecy then centers on the fourth king. Let me just say this as a note. There were more than four kings in Persia but the angel picks out the key right here. There were three who ruled just before a fourth and that fourth one was the one who led a major attack on Greece. And that’s the thing we want to see. The first of that line of four was a man named Cambyses who was the son, by the way, of Cyrus who was king at this time. The second, history tells us, is a man named pseudo-Smerdis. He was, by the way, a usurper and an impostor. He looked so much like Cambyses that he claimed to be Cambyses and through all kinds of deception he got himself into the throne. The third king was a man named Darius Hystaspes. And the fourth one was named Xerxes, but he had another name and his other name was Ahasuerus. He is the king mentioned in the book of Esther. He is one of the greatest Oriental rulers of all time. He had fabulous wealth. he commanded the largest army in the Ancient World. In fact, he commanded the largest army that we know about in ancient history. And he decided that he wanted to attack Greece. The mood with the other three kings was moving that way, and in fact that third king, Hystaspes, made a sort of small piddly little attack on Greece. But this fourth one really stirred up all he had against the realm of Greece. By the way, he was totally and utterly in a devastating way defeated by the power of Greece. And the Greeks never forgot about it.
Prophecies about Greece
Daniel 11:3 ESV
Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills.
King Alexander the Great
John MacArthur Sermon Archive The Reign of Rebellion, Part 1

After that, 150 years went by and a lot of other little nondescript kings came along, but they never forgot what Ahasuerus did and 150 years later, the Greeks finally got their act together and decided to retaliate based upon what this guy had done 150 years before. And they came. And when they came, they came led by another king whose name is Alexander, and he’s the second king … Alexander, verse 3. Of course, you know that following the Persian Empire came the Greeks: “And a mighty king shall stand up that shall rule with great dominion and do according to his will.” A mighty king, none other than Alexander the Great of Greece. All Bible commentators agree that that is who is in mind. He retaliated for what had happened earlier to Greece. He seized the entire Persian Empire. It says he had great dominion. I’m telling you, the man was a man who stands out in history as perhaps the most remarkable military leader ever. By the age of 33 he had conquered the world. His army wouldn’t go any further. They were literally worn out. They had conquered everything from Europe to India and he was weeping because there were no more worlds that he could conquer. He changed the course of history more than any other ruler. He was the son of Philip of Macedon and it says in verse 3 that he did according to his will. He was an absolute monarch, an absolute sovereign who had not only the power of personality and the power of leadership but the power of military might.

And of course, both the Persian Empire and Alexander overran the nation Israel. The Persians possessed it and controlled it. The Greeks under Alexander, possessed it and controlled it. But you remember that he died at 33. And what happened? Verse 4, “And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken.” It seems no sooner does he stand up and get his kingdom than it is shattered. And watch, “It will be divided toward the four winds of heaven.”

MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
From the previous visions, Daniel already knew the sequence of the great empires.
From the previous visions, Daniel already knew the sequence of the great empires.
After that, 150 years went by and a lot of other little nondescript kings came along, but they never forgot what Ahasuerus did and 150 years later, the Greeks finally got their act together and decided to retaliate based upon what this guy had done 150 years before. And they came. And when they came, they came led by another king whose name is Alexander, and he’s the second king …
Alexander, verse 3. Of course, you know that following the Persian Empire came the Greeks: “And a mighty king shall stand up that shall rule with great dominion and do according to his will.” A mighty king, none other than Alexander the Great of Greece. All Bible commentators agree that that is who is in mind. He retaliated for what had happened earlier to Greece. He seized the entire Persian Empire. It says he had great dominion. I’m telling you, the man was a man who stands out in history as perhaps the most remarkable military leader ever. By the age of 33 he had conquered the world. His army wouldn’t go any further. They were literally worn out. They had conquered everything from Europe to India and he was weeping because there were no more worlds that he could conquer. He changed the course of history more than any other ruler. He was the son of Philip of Macedon and it says in verse 3 that he did according to his will. He was an absolute monarch, an absolute sovereign who had not only the power of personality and the power of leadership but the power of military might.
