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Daniel 10-12 Listen
Another vision (Daniel 10)
1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 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.
4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
5 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:
6 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.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11 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.
12 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.
13 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.
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, 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.
17 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.
18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
19 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.
20 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.
21 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.
This chapter sets us up for chapter 11. We are told in verse 1 that this vision comes to Daniel in "the third year of Cyrus king of Persia." Cyrus actually inherited the Persian throne in 559 B.C., but that event meant nothing to Daniel, since Daniel and his Jewish brethren were subjects of Babylon at that point in time. In 539 B.C. Persia overcame Babylon, and Daniel had a new boss. That is certainly the date from which Daniel is counting the reign of Cyrus in verse 1. That places this vision in 536 or 535 B.C. If Daniel was somewhere between 10 and 20 years old when he was taken from Jerusalem in 605 B.C., that would make Daniel 80 to 90 years old at this point in time. The exiles from Judah/Jerusalem began returning to their homeland in 535 B.C. Daniel sees a vision of continued conflict for God's people after the return of the exiles to Jerusalem. It so overwhelms him that he mourns for three weeks. In this chapter we see the working of demonic beings being referenced. In fact, we see in Ezra 4 (see notes) that the temple-rebuilding project back in Jerusalem was delayed by 20 years or so because of the opposition from the pagan folks there.
These supernatural beings mentioned here causing the interference must have been those that empowered those evil nations. Those nations will be the subject of chapter 11.
We actually see some detail regarding angels (good and bad) in this chapter that cannot be found elsewhere when Daniel sees a clear manifestation of an angel and describes his appearance to us (verse 5). We also learn from this passage the struggle that likely still takes place between good and fallen angels. It is obvious from this passage that angels are not omnipresent or omnipotent. Michael was delayed in coming to Daniel because of his struggles with another angel (verse 13). Therefore, from this passage it appears that fallen angels assist in guiding the affairs of nations that are enemies of God and God's people (Persia in verse 13 and Greece in verse 20). Michael, the archangel, is also mentioned in Jude 9 (see notes) and Revelation 12:7 (see notes).
What you must know to understand chapter 11
The prophecy contained in chapter 11 was future for Daniel, but historical for us. Alexander the Great conquered the world and died at the age of 33 in 323 B.C. While they tried to hold his empire together, it couldn't be done. By 311 B.C., his generals over specific regions split from the empire with each ruling over his own region - four of them.
These Greek regional commanders who became territorial rulers were as follows:
Ptolemy's kingdom (Egypt) was south of Palestine. The kingdom of Seleucus was a territory located north, west and south as you passed through Syria from Babylon. The activities of warring factions in Daniel 11 are the kings of these two kingdoms. Let's list them along with the verses where they are mentioned.
|Daniel 11:5||Ptolemy I Soter||323-285 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:6||Ptolemy II Philadelphus||285-246 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:7-8||Ptolemy III Euergetes||246-221 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:11-12||Ptolemy IV Philopator||221-204 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:17||Ptolemy V Epiphanes||181-145 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:25||Ptolemy VI Philometer||181-145 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:5||Seleucus I Nicator||312-281 B.C.|
|Not mentioned in Daniel||Antiochus I Sober||281-262 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:6||Antiochus II Theos||262-246 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:7-9||Seleucus II Callinicus||246-227 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:10||Seleucus II Soter||227-223 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:10-11, 13, 15-19||Antiochus III the Great||223-187 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:20||Seleucus IV Philopator||187-176 B.C.|
|Daniel 11:21-32||Antiochus IV Epiphanes||175-163 B.C.|
1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
2 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.
3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 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:
8 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.
9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
10 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.
11 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.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 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.
19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
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.
24 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.
25 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.
26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
27 And both 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.
28 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.
29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
30 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.
31 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.
32 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.
