Monday, April 22, 2013

Print Page Daniel 11:2-35

Daniel 11:2-35 takes place over a few hundred years. All of it takes place after Daniel wrote the book of Daniel before 530 B.C. Because the prophecy is so detailed and would prove the supernatural origin of the Bible liberals have tried to say Daniel didn't write Daniel. They state this even though their arguments are weak and have no Biblical basis.

The scene starts out with Israel in the middle of 4 kingdoms. Daniel 11:2 mentions 4 Persian kings. The kings are Cambyses (530–522 B.C.), Psuedo-Smerdis (522-521 B.C.), Darius I Hystaspes (522–486 B.C.) and Xerxes I, called Ahasuerus in Esther (486–465 B.C.). Xerxes was the richest and it was reported he had an army of 2,641,000 men.

The mighty king mentioned in Daniel 11:3 is Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.). He conquered the Persian Empire in 331 B.C. He rose up in Greece to avenge the Greeks against Persia for Xerxes’ past invasion. After he died in 323 B.C. his land was divided among 4 generals (Daniel 11:4) because Cassander killed two of Alexander’s sons, preventing them from succeeding their father.

Daniel 11:5 refers to Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 B.C.) Syria king of the North and Ptolemy I Soter (323-285 BC) Egypt king of the South. The daughter of the South mentioned in Daniel 11:6 is Berenice daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) The king of North was Antiochus II Theos (261-246 B.C.).  This didn't last because of former wife of Antiochus who's name was Laodice. Theos divorced her to marry Berenice. She was involved in a conspiracy to kill with poison Berenice, her baby son, Antiochus, and her father Ptolemy. This brought Laodice's son Seleucus II Callinicus, to the throne. Later king Egypt Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 B.C.) succeeded Philadelphus. He was the brother of Berenice. He conquered Syria (Northern kingdom) in 240 B.C. to avenge the death of his sister (Daniel 11:7). Ptolemy III reportedly returned to Egypt with 40,000 talents of silver, precious vessels and 24,000 images which included Egyptian idols that Cambyses took from Egypt to Persia. Ptolemy III ended up living 4 years longer than Seleucus II Callinicus (Daniel 11:8-9).

In Daniel 11:10-12 the sons of Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus III the Great (223-187 B.C.)  assemble a great army. Ceraunus died so Antiochus instituted the war with Euergetes's son Ptolemy IV Philopater (221-203 B.C.). After taking all of Syria Antiochus attacked the border of Egypt and won. Philopater then waged war against Antiochus at Raphia which is a city between Rhinocorura and Gaza with an army of 70,000 on each side. The result was Egypt destroying the entire army of Antiochus. According to John Gill “Antiochus lost ten thousand footmen, and three hundred horsemen; four thousand footmen were taken, three elephants slain, and two wounded, which afterwards died.”

Daniel 11:13-16 is the account of Egypt being defeated 14 years later at Paneas by Antiochus III who assembled an even more powerful army and siege works again the fenced cities. Antiochus took Sidon in 199-198 B.C. Egypt attempted to conquer Syria ad Eopas, Menacles and Damyoyenus but failed. Some Jews allied with Antiochus and went against Ptolemy's garrison in Jerusalem  They also hoped to make Judea an independent state, but failed.

The “upright ones” in Daniel 11:17 likely were Jews who allied themselves with Antiochus. Rome started to grow in power so Antiochus gave his daughter Cleopatra for marriage to Ptolemy V Epiphanes  John Gill wrote “finding he could not obtain the kingdom of Egypt by force of arms, for fear of the Romans, who were the guardians of the king of Egypt, he proposed to give his daughter Cleopatra to him (Ptolemy) in marriage, a beautiful virgin; and therefore called the daughter of women.” The plan backfired because Cleopatra ended up siding with her husband instead of her dad.

Daniel 11:18-19 talks about Antiochus and his war with the Romans where he took many of the isles. Antiochus though ended up being killed by his own soldiers in an insurrection as he tried to take money for Rome from the temple of Jupiter in Elymais .

After Antiochus was killed his oldest son Seleuceus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C) ruled. He raised taxes a thousand talents a year to pay the Romans tribute money. His tax collector/treasurer was Heliodorus. Heliodorus ended up poisoning Antiochus (Daniel 11:20).

Seleuceus IV Philopator's son Demetrius was suppose to be the next ruler but was a hostage in Rome. Instead Philopator's brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.) took the throne after after Andronicus killed Philopator's baby Antiochus to secure the throne for Epiphanes. Antiochus IV struggled against Egypt and Rome. His nickname was Epimanes which means madman (Daniel 11:21).

Antiochus IV was attacked by Egypt but was able to defeat them. He then attacked Egypt 5 years after becoming king. Antiochus won at Pelusium near the Nile delta with a force like a "flood". After that a treaty was attempted but was not successful because both had only their own interests in mind (Daniel 11:22).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria pretended to befriend Ptolemy Philometer of Egypt only to betray him. Ptolemy ended up being defeated. (Daniel 11:23-25) Philometer's own men turned on him and many were slain. (Daniel 11:26) Daniel 1:27 is a summary of Antiochus' and Ptolemy's dealings with each other. Antiochus Epiphanes returned to Syria with riches from Egypt (Daniel 11:28). Antiochus would return to Egypt later but not as successful. Chittim refers to the islands of Agean, Cyprus, and Phoenicia (Daniel 11:30).

Antiochus sent forces to Jerusalem and massacred 80,000 men, took 40,000 prisoners and sold 40,000 slaves. Along with some of the Jews the forces polluted the temple by drunkeness, sacrificing a pig on the alter, committed fornication with harlots and created an idol to Zeus. Jews that didn't obey the forces were slain. (Daniel 11:31-34) The prophecy ends stating that the time for all of these things to occur has been appointed (Daniel 11:35). In a future article we'll discuss Daniel 11:36 and beyond which is prophecy that has not yet occurred.

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