And of course, both the Persian Empire and Alexander overran the nation Israel. The Persians possessed it and controlled it. The Greeks under Alexander, possessed it and controlled it. But you remember that he died at 33. And what happened? Verse 4, “And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken.” It seems no sooner does he stand up and get his kingdom than it is shattered. And watch, “It will be divided toward the four winds of heaven.”
The image (chap. 2)
Babylon—head of gold
medo-Persia—arms and chest of silver
Greece—belly and thigh of bronze
Rome—legs of iron, feet of clay
Vision (chap. 7)
lion
bear
leopard
leopard
terrible beast
Vision (chap. 8)
ram
goat
ram
leopard
leopard
goat
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (p. 133). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:4 ESV
And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.
Daniel 11:4 ESV
And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.
The kings of the north and the south ()
Now look carefully at that verse. It will not go to his posterity. Alexander had a half-brother who was mentally retarded. H e had an illegitimate son and he had a baby born posthumously. In other words, the mother of the child was already pregnant when he died and the child was born after he died. All three, his mentally retarded illegitimate son … or rather his mentally retarded half brother, his illegitimate son and his newborn baby, all three were murdered and he had no posterity. The angel was exactly right The kingdom did not go to his posterity.
It was thrown to the four winds. What does that mean? A great battle ensued for who was going to rule and the battle was won by four generals and the kingdom was divided into four parts: Cassandra took Macedonia, Lysimachus took Thrace and Asia Minor, Ptolemy—remember that—took Egypt, and Seleucus took Syria. Egypt is south of Israel,
Syria is where? North of Israel.
Those two become the ones we focus on the remaining of the chapter because they are the ones that are right around the nation Israel. And in Egypt, a Ptolemaic line of kings was established and in Syria a Seleucid dynasty was established and through the centuries, those two dynasties warred with each other and they fought most of their wars on the soil of Israel. So Israel became the pawn in this. From here on to the twentieth verse, we cover about 200 years when these wars waged on the borders and throughout the land of Israel.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (p. 134). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:5 ESV
“Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority.
V. 5—Ptolemy I Soter and Seleucus I Nicator. Seleucus was the stronger of the two and ruled over a large empire, but it was his alliance with Ptolemy that enabled him to seize the throne of Syria.
The King of the South is in Egypt where a Ptolemaic line of kings was established
Daniel 11:6 ESV
After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure, but she shall be given up, and her attendants, he who fathered her, and he who supported her in those times.
Now let me fill you in. The Seleucid dynasty is built in the north, the Ptolemaic dynasty is built in the south. The Ptolemaic dynasty starts out a little more powerful but it doesn’t take very long until the north becomes more powerful as the expansion of the. of the north develops. Finally the two realized the tension that’s existing and so in verse 6 it says they’re going to make an alliance. And how do they do it? This was the old way to make an alliance, the king’s daughter of the south comes to the king of the north to make an agreement. You give your daughter to the nation you want to make a treaty with. She marries the guy and you hope that makes the right kind of relationship.
Antiochus Theos who was the third king of Syria needed to make a treaty with Egypt. The king of Egypt was a man named Ptolemy Philadelphus. And so he decided that what he wanted to do was marry the daughter of the king of Egypt, or the king of the south. Unfortunately, he was already married. But that was no problem, he divorced his wife. He divorced his wife and he married this daughter of the southern king. Well, his wife wasn’t real thrilled about it. So she murdered his new wife. She not only murdered his new wife, but she murdered all her attendants, too. And she poisoned him to death.
.V. 6—Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Antiochus II Theos. As was often done in the days of monarchies, the rulers used marriage as a means of forming strong political alliances, a policy Solomon had followed (; ). However, Ptolemy demanded that Antiochus divorce his wife Laodice in order to marry his daughter Berenice. Ptolemy died after two years, so Seleucus took back his former wife, who then murdered both him and Berenice. It was one marriage where they all didn’t live happily ever after. “She will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last” (, NIV).
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (p. 134). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:7 ESV
“And from a branch from her roots one shall arise in his place. He shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail.
Vv. 7–9—Ptolemy III Euergetes and Seleucus II Callinicus. The new king of Egypt was the brother of Berenice, and he was intent on defending his sister’s honor and avenging her death. He attacked the northern power, won the victory, and collected a great deal of wealth. Then the two kings ignored each other for some years until Seleucus attacked Egypt in 240, was defeated, and had to return home in shame. He was killed by a fall from his horse and his son Seleucus III Soter took the throne, only to be assassinated four years later. Antiochus III the Great, who ruled from 223 to 187, succeeded him.