33 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.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
Daniel prophesied the battles between these warring factions of the former Greek empire. These battles took place over 200 years after Daniel wrote about them in his prophecies, but secular historical records tell us that these battles did take place just as Daniel had prophesied. What you need to understand about chapter 11 are the players, the leaders listed in the tables above. Their battlefield in this chapter was the land of Israel. Why? These two nations were separated by Palestine. The only way they could fight was to go through Israel itself. To top it all off, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was particularly cruel to the Jews on his trip back through Israel after a defeat in Egypt. This event is seen in verse 31. He foreshadowed the cruelty of the antichrist who will appear during the tribulation in that he desecrated the Jewish temple in Jerusalem by offering a pig on the altar there and forced the Jews in that city to eat swine meat or die. These acts took place in December, 168 B.C. He was the epitome of a baaaaaaad man! It was the intent of Antiochus Epiphanes IV to stamp out Judaism completely. We looked at the horrific deeds of this man back in Daniel 8 (see notes) which prophesied concerning him as well. The apocryphal historical books of I and II Maccabees contain these accounts.
35 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.
36 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.
37 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.
38 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.
39 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.
40 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.
41 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.
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 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.
44 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.
45 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.
Everything mentioned in Daniel 11:1-34 happened as Daniel prophesied over a period of 300 years or so. Daniel 11:35 is a pivotal verse in this chapter, "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." This verse introduces the fact that the historical record of this prophecy (for us) ends with Antiochus IV Epiphanes and that the rest of this chapter is reserved for a period yet future - "because it is yet for a time appointed" (verse 35). That's a "time appointed" beyond that of Antiochus Epiphanes. Most students of prophecy agree that the remaining verses speak of the activities of the beast (aka antichrist) of Revelation 13 (see notes) who will appear during Daniel's seventieth week (the tribulation) referenced in Daniel 9:24-27 (see notes), a period yet future to us. The battle that takes place in verse 40 would appear to be the battle of Revelation 6:12-17 (see notes) just prior to the midpoint of the tribulation, after which the beast assumes the role of God by displacing sacrifices in the rebuilt temple and requiring that everyone worship him as God. (Read all about the tribulation by clicking here to read the notes on II Thessalonians 2.) Notice Daniel 11:45, "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." The two seas mentioned are the Mediterranean Sea and Dead Sea. That's where the beast (aka antichrist) will establish his kingdom, RIGHT THERE IN JERUSALEM! Notice also in that verse that "he shall come to his end." The reign of the antichrist will be terminated at the Battle of Armageddon found in Revelation 19:11-21 (see notes).
Incidentally, we are told in Daniel 11:41 that the reach of the antichrist will not involve Edom, Moab and Ammon - east of Israel. That fits nicely with the prophetic theory based upon Micah 2:12-13 (see notes) that this is where the fleeing remnant will hide during the last three years of the tribulation period.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
This last chapter of Daniel ties it all up. A resurrection is promised for the righteous Jews and ultimate deliverance for the Nation of Israel. How long will this final onslaught against God's people last. Well, verse 7 says, "it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." That's Daniel speak for time (1 year), times (2 years) and half (1/2/year) - a total of 3 1/2 years. That certainly must refer to the last half of the tribulation. Then we get some interesting references to additional days in verses 11 and 12. We see a reference to 1,290 days and another reference to 1,335 days. No one is certain what these days mean. They fall at a time of transition between the tribulation and millennium. Perhaps it refers to the time required for the judgments that will take place at that time. Revelation 11:2-3 (see notes) fixes the actual period of the last half of the tribulation at 1,260 or 42 months. I guess we'll have to wait until we get to heaven to see the exact schedule of tribulation-ending, millennium-beginning events.
Take particular notice of Daniel 12:2, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." While nearly all of the prophecies of the Old Testament deal specifically with Israel's repossession of an everlasting kingdom under the Messiah, here is a direct reference to the resurrection of those who have passed away.
One more point is to be particularly noted here - the appearance of "the abomination that maketh desolate" in verse 11. We saw this reference in Daniel 9:27 (see notes) and know this to be a reference to the "beast" of Revelation 13 (see notes). Jesus makes reference to this "abomination of desolation" in Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14 and Luke 21:20 (see notes) in his prophetic message given on Mount Olivet the week before his crucifixion. Paul, in II Thessalonians 2, gives us a detailed look at how the beast carries out this "abomination of desolation."