STUDY OF DANIEL
CHAPTER XI – PART A
At the end of Chapter 10, we find Gabriel talking with Daniel. Here in the first verse of Chapter 11, we have the continuation of that conversation between Daniel and Gabriel. There is no break between these chapters; it simply continues on.
Gabriel is telling Daniel that in the first year of Darius, when the Medes and Persians overtook Babylon, he, Gabriel, was there by Darius’ side to confirm/help/establish him and strengthen him.
In Gabriel again tells Daniel that he will show him the truth. Gabriel now proceeds to give Daniel the understanding of what he was diligently seeking for. Gabriel says “There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all… .”. This is three kings more after Cyrus. These three kings were:
* Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. (530-522 B.C.)
* False Smerdis, an imposter who impersonated the real Smerdis to obtain the throne. The real Smerdis was killed by his brother Cambyses. (522 B.C.)
* Darius Hystaspes or Darius I, who married a daughter of Cyrus. (522-486 B.C.)
And the fourth to arise shall be far richer… . This was Xerexes, or the Ahasuerus of Queen Esther, the son of Darius Hystasper/Darius I. Xerxes was far richer than all before him. in verses11:2, it says, “And by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.”
Because of his wealth, Xerxes was able to stir up an immense army against the warlike Greeks. His army amassed to 5,283,220 from the East alone. But not content with this, he enlisted the Carthaginians of the West, which added another 300,000 men. In total, he had raised over five and three quarter million men to go against the Greeks.
We now skip over nine minor rulers as Xerxes was the last Persian king to invade Grecia. “And a mighty king shall stand up that shall rule with great dominion… . and when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven… .”. Alexander the great is easily placed in the prophecy here. Alexander finally defeated the Persians in 331 B.C. He continued his campaign all the way to the border of India and South through Egypt. His domain was far greater than that of “the Persian Empire”.
At the height of Alexander’s power, he got drunk to intoxication and developed a fever. He continually grew worse and in a few days died.
Alexander died in 323 B.C. Alexander’s sons and relatives were slain, so none of the kingdom went to Alexander’s family.
Eventually, four generals established the four divisions of Alexander’s former kingdon into North, South, East, and West, or the “Four Winds” (verse 4). These four directions are according to Palestine; Daniel’s homeland. They were “plucked up” (verse 4) accordingly. Cassander took the West, Lysimachus took the North, Seleucus took the East, and Ptolemy took the South. In “And the king of the South shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him” . . . . Ptolemy Soter, who had Egypt, Palestine and part of Syria, in the South, is the king of the South at this point, (from 323 to 285 B.C.). “One of his princes” is speaking of one of Alexander’s princes.
NOTE: Lysimacus took over Cassander’s territory and then Lysimacus lost all of it to Seleucus.
Nicator, who now has three quarters of Alexander’s kingdom, leaving Ptolemy in the South with a quarter.
“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.”
Now at that time Ptolemy Philadelphus. the second king of the South and Theos, the third king of the North, were to join themselves together. How? Ptolemy Philadelphus’ daughter, Berenice, was to come to Antiochus Theos and become his wife, and try to join the kingdoms. The son born to this pair was to rule the kingdom. So, Antiochus divorced Laodice, his wife and married Berenice.
Verse 6 says, “She shall not retain the power of the arm”. Berenice was not to retain any power that Antiochus had. Antiochus was not to stand either. Berenice’s father died in 247 B.C., and when word got out to Antiochus, he immediately threw Berenice out and took back his ex-wife, Laodice, and her two sons, Seleucus Callinicus, and Antiochus Hierax. Laodice then had Antiochus Theos poisoned, and had Seleucus Callinicus pronounced as king. “She shall be given up.” (verse 6). Berenice was put to death by the orders of Laodice, and her son was also murdered. However, tells us “But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the North”, and verse 8 says, “And shall carry captives into Egypt”, and verse 9 says, “And shall return into his own land.” This refers to Ptolemy’s son (Ptolemy Euergetes), who is also Berenice’s brother. He gained large portions of land, including the capital of Syria and a large part of Asia Minor, before being called back to Egypt.
“But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces… .” This is in reference to the king of the North’s sons, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. They were stirred up because of the land that had been taken from them. Seleucus Ceraunus was a weak leader and only reigned for 3 years, being poisoned by two of his generals.
Antiochus Magnus was proclaimed king and came to avenge. In we see the king of the South shall come forth and fight with him.
Euergetes had passed off the scene by now and Ptolemy Philopater had taken the throne of the South in Egypt. Philopater (South) went out to battle Antiochus (North) in 217 B.C. near Gaza. After Philopater had defeated Antiochus, his heart was lifted up by his success. On his way back home, he stopped at Jerusalem to sacrifice to the God of Israel. He tried to enter the temple and was struck with terror and confusion and had to be carried away. He left Jerusalem filled with great wrath against the whole nation of the Jews. In 213 B.C., he had the occasion rise to gain revenge upon the Jews, by slaying 40,000 of them at Alexandria. “He shall cast down many ten thousands.” “For the king of the North shall return” . . . . Antiochus Magnus was to return with a greater army than before.
After 14 years of peace between Philopater and Antiochus, Philopater died in 204 B.C. Philopater left his son, Ptolemy Epiphanes, to take the throne at the age of five years. Seizing the opportunity to enlarge his kingdom by coming upon Egypt and such a young king, Antiochus made a league with King Philip of Macedonia. The two of them agreed to divide the Egyptian Empire.
* In verse 14, Gabriel is now introducing Daniel to Rome, who would be the ones to finally destroy his people, the Jews. We know from Chapter 9 that the destroyer of the Jews was Rome.
Rome sent Scopas to lead the Egyptian forces to Palestine in 202 B.C. This was done because Rome had accepted the guardianship of Epiphanes, the young king of Egypt. This also shows Rome did not rise out of Alexander’s kingdom. With Rome coming onto the scene at this time, demonstrates Rome was going to be a world player. “And none shall stand before him… .”. Now we will see Rome start to show power. Rome, under Pompey, was to come against the king of the South, who at this time was Antiohus Asiaticus, 69 B.C. No one could stand in the way of Pompey. Pompey made Jerusalem a province of Rome in 63 B.C. Never again did Judea or Jerusalem have its independence. The iron hand of Rome held it until they destroyed it by the hand of Titus in 70 A.D.
Previous to this, the Northern part of Alexander’s kingdom was now ruled by Rome. Rome now became the king of the North.