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (pp. 134–135). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:8 ESV
He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.
Da
Daniel 11:9 ESV
Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return to his own land.
Daniel 11:10 ESV
“His sons shall wage war and assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall keep coming and overflow and pass through, and again shall carry the war as far as his fortress.
Dan
John MacArthur Sermon Archive The Reign of Rebellion, Part 1

The third one is Antiochus the Great

The third one is Antiochus the Great
The third one is Antiochus the Great
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Vv. 10–19—Ptolemy IV Philopater and Antiochus III the Great.2 The sons of Seleucus II were Seleucus III, who was a successful general but was killed in battle, and Antiochus III the Great, who carried out the Syrian military program with great skill. He regained lost territory from Egypt, but in 217 the Egyptian army defeated the Syrians. This didn’t stop Antiochus, for he took his army east and got as far as India.
In 201, Antiochus mustered another large army, joined forces with Philip V of Macedon, and headed for Egypt (vv. 13–16), where he won a great victory against Ptolemy V Epiphanes. Contrary to God’s law, but in fulfillment of the prophecies (vision), some of the Jews in Palestine joined with Antiochus, hoping to break free of Egyptian control; but their revolt was crushed (v. 14). Antiochus not only conquered Egypt and Sidon (v. 15), but also “the glorious land” of Palestine (v. 16).
Once again marriage enters the scene. Antiochus offered to negotiate with the Egyptian leaders and to marry his daughter Cleopatra I3 to Ptolemy V, who was seven years old at the time! He hoped that his daughter would undermine the Egyptian government from within and use her position to help him take over. However, Cleopatra was loyal to her husband, so the marriage stratagem didn’t succeed.
Antiochus decided to attack Greece but was defeated at Thermopylae (191) and Magnesia (189). The “prince on his own behalf” (v. 18) was the Roman consul and general Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus who led the Roman and Greek forces to victory over Antiochus. At an earlier meeting, Antiochus had insulted the Roman general, but the Romans had the last word. The Syrian leader died in 187 and his successor was his son Seleucus IV Philopator, who oppressed the Jewish people by raising taxes so he could pay tribute to Rome. Shortly after he sent his treasurer Heliodorus to plunder the Jewish temple, Seleucus Philopator suddenly died (probably poisoned), thus fulfilling verse 20. This opened the way for the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes to seize the throne.
As you review the history of the relationship between Egypt and Syria, and the family relationships among the Seleucids, you can’t help but realize that human nature hasn’t changed over these thousands of years. The ancient world had its share of intrigue, political deception, violence, greed, and war. The lust for power and wealth drove men and women to violate human rights and break divine laws, to go to any length to get what they wanted. They slaughtered thousands of innocent people, plundered the helpless, and even killed their own relatives, just to wear a crown or sit on a throne.
While God is not responsible for the evil that men and women have done in the name of government and religion, He is still the Lord of history and continues to work out His plans for mankind. Studying the evil deeds of past rulers could make us cynical, but we must remember that one day “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” ().
Now, remember that the Ptolemy of the south at this particular point in verse 10 has conquered. So he’s kind of ruling in Israel. He’s kind of got the power base. He’s defeated Callinicus in the north. Ptolemy Euergetes, if you want the name, has defeated Callinicus in the north. Callinicus fell off his horse and died. And now the north doesn’t like the south winning. So Callinicus has two sons, verse 10, “His sons,” plural, “shall be stirred up and shall assemble a multitude of great forces and one of them shall certainly come and overflow, pass through and return and be stirred up even to the fortress.”
One of Callinicus’ sons died. The other one became the king of the north. His name, Antiochus the Great. And he came. And it says he would come with a multitude of great forces. History tells us he had 75,000 soldiers. And he came to attack Egypt and he stomped right through the land of Israel. Verse 11 says, “And the king of the south was moved with anger.” Wouldn’t you be? Somebody arrive at your border with 75,000 soldiers? “And he comes forth and he fights with the king of the north and he shall set forth a great multitude.” And so the multitude begins a fight. Now the king of the south is Ptolemy also by the name of Philometor, he has 73,000 men, history tells us, 5,000 cavalry and he also had 73 elephants. They used elephants like battering rams and to carry things and so forth. And so this tremendous war goes on.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (pp. 135–136). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:11 ESV
Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand.
Daniel 11:12 ESV
And when the multitude is taken away, his heart shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail.
The king of the south was very effective in the battle. History says that they caused the north, Antiochus the Great, to lose 10,000 footmen, 300 cavalry, and five of their elephants. This we know from the historian Polybius. But this didn’t really strengthen the king of the south, it just made the king of the north more angry.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:13 ESV
For the king of the north shall again raise a multitude, greater than the first. And after some years he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies.
Daniel 11:14 ESV
“In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail.
Amazing, it was 13 years later that he came back. Exactly as the angel had said. With a great army, and great riches, and he came back to get his revenge. Verse 14, “In those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south.” Boy, he had a great army and people were joining it along the way because they hated the south so much. And look at this, “Also, the robbers of thy people.” Who were Daniel’s people? The Jews. Who were the robbers? Well, the Hebrew term here means “sons of breaking, children of breaking.” And what that means is people who don’t keep their promise, covenant breakers. They are the rebels. It could be translated men of violence who break the law. Frankly, what they are is strong-willed apostate Jews who are revolutionaries. They are like mercenary soldiers and they join the cause of the king of the north. And they aid him in his attack.
Really, most historians feel they wanted Judean independence, these mercenaries, these apostate Jewish revolutionaries. They thought that by war, if they could get in with Antiochus the Great, knock off Egypt, maybe Antiochus would give them freedom for their assistance. That’s really what they wanted. But at the end of verse 14, it says they shall fail. They didn’t get their goal. He didn’t give them what they had hoped to get.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:15 ESV
Then the king of the north shall come and throw up siegeworks and take a well-fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his best troops, for there shall be no strength to stand.
Daniel 11:16 ESV
But he who comes against him shall do as he wills, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand.
Dan 11:
Daniel 11:17 ESV
He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom, but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.
He decides in verse 17 to strengthen his power and to keep Egypt on his side. So he does something that’s kind of interesting. “He sets his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom and upright ones with him, and he gives him the daughter of women.” Now that’s probably a term referring to somebody who is the height of femininity. He picks out some fabulously lovely person, in fact it turned out to be his daughter who was named Cleopatra, and he gave Cleopatra to the Ptolemy king and he said, “Here, take her and marry her as a sign of good faith.” And what he really wanted was to plant a spy in the palace.
But you know what happened? She loved her husband more than her father. And the whole thing failed. Verse 17 says at the end, “… She shall not stand on his side nor be for him.” So it didn’t work.
Now why does the Bible put a little thing … you’re saying, “Why does the Bible put any of this in here?” Just to show you how absolutely God knows history before it ever happens. If you for a minute think anything happens in history without God’s control, you’re wrong. He determines all the boundaries of the nations. History is, as someone said, “His story.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:18 ESV
Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many of them, but a commander shall put an end to his insolence. Indeed, he shall turn his insolence back upon him.
Dan 11:
Verse 18, “After this shall he turn his face to the coastlands.” You know, once Antiochus the Great had conquered that part of the world, he decided to go to the coastlands and that meant, if you will, the Mediterranean Islands and the borders of Greece. He was going to get Greece. W ell, you know who had the power out there by this time? Rome did. And so as he turns his face to the coast and takes many, “A prince on his own bebalf causes the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.”
What it simply means is that it brought him into conflict with Rome, the prince, and Rome utterly routed him. In 190 B.C. he was routed by the Roman soldiers.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:19 ESV
Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land, but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
Verse 19, “He shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land but he shall stumble and fall and not be found.” You know what he did after Rome beat him? He was so distressed, he went back to his own land and in a fit one time he tried to plunder the temple in his own land and steal all the treasures in there and the people got so mad they murdered him on the spot. He wasn’t found any more.
So, we meet Ahasuerus, Alexander, Antiochus the Great, fourthly, Antiochus Epiphanes. Now we’re going to really fly through this one so hold on to your seat. Antiochus Epiphanes, and I don’t want to get all bogged down in too much detail but I do want you to get the message. And all of this was written by God and He has a purpose for it. “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person.” Howwould you like to have that for your epitaph? Or for your introduction? A vile, contemptible, wretched, rotten person. And he will stand up in theplace of Antiochus the Great and they’ll … to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom. They don’t give it to him, but he comes in a sneaky way and obtains it by flattery.
Do you know that Antiochus Epiphanes who is referred to here had no right to reign? He had no legitimate claim to the throne. He had absolutely no right at all, but he gained it by intrigue and by flattery and by buying off certain individuals. And he got in there
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:20 ESV
“Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle.
He was followed by another ruler, verse 20, this is interesting. A guy who stood up in his estate was a raiser of taxes. Now what is that supposed to mean? You know what? When Rome defeated him, they said from then on: Syria, you will pay taxes to Rome. And they were required to pay a thousand talents periodically to the Roman power. Therefore, the next king had to be a raiser of taxes … exactly what God said would happen happened. The detail, people, is thrilling. The Bible is accurate.
So, we meet Ahasuerus, Alexander, Antiochus the Great, fourthly, Antiochus Epiphanes. Now we’re going to really fly through this one so hold on to your seat. Antiochus Epiphanes, and I don’t want to get all bogged down in too much detail but I do want you to get the message. And all of this was written by God and He has a purpose for it. “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person.” Howwould you like to have that for your epitaph? Or for your introduction? A vile, contemptible, wretched, rotten person. And he will stand up in theplace of Antiochus the Great and they’ll … to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom. They don’t give it to him, but he comes in a sneaky way and obtains it by flattery.
Do you know that Antiochus Epiphanes who is referred to here had no right to reign? He had no legitimate claim to the throne. He had absolutely no right at all, but he gained it by intrigue and by flattery and by buying off certain individuals. And he got in there
Daniel 11:21 ESV
In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
We have already met this wicked man (8:9–14) who in his character and activities is a picture of the future Antichrist. He gave himself the name “Epiphanes,” which means “glorious one,” but Gabriel calls him “a vile [contemptible] person.” Antiochus wasn’t the heir to the throne, but he obtained it by guile. The true heir was Demetrius Soter, who was very young, so Antiochus claimed to be his lawful protector and seized the throne.
We have already met this wicked man (8:9–14) who in his character and activities is a picture of the future Antichrist. He gave himself the name “Epiphanes,” which means “glorious one,” but Gabriel calls him “a vile [contemptible] person.” Antiochus wasn’t the heir to the throne, but he obtained it by guile. The true heir was Demetrius Soter, who was very young, so Antiochus claimed to be his lawful protector and seized the throne.
He was very successful in his military endeavors and knew how to combine deceptive strategy with brute force. In his first campaign against Egypt (11:25–28), he won the battle even though he failed to take all of Egypt. He sat down at the bargaining table with the Egyptian leaders, never intending to keep any agreements. In spite of deception on both sides, the Lord was still in control and was watching the calendar. He has His appointed times and He is always on time.
On his return to Syria in 170, Antiochus turned his attention to Israel and the wealth in the temple (v. 28). He plundered and defiled the temple, abolished the daily sacrifices, killed a great many Jews, and left soldiers behind to keep things in control. Two years later (168) he again invaded Egypt, but this time the Romans (v. 30, “ships of Chittim”) confronted him and told him to stop. He obeyed grudgingly and took out his anger on the Jews, with the help of Jewish traitors who forsook their own covenant to support him. He promised to reward them generously for their help.
On December 14, 168, Antiochus desecrated the temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and by offering a pig as a sacrifice. Gabriel calls this “the abomination that maketh desolate” (v. 31). The future Antichrist will put his own image in the Jewish temple when he breaks his covenant with the Jews in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period, Daniel’s seventieth week (9:27; 11:31; 12:11; ; ). Antiochus was doing his best not only to exterminate the Jewish people but also to eliminate their religion from the earth. He promised to reward the Jews who followed his orders, and there were those who forsook their holy covenant to obey him. This was a time of testing and refining for the Jewish people, when they had to decide to obey the God of their fathers and possibly be slain, or submit to the pagan Syrian leaders and live as traitors to their faith ().
According to verses 33–35, there was a small group of faithful Jews who opposed the godlessness of Antiochus and trusted God to enable them to fight back. A Jewish priest named Mattathias, with his five sons, gathered an army and were able to fight back. His son Judas, nicknamed Maccabeus (“the hammerer”), was one of the heroes of this revolt. Many Jews laid down their lives for their city, their temple, and their faith, and finally they won. On December 14, 165, the temple was purified and the altar dedicated. (See 8:9–14, 23–25.) The Jews celebrate this occasion annually as the Feast of Lights (Hanukkah). Their enemy Antiochus Epiphanes died in Persia in 163. He was judged insane, and it was no wonder people called him “Antiochus Epimanes—Antiochus the madman.”
Gabriel closes this section about Antiochus by reminding Daniel that what he had related to him had implications for Israel in “the time of the end” (11:35). Although he had spoken about leaders who would appear after the fall of Persia, Daniel could see in those events some of the things that would happen to the Jews in the end times. This was especially true of Antiochus Epiphanes, a clear picture of the future Antichrist. Daniel knew that his people would endure great suffering for their faith, that some would apostasize and join the enemy, and that others would trust the Lord and “do exploits” (v. 32). No matter how difficult the times, God has always had His faithful remnant, and He will keep His covenant with His people to the very end.
Having mentioned “the time of the end,” Gabriel will now speak about the future Antichrist and the terrible time of Jacob’s trouble (11:36–12:1).
Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be resolute (pp. 136–138). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor.
Daniel 11:22 ESV
Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant.
Verse 22, “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overthrown from before him and shall be broken,” and that is the south, he literally devastated the Egyptians and the king.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:23 ESV
And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people.
Verse 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.” He tried to adopt a policy of friendship with Egypt but he violated it and he broke it and he did everything he could, he plotted, he worked out all kinds of things.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:24 ESV
Without warning he shall come into the richest parts of the province, and he shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers’ fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time.
verse 24 that he entered peaceably upon the fattest places of the province. Boy, when he saw there was crop or money or something to be gained, he came in all hearts and flowers and with peace and so forth and so on and he did what his fathers never did … before he was wily and smart and he gained greater acceptance. And then when he got spoil, he scattered it among the people and he let them share in it and he made it all look so good. And then at the end of verse 24, “He was plotting against the strongholds.” Whenever he saw a strong village or a strong group, he would plot their destruction. So on the one hand he looks like Robin Hood. On the other hand, anything that begins to move in his kingdom, be puts it down fast. He’s building an incredible power base.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.s
Daniel 11:25 ESV
And he shall stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him.
In verse 25, he has another war with Egypt. “He stirs up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army and the king of the south is stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army, but he shall not stand for they shall plot against him.” Another war with Egypt, this time at Pollusium(?), and Egypt lost. And it tells you why. Because the counselors of the Egyptian king himself betrayed him. In fact, his trusted counselors turned against him. It says his own men plotted against him.
Daniel 11:26 ESV
Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.
Verse 26, “Yea they that feed of the portion of his food shall destroy him.” His own troops, his own soldiers. “And his army shall overflow and many shall fall down slain.”
Daniel 11:27 ESV
And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. They shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed.
Verse 27, “And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief.” Both of them were evil Here’s this war. Egypt has lost. So they decide to sit at a table. They want to come to the table. We still do that, don’t we? You see all these guys around a big table and they’re all signing these meaningless treaties. You know how many treaties have been broken in the history of the world? All of them. Just wanted to get that in.
“They sit at a table. They speak lies. And their supposed talk doesn’t prosper, for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.” They promises they never meant to keep. And God had it all in the plan anyway.
“Then after this, he returns to his land with great riches, his heart shall be against the holy covenant. And he shall do exploits and return to his own land.” Now listen, here we are right back in Israel, after Antiochus Epiphanes has this deceitful meeting in the south, he comes back and again he does things against the holy covenant. He comes back into the land of Israel and desecrates the land. In fact, he marched on Jerusalem after he left this meeting in Egypt, he marched on Jerusalem and he sacked the city and he cruelly slaughtered people and he brought about horrible suffering.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Dan 11:
Daniel 11:28 ESV
And he shall return to his land with great wealth, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will and return to his own land.
Daniel 11:29 ESV
“At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before.
Verse 29. “He returned and came toward the south but it wasn’t as the former or as the latter.”
Now, have you ever seen a picture where the Indians and the cowboys were in a battle and off in the distance you hear the sound of the cavalry to the rescue ? That’s what happens in
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:30 ESV
For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.
verse 30. Chittim … the ships of Chittim … that’s an ancient name for Cyprus and probably is general reference to the Roman army, the Roman Empire, the Roman power. The ships of Chittim would be the Roman fleet. By now the Ptolemies are so sick of Antiochus Epiphanes, that they say to Rome, “Send us a fleet.” And so they do and they come against Antiochus. He is grieved and returns … because he can’t do anything against Egypt because of the Roman navy that he fears.
So what does he do? Verse 30, watch this, “He has indignation against the holy covenant,” against the holy covenant. “He even returns and has intelligence, or special meetings … watch this … with those who forsake the holy covenant.” He gets back with these apostate Jews. He begins to raise support from them.
And then it happens. Then it really happens.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:31 ESV
Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
Verse 31, “And the forces shall stand on his part and they shall pollute the … what?. the sanctuary and take away the daily sacrifice and place the abomination that maketh desolate.” He is so frustrated now by the Romans, he goes back into the place of Israel, back into Jerusalem. First thing he does is he puts guards all around the temple, nobody can worship. He stops the sacrifice.
He halts all worship. And then on a given Sabbath, he sends his soldiers into the city and be slaughters all the children they can find. And then he slaughters all the women. And then he makes heathen idolatry mandatory. And then he has nakedness flaunted by supposed atheletes in full view of the temple ground. He enforces Greek culture upon the Jews. He erects a statue of the main god of the Greeks, Zeus, on the very altar in the temple. He slays a pig on the altar in the temple and makes the priests eat the pork. This is the abomination of desolations. He abominates the temple to make it desolate and he even had some Jews in with him.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:32 ESV
He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
Verse 32, “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries.” Found some apostate Jews to even agree to get involved. But the end of verse 32, “The people who do know their God shall be strong and do right, do exploits,” however you want to translate that. The people that really know God resisted.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Dan 11:
Daniel 11:33 ESV
And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder.
Now I want to read 33 and 34, “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 for many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help but many shall cling to them with flatteries.”
The angel says, “Daniel, if you think the 70 years is the end, you’ve missed it. They’ll be 70 years. And then at the end of that 70 years they’ll be an Ahasuerus who will dominate your land. And then there will be an Alexander who will dominate your land. And then there will be Antiochus the Great who will overrun your land. And then there will be an Antiochus Epiphanes,” and by the way, Epiphanes was the name he took for himself, it meant “Great One,” and they called him “Epimanes” which meant “maniac, mad man.”
There will always be this and finally it will culminate in a desecration that is beyond your belief. And it says in verse 33, they’ll fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity, by spoil. And that’s exactly what happened
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 11:34 ESV
When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,
Daniel 11:35 ESV
and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.
So, all through the Persian period, the angel says to Daniel, all through the Greek period, the people will continue to be oppressed. Why? Verse 35 is where we stopped last time and that’s the key. “To purge and to make them white, even to the time of the end.”
The whole purpose of all of this was the purging of the people of Israel. It was their spiritual purification. It is to refine them. God has always used suffering to do that. Even in the New Testament, Peter writes that the Lord make you perfect after you have suffered a while. James writes, the trial of your faith works patience and patience has its perfect work. The purging, the purification of suffering, till the time of the end.
The Purpose was to Purify
Jude 23 ESV
save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
James
Jude
Jude 24 ESV
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
Dan 11:
Daniel 11:36 ESV
“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.
James 1:2 ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
Dan
Daniel 11:37 ESV
He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.
James 1:3 ESV
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Daniel 11:38 ESV
He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.
James 1:4 ESV
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
1 Peter 5:1 ESV
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
1 Peter 5:10 ESV
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:
Daniel 11:39 ESV
He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price.
Daniel 11:40 ESV
“At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through.
Daniel 11:41 ESV
He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.
Daniel 11:42 ESV
He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Daniel 11:43 ESV
He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train.
Daniel 11:44 ESV
But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction.
DAn 11
Daniel 11:45 ESV
And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.
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